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Doubt It

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  1. Why bother with Princess? Move on and try another cruise line or try other vacation options. Based on the escalating number of posts on CC of cruise lines not honouring future cruise credits etc - why are so many posters going back to the same well? To get your "voyage goodwill credit" you have to spend big $. Everyone who does this simply rewards poor service provider performance.
  2. I have read all your posts and analysis, frankly it is appalling. I do not spend money with any provider than makes it this difficult to determine the true value of a purchase. Celebrity is operating like vehicle sales dealers, which have always had a dubious reputation. There are other less frustrating options for spending hard earned $. Celebrity used to have more class.
  3. There is a significant presentation of cruise port cancellations and linked poor on board communication this fall 2019 on CC across all lines. After a debacle of a cruise on Oceania Regatta Oct 2018 (a record 10 individual CC reviews for one cruise - all less than 3 stars - loss of 4 ports, no attempt to substitute ports and where the cruise director was booed for 4 nights in a row), I have come to the conclusion that the cruise industry pays lip service to customer complaints. The cruise industry has less government and consumer regulation than land based vacation industry, and it shows. The land based hotel sector and even airlines provide actual $ back or room $ reductions in poor customer service situations - where the consumer actually gets some value, not the ridiculous Future Cruise Credit. After many years of cruising and increasingly being taken for granted by the cruise lines, we too have moved to land vacations; a splendid tour of Austria and Switzerland that beat any cruise taken in total satisfaction. I am not surprised that the Captain provided limited information, sounds like every cruise review and thread that I have read for the last many years.
  4. People are all different and people have different tolerance levels for bull.... Simply, we will not book Celebrity as their pricing protocol is deliberately complex and deceiving. Because of their deliberate choice in how they present their pricing to the consumer, their product is irrelevant to us. We patronize service organizations that have high levels of detail, clarity and transparency on pricing.
  5. That tea time on Regatta picture(s) is nothing like the past. There was, was, usually a main table located in the lounge and food was partially loaded from the table, in part. This table was the instruction point where staff and the manager, huddled for a while to discuss each item. Then the huddle would disperse and move towards service. If this is not happening now - this is a Major cut back. Further, people could go up to the table and get their plate loaded up. I will say my Regatta voyage in October 2018, had frozen almost solid tea sandwiches - said sandwiches were nothing of the quality of the past - bland, cheap white bread with marginal fillings. None of this is a good sign, and not aligned to the price point being asked by Oceania.
  6. Will fire Az if a class system is implemented, as we fired Celebrity. LLP is a menace to any cruise customer - it is revenue 100%, customer is 0. Cunard has a 2 tier set up - but it is very muted and not noticeable like the offense called Celebrity. Cunard remains (thankfully) about being a ship experience, not a floating, fake hotel. Oceania has no class system other than a private lounge for the higher priced cabins. It is just that the product does not live up to the marketing and the cost - check out the CC reviews if you are thinking of purchasing Oceania - they are not good and not consistent - note the comments of long time Oceania patrons on their last cruises...... Since the new Aug 2018 menu, the food quality, choice, quality, # of offerings has substantially declined as well as the staffing levels. Oceania also has the most arrogant and anti-customer management team on land and on ship. We and our 25 member travel group will not patronize them any further. Our travel group has no cruises booked for the first time in 15 years - thinking more of land tours. Cruising is not providing us a consistent experience providing value for money. We have done AZ but now our red flags are up on the AZ line - no bookings until we see stability in AZ and no class system.
  7. Interesting thread and excellent analysis by the posters. People want different experiences, and all of us are fortunate to be able to cruise and to have a variety of cruise lines to choose from. I am not interested in MSC in general nor the isolation of the "hotel" pod the YC. When I cruised, I wished to be on a ship and be connected to the ocean "the mother". Being outside and looking at the ports rising from the ocean was the point of it. Walking the deck, watching the birds, clouds made a ship different from a hotel. The public wing bridge on the QM2 is heaven and the best ocean experience of any passenger ship anywhere. What I observe now, is that cruise ships are now hotels, the "ship" element and ports are secondary. Cruise ship design and function have turned guests inwards where they can be "shaken down" for more expenditures. This has turned me, and many of our travel group, off cruising. We were loyal to Celebrity from 1992 to 2015, but the cutbacks and downgrading, combined with significant price increases, ended our patronage of Celebrity. Our group moved up the food chain to Oceania numerous times, but disappointed in past couple of years with significant product decline combined with arrogant ship management, will not patronize Oceania again. Did Crystal, was better for sure. It is not about the cost, it is about being able to purchase a compatible product for the group. Future cruising for us, if any, will be on specialty ships in the Canadian arctic, smaller ships doing Norway etc. The main stream cruise lines have lost our patronage and we have now commenced customized land vacations with private cars/drivers to amazing places. For our group, this is a significant amount of $ diverted from cruising. We enjoy CC to keep up on the changes to the industry and issues, CC is an outstanding public venue.
  8. Hi everything. Thank you kindly for your responses. Wendy The Wanderer would you be so kind to contact me regarding your approach, cause we are both in Canada, would appreciate a more in depth discussion on using a US TA in particular. I can be contacted at aboatnerd@gmail.com
  9. Greetings everyone: Given the kind recent info to my post about the best time of year, I have just booked my first PG cruise - Aug 28, 2021 - the 14 dayer! My spouse and I are beyond excited. I booked directly with PG cause I wanted a specific cabin, got it, 811. It is in US$, but did get a Cdn promotion as a new customer with $1,400 pp off the published price. The booking is on a 72 hr hold until Monday at 4pm. Sooooo, I wish to transfer to a TA and obtain incentives. I currently do not have a TA. Q1 - Could you kind folks advise me as to the most beneficial route to take? Any ideas would be welcome! Cdn TA or US TA - online or bricks and motar? What is an appropriate incentive for a booking at the $26,000 US$ level? Q2 - How long do I have to transfer to a TA? Your assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you kindly.
  10. The travel industry has substantively reduced the quality of their product over the past years - and particularly in the past 10 years. The roll out of the segregation of "classes" has been an effective screen used by the travel industry to hide downgrades. Items that used to be available, for all, were migrated to the upper classes only. The significant jump in price to access these former common attributes is well above the rate of inflation. Another trend is the use of industrialized food preparation, watch for the Sysco trucks at shore side. A higher than ever % of food stuffs are made a shore, the notion of everything made on board is not valid. This reduces the quality of the product, and the food experience, but saves money for the travel industry. Evidence of the travel industry's success in their migration and cheapening strategy is in their share price. What is interesting that cruising 20 years ago on Celebrity was an event, the MDR was outstanding, the level of service premium. Celebrity still made money, enough to commence the S class segment. The customer won and the cruise line. Fast forward to 2019, cheap is the word and price increases routine on Celebrity. Cruise posters on CC, across all lines, note something has been taken away or cheapened. It was not always this way. Don't think going up the cruise food chain will help, check out the recent Oceania reviews and threads, a significant decline in Oceania product and service let alone their reputation for missing ports. Our family has significantly reduced our travel budget due to the above. Trips are much less frequent and significant analysis is undertaken to determine value for money. We are not accepting of the travel industry's overall downgrade.
  11. Thanks to the OP for this thread. I would say the cruise lines have little interest in what customers say - We are in the era of management knows everything and management is increasingly isolated in their executive suite. The recent LLP Q&A was laughable, but she had to be seen from time to time to assure us she is still alive. Take the current Oceania thread topic of the customer service survey. New approach. Apparently you have to do the survey on your 2nd last day of the cruise, not at the end - And - it has to be done on the on board computers - of which there are only 3 on the small R ships. Humm. I support the notion of having the survey sent directly to corporate (avoids on ship management manipulation) but using on board computers (which takes up your purchased time). Maybe some day it could be done on peoples devices directly, but I do not use my device while on a cruise.......... My impression this is a token activity by Oceania because they really do not care about customer feedback - because well they have the best food at sea, right>? I find that cruise lines are non responsive to customers versus land based hotels for example. I have always a much better response to issues from a hotel versus the mostly arrogant and non responsive guest relations people on many cruise lines. I have no issue with changes to cruising but I will choose to cruise or not based on those changes.
  12. Actually, no cruises contemplated, first time since 1989. Had moved up the food chain thinking a better experience, not. Oceania, not (read reviews these days, yikes), Crystal not bad, Regent excellent. But, all are downgrading and I and our friends got the impression that all cruise lines are anti-customer these days. Moved to land vacations; best trip of our life in June on a premium trip through Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France - then QM2 home from Hamburg to NY. Outstanding, well beyond any cruise. Excellent local food experiences, special cultural experiences organized for our tour, prepaid and organized attractions, luggage pick up at door of ones hotel room. Not a complaint. Had excellent premium wine included in the package (you could see it poured so you knew what it was) and then you could pick other beverages al a carte. We even had local Austrian wine and Swiss wine, excellent. Got a 3 week trip, including QM2 sheltered balcony, for less than my Oct 2018 17 day trip on Oceania - no contest which was the more rewarding experience; the land tour. My large Canadian TA in Vancouver says that cruise bookings are way down in her agency but land tours are way up; being booked by the younger set and the retirees. They are corporately moving to emphasize land touring and downplaying cruising. She also indicated that there is growth in the specialty cruises like Iceland, Canadian north etc but not the mass lines.
  13. Celebrity does not to have to change anything, consumers seem to be falling over themselves to book the product - and in so doing knowingly approve of the marketing tactics, costing and product. Apparently Consumers Reports mag is considering an investigation into deceptive cruise line marketing schemes, so the costing profile above is excellent evidence. We and our friends will not book Celebrity for many reasons, the beverage package reduced offerings and reduced bar staff and pours of cheaper liquors being just one reason.
  14. Another price increase. Read RiverEagle's recent cruise review. This review talks about the poor quality wine offerings in the premium package, as reported numerous times on this site and in other cruise reviews. This person decided that order a drink by drink and specify exactly what wine you want and insist on seeing the bottle as it is poured - provides better value than purchasing the beverage package - and that is before this price increase. Celebrity pioneered the beverage package and they are laughing to the bank while they laugh at the people who purchase it. Reduce the offerings and reduce the staff - sweet. Any service provider who makes it so complicated to purchase a product, is deliberately working to screw the customer.
  15. There appears to be an increase in posts on CC regarding itinerary changes across all lines. A common theme is the lack of detailed information provided to passengers before and/or during the cruise. If the cruise line has nothing to hide (a new immigration protocol, ship congestion in port due to other ship movements etc), then the reason for the adjustment can be provided in an open and transparent manner. Weather is often the excuse, a specific excuse that does not always measure up to scrutiny. With technology, any service provider can easily contact their customers and provide updates. My last, and to be last, cruise with Oceania was a mess due to missing 3 ports and a delayed arrival in a 4th. There are 10 posts on this specific cruise on the CC review board, a record expression of dissatisfaction. Oceania made no effort to substitute ports along the central american coast line with the many available ports. From time to time a poster will trot out the "contract" as a defense of the cruise line, really? Good quality customer service does not need to hide behind a "contract".
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