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hawkeyetlse

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Everything posted by hawkeyetlse

  1. In the past booking through a TA has never been a reason for NCL to automatically refuse the shareholder benefit, and I doubt that it is suddenly the case now. But lots of fares are ineligible for the benefit, and when you go through a travel agent, you might be booking one of these fares without knowing it. These are the exclusions listed in the fine print: "excludes Reduced Rate programs (e.g. employee rates, interline, friends /family rates, vendor rates, cruises taken via cruise credit certificate, or free cruises earned through Oceania Cruises loyalty benefits), and travel agent rates, and charters" Technically "travel agent rates" can mean any rate you pay through a travel agent, but again, up to now, this has not been a blanket exclusion for NCL. Without more details from the OP (who may not actually know all the details of the rate their TA booked for them), it's not possible to know exactly why their shareholder request was denied.
  2. But you can't upgrade to FAS+ on board, as far as I know. You can purchase some of the individual upgrades (P+ beverage package, unlimited wifi), but you can't get the whole discounted bundle.
  3. I know this was the case for "free" drinks, but can you also confirm that people actually paying for drinks on board while the ship was in/near Spanish ports were not charged tax? (On the Gem, right?) It's a nice surprise if they weren't, but it's hard to understand why they weren't charged. Not that I'm really trying to understand NCL's rules on this anymore. I fully expect this season to end, and when the ships come back to Europe next March/April, the whole mess will start up again.
  4. Just off the Dawn (Rome to Bilbao) and they were not serving any wines by the bottle on this cruise. I didn’t have P+ this time, so I don’t know for sure if this also applied to the included P+ bottles at dinner, but my understanding was that no one could be served wine by the bottle, period. (Then again, I was given my free Platinum bottle with no issues.) As usual, they blamed it on an unspecified tax issue from some unspecified country, and it was completely out of NCL’s control. On the current sailing (Bilbao round-trip) they are supposedly able to serve wine by the bottle again, so I guess that means the problematic country was Italy.
  5. I’ve never heard of any one package per person rule. Is it the website that won’t let you add a second package, or did someone from Norwegian actually try and fail to add these two packages to your booking? On my last cruise I had the basic UOBP and I certainly had the option to add the Starbucks package on top of it. I didn’t do it, so I can’t say for sure that it would have gone through, but I’m pretty confident that you’re seeing a website/app or human glitch.
  6. Yeah, this sounds like a case where it works great for the vast majority of people (access to 2 cabins without having to carry around 2 cards) but the previous solution was more generalizable to 3 or more cabins. While I am sympathetic to the inconvenience that the OP experienced, I really don’t find it outrageous to put a strict (and low) limit on the number of cabins that a single guest can access.
  7. You can order one bottle per card at dinner, so yes. But you can’t take the leftovers with you. And the same wines that you can get by the bottle with P+ are also available by the glass, so you can also just order glasses if you can’t finish a whole bottle by yourself at one dinner. Or, eat with other people who don’t have the package, and share your bottles with them. So far this is still allowed. If you are dining at a time when they are charging taxes on beverage package drinks, think carefully about what you order, and how. It makes a difference if they charge you taxes on one bottle vs. however many glasses they think you drank. (I was once charged for 10 glasses of champagne at one meal instead of one bottle!)
  8. Each of the three steaks is listed with a specific sauce and one or two specific sides, but you can probably mix and match (see here for example). It's not the full Cagney's menu, of course, and I really doubt that the food is actually prepared at Cagney's and sent down to the MDR, but who knows?
  9. If you buy one package, it is associated with one person, so you can only take that person's 300 minutes and get $200 off the upgrade. You cannot combine 2 people's minutes (600 minutes total) to claim $400 off a single package upgrade. But you should call them to be sure. Maybe they can do something that the website/app doesn't allow. (If so, please report back here!)
  10. Sure you can. If you go into your vacation planner you should see options to upgrade to unlimited internet. As long as it says "upgrade" that means they are taking your existing minutes into account. Upgrading from 300 minutes should cost $200 less than the normal cost of an unlimited package.
  11. Get these terrible sub-human beings to give you a hand:
  12. For the 8 oz filet that costs like $40 at Cagney's? I know the à la carte prices at Cagney's are mostly meaningless, but do they have to make it so blatantly obvious?
  13. Only because the UK ETA hasn't been fully implemented yet. In the end it will be for all visa-waiver countries, just like ESTA/ETIAS (with specific exemptions like Canada for the US ESTA, and Ireland for the UK ETA). None of these programs is designed to apply to "all non-citizens", as most non-citizens continue to require an actual visa.
  14. Don’t worry about everything fitting inside the bag. Just leave this for your steward, like someone in my hallway did on a recent cruise…
  15. Yeah, Starbucks is the tiny Deck 7 Atrium bar. Not a full Starbucks menu, they don't have nitro cold brew, etc. Also if you order espresso drinks in the dining rooms or specialty restaurants, that's on the Starbucks package (or you pay). Go ahead and reserve your specialty dining for 2 or 4 or 8 or whatever if you want to make sure you have bookings at your preferred times. Get them to correct the number of diners once you're on board.
  16. Sitka has a 5 or 6% city tax. If the Bliss has been doing Alaska all season, I assume the staff are pretty aware of the tax situation in each port (from having to deal with passengers griping about it week after week).
  17. I would go ahead and submit a case with post-cruise guest relations about the port day Latitudes discount. I would actually just say that you had the treatment in port (they can confirm with the ship what time you were there) and so there should be a 15% discount, period. In other words, don’t mention that the staff offered to help you evade taxes and that you agreed to this. Just say that you were overcharged (which is true). Because I’m pretty sure the spa staff were genuinely trying to save you the tax, and in general it’s a good thing (for passengers) when the staff on board suggests doing this. But it is also fraudulent (in a minor way) so it’s probably best not to draw too much attention to the practice in official communications with NCL.
  18. It looks like you have found the other thread. As I mentioned there, you also need to check the start date of your passport, because they no longer accept any extra months that may have been added on beyond the standard 10-year validity.
  19. Yes, and that is the matter that the OP is asking about. I’m sure she has already read the website. I boarded a TA this spring with less than 6 months left on my passport. No issue whatsoever. I once boarded with someone who didn’t show a passport at all (EU citizen traveling around the Mediterranean). It’s useful for them to put a simple, conservative rule on the website. And to make passengers 100% responsible for figuring this stuff out on their own. But it’s not in their interest to deny boarding to people who in fact have the correct documents for their cruise. People do get left behind on probably every sailing, because they clearly have insufficient documents or because they have an unusual situation and the cruise line decides that it’s too risky. Or occasionally because the cruise line screws up and applies stricter rules than they need to. This can happen with airlines, too. But a UK citizen traveling to Europe is not a strange situation, and all carriers know exactly how to handle it.
  20. NCL (more precisely the check-in agents at your embarkation port) will apply the entry requirements for the countries visited on your cruise. It is not some blanket, one size fits all 6 months rule. If you are correct that 3 months is sufficient (which it is, in general, for US passport holders visiting Schengen countries, for example), then that is what they will be looking for at check-in, and you will be fine to board with 5 months left.
  21. My advice, do not get the package for one or two specific brands. And honestly, the package might not even exist anymore in 2025. But if you are prepared to be a little flexible with what you drink, knowing that they will have "some" high-end brands for you to get your money's worth, then it makes sense to purchase now and lock in the price, because it will 100% go up several times between now and 2025.
  22. You can even see photos of what each dish is supposed to look like! But it's only useful if they schedule the tour near the beginning of your cruise… If you search around you can probably find photos that other people have taken of that wall in the galley. All the ships have the same menus, on the same rotation (although they occasionally experiment with different concepts, and you never know if they will have to rearrange something because of itinerary/supply issues on your specific sailing).
  23. It's the same price, unless your booking is in a different currency (in which case the exchange rate they use may be better or worse for you). But if you are also interested in unlimited internet, then it really makes sense to get the FAS+ upgrade, and that is only available before sailing. You are correct to be wary of the brands that will actually be available on your sailing, because I tried the P+ package on 2 different ships only 3 or 4 months apart, and the brands they had were almost completely different (high-end wine and spirits). I don't necessarily mind drinking different brands, but overall it was a pretty big step down from the first time to the second, so I won't be doing P+ again unless I hear that things have stabilized and NCL is able to provide a consistent experience for people who buy the package. On the subject of sharing wine with tablemates, I have always been allowed to do it (whether or not the others have P+, or any beverage package) but a few times I have noticed some hesitation from the server or I have been told outright that it is technically not allowed (but they do it anyway). I would not be surprised if they crack down on this very soon, because it is kind of a gigantic loophole through which they lose a lot of money. So I wouldn't count on being able to share your P+ bottles in the future.
  24. You can if you buy the certificate (especially when they do the $500 offer) and let it "mature" in your account for 4 months. After that you can book a last-minute cruise if you want. Frankly I don't understand why they have this 120 days restriction in the first place. If they're trying to get people to book NCL for the first time, why put obstacles in their way? So what if it's an impulse booking?
  25. Under the current promo, I’ve been able to double up on two cruises (booked with the NCL Europe office) well after final payment, like 2 weeks before sailing. The EU terms also say 4 months, but evidently they have not been enforcing that at all.
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