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Posts posted by TAD2005

  1. We had over $1000 in OBC, $800 from HAL and the rest paid by me.  We were on a 28 day cruise, so the hold is $30 per day, per person, ($60 per day/per person for cruises 25 days and under), and HAL still put a $840 per person hold on our credit card the day after sailing, for a total of $1680.   And we also pre-purchased the SBP for both of us, and we had prepaid hotel service charge (tips).   So, it doesn't seem to matter how much OBC you have if part of it was provided from HAL.   With our experience, the HAL credit card holds drop off within 5 to 7 days.   But you do need to have at least $60 per day/per person available on the card you provide to HAL, or post a cash deposit with the front desk in that amount.   When people do post a cash deposit in lieu of a credit card hold, I have heard that the front desk will work with you on the amount, if you do have the SBP and a lot of OBC.

  2. 10 minutes ago, Lovely other said:

    I love a wang wang or two in the evenings to get the party started 🎉 

    It's definitely a Party-Starter.   I also like a Zombie.   That is a real potent drink'

    It has 3 different types of rum.  I'm not sure if this would be considered a single drink under the SBP.  It may be a double.


    1.5 OZ RUM

    1.5 OZ RUM

    1 OZ RUM



    .5 OZ DONN'S MIX





  3. If you book the PG dinner online, you will have to pay the full $39 P/P (new rate as of June 2019).  When you board, check your onboard account on Navigator.  You should see a 50% Loyalty Credit if you are 4 star, but 5 star sometimes requires a trip to the front desk to get the charge reversed.

  4. I tried the Wang Wang on my last cruise.  It has 8 different types of alcohol.  But it goes down smoothly, and compared to other drinks, not overwhelming.   And it is 100% included in the Signature Beverage Package, just like a Long Island Ice tea and only counts as one drink in your daily 15 allotment..

    The recipe, courtesy of Copper 10-8

    1/4 oz Vodka

    1/4 oz Gin

    1/4 oz White Rum

    1/4 oz Scotch

    1/4 oz Bourbon

    1/4 oz Tequila

    1/4 Triple Sec

    1/4 oz Brandy

     Top it off with Pineapple and Orange Juice

     Add a splash of Grenadine

  5. On 6/26/2019 at 2:10 AM, caribill said:


    The person you tip is not one of the people who actually move your luggage to the ship/

    True, but they are the ones who stack your luggage into the steel cage.  And they really don't care if your bag is on the bottom of 100 other bags.   They just throw them into the cage.  Forklift operators move those steel cages to the ship's hold.

  6. 40 minutes ago, doone said:

    I received my signature beverage package as part of my early booking bonus.  Can I just call HAL a month or two before my sailing to upgrade or does it need to be done on the ship??

    As far as I know, it must be done on the ship.

  7. On 6/27/2019 at 8:33 PM, kazu said:



    You’ll be charged the full price of the drink plus the service charge.



    Bolding is mine - not quite.


    If the holder of the package orders a drink of $11 or less there is nothing added nor any charge to be paid.  The service charge is included in the package (and paid for). So your example of a $10 drink is non consequential


    It’s only when they go over the $11 limit that they need be concerned about the service charge/tip.  And, yes, if they go over, they are charged the full amount.

    If you have the SBP or Elite package, the only drink prices you need to worry about is $11 and under for SBP or $15 and under for Elite, and those prices are MENU prices.  Forget about the 15% SC, and leave your calculator back in the cabin.  You have already paid the 15% SC when you bought the package, and it is covered by HAL if you got it with Explore-4 or EBB.  An $11 drink with the SBP will not cost you a penny more.  A $12 drink with the SBP will cost you $12 plus 15%.   And that $12 drink will not count towards your daily 15 alcoholic drinks.  

  8. We got a full engine room tour back in 1998 on the Norwegian Crown.   We got to know the Chief Engineer, and he gave us a personal tour.  We were issued hearing protectors due to the deafening noise of the multiple diesel engines.   We did have to climb up and down metal stairs, and wear hardhats.   We also saw a few playmate calendars hanging around.  The whole area was very clean, not oily or greasy, and well air conditioned.   

  9. The cost of the upgrade from SBP to Elite depends on when and how you got the original SBP.   If you bought it before the cruise, online, you paid $44.95 per day.   If you wait to buy it on the ship, during the first day, you paid $54.95 (new price as of April 2019).  The Elite package costs $59.95 per day   All per day prices are plus 15% service charge, which you pay upfront, not on each drink.   The only drink price you have to concern yourself with is the menu price, either $11 and under for the SBP or $15 and under for the Elite.   Don't sweat the service charge, you have already paid it when you purchased the package, or it was included with a promotion like Explore-4 or Early Booking Bonus.

    To upgrade from SBP to Elite, you will have to pay the $10 per day if you bought the SBP online, or $5 per day if you bought it on the ship and quickly changed your mind    The $10 and $5 upgrade prices per day, are also plus 15%.

    If you got the SBP through Explore-4 or EBB, then the date of your booking will determine what you have to pay to upgrade and, as others have said, you may have to do some arm twisting to upgrade a promotional SBP..

  10. On 6/28/2019 at 1:14 AM, Alphen said:

    I have contacted HAL by mail (phone from outside US is not a real option), awaiting (any) reaction on their part.

    Setup a Skype account, deposit $10 or equivalent in your currency, and you can call any landline or cell phone in the US, Seattle.  I'm not sure which country you are in, but from the US, I can call any landline phone in Europe for 20 US cents a minute.

  11. 4 minutes ago, smurfgirl06 said:

    Perfect! Ours was booked as one Collector's Cruise, not a B2B.  Thanks!

    Love your screen name, Smurfgirl.  My daughter (now age 40) had the full collection of smurfs when she was around 7 or 8.   Big ones, little ones, the smurf village, Gargamel, his cat, etc.   I don't know if she passed those down to her kids, but they might be worth something, like the "Cabbage Patch Kids" are now, of which she had about 7.

  12. Our experience for multiple Collectors Cruises, (not B2B, totally different) is that you only have to attend a muster drill every 30 days.   HAL sends around a notice to passengers who are continuing on at the mid-point.   They will tell you about the 30 day rule, and occasionally provide you with a transit pass to get priority boarding if you happen to return to the ship in the middle of the boarding process of the passengers joining the ship at that port.

  13. Here is a screen shot of my onboard folio from the HAL Navigator concerning use of the HAL onboard credit.

    Date:    Location:    Charges:
    3/9/2019    Promo Credits(Not Valid For Casino Or Cash)    ($400.00)
    3/9/2019    Promo Credits(Not Valid For Casino Or Cash)    ($400.00)


    At least on the Eurodam last March, you could not tap your OBC for use in the casino.  You could buy chips at the casino cage (no fee) or load up a one-armed-bandit with cash, but that cash will come from the credit card you have on deposit.

  14. The stevedores at most ports are not know for their gentle treatment of passenger's luggage, no matter how much you tip them.   You luggage, along with everyone else's, goes into a huge steel cage that is loaded onto the ship by forklift.   If your Pepsi-laden bag happens to be near the bottom of the pile in the steel luggage cage, then you will have hundreds of pounds of bags on top of your's.   If the pressure is too great, your hot Pepsi cans will explode all over your clothes and any unfortunate passenger's bags below your's in the cage.   Carry it on, so you don't unintentionally cause other passengers to incur laundry fees on their first day.   Nothing like sticky sugary soda in your underwear !!

  15. I'm with Ruth.  We always have a few pre-dinner cocktails from 7:00 pm to dinner time at 8:00.   However, if HAL wants to cut into their beverage consumption revenue by forcing late seating diners to take in a show at 7:00 pm instead of paying money for drinks, then I would wonder what morons in Seattle are making these dumb decisions ?

  16. There is no pre-sailing discount for the SBP on HAL.   But there is a Post-Sailing penalty for booking the SBP onboard.   Like the Elite Beverage Package now, the SBP was always the same price, purchased online, before the cruise, or purchased on the ship, before January 2016.  After that date, HAL realized that many people were using their free, HAL provided onboard cabin credit to buy part or all of the SBP.   HAL would rather you use your free OBC to buy very high markup items like spa treatments, photo packages, and shore excursions.   They would rather you use your own money to buy the SBP online, which has a relatively lower markup than the other items.   It used to be a $5 per day penalty for waiting to buy onboard, but now, it is $10 per day.   

  17. We were recently on the Eurodam, with the SBP, and we always take 2 bottles of water back to our cabin at the end of an evening.   Occasionally, the Seaview bar would not have any 500 ml bottles, so they gave us one liter bottles with no problem and no charge.   Sometimes, we would forget to bring bottles of water back to the cabin, so we would use one of the 2 bottles that are in the cabin, as part of the mini-bar.   The next day we would replace that bottle with one purchased from a bar, using the SBP, and never incurred a room charge.   The bars would supply us with the exact size and brand of water that is provided in the cabin.

  18. It is difficult to impossible to plug any HDMI or USB cables into the wall mounted TV's on the Vista Class and larger ships.   And, if you could somehow figure a way to get your hands behind the wall-mounted TV and get a cable plugged in, the remote control has no provisions to switch the TV inputs away from the Ethernet connection to the ship's video servers.   You would have to bring a universal remote and figure out the codes to be able to switch the TV's inputs.   I would think your best bet would be Club HAL.

  19. We booked a 29 day cruise on the Rotterdam on Oct 3, 2020, Rotterdam to Ft. Lauderdale while we were onboard the Eurodam in March 2019.   I have been checking the fares for this cruise for many months, before the EBB promotion started.  When we booked with the FCC onboard, we were told that the fare was still the same, but we also would receive the Signature Beverage Package for the full 29 days and a Pinnacle Grill dinner.  That SBP for 2 people for a 29 day cruise would be $3000 including the 15% service charge if we were to buy it.   I can't imagine that when the EBB promotion drops on June 30, that my cruise fare will drop by $1500 per person.   That price drop would reduce my cruise fare down to $100 per day for a Lanai cabin.  Never happen.   Unlike Explore-4, where the cruise fare usually goes up by the exact amount of the SBP, for some strange reason, my fare has not changed.   I will be watching on July 1 when the EBB drops off, and see what my cruise fare will be.

  20. I don't think that using miles is an option.   When you book with Flight Ease,  HAL is acting like a bulk fare agent for you.   Any use of airline miles for the basic ticket would be between you and the airline and HAL does not get involved.  However, once you are booked in economy with Flight Ease, you will get a airline record locator and you can log into the airline's website and select seats.   At that point, they MAY allow you to upgrade to premium economy or business class.   But that is very iffy.   The fares that HAL gets on international flights are very good, and the airline may not be too happy about you getting a super cheap fare and using miles to sit in the front cabin, when they could sell that seat for cash to somebody else.

  21. Back in March, when the $10 charge for a 2nd main course was being tested on 4 ships, we were on one of those 4,  the Eurodam, for 28 days to Hawaii and French Polynesia.   All of our MDR dinner menus had the note about the $10 charge in fine print at the bottom, buried with the cautions about eating uncooked seafood. 

    During the cruise, they had a few "Ask the Officer" sessions, and when the Food and Beverage manager's turn came up, I attended that session and asked the question about the $10 fee for a 2nd main course.  He politely asked me and another person to see him after the meeting.   When we were in private, he told me that his understanding of the test program was not for items that were in good supply like steaks and chops.  He said it was primarily for Gala nights when they offer lobster tails.   Those are strictly quantity controlled for each cruise, and they do not have an endless supply.   So to put a damper on the people who order 3 or 4 tails, they tried a test of charging $10 to see if it helped.   I never heard the final results of the test, other than they stopped it in early April on the 4 ships it was tested on.  Possibly this is another test to judge guest reactions if no surf-n-turf is offered, or they substitute another "surf" item, like salmon or jumbo shrimp (which is an oxymoron) .

  22. 6 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

    One thing evident from this thread.  Holland needs two/three new ships.

    Agreed, but not the 3000 passenger monsters that they are building now.  But when the bean counters get involved in the design, you know exactly what any new ships will look like.   Definitely not the 900 to 1400 size that we love.

  23. 4 hours ago, old mike said:


    Well said. hydrogen based fuel cells are a technology that has been quoted as being just 5-10 years away from  commercial viability, the problem is that statement has not changed for fifty years, it is like a ships bow wave, never to be caught.


    Hydrogen is not a freely occurring  gas and the only truly commercially viable way to produce large quantities is to use steam methane reformation. When the furnace fuel is accounted for It takes 2 SCF of Natural gas to produce 1 SCF of hydrogen, all that has been achieved is to re-locate a carbon dioxide emission from an energy user to a centralized location at great cost not to mention high risk. Anyone who has practical experience knows that hydrogen should not be treated  casually, it's wide flammability limits and exceptionally high flame front propagation speed,  deserve respect.


    Based on personal experience I would not want to even be in the same port as a vessel with the potential for a hydrogen leak into an enclosed space.

    As a species we found the best way to utilize hydrogen as a fuel source centuries ago, it's called hydrocarbons where the hydrogen atom is combined with and stabilized by carbon atoms. 

    Hydrogen Fuel cells of all types, are a pipe dream for general transport. ask anyone who lost their investment in the Ballard fuel cell company debacle, At the time it was trumpeted as the next great revolution in transportation and even mercedes benz  and others who should have known better were taken in by the hype. https://electrek.co/2019/06/11/hydrogen-station-explodes-toyota-halts-sales-fuel-cell-cars/


    The problem is we have too many  journalists with zero STEM education and no critical thinking skills who just regurgitate  ideologically motivated rubbish for air time. 

    I agree.  Same with totally electric cars.  "Oh look, I am not using any hydro-carbons in my electric car".  Where does the electricity come from that you used to charge up your electric car ?   Most likely it came from natural gas or coal.   I'm sure somebody has computed how much natural gas or coal must be burned to fully charge an electric car's batteries to go 200 miles, compared to the carbon produced by simply burning gasoline for the same distance.

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