Go Back   Cruise Reviews Forums > Cruise Lines > Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
Register Forgot Password?
New! Use your Facebook, Google, AIM & Yahoo accounts to securely log into this site, click logo to login  
Search

Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #21 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2009, 10:15 AM
Dave's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 17,777
Default
I used to like NASCAR. I liked it when most of the drivers knew how to wrench on their own cars, and usually helped build them. That was when NASCAR was largely a southern thing. Then the France family (the owners of the brand) went after more money and they branched out and NASCAR is now really "national". Then the drivers who never skinned their knuckles installing a new manifold showed up in their plush motor homes. The sport changed and I didn't like it that much anymore. I hardly watch it now. They had every right to go for the big bucks and a larger fan base (women in particular). But they left the old time fans behind - the ones who brought them to the dance.

I see the same thing happening with mainstream cruise lines. Those who don't like the new "a la carte" ways will either change or move on at some point.
__________________
Dave
Editor, CruiseReviews.com
  #22 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2009, 12:24 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: birmingham, al
Posts: 1,842
Default
Great analogy, Dave. Being from the south, I can appreciate your views on non-commercial NASCAR. Sticking with the subject, am I one of the few remaining people in my age group who cruise just to cruise? I loved it when cruise ships didn't have boxing rings, flowriders, premium restaurants, ice-skating rinks, etc. etc. I can do all of those things at home within a 10-minute drive. (except for the flowrider, but I am only a few minutes from a lake where I waterski) What I can't do at home is RELAX!! That is what I feel that cruising is all about. Not the amenities offered but the opportunity to enjoy 0% responsibility for the length of the cruise. Reward programs are great (I am a diamond RCCL cruiser as well as a Carnival VIP) but I miss the days when I just felt appreciated for choosing a particular voyage.
  #23 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2009, 12:49 PM
Dave's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 17,777
Default
Our first cruise, ironically, had an "old" NASCAR connection. 1992 and King Richard has just retired from driving. He has a fan cruise on the HAL Westerdam. Off I go.

We had a Lido and a Verandah pool. One pool was covered. Both were small. Hungry? Go to the Verandah buffet or dining room at set meal times, or one of the grill stations for a burger. Or get room service. That was it. One or two bars were open during the day at various times. A few activities to do. Most of the veteran HAL people (who must have thought we were all REALLY on the wrong line) sat around sipping drinks, talking, or just reading. No internet cafe. A band would set up on the fantail by the Lido Bar and play for a couple sets. Then they'd pack up and leave.

It was a great cruise. I was refreshed, got to spend time with the Petty family, and really felt I had been on a luxurious cruise. After the first day I didn't have to show anyone my cruise card (which was paper). Just tell them my cabin number for a drink order. Canapes served at night in the bars and lounges by wandering waiters. Very elegant and refined.

The room steward didn't inform me on day one what his work schedule was. Rough seas caused the crystal fruit bowl (all cabins had this "perk") to crash to the deck one night. A call to the purser and within 2 minutes we had three stewards with vacuum cleaners rushing into the cabin. Another one arrived with a new bowl of fruit a few moments later. Nothing was impossible. Nobody told me they weren't allowed to make "that" drink. I don't recall even seeing a bar menu. They used Waring bar blenders to make frozen drinks and not something that resembles an outboard motor full of ice.

Rambling!
__________________
Dave
Editor, CruiseReviews.com
  #24 (permalink)  
Old 02-03-2009, 07:34 AM
ps1 ps1 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 3
Default
Dave, you bring back wonderful memories of our honeymoon cruise in 1992 on the HAL Noordam! As our first cruise, we were overwhelmed by the luxury and elegance, the personalized service and the opportunity to simply relax. The amenities were by today's standards, measly - exactly as you described - but the experience set the standard for cruising we've searched for since. Hooked, we then went on a bad idea NCL one year anniversary cruise, took a break to have children and then started in with Disney, RCCL 3 times and Grand Princess. Our next is the Jewel in March.

We know we'll never match the ambiance of that first experience, but I imagine in a few years with the kids grown we'll be upgrading cruise lines to bring us back to what we first loved most about cruising. For me, thousands of co-passengers and flow riders are NOT essential features!
  #25 (permalink)  
Old 02-03-2009, 09:04 AM
penny3333's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 10,601
Default
Cruising has changed tremendously over the years. If not for loyal customers and we addicts encouraging newbies, they wouldn't have the fan base they have. All the lines need to realize that their customer base is one of their best marketing tools. The "glitz" isn't what keep people coming back, but probably does attract the newbies. Our cruise on the Royal Princess brought back great memories of what a cruise experience used to be. More intimate service, not such huge lines for everything, ease of learning the ship and getting around it, much more relaxed atmosphere, and we had plenty to do without all of the "stuff". I plan on trying Azamara, in fact, I'd like to try as many lines as I can. Princess, so far, is my favorite, but I need to compare others as well.
  #26 (permalink)  
Old 02-03-2009, 01:03 PM
Berick1234's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,496
Default
Amen to all of the above....

Happy CRUISING to one and all in 2009....
  #27 (permalink)  
Old 02-03-2009, 03:54 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 675
Default
Doesn't the first cruise usually stand out as one of or the best? Ours does. The food was unbelievable. The service unbelievable: Our dining room server had two tables, the asst. waiter four. He almost danced in attendance. The Empress had no amenities to speak of but a basketball court and pool/hot tub area, at least not that I remember. The basketball court was called the "sports deck" It was just such a venture into gracious living for workingmen like us!

It is all still fabulous, and some of the glitz is loads of fun--but for us it is about the relaxation and seeing great exotic places without the great expense of being there a week, renting a car, having to figure out where to eat, etc. It's an island sampler pack!
__________________
Laurie
RCCL Nordic Empress 1993
RCCL Nordic Prince 1994
RCCL Explorer 2003, 2005
RCCL Navigator, 2004, 2007
RCCL Mariner 2006
RCCL Liberty 2008
RCCL Adventure 2009

Read and post cruise reviews
  #28 (permalink)  
Old 02-03-2009, 04:12 PM
Dave's Avatar
Administrator
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 17,777
Default
I still remember the name of our wine steward from the first cruise - Rudy from Indonesia, who was ethnic Chinese. He was quite engaging. I remember he was excited on lobster night (back then you got a nice sized lobster tail), because he had scored a couple servings and had them wrapped up and tucked in his pants pockets. He had two bottles of beer stuffed inside his uniform jacket. "Mr. Dave, after dinner is over for you, I get to say hello to my friend Mr. Lobster, along with my other friend Mr. Budweiser!". I swear that is what he told me, word for word.

The Explorer Lounge on HAL ships is my kind of place. On the old Westerdam it was wood and leather, and at the time cigars and pipes too. A classical string trio played (but not too loud), and it was just one of those places that gives someone like me a sense of well-being. On our cruise they were about to change Captains and the replacement was aboard. He was quite gregarious and was in the Explorer every night regaling anyone who wished to listen with tales of the sea, or just a joke. It was obvious he loved his job, and loved working for HAL.
__________________
Dave
Editor, CruiseReviews.com
  #29 (permalink)  
Old 02-03-2009, 07:09 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 675
Default
I know just what you mean. Our Server was Jose from Portugal, our asst was Roy, also from Portugal, and the head waiter was Alan from South Africa. Roger was our room steward from Jamaica. I can't tell you who did all these jobs for us a year ago, but I got the names from cruise #1 without even having to look in the photo album! It was magical. We sat in the carosel bar in the evenings and listened to Karoke (before it was a contest or an exercise in silliness). I swear some of those passengers sang torch songs and romantic standards that had tears coming to your eyes. It was a quieter and gentler vacation. The welcome aboard show as a Tom Jones impersonator who was good enough to make Tom Tom girls of us all. (could be why years later I couldn't summon any ill will toward a cabin steward who woke us up singing Tom Jones songs in the hallway.) What's new ***** cat . . .
__________________
Laurie
RCCL Nordic Empress 1993
RCCL Nordic Prince 1994
RCCL Explorer 2003, 2005
RCCL Navigator, 2004, 2007
RCCL Mariner 2006
RCCL Liberty 2008
RCCL Adventure 2009

Read and post cruise reviews
 
Closed Thread

Tags
cork, excursions, ireland, recommendations, shore

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
When does Carnival move ships around?? vietvet Carnival Cruise Line 11 11-20-2009 07:45 PM
We are located under the pool...should we move? shelby Royal Caribbean Cruise Line 3 06-19-2007 10:31 AM


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On
 

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:00 AM.

Contact Us - Terms of Use - Cruise Reviews Home - Archive - Privacy Statement - Top

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.5.2