Okay Now the worst side


Cruise

Postby HW tenpin on Sun Jan 04, 2009 13:51 pm

While I have always praised Cruising as a great holiday, this thread is aimed at giving you an insight to some of the bad things you might find, so you won’t be disappointed.

Know what you are getting!
If the brochure shows mainly 7 day prices with the option of a ‘back to back’ 14 day cruise (ships do a figure of eight route) then the second week will be mainly like the first as far as the menu and shows are concerned, but with different ports. While 14 day itineraries do vary sometimes.
Getting on & off is the worst thing about cruising, there seems to be no order of things a mad rush to find your luggage or the transfer coaches. My tip here is just take it easy they seldom go without you. Disembarkation is the worst, but again your flight time is usually taken into consideration and if anything you will be hours early rather than late.
Modern cruise lines do most of their sailing by night, leaving port from mid afternoon to early evening, you wake up in a new port the next day. Sea days can be crowded, and sunny places to relax can be hard to find for late risers. If you expect a few Sea days then book a balcony cabin, there’s nothing like it on a warm day at sea.
Likewise the ‘cruise directors’ nowadays are young and aggressive, and can be in your face, their voices over the public address system can grate when you are trying to relax.
The ‘hard sell’ is rampant on most ships because of the increasing demand for lower prices, this has led to photo shoots, ******, tours, spas and whatever else they can tempt you to buy, the answer is be strong just allow yourself a set on board expenditure, and stick to it. REMEMBER the service charge at 15%.
Food and menus have suffered somewhat again due to the heavy discounting of prices; however there is usually something nice, even in the buffet, and overall the food is mainly okay and plentiful.
The shows and shipboard entertainment are very much the same on the big liners, but still a pleasant way to spend a few hours. If you are only cruising once a year, then these can be fun and entertaining, if it bit like watching favourite television show.
Meet & Greet staff at the Airports could do with an upgrade; these are in the main very lackadaisical and wait for your questions rather than approach you.
Tipping is another factor you MUST consider, the current trend is to have it added to your account at ($10.50-E 6.50 & £5/6.50 per day) that’s also per person, this is on top of the 15% service charge on all drinks. Roughly £ 200 more for your cruise for tips.
Although most give a little for room service this is not required, as it is included in the above charges. Some cruise lines include gratuities in the cruise price, it is up to you if you wish to tip more to cabin & wait staff. Which to my mind rather defeats the object of fixed gratuities, but each to their own.
A cruise is rather like being in a small town which then moves from place to place, it is a great way to holiday and see new places, but as more and more ships come on the market, do expect standards to drop with the prices, and in the end you get what you have paid for.

Go with an open mind and you will enjoy most of your cruising experience.

Watch out for a new thread on my thoughts on a few of the major players, and what they offer.
Cruising is like 'Being in the Garden of Eating'

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HW tenpin
 
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