I just read a bunch of negative cruise reviews. Most were directed at either Carnival or Norwegian ships. Several were reviews of Royal Caribbean. Fine I get it. Those three are considered, for the most part, entry level cruises. The difference is, Norwegian does not have another line to step up to, such as Princess or Celebrity. NCL merged with a couple of luxury lines, but that's a different situation.
I empathize with some of these cruisers. We have seen the drop off in service and quality over the years. We started cruising towards the end of the glamour times. Midnight buffets, etc. Now, it's about quantity and profits. How many passengers can we get on ? 2000? 3000? How about 5000!!!!!!! 5000 passengers. That's not a cruise ship, that's a town. Combine that with less staff , which means more work for the ones that are left, and no wonder service has suffered. Most people don't realize that stewards used to have assistants. Now, 1 steward, by him/her self, is responsible for approximately 20 cabins. 20 cabins, twice a day. That's on a par with cleaning your entire house, twice a day ! I often wonder if the executives that make these cuts, have ever stepped foot on a cruise ship. Without everyone knowing who they are. Would the head of Carnival book an Interior Cabin ? Of course not. They take the Presidential Suite with the butler. Then they come home and think everything is great. They don't even leave the cabin. Hey, Mr. CEO, how about jumping on the buffet line once or twice. Just get on line and observe. Listen to your customers. At least Michael Sheehan ( Norwegian / Undercover Boss ) got out there on his ships. Since his departure however, NCL has made some changes, many, not for the better. As older ships go in for updating, the one designated coffee bar, becomes just another bar.
Costs are also going up. Not to board the ship. Those costs are actually dropping. But once you are onboard.....omg....the up selling.....everything has a charge these days. I don't mind the restaurants. I can choose to not eat in them. Photo packages are outrageous. The cost of memories I guess. Drink packages ? If you aren't an alcoholic, you will be if you decide to get your money's worth on one of these. Soda packages ? No wonder kids are fat and diabetic.
Where was I ? Oh, so how many of these complaints are just whiners that expected the perfect vacation ? How many did absolutely no research before walking up that gangway ? How many are just, of the Me Generation, and expect their a$$es to not only be kissed, but wiped as well ? Don't get me wrong. Some of today's passengers are downright rude to staff. They treat them as their personal slaves. We never do that. We're always polite. Maybe that's why we always get great service.
You don't need a crystal ball to see that if things keep going the way they are, ships will be half empty. First timers will not cruise a second time. Loyal cruisers will find some other way to spend their $$$$$.
enjoy the games