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  #1 (permalink)  
Old June 24th, 2005, 04:37 PM
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Default We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

I'm sure I will get flamed for this post but here goes anyway. I read posts all the time that begin with "we can't afford--- So how can we ---".
Can't afford a suit coat , is a shirt alright for formal night?
Can't afford drinks ,can I sneak liquor aboard?
Can't afford onboard extras?
Can't afford to tip?
Can't afford excursions ???
And so on.
Here's my point. If you can't afford the minor expenses and even such basics as clothes, the why the H--- are you cruising?
For the first 20 someodd years of marraige we denied ourselves things like "real" vacations and such so we could provide basics and extras forourselves and our kids. Clothes , music lessons, college , weddings and such were some, (on top of a roof over our heads, good food on the table, warm clothes etc etc). I could barely make ends meet and certainly never thought about luxuries like a cruise. Am I off base to say that if you can't afford it then maybe you shouldn't be doing it? How does someone who can't afford $79.00 for a sport jacket justify spending $1000 for a cruise?
Listen , I don't want to stiffle anyones dreams or enjoyment and certainly do not want to put down anyones financial situation, but when did a vacation and travel become a necessity that outweighs , things like clothing?
I took my first cruise at age 46 after I was done taking care of my "responsibilities" and could afford it. As time went along the trips got a bit more elaborate as my ability to pay increased. But even the first, was kept to a level I could afford.
Is it a matter of priorities and were mine wrong? Should I have skipped the braces and the music lessons and bought the Jaguar?
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Old June 24th, 2005, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

PapaBill,

Your priorites are right on!
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Old June 24th, 2005, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

I agree with Papa on this one. Part of budgeting for a cruise is to include ALL the costs you will incur - pre-cruise purchases, gambling, alcohol, excursions, on board purchases, in port purchases, etc. I budget for everything and each month since I booked my next cruise, I have purchased $100 in CCL gift certificates to apply towards my sign and sail card. I am up to $1000. This way, the money is can't be used for anything else (like that way too expensive dress at Macy's that I have had my eye on). I decided to cut out eating out once a week and that gives me the extra $100 a month. It wasn't a difficult choice to make.

However, for first time cruisers, unless they are informed by the TA or come to the boards, they may be very unaware of the extra costs incurred while cruising. I am one of those that does mega research before a cruise - even as an experience cruiser - but I still want to know what to expect, especially when cruising to new ports. Even though it is not the responsibilty of the TA or cruiseline to inform the guests of the additional costs they may incur, it is the responsibility of the guest to ask these questions and I just don't understand why they don't. They really don't even need to ask - CCL has their Spa and Drink prices listed in their FAQ page. It takes the click of a mouse.

Jodi

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Old June 24th, 2005, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

I agree with both Papa and UConn. We worked and saved until we could afford to take a real vacation. We spent many "vacations" at DH's Mother's home.

I certainly agree that TA's should inform new cruisers of the "extras"! UConn, you are right. As far as the cruiselines, from what I've seen, they DO let you know what isn't included. IF you read on-line or the brochures.

IMO younger people think they "deserve" an expensive cruise (and lots of other things) that we all worked and saved for years to do. I'm just glad we saved and don't have to go into debt to cruise.

And yes, Papa, you should have bought the Jaguar

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Old June 24th, 2005, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

Papa Bill, can you see me standing up and applauding your posting. Your priorities are in the right place, or at least they match mine anyway. I took my first cruise when I was 50.

Vacations when my sons were young were boat trips all right...day long canoe trips down a near by river...and you hoped that you had all the sandwichs sealed up tightly just in case someone tipped the canoe over. .

Those "We can't afford..." posts are about as irritating as fingernails on a blackboard to me. Vacations are not a necessity of life, contrary to the opinions of some. If going on a cruise means scrimping on things like clothes, tips, shore excursions, etc. or adding enough to your credit card so that the balance rivals the National Debt, then you shouldn't be going on a cruise.

I also still budget carefully for months in advance, making estimates of my expenses, and putting the money aside so that I won't have to hit the plastic. I don't starve...well a little, but that is called a diet so that I don't look too bad in a swimsuit by the pool, but most of the time it means doing without things that I don't really need anyway. Who needs all those cute shoes in every color of the rainbow, when you usually put on either some black ones or cream ones depending on the season. . Again, I applaud you for your stand on this.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

I forgot to add, those canoe trips were just as fun for the boys and I as any cruise. All 3 of them do the same kind of summer vacations with their young families now. Incidentally, cruise vacations are not the only kinds of vacations where you hear the "We can't afford..." complaints. I heard it this spring on a land-based vacation to Hawaii.

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Old June 24th, 2005, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

I agree with all of the above. I think it is what made our trip so special, we worked so hard for it. Well I did no one in my family knew until the day I bought the tickets. Wasn't sure until then. I paid cash for the tickets and had the credit card paid off, so it would be avalible for us to do anything, and buy anything. It will be paid off next month.

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Old June 24th, 2005, 08:41 PM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

Agree with you again PapaBill. We also took our first cruise when I was 46 and my DH was 47. Everything else we did before that was with our kids, for our kids or because of the kids. Now that they are in college and have part time jobs, we now do things for us. (occassionally with the kids too) <VBG>

BTW--where are the pictures of Phillips graduation????????



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Old June 24th, 2005, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

Agree totally - when we turned 50 we decided we were old enough to cruise - had the bucks, the duds and the time. Before that it was "kid stuff" as it should be. All the extras Papa Bill mentioned are not really extras at all - and have to be considered part of the price - if you can't pay the whole shot don't go (yet). Good post PapaBill and no flaming so far :o) TTFN
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Old June 24th, 2005, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

You're right on target Papa and I especially hate the way people gripe about not being able to afford to tip - so they don't!

After our first cruise, I made a budget sheet of ALL the expenses incurred with our cruise. I started with clothes, etc., bought before the cruise. I moved on to gas and meals for the trip down, parking at the pier, then moved on to onboard charges, including tips, excursions, drinks, casino and souvernirs.

After I finished I did a per person/per day charge and used it as a model to save for my next cruise. The next cruise yielded pretty much the same per day cost, so there were no surprises.

dorothy

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Old June 25th, 2005, 01:42 AM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

okay, we started cruising a little younger than the previous posters, but I agree with the posts. I think the problem is that "these" people are tring to go on a cruise with an "all inclusive resort" mentality. They are trying to find ways to include (in a cheap way) the things that they would have at an all incl.

A cruise is simply not that type of vacation.

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Old June 25th, 2005, 08:51 AM
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Default Re: Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

PapaBill, great post. I fume when I read or hear about people who won't tip or short the tip because it is to much money and the cruise payment should be enough. Geez...would these people go into a store and offer the checkout person $8.00 for a $9.00 item because that is what they can afford? My Mom and Dad are 84 years old, Mom was on an airplane last month for the first time in 50 years (she was amazed), Dad has not been on a plane since WWII. When we had vacations, they were driving trips....that is simply not good enough for many of today's younger people. They want it all and they want it now. Sad really....
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Old June 25th, 2005, 09:40 AM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

I too agree. Young people today want it now. I see it all the time in my business where a lot of my employees are young. They sure find the money for the new stereo for their cars but have no money set aside for new brakes.

Since we didn't have any kids we did take real vacations, so to speak, once or twice a year. I always told Mrs. Thomas though, that when we vacation to a ski resort, for instance, I'm not eating at McDonald's every day to afford the trip. If we can't afford to have a good time then we can't afford to go.

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Old June 25th, 2005, 11:31 AM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

Papa, you are so right.

I'm tired of reading posts from folks who can't afford the tip or the clothes etc. If this is the case, than cruising is not for them.

We never ever considered cruising until our kids were on their own. When they were young we did beach vacations in Maine or Cape cod. There , we and the boys could
have affordable fun. We did take them to Europe as teenagers, or they went overseas with school groups.

Now, it's our turn------Sail on
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Old June 25th, 2005, 12:03 PM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

Boy, what a bunch a rich people snobs! <<---- HA ! JUST KIDDING -- REALLY.

But honestly, I don't agree with you guys here - except for the tips. You must tip when you cruise because that is how the crew gets paid. However, for the other things. I have personally gone on cruises where my end of cruise bill for drinks, shore excursions, and everything other onboard charge was under $20 for the entire week.

My point being that it is not mandatory to spend a lot of additional money. Your transportation, meals and entertainment are pre-paid when you take a cruise. And the price of a cruise today, even with the bump up in cruise fares this last year, is still a huge bargain for what you get.

Can't afford a suit coat , is a shirt alright for formal night? --

THERE ARE CASUAL SHIPS - OR A JACKET AND TIE CAN BE BORROWED.

Can't afford drinks, can I sneak liquor aboard?

I WOULDN'T DO THIS PERSONALLY, AND I DON'T CONDONE IT. HOW ABOUT IF YOU JUST DRINK LESS?

Can't afford onboard extras?

THEN DON'T BOOK THEM. AS I SAID, YOU CAN CRUISE AND SPEND NEXT TO NOTHING ON BOARD. ONBOARD CHARGES INCLUDE SPA, CASINO AND GIFTSHOP. THEY ARE NOT MANDATORY.

Can't afford to tip?

YOU HAVE TO TIP - THIS IS MY ONE REQUIREMENT

Can't afford excursions ???

THEN JUST WALK OFF THE SHIP AND WALK AROUND ON YOUR OWN. YOU CAN HAVE A GREAT TIME IN MOST PORTS DOING THAT (SOME MORE THAN OTHERS). DO YOUR RESEARCH ON YOUR DESTINATIONS BEFORE YOU CHOOSE A CRUISE.

Honestly, having worked on ships for 2 years I know you can have a great time on a cruise without buying tours, gambling, drinking or going to formal dinners. You can have free room service or go to the casual restaurants, you can find a lot of fun things to do in port right off the ship.

How about booking a cheaper cabin? When an inside cabin is going for $449 pp, that is a cheap vacation for a 7-day cruise.

I will say this, though. A lot of people end up spending a lot more than they planned. If you really want to cruise on a budget you can, but as someone said about kids today, they have that "there's no tomorrow" attitude when it comes to money sometimes. Don't max out your credit card on a cruise if you know you a new roof on your house.

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Old June 25th, 2005, 01:50 PM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

I'm sure that there are a lot of things that we can not afford in our daily lives, but buy them anyway. The pair of shoes that has our name on them, and wear only with a specific outfit; the golf club accessories that are bought because your buddy has them, etc. I can't afford a whole lot of things, but have them anyway! I agreee with Papa. But with the right budgeting plan, you can afford what you want. I'm a 35 year old single mom of one and have been on 7 cruises thus far. No rich baby daddy, but I plan far enough in advance and include all the extras.
By the way, does RCI have the gift certificates that can be used as sign and sail purchases?
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Old June 25th, 2005, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

Paul, you are dead right all the way down the line.

Your list could include photos, bingo and the casino, all of which can be easily avoided if you can't afford them. Also, coffee, tea, iced tea, fruit juice and water are free in lieu of sodas.

If you live near a port, cruising in an inside cabin can be very affordable with only the tips to add to the cost.
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Old June 25th, 2005, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

Hi PapaBill, I can see where you are coming from,,but

Lets get back to the real world. You know as well as me the way the market has positioned the "freedom" to cruise at very little money to come onboard. But once there some people then see the reality of buying into that vacation, especially if working on a limited budget that they could have saved years for.

You and I grew up in cruising when you paid your top dollar upfront and the rest was limited extras. Somehow that has been turned on its head and some people "think" because cruising is now mass market and cheap due to the price payed up front, that everything else to go with it is cheap as well.

My gripe is not about people being missled, its about how the market positions itself to allow people with very little money to come cruising in the first place, and not telling them the truth re actual expected costs if they want to take part in the "full" experience.

I'm not talking service, thats a standard, cant do it,,,then dont go

But dock in say Venice and they (the line) want around $200 + per head for their ship arranged guided experience, thats heavy for some folks, and thats the bits some folks dont see or understand in advance.

The market has caused this, not the people complaining.
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Old June 25th, 2005, 04:15 PM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

DavidB, In a way I agree with you. However...I think that the responsibility of determining the real cost of something should rest with the consumer. It is their vacation and it is their responsibility to find out exactly what is included and what isn't and then based on their needs decide if the cruise fits their financial situation or doesn't. All 3 of the cruiselines that I have sailed with (CCL, RCCL, and HAL) have been very upfront about what is included and what isn't in their literature and on their websites.

I hope this isn't off topic here, but it is about people whining about costs. I hate seeing all the whining that goes on about "single supplements". Now this is coming from someone who travels solo quite often. I really don't feel that the cost to go solo on a cruise is any more expensive than a similar land-based vacation. Afterall, the price is the usually the same for a hotel room no matter whether it is single occupancy or double occupancy. Car rentals are not based on number of people riding in a car either. I don't see why people expect a cruise to be any different.

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Old June 25th, 2005, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

Agreed Linda, if you know the "real" costs then dont come here or anywhere else and moan about it.

There are a lot of decent people out there, especially elderly. That thought they had met their dream in having a cruise due to price paid, but given age etc. They did not trawl the internet, fine print in brochure etc etc. I just feel sorry for them, they thought they had made a dream, until reality kicked in re actual cost of the dream. If the real cost had been really upfront then they may not have done it. Money still in bank, and dream still alive
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Old June 25th, 2005, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

The "real cost" is determined by a person's consumption. It's really not "hidden" anywhere.

The majority of activities onboard are free, and there is free entertainment each evening.

No one has to spend a penny onboard if they don't drink, and don't do pictures, and don't shop, etc.

There is far move available that is included in the cruise fare, than things they charge for. The extra costs are "user" fees... and one can have a very pleasant cruise experience without "using" any of the extras.

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Old June 25th, 2005, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

Paul,
"and everything other onboard charge was under $20 for the entire week." Then all you need to budget for is $20, however you probably are not in the "norm". My brother (a minister, and his wife) went on their first cruise and still spent $350 shipboard - and they don't drink. Regardless of your habits, you need to budget for them.. I guess being an accounant leads me to stress budgets...

Jodi



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Old June 25th, 2005, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

I don't think many people get on a ship and then freak because they have to pay extra for drinks, photos, excursions, etc. I think most people understand this before going. If not, then they have not done their homework before booking. But I think those who don't know this are a small minority.

I met a couple from Orlando on a cruise who said they book last minute, don't drink, don't do excursions and basically go on the cruise for the price of the ticket plus parking at the pier. To them, it's a cheaper week than staying at a hotel anywhere at any beach in Florida, and much more fun.

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Old June 26th, 2005, 05:21 AM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

Whether one is elderly, on a limited income, or has more money then Gates, it is still the responsibility of the consumer to know what they are getting for thier money ... My folks are senior citizens, they understand that does not mean that they should just accept things at face value. They know that they, just like every one else, need to find out just what is involved (included) in all they do ... be it cruising, purchasing a new car, or what ever ...

Why should cruising be limited to those that could have afforded the cruising of yesteryear ...

I agree that if you can not afford to pay for the alcoholic beverages, that does not mean that you should smuggle them on ... it just means you do not drink ... or you save for them ...

As for the issue of formal wear (clothing) ... it is not always about affordability so much as preception ... Of course this is an entirely different thread which has been posted time and again ...

I believe that some people just like to complain ... be it about cost of drinks, cost of extras, cost of the cruise itself, whatever, they will find something to complain about, no matter how much or little money it cost them ...

Cruising is not for everyone ... but it does not have to be about how much your yearly income is ... it is about how much do we, as a consumer, are responsible for finding out exactly what is and is not included on a cruise ... if you want the extras, figure out how you can afford them ... do not complain about it just do it ...

For those of you that think that only persons of a certain income level should cruise, when did you get to be judge ...

Do not get me wrong, if a person can not truly afford the cost of a cruise, and I am talking about the price of getting on the ship, then I agree, they should not be there ... but it is not up to me to say who can and can not afford to cruise ...

This is longer then I intended ...

Candy



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Old June 26th, 2005, 10:00 AM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

I didn't see any "young people" bashing in PapaBill's original post. However, I did see some references made to it in subsequent posts. Where does irresponsible spending or lack of priorities translate into the age of the person?

I've seen many cruisers, much older, at whom I have looked and thought to myself; "dang, these people are strung so tight on a budget that they really shouldn't be cruising"

I am not on a budget when cruising because I kinda know what I will spend money on, and can't really go crazy. There are only 2 things that could bust me; art and jewellery. Jewellery is usually the wife and she is responsible (thank God), and when it comes to art I am not sophisticated enough to appreciate fine art so I wouldn't go there.

Paul, I disagree with your post. I think if you need to force yourself to drink less or borrow clothes, you really kinda shouldn't be thinking cruise vacation. In order to fully enjoy ports etc, you gotta get out and do stuff, either guided or not. I think you won't do justice to a cruise vacation if you're counting pennies.
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Old June 26th, 2005, 10:22 AM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

But just for fun.....I've been saying I want to take a short cruise to see if I can spend absolutely NOTHING but the gas from Atlanta, parking at the port and tips for the porters. Of course I would keep the tips on my card as part of the cruise cost. It's the alcohol and casino that would kill me to avoid....

My son looks at me and says "Yeah and WHO is going to cruise with you on that cruise??? Not me!!"

Any takers?

dorothy

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Old June 26th, 2005, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

<< Paul, I disagree with your post. I think if you need to force yourself to drink less or borrow clothes, you really kinda shouldn't be thinking cruise vacation. In order to fully enjoy ports etc, you gotta get out and do stuff, either guided or not. I think you won't do justice to a cruise vacation if you're counting pennies. >>

Force yourself to borrow clothes? You say that as if it is a burden. My experience with the gentler sex is that borrowing clothes is one their favorite sports.

What I disagreed with above were the people chiming in with "I agree, if you can't afford the extras just don't go." I have been on many cruises and had a GREAT time without spending a lot of money. It is discretionary spending, not mandatory.

One thing retailers will tell you these days is how bargain-oriented our society has become. Everyone shops at outlets or waits for sales these days. If you pay full retail for anything you are considered to be a patsy. The cruise lines are only reacting to the current buying patterns of our populus - the price of a cruise has to be competitive. To keep the lead price down, but still make money, they have added more and more things to spend money on onboard - but they are not mandatory.

That is a concept I believe a lot of people have lost site of. Back in the 50s, when dad could support the entire family, there was not so much to spend money on. A home was 1500 square feet. It had one television. There was a "family car". All the meals were cooked by mom. If you lived in a household where the wife had her own car that was considered extravagant.

These days houses are 3000 sq ft. Every room in the house has a TV (which now cost $2000), we have DVD players, surround sound, CD players, computers, cell-phones for every family member, SUVs, satelite or cable TV.

These things are extras, but the perception has become that they are mandatory. People have forgotten how to live without always wanting something - they have become excitement junkies - and shopping and spending junkies. If there is a conspiracy in this country, it is by big business provoking us to believe we NEED to have everything possible or we are not worthy. Have you ever seen a teenager throw tantrum because you would not buy him.her something her friends have?

Geeze - people need to get over their materialism. My 2 cents.

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Old June 26th, 2005, 12:49 PM
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Default Re: Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

And we get to read your post on our indespensible expensive computers. Oh how I long for the good old days. NOT!
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Old June 26th, 2005, 01:20 PM
venice
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

It's all relative but I think there is another side to this issue...I would suspect most of our parents. like mine, were "poor" (in material things, not in values) and a "vacation" was something that was thought that only the rich could afford... the only vacation my parents took when I was growing up was driving from upstate New York to Detroit to attend a VFW convention in 1960, and going camping..My Dad always promised my mother that when they retired.....of course he died at 52. When I was able to send my mom on her first cruise it was a concept that she could not grasp...since she like most of her generation did not own or believe in credit cards, I arranged a very generous shipboard credit, of course she did not use it all which really upset me...(trust me she hasn't made that mistake on the rest of her cruises)

The regular posters of these boards who take cruises frequently, forget that for the vast majority of Americans cruising is a very expensive and once in a lifetime opportunity that yes, because they don't understand the nuances like we do, really can't afford the extras because just to get on the ship probably took them years to save for

so fellow CM'ers, cut some slack for folks
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Old June 26th, 2005, 01:57 PM
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Default Re: We can't afford----- so is it alright if we -----???

I apologize if my posting came off as snobbish in any way. My main point, was to be informed about the real cost of a cruise, and if you can't do it in the style that you want to, then hold onto that money, put a little more aside and go another time. Don't complain, use it as an excuse to not tip, and don't try to "cheat" the system by doing such things as smuggling liquor onboard.

Paul, I do agree with you that sharing clothes, particularly the formal kind, is a favorite pastime with us women. I work in a large office with a lot of women of "cruising ages" (mature with grown children or young and single). Cruises are popular with all of us and sharing of formal wear is done quite frequently. Often the items are some that were picked out "by committee" on lunch hour shopping excursions to the mall nearby.

I do still contend that single people should not complain about "single supplements" in most cases because land-based vacations are not similarly discounted for solo travelers either. Why expect the cruiselines to be any different?

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