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    Cruising with HAL
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  1. Most interesting points! I am not happy with the idea of a heavy stainless steel bottle. Filled with water = even heavier. Anyone use an aluminum reusable bottle? Does this exist? I believe you can buy water in aluminum bottles but wouldn't those be considered reusable? Obviously HAL doesn't want any recycling left on the ship to add to the already huge pile they off-load at a cost, but I could use some much more specific guidance form HAL: tell me what I can bring, that's enough to know.
  2. Thanks for posting. The light fixtures are amazing (atrium, MDR). Very elegant, but somewhat colourless.
  3. Brentt_M: your posts make for a fantastic read. I like your style: concise, informational, plus great photos (the ocean! the food!). You are taking us on a virtual cruise, happening by happening and this is really enjoyable. Have a wonderful time and thanks for all the time you are spending on this :)
  4. Could you also report back on whether you paid the 18% charge on your complimentary 2 meals for 5 stars. Would be interesting to know! :)
  5. Yes, we do like to disconnect and want to. I understand fully and think it is doable. Making it mandatory would be foolish on HAL's part.
  6. On the Oosterdam 10 years ago (really!) the Hotel Director was taking questions from a group of 4 stars. In answer to a question about this issue, he said, "Seattle is working on it and it will happen". Amazing!
  7. So........ B-Bs are OK out of Seattle (Trawler Joy has this booked) but not out of Florida until Nov 1. Is this the bottom line?
  8. Agree with your assessment, kazu. Complimentary laundry, two complimentary Pinnacle dinners and 50% off other specialty dining lunches and dinners, 50% off wine packages (Celler 3 works for me). Yes, HAL could be more generous (see 6 star thread), maybe they will be some day :) I look at the bottom line and if HAL insists on charging fares that are much higher than in the past as they are doing at this time, then these perks are an important part of that bottom line.
  9. Agree that 5 star could have a few more perks. HAL has taken away the Cooking Class and not replaced it with anything, so yes, adding a bit would be nice. I sometimes think the ships don't really see 5 star as a big deal. Maybe they are seeing too many pax at this level, so it becomes "old". Platinum gets a lot more attention, especially in the various dining rooms.
  10. Kirk! Love your list of future cruises!!!! A 17 day Antarctic should have got you a bit of attention! Platinum! We got Gold on that cruise (B-B) and it was done really well, lucky for us, I guess. HAL does seem to have problems. I suspect your experience and the other couple's could have been what I have heard about: "Where were you? We called your names. We thought you didn't want to come to the ceremony, so we put the Medallion on your bed!". After we made Platinum we started to find we didn't get invited to any Mariner event on some cruises, even the Brunch, unless we took it upon ourselves to ask, and ask again, where the invitations were. "Will be delivered tonight" Didn't happen. "Oh, this afternoon". Didn't happen. "Tomorrow" No, why don't you print it right now for us while we wait?" Bingo. The Front Desk people are not necessarily on the ball all the time. We now ask when and where and follow up. Sheeesh!
  11. I hate to hear that! Could I ask what cruise this was? A long cruise or short? As I keep saying, it all depends on so many issues. However, no excuse, no way, for anyone hitting Platinum to be treated that way! Shame on the HD and Captain.
  12. Thanks for the examples of how differently the medallion ceremony is handled. This is what I am talking about. It really varies ship by ship, much depending on the number of awardees and how many medallion holders there are. Your Alaska Captain was a treat. We've been in the situation where only awardees (5) got photos taken and the top Mariner was introduced, but no photo. Could have been more graciously done.
  13. I do think the ships generally invite all medallion holders to these awards ceremonies, whether they are receiving a new medallion or not. Also, on certain cruises inviting all medallion holder might mean a couple of hundred and it appears they don't really want to do that sometimes, for whatever reasons, so they prune out the lower medallion holders.
  14. Yes, agree, fun to see people getting their medallions. Harmless fun and a good loyalty event.
  15. We've seen the same. The ships do a very nice job of this special dinner for Pres Club members, even when there is only one couple on board.
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