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"Nickel and Diming" Overuse


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It is time to discuss something besides when cruising is coming back or whether your refund is coming or not coming.   

I have been reading CC for several years, particularly the NCL board.   My wife and I have been on many NCL and RCCL cruises and have never been surprised at the bill at the end, except if a mistake was made.   I have never seen the expression “Nickel and Diming” as much as on this board.  I do not understand the overuse of the expression.  I think it is a bad excuse for not doing your research before a cruise, so you know what is included and what is not.  I do not hear the expression used with airlines, who are the kings of that concept, with every airline having different policies as to what is included and what is charged.  NCL clearly states what is included and what isn’t, if you bother to look at their website before you go and if you bother to keep track of what you are buying throughout your cruise.   I know some will agree and some will disagree.  But with no one cruising now people could do the research about each cruise line or the different options a certain line offers.  Then they could have the right cruise to maximize their vacation.   Done ranting!!   Happy cruising everyone!!!  

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I completely agree. It seems that the expression is mainly used when there is a change in prices, upward of course. The bottom line is buy what you think is worthwhile. If you don't like the value for money choose another cruise line or another type of vacation. Supply and demand will always decide how many nickels and dimes! 

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Good post OP and I agree also.  To me, nickel and diming would be if someone said a haircut was $10.... done right? Nope, because if you want to sit in the chair there's a admin fee of $25... that's nickel and diming, IMO.  

 

Don't see it with cruising.  If I want something, I'll pay for it; if the cost is too high, lacks value, I'll do without it.  No problem.  😉

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For us on CC who have cruised long time, we do research and know what is going on and help each other point out changes.  

 

I feel sorry for those casual travelers when New charges are added between booking and sailing.

 

If you look at the long list of what has increased and what has been decreased, I would say for NCL the term is reasonable.  And that list that was floating around awhile ago was very long.  Most of this has been last 6-7years.

Edited by dexddd
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Yes..."nickel & diming" is overused on this forum. Not only that, but it is often used incorrectly as well.

 

The phrase "nickel & diming", when used correctly, refers to small mandatory charges that a consumer MUST pay that aren't presented as part of the cost of an item. On this forum, "nickel & diming" is often used to refer to charges that must be paid for OPTIONAL items that are available on the cruise. It isn't "nickel & diming" if you don't have to pay it (that is why we don't accuse Target of "nickel & diming" simply because everything in their store has a cost...the choice to purchase is our option).

 

You have to look at what really drives these complaints. IMHO, what is typically behind this is that people go onboard and WANT $$$$$$$$$$$$, but they only have a budget that can afford $$$$.

 

The complaints are really about the difference between their wants and their means.

Edited by SeaShark
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I think the issue is not so much Nichel and Dime'ing as much as it is a truth in pricing issue and HIDING pricing where you don't expect..    

 

Many people are enticed with a low end vacation price, the price they see online, the price theTA quotes.   But that price doesn't include service fees, port charges not to mention the obvious extras like dining surcharge and drinks that really do add up.   They see their onboard account and quickly this cheap vacation they had expectations for goes to OMG levels when the extra fees you don't think to look at are posted to your account.    

 

Its an expectations managing issue after people have been led to believe this was going to be a cheap vacation!

 

That and the recent increase in drink prices!   Holy cow, I drink maybe one drink a day so there is no benefit of me getting a drink package.   So I order my one drink.....a dirty martini, I don't even remember specifying the brand of vodka.    I get the check and I was charged $25!!    That is crazy price for a mid level cruise drink.   A couple nights later I order a double Bailey's on the rocks because one shot of Bailey's is really skimpy.    Again, $25 for a double Bailey's!?     I've never felt the need to ask....."How much is the Bailey's?" before ordering because any price within reason is OK with me.    Now the one and only place I feel I need to actually ask how much the drink will cost is on a cruise because I felt that was scam level pricing.    

 

Yes, all the rates are in writing somewhere but if you have to read the full carriage to get a realistic idea of how much the trip really will cost, that borders on scam level pricing.    That's the issue.

Edited by Vyhanek
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Been cruising for many years and what bothers me is the new ways all of the cruise lines are finding to add $$s to your bill at the end.  When we started there were no specialty restaurants, all of the food was included. There were no Haven's to charge a premium price for. There were no offers of vibe or extra cost for the spa areas - treatments, yes. Gratuities were at your discretion - yes we paid the recommend amount - but it went to those who provided services to us, not their supervisors, and a large percentage of the crew. Having said that, we generally do not have much of a bill when we exit the ship beyond the gratuities. We know before leaving what we are willing to spend money on and what is important to us. I don't see it as nickel and diming, I see it as inventing new things that may provide a profit for those willing to spend the money. We just don't buy it.

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@vswan

 

Been cruising for many years and what bothers me is the new ways all of the cruise lines are finding to add $$s to your bill at the end.

 

They only add at the end what you have agreed to before or during the cruise.   If you haven't read all the documentation available about the prices you will be charged and the extra charges that might be added then that is your fault.   They are all carefully set out and not hidden.

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Sorry if I was confusing. I didn't mean to imply that I purchase these items and am surprised when there is a bill for them, just that they seem to have a lot more ways to charge for things. In general, when we receive our final bill there is nothing on it but the gratuities. We just don't find many of their extras worth the money.

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26 minutes ago, Vyhanek said:

I think the issue is not so much Nichel and Dime'ing as much as it is a truth in pricing issue and HIDING pricing where you don't expect..    

 

Many people are enticed with a low end vacation price, the price they see online, the price theTA quotes.   But that price doesn't include service fees, port charges not to mention the obvious extras like dining surcharge and drinks that really do add up.   They see their onboard account and quickly this cheap vacation they had expectations for goes to OMG levels when the extra fees you don't think to look at are posted to your account.    

 

Its an expectations managing issue after people have been led to believe this was going to be a cheap vacation!

 

That and the recent increase in drink prices!   Holy cow, I drink maybe one drink a day so there is no benefit of me getting a drink package.   So I order my one drink.....a dirty martini, I don't even remember specifying the brand of vodka.    I get the check and I was charged $25!!    That is crazy price for a mid level cruise drink.   A couple nights later I order a double Bailey's on the rocks because one shot of Bailey's is really skimpy.    Again, $25 for a double Bailey's!?     I've never felt the need to ask....."How much is the Bailey's?" before ordering because any price within reason is OK with me.    Now the one and only place I feel I need to actually ask how much the drink will cost is on a cruise because I felt that was scam level pricing.    

 

Yes, all the rates are in writing somewhere but if you have to read the full carriage to get a realistic idea of how much the trip really will cost, that borders on scam level pricing.    That's the issue.

None of the extras you mentioned are added to your on board account, they are part of your cruise cost when you book, so none of them are hiding. 
As far as drinks go any higher end resort will charge about the same, I have seen higher charges in hotels. Don’t compare prices to your local establishment it isn’t apples to apples. 

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Many people are enticed with a low end vacation price, the price they see online, the price theTA quotes.   But that price doesn't include service fees, port charges not to mention the obvious extras like dining surcharge and drinks that really do add up.   They see their onboard account and quickly this cheap vacation they had expectations for goes to OMG levels when the extra fees you don't think to look at are posted to your account.   

 

It is called "DUE DILIGENCE".   Fail to do it at your own peril and expense.

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12 minutes ago, phillyguy31 said:


As far as drinks go any higher end resort will charge about the same, I have seen higher charges in hotels. Don’t compare prices to your local establishment it isn’t apples to apples. 

True dat. But comparison to other cruise lines is valid. NCL is 30-40% higher than other lines.  Nothing NCL advertises as free is actually free, in regard to perks.  

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1 hour ago, Vyhanek said:

Many people are enticed with a low end vacation price, the price they see online, the price theTA quotes.   But that price doesn't include service fees, port charges not to mention the obvious extras like dining surcharge and drinks that really do add up.

If they're booking themselves, this is on them, all cruise lines advertise the base cost for the lowest-fare room and indicate it as "starting at".  As they go through the booking process they start to see all the fees and taxes.

 

If they're booking through a TA, this is a 50/50 responsibility - it's on the client for asking but also on the TA for being forthcoming with the information.

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1 hour ago, Vyhanek said:

I think the issue is not so much Nichel and Dime'ing as much as it is a truth in pricing issue and HIDING pricing where you don't expect..    

 

Many people are enticed with a low end vacation price, the price they see online, the price theTA quotes.   But that price doesn't include service fees, port charges not to mention the obvious extras like dining surcharge and drinks that really do add up.   They see their onboard account and quickly this cheap vacation they had expectations for goes to OMG levels when the extra fees you don't think to look at are posted to your account.    

 

Its an expectations managing issue after people have been led to believe this was going to be a cheap vacation!

 

That and the recent increase in drink prices!   Holy cow, I drink maybe one drink a day so there is no benefit of me getting a drink package.   So I order my one drink.....a dirty martini, I don't even remember specifying the brand of vodka.    I get the check and I was charged $25!!    That is crazy price for a mid level cruise drink.   A couple nights later I order a double Bailey's on the rocks because one shot of Bailey's is really skimpy.    Again, $25 for a double Bailey's!?     I've never felt the need to ask....."How much is the Bailey's?" before ordering because any price within reason is OK with me.    Now the one and only place I feel I need to actually ask how much the drink will cost is on a cruise because I felt that was scam level pricing.    

 

Yes, all the rates are in writing somewhere but if you have to read the full carriage to get a realistic idea of how much the trip really will cost, that borders on scam level pricing.    That's the issue.

Good summary however this applies to every mainstream cruiseline. IMO; I have cruised with most.

Good advice to do your research, there are always people that want everything and don't want to pay for it yet expect others to. 

Stay safe!

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58 minutes ago, casofilia said:

Many people are enticed with a low end vacation price, the price they see online, the price theTA quotes.   But that price doesn't include service fees, port charges not to mention the obvious extras like dining surcharge and drinks that really do add up.   They see their onboard account and quickly this cheap vacation they had expectations for goes to OMG levels when the extra fees you don't think to look at are posted to your account.   

 

It is called "DUE DILIGENCE".   Fail to do it at your own peril and expense.

Really good point! Can't blame the cruise line for passengers lack of knowledge going into the vacation, it is all well written out for passengers before booking and boarding. 😊

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OMG really?
I just don't understand the numerous threads about the phrase "nickel and dime."  The amount of verbal gymnastics people do to justify it.  Every cruise line does it.  Most resorts do it.   Many hotels do it.  Even some airlines do it.   We are allowed to talk and discuss it.  Nickel and diming does  NOT mean customers don't have access to knowing what is included and not included.  That is such a slippery slope people use to justify it.  Nickel and diming is charging for small or trivial items that used to be included.  Yes we know in the fine print it says it somewhere.  That is not relevant.  

Examples on cruise lines can be so numerous to list.  But please stop the propping up of a system that is what it is.  YES, you can go on a cruise and not be charged extra.  We get it.  But you cannot ignore the ridiculous ways NCL and other do to nickel and dime you to death.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, david_sobe said:

OMG really?
I just don't understand the numerous threads about the phrase "nickel and dime."  The amount of verbal gymnastics people do to justify it.  Every cruise line does it.  Most resorts do it.   Many hotels do it.  Even some airlines do it.   We are allowed to talk and discuss it.  Nickel and diming does  NOT mean customers don't have access to knowing what is included and not included.  That is such a slippery slope people use to justify it.  Nickel and diming is charging for small or trivial items that used to be included.  Yes we know in the fine print it says it somewhere.  That is not relevant.  

Examples on cruise lines can be so numerous to list.  But please stop the propping up of a system that is what it is.  YES, you can go on a cruise and not be charged extra.  We get it.  But you cannot ignore the ridiculous ways NCL and other do to nickel and dime you to death.

 

 

 

 

Part of my point was that people get so upset with cruise lines but many other resorts, airlines, restaurants, etc do the same thing.  People don't seem to be nearly as irate in those other situations.  

And it isn't that we aren't charged extra on our cruises.  We have just made sure that we've made an informed decision.  We don't go into it ignorantly and then complain about being nickel and dimed.  It comes down to doing your research ahead of time.  All the information is available on NCL's website or by searching these boards.  You don't have to sift through the fine print.

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More than enough evidence here that it is far easier to point the finger of blame at the cruise line while exclaiming "nickel & diming" than it is to come to terms with the fact that people can't always afford the optional extras that they want...

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6 hours ago, Love my butler said:

The other side of the coin is called DECEPTIVE BUSINESS PRACTICES.  NCL has honed it to a fine art.

 

4 hours ago, MNcruisingcouple said:

 

I don't understand what is deceptive when you can find all the details on the website or by searching this board? 

 

It comes from the fact that it is easier to label it "deceptive business practices" rather than admit that you either don't understand, or that you need to be told, that if you want to buy something extra that you need to pay for it.

 

Of course, it is important to use ALL CAPS when you label it...that is what makes it true.

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