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Old February 4th, 2008, 11:58 AM
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Default Pros/Cons of Cruising on Norwegian

Just recently talked to someone who was very negative about Norwegian and the "freestyle" cruising. They mentioned something about not being able to make purchases on the ship because they would not give Norwegian their credit card #?? - which made no sense - and then they stated that when they tipped cash to the room steward, waiters, etc. those folks were like they had just been handed gold - any ideas??
Thanks for enlightening me!!
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Old February 4th, 2008, 12:19 PM
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All cruise ships are set to be a "cashless society" onboard, except in the casino. Noweigan is no different.

You set up a shipboard account when you board; either with a credit card or cash deposit to cover the purchases onboard, from drinks to store purchases, to tips.

Tipping is automatically added to your shipboard acct. If "your friend" tipped the staff in cash, without removing the automatic tip at guest relations, he was tipping the staff extra in cash.... which is probably why they were so excited.
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Old February 4th, 2008, 01:41 PM
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Momma,
we have crusied NCL numerous times, it is a great cruiseline.
As Kuki said, all cruiselines, NCL included, operate on a cashless system.
You keycard acts as your charge card to anything you wanna buy on the ship.
On NCL, the auto tips/gratuities are called a "service charge", tipping over and above this service charge is totally at the passengers' discretion.
Although we prefer traditonal dining, NCL's freestyle dining does have its advantages, the big one being that you can go and have dinner at any time (within reason and sometimes oyu mayhave a short wait) in the evening. The downside is that you are served by diffeent servers each evening, so you have not much of an opportunity to establish a rapport with your servers. Mind you, on our last cruise, which was nearly 3 weeks on the NCL Sun, my wife and myself got real excellent service from this server on the 2nd night of the cruise and we asked the Maitre d' if we could possibly be seated with the same server each evening. Sure enough, the Maitre d' said yes and we were served by Mario the entire 3 weeks. We did sit at different tables and different restaurants on many of the nights, depending which restaurant he was in and sometimes we had to wait maybe a max of 15 minutes until one of Mario's tables became available. Kudos to NCL for still offering this option as the Maitre d' did tell us that even thiough they do not encourage /advertise it, you can still request to be served by the same server, provided you do understand the restrictions.
Now if you are considering NCLA, which is the American arm of NCL, the line that does the Hawaiian cruises, well, I really should say,"Think again"
and just leave it at that.


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Old February 5th, 2008, 08:30 AM
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NCL is a really good cruise line, IMO. The lovely Mrs. Jones (Vita) and I have cruised this line many, many times, and always enjoy the experience. Having said that, there is a bit of a difference when it comes to dining, with the "free style" seating, but once again, that's just a matter of preference. Many folks like it much better. To reiterate, I wouldn't hesitate for a heartbeat to cruise NCL, as it's an excellent cruise line.

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Old February 5th, 2008, 08:59 AM
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Captain and Skymaster - thank you both for your posts regarding NCL.
I appreciate your input, that's what i was really looking for and now understand why my friends were disappointed - not having the same servers and sometimes having to wait - neither are very patient people!!
Other than not having the same servers and possibly having to wait at dinner, are there other areas that differ from say Carnival or RCC? Again, thanks for your input.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bahamamomma
Captain and Skymaster - thank you both for your posts regarding NCL.
I appreciate your input, that's what i was really looking for and now understand why my friends were disappointed - not having the same servers and sometimes having to wait - neither are very patient people!!
Other than not having the same servers and possibly having to wait at dinner, are there other areas that differ from say Carnival or RCC? Again, thanks for your input.
Not that amount to anything. The activities, the food, the entertainment, the cabins, and the crew are very nearly the same in my opinion. Of course they sail to many of the same ports as RCI and Carnival as well. I can't remember if they have a private island or not, but if they do, it will be very much like the others as well. I don't think you'll go wrong with an NCL cruise, or with RCI or Carnival for that matter.

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Old February 7th, 2008, 09:48 AM
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Thanks Skymaster - I'm leaving Sat for my 3rd cruise on Carnival, have done 2 on RCC. My aunt is looking at NCL for Jan of 09 and I wanted to get some ideas about NCL. I'll try anything once, so I guess NCL will be a go for me in 09. As I've said before CruiseMates is awesome - everyone is so friendly and helpful - the difference between this cruise community and the other is like night and day!!!!
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Old February 8th, 2008, 06:02 PM
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If you take the Hawaiian cruise there are no casinos. That's a big negative for me anyway. But it's a big positive on the wallet.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 09:13 PM
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My cousin and I sailed the NCL Sun in March 06 and we were on Carnival in 03. We really liked the freestyle dining. On our first cruise we did enjoy having the same waiters but did not like sitting with the same people every night. On NCL some nights we ate early and caught the early show but other nights we wanted to see the sun set and watch us leaving port so freestyle was nice so we could do both! We also enjoyed the freedom of sitting with different people every night or just by ourselves on the nights we weren't as sociable after a major excursion day. We rarely waited long for a table and some nights we ended up with the same dinner companions just because we choose the same dining room/side and time of night. I do feel the service experience was a bit different because your waiters weren't always the same and their tip wasn't dependent on you individually. Yes tipping extra may have been a good idea for extra service but when you're already tipping that's not easy. We're cruising again in June with Carnival and I believe we'll miss freestyle dining. On another note we seemed to fit with the NCL guests a bit better than the Carnival group. Not sure if that was just luck but we didn't fit in as well with the Carnival younger crowd and NCL seemed to have more mature couples.
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Old February 14th, 2008, 11:55 AM
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I would take one person's opinion with a grain of salt, unless it's an opinion you highly value. When choosing my first cruise, and hence, cruiseline, I read A LOT of reader reviews. You will ALWAYS find at least a few negative reviews. I was only leary if I read many negetive reviews about a particular ship. For choosing your cruiseline you wish to use, I say take a few things into consideration: where you are going, price, and ship. Some cruiselines are better for certain locations/itineraries. If money is an issue, obviously you have to take price into consideration, especially if you want a bigger room or a balcony. Like I said, I read reviews about individual ships to see if I might like the ship itself. Good luck choosing!
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Old February 14th, 2008, 11:27 PM
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There have been way too many stories of NCL folks holding luggage that they think has booze in it and sniffing water bottle of folks getting back on ship after a day in port etc. That’s really over the top for me and I will not sail with the booze Nazi’s. I won’t be treated like that. I believe I have a right to discretionary consumption in my temporary domicile (aka cabin) just like any other vacation accommodation. I refuse to be shook down by the folks who are supposed to be providing me with an enjoyable vacation.

That may seem petty to some but it’s my $0.02.

R
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Old February 15th, 2008, 02:51 PM
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Makes you wanna go Hmmm.
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Old February 16th, 2008, 01:06 PM
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We did NCL a few months ago, for the first time since they went freestyle. No booze nazi's in sight. At least no more so than any of the cruise lines. All of them make a lot of money from bar sales, which is why they do that.
And at least NCL has a mini honor bar in the cabins ( or ours anyway..I didn't check out ALL the cabins! ).
NCL was actually the first cruise line to get a private island, Great Stirrup Cay. I was excited to go to it again, but weather forced the captain to skip it and go to Nassua instead. Oh well, another time.
I was not too keen on the free style dining. I like having regular table mates and wait staff both. And, I thought the restaraunts that charged weren't worth the money, and most of them did charge. But, food in main dining room was so good that I didn't care.
Loved their production shows.
So, overall, we had a good time, would do it again, for the right price, but still prefer others.
Marty
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Old February 26th, 2008, 04:21 PM
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Ive taken 21 cruises and 5 have been on NCL, They're very close in offerings, so enjoy yourself.
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Old February 27th, 2008, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell in MD
There have been way too many stories of NCL folks holding luggage that they think has booze in it and sniffing water bottle of folks getting back on ship after a day in port etc. That’s really over the top for me and I will not sail with the booze Nazi’s. I won’t be treated like that. I believe I have a right to discretionary consumption in my temporary domicile (aka cabin) just like any other vacation accommodation. I refuse to be shook down by the folks who are supposed to be providing me with an enjoyable vacation.

That may seem petty to some but it’s my $0.02.

R
From NCL's site

What can't I bring onboard?

Passenger is not allowed to bring on board the vessel without the previous written permission of the Carrier any intoxicating liquors, or beverages


NCL let's you know up front the booze brought on board is a no-no. You can order booze for your room. Anyone with suspicious bottle are directed to a room, on the ship, where the staff will open your luggage with you present. They will confiscate the booze until the end of the cruise.

I've loved all my NCL cruises and look forward to 3 more in the next year. I will also order bar set-up and enjoy my beverage with the cruiselines knowledge.
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