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Old May 6th, 2015, 07:08 PM
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Thumbs down NCL bans "take-away" food!

Norwegian Cruise Line Announces New Dining Policy
Norwegian Cruise Line has banned "takeaway" food from its ship restaurants, main dining room and buffet areas.

Norwegian Cruise Line Bans Food Outside of Dining Areas - Norwegian Cruise Line ? Cruise Critic

This sucks! BOOOO!!!!

We often take food from the buffet back to our room. Grab a couple snacks at the end of the day and a cocktail to enjoy on our balcony. Some nice quiet private time before we shower and go to dinner. And after dinner we sometimes bring cookies or a snack because we are full from dinner.

I think this is totally profit driven. Funny how they do this right after adding a room charge fee! Every cruise line is seeking out ways to nickle and dime us.
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Old May 7th, 2015, 07:57 AM
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I leave today for my cruise on NCL Jade. I will let you know how and if the policy is being enforced. Cheers
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Old May 7th, 2015, 09:56 AM
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To be fair to NCL, it is not yet clear whether or not this "ban" extends to the buffet food or only MDRs, Specialty restaurants and O'Sheehans. The statement from Senior Director of PR Vanessa Picariello does not mention the buffet specifically. The CC editor who wrote the article does appear to lump the buffet into the ban, correct or not.

But in any case, this is another sad example of a new NCL edict not thought through by NCL and which places them yet again in a position to be ridiculed by passengers who see this for what it is, a thinly veiled attempt to insure that the max number of people utilize room service and the new convenience fee of $7.95 per order. The news has hit every cruise board for every cruise line. I did read some of the Carnival commentary, and as another NCL fan stated, "It is a sad day when NCL is ridiculed by Carnival". The string of cartoon jokes someone posted on the Carnival board are hilarious.

"For our guest's well-being, and to maintain a beautiful clean environment for all our guests to enjoy"...... suggests that the fact that I carry a piece of chocolate cake from a venue back to my cabin to enjoy as a bedtime snack in my jammies somehow presents a "health" issue, while ordering that same piece of cake from Room Service does not?? I guess the $7.95 fee somehow sanitizes the whole situation. And it is fine for an NCL Butler to deliver afternoon canapés while you are ashore for hours sitting out in the hot sun on your table, but you yourself cannot cannot pick up something from O'Sheehans or maybe the buffet to eat on your balcony while your toddler naps? Much safer to order said item from Room Service. And let's not forget the Cake Boss desserts which you can get in the Atrium ( for a fee, of course ) and presumably eat in your cabin, unless they intend to have staff "tail" us after purchase. Why, you can buy entire cakes there! Where do they intend you to eat them?

As far as a "clean environment", doesn't Room Service involve food delivery on pates, along with glasses and silverware? It seems to me that a plate is a plate. If dishes in the hall is an issue, just remind passengers that all plates, etc. should be left in the room for removal by the steward, not in the hall!

But the insult to our intelligence is the thing that rankles most. If guest's "well being" and "a beautiful clean environment" are really the issues, then it would only be logical to eliminate Room Service altogether, wouldn't it? But apparently someone at NCL thinks we will buy that nonsense.
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Old May 7th, 2015, 12:20 PM
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This is all just BS to make more money.
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Old May 7th, 2015, 01:16 PM
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I agree - it's all about the money.

We thoroughly love going to the buffet, picking up some fruit, vegetables, crackers, cheese, etc. and then carrying it back to our balcony where we will enjoy a private cocktail party for the two of us as we pull out of port. Or I like to go up to the buffet in the morning to get some coffee and pastries for my wife when she gets up. Now I'd have to pay for this? Yep, it's all about the money.

I love it when they say something like they're doing this for our health and safety when it's obvious it's to make more money. C'mon NCL - tell it like it is!

Yes, I understand that occasionally someone might spill something on the way back to the cabin. Or someone might leave food around for a while before eating it. But hey, we've got our big boy pants on!

Slowing but surely they're taking away all the small things we use to love about cruising and are now starting to charge for them. Next, they'll be charging us for using the tenders when in ports without a pier! (Oops, I hope I didn't just give them an idea.)

Stop nickel and diming us to death!

Pete
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Old May 7th, 2015, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storybookcruises.com View Post
I agree - it's all about the money.

We thoroughly love going to the buffet, picking up some fruit, vegetables, crackers, cheese, etc. and then carrying it back to our balcony where we will enjoy a private cocktail party for the two of us as we pull out of port. Or I like to go up to the buffet in the morning to get some coffee and pastries for my wife when she gets up. Now I'd have to pay for this? Yep, it's all about the money.
^^ This exactly. If more lines pick up on this it would end cruising for us.
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Old May 7th, 2015, 04:04 PM
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Yeah Pete, don't give them any ideas! lol
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Old May 7th, 2015, 06:23 PM
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As far as I am concerned, the cruisin experience is not what it used to be.

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Old May 7th, 2015, 07:15 PM
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I agree, Manny!

To me, it just seems like Carnival and NCL are doing everything they can to attract new customers who don't know any better, and in the meantime they're irritating the past guests. Unfortunately, some of the other cruise lines are watching and taking notes. It's a war out there and it appears cruise passengers are suffering the consequences. It's become more about the money at the cost of quality.

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Old May 7th, 2015, 07:55 PM
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I too am not liking this idea at all. Usually, in the afternoon when sitting by the pool, I enjoy a glass of iced tea/lemonaide and possible a cookie or two, to bring back with me to the pool, or even back to the cabin....What is wrong with that?
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Old May 8th, 2015, 04:40 PM
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I too am not liking this idea at all. Usually, in the afternoon when sitting by the pool, I enjoy a glass of iced tea/lemonaide and possible a cookie or two, to bring back with me to the pool, or even back to the cabin....What is wrong with that?
I enjoy the same thing.

This new policy would take some of the joy out of cruising.


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Old May 9th, 2015, 07:00 PM
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I have to think there could be some very unpleasant confrontations coming their way.
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Old May 11th, 2015, 02:24 PM
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As they say ... "this too shall end"

Anyway - this is old news. The $7.95 is for an enhanced menu, but they say the old items are still available at no cost.

I would assume that means a cheeseburger, club sandwich, apple pie, plate of cookies and cheese & crackers are still at no charge.

One change is that they no longer provide a cooked breakfast - only continental breakfasts are complimentary.

Now, I have to say I do understand the "health" concern, but I also agree that all cruise lines are inconsistent about taking old food away. If an hors d oeuvre has been out for over six hours it should be taken away.

But also - if you are bringing food into your room you could be attracting bugs, or it could spoil and you could get sick. A deviled egg or a sandwich with heavy mayonnaise could go bad in a matter of hours. With room service they assume you plan to eat it right away, but when you take food from the buffet after you have just eaten - that indicates you plan to let it sit for awhile.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 12:08 AM
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Well, Thanks Pete for giving them the idea of paying to ride the tenders !
I can see it now-$2.00 for the " good " seats-$1.00 for the cheap seats !
And when the folks who always like to cut it down to the last minute with regards to getting back aboard, I can see them running and having to fork over a fiver in order to get on the last tender !!
Nope, cruising isn't what it used to be. I still love to cruise. I realize the cruise lines have to turn a profit but squeezing the passengers, especially the repeat passengers may not be the way they want to go.
Unfortunately, they don't ask me !
With all the cruise ships plying the waters of the Caribbean already and with all the new ships coming on line in the next couple of years, I think they may be headed into some stormy seas, so to speak.
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Old May 14th, 2015, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
As they say ... "this too shall end"

Anyway - this is old news. The $7.95 is for an enhanced menu, but they say the old items are still available at no cost.

I would assume that means a cheeseburger, club sandwich, apple pie, plate of cookies and cheese & crackers are still at no charge.

One change is that they no longer provide a cooked breakfast - only continental breakfasts are complimentary.

Now, I have to say I do understand the "health" concern, but I also agree that all cruise lines are inconsistent about taking old food away. If an hors d oeuvre has been out for over six hours it should be taken away.

But also - if you are bringing food into your room you could be attracting bugs, or it could spoil and you could get sick. A deviled egg or a sandwich with heavy mayonnaise could go bad in a matter of hours. With room service they assume you plan to eat it right away, but when you take food from the buffet after you have just eaten - that indicates you plan to let it sit for awhile.

Paul, you have NCL's Room Service all wrong. In the past there was no charge for anything, and only basic "cold" items were available for breakfast, nothing hot except coffee. Lunch had free sandwiches, etc. No full meal option for dinner in the past. Now they have expanded the menu to include a couple full 3 course meals, and added cooked to order eggs, bacon etc to the breakfast menu. But, any order would entail a $7.95 delivery fee. The masses rebelled at the thought of paying $7.95 for a coffee and Danish, so they quickly backed off that, and allowed Continental items to be ordered sans $7.95 up until 10:00 am. But, as you said, if you want a burger for lunch, it will cost you $7.95, and I don't even know that a burger is an option.

The ban on take outs followed almost immediately on the heels of the $7.95 announcement. In the opinion of most, it has nothing to do with "Health and safety", and everything to do with ensuring that if you want a snack or meal in your cabin, your only option will be to pay the fee.

I don't know if you saw the article in the USA today by Gene Sloan on 5-13-15 on this subject. "In one of the more unusual policies to be implemented by a cruise line in recent years, Norwegian has banned passengers from taking plates of food out of it's ship's buffets and other eateries to consume in other areas of the vessels." He quoted NCL PR spokesperson Vanessa Picariello's "For our guest's well-being and to maintain a beautiful clean environment" statement that I quoted in my post above, and goes on to say that she later amended her statement as follows to add that "the policy only applied to 'full' plates of food and passengers can still take small items like "a box of cereal or a piece of fruit" out of the buffets to eat elsewhere. Yes, seriously, make sure you get that mini box of Cheerios for your mid afternoon snack!

Ms Picareillo went on to say that "We cannot ensure that the dishes consumed as "take away meet the strict health and safety food service standards." But they can insure that room service items do? Is big brother going to watch to make sure they are eaten immediately? And those afternoon canapé snacks the butler leaves out on your table for 6 hours are OK? And presumably suite guests, who can have the butler bring any meal from anywhere on the ship,
are not subject to these same concerns about how quickly the food is eaten?

Mr. Sloan goes on to comment about how the ban followed the Convenience Fee for room service and states "The net effect of the new ban on taking food away from the eateries coupled with the new charge for room service is that there is no longer a way to have a significant snack or meal in one's room without paying for it."

CEO Andy Stuart made this bone-headed justification for the ban as needing to avoid "multiple plates and food waste littering the corridors" of their ships. 7 cruises so far, and I have yet to see multiple plates and food waste littering the halls. The occassional plate in the hall, just like at a hotel. And if they don't want plates in the hall, then tell the Stewards to stop telling people to place them there, and tell your staff to pick things up instead of walking past them 50 times like they are invisible.

We take most of our meals in the dining venues and seldom have occassion to carry anything out. But it is beyond ridiculous to not allow me to carry my dessert back to my cabin for later, especially when I can go to the Cake Boss' counter in the atrium and PURCHASE an entire cake for a princely sum and then TAKE IT TO MY CABIN. Did you catch what the difference is here? $$$$. You pay full cover charge for your kid in the Italian restaurant. He is cranky and does not eat much of his very expensive pizza, yet you can't take 2 slices with you that he would be ready to eat in an hour or two? Much better to order it from RS and pay $7.95 in case you do not have the intelligence to insure that it does not spoil. I'm not sure how we all manage to get through life without food poisoning without NCL monitoring our food consumption for us.

And please, NCL, don't embarrass yourselves further by making statements on Facebook and USA Today regarding corridors full of multiple plates and food waste, and the fact that you can't ensure that your food won't go bad between your restaurants and someone's cabin. Not exactly the images you want to leave with people who might be considering who to book that next cruise with.
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Old May 15th, 2015, 01:35 PM
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Okay - I stand corrected. I have not been on a "regular" NCL cruise to order room service in many years - so I assumed it would be no different from any other cruise line, but it appears that it is different.

While you mention Andy Stuart - my guess is that this has a lot more to do with Frank Del Rio CEO of the NCLH parent company). Now I have said I like Frank's management style a lot, but he came out publicly and said he is going to make NCL more profitable - and this appears to be one of the first steps.

My guess is that Frank intends to make the NCL brand more "premium" and it will no longer be among the "cheapest" cruise lines in the marketplace. I am sorry for you - but NCL has always been a cruise policy innovator and it does not surprise me that they will be the first cruise line to make this policy and stick to it.

And unfortunately, I am also guessing the other "mainstream" cruise lines will soon follow suit. As you mentioned, Princess already tried it.

That doesn't mean I agree with it - complimentary room service has always been one of the strongest bragging points about cruise ships as a travel alternative. But I don't think it attracts first time cruisers that much (they won't know the difference, and will probably think $7.95 for a delivered hot meal is a pretty good deal).

One thing that WILL happen is that every time people order room service - they will order a LOT more food.
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Old May 15th, 2015, 02:33 PM
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Unfortunately, when I hear someone say they're going to make something 'more profitable', it usually means, as I've always said, they are going to put the 'bean counters' in charge. By what has been happening in the mass-market cruise industry, to me this means they are once again going to do whatever they can to get more money out of the passengers while decreasing costs. And as we have seen throughout the last many years, this means a decrease in quality. They simply cannot increase quality while decreasing costs, so once again, I see another round of decreasing quality.

NCL has positioned themselves as a discount cruise line in direct competition with Carnival. If, and that's a big 'if', they want to become a more 'premium' cruise line and at the same time become more profitable, they will have to raise prices - simple economics. And if they raise prices, how will that affect their budget minded clientele?

So, it'll be interesting to see what they do and how they do it to accomplish their goals, whatever they may be.

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Old May 15th, 2015, 03:24 PM
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Pete...

My theory is that the cruise industry is coming to the realization that they need to find a new clientele - perhaps at the expense of losing some of the old clientele.

Why? Because the older experienced cruisers not only have very high expectations, they are also all members of loyalty programs which have just gotten too big to maintain.

One problem is that cruise lines did not design their loyalty programs like the airlines - where once you use a perk you have to start accumulating miles again. With cruise lines once you are at certain level you stay there and they have to cater to you.

As good as Cruise Critic is - in a way it is the cruise industry's worst nightmare - because that is where experienced cruisers go to compare notes.

But - what I see these days is a lot of old-time cruisers complaining about how the industry is changing, where new cruisers are just as enchanted by what they find as we were when we all first started cruising.
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Old May 15th, 2015, 05:49 PM
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I agree, Paul.

New cruisers have nothing to compare it to, so they are impressed by the lower quality as their expectations are different. Whereas experienced cruisers, especially those who have been around for many years, are now disallusioned by the decline in quality.

And to go along with what you said about the loyalty programs, as I mentioned in another post, these programs are changing and will continue to change to require more cruises to qualify for less benefits.

The cruise lines have changed their focus from providing good quality for those who cruise, to less quality for those who have never cruised before. Let's face it, according to CLIA, only 15% of the American population has ever cruised. This leaves 85% who have not. Because there are now more ships and more berths than ever before, the cruise lines are going after the non-cruisers with more fervor than in the past. They're concentrating their efforts and marketing towards the majority. In the meantime, they're also figuring they can offer more 'wow' factor items (water slides, rock climbing walls, bumper cars, etc) to attract families and at the same time they can cut back on high-priced quality items and loyalty programs to save money.

So whether all these changes are for the good or bad really depends on your point of view, your experience (or lack thereof), and how you rate quality versus cost.

But I definitely agree with what you said about Cruise Critic. It is truly the absolute worse site for cruising. 'Critic' is truly the right term because all they do is criticize everything and everybody. (I think they ought to change the name to Cruise Critic & Whiners!) I really hate when the press uses them as a 'source' for their information. I was banned three times years ago when I pointed out to long-time posters that the information they were providing was wrong. (Don't ever disagree with a long-time poster on Cruise Critic!) Once, I pointed out that one of their big posters with over 10,000 posts was a fraud! She always tried to come across as a know-it-all for everything and bragged about all her cruises. I found out she had never even been on one cruise! But I was the one banned!

Guess that's why Cruise Mates is so much better than Cruise Critic ever was and ever will be.

Pete
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Old May 17th, 2015, 09:16 AM
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While I hate to see the decline in quality and service from Carnival and NCL, let's face it and realize that these "cheaper" cruise lines are normally the jumping off point for attracting new cruisers to the industry. Both NCL and Carnival offer a excellent vacation for new cruisers. I have always heard that Royal Caribbean is a step above Carnival and NCL but honestly when I cruised on Royal Caribbean I didn't notice that big of a difference, other then price.

What I don't want to see is the next tier of cruise lines, Princess, Holland, Celebrity, to just name a few, lose their quality of service and amenities. I don't mind paying a little more money for better quality but it better be worth it.

Could it be that cruise lines now days have implemented a business plan that tiers their products, expecting customers to move up to better quality lines within their company as each customer grows as a cruise vacationer? If you look at Carnival corp for a example, there is a reason that 99% of Carnivals Caribbean cruises are only 7-8 day cruises. If you want a longer cruise, you have to sail on Princess or Holland America. The same could be said about Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, If you want a longer cruise you have to sail Celebrity, I'm keeping these comments to low and mid priced cruise lines. NCL, on the other hand, does a little bit of everything with that particular line but that could change with the recent merger with Oceania and Regent.
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Old May 18th, 2015, 11:25 AM
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I agree, Paul.

New cruisers have nothing to compare it to, so they are impressed by the lower quality as their expectations are different. Whereas experienced cruisers, especially those who have been around for many years, are now disallusioned by the decline in quality.

And to go along with what you said about the loyalty programs, as I mentioned in another post, these programs are changing and will continue to change to require more cruises to qualify for less benefits.

The cruise lines have changed their focus from providing good quality for those who cruise, to less quality for those who have never cruised before. Let's face it, according to CLIA, only 15% of the American population has ever cruised. This leaves 85% who have not. Because there are now more ships and more berths than ever before, the cruise lines are going after the non-cruisers with more fervor than in the past. They're concentrating their efforts and marketing towards the majority. In the meantime, they're also figuring they can offer more 'wow' factor items (water slides, rock climbing walls, bumper cars, etc) to attract families and at the same time they can cut back on high-priced quality items and loyalty programs to save money.

So whether all these changes are for the good or bad really depends on your point of view, your experience (or lack thereof), and how you rate quality versus cost.

But I definitely agree with what you said about Cruise Critic. It is truly the absolute worse site for cruising. 'Critic' is truly the right term because all they do is criticize everything and everybody. (I think they ought to change the name to Cruise Critic & Whiners!) I really hate when the press uses them as a 'source' for their information. I was banned three times years ago when I pointed out to long-time posters that the information they were providing was wrong. (Don't ever disagree with a long-time poster on Cruise Critic!) Once, I pointed out that one of their big posters with over 10,000 posts was a fraud! She always tried to come across as a know-it-all for everything and bragged about all her cruises. I found out she had never even been on one cruise! But I was the one banned!

Guess that's why Cruise Mates is so much better than Cruise Critic ever was and ever will be.

Pete
Pete, I have to disagree strongly with you about Cruise Critic! While there IS a lot of bickering there, at least you can get some information, most of it accurate. Virtually every change that has come up with NCL lately has been reported first on Cruise Critic. And I firmly believe that cruisers would now be paying $7.95 for a cup of coffee and a Danish at 7:00 am if not for the strong backlash on that site. And as much as I enjoy Cruise Mates, this really a different kind of site. I don't see a lot of people coming here for information, but there are some great discussions that are really not possible on some sites.

And just as an FYI, it is "reported" that Cagneys will go ala carte ( and thus not be included in the Dining Package ) and Escape will be the first ship. This will start a new round of complaints by passengers who will feel duped, either because they bought the UDP package thinking it was included, or booked a cruise and chose the UDP, including Cagneys, as their free promo. I am one who bought the package for Escape, and I doubt I would have if I had known this, as it greatly decreases it's value. I am not sure who they think is going to pay a la carte high end steakhouse prices on a mainstream cruise line even if they upgrade the meat. Many did not think it worth the $30 cover to begin with.

I really do not understand why the new management would want to turn NCL into a premium line. They already have 8 ships with Regent and Oceania. And for those who want a more luxurious and private enclave, they can book a Haven cabin. FDR has said he wants to attract a slightly more affluent guest who will spend more on board. Yet they give those "more affluent" guests who are booking Haven, free booze, free specialty dining, and free gratuities. They could cruise all week and not spend a dime, so not sure what sense this makes.

NCL is a unique product in the cruise market. There has been a lot of excitement about their new ships which has brought in lots of new cruisers. Previous Carnival cruisers seemed for a while to be coming over in droves and I have seen many Royal converts as well. I am not sure FDR and his group understands Freestyle and why people love the product, and they may lose bookings because of it. FDR has said we are a "captive audience". He seems to feel we will take what he dishes out and more. A "TA" claimed on CC this am that his bookings are down for NCL. He says many have heard about the flack and won't book with them. Many have said on CC that they are cancelling their cruises with NCL because they feel so strongly about the changes and the way they were implemented and the PR foot in mouth blunders made by the top management and PR departments. The ban on taking anything from the buffet and restaurants seems to be the final straw for many.

I don't know if any of you remember the recent commercial on TV, I want to say it was for Celebrity, with the woman standing at the rail talking dreamily about her pampered cruise day as if she were on a private Yacht. Here is a major cruise line marketing the fact that you can expect to be pampered and catered to on their ships. How does this jibe with the new attitude of cruise line management at other cruise lines, namely NCl?

While I understand the need to maximize profit, any cruiseline needs to beware they will alter the experience so much that cruising loses it's cache. This quote from a former NCL enthusiast really puts the whole thing in a nutshell for me.

"I like to vacation and like a variety in vacations, so I'm not tied to cruising. What I like about cruising is the fantasy that the ship is mine and NCL is there to serve me. My next cruise is in June and this time I'm feeling more concerned about what NCL will let me do or not do, than having them serve me. I spent years in a Catholic school with the same feeling. I don't want that feeling on my vacation." I'manewbie.

In the past, if one refused dessert in the MDR or specialty, the waiter would almost insist that they wrap it up for you to enjoy later. Now they rap your hand with a ruler if you dare try to exit with a saucer of cake. Susie has a meltdown in Le Bistro prior to the meals being served and the waiter in the past would box up all dinners and have them delivered to the cabin. Without being asked to do so. Now the family is told, sorry no carryouts, no refund of the $80 you just spent here, you need to order room service at your cabin. This is not a "premium" experience that one would daydream longingly about.

I am not a "captive audience". I can take my business to the cruise line that most nearly resembles the experience I am looking for and still has some respect for their passengers. Or if that does not exist, then maybe it's time to start a different type of vacation. For what it costs me to book a cruise for two, I can book a home or condo in a resort area that will sleep 12 or more people and have a vacation for the entire family.

Anyway, thanks for letting me vent.
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Old May 18th, 2015, 01:38 PM
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I agree that CC does have some good information - I even use them myself for research and for helping to get into group excursions when on a cruise. Met some great people. I just get tired of all the bickering and attitudes on there. Seems like a person can't simply disagree in civil terms like they can here. At least on CM, people can disagree without personal attacks. But as for getting information there first, it's all about the numbers. They have over 1.2 million members, so they are going to draw from a bigger resource. They have alot more name recognition than CM does, which only has 142,000 members. Big difference. So it's not really fair to compare the two - completely different experience.

But we regress.

I hear what you're saying about NCL and especially people canceling their reservations or deciding not to book with them. Had a very long-time devoted NCL client call me on Saturday and for the first time in 12 years, he decided to try another cruise line. Really surprised me with that one! So he booked a Princess cruise and now I'm excited to see what he has to say about it and his comparison of the two.

With all the major changes going on, the new ships coming out with their 'over the top' amenities, the overall increase in berths, and the fact that cruising is increasing in popularity and is now more affordable than ever before, it'll be interesting to see where all this is going and what happens next. Unfortunately, I see all these changes as more exciting for new cruisers than for those who are long-time cruisers. Obviously, just my opinion and I could be wrong, but as I mentioned earlier, I see all these changes affecting quality in order to increase quantity. Whatever happens, I'm sure it'll be exciting, which is never a bad thing.

Pete
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Old May 21st, 2015, 08:20 AM
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I don't like to see cutbacks on any cruiseline, but I will say that a lot of the food that people carry back to the cabins is just wasted.

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Old May 21st, 2015, 05:12 PM
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Manuel,
I have to with you, also the same, if you look around the buffet after people are ;, a lot left on the plates. I start out with a fairly full plate and when I finish and want more, I just go back, I never just load up my plate.
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Old May 21st, 2015, 11:20 PM
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Donna, on my first few cruises I did eat more than I should have but now I try not to eat anymore than I do at home.

The thing about takeaways is that folks don't like to be restricted in any way.

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Old May 22nd, 2015, 09:39 AM
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Totally agree Manuel, I too basically eat the same as I do at home. I try to eat a light breakfast and lunch, so I can go all out for dinner, including dessert.
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Old May 22nd, 2015, 01:10 PM
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Buggs & Pete....

I think we hit on it again - that the cruise lines are moving their focus to a newer clientele. My theory is that they don't really care if they lose the, well for lack of a better term, Cruise Critic crowd.

Those folks have always been the ones who make demands that nothing ever change in cruising, and frankly, at some point it takes a personality like FDR to say "I don't care what (these) people say or think."

It wouldn't hurt NCL to have a somewhat better reputation - as a more "high class" cruise line because right now it is a line that often gets sold as the budget line. Now, I don't agree, I happen to like a lot about NCL, but I also see why they have gotten that reputation in the past.

Now that they finally have some new vessels that are attractive inside and out, with top notch food and staterooms, that can call themselves a little more upscale.

If you think about it what does Celebrity have that NCL doesn't have? NCL has better entertainment and more food choices. Both charge dearly for alternative dining. NCL has far better entertainment, but Celebrity has nicer carpet (and decor in general).

But there are things about the cruise experience that people love - great room service being one of them. If NCL had picked a smaller fee ($3.95) there would probably be no backlash, but $7.95 is a lot, especially if you are like me and all you really want is a pot of coffee every morning.
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Old May 22nd, 2015, 09:22 PM
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I agree with you, Paul.

I have to admit that I've not been on NCL in a while and not on any of their newer ships since the Gem, so it's quit possible their food has changed in quality. Once we complete our move to Florida, we hope to do more cruising and try some of these newer and different ships from other cruise lines as well.

But based on my past experiences, Celebrity has always catered to an older demographics than NCL, so their needs and expectations are just going to be different. I've always thought Celebrity food was much better than NCL. So NCL would have had to really improve the quality of their food to match Celebrity, when comparing food in the main dining room, not in the specialty restaurants. (Obviously, just my personal opinion.)

Being seniors with alot of cruises, we're not much into the entertainment and we really don't need bowling alleys, ice bars, rock climbing walls, etc. So we appreciate the more sedate experience we get on Celebrity. At the same time, I can definitely see where families would find them too boring and NCL alot more active. It really comes down to what people are looking for, but when comparing the two, I can also see first-time cruisers being more attracted to NCL than Celebrity. Really tough to compare the two because they are so different.

I really hear what you're saying about the cruise lines not wanting to listen to the 'cruise critic' crowd because they are very demanding. First timers are the majority and since they have nothing to compare it to, they are going to be impressed with what they get and don't yet have any 'demands'.

Case in point, we did the Carnival Glory in December 2013 and I have to say the food in the main dining room was the worst of all of our 48 cruises on 11 different cruise lines. We also did not like the ship, the way it was laid out, or the changes that have been made to more cater to the 'party crowd'. Yet, I had a first time cruiser take his family on that ship and came back with nothing but praise for the ship and the food. Same ship - two completely different experiences. We've had the same thing happen on a several ships we've been on where we've hated it and first time cruisers have loved it.

Oh, well, to each their own. But I see where cruise lines are definitely going to be listening alot more to first time cruisers so they can find out what kind of amenities gets them interested in trying a cruise for the first time and also what marketing campaigns get their attention.

Pete
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Old May 26th, 2015, 06:49 PM
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Breaking News on Cruise Critic... NCL have changed their mind and overturned the ban
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Old May 27th, 2015, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BernieG View Post
Breaking News on Cruise Critic... NCL have changed their mind and overturned the ban
I hated that policy just like everybody else but I saw theior point. It was not a money making effort. If you take stuff out of the free buffet area or eat it there it is still not a money maker.

Paul mentioned old time cruisers. I consider myself one of them. I never would have dared to take out food and leave the plates laying around everywhere, sometimes half full with food. And that was part of the policy. To reduce the dishes, glasses etc dropped off everywhere. How often have I been on an elevator on a cruise and it was used for a dish pickup? Or the staircases, hallways?

Cruise lines have market themselves to the masses starting in the late 90s/early 2000s. With that you also have brought a whole bunch of cruisers who have not even an ounce of common sense onto the ships.

Another pet peeve of mine is: standing in line and shoving your food down the throat while in the buffet line. And it seems to me people can't even it with their fingers. Literally everyone who does it shoves the food down with their fingers disappearing in their mouth. And then touch the tonges.

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