I am feeling in a gripey mood today, probably been away from cruising too long! <G>
First off, the Photos. There they are, ship photogs, everywhere you go, snapping away, holding up the lines to get off, taking over the Promenade deck with their annoying backdrops, all to sell an overpriced photo that gets dumped in the recycle bin on disembarkation day. You know, maybe if they weren't so bloody greedy about the prices, they might actually sell more than they throw away. I feel this way about a lot of overpriced things that are $20 one minute, trash the next. I think it is so funny when they have to put up these big signs to keep away from the backdrops, and actually shoo people away that try to get a picture in when they are not being used. Then they leave the things up taking away from the whole atmosphere of the area.
Second thing is soda, I mean really in the vast quantities that they buy it, it probably costs less than a a cent per glass, but there they hawking it at such a markup. It is probably more of a money maker than the alcohol. That at least costs a bit more than the soda syrup.
Along the same lines is this restriction from bringing your own alcohol on board. The reason isn't safety, or to keep those precious underage darlings away from the booze or even to control the amount of alcohol one consumes. It is pure an simply that the cruiseline makes tons off of the booze. Especially when they buy it at duty/tax free prices and in such quantities. I'm not a big drinker, my bar tab for the week is maybe $60 - 75, but I find it ludicrous that they tell such a bald faced lie. And the number of people that defend the cruise line's prices, stating that it is the same as a resort / hotel / cocktail bar back home. Big deal, at least those places have a reason as the booze isn't as cheap as the ship gets it. I remember when that was one of the selling points for a cruise, an inexpensive drink.
The last thing I'll gripe about is this new towle thing. Yep, that's what I want to do is lug a towel around with me for the day. How Charlie Brown's Linus is that? Ah the good old days when you went up to the pools, grabbed a couple of cheap towels from the towel cart and found yourself a lounger. If a few got lost here and there, they were el cheapo towels, probably 100 for $10 in the quantity that they buy them in. What do they replace them with ones that probably cost $25 per 100, and if you lose one, sorry bud that's $25 you owe us.
Anyway, would like to hear from folks that have noticed this decline in what we expect from a cruise. Not trolling for insults or to stir up a hornet's nest. Just looking for a reasonable discourse on things that get me.
the towle thing has a purpose(beside another possiable price gouging) ..its ment for the deck chair savers. Now people arent so quick to save a chair with a towle if it might cost them $25 to do so...the practice has worked well
Maybe you didn't read the post from the employee of RCI who posted about their liquor policy and it's affect on sales.
In a nutshell; they ran an experiment once where guests could bring any amount of alcohol on the ship they wished. Another week they refused to allow any, and confiscated all the alcohol they found in luggage. To their surprise, alcohol sales at the bars were essentially the same from week to week.
So, bottom line is they don't refuse guests their own personal stash to help boost sales at the bars and ultimately, profits. I believe they have the policy in place so they can enforce it when they need to. That is, they don't want people toting a bottle of Jack Daniels to the pool or financing their trip by selling bottles of Grey Goose out of their cabins.
Astonishingly enough, if they didn't have this policy some people would actually try to do these.
Cruise lines are not operating as a "non-profit charity" . They are in the business to make money. Would you rather they had one flat fee for passage, and drink all you wish to? I do not think most people would like that arrangement. There are a few ships that have one price for it all, and they are the top of the line...PRICE WISE.
Movie theatres use pop corn and soft drinks to make their money. Ships use many areas...casinos, drinks, pictures, etc.
As a former bar owner, nothing made me angrier than a patron entering my bar with a drink in hand, and it never went unchallenged. If they sell cheaper drinks down the block, stay there to consume it, and if you are intoxicated...STAY THERE.
I agree with the last poster to a large degree. If the cruise lines didn't make money off photos, drinks, the casino, etc, we would all be paying more just to board the ship.
No one is forced to purchase photos, play bingo, eat in the alternative restaurants, etc.
I'm not sure but I think a few weeks ago on our last cruise a can of coke was $ 1.50 plus 15% tip. At the local mall I purchased a can from a vending machine and it was
$ 1.25 so not a whole big lot of difference. A glass of wine was about $ 4.50 I believe and at a local restaurant about the same. For the difference I would rather be drinking my coke at sea any day !
I don't worry about them trying to sell me something. You find that everywhere you go.
Look at the ads on this board. People are trying to sell you something as you read these posts. I just tune them out if I'm not inerested.
Rx for Peter--- take one cruise --- sit on the deck with a cold coke every day for a week.
Repeat as necessary for up to a year.
I've got no problem with the photographers; the pictures are overpriced but you pay for all the built in bla bla overhead and margins etc, but I hate it when I don't want my picture taken because I look like I've just finish "the amazing race" and they insist on making you stand there. After a few cruises we have tons of those pictures, but they almost physically get in your way and want you to stop. I even had one guy grab my daughter by the arm (not forcefully) and position her in front of the camera. I asked him if he valued his camera. I hate it when they push. When I'm in a shopping area in the Carib or Europe, I expect them the be pushy, and I willingly put myself in that situation. But NOT when I'm sitting at dinner etc.
Since we still see posts that people leave their towels on chairs, it hasn't really done anything for that. In the old days, the deck attendants would clear off the loungers that only had the deck towels on them. I never really noticed a problem there.
I am a firm believer in not inconveniencing everyone for the actions of a few. Yes this might be a small thing, but I don't really want to be responsible for a damn towel and have to lug it around with me everywhere I go on deck, then have to take it back to my cabin when I am done.
I never had a problem getting a towel from the cart, using it, and then dumping it into the used towel cart when I was done with it.
Well if it is a policy that has such lax enforcement, why bother! I didn't say that I thought that people could bring on a cargo of liquor for their cabin. Why interfere with people bringing it on board either for their own use, or to store in their cabins.
If it doesn't affect sales, then I'm sure that the line is just thinking of our safety, even though I have personally seen people getting sloshed at the bars and being served by the bar staff and waiters.
I'm not saying that the cruiselines are a charity, and I don't want it to be all inclusive either. I'm just saying that the prices are a bit out of touch. To compare the cost of a drink to a land based hotel or bar is pretty bad. They have to pay all the taxes and duty associated with it, while the cruiselines get it for little more than cost.
The think with the photos are how amny are tossed after each cruise. If they priced them better, they might actaully make more and have less waste.
My thoughts are that if so many people complain about something, then it is probably a problem and should be changed.
My last two cruises with Carnival, looked like a boot sale. They had these tables set up around the ship hawking cheap watches and fake gold chains. I mean really, isn't that what the shops are for. Do you really have to set them up in the corridors are atriums?
Then the constant announcements about them and the never ending pitch to give everyone an Excellent rating, cause they work hard. The disembarkation talk was an hour. In that time there was about 5 - 10 minutes of information stretched into an hour long sales pitch.
Like I said before, I love to cruise, and put up with the shilling in order to do it.
i've not heard of the new 'towel policy.' which cruise lines have adopted it? i hope it is not HAL. my last cruise was on the rotterdam in november; the towels were still in carts at poolside. HAL, at least last november, had a 'no bringing liquor on board' policy (beer and wine permitted), but you could order a nice bottle of scotch and three cans of soda from room service for barely more than they would cost ashore. re the photog: i just say 'no' and walk on by.
First of all, the cruiselines don't confiscate liquor from your room, and the enforcement of it is lax, because they really don't care if you have your own for private consumption or not. BUT! They must have a policy in place which they can selectively enforce when they must. Simply put, it's impossible to enforce a policy that's non-existent. Without the policy chaotic things would occur.
"To compare the cost of a drink to a land based hotel or bar is pretty bad. They have to pay all the taxes and duty associated with it, while the cruiselines get it for little more than cost"........Peter V
As a bar owner myself, I can offer you some of the real costs associated with SERVING you that drink. Let's forget about the cost of the liquor itself. If they didn't have liquor sales they would also not have the following costs:
Ice machine maintenance
Bartenders labor and benefits
Server labor and benefits.
Refrigerated coolers and maintenance
Alcohol Purchasing Agent salary and benefits
Accountant salary and benefits
Alcohol license fees
Alcohol insurance (this is huge btw)
Dish Machine purchase and maintenance
Dishwasher labor and benefits
Dish soap and sanitizers
Replacement of broken and stolen glasses
Bar back labor and benefits
Legal fees and litigation costs
Trash pick up
Bloody Mary Mix/Pina Colada mix/Whiskey sour mix/Margarita mix/Grenadine/etc.
All these costs must be absorbed, along with a profit, by the cost of a drink. Without the sale of alcohol they wouldn't have these other costs as well.
I am amazed that people can compare owning a hotel to owning a cruise ship. They are different animals.
I, further, am not understanding this apparent desire to pinch pennies on a cruise. It is a vacation. It is a time to relax and enjoy life. Spread your money around and share it with others. Let the cruise line make a few bucks, and just enjoy life.
Another hidden bar cost is the price you pay to BMI and ASCAP for the privilidge to have music played inside your bar. It does not have to be live music, Cd systems require the same fees paid to ASCAP and BMI, and they are not cheap.
Thomas, thanks for all the info regarding what a land based bar owner needs to have in place to serve drinks. My point exactly as to why the price is as it is on land
My comment was that on shore, you need all this stuff, where a cruise ship already has this stuff for other purposes as well as not paying much for labor.
The only comparison I was making between a hotel and a cruise was that the hotel needs to have all this as well as paying a much higher price for all of it as well. The cruise line on the other hand has this stuff and is heavily discounted but still charges at the same rate.
When I first started cruising it was much cheaper on the ship compared to buying a drink on land. I'm not begrudging a line a profit, and they make a great deal of it as well, but why is it priced the same.
The simple answer is because they can.
This goes along with land comparable prices for an espresso or latte, and the pastry they SELL at these new coffee bars. GIve me a break. The same pastry chefs makes these as well. so why do I have to pay for them as extra? I like how the brochures point to these costs as a token charge. Hmm, a token price would be .25 not 2.50
I also remember earlier on when they didn't have this confiscation policy. In fact you could buy a bottle in the duty free store and take it right back with you. Of course some lines still allow you to do it. An others allow you to order one from room service. But at a substantially higher price than the duty free price. SO they get you one way or the other.
I want to reiterate once again, I am a very casual drinker, and my bar tab for the week is $50 to $75. Thsi issue doesn't affect me to the same degree that it does people who run up a bill of $500 to $1000.
But I defend my right to gripe about a ripoff price.
Both have rooms, restaurants, activities, pools etc. Depending on where you stay. Actually the cruise lines compare themselves to hotels quite often.
However when I check into my hotel, my room is my own, there is no one standing there checking out my luggage for outside booze. Or determining whether the amount of soda I have is calssified as excessive.
When I walk in from going to town, there is no one there to inquire as to whether or not I purchased liquor, and if I did I need to give it to them to hold "safely" and return it when I check out.
I'm not even pinching pennies. My last two cruises has tabs of 600 and 700 each, I enjoy spending my money as well. My only desire is to get value for it.
I'll be less willing to part with my money if the normal supplier cost is two dollars and they want a fiver for it and the cruise line cost is a dime and they want the same fiver.
As far as comparing a resort on land to a cruise the last 4 hotels I've stayed at that were resort type hotels (i.e., NOT Comfort Inn or Super 8) had specific prohibitions on bringing any of your own food or alcohol into your room. If you wanted chips or a bottle of alcohol you got it either from room service or the catering section depending on the amount you wanted. And yes, the Hyatt in San Diego did confisicate our beer.
As for the towels I was just on vacation at Disney World 6 wks ago. Guess what, the resort gave us 6 towels when we arrived and it was our responsibility to keep track of those 6 towels the week we were there and they exepected the towels to be in our room when we checked out or we would be charged.
Seriously if the thought of having to carry a towel around with you to go to the pool bothers you and you'd rather be at work in your office then I suggest you stay there.
As for me you'll happily see me on my next 2 vacations carrying my towel to the pool where I fully intend to flag down a waiter and order a drink.
C Valor (April, 2006)
C Imagination (Feb, 2006)
C Ecstasy June, 1997
C Sensation July, 1995
C Fascination January, 1995
C Fantasy August, 1994
C Mardi Gras August, 1993
C Sensation December 1992
C Fantasy November 1991
I was on my first cruise in December on Princess. I had read alot about bring your own booze onto a ship. both sides had a good points. My reason was I wanted to be able to sit on my balcony and have a drink with my wife when I wanted to. I decided to bring a botle of whisky and a 6 pack of beer on board. I had no problem bring it on board and left it out in plain site in my room. When we stopped in Jamica I purchased two bottles of rum for friends back home. I exspected them to be taken and stored when I got back to the ship. But when we got back to the ship and went through the xray machine with them they handed them back to me so we left them in room in plain site again with no problems.
Through the trip I felt it was good of Princess how they seamed to allow people to do this. When I got my dreaded ship board bill at the end I new it would be high as this cruise was for our 10th anniversary and we were really going to enjoy it. It was $ 2500. Now in hind site If Princess would of taken my $ 9 bottle of whisky and $ 6 pack of beer I would not travel with them again. So for them allowing me for my personal pleasure to bring on $ 15.00 worth of booze I paid them $ 3400.00 for 2 cruise tickets and $ 2500.
for booze,photos,massages,excursions,food,entertainmen t etc. So I will travel with Princess again and give them my $ 5900.00 if I can still bring my $ 15.00 worth of booze.
Dawn Princess 2004
Emerald Princess 2008
OP had some valid gripes. I too think seeing all those pictures in a garbage is a waste. If the photos were five dollars cheaper then more of them would be sold, and less waste would accumulate. They still make 15 more then if the photos go in the garbage.
The towel thing is no biggie to me, although I agree they overcharge for replacement, but hey it is meant to discourage people from being careless with ship property, and it works for us.
Princess allows wine and champagne in room, and it only costs 22 dollars for a bottle of rum from room service, and that is a fair price , so we just don't need to " sneak " booze onboard , I realize other lines are different ,
I must admit that I too don't think you can compare the cruiselines to hotels or bars shoreside. One big difference is landside establishments actually have much bigger staff costs, plus, landside establishments probaly have to pay for more licencing and staff training, and I suspect there are many others costs that we aren't aware of although Thomas is!
I've stayed in many resort type hotels and I have never seen a prohibition against bringing your own food or drink to your room. In fact, many (if not most) of the ones I have stayed in provided a refrigerator (and some even a microwave) just for this purpose.
"As far as comparing a resort on land to a cruise the last 4 hotels I've stayed at that were resort type hotels (i.e., NOT Comfort Inn or Super 8) had specific prohibitions on bringing any of your own food or alcohol into your room. If you wanted chips or a bottle of alcohol you got it either from room service or the catering section depending on. And yes, the Hyatt in San Diego did confisicate our beer. "
PG, Thomas, Don't get me wrong, but I think you are missing my point.
I am comparing the cost of various items to what the cost is on land.
So far we have seen all the costs associated with a bar and serving the drink and how much it costs. My comment was that that same drink should cost way less than what the cruise line is charging for it. Which WAS my point.
It seems alot of people justify the cost by saying it is the same price as on land. I agree, it should be half the price.
How gracious of Princess to ALLOW you the freedom to have wine or champagne in your room. And to top it all off you only have to pay $22 for the $8 bottle of rum.
If they just let you carry the bottle from the booze shop to your room, like they USED to do you could have bought 3 bottles instead. But nope, can't do that. Might impact the liquor sales on board. Oops sorry, for your safety and convenience we will store this for you until you leave.
pg, I can't quite figure out why they would rather dump all the photos at the end of the cruise instead of selling them for a reasonable price throughout the cruise, after all it's not like they cost a great deal, and I doubt that the photogs get paid that much.
Now talking about how annoying they are when they desparately want hold everyone up so that they can line everyone up and take their photo getting off the ship, or getting on for that matter.
All of my wasted holiday time queued up to take a picture I don't want and 90% of the other people are not going to buy. This is my time they are wasting.
Now I'm sure to get a few people who comment and tell me to relax. I'm not upset about it, I am gripeing that it is a waste of MY holiday time. They get paid whether they take a picture of me that I don't want or I pass on by. What I gripe about is that they do it on the gangway slowing up the whole process.
Move to the side on the dock and let those that want it, get it! Just get out of our way!
I am not quite sure why you think that they are not comparable. I actually treat the cruise as a hotel room for the week, with full board.
When you boil it right down, there is no difference, other than it moves to a different port.
What are the real differences.
Not food, not drinks, not gambling, not pools, not beaches, entertainment. Tough call there. I must admit I haven't really gone to a single show in the last 10 or so cruises. . They are pretty much typical and boring. For me anyway. I know others like them.
Most of the rest of the entertainment is piano bars and discos which can be found in or around most hotels or resorts.
I would really like to hear your reasons for saying that the experience is so much different that they aren't comparable. I'm really curious.
Don't get me wrong, I still love tto cruise and continue to do so, but I go for being on the ship, not much else.