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7 minutes ago, sail7seas said:

I had lovely   amenities when I was in Penthouse Suite on NCL, Dawn  .  It was a big   cabin and seeing I sailed solo with friends in their nearby suite). I had a ton of room.  I had  concierge,  inc luded full  free beverages. shipboard credit and butler (who, unlike on "X" was actually goo d  and   helpful.  I paid the "X" butler  to go  away and not bother us  unless we called him.  He was useless and  annoying.  I also had 'included automatic gratuities  onNCL  Dawn  in their Penthouse..

 

 

Jacqui,  Sorry if I am mistaken  but I seem  to recall you were disappointed by "O" and were underwhelmed by their product?

 

Sorry if  I have 'misremembered'.

 

 

I have the same memory Ruth C said similar.

 

 

 

 

Quote

 

 

 

 

Edited by sail7seas

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49 minutes ago, royal65 said:

We’re in a NS suite on Zaandam for 1/8/19 sailing. Will there be breakfast in PG or will they move us elsewhere. The more sedate breakfast venue is one of the main reasons we book Neptune’s. I’ve been getting disappointed with HAL recently and this will likely push us away.

SO far it is only koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam.  They mentioned at one point adding it to Vista and Signature by carving out a piece of the MDR.

 

Likely safe on Zaandam or any of the R ships.  I do know that previously the breakfast on the R ships was in the closed area of the MDR because the PG on the R ships has no windows. On Amsterdam last year our breakfast was in PG

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All of this talk is making me so happy our next big cruise will be on the old-fashion, traditional Maasdam.  Not enough room to muck her up. Good things still come in small packages. 

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5 hours ago, OlsSalt said:

All of this talk is making me so happy our next big cruise will be on the old-fashion, traditional Maasdam.  Not enough room to muck her up. Good things still come in small packages. 

Absolutely agree with you. Can’t wait for next March!

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7 hours ago, sail7seas said:

 

Jacqui,  Sorry if I am mistaken  but I seem  to recall you were disappointed by "O" and were underwhelmed by their product?

 

Sorry if  I have 'misremembered'.

 

 

I have the same memory Ruth C said similar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You remembered correctly, Sail.

 

O does have fans, though 😉  I hope Denise's experience is different than ours and she has a great O cruise.

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2 hours ago, kazu said:

 

You remembered correctly, Sail.

 

O does have fans, though 😉  I hope Denise's experience is different than ours and she has a great O cruise.

Good morning Jacqui!

I hope so too!,

The only reason we are doing O for our TA is they were the only ones going on a TA a couple days after our cruise ended. No HAL ships at that time, and we wanted to continue on. Loved your blog you did ! That was also a reason to do it! 

I hope with HAL they leave the smaller ships alone, to me doing a CO on the Maasdam 

in the MDR area would cut out a lot of space. I really enjoyed her on our SA Cruise.

Take care

Denise😊

 

 

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Years ago we looked at what appeared to be very good Oceania pricing for a transatlantic, we quickly ran into two deal breakers - no covered lido area for those long TA at-sea days, and no cabins whatsoever available at their offered entry prices.

 

We continue to get at least weekly glossy brochures from Oceania - not sure why they continue such an expensive and unproductive marketing campaign since we never looked at them again.

 

Instead we looked at HAL for a TA and found a fabulous one on the Maasdam at least twice as long, far more interesting ports, covered Lido and easily half the price. At that point, we never looked back and just stuck with HAL whenever we wanted to go anywhere.

Edited by OlsSalt

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Finally got internet access!  We are currently on the Koningsdam in a Neptune Suite and the Pinnacle Grill breakfast is gone.  We must now use Club Orange for breakfast.

 

At first we really disliked the Club Orange venue because it felt as if we were in a fish bowl due to the glass wall and the people passing by.  One evening the Club Orange Manager pointed out that if they enclosed it we would not have a view to the outside windows.  He made a very good point and we “get it” now.  That’s not to say we like it any better; we just understand where they were coming from when they designed it.

 

Edited by *Miss G*

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It still feels like the Culinary Arts Centre and the staff is working hard to make it nice for everyone.  You do get a mimosa or three if you want it.  Breakfast is the same menu.  Supper has the same menu as the main dining room but there is always a daily special.  You have a choice of high-top or regular tables.  You don’t have to make a reservation and we have never had to wait for a table if we just arrive at the door.  It seems to be busiest between 6:30 and 7:30 pm so best to arrive before or after those times.

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24 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

Finally got internet access!  We are currently on the Koningsdam in a Neptune Suite and the Pinnacle Grill breakfast is gone.  We must now use Club Orange for breakfast.

 

At first we really disliked the Club Orange venue because it felt as if we were in a fish bowl due to the glass wall and the people passing by.  One evening the Club Orange Manager pointed out that if they enclosed it we would not have a view to the outside windows.  He made a very good point and we “get it” now.  That’s not to say we like it any better; we just understand where they were coming from when they designed it.

 

The PG's on the R ships have no outside view and I have enjoyed them. Yes the windows look out to a walkway but it never seemed busy. Bright lights and faux wood floors never felt like fine dining to me.  If I wanted to watch the kitchen I would eat in the Lido.

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Most new restaurants in Calif are "open kitchen" casual - at the highest price points. HAL seeking out younger demographics must have noted this trend. Industrial chic is the term. Sloppy dress required. Minimal to insulting service comes with the package - edgy attitude intended to disempower the customer. Diners are terrified of their food, and now the sneering, disdainful  service ambiance as well. Just reporting what I have been seeing out West for a number of years. 

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25 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

 Breakfast is the same menu.  Supper has the same menu as the main dining room but there is always a daily special.  You have a choice of high-top or regular tables.  You don’t have to make a reservation and we have never had to wait for a table if we just arrive at the door.  It seems to be busiest between 6:30 and 7:30 pm so best to arrive before or after those times.

 

Curious as to whether you prefer eating there or the main dining room? 

 

My husband and I will be on the Nieuw Statendum soon and this will be our first cruise so we are looking for advice from someone who has actually eaten there. 

 

My husband got the Club Orange promotion via email and got it for us - we are just in a Vista suite, thinking it would be nice. Plus we have a tight flight connection on the day we disembark so early departure will help.

 

I don't think that we had considered whether the dining was maybe worse or whether other guests would be super angry at having to hang out with newbie, no status, lesser suite dwellers 😉

 

 

 

 

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I enjoy open-kitchen casual... when I am looking for it.  The ambiance lends itself well to under-dressing because that’s the air it promotes.  It certainly doesn’t feel special.  But what I do like is that it’s a small venue and that’s where it shines for me.  The staff are awesome.

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10 minutes ago, frankc98376 said:

The PG's on the R ships have no outside view and I have enjoyed them. Yes the windows look out to a walkway but it never seemed busy. Bright lights and faux wood floors never felt like fine dining to me.  If I wanted to watch the kitchen I would eat in the Lido.

 

I agree Frank.  This last year we’ve been turned off Neptune suites and trying other cabins and will try Celebrity suite life in a couple of months.  This Club Orange thing and no breakfast in Pinnacle is pretty much the straw that broke the camels back for us.  We will probably keep our Neptune reservation in April but that might be it.  I think HAL has really annoyed a lot of people that used to always book Neptune suites.

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3 minutes ago, BeccaLT said:

 

Curious as to whether you prefer eating there or the main dining room? 

 

My husband and I will be on the Nieuw Statendum soon and this will be our first cruise so we are looking for advice from someone who has actually eaten there. 

 

My husband got the Club Orange promotion via email and got it for us - we are just in a Vista suite, thinking it would be nice. Plus we have a tight flight connection on the day we disembark so early departure will help.

 

I don't think that we had considered whether the dining was maybe worse or whether other guests would be super angry at having to hang out with newbie, no status, lesser suite dwellers 😉

 

 

 

 

 

I do prefer Club Orange to the main dining room.  It is a more intimate atmosphere so the staff gets to know you and your preferences very quickly, but that is also true if you have fixed seating in Main.  I think you will enjoy it because you don’t have a previous frame of reference, so that works in your favor.  Enjoy your cruise!

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3 minutes ago, BeccaLT said:

 

Curious as to whether you prefer eating there or the main dining room? 

 

My husband and I will be on the Nieuw Statendum soon and this will be our first cruise so we are looking for advice from someone who has actually eaten there. 

 

My husband got the Club Orange promotion via email and got it for us - we are just in a Vista suite, thinking it would be nice. Plus we have a tight flight connection on the day we disembark so early departure will help.

 

I don't think that we had considered whether the dining was maybe worse or whether other guests would be super angry at having to hang out with newbie, no status, lesser suite dwellers 😉

 

Dinner for us is in PG every night as we don't like the noise and commotion in the MDR.  WE are always NS and really enjoy our quiet leisurely breakfasts in the PG.  If Club Orange is carried onto the other ships they have said that it will be in part of the MDR.   Again, we don't like the MDR.

 

 

 

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Ah, just what I predicted a few weeks ago, when I saw Orange was getting the same breakfast menu as Pinnacle - no more breakfast in Pinnacle for suites. I find it offensive that HAL shows so little respect for their top paying guests, that they have chosen NOT to offer them an exclusive restaurant, but rather to invite Suite guests to join Orange guests in THEIR exclusive venue. Great for Orange guests...but it sucks big time for Suites. As for the design of what should have been the exclusive Suites venue...simple enclose the space and put super high def. led screens behind virtual windows to the outside. Problem completely solved and the ambience can be anything you want inside the space with no more fish bowl problem.

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6 minutes ago, BeccaLT said:

 

Curious as to whether you prefer eating there or the main dining room? 

 

My husband and I will be on the Nieuw Statendum soon and this will be our first cruise so we are looking for advice from someone who has actually eaten there. 

 

My husband got the Club Orange promotion via email and got it for us - we are just in a Vista suite, thinking it would be nice. Plus we have a tight flight connection on the day we disembark so early departure will help.

 

I don't think that we had considered whether the dining was maybe worse or whether other guests would be super angry at having to hang out with newbie, no status, lesser suite dwellers 😉

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, sorry, I forgot to address the last part of your comment!  There is no way to tell who has status and who does not.  And, to be honest, no one seems to care.  Apparently only the people who purchased the promo get the orange tote bag so if you carry that around I guess people will know.  lol. So far I haven’t seen anyone with an orange bag.  We were told Neptune Suite guests do not get them, despite the fact that we eat in Club Orange.  Kind of confusing really.

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According to the Club Orange emails that were posted those who purchase the CO upgrade get orange key cards.  I am guessing the suites are still gold

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2 minutes ago, frankc98376 said:

According to the Club Orange emails that were posted those who purchase the CO upgrade get orange key cards.  I am guessing the suites are still gold

 

Yes, they are still gold, Frank.

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The problem with comparing HAL suite experience with Celebrity suite experience is that the prices are almost always much higher on Celebrity to cover all of their extras.  I, personally, don't want HAL to go that route, but, if there's money to made with it, I'm sure it's just a matter of time.  I switched from a Celebrity cruise in February to HAL precisely because I could save a few thousand dollars, and, for that differential, it's easy to justify eating in the specialty restaurants versus having a dedicated suite restaurant.  

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Hate Orange Club!!! I find the entire program a complete insult to 4 star Mariners and Suite guests. HAL should be showing the most loyal and highest paying guests the respect they deserve. This program does the exact opposite! 

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47 minutes ago, canadianbear said:

 

I agree Frank.  This last year we’ve been turned off Neptune suites and trying other cabins and will try Celebrity suite life in a couple of months.  This Club Orange thing and no breakfast in Pinnacle is pretty much the straw that broke the camels back for us.  We will probably keep our Neptune reservation in April but that might be it.  I think HAL has really annoyed a lot of people that used to always book Neptune suites.

Hopefully we will see you in April!  Ports are great and the price couldn't be beat 😉

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17 minutes ago, twodjs said:

Hate Orange Club!!! I find the entire program a complete insult to 4 star Mariners and Suite guests. HAL should be showing the most loyal and highest paying guests the respect they deserve. This program does the exact opposite! 

 

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.)

Edited by OlsSalt

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37 minutes ago, bEwAbG said:

The problem with comparing HAL suite experience with Celebrity suite experience is that the prices are almost always much higher on Celebrity to cover all of their extras.  I, personally, don't want HAL to go that route, but, if there's money to made with it, I'm sure it's just a matter of time.  I switched from a Celebrity cruise in February to HAL precisely because I could save a few thousand dollars, and, for that differential, it's easy to justify eating in the specialty restaurants versus having a dedicated suite restaurant.  

I guess we will find out in March.  Personally I think our suite price for Celebrity is very reasonable with all the perks we get compared to any Neptune suite we’ve had.  It certainly wasn’t a few thousand more than a HAL Neptune.

 

Our very first cruise we booked a Neptune and always booked them until recently.  Now we are more willing to try other cruise lines  and other cabins.  Everyone has their budget, their favourite cabin or their favourite cruise line and we are into exploring more options now.  

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