NCL where are they going? Don't go with them! BEWARE!
I recently went on a trip with NCL Sprint from New Orleans..We are not first time cruisers or travelers by any means..
I called to see what drinks I could bring and put in my frig. The customer service rep put me on hold asked a supervisor and canme back and told me bottled water and wine.. No alcohol or cokes..!
So with our aniversary being the last night I bought a little wine $20 a bottle and a case of water..When I went through security I was pulled out to a NCL rep table who informed me that there was a $15. per bottle charge for each bottle of wine I wanted to take on board..A nice time to find out..
This was the tip of the iceberg! Everytime you turn around they want more of your money...! The buffet food and personal was the worst I have every experienced..! The main dining room food was hit or miss at best...But no worries for extra $10-20. per person you can get good food and service from one of thier specialty dining rooms..
Our first visit for a friendly game of Bingo the minimum was $27 for 6 cards for 4 games or in the spirit of good sportsmanship they'll sell you an electonic machine which holds 24 cards and plays for you for $49 and upto 60 cards for $69.
So if you want to show them your money all the time at every corner them you'll be their best friend!
I booked up shore excursion on the internet and saved on avergae $30-50. pp on each trip...
I have never been on cruise before where everyone (20+) you spoke with said that they would NEVER sail NCL again...
Sorry you had a disappointing time. I wish you had popped in here, we would have gladly clued you in on the nuances of cruising NCL, also ways to get the most for your dollars. I also would have let you know that 90% of the information you get when you call NCL on the phone is WRONG!
Truth is, it is always less expensive to book excursions independently, than to book with the cruise line (any cruise line, not just NCL)
With regard to bringing alcohol on board... NCL is very clear on their alcohol policies, but they are one of the few lines that really enforce it. Sorry to see you go through that too. Also I would have told you to check it in your suitcase and not carry it on and would have offered a few more tips to help make it a little less conspicuous.
I have never found cheap bingo on any ship, what lines have you been cruising?
I usually pay less to cruise NCL than some of the other main stream lines so I budget the money I saved toward treating myself to meals in the speciality restaurants at dinner time. Our cruise last week the two of us ate dinner in the speciality restaurants 4 nights out of 5 andspent less than $90 for those meals. I also hate most all buffets and loved having breakfast and lunch in Windows, the view was lovely.
Next time you get ready to take a cruise, come here BEFORE you go and we'll be more than glad to help with any problems or questions you may have. I think that often they key to avoiding disappointment is having realistic expectations.
I can only speak for myself, but I can't say that anything you've posted here shocks or amazes me. I do like the Spirit though and intend to take a 14 day repo cruise on her in March. However, I know what to expect, and I know how to get the most out of my NCL cruise experience. That's not to say that some of their policies are really stupid and cost them money in the long run, but all of the cruise lines out there all have their own "twitiness" (this is my own made-up word that I intend to trademark), that can drive you to drink. There are things about Carnival and RCCL that make me crazy too. So it is, what it is. Its up to you to find the right cruise for you and how to do enough investigation to make it into the cruise you want it to be.
We only cruise NCL once and that was enough. In fact my TA didn't want to book it for us but since we were insistant she did. Talk about nickle and diming you to death, they were the worse. We didn't buy our embarkation picture because you had to buy it in a package deal only. What are we going to do with wallets, 5X7, key chain, etc of that one picture. Then they charged $10 pp for the main entertainment. It was Marty Allen!! The show was boycotted by many. They had a bbq on their private island but drinks were NOT included. You could buy a soda but only in the souvenir cup for $6, beer also in the souvenir cup for $9, or water for $4. The anytime dining was awful with a 45 minute wait for 3 but tables of 8 or more could be seated immediately. We turned to fellow cruisers - strangers - and made a group of 10 and got a table - no wait. Everyone at the table said never again except 1 couple who had already paid for their next cruise 6 weeks later. Live and learn.
Teresa and Larry
#36-Carnival Splendor 9/16/12
7 night Mexican Riviera
#37-Allure of the Seas 11/11/12
7 night Eastern Caribbean
Well, I have a couple of questions for you. I see you are new to the boards, how is it people who want to blast can find these boards but don't read them prior to cruising. Many of your complaints are things you would have been aware of had you been reading the boards. $15 charge for wine corking, well guess what? Some lines are not allowing any booze, not even wine to be brought on board. The buffet was the worst ever? Worse buffet, I doubt that, but food is subjective. If you hace never cruised before how can you compare NCL to anything else? Bingo is expensive, No question about that, for this reason we never play it. No one is forced to do anything on a ship. To be honest, it sounds to me more like cruising may not be for you, not just ncl>
Louise Cal: I don't know what ship you were on but we were on the Sun last year, there were drinks available on the private island. Of course not soda or booze, why would there be? We have never waited for a table, I know large groups sometimes do, but if you are flaexible and will eat alone or share a table there is rarely a wait more than a few minutes. At least 6 freestyle cruises under our belt and this has always been our experience. A charge for entertainment? One time they did bring Jimmy Walker, I beleive on board and tried a $10 charge. I didn't work, to my knowledge they have never repeated this. I could be wrong. It certainly isn't the norm for NCL.