I've got a cruise on the Caribbean Princess next Sunday 11/15 and it will only be my 2nd cruise. My first was onboard Crystal in a PH Suite. I certainly am not going onboard this 3000+ passenger ship expecting the same service I had on Crystal. Even though I'm in a regular suite on Princess, I have lowered my expectations and realize you get what you pay for to a certain degree. I've also mellowed as I've gotten older and am not so particular about little things like I used to be.
But I also agree with a lot of the people here who have said that some people tend to only be happy when they can complain about something. When you go looking for something, you can generally find it, so if you expect the service to be bad, it generally will be if you look hard enough. Although I do not particularly like the gratuity system onboard Princess since employees already know in advance what they are going to get.
But I tend to think a lot of them can sort of tell the types that will end up leaving them extra and those who won't, probably the same way they could tell before this started and could usually predict who would end up stiffing them (I'm only assuming) I heard the reason they had to change it was because Europeans who aren't used to tipping weren't leaving anything, and since these people's salaries are set as such so they are tip-dependeant, it created a problem.
yes, you are very wise to lower your expectations comparing Crystal with Princess. We will be lowering our when we cruise NCL in two weeks.. but I expect to treat the staff with the same courtesy as we have done on any other cruise line.. But with your positive attitude you should have a great time..When two cruise lines are talked about as "equal"..your expectations are dashed and disappointed..but there is always a positive side ... YOUR CRUISING..