Wednesday, 3 May 2017
Premium All(most) Inclusive
As I said, we have booked a cruise. This is the best suite on the ship, and a "premium all inclusive" trip on the Norwegian Jade. What it includes is amazing! booze, one bottle of water each, all sorts.
It includes, it said, "free wifi". However the site is hard to navigate and harder still to get the list of benefits when booking as this suite is booked up on most cruises so it won't show it. There is a clue though, go to https://www.ncl.com and put "free wifi" in the search (just click here). Yes, lots have "1. FREE Unlimited Open Bar 2. FREE Specialty Dining 3. FREE Shore Excursion Credits 4. FREE WiFi" and over 1200 pages say "Free wifi"...
When you actually book the stateroom, it says: "This stateroom also includes free open bar, speciality dining package, shore excursion credits, and free WiFi package for all 3+ day cruises."
Now, we found their internet packages page (here) which has several "minutes" based packages, but also some "ultimate cruise package" which are a per day rate for whole cruise from when you buy it. The page lacks a lot of details, and there are places they say "unlimited" not "ultimate" that we found. But they do packages which are basically WiFi, all day, every day, on the cruise. So naturally this is what we assumed we would get for "free wifi".
We actually booked at the travel agent and that was by phone and they confirmed "free wifi" with NCL.
It is worth pointing out, we are not going to spend a cruise sat on the internet! But all three of us are running companies, and the stress of not being connected when something does go (or might have gone) wrong would spoil the cruise for us. We all have some good staff in place to sort things but we are only here running companies because we keep our finger on the pulse, so to speak.
Turns out that the "premium all inclusive" is not quite as we expected! The internet access is one 250 minute credit. 250 minutes is about 2% of the cruise.
What is worse is that looking at the pricing, what they are throwing in (250 minutes) is something they charge around $100 less than what we expected (wifi all day every day), on a cruise costing over $20,000.
Now, it won't be a big issue, that extra $100 is peanuts in context, but it kind of spoils the whole "premium all inclusive" package to be stingy on that and makes us all think "what the hell else will they try to stitch us up on?". OK, not quite RyanAir levels of charge for use of life boats, but who knows what?...
It amazes me they have not just made it actually "free wifi" on their "premium all inclusive" packages. Hardly "all inclusive" if it covers 2% of the cruise, is it? Maybe they need a rethink.