Here are 10 things we wish cruise lines would do
Install stateroom doors that won't slam shut. There is nothing worse than being awakened at 2:00am when your neighbor comes back from their night of drinking and partying.
Improve Internet service. I originally posted this article back in 2014, and while we are seeing some improvement in Internet/WiFi service, it is still woefully slow. Should it really take 3 minutes to send an email? Princess has the best Internet we have seen so far. Fast connections and fair pricing. Some cruise lines are now including FREE Wi-Fi, a practice that is long overdue. After all, you can get free Wi-Fi at Holiday Inn Express!
Have staff serve food at buffets. Every time I have to grab a serving spoon that 500 other people have touched, it really grosses me out. At least have some kind of disposable plastic mitts that you can wear while grabbing the spoons, then throw away at the end of the serving line
Install lighted makeup mirrors. Every woman on Earth expects a lighted makeup mirror. Some of the high-end cruise lines (e.g. Crystal Cruises) have done this. However, even mid-level hotels have makeup mirrors in their rooms.
Ease up on the in-room liquor policies. If guests want to consume their own liquor in their stateroom, let them! At least allow them to consume liquor that they purchase in the on board duty liquor store. Maybe add a $10 per bottle surcharge for on board consumption. We pay for that beautiful veranda, yet have to go to a bar to enjoy a cocktail
Modify Dress Code Enforcement. I am not big of formal nights. I would be OK with NO formal nights. That said, I agree with Tom (see below) that dress codes should be enforced more vigorously every night, especially in the restaurants. NO shorts, NOt-shirts, NO swimsuits, NO sandals or bare feet. The last thing I want to see when eating is someone's bare feet! Also, make it very clear what areas of the ship require adherence to the dress code on formal nights.
Go with digital photos instead of prints. Again, this is a throwback to the 60s. I can't tell you how many cruise ship photos I would have gladly purchased if I could have had the hi-res digital photo on a thumb drive. Better yet, post them to a website where we can check in after we get home, review the photos, and purchase/download the photos. The photography vendor would save a fortune on prints that get thrown away and they would make more sales.
Get rid of auto-gratuity. First of all, that's not a gratuity, it's a cover charge. It's offensive and borders on a deceptive trade practice. If you want to make it an option for guests, that's fine. How about a system where guests can choose to pre-pay, or not, before they board? Selling a cruise for one price, then tacking on additional "surprise" charges to the bill is bad business.
Back off on the PA announcements. Limit announcements to arrivals in port, sail-aways and a morning greeting from the cruise director. I don't need to be reminded of Bingo at 3pm, or first-seating dinner. I have a newsletter in my stateroom with all of the times, and many of the new ships have intranet information.
Implement a LAN based website. Most guests today have smartphones or laptops with them when they travel. Have a ship-wide website where guests can log in for free and check their bill (like some ships already do on the stateroom TVs), dispute charges on their bill, make dining reservations, check the daily schedule, view and/or order digital photos from the ship (see #7) and maybe even post their own photos. Princess Cruises, Carnival and Silversea have very nice systems.
What's on your list? Add to the comments section below!