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  1. Yes there is a thermal suite. Exactly the same as on the similar class ships as well as the New Amsterdam and Eurodam. Layout is of a locker room to change and then the hydrospa (or whatever they call it), essentially a large hot tub. There is also a room with about 6 heated ceramic lounge chairs. We have always enjoyed the thermal suite. For a week it was about $250/couple if I remember correctly. You can sign up once onboard
  2. What are they substituting? First night out on our recent Oosterdam cruise they showed a movie!
  3. I think lunch in the Pinnacle Grill is one of the best bargains on the ship. A quiet lunch with excellent service away from the hubbub of the Lido. What is not to like? How does it work? Make a reservation when you board, and appear at the appointed time. You will be seated and enjoy a great lunch. Highly recommended.
  4. Sad to see what is happening with HAL. We cruised on the Oosterdam in late February (cruise review is posted in the review section) and have to echo most of what the OP has said. We have been HAL loyalists for 15 years but perhaps no more. Like the OP, the cutbacks in the MDR are obvious. No cold soups, limited appetizers and YES, my wife was charged $10 for adding a lobster tail to her veal chop. First night out there was no main stage entertainment. No production shows. Parts of the promenade deck were closed almost always, making walking it a chore. We cruised HAL because it seemed to fit nicely between the main stream lines and the luxury lines. No more. HAL is now another main stream cruise line. As I said.....sad
  5. No need to worry about this. Simply put your bottle on your table and the wine steward will serve you very graciously and often with a compliment about your wine choice.
  6. Of course we don't pay $1000 or more to get into a restaurant on land
  7. So you actually do care what people wear to the dining room.
  8. Can we stop saying that dining in the MDR is "complimentary"? I think we all paid for it.
  9. Lame. So two nights there is no entertainment (port talk and a movie).
  10. Sadly you won't. There really is no dress code anymore on HAL whether it's "gala" night or not. On my recent Oosterdam cruise perhaps 10% of men had a tie the rest anything from jeans and whatever shirt that was dry.
  11. Will they refund the $10 we were charged to add a lobster tail to my wife's veal chop?
  12. Our last non-HAL cruise was on Celebrity. We might consider them. We have not been on Princess. Our travel agent has us thinking about Oceania or one of the other upscale lines. Those seem quite pricey but perhaps is the thing to do given the direction HAL seems to be going. We have friends that enjoy all-inclusive resorts. Perhaps we will look for the a fit there. Or perhaps we will just do an AirBnB in FL or AZ for a week or two in the winter.
  13. Was on the Oosterdam two weeks ago: No production show No chilled soups No smoked fish $10 charge for an extra lobster tail No library No Explorations Cafe
  14. No chilled soups on the Oosterdam two weeks ago
  15. I am a 3* Mariner and we have taken an annual cruise on HAL for the last 15 years or so. Our Oosterdam cruise has me reconsidering my winter vacation next year. A different cruise line? An all-inclusive resort? Hawaii? My list of negatives on this cruise in part are: no mainstage entertainment the first night out; an homogenization of food across the ship (no smoked fish, no cold soups, fewer menu options overall); being charged $10 for a lobster tail; the ongoing elimination of all things Dutch; ports that were literal tourist traps (Cozumel); overly expensive poor excursions. We still enjoyed the friendly and very gracious crew and the ship itself was in impeccable condition. Wonder how I will feel about it by next year?
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