Let's see, this thread started with "I've been cruising since I was 17." Well, Ive been cruising since 1969 when I was 7. I have given much thought about not replying to this thread. But here goes. Haven't sailed on HAL in years, mainly because of the changes that started long ago when Carnival transplanted the Princess model on HAL. Seabourn is more expensive folks, but you get so much more for your dollar (like we once did on HAL). Carnival often gets a bad rap, but face it. Carnival kept HAL alive and helped it expand. Unfortunately, expansion comes at a price. No way HAL could compete in its markets with its smaller ships. It needed larger ships to lower the price and that meant something had to be traded off: service, staffing, food. The travel market has changed drastically. I see it at the hotels I stay in. Millennials are more worried about where their meat came from and saving the planet by not washing their towels and sheets. If I check into one more hotel and have to call the desk to reattach my TV because a prior guest hooked up his computer to the jack I will scream. They don't know there was a time when the extra restaurant on HAL was included in the fare. They don't care the shore ex lectures (and much of that was a huge advert for merchants who paid for it) was helpful. They just look at their phones. They like the idea of paying more for something that once was included in the price. Wine? Jack the price. Drinks? Jack the price. I recall a post several months ago where someone stated they had disembarked from a very long and exclusive voyage and actually had a credit to their bill. How the hell is that even possible other than gaming the system and not spending a dime. Their call, but everyone suffers when that happens. And it happens a lot these days on HAL. They're used to marketing ship services in their lives (BB King etc). I really hate that the perks I once enjoyed in a suite have been diluted with 4 and 5 star status. And Club Orange? Spare me. HAL must survive and all those changes address a new marketplace. What once had the makings of a 5- star line is now very mass market. Compete they must. There are alternatives. They come at a price. Vote with your wallet. But there is no turning back to the Golden Age of transatlantic travel (the newly wed and nearly dead as it was once described).