Readers tell of travel nightmares

J. McFarlane / MSNBC
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Getting there is half the fun, right? Well, maybe not. But bad trips make the best stories. We've been asking readers to share their tales of travel gone wrong. Here are some of their responses.

Europe or bust
I went to Europe in 2003. I had never flown in my entire life ... I got up at 6:00 a.m. in order to make it to the airport in Omaha, Neb. by 9:00 p.m., along with giving myself enough time to do everything required. Flew from Omaha to Cincinnati. Switched flights there and boarded an aircraft to JFK in NYC. That is where the trouble began.

A not so magical trip
We planned for months our Ultimate Vacation — Disney World. We researched every aspect of our trip, made reservations months in advance and thought we were good to go.

Jamaica horror trip
We just want the public to know what happened to us and hopefully prevent it from happening to anyone else. My husband and I went to Jamaica (Negril) for a vacation. While we were there we were kidnapped, mugged, beaten, drugged and left for dead!

Lots of travel = many bad trips
I have traveled a lot.  All over the world. I have lots of experience with sleeping in airports, delays, bad service and malfunctioning aircraft including a blown engine on take off, air pockets causing injuries and "go arounds". Here is a small sampling of my more interesting Bad Trips.

Right town, wrong country?
On my first trip to Europe in 1998, I was supposed to fly to Zurich, Switzerland, and then take a train to Freiburg, Germany to meet a friend that was living there. I got to Zurich all right, but when I went to the station to ask for a ticket to Freiburg, the clerk said "Frieberg?".  Silly me ... Freiburg/Frieberg, must be the same thing, right? WRONG.

Loud-mouthed American tourists
Some of my most embarrassing moments in foreign travel have been the result of contact with my own countrymen. It seems as though in Texas and the Midwest, speaking in a loud, booming voice denotes joviality and playful friendliness. In Latin American cultures, though, it indicates aggression, and one only hears it from clowns, crazy people, and people looking to start a fight.

Nude tourists behaving badly
The ferry between San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala and Santiago Atitlan hugs the shore as it rounds the point where Volcan San Pedro divides the lands on which rest the two communities. There’s a fine sandy beach on that point with a rickety dock where small boats can tie up. The beach is about an hour’s walk on a lovely footpath from the town of San Pedro.

Honeymoon horror
While I had meticulously planned every detail of our wedding and honeymoon, I had neglected to check the weather forecast for St. Maarten in the Caribbean. On the flight there we overheard the crew saying that instead of spending the night on St. Maarten, the plane was going to return to San Juan after the passengers deplaned. Seems that a major hurricane was expected to hit St. Maarten later that night and they didn't want their plane to get blown away.
Can't Believe Carnival Calls It The 'Fun Ship'
All my life I've dreamed of going on a cruise and my husband surprised me Christmas of 2003 with a cruise to Mexico. We knew when we landed in Ft. Worth, Texas and there was no bus to take us to the port in Galveston ... trouble was just beginning and after $100 to hire someone to drive us down there we were wishing that was the end. 

The curse of the Caribbean cruise
Three years ago, lured by a ridiculously low price that must have been, at the very least, a short-time money-loser for the folks at the Unnamed Cruise Line, your correspondent and his better half signed up for a three day trip from Miami to Nassau and back.

The crying child trip, and its many sequels
Back in 1979, I was flying home from Tel Aviv to New York in coach. There was a mother with a young child sitting next to me. The baby started crying something like 10 minutes after we got off the ground. I politely asked the woman if she could please get her child to quiet down so I could get some sleep.