There has to be something in the water at NCL's Home office.
Have you seen the recent commercial where NCL tries to make other cruise lines look regimented and stiff? They continue to fail miserably with their American flagged fleet with no sign of change and now this ad where they have to put down other lines to feel good about themselves? What are they thinking?
They need a major change in their management, marketing and in customer service if they are going to be able to compete in this industry. Damage control alone should be a major focus.
I saw the ad and agree with you - very goofy. It reminds me of Bill Gates coming unglued recently in an interview and ranting about Apple's TV ads.
The U.S. flag thing is a debacle. If our genius federal government would simply repeal the Passenger Services Act we could dispense with this nonsense and have some competition in the Hawaii cruise market.
If someone wants to crusie Hawaii on a line other than NCL, they would have to leave from LA, right?
The distinct advantage of the NCL cruises is that they visit several islands. For the first time visitor to Hawaii, its a good way to see the islands and figure out which one to come back to for a vacation. Personally, that reason alone would not be sufficient for me.
I actually like the NCL commercials. I don't know why -- but I just find them cute, I suppose.
I fully agree with all of you about the need to repeal the PSA, as well as the NCLA mess. Regarding NCLA, I think NCL should get rid of it or rename it so that it's not confused with the parent company (who actually provides a decent product, IMO). But, you won't find me on NCLA.
While I just came off the NCL Pearl, I was able to view all the new TV spots from NCL. In the staterooms, NCL had one channel dedicated to the new "branding" ads especially geared towards the FREESTYLE program of dining. There are many different versions. You will notice that they are quick 15 to 30 sec spots. If you where to see and view all the ads, their new direction for FREESTYLE branding really hits home. And the ads say it best once viewing all of them. I remember about 4 to 6 different TV spots. The whole point is to show there are no regimented times for dining, you dine when you want. You are not told when to dine. It's a hard hitting branding effort by NCL and the ad agency. Over time, I do believe they will become more effective. Remember it's not Colin Veitch that sits down in some fancy office and makes these ads up. NCL has hired a major ad agency to develop, cast and produce their final "branding" ads for FREESTYLE cruising. The ads are carefully reviewed by NCL executives then finalized, produced and let out for television viewing. They are carefully aired in specific time slots and channels. While some may not like some of the ads, others are much better.
As for the Hawaiian thing, I have never been on NCL America, but looks like from the feedback, they need lots of help.
Although NCL has been cruising for 40 some years, NCL's new look over the past few years is a major advance from the small ships they offered in the past. With huge outlays for the Jewel, Pearl, Pride ships and the new Gem, they have invested billions of dollars in the past few years to become a big player. Carnival is by far the largest crise line company, then Royal Caribbean. NCL will produce one more Gem class ship when the NCL Gem is completed in late 2007. Then in 2010, the new F3 Class will be in line with 4200 passengers and crew of over 2000+. As an investment professional who watchs this industry closely as the major cruise lines are publicy traded, thus there financials are public. I see NCL in its infantcy of the new class of ship and has a bright future. NCL International, NCL America is part of the Star Cruise Line Company, which is publicy traded and releases financial information. It is a foreign stock that is traded on the Malaysian Exchange. If you want a real in depth look at profits, debt, weak and strong areas of NCL, just read the financials. I do believe that in the last quarter of NCL operations, the Pride Ships (NCL America) pulled in profitable numbers. Of course their is always room for improvement as with any business. Lets hope they can improve their image in Hawaii, with better reviews and comments from it's passengers. Sooner or later they will truely understand that "word of mouth" advertising is much stronger than TV spots.
Richard and Mary
The Tv Commercial being shown most in my area is not referring just to the Freestyle dining. It states "Some cruise lines tell you when to dine, and some tell you when to play." Meanwhile the pictures are showing people marching down the stairs looking at their watch and sitting at the pool looking at their watch. It's a corny ad. NCL needs to spend their advertising dollars better then on the firm they hired for that one. The Donald Trump Apprentice episode where they did a commercial for NCL was better then what NCL is showing now. The present ads are deceptive. NCL certainly has organized times for activities and their Freestyle dining really isn't so "Free" when you have to wait for a seat or it is "highly recommeded you make reservations.
Not really sure about your post. I am sure some will like the ads or others won't. Can't really say they are deceptive. We have been on 5 straight NCL cruises, and never really had times schedules except getting on and off the ship, which is understandable, and the show times, which is no different from a Las Vegas show schedule where times are set. I know that NCL told us on the Pearl that they have moved all showtimes to 7:45 PM amd 9:45 PM, as they felt they were better times to accomadate the passenger flow. So its a tough call on the ads. I just know I never really have to look at my watch to be anywhere in particular on an NCL ship. So far, we like the NCL experience, and have been on CCL,RCL,and Princess. After our NCL Pearl cruise in May to Alaska, we are considering the transatlantic crossing on Dec 3rd for the Gem. Then after that we may go to different cruise line to compare to the NCL experience. There are a lot of ships out there to choose from, the main reason we keep goping back to NCL is the freestyle dining, the different restaurants and the way we have always been treated. Truthfully, it's been great on all cruises. And as Platinum Latitudes members, we get a few extra perks which make the cruise experience special.
Seriously, though, I find that I DO have to look at my watch on NCL cruises moreso than on those on other lines. My son enjoys going to the after-dinner shows, so we have to time dinner just right in order to make them. (I suppose we'd have to do the same on Princess, too, if we chose Anytime Dining.) On other lines, everything is already timed well for us.
Yet I do like that we don't have to check the clock when enjoying a pre-dinner activity. It's a trade-off, though, as we may risk waits for dinner.
Yes, I guess all commercials are deceptive to a degree. I find NCL particularly deceptive in the line that they don't tell you when to play. ALL cruise lines tell you when to play. Bingo, shows, pool games, etc. I respect that everyone has their reasons they like one cruise line over another. I have been on NCL five times. I don't have a problem with them, but do have a preference for some of the other cruise lines.
Getting back to the Commercials. I just find them as I said "deceptive", poorly done and not very effective.
Happy Cruising to All.