What Cun ard should have done from day one was a place a surcharge on dining at TE as it's very hard to play take away down the road. I believe Cunard had to offer as much as it possibly could upfront in order to gain the confidence of experienced and potential cruisers who would look for value on their dollar. However, it's there's no excuse for such an action this late in the game. I'm not aware of any cruise line that has ever advertised and received payment for services and/or use of facilities and then played "TAKE AWAY". What was most unusual about the press release I posted is the fact that they also changed a category of cabins, lowered the price of cabins within that category (after people have already paid full boat price on past cruises) and did not announce that they were issuing refunds for the difference between the two categories to those who have already cruised. The most death defying feat thus far is that Cunard is making these sweeping changes and using the tagline "we're listening to our passengers and we're making improvements", that's a nice fall back position, however, when you build an 800 million dollar liner, you should know better than to start adding charges for services originally included and not change category cabins without offering cash refunds (not cruise credits) back to passengers who paid full boat pricing. Can you imagine the powers that be at RCCL sitting back and laughing at Carnival/Cunard over this snafu? What other changes on the way? What else will be changed mid stream? Why can't you tip the way you wish to tip? Why are crew members jumping ship? Why is the Commodore on vacation (have to wonder if he's on a forced vacation).
No doubt, if this ship was under a US flag, the justice department and/or other consumer protection agenecies would be investigating just how Americans boarding ship are being abused financially. If you purchased an all-inclusive vacation at a U.S. based resort and prior to your day of arrival they told you that such and such a restaurant was "off limits" to you unless you paid more money to eat at that restaurant what would happen? Would they offer you a refund? I'm sorry but, those running cruise lines such as RCCL and Celebrity have NEVER played this type of game. Who is running Cunard? Carnival? Why has the QE2 sailed for years without this much bad publicity? It appears as though while you're on a luxury liner, the only place you get what you pay for and be treated royally is at RCCL or Celebrity. Okay, we'll sail on this puppy as we already paid and can't get our money back, however, we must ALL post what we see, what we experience and our opinions. This "can you wait" campaign was as brilliant as the "Diamond is Forever" campaign and we know ALL know how much trouble DeBeers got into for price fixing:-)