Behind the Scenes Tour

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#21
France
6,169 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
The paid one you can book through the shore excursions desk or maybe the front desk, anytime in the first few days of the cruise. There's often a sign advertising it at the shorex desk, and sometimes in the Freestyle Daily, but if you don't see anything, ask. On some sailings there is too much demand and they have to do a kind of lottery to pick who gets to go. On other sailings, not enough people are interested in paying for this and they cancel it.
#22
Bloomington MN USA
2,788 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by hoopslover
If you are platinum, how do you book it and with whom?
Thanks
If you are Platinum read the fine print in the perks portfolio found in your cabin upon boarding.
NCL is requesting that you visit or call the Latitudes person and schedule the tour from a
list of times available UPON boarding - I did not do this and waited three days to find out the
times had already been booked up "BUT" NCL did put my name on a sort of standby list and
I was given a time shortly thereafter.
These tours last from 1 to 2 hours and are worth it the first time - the second time around for
a different class of ship. Tours are held in mid-morning.
If you are using the ships laundry and your tour is the following day sometimes the tour guide
will seek out the progress on your laundry (beware the scratchy tags applied to your clothes) !
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#23
USA
11,452 Posts
Joined Apr 2015
Originally posted by CantWaitToCrz
How do you book for the paid one? Is it also the 1st sea day?
It is a shore excursion and can be booked at their desk. It will be held on multiple sea days.
#24
UK
9,057 Posts
Joined May 2003
Originally posted by poona1
Does anyone know if this tour and dinner with officers is even included on the gem?

last i heard they stopped the tours and the dinner was only for platinum plus and ambassadors..thanks


The behind the scenes tour is available on all ships (although I've been on some cruises when it wasn't running for specific reasons).

The dinner with officers is a platinum plus and ambassador perk now. It isn't something I've paid much attention to, but there was some debate on here at the time as to how that would affect availability for other to buy this, but I don't recall seeing and feedback.
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#25
Colorado Springs, CO USA
402 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Originally posted by poona1
Does anyone know if this tour and dinner with officers is even included on the gem?
last i heard they stopped the tours and the dinner was only for platinum plus and ambassadors..thanks
Our dinner with an officer was by a drawing. I'd seen it in the daily's and put in my name and cabin number....and got it! After that dinner, we got an offer to do the bridge tour.
#26
USA
2,854 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
Originally posted by karenj4546
Our dinner with an officer was by a drawing. I'd seen it in the daily's and put in my name and cabin number....and got it! After that dinner, we got an offer to do the bridge tour.
I'm forgetting the details, but on our first NCL cruise, we were invited to dinner with a senior Officer. IIRC, it was the Chief Engineer (I could be wrong about exact title), and it was absolutely fascinating. He was very pleasant and answered a lot of questions, with good explanations. I don't quite remember if he had time to eat, however!

We certainly weren't platinum status then.
I don't remember if we entered a drawing or just asked someone about it.
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#27
New York
209 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
So for NCL Escape am I understanding correct that the Platinum tour is free for platinum members and is 1.5 hours long - and the paid tour is $79 and 3 hours long?
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#28
USA
11,452 Posts
Joined Apr 2015
The paid tour gives you a history of the cruise line, visits the environmental room (trash room), and a photo in the galley.

Prior to heightened security, use to go to bridge.
#29
New York
209 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Originally posted by BirdTravels
The paid tour gives you a history of the cruise line, visits the environmental room (trash room), and a photo in the galley. Prior to heightened security, use to go to bridge.
And does all that really take three hours? Seems like a long tour....
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#30
Dallas, TX
9,413 Posts
Joined May 2008
I was looking forward to my first platinum tour when Hanno, our concierge sent me an invite to the suite tour. He told me, "mine is better". We did go to the bridge. And were there quite some time. I would have hated missing that.

This was in April 2015 I think.


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#31
NYC
7,903 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
Originally posted by BirdTravels
The paid tour gives you a history of the cruise line, visits the environmental room (trash room), and a photo in the galley.

Prior to heightened security, use to go to bridge.
i done the behind the scenes tour on Carnival twice and both times went to the bridge. why does NCL no longer want you on the bridge? If we do not go to the bridge, i may not sign up for my breakaway cruise next month
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#32
Chicago
55 Posts
Joined Sep 2014
We did the behind the scenes tour last year on the Getaway. It was the paid tour, we don't have status on NCL and was about 90 minutes. That included the short movie about NCL, backstage tour of the theater, kitchen, laundry and environmental (trash) area; we also walked around I95. I may look into it again on the Epic in a couple of weeks. I think my mom would like it, but I am not sure she wants to do the walking.
#33
Dallas, TX
1,003 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by shof515
i done the behind the scenes tour on Carnival twice and both times went to the bridge. why does NCL no longer want you on the bridge? If we do not go to the bridge, i may not sign up for my breakaway cruise next month
I don't think it's NCL that doesn't want you on the bridge - it's the individual Captains. So, it depends on what is happening that day, and whether the Captain thinks it's important to make sure everyone is happy - as I can't believe they don't all know the main thing people want to see is the bridge.

I think it also depends on the size of the group. As someone else said, the suites/VIPs tours I've attended did visit the bridge, but it was a very small group.

That said, we've done the Platinum tour on multiple classes of ships, and they are always interesting, even without the bridge. My wife wants the machines from the laundry, so she could do our laundry once a month. The galley (ask for samples) and the storage areas are impressive. Our first tour, much of the time was taken up by the environmental engineer, who was dedicated to the preparation, disposal and recycling of trash. Who knew someone could be passionate about trash?

As others have said, once per class is probably sufficient, but I would do it once.
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#34
southern NM desert
12,137 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by karenj4546
Our dinner with an officer was by a drawing. I'd seen it in the daily's and put in my name and cabin number....and got it! After that dinner, we got an offer to do the bridge tour.
Originally posted by GeezerCouple
I'm forgetting the details, but on our first NCL cruise, we were invited to dinner with a senior Officer. IIRC, it was the Chief Engineer (I could be wrong about exact title), and it was absolutely fascinating. He was very pleasant and answered a lot of questions, with good explanations. I don't quite remember if he had time to eat, however!

We certainly weren't platinum status then.
I don't remember if we entered a drawing or just asked someone about it.
Last November we had Dinner with an Officer by signing up for a drawing. But now that the Latitudes levels have changed, the Dinner with an Officer is open only to those on Platinum Plus level.
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#35
Upstate NY near Rochester
2,288 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Did the paid tour last October on Breakaway and were told we may or may not be allowed on the Bridge. We went to the area before the Bridge, consulted the Security Officer, who got an OK from the Staff Captain, and we were in. Spent 20 minutes there! Officers did not take questions as they were very attentive to the duty at the time.

Loved the tour. Saw the kitchens, food storage, I-95, laundry, recycling, theater backstage areas. Well worth it.
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#36
Kent, England
132 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
We did the BTS Tour, booked onboard the NCL Spirit. There are only a few places per cruise, ours was 12 (out of 2,000 passengers)! We felt very privileged! We paid about £89 each. We thought that was hefty but, after the 90 min tour, we were enlightened as to the workings of the restaurant kitchen, the theatre dressing rooms, got to chat to one of the dancers about "quick changes" etc. The laundry where we took pictures and a video of the sheet folding machine, the lady sitting waiting for it to plop onto her lap and place in a pile! The sheets are huge and it was just what I need at home . The prep of food was interesting, especially the individual bread roll machine etc.
We got to see and talk to the manager in charge of trash! That was a whole new story....when and where they can dump, how far out to sea they are allowed etc., the white trash, grey trash and compressed metal that looks like a metal tray so thin (30 cans worth) that they are only allowed, and pay to deposit in Barcelona as that's the biggest port for this kind of stuff.
We came up onto atrium level, went to the Lounge and had to go down about 16 steep steps to a mini museum area. This has the history of that ship, in particular, amongst others in the fleet. It showed pics of the naming ceremony, the name before it became the Spirit (as it's the oldest on the fleet it was built for the Asian community originally), lots of memorabilia and gifts to the captain.
There was a glass window where we could view the bridge and they waved, keeping their eye on the steering ha! Then up again, to the Lounge level for our framed pictures of us with a very large mop and bucket in the kitchen! Although we went as a couple, you still get 2 the same but we used the 2nd NCL frame to give one of our other photographs to my daughter, which was nice.
Thoroughly recommend and worth the individual staff time. They even told us which staff get part of our gratuities and the recycling don't, unless they do long 12 hour shifts. Very interesting but think you'd only need to do it once within one fleet.
Hope this helps. 🥒🥖⚓️🤹*♂️🏼*✈️🏻*✈️


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#37
United States
66 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Quick question -
I am platinum. My cabinmate is silver. Does she have to pay to join me on the tour, or is she allowed to join me?
Thank you
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#38
UK
9,057 Posts
Joined May 2003
Originally posted by minniemulticar
Quick question -
I am platinum. My cabinmate is silver. Does she have to pay to join me on the tour, or is she allowed to join me?
Thank you

The platinum tour is a separate thing from the paid tour, so it’s almost certain that your cabin mate wouldn’t be able to join you at all, even if willing to pay.

Lately, the platinum tours have been consistently filled up with platinums, in my experience, so you are unlikely to be able to get your friend on. I suppose you never know (on one cruise a few years ago there were only 6 platinums onboard and we were able to take our son), in which case it’s possible you could arrange something, but that seems unlikely these days.


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#39
Bloomington MN USA
2,788 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
Originally posted by KeithJenner
The platinum tour is a separate thing from the paid tour, so it’s almost certain that your cabin mate wouldn’t be able to join you at all, even if willing to pay.

Lately, the platinum tours have been consistently filled up with platinums, in my experience, so you are unlikely to be able to get your friend on. I suppose you never know (on one cruise a few years ago there were only 6 platinums onboard and we were able to take our son), in which case it’s possible you could arrange something, but that seems unlikely these days.
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XXXXX

A lot depends on when your cruise is sailing - prime time full occupancy may be more difficult than shoulder
season (ship positioning) less than full.

When the Platinum guest first comes on board the ship - go to the Next Cruise desk and make the reservation
for the Platinum BST. At this point it does not hurt to ASK if your non-platinum guest can go along.
I have found an offer to pay for the guest is politely rejected because all the tour members are getting it free.
Also it helps to be in a suite and have the Concierge nudge this forward.
In the first case - I was told will they would get back to me and they did at the end of the day - they had not filled in all the slots.
In the second case on the NCL SUN a smaller ship they just made the reservation without any problem.

The BST group numbers generally are between 16-20 depending on ship.
There maybe more than one tour and more than one tour at a time depending on demand and availability of tour guides.

Only cavet to watch out for is the conflict in the tour scheduling and any Meet & Greet activity.
The BST is done on a Sea Day generally between 10am and noon.

The Free Platinum BST and the Paid general public tour may or may not be exactly the same depending on
ship and number of participants - the four basic tour sites are the Laundry Room - Back Stage Theatre - MDR
Galley - and the I95 deck Crew Activities corridor. Sites not visited the Engine room - Crew Quarters - and the BRIDGE !

While it is questionable that the Paid tour about $80 is worth it - the Free Platinum tour of about 2 hours is well spent !
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NCL Dawn 9506, Quebec-Boston B2B 2nd leg 10/19-10/26
NCL Dawn 12522, Boston-Quebec B2B 1st leg 10/12-10/19
NCL Sun, 1203, Ship Positioning YVR-SFO 9/17
NCL Dawn, 12522, Boston-Quebec City-Boston B2B 9/16
NCL Dawn, 12030, Western Caribbean MSY-MSY 1/15
NCL Star, 12012, Panama Canal WB MIA-LAX 10/14
NCL Sun, 1010, SB Alaska ANC-YVR 07/13
Holland-America Westerdam, 8099, Alaska SEA-SEA 06/11
Carnival Victory, 8327, Southern Caribbean SJU-SJU 02/09
Carnival Spirit, 7154, SB Alaska ANC-YVR 08/07
Carnival Pride, 6137, MEX Riviera LGB-LGB 04/07
Golden Princess, Aloha 631, Ship Positioning YVR-LGB 08/06
Sea Flight Honolulu-Lihue-Honolulu 1975
MSTS Buckner, Bremem NYC 2/64
MSTS Darby, NYC Bremem 7/61
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