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Old July 26th, 2013, 03:15 PM
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Default Rating Cruise Satisfaction These Days!!!

Been catching up reading old threads and cruise reviews on this board. My sense with the introduction of the mega ships (which is about when I took a long sabatical) that overall cruise satisfaction is all over the board due to a number of reasons

Is your overall cruise experience better or worse then when you first started cruising? (can you assign a satisfaction %)

Since 2004 I have been on 8 full charter smooth jazz cruises and one Maine Windjammer and one South of France River Cruise...my satisfaction rating is 101% but that is skewed because it does not represent the "normal " cruise experience thst everyone else has had

Are you a better cruiser then you were 10 years ago?
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Old July 26th, 2013, 03:40 PM
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The civility of 'cruise passengers' are much worse than it was 10 years ago. Perhaps because there are more pax now or just a reflection of the current times, don't know.

Better amenities now though and pricing seems fair.

80% (based on 10 years ago being 100%)
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Old July 26th, 2013, 11:56 PM
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I agree with Ray.

Passengers have become more obnoxious, to put it bluntly. They have forgotten common courtesies and politeness. It's all about 'me'. Plus, everyone is always in a big hurry, so they want to go first and not just 'go with the flow'.

Also, because of the cutbacks due to the economy, the quality of food has really suffered alot. Use to be that everything was made fresh onboard the ships. Nowadays they bring many things onboard that are already pre-packaged, pre-paid, and 'heat & eat'.

And another thing suffering because of the cutbacks is the service. All the people providing personal service onboard are more overworked than in the past; stateroom attendants now have to take care of more staterooms, waiters have more tables to wait on, etc.

So while the sizes have increased, the amenities have increased, and the prices have not gone up all that much, the main areas of food and service have definitely declined. In the 'good ole days' these two things were what made cruising really special.

Pete
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Old July 30th, 2013, 12:14 PM
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One of my first cruises was on the Commodore Enchanted Isle with 700 passengers which was fun but did not provide many pof the experiences and features that larger ships provide. A recent one was on Carnival Magic which I considered much too large and too crowded. It was more like an amusement park than a cruise ship.

My favorite of all was the RCI Radiance which is now basically a medium sized ship. It was beautiful, not too crowded, and provided a wonderful cruising experience.
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Old July 30th, 2013, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul B View Post
One of my first cruises was on the Commodore Enchanted Isle with 700 passengers which was fun but did not provide many pof the experiences and features that larger ships provide. A recent one was on Carnival Magic which I considered much too large and too crowded. It was more like an amusement park than a cruise ship.

My favorite of all was the RCI Radiance which is now basically a medium sized ship. It was beautiful, not too crowded, and provided a wonderful cruising experience.
I am in Paul's corner on this one. The best cruises I have had are on smaller and medium sized ships. R-Class, Radiance Class, Century Class. I love being on a "ship" and enjoying the ocean and activities offered on these types of ships.

I have only sailed on a Voyager class ship and really didn't care for it. I sailed on Epic and while I loved the food offerings and entertainment it was the only ship I could say that I hated. What I didn't like was the look of the ship, the layout and traffic flow, pool area and cabins. These may sound like trivial reasons but I doubt I will ever sail on that ship again.

Overall: I have to say that I still like cruising and I am quite satisfied. The food may not be quite as good, unless you go to a specialty restaurant, but the itineraries have expanded, the dress code relaxed, the regimentation has been relaxed and the cabins are overall larger. I think cruising has evolved in a similar manner as my preferences. Thirteen years ago a Western Caribbean was a great cruise. Now it's just something I'll do to get away. I look forward to cruises to Europe, South America, Asia and more exotic locations.

Take care,
Mike (Still cruising after all these years)
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Old July 30th, 2013, 01:46 PM
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Interesting...every year the promoter of the full charter jazz cruise does a 72 hour post cruise survey (while it is still fresh in everyone's mind) and then a post/pre next cruise 6 months out (long view and getting ready for the next)....one of the set of questions asks those who have been on a regular cruise on the same line to compare to the charter...same food, same staff, same ports...only difference is the immersion of the guests into the music and what they paid for the cruise
The "halo" effect is out in full force...by a huge margin the food,service,courtesy of the crew, courtesy of fellow guests was rated higher for the charter by double digits in most categories
On a regular cruise guests spend more time in their cabin, in part to get away from the crowds, thus balconies are desireable...on a charter, guests spend very little time in their cabin, and gravitate towards the public rooms and lido pool deck for the music activity, and inside cabins are the most desired...there is no "anytime dining" option on a charter due to the concert schedule

Guests, whose first cruise is a full charter theme cruise, are very disappointed if there 2nd cruise is a regular sailing
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Old July 30th, 2013, 02:05 PM
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On of our first cruises many years ago back in the late 90's was on the Holland America Rotterdam. At 62,000 gross tons, small by today's standards. But out of our 46 cruises, it still ranks as one of the nicest cruises we've ever been on. It was very intimate, the crew was awesome, the ship was classic, and the food was wonderful - we could not have asked for a more perfect cruise. Yes, it didn't have all the new modern amenities found on the mega ships, but that's also what gave it a more classic cruising experience.

Then last year we were on the Paul Gauguin in Tahiti. At 19,200 gross tons, it's the smallest cruise ship we've ever been on, but it is also #1 on our all-time favorite list. The quality and experience was superb.

And then this year, we were on the Oceania Nautica at 30,200 gross tons, which was also a perfect size for us.

Today's mega ships are floating hotels that are destinations in themselves where it's almost like not being on a cruise at all.

As with anything to do with cruising, it really does depend on what type of experience you're looking for. Active people who what alot of amenities will find the smaller ships too laid back, sedate, and boring. But for those of us who like to relax, enjoy great food, and love the classic style cruise experience, these smaller ships are absolutely wonderful.

Pete
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