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-   -   Warning about NCL cruise rewards (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/travel-gripes/375050-warning-about-ncl-cruise-rewards.html)

houdeg July 6th, 2010 10:10 PM

Warning about NCL cruise rewards
 
When booking my NCL cruise on the Spirit I was told I would receive a $100.00 on on board credit for booking the cruise. On past NCL cruises the certificate was waiting in the stateroom. This past June (2010) in small print on our eticket it said to download our "bonus". I did not download it because I did not see it.. Once on board we asked twice about our credit and was told it would be on our last statement. It never was, we inquired before we left the ship on the last day and we were told we would have to take it up with customer relations, we were treated very rudely that last day when we inquired. I took it up with customer relations, in writing, which is the only way it would get reviewed. NCL regreted the "miscommunication" but they would not reimburse me for the $100.00, instead they would give me the credit on a future cruise if I took it within the next year. I told them they could keep it. I have done 4 cruises with NCL and will not do another. It is only $100.00 but it really is the principal of the matter and I feel they are not honest. When you try to clarify things such as this, on the cruise, they talk in circles and make like they do not understand what you are talking about. So BUYER BEWARE, don't get ripped off like I did.

am588 August 9th, 2010 11:05 AM

Was it like a downloadable coupon or something?? sketchy!

Mike M August 9th, 2010 02:23 PM

I have never liked the idea of having to an "extra" step in order to receive a discount or OBC. I do believe that companies believe that a number of people will not do the extra step and the company keeps the money.

My rule of thumb: If instructions say you need to do something then do it. If you don't know how then talk to someone who can tell you how to jump through the hoop. The company sets the rules and if you don't follow them you are out of luck. Do I like it? Is it fair? No: But that's the way it is.

Take care,
Mike

Bruce Chafkin1 August 9th, 2010 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by houdeg (Post 1301864)
When booking my NCL cruise on the Spirit I was told I would receive a $100.00 on on board credit for booking the cruise. On past NCL cruises the certificate was waiting in the stateroom. This past June (2010) in small print on our eticket it said to download our "bonus". I did not download it because I did not see it.. Once on board we asked twice about our credit and was told it would be on our last statement. It never was, we inquired before we left the ship on the last day and we were told we would have to take it up with customer relations, we were treated very rudely that last day when we inquired. I took it up with customer relations, in writing, which is the only way it would get reviewed. NCL regreted the "miscommunication" but they would not reimburse me for the $100.00, instead they would give me the credit on a future cruise if I took it within the next year. I told them they could keep it. I have done 4 cruises with NCL and will not do another. It is only $100.00 but it really is the principal of the matter and I feel they are not honest. When you try to clarify things such as this, on the cruise, they talk in circles and make like they do not understand what you are talking about. So BUYER BEWARE, don't get ripped off like I did.

You might like to think of your $100 loss as a "not paying attention tax".

Paul Motter August 23rd, 2010 03:15 AM

That is ridiculous. If you were primised a credit you should have gotten it.

I am wondering if you could have downloaded it while you on the ship in the Internet cafe.

This really chaps my hide. $100 is a lot o fmoney. To tell a customer "too bad" is horrible. I have been hearing more & more complaints about NCL lately.

Donna August 23rd, 2010 09:32 AM

Nope, that just sounds totally unfair, they already give you a credit, which is almost the same as money, would be better if they just deducted that from your initial cruise price, but they don't do that either. I'm sure many others just miss it and don't even realize it.

Next time, I'd follow Mike's advise and make sure you do everything that is required to get your money owed.

puggo63 August 24th, 2010 11:27 PM

Wow, this sounds exactly like those "apply for a rebate and get it in the mail within 90 days" when you buy a cell phone or something similar BUT they place the requirements of the rebate in microscopic letters so if you miss any minute detail - you won't get it - but the company keeps the rebate money!!!
NCL is doing the exact same thing here! I would continue to fight it to see how far you can go and then, again, post, your outcome - good and bad! The worst thing a company can receive is a poor reputation just alone by customer word of mouth but it appears NCL doesn't care until it hits their CEO's pockets!
Also from I have read on various cruise forums, NCL's customer service is taking a severe nosedive to unacceptable levels - all you have to do is Google "NCL complaints" or better still check out the passenger reviews of their new ship, "EPIC" - poor customer service and just plain bad service all around on the ship is a consistent issue with NCL. I was going to book on the EPIC (hey I live in Miami and its right there lol) but even my travel agent gave me a rather stern warning about NCL - enough said - I am going to another line!!!!
I hope you have a positive outcome!

Dannyboy August 30th, 2010 09:54 AM

$100 on last Statement
 
SBC must be spent on the ship, I know of past passengers loosing remaining balances.
NCL does not want the funds to leave the ship, hence, the $100 future cruise credit, which was fair.
NLC is the last hold out between Carnival Corp. & Royal Caribbean Corp.
It's a matter of time in my opinion.

NCL actually cut a ship in half to add to her size, I know cost was the factor.
All the major players unload older ships and purchase new mega ships with new technology.
The marketing potential after entering the Eclipse into the fleet has changed the way business is done.

If you received in writing the name of personal setting the time & date for receipt of the $100, you could have taken it up with management on the ship.

Waiting until the last day, must be a policy for NLC to avoid passengers with unresolved issues.

Down loading the doc at the internet cafe was the process to cure the problem, if you had known, otherwise, the fine print covers the process.

talenavi February 5th, 2011 01:49 PM

Future Sales Credit on NCL
 
I think Future Cruise sales is a great idea. There is nothing to download, when you are buying your $250 credit, $100 OBC is applied to your current cruise the same day. I had twice already on Norwegian Epic and had no problems at all. Then, when I was booking my cruise I just mentioned to the cruise agent that I have future cruise credit, and she was able to find it easily by my Lattitude number. The best thing it is combinable with two other OBCs from the travel agencies.

jennc February 16th, 2011 06:00 PM

Use a travel agent!!!!!!!!

brad813 February 19th, 2011 03:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jennc (Post 1352861)
Use a travel agent!!!!!!!!

You should see how NCL treats their travel agents. I was supposed to do a Shipboard Luncheon for travel agents twice last year. and both dates were cancelled. one after I was already in New York City. The first time I lost out on a free hotel night I redeemed for the trip and the second time I was never notified. Because of this I am very cautious about recommending NCL to my clients and I only promote them when they are the best option for my intended promotion(such as when I want to do a round trip Honolulu cruise, and NCL is the only line to do those regularly to my knowledge). The last Business Development Manager I had with NCL I liked though. Carnival has been ok to deal with but has been giving agents problems as well. Nothing bad to say about most of the lines, but Princess I have been especially impressed with as I have been preparing for my own upcoming cruise. Nothing but courteous, respectful, and friendly service from them. My suggestion is if you continually have problems with one cruise line, you may want to contact a travel agent and start looking for a cruise line that has many of the same features you like as the one you normally cruise on. Do keep in mind that a travel agent should never charge fees for anything but airline tickets and special services(such as mailing documents or special(non-domestic) calls they have to make on your behalf, as cruise lines do pay the commission after you get back from your vacation.

Paul Motter July 14th, 2011 01:09 PM

This qualifies for the "what's the catch" thread. You didn't download your certificate so no shipboard credit for you.

Paul Motter July 14th, 2011 01:13 PM

Speaking of NCL and agents...

I booked an NCL cruise last year to go on Norwegian Epic. I started getting phone calls from my "personal NCL vacation planner" even before the cruise left. They are definitely stealing customers away from agents, and any agent who does not know that is delusional.

If I were an agent I would give them the Renaissance treatment - why book a client on a cruise line that is going to steal that client away from you?

And by the way - I never gave them permission to call me - they just did. There may be a reason why they put their call center in Arizona - because we have pretty loose laws about telemarketing here (although they have gotten a bit tougher).

Wando July 15th, 2011 04:56 PM

Maybe I'm misunderstanding something, but with NCL if you purchase a future cruise credit onboard you get the OBC on the cruise you are currently on, not on the future cruise. This is what happened to me when I purchased an FCC in October 2010 while on the Epic. I received the OBC while on the Epic and have 4 years to use the FCC. Is it different if you book a specific cruise rather than an FCC while on board or was this some kind of promotion that NCL was offering?

skymaster March 4th, 2012 06:22 PM

At one point in our "cruising career", NCL was my favorite line, but frankly, since the ridiculous changes in their dining arrangements, and all the other things I've heard about the company , I haven't done an NCL cruise for several years. Their loss IMO,,,and actually,,,I haven't missed 'em either!

"SKY"

mrtravel December 2nd, 2013 11:29 AM

I think there is some confusion. When you buy the Cruise Reward, they post a $100 credit to your account automatically. You get a cert for the $250 Reward, but that Reward is also added to your Latitudes account and NCL agents see it when you book.

storybookcruises.com December 2nd, 2013 09:47 PM

First, the original poster made this post in 2010! Things have changed in the last 3 years.

Second, he didn't say he booked a Future Cruise while on a cruise or that he purchased a Cruise Reward. He said, "When booking my NCL cruise on the Spirit I was told I would receive a $100.00 on on board credit for booking the cruise."

But this is one of the major reasons why you should always book with an agent!! The original poster has not been around except to complain in one of only two posts ever made in this forum, which tells me alot to begin with.

If he was required to go the additional step to get the onboard credit, which I don't agree with, and he didn't go the additional step, then that's no one's fault except his. Things change all the time and just because something happened one way the first time does not mean it will happen the same way all the time. If he booked it directly with the cruise line, then he's left to his own devices and can't blame the cruise line. Had he booked with an agent in the first place, they would have made sure he know all the nuances of the particular requirements associated with getting the onboard credit.

Plus, had he booked with an agent and had any problems, it's the agent's responsibility to handle it so the passenger doesn't have to worry about it. But to complain about the cruise line for something the passenger didn't do is like complaining about the car company when the owner left their doors unlocked and their camera was stolen.

Pete

Travelbuggs January 2nd, 2014 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by houdeg (Post 1301864)
When booking my NCL cruise on the Spirit I was told I would receive a $100.00 on on board credit for booking the cruise. On past NCL cruises the certificate was waiting in the stateroom. This past June (2010) in small print on our eticket it said to download our "bonus". I did not download it because I did not see it.. Once on board we asked twice about our credit and was told it would be on our last statement. It never was, we inquired before we left the ship on the last day and we were told we would have to take it up with customer relations, we were treated very rudely that last day when we inquired. I took it up with customer relations, in writing, which is the only way it would get reviewed. NCL regreted the "miscommunication" but they would not reimburse me for the $100.00, instead they would give me the credit on a future cruise if I took it within the next year. I told them they could keep it. I have done 4 cruises with NCL and will not do another. It is only $100.00 but it really is the principal of the matter and I feel they are not honest. When you try to clarify things such as this, on the cruise, they talk in circles and make like they do not understand what you are talking about. So BUYER BEWARE, don't get ripped off like I did.

It's sort of a moot point now, since this is from 2010, but the poster never said "who" they booked their cruise with, be it a TA or the cruise line direct. It seems pretty clear the poster was talking about an On Board Credit to be issued in conjunction with the booking, but whether this was to be issued by the TA or NCL is not clear. I will say I have heard plenty of people say that they have had problems once onboard because the OBC promised by the TA did not show up, necessitating calls back and forth.

Some of the responses and even the original poster have made reference to a Future Cruise Reward or Future Cruise Credit which is a totally different thing and I don't believe this is what the poster was talking about. That is a deposit you buy on the ship for your next cruise and you get an immediate $100 credit on your ship account, but you have the full deposit to use on your next cruise booking.

I can say that I have cruised with NCL since 2007, and also cruised in 2010 and annually after that with them and I was NEVER required to download anything in order to obtain my OBC. It is always reflected on my cruise docs and usually by a letter in my cabin also. I do wonder if the poster is confused about an offer listed on your cruise docs where you can download a coupon booklet worth xx dollars to use during your cruise. I usually never bother cause it's really not worth it. Too bad the poster did not come back to clarify anything.

Travelbuggs January 2nd, 2014 12:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brad813 (Post 1353488)
You should see how NCL treats their travel agents. I was supposed to do a Shipboard Luncheon for travel agents twice last year. and both dates were cancelled. one after I was already in New York City. The first time I lost out on a free hotel night I redeemed for the trip and the second time I was never notified. Because of this I am very cautious about recommending NCL to my clients and I only promote them when they are the best option for my intended promotion(such as when I want to do a round trip Honolulu cruise, and NCL is the only line to do those regularly to my knowledge).

Well, Brad, thank you for confirming my suspicion that some TAs base their recommendation on their own personal tastes and prejudices or whoever happens to be awarding the most commission!

This is why I do my own research and planning and then call the TA or cruise line when I am ready to book.

Travelbuggs January 2nd, 2014 12:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paul Motter (Post 1381480)
Speaking of NCL and agents...

I booked an NCL cruise last year to go on Norwegian Epic. I started getting phone calls from my "personal NCL vacation planner" even before the cruise left. They are definitely stealing customers away from agents, and any agent who does not know that is delusional.

If I were an agent I would give them the Renaissance treatment - why book a client on a cruise line that is going to steal that client away from you?

And by the way - I never gave them permission to call me - they just did. There may be a reason why they put their call center in Arizona - because we have pretty loose laws about telemarketing here (although they have gotten a bit tougher).

With all due respect to you, you would not book a client on NCL because you got a phone call from a person in a call center who got your name on a list, presumably of people who have signed up on the website or are previous cruisers? You think they called you to attempt to hijack the booking? You are not the only cruiser to receive these call, I assure you. Same reason I get them from my bank and credit card issuers. If they have a business relationship with you, they can call you.

I have had occasion to book direct with NCL more than once and THEN requested the booking be transferred to a TA because of pricing and other perks. I'll bet you don't complain about those situations!:roll:. In fact my Personal Cruise Consultant at NCL explained the process of transfer to me and told me if I decided to do so, it would be no problem. I have never had anyone at NCL try to talk me out of transferring a booking and in fact they spoke very highly of travel agencies who they referred to as their "travel partners". EVERY transfer I have made has been handled quickly and courteously.

The comments I see from TAs on this site is really leaving a bad taste in my mouth. Just an opinion from the other side of the fence.

storybookcruises.com January 2nd, 2014 05:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Travelbuggs (Post 1492330)
Well, Brad, thank you for confirming my suspicion that some TAs base their recommendation on their own personal tastes and prejudices or whoever happens to be awarding the most commission!

That's not what Brad is saying. No where did he mention anything about recommending any cruise line because of commission. The only thing he said about commission was to say cruise lines do not pay commission until after the cruise. (BTW, this is not necessarily true for all cruise lines.)

And, quite frankly, everyone is exactly the same way. If you are constantly encountering problems with a company, do you recommend them to your family and friends? Of course not. So, in effect, you're showing your bias based on your own personal tastes and prejudices. Just because you had a bad problem with them does not necessarily mean others will. It's only human nature for people to want to warn others about a particular company because of their personal experiences. The same can be said about any profession, whether it be a travel agent, auto mechanic, dentist, accountant, etc. And that's all that Brad was talking about. In fact, he said he was simply cautious about recommending a company that he had encountered several problems with. He never said anything about not recommending them.

You're only talking about your experiences with NCL. Travel agents have experiences with all the cruise lines and it's only natural for them to compare the companies against each other and how well they treat not only the travel agents, but their clients as well. If I have a company where my clients are always encountering problems, I have a duty to my clients to let them know about those problems so they have all the facts and can make appropriate decisions.

Professionally, I've never had any major problems with NCL, but I've had several with Carnival. Personally, I've never had any problems when cruising on NCL, but have had some when cruising Carnival. So does that mean I should advise my clients accordingly?

Finding a good travel agent is like finding a good cruise line; what one person finds great, another will not be happy with. I have many clients who absolutely love Carnival and won't sail on any other cruise line, while other clients hate Carnival with a passion.

My professional opinion is that a good travel agent should not be recommending anything. I don't consider that a part of my job. As a professional travel agent, I feel it's my job to give as much information as a client can handle so they can make the best decision on what's right for them based on their requirements, lifestyle, and budget.

When anyone, not just travel agents, 'recommends', they are in fact trying to persuade or guide a person towards a decision.

Sometimes it's very difficult not to want to recommend. I have people all the time asking me for recommendations and my answer is always the same, "It's not my job to recommend anything, because what I like you may not necessarily like and vice versa. It's my job to give you information so you can make an informed decision on what's right for you."

That's part of the fun of cruising - trying all of the cruise lines until you find the best one for you. We've been on 47 cruises on 11 cruise lines and can't wait to try the next one on the list.

There's nothing wrong with booking directly with the cruise line. If you don't have any problems, then everything goes according to plan. But people need to be aware that if problems do arise, the cruise line is going to represent themselves and not the passenger. However, if you book with a reputable agent, they represent you and should you have any problems, it's their job to take care of it so you don't have to hassle with it. Besides, they have contacts available to them that are not available to you and can make it so much easier for you.

As for you hearing from "plenty of people say that they have had problems once onboard because the OBC promised by the TA did not show up", I've been involved in travel for over 25 years before starting my own company 12 years ago and have over 2900 clients around the world, and I've only had a few problems with someone not getting their onboard credit and it was the fault of the cruise line in every instance. So I have to wonder if those 'plenty of people' were all on the same cruise line.

Pete

Travelbuggs January 3rd, 2014 10:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cruise planner (Post 1492338)
That's not what Brad is saying. No where did he mention anything about recommending any cruise line because of commission. The only thing he said about commission was to say cruise lines do not pay commission until after the cruise. (BTW, this is not necessarily true for all cruise lines.)

And, quite frankly, everyone is exactly the same way. If you are constantly encountering problems with a company, do you recommend them to your family and friends? Of course not. So, in effect, you're showing your bias based on your own personal tastes and prejudices. Just because you had a bad problem with them does not necessarily mean others will. It's only human nature for people to want to warn others about a particular company because of their personal experiences. The same can be said about any profession, whether it be a travel agent, auto mechanic, dentist, accountant, etc. And that's all that Brad was talking about. In fact, he said he was simply cautious about recommending a company that he had encountered several problems with. He never said anything about not recommending them.

You're only talking about your experiences with NCL. Travel agents have experiences with all the cruise lines and it's only natural for them to compare the companies against each other and how well they treat not only the travel agents, but their clients as well. If I have a company where my clients are always encountering problems, I have a duty to my clients to let them know about those problems so they have all the facts and can make appropriate decisions.

Professionally, I've never had any major problems with NCL, but I've had several with Carnival. Personally, I've never had any problems when cruising on NCL, but have had some when cruising Carnival. So does that mean I should advise my clients accordingly?

Finding a good travel agent is like finding a good cruise line; what one person finds great, another will not be happy with. I have many clients who absolutely love Carnival and won't sail on any other cruise line, while other clients hate Carnival with a passion.

My professional opinion is that a good travel agent should not be recommending anything. I don't consider that a part of my job. As a professional travel agent, I feel it's my job to give as much information as a client can handle so they can make the best decision on what's right for them based on their requirements, lifestyle, and budget.

When anyone, not just travel agents, 'recommends', they are in fact trying to persuade or guide a person towards a decision.

Sometimes it's very difficult not to want to recommend. I have people all the time asking me for recommendations and my answer is always the same, "It's not my job to recommend anything, because what I like you may not necessarily like and vice versa. It's my job to give you information so you can make an informed decision on what's right for you."

That's part of the fun of cruising - trying all of the cruise lines until you find the best one for you. We've been on 47 cruises on 11 cruise lines and can't wait to try the next one on the list.

There's nothing wrong with booking directly with the cruise line. If you don't have any problems, then everything goes according to plan. But people need to be aware that if problems do arise, the cruise line is going to represent themselves and not the passenger. However, if you book with a reputable agent, they represent you and should you have any problems, it's their job to take care of it so you don't have to hassle with it. Besides, they have contacts available to them that are not available to you and can make it so much easier for you.

As for you hearing from "plenty of people say that they have had problems once onboard because the OBC promised by the TA did not show up", I've been involved in travel for over 25 years before starting my own company 12 years ago and have over 2900 clients around the world, and I've only had a few problems with someone not getting their onboard credit and it was the fault of the cruise line in every instance. So I have to wonder if those 'plenty of people' were all on the same cruise line.

Pete

Hi, cruise planner. You sound as though you would be a good and impartial TA. And it would be great to have a knowledgeable and impartial one that was looking out for me first, instead of what's best for himself, but I have yet to run across one. I probably do way more research than most cruisers and honestly, have been given a great deal of misinformation by TAs. I even had one who refused to book me and husband into a cabin with a max capacity of 4 as it was "against the rules". I booked with the cruise line instead.

Perhaps I was reading too much between the lines, but the statement "Because of this" ( apparently the fact that he was disgruntled about the TA tour issue ) I am very cautious about recommending NCL to my clients and I only promote them when they are the best option for my intended promotion.". In other words, when they are the only game in town, such as with the POA in Hawaii. His statement "You should see how NCL treats their travel agents" tells me he has a bias which has nothing to do with the actual cruise experience a person might have and that this bias does affect the information he gives his customers. How any cruise line treats it's TA business partners is immaterial to me as a cruiser, as is how much commission they get paid, and when they get paid it. I can understand taking into consideration a client's related experiences on a given cruise, although if you have ever read many cruise reviews posted on websites, it is obvious that the complaints of many of them amount to very little, "there was only 1 free place to eat" when actually there were 4 or 5, so even those should be taken with a big grain of salt. As with the complaint of the poster who started this thread, things just don't add up, yet a negative impression may be left with those who take it at face value.

I am a big advocate of doing your own research before you call the cruise line or TA. No one knows your likes and dislikes better than yourself. I already know what ship, what the scoop is on the ship, inside tips, what cabins to avoid, and specifically what category and cabin I want when I call and have already gotten quotes from TAs and the cruise line. Most of the negative reviews I see could have been avoided if the cruiser had just done a little research first.

As far as a TA being your advocate for the cruise line versus booking with the line direct, I have never had a TA refuse to call the cruise line to inquire about price drops, upgrades, etc., BUT, I've never had one INITIATE the call without me calling them first. I HAVE had NCL cruise consultants call ME to let me know about promotions, etc and get a better deal for me, and when I call them, I am usually happy with the outcome. Perhaps there are TAs out there who would do this, but I have never found one.

And just let me inject here since there was an insinuation, not by you, that NCL tries to "steal" the bookings of TAs. While a cruiser may get a random telemarketing call or even an email from an NCL call center, for the purpose of informing about cruise specials, etc with the hope of booking your NEXT cruise, they are not plotting to hijack the booking. When cruisers booked with a TA call the 800# for NCL, if it is anything related to their currently booked cruise, beyond booking a tour or something of that nature, the first question they are asked is "did you book with us direct or through a travel agent?". If the response is TA, they will be immediately informed that they must call their TA to handle the request. Their policy, and I assumed, the policy of all cruise lines, is not to talk to cruisers who are booked with TAs. Understandable, as the TA is the one getting a commission to handle these requests, and probably also to avoid the appearance of anything unethical leading to complaints of hijacked bookings. I get plenty of emails from TAs while I am already booked elsewhere, but I never assume they are trying to convince me to move my booking.

Sorry if I came off as negative toward TAs, but I was just really rubbed the wrong way, and why a "professional" TA would talk like this on a public forum is beyond me. Save those posts for a TA forum somewhere. Glad to see there are some good TAs out there, and I hope there are many more like you.


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