We have been cruising since 1984 at least twice per year. We leave Friday for Florida and sail Explorer on Saturday. This Oct. we again sail the Zenith to Bermuda. We obviously love cruising but every year it strays farther from the vacation we fell in love with.
I loved being away from the world - Now CNN in the cabin, internet cafes.
I loved the exceptional service - Now poorly trained and tipped anyway staff. Staff numbers smaller as in eliminating wine stewards on some lines, more table less wait staff.
I loved NOT reaching in my pocket - dam charge me for a cup of coffee and a tart?
I loved happy crew - NCL our first line for several years virtually destroyed a staff that loved working for NCL.
Cruises are rapidily becoming nothing more than land vacations that can break down or rock and roll.
To combat the loss of cruise special feelings we have been upgrading our accomodations. That also wearing thin as lines eliminate butler service and suite extras and call standard outside cabins all kinds of SPECIAL names DELUXE names whether there is anything special or deluxe about them.
Next for us will be the higher priced and all inclusive lines, yet I hear they are not doing as well as the mass market lines. Me thinks they should hang in there for my prediction, and I have made it before, is that cruise lines going with cheap/cheap pricing and suplementing by nickle and diming will not continue to grow. The people that they are channeling in will not be the repeat customers of yesterday, they will be the " done that, been there " crowd looking for a cheap burger and beer while dressed in their shorts at the firehouse picnic.
I love foirehouse picnics BTW before anyone decides to slam me, just not while I am cruising!
George in NY - a known cruiseaholic that is starting to think land, that isn't good!
Because while we were all busy cruising we didn't notice that the price of land vacations has been slipping just like cruise prices have. However, no matter how much people mention "nickel and diming" on cruise ships, it is still 10 times worse on land. ---- still a cruiser!
CruiseMates' "Test Your Sanity Cruise" with John Heald!
Paul, I can't disagree but have to say that the point is, for us anyway, we expect it on land. As cruise ships become more and more like land vacations they start to lose their distinctive flavor and therefore much of the allure.