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rxlowry

For Loyalists/Cheerleaders What is likely your breaking point?

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40 minutes ago, BalconyGal said:

 

This is where we are too. We are on the Jade next week and then we are going to revisit other lines and try new ones. NCL has been degrading their product for the last several years and we have hung in there because we love the suite life and the platinum perks but it’s no longer working for us. We’re platinum on princess too so maybe we’ll go back there for a while. Also maybe We’ll try carnival again now that we have a kiddo too. It’s bittersweet. We have really loved the memories and friends we’ve made on NCL. 🙁

 

What amazes me about the Jade is that it is such an old ship compared to others but yet the price is like it is 2014 or above.

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4 hours ago, rxlowry said:

 

So what would make you rethink NCL and explore another line?

 

You pose an interesting question and I don't know the answer.  I have certainly gotten mad at NCL, especially when they cancel cruises; yet I still prefer to cruise with them.  I think it's because I took 15 cruises to reach Platinum status before I ever tried another cruise line, and NCL began to feel like home.  When we tried RCCL, I really didn't like it; it seemed snooty, and I felt that servers were always chasing after me for an end-of-cruise tip.  Perhaps if I had started with RCCL and taken 15 cruises with them, I would have wanted to stick with them.  

I don't like what I read about Carnival and MSC, and most of the other cruise lines are too expensive.  We might try Princess some time.  I just like NCL in spite of the flaws, and unless other factors intervene (e.g. cancellations), I just want to go back to them.  

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We cruise "on the cheap" always; Inside cabin at the GTY/Sail-Away rate.  We started years ago on NCL because we like Freestyle compared to Celebrity's old-style (at that time) two seating, same strangers at your table, formal nights, etc.   Also HATED the last night having to round up cash for tipping; much preferred NCL's per diem service charges.   Also we lived in the NYC area & NCL was the only cruise line that sailed year-round from NYC.  

 

Once, many years ago on Cruise Critic someone opined, "ANY day on ANY cruise line being ON a cruise is better than a day at home!"  That's our philosophy.  Have we noticed a degradation in "bang-for-the-buck" with NCL?  Absolutely, yes!  We've noticed that in the "DelRio Era" at NCL that amenities that WERE free now have an up charge.  NCL now tries to nickel-and-dime you much more than before.  Since we're always in an Inside GTY rate cabin we haven't noticed the perqs downgrades as much as the suite-life folks.  We have noticed the aforesaid service charges steadily increase over the years...

 

We still feel that NCL still has the best value for our $$.  What's our breaking point?  Maybe up charges in the MDR's  for "special" meals, perhaps.  Service charge hits $20/pp/per day?  We'll have to see.  Have heard some nice things about MSC so we'd like to try them someday.  Ditto Princess; our youngest daughter sailed on Princess for a Spring Break out of Miami & loved it!

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This is an interesting question. We took our first cruise Dec 2017 on NCL and loved it, so much that we bought CruiseNext certificates, and we continued to book with NCL. For many of the "cuts" that have happened, we wouldn't miss them because we hadn't been cruising long enough to develop the expectation. Lobster, midnight buffets, bringing beverages on board, fall into this category. We stuck with NCL for cruises #2-4 because we enjoyed the experience and the value worked for us. We choose inside cabins and take the drink package perk, and the math has worked in our favor vs other lines so far. Value is a big factor, so this has driven a lot of the decision making process. Good value doesn't always mean least expensive, but rather feeling that we got a good price for what we received.

 

However, we're starting to branch out. The recent drink package changes, with the price increases, then decreases, has just left a bad taste in my mouth and is making me look elsewhere, even though they made changes following the backlash. I know that things always go up in price and that the NCL experience will evolve over time, but I don't want to get on the ship and feel like I've been taken advantage of, or like I didn't get what I thought I paid for. We still have some CruiseNext certs to use, but we'll start trying new things after those are gone. We also booked a Carnival this summer because of the itinerary - NCL practically pulls out of the Caribbean for the summer!

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Tough question.  I have cruised on RCCL and Norweigen.  Over the past few years there have been changes on both lines that cost extra $$.  

 

We price out our options/dates on several lines.  So far the last Couple of years  NCL has been the most cost effective for the items we enjoy.

 

The only thing that I think stinks is charging $5 plus tip for a shrimp cocktail when I already paid for dining in Cagneys.  Just rude and leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

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I have cruised for a long time, on carnival, royal, Disney, princess and just made platinum on ncl.  My breaking time to jump ship and leave ncl would be if they went backwards to you MUST wear suit and tie/cocktail dress on elegant nights to eat in the dining room, and then on top of that get stuck eating with strangers.  Freestyle dining, but dressing casual is very important to us for relaxed vacation 

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Great question, OP. I became an NCL convert in 2013, and have sailed in everything from studio cabins to Haven suites so far. I thought I had found the perfect fit for me with the variety of cabin types and options, but the drink package/re-pricing of drinks shenanigans earlier this year has left a bad taste in my mouth (in addition to already dealing with skyrocketing suite prices and a few other things). I don't know that I'm at my 'never again' breaking point, but I'm definitely branching out and for the first time in 6 years, don't have an NCL cruise booked. But I did find a 7-night Oceania cruise later this year starting at $999pp for an inside, so I guess I might keep it in the NCL family for a bit.

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8 hours ago, rxlowry said:

On most threads when a change is discussed, there are always posters who act like it doesn't phase them.  Charge for room service?  Never used it.  No straws.  Don't need them.  No Towel animals.  Seen them all.  No Chocolate on pillow.  Never ate it.  Lobster gone.  You can buy it at grocery store.  There's always an answer from them.

So what would make you rethink NCL and explore another line?

 

Well, we do cruise other lines. But for us, it's always about the value of the vacation vs. the price. If the value we put on the vacation is less than the price, we don't go.

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2 hours ago, fshagan said:

 

Well, we do cruise other lines. But for us, it's always about the value of the vacation vs. the price. If the value we put on the vacation is less than the price, we don't go.

 

Perfect description...

Our cruise decisions are first based on Itinerary...

Then Value & you've provided an excellent description of Value...

We choose to sail on Celebrity, NCL & Princess... 

Mainly on Celebrity or NCL these days - based on Itinerary & Value...

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When all the pool loungers are "occupied" by 7am, that's my breaking point 😋

 

Not really, but all I like to do on a sea day is sit near the pool and read a book.  I hate that I have to get up earlier and earlier on cruises to secure my one lounger for the day in the spot that I want to be (I don't like the upper level - too windy).

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We are Elite on Princess and Celebrity and Platinum on NCl 3 stars on Holland over a dozen cruises on Costa ( I forget what that is ) 3 MSC ( can't figure out how to get my Princess Elite comped on this line) a couple RCL ( we get the Celebrity status on that one ) and about 6 Carnival cruises. 

 

The only line we ever said "no more"  to was Carnival and that was when they were going through their "Nuevio quizine" ( I know I'm spelling this wrong ) when we were with a group on a Thanksgiving Cruise and everybody was starving!!! The food arrived just pretty looking and very little and you couldn"t have seconds.  I remember after dinner I would order room service 😐 finally Thanksgiving came and we all said Now we should have plenty of food.  The plate came and it the middle was ( in the shape of a small fistfull circle ) a thin layer of stuffing, another thin layer of potatoes 3 inch strips of artifully placed turkey  overlapping each other and a thin rendering of cranberry sauce decorating the plate.

 

That did it😩 over 10 years went by before we took another Carnival and that was on The Miracle because of it's South and Central American itinerary....well it was a great ship and the Captain was so adorable he took turns eating with people at lunch time...just would come up to people and ask if he could join you☺️ We told him our story about our last cruise and he laughed and said they lost a lot of people during that " food phase"  it only lasted about 18months and wasn't successful.  We took a Carnival Magic in 2018 with a Spa Cabin...absolutely loved it..met people who only cruise carnival and asked them why they cruise carnival and got only 2 answers...food and price.   

 

So even though we put a lot of eggs in  more than one basket (we do it by taking longer cruises)...but then again we are in our 70's if we were just starting out we would try different lines and then stick to one to get the benefits then try another.  We take our kids and grandkids on NCL and Princess.

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The petty small charges that keep getting added and increased make me stop and think how much am I loving NCL still.  However, when the cruise package value offered overall price finally far exceeds what I could find on another cruise line, I then jumped ship.  After 22 NCL cruises, my next cruise is booked on another cruise line.  

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17 hours ago, BirdTravels said:

When we feel as unwelcome and unappreciated every time we take a RCCL cruise. The RCCL crew are the the most unpleasant and unfriendly in the industry (and we have taken 3 RCCL cruises in the past year a long with 3 NCL cruises). 

THIS! We took 2 cruises on Oasis and Allure. We only took the second one to see if the first one was a fluke. While we thought the ships themselves were quite spectacular the vibe most definitely was Not. We not only found that the crew was unfriendly but so were the passengers. Being on both cruises we thought attending a wake would be more upbeat...the vibe was absolutely terrible. So while we haven't hit a breaking point with NCL yet....we have with Royal.

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The same things that cause people to reach their breaking points here are currently occurring on other lines, too, and causing those people to reach their breaking points and wanting to switch to NCL or elsewhere.  It's all the same.  I cruised on RCCL in November, after being exclusively NCL for a while. I realized it's the same issues everywhere, after spending some time on that forum.  

Edited by LrgPizza

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What's my breaking point?  I'll know it when I see it or experience it.  I just haven't yet.  We are three cruises in with NCL and have our 4th and 5th coming up this year and each time we've had a blast.  I don't have a problem paying for a vacation to remember, despite certain cut-backs or upcharges because none have interfered with the fabulous time we've spent on board.  I absolutely won't cruise with Carnival or RCCL (although I have many times in the past) because they do not offer a drink package perk.  Maybe I've just identified my breaking point.  Celebrity, another of our preferred lines offers a drink package as a perk and they don't tack on the daily service charge and gratuity in advance like NCL...they factor those in as hidden costs in the price of the fare so we are tricked into thinking it doesn't exist.  And if the itinerary is right along with the price, we will consider Celebrity...but their ship vibe is a bit sleepy so I go back to NCL, which I find to be more energetic.  I'm on Breakaway in June under the new Premium Beverage package and I don't plan to upgrade to premium plus.  If I can't get the drinks I want under the new program, then maybe that will be my breaking point.

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7 hours ago, myjillian said:

We are Elite on Princess and Celebrity and Platinum on NCl 3 stars on Holland over a dozen cruises on Costa ( I forget what that is ) 3 MSC ( can't figure out how to get my Princess Elite comped on this line)

 

Here is the US link to do a status match 👍

 

https://www.msccruisesusa.com/en-us/MSC-Voyagers-Club/Loyalty-Match-Program.aspx

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10 minutes ago, ziggyuk said:

 

Here is the US link to do a status match 👍

 

https://www.msccruisesusa.com/en-us/MSC-Voyagers-Club/Loyalty-Match-Program.aspx

Yah, thank you, I know the link...i'm just not computer savy to figure out how to actually send the information ....I don't know how to pictures in the post etc....now, if my grandkids lived closer they could do it for me LOL

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1 minute ago, myjillian said:

Yah, thank you, I know the link...i'm just not computer savy to figure out how to actually send the information ....I don't know how to pictures in the post etc....now, if my grandkids lived closer they could do it for me LOL

 

Oh what a nuisance, yes one for the grandkids next time, embarrassingly they will have it done in seconds.😂

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1 hour ago, ziggyuk said:

 

Oh what a nuisance, yes one for the grandkids next time, embarrassingly they will have it done in seconds.😂

you see it as a nuisance...I see it as a huge mental block blocking my adventures into that vast wasteland of digital expertise😥

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I’m on the Bliss at the moment and this 15 day cruise has been one of the best ever but we are sailing Celebrity next year as we did MSC last year. Every cruise I book and pay for must make me feel Like I got a good deal. Once NCL doesn’t provide that value we look and cruise elsware. We want the best deal for our money and do a lot of research and are loyal to no one cruiseline. 

 

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On 4/11/2019 at 3:49 PM, FranknBeans said:

If NCL went out of business.

 

I hope DelRio doesn't read this one!!

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I'm almost there too but I already have 5 more cruises booked for this year. It seems that every time you get less and less, that you have to pay more, there are fewer amenities and there's not a good level of recognition. I just returned from the Breakaway 2 weeks ago.  The Latitudes recognition activity was at the club outside. (This has gone downhill in recent years). It was scheduled for 7:00 p.m. which was the same time as the first show. What happens if it rains? 

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For me it would be price, I enjoy being on the ship & living in NY being close to port so NCL works for us. I do shop around when I'm looking to book but so far NCL has been best value for us. The loyalty extras don't really thrill me so not worried about those, miss the chocolates at turn down but I look at it as extra sugar I don't need anyway 😉 

I guess it's different for everyone of course, what works for some doesn't work for others. 

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I completely agree.  We usually take transatlantics, and i find them inexpensive, in fact our first one was around 699 dollars 14 days, then we took a 21 day one back to back including the transatlantic for 1499 dollars PP  ( balcony) now we are taking a 19 day one this October for $2070 dollars PP  inside cabin. Oh well times change. The 21 day one was only 2 years ago.

 

 

Are you on the Copenhagen to NOLA? in October?

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On 4/11/2019 at 1:51 PM, rxlowry said:

On most threads when a change is discussed, there are always posters who act like it doesn't phase them.  Charge for room service?  Never used it.  No straws.  Don't need them.  No Towel animals.  Seen them all.  No Chocolate on pillow.  Never ate it.  Lobster gone.  You can buy it at grocery store.  There's always an answer from them.

So what would make you rethink NCL and explore another line?

Many of us who are cheerleaders have tried other lines, more than once and still prefer NCL or certainly will continue to cruise the line as well as other lines. For us, primarily due to our cruising day starting to wind down, we still with NCL I think the only thing that would cause us to reconsider our choice would be, if the prices became so high they are out of our budget and there were other lines offering better deals, much better. I also guess if they went to only buffets for meals it would blow my mind. 

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