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10 Things We STILL Wish Cruise Lines Would Do
Friday, May 10, 2019  

Here are 10 things we wish cruise lines would do:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. 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, NO t-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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!

Chris Dikmen is President of

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CruiseMan, enjoy this forum as well as your motorcycle accessory vlogs. Wife and I usually cruise out of Port Canaveral or Port Tampa on Royal Caribbean. I'm not one for formal dining room, food is not to my liking, the common area is not great with the masses searching, but it is what it is. I'm with you on the built in daily tip, most aggravating.
Thursday, February 7, 2019 12:00 AM  
Improve the dining room food, mostly tasteless and bland. Model your menu's after Oceania, they've got it figured out. I refuse to go on one more Princess cruise, food was poor.
Monday, January 28, 2019 12:00 AM  
Do what Disney does and you can prepay for all your Pictures, after each photo they tap your card or wristband and I download all the pictures from my trip.
Sunday, March 22, 2015 3:26 PM  
Great article! Now, if the cruise lines will only listen and respond!
Saturday, March 14, 2015 5:35 AM  
I think they need MORE formal nights. I'm tired of being seated next to slobs in under shirts, cargo shorts and shower shoes while at dinner or in the lounges. I don't want to see your underarm hair or nasty feet. And eliminate the open seating. Make it the 2 seatings and no buffet service for dinner. Only then can you eliminate the tip pool. It's the minimum suggested tip added to you bill that you can change (lower or eliminate if you like( but who is such a knuckle dragging mouth breather that doesn't tip!) otherwise, with open seating you have to carry tip money around and tip each person that serves you throughout the day. Who wants that?
Monday, October 14, 2013 3:04 PM  
Cruise on Regent Seven Seas and all the above points are already taken care off! And the liquor in your room is included, the excursions and much more! Also there is non smoking in suites and balconies too!
Friday, July 5, 2013 7:37 AM  
Unless you guys really truly have some kind of clout with the cruise lines and can impress on them the top ten things their passengers really want as "improvements", then this is all a fruitless drill. In the Navy we called this "cursing against the darkness". You need to pledge to us that you will do something with this list other than just have us generate comments for fun!
Monday, May 6, 2013 10:19 PM  
Reduce airfare prices! Can't afford ti by air from cruise line.
Monday, May 6, 2013 5:35 PM  
I agree with your comments on pictures. If cruise lines want to really "save the environment", take the pics digitally. Then transmit them to their staterooms where the guests could choose which pics they wanted. It's 2000 frickin 13 already! Follow me on Twitter @scottlara1961
Monday, May 6, 2013 4:09 PM  
Designate one side of the ship non smoking on balconies.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 7:40 AM  
It's as if you've read my mind! I would add quieter drawers! I always seem to be next to someone who is constantly opening and closing their drawers with a large bang...
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 7:27 AM  
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