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Old December 19th, 2007, 02:55 AM
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Default No Lobster on NCL

We just returned last week from a 9 night cruise on NCL's PEARL. The ship is really quite beautiful. The pictures on their website makes it look gaudy but in person the colors do go well and not as loud as I thought it was going to be. The So. Caribbean was beautiful and we had great weather. It did rain for about an hour in Barbados but cleared up nicely. But back to the subject. For the Captain's dinner we were all expecting Lobster like we've had on all other cruises but it wasn't offered. When my brother-in-law asked when would be the Lobster night, our waiter told us that NCL has done away with Lobster night. You can purchase it in Cagney's (steakhouse) but it is no longer offered in their dinning rooms. The special dinner for the Captain's dinner was a seafood plate with a bite of lobster on it. And that's all it was a "bite". The Chocolate buffet was another joke, set up in the buffet. I thought it was set up like this because we had a problem with the Norovirus on the ship. (six out of our group of 12 came down with it) But since I return home and was reading some of the reviews from other dates, someone mention the chocolate buffet was held in the buffet. Nothing fancy, just slices of chocolate cakes and some fruit. It sure seems like NCL is cutting corners.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 03:48 AM
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Here is an old post on this site relative to food budgets.

http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/vie...ight=food+army

Notice where NCL is listed (this is six or seven year old data). I wonder what NCL's budget is today.

Here is the original rec.cruises thread:

http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=e...et%26rnum%3D26
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Old December 19th, 2007, 04:54 AM
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Default NCL does serve lobster (at least on the SUN they did in Oct)

On our Panama Canal cruise on the NCL Sun in October they DID SERVE lobster. Also the Chocolate Buffet was held in one of the traditional dining rooms.

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Old December 19th, 2007, 05:14 AM
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There is plenty of crayfish, (Lobster) tails in my freezer at this mo.
Who needs a cruise to taste Lobster anyway??

ME!!!
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Old December 19th, 2007, 07:02 AM
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We had lobster in January on DAWN and the Chocolait thing was in the main dinning room. Both are nice but both I can live with out at the same time. The lobster in the dinning room is OK, but it wont be very noticed if I dont have it and the Chocolait buffet, well, I never liked that much, the line ups are long and people dig in like they never saw foad in their life. if we do go this time round it will only be for the benifit of the others with us who have never been before.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 07:16 AM
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Just think of lobster as a giant seagoing cockroach and you will never miss it.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 09:39 AM
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Doesn't it look terrible! Opps I got some drool on the keyboard.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 11:40 AM
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I love lobster, but the stuff served aboard ship over the last 15 years or so is hardly worthy of the name. Like Lombard says, they seem to serve mostly overgrown crayfish anyway, and they're usually either soggy or dry, and virtually devoid of any flavor. I'm convinced that many people who say they love lobster really just love butter. For them the seafood is just the "carrier." Others want lobster on cruises because they know that real, fresh lobster is expensive, and they like to think they're getting their money's worth.

It's sort of the same with people who order shrimp cocktail every night. There's nothing wrong with shrimp cocktail, but let's face it: anybody (even me) can boil up some shrimp and throw them in a cup with cocktail sauce. Hardly demonstrates any effort or innovation from the kitchen. But again, I think some people feel that shrimp are expensive, and that by ordering them all the time they're really getting value for their cruise dollar.

When we want real lobster we buy them live and steam them up. A bottle of decent champagne and we're in business. On lobster nights on ships I look at people's plates on the way into the dining room, which usually leads me to order something else (often to the great shock of the waiter).

To me, eliminating them from cruise menus is no big deal in itself, although it's probably a pretty good clue that costs are being cut to the bone. (Wait a minute, do lobsters have bones?)
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Old December 19th, 2007, 11:47 AM
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I'm not a lobster eater at all, so often don't pay attention. On our recent Celebrity cruise they said (I believe) they were serving Maine Lobster.

But I do know effective Jan. 1/08 RCI is taking lobster off of their dining room menus.

As AR has pointed out, some of the cruise lines are cutting back where they can. The Hotel Managers onboard have talked about the budget cuts they face.

Whether the cruise lines can get away with it, or be forced to "cave" will remain to be seen. Some lines tried to eliminate lobster before, and were forced, by demand, to put it back on the menu.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 11:57 AM
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My concern is not entirely to do with the Lobster ( I do love it) but with the overall food. If they start by cutting the lobster and no one complains what else will they cut. This seems like a ploy by NCL to get more people into the specialty restuarants. In the end what will happen? All free dining rooms are removed and only the specialty restuarants with a fee will remain. This is a slippery slope.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady
All free dining rooms are removed and only the specialty restuarants with a fee will remain. This is a slippery slope.
I think you've hit the real problem on the nose, although I don't think they'll remove the free dining rooms, because they'll always want to market the cruises as including meals. But the "free" meals may well evolve into peanut butter sandwiches and gruel.

Of course, all this has to be balanced against what we all know: cruising is still a ridiculously cheap way to vacation when compared to most other options. It's been so relatively cheap for so long that most of us consider "cruise values" to be a birthright. It may be that the chickens are coming home to roost as the cost of fuel, food, security, new ships and all the rest start to seriously erode bottom lines.

In a day when many cruisers think of five-year-old ships as "old," when oil is pushing $100 a barrel, and when the expectation of superior food is as great as ever, it stands to reason that cost cutting will be the order of the day. And, the days of $100pp/day (or less) fares may well be coming to an end.

Do you reckon that they're building ships that hold 5000 passengers because their research shows that people are clamoring to sail with 4999 of their nearest and dearest friends, or because they've done a careful analysis of the economies of scale? My bet is on the latter.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 01:06 PM
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I remember pre 9/11 most mass market lines charged $1300 and up for a standard balcony cabin on a 7 day cruise.

Following 9/11 priced dropped dramatically due to the conditions created combined with the boom in new ship contstruction. Today those same cabins can be found for under $1000.

That extra 3 of 4 HUNDRED dollars per person paid for a lot! So some cuts make mathematical sense.

The problem is as prices rise (as they are already on some lines) the cruise lines might believe the customers have adjusted to and accepted the cruise experience that the lowered budgets created, and they could simply try to add the extra income to their bottom line.

We have to hope the higher per diems will result in an increase in product and services, but certainly do have to keep an eye on the situation.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki
...........The Hotel Managers onboard have talked about the budget cuts they face....................
Kuki, a good, dear friend of ours is a Hotel Director on one of the cruiseships belonging to the Carnival group of companies. Last time we crusied with him we were talking about groups, cruisers and ethnic backgrounds of cruisers and you'd be surprised the details they get into knowing which/what kind group or cruisers and their ethnic background will consume/eat what?!?!? And yes, the impression I got was that the Hotel Director's first concern when it comes to affecting any particular sailing's bottom line IS THE AMOUNT OF FOOD CONSUMED ON THAT CRUISE!
I thought that made for a somewhat interesting if not curious topic for conversation but with all the comments lately on the various boards, I can see it all come together now.

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Old December 19th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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The size of the lobster on the surf n turf in Cagneys was an insult. The size of your finger.
There was a 1 1/2 pound lobster on the menu but I never saw it.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 04:08 PM
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NO LOBSTER!?!?!? To this born and raised New England, daughter of a Maine born and raised Mother that is criminal.

Laura
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Old December 19th, 2007, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AR
Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady
All free dining rooms are removed and only the specialty restuarants with a fee will remain. This is a slippery slope.
I think you've hit the real problem on the nose, although I don't think they'll remove the free dining rooms, because they'll always want to market the cruises as including meals. But the "free" meals may well evolve into peanut butter sandwiches and gruel.

Of course, all this has to be balanced against what we all know: cruising is still a ridiculously cheap way to vacation when compared to most other options. It's been so relatively cheap for so long that most of us consider "cruise values" to be a birthright. It may be that the chickens are coming home to roost as the cost of fuel, food, security, new ships and all the rest start to seriously erode bottom lines.

In a day when many cruisers think of five-year-old ships as "old," when oil is pushing $100 a barrel, and when the expectation of superior food is as great as ever, it stands to reason that cost cutting will be the order of the day. And, the days of $100pp/day (or less) fares may well be coming to an end.

Do you reckon that they're building ships that hold 5000 passengers because their research shows that people are clamoring to sail with 4999 of their nearest and dearest friends, or because they've done a careful analysis of the economies of scale? My bet is on the latter.
All very well put. I think the days of having our cake and eating it to with cruising may be coming to an end soon. If you look for specials and are flexible, you can find 4 (sometimes even 5) day cruises for 300 dollars or less. There is no way they are going to keep feeding, entertaining and pampering us with things like free room service and our rooms cleaned twice a day for that. Sounds like midnight buffets on RCI are coming to an end soon and I really don't think that's any tragedy. The food is a huge draw but the one area where the cruise lines have overdone it for decades and it will be interesting to see how they cut back on it and still get people to keep coming back to THEIR cruise line.

Other ways I have a gut feeling they will be cutting is...Free round the clock pizza, free dining room service for breakfast and lunch both ( I think they'll encourage people to eat in the buffet or pay extra to have breakfast & lunch in the dining room). I also think they will go to 1 room cleaning a day unless you request a second one ( again possibly with an additional fee attached). All these areas allow them to cut down not only on food but personnel as well.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 04:51 PM
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Default THIS SHOULD PUT AN END TO ALL THE SPECULATION!!!!!!!!!!

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Old December 19th, 2007, 04:57 PM
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Old December 19th, 2007, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Delfthuis
We had lobster in January on DAWN and the Chocolait thing was in the main dinning room. Both are nice but both I can live with out at the same time. The lobster in the dinning room is OK, but it wont be very noticed if I dont have it and the Chocolait buffet, well, I never liked that much, the line ups are long and people dig in like they never saw foad in their life. if we do go this time round it will only be for the benifit of the others with us who have never been before.
I agree-it is no big deal. Now my hubby may feel differently about the lobster-but I feel there is much more to a cruise then food.

I do know that NCL is like the least popular cruiseline on all these messegeboards which is why I have never tried them- but we
want to go back to Bermuda and going there from Charleston, SC we find very appealing-no flight with shuttle to the airport, going through secruity etc. this past fall we debarked the Celebrity Constellation in NJ and flew home form Newark by the time we did all that- it took us 7 hours from the time we debarked ship until we stepped in our front door of our home.

So much simplier for us to just drive home in 5 hours-let alone the cost of airfare. So we will be booking a NCL cruise and if the food isn't great-we will just eat off ship the 3 nights we are in Bermuda. The destination will be worth it!
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Old December 19th, 2007, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady
My concern is not entirely to do with the Lobster ( I do love it) but with the overall food. If they start by cutting the lobster and no one complains what else will they cut. This seems like a ploy by NCL to get more people into the specialty restuarants. In the end what will happen? All free dining rooms are removed and only the specialty restuarants with a fee will remain. This is a slippery slope.
I noticed a dramatic drop in food quality the last time I cruised RCI back in 2005, previously my last cruise with them was in 2001-although the food in the specialty restuarants was great-on that cruise-the dining room food was just so-so.

It also seems the lines are relaxing their dresscode suggestions. I do believe they realize they can only ask that people dress a certain way for fine dining. If they do not provide fine dinning then they cannot ask that.

And most people seem to prefer not having to dress for dinner-they seem to be okay with exchanging the quality of food for being able to wear their jeans to dinner.

As to what Kuki said, this is how I feel-I don't mind the lower food quality so much when I did not pay alot for my cruise, I can always eat in the specality resturant a couple of nights-but if I am paying top dollar-then I DO want better food. I expect to get what I pay for. if I don't then the cruiseline will lose my business and I will choose to cruise line that does give me better food.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 06:36 PM
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The link the Captain posted... to today's announcement from NCL is VERY germain to this conversation.... and also should get us to remember that most of the time the stuff the waiters, etc. tell us about what's happening on a cruise line is rarely true. They are simply not kept in the loop.

At any rate, the jest of today's announcement is a new spending itiniative from NCL... increasing their ship's food budgets, and promising lobster availibility in the main dining room at least twice a voyage, and with alternate restaurants, available EVERY night of the cruise.

That, and the other announcements in the initative make me believe what I stated after our cruise on the Jewel in the spring. NCL is quickly turning into the most imaginative and innovative cruise line in the industry.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 06:56 PM
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From that release it really does look like they're going for the gusto. The thing to do now is to keep an eye on their fares. We've only been on one NCL cruise, a short one, and thought it was just OK. But this was about five years ago.

Certainly seems a major turnaround for them.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AR
From that release it really does look like they're going for the gusto. The thing to do now is to keep an eye on their fares. We've only been on one NCL cruise, a short one, and thought it was just OK. But this was about five years ago.

Certainly seems a major turnaround for them.
AR... I had several opportunities over the years to cruise NCL, and I avoided them until I was invited to a 2 day onboard inaugural cruise of the Pride of Hawaii two years ago. I was so impressed with the direction they said they were headed shortly after that I sailed the Dawn. Enjoyed that so had to try out the updated design of the Jewel.

NCL has been very aggressive with new builds, and now has the youngest fleet in the industry. So, they addressed the "hardware". Now, teaming up with their new partners, Apollo, it seems they have set out to address the "soft goods" and service which even more directly affect the passengers.

I think it's very exciting, and now we'll see how long it takes for the remainder of the mass market lines to realize they have to get in the chase.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 07:26 PM
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I'm not a lobster eater myself, but I don't see the reasoning behind cutting back on food items when the paying customers demand that type of food stuffs. Talk about removing your nose to spite your own face.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momofmeg
[
I agree-it is no big deal. Now my hubby may feel differently about the lobster-but I feel there is much more to a cruise then food.

I do know that NCL is like the least popular cruiseline on all these messegeboards which is why I have never tried them- but we
want to go back to Bermuda and going there from Charleston, SC we find very appealing-no flight with shuttle to the airport, going through secruity etc. this past fall we debarked the Celebrity Constellation in NJ and flew home form Newark by the time we did all that- it took us 7 hours from the time we debarked ship until we stepped in our front door of our home.

So much simplier for us to just drive home in 5 hours-let alone the cost of airfare. So we will be booking a NCL cruise and if the food isn't great-we will just eat off ship the 3 nights we are in Bermuda. The destination will be worth it!
I never thought it would be, but we love NCL. Its just been the best fit for us. I have mentioned many times before why and so I will not again. I will say it often amazes me how much time is spent reviewing foad. Also how a cruise is "ruined" because some food was not liked. I remember reading once some one wrote that the food was not good enough to give to a dog so they HAD to eat in a specialty every night, but if you ate in a specialty every night, how can you know the food is so bad?

I like food, dont get me wrong, and I am a picky eater, I do admit to that, and so when Sam hears me say I like their food over all, he knows he is on a ship with good food as I am down right picky. I dont get or expect food to always be perfect when I go out to dinner at home, the only differance is when I am on a cruise and I hate something I can send it back and not pay for it........seems like a win win for me.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 09:35 PM
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I love NCL,,,,have cruised with them several times. As you can see from my signature and have a future one coming up in March on NCL.
I have to agree with Kuki,,,and feel they are the up and coming cruise line.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki
The link the Captain posted... to today's announcement from NCL is VERY germain to this conversation.... and also should get us to remember that most of the time the stuff the waiters, etc. tell us about what's happening on a cruise line is rarely true. They are simply not kept in the loop.

At any rate, the jest of today's announcement is a new spending itiniative from NCL... increasing their ship's food budgets, and promising lobster availibility in the main dining room at least twice a voyage, and with alternate restaurants, available EVERY night of the cruise.

That, and the other announcements in the initative make me believe what I stated after our cruise on the Jewel in the spring. NCL is quickly turning into the most imaginative and innovative cruise line in the industry.

Sounds good to me but even if there is no lobster I would not mind-as long as goo quality food was offered. I know RCI had a lobster formal night but the food for the week in the main dinningroom was so-so at best.

Give me good food and I don't mind if there is no lobster. but who cares if you have lobster ONE night if the food all week is terrrible or so-so at best. Lobster is just one meal.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 09:14 AM
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Again, just serving "lobster" the size I received on NCL will not make a difference.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 09:43 AM
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I have not cruised NCL. So my comments are general I'm not a picky eater. So if the food is not good it affects my cruise experience. Three things that matter to me when I cruise are food, activities, and ports. someone else may be different. That's the nice thing about cruising there is something for everyone. If food is great on NCL I will have to try it out.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 09:50 AM
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Kat, I am truly a picky eater, legitamately so, if it doesnt agree with me, with the meds I take, I will spend the night upchucking, and truly it has been fine on NCL. What I dont like, which is rare, I send back, one time I ordered something with shrimp, well had to look hard to find the buggers, So I asked for a side dish and got enough for a week!
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