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For those planning to cruise normally when things get better


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I like NCL ship and crew but not their customer service.  I will sail once more with them because I have FCC, but the exact same cruise for next year is over $1000 more than I originally paid.  We are stuck with them for one more cruise, which I am sure I will love because like I said it's not when I am on the ship the problem, but when calling them and having to deal with their representative that are not very customer friendly (and I know they are tired).

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we will still sail NCL.

that said, i hope to see some offers that make it really enticing to stay with them once things open back up.

 

if my April 18 TA is canceled, we will probably take the FCC as we have a very expensive Hawaii sail lined up for next April.  125% or 150% FCC will make  a huge dent in that fare.  But, if our Bermuda sail is canceld for this May, we will take the cash for that one.  We had originally planned to put teh FCC toward our August Alaska sail but in light of yesterday's news we will cancel that one now as final payment is due in a few weeks.

 

Speaking of which, i think its crazy you can cancel 48hours before with Peace of Mind, but they still want full final payments 120 days out.  Im sure its all related to cash flow, but it does seem somewhat contradictory.

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DH and I just booked on NCL for a Mediterranean cruise in Oct 2021.  We were hoping to go this fall but then the orthodontist said the oldest was ready for braces so there went that idea and then COVID19 happened anyway.

 

I have cruised several times, mainly on HAL and once on RC.  DH has only been on HAL.  In general I prefer smaller ships and I don't like feeling nickel and dimed which I really felt like on RC and I didn't like that line at all.  I do worry about that on NCL as well but with free UBC (plus gratuity of course), free specialty dining, internet, and a $200 shipboard credit I'm not real certain what is left to be nickel and dimed on.

 

We chose NCL as the itinerary was the best we had found and we had been searching a bunch of lines for several months.  Itinerary is king.  That said I am a bit worried about how the cruise industry will weather this so we put our deposit down and are waiting for things to calm down before making any more payments.

 

I have been browsing these boards for awhile now and want to thank everyone for all the helpful information.  It has really helped determine what to expect with NCL.

 

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Welcome to Cruise Critic.  Glad to hear you have found these boards a fountain of knowledge.  Hopefully after your cruise you will share your experience, strength and hope with us.  Good luck!

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1 hour ago, Northern wanderlust said:

DH and I just booked on NCL for a Mediterranean cruise in Oct 2021.  We were hoping to go this fall but then the orthodontist said the oldest was ready for braces so there went that idea and then COVID19 happened anyway.

 

I have cruised several times, mainly on HAL and once on RC.  DH has only been on HAL.  In general I prefer smaller ships and I don't like feeling nickel and dimed which I really felt like on RC and I didn't like that line at all.  I do worry about that on NCL as well but with free UBC (plus gratuity of course), free specialty dining, internet, and a $200 shipboard credit I'm not real certain what is left to be nickel and dimed on.

 

We chose NCL as the itinerary was the best we had found and we had been searching a bunch of lines for several months.  Itinerary is king.  That said I am a bit worried about how the cruise industry will weather this so we put our deposit down and are waiting for things to calm down before making any more payments.

 

I have been browsing these boards for awhile now and want to thank everyone for all the helpful information.  It has really helped determine what to expect with NCL.

 

We had a great experience onboard and off on our  2019 Mediterranean cruise aboard the Epic. I hope you will have a great experience as well.

 

Retail, photos and the spa are our biggest "nickel and dime" opportunities. My mother likes the photos so I oblige her when we sail. I rarely use the spa, but there were some good offers so we did that on our last cruise. I grabbed 2 t-shirts at the 2 for $20 sale on our last day as gifts, but nothing else in retail. There are some alcohol centered tasting events that would be fee based, we've never done those. 

 

I don't really find NCL to be a nickel and dime experience. They offer extras, if I want them I buy them if I don't I won't. I never feel pressured to make a purchase, well except by Mom, but I can't blame NCL for that, lol. 

Edited by Nola26
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My answer is I’m not sure. Until it’s cancelled I’m booked for the breakaway over July 4th. I really wish the INDUSTRY as a whole would make better decisions. I would have more confidence in the cruise industry if they would just offer refunds for who ever would want it and doesn’t want to travel at this time(for the time being not indefinitely). It just leaves such a sour taste in your mouth that people have to wait until 30 days before your cruise leaves until they cancel it or feel forced to travel when the ports do open. I don’t want fcc because Im only taking NCL again because other travelers wanted this cruise. I had a really bad cruise 2 years ago Boston to Bermuda thru a hurricane. Nothing was open and even docked anchor down the ship was bouncing so much we couldn’t sleep. Other ships 2 RCl 1 Carnival left Bermuda early to avoid the swells but NCL stayed. So I really had no interest of sailing with them again. I was hoping this cruise would turn my attitude around because I do enjoy the NCL crew and Entertainment.

Edited by ellasmomanddad
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I will cruise with them again, but it will not be this year.

this year I will support local businesses as best as I can. Next year I will do a cruise, and will also try to stay a few days in Italy and Spain as well. They need some extra love ❤️

Edited by z4oslo
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My sisters and I are hooked on the Haven and have a 12 night cruise on Encore next February so fingers crossed that we will be passed this by then and that it doesn't return in the fall.  So we have no desire to switch lines.  We've done a lot on Carnival, some on Princess, Celebrity and RCL.  

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We have never had any complaints with NCL and will cruise with them again but probably not until at least next spring.  Of course, their cancelation communications were wanting during these unusual coronavirus months but was it not the same with the other companies.

We have cruised with one other company six years ago and did not like that two of the seven nights we could not go to the restaurants unless we were in formalwear.  I have trouble keeping my luggage under the 50lb limit as is without adding in formalwear.

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I'm already booked for 2021 however this whole ordeal does have me questioning future cruises. For reference I'm the weirdo wiping down a slot machine before I use it, who comes on board with their own kit of sanitation supplies and disinfects the entire state room, I purell both before touching tongs in the buffet and again at the table with my own industrial strength 'noro' killing sanitizer and use the ships every time I pass one. I'm well trained in not touching my face. Despite this I've returned sick on 2 of my 3 cruises, nothing major, just colds but for as much as I clean and sanitize I cannot stop one of the other 40 people in an elevator breathing their germs on me. 

 

Now that they have gotten rid of straws I have to just try to watch that I don't drink from the side of any cup the bartender had their hand on. That bartender has been touching hundreds of room cards and I'm sure not everyone on the ship is disinfecting theirs 3x a day like I am (I brought my own straws on the last cruise just for hygienic reasons). Anyway with them putting so many people on ships and packing people in so tight, looking at Encore tighter than ever, there just really is no way to protect yourself in such an environment no matter how stringent you are with your own sterilization practices. We all like to focus on the things we can do to prevent illness but the reality is if anyone that physically close to you is coughing or sneezing it doesn't matter what you touch, you're going to get sick, when you are constantly engulfed on all sides by people around you the odds go up exponentially. 

 

I really like cruising and my main gripe with Norwegian is how they overpopulate their ships to the point of them just being uncomfortable and honestly I don't know if I'm really comfortable in that kind of environment anymore. Poor princess but could you imagine what the numbers would have been on Encore? Epic? Or even one of the bigger RCL ships? NCL is putting hoards of people practically on top of each other, pool side pics from Encore look like one of those awful body trenches from WW2. Higher end lines give you more space per person at the detriment of fun and money but I know I'd personally enjoy my vacations much more if I didn't seem to come home with some bug no matter what ridiculous sanitation ritual my husband and I undertake.  

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4 hours ago, Wedgie23 said:

I'm already booked for 2021 however this whole ordeal does have me questioning future cruises. For reference I'm the weirdo wiping down a slot machine before I use it, who comes on board with their own kit of sanitation supplies and disinfects the entire state room, I purell both before touching tongs in the buffet and again at the table with my own industrial strength 'noro' killing sanitizer and use the ships every time I pass one. I'm well trained in not touching my face. Despite this I've returned sick on 2 of my 3 cruises, nothing major, just colds but for as much as I clean and sanitize I cannot stop one of the other 40 people in an elevator breathing their germs on me. 

 

Now that they have gotten rid of straws I have to just try to watch that I don't drink from the side of any cup the bartender had their hand on. That bartender has been touching hundreds of room cards and I'm sure not everyone on the ship is disinfecting theirs 3x a day like I am (I brought my own straws on the last cruise just for hygienic reasons). Anyway with them putting so many people on ships and packing people in so tight, looking at Encore tighter than ever, there just really is no way to protect yourself in such an environment no matter how stringent you are with your own sterilization practices. We all like to focus on the things we can do to prevent illness but the reality is if anyone that physically close to you is coughing or sneezing it doesn't matter what you touch, you're going to get sick, when you are constantly engulfed on all sides by people around you the odds go up exponentially. 

 

I really like cruising and my main gripe with Norwegian is how they overpopulate their ships to the point of them just being uncomfortable and honestly I don't know if I'm really comfortable in that kind of environment anymore. Poor princess but could you imagine what the numbers would have been on Encore? Epic? Or even one of the bigger RCL ships? NCL is putting hoards of people practically on top of each other, pool side pics from Encore look like one of those awful body trenches from WW2. Higher end lines give you more space per person at the detriment of fun and money but I know I'd personally enjoy my vacations much more if I didn't seem to come home with some bug no matter what ridiculous sanitation ritual my husband and I undertake.  

 

 

Just curious but are you as germophobic  and OCD on land as you are on a ship?  (not meant in a snarky way).

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We're using our FCC to book 2 new cruises with NCL- Nov 2020 and March 2021. We had a blast on our last cruise with NCL and will continue to be loyal to them until they give us a reason to switch. What corporation doesn't have unscrupulous selling practices? I'll continue to wash my hands and sanitize what I cannot wash as I always have. If anything, covid-19 has shown me how much I touch my phone without sanitizing it.

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28 minutes ago, ColeThornton said:

 

 

Just curious but are you as germophobic  and OCD on land as you are on a ship?  (not meant in a snarky way).

Haha no worries no offense taken. I have an autoimmune condition which causes my immune system to be overactive. My body attacks itself as is and anything else introduced causes it to go into over drive. Other people's sniffles become my full body hives, 3 week chest cold and tends to require steroids to lower my immune system as it's a case of my bodies cure becoming more dangerous than the disease. Right now my family is looking at me as the canary in the mine to see if the virus has entered our home. 

 

Not touching my face comes from years of working counting money where your hands quickly become absolutely filthy and you develop the habit of simply not touching yourself. I wouldn't say I'm as adamant (except for now) with sterilization outside of cruises as I am on but it isn't too far off. Always wash hands before I eat, purell at the ready if I'm out. I wipe down a shopping cart handle before I touch it if that counts? If I'm out and eating any kind of hand food I always make sure I haven't touched anything in between either washing my hands or using sanitizer and using my hands/fingers to eat. Though I have to admit, the last couple of weeks I've gotten into the habit of wiping down my groceries as I put them away and I think I'm going to continue doing that once this is behind us. I worked in a grocery store so I do know first hand how many people are touching the stuff on the shelf and how dirty those things can get. Who washes their hands when they grab a snack from the pantry? This isn't the only virus that can live on surfaces for days it's only taken me a couple extra seconds per item. I don't think I'd classify myself as a germaphobe, dirt doesn't bother me, gross stuff I don't flinch at, I tend to not bother with seat protectors in public bathrooms, I only care about the viruses and bacteria thats going to make me sick. 

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32 minutes ago, Wedgie23 said:

Haha no worries no offense taken. I have an autoimmune condition which causes my immune system to be overactive. My body attacks itself as is and anything else introduced causes it to go into over drive. Other people's sniffles become my full body hives, 3 week chest cold and tends to require steroids to lower my immune system as it's a case of my bodies cure becoming more dangerous than the disease. Right now my family is looking at me as the canary in the mine to see if the virus has entered our home. 

 

Not touching my face comes from years of working counting money where your hands quickly become absolutely filthy and you develop the habit of simply not touching yourself. I wouldn't say I'm as adamant (except for now) with sterilization outside of cruises as I am on but it isn't too far off. Always wash hands before I eat, purell at the ready if I'm out. I wipe down a shopping cart handle before I touch it if that counts? If I'm out and eating any kind of hand food I always make sure I haven't touched anything in between either washing my hands or using sanitizer and using my hands/fingers to eat. Though I have to admit, the last couple of weeks I've gotten into the habit of wiping down my groceries as I put them away and I think I'm going to continue doing that once this is behind us. I worked in a grocery store so I do know first hand how many people are touching the stuff on the shelf and how dirty those things can get. Who washes their hands when they grab a snack from the pantry? This isn't the only virus that can live on surfaces for days it's only taken me a couple extra seconds per item. I don't think I'd classify myself as a germaphobe, dirt doesn't bother me, gross stuff I don't flinch at, I tend to not bother with seat protectors in public bathrooms, I only care about the viruses and bacteria thats going to make me sick. 

 

 

Thanks for the response.   Now, I"m going to take a shower after reading that.  🙂

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This was to be our first NCL cruise. We were excited to try NCL. We've done 1 RCL in the past and several Carnival. We were disappointed after our last Carnival cruise and needed a break, although their product was fine, we missed the Oasis-class RCL ship. 

 

I think each line had a different pros and cons in their responses. We're debating taking the cash so we can skip over to RCL. We're looking at booking for October or next spring.

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I would like to thank everybody on this board for their insights and information and this seems as good a thread as any. Based on said insights and reading all the good and bad, I am hoping I get a do over and my cruise on the Encore gets cancelled. That's not a boat for me. That picture with all the lounge chairs on top of each other gave me chills even before the Corona hit. 

 

I picked NCL for my 1st cruise because I was attracted to the freestyle aspect and wanted to sail out of NYC. But if I book another cruise I'll know better what to look for and it won't be NCL. I don't trust them. Their response to the crisis has always been to follow the others and make their offers not quite as good across the board. I'm going to go with one of the cruise lines that stepped up in this crisis, not one that shirked away.

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1 hour ago, Waquoit said:

I would like to thank everybody on this board for their insights and information and this seems as good a thread as any. Based on said insights and reading all the good and bad, I am hoping I get a do over and my cruise on the Encore gets cancelled. That's not a boat for me. That picture with all the lounge chairs on top of each other gave me chills even before the Corona hit. 

 

I picked NCL for my 1st cruise because I was attracted to the freestyle aspect and wanted to sail out of NYC. But if I book another cruise I'll know better what to look for and it won't be NCL. I don't trust them. Their response to the crisis has always been to follow the others and make their offers not quite as good across the board. I'm going to go with one of the cruise lines that stepped up in this crisis, not one that shirked away.

I hate to say it, but lounge chairs on top of one another is going to be par for the course for cruises. That said, every ship I've been on has other outdoor areas that were far less populated. (They may just not be the areas directly next to the very small pools.) And you can always sit on your own balcony, if you have one. Cruise ships, by nature, cram a lot of people into a small area. In my limited experience, embarkation day and debarkation day are the worst. I'm sure certain ship designs are better than others at dispersing the people and can't speak to the Encore specifically. In addition, certain travel times tend to be busier than others. We have mostly cruised during hurricane season and when school is in session, which seems to be when fewer children are on board. 

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Personally...never have got to cruise with NCL and still wish to do the cruise we had planned. Will be asking for refund when it is officially cancelled but plan on booking same cruise but my hubby and I along with our adult daughter will combine our 2 room refunds together and get a Haven suite

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I am not strictly loyal to one cruise line but most of my cruises are with NCL because of the tier level perks I get with them, and because they take good care of the ships. I have future cruises planned with them and will still go. I am likely to occasionally sail on other lines, but only because I would have anyway.

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On 3/23/2020 at 11:45 PM, debeni said:

I could be wrong, but I do not think any of the NCL ships has had any coronavirus infections.   That includes the NCL Spirit that recently docked after spending 16 days at sea from Dubai to South Africa and the NCL Jewel which is just now arriving in Hawaii after many days at sea.  That being said, I think all cruise ships will need to have a tighter virus control than the current washy-washy.

Definitely a good point to make too. I may sail on other lines, but I will never sail on a ship like Diamond or Grand Princess that was known to have Coronavirus on board. Same goes for any cities where hotels are being asked to house overflow Coronavirus cases. I’m sure I’m going to get flamed by someone for posting that, but I have the right to boycott any housing facility I choose, for any reason. Wouldn’t feel safe because I don’t know how you sanitize every square inch of a ship like that, and guaranteed enough to eradicate the virus. They’re going to have a really hard time filling those ships and will probably change the names.

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We have a re-positioning cruise scheduled for April 19 on the Joy. Los Angeles (closed) to Vancouver BC (closed). NCL is still selling this cruise.  Sorry but they are holding onto money for cruises that are not going to happen and it is putting a bad taste in my mouth.  Between the customer service and the price increases we will be taking the refund once they actually cancel the cruise. NCL is not our first choice anyways so we don't want the FCC. We would consider booking them in the future for the right itinerary and right price. 

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42 minutes ago, GlamorousGirl said:

Definitely a good point to make too. I may sail on other lines, but I will never sail on a ship like Diamond or Grand Princess that was known to have Coronavirus on board. Same goes for any cities where hotels are being asked to house overflow Coronavirus cases. I’m sure I’m going to get flamed by someone for posting that, but I have the right to boycott any housing facility I choose, for any reason. Wouldn’t feel safe because I don’t know how you sanitize every square inch of a ship like that, and guaranteed enough to eradicate the virus. They’re going to have a really hard time filling those ships and will probably change the names.

What about all the ships that ever had noro virus?  How long do you think a virus can last?  You ever going to visit any hospitals?  Of course you can boycott any hotels you choose for any reason or no reason.  Please keep us informed of any cruises you book so we can have the pleasure of not being on the same ship.

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I will cruise again, but with a cruise company that doesn’t have self service buffet, why do they insist on washing your hands going in, but not leaving? 
Having witnessed the waste, the handling and return these places are not healthy, how much gastroenteritis is created and spread in just one area.

Food should be served.

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