We recently sailed the NCL Jade out of Southampton for a 5 nighter to Ireland. We had canceled our Mariner of the Seas Cruise in May after RCI was giving us the runaround (lying to us, really) about promised OBC from the Swine flu change of itinerary (long story).
Anyway, coming on the heels of the RC Viral Marketing fiasco, and the kick in the heads to its Diamond Members and the loss of combining earned benefits, we had had it up to here with RCI.
So guess what? We had a great time. All the NCL bashing is crap. No more nickle and dimming than RCI. We ate at Cagney's and it is as good or better than Chops for the same surcharge.
Most of the passengers were British, with Americans few and far between. We stopped in Dublin and Cork and had two sea days.
RCI is slipping in quality and service. NCL was fine, and treated us well.
When we booked the Jade, basically last minute, they said if you pay with American Express rather than the card I planned on using they would give us $100 OBC. So of course I did.
As a Diamond Member on RCI, they are cutting my benefits. As a brand spanking new customer of NCL they gave us $100 OBC.
I have a cruise on RCI's Liberty of the Seas coming up soon and have the Oasis booked for 2010. Both were booked a year ago. I will have no problem booking NCL in the future. They get a bad rap. They are not worse than RCI, they are just a little different.
With the way RCI is treating their Loyal "guests", NCL is a nice respite.