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Everything posted by DaveOKC

  1. Has anyone who got the recent casino free inside cabin offer ask about how much more for a Verandah or Signature cabin?
  2. On our Dec 2019 cruise the casino host told me that they discontinued the cash back for points system (I think you needed at least 1000 points previously). However, they seem to be more liberal now with free cabin offers based on previous play. Of course, no one knows what the new system post Covid is.
  3. We are there Dec 8, so hopefully this will work out.
  4. I usually get the Baken Alaska but sometimes only ask for the ice cream part - I get too full with everything elase!
  5. I ALWAYS get the Crab Cake and Lobster Bisque - NEVER a charge. Been 30 times
  6. I also like the way the point system works with changing flights. The unused points just go back into your account without having a one year time limit to use (which you have if you are paying cash).
  7. Rochellle - Thanks for the detailed information. We are on the free stateroom offer that requires a $200 pp deposit. Here is what it says in the offer: "A charge will be made of $200 per guest. This will be refunded as an Onboard Credit once onboard, as shown on booking confirmation" From this I ASSUME that it can be used for the Crew Incentive, as it states that the $200 is refunded as Onboard credit. Any thoughts.
  8. The Pinnacle class HAL ships have FAR fewer Signature and Neptune cabins than the older Vista class ones do, thus upsells will be less likely to happen and likely will be more expensive. Further, givne this limited number plus the fact that people are now aware of the upsell program, I think a free upgrade to a Neptune is highly unlikely. Thus, if you are not happy with any of the Koningsdam Neptunes, I would mark my reservation Do Not Upgrade (you still will get upsell offers (if any) and if you do you can normally pick your cabin from whats available of course). I like booking a Signature cabin in a Vista class ship (4 of them) as the great number of Neptunes often results in some very good upsell offers ($200-300 per week of sailing). In the past, 90% of the time we have booked a Signature suite in a Vista class ship we have been offered an upsell.
  9. We are on a Casino Offer which includes $200 pp in On Board Credit (OBC). In the past we have been able to use OBC for Crew Incentives (or Hotel Service Charge) but this is the first time we have gotten the OBC through the casino deal, so I need to clarify. I found this online (which confused me more due to the CERTAIN CREDIT TYPES statement. "Onboard credit is spending money to use when you’re on our ships. If you receive an onboard credit, you can use it for almost everything onboard, including a pampering massage or other spa service, restaurant meals, shore excursions, coffee and alcoholic beverages, and boutique purchases, like clothing or jewelry. Onboard credits may be used to pay for Crew Incentive, with exceptions for certain credit types. " So, does anyone have RECENT experience with this type of OBC?
  10. People do not tend to go to specialty dininig the first night (too many things going on and getting settled in), so they used to discount it. Now with the "free" dining promotion they just schedule people to fill it. If we have Open dining we like to do a Specialty venue the first night, as it seems that the MDR is slow and sometimes a bit confused that night.
  11. Sailed in 7088 and loved it. Larger balcony and very close to aft elelvators (made it easy to get around). Would book again.
  12. I would get off the ship as early as possible to start with. Then catch a taxi, cost about $15 and takes 10 minutes or so. This way you beat the "rush" of cruise ship buses and should not have a problem making a 11:40 flight. Once the cruise line buses start arriving, lines to check bags and for security can become long, especially on weekends.
  13. We are staying at the Residence Inn across from the pier nexr cruise in March. Have stayed there on the Springhill Suites area and really liked it. Very modern, fairly new and about 100-200 yards from the ship. No airport shuttle, but a very good free breakfast. It seems that the downtown area hotels are discontinuing airport shuttles (Hampton Inn just stopped their's). The rate we got ($229 with free cancellation for Seniors) was very good IMO for this area.
  14. Happened to me a couple of times in the past and the replacement always contacted me via email as I recall.
  15. Ditto this. Cabin location is very important to me and once I get the one I mark it Do Not Upgrade, as HAL's idea of an upgrade is not always the same as mine. Besides, I still get upsell offers with the DNU marked on my reservation.
  16. I thnk you have to ask. I always do and always have been given a list of cabins to choose from. Only exception was once there was only one cabin left, so I had to take that one!
  17. To address you second question, the answer is "it depends". HAL for several years now has aggressively promoting "paid upgrades" (upsells). so free upgrades are less common. However, this depends on the cabin category you are in (IMO). The upsells normally begin 2-4 weeks prior to sailing and you need to move quickly on them as sometimes they sell out in a matter of minutes. It seems that HAL starts with the higher priced cabins and works it way down the list from there. One thing to consider on upsells - getting a call or email for one depends on how you booked your cruise. If you booked directly from HAL you get an email from them offering the upsell and you have to call a specific number they provide. If you booked through a TA, the offer goes to them, they have to contact you, then the TA has to call HAL back to book it. Some TAs are better and this than others and I have heard that some of the larger TAs do not even want to bother with upsells. You should watch the HAL message board for the many discussions of how upsells and upgrades work on HAL.
  18. Seems a bit high to me as well, even though it is for 2 weeks. I assume that those prices were per person?? I would expect to see another round or two of upsells based on this. I have experienced same thing with HAL on 4-5 weeks out upsell offers.
  19. Pre-Covid, everytime I was offered an upsell either I or someone else took it before the free upgrades began. HAL has gotten smart with how they do this and I am sure it is now an important part of the revenue process. This is why I avoid booking guarantees (unless it is for a Neptune). Good example - on our last cruise I booked a Signature suite and was offered an upsell to a Neptune for $200 pp, which I uickly accepted. I was able to pick my cabin and selected one right by the Neptune Lounge. I friend of mine on the cruise booked a Neptune guarantee and when he got his assignment it was for a cabin one deck below the Lounge (and he paid over $1000 pp more than I did for the Signature). He was not happy when he saw my location and total price paid. Now, having said all that, this is for the higher rated cabins. For the lower ones, such as Insides and Ocean views, I think that free upgrades are still a good possibility. So, my answer to your question is "it depends".
  20. We have had several corner aft Neptunes. Cons - slightly smaller cabin and sometimes the cabin stewards are not used to handling Neptunes (did not get Neptune only mailings/invitations, etc.). Pros - great balconies. Con - Long walks to Neptune Lounge.
  21. $200 in extra OBC is nice, but I wonder how this will work. For example, what if fares drop (likely over almost 2 years), and we refare, do we lose the $200 OBC? Time will tell, but its something to consider.
  22. I have heard from many others who use a big box TA that they GENERALLY do not pass on upsell offers. Its just too much time and effort for them I guess and I fully understand why they do this. However, since we often get and accept upsells, I refuse to book with them.
  23. True. My point was that sometimes the casino rates, along with booking perks, etc. and the ability to select your cabin can almost be as good a deal as getting a "free cabin" casino offer.
  24. Funny thing is that on our March cruise we booked a Veranda and picked our cabin. Given the stockholder credit, the 20% discount and all the perks we got (free drinks, specialty dining, free gratuities, $100 excursion discount) its almost as good a deal as if we got a casino offer for a free cabin. Not quite, but pretty close.
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