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gmbhardy

Not Happy with Liquor Up Charges

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2 hours ago, erdoran said:

Still?  I had read about a bunch of downgrades.  Is what you got still valid?

 

Yes, YC still get all the premium top shelf, it is supposed to be its own special package but is effectively Premium Plus.

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I agree that this price increase is ridiculous. It’s not even like NCL has the best product either. Escape felt very over crowded, not stroller friendly, especially in the hallways, always a wait and crowded elevators. Only one pool for adults on a new mega ship is not enough. Instead of go carts or laser tag I would have preferred an aft pool. If I book NCL again I will be taking the cheapest guarantee and take my grey goose rum runners on. Have a nice day NCL. 

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Alrighty then, I'm going to weigh in on this issue... First of all, I'm not happy about it at all. I guess that I'd consider myself a bit of a "liquor snob"... I like to drink the good stuff, and this is now going to significantly cut into my budget. I'm sailing the Breakaway exactly two weeks from today, and now I have to make the decision of drinking a bunch of substandard beverages, or forking out $348 in addition to the UBP to actually consume decent tasting alcohol... That's a pretty good dent in my cruise budget, and I consider it a pure money grab on the part of NCL... In addition, this will likely impact my future bookings with them, purely based on this factor. Hopefully, they will reconsider some of these absurdly priced drinks, and pull back on this. But, I fear that this is their new business model going forward......

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21 minutes ago, sid_9169 said:

Alrighty then, I'm going to weigh in on this issue... First of all, I'm not happy about it at all. I guess that I'd consider myself a bit of a "liquor snob"... I like to drink the good stuff, and this is now going to significantly cut into my budget. I'm sailing the Breakaway exactly two weeks from today, and now I have to make the decision of drinking a bunch of substandard beverages, or forking out $348 in addition to the UBP to actually consume decent tasting alcohol... That's a pretty good dent in my cruise budget, and I consider it a pure money grab on the part of NCL... In addition, this will likely impact my future bookings with them, purely based on this factor. Hopefully, they will reconsider some of these absurdly priced drinks, and pull back on this. But, I fear that this is their new business model going forward......

Sid - I have been waiting for your review of the breakaway. I “stalked” you on your last cruise out of Miami. I was still getting use to the forums and reading lots of info and asorbing all of the trip reports. Yours stuck out to me and I have been waiting for you to take the breakaway cruise. We will sail 2 weeks after you do on the breakaway. I value your thorough approach to writing reviews and providing all of the details. Plus we like to enjoy a beverage or two like yourself. Actually wish you were sailing with us so we could meet you! Lol, you are like a celebrity 😆

 

Have you seen the other post that is titled “Live from the breakaway “? They have just posted the drink prices on the 3rd page. It doesn’t appear too awful. But I guess I’m ok with drinking Tito Vodka. From my understanding, you enjoy tequila (see “stalker” comment above). What were the prices of the premium tequila before? 

 

This is is our first NCl cruise and I do feel as though NCl nickels and dimes us and I’m slowing learning the difference of how it was before. For instance, I realized we are pretty dumb when we decided to rent a villa at Harvest Caye for a ridiculous price and then I end up reading not long ago it was $200 cheaper just a year ago or so.  

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14 minutes ago, cruiseratheart_09 said:

a😆.

 

Edited by sid_9169

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17 minutes ago, cruiseratheart_09 said:

Sid - I have been waiting for your review of the breakaway. I “stalked” you on your last cruise out of Miami. I was still getting use to the forums and reading lots of info and asorbing all of the trip reports. Yours stuck out to me and I have been waiting for you to take the breakaway cruise. We will sail 2 weeks after you do on the breakaway. I value your thorough approach to writing reviews and providing all of the details. Plus we like to enjoy a beverage or two like yourself. Actually wish you were sailing with us so we could meet you! Lol, you are like a celebrity 😆

 

Have you seen the other post that is titled “Live from the breakaway “? They have just posted the drink prices on the 3rd page. It doesn’t appear too awful. But I guess I’m ok with drinking Tito Vodka. From my understanding, you enjoy tequila (see “stalker” comment above). What were the prices of the premium tequila before? 

 

This is is our first NCl cruise and I do feel as though NCl nickels and dimes us and I’m slowing learning the difference of how it was before. For instance, I realized we are pretty dumb when we decided to rent a villa at Harvest Caye for a ridiculous price and then I end up reading not long ago it was $200 cheaper just a year ago or so.  

Wow, thanks for the compliment. I believe this new pricing structure is the death of NCL as we know it... It will surely affect my future bookings. Their absurd pricing on decent liquor is above and beyond anything I have imagined. I will investigate the matter fully in exactly two weeks from today.

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We will be sailing the Bliss next month.  I just wish I had another cruise booked afterwards, so I would have the satisfaction of canceling.  I'll be looking elsewhere for my future cruises, and they won't notice that I've specifically left.  I'll be sure to fill out my comment cards and complete the survey (which is almost useless).

 

Edited by travelingfools

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31 minutes ago, travelingfools said:

We will be sailing the Bliss next month.  I just wish I had another cruise booked afterwards, so I would have the satisfaction of canceling.  I'll be looking elsewhere for my future cruises, and they won't notice that I've specifically left.  I'll be sure to fill out my comment cards and complete the survey (which is almost useless).

 

 

Attend the CC Meet and Mingle or Latitudes reception, search out a senior officer and tell them so.

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My family and I are suppose to sail in November on the Breakaway for my daughters Sweet 16. We were thinking of upgrading to a Haven. However now we are actually looking at other lines because of this new liquor price increase. There goes another Plantinum Family Guests that will be leaving NCL over there nickel and dime  

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On 1/20/2019 at 11:10 PM, pitz0005 said:

Two other things I noticed.

 

I normally ordered Kettle One, but of course they would be out. Second choice, Tito's.  Several times I was told that Tito's was an upcharge.  I feel bad for the bar staff, but it did get a bit old.  

 

Second, when I ordered a drink, almost every bartender would ring up two drinks.  I could see the screen $34.xx.  I assume they get some benefit based on the number of drink they sell?  Their share of the service charges?  I can assure you the books are nowhere near accurate.  

The last time I was on NCL the bartender told me that the tips go into a pool and is divided per drink which he said was .25 to .30 per drink.

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I drink quite a variety of drinks but my tastes are still all covered on the below $15 price such as, strong bow cider, corona lite, blue moon, various draft beers, frozen daiquiris, pina coladas, margarita on rocks with Jose curvio, baileys on the rocks.  Plus 3 of my all time ncl favorites, mr worldwide, lawn clippings and coconut monitors.   I do sympathize though with those of you who's favorites have went above the price threshold.

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I was looking forward to purchasing two Vibe passes but not sure it's worth it due to the new alcohol prices.  

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The readers and posters here are a very small percentage of the NCL cruising population. We are now forewarned and expecting to see the crazy new prices. I can't imagine what the unenlightened will think when they first board and order something they think will be free because they took the UBP and paid the 20%. Not a happy crowd! I'm still stunned at $34.95 for the Veuve in Le Bistro. I need a new first night tradition I guess.  

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14 hours ago, YankeeFan4Ever said:

 

This.

 

My wife and I love Norwegian. We have the Gem booked in March and the Escape in September but their recent decisions have us looking at other options for next year...

 
 

I too am looking at MSC.  I was given quotes by my TA that came out at half the cost of NCL.  What kept me on NCL was the itinerary and slightly better port times.  I cruise for the ports so that is a big consideration for me.  However I am going to give MSC a try for my next cruise.  I find their website impossible but I will persist because I really want to see what it is all about.  

 

Edited by ollienbertsmum

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39 minutes ago, ollienbertsmum said:

I too am looking at MSC.  I was given quotes by my TA that came out at half the cost of NCL.......  However I am going to give MSC a try for my next cruise.

 

Make sure that your TA fully explains the difference between Bella, Fantastica, Aurea and Yacht Club.  For instance, if you like the freestyle dining concept, you need to book either Aurea or Yacht Club.  Fantastica gives you early or late sitting and with Bella, you could even be designated to a sit down area of the buffet.  I kid you not.

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So with the sky and sun, the unlimited choice is marketed as one of the free at sea options.  If the reason they are going to this is because of how well it worked on those two ships, my feeling is that eventually it will become a free at sea option on other ships.  Could be wrong. Just my thoughts.  But it would take the cost down to just the gratuity. That would make sense.

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1 hour ago, SNJCruisers said:

...and with Bella, you could even be designated to a sit down area of the buffet.  I kid you not.

 

That is no longer the case on Seaside.

Bella guests will be seated in one of the MDRs.

Edited by Two Wheels Only

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1 hour ago, Two Wheels Only said:

 

That is no longer the case on Seaside.

Bella guests will be seated in one of the MDRs.

We were Bella on MSC and given an early seating time as requested. They added a 3rd seating in the MDR so there was no longer a buffet seating anymore. Even with Bella we would never have known there was any class system. Service was wonderful all around. Can't beat 7 day spa passes for my wife and I for a combined  total of $90. Best deal ever ..... Kids sailed free, etc ....

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21 hours ago, erdoran said:

 

I was a very loyal NCL customer.  Hubby LOVES the Haven product!  "he who hates to travel" actually asked me to book us a Haven cruise last year, which was WONDERFUL, and we have another one booked in late April.  Never felt the need to look elsewhere - this is pricey, but we rummage for the still-to-be-found deals on Haven sailings, given that we are flexible with dates & itineraries.

 

Having said that, the talk about MSC's Yacht Club product and my own angst about what I perceive as "bait and switch" motivated me to get off my ever-growing rear and check out MSC, and it is definitely worth a looksee to me.  Their website is really difficult to navigate, but with the help of the folks on the MSC board I'm at least figuring out which ships I might be interested in, and will explore/price from there.  I'll reserve judgment until I see how this plays out.  

 

We have been very happy with our NCL experience overall and would really like to think that this is just "normal" price increases- but here's another dilemna.  We were considering maybe sharing a GV with other family members but - the price of the drink pkg is totally prohibitive for everyone other than the first two, and as has been pointed out on this thread, the price of individual drinks is also really high and getting higher.  And - if we share a GV, who gets the UBP perk (DH drinks enough that we NEED it) and who doesn't?  

 

I do NOT like being treated as if I am stupid.  I have no objection to paying for value received, or paying the "going price" for something I want to buy.  I do have a problem with a business becoming overconfident about customer loyalty and "rewarding" their most loyal customers by gouging, or by taking advantage of newbies who don't know what's legit and reasonable. 

 

The other thing that caused me concern is in the first thread (sorry, I don't have the link) where OP talked about a letter to NCL customer service, she talked about charging tax on drinks.  OK, I get it that while in territorial waters we are subject to tax BUT - she stated that tax was being charged FOR A FEW HOURS WHILE IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS.!  How did she know?  Because the casino and duty-free shops were open - yet she was being charged tax on drinks.  It's trivial $ and utterly petty, but if true, it's dishonest and shows an inappropriately-greedy mindset.  Nothing wrong with making a legit profit; I don't think it's fair to charge us tax on drinks but if NCL gets charged, I suppose that's legit - but if NCL surcharges "tax" and then KEEPS the $$, that is dishonest.  Can't quite believe they can do that, though - I'd assume the charge of "tax" flows to the "pay tax to the jurisdiction" acct, but who knows...

Based on prices of NCL suites, all should be included even mini-bar.  Yet NCL raises prices, charges more, gives less, makes suites pay fees now on packages.  IMO the bid process is making them more money then selling outright so nothing will change.

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16 hours ago, Lionkingrichard said:

So it looks like the Premium Plus package still won't get you the Higher end drinks? They maybe off the menu completely?

 

Pay out of pocket?

 

$8.50 per beer!

 

Everyone order LONG ISLANDS! That will show them. lol

Often Long Islands are pre mixed sitting in large containers at bar.  No taste at all.

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1 hour ago, dexddd said:

Often Long Islands are pre mixed sitting in large containers at bar.  No taste at all.

Know that’s sad, but really after the second one can you taste anything, or walk for that matter. 🤪

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Is Dewars white labelscotch and Johnny walker red included the upcharge or is there no charge if you have the drink package?

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Just a thought, but has anyone verified that this "premium beverage package" is even a thing fleet wide? As far as I can find, it's only a thing on the NCL Sun and Sky...

 

As absurd as it sounds, paying an extra $34.80 per day would be better than drinking rot gut liquor my entire vacation...

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42 minutes ago, sid_9169 said:

Just a thought, but has anyone verified that this "premium beverage package" is even a thing fleet wide? As far as I can find, it's only a thing on the NCL Sun and Sky...

 

As absurd as it sounds, paying an extra $34.80 per day would be better than drinking rot gut liquor my entire vacation...

Yep. there's a rollout schedule. Hits the Epic February 16th, although prices have already gone up. 

 

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Wine is really my huge disappointment; that's our traditional go-to. They've taken all wines WAY over an inflated price threshold, made it so the most heavily-consumed wines are over the $15 and left only bottles that would go for $6 at the grocery as covered. That sucks, to put it eloquently. 

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