Rules – Which Are Enforced and Which Ignored
Written by: Kuki
Beginning with new rules, established to come into practice in the new year, most of the major cruise lines, have severely restricted or banned smoking in both public and private areas of their ships.
This change in indusry policy was made pretty simple because less than 20% of the population still categorize themselves as smokers.
Unlike other “suggested rules for behavior” onboard, this does seem an area the cruise lines are intent on enforcing; going so far as to put specific fines in place for those who disobey or choose to ignore the rule.
Yet, there are other less obvious and pershaps considered less aggregious activities, which are listed as unacceptable behavior. that the cruise lines choose to either ignore enforcement of the established rules, or simply remove the rules makig those actions unaceptable.
While most every cruise line used to celebrate the tradition of cruising by asking guests to dress formally at least a couple of times during the course of a cruise, the most popular movement in the industry today is to do away with any mention of “dress codes”. By doing so, their claim is they are reacting directly with the more casual nature of dress their customers are demanding. While I believe that this is at least in part true, I also believe the move is also in part responsible for some unintended consquences.
One of which is the changing cuisine; referred to by more traditional old time cruisers as “cutbacks”. I think there’s little doubt that cruise ship menus have been “dumbed down” to match the dress codes. Even simple moves, like combining salad selections, with appetizer and pasta selctions, were made with the intent to reduce the consumption of food by passengers. They still haven’t limited the numbers of item selections passengers may order, but without question the menu groupings are designed to make you feel ordering more than one item from a a grouping is out of the norm. They want you to feel if you are ordering more than one item from a group, it means you are over-eating.
And if you carefully examine the menu selections on the contemporary cruise lines, it’s simple to notice the lesser quality, more inexpensive ingredients, which go into the menu designs. They are assuming the more casual passenger will also be satisfied with the more casual culinary offerings. Today, if the casual passenger is interested in a more upscale dining experience, they must partake in one of the ships price to dine, alternate restaurants. But, they also supply cost included restaurant options, offering more casual cuisine, which also just happens to feature foods which are less expensive to serve; like pizza, burgers, hotdogs, pastas, etc.
What began as a move to more casual dress onboard, has also led to the development of a more casual atmosphere onboard. It has led to change in the interior design work on ships to make them fit in better with the casual atmosphere onboard.
All of the cruise lines make an attempt to stop passengers from bringing their own (cheaper) alcohol onboard. Their explanation is that the move is in the interest of safety onboard; giving them the ability to control the amount of liquor guests consume aboard. However, I don’t believe anyone’s recent experiences on cruises tell the tale of seeing less overly inebratiated passengers onboard.
During my years in the business of the retail sale of alcohol, all our servers were required to take a course to give them a better understanding of the signs when customers are nearing the point they should no longer be served alcohol. I don’t believe any cruise line currently offers or expects servers to have this training. On cruise ships, it’s most likely if your “sail and spend” card still works, you’re considered sober enough to order more liquor.
One of the most reported and seeming simplest areas to address in passenger complaints is the “saving of deck chairs”. Every cruise line prints boldly, in their onboard daily newletter, that “saving deck chairs” is NOT allowed. Yet, on every sailing of every ship, people continue to see people who get up early, run out on deck with a few of their private belongings to stack on loungers that are in locations they prefer, then leave them, to proceed with their plans for the remainder of the day.
The cruise lines claim they just can’t come up with a workable solution to combat this practice? Really? They are capable of coming up with innovative and technologically advanced operation systems for nearly every area of operations on the ship, but they can’t figure out how to control “chair hogs”?
Is it possible that because it doesn’t constitute a safety hazzard in their minds, and doesn’t have any direct impact on increasing the revenue onboard, they don’t consider it an issue worth addressing?
It seems to me that of the decisions regarding which of the “rules of behavior” they are going to implement and enforce, those decisions are being made by judging which will displease the most passengers, and which will be taken in stride with little or no negatives reactions, and which will cost the least to enforce.
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Posted: December 6th, 2011 under Kuki.