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Posts posted by TAD2005

  1. You'll figure it out some day... ;):)


    I guess you also figure that the 800+ posts on the 3 other threads on CC are also total morons and can't work their way through the new site. You are one of the few brilliant ones who are having no problems. I envy your good fortune, If you have the magic clue to the website, please take the time to pass along your brilliance to the 800 + other CC members who are having problems.

    Yes, the site, sort of, works. But there are many flaws in the code. HAL has admitted there are problems to the many people who have called Seattle and complained. Text that overlays other text and graphics, every time you open a new page, it opens a new window. Changing pages should always target the same page you came from so you don't end up with loads of open pages all signed in with your password. There's no way to actually sign out of the main page. You can sign out of the pages for purchases (book2), but the main page cannot be signed out.

    The site is bush league right now, hundreds of people are having difficulties with it, who had no problems with the old site. For commercial sites to be successful, they must be transparent to all browsers, and be user-friendly. Before you come back with any more of your sarcastic comments about other CC members difficulties and my abilities, take a few moments and read the 3 other threads on CC about problems with the new web site. Rather than just criticize other people's computer skills, how about being proactive and passing along some of your wisdom and actually help people who seriously have problems. You say I have my head in the sand.... I think your's is someplace else.

  2. No HAL cheerleader here, not by a long shot. And I'm about as non tech savvy as they come. Just sayin' that I have had zero issues with HAL's new site, that's all.


    The new site is great, and you can stick your head in the sand and continue to deny that progress is a good thing. As we rapidly pass you by, and wave good-bye! ;)


    Excuse me... but I do not have my head in the sand. I develop websites for a living. The site has many deficiencies. They made this major change to accommodate small screen devices such as phones and tablets, to eliminate vertical and horizontal scrolling and make the text more legible. That has caused problems for folks who use full screen laptops and desk tops. In my many conversations with HAL's Seattle office, they constantly apologize to me about the web site and say they "are working on it". If there were no problems, why does HAL's main office constantly apologize for it's poor performance ?

  3. The officers that guide these tours certainly do not benefit from the $150 P/P fee. The high fee is just to keep the list of applicants down to a reasonable level. If it was free (like years ago) or maybe $20, the sign-up list would be huge and there would be many disappointed guests. So, the high price thins the list a good bit.

  4. That sounds to me like either an operator error, or hardware/software error specific to that particular user.


    No abuse (as you put it) at all when I'm on the site..;)


    Oh... I get it... you have to be a software expert to know all about extensions, browser add-ons, etc to be able to easily navigate the new HAL website. How is that customer friendly ? Do future HAL guests need to sign up for a Chrome, IE or Firefox seminar to be able to access their reservations and other critical info ? Let's face it, and stop cheer leading for the contractor HAL hired to develop their new site. The new site S*cks, it has many issues needing attention, and is very user-unfriendly to non-computer literate folks. They seemed to be in a rush to get it online to beat any performance penalties, and they totally skipped Beta testing completely.

    Also, why is HAL maintaining the old website ? I use the old site when I have problems with the new one. When a company sets up a new website, they thoroughly test the new site, and when it is ready, there is a scheduled cut-over. The old site is taken down and all you can get is the new one. HAL is keeping the old site active because they realize they have problems with the new site, and the old site is a good fall-back.

  5. Taxis can't deliver passengers to the location that baggage handlers have their carts ? That makes no sense. How to elderly, mobility limited passengers hump their luggage for blocks while rolling their walkers, wheelchairs or scooters ? The stevedores won't be getting too many tips if people have to handle their own luggage for 60 % of the way to the ship. I would think the port worker's unions would fix that really fast. Unless you are talking about Uber and Lyft. The taxi unions may limit their access to the piers because there's not too much love lost between the ride sharing companies and regular taxis.

  6. Last I checked, just like the unlimited laundry package, the signature beverage package (and the elite) are priced on the full cruise. If you wait until the 2nd or later day to purchase it onboard, you will be cautioned that the price is still for the full cruise, no prorating. The reasoning there is that some people will try to purchase the package for the last days of the cruise when there may be a lot of sea days. HAL doesn't permit that. For example, a 7 day cruise where the last two days are sea days. With prorating you would buy the package for only $103.40 for the 2 days, and could feasibly drink $274 in liquor, even with the 15 drink per day limit. Remember, the break-even point with the SBP is 5 drinks priced at $7.95 plus 15%. That is the reason for no prorating, same for the unlimited laundry. It's $7 (or $9 in Europe) a day for the entire cruise. People would only buy it for the last few days of the cruise and get 2 or 3 bags of laundry (a $40 or $60 cost, by the bag) for only $14 or $21. Some people will always try to scam the system, and that's why there is no prorating.

  7. A hypothetical question. On Flight Ease and EXC shore excursions, HAL guarantees that they will either hold the ship for your late arrival or get you to the next port to meet the ship, if they can't wait.

    For some cruises, if you do miss the ship with a HAL guaranteed flight or tour, it involves getting you to the nearest airport and flying you to the next port, where you meet the ship.

    We are booked on a cruise leaving from San Diego, and the next port is Honolulu, 5 days later. We have Flight Ease flights booked. We arrive 10:30 AM the day before the cruise, so we aren't concerned about missing the ship. But our friends who are travelling with us, cannot get off from work the day earlier, so they fly into San Diego from the east coast on the day of the cruise. They are scheduled to arrive around noon, and the ship leaves at 4:00 pm. Should be no problem. But what happens if there is a major weather problem and flights are cancelled. Our friends would have to catch a flight from San Diego to Honolulu and then hang out for 5 days in very expensive Honolulu, waiting for the ship to arrive. Who pays for the hotel and 3 meals a day for 5 days ? Same if our friends take a HAL shore excursion in Honolulu and for whatever reason, their bus doesn't make it back and the ship can't wait. The next stop is Fanning Island. Who pays for the hotel and meals and other living expenses until the ship catches up with the guests. In the first scenario, missing the ship in San Diego, the hotel and meal costs in Honolulu would be around $2000 for 2 people and 5 days. Does HAL compensate for that ?? Obviously trip insurance would be a wise choice, but if people read that HAL guarantees you will be transferred to meet the ship, then they may not feel they need insurance. If this has happened to anyone, please let us know exactly what is covered, so they are fully aware of what is and is not covered by the "guarantee".

  8. We definitely will not reach the 15 drink limit! :eek:




    On our Oceania cruises, the rate has been comparable for the Caribbean cruises. We started out buying the Beer and Wine package and quickly learned that it was limited. Purchased the full package and clearly wasted our money. However, DH does not want to have to sign for every drink and therefore prefers the packages on our cruises. When you buys the prepaid drink cards, does one have to sign for every drink ticket? And do the drink cards include the 15% gratuity?


    We had purchased drink cards on a HAL cruise years ago. And we did have to sign each drink receipt. And yes, using the drink cards still requires you to pay the 15% SC. For example, a menu price drink of $7.95 will cost $9.14 including the 15% SC. If you have a $100 drink card, you will be able to buy just under 11 drinks at the $9.14 price.

  9. There will be a ripple-down effect when a ship is taken out of the fleet. In some cases HAL has switched the P-Dam cruises over to the Rotterdam. Some ship will have to pick up the slack for that Rotterdam cruise, and another ship will have to pick up that slack, and down it goes. Somewhere in the big shuffle, some cruises will be outright cancelled with no alternative offered. One good thing is that the end date is July 1, 2019, which is too far away for anyone making non-refundable airline reservations.

  10. Oceana cruises are considerably more expensive than the same cruise and cabin type on HAL. Also Oceana's beverage packages are more than $44.95 a day, so they can afford to look the other way when one passenger in a cabin has the package, and occasionally shares a drink with the non-package passenger. It's because of drink sharing that the major cruise lines require both in a cabin to buy the package. If people wouldn't try to scam the system and share drinks with friends and cabin mates who don't purchase the package, we wouldn't be having this discussion, There's always a few who won't play by the rules and make it more expensive for those that do.

  11. The front desk will not give you a "surge strip", they are forbidden on cruise ships. They will give you a plug strip or plug bar, which is just a multiplug strip with no surge protection. Almost every electronic device made in the last 10-15 years will work on any voltage between 100 and 240 volts. Even my CPAP machine works perfectly on the 220 volt outlet at the desk. I do bring a plain vanilla extension cord and a European plug adapter to reach the bed. Most HAL ships also have USB charging outlets. So unless you are setting up massive amounts of equipment, there are plenty of outlets without having to smuggle a plug strip onboard.

  12. After the revision of cabin categories as DaveOKC mentioned above, the VA grade cabins on deck 5 of the Vista class ships, which are supposed to be top of the line veranda cabins, are really partially obstructed. These are the mid-ship cabins on deck 5. The views out of the veranda glass door is fine if you are inside the cabin, looking out. But if you go out on the balcony and stand at the railing and look down, all you see are the tops of the huge orange lifeboats hanging from their davits. If you are interested in watching a band playing on the pier as you sail away, forget it. If you want to check out the school of dolphins swimming alongside the ship, forget it. All you see are lifeboat tops. Pick a higher deck or a deck 5 veranda wither aft or forward of the lifeboats. also, due to the reduces width of the deck in the mid-ships area, the balconies on deck 5 mid-ships are less deep than ones forward or aft. A VA grade cabin upgrade on deck 5 mid-ships for a guarantee may not really be an upgrade.

  13. We booked the Eurodam March 9, 2019 Hawaii, Tahiti, Marquesas cruise, which is now almost sold out, on the Westerdam last October, 2017. The cruise is 28 days, R/T San Diego. We paid $300 P/P deposit for booking onboard, and received a $400 P/P OBC. We booked a VB grade veranda at the stern of the ship.

  14. Website design is many levels of ability above the technical abilities of HAL's people who just make updates and minor changes. I would bet that the new site was contracted out to a 3rd party contractor. They probably agreed to a specific publish date, and if they didn't make it they suffered financial penalties. So, instead of running the new site through the usual Alpha and Beta test modes, they were up against a firm deadline, so they launched it, partially untested. Right now, it definitely is not "Ready for Prime Time". The old site should be restored for full use, and the new one should go back to Beta testing until the bugs are fixed. They were trying to make the site more friendly to small screen devices, phones and tablets. That requires a whole extra level of code to address screen size and make sure the text is readable on the small screens with minimal scrolling.

  15. After Ready-Set-sail drops, make a note of the price of the cruise and cabin you are interested in. Around the end of July, if history holds true, HAL will add the Explore-4 promotion to cruises at the end of 2018 and most of 2019. Check the price of the same category cabin after Explore-4 is added. Lets face it, Explore-4 is 99% Signature Beverage Package (SBP) and 1 % everything else. Pinnacle Grill dinners are $35. And the reduced deposits are no big deal, you still end up paying the fare posted, and the 4th is reduced fares for 3rd and 4th persons in a cabin. The SBP is $51.70 per day, including the 15% service charge. So multiply $51.70 X the number of days in your cruise, add in $35 for the PG, and you have your total cost of Explore-4. Compare the cruise fare you recorded when there were no promotions, vs. the fare under Explore-4 and you will see if the additional cost is worth it. In most cases, the cruise fare goes up just about the same price of the SBP. There are exceptions, as noted on CC. If you are booking a suite or higher, you also get internet credit, or OBC, it varies from year to year.

  16. We stayed in Venice for 5 nights prior to our Westerdam Med/TA 25 day cruise last October. The 4 of us hired a private water taxi from our hotel concierge and it was 80 Euros for the whole boat. It was a short ride to the water taxi drop-off dock, and there was help to pull our luggage our of the boat and onto the pier. But then we had at least 1/2 mile walk to the terminal where the Westerdam was docked. Not a long walk if you are just carrying a carry-on type bag. But we had almost 30 days of clothes in 3 bags that we had to roll the distance. We didn't realize that there are taxis available where the water taxi drops us, and they could have taken us to the ship terminal. We found this out when we were almost halfway there. Too far to turn back.

  17. We were on the Rotterdam in March and there was an ATM at the exit doors of the casino. And the fee was substantial. Depending on your cruise ports, using ATM machines on land may be cheaper than the 3% or may not.

    What some folks do is use their room key card and load up a slot machine with $500 or whatever amount you want. That amount is charged to your cabin account, and whatever credit card you have on file. You do a few pulls on the one-armed-bandit, and cash out. Go to the casino cage and request a cash out of your casino account, which is different from your cabin account. You get cash with no fees. I wouldn't try this on the first few cruise days. Wait a bit. Eventually HAL will catch onto this and figure out a way to add the 3% to it. But the casino subcontractor will balk at that, because they want you to put cash into the casino system in the hopes that you will lose some of it. And you usually do, so that is in effect, the 3% or more that you would pay the front desk for a simple cash advance.

  18. I agree, cancel the HAL bus transfer and take a taxi. That way you are not waiting for the last person to fill the bus.

    But as far as missing your return flight, I haven't heard much about HAL's responsibility.

    HAL makes a big deal about their Flight Ease program, with a guarantee that if your flight is late on embarkation day, they will hold the ship for you, and if not, they will get you to the next port and cover meals and hotels. But they don't speak at all about the end of the cruise. Some people have to be back to work the next day, some have pets to pickup, etc. What IS HAL's responsibility if you miss your return flight, through no fault of your own ? Do they rebook you on the next available flight on any airline, or do you have to wait until the next day? Do they cover your meals and hotel ? HAL should publish a policy for both ends of a cruise.

  19. Considering the number of controversial posts that occurred when the "O" marketing agreement was first announced, I would have thought that HAL would choose another Godmother, such as a Dutch Monarch. But, this was probably part of the original marketing agreement and was a done-deal months before. They couldn't change it if they wanted to. Unfortunately, choosing a person with political baggage of any persuasion for such an honorary position will offend some people, please some people, and not have any effect on the majority, who couldn't care less.

  20. I was on the same cruise.


    One deck under your deck.


    Unless I was on the promenade, I wasn't aware of the work being done.


    We walked around the port area of St. Lucia. Again, we only faintly heard the noise as we reboarded the ship.


    On the other hand, on our deck, there was rewiring being done in the forward elevator lobby area. All the ceiling panels were down.


    A new cable was also run from the lobby down our hallway and into the electrical box outside our cabin.


    Maintenance does happen on board ship.


    I agree that maintenance does happen onboard. It is necessary to keep the ship in top shape. But maintenance that renders a whole section of a deck of cabins unusable for 3 days is far above the routine scraping and painting. When the noise of the steel ceiling vibrating with the metal grinding is so loud that you cannot hear your spouse speak 3 feet away, inside the cabin, and it continues for 8 hours a day, I think that is a good bit above "routine maintenance". Obviously, your deck 2 ceiling was not vibrating with the grinding noise that was happening immediately above our Lanai cabin door.

    We disembarked the ship in Tampa, and while sitting, waiting for our ride home, the steel grinding noise continued and we could hear it on the other side of the terminal, at the street.

    We are 4-star Mariners, and love HAL cruises and ships. We could be called "HAL Cheerleaders". But we will not make excuses for the noise we had to endure for 3 days and call it "routine maintenance". If I booked passage on a freighter, I would expect and accept that level of maintenance. Not on a passenger cruise ship.

  21. We routinely have breakfast in our cabin, on the balcony, weather permitting. I have found that you can write just about anything into the breakfast card and they will deliver it. As long as it is available in the Lido, you can get it in the cabin. Just be as clear and legible as possible when you write items on the card, and be sure to give a dollar or two tip to the guy who delivers it.

  22. On all HAL ships, the only smoking area is the starboard (right) side of the Lido pool area. It is an open deck, so any smoke generated will be blown overboard. Your proposed cabins on the port side, deck 8 should be free of smoke, providing, as other have said, that everyone follows the rules. Depending on the ship, the casino is occasionally listed as a smoking area on some cruise days. Be cautious of that and avoid passing through the casino on those days. I'm sure guest services can tell you which days and the times.

  23. With a few exceptions, most Flight Ease bookings are payable on the same date your cruise final payment is due. It would be a little silly to allow you to cancel your cruise anytime up to 75 days out, with full refund, but demand that you shell out your money for a non-refundable air ticket 6 months in advance. When HAL books your flight, the cost of the flight is added to your final cruise price and both are due 75 days out. If you have an issue crop up that you must cancel the cruise, the cruise and air are cancelled together and your deposit will be returned on request. There are exceptions to this, some cruise are non-refundable, and some air tickets are the same. Make sure you are totally aware of these possibilities when booking.

  24. I was on that infamous March 11 R/T cruise from Tampa. And yes, I was one of those who threw a "hissy-fit". The maintenance that was being done was far more than what could be considered "scheduled maintenance". They were using metal grinding wheels and cutting torches to remove and replace sections of the lifeboat davits on deck 4, immediately above my cabin, Lanai 3376. This was not "scraping and painting". I went up and actually saw what they were doing. They were cutting our rusted sections of the lifeboat davits and welding new pieces in place. The entire ceiling of deck 3 was vibrating with the cutting of the steel. We walked the promenade deck and this work was being done on both sides of the ship. It even could be heard loudly on the Lido deck. The noise went on for days, and it was so loud that we could not carry on a conversation in our cabin without shouting into each other's ears. Forget watching TV, impossible. We were onshore at one port, (St. Lucia) and we were at least 1/4 mile from the ship and could still hear the unbelievable metal grinding. One of the Guest Services persons told us that they had no control over the noise, it was work that Marine Operations (The Captain) wanted to complete before the ship headed back to Europe on April 15. It was work that couldn't be completed during the dry-dock. I think that the level of that noise went FAR above what would be considered "scheduled maintenance". Obviously Guest Services agreed with me, because they gave us a sizable cabin credit in compensation for the loss of use of our cabin for 3 days.

    I filed a full, detailed cruise review on CC. If you want more info, check it out.

  25. The Lanai cabins on the Rotterdam (never had one on the Amsterdam) are very nice and the huge promenade deck right outside is great. The sliding glass door has a magnetic lock. You press a button from the inside to release the magnet to open the door. From the outside, HAL provides a RFID Proximity card that you pass over the prox reader, and that also releases the magnetic lock. Very convenient for early morning promenade walks. There are many walkers (no jogging allowed), but no one can see in your door. They are great cabins, but only for 2 people. A long cruise with 3 adult-sized people in there would be tight.

    The one thing that could be improved is losing those small (18") flat-screen TV's above the desk and the DVD player, and installing the 48" flat-screen TV's they have installed on the Vista class and larger ships. That TV over the desk is way too small to be seen by people in the bed.

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