My take on "Butlins at Sea " is----
nothing to do with the staff , it the place /facilitys/holidaymakers, overcrowded ,Rude , aggresive ,loud boozey, youngish adults /familys ,yobs, please note this is the opinion that i have been led to belive !!!
I was a Pontins Child in the 60's myself
also saying that Butlins do have some realy super entertainment !
at the end of the day one familys/persons poison is anothers medicine !!!!
I imagine the term refers to the whole ethos of the cruise ships refered to as 'Butlins at sea'. Holiday camps provide wall-to-wall entertainment directed at families who want that kind of holiday. Those of us who have been there, done that, no longer wear the t-shirt, favour smaller, adult only ships. There is room in the market for both types of cruises. Anyone who books a cruise that is advertised as 'family friendly', 'kids go free', or similar shouldn't be surprised when there are children on board.
Butlins at sea probably refers to the passengers and the entertainment provided. The passengers are usually people who could not find any of the ports on a map, have no clue of the culture and history of the area and as long as they find a market to buy cheap rubbish to take home as presents are satisfied. They rarely go on excursions and usually claim the are too expensive. They want cheap drink and a lot of food. If something goes wrong - even the weather - it usually is the fault of someone else and they want compensation. They describe the on board entertainment - particularly the shows as "West End standard" despite never having been to a West End show. Bingo, line dancing and karaoke are the standards by which the late afternoon and late evening entertainment is judged. There is limited or no attendance at enrichment lectures and few who attend the spa. Also a reduction in standards in terms of behaviour - smuggling booze on board, putting towels on sunbeds and then going ashore for hours, no tipping on ships where basic tips are included, believing that a brief conversation with one of the entertainment staff is the height of sophistication. Its very unfair to Butlins who provide a value holiday for those who love the product. However the term is now used for those whom it is believed used to holiday at a Butlins holiday camp but now have a few more bucks and go cruising.
Thank you for taking the trouble to respond. I think I understand now, excellent response.
Would hate to be on the same ship as a snob like you give me the Butlins people anytime.
Excellent answer, couldnt have put it better myself!
I have described the Arcadia as "Butlins on Sea" in an earlier review, having been on it twice with a two year gap between voyages. Note, there are no children on the Arcadia so my description refers to the product supplied and not to the passengers. Most of the money seems to be spent on shows which are excellent (one acrobat couple appeared on "Britain's Got Talent"). Everything else is poor. Other entertainment areas are small, food is not very good, service is off hand and wrong prices charged for drinks, the advertised 24 hour catering is virtually non existant at midnight with only the waiters eating the remnants (if they did that on a Cunard ship the would be leaving at the next port). This is the way I perceive Butlins to be with the shows / entertainment being the one and only important item to be of quality.
Hello Macro, as you can see from some of the answers, cruisers are certainly a mixed bunch. But I would disagree with Gower from Chessington, as my experience with the Arcadia has been good. Also with Johnson from Hull, as many people do not want the rude, loud mouth antics of people who don't understand what cruising is supposed to be all about. I have done many cruises, just getting ready for number 40 and have cruised all over the world. I have also done the All Inclusive package fortnight in Spain with what I found to be a holiday from hell. My wife and I had to leave the complex to avoid the drunks and the fights in the evening from people who drank too much and brought their football hooliganism with them. I prefer quality at a reasonable price so try www.qualitycruises.org.uk and you will find that perhaps there is an alternative to what some of the people like Johnson seem to enjoy.