Posted December 10th, 2017, 07:18 AM
Last edited by Gnoelj; December 10th, 2017 at 07:25 AM
I'm really excited by VV, and hopefully it can provide something lacking on most cruise lines. We've been cruising for 20+ years now and have been watching cruise line head toward the bottom. Maybe its the accounting firms in all those companies, but the trend certainly has been to make the cruise just about free, and then charge you for EVERYTHING. I hate that.Hi
When we cruised 20 years ago we started on Royal Caribbean and it was fantastic. Everything with few exceptions was free once you paid for the cruise. They even had one or two midnight buffets which took the crew days to accomplish. All the food was everything you wanted, included.
What I would LOVE to see was a cruise with everything included, including gratuities, reasonable excursions, all dining, all drinks, at least at dinner, and generally a casual atmosphere. I'm not saying I want lots of excess, just a really nice cruise where people can relax, and not have to worry if they need to pay for this and that. Why not even include photos, you get all you digital pictures and say 10 printed pictures. And add in some good entertainment. That would be FABULOUS.
Charge what you have to to make this a reality. I'm not looking for budget, especially since most people have to end up paying for all these things ANYWAY, why not just charge in advance instead of the the day you depart?
What I describe here sounds pretty basic, but it is lacking in the cruise industry. Maybe Regents Seven Seas is the closest, but you want it to be much more casual. People can dress up if they like, maybe with a separate dining room, otherwise its casual.
Oh, Richard should visits the ships now and again. (If he can part with his island. )
Actually, there are already cruise lines that do that, you don't have to wait for Virgin Voyages to come along. They cover all or at least some of the things you are asking for. Look at Seabourn, Crystal, Silvercrest, Regent but they do not come cheap. For a little "less expensive" option, try Viking Ocean(includes excursions, free non-treatment spa, free speciality dining, superb MRD restaurant and buffet, drinks included, free internet,uncrowded luxury, for UK/Australian market often include gratuities as well), or Oceania (free speciality dining, probably one of the best cruise food in the world including in the buffet and MDR, plus many cruises include free packages of free wifi, free barista coffees -but not speciality ones- AND either free excursions, on board credit , or free drinks packages, plus luxurious cabins), or Azamara ( included good quality wine and drinks with meals , free barista coffees, included gratuities, great food in MDR and buffet). Sure, they are certainly more expensive than the likes of RCL etc., but at least, you tend to get what you pay for, in a good way.
However, unfortunately, many of the mass market cruise lines like the ones you have mentioned, they seem to be following what the low cost airlines are doing, ie the "unbundling" approach. To try to keep the basic fares as low as possible, they "make" passengers pay extra for so many other things to make up for it.