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Old May 22nd, 2011, 10:18 AM
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Default Are cruises attracting lower grade passengers?

Since 2001, as the cruise industry has struggled to attract more passengers to stay in business, and make money, there's some people who say that the industry has a attracted a less sophisticated type of cruiser.

Do you agree, or disagree?

Has your view of this topic affected how you choose your cruise vacations?

What about cruising has impacted you the most, the lower quality of the cruise product (for those who believe that's true), or the lower quality of the cruise passenger (for those who might think that's true)?
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki View Post
Since 2001, as the cruise industry has struggled to attract more passengers to stay in business, and make money, there's some people who say that the industry has a attracted a less sophisticated type of cruiser.

Do you agree, or disagree?

Has your view of this topic affected how you choose your cruise vacations?

What about cruising has impacted you the most, the lower quality of the cruise product (for those who believe that's true), or the lower quality of the cruise passenger (for those who might think that's true)?
Your joking right? what do you mean lower quality of passenger? That some people make less money,are a little less educated, come from a diffrent part of the country,believe in diffrent things?I dont understand I didnt know that you had to meet certain standards to cruise or that you got judged by a certain standard.I thought everyone on the ship was there to have fun and that everyone is the same but I guess I was wrong. And how does some one who is less or more educated then me or makes more or less money then me or believes in religon going to affect my cruise the question sounds kind of snobbish to me!
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 11:40 AM
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Dh... you're right. It does sound "snobbish". Of course I knew that when I posted it

Honestly I don't believe "class" has anything to do with income or level education. It's about people and how they act.

It's too easy to pigeon hole the definition with the labels. That's not the way it was meant. You don't have to be in the "elite" to have class. In fact, it's even likely those who think they have class don't

But I do think there's room for discussion about all of this, and hope to encourage it.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 11:54 AM
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I don't believe it's the quality of the passenger. Cruise lines are targeting a larger demographic and many of these people want something different than the "traditional" Cruising 1.0 product.

They want flexibility, a more relaxed atmosphere and many more activities and a diversity of entertainment.

Does that mean they are of lower quality. Not at all. These are people who want a vacation and not an extended night out at the Country Club. They are still a wide range of people from very well off to the regular middle-class. It's that their priorities are not what the priorities of cruisers 10 or even 5 years ago were.

About four or five years ago my wife and I were becoming burnt out with cruising. The regimentation, dressing up for each meal and the repetitive entertainment made it less enjoyable with each cruise. Especially cruises to ports we had previously been to. We stopped going to production shows and the lounge duos that were doing elevator music was getting old and we found we were spending more time in the cabin rather than the lounges.

That changed when we cruised NCL. This was what we were looking for. From then on we cruised NCL and then tried Azamara. In the one or two year period we cruised on these lines I noticed that the other lines were changing. This brought me back and reinvigorated my love of cruising.

Cruising, overall, is not what it was ten years ago but in my strong opinion many things have improved. There are things that I don't like. More things have been added but few of these are included in your fare. Included food isn't what it used to be. Rarely do you see a full lobster tail in the main dining rooms and there are far fewer, high end, cuts of meat served, but overall you have more choices. The alternative restaurants still offer the higher grade products and you can choose to spend on these additions or not.

There are cruise lines that are still more traditional but they are more in the luxury or Ultra-Premium level (Cunard)area. The mass market cruise lines have definitely adopted Cruising 2.0.

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Old May 22nd, 2011, 12:40 PM
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Haveing only been on one cruise (last March) I have no Idea what changes have taken place over the years. All I can say is I feel the cruise lines will keep attracting more people just from the value stand point. We are planning to fly to Maui next year for a week. It seems to me a better deal for the money to take a cruise. I think that alone will attract more people to cruising.And I feel the more people that start cruising you will see even more changes.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 12:46 PM
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Wasnt taking a cruise oh lets say back in the Titanic days something that the well to do would do?I wonder back in the day how many less well off people took cruises just for fun? You think people would save up just so they could go on a cruise?And if they did would they be treated the same as the well to do passengers?
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 01:08 PM
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35 years ago when I was working on Royal Viking Ships, the Number One complaint - every week - was the fact that we didn't have enough refrigerated locker space for all the furs the ladies brought with them. We also received complaints when we ran out of the more expensive champagne brands, or the better grades of caviar.

Today the Number One complaint - every week - is the price of a Coca-Cola ("I can get it cheaper at WalMart").
Unfortunately, if the complaint is a written one, we are rarely able to read it. So many of today's passengers - who allegedly have English as a first language - cannot write very well, and do not seem to know anything about the grammar and syntax of their own native language.

The cruise lines face a challenge in that we normally assume that our passengers have some previous travel experience - and have at least stayed in a land-based hotel at some point in their lives.
This erroneous assumption has caused a great deal of difficulty for passengers and crew. We find today that a surprising number of adult cruise passengers not only have never taken a cruise or flown in an airplane before - but have never stayed in a hotel in their entire lives. They are understandably confused and upset when they go onboard a cruise ship for the first time.

150 years ago, my ancestors crossed the Atlantic - in both directions - several times in the process of emigrating from Europe to Canada and America. Once in North America, they crossed the continent several times from East to West - and back - in wagons and trains. These journeys could not have been easy nor inexpensive. But they did them repeatedly.
These immigrants from France and Germany had to learn to speak English when they arrived. The ones I met as a child spoke better English than my counterparts today, who had the luxury of being born and educated in an English speaking country.
I find that my North American relatives today are far less adventurous, far less knowledgeable, far less worldly, and generally less interested to see the rest of the world.

Last edited by Bruce Chafkin1; May 22nd, 2011 at 01:21 PM.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 View Post
35 years ago when I was working on Royal Viking Ships, the Number One complaint - every week - was the fact that we didn't have enough refrigerated locker space for all the furs the ladies brought with them. We also received complaints when we ran out of the more expensive champagne brands, or the better grades of caviar.

Today the Number One complaint - every week - is the price of a Coca-Cola ("I can get it cheaper at WalMart").
Unfortunately, if the complaint is a written one, we are rarely able to read it. So many of today's passengers - who allegedly have English as a first language - cannot write very well, and do not seem to know anything about the grammar and syntax of their own native language.

The cruise lines face a challenge in that we normally assume that our passengers have some previous travel experience - and have at least stayed in a land-based hotel at some point in their lives.
This erroneous assumption has caused a great deal of difficulty for passengers and crew. We find today that a surprising number of adult cruise passengers not only have never taken a cruise or flown in an airplane before - but have never stayed in a hotel in their entire lives. They are understandably confused and upset when they go onboard a cruise ship for the first time.
Why would they be upset?WE took are first cruise last March and My wife had never flown before altho we have stayed in Motels before.I can see being a little confused on your first cruise but to us that was part of the fun doing something diffrent. It doesnt matter if your have taken 50 cruises or 5 there was a time you were on your first cruise. And what does it matter if you have stayed in a motel before I dont understand your coment if we havent flown or stayed in a motel before then we shouldnt go on a cruise? only people that are well traveled should be able to cruise? I feel people should try new things in their lives.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 02:09 PM
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Why would they be upset?WE took are first cruise last March and My wife had never flown before altho we have stayed in Motels before.I can see being a little confused on your first cruise but to us that was part of the fun doing something diffrent. It doesnt matter if your have taken 50 cruises or 5 there was a time you were on your first cruise. And what does it matter if you have stayed in a motel before I dont understand your coment if we havent flown or stayed in a motel before then we shouldnt go on a cruise? only people that are well traveled should be able to cruise? I feel people should try new things in their lives.
Nearly every week now, I have a couple or two in my office with a serious problem. They have telephoned everyone they know (from their cabin telephone) to tell them about their wonderful first-time cruise.
Unfortunately, they now have a $4,000 telephone charge on their cabin account.
When I try to explain to them that a ship - just like an airplane or just like nearly every every hotel in the world - charges extra for telephone calls. All charges and services are listed in the portfolio next to the telephone. They always have the same answer: "We have never flown in an airplane or stayed in a hotel in our entire lives. We don't klnow anything about a portfolio, and we have no idea what you are talking about". They blame the cruise line and insist that we pay for their erroneous telephone charges. We cannot do that and they are very upset.

Every cruise we have many confused passengers who do not understand how to utilize our anytime dining rooms. When we try to explain that they work exactly like a restaurant at home, they explain," We have never eaten in a restaurant at home. We still do not understand."

Every cruise we have many passengers who do not understand how to disembark the ship, claim their luggage and go through customs and immigration. We explain that it works exactly the same as at the airport.
Their reply? "We have never flown in an airplane, and still have no idea what you are talking about."
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 02:27 PM
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So whats the problem do you only want well traveled passengers or do you want to help and explain so the next cruise they take they will know what is going on? People are not born with the knowledge of the ends and outs of cruising what about your first flight or cruise did you know everything?I dont understand your position on this topic are people that have never cruised before a pain in the but and should not cruise? or are the stupid or are they just people trying something new that they have never done before and might need a little extra help.I guess you should only cruise if you have cruised before.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 02:35 PM
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In fact my wife and I just returned from are frist cruise in April we had no Idea about getting on and off the ship. We had alot of help from people on this web site. And we were thankful that there were helpful people on the ship to steer us in the right direction when we did not know what was going on. Ithink people should be more tolerant with other people and just because they may not know as much as you about a certain subjet doesnt make any less of a person then you.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 04:22 PM
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People years ago thought you had to be rich, dress to the hilt etc. to cruise. Now, things have relaxed because the public almost overwhelmingly rebelled the dress code causing cruise lines to change their policies or lose customers. This has caused a less fancy looking group. Yes, some ammenities have been trimmed, but without the trimming, prices would be higher and not within reach of the average person. I'll likely never be on Crystal, Oceana, and ships of that sort due to being "average". I can have a good time on other ships. I do believe dress code has slipped, but you might be sailing with a millionaire who just doesn't need to hob nob with people who think they are better than the next because they have the resources.
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 05:04 PM
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I think I understand what Bruce is saying, and don't believe he meant any offense by his comments. He's stating what he see's on board, and 'it is what it is'. People cruising today are simply from a different walk of life than they were in days past. While I am fortunate enough to be able to cruise from time to time, and flying and hotel stays are not foreign experiences to me, I could care less about the caviar and champaign set.

Cruising is no longer just for an elite class, which is what I think Bruce is saying. Unfortunately, it appears that people with little or no travel experience sometimes get themselves in a bind. I'm sure everyone here learned from their first cruise experience, and applied anything they learned to the next outing. I still laugh with my wife about how green we were on our first cruise compared to how we handle it now, and that was over 20 years ago.

As long as you are financially able to cruise without putting your family in financial hardship, and you don't feel you have to skip out on tip night and such to be able to afford the trip, then it's all good with me...
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 07:02 PM
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When I saw Kuki's initial post, I thought this was going to turn into a "slam" on us folks in flyover country; especially those of us in the South. I am glad that it hasn't.

I appreciate dhill's and Bruce's points. With over 200 nights on four different cruise lines over 26 years, I have learned a lot and seen a lot. Even sailing solely on Regent for last nine years; there has been a large evolution.

Regent is basically country club casual (CCC) every night. At first I was concerned that the feeling of a fine restaurant would be lost by those taking the CCC moniker too far; my fears have never materialized.

As for alcohol being included, there are a few drunks but not as many as I saw on my shorter Caribbean cruises when you had to pay for alcohol. There was one Canadian carpet company that had a large group on the cruise but they didn't drink the ship dry (although they tried).

A lot of people on various Regent "boards" are fearful that Regent is marketing to the HAL and Princess customer touting the all inclusive nature; I don't see an issue. I am sure the people cruising Princess and HAL are just as upstanding as those on Regent.

As for Bruce's comments on newbies not knowing the ropes; I remember a family from South Carolina I met on my RCI cruise. No one had told them about the dress codes and I am sure that if they had known; they still wouldn't have had the right clothes. They were a great family and great people. Have they ever cruised again, I don't know? Were they self conscious; I don't know and if so, they never let on.

I can probably cruise with anyone from any walk of life; as long as they follow the rules or at least make a good attempt. Now, a ship full of Germans ...
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 10:02 PM
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 11:51 AM
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Over the past few years we have noticed an alarming trend of eating and drinking in public toilets on ships.
We now have a new crew position, who carries the dirty plates and glassware from the public toilets.

Is this signaling a reduction in passenger quality??
To me it definitely does.
That is just plain disgusting - and dangerous.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin1 View Post
Over the past few years we have noticed an alarming trend of eating and drinking in public toilets on ships.
We now have a new crew position, who carries the dirty plates and glassware from the public toilets.

Is this signaling a reduction in passenger quality??
To me it definitely does.
That is just plain disgusting - and dangerous.
Having been in the bar business for many years, I'm not sure the glassware thing is that odd; and you certainly see it in places like Las Vegas.... someone walks into the bathroom carrying a beer bottle, or a glass, finish their drink before they do their "business", and set the empty on a counter. Not a good practice, but not uncommon.

Now, food on the other hand is pretty CREEPY. OY!
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki View Post
Since 2001, as the cruise industry has struggled to attract more passengers to stay in business, and make money, there's some people who say that the industry has a attracted a less sophisticated type of cruiser.

Do you agree, or disagree?

Has your view of this topic affected how you choose your cruise vacations?

What about cruising has impacted you the most, the lower quality of the cruise product (for those who believe that's true), or the lower quality of the cruise passenger (for those who might think that's true)?
Definitely, and has thrown the industry in the wrong direction.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 10:44 PM
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I don't think Kuki was insinuating or implying that the " class" of people cruising today is better or worse that it used to be.
Having money doesn't mean you have class--some of the biggest asses I've encountered were " money people "--said another way---Having dollars doesn't mean you have any " sense ." But, I've known some people who were as nice as you could find anywhere who did have money--so it works both ways.
It's as he said, over the years , the number of people cruising has grown by several million. Simply by adding more millions of people into the pot, you get a more and varied mix of people, both good and bad.
Since our first cruise in 1983 and the following almost 40 cruises since, I think I can say with a certain amount of knowledge that yes,there seems to be , in general, some less sophisticated cruisers than there used to be.

You don't have to hold your tea cup with your little pinkie extended--you don't have to wear a tux or top hat and tails to dinner--you don't have to know how to do the Rumba when the band strikes up--you don't have to dinner with the Captain, etc. to be considered a good cruiser or a pleasant traveling companion. Just because you do or don't doesn't mean anything one way or another. But, if you're drunk and causing a commotion in the dining room or in the theater--drunk and using foul language around others, especially kids, cutting lines in the buffet, etc, loudly coming down the halls at 2-3 a.m. and waking everyone up then your fellow passengers may think you a little less sophisticated that you should be. Common sense would go a long way--further than money or what type cabin you have when you go on a cruise or go anywhere for that matter and your companions will form their perception of you on how you act--not on your money or seemingly lack thereof.
I'm sure there may be someone who will accuse me of being " snobbish" which nothing could be further from the truth. I just conduct myself in a mannerly way wherever I am and would hope that the people around me would do the same. That way, we could all have more genuine fun.I respect others, try not to disturb them and hope they have the same consideration for me. Nothing more nor nothing less.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 07:56 AM
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Maybe there should be a cruise application that people have to fill out before they can go on a cruise ! It could ask for your income,what kind of car you drive, your education, how many books you have read, do you own your own house or rent ,do you shop at walmart, how many cruises have you taken.Dont want those newbies ruinning the cruise!What kind of car you drive.Maybe write a short story so they can see how well you read and write..then with all this info they can figure out what class you are in. If you are to much of a low life then no cruise or better yet lets have diffrent deck levels for diffrent classes, that way the upper class wont be bothered by the common man!Come on people Why do we always have to judge people ?Everyone goes on a cruise to have fun leave it at that there will always be but heads but thats life. I have never seen such a seperation of so called classes And judgement of people since we started taking cruises!But we will keep having are fun and taking cruise because in our eyes everyone is equal no one is better then anyone else.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
If you are to much of a low life then no cruise or better yet lets have diffrent deck levels for diffrent classes, that way the upper class wont be bothered by the common man!
DH.. ROFL... that is happening already on quite a few cruise lines. It's basically the "ship within a ship" concept. There are plenty of ships which have areas of their ship, where only suite passengers can go, and amenities only they can use.

But that has nothing to do with any "class", it only requires a person to pay. So, by my definition they still may be a "lower grade" of passenger.

Honestly it's hard to find the word to fit my own definition of "lower grade". It's not about class (though that's probably party of it). It's not about sophistication (though that's probably party of it).

It does include individuals ability to respect their surroundings on the ship, as well as the passenger they're traveling with, and to understand they are at least temporarily a part of a ship's community.

I think you're looking at the "judgements" commented on based only their most negative connotations. It's not unlike on land, where you can have good neighbors, or bad neighbors. If you're living in the same neighborhood, you could assume your economic situations are at least similar. There are those who understand what it is to be a part of the community, and respect their neighbors. There are also those who are only about themselves, and those folks are, to my view, a "lower grade" of neighbor.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 03:05 PM
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Maybe there should be a cruise application that people have to fill out before they can go on a cruise ! It could ask for your income,what kind of car you drive, your education, how many books you have read, do you own your own house or rent ,do you shop at walmart, how many cruises have you taken.Dont want those newbies ruinning the cruise!What kind of car you drive.Maybe write a short story so they can see how well you read and write..then with all this info they can figure out what class you are in. If you are to much of a low life then no cruise or better yet lets have diffrent deck levels for diffrent classes, that way the upper class wont be bothered by the common man!Come on people Why do we always have to judge people ?Everyone goes on a cruise to have fun leave it at that there will always be but heads but thats life. I have never seen such a seperation of so called classes And judgement of people since we started taking cruises!But we will keep having are fun and taking cruise because in our eyes everyone is equal no one is better then anyone else.
If you have never seen such a seperation (sic) of so called classes and judgement of people since you started taking cruises, you need to get out more.

What about the airlines?
Even though they have the same challenges with lower fares attracting the Greyhound Bus crowd, they have VERY strict class divisions on their airplanes. Economy Class passengers cannot even use the toilet in Business Class. This has been going on for the past 50 years.

What about hotels?
Did you ever book a cheap room in a hotel and attempt to get a free drink in the Concierge Floor bar? They won't even allow you to walk into the place.

How about an American sports stadium?
Book a bleacher seat and then try to visit a private box for lunch.
Good luck.

Las Vegas Casinos?
Try to stroll into one of the VIP rooms to use the machines.
Hope you don't break any bones when they toss you out.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 03:44 PM
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Old May 24th, 2011, 03:47 PM
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Default Are cruises attracting lower grade passengers?

Yes they are.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 04:29 PM
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Yes they are.
What is meant by "grade" of passenger? Are they like meat and graded choice or prime? Are they like schoolkids and graded A, B, C, or F? Or, are they like eggs and graded large, extra large, and jumbo?

I don't think we were talking about "grades" of passengers; rather background or travel experience of passengers.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old May 24th, 2011, 04:50 PM
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What is meant by "grade" of passenger? Are they like meat and graded choice or prime? Are they like schoolkids and graded A, B, C, or F? Or, are they like eggs and graded large, extra large, and jumbo?

I don't think we were talking about "grades" of passengers; rather background or travel experience of passengers.
You have to ask Kuki--I just copied the title of the thread.

And I guess add to the confusion.
(I was really just posting to subscribe to thread)
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Old May 24th, 2011, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Marc View Post
What is meant by "grade" of passenger? Are they like meat and graded choice or prime? Are they like schoolkids and graded A, B, C, or F? Or, are they like eggs and graded large, extra large, and jumbo?

I don't think we were talking about "grades" of passengers; rather background or travel experience of passengers.
Marc.. guess you didn't read the post from me, a couple up from yours...


" Honestly it's hard to find the word to fit my own definition of "lower grade". It's not about class (though that's probably party of it). It's not about sophistication (though that's probably party of it).

It does include individuals ability to respect their surroundings on the ship, as well as the passenger they're traveling with, and to understand they are at least temporarily a part of a ship's community.

I think you're looking at the "judgements" commented on based only their most negative connotations. It's not unlike on land, where you can have good neighbors, or bad neighbors. If you're living in the same neighborhood, you could assume your economic situations are at least similar. There are those who understand what it is to be a part of the community, and respect their neighbors. There are also those who are only about themselves, and those folks are, to my view, a "lower grade" of neighbor."

I don't think "background and travel experience" have all that much to do with it either; though they perhaps play a part as the rest do.

People can be very well traveled, and still fit into my "lower grade passenger" category by still being A holes

Your relate grading to eggs. I relate it to grades (as in school..A, B, C, D etc.) I'm betting crew on the ships look at it this way to, but they probably have their own names for the different "grades" . Or they might look at us as grades of meat

If this was all easily defined by one word, I'd have used it.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 05:55 PM
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.....I'm betting crew on the ships look at it this way to, but they probably have their own names for the different "grades" . Or they might look at us as grades of meat .....
You bet they do.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 06:02 PM
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I'm sure the cabin steward is the first to see any bad behavior, by the condition of the cabin when he comes to make up the cabin.

I'm sure the waitstaff in the dining room can then see, how difficult or easy a group, or couple, can be, by their first interactions.

Bad behavior is hard to hide. Really bad behavior,the entire ship knows

The crew must have a 1-10 scale!!
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Old May 24th, 2011, 09:52 PM
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Trip, I would say you pretty much laid it out in order --the cabin stewards, waitstaff and maybe the purser's desk and then the rest of the pax !!
I sure would like to be a fly on the wall and listen to some of the crew's
conversations regarding some of the passengers they have to service!! I would guess they have some pet names for a few!
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