Many decades ago, when the great ocean steamers of White Star Line, and Cunard sailed the seas, sailing aboard a steamer was an expensive mode of Trans-Atlantic travel; and generally only the well-off could afford it. The dress for dinner every evening (in first class) was tuxedo with tails – anything less was for the lower classes. This is the era when cruising traditions were established.
Then around the end of the 1960’s, Royal Caribbean began offering Caribbean cruises, priced much more affordably for the masses, and lured many more people who could now afford to cruise. Many of the traditions of cruising were carried forward from the turn of the century, and seem to have been instilled in this newer breed of cruiser.
Coming into the present, other cruise lines, Carnival in particular, have minimized to an extent the formal traditions, and have developed a more casual, festive atmosphere aboard their ships. The newest breed of cruiser will have learned the ropes in this era and will enjoy it as a preferred way of cruising.
Rightly or wrongly, Carnival has, it seems, acquired an image of beer-drinking, 20-somethings, partying like rock stars until the wee hours type of atmosphere. And I must admit to having that image myself, though not yet having sailed with Carnival.
It is this image (accurate or not) that is diametrically opposed to traditional cruising. And I think this is why many cruisers might have had an anti-CCL bias, and might so presently.
As this new style of less formal cruising becomes more established, and more the norm, I think we’ll see it become much more accepted, and eventually not even given a second thought. Until then, I think we the more traditional cruisers ought to try Carnival, before passing judgement upon something we’ve not yet experienced for ourselves.
In my opinion,