We’ve done a lot of cruising since 2006 – Baltics, Mediterranean, British Isles, Bermuda, Bahamas, Caribbean, East and West Coast US, TransAtlantic, TransPacific. And maybe – just maybe – our cruising time is coming to an end.
There are quite a few reasons for this conclusion:
- Been there done that. Aside from cruising in Asia, we have visited most places we are interested in seeing. The chances of an Asian voyage are low right now, as many of the cruise companies have shut down travel in that area.
- The direction in shipbuilding is not to our liking. The smaller, older ships in Royal Caribbean at least seem to be disappearing and megaships are the future. We don’t relish the thought of taking the town of Almonte along with us for a seven day voyage to the Caribbean hotspots.
- Our favorite line – Celebrity – is stratifying its passenger list. Those in suites and special classes like Blu get more perks – but you have to pay for them.
- Having loyalty points isn’t as big a deal anymore. On our recent RCI cruise they paid scant attention to the Diamond lounge – the coffee machine broke 3 days into the cruise and they never bothered to fix it. At one time the loyalty lounge was a great way to meet other cruisers but now nobody bothers with it, as you can get your “happy hour” drinks anywhere on the ship.
- Traditional dining with a set table and servers is going the way of the dodo. Now the cruise line forces you into “anytime dining” as a default – even if you request traditional dining. You have to stand in line for an hour to get this changed. If you stick with anytime dining you’ll be waiting in a huge queue to get a table every night.
- Because of the hassles with the dining room, more and more passengers are just eating in the buffet. As a result the buffet gets more and more crowded. Even breakfast and lunch are a gong show on the larger ships.
- You will likely get sick. We avoided COVID 19 for 3 years but we got sick with it after our cruise. And this was with masking and social distancing as much as we could. With the current practice of burying their heads in the sand, the cruise lines are probably getting more sickness on board then they did when cruising resumed a year ago. But who knows?
- Who wants to travel by air right now? We drove to our last cruise, but there’s only so many places you can sail to from Cape Liberty or Baltimore.
I know this all sounds like a whiny first world set of problems, but it has weighed on our decision to just cool it on cruising for the foreseeable future. We have had a great time in the past and we acknowledge the value in a cruise holiday, but it just does not seem like an appropriate time to be sailing right now.. Time will tell.