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Are The Cruise Lines Forgetting We “Older Folks”?

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At one time the most important base passenger demographic for the major cruise lines were the “older folks”.  Of course, at that time I was (or considered myself ) not in that category.

Today I’m a card carrying member of AARP, and pretty much qualify for every definition of being an “old fuddy duddy”.

Me and other proud members of the “fuddy duddy” demographic are beginning to feel like the cruise lines are looking past our needs to create a new passenger base; attempting to appeal to younger generations, and are directing great energy in their advertising campaigns, and on board programming, to draw young people and families into cruising.

We “fuddy duddies” are left having to search long and hard for the shuffleboard.

The cruise lines are filling deck space with water parks, rock climbing walls, rope courses,  zip-lines, and even surfing machines.

Lordy, Lordy, I do remember the one time I did manage to climb the  stairs to the top of a water slide, By the time I slid to the bottom I had forgot how I got there. I’d thought the slide was the entrance to the buffet.

There are benefits the cruise lines are forgetting when it comes to the bottom line, in relation to the “fuddy duddy” crowd. We eat much less than we used to, and certainly less than the younger folks, and that difference could have a big impact on profits. Sure, we may complain more (about pretty much everything), but we eat less.

The cruise lines might also want to take note of how land based businesses in retirement communities do business. Early bird specials are a mainstay in such areas. On ships the dining rooms and restaurants don’t open before 5:30. That’s just too late for “fuddy duddies”.

Cruise lines could reduce the demand and stresses on later shifts in the dining venues by offering dinner service at 4:30.  The result would be limiting the vast majority of complaints to the 430 – 5:30 dining times.

As I’ve aged one of my biggest problems on ships has become remembering where my cabin is located. It could help a lot if there were age restricted decks; over 50s, over 60s, etc. , as there generally seems to be a great commonality of  personalities, physical abilities, and thought process (or thoughtlessness) in those various age groups.

A helpful side effect of such structuring would be improved speed of passage in the hallways on the decks inhabited by younger people.

It would also enable a very attractive option if the cruise lines designated elevators designed to stop at only the “old” floors. Younger people would be encouraged to use the stairs. As well, they’ll be happier passengers, as they wouldn’t be subjected to having to listen to the “fuddy duddy” complaints during their travel on board.

We would also appreciate if the cruise lines could come up with a more gentle system for laundry service on board. We’re still wearing the same jackets, shirts and ties for formal nights that we were wearing in 1974, and we’d like them to last another decade or two.

Admittedly, we’re not the best passengers to have on board for onboard spending. We don’t shop much on board unless the ship runs out of prunes, and we’re forced to buy laxatives from the shop.  There’s more wear and tear on the carpets because we shuffle our feet when we walk, rather than stride. We don’t drink near as much alcohol as we used to, because we fall asleep during dinner if we do. But, that also means there is less maintenance for you, because I can’t recall the last time I vomited in a stairwell.

Of course, I also can’t recall the last time I didn’t.

But, we do book a lot of cruises…because we don’t want anything left when we go.

– A View From The Kuki Side of Cruising –







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Comment from Jeanne Keenan
Time October 1, 2013 at 6:20 pm

I related to practically nothing in this post. I may be 75, but the last thing I want to do is to dine at 4:30. Isn’t that just 1/2 hour before martini time? Good grief!

Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time October 8, 2013 at 4:35 am

Having just returned from a cruise, I must say one area that really needs to be addressed, is what some old farts tend to do an do do during a cruise these days.

Walker’s, walker’s, , everywhere, left abandoned, stuck in hallways, left outside cabins, jammed in the tenders, propping cabins doors open, lining pool areas, – left about in the casino, becoming a floating cruise impaired.

And those dogdang motorized scooter chairs – one per elevator, the looks given by the user, the hand gestures even, get a scooter, rule the ship! It is really getting ugly.
Canes – get nudged in line by one, well, I would like to nudge one where the sun don’t shine.

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