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What do other cruise lines do that you wish NCL did?


hallux
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8 hours ago, oteixeira said:

So in no exact order:

 

 

3.  Mini bar included in Haven rooms (MSC is brilliant with this one)


 

Honestly, I'd love it if the minibar were included if you had the Premium Beverage Package.  If you've already paid for alcohol, it shouldn't matter if a bartender is handing it to you, or if you're pouring it yourself.

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I would love to see Freestyle Coke (Pepsi makes them also now) machines on NCL.  Hate waiting on line at a bar for my soda, and can't find caffeine-free diet anything - except on Carnival.  Royal had them when we cruised years ago....

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1 hour ago, pe4all said:

I would love to see Freestyle Coke (Pepsi makes them also now) machines on NCL.  Hate waiting on line at a bar for my soda, and can't find caffeine-free diet anything - except on Carnival.  Royal had them when we cruised years ago....

How would you make sure the passenger had a soda package?  Swipe the card at the machine I guess.  I am just trying to think this through.  Also, self serve anything is out until the vaccine has worked and we are back to our regular way of life (soon I hope).

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1 hour ago, oteixeira said:

How would you make sure the passenger had a soda package?  Swipe the card at the machine I guess.  I am just trying to think this through.  Also, self serve anything is out until the vaccine has worked and we are back to our regular way of life (soon I hope).

When we were on RCL we purchased the soda package and were given a cup which was activated when we purchased it.  Just put the cup on the cup holder, made our selection, and off it would fill.  So easy.  Unfortunately I can't see this becoming an option due to the transfer of covid at this time.  Our local BK, Wendys and McD's has these machines- we use our elbows to push the buttons - lol.  Did the same with Universal Studios when we were there a few years back- they also had freestyle machines throughout the parks.

Edited by pe4all
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2 hours ago, oteixeira said:

How would you make sure the passenger had a soda package?  Swipe the card at the machine I guess. 

No swiping. When you get a Royal Caribbean beverage package, there are tumblers waiting in your room on boarding. Each tumbler has an RFID chip in it, which activates the machine. It verifies you have an active beverage package for that voyage, you haven't gotten a soda in the last X number of minutes, and then unlocks the machine.

If you place a normal cup into the Coke Freestyle dispenser, the machine isn't activated and doesn't work.

Even better, I'd love an Princess medallion-style beverage system, where you just pull up the app on your phone, order whatever drinks want, and then they come and find you anywhere on the ship. Sadly, based on NCL's onboard internet and infrastructure, I think this may be a few decades off 😉

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On 1/19/2021 at 8:00 PM, hallux said:

Royal has actual Studio BALCONY cabins on some of their ships.  While the Studio inside cabins are a nice idea and I wish other lines did those also, it would be nice to have a smaller balcony option at a lower price for a solo traveler.

I checked RCCL a few times in the past and for EVERY cruise i checked the prices for the sol balcony cabins were higher then for a regular balcony cabin with the solo supplement. I really check a few cruises and it was ALWAYS this "problem". So at least for me it doesn`t make anys sense to have special solo cabins in 100 different categories if they are more expensive than the  regular ones.

 

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On 1/21/2021 at 10:47 AM, kaprin02 said:

My first ever cruise was on Carnival (10+ years ago).  I had the chocolate lava cake for dessert almost every night.  The last night, our waiter brought me the recipe - I hadn't even thought to ask for it.  Unfortunately, I have since lost the recipe, but my guess is it's out on the internet somewhere!

 

My daughter is Gluten Free and on Carnival this was her favorite dessert.  She ate it every night.  We did an NCL cruise and they had something similar which we assumed was also GF, but it wasn't, and she got sick.  I wish they'd make their version GF!

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3 hours ago, steveknj said:

which we assumed was also GF, but it wasn't, and she got sick.  I wish they'd make their version GF!

Can't assume anything, but you can certainly ask!  They may not have it that night but they might have it the following night.

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On 2/1/2021 at 3:17 PM, steveknj said:

 

My daughter is Gluten Free and on Carnival this was her favorite dessert.  She ate it every night.  We did an NCL cruise and they had something similar which we assumed was also GF, but it wasn't, and she got sick.  I wish they'd make their version GF!

Are you saying that the Chocolate Lava cake served on Carnival is GF?  

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On 1/20/2021 at 5:28 AM, david_sobe said:

First I will say what I am thankful NCL does NOT have.......dancing waiters.  I find that so exploitive of cruise line workers.  

 

For the price of Haven suites, NCL could step up their came and really make it better.

 

Like RCCL, NCL should have a happy hour in the Haven lounge every night for about an hour or two.  I also remember when NCL had buy one get one drink specials at the Haven bar from 5-7.  Or like Celebrity, how about free drinks for all Haven guests.

 

Like Carnival, their suite section should be aft and not forward.  Lets have a Haven pool with ocean views.  You pay such a premium, it would be nice to have an ocean view from the bar or pool.

 

Like Carnival, NCL should have a pizza place that specializes in pizza that is included in your fare.

 

Like RCCL, how many would enjoy the Genie service i.e. super butler/concierge

 

Like all other cruise lines, NCL should stop charging for dinner and a show entertainment.  Been on several NCL ships and did this.  The food is MDR quality and the entertainment is what you get on other lines for free (or included in the fare) but its sad gimmick that keeps going.  On Epic, for the intimacy of the show of Cirque Dreams, it was probably worth it.  But they keep it going with basic entertainment and basic food.  The magic show on Getaway was what you would see on a casino river boat day trip.  You could score better food at the buffet.

 

Lastly, I will direct this at all cruise lines but especially NCL. Lets have more "included" restaurants.  Way too many specialty restaurants.  NCL is clever with dividing up one MDR with 2 times and claim they have 3 MDRs but they all have the same menu and really the same restaurant.

 

 

 

I am replying mainly to your first point. We were on Liberty of the Seas when they had fixed dining times. We always had the same waiters so got to know them a little. On the last night they had the wait staff march around the dining room inviting the guests to cheer for their own. At first I thought that was really exploitive but then I saw our team grinning from ear to ear  when we screamed the loudest for them. Afterwards one of them came up to us and said that they were lonely for home and the fact we noticed their efforts and cheered them on really helped.

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3 hours ago, ScratchTheRat said:

I like how MSC matches your loyalty level 🙂

 

I really don't like that because it's wrong! Why should anyone get the highest royalty level without any cruises on a line? It doesn't make any sense!

 

But I have done it myself! I don't like that they do it but since they do it of course I take advantage of it!

Edited by sverigecruiser
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On 2/4/2021 at 4:16 PM, PATRLR said:

Are you saying that the Chocolate Lava cake served on Carnival is GF?  

 

At least it was when we took her a few years ago on Carnival.  I don't know if things changed since.  It's also possible that they make a GF version of it (since we ordered for her in advance the day before).

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43 minutes ago, steveknj said:

It's also possible that they make a GF version of it (since we ordered for her in advance the day before).

I think this is the key.  They were aware of the need and were able to make the GF version.  Last time I sailed on Royal I was with family, with two GF people.  They told us on the first night that they would bring the menu for the next night to us at the end of the meal and those two could pick whatever they wanted and it would be made GF for them.

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On 1/21/2021 at 5:31 PM, AstoriaPreppy said:

I echo a lot of the comments already posted: the beverage package, internet that is awful on NCL, etc. 

Some other things I'd improve: 

  • NCL's general service level onboard:Compared to every other mass market cruise line, NCL doesn't seem to be into providing great service experiences. Onboard, the service is often disinterested compared to other lines. It's generally efficient, but no one is going out of their way to make you feel special, or go above and beyond. This extends to guest services also: any issues with service on board may go unaddressed and unresolved, and won't get resolved post-voyage.
  • NCL's shoreside guest services: it's just the worst. We had a debacle dealing with them around a canceled cruise this past February, and months of wrangling afterwards. It was not pleasant, and didn't speak highly of the company overall. 
  • Food quality onboard: NCL's main dining room food needs to be brought up to current standards. Other mass market cruise lines feature quality and flavor in their MDRs and buffets... NCL food has lagged way behind and needs a refresh. You shouldn't have to pay an upcharge to get what another line would serve you for lunch in their dining room.  
  • A rotating menu in the Haven: for the price paid, it's ridiculous that NCL doesn't offer a menu that changes in the Haven restaurant. Again, compared to all other lines offering a suite dining room, it's laughable that NCL won't offer this for the price. 

We have done 11 cruises on Celebrity, 7 on NCL and 2 on Royal Caribbean.

We compare all three as well as Princess prior to booking a cruise. 

 

1) We haven't done an NCL cruise since 2018 since NCL's bundled pricing with promos that we don't want have pushed up NCL's prices, making them less competitive.

2) Still, we compare all those lines, preferring Celebrity due to wonderful service and dining.  Royal and NCL excel in entertainment.  Recently, Celebrity adopted bundled (all inclusive) pricing as well, which has made their prices less competitive, so we are looking more into Royal and Princess, but still consider all four.

3) We like NCL's speciality restaurants, but their MDR can be more inconsistent.  We have never been on a bad cruise and don't find NCL's service to be poor across the board.  Our last cruise was on the Dawn and service was fine, but on other cruises it seemed NCL was training a lot of new wait staff.  Still, it wasn't terrible.  Also, we have never had issues with NCL's reservations on land.    

 

Our main problem with NCL is still forced perks.  We don't drink heavily and the drink package perks add a lot of cost and an exceptionally heavy service charge.   On our last cruise (the Dawn)  I brought our own wine, paid the corkage charge and spent less on alcohol than we would have paid for JUST for the drink package service charge.

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On 1/21/2021 at 9:03 PM, Named-Tawny said:

Honestly, I'd love it if the minibar were included if you had the Premium Beverage Package.  If you've already paid for alcohol, it shouldn't matter if a bartender is handing it to you, or if you're pouring it yourself.

I would bet they would sell a lot more Premium Beverage Packages!

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I wish they included water in drink package, the specialties coffees, and orange juice ( fresh squeezed) like RCCL does.   I don't like the water boxes they get a strange taste after you have drunk from them,  (yeah I don't like the ship water for me it tastes off)   
I also wish they had different menus for the three restaurants.    
Lastly I wish they didn't have a "we only make this drink" at the bars.  I don't want to have to go to different bars to get the drink I want if I have a bar I favor for the atmosphere...

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