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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Light on Dark Harbor

24th October 2012
Dear Folks at the Queen Mary,

I would like to thank you for a wonderful time at your dark harbor event this year. I have to say that I was impressed by the mazes and monsters. Your use of mirrors and the quality of darkness were truly disorienting.

On another note, I would like to know why I was not permitted to bring pens into the event. Again, why was my tool keychain also not permitted? I point out that this object had no knife and is shorter than the distance across the palm of my hand.

I happen to be a Security Officer with fifteen years experience. I know how hard it is to find good security people. This is why I will forgive the rudeness of the fellow who informed me that I could not have these items.

I would like to express to you that a security person, I will assume your folks did not have state certification, should be polite but firm. This would me that they should have apologized for the inconvenience, thanked me for complying with the rules, and referred to me as sir.

In addition, he should be fully knowledgeable and present useful information. “I’m sorry, sir, but our policy is that you may not have items of this nature. I do apologize for the inconvenience. You may return to your car to store these items or discard them.”

Finally, had I not purchased a special pass returning these items to my car would have been time consuming. It would only be proper to have offered me a special pass to return to the front of this line. I always have pens on me and my keychain is a common companion. Together these items are worth about thirty dollars. Whereas this is worth an hour wait to me it would have soured my evening.

Trivial offerings will often go a long way to pacify the irate guest. A front of the line pass for one attraction, for those who did not buy them, will cost you very little and keep folks coming back. For those in my situation with a front of the line pass already a coupon for a free soft drink would have more than made up for the inconvenience.

I will grant that you work with capacity crowds as is and have little need to better your event. Still, I attended nothing else from your events and have not decided if I will return next year to Dark Harbor.

Again, I can see that you have no need to step things up, but may I mention that in the whole thirty three years of my life no one has ever suggested before a time at your grand old ship. In no way are you just a hotel or park but a part of the culture of the great state of California. My experience at the Queen Mary was only so-so and it is truly a shame that you are not as wonderful as our ski slopes, mystical as our redwood trees, and well beloved as our beaches.

Make every voyage as worthy as the last

Richard Leland Neal