There’s no doubt about it. Cruises have changed over the last few months and years. While some changes are good, some changes may not be great for cruisers…
In fact, there are some things that frequent cruise travelers have said are getting worse on cruises right now.
I asked about this in the Life Well Cruised Facebook community and had hundreds of great responses. Here are the 10 most common complaints about cruising right now.
If you love cruising, I’d like to know if you agree or disagree with these points. I’ll also leave a video about what is getting better on cruises these days as well.
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10 Ways Cruises Are Getting Worse
1. Rude and Entitled Passengers
Since returning to cruising, many cruisers have complained about other passengers. Seeing cruise passengers that are rude to crew and other guests is something many report. No one likes to see others acting in an arrogant and entitled way, especially towards hard working crew.
The worst part may be the “bad” behaviors of some cruise passengers, that we’ve heard so much about in the cruise news over the last few months. There’s no place for fighting and other disruptive behavior on cruise ships.
Those who love to cruise say they’ve had enough of the drama and wish everyone would just relax and enjoy their vacation at sea.
2. Slow Service in the Main Dining Room
This may be different from one cruise line to another. However, many cruise passengers said they’ve experienced very slow service in the main dining room and this has affected their cruise.
Where frequent cruisers praised the great service in cruise ship dining rooms in the past, they are now seeing that servers are often overworked and have too many tables to take care of.
Crew shortages have been a very real issue for cruise lines since the restart. Personally, I’ve seen improvements in this area, but I can imagine there are still challenges.
3. Food & Dining
Some of the biggest complaints people have had is regarding the food and dining on cruises. Many cruise travelers noticed a decline in food quality and presentation on their recent cruises.
Some people also pointed out smaller portions and a more simplified menu, with fewer choices. Dining has always been a high point of cruise travel, so it’s understandable that people are noticing some changes.
To be fair, there are some food supply issues that likely continue to be challenging for cruise lines.
4. A Return to Full Capacity
It’s hard to blame cruise lines here, but cruisers really got spoiled with lower passenger capacities for a good part of last year. With cruises truly returning to “normal”, so has full capacity.
Full ships, crowded pools, busy ports… This is definitely one way that cruises are getting worse, but also just back to the way it was most of the time 😉
5. Upcharges and Extra Costs
An annoyance for many cruisers is upcharges on so many things! From extra cost menu items to added cost activities (on some cruise ships), some cruisers are not happy with these changes that have creeped in over the last few years.
Recent news about extra cost items and menu changes on Carnival and Royal Caribbean, have left loyal cruisers a bit upset.
Cruising was always an almost all-inclusive type of vacation. However, too many extras and “nickel and diming” might be going too far, even for those who love to cruise.
6. Cruise Cutbacks
Along with extra cost items, cruise cutbacks were a big complaint for many cruisers. From certain cruise lines cutting back on housekeeping services to reducing the hours of certain dining venues, cruisers say this is a worsening of the cruise experience.
In addition, many people commented on how they were saddened to see some of the things that made their cruise special going away.
In particular, many frequent cruisers were not happy about cutbacks on the “little things”. Things like chocolates placed on a pillow at night or towel animals that may have brought about a smile, were missed by many if they were cutbacks from a favorite cruise line.
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7. Increased Prices
Everything has gone up in price, and of course so have cruise vacations. Is it good for cruisers? No. However, it’s a reality these days for hotels, restaurants and almost any retail store.
While there are still some great deals and values in cruising. Understandably, there are also rising costs.
8. Fewer Waiters Serving Drinks
Many cruisers have noticed fewer waiters and servers going around with drinks on the lido deck and in public areas. As servers and bartenders are pretty busy, having more staff to help would be a good things.
9. Cruise Protocols (or lack of?)
While cruise line protocols have relaxed over the last few months and this has left many cruise passengers relieved. Other cruisers say they wish the cruise lines would do more and actually return to some of the protocols of the past.
This is a tough one. Cruise line protocols were quite strict early on, especially when compared to other types of vacations or other social outings. However, with protocols changing and relaxing in regular life, this was a natural progression for cruise lines as well.
On most cruises, passengers no longer have to be tested before a cruise or wear masks. Of course, individuals may choose to wear a mask onboard without issue.
10. Too Much Complaining
This might be ironic for an article about complaints about cruises. Yes, an issue many cruisers have is those who complain on a cruise.
In some ways this is true. We’re lucky to be able to cruise and go on vacation.
Cruising is still pretty amazing, even with some things that have changed and continue to evolve.
I have 2 YouTube videos that go more into detail and discussion about these topics. If you haven’t seen them (or subscribed to the channel), be sure to check them out.
Video: 10 Things that Are Getting Better on Cruises Right Now
Video: 10 Things that Are Getting Worse on Cruises Right Now
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Final Thoughts on Ways Cruises Are Getting Worse
Cruises have changed over the years, and continue to evolve. However, everyone wants to have the best experience and value possible, when going on a cruise.
Cruises remain a great way to vacation and travel. In today’s environment, cruise lines offer a pretty good experience for your vacation dollars.
That said, sometimes there are things people don’t like and even some legitimate complaints that cruise lines may want to hear.
Please let me know your thoughts on this topic in the comments below.
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