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Discontinued NCL Veteran/Military discount

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Hi fellow military cruisers,

 

In Feb. 2011 my fiance and I booked our Jan. 2012 cruise on Norwegian using the veterans discount. We didn't have a preference to any particular company as this was our first cruise, but because NCL seemed so genuinely veteran-friendly, we were impressed. Well, we couldn't be happier; we LOVED it. While onboard, we even made an advance deposit on a future cruise, thinking Alaska in 2014 sounded pretty nice.

 

Earlier this week, NCL released its 2014 schedule and, excitedly, we started researching dates, routes and ships. Thinking we would book to coincide with one of the selected veteran discounts, we checked the Military link on the NCL homepage under the "Specials" tab. Much to our disappointment, it appears that the veterans discount is being phased out by the end of the year - a corporate decision that was confirmed yesterday by our cruise consultant.

 

Let's be honest. The discounts offered were not drop-dead-book-immediately deals. I think the average might have been 5% off on select dates/routes. But to us, NCL's commitment to veterans meant much more than any monetary discount, and heavily influenced our decision to sail with NCL versus a competitor. It seemed like the very opposite of an empty gesture.

 

Now, though, I'm not so sure. I feel let down by NCL. Again, this isn't about money. This is about supporting a company who is making a conscious decision to do the right thing.

 

I've been playing phone tag with my cruise consultant to try and better understand this policy change, but I wondered if any of you had encountered this and/or heard from NCL?

 

Do you cruise on a different line that is committed to honoring our veterans and active military members?

 

Thanks and best wishes!

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Thank you for your service to our country, Kara!

 

DH and I have never sailed on NCL, and after reading your post, we never shall.

 

We are about to embark on the Carnival Splendor "Around the Horn" for the second time in four years--and we could never have afforded these voyages if it weren't for the deeply discounted military/veterans discounts!

 

In 2009 we were aboard for 49 days, February 3 will be the beginning of 48 days. When we booked on Valentines Day for the three sailings in 2013, the military/veterans rate was not available; we booked "Early Saver." In the middle of November, Carnival offered a military/veterans rate, our TA (a specialist in military and veterans discounts) filed for the discounts, and we saved $3048. on the three sailings for our category (6B, unobstructed oceanview midship)--to us that is serious money.

 

In 2008 we were aboard the Sea Princess for 29 days circumnavigating Australia, and Princess issued a $500. OBC based on military/veterans status.

 

We're looking forward to returning to Australia in 2014, we're booked on Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas, and our TA tells us RCI will offer a military/veterans rate closer to the sailing date.

 

If it would help, I'll offer the observation that in the past we've gotten the military/veterans rate when it first becomes available which seems to be after final payment is due for any given cruise.

 

HAPPY CRUISING!!

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Just wanted to follow up on here that as of Dec. 28 (according to the PDF file name on the NCL website), NCL has posted military discounts for select 2013 sailings. To find this listing, go to the NCL website, hover over specials, select military from the drop-down menu, and then click on the list of special sailings PDF.

 

So, there are some options. I guess this has restored some of my confidence in NCL, but we will proceed with caution and skepticism. This posting of discounts doesn't detract from the fact that our NCL Cruise Consultant told us in the beginning of December that NCL had changed its company-wide policy: no more military offers. There was a breakdown in communication somewhere.

 

The other thing that causes me to raise an eyebrow: we booked our cruise in Feb. 2011 for Jan. 2012, with a military discount. So the equivalent would be having offers for 2014 cruises posted now, and that's not the case. We're a young couple looking to start a family and need to plan ahead for our cruises - more than just a few months.

 

So in sum, I'm glad NCL has apparently reversed its policy, and I do hope some of our friends can take advantage. Maybe, as Kilnwood suggests, NCL is just moving more in line with other companies - to offer discounts closer to the sailing date, instead of more advanced notice.

 

And finally, Kilnwood, thank you very much for your kind words, and for your family's sacrifices for our country. You do make a good point - that future discounts may become available down the road. I hope that as we plan for a cruise in 2014, we will be able to take advantage of something as it comes available.

 

Your cruises sound like incredible adventures, and I hope one day we are able to share in some of those fantastic trips, too!

 

Best wishes, everyone, and happy new year!

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Enjoy the military discounts being offered by many companies while they last, because as the war in Afghanistan ends, they will slowly stop being offered. Support for the military comes and goes.

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I routinely watch for them - have gotten some excellent discounts, including Celebrity this coming fall (Ensenada - Hawaii and Hawai - Sydney). and it was posted almost a year out. Looking at their currently listings, some of the available cruises go into 2014. What is also noticeable is that most are for the longer and repositioning cruises. Military rates may either let you cruise or get you a better cabin.... For retirees, these are probably a better deal than for AD.

 

For RCI - I don't see anything listed past July, but a number of the cruises are for the Caribbean and do include school holidays. The rest seem to be out of Baltimore, which is a great deal for the DC area folks.

 

NCL currently also has listings out to 2014 and multiple areas of the world (Mexico, Caribbean, Bahamas and the Med).

 

Carnival currently has only 8 cruises with discounts available.

 

Costa has a ton of discounts (it looks like just about every area of the world and just about every sailing), which may be a great deal if you are stationed in Italy.

 

I use VTG's site since you can sort for military discounts.....

 

-Holly

(33 years AD US Army and now enjoying retirement traveling on cruise ships

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Being a Vietnam veteran, I was very surprised that Princess cruises offers on board credits on all their cruises. From $50.00 for 6 days or less, $100.00 for 7-13, and $250.00 for 14 days or longer. You need to send them a copy of your DD214 at least 14 days proir to your sailing, and I believe after that they keep it on file. Also you do not need a minimum of 2 years of service. More than 6 months in combat will do it. Princess will get much of my business from now on. CURRAHEE

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Wish we had known about the onboard credit when we sailed Princess. Every little bit helps.

We are stationed in Italy currently and there are deals all over the place but you have to be able to make the dates work.

We are are in the process of booking a greece/turkey cruise for Oct on Pullmantur for less than $300pp. That is cheaper than the military rates on some of the other sailings. If you are willing to spend the time to search you can find many deals in the EU.

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Wish we had known about the onboard credit when we sailed Princess. Every little bit helps.

We are stationed in Italy currently and there are deals all over the place but you have to be able to make the dates work.

We are are in the process of booking a greece/turkey cruise for Oct on Pullmantur for less than $300pp. That is cheaper than the military rates on some of the other sailings. If you are willing to spend the time to search you can find many deals in the EU.

I have had friends with great experiences on Pullmantur and only two less so. It goes without saying, but you do speak Spanish, right?

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Thanx for all the info....sent NCL a copy of my DD214 years ago, but have no idea whether it's "on file" or not & don't ask for it.....Carnival info is interesting (we're sailing out of N. Orleans in Jan 2014, because I want to see ruins in Progresso. Will look at sending them DD214.

 

20+ in Air Force....retired as an E-8.....tactical comm unit...was in Saudi on August 7th, 1990! Hate deserts!

 

Thanx much!

 

Joe

 

p.s. NCL has occasionally done a "veterans" meeting.....they only provide a room, but was advertised in the Daily.....I asked several years ago after meeting a few Vets on the Ship....met lots of people like me ('Nam-era Vets) but also 2 Korea vets & lots of current servers. You have to ASK! Very interesting hour!

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This new policy also seems to coincide with the increase in NCL offerings being listed for booking through MWR that I have been seeing. The cruise line may be phasing out directly offering these discounts and instead channeling them through MWR which can verify CAC's and ID's. It saves the cruise line from needing to maintain, track and confirm duty status and DD214's for the discount.

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This new policy also seems to coincide with the increase in NCL offerings being listed for booking through MWR that I have been seeing. The cruise line may be phasing out directly offering these discounts and instead channeling them through MWR which can verify CAC's and ID's. It saves the cruise line from needing to maintain, track and confirm duty status and DD214's for the discount.

Which does less than nothing for those of us who are retired. Especially when many if us live nowhere near a military base. Ah well, other lines are still ok

 

-Holly

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My boyfriend and I, both currently active duty but will be veterans by the time of our cruise, just booked a NCL cruise about 2 weeks ago. We were given a 50 dollar onboard credit, a bottle of wine, and a meal at one of the specialty restaurants... So nothing too special, but more than our non-veteran friends were given when booking the same cruise. I also know that through USAA they have discounted cruises. But if i recall correctly, the discounts were nothing fabulous.

Edited by cheeseburger.in.paradise

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My husband (AD AF) and I just booked a cruise through NCL and received a discount. Not sure if they "brought it back" or we just happened to be at the right cruise destination (7-nights roundtrip Honolulu) but we were able to upgrade our room because of the discount!

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Do you cruise on a different line that is committed to honoring our veterans and active military members?

 

Thanks and best wishes!

 

Princess is the only one that I know of from personal experience that offers military on-board-credit to all active duty and retired US military as well as anyone with a DD214 showing at least 2 years military service. The amount varies from $50-$250 per veteran on every Princesss cruise (amount varies according to the length of the cruise.) Go to Princess.com and look at the bottom of the page. One of the items will be Military Benefits. Click on that and you can download the required form. Fax or mail the completed form along with a copy of your ID card or DD214 at least 2 weeks prior to the date of your cruise and you're set. The information will be kept on file at Princess and will automatically be applied to any future cruises you may take. The credit is refundable so any amount leftover at the end of the cruise will be refunded to you with a few weeks of the end of the cruise. (Normally 2-3 weeks in my experience.)

 

Thank you for your service, and enjoy your next cruise!! :)

 

Tom

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I will say the OBC for Princess is great, and they even give you all the resources you need to get it. My husband is active and I was in for six years. They offer a link where you can verify a current active duty member by filling in their name, DOB, and SSN. It gives you a certificate that basically says, "yeah this person is active." I scanned that and my DD214 member 4 and got the credit. I have heard over on the Princess boards that they keep in it on file and automatically give you the OBC on future cruises.

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I have heard over on the Princess boards that they keep in it on file and automatically give you the OBC on future cruises.

 

That is correct. It is linked to your Captains' Circle number. Thus, if you book through a TA, you need to make sure that the TA puts your CC number into your reservation so that you will get your Veteran's benefit.

 

Tom

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Since my wife and I are both veterans, we receive the veterans OBC times 2. In addition, if you are a Carnival shareholder you receive OBC (on Princess cruises) equivalent to one military OBC benefit. On a 14 day+ cruise we receive $250 x 2 military plus $250 for shareholders OBC. In addition, your TA may kick in more OBC for booking with them. Princess is the only cruise line I know that will compound all the OBC. Princess is absolutely the most military friendly cruise line anywhere!

Our next Princess cruise gets us $800 OBC and the following Princess cruise gets us $550 and our third cruise gets us $1135!

Cunard is also good about military OBC (also part of Carnival Corp. if you are a shareholder).

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I was a long time NCL cruiser, and the cancelling of the military benefit was just another reason I recently went over to Princess. I didn't even know Princess gave a military OBC when I first booked with them, but I sure did appreciate it.;)

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Here is a listing of all military service related OBC and discounts that I have compiled. This was as of approx. September, 2017. I'll attach the info as a text file so anybody who wants to can download a copy. I have not checked out NCL to see exactly what had been done away with/changed for that line so that section still shows the original info

 

Tom

Military benefits on various cruise lines.txt

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Tom,

 

Thanks for making the list for all of us. I just wanted to add the Princess now will allow any 2 people in the cabin to get the Military credit. It used to be that it was only good for passengers 1 and 2.

 

So this Aug my DH and DS and i are going on a Princess cruise. My DH is prior military and my DS is active duty so they both can get the military OBC. They are passengers 1 and 3.

 

Princess does a great job with this for sure.

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Tom,

 

Thanks for making the list for all of us. I just wanted to add the Princess now will allow any 2 people in the cabin to get the Military credit. It used to be that it was only good for passengers 1 and 2.

 

So this Aug my DH and DS and i are going on a Princess cruise. My DH is prior military and my DS is active duty so they both can get the military OBC. They are passengers 1 and 3.

 

Princess does a great job with this for sure.

 

Thank your husband, and son for their service. Our country appreciates their sacrifices. ;)

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