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Objective and Subjective


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I truly hope that the NCL trolls  are taking back the insights uncovered on this site.  While all of our comments are subjective…the cumulative effect should be objective.  In other words… NCL should look at the stats between Latitude future bookings vs non-latitudes and decide where they want to position themselves.  Loyalist typically pay more for consistency (IMO). Newbies look for the deal.  So…Mr. Del Rio’s…what is NCHL (NCL) position? Or do you even know?

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4 minutes ago, laudergayle said:

I truly hope that the NCL trolls  are taking back the insights uncovered on this site.  While all of our comments are subjective…the cumulative effect should be objective.  In other words… NCL should look at the stats between Latitude future bookings vs non-latitudes and decide where they want to position themselves.  Loyalist typically pay more for consistency (IMO). Newbies look for the deal.  So…Mr. Del Rio’s…what is NCHL (NCL) position? Or do you even know?

 

I think the cumulative effect of most discussions on this forum is pretty much a net zero.

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We have never sailed on NCL.  I have sailed before but it was 1997 on Princess. My husband is a first time sailor.   We booked a Haven suite.   It certainly wasn't a "deal"

 

We happen to be in the restaurant industry and understand the struggle.  All businesses have to adjust their business models over time.  The hospitality industry is going through a huge shift right now.  Price of ingredients are at an all time high.  Labor shortages and costs are also at a all time high. So is gas, water and other expenses.  Supply chain issues are a real, even if sometimes it appears as an easy excuse.  

 

Are we cruise lifers?  Time will tell, but even if we aren't doesn't mean the current or old model is  sustainable.  

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I went to a Cruise Critic Meet & Greet in January on Getaway. The Hotel Manager, Metin, mentioned NCL does really pay attention to the comments on Cruise Critic and had made changes based on those comments in the past. Now, was this true or just corporate speak? I'm not sure...I'll assume the best and believe he was telling the truth. 

 

So, that means I'll continue whining (and praising) on here. 🙂 

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14 hours ago, Karaboudjan said:

 

I think the cumulative effect of most discussions on this forum is pretty much a net zero.

Amen. Reminds me of a certain Shakespearean quote that ends with "signifying nothing." 🤣

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22 minutes ago, cruiseny4life said:

I went to a Cruise Critic Meet & Greet in January on Getaway. The Hotel Manager, Metin, mentioned NCL does really pay attention to the comments on Cruise Critic and had made changes based on those comments in the past. Now, was this true or just corporate speak? I'm not sure...I'll assume the best and believe he was telling the truth. 

 

So, that means I'll continue whining (and praising) on here. 🙂 

 

Well...you have to understand something. When they say they pay attention to Cruise Critic, you have to understand that they are interested in the REVIEWS that people post on Cruise Critic...not on the general chit-chat and carping that goes on in the discussion forums.

 

If NCL were interested in our opinion of the Prima, they would read https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/getreviews.cfm?action=ship&ShipID=1434

they wouldn't comb through discussion threads hoping for reasonable evaluations.

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14 hours ago, zqvol said:

Since everything on these boards is subjective I doubt that it has any impact on what NCL does

For NCL this is a huge focus group.  And they don’t have to pay for a research company, a moderator, a venue, nor do the need guess about what topics to probe. We do it all for them!  You’re correct that this is all subjective, but it can lead to the development of objective research.

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There have been instances when NCL has reversed course on a decision based on forum "outrage" but most of the time, NCL just does what NCL wants and moves on. 

 

The most recent one that I can think of is the "Haven restaurant open to anyone...for a fee..." debacle. In that case, NCL got rid of the option and even posted here on CC that since the idea wasn't well received, the Haven restaurant would remain available to only Haven guests (and on occasion, guests of Haven guests 😉).

 

Maybe 99% of the whining is ignored but that 1% that gets through.....

 

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5 minutes ago, Two Wheels Only said:

There have been instances when NCL has reversed course on a decision based on forum "outrage" but most of the time, NCL just does what NCL wants and moves on. 

 

The most recent one that I can think of is the "Haven restaurant open to anyone...for a fee..." debacle. In that case, NCL got rid of the option and even posted here on CC that since the idea wasn't well received, the Haven restaurant would remain available to only Haven guests (and on occasion, guests of Haven guests 😉).

 

Maybe 99% of the whining is ignored but that 1% that gets through.....

 

 

But was that really based on forum outrage, or did this forum just reflect the consensus of other feedback that NCL might pay more attention to?

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2 minutes ago, Karaboudjan said:

 

But was that really based on forum outrage, or did this forum just reflect the consensus of other feedback that NCL might pay more attention to?

 

Impossible to know....but I'd like to give some of the credit to us. 🤗

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1 hour ago, Two Wheels Only said:

There have been instances when NCL has reversed course on a decision based on forum "outrage" but most of the time, NCL just does what NCL wants and moves on. 

 

NCL does pay attention to passenger comments, or at least they have at times in the past.  My wife and I booked a 12 day Transatlantic cruise on the Getaway for April 2019.  We had failed to notice that the ship was scheduled for dry dock the day after we were to arrive in Southampton.  Well, someone at NCL decided that they needed a couple of extra days to do the work they had planned, so they cut our trip short by two days, eliminating port stops at Le Havre and Zeebrugge.  Our cruise was scheduled to depart NYC on Saturday, 27 April, 2019.  We were notified of the change by email on Good Friday, 19 April.  Many passengers, especially those who had booked through a travel agent, did not get the word until the following Monday or Tuesday.  Some passengers from the UK had already flown to the US prior to the announcement and did not learn of the change until they boarded the ship.  Members of the Cruise Critic Roll Call for that voyage raised such a commotion online that NCL personnel worked throughout the Easter weekend to make new arrangements.  The primary complaint was the two ports NCL had chosen to skip, while keeping stops in Ponta Delgada, Portugal and Portland, England.  The consensus of those posting was to drop those two and restore Le Havre and Zeebrugge.  NCL heard the complaints of their passengers, loud and clear, and jumped through hoops by working through a holiday weekend to at least get us the ports the majority wanted.  We still lost two days off the cruise, but NCL did increase their compensation for the missing days after reading so many complaints on Cruise Critic.  I don't know how frequently NCL pays attention to this forum or if they would do the same thing today, but they certainly listened in 2019.

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19 hours ago, sailorusvi said:

We have never sailed on NCL.  I have sailed before but it was 1997 on Princess. My husband is a first time sailor.   We booked a Haven suite.   It certainly wasn't a "deal"

 

We happen to be in the restaurant industry and understand the struggle.  All businesses have to adjust their business models over time.  The hospitality industry is going through a huge shift right now.  Price of ingredients are at an all time high.  Labor shortages and costs are also at a all time high. So is gas, water and other expenses.  Supply chain issues are a real, even if sometimes it appears as an easy excuse.  

 

Are we cruise lifers?  Time will tell, but even if we aren't doesn't mean the current or old model is  sustainable.  

 I am the multi unit Manager for a 16 unit casual theme Tavern in the Northeast and a 30 year restaurant veteran.  I try not to be cynical, but I struggle reading so many reviews of people complaining about product shortages ("they ran out of Captain Morgan!, they ran out of french fries!, they ran out of Diet Coke!").  Most of these cruise lines utilize automated inventory and ordering systems.  Established pars are set and they usually involve a buffer so that there is a beginning inventory on hand when a ship returns to port.  But when something is out, it's often because the truck driver who was supposed to drop product off at a warehouse quit or called off that day.   Or there weren't enough dock workers to fully unload a shipment onto a ship that day of the week before the ship left port again.  Or even getting something repaired on a ship, it is difficult to find a plumber, electrician, general laborer.   The simple truth is because we spend good hard earned money on our vacations, our expectation is that the normal challenges we face daily at home should be not be part of our vacation experience also.  The fact is, it doesn't disappear or magically improve.   So be patient, and hope for improved times ahead.  

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4 minutes ago, Jim The Lizard said:

 I am the multi unit Manager for a 16 unit casual theme Tavern in the Northeast and a 30 year restaurant veteran.  I try not to be cynical, but I struggle reading so many reviews of people complaining about product shortages ("they ran out of Captain Morgan!, they ran out of french fries!, they ran out of Diet Coke!").  Most of these cruise lines utilize automated inventory and ordering systems.  Established pars are set and they usually involve a buffer so that there is a beginning inventory on hand when a ship returns to port.  But when something is out, it's often because the truck driver who was supposed to drop product off at a warehouse quit or called off that day.   Or there weren't enough dock workers to fully unload a shipment onto a ship that day of the week before the ship left port again.  Or even getting something repaired on a ship, it is difficult to find a plumber, electrician, general laborer.   The simple truth is because we spend good hard earned money on our vacations, our expectation is that the normal challenges we face daily at home should be not be part of our vacation experience also.  The fact is, it doesn't disappear or magically improve.   So be patient, and hope for improved times ahead.  

 

Exactly.

 

I have a hard time also.  I use to live in the islands, sometimes you wouldn't even get option D, let alone option A.  We would be out of potatoes.  The entire island.   Or Coors Light or whatever due to shipping delays, customs being closed for a holiday, or they took the day off for the unofficial "day after holiday" or no power (would go out at least a few days a week).   I just can't sweat the small stuff.  Disappointed not having a filet?  Sure, but I just can't stress over not getting my first choice.

 

I would tell people "In the states you make a dinner menu and then go to the grocery store.  In the islands you go to the grocery stores and make a menu off of what you can find.  At the end of the day you still have dinner, it's just a different path getting there."

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2 hours ago, The Traveling Man said:

NCL does pay attention to passenger comments, or at least they have at times in the past.  My wife and I booked a 12 day Transatlantic cruise on the Getaway for April 2019.  We had failed to notice that the ship was scheduled for dry dock the day after we were to arrive in Southampton.  Well, someone at NCL decided that they needed a couple of extra days to do the work they had planned, so they cut our trip short by two days, eliminating port stops at Le Havre and Zeebrugge.  Our cruise was scheduled to depart NYC on Saturday, 27 April, 2019.  We still lost two days off the cruise, but NCL did increase their compensation for the missing days after reading so many complaints on Cruise Critic.  I don't know how frequently NCL pays attention to this forum or if they would do the same thing today, but they certainly listened in 2019.

I was on that cruise too. Every time I read a complaint about a missed port or late arrival from someone who thinks they are the first and only “victim” of such things I just laugh. 

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40 minutes ago, Jim The Lizard said:

 I am the multi unit Manager for a 16 unit casual theme Tavern in the Northeast and a 30 year restaurant veteran.  I try not to be cynical, but I struggle reading so many reviews of people complaining about product shortages ("they ran out of Captain Morgan!, they ran out of french fries!, they ran out of Diet Coke!").  Most of these cruise lines utilize automated inventory and ordering systems.  Established pars are set and they usually involve a buffer so that there is a beginning inventory on hand when a ship returns to port.  But when something is out, it's often because the truck driver who was supposed to drop product off at a warehouse quit or called off that day.   Or there weren't enough dock workers to fully unload a shipment onto a ship that day of the week before the ship left port again.  Or even getting something repaired on a ship, it is difficult to find a plumber, electrician, general laborer.   The simple truth is because we spend good hard earned money on our vacations, our expectation is that the normal challenges we face daily at home should be not be part of our vacation experience also.  The fact is, it doesn't disappear or magically improve.   So be patient, and hope for improved times ahead.  

 

27 minutes ago, sailorusvi said:

 

Exactly.

 

I have a hard time also.  I use to live in the islands, sometimes you wouldn't even get option D, let alone option A.  We would be out of potatoes.  The entire island.   Or Coors Light or whatever due to shipping delays, customs being closed for a holiday, or they took the day off for the unofficial "day after holiday" or no power (would go out at least a few days a week).   I just can't sweat the small stuff.  Disappointed not having a filet?  Sure, but I just can't stress over not getting my first choice.

 

I would tell people "In the states you make a dinner menu and then go to the grocery store.  In the islands you go to the grocery stores and make a menu off of what you can find.  At the end of the day you still have dinner, it's just a different path getting there."

I believe the grumbles of not having certain items on certain days on certain cruises is understood to be tied to what we hope will be short-term supply/labor issues.  And it’s just CC folks wanting to share…not always in the best way.
 

OTOH, the current frustration with NCL (and presumably on the other cruise lines) is the amount of cuts and increases—which are likely to be more long-term than an unstable supply/labor issue.  I stated in a different thread that I suspect every department was challenged to increase profit in 2023–either by cutting costs or increase revenue.  Which is what a viable business should be doing.  However, this cost cutting/revenue generation came all at once, so the cumulative effect is more impactful, especially for cruisers in Jan-April who bought into one value proposition and after final payment are getting a significantly different one.  NCL executives should have taken a a big picture look at the guest experience impact before allowing all these changes to happen in January. Instead they chose to look at the bottom line.  Both of you are n the hospitality industry so you know the importance of balancing labor/supply/costs and your customer experience. I doubt either of you would make all the changes you want/need to make all at once. I spent my career in brand management and I would never accept this many cuts/increases at one time because I value the customer perspective and experience. There should have been a prioritization of what delivers the greatest profit and changes rolled out from that.  

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33 minutes ago, laudergayle said:

 

I believe the grumbles of not having certain items on certain days on certain cruises is understood to be tied to what we hope will be short-term supply/labor issues.  And it’s just CC folks wanting to share…not always in the best way.
 

OTOH, the current frustration with NCL (and presumably on the other cruise lines) is the amount of cuts and increases—which are likely to be more long-term than an unstable supply/labor issue.  I stated in a different thread that I suspect every department was challenged to increase profit in 2023–either by cutting costs or increase revenue.  Which is what a viable business should be doing.  However, this cost cutting/revenue generation came all at once, so the cumulative effect is more impactful, especially for cruisers in Jan-April who bought into one value proposition and after final payment are getting a significantly different one.  NCL executives should have taken a a big picture look at the guest experience impact before allowing all these changes to happen in January. Instead they chose to look at the bottom line.  Both of you are n the hospitality industry so you know the importance of balancing labor/supply/costs and your customer experience. I doubt either of you would make all the changes you want/need to make all at once. I spent my career in brand management and I would never accept this many cuts/increases at one time because I value the customer perspective and experience. There should have been a prioritization of what delivers the greatest profit and changes rolled out from that.  

Great comments.  But I will tell you I've had to make a lot of hard decisions that I've learned right now to just "rip the band-aid off".  I've stopped worrying and attempting to see how much we can do and accomplish; now, my focus is to see how much we can do well.   NCL could've adjusted their thought process and slowed up on some of these changes; unfortunately, the changes are still coming.  This could be a poor strategy, but financially, it benefits the company while they are seeing record bookings.  These cruisers are still sailing, so the current revenue is the short term answer. And like many other things in life, many customers will adapt and accept the product as is.   I think NCL is banking on many lines having to adopt a similar strategy.  

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45 minutes ago, Team Bean said:

This could be a poor strategy, but financially, it benefits the company while they are seeing record bookings.  These cruisers are still sailing, so the current revenue is the short term answer. And like many other things in life, many customers will adapt and accept the product as is.

So, yeah…valid points.  And all things considered, they may have taken a big picture look and determined that the profit gains outweighed the potential future revenue from Q1 cruisers.  I, unfortunately, have two cruises in Feb and April…so I feel the impact.  Yeah yeah, I’m crying over spilled milk. But at least I have the option to decide if we take our Nov cruise.  
 

As an aside…I’m not an expert in corporate law, so I wonder if collusion rules apply to non-US based corporations.  Insights welcome.

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1 hour ago, laudergayle said:

So, yeah…valid points.  And all things considered, they may have taken a big picture look and determined that the profit gains outweighed the potential future revenue from Q1 cruisers.  I, unfortunately, have two cruises in Feb and April…so I feel the impact.  Yeah yeah, I’m crying over spilled milk. But at least I have the option to decide if we take our Nov cruise.  
 

As an aside…I’m not an expert in corporate law, so I wonder if collusion rules apply to non-US based corporations.  Insights welcome.

I don't blane you for concern.  I am unsure how my March Prima trip will rate vs previous NCL cruises.  Plan on having a great experience.  But who knows?   As for the collusion, I sell burgers and beer for a living.  So I have no clue.  But my gut tells me it will be hard to prove.  

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, laudergayle said:

 

I believe the grumbles of not having certain items on certain days on certain cruises is understood to be tied to what we hope will be short-term supply/labor issues.  And it’s just CC folks wanting to share…not always in the best way.
 

OTOH, the current frustration with NCL (and presumably on the other cruise lines) is the amount of cuts and increases—which are likely to be more long-term than an unstable supply/labor issue.  I stated in a different thread that I suspect every department was challenged to increase profit in 2023–either by cutting costs or increase revenue.  Which is what a viable business should be doing.  However, this cost cutting/revenue generation came all at once, so the cumulative effect is more impactful, especially for cruisers in Jan-April who bought into one value proposition and after final payment are getting a significantly different one.  NCL executives should have taken a a big picture look at the guest experience impact before allowing all these changes to happen in January. Instead they chose to look at the bottom line.  Both of you are n the hospitality industry so you know the importance of balancing labor/supply/costs and your customer experience. I doubt either of you would make all the changes you want/need to make all at once. I spent my career in brand management and I would never accept this many cuts/increases at one time because I value the customer perspective and experience. There should have been a prioritization of what delivers the greatest profit and changes rolled out from that.  

 

your comments are valid.  Unfortunately, changes in supplies and labor impacted the hospitality industry very fast on all levels.  Last year eggs were about 8-10 cents per egg. Today?  58 cents PER EGG!  Do you know how many recipes have eggs?   Case of romaine last year about $27-33, this year $77-128. That is just a sample of the craziness, butter, milk, beef, paper products, not one area is immune.   Labor OMG!  Dishwashers went from $17 p/h to over $20. Which means cooks are now in the mid-to-high $20s. Sous Chefs even higher.  Not to mention prices of electric/gas/fuel, etc.   No part of a hospitality has been spared. 

 

They don't really have any more time to do a wait and see approach.  Most business absorb the cost increases over the last 6 months, but are finding it's not sustainable as the costs have not leveled off and are continuing to increase.

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LOL....our cruise is on Prima in May. After reading all complaints from those on the first few cruises, I felt safe in feeling by the time we cruise all that will be worked out. After all its a new ship and it needs time to adjust. So...instead of things getting worked out, things are getting worse. ha! Oh well...I should make a list as I count down the days till we board and see how many more things will be removed, switched around or has a price increase. It will give me something to do while we wait. I like to think I am one to go with the flow.....so as long as they don't change my cabin, it's location near the middle elevators,  or do an emergency dry dock....all of which is not likely, I vow to over look any changes and focus on the positive. 

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