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First NCL Cruise


Piper934
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About to book my first cruise on NCL. Not new to cruising so dont need the cruise basics, but looking for any tips and need to knows specific to NCL that you think will be helpful.

 

My main question to start is how do they handle price reductions? If it goes cheaper do they reimburse, give credit, etc.

 

Thanks in advance for helping me get a good feel for NCL. Thanks. 

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You'll get a variety of answers to the price reduction question.  I can only share my own experience.

 

Before final payment (90 days out) I have been able to call and "rebook" my cruise at the lower rate.  When I do this, I have to watch what was included as options on my previous booking to what is available now, as I will be booking with today's option.  So if I originally booked when they were doing "All 5 Free at Sea" and a $200.00 on board credit (OBC), but today they are doing "Pick 2 Free" and a $75.00 OBC, when I rebook I will only get 2 freebies and $75.00 OBC.  Maybe the room price dropped enough to cover that, maybe it didn't.  It is up to me to watch for that and to make that call.

 

I have been able to rebook my cruise any number of times (I think I did it 5 times for my last cruise).

 

After final payment, if prices drop dramatically, you can call and ask if they will do anything for you.  They can offer you a percentage of the difference in OBC.   Usually they will only do this one time.   So, you booked at $3000, and after final payment it drops to $2500.  If you call, you might get $250.00 in OBC.  But if the price drops the next day to $2000.00, you can't get more OBC.

 

I have never opted for the OBC.  I have however, upgraded my room to a better room after final payment when the prices dropped dramatically.  I was booked in a mini-suite (which is not a suite as much as a slightly bigger balcony).  Prices dropped after final payment to the point at which I could upgrade to an aft-facing suite for only a couple of hundred additional dollars.  I jumped on it.  I love the suite breakfast/lunch and boarding process, it was worth the couple of 100 dollars even before you got to the bigger room with the aft-facing balcony.

 

Hope this helps,

 

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Pretty much what was said above. Before final payment (which in most instances is 120 days) you can rebook for the price drop but you lose any originally booked perks and get whatever the current offer is (any TA perks will depend on them). After final payment they sometimes offer either 25% of the difference in OBC or an upgrade if the price is less than what you paid. OBC is definitely a one time shot, the upgrade may be a one time thing but some have reported getting a second upgrade when prices dropped further. 

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Couple questions for everyone.

 

Freestyle Dining sounds similar to anytime dining on other lines.  Can you request tables for 2 or is it show up and they fill table by table like they would do MDR lunches on other lines.

 

Internet, how is it generally on NCL?  I do need to be connected so will want more than social.  Is there a big difference in standard versus premium?  Hoping its faster and more consistent than Carnival.

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22 minutes ago, Piper934 said:

Couple questions for everyone.

 

Freestyle Dining sounds similar to anytime dining on other lines.  Can you request tables for 2 or is it show up and they fill table by table like they would do MDR lunches on other lines.

 

Internet, how is it generally on NCL?  I do need to be connected so will want more than social.  Is there a big difference in standard versus premium?  Hoping its faster and more consistent than Carnival.

No problem getting a table for 2 on NCL. They really have the freestyle dining concept figured out, in my opinion.

 

I get the free internet with my status. I use it for email, social media, light web browsing. I find it slow, but I expect that. It is satellite based. It is acceptable to me. I can't speak to premium or how it compares to Carnival.

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On 2/6/2020 at 10:01 PM, Piper934 said:

Freestyle Dining sounds similar to anytime dining on other lines.  Can you request tables for 2 or is it show up and they fill table by table like they would do MDR lunches on other lines.

 

Internet, how is it generally on NCL?  I do need to be connected so will want more than social.  Is there a big difference in standard versus premium?  Hoping its faster and more consistent than Carnival.

 

Dining:

If you are a party of 2, unless you request otherwise, you will be seated as a party of 2.   You will not be put at a big table and joined by others.

 

Internet:

We have only ever used the standard, and its performance varies a lot based on volume of concurrent users.  Afternoons when everyone is getting back from shore excursions and posting pictures and what-not it crawls...to the point of not being usable.  2:00am when everyone is asleep, its not too bad. 

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I'm booked on the Norwegian Sun in October 2020.  When I look at the cruise planner it only shows 16 totals excursions for a 14 day cruise with a decent amount of ports.  Obviously I'm sure many more will be added, when does NCL normally start to populate their full selections?

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Sailing on the SUN in October -

late Alaska season ?

Repo cruise from Alaska to Port Canaveral ? ***

or Port Canaveral to Southern Caribbean ?

In any event late Alaska shore excursions limited shutting down end of season - - -

With the Repo cruise again a limited selection with variable ports of call - - -

As for that Southern Caribbean ?

 

Which cruise itinerary are you on ?

***

I suspect it is the San Diego Port Canaveral ?

Ports of Call:

  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala
  • Corinto, Nicaragua
  • Puntarenas, Costa Rica
  • Panama Canal Full Transit
  • Cartagena, Colombia
  • Santa Marta, Colombia
  • Port Canaveral (Orlando), Florida

Only 6 of these ports would have SX - none at Panama Canal

 

Can't answer your question NCL may still be working with SX vendors.

A puzzle in that normally at each port there are some ten or so offered

a 3 hour walk about the port

native dance festivals

motor coach rides to ancient sites

chocolate making expositions

crocodile infested rivers

and more - something for most everyone

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14 hours ago, don't-use-real-name said:

Sailing on the SUN in October -

late Alaska season ?

Repo cruise from Alaska to Port Canaveral ? ***

or Port Canaveral to Southern Caribbean ?

In any event late Alaska shore excursions limited shutting down end of season - - -

With the Repo cruise again a limited selection with variable ports of call - - -

As for that Southern Caribbean ?

 

Which cruise itinerary are you on ?

***

I suspect it is the San Diego Port Canaveral ?

Ports of Call:

  • Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
  • Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala
  • Corinto, Nicaragua
  • Puntarenas, Costa Rica
  • Panama Canal Full Transit
  • Cartagena, Colombia
  • Santa Marta, Colombia
  • Port Canaveral (Orlando), Florida

Only 6 of these ports would have SX - none at Panama Canal

 

Can't answer your question NCL may still be working with SX vendors.

A puzzle in that normally at each port there are some ten or so offered

a 3 hour walk about the port

native dance festivals

motor coach rides to ancient sites

chocolate making expositions

crocodile infested rivers

and more - something for most everyone

Correct, the Panama Canal.  Have to assume more to come, just odd pretty much nothing listed now. I find it helpful to read through those for research and ideas what we will see/do. 

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52 minutes ago, Piper934 said:

Correct, the Panama Canal.  Have to assume more to come, just odd pretty much nothing listed now. I find it helpful to read through those for research and ideas what we will see/do. 

The Panama Canal cruise would be best.

 

Be sure to read the book, Path Between the Seas, by David McCullough.  It tells the story of the building of the canal.  When you go through the canal, you will see the engineering features that are mentioned in the book.

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43 minutes ago, 4774Papa said:

The Panama Canal cruise would be best.

 

Be sure to read the book, Path Between the Seas, by David McCullough.  It tells the story of the building of the canal.  When you go through the canal, you will see the engineering features that are mentioned in the book.

 

Definitely recommend reading the book !

 

And also see the bigger wider newer canal for the super ships - The SUN is a great ship to observe the transit

with a large observation deck forward and great outdoors aft and plenty of other open deck space for viewing.

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