Do you remember when??

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#1
San Francisco Bay Area
6,916 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
We've chosen cruising as our favorite form of travel for the past 30 years and thought back on what policies and procedures were in place back then and what it looks like now. Please feel free to add to my short list -- it will bring back memories.

Things that have changed over the years:

- You used to be assigned to a table of strangers at a specific time ... sometimes you liked them but sometimes not. There was an early seating and a late seating. If you showed up more than 10-15 minutes late, you had to go to the buffet. NOW: ANYTIME DINING OPTIONS

- Collecting envelopes and cash to tip each staff member on the cruise separately. Rumor has it that people didn't show up to the dining room on the last night of the cruise so they wouldn't have to tip their waiters. NOW: AUTOMATIC GRATUITIES

- Early wake up on the last day of the cruise to line up onboard to go through customs. Lines would string all throughout the entire length of the ship. NOW: CUSTOMS USUALLY (not always) HANDLED IN THE TERMINAL

- All large pieces of luggage were put outside your doorway the evening before disembarkation; this was pretty much mandatory. NOW: CARRY OFF AND LUGGAGE VALET OPTIONS

- Long lines at the front desk to get a copy of your bill. NOW: FOLIO KIOSKS AND TV OPTIONS (on some cruiselines)

- A call to the room service pantry for requesting food items. NOW: ORDERING OF ROOM SERVICE ON THE TV (on some cruiselines)

- Drinks were offered at per drink pricing, albeit decent pricing: NOW: BEVERAGE PACKAGES AVAILABLE

- Midnight buffets, special champagne brunch buffets, other specialized buffets with food displays and ice carvings: NOW: SPECIAL BUFFETS SEEM TO HAVE ALL BEEN ELIMINATED

Well, that's all I can think of at the moment - some positive and one or two negative in my opinion. Many will complain about the cutbacks here and there but I still think cruising gives us the best bang for our buck. While I recall my first cruise way back in the early 80s was in an oceanview cabin on Carnival - the cost was $100 a day per person excluding gratuities. I see better pricing than that across many of the mainstream cruise lines....and that was 30+ years ago. Wow!
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Cruise Raider
#2
549 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
A Ship's Officer, at the Table, who had wine for all at the Table.

A little incentive for us to buy a bottle or two
#4
Battle Ground, WA
576 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Formal, Semi-formal, or Casual designation for evening meal - now only two designations with the more formal one akin to Semi-formal in the past.
Standing in line for shore tours on the first morning of the cruise -now we can preorder online.
Door keys and a separate cruise card - now the cruise card is also the room key.
Cruisercise "cash" for participating in activities to be turned in at the end of the cruise for logo wear - now gone.
#5
401 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
Your cruise "keycard" use to be made of paper and the details on it were actually "typed" with a typewriter!

Some ships used an actual "key" to open your cabin door.

They use to have a "directory" of everyones names, cabin they were in, and where they were from. This was in everyones cabin and it was kinda fun to see where everyone was cruising from.

Soooooo many changes now, its a completely different ballgame!

Still love cruising... just have to go with the flow.

Currently on the Star... cruising for 32 days.... in San Fran.

LOVING it!! LOL
#6
San Leandro Calif
603 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Actual wood loungers on the promenade deck - very rare today.
Promenade deck that actually went around the entire ship on the same level (even rarer)
Midnight buffets with people lined up outside to take a picture of all the carvings
Costume parties
Sail away was a big deal with streamers - like in the movies
Single rooms
All the singles being seated at the same table
Sitmar
News printout at the passenger services desk every morning
Muster being held at the actual location where the boat was with life jackets on and drink in hand
Good Memories

Now I'm looking forward to Anytime dining; getting to know people before the cruise through the roll call; Elite bar setup and not having to scramble for the tip envelopes; and never having to get off the ship in Ensenada again (it counts as a sea day to me)

Good times either way
#7
South Carolina
28,848 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Lots of things have changed over the years ... not all have been for the worse.
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Happy Sailing! OCruisers (LuLu & Roundman)
80+ Cruises .... Princess, Celebrity, RCCL, HAL, Carnival, NCL, Costa, etc. (Still miss Sitmar)
#8
NY
712 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
I like this post! It makes me think of the Love Boat TV show. I love watching those really old episodes.
People would just wander onto the ship, not producing any ID whatsoever, and just go to their cabin which was seemingly always unlocked "Come in, it's open".
The men dressed in tuxedos every night.
They flambeed things in the dining room. Giant flames everywhere!
Numerous ship staff wearing super short-shorts, men and women alike.
Strangers meeting each other and getting married at the end of the cruise.
I could go on an on. I always wish they would make throwback cruise that would be just like the old Love Boat show.
Anyway I digress. Thanks for this post it was well thought out.
#9
Kent, UK
1,855 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Real flames on the baked Alaska's

As an 11 year old kid I had to wear a jacket in the restaurant every evening.
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#10
Chicago, IL, USA
2,016 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Hi,

I started cruising in 1967 (as a small child with my parents). I still love cruises, but agree that there have been many changes over the years. Your lists are great and bring back a lot of memories. Here are a few more things that have changed:
  • Skeet shooting off the back of the ship
  • Visiting other ships in port (during a 1995 cruise on the first Regal Princess, we were encouraged to visit the other Princess ships in port)
  • Occasional tableside food preparation on major cruise lines (for example, cherries jubilee)
  • Being given a copy of the menus at the end of the cruise to take home (a few lines still do this, but it is rare)
  • The cruise director giving a disembarkation talk near the end of the cruise that needed to be attended by at least one member of the family
  • A much more formal atmosphere for dinner with strict dress codes that everyone followed
  • On Royal Caribbean, different theme nights in the dining room (for example, French Night where the waiters wore berets and decorated the dining room with French flags)
  • Tours of the bridge open to everyone (free of charge)
Chuck
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554 days - 87 cruises - 64 ships

Royal Caribbean (124 days, 22 cruises); Princess (120 days, 18 cruises); Cunard (105 days, 17 cruises); Norwegian (53 days, 8 cruises); Celebrity (51 days, 8 cruises); Crystal (43 days, 5 cruises); Holland America (38 days, 5 cruises); Other (20 days, 4 cruises)

Future cruises: Crown Princess, Feb. 23, 2018 (8-day Southern Caribbean); Emerald Princess, May 9, 2018 (4-day Pacific Coastal); Queen Victoria, Sep. 22, 2018 (7-day Mediterranean); Royal Princess, May 4, 2019 (7-day Wine Country Coastal)


Areas cruised to: Alaska; Asia (Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand); Australia; Bahamas; Bermuda; Canada/New England; Caribbean; Greek Islands; Hawaii; Mediterranean; Mexican Riviera; Norway; Pacific Coastal; Panama Canal; Scandinavia/Russia; Spain/Portugal; Tahiti; Transatlantic Crossings
#11
1,987 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
  • Driving golf balls off the back of the ship.
  • Headwaiters who could peel a peach or pear impaled on a fork by turning it against the knife.
  • Silver salver service for vegetable sides.
  • Fish forks and knives (ahem, Princess, this didn't disappear that long ago - what in the hell did you do with all of them?)
  • Ships without actual permanent buffets.
  • Boullion on the promenade deck.
  • Upper and lower berths.
  • Bathrooms down the hall.
  • First and second seating breakfast and luncheon.
  • Cold buffet as a luncheon option in the MDR.
  • Pâte ŕ choux swans in a lake of chocolate sauce (how elegant!)
  • Masquerade night.
#12
Australia
11,545 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
A good idea for a post. Thanks Cruise Raider.
My addition ...there used to be a 24hr buffet on the sun class ships.
#13
Southern Cal/Maui No Ka Oi
18,753 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by Bemidji Ty
Princess champagne flutes at the end of the cruise.
We still use those whenever drinking champagne! Two of them were etched with the year (1989) which I think may have been one of the last years they were given to Circolo del Comandante (Captain's Circle) members but obviously my memory could be wrong.

I agree about the prices...the attached PDF copy of a 1977/1978 Princess brochure has prices that nearly 40 years later are similar to today's prices.

Our first Princess cruise was on Sitmar six months before merging with Princess...white glove service from silver platters was amazing!

Although the older ships' cabins were not as good as those we have today. Back then they built a ship & figured out where to put cabins (there were some really odd cabins) but now the cabins are modular and much nicer than what we had back then.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 1977 Princess Brochure.pdf (221.0 KB, 471 views)
#14
Texas
1,459 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Most things on board were actually surprises and new experiences as you had not had the chance to research them to death on the Interwebs beforehand.

I can't claim to have cruised like the old TAs but I can claim to have been on a true liner. My second cruise was on the SS Norway, formerly the France. Other than the fact the AC sucked, lol, what a gem. And talk about real promenade.
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#15
Maine
1,045 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by Astro Flyer
We still use those whenever drinking champagne! Two of them were etched with the year (1989) which I think may have been one of the last years they were given to Circolo del Comandante (Captain's Circle) members but obviously my memory could be wrong.

I agree about the prices...the attached PDF copy of a 1977/1978 Princess brochure has prices that nearly 40 years later are similar to today's prices.

Our first Princess cruise was on Sitmar six months before merging with Princess...white glove service from silver platters was amazing!

Although the older ships' cabins were not as good as those we have today. Back then they built a ship & figured out where to put cabins (there were some really odd cabins) but now the cabins are modular and much nicer than what we had back then.
That brochure from the 70s is great! It's amazing that the were commanding those prices on a short sailing, and of course no real balcony cabins or suites as we know them today. Thanks for sharing!
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Happy Cruising,
Doreen



Previous Cruises
6/2010 - Alaska - Island Princess
5/2011 - TA & Med - Ruby Princess
4/2012 - TA & British Isles - Grand Princess
2/2013 - Hawaii - Sapphire Princess
9/2014 - Caribbean B2B - Caribbean Princess
3/2015 - Western Caribbean - Emerald Princess
9/2016 - Mexican Riviera - Grand Princess
3/2017 - Caribbean B2B - Crown Princess
#16
Southern Cal/Maui No Ka Oi
18,753 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by Luvmyrotti
That brochure from the 70s is great! It's amazing that the were commanding those prices on a short sailing, and of course no real balcony cabins or suites as we know them today. Thanks for sharing!
Glad that you enjoyed it & for me it puts things in perspective when comparing cruising back then to today's cruises.

To get the food & service we enjoyed on Sitmar & our first Princess cruise in 1989 we'd have to probably sail more upscale cruise lines such as Oceania or even a luxury cruise line such as Crystal. Of course with those higher prices we couldn't afford to cruise as often so instead we enjoy many more days sailing on Princess which still provides us with the best overall cruise experience for what we're paying today.
#17
THORNDALE, PA
418 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
In a Mini Suite having a Butler with white gloves-
flowers in your cabin everyday-
shoes shined and tuxedo pressed without asking.
Cavier in the MDR for dinner at no charge
Midnight Buffets
Leaving out of San Juan and returning
#18
Crown Isle, BC & Fort Mohave, AZ
26,725 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
I crewed on a cruise ship and made 13 nine day trips to Alaska in the summer of 1963:

-the ship was huge, 5,500 tons
-there were no stabilizers
-there was no theatre, people wrote letters, listened to music, played cards in the evening
-dining tables were fully set with all the utensils you needed and pax knew which to use and when
-each table as adorned with a silver candelabra which the waiter polished regularly.
-the tables were set with crystal
-waiters wore white gloves and French served each passenger
-not all the cabins had private bathrooms
-there was no doctor aboard unless he/she was a pax
-we stayed in ports most evenings
-customs came aboard either before Ketchikan or Prince Rupert southbound and while you needed ID passports weren't.
-duty free was really duty free
-drinks and wine were pretty much at cost
-pizza and ice-cream bars were unheard of
-passengers got a pax list and where everyone was from
-there was no pool
- the ship that competed with ours was the Princess Patricia which eventually a fledgling, upstart cruise line called Princess leased for winter cruising on the MEXRIV.
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#19
691 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Astro Flyer
We still use those whenever drinking champagne! Two of them were etched with the year (1989) which I think may have been one of the last years they were given to Circolo del Comandante (Captain's Circle) members but obviously my memory could be wrong.

I agree about the prices...the attached PDF copy of a 1977/1978 Princess brochure has prices that nearly 40 years later are similar to today's prices.

Our first Princess cruise was on Sitmar six months before merging with Princess...white glove service from silver platters was amazing!

Although the older ships' cabins were not as good as those we have today. Back then they built a ship & figured out where to put cabins (there were some really odd cabins) but now the cabins are modular and much nicer than what we had back then.
I love the line "Allow approximately 3 hours to clear customs and immigration" on page three!! Yikes!!
#20
Southern Cal/Maui No Ka Oi
18,753 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by MustangGT
I love the line "Allow approximately 3 hours to clear customs and immigration" on page three!! Yikes!!
YIKES!

Also those prices did not include the port taxes & having been to Ensenada last Friday on the Crown things must have changed since 1977 because it wasn't intriguing to me.