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Cruise cost cutting; a temporary thing or not?

(16 Posts)
AussieGran59 Mon 07-Nov-22 03:43:50

We have enjoyed three cruises pre pandemic and when things settle down more, would love to do another. Just to clarify: by settling down, I mean the current staff shortages and the still high number of covid cases on board.

I realise covid will always be with us, as will norovirus etc and a cruise is a good place to catch a disease. However, this is not my main concern. We take a risk every time we go shopping, too.
It's just that reading some of the cruise reviews lately, it seems the little things which make a cruise special, have been taken away.
I know the staff shortages are a big problem but the inexperience of the crew worries me in case of emergencies. Also, it does impact on your enjoyment when the crew don't know as much as they should. One of the nicest things about our previous cruises: The wonderful crews, who made everything run so smoothly. Calm, knowledgeable and friendly!
The quality of the food seems to have deteriorated, the specialty restaurants are difficult to get into due to mix ups with reservations (again, inexperienced crew, perhaps?) and prompt room service seems to be a thing of the past, according to reviewers.
Small luxury touches which make us ordinary folk feel special, are not as prevalent. Gone are the nightly turndowns, paper news such as the Princess Patter, no chocolates on the pillows...before someone says it's a first world problem, yes it is, but we pay for a special experience and I don't think it's happening now.
I feel sorry for the hardworking crew and the cruise lines need to rectify the problem because, from the recent reviews, many people will just stop cruising if it's no longer a special experience.
As I said, I am only going on the cruise reviews I've been reading lately, mainly on cruises between Australia and New Zealand, as these are our favourites. Waking up to the sight of Milford Sound early in the morning after two days at sea, is one of the best experiences ever. Want to go again, but maybe in a couple of years, if cruising gets back to what it was. Hope so.
Please, no scathing replies! I don't want to hear that having a chocolate on my pillow each night is a petty complaint! It all adds up, as hundreds of cruisers agree.

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 07-Nov-22 08:12:05

I think that the staff are coming into your cabins as little as possible due to Covid, ditto placing the chocolate on your pillow. They want to stay away from you in case they are carrying Covid or Norovirus, imo.
Even Hotels are asking you to let them know if you want the room cleaned!
I don’t think that some things will ever get back to ‘normal’

GrannyGravy13 Mon 07-Nov-22 08:30:03

We went on a Cruise in July to the Norwegian Fjords.

We had a turndown service, complete with chocolates.

There was always a steward available if needed.

Food was of a high quality (we only ate in the speciality restaurants in the evening.

Full compliment of staff who were were friendly, professional and efficient.

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 07-Nov-22 08:36:43

Obviously depends on the Cruise Line you book on then.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 07-Nov-22 08:59:57


Obviously depends on the Cruise Line you book on then.

I think you are right, our cruise was far from cheap.

There were no rumours of Covid being on board, our friends who we went with are part of a Facebook Group for passengers of the Cruise Line and they would have been very vocal regarding Covid or D & V viruses.

They are cruising from Australia to New Zealand to Haiwaii early 2023 with the same Company.

glammagran Mon 07-Nov-22 11:14:11

I can’t say I noticed this on the Saga cruise we went on in August though I didn’t think the speciality restaurants were as good as the ones on P&O pre-pandemic but these you paid for. We had chocolates on the pillow every night and the cabin butler didn’t seem to get that after 28 were accumulated it meant we didn’t like them so we got hold of him and asked him to remove them and bring no more.

nanna8 Mon 07-Nov-22 11:53:32

We’ve booked one for Feb next year. Sets off from Melbourne so we don’t have to cope with airports and that was part of the attraction. There are 3 ‘sea days’ to get up to Fiji and we are cruising round the islands and New Caledonia. Hope there are no cyclones though. Last time we went over that way there was one which was scary.

M0nica Mon 07-Nov-22 12:15:37

I think you get what you pay for, and that is NOT a put down to those whose budgets are small, but it is one of the truths of life.

We are not cruisers by nature, but after a portside half day spent going round the Cunard QM2, we decided we wanted to sample the Cunard QM2 in action and booked on a one week cruise to Norway and went early this September.

As Grannygravy says of her cruise, no lack of staff, no lack of luxury, no lack of food and no lack of service, turndown and chocolate included.

However, we did feel a bit jaded on the day we got home and when we tested, yes, we all had COVID, but all three of us were fully vaccinated and none of us had it seriously,

AussieGran59 Mon 07-Nov-22 23:24:29

That’s good to know. Might try Cunard next time. We’ve always cruised with Princess and the NZ cruises have never been anything but wonderful. They seem to attract more mature people, too . Couldn’t stand a party ship full of drunks.

M0nica Mon 07-Nov-22 23:29:31

Whatever Cunard is, it is not a party ship full of drunks. In fact, DD used to go into one of the bars around 11.00pm, just before she went to bed and order up what she described as a superb hot chocolate and would relax in a lounge with her kindle while she drank it. She was not the only one.

AussieGran59 Tue 08-Nov-22 06:18:37

I’ve just been reading the reviews of Cunard on Cruisecritic and they are mixed. I think I will just wait a while and see what happens. It is a lot more expensive than Princess. On the other hand, reviews are not the be all and end all, are they. Some people do complain about the slightest thing. Our very first cruise on the Dawn Princess was fabulous but some reviewers disagreed. One complained that there were no towel animals. Princess never do them, thank goodness. Pointless.

nanna8 Tue 08-Nov-22 06:32:28

We are going with Princess again. We have also been with Viking and they don’t allow anyone under 18 which we like! Had enough screaming kids in my life, don’t want them on holidays. Especially not anyone else’s!bViking we’re very good but maybe not as fun as Princess.

M0nica Tue 08-Nov-22 08:03:50

We thoroughly enjoyed our short cruise, we experienced absolute luxury for a week, but for me it was a 'tick' experience, been there, done that. I am not sure I would want to do another one.

I actually prefer non-luxury holidays, usually self-catering, with lots of sight seeing and walking. We had a week with the whole family on a cabin cruiser on the Broads this Easter (2021's holiday, delayed), cramped, beds, not the most comfortable, lots of leaping around clutching ropes, and looking for pumping stations for water and sewage tank emptying. That is my type of holiday.

AussieGran59 Tue 08-Nov-22 08:54:34

Glad you enjoyed your cruise, MOnica. I agree, it wouldn’t be the only type of holiday we like. Loved hiring a car and driving all over the UK. We have really been off the beaten track and had some wonderful experiences.
nanna8, I agree about the screaming kids. We find the NZ cruises have few children and Princess is a nice, middle of the road cruise. People seem to dress decently and we have bever seen any disorderly behaviour.

Norah Tue 08-Nov-22 11:04:35

We like Viking. Small boats, very small number of passengers. Interesting destination tours, private if you wish. Good crews, many nooks to get away and be alone watching scenery. Nice dining and staff.

Debbi58 Tue 08-Nov-22 12:59:45

We recently took a 2 week scandinavian cruise , we got a great deal for Iglu Crusies. We sailed with MSC on their newest ship from Southampton, it was fab . Plenty of staff , food and drink was amazing. We had to do a lateral flow before boarding, but that was it . We had a great time , as did everyone we spoke too