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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. 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.
  2. Thanks everybody. I will just have to keep my eyes open and check the website often.
  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Tom O.

    First HAL cruise questions

    I have never been in a suite, we are perfectly happy as long as we have a veranda. But we are very fussy about location. Our favorite location is on the very back of the ship (aft facing verandah). There are a lot of suites back there too. The aft facing cabins are not for everybody, but we love them. Most of these cabins have larger verandas than the ones on the sides. And if you are doing some scenic cruising you can see scenery that passes on both starboard and port sides. Also there is less wind while under way. Some people complain about the noise of the wake. But we find it soothing, reminds me of a mountain cabin we rented once near a rapidly running creek.
  7. Tom O.

    AMEX Offer...It's Back!

    Update: After not hearing from Amex, I called them and I found out what the problem is. Apparently HAL has more than one Amex merchant number. The charge for our cruise deposit was on a merchant number that was not registered with Amex as qualifying for this offer - this was an oversight on HALs part. I called HAL, and nobody there knew how to resolve this. Amex and my TA didn't have a solution either. I also made some purchases online for excursions. Amex told me that the charges for the shore excursions were on a merchant number that qualified for this offer. But, since I purchased them on separate days, each purchase was less than $500, and therefore didn't qualify. So, here is what I did. I cancelled my shore excursions, and as soon as they disappeared from my itinerary, I booked them again. I added them to my shopping cart, made sure they totaled $500 or more, and charged them to my Amex card. And success! I immediately received an email saying that I had taken advantage of the offer. None of this should of been necessary, but it was the easiest solution I could come up with. A $100 credit is worth the trouble. I could have added other items to my cart to equal $500 if I had to, but our excursions were enough to reach that goal. Thank you to the OP and others who posted. I would not have known about this offer if i had not seen it here.
  8. Tom O.

    First HAL cruise questions

    You will find that many TAs have lower prices than buying directly from HAL. And if you think the people who work for HAL know their ships better than a TA, you are mistaken. If you choose a TA that specializes in cruises, they usually have a wide experience in cruising, much more experience than HAL's employees.
  9. Thanks, I was thinking that also, because I did not have a choice of Manage Payments. It's OK, I will just do as POA1 suggests and print out my confirmation from my TA.
  10. I used to cruise on Princess exclusively, and I could look up my account on their website and see my ship board credit. So I was thinking I had that option on the HAL website as well. I booked through a TA and she did send me a confirmation email that listed the credit and the gift card. I guess this gift card for the land portion of my tour is something new. Thanks to all who replied.
  11. I am having yet another problem with the HAL website, since I got interested cruising again. The land/sea cruise I just booked includes $200 ship board credit and a $200 gift card for Denali. I can find nowhere on the website where it will tell me how much ship board credit I have. And I can find no reference to our gift card either. I would just like see in writing that I am getting these things. Since we are doing the land tour to Denali before our cruise, I don't know when they will give us the gift card. I also don't know where I can use the card. I am hoping we can use the gift card for our meals in Denali, I don't want to have to buy a bunch of cheap souvenirs with it. I don't need a stuffed moose.
  12. Tom O.

    Price of drinks in refrigerator

    Yes I found that interesting too. I don't drink a lot of beer, but when I do, I prefer a beer with a lot of flavor. I won't touch lite beer. I would pay extra for Heineken over Miller. My favorite beer is Guinness, but I will only drink it if it is on tap.I have never seen Guinness on tap on any ship.
  13. Tom O.

    Price of drinks in refrigerator

    Is that off the room service menu or the Mini-Bar list? The price is probably the same whether it is room service or Mini-Bar. The beer prices are higher than what I found on the Room Service menu on Roger Jets site.
  14. Tom O.

    Mexico Travel Advisory

    I was on one of those cruises where Mazatlan was taken off the itinerary. It turned out to be a stroke of good luck for us. what happened is that the ship went straight to Cabo. Instead of the usual 1/2 day in Cabo we arrived a day early, and the ship stayed at anchor there all night. We loved spending the whole night there while the ship swung back and forth in the harbor. It was one of the most beautiful night we have ever spent on a ship. We never cared much for Mazatlan anyway - we usually just stay on the ship that day.
  15. Tom O.

    Price of drinks in refrigerator

    You are right, I finally actually did the math. $2.18 is not a big difference, but I can't figure out how to cancel it anyway. I will leave the order as is.