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Odd Ball

How long before Hal changes and allows shorts in the dining room ?

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Last I looked, there was no extra charge for eating in the dining room - so that argument carries no weight at all.
Your missing the point doesn't mean it doesn't carry weight. :rolleyes: Why don't you leave off the extraneous antagonistic sentences and just keep to the topic?

 

The point you missed is that the change in dining service reflects a change in how much superior dining matters to the typical target cruise passenger for the line. And you don't get to determine who the target is -- they do.

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Ruby Tuesday's, by a mile.

 

Which only goes to show that different people have different tastes when it comes to food. One person asserts that Applebees is better, another that Ruby Tuesday wins "by a mile." I have eaten at both ... they appear to be just about the same to me: slight nuances in style, taste, and nomenclature ... nothing more. I prefer Chilis over them both, and Friday's over Chilis ... though that's not saying much given how they're all nearly the same in terms of quality. A similar "distinction" of sameness can be drawn between The Blackeyed Pea and Good Eats.

 

This is the SAME direction toward which the cruise lines are sailing: one Line has a gimmick, so the other lines have to copy it; we mustn't have anything distinctive because the lemmings want everything to the same everywhere! The way things are going, in the not-too-distant future one won't be able to tell the difference between Cruise Lines without looking at the logo on the ship's funnel and the Vessel's name ("Does it end with ... of the Seas or dam?"). The homogenization of the experience is going to wipe out the range of choices and produce a commonality of mediocrity similar to that found in US Restaurant Chains.

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Which only goes to show that different people have different tastes when it comes to food. One person asserts that Applebees is better, another that Ruby Tuesday wins "by a mile." I have eaten at both ... they appear to be just about the same to me: slight nuances in style, taste, and nomenclature ... nothing more. I prefer Chilis over them both, and Friday's over Chilis ... though that's not saying much given how they're all nearly the same in terms of quality. A similar "distinction" of sameness can be drawn between The Blackeyed Pea and Good Eats.

 

This is the SAME direction toward which the cruise lines are sailing: one Line has a gimmick, so the other lines have to copy it; we mustn't have anything distinctive because the lemmings want everything to the same everywhere! The way things are going, in the not-too-distant future one won't be able to tell the difference between Cruise Lines without looking at the logo on the ship's funnel and the Vessel's name ("Does it end with ... of the Seas or dam?"). The homogenization of the experience is going to wipe out the range of choices and produce a commonality of mediocrity similar to that found in US Restaurant Chains.

 

Yes, that's what I'm afraid of.

 

I bet the HAL reps are getting a kick of this 'debate' going on.

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Which only goes to show that different people have different tastes when it comes to food. One person asserts that Applebees is better, another that Ruby Tuesday wins "by a mile." I have eaten at both ... they appear to be just about the same to me: slight nuances in style, taste, and nomenclature ... nothing more. I prefer Chilis over them both, and Friday's over Chilis ... though that's not saying much given how they're all nearly the same in terms of quality. A similar "distinction" of sameness can be drawn between The Blackeyed Pea and Good Eats.

 

This is the SAME direction toward which the cruise lines are sailing: one Line has a gimmick, so the other lines have to copy it; we mustn't have anything distinctive because the lemmings want everything to the same everywhere! The way things are going, in the not-too-distant future one won't be able to tell the difference between Cruise Lines without looking at the logo on the ship's funnel and the Vessel's name ("Does it end with ... of the Seas or dam?"). The homogenization of the experience is going to wipe out the range of choices and produce a commonality of mediocrity similar to that found in US Restaurant Chains.

 

What is even more sad is

 

Every friday night, people stand outside these these subpar mediocre restaurants with a beeper waiting to get in to eat this scrumptious cuisine.

 

I always thought the chains you mentioned were places one would stop and eat, after driving 500 miles on a road trip and there was nothing else to choose from. To get in your car ,drive and then wait for this food really is hard to believe.

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What is even more sad is

 

Every friday night, people stand outside these these subpar mediocre restaurants with a beeper waiting to get in to eat this scrumptious cuisine.

 

I always thought the chains you mentioned were places one would stop and eat, after driving 500 miles on a road trip and there was nothing else to choose from. To get in your car ,drive and then wait for this food really is hard to believe.

 

It all depends on where you live, I think. We lived in Texas for 10 years - great BBQ, really good "Texican" but otherwise you would line up for TGIRubyChiliAppleby because otherwise it was MacDonald's - or worse. Now that we live in what has to be the greatest part of the US for restaurants, the only time we even think about a "casual family restaurant" is at the end of a long road trip.

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Your missing the point doesn't mean it doesn't carry weight. :rolleyes: Why don't you leave off the extraneous antagonistic sentences and just keep to the topic?

 

The point you missed is that the change in dining service reflects a change in how much superior dining matters to the typical target cruise passenger for the line. And you don't get to determine who the target is -- they do.

 

In this case their target is "enough people to fill 14 ships every week," without regard to demographics.

 

But it's not as if the ships were sailing with unfilled cabins - they weren't. Just some brand new MBA that got hired cheap decided that they needed to prepare now for the coming die-off of their current clientèle. What he/she didn't take into account is that the US population is aging and every retiree who dies off is replaced by two more. There are fewer 20-somethings, and more 60-somethings, every day.

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It all depends on where you live, I think. We lived in Texas for 10 years - great BBQ, really good "Texican" but otherwise you would line up for TGIRubyChiliAppleby because otherwise it was MacDonald's - or worse. Now that we live in what has to be the greatest part of the US for restaurants, the only time we even think about a "casual family restaurant" is at the end of a long road trip.

 

Well ... now ... Dave ... I live in Dallas and there are a large number of exceedingly excellent Restaurants around here outside of the BBQ / TexMex selections. However, 'tis true that there are a HUGE number the lower standard restaurant chains, too, and a LOT of people (myself included, I'm sorry to say) frequent them because sometimes it's just too expensive to eat at Ruth Chris, Maggianos, or Houston's every night. :D

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I recently moved from the Dallas area (too hot!) and while there are certianly more chain restaurants there than anywhere I have ever been in my life, my favorite restaurants in the entire world are there too. Shameful quantities of meat consumed at Fogo de Chao, Texas de Brazil, and Boi Na Braza - yum! It's probably for the better that we moved :D

 

This has nothing to do with shorts in cruise line dining rooms mind you but as the thread has turned to restaurants and Dallas was mentioned it just got me to thinking about these places (wipes away tears...).

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In this case their target is "enough people to fill 14 ships every week," without regard to demographics.
Business is never "without regard to demographics". It may, however, be a different group of demographics than in the past and/or than what any specific person may prefer it to be.

 

But it's not as if the ships were sailing with unfilled cabins - they weren't. Just some brand new MBA that got hired cheap decided that they needed to prepare now for the coming die-off of their current clientèle.
Is there any documentary evidence of what you're saying? If not, I'll guess you're wrong.

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Which only goes to show that different people have different tastes when it comes to food. One person asserts that Applebees is better, another that Ruby Tuesday wins "by a mile." I have eaten at both ... they appear to be just about the same to me: slight nuances in style, taste, and nomenclature ... nothing more. I prefer Chilis over them both, and Friday's over Chilis ... though that's not saying much given how they're all nearly the same in terms of quality. A similar "distinction" of sameness can be drawn between The Blackeyed Pea and Good Eats.

 

This is the SAME direction toward which the cruise lines are sailing: one Line has a gimmick, so the other lines have to copy it; we mustn't have anything distinctive because the lemmings want everything to the same everywhere! The way things are going, in the not-too-distant future one won't be able to tell the difference between Cruise Lines without looking at the logo on the ship's funnel and the Vessel's name ("Does it end with ... of the Seas or dam?"). The homogenization of the experience is going to wipe out the range of choices and produce a commonality of mediocrity similar to that found in US Restaurant Chains.

 

God forbid!

I'm getting old and thought I would stop cruising 2 years ago, but I keep seeing great itineraries on ships with under 2000 pax and keep booking. Still, the Applebees nearest home isn't worth going to if it were free yet I've been to some that were very good. Maybe the smaller older ships, sailing to and from countries other than the US, will have the ambiance some like. There will always be some holdouts. :o

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In this case their target is "enough people to fill 14 ships every week," without regard to demographics.

 

But it's not as if the ships were sailing with unfilled cabins - they weren't. Just some brand new MBA that got hired cheap decided that they needed to prepare now for the coming die-off of their current clientèle. What he/she didn't take into account is that the US population is aging and every retiree who dies off is replaced by two more. There are fewer 20-somethings, and more 60-somethings, every day.

AND the average 20-somethings are in debt up to their eyeballs while the average cruising 60+ has disposable income (which he/she WILL dispose of);)

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Well ... now ... Dave ... I live in Dallas and there are a large number of exceedingly excellent Restaurants around here outside of the BBQ / TexMex selections. However, 'tis true that there are a HUGE number the lower standard restaurant chains, too, and a LOT of people (myself included, I'm sorry to say) frequent them because sometimes it's just too expensive to eat at Ruth Chris, Maggianos, or Houston's every night. :D

Maybe they livedin a smaller community. I live in deep South Texas, and we have just what he said, except we don't have many good BBQ resturants. About 25% of the places don't have an English menu or E ng speaking waitstaff. That's why I spend over half my time at South Padre Island, a wide chooice of eating places (2 might be classified a fine).:mad:

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Maybe they livedin a smaller community. I live in deep South Texas, and we have just what he said, except we don't have many good BBQ resturants. About 25% of the places don't have an English menu or E ng speaking waitstaff. That's why I spend over half my time at South Padre Island, a wide chooice of eating places (2 might be classified a fine).:mad:

 

Actually, we lived in Austin :rolleyes:

 

But here, in tiny little Sunnyvale, CA I can walk to (within 1 mile) excellent non-chain Italian (Tuscan Trattoria style, not Italo-American), Lebanese, Indian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, "Californian" and German restaurants as well as a couple of "faux Irish" pubs (but one has good Shepherd's Pie and the other does a great halibut and chips!). If we get in the car and drive 10 minutes to the next town (Mountain View) we can find excellent Mexican (real Mexican, not Tex-Mex), Filipino, Vietnamese, Seafood, Spanish/Tapas, Indonesian and even a Michelin starred restaurant. Also good Italian, French, Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Pubs, etc. And not a single one of them is part of a chain! In every single one the owner is either out front greeting the diners or in back supervising the kitchen.

 

It's something we didn't see in Austin, nor in Richmond, VA when we lived there. Baltimore comes close but still has far too many chains. Washington DC had good restaurants, but all were way out of my price range (I wasn't a lobbyist!).

 

To tell you the truth, I think I would like to see the "food court" concept introduced on HAL ships instead of the "anytime dining" stuff. Then leave the traditional dining room for those of us who appreciate it.

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In this case their target is "enough people to fill 14 ships every week," without regard to demographics.

 

But it's not as if the ships were sailing with unfilled cabins - they weren't. Just some brand new MBA that got hired cheap decided that they needed to prepare now for the coming die-off of their current clientèle. What he/she didn't take into account is that the US population is aging and every retiree who dies off is replaced by two more. There are fewer 20-somethings, and more 60-somethings, every day.

 

True ... but your missing one point.

In 1990 the HAL fleet numbered 4 vessels (the then Westerdam, the then Noordam, the Nieuw Amsterdam, and the Rotterdam V). Today the line numbers 13 vessels, with a 14th due in July. This means that there are about 7-times as many cabins needing to be filled (given ten more ships, and all but one of the fourteen being larger than the largest of the four in 1990).

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This is the SAME direction toward which the cruise lines are sailing: one Line has a gimmick, so the other lines have to copy it; we mustn't have anything distinctive because the lemmings want everything to the same everywhere! The way things are going, in the not-too-distant future one won't be able to tell the difference between Cruise Lines without looking at the logo on the ship's funnel and the Vessel's name ("Does it end with ... of the Seas or dam?"). The homogenization of the experience is going to wipe out the range of choices and produce a commonality of mediocrity similar to that found in US Restaurant Chains.

 

I remember when specialty coffee on Celebrity came with a Cova chocolate. I remember when specialty coffee on HAL was complimentary. Dining was fixed, free and elegant. Even dining in the Odyssey restaurant on the Rotterdam VI was offered at no extra charge.

 

Today, its rent an ipod, buy an internet plan, rent a cabana and "As You Wish" dining. We pay for our dinner in the alternate restaurant. That is not to mention art auctions, gold by the inch, suits made to measure, and get your teeth whitened. More and more, every square inch of the ship is given over to an often distasteful style of revenue generation.

 

I am horrified to think of where it is all leading. I cannot rule out that HAL envisions the day when food services will liken to a giant food court, where every food taste and style is catered to..."for a moderate additional fee". Once traditional dining is eliminated, we enter a whole new world of possibilities - and as far as I am concerned AYW dining is a harbinger of just that.

 

Well, if it does happen, it won't be overnight. I suppose there are still a number of good cruising years left. So, we intend to enjoy them while they last.

 

Smooth sailing...

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I remember when specialty coffee on Celebrity came with a Cova chocolate. I remember when specialty coffee on HAL was complimentary. Dining was fixed, free and elegant. Even dining in the Odyssey restaurant on the Rotterdam VI was offered at no extra charge.

 

Yes ... those were the days. I remember them well.

 

Today, its rent an ipod, buy an internet plan, rent a cabana and "As You Wish" dining. We pay for our dinner in the alternate restaurant. That is not to mention art auctions, gold by the inch, suits made to measure, and get your teeth whitened. More and more, every square inch of the ship is given over to an often distasteful style of revenue generation.

 

I am horrified to think of where it is all leading. I cannot rule out that HAL envisions the day when food services will liken to a giant food court, where every food taste and style is catered to..."for a moderate additional fee". Once traditional dining is eliminated, we enter a whole new world of possibilities - and as far as I am concerned AYW dining is a harbinger of just that.

 

Well, if it does happen, it won't be overnight. I suppose there are still a number of good cruising years left. So, we intend to enjoy them while they last....

 

I read ya loud and clear. When that day comes, I'll go to wherever i can find a niche player that will provide me with the kind of cruise I want. Or, I'll spend my money in another way.

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.

 

And, Heather...saw your formal night photos in your album and must say you looked quite elegant indeed :)

 

Enjoy your cruising!

 

Melissa

 

Thank you, Melissa ... you're very kind:) .

 

Greg, to be fair .... I only ate at Ruby Tuesday's once and I got sick so I never returned. As I ate I knew the grease would not be a good thing. That never happened at Applebee's:D . Hence my vote for Applebee's!!!;)

 

I always promised that when I got old enough to tell the stories of what once was and say that times were so much better then, I wouldn't do it. I lied:o .

 

I am there and they were.

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Thank you, Melissa ... you're very kind:) .

 

Greg, to be fair .... I only ate at Ruby Tuesday's once and I got sick so I never returned. As I ate I knew the grease would not be a good thing. That never happened at Applebee's:D . Hence my vote for Applebee's!!!;)

 

I always promised that when I got old enough to tell the stories of what once was and say that times were so much better then, I wouldn't do it. I lied:o .

 

I am there and they were.

 

 

Don't worry Heather

 

 

I used to hate when my parents would give me the "Well when I was your age " lecture.

 

Well years and three teens later guess what I am doing *LOL*

 

P.S

I agree I love all your pics and you and DH do make an elegant couple :)

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To tell you the truth, I think I would like to see the "food court" concept introduced on HAL ships instead of the "anytime dining" stuff. Then leave the traditional dining room for those of us who appreciate it.
For an additional fee, perhaps $20 per night. That way, everyone gets something they want. The folks who want formal, fine dining get that. The folks who want to save money get that. And the cruise line gets more revenue, making it acceptable for them to make the change in that direction.

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Ruby Tuesday's, by a mile.

I'm glad you said that, because I absolutely can't stand Applebee's ... and there is an Applebee's located about one block from my home. Everytime I eat there I get sick to my stomach, so I decided to just swear off of them after this last time in January.

 

I haven't been to Ruby Tuesday's in a long while, so I can't remember if I enjoyed their food or not.

 

Blue skies ...

 

--rita

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I'm glad you said that, because I absolutely can't stand Applebee's ... and there is an Applebee's located about one block from my home. Everytime I eat there I get sick to my stomach, so I decided to just swear off of them after this last time in January.
We have one on block from our house as well. We like it well-enough. Never have gotten sick, and always had a good meal. But Ruby Tuesday is a bunch better: For example, Ruby Tuesday has more than one seafood option, and the seafood has been consistently better than the one seafood option at Applebee's.

 

I'm sorry I got this thread off on this stupid tangent. If folks prefer, replace "Ruby Tuesday" with Legal Seafood, Border Cafe or even Chili's... anything that is a quantum leap above Applebee's, Bennigan's and TGIFriday's, but a quantum leap below Capital Grill and fine dining establishments like it.

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If I recall correctly, Carnival was more expensive than Holland America for my recent cruise. So the answer to your question is that you can select a cruise based on the itinerary and the fare, and the fact that the people who cruise that cruise line are the kind of people you want to cruise with. Some folks feel that Carnival attracts a much too young audience, especially during college holiday times -- that's reason enough to cruise Holland America instead.

 

There can be (and there is). The point is that a market isn't created by external forces -- a market is created by dollars. If the dollars aren't there, then don't expect a market to be there -- or more precisely, expect the market to be no bigger than the dollars for that market. The smaller the market (i.e., the fewer dollars) the fewer options you'll have in that market, and the fewer economies of scale that market will enjoy.

 

It's only two cruise lines we're talking about: Carnival and Holland America, and even there, I believe there is still a significant difference between the two, specifically with regard to the average age of the passengers.

 

With regard to the rest of Carnival's lines, Princess is said to provide a higher grade of service -- that's not a matter of "traditional" versus "non-traditional" but a matter of the quality of service provided, etc. And Cunard is a step above that (and has a good bit of the "traditional" tilt as well, FWIR.)

 

But a smaller one, and one for which you have to pay a higher fare, corresponding to the smaller size of the market. Niche interest always lose the economies of scale discount.

 

Oh I know tha tis true at times. When we booked our first HAL crusie Carnival Spirit was a brand new ship doing Alaska and it was too steep. Hal Statendam was actually a much better price.

 

My point is, I have found Carinal which used to have ambiance and had an enforced dress for dinner inthe dinningroom, has gone downhill, which is WHY I prefer not to to cruise them. The ambiance at dinner is just not there anymore.

 

I know Celebrity still has the ambiance and I enjoy crusing Celebrity, I just find them normally a little steep in price for our pocket book-which is why we (my hubby and I, who agrees with me) decided to try HAL again. We were told HAL still has that ambiance also, but if we find HAL doesn't, then I guess we may as well cruise Carnival, or WHATEVER line has the CHEAPEST deal.

 

Yes I could have cruised Carnival Triumph for less money this upcoming cruise, and I would have gone to Grand Turk and Half Moon Cay, the ports I wanted to enjoy. We booked Westerdam because we felt that would be the more enjoyable experience for us and more like the traditionial cruise experience that we want.

 

May I ask why you like HAL? Why do YOU feel HAL is better then Carnival? I ask this because you find my idea of why to be foolish.

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We have one on block from our house as well. We like it well-enough. Never have gotten sick, and always had a good meal. But Ruby Tuesday is a bunch better: For example, Ruby Tuesday has more than one seafood option, and the seafood has been consistently better than the one seafood option at Applebee's.

 

I'm sorry I got this thread off on this stupid tangent. If folks prefer, replace "Ruby Tuesday" with Legal Seafood, Border Cafe or even Chili's... anything that is a quantum leap above Applebee's, Bennigan's and TGIFriday's, but a quantum leap below Capital Grill and fine dining establishments like it.

 

I am not a seafood lover-but my hubby is-but no he would not go for seafood at Applebees or Ruby Tuesdays. He likes to go to a specialty seafood restuarant for that.

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I am not a seafood lover-but my hubby is-but no he would not go for seafood at Applebees or Ruby Tuesdays. He likes to go to a specialty seafood restuarant for that.

 

Me, too!!! Reading all the above I couldn't help thinking ..... seafood at Applebee's? Or Ruby Tuesday's???? I don't think so!!!!!!

 

I'm very cautious where I order seafood.

 

So I'm adding a caveat to my vote for Applebee's:) . I ALWAYS have the Oriental Chicken Salad which is fantastic and DH says the steaks are just short of a Longhorn's which are pretty darn good (for that price range).

 

I would love to board a ship and find a salad to come even close to the Oriental Chicken at Applebee's.:)

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Me, too!!! Reading all the above I couldn't help thinking ..... seafood at Applebee's? Or Ruby Tuesday's???? I don't think so!!!!!!

 

I'm very cautious where I order seafood.

 

So I'm adding a caveat to my vote for Applebee's:) . I ALWAYS have the Oriental Chicken Salad which is fantastic and DH says the steaks are just short of a Longhorn's which are pretty darn good (for that price range).

 

I would love to board a ship and find a salad to come even close to the Oriental Chicken at Applebee's.:)

 

Plus Bicker is from Boston-so why in the WORLD would he go to Ruby Tuesday's for seafood? There has to be many restuarants in Boston that have fresh seafood.

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