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Everything posted by TAD2005

  1. Please ignore ChinaShrek. This member always posts idiotic comments like this to intentionally troll CC members, and gets his/her jolly's off reading the outrage responses. The best you can do is ignore him/her and he/she will go away.
  2. On Celebrity, their premium package is $70 per day plus 15% and you get drinks priced up to $15. Their Classic package costs $60 per day plus 15% SC, and your drink limit is $9. Compare that to HAL's package prices of $59 Premium with a $15 limit, and $45 regular with a $11 limit, both prices plus 15% SC. For the prices that Celebrity charges, they can easily afford to allow you to "pay the difference" when you go over the per-drink limit.
  3. The regular drink package has a max drink price of $11. The Elite package has a max price of $15. The regular package (SBP) costs $44.95 per day plus 15% service charge IF you buy it online before the cruise. If you wait to buy it onboard, it will cost $54.95 per day plus 15%. The Elite package is $59.95 per day plus 15% and it doesn't matter if you buy it onboard or online. Because each package includes the prepaid 15% service charge in the purchase price, you only have to check the bar menus for the base price of the drink. If you do buy a drink that exceeds $11 or $15, depending in your package, you pay the full amount plus 15%. You cannot pay the difference. You do not pay for the mixer or add-on alcohol. For example, a Black Russian is priced by the brand of Vodka you ask for. The Kahlua is no extra cost. You can even get a Long Island Ice Tea or a Wang Wang with 5 or 6 different types of alcohol and it is covered by the SBP as ONE drink. You can order doubles with no problem, but it does count as 2 of your daily 15 alcoholic beverages. You also have unlimited sodas, 500 ML bottles of water, specialty coffees, etc. Just about every call brand of alcohol is included in the regular package. If you are a wine snob and want a better selection, you should go for the Elite package. Also, the very expensive VSOP cognac will cost over the $11 price. Go to a website roger jett photography. He has the latest drink menus for HAL. With the SBP, you generally will break even after 5 drinks costing $8.50, which is the average price. Naturally, beers are cheaper.
  4. My DW's name is Theresa which is on her passport. Many years ago, she booked a cruise using Terry, and the cruise line accepted it (Cunard when it was not part of Carnival). When we arrived in Russia, she had a horrible time clearing Russian immigration in St.Petersburg. It took a special room and about 45 minutes to convince a very stern immigration agent that Terry is a nickname. Cunard, surprisingly, had no problem with the discrepancy. But just to make sure there's no issues, make sure the booking name matches exactly the name on the passport.
  5. You can purchase either of the 3 plans on a per-day basis (most expensive) or for the whole cruise. We had the Surf plan for a 28 day South Pacific cruise last March and it cost $259.99 purchased onboard. You can not purchase the Social Media and Surf plans online, before your cruise. HAL only has that option for the Premium plan and there is usually a small discount for using your own money to buy it instead of using the free, HAL provided cabin credit and buying it onboard.
  6. Another possible reason for the bike ban, is that the 2 people who are riding their bikes around a port will not be buying a ship's tour in that port. Maybe it's all that simple.
  7. The airlines assume that if you are buying a one-way international ticket, then you are a business traveler whose company is paying the fare. So the fares are through the roof. HAL has contractual agreements with many airlines and they get very attractive one-way fares that you could never get booking by yourself. And you have the added benefit of not having to pay for the ticket until final cruise payment, usually 75 to 90 days out. Domestic round trip fares are about the same as you can get on your own.
  8. Very possible. The satellite antennas inside those white, ball shaped radomes on the top deck have motor-driven gimbals to keep the satellite antennas constantly aimed at a specific satellite in space. They are supposed to track the satellite, even when the ship is pitching and rolling in heavy seas. I have seen them in action with the radome cover removed. Pretty amazing that they can keep a lock on a satellite in space with only a half a degree of error. But if the tracking system was not working as it should, it would be an expensive repair job. Possibly some bean counters in Seattle objected to the expense of a repair.
  9. Docking on the mainland and transporting thousands of passengers to Venice will be no easy task. Other ports mentioned above, like Rome and Florence have established mass transit systems in place to carry the thousands of people from the ports to the downtown cities. Venice is a completely different animal. There is only one bridge that takes you from the mainland to Venice. Buses and rail service, but once you arrive in Venice, you still have the problem of moving the masses around, which has to be totally by small watercraft. (water taxis and vaporettos). By Docking in the present locations, you can actually walk to St. Mark's Square and other locations. Not possible when docking on the mainland.
  10. With late, fixed dining, you can take in a full Lincoln Center Stage performance, have a few pre-dinner cocktails, have dinner at 8:00, and then have plenty of time to make the 10:00 pm Main stage show, or the BB-King show, or the Billboard Onboard show. That's why we love late seating fixed. And with a reserved 2-top or a 4-top, depending on who we travel with, there's no issues of 7, 14, 21, or 28 nights of questions like "where are you from, where do you work, how many kids/grandkids do you have, how many cruise have you been on, etc etc.
  11. I have booked Flight Ease flights on Delta, American, British Airways, and Swiss, and as soon as I booked, months before final payment (and air payment) I was able to select seats and post my FF number.
  12. We were in the middle of the South Pacific, near Tahiti in March. We had perfect TV reception of the regular set of channels that HAL provides. Proximity to any US coastline will not have any effect, because the ships do not receive any terrestrial TV channels. Only the package of satellite-delivered channels. As you get much further north, near Alaska or close to the tip of South America, the satellite signals get weaker. But in those cases, all channels start pixelating and have occasional dropout. HAL's complement of TV channels are all received on a pair of digital transponders that include MSNBC, Fox News, BBC World service, 2 ESPN channels and a special channel for special events. There are no regular US network TV channels like CBS, NBC, ABC, of FOX. Just the news channels and ESPN.
  13. This should be a win-win-win for everybody. HAL will sell an unsold suite for the going rate, HAL can then re-sell our Lanai cabin at $500 more than we paid for it, because there's only 3 left. I get a Vista Suite with the same SBP that HAL is happy to give me with my $4500 Lanai cabin. HAL gets $2000 more per person, resells my Lanai cabin at a higher price and i pay the going rate for a Vista suite. Plus my TA make commission on $4000 higher cruise fare. Everybody wins.
  14. The purchase price for the SBP is $44.95 per day plus 15% SC if you buy it online, before your cruise. if you wait to buy it on the first day on the ship, you will pay $54.95 per day plus 15% SC. The penalty for waiting until you are onboard to buy the package using the free OBC provided by HAL does not apply to the Elite Beverage Package (yet). The Elite package is $59.95 per day plus 15% if you buy it online or onboard.
  15. I think the reason your "perk" stayed with you when you upgraded cabins is because you were still within the 60 day limit from disembarking the ship. Whatever promotion that was in effect when you booked, was still in effect when you upgraded. Our problem is the EBB promotion (that provided the $1500 P/P SBP) ended on June 30, and we asked our TA to move us up in late July. We are still waiting for a decision from the Big Box TA and HAL.
  16. We are with you, Ruth. We always select a late, fixed dining, table for our party, (2-top or 4-top). We are usually off the ship on port days until 4:00 or 4:30. Also, we are usually hot and sweaty. Who wants to run to the cabin, throw on some non-smelly clothes and race to early dinner ? We enjoy getting back on the ship, heading back to the cabin, relaxing with a cold drink, shower, dress, and head to the Ocean Bar for a few pre-dinner cocktails. Then around 7:55, the Yum-Yum man comes through with the chimes announcing dinner. We really enjoy having the same table, same friends, same wait staff, our favorite rolls and ice-tea plus glasses of wine are sitting there on our table when we walk in. Never even a 10 second wait, we walk right in, and sit down. No waiting lines, no pagers, no bother of making reservations and hoping for a good table. Fixed-Late seating is the best, IMHO.
  17. HAL only allows you to purchase the Premium internet package online, before the cruise at a discount from the onboard price. For the Surf and Social Media packages, you have to wait until you board. You sign up right on your device, no front office visit needed. But in typical HAL fashion, they like to encourage you to buy services or other items ahead of the cruise instead of using your HAL issued OBC. The want you to spend as much of your money as possible before you tap into their free provided OBC. Same for shore excursions, beverage packages, specialty dining, etc.
  18. Be very careful with upgrading cabins after booking. We booked a Lanai cabin on the Rotterdam for a 29 day cruise in Oct 2020, and we received the SBP as part of the Early Booking Bonus promotion in March while booking onboard. There was no increase in price for the Lanai cabin. After getting back home, (past the 60 day limit) we decided we wanted to upgrade to a Vista Suite, costing about $2100 extra per person. I thought this would be a simple upgrade, considering we were paying the current price for the suite. Not so easy with HAL. They refused to accept a paid (full price) upgrade to the Vista suite unless we dropped the free SBP which has a value of $1500 P/P for a 29 day cruise. There's no way we would pass up the SBP, so our TA is trying to negotiate a deal with HAL. We will see what happens.
  19. I'm not changing my booking to a different promotion. All I want to do is move from cabin A to Cabin B which is a little more expensive. If HAL offers you a paid upsell, you pay the money and everything stays intact. I received no special deal on the Lanai cabin price. It's been the same (plus or minus $200) since June 2018. If HAL was happy giving me a free SBP when I was spending $4599, why are they not happy when I want to pay $2100 more for a better cabin, which also has not changed in price for over a year? I agree that a Vista Suite on the Rotterdam is just about the same as a plain vanilla veranda cabin on the larger ships. You have a little more space in the cabin and a slightly larger balcony. But because HAL calls it a suite, they charge thousands more than the same cabin would cost on a Vista Class ship or larger. And the extra cruise-day Mariner credits mean nothing to me, I am 4-star and the benefits of 5-star do not warrant the extra expense. I have had a Lanai cabin before on the Rotterdam, and it was OK, but for 29 days, I would like a bit more room.
  20. Ever since CC started displaying that big blue ad to book cruises at the top of every page, I have received the "File not Found" error message. If I go back one page and go forward and few times, it will load. This just started when the ads started.
  21. You mentioned that the Amsterdam and Zaandam may not get Billboard Onboard. I notice on the "HAL Ships at a Glance" chart they are showing that the Rotterdam will be getting Billboard Onboard on or before Dec 6, 2019. That is a pretty intensive level of construction. They have to rip out the entire "Mix" bar and piano area and install Billboard. That level of work would take at least a week. But checking the HAL website and another cruise calendar site, I see continuous scheduled cruises from now, August 2019 through November 2020. I don't see how this kind of work could be scheduled.
  22. Thanks for all the input. I don't want to cancel and re-book, because that will blow the $3000 (for 2) SBP. I was just hoping to pay HAL more money for a better cabin and still keep everything. I find it strange that HAL was perfectly happy to give me a $1500 P/P beverage package for a $4499 priced cabin, with NO increase in price, but when I want to give them $2100 P/P more money for a suite, they are saying NO. They will happily take my money for the suite, but they will kill the SBP. My guess is that they never thought of giving a beverage package for a 29 day cruise that is valued at one-third of the cost of the cabin price. Now they realize what has happened, they are trying to claw some of that back by blocking any paid upgrades. Ironically, if I waited until 2 weeks out, I might be offered an upsell to a Vista suite,for the same price or less and I would still keep my SBP.
  23. Thanks for the info. I checked the HAL website and they show the Rotterdam doing a Pacific coast and Panama Canal cruise in December 2019. I checked another site that has ship's calendars and I see a continuous series of cruises from August 2019 through November 2020, with no breaks. Ripping out the "Mix" area, the bars, and some of the shops in that area would take at least 2 weeks in a wet dock. So, I don't understand their schedule showing Billboard Onboard being effective on Dec 6, 2019. Chart attached as a PDF. HAL_Ships_at_a_Glance_Chart_080419.pdf
  24. On your recent Rotterdam cruise, did they still have the "Mix" area with the single piano bar, or have they ripped that out and installed Billboard Onboard ? We are booked on a 29 day trans-atlantic on Oct 3, 2020. The "HAL ships at a Glance" chart shows that Lincoln Center Stage was added in a drydock on May 11, 2019, and they plan the add Billboard Onboard in another drydock on Dec 6, 2019. I can't imagine any cruise line taking a ship out of service 2 times in the same year. We really enjoy the intimacy of the single piano bar with a talented musician, over the commercialized dueling piano concept of Billboard.
  25. We booked the Rotterdam, Oct 3, 2020, while onboard the Eurodam in March. It is a 29 day, Rotterdam to Ft. Lauderdale cruise. We originally booked a Lanai cabin, and because the Early Booking Bonus (EBB) was in effect at the time, we received a 29 day SBP which would cost us $3000 to buy it for 2 people, plus a PG dinner and some cabin credit. I was watching this cruise's pricing for many months before booking on the Eurodam. The Lanai cabin was $4499 six months before booking and the same price when we booked with the FCC onboard. We were pleased with the deal, especially the $3000 SBP for no extra charge. When EBB dropped off in July, the price was still $4499. Around the first of August, we decided to upgrade our cabin to a Vista suite, priced at $6599. We asked out TA to make the change. She came back to us saying that HAL was giving her a hard time, because we booked onboard with a Future Cruise Consultant, and if we change our cabin now, more than 60 days after disembarking the Eurodam, we would lose all of the perks of the EBB, including the $3000 SBP. We are not cancelling the cruise and re-booking, just trying to pay HAL about $4000 more money for a Vista Suite. They are telling my TA no, you must cancel the booking and re-book. We would get the $800 that is now offered by the newly designed Explore-4, but lose the $3000 SBP. Has anyone heard of losing all benefits if you just want to upgrade your cabin and pay for the upgrade ?
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