Author Topic: Cruising Today vs Yesterday  (Read 1999 times)

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Cruising Today vs Yesterday
« on: December 29, 2013, 03:44:35 PM »
I have been thinking about this for a few months since my overnight cruise in a suite on the Westerdam.

I have been reading other forums and love to see the rants of today.

When I started cruising in 1983 many things were complementary.
-Soda was Free on board, I am talking cans here.
-Diapers for Babies were free.
-Formula was free for babies.
-baby sitting was free in the nursery.
- Bon Voyage Party with FREE Champagne and streamers.

One could go to the Duty Free store and buy a bottle of what you wanted and take it back to your cabin and drink (with free soda) and there was a liquor cabinet as well. If you went to the bar a glass of beer (draft) was 65 cents and a hard drink was $1.75.

Those days also had Flambe desserts. You could request something special for dinner the next night and it was done no questions asked.

The Cabin Steward did his job and once when I tried to tip him for something he refused the tip saying that was part of his job.

Cabin Stewards used to only have no more than 12 cabins to attend to, now that numbers is upwards of 20 - 24. Yes cutbacks are a thing of cruising today. The same thing in the dining room. There used to be a sommelier but now this task has gone to the Assistant Table Steward on most cruise lines. In the case of my last TA there were a total of 3 sommelier for our level. Trying to get him was almost impossible.

I see this past week Holland America has raised their cost of the specialty restaurants. This is at a time when many are going under used. I know on the last 3 TA's that the restaurants were having special pricing every day. So let me say raising the price wouldn't appear to be the answer either.

On my recent overnight cruise I was appalled at the condition of the cabin. This was a top level suite and it was in poor condition. There were black marks over two walls from something hitting the wall that had been there for some time. No attempt to clean them off. The toilet seat was so loose I was waiting for it to fall off. This brings me to this if the Cabin Steward is to clean the Suite twice a day and he cleans the toilet wouldn't you think he would notice this and call to have it fixed?
In fact I was expected to tip him yet I didn't even see him and he sure didn't do his job for a suite guest.

I have read how upset people are because cruise line x isn't serving escargot, yet it is being reported that there is a world wide shortage right now. Another person writes they are writing Head Office because on their 3 day cruise there was no Prime Rib served.  Seriously people you went on this cruise just for the escargot and the Prime Rib? There is the talk of the lobster tails getting smaller and smaller. Lets say over fishing has a lot to do with this. Think of how many passengers a week cruise the Caribbean and Lobster is served. It is only a matter of time before supply doesn't meet demand.

Then we can talk about the chair hogs. I have to say on my last Transatlantic this wasn't a problem because the Deck Stewards enforced the 30 minute hold time. On my prior TA I would find a chair in the shade in the morning as all the early risers would "reserve" their chairs for the day. After one hour I would walk over to their chairs and remove their items hand it to the deck steward for safe keeping. The people would come back look around and not say a word to me. I have often waited for them to say something, but nothing has been said. Really when you look at it what are they going to say you have my chair? No the chair belongs to the ship and there is a 30 minute hold time and you were an hour, the rule is pretty clear.

Now lets get into the very touchy subject of smoking. There I was with my daughter and this well dressed lady comes out looks around and lights up on the non smoking side of the ship. Then someone else sees her and lights up. My daughter says to me umm Dad what are they going to use for an ash tray? I replied good question. The two flicked their ashes over the side and at that point I said to both of them I truly hope you don't plan on flicking the butt over the side when done. The reply was what else am I suppose to do with it? I said not my problem but a cigarette over the side is a serious fire threat and we are in the middle of the Atlantic and I don't want to be on a ship on fire because you can't read. I also said did you miss the daily Captain's request and the request at Lifeboat drill about smoking and throwing items over the side?  They both took their cigarette packages out and used it for the ash tray.

I have had long talks with my Doctor over allowing passengers to go on a cruise who have just visited his office days before they are about to board a ship. I have expressed my concern that these people infect others on board and it doesn't take long before many people are sick. He says the ships have Doctors on board and lastly they don't have insurance so they would loose everything. I asked if someone was truly in bad shape would you call the cruise line, and there was no answer.

This brings me to my next beef with a family on my TA 2 years ago. There were were at Lifeboat drill and people next to us were whispering and their Grandson who was up at the children's area and the Grandmother said something to her Husband about hoping he was doing okay with his Chicken Pox. I thought what do you mean he has Chicken Pox and is upstairs in the children's area. I got a good description of them and went to the CD and told him as I knew him from a prior cruise. I have never seen someone go that white that fast. They had the medical team on the phone right now. The CD said we do not need Chicken Pox on a ship that will be at sea for 6 days. They had 3 days to find the family and have them removed. The CD would not tell me if they were successful.

For me I see the cruise industry turning to more of a user pay system because prices are so low and I don't see them recovering because the mold has been set. Take Alaska for instance, prices in October for next summer were already at the lowest price of 2013. This tells me either they want to sell out early thus driving up cost for the last remaining cruises or they are in serious trouble with too many ships in the market and prices will only go lower as we get closer to May.

This is my take on cruising today and yesterday.


Cape Cod 13

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Re: Cruising Today vs Yesterday
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2013, 12:14:45 PM »
That was good Phil, I really enjoyed reading it. It"s sad but the whole world has changed.......& not for the better.......C.C.13   :thanx:


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Re: Cruising Today vs Yesterday
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2014, 05:08:06 AM »
I couldn't agree with you more, Phil. People don't know what cruising, or dining for that matter, used to be like. It used to be fun to talk to other experienced cruisers, but not anymore. We now ask for a table for two. The cruise lines are trying to keep their prices down and improve profits. I suppose that's business, but it's not cruising.
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