Anyone who has booked a cruise knows that the cruise fare is just the tip of the iceberg (cue the Celine Dion music here) when it comes to the final cost of your vacation. Once onboard, there are all those extras including gratuities, specialty dining, alcohol, and shore excursions that allow you to make the most out of your vacation on the ship as well as in ports of call.
But, what if that wasn’t the case? What if your next cruise fare included EVERYTHING, even internet service?
Well, Norwegian Cruise Lines is betting that cruisers will be interested in a truly all-inclusive cruise experience and are anteing up with a new promotion starting this week!
Disrupting the Cruise Industry
Leave it to Norwegian Cruise Lines to shake up the cruising market again with a trial run of a new All-Inclusive program that could mean more changes to the constantly evolving cruise industry in the not so distant future.
We all know Norwegian Cruise lines originated the “freestyle dining” option-eat when you want, wherever you want on a ship-that forced other cruise lines to change course and offer more flexible dining options.
Now, starting this August, NCL is doing it again– this time with a trial run of an All-inclusive package for new bookings sailing in 2015 for almost all ships (excluding NCL’s year-round Hawaiian ship, Pride of America). This program does appear to be available for the lines newest and most innovative ships the NCL Getaway and NCL Breakaway.
A Cruise Package that Covers it All
This All-inclusive package is going to be available for sailings of 3-14 days and is priced at $899, per person, for a typical seven night cruise.
Guests who opt for this program are set to receive an additional 10% off their cruise fare as well as all onboard gratuities.
Included in this option, each individual in a stateroom gets dinner access to one of the specialty restaurants (i.e., for-fee dining venue) each night of the cruise and an unlimited drink package, which includes all wine, beer, spirits of $10 or less, and unlimited fountain soda as part of the package.
In addition, guests booking the All-inclusive package will also receive 250 minutes of internet service as well as onboard credit for shore excursions. According to reports, the shore excursion credit varies depending on the length of the cruise. Currently, for a seven night cruise this credit is $200 a person for the entire duration of the cruise. Basically, this is enough to buy about two shore excursions during your trip, especially if you have to buy them at NCL’s prices!
Lastly, cruise industry news reports that those booking this new program will also receive additional gifts from NCL, including a bottle of wine, 20 onboard photos of any size, and chocolate covered strawberries, among others freebies while onboard.
How much will the package save me?
For the seven night sailing cost of $899 a person you are getting a value of $937. This saves you about 4% if you were to book the following separately:
- Prepaid Gratuities ($84)
- Ultimate Dining Package ($119)
- Ultimate Drink Package ($433)
- Shore excursion credit ($200)
- 250 minutes of internet ($100)
This package is probably not right for everyone, especially those who are not big drinkers or those who stay offline while on vacation. For cruisers like the Princess and I, who make use of ALL that is offered in the package-I mean 20 free photos alone is at least worth $150 –then the All-inclusive package is a great value.
The “free gifts” as well as the 10% discount on the cruise fare are the real costs savings in this All-inclusive package as purchasers could easily save a few hundred dollars based on the type of cabin booked and usage of these additional perks of the package.
Check out our friends at CruCon.com for even more savings with an additional 10% of onboard credit if you book this week!
If this All-Inclusive package proves to be a home run for NCL, you can be sure to expect that other contemporary cruise lines, like Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean International, will be following suit by rolling out similar programs. With the increase in for-fee specialty restaurants and other up-charge venues and experiences on many newer ships, it is only a matter of time before other cruise lines begin offering package deals like this one NCL is testing out.
What do you think? Drop us a line to let us know if you would find value in this new All-inclusive package by NCL. Also, let us know what you would like to see as part of an “All-inclusive” program being offered by a major cruise line.