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The Seven Seas

Norwegian Cruise Line Goes All Inclusive

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2 minutes ago, tigerlilly said:

whilst i really enjoyed it when we went on NCL, the speciality restaurants made it for us. I wonder if their standards will go down if they are now included as well or if they'll still be as good?!

That's a thought that had crossed my mind too tigerlilly. My other thought was that if the quality was to remain the same then the overall price of the cruise in order to accommodate paying for these types of restaurants would need to be higher due to the money NCL must make from the speciality restaurants alone. Not sure which way it will go on that.

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7 hours ago, MG16 said:

On the first picture it does say service charges and gratuities, but lower down it advises all tips related to all-inclusive services. There is no mention of the gratuities which are paid to waiters/cabin stewards being included. It is not very clear and seems to contradict itself but as I read it those gratuities are not included.

Hi MG16,

I have today spoken with Norwegian and they confirm that it includes all gratuities. The only extra you would have to pay is tax on purchases from the shops where applicable. 

OWT

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Never sailed NCL myself, but has anyone done a price comparison between now and when AI comes into force? Would be interesting to know exactly how much extra AI will cost!!!!!

Gratuities included put me off straight away, until recently I have always paid the cruiselines preferred way, but I now truly believe these should always be optional. 

HLM 

 

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I agree with HLM regarding gratuities being optional but I am sure many people will be happy with the idea that the price they see is the final price. Quite a few cruise lines are now including gratuities in the headline price such as Thomson, Saga, Azamara and several more.

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1 hour ago, Oldworldtraveller said:

I agree with HLM regarding gratuities being optional but I am sure many people will be happy with the idea that the price they see is the final price. Quite a few cruise lines are now including gratuities in the headline price such as Thomson, Saga, Azamara and several more.

 My opinion is the exact opposite of yours!  We always include the cost of gratuities when pricing a cruise, so  I would be happy to see them included, so everyone pays their fair share.  I would not want to pay more to have included drinks because we are very light drinkers - our drink bill at the end of a cruise is rarely more than $250 for both of us, so it would not represent value.  

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22 minutes ago, smtcan said:

 My opinion is the exact opposite of yours!  We always include the cost of gratuities when pricing a cruise, so  I would be happy to see them included, so everyone pays their fair share.  I would not want to pay more to have included drinks because we are very light drinkers - our drink bill at the end of a cruise is rarely more than $250 for both of us, so it would not represent value.  

The problem is that there is not a 'one price for all', unlike you I like the thought of inclusive drinks etc, but for me gratuities should always be separate and optional.

It's impossible to make everyone happy and fairly treated, for example early bookers generally pay more than late bookers, apart from a few little extras the cost can be double, but that's the choice people make, it should be the same with gratuities up to the individual, after all I could've paid double for the same cruise as others, is that fair that I should subsidise late bookers? Same in principle!!

HLM.

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From a conversation that I have had with NCL, service charges have been removed along with gratuities for all items included in the package. Gratuities will still be charged for extras such as bottled wine, spas and speciality coffees taken outside the dining rooms at the current 18%. Sadly, the speciality dining package currently available as a promotion has been removed, so the deal is not truly 'all inclusive' and all speciality dining will be paid for.

 

Lorry, sad to say that the deal only applies to new bookings so existing bookings will remain as they are. This is not all bad news however, as to pick up on The Seven Seas point, there is a price to pay for the deal. We also have an NCL booking for next year, and having run a quick comparison comparing the same benefits except the speciality coffees (which we always take in the Atrium where they are not included in the deal) and bottled water the new deal worked out at £274 pp more. Apparently, the current advertised prices are for an introductory period with a £200 discount, so the real comparison could be an extra £474 which, in our case, is a 20% increase.

 

I think that there is a risk of NCL becoming uncompetitive on price where passengers just look at the advertised prices. We will see!

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On 4/6/2017 at 0:47 PM, summer willow said:

def great idea on all inc drinks as so exp on the American ships!

But the average cruiser will probably end up paying the same, because the cruise line will certainly want to maintain or more likely increase their revenue, and their base price will definitely include the cost of all the inclusive items.

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Our Daughter is currently on NCL Epic. and they had a drink package included in there deal.Plus a couple of specialty  diners.Apart from her son fracturing his arm (No Charges for the treatment) they are all enjoying the cruise,and her husband just loves the drinks package??

IMO it is a good move to include as much as possible in the fare paid ,not adding additions which have been a big bone of contention ,especially for new cruisers .

Hopefully a sign that cruise lines are getting the message regarding tips ,a good move OMO....Davybe

 

 

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Have NCL gone mad! Since when does it make sense offering less choice at higher prices. Those who do not drink will not book with NCL. Those who do not pay autogratuities will not book with NCL. In these circumstances their market share will collapse at the new prices. Eventually they will have to sell at ridiculous prices to try and re-establish their market share. Then there will be some innovation to buy a cruise WITHOUT the drinks package.!!!

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I met today with someone from NCL and asked about the new 'All Inclusive'. They tell me that bookings have gone through the roof and it is one of the best moves they have ever made. The prices look good as well. I found one on the 21st May out of Venice for 7 days,  £979 all inclusive and including flights. Yes there are the few that don't drink, there are the few that don't tip but for the vast majority that sounds like good value to me and I wonder how long it will be before other cruise lines follow!!! 

 

 

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In my original comment on this topic I said that I admired NCL for being the first take such a bold step. It's clearly paying off for them based on your conversation OWT. With so many bookings going their way, Royal Caribbean, P&O and alike must surely be evaluating their policies. If either of those two examples where to switch to all-inclusive like NCL now though, they've lost the "original" title to NCL already and would merely be seen as a follower rather than a leader. Good for NCL having the guts to make such a significant change to differentiate themselves from the rest of the market.

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1 minute ago, Oldworldtraveller said:

Celebrity and RCI had already gone part way in giving 'Free' drinks packages with certain sailings and no doubt it won't be long before others follow. Watch this space.

Agreed. Although gratuities and service charges remain regular topics of conversation for these two brands, NCL have removed the negativity surrounding these areas towards them with the introduction of this new pricing policy.

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As long as they exist gratuities will remain a hotly debated subject of conversation with all cruise lines. As I mentioned on another thread when I did question time after my talk the other day the first question was, correct, Gratuities and Service Charges. Even there, people had different opinions, and that was an audience of about 80 varying from the new to cruise to people who had been cruising a long time. It's a discussion that will continue for years to come unless the cruise lines include them in the base fare.

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I'm a RCI cruiser and as mentioned RCI already offered cruise fares with inclusive drinks package but of course nothing is free so the drinks package prices are built into the fares. However the inclusive price is marginally cheaper than purchasing separately. Gratuities are not included though.

For cruisers like I have no interest in the top drinks package so the inclusive fares are no good to me. I have recently booked a cruise with non-inclusive guarantee cabin £500 cheaper than the cheapest inclusive fare. That's £1,000 difference per cabin. So I saved the £1,000 for not having a drinks package that I do not need.

As long as the cruise lines offer options then all should be well.

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On 4/30/2017 at 11:00 AM, sky0000547 said:

I'm a RCI cruiser and as mentioned RCI already offered cruise fares with inclusive drinks package but of course nothing is free so the drinks package prices are built into the fares. However the inclusive price is marginally cheaper than purchasing separately. Gratuities are not included though.

For cruisers like I have no interest in the top drinks package so the inclusive fares are no good to me. I have recently booked a cruise with non-inclusive guarantee cabin £500 cheaper than the cheapest inclusive fare. That's £1,000 difference per cabin. So I saved the £1,000 for not having a drinks package that I do not need.

As long as the cruise lines offer options then all should be well.

This is precisely where I am dubious of the one size fits all approach that NCL have adopted. Many people have been calling for a completely inclusive fare price for a long time now, including on this forum. It suits a lot of people but not everyone. NCL have made a bold move in becoming the first 'mainstream' cruise line to do this and many will love it. There are however people like yourself sky who want the choice still. This is why I think brands like Celebrity and Royal Caribbean will hold off for a while yet, just to see how it plays out for NCL. If it's effective for them, I think we'll see Celebrity and RCI move towards more offerings of free drink packages with their offers to combat NCL or a promotion towards "tailor-making" your cruise rather than having it decided for you.

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3 hours ago, sammy sun said:

This is precisely where I am dubious of the one size fits all approach that NCL have adopted. Many people have been calling for a completely inclusive fare price for a long time now, including on this forum. It suits a lot of people but not everyone. NCL have made a bold move in becoming the first 'mainstream' cruise line to do this and many will love it. There are however people like yourself sky who want the choice still. This is why I think brands like Celebrity and Royal Caribbean will hold off for a while yet, just to see how it plays out for NCL. If it's effective for them, I think we'll see Celebrity and RCI move towards more offerings of free drink packages with their offers to combat NCL or a promotion towards "tailor-making" your cruise rather than having it decided for you.

 

Celebrity US offered a pick your perk offer where you could select from OBC, 'free' gratuities or a drink package.  I don't know if this was offered in UK.  The published value of the drink package was far higher than the other perks because they listed the daily cost to buy it.  The real value depends on how much you usually spend on drinks, which for us was far less.

I am surprised that when so many people have been asking for cruise lines to get rid of gratuities and include a living wage for workers in the advertised fare, some people bemoan the fact that with NCL's new system they can no longer remove tips!  Be careful of what you ask for - you might not like it when you get it!!!

 

Edited by smtcan

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14 hours ago, smtcan said:

 

Yes they did offer the 123 deal ,which proved quit popular.

As I mentioned before when Celebrity first started cruising from Soton, they included the Grats in the drink prices due to the UK patrons complaining about the extra tips on drinks ,sales went up. All inclusive will be the trend for the future...Davybe  

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I think it will appeal to new to cruise, those who have maybe only done a land all inclusive package will now be able to easily compare what they are getting for their money. its a perfect option for those who dont want to worry about a big bill at the end.

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1 hour ago, Furby said:

I think it will appeal to new to cruise, those who have maybe only done a land all inclusive package will now be able to easily compare what they are getting for their money. its a perfect option for those who dont want to worry about a big bill at the end.

Agree Furby, this is the perfect option for those who are worried about any big bills hitting them at the end of the cruise.

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