January 12, 2013
If you are interested in educational travel, stay away from “Enrichment Voyages.” They use the ship that normally runs the Semester at Sea program (MV Explorer). There are some very good lectures on board when you are at sea, but the Enrichment Voyage policy is to raise as much money as possible to support other programs. In other words, the goal is to “enrich” their coffers but not necessarily your brain. They push cheap sweet drinks, at high costs on board, sell logo items at high prices and offer shore programs that are mostly shopping trips, with minimal educational value. You learn very little on shore trips that would help you to tell one port from another. Management has not trained the ship staff in respectful behavior towards senior citizens. For example, they confiscated distilled water necessary for a medically essential CPAP machine (then days later, reluctantly sold the person a bottle of distilled water for $15). The staff response to a request of a lip-reader to face him and speak slowly was for them to yell at him. My recommendation for senior citizens and serious learners: Consider travel with any other educational travel program but Enrichment Voyage. They were wonderful some years ago, but now they are fundraising and marketing to bargain hunting, escapist, “Groupon” tourists and highlighting many mindless “fun” activities, which are entertaining – if that is what you want.
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