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How is cruising now different from 25 years ago?


ren0312
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2 hours ago, ldubs said:

Something else that used to happen but is gone now  -- ice sculptures used to be a big deal.  Never see them any more.  Also "food sculptures" were kind of the deal with the old midnight buffets.  More of something to view than to eat.  

We've been sporadically  cruising for about eleven years. Our first was on Princess and there were still ice sculptures (and a demo on ice sculpting), fruit sculptures (with a demo), and one (or maybe two?) midnight buffets. Those were gone by the time we did our second Princess cruise, about five years later. Same with live music on the Lido deck.

Edited by mammajamma2013
Changed the word "class" to "demo". sorry
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1 hour ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

 

....Cabin keys were real keys, and tips were given personally (in cash) at the end of the cruise.

 

 

Now, that is one good change.  I remember those envelopes and the guidelines of how much per day for each person (Rm Stew, Waiter, Asst Waiter, Concierge, etc).  It was a pain making sure we had the right number of bills so we could stuff the envelopes with the correct amount.  And, the dining room had lots of empty seats on the last evening.  Some might wonder why, but it wasn't a coincidence that the last evening was when the envelopes were passed to the dining staff.  😄

 

 

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2 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

My last .. and I do mean LAST ... NCL cruise a few years ago.

 

I've never been on NCL.  My SIL went once.  She thought it was OK for what she paid but wouldn't seek it out again.  

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Yes needed cash but drinks were about a dollar in 70’s and beers even cheaper, home line and Hal had 7 days cruises to either Bermuda or Bermuda and Nassau. Never sailed on cruise that cabin didn’t have a bathroom. 

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2 hours ago, clo said:

So does the food get eaten? And does the melted ice get used for anything? One thing that has changed is an increased awareness of waste.

 

They send it to fancy bars to make large ice cubes.   🤔

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2 hours ago, clo said:

Ah, I see. You live in Florida. Here on the Left Coast we've tried to avoid wasting water - what ice started its life as - for decades. And even if they start with sea water there's energy used.

 

hug the cube -1.jpg

Edited by c-boy
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54 minutes ago, ldubs said:

 

Now, that is one good change.  I remember those envelopes and the guidelines of how much per day for each person (Rm Stew, Waiter, Asst Waiter, Concierge, etc).  It was a pain making sure we had the right number of bills so we could stuff the envelopes with the correct amount.  And, the dining room had lots of empty seats on the last evening.  Some might wonder why, but it wasn't a coincidence that the last evening was when the envelopes were passed to the dining staff.  😄

 

 

 

Agreed. I remember my dad always worrying about making sure the amounts were right and figuring out how he was going to be sure to see everyone on that last evening....

 

As someone who has never felt comfortable handing over tips (except in clear cut circumstances), I love having the hotel charge/gratuities or whatever they want to call it charged automatically. Makes it painless and easy.

 

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6 hours ago, Aquahound said:

 

Good for you. 🙂  Don't let anyone around here flame you for continuing to dress up. 

People should not be flamed for dressing up.  People should not be flamed for embracing the more casual approach taken by modern cruise lines.    

 

My first cruise was in the late 90's.  Smaller ships, better food, no personal dining options, mandatory formal nights, and an insufferably pretentious experience.  

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Our earliest cruise memories are from the early '80's, so much of what we experienced has already been described by other 'old timers'.   One thing that I haven't seen emphasized is that the cabins were TINY, unless you were in a suite.  The beds were also tiny - our first cruise (Sitmar) had a "double" bed that was barely larger than what we'd call a twin.   It was pushed against the wall, which was paper thin, and it was soon obvious that right on the other side of that wall was an identical bed.    I swear we could hear them turn over in bed, among other things.    I also remember passenger costume parties and talent shows that attracted the whole ship and were lots of fun - people got very creative.   

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3 hours ago, mammajamma2013 said:

Those were gone by the time we did our second Princess cruise, about five years later. Same with live music on the Lido deck.


Some lines have really cut back live entertainment. It’s almost impossible to find live lido entertainment on HAL and Carnival nowadays. But Princess?  I’ve never been on a Princess cruise that didn’t have a live lido band. 

Edited by Cruzaholic41
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3 hours ago, George C said:

Ports were not that crowded in old day’s , remember my first trip to St Thomas , we did a side trip to trunk beach in St John and we got there our group of under ten were only people on the beach this was 1979 .

The world was a lot less crowded in “old days”  - now, in addition to trash in the ocean, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, etc. we  also have to deal with what might be seen as human pollution — simply too many places are losing what makes them special because of too many people visiting them.

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As a fairly recent cruiser (first cruise 2015), I don't really need any of the "old stuff " everyone is lamenting about.

 

I'm a low maintenance cruiser and I prioritize the ports over the ship experience.  

 

Being in Rome is more important than people dressing fancy for dinner. I have fresh flowers at home. I don't cruise for Michelin level food. My idea of good service is all the staff leaving me alone unless I go to them with a request.

 

I don't cruise to feel special.  I cruise to get to multiple place in one go. 

Edited by cruizergal70
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52 minutes ago, cruizergal70 said:

I don't cruise to feel special.

I think you may have hit on a critical point. I think there are some who want that whole elite, la-dee-dah, experience. Makes them feel special. There's a board here about fashion and when I look at it I'm frequently stunned by the lengths that some people will go. Ah well, to each their own. We're port people also.

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16 hours ago, Kartgv said:

Our earliest cruise memories are from the early '80's, so much of what we experienced has already been described by other 'old timers'.   One thing that I haven't seen emphasized is that the cabins were TINY, unless you were in a suite.  The beds were also tiny - our first cruise (Sitmar) had a "double" bed that was barely larger than what we'd call a twin.   It was pushed against the wall, which was paper thin, and it was soon obvious that right on the other side of that wall was an identical bed.    I swear we could hear them turn over in bed, among other things.    I also remember passenger costume parties and talent shows that attracted the whole ship and were lots of fun - people got very creative.   

 

Anyways.....back to the actual subject.....

 

Yes!  In fact, I seem to remember the beds on my early cruises being L-shaped.

 

The costume parties were also fun.  I was trying to remember the various theme nights.  I can only remember 3....Caribbean, 50s, and Country Western.  I remember the dinners and shows were based on the theme nights.

Edited by Aquahound
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shazbot !   36.25% of the posts on this thread center on formal attire.  Certainly there has to be more than the ever present formal wear controversy that   is cruising now different from 25 years ago?"

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You get far less paper to discard.  On our first RCI cruise in the 80's we each had  a big packet of tickets and info fedexed to our home.  Multiple copies of tickets in some plastic folder.  All of it needless.

 

Now...we board the ship with our reservation number noted on a slip of paper along with other reservation numbers (and we seldom need even that).   The cruise documentation is on our ipads.  That is all.  No need to cut down  a tree and incur the cost of sending it to us.  The cruise line has our names.  All they want is our passports and most important, our credit card.

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Captain's Invitation to Dinner

Pre-Dinner Cocktails in a private area, continuous decent bottles of wine complimenting each course, followed by copious amount of after Dinner Liquors, with wonderful conversations during, then continuing until late in the evening.  

It was a special event then....

Now, cheaper wine, no liquors, Captain finished eating? End.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, cruizergal70 said:

As a fairly recent cruiser (first cruise 2015), I don't really need any of the "old stuff " everyone is lamenting about.

 

I'm a low maintenance cruiser and I prioritize the ports over the ship experience.  

 

Being in Rome is more important than people dressing fancy for dinner. I have fresh flowers at home. I don't cruise for Michelin level food. My idea of good service is all the staff leaving me alone unless I go to them with a request.

 

I don't cruise to feel special.  I cruise to get to multiple place in one go. 

I agree about cruising for the itinerary but part of my cruise experience is being made to feel special. We're also low maintenance, but the little things our steward does (keeping our bucket filled with ice, for example) do make us feel pampered because I don't have to do it myself.

 

I don't think people are lamenting about the changes for the most part. In my opinion, two people sleeping in a bed larger than a twin is an improvement and nothing to lament! ☺️ 

 

The question was "What's different?". The answers are interesting. 

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9 minutes ago, PORT ROYAL said:

Captain's Invitation to Dinner

Pre-Dinner Cocktails in a private area, continuous decent bottles of wine complimenting each course, followed by copious amount of after Dinner Liquors, with wonderful conversations during, then continuing until late in the evening.  

It was a special event then....

Now, cheaper wine, no liquors, Captain finished eating? End.

 

 

 

We had that about 7 years ago on navigator of the seas , wine and food were excellent, they gave us a copy of the menu and a 8 by 10 group picture. 

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14 minutes ago, George C said:

We had that about 7 years ago on navigator of the seas , wine and food were excellent, they gave us a copy of the menu and a 8 by 10 group picture. 

 

Sorry, should have stated Cunard.

 

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These discussions always like to bring out a lot of negative tones. Yet, stay very light on anything that may have actually improved. The choices have increased to allow multiple products vs the expensive one-size fits all of the past.

 

Lots of those who complain about the "declining quality of service, food, entertainment, etc" for some reason, pass up the opportunity to do a "cruise of yesteryear" on one of the many lines that still offer that similar experience. In the end, what they really want is the price of today, and the nostalgia of yesterday. It actually just reaffirms the popularity of the mass-market product.

 

I think it's pretty safe to assume that people are cruising more often than they did 25 years ago. That is mostly because the product has become a lot more accessible. The market has decided against tuxedos and midnight fruit buffets.

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Someone mentioned earlier about the streamers as you pulled out of port.   It brought memories of when I was a kid going to New York several times  to watch my Aunt and Uncle go off on their latest cruise.  At the time, they were allowed to bring guests on board and you pretty much had the run of the ship until just before spillway time.  I think that's what made me want to cruise when I got older.  

Edited by dkjretired
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1 hour ago, Joebucks said:

Lots of those who complain about the "declining quality of service, food, entertainment, etc" for some reason, pass up the opportunity to do a "cruise of yesteryear" on one of the many lines that still offer that similar experience. In the end, what they really want is the price of today, and the nostalgia of yesterday. It actually just reaffirms the popularity of the mass-market product.

 

I think it's pretty safe to assume that people are cruising more often than they did 25 years ago. That is mostly because the product has become a lot more accessible. The market has decided against tuxedos and midnight fruit buffets.

Excellent points. Anything that anyone liked from yesteryear can still be found on the right cruise line.  

 

I'm actually quite pleased that the old school snobbery is gone from the mainstream cruise lines. 

 

By the way, lines like Carnival still have ice sculpture demonstrations and late night food. No grand decorated buffets but one can still eat. I've read that most of the fancy food on the midnight buffets went to waste as most people just wanted to take pictures of the buffet rather than eat it.

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