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skeeter195

Stop stealing from the uninformed NCL.

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First off let me say that we had a great time on the Escape last week for the most part.  Even arriving 6 hours late on Sunday due to Dorian was not a big deal.  We were kept up to speed with what was happening with our late arrival back in NY.  There are some things though that NCL really needs to change to not look so shady to their passengers. One of the biggest things is with the dining package.

 

I have read and know about how the specialty dining plan works.  I know about the one entree rule, etc.  I will sometimes order an extra app or salad and have never been charged, or if I am I just mention "their rules" about only one entree not apps or salad.  On September 2nd, our 30th wedding anniversary we ate at Bayamo.  We both ordered a salad, app and an entree, no dessert.  The server informed us that their would be an extra charge.  I was in no way going to argue or even bring up that there should be no charge as it was a special day.  The bill comes and we are charged an extra $22, I sign, leave my usual $20 tip and we go on with our night and will deal with the charge later in the cruise.  On September 5th we return to Bayamo and we order an app and salad again.  The server tells us again that there will be an extra charge.  Here is where I almost lose it.  I then very politely tell her that there should only be an extra charge for an extra entree.  She then says "oh you know about that", smiles, says that she is sorry and that they are told to tell, and charge everyone the extra.  We have our meal(which is awesome as usual) get the bill with NO up charge and leave.  I go to guest services the next day to pay down my onboard account with cash and ask to have the first Bayamo up charge removed.  I was told that the charge was correct.  I then pull out my receipts from both nights and show them that one night I was charged and one was not for the same things.  She makes a call and then tells me that the manager is going to make an exception for me this time.  I tell her that I do not want an exception I just want what is fair and the manager comes and speaks to me himself.   

 

My point here is if I did not know about and bring up that I know the rules with the dining plan that I would have been charged.  How many passengers are charged each week because they do not know to bring this up.  In my eyes this is stealing by NCL.  If you want to charge more, fine put it in writing.  Do not put the servers in an awkward position hoping that the guest does not know the rules.  It is extremely unfair to charge one person and not the other for the same thing.  

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Never have I ever had that happen or anything even clode to it on any NCL cruise.  In fact just the opposite.  We have pretty much ordered whatever we wanted every meal and never had any extra charge.

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I'm confused. Normally SDP covers 4 menu options (even in like Sushi and Wasabi). Guests should only be charged for an additional entree. Are you saying because you ordered a salad and an appetizer they tried to charge your more? Since you didn't get dessert you are still under the four item from both the FAQ and T&Cs.

 

If what I'm understanding is happening then that is super shady. Especially if it is coming from Management. Is there a possibility it is written some place that the meal is Appetizer, Soup or Salad, an Entree and Dessert? If so, I can't find it...

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I have noticed the issue in all NCL Specialty restaurants - I have always the SDP and am told one appetiser, one entree and one dessert. And I always have corrected, only one entree - no other limitations. I have never been charged but am quite annoyed that servers lie to me directly. 

The terms have now changed a bit since my previous cruise on December and general upcharge has been removed from some restaurants. Interesting to see how it will affect the behaviour on board. However I have had this one appetiser, one entree and one dessert issue in all ala carte restaurants despite the general upcharge or not.

 

Edited by JezzaC

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3 minutes ago, JezzaC said:

I have noticed the issue in all NCL Specialty restaurants - I have always the SDP and am told one appetiser, one entree and one dessert. And I always have corrected, only one entree - no other limitations. I have never been charged but am quite annoyed that servers lie to me directly. 

 

If a server purposely told you something they knew to be untrue then yes it would be a lie.. However, if servers are told/trained by a supervisor that this is NCL's policy, then how can they be accused of lying ? They are merely stating policy they know to be accurate..

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Stealing sounds a little strong, but I take the OP's point that it is not ethically proper to purposely mislead the customer hoping they will not question their server.  That said, I applaud skeeter195's handling of the matter and for standing their ground.  Indeed under different conditions I have had to stand my ground with both NCL and Carnival when improper charges were posted.  I've found that when you ask to speak with the ship's financial officer, (after Guest Services says no to you) corrections are more quickly achieved.

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3 minutes ago, NYcruzzer said:

 

If a server purposely told you something they knew to be untrue then yes it would be a lie.. However, if servers are told/trained by a supervisor that this is NCL's policy, then how can they be accused of lying ? They are merely stating policy they know to be accurate..

 

Well why don't they then say something if I correct them based on terms? And if I had continuously customers saying to me differently than what I have been told by supervisor - I would question the supervisor for it. If the server thinks he/she is correct then they should ask clarifications from customer, now they just accept it - IF customer knows it. So yes - I think they are aware they are actually telling lies. I hope that servers aren't just dummy muppets without their own brains to clarify and ask about things from their managers.

Edited by JezzaC

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The almost unanimously reported experience of upcharges with the SDP is that you don't get charged for extra apps or desserts, whether you question it or not.

 

Many people just ignore what they are told about extra charges and order anyway, without saying anything. They are not charged. What happened to the OP is very rare.

 

The question is whether this was just an exception or a change which will become permanent. It is also possible that it is something specific with this restaurant.

 

We will have to see.

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Interestingly, I have sailed using the dining package over the last 4 cruises with NCL....most recently on the Escape last June.  I've always ordered whatever I wanted.  Not once did I have any uncharge, for anything.  I've seen the Ts & Cs and I've read different experiences on CC.  But, they've never charged me for two entres or for surf and turf (with Lobster) or anything else at any venue for that matter.

 

Guess I'm lucky.

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1 hour ago, skeeter195 said:

I tell her that I do not want an exception I just want what is fair and the manager comes and speaks to me himself.   

 

What did the manager tell you? The T&C of the SDP do not preclude getting a multiple apps or desserts, so what basis do they have to charge you? Simply because they think they can change the rules once you’re onboard? I’ve heard of restaurant managers trying to discourage people from ordering multiples but charging extra for something you’ve already paid for is a new low. NCL’s nickle and diming is getting to a whole new level. 

 

As as an aside I ate at Ocean Blue on the Getaway in April and had no issues with multiple apps/desserts. 

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Had family on the Escape in August and they said they had to pay extra for their double apps in the specialty restaurant.  They had a app, salad and entree and were very surprised to find they were charged.  They paid it as they didn't know.

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59 minutes ago, KeithJenner said:

What happened to the OP is very rare.
 


If it indeed even happened the way it is described.
The notion of a contrite server giggling and then confessing to a customer that everyone gets ripped off except Skeeter and it's only because he spoke up is dubious and calls in to question the entire story.

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In August on the Jade several waiter said...1 app...1 soup/ salad...1 entree and 2 sides...1 desert...

I ignored  it and was never charged...

If they would try that on me...well it could have gotten ugly...

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I've asked the question before and have gotten conflicting answers.  The T&C should really state what is included with the SDP.  I just chatted with someone on the NCL website and they told me that you get one soup/salad, one app, one entrée, one dessert. I've been trying to figure out if at La Cucina pasta is considered an app or an entrée. 

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Just now, RedwingHockeyFan said:

I've asked the question before and have gotten conflicting answers.  The T&C should really state what is included with the SDP.  I just chatted with someone on the NCL website and they told me that you get one soup/salad, one app, one entrée, one dessert. I've been trying to figure out if at La Cucina pasta is considered an app or an entrée. 

The T&C's state that additional entrees are chargeable. The fact that no other limits are stated there seems quite clear to me that there are no limits on them.

 

Subject to any further confirmation of people being charged, such as the original posted reported, I think people should just stop asking. It just seems to encourage them to give incorrect information.

 

It seems a bit odd, but I don't recall ever having been told of any limits when using the SDP (and over the past few years I have been to many). Recently, we were in Le Bistro and some of us were using latitudes and others the SDP. The server clearly stated the limits for the latitudes meal, but said to those using the SDP that they could order whatever they wanted, but just one entree.

 

I have also been in Cagneys and been encouraged to order more apps or sides.

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2 hours ago, skeeter195 said:

First off let me say that we had a great time on the Escape last week for the most part.  Even arriving 6 hours late on Sunday due to Dorian was not a big deal.  We were kept up to speed with what was happening with our late arrival back in NY.  There are some things though that NCL really needs to change to not look so shady to their passengers. One of the biggest things is with the dining package.

 

I have read and know about how the specialty dining plan works.  I know about the one entree rule, etc.  I will sometimes order an extra app or salad and have never been charged, or if I am I just mention "their rules" about only one entree not apps or salad.  On September 2nd, our 30th wedding anniversary we ate at Bayamo.  We both ordered a salad, app and an entree, no dessert.  The server informed us that their would be an extra charge.  I was in no way going to argue or even bring up that there should be no charge as it was a special day.  The bill comes and we are charged an extra $22, I sign, leave my usual $20 tip and we go on with our night and will deal with the charge later in the cruise.  On September 5th we return to Bayamo and we order an app and salad again.  The server tells us again that there will be an extra charge.  Here is where I almost lose it.  I then very politely tell her that there should only be an extra charge for an extra entree.  She then says "oh you know about that", smiles, says that she is sorry and that they are told to tell, and charge everyone the extra.  We have our meal(which is awesome as usual) get the bill with NO up charge and leave.  I go to guest services the next day to pay down my onboard account with cash and ask to have the first Bayamo up charge removed.  I was told that the charge was correct.  I then pull out my receipts from both nights and show them that one night I was charged and one was not for the same things.  She makes a call and then tells me that the manager is going to make an exception for me this time.  I tell her that I do not want an exception I just want what is fair and the manager comes and speaks to me himself.   

 

My point here is if I did not know about and bring up that I know the rules with the dining plan that I would have been charged.  How many passengers are charged each week because they do not know to bring this up.  In my eyes this is stealing by NCL.  If you want to charge more, fine put it in writing.  Do not put the servers in an awkward position hoping that the guest does not know the rules.  It is extremely unfair to charge one person and not the other for the same thing.  

This is clearly deliberate, based on what the waitress said.  Not accidental.

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I am confused too 🤪

 

But let me disagree with what I think the OP is saying.  I do agree rules are rules and a dining plan covers one appetizer, one entre and one dessert.  However, life is not just black and white as some want it to appear.  There is a lot of grey.

For example:
In 2009, I ate at the old Tex Mex specialty on the NCL Jewel.  I ordered the ribs (which were delicious by the way).  The cost of the dining was for 1, 1, 1.  The waiter offered me a second rack or ribs without me asking. I would have never asked either.  Maybe he saw how fast I ate them?  Maybe he thought they were an unusually small rack?  In any event, he offered and I accepted.
Was I stealing from NCL?
What if you ask a waitress that you don't want an appetizer but want 2 sides instead of 1.  She agrees.  Is that stealing from NCL?  What if you get a refill on your Pepsi and they did not charge you (I have had mixed results with this on NCL).  Is that stealing from NCL?  What if you bring to their attention the meal was not that great and 25% of it is left on the plate.  The waiter comps your meal.  Is that stealing?  What if your dinner is unusually delayed and the waiter brings you a free drink.  Is that stealing from NCL?
You smell what I'm cooking?  Rules exist for everyone to follow.  However, there are circumstances where a business or in this case NCL's staff bends the rules for the customer based on discretion of the waiter/waitress/restaurant manger.  This does not mean every time you dine you get to bend the rules.  

Edited by david_sobe

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If it indeed even happened the way it is described.
The notion of a contrite server giggling and then confessing to a customer that everyone gets ripped off except Skeeter and it's only because he spoke up is dubious and calls in to question the entire story.

 

It did "indeed" happen this way.  That is why I said that I almost lost it when she smiled and apologized. 

 

I have never been charged in the past either but I had always said something when they told me that I would be charged.  I did not this time as it was our anniversary and would deal with it later if need be.  

 

 

What did the manager tell you?

 

While the manager did not admit that I was correct he did say that this a gray area that they were looking into.  I said thank you and walked away knowing full well that I was just brushed off.  I do believe though that in the future we will be seeing in writing the one app, one entree, one dessert verbage.  

 

I have no problem being charged and paying more if I chose extras as long as it is in writing.  

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6 minutes ago, david_sobe said:

I am confused too 🤪

 

But let me disagree with what I think the OP is saying.  I do agree rules are rules and a dining plan covers one appetizer, one entre and one dessert.  However, life is not just black and white as some want it to appear.  There is a lot of grey.

For example:
In 2009, I ate at the old Tex Mex specialty on the NCL Jewel.  I ordered the ribs (which were delicious by the way).  The cost of the dining was 1, 1, 1.  The waiter offered me a second rack or ribs without me asking. I would have never asked either.  Maybe he saw how fast I ate them?  Maybe he thought they were an unusually small rack?  In any event, he offered and I accepted.
Was I stealing from NCL?
What if you ask a waitress that you don't want an appetizer but want 2 sides instead of 1.  She agrees.  Is that stealing from NCL?  What if you get a refill on your Pepsi and they did not charge you (I have had mixed results with this on NCL).  Is that stealing from NCL?  What if you bring to their attention the meal was not that great and 25% of it is left on the plate.  The waiter comps your meal.  Is that stealing?  What if your dinner is unusually delayed and the waiter brings you a free drink.  Is that stealing from NCL?
You smell what I'm cooking?  Rules exist for everyone to follow.  However, there are circumstances where a business or in this case NCL's staff bends the rules for the customer based on discretion of the waiter/waitress/restaurant manger.  This does not mean every time you dine you get to bend the rules.  

That is all very well, except that it is far from clear that the dining package covers one appetiser, one entree and one dessert.

 

The evidence to suggest that restriction applies: Apparently some people are told by waitstaff that this (or something close) is the restriction.

 

The evidence to suggest that no such restriction exists: There is nothing stated about it in the T&Cs. I have personally never been told by any NCL staff that there is a restriction (in fact I have been told there isn't a restriction). Before today, the almost unanimous reports from people who have ordered extras is that they were not charged for them.

 

On balance, I do not believe that any restriction actually exists.

 

If we were talking about the latitudes meal then it would be a different matter. The fact that the restrictions are clearly stated for that meal is further evidence that there is no such restriction with the SDP.

Edited by KeithJenner

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9 minutes ago, david_sobe said:

I am confused too 🤪

 

But let me disagree with what I think the OP is saying.  I do agree rules are rules and a dining plan covers one appetizer, one entre and one dessert.  However, life is not just black and white as some want it to appear.  There is a lot of grey.

For example:
In 2009, I ate at the old Tex Mex specialty on the NCL Jewel.  I ordered the ribs (which were delicious by the way).  The cost of the dining was for 1, 1, 1.  The waiter offered me a second rack or ribs without me asking. I would have never asked either.  Maybe he saw how fast I ate them?  Maybe he thought they were an unusually small rack?  In any event, he offered and I accepted.
Was I stealing from NCL?
What if you ask a waitress that you don't want an appetizer but want 2 sides instead of 1.  She agrees.  Is that stealing from NCL?  What if you get a refill on your Pepsi and they did not charge you (I have had mixed results with this on NCL).  Is that stealing from NCL?  What if you bring to their attention the meal was not that great and 25% of it is left on the plate.  The waiter comps your meal.  Is that stealing?  What if your dinner is unusually delayed and the waiter brings you a free drink.  Is that stealing from NCL?
You smell what I'm cooking?  Rules exist for everyone to follow.  However, there are circumstances where a business or in this case NCL's staff bends the rules for the customer based on discretion of the waiter/waitress/restaurant manger.  This does not mean every time you dine you get to bend the rules.  

But there is no rule that says the dining plan covers 1 app, 1 entre and 1 dessert.

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The person I chatted with on the NCL page couldn't really answer the question with any certainty either.  She basically just told me to ask the server when I got there.  Seems like the best thing to do would be to ask them before hand and mention how the T&C only limits entrees and see what happens.  Still confused about La Cucina and the pasta though.  In the menus, pasta is priced closer to apps than it is to entrees but it is more likely a "course" thing and it being the course before the main course.

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14 minutes ago, RedwingHockeyFan said:

The person I chatted with on the NCL page couldn't really answer the question with any certainty either.  She basically just told me to ask the server when I got there.  Seems like the best thing to do would be to ask them before hand and mention how the T&C only limits entrees and see what happens.  Still confused about La Cucina and the pasta though.  In the menus, pasta is priced closer to apps than it is to entrees but it is more likely a "course" thing and it being the course before the main course.

I disagree that asking is the best thing to do.

 

I think that the best thing to do is not ask anyone. Just go ahead and order what you want. That is what many people have been doing for years with no problem. Asking just causes confusion.

 

Mention the T&C's if they state to you that there is a charge or in the unlikely event that they bring you a bill.

 

This is, of course, subject to others coming along and saying that they have been charged. That is the only thing which will change my view, not random answers from staff members.

Edited by KeithJenner

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48 minutes ago, KeithJenner said:

I disagree that asking is the best thing to do.

 

I think that the best thing to do is not ask anyone. Just go ahead and order what you want. That is what many people have been doing for years with no problem. Asking just causes confusion.

 

Mention the T&C's if they state to you that there is a charge or in the unlikely event that they bring you a bill.

 

This is, of course, subject to others coming along and saying that they have been charged. That is the only thing which will change my view, not random answers from staff members.

 

May not be the best but it is probably the easiest.  I'd rather just go with what I'm told instead of assuming something else and being charged for extra apps then having to go to CustServ to have them removed.  If I'm still hungry after dinner, I'll go grab something at the Buffet or O'Sheehans.

Edited by RedwingHockeyFan

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This has been going on for years.  First I recall was 2015 on Spirit.  It has been discussed a bit here and there.  When I first used to mention it happening, people thought I was making it up.  Then came more reports.  I've posted about it since it has happened on the two subsequent sailings we were on after the Spirit.

 

On the Gem in Cagneys we were greeted with the ...."one/one/one" limit.  It sometimes varied where the server said you could have two .."above the line (meaning entree line)" and one dessert.

 

It is aggravating to have to deal with it.  You have typically 7 days on an expensive trip and you get them trying to save what, $.70 worth of food?  Penny-wise, pound foolish.

 

The other thing we've seen, if you do have a dispute with a charge  at a restaurant, you had to have that restaurant manager fix it/approve it.  We've dealt with that and after about 45 minutes of my vacation going back and forth with guest services then the restaurant manager I finally told the concierge to fix it which he did.

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3 hours ago, KeithJenner said:

The almost unanimously reported experience of upcharges with the SDP is that you don't get charged for extra apps or desserts, whether you question it or not.

 

Many people just ignore what they are told about extra charges and order anyway, without saying anything. They are not charged. What happened to the OP is very rare.

 

The question is whether this was just an exception or a change which will become permanent. It is also possible that it is something specific with this restaurant.

 

We will have to see.

We just came off the Bliss.  Was told the same thing OP states. In all specially restaurants. When I questioned only 1 app, they confirmed. I reminded them of printed SDP policy. "Oh, you know about that ?"

Then we were allowed to order soup and salad with dinner, with no up charge.   Sad, but, NCL is quietly changing.  "nickels and dimes to dollars."

Edited by phissy

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