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Cagneys/Le Bistro: HUGE price increases!

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Posted (edited)

Just an FYI, the dining package prices were still the same for my cruise in January on the Escape. I literally just booked it less than 2 minutes before writing this. So now might be a good time to pull the lever and book a cheaper SDP if you still can.

 

Edited by Twipenne
Clarification

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Someone posted this FAQ for the meal package in another thread https://www.ncl.com/specialty-dining-package/faq

 

Margaritaville and Food Republic are now included. $7 per person upcharge on top of the dining plan for Pinochos Tapas place is now not listed. If the new FAQ is correct and seems to have happened right before this change it would tell me they are raising prices in the other venues to cover things that are now included. 

 

Realistically it doesn't make much sense to have 3 restaurants going unused because they were all ala cart or had a 'walk in the door' fee. Now it seems every restaurant it useable to people with the dining perk but with more restrictions towards the higher priced items per restaurant. I don't think this is them getting more money I think it's them evening out for including more. 

 

Personally I'd rather have more restaurant options overall and pay upcharges only if I wanted something more expensive than pay an upcharge just to walk in the door. 

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1 hour ago, Wedgie23 said:

Someone posted this FAQ for the meal package in another thread https://www.ncl.com/specialty-dining-package/faq

 

Margaritaville and Food Republic are now included. $7 per person upcharge on top of the dining plan for Pinochos Tapas place is now not listed. If the new FAQ is correct and seems to have happened right before this change it would tell me they are raising prices in the other venues to cover things that are now included. 

 

Realistically it doesn't make much sense to have 3 restaurants going unused because they were all ala cart or had a 'walk in the door' fee. Now it seems every restaurant it useable to people with the dining perk but with more restrictions towards the higher priced items per restaurant. I don't think this is them getting more money I think it's them evening out for including more. 

 

Personally I'd rather have more restaurant options overall and pay upcharges only if I wanted something more expensive than pay an upcharge just to walk in the door. 

In the FAQ it does state that Pinchos and Food Republic will cover 4 items under the SDP.

 

As far as the increases in Cagney's and Le Bistro (another thread discussion here on huge hikes in Moderno and Teppanyaki as well), many of the entrees in the $30's rival NYC restaurants and then apps, desserts would be extra if dining a la carte.  This is on top of the base cruise fare's allocation for food.  For those with SDP the higher entree prices bring higher package prices and, of course, higher gratuities as well.  

 

We are Platinum Plus and have been with NCL for decades but not sure we are the target audience for NCL anymore.  Between rising drink prices & packages & gratuities, activity charges (spa, VIBE, go karts etc), DSC,  restaurant items & package hikes & commensurately higher gratuities and now some prime deck space being allocated or converted to revenue spots, it's time for some serious evaluation for us.  Up to this point it worked just to avoid this or that and keep saying it's an option and there's always the included MDR or buffet but now it's everywhere you turn.  

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5 minutes ago, snorklinbarb said:

In the FAQ it does state that Pinchos and Food Republic will cover 4 items under the SDP.

 

As far as the increases in Cagney's and Le Bistro (another thread discussion here on huge hikes in Moderno and Teppanyaki as well), many of the entrees in the $30's rival NYC restaurants and then apps, desserts would be extra if dining a la carte.  This is on top of the base cruise fare's allocation for food.  For those with SDP the higher entree prices bring higher package prices and, of course, higher gratuities as well.  

 

We are Platinum Plus and have been with NCL for decades but not sure we are the target audience for NCL anymore.  Between rising drink prices & packages & gratuities, activity charges (spa, VIBE, go karts etc), DSC,  restaurant items & package hikes & commensurately higher gratuities and now some prime deck space being allocated or converted to revenue spots, it's time for some serious evaluation for us.  Up to this point it worked just to avoid this or that and keep saying it's an option and there's always the included MDR or buffet but now it's everywhere you turn.  

We dislike so much of what NCL has done in the past two years.  We still look at them when comparing, but we found Royal Caribbean, which doesn't bundle promos we don't want and its prices are much better.  Also, they have great entertainment, as good as NCL.

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On 6/29/2019 at 3:15 PM, ColeThornton said:

 

 

No one likes price increases but do grocery stores warn you when prices go up?  Gas station?  Airlines?   Hotels?   Cable company?

When consumer item prices are increased by this large of a percentage its usually due to some uncontrollable factors.  This could be deep freezes in Florida destroying a significant percentage of the orange crops, excessive rains preventing the timely planting of crops, diseases causing large populations of chickens to be slaughtered, etc.  But these specialty restaurant prices are being raised just because NCL wants to raise profits.  They'll say the demand is high for these restaurants and that's the reason.  Why is the demand high?  Because NCL is "giving away (haha) specialty dining packages, thus driving up the demand for "free" stuff.  Those that don't get the perk now have to pay the increased price.  Those that do will now have to pay an increased gratuity, depending upon the date of receiving the perk.   

 

Remember, not every new profit raising concept is accepted by the customers.  Didn't NCL just start selling dinners in the Haven restaurant to the steerage class customers.  The uproar by the paying Haven cruisers was so quick and loud, NCL stopped selling the dinners to non-Haven customers.

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On 6/29/2019 at 5:21 PM, FLAHAM said:

Flemings, a steakhouse chain that is good, but not top tier, has a restaurant here in Dayton, OH.  Its minimum ribeye is $50 with each side at $10-$13. 

 

On a cruise ship you've already paid for the meal.  Specialty dining cost is above what you've already paid.  So it makes Flemings look inexpensive.

 

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13 minutes ago, TiiiSailor said:

 

On a cruise ship you've already paid for the meal.  Specialty dining cost is above what you've already paid.  So it makes Flemings look inexpensive.

 

A consideration frequently overlooked .  You must factor in a reasonable guestimate of how much you have already paid for that evening meal through you cruise fare and add that to the additional cost of the speciality restaurant price you are going to additionally pay.  Then you have a more realistic cost of what that speciality meal is now actually costing.  

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54 minutes ago, roger001 said:

A consideration frequently overlooked .  You must factor in a reasonable guestimate of how much you have already paid for that evening meal through you cruise fare and add that to the additional cost of the speciality restaurant price you are going to additionally pay.  Then you have a more realistic cost of what that speciality meal is now actually costing.  

Plus the dsc/double tips for the meals you don’t eat in inclusive venues.

I know food is subjective but if any of the inclusive venues were stand alone restaurants in my town they wouldn’t stay in business. We like the specialty venues and just purchase the specialty package for every night. I honestly wouldn’t care much if they raised prices to offset better food offerings but I suspect that’s not happening. It’s more a product of take all five perks for everyone. It’s not so much the prices going up that bugs me. It’s the quality going down at the same time. The last few times we’ve eaten in cagney’s it’s not been that great-  no comparison to a good land based steakhouse.  It would be nice if instead of just looking at bottom dollar profits they tried to factor in better specialty meals alongside the price hikes. Would love it if they said here’s this years hefty increase but now you’re getting this better cut of steak and lobster is back. Instead it’s everybody gets pick all 5 and they’ll likely just further cut back the quality alongside the price hike to garner more $. Free at sea isn’t so fun anymore. The email every morning about how the fas ends at midnight or in 36 hours... simply doesn’t entice me to do anything except not open it and hit delete. 

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Insane. There is no way I would pay that for a cruise ship meal. The quality is not the same as a restaurant serving meals at those same prices. 

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On 6/29/2019 at 2:08 PM, mking8288 said:

Well, this is or isn't a pilot or trial to test ... just steamrolled or deep dived right in.  I will give them the benefits of my own doubts - lots of wealthy folks that rather sail NCL than go with Princess, MSC, Royal or other upscale lines and don't mind.  Crew members and rank-n-file employees at NCL gotta be loving this, lifting them higher up once they get allocated their share ... or, not.  

 

Just wait till we hit more headwind.  OK, let loose those pom poms 

 

We just sailed on the Allure of the Seas. We thought the crew on NCL were much friendlier, but the food on the Allure had NCL beat. So many options that weren't an up charge, and superior quality. No pom poms here 😉 

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On 6/29/2019 at 5:21 PM, FLAHAM said:

Flemings, a steakhouse chain that is good, but not top tier, has a restaurant here in Dayton, OH.  Its minimum ribeye is $50 with each side at $10-$13. 

 

Correct, however they are not preparing mass quantities for hundreds of people. Huge difference. 

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10 minutes ago, CruisingSince1982 said:

Insane. There is no way I would pay that for a cruise ship meal. The quality is not the same as a restaurant serving meals at those same prices. 

 

Would say the steak I ate 6 months ago on the Breakaway at Cagney's was like ones I have eaten at Texas Roadhouse. Not terrible but not top of the line either.

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2 minutes ago, vpearlkc said:

 

Would say the steak I ate 6 months ago on the Breakaway at Cagney's was like ones I have eaten at Texas Roadhouse. Not terrible but not top of the line either.

 

Agreed! Definitely comparable to a Texas Roadhouse or Outback. 

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TBF most people must surely be using the perk anyway.. Just back of Pearl 2 weeks ago and both Cagneys and Bistro (in fact all prems) were full most of the time.

 

Have to say Pearl was my best Cagneys (not usually my fave restaurant) experience by far  both in service and quality.  Worst Cagneys I have come across has to be Getaway (horrible room when the outside cant be used) - but then again you have Ocean Blue as an option.

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10 hours ago, snorklinbarb said:

In the FAQ it does state that Pinchos and Food Republic will cover 4 items under the SDP.

 

As far as the increases in Cagney's and Le Bistro (another thread discussion here on huge hikes in Moderno and Teppanyaki as well), many of the entrees in the $30's rival NYC restaurants and then apps, desserts would be extra if dining a la carte.  This is on top of the base cruise fare's allocation for food.  For those with SDP the higher entree prices bring higher package prices and, of course, higher gratuities as well.  

 

We are Platinum Plus and have been with NCL for decades but not sure we are the target audience for NCL anymore.  Between rising drink prices & packages & gratuities, activity charges (spa, VIBE, go karts etc), DSC,  restaurant items & package hikes & commensurately higher gratuities and now some prime deck space being allocated or converted to revenue spots, it's time for some serious evaluation for us.  Up to this point it worked just to avoid this or that and keep saying it's an option and there's always the included MDR or buffet but now it's everywhere you turn.  

 

only 4 plates at Pinchos?! 😞

with the $7 cover charge, i had 10 plates last year!

 

i'd rather pay the $7 cover charge and have 10plates

sigh,,,

 

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^^^Wow, you ate that many plates?
There's no way my DH and I could eat that much looking at the menu. With OBC it's a no brainer to go back but there is no way we'd eat 10 plates.
We could pick 4 different items and be totally full if ordered correctly.

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I read the new t&c’s and it does look as though they’re making specialty dinner packages more inclusive however their smaller ships that don’t have the added venues like Ocean Blue.  Right now those ships seem to be out of luck.  Perhaps they’ll surprise me and add back lobster as a specialty venue choice on ships that don’t have all the extra venues and ocean blue. I’m not going to rush to judgment just yet on the increases.  It might play out nicely. 

 

It might just just be a loading issue with adding new prices but right now the 5 meal packages are $6 less than the 4 meal packages on my ncl.  I currently have three cruises booked; Bliss, Gem and Jade 14-21 nights in range and the only $24 increase I’m seeing is on the 3 & 4 night packages. 

 

I did end up purchasing additional packages for our upcoming sailing last night so thanks to op I saved about $50. 

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Dining packages on my Aug 17 Joy sailing just went up - I also bought the package before the increase thanks to the OP. And the upcharge for Ocean Blue is gone as well.

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16 hours ago, littlelulu01 said:

I read the new t&c’s and it does look as though they’re making specialty dinner packages more inclusive however their smaller ships that don’t have the added venues like Ocean Blue.  Right now those ships seem to be out of luck.  Perhaps they’ll surprise me and add back lobster as a specialty venue choice on ships that don’t have all the extra venues and ocean blue. I’m not going to rush to judgment just yet on the increases.  It might play out nicely. 

 

It might just just be a loading issue with adding new prices but right now the 5 meal packages are $6 less than the 4 meal packages on my ncl.  I currently have three cruises booked; Bliss, Gem and Jade 14-21 nights in range and the only $24 increase I’m seeing is on the 3 & 4 night packages. 

 

I did end up purchasing additional packages for our upcoming sailing last night so thanks to op I saved about $50. 

That makes me wonder if the increase is intended to raise the gratuities on the dining perk. 

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Idk.  they might be upping their quality and menu choices.  They are giving the bigger ships something extra in exchange.  As of right now I don’t see anything except extra charges for smaller ships with less specialty venues.  

 

Specialty dining might be going the way of the beverage packages.  Use it if a perk and otherwise not bother. I’m pretty sure at this point I’m not willing willing to pay a few hundred extra per day for specialty dinners without a package and at $39 extra for a meal with a package,  I’d certainly expect great food and service, no exceptions.  When the meals weren’t  much extra I let an over cooked steak or poor meal slide - not worth it to send back/complain. But at the price they’re now charging I won’t.  We eat almost all dinners specialty when sailing ncl.  Since the per meal costs decrease with increased number of meals purchased I’ll likely just move to sail away rates and forgot free at sea for my non suite rooms.   there’s typically a $400 spread on fas pick a balcony over sail away rates.  I don’t need the beverage package so I’m fine without fas and just purchase a dining pkg oop.  A little tougher choice for those that benefit from beverage perk to switch to sail away. 

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On 6/29/2019 at 2:05 PM, tallnthensome said:

*****! My Encore cruise just went from $94.80 for a three day SDP to $130.80! Glad I already had it as a perk and got it for the kids a while back for $94. $523 now to buy for a family of four for three dinners. They can kiss off ....... 

 

The price of a three day SDP on my Encore cruise is $118.80, including gratuities.  Why would this not match either of your prices? Weird.

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2 hours ago, LrgPizza said:

 

The price of a three day SDP on my Encore cruise is $118.80, including gratuities.  Why would this not match either of your prices? Weird.

 

Thats the price I see, too.

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I just found where the $130.80 comes from. It's the price showing for the 5 day SDP, which is cheaper than the 4 day. Ha!

 

 

Untitled-1.jpg

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Having done some work in pricing, I know that a company can really irritate their customer-base if they take a product or service away.  A strategy for doing this and putting it back on the customer is to jack up prices to the point where few or no customers will buy something, and then the company can say, "We discontinued it due to low sales." 

 

This may be what's going on with dinner plans or some of these resaurants, so more space can be allocated to exclusive-tier passengers.  This is just an early guess, but store away this thought, and let's see what happens in the next couple years.

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