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rxlowry

For Loyalists/Cheerleaders What is likely your breaking point?

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For us, it’s a combination of things. We are platinum on NCL and very close to the equivalent level on Carnival.  Only the last couple of years I have been comparing similar cruises side by side. Before then, we only considered NCL at closely departing ports (such as NY vs Baltimore) where Carnival And NCL compete.  NCL’s price increases and marketing ploys (marketing incentives) have forced me to consider both. 

 

I itemize financial with tangible aspects like ports in the mix. I consider perks, how much we may consume in adult beverages and specialty dining, etc. 

 

For our travel experience it is nearly a wash. Carnival’s poor choice of Freeport as a port has been a big factor. 

 

Bottom line:  we are at that tilting point. It wouldn’t take much more increases or cuts by NCL for us to book Carnival for our next cruise. 

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For us, things are adding up fast and we have already tried two other cruise lines so our loyalty and patience is thinning fast.  We love freestyle, however, we were disappointed to have the third person rate charged at over 75%. WE have our eyes open for the best value, Food selection and timing is also a major factor. 

 

We did a land all inclusive and loved it so if the industry continues to make cuts we may be landbirds.

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Our last 4 cruises have been with NCL because of price not out of loyalty, generally speaking the cruiselines are pretty similar.  Being on the water, decent food, and price is our main criteria for cruising,  Anything else is a bonus.  We like the energy of Carnival but not all the debauchery, we like everything about disney except the price,  we really like the solarium pools on celebrity, etc...  If you travel on the cheap you cant afford to marry a cruiseline.   We have a great travel search engine, just plug in the dates you want to cruise and sort by length and price.

Edited by Newleno

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As others have said, I will know when my time has come !  While I am not at all  happy with all the negative changes over the last 2 years or so, I appreciate the ability to cruise solo via CAS with no single supplement and a small discount. I cruise lately to "run away from home" and enjoy some alone  time . IF NCL no longer offers me a reasonable priced cruise or the onboard experience is no longer what I have known, I will move on. 

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Have been loyal to cruising, specifically NCL.  However with the increase in costs we are now booking land based all inclusive vacations.

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1 hour ago, ucmino said:

Have been loyal to cruising, specifically NCL.  However with the increase in costs we are now booking land based all inclusive vacations.

we are not drinkers so the land based all inclusive resorts just cant compare for frugal people like us.  We enjoy being on the water and we go for deals.  I dont know how many times I have priced out land based aruba, usually 3 nights of aruba land based on the frugal is still more than a 7 day cruise on the frugal.

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You could swap out NCL and replace it with Carnival, or Royal, or Celebrity, or MSC, etc and get the same responses.

 

I believe what we’re seeing is a general re-working of the cruise industry based on a healthier economy than we were seeing a few years ago.  NCL and the other lines were priced less to keep their ships full back then.  Today?  None of the cruise lines are having much trouble filling their ships.

 

I’ve looked at land based cruises.  If I look at a median price of $2,000-$2,500 to take a cruise, and compare it to going to an all-inclusive, the pricing is similar.  I like cruising because I get to wake up in 3 or 4 different places on a cruise.

 

Recently, cruising has also allowed for a different pricing structure.  You don’t drink?  You don’t want to eat at any specialty restaurants? Don’t pay the fare Dothan includes those perks.  You can take a cruise fairly cheaply by doing that.  You still will have plenty of good venues to eat.  You’ll still go to the ports.  Probably can do that cheaper than any other vacation short of a “staycation”.

 

Smoking?  I think the cruise lines are just a reflection of general society.  I have no dog in the fight.  But, it’s a very expensive habit, and is restricted in just about every hotel I’ve been to.

 

That said, like most, I shop different lines whenever I decide to cruise.  I look at dates, itinerary and price.  More often than not, I end up on NCL.

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12 minutes ago, graphicguy said:

You could swap out NCL and replace it with Carnival, or Royal, or Celebrity, or MSC, etc and get the same responses.

 

MSCs Yacht Club still cost less than NCLs Haven so the response there can't really be the same!

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1 minute ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

MSCs Yacht Club still cost less than NCLs Haven so the response there can't really be the same!

In the last year or so, I’ve seen the MSC Yacht Club to equal, and in many situations, greatly exceeded NCL’s Haven prices.  If you use the bid process on NCL, you can get a really good deal on a Haven cabin.

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1 hour ago, graphicguy said:

If you use the bid process on NCL, you can get a really good deal on a Haven cabin.

The people who already left NCL for MSC's Yacht Club are the ones who booked NCL suites/Haven outright and are not willing to gamble on winning an upgrade bid to an unknown cabin.

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The breaking point for me would be taking away the beverage package perk. We appreciate it so much, because that's one less thing to budget for. I still remember when they had $5 Happy Hour drinks and various other specials that were affordable. I could have 4 drinks for around $30, and that was my budget per day at the time. I kept a notebook to keep myself in check. Since then, they keep raising the alcohol prices, so without the package, it just would not be worth it. I would look to cruise on another line immediately. I don't need to drink nonstop, but it's vacation. I should be able to unwind without completely breaking the bank.

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To the OP,  I think you posed a great question...consensus seems to be either I'm fine with NCL but will usually comparative shop, or I'm nearing my breaking point.   I'm wondering if the responses to your question have been what you expected or were you thinking something different? 

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On 4/11/2019 at 2:51 PM, 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?

 

 

Not loyal to any one line as I feel variety is the spice of life.  I enjoy sailing them all.  This being said, NCL has pretty much moved to the bottom of my list.  They are overpriced for the product, and their ship designs leave a lot to be desired.  Also too much in your face nickel and diming.  Yes all lines do it, but NCL takes it to another level to where it's offensive.  They are constantly making cuts and raising prices, with little regard for the customer it seems.  I feel like they try to squeeze every penny out of you, much more so than other lines which at least are a little more respectful about taking my $$!  LOL.  I'll go back to NCL at some point, probably when the Leonardo Class is introduced.  It's always fun to try out a new ship design and see how the line has evolved.  Unfortunately the Breakaway/Breakaway Plus Class does little for me.  There are better choices for me at the moment, where I feel I'm getting much more value for my $$ and enjoying much  better ship designs.  

Edited by eroller

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On 4/12/2019 at 9:39 AM, Red-Sol said:

THIS! We took 2 cruises on Oasis and Allure. We only took the second one to see if the first one was a fluke. While we thought the ships themselves were quite spectacular the vibe most definitely was Not. We not only found that the crew was unfriendly but so were the passengers. Being on both cruises we thought attending a wake would be more upbeat...the vibe was absolutely terrible. So while we haven't hit a breaking point with NCL yet....we have with Royal.

Wow, I thought we were the only ones who didn't fall head over heels about the Oasis ships.  Went on the Oasis last month and it was absolutely the dullest cruise out of nearly 20 that I've taken.  There was literally nothing happening between 5 and 9:30 - 10 PM in any of the lounges or music venues.   You are spot on about the vibe.  Taking our first NCL cruise in August on the Jade and from videos I've seen and reviews it seems to be a lot more upbeat.

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4 hours ago, jaja said:

As others have said, I will know when my time has come !  While I am not at all  happy with all the negative changes over the last 2 years or so, I appreciate the ability to cruise solo via CAS with no single supplement and a small discount. I cruise lately to "run away from home" and enjoy some alone  time . IF NCL no longer offers me a reasonable priced cruise or the onboard experience is no longer what I have known, I will move on. 

What is CAS? 

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13 minutes ago, flahagan said:

What is CAS? 

Casinos at Sea

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For me it is the crew that make the difference. I appreciate the friendliness of NCL's crew and

the visibility of the officers makes me feel as if everything is fine and under control.

I do remember one cruise where there was a huge turnover on one of the Jewell class ships

and so many new crewmembers (some being their first day on a first contract) that it gave me

pause that if something should happen would they be prepared. I am not naming the exact ship

because we took a second cruise on her and it was completely the opposite so it was fine.

So the tipping point for me is if I felt that things were not under control. So far so good. In fact

we were onboard ship with a stop on a Panama Canal cruise and they were having an

evacuation drill on the Pearl. It was so well run and professional that I am sticking with NCL.

 

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17 hours ago, juju2454 said:

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.

 

 

Are you on the Copenhagen to NOLA? in October?

yes we are 🙂

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I've been with NCL for quite a while, but started to sour with our 2018 Jade cruise. We tried MSC and found it to be a pleasant and good value experience. We had a major disappointment with higher level decisions at NCL and our room steward was our worst ever. Still, we are booked on another NCL because of the unique itinerary.  Lately, my expectations are set a lot lower for NCL.

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On 4/12/2019 at 4:39 PM, tallnthensome said:

I’m on the Bliss at the moment and this 15 day cruise has been one of the best ever but we are sailing Celebrity next year as we did MSC last year. Every cruise I book and pay for must make me feel Like I got a good deal. Once NCL doesn’t provide that value we look and cruise elsware. We want the best deal for our money and do a lot of research and are loyal to no one cruiseline. 

 

 My breaking point is to book a ship that has all these neat activities which one can't get reservations for! 

 

To tallnthensome quoted above: As you (or anyone else on the same cruise) are on a 15 day cruise has getting reservations been any easier for things like the go karts (fewer kids I assume) or shows? I would hope with more days there would be more opportunities to book such.

 

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1 hour ago, WestfieldTraveler said:

 My breaking point is to book a ship that has all these neat activities which one can't get reservations for! 

 

To tallnthensome quoted above: As you (or anyone else on the same cruise) are on a 15 day cruise has getting reservations been any easier for things like the go karts (fewer kids I assume) or shows? I would hope with more days there would be more opportunities to book such.

 

This particular cruise had a much older demographic due to the length. Only 200 kids on board made it easy to book go carts and laser tag. Specialty restaurants seemed to have a lot of openings as I viewed in side. Shows were the focal point for our cruise passengers but I had no problem booking them once the booking window opened on line. 

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14 hours ago, graphicguy said:

In the last year or so, I’ve seen the MSC Yacht Club to equal, and in many situations, greatly exceeded NCL’s Haven prices.  If you use the bid process on NCL, you can get a really good deal on a Haven cabin.

 

The price for the YC has gone up but I still see that the Haven cost much more for similar itineraries and dates.

 

The bid process is useless for me because I'm only interested in the Haven and won't book a lower category and hope to be able to upgrade.

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I see 2 things here that seem to be the most used reasons for leaving: 1-price but what so many forget is: everything goes up in price. Check the comments on other threads. You will see the same complaint  2-I had a bad experience on one ship: worse cabin steward: well this can happen on any line, any restaurant, any hotel: whatever. We think the service is one of the huge pluses for NCL> anyway, it is interesting to see how people feel about their breaking point 

On 4/11/2019 at 1:51 PM, 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?

Many of us who are cheerleaders have tried other lines, more than once and still prefer NCL or certainly will continue to cruise the line as well as other lines. For us, primarily due to our cruising day starting to wind down, we still with NCL I think the only thing that would cause us to reconsider our choice would be, if the prices became so high they are out of our budget and there were other lines offering better deals, much better. I also guess if they went to only buffets for meals it would blow my mind. 

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