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Everything posted by cbr663

  1. Just a slight clarification. Did you mean automatic tips is divided by 817 crew, not the 81 that you mentioned?
  2. This is most unfortunate. I know when I cannot trust the accuracy and reliability of a customer reward program, I simply chose not to participate. HAL's is one that I do not care for - we do not monitor nor give it much value. I also understand your left wondering if you've become jaded. In the past several years, we have booked and cancelled several HAL cruises, something that we have never done in the past. The motivation to step on the ships is just not there at the moment. I wish you luck with your issue.
  3. Thanks for the posting. It's an example of economies of scale at work. You should expect large companies to become more efficient over time. The cruise industry is no different than many other industries. I know I paid more to buy air fare tickets 30 years ago than today. I also find most furniture, clothing and many other consumer goods much cheaper today than 30 years ago.
  4. It's great that you have confidence with your TA. There would be no harm though in contacting your TA and telling her that you have read that their may be a problem with the nieces, as they are just 13 years old, being in a cabin without an adult and ask your TA for written confirmation from HAL. As for snacks from the NL, you can simply go to the lounge yourself and pick up a few things and take them back to your cabin. You can also avail of room service and ask the NL Concierges for a list of appetizers that you can order and have them ordered and delivered to your cabin for your guests/nieces. This is permitted as it is no different than entertaining other passengers in your suite. Another option for breakfast is to order breakfast via room service for everyone and have it on the Neptune balcony. The balcony is large enough for 4 and everyone can enjoy the wonderful breakfast and beautiful scenery. Again, this is kosher as it is you simply entertaining other passengers in your cabin.
  5. I always view the promenade deck as a place for a nice, leisurely walk. Those who power walk or jog should do it elsewhere. There are plenty of places to do it on the ship.
  6. While I can't recall the exact age right now, I also agree that at 13, the nieces will not be able to be in a cabin by themselves. I would suggest that the OP call HAL and confirm. No, the nieces will not be able to visit the Neptune Lounge or Pinnacle Grill breakfast as guests. These venues are reserved for paying guests in Neptune Suite and above.
  7. I enjoy the cafeteria style in the Lido, as having travelled on other lines where it was serve yourself, it always felt like a free for all and very disorganized. However, I have never believed that HAL does it this way for health and safety reasons. I've always thought if H&S was the primary focus, all foods would be served in the Lido and this just isn't so. I believe the reason has more to do with cost savings than H&S.
  8. Like others in this forum, my enthusiasm for CC in general has waned recently. I wouldn't say that I personally dislike the new CC format, yet I frequently visit other online forums that I find much more attractive. Yes, there are irritants, but irritants are true for all online forums. I do check back every once and a while to see if there is a thread that will peak my interest. Who knows what tomorrow may bring? As for the low Roll Call participation, I think it may be due to lower number of people visiting CC overall.
  9. I have read reports that Air Traffic Control is also affected would can easily produce flight delays. Some National Parks and tourist attractions are also closed. We have final payment on our cruise coming up at the end of the month so will be watching this quite closely. Right now our primary concern is flight delays into the US, but things can change quite quickly.
  10. As the OP appears to have lower credit available on their cards for the cruise, does anyone know whether they can approach HAL at check in and ask that they limit their purchase ability on their accounts while on board? In other words, lower their on line credit limit. I remember reading some time ago that a poster was successful doing this for the children sailing with them. Perhaps adults can do this also. After all you can't spend money onboard if your card is locked.
  11. Thanks for providing the updated menus. We are disappointed with the new Tamarind menu and most likely will not be dining there on our upcoming cruise.
  12. I also thank you @klonerga for your review. You highlighted some hits and misses that you experienced on the ship, and as others have pointed out, the misses seem to be consistent with the Veendam. The rude responses that followed your comments were just that - rude. Simply ignore them. Just know that there are many who appreciate your taking the time to share your comments. Veendam remains on my Do Not Sail List.
  13. For those who may be not be aware, the US Gov't changed its Travel Advisory rating system earlier this year. The new 4-Level system is: Level 1: Exercise Normal Precautions Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution Level 3: Reconsider Travel Level 4: Do Not Travel: This is the highest advisory level due to greater likelihood of life-threatening risks. During an emergency, the U.S. government may have very limited ability to provide assistance. The Department of State advises that U.S. citizens not travel to the country or leave as soon as it is safe to do so. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the Travel Advisory. Conditions in any country may change at any time. More information can be found here: https://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2018/01/276945.htm
  14. Your choosing to assume the risk of traveling to an area of violent widespread crime is certainly your choice. It was incorrect though to state as you did previously that the advisory stated that Zona Dorado Center Historico are OK. I think it is important to provide clarity around this for others who are reading this thread.
  15. The advisory does not state that at all. The advisory states that government employees are to "limit" their travel to those areas and must use "direct" routes - most likely government provided transportation or government approved suppliers.
  16. So to be clear. Your government has issued the highest level travel advisory for the area. The advisory is Do Not Travel due to widespread violent crime. OP's question is "Should they be concerned?" Yes, you should definitely be concerned. Your government is advising you not to travel there because of concerns for your personal safety. The fact that others have traveled in the past without incident has absolutely no bearing on the widespread violent crime happening today. We all have to accept personal responsibility for the travel decisions that we make. We can't hold the cruise lines responsible over our own personal choices.
  17. I called HAL directly and inquired about tipping in specialist restaurants and was told it was not necessary as it was included in the HSC. As for pooling tips, past experience working in the hospitality industry has taught me that most establishments that rely on a team based approach to service where multiple people may provide table service typically make use of pooled tips. Most HAL speciality restaurants do use a team based approach to service. Keep in mind though - these can be informal or formal arrangements and can change from ship to ship and voyage to voyage.
  18. tried to fix and decided to delete instead
  19. The daily Hotel Service Charge (HSC) includes all servers in specialty restaurants. As long as you keep your daily HSC in place, there is no requirement to leave an additional tip when you dine in speciality restaurants, as you have already paid the tip with the HSC.
  20. And the correct answer is yes, you can simply opt out if you choose as the gratuities are not mandatory. As this is your first cruise, you may find the Know Before You Go booklet by HAL very helpful. You can find it under FAQs on HAL's website here: https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/faq.html. You can also find more information on money and finances onboard under Shipboard Life in the FAQs. Happy Sailing and welcome aboard.
  21. Thank-you for sharing this most unfortunate experience. It is great that your son recovered and is doing well. We have also found many foods mislabelled on cruises. We avoid sugar and on our last cruise we discovered many items that were sweet and obviously mislabelled as sugar free.
  22. You bring up an interesting point. The extra charge of Club Orange could very well motivate cruisers to seek alternatives. We recently cancelled a Norway cruise as the per diem cost was way too high for what I am willing to pay on HAL. As all these add-ons start to increase per diem costs, we will be inclined to look elsewhere.
  23. Very strange email and yes, I agree with you, misleading. All I can think is that there is a promo if you book within a certain number of weeks after taking a cruise. For the life of me I cannot remember what that promo is right now, but I am sure someone else will chime in with details. That is the promo that I think will expire Dec 2018. But again, that is just speculation on my part.
  24. It will be interesting to see details on the private dining venue. This seems very similar to X's Aqua Class and dining in Blu - which was an excellent experience when we sailed it. Edit to Add: I checked the deck plans for the NS and I don't see any new dining venue on the dining plans. I hope that HAL isn't planning on sectioning off the MDR to accommodate this as that will lessen the appeal imo.
  25. I have found nearly all customer reward programs to be disappointing. And yes, this includes HAL. My wish for HAL's program is that it offered more selection and choices. Similar to a cafeteria style approach, I would like the opportunity to select and chose my benefits. I don't want a free cocktail hour, for instance, as we rarely drink alcohol. Priority boarding doesn't attract either. But, discounted internet would be attractive to me. Complimentary cabin upgrades would be attractive and as HAL gives out so many upgrades anyway, I would think it would be easy to offer this to Marniers. The option to pick and chose would allow one to customize the rewards program to my needs that the current one size fits all approach simply does not allow.
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