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Thread: NCL Cruise Lines and Caesars

  1. #1
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    This Saturday we are heading on the NCL Escape it leaves from Miami for a 7 day adventure...... Thanks to Caesars we get the Haven & ultimate beverage package for only $987 for two of us...

    NCL has Casinos at Sea Program this is our 5th cruise over 13 months... I'm at the VIP level card which gives us priority boarding,tenders,Haven rooms...

    We love to cruise this year 4 are on our calendar... Will post pictures


    I think Diamond players get 20% off a cabin, Seven Stars get a free balcony meaning you only pay the port charges....

  2. #2
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    I've never been on a cruise -- I get seasick. But I am always thinking about trying it along with some patch or pills if my doctor will prescribe.

    How does what you are paying -- $987 -- compare with what a "civilian" would pay going thru a travel agent or booking themself with the cruise line?

    I've never understood "port charges" etc. that are added on costs... but it's time for me to learn. Thanks.
    Alan Mendelson
    www.AlanBestBuys.com
    "(Alan) simply can't get past a die having six sides." -- Michael Shackleford May 12, 2015

  3. #3
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    Alan

    Really no one gets seasick anymore due to the stabilizers on these ships are more sophisticated than ever... The Escape holds over 4,200 passengers and 1,700 crew members. That's 5,900 people .... But during the course of your week you never could run into the same person unless you choose to..

    Me I hang out in the Cigar Lounge in the early mornings and later at night ... Have always met great people and now have become friendly with quite a few of them. In fact we are traveling with 9 other couples on this cruise

    Here is our price breakdown
    Admin fee $200 per person $400
    Upgraded $180 per person $360
    Govt Port tax $124.78 pp $249.56

    $1,009.56 grand total sorry I was wrong about the $987

    This is what we get a Haven Suite (due to VIP card and 4 other cruises within past year)
    Ultimate Beverage Package which means my wife and I get any drink we want up to $15 the entire week.. This open bar for a week...
    Our meals included, there are specialty places that charge between $15-$40 per person

    Only thing not included on our bill is $15.00 a day per person for gratuity... But I give our stewards money every day...
    I also find my one "home" bar on the first day and give him or her $50 I never wait in line for a drink and they free pour for me... It's never failed

  4. #4
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    I just set foot on a ship in dock and I get sea sick. We had a discussion about this a couple years ago. Ironically I sail small boats but when I am below deck in a ship or even below deck in a sail boat and I get sick.

    I still would like to see a price comparison between what it would cost me as Seven Stars vs the "civilian cost" of a similar trip?
    Alan Mendelson
    www.AlanBestBuys.com
    "(Alan) simply can't get past a die having six sides." -- Michael Shackleford May 12, 2015

  5. #5
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    Alan

    The price per person for the Haven is $3,245 then you add $124.78 for Gov't port tax that's just over $6,700 for two people..
    That's quite a savings.. Now I also wanted to state the Haven upgrade was granted to us because I hold the VIP card with their Casinos at Sea Program and this is our 5th cruise in the past 13 months

  6. #6
    I consider myself an expert on NCL, their Casinos at Sea program, and their partnership with CET. I learned a lot about this starting in 2013 when I prepared to take my first NCL cruise.

    Some points to understand here:

    1) The Seven Stars cruise (which you can take once per year) is a marketing partnership. CET is not GIVING you anything. They have an agreement with NCL where the Seven Stars member gets one cruise per year, with a balcony stateroom (only a non-balcony oceanview if it's Alaska), and CET does not pay them anything for it. NCL does this because they love getting a captive, heavy gambler on board. So they figure if you're a Seven Stars member, there's a good chance you will go off for a lot in their casinos.

    2) It is said that the additional amount you are paying is "port taxes and fees". That's a lie. It's actually port taxes and something called "non-commisioned fare". So you actually are paying fare, but it's highly disconted.

    3) After a lot of research on the matter, I have determined that the $15-per-person-per-day auto-gratuity is not a tip at all. Instead, you are actually reimbursing NCL for the (low) salaries of the service crew (stewards, waiters, janitors, etc). Again, these are NOT tips, and in fact opting out of them (which is a pain in the ass now) does NOT remove any money from what these workers get. NCL uses tricky language when describing these "tips" in order to make you feel too guilty to even THINK of removing them! So LoneStarHorse is actually doing something nice by giving his steward a separate cash tip, even though NCL tells you that tips are "covered" by the auto-gratuity.

    4) LoneStarHorse, you are not getting anything from CET regarding the cruise at this point. By having a VIP level card with NCL's Casinos at Sea program, you are like their equivalent to Seven Stars. You are getting these offers INDEPENDENT of CET, meaning you could never set foot in another Caesars property, and continue getting the identical offers. In fact, I think you could do even better. Next time ask for a suite outright, without any silly "upgrade fee" or "admin fee". I've never even heard of an admin fee. Can you describe that further? I think you are playing enough to justify a completely comped suite (and maybe other benefits) without having to pay a penny out of pocket (aside from the auto-tips).

    Also, I hope you're eating in the specialty restaurants every night for dinner. The main dining room food is far inferior, and the service is also a lot worse. The $15-$30 upgrade fee per person is TOTALLY worth it. Some restaurants are better than others, though.
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  7. #7
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    Dan

    This is our confirmation/bill you can see Admin cost, which means someone making $400 just for typing in our names.. The upgrade charge is for The Haven.. Port tax is well our Gov't HAS to make something somehow




    Last edited by LoneStarHorse; 01-21-2016 at 01:42 PM.

  8. #8
    Interesting.

    I've never seen the admin fee before.

    On the plus side, you really are only paying taxes and not the non-commissioned fare.

    But I'm still confused why they are charging you an upgrade fee. Upgrade from what? A Caesars cruise certificate?

    You might want to call back and ask them if they can cancel this and just fully comp it directly from your onboard play, without any caesars certificate. You might do better. I will ask friends with a VIP card there if they've ever been charged an admin fee, and get back to you.
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  9. #9
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    Dan

    From what my wife told me was to each get the ultimate beverage card they made up a charge ?? Getting that drink card is worth it..


    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Interesting.

    I've never seen the admin fee before.

    On the plus side, you really are only paying taxes and not the non-commissioned fare.

    But I'm still confused why they are charging you an upgrade fee. Upgrade from what? A Caesars cruise certificate?

    You might want to call back and ask them if they can cancel this and just fully comp it directly from your onboard play, without any caesars certificate. You might do better. I will ask friends with a VIP card there if they've ever been charged an admin fee, and get back to you.

  10. #10
    How did this start? Did you begin with a caesars inside cabin certificate and upgrade it?
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  11. #11
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    Dan

    We started with our NCM host (national casino marketing) he said that we were supposed to have the Haven on our August cruise, but somehow things went wrong... So when he called to book this one they told him we could have the Haven...
    I only use NCM to book all my casino trips because he has relationships with other properties than Caesars...
    Every NCL cruise I've taken (23) the Haven people tend to be the biggest assholes on the ship...

    I don't ask my cabin person or concierge for much on our trips... Just make sure everything is clean... I know these people make little money and work insane hours.. So I make sure to take care of every person that makes me feel welcome..
    My wife knows I'm not looking forward to the Havenites.. My plan is to avoid them as much as possible.. I'll be in the casino & cigar lounge over the first two days since those days we are at sea...




    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    How did this start? Did you begin with a caesars inside cabin certificate and upgrade it?

  12. #12
    I think you should go about it a different way. I believe NCM is not the way to go here, because NCL has zero connection to CET, aside from a marketing partnership. So you likely aren't getting the best you can possibly obtain, and instead are receiving some kind of standard comp (like a mini suite room), and then are being charged to upgrade to The Haven.

    I would cut out the middle man and call NCL's Casinos at Sea department. Their number is (877) 752-9625 and I believe they are open from 9am-5:30pm EST (so call early), Monday through Friday.

    Tell them the whole story. Say that you are booked already on this cruise, but that friends of yours with similar play have been offered suites through the CAS (Casinos at Sea) VIP program without any upgrade fees. Tell them this was done by Caesars National Casino Marketing, and that you would like for them to replace this suite with a comp of the same room outright, without any of these fees.

    Also, you should be aware that they give the Ultimate Beverage Package out like candy these days. Anyone booking a balcony room or higher gets the Ultimate Beverage Package FREE. Even I could get this with my Seven Stars cruise, and I never put a penny into the NCL casino.

    So you should angle for that as well. But I suppose if they just knock off the upgrade fee, you've already done pretty well.

    You should also do this in the future, provided it's successful. Everyone I know who does CAS bookings goes directly through NCL, and not through NCM. I think NCM is more for people who just want a host holding their hand for everything, and don't want to deal with outside companies.
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  13. #13
    I also believe you when you say that "The Haven" people are insufferable. I only get a balcony stateroom (as well as a second cabin -- an inside), and see no need to be insulated from everyone on the ship.

    If I want privacy, I just hang out in my room or on my balcony.
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  14. #14
    Whoops, I just realized you are leaving in 2 days!

    So this one is set in stone. Have fun.

    Next time try it the way I described, though, and you might get an even better deal.

    But yes, you are already getting a great deal on this cruise. I just think you can do better.
    Check out my poker forum, and weekly internet radio show at http://pokerfraudalert.com

  15. #15
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    Dan

    Thanks for your assistance... Our next cruise will be in March... I will talk to the Casinos At Sea people during this cruise...

    I do agree with sitting on the balcony for some solitude... I try and sneak 15-20 mins at night with my cigar...but last cruise my neighbors turned me in....

  16. #16
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    Heading to the airport, next stop Ft Lauderdale will be at Hard Rock Hollywood today then in the AM board the ship...

  17. #17
    Have fun on the cruise.

    Just wondering... when you get to ports, do you take cruise ship tours, independent tours, rent a car and drive yourself, or just stay onboard?

    I usually prefer to rent a car in US and Canadian ports, and take (private) independent tours or cabs in foreign countries.

    I find the ship tours to be too crowded, slow, and expensive.
    Check out my poker forum, and weekly internet radio show at http://pokerfraudalert.com

  18. #18
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    Dan

    I usually do one snorkeling tour to keep the wife happy... Other ports I find a local fisherman rent his boat and go fishing for the day... So relaxing and have very interesting conversations....


    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Have fun on the cruise.

    Just wondering... when you get to ports, do you take cruise ship tours, independent tours, rent a car and drive yourself, or just stay onboard?

    I usually prefer to rent a car in US and Canadian ports, and take (private) independent tours or cabs in foreign countries.

    I find the ship tours to be too crowded, slow, and expensive.

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