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LauraS

Holland America Reduces Bring-On Wine Allowance

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The problem is HAL is NOT like the other cruise lines!

Other lines permit their Psgrs. to bring more on board & they charge a reasonable corkage fee.. Several do this on check-in, even if you drink the wine in your cabin or any place else. HAL no longer permits their Psgrs. to bring more than one bottle on board in wine country.

We occasionally bring a bottle of wine on board when visiting wineries & we're willing to pay the corkage fee for that privilege..

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Something that I haven't seen addressed yet is the effect this will have on some of HAL's shore excursions. While we don't take wine aboard with us, as a general rule, we have been on quite a few wine tasting excursions and we have purchased wine at some of those. We don't buy a lot, but some people do.

 

I question whether these wineries are going to want to bother accommodating HAL's excursions when people are not likely to bother buying wine to be confiscated by HAL and then must be packed in checked luggage to get home.

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We always enjoyed the wine policy of HAL - we too found it to be a differentiator - as while we are not wine snobs, we do know what we like and when you are looking at a menu of wines you don't know it's not to our liking. We would bring a half-dozen bottles aboard and pay the corkage with pleasure, as we like the fact that we could be sure we had the wine we would enjoy with a meal we knew we'd enjoy as well - HAL's kitchen has never let us down.

 

Will this make a difference in our selecting HAL over another line? Probably not, but I will be writing HAL and making suggestions on wines to include in their wine selections.

 

All the best

Christopher

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This policy change probably WILL make a difference to me in whether or not I choose Holland America. As noted above, the liberal bring-aboard wine allowance was one factor that heretofore had tipped the choice of cruise lines in HAL's favor. With HAL's new policy, that incentive is now gone, and HAL doesn't necessarily have enough other "plus" factors to make it more attractive than its competitors. We tried Celebrity this spring for the first time in a long time and found it to be highly competitive, if not superior to HAL.

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We always enjoyed the wine policy of HAL - we too found it to be a differentiator - as while we are not wine snobs, we do know what we like and when you are looking at a menu of wines you don't know it's not to our liking. We would bring a half-dozen bottles aboard and pay the corkage with pleasure, as we like the fact that we could be sure we had the wine we would enjoy with a meal we knew we'd enjoy as well - HAL's kitchen has never let us down.

 

Will this make a difference in our selecting HAL over another line? Probably not, but I will be writing HAL and making suggestions on wines to include in their wine selections.

 

All the best

Christopher

 

Christopher, you are close to Chateau Ste Michelle! Lots of wineries by you. We are in the Socal Wine Country...

 

I agree 100% and understand, its not about fine or expensive wines for us, we are not wine snobs, but we do not want to waste $40 JUST to see if we like something, and I'm happy to pay for the privilege to have what we like, when we like be because its important to our vacation.

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HAL's wine policy will have us looking at other travel options. We have brought wine onto HAL in New Zealand, Chile, wine festival in Bordeaux (Prinsendam 2012)..... The most we have brought aboard was six bottles in San Diego embarking on a 39 day cruise. I guess HAL should eliminate winery shore excursions.

 

So, the limit of one wine bottle per person upon embarkation is the same for a four day cruise as a for a round the world 105 day cruise. We have been taking 21+ day HAL cruises and are pretty good customers of their bars and dining room wine offerings.

That we can't bring a reasonable amount of wine aboard for state room consumption really ticks me off.

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I sent my letter to HAL about the new wine policy. They need to hear from their members. 'pgoodwin@hollandamerica.com'; 'rmeadows@hollandamerica.com'; 'skruse@hollandamerica.com'

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We are from wine country have found reasonable wine selections available on HAL ships and felt no need to bring anything more on board. However, enhancing the depth of wine choices available on board will also be welcomed.

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I was just about to book a suite on a 2014 Transatlantic cruise on HAL when I read of the wine policy change. The former policy was a meaningful distinction for HAL which they have chosen to give up -- along with my business.

 

Now booked on Celebrity instead.

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Another positive HAL distinction gone. What's next? Fresh flowers, fresh squeezed orange juice?

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My wife and I have almost reached the 3rd level with Holland America and have just booked the Westerdam Vancouver to San Diego at the end of September. No mention was made of this change in policy when we booked with Holland America and needless to say it has come as a major surprise and disappointment. :(

 

We have always taken our wines onboard to enjoy at our leisure in our stateroom. We are not winos, but we know what we like and are not always pleased with the dining room options.

 

Perhaps if we all gang up on Holland America they will modify their rule. Tom

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My wife and I have almost reached the 3rd level with Holland America and have just booked the Westerdam Vancouver to San Diego at the end of September. No mention was made of this change in policy when we booked with Holland America and needless to say it has come as a major surprise and disappointment. :(

 

We have always taken our wines onboard to enjoy at our leisure in our stateroom. We are not winos, but we know what we like and are not always pleased with the dining room options.

 

Perhaps if we all gang up on Holland America they will modify their rule. Tom

 

This new policy is effective Jan.31,2014, so if your cruise is next month, you will still be under the old policy.

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Thanks so much. I had not seen the "begin" date for the wine limits in any of the earlier comments. Still, the overall policy will not encourage us to make many of our future cruises plans with Holland America. Even though Crystal is a more, everything is included...even the gratuities, wines with dinner, specialty coffees and mixed drinks in the bar...Smaller ships overall and almost impeccable service too. Tom

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Am I alone - but having to queue and to be checked for wine (and even water) when boarding seems to rather like being in a fascist or communist state. We are on holiday and might want to enjoy wine without paying outrageous prices. Why not increase the cost of the cruise overall and have modest charges for wine.

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My wife and I have almost reached the 3rd level with Holland America and have just booked the Westerdam Vancouver to San Diego at the end of September. No mention was made of this change in policy when we booked with Holland America and needless to say it has come as a major surprise and disappointment. :(

 

We have always taken our wines onboard to enjoy at our leisure in our stateroom. We are not winos, but we know what we like and are not always pleased with the dining room options.

 

Perhaps if we all gang up on Holland America they will modify their rule. Tom

 

Initially, they brought the new policy in effective immediately (I believe it was July 18th) and with no notification to passengers about to embark or with a cruise in the near future and past final payment. Thanks to the protest, they backtracked and made it effective Jan 31/14. Now they just need to tweak some more of the details - such as only one 750 ml bottle of wine on embarkation regardless of the length of the cruise.

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I sent my letter to HAL about the new wine policy. They need to hear from their members. 'pgoodwin@hollandamerica.com'; 'rmeadows@hollandamerica.com'; 'skruse@hollandamerica.com'

 

 

Thanks for the email addresses. Who are the two people, aside from Stein Kruse - what are their positions?

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I hope under this new policy that they will revamp their wine lists. The main reason that we bring wine back to the ship is that HAL doesn't have a variety of wines from the countries that we visit.

 

When we were in Chile and Australia the last few years HAL had very few options for us.

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Thanks for the email addresses. Who are the two people, aside from Stein Kruse - what are their positions?

HAL Executive Team includes:

 

Richard Meadows

President, Seabourn Cruise Line

Executive Vice President – Marketing, Sales and Guest Programs, Holland America Line

 

Paul Goodwin

Executive Vice President, Onboard Revenue, Planning, Port Operations and Tours

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I think this new policy is in line with Carnival and it reflects the down grading of Holland America's ships. We were scheduled to take the Zuiderdam in November but will now cancel as we do not need to deal with this type of non service. We are 4 star with HAL but they may have seen the last of us. Too bad.

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I think this new policy is in line with Carnival and it reflects the down grading of Holland America's ships. We were scheduled to take the Zuiderdam in November but will now cancel as we do not need to deal with this type of non service. We are 4 star with HAL but they may have seen the last of us. Too bad.

 

If you mean November of this year, the new policy is not in effect until Jan.31, 2014.

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I think this new policy is in line with Carnival and it reflects the down grading of Holland America's ships. We were scheduled to take the Zuiderdam in November but will now cancel as we do not need to deal with this type of non service. We are 4 star with HAL but they may have seen the last of us. Too bad.

 

 

I assume you mean Carnival Cruise Lines as opposed to Carnival Corporation because several (well, may a few) of the Carnival Corp. ships do allow wine being brought aboard - Cunard and Princess, for example. But is it interesting, and disappointing, that HAL has chosen to align itself with Carnival CL rather than the more upscale mainstream lines. So much for the Signature of Excellence.

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I was just about to book a suite on a 2014 Transatlantic cruise on HAL when I read of the wine policy change. The former policy was a meaningful distinction for HAL which they have chosen to give up -- along with my business.

 

Now booked on Celebrity instead.

 

But Celebrity, also, does not allow you to bring aboard wines, according to a recent article outlining the alcohol policy on 19 cruise lines.

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