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jaguarstyper

HAL is starting to lose me

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Someone mentioned that Regent's was the same basic price as HAL. I have booked a partial trip to the Panama Canal on the Zuiderdam in a superior veranda suite. When I added all of the costs together including air, one night pre-cruise stay, tips, shore excursions etc., it came to about $792 per day. If you compare that to the same length carribean cruise with the all inclusive Regents in a similiar cabin, it computes to about $1,055 per day. That seems to make HAL a much better deal than the all inclusive Regents. Anyway, looking forward to our first cruise with HAL and I always enjoy this board. Bob from TX

 

I agree - finally someone who got the results we did (actually mine were more). Especially if we compare rooms to rooms (square footage) and comfort level. I think the Superior Vernada would be quite pricey on Regent - Have a great cruise and a wonderful time :):)

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I think they're talking about:

 

 

  1. Cappuccino no longer free in the MDR/Lido at breakfast
  2. Canaletto no longer free

The spring water issue I think is a red herring. AFAIK, the MDR waiters always offered you Voss spring water. However, it comes in a glass bottle and if the waiter did not mention it cost extra, one could be led to believe that all water was now extra. (Note: This is standard practice in a high-end restaurant.)

 

 

Cruise lines standard.

Beverages for free: regular tea, regular coffee, tap water, ice tea all the time; juces for breakfast.

Period.

Nothing else should be expected for free anywhere on the ship.

I am sure that all of you, friends, know this pretty well.

 

HAL offers freshly squeezed juce for breakfast for free. Other cruise lines charge for that.

 

Only Cunard, Princess and HAL (I don't count P&O) still follow a beautiful tradition of proper afternoon tea.

 

This is not the only reason why these cruise lines form a separate group.

Look at HAL Signature class, Princess Grand class, Cunard. How many square feet are "underutilized".

"Underutilized" means "provided for your freedom and pleasure at sea".

Look at other lines... This is an insidious form of nickel and diming.

Look at NCL "freestyle" which is institutionalized nickel and diming (lower quality and limited "free" options).

Look at "Bistro on 5" on Celebrity ($) vs International Cafe on Princess.

 

Canaletto is now for $. I can't judge right away if this is too bad. We need to monitor the quality change. If it grows into a nice specialty venue - why not.

However, even being a big eater (I am slender as I am physically active - that's why I find Signature class ships so pleasant) I usually skip Canaletto - there are so much great food besides it.

 

We don't spend a penny on board other than on gratuities, specialty restaurants and spa. We don't have to, because all the rest we need is included.

We found HAL Signature class an excellent product (beautifully designed ships, 1-class amenities, great food) for reasonable price.

That's why I am shocked reading about "nickel and diming on HAL":eek:.

May be because we are not "one cruise line fans", travel with all lines and know the whole picture.

 

:) Probably "HAL fans" still don't know what "nickel and diming" is...

kbwzn8.jpg

 

Happy cruising!

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Cruise lines standard.

Beverages for free: regular tea, regular coffee, tap water, ice tea all the time; juces for breakfast.

Period.

Nothing else should be expected for free anywhere on the ship.

I am sure that all of you, friends, know this pretty well.

 

HAL offers freshly squeezed juce for breakfast for free. Other cruise lines charge for that.

 

Only Cunard, Princess and HAL (I don't count P&O) still follow a beautiful tradition of proper afternoon tea.

 

This is not the only reason why these cruise lines form a separate group.

Look at HAL Signature class, Princess Grand class, Cunard. How many square feet are "underutilized".

"Underutilized" means "provided for your freedom and pleasure at sea".

Look at other lines... This is an insidious form of nickel and diming.

Look at NCL "freestyle" which is institutionalized nickel and diming (lower quality and limited "free" options).

Look at "Bistro on 5" on Celebrity ($) vs International Cafe on Princess.

 

Canaletto is now for $. I can't judge right away if this is too bad. We need to monitor the quality change. If it grows into a nice specialty venue - why not.

However, even being a big eater (I am slender as I am physically active - that's why I find Signature class ships so pleasant) I usually skip Canaletto - there are so much great food besides it.

 

We don't spend a penny on board other than on gratuities, specialty restaurants and spa. We don't have to, because all the rest we need is included.

We found HAL Signature class an excellent product (beautifully designed ships, 1-class amenities, great food) for reasonable price.

That's why I am shocked reading about "nickel and diming on HAL":eek:.

May be because we are not "one cruise line fans", travel with all lines and know the whole picture.

 

:) Probably "HAL fans" still don't know what "nickel and diming" is...

kbwzn8.jpg

 

Happy cruising!

 

It is up to $4.95 plus gratuity on Monarch.

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I think they're talking about:

 

 

  1. Cappuccino no longer free in the MDR/Lido at breakfast
  2. Canaletto no longer free

)

 

Just checked with Guest Services via the Online Chat. They advised, for what it is worth, that the MDR is NOT charging for coffee drinks nor is the Canaletto a premium dining venue. Guess I will find out in about 10 days.

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We just did a Uniworld cruise and it was totally amazing. Totally. And we only spent a little more than we did on our HAL cruise, which really got us thinking about switching ocean cruise lines. If it weren't such a long flight, we'd do a river cruise each year. We just loved everything about river cruising. I know it's not for everyone, but we loved being able to walk into towns. And the food ... goodness, it was really good. We were never asked one time to buy anything. Nothing. It was so pleasant. The staff wasn't totally overwhelmed and tired. It was such a dramatic difference from our last HAL cruise.

 

I do think you're right on about the trend with the larger lines. I guess it's inevitable considering some of the deals that are out there these days. Like it or not, I guess I just have to live with the changes, and make choices that work for us.

 

What I also like about Uniworld is that their ships are flagged in the Netherlands and that their officers are Dutch.

Edited by oysterdam

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Cruise lines standard.

Beverages for free: regular tea, regular coffee, tap water, ice tea all the time; juces for breakfast.

Period.

Nothing else should be expected for free anywhere on the ship.

I am sure that all of you, friends, know this pretty well.

 

HAL offers freshly squeezed juce for breakfast for free. Other cruise lines charge for that.

 

Only Cunard, Princess and HAL (I don't count P&O) still follow a beautiful tradition of proper afternoon tea.

 

This is not the only reason why these cruise lines form a separate group.

Look at HAL Signature class, Princess Grand class, Cunard. How many square feet are "underutilized".

"Underutilized" means "provided for your freedom and pleasure at sea".

Look at other lines... This is an insidious form of nickel and diming.

Look at NCL "freestyle" which is institutionalized nickel and diming (lower quality and limited "free" options).

Look at "Bistro on 5" on Celebrity ($) vs International Cafe on Princess.

 

Canaletto is now for $. I can't judge right away if this is too bad. We need to monitor the quality change. If it grows into a nice specialty venue - why not.

However, even being a big eater (I am slender as I am physically active - that's why I find Signature class ships so pleasant) I usually skip Canaletto - there are so much great food besides it.

 

We don't spend a penny on board other than on gratuities, specialty restaurants and spa. We don't have to, because all the rest we need is included.

We found HAL Signature class an excellent product (beautifully designed ships, 1-class amenities, great food) for reasonable price.

That's why I am shocked reading about "nickel and diming on HAL":eek:.

May be because we are not "one cruise line fans", travel with all lines and know the whole picture.

 

:) Probably "HAL fans" still don't know what "nickel and diming" is...

kbwzn8.jpg

 

Happy cruising!

 

some very good points here - and oh so true.

 

Appreciate what you have I think is the message and don't worry about what you don't:D

 

seriously, seriously read this post carefully - I was on ships that wanted money for the fresh squeezed oj - I said it before and I will say it again - if you think HAL is nickel and diming -try other lines - you will be in for a surprise - otherwise go luxury - at this point it's not worth it to us - we prefer HAL:D

 

Let's all keep in mind that we are all very lucky to be cruising - there are many that would laugh at what we are concerned about - Let's just enjoy our cruises and not go bonkers worrying about things. smooth seas to all and enjoy your cruises:D

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:) Probably "HAL fans" still don't know what "nickel and diming" is...

kbwzn8.jpg

 

Happy cruising!

 

You raise some good points, cruisetrail. Perhaps the phrase "the grass is always greener on the other side" is relevant here...

 

Aside: I'm personally in the "Canaletto as-is isn't worth $10" camp. I also didn't think it would remain free forever. I agree, if they reworked the menu, it has a lot of potential. BTW, I don't think Tamarind lunch will be free forever either.

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DH and I took our first HAL cruise about 20 years ago. What a splurge! What a dream! The last HAL cruise we took was last year, and the exclamation marks have diminished somewhat. Some of it has to do with my tastes; in 20 years I've learned a lot about food, wine and travel, and I'm far more critical and opinionated about what's "good". The rest of it certainly has to do with the mass marketing mentality, the penny-pinching, the lessening of services and the increasing size of the ships.

 

That said, trying a Silversea cruise this spring brought all the wonder of cruising back. The service! The food! The uncrowded spaces! But was it worth 10 HAL cruises? Ehhhh not so sure about that. Talking about it with a fellow, more experienced passenger, she suggested trying Azamara. She said it's a little more expensive than HAL but nowhere near the price of Silversea, without compromising the all-inclusive feel. I haven't checked it out yet, but it's definitely a possibility for the next time the cruise bug hits.

 

Does anyone have any experience with Azamara to share as to how it compares with HAL?

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Agree with you..I'm retired from the International Airline Business & have seen many changes in air travel..It was wonderful being able to fly trans-Atlantic & have a berth to sleep in..But those days are gone forever unless we fly Prestige class on Korean or Executive class on Japan Airlines & pay through the nose for our vacations..

 

DH & I flew constantly, when we retired we sailed our own boat & now we enjoy cruising because we've been to many places in this wide world & have not seen half of it..;)

 

We now have over 200 days on HAL & when we finally finish our Noordam & the Prinsendam cruises in March will have close to 290 days on HAL..We normally book outside cabins..We've also cruised on NCL & Oceania & once took a train trip on the American Orient Express out to the coast..We could book a Verandah cabin if we wanted to, but would not spend that much time on our private balcony.. Instead we prefer the outside cabins or the lanai's only because we enjoy our days spent on HAL's Wrap Around promenade deck, which we have yet to find on any other cruise line..That is why we cruise mostly on HAL..

 

I've kept track of the Price of all our cruises:

 

Our first cruise on the Ryndam to the carib. in Oct, 1998 cost us $267.00 per day..

 

In March 2003, on the Maasdam to the carib there was a special sale & it was $138.50 per day.

 

In Nov, 2008 (10 yrs after our first HAL cruise) our outside cabin to the Carib.on Maasdam was $215.60 per day..

 

In Jan 2012, our Carib cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam, was $242..00 per day..

 

And our Verandah on the Noordam this month has priced out at $231.81 per day..(BTW we got this for the price of an outside)..

 

We booked with a Travel Agent each time..The only cruises which have been close to $500 per day for an outside cabin is the Prinsendam in April of 2006 & this Jan of 2013, & also our lanai on the Veendam in Aug of 2010 was 374.50 per day..

 

Does anyone wonder why HAL has to charge for water & cappuccino in the MDR with these prices? Wake up everyone the prices of the staterooms has not increased only because cruisers demand a bargain..This is the only way to keep HAL from going belly up, like so many of our Airlines, including mine has done..

 

And Yes, we'll stick to HAL until the money or our health runs out for good!

 

Cheers..:)Betty.

Well said Betty and absolutely true. I also have kept information and prices on all our cruises. What we paid in 1995 is more then we're paying now in 2013, the same catagory cabin, the same cruise by $2,000, so your exactly right.

Cruise lines standard.

Beverages for free: regular tea, regular coffee, tap water, ice tea all the time; juces for breakfast.

Period.

Nothing else should be expected for free anywhere on the ship.

I am sure that all of you, friends, know this pretty well.

 

HAL offers freshly squeezed juce for breakfast for free. Other cruise lines charge for that.

 

Only Cunard, Princess and HAL (I don't count P&O) still follow a beautiful tradition of proper afternoon tea.

 

This is not the only reason why these cruise lines form a separate group.

Look at HAL Signature class, Princess Grand class, Cunard. How many square feet are "underutilized".

"Underutilized" means "provided for your freedom and pleasure at sea".

Look at other lines... This is an insidious form of nickel and diming.

Look at NCL "freestyle" which is institutionalized nickel and diming (lower quality and limited "free" options).

Look at "Bistro on 5" on Celebrity ($) vs International Cafe on Princess.

 

Canaletto is now for $. I can't judge right away if this is too bad. We need to monitor the quality change. If it grows into a nice specialty venue - why not.

However, even being a big eater (I am slender as I am physically active - that's why I find Signature class ships so pleasant) I usually skip Canaletto - there are so much great food besides it.

 

We don't spend a penny on board other than on gratuities, specialty restaurants and spa. We don't have to, because all the rest we need is included.

We found HAL Signature class an excellent product (beautifully designed ships, 1-class amenities, great food) for reasonable price.

That's why I am shocked reading about "nickel and diming on HAL":eek:.

May be because we are not "one cruise line fans", travel with all lines and know the whole picture.

 

:) Probably "HAL fans" still don't know what "nickel and diming" is...

kbwzn8.jpg

 

Happy cruising!

 

Great point - I love Harvey Wallbangers that are made with 'real' OJ and Hal is one of the only lines that I can get that. On Princess it taste like tang.

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I'm following this thread with a great deal of interest. After being loyal HAL fans (but having tried 1 cruise each with Princess and NCL), our last 3 cruises have been with X, because the itinerary and cost worked for us. We had always been pretty happy with HAL, and we've been very happy with X as well. Contrary to what some people found, we have loved the food and service on X, and have no complaints, except for their coffee, but that's a minor detail. Our next cruise will be HAL next month, after an absence of 3 years, and it'll be very interesting to see how our experience compares with our previous cruises, both HAL and X.

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What I also like about Uniworld is that their ships are flagged in the Netherlands and that their officers are Dutch.

 

We also liked that.

 

What I thought was fun was going under the bridges. We were up on top and they told us to stay in our seats. They lowered the bridge area and then the covers over the tables. It was just fun. I think it was also interesting that when you dock next to another boat, sometimes you have to walk through another boat or two to get to the dock. We sat on the top deck on day and watch the third boat over shuttle their food supplies across our boat, then across the one next to us, and then finally to theirs.

 

And then there was the naked fisherman who decided to stand up and wave to us! I think we were in Austria. We had so much fun on that cruise. I know I read upthread that someone is going on a Christmas Market cruise. Is that you? I'd love to do that cruise. It looks magical. We loved Germany and Austria. Loved the little villages. We hired a guide to take us to Salzburg and we went to several of the smaller villages on our way to Salzburg. It was so much fun!

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I'm following this thread with a great deal of interest. After being loyal HAL fans (but having tried 1 cruise each with Princess and NCL), our last 3 cruises have been with X, because the itinerary and cost worked for us. We had always been pretty happy with HAL, and we've been very happy with X as well. Contrary to what some people found, we have loved the food and service on X, and have no complaints, except for their coffee, but that's a minor detail. Our next cruise will be HAL next month, after an absence of 3 years, and it'll be very interesting to see how our experience compares with our previous cruises, both HAL and X.

 

I hope you have a wonderful cruise! Looking forward to reading your comparison. :)

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.........but I have to ask the question, where are you going because the other mid priced cruise lines are doing the same thing. I like to read the other boards just to understand what is going on within the other lines. Unless your willing to upgrade to the more expensive all inclusive lines, I think your walking yourself from one frying pan to another. Just my opinion.

 

Well put. Unfortunately the nickel and diming is happening across the spectrum and thus giving up on HAL for what everyone else is doing seems pointless. I can see if the issue was service oriented or overall condition of the ship but this doesn't appear to be what the complaint is about.

 

Honestly, I loved HAL but after our 2011 transatlantic on the Rotterdam I felt like I grew tired of same-old same-old. So we decided to go to Alaska this year and try a different line. We tried Celebrity because we heard so many good things about that line over the years and felt it was a lateral move instead of a step down or step up. All I can say is that my partner and I decided after it was over, was that Celebrity is not for us and we missed HAL. So I don't plan to give up on HAL just for the nickel and diming issue.

 

Okay, so we're going broke in 2013 and doing the all-inclusive Silversea.....but even there one has to pay extra for the specialty restaurant.

 

Nickel and diming is the new norm I'm afraid.

 

David

Edited by Bramcruiser

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I'm following this thread with a great deal of interest. After being loyal HAL fans (but having tried 1 cruise each with Princess and NCL), our last 3 cruises have been with X, because the itinerary and cost worked for us. We had always been pretty happy with HAL, and we've been very happy with X as well. Contrary to what some people found, we have loved the food and service on X, and have no complaints, except for their coffee, but that's a minor detail. Our next cruise will be HAL next month, after an absence of 3 years, and it'll be very interesting to see how our experience compares with our previous cruises, both HAL and X.

 

Looking forward to you doing a review / comparison of the 2 cruise lines.

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I disagree with you Melodie. Have you been reading Lisa's "Live From". I will not do Ryndam in 2014 & am really not a fan of the Vista ships. I'm kind of swaying toward NCL for an Alaska cruise. I will certainly see what they have in a coastal for spring 2014 & then tag on an Alaska cruise at the end. The water thing really bugs me about HAL & I have been loyal to them for 18 years. The more I read about free style cruising the more I like it. The dress code on HAL's Alaska cruises has gone down their smelly toilets. If you are going to have a code - enforce it.

 

I'm agree, and have already split my cruises between HAL and NCL and am actually looking at COSTA for a Greek Island cruise next year. The HAL label just doesn't mean much anymore.:(

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COuld you go into some detail about the Ryndam cruise. That's next up for me.

 

mamaofmiami, our last (and I do mean the last!) Ryndam cruise (review link in my signature) almost put me off of Holland America - not that it was so very bad, it just wasn't what I expected from a Holland America cruise. Especially the poor quality steaks!

 

Our next cruise was on the Rotterdam, and it completely restored my faith in Holland America.

 

I hope your Ryndam cruise is everything you'd like it to be.

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That is pretty steep for a glass of orange juice.

 

The gentleman asked me if I would like a fresh glass of orange juice as I walked into the Windjammer (Lido) and I started to reach up and saw the price and quickly dropped my hand, shook my head and said "That's crazy" and just kept walking.

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I understand that prices, relatively speaking, for cruises are cheaper now than they used to be. (How could I not, it is brought up in virtually every argument about cruise lines cutting costs? :rolleyes:)

 

But is that really a good thing? WHY should cruises be cheaper now than they used to be? I would settle for them being the same price (adjusted for inflation) as they used to be and including the same levels of service. After all, I only have so much vacation time -- it's not like I could take double the number of trips in a year if they cost half as much.

 

The prevailing mentality seems to be "Well, why should I pay for services I do not use?"

 

But I submit that one of the most pleasant things about the way cruising USED to be is that you didn't have to think about what you did or didn't utilize, and -- because it was all included -- you MIGHT be tempted to try something that you wouldn't ordinarily. Maybe you would use the sauna area or thalassotherapy pool (or whatever it's called). Maybe you don't ordinarily have a cappuccino in the morning, but you might try one and enjoy it because it was included.

 

The point is that you felt pampered. If you wanted to do or try something, the answer wasn't "That will be $3.50 extra," or "I'll see if I can get approval for you to do it." The answer was "No problem." You'd get off the ship at the end of the cruise feeling special and that you'd enjoyed a terrific time. Now people come off the ship worriedly looking at their onboard spending statements and calculating how good a time they had by how little they managed to spend. :confused:

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I understand that prices, relatively speaking, for cruises are cheaper now than they used to be. (How could I not, it is brought up in virtually every argument about cruise lines cutting costs? :rolleyes:)

 

But is that really a good thing? WHY should cruises be cheaper now than they used to be? I would settle for them being the same price (adjusted for inflation) as they used to be and including the same levels of service. After all, I only have so much vacation time -- it's not like I could take double the number of trips in a year if they cost half as much.

 

The prevailing mentality seems to be "Well, why should I pay for services I do not use?"

 

But I submit that one of the most pleasant things about the way cruising USED to be is that you didn't have to think about what you did or didn't utilize, and -- because it was all included -- you MIGHT be tempted to try something that you wouldn't ordinarily. Maybe you would use the sauna area or thalassotherapy pool (or whatever it's called). Maybe you don't ordinarily have a cappuccino in the morning, but you might try one and enjoy it because it was included.

 

The point is that you felt pampered. If you wanted to do or try something, the answer wasn't "That will be $3.50 extra," or "I'll see if I can get approval for you to do it." The answer was "No problem." You'd get off the ship at the end of the cruise feeling special and that you'd enjoyed a terrific time. Now people come off the ship worriedly looking at their onboard spending statements and calculating how good a time they had by how little they managed to spend. :confused:

I think you summarized my thinking on this perfectly. Cruise fares have to be kept low because there are more cruise ships and more available cabins than there ever was all vying for the same pool of potential passengers. Cruiselines must fill those cabins to maintain a profit. The only way they can fill them is to lower the price and hope to recoup the lost revenue from the lower fare with more on-board spending. For people like you and me who like all included for the reasons you state, this is an unfortunate reality that is working against us.

 

There are other options, but they are all significantly more expensive. But, I guess if you adjust for inflation, they probably aren't more expensive compared to the cruising experience and cost a decade or two ago.

 

That said, in the last 11 cruises I have been on in the past 10 years, the price of the cruise has increased on every single one and I have booked similar or identical accommodations on all but one. So, I personally am not seeing this lower cost of cruising that everyone keeps writing about.

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That said, trying a Silversea cruise this spring brought all the wonder of cruising back. The service! The food! The uncrowded spaces! But was it worth 10 HAL cruises? Ehhhh not so sure about that. Talking about it with a fellow, more experienced passenger, she suggested trying Azamara. She said it's a little more expensive than HAL but nowhere near the price of Silversea, without compromising the all-inclusive feel. I haven't checked it out yet, but it's definitely a possibility for the next time the cruise bug hits.

 

We too took our first Silversea cruise this past spring and our experience echoes yours. In our case we cruised the Med and actually got a 14-day cruise for less than a 12-day cruise on HAL in our cabin category of choice. Granted it was possibly a once-in-a-lifetime set of circumstances like being able to leverage sales and incentives but it nonetheless was less expensive. Where I see Silversea, and actually most of the luxury all-inclusive lines, having trouble competing pricewise is itineraries or areas like the Caribbean or Alaska and indeed their fares are substantially higher.

 

For us it really comes down to why and where we cruise. It's a fact we like the cruise vacation experience and while we take other types of vacations cruising is our preferred. We are destinations cruisers and look for itineraries that take us to new and different places. We've pretty well cruised the Caribbean out and with just a few exceptions of the smaller islands we've been most places at least once and some several times. So now we're looking to Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific. Comes down to the decision of do we chose to cruise less frequently to go where we want to go or do we just cruise to cruise. Our decision is still to focus on destinations and that means we'll probably be cruising less frequently and, in turn, more selectively about who with cruise with.

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I read this thread with interest because we're taking our first HAL cruise in May, but the only thing I saw that people were being charged extra for was water and cappachino (sp?) in the MDR. Are you talking about bottled water or just the staff pouring a glass of water for you at the table? Also, can you give me some examples of other things they are charging for that they didn't in the past. Since I never have cruised on HAL, just trying to make the comparison. Thanks.

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As far as pricing goes, it boils down to : You get what you pay for". If you ant a steak dinner do you go to Outback or Ruth's Chris? You know what to expect when you go there and now it seems as though that more and more that is the same with cruises. I wouldn't go near a Carnival ship-- and at one time I thought HAL was a semi-luxury cruise line. Same with hotels--Holiday Inn or the Ritz? For some reason, and I include myself in this, we seem to think that everything stays the same. Cruises, hotels, restaurants--they all change and evolve. What was "nice" to me several years ago is not "nice" now. I cannot imagine ever sailing on a 4000+ passenger ship--to some people that's just GRAND!

So maybe more research on our parts has become necessary--realize exactly what it is that we DO want and search for it,and try it out. A change upward may be the right thing to do, or realizing that your expectations and your pocketbook don't always match.

Debi

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I read this thread with interest because we're taking our first HAL cruise in May, but the only thing I saw that people were being charged extra for was water and cappachino (sp?) in the MDR. Are you talking about bottled water or just the staff pouring a glass of water for you at the table? Also, can you give me some examples of other things they are charging for that they didn't in the past. Since I never have cruised on HAL, just trying to make the comparison. Thanks.

Fresh-squeezed orange juice is still free, I gather.

 

24-hour room service, something woefully lacking on lesser cruise lines and/or only available at a cost, is still free.

 

The water thing does sound a bit odd. Here we've always been told that the tap water is so clean and excellent, yet others report that the pay-per-drink carafe "filtered" water tastes better. If it tastes better, why not charge for it. Tap water is still free, fancy water costs. Coffee is still free, fancy coffee costs. Seems fair to me, especially when other cruise lines even charge for fancy OJ and fancy room service.

 

Those paying the big bucks for deluxe suites can still get their free espresso and cappuccino at the Neptune.

 

Canaletto will be worth the $10 surcharge IMO if the menu has truly been upgraded - still waiting to see the new menu. It may make it easier to get reservations and will provide a pay restaurant alternative to the Pinnacle.

 

I've paid bigger bucks for luxury cruises and had super high expectations which were not always fully met. My expectations were much lower when I switched to HAL, commensurate with the price difference, and I was pleasantly surprised. Hopefully things haven't changed so much since last year.

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As far as pricing goes, it boils down to : You get what you pay for". If you ant a steak dinner do you go to Outback or Ruth's Chris? You know what to expect when you go there and now it seems as though that more and more that is the same with cruises. I wouldn't go near a Carnival ship-- and at one time I thought HAL was a semi-luxury cruise line. Same with hotels--Holiday Inn or the Ritz? For some reason, and I include myself in this, we seem to think that everything stays the same. Cruises, hotels, restaurants--they all change and evolve. What was "nice" to me several years ago is not "nice" now. I cannot imagine ever sailing on a 4000+ passenger ship--to some people that's just GRAND!

So maybe more research on our parts has become necessary--realize exactly what it is that we DO want and search for it,and try it out. A change upward may be the right thing to do, or realizing that your expectations and your pocketbook don't always match.

Debi

I totally agree. Things change. You either need to accept it or move on. People say "well we used to get this or that". Yes, you used to get it and now you don't. If you have had a life without change you are very lucky. It seems to me the people that complain the most are the ones that pay the least.

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