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eroller

"Always working to raise prices"

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I'm a stockholder - but NCL doesn't give dividends, so the only ongoing benefit to stockholders is the OBC credit they get when they book a cruise and therefore spend more money.  So those profits aren't always going to stockholders.  NCL stock is relatively stable, so once I have had my fill of cruising with NCL, I should be able to get my investment back and can figure the OBC I've gotten as interest - but no real share of the profits like I get with something like Disney.

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3 hours ago, newmexicoNita said:

Now that you have finished with your rant, do you feel better? 

Boy was I shocked when I went to the store the other day and found out chuck roast was $5 a lb. and worse, butter was over $4 a lb. Must be that super market we use is out to get us, big time!!!!


Rant?..LOL.....

 

What I read was someone sharing their opinion just like you share your opinion on here. Discussion can be a good thing. It’s fine if you disagree with what was posted but it did not deserve the comment that you made. Maybe pull back from the keyboard for a minute and think before posting. 

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5 hours ago, eroller said:

 

 

 

I'm glad I'm not the only one.  I never said other companies don't do the exact same as NCL when it comes to raising prices.  Of course they do.  But even on earnings calls they seem to have a little more respect in how they speak about their customers.  On NCL the customer is spoken about as a "wallet", trying to get as much out of that wallet as possible.  

 

I agree completely. I remember on one earnings call, FDR stated that his objective was to get "... an additional $50 out of every passenger." Not once did he mention what improvements customers would see for the extra revenue. As a comparison, I remember when I used to have cable, every year they would raise prices. But at least a letter came first stating what improvements they  made in service and additional channels provided. True or not, it was more balanced.

 

I like NCL for the solo program but would never book a Studio again since the regular Inside is always cheaper and definitely larger. I certainly don't need the extra costs items to enjoy a cruise.  Furthermore, I posted on the Solo Discount Single Supplement board back in September that a Studio was $1800 more expensive than an Inside on the Getaway TA. That is just plain nuts.

 

Everyone knows a business wants to increase revenues but at the same time the CEO should indicate what the customer can look for to as improvements in experience.

 

 

Edited by IrieBajan54
correction

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You sure know how to start trouble on the NCL board Ernie 🙉

But I smell what you are cooking.  At least FDR is upfront and honest and does not hide his desire to keep raising prices and finding new ways for revenue.  Yes of course all companies do this but no doubt FDR has no shame when he speaks. I have to laugh at so many who commented on this thread how good NCL prices are.  I don't price a lot of cruises anymore but it could be true.  My question to them is what incredible deals we all got with NCL in the years prior to FDR.  NCL without a doubt was the best value cruise line hands down.  With the doubling of Haven prices, and indirectly upselling dining and beverage packages, FDR went way over his $50 increase from every passenger philosophy.   Prices on all cruise lines have went up.  IMHO cruising is losing its incredible "bang for the buck" value.   About a year ago, the NCL rep in charge of travel agents had a major slip of the tongue when she stated "customers "feel" they are getting these offers for free."  She told the truth but tried to back track a bit revealing what many of us already know 🙂

The pendulum has definitely swung the way of the corporate office these days. I hope someday it swings back just a little to customers 🙂

Edited by david_sobe

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20 minutes ago, david_sobe said:

You sure know how to start trouble on the NCL board Ernie 🙉

But I smell what you are cooking.  At least FDR is upfront and honest and does not hide his desire to keep raising prices and finding new ways for revenue.  Yes of course all companies do this but no doubt FDR has no shame when he speaks. I have to laugh at so many who commented on this thread how good NCL prices are.  I don't price a lot of cruises anymore but it could be true.  My question to them is what incredible deals we all got with NCL in the years prior to FDR.  NCL without a doubt was the best value cruise line hands down.  With the doubling of Haven prices, and indirectly upselling dining and beverage packages, FDR went way over his $50 increase from every passenger philosophy.   Prices on all cruise lines have went up.  IMHO cruising is losing its incredible "bang for the buck" value.   About a year ago, the NCL rep in charge of travel agents had a major slip of the tongue when she stated "customers "feel" they are getting these offers for free."  She told the truth but tried to back track a bit revealing what many of us already know 🙂

The pendulum has definitely swung the way of the corporate office these days. I hope someday it swings back just a little to customers 🙂

.

.

I guess she intentionally forgot to send a memo to the posters who insist that the perks are FREE. They just refuse to see that the costs is built into the cruise price.

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24 minutes ago, IrieBajan54 said:

 

I agree completely. I remember on one earnings call, FDR stated that his objective was to get "... an additional $50 out of every passenger." Not once did he mention what improvements customers would see for the extra revenue. As a comparison, I remember when I used to have cable, every year they would raise prices. But at least a letter came first stating what improvements they  made in service and additional channels provided. True or not, it was more balanced.

 

I like NCL for the solo program but would never book a Studio again since the regular Inside is always cheaper and definitely larger. I certainly don't need the extra costs items to enjoy a cruise.  Furthermore, I posted on the Solo Discount Single Supplement board back in September that a Studio was $1800 more expensive than an Inside on the Getaway TA. That is just plain nuts.

 

Everyone knows a business wants to increase revenues but at the same time the CEO should indicate what the customer can look for to as improvements in experience.

 

 

I remember that $50 per passenger thing too. But I also remember FDR saying (around) the same time they had made the formerly $15 pp Asian restaurants on the ship complimentary ... "so there's give and take". 

 

He may have said that on the call itself, or he may have said it later, in an interview, but I do remember him using the Asian restaurants' change from fee to free as an example of how it wasn't all one-sided. This call came across as different. 

 

In fairness, since the switch from fee to free, NCL has offered some more gives by way of their promotions like free or reduced airfare --  that was a new promo and for some it was a very good value.

 

I hope they were having an off day, not thinking hard enough about how they could come across to the customer base. I'm a shareholder too, btw, and so I want the company to maximize profits, but just not just for the short term.  

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NCL stopped being a value proposition a long time ago. They have a few super-cheap itineraries right now, but they are the exception. One could decide to sail NCL's sailaway rates exclusively, but then one would be subject to NCL's ridiculous on board prices. On Epic in May, I made the mistake of ordering a "Tanqueray and tonic" instead of a "gin and tonic." That was a $21.50 drink.

 

By contrast, I sailed MSC Magnifica in August to Italy and Greece from Venice. I paid $239 for MSC's unlimited drinks package for seven nights. Granted, it only includes cocktails of €6 or less (of which there are 8-10, I think), but it also includes unlimited bottled water (still and sparkling) several wines by the glass including Prosecco, one tap beer, espresso drinks and smoothies. All that for 11 Tanqueray and tonics on NCL.

 

I'm booked on MSC again in September, and I'm trying to sneak in one last-minute MSC cruise in December or January. One particular example of an excellent solo price on MSC leaving November 30: 11-night southern Caribbean on Divina for $761 including taxes and port fees. Newer MSC ships have studio cabins, too, for an even lower price. Plus the pool situation is far superior on MSC, and MSC ships have a new production show every night of a 7-night cruise. For me, in every conceivable way, MSC is the new NCL. Once MSC's pricing goes up and/or Leonardo class stuns with its sexiness, I will reevaluate. But by then, MSC will have produced another 10 ships, including four for its Yacht Club-inspired luxury cruise line. Each will likely be sexier, and more resort like, than anything NCL can produce so long as it is motivated to cover the top decks of all of its ships with go kart tracks, laser tag courses, VIBE, and other for-a-fee enterprises.

 

Besides FDR's crass reference to NCL's passengers as wallets, he neglects to mention the negative effect of expecting the ship's crew to constantly be grabbing money out of those "wallets" has on customer service. MDR waiters are overworked, as are cabin stewards and bar servers. It's hard to have "fun" when you're surrounded by folks that are being worked to an extreme.

Edited by Cruiser Bruiser
typo

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5 hours ago, david_sobe said:

You sure know how to start trouble on the NCL board Ernie 🙉

 

 

 

LOL!   As you know I'm not one to hold back when I see something that just isn't right.  Not being loyal to any one line helps immensely as I don't have that compulsion to defend "my" line, or be a cheerleader or an apologist.  By no means do I hate NCL, but they are on my hold list at the moment until the Leonardo Class makes it debut.  I'm actually pleased they are doing so well as they were on the bottom for so many years with too many management changes to mention.  My history with NCL goes back to 1980 with the NORWAY, so they have been a part of my life for a long time.  I've seen them go through many ups and downs.  They are riding high right now (along with most other cruise lines), but I'm disappointed in their disrespect for the customer.  We are more than just dollar bills and for the moment I think other cruise lines appreciate me more.  They still want my $$ but they go about it with a little more respect.      

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1 hour ago, Cruiser Bruiser said:

NCL stopped being a value proposition a long time ago. They have a few super-cheap itineraries right now, but they are the exception. One could decide to sail NCL's sailaway rates exclusively, but then one would be subject to NCL's ridiculous on board prices. On Epic in May, I made the mistake of ordering a "Tanqueray and tonic" instead of a "gin and tonic." That was a $21.50 drink.

 

 

 

 

OUCH that drink price is insanity!  

 

You and I seem to be at the same junction with NCL.  I never completely write off any cruise line as they always evolve.  But there  are better choices for me right now including MSC (among others).  As you said, that may change and then I'll look elsewhere.

 

I'm looking forward to the Leonardo Class and hoping they will appeal to me more than NCL's current playground of new ships.  I'm also very impressed with the refit details on NORWEGIAN SPIRIT.  It looks wonderful and very adult oriented.  Perhaps she will get me back to NCL prior to the Leonardo Class?   

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FDR was really arrogant with his statement of raising prices and getting every buck he can get out of the customers. I also work in customer service and my clients would have found his blatant statements offensive. There is a way to raise prices without insulting the customer.

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14 hours ago, eroller said:

 

 

To each their own.  My opinion is that NCL currently is a not a good value compared to other lines.  To much inching up of pricing and nickel and diming the customer.  As I mentioned in my original post, obviously others feel differently as NCL is doing well. 

I have also found this in the last year or two. I canceled last year’s Bliss cruise and took an RCCL cruise and saved $1000. Next year, we are going on the Carnival Horizon because I couldn’t find any reasonably priced, interesting cruise itineraries with NCL for October.

 As a “wallet”, I have chosen to vote with it.  

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4 hours ago, eroller said:

 

 

 

You and I seem to be at the same junction with NCL.  I never completely write off any cruise line as they always evolve.  But there  are better choices for me right now including MSC (among others).  As you said, that may change and then I'll look elsewhere.

 

I'm looking forward to the Leonardo Class and hoping they will appeal to me more than NCL's current playground of new ships.  I'm also very impressed with the refit details on NORWEGIAN SPIRIT.  It looks wonderful and very adult oriented.  Perhaps she will get me back to NCL prior to the Leonardo Class?   

Platinum Plus here feeling the same way.  Other cruise lines do big ships better.  Was interested in Spirit itineraries, but prices are way too high.  Still enjoy Jewel class ships  for the right itinerary at the right price.  Leonardo class sounds interesting, thinking the initial prices will be prohibitive.

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6 hours ago, hladygirl said:

FDR was really arrogant with his statement of raising prices and getting every buck he can get out of the customers. I also work in customer service and my clients would have found his blatant statements offensive. There is a way to raise prices without insulting the customer.

Yes there is clearly a better way to say things.  How about mentioning customers and upgrading their experience, etc.  

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19 hours ago, eroller said:

I know this is true of all cruise lines, but NCL and its leader FDR seem much more arrogant and blatant about it.  It's very off-putting to me.  Personally I feel NCL is already overpriced, but obviously people are willing to pay more since according to FDR they have the highest per diems in the industry.  Unfortunately no mention of trying to improve the customer experience to justify the higher per diems, just that they are willing to spend on marketing and deploy ships strategically to earn the highest yields.  

 

This quote in particular speaks volumes:  "It happens because we work every hour of every day, always looking for opportunities to raise prices across our three brands.”

 

Perhaps that line should become the new NCL brand slogan?  

 

 

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/21890-always-working-to-raise-prices.html

I like the way your first sentence starts, "I know this is TRUE of All cruise lines, but".    Your opinion about how NCL communicates its message and this thread is useless if all cruises line do the same.  

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16 hours ago, cruisingator2 said:


Rant?..LOL.....

 

What I read was someone sharing their opinion just like you share your opinion on here. Discussion can be a good thing. It’s fine if you disagree with what was posted but it did not deserve the comment that you made. Maybe pull back from the keyboard for a minute and think before posting. 

Gee I should pull back not you? Interesting 

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1 hour ago, jskinsd said:

I like the way your first sentence starts, "I know this is TRUE of All cruise lines, but".    Your opinion about how NCL communicates its message and this thread is useless if all cruises line do the same.  

First:  No one's opinion is "useless."  This is a site committed to sharing everyone's opinion whether you agree or disagree.  Most important is you missed the point of this thread.  FDR speaks as if no customer can hear him even though he may be talking to shareholders.  Usually CEO's talk about enhancing customer satisfaction while hinting at revenue increases.  FDR always comes out charging about raising prices over and over.  Its a fair discussion to have whether you think so or not.  FDR has been top of NCL for 5 years.   After 5 years its a bit tiring to hear the goal is to raise prices (again).

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16 hours ago, julig22 said:

I'm a stockholder - but NCL doesn't give dividends, so the only ongoing benefit to stockholders is the OBC credit they get when they book a cruise and therefore spend more money.  So those profits aren't always going to stockholders.  NCL stock is relatively stable, so once I have had my fill of cruising with NCL, I should be able to get my investment back and can figure the OBC I've gotten as interest - but no real share of the profits like I get with something like Disney.

We did recently take our profits from our stock and kept the original investment in place. Now that we are about finished cruising we are unsure what we will do. Our investment councilor seems to think, even without dividends it is a good stock to hold onto to. 

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The transcript of the call starts with this:



Good morning, and welcome to the Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings third-quarter 2019 earnings conference call.

 

The topic of the call is the earnings of the cruise line. Here's a quote from RCCL's earnings call (statement by Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CFO):



I give credit for that to our unbelievable operating teams who continue to perform well in differentiating our brands and raising our prices while controlling expenses.

 

Blatant talk about raising prices AND controlling expenses.

 

I know we are all shocked (SHOCKED!) that companies try to earn a profit! In protest, I am going to try and go broke to show them how it should be done.

 

 

 

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22 hours ago, cliffd64 said:

Another good thing about MSC is they allow you to transfer your status level from other lines....

True....I status batched from NCL Platinum to MSC Black.  Now, if you held my feet to the fire and made me remember what the MSC Black Status netted me, I'd be hard pressed.

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1 hour ago, fshagan said:

I know we are all shocked (SHOCKED!) that companies try to earn a profit! In protest, I am going to try and go broke to show them how it should be done.

 

 

 


OMG I am totally SHOCKED!  Thanks so much for pointing this out.  So helpful.  

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Thank you eroller for your excellent thread.

 

There is no business format better than capitalism - but the benefits to shareholders are usually at odds with the customer - in every industry.

 

* I concur that his public statements about raising revenue, to the exclusion of the customer, is not savvy in today's digital world. Arrogance is easy to spot - he must laugh at NCL customers multiple times a day

* It is not only NCL - Celebrity is likely the cruise line making the most deteriorating on board experience right now - with the significant harassment of guests to purchase packages together with significant price increases 

* NCL is working on not only NCL, the experience on NCL's Oceania is deteriorating as well - since their new menus Aug 2018, the food and service are visibly inferior to the past. Our friends just got off Insignia Sunday. Much deterioration with frozen tea sandwiches as an example. They have done 3 Oceania in a year, and they will not book again. We did 2 cruises with O and the deterioration was quite noticeable.

 

We have no cruises booked for the first time since 1989. The value of cruising is sinking fast with the rising prices and reduced product - to be expected in good economic times.

 

But, it was not always this way - from 1989 to 2015, the cruise lines I patronized provided a consistent product - albeit with a slight price increase each year. When you booked, you had confidence that you would get what you paid for and the same consistent product you had enjoyed in the past. During this time, the cruise lines were able to make a profit as well as construct multiple generations of new ships. 

 

Not now, the product cutting is ongoing, so we have 0 confidence in any cruise line that we will get what we paid for.

 

So no bookings.

 

Moved our travel $ to privately escorted and customized land vacations where the value is tremendous and the vacation experience so much more rewarding than any cruise we have taken.

 

In marketing there is an important saying - "The Obedient Consumer" - cruise consumers are very obedient these days and hence they can expect to continue to get treated with contempt. 

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Just now, PortFees45 said:

Nah the ultra-premium ones will be fine. 

Yes, cruise lines like Crystal, etc. will be fine, but as we noted on the last recession cruise lines like NCL, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, etc. had really low prices, you know the prices we all complained about when they were raised when the recession was gone, were all hit by the recession.

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I think we all understand capitalism but the comment from the CEO was arrogant.

Yes raise prices but give your customers something in return.

I never praised the low, low prices on cruises as you knew something would have to give (mainly poorer product and services ). 
My first cruise on NCL was in June this year and I chose it only because it was the only cruise fitting my schedule with a business conference.

I enjoyed it. So much so that I am on the Getaway next month.

But I haven’t ruled out going back to other cruise lines if I find the service or product is poor against the price I have paid.

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6 minutes ago, Deeliteful said:

I think we all understand capitalism but the comment from the CEO was arrogant.

Yes raise prices but give your customers something in return.

 

They could do that, but let's say they raise the price by $299, because they need to raise prices by $299 to offset the raise in the prices of products and services, then they give the customer a free bottle of their cheap sparkling wine as an offset to the price raise for the passenger.  All we would hear on here is how cheap they wine is and how cheap the cruise line is.  When my Safeway raises prices, they have never given me something in return and the same goes for every company I've ever done business with, including, but I would sure like if they did.

 

With a price raise from NCL what would you like to see them give passengers in return for the price raise?

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1 minute ago, NLH Arizona said:

With a price raise from NCL what would you like to see them give passengers in return for the price raise?

I expect better service and I don’t expect the product to be worse.

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