Discussion in 'Comps' started by loonytoony, Dec 13, 2015.
Looking for feedback on this offer
What offer are you referring to?
I picked up one of the "free" NCL Cruise vouchers earlier this year on TR App offer. The cruise is for a pretty decent selection of 7 day NCL cruises and quite few dates. It is for an inside cabin only. You have to pay taxes and fees. Since we would have brought our 13-year old son, no way 3 for an inside cabin. The extra person fee and upgrade fee to a balcony cabin, I coukd have booked on an internet discount cruise fare for less than the free cruise. If it is just the 2 of you and you don't mind the inside cabin, you can take the cruise for about 250-300 per person plus airfare to the port unkess you drive to a nearby port to take the yourself. I didn't use the voucher from the offer as it didnt really make sense for my situation.
We picked up the cruise in 2011 and used it out of New Orleans. The upgrade fee to the balcony was the same, about 200 each but that was much cheaper than the cost of the cruise without the free package. Also, they give you free drinks in the casino which is limiting (the casino only) but better than nothing. Without the sticker, you need to pay for drinks there, too. We loved it...if we got another, we'd go again.
Another benefit that we had but found out they applied wrong, was a separate check-in area for those that were given cruises. They set one up but shouldn't have so we had one person in the line in front of us to board. The regular line was about 200 deep by the time we entered the boarding area.
A few comments:
- I believe the size of an inside cabin is the same as a balcony cabin (excluding the balcony area).
- There are many times during the year where 3rd persons in a room are "free" (taxes only)
- You also get a pass for free drinks in the casino (that has some value).
Thanks Meyers67. I didn't know they would add the extra person Free like they do on some regular booking deals when looking at the NCL website. When I looked at the voucher and and called in to what it would cost for the free cruise and to bring my son along, I was surprised. I didn't use it. But just keeping it for 2 as is, seems like a great deal
I agree with what others have said about the vouchers value. I think it all depends on which cruise you take. I cruised out of NOLA and could have booked the same inside cabin on the NCL website for a little more than what I paid in port fees and taxes while using the voucher. It would be great if they waved your taxes as well. Expect to pay about 12.50 per day in gratuities that is automatically charged to your account. I think the 12.50 is charged per person.
The above is correct on the taxes from when I went to put a value to my "free" trip when I picked it up last year. The wife was all excited since we have never gone on a cruise. My daughter is 2 years old so we looked at trips that weren't very long or ports that were easy to get to. Here was the break down for us if we went on a 4 day trip via Miami (we are in Chicago).
Taxes/port fees (not including excursion fees) $350 PP so $1,050
Extra person per room was almost $100 per day so $400
Added tips $12.50 X 3 so $150
So just to ride the boat with my wife and kid was going to be $1,600.00 And if we wanted to do something once we got to port the fees were crazy. $40 each for bus transport to town. $150.00 each for a tour. ETC ETC, I know certain cruise lines, like Disney, take you to the beach and everything you do on the resort is free. With NCL everything is a la cart so it adds up fast!
Flight from Chicago to Miami round trip $500 x 3 = $1500.
Everyone says to get there a day early since the boat wont wait for you. Hotel for 1 night $100
Cab to the port $50
Hotel on the return night (it will be late) $100 + 50 in cab + 30 in cab to the airport in the morning.
All told it would have been about $3,500 for our 4 night cruise (6 days in total including travel.
For that kind of money we tossed the NCL offer in the trash and went to DIsneyworld instead...
There are all kinds of different offers. No idea on yours.
Most common is you get room for 2, you pay taxes, fees and daily gratuity. Might be an inside, OceanView or Balcony.
There are some that cover all expense, but you pay to fly to port.
And, there are some that even include he airfare. Targeted to higher end players.
Sometimes dates are specific. Sometimes not so much.
The bolded above is very true. I picked up my offer at Paris. It also included $400 in visa giftcards to pay for the flight/taxes. But I just used them for random things. The guy in front of me didnt get any gift cards, just his cruise. He also got a flyer with like 10 cruises on it. They gave me a nice booklet with about 50 cruises to pick from. So the free cruise could be better or worse depending on the player I guess. My local CET joint does this as well. Except their list is just for the older boats on less popular routes from what I can tell.
Thats what I was curious about. When i called they said you get a packet and an agent is on site. Wasnt sure if everyone got the same stuff or not. I know about extras as I have cruised twice before recently. Thanks so far for the feedback. Based on small number of replies, it doesnt look like this type of offer appeals to many gamblers.
More comments are still welcome on this topic
I met a guy at Harrahs NOLA that said he goes on about 8 a year all through casinos. Sometimes he said he will do two cruises back to back. Sometimes it's the exact same one. They definitely appeal to some people.
To clarify, you have to pay the port fees and taxes when you book online too. So while the advertised price on their website might be say $500, that doesn't include port fees and taxes either.
There are a lot of extra costs when cruising but you would pay those whether you used a casino voucher or not.
There is usually a few folks that come along and start listing costs like flight, maybe a hotel room, tours, etc and then declare - it is not a free cruise, etc.
The main cabin cost is indeed waived. All the other expenses are normal. So, if you were inclined to go on a cruise, you do pay less.
As to being free - well that can be debated. Sort of like the free drinks on my last vegas trip. I believe I ended up paying about $75 for each "free" beer. LOL!
I'm one of those people and I never expected my free cruise to come with the flight or hotel rooms (before and after the cruise). I was just pointing out that a "free" vacation sounds like a great deal until you start adding in all the extras needed to actually take the cruise. I'm speaking as a gambler. Flights to vegas are cheap, I pay under $200 round trip most any time from Chicago. I pay that and thats it. My room is free, my meals are mostly comped, and the only taxes or fees I pay are for the flight. So just comparing a trip that I know ( to Vegas, Reno, Atlantic City) where the whole shabang costs me a couple hundo plus my gambling budget. A cruise ends up being much more expensive when you put all the pieces together. If you lived close to where the boat leaves its a much better bargain.
I was shocked at the price of the extras for the tours though. When you look at the cruise and the ports listed you'll see things like "A stop in Punta Cana where you will enjoy donkey rides through the coconut coast and an evening of ziplining" But once you select that cruise you'll see the 2 hours donkey ride is $100 a person and the zip lines are $30 each per stretch. So if you haven't booked a cruise before, but you have stayed at an all inclusive resort, you would be surprised to see all of the stuff listed is an extra fee beyond paying for the port alone.
Now a couple hundo for a Donkey Show isnt a bad deal. But just to ride one...
You think disneyworld is any cheaper? You still have to buy the flights and you have to pay for hotel and park tickets. The cruise includes food, at Disney you have to pay. Personally, I do both (one cruise and one Disney trip each year).
I took advantage of an offer last year and took my g/f. It included balcony, and i received gift cards totaling $900 to help cover cost of fees and airfare. My g/f's parents received an offer as well and they went with me to pick up their packet when i picked up mine. Their's included a balcony but didn't include any gift cards to help cover any fees or airfare. When looking at our packets together we had a lot of the same cruises available, but their were a few different cruises that weren't. I guess it depends on your level of play as to what offer you get. As everyone said drinks were free in the casino, but i added the drink package to be able to drink whenever and wherever i wanted to on the ship. I don't remember exactly, but I think that was around $60/day.
Thanks again for feedback. Booked the offer and will wait to see whats in my secret envelope. I hope its a few nice extras
Hey everyone. I am an expert in both the CET Total Rewards program AND NCL, so I can help here.
This is NOT a cruise for "port fees and taxes". That's a lie they like to pass on in order to make it seem like a better deal than it is. You are also being charged fare called "non-commissioned fare", or NCF.
Also, inside cabins on some itineraries are REALLY cheap on the open market, so in some cases you are only saving $100 with one of these "free" certificates. In other cases (popular cruises which sell out, and never get deeply discounted), you are getting a good deal.
Beware about upgrading, as sometimes the cost of doing so is so expensive that it wipes out most of the savings you get by using one of these certificates.
I did a full write-up on how to get the most out of your "free" NCL cruise. A few elements are outdated, and it's aimed more at discussing the Seven Stars cruise (where you get a balcony instead of an inside), but the concept is still the same and you will learn a lot:
Feel free to ask me any questions.
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