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Going forward will cutbacks ruin cruising?


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I find speculation/assumption threads like this interesting.  No one knows, but cruising isn't going away, will it change, evolve because of this, no doubt.  Everyone has to look at the changes and decide what is best for them.

 

With 35+ cruises, over two thirds of them as a single, it has never been about value, price per day, must have cabins, amenities, it is for the love of different itineraries, far away places, cruising in general.  I want to be on a ship for 14+ days and not to the Caribbean.  I don't care what they do to get cruising going again, I'm there. Like another poster, haven't been to a buffet (even on my 30 day cruises) in a very long time.  Buffets, elevators, large crowded public rooms, not my thing.

 

I've seen all the changes with travel after 9/11, clawing their way back, appealing to a much broader market, huge ships for balcony cabins, cruising changed then, adjusted, will again, no doubt.  Ruined, nope, I don't think so but I'm an optimist, rarely negative, and why complain about things totally out of my control?  I'll cruise, have 3 booked already, Med + TA, coastals and Baltic + TA! Can't wait!

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32 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

Agree. There is a lot more yes, very little if any no. For around six weeks each year don't have to clean, cook grocery shop, drive. It's an escape like no other. We don't let the lack of a pat of butter at one meal or a tough piece of beef bother us. As the years go by we spend more and more time on board, less and less in ports. We spend more and more time dining at alternate venues like the IC, grill, Alfredo's, Horizon Ct. and less and less in the DR's. Enjoy the great uncrowded service on port days. We missed this year. Hope to get back in 2022 and 2023.

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1 hour 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

I like your thinking!  My thoughts exactly!

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19 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 am sorry for asking a dumb question, but what is the magic pipe?

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2 hours ago, susancruzs said:

I find speculation/assumption threads like this interesting.  No one knows, but cruising isn't going away, will it change, evolve because of this, no doubt.  Everyone has to look at the changes and decide what is best for them.

 

With 35+ cruises, over two thirds of them as a single, it has never been about value, price per day, must have cabins, amenities, it is for the love of different itineraries, far away places, cruising in general.  I want to be on a ship for 14+ days and not to the Caribbean.  I don't care what they do to get cruising going again, I'm there. Like another poster, haven't been to a buffet (even on my 30 day cruises) in a very long time.  Buffets, elevators, large crowded public rooms, not my thing.

 

I've seen all the changes with travel after 9/11, clawing their way back, appealing to a much broader market, huge ships for balcony cabins, cruising changed then, adjusted, will again, no doubt.  Ruined, nope, I don't think so but I'm an optimist, rarely negative, and why complain about things totally out of my control?  I'll cruise, have 3 booked already, Med + TA, coastals and Baltic + TA! Can't wait!

I see you and I will get along splendidly on out TA 🙂

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4 minutes ago, West Coast Gal said:

I am sorry for asking a dumb question, but what is the magic pipe?

See post 20 on page one.

To be honest, I thought "magic pipe" was something totally different from my generation....lol 🙂

Edited by AZjohn
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11 minutes ago, AZjohn said:

See post 20 on page one.

To be honest, I thought "magic pipe" was something totally different from my generation....lol 🙂

I was wondering when they allowed that in Churchill's

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I believe the entire world will be a lot different on the other side of COVID and I think a lot of things will cost more also.  I think cruising will be different to start with, but that doesn't mean that is how it will continue.  It will be up to us to use cruise critic to be one of the feedback methods we use to let the cruise lines (on a positive note) What they are doing right .  . .  because they need to hear that and what they need to improve on . .  again because they will need to hear that too.

I loved the comments that the basics that drew me to cruising in the first place will all be there, thanks PaperSniper4!

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12 hours ago, dog said:

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. 

 

Facial recognition bombed on me at Heathrow because I was wearing my glasses. I was wearing them in order to read the directions at the passport kiosk. After it bombed a couple of times I was told to back out, remove my glasses, and try again. That worked. I can't imagine it working with a mask in place.

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3 hours ago, West Coast Gal said:

I believe the entire world will be a lot different on the other side of COVID and I think a lot of things will cost more also.  I think cruising will be different to start with, but that doesn't mean that is how it will continue.  It will be up to us to use cruise critic to be one of the feedback methods we use to let the cruise lines (on a positive note) What they are doing right .  . .  because they need to hear that and what they need to improve on . .  again because they will need to hear that too.

I loved the comments that the basics that drew me to cruising in the first place will all be there, thanks PaperSniper4!

You are welcome!

 Doug

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1 hour ago, Thrak said:

 

Facial recognition bombed on me at Heathrow because I was wearing my glasses. I was wearing them in order to read the directions at the passport kiosk. After it bombed a couple of times I was told to back out, remove my glasses, and try again. That worked. I can't imagine it working with a mask in place.

Wow. They no longer allow you to wear glasses for your passport pictures; yet many of us are always wearing their glasses.

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8 hours ago, ontheweb said:

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

Before COVID, did HAL operate their buffets with servers rather than self service? I had heard they did this for the first couple of days of a cruise to reduce the chance of noro, but I hadn't heard that it operated that way all the time.

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1 minute ago, Aus Traveller said:

Before COVID, did HAL operate their buffets with servers rather than self service? I had heard they did this for the first couple of days of a cruise to reduce the chance of noro, but I hadn't heard that it operated that way all the time.

That is what they did the entire cruise the last time we were on HAL, July 2018 on the Maasdam, Boston to Montreal.

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1 minute ago, ontheweb said:

That is what they did the entire cruise the last time we were on HAL, July 2018 on the Maasdam, Boston to Montreal.

OK. Was this a 'one-off' for HAL as far as you know?

 

The P&O buffets I referred to are built so it would not be possible for a passenger to reach the food. It wasn't just that it operated with servers.

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1 hour ago, Thrak said:

 

Facial recognition bombed on me at Heathrow because I was wearing my glasses. I was wearing them in order to read the directions at the passport kiosk. After it bombed a couple of times I was told to back out, remove my glasses, and try again. That worked. I can't imagine it working with a mask in place.

Let's get masks with bar codes! - Yeah I know that won't work but I think it's humorous.

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Just now, Aus Traveller said:

OK. Was this a 'one-off' for HAL as far as you know?

 

The P&O buffets I referred to are built so it would not be possible for a passenger to reach the food. It wasn't just that it operated with servers.

I really do not know. The question might better be posed in the Holland America forum.

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Just now, Aus Traveller said:

OK. Was this a 'one-off' for HAL as far as you know?

 

The P&O buffets I referred to are built so it would not be possible for a passenger to reach the food. It wasn't just that it operated with servers.

HAL has implemented the no touch buffet permanently on all ships for quite some time, now.  Works well for everyone.  You still get what you want,  but a server does it for you.  I actually prefer this to folks just helping themselves and touching the serving utensils.  I would imagine this is the new norm for all cruiselines.

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8 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

Before COVID, did HAL operate their buffets with servers rather than self service? I had heard they did this for the first couple of days of a cruise to reduce the chance of noro, but I hadn't heard that it operated that way all the time.

Both of the HAL cruises I was on out of Port Everglades  were hands free buffets, you ordered and it was plated for you-

pre covid 

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23 hours 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!

Me too. I will cruise with masks. Just got our vaccine.  We never went to the buffet and in the Caribbean we rarely left the ship except for the private island. We always use the ship excursions. My only worry is the spacing in the theater and casino. The pent up demand to return to cruising is there. On Princess and Celebrity the suites are  always the first to sell out. There will be plenty of people to fill the cabins but I believe it will no longer be the low end bargain it was . I don’t care. I’ll leave less to the kids. They got college and grad school ,  weddings and good teeth from us. Now it’s our turn.

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19 minutes ago, Lady Arwen said:

HAL has implemented the no touch buffet permanently on all ships for quite some time, now.  Works well for everyone.  You still get what you want,  but a server does it for you.  I actually prefer this to folks just helping themselves and touching the serving utensils.  I would imagine this is the new norm for all cruiselines.

 

I can see why this would be done but I'm unsure as to how to get the desired amount. In my case I often take a very small amount of a number of things so this method might result in waste on my part. Of course I do (often) see people who load up tons of stuff they never eat so maybe this would actually result in less wasted food.

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18 minutes ago, Thrak said:

 

I can see why this would be done but I'm unsure as to how to get the desired amount. In my case I often take a very small amount of a number of things so this method might result in waste on my part. Of course I do (often) see people who load up tons of stuff they never eat so maybe this would actually result in less wasted food.

The food is set up differently on HAL broken out by variety or origin. it’s a lot of separate lines based off of your main meal decision.

** I’m sure someone can explain it better


 

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42 minutes ago, Thrak said:

 

I can see why this would be done but I'm unsure as to how to get the desired amount. In my case I often take a very small amount of a number of things so this method might result in waste on my part. Of course I do (often) see people who load up tons of stuff they never eat so maybe this would actually result in less wasted food.

HAL says this saves so much wasted food since it was initiated.  You can still have as much or as little as you want, you just can’t grab it yourself.  The pre-made sandwiches were not so popular and folks either went to the panini area to get custom made or to the buffet and got all the fixings at the salad bar, and the bread station, etc. and made their own at their table.  Really not a big deal at all.  Most people loved that passengers weren’t able to touch anything that everyone else did.  I’ve heard that the new normal will have even more restrictions in dining areas.

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It is now just about 1 year since our last cruise ended, a 28-day round trip LA to Tahiti.  This is our favorite itinerary and our fourth time doing it.  A few days into this trip we learned about the Diamond Princess.  We still bought future cruise credits because we thought the virus would be under control soon.  But we couldn’t help consider the  horror the Diamond passengers were enduring. Samoa and American Samoa would not allow us ashore, so we got extra time in Hawaii and Bora Bora and Moorea (by ferry).  We were able to scout out some options on Moorea and Bora Bora for a land based vacation.  Of course it would cost more per day and require a long flight, but it would offer much more time to enjoy French Polynesia and eliminate any possibility of being quarantined on a ship.

 

Still we are not interested in flying anywhere right now.  Certainly we are not interested in cruising until this pandemic is over and we see what cruising looks like.  As long as masks are required, that means the virus and any dangerous variants are still a significant problem.  And people can have the virus and still test negative...and still spread it.  And new variants can still emerge.  
 

We do enjoy sea days.  We like to sit on steamer chairs on the promenade deck and look at the sea or enjoy a balcony with comfortable lounge chairs.  Sadly Princess seems to be eliminating both of these options on the new ships.  I hope they rethink that.  So, for now, a beachfront cottage that we can drive to looks good.  In some ways it replicates the feel of a sea day.  For now, it is better than a beachfront resort with shared ventilation and the need to use restaurants.  So far, we have never been to a beach cottage that required us to do laundry.  

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