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Posts posted by TAD2005

  1. A general question on an upsell. We are in a Lanai cabin on the Rotterdam, 14 days. We were offered an upsell to a Vista suite (which on the Rotterdam is exactly like a regular veranda cabin on newer ships) at $299 P/P. But on HAL ships, your HSC jumps from $13.50 per day to $15 per day in a suite. And on the Rotterdam, a Vista Suite is considered a suite. Does the HSC increase if you accept the upsell ? I would assume the answer is yes. So, that increase has to be figured into the total cost of the upsell and the value of it.

  2. There is still one place on some HAL ships that has self service. It's the Taco bar outside the Dive-In ordering window. There are containers of all kinds of food, tortillas, taco shells and the goodies that go in them. It's all self-serve. But I have sat at a nearby table and watched a person grab the spoon for the sour cream, load a few dollops on her plate, then proceed to lick the spoon and put it back in the tub of sour cream. We called attention of this to the Dive-In persons and they replaced it immediately. The person who did this couldn't understand what the problem was and was amused by the whole incident.

    The older style by-the-slice self-serve pizza in the Lido (before NY Pizza was added) is another area of problems. I waited to grab a few slices and a person in front of me was pulling pepperoni slices off of the pizzas, with her fingers, and adding the extras to her slice on her plate. I guess we are in a #me-first world, and some people are absolute slobs. They eat in public restaurants like they eat at home, and get annoyed to even hostile if you call them on their actions. I'm all for the few minutes delay caused by HAL servers doing the serving. I never had a problem asking for an extra slice of meat or a 2nd scoop of mashed, the HAL servers are happy to get what you want. A few minutes delay in the Lido is far better than 4 days stuck in the bathroom with an intestinal bug.

  3. On the HAL website, when you drill down into the EXC tours for your cruise, you will occasionally see "Only 4 Spaces left" or some other low number on a tour. That is a sales tactic. I saw that warning of 4 spaces left, and booked a tour with 4 people. Over 2 weeks later, the web site was still warning "Only 4 Spaces left". It's a sales tactic of HAl to encourage you to use your cash to buy a tour in advance instead of waiting to purchase it onboard with your HAL provided OBC, which is non-refundable.

    Also, tours that utilize a specialized form of transport, like a boat, catamaran, helicopter, etc should be booked as soon as you are sure you want to go. There is a limited space on these specialized transports, and there's usually only one or two of them. On a regular tour that uses a motorcoach, or minivan, there are plenty of those.

  4. We always pick late fixed seating for dinner. We like to return to the ship from a shore excursion around 4:00, then relax, take a shower, dress, and head down to the Ocean or Pinnacle bar for pre-dinner cocktails. Then, we eat at 8:00, and we are finished by 9:15 or 9:30. we head to BB-King, the piano bar, or the casino until the 10:00 pm show, if it sounds like a show we would enjoy. We have never missed a late show due to late seating dinner.

  5. We will be on the Rotterdam on March 11 for 14 days. What internet plans do they offer, and the cost ? We were on the Westerdam last October, and they have 3 packages, but all 3 offer unlimited times and for the whole voyage. I understand that the Rotterdam still has the "by the minute" packages. Any info would be appreciated.

  6. This is simply not true. Have you read the contract of carriage? Airlines are required to get you to your final destination or provide you a refund. This is true regardless of circumstances.


    Sure, they will get you to your final destination, but it may be the next day, the day after, or who knows when. In the meantime, while you are waiting for that promised flight, you will pay for your own hotel and your own meals. Only if they have an equipment failure or a crew problem will they voucher your hotel and meals. I just had 2 friends flying from Toronto to the Caribbean, through Atlanta. They had snow and ice. They were stuck in Atlanta for 2 days and they had to pay their own hotel and meals. And they were gold level with Delta and flying business class. You only get a refund if they simply give up and can't get you on a flight. There is no time limit.

  7. Your brother only listened to part of the beverage package deal. Yes, it is $50, but that is PER DAY. (Actually $51.70 including service charge). And the deal is that if one buys the package in a cabin, the other person will buy it, even if they know nothing about it. To prevent the scam of drink sharing, everyone in the cabin must have the same package. I agree that it really is a pain, but you can thank the freeloaders who scam the system by sharing drinks for this restrictive rule. Even if one person buys the package online, ahead of the cruise, on day one, your cabin mate will automatically have the same package charged to their cabin account. As you noted, when you asked for the package to be removed from your account, it was automatically removed from your brother's account. And any drinks he consumed under the package were converted to regular menu prices, plus 15% service charge.

    A side note, the 8 drinks he had that first day, 2 or 3 of them would be free if he kept the package. The break-even point is 5-1/2 drinks. After that, you are drinking free with the regular signature beverage package and a standard $7.95 cocktail..

  8. I was just off a Celebrity and a Princess cruise. On Celebrity I could get whatever drinks I wanted...cans of cokes, large bottles of water, double shots, etc. On Princess, I could only get fountain sodas on lido and only small bottles of water, NEVER a double shot, etc. Is Holland 'stingy' like Princess was? We were considering a HAL for a Panama cruise but now I'm not so sure.


    On HAL's drink packages, just about anything you can drink is covered. All sodas, water in 2 liter and 1 liter bottles, all beers, most cocktails, some wines. (within the $9 or $15 package limits). And yes, you can get doubles. No problem. Just keep track of your doubles. They count as 2 of your 15 daily drink allotment. If you run over your 15 before midnight, HAL will keep pouring, but they will charge those drinks to your onboard account. They do not flag you if you have hit their 15 drink limit. (unless you are falling-down drunk, then you will be cut off.)

  9. I wonder if the $7/9 and $20/30 is based upon your departure point. Doing transatlantic in April. My roommate called HAL, gave all info to rep, transatlantic then around the Med, and was quoted $7 per day, $20 per bag and $189 for entire 27 day cruise. She was also told we needed to sign up as soon as we board.


    We were on a 26 day Mediterranean-Trans Atlantic cruise leaving from Venice and ending in FLL. Our by-the-bag laundry fees were $30 in the Med and also crossing the Atlantic. So, it might depend on your departure port.

  10. The only way to get around the "both must buy the same package rule" is to have a doctor's note that states you cannot drink alcohol for medical reasons. Don't blame HAL for this restriction, it's the people who always try to game the system by sharing drinks. One person buys the package, the other doesn't and they share drinks off the same package. Other cruise lines have the same problem. Some raise the price of the package so high that they make out even if sharing happens. However, if you are caught sharing, (and the bartenders are watching for it), you will lose your package with no refunds for the remaining number of days on the package.

  11. Even if your ship has been upgraded to RFI (hold near) proximity cards , you still will need to remove the card from your lanyard holder for drink orders. I see people who have the plastic see-through holders, and constantly fumbling with them, trying to get their cards out to give to the patiently waiting waiters. They must swipe your card through the POS terminal. Even the portable POS terminals that the wine stewards use in the MDR require a swipe of your card. This was our recent experiences on Vista class ships. Don;t know if the Eurodam and K-Dam have proximity readers on their POS terminals.

  12. This is insane. You use the airlines as an example. I guess you don't fly much either. The airlines will only provide you with a hotel and meal vouchers if the flight was cancelled due to weather, ATC delays, or other situations out of their control. The only reason they will comp you for a cancellation is if they have an equipment failure or crew non-arrival. The airlines have many wiggle-clauses that they will throw at you to justify nothing in compensation except a ticket on the next available flight..

    You expect the cruise lines to give you a guarantee that they will call at every port in the itinerary, or they refund the entire cruise fare to everybody onboard. And for that guarantee, you expect to pay "a few hundred $$ more". Please tell me what you are smoking, because it must be good stuff !!

    A dock workers wild-cat strike, a hurricane, rough seas in a port where tendering is required, a terrorist attack or threat of same, a noro-virus outbreak on the ship and the port refuses to allow the ship to dock, civil unrest, or any of a hundred other things that will prevent a ship from calling at a specific port. And you expect, for a "few hundred dollars increase in price" the cruise line will refund all passengers their full cruise fare. Wow !! I hope you are don't run a business in the same manner that you expect a cruise line to operate. You would be broke within a year.

  13. We have a 14 day cruise on the Rotterdam in March. We just got our cruise docs, and they say we have 3 gala nights. We have 5 sea days on the 14 day cruise. We had a 26 day Med/TA cruise on the Westerdam last October and we had 4 Gala nights with 11 sea days.

  14. Some folks demand perfection. On a ship, it's not always possible. We had two cruises on Silver Seas and Crystal. On the Silver Seas cruise we had non functioning toilets and multiple problems with the ship's tenders. On Crystal we had air conditioning problems in a cruise near the equator, and some buckets in hallways. But they were very fashionable buckets !! All problems were fixed in a day, but it was an inconvenience. Just because you pay the "big bucks" doesn't guarantee perfection. As other's have said, on a ship.....ship happens !!!

  15. Laundry by the bag is available any day of your cruise, except the day before disembarking (day 6 of a 7 day cruise). They can't guarantee you will get your clothes back before it's time to pack the night before disembarking. The last time you could send out a laundry bag on a 7 day cruise would be the morning of day 5. You will have your clothes back by mid-day of day 6.

  16. Considering that you want a specific table (near a window) at a specific time for your whole cruise, and have it reserved in advance, maybe fixed dining would be more appropriate for you. You can download a PDF of your ship's main dining room on a website about HAL Facts, and select your favorite table number. Then send an e-mail to Ship's Services (or call them) and make your request. They will usually respond within 5 days and give you a table number. When you contact them, give them a large number of tables that you might like. They usually will assign one of them for you. You can only do this advance reservation for fixed dining, usually 5:30 pm and 8:00 pm in the upper level of the MDR. If you want variable times for different days, then open seating is your only choice. But, you can only reserve 3 days at a time, once onboard.

  17. We were in a VB grade cabin on the Oosterdam in Nov 2016, after the drydock. The TV's are now large (42" or bigger) flat screens, mounted at the foot of your bed on the wall. They are on-demand and interactive. The electrical outlets are all over at the desk. Because the TV has been moved and the DVD players are gone (along with the front desk DVD lending library) there are now 3 sets of outlets at the desk. 2 of them are 120 US type or 220 volt European type and the 3rd is 120 volt. There is a shaver-only outlet in the bathroom that accepts both type of plugs and is switch selectable 120-220 volts. But no hair dryers in that outlet, it's only for shavers or shaver chargers. In the veranda cabins, there are no outlets near the bed, except for USB charging outlets. I use a CPAP and I always bring a 12 ft extension cord to run from the desk over to the bed. Be careful if you bring a power strip. It must be a simple power strip with no surge protectors built-in. The ship prohibits any surge protectors, it's a technical thing. Google "Surge protectors on cruise ships" and you will get the full explanation why they are banned.

  18. OK, here's what I think some people are asking for. They seem to expect a cruise line to immediately cancel cruises, and pull a ship into a drydock at the first sign of any problem. Cracked windows, some leaky deck areas, some leaky windows, quick, cancel thousands of people's vacations, force them into alternate ships or itineraries. Can you imagine the screams and howls that we would see on CC if that was the policy of cruise lines ? Ships have maintenance crews onboard for this reason. They do their absolute best to address the problems that crop up. And yes, the captain is not going to have a hissy fit when he sees some buckets in the Lido. He is totally aware of any problems. Would you rather him order the Lido closed ? Issues that can be addressed with onboard staff and available hardware are done quickly. Items that require replacement parts, some that may need custom fabrication will take longer. Maybe not until the next drydock. Older ships will have problems, and some brand new ships have disastrous problems. But everyone should be aware of the age of a particular ship they are booking. If you can "go with the flow", then you should be OK. If you demand only the best, and no compromises, then you should make your ship selections more carefully.

  19. Our last 2 cruises on the Oosterdam and Westerdam, all bars had a mixed nut jar that was either on the bar and tables, or was quickly delivered when asked. HAL used to have a "Sip & Savor" thing in the Ocean Bar or Pinnacle Bar that for a fee (???) you got some drinks and hot snacks. I didn't see that on the last cruise, but we had the beverage package, and the package was not acceptable for Sip & Savor.

  20. The TV's on the refurbed ships are 42" and sometimes bigger. The Westerdam has Samsung TV;s. Generally, the movie shown in the theater on one day will be in the "New Releases" section on your cabin TV's the next day, there are some exceptions. There are HDMI ports on the TV's but they are mounted so close to the wall, and the TV's are not movable, so it would take a pretty skinny hand to be able to plug a HDMI cable into the TV. But the bigger problem is the remotes provided nor the front panel controls, have the ability to change the TV inputs from Ethernet to HDMI. You would have to bring your own universal remote and program it for the brand of TV in your cabin in order to make input selections.

  21. I know that HAL does great fares for one way international flights. But how do they do on round trip US domestic flights ? We are booked on the March 2019 Eurodam to Hawaii, Tahiti and Marquesas. We need a round trip TPA-SAN. We would prefer first class, but we also want to see premium economy fares. I am getting sample fares of $740 premium economy and $1100 first class. Has anyone received a better deal on a domestic round trip compared to what you can get from the airlines ?

  22. We needed a one-way business class air from Tampa to Venice for a 25 day Med/Trans-Atlantic cruise last October. We contacted our TA in April, and asked her to get us fares with HAL. I checked myself for one-way fares and the best I could get was $8000 P/P. I could purchase a round trip for $4800 and throw away the return, but the airlines hate that. My TA got us business class on British Airways, through Gatwick, for $1190 P/P. As soon as I said OK to my TA, she gave me my BA record locator and this was 7 months out from the cruise. I logged into the BA website, set up an account with them (free) and entered my record locator. I could select my seats, enter my American Airlines FF number (AA is partners with BA). And I paid for the air along with the cruise at final payment date, 75 days out from the cruise. On the HAL website, under "My Itinerary" the BA flights were shown. 30 days out, I could even select our meals for the TPA-LGW segment.

  23. On the HAL website, the "fine print" clearly says that HAL is not responsible for errors and omissions. Meaning that if the person who is writing code for their website screws up and misses a zero or bombs the price, then HAL has the option to correct that error and charge you the difference, refund your money, or do nothing. There was a thread on here recently where a person saw a HAL all-day shore excursion for $9.95. He immediately know that it was a typo, but he booked it anyway. The website accepted his purchase and provided him a receipt. Only months later, but before the cruise, did a live person at HAL catch the error. They contacted the person and said there's no way they will operate this tour for $9.95, it should have been $99.95. The guy who booked it was not happy, and felt that HAL should have honored the error. HAL pulled out their "errors and omissions" wiggle clause and said NO WAY.

  24. I can only answer your second question:

    We sailed on the Rotterdam over Christmas (9th HAL cruise), and I thought that the food quality in the MDR was very good. And on average I would say that the variety of selection was better than average. However the service was brutally slow. I suspect that this was a kitchen issue, not our servers (who were excellent), because others have complained of the same thing, and we had the same slow service in the Canaletto and in the Pinnacle for breakfast.


    Food in the Lido market was very good for breakfast, just average for lunch (same as on all HAL cruises IMO). New York Pizza was great. Canaletto food quality was also very good, although a little salty for my taste.


    Thanks bleacher04 for your report on the Rotterdam food. We will be on her for 14 days in March. One thing piqued our interest was breakfast in the Pinnacle. We have had many lunches and dinners in the Pinnacle, but never breakfast. Is breakfast offered every day or only some days ? How much do they charge, and does my Mariner 4-star get me a 50% discount ? I have never seen a menu for a Pinnacle breakfast. Is one posted anywhere ?

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