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22 minutes ago, AncientWanderer said:

 

Not sure I'd characterize it as a dungeon, either, but on the other hand, the upstairs dining room is often a bit more pleasant than the downstairs where most of the anytime dining is.  Just "loftier."  Which is why I'm really watching closely to see how this CO really pans out.  I'm willing to pay for a more comfortable dining experience, but being swiftly seated at a mediocre table in the anytime dining area is not my idea of "more comfortable."  

 

I really want to give HAL a chance here.  We have had so many wonderful experiences sailing with them, and hope to continue to do so -- recognizing that change is inevitable in life.

I really don't think CO is appealing on the non-Pinnacle ships.  We think it offers some attractive benefits on that class of ships.  We really don't like the noisy and crowded MDR which CO would mitigate on the Pinnacle class ships.  

We intended to try CO in the MDR on NAM but I contracted a respiratory virus about halfway through the cruise.  That kept me out of the MDR.  My son and his wife were pleased with CO.

 

It's possible that HAL might find space for dedicated CO dining on some additional ships like NAM and Eurodam if it proves successful on the Pinnacle's.

Edited by RocketMan275

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37 minutes ago, AncientWanderer said:

the upstairs dining room is often a bit more pleasant than the downstairs 

 

Totally agree.  One of the reasons we do fixed dining so CO would be meaningless to us.  We have no desire to eat in anytime dining are.

We did once when fixed dining was overbooked and while the ship did it well and our stewards were great, there is no question that the upper dining has a nicer ambience IMO.

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11 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

I really don't think CO is appealing on the non-Pinnacle ships.  We think it offers some attractive benefits on that class of ships.  We really don't like the noisy and crowded MDR which CO would mitigate on the Pinnacle class ships.  

We intended to try CO in the MDR on NAM but I contracted a respiratory virus about halfway through the cruise.  That kept me out of the MDR.  My son and his wife were pleased with CO.

 

It's possible that HAL might find space for dedicated CO dining on some additional ships like NAM and Eurodam if it proves successful on the Pinnacle's.

 

I'd love to hear feedback from people who have ordered the "special" menu offerings.  So curious to know what they are cooking up.

 

I have to agree that so far, for the non-Pinnacle ships, there is very little to entice.  We used to really enjoy MDR, but with staff cutbacks, it's just very, very hectic -- the waitstaff are running, running everywhere. And with the new focus on family cruising, there are more lively groups dining.  Our most recent cruise was a "shorty" of a week, so we dined in PG every night except for the two gala nights.  That was wonderful, but the menu would be too repetitive for a long cruise -- and way too much protein.

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9 hours ago, bamelin said:

 

I think the real issue is, the 3 "Premium" lines (Celebrity, HAL and Princess) that catered to upper middle class, they are all downscaling service or charging premiums for things that used to be complimentary -- it's obvious to anyone who has cruised with them over the years.   It's to the point that in order to get the same experience of 10 years ago, you pretty much HAVE to sail with the Premium Plus or Luxury lines.

 

 

Let's be completely honest though. The lines have cut back because they have not increased prices in line with inflation/cost of living. They CANNOT offer the same experience in 2019 (in terms of quality of food, quality of service, quality of entertainment) for the same price as 1999. Cutbacks are unavoidable if they want to pursue this business model of low initial fares (and be profitable).

 

I have zero desire to be part of the "ship within a ship" thing. Smaller ships that prize quality of food and service and have good itineraries are perfectly okay with me. Modest entertainment offerings are valued but I don't need a dozen venues or shows or activities at any given time. Enrichment, though, is my big differentiator.

 

 

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11 hours ago, AncientWanderer said:

 I'm willing to pay for a more comfortable dining experience,

If I wanted a more comfortable dining experience, for what CO costs per day I could eat in the PG or any other Specialty Restaurant and have a very much more comfortable dinner.

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2 hours ago, terrydtx said:

If I wanted a more comfortable dining experience, for what CO costs per day I could eat in the PG or any other Specialty Restaurant and have a very much more comfortable dinner.

 

That's a great solution for a shorter cruise.  On a long cruise, the PG menu gets to be a bit too heavy.

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We dined in the main restaurant last night and requested the special orange menu. 
It was EXACTLY the same menu (we had both at the table) with the exception of one additional entree. 
Nothing to brag home about. 


I want to say something positive so I will compliment Tamarind. 
Dined there two nights.
Service and food excellent!

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10 minutes ago, Sto1967 said:

We dined in the main restaurant last night and requested the special orange menu. 
It was EXACTLY the same menu (we had both at the table) with the exception of one additional entree. 
Nothing to brag home about. 


I want to say something positive so I will compliment Tamarind. 
Dined there two nights.
Service and food excellent!

 

Yup, one extra entree choice. It does say that on the website, but somehow it sounds like more than it is. 

 

What was the extra entree?

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3 hours ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

Oooh, I like that. Not sure it's worth the upsell, though.

I'm not a fan of duck so it wouldn't be worth an upsell.  

Perhaps I could get extra cherries without the duck???

Edited by RocketMan275

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Here are some answers regarding CO that we just received from our HAL PCC of many years. It answered a lot of questions we had regarding the booking of CO. 

1. Does the free stateroom upgrade from the cheapest cabin in the meta category apply to vista suites and/or signature suites, depending on the ship?


A: It applies to both Vista and Signature. How high of a category you can upgrade to is subject to availability. 

2. If you upgrade an existing booking to CO, do you have to pay the complete charge for CO at the time you sign up for it?


A: It depends on when CO is added and what type of promotion you're booked with. If it's a non-refundable deposit promo, CO is due at the time of adding it and the upgrade cost is non-refundable. Adding CO any time after final payment obviously requires payment at the time. 

3. Is the CO fee nonrefundable, if we decide later on to cancel the entire booking prior to the final payment due date, or is it also refundable?


A: It depends on whether or not the promotion you're booked with is a restricted fare with a non-refundable deposit. I think maybe the best general rule, is to add CO after the final payment date/cancel fee date, if at all. 

4. If the overall price of the cabin subsequently goes down or new promotions become available which makes economical sense to refare the booking to take advantage of those changes, can we refare the now CO booking or does the entire booking become nonrefundable at that time of the CO purchase?


A: You can only refare prior to when cancel fees begin. Cancel fees begin immediately, whenever a booking is made with a restricted fare/non-refundable deposit promo. So again, depends on the type of promotion you're booked with and also when you try to make this change. 

5: If the upgrade perk applies to a vista suite, do we get to pick the cabin we’re being upgraded to or will it be a guarantee cabin determined just prior to departure? For example, let’s say we would like to upgrade our CO cabin to an aft-facing VB cabin with a large balcony rather than a VA, can we do that or does it have to be a VA cabin, no exceptions?


A: If room(s) are available to select in the category you're upgrading to, you can choose. If not, you will be booked as a guarantee. You do not have to upgrade to the highest category in the meta, so if VA is the highest, but you wish to be in a VB location, you can do that too. 

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Not sure why you directed your response to me.

i have no questions regarding club orange.

i stated  my opinion.

i only take a Neptune Suite, I always book a “family” cabana ( for two people), we dine at Pinnacle twice and Tamarind twice per cruise.

CO is a rip off for those willing to pay for the best. 

As I have stated earlier, HAL is moving towards Royal Carib and others. 

They will go there without me.

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49 minutes ago, Sto1967 said:

Not sure why you directed your response to me.

i have no questions regarding club orange.

i stated  my opinion.

i only take a Neptune Suite, I always book a “family” cabana ( for two people), we dine at Pinnacle twice and Tamarind twice per cruise.

CO is a rip off for those willing to pay for the best. 

As I have stated earlier, HAL is moving towards Royal Carib and others. 

They will go there without me.

I’m assuming you’re talking about my post with answers from my PCC that simply followed your post. Personally, I think CO is a nonstarter for us too, as we are 4 stars, unless we can get an aft-facing cabin with CO thrown in for free if the VS meta category price variance is big enough between VB and the cheapest VS category on a cruise we want to sale. 

Edited by Ken the cruiser

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