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Your opinions on mini-suite designation


maitaihi

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We are on the Star for the May 23, 2009 cruise to Alaska in an AF mini-suite. We booked this before I started reading the threads regarding the “mini-suite” category. I’m confused about why we don’t get some of same perks that suites get? The word “mini-suite” suggests a “small” suite. Why are the mini-suites really considered just a balcony? I don’t think it is fair to have to pay for the name “mini-suite” when you are actually getting a balcony which sells for less with no perks. What is your opinion about this misrepresentation?

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We are on the Star for the May 23, 2009 cruise to Alaska in an AF mini-suite. We booked this before I started reading the threads regarding the “mini-suite” category. I’m confused about why we don’t get some of same perks that suites get? The word “mini-suite” suggests a “small” suite. Why are the mini-suites really considered just a balcony? I don’t think it is fair to have to pay for the name “mini-suite” when you are actually getting a balcony which sells for less with no perks. What is your opinion about this misrepresentation?

 

I totally agree. They should re-name the category "Deluxe Balcony" or something to that effect. Topping off the difficulty is that many (even major) online travel sites still list them as part of the suite category and getting suite benefits.

 

From Expedia:

 

"Amenities: Private balcony, sitting area, two lower beds that convert to a queen-size bed, luxury bathroom with shower, TV, refrigerator, minibar, and safe

Extras: Concierge service available"

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Princess does the same thing. If the mini suite doesn't move you because it has no suite benefits, then change to a balacony. I guess I've just known for so long that the mini is just a balacony with a tub and a curtain... that that is what I expect. Nancy

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I agree that the category name should be changed to deluxe balcony. Unless there was a third person in the room or the price difference was very small I would always choose a regular balcony. I don't like being under public areas and prefer to be "sandwiched" between guest floors...

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MANY of us that are considered die hard NCL fans agree that the mini suite name is misleading and should be changed. It isn't too late for you to rebook though. You are still before final payment due date so you can change your booking. You have until 75 days before sailing to do so. You might lose any promotions you had when you booked, but you can still do it.

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We are on the Star for the May 23, 2009 cruise to Alaska in an AF mini-suite. We booked this before I started reading the threads regarding the “mini-suite” category. I’m confused about why we don’t get some of same perks that suites get? The word “mini-suite” suggests a “small” suite. Why are the mini-suites really considered just a balcony? I don’t think it is fair to have to pay for the name “mini-suite” when you are actually getting a balcony which sells for less with no perks. What is your opinion about this misrepresentation?

 

Sorry, but the mini-suites don't get the "suite" perks. The mini-suite is larger (229 square feet) than a balcony (166 square feet). And the mini-suite has a bath tub rather than just a shower.

 

Yes, I agree that the mini-suites should really be renamed "deluxe balcony" since their size and cost and perks are more in line to balcony cabins.

 

If NCL wanted to give the mini-suites the suite perks, they'd have to raise the rates more in line with an AE, which would be between $500 and $700 pp more. Then they could hire another Concierge & more butlers to take care of the additional load.

 

The Star has 36 full suites (AE - A1) and a total of 107 mini-suites.

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Anyone know if the AF mini-suite on the Star has more sq ft in the cabin than a balcony cabin? I know mini-suites have a tub and a curtain that you can pull around the bed but I thought they had more sq footage than a balcony. Please advise.

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Anyone know if the AF mini-suite on the Star has more sq ft in the cabin than a balcony cabin? I know mini-suites have a tub and a curtain that you can pull around the bed but I thought they had more sq footage than a balcony. Please advise.

 

Yes, on the Star the mini-suite is 229 square feet and the balcony cabin is 166 square feet.

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The mini is NOT a suite but a deluxe balcony with a bathtub. So when I went to upgrade from a BA with a cert NCL tells me that I am at the top of a balcony. I stated that a mini is not a suite but a deluxe balcony so upgrade me. They state that the mini is 50% bigger than a BA or any other balcony. I laughed at that. I than asked her when she cruised in one with NCL. She never had. On Dawn to Bermuda we were charged $150 buy the upgrade fairy that my TA paid for my BD. On Jewel to Canada it was free. Jewel's was bigger than Dawn tho both are on 11. Maybe cause we were AFT on Jewel.

 

I totally agree. They should re-name the category "Deluxe Balcony" or something to that effect. Topping off the difficulty is that many (even major) online travel sites still list them as part of the suite category and getting suite benefits.

 

From Expedia:

 

"Amenities: Private balcony, sitting area, two lower beds that convert to a queen-size bed, luxury bathroom with shower, TV, refrigerator, minibar, and safe

Extras: Concierge service available"

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Who cares what a cabin is called you have to do the research to find out what it offers in size, amenities and perks.

 

They differ so much ship to ship within the same cruise line as well as between cruise lines you are mad if you asume anything about a cabin grade based on the name alone.

 

Even with the same name on the same ship there can be fast differences an AE,AC,AB are all penthouses on NCL jewel class and are very different is what you get.

 

RESEARCH.

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I agree 100% that NCL should change the name of the mini's to deluxe balcony. However, if you have 3 or more people sailing, the extra space provided in the mini can make quite a difference in comfort. And, remember that it does offer the bathtub. So, for the extra price difference between a balcony and a mini, if you like the tub idea and want more space, mini's are a nice cabin for the cost, even without all the perks.

 

Even saying that I think they should be renamed, I wouldn't call it misrepresentation as the OP did. As another poster said, this is not unique to NCL. While renaming the mini's would make it easier for the consumer to understand, all one needs to do is to read the information provided on the website to clearly see that mini's do not include suite perks. It's not like they are hiding that information. That would be misrepresentation.

 

CG

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Thanks for all your kind replies. I will talk with my husband about possibly downgrading to a balcony. I will be a "buyer-beware" expert next time!

 

Don't downgrade to a Balcony, upgrade to a full suite. It's worth it. Plus you'll be stimulating the economy in your own little way.;)

 

We cruise less, once every two years, in order to be able to afford the suite. I want Quality not Quantity.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I happen to like the Norwegian Star's mini-suites. That said, and as other posters have noted, there are few differences nowadays between balcony cabins and mini-suites. Of course the additional space is nice, as are the small touches such as the fresh flower they (used to?) leave in a vase by the door, the slightly larger couch, the tub, nicer decor (IMHO), etc.

 

That said, it seems NCL has cheapened its mini-suite perks with time. If I'm not mistaken, back in the day mini-suites used to include concierge (but not butler) service. That appears to have been nixed a couple years ago. Some Cruise Critics have also reported a new room service menu exclusively for balcony cabins and mini-suites, bringing mini-suites even closer to balconies than suites. (Perhaps someone on this thread can confirm the new menu?)

 

My theory as to why NCL keeps the "mini-suite" name is for (somewhat deceptive) marketing purposes: They take advantage of the lower price point of the mini-suites to claim that their "suites begin at $xxx", when in reality a true suite costs far more than that lower price. :( Caveat emptor.

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My thoughts as an 'outsider'! Have never sailed on NCL (altho' I have an AF mini booked on a 15 day TA in 2010)... by choice, not by how NCL 'advertises' or represents it!:) The sq. footage, curtain seperating the cabin (somewhat), and the tub 'sealed the deal' for me! Personally, any other perk, associated with suites, is of no use to me.. Maybe priority or VIP embarkation, as one gets with Carnival when booking a Suite, but nothing else..:p Thus, I pick the cabin based on size, cabin amenities as well as location (love the aft)!

 

Have sailed in a Cat 11 Suite on Carnival, two 9A's (aft/wrap balcony), an extended balcony (aft) - CCL as well, a hump E-2 Balcony (EOS) as well as JS 1100 aft balcony on RCI Jewel of the Seas.. Also have a Cat 11 aft/wrap (Suite) booked this June on the Carnival Legend.. :D Guess what.. Only perk with the 'FULL' Cat 11 Suite is VIP embarkation.. Except for the nice big cabin, and a HUGE balcony...!!!;)

 

Guess my point is, no matter what the cruise line 'calls the cabin', its what the cabin offers me (for the $$$) that matters..:cool:

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Even saying that I think they should be renamed, I wouldn't call it misrepresentation as the OP did. As another poster said, this is not unique to NCL.
And we are, after all, talking about the cruise industry, whose motto is "Not passengers, 'guests'. Not cabins, 'staterooms'." Doublespeak abounds, so the "mini-suite" business is hardly a surprise.
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Some Cruise Critics have also reported a new room service menu exclusively for balcony cabins and mini-suites, bringing mini-suites even closer to balconies than suites. (Perhaps someone on this thread can confirm the new menu?) :( Caveat emptor.

 

i knew that balconies and minis get breakfast and lunch? in the alternate main dining room but I was unaware of a different room service menu. Is this true, and if so, does anyone have that menu? Thanks

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we've got a mini-suite (AF) booked on the Jewel, originally were going to book a BA on deck 10, the price difference on a 7-night cruise was $80/pp.

 

i figured cabin space and balcony space each being 40% larger in the minisuite, plus the larger bathroom were worth $160.00.

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We sailed the Star in a balcony/September in 2 mini suites just recently.

 

We fretted about the upgrade from balconies to mini's based on some of info we'd read here.

 

We LOVED it! The balconies are larger in mini's and we really noticed the extra square footage as we had 7 of us in the two mini's. The mini's really are just enough different on the Star and you will appreciate the extra square footage.

 

The only thing I didn't like is the way the big closet with storage shelfs ran parallel to the bed. It made it really hard to get to stuff you stashed on shelves after everything had been hung up even with the little closet light on.

 

Didn't use the bathtub as a tub. It is rather short and not very well lighted.

 

We were also very forward, more than ever before and it was NOT a problem at all. More motion on final two days but that was to be expected. The benefit was we didn't have neighbors on either side of us and no smokers ashes were flicked onto our balconies.

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i knew that balconies and minis get breakfast and lunch? in the alternate main dining room but I was unaware of a different room service menu. Is this true, and if so, does anyone have that menu? Thanks

 

We had a balcony on the Sky last week. Here are the room service menus - I don't know how they differ from any other stateroom.

 

Oh, if you have more than 2 in a balcony, the space is tight. A mini-suite is a much nicer cabin.

2103793580_NCLSky3-2-09RoomServiceMenupg1.jpg.87e94b04dcc9c689a02c574782a21743.jpg

1361512815_NCLSky3-2-09RoomServiceMenupg2.jpg.3b58c53be98d9b80c9f30681cb1988d8.jpg

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