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Sadly to me it still looks like an Applebees or any semi fast food chain with tablecloths.  After seeing pictures of suite restaurants on other lines I'm still not impressed.  We only dine at PG so won't mean that much to us. Breakfast will likely be in our NS.  According to information on a live from only the daily specials are cooked in the show kitchen- all others come from main galley behind CO. Maybe it is closer to the galley than MDR so food is warmer.

 

When I look at the picture below of a suite restaurant on MSC I scratch my head and have to wonder if it is really about the NS guests or is it about selling it as "exclusive" and "very limited availability" for $50 per person per day. It's almost like the CAC wan't generating enough revenue so at the last minute they changed it.

 

 

MSC17010872.jpg

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12 minutes ago, frankc98376 said:

Sadly to me it still looks like an Applebees or any semi fast food chain with tablecloths.  After seeing pictures of suite restaurants on other lines I'm still not impressed.  We only dine at PG so won't mean that much to us. Breakfast will likely be in our NS.  According to information on a live from only the daily specials are cooked in the show kitchen- all others come from main galley behind CO. Maybe it is closer to the galley than MDR so food is warmer.

 

When I look at the picture below of a suite restaurant on MSC I scratch my head and have to wonder if it is really about the NS guests or is it about selling it as "exclusive" and "very limited availability" for $50 per person per day. It's almost like the CAC wan't generating enough revenue so at the last minute they changed it.

 

 

MSC17010872.jpg

Well, typical HAL, they forgot to include free laundry in the CO Package or am I wrong ?????

Stlll looks like a N Y Deli, not the above, but CO

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On 10/26/2018 at 8:23 AM, cbr663 said:

 

It will be interesting to see details on the private dining venue.  This seems very similar to X's Aqua Class and dining in Blu - which was an excellent experience when we sailed it.

 

Edit to Add:  I checked the deck plans for the NS and I don't see any new dining venue on the dining plans.  I hope that HAL isn't planning on sectioning off the MDR to accommodate this as that will lessen the appeal imo.

 

I’m on Koningsdam now, sitting outside Club Orange.  It is situated on Deck 2, just aft of mid-ship at what I suspect used to be the Culinary Arts Center (now notably absent from the deck plans and any activities).  There is no menu posted outside, so I can’t comment on that.  Looking through the glass, I count 19 tables.  The food on the tables looks comparable to what you find in the specialty restaurants.  Even if there is no upcharge to eat there (unlikely), $50 per day is more than you would spend at any of the specialty restaurants if you ate in them every night, and the other perks don’t seem to make up the difference.

 

There is a open kitchen (logical as I suspect this was Culinary Arts Center), but they aren’t using it.  I will stop by during the day and update this if the venue is being used for anything else during the day, but it isn’t on the deck plans as anything else.

893571D4-698E-4C98-8CAC-23D62221DF22.jpeg

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On 12/24/2018 at 4:27 PM, Cruisin_from_Tampa said:

 

I’m on Koningsdam now, sitting outside Club Orange.  It is situated on Deck 2, just aft of mid-ship at what I suspect used to be the Culinary Arts Center (now notably absent from the deck plans and any activities).  There is no menu posted outside, so I can’t comment on that.  Looking through the glass, I count 19 tables.  The food on the tables looks comparable to what you find in the specialty restaurants.  Even if there is no upcharge to eat there (unlikely), $50 per day is more than you would spend at any of the specialty restaurants if you ate in them every night, and the other perks don’t seem to make up the difference.

 

There is a open kitchen (logical as I suspect this was Culinary Arts Center), but they aren’t using it.  I will stop by during the day and update this if the venue is being used for anything else during the day, but it isn’t on the deck plans as anything else.

893571D4-698E-4C98-8CAC-23D62221DF22.jpeg

Merry Christmas first!!!!

I still don’t like the concept at all! The ambiance is nothing and it does not have the quiet relaxing PG atmosphere for me! 

We live in San Diego and have eaten at many open kitchen concept, but there is a real decor concept and like one of our CCERS have said OC looks like Applebees🙄 I want a atmosphere that wants me to endulge in decadence of flavors and intimacy!! Like Sails7seas said agent orange😐

Denise

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On ‎10‎/‎29‎/‎2018 at 4:27 PM, Walfam said:

And then where would the Neptune Suite pax get in line?   :classic_blink:

 

First off the ship is supposed to be for suite passengers, but we did not get off until after 9 on the Nieuw Dtatendam. You can't get off because of the Neptune.  Orange restaurant was excellent.  the music in all bars was too loud.  night shows were just okay

 

 

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1 hour ago, 2manycruises123 said:

 

Tried to quote your post, but it came up blank. Don't understand your statement "You can't get off because of the Neptune". We're you in a Neptune Suite or an Orange Club passenger?

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I honestly don't get it either. We just came off the K-Dam's Holiday Cruise, and the most unloved room on the ship was the Orange down there on 2-Deck. I'm with everyone else here; I can't understand what I'd have bought for the extra $50/pp/pd? 

(I'm also going to avoid the K-Dam on future cruises; I was and will remain perfectly happy with the older, more intimate ships, thank you very much.)

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On 12/25/2018 at 8:23 PM, DeeniEncinitas said:

Merry Christmas first!!!!

I still don’t like the concept at all! The ambiance is nothing and it does not have the quiet relaxing PG atmosphere for me! 

 

Denise, Merry Xmas to you, and we were both on this cruise with you. 

I don't get it or like it either, and as I noted in my post-cruise survey back to HAL:

- Put the slippers back in the Spa locker rooms;

- Fix the Spa locker room lockers (they're now electronic, and work with your room card, but most don't work..!)

- Stock a few sundries in the store (no razors, no refrigerator magnets, just expensive jewelry)

- Put up a few decorations, or at least a photo or painting or two around the ship? The K-Dam's decor looked like "IKEA Showroom," except IKEA decor is more lively...

----- back to the O-Dam for my next cruise, thank you very much.

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I just tried to book Club Orange for my April 7th cruise on the N.S. and was told that bookings for Club Orange are not available yet and they are only taking reservations out until January 13th.  Does this sound right?  Am I just supposed to wait until a week before my cruise and hope I can get it?  The rep said that I would receive some kind of e-mail notification telling me Club Orange is book-able.  Does anyone have any experience with this? 

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20 minutes ago, Fredric22 said:

I just tried to book Club Orange for my April 7th cruise on the N.S. and was told that bookings for Club Orange are not available yet and they are only taking reservations out until January 13th.  Does this sound right?  Am I just supposed to wait until a week before my cruise and hope I can get it?  The rep said that I would receive some kind of e-mail notification telling me Club Orange is book-able.  Does anyone have any experience with this? 

Possibly they aren't sure how long it will last.  

 

Most of HAL's competition (outside of the Carnival group) now offers special dining for suite guests- most are very nice.  Seemed like HAL decided they needed something to keep up. So they took a venue that was probably not generating enough revenue- changed the name and said "Look what we did".  Then someone said "Let's offer it to all for a fee to make some money on it".  Yes it is a small venue so it feels more intimate- but we will stick with the PG. Certainly wouldn't pay $100 per day to get MDR food that is free in MDR  Everything I have seen and heard so far is far from "fine dining".

 

 

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UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

I am sailing on the K later this month and had no info from HAL about this. I haven't been on CC much, so I just stumbled on this thread today.

 

I'm in a NS and my boarding pass says I have my early fixed large table, as requested. I have always preferred the fixed dining in order to have the same waiters each night, and to get to know table companions. I'm sailing as a single for the first time on HAL, and I am NOT happy about this. CO is looks like it is set up for couples with lots of 2-tops and 4-tops (yes, I know, it's a Noah's Ark world, set up for people to go through life two-by-two). I do not want to eat my dinner alone, or be a third person sat with a couple who want to be alone, or sit at that long dormitory table I saw in one of the photos. So HAL will assign me to this room that looks like a cafeteria with tablecloths even though I don't want it? And then I'm going to have the hassle of trying to get the dining arrangements I DO want. So I'm being given a perk that I will not be comfortable using. 

 

I kept the booking my husband and I had made last winter, even though the Neptune suite as a solo is obscenely expensive. I have always loved the peace and quiet of breakfast in the Pinnacle. I like a quiet start to my morning, and I doubt CO can have that ambiance. (I'm social at dinner, but less so at breakfast.) I'll give it a try at breakfast, but they better be quick with the mimosas!

 

I rarely saw anyone in ATK when I was on the K last winter. HAL was stuck with an underused space, and they found a way to improve its revenue. OK, fine, put the CO people in that space, but don't mess with my Pinnacle breakfast!

 

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15 minutes ago, OVgirl said:

I think you will still keep your diningroom assignment. Looks like this CO is just another option if you want to use it when you are in a NS.

 

I hope so. The area just doesn't look appealing to me. And I am very disappointed that Neptune breakfast won't be in the PG. That was my favorite NS perk. On the plus side, this may make my future downgrading from NS to something less expensive a bit easier to take.

 

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4 hours ago, frankc98376 said:

Possibly they aren't sure how long it will last.  

 

Most of HAL's competition (outside of the Carnival group) now offers special dining for suite guests- most are very nice.  Seemed like HAL decided they needed something to keep up. So they took a venue that was probably not generating enough revenue- changed the name and said "Look what we did".  Then someone said "Let's offer it to all for a fee to make some money on it".  Yes it is a small venue so it feels more intimate- but we will stick with the PG. Certainly wouldn't pay $100 per day to get MDR food that is free in MDR  Everything I have seen and heard so far is far from "fine dining".

 

 

I guess that is possible!  I don't know why they would launch a program and then now allow you to actually book it.  All of their marketing material says to call and book before your cruise.  Something seems odd.  The only other possibility is that I got stuck with someone who doesn't know what they are talking about. 

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Sorry for the double reply to my own post, but I just called and spoke with another rep who sounded quite knowledgeable.  She informed me that the test period for Club Orange is now over and they aren't sure if they will continue with the program.  She said they are getting feedback from guests on board and may be making adjustments.  I am a bit upset because everything I have read about Club Orange so far has not indicated that this is just a trial.  The marketing materials make it pretty clear about what it is.  It isn't the end of the world (I will just dine in the specialty restaurants every night and probably save money!) but I am not very happy with how HAL is handling this.  Why roll out a program and then take it away?? 

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Make Club-Orange a Regionally Inspired Tapas bar with a-la-carte pricing in the evening, and  a simple complimentary menu for lunch to aleviate crowding in the Lido. 

 

This whole class-system is simply ridiculous. Why HAL needs to mimmick their competitors is beyond me. What they should do in my opinion: 

*Focus on providing a great price-quality product with some premium touches for ALL guests. The suite surcharge is for the added cabin footage, no more no less. ( ok, PG breakfast and Neptune Lounge are little sweets as extra benefit that do not create a seperated Class- environment like on X)

* Increase the Mariner benefits. Free Internet, free daily cocktail hour, free club Orange Tapas voucher, priority boarding/tendering . What is offered now is not keeping guests loyal to the brand. Only from 200 nights ( 4 stars) do you get any benefit of significance.

 

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1 hour ago, Despegue said:

Make Club-Orange a Regionally Inspired Tapas bar with a-la-carte pricing in the evening, and  a simple complimentary menu for lunch to aleviate crowding in the Lido. 

 

This whole class-system is simply ridiculous. Why HAL needs to mimmick their competitors is beyond me. What they should do in my opinion: 

*Focus on providing a great price-quality product with some premium touches for ALL guests. The suite surcharge is for the added cabin footage, no more no less. ( ok, PG breakfast and Neptune Lounge are little sweets as extra benefit that do not create a seperated Class- environment like on X)

* Increase the Mariner benefits. Free Internet, free daily cocktail hour, free club Orange Tapas voucher, priority boarding/tendering . What is offered now is not keeping guests loyal to the brand. Only from 200 nights ( 4 stars) do you get any benefit of significance.

 

 

On the K, ATK was a venue for drinks and dinner, similar to your suggestion. I don't remember the details, like if there was a charge to eat there, although it probably was ala carte. I vaguely remember checking the menu and thought it might be nice to try but didn't get around to it. Does anyone remember?

 

Some free internet time or a discount on the internet packages would be nice. Cunard gives an increasing amount of time as you go up the World Club levels. I think it starts at 120 minutes, then 240, then 360, and Diamonds get 480 minutes. Unless you need to be connected all the time, the Platinum 360 and Diamond 480 minutes are plenty. 

 

As others have said, adding to the number of people who get priority tendering just makes the perk pointless. And you have to give suite passengers more than just real estate because other lines do, and people who book higher-level suites expect something. Without some kind of perks, suites aren't worth the cost.

 

Another problem with CO is that it fragments the fleet in yet another way. HAL's ships all have different amenities. Offhand, can anyone reel off which ships have Tamarind and which don't, which have a hydro pool and which don't, which have Lincoln Center and which don't, which have BBKing and which don't? If you don't know all of this, you can spend a lot of time on HAL's website sorting out which amenities are on which ship.

 

Edited by 3rdGenCunarder
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 Does HAL ever do focus groups with well-traveled, higher star mariner guests, to find out what we really want, before coming out with disasters like Orange Club? They should be able to get it right without insulting half of their loyal customers! 

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I have a hard time buying that Club Orange has been eliminated already.  I felt like the rep on the phone wanted to say more but she couldn't.  Perhaps the ability to purchase it is going away?  I can see them possibly only allowing suite guests to partake.  But that will be a loss of a revenue opportunity for them and it doesn't seem like overcrowding is really an issue anyway.  I remain baffled.  

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19 minutes ago, twodjs said:

 Does HAL ever do focus groups with well-traveled, higher star mariner guests, to find out what we really want, before coming out with disasters like Orange Club? They should be able to get it right without insulting half of their loyal customers! 

 

One would think that they would but it seems that they are trying to "get rid" of that population with the changes they are making.   They want younger cruisers who will spend more money and not utilize the benefits that we have.   One thing that I'll bet that they are not thinking of is the fact that the Baby Boomers are retiring and there will be quite a number of years where they will have an older population that will want exactly what HAL has been known for offering.  Baby Boomers would be a great asset to them as they will be able to cruise longer than the 7 day cruisers.  There is a market for every type of cruiser among the lines...why try to change to be like everyone else?  They have a good thing going and are messing with it big time, in my NSHO.

 

I do believe that they read CC though.....we have a very strong voice in the industry and what better place to come to see how the changes they are making are being received by that strong voice than here.

 

I spoke with someone at the world cruise desk the other day and I mentioned C.O. and told them that a lot of us don't like the idea.  They told me that it was only on the K'Dam and the N.S'Dam on a trial basis.  My guess is that it might just not be going very well so hopefully they will get rid of it.

 

Linda R.

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The Culinary Arts Center has been through several iterations since the Koningsdam launched. Nothing has seemed to work to HAL's satisfaction yet apparently. I think the main driving force behind Club Orange was trying to use the CAC space effectively. I think they have not succeeded. 

 

At one time this was an a la carte "tapas" type venue with happy hour drink specials. That seemed like an OK idea, but I never got to try that. When I was on the K, it was a surcharge restaurant ($10-15?) that was kind of a "sports gastropub" with small and large plates. I thought it was quite good and unique venue, but our friends did not like it at all. We also had the cellar master's dinner in that space and it worked very nicely. They used the kitchen in the CAC for some, if not all, of the cooking. 

 

The venue itself is quite nice IMHO. The chairs were not uncomfortable, but I do not have any back issues. I hope HAL finally comes up with a long-term good use for this space.

 

Is it a suitable replacement for Pinnacle breakfasts for NS passengers? Probably not. 

 

I personally have no plans on paying extra for Club Orange. We sail on the Nieuw Statendam in  a couple of days and on the Koningsdam at the end of March. If I notice any Club Orange developments, I will report back on CC.

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