Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1
A growing number of cruisers today simply cannot afford to buy wine on a cruise.
This whole post is very interesting, but your bullet point above is really fascinating, especially your saying that this number is "growing."
It would seem to imply that an increasing number of people are taking cruises on shoestring budgets. It's completely off topic for this string, and perhaps it would be interesting to start another one, but if it is true (and I assume it is) it certainly helps to account for the increasing number of non-included charges (known here generally as "nickel and diming") that the lines are constantly being bashed for instituting. If more and more people are scraping nickels together to take cruises, the marketing goal, more now than ever, must be to keep base fares as low as possible, and to continue to make as many things as possible "extras."
To be clear, I know very well that on popularly-priced lines wine has never been included in the cruise fare. But I'm looking at the overall picture here, and pointing out the probable significance of the increase in those for whom "extras" are not possible.