Expired Hot Deals

[Norwegian Cruise Line] Free drinks, speciality restaurants, wifi, 3rd + 4th passenger free, free or reduced airfare, excursion credit

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 31st, 2019 3:42 pm
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Jan 12, 2005
4258 posts
568 upvotes
Scarborough
oscar1999 wrote: Nope gratuities are included in the package price (for the speciality restaurants its around 20%). Note that the $425 for gratuities I said in an above post if ONLY the gratuities for the free drinks and speciality restaurants; you still need to pay the additional $15USD per person per day as an onboard service charge.
There is an additional gratuity fee if you choose the specialty restaurant perk, but it's nothing compared to the drink package gratuity. If you choose all the perks, then you won't really see it, but if you only get two perks, there is a difference.
Newbie
Nov 27, 2018
35 posts
122 upvotes
Not really a deal, NCL runs this promotion pretty much 24/7. Don't rush yourself into booking a cruise because the website says that the deal is "ending" in x days.
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Nov 29, 2007
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Also I think their prices are USD even from their .ca pages....
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Nov 21, 2013
4301 posts
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bdckr wrote: At the risk of being accused of thread-crapping, I would never go with Norwegian again.

I've gone Disney, Holland American and Royal Caribbean, all much better.
Disney is out of price for me. Never been on a Holland America cruise, but more than one travel agent told me that Holland America have a lot of older people on their cruises. Not that I don't like elderly, but I prefer a kind of family cruise. Never tried Royal Carribbean , but heard good and bad thins about them, like about every other lines
bdckr wrote: Moreso than any other lines, they had a lot of onboard restaurant dining options that cost extra. The regular main dining room that was included was okay, but probably suffered due to the feeling that they were pushing the paid options by not putting much effort into the included dining.
Never been on a NCL cruise. Can't comment. But with this promo, at least, there is 3 dinner at a specialty restaurant on a 7 days cruise. Almost 50% of the dinners.
bdckr wrote: The boat we were on had a funky layout that required passing through the casino every time to get to the main dining room.
There was some special part of the boat (can't remember the fancy name they had for it) for guests who had paid a premium price. It was off-limits to regular folks and they had their own elevator. That mattered because at every port of call, while the riff-raff (us) had to wait in line to disembark, anyone getting off these special elevators were allowed to cut in line and get off earlier. And no, they weren't always on the paid excursions..
As I said, never been on a NCL cruise. I really like Princess cruise. They also have a special area where you have to pay a premium. It's called "The Sanctuary", Adults only, with a premium to pay. I think that every cruise lines have this kind of area on their ship… And, after many cruises with the same cruise line you upgrade your member status, end get perks, like priority disembark for the excursions. It always been like this, and will always be. Again,. not trying to defend NCL as I never tried them
bdckr wrote: I've never been a big fan of the shows, but my wife is. This NCL cruise we were on actually had shows that cost extra. IIRC, somewhere around $40-$80 USD a head. TBH, I can't remember the exact amount, just offended that they seemed to be nickel-and-diming us for everything.
There was limited programming for our child who had, at the time, just turned 18. The kid's group was only up to 17. The young adult group had no participation and limited planned activities. Their response? Why would he want to go to the kid's club when he could gamble in the casino and drink at the bar? (no idea if this was because of international waters or because this was a mediterranean cruise with a lower age for drinking and gamblin).
Again, can't comment. But never heard that a cruise line charges for the evening shows… Programming for the childs? who are aged 18? everywhere in the world kids clubs are up to 17... All inclusive resorts in the Caribbean is the same… 18 are considered adults everywhere, although that on cruise they have to be 21 to have alcohol. I really doubt that their response was Why would he want to go to the kid's club when he could gamble in the casino and drink at the bar? when we all know that every cruise lines the gambling and drinking age is 21? Never been on a Mediterranean cruise with NCL but, from their beverages page: individuals under the age of 21 will be required to purchase the Pop Program.

bdckr wrote: In my personal experience, all cruise lines offer a lot of bonuses, so the prices are pretty comparable (maybe a little more for Disney). Surprisingly, after years of cruises, it turns out that the perk that matters most is unlimited laundry. It isn't cheap (except maybe in comparison to their prices on individual pieces) but it can completely change a cruise: less to pack, time saved (if you are otherwise inclined to your own), and none of the math required constantly trying to figure out if you have enough clothes to last the rest of the cruise or make the hard decision between doing a load of laundry vs. making a shirt stretch an extra day.
To each their own… unlimited laundry may be good for more than a 7 days cruise, but on a 7 days cruise or less, we can pack one week of stuff in one bag, for each persons. Yes, there is a lot of promotions, and one have to do the math. Now, for the promotion posted here, I never heard of "free airfare". Now, if you are not a drinker, the drinking package may not be for you. And, 20% gratuity makes the price get higher. Same for the specialty dining, adding a 20% gratuity makes it expensivier. But the drinks and the dinners are still free. Now, $50 credit for excursions at each port is not bad, although booking excursions through the cruise line is more $$$ again than booking via internet before set sail. Fre internet is still free though… ;)

Thanks for your input, I don't know NCL, but tried Carnival and Princess. Liked both lines
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Nov 21, 2013
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pooper wrote: Also I think their prices are USD even from their .ca pages....
no. It is clearly stated that it is in CAD. And I asked my travel agent
Member
Sep 21, 2008
476 posts
433 upvotes
*This* type of "we jam you hard if you don't read the small-print" marketing is what has forced me, despite my love of their ships, to never cruise with NCL again.

As drinkers, we rely on the drink package to be a free and very useful perk. With NCL, the gratuity fee for the "free" drink package makes it fully uneconomical...we're talking hundreds of bucks per person.

And here's the HUUUUGE kicker. The perks aren't even included when you book the cheapest "sail away" category of any room type!!! So, when you see a balcony listed for $1,500 a person, guess what - that gets you ZERO perks. You need to go to the next level up, which is always a minimum of a couple hundred extra per person.

So, here's an example I just tried to Bermuda, just for fun. The total cost of the cruise if I book the "sail away" balcony was $1,739 per person + taxes/port fees. As that's the "Sail Away" category, NONEof the perks are included. The next level up, the "Balcony Guarantee", was $2,007 person. That gets me the "free" perks, but it's generally the worst possible balcony you can find, of course. Once you select the drink package in your list of perks, tack on an extra $371. The daily gratuity is $15 pp per day, so on this 7 day cruise, tack on another $210.

SO, instead of paying 1739 pp for the crappiest "Sail Away" balcony, we're paying $2,554, as they don't offer pre-paid gratuities as a perk option.

I remember the good old days when NCL offered the pre-paid gratuities as one of their perks, so this wasn't an issue. Alas, those days seem long gone :)

Instead, we wait for Celebrity to have their regular sale; by booking a balcony cabin (and sometimes even just Oceanview!), we get 2 perks from Celebrity. We choose the pre-paid gratuities and the drink package. In this manner, the service fee for the drink package is included, as is the usual $13-16 USD/day gratuity. Moreover, we use a travel agent who always throws in a third perk, and we always choose the onboard credit, which works out to another $300 USD.

When you do the math (in our specific scenario), the Celebrity perks are worth FAR more and don't have any weasel-y service charges that add nearly $1,000 to our 10 day cruise. So we get a superior ship (arguably, but let's not debate this, as it's just a preference) at a much cheaper overall cost. No brainer - we'll never sail NCL again unless they change their deceptive marketing tactics
Sr. Member
Apr 8, 2007
705 posts
227 upvotes
Norwegian's idea of "FREE" and mine are very different.
They value their drink package at $100 US per person per night... and then charge 18% gratuities! $36 US per day ($360 US for a 10 day cruise) for "free drinks".... Somehow their free and my free are very different
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Nov 21, 2013
4301 posts
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ipassgas wrote: Norwegian's idea of "FREE" and mine are very different.
They value their drink package at $100 US per person per night... and then charge 18% gratuities! $36 US per day ($360 US for a 10 day cruise) for "free drinks".... Somehow their free and my free are very different
well still cheaper than regular price… it is clearly stated that you have to pay for the gratuities, and if you do business with a travel agent it is his job to inform you. But you are right, it is not *FREE*
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Jan 12, 2005
937 posts
372 upvotes
jaksdj22 wrote: tip is required on all dining?
On cruise ships, tips are charged to your room so you pay them even if you only ever eat at the buffet. They are distributed to waiters but also your room cleaners and other staff
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Nov 29, 2007
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DoorCrasher wrote: no. It is clearly stated that it is in CAD. And I asked my travel agent

Okay thank you. I was working on the quote we got last week from a rep for 4 people for the same promos. Worked out to be 5000USD+
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Nov 29, 2007
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ariel wrote: On cruise ships, tips are charged to your room so you pay them even if you only ever eat at the buffet. They are distributed to waiters but also your room cleaners and other staff
...so that they can be paid minimum wages.
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Dec 27, 2011
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Waterloo
I've never been on a cruise before. Gratuities are automatically added? Why?...I'm legitimately wondering.
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Apr 8, 2006
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Been on Carnival, RC and Norwegian. Norwegian Escape has the best entertainment. Food is also very good. Norwegian is more expensive though. Food on RC is good as well very comparable. Carnival is ok. Gratuities are not included in the price. Got to pay $7 a day per person.
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[OP]
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Nov 21, 2013
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crystallight wrote: I've never been on a cruise before. Gratuities are automatically added? Why?...I'm legitimately wondering.
well it works like this. In many countries, gratuity is automatically added to the check. And it is mandatory to pay it, even if it been the worst service you ever had
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Apr 20, 2006
2091 posts
464 upvotes
Toronto
Went on Norwegian Epic last year for the Mediterranean cruise. The premium section of NCL is called Haven, we had booked 3 of those suites for 11 family members. Their pp pre paid gratuities are a deal breaker, never used their off shore excursion credits so they were of no use. Had to use the 300USD X2 per cabin on board credit to purchase unnecessary and over priced items, not really good for much else, specialty dining was also nothing great since as Haven guests we had access to other premium eating areas. Haven was good for private pool and breakfast lounge etc., and for priority disembarkation, as well as other in-cabin perks., but at a steep cost.

In a nutshell the freebies are just a ploy to lure people in, don't make them your decision making factor. 3rd and 4th guest free is good, but they also pay taxes and gratuity, entertainment was alright, free drink package of 2 per cabin was only really used by one of us out of 11, but good I suppose for heavy consumers.
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