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rxlowry

For Loyalists/Cheerleaders What is likely your breaking point?

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On most threads when a change is discussed, there are always posters who act like it doesn't phase them.  Charge for room service?  Never used it.  No straws.  Don't need them.  No Towel animals.  Seen them all.  No Chocolate on pillow.  Never ate it.  Lobster gone.  You can buy it at grocery store.  There's always an answer from them.

So what would make you rethink NCL and explore another line?

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Most people aren't "loyal" to any line....at least, they shouldn't be. 

 

For me, there is a ratio between what I get and what I pay. As long as I am happy with what I get over what I pay, I'll continue to sail with NCL. It doesn't stop me from sailing with other lines (MSC) as long as I am happy(er?) with their ratio. I no longer sail Carnival because I am not happy with their product nor a large percentage of their clientele. Haven't been on RCCL for a long time because I've found options (Haven/Yacht Club) which I prefer. I'm still on the fence with Celebrity's Retreat on EDGE so it is a "maybe". Virgin doesn't allow children (for now) so they aren't an option for us. 

 

Changes that increase my cost will hurt the ratio but as long as changes aren't enough to outweigh what I get, I don't let it bother me...much.

 

 

Edited by Two Wheels Only

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If I got off the ship and felt I didn't have a great time, I would look elsewhere.  Hasn't happened so far.

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Never the most loyal to any cruise line still like to give others a try from time to time.  :classic_wink:

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For me, it's about the itinerary first and then ship/cruise line the second.  We usually cruise Royal and have cruised Carnival before, our next cruise is on NCL Escape because we wanted to go to Bermuda and liked the idea of 2.5 days there.   We are looking at Alaska for 2020/2021 and are looking at Princess.  

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30 minutes ago, rxlowry said:

On most threads when a change is discussed, there are always posters who act like it doesn't phase them.  Charge for room service?  Never used it.  No straws.  Don't need them.  No Towel animals.  Seen them all.  No Chocolate on pillow.  Never ate it.  Lobster gone.  You can buy it at grocery store.  There's always an answer from them.

So what would make you rethink NCL and explore another line?

 

Even if you really like NCL, it would be foolish to ignore other lines. None of the things you mention bother me at all. I often cruise NCL, but in the past 18 months I have been on NCL (2x), Silversea and HAL. Never stick to one line.

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I was on the Bliss last spring had such a great time - booked 3 more NCL while on board. The drink packages changes made me consider MSC, my Breakaway cruise (nothing was bad, but to many crew were visibly overworked & under appreciated) had me cancelling Escape and trying MSC for Jan 2020. I have 2 NCL cruises this year, I'll see how I feel in Feb 2020.

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36 minutes ago, rxlowry said:

On most threads when a change is discussed, there are always posters who act like it doesn't phase them.  Charge for room service?  Never used it.  No straws.  Don't need them.  No Towel animals.  Seen them all.  No Chocolate on pillow.  Never ate it.  Lobster gone.  You can buy it at grocery store.  There's always an answer from them.

So what would make you rethink NCL and explore another line?

 

The value for money made me switch to MSC.  

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Breaking point for me would be if they implement an upcharge for taking a long shower. 

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Service.  And the charge for it.  Never had a problem with service on a cruise until Nov 2018, on the Breakaway.  It was abysmal.  We're giving NCL another shot, though, next month on the Jade in Europe.

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We are very close to our breaking point with NCL, they seem to be constantly taking away amenities and or adding a surcharge for items that used to be included in the cruise fare, we love the NCL suite life but over the years the prices have continued to climb while the amenities have continued to decline. We paid almost 10k for the least expensive suite on our upcoming Spirit cruise, I haven’t priced it out but I’m thinking we could have sailed with Oceania for that price.  I’m fine with NCL increasing the prices as long as they add additional amenities that justify the price increases. I’m sure these issues are not specific to NCL but I have no experience with the other lines so I can not make a comparison. 

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First cruise I ever took was on Carnival many years ago and I witnessed at least a dozen altercations/fights and the sewage pumps reversed and it came through my shower while I was showering and through the sink and I swore I would never go on a cruise again. Many years later I was talked in to it and was told that since it was just a 5 days cruise out of California it was a party cruise and it is normally not like that so I gave it another try and took another Carnival cruise out of Florida and although the ship was much nicer and had no sewage issue I did witness 3 full on group fights at different times and different people about 10 vs 10 each time. After this I swore off cruising until I was talked in to it again but on NCL, I sailed on the Getaway on its second sailing and it was absolutely amazing, at that time they did not offer the alcohol package as a perk and we were not able to buy it because we traveled during spring break and it was not available. Between 3 of us we built up a $3,000 alcohol bill. The next year we decided to go on a cruise and we searched every cruise line besides Carnival, and NCL was the best value once they included the alcohol package (I know it is not really "free" and you pay taxes/gratuity etc. but compared to paying $1,000 less for the cruise and getting the "free" alcohol it is worth it for us to pay a little more). We now cruise once or twice per year and every time we look in to all pricing and itinerary from each cruise line and make a decision and so far for the last 6 or 7 cruises NCL has been the best overall value. It sucks you can not bring on water anymore, it sucks a few alcohol drinks we have to pay an additional dollar or two, it sucks we don't have straws (especially to stir frozen drinks), it sucks we do not get towels folded like animals. The things you mentioned are nice to have but honestly I feel most people that you call "loyal/cheerleaders" look at the overall package value of what they are going to do and make the best educated decision of which cruise to go on. (approx. $25.00 to buy water onboard/$10.00 reusable straw/extra $15.00 per cruise for add on drink cost/$50.00 extra cash tip to steward on first day to get towel animals and amazing service).   So 90% of the complaints people have can be cured for $100.00!, If you are going to pay $4,000/$6,000 for a cruise I find it hard to complain about $100 more. (here again is when you add up the value of all the other cruise lines also to see if you add the extra $100 if it is still a good value or not). Example: Going on Alaska cruise on Norwegian Joy next month and I could go without those things with a nice balcony and all other NCL perks for $3,520 for 3 people or I can go on Royal and get the folded animals etc for $5,740. I am sure you have heard the phrase jumping over dollars to pick up pennies... I do not feel it is worth $2,200 to get the lobster and a few other small things.

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When we feel as unwelcome and unappreciated every time we take a RCCL cruise. The RCCL crew are the the most unpleasant and unfriendly in the industry (and we have taken 3 RCCL cruises in the past year a long with 3 NCL cruises). 

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We have only been on NCL cruises not out of loyalty but because to me it was more bang for our buck and for the freestyle. Since we started doing cruises in 2009, We have definitely seen the decline in service the hike in prices, ( some understandable others not so much) and less appreciation for customers.  We remember great staff, friendly service, and even though we still find great service, we have seen now how some of them look tired and overworked. Are we looking for other cruise lines right now? maybe, MSC has great itineraries for next year and we hear great stuff about them. We still have 6 NCL cruise next certificates which we will use, but we are far from being cheerleaders, maybe because we only cruise them, we have noticed the decline in service...IMHO....We get out of our cruises what we put in, we enjoy the Spa Thermal suite. We enjoy our cruise no matter what, the fact we are away from home, not cooking, out at sea, breathing fresh air, is enough for us 😁...What would be our breaking point?  when the daily service charge reaches an exuberant amount that it no longer helps our wallet and budget, we already have a price in mind.

Edited by spanishguy1970

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29 minutes ago, Bocadude85 said:

We are very close to our breaking point with NCL, they seem to be constantly taking away amenities and or adding a surcharge for items that used to be included in the cruise fare, we love the NCL suite life but over the years the prices have continued to climb while the amenities have continued to decline. We paid almost 10k for the least expensive suite on our upcoming Spirit cruise, I haven’t priced it out but I’m thinking we could have sailed with Oceania for that price.  I’m fine with NCL increasing the prices as long as they add additional amenities that justify the price increases. I’m sure these issues are not specific to NCL but I have no experience with the other lines so I can not make a comparison. 

 

We did jump ship, so to speak, to Oceania.

 

We tried NCL's Haven (a 2BR on the Pearl, so it was the space and quiet, not the restaurant/etc.) on a Holiday Cruise.  The Haven was Heavenly, thank goodness.  But once we ventured out, there were hoards of children racing around and quite purposefully bumping into people, especially at the elevators.  It was HORRIBLE.  We ate most meals in our Suite, but didn't like feeling "trapped" in the Haven.  Even walking to Le Bistro was an "event" - a negative event.

 

And for what we paid, we could get a PH suite (really a large cabin, not a suite, in the sense of separate rooms) on Oceania, so we did that the next holiday season.

It was glorious, and the food... the food!! 

 

But Oceania doesn't sail to all itineraries we are interested in, so we'll sail other lines if necessary.

However, we do try to make it Oceania, with the larger ships.  We aren't so sure about the cabin/suite sizes on O's smaller ships, but we'll probably be giving them a try.

We especially appreciate the way O does pricing:  "All inclusive" doesn't work for us, as we prefer fine wine to lots of cocktails/beer/etc., and we typically prefer private excursions (either alone, or with a few others from Roll Call).

 

One thing:  The best Butler we had on NCL was *superb*, and we wish he (or a different O Butler) had been on our most recent Oceania cruise.  (Our recent Oceania Butler wasn't quite bad enough for a formal complaint, but we didn't give the full amount we had planned to tip.  We did tip, because we did have several meals en suite, and that is extra work, and he didn't spill it on us... 😱 ....)

 

GC

 

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47 minutes ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

The value for money made me switch to MSC.  

 

^^^^^^^This!^^^^^^  We also switched to MSC due to the ridiculous price increases on NCL.  We sailed 3 cruises this last Nov/Dec on the Divina and loved it.  We are booked for 4 more cruises on the MSC Seaside this year.  We have 3 cruise next certificates left to use but unless something changes with NCL's prices we will sell them and book more MSC.  NCL has priced themselves out of my range.

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Finding the MSC Yacht Club.

 

Better than the haven as not much more than a mini suite on NCL.

 

Posted from the Meraviglia on their cheap wifi.

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Once a while back on Cruise Critic, someone explained WHY he always cruised on the same cruise line:

 

~  They had always liked and enjoyed it.

~  He could only afford to take his family on a 7 day cruise once a year so he wanted to make sure it was on a cruise line they had always liked and enjoyed.

 

Because of his situation, he does make some good points.  :classic_wink:

 

 

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We've been on 9 NCL cruises with a 10th booked in June.  I'm still in sticker shock about how much more expensive it's gotten since our last cruise, which was 4 years ago.  When I started cruising NCL it was the only cruise line I thought I'd feel comfortable with.  I didn't want to have to be seated with the same strangers every night.  I'm rather introverted and have a hearing issue that makes visiting with a large table of people uncomfortable.  I didn't want to have to do a real formal night.  I liked the idea of freestyle cruising and it fit our lifestyle perfectly.

Given the price increases though, I'll definitely be checking other lines out if we decide to cruise again.  Can't justify what NCL is charging given that so many of the things that represented cruising to us (towel animals, lobster at dinner, chocolate buffet, being able to take soda and water on board, etc.) have or will be going away.  We're not alcohol drinkers, so all inclusive doesn't matter to us, and the UBP does nothing for us.  

Have a friend who always sailed Disney with her son and 4 grandsons, and she's feeling the same way.  Their last cruise was on Princess and when she came back she said it was OK -- but it wasn't Disney.  With all the changes I'm not so sure NCL is going to feel like NCL for us.

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3 hours ago, rxlowry said:

On most threads when a change is discussed, there are always posters who act like it doesn't phase them.  Charge for room service?  Never used it.  No straws.  Don't need them.  No Towel animals.  Seen them all.  No Chocolate on pillow.  Never ate it.  Lobster gone.  You can buy it at grocery store.  There's always an answer from them.

So what would make you rethink NCL and explore another line?

Interesting question you ask.  I feel like I see something opposite of this happening more often.  "No Straws?...that's it, I'm done."  "No towel animals???....after my years of loyalty, that takes the cake."  And of course, the frequent, "I'm tired of being nickel and dimed."  It feels like folks CLAIM they are jumping ship left and right.  To me, those who are unphased by the examples you list above are just reasonably balancing all the things they DO enjoy, and deciding that the latest change isn't a dealbreaker.  

 

I appreciate your question though...these kinds of posts always generate amusing comments.

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Last September was our first cruise. We took the Bliss to Alaska. I had no interest in cruising before but I read an article about the new ship and decided to give it a try, we were hooked. We had such a great time that we bought four CruiseNext certificates on that trip. We are excited to go on the Bliss again next month to Alaska. I feel like we were Norwegian's dream clients to get locked into their brand, a pair of mid 30's professionals who could travel a few times a year, for years to come.  

 

But there have been a few things that have made me question my new found loyalty. I won't go into all of them as most are very minor ($5 shrimp upcharges, ha) but the big one for me was the drink package changes! I know they backtracked on this a little but it gave me a weird impression of them as a company. Such a little thing but it was enough for me to shop around.

 

I'm sure we will have a lot of fun on this upcoming trip, but I have no plans on buying more CruiseNext certs. I'm seeing rates on Celebrity to Alaska with prepaid tips, premium drinks and unlimited wifi for the same price or less. On top of that Celebrity looks like it might be a better fit for us. 

 

Not really a breaking point, but a maybe we should see other people situation. ha.

 

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2 hours ago, Bocadude85 said:

We are very close to our breaking point with NCL, they seem to be constantly taking away amenities and or adding a surcharge for items that used to be included in the cruise fare, we love the NCL suite life but over the years the prices have continued to climb while the amenities have continued to decline. 

 

This is where we are too. We are on the Jade next week and then we are going to revisit other lines and try new ones. NCL has been degrading their product for the last several years and we have hung in there because we love the suite life and the platinum perks but it’s no longer working for us. We’re platinum on princess too so maybe we’ll go back there for a while. Also maybe We’ll try carnival again now that we have a kiddo too. It’s bittersweet. We have really loved the memories and friends we’ve made on NCL. 🙁

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24 minutes ago, ute_fan said:

We've been on 9 NCL cruises with a 10th booked in June.  I'm still in sticker shock about how much more expensive it's gotten since our last cruise, which was 4 years ago.  When I started cruising NCL it was the only cruise line I thought I'd feel comfortable with.  I didn't want to have to be seated with the same strangers every night.  I'm rather introverted and have a hearing issue that makes visiting with a large table of people uncomfortable.  I didn't want to have to do a real formal night.  I liked the idea of freestyle cruising and it fit our lifestyle perfectly.

Given the price increases though, I'll definitely be checking other lines out if we decide to cruise again.  Can't justify what NCL is charging given that so many of the things that represented cruising to us (towel animals, lobster at dinner, chocolate buffet, being able to take soda and water on board, etc.) have or will be going away.  We're not alcohol drinkers, so all inclusive doesn't matter to us, and the UBP does nothing for us.  

Have a friend who always sailed Disney with her son and 4 grandsons, and she's feeling the same way.  Their last cruise was on Princess and when she came back she said it was OK -- but it wasn't Disney.  With all the changes I'm not so sure NCL is going to feel like NCL for us.

I completely agree.  We usually take transatlantics, and i find them inexpensive, in fact our first one was around 699 dollars 14 days, then we took a 21 day one back to back including the transatlantic for 1499 dollars PP  ( balcony) now we are taking a 19 day one this October for $2070 dollars PP  inside cabin. Oh well times change. The 21 day one was only 2 years ago.

Edited by spanishguy1970

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Hi

 

For me, as long as I know what I am entitled/going to get and I get it, I am happy. If a company makes changes, as long as I am able to make myself aware, it makes no difference (why should it). I have to assess my purchase like any other. 

 

Is the product something you want? Is the price something you are wiling to pay? 

 

Basically...it doesn't matter if they had chocolates, lobster, insert anything you want in this space, last time. This time is a new product. The questions you need to ask don't change. If the answer is YES, you buy the product.

 

If a person complains about the product and yet continues to buy it, it's not the product's fault. They just like to complain. 

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