As a stage manager on cruise ships for 2 years I spent a lot of time at the various shipboard activities. I often encounter people who think that cruising in "boring" evem though a typical seaday offers the following non-revenue producing activities:
Dance classes, trivia games, card-playing movies, plenty of meals, pool games, tea-time... and various other somewhat boring offerings such as napkin folding, card-playing, library, etc...
Revenue producing activities include:
Spa, Internet Cafe, art auctions, onboard shopping, bingo, casino...
To those of you who feel nickel and dimed; WHAT ACTIVITIES would you like to see more of on ships, specifically non-revenue activities.
My personal recommendation is this:
Set up places and times for like-minded people to meet each other, for example:
Baseball enthusiasts meet here_____
Computer Nerds meet here ____
Friends of CruiseMates meet here ____
it is an easy way to make new friends, have conversations, etc. I was once on a Princess ship where they had an "internet people meet here" meeting and about a dozen of us showed up.
I would like to see more historical / cultural discussions about the ports. Not the normal shopping lecture but something about the history and significance of the place.
I also wouldn't mind having an "old salt" telling sea stories. I and some others met a crew member on the Celebration that had been on the sea for years and spent one long night out on deck listening to the stories.
I totally agree... historical and educational lectures would be great. Why do only the lux lines do this? Any cruise could get an authority for the price of a free cabin and the passengers would be happy as clams.
And I HATE the so-called enrichment people who are doing nothing more than trying to sell something onboard. The "jewelry" experts, for example. The beauty demonstrations are a joke, too, when you see the Steiners girls in their picnic table uniforms holding up their bottles of $60 hydrating mist.
We need more non-revenue activities, and I really believe that if we came up with some good ideas the cruise lines would listen. Any more ideas?
The crew is so culturally diverse that there are a multitude of opportunities for information... I once was on a Holland America cruise where there were language lessons for the islands that we were visiting... there was a pretty
good turn out... RCCL had a program on cruises longer than 7 days where the different departments on the ship had presentations ...hospitality, beauty, well... don't remember the others but they were strictly enrichment.. not sales pitches.. they were really enjoyable and well attended. On the QE2 there were more serious seminars which I enjoyed but that is probably to intense for the mainstream. Maybe themed cruises would be interesting and offer and offer a marketing incentive to interest groups... I hope that the cruise lines put as much thought into onboard activities as they have put into designing bigger ships !!
The Internet Cruise Members meet here is a great suggestion and it conjunction a Intro to Computer's seminar would be well attended by many of us. As you know, I love to organize a get together on our cruises now. The response is usually great too. On our 11 night Panama Canal cruise there were enrichment seminars at sea; Theatre, Photography, Cooking, etc. We took photography, run by the ship's photographers who could have been more knowledgable, but it was a great alternate venue and pretty well attended.
I appreciate everyone's response. I have often thought about onboard activities and I can see a lot of us are on the same wavelength. I especially enjoy onboard enrichment lectures and demonstrations - and it would be so classy of the cruise lines to offer these without there always being a financial incentive for doing it.
Lectures about ports are great. Holland America does a great job of this in Alaska with ongoing commentary about what the ship is doing by naturalists who are certified park rangers.
Generally, all you get is a very brief history in the daily program. Considering that many ships do the same itinerary over and over they could at least bring an expert onboard once, tape his shows, and then rebroadcast them on future cruises.
I also like the idea of providing places for like-minded people to meet. It is a great way to make new friends and that makes a cruise much more enjoyable.
Has anyone taken the science lab tour on Explorer of the Seas? I do hope with so many of us thirsting for education as well as relaxation, that this tour is always full. If it isn't, perhaps that would explain why more cruiselines don't offer anything but shopping and excursion talks.
As I travel,throughout my life,it never ceases to amaze me the unbelievable amount of interest people have have the "local" history and favor of the local. I agree, IN ADDITION to the shopping tours, "Why can't a cruise include the history and hight points of the destination. We all know its being done by TV that a Cruiser probably will see in his cabin. I would think that that would be a simple way to distingush a cruise line in a market of cheaper cruising for less dollars. I would be more than happy to pay a fee for information about where I am going. Perhaps not more than what the local retailers are paying the cruise line for naming them in a shopping film,