Pondering our cruising future. Be prepared for brutal honesty.

we’ve sailed on Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and of course, Norwegian.  Most of our cruises are with NCL because we are able to leave from NY year round.  Obviously, our loyalty points have built up with Norwegian to the point of Platinum status.  Honestly, who cares ?  Yeah some perks are good, but here is the problem:  there is no upgrade.   Carnival has Princess, and HAL.  Royal Caribbean has Celebrity.  Norwegian has.....nothing.   So, why am I writing this ?    As ships have gotten larger, prices have dropped drastically.   Cruising has lost a lot of its cache.  Food and services have suffered.   You no longer feel special.  With Carnival, you can move up to Princess or HAL, and regain that special feeling.  Celebrity still has it, sort of.  If you sail NCL, you are stuck. Stuck with some people who have no business stepping on a cruise ship.   I’ve seen them on Carnival too.  Rude, uncouth people who think their sh** don’t stink.   Seasoned cruisers have experienced this, I know you have.   Now, I could just jump to Princess, which we are considering, after next October. It’s nothing about Norwegian itself.  We have always had a great experience with them.   It’s the people they attract.  Sorry if I sound like a snob, I’m not.  There is no racial aspect here, I could care less about the color of someone;s skin.  I don’t care what religion you practice, or your dietary requirements.    I do care how about  what we once called common courtesy.   A buffet seems to bring out the worst in people.  My wife uses a walker, and people have literally, moved it out of their way to get to some food, WHILE SHE IS STANDING THERE ! Then they go, oh. Sorry....I just wanted that dish.      

‘So, while we look at some exotic cruises, the Paul Gaugin, National Geographic Cruise tours, Grand Voyages,  we find ourselves contemplating our past cruises, and our immediate future trips.  Sadly we miss the past trips.  Sometimes more than we look forward to the currently booked ones.

 

rant over

 

NCL, get a second tier cruiseline.  PLEASE

21 Answers

I know what you mean.  We had some very courteous people on our last sailing and some not so much.  That is why when we found the mini buffet on deck 5 we were very happy...None of the "get out of way" folks found it.Big Smile

 

We are sailing a bit more on Princess, but "those" people find you no matter where you go. 

"My wife uses a walker, and people have literally, moved it out of their way to get to some food, WHILE SHE IS STANDING THERE ! Then they go, oh. Sorry....I just wanted that dish" - I think people like that should be thrown off the ship at the next port and banned from the cruise line.  Stuff like that really pisses me off. 

 

"Rude, uncouth people who think their sh** don’t stink" - That's the reason I don't like Carnival but unfortunately I saw that kind of behavior with a person on my last Princess cruise. 

 

"If you sail NCL, you are stuck. Stuck with some people who have no business stepping on a cruise ship." - I think this is happening with other cruise lines also. 

"Cruising has lost a lot of its cache.  Food and services have suffered.   You no longer feel special."

 

Read through the rant again and this sentence caught my eye and made me think of a staff member on my last cruise.  There was a server named Helena who was very good.  She did her best to give everyone that extra attention that made everyone feel special.  She really stood out because of her outstanding service. 

 

I have only started cruise since 2015 and am wondering if all the MDR waiters and waitresses were like that back in the day instead of only one or two per ship. 

 

And as far as food suffering, I enjoy the food in the MDR but it's certainly nothing to write home about.  I get the sense that back in the day the food in the MDR was the same quality as the food in the specialty restaurants now.  Why can't they just make them the same?  Haha, I know the answer even as I type it:  MONEY!  Serve regular stuff in the MDR's.  If you want better food, then need to pay. 

 

Anyhow, for now I still enjoy cruises and am excited to be onboard a ship and will continue for now.

Cruising today is not what it is was yesterday but is better then what it will be tomorrow.  As cruising has turned to a everybody vacation and it has been ........ well in car talk a Toyota Camray or Honda Accord..... built for the masses,  nothing special but good and reliable,  nothing exciting but predictable.  

 

I just take a cruise for what it is today.   I can have fun on Carnival but I still prefer Celebrity,  I was not over impressed with Princess but that was 20 years ago,  I may try Princess again.

 

I wish Carnival would do like RCI and have your loyalty level transfer from one of the lines to all of the lines owned by them.

Okay, let me amend something.    Some of the staff do the best they can, but the companies have placed constraints on them.   Stewards have more cabins, but no extra time.  No assistants as in the past.     

In  the MDR you had a waiter, and an assistant waiter.  They were responsible for maybe 4 or 5 tables.   By the second night, they both knew to bring me double of the melon soup.    I haven’t even seen melon soups on a menu in years.    Now the waiter works by himself, and probably covers more tables.

I think the behavior you describe is how society as a whole has become.  Manners and respect for others are becoming a thing of the past. 

We never knew the "glory days" of cruising, so we don't miss what we didn't experience.  We started cruising about 5 years ago.  The cuts had already begun, but we have seen some of the decline for ourselves.  But since we started with a lower end product, it hasn't affected our enjoyment as it has for some of you more seasoned cruisers. 

We are laid back folks, and enjoy taking our kids and grands as often as possible.  What I notice more than rowdy kids (although that does bug me) are rude adults.  I think that behavior will continue to increase and eventually spill over onto the higher end cruiselines.  It's where we are headed in society, and it's a real shame.

BAK, I would be furious too if I saw anyone being that disrespectful and rude to a guest with a walker. Perhaps it is my lack of cruise experience, or perhaps I wear blinders when cruising, but I've never seen rudeness like that yet. I think it's bad enough that people don't even move their own dishes  and trays from the Lido after eating, but to me, that's just using manners. 

 

We we have seen some cutbacks, which have not affected our enjoyment of cruising at all - the chocolates left on the bed in the evening are gone, and you have to ask for a bath robe now on Carnival. We've still had twice a day service from our steward which we do enjoy. The wait staff in the MDR do seem to be busier, and on our last cruise we saw 2 tables near us that we're left without any wait staff for so long, both groups walked out. 

 

When we cruise, we don't care what anyone else wears into the MDR - doesn't affect our enjoyment of our dinner, we don't care if someone butts into a Lido line for the one thing they forgot to take, and we don't care if there are lots of kids running around having fun. We cruise to enjoy ourselves, and having a relaxing vacation seeing parts of the world we haven't visited. 

 

BAK - I agree that the product being offered is going down, but on the bright side, they are keeping the prices in check.

This leads to two problems

They must cut the services offered and reduce staff in order to stay on budget. The lower cost (when adjusted for inflation) makes for a more affordable, and therefore more attractive, vacation. Although Carnival seems to be stuck with the "WalMart" label, most of the mainstream lines tend to be attractive to "that type" of customer*

Another problem may just be that you have gotten into a rut sailing the same line, and the newness, or "WOW" factor, has worn off. This can be cured easily by changing lines regularly.

 

*This comment was not meant to disparage Carnival Cruise Line, WalMart, or most of their respective customers.

It was intended to illustrate those few WalMart shoppers who tend to be featured in many YouTube videos, comparing them to the few rude, obnoxious, self-serving cruisers that are found on many cruise lines that tend to degrade the experience for the majority of the passengers.

Unfortunately, you will find rude passengers no matter how costly the price of the cruise.  The rudeness just differs.  If you want NCL to listen, write to them directly and request a response.  

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