About 10 years ago we put NCL on our "naughty " list. It was when they first started the premium dining. We were constantly bombarded ( during dinner even ) with announcments telling what we were missing if we did not go premium. They also tried to make the husbands feel like idiototic cheapskates for not taking their wives there.
There was also a charge for ice cream outside of the dining room. A charge for room service. This has never happened to us on Princess, HAL, Celiberty or RCI.
Otherwise the trips we made with them were fun. Except the time they had so few people abord that they canceled some 3 shows. If second seating wanted to see them we had to leave after the appetizer.
This was before I learned that I should complain to the correct people. After 32 cruises I've only had to complain once on another line since and believe me, everyone who was on that tour was waiting in line with the same complaints.
We are on our first NCL cruise 11/17. E-mail me on/after 12/1 at email@example.com or see my posts here as we are adding on days post cruise. We are on the Dream and it only has one premium resturant which we probably will do 1/2 nites. From reading these boars since our booking in July, I am unsure regarding the ice cream but Princess also charges for this outside the dine room. I do not believe there is a chrge for room service other than the tip. However, we have never done room service on any of our 7 previous cruises so this is not a biggie to me. Be aware however, tipping is now charged to all sail and sign cards at $10 aperson/day.
REgina, I don't know why you had so much trouble with the specialized dining on NCL? We have cruised them 5 times, 4 before freestyle and never had them push the Le Bistro which is all they used to have. We had one bad experience with them while dining in Le Bistro. The waitress was a bit upset cause we ordered only a glass of wine each and not a bottle. other than that we have never had problems. Of course they push the dirnks poolside. I expect that and just say no thanks. Same with the shows. We usually order a drink, but no more. Cruising is as cheap if not cheaper than 20 years ago. The lines have ships we only dreamed of when we first started cruising. Somehow they have to make a buck here and there.
Guess we have to expect to learn the word NO or add a few $$ to our budget.
Cruise lines have to make a profit somewhere. My first cruise back in 1969 was $1000 for 2 with air for 7 days. I also earned $5000/year then. For my 11/17 cruise is 9 days , in same cabin level and with air is is $1600 for 2 and I earn a good deal more the % increase these days (thanks to a higher diety).
Regina, I am sure such an experience would not be fun, however, most of the lines are adding some form of alternative dining. In fact my understanding is one line is charging $25.00. We were on the NCL Sea when it was still the Seaward about 6 years ago I guess. That was our first experience and we only knew about Le Bistro from reading a cruise review book that recommended trying it. I am sure there was some promos pushing it, I just can't remember. I do know when we finally decided to try alternative dining we had a hard time getting reservations. Seems it was very popular. Some of the negatives we hear about NCL comes from the fact they are Pioneers in the cruise business often with other lines following. Pioneers always have problems to iron out. Many do not realize NCL was the first line to have a private island as well as other firsts. The first to venture to Roatan and of course the first to offer freestyle cruising. Nita
We've sailed with NCL 6 times and always had a great time. The LeBistro is a bargain at $10 when you consider Carnival is charging $25 for their Supper Club. The food and service at LeBistro is excellent!
They wanted more than $10 when they first started. I think it was $25 way back then. That was NOT the real problem we had with it . What really bothered us was being beaten over the head about it at every meal and inbetween. I guess they did this because at that time it was new.
So far anything I have read about "premium" dining the "Not worth it" outweighs the "Worth every penny"
We've taken 28 cruises since (that one being our 4th) Still have no raging desire for "premium" . Just wanted to know if they were still charging for room service and the icecream bar. We have the cash but hate being nickled & dimed every time we turn around.
REgina, we are not reading the same reports or reviews I guess as most I have read think the alternative dining rooms are worth the extra bucks. When we first experienced Le Bistro on the Sea it was $5.00 extra. As for charging for room service, not at all. If fact our first NCL cruise was in the 80s and they did not charge for room service. The menu is pretty slim, but no charge. As for the ice cream bar, I do not know about that for sure. All the cruise lines seem to have picked up on the nickel and diming, that goes with the drop in cruise prices. They have to make up the $$ some way. I don't like it either. For instance Princess is charging a service charge if you put casino chips on your room charge. I guess for those who prefer not to get slammed with extra charges you just have to look around every corner. Many I know still eat only in the main dining rooms and are happy which is wonderful. We have friends that celebrate their anniversary at "Outback" and that's fine also; others choose to go upscale. I cook dinner at home thus saving my extra bucks for alternative dining. Nita
Thank you all for your information. We never had extra charges for icecream, roomservice or anything else on the other lines.
We might put them back on our list with RCI, HAL Princess & Celeb. Have to watch for one of those "Can't pass up prices"