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About Wendy-Europe

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    Reading, cooking, cruising, travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America Lines, Royal Caribbean

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  1. At some cruiselines they call it hsc, hotel service charge . In my opinion it is in fact mandatory. If it is mandatory, it is not a gratuity, however you call it. Gratuity is up to you, if you want to give it and how much you want to give. I never reduce this service charge, because if you are in rome, do it like the romans do. And while I am against the system and would prefer the cruiselines pay reasonable wages, i would not remove the hsc, because the only people suffering are the people working hard to give me the holiday of my dreams.
  2. Let' s see: March 28/2019 service charge went up from 18% to 20 % Then the prices for the drink packages went up. Cabin service charge changed january 2/2018 from 13.50$ to 14.50$ (regular cabin)
  3. Yes - or maybe the OP misunderstood the explanation of guest service. I am very observant regarding freshness and cleanliness and I am absolut sure, that the duvet covers were fresh from the laundry and from the pressing, when we came to the cabin. And if you leave the ship you can see the laundry bags at the doors - the stewards put fresh sheets and duvet covers in the drawers under the bed one day before the cruise ends - so they have everything ready to change at arrival day fot the new guests.
  4. I think, thats a misunderstanding. Of course the white duvet covers are washed and pressed - but probably the colored bedspreads are not washed.
  5. I searched the forum but did not find an answer: Is it possible to "plug in" something via USB at the TV - I miss the dvd players at Holland America - I loved to catch up my favourite series during a TA - I could do that on my phone but would prefer to watch it on a bigger screen.... Thanks Wendy
  6. Same here - I travel solo, pay double. May I then take 2 main courses without surcharge?🍝🍝 🤔
  7. Although I have never ordered a second main course, I think this test is a problem. I remember some attempts to change something in the "food department" that failed miserably. And the shipping companies have rowed back. For example: Holland America has tried to change its tea brand. There was a big outcry and they reversed the change. I think it was NCL who wanted to ban guests from taking food from the buffet restaurant. Allegedly for security reasons. Reversed too. I fully understand that the shipping company wants to avoid wasting food. But to add an extra fee to normal food in the main restaurant is very difficult in the price segment where Holland America operates. The guests feel cheated.
  8. Maybe it is a little bit dated - but I really liked "Desiree" from Annemarie Selinko https://www.amazon.com/Désirée-Bestselling-Story-Napoleons-First/dp/1402244029 You learn a lot about swedish history (and french history too) or The Man From St. Petersburg from Ken Follett or Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  9. Hi - we used SPB for our two day excursions and we were more than happy with the service they provided. Everything was organized, in time, whenever possible no wait for tickets.... They had their own staff at the Eremitage with additional headsets and batteries in case they were needed. They were prepared for everything. Lunchbreak restaurants were nice. There was really nothing to complain. The price was reasonable, exchange rate during payment correct. The "Tourtickets" (instead of a visa) were provided and are included at their price. I am sure most agencies provide the same good service (I have heard good recommendations about Alla, Red October and several others)
  10. I booked this cabin - so I would love to see a picture of the verandah, I am aware, it has an obstructed view.... So if you could post some pictures? Thanks a lot!
  11. Unfortunately, single cabins are often a way to charge more money for bad cabins. Often, a regular cabin with an extra charge is cheaper than the designated single cabin. Or a cabin at a shipping company WITHOUT designated single cabins is cheaper than one of the few other single cabins. I just have an example: I booked a regular balcony cabin with Holland America for a transatlantic trip, single cabin. I still get $100 onboard credit. The price is 1700 Euro. A "very very similar" trip (same duration, same ports) with NCL in an indoor studio cabin costs 2600 Euros. I get the drinks package - no advantage for me, because I don't drink alcohol. And for the price difference of nearly 1000 Euro (900 € difference and the onboard credit) I could also buy a lot of alcohol on board.... And a balcony cabin at Holland America is definitely better than a studio cabin on the Norwegian Epic (22 square meters versus 9 square meters, balcony and so on).
  12. Sorry about your experience, but i understand why the staff was upset too. It seems like you did not waste one thought about how much money it cost, if the ship is not able to leave at their scheduled time. And money is a responsibility of the purser. Unfortunately your experience is something they have to work with more often than they prefer. For me it sounds like you were upset about the embassy and made your problem with the embassy his problem and when he was not able to solve this problem (Sorry, but you were not at a holland america excursion, your trip, your problem to solve) you were mad at him. In my opinion : you choose the wrong person. I know, sounds probably not very empathic. But it is the truth.
  13. I am convinced that the money paid for the dry dock is part of the selling contract. I know Phoenix Reisen (the German company for which the Prinsendam will sail in the future) and they still invest a lot in the ships themselves. Phoenix always invests long term. There is no focus on quick profits.
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