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Food and Freestyle 2.0


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Let me preface my question by saying that my girlfriend I took our very first cruise in Jan, sailing on the Norwegian Star to Mexico, and we had a wonderful time. We are casual & spontaneous people and loved freestyle dining. Now, we are not gourmets by any means, but our (subjective we admit) opinion was that the food in the non-pay venues was average at best. Regardless, we enjoyed the freedom to set our own schedules so much that we are planning to cruise to Alaska on the Gem this summer. So, my question is to those of you who have sailed on any ship since Freestyle 2.0 was implemented on the ship. According to the press release, the company will be spending an additional 20% on food with the implementation of Freestyle 2.0. So, have you seen an improvement? I know that lobster will be available more often, but beyond that are their noticable improvements?

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You'll have to wait awhile longer to get that feedback as 2.0 has not yet been implemented on any ship.

 

Over the next weeks and months they will be rolling it out fleetwide and according to NCL's press release it will be largely completed by summer. Some of the older ships that require a complete transformation of the present buffets into "action stations" may take longer.

 

Besides the lobster additions, we were told that there would be menu changes and upgrades. So lots to look forward to.

 

Can't wait myself to hear the feedback.:D

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Here is the sad part..I just read on another post that they just raised the prices for their "for pay" restaurants...for example Cagneys on the Gem was $20 and is now $25 and the one of the free specialty restaurnats is now $10...so what are we to think about this 2.0 upgrade..you really don't get something for nothing...susan:mad:

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Let me preface my question by saying that my girlfriend I took our very first cruise in Jan, sailing on the Norwegian Star to Mexico, and we had a wonderful time. We are casual & spontaneous people and loved freestyle dining. Now, we are not gourmets by any means, but our (subjective we admit) opinion was that the food in the non-pay venues was average at best. Regardless, we enjoyed the freedom to set our own schedules so much that we are planning to cruise to Alaska on the Gem this summer. So, my question is to those of you who have sailed on any ship since Freestyle 2.0 was implemented on the ship. According to the press release, the company will be spending an additional 20% on food with the implementation of Freestyle 2.0. So, have you seen an improvement? I know that lobster will be available more often, but beyond that are their noticable improvements?

hoefully the food will improve. We thought it was a little better than your opinion but I agree for the most part it wasn't great. We did love Endless Summer.

 

Our favorite specialty sur charge dining room was Soho, for the money.

 

If we cruised for the dining experience only I don't know what we would do about NCL but we don't and we do think the food is average. Oh, also love Blue Lagoon for comfort food.

 

Nita

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we are planning to cruise to Alaska on the Gem this summer.

 

Do you mean the Pearl?

 

I think it was the Gem..susan

 

Unless things have changed in the last few days, it's gotta be the Pearl, Star or Sun. The Gem isn't sailing to Alaska. But then again, NCL has been known to change things so maybe the OP knows something I'm not aware of ;)

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The gem was one of the ships that the 2.0 was implemented on and they did raise the prices on specialty restaurants and the non paying specialty italian restaurant is now charging $10.00. I also read that on the boards. Since we are going on the gem on the Transatlantic in April we were upset to see that.

 

I love freestyle and NCL but it seems that even with improvements they still continue to keep charging for things that other cruise lines offer for free. If by them upgrading to 2.0 to improve there service was going to cost us more in the long run, the company really isnt investing anything because we are the ones that have to pay the extra for all the changes they make.

 

Example they charge for bowling .. RCCL doesnt charge for ice skating.

 

To NCL this is a business and they want to make money for every thing they possibly can.

 

Only thing I can say is that on our April cruise we will cut down our expense by going less to the specialty restaurants. We will choose wisely which one is worth the extra money.

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Interesting post. I wonder if there almost couldn't be a subject for another thread here. "Things NCL charges for that other companies provide for free". I really can't think of much beyond the example you provided (and it is a business :D)

 

I love freestyle and NCL but it seems that even with improvements they still continue to keep charging for things that other cruise lines offer for free. If by them upgrading to 2.0 to improve there service was going to cost us more in the long run, the company really isnt investing anything because we are the ones that have to pay the extra for all the changes they make.

 

Example they charge for bowling .. RCCL doesnt charge for ice skating.

 

To NCL this is a business and they want to make money for every thing they possibly can.

 

Only thing I can say is that on our April cruise we will cut down our expense by going less to the specialty restaurants. We will choose wisely which one is worth the extra money.

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If folks would go ahead and ONLY eat in the free dining venues, then the cost of specialty restaurants would become a non-issue because they would go away. I refuse to pay extra when so many choices are included with the cruise fare. Of course, I am not picky and I am very easy to please. I dont have to pay 25 bucks extra per meal so I can feel like I am getting something better than the folks who dont pay extra. I can eat every meal in the buffet and be perfectly pleased.

I really dont feel like NCL or any other line should be blamed, it is the suckers that pay so much extra when they dont have to. If people are willing to pay extra, then they only have themselves to blame. And the lines will keep inching the prices up to see how far they can take them to increase profits.

Come to think of it, I hope folks continue to pay and pay a lot for food when they dont really have to. That will help keep the base fare as low as possible for the rest of us.

GO FOR IT! :cool:

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It was free on our Oct 2007 Gem cruise and very popular. I am sure the popularity is the reason for the surcharge. I thought it was one of the best food venues, definitely better and more fun than the main dining rooms. We ate there 3 times. I am not sure that I would pay extra for the privilege though. As long as people line up to pay the asking price I am sure they will continue to charge. I still would prefer a little higher price and less pay restaurants, as the "all-inclusive" food part of cruising is what really drew me to cruising. However I can also enjoy the lower cruise fare and pay for specialties when I want.

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Interesting post. I wonder if there almost couldn't be a subject for another thread here. "Things NCL charges for that other companies provide for free". I really can't think of much beyond the example you provided (and it is a business :D)

 

Be my guest, start one :) . I'm sure you will get pages and pages.

I'm surprised they dont charge for the rock climbing. Ohhh.. wait i better not give them ideas right? lol

 

In the spa you use to be able to use the hot tub and the pool that they have in there for free. Now they are charging $20.00 for that too.

 

Its just crazy! lol

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If folks would go ahead and ONLY eat in the free dining venues, then the cost of specialty restaurants would become a non-issue because they would go away. I refuse to pay extra when so many choices are included with the cruise fare. Of course, I am not picky and I am very easy to please. I dont have to pay 25 bucks extra per meal so I can feel like I am getting something better than the folks who dont pay extra. I can eat every meal in the buffet and be perfectly pleased.

I really dont feel like NCL or any other line should be blamed, it is the suckers that pay so much extra when they dont have to. If people are willing to pay extra, then they only have themselves to blame. And the lines will keep inching the prices up to see how far they can take them to increase profits.

Come to think of it, I hope folks continue to pay and pay a lot for food when they dont really have to. That will help keep the base fare as low as possible for the rest of us.

GO FOR IT! :cool:

 

Maybe your right if people dont go and pay they will not charge.

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It was free on our Oct 2007 Gem cruise and very popular. I am sure the popularity is the reason for the surcharge. I thought it was one of the best food venues, definitely better and more fun than the main dining rooms. We ate there 3 times. I am not sure that I would pay extra for the privilege though. As long as people line up to pay the asking price I am sure they will continue to charge. I still would prefer a little higher price and less pay restaurants, as the "all-inclusive" food part of cruising is what really drew me to cruising. However I can also enjoy the lower cruise fare and pay for specialties when I want.
.

 

We had ate there several times in our last cruise also, and we enjoyed it, but to pay extra for pasta? I dont think we will be eating there when we go in april if they dont change their minds on charging. The "all-inclusive" was what I liked as well, and I would brag to friends and family and co workers about, I've given so much business to the cruise lines by getting people whove never cruised before to go on cruises, its unreal.

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In the spa you use to be able to use the hot tub and the pool that they have in there for free. Now they are charging $20.00 for that too.

 

Its just crazy! lol

 

Any idea what the policy is on some of the other mainstream lines?

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for the most part NCLs prices for sur charge dining is still lower than other lines. $10 for Italian, try $20 on Princess? $25 for Cagney's try $30 for their specialty dining room on HAL and I beleive Carnival just went to $30, I know it is at least $25. Most of the lines are adding the $15 or $20 for the use of the spa. I really don't think these prices are any different or higher on NCL. Yes, we can stop going to the sur charge restaurants, but many people enjoy them. No one is forcing anyone to pay extra for dinner. As for bowling versus ice skating, there was a charge for Ice Skating originally. That was several years ago. I would expect a cruise line to charge for bowling.

 

Nita

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Carnival only charges for their supper club - and it's a wonderful steakhouse experience - gorgeous cuts of meat, etc.

 

No other charges but at the coffee bar for their desserts. Spa whirlpool etc is free.

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Carnival only charges for their supper club - and it's a wonderful steakhouse experience - gorgeous cuts of meat, etc.

How many free specialty restaurants does Carnival offer? [i mean other than their main dining room(s) and buffet.]

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The gem was one of the ships that the 2.0 was implemented on and they did raise the prices on specialty restaurants and the non paying specialty italian restaurant is now charging $10.00. I also read that on the boards. Since we are going on the gem on the Transatlantic in April we were upset to see that.

 

I love freestyle and NCL but it seems that even with improvements they still continue to keep charging for things that other cruise lines offer for free. If by them upgrading to 2.0 to improve there service was going to cost us more in the long run, the company really isnt investing anything because we are the ones that have to pay the extra for all the changes they make.

 

Example they charge for bowling .. RCCL doesnt charge for ice skating.

 

To NCL this is a business and they want to make money for every thing they possibly can.

 

Only thing I can say is that on our April cruise we will cut down our expense by going less to the specialty restaurants. We will choose wisely which one is worth the extra money.

 

Of course NCL expects a return on a $500,000,000 investment. However, if the food gets better, I won't mind paying a little more. As far as speciatly restaurants, NCL charges are among the lowest. You could eat at Specialty restaurants every night on a 7 night cruise for about $200 which is just slightly more than the cost of one good dinner at a land restaurant.

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