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Just turned 4*, generally in NS and still kind of young (ish :) in our early 50's and are very much looking forward to trying CO on our upcoming K cruise. Reserving my opinion until I get to try it myself, and hoping it's still in place. I don't get the already "hate something new" until it's tried first hand? Anyone, please correct me if I'm wrong. Our understanding is the PG breakfast has only been replaced with a different venue @ CO and in ADDITION another venue for suite guests or paying CO members for dinner? Everyone still also have the option of MDR standing reservation. I just don't get the fuss, as we are very much looking forward to an alternative dinner venue other than specialty, Lido, room service or our last choice MDR.    

        

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Crusinsusan2, you need to understand that the "hate it" feeling is not just about the OC restaurant, but about the way Orange Club was created. Perks like priority tenders and priority boarding and other perks reserved for loyalty (unless you are in a Neptune Suite) were goals that Mariners have cruised for many years to achieve. It took us 20 years to reach 4 star status, and HAL thanked us by giving us those perks. Other Mariners may have cruised for thirty years or more before reaching that level. Now HAL turns around and starts giving away those loyalty perks to anyone who joins Orange Club for $50 a day. ANYONE! That is a slap in the face of any loyal Mariner and undermines their loyalty program. Also consider the room service menu that was reserved exclusively for Neptune Suites is now given to Orange Club members. So no longer exclusive. Frustrating 😠 Other cruise lines offer exclusive restaurants to their Suite guests. HAL, in their infinite wisdom, chose not to show Neptune Suite guests any respect, but instead gave an exclusive restaurant to Orange Club members. My gosh, even NCL gives their Suites a restaurant! HAL took away Pinnacle for our exclusive breakfast when we stay in a Neptune Suite, and are now invited to have breakfast in Orange Club. What are we...chopped liver?  Not even close to the very classy feel of Pinnacle. There are so many ways they could enhance the product that they offer to Suite guests and to higher star Mariners to keep their loyal followers. In my opinion, they have failed. That is why I hate Orange Club.

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I don't see this as a "Class system" just as I don;t really care that the first several rows in the plane have bigger seats, free drinks, and dinner. If I don't pay to sit there I don't get the added benefits.  If I don't book a room on the executive or club floor I don't have use of the lounge there.

 

I understand that a NS is more space- pretty much two times the space of a Veranda Stateroom.  If that is the case then charge me two times the fare of a Veranda and I will be happy with more space.  When I pay four times (or more) the price of a Veranda

I expect more than twice the space. Per my signature we already have priority boarding and tendering as four star.

 

I could care less about CO for dinner as we eat exclusively in PG at dinner. Don't like MDR and crowds at Lido. Breakfast however is wonderful in PG.  Quiet setting, sitting at a window watching the sea or the port. I know at one time suite breakfast on the R ships was in the closed portion of the MDR because the PG's don''t have windows on those ships.

 

With CO HAL is copying Princess' Club Class dining for suites in a dedicated section of the MDR with the exception that Princess limits it to suites and select Mini Suites- they aren't selling it to all. The information I saw said that on the rest of HAL's fleet CO would be part of the MDR. Princess also offers Mimosas with suite breakfast (not just with room service). A lot of money was spent on the new ships putting in the show kitchen- one would think that they could come up with a better use.

 

The fact that the new builds have so many fewer NS tells me that HAL is moving more toward Carnival than toward Princess.  NS and K have 10 fewer NS than Amsterdam. My guess is they are trying to grab the Carnival market that has aged out of water slides, drinking contests, and conga lines in the hallways and want a quieter experience but still cheap. Sadly they may find that the people they are trying to grab may find that they prefer Celebrity or NCL.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, frankc98376 said:

 

 NS and K have 10 fewer NS than Amsterdam. 

 

Thanks for your comments.  According to this pdf the difference is only 5 but the pdf hasn't been updated to include the Nieuw Statendam.  Unless you meant the Nieuw Amsterdam and not the Amsterdam, then the difference is 17.  BTW, I had to re read that sentence a few times due to NS meaning two different things. 

 

https://www.hollandamerica.com/content/dam/hal/inventory-assets/ships/pdf-files/FastFacts.pdf

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6 minutes ago, I like vacation said:

 

Thanks for your comments.  According to this pdf the difference is only 5 but the pdf hasn't been updated to include the Nieuw Statendam.  Unless you meant the Nieuw Amsterdam and not the Amsterdam, then the difference is 17.  BTW, I had to re read that sentence a few times due to NS meaning two different things. 

 

https://www.hollandamerica.com/content/dam/hal/inventory-assets/ships/pdf-files/FastFacts.pdf

Yes- was referring to Amsterdam.  Amsterdam is a LOT smaller than Nieuw Statendam or Koningsdam and has more NS

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I poked around HAL's website last night, and I could find no reference to Club Orange except under "news" press releases. Oddly, in the section of the website that describes suites and staterooms, there's no drop-down for the "view more"  for Neptune and Pinnacle Suites, but there is for other cabin grades. So with only the beginning info, that page doesn't make a Neptune or Pinnacle suite look like you get anything special. The description is nearly the same as the description for a Sig suite.

 

If I look at info for Koningsdam neptune and pinnacle suites, I  get more info. But oddly, no mention of breakfast or priority tendering. Just the lounge, concierge, and "an array of complimentary services." And no mention of CO. The website also says that Koningsdam has ATK.

 

So maybe it is a test. If this is going to be a big deal, rolled out through the year, you'd think it would be on the website. 

 

Edited by 3rdGenCunarder
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On 12/17/2018 at 1:49 PM, OlsSalt said:

 

Loyalty program loses money offering Mariner discounts.

Clue Orange generates revenues by selling those same perks. 

 

Think of Club Orange as a way of subsidizing  your continued  Mariner perks.  Thank them.

When people stop bragging about getting Neptune upgrades for next to nothing, then HAL will have stopped degrading the full Neptune experience.  Giving Neptunes away is the real slap in the face to those who paid full price.

 

HAL listened to complaint after complaint about slow service and dressing up for the main dining room. HAL gave you Denny's now with the club Orange option, but with basically the same food. So now the complaint is it is not formal enough?

 

Gheesh, this is almost making me sympathetic towards Seattle management.

 

(Disclosure - we have benefited from those discounted Neptune offers.)

Outstanding post. 

Trend is similar to airline freq flier program degradation. They're no longer awarding miles simply for sitting on the plane, it's how much the passenger paid.

The zillion cruise Platinum passengers on Carnival are all in inexpensive lower deck inside cabins (I am occasionally one of them), not making any money for Carnival but getting perks, which is why Carnival starting selling perks to anyone that was willing to buy into them. Same story. I don't think it's a bad thing or "degrades" the value of a Neptune suite - unless they oversell, which of course would be very tempting for them to do. !! Maximize Revenue !! Minimize resource hogging suites !! 

 

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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

 

The venue looks a little better on Koningsdam.

- The abstract graphic for the windows instead of huge forks and spoons.

- The chairs are a white leather and very comfortable (numerous tables and chairs right outside that corridor)

The thing we couldn't justify was the price. Especially when the beverage package is almost exactly the same price. Pretty clear which gets you a bigger benefit.

I think they could really have something here if they used the open kitchen (Dinner at the CAC did this and it was great) and didn't just echo the MDR food. Tossing in an extra choice or two isn't enough to justify it. However take it the route that Celebrity did with Blu which has a focus on fresher, lighter (not to be confused with diet), less sauce-laden foods... AND having the advantage of cooked to order right there in front of you... THAT could be enough to justify it... or at least get it a lot closer to being justifiable.

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I don't understand why people would pay $700 on a seven night cruise just to eat the the same menu served in the MDR for free. They could have booked specialty restaurants every night for a lot less. I agree that the CO space could be much better utilized - In the very beginning, Kdam created a venue that was just not middle-of-the-road enough for most guests. The herbs and garnishes were all grown on board (you could see the plants being grown and harvested!) We loved the concept and the dinners they created, but it was too "out there" for most guests. They have tried a couple of variations since - just never getting it right. A Blu-type concept (Celebrity) might be great. But, it needs to be so good that people WANT to book it as a specialty restaurant, not force them to book seven nights in advance, like they do now with CO. 

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21 hours ago, twodjs said:

Crusinsusan2, you need to understand that the "hate it" feeling is not just about the OC restaurant, but about the way Orange Club was created. Perks like priority tenders and priority boarding and other perks reserved for loyalty (unless you are in a Neptune Suite) were goals that Mariners have cruised for many years to achieve. It took us 20 years to reach 4 star status, and HAL thanked us by giving us those perks

Although I appreciate your thoughts on this you also need to understand that we too have earned our 4* that took us many cruises to achieve as well. At the same time I do not begrudge anyone that has enough money to pay for the perks we have earned regardless of cabin category or mariner status. (Perfectly stated in post #353 referencing airline class seats) or the "Suite Indulgence Package", or a Lobster surcharge that are all still available if budget allows. I do feel bad for the few folks that are very upset about suite breakfast being offered in different venue because it was familiar but also super excited for an alternate dinner place other than specialty particularly on longer sailings.       

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23 minutes ago, frankc98376 said:

To me the room looks like it would be a great gastropub. Craft beers, sandwiches  burgers, Poutine, etc. Lots of TV's for events.

 

 

Yes, it worked nicely in that format. It could have been like the Gallery Bar with real food not just snacks.

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1 hour ago, frankc98376 said:

To me the room looks like it would be a great gastropub. Craft beers, sandwiches  burgers, Poutine, etc. Lots of TV's for events.

 

 

 

They were using it that way, with craft beers when I was on K, and that fit with the casual decor of the space. But IIRC, on our cruise it wasn't open for lunch, and that's when we would have been interested. Someone mentioned Sel de Mer being done there. HAL could have taken that once-per-cruise approach and added a chef's demonstration meal. The chef cooks and talks about the ingredients and techniques, and then you get to eat the meal. Not the meticulous step-by-step of a cooking class, but a sort of "foodie" talk. Obvioiusly, it would be an upcharge, but it would be something different from other dining options. 

 

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2 hours ago, frankc98376 said:

To me the room looks like it would be a great gastropub. Craft beers, sandwiches  burgers, Poutine, etc. Lots of TV's for events.

 

 

Hoping our April cruise our breakfast will still be at the Pinnacle.  Any idea?  I haven’t phoned to ask.  

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2 hours ago, frankc98376 said:

To me the room looks like it would be a great gastropub. Craft beers, sandwiches  burgers, Poutine, etc. Lots of TV's for events.

 

 

We really liked it as a tapas bar.  A la carte, but very interesting bits and pieces, with a glass of sangria.  They also did all the sports shows there, and still had it as the cooking demonstration place in the mornings.  A good variety of uses.

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5 minutes ago, canadianbear said:

Hoping our April cruise our breakfast will still be at the Pinnacle.  Any idea?  I haven’t phoned to ask.  

Sounds like will be some time before it comes to the rest of the fleet (if it does).

 

We will hopefully see you in the PG at breakfast!  

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14 minutes ago, frankc98376 said:

Sounds like will be some time before it comes to the rest of the fleet (if it does).

 

We will hopefully see you in the PG at breakfast!  

Well that makes me happy!!  I’m on the Koningsdam next week so will look at the Club Orange venue (with a friend & not in Neptune so won’t be trying it though).  

 

Yes see you at the PG at breakfast.  

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On 1/3/2019 at 9:43 PM, Overhead Fred said:

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.

Look forward to hearing if they will continue with Club Orange on NS in the future.

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On 1/5/2019 at 9:41 AM, frankc98376 said:

To me the room looks like it would be a great gastropub. Craft beers, sandwiches  burgers, Poutine, etc. Lots of TV's for events.

 

 

 Poking around HAL's website produced this. It's exactly what you're describing. Too bad it's gone. Meanwhile, deck plans for the K do show "Club Orange." 

 

https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/dining/dinner-at-the-culinary-arts-center.html

 

Dinner At The Culinary Arts Center

Additional cost
ADDITIONAL COST
Category
DINING

Here in this casual setting, relax with a glass of wine, craft beer or refreshing cocktail, and enjoy a wide range of tasty American favorites with a twist—from classic pub fare such as harissa Parmesan fries and glazed chicken wings to hearty entrées like seafood paella and our daily steak special. Catch up on the day’s highlights or watch sports on one of two screens. It’s all about unwinding with great friends, great food and great drinks.

 

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4 minutes ago, Fredrik said:

I can't find any menus for Club orange. Anyone been onboard and snapped a photo of any menus?

 

I believe it is the same as the MDR menu, with the addition of a couple of specialties.  I don't think anyone has posted menus yet.

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2 minutes ago, Vict0riann said:

 

I believe it is the same as the MDR menu, with the addition of a couple of specialties.  I don't think anyone has posted menus yet.

According to friends that were on KDAM that is correct- MDR menu with two daily special items.  Breakfast is MDR menu. Food comes from MDR Galley

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47 minutes ago, Fredrik said:

It would be nice to know what those two are 😉 Same same as the rest of the menu, or some special direction food wise...

 

 

I think someone said that the specials are different each night. I did see one menu posted, but it was hard to read. I noticed lobster and something else were on the menu as extra-cost items. Like paying $50 per day isn't expensive enough to eat MDR food in a small glass box...

 

When I looked at the K'dam deck plans, I realized that MDR, Pinnacle, and Club Orange all back onto the same blank space, which is obviously the kitchen. Kitchen space is finite, so they probably don't have room to cook a completely different menu just for CO. 

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We just got off the Koningsdam...my sister in law was EXTEMELY disappointed, as she was really looking forward to America's Test Kitchen, which is where the Club Orange is now. They did ATK in the World Stage, but the setup was bad, and no participation by audience members. She said the new ATK made it hard to see the kitchen set up. Sad that it's been turned into one more "pay to play" venue.

 

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