phaelon56 Posted August 2, 2005 #101 Share Posted August 2, 2005 You make many good points Sue. I lack the cruising experience in the both number of cruises and breadth of time to be able to make comparisons but it seems that all can agree on the fact that the cruise market has changed. Some truly "premium" cruise lines including Radisson, Crystal and Seabourn have chosen to focus on delivering the higherst possible level of service, food quality etc and kept the number of passengers per ship relatively low while mainiting a high crew to passenger ratio. What used to be considered "premium" is now in nearly all cases (not just with cruise ships) diluted so much by virtue of passemnger volume and market prices for competitive prices that it's just anohter mass market product. When you mention your appreciation for five star (I assume you mean 4* NYT and 3* Micheline type) restaurants and hotels it becomes self-evident even to me as an inexperienced cruiser that Princess can no longer meet your needs in its current incarnation. Not sure if I agree with the Holiday Inn analogy. I'd be more inclined to use the analogy of Princess being like a nice Marriott or Hyatt hotel and the true "premium" cruise lines being akin to a real five star hotel (which Marriott's and Hyatt's certainly are not). I had a great experience on Princess in the fall of 2003 and certainly expect/hope that I will again this fall. But I'm not expecting a truly luxury/five star type experience in terms of food, or service. I can rarely afford to travel or dine out at that level but have done so and do know and appreciate the difference. For many of us it's all about value for the money. I know that on Princess I'll almost certainly get acceptable food (not stellar but decent enough) and expect that for the most part I'll get decent to very good service (I am truly sorry to hear of your bad experience - especially with an inattentive room steward - I think that's an aberration but it's certainly unacceptable). I also recognize that they have big ships catering to the mass market and some aspect of the experience won't be to my liking but it's what I can afford this year. I'd rather travel on a middle-of-the-road cruise experience than not have one at all. And when I can afford better I'll pay the extra money and savor the exeprience that much more. I just checked the price for a Radisson Seven Seas cruise departing at the same time as and on an itinerary similar to my upcoming Princess cruise. Both lines are discounting cabins for these sailings because it's a slow time of year but Radisson's percentage of discount is even higher than that offered by Princess. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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