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Old November 14th, 2000, 07:10 PM
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Default RE: Personal Choice & Alternate Dining Fees

Well, I think there are arguments on both sides. Just returned from a European cruise and saw zillions of people at the desk on the last day trying to get US cash to put in the little envelopes (we'd thought ahead and brought it along with paper clips and post-it notes attached). Many of those people clamoring for cash no doubt would have gladly opted to have the tips added to their ship accounts. If we were faced with a trip where the tips were added to the account, we'd be perfectly happy. Personally, I can't be bothered worrying about whether the guys in the dining room get an extra seven bucks because we ate in a specialty restaurant one night and tipped separately. In the scheme of things it's trivial, and is far outweighed by the convenience factor.

As for reverting to a class system, apparently many people advocate this, and as the cruise industry explodes, your "Marketing 101" professor will tell you that cruise lines will inevitably begin to move to market differentiation strategies. One of these will very likely be "pay more, get more." Not really a revolutionary idea. We flew to our latest cruise in first class (on FF miles, of course), and guess what: the seats were wider, there was more legroom and the food was better. Plus we got to board first and we got cute little socks to wear as we padded around our little enclave in the front of the bus. And, everybody knows that separate classes on ships used to be the norm. Going back to that idea hardly seems reason to storm the Bastille.

I am sorry to hear that Princess has done away with wine stewards. They're a nice touch.
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