You say, "the main point is to bring us back on another cruise" but for most cruise lines the mantra is "fill the cabin at any price and make it up in onboard revenue"
When I cruise I often end up with a room charge of less than $50. I do not use the spa, I don't drink alcohol or softdrinks. I don't shop. On shore I often walk around the city or use local transportation, however, I also recommend ship's shore excursions for their convenience.
Why? they get you to and from the ship conveniently. If you need to change timnes or cancel you can do so easily and usually get a refund.
For Internet access - I find a local Internet cafe in port, they are far more common and cheaper overseas than they are in the USA. Typical Caribbean price $4.00.hour.
In Alaska, there are opportunities at the dock to book shore excursions at a "reasonable" price(Alaska is expensive).. The big problem with the cruise ships is sea days... you are captive and bored that is when they can take advantage of you...In Skagway, the train is really spectacular... you can save a little by booking on shore... there is a US park ranger that will give you a great tour for FREE...We did the "mail flight" in Ketchikan... we didn't fly over the Fiords but went to l lumber town to deliver mail and picked up some people at a remote fish camp.in a float plane... It was fun! less than the tours...Did the bus to the glacier in Juneau... booked at the pier.. cheap.. Our only regret was that we went and returned on the same bus... you can just get another return bus for the same price and travel at your leisure... Hope you enjoy Alaska.. It was awsome!!
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Re: nickel & dime
As a solo traveler, my first complaint is the single supplement. I know they're loosing onboard revenue with one less body on the ship, but I wasn't going to gamble in the casino, shop on board, or by 5 bottles of wine that week anyway. But, I digress.
I've decided that I really must make a lot of money after graduation so that I can afford Silverseas. Now, that is one place where you seem to definitely get what you pay for!
Please don't call it an all inclusive vacation if I have to slap down my credit card or carry around my wallet. Guess that's why they've started the best all around bargain vacation for your dollar. I would prefer to pay a lot more for my cruise (having 8 months to save up for it) and have that be the only price. That's it. No hard sell for shore excursions, last call for gift shop or duty free items, no bar tab.--People complain about how much liquor costs on board, but what about those of us that maybe have a glass of wine 2-3 times during the cruise but still get gouged for beverages?? Fruit juice is outrageous and charging for water gets a little old when your'e trying to stay on the 8 glasses of day routine.
And lets be real, if no one pays the brochure rate, why waste time printing it? How about giving me a flat rate the year before with EVERYTHING included so I can save & select the ship & cabin category I want knowing that when I pay for my cruise, I've paid for my vacation? Is that really to much to ask?