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NCL looking at Pay for Perks

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On 9/15/2019 at 9:31 PM, vettprincess said:

Correct. All the cruise lines are stabbing us in the back. Especially since we have sailed for 47 years.

Those of us who are truly seasoned cruisers and have been sailing since the 70s or 80s realize just what you are saying. It is sorta like the hotel loyalty and the air frequent flyers, perks are not what they used to be. This works pretty much across the board, but those who have only been cruising for since maybe 2000 don't realize this. 

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HAL just introduced "Club Orange".   Same idea... but doesn't appear to be quite as many benefits by buying it as this one.   I personally wouldn't purchase any of them as to me these things are a "thank you" for being a loyal cruiser.   The idea above about being able to purchase if "linked" with other cruisers with the benefit (i.e. extended families) - fair enough.  Only way I would consider it is for priority boarding or room ready if a medical or physical condition required me to avoid waiting for the regular "cattle call".  

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9 hours ago, Budget Queen said:

Good grief-  these are mass cruise ships.   marketed -thousands of passengers.- every week.     My opinion-  Platinum isn’t that difficult to get   Hundreds probably qualify - new-  every week      It’s already a saturated market.     You will encounter waits, etc.   

This statement brings up a very interesting concept.  If true, this would imply that there is an inability to deliver the product being sold (pay for perks).  If the market is already over saturated and can’t accommodate the current customer base, how can additional capacity be marketed?   I wouldn’t purchase this, but would be carefully documenting my experience if I did based on the quoted comment.  🤔

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This will fail given NCL's inability to follow through on its commitments.  We are Platinum and have been for years and have found the perks listed are basically worthless and in some cases only create frustrations.  Case in point is Priority Disembarkation can be a perk when given but just recently on the EPIC we did as we always do and spoke to the Future Cruise/Latitudes Desk folks and told nothing and found that exactly what they offered NOTHING.  No Priority anything and what a total mess..... I would never ever suggest that someone buy this perk.  Sadly NCL seems headed in the wrong direction and don't even get me started on the Drinks Program that has only lead to overworked bar staff and poor service.  The sooner they drop that dog the better!!!

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On 9/10/2019 at 1:44 PM, Von & John said:

Where's the Value?

At least the way it's described - not much Value & has the potential to decrease the value for the services Platinum, Platinum +, Ambassador & Haven PAX receive...

i was going to say something similar, what's the point? that means the priority boarding lines would be astronomical.

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48 minutes ago, Oldsweets said:

This will fail given NCL's inability to follow through on its commitments.  We are Platinum and have been for years and have found the perks listed are basically worthless and in some cases only create frustrations.  Case in point is Priority Disembarkation can be a perk when given but just recently on the EPIC we did as we always do and spoke to the Future Cruise/Latitudes Desk folks and told nothing and found that exactly what they offered NOTHING.  No Priority anything and what a total mess..... I would never ever suggest that someone buy this perk.  Sadly NCL seems headed in the wrong direction and don't even get me started on the Drinks Program that has only lead to overworked bar staff and poor service.  The sooner they drop that dog the better!!!

not to mention that if you don't buy the drinking package you get watered down drinks...

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4 minutes ago, spanishguy1970 said:

not to mention that if you don't buy the drinking package you get watered down drinks...

 

My drinks have always been just fine and strong enough to get the job done.  What kind of drinks did you order that were "watered down"?

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Just now, ColeThornton said:

 

My drinks have always been just fine and strong enough to get the job done.  What kind of drinks did you order that were "watered down"?

I have gotten mojitos, i have gotten Manhattans, on our last cruise i even ordered caiphirinas twice, had to make the bartender redo it because it was just water. Only place i was able to get a decent drink was a Modernos, and again that was the caipirinhas....I just stick to wine now.

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Sounds similar to CCL's faster to the fun program with the priority boarding.  FTTF also guarantees your cabin to be ready upon arrival and a few other small perks.  Our friends bought it once.  FTTF boarded after the diamond & platinums, who boarded after the wedding party that was on that sailing.  For them, it just meant that they got to board right after us.  And they also got to use the priority desk at guest services.  

 

I think the mass market cruise lines will always have similar offerings to keep up with their competition.  They want those new cruisers, for sure.  

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On 9/15/2019 at 8:52 PM, Robinsoncruiseso said:

In the article they give an example of a family group where some have achieved a certain loyalty level and some have not. I would be more in agreement with a program where “linked” cabins could pay a fee to receive the same or similar benefits of the highest level of cabin. Ie, buy up to priority boarding, tendering etc. just so all in the party could stay together.

I must agree wholeheartedly with what you say.  I just got off our 24th NCL cruise, which is where I heard rumors about their new "experiment".  I was looking for a way to express my opinion to management, when I saw your posting. Eleven of my 24 cruises have been suites or Havens.  About ten of them have been with at least one other couple.  I like the suites, but if you have a suite and the other couple doesn't, you'll seldom see each other.  That's why I'd like to see them offer an opportunity for family and friends to buy the suite package, so the party could stay together.  

On the other hand, offering a priority perk to everyone will substantially devalue the suites.

How do we get this idea across to management?

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2 minutes ago, fandangocruiser said:

I must agree wholeheartedly with what you say.  I just got off our 24th NCL cruise, which is where I heard rumors about their new "experiment".  I was looking for a way to express my opinion to management, when I saw your posting. Eleven of my 24 cruises have been suites or Havens.  About ten of them have been with at least one other couple.  I like the suites, but if you have a suite and the other couple doesn't, you'll seldom see each other.  That's why I'd like to see them offer an opportunity for family and friends to buy the suite package, so the party could stay together.  

On the other hand, offering a priority perk to everyone will substantially devalue the suites.

How do we get this idea across to management?

I will be on cruise in a couple of weeks with some TA’s and NCL Area managers. I will mention it.

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On 9/10/2019 at 1:07 PM, Isabella Benjamin said:

There really isn't anything on that list that I'd be interested in, but that's just me. 

Got that right.  Paying for Priority is a waste.  We are Platinum and the NCL benefits are about the worst of all the cruise lines.

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On 9/18/2019 at 11:51 AM, ColeThornton said:

 

My drinks have always been just fine and strong enough to get the job done.  What kind of drinks did you order that were "watered down"?

I would agree; that is one thing we have never experienced on any NCL ship, watered down drinks. I guess if you use 2 plus shots when you drink at home, maybe so, we use 1 1/2 have no problem: Hubby drinks his scotch straight and has never complained. 

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7 hours ago, fandangocruiser said:

I must agree wholeheartedly with what you say.  I just got off our 24th NCL cruise, which is where I heard rumors about their new "experiment".  I was looking for a way to express my opinion to management, when I saw your posting. Eleven of my 24 cruises have been suites or Havens.  About ten of them have been with at least one other couple.  I like the suites, but if you have a suite and the other couple doesn't, you'll seldom see each other.  That's why I'd like to see them offer an opportunity for family and friends to buy the suite package, so the party could stay together.  

On the other hand, offering a priority perk to everyone will substantially devalue the suites.

How do we get this idea across to management?

Is it being offered to everyone or just twenty five cabins?

 

If someone is able to purchase suite embarkation perks for their friends/family not sailing in suites, it also substantially devalues the suite experience, IMHO.

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Not that I'm a fan of the new program, but my understanding is that it's capacity controlled, and only a limited number of priority passes are sold. The number that I keep hearing is 25 staterooms.

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4 minutes ago, AlexandNessa said:

Not that I'm a fan of the new program, but my understanding is that it's capacity controlled, and only a limited number of priority passes are sold. The number that I keep hearing is 25 staterooms.

Yes, I keep hearing 25 staterooms.  I also keep hearing two ships.  Is the 25 and two a permanent limit, or just an experimental start?

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Just now, fandangocruiser said:

Yes, I keep hearing 25 staterooms.  I also keep hearing two ships.  Is the 25 and two a permanent limit, or just an experimental start?

Not sure. Knowing NCL like most of us here do, there are sure to be some growing pains. I know it's available only on Breakaway and Sky right now, but if feedback is positive, it'll go fleetwide. After all, there isn't a fee NCL doesn't love.

 

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41 minutes ago, NLH Arizona said:

Is it being offered to everyone or just twenty five cabins?

 

If someone is able to purchase suite embarkation perks for their friends/family not sailing in suites, it also substantially devalues the suite experience, IMHO.

That would be true.  However, on the GEM, which I just got off of, the 11th floor has 10  suites wth connecting rooms for family and friends.  The suite occupants get priority, special dining facilities for breakfast and lunch, and afternoon snacks delivered to your room.  Your family and friends in the connecting room do not.  Does that make sense?

Edited by fandangocruiser

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People were up in arms when Carnival started the FTTF program. Now, a few years later, the program runs smoothly and those guests with earned priority levels aren't impacted by those who purchased FTTF. I would hope NCL's program would be the same and I'd suggest to all to just wait and see how it all plays out.

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4 hours ago, 4774Papa said:

Got that right.  Paying for Priority is a waste.  We are Platinum and the NCL benefits are about the worst of all the cruise lines.

 

Really? How so? What are the benefits that other cruise lines offer that make the NCL offerings seem so poor. I'm genuinely interested having not sailed with any of the other major lines.

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1 hour ago, fandangocruiser said:

That would be true.  However, on the GEM, which I just got off of, the 11th floor has 10  suites wth connecting rooms for family and friends.  The suite occupants get priority, special dining facilities for breakfast and lunch, and afternoon snacks delivered to your room.  Your family and friends in the connecting room do not.  Does that make sense?

Yes, it makes sense.  If they don't pay for a suite, then they shouldn't get suite perks, because it devalues the experience for those that paid for suites.  It would be just like those twenty five cabins paying for some of the suite perk that you said would substantially devalue the suite experience....there is no difference.

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48 minutes ago, BaWBarmy said:

 

Really? How so? What are the benefits that other cruise lines offer that make the NCL offerings seem so poor. I'm genuinely interested having not sailed with any of the other major lines.

The main benefits from NCL Platinum is two meals (one with wine) at a specialty restaurant, a value of about $70 each and a free bag of laundry, value about $40 apiece.

On Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, you get the laundry bag on Celebrity and a reduced bag on Royal.

Also, both lines have free happy hours, Celebrity from 5-7 and Royal from 5-8:30 where you have free drinks and a good selection to choose from.  Since we don't do beverage packages, we save quite a lot on the cost of alcohol.  In fact, on Royal, we have never had to purchase alcohol.

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19 hours ago, 4774Papa said:

The main benefits from NCL Platinum is two meals (one with wine) at a specialty restaurant, a value of about $70 each and a free bag of laundry, value about $40 apiece.

On Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, you get the laundry bag on Celebrity and a reduced bag on Royal.

Also, both lines have free happy hours, Celebrity from 5-7 and Royal from 5-8:30 where you have free drinks and a good selection to choose from.  Since we don't do beverage packages, we save quite a lot on the cost of alcohol.  In fact, on Royal, we have never had to purchase alcohol.

 

I don't understand how the NCL offering is worse than the others. I think we may have had this conversation before but the free happy hours are negated in my case because we do take the drinks package, as UK cruisers the savings we make on the meals and the laundry easily cover the cost of the drinks package to us, and to be honest I would hate to be limited as to which times I could have a drink. I will not say that the NCL benefits are any better than those on other lines but from what you have said they are no worse than any other line.

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22 hours ago, fandangocruiser said:

That would be true.  However, on the GEM, which I just got off of, the 11th floor has 10  suites wth connecting rooms for family and friends.  The suite occupants get priority, special dining facilities for breakfast and lunch, and afternoon snacks delivered to your room.  Your family and friends in the connecting room do not.  Does that make sense?

If I pay for first class on an aircraft, should my friends or family traveling with me in coach get the same free drinks, hot towel, hot meal, pre-board, etc.?  Of course not.  You get what you pay for.

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4 minutes ago, BaWBarmy said:

 

I don't understand how the NCL offering is worse than the others. I think we may have had this conversation before but the free happy hours are negated in my case because we do take the drinks package, as UK cruisers the savings we make on the meals and the laundry easily cover the cost of the drinks package to us, and to be honest I would hate to be limited as to which times I could have a drink. I will not say that the NCL benefits are any better than those on other lines but from what you have said they are no worse than any other line.

I must admit that I know little about how the UK market stacks up against the US.   From talking with my British friends on cruises, it seems that you generally pay more for cruises that we do in the USA.  

 

As for how the promos are priced for UK cruises, I can't say.  My posts are based on my personal experience from booking in the USA.

 

Why don't you provide some details to explain your comments?

When booking in the USA, we are generally required to book with promos like the beverage package or the dining package.  We dislike the beverage package for two main reasons.  First, the wine offerings are not the best.  Second, NCL adds a 20% gratuity to an overvalued daily value ($99 per person per day).   For a 7 day cruise is amount to $133 just in gratuities for one person.  This doesn't count the fact that NCL has bundled the promos with the overall cruise prices, increasing them.

We always decline the beverage package and bring our own wine, pay the $15 corkage fee per bottle and always come out spending less on alcohol than JUST PAYING FOR THE 20% GRATUITY.

 

On Royal, we never have to buy any alcohol, since their free happy hour lasts from 5-8:30 and you can order wine in the MDR or restaurants up until 8:30.  On Celebrity, we usually have to purchase some wine for dinner, but the cost is modest.  We might spend $300 total on a 14 day cruise.

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