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snoozcroozr

How is the NCL cruise experience after the FSC & free passenger promos?

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Hi,

 

I haven't sailed on NCL since they had all these promos going on, and noticed that it is attracting alot of cruisers, either boozers or from other lines. Are all these promos such as 3rd and 4th passenger causing extreme overcrowding? I will be going on the BA in a few months, and don't want to have a potential maximum of 8000 passengers if everybody packs 4 ppl in their room. Think of how much harder it is to get seats in the Garden Cafe.

 

Also, what are most people selecting for their FSC, if they were offered the promotion? Are they selecting UBP? UDP? SDP?

 

Does their specialty restaurant have the capacity to handle all these UDP/SDP reservations? I selected the SDP option and don't want to be unable to go to any of the better dining option because they are all booked and have to end up eating at La Cucina the whole time, or worse yet, not be able to go to any of them at all because they are fully booked.

 

If most people are selecting UBP, is the ship full of drunks. I would feel weird being in the sober minority not having a drink in my hand the whole time.

 

The SO thought about getting the UBP, since otherwise, we will still be getting the Wine package and some drinks. But I didn't want to get the UBP and think I have to have to have 5 drinks a day to break even or 20 drinks a day just because, which are not good for next day strenuous excursions or early gym sessions. Plus, an extra 6000 to 30,000 unnecessarily calories could cause too much excess baggage to be brought home.

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I am certainly not an NCL supporter or apologist, and there are lots of reasons that our next NCL cruise will likely be our last and to have concerns about NCL policies and changes.

 

That said...

 

I must say in all fairness, for a first post, your concerns seem terribly overblown and really hard to take seriously. Sorry but there it is.

 

8000 people... :cool: really?

 

The Garden Cafe won't have any seats? :cool:

 

You can have mine, I don't eat at crappy buffet's . ;)

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I didn't feel there was a difference from previous cruises in the overall feel with the new promos. I am not a heavy drinker, but selected the UBP. I didn't find I drank more than I would have without it. Keep in mind the BA is not a cheap ship to sail....so I doubt it is attracting an entirely different passenger base. I enjoyed having the UBP because I walked off the ship with a $25 bill, comprised of additional tips for some who provided extraordinary service and minimal tax for a couple drinks ordered in port. I would never buy the UBP because I don't cruise to get drunk and would be better off purchasing individual drinks, but I really enjoyed having it to try some new drinks. Those that were a bust I just sent back guilt free. I didn't use the specialty restaurants, but the availability board always showed some options available. We also never had a problem locating a table when we had coffee in the Garden Cafe. Enjoy your cruise!

Edited by agennis

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8000 people???? They aren't allowed to do that. I've been on cruises prior to the promo where folks couldn't add a third person to their room. It comes down how many they can get in the life boats. That being said, our last cruise on the BA was in September was crowded with kids. We intentionally waited until the NY schools were back session. I heard there were 1000 on our cruise, and 1600 the week prior. Understandable if they didn't have to pay for any of them, I guess.

 

For drunks. We've been on 2 cruises since the promo is in full swing. we didn't notice any drunks.

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Holland America has been offering a similar promo, Explore4, which also has a free (actually free, not free* free) beverage promotion. The last time I was on HAL when that promotion was running there were not a massive amount of people running around sloppy drunk. In fact, I didn't encounter one single drunk person.

 

I doubt for most people that the UBP will entice them to become boozers if they are not already. And for those that really like to drink, they will whether there is a UBP promo or not.

 

As another poster pointed out. There is a maximum capacity each ship will hold. If you would rather not cruise with that many people, perhaps you should find one with a low max capacity.

 

 

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We cruised on the Gem three weeks ago, our first cruise after "all the changes", and noticed no difference in our cruise experience.

 

The ship was not more crowded.

 

The ship did not have more drinkers.

 

The availability board showed walk ups available at about the same rate as on prior cruises (Teppanaki fills up, but you can almost always get into the other specialties by adjusting your time earlier or later).

 

There were not long lines of people complaining at Guest Services.

 

We noticed only the normal variation in guest experience you expect based on itinerary and time of year.

 

The environment on CC is not reflective of the experience on the cruise ships, as the complaining is about changes in policy, not in the experience itself.

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The environment on CC is not reflective of the experience on the cruise ships, as the complaining is about changes in policy, not in the experience itself.

 

So true!

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So true!

Ditto - People were complaining about paying too much in specialty dining and drinks, paying DSC, no lobster in the MDR, not enough stuff to order on the free room service; LAST YEAR before the changes. Really not much of difference of the hot air blowing when it comes to the actual NCL cruise experience, which is completely different (way better, calm & relaxing) than what some CC forum posters would lead one to believe....

 

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your concerns seem terribly overblown and really hard to take seriously

 

agree 100%!!!

Edited by bbryan5

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Hi,

 

I haven't sailed on NCL since they had all these promos going on, and noticed that it is attracting alot of cruisers, either boozers or from other lines. Are all these promos such as 3rd and 4th passenger causing extreme overcrowding? I will be going on the BA in a few months, and don't want to have a potential maximum of 8000 passengers if everybody packs 4 ppl in their room. Think of how much harder it is to get seats in the Garden Cafe.

 

Also, what are most people selecting for their FSC, if they were offered the promotion? Are they selecting UBP? UDP? SDP?

 

Does their specialty restaurant have the capacity to handle all these UDP/SDP reservations? I selected the SDP option and don't want to be unable to go to any of the better dining option because they are all booked and have to end up eating at La Cucina the whole time, or worse yet, not be able to go to any of them at all because they are fully booked.

 

If most people are selecting UBP, is the ship full of drunks. I would feel weird being in the sober minority not having a drink in my hand the whole time.

 

The SO thought about getting the UBP, since otherwise, we will still be getting the Wine package and some drinks. But I didn't want to get the UBP and think I have to have to have 5 drinks a day to break even or 20 drinks a day just because, which are not good for next day strenuous excursions or early gym sessions. Plus, an extra 6000 to 30,000 unnecessarily calories could cause too much excess baggage to be brought home.

 

 

lol. Maybe you should book a cruise on the show below deck. They like the drama there and also you can have all your needs met with the food that you desire. Just have to pay a hefty bill for the yacht.

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Thanks for all the replies. Last I sailed out of NY were one of the Jewel class ships, which is what normally sail out of here. So the experience on BA, even if not overfilled, might be different since it has double the capacity.

 

I go to Garden cafe for breakfast and sometimes lunch on sea days. I just know it was a constant hunt for seats, and search for the SO, whom also went to search for seats after getting food.

 

As far as the BA being cheap to sail, it might not be as cheap as the Jewel classed ships that usually sail out of NY, or some of those 3-4 day cruises that sail out of Miami, but it leaving out of NY is already $300 more affordable for much of the people living in the tri-state area. It allows people to eat themselves to death, and now with UBP, they can drink themselves to death too, just like an AI resort, at a fraction of the cost.

Edited by snoozcroozr

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I am certainly not an NCL supporter or apologist, and there are lots of reasons that our next NCL cruise will likely be our last and to have concerns about NCL policies and changes.

 

That said...

 

I must say in all fairness, for a first post, your concerns seem terribly overblown and really hard to take seriously. Sorry but there it is.

 

8000 people... :cool: really?

 

The Garden Cafe won't have any seats? :cool:

 

You can have mine, I don't eat at crappy buffet's . ;)

b

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry did not find ncL crappy ..as you say ...they had a great seafood buffet one night

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We sailed Breakaway this past spring, they were giving away all the promo packages. Everything was great, no evidence of overcrowding or hoards of drunks anywhere. We were able to dine in all specialty restaurants and none were overcrowded, quite the opposite. We chose the drink package and it was great, saved us a ton of money. I wish other lines would offer it. That way you don't have to feel like you're drinking enough to "break even" since you only pay the gratuity on it which is a drop in the bucket compared to buying the package itself of paying a la carte for drinks. Not everyone chooses the drink package, and I don't think many are stuffing 3rd and 4th passengers in the rooms (only people taking their kids) because the rooms in general are too small for 4 adults (we had a spa balcony room, 4 adults would have killed each other in there.) So no worries, just book it and get something for (almost) free and have a great time!

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b

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry did not find ncL crappy ..as you say ...they had a great seafood buffet one night

 

 

You are right. The buffet is really not that bad of food. Have had worse on land.

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Hi,

 

I haven't sailed on NCL since they had all these promos going on, and noticed that it is attracting alot of cruisers, either boozers or from other lines. Are all these promos such as 3rd and 4th passenger causing extreme overcrowding? I will be going on the BA in a few months, and don't want to have a potential maximum of 8000 passengers if everybody packs 4 ppl in their room. Think of how much harder it is to get seats in the Garden Cafe.

 

Also, what are most people selecting for their FSC, if they were offered the promotion? Are they selecting UBP? UDP? SDP?

 

Does their specialty restaurant have the capacity to handle all these UDP/SDP reservations? I selected the SDP option and don't want to be unable to go to any of the better dining option because they are all booked and have to end up eating at La Cucina the whole time, or worse yet, not be able to go to any of them at all because they are fully booked.

 

If most people are selecting UBP, is the ship full of drunks. I would feel weird being in the sober minority not having a drink in my hand the whole time.

 

The SO thought about getting the UBP, since otherwise, we will still be getting the Wine package and some drinks. But I didn't want to get the UBP and think I have to have to have 5 drinks a day to break even or 20 drinks a day just because, which are not good for next day strenuous excursions or early gym sessions. Plus, an extra 6000 to 30,000 unnecessarily calories could cause too much excess baggage to be brought home.

 

No offense, if that's how you feel before even stepping on the ship - maybe you should reconsider sailing on that line. And this is true even if the cruise company is Royal or Carnival. A megaship cruise of 3000+ passengers, just doesn't seem to be a good fit for you since you're being overly ridiculous about the occupancy numbers and stuff....

 

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My cruise this past August was the first since they implemented the UBP. I am a non-drinker due to health reasons. So, I bring powdered or liquid water enhancers with me and a refillable cup. On my cruise in 2013, whenever I went up to the bar for fresh ice water, I never had to wait. Usually, the cup was refilled without a problem. My cruise this past August was much different. At every bar I went to, I had to wait 15 minutes or so because the lines for alcohol drinks were so long. People were ordering three or four drinks at a time. Meanwhile, I just wanted water and it took forever. It was actually quicker to go back inside the ship to the buffet and get the ice water myself than wait at the bars. And, the poor crew members were swamped every day. I really felt sorry for them.

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On my cruise in 2013, whenever I went up to the bar for fresh ice water, I never had to wait. Usually, the cup was refilled without a problem. My cruise this past August was much different.
I think you also need to keep in mind that your previous two cruises were in November, and they were 7- and 14-day sailings, while your last cruise was a 4-day on the Sky in August. The UBP is not the only factor here.

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My cruise this past August was the first since they implemented the UBP. I am a non-drinker due to health reasons. So, I bring powdered or liquid water enhancers with me and a refillable cup. On my cruise in 2013, whenever I went up to the bar for fresh ice water, I never had to wait. Usually, the cup was refilled without a problem. My cruise this past August was much different. At every bar I went to, I had to wait 15 minutes or so because the lines for alcohol drinks were so long. People were ordering three or four drinks at a time. Meanwhile, I just wanted water and it took forever. It was actually quicker to go back inside the ship to the buffet and get the ice water myself than wait at the bars. And, the poor crew members were swamped every day. I really felt sorry for them.

 

You cannot order more than one drink at a time with the UBP. So I don't think you can attribute that problem of lines at a bar to a free UBP. Just saying.

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I think you also need to keep in mind that your previous two cruises were in November, and they were 7- and 14-day sailings, while your last cruise was a 4-day on the Sky in August. The UBP is not the only factor here.

 

You are incorrect. My very first cruise in 2010 was the 4 day on the Sky. Look at my signiture. My most recent one was to Bermuda on the Dawn this past August.

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You cannot order more than one drink at a time with the UBP. So I don't think you can attribute that problem of lines at a bar to a free UBP. Just saying.

I am telling you, that is what I saw. People waiting in line and then ordering two or three drinks. You can dispute this all you want but, I know what I saw. I was standing behind these people for up to 15 minutes whenever I wanted ice water.

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My cruise this past August was the first since they implemented the UBP. I am a non-drinker due to health reasons. So, I bring powdered or liquid water enhancers with me and a refillable cup. On my cruise in 2013, whenever I went up to the bar for fresh ice water, I never had to wait. Usually, the cup was refilled without a problem. My cruise this past August was much different. At every bar I went to, I had to wait 15 minutes or so because the lines for alcohol drinks were so long. People were ordering three or four drinks at a time. Meanwhile, I just wanted water and it took forever. It was actually quicker to go back inside the ship to the buffet and get the ice water myself than wait at the bars. And, the poor crew members were swamped every day. I really felt sorry for them.

It never occurred to me to ask for free water from the bar - I just went to the buffet drink stations and got it from there. But then again I was on the Breakaway and they got like 6-7 drink stations in the Garden Cafe and another one upstairs in the Uptown grill - no lines at ones past the aft elevators in the buffet and upstairs...

 

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You are incorrect. My very first cruise in 2010 was the 4 day on the Sky. Look at my signiture. My most recent one was to Bermuda on the Dawn this past August.
Sorry, I misread your signature :o. But the point remains that you can't directly compare the bar situation on a cruise in November vs a cruise in August.

 

As for people ordering 3 or 4 drinks at a time, this is certainly possible if they bring everyone's cards up to the bar, or if the bartenders already know that there are several people in the same cabin with the UBP. (And obviously, if someone is not using the UBP, they can order as many drinks as they like, and pay for them.)

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I am telling you, that is what I saw. People waiting in line and then ordering two or three drinks. You can dispute this all you want but, I know what I saw. I was standing behind these people for up to 15 minutes whenever I wanted ice water.

 

They were either paying a la carte per drink or presenting the UBP cards of their companions. Therefore only getting one drink per person at a time. You cannot cheat the system. They are strict.

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OP, as far as the capacity of the specialty restaurants, a few have reported an issue gettin the times they want. Suggestion, if you know which restaurant and time, book on line 100 day prior to sailing if in a suite, 90 if in a non-suite.

 

In my cruises, I've haven't see a lot of drunks on the ships, maybe one here and one there.

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Sorry, I misread your signature :o. But the point remains that you can't directly compare the bar situation on a cruise in November vs a cruise in August.

 

As for people ordering 3 or 4 drinks at a time, this is certainly possible if they bring everyone's cards up to the bar, or if the bartenders already know that there are several people in the same cabin with the UBP. (And obviously, if someone is not using the UBP, they can order as many drinks as they like, and pay for them.)

 

I am not trying to give you a hard time but, I don't understand. What does the fact that one cruise was in August and another was in November have anything to do with the OP's question? The only difference I can see(besides the length of the cruises) is the fact that one was before the UBP and one was after. Why would the month of the cruise matter in any way?

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