Not that long ago cruise vacations were aimed at those with higher disposable income than the average person, for those who enjoy dressing up for dinner as if every day was Christmas or Thanksgiving, and, it was certainly targeted more to adults than to families with children. However, in the wake of the continued dumbing down of America and "Joe and Jane Average" and their demands to dress like slobs and allow their unsupervised children freedom to do pretty much whatever they want and where they want -- have cruise vacations begun to lose their appeal? Hardly!
Even in the face of record outbreaks of Norovirus, ill-behaving passengers, rapes and even deaths on cruise ships, cruise vacations continue on the upward rise, and, websites such as Cruise Market Watch have the data to back it up. Is it a reflection of the current American culture? Absolutely.
If some of the current new cruise ships and their gimmicks were launched just 20 years ago, they would have laughed out of the industry. Water slides? Ice rinks? Bars that rise and fall? Surcharges to eat in certain on-board restaurants? These are all relatively new concepts in the cruising industry and embraced by the majority of American cruise travelers who are rapidly beginning to resemble the Clampett clan.
So what can those who prefer the old ways and traditions of cruising do? The answer? Not much. Those preferring a traditional cruise are being squeezed out of the mainstream market, and, are being forced into higher priced cruise lines such as Cunard or Crystal where such nonsense does not take place or replacing cruise vacations for traditional land vacations.
What next for mainstream cruise lines? How about cabins below the engine room with porthole windows so you can see the ocean life (and you can bet someone would ask for a balcony cabin in this category) or how about the dress code for the Captain's Cocktail Reception be "come in your underwear" or how about an on-board Tattoo parlor? Ok perhaps these examples are on the extreme side, but, for those who have long enjoyed the traditional cruise the days of refinement, elegance, and, let's face it -- manners are nearly gone. And that is a very sad reality to face.