Carnival Cruise Lines' _MS Holiday_

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Icono Clast

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Dec 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/13/98
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For attending a TimeShare sales presentation, we were awarded a "free
four-day, three-night cruise" on the Carnival Cruise Lines' _MS
Holiday_.
There were problems actually getting that award (please see
rec.travel.usa-canada "Is This A Scam?") but we were notified by
telephone the Wednesday before the Monday sailing that we would be
aboard. Fortunately I had prepared an alternate itinerary for the trip
in the event we did not get to sail so it was no problem for us to be
ready to go.

Although this was my fourth sea voyage, it was my first cruise. I was
aboard the all-first-class Matson _SS Lurline_ for its first post-War
voyage (it had been a troop ship during The War) to Honolulu from San
Francisco, thence to Los Angeles where we boarded the Lark (Southern
Pacific's sleeper train) home. Nine days aboard
ship, three in Honolulu.
I took Holland America's _SS Maasdam_ from Manhattan to Le Havre
and, 8.5 months later, Zim's all-kosher _SS Jerusalem_ from Piraus to
Manhattan.
I mention the prior sailings to establish creditentials for the
comparative comments that follow.

We spent Sunday night in Buttonwillow having knocked off more than half
of the 471 miles from Sausalito to San Pedro. We arrived at the pier at
13:30 and were actually aboard ship at 15:05. It sailed at 17:30.

I do not remember the fun of throwing serpentine on any trip but the
_Lurline_ but I nevertheless missed doing so. Is that no longer done?
Too bad. Many of you probably don't even know what I'm talking about.

Of course we first went to our quarters to see where we'd be living. Our
baggage was off somewhere unknown to us. It all arrived, eventually, my
bag having been mis-delivered to another.
The room was tiny and windowless, as expected, and generally
unremarkable. It was a place to sleep, bathe, and hang our clothes that
adequately met our needs.
We then, map in hand, went exploring. The highlight was looking down
to the pool area to see a Mariachi group playing a Norteño in front of
which a couple was dancing Argentine Tango. My first reaction was `Oh,
boy! Dancers!' and my second was to shout
"Enrique!", an extremely handsome man and great dancer who I'd not seen
in years. He recognized me and waved a greeting. [Argentine Tango
dancers are as neurotic as Swing dancers, i.e., they'll dance their
dance to _any_thing!]

The public areas of the _MS Holiday_ cannot be described as de luxe in
any way. Everything is quite nice, of course, but not out of the
ordinary. I think the _Holiday_ was designed with the intent of
providing the low-budget traveller with a pleasant experience.
Displacing 45,000 tons, it's big enough to be quite stable (the
occasional rolling and pitching were minor). I'm aware of no mal de mer
during our trip. It is also not so big that one cannot quickly get from
one place to another. It's a very comfortable size.

Our first meal was the best. It included a lamb dish that was excellent.
The other meals (none breakfast or lunch) would be worth $15-$20 per
person at a San Francisco restaurant, i.e., acceptable but ordinary. The
service, however, was consistently excellent. We shared our waiter and
busser with approximately 24 people. They
served us with a fine mixture of formality, familiarity, and great
competence.
The first night's Midnight Buffet included an outstanding chicken
wing dish, probably the best of its kind I've ever had. The other faire
was comparable to a franchise salad bar.
We missed the other Midnight Buffets because we were at the shows.
Although we immediately went to the site of the food, they were cleaning
up when we got there. Yes, there was 24-hour pizza but that wasn't to
our taste aboard ship.
Taking the kitchen tour, we saw the breakfast cereal rack. If your
preference is not a product of one major manufacturer, you are out of
luck. That is not what I consider to be serving the public. It is
apparently a purchase of shelf space by that manufacturer.
Can you believe bad cheese cake? My mother made cheese cake to die
for, including a heavenly chocolate cheese cake. I've had Lindy's cheese
cake and the cheese cakes of many others, commercial and private,
including my own attempts to duplicate my mother's pieces de resistance.
Of all the cheese cake I've eaten in my life, none was
inedible but that served on the _MS_ Holiday was close to being so.

The twice-nightly entertainment was just fine. The early shows were
production jobbies with nice sets, good lighting, pretty costumes,
dancers and singers. The first one was called "Fuego del Caribe" which
was pronounced "Foo Eggo del Car Ibbie". Another night was an
illusionist. The late-night shows were comics. I enjoyed each but each
is apparently on the Net as I'd already seen much of their material
here. Thassokay. The presentations were good. And I very much enjoyed
the production numbers but, then, I'm a sucker for that kinda stuff,
sillily grinning uncritically through it all.

The casino has such appallingly bad conditions that only a novice who
knows nothing of the games would get into them. The minimums were high,
the limits extremely low. When I mentioned this to the casino manager,
he sheepishly, almost embarrassedly, acknowledged the veracity of my
observation.

Our visits to Avalon and Ensenada were pleasant but unremarkable. The
tour guide at each was excellent, particularly the Mexican business
administration student who provided us with real information and
answered well the questions that were asked.

The fun of the "Fun Ship" was considerably diminished by three things,
one of which most people would not have noticed: the dance floors. There
were three places to dance and each had a floor so slow that it was
impossible to spin. Another consequence of a slow floor is it requires
far more energy to move thus shortening one's dance time.
Another was the constant hustle. Every time we sat down, regardless
of where or when outside our little room, we were hustled to buy drinks.
Although we were asked only once per seating, the servers pointedly came
by many times. Perhaps they work on commission in which case it's
understandable. If they work for a straight wage,
though, they were a major nuisance and moving from one place to another
provided no escape.
The prices of the drinks are unconscionably high. During my previous
sea voyages, alcoholic beverages were sold for 50-75% less than in the
USA. We consistently pay $3-5 for drinks in the San Francisco bars where
we go to dance, usually around $3.50-$4 per drink. Those drinks include
the imposition of numerous, and very high, Federal and State taxes. At
sea, none of those taxes apply. To give an example, we purchased a 980
ml bottle of Kahlua in Ensenada for $6.50. The same bottle at a discount
food store here sells for $20. One can safely presume that Carnival buys
Kahlua in great, and highly-discounted, quantity. I didn't have a drink
of it aboard but it's probably sold for more than $4 per drink. Carnival
is certainly entitled to have a profitable business but screwing the
public to have it is not the proper way to go about it.
Same is true with cigarettes and taxation. Carnival was charging the
same price for cigarettes aboard ship as I pay at my local wholesaler.
I was shocked at paying $1.75 for a Cappuccino. Even at the Hotel
DisneyLand, where it's hand made, it's only $1.50. Carnival's came out
of a machine that required nor more labor than placing a cup, pushing a
button, and serving the brew. Other coffee was gratis.

Another hustle was the constant photographing. I don't mind being shot
while I'm going about my business but I don't like being stopped to
strike a pose for a photograph. The one shot I liked before I saw the
print was of me casually leaning on a rail. The photographer was on the
deck below and it could have been a good picture. It wasn't but it was a
good idea.
There was also a videotaper around all the time. Not once did he
interfere with our activites and we appeared on each of the three tapes
we saw. Only once were we aware of being shot and that's the way I like
it.
The photographs were displayed each evening, available for purchase,
of course.

But here's the most outrageous rip-off of all aboard Carnival's _MS
Holiday_:
On the dressing table was a plastic bottle filled with water. Although
I don't know where ships get their water, I presume that they desalinate
sea water. If they don't do that, they certainly get their water from
clean, reliable, sources making it, therefore, unnecessary to consider
using any-but-tap water. There are certainly no warnings against
drinking the ship's water.
In First World countries, I have never purchased a bottle of
water in my life. In Third World countries I drink either mineral water
or beer in addition to coffee, tea, natural juices, and an occasional
soda. I have no use for ice at all so always ensure that drinks served
to me don't have it regardless of where I am.
When I saw the first edition of our ship-board bill, I saw a $3
charge for water. I couldn't believe it! That's almost as much as I pay
per month for using about 2400 gallons of water. At Carnival's rate for
water, my water bill at home would be $28,800 per month!!! For WATER!
I asked her if she'd drunk any water from a bottle. "Yes." On
the bottle's neck a card was attached with a string. On it, in
reasonably-sized print, it said it cost $3. She hadn't noticed it and I
had no reason to look at it as I had hardly noticed, having no use for
it, the bottle's presence.
That bottle of water might very well be the most expensive thing
I've ever purchased in my life. I cannot think of encountering a greater
rip-off in my lifetime of experience. How DARE they!?!

The in-room television set had an Italian station (the ship's first
officers are Italian), an American Broadcasting Companies station, the
ship's station, but no CNN even though we were always within broadcast
distance of land. And no radio. News was available from an 11x17 sheet
folded into four 8.5x11 pages fax'd by _The New York
Times_. Although many of the passengers, as well as many of the crew,
were Hispanic, I found nothing available in Spanish.

We found not one crew member worthy of complaint. Everyone with whom we
came in contact was pleasant, courteous, and seemed to be genuinely
pleased to be helpful. Even if it's an act, it's a good and proper one.
The crew has six months on and two months off. That's the equivalent
of working a six-day, 48-hour week. Every time I enquired about what
union represents them, the answer was given in a lowered voice: "We have
no union. We've been told that if they ever hear talk of union, we'll
all be fired. This ship is registered in Panama so we
don't have the protection of the US's laws". I did not enquire about pay
but, since the crew seemed to be content, I guess it's adequate.
On the other hand, the crew is from either 45 or 90 countries (we
heard both figures), most of them Third World countries. Their value of
a dollar is far different from ours. The great mix is certainly apparent
with the tremendous variety of accents, racial types, and skin colors.
I'm sure the crew, when they go on to other lives, will cherish their
contact with so many different people, including us,
the general public.

A bit of bad luck:
We were at sea for the Leonid meteor shower but it was overcast.
Even worse luck was that of an astronomy group who made a special trip
to see the meteor shower. I felt sorry for them.
The ship specially had the lights off on the top deck to facilitate
the viewing that never happened.

Other fellow passengers were a nice mix of Americans from several
countries. Among the languages we heard spoken by families was Spanish,
Portuguese, English, French, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Russian.
The proportion of fat people was shockingly high. Although I didn't
count, my guess is that at least 40% of the passengers were enough
overweight to be unhealthy.

The proportion of children aboard wasn't high but it was nice to have
them around. I guess about 15% of the passengers were under age 18. One
of them (I presume), scratched an ugly and purposeless graffito onto
both of the insides of chrome elevator doors. I could kill such people.

The following, in rec.travel.usa-canada under "Is This A Scam?" might
interest you.

http://x5.dejanews.com/getdoc.xp?AN=419583657.1&CONTEXT=913547935.1862402092&hitnum=2
--
ICONO CLAST: A San Franciscan in (where else?) San Francisco.

Charles

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Dec 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/13/98
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Icono Clast wrote in message <3673A7...@jps.net>...

> Same is true with cigarettes and taxation. Carnival was charging the
>same price for cigarettes aboard ship as I pay at my local wholesaler.
> I was shocked at paying $1.75 for a Cappuccino. Even at the Hotel
>DisneyLand, where it's hand made, it's only $1.50. Carnival's came out
>of a machine that required nor more labor than placing a cup, pushing a
>button, and serving the brew. Other coffee was gratis.


I am shocked that you could get a Cappuccino that cheap anywhere. Around
here it around $2.25.

It is amazing that those who get free cruises have the most complaints about
prices of things on board. They seem to have a cheapskate outlook. The
prices of drinks on board are not more than at a bar or restaurant in an
urban area, but you expect them to be less. I think you have a problem.

Jim

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Dec 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/13/98
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Icono Clast wrote in message <3673A7...@jps.net>...
>For attending a TimeShare sales presentation, we were awarded a "free
>four-day, three-night cruise" on the Carnival Cruise Lines' _MS
>Holiday_.

Strange review snipped.

Now this has to be the biggest jerk that has ever posted a review, including
Adam!
This couple posts a number of complaints about "ripoffs" when they had a
FREE cruise! Damn! Rip ME off why don't you? They first claim it is a scam,
but they got the cruise. Where is the scam? Additionally it was run by a
timeshare company, so how is Carnival responsible? Then they tell of their
experance onboard cruise ships to "validate" their knowledge. Hell, they
took a cruise on a troopship right after WW2!! THAT they thought was great!
Go figure. Then they compare cost of drinks. Duh! I do beloieve that the
cost of living HAS gone up in 50 years. Lets summarize their
complaints...dance floor not slippery enough for them? Dance floors
shouldn't be that slippery as someone could fall, especially onboard a
moving ship at sea!....Too many passengers were overwieght in their
opinion!...well damn, lets just shoot them, okay?...breakfast was limited to
one brand of cereal?..what, no eggs, bacon, french toast, fruit, pastries,
etc?...or is this not an option for someone from San Francisco? Room tiny
with no window? Ya think it might have been an inside cabin? Do they not
know that Carnival has the largest standard cabins by far? What do they
want, barracks like the troop ship? I'm damn sure glad that I wasn't on this
cruise with these people as I can just imagine that they were a bundle of
fun! Hell, they couldn't even make it from the showroom in the bow to the
buffet amidships or aft in an hour to partake in the midnight buffet!
Jim <--damn if some folks wouldn't find fault if they found a pot of gold!

ICl...@jps.net

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Dec 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/13/98
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It is apparent that

"Jim" <rob...@aug.com>

has a problem with reading comprehension. I hope that you will not consider
his remarks as having any validity before reading what it is to which he
refers.

> Icono Clast wrote in message <3673A7...@jps.net>...

> >For attending a TimeShare sales presentation, we were awarded a "free
> >four-day, three-night cruise" on the Carnival Cruise Lines' _MS
> >Holiday_.

> Strange review snipped.

Ah callz'em az I seez'em.

> Now this has to be the biggest jerk that has ever posted a review,

I could have lied.

> This couple posts a number of complaints about "ripoffs" when they had a
> FREE cruise!

Two different subjects, Jim. Someone else created the subject "Is This A
Scam?" in August or so. Read the rec.travel.usa-canada thread.

> They first claim it is a scam

No such claim was made or implied.

> it was run by a timeshare company, so how is Carnival responsible?

Since we got the cruise, it was not a scam. Carnival is uninvolved.

> they took a cruise on a troopship right after WW2!!

A _former_ troop ship that had been converted to an all First Class cruise
ship: Matson's _SS Lurline_. I believe it was a cruise ship before The War.

> Then they compare cost of drinks. Duh! I do beloieve that the
> cost of living HAS gone up in 50 years.

The drink-cost comparisons were land/sea today.

> Lets summarize their complaints...dance floor not slippery enough for them?
> Dance floors

Slippery? No. The floors were too slow to dance. You are apparently not a
dancer who is aware that slow floors are _far_ more dangerous than fast ones,
even on a moving ship.

> breakfast was limited to one brand of cereal?

Didn't say that at all: All of the available cereals were produced by one
manufacturer. If your preference is for the product of another manufacturer,
it was unavailable.

> Room tiny with no window?

A description, not a complaint as I said it served our needs.

> Hell, they couldn't even make it from the showroom in the bow to the
> buffet amidships or aft in an hour to partake in the midnight buffet!

The shows and the buffet started at the same time: Midnight. The curtain fell
at 1 but it appears that the breakdown of the buffet started earlier and was
well on the way when we arrived at, perhaps 12:05.

> Jim <--damn if some folks wouldn't find fault if they found a pot of gold!

I could have lied, Jim. But before you criticize what others have to say, you
should learn to read well enough to understand what it is that was said.

You might also say how your experience differs from ours. That could be
constructive, y'know.

--
Icono Clast -- A San Franciscan posting from San Francisco

-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------
http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Discuss, or Start Your Own

ICl...@jps.net

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Dec 13, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/13/98
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In article <3673c...@news4.his.com>,
"Charles" <fo...@his.com.nospam> wrote:

> The prices of drinks on board are not more than at a bar or restaurant in an
> urban area,

So I said. What's your point?

> but you expect them to be less.

Yes, I do. They pay far less for alcoholic products than taverns on land who
have to pay the very high Federal and State taxes levied on alcoholic
beverages. At sea, those taxes are neither levied nor paid. During my
previous sea voyages, alcoholic beverages consistently cost about a third of
what they did on land _because_ of the exemption from the payment of liquor
taxes. I believe Carnival is taking advantage of the ignorance of its patrons
by charging virtually the same prices for alcoholic beverages at tax-free sea
as we pay in our heavliy-taxed local bars.

> I think you have a problem.

Yes, I do. I'm offended by _unnecessarily_ high prices. I believe that all
businesses who treat their customers fairly are entitled to a fair profit.
Carnival would have a fair profit on its alcoholic beverage sales at a dollar
or two per drink rather than the exhorbitant $4 or so being charged.

Edgar auf dem Graben

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Dec 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/14/98
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>
> > but you expect them to be less.

Why? If people are willing to pay that price, then that is what the price
shall be. That's the first lesson one learns in economics



>I believe that all businesses who treat their customers fairly are
entitled to a fair profit.

And who determines what is fair? See below

> Carnival would have a fair profit on its alcoholic beverage sales at a
dollar
> or two per drink rather than the exhorbitant $4 or so being charged.

This statement would only be valid IF Carnival could sell more drinks at a
dollar or two per drink, and IF they would make more profit doing so. Since
they are satisfied with the amount of alcohol sold at 4 dollars per drink,
THAT is the FAIR profit. Only if a large percentage of customers would
refuse to buy drinks at 4 dollars, would Carnival be forced to lower their
prices.

The word fair profit gets used by people who envy those who make a profit
and that THEY feel is excessive profit. You may choose not to purchase the
product, but the market determines what is fair, not you or some crooked
politician. As long as there is nothing illegal associated with Carnival's
profit, it is safe to assume that it is FAIR>

ICl...@jps.net

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Dec 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/14/98
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In article <01be26fd$323b96e0$1fe11b26@default>,

"Edgar auf dem Graben" <ea...@mindspring.com> wrote:

> Why? If people are willing to pay that price, then that is what the price
> shall be. That's the first lesson one learns in economics

Aren't you omitting something here? Choice?

> > I believe that all businesses who treat their customers fairly are
> > entitled to a fair profit.

> And who determines what is fair? See below

> > Carnival would have a fair profit on its alcoholic beverage sales at a
> > dollar or two per drink rather than the exhorbitant $4 or so being
> > charged.

> This statement would only be valid IF Carnival could sell more drinks at a
> dollar or two per drink, and IF they would make more profit doing so.

That's one way to look at it, of course, but it's not my way. If a product
costs you one unit to buy, another unit for the facilities and personnel to
vend it, and another unit for profit and future investment, then selling it
for four or five units would be a more-than-adequate mark-up.

I'm not much of a mathematician, but if I figure correctly, Carnival will
sell that $6.50 bottle of Kahlua I bought with approximately 39 servings for
$4 or $156, twenty-four times the cost of the product. We can triple the cost
of the product to find its fair retail value or even quadruple it to learn
the greatest amount for which it should be sold when the other costs of
delivering it to the final user are included. That comes out to a retail
price of $1.

The same bottle, selling for $20 at a local discount store, would retail to
the final user for the same $156, only 7.8 times its cost. We can calculate
the full cost of delivering the product at $80 so the landlubbing vendor is
making a 100% profit on that same bottle of Kahlua. Not bad by any
accounting. And it is by that accounting, plus my prior experiences
travelling at sea when the customary cost of booze was about a third of what
it was on land, that I said what I did.

> Since they are satisfied with the amount of alcohol sold at 4 dollars per
> drink, THAT is the FAIR profit.

You are welcome to believe that a 600% profit is "fair". I don't.

> Only if a large percentage of customers would refuse to buy drinks at 4
> dollars, would Carnival be forced to lower their prices.

On a ship? Surely you jest! I paid it just many others did.

> The word fair profit gets used by people who envy those who make a profit
> and that THEY feel is excessive profit. You may choose not to purchase the
> product, but the market determines what is fair, not you or some crooked
> politician.

At sea, there is no market. You pay what is asked for what you want. You
cannot go around the corner to give your business to someone else.

> As long as there is nothing illegal associated with Carnival's
> profit, it is safe to assume that it is FAIR>

Since Panamanian law seems to have no prohibition on firing employees who
want to organize in order to negotiate with their employer, I doubt that it
has any law dealing with profits. OTOH, as far as I know, the USA has very
few such laws none of which is effective on another country's transport.

Benjamin Smith

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Dec 14, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/14/98
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On Mon, Dec 14, 1998 5:31 AM, ICl...@JPS.net <mailto:ICl...@JPS.net> wrote:
>
>You are welcome to believe that a 600% profit is "fair". I don't.

Many examples of this is real life. Like sneakers.

Overall I like cruises as a value and when I quote the price of cruises to
friends I have that don't cruise I mostly get responses that they are much
less money than they thought they were.

If cruise lines can make big profits from drinks and keep the prices of
admission reasonable that's OK with me. Drinking is optional and can be
budgeted.


Ben S.

ICl...@jps.net

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Dec 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/15/98
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In article <B29AF62...@209.109.228.196>,
"Benjamin Smith" <be...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 14, 1998 5:31 AM, ICl...@JPS.net:

> >You are welcome to believe that a 600% profit is "fair". I don't.

> Many examples of this is real life. Like sneakers.

> Overall I like cruises as a value and when I quote the price of cruises to
> friends I have that don't cruise I mostly get responses that they are much
> less money than they thought they were.

> If cruise lines can make big profits from drinks and keep the prices of
> admission reasonable that's OK with me. Drinking is optional and can be
> budgeted.

You are quite right. The most important thing is to get the people on the
ship where they can be voluntarily gouged for the options they choose. It's
probably possible to pay the fare and not spend a cent on board other than
tokes to those who provide good service. If the basic fare covers the nut,
then the profit is in on-board sales.

The fare that we did not pay was extremely low (probably a wholesaler's last
minute discounted price), far lower than the following figures would indicate
it should be. This morning, to satisfy my curiosity, I did some figures:

Three breakfasts @ $ 5 $ 15
Three lunches @ 10 30
Four dinners @ 15 60
Four buffets @ 5 20
____
$125
Three nights' lodging: 225
____
Fair fare: $350

It so happens that we ate no breakfasts or lunches but, of course, they must
be included. Some might want to add the cost of the entertainments we
enjoyed. If so, six of them at $10 brings the total to $410 for a three-night
cruise. We could also add a $5 cover charge for the music at the non-dance
floors bringing the total to $425. Although Carnival doesn't get the money,
there's a $98 per person Port of Ensenada charge to pay. I don't know
whether, for regular travellers, that's billed separately. I also don't know
the regular price for the Monday-Friday four-day, three-night cruises to
Avalon and Ensenada aboard the Carnival Cruise Lines' _MS Holiday_ but would
like to.

BTW, there's a very danceable floor on the _MS Holiday_. It's on the
Promenade Deck entrance to the Americana Showroom (we danced on its floor,
too. The band was terrific!) and labeled Times Square. It's lovely wood with
a very comfortable speed. Would that they had music for dancing on _that_
floor! That'd keep us dancers happy! We would have loved to have the solo
musician/singer at the Bus Top Bar at Times Square. Then we could have
danced!

Finally, if the opportunity presents itself to "win a free cruise", I'll avail
myself of it. I found much more to like than to dislike but I didn't like it
enough to spring for the full tab. De gustibus non disputandum.

oink

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Dec 15, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/15/98
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> Aren't you omitting something here? Choice?

Noone is putting a gun to your head to buy that drink! You don't have to
drink everyday, and I would imagine you don't even when you are on
vacation.


>
>
> > > Carnival would have a fair profit on its alcoholic beverage sales at
a
> > > dollar or two per drink rather than the exhorbitant $4 or so being
> > > charged.
>
> > This statement would only be valid IF Carnival could sell more drinks
at a
> > dollar or two per drink, and IF they would make more profit doing so.
>
> That's one way to look at it, of course, but it's not my way. If a
product
> costs you one unit to buy, another unit for the facilities and personnel
to
> vend it, and another unit for profit and future investment, then selling
it
> for four or five units would be a more-than-adequate mark-up.

People always make this mistake. The word fair has nothing to do with a
capitalistic society. Carnival charges 4 dollars per drink because they can
get away with charging that much. It is that simple. If you don't like it,
too bad.


>
> I'm not much of a mathematician, but if I figure correctly, Carnival will
> sell that $6.50 bottle of Kahlua I bought with approximately 39 servings
for
> $4 or $156, twenty-four times the cost of the product. We can triple the
cost
> of the product to find its fair retail value or even quadruple it to
learn
> the greatest amount for which it should be sold when the other costs of
> delivering it to the final user are included. That comes out to a retail
> price of $1.
>
> The same bottle, selling for $20 at a local discount store, would retail
to
> the final user for the same $156, only 7.8 times its cost. We can
calculate
> the full cost of delivering the product at $80 so the landlubbing vendor
is
> making a 100% profit on that same bottle of Kahlua. Not bad by any
> accounting. And it is by that accounting, plus my prior experiences
> travelling at sea when the customary cost of booze was about a third of
what
> it was on land, that I said what I did.
>
>

> You are welcome to believe that a 600% profit is "fair". I don't.

Once again, "fair" is not the issue. If they can sell it for 600% profit,
then more power to them. If you choose not to buy it, more power to you. If
you were a truck driver making 30 dollars per hour, and someone offered to
pay you 70 dollars per hour, would you refuse to work for them, because
that's not the "fair" wage?

>
> > Only if a large percentage of customers would refuse to buy drinks at
4
> > dollars, would Carnival be forced to lower their prices.
>
> On a ship? Surely you jest! I paid it just many others did.

If you paid it, you must have made a concious decision that the drink was
worth it at the time. I realize you are on a ship, and you have no place
else to go, but iced tea and coffee are usually free. Of course, you don't
want to drink iced tea all the time, so that drink MUST have been worth the
4 dollars for you at the time. See economics isn't that hard!


>
> > The word fair profit gets used by people who envy those who make a
profit
> > and that THEY feel is excessive profit. You may choose not to purchase
the
> > product, but the market determines what is fair, not you or some
crooked
> > politician.
>
> At sea, there is no market. You pay what is asked for what you want. You
> cannot go around the corner to give your business to someone else.

You see, there is another market. Carnival competes with other cruise
lines, and other vacation packages. They constantly do passenger surveys.
If they feel they are losing business because their drink prices are too
high, you can be sure they'd come down. I realize you can't go to another
bar and buy from someone else, but you are on a ship for god's sake, surely
you couldn't have been surprised that Carnival would be your only vendor on
board!


>
> > As long as there is nothing illegal associated with Carnival's
> > profit, it is safe to assume that it is FAIR>
>
> Since Panamanian law seems to have no prohibition on firing employees who
> want to organize in order to negotiate with their employer, I doubt that
it
> has any law dealing with profits. OTOH, as far as I know, the USA has
very
> few such laws none of which is effective on another country's transport.

The only country that I know of that successfully limits the profits of
their industries is a communist country. Sorry, I'll take the free market
approach. I realize that you felt like you had no choice, but I get worried
when people use terms like "fair" when talking about economic issues. A
capitalistic society is very cut and dried, and the only "fair" thing about
is that everyone knows the rules, and everyone realizes in order to gain
something, you must risk something and that's it. I would suggest reading
Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" to get some perspective on what you are trying
to say. Words like "fair" or "good" can be very dangerous, if you allow
others to define them for you!

ICl...@jps.net

unread,
Dec 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/16/98
to
In article <01be2846$8e766c60$c71c45cf@default>,
"oink" <oi...@licpicticsic.com> wrote:

> > Aren't you omitting something here? Choice?

> Noone is putting a gun to your head to buy that drink! You don't have to
> drink everyday, and I would imagine you don't even when you are on
> vacation.

That's quite true. Although I spend a lot of time in bars, I seldom drink
alcohol but I do enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, at home about four ounces
and I usually don't finish the huge servings in restaurants.

> The word fair has nothing to do with a
> capitalistic society. Carnival charges 4 dollars per drink because they can
> get away with charging that much. It is that simple. If you don't like it,
> too bad.

Carnival could probably get away with charging $10 a drink. The public,
aboard ship, has no choice. Well, those of us who aren't alcoholics do but
it's nice to have a drink once in a while and, aboard ship where one isn't
going to drive, there's no reason not to.

> > You are welcome to believe that a 600% profit is "fair". I don't.

> Once again, "fair" is not the issue. If they can sell it for 600% profit,
> then more power to them. If you choose not to buy it, more power to you. If
> you were a truck driver making 30 dollars per hour, and someone offered to
> pay you 70 dollars per hour, would you refuse to work for them, because
> that's not the "fair" wage?

In that case I would be the gouger, not the gougee. Of course I'd take a wage
that was unfair to my employer just as, in desperation, I've taken wages that
were unfair to me. But I'd also do my damdest to ensure that my employer
remained satisfied that fair value was being received.

> > > Only if a large percentage of customers would refuse to buy drinks at
> > > 4 dollars, would Carnival be forced to lower their prices.

> > On a ship? Surely you jest! I paid it just many others did.

> If you paid it, you must have made a concious decision that the drink was
> worth it at the time.

A reasonable assumption. After the initial shock, I doubt that I gave it much
thought.

> > At sea, there is no market. You pay what is asked for what you want. You
> > cannot go around the corner to give your business to someone else.

> You see, there is another market. Carnival competes with other cruise
> lines, and other vacation packages. They constantly do passenger surveys.
> If they feel they are losing business because their drink prices are too
> high, you can be sure they'd come down. I realize you can't go to another
> bar and buy from someone else, but you are on a ship for god's sake, surely
> you couldn't have been surprised that Carnival would be your only vendor on
> board!

That did not surprise me. The surprise came from the fact that, on my
previous voyages at sea, booze was consistently about a third as much as on
land because of the exemption from taxation. It surprised me that that's no
longer the case. Were I shopping for a cruise, it would not have occurred to
me to ask about on-board prices as I knew from experience (I thought) that
they were much lower than ashore. Now, of course, I know.

Since few, if any, cruise ships are registered in the USA, there's nothing to
stop them from colluding to charge the same on-board prices for whatever they
choose to sell. That would probably be illegal under US law, but it's
inapplicable. It is not unreasonable to pay $4 for an alcoholic drink. It _is_
unreasonable to pay $4 for an alcoholic drink _at sea_! And $3 for a quart
of water strains credulity

> I would suggest reading Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" to get some
> perspective on what you are trying to say.

O'm'gawd! Read that, and "The Fountainhead" decades ago. Good writing
presenting the most appallingly revolting philosophy I've ever encountered in
my life! She's farther to the Right than Hitler, Joe McCarthy, Mussolini,
Ronald Reagan, Franco, Hannibal, and Tourquemada combined! Bleeeaach! The
memory makes me shudder.

Becca

unread,
Dec 16, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/16/98
to
Good writing? Sorry, but your memory is slipping, Iclast. "Atlas
Shrugged", IMO, was a loooong and boring book, not to mention, very
repetitive. She kept hammering home her point, until I began to
question why I was reading it.

Becca <-----thought only my mother could do that...

ICl...@JPS.net wrote:
>
> O'm'gawd! Read that, and "The Fountainhead" decades ago. Good writing
> presenting the most appallingly revolting philosophy I've ever encountered in
> my life! She's farther to the Right than Hitler, Joe McCarthy, Mussolini,
> Ronald Reagan, Franco, Hannibal, and Tourquemada combined! Bleeeaach! The
> memory makes me shudder.
>

Edgar auf dem Graben

unread,
Dec 17, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/17/98
to

Becca wrote:

> Good writing? Sorry, but your memory is slipping, Iclast. "Atlas
> Shrugged", IMO, was a loooong and boring book, not to mention, very
> repetitive. She kept hammering home her point, until I began to
> question why I was reading it.
>
> Becca <-----thought only my mother could do that...

You are partially right about this IMHO. She did hammer the point home a lot, but
for good reason. And, it was loooong, but definitely not boring.

>
>
> ICl...@JPS.net wrote:
> >
> > O'm'gawd! Read that, and "The Fountainhead" decades ago. Good writing
> > presenting the most appallingly revolting philosophy I've ever encountered in
> > my life! She's farther to the Right than Hitler, Joe McCarthy, Mussolini,
> > Ronald Reagan, Franco, Hannibal, and Tourquemada combined! Bleeeaach! The
> > memory makes me shudder.
> >

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