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Tom O.

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About Tom O.

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Utah, U.S.A
  • Interests
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America, Princess
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    New England

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  1. Tom O.

    HAL website unusable still

    More excursions will appear on the website as you get closer to the sailing date. There will probably be many that cost much less. I have never been on any cruise that didn't have some cheap bus tour type excursions available and many other excursions that were priced in between. It takes a while for HAL to make their contracts with the tour companies who actually take you on the excursions.
  2. Tom O.

    HAL website unusable still

    The HAL website is terrible, but I would not switch cruise lines, just because of a poor web site. In my view, a website has little to do with cruising. The experience on board is what makes a cruise line. Sure it would be nice to have a decent website too. But their website is of little importance once you are on board. People did cruise before there was an internet.
  3. Tom O.

    HAL website unusable still

    This is what HAL needs to do. Hire some one who has never seen their web site. Then ask them to navigate around in it. HAL will then see exactly how disorganized and difficult it is to use. I suspect they are having the same people who designed the website to evaluate it. Someone at HAL needs to get some fresh eyes on it. The old website was not perfect, but it was far superior to the new one. Items that I have had problems with: Trying to find where I could pre-order beverages to be delivered to cabin. I had to ask here at Cruise Critic where to find this. I recently wanted to check the latest price for the Pinnacle Grill - I could not find it anywhere. Again, i used Cruise Critic to get this info. There doesn't seem to be any logic over which tab a subject can be found. After using the website for many hours, I got better at finding things, but you shouldn't need to practice for hours to use their website.
  4. Tom O.

    AMEX Offer...It's Back!

    It looked like I didn't have the offer available either, it was not listed anywhere on the website. But when I used the link that someone posted here I was able to add it to my card. This is the link that I copied here: http://americanexpress.com/wlcl
  5. Tom O.

    Question about Airline Tickets

    This was our experience too. The last time I checked cruise line air line prices, I discovered I could book flights myself for half the price. That was 2015. But this year when I booked I found Flight Ease to be about 20% cheaper than anything I could book myself or through any online agency. The only airline that flies to my hometown is Delta, so I don't have much flexibility when booking, but I was happy to see that every flight I had found on the Delta website was also on Flight ease.
  6. Tom O.

    Water as Checked luggage in San Diego

    I have never wanted to bring a flat of water onto a ship, so I don't have an answer for you, but I would trust Krazy Kruzers knowledge over others. I have seen flats of drinks taken by the porters, but that was some time ago. Things change.
  7. That is right, I couldn't remember the Le Cirque's name. I will avoid the Sel de Mer as I did the Le Cirque. The reason being, it is just too expensive for me. I always figure that not only am I paying $49 pp, but I am also giving up an included dinner in the main dining room. I figure the main dining room dinner to be worth approximately $40. That would make the Sel de Mer actual cost to be around $100 per person. I know a lot of people don't hesitate spending that much for a dinner, but I do. I will do the PG once or twice per cruise, but that is my limit. I know that part of the pleasure of eating in the PG is having a real table to yourself. I don't really care for making small talk with strangers in the main dining room. But I have solved that issue by having all of our other dinners brought to our room. We just pick items from the main dinning room menu, and have room service deliver them for free. I just have to give the delivery person a decent tip.
  8. This is what I understand, someone please correct me if I am wrong: On some ships, there are nights when the PG is converted into another restaurant. I don't remember the name of the French restaurant, but it used to appear once or twice on a cruise. I think the French Restaurant is now gone. But mow there is a seafood restaurant that appears on some cruises. On these nights, depending on the ship, the PG is not available. So you are right, the restaurant is not closed, but the PG menu (and prices) will not be available. While making reservations for the PG online, the nights that PG is converted to another restaurant will appear as not available.
  9. I guess as Kazu and Krazy Kruisers say, it can be variable. I know that one issue is that some nights the Pinnacle Grill is closed, because they may have something going on that night. I will just have to wait. I don't think it will be a problem for me, we like to eat early. On my last cruise we ate in the PG twice (both early times), and there were many empty tables on both occations.
  10. Tom O.

    AMEX Offer...It's Back!

    I believe your partner would get the credit too, as long as his card is his own and you are not on that account. I also believe that the charge has to be a single $500 charge. Be sure to add the offer to your card(s) before making that $500 charge. There are various things you can purchase to total $500. Just be sure to add them to your online cart and pay for them as a single charge. You can purchase excursions, beverage packages, premium dinners, on-board credit, etc. It is pretty easy to find things to spend $500 on. I had a problem when I tried to use the charge I made on the cruise deposit to satisfy the offer. This was a glitch caused by HAL, and may not happen to you.
  11. Like Kazu said, it could be that they were guarantees. When you go online and pretend to book so you can see what cabins are available, Cabins that are not assigned to guarantees yet look like they are unsold. For example, it could have been that 7 sets of passengers had purchased guarantees, and there was still one suite that hadn't been sold yet. If you were looking at these suites at that time while you were doing an incomplete booking, it would look like there were eight available, when actually only one was available. If you had booked it at that time, you could choose any of these 8 suites. But as soon as you did, they would all disappear because the other 7 would have to go to the 7 sets of passengers that booked guarantees. So if this is the case, since you last looked, the last remaining suite was sold. The same thing happens when looking at airline seating. I often look at the "change seats" option just before I fly. Sometimes it looks like there are lots of seats left. But, actually it is sold out. What looks like empty seats are actually held by people who have purchased tickets without the option to choose their own seats.
  12. Thanks everybody. I will just have to keep my eyes open and check the website often.
  13. I think I asked this same question before my last HAL cruise, but I have searched the HAL board, and can't find the answer anywhere. I have found the search function on this new version of the CC website to be inferior to the old advanced search on the old site. At any rate I have an Alaska cruise booked for late August, and it is too soon to book specialty dining on the HAL web site. Any idea when I will be able to do so?
  14. Tom O.

    Daily Gratuities

    Inside cabins are fine for people who spend a lot of time on deck or at the pool. For us however, it would not be acceptable, because we spend almost all our cruise time in our cabin, sitting on the veranda. We even have most of our meals there. HAL has a great service - they will deliver your order from the main dining room for no charge. So it depends on your cruising style, people who spend little time in their rooms don't need a veranda, while others, like us, would not sail without it.
  15. Tom O.

    First HAL cruise questions

    I just booked an Alaska land /sea tour. The best price I could get direct form HAL was $3089. I booked it with a TA for $2813. Same room, same packages. When you book with a TA you get all the freebies and specials that you get by going directly with HAL. But you have to check around, I have found that small independent TAs, that specialize in cruises, have better deals than big box agencies.