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2 hours ago, Walfam said:

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

 

 

 

 

Heh, heh. ...They naturally have to go to the back of the line, since they are going to have such a wonderful time for the entire rest of the cruise.  .........:classic_dry:

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9 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

The "general cruise line experience" deteriorates because the cruise lines are trying to provide what many of their clienteles desires, a cruise at the lowest possible cost.  Suites Only exclusive areas allow the cruise lines to provide an upscale experience to those who are willing to pay for it while also providing the lowest possible experience for those who prefer that experience.

 

My feeling is that the cruise line is more interested in catering to the clientele that will pay for anything, at whatever cost. I don't think that the pax that just wants to cruise is even a blip on their radar anymore.

 

Suites Only exclusive areas also cause the cruiseline to shift their funds and priorities from the lowest possible experience, as you put it, further eroding the experience for the general passenger. I don't know anyone whose preference is for mediocre food, limited public space and interminible waits to disembark, at any cost.

 

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All cruise lines are struggling with this. The majors are all trying to differentiate the cruise experience by class. This is new. Star - RCI; Spa - NCL; Celebrity's whatever, etc. On Royal (which my inlaws insist upon) they have so many Diamond, D+, and Pinnacle that you cant wedge yourself into the "exclusive" lounges and events with a shoehorn. The problem is, a lot of the D+ and Pinnacle status was earned on cheapy 4 nighters and cut rate cruises out of Florida during the financial crisis. RCI wants new pax to pay for an upgraded experience in their special Suite Class on their new billion dollar ships. You can't get that if your cruise is stuffed with D+ in the inside cabins all swilling their free drinks and insisting on special treatment.

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I book an Ocean-View Cabin because that's what I like. I don't like to lounge in deck chairs; I find them uncomfortable. I don't want a private balcony that gives me a limited view of the ocean when I can be out on the fantail or wrap-around deck and have aa 360-degree view. I don't need the extra space for the extra price of a suite. I only go to the upcharge restaurants when I get them free, either as a perk or as a travel agent gift. I actually like having dinner in the Main Dining Room at the same table with the same tablemates and waitstaff each night. The never-changing menus in the upcharge restaurants bore me, and frankly, aren't worth the cost in my opinion.

 

I'm not a picky cruise passenger, but I do object to the space that was once available to all being portioned and cordoned off for only those who pay for access. And those who pay for the access think they are better than the ones who do not, and act like it -- even in places where their exclusive access is meaningless. I have actually had 5* Mariners try to cut in front of me in the Lido lines, and argue with other passengers that they have priority in the Dive-In Line and at the Front Desk. A little bit of exclusive access can go to too many passengers' heads and change the way they act. I don't like it. The world is already rude and hostile enough, I don't think we should encourage it by making more of it exclusive.

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Publicly held Cruise lines can’t be profitable on a standard inside or ocean view room fare unless passengers also spend on board for specialty restaurants, alcohol, casino gambling, shopping, art auctions, shore excursions, etc.

 

When a cruiseline has a lot of repeaters spending less and less on such things, it’s a smart move to find ways to entice some of them into regularly spending more to upgrade into a suite stateroom. Celebrity has done that successfully over the past four years with Luminae dining room and Michael’s Club Lounge for all suite passengers. HAL’s suite benefits are very minimal in comparison.

 

Edited by Caribbean Chris

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Wife and I book suites.   We dine in specialty restaurants.   We enjoy dining on our exclusive balcony.  In addition to the auto-gratuities, we tip early, and we tip often.  We avoid the MDR because we think it is loud, crowded, and vastly over-rated.   We wish HAL would offer an exclusive Suites Lounge and Dining Area similar to Celebrities Luminae/Michaels or like RCCI did with the Crown Lounge on Oasis Class ships.  

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9 hours ago, ellieanne said:

I book an Ocean-View Cabin because that's what I like. I don't like to lounge in deck chairs; I find them uncomfortable. I don't want a private balcony that gives me a limited view of the ocean when I can be out on the fantail or wrap-around deck and have aa 360-degree view. I don't need the extra space for the extra price of a suite. I only go to the upcharge restaurants when I get them free, either as a perk or as a travel agent gift. I actually like having dinner in the Main Dining Room at the same table with the same tablemates and waitstaff each night. The never-changing menus in the upcharge restaurants bore me, and frankly, aren't worth the cost in my opinion.

 

I'm not a picky cruise passenger, but I do object to the space that was once available to all being portioned and cordoned off for only those who pay for access. And those who pay for the access think they are better than the ones who do not, and act like it -- even in places where their exclusive access is meaningless. I have actually had 5* Mariners try to cut in front of me in the Lido lines, and argue with other passengers that they have priority in the Dive-In Line and at the Front Desk. A little bit of exclusive access can go to too many passengers' heads and change the way they act. I don't like it. The world is already rude and hostile enough, I don't think we should encourage it by making more of it exclusive.

We have also met our share of "Mariners Club snobs" on our many HAL cruises, but they are the exception rather than the rule.  Most of the fellow HAL cruisers we have met are friendly and unassuming.   Like you, we often just book outside cabins (especially on the R-Class and smaller ships where a balcony is so darn expensive) but have no problem mixing with those in the big suites.  And on longer HAL cruises we have found that a majority of the passengers are 4 or 5* so its just not a big deal.  

 

Even though I do not normally book suites on HAL (we have done it once) it does not annoy me that they get some extra perks and space (i.e. Neptune Lounge).  Why should cruise ships be different from most other travel venues...where those who pay a lot more get more space and perks.  Consider 1st Class on a good International airline or a concierge level suite in a decent hotel (where they usually get a large lounge with some food and drinks).

 

Hank

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16 hours ago, OlsSalt said:

 

Heh, heh. ...They naturally have to go to the back of the line, since they are going to have such a wonderful time for the entire rest of the cruise.  .........:classic_dry:

 

LOL   Hubby and I cannot recall tender privileges via our Neptune Suite "status"(ha!) at Half Moon Cay, both coming and going.   The Nieuw Amsterdam was small enough that nothing really warranted early boarding privileges, in our humble opinion, and we don't care to travel on 4+k pax boats.   Will pay attention on our next cruise.    Or maybe not, because we will forget.   :classic_wink:

Edited by Walfam

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On 10/30/2018 at 6:20 AM, RocketMan275 said:

Wife and I book suites.   We dine in specialty restaurants.   We enjoy dining on our exclusive balcony.  In addition to the auto-gratuities, we tip early, and we tip often.  We avoid the MDR because we think it is loud, crowded, and vastly over-rated.   We wish HAL would offer an exclusive Suites Lounge and Dining Area similar to Celebrities Luminae/Michaels or like RCCI did with the Crown Lounge on Oasis Class ships.  

That is exactly what HAL should be doing with their new program - create a unique restaurant and open-bar space for Suite passengers to compete with other cruise lines. Instead they have created a strange hybrid that takes perks previously reserved for 4 star mariners and removes the previously exclusive breakfast venue and gives it to anyone coughing up $50 a day. This is an insult to both Suite passengers and longtime Mariners!

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How long until they copy so many hotels who impose a "resort fee" of $50 or so per night supposedly to cover use of swimming pool, gym, wifi (wifi free at motel six but not at luxury hotels?).......resort fees grew from a few hotels charging a few dollars to thousands of hotels charging fees that sometimes are more than the room rate (vegas)

 

Fees fees and more fees from banks, airlines, hotels, car rentals etc etc.....gotta keep that stock price up there so the executives can make big bucks from their options.

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On 10/29/2018 at 11:21 PM, ellieanne said:

I book an Ocean-View Cabin because that's what I like. I don't like to lounge in deck chairs; I find them uncomfortable. I don't want a private balcony that gives me a limited view of the ocean when I can be out on the fantail or wrap-around deck and have aa 360-degree view. I don't need the extra space for the extra price of a suite. I only go to the upcharge restaurants when I get them free, either as a perk or as a travel agent gift. I actually like having dinner in the Main Dining Room at the same table with the same tablemates and waitstaff each night. The never-changing menus in the upcharge restaurants bore me, and frankly, aren't worth the cost in my opinion.

 

I'm not a picky cruise passenger, but I do object to the space that was once available to all being portioned and cordoned off for only those who pay for access. And those who pay for the access think they are better than the ones who do not, and act like it -- even in places where their exclusive access is meaningless. I have actually had 5* Mariners try to cut in front of me in the Lido lines, and argue with other passengers that they have priority in the Dive-In Line and at the Front Desk. A little bit of exclusive access can go to too many passengers' heads and change the way they act. I don't like it. The world is already rude and hostile enough, I don't think we should encourage it by making more of it exclusive.

 

I think that HAL should offer one of the perks that MSC does to it Yacht Club members - they get priority on the elevators and basically override all other passengers floors.  That would cause a riot on HAL!

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On ‎10‎/‎25‎/‎2018 at 1:44 PM, Vict0riann said:

Well, I'm not sure if US$1600 for a sixteen day cruise would be a price we would pay!:classic_ohmy:

On some cruises that $1600 could be the difference between a Verandah and Signature Suit cabin, I would rather have the SS as the other perks of CO are not that desirable to me. We prefer SS and I would rather see more free perks for booking them.

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I have been reading a long post from the maiden voyage of the N. Statendam and it looks like very few are using the Club Orange dinning venue. One person said at dinner there was only one couple in the room.

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36 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

I have been reading a long post from the maiden voyage of the N. Statendam and it looks like very few are using the Club Orange dinning venue. One person said at dinner there was only one couple in the room.

 

It's a totally unappealing and uncomfortable looking room IMO.

 

Certainly no motivation to book a Neptune Suite, let alone pay for Club Orange.  JMHO.

 

 

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38 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

I have been reading a long post from the maiden voyage of the N. Statendam and it looks like very few are using the Club Orange dinning venue. One person said at dinner there was only one couple in the room.

 

Yes, noticed the same post.  From photos, the venue is unchanged from the original culinary arts center design (table styles, flooring, open kitchen, etc), with perhaps a white tablecloth added and a different menu. The china looked very nice. But the atmosphere of a suite dining room should at least equal the Pinnacle Grill.

 

By contrast, Celebrity created a lovely, understated atmosphere in their Luminae suite dining rooms with sea views and twinkling ceiling lights (although their new Edge Luminae looks much less attractive IMHO from photos).

 

I wonder if there are plans to create a more gracious atmosphere later for Club Orange. It reminds me of when HAL introduced Canaletto (but as a free dining venue) some years ago the same way - white tablecloths + different menu - with servers whose name badges had fake Italian names like Giuseppe or Mario. But you were still eating in the Lido. 

 

 

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On 10/30/2018 at 6:20 AM, RocketMan275 said:

Wife and I book suites.   We dine in specialty restaurants.   We enjoy dining on our exclusive balcony.  In addition to the auto-gratuities, we tip early, and we tip often.  We avoid the MDR because we think it is loud, crowded, and vastly over-rated.   We wish HAL would offer an exclusive Suites Lounge and Dining Area similar to Celebrities Luminae/Michaels or like RCCI did with the Crown Lounge on Oasis Class ships.  

 

What does HAL offer that keeps you coming back, when you say Celebrity and RCCI offer everything you want? Why even bother with HAL.

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1 hour ago, Caribbean Chris said:

 

Yes, noticed the same post.  From photos, the venue is unchanged from the original culinary arts center design (table styles, flooring, open kitchen, etc), with perhaps a white tablecloth added and a different menu. The china looked very nice. But the atmosphere of a suite dining room should at least equal the Pinnacle Grill.

 

By contrast, Celebrity created a lovely, understated atmosphere in their Luminae suite dining rooms with sea views and twinkling ceiling lights (although their new Edge Luminae looks much less attractive IMHO from photos).

 

I wonder if there are plans to create a more gracious atmosphere later for Club Orange. It reminds me of when HAL introduced Canaletto (but as a free dining venue) some years ago the same way - white tablecloths + different menu - with servers whose name badges had fake Italian names like Giuseppe or Mario. But you were still eating in the Lido. 

 

 

 

I thought passengers today wanted less formality. Yet you say Club Orange should offer a more formal setting.  People want to dress down, way down for dining,  yet demand the dining atmosphere itself be formal? No wonder there is this confusion about what Club Orange is trying to offer.

Edited by OlsSalt

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2 hours ago, terrydtx said:

I have been reading a long post from the maiden voyage of the N. Statendam and it looks like very few are using the Club Orange dinning venue. One person said at dinner there was only one couple in the room.

Just jumping over here from the Nieuw Statendam to mention that the photo I posted on the thread was taken mid-morning, not dinner time.  I will try to check on it at dinner time, may have to be tomorrow.  Sorry about the confusion- we are in a different time zone!

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20 minutes ago, OlsSalt said:

 

I thought passengers today wanted less formality. Yet you say Club Orange should offer a more formal setting.  People want to dress down, way down for dining,  yet demand the dining atmosphere itself be formal? No wonder there is this confusion about what Club Orange is trying to offer.

 

Elegance does not have to be formal and fussy. Passengers have lovely lunches in the Pinnacle Grill (or Celebrity's modern, understated Luminae) that are not formal  or dressy occasions, as well as dinners when they might well enjoy dressing up. The atmosphere in both offers comfortable chairs, well spaced tables, carpeting, windows with sea views, and a decor to match a fine dining experience. 

Edited by Caribbean Chris

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1 hour ago, Caribbean Chris said:

 

Elegance does not have to be formal and fussy. Passengers have lovely lunches in the Pinnacle Grill (or Celebrity's modern, understated Luminae) that are not formal  or dressy occasions, as well as dinners when they might well enjoy dressing up. The atmosphere in both offers comfortable chairs, well spaced tables, carpeting, windows with sea views, and a decor to match a fine dining experience. 

 

Odd disconnect -  Demanding a dress code for the physical setting, but not for the diners.  I'll ponder that one. Meanwhile I shall start a campaign expecting linen napperie, silver utensils and candelabras as well as plush upholstery for the Lido tables.  No more paper cups at the Explorers Cafe either. Dive-In burgers offered on a metal tray and a paper cone of french fries,  hardly the setting one expects in dining ambience today regardless of casual bathing attire permitted. 

Edited by OlsSalt

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On the ship now in a suite. Forget Club Orange! They just changed the name tag. Think Denny's at see What a joke. Jeff

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1 hour ago, Caribbean Chris said:

 

Elegance does not have to be formal and fussy. Passengers have lovely lunches in the Pinnacle Grill (or Celebrity's modern, understated Luminae) that are not formal  or dressy occasions, as well as dinners when they might well enjoy dressing up. The atmosphere in both offers comfortable chairs, well spaced tables, carpeting, windows with sea views, and a decor to match a fine dining experience. 

I totally agree.

 

2 minutes ago, cruisepoor said:

On the ship now in a suite. Forget Club Orange! They just changed the name tag. Think Denny's at see What a joke. Jeff

 

It sure doesn't appeal to me.  Are you still able to go to PG for breakfast (if you are in an NS) or do you have to go to Club Orange.

 

It looks absolutely awful to me.

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1 hour ago, OlsSalt said:

 

 Meanwhile I shall start a campaign expecting linen napperie, silver utensils and candelabras as well as plush upholstery for the Lido tables.

 

We all need a hobby.  Sounds like you have found yours 🙂

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6 minutes ago, VennDiagram said:

 

We all need a hobby.  Sounds like you have found yours 🙂

 

Yes, I shall demand HAL now provide physical ambiance in direct contradiction of passenger's choice of apparel. The more they go low, the more HAL has to go high.

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