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Ship Spam – My Pet Peeve

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When the use of email became commonplace, the emergence of unsolicited junk mail has given the canned meat of the same name a bad name.

One definition of electronic spam – “flooding the Internet with many copies of the same message, in an attempt to force the message on people who would not otherwise choose to receive it“.

In my opinion the same definition applies if you replace the word Internet with “ship’s passenger mailboxes”.
On cruise ships, and particularly in the case of cruise ship passenger cabins, we’re operating in quite a finite, limited amount of space, to start with -we don’t have many megabytes of free space left on our cabin hard drives.

Within that space we also have very small trash bins. How many times during a cruise do you fill those trash bins with the “junk mail” left in your cabin?

How many times during a cruise do we need printed visual reminders that there’s going to be an art auction on every sea day, or spa specials, etc.?

There are a few necessary printed items you want to delivered to you; the ship’s daily schedule, perhaps the small brochure they print with a bit of info on your ports of call, the disembarkation instructions and luggage tags, perhaps invitations to cocktail parties and that sort of thing.

The rest is just “Ship Spam”, and it’s one of my serious pet peeves.

The amount of “Ship Spam” also belies the big deal cruise lines make about their “environment protection policies”. They’ll ask you to reuse your towels to help save water and detergents, yet they’ll use tons of paper and copious amounts of ink to print advertising to fill your waste baskets.

I do understand the cruise line’s desire to advertise to promote the revenue generating departments on the ship. Revenue generated by advertising is important to their business, just as it is on land.

However, if I’m on a cruise, this is my vacation, that I have paid for, and I’d like the cruise lines to respect my desire to escape from the world of “SPAM” that I’m inundated with on land.

I have a simple solution for the cruise lines… why not place a large screen on the walls in all the passenger’s cabins and have pictures and videos run continuously all day and night advertising everything on the ship that they want to promote?

Oh… we already have those; televisions.

– A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising –

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Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time March 16, 2011 at 5:39 am

I guess you get what you sail, junk – my opinion, please. I have had it with the garbage placed in cabins, or in the slot next to the cabin door, am fed up with endless flyers with %%%% off some spa services, $10.00 Store discounts , tees – the ones that shrink after one washing, garbage by the —errr, GOLD by the yard, liquor you can’t drink in your cabin, cheap, like similar watches found at your local junk chain store, and turn your wrist green – wine packages for inferior wines and high prices even at discount – get this picture, huh? As for pictures , how many can one buy, now that they cost around $25.00 on many ships, and expect – almost demand – you buy them?

Also fed up with – on one supposedly PREMIUM LINE – toilet sign in cabin, “If we determine that you caused the toilet to get plugged, your ship board account will be charged for the repair” – on ships that have a problem with sewerage smell filling the ship to begin with?

How about the dolt that hangs clothes on the sprinkler in his/her cabin, thus flooding the cabin, hall and adjacent cabins. Who pays for that, and talk about stench!

No, I have had it with the cheap cruise lines, and hopefully any or all of the above cheap paper tricks, and bilking for extra pay restaurants and the like . As adults, you can figure out what a quality line is from a shlocky one. I figured it out, a long time ago and never sail them.

There really are lines that do not hound, push, press, force or intimidate the passsenger into buying any of the junk that is passed into the cabin as a special deal. It does not always equate with price, it equates with quality.

Comment from Dave Beers
Time March 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm

So true, Kuki. I come back to my cabin and all I do is sift through the pile, pull out the daily schedule, anything in envelopes, and toss everything else in the trash without looking at it. I suspect this is the case for well over half the passengers. Of course I also have to pull the inserts out of the daily schedule too, since they now resemble renewal cards in magazines.

Comment from Rob Holloway
Time March 17, 2011 at 10:27 pm

As you say’
Quote: ” A few necessary printed items you want to delivered to you; the ship’s daily schedule, perhaps the small brochure they print with a bit of info on your ports of call, the disembarkation instructions and luggage tags, perhaps invitations to cocktail parties and that sort of thing.”

Agree. What they should do is make your LCD screen like a computer where you get a pop saying here is todays schedule and events then other labels showing the items that were on paper prior. You can elect to look at or not BUT not the TV itself as you will have to sit and listen to a CD talking and talking until you might find what you are looking for.
Allow me to choose.//

Comment from Christina
Time June 10, 2011 at 11:29 am

I agree with the ship spam being excessive (especially because I know exactly how expensive it is to print flyers and envelopes, etc), but at least the last ship I have worked on – Celebrity – has addressed this issue by making rules regarding what can be delivered to cabins and how it can be delivered. We are not allowed to deliver ‘blanket drops’ of invites to the whole ship, it has to be a targeted group with their names and stateroom number on the envelope. Hopefully this will be enforced and makes the spam a little less so!
I also wanted to mention that you can request not to receive any spam – you may let your cabin steward know, but will get better results if you go down to Guest Relations and just state kindly that you don’t want any invitations or the like delivered to your cabin, either just because you don’t want it or because you want to ‘be green.’
But I also want to say that I don’t think formal complaints are necessary, nobody is forcing anybody to read spam, it is just as easy to leave the spam alone or throw it in the garbage. Our department would actually get complaints from people saying that they didn’t know this was going on and were upset about that, or guests would say they wished they had gotten an invitation.

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