Originally Posted by Ron n Jon
We had always considered the Grand Princess to be our most favoured ship of the fleet, having lost the Regal some time back. We have just returned from the Three Continents 20 day tour with the Grand Old Dame and we have to say she is showing her age in less than an elegant manner. With such neglect, we wonder if she is soon destined to follow the Regal.
The Princess arm of the Carnival Corp. can no longer apply their own business approach to what must be a dwindling market. According to senior service staff that we engaged in serious conversation, the Carnival bottom line concepts are now being applied to all subsidiaries. There has been a massive loss of Eastern European employees due to the weak American dollar vs the Euro. Carnival will not increase basic wages, which means less take home pay when converting to home currencies. The steadfast Philippine staffs that are replacing them are not faced with this dilemma but do have to deal with inflation. Moral is the looser in all this and it is showing up in every aspect of employee/customer relations as well as accommodation and upkeep.
Simply put, if "Princ'aval" continues to squeeze out every dollar in their nickel and dime approach to attract the "once in a lifetime" cruisers, they risk loosing those of us that see ourselves aboard their ships two, three or more times a year.
I am not a Princess cheerleader by any means, but I think you are being a little hard on them and Carnival. Of course the bottom line is profit but we all know with the increase in fuel affecting everything we do today mcuh of what we used to take for granted no longer exists. I don't think it is just Princess, food, service, entertainment etc has slipped lately. Of course the weak dollar has a lot to do with it but what do you suggest? The cruise lines either have to downgrade their product or raise prices. If they raise prices too much many will not be able to cruise, the ships will not go out full or close to full and profit will be affected. Right now, it is a no win situation.
Reading some of your other comments, the one about the pursers desk, I have been on enough cruises to loose count and have yet to be impressed with the pursers desk on any of them. Some are worse than others.
I think the only other option for you would be to start considering cruising on the luxury liners as you are going to find most of the mass marketed lines more alike than different.