10 years ago a tradition of the nightly turn down service on ships was a Chocolate Kiss on your pillow but this now seems to be a thing of the past according to a recently returned cruise passenger
I hear all the time from passengers that ‘standards are not what they used to be’ with less and less being included and more and more being an added payable extra – Are cruise lines cutting corners just too much?
Even the Berlitz Guide author commented that standards are slipping in the mass cruising market as the gap widens between the 10 major cruise lines and small luxury ships fewer liners were awarded five-star ratings than the previous year, with Seven Seas Mariner, Seven Seas Voyager, Silver Cloud and Silver Wind downgraded to four stars. Three Celebrity and three Seabourn vessels also lost points in the Guide’s ratings.
You only have to read some reviews on Cruise.co.uk with regular comments particularly referring to the menu choice and food quality in the Main Dining room, the portion sizes and number or courses reduced and a dwindling number of waiting staff with slower service resulting from waiters having more tables to serve
‘ The quality of the food is really becoming quite average – the quality of the cuisine has gone down as the cost of food has gone up. ‘
‘Currently on the Britannia and disappointed to find no Twining tea in the cabin only PGTips! Awful French coconut biscuits. Our usual wine been removed from the room service menu and the current bottles more expensive. The first night Sindhu offer is a bottle of wine for the early bird meal instead of the third off the meal . To top it all off our free glass of champagne missing for the sail away party. Seems to be a lot of cost cutting!’
Comments also of standards slipping at embarkation with crew now pointing you in the direction of your cabin instead of escorting you there, overpriced shore excursions and drink prices and the ever increasing daily gratuities and under trained and rude staff – is cruising still the great value for money it used to be??
The irony is that with so many more Mega ships launching and so many more cabins to fill you would think the cruise lines would up their game to keep their loyal passengers and maintain their high standards but the flip side is that to keep prices competitive the cruise lines have to discount and something has got to give – either the quality on board or the number of staff – they just can’t win!
What are your thoughts and experiences of how standards may have changed over the last 5 years – I would love to hear your comments below!