Help! Extra charges on NCL? New to NCL.

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#1
Southern CA
3,061 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Hi Everyone!
Looking for info on NCL. Their web site does not give many details, just a lot of pretty photos. I'm used to crusing with RCCL. I am drawn to NCL because of their lovely cabins, I love Jacuzzi tubs, and other romantic amenities. RCCL's rooms with those amenities are priced so high and NCL is so low in comparison. So with that being said, we are planning our next Anniversary cruise and were wondering:

1. Which restaurants are included on NCL? Is it different on every ship? How do you know if they charge, and what they charge? Are there signs at the door?

2. We love formal night and everything that goes with it, we dress every night for dinner. Is it true that NCL allows shorts and T shirts in the dining room? If I wear a cocktail dress and my boyfriend a shirt and tie will we look out of place on a normal night? We take photos every night. Do they have photos?

3. fees for bowling and rock climbing? Really?

4. How do the gratuities work?

5. Any other fees I should know about?

6. Is there a captains welcome reception? What is this like?

I guess we are a young couple who long for the old days of dinner and romantic dancing, and I guess it is so hard to find. We belong in another era.
We felt so out of place on Carnival.... Just want to plan our next cruise better...

Any help would be great!
Dawn
#2
21 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
1. Which restaurants are included on NCL? Is it different on every ship? How do you know if they charge, and what they charge? Are there signs at the door?

In general, for the "FREE" restaurants you will find two main dining rooms, 2 or 3 buffet restaurants (one main one, with possibly an outdoor alternative as well as a small one near the pool (the Jewel had these three)). You will also typically have one free sit down restaurant, open 24 hours, with a standard menu (we ate there a lot). And you will always have room service (for free). Beyond those, you will have more than a half dozen options for a "fee". On the Jewel, the fee ranged from $10 to $25 per person, with two of the restaurants (the Italian and the Mexican) offering "half price happy hour" where the cover charge was reduced between 5:30 and 6:30pm during our cruise. In the daily listings of activities you will find a detailed list of hours of each as well as the fees which restaurants charge.

2. We love formal night and everything that goes with it, we dress every night for dinner. Is it true that NCL allows shorts and T shirts in the dining room? If I wear a cocktail dress and my boyfriend a shirt and tie will we look out of place on a normal night? We take photos every night. Do they have photos?

I'm sure others will have more to say on this with more experiences cruising, but we were on the Jewel this month (12 day Baltic cruise), and there were always people dressed up for dinner. But it was not the norm (maybe 10 - 20%). There are typically one or two "Dress Up Or Not" nights per cruise (depending on cruise length), where those who choose to dress up only occasionally can target those nights. That's when we saw the most formal wear, but it was still likely less than a third of the guests. But everyone co-existed nicely (I think). We didn't mind they were dressed up, and I didn't notice anyone annoyed by my khaki's. I can at least alleviate your fears of shorts and t-shirts - it clearly states in the dailies and everywhere else, that shorts are ONLY allowed in the buffet restaurant after 5:30. I can also speak from experience that I was turned away from the Italian restaurant for wearing shorts (I simply forgot).

I believe photos were offered every night. Possibly not on port days (can't remember) but definitely on sea days.


4. How do the gratuities work?

$12 per person per day. You get them added to your bill at the end of the cruise. You are free to tip in addition, should you choose, but any "fee" services (bar tabs, spa services, etc.) already have an 18% gratuity already added.
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#3
San Diego, Ca
4,572 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by pbadeer
1. Which restaurants are included on NCL? Is it different on every ship? How do you know if they charge, and what they charge? Are there signs at the door?

In general, for the "FREE" restaurants you will find two main dining rooms, 2 or 3 buffet restaurants (one main one, with possibly an outdoor alternative as well as a small one near the pool (the Jewel had these three)). You will also typically have one free sit down restaurant, open 24 hours, with a standard menu (we ate there a lot). And you will always have room service (for free). Beyond those, you will have more than a half dozen options for a "fee". On the Jewel, the fee ranged from $10 to $25 per person, with two of the restaurants (the Italian and the Mexican) offering "half price happy hour" where the cover charge was reduced between 5:30 and 6:30pm during our cruise. In the daily listings of activities you will find a detailed list of hours of each as well as the fees which restaurants charge.

2. We love formal night and everything that goes with it, we dress every night for dinner. Is it true that NCL allows shorts and T shirts in the dining room? If I wear a cocktail dress and my boyfriend a shirt and tie will we look out of place on a normal night? We take photos every night. Do they have photos?

I'm sure others will have more to say on this with more experiences cruising, but we were on the Jewel this month (12 day Baltic cruise), and there were always people dressed up for dinner. But it was not the norm (maybe 10 - 20%). There are typically one or two "Dress Up Or Not" nights per cruise (depending on cruise length), where those who choose to dress up only occasionally can target those nights. That's when we saw the most formal wear, but it was still likely less than a third of the guests. But everyone co-existed nicely (I think). We didn't mind they were dressed up, and I didn't notice anyone annoyed by my khaki's. I can at least alleviate your fears of shorts and t-shirts - it clearly states in the dailies and everywhere else, that shorts are ONLY allowed in the buffet restaurant after 5:30. I can also speak from experience that I was turned away from the Italian restaurant for wearing shorts (I simply forgot).

I believe photos were offered every night. Possibly not on port days (can't remember) but definitely on sea days.


4. How do the gratuities work?

$12 per person per day. You get them added to your bill at the end of the cruise. You are free to tip in addition, should you choose, but any "fee" services (bar tabs, spa services, etc.) already have an 18% gratuity already added.
The bar is 15% and spa 18 per cent gratuity added to you bill.
Captains reception for people in suites and VIPS only.

go to this link and read the answers
http://www.ncl.com/nclweb/cruiser/cm...tml?pageId=FAQ
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#4
Wisconsin
6,138 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Originally posted by surfergirle
Hi Everyone!
Looking for info on NCL. Their web site does not give many details, just a lot of pretty photos. I'm used to crusing with RCCL. I am drawn to NCL because of their lovely cabins, I love Jacuzzi tubs, and other romantic amenities. RCCL's rooms with those amenities are priced so high and NCL is so low in comparison. So with that being said, we are planning our next Anniversary cruise and were wondering:

1. Which restaurants are included on NCL? Is it different on every ship? How do you know if they charge, and what they charge? Are there signs at the door?

2. We love formal night and everything that goes with it, we dress every night for dinner. Is it true that NCL allows shorts and T shirts in the dining room? If I wear a cocktail dress and my boyfriend a shirt and tie will we look out of place on a normal night? We take photos every night. Do they have photos?

3. fees for bowling and rock climbing? Really?

4. How do the gratuities work?

5. Any other fees I should know about?

6. Is there a captains welcome reception? What is this like?

I guess we are a young couple who long for the old days of dinner and romantic dancing, and I guess it is so hard to find. We belong in another era.
We felt so out of place on Carnival.... Just want to plan our next cruise better...

Any help would be great!
Dawn
If you're looking for "the old days of dinner and romantic dancing"...you're going to have to move "upscale". I like NCL, and would cruise on the line again, but it is much more laid-back and casual than you seem to be longing for.

I didn't like Carnival, but without knowing why you didn't like it, I won't comment. You might try Princess, or save your money and move up to Crystal.
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I've cruised on Princess, Carnival, HAL,
NCL, Hurtigruten and a couple of even smaller lines in the past. HAL is (for now) my favorite!

#5
Indiana
1,964 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Originally posted by surfergirle
Hi Everyone!
Looking for info on NCL. Their web site does not give many details, just a lot of pretty photos. I'm used to crusing with RCCL. I am drawn to NCL because of their lovely cabins, I love Jacuzzi tubs, and other romantic amenities. RCCL's rooms with those amenities are priced so high and NCL is so low in comparison. So with that being said, we are planning our next Anniversary cruise and were wondering:

1. Which restaurants are included on NCL? Is it different on every ship? How do you know if they charge, and what they charge? Are there signs at the door?

2. We love formal night and everything that goes with it, we dress every night for dinner. Is it true that NCL allows shorts and T shirts in the dining room? If I wear a cocktail dress and my boyfriend a shirt and tie will we look out of place on a normal night? We take photos every night. Do they have photos?

3. fees for bowling and rock climbing? Really?

4. How do the gratuities work?

If you are in a suite the butler and concierge are not included in the $12/pp/pd auto tips. We always tip them (and our room steward) at the end of our cruise based on how much we used them. I aways take thank you cards and write a note and put the tip in the card.
NCL has the best suites and suite "perks" out there. They really know how to pamper you.

5. Any other fees I should know about?

6. Is there a captains welcome reception? What is this like?

I guess we are a young couple who long for the old days of dinner and romantic dancing, and I guess it is so hard to find. We belong in another era.
We felt so out of place on Carnival.... Just want to plan our next cruise better...

Any help would be great!
Dawn
Have a great time.
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#8
Indiana
1,964 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
PJames,
How recent are the charges you posted? I thought that Cagney's had increased to $25pp.
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NCL - Platinum Plus
PAST CRUISES
Breakaway - Bermuda - October 16 '16 - Haven Owners Suite
Breakaway - Bermuda - October 9 '16 - Haven 2 Bedroom
(Hurricane Matthew had other ideas. Never made it to Bermuda.)
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Norwegian Dawn - Western Caribbean - January '13 - Aft Penthouse Suite
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#9
Flagler Beach, Florida
6,866 Posts
Joined May 2006
Originally posted by ImADaneFan
PJames,
How recent are the charges you posted? I thought that Cagney's had increased to $25pp.
DITTO the above. Our friends just returned from an NCL cruise and Cagney's was definitely $25. pp in early August.
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#10
Oklahoma City, OK
11,262 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by surfergirle
fees for bowling and rock climbing? Really?

Is there a captains welcome reception? What is this like?
There is a fee (by the line, just like a regular bowling alley), but no rock climbing on NCL ships that I'm aware of. There are only 4 lanes.

Not really a Captains welcome reception but you are given a glass of sparkling wine when you board.

NCL is not the only line with specialty restaurants, and as far as I know, all mass-marketed lines charge extra for them (Chops and Portofino and even Ben & Jerry's on RCCL). NCL just happens to have more specialty restaurants to choose from. We spent a week aboard Spirit, and never stepped foot inside a specialty restaurant.

I can't address the dancing part, but if you are into the romantic, you might look into one of NCL's romance suites. No one has better suite perks in the mass-marketed lines.
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#13
Oklahoma City, OK
11,262 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by PJames
Has anyone tried the Teppanyaki?
Is it worth $25 for "the show"?
http://www.gummy-stuff.org/teppanyaki.htm
Depends. A visit to our local Japanese steakhouse is well over $25 per person. But if someone goes into cruising with the philosphy that they will only eat in the restaurants that are already included with the fare, then maybe not.
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Celebrity Galaxy 11/04
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NCL Spirit 1/09, where everybody knew my name (which was strange and a little fun at the same time)
NCL Pearl 3/10
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RCCL Mariner OTS 3/2012 - another 1st!
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Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
#14
16,840 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Originally posted by GORDONCHICK
no rock climbing on NCL ships that I'm aware of.

There's definitely one on the Gem...not sure about the other ships in that class .
#15
8,028 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by njhorseman
There's definitely one on the Gem...not sure about the other ships in that class .
The Pearl and Gem are the only two that have rock climbing walls. The Epic will also have a climbing wall along with a repelling section. The water slide also make an appearance "through" the "rock" wall.

PE
#16
malta
915 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
I understand that on alot of the mass cruise lines, coffee is not included in the MDR's after your meal. On some neither is iced water.
NCL offers you coffee and there is also capuccino etc available in the Buffet all day/evening long.
If you don't enjoy alcohol you can literally not spend an extra $.
#17
Oklahoma City, OK
11,262 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by Planer's Edge
The Pearl and Gem are the only two that have rock climbing walls. The Epic will also have a climbing wall along with a repelling section. The water slide also make an appearance "through" the "rock" wall.

PE
So, the OP was inquiring about if there is a fee for rock climbing since there is rock climbing on a few of the NCL ships. Anyone know?
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Celebrity Galaxy 11/04
Grand Princess 2/06
Carnival Conquest 10/06
Celebrity Mercury to Alaska 9/07 very cool - literally!
Vegas, baby! 11/08
NCL Spirit 1/09, where everybody knew my name (which was strange and a little fun at the same time)
NCL Pearl 3/10
HAL Oosterdam 5/2011, back to Alaska we went!
RCCL Mariner OTS 3/2012 - another 1st!
NCL Star 12/2012 - more firsts!
NCL Jewel 12/2013 - Christmas on the water
NCL Jewel 11/2014 - and a few more firsts!
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Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
#18
Las Vegas
24 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by GORDONCHICK
So, the OP was inquiring about if there is a fee for rock climbing since there is rock climbing on a few of the NCL ships. Anyone know?
I was on the Pearl in early June. There was no fee for rock climbing then.
#19
northern UT
8,691 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
just from what you have described what you LIKE in a cruise...i would think NCL would be more laid-back....maybe Celebrity or Princess--i dont remember PICs being offered (taken) everynight
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#20
522 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
Originally posted by PJames
Has anyone tried the Teppanyaki?
Is it worth $25 for "the show"?
http://www.gummy-stuff.org/teppanyaki.htm
We usually do teppanyaki a couple times if we can. As much as the "show" (which is basicallly the same anywhere), we really enjoy meeting new people that you are seated with. Particularly Med cruises, where you have a better chance of sitting with people from different countries.
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