Have just heard that Princess has cut out the "free" Captain's Welcome Aboard Party, saying that it is not feasible any longer to do this. Furthermore, it sounds like the Captain may or may not be available for this function...I say function, becaure there is still a "party", according to my sources, however, now paying guests will be allowed to purchase a $2 glass of champagne with a refill or two.
Several of us cruising old timers feel that we all need to let Princess and other lines know that we do not appreciate the continual cutting out of many of the traditional cruise experiences. New cruisers don't know any better, but we all still pay a good price and we should be allowed to continue to experience real traditional cruising. What think all of you?
When ships were the size of the Island Princess I can see a party given by the Captain. Plus the cruise fares were much higher then. These days with 2000+ people and the cost of a cruise going way down.
I feel that the party is not needed. People want low prices and the perks...well it dont work that way. With the low prices these days your getting your party ahead of time.
'experience real traditional cruising'......Most unfortunately, IMHO, that is something that we will not be seeing on our cruises. As the prices have been lowered, so have the traditional cruising experiences... It seems to appear that most cruisers are satisifed with an inside room, carrying on-board their own beverages & snacks and spending the absolute minimum on excursions and souveniers. These 'cheap seat' cruisers do not pay a good price for their cruise. They pay absolute bottom price and deserve nothing more than the 'bare bones' cruise. Thus revenue is down for the cruise lines and the shop owners in the ports-of-call. Obviously the demand is there for the cheap rooms, but over the past 10 years the 'trickle-down' has now almost completely destroyed the true 'cruise experience'. Many will say that they would rather cruise 3 times in a year (or more) then to spend top dollar for one 'first class' cruise each year. Each cruiser is entitled to their cruise options and if they are willing to settle for less, so be it..... So it does appear to me that those who have opted for all the 'cheapest' cruise options have, in reality, destroyed the true cruise experience. I know I will get 'hammered' for this post, but I will cruise in my full-suite and enjoy every second of it by knowing that the ammenities and perks are mine for the asking.
It's just another in the long string of continuous and ongoing cutbacks that in the interest of the bottom line, started a couple of years ago with getting rid of wine stewards. It seems that all the things that used to make a cruise special and define it from a land-based resort are doomed to extinction (at least on Princess). I wouldn't be surprised if afternoon tea will be the next thing to go.
Join me at www.planetfeedback.com & let Princess know. I did last month when I read about this. If they get enough complaints, instead of just the newsgroup postings which they don't read, things will change. They also send you a response in the mail.
There is no good reason for eliminating the captain's welcome party. Ships have gotten larger and prices have dropped -- but I have a hard time believing that the cruise lines are losing money. It's just there is a desire for a larger bottom line. And some othe lines -- princess especially -- is nickling and diming to death. Now, the butlers are gone from the suites as well. Princess should resume the captain's cocktail party -- period.
I totally agree on a 'budget' or 'mainstream' product. But the other side of the coin is that if Princess or other 'top-of-the-line' cruise companies do not try to compete in the very competitive cruise market, they would probably 'be out of the water', so to speak, in a short period of time. Value Jet and other 'bargain' airlines for instance. Here today, Gone tomorrow. The 'big boys', United, Continental, etc. control the market. They have cheap seats for those of us who just want to get from point A to B and back again safely, which is the only reason I fly. The same for the cruise market, there are cheap seats for those who just want to get on the ship and do not care about their accommodations. And as I mentioned in another thread, the 'cheap seat' airline passengers pay for the flight. Not just the 8 or 10 first class passengers. The same as the cruise market. The 'cheap seat' cruisers pay for the cruise by sheer volume, not the full suite passengers. As for the airlines cutting service, ask for a package of peanuts in coach. The flight attendant will just pretend like she has not heard a word you have said. Doesn't bother me, I don't pay for any additional service and expect nothing except my tiny, little seat. As for the cruise companies cutting back, it is quite obvious that something has to be cut when they offer $799 for a week on a cruise. Again, it is the competitive market which has made the cruise companies offer the 'cheap rooms' and as long as they keep selling those cheap rooms, the cuts will have to continue. I personally see no end to the 'watering down' as long as the bottom line keeps shrinking.
Right On Sue !!! I couldn't agree with you more. I would love to cruise a few times a year but would rather save my $$ and cruise every two years and make it a really nice experience. These folks who just want a cheap room should stick to land based holidays - there are enough all inclusive holidays available now that should please them and they would never have to change out of their shorts and bathing!!
We have clout in numbers. Write your opinions down and e-mail them directly to Princess cruises. I don't have any special e-mail addresses for you, but totally agree. Michael, I will never cruise on Norweigan due to Free Style which is not my style! I like tradition as well as variety, but don't take events away that help make my cruise experience enjoyable. At the very least, when changes are made or about to be made, publize them in the beautiful color brochures given out by travel agents and the cruise lines. On the Celebrity site, we are e-mailing the President, VP of Marketing, CEO of RCI and others to express our opinions regarding a recent charge which was not announced in its newest brochures. I received a personal e-mail response from Richard Sasso reflecting on the tremendous amount of mail they are receiving on this issue. When writing include your past passenger numbers and reflect on positive points which you have always enjoyed on this line. Change is inevitable but change for the better is more acceptable.