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Not Happy with Liquor Up Charges

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55 minutes ago, mwolever said:

Hi all,

 

This is a very hot topic for me, but while I like mixed drinks and am not happy about liquor changes, the biggest issue for me is the wine that is now covered under the UBP. All absolutely crap wines are kept on the list, and there is a HUGE discrepency between those and the next offered glass up 20-21$ per glass. That is so strategically screwing anyone who wanted to just have a decent glass of wine that was between 10-15$ prior. And all wines have been affected, so even if I'd like to try other types, the issue is the same across the board. This brings home the real problem: I book NCL because the UBP makes their slightly-higher prices and party atmosphere worth it for me. This change really affects that value. 

I believe the Malbec is still the same one we are used to on NCL and it is not crap; maybe not the top of the line, but certainly drinkable. 

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3 minutes ago, newmexicoNita said:

I believe the Malbec is still the same one we are used to on NCL and it is not crap; maybe not the top of the line, but certainly drinkable. 

Thank you! I’ll try it. 🙂

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What I don't understand, is Grey Goose(not that I really drink it often) is an upcharge now.  Jameson(which I do drink), is $9.95- well under the $15 threshold.  
At our local liquor store, a 1.75 bottle of each are exactly the same price.  And that is retail pricing.  But I guess supply and demand- more of a demand for Grey Goose than Jameson on board.  
I'm still a little upset there are no decent bourbon's included, still.   

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3 hours ago, amyaacc said:

we opted for the free at sea upgrade for our trip to Cuba coming up in April on the Sky.  Does this mean we now get bottled water and coffee drinks?  Are there other significant upgrades?  (I like a nice martini but not fussy about brands)  I have been trying to figure out if using our free at sea perk might be better served for Internet if most of the booze is already included??

 

LOL, no extras, you have been downgraded not upgraded.

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4 hours ago, Cruisehack said:

Thank you.  We are pretty bummed as we thought we had found our cruise line.  We love the way NCL ships are designed around the ocean, the food, entertainment and the service staff.  It's clear that the problem with NCL is the upper management.  

Yes, great ships and we've  had primarily memorable experiences aboard. Their stock price and earnings per share continues to lag behind the Carnival group and the Royal Caribbean group, so I guess the heat is on. 

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3 hours ago, kfnesq said:

Agree.  I am a gin girl (when I'm not drinking wine) and while I do enjoy Hendricks, $19.95 seems.....excessive for a G&T.

Don't forget the $3.99 mandatory gratuity/service charge. Wow! That is a lot of money for mixing a simple drink.

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Question, does anyone have a listing of what wines are/ are not included? Rumor has it no champagne or sparkling wine is included in the UDP.

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1 hour ago, plode682 said:

What I don't understand, is Grey Goose(not that I really drink it often) is an upcharge now.  Jameson(which I do drink), is $9.95- well under the $15 threshold.  
At our local liquor store, a 1.75 bottle of each are exactly the same price.  And that is retail pricing.  But I guess supply and demand- more of a demand for Grey Goose than Jameson on board.  
I'm still a little upset there are no decent bourbon's included, still.   

 

Agree with all of this. I just checked Grey Goose pricing here when I ran to the store today - $25 a bottle. $4 less than what NCL now wants for one serving. 😳 Still waiting to see what the Woodford Reserve Old Fashioned at Maltings costs - I'm going to be seriously upset if they've made it an upcharge drink when it was included last month (even though Woodford Reserve wasn't 😕).

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I'm really disappointed in you NCL (hear your grandmother's voice saying that).  My husband and I aren't huge drinkers in everyday life, but like to indulge on cruises.  NCL fits us pretty well as far as atmosphere, freestyle and such, and we were looking forward to cruising more as we transition into empty nesters and retirees soon.  We're more likely to pay as we go for alcohol, so these new drink prices coupled with base fare increases for "perks" that we won't use, and the direction NCL seems to be heading mean NCL is no longer on our list.  I truly am disappointed, not mad though since there other options out there.  I figure there are at least 20 cruises in my future that won't be on NCL anymore.  Remember that saying about people speaking to others about bad experiences more often than good? Very true in this situation - just ask anyone in my family or at work how I feel about NCL right now.  

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Am I the only one who thinks this whole thing is going to lead to very unhappy bartenders? First they have to break the news of all the extra charges, which doesn't create a happy interaction, then their cash tips will probably be way down both from people reusing to tip extra and from people drinking less. It really puts a damper on the party when the bartenders are unhappy.

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...excerpt from a 2017 article by Author, David Grace entitled When Greed is Thought to Be a Virtue - When More is Never Enough...applicable to NCL's current business model
 

Nothing Exceeds Like Excess

Have you ever covered your ears when a perfectly good microphone has been placed too close to a perfectly good speaker and the room is filled with the escalating feedback squeal?

 

Have you ever seen a perfectly good engine whose governor has failed that just keeps running faster and faster until it blows up?

 

Fukushima was a perfectly good reactor until the coolant system died and then it raced out of control, feeding on itself, More, More, More, until it exploded.

 

All of those events — More, More, More until it all blows up — are the machine equivalents of Greed.

 

 

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Not really much can be done about the price changes, this topic wont amount to a hill of beans in another month or so :classic_blush:

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Forgive me if this has been brought up before (lots of pages to catch up on)...

 

Why in the World was this price increase (and add on package) not advertised? 

Why in the world wasn't anyone notified who had booked prior to this change?  We all relied on CC for real time data??  Really?  Snap shots from drink menus (from passengers) with increased pricing is the only source for documenting??  Really?

Nothing official from NCL??   Really?

Good grief.

I got nothing in my inbox regarding changes regarding my UBP and what I signed up for several months ago.   Oh sure, I may have checked a box saying they can "change at anytime", but an official "here ya go we changed you!", would have been cool. Oh my...

Does anyone have an answer?  As a fellow passenger, I am curious/concerned.

**Cue the flamers/cheerleaders...you, can, start....NOW!  

🙂

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4 hours ago, ninjanurse77 said:

Question, does anyone have a listing of what wines are/ are not included? Rumor has it no champagne or sparkling wine is included in the UDP.

These are new drink menus from the Pearl this month, it was the first dail If offering the upgraded premium package. 

 

There are some under the 15.00 mark still. These are the only menus I got picture of with wine, there might be some other ones available that I didn’t  catch. 

 

B4A1D87F-FC2D-4C03-AC98-AD5F7A12A55C.jpeg

A04A790C-3E7F-43EB-BADE-004D1C4B8123.jpeg

7A884544-A1A8-4EAF-8277-5DF22EB3B186.jpeg

A2B8BDEF-1846-4070-8902-435383776CED.jpeg

16D9F542-BCA6-4837-B66A-9431E67DCD86.jpeg

Edited by Meekofigaro
Uploaded one wrong picture

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Thank goodness we're not wine drinkers.  Not a single one listed between 9.95 and 14.95 that would be considered a solid mid-level variety.  I assume that the majority of those 9.95 and under are considered barely passable by some and outright swill by others.

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1 hour ago, BoDidly said:

Not really much can be done about the price changes, this topic wont amount to a hill of beans in another month or so :classic_blush:

NCL brass certainly hope you are correct . And if you're wrong and the steady drip drip drip of cutbacks, cash grabs and sleight of hand finally causes a decline in profits, well the brains behind these moves will have taken their bonuses earned by these moves, though they may be short term . So they can't lose . 

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It is very plain what is going on here.

 

If NCL wanted to simply increase prices they would have just added 20% to all drinks and at the same time added 20% to the allowance making it $18 instead of $15, most people would be happy and only those who pay as you go would be out of pocket.

 

The fact that they have not increased the allowance and at the same time introduced a premium package that can be paid for, makes the plan obvious.

 

I believe NCL's end game is to devalue the free/included/perk drinks packages to something like MSC's easy package which includes 1 draft beer, 1 red/white house wines and house spirits with simple mixers. This then allows them (like MSC) to have a range of packages you can purchase to upgrade the drinks package.

 

Draw people in with free open bars or drinks perks then make the real money upgrading these packages to something people really want.

 

One big error is to treat Haven in this way, you don't pay that kind of money to be hit with constant extras, nothing about a few $ here and there which anyone in Haven can probably easily afford, it's about the message being sent, having to keep signing for extras, they are just saying they don't value you, MSC treat Yacht Club as royalty, you want it you get it.

 

NCL simply need to start valuing their guests, the staff onboard treat everyone like royalty but management send a completely different message to passenger, does not matter if you are Haven or inside, you are a walking wallet.

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7 hours ago, OceanBlueWaters said:

Forgive me if this has been brought up before (lots of pages to catch up on)...

 

Why in the World was this price increase (and add on package) not advertised? 

Why in the world wasn't anyone notified who had booked prior to this change?  We all relied on CC for real time data??  Really?  Snap shots from drink menus (from passengers) with increased pricing is the only source for documenting??  Really?

Nothing official from NCL??   Really?

Good grief.

I got nothing in my inbox regarding changes regarding my UBP and what I signed up for several months ago.   Oh sure, I may have checked a box saying they can "change at anytime", but an official "here ya go we changed you!", would have been cool. Oh my...

Does anyone have an answer?  As a fellow passenger, I am curious/concerned.

**Cue the flamers/cheerleaders...you, can, start....NOW!  

🙂

 

Sadly, one group doesn’t talk to the other group. A PCC contacted me out of the blue to introduce themselves as my new PCC and asked if I needed any help with anything. I asked about this change in multiple ways and their are either fantastic liars (doubtful) or clueless (likely) about the changes. After about 4 back and forth emails, I was told to contact the special occasions email on the ship. I’m thinking this, like many other changes, has not been communicated internally.

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14 hours ago, blcruising said:

Yes, great ships and we've  had primarily memorable experiences aboard. Their stock price and earnings per share continues to lag behind the Carnival group and the Royal Caribbean group, so I guess the heat is on. 

absolutely not so about the stock. We have shares in both Carnival and NCL. Right now, yes, as of yesterday morning this year all 3 brands were up about 14. NCL the least, 14.1 compared to 14.3 and 14.8. That isn't much difference. At the end of Dec NCL had done better in 2018 than Carnival Each day or month it seems to vary, but certainly there is very little difference, with NCL out pacing Carnival by a litter most of the time. RCI is clearly doing a bit better. All 3 are good bets right now. 

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8 hours ago, BoDidly said:

Not really much can be done about the price changes, this topic wont amount to a hill of beans in another month or so :classic_blush:

so true: I am sure we are all very disappointed in the changes. I think it sucks truthfully but I know, like when they added the service charge for room service and did other policy changes that affected most of us, in a few months as you said, it will be in the past. Not to mention, you will be hearing about similar changes on other lines. This is the way it goes. 

 

OceanBlueWaters: Why do you think it wasn't advertised? Does Ford tell you in advance they are raising the prices on all trucks or have you seen your favorite hotel chain tell you, the room you always get for $175.00 a night with free cocktail hour has been changed to $190.00 a night and no more happy hour?  and I am not saying this as a cheerleader in this case. That if for certain. 

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18 minutes ago, newmexicoNita said:

so true: I am sure we are all very disappointed in the changes. I think it sucks truthfully but I know, like when they added the service charge for room service and did other policy changes that affected most of us, in a few months as you said, it will be in the past. Not to mention, you will be hearing about similar changes on other lines. This is the way it goes. 

 

OceanBlueWaters: Why do you think it wasn't advertised? Does Ford tell you in advance they are raising the prices on all trucks or have you seen your favorite hotel chain tell you, the room you always get for $175.00 a night with free cocktail hour has been changed to $190.00 a night and no more happy hour?  and I am not saying this as a cheerleader in this case. That if for certain. 

The difference is, Ford doesn't change the price after you bought the car and expect you to pay the difference. Neither does the hotel. You know what you are getting up front.

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32 minutes ago, newmexicoNita said:

absolutely not so about the stock. We have shares in both Carnival and NCL. Right now, yes, as of yesterday morning this year all 3 brands were up about 14. NCL the least, 14.1 compared to 14.3 and 14.8. That isn't much difference. At the end of Dec NCL had done better in 2018 than Carnival Each day or month it seems to vary, but certainly there is very little difference, with NCL out pacing Carnival by a litter most of the time. RCI is clearly doing a bit better. All 3 are good bets right now. 

 

Current Earnings per Share and Stock price:

RCL $8.38, $112.05

CCL $4.44, $56.26

NCL $3.97, $48.72

 

Source, Yahoo! Finance

 

As I correctly stated, NCL stock price and earnings per share continue to lag behind Carnival and Royal. It is 10-15% behind it's nearest competitor. When all else fails, price gouge the customer to try to make up the difference. Lol.

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2 minutes ago, blcruising said:

 

Current Earnings per Share and Stock price:

RCL $8.38, $112.05

CCL $4.44, $56.26

NCL $3.97, $48.72

 

Source, Yahoo! Finance

 

As I correctly stated, NCL stock price and earnings per share continue to lag behind Carnival and Royal. It is 10-15% behind it's nearest competitor. When all else fails, price gouge the customer to try to make up the difference. Lol.

guess we all look at it in a different light or compare it differently. When I see my investment go up more or less from other similar investments it is a good investment. This has nothing to do with price gouging the customer. I am certainly not praising NCL for what they have done with the drink prices. I think, as I have said, it sucks, but the success overall of the company will depend on how customers see the increase or how much business they lose. Right now, the ships are going out almost full. Will this continue we will find out. 

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45 minutes ago, newmexicoNita said:

OceanBlueWaters: Why do you think it wasn't advertised? Does Ford tell you in advance they are raising the prices on all trucks or have you seen your favorite hotel chain tell you, the room you always get for $175.00 a night with free cocktail hour has been changed to $190.00 a night and no more happy hour?  and I am not saying this as a cheerleader in this case. That if for certain. 

 

Neither of these are relevant compared to NCL's consistent moving of the goalposts, as KateQ pointed out above. Ford and the hotel don't change the price and terms after final payment.

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