Re: pre-paid tips..... make it convenient to the passenger and do not automatically do it. How? The cruise ship should provide each cabin with a tip card with spots for tips for each of the service people so they can put them on their on-board charge account.
Provide a carbon copy for the passenger, and put the original in a sealed document that the room steward picks up on the last night (or is dropped in a box in the lobby).
This way, no waiting in lines, or automatic tipping. It also makes it private.
I would add more smoke free ships. I would love to go on a smoke free ship, but am not really interested in the Paradise's itenerary. If not a smoke free ship, then a smoke free floor/or block of rooms and no smoking by or in the elevators.
I would also add free soda to all, it doesn't really cost them that much, about $0.05 or less a glass with fountain soda.
I would say remove the art auctions and like, but if that is what it takes to keep the trip fare cheap, then I will just not go.
It's not really adding or removing but I wish they didn't charge so much for the ships photos. There is no need to charge $8.00 for a picture. If they lowered them to $3 or $4 I bet they would sell most of them instead of chucking them after the cruise is over. Pure greed.
I also agree completely about the pre-paid tips and the charges for soda. I've worked in restaurants and it is pennies for a soda out of a machine. These nickel and dime tactics are a turn off. Raise the price of the cruise $5.00 per person and give them all the soda they want. The prepaid tips are causing the service help to give worse service. This is what we found of the NCL Majesty, which is why we will never cruise NCL again.
I agree with most of the above, but I can think of one more addition: a long rope off the fantail with Bin Laden on the other end, trolling for sharks.
On a more serious vein,
- A smoke-free lounge on every ship
- A series of free lectures on such subjects as geology and geography of islands
visited, photo tips, Caribbean cultures, Caribbean cuisine, etc.
- Cheaper drinks
- Decent coffee
- A full room service menu
Do away with:
- Art auctions
- Midnight buffets
- Freestyle cruising
- In-your-face photographers
- Carry-on liquor restrictions
- Formal nights (I know, I know, but this is MY list.) :o)
I'd love to see more latin/salsa/world beat type music played. Even when we have cruised to Puerto Rico or Cozumel, etc., they just don't play it that often. The only time was on an RCCL ship when they played some in the disco pretty late at night. Once they had a small group from Brazil, but they didn't play much Brazilian or latin music. How about a Latin Club Lounge, Carnival????
Also, a place for the older teens to dance, etc. Something between the teeny bopper & drinking 21 age that stays open fairly late.
Free soda on ALL ships, esp. with meals, at least.
Foam pillows for the asking! Those ship's pillows are HARD!
No cabins above or below music venues/show rooms. Or else extra, extra, extra soundproofing for these!
And more covered outdoor eating areas - like the casual dining area on the Norway - where you can look off the back of the ship instead of through glass sides or solid walls. ( It has ceiling fans & is so nice when you want to be outside!)
One more thing: Better past cruiser benefits for ALL lines. Maybe a nice discount off of ANY price after 3 cruises w/the same line or couple category upgrade. Not this special sailing, no coupon use on special rates, etc., stuff.
The continual pushing of bingo! (Also sometimes they do the same with alcoholic drinks.) Then once you are in the bingo location, you sit there for 30 min. extra while they keep waiting for more players. (Sell the cards at a special table well before the game & people can bring them to the venue & just get on w/playing!)
Cigar smoke - anywhere on the ship, except maybe in a special, closed door, room where the smell can't escape!
Drunk people in the hot tubs; esp. the ones who stay in there forever. (Guess where they're probably relieving themselves?)
People who act really nasty when they leave their deck chairs for 2 hours w/nothing but a ship's towel on them, then go berserk when someone finally takes them! ( 2 yrs. ago I actually watched a chair like this for about 90 min. & when I FINALLY took it for my daughter to use, some lady 5 or 6 chairs away kept standing over us yelling that her friend was coming back and how dare we!)
Geography, history and cultural lectures about ports visited. It isn't all about shopping...at least to me anyway. Flavored, good coffee! Free soft drinks would be nice. Padded cushions to ALL outdoor loungers (dreaming, I know). Enforcement to policies for adult pools/hot tubs, smoking, and lounge chair saving. Longer hours for pool areas. Good mattresses and an unlimited number of pillows! Longer hours in ports of call. Free email! Wrap around teak decked promenades on every ship.
I WOULD NOT MISS....
Bingo, art auctions, and shopping talks if they were discontinued...but a lot of people seem to enjoy them, and these activities don't interfere with my preferences. Extra charges for alternate dining.
Longer hours for pool and hot tubs.
Leave deck chairs out at night ; I would love to lay there and watch the stars!
Sodas should be complimentary just like tea and coffee.
More "real" live entertainment; not just one performer with canned accompaniment.
What I could live without:
Bingo Bingo Bingo!