What Recent Cruise Improvements Need to be Disapproved?
Written by: Kuki
Recent history in the cruise industry has seen hundreds, if not thousands of articles written about all variety of innovations and improvements to the industry. In many cases one cruise line would take their chance with a new idea, and if the other cruise lines had even an inkling that the idea might be popular, they’d follow suit with some varied copy-cat version.
This trending isn’t restricted to the cruise industry. It’s not really different than any business; someone sees a success in their industry, and soon competitors are offering their version, or their attempt to “improve” on the original idea.
No question there have been some very interesting and innovative changes to the cruise industry recently which have “worked”, and have improved the cruise experience for the passengers. But, what about the failures? How long does it take for the cruise line to recognize a change they’ve made reduces the enjoyment of the cruise experience they provide to their customers?
No doubt getting consensus within an organization to admit a mistake has been made is difficult, and taking action to “dump the idea” is even harder.
It’s not likely that the cruise lines will listen to me, but I do have a few “improvements” I highly recommend getting sent to the garbage bin and set on fire.
So… What improvements need to go?
#1 on my list is Self Disembarkation! – I don’t know which cruise line or what “genius” decided it would be such a great idea to allow hundreds of people to spend the first two hours the ship is docked at the end of a cruise to drag all of their luggage, which they needed the use of a porter for to get on the ship, off of the ship.
Admittedly the cruise lines do state that to use self disembarkation guests must be able to leave while handling all of their own luggage. The reality however is often quite contrary to the stated rule. It’s funny how people who request handicapped assistance for boarding think they can leave the ship dragging all of their luggage behind them, just to get off of the ship an hour earlier.
From the cruise line’s point of view I’m sure the idea of allowing guests to take their own luggage off the ship seemed like a wonderful idea; they reduced the work load required to gather all of that luggage the night before, and reduced the manpower needed to move that luggage from the ship’s hold and into the terminal.
And for some reason this was an easy sell, pitched as offering an extra convenience to the customer.
Perhaps if self disembarkation was regulated to those with little luggage that they could actually carry off themselves without creating chaos on their way to exit, it might be a convenience for passengers. Sadly, it’s more often caused people to trip over luggage they can’t manage themselves, and trip other passengers who they have to get by in their rush to end their cruise vacation, and often has both people and luggage stacked up in the hallways leading to the gangway exit.
I won’t attempt self disembarkation again ever. I think it’s a miserable way to end what was a perfectly good vacation. And the cruise lines are obviously not watching the process very closely, or by now they’d have noticed what a messy process they’ve created.
On the positive side, now several cruise lines now allow guests to stay in their cabins, if they chose to, right until it’s time for you to leave the ship. They allow you to order room service breakfast, and enjoy a relaxed morning before leaving.
This process makes me feel like a guest until the actual end of the cruise, rather than telling me to get out of the cabin early; sending me the message that since I’m no longer paying, I’m no longer welcome. Now that’s an improvement that will hopefully spread through the industry!
Please feel free to add your pet peeve “improvements” that need to be disapproved.
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Posted: September 28th, 2010 under Kuki.