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About Kate45

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  1. I'm sorry but I disagree with most of you. A tip is a discretionary gift for "good" service received. It is not, and should not be mandatory or expected. If it is then it should not be called a tip or gratuity as it is advertised when describing "free" perks, but should be added to the cost of the cruise. I have 2 kids who put themselves thru university working as servers and bartenders. They relied on tips but only if they earned them with good service. It was not expected. So, as the original poster of this particular thread, I will say two more things and then I'm done with this subject. LIGHTEN UP! The world is made up of all kinds of different people with different traditions, ideals and thoughts than you and no-one should tell you how to feel about something. It's personal. Second, if HAL or NCL or any cruise line, restaurant,bar or anyplace where you give $$ for good service (in other words tip), make it mandatory and not discretionary, then the "tip" should be included in the price and not make it seem optional when in fact it is not. Done. Fini. Over and out.
  2. If it's not referred to as a tip, then why is it advertised as free tips and gratuities as a perk when they are trying to sell you a cruise? Not sure you can have it both ways-so which one is it?
  3. I didn't think when I originally posted this thread that it was going to cause such a raucous. My neighbour said he does this and I was wondering if anyone else does. I do, however think gratuities are at my discretion based on service, whether it's at a local restaurant, a bar or a cruise and should never be expected. If it is expected, service suffers. IMO
  4. As I originally said, in 15 cruises we have never done this. I just learned not many do (except maybe my neighbour). I was not aware tips given directly are split. As to what our cabin steward did or didn't do to deserve the worst rating, I stopped asking both in person and notes left for him to clean specifically the toilet but the bathroom in general, after day 4 and did it myself. For whatever reason the toilet was black everyday. A problem with the water maybe, but our friends next door didn't have this. There were hairs (pubic) in the sink when we first boarded, which I cleaned up and on a 10 day cruise, threads and pieces of paper on the floor under the desk for the entire time. We did mention this to both him and the front desk but nothing was done. My thoughts are...you don't tip a maid at a hotel if your room isn't cleaned so why just because this is a cruise do you have to tip unsatisfactory service. Just saying.....
  5. Does anyone ever go to customer service onboard and opt out of tips and gratuities? We have never in 15 past cruises but my neighbour told me yesterday, he does on every cruise. He goes to customer service as soon as he boards and opts out. He then requests envelopes and puts tips in and gives them personally to those that provides him good service. As I said, we have never done this but based on our last cruise (Princess) in November, we should have requested a price adjustment. Our cabin steward was the worst! Anyway, has anyone done this or have info on doing this on HAL. And before you judge, I am aware that tips are split among everyone. I just believe tips are given by me for good service and I should not be told how much I need to tip.
  6. I know I have read on CC before but am a bit confused as to whether you can get a price reduction after final payment. Here's our situation. We booked thru a TA in April for Oct 9 sailing on Zuiderdam from Quebec City to Ft Lauderdale, inside cabin (Category I) with free grats and a little OBC (less than $100). Paid approx $1600 Cdn each. Final payment was 2 weeks ago. Yesterday went on HAL site to check pricing and noticed pricing of $1165 ea for Obstructed OV (not sure if this is a upgrade/downgrade but we are okay either way). This is a difference of $871 per cabin. So if we take the prepaid grats and obc credit off (converted to Cdn $), we would still be ahead $364. We have purchased insure thru our TA that is "cancel for any reason". Okay so this brings about my questions:. Can I cancel and rebook? I've read where some of you have gotten to do this without even having to cancel. What are the odds of this happening. I guess I need to go thru my TA or do I call HAL myself? Right now we can get the beverage pkg incl for less than we paid but I'm not sure if it's for new bookings only. Any help or advice on this would be greatly appreciated.
  7. Never preordered before but are considering this for our upcoming repo Canada New England cruise. Since we depart in Canada, are you saying that if we pre purchase a bottle of Crown for our cabin, we will be charged additional taxes (which is a lot in Canada)?
  8. We did this last year. You will be assigned a pickup time for the shuttle. There are places to o eat late at nite. We walked to the Princess Lodge where there is a great pizza place. Don't worry about how late the tundra tour goes. Went to bed at midnight and it was still light out. Hope you see the wildlife that we saw last year. It was awesome!
  9. At least you can get some pricing! Our final payment is due next week and I've been trying for over 2 weeks to check pricing for any kind of reduction and can't get to the page where I can check this.
  10. We cruised Alaska on the Westerdam last year-our 1st HAL cruise ever out of 15 cruises. Didn't notice anything really "different" other than enjoyed our 2 dinners in the Pinnacle Grill (well worth the $$), and the Lido buffet was different as they serve you so lineups were a little longer at some times. Other than that, the ship was fine, staff was good. What makes this cruise amazing is what we saw. Out of 16 cruises now, it was theeeee best for sights and memories I will never forget! Don't worry about the ship, just take in all the awesome views, wildlife and sights.
  11. It's reassuring to know that I'm not the only one with this problem. Is it a HAL problem that will eventually be fixed. Hope so, as my New England cruise in October is approaching final payment date and I'd like to get a price reduction if it's available.
  12. I would love to be able to check my fares on HAL but I can't seem to be able to bring up that page on their site. It seems to get stuck on the slogan "People don't take trips, trips take people" and will not do anything. We have 3 devices and it happens on all three! This has been going on for over a month now. I look to cruise critic to read any new promos cause I can't see them on HAL.
  13. We have cruised all three lines but for Alaska, HAL has it! We did a cruise tour last year on the Westerdam. I'm not 80 yrs old but have Parkinson's and walking is an issue sometimes. Everything is easily accessible. Agree with previous poster that you will want to be on deck to see everything. This was by far the most amazing cruise I have done, not because of the ship but because of what we saw! Also HAL took care of everything as far as tour went. We didn't have to worry about luggage transfers at all. You won't be disappointed with HAL.
  14. Thanks Miss G. Are you saying the HOHO picks up and drops off near the cruise ship? All the info I have so far says you need to take a taxi to the Aquarium from the cruise port and then get on the HOHO there. Now I'm really confused
  15. Following this topic closely as we are doing repo cruise in fall. Since we are talking hoho tours, I have a question regarding BostonHOHO. Keep in mind, we are Canadian so add at least 30% to any US$. HALs price for Tour and then HOHO ticket is $59.95 US$. Boston HOHO website says its $42 US$ for just the HOHO. Our TA offers a HOHO tour for $66 CDN$. I can figure out exchange difference but my question for you all is, can we get off the ship, walk to a kiosk or something and book this then, on the spot? How far to the cruise ship is the pickup and drop Off? sorry to hijack this topic but I figured more are following this than Canada/New England forum right now. Thanks
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