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gmbhardy

Not Happy with Liquor Up Charges

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2 hours ago, Lionkingrichard said:

Just priced Breakaway cruise for Oct.

 

2A1C Balcony

 

Sail away $2536

 

BD with Drinks, 6 meals, Wifi, 3 Ports, 3rd passenger free, $100. $3245 Tips included for free extras.

 

$710 Difference

 

6 meals $200

Wifi $125

3 ports $150

Child soda $50

$100

Equals $625

 

$85 for the wife and myself to drink all week including tips? Take away the ports and still not bad?

 

This is not the same value for everyone.

I would never pay for wifi and don't even use the free platinum minutes I and my DH get so that is $0 value to me.

I don't do ship excursions so $0 value for me.

travel with just DH so 3rd sail free and child soda package $0.

Have 2 free platinum meals for 2 and wouldn't spend on others so no value there. On my last NCL had better meals in the MDR than in the specialties.

I assume the $100 is OBC? if so that is $100 value.

so a total value for me of $100.

 

I would not normally spend 600-700 on alcohol but NCL prices are now so ridiculous that it won't be hard to reach that.

 

I may have sailed my last NCL cruise.

 

Next one in April is on MSC, might go back to celebrity after that.

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I agree with most of the posts here about the pricing being insane from Sailaway rate to "perk" rate.  On our last RCI cruise, we didn't do the drink package because it was 800.00 for both of us and paid as we went...which basically equaled us not drinking.  I don't know about you guys, but whenever I see it go on my bill, even though I KNOW its irrational, I don't want to have that bill be so big at the end of the cruise, even if it WOULD have evened/been less than if we HAD bought the package.  It's a complete mental thing for me, I like to have a pretty all inclusive onboard experience because otherwise I am just a penny pincher onboard. 

 

In the interest of discussion, I think i got a pretty good deal this time around with my TA on our Getaway Feb 24th sailing. She is paying our beverage tips/room tips instead of giving us OBC, so we are paying 1850.00 for two people in an inside cabin,  where we got to pick the room (deck 12 I think) with the UBP, no extra gratuities. Ended up being a savings of around 450.00 over booking through the cruiseline.  I do think this was a pretty massive deal, which I doubt we will ever get again. Plus I had a 250.00 FCC which brought our price down to 1600 for two people, so 800.00 for two people with alcohol for 7 days = a fun time to be had 😄 

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I realize NCL is a company and that company goal is to make money.  I am not directly impacted by this change but it does leave a bad taste in my mouth about the change was done with no advance notice, no grandfathering in of people who booked their cruise thinking certain beverages are included. I feel this is just bad business. No one knows what they will add fees for next.

I e-mailed NCL and expressed my displeasure at this money grabbing tactic, and the reply I received is generic. We are sorry but don't care kind of reply.

Quote "Good morning this is Marilyn calling you back from Norwegian returning your call about your dissatisfaction about the change in the premium beverage policy and you mentioned WE just changed the prices without letting you know. I am calling you back because basically on our cruise line many times things can happen instantly and that's why it says in our terms and conditions whenever you log on the NCL. com homepage changes are permitted to happen. Many times we cannot let you know ahead of time and sometimes we can but mostly I can let you know that any changes happen, can happen with or without notice and we do reserve the right to make those changes as a cruise line."

 

How's that for a whole lot of we don't care.

 

 Like others, I will be re-evaluating my cruise line choice for the remaining 2019 and 2020 year. I am glad this had happened before I purchased the cruise next certificates I had planned to purchase for my family of 8 (4 balcony cabins) for a Hawaii cruise. I am stuck with the already paid cruise for May and will make the best of it. 

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Only in cruising do you buy one product and have the configuration change between PAYMENT and delivery - kind like buying and paying for a car, and when you pick it up and the high-end sound system included in your trim line - the reason you paid an extra $1k for the higher trim line -  has been downgraded to a lower quality one, the dealership says "manufacturer changed specifications and didn't tell us, so sorry, here are the keys, see ya!"

 

I read this as NCL has had a lot of flak and the phone reps have been given a script to deal with it.  They don't think it's going to hurt them in the pocketbook.  Yes, if it's in the terms & conditions they CAN legally do this but it's not "good faith" IMHO, especially for those cruisers past final payment.  

 

Some reasonable amount of OBC (say $100) or providing free premium pkg would be two simple ways of grandfathering in the people past final payment who bought & paid for the "old" UBC.  Simple, no database fiddling required.

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On 1/31/2019 at 10:03 AM, Kmkub said:

This is where a TA is extremely helpful. Let them do all that legwork for you.

 

We waited for our loyalty match to be approved, because it gave us an extra 5% discount. You can't retroactively get the 5%. We are platinum on Princess, and MSC put us at gold status.

I am booked in YC (11 day cruise to Canada) on Meraviglia thru one of their cruise consultants. He explained to me about status match and to apply for it as NCL Platinum for DH and Platinum + for myself. Once I got the approval of status match to Black I was to contact him about discount. I not only got the 5% Black discount retroactive, but also the 15% select voyage discount bringing my cost from 6000+ to less than 4800.  Included mini bar and drinks with no added gratuity. As a frequent Haven cruiser, I was thrilled with this. Now after this new beverage package that NCL has started, all I have to say is ‘Goodbye, NCL’.  Apparently Platinum + loyalty has no no meaning to you anymore. 

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2 hours ago, SteveH2508 said:

Actually it is not quite as straightforward as you might think to grandfather this in. The algorithm would need several pieces of information to determine the correct charge for a drink purchase.

 

They need to know:

·         When the booking was made

·         What terms and conditions applied at the time of said booking

·         Nationality (or which country the booking was made under)

·         The price list appertaining at the time of booking

These all involve hitting various databases each time a purchase is made. Multiply that by the number of transactions being made and you have a significant increase in network traffic and database queries (maybe a five-fold increase).

 

Then there is the extra coding and extra database maintenance to be considered.

Considering the number of times NCL mess about with T&Cs and prices, this would provide employment for several programmers and DBAs (at an associated cost).

 

I do not see that happening I'm afraid (though it would cut down the number of times they mess with the promo which would be a good thing).

 

I don't see this happening either but it could actually be very easy to implement if you do it based on an increased allowance to solve the problem.

 

All you do is create a new package with a $20 limit and apply it to anyone who booked before XX date, anyone who booked after XX date get existing package with $15 allowance. You could make it as simple as today's date, anyone with an existing booking gets new $20 package and any future bookings get $15 package.

 

If you want to make it easy for staff you just print something on the card like "+20" which is exactly what they do for us (UK) on our cards, my last card said "UBP+C+J", I have no idea what "J" stands for but I know "C" stands for coffee as they always check my card for the "C" when I order coffee.

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On 1/31/2019 at 10:03 AM, Kmkub said:

This is where a TA is extremely helpful. Let them do all that legwork for you.

 

We waited for our loyalty match to be approved, because it gave us an extra 5% discount. You can't retroactively get the 5%. We are platinum on Princess, and MSC put us at gold status.

 

I got my 5% applied retroactively.

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On January 23, 2019 at 2:32 AM, roxette said:

I am happy that NCL now have a real beverage package which doesn't only include alcohol and soda. But also coffee, juice and water. Maybe I'm not that happy with the price tag. But i will think about it for my next cruise. Which unfortunately(?) is 21 nights, so it will be expensive if I choose to have it.

 

I really wonder if how they will do with the wines by the glass with the upgraded package, if all glasses will be covered, real champagne, for example. 

 

Also wonder if it will be possible to upgrade before boarding. 

 

I'm on a 21 day cruise as well this November.  The cost of the new NCL upgraded package for a 21 day cruise (without the "free" perk) is $3225 (incl gratuity) PER PERSON!  For both in the cabin it would be $6,450!!!!!!   Now, the NCL "free" perk upgrade charge for the same pkg for 21 days will be $1,146 (gratuities and upgrade cost of $29/day).  Gee, seems like such a great deal.  However, compare these costs to Celebrity, which does NOT require both people, or all in the cabin to purchase a package, the cost for a 21 day cruise for their top bev package (purchased outright) is $1709.82 per pers.   The price to upgrade the Celebrity pkg when receiving the free bev package as a booking perk (and nearly all cruises can get this perk at some point) the upgrade price would be only $346 for 21 days, including the 18% gratuity.  What NCL is doing is outrageous.  People will ultimately drink less or decide not at all and then look back and say their cruise was boring or disappointing.  Not a smart strategy by NCL especially when the competition offers a better or comparable product for less.  It's hard to get a customer back once they decide to go the competition.  Retention is generally a main goal of any business. 

Edited by cruise52
Correction

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4 hours ago, twoznuff2 said:

I realize NCL is a company and that company goal is to make money.  I am not directly impacted by this change but it does leave a bad taste in my mouth about the change was done with no advance notice, no grandfathering in of people who booked their cruise thinking certain beverages are included. I feel this is just bad business. No one knows what they will add fees for next.

I e-mailed NCL and expressed my displeasure at this money grabbing tactic, and the reply I received is generic. We are sorry but don't care kind of reply.

Quote "Good morning this is Marilyn calling you back from Norwegian returning your call about your dissatisfaction about the change in the premium beverage policy and you mentioned WE just changed the prices without letting you know. I am calling you back because basically on our cruise line many times things can happen instantly and that's why it says in our terms and conditions whenever you log on the NCL. com homepage changes are permitted to happen. Many times we cannot let you know ahead of time and sometimes we can but mostly I can let you know that any changes happen, can happen with or without notice and we do reserve the right to make those changes as a cruise line."

 

How's that for a whole lot of we don't care.

 

 Like others, I will be re-evaluating my cruise line choice for the remaining 2019 and 2020 year. I am glad this had happened before I purchased the cruise next certificates I had planned to purchase for my family of 8 (4 balcony cabins) for a Hawaii cruise. I am stuck with the already paid cruise for May and will make the best of it. 

Good for you to be re-evaluating. I am doing the same.

 

Someone posted the email of Karl Muhlberger, VP of Shipboard Operations, a few days ago. I sent an email to kmuhlberger@ncl.com. I did receive a phone call from NCL executive offices in Miami today but I missed the call. I will return the call next week.

 

My email was direct and to the point. It wasn't rude or disrespectful. I included my latitudes number so they could easily verify my numerous vacations with NCL. I don't expect a policy change, and they can operate their business however they see fit. But it was important to me that an executive (not guest relations) knew how I felt, and it was important enough to them to at least reach out to me to have dialogue.

 

This is good customer service, in my view.

 

Thank you to whoever posted the email address.

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Goodness, but who's paying for the outrageous drink prices?

...some people are making NCL very rich.

Edited by Rafa

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9 hours ago, Happy2b@sea said:

Who spends $99 per day on alcohol?  The difference between a sailaway rate and one including perks was about $900 when I booked my latest cruise.  This was about the price of the drinks package before it went up!  Still wish NCL prices were the same for everyone not just US citizens, especially if you are booking a Mediterranean cruise!  We don't get to bid etc  Is this inequality NCL?  Same price, rules and deals for everyone please!

 

I think a lot of people might break even at $100 a day, even at the old prices. They talk about the 15 drink limit on Carnival's program as being too limiting. Many have talked about three to four drinks before lunch. So it's not a stretch that people would have 8 - 10 drinks to get to the break-even point, and then figure the rest of the day's intake was free.

 

NCL has different booking procedures in different places because of consumer laws (more permissive in the US), local customs ("we're not a tipping society"), and currency exchange rates.

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On 1/22/2019 at 11:32 AM, detroitlions said:

I sail on the Bliss March 2nd. I am sure the new upgrade package will most likely be in affect.

From reading this post there are a few points that I agree with.

1. raising prices on drinks that were normally included just to have a upgrade package is horrible.

2. I understand if you want to include a package with water, coffee and what should be a premium drink like Johnny walker blue or expensive campaign to be a extra cost. This is exceptable.

 

3. I am already paying over a $1000  more the last 2 years with food quality being cut back. A different type of vacation or cruise line will be considered on my next vacation. The NCL value of what you get for your money is defiantly maxed out.

I’m paying about $1300 more for our cruise Boston to Bermuda than last two years ago and about $800 more than our Bahamas cruise out of NYC.  Nothing in life is free, and I enjoy the NCL vibe, but they are making RCL look tempting if I’m going to pay RCL prices. Time will tell. Food is subjective, I’ve always found something tasty. I’ve never found the quality of food downgraded. Will I upgrade my beverage package...depends.  Do both parties have to in a cabin? 

Edited by ALS1214

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14 hours ago, electro said:

This is not the same value for everyone.

I would never pay for wifi and don't even use the free platinum minutes I and my DH get so that is $0 value to me.

I don't do ship excursions so $0 value for me.

travel with just DH so 3rd sail free and child soda package $0.

Have 2 free platinum meals for 2 and wouldn't spend on others so no value there. On my last NCL had better meals in the MDR than in the specialties.

I assume the $100 is OBC? if so that is $100 value.

so a total value for me of $100.

 

I would not normally spend 600-700 on alcohol but NCL prices are now so ridiculous that it won't be hard to reach that.

 

I may have sailed my last NCL cruise.

 

Next one in April is on MSC, might go back to celebrity after that.

Of course it isn't the same value for all, but, for the most part the examples you are giving are very personal and do not fit everyone. The wifi probably is a good example as many of us do not spend a lot of time checking our email or whatever, but MDR versus specialty, that is something 90% would disagree with you about and the same with the excursion. We used to book our excursions privately. Now between the discount we get through hour travel agent and the NCL discount for being a platinum plus member and the excursion perk we only go through our TA or NCL. 

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My question to the VP would be, " do you think it's reasonable to pay $24 for a grey goose and OJ on your cruise line for those who do not have the drink package? or to pay that price at any restaurant in any big city for that matter?"  It tells me that NCL top brass is so out of touch with reality and believes their customers would not be in a uproar and accept this change without any negative responses.  I mean the $15 drink options were already overpriced.  

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2 hours ago, surfone said:

My question to the VP would be, " do you think it's reasonable to pay $24 for a grey goose and OJ on your cruise line for those who do not have the drink package? or to pay that price at any restaurant in any big city for that matter?"  It tells me that NCL top brass is so out of touch with reality and believes their customers would not be in a uproar and accept this change without any negative responses.  I mean the $15 drink options were already overpriced.  

 

The VP is busy hiding under his desk in Miami, either counting beans or figuring out what other unannounced change he can design to rip-off his customers. 

 

Yeah, out of touch for sure. And you have an industry leading mandatory 20% "service charge" on top of the already inflated base price of the beverage. $20-$30 for a premium brand cocktail or glass of wine? Never. I'd rather donate that money to a local church, food bank, or shelter.

Edited by blcruising

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On 2/1/2019 at 9:29 PM, blcruising said:

Good for you to be re-evaluating. I am doing the same.

 

Someone posted the email of Karl Muhlberger, VP of Shipboard Operations, a few days ago. I sent an email to kmuhlberger@ncl.com. I did receive a phone call from NCL executive offices in Miami today but I missed the call. I will return the call next week.

 

My email was direct and to the point. It wasn't rude or disrespectful. I included my latitudes number so they could easily verify my numerous vacations with NCL. I don't expect a policy change, and they can operate their business however they see fit. But it was important to me that an executive (not guest relations) knew how I felt, and it was important enough to them to at least reach out to me to have dialogue.

 

This is good customer service, in my view.

 

Thank you to whoever posted the email address.

 

I hope everyone who is disappointed with these new prices.takes the time to email Mr. Muhlberger. It may not change anything but at least it might stimulate discussion at the next board meeting.

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45 minutes ago, gmbhardy said:

 

I hope everyone who is disappointed with these new prices.takes the time to email Mr. Muhlberger. It may not change anything but at least it might stimulate discussion at the next board meeting.

 

I wouldn't count on it. A VP at a subsidiary company isn't someone who sits in, much less drives discussion at, board meetings. At this level, they are officials tasked with implementing the directives passed down by the Board of Directors.

 

If you want to stimulate discussion at a board meeting, you'd need to address an actual board member

 

Russell W. Galbut, Chairman
David Abrams, Director
Adam M. Aron, Director
John W. Chidsey, Director
Stella David, Director
Frank J. Del Rio, Director
Mary E. Landry, Director
Chad A. Leat, Director
Steve Martinez, Director
Pamela Thomas-Graham, Director
 

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I see that most posters get the free alcohol packages and have a good point in the excessive price increase. NCL has some great itineraries but are hardly the leaders in food, service, pool space, or ambience. So, here's one who never buys into the over-priced packages.....we pay `a la carte and bring or buy some wine. We're affected, too, and it seems worse. It does not drive me to get on the package train......I'll simply drink less! Most of our cruises are 10+ nights with numerous port days away from the ship for us and have empathy for those who this will hit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Any thing new on the PBP Package .

Edited by fsls40
PUT IN PBP AS PPB

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On 2/1/2019 at 3:28 PM, SteveH2508 said:

Actually it is not quite as straightforward as you might think to grandfather this in. The algorithm would need several pieces of information to determine the correct charge for a drink purchase.

 

They need to know:

·         When the booking was made

·         What terms and conditions applied at the time of said booking

·         Nationality (or which country the booking was made under)

·         The price list appertaining at the time of booking

These all involve hitting various databases each time a purchase is made. Multiply that by the number of transactions being made and you have a significant increase in network traffic and database queries (maybe a five-fold increase).

 

Then there is the extra coding and extra database maintenance to be considered.

Considering the number of times NCL mess about with T&Cs and prices, this would provide employment for several programmers and DBAs (at an associated cost).

 

I do not see that happening I'm afraid (though it would cut down the number of times they mess with the promo which would be a good thing).

If they hired me, I could solve all of those problems in my sleep. It’s not as hard as you think it is. 

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2 minutes ago, slugg said:

If they hired me, I could solve all of those problems in my sleep. It’s not as hard as you think it is. 

 

But it would cost NCL money - they don't like that.

 

I could program that algorithm easily enough, but the point I was making is that it is not just a bald 'grandfather it in' statement - there are cost implications to the implementation as well as the grandfathering itself.

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8 minutes ago, SteveH2508 said:

 

But it would cost NCL money - they don't like that.

 

I could program that algorithm easily enough, but the point I was making is that it is not just a bald 'grandfather it in' statement - there are cost implications to the implementation as well as the grandfathering itself.

I don’t think cost is an issue. I think the most likely scenario is that they see an upside to ticking off the people who pay attention to these things, which is a small minority of their customers. Mark my words, 90% of the passengers won’t even know the difference. 

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16 minutes ago, slugg said:

I don’t think cost is an issue. I think the most likely scenario is that they see an upside to ticking off the people who pay attention to these things, which is a small minority of their customers. Mark my words, 90% of the passengers won’t even know the difference. 

 

Agreed with one proviso - cost is ALWAYS an issue - especially to NCL!

It is fairly well understood that cruise lines like to get their hooks into new passengers as they tend to spend more on board than us grizzled old veteran cruisers.

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On 2/3/2019 at 4:50 PM, gmbhardy said:

 

I hope everyone who is disappointed with these new prices.takes the time to email Mr. Muhlberger. It may not change anything but at least it might stimulate discussion at the next board meeting.

I won’t be but I have had several detailed conferences with my TA who are one of ncl large group booking agents. Even before my feedback they told me NCL is reporting large cancellations and want to know why? I directed her to this site. Also she reports that she is booking a much higher proportion of Celebrity and RCL at the moment. The head of the agency also apparently mirrored my thoughts that if MSC just tweak a couple of things (fixed dining for eg) they will take ncl to the cleaners. Personally our last Ncl Epic TA was so disappointing it was the first time we didn’t buy a future cruise deposit. We hav evinced sailed on MSc and have bookings on Celebrity and HAL. This was even before the drinks package changes, we will use our last 2 deposits and then it might be a hiatus.

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Well it appears it’s time to “jump ship”.  I just got off Celebrity Equinox and LOVED the free beverage package!  We were given the BEST package for free (unlike NCL they INCLUDE the gratuity) It was an amazing cruise with the best crew I’ve ever had the pleasure of sailing with.  Unlike  NCL I never felt  Nickeled and Dimed!!!   As a Platinum loyalty member it’s difficult to leave NCL but I am so

unhappy with all the changes that I am seriously considering it. 

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