Jump to content
Kenlorz

Del Rio's EXACT comments on the recent Fees and Price Increases

Recommended Posts

If anyone wondered EXACTLY what Frank Del Rio had to say during his recent shareholders conference call regarding the new fees that have been implemented...here it is...word-for-word.

 

http://www.nclhltdinvestor.com/events.cfm (will be available for playback for 30 days)

May 7, 2015 11:00 am

 

*(His comments about the recent fees are at approximately the 50:00 minute mark)

 

Caller Question: "I know you're very focussed on customer satisfaction, I think that goes without saying, and you've talked eariler about raising your beverage pricing and your room service fees. I'm just wondering if those efforts have affected consumer satisfaction at all and what kind of feedback has Norwegian gotten from that, if any.

 

FRD: "On the beverage, we've seen nothing at all. We've not seen a decrease in consumption. It's pretty much what we thought. If you're sitting around the pool and you want a Pepsi, you're in the middle of the ocean, you're going to buy that Pepsi whether it's $2.10, which is the old price, or $2.25, which is the new price. So, nothing at all.

 

"On the more recent introduction of a fleetwide $7.95 service charge on room service, if you read some of the online blogs there's been comments, there always is, no one likes to pay more. But we tested it on two ships on two different price points and we didn't hear complaints. We improved the menu, so there was a give and a take. So, yes you have to pay a delivery charge, so we that can deliver faster, because it eliminates some of the folks that order a piece of toast and a cup of coffee in the morning. But overall, all of these initiatives that we have put into place...that recognize the power of the captive audience that you have, without going too far...they've all gone as we have expected."

Edited by Kenlorz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Folks, it's obvious that the comments made here fall on deaf ears when it comes to Del Rio. That's made clear by his statement that other than some online blogs, there was no complaints regarding the RS Convenience Fee being implemented. If we don't count as a complaint here, then if you aren't happy about the RS Fee or them now refusing food in your cabin other than their Room Service, then I suggest you call or email. The following is the contact information that was listed at the bottom of the conference call press release:

 

 

Media Contacts

 

Jason Lasecki

 

(305) 514-3912

 

Vanessa Picariello

 

(305) 436-4713

 

PublicRelations@ncl.com

Edited by Kenlorz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They "heard no complaints". Oh yes, but they "heard" more people going to O'Sheehans for takeout. Heard it well enough that they're stopping takeout from O'Sheehans - or at least attempting to.

 

I think maybe Mr. Del Rio just isn't listening in the right places. That will catch up with him and all of NCL, eventually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is this guy for real?

 

This guy is shrewd. One thing I thought was intersting is that he mentioned the price increases around the beverage prices didn't bring any negative feedback nor any drop in consumption. Well, that would be because he coincided that price increase with a very heavily used UBP amenity. So quite a few people were not actually paying for their drinks during the price increase... hence why there was no drop in comsumption or complaining. 10% increase of nothing is still nothing. Shrewd man.

 

He also mentioned you have to be careful not to take the changes too far. So, the question is has he taken it too far with the new food policy. Time wil tell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must say......I'm more than a little upset with his comments or what he thinks of me and other passengers. I also believe he needs to THINK from now on before he speaks!

 

Harriet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I unfortunately booked by first NCL cruise right before these changes started happening. The cruise is in June, so I was inside the final payment window.

 

Since this is my first NCL cruise, I don't have anything to compare it to. I don't have children, so I'm not bothered by the changes to specialty dining prices, I may or may not have ordered room service or takeaway, so I can't say I'm angry about the changes themselves. But I am angry that they changed the offering after I booked and didn't inform me. If not for CC, I'd have boarded the ship expecting free room service, etc. as was offered when I decided and booked on NCL.

 

Maybe I'll have a great time on NCL and maybe I won't, but as long as I have alternatives, I don't do business with companies I don't like. I don't like DelRio and I don't like NCL, so my next cruise will be with a different cruiseline.

 

It's like the low cost carrier RyanAir in Europe. They nickel and dimed people and treated them horribly until we'd had enough and stopped flying their airline, then they had to change their policies. Sticker cost is only one factor in decision making. Hopefully DelRio learns that the hard way.

Edited by ExpatBride

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have just sent a very long email to customer relations . Hope some more of you do the same . They might get the idea that we`re not happy with all these changes . x

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This guy is shrewd.

 

Shrewd-I don't think he's shrewd at all. He is totally so easy to see through. Not a clever man at all. How could he even think we wouldn't see through his decisions? Charge for room service, then ban food being taken to cabins.??????He must think we are all extremely dumb. A bit of a worry that someone as transparent and silly as him who mouths off not too discreetly to the media is CEO of this cruise line. What other dumb decisions don't we know about or has he in store for us? Ruthless yes, intelligent no.

 

No all he's doing is thinking-these people are already booked and paid, past their cancelling date without being penalized so I can do what I like.

 

Maybe he only plans on being CEO short term-come in, make changes, create havoc then move on leaving the mess behind for someone else to try and fix.

 

What is upsetting me the most is that I'm feeling trapped. My cruise is in July on the mechanically defective Epic so I can't just cancel and walk away without donating 50% of my cruise fare. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Folks, you can send all of the letter and emails you want and it won't make a difference for one of two reasons: 1) you haven't sailed since the changes were implemented so your opinion will not matter because you are just speculating or 2) Del Rio has made up his mind which direction he wants to take NCL and will determine that if you are complaining you don't fall into the demographic of a customer he wants to attract.

 

Del Rio wants to move NCL from a mainstream line in competition with RCI and CCL into an upscale line competing with Celebrity (an Oceania-lite type of cruise line). There is nothing inherently wrong with that from a business standpoint, other than the fact that he is leaving behind a lot of formerly loyal customers.

 

(And for what it's worth I would not notice a .15 cent increase in a soda unless I was on a back to back when it happened but would certainly notice paying $7.95 for something that used to be free;).)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never sailed NCL and am looking forward to sailing it, but these comments are upsetting. I don't like being called a "captive audience." If I literally feel held captive (by the wallet) on NCL, I think my cruise will be a one and done.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Del Rio is probably right. His initial policy changes have not shown changes in bookings, specialty dining, or beverage purchases. At least he is honest in what he wants to do. If beverage purchase sales go down, there will be another change. Remember when Ocean Blue went to an outrageous price. That did not last too long because bookings to the restaurant went way down. Its WAY too early to tell if any of his strategy will work. The big test will be the NCL Sky. Many locals and tourists book the Sky for a weekend getaway. Price is a HUGE reason because RCCL and Carnival sail almost the same route leaving the same port. Will people pay higher Sky prices to get an all inclusive deal? Its way too early and it has not even begun yet. However, if the Sky is successful with this program, I am sure it will go to other ships.

Del Rio is not going to pull out of his policy change just in the beginning. It will take months if not a year to see how successful or unsuccessful it is. I did a mock booking last week 2 years from now on the Escape. The prices were $1600 more than the similar cabin we had on Getaway. In 2017 Escape wont be the new ship of the year either. I held off booking anything because of the prices. The offers were 250 free internet minutes and half off the UDP and some money towards excursions, etc.

 

Let the loyal NCL customers vent. It shows how loyal they are to come to the NCL board to praise or criticize NCL. What I don't understand are the people that keep opening threads like this to say over and over.....Go sail somewhere else. That to me is beating the dead horse. These threads will slowly fade away. The reason they are not is because EVERY day NCL adds some new fee or comes up with some other crazy change like not taking food from the table. Until NCL stops with these almost daily changes, what does anyone expect to read on CC? It reminds me of those people who tell you to leave the country because you don't like some political cause.

Ever notice the cheerleader attackers are the ones that say "its a free country and I can say whatever I want on the board" But they never practice what they preach when someone complains about something. They are the first to chime in...if you don't like it then take your business elsewhere!

If taking food from the table and room service fees are the only things people complain about with NCL....they must be doing lots of things right.

Think of the positives....NCL will remove that food from your plate for "your convenience" and deliver it to your cabin for a small fee ;)

First world problem solved :eek:

Edited by david_sobe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very arrogant man and perhaps he is underestimating his customers. He wouldn't be the first and at other companies it has lead to a costly and embarrassing retreat. It's a fine balance to retain customer satisfaction along with a value proposition, all while increasing profitability. Successful companies do it well. I can't say Prestige has been one of those companies based on their earnings reports, and now NCLH loses $21.5m in the first quarter under the combined brands and new management in place. Too early to tell if the changes Del Rio is making will actually make a difference in the bottom line. All these changes are sort of small potatoes from a financial standpoint, but they are high impact to customer satisfaction (in a negative way). Not a good business plan so far from what I can see.

 

Del Rio has actually named his business plan "FDR's New Deal", after himself of course just in case you were unsure about just how arrogant he is. You can read more about it in an article in Seatrade Insider. Basically he has charged his new management team to come up with best practices to form a "new playbook" at NCLH. Already implemented strategies include nudging up beverage prices and instituting room service delivery charges, along with a "market to fill" instead of a "discount to fill" ticket pricing strategy. So it's not over yet as his team comes up with additional ways to discreetly (or not so discreetly) part you with more of your vacation dollar. The big question is will you see more in return? Perhaps a higher quality dining experience; better overall service with more crew members; even more entertainment options; and more luxurious amenities in the cabins and elsewhere? Too early to tell but somehow I doubt it. So far the only changes I've seen are that existing things are costing more and they are making the NCL experience more restrictive.

 

I'm Platinum with NCL but I'm also at the highest level with most of the major cruise lines. I'm not loyal to just one brand (too boring) and I have no problem leaving NCL and sailing on Celebrity, Cunard, Disney, and Royal Caribbean (my other favorites). I've actually just rediscovered NCL after an absence of many years and have been very impressed (under Sheehan's direction). Now all these changes and a new management team means I will have to rethink my decision, but first I am willing to give them a chance. So far though I'm not impressed with their strategy and honestly some of it is a little insulting to me as a customer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, we don't like the changes. And no, we haven't complained directly. But we aren't a captive audience as suggested. We have plenty of other options where to spend our vacation dollars. So we've simply stopped booking NCL cruises. This is the first time in over a decade that we don't have any future cruises booked. We're spending our hard earned vacation dollars elsewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Didn't hear complaints? I guess that they did not read CC. Plenty of complaints here.

 

Apparently he is too arrogant to understand or choose to ignore reality which is complaints can occur in many forms, not just verbal. Many are not confrontational and have decided to circumvent this new fee by flocking to takeouts at osheehans and the buffet. Actions do speak louder than words and can anyone with any common sense really be glad they are paying anything for something that used to be included? So now he has responded by banning takeouts from any venue and we will respond by sneaking food or not choosing ncl if the former option is not acceptable by some. I would have responded the same way but I don't want this type of aggravation during my vacation. Even those who don't take food to their cabin will be affected by the crowd NCL has forced upon all passengers. I am looking forward to reading how this will be enforced.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Folks, it's obvious that the comments made here fall on deaf ears when it comes to Del Rio.

 

It *never* ceases to amaze me why people think what they say here or on any Internet forum has any relevance or influence out side them? These forums are invisible to them. Not just NCL, but every single other cruise line, company, or congress representatives. If you want answers or change you need to take the time and take action. Period. Whining, complaining and asking for official comment in an Internet forum is worthless unless you take action.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It *never* ceases to amaze me why people think what they say here or on any Internet forum has any relevance or influence out side them? These forums are invisible to them. Not just NCL, but every single other cruise line, company, or congress representatives. If you want answers or change you need to take the time and take action. Period. Whining, complaining and asking for official comment in an Internet forum is worthless unless you take action.

 

I disagree. The Internet is a wonderful tool, especially when one is displeased. FDR may not admit it, but he's watching.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I listened to the answer (thanks to OP for the transcript), and what I heard was a CEO talking to investors. Unfortunately, some of those investors are also passengers. The investor in me thought, "That's why the stock is up." The passenger thought, "I'm a piece of meat with a wallet."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I disagree. The Internet is a wonderful tool, especially when one is displeased. FDR may not admit it, but he's watching.

 

I agree 100%. All the cruise lines watch these boards whether they admit it or not. It's just a small sample of the cruising population, but it does give them instant feedback regarding policy changes and new initiatives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It *never* ceases to amaze me why people think what they say here or on any Internet forum has any relevance or influence out side them? These forums are invisible to them. Not just NCL, but every single other cruise line, company, or congress representatives. If you want answers or change you need to take the time and take action. Period. Whining, complaining and asking for official comment in an Internet forum is worthless unless you take action.

 

OK, I'll bite...Why do YOU think that what you just posted on an Internet forum has any relevance or influence outside of you yourself? :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Didn't hear complaints? I guess that they did not read CC. Plenty of complaints here.
Didn't he say that they didn't hear any complaints on the two ships? He also did comment that there are comments on the blogs and he did realize that people don't want to pay more. I always wonder if a company dismisses some sites because of the way complaints are handled, etc. I know if I was Mr. Del Rio and read a post calling me Mr. Del FeeO or ignorant or arrogant or changing my logo from freestyle to feestyle, I would probably tell my folks to ignore those kind comments and since there are so many like that, I bet those that have real concerns just gets lost . I think one can complain about an issue in a professional manner, without name calling and dramatics, and that usually gets more attention than those that do. Just saying.

 

I do agree with Mr. Del Rio, that we are a captive audience, but we still have the power to spend our money as we like it; they can't force you to spend your money.

 

I actually think a better way to get the $5 per person per day from his passengers would have been to stop allowing water, soda and wine to be carried on the ships and I would think that, even though some would refuse to purchase those items on the ship, enough would to make up for those that wouldn't and he would have done what he was challenged to do.

Edited by NLH Arizona

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not just NCL, but every single other cruise line

 

Clearly you haven't spent any time on Princess, Celebrity or even the Carnival board to see the corporate accounts being used to care for various issues expressed by CC members. ( I may have missed others....but I have read the boards mentioned)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Clearly you haven't spent any time on Princess, Celebrity or even the Carnival board to see the corporate accounts being used to care for various issues expressed by CC members. ( I may have missed others....but I have read the boards mentioned)
I have to agree. Celebrity takes great strides in trying to help those that have posted with their different issues. Many, many times, the Celebrity's Cruise Critic person has asked for more information or asked that they email a certain person. But with regard to policy complaints (like what is going on on here), they don't seem to react to the complaints. Case in point, when they changed their Captain's Club (loyalty program), there were tons of complaints from their "loyal" customers, many even threatening to leave. At the end of the day, Celebrity didn't change the policy and those customers who threatened to leave are still there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Clearly you haven't spent any time on Princess, Celebrity or even the Carnival board to see the corporate accounts being used to care for various issues expressed by CC members. ( I may have missed others....but I have read the boards mentioned)

 

There's a difference between social media people and the message actually getting across. As someone who familiar with how social media teams work, most things don't get escalated unless you have people get on the phone. The social media folks do a fine job at "listening" and trying to do "customer support", but truthfully most cases of customers complaints, they've already been warned and told how to respond. If you want to get on someone's case, you need to call or email them directly. Period. I would strongly suggest calling them since emails can be easily ignored as well.

Edited by coldflame

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...