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For Loyalists/Cheerleaders What is likely your breaking point?

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22 hours ago, Newleno said:

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.

Amen !

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We've tried two non-NCL cruises (Princess and Celebrity Edge), and feel that NCL was a MUCH better experience. 

The breaking point will be when that stops being the case. 

 

 

Stephen

 

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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?

I think the wording of your post betrays what sort of responses you are expecting. Many of us are not “acting like” it doesn’t phase us. It really doesn’t.

 

Personally, I have never used room service anywhere (and I stay in hotels about 30 nights a year on top of cruises etc), think the towel animals are fun but they tend to get in the way after a while, always thought those chocolates weren’t very nice and can’t see the fuss about lobster.

 

As I so often say on these boards, different people have different requirements. What is very important to some is irrelevant to others.

 

I hate the “cheerleader” term, and personally I believe I am generally critical enough about NCL to genuinely say that I don’t think the term applies to me. I believe that NCL are money grabbing and quite deceitful in many of their practices. The difference between my view and many others is that I don’t believe that they are much different to most other big businesses in that.

 

Having said that, I am loyal to NCL in that they are the only line I have cruised with. That isn’t because I think they are great, but that they have always met my expectations, and whilst I love cruising, the most important thing for me is generally getting to the posts (although I have enjoyed a few relaxing trips where the ports are less important).

 

There are three things which would be my breaking point:

 

1) Itineraries. This is probably the main one. I actually thought we were nearly there a couple of years ago, and I believe is the best thing that Del Rio has done. We were looking at itineraries a few years ago and were fully expecting to have to go to different lines to avoid the same old ports over and over. However, they have released some exceptional itineraries lately, and it is a long time since we did a cruise which didn’t have a majority of new ports. The Baltic cruise we are doing on the Spirit in August is an exceptional itinerary and I couldn’t find anything that competed on other lines (even though it doesn’t hit the 50% new ports).

 

2) Overall price. They are getting close. In fact, I have done a couple of solo transatlantics in the past, and I am now priced out of them. My first, on the Breakaway in 2013 was exceptional value, and the Escape was still a great price. I’ve priced up the more recent ships and just can’t justify it. I go away by myself every couple of years, and the last two have been something completely different.

 

As goes our family trips, the overall price was very steady for a number of years, but has increased fairly significantly in the past couple. We spent quite a bit of time considering the Baltic trip, as the per day cost was quite a bit higher than we were paying a few years ago. We looked at other lines and actually found that there was very little difference between lines. Given the itinerary, we would have picked the Spirit one at that price had we been looking at all new lines.

 

Initial signs suggest that UK prices may have fallen a bit after getting rid of all inclusive (we have reduced the price of the Baltic cruise by about 10% by cancelling and rebooking), so I’m hopeful that next year will also be within our budget. It is close though.

 

When I talk about price, I mean the total including incidentals. I don’t care whether it is all in the fare, or we have the DSC or a special fund for Del Rio. I look at the final cost. We don’t spend much onboard, so it has always been fairly easy to calculate. One day we may get caught out by them adding a charge for something which hits us. When that happens it will impact the overall cost calculation for future cruises.

 

3) How much we enjoy ourselves. This is very for us. I am getting on the Breakaway today, and if I believed the comments here, I will need to join the queue at the bar the second we get onboard if I want a drink with my dinner, and all the staff will be miserable and spend the week complaining to me. To be honest, I read this often before my cruises (seems to be something about the ships I have booked), and then I get onboard and find the same quick and friendly service I have always had.

 

Maybe this will be the cruise where that changes (and I haven’t been on a mega ship since 2016), but I value my opinion on what I will enjoy ahead of any number of Internet strangers. If we do have a bad experience this week then I think I will associate that more with the mega ships than NCL as a whole, and we will have the opportunity of seeing how the Spirit stands up this year before making our future decisions. This week could be something of a make or break as regards mega ships.

 

Basically, I can see why people have reached their breaking point. Certainly MSC must appeal if you sail in suites (something we tried once, and thought that the benefits were not even close to being worth the extra money). If you only have a few drinks then I’m sure NCL are more expensive, and there are many other factors which will impact individuals. The messing around with the beverage package will be a big deal for many. One day it is likely that there will be a big change which impacts my overall price, but it is notable that we have got close due to increased fares, not the incidentals.

 

Sorry, I went on for a bit didn’t I. It has passed some time before the taxi arrives to take us to the Breakaway so we can join that bar queue.:)

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8 minutes ago, KeithJenner said:

 

 

 

Sorry, I went on for a bit didn’t I. It has passed some time before the taxi arrives to take us to the Breakaway so we can join that bar queue.:)

No need to apologize.  You have articulated perfectly my thoughts exactly.  And BTW...I love your accent.  I couldn't help but hear it in my head as I read your post from start to finish. 😉

Enjoy the Breakaway...I will be on her again in June and can't wait!

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7 hours ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

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.

I believe you and I have had this discussion in the past.  The last couple of cruises I’ve priced out for both the YC on MSC and Haven on NCL have yielded much higher prices in MSC’s YC.

 

Not saying MSC is in any way bad.  Just that their pricing has “caught up” to NCL’s the last year or so.  I think you’re booking from Europe, so that may have something to do with your quotes.

 

I book out of the U.S.  I just looked at a Haven Spa Suite on the Breakaway and was quoted US$4,300/cabin, with all the perks (drinks, dining, internet, excursion credit).  MSC YC for the same time period was well over $5,000/cabin....same itinerary.

 

I have yet to bid on an upgrade, but that option remains available, too for NCL.

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2 hours ago, graphicguy said:

I believe you and I have had this discussion in the past.  The last couple of cruises I’ve priced out for both the YC on MSC and Haven on NCL have yielded much higher prices in MSC’s YC.

 

Not saying MSC is in any way bad.  Just that their pricing has “caught up” to NCL’s the last year or so.  I think you’re booking from Europe, so that may have something to do with your quotes.

 

I book out of the U.S.  I just looked at a Haven Spa Suite on the Breakaway and was quoted US$4,300/cabin, with all the perks (drinks, dining, internet, excursion credit).  MSC YC for the same time period was well over $5,000/cabin....same itinerary.

 

I have yet to bid on an upgrade, but that option remains available, too for NCL.

 

I don't think that MSC has "caught up" yet but I agree that the YC prices are going up. It's difficult to compare because the YC is sold out so far in advance so it's difficult to find prices.

 

Maybe NCL's prices look better when comparing shorter, one week, cruises? I mainly look at longer cruises and the Haven is then very expensive.

 

Are you looking at cruises from America? If yes, MSC mainly has newer ships there and maybe they cost more? 

 

It was a long time ago since I saw an NCL cruise for $4300!

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8 minutes ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

I don't think that MSC has "caught up" yet but I agree that the YC prices are going up. It's difficult to compare because the YC is sold out so far in advance so it's difficult to find prices.

 

Maybe NCL's prices look better when comparing shorter, one week, cruises? I mainly look at longer cruises and the Haven is then very expensive.

 

Are you looking at cruises from America? If yes, MSC mainly has newer ships there and maybe they cost more? 

 

It was a long time ago since I saw an NCL cruise for $4300!

Could be.

 

I think since I’ve sailed NCL so much, I have a better “feel” for NCL Haven pricing.

 

NCL tends to drop Haven prices the closer to the cruise date.

 

Edited by graphicguy

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6 minutes ago, graphicguy said:

Wow!  Very impressive.  Wish my work schedule had more flexibility so that I could take advantage of this kind of thing...

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Ours just comes down to itinerary.  Even though we've been loyal to only NCL and Royal Caribbean so far it doesn't stop us from looking at other lines when we plan a trip.  We'll find similar cruises with Princess but then it is usually a tad cheaper on NCL or RC (and we know we like them) so we stick with them.  Or we see Carnival and it will be a tad cheaper but we figure not worth the lower cost since we aren't familiar with them.  

 

But as for service, I have such low expectations of customer service in America that I can't see how the on-board service could drop below the bar I have set for most places, lol!

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56 minutes ago, graphicguy said:

 

The cruise cost $5000 and that's not too bad. The problem is the airlinetickets...

 

We fly business class with British Airways and the cheapest I could find, arriving the day before the cruise and departing the same day the cruise is back in Miami, was $11000 for two! Too much, I think!

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I did a quick search. I know that the comparision may not be fair because the itineraries are not the same but the pricedifference is significant.

 

Cheapest Haven on Norwegian Encore February 2, 2020 $11500.

 

Cheapest Yacht Club with balcony on MSC Seaside February 1, 2020 $5600.

 

 

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Price vs. what we want in a vacation. Always. 

 

When planning a cruise, I look at 4 lines: Carnival, NCL, RC, and Celebrity. I choose those because we want to cruise with a younger demographic. We like for there to be fun things happening and a good energy about the ship. We also actually prefer the larger ships, and generally want the newer ones with all the bells and whistles. We will definitely purchase the drink package, so that will be factored into overall cost as well. Among the lines, NCL gets a slight advantage due to Freestyle, and Carnival gets a slight disadvantage due to some previous bad experiences. We book balcony rooms, with ocean views. 

 

From there, it’s pure cost/itinerary comparison. We only cruise once a year, so I’m not a slave to any perk program. Right now, NCL is winning on total cost. I pay for as much as I can up front before I get on the boat, and NCL is beating comparables after factoring in everything by at least a few hundred dollars. 

 

If that changes, I’ll switch. I like NCL, but I’d give Carnival another try for the right price, and I’d love to check out Royal’s Oasis ships. Celebrity I’m a little more iffy on because of demographics, but for the right price I’d certainly check it out for myself. 

 

Thing is, I know what we value in a cruise. Everyone has a different thing. I don't care about the top shelf alcohol, the regular cocktails are great. I don’t get nickel and dimed because I factor all that into cost analysis, and because every single cruise line does it. I don’t care about frozen lobster tails. I don’t care about loyalty perks, I don’t cruise enough to ever get them. Others do... AND THAT’S AWESOME FOR THEM. 

 

I just get get tired of the people that seem to hang out on a cruise line’s board just for the purpose of trashing that line and by extension the people who choose it. 

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9 minutes ago, Phaedrus78 said:

I just get get tired of the people that seem to hang out on a cruise line’s board just for the purpose of trashing that line and by extension the people who choose it

Well said!

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29 minutes ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

I did a quick search. I know that the comparision may not be fair because the itineraries are not the same but the pricedifference is significant.

 

Cheapest Haven on Norwegian Encore February 2, 2020 $11500.

 

Cheapest Yacht Club with balcony on MSC Seaside February 1, 2020 $5600.

 

 

Pricing for Haven on that cruise you are looking at would probably be less than ½ that quote if you looked at pricing somewhere around After Christmas this year or after the New Year 2020.

 

The cruise I quoted you could get a Haven Spa Suite for about US$4,300.  Flights for me coming from Ohio to Florida would be around US$175-US$300 round trip,

 

Flights from EU would certainly be a large amount of the total price, so I understand your concern.

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19 minutes ago, Phaedrus78 said:

Price vs. what we want in a vacation. Always. 

 

When planning a cruise, I look at 4 lines: Carnival, NCL, RC, and Celebrity. I choose those because we want to cruise with a younger demographic. We like for there to be fun things happening and a good energy about the ship. We also actually prefer the larger ships, and generally want the newer ones with all the bells and whistles. We will definitely purchase the drink package, so that will be factored into overall cost as well. Among the lines, NCL gets a slight advantage due to Freestyle, and Carnival gets a slight disadvantage due to some previous bad experiences. We book balcony rooms, with ocean views. 

 

From there, it’s pure cost/itinerary comparison. We only cruise once a year, so I’m not a slave to any perk program. Right now, NCL is winning on total cost. I pay for as much as I can up front before I get on the boat, and NCL is beating comparables after factoring in everything by at least a few hundred dollars. 

 

If that changes, I’ll switch. I like NCL, but I’d give Carnival another try for the right price, and I’d love to check out Royal’s Oasis ships. Celebrity I’m a little more iffy on because of demographics, but for the right price I’d certainly check it out for myself. 

 

Thing is, I know what we value in a cruise. Everyone has a different thing. I don't care about the top shelf alcohol, the regular cocktails are great. I don’t get nickel and dimed because I factor all that into cost analysis, and because every single cruise line does it. I don’t care about frozen lobster tails. I don’t care about loyalty perks, I don’t cruise enough to ever get them. Others do... AND THAT’S AWESOME FOR THEM. 

 

I just get get tired of the people that seem to hang out on a cruise line’s board just for the purpose of trashing that line and by extension the people who choose it. 

Amen....couldn’t agree more.  If NCL (or any cruise line) doesn’t work for you, don’t denigrate others who like them.  There are plenty of other cruise lines and ships out there.  You’re bound to find one you like instead of constantly complaining about the one you don’t like.  You’re just making yourself and those around you miserable with all the complaining.

 

We’re the same.  The drink package is well worth it for me.  I don’t need the premium label liquors or wines.  They do have a nice selection of beers, though.  Dining package is great.  Even the no extra charge venues are quite good.

 

Pricing, when comparing like for like is good, and you can always find a good deal if you give a little effort.

 

That doesn’t stop me from sailing other lines, though....particularly if I can score a deal.  I like MSC.  Celebrity on one end, and Carnival on the other kind of doesn’t hit the sort of experience I like as well as NCL, MSC and Royal.  Although, talk about price inflation, Royal has gone up a lot.

 

Plus, NCL has a pretty good Latitudes program!

 

 

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12 minutes ago, graphicguy said:

 

The cruise I quoted you could get a Haven Spa Suite for about US$4,300.  Flights for me coming from Ohio to Florida would be around US$175-US$300 round trip,

 

I followed your link and got the price €4438 and that is around $5000.

 

 

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1 minute ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

I followed your link and got the price €4438 and that is around $5000.

 

 

Hmmmmm....that seems to be a currency/EU difference.  Weird!

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19 minutes ago, graphicguy said:

Pricing for Haven on that cruise you are looking at would probably be less than ½ that quote if you looked at pricing somewhere around After Christmas this year or after the New Year 2020.

 

 

January 5 2020, €8078. A little more than $9000.

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Just now, sverigecruiser said:

 

January 5 2020, €8078. A little more than $9000.

I should have made myself clearer.  What I meant was wait until January 2020 to book your February 2020 cruise and you’ll probably find you’ll save ½ off the fare you’re getting today.

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1 minute ago, graphicguy said:

I should have made myself clearer.  What I meant was wait until January 2020 to book your February 2020 cruise and you’ll probably find you’ll save ½ off the fare you’re getting today.

 

I reread your post and you were clear enough, it was my mistake! 

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Just now, sverigecruiser said:

 

I reread your post and you were clear enough, it was my mistake! 

Not at all.  It’s all good!

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10 minutes ago, graphicguy said:

Hmmmmm....that seems to be a currency/EU difference.  Weird!

 

Yes, it's probably a US-EU difference. Cruises are often, probably not always, cheaper to buy in the US than here.

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1 hour ago, Phaedrus78 said:

I just get get tired of the people that seem to hang out on a cruise line’s board just for the purpose of trashing that line and by extension the people who choose it. 

 

1 hour ago, RedRover96 said:

Well said!

 

I'm not sure I am interpreting your desires correctly, but if what you are looking for is only positive comments and nothing negative, I would suggest a Facebook group and Fan Clubs where membership is restricted to those who only have good things to say about a cruise line or a particular topic. Anything negative is usually deleted quickly and the user banned. On cruisecritic, you'll get a mix of good and bad, sometimes more bad than good. But I prefer cruisecritic to any fan club. I like to hear opinions on both sides.  Don't let it tire you out, though. Just click the down arrow and scroll by to the next topic, or block the person or persons that you find to be exhaustive.

 

We are well past our breaking point with NCL, and quite frankly, the entire cruise industry. We have one cruisenext certificate left which we will hold for a $399 7-day or $599 14-day sailaway rate, and then we are done until supply catches back up to the demand or economic conditions change. Currently, we can find better value on land based vacations or all-inclusives.

Edited by blcruising

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2 hours ago, Phaedrus78 said:

I just get get tired of the people that seem to hang out on a cruise line’s board just for the purpose of trashing that line and by extension the people who choose it. 

Totally agree, not to mention those that are always selling one particular cruise line, especially when they say they don't sail NCL any more.  

Edited by NLH Arizona

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