completely agree with the Cruise Critic article about the fact that the ships are being so heavily discounted to fill them that it attracts a very different class of people on board. It not just Princess but all cruise lines do it. The buffet was packed every night which is the first time I have ever seen this on a cruise. the dinning rooms almost empty after 7pm. The staff were indifferent to us and barley spoke as if they couldn't be bothered but I can understand why as some of the people on board were so rude to them demanding instant attention and clicking their fingers at them.. And the staff know full well they are not going to make any decent tips on this voyage Formal night is a complete waste of time as people's version of formal is so very different. We ended up going to the Crown Grill dressed in our finery spending an extra $50 , the food was excellent but we didn't feel special or were made to feel special we thought we would be in there for at least 3 hours but only just managed to stretch it to 2 as the service was too quick. We would have preferred longer between courses so we could really appreciate the food. Certain bar staff were far too pushy in wanting you to order doubles which could be intimidating for any first time cruisers. A lot of the DISCOUNT cruisers would push in all the time shout their drink order at the bar without realising there was a queue (or LINE) and I think it was a completion to see how many people could fit in a lift (ELEVATOR) !!
They would just keep coming when they could see it was full therefore squishing every one in side and some of them were not small people !
However we did have a fantastic holiday because most of the destinations we hadn't been to before and that is why we cruise. We don't choose cruises because of so called loyalty cards which are not really worth much, we look at itinerary dates and price and that determines where and when we go so I suppose it's inevitable that we encounter these types of cruises. It is a shame for the old cruises who like the traditions and good service. Cruising has become so popular now and reasonably priced it will be its downfall.