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About azalea4va

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    Cool Cruiser

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    somehwere I have not been before

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  1. Please stop with the character attacks that I was trying to stiff the staff. I may have been unclear, but that was not at all about what I was proposing. As I said twice before, I was trying to find a way to send a message to management WITHOUT HURTING OR SHORT CHANGING THE CREW, by tipping "off-book". I get it, it was a bad idea. That is why I asked the question before I did it. For the question that has been asked a few times... Why go back? I avoided them. But for the trip that was desired, there was no practical alternative. And I knew what to watch out for. So like taglovestocruise said, I was willing to grin-and-bear-it, but also wanted to send a message to management (again, while still giving the crew a full tip). Given thse comments, I will just have to rely on the traditional mechanisms, no better tool found.
  2. This was not a decision I had made, I was looking for another perspective. I appreciate those that replied politely. But some of the comments were a bit harsh. As I stated when I asked my question, I was not precluding tipping privately to those most responsible for my experience onboard. This was not about saving movey and I did want to reward those crew members. I do regret that I even gave NCL as an example as it was not my intent for that to be the focus of this discussion. Let me re-word the narrative, as in my limited cruise experience I have met many hard working staff that I do not want to hurt. But I am a consumer advocate and there are many businesses out there that have practices that are very consumer unfriendly. In general, the cruise industry falls into this category. Almost any cruise line will promote that "customer satisfaction" is our utmost priority, yet certain bean-counters in the company will resort to any trick in the books to maximize profits. Sometimes the bean counters win. Now if you do not think this is a problem in the cruise industry, that is fine. I am not alone in thinking there is a problem. So far, responders have thought my proposed solution of how to send a message, without hurting innocent crew members, was a bad one. Hey, that is why I asked. I appreciate the advice. Like with the airlines, just "don't book with them" is frequently not a viable solution. This is particular true in an industry that has condensed so 4 cruise companies account for over 85% of the passenger traffic. I just get so frustrated that, be it cruise lines, airlines, cable companies, etc; there are so many questionable practices out there. I am always searching for ways consumers can have greater influence in nudging companies toward a more honest and transparent interaction with their customers. Sorry for the vent.
  3. No my question is not about NCL, it is about the general principle of if one receives bad service pre-departure that impacts ones overall satisfaction with the cruise experieince, is it ok to consider the service charge as a reflection of the overall service. (FWIW: Duh, yes I booked on my own. Again, you missed the point. To promote that buying the cruise would result in a lower airfare then only AFTER buying the cruise, reveal that the savings was as phony as a $3-dollar bill, that I do consider a customer unfriendly practice that downgrades MY customer satisfaction. You might be OK with that kind of business practice, but I am not alone in finding it distasteful.)
  4. I am about to take my second cruise on NCL. For many things, I find that NCl engages in unfair business practices, in some cases what I consider fraud. Even if the unjust act itself is not 'service", the interaction with customer service certainly is. The stuff that happens before the cruise is just as important to my overall satisfaction with my sailing experience as that which happens on the cruise. If a service charge is to reward good service, shouldn't it apply to the overall experience? Even if you have thus far had all totally pleasant experiences, if someone does have poor service either pre-cruise or during cruise, how do you react to customers reducing the "official" service charge paid from your account. (This could be in conjunction with giving cash tips with particular crew members you want to reward.) I am less concerned with the money than with sending a message to management. If one reduces the service charge amount, one has to do so through customer service and tell them why. That sends a messsage and if many people did it, it would send a loud message. Let me give one example. One of the supposed perks offered by NCL on some voyages is a $200 airfare credit, provided you book through NCL. You do not find out until you have bought your cruise what this supposed benefit provides. In my case, I could buy the ticket on my own from almost any source for about $300 or I could buy it from NCL for $600 minus the $200 credit for a net of $400. Maybe if NCL got thousands of reports from customer service about customers taking $100 off their service charge as a result of such deceptive practices, maybe they might consider a more honest approach advisable? I have not done this, but am wondering what other cruisers think.
  5. In the US, the FTC has rules against deceptive practices. Yes, a retailer may say 70% off if at least SOME items are 70% off (how many is a judgement call). But what one cannot do is say "up to 70% off" and then have absolutely nothing on sale at that price. And they must have at least something on sale at that markdown at every store which is featuring the sale. So it is NOT like those ads. Every cruise featuring that promotion must have at least some availability for that credit otherwise it is false advertising.
  6. we are in a similar situation, except we will completing our cruise on Nov 9, with a scheduled arrival into the port at 9:00am. 1. To get to the train station ASAP, we are planning on self-disembarking and reserving a taxi to take us to Mestre. By reserving a taxi ahead of time, I assume that will prevent us from getting backup up by various queues. Once we are cleared to disembark (self-carry) , how long should I plan on it taking to get to mestre? Would the cab pickup spot be near the terminal and before the people mover? Is my thinking accurate that at little or no cost in time, a taxi to mestre would save a bit of dragging luggage around, a consideration for us? 2. If there is a delay due to fog, I assume that means schedule arrival time is mostly irrelevant. Advice here was for a scheduled arrival of 8:00am. "I agree that [a noon reservation] is plenty time. Depending on the time of year, fog can be an issue at Venice but even if you didn't get off until 11, you'd still make it in time." Equally true for a 9:am schedule arrival? 3. The trains to Milan requires reservations. If we get to the station either earlier in time to get a earlier train, or later and miss our train, can we switch to an earlier/later train, given we will not have a reservation?
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