As a long time cruiser, I hear what you're saying. However, don't forget the simple fact that as more and more people cruise, there is going to be a higher percentage of unsatisfied people. I know people that have cruised and/or stayed on Caribbean islands 4 to 5 times every year and they always say they had a terrible time. One guy I know gets involved in at least one law suit every year. Another guy I met on a cruise said it was his first but would never go again until he could eliminate the middle men, i.e., the cruise agents. I pointed out that we all got here using cruise agents and since you're here, have a good time. You can't please all the people all the time.
I was very interested to read Mike's article. Our 1st cruise was 5 years ago on the Monarch of the Seas and we had a great time. We loved the ship and everything we saw and did. The next year we sailed on the Majesty for my parents' 50th anniversary and also enjoyed it. We took our daughter on the R1 from Istanbul to Athens and actually preferred the smaller size of the ship and Renaissance cruise lines! By the time we sailed on the Millennium for our 30th anniversary this year we didn't seem to have the same good time. Perhaps it was visiting the Caribbean again (which was much more crowded than we remembered), perhaps it was going back to a larger ship, or maybe we are getting jaded. We plan to go again next year on a 2 wk. northern European tour but are unsure of which line to sail. I guess the joy of being a first-time cruiser can just never be recaptured!
I am not longer telling people how many cruises we have been on except to report since 1972-2001 we have taken not less than 4 cruises a year. Our biggest dissatisfaction does not rest with the cruise lines but the hassle to rely on air travel which today is nothing like ten years ago.Next, for the life of me I cannot comprehend why the cruise lines cannot come up with a speedy procedure to board the ship and to get off the ship. The quality of the food and service is not like it used to be but then this can be attributed to the number of new ships coming on line using inexperienced employees. Finally, we have to admit that we may be getting bored with cruising. On our last seven day cruise two weeks ago we could not wait to get off the ship.The food and service were excellent but we were just bored. We have a 14 day cruise to Alaska coming up in August and we already dread the air travel.
I have been on 7 cruises over the last 25 years. I think that the Caribbean is being over done. Too many ships and not enough to do on the islands, so the ship becomes your resort. We have have stopped going to the Caribbean and now are onto other sights. We have done the Panama Canal and Alaska, we leave in 5 days for Northern Europe and we are already scheduled for next year to go to Hawaii. The following year we would like to do the Med. or New Zealand. What could be better than a floating hotel without having to lug suitcases and such through multiple airports, hotels, busses, etc. Service isn't what it once was, but then they have double the number of people to serve. I do wish they would go back to more intimate ships. I have no desire to go back on a mega liner (we were on the Destiny, too big!) Give me a ship the size of the Nordic Empress.