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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 02-09-2005, 06:26 AM
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Benny Hill had a skit where he was sitting in a upscale restaurant. There was a waiter in a tux, the table was set with linen table cloth, silverware, crystal, and center floral arrangement. He was looking at the menu and apparently didn't like the prices. He then showed the waiter a advertisement for a $1.99 special. After much agruing the waiter moved him to a different table in a not so nice area. He ripped the table cloth off and removed everthing else. A new unshaven waiter came out with tattoos wearing a tank top and white apron. He served the dinner on paper plates, with plastic utinsils. After eveything was on the table he then kicked out a leg spacer to make the table wobble.
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Old 02-09-2005, 07:38 AM
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As someone who deliberately set out to try out as many of the cruise lines as possible in order to establish our preferences, the thing that amazes me is that some people jump at a bargain without enquiring about the style of the line and whether it will suit them. Then of course if it doesn't the complaints follow. While we have never had a bad cruise, there are distinct differences between the cruise lines and we now prefer some to others. In Europe the differences are I believe much more marked because of the spread of age of the ships ranging from 50 years old to new this year. While a good crew can make up for a lot, a tired, neglected ship is no bargain to my mind.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 02-09-2005, 07:43 AM
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FloridaKeith,

I agree with most of the above.

However, there are lots of old ships (including some that might be 30 or 40 years old) that are not tired and neglected but very nice and comfortable. This is simply a matter of taste.

Personally, I would prefer quite a few older ships to some of the floating apartment blocks built in recent years.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 02-09-2005, 01:40 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by FloridaKeith:
As someone who deliberately set out to try out as many of the cruise lines as possible in order to establish our preferences, the thing that amazes me is that some people jump at a bargain without enquiring about the style of the line and whether it will suit them. Then of course if it doesn't the complaints follow. While we have never had a bad cruise, there are distinct differences between the cruise lines and we now prefer some to others. In Europe the differences are I believe much more marked because of the spread of age of the ships ranging from 50 years old to new this year. While a good crew can make up for a lot, a tired, neglected ship is no bargain to my mind.


I am glad that my spouse doesn't think that something over 50 is tired, old and neglected and no bargain.
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Old 02-09-2005, 02:07 PM
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Hey my spouse does think that some things over fifty are tired and old. Lets face it sometimes I am, but shes stuck with me. Besides she over fifty also. She just isn't tired and old and sure doesn't look like. We still have fun on our cruises.
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Old 02-13-2005, 03:03 AM
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Where did the age of a ship come into it?
I can assure you that the age of a ship bears no relevance in its cost or value, and i am surprised that you believe the stereotype that in Europe everything is old, and if it is its useless or worthless, or both!?!
Indeed, most if not all of my customers do not even ask the age of a ship, we have a few who want to try the brand new, out of curiosity or just to say they have, but we also have those who are loyal, who know quality, and travel with the same line on the same ship year after year.
Yes we have ships 50 years old, QE2 for example, well approaching 50, but she is hand crafted and still luxurious, although different to modern standards, and has an ambience and character you just dont get on modern ships.
I went on QM2, for my holiday last year, and yes she was fantastic, i am a Cunard fan, but she did lack character and, im sorry to say, she was everything the Americans think of as being British, the Pub, the Theatre, The restaurant, the Queens room.. shes a concept, not really a representation of yesteryear.
Im sorry that some people think that you have to have something new to get value. Ive seen newer ships, Costa and Carnival most recently, they are ugly and made in my opinion to get as many people on board as possible for maximum profit. Yes they may be new, but can you put a price on quality? and can you put an age on it?!
The age question is irrelavent and very narrow-minded, a true cruise critic and enthusiast would not even raise the issue!
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Old 02-13-2005, 08:48 AM
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Rosey,

people being concerned about the age of the ship is a phenomenon rarely observed in Europe, indeed.

It is, however, fairly common in America. Honestly, I have received inquiries from people who were booked on a three- or four-year-old ship and asked me whether it was safe to go on such an "older ship". Ships built in the mid-90s are considered "older" by many American passengers, and ships 70,000 gt in size are considered "small".

While therre are nice newbuilds, as well (I do very much agree with you in regards to the Carnival and Costa newbuilds, however), smaller and often older vessels have a much nicer atmosphere in my humble opinion.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 02-13-2005, 11:49 PM
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I think we have been a bit diverted here from the heart of the arguement. Some years ago, the majority of the cruise lines took the decision to reduce advertised fares to the absolute minimum & then to recoup the lost income (& hopefully much more) they introduced as separate charges items that had always been included up till then. Thus we have port charges & taxes, drinks at resort rather than duty free prices, extreme measures to raise tipping levels, alternate dining as a revenue item rather than a change from the norm and relentless marketing of merchandise, shore excursions & even coffee etc outside of the dining rooms.
And by & large the public have fallen for it.
Sure, every forum I have read has gripes about tipping, nickel & diming, art auctions & the ways to smuggle booze on board to reduce bar bills. But, my friends, it is our fault.
By continuing to patronise them, we are giving them permission (even encouragement) to continue with what to them has been a very successful marketing strategy. So let's stop fooling ourselves. Everything has a cost & will be paid for somewhere. We can have low cost cruising Fares & pay the extra in add-ons & on board expenditure or we can tell the cruise lines that we would prefer to have a fare that adequately reflects the cost of providing the service & facilities so we can pay upfront after working out the cruise we can afford.

But as it stands, those of us who complain about the extras are whistling in the wind. So if it irritates you, all you can do is take your business elsewhere (either the European or luxury almost all inclusive lines).

But until the market goes down the cruise lines aren't going to change - they are on a winner.

Dave
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Old 02-14-2005, 03:08 AM
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Hi Dave,

a very correct assessment, indeed.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 02-14-2005, 08:24 AM
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Dave,
Very well said. Unfortunately it is becoming an "acceptable" way of life here in the States that most business attempt to take you for a ride and try to nickel and dime you at every opportunity they have.
My general rule when it comes to to the nitty-gritty is that unless it really is a heck of a bargain, I just do not patronize any business that charges you any kind of fee to DO BUSINESS with them, such as travel sites that charge you a fee to speak to a live person, tarvel sites that charge you a fee to book a flight/hotel room etc....(speaking of hotel rooms, did anyone notice this new trend of Vegas hotels now charging you a "RESORT FEE", Telephone access fee for unlimited local calls, hey I do not need to use the hotel's phone system, I have no own cell phone, an energy surchage.....the list is freaking ridiculous! Next thing you know, they will start charging you for water consumption use too eveytime you use the bathroom or shower! Most of these face, you get faced with at check-in....As I said, unless it is a real bargain, I just do not patronize any such business. Just my 2 cents...
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