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About pokerpro5

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  1. They can't cruise again until they solve the problem as to what to do about dangerous infectious diseases breaking out onboard. Up until 2020, it was assumed they could simply dock at the nearest port and get these people taken care of. Now we've learned that's not true. Ports will refuse ships with dangerous viruses on them! Until this can be rectified, I can't see cruising starting again. There is no easy solution to this. The countries flagging these ships have already stated they do NOT want this responsibility.
  2. There is just about zero chance that they sail at higher prices, given the MUCH reduced demand. You are correct that the past will have little to do with future prices, given this unprecedented situation, but something predictable is the fact that it will be cheaper after final payment date -- perhaps dirt cheap. There is zero chance that there's going to be incredible demand for cruising once this is all over. The public is terrified of cruising, and given the "older" population which typically cruises, that's exactly the people who will be most vulnerable and afraid.
  3. Hi, if you don't have a suite, I would suggest cancelling entirely and booking November 16 (the 90 day mark). It will NOT sell out (nobody wants to cruise now due to the coronavirus), and you will get a much better deal a month after final payment (the 50% penalty phase). You will also protect yourself against losing money in the case that NCL collapses before then, which is a real possibility.
  4. Agree. The "free drinks" package is a joke because they just jacked up the base price and charge you that BS mandatory "service charge" of 20% or whatever. Fortunately I don't drink so I just decline it. Also agree about the excursions. Even with $50 off they're a terrible value, and you're stuck in a large group usually. No thanks. I do my own excursions. The internet and the dining package are the only good "perks". I'm usually able to get them to upgrade the internet package to unlimited for a reasonable upcharge. Each ship has a different policy on that.
  5. NCL Escape West Caribbean from Miami 7 days, November (not Thanksgiving) $479 for balcony No single supplement charge (1 person was booked in room) Not a casino offer I said $249 earlier for an inside, but I was getting cruises confused. That was a previous cruise where I got an inside. This one I got a second balcony for $479 with no single supplement.
  6. Yes, all casinos have the edge and everyone will be a long time loser, unless they engage in what is known as "advantage play" (which requires a lot of work, knowledge, and painstaking analysis to pull off). However, cruise ship casinos (not just NCL) are notoriously bad, as their slots are tight, video poker machines have bad paytables, and table games have bad rules. Even the poker, which you play against others, is raked FAR more heavily than land-based casinos, to where I won't even bother playing despite usually weak competition. To those who enjoy gambling onboard, have fun, but be aware you the odds are more against you than they are in Vegas, and you're going to get creamed if you play long enough. You can't beat mathematics.
  7. lol what??? Of course they can reliably fill the ships after final payment. We're talking about 120 days, and 90 days in the 50% penalty phase. That's a fairly long time. They've been "filling the ship" this way for many years. The lower the price, the quicker the ship fills. For example, if they gave away cruises for $1, they could fill an entire ship within a matter of hours. Yes, that's obviously an extreme example, but to say they can't fill empty cabins by lowering prices 3 months before sailing is absurd. And yes, plenty of people farther than driving distance can plan a cruise 1-3 months away, myself included.
  8. I don't disagree with you at all but wanted to point out that many (most?) of the cruising public have no idea you can get price drops. While we CCer's regard these things as common knowledge, I have found that even frequent cruisers among my acquaintances have no idea. I'm sure the cruise lines are counting on keeping most of the recipients of FCCs in ignorance regarding their eligibility for price drops. When NCL announced Peace of Mind I did assume prices would jump to cover their sudden generosity. A "free lunch" is always quite suspicious! Almost all of the substantial price drops occur AFTER final payment date, so the suckers who booked for high prices are stuck. This is why those booking now with FCCs, figuring, "Well, if it drops, I'll just rebook at the new rate" are missing the point. It won't drop until you can't rebook.
  9. Correct. Some of the so-called "last minute deals" promoted on the site are exactly this -- not-so-great deals which stuff you into the last few cabins left on the ship. That's why I advocate price-watching starting from the 90-day mark before sailing, as you will typically get the best prices between the 30-90 day mark prior to sailing, and there will be sufficient inventory to where you aren't stuck in the worst cabins on the ship. The problem is that a lot of people don't understand what truly is a "good deal" on a cruise ship. If you're paying anywhere near the price you'd have paid before final payment date, it 's NOT a good deal. Here's an example of an actual good deal: On my last cruise, I got an inside cabin on deck 11 (very close to my first room, a balcony cabin) for $249 with the single supplement fee waived, plus one free-at-sea choice.
  10. I'm happy for you, but I hope you quit gambling in the NCL casino, because the odds are way, way against you -- far worse than their land-based counterparts. The NCL casino doesn't exist to give money away. Signed, A professional gambler
  11. There actually is a chance of double-dipping if NCL isn't careful (this commonly happens when large companies don't pay proper attention to chargebacks), but that's NCL's problem, not the consumer's. NCL needs to monitor chargebacks and take those people off the refund list. This is their job to do, and the consumer need not worry about this detail.
  12. Yes and no. The "market will bear" only half applies to cruising because of the final payment situation, which is different than any other travel payment model. Most other travel products you're either paying up front with little-to-no-refund ability (most airlines), or paying after-the-fact with free cancellation almost up until the service is delivered (most hotels). Cruises are in the middle of those two models. There's a long, free cancellation/re-pricing period (before final payment), and a long, high-penalty cancellation period (after final payment). This essentially creates two different markets -- the before-final-payment market (higher prices, except for some outlier high-demand cruises), and the after-final-payment market (lower prices). The before-final-payment market only typically sees price increases (for high demand) or static pricing (for medium and low demand). They will hold these prices relatively static (with only small adjustments down) if the cruise isn't selling well. This is because people who paid higher prices already can adjust them down, so they don't want that occurring. After-final-payment is somewhat related to what the market will bear (they will keep lowering prices until cabins are filled), but again it's not just a function of that. They also use the upgrade bidding process to do this, so they can both keep the premium products from being discounted, AND relegate the bargain shoppers to the least desirable cabins (insides, often ones on the lower decks). The bottom line is that this is a lot different than typical supply-and-demand pricing. If a burger place can't sell burgers at $7 each, they might lower the price to $6. If they are selling a ton at $7, they might raise the price to $8 and see what happens. This isn't quite so simple, and it's instead more helpful to understand the pricing patterns, and what gives you the best chance for booking success. Regarding the FCCs, these people booking at the bad prices will be stuck once final payment date passes. Again, that's one of several reasons why you won't see the good deals until AFTER final payment date, and more likely after the 50% penalty phase starts.
  13. Well I'm glad you're only teasing and messing, but to answer what you wrote anyway... 1) Inside/Oceanview cabins are not "always" discounted at any time. The discounting can happen any time between 90 days prior to sailing and 1 day prior to sailing. I'd ballpark the best deals to come 30-60 days prior to sailing, but it varies. 2) While some of what I wrote occurs normally anyway, I had to repeat a lot of that information so people could coherently follow my logic regarding pricing, and when it is likely best to book (and worst to book). 3) Whatever occurred in the past regarding bargain prices will occur to a greater extreme, most likely. And then, of course, there's the matter of the mass issuance of FCCs complicating things, which I explained, as well.
  14. I have been extensively been studying the cruise industry pricing model over the years, especially NCL, and have an excellent record regarding predicting pricing trends. Based upon my studies of the recent (pre-COVID-19) pricing scheme, as well as current prices, I have applied it to come up with a theory as to the way NCL will price cruises once everything restarts Be aware this is only a theory and not based upon any inside information, but I would be surprised if the actual situation turns out to be vastly different from what I have deduced. 1) Prices will remain high for as long as a substantial amount of recently-issued FCC remains unspent. NCL needs desperately cash right now, hence their very difficult (and intentionally slow) behavior regarding refunds. However, they also need to survive going forward, so they do not want the FCC they issued to be used to snag cruise bargains. If bargains are to be had, they want that to come from new money, rather than already-captive money. Thus, prices will be continue to be fixed artificially high until they feel a sufficient amount of the FCC has been spent. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis when cruises pass final payment date, depending upon booking levels (see below). 2) Prices for suites and mini-suites (now called 'club suites') will remain similar to what you remember before. If you're looking for a deep discount on a suite when cruising returns, you're going to be disappointed. Suites are a premium product which the industry (not just NCL) has long resisted discounting, as they do not want to degrade the perceived value of the product. Since suites do not make a large percentage of the ship, NCL will let these go unsold if they don't manage to fill up at "normal" prices, and then use the bidding upgrade process to fill them (again, see below). 3) Prices for inside/oceanview/balcony rooms will be fairly similar to what you remember, prior to final payment date. NCL does not want to attract an entire ship full of bargain cruisers, as this affects them in two ways. First, these people pay less fare, so NCL makes less money up front. Second, these people tend to be frugal in general, and are the least desired customers. A ship full of these type of people (I'm one of them, by the away) would be a disaster for NCL, and they would lose money. Additionally, if they sell these rooms at a discount prior to final payment date, many people (including FCC users) will notice and re-price their cruise to the current bargain rates. Therefore, even in a terrible market (which it will be), they will attempt to sell as many non-suite staterooms as possible at "normal" prices, and you will not see deep discounts. The deep discounts will appear once the 50% cancellation penalty phase begins (90 days before cruising, based upon the pre-COVID19 policy). Want to know how the discounts will happen? Once again, see below. 4) The deep discounts will be on inside cabins only at first, and the upgrade bidding system will be utilized to fill all other cabin types, as much as possible. The discounts will be tremendous, but you may have to wait a bit, as they will likely come in phases, starting at the 90-day mark prior to sailing. They will keep discounting these rooms as much as possible until they start selling. You might see some of these go for practically nothing. If they are not getting enough bids for upgrades to oceanview and above on a particular ship, they will start pushing existing reservation holders on that ship to do upgrade bids (via e-mail solicitations). If they still don't get enough upgrades to oceanview and/or balcony, then those prices will drop as well. Keep in mind that this was already their existing pricing policy BEFORE COVID-19, but you will see it take place even more often as they struggle to get people on cruise ships again. 5) Unsold mini/club-suites and suites will be filled by upgrading balcony pasengers. You will perhaps even see phone calls being made offering flat price upgrades if there are not enough bidding upgrades. If you have a balcony room, you might want to throw a cheap upgrade bid in for fun. So how can you best use this information to your advantage? Glad you asked. First off, DO NOT make a cash booking right now. Seriously. Don't. Keep that credit card firmly in your wallet. NCL is on very rough seas right now, and there's a chance they may sink. If they survive, there will be PLENTY of opportunity to book later. If you have an FCC, DO NOT book anything except for a suite right now. If you do, you're almost 100% going to get a bad deal, even with the "20% discount" being offered. Do not assume you're getting a good deal by comparing the previous price you paid to the one being offered now. The markets are not at all comparable! However, if you're booking a suite, then go ahead and book now if you have FCC, provided that the price you're paying isn't HIGHER than what you got it for initially. If the price appears high, just wait. It will come down to normal when most of the FCC gets spent. Trust me. If you have an FCC and want to cruise in an inside/oceanview/balcony, DO NOT BOOK NOW. You will be getting a horrible deal compared to the open market, as described above. There will be PLENTY of these rooms open on future cruises. And when I say plenty, I mean P-L-E-N-T-Y! They are going to immensely struggle to fill these rooms. Therefore, wait until at least 90 days before your cruise, and then start price-watching. Do not jump on the first good deal you see at that point. Watch closely, and only book when it seems the prices are hitting bottom. If you really want to gamble for a balcony room for the very best price, book a bargain INSIDE cabin as described above after the 90-day mark, and then try submitting a fairly cheap upgrade to a balcony. Decent chance you'll get it. Of course, before you do any of this, make sure flights are available and reasonably priced before locking yourself into a cruise in this fashion. I will bump this thread when everything gets going again, and you'll see I was correct. Happy booking!
  15. I'm glad you got this cheap upgrade, but you'd probably get a much better deal by waiting. This is because insides/oceanviews/balconies are likely to be dumped for extremely cheap once cruising starts up again (and once final payment for each cruise passes). I am curious, how much are you paying per person for this balcony room now (after the upgrade fee), and how long is the cruise (and where?) November 20 does encompass Thanksgiving for a 7-day cruise, so those will be more expensive, but only for cruises where the majority of cruisers are from the USA. Anyway, given the cirumstances and the fear of cruising (which will not have subsided by November, no matter what happens going forward), you will almost certainly get a better deal after final payment date if you're buying an inside/oceanview/balcony. Food for thought.
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