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Anyone purchase a soda card recently?


Marbella

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I just called Guest Services to order a bottle of DH's favorite libation for our cabin. I then asked if it was still possible to purchase a soda card. 'Julie' told me that a change was going into effect, but she was unsure of the exact dates of the change, and asked me to hold on while she spoke to her supervisor. When she returned to the phone she said that HAL is replacing the current soda card/sticker to a "punch card" system, but would honor my request for our 12/11 Westerdam sailing.

 

I interpret this as HAL honoring the soda card for current bookings, but attempting to change to a "set amount of sodas" instead of an "unlimited amount" in the future. Either that, or the supervisor gave it to me because I also ordered liquor. You pick! :)

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Two@Sea

If I understand your description properly, I have a mental image of a server trying to count the number of punch holes in a card, particularly near the end of a longer voyage????

 

Honestly, I have boasted to my friends (who have cruised another line) that I continue to choose HAL because they don't nickel and dime every chance they get.

 

It's syrup and water, for goodness sake!

 

Oh well, I still think HAL is a very "classy" line.

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Two@Sea

If I understand your description properly, I have a mental image of a server trying to count the number of punch holes in a card, particularly near the end of a longer voyage????

I'm guessing that the system will be the same as is used for glasses of wine. There's a set price for a set number of glasses. (I don't remember the specifics---maybe 10 glasses). When the card is finished you can purchase a new one.

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:mad:

 

I called Ship Services in response to the rumours I was "hearing" on this board and was told that the soda package would NOT be available for my 12/21 Eastern Caribbean sailing. I was also told that advance purchasers would be receiving a shipboard credit. My response "So I'm out of luck if I didn't buy one before the change?" Ship Services was non-chalant about the whole thing and said yes. I then asked whether anyone had considered NOTIFYING upcoming pax about this change in policy, and was told no.

 

Now, I understand that Ship Services is the messenger for corporate. This won't put that much of a damper on my trip, which I am still eagerly awaiting :D However...bottom line, this comes across as CHEAP and disrespectful of pax who pay a good deal of money for a cruise. I also doubt HAL will save that much money by doing this, and may offend a lot of people in the "bargain".

 

Not to mention the fact that a passenger who has imbibed too much Coke is far less likely to pose a disciplinary problem for the staff than someone who has had too many martinis...:rolleyes:

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I imagine, from the above post, that the change is being made "ship by ship" as of selected sailing dates. If it matters to anyone, we are on the 12/11 Westerdam to the Western Caribbean.

 

And, I agree that passengers who have overindulged on soda are usually capable of remaining upright on bar stools. :D

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Doesn't it make a person wonder how solvent HAL is if they have to nickle and dime things like this? As I posted previously, this can't be costing them much..as they buy in such huge quantities and the fountain drinks are really cheap for them.

 

This is our first time on the HAL line, but this whole deal is leaving me with a bad feeling. When I got my documentation it had the soda card listed still. They should still honor it if they send you a menu with it on it.

 

I agree with Iggipolka (that is an interesting name) that they are very lacking in communication. They aren't making the pax feel like guests but rather like they are vultures hovering over them trying to get every last penny they can out of them. You'd think somewhere along the line they would have PR people who would tell them they need to work on these things.

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I agree with Iggipolka (that is an interesting name)

 

Thanks! Totally off topic..Iggi is my cat's name and Polka was the name of my wife's dog who died a couple years ago. I started using IggiPolka when Polka was still alive and just couldn't bring myself to change it.

 

Ok..back to HAL - yes, all of this nickle and diming does make me wonder about HAL's financial status.

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Could it be that this is one of HAL's responses to considerably higher fuel prices? -- to cut perks and specials to make up the cash rather than just tack on a fuel surcharge?

 

Personally, I would prefer a small surcharge and leave the cruise experience unscathed!

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  • 2 weeks later...

:) We just returned from the two week 11/26 cruise on the Veendam. Coke cards were available on this cruise. In fact they were selling them in the terminal before getting on board. The cost for a two week cruise was $56 and both of us bought one.

 

The bar charge for soft drinks on our cruise was $1.75 plus a 15% gratuity which makes the total essentially two bucks a glass. We more than got our money's worth from the coke cards.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We are booked on the Zuiderdam in March. We booked through Cruises.com. I asked them about the drink cards. They checked into it and were told they were discontinued 11/05. My friend that is going on the cruise with me called HAL and was told if we purchased before 12/31/05 they would honor them. I called HAL last week to purchase the drink card. They stated they are no longer selling the same ones as before. New program available in January 2006. For $18 you can purchase a 20 drink soft drink card. This card is for soda only. We had heard that you have to purchase water unless you are in the dining area. She told me that water, iced tea & coffee will be complimentary at all times.

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Wow, if what Wewplus2 was told is correct - this is a new, REAL PERK for me.

 

If it is true, in my opinion HAL is improving things rather than all the concerned comments about downgrading the crusing experience. I, and the folks I cruise with, never could see drinking enough soda to justify the card, but also hated the price per glass or can. If in fact it is 20 for $18, what a bargin! Then again, this may be incorrect.

 

Now, before we rush to conclusions in either direction - let us see what is actually offered, please.

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Hi. We are leaving on the Oosterdam this Friday for a new years cruise, so I called HAL this morning. The new cards, 20 drink punch card for $18.50 will be available on our sailing. Still a good deal, and I wonder if they will really punch all the time...guess we will have to wait and see.

 

Tony & Gregg

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I got unlimited Cokes on my FABULOUS Christmas Caribbean cruise on the Zaandam last week. Still can't figure out why there were 20 soft drink cans in my room, as they were never mentioned by the cabin steward and the bar staff kept dutifully serving based on my sticker.

 

Really, you had 20 cans in your room?? Where did they put them?

 

Marie

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On the dresser. Never touched them as I was afraid they would magically transform themselves into minibar charges. This was the first time this had happened.

 

The sticker was honoured everywhere I went, as it has been on every cruise I have been on (this was #5 and the second HAL cruise) and by the end of the cruise the stewards were no longer even asking to see the card.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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