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Brian35

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About Brian35

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    Cool Cruiser

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    NC
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL

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  1. I was reading the 2019 NCL Proxy materials on Friday and couldn't help but wonder when someone would post Del Rio's salary and the nickle and diming rants would begin. While the number is accurate for 2018 total reported earnings what isn't mentioned is that the number includes part of the previous year's PSU (Performance Stock Unit) award due to an accounting feature. Actual 2018 earnings were just under 15 million. One can argue if that is deserved, however, at least be clear on the math with regards to how much he really earned for the year versus payout for a prior year's performance. This is just under the total compensation of the Fortune 50 CEO of my day job so it does seem high to me, however, the returns on my NCLH investment have been nothing to complain about. While I'm not a fan of the increasing prices the board has tied a majority of his yearly compensation to meeting EPS targets so what would one expect as an outcome? Obviously prices be it base fares or the various ancillary fees need to rise to meet those targets as well as internal cost cutting measures. With those targets in place that will continue and he has been clear that is the plan. Personally I'd rather see the EPS bonus target max out at 100% unless an NPS (Net Promoter Score - how likely will customers recommend the product or a similar metric) increase is also met, however, apparently the compensation committee has a different approach. For those that are stockholders proposal 2 is a non-binding compensation approval. Vote nay if you have concerns - last year's non-binding vote resulting in some favorable changes to the compensation structure. Ultimately shareholder compensation input as well as supply and demand drive all of the decisions that are vilified on the boards. I'd love to know where everyone goes when they proverbially jump ship as reading the MSC and RCL boards they seem to have their own share of unhappy customers.
  2. The US Platinum card (as well as black) covers all medical evacuation charges with no monetary limit as long as they arrange transport and as long as you have not been away for over 90 days and are at least 100 miles from home. There are no requirements that you have used the card to pay for any portion of the trip just that you must have an account in good standing. If you arrange evacuation on your own then the coverage does not apply. I believe you are correct with regards to the other medical coverage.
  3. The Haven (or suites on the smaller ships) is really difficult to quantify from a dollar perspective. From a purely numbers perspective it is almost impossible to justify the cost but the real question is what does it do to the overall vacation experience and that will vary depending upon the expectations of the individuals. DW and I are in our early 40s and our major vacation constraint is her job allows for minimal vacation time so multiple cruises a year is not viable for our situation - i.e. constraint is more time than budget at this point in our lives. We were in an H6 on last week's Getaway sailing - first time in the Haven. The larger room combined with a huge aft balcony was the draw that got us to sign on - honestly I had no idea how beneficial the butler, concierge, etc would be and was less than thrilled with the additional cost when we upgraded (not via the bid process). The real takeaway was that the Haven changed the vacation perspective for us. If someone asks about our Alaska cruise I'll talk about an excursion where we stopped at Emerald Lake and the wonders of Glacier Bay, Eastern Caribbean I'll talk about how much I loved Virgin Gorda. In those the ship was a floating hotel - plenty to do but the excursions were the main memories. This last vacation we had several excellent excursions that are easily on par with other cruises but the Getaway takes center stage. Interestingly enough it's not one big thing that makes the change but numerous little things that all combined to make an exceptional vacation (many of them things I would have never considered if I was non-Haven on that cruise): The ability to have a real breakfast delivered on port days combined with priority disembarkation definitely ranked high on my list as mornings are not my thing and an extra bit of sleep is priceless when you have an 8 am excusion. A simple comment about the poor by the glass UDP wine options (they have really gone downhill over the years) resulted in the full wine list arriving in my cabin along with recommendations based on my taste. Granted I had to buy a couple bottles but the effort was unexpected and recommendations were spot on. DW likes to start off by talking about Gabriel (Haven waiter) who first served us lunch after a port day. She ordered lemonade and he did not want to serve the normal concentrate and tried to get her to select a fresh juice (we did have a constantly filled pitcher of the concentrate in the room so the concern was his not hers). When she said she would be fine with just water (trust me he was not going to serve the concentrate) he went to the bar and had them make an exceptional fresh lemonade (being very concerned that the mixture was correct). It wasn't something either of expected or would have thought of - he perceived a problem and was determined to solve it one way or another.That was a common theme both in the Haven as well as in the specialty restaurants when they saw the Haven ship card. I'm not advocating the class difference but it definitely exists as noticed by a table next to us in Cagneys. None of these justify the cost but adding them to all of the other little things combined with the larger room, and numerous unexpected miracles from Gary (butler) that we didn't even know we wanted easily justified the ~4.5k additional expense for us. It won't for everyone as it depends upon what you expect out of the vacation (if you just want a floating hotel Haven probably isn't worth the cost) but for us it was mostly the intangible that stands out for this vacation. Probably the biggest proof is we had barely left the ship and DW was scheduling a 14 day on the Dawn in a DOS and neither of us blinked at the cost although her employer is not exactly impressed at the block of vacation time.
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