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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Despegue said:

Correct.

The Airline industry however has reached a tipping point, where some airlines are actually starting to IMPROVE their service, eg. By INCREASING the catering budget in order to make them more competitive and the preferred choice. 

Even Ryanair has over the last 24 months been working on delivering a better inflight product.

The US Legacy’s have significantly improved their long-haul product in Sardine Class the last 24 months

The Airline I mostly work for has also significantly improved catering and service-mindedness recently.

why? Because they all realized that at one point, customers say BASTA. Enough is enough. The beancounters have gone too far and realized that customers have a choice, and that price is not the only focus of  most clients, but the overall price/quality IS. 

Those who purely look at the price are not the ideal customer anyhow as they will not buy additional, and very lucrative, products when onboard .

time for the cruise lines to realize this also, before they lose their customer-base to land-side resorts.

 

 

the market shows that the cruise industry is much farther from the tipping point.

 

as far as airlines you have had numerous failures in the discount arena. The majors have improved some, but mostly tied to increasing revenue in the business class and premium economy area. very few amenities have been added back in economy. most food must still be purchased. baggage fees still exist. seat spacing still narrow and or still shrinking. so how exactly have they been enhancing the economy product

Edited by RDC1

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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

I love the new Premium Economy being offered now by most airlines on long haul and International flights, if offers something much better than main cabin, but affordable by the masses.

 

53 minutes ago, RDC1 said:

the market shows that the cruise industry is much farther from the tipping point.

 

as far as airlines you have had numerous failures in the discount arena. The majors have improved some, but mostly tied to increasing revenue in the business class and premium economy area. very few amenities have been added back in economy. most food must still be purchased. baggage fees still exist. seat spacing still narrow and or still shrinking. so how exactly have they been enhancing the economy product

 

For one thing, they are segmenting the economy section and offering an Economy Plus or Premium Economy that is far from the pricey Business or First class options but do provide a little relief and return to some amenities that are no longer offered in Economy -- these offer by carrier but often include free drinks, higher quality snacks or meals, and more space, priority boarding, etc.  These seem to be pretty popular offerings (see quote from terrydx above yours).

 

If the airlines (often used as a comparison to the cruise industry, although the products are very different) can do this, I'd be interested in seeing a cruise line give it a go.

 

While I'd like a step up and/or a return to previous levels, I am not really the target market for premium (business class) or luxury (First class) cruising, at least not on every cruise. Premium Economy would be fine with me.

Edited by cruisemom42

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15 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

 

For one thing, they are segmenting the economy section and offering an Economy Plus or Premium Economy that is far from the pricey Business or First class options but do provide a little relief and return to some amenities that are no longer offered in Economy -- these offer by carrier but often include free drinks, higher quality snacks or meals, and more space, priority boarding, etc.  These seem to be pretty popular offerings (see quote from terrydx above yours).

 

If the airlines (often used as a comparison to the cruise industry, although the products are very different) can do this, I'd be interested in seeing a cruise line give it a go.

 

While I'd like a step up and/or a return to previous levels, I am not really the target market for premium (business class) or luxury (First class) cruising, at least not on every cruise. Premium Economy would be fine with me.

that is exactly my point the airlines have not improved economy service, at least not the US majors in any really meaningful way, but have introduced new, higher cost services in the gap between business and economy.

 

Cruise lines have moved in the same direction with their ship within a ship concepts. Just like airlines cruiseline have started with upgrading higher end fares, like airlines put their money into business class offerings.

 

in many ways you already have some ability to upgrade at lower fares, in that you can pay a little more and eat in the specialty restaurants instead of the med. 

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12 hours ago, RDC1 said:

If you consider that being able to reduce the rate of fare increase is a form of lower passenger costs, then yes.

 

I would suspect that the change is as much if not more related to the impact of the additional entrees on staff workload and dining room/kitchen flow as much as it has to do with food waste. That is why they are targeting the MDR and not the buffet.

 

Every additional entree has to be plated, transferred, served, cleared, etc. All of that impacts the serving staff and the kitchen, especially if they are served one after another.  

Here is a thought....  why not make  a pre-fix menu, like many restaurants offer world wide with one or 2 choices for each course

Don't like  tonight's menu    go to the buffet and make your own !!!

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9 minutes ago, RDC1 said:

that is exactly my point the airlines have not improved economy service, at least not the US majors in any really meaningful way, but have introduced new, higher cost services in the gap between business and economy.

 

Cruise lines have moved in the same direction with their ship within a ship concepts. Just like airlines cruiseline have started with upgrading higher end fares, like airlines put their money into business class offerings.

 

in many ways you already have some ability to upgrade at lower fares, in that you can pay a little more and eat in the specialty restaurants instead of the med. 

 You get what you pay for...still holds true.        

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I don’t think HAL is the target line for food waste but I do understand why they chose it for testing.  If they are looking to increase revenue on HAL then I think they should start with their Excursions office.  When passengers go out of their way to book alternate options then that is a good indication that their product is not only overpriced... it is seriously lacking.  And that includes their surly, defensive, and anti customer-oriented staff too.

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18 minutes ago, RDC1 said:

that is exactly my point the airlines have not improved economy service, at least not the US majors in any really meaningful way, but have introduced new, higher cost services in the gap between business and economy.

 

Cruise lines have moved in the same direction with their ship within a ship concepts. Just like airlines cruiseline have started with upgrading higher end fares, like airlines put their money into business class offerings.

 

in many ways you already have some ability to upgrade at lower fares, in that you can pay a little more and eat in the specialty restaurants instead of the med. 

 

At some point, the airline and ship comparison has to be set aside. The ship-within-a-ship concept is different than the premium economy concept in my analogy because I am comparing each category on a plane to a different cruise line category. (as examples:  Economy = Carnival, NCL;  Premium Economy: HAL, Celebrity;  Business: Oceania, Azamara;  First Class:  Crystal, Seabourn, etc.)

 

To me, the ship-within-a-ship is different because people on board ships (unlike on airplanes) move around the ship to dine, be entertained, enjoy the pool, shop, etc. It's a weird amalgam of wanting to be in a small enclave on a larger ship rather than wanting to be on a ship that only offers a luxury experience. I have to admit it baffles me a bit, and I'm not a big fan.

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24 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

Here is a thought....  why not make  a pre-fix menu, like many restaurants offer world wide with one or 2 choices for each course

Don't like  tonight's menu    go to the buffet and make your own !!!

Then it would truly be hotel banquet quality.

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29 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

Here is a thought....  why not make  a pre-fix menu, like many restaurants offer world wide with one or 2 choices for each course

Don't like  tonight's menu    go to the buffet and make your own !!!

 

You may be on to something. But another thought entered my mind - maybe the current "prix fixe" equivalent of the Gala Night benefit is actually a disguised way to give the kitchen staff a few "nights off" having a more limited menu and everything ordered at once?

 

They are down there working 24/7 at the same pace, except for Gala Night which offers fewer options and set order. Wild speculation here. Maybe they secretly know Gala Night will reduce the numbers coming to the dining room, giving them a bit of a midweek breather.

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1 hour ago, RDC1 said:

Then it would truly be hotel banquet quality.

 I guess you have never seen The French Laundry, PIC or Troigoso.  menu   all Mich ***  John Tovey at Miller Howe in the 70-80s   was renown.   The Hobbit in  So calif....     Gives the chef the ability to focus on  a cohesive experience....     If thats Banquet food...?????????

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1 hour ago, OlsSalt said:

 

You may be on to something. But another thought entered my mind - maybe the current "prix fixe" equivalent of the Gala Night benefit is actually a disguised way to give the kitchen staff a few "nights off" having a more limited menu and everything ordered at once?

 

They are down there working 24/7 at the same pace, except for Gala Night which offers fewer options and set order. Wild speculation here. Maybe they secretly know Gala Night will reduce the numbers coming to the dining room, giving them a bit of a midweek breather.

Even better....do away with the  concept of Gala night, an event that draws both praise and contempt for manners and dress faux pas .  Make every night a  pre fix.    Why not?   you have several other options to eat if you do not care for that menu that night.

    Thomas  Keller once said  a dish is best done with a finesse.    With a limited menu of say  6 courses and 3 deserts  the kitchen can focus and finesse.   Given focus  very simple ingredients can be elevated to astounding things.     Take the De Libjer menu  good example.      .

What one has to realize there there are those who equate quality with quality.  There are  several distinct groups who sail.  Those who cruise  based on all you can eat .  Those that cruise to travel and see new places and food is just  parsley on the plate, so to speak.    Then there are those who cruise for the pleasure of ocean travel and the romance of the sea.

For those who want to try  new things  a tasting menu is the best experience....You get maybe 6-8 courses to choose 5 from and be surprised at the experience

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18 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

 I guess you have never seen The French Laundry, PIC or Troigoso.  menu   all Mich ***  John Tovey at Miller Howe in the 70-80s   was renown.   The Hobbit in  So calif....     Gives the chef the ability to focus on  a cohesive experience....     If thats Banquet food...?????????

 

Troigros  (Typo?)

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1 hour ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

At some point, the airline and ship comparison has to be set aside. The ship-within-a-ship concept is different than the premium economy concept in my analogy because I am comparing each category on a plane to a different cruise line category. (as examples:  Economy = Carnival, NCL;  Premium Economy: HAL, Celebrity;  Business: Oceania, Azamara;  First Class:  Crystal, Seabourn, etc.)

 

To me, the ship-within-a-ship is different because people on board ships (unlike on airplanes) move around the ship to dine, be entertained, enjoy the pool, shop, etc. It's a weird amalgam of wanting to be in a small enclave on a larger ship rather than wanting to be on a ship that only offers a luxury experience. I have to admit it baffles me a bit, and I'm not a big fan.

I think your categories  are very accurate.         I dont think the ship within a ship works  cruises. It works for airplanes because  seldom are people on a plane for over 12 hours..          

On a ship  you on for a week  to weeks.   Creating a ship within a ship is creating a class system  that becomes the have and the have not's.   over time  resenting each other....Celebrity  does this and frankly its both silly and disgusting depending on how you look at it.     Its one reason  I wont sail with that line. 

  The Premium  and above lines  carefully avoid this and treat ALL passengers  out of their cabins  pretty much the same ,   Oh some give  some pre booking reservations  but  once on board  people pretty much are all treated as first class passengers.

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

 I guess you have never seen The French Laundry, PIC or Troigoso.  menu   all Mich ***  John Tovey at Miller Howe in the 70-80s   was renown.   The Hobbit in  So calif....     Gives the chef the ability to focus on  a cohesive experience....     If thats Banquet food...?????????

Never said that they were.  However, there is a big difference between cruise line quality and Michelin quality.

 

Cruise line food is and has been for a while hotel banquet quality with a larger selection.  Reducing that to two selections with the current quality would make it true hotel banquet.

 

On the other hand Michelin restaurants that follow the set menu format are an entire different ball game then cruise lines. I doubt that Michelin chef's would maintain their current quality with meals being delivered in the thousands compared to the size of the venue's where they are currently able to deliver the quality that they do.

 

Also Michelin chef's usually work with very fresh ingredients compared to cruiselines chef's dealing with products that are shipped around the world and loaded to supply a cruise lasting weeks.  Not exactly the same raw products.

 

If you want to talk Michelin my favorites are Eleven Madison Park in New York, (seats around 100, if you include the private dining rooms), La Degustation in Prague (seats 35), Quintessence in Tokyo.

Edited by RDC1

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8 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

 

Troigros  (Typo?)

Perdon.....TROISGROS.......in Oches now   France

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14 minutes ago, RDC1 said:

Never said that they were.  However, there is a big difference between cruise line quality and Michelin quality.

 

Cruise line food is and has been for a while hotel banquet quality with a larger selection.  Reducing that to two selections with the current quality would make it true hotel banquet.

 

On the other hand Michelin restaurants that follow the set menu format are an entire different ball game then cruise lines. I doubt that Michelin chef's would maintain their current quality with meals being delivered in the thousands compared to the size of the venue's where they are currently able to deliver the quality that they do.

 

If you want to talk Michelin my favorites are Eleven Madison Park in New York, (seats around 100, if you include the private dining rooms), La Degustation in Prague (seats 35), Quintessence in Tokyo.

 

Yes.... serving  a thousand or so  is a bit of a challenge.     But a cruise line at those numbers is limited as you said .   I do think that if the quantity of food choice were reduced it would act to increase the potential quality.  As your an appreciator of cuisine  I am sure your aware that presentation is a very important element as we eat with our eyes and what they tell us.  Thus would you not think that given a more limited menu that the kitchen  could devote more time into presenting things in an exciting way more easily ?    Sadly, HAL  is just not equipped to do more unless it chooses to do less.

You also bring up a very big problem... that is as ships get bigger and bigger ( larger than the NAVY's Carriers) that for every rise in size comes a loss in quality of provisions that the ship can store and serve    It seems  to me that once you cross the 1000 pax line things start to go down  hill on a steep curve.     Thats my take.      

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20 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

Creating a ship within a ship is creating a class system  that becomes the have and the have not's.   over time  resenting each other....Celebrity  does this and frankly its both silly and disgusting depending on how you look at it. 

 

Why would you resent each other? One flew in Business Class, the other has a better beverage card, an one tells about his condo in Manhattan. 

Anyway, as long as there are insides and balconies, and midships and aft, there will always be a "class system" and I wouldn't know what ships could do about that.

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1 minute ago, AmazedByCruising said:

 

Why would you resent each other? One flew in Business Class, the other has a better beverage card, an one tells about his condo in Manhattan. 

Anyway, as long as there are insides and balconies, and midships and aft, there will always be a "class system" and I wouldn't know what ships could do about that.

When you divide people into classes it works on a airplane or train.   The classes are not together long enough to develop any jealousy  or envy with the situation,       It is human nature to , when confronted with a divisive  system  to develop feeling  about it.   Over days and weeks , as on a ship   animosity can surface  to those denied  things  that they see other getting

 

 I have flown in premium  air classes and you get a fair number of looks as  passengers seated in lesser areas pass by

 

I disagree that there is a class system among insides, mid ship aft cabins.     As they are all treated the same outside their cabin, get the same meals, share the same deck, etc.     What I object to is the overt class separations like Cunard and Celebrity  where you have different dining, decks, activities, entrances  and  others are kept at a distance...   Selling the concept  of I am better than you .... see how I am treated...   its a caste system. at sea.       I will state again, that is why I prefer premium  lines, not because I think I am better, but because everyone gets the same experience with no boundaries of barriers.

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5 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

 It is human nature to , when confronted with a divisive  system  to develop feeling  about it. 

4 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

I will state again, that is why I prefer premium  lines, not because I think I am better, but because everyone gets the same experience with no boundaries of barriers.

 

 

If I understand you correctly, everyone should be "in the same boat" when they are on the same ship. I see you point, but very vaguely.  🙂

 

People who have cruised 200 times will meet the Captain, get medals,  and a first timer doesn't know the medals exist.  I didn't realize X had a restaurant and a club that was off limits for humble people like me, but I really didn't care. Just because I could book 2 adjacent rooms in "Concierge class" I booked those balconies and to this day I don't really know what I would have missed when booking a "normal" balcony.  Some people may not be able to rent an alcove and become jealous. Or spend the money to eat in a specialty restaurant while their neighbours do. Or simply choose not to..

 

 

Basically, it's not a school camp where it actually would be divisive if the rich kids got better meals than the poor kids.  It's just different people making different choices.

 

 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, AmazedByCruising said:

 

 

If I understand you correctly, everyone should be "in the same boat" when they are on the same ship. I see you point, but very vaguely.  🙂

 

People who have cruised 200 times will meet the Captain, get medals,  and a first timer doesn't know the medals exist.  I didn't realize X had a restaurant and a club that was off limits for humble people like me, but I really didn't care. Just because I could book 2 adjacent rooms in "Concierge class" I booked those balconies and to this day I don't really know what I would have missed when booking a "normal" balcony.  Some people may not be able to rent an alcove and become jealous. Or spend the money to eat in a specialty restaurant while their neighbours do. Or simply choose not to..

 

 

Basically, it's not a school camp where it actually would be divisive if the rich kids got better meals than the poor kids.  It's just different people making different choices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think your  deluding your self..... concierge class gets different treatment etc.     I guy in a normal balcony would  not only not be getting the treatment you are...he would not be allowed to !  Over time might he come to resent that ?    Human nature.

 

By the way I sat down the other day and thought about the Captain..... you know, I don't  I have even a clue who he is!.    What is more, is that is possible  he dos not know who I am! .   Could it be that neither of us has any real life long  pent up desire to meet the other ?    Maybe I will pass.....I hope I don't disappoint   and hurt his feeling.......    

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13 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

I think your  deluding your self..... concierge class gets different treatment etc.     I guy in a normal balcony would  not only not be getting the treatment you are...he would not be allowed to !  Over time might he come to resent that ?    Human nature.

 

Hmm, you may be the one deluding yourself.

 

I had concierge supposed service on Oceania and Celebrity.

 

Hours were limited and they were of little help.  I was told to go and do it myself.

 

I was NOT impressed and stopped using both.  If they were concierges, they weren't very good ones IMO.

 

Oh and for you reference I was in a PH on Oceania.

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8 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

I think your  deluding your self..... concierge class gets different treatment etc.     I guy in a normal balcony would  not only not be getting the treatment you are...he would not be allowed to !  Over time might he come to resent that ?    Human nature.

 

Then please explain what different treatment I got so I can look down on the humble balcony people in retrospect :classic_biggrin: 

Everyone who can afford to be on X or HAL or similar is already in the tiny proportion of humanity who can even afford a upscale cruise. One may be on the very bottom of the, let's say 3%, someone else could be in the top of the 2% people. But it's about choices, not money. Everyone on the ship can simply not buy a car and move up a level or decide it's not worth the money.

 

 

10 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

By the way I sat down the other day and thought about the Captain..... you know, I don't  I have even a clue who he is!.    What is more, is that is possible  he dos not know who I am! .   Could it be that neither of us has any real life long  pent up desire to meet the other ?    Maybe I will pass.....I hope I don't disappoint   and hurt his feeling.......    

 

Queen Elizabeth is supposed to have said, "Dinner with the Captain? Why should I want to dine with the help?" :classic_biggrin:

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, AmazedByCruising said:

 

Why would you resent each other? One flew in Business Class, the other has a better beverage card, an one tells about his condo in Manhattan. 

Anyway, as long as there are insides and balconies, and midships and aft, there will always be a "class system" and I wouldn't know what ships could do about that.

 

Here is my view, which may or may not reflect reality but it is the way we have always felt as long-time cruisers.

 

Traditionally on leisure cruises (not talking about the ocean liners of old...) people paid for different categories of cabins according to their wishes and means, but once you stepped out of your cabin, for the most part everyone was on equal footing.  There were no spaces where one "class" had exclusive access and other classes did not. There were no special reserved decks or pool areas for suites, nor any reserved seating at shows and certainly not a private dining room. Even when specialty restaurants were introduced later in the game, everyone had an equal shot at booking them --- suites for example did not get priority. We were often in the lower echelons by cabin type, but always felt upon leaving our cabin that we received equal treatment, food, entertainment and access to public space as every other passenger.

 

Many lines are changing this paradigm now. 

 

(I don't include loyalty events -- for the most part a luncheon or a cocktail event -- as indicative of a difference in treatment but as a small recognition of loyalty...you get to participate whether your 100 days were in a suite or in an inside cabin.)

Edited by cruisemom42

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1 minute ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Here is my view, which may or may not reflect reality but it is the way we have always felt as long-time cruisers.

 

Traditionally on leisure cruises (not talking about the ocean liners of old...) people paid for different categories of cabins according to their wishes and means, but once you stepped out of your cabin, for the most part everyone was on equal footing.  There were no spaces where one "class" had exclusive access and other classes did not. There were no special reserved decks or pool areas for suites, nor any reserved seating at shows and certainly not a private dining room. Even when specialty restaurants were introduced later in the game, everyone had an equal shot at booking them --- suites for example did not get priority. We were often in the lower echelons by cabin type, but always felt upon leaving our cabin that we received equal treatment, food, entertainment and space as every other passenger.

 

Many lines are changing this paradigm now. 

 

(I don't include loyalty events -- for the most part a luncheon or a cocktail event -- as indicative of a difference in treatment but as a small recognition of loyalty...)

And that is why we do not cruise Celebrity anymore. We have no need for the space of a suite, but do expect to be treated like everyone else on board, with access to all amenities and decks.

 

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5 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Here is my view, which may or may not reflect reality but it is the way we have always felt as long-time cruisers.

I couldn't agree more. You've captured the situation perfectly.

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