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For Loyalists/Cheerleaders What is likely your breaking point?

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17 minutes ago, DaCruiseBug said:

November is off-season (even Thanksgiving is fairly cheap). Those prices don't exist. It's just another NCL cheerleader trying to justify things.

Well I certainly have nothing to prove to you nor do I have any reason to lie.  Believe what you will...I could really care less.

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I mostly stick with NCL because I cruise solo 95% of the time and want a drink package. Royal has studios in a few ships, but they quickly sell out. I was able to get a decent price on a solo cabin with them in 2018. But anything I've looked at this year is just crazy priced compared to NCL. Royal also doesn't do last minute price decreases. 

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49 minutes ago, DaCruiseBug said:

Yes it is, but it isn't last minute like the $5,000 ($1,000 more expensive) he gave an example of.

 

For $4,600 you can sail on the Seaside in July (high season) and book your cabin 1 year out.

 

I guess i'm a believer in evidence. You can't come on a board and use a figure for a Haven suite ($4,200 out the door) and expect everyone to just believe you. Maybe years ago...but certainly if there isn't a bookable cruise for that amount or there hasn't been in the past few months then it's not available. There's plenty of NCL apologists on this board that have undying lust for NCL and are willing to say anything to defend NCL so...until you show me a $4,200 Haven price (out the door with perks) as he claimed then I simply din't believe it exists.

 

 

 

I'm not interested in the last minute cruises and maybe that's the reason why I can't find lower prices for the Haven. Graphicguy provided a link for us and he also said that it was a last minute price so I think that qualifies as evidence for a low price for a last minute cruise.

 

I don't agree with you that July is high season for cruises in the Caribbean. The example I provided with prices in February is much better, I think. ( I got my prices from msccruises.se and ncl.eu)

 

To stay on topic for this thread I can say that my breaking point was when the Haven prices, for bookings made far in advance,  become so high. I considered myself to be a NCL loyalist but when one week on the Epic should cost $3000 more than one week on the brand new MSC Meraviglia I decided to try something new.

Edited by sverigecruiser

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1 minute ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

I'm not interested in the last minute cruises and maybe that's the reason why I can't find lower prices for the Haven. Graphicguy provided a link for us and he also said that it was a last minute price so I think that qualifies as evidence for a low price for a last minute cruise.

 

I don't agree with you that July is high season for cruises in the Caribbean. The example I provided with prices in February is much better, I think. ( I got my prices from msccruises.se and ncl.eu)

 

You can disagree all you want on what Peak season is but it's a flawed opinion and the travel industry considers July as part of the peak season for cruise in the Caribbean. That's based on demand etc. and the fact that kids are out of school.

Also, the link he provided was to a Haven cabin for $5,000...not the $4,200 he quoted. It's a 20% price difference...not pennies.

 

https://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/cruising-seasons-calendar

 

 

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8 minutes ago, DaCruiseBug said:

 

You can disagree all you want on what Peak season is but it's a flawed opinion and the travel industry considers July as part of the peak season for cruise in the Caribbean. That's based on demand etc. and the fact that kids are out of school.

Also, the link he provided was to a Haven cabin for $5,000...not the $4,200 he quoted. It's a 20% price difference...not pennies.

 

 

If July is peak season for the Caribbean why are so many ships in Europe or Alaska then? Lots of Europeans cruise with MSC and the Europeans I know prefer to travel to Florida and the Caribbeean during the winter and not in July.

 

Yes 5000 is more than 4200 but he provided a link so that we could see the price. Even 5000 is less than what I normally find, probably because I don't look at last minute prices.

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Just now, sverigecruiser said:

 

If July is peak season for the Caribbean why are so many ships in Europe or Alaska then? Lots of Europeans cruise with MSC and the Europeans I know prefer to travel to Florida and the Caribbeean during the winter and not in July.

 

Yes 5000 is more than 4200 but he provided a link so that we could see the price. Even 5000 is less than what I normally find, probably because I don't look at last minute prices.

 

Because the demand is much higher in the Summer for cruises everywhere because like I said...kids are out of school. In the Caribbean you can cruise year-around whereas in the Mediterranean it's not very lucrative to cruise in the Winter. That's why cruise prices in the Summer are HIGHER everywhere. Plus, the 4th of July holiday is the biggest holiday week outside of Christmas in the US. Not sure if you have a comparable holiday in Sweden but it's a big deal in the US.

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A lot of it depends on HOW people are able to book. 

 

For some, they will say "I can sail during the first two weeks in June..." and compare prices for that time. 

For others, they will say "I can cruise pretty much at any time..." and they will find the best price that they can find. 

 

I'm in the first group. I have available dates and compare what I see for those dates. In nearly every case, MSC Yacht Club (Seaside or Meraviglia) beats NCL Haven (BA/BA Plus Class). For example, even a 5 day cruise on Escape (Port Canaveral) is more than a 7 day cruise on Seaside (Miami) if going H6 vs Deluxe Suite. NCL has a bit of an advantage with larger staterooms and more stateroom options but if I compare the same Seaside 7 day with Encore 7 day (Miami), the H6 on Encore is the same price as the Royal Suite on Seaside. Looking at what I paid for the Royal Suite on Seaside vs. what it is currently going for, it's easy to see how MSC prices have gone up...way up. 

 

I'm also booking for 4 so some of the deals on the NCL H9 (sleeps 2) don't apply to me just as the MSC YC interior (sleeps 2) doesn't apply to me. 

 

People should always weigh the options and decide from there. 

Edited by Two Wheels Only

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I haven't had a lot of luck finding cheaper on MSC, but the fact that their website sucks may be the reason.  We will only do Yacht Club with balcony or better, so that limits some of the choices.  The ones we did find, or our TA found, were no cheaper than we could do on NCL for Haven.  If someone has a nice itinerary, YC cabin with balcony, on MSC I'd love to see it.

 

Having said that, my NCL breaking point is going to be $$.  We're sailing Haven 2BR suite (in Haven) on Jade for $4k/pp before DSC & UBP grats for 14-day TA with several Europe stops, which does seem like a particularly good deal for Haven.  I'm not willing to go much over that $4k line, so if there are no Havens available for that price point other than 7-day Caribbean, then we're out.  We might consider a 7-day Caribbean Haven for under $3k which I know is probably last minute, which is fine if we can get air.  And Haven would have to have a balcony and not be a forward-facing cabin.  

 

We are absolutely NOT cheerleaders by any stretch of the imagination.  My hubby does NOT like travel and little things that most people blow off aggravate him.  We have been really fortunate in Haven that things are very much to his liking, and we've had some very nice cruises because of that.  Given his pickiness, it would take a lot for me to try out another cruise line since we've already found one that works.  

 

The general things people complain about here - DSC increases, no straws/towel animals, UBP changes (since reversed), no lobster, nickel and diming - some annoy me more than others, and I have been vocal about those annoyances - but they ANNOY me, they are not deal-breakers, and at the end of the day we STILL have a great cruise experience.  I don't care if I don't have lobster, I like towel animals but can live without them, ditto straws, and Ketel One was priced under $15 as are most mixed drinks so even the UBP thing wasn't a deal-breaker. 

 

What DID concern me about that UBP fiasco was that we had bought one thing, INCLUDING a list of brands that are included in UBP and NCL changed the deal after final payment so many included brands were now upcharges.  The result didn't really affect me, but what DID bother me was a sense of NCL not giving me what was advertised IN WRITING and paid for, which is NOT a good business practice.  That makes me wonder what's next?  Buy a cabin and then find out that there's an upcharge to have it cleaned daily?  But in the end they did back off the upcharge FOR NOW - they changed the language on "buy the UBP" letter that comes when booking, so in the future they can upcharge again without the risk of someone coming up with documentation to show "bait & switch" tactics.  Certainly deserves monitoring.

 

Anyway, to sum up a long post (work procrastination) - we're watching the pricing; we have nothing else booked because everything else that we might like is above our price point.  If we run across another good deal, we're in.  If everything that we're interested in keeps increasing, we're out--but with regret.  Voting with our wallets!

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I think the vast majority of us vote with our wallets.  Most aren't married to a cruise line.  I'm now looking for a summer vacation cruise.  Went over to the Royal Boards.  And, wouldn't you know it, the same complaints over there.....

 

Changes in loyalty programs.....drink and tip changes/charges, etc.

 

Overall, I think the cruise industry is taking advantage of a healthier economy in the U.S.  And, they're trying to recoup from the general cruise vacation malaise that hit the industry a few years ago.

 

@sverigecruiser...you and I have been talking about the differences between U.S. cruise companies vs MSC.  I like MSC.  I remember being one of the first to book the Divina when it first started sailing out of Miami.  People said the service wasn't as good, the food wasn't as good, the entertainment wasn't as good.  NONE of that was true.  I liked Divina so much I booker the Meriviglia for a Mediterranean Cruise....loved it, too.

 

MSC does things a little bit differently than the U.S. based cruises.  That doesn't make them better or worse.

 

The last couple of cruises I've booked, I was surprised that MSC was more expensive.  I think that's a result of them becoming more and more popular out of the U.S.  

 

I know you and I have noted the differences in pricing compared to booking through the EU vs booking here in the U.S.  I also remember how upset the EU cruisers were when MSC cut discounts, allowed for status match, and tinkered with the drink packages.

 

These pricing structures, whether they be for NCL, MSC or any other cruise line are pretty sophisticated, particularly when you throw in the bidding processes that NCL and Royal use.

 

I've found the total cost of my cruises recently have pointed me back towards NCL.  Will that change?  Probably.  But, I certainly don't know when.  I can't book 2 years out.  I can't even put in for vacation from work any earlier than 6 months out.  But, I can put in for vacation approval and month out, and sometimes in as little as 2 weeks out.  That just so happens to be when NCL cruises cost the least for me.  Plus, I like their "perks" where I only have to pay for tips on all of my drinks and specialty dining packages.

 

No reason to denigrate others' cruise choices.  That benefits no one.

 

Back to the original question posed by the OP, I would probably bolt if NCL totally removes the drink and dining package offerings.  Still, I get some hefty OBC from NCL and Platinum AMEX (as well as my online TA) booking NCL.  Plus, they all throw in free specialty dinners, free grats and other goodies by using the TA, AMEX, etc.  Then, I'm also a Platinum Latitudes member and get all those "freebies". 

 

I'll sail other lines.  I've sailed Harmony, Anthem, Liberty and Allure on RCCL.  So, all except for Symphony, I've seen their latest and greatest.  I'm mildly interested in Carnival's new ships.  Carnival's a different vibe, though.  I'm mildly interested in Celebrity.  But, I sailed Solstice.  Highlight was watching them make glass vases and art.  I'm sure that's a "must see" for some.  But again, that's a different vibe that I wasn't really fond of.

 

For sure I'll sail MSC again, given my status (match) Black Card.

 

It's pretty tough for me to beat NCL right now.  Plus, I really like their service, their ships, generally their entire product.

 

 

Edited by graphicguy

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10 hours ago, DaCruiseBug said:

 

Because the demand is much higher in the Summer for cruises everywhere because like I said...kids are out of school. In the Caribbean you can cruise year-around whereas in the Mediterranean it's not very lucrative to cruise in the Winter. That's why cruise prices in the Summer are HIGHER everywhere. Plus, the 4th of July holiday is the biggest holiday week outside of Christmas in the US. Not sure if you have a comparable holiday in Sweden but it's a big deal in the US.

 

We don't have a "4th of July holiday" in Sweden but most people in Sweden have vacation in July. That doesn't mean that high season for trips to Florida and the Caribbean is in July. In July many prefer to stay in Europe.

 

Lots of travelsites I have looked at say that high season in Florida is between Christmas and easter and that make sense for me. (I could provide links but feel that your Swedish may not be good enough!)

 

Since MSC attracts so many from Europe I think that it's correct to say that July is not high season for cruises with MSC from Florida. 

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7 minutes ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

We don't have a "4th of July holiday" in Sweden but most people in Sweden have vacation in July. That doesn't mean that high season for trips to Florida and the Caribbean is in July. In July many prefer to stay in Europe.

 

Lots of travelsites I have looked at say that high season in Florida is between Christmas and easter and that make sense for me. (I could provide links but feel that your Swedish may not be good enough!)

 

Since MSC attracts so many from Europe I think that it's correct to say that July is not high season for cruises with MSC from Florida. 

 

MSC (specifically the Seaside) has been attracting more and more Americans. That's their goal. Regardless of the cruise line, July is peak season for Caribbean cruises along with Spring Break and Christmas/New Years.

 

Here's a price on a January sailing and as you can see...it's about $300 less then the July sailing.

 

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7 minutes ago, DaCruiseBug said:

 

MSC (specifically the Seaside) has been attracting more and more Americans. That's their goal. Regardless of the cruise line, July is peak season for Caribbean cruises along with Spring Break and Christmas/New Years.

 

 

I know that I was on Divina which may attract less Americans than Seaside but it was clearly much more Europeans than on every NCL cruise I have been on. (Maybe with the exception of the 5 nights Jade cruise we did between England and Ireland.)

 

Only in the YC there was at least two families with children and five couples from Sweden! I also heared lots of Italian and some Norwegian and Finnish.

 

We just have to disagree about when high season for MSC cruises in Caribbean is. 

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25 minutes ago, DaCruiseBug said:

Here's a price on a January sailing and as you can see...it's about $300 less then the July sailing.

 

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I looked on msccruises.se and the price for the two cruises, July 11 2020 and Januari 16 2021, is exactly the same there. 52998 SKR which is around $5700.

 

If July was high season shouldn't the cruises then cost MUCH more than cruises in Februari when so many more ships are available in Februari?

 

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2 minutes ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

I looked on msccruises.se and the price for the two cruises, July 11 2020 and Januari 16 2021, is exactly the same there. 52998 SKR which is around $5700.

 

If July was high season shouldn't the cruises then cost MUCH more than cruises in Februari when so many more ships are available in Februari?

 

 

The July sailing is more expensive across all cabin categories.

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7 minutes ago, DaCruiseBug said:

 

The July sailing is more expensive across all cabin categories.

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Not if it's booked here.

 

Even if it does cost a little more to cruise in July it isn't necessary because it's high season. The reason can be that there are so few ships available.

Edited by sverigecruiser

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  • I choose NCL because it leaves from NYC and I can pick an affordable cabin.   However, the ports are too  repititious and the port tours too expensive.  

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6 minutes ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

Not if it's booked here.

 

Even if it does cost a little more to cruise in July it isn't necessary because it's high season. The reason can be that there are so few ships available.

 

2/3 of the passengers on the Seaside in October were Americans (I asked the Captain). I don't know how many from Sweden come and cruise on the MSC Seaside in the Caribbean but I guarantee you it's not very many so the point you're trying to make is flawed. In AMERICA July is peak season. Want me to repeat that again??? Want me to show you more links that prove it?

Edited by DaCruiseBug

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8 minutes ago, DaCruiseBug said:

 

2/3 of the passengers on the Seaside in October were Americans (I asked the Captain). I don't know how many from Sweden come and cruise on the MSC Seaside in the Caribbean but I guarantee you it's not very many so the point you're trying to make is flawed. In AMERICA July is peak season. Want me to repeat that again??? Want me to show you more links that prove it?

 

You proved my point when you said that 2/3 of the passengers on the Seaside in October were American. 2/3 is much less than on most other cruises from Miami.

 

Maybe you should tell the cruiselines that July is peak season for Caribbean  cruises so that they could move some ships there during the summer.

 

I will end this, from my side,  with a reminder that you and I agree that the YC is cheaper than the Haven.

 

That's my breaking point for leaving NCL. 

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On 4/11/2019 at 3:12 PM, ute_fan said:

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.

This was a bit surprising to me. 

 

We we have sailed NCL and disney - Dh has also done trips with his older kids on Princess recently. DCL had most certainly gone down hill since our previous sailing. We got a fair price for the cruise, and Star Wars day at sea was our instigation for the cruise, but after that cruise I was done with Disney. Food was mediocre at best - hollandaise and other sauces were obviously powder based mixes, our meals were sometimes awful. The pools were ok, but the ship felt tired and busy. Ice cream was frequently out of order. It made me miss NCL, and for the price point it certainly wasn’t justifiable - for the price of a balcony I would have been able to sail in a suite (perhaps haven depending on sailing). 

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4 hours ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

Not if it's booked here.

 

Even if it does cost a little more to cruise in July it isn't necessary because it's high season. The reason can be that there are so few ships available.

 

You’re really firm in your beliefs, eh?

 

The most expensive times to cruise in the Caribbean are during Thanksgiving, Christmas and any other times when schools are closed. June and July are probably the most expensive months you could choose during summer. Pricing is based on demand, and since these cruise are in demand, they are priced higher.

 

It’s not too complicated.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, CruisingNole said:

 

You’re really firm in your beliefs, eh?

 

 

Yes! Too firm for my own good, I know that!

 

For example I refuse to shop in cashless shops because I want to decide how to pay. Not easy when places like IKEA and lots of other small and big shops decides to ban cash!

 

I also stopped drinking coffee at work when my boss decided to extend what's included in the "kitchen duties". Not because I'm lazy but because my belief is that it's not part of my job to take care of other peoples dirty dishes. I now have paper plates at work in case someone brings cake because I don't use the dishwasher located in the kitchen anymore.

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22 minutes ago, CruisingNole said:

 

 

The most expensive times to cruise in the Caribbean are during Thanksgiving, Christmas and any other times when schools are closed. June and July are probably the most expensive months you could choose during summer. Pricing is based on demand, and since these cruise are in demand, they are priced higher.

 

It’s not too complicated.

 

 

 

I want to comment but since I said that I shouldn't I can't!

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On 4/16/2019 at 10:17 AM, graphicguy said:

Not sure what you’re looking at, but I’ve never spent more than $4,800 for a Haven Suite (most of the time, a lot less).  That includes all the perks and is for 2 passengers.

The Haven cabins run about $400. per day. If you take a 6-day cruise then $4800 would be the correct amount. However, a 12-day cruise ($4800 ea) or 14-day cruise would be 10k or more for 2.

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9 minutes ago, kitty-sail said:

The Haven cabins run about $400. per day. If you take a 6-day cruise then $4800 would be the correct amount. However, a 12-day cruise ($4800 ea) or 14-day cruise would be 10k or more for 2.

I like to shop.  I’ve never taken anything less than a 7 day cruise.  I’ve taken a 14 day cruise, too.  But, that one wasn’t on NCL.

 

The least I’ve paid for a Haven Suite (Spa...as for some reason those are the least expensive, but seem to offer the most....like free Spa access and a Whirlpool tub in the Suite) was $3,800.  That was an Eastern Caribbean Cruise.  The most I spent was $4,800 and that was for Bermuda.

 

The above pricing was for 2 people, included taxes, DSC and all the perks...like drinks, specialty dining, internet, etc.

 

I do tend to cruise during “low” season....no Spring Break, no Christmas cruises, no 4th of July cruises, etc.

 

I pointed one out to another poster just a bit ago that I found without even trying...it was the first one that popped up....$4,900 all in for a Haven Spa Suite.

 

But, if you insist on booking way ahead of time (like next year) and want the ultimate selection of all the cabins, you’ll pay for that privilege with NCL, because you must book pretty far out.

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Been cruising for close to 30yrs on a few different lines with the in-laws & out-laws. Leaving out of different ports and seeing many eastern, western & southern places..As the yrs age , I have limited my cruises to leaving out of NY , therefore limiting my cruise lines and ports.

NCL has been my no brainer to book . Excursions , meals, and working with the same NCL guy for @ 5yrs is stress free.

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