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LauraS

Holland America Reduces Bring-On Wine Allowance

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I just read about this new policy. We, who are multi-star mariners, had just booked our third HAL cruise this year and although we are extremely brand-loyal as a rule, if we can't bring decent wines on board for our own personal consumption in our stateroom (we who are great customers of dining room wine lists and bars on board), then it's perhaps time to re-consider Celebrity and some of her great ships we've cruised on so much in the past. Sorry, HAL, it was a great run and we love your ships and service-oriented staff, but if we have to drink over-priced US West coast wines in places like Europe and elsewhere, then we'll cruise with the competition. And please, no offense to US West coast wineries... for many years my father was a cellar-master there...it's just selling $8 wine for $40 is a little exaggerated. And yes, I get the profit angle. So why not charge a little more for the cruise? Happy travels to all!

 

Just a question. If all wine had to be brought on board. And HAL increased the brands of wine offered, do you think they would lower the cost per bottle? Would they make a profit in selling more wine at a cheaper price?

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Just a question about the new policy. Does this mean that while in Italy, Spain, France, etc. we cannot bring on wine from those countries? I was under the understanding that the cruise lines allowed those wines to be brought on board to aid in their economy. I guess not.

 

And the new policy would be okay with us if HAL did not overcharge for the wines on their list. They make over 300%. Way too much.

 

Eileen

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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.

 

I much agree that having an opportunity to buy and use wines form the ports visited is very much part of the reason we favored HAL cruises. We too, bought wines in Chile, Italy, Spain, and Portugal-some to drink aboard and much to bring home. As a wine writer and wine club founder, educator, I resent being hold to a captive and limited wine list and prefer to make my own selections.

When we go to sea why should we be compelled to lower our lifestyle standards? This policy change might definitely affect our choice of cruise lines in the future. We have been HAL cruisers now four times. this November's cruise might be the last if this policy is instituted.

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I just read about this new policy. We, who are multi-star mariners, had just booked our third HAL cruise this year and although we are extremely brand-loyal as a rule, if we can't bring decent wines on board for our own personal consumption in our stateroom (we who are great customers of dining room wine lists and bars on board), then it's perhaps time to re-consider Celebrity and some of her great ships we've cruised on so much in the past. Sorry, HAL, it was a great run and we love your ships and service-oriented staff, but if we have to drink over-priced US West coast wines in places like Europe and elsewhere, then we'll cruise with the competition. And please, no offense to US West coast wineries... for many years my father was a cellar-master there...it's just selling $8 wine for $40 is a little exaggerated. And yes, I get the profit angle. So why not charge a little more for the cruise? Happy travels to all!

 

Just a question about the new policy. Does this mean that while in Italy, Spain, France, etc. we cannot bring on wine from those countries? I was under the understanding that the cruise lines allowed those wines to be brought on board to aid in their economy. I guess not.

 

And the new policy would be okay with us if HAL did not overcharge for the wines on their list. They make over 300%. Way too much.

 

Eileen

 

We quite agree. As a wine educator, writer, and collector, why should I lower my lifestyle standards when selecting a cruise? HAL has now removed a key motivation in our selection of four HAL cruises over the last few years and this policy change will affect our selection of future cruises.

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Just a question about the new policy. Does this mean that while in Italy, Spain, France, etc. we cannot bring on wine from those countries?

As of now, the policy is that you may carry aboard one bottle of wine in those countries if it is your embarkation port. More bottles, and bringing aboard at other ports, is not allowed.

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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.

 

We quite agree with oyu as this smacks of "Carnival" downgrading of HAL. We have sailed as HAL mariners four times, but may change next year if we cannot enjoy our own wine selections and the opportunity to select wines at ports visited. Why should we have to lower our living standards in selecting a cruise?

I'm a wine professional and certainly resent being restricted in this manner.:mad::mad:

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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.

 

 

I like cruising HAL but do not drink alcohol at all no way do I want to see price increase just to see wine drinkers be happy:mad:

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Has anybody heard anything further from HAL? I do hope they modify their position as I would really like to continue sailing with them.

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We waited two weeks, after receiving an actual reply letter from Ms Ferris citing a Case # and our booking #, and then snail-mailed back a polite response.

 

We have no expectations that HAL will change the new limit of one bottle/per adult at embarkation...however we did write back asking that they modify the new policy to allow wine, with corkage fee, to be brought aboard at port calls. Reiterated that not being able to do so would be a definite minus and detract from our experience, especially on longer international sailings. Also pointed out that many shore excursions include winery stops.

 

Think that this is probably the best possible modification to hope for and it would satisfy us. We'd much rather buy something special in port and pay corkage than overpay HAL for a mediocre bottle. And, as we have no interest in dragging bottles home with us on a plane, this would still give us a chance to enjoy a tasting of local wine.

 

Would encourage all who might agree on this "next-best" option to also send snail-mail, before HAL actually implements the new policy in January.:o

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We would also be satisfied with a reasonable corkage fee on wine brought on board at ports. Without that, I am afraid our days with HAL are numbered, which is sad as we had only recently decided to add HAL as a line of choice for longer cruises.

 

We will look elsewhere until they modify their wine position.

 

I am still baffled by their decision. The only thing I can figure is that the big wigs at Carnival Corp see that Carnival Cruise Line makes more money (and I have no idea if that is true) and is encouraging all of their lines to restrict passengers from boarding their own wine. If that is the case, I am afraid they will be sorely disappointed as the crowd that sails CCL is vastly different from the crowd that sails HAL and that a lot of loyal HAL passengers saw the ability to bring your own wine on board as a major selling point.

.

Edited by PunkiC

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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.

 

I don't understand changing to Celebrity over this? The limit you to one bottle per person at embarkation only so how is that better?

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We would also be satisfied with a reasonable corkage fee on wine brought on board at ports. Without that, I am afraid our days with HAL are numbered, which is sad as we had only recently decided to add HAL as a line of choice for longer cruises.

 

We will look elsewhere until they modify their wine position.

 

I am still baffled by their decision. The only thing I can figure is that the big wigs at Carnival Corp see that Carnival Cruise Line makes more money (and I have no idea if that is true) and is encouraging all of their lines to restrict passengers from boarding their own wine. If that is the case, I am afraid they will be sorely disappointed as the crowd that sails CCL is vastly different from the crowd that sails HAL and that a lot of loyal HAL passengers saw the ability to bring your own wine on board as a major selling point.

.

 

I am, too. One would think they would like to continue to offer something that sets them apart from the competition.

We're approaching 4* status...so I'll have to weigh all the options. HAL or Princess :confused:

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I don't understand changing to Celebrity over this? The limit you to one bottle per person at embarkation only so how is that better?

 

Have you looked at the Celebrity beverge packages or wine list?

 

Tomorrow they have a promo starting that includes their all inclusive classic package. You can upgrade to the best for $11.50 more per day.

 

That covers all non Alc, bottled beverages, waters, espresso bar beverages, premium teas and alcohol up to $12. Plus, if you like something more costly, you just pay the diff.. Oh yea, not to mention 30% off any bottle wines even premium list... The package is unlimited per day. It is a no brainer. Not to mention the very extensive wine list.

 

This is why wine lovers will move to X. Also if you book a winery excursion, you can bring the wine back with you.

 

Why an unlimited package? Keep tasting until you find what you like.

Edited by surfergirle

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As of now, the policy is that you may carry aboard one bottle of wine in those countries if it is your embarkation port. More bottles, and bringing aboard at other ports, is not allowed.

 

Actually, that is not true. Under the new policy you may bring as many bottles as you wish on board, you just cannot CONSUME them on board. The policy says nothing about purchasing wine as "souvenirs" other than to say it will be held until the last night of the cruise when it will be delivered to you to pack in your luggage for you to bring home.

 

The new policy does not prohibit bringing wine aboard, merely CONSUMING non-ship purchased wine on board. The idea that you cannot buy wine in port is completely untrue.

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Actually, that is not true. Under the new policy you may bring as many bottles as you wish on board, you just cannot CONSUME them on board. The policy says nothing about purchasing wine as "souvenirs" other than to say it will be held until the last night of the cruise when it will be delivered to you to pack in your luggage for you to bring home.

 

The new policy does not prohibit bringing wine aboard, merely CONSUMING non-ship purchased wine on board. The idea that you cannot buy wine in port is completely untrue.

 

Well, I guess you are technically correct. The issue however, for many of us is that we will be flying and therefore taking bottles of wine home will be a less than ideal condition. For many the idea of purchasing wines in ports is to enjoy on board. So, for most of us, it means that we cannot bring bottles on board as most would consume them on board, not take them home.

 

if I am taking wine home, I have the winery ship it as they know what they are doing;)

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Have you looked at the Celebrity beverge packages or wine list?

 

Tomorrow they have a promo starting that includes their all inclusive classic package. You can upgrade to the best for $11.50 more per day.

 

That covers all non Alc, bottled beverages, waters, espresso bar beverages, premium teas and alcohol up to $12. Plus, if you like something more costly, you just pay the diff.. Oh yea, not to mention 30% off any bottle wines even premium list... The package is unlimited per day. It is a no brainer. Not to mention the very extensive wine list.

 

This is why wine lovers will move to X. Also if you book a winery excursion, you can bring the wine back with you.

 

Why an unlimited package? Keep tasting until you find what you like.

 

 

 

WOW! HAL better make changes in their policy as IMHO they have an inferior product to celebrity and this just reinforces that. Many times HAL prices are MORE than celebrity too.

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Good marketing by Celebrity - probably hoping to attract some unhappy HAL customers!!

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Building a cruise ship. It will offer all the beverages you can drink all day and wine will be administered intravenously while you sleep at night.

 

Yup...I'm going to corner the market.

Edited by Wakepatrol

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Well, I guess you are technically correct. The issue however, for many of us is that we will be flying and therefore taking bottles of wine home will be a less than ideal condition. For many the idea of purchasing wines in ports is to enjoy on board. So, for most of us, it means that we cannot bring bottles on board as most would consume them on board, not take them home.

 

if I am taking wine home, I have the winery ship it as they know what they are doing;)

Thanks, Jacqui. I'm glad someone realized what I was talking about. Next time I will be more precise.

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Well, I guess you are technically correct. The issue however, for many of us is that we will be flying and therefore taking bottles of wine home will be a less than ideal condition. For many the idea of purchasing wines in ports is to enjoy on board. So, for most of us, it means that we cannot bring bottles on board as most would consume them on board, not take them home.

 

if I am taking wine home, I have the winery ship it as they know what they are doing;)

 

She was technically correct but the point is, that's not what people buying local wines in port want to do...we want to be able to come back to the ship and enjoy a glass of wine from the region...on our verandah. There is no way I'd chance packing it in my luggage...and we can't have it shipped home to Massachusetts...that's an outdated law we have in our commonwealth.

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Have you looked at the Celebrity beverge packages or wine list?

 

Tomorrow they have a promo starting that includes their all inclusive classic package. You can upgrade to the best for $11.50 more per day.

 

That covers all non Alc, bottled beverages, waters, espresso bar beverages, premium teas and alcohol up to $12. Plus, if you like something more costly, you just pay the diff.. Oh yea, not to mention 30% off any bottle wines even premium list... The package is unlimited per day. It is a no brainer. Not to mention the very extensive wine list.

 

This is why wine lovers will move to X. Also if you book a winery excursion, you can bring the wine back with you.

 

Why an unlimited package? Keep tasting until you find what you like.

 

 

 

Actually I am well aware of Celebrity's packages...I have used them myself. However, that is not usually the issue for people who are venting frustration about the new wine policy. They want to bring their OWN unlimited beverages on board, and my observation was simply to point out that switching to Celebrity was not going to solve the problem. I personally am not affected because I purchase my adult beverages on board and have never had a problem finding a wine that satisfies my tastes. Since we fly in, "bringing my own" is not really a viable option for me.

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Actually I am well aware of Celebrity's packages...I have used them myself. However, that is not usually the issue for people who are venting frustration about the new wine policy. They want to bring their OWN unlimited beverages on board, and my observation was simply to point out that switching to Celebrity was not going to solve the problem. I personally am not affected because I purchase my adult beverages on board and have never had a problem finding a wine that satisfies my tastes. Since we fly in, "bringing my own" is not really a viable option for me.

 

IMO - and I am one of the ones venting - Celebrity offers a good solution to the majority of the problem. They have a wider degree of choice (especially when it comes to wine). We fly in too and don't carry wine - but we do like to bring wine on board from the different ports where wine is a true experience:D

 

I might be wrong - but I think that's the issue for a number of people.

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IMO - and I am one of the ones venting - Celebrity offers a good solution to the majority of the problem. They have a wider degree of choice (especially when it comes to wine). We fly in too and don't carry wine - but we do like to bring wine on board from the different ports where wine is a true experience:D

 

I might be wrong - but I think that's the issue for a number of people.

 

Until the teleporter is introduced for me to get to Europe and other distant places, :) my issue is that I want to be able to bring aboard wines that I know I enjoy. If we ever get to Europe or Australia or S America, that is when I will want to bring on local wines.

 

Would like to suggest that everyone once again email and snail mail and post on FB. IMHO continuing to prod and remind will help HAL management realize that the displeasure isn't going to stop ....

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IMO - and I am one of the ones venting - Celebrity offers a good solution to the majority of the problem. They have a wider degree of choice (especially when it comes to wine). We fly in too and don't carry wine - but we do like to bring wine on board from the different ports where wine is a true experience:D

 

I might be wrong - but I think that's the issue for a number of people.

 

I totally understand your frustration. I agree that the new policy will prevent people from enjoying a wine they may want to bring on from an onshore purchase. I have only cruised Royal Caribbean and Celebrity besides HAL and neither of those lines will allow you to consume wine or alcohol that was purchased in port. Both take your on shore purchases and return them to you at the end of the cruise. That seemed to be the major frustration for most of the people and my point was merely to point out that changing to Celebrity was not going to fix that problem. To each their own, we all enjoy cruising for different reasons. :-)

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Actually I am well aware of Celebrity's packages...I have used them myself. However, that is not usually the issue for people who are venting frustration about the new wine policy. They want to bring their OWN unlimited beverages on board, and my observation was simply to point out that switching to Celebrity was not going to solve the problem. I personally am not affected because I purchase my adult beverages on board and have never had a problem finding a wine that satisfies my tastes. Since we fly in, "bringing my own" is not really a viable option for me.

 

I think what you are missing is WHY, we want to bring our own wine...

 

X is a very good (and with pick your perk) almost included option. (11.50 per day to upgrade to premium)

 

The problem w HAL is that they have such a limited wine list that we have to bring our own because the varieties are so limited... Want to try a new wine? Take the chance of buying a whole bottle just to end up hating it (if they do not have it by the glass)

 

Its about what is available and in some cases horrible pricing.

 

Xs wine list is huge. Taste all you want till you find something you like, and then drink that. That is where if you have to choose between HAL and X based on wine, then its a very good option.

 

Take a wine excursion? You can bring back the wine.

 

Much better option than HAL at this point.

Edited by surfergirle

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