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  #1 (permalink)  
Old August 1st, 2005, 10:28 AM
Sue K
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Default Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

We just returned from our 9th cruise with Princess and it will be our last. They have lost their luster and high quality service from the past. If you have never cruised before you probably think your cruise was fine but we had eight other cruises to compare it to. Our travel agent warned us that Princess was not as good as it used to be but unfortunately we didn't listen. They were recently bought by Carnival and it shows. Unfortunately Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line still charging 1st class fares. How sad! If you're contemplating a cruise, do yourself a favor and look at another cruise line besides Princess.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 10:53 AM
cruisingrandma
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

Everyone has there own opinion. i dont believe the reason for the downfall in your eyes is that Carnival bought out the company. You may have jsut had a cruise that wasnt up to your expectations. hope the next crusie you go on will give u what u want.
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Old August 1st, 2005, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

Show us some specifics SueK!

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Old August 1st, 2005, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

I don't think anyone puts Princess in the premium, or 1st rate category. Princess is a mass-market line, and therefore does probably fit into the rankings of 2nd rate when compared to their more costly peers. That's still better than 3rd rate (budget) and 4th rate (no frills) cruise lines that are out there. Perhaps your travel agent was simply looking at your history and expectations that would come from that history, knowing that your expectations would be unreasonable.

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Old August 2nd, 2005, 08:30 PM
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

Princess considers themselves a peer of HAL and Celebrity, and pretty much everyone I know in the industry puts them in that category, at least historically.

I do agree with the OP, though I've been accused ot being prejudiced against them. I do not believe that Carnival has caused their great downfall, especially since all of the lines are being run independantly, and that they've now taken it upon themselves to ruin Cunard while they're at it. With the exception of their Alaska cruisetour product, I don't know of anything that they do that I would consider as being above and beyond any of the other lines. And I have a seething hatred of the Caribbean Princess for reasons I can't quite explain.
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Old August 3rd, 2005, 07:10 PM
Bruce Chafkin
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

Since the cruise prices have been lowered so dramatically to allow the great American Middle Class the opportuinity to "Cruise", every large cruise line has become Second Class - and worse.
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Old August 3rd, 2005, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

Geeeez...no comment!!!
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Old August 3rd, 2005, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

How do you conclude that?
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Old August 4th, 2005, 04:29 AM
Bruce Chafkin
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

Starri,

Excellent question.
I have watched the Griswolds and Simpsons - in ever greater numbers every week for the past 10 years - marching up the gangway every Saturday or Sunday. I meet many of them every week, complaining that they can buy a coca cola at Walmart for 40 cents, and are outraged that they must pay $1.50 for the same thing on a ship. Many (not all)have never stayed in a hotel of any kind in their entire lives; imagine their surprise and anger when their teenage daughter telephones everyone she has ever known (from her stateroom telephone) and cannot understand that the discount telephone card she purchased at Sears & Roebuck doesn't cover the $10,000 satellite charge for the calls.
This scenario takes place at least once every week these days.

Then we have Gilligan showing up on formal night in his torn dungarees and gang colors, claiming that where he comes from, "This is Formal". As you are probably already aware, this scenario takes place hundreds of times every cruise.
Strange, but I don't remember this sort of thing happening just a few years ago. And I certainly never saw it on "The Love Boat "or "Titanic". Seems that Leonardo DiCaprio dressed very well and behaved (for the most part) much better than many of the cruisers we see today.
I also cannot recall any passengers falling / being pushed off any of the ships I worked on as recently as a few years ago. What has happened with that??

Then we have a new scam that is becoming quite popular. Every cruise now we hear from a passenger (usually the second day of the cruise) who "left a $25,000 necklace on the bed and it now seems to be missing". After an exhaustive search of the cabin, the necklace is not located. Then we inform the passenger that we can read the lock on his door, and have hidden video cameras in the passageway that can tell us exactly who entered and left the cabin and when. We exit to "review the tapes". Within minutes the passenger usually telephones to inform us that the necklace has miraculously re-appeared. Or sometimes we get an admission that it really was a scam to get insurance to pay for the trip, and since it won't cost the cruise line anything, would we mind filling out the proper forms so that he can continue his scam and get the money?

At least the passengers on the Titanic knew what a $25,000 necklace looked like. Most (not all) cruise line passengers I meet these days buy their jewelery - and nearly everything else they own - at Walmart.

Are ALL cruise line passengers this bad? OF COURSE NOT. There are still MANY, MANY marvelous, interesting, sophisticated, polite, well-dressed people cruising at all levels of ship and cruise line company. But the ever-increasing numbers of low-lives, weirdos, trailer trash, and general losers we see boarding cruise ships these days is definitely reducing the levels of cruising to new lows. Why are they cruising? Because the cruise lines reduced fares so much that they can now just barely afford to come.
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Old August 4th, 2005, 07:23 AM
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Default Re: Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

snob alert!!!

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Old August 4th, 2005, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

Bruce, your analogies will draw fire but your point is well stated.

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Old August 4th, 2005, 10:26 AM
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

Forgive this, but I've always felt that money is not the ultimate determinate of someone's class. I find the idea that someone needs to have a credit check run and turn over his or her last three income tax returns in order to be considered a proper clientele to be offensive in the least, boarding on plutocracy in the extreme.

I'm aware of the Ugly American stereotype, and I've seen firsthand t hat it's got some basis in reality. But with that said, I'd much rather there be Ugly Americans abroad where they have the chance to explore and be exposed to things outside their doorstep than have them stay at home.

The idea that a vacation need only apply to those who are able to afford the top luxury product is offensive to me in the extreme. In an era of Holiday Inns and Motel Sixes, we also have the Burj Al Arab, XV Beacon, and the St. Regis. Southwest Airlines and JetBlue exist alongside Cathay Pacific and Emirates Air. Surely, there is room enough in the seas for both the Carnival Holiday and the Silver Cloud.

I may be misremembering you for another poster, but I believe you mentioned that the luxury lines mostly hemorrage money. Whereas Carnival, who does not have a luxury product and offers up no illusions to the fact that is doesn't offer one has gone from one used ship that ran aground on its maiden voyage to a behemouth owning the largest share of the marketplace by far.

Post Edited (08-04-05 10:38)
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Old August 4th, 2005, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

Bruce,,,what a post,,,what a post. Nice one !!

See its all about appreciation of the environment and other people. And not we've paid for this and we can act and do what we like. Consider other people.

The market will get wise to this one day and so will cruisers, then hopefully you will have people that just want fun being directed one way. And others with another ideal itinerary being directed elsewhere.

A lot of that comes down real TA's who can question clients re budget, their party age and expectation. And then place people onto ships and lines that they could enjoy.

Money is not the criteria, its about people getting personal value for that cruise experience and some come cheaper than others. For the same money you could have been with people you can associate with on another ship.
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Old August 4th, 2005, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

I also enjoyed Bruce's post. There are all kinds of people in this world and, you are likely to meet a good mix of them on a ship. I have been fortunate in that just about everyone I have met on my cruises has been friendly and considerate.

Cruise prices are very reasonable, and , obviously, many people who have never cruised before are going to be on the ships. Since the cruise lines continue to build more and more ships with more cabins, they have to keep the prices low in order to fill the cabins and make a profit. I do feel it is a bit snobbish to criticize people because of their attire and income status.

Being on a cruise ship is an education for all of us, and , hopefully, the social interchange with other passengers from all walks of life and with crew members from all over the world may make us better people.

Bruce, I believe reading about your experiences over the past many years in the cruise industry would prove very interesting, and I would like to see you write a book or articles about your experiences.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 08:29 PM
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

Bruce brings up a good point about scamming the cruise line.

I know all the fine people on these boards are upstanding, honest people. But those who are in retail understand there is a segment of the population who are always trying to beat (read: cheat) a business.

They will fake injuries, return products after using them, claim sales rep promised this or that, etc. How many department stores have taken back formal gowns after the New Year's Party because "they didn't fit?"

Regards,
Thomas
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Old August 13th, 2005, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

I wavered a bit before posting this because I don't consider myself a snob but I think there may be a hint of snobbery in the recesses of my so called brain. I have been on 3 cruises, '90, '93 and '05. Were there differences between the first 2 and the 3rd cruise, especially regarding passengers? You bet there were. The '90 and '93 cruises were more expensive than the '05 cruise even without accounting for inflation. All 3 were on RCI, Eastern Caribbean, 7 nights, March sailings, JS or equivalent and on the largest class vessel of the period (Sovereign of the Seas, VOS). I was taken aback by the differences in passengers; nitpicking, whining, complaining, pushy, slovenly (more than you think) and some who were downright boorish.

Having stuck my neck out I do have to say it is great that cruising has become extremely affordable compared to years ago. It allows more people to experience a great and different kind of vacation. I just wish they would bring their manners, some social skills and some common sense with them.
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Old August 13th, 2005, 12:40 PM
Juliet
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

Bruce
What position do you hold on the ship? I presume you do not want to say what ship you are on.

It sounds to me like you must be in the hotel management end and therefore on the Pursers desk.

Am I right??
Juliet
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Old August 13th, 2005, 02:50 PM
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

My hubby and I love Princess and have sailed with them 22 times with 33 cruises in all. OF all 22 cruises,we have never been disappointed and would never call PRincess 2nd class. We have tried all of the major lines and always come back to Princess.
We expect great food and service and a sparkleing ship. We have noticed a change in clientel but remember........you can be rich, middle class or poor and still show NO class. Its not the money that makes you a classy person.
Sue K.........come on back and give some particlars on your bad cruise w ith Princess. Was your dinner cold........did you room steward forget to leave a mint on your pillow?

Happy sailing,
sea angel
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old August 15th, 2005, 11:25 PM
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

It was pretty interesting to read this topic. Airlines have taken the same path with cruise lines. What used to be for the rich is now accessible to everyone with a phone & $29 (Philly to MA).

Although I've only been on two cruise, both Princess, I don't see myself cruising the more mainstream lines. Just like my balcony-only rule, I can't do a "lower level" cruise on Carnival, NCL or RCCL unless external factors play into it.
Even though I'm on the younger side of middle age, the preception of a relaxed and laid-back cruise on Princess or Holland America is more appealing than the glitzy, active cruises.

I did find the E. Caribbean cruise last year (the 2nd for me) being too crowded. Especially with kids. Too many people getting food; being served food; using the pool; using the elevators. Then again, what'd I expect when there's almost 3000 people on board?



Maybe I'll just cruise in the off-season, with a better balcony or mini-suite, with people with a more pleasent attitude, and have the whole ship to myself. That doesn't make me a snob, does it? =)
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Old August 17th, 2005, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

We started to cruise with Princess in 1972 when they were operating out of Los Angeles going to the Mexican Riviera. During the 33 years we have cruised with Princess more than any other cruise line. We have to admit that Princess no longer rates as a "top of theline " operation" but we will still cruise with them, God willing.When we first started with Princess they had the Sun Princess and then picked up two German vessels, the Island Princess & the Pacific. In those days the operation was spic and span . The room stewards were unionized and men and women from England or Ireland. The restaurants were all operated by an Italian firm.The food and service was excellent. Liquor wines and beer drinks wer all under a dollar. A can of beer ran 35cents; glass of wine .75 cents and Beef Eater on the rocks .75. If you wnted it mixed with tonic water $l.00. Incidentally the waiters were all European schooled, i.e. they went to school to learn to become a waiter. You got to know the officers and the Captain.

Then Princess purchased some ships from Sitmar and Princss began to change. Noawadays, with some exception, the English Captains and other top Engish officers are gone. I could go on and on, but why ? The entire cruise lindustry has changed and not for the better. We have to agree with some of the detrimental points and it is not solely on competitive pricing since tha rates today are about the highest ever. The staterooms and bathrooms are bigger or better today. Princess cruises used to have a day cruise from, San Pedro to Acapulco, for including airfare and any land transportation. You could fly to Acapulco to board the ship for $369 and they would put you up in a first class hotel for one night at no extra cost.

We are on a 7 day cruise Sept. 3 on the Zaandam where the cost to us is about what we paid to Crystal Cruises for a 10 day cruise out of San Francisco to Alaska. You cannot convince the fares have not gone.
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Old August 18th, 2005, 04:28 AM
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

Hanna,

My sentiments exactly, it has changed and not for the better in my opinion.

Cheers,
Peter

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Old August 22nd, 2005, 02:51 PM
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line



The implication here seems to be that money = class. Hardly true.

Just as a example, on our last cruise in May, we were speaking with our waitress in the dining room and discussing tipping. She told us that there were several stewards on board who had been "promoted" to working in the suites where the standard, suggested tip is $5 per person, per day. After several months they asked to be "demoted" back to the "regular people" cabins since they were often stiffed on their tips and had to endure a constant barrage of complaints about their service.

To my mind, the true "low life" is the one who regards his needs and wants above anyone elses - they exist at all levels of income.
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 02:57 PM
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

My first cruise was in 1983 then 1984 and last one was Jan 2004. Sure things have changed somewhat and yes, Bruce has a point, but it doesnt really bother me. I love ships and being at sea and the people around me frankly don't distract from that at all. My very first Princess cruise will be in Oct, so we'll see.
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

ehogan raises a good point. I'd be curious to know what percentage of stiffers stay in the suites, mini-suites, balconies, insides, etc.

This is an enormous generalization, but it's been my experience that extremely rude passengers (well, extra-rude customers in general, really) tend to fall into two groups: folks who have little power in everyday life and get some kind of twisted kick out of making the crew bow and grovel, and highly moneyed folks who think that their economic station buys them abject servility on the part of others.

Note that I am not saying that all low-on-the-power-totem-pole people or all very wealthy people act like this--not by a long stretch. But there does seem to be a disproportionate number of people with pure mean streaks in both these categories. Abusing staff because you can is not attractive, no matter whether you do it as a matter of course or as a vacation from everyday life.
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Old August 22nd, 2005, 08:02 PM
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

I suppose a lot (not all) of people with money got theirs on the backs of others - so that's how they treat everyone. That is so sad,

ttfn Jennifer
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Old September 15th, 2005, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Princess has become a 2nd class cruise line

Hey Bruce, I completely understand where you are coming from. I worked for a very low budget line, who has millions upon millions and the "theft" accusations were terrible. Guests did accuse stewards who would rather keep their jobs than steal a lousy necklace. To be honest, the ship life is much better than guests think, but its also more difficult. I can never explain it to anyone on land. They just sit there and say, " WOW, you work on a ship? You must like, get all these free cruises...do you actually stay onboard?" Comments like that made me upgrade to a more luxurious cruise line where I plan to stay. People who pay much more don't gripe as often about $1.50, but then again, you never know. A billionare can still complain about spending $.50. I totally support your posting though, because anyone who worked on ships can hear you loud and clear.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Chafkin
Starri,

Excellent question.
I have watched the Griswolds and Simpsons - in ever greater numbers every week for the past 10 years - marching up the gangway every Saturday or Sunday. I meet many of them every week, complaining that they can buy a coca cola at Walmart for 40 cents, and are outraged that they must pay $1.50 for the same thing on a ship. Many (not all)have never stayed in a hotel of any kind in their entire lives; imagine their surprise and anger when their teenage daughter telephones everyone she has ever known (from her stateroom telephone) and cannot understand that the discount telephone card she purchased at Sears & Roebuck doesn't cover the $10,000 satellite charge for the calls.
This scenario takes place at least once every week these days.

Then we have Gilligan showing up on formal night in his torn dungarees and gang colors, claiming that where he comes from, "This is Formal". As you are probably already aware, this scenario takes place hundreds of times every cruise.
Strange, but I don't remember this sort of thing happening just a few years ago. And I certainly never saw it on "The Love Boat "or "Titanic". Seems that Leonardo DiCaprio dressed very well and behaved (for the most part) much better than many of the cruisers we see today.
I also cannot recall any passengers falling / being pushed off any of the ships I worked on as recently as a few years ago. What has happened with that??

Then we have a new scam that is becoming quite popular. Every cruise now we hear from a passenger (usually the second day of the cruise) who "left a $25,000 necklace on the bed and it now seems to be missing". After an exhaustive search of the cabin, the necklace is not located. Then we inform the passenger that we can read the lock on his door, and have hidden video cameras in the passageway that can tell us exactly who entered and left the cabin and when. We exit to "review the tapes". Within minutes the passenger usually telephones to inform us that the necklace has miraculously re-appeared. Or sometimes we get an admission that it really was a scam to get insurance to pay for the trip, and since it won't cost the cruise line anything, would we mind filling out the proper forms so that he can continue his scam and get the money?

At least the passengers on the Titanic knew what a $25,000 necklace looked like. Most (not all) cruise line passengers I meet these days buy their jewelery - and nearly everything else they own - at Walmart.

Are ALL cruise line passengers this bad? OF COURSE NOT. There are still MANY, MANY marvelous, interesting, sophisticated, polite, well-dressed people cruising at all levels of ship and cruise line company. But the ever-increasing numbers of low-lives, weirdos, trailer trash, and general losers we see boarding cruise ships these days is definitely reducing the levels of cruising to new lows. Why are they cruising? Because the cruise lines reduced fares so much that they can now just barely afford to come.
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