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Think twice before choosing NCL!

Discussion in 'Norwegian Cruise Lines' started by Kwilson51, Aug 22, 2004.

  1. Kwilson51

    Kwilson51 Guest

    My family and I just returned from an Alaskan cruise on the NCL Star. The sights were lovely, the ports interesting but that's about all the positive things I can say about our NCL cruise. This is our 15th cruise and believe it or not the 1st was on the NCL Norway in 1981. It was a wonderful cruise and since we have sailed many NCL ships.

    This was the first time however, we sailed a "freestyle" ship. And may I say never will again for MANY reasons. We were a party of 15 so trying to make a "reservation" each night for dinner together was very stressful and most difficult. Not even in the main dinning rooms were we able to set a time/tables for the week. So much for the "all inclusive" idea. Most of the restraunts had what I considered to be a very unreasonable fee for dinning in them, as much as $20.00 p/p, especially if you have a large family. It could add hundreds to your bill. Now lets talk gratuity or service charge or what ever you want to call it. We were charged from day one, a $10.00 p/p "fee" on our account. This was apparently to cover "gratuities" for dinning staff and room staff. But remember for most of the dinning rooms, there was already an additonal charge that was called a "gratuity". Most of our meals were eaten in the buffet as we had such a hard time getting reservations at the FREE dinning rooms. So where were my tips going?

    I asked and was told "it's a very complicated issue and we can't say exactly how the fee is distributed". Well now, I suggested (not so kindly) that they remove the fee from my account and that I would "tip" accordingly. After much discussion they obliged and we tiped our room staff, and servers in the dinning room as we did eat there twice.

    In our paper today there is a large artical on NCL making this "fee" policy on all there ships and it will be non-refundable. Just think, I would have had an additional bill of $150.00 per day X 7 = $1,050.00.

    Service is severly lacking and food has been on the decline as well. Maybe the staff are not providing the same service as before beacause they have no need to "impress" the passanger to ensure a large tip. We have always looked at the dinning experience as one of the best parts of our cruise....not this time and not again with NCL.

    Just a friendly warning, be sure you know what and how much your NCL cruise is really costing you!
  2. Kwilson51

    Kwilson51 Guest

    Sorry, computer went nuts. Only meant to post once!
  3. bandman

    bandman Guest

    Wow 15 is a big group. We had only 10 on our last cruise and we never had a problem all sitting together for dinner when we wanted. Most days everyone did their own thing and ate when and where they wanted. So how much did you tip for all 15 people in your party?
  4. bandman

    bandman Guest

    This message was posted 3 times. I guess I responded to the wrong one!
  5. Don Clark

    Don Clark Guest

    I was with a party of 12 on the Norwegian Spirit and we never had any difficulty getting a table at either of the two main restaurants whenever we showed up to eat! WHY BOTHER TO RESERVE? Freestyle cruising is the greatest!

    Only stuck up people reserve!
  6. I find it interesting when someone posts once, blasts a cruiseline over something that can not be controlled and never comes back. These are the reviews most of us pay little attention to.

  7. Gaijin

    Gaijin Guest

    Kwilson should have thought several times before he bought the computer that "went nuts".
  8. bicker

    bicker Guest

    I'm trying to figure out where he got the idea that that cruise was "all-inclusive". NCL's promotional materials say nothing of the sort AFAIK. Many online hit-and-run whinings seem to stem from unfounded expectations on behalf of the whiner.
  9. reblev

    reblev Guest

    I just got off of the Norweigian Crown to Bermuda, and had a great time. I loved the freestyle cruising, but I understand how it would be an issue with a large party. I knew that tipping was automatically charged, but I thought it was inclusive of the price I pre-paid - I did not realize there was going to be a $10pp/day charge added to my account at the end. So this for our 2 person party was an extra $140 I wasn't planning on. I would have to blame the online booker for not making this clearer than NCL. I have to say though, you get so much for your money on NCL that I didn't mind the $140, and I also tipped our steward individually, who cleaned our room 2-3 times a day every day.
  10. We went on the Star the 29th, week after you, the food was great, always ate in the Versailles except one night we ate in Le Bistro, we were only 2 people but many larger parties just called ahead and walked right in at time they called in for and sat with their friends all at one table and no waiting in line. I am sorry you think 10 dollars a day is not warranted,who do you thinks cleans your room,gets your shore excursions ready,cleans your decks,pools,hot tubs and other rooms. They deserve that and more. The staff was amazing, cannot see how one week later after you cruised it could have been so bad. Sorry but the Star was just that the STAR all the way!!!!!!
  11. GaryHF

    GaryHF Guest

    I find it strange that someone has gone on 15 cruises, many of them NCL, but they claim this was their first "freestyle" crukse. I thought NCL has been freestyle for quite a few years now (except the dear departed Norway, of course). Anyways, last year my whole family, totaling 14, went on the Dawn. The first evening, when we went to dinner (without reservations, by the way), we were seated immediately, albeit at two adjacent tables. The maitre'd apologized for having to do this, but he already had other large groups coming for the big tables. He said that if we had made reservations earlier in the day, he could have put us at one table. Needless to say, for the rest of the cruise, we made reservations each morning, and never had a problem being seated immediately. The other question I have for KWilson51 is his statement that the majority of the restaurants have cover charges. I think not! If I am correct, only 3 out of the 10 or so eating establishments have cover charges, and most of the "pay" restaurants are small, which may explain his problem with being seated as a group. Is it possible he went on a weeklong cruise and never found the main dining rooms???
  12. reblev

    reblev Guest

    korinalacount - I think you misunderstood me. I said I DIDN'T MIND the extra $10pp/day. I just said it was unclear to me that it was going to be charged before hand, I thought it was included in the initial price I paid. Again, I had a great time and I thought it was a terrific value, so even though there was a $140 charge I didn't anticipate, I didn't mind. Believe me, I am very appreciative of the staff and NCL overall and thought every penny of it was well deserved. I can't wait until the next trip with NCL - glad you had a great time too!
  13. Hey reblev,thats great to hear,hope you got some great pics we sure did,and glad you will be on ncl again,we are going on carnival for next cruise cause we wanted a repositioning cruise,gives you a longer cruise and longer time at sea,but next time we do Alaska we are going to try for the Star again. Korina
  14. P.S. reblev I was going back over posts and I was responding to kwilson at top no problems with what you said,guess you thought I was talking to you but it was from first post about do not sail NCL ever again post. Sorry for misunderstanding.
  15. reblev

    reblev Guest

    No problem! :) I'm trying to convince my whole family to go to Bermuda next year on NCL. I think I have everyone convinced... except for my mother! But I'm going to work on it.
  16. Joao

    Joao Guest

    The $10 service charge (gratuity) per day helps NCL spread the largesse more democratically. In the dining rooms or at the bar, you may tip your waiter and he/she (in theory) passes along some of that tip to the busboys. However, there are many people whose service is just as important -- in the buffet or at the poolside barBQ -- who aren't usually tipped. These and similar service personnel contribute directly to serving you, but we seldom think about tipping outside the standard dining-room & bar environment. With NCL's $10-per-day, this extremely modest gratuity is spread more equitably among a larger number of employees who attend to your needs -- some of whom you never come in direct contact with.
  17. AJ coast

    AJ coast Guest

    KWilson: which dining room on the Star had surcharges of up to $20? Isnt Le Bistro only $12.50? Sorry, just wondering because I'm planning to eat at Le Bistro on my next cruise.
  18. Perhaps Kwilson may have been exaggerating for dramatic effect.
    His post certainly suggests it.
    'Le Bistro' on the Star does not levy a supplementary charge of $20.
    I seem to recall a 'Le Bistro' surcharge of $15.... but haven't been on the Star in several weeks.
  19. KWilson disappeared as fast as he/she appeared. One posting, that was it; I guess we don't have to put much stock in what the review said. As for service charge, maybe that referred to ordering Surf and Turf, which I believe is a bit more than the standard $12.50 or $15.00. Service charge or whatever you want to call it on Celebrity is $30 and the meal consists of only 3 courses. You have your choice of Soup, Salad or Appitizer, entree and dessert. I have heard sometimes with the right wait person they will allow both appitizer and salad or soup. Let's face it, right now cruising is affordable to many families as the rates are still low so the lines will make up for this by charging extra to those of us who choose to splurge for the extra services. NMNita
  20. jam35

    jam35 Guest

    I cruised on the Star in August and I believe the steakhouse restaurant had a $20 pp surcharge. We didn't eat there and never spoke to anyone who did so I can't comment. I did post a review with details about our food experience if you are interested. Julie

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