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About pokerpro5

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  1. Hi, thanks for the info. I will be driving into NS, so I won't be under the constraints of a cruise. I do see that the tidal differences in Hall's Harbour are dramatic -- something like 35 feet! However it takes about 6 hours for this to occur, and Hall's Harbour is pretty remote. Did you see it substantially change during lunch?
  2. Holiday weeks can be tough to figure out. Bermuda-NYC is NOT a rare itinerary by any means, so it's only a matter of the date. However, I will say that a price drop indicates that they are selling far below expectation. This is NOT related to the promos going from five to two. The promos are NCL-wide, not just for this itinerary (though sometimes certain itineraries are excluded.) The change likely occurred simply due to the other promo expiring, and the two "free" items being the new (and inferior) promo. It is unclear if the five promos will return soon, but it might. FYI, you get the promos available at the time of booking, and they will NEVER make exceptions to that. On the bright side, if the "get 5" promo comes back, it will NOT likely make the price spike. At this point, I would wait. The price decline means that they aren't selling well. They usually will NOT make such a decline before final payment date! This is a good sign for you. Of course, this is gambling to some degree. If you're worried about being shut out of a balcony cabin completely, you can always call NCL every so often and ask how many balcony cabins are available, and they'll usually tell you.
  3. A lot of the info I posted 5 years ago is no longer applicable to 2019, so please be aware of that. Regarding the change to final payment date, the 55 day mark is no longer the time to start looking. Indeed, 90 days out is when you should start, and you should continue looking all the way to about 14 days out. The one positive thing about this change (which otherwise mostly hurts the customer) is that the price drops will happen sooner, thus giving you more time to grab reasonably priced flights. It is still wise to wait to book non-high-demand cruises until a month AFTER final payment date, for the reasons I described. However, the new CEO is not as room-dump-happy as the previous one, so this isn't as much of a slam dunk as it used to be. I haven't been on an NCL cruise since late 2017 due to health issues, but if I were to be booking one today, I would first check if the cruise is rare/popular (i.e. does it typically sell out way in advance?), and if not, then I wouldn't book until 90 days out minimum. BTW, this only applies to balconies, oceanviews, and insides. It does NOT apply to minisuites and above.
  4. Just as I expected, a non-answer. Two paragraphs of gibberish instead of answering my simple question as to why you mocked my clear, true, and obvious statement. It doesn't surprise me that you are avoiding backing up your assertion, because you would look like a fool if you attempted it. By the way, look up the definition of "troll". It seems that you don't understand what one is.
  5. I'm in the middle on this one. I can totally understand wanting to insure a vacation which has taken a long time to save the money to take. Yes, the money is gone either way after the vacation is over, but in one case you got the experience, and in the other you just wasted the money. So if you want to insure that, even at a bad rate, I won't fault you. Sadly most people who buy insurance aren't in that boat. Most are in the camp of, "Wow, losing the $10,000 we spent on this would really suck, if we can't make the trip for some reason! Better spend the little bit of extra to prevent that! Okay! Whew! I have peace of mind now!" Then they don't realize that, after a lot of trips taken, these same people have wasted more than $10,000 on needless insurance. Not everything in life can be decided my mathematics. For example, let's say someone gave me a deal where I choose a number between 1 and 1,000,000, and if I select the one the computer already picked, I lose $1,000,000. Otherwise, I get $2. This would be a positive expectation bet -- a "great deal" -- but I still wouldn't take it because the risk/reward is terrible (at best I make $2, and while highly unlikely, I can lose $1,000,000!) However, if the same deal were proposed to me, except it was 1 and 1,000, and I'd either win $2 or lose $1000, I'd do that one all day. Mathematically, trip insurance is a terrible deal. Circumstantially (if there's a good chance you'll need it), it can be a good deal. Life circumstantially (the money being spent on the trip is very hard to replace), it can be a reasonable decision. But usually it's best to skip it.
  6. You can spend your money how you want. I have no objection to that. I just want people to be honest with themselves. When I go to Disneyland, the ticket is quite expensive, as is their parking and food. I know they are making a huge profit off of me. But I say, "I enjoy going here sometimes, so it's still worth the money." However, insurance isn't money spent for pleasure. You're making a small investment to protect a bigger (but not large overall) investment. It's a financial decision. You should always make financial decisions when fully informed, and based upon the right thing to do for your current situation. Examples: Travel insurance when your health has been questionable lately: GOOD DECISION Travel insurance when you had to save for five years to afford this trip: GOOD DECISION Travel insurance because it simply bothers you to lose $10,000 you spent on your trip: BAD DECISION
  7. How was the OP not wrong? Do you think NCL should refund the cruise fare for every elderly cruiser who can demonstrate a health problem?
  8. I think we all agree that the OP is in the wrong here, and that they took a calculated risk by purchasing no insurance, and ended up taking the loss for it. I actually agree with their decision to purchase no insurance, but you can't complain when you do that and lose. I think the OP was surprised at the "heartlessness" of NCL refusing to refund despite a cancer diagnosis. Since cancer is such a serious and deadly disease, you naturally think that companies will understand your cancellations of previously made reservations, provided you can prove your diagnosis. When the company doesn't "understand", then it's easy to get angry. But people have to think deeper about the matter, and realize that NCL is a company dealing largely with older people, and that they would be constantly refunding cruise fare at the last minute if "unforeseen medical problem" was a valid excuse to get a full refund near cruise time. Companies are willing to make exceptions for goodwill purposes. They can't make "exceptions" which would largely harm their business and apply to a healthy percentage of their customers' situations. Can you imagine if NCL let every elderly cruiser cancel at the last minute if they were diagnosed with a serious illness? Half the ship would sail empty! (Well, not really, but you get my point...) Deciding whether to purchase travel insurance is a personal decision. Will the loss of the money simply be annoying, or will it ruin your chance to take a vacation for several years to come? If you had to save for 5 years in order to take this trip, I understand taking the insurance, even if it's a bad deal. If it's something like, "$10,000 is a lot of money, so even though I can take the hit and travel again next year, I still want to insure I don't lose it", then you aren't making a very smart purchase. Be aware that the travel insurance industry has a HUGE profit margin, so most people end up losing money on it in their lifetime. If you take enough insured trips, you will eventually have lost more money to insurance than you would have if you simply had to cancel an expensive trip without insurance. But many don't realize it because it doesn't "feel" like you're losing a lot of money at once when you're paying insurance premiums.
  9. Also, the reason NCL doesn't let people off the hook for illnesses is because their customer base is old. They must have several cruisers each time who come down with some kind of serious ailment between booking time and cruise time. So they had to take a hard line stance and disallow any refunds past final payment date. I actually understand that.
  10. I once had a laughable argument with people here, where everyone insisted that travel insurance is a wonderful value, and that anyone not buying it is a fool. I kept insisting that travel insurance has HUGE profit margins, and that no, it's not a good deal at all. In a few cases, travel insurance can be good value (such as if you're anticipating possible health problems), but otherwise it's throwing money down the drain. If the money you're saving on the cruise is big money compared to your net worth, then I agree you should get the insurance. It's the same reason I get health insurance (even before it was required). But if you are financially comfortable and insure a $10k cruise, you're not being very smart with your money. FYI I have taken countless trips in my lifetime, and other than small local trips which were easy/free to cancel, I didn't cancel a single trip until one this October, and that one only cost me $1250. I've saved big money by not getting travel insurance.
  11. It has been clear for a very long time that these could be adjusted. Originally, we could do it onboard. Now you have to get a form, mail it in, and wait 30 days. Don't feel bad about "removing tips", though. As I posted on the previous page, DSC is NOT tips. It's in place to reimburse NCL for employee salaries. When you remove the DSC, it does not come out of the employees' pockets, unless you name a specific department which was causing the issue, and even then it may not come out of their pay. People like to act sanctimonious on here about the DSC because they want to feel good that they're "tipping" by leaving it in place. If they acknowledge the truth of the matter -- that they're actually not tipping, and that the DSC goes to NCL -- then they will feel crappy because they'll feel like they stiffed poor, third-world employees. You were 100% correct to remove the DSC if your cruising experience was substandard, and they failed to otherwise compensate you properly.
  12. The 20% "gratuity"on the UBP (which doesn't really go to the staff, btw) is a dirty trick. Basically the "free" beverage package is costing you $20 per day -- which still makes NCL money. Sure, it's a lot cheaper than it used to be to buy it outright, but they realized that the drinks are so cheap for them, it's totally worth it to just include it as a promo, and have everyone who kinda wants it pay $20/day. Plus this also justifies charging an overall higher fare, because people are now getting "free" drinks. It's genius, actually.
  13. The "NCL officer" never explicitly stated that the DSC removal goes out of the pool in all circumstances. I remember that conversation and he was very non-committal and vague when it came to that. And speaking of proof, he offered no proof of his identity, either, so I don't see how you are explicitly trusting him, given your need for "proof". I am not stating that NCL should disclose how much they pay employees. I am stating that they would be very open and clear about the DSC going directly into pockets of employees, if that's what was really happening, because it would be great PR to state such a thing! (Plus the number of removals would decrease!) Look at NCL's own wording: https://www.ncl.com/faq#service-chargeNotice the end of the sentence, where it says, "... salary and incentive programs that your service charge supports." See what they did there? The service charge SUPPORTS these programs. It does not necessarily FUND these programs. That little distinction is very important. "Supports" can mean anything. It can (and does) simply mean that NCL transfers some of the DSC into salary and incentive programs. Notice that they do NOT state that they remove money from the DSC pool when you remove it. You need to read corporate-speak and understand that what they DON'T say is often far more revealing than what they do. This is especially true when you're assuming something good of the company (giving the entire DSC to employees), yet they avoid saying that. Companies always want to publicize their good deeds. This convoluted language would not be necessary if it were a simple matter of DSC going directly to the service crew, and DSC removals taking money away from them. NCL has never said that it works this way. It has been an (incorrect) assumption by cruisers that the cruise industry is happy to see occurring!
  14. 100% true that part of it goes into the guaranteed minimum. That's not even up for debate. The only question being discussed is whether removing the DSC actually affects crew pay. I am telling you it does not, when removed without blaming anyone.
  15. So how do you explain the double raise in DSC recently, four months apart? NCL giving charity to employees, at the expense of their customers? When's the last time you got two raises in four months at work? Why do you think NCL doesn't directly state the DSC removal directly affects the pool? You'd think that would some prevent people from removing it, right? Why don't they state that? Let's have some critical thinking here, rather than going by some cryptic old messages by a supposed former NCL employee. I don't have proof I can provide, but I have had conversations with former NCL (and other cruise line) employees about it, and they all told me the same basic story. I cannot share their names out here, for obvious reasons. You can choose to believe the "I'm tipping everyone with the DSC" fairy tale, or you can think critically and see the reality.
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