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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.

- A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising -

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Comments

Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time December 7, 2011 at 7:33 am

The “dumbing down” of many a cruise ship/lines menu(s) reflect the way people live and socialize today. Gone – long gone – are the days when say, 1960′s – on a Sunday a family would go out to resaturant dressed up, jacket, tie for the father and sons, dressy dress for the daughter(s) and mom in a girdle, nylons, heels and fur stole. That is the way I was raised, and believe me, I did not know the difference, except for friends whose family did not do this for financial reasons or lack of sophistication.

One need look at the way people dress for Sunday services – appalling by old days standards. It seems the mall dress and mentality, and the cheap chain restaurants have ingrained themselves in to all corners of society, Cruise ships, not all, have followed suit. Then there is Vegasing of all things en masse.

It is amazing that most North Americans can even read a menu, and order course by course. It also amazes me that adults, save for those in World Class cities, have never seen a flambeed dessert, a fish boned at table, nor even a Ceasar salad prepped table side,. A cheese course?? What????And that is in land side restaurants.

Then there are the additional dining venues, the pay extra ones, and they an be exceptional, or merely okay. It all depends on the cruise line. It should also be noted that the cruise lines that offer a lesser or more upscale product have for decades. It is their niche and they really have not changed. Recently I sailed and dined at a specialty steak house on board, and Outback was superior – go figure.

I think this is more a question of how one views life and the level of lifes experiences that one expects, and not monitarily.

There are some venues for luxury and grandest dining at sea, look at the prices for passage, look at the dress codes in the brochures, they can be found on line without having one mailed.

Home Lines,. a staunch rule enforcer, made every passenger reserve their deck chair, as did French Line. It worked then, but I doubt it would today. There are indeed cruise lines today that have set rules, smoking, dress and so forth and they seem to be adhered to quite well. Any cruise line that slacks off on these guides to decorum and etiquette I personally don’t, won’t and can’t sail with.

Booze is a personal ting, and many a drink has had little in their cocktail glasses, and to bring it on the ship, well, its the old revenue thing, although some lines offer drink packages, spirits ordered for in suite consumption, and then, there are the all inclusives, that provide spirits, beer and wines, maybe not Kettle One, but, decent enough.

And then there is the luggage rules the airlines have forced upon everyone. Pay and pay – easier to leave the wardrobe and shoes home than pay extra for the bags. It is a pity for those few of us, that these rules have to interfer with our tavel. However, I do pay the luggage fees, why? Because I will not “settle”. I want what I want, and everyone should have what they want. It is that simple. Thats why the cruise industry has flourished.

What this all boils down to is what the demogaphic of person, people, the passenger wants, and they are literally catered to, and whay not. Providing just what a lover of a cruise wants and demands, is surely a good thing.

Comment from Bob
Time December 8, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Land based establishments limit alcohol consumption because they do not want to be found liable in a lawsuit not because they are concerned about somebody’s liver. Nicer establishments want to ensure their patrons maintain and can enjoy a certain decorum.

Comment from Hank M
Time December 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Another area uninforced is video taping of shows. They announce “no video taping” prior to shows but as soon as the show starts you will video camera’s popping on al the showroom. No one stops it !

Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time December 9, 2011 at 6:48 am

There is something called the dram shop law, which limits the amount of alcohol a patron may consume at a bar or restaurant, and what may by level, hold the establishemnt OR hosts at a private in home party, liable for drunken driving resulting a death. This is rarely ever enforced, as most are totally unaware of this very much needed law. Shame on you bartenders! Imagine suing uncle diphead for getting aunty rue plastered and she hit and killed someone. God forbid! Worse, a restaurant be held liable, and its bartender. Heavens to Betsy!

One cruise line, a biggy, actually sells real Absinth on board.(NO it is not Carnival). Imagine the fun that goes on there. Talk about falling overboard.

Taping of shows does happen, and with the advent of camera cell phones, it can almost be undetected. And as Hank M poited out, it is not stopped. Heck, people sit and text in movie theaters, why not tape the show on board. Then again, groupies and the audience tape concerts in land based arenas.
Where have manners and any sort of civility gone?

Comment from Frank G Anderson
Time December 10, 2011 at 5:28 am

Anyone know of any cruises in 2012 from Bangkok to US East Coast? Thanks.

Comment from Viktory
Time December 12, 2011 at 6:32 am

Excellent information.. which I believe will be very useful for me

Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time December 12, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Bangkok to the East Coat – I would assume ther is an unlimited amount of money to spend for such a voyage, romantic and luxe as it may sem –

Try a segment of some ships world cruise, it may involve traversing from the waters of Thai curry west to a Med end up in NYC – where wolrd cruises do end –

Not a popular – nor common run – maybe MAYBE a freighter that actualy sails with passengers in transit might help.

I am not at all making fun of this desired route, I just feel it is not one that is popular for todays cruising market.

look at freighter tavel I hop you find it, and I will be SOOOOOOOOOO envious if you sail!!!!

Comment from Makis
Time December 17, 2011 at 4:58 am

Apparently it seems that we will see more and more the enforcement of rules ( some good some bad) on our favourite cruises. The chair hog problematic would be an area where me and many more would like to see solved because its really more than just an annoyance.

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