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How Has Cruising Changed: Expectations vs. Luxuries?


CCAubs
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13 minutes ago, DarrenM said:

Something else I have never understood. Just pick up a fork and dig in. And use the same fork for the main as well. Some poor soul has to wash up.

Do a behind the scenes tour and you will see that they have several BFO washing up machines - it ain't some skivvy with a Scotchbrite and a J cloth (they even wash the washing up machine bits in the washing up machines).

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2 minutes ago, SteveH2508 said:

Do a behind the scenes tour and you will see that they have several BFO washing up machines - it ain't some skivvy with a Scotchbrite and a J cloth (they even wash the washing up machine bits in the washing up machines).

Really? This disappoints me. And what are they doing to the planet?

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4 hours ago, Essiesmom said:

Well, you may think things are on a decline, and maybe they have declined from 10-15 years ago.  but my first cruise in 1972 was on a very old ship (1931) and though the cabin had a sink, the bathrooms/showers were down the hall.  There were no amenities in the cabin that I remember, no turn-down chocolates.  No balconies.  No alternative dining other than pizza.  A couch that made into the bed, narrow.  The next year I sailed on the Oceanic, and had my own bathroom.  Luxury!  I don't remember the menu being particularly gourmet, and the lunch menu never changed.  There was only a lounge for entertainment, and I didn't go much.  I have never been able to afford a balcony on every cruise, nor ever a suite.  I feel fortunate to be able to cruise at all and look for the positives, not the 'not as good as..'.  EM

My first cruise was in 1973 on the Cunard Ambassador.Every Cabin had a porthole.

No lounges.There was a movie theater and  theater for live entertainment.Passengers had to dress semi formally for lunch and dinner on sea days.The food was excellent.All cabins had bathrooms.There was a beautiful pool but no activities other than skeet shooting and shuffleboard.

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4 hours ago, George C said:

Al Martino brought my mother in law on stage and sang her a song , she was thrilled. Also around 2000 we saw Captain and Tennile a couple of times . 

We now do charter music cruises and I last two years saw America, Micheal McDonald, Boz Skaggs , BJ Thomas and many others

A friend of mine is a guitar player in a band that is occasionally part of charter music cruises.In addition his band may do a booking on a cruise ship that sails from Fla.

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3 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

One thing not mentioned is cabins. When I first started cruising (early 1970s), there were only a few balcony cabins available on ships, and you generally had to book a suite to get one. Now, some ships have hardly any inside or ocean view cabins. 

 

Also, there were no in-cabin television sets. I'm not sure if that change is a good one or a bad one.... 

 

As to the things that have not improved (but rather have gone the other direction) on mass market lines, it would be difficult to list them all. I miss the table-side preparation of special items in the MDR (such as fettucine alfredo, or cherries jubilee). I miss having more courses at each meal. I miss having side dishes served by the waiters after the entree arrived. I miss caviar offered in the MDR. I miss having your steward in attendance virtually 24/7 because he bunked in a room right in the midst of the cabins he serviced. I miss having him pop out and open the door for you when returning to your cabin, before you could even whip out your key. (And there were real keys in those days, folks....).  I miss large floral arrangements and lots of live music and teak deck loungers. I miss the Captain actually shaking everyone's hand and chatting a few words with each at the welcome aboard reception.

 

But hey -- we can all sit in our cabins and watch tv!!  It's all good!

 

My cabin on the Cunard ship in 1973 had a TV and a radio. There were no in room safes.If you wanted to store valuables you would go to the guest services desk and get a key.Every Cabin had a key. As I previously stated,no balconies.

The cost for the cruise,taxes included was $699.00 for my wife and I .A 7 night cruise from NY to Bermuda.

Edited by lenquixote66
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8 minutes ago, lenquixote66 said:

A friend of mine is a guitar player in a band that is occasionally part of charter music cruises.In addition his band may do a booking on a cruise ship that sails from Fla.


Well that's vague LOL!

 

My husband and I have several friends who play in or work for bands that do charters.  Some of them love it, others hate it.  The crew guys have a love/hate relationship with it because they get their own cabin for a week instead of the bus they usually sleep on, but loading the gear onto the ship is always a cluster.  The last cruise my one friend was on, the ship was eight hours late coming into port and the crew had to sit there in the sun guarding a couple hundred road cases that had been dumped by the truck that morning expecting they'd be loaded on by noonish.  They didn't get done loading everything on until late that night.

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I paid 600 for my cabin on the great Rotterdam in both 1977 and 1978, this was the single rate, couples paid just 400 a person. They raised the rate in 1979 and got a ten day cruise on the Marconi for less money that 7 day Rotterdam. I booked these through singleworld great company singles only, great host and great private tours, did all my cruises with them until honeymoon in 1991. 

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1 hour ago, ducklite said:


Well that's vague LOL!

 

My husband and I have several friends who play in or work for bands that do charters.  Some of them love it, others hate it.  The crew guys have a love/hate relationship with it because they get their own cabin for a week instead of the bus they usually sleep on, but loading the gear onto the ship is always a cluster.  The last cruise my one friend was on, the ship was eight hours late coming into port and the crew had to sit there in the sun guarding a couple hundred road cases that had been dumped by the truck that morning expecting they'd be loaded on by noonish.  They didn't get done loading everything on until late that night.

Why is it vague?

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6 hours ago, DarrenM said:

Well thanks for that but the threat of those pesky formal nights remains.

 

I just cant get them out of my head.

 nothing a dip in the North Sea and termite tea afterwards won't cure

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11 hours ago, CCAubs said:

 

Ah, so it already did. Other than ship size, what are some of the things you enjoy most about cruising with those premium/luxury lines?

Our preference is Viking, which has zero kids, no casino, no annoying photogs, no shoppies peddling inches of chains/watches/etc, no art auctions, no shopping hosts, no nickle & diming. They have superior food, all specialty restaurants are included, spa area is included, wi-fi included, self-service laundry included, as is an excursion in each port.

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

Our preference is Viking, which has zero kids, no casino, no annoying photogs, no shoppies peddling inches of chains/watches/etc, no art auctions, no shopping hosts, no nickle & diming. They have superior food, all specialty restaurants are included, spa area is included, wi-fi included, self-service laundry included, as is an excursion in each port.

 

 

How is there entertainment? 

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21 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

Our preference is Viking, which has zero kids, no casino, no annoying photogs, no shoppies peddling inches of chains/watches/etc, no art auctions, no shopping hosts, no nickle & diming. They have superior food, all specialty restaurants are included, spa area is included, wi-fi included, self-service laundry included, as is an excursion in each port.

 

 

You have just given me GREAT info.  Thanks a gazillion.

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1 minute ago, George C said:

How is there entertainment? 

One or two shows per night in the Theatre - they have a number of musical performances (Beatles, ABBA, etc) and they bring on entertainers who do a couple of shows. Trivia is once per day (sea days). They have a string group playing in the Lounge (Atrium) and also have a resident band in the nightclub.

 

None of the mass market pax participation shows. They have a resident Historian and/or Astronomer and additional quality lecturers. They also have TED Talks. All talks & lectures are re-broadcast on cabin TV's. They also have a good selection of complimentary films available on the cabin TV.

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10 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

One thing not mentioned is cabins. When I first started cruising (early 1970s), there were only a few balcony cabins available on ships, and you generally had to book a suite to get one. Now, some ships have hardly any inside or ocean view cabins. 

 

Also, there were no in-cabin television sets. I'm not sure if that change is a good one or a bad one.... 

 

As to the things that have not improved (but rather have gone the other direction) on mass market lines, it would be difficult to list them all. I miss the table-side preparation of special items in the MDR (such as fettucine alfredo, or cherries jubilee). I miss having more courses at each meal. I miss having side dishes served by the waiters after the entree arrived. I miss caviar offered in the MDR. I miss having your steward in attendance virtually 24/7 because he bunked in a room right in the midst of the cabins he serviced. I miss having him pop out and open the door for you when returning to your cabin, before you could even whip out your key. (And there were real keys in those days, folks....).  I miss large floral arrangements and lots of live music and teak deck loungers. I miss the Captain actually shaking everyone's hand and chatting a few words with each at the welcome aboard reception.

 

But hey -- we can all sit in our cabins and watch tv!!  It's all good!

 

Brilliant, thanks for bringing back some great memories.

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3 hours ago, c-boy said:

 nothing a dip in the North Sea and termite tea afterwards won't cure

A dip in the North Sea is not something I would recommend to anyone. Ever.

 

And I have lived just a few hundred yards from it for over 50 years.

 

 

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My first cruises were in the late 90's and I took a fairly long hiatus before coming back to them.  

 

What I noticed was tighter security, lower quality food, less personal service, higher costs for drinks but a lower cost for the cruise itself.

 

What I appreciated was less regimentation and rigidity along with a far less structured atmosphere.  Anytime dining, specialty restaurants, reduced dress requirements even on the so-called formal nights.  The entire experience was less affected and pretentious that I remembered from 20 years ago.   

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1 hour ago, K32682 said:

My first cruises were in the late 90's and I took a fairly long hiatus before coming back to them.  

 

What I noticed was tighter security, lower quality food, less personal service, higher costs for drinks but a lower cost for the cruise itself.

 

What I appreciated was less regimentation and rigidity along with a far less structured atmosphere.  Anytime dining, specialty restaurants, reduced dress requirements even on the so-called formal nights.  The entire experience was less affected and pretentious that I remembered from 20 years ago.   

 

Very interesting! Why the hiatus? And what brought you back?

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9 hours ago, K32682 said:

My first cruises were in the late 90's and I took a fairly long hiatus before coming back to them.  

 

What I noticed was tighter security, lower quality food, less personal service, higher costs for drinks but a lower cost for the cruise itself.

 

What I appreciated was less regimentation and rigidity along with a far less structured atmosphere.  Anytime dining, specialty restaurants, reduced dress requirements even on the so-called formal nights.  The entire experience was less affected and pretentious that I remembered from 20 years ago.   

 

I did exactly the same thing...took a long break and when I came back noticed the same things.  

 

In general, I think there's less personal service, lower quality and higher costs (which I expect) in almost everything now days so it's not surprising cruising isn't what it used to be but what is.

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, CCAubs said:

 

Very interesting! Why the hiatus? And what brought you back?

 

I was turned off by the grand "traditions" of cruising that were still more in vogue at the time such as adults waving napkins over their heads while waiters marched in a flaming dessert and other similar silliness. 

 

What brought me back was a search for the midnight sun and after 14 years took an Alaskan cruise in the summer and found it quite tolerable because the formal dress requirements had largely been dropped and we did not have to endure dining at a table of complete strangers.  This was followed by a re-positioning cruise from Europe to North America that stopped in Iceland for two days which was more than sufficient to see the place.  

 

Even today I will take a land visit over a cruise most of the time but there are circumstances where a cruise is the best option to get to a place I want to visit.  Antarctica is definitely in my future plans, the Caribbean not a chance. 

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2 minutes ago, K32682 said:

there are circumstances where a cruise is the best option to get to a place I want to visit. 

That's what brought us back.  Antarctica on a small ship (Hurtigruten's Midnatsol) so we could disembark at four different places.  This was in conjunction with an escorted land tour through Patagonia.  We loved the cruise line so much that we did their Norwegian coastal cruise in March.  Only 100 pax and on the second half we were the only 'Americans.' Loved IT so much that we booked the NB only for next April and will combine it with some pre and post travel.

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