Originally Posted by TravelBugs
Can you be more specific in other negatives you noticed with the ship?
I'm hoping you have a list of positives, too.
While some of my comments might indicate that my posting should have been placed under Gripes, that was not the intent. There is a general malaise that is taking hold of the travel industry as a whole and the cruise industry specifically. Obviously costs and bottom line is the culprit. If staff is not rewarded proportionally to their efforts then why should they make any effort beyond what they considered their bottom line. With the loss of so many European staff, it becomes obvious that any discipline administered could only lead to more staff losses and therefore must be a last resort. The 'tipping' system has been self-defeating in an expectation without even standard service. And if $579 won't get new passengers aboard, then how about $499? Cut the difference by increasing workload, cuts in menu, cuts in portions, smaller glasses, cheaper dishes and even linen laundry.
Employee dissatisfaction is destroying the elegance of sea travel and a good example might be in being treated at the Pursers' desk in a manner befitting a night clerk in a fleabag hotel. We have never experienced such hostility from behind that desk before to our most rudimenty enquiries. When we encounter a public washroom so soiled that we felt that should we not report it, it will just remain that way. Are there no inspections? The request to have the cocktail lounge music lowered from a volume so high we could not hear one another speak was met by cruise director staff as not being their responsibility. We abandoned the lounge altogether.
I will be accused of being a snob in this but when the clientele representing the $499 price tag can no longer afford to come aboard, for they are the first to experience the hardships of a recession, who then will the cruise industry look to to fill their staterooms? The damage will have been done.
As to the latter point, and you may find this strange, we would consider this previous cruise one of our best. The ports of call in conjunction with a vibrantly social passenger list made for the best of times but good times of our own making. Many employees did their job successfully. Unlike the long lines at the Purser's desk on the final evening, presumably cancelling tips, we never have and will never do this but instead match almost this full amount again with our concept of gratuities to those who have most deserved it, fewer though they may have become.
OUR BOTTOM LINE: Pay the employees a decent wage so that their jobs are treasured and charge a fair and consistently representitive fare for the good services that such wages will produce.