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mikegw2

The market reality behind Encore’s design

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10 hours ago, mianmike said:

My point is NCL keeps removing more and more free areas and services, to the point where it's getting harder and harder to avoid the fees and still enjoy a variety of non-pay options.  Limiting your non-pay choices is way to push people into pay services and areas.   

My issue with this position is that there is NO "free" stuff and "fee" stuff on NCL.  You are paying for it ALL.  You pay for the main dining room.  You pay for the lodging.  You pay for all the things you are telling yourself are "free".  They are just INCLUDED in the fare.  The more things that are not included NOW that USED to be included are what they call "options."  And before you tell me NCL is raising prices and taking away "included" stuff, I will tell you that the prices were going to go up anyway.  It's how the market & the world works.  Stuff costs more every day.  However, what you can't know is if the increased cruise prices would actually have increased EVEN MORE if they kept everything "included".  I think they would have.

 

To make it simple, say NCL had a choice between raising the price of XX cruise by $600 over last year, and kept everything "included" OR they raising the base price $400, but unbundled some of the services and features so that I could CHOOSE which ones I wanted to "add-on."  I'd much rather have the options and so would most customers.  So, keeping base prices as low as they can while making more features "optional" attracts MORE customers.  Which is how NCL will REALLY make money.  By increasing their customer base and making it up in volume.

 

The whole nickel & dime argument comes from people who don't understand business (and forget that the main dining room isn't free either LOL)

Edited by pcakes122

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44 minutes ago, pcakes122 said:

My issue with this position is that there is NO "free" stuff and "fee" stuff on NCL.  You are paying for it ALL.  You pay for the main dining room.  You pay for the lodging.  You pay for all the things you are telling yourself are "free".  They are just INCLUDED in the fare.  The more things that are not included NOW that USED to be included are what they call "options."  And before you tell me NCL is raising prices and taking away "included" stuff, I will tell you that the prices were going to go up anyway.  It's how the market & the world works.  Stuff costs more every day.  However, what you can't know is if the increased cruise prices would actually have increased EVEN MORE if they kept everything "included".  I think they would have.

 

To make it simple, say NCL had a choice between raising the price of XX cruise by $600 over last year, and kept everything "included" OR they raising the base price $400, but unbundled some of the services and features so that I could CHOOSE which ones I wanted to "add-on."  I'd much rather have the options and so would most customers.  So, keeping base prices as low as they can while making more features "optional" attracts MORE customers.  Which is how NCL will REALLY make money.  By increasing their customer base and making it up in volume.

 

The whole nickel & dime argument comes from people who don't understand business (and forget that the main dining room isn't free either LOL)

 

Of course you pay for everything, I thought that was universally understood.   Sorry for not spelling that out.  Most every hospitality based business has gone to some sort of fee based business model.  This is not some complex business management concept.  Obviously you pay for everything one way or another.  lol

 

As for the colloquial term "nickle and dime", look at the daily service charge.  Technically you have a choice to have the DSC removed, but you are charged whether you want it or not.  It's another arbitrary fee.  I say arbitrary because they keep raising the fee faster than inflation.  But everyone is charged the DSC fee.  No option here. They are doing what most every tourist based business is doing, keeping the base fare low and tacking on other fees to make up the difference.    

 

During investor conference calls they spend a good portion of these calls speaking to these fees and their profit margins.  They speak to customer value perception.  Obviously they don't use the term nickle and dime.  Their business model is add ancillary and increased fees to passengers such that the customer really doesn't grasp the total cost of the cruise and they perceive value.   

 

We are debating terminology semantics.  I disagree 100% with your assertion that anyone who uses the term nickle and dime doesn't understand business.  The nickle and diming is a term used to describe adding fees for many services.  It's colloquial, not a technical term.  The term by itself does not denote a negative connotation or a positive connotation.  You may not like the term being used to describe these fees, which some fees you have a choice and some you don't, but it's a term widely used and easily understood to describe these ever increasing fees.  

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9 hours ago, mkmaj said:

Every ship. Adult only deck space.

 

Really? I'm going on the Pearl in April. So I know in advance, where exactly will I find the free adult only deck space that you speak of?

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9 minutes ago, SeaShark said:

 

Really? I'm going on the Pearl in April. So I know in advance, where exactly will I find the free adult only deck space that you speak of?

Adult zones on Pearl in November 2018 were listed as Deck 14 Forward and Aft, Always Open. There was no charge for this area. Just check the dailies under guest services in case it has changed.

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5 hours ago, mianmike said:

We are debating terminology semantics.  I disagree 100% with your assertion that anyone who uses the term nickle and dime doesn't understand business.  The nickle and diming is a term used to describe adding fees for many services.  It's colloquial, not a technical term.  The term by itself does not denote a negative connotation or a positive connotation.  You may not like the term being used to describe these fees, which some fees you have a choice and some you don't, but it's a term widely used and easily understood to describe these ever increasing fees.  .030.

I get what you are saying, but I still think "nickel & diming" - as used on this board - is just perspective.  I, for one, was extremely happy when my telecom provider stopped charging me for channels I don't watch or need and started allowing me to "build my own" package.  I love options and hate having to pay higher prices to cover services and amenities I do not want or use.  So, if that's nickel & diming, I'm a fan!

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41 minutes ago, blcruising said:

Adult zones on Pearl in November 2018 were listed as Deck 14 Forward and Aft, Always Open. There was no charge for this area. Just check the dailies under guest services in case it has changed.

 

Sorry, but the question was rhetorical...I really don't need to ask as I was on the Pearl twice last month.

 

BTW...there is no Deck 14 aft. The Great Outdoors is Deck 12 aft and there is nothing above that.

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11 minutes ago, SeaShark said:

 

Sorry, but the question was rhetorical...I really don't need to ask as I was on the Pearl twice last month.

 

BTW...there is no Deck 14 aft. The Great Outdoors is Deck 12 aft and there is nothing above that.

Oh, no need to apologize. Hey, I tried emailing you but I don't know how.  I got a msg from mods about one of yesterday's post that was in my poor taste. Just wanted to send a quick note apologizing for that. Hope you have a great day and enjoy your upcoming Pearl cruise!!

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52 minutes ago, blcruising said:

Oh, no need to apologize. Hey, I tried emailing you but I don't know how.  I got a msg from mods about one of yesterday's post that was in my poor taste. Just wanted to send a quick note apologizing for that. Hope you have a great day and enjoy your upcoming Pearl cruise!!

 

No worries. CC can be informative, but there is still a considerable amount of Internet chit-chat here. I don't put a lot of stock in it. If half of what people said here was accurate, most of us would never step foot on ship again. I appreciate the lively discussion. but I take nothing personally.

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3 hours ago, SeaShark said:

 

Really? I'm going on the Pearl in April. So I know in advance, where exactly will I find the free adult only deck space that you speak of?

 

I am not one of the nickel and dime whiners. I know how to make a ship work for me and have yet to spend an extra dime onboard. I love NCL and keep going back. However, the lack of adult space (and resulting overcrowding elsewhere as mentioned by another poster) will keep me from booking that ship. We sail out of one port. If that's (Encore) the only option I will have to choose another line unless the price is exceptionally lower to where booking spa and/or vibe results in the same bottom line as what RC has going on.

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13 hours ago, SeaShark said:

 

Try it this way...tell me the ship where something is free and you have to pay for that same thing on Encore.

Do you read other posts? I wrote what has escape in the cruise price and encore not. 
compare it to the anthem of the seas. The bumper cars are inclusive and you can use that space for many others activities too. 
 

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4 minutes ago, Steff79 said:

Do you read other posts? I wrote what has escape in the cruise price and encore not. 
compare it to the anthem of the seas. The bumper cars are inclusive and you can use that space for many others activities too. 
 

 

I think you're not reading other posts...too much of what is said derails the point you are trying to conjure. You also seem to not understand the difference between similar and exact...things don't have to be 100% exact for a comparison to be valid.

 

Your cruise gives you a room, a steward to service that room, meals in the MDR, meals in the buffet, nightly entertainment, and a variety of onboard activities...all without any additional charge. (Of course, there are additional options available for a charge...you can buy everything, some things, or nothing...all your choice).

 

The point is that even on the Encore you still get all the included stuff for free. Period. The only thing they might have is additional optional choices, however that doesn't change the fact that you still get the same free things you get with any other cruise.

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On 1/30/2020 at 7:28 AM, bkrickles1 said:

I just got off Encore 1/26 and for 7 days we never even walked over to the go-karts, laser tag or VR as we had no interest.

In fact, except for taxes in port for drinks, shore excursions and dsc, we had no extra expense charged to our account.

We were not nickle and dimed at all. 

We enjoyed the incredible amount and quality of "free" entertainment that was available everywhere on this very beautiful ship.

There wasn't enough time in the evening to get to it all, but we tried. Lmao!

The Encore is a mega ship in the truest sense of the word. If you are confused about what you want out of a cruise or are unprepared for the twists and turns of a modern mega ship, it could be highly frustrating.

Totally agree. We did purchase Vibe and found it to be worthy of the extra fee. A quieter area to enjoy the outdoors and Caribbean sun. We didn't spend extra on photos. We tried Go Karts, Laser Tag and Escape Room. Not a major charge. Given all the cruise ships out there, people have choices where they want to cruise. Each ship offers something different. Do your homework before booking. Decide what you want out of your cruise. I have taken 14 on all sorts of ships and enjoyed EVERY one. Find an itinerary, price and ship that works for you. Know before you go what things are included in the fare and what is extra. It will make your cruise a much better experience.

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1 hour ago, SeaShark said:

The point is that even on the Encore you still get all the included stuff for free. Period. The only thing they might have is additional optional choices, however that doesn't change the fact that you still get the same free things you get with any other cruise.

 

Included not free ;).  But I'm sure that is what you meant.

 

A I believe @mianmike explained fairly well, a lot of folks debating semantics of a colloquial term.  The fact is some people view what NCL does as a great way of giving them a choice to spend on only those extras they want, others see it as an inconvenience to worry about many additional expenses once onboard.

 

Tying things back to business strategy, it is obvious that NCL views additional fee services as a good way to generate additional revenue.  FDR and company have said at previous investor calls building the top line is the top priority, and adding more and more revenue generating extras onboard is a major component of that effort.  That is obviously a move that will upset the all-inclusive crowd, but it seems that, for now, not many people are voting against it with their cash.

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29 minutes ago, AL3XCruise said:

 

Included not free ;).  But I'm sure that is what you meant.

 

A I believe @mianmike explained fairly well, a lot of folks debating semantics of a colloquial term.  The fact is some people view what NCL does as a great way of giving them a choice to spend on only those extras they want, others see it as an inconvenience to worry about many additional expenses once onboard.

 

Tying things back to business strategy, it is obvious that NCL views additional fee services as a good way to generate additional revenue.  FDR and company have said at previous investor calls building the top line is the top priority, and adding more and more revenue generating extras onboard is a major component of that effort.  That is obviously a move that will upset the all-inclusive crowd, but it seems that, for now, not many people are voting against it with their cash.

 

 

Adding more options isn't the issue...it is the folks trying to claim that free (included if the semantics makes you happy) items are being converted to fee items is the issue.

 

Bottom line here is that, in many cases, the term "nickel and dime" is simply something expressed by those whose wants exceed their budget.

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On 1/30/2020 at 11:01 AM, tx121 said:

 

If you consider inflation, $799 was worth a lot more in 1988 than today. If you go on several websites that provides an inflation calculator,  most prices come out to this amount below, give or take.

$799 in 1988 equals $1,739.47 in 2019.

So back then you didn't feel nickle and dimed because the cost was already included in your cruise fare since you were paying a lot already upfront. The food quality in the MDR back then was the same as what you get in the specialty restaurants now, the drink package didn't exist because it was all inclusive with the cruise. 

On a side note, I kind of chuckled when I saw Carnival Holiday. Imagine with the inflation rate if you asked someone to pay $1700+per person (balcony) for a Carnival cruise today? lol! There are a lot more options and ships to choose from now which is why the prices have to be attractive and competitive. 

Yes you will probably end up spending this much on the cruise anyway with all the extras, but that's how marketing tricks us in to thinking we are getting a good deal when in fact, you are still spending as much as when things were inclusive if YOU choose to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Inflation or not, the price hasn’t increased much.   Most things usually increase in cost  over thirty years.  My first car cost $3,000 brand new off the lot thirty years ago. Nobody could buy a new car today for $3000.  College tuition was $15,000 thirty years ago, today lucky if it cost $35,000.  My point is, my cruise cost $799 thirty years ago and a cruise today is not much more than that.  

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16 minutes ago, ksmcdonald said:


 

Inflation or not, the price hasn’t increased much.   Most things usually increase in cost  over thirty years.  My first car cost $3,000 brand new off the lot thirty years ago. Nobody could buy a new car today for $3000.  College tuition was $15,000 thirty years ago, today lucky if it cost $35,000.  My point is, my cruise cost $799 thirty years ago and a cruise today is not much more than that.  

You are correct with the increase in price of tuitions, cars, home etc. My point is the price of the cruise back in 1988 was $799 which is equivalent to $1700+ today. The difference is back then, like you said cruises were more of a inclusive experience. The reason why the prices are still $799 today is because the cruise lines are basing their profits on onboard spending with all the optionals. Now NCL can sell you a cabin for $1700+ per person (inflation) today and make it inclusive, but they know that would not attract many customers because that is a hefty price. Virgin Voyages is doing the whole all inclusive deal (gratuities, specialty dining,etc)with prices starting from $1700 for a 5 night cruise. NCL is trying to make the same amount of money but having you spend more onboard to get to that price point of $1700 or more.

Edited by tx121

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53 minutes ago, tx121 said:

You are correct with the increase in price of tuitions, cars, home etc. My point is the price of the cruise back in 1988 was $799 which is equivalent to $1700+ today. The difference is back then, like you said cruises were more of a inclusive experience. The reason why the prices are still $799 today is because the cruise lines are basing their profits on onboard spending with all the optionals. Now NCL can sell you a cabin for $1700+ per person (inflation) today and make it inclusive, but they know that would not attract many customers because that is a hefty price. Virgin Voyages is doing the whole all inclusive deal (gratuities, specialty dining,etc)with prices starting from $1700 for a 5 night cruise. NCL is trying to make the same amount of money but having you spend more onboard to get to that price point of $1700 or more.


 

I think we are on the same page here!  My original post said cruise prices were kept lower in hopes of the cruise line making money on all the other onboard experiences. It is your choice if you only want to spend $799 on your cruise, buying no extras on board.  That’s actually a great deal.  But these same people can’t  complain and say they are nickel and diming people with all the extras that cost money. They don’t have to buy the extras. Some people want the options.  Virgin Voyages sounds appealing to me. I might just look into that line.  

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48 minutes ago, ksmcdonald said:


 

I think we are on the same page here!  My original post said cruise prices were kept lower in hopes of the cruise line making money on all the other onboard experiences. It is your choice if you only want to spend $799 on your cruise, buying no extras on board.  That’s actually a great deal.  But these same people can’t  complain and say they are nickel and diming people with all the extras that cost money. They don’t have to buy the extras. Some people want the options.  Virgin Voyages sounds appealing to me. I might just look into that line.  

Lol. Yes we are on the same page 👍

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19 hours ago, pcakes122 said:

My issue with this position is that there is NO "free" stuff and "fee" stuff on NCL.  You are paying for it ALL.  You pay for the main dining room.  You pay for the lodging.  You pay for all the things you are telling yourself are "free".  They are just INCLUDED in the fare.  The more things that are not included NOW that USED to be included are what they call "options."  And before you tell me NCL is raising prices and taking away "included" stuff, I will tell you that the prices were going to go up anyway.  It's how the market & the world works.  Stuff costs more every day.  However, what you can't know is if the increased cruise prices would actually have increased EVEN MORE if they kept everything "included".  I think they would have.

 

To make it simple, say NCL had a choice between raising the price of XX cruise by $600 over last year, and kept everything "included" OR they raising the base price $400, but unbundled some of the services and features so that I could CHOOSE which ones I wanted to "add-on."  I'd much rather have the options and so would most customers.  So, keeping base prices as low as they can while making more features "optional" attracts MORE customers.  Which is how NCL will REALLY make money.  By increasing their customer base and making it up in volume.

 

The whole nickel & dime argument comes from people who don't understand business (and forget that the main dining room isn't free either LOL)

We have been cruising for decades and there has always been fee stuff. Along with free stuff.
 

We date back to when you had to pay to rent hard wooden loungers on deck and tip the pool attendant to open it up for you. What would you say if you were charged for the use of a lounger today?  
 

And back several decades, there was for-fee specialty dining,,, where you were expected to be in formal attire. And if you didn’t own formal attire, you were expected to rent it on the ship and pay to have it tailored if it didn’t fit.

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