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Would we like Norwegian?


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We are Platinum Level with NCL...but we are changing our brand based on recent experiences.  We were booked on the recent cruise for SouthEast Asia. Originally it was to depart from Hong Kong and finish in Singapore.  Everyone on our roll call (and the Facebook group for the cruise) were not only aware of the Corona Virus, but were calling NCL to continuously question whether the ship would sale as scheduled.  NCL refused to cancel the cruise and told passengers that there would be no refunds for anyone who cancelled their cruise.  

Around 10 days before our sailing, we were informed that the ship would now be departing from Singapore instead of Hong Kong.  We would receive a 10% refund on our cruise price and NCL would pay "reasonable" costs for the change in airfare.  They would not refund anyone's cruise price if you cancelled.  My fellow passengers and I were reasonably hopeful that the cruise would now continue, and we went through steps of changing our airfare  (as well as canceling Hong Kong hotel stay and booking rooms in Singapore because flights would all arrive a day or two before the start of the cruise)   We continued to monitor the situation, because all the cruise lines were canceling their cruises in Asia. Only NCL continued to insist that their cruise would go on as re-scheduled...and there would be no refunds for cancellations.  Our ship (the Jade) was being watched in it's voyage which would mirror ours (but just before ours)  When the ship was in Thailand they disembarked every passenger that had either been in Hong Kong or China, as well as passengers and crew that held passports from China (and Hong Kong and Macau)  This was because the country of Vietnam said they would not accept any ships that had crew or passengers from this location.  Then the Jade sailed for Vietnam where it was refused entry.  The Jade headed back for Singapore (4 days at sea) The following day, with the new information of the port being closed to cruise ships, NCL cancelled our cruise.  This was less then 5 days before the cruise. Many people were in route to Singapore. My airplane did not depart until the following day, but if I had not been paying attention to CC Roll Call, I would not have gotten notice because my Travel Agent was not notified until that night.  For all the disappointment (not to mention 2 weeks of constant  stress) NHL conceded to give us our money back, up to $300 per person for travel change expenses (many people paid $500 because of the last minute changes) and a 25% Future Cruise Credit  (all the other cruise lines who cancelled are giving their customers 100% future cruise credit...in addition to their refund)  

NCL did the same thing for the voyage following ours  (Singapore to Dubai) Their cruise was cancelled yesterday. There are a lot of passengers that were doing a back to back and going on from Dubai to Rome.  That cruise is not cancelled yet, and people are finding that last minute, one way air fare to Dubai is costing $1000.  And NCL is doing nothing to help them (except the same no refunds policy)  

This is not the only issue. During the 5 years that we have been sailing with NCL (10 cruises)  We have seen a deterioration in the quality of the food. There used to be salmon and pickled herring at the breakfast buffet, but that has been gone for a couple of years  (we really thought it might reappear for our cruise in Norway last year...but Nope)    The prices for drinks continues to escalate enormously.  Even with the drink package, you are only allowed a $15 credit per drink  (which is fine for 80% of their mixed drinks) But my husband likes premium whisky.  The Johnny Walker Blue label was an extra $5 on our first cruise, but continued to increase in price so that now it costs an extra $45 For One Drink  (plus tax and service)   We also enjoyed the specialty restaurants and paid for the dining package. They changed the rules there too. They limit what you can have and charge extra for various appetizers and entrees.  

SO we  are changing our loyalty.  It's one thing when it is the food is not as good, or the drink price has changed. But it is a whole different thing when you can not trust the people who are operating the cruise line.  

So, there is not way I can recommend NCL ever again. 

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Thanks for all the input. After much deliberation we decided, since a Haven cabin was not in our financial picture to stick with HAL for a New England/Canada cruise.

I appreciate all the data on NCL and if a Haven cabin is ever in my financial future I'd probably give NCL at try.

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