Quantity over quality

This seems to be the way the cruise industry is going.   Lower prices are offset by more passengers.  They are catering to people who have never cruised, and people who work while on vacation ( hence the  wifi networks always being improved upon ).   At risk ?   Those of us who remember what it was like when a cruise was a luxury.   The service, the food, the attractions.   Live shows are being replaced with movies at sea.  Bigger water attractions are attracting larger families.  Fewer stewards to attend to our cabins.

I have read on another site, how Carnival is cutting back on all kinds of services ( the latest being once a day cabin makeup ) but all the loyalists are sticking with them because of price.  REALLY ?  You're willing to spend money, albeit less money, on a cruise that is substandard ?   Can someone please explain that logic ! 

Other than an exotic cruise, I don't see my cruise history extending too much longer.  Even the ports have gotten worse.  Trampled might be a better word.

Is there an RV show coming up ?  I might have to check those out again.  If I want to get away from my town, I may have to drive.  I won't cruise with 5000 other passengers.  I'd have to reserve a lounge chair at 3am Wink.

19 Answers

Just a friendly reminder to keep politics off the forum. I know it's tempting given the constant media coverage of the 2016 race, but this isn't the proper place for the discussion.



Big Smile


Haw, that reminds me of one time we were having dinner with the cruise director. Someone mentioned "laundry" he said, hey, the unwritten rule on the ship is you don't talk religion, politics or laundry.

We thought it was pretty funny, some didn't get the "laundry" bit. Back before we got free laundry perks we used the ship's self service laundry all the time. Even though my wife did all the laundry you couldn't hardly miss hearing about battles in the laundry rooms. On more than one voyage the best humor at dinner usually referenced some happening with regard to the "laundry wars". 




Discussion of cruise ship laundry facilities and services is encouraged here. Generally best to steer clear of the first two, though.

BAK 1061's suggestion that the cruise industry might be headed the same direction that sport stadiums and major bowl games have, in that we could have some weird corporate names or trademarks attached to future vessels---Reminds me of a pet peeve of the late John Maxton Graham.

Graham wrote "The Only Way to Cross" in 1972 and later established himself as a marine historian and wrote at least one book on contemporary cruising. When he was young his folks lived in Britain so they traveled quite often across the North Atlantic on the passenger transports of the era as air travel had yet to come into its own. He was quite a story teller and often was on the cruise line's lecture circuit. In 1997, on our first TA, we were fortunate to have him on the Royal Princess as the enrichment lecture. I actually had his first book and had no idea he was going to travel with us.

Anyway, in both his writings and his presentations he had fits over the new names they were coming out with for cruise ships, particularly Carnival Cruise Lines. He thought the names to be erotic, prurient or too garish, not fitting for a proud vessel. So he proclaimed, what is next. S.S. Orgasm? 



So I can talk about the time I accidently washed my sidearm in the church laundry?

(Sorry -- walking to the time-out corner now)Big Smile

Politics ?   You can't be referring to my Trump Lusitannia comment.   That wasn't meant to be a political statement. 

Have you tried any of the "luxury" lines?  They offer much of what you miss, and with inflation, the prices are mostly in line with the costs of yesteryear.  The reality of cruising is that it is a great deal for young families and even older people who want a vacation to places outside their every day life.  In most cases, today's vacationer doesn't want to "dress for dinner," sit in lectures and seminars, or have quiet evenings.  They want to get away from work, school, and family responsibilities.  They go to "all-inclusive" resorts with a variety of activities - the larger cruise ships fill the bill at a lower price.  I enjoy all types of ships, based on my vacation goals - quiet relaxation or lots to do.  My kids and grandkids just wanna have fun on ship and shore!  As we said in the 60's, different strokes for different folks - and you can find yours on a ship if you look for the right one!

Yes. We love Holland America.  But cost becomes a factor.  If we ever get to Alaska, which we had to cancel when I got hurt four years ago ,Angry, we will book the best line at that time. Cost won't be an issue.     Right now, we book almost exclusively with Norwegian because they sail out of NY year round.  We are now Platinum with them, so now perks may become a factor.  They also always seem to come up with a great deal for us.  Our last cruise we received the Ultimate Dining Package.  FREE.  5 meals in the restaurants.  That's 5 meals each.  So we dined in the restaurants 5 of the 10 nights. No one can beat that offer.

We have cruised a lot on Regent, it is an all inclusive and a so-called "luxury line". We also do Princess and HAL (however, have discontinued using HAL due to the balcony cigar smoking debacle going on there).  Crystal Cruises, Regent, Silver Seas, Sea Dream and Seabourn are five of the most prominent of the all-inclusive's. Here are a number of observations we are experiencing with the luxury line.

---Regent, and we understand Crystal, are dropping formal attire nights faster than a few of the majors are. Apparently the same goes for the rest but I'm not certain.

---Regent's Main Dining Room experience is one of the top things we love about the line. Like eating in the first class MDR on the ships of yore, at least for now they aren't demonstrating a diminution in service levels there like is taking place at so many of the majors. Regent doesn't do traditional dining either, so you simply walk in anytime and almost always you get a table for two.

---Regent has two specialty restaurants, which aren't bad but not up to par with those on HAL and Princess. Trouble is, they don't charge for these and new reservations are only issued after your first reservation is used on a given segment. Therefore, it is very difficult to get a table for two after your first visit in a given segment unless you want to share a table with unknowns. For instance, lets say you have an anniversary about three quarters of the way through a segment and so you made reservations for a table for that date, hence, more than likely you will get into the specialty only once. In short, because they don't have an extra charge, the specialties are always jam packed even with folk who particularly don't want to dine there on a given evening but they are there anyway since they feel they are getting short changed unless they take advantage of their "free" reservation in the speciality.

---Initial charges for cruises on the luxury lines has sky rocketed over the last two years. Our previous experience for similar itineraries has been that Regent was not much more than 10% over our total cruise costs when comparing to Princess and HAL and that includes factoring in all costs including air and insurance. Today, when we cost out similar cruises between Princess and Regent, once again, factoring in all extras we expect to pay on Princess or for that matter on Regent (the "extras" bill on an all inclusive is relatively small), if Princess costs us $350.00 pp per day we can expect Regent to be around $800.00-- $900.00 pp per day. It is a wonder that we managed to eke out 120 total sailing days on Regent.          




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