That’s pretty much how this week’s most popular story started.
Joe Luther’s engaging Last Word post about Princess’ new gratuities was our most-visited article, creating a ripple effect of other fascinating discussions about cruising.
Princess is the latest cruise line to raise fees on services and gratuities, but Luther decided to turn his story into a fairy tale. (Hint: It’s not just the princess who ends up with a crick in her neck.)
The post triggered a debate between readers who felt the entire cost of a cruise should be factored into the price, and those who believed passengers who read the fine print carefully won’t have their vacation budgets sunk. Both sides make a valid point.
It closely paralleled another discussion on the 10 dirty secrets your cruise line doesn’t want you to know. Many readers felt the story was “anti-cruise line” but others appreciated the warnings. That one sure kept our moderation team busy. The anger spilled over to my Facebook page, which had to be closely monitored for toxic comments.
For the record, we are not anti anything here. We’re pro-consumer, and some of us feel that cruising has some hazards and pitfalls that are underplayed by an industry-friendly media. That’s why we’re allied with International Cruise Victims, a group trying to ensure that no one is assaulted or goes overboard ever again.
All this was overshadowed by the posting of our cruise line FAQ section, which contains some really useful information for people who are considering a cruise vacation. We’ve just started addressing some of the most frequently-asked questions, so if there’s a topic you’d like our experts to answer, please let me know.
And just to be clear, I’m not calling myself an expert. We actually have some amazing people in the forums who know cruising inside out, and they helped me compile these answers. I owe them a debt of gratitude.
Speaking of “once upon a time” — the other story making waves this week was Disney’s decision to raise its annual pass prices beyond the psychologically-important $1,000-a-year mark. Yeah, I had a little fun with that headline. Quack!
What I didn’t say in that post, mostly because there was no opportunity, is that since we live in Orlando we used to buy these annual passes. They were a great deal — until we had another baby. Then, things got a little cost-prohibitive for this family.
But, we still love Disney. Or, as Raven would correct me, Di$ney.
Have a magical week!