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wurm914

Frustrated by NCL's Never EndingTake All Free Promo

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So, what's a cruiser who just wants a bevvy package with her balcony cabin to do?  NCL offers the Inside and Outside cabins with cruiser's choice of one or two promos.  Nice.  If you want a balcony, however, the price offered includes ALL The Perks and is considerably higher.  I've watched the promo's countdown clock on the NCL site tick down and then start over multiple times now.  Enough is enough, come on NCL - don't you have a different promo up your sleeve? Am I the only one? 

 

deb 🙂

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you can only take 2 .  Don't have to take all of them,  I have a balcony and I took only 2.  If you want the bev package take that and the internet ; you don't have to use it and there are no "tips" to add on that one.

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You don't have to take all promo perk choices when booking a balcony.  You can either take all or just choose two perks.  One could be your wanted beverage package and the other internet or shore excursion credit if you don't want to pay the minimal gratuity charge for the dining package as a promo perk.

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11 minutes ago, nona0541 said:

you can only take 2 .  Don't have to take all of them,  I have a balcony and I took only 2.  If you want the bev package take that and the internet ; you don't have to use it and there are no "tips" to add on that one.

 

 

You're right of course, you can choose two for the same price as taking all.  And choosing two that don't require additional service charges would avoid that.  Not what I'm looking for unfortunately.   I look at the inside price that's just $100 pp more with one perk (choose bevvy package and pay the $20 service charge extra p/day) but all the perks add $400 pp to the price and you pay service charges on top of that.   See what I mean?

 

deb 🙂

 

 

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47 minutes ago, wurm914 said:

So, what's a cruiser who just wants a bevvy package with her balcony cabin to do?  NCL offers the Inside and Outside cabins with cruiser's choice of one or two promos.  Nice.  If you want a balcony, however, the price offered includes ALL The Perks and is considerably higher.  I've watched the promo's countdown clock on the NCL site tick down and then start over multiple times now.  Enough is enough, come on NCL - don't you have a different promo up your sleeve? Am I the only one? 

 

deb 🙂


if you want a cheap balcony state room and do not want the promos, just choose the sail away category. I have cruised numerous times on numerous cruise lines and I have yet to see a balcony cabin that I couldn’t be happy with.   The problem I always have is finding a balcony cabin that is still available that is accessible for my mobility scooter. It’s really crappy to see a fantastic sale and find that you have no opportunity to take advantage of it.   You could also try booking an ocean view and then bidding on an upgrade to a balcony. The balcony cabins may be priced much higher than Oceanview but the bid accepted is typically much lower and more in line with the number of perks you get with an ocean view.

Edited by Jana60

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I'm tired of current promos too!   It's been a very long time since they mixed it up with the Tax-Free sale or the Free DSC.

This current Airfare promo does not work for all of us🤨

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Most of the time the sail away balconies are sold out or don’t even seem to be available to begin with. I look at cruises that are two years out and sail away balconies are already “sold out” which I highly doubt. Choosing 2 perks with the balcony doesn’t really save any money over the take all. They're essentially the same price except for the SDP service charge and you’re getting WiFi and shore ex credits on top of it. Of course, whether you take the beverage package is the biggest cost. I too hate the balcony options. All of these promos except maybe the 20% off Latitudes are worn and tiresome. How about OBC and free gratuities promos like Princess and Celebrity? 

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7 hours ago, wurm914 said:

So, what's a cruiser who just wants a bevvy package with her balcony cabin to do?  NCL offers the Inside and Outside cabins with cruiser's choice of one or two promos.  Nice.  If you want a balcony, however, the price offered includes ALL The Perks and is considerably higher.  I've watched the promo's countdown clock on the NCL site tick down and then start over multiple times now.  Enough is enough, come on NCL - don't you have a different promo up your sleeve? Am I the only one? 

 

deb 🙂

You have to remember it might be a repeat for you but brand new for someone who has never sailed before. Sort of reminds me of the carpet store who has been running a going out of business sale the last 10 years

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One option might be to purchase your inside cabin and then put in an upgrade advantage bid for a balcony. I think the seven day bids start at $50 pp per day. You'd not be guaranteed an upgrade and the upgrade could be in any balcony stateroom so you'd be giving up your ability to choose the location, but it would be a mechanism to not have to pay for what you want and avoid the inflated take all "free" promotion.

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I think this is sort of the way of all cruise lines to do their marketing.  I know Royal’s BOGO seems to be running constantly, too.

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The current promo has been extended like 5 times already... now that the price for my cruise has dropped, I feel like I could have waited and gotten a better deal.  I'd call and ask for the difference in an on-board credit, but my upgrade bid was accepted too.

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12 hours ago, wurm914 said:

So, what's a cruiser who just wants a bevvy package with her balcony cabin to do?  NCL offers the Inside and Outside cabins with cruiser's choice of one or two promos.  Nice.  If you want a balcony, however, the price offered includes ALL The Perks and is considerably higher.  I've watched the promo's countdown clock on the NCL site tick down and then start over multiple times now.  Enough is enough, come on NCL - don't you have a different promo up your sleeve? Am I the only one? 

 

deb 🙂

I understand your feelings, perhaps more so.  I gave up alcohol for medical reasons, so even the bevy package (actually especially the bevy package perk) has no appeal to me.  Yet, with the everlasting promo, I cannot select one of the premium categories (such as aft balcony or spa cabin) without paying for perks I do not desire.  SIgh.  Like you I hope NCL reads this and thinks about those of us who might’ve fancy a different promo now and then.

 

BUt until they do, all you and I do is book to our best advantage with their current structure.  For me, that means I book my premium cabins, like aft balconies and spa cabin, on other lines.  On NCL, I stick, due to their promo structure, with barebones sail away fares.  Then I may bid on upgrades to nicer cabins.  I think NCL loses out, as they get my low-end cruises, while other lines get my special occasion, special cabin cruises, but hey their loss.  They need to think about the substantial portion of the population that does not consider their perks to be worthwhile.  

 

Your case is a a tad different as you like a beverage package.  The question is do want to pick your balcony cabin or would you be OK with NCL assigning one?  If so, do the math:  either book a sailaway balcony and plan to buy drinks (package or individual drinks depending upon your planned consumption) or if cheaper than buying your own drinks, book balcony with extra perks or if you are a gambler book an inside or OV cabin with bev package then bid for upgrade.  If you go for the balcony sail away or inside/ov option, watch balcony prices after final payment;  maybe you will catch a price drop that will allow you to pay your way into the higher category for a reasonable price.  If you want to select your own balcony cabin, you are stuck...accept their price structure or choose a different cruise line.

Edited by Starry Eyes

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I agree as I would like to see them switch things up, however like in all business if it is working why change it. As long as they don't take the beverage package off I am ok with changing the other promos.

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If you're tired of the current neverending, same old, same old promotions I'll let you in on a little secret, but don't pass it around to just anyone 🤐 ...

 

...there are lots of other cruise lines on the seas and many of them have promotions too!!!🛳️ 🛳️

 

🤯

 

Edited by DirtyDawg

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I wonder if the price difference has little to do with the perks and more to do with the fact a balcony is massively more attractive and therefore more expensive than an oceanveiw or a balcony?  I guess it would depend when you're looking, what ship you're looking at, and where it's going.  We only cruise in balcony's and above, but I feel like on NCL the price difference from the OV to the balcony is always pretty decent.  It's probably more about supply and demand than anything else.

 

Now.... something I did notice that feels a little weird is that *every* sailaway category is sold out for every random cruise i've looked up to see if that was true.  Either I'm really good at picking randomly (I doubt that) or that's where they're "making" this extra dollars.  

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13 hours ago, blcruising said:

One option might be to purchase your inside cabin and then put in an upgrade advantage bid for a balcony. I think the seven day bids start at $50 pp per day. You'd not be guaranteed an upgrade and the upgrade could be in any balcony stateroom so you'd be giving up your ability to choose the location, but it would be a mechanism to not have to pay for what you want and avoid the inflated take all "free" promotion.

 

ooh!  I think you've got the solution there!  Brilliant.  Bidding upgrades allow you to keep your perks.  Buy an inside and bid for a balcony.   Has anyone tried this? 

 

Thanks!

deb 🙂

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Here is an idea - and I must say I'm not sure of the full ins and outs of buying on another countries NCL site, maybe others can advise.

 

On the UK NCL site we get 2 perks on all categories for £99 also 20% off some sailing right now making a balcony cheaper than or similar to a sail away balcony, you then take the balcony (choose room) with no perks or pay £99 to add 2 perks.

 

I guess you would need a VPN to access the UK site (I have to use a VPN to access the US site) and you would need to pay in GBP and any bank fees involved in that.

 

Example (you can do NCL US site comparison)

I hope CC is OK with me putting these figures, they are from NCL not a competing TA.

 

Joy 7 day Alaska from Seattle April 25 2020

 

Sailaway Balcony: £1269pp (including all taxes and gratuities) works out to $1639pp

Choose balcony no perks £1319pp (including all taxes and gratuities) works out to $1701pp

Choose balcony inc 2 perks (eg UBP + SDP) £1418pp (including all taxes and gratuities) works out to $1829pp

 

This does include everything, all taxes, DSC and all gratuities on perks.

 

If you gave me the cruise I could price it for you on NCLs UK site.

 

I dont know of any issues with booking on another countries site, the only thing I can think of is the deposit is non refundable, if you cancel so no taking advantage of price drops for us (in UK) without losing the deposit. Certainly my dummy booking was allowing me to add US as the country of residence and country of citizenship but I did not go further.

Edited by ziggyuk

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I am fed up with NCL and its expensive promos that I don't want.  NCL is no longer competitive for the cruises that I check.  Sailaway never seems to be an option.

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1 hour ago, 4774Papa said:

I am fed up with NCL and its expensive promos that I don't want.  NCL is no longer competitive for the cruises that I check.  Sailaway never seems to be an option.

I agree for the most part. I've changed my booking strategy with NCL. Luckily, I am able to sail last minute and couldn't care less about cabin category or location or promotions marketed as free. If you are able to book within seven days of sailing, you can get some amazing sail away rates. They routinely have inventory available and don't sell out their ships until the very last minute, if at all, by dumping cabins at ridiculously low prices. 

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1 hour ago, blcruising said:

I agree for the most part. I've changed my booking strategy with NCL. Luckily, I am able to sail last minute and couldn't care less about cabin category or location or promotions marketed as free. If you are able to book within seven days of sailing, you can get some amazing sail away rates. They routinely have inventory available and don't sell out their ships until the very last minute, if at all, by dumping cabins at ridiculously low prices. 

Those low last minute rates have been sending a lot of people into a tizzy lately. Everyone seems to think they deserve all their money back that they “overpaid” or overbooked at to the last five minute pricing . Unfortunately most people don’t have the option or ability to book a full vacation 7 days before departure. If you’re retired and live by a port maybe ....

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2 hours ago, blcruising said:

I agree for the most part. I've changed my booking strategy with NCL. Luckily, I am able to sail last minute and couldn't care less about cabin category or location or promotions marketed as free. If you are able to book within seven days of sailing, you can get some amazing sail away rates. They routinely have inventory available and don't sell out their ships until the very last minute, if at all, by dumping cabins at ridiculously low prices. 

Yes, if you can book late, that works for you.  We don't do the Caribbean and would not be able to plan a trip to Europe or the Middle East on a week's notice.   We like to fly to Europe and do a land tour on our own, then take a transatlantic cruise back to Miami, or find a good cruise on the other side of the pond.

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I find great deals.  Ordinarily, I book within 8 weeks (sometimes as little as 1 week) before sailing.  I've booked some great GTY cabins that included perks.  I've even found some Haven Cabin (like I did last month) fares that were quite good.

 

All-in-all, if you don't limit yourself to just one category, you can find some great deals on any sort of sailing you could want....with or without perks/promos.

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On 10/22/2019 at 11:05 PM, wurm914 said:

So, what's a cruiser who just wants a bevvy package with her balcony cabin to do?  NCL offers the Inside and Outside cabins with cruiser's choice of one or two promos.  Nice.  If you want a balcony, however, the price offered includes ALL The Perks and is considerably higher.  I've watched the promo's countdown clock on the NCL site tick down and then start over multiple times now.  Enough is enough, come on NCL - don't you have a different promo up your sleeve? Am I the only one? 

 

deb 🙂

Book a Sailaway Balcony and then purchase a beverage package.

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2 hours ago, 4774Papa said:

Yes, if you can book late, that works for you.  We don't do the Caribbean and would not be able to plan a trip to Europe or the Middle East on a week's notice.   We like to fly to Europe and do a land tour on our own, then take a transatlantic cruise back to Miami, or find a good cruise on the other side of the pond.

Yes, late minute travel is not for your scenario. You have to have a mindset that is open to anything and, at the same time, expect nothing....as the ship could sell out. 

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