I'm not sure what cutbacks your talking about on CCL. If it's the Captain's party they haven't cut back. They have in fact added because they have two Captain's parties. One on the Promenade with drinks $1 off. The other a Farewell party with free drinks.
You may want to ask about a specific waiter on the Gem. His name is Norman from Jamaica. He is very tall probably 6'6" or more. He was a fabulous waiter I had several years ago. Last I had heard he was on the Gem. However; I don't know if he's still there. Can't miss him though if he is still there. There's not too many Jamaicans that tall!