NCL Sued Over Dinner Reservations System

A passenger who booked a standard cabin on NCL has filed suit against the cruise line for not disclosing that booking a standard cabin made it nearly impossible for her to get a specialty dinner reservation.

According to an article on travel website, the woman and her family claim that because dinner seating preferences were extended to passengers with higher grades of cabins, she found it nearly impossible to get a dinner reservations in the ship’s specialty restaurants. In her complaint, she asks for a full refund of the cruise fare plus incidental expenses.

Interestingly enough, almost all comments on that web-page are from NCL cruisers who have never had any trouble getting reservation even when they were booked in the lowest category of cabin. Similarly, on a few other cruise chat sites, past passengers are commenting that this law suit is completely ridiculous. Those passengers found it really hard to believe that she couldn’t get dinner reservations. However, past passengers are using the term “You Snooze, You Loose,” meaning that all passengers should make their reservations for the specialty restaurants as early as possible during their cruise in order to insure that they get the reservations that they desire. Most loyal NCL cruisers seem to be very happy with the freestyle experience and have expressed that this law suit is baseless.

On the other side of the coin, we received negative comments about NCL from a Cruise Talk reader who mistakenly thought that Cruise Talk was NCL’s own passenger feedback depository. He wrote us, thinking we were some how affiliated with NCL, a long letter expressing his displeasure with the freestyle system on his last cruise. His complaint was that instead of the Freestyle system freeing up his schedule as advertised, he found himself getting up early every morning in order to wait in line to make a dinner reservation. He didn’t feel that this was the way he wanted to spend his vacation.

NCL has been working very hard to improve its Freestyle cruise experience, evidenced in their launch of Freestyle 2.0. The line has has also been actively trying to attract higher end customers by offering them perks with their suites and “Garden Villa” rooms not available to standard cabin passengers. While this lawsuit seems to have very little merit, it will be interesting to see if it results in any changes to NCL’s marketing literature or dinner reservations policies.