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Old April 9th, 2008, 08:13 PM
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Default A Disturbing Trend?

One of the things that seperates modern cruises from the ocean liner voyages of the past, is the concept that all modern cruise ships are a "one class" ship for all passengers. In fact, one of the big draws of modern cruises is that unlike the past, your cruise fare gets you and every other passenger access to the same public areas, same services, same food, and same access to everything the ship has to offer. The difference in cruise fares had only to do with your accommodations, i.e. your cabin size and location. This is what the cruise lines have touted as "modern cruising" as a way to seperate themselves from the ways of the old ocean liners, which had multiple classes of passengers, 1st class luxury passengers all the way down to "steerage" passengers that were kept below decks and not allowed to eat, recreate, or mix with those in the upper classes.

A new trend seems to be developing with NCL's "Villas and Suites", Celebrity Cruise's Solstice with it's luxury suite section, and Carnival's new Spa suites. In these cases, those willing to pay more, will now be seperated from the rest of the passengers with there own spa services, dining rooms, public areas, and pools. All of which will be of much higher quality and not available to other passengers on those ships.

My point here is this, since modern cruising began in the late 60's, the cruiselines have used the "one class" concept to seperate themselves from the ocean liners of old to attract middle class North Americans to take a cruise vacation and build the industry. Is the chase for the almighty "luxury dollar" by the modern cruise lines mean a return to the ship class society of old?

This is not a case of "if they're willing to pay for it". What I'm talking about is the basic principle of cruise lines instituting a multi-class system onboard ships based on how much a passenger can pay and be able to offer these passengers seperate areas, suites, spa services, and dining options not available to others onboard.

Your thoughts?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old April 9th, 2008, 10:09 PM
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Default Re: A Disturbing Trend?

Much can be made of the social aspects of what you describe, but my take is a little more pragmatic.

Cruise lines are in business to make money. We have all been irritated on one level or another by various forms of 'revenue enhancement' while onboard.

A basic business tenant is to search for and institute any revenue stream that is appropriate for your business plan. (Capitalism at it's best.)

Special cabins, dining rooms, etc. would seem to fit here. We know that it doesn't cost the company a dime more for the spa cabins than a 4A inside, but the profit margin is very attractive, even irresistable.

Fyi, in the best tradition of the sailing elite, Cunard is the grandaddy of 'class' cruising. It was standard fare on the Titanic (not a Cunard ship) and still exists today on the QMII.

I am not defending any of this. Someone who can afford a pricey suite or spa cabin will not enjoy his cruise any more than I will, but if the rate that he pays allows the company to continue to price my cabin selection so that I can afford to cruise....I am all for it.

Finally, in my mind, those who truly can afford and want to separate themselves from us 'common' folk are not to be found on the major cruise lines. It may be that some in the spa cabins are just 'wannabes'.

Just pray that we aren't locked into steerage while they are loading the lifeboats. (read while listening to the theme from Titanic)
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Old April 10th, 2008, 04:02 PM
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Our very first cruise was arranged last minute and we were quite clueless about every aspect of cruising. It was such a relief to discover that even though we were on the Continental deck, we were not treated as 'steerage'. In my opinion, those who want to remain in a class to themselves should choose a ship that is outside the mass market. There are certainly lines on which we cannot afford to cruise. My guess would be that anyone wanting only an upper crust experience would not choose to cruise ie. Carnival or NCL
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Old April 10th, 2008, 09:02 PM
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Carnival's new ship does have Spa staterooms, but these staterooms are meant for those who will likely use the spa services more than the typical passenger. Ergo, they will be mucho bucks in the spa for everything from a manicure/pedicure, massage, facial, hair appointments, and so on. They will have access to a private area with cabanas, but that area will have to be shared with ALL the cabins in that area. They will not have special restaurants that only they have access too.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 02:45 AM
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Well, I recently priced the Aqua class of cabins on the new Celebrity
Solstice and viewed the deck plans as well. Personally, looks to me like
a lot of people squeezed into one deck and the cabins are costing anywhere from $ 300 to $ 400 more pp - In my opinion - just being closer
to the spa area is not worth an extra $ 600. All passengers will have access to the treatments and Thallossomy pool - and as far as eating
exclusively in the Aqua Spa Cafe - I'd rather pass. Also, I'd rather spend
my money on shopping and seeing the sites -I'll have my manicures and massages before I leave at a much more reasonable price. On the other
hand, if they were a booking "perk" - that's fine with me.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 04:05 PM
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I think we need to stop where we are at and not go overboard on building them bigger and better.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 09:53 PM
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I totally agree.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 10:32 PM
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This "separate but unequal" style is what Cunard has kept afloat from the old days. If it does not generate profits it will disappear. I too like the "all for one" demographics where you are not treated according to cabin category.
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Old May 8th, 2008, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mehawk
I think we need to stop where we are at and not go overboard on building them bigger and better.
I agree 100%. Now let's just start perfecting each ship.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 07:29 AM
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Default Re: A Disturbing Trend?

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueliner
One of the things that seperates modern cruises from the ocean liner voyages of the past, is the concept that all modern cruise ships are a "one class" ship for all passengers. In fact, one of the big draws of modern cruises is that unlike the past, your cruise fare gets you and every other passenger access to the same public areas, same services, same food, and same access to everything the ship has to offer. The difference in cruise fares had only to do with your accommodations, i.e. your cabin size and location. This is what the cruise lines have touted as "modern cruising" as a way to seperate themselves from the ways of the old ocean liners, which had multiple classes of passengers, 1st class luxury passengers all the way down to "steerage" passengers that were kept below decks and not allowed to eat, recreate, or mix with those in the upper classes.

A new trend seems to be developing with NCL's "Villas and Suites", Celebrity Cruise's Solstice with it's luxury suite section, and Carnival's new Spa suites. In these cases, those willing to pay more, will now be seperated from the rest of the passengers with there own spa services, dining rooms, public areas, and pools. All of which will be of much higher quality and not available to other passengers on those ships.

My point here is this, since modern cruising began in the late 60's, the cruiselines have used the "one class" concept to seperate themselves from the ocean liners of old to attract middle class North Americans to take a cruise vacation and build the industry. Is the chase for the almighty "luxury dollar" by the modern cruise lines mean a return to the ship class society of old?

This is not a case of "if they're willing to pay for it". What I'm talking about is the basic principle of cruise lines instituting a multi-class system onboard ships based on how much a passenger can pay and be able to offer these passengers seperate areas, suites, spa services, and dining options not available to others onboard.

Your thoughts?
This all goes on now. Book a suite and you will get a different level of service in all areas TRUST ME...
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Old May 15th, 2008, 12:29 AM
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Once I was dining at Joe's Crabshack in Galveston at the pier and watched the Conquest go by. It took an hour and a half for her to clear my line of sight she is so huge!
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