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tomjn111

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We are sailing on the Koningsdam in March. We have not been on HAL since the 90's. We sail on Celebrity frequently and always get specialty dining reservations, internet and sometimes upgrade a drink package. On Celebrity what works for us is to upgrade the drink package and get internet before we sail and arrange for specialty dining onboard. Normally we get shore excursions away from the ship and if we use Celebrity excursions we book them on the ship. Also Celebrity will send various email promotions offering discounts for these types of purchases.I was wondering what works best on HAL with regards to the timing of purchases. Also I have not yet received any emails offering discounts on onboard purchases.

Any advice would be appreciated

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I don't think I've ever got an email offering a discount on board, and this weekend will be our 5th HA cruise.

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In 13 cruises, we have never been offered a discount on excursions. Internet can only be bought on board. In the past bonus minutes were added for free if bought on the first day. That doesn't happen any more. Reservations for speciality restaurants can be made prior to boarding, but have never heard of a discount there.

 

If you buy the drink packages in advance, they are 10%+ cheaper.

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Occasionally HAL offers a booking promotion that includes small discounts for SOME excursions.  You generally have to book these well before your sail date.

 

Sometimes people get a coupon book through their TA (I assume) with some discounts, but I have not seen these recently.

 

Otherwise, discounts on HAL are few and far between.

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Our TA sometimes offers the coupon book.  She says that most find it not very useful, but, as she says, it's a very cheap perk for her to give and some people like it.  The best thing we found was the free game of bingo.

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There are dining "packages" available that give a small discount ($5 to $10 pp IIRC) when pre-purchased. I don't have a cruise booked right now and can't give you details.  Go on the HAL site and "purchase indulgences" and look under packages, not under dining.

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Dining packages can be purchased in advance for a discount, but be aware that you cannot select the day or time. They will be assigned by HAL and not available to you until you board. While you could try to change them on board of May be difficult with all of the free E4 dinners.

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I found this blurb, but it is old and may not reflect current prices. On the Koningsdam there are packages that include the Sel de Mer and the Tamarind.

 

Dining Packages

Evenings in the Pinnacle Package — includes two evenings in the Pinnacle Grill. $52.00 per person Booking the package reflects a $6 per person savings. Package is available on every Holland America Line ship. Reservation times confirmed once on board.

Signature Dining Package — includes one evening in the Pinnacle Grill and one in $35.00 per person Canaletto. Booking the package reflects a $4 per person savings. Package is available on every Holland America Line ship. Reservation times confirmed once on board.

Distinctive Dining Package — includes one evening in the the Pinnacle Grill, one in $50.00 per person Canaletto, and one in Tamarind. Booking the package reflects a $9 per person savings. Exclusively on the ms Nieuw Amsterdam and ms Eurodam. Reservation times confirmed once on board. 

Edited by catl331

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We have many, many cruises on HAL and have never gotten any discounts on excursions.  But I do know that once in a great while and only for a very, very few excursions does HAL offer a small discount. 

 

HAL does offer the dine-around package where you get a discount -- depending on the ship it may be 1 dinner in the Pinnacle and 1 dinner in the Canaletto and on certain ships 1 dinner in the Tamarind.  As mentioned, you do not get to select the day and time you want to.  HAL gives out so many free dinner between Explore4 promotions, 5 star Mariners getting 2 free dinners each and Presidents Club members getting several free dinners that it can be difficult to change those assigned dinners. 

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Unless you have a very specific date (celebration etc), I have found it to be unnecessary to pre book speciality restaurants on Koningsdam.  They have plenty of alternative restaurants for the size of the ship.  There is a desk on deck 2, where you can make restaurant bookings. 

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