Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Cruise Lines (Mainstream) > Norwegian Cruise Lines
Register Forgot Password?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 3rd, 2007, 12:04 PM
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Phenix City, Alabama
Posts: 109
Default Does freestyle cruising cost more in the long run?

Looking at cruising to New England and Canada Sep/Oct and have narrowed down our choices to NCL Spirit or Crown Princess. We have sailed previously on CCL, RCCL and HAL so we are not new to cruising, but the freestyle concept and pricing has us a little confused; probably making more of it than is necessary NCL's rates are almost half the cost of Princess for some of the sailing dates, but when reviewing NCL's website, it appears that the meals have surcharges, so our question is, when the costs are all totaled, do the surcharges for the meals add on so much that the costs between the two cruiselines actually become close to being the same or are we not figuring this correctly? Maybe our confusion, also, is because there is such a big difference in the rates between the two cruiselines that we figure there are hidden costs, got to be, right? Guess the bottom line question is this - "Does freestyle cruising cost more in the long run?" Appreciate, in advance, for any and all advice.
__________________
Dixie Lee
Happy sailing to one and all!

RCCL Monarch of the Seas 5/98
RCCL Majesty of the Seas 1/02
CCL Fascination 10/03
CCL Holiday 11/04
CCL Celebration 5/05
HAL Statendam 5/05
CCL Holiday Xmas/06
Crown Princess 10/07
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old January 3rd, 2007, 12:25 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 407
Default

Hi Dixie,

Not all of Ncl's eateries have surcharges. The main restaurants & buffets are free. Only the specialty restaurants have cover-charges.

They will also charge extra for soda and other drinks which are not included in your cruise fee. Hot & iced tea, hot & iced coffee, water, and some juices are free at meal times, and available all day at the buffet.

Ice cream is free and also available all day.

Hope this helps.

Barb
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old January 3rd, 2007, 12:34 PM
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Phenix City, Alabama
Posts: 109
Default

Thanks, Barb,
I take it then that the additional charges for freestyle cruising on NCL are really no different than any of the other cruiselines? Then, in some cases, NCL's rates are really a bargain or Princess is simply priced quite a bit higher. I see from the message boards and reviews here that there are differences in the two cruiselines that would explain the difference in rates, but there is a substantial difference in the rates between the two cruiselines for the New England and Canada cruises in Sept. I just wanted to be sure that, if we book with NCL, that we were not going to see a lot of extra and hidden charges added on that would result in a bargain cruise not ending up being such a bargain
Thanks!
__________________
Dixie Lee
Happy sailing to one and all!

RCCL Monarch of the Seas 5/98
RCCL Majesty of the Seas 1/02
CCL Fascination 10/03
CCL Holiday 11/04
CCL Celebration 5/05
HAL Statendam 5/05
CCL Holiday Xmas/06
Crown Princess 10/07
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old January 3rd, 2007, 12:47 PM
Senior Member
First Mate
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 407
Default

Ncl does tack on a $10.00 per day per adult service charge, which covers your basic tips for the staff. A lesser amount is charged for children.

I thought that I would mention this, because I recently overheard a fellow passenger complaining at the reception desk that he was not aware of these charges.

The staff will try to sell you "Stuff" such as pictures taken at the piers,
drinks at the pool and clubs, internet & laundry services. Lot's of money can be spent on ship's on shore excursions.

However, this is probably the case with all cruise lines.

Barb
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old January 3rd, 2007, 01:32 PM
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Phenix City, Alabama
Posts: 109
Default

Just got off of a holiday cruise on Carnival, and they do the same thing to cover the tips so between both of us, that was an extra $100 on our cruise fare. Sounds like all of the cruise lines are doing this; our last cruise on HAL - same thing. All of the other charges for drinks, photos, etc. we are prepared for.
__________________
Dixie Lee
Happy sailing to one and all!

RCCL Monarch of the Seas 5/98
RCCL Majesty of the Seas 1/02
CCL Fascination 10/03
CCL Holiday 11/04
CCL Celebration 5/05
HAL Statendam 5/05
CCL Holiday Xmas/06
Crown Princess 10/07
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old January 6th, 2007, 04:16 AM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 25
Default

All ines charge for soda these days and the 10 bucks a day per person is here to stay as well, on Princess (or P & O) from my experience the pastries and sweets are something to kill for compared to Carnival or NCL but that is where it ends in my belief we have had some 50-60 cruises in our lifetime and value for money and freedom to chose how you dine and with whom you dine and how you dress is what you go on holiday for unless you want to socialise and try and outdo others and no one does it better than NCL at the price, we have just returned from a Island Princess LA Hawaii and that was a fantastic trip also with Personal Dining but if it is fares etc then you will not go pass NCL and you will find the Balcony Cabins are far bigger on NCL then Princess with a 2 seater in you rest area, hope this helps some
__________________
Cruisin' at sea is THE only place to be
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old January 6th, 2007, 11:03 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 2,617
Default

Service charages and charges for the specialty restaurants are 2 different things: the $10 per day service charge replaces the suggested tipping policy. Most lines are adopting this form of tipping. It is easy and works well with free style dining. As for freestyle versus traditional the extra costs: no, it will not cost more in the long run to opt for freestyle. You still have your choice as to whether you do or don't want to eat in the sur charge dining rooms. Even if you do they are cheaper than the same thing on Celebrity, Carnival or HAL. You can eat in 2 of them for about the same price as one on other lines. Right now both Princess and NCL are charging $20 about for specialty dining. Actually NCL has many restaurants that run between $12.50 and $20.00. The other lines are charging anywhere from $25 to $35.00. I will add one thing to this: as much as I am an NCL loyalist as everyone knows, do check out the individual ships. Sometimes the difference in the price reflects the age of the ship, catalgory of cabins or other things. Yes, normally Princess is one of the highest of the mass marketed lines. I am not sure why, but they are. NMnita
__________________
ncl, carnival, HAL, Costa, RCI, commodore,chamdres,celebrity,Princess
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old January 6th, 2007, 11:24 AM
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Phenix City, Alabama
Posts: 109
Default

Thanks so much for those replies! That is exactly what I was wanting to know. The rates for the cruise we are planning on taking are so much cheaper on NCL that I was suspicious that the freestyle dining would add a lot of charges not disclosed up front. I understand the $10/day/person for tips and don't have a problem with that - one less thing to worry about. But I was under the impression that every meal had some type of surcharge or cover charge and that would end up adding a couple of hundred more dollars to the cruise fare which would make a difference as to whether we chose NCL or not. But I see that that is not the case, unless we choose to do so, and that makes NCL quite a bargain. The ship would be the Norwegian Spirit and it is rated well as is NCL itself. We have been on CCL, RCCL and HAL and want to try a different cruiseline this time. There is quite a difference between the fares for NCL and Princess, which is the other cruiseline we are considering, but now that we have a better understanding of the freestyle concept, I would have to say that we would be foolish in passing up NCL which is almost 1/2 of the cost of the same cruise on Princess.
__________________
Dixie Lee
Happy sailing to one and all!

RCCL Monarch of the Seas 5/98
RCCL Majesty of the Seas 1/02
CCL Fascination 10/03
CCL Holiday 11/04
CCL Celebration 5/05
HAL Statendam 5/05
CCL Holiday Xmas/06
Crown Princess 10/07
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old January 6th, 2007, 04:14 PM
Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 25
Default

Dixie Lee, dont even think about it anymore !!!! you will LOVE Spirit the cabins are great ( if you can I would strongly suggest the extra 100 bucks extra to get balcony if you can) the food is good and the ship is clean and the staff from what we have experienced (3 times out of LA) are as good as anyline -real value for money, if you are realistic and do not expect silver service then you will be very glad you went on the ship I would think, and as mentioned, the balcony cabins are much bigger with a 2 seater, the food -make sure you get yourself even if you are a non dining room person a seat with your partner in the Versailles restaurant ( as opulant as you would fine on any ship) and up the aft against the windows looking out, makes for a very nice afternoon coffee or evening supper, also a fantastic quick bite, I think 24/7 and freestlye, is a little sidewalk place called Blue Laggon, small concise menu but a stop you will make several times I am sure, the main Freestlye restrauntant in variety of menu where all is layed out in smorgasboard & VERY CLEAN), in general the selections are very good in most area's of food that you would feel like from one meal to another
I do not like giving a wrap for something I am not conifdent on and Spirit will give you all you want and more for you buck
have a great time
__________________
Cruisin' at sea is THE only place to be
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old January 6th, 2007, 04:55 PM
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Phenix City, Alabama
Posts: 109
Default

Thanks for the info on the Spirit. That is the kind of info we are looking for - not a lot of fluff, just the real info that is all about what concerns us on a cruise. We are not looking for silver service, but we want a comfortable, clean ship with good entertainment, good food and good service. Everything else we can manage ourselves, because, let's face it, once your off the ship at the various ports, it's all about what you make of your trip. With the prices for the dates we are considering, we could easily afford a balcony and still not come near the prices of some of the other cruiselines. We went to Alaska and had a balcony and really got spoiled with that. Our last cruise, though, we did do an inside cabin because there was a group and we booked a few cabins instead of just one, but now that we are looking to cruise again, just me and DH, I would LOVE to have a balcony and NCL looks to be the best for our money. Thank you again for the insight.
__________________
Dixie Lee
Happy sailing to one and all!

RCCL Monarch of the Seas 5/98
RCCL Majesty of the Seas 1/02
CCL Fascination 10/03
CCL Holiday 11/04
CCL Celebration 5/05
HAL Statendam 5/05
CCL Holiday Xmas/06
Crown Princess 10/07
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old January 15th, 2007, 09:53 PM
Junior Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 10
Default

You don't have to go to the specialty restaurants and pay a fee- which isn't that much. You can go to the main diingrooms or up to the pool decks and have a buffet at no extra cost. Yes, NCL is cheaper than HAL and Princess. Their food is little bit better, more formal and the service a little better, but I you won't be disappointed in NCL.
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old January 16th, 2007, 10:48 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 2,617
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenniez
You don't have to go to the specialty restaurants and pay a fee- which isn't that much. You can go to the main diingrooms or up to the pool decks and have a buffet at no extra cost. Yes, NCL is cheaper than HAL and Princess. Their food is little bit better, more formal and the service a little better, but I you won't be disappointed in NCL.
You put it well and would agree with your assessment in regards to HAL and NCL. I am not so sure about Princess. It is also good to remember there are other options not mentioned for eating with no extra charge. Depending on the ship, the Italian dining room, Tex Mex or Blue Lagoon. NMnita
__________________
ncl, carnival, HAL, Costa, RCI, commodore,chamdres,celebrity,Princess
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old January 16th, 2007, 10:52 AM
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Phenix City, Alabama
Posts: 109
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenniez
You don't have to go to the specialty restaurants and pay a fee- which isn't that much. You can go to the main diingrooms or up to the pool decks and have a buffet at no extra cost. Yes, NCL is cheaper than HAL and Princess. Their food is little bit better, more formal and the service a little better, but I you won't be disappointed in NCL.
You put it well and would agree with your assessment in regards to HAL and NCL. I am not so sure about Princess. It is also good to remember there are other options not mentioned for eating with no extra charge. Depending on the ship, the Italian dining room, Tex Mex or Blue Lagoon. NMnita
I keep hearing good things about both NCL and Princess, it is truly hard to decide. For the difference in price, though, NCL is looking better and better. Especially since the freestyle concept does not include a lot of hidden charges for meals, which is what we were afraid was the case. We don't have a problem with paying a surcharge or cover charge to eat in a specialty restaurant. We were simply concerned that that was going to be the case for most meals, which we are now seeing is not the case. Thanks for the insights.
__________________
Dixie Lee
Happy sailing to one and all!

RCCL Monarch of the Seas 5/98
RCCL Majesty of the Seas 1/02
CCL Fascination 10/03
CCL Holiday 11/04
CCL Celebration 5/05
HAL Statendam 5/05
CCL Holiday Xmas/06
Crown Princess 10/07
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old January 16th, 2007, 06:02 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 2,617
Default

Before I give my opinion I guess I need to mention two things in case you don't already know: 1-I am a travel agent so I have a little insight; 2-I am an NCL loyalist but I do try to be objective and think I am.

Princess: offers a form of freestyle which is popular, it is called personal choice dining; they still have a rather strict dress code.

They do have more than one dining option, not as many as NCL

Their ships, depending on which you choose are very nice and possible a little more glamorous than NCL (I can't think of a better word)

The food may be slightly better in the main dining rooms, but again, food is subjective and some say this isn't the case.

NCL: more energy and activities

Probably better entertainment.

Already mentioned more dining choices with a relaxed dress code and a very friendly relaxed crew.

The cabins will be similar, again depending on which ship you are planning on taking.

If there is a considerable difference in price I would suggest you give NCL a try.

Nita
__________________
ncl, carnival, HAL, Costa, RCI, commodore,chamdres,celebrity,Princess
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old January 17th, 2007, 11:35 AM
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Phenix City, Alabama
Posts: 109
Default

Thanks, Nita,
Appreciate the input
__________________
Dixie Lee
Happy sailing to one and all!

RCCL Monarch of the Seas 5/98
RCCL Majesty of the Seas 1/02
CCL Fascination 10/03
CCL Holiday 11/04
CCL Celebration 5/05
HAL Statendam 5/05
CCL Holiday Xmas/06
Crown Princess 10/07
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old January 22nd, 2007, 08:19 PM
Junior Member
Beginner
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4
Default

I have been on the crown and was not happy with it. NCL is no more expensive. It is like all ships including the Crown. If you want to go to a specialty restaurant it costs, but if you go to the dinning room it is the same as any cruise. The only difference is you do not sit with the same people each night, nor have a specific time to eat, which is great if you are in a port late. We are going on the NCL Dawn on sunday and on the NCL Gem in October. Have been on 34 cruises and Princess is my least favorite after Carnival.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
cheaper, cost, cruise, cruising, dining, expensive, freestyle, lines, more, ncl, norwegian, princess

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Freestyle Cruising? teach Norwegian Cruise Lines 12 February 5th, 2005 10:24 AM
Long Beach to Los Angeles Cost?? guenth2 Carnival Cruise Lines 3 September 28th, 2004 05:34 PM
freestyle cruising Debbie Kupperberg Norwegian Cruise Lines 2 September 29th, 2002 04:28 PM
Freestyle cruise dinner without long waits? christine First-Time Cruisers 1 November 26th, 2001 11:32 AM
freestyle cruising Karen Patton Ask CruiseMates Staff 2 June 18th, 2001 05:58 PM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:52 AM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1