Originally Posted by venice
Paul..thanks for providing insight on this issue from someone who has experienced both sides of this issue
I would like to comment on your statement about "the feel of the cruise"..i've noticed a distinct difference when i have been on the chartered smooth jazz cruises vs "regular" cruises..on the smooth jazz cruises both the guests and the crew seem to be more relaxed (mellow) and more engaged, very often the promoter will invite crew members who are jazz musicians to join in jam sessions with the artist onboard and will arrange for a special autograph session for the crew members, very often at the back of the main theater you will see crewmembers standing and enjoying the show with the blessing of the captain and the promoter...on the full charters the tips are prepaid, there are a significant number of guest that this is their first cruise experience, but i suspect because the guest are enjoying the music and the "feel of the ship" encourages tipping above and beyond what has already been prepaid..the cruises are sold out (no kids) but the "feel" between crew and guest is very positive and because there is an extremely high return rate of guest (i would suspect over 60%) year after year on the same ship, plus the promoter has a staff onboard to act as a go-between if there is an issue that is non music related, it tends to become a win/win for all parties
That sounds like a blast I will have to book a full charter jazz cruise one of these days.
I agree with the feel of the cruise. My last cruise 4/26/08 on Carnival Freedom. A lot of cruisers had booked through a Travel Agent ( I don't remember the TA's name) and were very unhappy. The problem things keep changing, the hotels they thought were booked were not. The shore excurision included in the package were changed etc. That meant a lot of cruisers were mad, not at the cruise line, however, they still took a bit of there anger out at the cruise line. I hadn't booked through this TA so I don't have all the problems and was having a great time. As was my Crazysis and parents. I was extra nice to the staff, as I felt they were getting picked on for things out of thier control. We had a great cruise and side trip to Venice. BTW this is way I prefer to book on my own. I can research everything and control all parts of the trip.