I don't think we are missing the boat - cruises are really cheap now, so the "value proposition" is still there, but being realistic the cruise lines are in a position where they can't charge as much as they would like to charge, and they can't even re-invoke the fuel surcharges that today's oil prices certainly would justify.
As I said - any company can "weather the storm" for a year or so, but when you have a protracted economic downturn that stays as bad as this one has for three and a half years now with no real signs of recovery then every company has to find new ways to structure cost/return on equity.
Someone mentioned room stewards cleaning twice as many rooms. And now that the tips are paid to the cruise line instead of the crew directly we have no guarantee the crew is reaping the benefits of that change.
Food is one area where cruise lines can cut costs easily, so are itineraries, drink prices and shore excursions are another.
This is just the reality of the economy - and it is also happening with resorts, hotels, airlines, etc.