The Evolving Cruising Experience

I just wrapped up a TV shoot on a Mediterranean cruise, and one big observation I made was that the cruise lines are very customer-focused. The industry is always working to understand the needs and preferences of its travelers. As a result, the cruising experience is always evolving.

If you are a longtime cruiser, I would love to hear about the changes you’ve observed in recent years. Here are a few that I noticed this trip:

While older ships are polka-dotted with portholes, newer ships are walls of private balconies. These days, ship designers give balconies to about 80 percent of the staterooms. It’s just you, the sea, the sky, and the port on your balcony — a private wonder world.

The view over the Mediterranean Sea from Rick's stateroom's balcony

Our TV shoot kept me scrambling, so I barely had time to spend time in my stateroom…but I did find it relaxing to dish up some lunch from the Deck 14 cafeteria for a quiet meal on my balcony.

Eating on the cruise ship while at port with a view of shipping containers

When our ship docked in big ports, we often found ourselves right there in the world of container shipping.

In the past, many cruises imposed set seating plans on their passengers. You would eat in a grand dining room with the same people and have the same server for the entire trip. These days, that tradition is fading away. While having a set dining time and table is still an option, most cruisers opt to enjoy the variety available on board. My TV crew and I made a point to eat in each of the specialty dining rooms on Celebrity Cruises’ Reflection. Most of the dining rooms were relaxing and made us feel pampered…except for the Qsine Restaurant, where the playful presentation was just too much work for my tired TV crew.

The Qsine restaurant's many food choices presented in a box