Cruise Reviews. Legit Complaints or Just Whiners ?

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!!!!!!!  Surprised        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 $$$$$.


rant over

enjoy the games

23 Answers

Sorry, that should have been Kevin.....Kevin Sheehan....former CEO of Norwegian

Good post and points Bak. I agree with all of it. Yes, the upselling sucks but I choose not to be sold to. I don't need anything extra. I spend at the bar what I want to spend, I book a balcony so I am comfortable. I think the food is fine (MDR so so but edible) and I don't mind spending a couple of bucks in the steak house once. People who don't read up first are blind sided. Oh... leave your nasty brats at home people.....

I bet the victims and family members of the cruisers who didn't make the cruise in Ft. Lauderdale would give anything to be on "the worst cruise ever" and wouldn't whine for a second ...

And I'm sure when that horrific incident happened and blame was being cast at the airport, the airlines, the FBI, etc, the tragedy of mental illness erupting anywhere, anytime, anyplace is very real but people keep living their normal lives.

If you had a bad cruise, either don't choose to ever cruise again or give it a second try, but shut the heck up.

If you have a legitimate complaint, take it up with the cruise line ...

The only issue with this statement is that nasty brats are usually bred by NASTY parents (apple doesn't fall far from the tree). So even if they did leave them home, your still stuck with the nasty parents.

Good post and points BAK! I had posted my feelings many times about the pricing of alcohol & non-alcoholic products on cruise ships. If you look at it, we have been getting ripped off for years! Yes, I know cruise lines are a "For Profit" entity but just look at it this way....You get charged $6.00 for a beer. Does anyone really think the cruise line pays $6.00 for that one bottle of beer? Now factor in that the cruise lines buy the beer in bulk from the distributors to not only cover their ships, but the entire fleet among it's various internal lines (cruise lines that own and operate more than one cruise line). Now anyone that has a little business sense would realize that the cruise lines are more likely paying about .5 cents per bottle of beer. That is SOME profit. As for the photo's, To me they have always been overpriced and a waste of the paper they are printed on as most go in the trash anyway after the cruise. Now with just about everyone owning a cell phone that takes pretty good pictures, the people buying the pics onboard are less and less yet the cruise lines don't drop the prices! Go figure!!

Any Hotel, restaurant, bar, resort, golf course and cruise lines know one thing for sure.. Booze is a money maker, Period. Have you gone to Pro hockey game lately? $9.00 for a beer.

The industry has a captive audience " pardon the expression" to milk for all they are worth. Service in all industry is a thing of the past, and you can forget about courtesy.

So this a good report and we all agree with the concept. Let's make a resolution to try to be a little nicer to everyone we deal with in 2017. report back on the results.

No vacation it perfect from leaving home to returning home. Rain, oppressive heat/humidity, cold, crowded beach, traffic, no vacancy at your hotel and a long wait at a resturant. It's going to happen. Take off those rubber pants and put on your big boy/girl pants and go on and find something enjoyable. Your going to do it on land, do it on a ship. I've only been on Canival and they print out daily what events they have plan for the next day and leave it in your cabin the night before.

I really don't mind legitimate complaints, but the whiners drive me bonkers. We have friends that we cruise with that cringe at the statement "I am a diamond card holder and I think I should have gotten ....". We of course tease them about it and got others to do the same. Last night and this morning we were all "diamond" except for them.Wink (Oh, just FYI, we went to an overnight 12th night celebration.) I have said that I think probably complained before they became diamond, but that service really has changed over the years. I guess it becomes an "either accept the changes or find something else" sort of thing.

Good thread, thanks!

Today we have to cruise on a luxury or premium line to get the same level of service we got 20 years ago on RCI or Carnival. But when we look at the price, 20 years ago (when cruising was a expensive premium vacation) $100.00 per person per day was a good deal on a cruise, now we can get on some ships for $50.00 a day (no longer expensive or premium). The price of cruising has not kept up with inflation so apples to apples would be 20 years ago a regular cruise line and today a premium line.

I see a lot of the people complaining on a first cruise that expect to get the service and food they see on TV adds for the latest and greatest ships when they pay for a 20 year old ship that does not have all the extras.

I grew up with "The Love Boat" on TV ( my parents had cruised on it a couple times). When I started cruising that was the kind of service and ships to cruise on. Back then cruising was a expensive, premium vacation with dress codes for dinner, it was a classy experience, pack a tux and dark suit for dinner and evenings on the ship. Cruising now is for the masses that everybody can afford it and dress codes that everybody has, jeans are now OK on "Cruise fancy" night. I will admit when I cruise carnival, I will wear jeans into the MDR even on the fancy nights. When I cruised in Europe on Celebrity, we had talked to the lady in the cabin next to us over the balcony railing, she was Italian. During the day we would see her in ports or on the ship when we were in jeans and scruffy. On formal night we ran into her at the Champagne Bar, she did a double take because I was in my Tux, and clean shaven, no scruff for formal night, she said "wow, you clean up nice, I'm surprised an American dresses up"

Who are we to say they are whiners or legit , There rite to post it your rite to read or not , I do understand there are long time cruisers on this site but think back wise ones if you had this avenue to vent back in the day you would of good or bad , sure at one time your neighbors , friends , co - workers etc. , heard you vent once again good or bad. With today technology we have choices read or don't. Sure the food thing is old , the ship smells its old , staff was this staff was that , But in reality all this may be true , so we take to social media and vent, it just so happens to be so repetitive, those this fall on the paying public No , I have read reviews on this site to and I quote some of the long time cruisers would " Boy there lucky they weren't sailing in the 80's blah blah blah no different , Once again choices read or don't believe or don't.


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