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Old December 20th, 2005, 08:20 PM
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Default Bait and Switch

The Norwegian Star Mexican Riviera departing Jan 4 will be my first cruise. I just found out that a major port of call (Acapulco) will be replaced with Manzanillo. Who the heck cares about going to Manzanillo? Is this common practice to switch ports of call at the last minute? What's up with the fifty dollar on board credit consolation? That's just plain cheap. They should give us minimum one hundred for goodness sakes. This is equivalent to signing up for a trip to London, going to Leeds instead and being asked to take a 20 pound note, shut up and be happy. I must say my first cruise experience is getting off to a bit of a rough start. Advice anyone?
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Old December 20th, 2005, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: Bait and Switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinGenomeGirl
Advice anyone?
(1) You are probably past the period where you can re-book for a new date or different cruise without a huge penalty. So - take a deep breath and let's make lemonade out of lemons.
(2) NCL is not going to budge. You will waste time and effort trying. So don't frustrate yourself trying.
(3) There are a number of posters here who will feel your pain, but there a number who will tell you that your problems are all about your own attitude. Get ready.
(4) NCL did not do this one on purpose or with intent. They have a mechanical problem. They have substituted a port, which makes you much more lucky than many other NCL passengers on other ships.
(5) MANY, many posters have said that Acapulco is not what it used to be. They are seasoned folks, and they are probably right on the money.
(6) NCL really should allow you to change to another date or ship. That would still allow the money to be spent with them, but again, it won't happen and you will find yourself nutso if you try to fight this battle.

I am sorry to say that the situation is as simple as dealing with the hand you have been dealt. You will find that this will make no difference as far as the service, food, amenities and activities aboard an awesome ship. Go enjoy Manzanillo as best you can. Enjoy the awesome food and service and other ports. You don't have to like it, and you don't have a bad attitude. Don't let these stupid, short-sighted, customer-hating, greed-based, "can't re-book" policies get to you. You will have more fun than not...

After-the fact adive: I have decided that the only way to REALLY know what itinerary you will get with NCL is to book your cruise at the very last minute. It is incomprehensible for NCL not to make more concessions when a mechanical failure arises. I kinda understand NCL's position if due to a hurricane. No way when they have a broken ship. Other lines do post and allow a 24-hour cancellation with fullrefund. I just think that N(never) C(customer) L(loving) could keep the money, per se, by allowing the funds to be transferred to another ship or sailing and then no one gets hurt...
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Old December 20th, 2005, 11:23 PM
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Default thanks for your response

I appreciate your comments. I will go and have a great time but knowing how things really work in this cruise business has been an eye opener (and I haven't even left the dock yet!!)
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Old December 21st, 2005, 11:34 AM
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Hi RobinGenomeGirl,
I am in the same boat as you. First cruise. Just happened to be on the NCL website checking the itinerary and saw the little asterix by our date of departure (Jan 4) scrolled down to the asterix at the bottom and saw the new itinerary. OH MY!
A call to NCL and found out that indeed our ports had changed. I expressed my frustration to the woman on the phone and she said to me "well we could have cancelled the cruise". So that showed me what their attitude was.
I hope that they have LOTS of LOBSTERS on board.

Oh yeah and I am the appointed Julie McCoy for our group of cruisers.......Gopher got some 'splainin to do!

Hey don't I know you?! Aren't you in the suite next door to me?!?!?!
Wanna go on a bike ride?

:o 8)

TWO WEEKS TIL WE CRUISE!!!!!!
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Old December 21st, 2005, 11:47 AM
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Hi...I was on the original itinerary in dec 04, and Acapulco was the dirtiest, most disappointing port on the trip. I was all set to see all the supposed beautiful coast, all the supposed beautiful city, and all the other things this world famous resort town had to offer. What I got was a filthy, dirty downtown, a beach with trash floating in the water, and not much else. The only place that was like the ads is the specific resort area about 2 miles from where the ship docked.

Hope this helps
Bill
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Old December 21st, 2005, 03:59 PM
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Hello,

I went on the Dec. 11 cruise on the Star.

I too was disappointed about the cruise change...... but the one poster is correct..... NCL does not care and points it out to you.

Now, with that being said....... I loved my cruise! The critique I have is the Freestyle cruising they advertise. Because the waiters and waitress' do not have the same diners every night, the service was poor in many cases.

Many people did not know there was a 10.00 a day, per person gratuity added to the onboard bill.... that had a lot of people upset. I, with all the ado, decided I would go and have a blast, and I did.

Yeah, the cruise has been changed, yeah they have known about it for quite awhile, but....... my cruise experiance was so nice, I re-booked for the same cruise next year.

Happy cruising!
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Old December 21st, 2005, 04:43 PM
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At least NCL posted the information on their site in mid-November and notified travel agents within a week. It was up to TA's to get the word out to their customers ASAP. NCL has been phoning customers, but this does seem to be taking a lot of time..... I cruise FEB 21st and just got the call last week. NCL didn't have to (by contract) replace the 2 missed ports, and they have.

If anyone is really upset have they tried calling the phone number that NCL put in the original announcement and requested to change their cruise date to one that will be offering the original ports? I know they have allowed at least 3 passengers to change to different cruise dates....but I don't know if they had special circumstances.

Enjoy the STAR when every you go, it's a great ship and has a terrific crew.
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 01:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by immargaret
I know they have allowed at least 3 passengers to change to different cruise dates....but I don't know if they had special circumstances.
If you can find any one of those 3 passengers that you know NCL allowed to change to different cruise dates, see if they will post here for Robin. I am thinking that you would also know enough to know their exact circumstances, if you can share...

I will pay for them to assist RobinGenomeGirl in a conference call to NCL to get her situation corrected with NCL, since they are the only three that I have EVER heard of getting NCL to allow a revised sailing date - with no penalty - because of NCL's mechanical failure. They obviously have a lot to teach the thousands of the rest of us. My bet is that this is, as I said before, not gonna happen. Are the three folks you mentioned really Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny? ()
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Old December 23rd, 2005, 12:04 AM
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Just for a little perspective, my cruise two years ago was cancelled the day before because the AC system went down (a one year old ship!!) I think the most galling part of it was that I was notified of the cancellation by Old Lahaina Luau! They called to let me know that I wouldn't be held to my reservation and they hoped that in the future I would enjoy one of their luau's. Never heard from the TA or the cruise line (carnival), till I finally called, and then even the TA didn't know!

I am going to try again. . .but we booked our cruise for April 1 and I am feeling a little apprehensive about that-not normally superstitious, but I decided not to answer the phone the days before the cruise, just get on the plane and at least get myself to hawaii!!
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Old December 23rd, 2005, 10:18 AM
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Default That's certainly perspective!

Thanks for sharing your story. That is just shocking. Good for you to "get back on the horse" and try again. Wishing you a successful trip.
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Old December 23rd, 2005, 05:51 PM
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I guess I should have made a point with it, and my point is that sometimes things happen that are not so good, but, it isn't personal and in most cases are quite recoverable.

My folks travelled in Mexico a lot, and would much rather visit a less known/popular town than a huge tourist place. I don't know what the alternate port is like, but it may be a much nicer slice of Mexico.

As for me, being such an 'armchair traveller' I just remember this: I have about as much fun thinking about and planning a trip as I have on it, so the last one was kind of a bargain Got the refund and a 50% discount on next cruise (my mom used it). The discount was on the best price she could find, too, not just the list price, so it was a great deal.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 10:33 PM
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We are just back from a cruise on Celebrity. The same thing happened to us but there was no reason given for the change. At least you have a reason. At first some of us were a little upset as our granddaughter had chosen this cruise for her wedding partly because of the ports. We soon all got over the switch, realized there are many aspects of cruising that can be an important as the ports. Was this cruise the best we have taken? Not by a long shot, but there were 21 of us sailing and every single person had a great time. Many of those I spoke with on the ship were still griping about the port changes, yet they did have notice and could have chosen to cruise on a different ship or a different date. Sometimes we let things bother us and ruin what can be a positive experience if we forget our disapointments. NMNita
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Old December 31st, 2005, 04:18 PM
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Robin and Diane,

I totally understand your feelings of frustration. My wife and I are also on the Jan 4th sailing and were notified last week. We called NCL and asked to speak with a supervisor, and after a few rounds on the phone, we finally ended up with the Executive Assistant for the the NCL board members. We expressed our frustration at the $50 credit and the poor attitudes of the customer service staff. We were told that there was no one that would help us, and the only person above the EA was to talk with a board member directly (which was not going to happen).

Now that we have cooled off a bit, we're taking the cruise with a "What the heck...let's try and have fun" attitude. NCL having a mechanical failure is out of their control. We could have been cancelled outright. While the $50 credit is not much per person, it will pay for a few drinks or part of an excursion. And...we're going to be in good weather while we're in Mexico.

I have a friend who works for NCL and he says that this kind of thing does happen from time to time. I know that the people on-board the ships do everything they can to make your experience as good as possible, and we "should" have a good time.

Try not to worry about the ports. We have ended up with a few that are comprable, and we did at least get 2 ports to substitute the 2 that were removed. See ya on-board! Have fun and a Happy New Year! Only 4 1/2 days left to go! Wooooo Hoooooo!
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Old December 31st, 2005, 06:01 PM
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I hope you all have a wonderful time on the cruise-notwithstanding the port change. Right now I am stuck in the house, cold and rainy outside, with 3 kids and a husband off for 2 weeks and we are staying put. SO, Enjoy the Mexican Sunshine, and have a margarita for all of us-your cruisemates!

Bon Voyage!

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