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Thread: 2016 NCL Seven Stars Cruise info

  1. #21
    Originally Posted by supermaxhd View Post
    Dan, I normally go on Carnival cruises. I have not taken a seven stars cruise yet. I also can get balcony cruises from NCL from PNG gaming (Hollywood). I am going to look at NCL. Do you know if you can get any of the free extra's that they offer like the unlimited drink package (normally $79 a day)? I am thinking the value of the drink package may actually be worth as much as the cruise. $79 a day is a lot. Carnival is about $55 a day and I think that is a lot.
    Yes, you get any promo they are running at the time.

    Also, if you see a better promo, and it's before "final payment" date, you can simply call them and switch, with no penalty.

    If you want the UBP (ultimate beverage package), yes that will almost always be a promo available to you. However, keep in mind that they charge 18% on top of that for "tips" (which are not even given to the crew, which is even more offensive!), and that you must pay. So I think you will be on the hook for $90 per person in "tips" if you get the UBP. While that's WAY cheaper than $79/day, you should only get it if you plan upon drinking enough to be worth $90.

    Also, the UBP doesn't include ALL drinks onboard (the more expensive ones are excluded, or there's an upcharge, I forget which), nor does it include bottled water (which is REALLY expensive).

    I will say that NCL has a better reputation than Carnival, primarily for its clientele. Carnival tends to attract a lot more of the young, party type, while NCL's crowd tends to be 50+. On some itineraries, NCL's crowd is quite old. I took a New England/Canada NCL cruise in 2015, and I was one of the youngsters there at age 43. It was rare to see anyone there who was fewer than 15 years older than me!

    I actually prefer the older crowds because they aren't nearly as rowdy, loud, or drunk. The only irritating thing about cruising with old people is that they tend to walk really slowly in the hallway, and it's a pain in the ass getting by them.

    Usually balcony rooms get 2 of the "free" perks. You should consider grabbing the dining package. The specialty restaurants (especially Cagney's and Le Bistro) are far superior to the main dining room, both in atmosphere and food.

    The "free internet" is also a good perk, though it's only 250 minutes, which goes really quickly. I prefer to just get other perks and then buy the unlimited internet. I can use that to make phone calls to shore for free.

    Also, after booking, keep checking back to see if they've added on board credit as a balcony perk. Sometimes you'll get as much as $100. Again, you can keep rebooking with better perks up until final payment date.
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  2. #22
    Good to know that the beverage package and other free stuff is included with the casino offers. I just returned from a 10 day ultimate premier casino cruise that Carnival gave me on the new Vista ship. It started in Barcelona and went to Italy, France, and Greece. It was a nice cruise and had some nice casino perks. It had an older crowd and very few kids, although that may have just been due to the time of year. Carnival cancelled everyone's drink package at the last minute because of something to do with the 24% VAT tax.

  3. #23
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    Also if you own the stock of the parent company you can get an on board credit added to your room.

  4. #24
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    Hi Dan:

    Shortly before our cruise, I was alerted that no water or soda would be allowed to be brought on board. This was news to me as I usually brought some soda with me. I did not like it as it was clear to me that it was just a nickel and dime play by NCL to sell overpriced bottled water and soda. We responded by bringing empty Nalgene bottles on board. We filled them with water from the complimentary drink fountains, on the Lido deck as well as the buffet. The signs says "do not fill your water bottles here." But I was told that the restriction was only for hygienic purposes and so we filled clean glasses provided by NCL then poured the fluid into the Nalgene bottles. NO crew ever commented to me even when they saw me do so. I thought the fountain water was fine and tasted clean. My wife liked a lemon wedge with the water. There was always a covered tray of lemon wedges at the fountain. We also used the bottles when we went on excursions, emptying them before we got on board. As for soda equivalent, I found that half ice tea and half lemonade (also available at the fountains) make a good soda substitute and probably healthier.

    We also were told by our room attendant that if we ordered a pitcher of drinking water delivered prior to 10 am in the morning, it would be complimentary. However, the one time I did make that request (and which was confirmed on the phone by room service as free) it did not arrive. We left for an excursion and was told it should have been delivered to the room and we even had the "Welcome" sign on our door. But it was no big deal as we just went the "self-serve" route for water.

    As for the comment about being surprised by the request for the beds to be put together since he thought we were two men, I am not making it up and was an accurate statement by our cabin attendant to me and my wife. While I am sure that their HR department told them not to be judgmental about same sex relationships, these attendants are not exactly recruited in San Francisco and like all people, come from their own cultural backgrounds.

    I found European cruises a lot more interesting than US based cruises. In the US a "historical site" is about 100 years old. In Europe, you can see one thousands of years old. Also the people you meet in European cruises are more diverse and meeting and getting to know different cultures is what travel is all about. English is still the lingua franca on board and in tourist destinations so we have no serious language barriers. That said, he had a delightful dinner with a Italian-German couple where we conversed in broken English and my rusty Latin.

    As for your boy, there is still a great children's program on board with supervision and you will be surprised how flexible children can be when they get together. If you take a red-eye flight, he will be sleeping most of the air journey.

    Regards,

    FAB
    Last edited by FABismonte; 10-31-2016 at 10:46 AM.

  5. #25
    Yes, the soda/water policy is a total nickel-and-dime attempt, but it's actually more than that.

    I believe it's part of an ongoing attempt by the new CEO (who started in 2015) to push out the "value" cruiser.

    The cruise industry has long tolerated the budget-conscious cruiser who doesn't make them any money. In some cases, they lose money overall on a budget cruiser, as the amount that person spends does not justify the room they take up and the resources they consume. This has always been tolerated as a necessarily evil of running a cruise line.

    Like the casinos, the cruise industry is now trying to push out the least valuable customers. I believe that this and other nickel-and-dime policies are designed to push out anyone who attempts to be a do-it-yourselfer, and thus is much more likely to be an unprofitable customer.

    I'm not sure you know this, but your free casino drink card entitles you to free bottled water at the casino bar. Not sure how many you're entitled to. I will try to get as many as I can. I refuse to pay $72 for a 24-pack of water on principle.
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  6. #26
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    Hi Dan:


    Speaking of free drinks. Since we were on CET casino offers, we did get drink cards for all four of us. But they expect you to play while you get the free drinks, or bottles of water, so I never just walked up to a bar and asked for a bottle of water. We also got bottles of water when asked. Red bull was included as well but we skipped that. I noticed that my "account" available on my TV in my cabin showed each time I got a complimentary beverage. I like to play video poker at the bar so the service is faster. Last year I tried to order a cocktail and was told the casino card was only good for "well drinks" and I declined to pay the one dollar upcharge. Last month, I was able to order the same cocktail without a problem.

    Typically, I liked to do a later afternoon visit to the casino bar, and order a cocktail. I tip a buck like I would at any casino (not everyone tips at all as "drink package" buyers have a phantom tip allegedly added to drinks that servers don't ever see). So my service is pretty prompt. I play a little of the low pay video poker, then order another cocktail, then leave after it arrives. I then loved taking the drink to the balcony of my cabin, and watch the sun set over the Mediterranean Sea while sipping the cocktail -- life was good.

    FAB
    Last edited by FABismonte; 11-02-2016 at 09:42 AM.

  7. #27
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    Originally Posted by RoeIncarnate View Post
    Also if you own the stock of the parent company you can get an on board credit added to your room.
    Hi Roe:

    Can you tell me more? If all I have to do is buy some shares of NCL to get an on-board credit, I would like to look into that.

    FAB

  8. #28
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    Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Yes, the soda/water policy is a total nickel-and-dime attempt, but it's actually more than that.

    I believe it's part of an ongoing attempt by the new CEO (who started in 2015) to push out the "value" cruiser.

    The cruise industry has long tolerated the budget-conscious cruiser who doesn't make them any money. In some cases, they lose money overall on a budget cruiser, as the amount that person spends does not justify the room they take up and the resources they consume. This has always been tolerated as a necessarily evil of running a cruise line.

    Like the casinos, the cruise industry is now trying to push out the least valuable customers. I believe that this and other nickel-and-dime policies are designed to push out anyone who attempts to be a do-it-yourselfer, and thus is much more likely to be an unprofitable customer.

    I'm not sure you know this, but your free casino drink card entitles you to free bottled water at the casino bar. Not sure how many you're entitled to. I will try to get as many as I can. I refuse to pay $72 for a 24-pack of water on principle.
    It's not just the cruise industry. It's also happening or has happened to every market deregulated business where competition is forcing price cuts. Yes, casinos too, which makes me think that the downgrade of casino comps even for Seven Stars will continue.
    Alan Mendelson
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    "(Alan) simply can't get past a die having six sides." -- Michael Shackleford May 12, 2015

  9. #29
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    Originally Posted by Alan Mendelson View Post
    It's not just the cruise industry. It's also happening or has happened to every market deregulated business where competition is forcing price cuts. Yes, casinos too, which makes me think that the downgrade of casino comps even for Seven Stars will continue.
    Hi Alan:

    I do not like the downgrade in Seven Stars comps, but if you ask me, CET's real error is making Diamond (15 K Tier credits) to easy hit. You have to hit almost three times that (40K) to het an measly "High Roller ticket" and $100 dinner comp (mind you, you cannot combine that dinner comp with any other offer). Then you have to hit the 80K Tier level to get the $750 flight credit (to another CET destination). So the result is the Diamond lounges (in Vegas shared with Seven Stars) get filled up, the Diamond lines are clogged, a low level diamond get the same "free resort fee" and parking access as one with 140K tier credits. So it is a "Diamonds in Tunica" with ersatz "high rollers" all over the place.

    FAB

  10. #30
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    Originally Posted by FABismonte View Post
    Hi Roe:

    Can you tell me more? If all I have to do is buy some shares of NCL to get an on-board credit, I would like to look into that.

    FAB
    Hi Fab,

    I did it with royal Caribbean, but I think all the cruise lines that are public do it.

    You need to go to the investor relations page of the company's website and that will give you instructions. They will ask for proof of ownership.

    Of course you need to remember that the stock could move down while you hold it and cost you more than the credit. Although if you are a frequent cruiser, you might want to buy the minimum amount and hold it long term.

    When I did it, I bought the stock and bought a put so I had a fixed selling price, therefore I could not loose money on the stock trade. I think I made a few bucks on it. I have a brokerage account with very low commissions so this worked for me.

    Roe

  11. #31
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    Here is file detailing the benefit.
    http://files.shareholder.com/downloa...nefitoffer.pdf

    The links to the files are on the side of the investor relations site.
    http://www.nclhltdinvestor.com/index.cfm

    Roe

  12. #32
    FYI you can cash out On Board Credit at a rate of 97%, if you're not otherwise using it.

    Here's how:

    1) Go to casino

    2) Get players card if you don't already have one (you will automatically have one if you booked through the Seven Stars benefit)

    3) Insert in machine. Buy credits via your players card equivalent to the amount of OBC you have remaining.

    4) Do not play. Hit cashout, get ticket.

    5) Bring ticket to cashier. Get cash for that amount.

    The amount you charged to your room will fall off due to your OBC, except there will be a 3% fee added on. So that you will pay at the end, but you'll still be clearing 97%.
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  13. #33
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    Hi Roe:

    Thanks for the information and the links, but based on Questions 7 of the FAQ's it looks like I cannot use this Shareholder offer on a casino cruise certificate trip: "Benefit is nontransferable, excludes Reduced Rate programs (e.g. employee rates, interline, friends/family rates, vendor rates, cruises taken via cruise credit certificate, or free cruises earned through Oceania Cruises loyalty benefits), and Travel Agent Rates, and Charter and Incentive Groups."

    FAB

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