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What makes Cunard different from other lines?


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11 hours ago, shipgeeks said:

MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company) was founded about 300 years ago.

The corporate records I saw showed it (the line with container ships) founded in Naples in 1970. Am I missing something?

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Up to this point, Cunard builds ships - not floating Vegas hotels that are inward looking designed to shake you down for more $.

 

Less of the harassment to buy packages - a practice that is out of control on Celebrity and that has now invaded Azamara - I will not sail either line due to this practice.

 

The semi-formality, which is wonderful - bit of decorum in an ever cheapening world.

 

Some, but minimized class segmentation - while it is there, it is discreet. I will not sail on the highly class segmented lines.

 

I hope the new Cunard ship provides ample outdoor areas where guests "can be with the sea".

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1 hour ago, ABoatNerd said:

Up to this point, Cunard builds ships - not floating Vegas hotels that are inward looking designed to shake you down for more $.

 

Less of the harassment to buy packages - a practice that is out of control on Celebrity and that has now invaded Azamara - I will not sail either line due to this practice.

 

The semi-formality, which is wonderful - bit of decorum in an ever cheapening world.

 

Some, but minimized class segmentation - while it is there, it is discreet. I will not sail on the highly class segmented lines.

 

I hope the new Cunard ship provides ample outdoor areas where guests "can be with the sea".

This is right - while some posters see the Cunard Grills as a negative bit of “class distinction” - the fact is that NCL, which has led the march to the bottom by appealing to the mass market by cheapening the overall cruise experience, has the most egregious class distinctions - setting apart far more of their ships “public” areas, with their Haven Suites, restricted access pools, Haven Spa, even segregated theatre sections.

 

Cunard, alone among mass market lines, is simply retaining as broadly as possible the essence of the cruise experience - not following the Walmarts of the Seas who want to be all things to all people and increasingly  offering less and less value for the fares paid (at whatever level).

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30 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

This is right - while some posters see the Cunard Grills as a negative bit of “class distinction” - the fact is that NCL, which has led the march to the bottom by appealing to the mass market by cheapening the overall cruise experience, has the most egregious class distinctions - setting apart far more of their ships “public” areas, with their Haven Suites, restricted access pools, Haven Spa, even segregated theatre sections.

 

 

 

Having sailed in Haven on NCL (plus non-Haven) and also the Yacht Club on MSC (and non-Yacht Club) I can say they are wonderful experiences.  It's quite nice to have a private enclave where you can escape the masses of the rest of the ship.  This being sailed, I've also sailed on both lines outside these exclusive areas, and honestly you don't even know they exist.  The areas are very discreet and off the beaten path, and unless you went looking for them it's likely you would never see them.  

 

Generally speaking, Cunard has the perception among cruisers as having the biggest class divide.  Whether this is true or not is up for debate, but perceptions are a strong thing and this is the perception I get when I mention Cunard.  Part of it goes back to Cunard's history of offering three class service.  I will say many Cunarder's will ask the question "where are you dining" soon after meeting a new acquaintance onboard.  That sometimes sets the perception of class distinction right there and then.  On other ships (NCL/MSC) I've never been asked if I'm in the Haven or Yacht Club.  It's simply a non-issue and people don't think about it.  

 

All this being said, I don't feel any of the lines truly have a class distinction.  Those days are over.  People that pay more simply receive more.  It doesn't mean they are in a higher economic status (they might have saved for years) or are somehow superior.  It just means they paid more on that particular cruise for better accommodations and an elevated experience.  I've booked Queen's Grill, Princess Grill, and Britannia  Club ... but much more often plain Britannia.  Just depends on the cruise and I enjoy them all.  

 

The ship within a ship concept (like the Haven & Yacht Club) is becoming more and more popular, and mass-market lines like Princess, Celebrity, and even Carnival are now offering more and more to suite guests, and making the experience more private and exclusive.  The see how popular the Yacht Club and Haven experiences are on MSC and NCL.  They are competing more and more with the luxury lines (Crystal, Silversea, Regent, Seabourn) and sometimes offer an experience that comes close.  

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57 minutes ago, eroller said:

 

 

...

 

 It's quite nice to have a private enclave where you can escape the masses of the rest of the ship.  

...

57 minutes ago, eroller said:

 

All this being said, I don't feel any of the lines truly have a class distinction.  Those days are over.  People that pay more simply receive more.  It doesn't mean they are in a higher economic status (they might have saved for years) or are somehow superior.  It just means they paid more on that particular cruise for better accommodations and an elevated experience.  ... 

 

The ship within a ship concept (like the Haven & Yacht Club) is becoming more and more popular, and mass-market lines like Princess, Celebrity, and even Carnival are now offering more and more to suite guests, and making the experience more private and exclusive.  The see how popular the Yacht Club and Haven experiences are on MSC and NCL.  

 

 

Escaping “the masses” is what class distinction is all about.

 

Receiving more for paying more is PRECISELY what constitutes class distinction on board.  Whether it is inherited money, lottery earnings, high pay, or years of scrimping that enabled paying more makes no difference.

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8 minutes ago, navybankerteacher said:

...

 

 

Escaping “the masses” is what class distinction is all about.

 

Receiving more for paying more is PRECISELY what constitutes class distinction on board.  Whether it is inherited money, lottery earnings, high pay, or years of scrimping that enabled paying more makes no difference.

 

 

Spin it anyway you want.  Whatever works for you.  I obviously look at it from a different perspective than you do.  

 

Bottom line, I have no problem with it whether it be the Grills on Cunard, or a ship within a ship concept on some other line.  Sometimes it's me in the higher priced accommodation, and sometimes it isn't.  Either way I enjoy myself and I don't see it as anyone being better or worse than anyone else in terms of socio-economic class.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, eroller said:

.  I will say many Cunarder's will ask the question "where are you dining" soon after meeting a new acquaintance onboard.  

 

 

I must say my experience does differ. I have never been asked where I'm dining, nor heard the question asked. So, I don't think it's that common, though your experience suggests it certainly does happen. But the commonest question I find is whether I've been on the ship before.

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57 minutes ago, exlondoner said:

 

I must say my experience does differ. I have never been asked where I'm dining, nor heard the question asked. So, I don't think it's that common, though your experience suggests it certainly does happen. But the commonest question I find is whether I've been on the ship before.


 

Yes I get asked about previous Cunard cruises too, but often where I’m dining as well.  This is most common during the daily FOD gatherings in the Commodore Club.  I don’t have a problem with it, as often it’s just ice breaking conversation at a cocktail party, but it is a phenomenon I haven’t experienced on other lines.   

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The only snobbishness I’ve encountered was last year. I won’t say where or when ( in case they are on here) but someone announced on shore that they were very posh and in Princess Grills to another couple who weren’t on the ship. They then proceeded to moan about the $6 shuttle fare and drink prices onboard. We were involved in the conversation and I did say that we didn’t have to pay the $6 shuttle but didn’t use the words “saver fare”

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The issue of physical segmentation of guests is an emerging trend in the cruising industry.

 

The modern cruise industry was born with the philosophy of removal of physical class barriers that had been in place on Cunard, French line etc. Like today, the physical class barriers were mostly based on higher $ payment together with some element of intimidation of passengers based on their perceived social class in society. 

 

Many of the pioneers of the modern cruise industry, particularly Micky Arison of Carnival, ranted about the discrimination of the class system. The 1979 purchase of the SS France by NCL, resulted in the physical removal of the class system within the ship. Hence cruise ships were deliberately made physically open to all albeit with cabin categories of different amenities and costs. Guests enjoyed all parts of the ship.

 

Well, well, look at you now cruise industry, coming full circle and imitating the "bad" ocean lines that you previously criticized.  

 

Fascinating indeed. 

 

While I have no personal $ limitation to purchasing said physical class segmented products today, I chose not to. Do not have to as the premium and luxury lines provide mostly open access to all.

 

I am also considered about the loss of traditional "ship" spaces that are an essential part of being on a ship - like the removal of the forward viewing lounge on new Celebrity ships and replacing same space with suite class.  There is also the overall loss of space for the use by "regular" passengers.

 

The mass cruise lines, in fact most of the travel sector, are are fast forwarding themselves into hyper class conscious arrangements while increasingly downgrading the attributes of the "steerage" class.

 

 

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1 hour ago, ABoatNerd said:

The issue of physical segmentation of guests is an emerging trend in the cruising industry.

 

The modern cruise industry was born with the philosophy of removal of physical class barriers that had been in place on Cunard, French line etc. Like today, the physical class barriers were mostly based on higher $ payment together with some element of intimidation of passengers based on their perceived social class in society. 

 

Many of the pioneers of the modern cruise industry, particularly Micky Arison of Carnival, ranted about the discrimination of the class system. 

...

 

Well, well, look at you now cruise industry, coming full circle and imitating the "bad" ocean lines that you previously criticized.  

...

 

The mass cruise lines, in fact most of the travel sector, are are fast forwarding themselves into hyper class conscious arrangements while increasingly downgrading the attributes of the "steerage" class.

 

 

This was really unavoidable once the mass market lines decided to go really mass market:  they had to hold down fares if they wanted to appeal to enough people to fill their increasing number of bunks.  There is no way to hold down revenue (fares) without holding down expenses (quality of product).  Then, to avoid driving away the market segment who wanted (and were willing to pay for) quality of product, they found it necessary to offer alternative restaurants and segregated accommodations and amenities.  This trend is likely to continue - possibly until they reach the point of having completely separated decks for the different classes.

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You are correct, I can remember the physical barriers-doors and gates- on QM, QE and early QE2 separating classes. On the France the glasses from the bars were different by class - First Lalique, Tourist plain.  Your logic is unavoidable, new generations of travelers want something they think is new when it’s in fact things just coming full circle.

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5 hours ago, canoncruiser said:

You are correct, I can remember the physical barriers-doors and gates- on QM, QE and early QE2 separating classes. On the France the glasses from the bars were different by class - First Lalique, Tourist plain.  Your logic is unavoidable, new generations of travelers want something they think is new when it’s in fact things just coming full circle.

 

It wasn't just those lines that had physically separate classes; surely they all did? I remember the P&O ships from the late '60's and early '70's having a door or gate and separate decks for each travel class.

 

Why don't people kick off about separate areas of a plane by class? Or even a theatre? People want to have a choice of how much they pay and what sort of experience they get for it. People like to have the choice.

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5 hours ago, 57eric said:

What makes Cunard different from other lines?  No one has mentioned the extensive range of live music or the unparalleled dance facilities.

 

 

I you like ballroom dancing and big band, Cunard can't be beat.  I have enjoyed a great variety of music on other lines, but the ballroom dancing and that big band seems unique to Cunard.  

 

Another great thing is the lecture program.  I've had some amazing lecturers onboard that were not only entertaining, but very very interesting and educational as well.  

Edited by eroller
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It may sound simple but at Cunard they know what they're doing and they to it properly. They run a proper liner, a proper bar (the CC), a proper afternoon tea, a proper library a proper lecture programme and a proper orchestra. It simply sets the standard for all mass market lines.

 

But this isn't the reason why I sail with Cunard, the true reason is this:

 

 

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On 2/17/2020 at 10:58 PM, LittleFish1976 said:

I love the fact that Cunard ships actually still look and feel like ships and not floating chain hotels. I worry that the style of the new ship is going to be the non-traditional look which is ubiquitous and quite unattractive, in my opinion. For now, that traditional style is what makes me a happy Cunard customer; the woody look of the decor and traditional fittings; the fixed dinner times; the dress code/formality; the food being more British in style and not American-style (not like another line which will remain nameless where all the desserts were inedible to me).

After doing most of our cruising with Cunard, sailed with P&O to canaries last autumn out of Southampton

You can add to the above list clientele, it was not a good experience Still have to cruise the Baltic from the bucket list  and Cunard are moving away from the recognized ports, so may have to use P&O again.

We have always had a good cruise with Cunard and hopefully again in the future.  

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29 minutes ago, Officeboy said:

After doing most of our cruising with Cunard, sailed with P&O to canaries last autumn out of Southampton

You can add to the above list clientele, it was not a good experience Still have to cruise the Baltic from the bucket list  and Cunard are moving away from the recognized ports, so may have to use P&O again.

We have always had a good cruise with Cunard and hopefully again in the future.  

This is one of the reasons i have chosen QV for later in the year as they STILL uphold traditional cruise values and are not currently trying to lead the market down!

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1 hour ago, Officeboy said:

After doing most of our cruising with Cunard, sailed with P&O to canaries last autumn out of Southampton

You can add to the above list clientele, it was not a good experience Still have to cruise the Baltic from the bucket list  and Cunard are moving away from the recognized ports, so may have to use P&O again.

We have always had a good cruise with Cunard and hopefully again in the future.  

 

For me it was only a single cruise on P&O to confirm never again.  

At least you are being very fair by giving them a second chance.

Do agree with your clientele observations.  Too much HD and TA.

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So you must wear a jacket in the dining rooms, must womenonly where dresses, no pants suits?  How must you dress to go to the Buffet?

 

How about how does Cunard handle 2 people booking in a 3 person cabin? Plus also how is a Cunard cruise in Alaska. Will it be much different then say Princess or Royal Caribbean.

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37 minutes ago, Jimbo said:

So you must wear a jacket in the dining rooms, must womenonly where dresses, no pants suits?  How must you dress to go to the Buffet?

 

How about how does Cunard handle 2 people booking in a 3 person cabin? Plus also how is a Cunard cruise in Alaska. Will it be much different then say Princess or Royal Caribbean.

 

Pants suits are fine for women. There's an example shown on the What to pack page on the Cunard website.

 

The buffet is one of the designated casual venues where the nightly dress code does not apply. Cunard does request that you "refrain from wearing shorts, sports attire, swim wear or sleeveless t-shirts outside of the gym, spa and deck spaces" so that would apply to the buffet.

 

I'm not aware of Cunard having any special policy regarding 2 people booking a 3 person cabin. We have done that on a couple of occasions. I suppose you do run the risk of being moved to a different cabin if Cunard needs that cabin to accommodate 3 people, but that hasn't happened to us.

 

Can't help on your Alaska question. I'll have to leave that for others.

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