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Old August 16th, 2009, 07:30 PM
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Default Cover Charge AND a la carte pricing?

Our cruise info arrived for our New England cruise in September and it mentions a cover charge and a la carte pricing for the restaurants. My last cruise on NCL only had a cover charge. How new and how pricy?
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Old August 16th, 2009, 09:05 PM
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Default Re: Cover Charge AND a la carte pricing?

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Originally Posted by zooman
Our cruise info arrived for our New England cruise in September and it mentions a cover charge and a la carte pricing for the restaurants. My last cruise on NCL only had a cover charge. How new and how pricey?
NCL's Freestyle cruising gives you the opportunity to dine at one a large number of restaurants onboard your ship. There usually two dining rooms that have no cover charge and are very similar to the dining rooms on other cruise ships. There is usually also a "Blue Lagoon" restaurant that is sit down but serves more casual food such as: Fish and Chips, hamburgers and onion rings and other good stuff.

NCL's ship's will have anywhere from eight to ten additional dining venues that will have a service charge of $10 - $25, per person, cover charge. These restaurants range from Italian, Chinese, Sushi, Tepanyaki to, my favorite, Cagney's Steakhouse.

If you budget an additional $100 to $150 to your cruise budget you will have one of the best dining experiences on any ship. I strongly recommend that you give at least one or two of the specialty (surcharge) restaurants a try.

Take care,
Mike (Who would love some Cagney's clam chowder right now)
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Old August 16th, 2009, 09:54 PM
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I believe the sushi is charged ala carte, if memory serves correctly. It's been a while, but I believe everything else is as Mike described.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 12:49 AM
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Some things in the specialty restaurants cost extra. That's not a new thing.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 12:40 PM
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Beware! NCL is pretty good with their surcharge for the specialty restaurants. We were told that charge covers the gratuity. On Princess, we paid a surcharge for a specialty venue and the matre' d followed my husband out of the restaurant and advised him that a tip was also expected. I guess NCL gets their extra bucks from the plastic glasses that you HAVE to purchase in order to get some drinks.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StormKat
Beware! NCL is pretty good with their surcharge for the specialty restaurants. We were told that charge covers the gratuity. On Princess, we paid a surcharge for a specialty venue and the matre' d followed my husband out of the restaurant and advised him that a tip was also expected. I guess NCL gets their extra bucks from the plastic glasses that you HAVE to purchase in order to get some drinks.
Not from the plastic glasses but the wait staff in the specialty venus are covered in the $12 / day service charge on NCL. A little extra is always welcome if earned.
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Old August 17th, 2009, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beenie weenie
I believe the sushi is charged ala carte, if memory serves correctly. It's been a while, but I believe everything else is as Mike described.
Nope: The sushi is not ala carte. If it was my bill would have been $700.

The items are listed on the menu individually but you can order as many as you want for the standard cover charge. The first time I ever dined at the sushi restaurant, on Norwegian Star. I also thought it was ala carte but the waitress explained it wasn't. There was an "all you can eat" option from the sushi bar. It made things a bit confusing.

On our last cruise on the Jade, my wife and I were the only ones at the Sushi bar. I think the sushi chefs were happy to have someone there they kept giving us more and more, without us asking. I was in heaven.

BTW: Order the "Fruit Sushi" dessert. It is delicious and BEAUTIFUL.

Take care,
Mike
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Old August 17th, 2009, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StormKat
Beware! NCL is pretty good with their surcharge for the specialty restaurants. We were told that charge covers the gratuity. On Princess, we paid a surcharge for a specialty venue and the matre' d followed my husband out of the restaurant and advised him that a tip was also expected. I guess NCL gets their extra bucks from the plastic glasses that you HAVE to purchase in order to get some drinks.
I don't like that you have to buy the plastic glasses for some drinks, especially when the menu say that you CAN do it! The best thing to do is to buy one "souvenier" drink and pour it into two smaller glasses!
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Old August 17th, 2009, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M
Quote:
Originally Posted by beenie weenie
I believe the sushi is charged ala carte, if memory serves correctly. It's been a while, but I believe everything else is as Mike described.
Nope: The sushi is not ala carte. If it was my bill would have been $700.

The items are listed on the menu individually but you can order as many as you want for the standard cover charge. The first time I ever dined at the sushi restaurant, on Norwegian Star. I also thought it was ala carte but the waitress explained it wasn't. There was an "all you can eat" option from the sushi bar. It made things a bit confusing.

On our last cruise on the Jade, my wife and I were the only ones at the Sushi bar. I think the sushi chefs were happy to have someone there they kept giving us more and more, without us asking. I was in heaven.

BTW: Order the "Fruit Sushi" dessert. It is delicious and BEAUTIFUL.

Take care,
Mike
I went and checked NCL's website and is does list the sushi bar as ala
carte.

Sushi Bar
Located on Deck 7;
accommodates 21.
The Jasmine Garden Asian Restaurant also has a Sushi Bar where you can enjoy the very best sushi expertly prepared as you watch. The menu is priced a la carte.

But like I said it has been a while since our last NCL cruise, so things are changing I am sure. I also got the impression that the sushi chefs were happy for the company too and regardless of the billing arrangement they were very generous and very good at offering recommendations. There was one in particular named "Rambo" that d/h and I became very fond of. The day we left the ship he was moving on to the Jewel. Sad thing is I can't recall if we met him on the Spirit or the Pearl. I do know it wasn't on the Sun . (perhaps a few too many martini clinics on that cruise lol) I would love to run into the young man again and hope he's might possibly be on our Jewel cruise in October. There also was an assistant Maitre D named Fortunado Revell, who was wonderful to us as well. If anyone has come across either of these gents please let me know.
One thing I have found on NCL is that certain dining room policies vary from ship to ship and I think the on board management is given some latitude. So perhaps it varies from ship to ship how the sushi is charged.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StormKat
Beware! NCL is pretty good with their surcharge for the specialty restaurants. We were told that charge covers the gratuity. On Princess, we paid a surcharge for a specialty venue and the matre' d followed my husband out of the restaurant and advised him that a tip was also expected. I guess NCL gets their extra bucks from the plastic glasses that you HAVE to purchase in order to get some drinks.
WEll let me tell you something, you do not have to purchase plastic glasses to get any drink, you do have to make it clear you do not want your drink in a specialty glass. I am floored at what happened to you on Princess, that is totally inexcusable. Oh, and the surcharge does not cover the tip on NCL or any ship I want to add. Many years ago it did, that is where the comfusion comes in, but may I add, you do not need to tip extra if you do not want to.

Now, to the person asking about a la carte, NCL has had a couple of A La Carte choices in both Le Bistro and CAgneys as well as the sushi bar for 5 years or more. Most things do not have extra charges.

Nita
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Old August 18th, 2009, 12:40 PM
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Nita, if the bar staff insist that they only sell a special drink in a souvenier glass does it always help to go to another bar and buy it?
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Old August 18th, 2009, 01:14 PM
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All I know, regarding sushi, is that on Norwegian Star in '06, Dawn in '07, Jewel in '08 and Jade in '09 there was never an additional charge to our sushi orders.

There are additional charge items, such as Lobster (surf and turf), in Cagney's and Le' Bistro.

Take care,
Mike
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Old August 18th, 2009, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erikhag
Nita, if the bar staff insist that they only sell a special drink in a souvenier glass does it always help to go to another bar and buy it?
My guess is yes, of course you could get into a shouting match with the bar tender, but that wouldn't solve much. There might be one exeption to the rule as for souvenier glasses, if the drink special of the day was featured at say $8.00 instead of $8.50 and was in the glass, but not a usual drink you may have to buy the glass, but most dirnks, Pina Coladas, Daquieries (spelling) things like that can be purchased either way..

Nita
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Old August 18th, 2009, 07:44 PM
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Default FRUIT SUSHI AND DRINKS

What in the world is FRUIT SUSHI? As for the driinks I refused to get suckered in with the "specalty glasses". I just did on the Princess with a Lemoncilo which I was dying to try... With all those "daily specials" on cruise ships, with the glasses.. how do they expect you to get the glasses home..lol
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Old August 18th, 2009, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: FRUIT SUSHI AND DRINKS

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parrot Mom
What in the world is FRUIT SUSHI? As for the driinks I refused to get suckered in with the "specialty glasses". I just did on the Princess with a Lemoncilo which I was dying to try... With all those "daily specials" on cruise ships, with the glasses.. how do they expect you to get the glasses home..lol
Fruit Sushi is a dessert comprised of beautifully carved fresh fruits such as melons and strawberries and a delicious sauce. The presentation is so beautiful you hate to eat it.

Take care,
Mike
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Old August 18th, 2009, 08:40 PM
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Mike,
I never tried the fruit sushi yet either. That will definitely be on our list this next trip in October. I will be sure to ask and get the straight poop on this conflicting info we have on sushi pricing.
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Old August 18th, 2009, 08:54 PM
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Default FRUIT SUSHI

OKAY, Mike M.... . we will be on the NCL Gem. what restaurant exactly and is there a charge for this and can we just order it separately.... I'm not a sushi eater, but this sounds wonderful
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Old August 18th, 2009, 09:18 PM
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Mike will correct me if my memory is faulty. But I think that fruit sushi was offered as a dessert choice in teppanyaki, asian fusion restaurant as well as the sushi bar.
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Old August 19th, 2009, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beenie weenie
Mike,
I never tried the fruit sushi yet either. That will definitely be on our list this next trip in October. I will be sure to ask and get the straight poop on this conflicting info we have on sushi pricing.
beenie weenie, I have to agree with you on this, maybe it varies from ship to ship, but normally the ones we have been on Sushi is a la carte. Yes, do find out for us, I am almost certain you are right on this.

Nita
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Old August 19th, 2009, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita
Quote:
Originally Posted by beenie weenie
Mike,
I never tried the fruit sushi yet either. That will definitely be on our list this next trip in October. I will be sure to ask and get the straight poop on this conflicting info we have on sushi pricing.
beenie weenie, I have to agree with you on this, maybe it varies from ship to ship, but normally the ones we have been on Sushi is a la carte. Yes, do find out for us, I am almost certain you are right on this.

Nita
I really don't think anyone is wrong on this, I just think we've had different experiences. I don't want to trust my memory too much though. I think that the sushi might have been included with our meal when ate at the asian fusion restaurant, when we had it as an appetizer one night, and so perhaps it was covered by the surcharge. Another night we went in just for sushi and sat at the sushi bar as opposed to sitting in the dining area and at that time I think it was charged as ala carte. Things are constantly changing at NCL, so one really never knows what they'll encounter onboard until you get there. I remember the first time we did the teppan grill, on the Spirit, it was great. They opened up with a couple of different types of sushi and sashimi, then some other items and much more extensive offerings than they do now and that was all covered by the surcharge.
I will find out though...if I haven't forgotten by October
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Old August 19th, 2009, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beenie weenie
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita
Quote:
Originally Posted by beenie weenie
Mike,
I never tried the fruit sushi yet either. That will definitely be on our list this next trip in October. I will be sure to ask and get the straight poop on this conflicting info we have on sushi pricing.
beenie weenie, I have to agree with you on this, maybe it varies from ship to ship, but normally the ones we have been on Sushi is a la carte. Yes, do find out for us, I am almost certain you are right on this.

Nita
I really don't think anyone is wrong on this, I just think we've had different experiences. I don't want to trust my memory too much though. I think that the sushi might have been included with our meal when ate at the Asian fusion restaurant, when we had it as an appetizer one night, and so perhaps it was covered by the surcharge. Another night we went in just for sushi and sat at the sushi bar as opposed to sitting in the dining area and at that time I think it was charged as ala carte. Things are constantly changing at NCL, so one really never knows what they'll encounter onboard until you get there. I remember the first time we did the teppan grill, on the Spirit, it was great. They opened up with a couple of different types of sushi and sashimi, then some other items and much more extensive offerings than they do now and that was all covered by the surcharge.
I will find out though...if I haven't forgotten by October
Beenie:

I look forward to being vindicated.

I've done some research here and on other boards to make sure I wasn't treated "special" or CRS disease had kicked in big time and I now know you'll prove me right.

The menu says ala carte with no individual pricing. It means that the items are individually ordered but you can order as much as want. If there was an individual charge they would have individual item pricing on the menu. I don't think they wouldn't get too far by charging the $20 surcharge for a California roll.

Take care,
Mike
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Old August 19th, 2009, 10:45 PM
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I hate sushi!
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Old August 20th, 2009, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M
Quote:
Originally Posted by beenie weenie
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita
Quote:
Originally Posted by beenie weenie
Mike,
I never tried the fruit sushi yet either. That will definitely be on our list this next trip in October. I will be sure to ask and get the straight poop on this conflicting info we have on sushi pricing.
beenie weenie, I have to agree with you on this, maybe it varies from ship to ship, but normally the ones we have been on Sushi is a la carte. Yes, do find out for us, I am almost certain you are right on this.

Nita
I really don't think anyone is wrong on this, I just think we've had different experiences. I don't want to trust my memory too much though. I think that the sushi might have been included with our meal when ate at the Asian fusion restaurant, when we had it as an appetizer one night, and so perhaps it was covered by the surcharge. Another night we went in just for sushi and sat at the sushi bar as opposed to sitting in the dining area and at that time I think it was charged as ala carte. Things are constantly changing at NCL, so one really never knows what they'll encounter onboard until you get there. I remember the first time we did the teppan grill, on the Spirit, it was great. They opened up with a couple of different types of sushi and sashimi, then some other items and much more extensive offerings than they do now and that was all covered by the surcharge.
I will find out though...if I haven't forgotten by October
Beenie:

I look forward to being vindicated.

I've done some research here and on other boards to make sure I wasn't treated "special" or CRS disease had kicked in big time and I now know you'll prove me right.

The menu says ala carte with no individual pricing. It means that the items are individually ordered but you can order as much as want. If there was an individual charge they would have individual item pricing on the menu. I don't think they wouldn't get too far by charging the $20 surcharge for a California roll.

Take care,
Mike
Mike, it could be there is a flat rate, I am not sure, but I am almost positive a couple of the ships, including the Sun did charge for Sushi. Let's hope someone or Bennie Weenie will clear this up for us one of these days.

Nita
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 06:21 PM
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I hope that I do not confuse the sushi charge here but this is what we experienced on the Spirit last week.

We ate in Shogun. We were given the Shogun menu and also the sushi menu. If we ordered off the sushi menu there was a different charge for the sushi that was different than if we ordered off the shogun menu.

I understood that the sushi was all you can eat if it was ordered.

We did not order sushi that evening so I do not know how it would have impacted the cover charge.
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Old September 7th, 2009, 07:06 PM
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I was a little disappointed when I read this in my welcome aboard booklet today and asked the same question on "that other crusieboard" where I spend most of my time...this was the only meaningful reply so far...

In Cagney's in addition to the per person cover charge ($25), some entrees have an additional $10 charge, such as whole lobster, very large steak, surf & turf, crab legs). That would be the a la carte pricing reference. I am not aware of similar pricing in any of the other specialty restaurants. Typically only one entree per person, but the Tex Mex and Asian restaurants are known to allow more than one if asked.

Never would have thought about there being extra charges in addition to the "cover charge". Do they make you pay extra for clean towels and toilet paper too??? I have a feeling I'm going to be in for a lot of surprises as far as nickel and diming on this cruise.
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Old September 7th, 2009, 07:52 PM
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Well Dave, I have never known NCL to be stingy with food and if we wanted more of anything, it was provided. In Cagney's they have menu items that are available for the $25 surcharge and other items that carry an additional charge. You can look at any of the menus at the reservation desk prior to booking a reservation.

If you don't wish to pay an additional charge you can always eat in the main dining room, buffet or Blue Lagoon. I must admit, half the fun is the variety of eating venues NCL has to offer, I always know if I am on NCL I should budget extra $$ so I can try all of it, and for us it has been worth the extra charge.
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