I so agree with you both on all, for example the first time we hit Croatia, docking in Dubrovnik, We were on a small ship and the only one to dock that day, and we had a very memorable stop at that port. Loved it.
This year, because as a port it is now been seen as "got to be there" then the day we arrived there were TEN ships from various lines dumping people. The experience was so bad, not because of the place, but because the lines dumped at least 20,000 people at the same time in this relatively small place.
So, who is going to enjoy that experience
and the same must go on for week after week on the Carib cruise circuit, small place, it could be special for our passengers, but no we will dump 20,000+ in there at the same time
Why dont they as lines talk to each other and sort out docking days and itenaries that would reduce the congestion and at the same time increase the experience for the passenger.
If anything, that is the key when I'm asked how has "cruising changed" and what that means to me.
They are so busy fighting off each other to get you on board, that they actually forget that being in these places maybe a "special" experience for some that paid their money, but to them you are just butts in bunk in other words steerage. They dont care about your on shore experience, as for them there is no profit margin in you going off ship, sad and basic but true, sooner you come back on board, then can start to make money with you again. So they dont care about the ports, they are just an inconvience in their eyes.
Thats why you dont get a lot of time there, the sooner they are back at sea the better for them. Thats today's crusing reality on some lines