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Old July 20th, 2009, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Ladylouwho
Originally Posted by FL_Cruiser64
Originally Posted by Ladylouwho
Originally Posted by FL_Cruiser64
Originally Posted by Ladylouwho
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.

Hope you are not losing your RC designation now.
What? Where the heck did that come from? I have never been an RC, far from it. In fact as outspoken as I have been about all the RCI cuts, I have been accused more than once of being an RCI basher.

Strange that you would say such a thing. You were the one who always had the inside information about all the changes and cuts at RCI before they happened and posted them on CC. I always figured you were an RCI employee.
Then we both were mistaken. I could have sworn you were an RC.

If I'd been an employee at RCI there sure would be no RCs, no Oasis. .
Well I sure don't know where you got that idea from. I have been a bit of a thorn in RCI's side about the RC Program and got banned from CC twice for inquiring why CC seemed to protect the RC's. After the Diamond cuts I was very outspoken on CC as well as calling and emailing RCI regarding the cuts.

I have defended the Oasis some months ago in that I think it a little unfair to judge something before it even hits the water. But certainly everyone has a right to their opinion. People who don't like big ships probably won't like the Oasis. We booked Oasis last summer for summer of 2010 with two other families. We still plan on sailing her unless of course reviews come back that it is some sort of awful ship or something. I really can't imagine that happening.

My interpretation after sailing NCL after so many cruises on RCI was that RCI's recent changes seem to be based on the NCL model. More pay restaurants, larger ships, my time/freestyle dining, RCI's Why Not? theme/NCL's Whatever, Whenever theme. RCI seems to be more of a follower in this regard. And NCL has the new Epic which I guess would be on par with the Oasis?

Not sure where I got the idea from that you were an RC. But I do apologize for that unjust affiliation.

I am not sure why everybody is comparing the Epic or even the Dream with the Oasis. Neither ship was build to compete with the Oasis. They are not close in amenities neither in size.

The closest ships in size are the Voyager Class ships.

I recall an interview by M Arison about a year ago in which he was asked what Carnivals response to the Genesis Project was. His answers was that if they felt like building a ship the size of the Genesis Project they could but it is not their brand. They are happy with their current fleet and the addition of the Dream and Magic. They have no interest in competing with the Genesis Project.

My point with NCL though is: you can cruise as cheap as you want to. The whole NCL trash talk was "oh, they charge you everywhere extra". This is not so. You can have free dinner just as you can have on any other line. If you choose to pay extra, so be it. But to simply say that NCL is all about extra fees: that is just not true. The Epic will be very much the same.

Here is the big difference I saw between RCI and NCL:
RCI's food quality is declining in the regular main dining room - step by step. They kinda tell you: if you want better food, go pay extra.

NCL's free dining was superb. The menu was TWICE the size of any RCI cruise I have ever been on. When have you seen an RCI menu with 10 different entrees?

The other big difference was the superb service everywhere. RCI service was never bad but NCL topped that one - big time. BUT I will check NCL out if that was just a fluke or not.

Got two big group cruises coming up: post thanksgiving and spring break and then of course in between the Pearl.

we'll see if it was a fluke.
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