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-   -   Before you gripe... (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/travel-gripes/387772-before-you-gripe.html)

Marsdude February 18th, 2012 10:27 AM

Before you gripe...
 
Hi, new to the boards and will be a first time cruiser in a few days.

Sorry, for the length of this post. Got going, and didn't know when to stop! :rolleyes:

First, let me say that having cruised before, of course I don't yet understand what the experience will be like. However, I have run a resort and kids camp in the mountains of Northern Colorado. I have done this type of job for almost 40 years. We are a little bit like a land based cruise ship in that we offer activities, programs, lodging, meals, coffee shop, store, etc. Of course there are big differences and we are much smaller. But some of the principles are the same.

Resorts and cruise ships sell an experience, this experience is made up of a lodging element, a meal service element, an activity element, etc. Each element either can add or detract from the total experience.

All resorts, cruise lines, and even restaurants have a certain price point and clientele that they are trying to reach. For example McDonalds has become so big because they offer decent (in the opinion of the majority that use them) food at a low price. Olive Garden, offers better food and an actually dining experience for a higher price. An excellent steak house will be more, etc.

Cruise lines have realized that they can attract more people by offering the basic amenities of a cruise at a low price and then offering "a'la carte" choices that cost more. This is a very good strategy.

This makes the cruising experience available to a much wide population base. Those with limited incomes can enjoy the basic experience. This also helps with another factor.

Retaining a guest as a customer is MUCH easier and less expensive than obtaining a new customer. It is obvious from the cruise boards that this works. Many people will take a first time lower cost cruise, enjoy it, and come back for a more expensive one.

I am sure the cruise lines are always evaluating what to add, what to drop, what to cut costs on, what to spend a little more on. I think about how many hours I or my Chef have spent talking with different vendors trying to improve quality and lower costs.

Finally, I am frankly amazed at what the cruise lines do. They are certainly not perfect, but I know how much work it is just to keep 250 people happy, let alone thousands - and if we run out of something it is usually just two hours away, not miles over the ocean.

DayvidB February 26th, 2012 02:43 PM

In some ways I agree with you on this. In some first time cruising folks heads the experience of a cruise and their expectation is related to the “old” days of cruising and how it used to be, so expectation is set high and in a lot of cases that can lead to disappointment, as its not today’s reality,,,and that results in a verdict of not “what we expected”

For me. that’s down to marketing; cruise lines are brilliant at portraying a personal experience, nearly like being on a desert island, and not the actual reality of limited personal space, Q’s for everything, finding a lounger or table, crowds etc etc.

So my basic on this is, if someone advertises or presents a vacation to me and I buy into it. And then the reality does not meet that expectation, then I reserve the right to gripe. I would do it with a hotel, a tradesman, a store or anyone advertising to get my money. Cruise ships or lines are no exception to that rule. You said it and I bought into it, and you did or did not deliver, and if you did not deliver then I want my say via a gripe.

buttons16 February 26th, 2012 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DayvidB (Post 1417676)
In some ways I agree with you on this. In some first time cruising folks heads the experience of a cruise and their expectation is related to the “old” days of cruising and how it used to be, so expectation is set high and in a lot of cases that can lead to disappointment, as its not today’s reality,,,and that results in a verdict of not “what we expected”

For me. that’s down to marketing; cruise lines are brilliant at portraying a personal experience, nearly like being on a desert island, and not the actual reality of limited personal space, Q’s for everything, finding a lounger or table, crowds etc etc.

So my basic on this is, if someone advertises or presents a vacation to me and I buy into it. And then the reality does not meet that expectation, then I reserve the right to gripe. I would do it with a hotel, a tradesman, a store or anyone advertising to get my money. Cruise ships or lines are no exception to that rule. You said it and I bought into it, and you did or did not deliver, and if you did not deliver then I want my say via a gripe.

Seems to me you have yet to cruise with Crystal, Seabourn and SilverSeas. You might think differently on what to expect if you sail with either of these lines...Sure you will pay the price but you will get a great cruise that the mainstream lines just can't come close to.

DayvidB February 27th, 2012 04:16 PM

Your right never done Cystal but been on the other two. Not my comparison, I'm talking about what we know as bulk cruising and how its represented, never seen a tv ad for the three you mentioned

Kuki February 27th, 2012 06:51 PM

There's not a product in the world that can present specifically what it delivers in a 15 or 30 second advertisment.

They are advertising a "brand". What expectations you establish for yourself based on their advertising is really quite individual.

However, if someone has an experience that is an obvious flaw, and generally unsatisfactory, I see no problem with them "griping" about it.

I think you'll notice the majority of the "gripes" about cruises are about people's fellow passengers, more so than failures of the cruise lines.

buttons16 February 29th, 2012 10:53 AM

But lets be honest here...

If I go to a travel agent and I ask to see a few brouchure's on different cruise lines such as SilverSea, Crystal,Seabourn, Carnival, NCl, Celebrity and the rest and compare the prices and see the HUGE difference a red flag or at min common sense should take over...

Look any normal human does'nt go into Burger King expecting white cloth table service....the best service and food money can buy do they?. Its up to the person to have common sense..

I figure out the cost of a cruise on Crystal for two and it amounts to lets say 8,000.00....then I figure out the cost for a Carnival cruise for two and it amounts to 1,500...do you expect the same quality and service as the higher price cruise...What ever happened to the old saying "You get what you pay for"...what happens to people...do they lose all thinking ability ? Where talking about adults here not children..

Do I go to a Car dealer and Buy a Hyundai and expect the same ride as a Caddy...or a Mercedez Benz...of course not...so why would a cruise be any different..you pay for a low end cruise and you will get a lower end cruise...plain and simple.

Trackypup February 29th, 2012 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kuki (Post 1417873)
However, if someone has an experience that is an obvious flaw, and generally unsatisfactory, I see no problem with them "griping" about it.

Exactly! I've written one complaint letter on all of my cruises and that was to HAL. 7 day cruise, we had no hot water for 5 days..freezing cold shower in Alaska is tons of fun. Our main issue was the dining room. I have no issue with cost cutting if you serve what you say you're going to serve, i can order around that...but twice they passed off pollak as crab. Once as a dungeness crab salad and once as Alaska King Crab. It was fake crab both time. Completely unacceptable.

DayvidB February 29th, 2012 04:06 PM

Its all opinion and no right or wrong answer on this or anything else that determines a persons personal experience

"What ever happened to the old saying "You get what you pay for"...what happens to people...do they lose all thinking ability ? Where talking about adults here not children"

So it does not matter if you bought the cheapest car or the most expensive Mercedes, the buyer has an expectation from it. Are you honestly saying that people who sail on the most expensive lines dont complain,,mm I would say that out of a hundred cruisers that do complain that they are the more likely to, same with Merc owners, they payed for an expectation that may not meet their reality, do they not complain to dealerships regarding the product delivered if it goes wrong? I'll bet they do. You cant compare apples and oranges and because one is cheaper to buy does automatically remove the right to gripe if it does not meet your expectation

buttons16 March 2nd, 2012 11:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DayvidB (Post 1418242)
Its all opinion and no right or wrong answer on this or anything else that determines a persons personal experience

"What ever happened to the old saying "You get what you pay for"...what happens to people...do they lose all thinking ability ? Where talking about adults here not children"

So it does not matter if you bought the cheapest car or the most expensive Mercedes, the buyer has an expectation from it. Are you honestly saying that people who sail on the most expensive lines dont complain,,mm I would say that out of a hundred cruisers that do complain that they are the more likely to, same with Merc owners, they payed for an expectation that may not meet their reality, do they not complain to dealerships regarding the product delivered if it goes wrong? I'll bet they do. You cant compare apples and oranges and because one is cheaper to buy does automatically remove the right to gripe if it does not meet your expectation

I agree somewhat...you make some valid points.

However the problem lies with the people who expect to much for what they pay. If you buy a low end cruise line product and expect steak and lobster everyday, or top quality cuisine then you are expecting too much. Who's to blame for that. I don't blame the cruise line, they are trying to sell a product. You don't expect a cruise line to say to a perspective booking "excuse me sir..before you book this cruise please note that the food is not 5 star quality..it's more like a banquet quality"...

I would also expect an adult to read reviews on the cruise line and the ship they want to sail on, I know that prior to me booking a cruise I research the ship and cruise line...reading "berlitz guide to cruising"..."the unofficial guide to crusing" and all th major web site forums...so I kinda of know what to expect from the cruise line and the ship before I book it..However if it does'nt even come close to what I read on the line and ship then yes, Its a valid gripe...But If it is exactly what all the books and web sites says it is and I did'nt do my research and expected more...well then the blame is on the person buying the cruise.

DavidB March 4th, 2012 04:23 PM

We actually agree, I never buy anything these days without doing research, from a new TV to a cruise line or actual ship. No reason these days not to know what to expect before you buy given the power of Google.

Dont know whats happened on CM registration, but I appear to have now become the old me, nice one

buttons16 March 4th, 2012 05:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidB (Post 1418815)
We actually agree, I never buy anything these days without doing research, from a new TV to a cruise line or actual ship. No reason these days not to know what to expect before you buy given the power of Google.

Dont know whats happened on CM registration, but I appear to have now become the old me, nice one

Yes we agree...Its nice to have a intellegent conversation...Thank you.:)


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