It might seem a little bit strange to mention clientele among the criteria for booking a cruise, but believe it or not a cruise line’s clientele can have a big impact on whether or not you enjoy your cruise.
The reason for this is that you are most likely going to be spending a lot of time with your fellow passengers. Most cruise lines have assigned seating in the dining room (although most now also offer flexible dining options without assigned seating as an alternative). There are usually eight to ten people at a table, and unless you are traveling with enough people to fill an entire table you will be assigned a seat at a table with other passengers whom you probably won’t know. Because cruise lines assign seats in the dining room, you will be dining with the same people each night unless you opt to visit the buffet or one of the specialty restaurants (which almost always cost extra).
If you decide to book shore excursions through the ship, then you will undoubtedly end up on various tours with your fellow passengers. When you also factor in any onboard activities that you might choose to participate in, it is easy to see how you could end up spending a lot of time with the other passengers on the ship. As such, it is important to consider what type of passengers a ship tends to attract.
I could go on and on with stories about some of the snobs that I have met on higher end cruises, but I think that you probably get the idea. Don’t get me wrong, we have met some really nice people on high end cruises. As a general rule though, a large percentage of the passengers that we have encountered on high end cruises have been arrogant, demanding, and rude toward us and toward the ship’s staff. There is just no excuse for being mean to the staff. They are working hard to try to provide an enjoyable experience and should be treated with respect.
Just as some ships tend to attract the well to do, other ships seem to attract a lot of rednecks. I don’t have anything against rednecks; I live in the south. I love rednecks. But cruising with a ship full of rednecks can be an interesting experience for anyone who doesn’t know what to expect. Enough said.