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Old September 27th, 2010, 04:16 PM
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Default Defining Cruise 2.0

The definition of "cruise" has changed significantly in the last few years, but no one has yet given this change a name. I nominate "Cruise 2.0" as the official title for this new cruise paradigm.

To create a new term, you must define it. "Web 2.0" defines the transition of the internet from a one-way medium into an interactive two-way medium where personalized users can communicate with the world. Web 2.0 is Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Google Maps, Skype, Forums and User Reviews of products. "Cruise 2.0" is the transition from the traditional cruising experience as defined by the cruise lines to a new paradigm where the guest has the ability to customize the cruise experience with a variety of options.

Cruise 2.0 is not the end of cruising as we knew it, any more than Web 2.0 was the end of the Internet as we knew it. Rather, Cruise 2.0 is the natural extension of the cruise experience after the introduction of new technology and vacation concepts.

Cruising 1.0 was based on traditional sea voyages as originally defined by the great ocean liners. Activities included morning exercise classes followed by lunch, daily afternoon tea and dress-code dinners in assigned seating restaurants with the same tablemates and service people nightly. Shipboard games were bingo, bridge and shuffleboard. The entertainment included one stage show nightly, followed by drinking and dancing, and the only alternative was going to bed early.

Defining Cruise 2.0 Details:

STATEROOMS: One of the first things to change on cruise ships was the average stateroom. 1.0 ships had utile inside or ocean view staterooms. A porthole to the outside was considered a luxury.

Cruise 2.0 sees the verandah cabin as the standard. Before 2000, balconies were reserved for the most elite suites, but on today's ships balcony cabins comprise the vast majority of staterooms. 2.0 staterooms offer maximum comfort and visual appeal including plush mattresses, the softest sheets and towels, larger bathrooms and showers with luxurious bath products included.

DINING: Cruise 1.0 dining focused on one main dining room, which only offered early or a late seating. With pre-assigned tables you dined with the same tablemates and servers and followed mandatory dress codes every night. Only formal nights offered the most enticing food; lobster, beef Wellington and baked Alaska.

Cruise 2.0 dining offers a main dining room where parties of any size can arrive at any time. They will be given a choice of table styles and location. They may or may not have other passengers as dining companions who, like the service people, will be different almost every night. Dress codes are now suggestions and are more relaxed overall.

2.0 cruise ships also offer a variety of alternative dining options, usually with an added cost, where you can get more exciting entrees and more personalized service any night if the cruise.

ENTERTAINMENT: 1.0 cruise entertainment came in the form of a singular stage show for all guests offered in the main theater. The acts were either production shows specially created for the cruise line or cabaret performers suitable for all ages; jugglers, "clean" comedians, Broadway-style singers or classical musicians.

Cruise 2.0 has more entertainment authenticity than Cruise 1.0. The shows include fully-licensed Broadway productions with ensembles of accomplished entertainers. Proven hits like "Blue Man Group" and "Chicago" from brand name entertainment companies like Disney, DreamWorks, Nickelodeon and Second City have replaced the "musical revue" mentality. A nod to NCL for its entertainment innovation is called for here, but Royal Caribbean, Cunard, Disney and soon Holland America are also contributing.

In addition, there are alternative entertainment options such as jazz clubs, comedy clubs, karaoke, pub-style singers, piano bars, dueling pianos, and more.

ONBOARD ACTIVITIES: 1.0 cruising offered shuffleboard, ping pong, card games, trivia and lots of tanning on deck chairs. 2.0 cruising is defined by far more elaborate activities; Wii interactive games; 3-D movie theaters, FloRider surf simulators, zip-lines, Grand Prix simulators, miniature golf courses, water parks with state of the art water slides and even ice skating and bowling. The new Disney ships will have interactive video characters talking to you while you dine.

TECHNOLOGY: On older cruise ships one had to forego communication with the outside world. The best way to communicate with the office was a fax. Telephones were horribly expensive ($12/minute) and there was no email. There was also no way to keep in touch with people in your own family group onboard.

Cruise 2.0 technology includes Internet access and personal cell phone access stem to stern. It is now possible to bring a laptop and do your job onboard almost as conveniently as one can do it at home. You can carry your Blackberry on ships and get your email instantly. In addition, Carnival, and soon Disney, has onboard social networking so family groups can easily pick up messages and coordinate meeting places. Some ships now offer GPS tracking devices so you know where your kids are at 10:00 p.m.

WEB SITE INTEGRATION: This last cruise 2.0 aspect has no 1.0 counterpart. Cruise lines now offer extensive pre-cruise vacation customization through their web sites. It is now possible to schedule restaurant and show time reservations, make spa appointments and book shore excursions as well. You can check your personal reservation details at any time to make sure everything is as planned.
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Old September 27th, 2010, 05:32 PM
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1973-Cunard ,an activity was skeet shooting .There were 2 nightime shows .The first a "clean" comedian and a midnight show with a "dirty" comedian .
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Old September 28th, 2010, 07:39 AM
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Interesting concept Paul!! To say that cruising has changed just in the 4 years we have cruised would be an understatement. NCL lines has had alot to do with the dining options while RCL with their monster ships have added to the Entertainment options.

I could actually make an argument that we are past Cruising 2.0 and closer to Cruising 2.1 or 2.2 as the way that the cruise lines are changing so rapidly, it is hard to keep up. Cruising 2.0 would be the advent of the Mega Cruise ship and Cruising 2.1 would be the refinements that these ships brought with them. Cruising 2.2 would be the changes that are being made on the older cruise ships like a Comedy Club on Carnival or the advent of anytime dining ect.

What will Cruising 2.3 bring?? Could it be Butler service as a paid for premium regardless of room location? How about specialty dining cooked and served in ones own stateroom? Could it be paying for reservations for a shows best seats?

So many creative things can and will be done in the next few years to win a cruisers dollar that I am sure it will boggle our mind.

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Old September 28th, 2010, 07:49 AM
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It is truly amazing how cruising in general has changed over the years..
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Old September 28th, 2010, 02:43 PM
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Does anyone know when the first cruise was ?
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Old September 28th, 2010, 02:54 PM
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Agree that we are well beyond Cruise 2.0. I have been cruising for over 10 years and my first cruise meet almost all of the Criuse 2 definition.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 03:04 PM
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Truck... I love these suggestions, they are very creative:

What will Cruising 2.3 bring?? Could it be Butler service as a paid for premium regardless of room location? How about specialty dining cooked and served in ones own stateroom? Could it be paying for reservations for a shows best seats?

Henry - Cunard is often given credit for offering the first "cruises" when they built smaller ships than their ocean liners in order to offer vacation voyages to Brits in the Mediterranean Sea. This was in the early 1900s. I have the exact ship names someplace, and when I find them I will post them.

HOwever, even Mark Twain's best selling book ever was a non-fiction work "Innocents Abroad" where he escorted a group of Americans, via ship of course, to Palestine to see the Holy Land. Published in 1869, they also see Gibraltar, Marseilles and visit Paris by train as well as the Black Sea.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 03:15 PM
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I agree we are in at least cruise 2.0. but I don't think it has ever been given a name before. I think it is time to acknowlege the fact that cruising as it originally existed has been completely transformed.

There are still many people who think of cruising as the basic model that was given to us in the 1970s - assigned seating dress code dinners, one after-dinner show, and the basic activities of bingo, trivia, shuffleboard, and sitting in deck chairs.

That is cruising 1.0.

Cruising 2.0 is a completely different paradigm and I think it is actually time to have a single definition for the modern cruise, rather than having to point out all of the ways in which cruising has changed since its inception.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 11:01 PM
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I am still in the process of planning my first cruise with friends - who are previous cruisers - sometime in 2011. Let me tell everyone here that choosing a cruise line then a ship then an internary is just the beginning - we are targeting going on either the Oasis, Allure or the EPIC since we all live in South Florida. All these ships and, particularly the EPIC, offer so many shows, so many activities and so many "extras" and restaurants - some free and some have a charge - that you have to find which shows everyone will like, what kind of restaurants and foods each offer and who everyone will like, budgeting for surcharges, researching activities on board (and off) and on and on and on and on....
If it sounds all familiar, its because its like planning a land vacation but on a floating city! So I guess I am experiencing with what you all are calling "Cruising 2.0" but by the time everything is finally coordinated with us- it will be "Cruising 5.0!"

Last edited by puggo63; September 28th, 2010 at 11:07 PM.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 11:09 PM
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In my opinion crusing is the best buy for your money . Take for example a 10 day cruise .Assuming you are on board for all meals that equals 30 +10 shows + the cabin .Add to that the fact that you can eat as much as you desire without paying extra and all the free on board activities .
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Old September 29th, 2010, 09:47 AM
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Hi Pugg,
Just something to keep in mind if you choose Allure of the Seas. We have a Cruisemates group cruise going next Oct. 2nd, here are the details:

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Old September 29th, 2010, 01:50 PM
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Thanks Donna, I am actually planning that date too on the Allure! I am dying to try that mega ship!!!! I just have to get my group "coordinated!"
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Old September 29th, 2010, 01:54 PM
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That would be great! Be sure to contact Nancy with any questions, she'll be glad to help.
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Old September 29th, 2010, 07:08 PM
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Thanks Donna, one of my friends is really gung-ho about going (and me too!!!) so I will call her. Maybe next year it will be Cruise 3.0 with everything they are adding to these floating cities - I mean ships .
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Old September 29th, 2010, 07:55 PM
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Sounds good Pugg, keep me posted. I also know what you mean about the floating cities....You almost don't need to get off the ship, there is enough to do onboard to keep anyone busy. The ports are just an added bonus, plus I absolutely love St. Maarten, so I will be thrilled with this cruise.
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Old October 14th, 2010, 11:26 PM
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How ironic that this topic should come up when I have been lately reflecting on my past cruise experiences and looking at how much the market has changed since then.

First a touch of background for myself. My first cruise was in 1985 aboard RCCL's Nordic Prinice. I subsequently cruised the next two seasons aboard NCL ships, first the MS Starward, and then the SS Norway. I wasn't able to take my next cruise until I was well in to adulthood. It was in 2001 that I finally was able to cruise again this time aboard Celebrity's Century and then again aboard that same vessel in 2003. I had no intention of not going back right away but life intervened along the way. In 04 I didn't get to take a vacation in 05 a trip to Savanna was chosen instead and shortly there after a puppy was acquired by our household. This might not seem like a big deal to some but I simply can not bear the idea of shutting her up in a kennel for a week and I haven't found anybody trustworthy enough to care for her that long in the last 5 years. Unfortunately that has meant no cruising for me.

I should add a couple of other notes about myself here. The first is that I am always happy on the water even if it's nothing more then a canoe trip on a mountain river. Therefore I'm not terribly difficult to please as long as I'm afloat. The second is that I'm a traditionalist. My personal library is littered with books like The Only Way to Cross by John Maxtone Graham, and the Sway of the Grand Saloon by John Malcolm Brinnin (Incidentally Mr Brinnin defines the voyage Mark Twain describes in the Innocence Abroad as the first cruise. And credits Albert Ballin and his HAPAG Line as being the first to institute the modern idea of cruising). One of the highlights of my cruise aboard the Norway was making Le Grande Descent to the Chambord (Windward) Dinning Room in evening dress. Making that same type of descent down the stairway of the Grand Restaurant aboard Century almost exactly 15 years later was another highlight of my cruising experiences. I never had any less fun on those beautiful traditional ships as an easily bored teenager then I had aboard Century and I doubt that I would feel any differently about that aboard any of the giant mega liners sailing today. Reading some of the nostalgia sections of this forum lead me to believe that many here feel the same.

I feel that cruising 1.0 is being sold short as there were always more activities then the one's listed here available to entertain us and there was always an alternative to eating in the main dining room even at dinner. Even on the smaller ships like Nordic Prince and Starward, there was a basketball goal, skeet shooting, a swimming pool, a fully equipped gym and jogging track. If we didn't want to go to the dinning room the complete dinner menu was available through room service most of the evening. If we somehow missed that there was a fabulous midnight buffet every night of the week (something that was gone by the time I returned to cruising again). In addition to that one show mentioned previously, there was also a full casino (which we teens managed to snick in to and at least play the slots), a recently released movie playing most nights of the week in a real theater, a dance club to party at into the early hours of the morning, and what's more there were the simple pleasures of costume contests, country and western nights, island party nights and 50s nights. Dinner itself wasn't just a meal but a chance to socialize with newly made friends, and share adventures from the day ashore.

Now much of that is gone on the new Vegas Style resort ships and much more of it is dying away. Those who struggle to break the ice with strangers have less and less chance to do so with the slow death of traditional dining, and the impersonal nature of ships that can pack as many as 5000 patrons aboard on a single trip. Waiters and busboys that became like old friends by the middle of a seven day cruise are slowly disappearing from the dinning rooms as more and more people choose not to enjoy the joys of a traditional seating experience. Sun worshipers who have an antisocial streak often need not even leave their cabin balcony any longer to get their daily sun. In fact it is entirely possible for those in larger cabins to spend an entire week lock away from the rest of the cruise community, taking their meals in their cabin, and sunning themselves on their private veranda, in some cases even enjoying their own private jacuzzi tubs. I understand that digital casino gambling is even available on the state room televisions these days along with of course whatever movies or port lectures that might be of interest.

On the other hand there are those people who set about making reservations for alternative dining, and scheduling their daily activities and excursions months before they even see the ship. Apparently reservations for shows will soon be required as well. Add on fees now mean that a cruise patron can if they choose to, pay an additional amount for their meal every night of the week. Likewise more and more of the activities available like elaborate Spa treatments require an additional fee as well. How long indeed will it be before cruise patrons are paying for front row seats at the nightly show? In short a cruise is becoming like any other vacation I could choose, and quite frankly the way hotel rooms and restaurants are being priced in Vegas these days it's not even all that much of a bargain to be honest.

In short the traditionalist like myself who loved meeting and making new friends over dinner, who loved the personal touch of a waiter that knew my name, and who could be happy for hours simply watching the sea role by are being driven out of the market as surely as the previous generation of traditional steamship lovers was driven from the North Atlantic a generation or two before I was born.
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Old October 15th, 2010, 12:47 AM
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Quite an essay, Ashlee.

While cruising has changed, I do think that if you took Holland America or a luxury line like Crystal you would find the old style of cruising has changed very very little.

Granted, Crystal is expensive. But Holland America is very reasonable and if you go on the older S-class ships I think you would find it to be very traditional.

Or you could take the Cunard Britannia-class. That is probably still the most traditional version of cruising there is.
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