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NCL Breakaway - Hidden Costs?


Zaniac
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Hi Everyone,

 

We are planning a 14 day trip on the NCL Breakaway in January 2017. This is our first NCL cruise and although the price seems reasonable (considering the falling Canadian Dollar), we heard the even though we are with the Free 3rd & 4th passengers and UBP, there are hidden costs once on board. Can anyone elaborate for us that has sailed this ship recently. What can we expect to pay for with the UBP and any other costs. I know the Specialty dining costs (maybe someone can elaborate on those prices as well) but I heard there is a charge for Room Service as well as the 18% gratuity is added to the bill even if using the UBP. Is it not included in the price?

 

Thanks all. Always appreciate the feedback and helpful advice.

 

Derek

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We are booked on the Breakaway in December and did the UBP and 3/4 sail free promotions. We were charged a 99 per person charge upfront for the UBP and I have heard (not positive) that there is tax in NYC on drinks while docked even with UBP???? Looking forward to additional info on this thread as well.

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I've never yet encountered a hidden cost on an NCL cruise. There are lots of options for things to purchase, but it's very easy to get off the ship with no bill if you want. You won't ever be charged for anything without your knowledge, so nothing is hidden. Have fun!

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NO, there are no "hidden" costs. None, zippo, zilch.

 

If you pre-pay your gratuities, you can sail all 14 days and end up with a $0 account balance if you want.

 

In port, you will have to pay the tax on alcohol purchases but that is not NCL, that's the State of New York. If you order a drink priced >$15, you pay the difference only and the bartender will warn you first.

 

There are many premium services you can purchase while onboard, but those prices are not hidden at all.

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There's nothing hidden. NCL charges for the same things that all the other mainstream cruise lines charge. There will be the daily service charge.

 

I agree with LrgPizza. If you don't want extras, don't buy them. You can go the whole time on the Breakaway without using the specialty restaurants. If you don't play bingo or buy pictures or spa treatments or other add-on items then you can get off the ship without extra expense.

 

Not sure if you know this but only the 1st and 2nd pax will get the UBP. That would be a big expense over $2600 for 3rd and 4th.

 

When you get the UBP as a promo, the 3rd & 4th passengers do not have to purchase the UBP. The above makes it seem as if they might.

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I know the Specialty dining costs (maybe someone can elaborate on those prices as well) but I heard there is a charge for Room Service as well as the 18% gratuity is added to the bill even if using the UBP. Is it not included in the price?

 

There is a charge for room service but not for continental breakfast in the morning.

 

The 18% gratuity on the beverage package should be part of your cruise total. Ask for a breakdown from your travel agent. If you book through NCL it should be a separate line item on your invoice. It works out to about $100 per person per week so for a 14 day trip your total for UBP gratuities would be about $400. I drink more than that myself on a 7-day cruise. As someone said the UBP includes all drinks $15 and under which is most everything. If you find something priced more, you pay the difference. For drinks in souvenir glasses are not included so just ask for a regular glass.

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Great post and question, because I read a lot about "nickel and diming" on NCL, and to be honest I just don't get it. We are doing our first NCL cruise on Breakaway this fall so we'll find out, but it seems the same as RCCL that we normally sail. People make it out that you get charged extra for toilet paper or to turn the lights on in your cabin, those things you can't avoid, but you can avoid specialty restaurants. You can sail any of the big cruise lines and have a 0 balance at the end if you choose. We typically spend $1,000 on board but that includes excursions. Its kinda where we feel comfortable. Everyone is different, I bet plenty of people spend little or even nothing. Its up to you on how you choose to cruise. That, really is the beauty of a cruise vacation. Its the best value vacation there is bar none.

Edited by JAMESCC
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Anything that is an "extra" cost is clearly indicated on the ship, you shouldn't be surprised with any hidden charges.

 

What is free...

- Dining in any included dining room / buffet

- Drinks such as coffee, tea, water, juice and milk

- Shows/Entertainment on the ship

 

What you should expect to pay...

- Daily Service Charge - if you haven't pre-paid your tip/DSC this is something you should expect to pay

- If I've received good service I will often tip the room steward or bartender a bit extra (but it is not necessary)

 

What costs extra...

- Dining in any specialty restaurant (charges vary by restaurant)

- There are some additional cost foods in the main dining room - but I've never felt that I had to pay extra for food in the MDR

- Alcoholic beverages and specialty coffees are extra cost... With that being said if you have a beverage package any drinks under $15 are included. As noted above if you are still in NYC port you will pay NYC taxes.

- Spa Services

- Some exercise classes (extra charges vary and are noted if there is an extra charge)

- Bottled water - I have no problem with the ship water but if you want bottled, it does cost extra

- Arcade games

- Casino

 

You really shouldn't have "hidden" charges. Any extra fees are clearly noted. It's not necessary to pay anything extra to enjoy a cruise. You can check your room charges at any point. If there are any extra charges you'll be asked for your card an you'll have to sign for it.

 

I've never felt "nickled and dimed" on any cruise line I've gone on - including NCL,. Every major cruise line has some optional for cost items - just be aware and ask if there are extra charges. You can eat in included dining rooms, drink included beverage and see shows with no extra costs.

 

Happy sailing!

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In the past when we have cruised on NCL, we have usually ordered a quick breakfast in the morning - some milk, cereal, fruit etc. We have a younger child so makes sense to get some food in them before we head up for a leisurely breakfast.

 

Will that service be charged as well now? Not a big deal but just something to keep in mind as we cruise.

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In the past when we have cruised on NCL, we have usually ordered a quick breakfast in the morning - some milk, cereal, fruit etc. We have a younger child so makes sense to get some food in them before we head up for a leisurely breakfast.

 

Will that service be charged as well now? Not a big deal but just something to keep in mind as we cruise.

 

There are continental breakfast items available for free on the room service menu, but I'm not sure exactly what. If it's not specifically what you need, you can always just pop up to the buffet and grab whatever you want to bring to your child. We do that for our own son anyway, since we find it overall to be simpler than messing around with room service.

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In the past when we have cruised on NCL, we have usually ordered a quick breakfast in the morning - some milk, cereal, fruit etc. We have a younger child so makes sense to get some food in them before we head up for a leisurely breakfast.

 

Will that service be charged as well now? Not a big deal but just something to keep in mind as we cruise.

 

Here is the breakfast room service menu. No fruit or cereal unfortunately, unless you want to pay for it.

 

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I think you'll find differences in the things the drink package covers if you bought it previously on RCI or Carnival.

 

NCL covers far less, and does not include bottled water, specialty coffee, fresh brewed coffee or sports drinks. NCL covers more costly drinks IIRC, and if the drink costs more than the limit when you sail you just pay the difference (plus the required 18% gratuity on the difference).

 

Otherwise I think you'll find the on-board experience to be very similar, and some things that are different you'll love, and some things you won't love. But you won't have a hidden surprise in "nickle and dime" costs at the end of your cruise.

 

I have to give a disclaimer though; like many lines, NCL has been changing things recently so you have to check about a week before sailing to see if all of this is still true. It would not surprise me if they lower the price limit, or raise drink prices before you cruise, change free venues to pay venues, etc. On the last major change they gave a two week notice.

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  • 3 months later...

This was fantastic, thank you everyone for your input and clarification. Having only sailed on RCCL and Celebrity recently, we generally know what to expect from those cruiselines. I am glad you cleared up the room service charge as we only ever order coffee in the morning via room service. A few of us usually run up to the buffet for pastries and such for the rest of the group.

 

From the sounds of this thread I don't expect to incur any additional costs that I wouldn't normally incur on my previous cruises which is nice.

 

3rd and 4th persons are kids so no worries about the UBP for them. I think we will also change the promo from 3rd & 4th free to Prepaid Gratuities.

 

Again, thanks for all the feedback, I generally step away for a few days or weeks to gather replies before re-posting, but this time I just forgot about it :)

 

Happy sailing everyone!!!

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I try to see how low I can keep my extra charges down. I do pretty well, though I always do purchase a shirt or a calendar or something I find neat as a souvenir while aboard. But I also set a $100 limit on my self in the casino. Never left richer than when I entered! But I do enjoy the extra pay amenities on occasion and am happy I do not need to supplement every other cruiser on board for all of them. Keeps the price reasonable, yet what ever you want attainable. I agree with the other posters who said nothing is "Hidden". Its is like land based resorts, you come into it knowing there will be a "Resort Fee" called a "Discretionary Service Charge". It is part of the cruise fare as far as I am concerned. I have never had a "Hidden Fee". No body is trying to fleece you, but money does need to be made for a profit, if we don't like the business to get a profit we should do another type of vacation. A lot of folks complain about how over the years what was complimentary are now "for fee". Yes there is. But the overall price of a cruise (in my case) is less than 12 years ago, including me purchasing the extras I want. Also I cruised on RCCL 12 years ago and there was only one for fee resturant. wasn't a lot of diversity.

 

Those who want to have a zero balance at cruise end should have not trouble with accomplishing that task.

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The first time I stepped on an NCL ship about four or five years ago my first impression was "I feel nickle and dimed" I felt that way not for hidden charges but more for the additional charges for things that were free on RCCL or Holland America the very same year.

 

For us the dining experience was most important to us at the time and we couldn't help but notice after 12 days, not once was there a shrimp cocktail offered in the main dining or Escargo and other dishes too. Where were they?, in the Specialty Dining venues for an added fee. Did it ruin our vacation, no, but left that nickle and diming taste in our mouths, :)

 

After five years there are many more changes that have been debated to death on these boards. So to answer your question there's nothing hidden its just that you might find there are extra charges for something you might have gotten for free on another line.

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For us the dining experience was most important to us at the time and we couldn't help but notice after 12 days, not once was there a shrimp cocktail offered in the main dining or Escargo and other dishes too. Where were they?, in the Specialty Dining venues for an added fee. Did it ruin our vacation, no, but left that nickle and diming taste in our mouths, :)

 

I'm on the Breakaway right now, and there was an escargot appetizer in the MD the other night.

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i just got off my 1st cruise ever and it was on the BA last week.

 

i got no surprises on my final bill. then again, i know about the daily service charge and bottled water charges. otherwise there are no really hidden charges' by my calculations. if you get the SDP when you book , the fees are in your final charge as are the UBP fees.

 

if you go into a specialty restaurant you pay the prices listed.

 

the one silly thing i didnt like (and yes i get why they have to do this) is that in the buffet you have to go to the bar for sodas. i just expected a soda machine for me to self dispense lol. and there's only one bar so it's a PITA

 

i have zero cruise experience but maybe it's because i read all the fine print that i didnt get any hidden surprises and actually fully enjoyed all the features i paid for in my haven room. without CC i never would have known half the stuff.

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I'm on the Breakaway right now, and there was an escargot appetizer in the MD the other night.

 

In a pastry or the traditional garlick sauce as served in LeBistro?

 

I know about the pastry version and its not comparable at all to the LeBistro version served for free on other lines.

Edited by bjlaac
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There's nothing hidden. NCL charges for the same things that all the other mainstream cruise lines charge. There will be the daily service charge.

 

I agree with LrgPizza. If you don't want extras, don't buy them. You can go the whole time on the Breakaway without using the specialty restaurants. If you don't play bingo or buy pictures or spa treatments or other add-on items then you can get off the ship without extra expense.

 

 

 

When you get the UBP as a promo, the 3rd & 4th passengers do not have to purchase the UBP. The above makes it seem as if they might.

The main dining room gets repetitious so does the buffet. And generally just OK tasting food.

 

You will want to go to a special restaurant.

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In a pastry or the traditional garlick sauce as served in LeBistro?

 

I know about the pastry version and its not comparable at all to the LeBistro version served for free on other lines.

 

It was in a pastry. It was good, though. I guess my attitude is, you know what you're getting with NCL, and it's not like the food in the Main Dining Room is bad.

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