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330_cruiser

New to NCL.. beginning to regret the move

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8 of us are booked on the Epic March 2nd.. We are all experienced cruisers having previously travelled with RCCL, Celebrity and Carnival.

 

Having travelled most of the Caribbean itineraries on the various cruise lines we've visited most of the islands so this trip we decided to try a new cruise line.

 

Compared to dealing with RCCL\Celebrity\Carnival are experience with the initial booking process has been "messy" to say the least - however these things happen and we could of been unlucky - also booking from abroad may have further complicated this.

 

When we booked we were advised the all-inclusive drinks package would be available (Ultimate Drinks Package?). It now appears that due to "spring break"

- the cruise line have suspended the drinks package?

 

While we are not big drinkers, we certainly would of taken advantage of the package and as a group adults in our thirties I think at this stage we can look after ourselves - I appreciate this may not apply to all but like any business the cruise line in this case must effectively manage the programs they offer.

 

Having spoken to NCL they advise that it is due to "Passenger demographic" over this period - my primary concern now is what exactly are we letting ourselves in for onboard this ship ? we enjoy the good life onboard as much as any body but if the ships operator is concerned at this stage and refusing to offer beverage packages - how bad is it onboard ?

 

It's certainly created a negative impression before we've even stepped onboard .. Any feedback would be appreciated👍

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I would think no matter which cruise line you sail that time of year you are going to experience the spring breakers. Maybe try a different time?

Just off the epic and I love it!

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When we booked we were advised the all-inclusive drinks package would be available (Ultimate Drinks Package?). It now appears that due to "spring break"

- the cruise line have suspended the drinks package?

 

Yes, UBP or other unlimited alcoholic packages have never been available with NCL dring spring break season. NCL just started to even offer the package about a year ago.

 

Having spoken to NCL they advise that it is due to "Passenger demographic" over this period - my primary concern now is what exactly are we letting ourselves in for onboard this ship ? we enjoy the good life onboard as much as any body but if the ships operator is concerned at this stage and refusing to offer beverage packages - how bad is it onboard ?

 

I'd say that it's just fine. There are a lot more college aged passengers than normally but there will also be families with children etc. So the life onboard will be a bit louder and livelier than the cruises with older demographic. All in all in my opinion people in their 30's will fit in just fine.

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Have you thought of purchasing bar setups? Might even be cheaper in the long run. I always have a bottle of Absolut and mixers waiting in my suite.

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Eeeeee.....that's unfortunate. Did you realize it was Spring Break time when you booked? Coincidently, earlier this morning I was googling 2014 Spring Break dates in the U.S. so I would NOT accidently book my cruise during that period.

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I would think no matter which cruise line you sail that time of year you are going to experience the spring breakers. Maybe try a different time?

Just off the epic and I love it!

 

Perhaps I should clarify - we have no issue with anyone of any age on Springbreak! Have cruises over this period many times on other lines and had no issues - I'm just taken aback by Norwegians stance..

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Have you thought of purchasing bar setups? Might even be cheaper in the long run. I always have a bottle of Absolut and mixers waiting in my suite.

 

Thanks for the suggestion - good idea! At this stage I wonder will NCL even allow it but will certainly check it out

Edited by 330_cruiser

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Eeeeee.....that's unfortunate. Did you realize it was Spring Break time when you booked? Coincidently, earlier this morning I was googling 2014 Spring Break dates in the U.S. so I would NOT accidently book my cruise during that period.

 

Hi Zoey, unfortunately with work commitments this was the only week all eight of us could get together.. We've travelled other lines at this time and never had a problem

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Thanks for the suggestion - good idea! At this stage I wonder will NCL even allow it but will certainly check it out

 

No problem ordering the bar setup or purchasing wine packages (set amount of bottles for a fixed discount or price) even while spring break season.

 

Their concern is mostly people having access to unlimited alcohol and/or sharing it with others thus hurting the bar sales. Even you can get some savings with the bar setup, it's quite pricey ($83 and up per bottle) still, so it doesn't hurt their sales that much.

Edited by Demonyte

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Also note that if you buy alcohol ashore during spring break, you will not be able to get it before your bags go out

 

During spring break they only allow you to collect it between 6am and 8am - to stop the college kids drinking it on the last night

 

We are big drinkers on cruise ships but to be honest we were fine without the UBP on spring break week - we spent no more than we would have done

 

You still have to sign for every drink on UBP or not

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Thanks for all the feedback!

 

Is NCL always this militant ? It seems quite different to other lines in this regard and certainly fails to create a good first impression.

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I just assumed that they didn't offer it because they know the ship is going to have a higher number of 20-somethings than they usually have. And they will be there to "party hardy" meaning NCL will surely lose money on drink packages so why offer them. It's all about money.

 

I'm sure NCL won't mind serving lots of drinks that are each paid for even if it means they need to have extra security to watch over the partiers.

 

If it's the only time you can go, just go and and enjoy the vacation. You might have to avoid the pool if you don't want to deal with the party crowd. But there are plenty of other things to do.

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Thanks for all the feedback!

 

Is NCL always this militant ? It seems quite different to other lines in this regard and certainly fails to create a good first impression.

 

You have to remember the UBP was designed to make money for NCL- during spring break the number of heavy drinkers is higher than normal and they don't make as much money as they do other times.

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Our first NCL cruise a few years ago was on the Dawn over Spring Break.

We had no real issues with the students. There were several who didn't draw a sober breath the entire time including during registration, embarkation and the old-style lifeboat drill.

 

We talked to a couple the final morning who said the carpet outside their stateroom had to be shampood every morning.

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Is NCL always this militant ?

 

I wouldn't call NCL as militant (especially if I came from a country where it is/was an every day word used in news ;)) - they just have policies that are not the same as some other cruise lines and vice versa. For example NCL's wine policy for own wine bottles after the first bottle is a lot less strict than on many other lines.

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You have to remember the UBP was designed to make money for NCL- during spring break the number of heavy drinkers is higher than normal and they don't make as much money as they do other times.

 

Absolutely! But no other cruise operator (that I'm aware of?) chooses to pull the package like this.

 

But hey any cruise is better than no cruise but I'll admit I'm regretting not sticking with the cheaper Carnival option out of Miami - hopefully the NCL onboard experience will make up for the initial poor first impression

Edited by 330_cruiser

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I don't think it's militant, just sensible and profit-protecting.

 

However, if you say you aren't big drinkers I really wouldn't think that the UBP would be worth having anyway: you have to be "slowly drink all day" drinkers, or "get smashed every night" drinkers to get your moneys worth.

 

I think you will have a lovely time, it's a brilliant ship and we (also 30s) loved it (albeit a different time of the year and location).

 

I think you need to shake away that frown and get excited though, because if you feel like this now it might cloud your holiday. Even if it was rubbish you are with your friends on a cruise with loads of food and drink in the Caribbean it doesn't get much better than that! :D

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Maybe you should of booked on X the have a promo where you get unlimited booze for free the 1,2,3 promo and it is valid during spring break.

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it has always been advertised as not being available during spring break since they started the program.

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Absolutely! But no other cruise operator (that I'm aware of?) chooses to pull the package like this.

 

But hey any cruise is better than no cruise but I'll admit I'm regretting not sticking with the cheaper Carnival option out of Miami - hopefully the NCL onboard experience will make up for the initial poor first impression

 

CCL limits their passengers to 15 drinks a day under their program so it isn't as much of a concern for them. Demographically it is my understanding that CCL and NCL get more spring breakers than the more upscale/more expensive lines and the other lines probably (just guessing here) don't have so many spring breakers that it is not an issue for them.

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I have sailed at so called peak times where the UBP would not be allowed and I didn't really think anything of it

A lot of younger people on the ship but nothing too tragic that did not allow me to have a great time

M

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it has always been advertised as not being available during spring break since they started the program.

 

I second this. We booked a Spring Break cruise back in September and even 6 months before the cruise I knew we weren't going to be able to purchase the package - it was posted at that time what their policy was. We will be getting the bar setup however.

 

You'll enjoy the cruise, I'm sure. We're also in our 30's and this will be our 12th cruise on NCL I think. We love them and always have a blast.

Edited by Kdiamond55

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My fiance and I sailed during Spring Break once when I was in graduate school as it was the only time I had available. We are in our 30's. We didn't notice anything very different from other times of year we've cruised except on the lido deck it was very busy and the hot tubs were packed. Everywhere else was fine including the dining venues. We did walk by the disco one night and that seemed very busy. We are not party people and we still had a very nice cruise :)

 

Keep in mind this is on a sea day, and also on Carnival which I've heard is more of a party line than NCL.

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Edited by Lacaena

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