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dundeene

Tell me what I don't know about Neptune Suites

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1 hour ago, DaveOKC said:

One tip that USUALLY works (but not on every ship).

 

I do not like the free bottle of sparkling wine that the Captain "gifts" to you in your cabin when you arrive.   I take it to the Neptune Lounge and exchange it for a bottle of house wine.  Sometimes they will offer you something else instead, like sodas or water.

 

We've always exchanged for  sodas with no problem.

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2 hours ago, cruisin'mama said:

Does anyone know how much sodas cost?  I am thinking of getting my son a soda card but didn't know how many drinks that will get him.

 

Sodas are $2.25 but I think there is tax on top of that.  I am not a soda drinker so perhaps someone who is will confirm.

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2 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

 

Sodas are $2.25 but I think there is tax on top of that.  I am not a soda drinker so perhaps someone who is will confirm.

You’re right - there is a 15% tip/surcharge on any drink that has a cost that you order.

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If you buy the fountain soda card online, the cost is $25 and it is worth $50 in soda onboard.

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We’ve been to Glacier Bay 3 times and had different experiences at Margerie Glacier. Twice with Captain Bos (recently retired) he had us nose to 1 o’clock at Margerie for a while, but did several slow spins there. The cruise with Olaf we were parked nose in only, then a turn to port to leave. Essentially those on port saw the channel. 

Edited by TiogaCruiser

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May 11th will be our first time in a Neptune Suite.  I saw the AFT deck / wrap around option when booking on costco.  Went with #7059, close to the elevators and close to the Concierge Lounge.  Got some good info here about changing the sparking wine, finding out about the menu to order room delivery, and getting into America’s Kitchen etc... appreciate the tips above!

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On 3/8/2019 at 5:37 PM, RocketMan275 said:

 

One thing I did not see mentioned yet is the fact that  you get the dinner (MDR) menu in your cabin late morning or around Noon.  It helps with our deciding where to dine that evening and especially helpful when having room service on our balcony (when ordering off the MDR menu). 

 

On ships with the new TV system this is not as big a deal as it also can be found on the TV. 

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On 3/8/2019 at 4:47 PM, *Miss G* said:

 

Sodas are $2.25 but I think there is tax on top of that.  I am not a soda drinker so perhaps someone who is will confirm.

Thank you!  I think he'll be just fine with the soda card......

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This upcoming cruise is the 1st one (out of 7) where it comes with over $500 in Shipboard Credits from Costco.  Sadly it says we don't get them until the end of the 2nd day.  But since the spa has been pre-paid and the excursions have been pre-paid, it's the first time I can use the "card" to just buy beverages and specialty dining w/o blinking an eye.  In fact, not sure how we're going to use up $535. 

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52 minutes ago, cruisin'mama said:

Thank you!  I think he'll be just fine with the soda card......

Just a reminder the soda card is "fountain soda". Technically just the stuff in the guns at the bars etc. When we wanted orange or ginger ale they were difficult.  We found a bartender who would open the cans, pour the soda over ice in a glass, but we were never given a can.

I have heard differing experiences on varying HAL cruises.

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1 hour ago, Cls241 said:

This upcoming cruise is the 1st one (out of 7) where it comes with over $500 in Shipboard Credits from Costco.  Sadly it says we don't get them until the end of the 2nd day.  But since the spa has been pre-paid and the excursions have been pre-paid, it's the first time I can use the "card" to just buy beverages and specialty dining w/o blinking an eye.  In fact, not sure how we're going to use up $535. 

 

This is interesting info.  We will be on the Amsterdam 14 day Alaska cruise this summer in a NS.  We also have quite a bit of OBC.  Cls, or anyone, are you saying that we can not use Costco OBC until it appears on our account on the second day?  We would like to purchase a wine pkg on the first evening in the MDR but am now concerned that our OBC will not cover that.  If so, am sure glad that I am finding this out now!

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12 minutes ago, JudithLynne said:

 

This is interesting info.  We will be on the Amsterdam 14 day Alaska cruise this summer in a NS.  We also have quite a bit of OBC.  Cls, or anyone, are you saying that we can not use Costco OBC until it appears on our account on the second day?  We would like to purchase a wine pkg on the first evening in the MDR but am now concerned that our OBC will not cover that.  If so, am sure glad that I am finding this out now!

 

It's why we pre-paid for the Asian restaurant, the Spa Treatments, and the Excursions as they may be sold out / unavailable by the time we have access to the shipboard credit.  Here is a cut/paste from Costco Travel.  Since it's not until the 2nd night of sailing that gives us only 5 days to figure out how to spend an additional $100 per day?  I doubt we can.  Plus, I may be wrong, But I don't think we can use it to buy a liquor or wine package.  It says in another paragraph it is use it or lose it... so spend spend spend.  

 

The shipboard credit amount is per stateroom and may be used during the cruise for shore excursions, spa treatments, specialty dining, beverages and more. Shipboard credit offered by Costco Travel is not available to view prior to travel on the cruise line’s website, or during your online check in. You will receive the shipboard credit in your personal onboard account by the second night of sailing. The value of the shipboard credit is determined by the base cruise fare for the stateroom category booked. Offer is nontransferable.

Edited by Cls241

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This is confusing as it should not matter. My understanding is the the OBC will just show up on day 2 as a credit against your total bill.  It should not matter when the OBC is credited to the account, it will still subtract from the balance.

ex.

day 1 

you purchase a bottle of wine for $50 then grats of $15 x2 people =$80 total

day 2

you purchase excursion at $100 x 2  then grats of $15x 2=total $230

your acct shows you owe $310

day 3 OBC shows up

$500 credit

you now owe nothing and have an additional $190 left to spend

Edited by dundeene

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19 minutes ago, JudithLynne said:

 

This is interesting info.  We will be on the Amsterdam 14 day Alaska cruise this summer in a NS.  We also have quite a bit of OBC.  Cls, or anyone, are you saying that we can not use Costco OBC until it appears on our account on the second day?  We would like to purchase a wine pkg on the first evening in the MDR but am now concerned that our OBC will not cover that.  If so, am sure glad that I am finding this out now!

Whenever I have the wine package they do not charge it to my cabin until later in the cruise.  I think they hold off on this until they are sure that you will not be adding to the size of your package as the cruise progresses.

 

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2 minutes ago, dundeene said:

This is confusing as it should not matter. My understanding is the the OBC will just show up on day 2 as a credit against your total bill.  It should not matter when the OBC is credited to the account, it will still subtract from the balance.

ex.

day 1 

you purchase a bottle of wine for $50 then grats of $15 x2 people =$80 total

day 2

you purchase excursion at $100 x 2  then grats of $15x 2=total $230

your acct shows you owe $310

day 3 OBC show up

$500 credit

you now owe nothing and have an additional $190 left to spend

 

I did an online "chat" before booking, so I asked this type of question.  Maybe the person I chatted with at Costco was far from expert and did not know the HAL rules.  What I was told was that a set $ of funds (I forgot the $) will be added to my card on day one for each person (wife an I) in the cabin, same for day 2.  Then the credit will appear ON TOP of the money they already added and it becomes one total.  i.e. if it's $50 per day per person....

 

  • Day 1 @ $50 x 2 = $100
  • Day 1 we spend $50 = Balance of $50
  • Day 2 @ $50 x 2 = $150 (balance) 
  • Day 2 we spend $50 = $100 balance
  • Late Day 2 Costco @ $535 (our OBC) = $635.00
  • Day 3 we have an opening balance of $635 (which leaves us about $127.00 a day to spend)

He did not know if the $ loaded from our CC comes off or the OBC.  

 

I know for sure that I wanted to book now, 2-months early for the excursion for my wife (zip line) and the spa package to get the right day-time (couples massage) and the restaurant (Asian for a night at sea, hopefully not formal night) to be sure we get a table.  Also, the Whale Watching (Not booked through Cruise Line, but Harv & Marv) since it is a 20 person limit.  

 

I would have loved to add the massage, restaurant and the zip line to our credit, but it's a big risk trying to get it all booked on the ship and it not being sold out. 

 

No idea what is really happening....  luckily it's only a couple hundred of dollars here and there and not a huge amount. 

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I think your Costco rep quite frankly is clueless:(

HAL in our experience simply puts a hold on your credit card for about $60 per day for the cruise and does not charge anything until the last night.

It does not matter what day you spend your obc because it all comes off of the total at the end. The only thing that is charged immediately to your card are the items you purchase before you board!

If someone else has a different experience please chime in.

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Dundeene is correct.  We have never, ever had a problem spending our OBC from our Big Box TA (per CC rules we aren't allowed to name the TA).  The cut/paste above says the OBC will appear BY the second night of the sailing.  We have never worried about this, it all works out as Dundeene describes above.  Also HAL will use any OBC from the cruise line first, and then if you have $$ left at the end of the cruise, anything from your TA you haven't used will be refunded to you.

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2 minutes ago, Cruising-along said:

Dundeene is correct.  We have never, ever had a problem spending our OBC from our Big Box TA (per CC rules we aren't allowed to name the TA).  The cut/paste above says the OBC will appear BY the second night of the sailing.  We have never worried about this, it all works out as Dundeene describes above.  Also HAL will use any OBC from the cruise line first, and then if you have $$ left at the end of the cruise, anything from your TA you haven't used will be refunded to you.

 

So are you saying with the $535 OBC from our Big Box TA, if we only spend $250, then somehow $285 will be refunded... how? 

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2 minutes ago, Cls241 said:

 

So are you saying with the $535 OBC from our Big Box TA, if we only spend $250, then somehow $285 will be refunded... how? 

At the end of the cruise let them know at the front desk.  (This has happened only once to us, we usually spend all our OBC but we also take longer cruises).  They will ask how you want the refund-- cash, or what.  Very easy 🙂  We'll probably be in your situation on our next cruise, because we'll have $800 OBC  and it's only a 7-day Southbound cruise after land portion in Denali.  $285 of that $800 will be from the TA.  We do plan to use some for specialty dining, Bingo, and a wine package, but we may still have some left 🙂  Remember the daily gratuities will eat up a portion too.

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1 minute ago, Cruising-along said:

At the end of the cruise let them know at the front desk.  (This has happened only once to us, we usually spend all our OBC but we also take longer cruises).  They will ask how you want the refund-- cash, or what.  Very easy 🙂  We'll probably be in your situation on our next cruise, because we'll have $800 OBC  and it's only a 7-day Southbound cruise after land portion in Denali.  $285 of that $800 will be from the TA.  We do plan to use some for specialty dining, Bingo, and a wine package, but we may still have some left 🙂  Remember the daily gratuities will eat up a portion too.

 

My wife and I plan in about 5-7 years find a way to retire and do it traveling the world on a cruise.  Will start in a couple of years to find ways of earning online.  I already had an online biz, etc... so hopefully will be taking longer cruises.  We have seen some we like on Viking about 8-Months. 

 

That aside, that's good information I would not have know.  I normally cancel the auto-tip as I prefer to Hand Tip, I feel it gives me better service, but it could be in my mind.  May just leave the tips on the OBC.. and that would eat it up.   

 

Since we will not buy the wine package / soda / liquor or bingo... we will need to find ways to spend. 

 

Thanks 🙂

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1 hour ago, Cls241 said:

I normally cancel the auto-tip as I prefer to Hand Tip, I feel it gives me better service, ....

If you cancel the auto tip, the people you 'hand tip' are not allowed to keep what you give them. So might as well keep the auto tip in place. If you do that, and then choose to give additional cash (strictly a choice!), then the recipient(s) can keep the hand tip.
Keep that in mind.

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7 minutes ago, RuthC said:

If you cancel the auto tip, the people you 'hand tip' are not allowed to keep what you give them. So might as well keep the auto tip in place. If you do that, and then choose to give additional cash (strictly a choice!), then the recipient(s) can keep the hand tip.
Keep that in mind.

 

Wow, I never heard that before... granted this is only our 7th cruise.  Only once did I turn off "auto-tipping" and I can't remember if that was NCL or Princess.  No one ever gave the tip back or told us they can't keep it.  Maybe times are a changing. 

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The auto-tips are shared with people you don't see so if you stop them, then those who receive cash tips have to contribute to the pool so that the behind-the-scenes people get their share for their services to you.  You are welcome to give additional tips in person to those who you feel deserve extra, but the minimum gratuities are covered if you leave the auto-tips in place.

 

I would also check with the front desk about refundable versus nonrefundable OBC.  Some TAs do grant it as nonrefundable which means you use it or lose it.

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1 minute ago, bEwAbG said:

The auto-tips are shared with people you don't see so if you stop them, then those who receive cash tips have to contribute to the pool so that the behind-the-scenes people get their share for their services to you.  You are welcome to give additional tips in person to those who you feel deserve extra, but the minimum gratuities are covered if you leave the auto-tips in place.

 

I would also check with the front desk about refundable versus nonrefundable OBC.  Some TAs do grant it as nonrefundable which means you use it or lose it.

 

 

The conditions of the contract from our BigBox TA said use or lose, no refunds or cash value.

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