Cruising has changed over the years, most of which I have witnessed. Now that there are Mega Ships with more people on board, it really amazes me to picture where the cruise industry is headed.
Full Service Agencies are a thing of the pass. I recall a time when FIT's were arranged at ports abroad, with limos awaiting at the pier for passengers tours. I recall a time when deck chairs were assigned by cabin number in advance of sailing. When dietary needs were catered to with strict demands met.
Now with fast service, low contact Agencies abounding, I believe that the times are changing, and will soon revert to the days of yore. Mega ships will be likened to Condos, some will reside on board and cruise the life fantastic all around the world. Their wish will be a command, spoken softly. But then I dream big!
In the meantime, a week here, a 10 day there, until that great cruise comes my way, is plenty good enough for me.
I do believe we have just about met the max size for cruise ships. Think we'll see more 70-90,000 ton ships in the furture, although new builds will slow down some.
Definite need for new ports to explore. Suggestions??? Of course everyone is expecting Cuba to open up some time. But where else in the Caribbean? Any good locales that have not already be exploited?
I certainly don't have your experience in cruising (having just begun cruising in 1994).although my goal is to get there <G>
Awhile back I wrote an article on passenger's expectations.
Think this has something to do with where cruise lines are now, and where they're going.
My heavens... what a horror. Sounds like a nightmare to me. Sort of what has happened to air travel... now that the "great unwashed" are flying, instead of taking the bus or train. One can hope that some oasis will remain... apart from the lowest common denominator.
And the day that happens Paul, is the day I quit cruising. However, with that bleak picture, I can always cruise less but cruise on an ultra deluxe. I believe those lines will keep their ships small, continue to provide excellent food and high end service. Why oh why don't I have a rich uncle!
Cuba will definitely be a new port. I would like to see more of the big ships go to some of the smaller caribbean islands that are less tourist--what about St. Barts or Guadelupe or St. Vincent or Dominica. I'd even go to Haiti (other than Labadee) to see if there is anything there to see. I find sticking to the "major islands" rather boring and other than our W. Caribbean cruise later this year (have never been that way) I can't see going back to the Caribbean all that many times. I'd rather go to Alaska or the Baltics I'd guess, or the Med. I guess I don't find the Caribbean all that interesting if the choices are Little Switzerland or beaches everywhere you go. I guess maybe some islands that are more unspoiled....although I guess once the cruise ships get there they won't be that way any more. Oh well, just my ruminations.
The future for crusing looks great. Only six percent of the population has enjoyed the likes of crusing. The problem is, that all we enjoy about traditinal crusing is going by the wayside as ships get larger and service and attention to quality become a thing of the past. The cruiselines effort to "get anybody and everybody" on board has greatly reduced the quality of the experience. I am not talking about being "snooty" but people should know how to use the silverwhere and be thoughtfull about there fellow passengers. I have, over the years invested much vacation time and money via vacations and ownership of stock in several cruiselines to share a genuine concern that cruiselines offer a "quality" product.
As we have all seen in the airline industry, larger is not better and that a "special" vacation offered by a cruise vacation is sailing into troubled waters. This mass market approach to selling cruises to everyone has already affected quality and will dilute the desire by experienced cruisers to continue.
There were several of your statements that caused me to bristle at first, but then, I read you comments several times and moderated my initial comtempt for some of those statements. I concluded that there is a market in cruising for those who think along the same lines as you, and offer the amenities that you would prefer to have while cruising. The choice is there for you if you have strong feelings about the cruise industry appealing to the any and everybody you refer to in your comments. You have the right to make those choices, and no one in this country would ever deny you that right.
However, your statement: "This mass market approach to selling cruises to everyone has already affected quality and will dilute the desire by experienced cruisers to continue." I must take exception to, as this is not what this country is about. Sometimes people forget that the 'mass market' affords the corporations, the opportunity to expand and develop. I personally would never withhold the pleasures of cruising from anyone, who wants to experience it, with the selfich approach of believing that it would decrease my desire to cruise, because others can and do.
That is what makes this country great. This is my opinion of your opnion, we are both entitled to one.