One thing we have discovered about certain people is that they are willing to pay MORE for the experience of "inclusivity" - almost all of our calculations show that people actually spend more than they could ever "use" for included drinks and gratuities, but they are willing to pay just for the right "not to have to sign for things."
It makes no sense to me, but then I am used to seeing a bill at the end of the cruise. Crystal Cruises just figured it out - with plans to go all-inclusive (for beverages & tips) for the first time in 2012. They were giving $2000 "spend as you please" onboard credits which is actually a better and even MORE inclusive plan in the end - but their research said that what people want is freedom from signing for drinks.
Bill Smith - VP of Marketing & Sales with Crystal - told me that it is about convenience and "feelings". Some people feel less awkward when they can ask for something and it is just given to them. Especially single ladies, etc.
One thing it certainly improves is the gratuity situation. Look at all the people who fret about how much to tip everyone. It was worse when you had to find cash onboard (which is still true on many ships) and hand out envelopes.
Mike, I agree that we basically agree with each other. Just expressing it in a little different way.
Now if we could all just band together and do something about gasoline, we'd be in good shape-- now that to me is real " nickel and diming!!"--Every time I go to the pump it's up another nickel or dime--Guess I'll have to get my Pee Wee Herman style bike out and ride it to Fla. for my next cruise, as at the rate it's going, I won't be able to afford to drive. My wife may get a little tired though, riding on the handle bars !!
YES!!! If only more people had your attitude!!! People seem to think I'm nuts for feeling this way. For the cruise lines, it's all about the money, and most people can't seem to see that, or just don't care.
Originally Posted by housestuff
Charging extra for everything? Donít get me started. This is one of my pet peeves from a person who has more cruises under the belt than I can remember.
IMHO if the people wouldnít patronize these idiocies they would end and cruising would go back to the way it was and was meant to be, an all inclusive vacation. Yes the prices might go up slightly but in the long run would be much cheaper than having your pocket picked at the gangway.
I remember the day that one would get on one of these ships and be treated like royalty for your stay. Meals were always something to look forward to and the only time you could run up a ridiculous bill was if you had a drinking problem.
The ships have gotten to the point that they are now a floating resort instead of the quiet little getaways that they once were. Cruising has now gone from going to see a new destination in the world to partying till you puke on a floating casino.
I donít know but I still cruise to use the ship as an economical hotel stay for the places I want to see. Well itís not so economical anymore thanks to the wow crowd that thinks it necessary to have it all and is willing to pay for it forever on their credit cards.
The excess crowd has carried over their lifestyle to what was once a terrific way of seeing the world. To this day I see no need to have a suite or a balcony cabin unless they are giving them as a perk. My inside cabin takes me to the same places, eating the same food and seeing the same entertainment as yours does and might I say on many more cruises than you go for the same money. Mine is not about the wow factor but the reward of doing more for the same dollar.
Pay for food? There is no way in hell I will pay for any food on an all inclusive venue. The lines have lowered their food standards in the dining room so you will pay extra to get the service and quality you once got everyday inclusive. If it were up to me those restaurants would be an empty wasted space on the ship with an echo. A few months of that and the dry docks would be full of ships getting refurbished to make better use of the space.
Tipping, well thatís getting to be a sore subject. There once was a day that the person getting tipped was truly worthy of it. The cattle cars of now give general service yet expect or force premium service tips. The same is still true that these ships all carry a registry from another country so they donít have to adhere to labor laws of the countries that bring in their revenue. The tips are the wages that the lines should be paying these people in the first place and we are being forced to make their payroll while receiving mediocre service. I have no problem tipping someone but I donít want my tips lumped into a pool that gets distributed to all. Where does that reward the one person who goes out of their way to make my day special? Am I supposed to give them an extra tip on top of the forced one? I donít think so, pay your people and let me tip those who deserve it.
Next time you cruise look down the halls on ships that show the long time cruisers on their doors. Most of us are in the inside cabins unless we have more money than brains. You can always find me; Iím the Prius in the parking lot thatís next to your Escalade. When I come off the ship my trip is paid for and the next one or two is already booked. I don't book them by loyalty to a line or a ship with all the toys, I book by where I want to go at a price I want to pay. My bucket list is long and I want to see it all.
I think this must happen all the time to first-time cruisers.
Originally Posted by Mike M
The whole thing is perception. Joe and Joanne Cruise go on their first cruise. They get on board this huge, beautiful and exciting ship.
However, once they get on board they want a drink. That's $14 for the two of them.
They want a soda. That another $4.50 for two.
They want to eat in the steakhouse and that's another $60.
Then they would like to buy a formal night picture and that's another $30.
They would like to go to the steam room and find out they need to buy a $90 per person Spa pass.
They would like to have an after dinner latte and that's another $5.
So on and so on.
I know that you can have a wonderful time without partaking in all of these things but once they are on board they want to enjoy the things that they see and that other people are enjoying. However, they find that when they want to enjoy these things there is usually a significant charge associated with it. This leaves a bad impression with Joe and Joanne especially after they paid something in the low to mid four figures to get a cabin on the ship.
Joe and Joanne do learn that they can have a good time without partaking in these extras but still feel they aren't getting the value they thought they would.
I know very well that you can go without many of these things or budget for them and not worry about it. The kid doesn't get to buy all the candy in the candy store but they still feel bad if they just get to look in the window. Or the cruisers have a bad feeling to be constantly charged to enjoy the offerings and also have a shock when they get the bill at the end of the cruise.
Certain things do irritate me about cruising. However, I LOVE to cruise, and so will continue as I can afford it, at least unless or until it becomes too annoying.
I don't even know if it is the fact that so many things are "extra" on the ship that bothers me. I think it is the fact that things are so overpriced. For instance, NCL charges 6.25/day for a soda card. This is a "deal" compared to the price of individual sodas. Do you know how much soda I can buy at the grocery store for $6.25? Enough for the entire cruise!
Alcoholic drinks are way overpriced, in my opinion. Even when they have a "daily special", it is still overpriced.
I am about to take my son an the Norwegian Gem. He is 13, and will wnt to try the bowling alley. Well, there's an extra charge for that. I really think there are other ways they could keep people from hogging the alleys all day rather than charging them. If that's really what they wanted to do. Again, it's all about the money.
As far as the arcade, of course my son will want to do that. What kid wouldn't? Those charges add up quickly. You'd think they could have some machines that kids could play for "free".
Just the opinion of someone who doesn't have a lot of money to throw away, I suppose.
I certainly do understand your situation - you can always take one 6-pack of soda per guest aboard Norwegian. I think some of the kids centers have X-box, too.
I think the truth is that one reason cruises are so affordable is because they have "discretionary spending" on board. You could find lines where all those things are included but they cost more for the cruise fare.
I know that is not much of an answer for you, but it is the reality.
I'm just glad you can afford to get on a cruise ship once in awhile. Best of luck.
The NEW Viking cruise line used that exact phrase in their announcement last week. (In the question period following)
Ray McDonald / Snoozeman
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