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TonRin

North Star & IFly charges??

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It saddens me and disappoints me as well with RCI.

 

I only started cruising in 2013 and the amount of extra charges, increased fees and limits/restrictions on what you get when you book the cruise amaze me.

 

Not to mention the increase in cost just for base cruises.....

 

They will get away with this for awhile...but it will catch up with them soon enough if they keep going this way. I can't imagine cruising with a family of 4 and wanting to enjoy all the activities that are offered but you have to pay for.

 

I could not agree any more with this post.

I'm still trying to justify the cost of the water slide on Labadee for my family of 6. After watching the video-I think I'll pass!!!

Breakaways on board water slides were far better then what I watched for Labadee and they were included in the cruise fare!!!

The OP makes me question will Harmonys water slides be complimentary!! :eek:

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just off the 12/12 anthem......there was no charge for ifly and north star. There was a rumor that they charged for a second ride on these. WE CANNOT CONFIRM THAT.

 

There is a charge for the 2nd ride of iFly ever since, the first 1 min is complimentary.

 

We will just wait and see whether Anthem charges for it soon..as of latest reports, it is still free for Anthem.

 

Quantum is mainly for the chinese market and they feel that market willing to pay premium for that. I've been to the Quantum and note that chinese take short cruises of 4-5 nights average.. and short cruises mean less time slots so imagine everyone is scrambling to get those limited time slots that the lines have become outrageous the time I was there...that might be the reason for charging.

 

While Anthem where it is mainly for western market taking longer cruises of 7 nights or more or even longer TA's... there are more time slots for the Northstar and iFly that is enough for everyone so there is no need to charge for them.

 

See my point?

 

I have a booking with Ovation so I am also hoping that this won't go beyond Quantum..

Edited by roquejo

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Let's see:

 

charging for room service, then banning people to take out food to their stateroom (which they backtracked later), lately charging gratuities for promo free beverage packages (when for Celebrity it is complete free), changing cruise cancellation policies effective Jan 1 to less favorable, lately charging for Margaritaville in Escape when it is initially offered as complimentary, increasing gratuities 2X in a span of few months.. and some other things..

 

There I do not fully agree with you.

 

Charging for meal room service - ok, a fact I do not like.

The Margaritaville on Escape is an extra restaurant more or less, so I wouldn't put it into the nickle and dime category - you also need to pay for Johnny Rockets on RCCL ships - and while you get real service in Margaritaville on Escape, the Johnny Rockets on Quantm Class ships is rather takeaway, without any service.

 

Complimentary food items:

-NCL is offering a chocoholic buffet at least once a cruise - NO culinary extra event offered by RCCL, which is beyond the ordinary.

-NCL: offering Cranberry juice for free in MDR for breakfast, offering Egg Royale and Egg Benedict on the menu. Cranberry juice on RCCL ships? Keep dreaming. Egg Benedict? Only upon extra request, no Egg Royale.

NCL even offers Egg Benedict at the buffet.

 

-NCL Breakaway Class' signature attractions such as water slides, climbing park etc. are all complimentary, RCCL charges for iFly and North Star now, at least on Quantum - but I am sure that Anthem will follow. And also the WOWBand - only upon extra charge. :rolleyes:

 

It's all about the point of view and personal interests, but from MY perspective, NCL offers more for free than RCCL - and as a rule, NCL charges far more reasonable cruise fares...

Not seldomly, RCCL is similarly priced as Princess, X, or HAL, which all offer FAR MORE value for money.

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There is a charge for the 2nd ride of iFly ever since, the first 1 min is complimentary.

 

We will just wait and see whether Anthem charges for it soon..as of latest reports, it is still free for Anthem.

 

Quantum is mainly for the chinese market and they feel that market willing to pay premium for that. I've been to the Quantum and note that chinese take short cruises of 4-5 nights average.. and short cruises mean less time slots so imagine everyone is scrambling to get those limited time slots that the lines have become outrageous the time I was there...that might be the reason for charging.

 

While Anthem where it is mainly for western market taking longer cruises of 7 nights or more or even longer TA's... there are more time slots for the Northstar and iFly that is enough for everyone so there is no need to charge for them.

 

See my point?

 

I have a booking with Ovation so I am also hoping that this won't go beyond Quantum..

 

I'll agree there are more slots on a 7 day, even a 12 day. But there will never be enough for everybody.

 

FWIW, I would think sunsets would be the prime time to go up in North Star. They should charge for that

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Merry Christmas to each of you- may your day be filled with family - friends - fun and all your heart's desires!

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There I do not fully agree with you.

 

Charging for meal room service - ok, a fact I do not like.

The Margaritaville on Escape is an extra restaurant more or less, so I wouldn't put it into the nickle and dime category - you also need to pay for Johnny Rockets on RCCL ships - and while you get real service in Margaritaville on Escape, the Johnny Rockets on Quantm Class ships is rather takeaway, without any service.

 

Complimentary food items:

-NCL is offering a chocoholic buffet at least once a cruise - NO culinary extra event offered by RCCL, which is beyond the ordinary.

-NCL: offering Cranberry juice for free in MDR for breakfast, offering Egg Royale and Egg Benedict on the menu. Cranberry juice on RCCL ships? Keep dreaming. Egg Benedict? Only upon extra request, no Egg Royale.

NCL even offers Egg Benedict at the buffet.

 

-NCL Breakaway Class' signature attractions such as water slides, climbing park etc. are all complimentary, RCCL charges for iFly and North Star now, at least on Quantum - but I am sure that Anthem will follow. And also the WOWBand - only upon extra charge. :rolleyes:

 

It's all about the point of view and personal interests, but from MY perspective, NCL offers more for free than RCCL - and as a rule, NCL charges far more reasonable cruise fares...

Not seldomly, RCCL is similarly priced as Princess, X, or HAL, which all offer FAR MORE value for money.

 

Margaritaville was heavily advertised for one year as being free.

 

No more chocolate night on NCL.

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FWIW, I would think sunsets would be the prime time to go up in North Star. They should charge for that

 

There are already precious few places on the new build ships to see the ocean and the sky.

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Margaritaville was heavily advertised for one year as being free.

 

No more chocolate night on NCL.

 

A friend of mine told me, there was a chocoholic night on NCL Jade in March 2015, and others at Cruisecritic say so as well.

 

The Wow-Band was also highly advertised as being free and oh so innovative - and now, they're charged with $ 4,95... :rolleyes:

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I'm booked next October on the Anthem, If they start charging for those attractions, I will Cancel!

 

So tired of all the nickel, and diming!

 

Oil prices have gone down, but not the price of cruise ticket!:confused:

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There is a charge for the 2nd ride of iFly ever since, the first 1 min is complimentary.

 

We will just wait and see whether Anthem charges for it soon..as of latest reports, it is still free for Anthem.

 

Quantum is mainly for the chinese market and they feel that market willing to pay premium for that. I've been to the Quantum and note that chinese take short cruises of 4-5 nights average.. and short cruises mean less time slots so imagine everyone is scrambling to get those limited time slots that the lines have become outrageous the time I was there...that might be the reason for charging.

 

While Anthem where it is mainly for western market taking longer cruises of 7 nights or more or even longer TA's... there are more time slots for the Northstar and iFly that is enough for everyone so there is no need to charge for them.

 

See my point?

 

I have a booking with Ovation so I am also hoping that this won't go beyond Quantum..

 

I agree with you. I think it has to do completely with the Chinese market. It's a totally different type of cruiser over there, that's probably willing to pay. I personally think there would be a very big problem if they started to charge for North Star and iFly on Anthem, especially since they were two key features that were used to market Anthem here in the US.

 

PS..I've seen reports that there is a charge to book iFly for a second time, but you can do it a second time for free if you go in standby.

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Margaritaville was heavily advertised for one year as being free.

 

No more chocolate night on NCL.

 

The exact opposite happened with Quantum, Devinly Decadence was initially advertised for also one year as an upcharge restaurant while Quantum was being built..but when Quantum sailed, they removed the fee.

 

I've tried it in Quantum before it closed down for the Asian market..and the food is worth charging for..

 

There are improvements in RCCL, like they started allowing 2 bottles of wine per stateroom, which at first, you can only consume it in your cabin.. then afterwards they removed the corkage fee.

 

For us crown and anchor members, they added 3 drinks in our sea pass cards per day in addition to the free happy drinks in the lounge...

Then they gave us 24 hour unlimited internet instead of just free minutes

So not all changes in RCCL lately are bad...

 

Bringing wine without being charged corkage fee is what I cannot do in NCL, the beverage package did the trick before, but when NCL began to charge gratuities for the free package, I booked with Celebrity instead to get the free drink package without the gratuities.

 

Yes I generally pay more for RCCL vs NCL, but the quality, particularly the loyalty benefits are way better for RCCL. For Platinum in NCL, you can only get a bottle of wine and a sparkling wine in my stateroom. But for RCCL, I can get unlimited beer, wine, cocktails in the lounge during the daily happy hours..

 

And RCCL gives reciprocal elite status with Celebrity but NCL doesn't even give you reciprocal benefits for Star Cruise if you are platinum with them.

Edited by roquejo

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A friend of mine told me, there was a chocoholic night on NCL Jade in March 2015, and others at Cruisecritic say so as well.

 

The Wow-Band was also highly advertised as being free and oh so innovative - and now, they're charged with $ 4,95... :rolleyes:

 

1. Chocolate Buffet night is gone on NCL. That was the actual event. It was replaced with a "more chocolate desserts on the dinner menu" night. Think of RCI's chocolate breakfast and you get the general drift.

 

2. I think that's tacky. I'm not going to pay extra for the company to data mine me.

 

The exact opposite happened with Quantum, Devinly Decadence was initially advertised for also one year as an upcharge restaurant while Quantum was being built..but when Quantum sailed, they removed the fee.

 

I've tried it in Quantum before it closed down for the Asian market..and the food is worth charging for..

 

There are improvements in RCCL, like they started allowing 2 bottles of wine per stateroom, which at first, you can only consume it in your cabin.. then afterwards they removed the corkage fee.

 

For us crown and anchor members, they added 3 drinks in our sea pass cards per day in addition to the free happy drinks in the lounge...

Then they gave us 24 hour unlimited internet instead of just free minutes

So not all changes in RCCL lately are bad...

 

Bringing wine without being charged corkage fee is what I cannot do in NCL, the beverage package did the trick before, but when NCL began to charge gratuities for the free package, I booked with Celebrity instead to get the free drink package without the gratuities.

 

Yes I generally pay more for RCCL vs NCL, but the quality, particularly the loyalty benefits are way better for RCCL. For Platinum in NCL, you can only get a bottle of wine and a sparkling wine in my stateroom. But for RCCL, I can get unlimited beer, wine, cocktails in the lounge during the daily happy hours..

 

And RCCL gives reciprocal elite status with Celebrity but NCL doesn't even give you reciprocal benefits for Star Cruise if you are platinum with them.

 

I think RCI has many policies better than NCL and they are my preferred line. NCL has left a very poor taste in my mouth regarding my next booking but for a number of reasons that outweigh the negatives, I am not canceling (as of now at least). RCI is becoming slightly more NCL like with their add on fees lately. I still think they offer a better quality product than NCL except for food where I thought NCL was a notch or two above. But RCI prices are through the roof and it is very hard for me to justify, heck, afford some of their prices unless I am going on a unique itinerary. For 7 day or less caribbean it makes no sense for me to stay loyal to royal at these prices.

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2. I think that's tacky. I'm not going to pay extra for the company to data mine me.

 

The WOW band has the same info on it as your sea pass card. I think it's a shame RCI has started charging for the bands, but data mining has nothing to do with it.

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The Wow-Band was also highly advertised as being free and oh so innovative - and now, they're charged with $ 4,95... :rolleyes:

 

In the beginning the WOWband was advertized for a "nominal fee" (rumors were app. 3 USD). Then surprisingly it was for free. Now they´ve changed it on the Anthem back to a fee item but 4.95 USD. But you can reuse it on other ships using this technology (actually Anthem and Quantum only but by 2016 Harmony and Ovation).

 

BTW, Egg Benedict is on the regular breakfast menu in the MDR. It´s not just upon request!

 

You forgot some nice upcharges of NCL like 18% service charge on the specialty restaurant cover charges (as long as they exisit as NCL in January is introducing the new à la carte menus in almost all specialty restaurants except for Moderno and Teppanyaki). Or what about charging a sales tax on beverages in US Ports and Great Stirrup Cay although you´ve got a beverage package?

 

Both NCL and RCI are trying out how to get more money out of the passengers. It´s all about onboard revenue. Both companies try to raise the basic cruise price. Neither of them is the good or bad one. Both are doing the same. That´s economy!

 

steamboats

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BTW, Egg Benedict is on the regular breakfast menu in the MDR. It´s not just upon request!

 

 

On Liberty (Sep 2014) and Vision (Apr 2015), I did not see any Egg Benedict at the breakfast menu in MDR.

Sure, both RCCL and NCL seek for more onbaord revenue and offer more items upon charge.

But IMHO, NCL has more attention to detail, just in terms of simple things - for example, creating new MDR menus, and a daily changing breakfast menu in MDR.

 

I also do not like all steps implemented by NCL - I am disappointed that only continental breakfast items are included in the room service, others are upon charge.

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In the beginning the WOWband was advertized for a "nominal fee" (rumors were app. 3 USD). Then surprisingly it was for free. Now they´ve changed it on the Anthem back to a fee item but 4.95 USD. But you can reuse it on other ships using this technology (actually Anthem and Quantum only but by 2016 Harmony and Ovation).

 

 

Thanks for that info, I still have my WOW band from Quantum so I guess I'll just recycle it for Ovation. But my muster station in Quantum is printed on it.

Edited by roquejo

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On Liberty (Sep 2014) and Vision (Apr 2015), I did not see any Egg Benedict at the breakfast menu in MDR.

 

Check here - it´s been on the breakfast menu on the Allure in May 2015.

 

RCI has changed the MDR dinner menus in 2013. NCL did several changes and by then end there was only a choice between two different items per course (plus the daily available stuff). After lots of complaints NCL has recently changed the MDR menus and added more stuff. Del Rio is a foodie and that´s one of his actions.

 

RCI never had Egg Benedict in the Windjammer. If you need that on the buffet there´s a plus on the NCL side. For years I rated the buffet much better on NCL than RCI. In the meantime RCI did change quite a bit and I´d say they are on the same level with a slight plus for NCL.

 

steamboats

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Check here - it´s been on the breakfast menu on the Allure in May 2015.

 

[...]

 

RCI never had Egg Benedict in the Windjammer. If you need that on the buffet there´s a plus on the NCL side. For years I rated the buffet much better on NCL than RCI. In the meantime RCI did change quite a bit and I´d say they are on the same level with a slight plus for NCL.

 

steamboats

 

Ok, thank you very much for the link, maybe it differs from ship to ship, or Egg Benedict was added to the menu later. At least, I can confirm that RCCL offers EB, since I got it on the Vision upon request.

 

Nice to hear that the buffet on NCL is better than on RCCL, yes, for me Egg Benedict or other freshly made egg items are not unimportant. ;)

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I first heard of these new charges from another online discussion group we have for Anthem. At first, I was disappointed, commented:

 

Sad. Greedy. Pathetic.

 

Then I started getting upset, angry they were doing this, and thought, probably by the time we sail on Anthem this June, we'll get hit with the fees as well.

 

But you know, after reading all of your comments, I've realized I shouldn't get upset. We'll still cruise and have a good time without that crap anyway!

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I'm no lawyer - but I'd like to hear from someone maybe in here who is in the know...

 

Isn't this technically like a breach of contract for people who have already booked a cruise and have already made payments, and shouldn't these two amenities be grandfathered in for free so that people who already paid shouldn't have to?

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Just off the phone with RCL about this ~

 

If you have booked already, there's no additional charges to be imposed on iFly and Northstar, and, as of now, no official future charges to be made on both of these. The RCL rep wanted to know exactly where this was coming from, I told her it was the RCL blog - which is not official anyway.

 

So, if you have already booked a cruise on this class of ship, you will NOT be imposed any additional fees for iFly or Northstar. I made sure to have her annotate this on our booking for Anthem in June.

 

Lastly, she told me there are no plans on charging additional fees for this on Anthem.

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Just off the phone with RCL about this ~

 

 

 

If you have booked already, there's no additional charges to be imposed on iFly and Northstar, and, as of now, no official future charges to be made on both of these. The RCL rep wanted to know exactly where this was coming from, I told her it was the RCL blog - which is not official anyway.

 

 

 

So, if you have already booked a cruise on this class of ship, you will NOT be imposed any additional fees for iFly or Northstar. I made sure to have her annotate this on our booking for Anthem in June.

 

 

 

Lastly, she told me there are no plans on charging additional fees for this on Anthem.

 

 

I'm surprised that the rep gave you this info. It seems as though quantum passengers ARE being charged. Also, you said that you spoke to a "rep"-- assuming you mean the people answering the phone in the call center, not a "rep" for the CEO or COO. I don't think the call center people have ANY IDEA about "plans on charging additional fees", even once they actually start charging fees.

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I first heard of these new charges from another online discussion group we have for Anthem. At first, I was disappointed, commented:

 

Sad. Greedy. Pathetic.

 

Then I started getting upset, angry they were doing this, and thought, probably by the time we sail on Anthem this June, we'll get hit with the fees as well.

 

But you know, after reading all of your comments, I've realized I shouldn't get upset. We'll still cruise and have a good time without that crap anyway!

 

Probably won't happen on the Anthem. I think its a change for the Chinese cruise market. Here's a post from someone familiar with the 'culture' of China cruises: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showpost.php?p=48581746&postcount=34

 

Obviously, that information is not confirmed, but it makes sense.

Edited by OfTheSeasCruiser

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Just off the phone with RCL about this ~

 

If you have booked already, there's no additional charges to be imposed on iFly and Northstar, and, as of now, no official future charges to be made on both of these. The RCL rep wanted to know exactly where this was coming from, I told her it was the RCL blog - which is not official anyway.

 

So, if you have already booked a cruise on this class of ship, you will NOT be imposed any additional fees for iFly or Northstar. I made sure to have her annotate this on our booking for Anthem in June.

 

Lastly, she told me there are no plans on charging additional fees for this on Anthem.

 

Thanks for your effort JohnJen but I think you might have rang Sesame Street rather than RCI. I can assure you they are charging for them on Quantum for my March 12th booking which was fully paid for in November. I know this because I have just made payment through the RCI website for my North Star and IFly bookings. Even though I started this thread with the breaking news a few days ago, this will be my wife's and I first time on a Quantum class ship and I don't want to miss out on the experience. The booking times were very limited already, so to wait till I was on-board would have been crazy. Make no mistake, I will be really happy if RCI refund my money and before I made the first post on here, I wrote a rather stern letter to RCI showing my unhappiness with the decision. I guess we will see how it plays out. You were right though, it may not happen on Anthem. It seems RCI may be a little judgmental on their decision to only hit the Asian market and even though it cost me an extra AUD$100, I will make sure I have a good time anyway. It may sway my decision to by a t-shirt this time though.

 

PS - It never came from any blog... It came from me and a Canadian family booked on a Quantum cruise and it has shown up on our cruise planners. I never mentioned a blog at all. Thanks anyway!

 

Happy sailing!

Edited by tincoll

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