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New Club Orange

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Okay, so who gets to board first?  PS passengers or Club Orange passengers?  Where do 4 & 5-star mariners fit into this scheme?  I can't see us paying extra for perks that we should receive as 4-5-star/suite passengers.  Very confusing.  This program sounds as if HA (and other cruise lines) have figured out a way to double profits without giving much in return.  Although most of us who've posted seem to be against this idea, some passengers will purchase.

 

What does "limited capacity" mean?  I've heard those words before on the spa passes.  Our last cruise sold so many of these passes that we had trouble using the heated loungers, despite being told the pass was "capacity controlled."  Sometimes there was a line waiting to use the loungers!   

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HAL Marketing Dep’t wizardry operating in strange ways ... we’re also on the Dec 10 Koningsdam sailing & received zippo communication about this new “feature”. Not that I’m interested in this particular “pay to play” program, cost vs. reward is too steep for my current vacation budget, it just irks me that HAL’s distribution of information is inconsistently selective. 

Edited by Dogstar
Typo correction

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Oh, this is such a bad idea!  We've $pent year$ getting to 5 $tar.  On many cruises, there are so many of us that should have priority tendering, that they have to discontinue it for that cruise.  When half the passengers qualify for it, it no longer works.  If these people with this Orange thing get to get off when we can't, man, will we be unhappy! 

 

Regarding the dining perk; this is very similar to what Princess has gone to with their "Club Class" where they rebranded the middle of the ship verandah cabins and of course, charge more. 

 

This is a blatant slap in the face to those of us that have been loyal for years.  But...the almighty dollar always seems to speak a lot louder than loyal passengers...it's a shame....

 

Linda R.

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It would have been interesting if HAL kept this semi secret for a while - occasionally made a buzz about it on here in an anonymous fashion.  Then it would have been the "secret orange club".

 

While I agree its a blatant attempt at more money and seems similar to carnivals program as well as the princess club class mini suites (at least the princess program is automatically included in the top tier minisuites, not an extra charge), i dont think this program will last.  

 

I've always thought that if the cruise lines wanted to thin out the herds a bit at the top star levels as well as keep people coming back, simply make the star level related to someones age, every year the age goes up and you are required to cruise more.  It would also put less people at the top.

 

But this all belies the fact that customer loyalty in the cruise industry is on par to match that of xfinity wherein the new customers are treated better than repeat customers.

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Doesn't sound like some thing we'd be interested in. How will this affect 4* & 5 * mariners? Be interesting to hear from people who do pay for this to hear what they have to say after their cruise.

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11 hours ago, VictOriann said:

Here’s what our PCC just sent:

 

 

11F61048-A9C6-41B3-932B-BB4FBBAD2779.jpeg

 

11 hours ago, Crew News said:

 

Konigsdam will be the first ship to include the Club Orange as it will be in dyrdock the first week of December to receive the upgrade.  Here is more of the offer from HAL that I did not think to post here on CC:

 

"TO PURCHASE CLUB ORANGE FOR US$50 PER PERSON PER DAY, PLEASE CALL US AT 1-888-628-8107 OR 206-626-7381.

 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR ALL UPGRADE OFFERS
Offers are per person, double occupancy, and apply only to 1st and 2nd guests sharing a stateroom. Singles are 200% of double rate. Offers are first come, first served; capacity controlled; and may be modified or withdrawn without prior notice. On all sailings, including Grand Voyages, promotional or stateroom amenities are based on the non-discounted category paid, not the upgraded stateroom category. Preferred Limited Upgrade Special offers do not qualify for the double cruise day credits under the Mariner Society Loyalty Program. By accepting this offer, guests who have purchased Cruise Protection, either Platinum or Standard, are responsible for any increase in cost of the coverage based on the upgrade price."

 

Note the contradicting information above!  In VictOriann's flyer it states that 'Single guests travelling alone in a stateroom will only be charged $50 per day', whereas in Crewnews' post it states 'Singles are 200% of double rate'.   Now to me that is (2 x $50)x200% which is $200 per day!  

Either the copywriters do not understand english or management cannot express its wishes succinclty.  (my money is on the latter!)

 

Just to confuse it further, we are 4 star and were offered priority tendering on K'dam recently.  

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I would not be willing to pay $50 per day x 2.  I am only a 3 star and was considering staying loyal to HAL and working my way to 4/5 star but if this program continues, then there is no incentive for me to do so.

I am going to start taking a much closer look at Celebrity and Princess for my summer Europe trip.

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13 hours ago, VictOriann said:

Here’s what our PCC just sent:

 

 

11F61048-A9C6-41B3-932B-BB4FBBAD2779.jpeg

 

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.

Edited by cbr663

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There used to be some thing where non-suite passengers could book something called a 'suite amenities package' if IIRC.   This looks like something similar.

 

It has to be 'capacity controlled' since it provides breakfast and dinner dining in the old America's Test Kitchen where there is limited seating.  Since full suite passengers also have access, there won't be a lot of seating available for other classes of staterooms. 

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32 minutes ago, 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.

It's going to take the place of the Culinary Arts Center (AKA America's Test Kitchen) just before the entrance to the lower dinning room.  

 

https://www.cruisecritic.com/news/news.cfm?ID=8935

 

As you can see, capacity is limited and since suites also have access there won't be a huge number of additional people having access.

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I think the  point is being missed about Club Orange (couldn't they think of a more sophisticated name?) This has nothing to do with Mariner status. This is a free upgrade for suite passengers. As we will be on the inaugural of the Nieuw Statendam in a Neptune Suite, I called Holland and they said that a Club Orange key card will automatically be in the suite when we arrive. They are taking a page from Celebrity in offering a private lounge (like Michael's Club) and a private restaurant (like Luminae) which are both suite perks. Unlike Celebrity, Holland is offering to let other stateroom categories buy into the suite guest's perks. So your Mariner status is on top of this . Yes, there is some duplication of the perks, but that's true of Celebrity as well.

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29 minutes ago, FlorenceItaly said:

Speaking of Neptune Suites, the perks are LONG overdue(and behind other cruise lines), so this is a start.

I agree with you (though I know many people lament a “class system”). We’ve booked a Neptune on the N.S. in April, and I’ll be interested to see this Club Orange dining room. We book suites on most of our Celebrity cruises, and Luminae & Michael’s Club are strong incentives.

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Crew News, thanks for posting this info. VictOriann, thanks as well - Glad to see something official in writing about this Club Orange from HAL, instead of just the Cruise Critic article.

Edited by Caribbean Chris

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23 hours ago, Crew News said:

 

It appears to me that Club Orange will be implemented during the drydock week just prior to my cruise.  I will do my best to discover all of the details and report back to CC.  As a solo traveler, $100 a day for a better breakfast and dinner menu is not appealing.

 

I will inquire about the tendering but will not see it in action until our last cruise day in HMC.

 

 If it costs a extra  $100 per daqy cit is not worth the upgrade imo .however ,if it is $100 cost for the entire cruise we would buy it :classic_biggrin:

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4 hours ago, cruisepoor said:

They are taking a page from Celebrity in offering a private lounge (like Michael's Club) and a private restaurant (like Luminae) which are both suite perks. 

 

If this thing takes hold, be prepared to see meal quality in the MDR degrade.

 

Celebrity is reputed to have good food, but this may be true (as of at least a year ago) only in Luminae and Aqua.  My experience last year was much poorer food than HAL and a more-crowded MDR due to sectioning off the MDR (and part of the kitchen) for Luminae and Aqua.  All-in-all not a pleasant experience for those not in suites. 

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I am a lowly 3 Star, and I would never pay for what HAL is offering in Club Orange.  I do not care where I eat breakfast.  I love both the dining room and the lido.  I can buy a glass of champagne myself.  Tendering has never, ever been a problem.  I don't care to wear someone else's bathrobe.  I do not see the value in this and will make it to 4 Star/5 Star at my own pace.  No need to hurry things.  I'm on vacation! 

 

Of course, status means something to some people, who will not want to travel without this once they purchase it the first time.  If I have an extra $100 a day to blow on my cruise, I am just going to reserve a better cabin.  :classic_rolleyes:

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I guess that extra $50 a day will enhance the bottom line for HAL :).  As to the 4 and 5 Star Perks we are not really impressed (when compared to what is offered by other cruise lines) but certainly take advantage of the free laundry, wine package discounts (if they still exist), and the free or discounted meals in alternative restaurants.  As to all the priority stuff, we have long felt it is near worthless.  On our longer HAL cruises nearly everyone is 4 or 5 Star Mariners.  When everyone gets priority, nobody really gets priority.  In fact, during embarkation for two of our HAL cruises we have left the priority check-in line to use the regular lines which were actually a lot shorter :).

 

Hank

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4 minutes ago, cruising cockroach said:

 

If this thing takes hold, be prepared to see meal quality in the MDR degrade.

 

 

My fear too as I experienced this on Cunard.  MDR was very poor in comparison to HAL.  

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I received a revised offer from HAL today that appears that HAL is watching CC on this issue.  New offer drops the "double occupancy" so solos might be interested.

 

"Club Orange benefits cost US$50 per person, per day for the entire length of purchased cruise. If there are two occupants in a stateroom, Club Orange benefits must be purchased by both guests. Third and fourth guests sharing the stateroom with guests 1 & 2 are not required to purchase Club Orange and will receive all benefits except sparkling wine and tote bag.  Premium bathrobes are for use during the cruise only and are otherwise available for purchase. Club Orange is capacitycontrolled and available on a first come, first served basis. Benefits may be modified or withdrawn without prior notice. By enrolling in Club Orange, guests who have purchased either Platinum or Standard Cruise Protection are responsible for any increase in cost of the coverage based on the cost of the Club Orange add-on....."

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