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Posts posted by TAD2005

  1. Contact your TA or HAL and ask for the upgrade.   They will usually have no problem making the change, but make sure that any promotional items that you received with your original booking remains in place.   Sometimes when you re-fare a cruise, with a cabin level change or not, you can lose benefits like beverage packages, onboard credit, specialty dinners, etc.

  2. The Rotterdam will be going in for a drydock on Dec 8, 2019.    That may take care of any discrepancies noted by some CC members.  One of the changes they will make is the destruction of the "Mix" area, including the traditional single piano bar.   They will be installing Billboard Onboard into that combined area of the Champagne Bar, Martini Bar, and the Piano Bar.   I am sad to see one of the last few traditional piano bars in the HAL fleet go the way of Billboard Corp,  but, as we know, all areas on a ship must make enough revenue to justify their space.   One thing for sure, we will not be entertained by such piano bar greats as Barry from Boston.   We now will have dueling pianos, 2 musicians that in most instances have never performed together until they have boarded the ship.   Sometimes you get lucky and they work well together.  Other times, not so good.

  3. 4 hours ago, sirvegetables said:

    Does anyone know if/when Explore4 will be offered WITH SIG DRINK PACKAGE for HA cruises starting from May 2020?  It seems like the Explore4 package they have out now does not include a drink package.  

    The Explore-4 promotion will kick in around August 1 and continue to mid November.   Explore-4 is basically 4 promotional items, #1, the Signature Beverage Package, #2, A Pinnacle Grill dinner ($39),  #3, A reduced deposit, and #4, reduced fares for 3rd and 4th guests in a cabin.   The biggie of Explore-4 is the SBP.   Whatever you are seeing right now is not Explore-4.   You will see that starting in August.

  4. 19 hours ago, kangforpres said:

    Considering this right now for a 7 day Alaska next week. No beverage package included in my fare. So I think the $250 drink card will cover it. 3-4 drinks a day at between $9-11 bucks each = $30-$45 per day x 6 days =$190-$270 for the trip. Not drinking on last night. Plus you order any drink you want on the menu not limited to the Signature Price cut-off. 


     Signature package $49.95x7 =349.65....with drink pricing limitations. Obvious choice if you still love your liver is to get a beverage card since it gives you more choices and no price limit per drink.



    The SBP right now is still $44.95 per day, -plus 15% SC or $51.70 per cruise day.   If you wait to buy it onboard, the price is now $54.95 per day plus 15%.   If you buy it online, before the cruise, based on the average menu drink price of $8.95 plus 15% (if you are paying as you go), your break-even point is 5 drinks per day.   It's even better if you choose more expensive drinks, not exceeding $11 menu price.   After 5 drinks, you are drinking free.   Everybody is different, and their beverage consumption is totally different when you are on vacation and you don;t have to drive home from a restaurant.   Only you can judge if the SBP is worth the expense.

  5. We had an aft veranda cabin on the Eurodam, deck 4, (4187) for 28 days to Hawaii and Tahiti from San Diego.  Even the 2 days out of San Diego, when there is usually rougher seas, we had no problems with vibration or noise.   The deck 4 aft balconies are, IMHO, the best, because when you are leaning on your balcony railing looking down, all you see is the beautiful ship's prop wash and wake.   Higher decks, look down onto the balconies below you.   Deck 8 aft balconies occasionally get some noise from chairs being moved around at the Seaview pool on deck 9.

  6. Any pre-cruise purchases, shore excursions, beverage packages, specialty dining, etc, do not count until the cruise is completed.   If they credited the purchases before the cruise, and you cancelled the purchase or the whole cruise, they would have to reverse the credited days.

    One interesting point about onboard spending and the $300 per day credit.   We always sail with the SBP, either purchased or as a promotion.   We have completed 25, 26, 28 and 29 day cruises with the SBP, in a regular veranda cabin, NOT a suite.  We have always received an equal number of day spending credits to match the number of days on the ship.  On our last 28 day cruise in March, we received 28 days for the sailing plus 28 days of spending credits.   The SBP cost us $1447 P/P, purchased online, before the cruise.  Our remaining onboard spending was around $1200 because we had prepaid HSC.   So, per person, our total onboard spending, including the prepaid HSC equaled around $3000.   That should have allowed us to get 10 spending day credits for each of us and both DW and I got 28.   28 days X $300 would mean we would have to spend $8400 for the cabin.   There's no way we did that.   There was a post by a CC member on You Tube about the SBP and he says that if you have the SBP, HAL will credit you with the equivalent spending of 15 drinks at the maximum drink price of $9 (as of last March, now it's $11) plus the 15% per day SC, even if you didn't consume 15 drinks.   A $9 drink plus 15% equals $10.35.  Multiply that by 15 drinks and you get $155.25, then by 28 days and you get $4347 per person.   For 2 people in a cabin, you have exceeded the $300 per day (X 28 days) spending credit you are allowed, and they simply credit you with spending credits that equal the number of days of the cruise.  This has happened for the past 5 cruises.   So, the SBP has an unknown side benefit of Mariner points.   And you do NOT have to consume 15 alcoholic drinks per day to make this happen.  Some days, we were off the ship for 24 hours,  (overnight in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora that we booked on our own), so we had NO ship drinks for that day.  

  7. Wow !!  I meant no animus towards Canada or any country.  If you had a felony DUI (in some states, the first DUI with an elevated blood alcohol is counted as a low grade felony) and you have paid your debt to society, (fines, jail time) and you have successfully completed any parole ordered, and you have kept your nose clean since,  then your rights are restored, you now can vote, obtain a passport and get on with your life as a sadder but wiser person.   I still feel that both the US and Canada should establish a statute of limitations on specific felonies.   Holding someone responsible for a low grade felony after 30 years is detrimental to society, no matter if you are crossing the border heading north or south.   

  8. A ban is still in effect after 30 years for a US citizen ?   Doesn't Canada understand that young people do stupid things and when they mature, they are totally different persons ?   There should be some kind of statute of limitation on felonies like DUI and minor drug charges.  30 years ago, you could be sentenced in the US to many years of hard time for a single marijuana cigarette.   So you would have a felony charge on your record.  Now, it appears that pot is being made legal across Canada.   Would a felony drug charge based on marijuana still be a factor in admission these days ?

  9. 3 hours ago, Paulinda said:

    I bet a lot of those brawlers had the Signature Beverage Package!  It occurs after 15 drinks!

    There seems to be a morality drifting through CC by some posters that anyone who has the SBP is a fall-down drunk and should be attending the daily Bill W. meetings.   I will always sail with the SBP, DW and I are in our lower 70's, and we know our limits.   If you do not drink alcohol, or only a glass of wine at dinner, then the SBP is not for you.   But please do not pass judgement on others who recognize the value of the SBP and use it responsibly.   There are always exceptions as seen on the P & O ship.   But that is always the minority on HAL ships.   Which is why we avoid Carnival and NCL.  Yes, it can happen on any ship, but the chances on a HAL ship are minimal. 

  10. HAL's website clearly states that the 15 drink daily limit only applies to alcoholic beverages.   If any bartender or beverage manager tells you different, take your phone or tablet to the front desk and ask them to explain the difference.  We were on the Eurodam, 28 days, last March, with the SBP, and only our alcoholic beverages counted towards the 15.

    Copy and pasted from HAL's FAQ's.

    The Signature and Elite packages have a daily limit of 15 alcoholic beverages, which includes all alcoholic beverages with a menu price of $15 or less (Elite Beverage Package), or $11 or less (Signature Beverage Package). The Quench Beverage Package includes unlimited non-alcoholic beverages and bottled waters 500ml and under.

  11. 5 minutes ago, kazu said:


    Well, that’s a disappointment.  It was $10 per day which I was thinking might work.


    Since only wine is the issue with the SBP for us, I guess I will just pay some corkage on some wine if it’s now $15 per day pp.  thanks 🙂 

    Yes, it used to be $10 to upgrade, but that was when the Elite package was $54.95 per day.  However, HAL does not even talk about upgrading on their website.  So, this is all feedback from CC and members who made the upgrade.  

  12. 22 hours ago, crystalspin said:

    Thanks TAD for the info on SBP pricing. If we can't refare So.Pacific under Explore4 next month, we will be buying ahead of time. How much is the Elite BP price now? as it used to be $54.95pppd (plus grats)?


    The Elite beverage package is $59.95 per day, plus 15% SC, and it doesn't matter if you buy it online, before your cruise, or buy it on the ship.   The max drink menu price is $15, and don't worry about the 15% service charge, you have already paid it when you got the package.   You only have to concern yourself with the menu prices for drinks.

    Things get sticky when you try to upgrade the SBP to Elite.  The cost all depends on how and when you got the original SBP.   If you purchased it online before the cruise, or got it with a promotion (Explore-4 or EBB) then you pay $15 plus 15% per day to upgrade.  If you purchased your SBP onboard and decided to quickly upgrade, then you only pay $5 plus 15% for the upgrade.   But whatever you do, be sure to upgrade before you order any drinks with the SBP.  You will be spending a long time at the front desk getting it all sorted out if you have a few drinks before upgrading.

  13. In addition to 90 day final payment dates, HAL also has "accelerated"  cancellation dates.  On our last 28 day Hawaii, Tahiti cruise March 9,  2019 our final payment was due December 9, 2018, which was 90 days out, but the forfeiture date for our deposit was November 9, 120 days out.

  14. Loved the Ocean Bar on the Rotterdam.   Lots of space, a bandstand with piano, drums, guitar, bass and occasionally some brass, plus a vocalist.   Nice dance floor.   I sure hope that HAL doesn't destroy that great bar when they rip out "The Mix" to install the dual pianos of Billboard Onboard during the upcoming drydock..   

  15. On the ships that have NY Style Pizza, I think you can.   But you can't have a pizza without a nice mug of cold beer to go along with it.   NY Style Pizza is open until 10:30 or 11:00, so head down to the Seaview Bar, order a custom made pizza and a cold draft beer.   Much more enjoyable.

  16. 29 minutes ago, crystalspin said:

    Actually, the SBP now covers drinks up to $11 (up from $9). But it does cost more too. 


    It's not for everyone. But it is more affordable than some lines, Princess for one! We just switched a Princess So.Pacific cruise for a HAL one, largely due to Princess failing to make their Sip'n'Sail package apply for OceanView cabins, and what it would have cost for their PBP. (They also removed the second chair from OV rooms, leaving a deskchair and the bed!)

    The SBP only costs more now if you wait to buy it onboard.  The price for purchasing it online, ahead of your cruise, is the same as it has been for years, $44.95 per day + 15% SC.   If you wait to buy it onboard, the new price is $54.95 per day + 15%.   It does cover drinks with a menu price up to $11, which opens up a lot of wines, and the 15 drink limit only applies to alcoholic beverages.   Water in bottles (330 ml or 500 ml) flat or sparkling, all sodas, specialty coffees are unlimited.   When you buy the SBP, you effectively get the Quench soda package for free.

    We had friends who sailed on Sapphire Princess recently and they said "never again".   Many of the staff were eastern Europeans,  unfriendly,  rude.  Plus the premium beverage package was over $70 per day including the service fee.  And they did complain about the removal of the 2nd chair.  If you want to eat breakfast in your room, one person has to sit on the bed.   I guess Princess wants you out of the cabin, spending money around the ship.

  17. For a reference to the cost of today's air travel, in 1970, I wanted to go to EXPO-70 in Osaka, Japan.  I lived in Philadelphia.

    The Round trip fare from PHL to Osaka, via Toyko was $975 in economy.   My travel agent told me that I could purchase a Round the World ticket on TWA or Pan Am for $1290.   I jumped at it.   I left PHL for SFO, then Tokyo, down to Osaka for the World's Fair, back to Tokyo, on to Hong Kong, then Bangkok,  Colombo Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), then Bombay India, on to Tel Aviv, Athens, Paris, New York, and Philadelphia.   I made stops in SFO, Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, Bombay, Tel Aviv, Athens and Paris.   Took me 7 weeks.    The $1290 economy fare is worth $8516 in today's dollars.   That was before airline deregulation, and no such thing as airline alliances.   I flew all the way on TWA in their B-707 Intercontinental, except for the leg from SFO to Tokyo.   I switched to Pan Am because they were flying the brand new B-747 trans-Pacific, non-stop.   I had to beg TWA to allow me to transfer that leg of the RTW ticket to Pan Am.  They reluctantly agreed.  

  18. Some countries have requirements that people entering that country must have in their possession, documents showing return or onward travel within 60 or 90 days, depending on the country.   They want to be sure you won't enter as a tourist and decide to stay.  If your ticket is round trip or open jaw, then no questions will be asked.  But if you are on a one-way, I have been asked to show my cruise docs at checkin for the flight.   Airlines get picky about this, because if they board you without proper documentation (passport, visa) the airline is responsible to transport you back to your originating point, at their expense.  

  19. I wouldn't waste my money on a "Spa Stateroom"   The hundreds extra you pay get you no discounted rates in the SPA.   You can't take anything home with you, they specify that it is "for use onboard"  Here's HAL's description of Spa Staterooms :


    "Amenities in the spa staterooms include organic cotton bathrobes and slippers, a Burmese teak mat for bath and shower, and an invigorating showerhead, as well as a loofah mitt and aroma therapy bath salts. In addition to standard stateroom furnishings, spa staterooms also include an iPod docking station, yoga mat, pedometer for use aboard ship, fitness DVD, no-host mini-bar stocked with specialty waters, a cut-fruit tray at embarkation and a spa concierge to book treatments. Nightly turn-down pillow gifts also reflect a natural theme and include organic chocolate truffles, orchids and a line of chocolates called Elements, herbal-infused chocolates blending delicious Belgian chocolate with specialty herbs known for their calming and relaxing benefits."


  20. 1 hour ago, RevNeal said:

    I've done a B2B out of San Diego only once.  I got off the ship and walked over to tour the Aircraft Carrier docked close by.  It was GREAT, and well worth the time. Boarding was easy, and we didn't have to wait with new passengers.


    The last time I did a B2B in the Caribbean all of the in-transit passengers were required to disembark the ship and wait in the boarding lounge until all other passengers were off.  I think we were supposed to be off by 9:30 am, or something like that, but of course it didn't work that way. A lot of people had gotten off to take shore excursions; others came off the ship and settled down with me in the chairs of that second-floor boarding lounge to wait. However, it appeared that some people hadn't been too cooperative and had to be rustled out of bed, because maybe a dozen or so came down the passenger tube dressed in pajamas or other forms of sleeping attire (including bathrobes) and looking like they hadn't had time to do their morning "ablutions."  Once all those who were in-transit had been checked off the ship, they announced that we were free to board at our leisure.  I think it took about 45 minutes.  I spent the time checking emails on my phone.

    That B2B you did in the Caribbean must have stopped at a US port (San Juan?) where you had to exit the ship for "Zero Count".  I think only US ports do this.  I have done many cruises in Europe which were B2B's or Collectors Cruises, and the midpoints were in Rome, Barcelona, and Athens.   We never were required to exit the ship at those ports, we could stay onboard or depart whenever we wanted.  We received a transit pass to bypass checkin on return.

  21. We brought home a whole jar full of individually wrapped chocolate squares from our last Eurodam cruise in March & April.   If HAL is changing this policy, maybe ships that still have cases of them will continue to give them out until depleted.  No point in throwing them away, they last a long time. 

  22. You probably won't have to attend the 2nd muster drill in San Diego.  However, because San Diego is a US port, CPB may require everyone to disembark the ship to reach a "zero count".   We have had to do that in Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale during a Collector's Cruise.   I guess CPB wants to have an accurate count on who is on the ship and who will be getting off 7 days later.

  23. On 7/22/2019 at 4:52 PM, avian777 said:


    I agree 100%, mainly because I'm sick and tired of subsidizing other people's gluttony!

    If food waste really bothers you and you don't like subsidizing other people's gluttony, you should take a trip to the Lido at dinner time when lobster and filet is served.   THAT is gluttony.   Probably 1/4 of the food taken in the Lido is wasted.   The MDR is nothing compared to the waste in the Lido.   HAL should post the old adage "Take all you want, but eat all you take".

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