My wife and I love cruising. We've never really had a horrible cruising experience with HAL. We have taken some pleasure in the hobby of people watching. Many people forget the fact that they are on a cruise, which only a small portion of people ever get to do in the first place. Some people take pleasure in treating the cooking staff on the Lido with audible contempt. Some people enjoy complaining about everything they encounter with respect to the cruise ship. Some people complain about the fact that one conglomerate has taken over the line and that HAL is just a puppet of a larger company. Regardless of the veracity of their statements or perceived justifiability of their behavior, they seem to forget that not everyone gets to enjoy being on a cruise. I grew up in a very poor middle class family. Cruising was never an option I even dreamed about. Watching the Love Boat was about as close as I dreamed I would come to a cruise. Thanks to hard work and a bit of luck, I get to enjoy it now but I never forget where I came from.
The people who serve you on these ships are far away from their homes and families for months at a time. The staff that cleans your rooms, cooks your food, and handles the ship, in most cases do it for a salary you and I would never consider as acceptable. They work enormously hard to please the guest and they absorb quite a bit of verbal abuse by people who frankly have it pretty good in life. Maybe it's my 21 years of military service, or maybe its the fact that I I still have calluses on my hands, I never overlook the hard work people do. The best thing you can do as a cruiser, whether you're a first time cruiser or an experienced cruiser, is to lighten up, take in the ocean air, and just enjoy the fact that you have the privilege to cruise. If your sheet isn't folded quite as perfectly as you would like, remember that you didn't have to make that bed. If you're treated rudely, by all means report that treatment, or don't tip as much. Before you decide to go an a rant ask yourself this question. Would you do what these people do for the pay they receive?
I recognize that there are some truly bad things that may happen on a cruise. Back in January 2017, I was on the Nat Geo/Linbad cruise that threw a rod in the middle of the Drake passage and had to return under emergency power. But even then, the overall cruise was a great experience. I'm happy go lucky person. I love being on ships. Yes, I've noticed some changes in services, but I'm smart enough to realize that have a zero defect mindset is unrealistic. To keep myself grounded, though I'm retired, I work part time in an industry that is woefully under paid (EMS). Many of my colleagues work multiple jobs to make ends meet. So remember, if you have a stable deck beneath your feet, don't have to do the dishes after dinner, or make your bed, you've got it pretty good in life. Enjoy yourself. Leave the grump monster locked up at home where he/she belongs.