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Starry Eyes

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  1. Have all your issues occurred on shore excursions? Obviously all the cruiselines use independent local contractors for shore excursions; while vetted, sometimes they do not handle those large groups as well as cruisers would like. You may find the other cruiselines use the same contractors in many ports, so the problems may not disappear just because you change lines, sad to say. You could consider private excursions (the pluses and minuses are no doubt better discussed on other threads).
  2. As an experienced cruiser to a relatively new cruiser, I’d say a couple things about customer service in general, not just NCL. Shore side and ship board customer service are quite distinct on all the line lines I have experienced. By that I mean if you had a problem on your cruise when you had three in your cabin, the ideal time to get the problem solved (and secondarily to ask for any appropriate compensation for the issue if there was a delay in fixing the issue, etc) was while you were on the ship. There are limits, of course, to what they can do for you on board, so if you feel it is a major issue and you feel under compensated, you may end up contacting shoreside after the cruise, but that is the secondary act. Did you take the issues to guest services and were they addressed properly? If you felt you deserved compensation, did you ask for it on board? If not, remember to do so next time no matter which line. The other point, as others have made on this thread, is that sometimes people ask shoreside customer service a question about something on the ship. Shoreside tries to answer, but they do not know everything that will happen on each sailing. It just happens, and not just on NCL. Certainly branch out any try other lines. There are many loyalists, But I am not one. I cruise and enjoy different lines. As a frequent cruiser I value the differences...different styles, different venues, different menus. Happy cruising.
  3. I now have more than 75 cruises under my belt, but my first experience with major itinerary changes occurred when I was a relatively new cruiser (and before I discover CC). It was years ago, yet still a vivid memory as I learned a lot from it. Since then I have never again assumed I would definitely make any port of call. I have had plenty of itinerary changes on various lines since then. Weather mostly, but sometimes mechanical or local conditions (port issues, city power outages, political unrest, etc). So, I will say to you again, if only a couple specific Greek Isle ports are import to you, fly there and have a leisurely visit to the must-see isle then fly or ferry to the next. Choose that option because there is a chance another cruise will also miss the port you really want to see. Cruise because you want the cruise experience, but the cost of the cruise experience that you must be flexible on ports....just look at the cruise contract to see that. If on reflection, the port is not as important as the cruise experience, then remember that when the next itinerary change happens no matter the circumstances.
  4. Well, I am sorry this happened to you. I remember the first time major changes were made to an itinerary on one of our cruises; it was a learning experience. From that I leaned a valuable lesson. If you are an experienced cruiser or if you hang around CC, you know that lesson. Your recent this experience would then remind you that if there are ports you really must see, you should fly to those ports rather than cruise to them. Ports are missed for a variety of reasons and cruise contracts allow cruise lines to change itineraries, so if you want to see those destinations, just fly there and really enjoy them.
  5. Isn’t it funny that every time a cruiseline changes a menu somebody is upset a favorite item has disappeared while another celebrates that an undesired item was finally replaced.
  6. Your itinerary is not about distance, is it? Bahama cruises do not cover many miles; book a different cruise if that matters. The Captain will get you out into international waters so the casino and shops can be open on your sea day. May you have clear skies and nice temps.
  7. Just curious....Would you be less amazed if it were the wrong answer all three times?
  8. As noted above, it was not your travel agency that required the name switch but the cruise line. From faq, “Traveling with Minors and Young Adults: Norwegian Cruise Line's policy dictates that a minor or young adult under the age of 21 must be accompanied in the same stateroom (or a connecting/adjoining stateroom) by a guest 21 years of age or older at the time of boarding.” Since your cruise is months away, you could look at pricing and consider if there is a way to happily cruise in connecting cabins. That way the young people could be booked in one cabin and the adults in the other, solving your beverage package issue. Two insides, two ocean views, two balconies or one suite? Would any of those work for you? If so, per the faq, they should be able to have a cabin themselves. If not, you’ll have one adult in each cabin. If you elect the beverage package perk for both cabins, I believe you will pay the full gratuity for all four guests even though two of those guests will only get a soda package. Will the consumption will still justify the cost for your group? For many it would; for others it would not; sometimes it would depend on how port intensive the cruise.
  9. Well, that does not sound Ike’s a deal to me. Although they say 3/4 sail free, you should still price your cruise with two cabins of two people. It could be side by side cabins or maybe a balcony with an inside cabin across the hall. You’ll have to monitor those teens; only you know if you need a connecting door to do that adequately or not. I certainly do not know the pricing for your cruise but you might find a decent deal that way; it’s worth a look. Let’s talk about that drink package for four people. If you have to pay full gratuities ($20 per person per day) for all four people, it is likely a bad deal for your family, as two are underage and wife doesn’t drink much. You might want to skip the bev package entirely (let the drinker pay by the drink) or look for a deal so you only pay bev gratuities for two of you.
  10. In my experience, it is random. You both got at least what you paid for, and it does not sound like either one got assigned the worst OV cabin on the ship, so really you all should be smiling. Age and latitudes status likely do not matter, at least not as far as I can tell after plenty of bookings. They just got a bit luckier this time. Sometimes booking a bit later MAY get a better assignment, as lower categories may have already been assigned to others, but that is only sometimes. Be happy for them.
  11. Glad to hear that you are happy with your decision. Enjoy your cruise.
  12. I just wonder if that was the first price drop after final payment. There is a lot more time for prices to drop further or for nicer cabins to open up to you. Easy for me to say, as it is not my money, but I think if it were me I’d wait longer before asking for OBC.
  13. Since you booked with a TA, you must work through that TA; you cannot work directly with NCL. The TA “owns” your reservation and must be involved. It sounds like the agent might might have fought for you the first time. And if TA’s are treated like those of us who book directly, it can be time consuming. I have been on hold for an hour waiting for my turn with the correct department for such free adjustment. On the other hand, when I call in offering to pay in a just few more dollars for an upgrade, that can be handled fast by a regular agent (no special department needed). How many in your cabin? I ask because if there only one or two, the upgrade calculations are simpler. With extra guests, they many look at each individual guests fares, not the total fare for the cabin. If I were you, I’d take a look at upgrade options. Are there any that interest you that now only cost a little more (comparing base fare vs base fare...not gratuities and such)? Take a look at any perks...you might gain some (if so, you’d have to pay gratuities if you pick perks where gratuities apply). If you find an upgrade you think is now attractively priced, call and talk to your TA about possibly paying for that upgrade. If prices fall on that upgraded cabin as the cruise approaches, you can still watch for the possibility of asking for an adjustment in the future. If instead the upgrades that interest you have base prices lower than your current fare, and you think you’d like to ask for a one time goodwill upgrade, call your TA. Try to get the agent to go to bat for you. If you’d rather have OBC, again, you’d have to get the TA to go to bat for you.
  14. No, you will get two Platinum vouchers, each good for dinner for two, but at different restaurants, so they cannot be combined as in days of old. You and your could each take a teen as the guest on a voucher to those different restaurants, but that does not get you a family dinner. If You and your wife are listed as guests 1&2 on the reservation (and you may want to be if you have a beverage package) then you will also be the ones receiving the specialty dining package; so the teens would be charged for their meals. Did you get a great deal by booking all four in one cabin? If so, then the cost of the teen’s meals (or letting the teens dine elsewhere or you foregoing the specialty dining...whichever you pick) is part of that bargain price. If not, perhaps consider splitting into two cabins if before penalty phase (perhaps with one Platinum in each cabin)
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