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How Has Cruising Changed: Expectations vs. Luxuries?

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Cruising has changed a ton over the years -- as technologies improve, offerings onboard continue to evolve.

 

A question for those of us who love to cruise: What's something that you've grown to expect onboard, but you used to consider a luxury?

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Maybe I'm in the minority, but I see it the opposite--there have been numerous cuts and many of the things that were once the norm have been cut.  

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4 minutes ago, ducklite said:

Maybe I'm in the minority, but I see it the opposite--there have been numerous cuts and many of the things that were once the norm have been cut.  

I am with you , I have been cruising longer than about 98% of cruisers. Started in mid 70’s and have cruised every year since 1977. Service and food quality is not what it was. Entertainment is better at least on new huge ships loads of options , ice skating shows , broadway plays etc. but to get service like we used to have need t book suites with suite dinning room etc.

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28 minutes ago, George C said:

I am with you , I have been cruising longer than about 98% of cruisers. Started in mid 70’s and have cruised every year since 1977. Service and food quality is not what it was. Entertainment is better at least on new huge ships loads of options , ice skating shows , broadway plays etc. but to get service like we used to have need t book suites with suite dinning room etc.

Our first cruise was in 1973.They had big name entertainers.The food was so much better than on any ship we tend to cruise on.

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1 hour ago, CCAubs said:

Cruising has changed a ton over the years -- as technologies improve, offerings onboard continue to evolve.

 

A question for those of us who love to cruise: What's something that you've grown to expect onboard, but you used to consider a luxury?

Similar to the previous responses, I have both worked and cruised since 1976.

 

I agree cruising has seen many changes, especially from predominantly liner service to short cruises, sadly none of the changes on the mass market ships are positive. Many of the included services we knew to expect now only exist on the premium/luxury lines, or cost extra on mass market.

 

The days of silver service and wine waiters are long gone on all but the luxury lines.

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1 hour ago, ducklite said:

Maybe I'm in the minority, but I see it the opposite--there have been numerous cuts and many of the things that were once the norm have been cut.  

 @ducklite You don't seem to be the minority at all, based on other comments on the thread. What are some of the things that you miss most, from those that have been cut?

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3 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

Similar to the previous responses, I have both worked and cruised since 1976.

 

I agree cruising has seen many changes, especially from predominantly liner service to short cruises, sadly none of the changes on the mass market ships are positive. Many of the included services we knew to expect now only exist on the premium/luxury lines, or cost extra on mass market.

 

The days of silver service and wine waiters are long gone on all but the luxury lines.

 

@Heidi13 What are some of the things you miss most? Would their removal from mainstream push you away from sailing with a mainstream line?

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28 minutes ago, lenquixote66 said:

Our first cruise was in 1973.They had big name entertainers.The food was so much better than on any ship we tend to cruise on.

Lenny, do you recall any names of those entertainers, I saw many big names in 80’s not 70’s , in 80’s we saw

Shirley Jones who one a academy award 

Red Buttons also won academy award

Al Martino who was in all 3 godfather movies 

 

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3 minutes ago, CCAubs said:

 

@Heidi13 What are some of the things you miss most? Would their removal from mainstream push you away from sailing with a mainstream line?

We can't imagine going aboard a mainstream mega ship. After 35 years with Princess, our last cruise with them was 2015, as in our opinion they are now about on par with Carnival.

 

Our preference is premium/luxury lines with less than 1,000 pax.

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7 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

We can't imagine going aboard a mainstream mega ship. After 35 years with Princess, our last cruise with them was 2015, as in our opinion they are now about on par with Carnival.

 

Our preference is premium/luxury lines with less than 1,000 pax.

 

Ah, so it already did. Other than ship size, what are some of the things you enjoy most about cruising with those premium/luxury lines?

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1 hour ago, DarrenM said:

well the service I got, got better as the week went on.


They were talking about cruising "over the years" not in a single week.  

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2 hours ago, CCAubs said:

Cruising has changed a ton over the years -- as technologies improve, offerings onboard continue to evolve.

 

A question for those of us who love to cruise: What's something that you've grown to expect onboard, but you used to consider a luxury?

Sadly I can't think of one thing as it has gone to the masses, things have evolved to attract more and monetize everything.

 

I'll take dining even though anytime dining was seen as a good thing the reality, everything from service, food experience has become like flying, lots of technology but you need to spend a lot more for the same experience, but a lot less to go with the masses, LOL 

 

 

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36 minutes ago, CCAubs said:

 @ducklite You don't seem to be the minority at all, based on other comments on the thread. What are some of the things that you miss most, from those that have been cut?


I think there has been a general decline in service.  The sheer number of people needed to staff today's ships must be close to triple what it was as little as 20 years ago.  On top of that, cruise fares have remained almost flat in relation to overall inflation  during that time frame, so there is less money to compensate the best workers, and they will always follow the money.  I believe many lines are hiring the cheapest labor as opposed to the best.

 

I think that food quality has suffered, and I believe that part of that is the people who order one of everything and take one bite from each plate.  The amount of waste is staggering, so the lines began cutting corners.  Whether it was to get people to want to eat less because the food wasn't as good, or just to cut costs is a question I can't answer.

 

I've also read about things like cuts in in-cabin amenities on many lines, where they aren't even providing shampoo and conditioner any longer, just a generic hair and body gel in a push button container on the wall.  While it is more environmentally friendly, and if it's in a high quality brand and includes body wash, shampoo, and conditioner all separately, I"m find with it.  (Give me the White Company and I'll love you forever!)  But what most are offering is something that would come in a gallon jug of the house brand at Sam's Club.

 

Many lines no longer offer things like chocolates on the pillows each night, a fresh flower in a bud vase on the room service tray, and even room service without a fee well over the gratuity one would normally hand over.

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49 minutes ago, CCAubs said:

 

@Heidi13 What are some of the things you miss most? Would their removal from mainstream push you away from sailing with a mainstream line?


Those things have made me know I"ll never cruise on a mass market line again.

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51 minutes ago, George C said:

Lenny, do you recall any names of those entertainers, I saw many big names in 80’s not 70’s , in 80’s we saw

Shirley Jones who one a academy award 

Red Buttons also won academy award

Al Martino who was in all 3 godfather movies 

 

Not to step on Lenny's toes (don't think he'll mind) but to answer from our experience going back to the early 90's - still had decent headliners:

Norm Crosby (my wife and played blackjack with him in the ship's casino between performances)

Merrill Osmond (while not Donny, same family.  Rode with him on an elevator on the way to a performance)

 

There were a couple of others who I cannot recall but were more notable (relative to today's ship's headliners).

 

Edited by leaveitallbehind

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59 minutes ago, George C said:

Lenny, do you recall any names of those entertainers, I saw many big names in 80’s not 70’s , in 80’s we saw

Shirley Jones who one a academy award 

Red Buttons also won academy award

Al Martino who was in all 3 godfather movies 

 

We saw Rodney Dangerfield and Al Martino

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22 minutes ago, lenquixote66 said:

We saw Rodney Dangerfield and Al Martino

Rodney dangerfield peaked in caddyshack

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19 minutes ago, lenquixote66 said:

We saw Rodney Dangerfield and Al Martino

Al Martino brought my mother in law on stage and sang her a song , she was thrilled. Also around 2000 we saw Captain and Tennile a couple of times . 

We now do charter music cruises and I last two years saw America, Micheal McDonald, Boz Skaggs , BJ Thomas and many others

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From 2008 to 2013 we were on HAL ships several times a year . We saw some really good entertainers such as Jordan Bennett,The Three Tenors and Jay Johnson.

 

 

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Just now, George C said:

Al Martino brought my mother in law on stage and sang her a song , she was thrilled. Also around 2000 we saw Captain and Tennile a couple of times . 

We now do charter music cruises and I last two years saw America, Micheal McDonald, Boz Skaggs , BJ Thomas and many others

We also saw in the early days of cruising the comedian Vic Arielle and his wife the singer Holly Lipton.

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1 minute ago, lenquixote66 said:

From 2008 to 2013 we were on HAL ships several times a year . We saw some really good entertainers such as Jordan Bennett,The Three Tenors and Jay Johnson.

 

 

Your bringing back my memory in late 70’s was on a ship out of nyc and they were filming a movie that never came out, Jay Johnson , Joann Worley , many others including Rip Taylor who was seasick most of the cruise. 

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51 minutes ago, ducklite said:


Those things have made me know I"ll never cruise on a mass market line again.

Is the luxury cruise experience more aligned with what you loved most about mainstream cruising years ago? Do they meet the quality of mainstream cruising in years past, or surpass it?

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Well, you may think things are on a decline, and maybe they have declined from 10-15 years ago.  but my first cruise in 1972 was on a very old ship (1931) and though the cabin had a sink, the bathrooms/showers were down the hall.  There were no amenities in the cabin that I remember, no turn-down chocolates.  No balconies.  No alternative dining other than pizza.  A couch that made into the bed, narrow.  The next year I sailed on the Oceanic, and had my own bathroom.  Luxury!  I don't remember the menu being particularly gourmet, and the lunch menu never changed.  There was only a lounge for entertainment, and I didn't go much.  I have never been able to afford a balcony on every cruise, nor ever a suite.  I feel fortunate to be able to cruise at all and look for the positives, not the 'not as good as..'.  EM

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