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Going forward will cutbacks ruin cruising?


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Before coronavirus, I believe Princess used cost saving strategies as trivial as rationing the so-called butter and as serious as the “magic pipe.”  Since they apparently felt the need to do these things when they were profitable, one wonders what types of cutbacks will they may resort to going forward and how might it change the cruise experience?  Some of these cutbacks may be very apparent (like the “butter”), others might be hidden (like the pipe).

 

We will take our time returning to cruising.  We won’t do it while masks are required.  And I don’t want to be on a cruise ship when a new mutation is discovered.  Also, we won’t cruise if we are required to use Princess shore excursions in order to leave the ship.  Sometimes we do use Princess excursions.  Usually we don’t.  It isn’t all about saving money, although that often is the case.  It is about leaving the ship on our own schedule after breakfast and doing what we like on shore.  Occasionally we have spend much more than any Princess excursion would have cost.

 

We’ve been talking about going back to a beachfront  cottage that we can drive to.  It isn’t exotic, but the water is warm and clean.  We can sleep as late as we want without worrying about answering the door to room service or rushing to the MDR or the crowded buffet.  We can prepare and eat a simple healthy lunch or dinner when our stomach tells us to.  We can swim or walk on the beach at anytime without cabs or tenders.

 

Of course, we still miss cruising.  In a few days, it will be one year since we disembarked.  I hope it was not for the last time.

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I suspect you are right. As folks find alternatives to cruising they may not be quite as quick to return. Long time cruisers tend to "like" sea days the best of all. There are many less expensive and with far less "hassle" ways to do that. Waiting "decisions" and crowds are now the norm. You get that on shore Cruising used to eliminate that. Indeed cutbacks such as in the dining room pushing folks to specialty dining have us anyway considering what we could do beach side for less. We will cruise again but it will be using the cruise ship as a moving Hotel to get to places we want to go.

 

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Loreni. Maybe you should wait a few years, see what happens before you book another cruise. We certainly will not cruise again until cruising becomes normal on board and at ports of call. Figure it may take until 2023. Cost control is always a part of any business, but butter was a myth, not a valid example. You could get as much butter as you needed by asking.  From the Best Sale Ever promo and pricing it looks like the almost all inclusive option may be here for some time which is kind of the opposite of cutbacks. These type of promos began in 2019.

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5 minutes ago, skynight said:

Loreni. Maybe you should wait a few years, see what happens before you book another cruise. We certainly will not cruise again until cruising becomes normal on board and at ports of call. Figure it may take until 2023. Cost control is always a part of any business, but butter was a myth, not a valid example. You could get as much butter as you needed by asking.  From the Best Sale Ever promo and pricing it looks like the almost all inclusive option may be here for some time which is kind of the opposite of cutbacks. These type of promos began in 2019.

Fully agree with this stance. It's understandable that we may resent older traditions suddenly falling by the wayside, which were already in progress long before the pandemic happened. But old tropes are often forgotten rather quickly; people change, companies respond, then people react, and so on and so forth. Just like commercial aviation was once viewed as glamorous, now it's as mass market as can be. Cruising has long been headed this way and people still headed towards it in droves before the pandemic. Parts of the market could be priced out or lose interest altogether in the industry, but the companies have long hedged their bets on new groups of cruisers to take their place. I think if you would like to take a more measured approach to cruising, stepping back and reading up on how the experiences have changed "post-pandemic" might help you make better decisions about whether cruising fits into your vision of a vacation in the future.

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18 minutes ago, Loreni said:

Before coronavirus, I believe Princess used cost saving strategies as trivial as rationing the so-called butter and as serious as the “magic pipe.”  Since they apparently felt the need to do these things when they were profitable, one wonders what types of cutbacks will they may resort to going forward and how might it change the cruise experience?  Some of these cutbacks may be very apparent (like the “butter”), others might be hidden (like the pipe).

 

We will take our time returning to cruising.  We won’t do it while masks are required.  And I don’t want to be on a cruise ship when a new mutation is discovered.  Also, we won’t cruise if we are required to use Princess shore excursions in order to leave the ship.  Sometimes we do use Princess excursions.  Usually we don’t.  It isn’t all about saving money, although that often is the case.  It is about leaving the ship on our own schedule after breakfast and doing what we like on shore.  Occasionally we have spend much more than any Princess excursion would have cost.

 

We’ve been talking about going back to a beachfront  cottage that we can drive to.  It isn’t exotic, but the water is warm and clean.  We can sleep as late as we want without worrying about answering the door to room service or rushing to the MDR or the crowded buffet.  We can prepare and eat a simple healthy lunch or dinner when our stomach tells us to.  We can swim or walk on the beach at anytime without cabs or tenders.

 

Of course, we still miss cruising.  In a few days, it will be one year since we disembarked.  I hope it was not for the last time.

I wonder if the buffets will survive.....I know they have all but disappeared from Las Vegas Casinos and Hotels because of Covid.

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11 minutes ago, PrincessLuver said:

I wonder if the buffets will survive.....I know they have all but disappeared from Las Vegas Casinos and Hotels because of Covid.

Princess has considered ordering food at a table in the buffet area. Or at the least as some cruise lines are planning to be served at the food stations by staff like during norovirus outbreaks.

 

It’ll be interesting to see the final outcome after CDC regulations are provided which could still need to be modified after cruising begins.

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Only time will tell. Once cruising resumes Cruise lines will need to distinguish themselves, yet remain profitable. Our old Princess norms might be different. Peoples tolerance and acceptance of new rules will play into those decisions. I’m curious to see it all play out.

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I do think things will be different (perhaps very different at startup) and some of the changes are likely to persist.  Not all change is bad, it's easy to imagine some change for the better.  I do seriously wonder whether, for example, interior cabins will have much appeal, the space might be better used to space out crew just a bit, or to provide isolation spaces in something seems to be spreading.  I don't think we'll see quite the density of either crew or passengers for quite a long while.

 

Mostly though, I think the days of cruising as a "value" vacation or probably over.  There is going to be less self service / more crew per pax for a good long while which will inevitably drive up prices.  Likewise, all of the cruise lines have taken on mountains of debt just to survive, all of which will have to be paid back along with their 7% interest rates.

 

For our part, we're eager to get back to cruising and will do so, including masks, as soon as reasonable.  I fully expect ports to impose vaccine requirements and that in so doing independent port visits will be allowed soon enough - to be honest though - we would cruise with cruise line only excursions at least short term.  We're booked on Grand to Hawaii in January of '22, it's a return to the scene of the crime for us, we stepped off Grand just about a year ago and headed off to Travis.  If masks, served buffets and ship excursions allow us to get restarted without much risk of a return visit to the base, count me in!

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36 minutes ago, jondfk said:

I do think things will be different (perhaps very different at startup) and some of the changes are likely to persist.  Not all change is bad, it's easy to imagine some change for the better.  I do seriously wonder whether, for example, interior cabins will have much appeal, the space might be better used to space out crew just a bit, or to provide isolation spaces in something seems to be spreading.  I don't think we'll see quite the density of either crew or passengers for quite a long while.

 

Mostly though, I think the days of cruising as a "value" vacation or probably over.  There is going to be less self service / more crew per pax for a good long while which will inevitably drive up prices.  Likewise, all of the cruise lines have taken on mountains of debt just to survive, all of which will have to be paid back along with their 7% interest rates.

 

For our part, we're eager to get back to cruising and will do so, including masks, as soon as reasonable.  I fully expect ports to impose vaccine requirements and that in so doing independent port visits will be allowed soon enough - to be honest though - we would cruise with cruise line only excursions at least short term.  We're booked on Grand to Hawaii in January of '22, it's a return to the scene of the crime for us, we stepped off Grand just about a year ago and headed off to Travis.  If masks, served buffets and ship excursions allow us to get restarted without much risk of a return visit to the base, count me in!

I sincerely doubt that “crew” will ever be on the same deck as passengers. Entertainers perhaps but not actual crew. That would blow away the non fraternization rules

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45 minutes ago, jondfk said:

I do think things will be different (perhaps very different at startup) and some of the changes are likely to persist.  Not all change is bad, it's easy to imagine some change for the better.  I do seriously wonder whether, for example, interior cabins will have much appeal, the space might be better used to space out crew just a bit, or to provide isolation spaces in something seems to be spreading.  I don't think we'll see quite the density of either crew or passengers for quite a long while.

 

You have to separate what a voyage will be like when cruising begins and with covid still active around the world with what it will be like say in 2023 and beyond. Doubtful cruise lines will house crew in passenger cabins once 100% ship capacity is permitted. 

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Good question.  I have resisted the urge to respond to several threads over the past few months about the drink package, MDR offerings, onboard entertainment, etc.  WHO KNOWS what cruising will look like when it returns??  The way things 'used to be' may have no bearing whatsoever on what it looks like when it resumes. 

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We have always travelled by ourselves independently as well as done some cruises and I don’t see this changing. We often end a trip with a cruise to relax a bit after weeks or months of driving/exploring on our own. I think cruising will continue to be a good value and a relaxing option even if some things change.

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5 hours ago, Loreni said:

Before coronavirus, I believe Princess used cost saving strategies as trivial as rationing the so-called butter and as serious as the “magic pipe.”  Since they apparently felt the need to do these things when they were profitable, one wonders what types of cutbacks will they may resort to going forward and how might it change the cruise experience?  Some of these cutbacks may be very apparent (like the “butter”), others might be hidden (like the pipe).

 

We will take our time returning to cruising.  We won’t do it while masks are required.  And I don’t want to be on a cruise ship when a new mutation is discovered.  Also, we won’t cruise if we are required to use Princess shore excursions in order to leave the ship.  Sometimes we do use Princess excursions.  Usually we don’t.  It isn’t all about saving money, although that often is the case.  It is about leaving the ship on our own schedule after breakfast and doing what we like on shore.  Occasionally we have spend much more than any Princess excursion would have cost.

 

We’ve been talking about going back to a beachfront  cottage that we can drive to.  It isn’t exotic, but the water is warm and clean.  We can sleep as late as we want without worrying about answering the door to room service or rushing to the MDR or the crowded buffet.  We can prepare and eat a simple healthy lunch or dinner when our stomach tells us to.  We can swim or walk on the beach at anytime without cabs or tenders.

 

Of course, we still miss cruising.  In a few days, it will be one year since we disembarked.  I hope it was not for the last time.

I encourage you to find alternate vacations since you seem to always find fault with Princess/cruising.

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5 hours ago, Astro Flyer said:

Princess has considered ordering food at a table in the buffet area. Or at the least as some cruise lines are planning to be served at the food stations by staff like during norovirus outbreaks.

 

It’ll be interesting to see the final outcome after CDC regulations are provided which could still need to be modified after cruising begins.

Princess may do what P&O Australia have been doing for several years in their buffet. The food is displayed the way it usually is in a buffet but it is all in glass cases and served by staff behind the counter. P&O haven't had any outbreaks of noro since they introduced this style buffet. They call this area "The Pantry" and don't refer to it as a buffet.

Edited by Aus Traveller
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6 hours ago, PrincessLuver said:

I wonder if the buffets will survive.....I know they have all but disappeared from Las Vegas Casinos and Hotels because of Covid.

Maybe they will set up a buffet similar to how Oceania has been doing it for  many years (with excellent results).

 

passengers don’t touch any of the food or kitchen utensils. They simply walk up to one of the empty stations to decide the specific type of food you desire. The next thing if funny as you try and point out what dish you want while having no idea that you start speaking loud as you try to communicate through the large plexiglass sheets they mount between passenger and food station (lol).

 

anyways, after you hit just 3 food stations you end up with two full trays, which they place all the items on. Then two nice people carry your trays over to the table you decide. No passengers touch the food or tray handles, the staff behind plexiglass are dishing it up for you and next thing your following someone carrying your dinner.

 

sounds like an idea to kind of modify a little for Princess??

 

cheers!

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5 hours ago, Paula_MacFan said:

 WHO KNOWS what cruising will look like when it returns??  The way things 'used to be' may have no bearing whatsoever on what it looks like when it resumes. 

 

Here is part of what it will look like on Royal Caribbean:

 

"We've developed technology for contact tracing, using a combination of technologies. One of them is a Tracelet, which each guest wears and can tell exactly how long and where they've been in contact with everybody else who's wearing a Tracelet. We have artificial intelligence connected into CCTV cameras that use facial and body recognition to then double check and verify contact tracing in the event that somebody did have COVID onboard to ship."

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59 minutes ago, caribill said:

 

Here is part of what it will look like on Royal Caribbean:

 

"We've developed technology for contact tracing, using a combination of technologies. One of them is a Tracelet, which each guest wears and can tell exactly how long and where they've been in contact with everybody else who's wearing a Tracelet. We have artificial intelligence connected into CCTV cameras that use facial and body recognition to then double check and verify contact tracing in the event that somebody did have COVID onboard to ship."

Facial recognition? I expect the face masks might hinder that. 
my opinion- prices will be increasing for cruise fare & everything they offer for us to buy. 

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Given the chance the cruise lines will find their feet.

The airline industry in the states had big changes in the beginning and now it seems they are slowly moving back in the direction of how flights were in the past. Middle seats not open, a bag with snacks and water delivered to your seat

 

The process will continuously evolve for ships as well. 

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14 hours ago, Loreni said:

Before coronavirus, I believe Princess used cost saving strategies as trivial as rationing the so-called butter and as serious as the “magic pipe.”  

Whats the magic pipe?

 

Haven't been to a buffet in decades so won't miss it. Maybe that's why I've always had plenty of American-style butter

Edited by Ombud
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8 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

Princess may do what P&O Australia have been doing for several years in their buffet. The food is displayed the way it usually is in a buffet but it is all in glass cases and served by staff behind the counter. P&O haven't had any outbreaks of noro since they introduced this style buffet. They call this area "The Pantry" and don't refer to it as a buffet.

Holland America has also been doing that, having servers in the buffet instead of self serve.

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15 hours ago, Loreni said:

Before coronavirus, I believe Princess used cost saving strategies as trivial as rationing the so-called butter and as serious as the “magic pipe.”  Since they apparently felt the need to do these things when they were profitable, one wonders what types of cutbacks will they may resort to going forward and how might it change the cruise experience?  Some of these cutbacks may be very apparent (like the “butter”), others might be hidden (like the pipe).

 

We will take our time returning to cruising.  We won’t do it while masks are required.  And I don’t want to be on a cruise ship when a new mutation is discovered.  Also, we won’t cruise if we are required to use Princess shore excursions in order to leave the ship.  Sometimes we do use Princess excursions.  Usually we don’t.  It isn’t all about saving money, although that often is the case.  It is about leaving the ship on our own schedule after breakfast and doing what we like on shore.  Occasionally we have spend much more than any Princess excursion would have cost.

 

We’ve been talking about going back to a beachfront  cottage that we can drive to.  It isn’t exotic, but the water is warm and clean.  We can sleep as late as we want without worrying about answering the door to room service or rushing to the MDR or the crowded buffet.  We can prepare and eat a simple healthy lunch or dinner when our stomach tells us to.  We can swim or walk on the beach at anytime without cabs or tenders.

 

Of course, we still miss cruising.  In a few days, it will be one year since we disembarked.  I hope it was not for the last time.

 

We are looking at it a bit differently: YES / NO

>No washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning during the cruise - YES

>Room service coffee on the balcony each morning, watching and listening to the ocean below us - YES

>Drinks on the balcony each evening, watching and listening to the ocean below us -YES

>Lovely, quiet cabin with nice appointments, our Kindles, books and tablet - YES

>Good food - YES

>Convenience of grabbing a snack or drink easily, maybe even with room service - YES

 

Sorry, but I could not find anything that required a NO. 😎

 

Doug

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1 hour ago, Ombud said:

Whats the magic pipe?

"Magic Pipe" refers to an oil/water separator bypass on Princess ships 5 years ago that allowed bilge water to go untreated into the ocean. Princess paid a US$40 mil. fine. There's a Wiki page on it if you want more.

Edited by mtnesterz
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12 minutes ago, PaperSniper4 said:

 

We are looking at it a bit differently: YES / NO

>No washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning during the cruise - YES

>Room service coffee on the balcony each morning, watching and listening to the ocean below us - YES

>Drinks on the balcony each evening, watching and listening to the ocean below us -YES

>Lovely, quiet cabin with nice appointments, our Kindles, books and tablet - YES

>Good food - YES

>Convenience of grabbing a snack or drink easily, maybe even with room service - YES

 

Sorry, but I could not find anything that required a NO. 😎

 

Doug

looks like you are a positive person;  that is why NO is not in your vocabulary

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11 minutes ago, PaperSniper4 said:

 

We are looking at it a bit differently: YES / NO

>No washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning during the cruise - YES

>Room service coffee on the balcony each morning, watching and listening to the ocean below us - YES

>Drinks on the balcony each evening, watching and listening to the ocean below us -YES

>Lovely, quiet cabin with nice appointments, our Kindles, books and tablet - YES

>Good food - YES

>Convenience of grabbing a snack or drink easily, maybe even with room service - YES

 

Sorry, but I could not find anything that required a NO. 😎

 

Doug

You nailed it.  There will always be some that find fault with a sunrise that is on the other side of the ship.  Our philosophy is that it is you who make or break a cruise experience.  The little things don't matter in the real scheme of things.  Enjoy the moment at sea and try to envision glory of it all.

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