The first mainstream cruise line all-inclusive price offer yields surprising benefits
Travel agents all already abuzz about Norwegian’s new All-Inclusive package that takes the line’s signature Freestyle Cruising to a new level. The cruise line will be the first to sell mainstream cruises with the same kinds of amenities that people on luxury cruise lines enjoy included in the price. Guests will receive top-shelf dining experiences at no extra cost; beverages from sodas to exotic cocktails included in the price of the cruise, complimentary Internet access and no extra gratuities or service charges added.
All together, the value of the included extras offered with this new plan come to an estimated $2400 value per stateroom (double occupancy). This is a first for any of the major, non-luxury cruise lines. The offer is available for a limited time only for all 2015 sailings fleetwide (which some restrictions noted below). The offer is only available to new reservations made from August 4, 2014 through August 29, 2014.
Why are travel agents excited about this deal? Reportedly, the offer appeals to a certain type of vacation consumer who otherwise might not be so interested in a contemporary cruise. Examples include people who gravitate towards all-inclusive land resorts such as Sandals. The idea also appeals to first time cruisers who are not as well acquainted with nuance pricing of cruise fares versus what is not included during the cruise that will be added t your bill later. But best of all for travel agents, the offer means the agents receives a full commission (from the cruise line) on cruise options for which they normally do not receive a commission such as gratuities, tours and drink sales.
Such all-inclusive pricing tends to appeal to people looking for simplicity in their vacation; people looking for relaxation and freedom from financial concerns during the vacation. When added amenities are pre-paid, it relieves a lot of ongoing vacation stress about accumulated costs on a daily basis. Studies also show it entices people to try new things they might have bypassed before due to cost concerns – certain tours, after dinner drinks or spending more time on the Internet.
Norwegian All Inclusive Details
Guests who take the All-inclusive offer receive a 10-percent discount from the real cruise fare. As an example, for seven-day cruise the $899 package includes the Ultimate Dining package; the Ultimate Beverage package; shore excursion credits of $200 per person, pre-paid daily service charges; a 250-minute Internet package per person; 20 photos of any size; chocolate-covered strawberries; a bottle of wine; one bingo session and six bottles of water. For cruises from three to five days, the shore excursion credit is $100 per person; and for sailings from 9-14 days, the package includes 12 bottles of water.
One will have to go to the Norwegian Cruise Line web site to see what each of those packages includes in detail, but it is a surprisingly comprehensive list of added perks; especially the photos and 250 minutes of Internet access per person – a very generous allotment of time online.
Norwegian’s Ultimate Dining package means each guest can dine in one of the onboard specialty restaurants every night of the cruise, including Cagney’s, the popular steakhouse; the French Le Bistro, the Italian restaurant, the Brazilian-styled steakhouse Moderno Churrascaria, the Asian-Fusion restaurant and more.
The Ultimate Beverage package allows guests to select from a variety of spirits, cocktails, draft beer, bottled beer and glasses of wine up that would normally cost $10 apiece. They also get unlimited fountain soda and fruit juices at all bars, lounges, restaurants on the ship and while on Norwegian’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay.
The All-Inclusive package, available for 2015 sailings from three to 14 days in length, is priced by the number of days. It is available for all stateroom categories, including the Haven by Norwegian – a private enclave of suites and private dining a drinking establishments reserved for a select group of people who book into the suite-only area of the ship.
“Based on the popularity of our Fly, Cruise and Stay vacations, along with our onboard dining and beverage packages, we are now offering the first All-Inclusive package for our guests who want to experience all that the freedom and flexibility of Freestyle Cruising has to offer,” said Kevin Sheehan, Norwegian Cruise Line’s chief executive officer. “Always an innovator, we are making it easy for those that want everything included in their cruise vacation with the option of our All-Inclusive package.”
The offer becomes available on August 4 and must be booked through August 29. For more information contact a travel professional or call Norwegian at 888-NCL-CRUISE (625-2784), or visit www.ncl.com.
Notes: the program includes all scheduled 2015 sailings from three to 14 days (excludes back to back sailings), but does not include Pride of America; and is not applicable to bookings made in Continental Europe or United Kingdom.