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Giantfan13

Is this the future of cruise lines??

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I mentioned this in another topic, but I wanted to get some other opinions on this. We have been cruising for about 8 years now, basically one a year. Our last cruise, last week on the POH I would rate as the worst of the lot, just as far as the 'cruising' experience went. My concern is the way NCL has lowered the standard in the public places, like the main dining room with simplified menu's, cheaper grades of some foods and not up to par service. They are basically driving many of the average cruisers to pay extra for specialty restaurants to get better food and better service. Does anyone see this as becoming a crusie industy standard, and the new wave of the future??. some one brought up in a thread I read today, how cruising years ago was so much different than today. Your meals were always gourmet type and there were more crew than passengers. Yes, things have evolved, but with NCLs new ships in Hawaii, and the differences they have made, will this become an industry standard, in a way, making us pay more for what we have always become accustom to?? Airlines make you pay for food, why not the cruise lines, if you want better food and better service??

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I agree with you, but consider this. Yesterday I was looking at a 1995 issue of Cruise Travel and the prices for cruises on the big lines were the same as they are today. Ten years later. Yes, I wish things were as nice now as they used to be, but in todays dollars, we are paying far less than we did ten years ago. You can still find the service that you are looking for, it just will not be for $1000.00 a week.

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You really don't go on a Hawaiian Cruise for the cruise experience. It's basically a floating hotel that allows you to see a lot during the week. IMO I think I read that over 90% of the US population has never been on a cruise, so the industry has a hugh untapped client base who will consider what they get on a cruise ship now to be normal and gourmet, since they don't have any other experience. Let's just hope they all don't do what a British Line called Easy Cruise does, you pay extra to have your room cleaned during the week and you pay for all meals, and from what I hear business is great.

 

Take care,

Michael

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Yes, I wish things were as nice now as they used to be, but in todays dollars, we are paying far less than we did ten years ago. You can still find the service that you are looking for, it just will not be for $1000.00 a week.

 

I think that Gary hit the nail on the head. If you took the prices from years ago, when things were different, and adjusted for today's dollars, and then looked at the prices for the premium cruise lines like Crystal, Silver Sea, and Windstar, I suspect that they'd be pretty close.

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:( I do believe that NCL often does not live up to the expectations of customers that have cruised with other lines. Against the advise of my TA, we took our first NCL cruise last May on the Dawn out of NY. I was excited about the convenience that the NY port offered us because we like to avoid flying at all costs. For the first time , we were disappointed in the overall cruise experience. We did not like the fact that we had to make reservations at the specialty restaurants to get a meal comparable to the meals that are served in the dining rooms of the other lines that we have sailed on (RCCL, Princess, Carnival) and IMHO,the food choices in the buffet did not fare much better than hospital cafeteria food.

 

Also, there were more unruly kids on that cruise than I have ever experienced before.

 

Have you tried some other cruise lines? Each cruise line has it's "goods and bads" - maybe it is time for a change. ;)

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how cruising years ago was so much different than today. Your meals were always gourmet type and there were more crew than passengers. Yes, things have evolved, but with NCLs new ships in Hawaii, and the differences they have made, will this become an industry standard, in a way, making us pay more for what we have always become accustom to??
The big difference here is cruise prices are no where near what they used to be. You can get 4 cruises for what you used to pay for one. That's the difference. Cruising used to be a high end vacation that only a limited amount of people could experience. By lowering prices and making more things ala' carte you open cruising up to more people but you also let those that are willing to pay for better quality, pay for it. Of course, with that you get all different types of people. The cruise lines have found a way to sell more cruises to more people. You're not paying more for what you've become accustomed to. You're paying a ton less and you have the option to pay a little extra for what you're accustomed to; still no more than what you used to pay.

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:( I do believe that NCL often does not live up to the expectations of customers that have cruised with other lines. Against the advise of my TA, we took our first NCL cruise last May on the Dawn out of NY. I was excited about the convenience that the NY port offered us because we like to avoid flying at all costs. For the first time , we were disappointed in the overall cruise experience. We did not like the fact that we had to make reservations at the specialty restaurants to get a meal comparable to the meals that are served in the dining rooms of the other lines that we have sailed on (RCCL, Princess, Carnival) and IMHO,the food choices in the buffet did not fare much better than hospital cafeteria food.

 

Also, there were more unruly kids on that cruise than I have ever experienced before.

 

Have you tried some other cruise lines? Each cruise line has it's "goods and bads" - maybe it is time for a change. ;)

I know this sounds like flaming and it may be, but I have to respond: If your meal in a specialty restaurant (which one was it) wasn't any better than what you got in the dining room, either you hit really bad night or the food in the main dining rooms must have been very satisfactory. To compare the food in the buffet to hospital food, well you must visit a different type of hospital than I do; of course I don't know how many of us eat in the hospital cafeterias? Actually even in Belen, the hospital dining room isn't at the top of our list as a place to visit in the near future. Food is subjective, but the worst we have ever had was on RCI, twice, BTW>

 

More unrulely kids? how many times have you cruised and what time of the year? The worst and most spoiled obnocious (spelling) kids we ever saw were on Celebrity. Your TAs advise may have been stuck in the back of your mind; this can happen and you looked for the bad more than the good.

 

As for asking if someone has tried other lines? Most of those who post here are veteran cruisers who have cruised on many lines. Is NCL for everyone? Certainly not, but your overall view is really negative. I am sorry you had such a bad experience. As for kids, maybe you need to find a line that has few if any children. Kids are kids. I don't know when you cruised, but it sounds like it was during summer break. We have done NYC tours during summer break and seen some pretty misbehaved kids, this doesn't keep us from visiting the city. One more thing, what does unrulely kids have to do with NCL? Are they expected to interview families before allowing them to book a reservation?

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While I agree that the prices of cruises have dropped into very affordable levels in recent years, it just seemed to me that it was an industry way of 'squeezing' a few extra bucks out of people. The point I was trying to make was "is this becoming the norm' for crusie lines or just an isolated instance by NCL?. Yes, I agree, they want to appeal to a much larger range of people and by giving people good deals, they can do that. For the most part, cruise prices have been pretty stabile in the past 2,3, 4 years, yet the service on some ships seems to have deteriorated as well as the menu. Does anyone see that agenda on other ships, or is this just an Hawaiian thing.

Again, the whole point I was trying to make is that I hope it is NOT a trend of the future, while I do see it as becoming one.

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[quote name=stepmor99We did not like the fact that we had to make reservations at the specialty restaurants to get a meal comparable to the meals that are served in the dining rooms of the other lines that we have sailed on (RCCL' date=' Princess, Carnival) and IMHO,the food choices in the buffet did not fare much better than hospital cafeteria food.

 

Have you tried some other cruise lines? Each cruise line has it's "goods and bads" - maybe it is time for a change. ;)[/quote]

We've tried Celebrity and HAL and the suggestion that dining room food on other cruise lines is better than NCL's is, in our view, simply nonsense.

 

Giantfan13 appears to have some kind of obsession to post this theme every thirty minutes or so on one thread or another, and it really has become tiresome.

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Sorry you find my posts so tiring, I wasn't looking to be negative, just to strike up some good conversation about cruising. Why don't you just skip over them if they bother you so much.

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Here's something a lot of you can't seem to grasp. All, and I mean all, of the major cruise lines have gone into cost cutting mode to hold the prices down. One of the first things they've hit is the food budget. You can go from cruise line board to cruise line board and read people's posts that say the food I had on this line, whichever it is, was not as good as the food I had on my other lines.

 

You just can not compare what you've had this year on one cruise line compared to what you had last year on another cruise line. Both have changed. I was just on RCCL a couple months ago. The food was good but not as good as my last NCL cruise. But when I'm on the NCL Sun in December, I don't expect it to be as good as what I had on NCL last year.

 

So if you are comparing what you had on NCL this year to another cruise line last year, you will find when you go back that it is not as good as you remember.

 

And the sad thing is, if the cruise line would just charge us $10 per week per passenger extra, they could have the same food budget as before. I'd give them $20 if they would do it.

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This isn't much different from Vegas. Used to get delicious prime rib for $1.99. Not any more!

 

Maybe some people just have higher expectations and feel compelled to complain when those expectations aren't met. Food is not the be all end all of a cruise! So let's just get over it.

 

Granted this is a critic forum, but enough about food already. As far as NCL wanted to entice folks into the specialty restaurants, there is nothing wrong with wanting to increase profits. If the food is bad maybe I won't gain any weight and that is a good thing!

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I only started cruising 2 years ago.

5 times on NCL in those 2 years so I can't compare NCL to other lines.

 

That being said...for many years we have vacationed in 5* hotels.

 

When we compared the prices we paid on land vacations to NCL prices (after our 1st cruise), the difference was overwhelming.

 

NCL won..hands down!

Not only price wise but quality wise.

 

Food...very subjective but...I buy all of the best cuts of meat from a butcher and cook w/all fresh vegetables and I did not find the food on NCL any different from 5* hotels or NY's best restaurants.

 

I did find on our last cruise that the portions were smaller. However, on my first crusie I was shocked to see the amount of food that passengers wasted!!! With a smaller portion, you can always ask for another and another and another.

 

Staff...from the waiters, room stewards, casino staff, butllers, concierge, CD's, HD's, Captains, and the CEO of NCL, we have NEVER received such consistently friendly, cooperative, efficient personnel.

 

It is the only vacation that I leave wishing I did not have to say good-bye to such wonderful, dedicated people.

 

As for the kids, mine are grown BUT I was on the Dawn in May '05 and the kids were adorable. The staff paraded them through the ship each day with a different theme. Pirates, etc. Just perfect.

 

Cecilia already explained the pricing very well.

Newmix made her good points...as usual.

 

I think we all find our "niche" in life at some point.

I found mine with NCL and I'm sticking with it:)

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While I agree that the prices of cruises have dropped into very affordable levels in recent years, it just seemed to me that it was an industry way of 'squeezing' a few extra bucks out of people. The point I was trying to make was "is this becoming the norm' for crusie lines or just an isolated instance by NCL?. Yes, I agree, they want to appeal to a much larger range of people and by giving people good deals, they can do that. For the most part, cruise prices have been pretty stabile in the past 2,3, 4 years, yet the service on some ships seems to have deteriorated as well as the menu. Does anyone see that agenda on other ships, or is this just an Hawaiian thing.

Again, the whole point I was trying to make is that I hope it is NOT a trend of the future, while I do see it as becoming one.

 

Didn't you just book another NCL cruise?????:confused:

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Again, the whole point I was trying to make is that I hope it is NOT a trend of the future, while I do see it as becoming one.

 

It is not a trend of the future. It is the present. Once you adjust it is not bad. As Host Cecilia pointed out it is all still there just not baked in the rock bottom fares. On the new ships you can eat in a specialty restaurant every night you just need to expect it and budget for it.

 

 

What are we taking about ? A max of an extra $100 to have access to huge menu of great food and service. With fares unchanged in 10 years that $100 is a total bargain.

 

Some folks refuse to embrace change. Expect what is now available as an extra to still be in the base fare. They moved the cheese. Put on your sneakers.

 

Once you find the new cheese it is in fact in my view even better. Instead of waiting for the one night they served a real lobster or a beef fillet I can eat that way every night. Based on how I feel any day I can eat where, when, and what I want for a lousy extra $15 a day.

 

The first cruise I paid for was over $2000 for and outside 25 years ago. I earn five times as much today and can book an outside for less. How does that work for the cruise lines ??

 

Those that don't take advantage of the extras out of spite are missing the boat. Those that don't due to budget can still get on a ship and not be forced to pay the fares we all would have to if it was not for the onboard revenues.

 

You can fight change or embrace change either way things are still going to change.

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Here's something a lot of you can't seem to grasp. All, and I mean all, of the major cruise lines have gone into cost cutting mode to hold the prices down. One of the first things they've hit is the food budget. You can go from cruise line board to cruise line board and read people's posts that say the food I had on this line, whichever it is, was not as good as the food I had on my other lines.

 

You just can not compare what you've had this year on one cruise line compared to what you had last year on another cruise line. Both have changed. I was just on RCCL a couple months ago. The food was good but not as good as my last NCL cruise. But when I'm on the NCL Sun in December, I don't expect it to be as good as what I had on NCL last year.

 

So if you are comparing what you had on NCL this year to another cruise line last year, you will find when you go back that it is not as good as you remember.

 

And the sad thing is, if the cruise line would just charge us $10 per week per passenger extra, they could have the same food budget as before. I'd give them $20 if they would do it.

No, some just can't understand, no matter how many times it is repeated: cruiselines are cutting back and they are adding extra charges for many items. This isn't just NCL: HALs specialty dining room just raised their prices to $30 per person. some say it is an experience worth 3 times that much, others say, it isn't one bit better than the main dining rooms. We will find out in November.

 

One other reason for the food comparison: do we all forget, after a few times dining in a certain restaurant, visiting a certain hotel or resoret, cruising a few times, the glamour wears off. Maybe the food has deteriorated and it has, but not as much as we think. As usual Retired, I am pretty much in agreement with you.

 

7Seas, you too are right: Vegas, great food, cheap, 10 years ago: Vegas, great food, out of my price range in many cases, today!!! We have to learn to adjust: for us adjusting to the Vegas scene is head for Laughlin, adjusting to the cruise scene isn't as easy. NMNita

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Retired Not Expired,

 

As usual your point is right on the money.

 

However, I must point out that your mathematics is a bit remiss. $10 per passenger per week works out to 50 cents a meal. If you can make gourmet meals for 50 cents extra, please come and help me when I shop at Kroger.

 

Actually, I appreciate the toned down meals. Our next two cruises are 10 days (NCL in Hawaii) and 14 days (Sea Princess) and, with my nearly non-existent will-power, thank goodness for smaller portions and less exciting menus.

 

Bill (at 180 lbs and wishing he were 160)

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Retired Not Expired,

 

As usual your point is right on the money.

 

However, I must point out that your mathematics is a bit remiss. $10 per passenger per week works out to 50 cents a meal. If you can make gourmet meals for 50 cents extra, please come and help me when I shop at Kroger.

 

Actually, I appreciate the toned down meals. Our next two cruises are 10 days (NCL in Hawaii) and 14 days (Sea Princess) and, with my nearly non-existent will-power, thank goodness for smaller portions and less exciting menus.

 

Bill (at 180 lbs and wishing he were 160)

 

First, I have never considered the meals on the ships in the main dining rooms to be gourmet. Most times they were very good but you really can't get gourmet when doing that volume.

 

I can't remember where I saw the figures but NCL cut the food budget just a few cents over $1 per person per day. The amount they are spending is about what I budgeted 30 years ago per day per boy when I would take a scout troup to summer camp. I believe they are doing a great job to get what we get on that budget. I don't know how they do it.

 

Anyway, that's where I got the $10 per week per passenger.

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Having come to cruising late in life, we can tell you that for us, it is one of the last super bargains available.

 

After RVs, Motels, Hotels, Tenting, etc., Cruising wins hands down on the $$ matter. Plus the wonderful convenience, pampering, carefree atmosphere just can't be beat!

 

When taking into consideration the initial cost of an RV, insurance, upkeep, fuel cost, etc. - this one looses big time. We have RVed for years but this year we probably have made our last long trip. $$$$$$ Yikes, and double yikes!:eek:

 

Hotels and Motels are terrifically expensive if you still expect any quality at all - Way over $100 per night (less than most cruise lines pre your chosen extras) for only a bed to sleep in, and perhaps a carafe of coffee.

 

Comparatively speaking, even if the quality or quantity of food is less than experienced cruisers have become accustomed to, cruising is still a huge bargain in todays economy.

 

Thankfully, we don't have to worry about this comparison. We are perfectly happy with the service and quality of product. We did not find any unsavory food on the cruise line at all. We can't say the same of upscale and midscale restaurants any longer - they have taken a tumble big time in our opinion.

 

Happy to say, that now that we have cruised, it will be our preferred mode of vacationing.

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While I agree that the prices of cruises have dropped into very affordable levels in recent years, it just seemed to me that it was an industry way of 'squeezing' a few extra bucks out of people. The point I was trying to make was "is this becoming the norm' for crusie lines or just an isolated instance by NCL?. Yes, I agree, they want to appeal to a much larger range of people and by giving people good deals, they can do that. For the most part, cruise prices have been pretty stabile in the past 2,3, 4 years, yet the service on some ships seems to have deteriorated as well as the menu. Does anyone see that agenda on other ships, or is this just an Hawaiian thing.

Again, the whole point I was trying to make is that I hope it is NOT a trend of the future, while I do see it as becoming one.

 

I understood your point and for the life of me I don't get why some people have to nit pick at other people's post as if the posters have no right to make observations and discuss them. Why make someone uncomfortable about posting? :rolleyes:

Your point is well taken, and I believe you are right about what you are seeing. Quality and service is slowly disappearing. As others have pointed out...it probably is a trend that is perhaps unavoidable. I suppose if things have to change due to cost I'd rather be able to still afford to cruise and deal with the lower quality. This way I have a choice of raising the quality if I can afford to pay for the extas...(speciality restaurants and butler service.)

I know what you mean but I think life has forced us to make compromises where cost is concerned. That 50 cent loaf of bread we use to buy years ago either had to change to $2.50 over time or it had to shrink to 3 slices per loaf. LOL! ;)

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I pretty much agree with everyone else. My first cruise 21 years ago cost me £100 per day and I've always budgeted for that. One differance today is that I get a balcony cabin for my money instead of an inside cabin.

20 years ago cruising was beyond the reach of many and looked upon as a once in a lifetime holiday.

How much would a cruise cost today if we took 20 years worth of inflation into account.

 

So in reality the fares have come down a lot. So you can't expect the same.

 

It does seem a bit off-putting to find you have to pay extra for some restaurants, but like I say, "you can't expect the same"

 

I'm sure this is the way the industry will go, as many cruise lines are now incorporating pay restaurants.

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I can't remember where I saw the figures but NCL cut the food budget just a few cents over $1 per person per day. The amount they are spending is about what I budgeted 30 years ago per day per boy when I would take a scout troup to summer camp. I believe they are doing a great job to get what we get on that budget. I don't know how they do it.

 

Anyway, that's where I got the $10 per week per passenger.

 

There was a post that claimed NCL had cut the food budget by $1 to $8.25 per person per day. Not sure that is correct but that is what was posted.

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I believe another thing many don’t take into consideration is the cost of cruising verses other types of vacations. Shoreguy has touched on this many times. When comparing cost today to years ago with inflation, you are basically paying for a one or two “star” cruise. You are getting around a three “star” cruise. And then you have people upset because they are not getting a five “star” cruise.

 

A basic ocean view on NCLA will run $1200-1500 for seven days. I’ve spent several times in Hawaii without cruising. Here’s what I’ve spent and these are about three star. Rooms, hopefully with an ocean view, $125 per person per day based on double, meals of similar quality of a cruise a minimum of $100 per person per day, two shows during the week $100-150 per person, flights to see three other island $600 (Not counting any tours as I pay extra for that on the ship too). Add that up and it will come to $2275 per person for the seven days, no extras thrown in. Which is the better bargain?

 

I also don’t understand people who book a cheaper cabin than they really want and then get upset when they don’t get a free upgrade. I guess I should start getting upset when I go to my local steak house, order a top sirloin, and they don’t give me a free upgrade to a porterhouse.

 

Normally I would say you get what you paid for but it is my belief cruising is possibly the only vacation where you get more than you pay for. Even the nickel and diming doesn’t bring it up to it’s worth compared to other ways of vacation.

 

Off my soap box. But dang, that felt good.

 

And Shoreguy, I do remember that post but I believe I saw it somewhere else also. I just can’t remember where.

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I mentioned this in another topic, but I wanted to get some other opinions on this. We have been cruising for about 8 years now, basically one a year. Our last cruise, last week on the POH I would rate as the worst of the lot, just as far as the 'cruising' experience went. My concern is the way NCL has lowered the standard in the public places, like the main dining room with simplified menu's, cheaper grades of some foods and not up to par service. They are basically driving many of the average cruisers to pay extra for specialty restaurants to get better food and better service. Does anyone see this as becoming a crusie industy standard, and the new wave of the future??. some one brought up in a thread I read today, how cruising years ago was so much different than today. Your meals were always gourmet type and there were more crew than passengers. Yes, things have evolved, but with NCLs new ships in Hawaii, and the differences they have made, will this become an industry standard, in a way, making us pay more for what we have always become accustom to?? Airlines make you pay for food, why not the cruise lines, if you want better food and better service??

Years ago I also paid less for gasoline for my car and didn't ever pump my own gas, check the oil or clean the windows. Someone did all that for me and I didn't even have to tip them! (see Steven Spielburg's Back To The Future)Welcome to the 21st century! :p There is one big difference several others pointed out already, prices on cruse lines have NOT gone up but the fuel prices to run those ships definitely have! If a person really wants a ratio of 2 crew members per person to pamper them and set dinning according to class like on the Titanic they can still have it on Queen Mary2 which is also making a trip to Hawaii. However expect to pay for what you get!:eek:

I'm not going to say any one is right or wrong about how they experienced a cruise since I haven't been on one yet; we are going at the end of October for our Honeymoon. I will however point out that the majority of people on this board have given mostly positive reviews of POH in the last 3 months! I tend to really wonder about the negative reviews that say the buffet was awful with very little food while others say the food was excellent and a lot of it when they were all on the same ship at the same time or just a few weeks apart.

I know you didn't say the cruse was lousy and you were careful to point out that the itinerary was not part of your review. I didn't notice where you said it but someone else pointed out you are already set to go on another NCL cruse. There must be someting you like about it or you wouldn't keep doing it.:rolleyes:

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A basic ocean view on NCLA will run $1200-1500 for seven days. I’ve spent several times in Hawaii without cruising. Here’s what I’ve spent and these are about three star. Rooms, hopefully with an ocean view, $125 per person per day based on double, meals of similar quality of a cruise a minimum of $100 per person per day, two shows during the week $100-150 per person, flights to see three other island $600 (Not counting any tours as I pay extra for that on the ship too). Add that up and it will come to $2275 per person for the seven days, no extras thrown in. Which is the better bargain?

We are paying $1576 for two on a Majesty cruise to Bermuda leaving in eight days, and will get a $50 on-board credit. $548 of that $1576 goes to port charges, government taxes, and fees, not to NCL. So, NCL, for less than $1000 total, will transport two of us from Boston to Bermuda and back, put us up for seven nights and make up our highest-category oceanview cabin for us twice each day, feed us a total of 42 meals plus all the ice cream, pizza, scones, iced tea, chocolate goodies, burgers, fries, etc., etc., we can eat, and entertain us each night with a show in the main theatre. Pretty remarkable, I'd say.

 

Yet there are some who complain here loudly that they have to go to an extra-charge restaurant and pay $15 apiece or they won't be able to eat filet mignon. First off, where does it say you have to eat filet mignon in order to have a nice cruise and get your money's worth in a vacation? Secondly, add the $30 (for two) to the fare NCL actually gets and it brings the total to $1008. Still truly amazing value--and not something to whine about.

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