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19 hours ago, iancal said:

When we read some of these posts we can easily understand why America is well down the list (number 35) of the world’s healthiest nations.  

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-24/spain-tops-italy-as-world-s-healthiest-nation-while-u-s-slips

 

Perhaps HAL is trying to move the needle up a place or two.

 

 

 

Really? Guess what, most people (American or not) use a cruise as a getaway vacation and don’t really care about eating or drinking more than they normally do. That doesn’t make them fat, or a bad person, or unhealthy. 

 

Jeez, what is wrong with some people? The number of people supporting this or saying “this doesn’t impact me so I don’t care” is crazy. 

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19 hours ago, wyobean said:

This policy will not impact us at all. We have never ordered a second entree and we rarely eat in the dining room anyway. I think people are way over reacting to this. 

 

Just because it doesn’t impact you directly doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.  Maybe the next time a cruise line tries to nickel and dime passengers, it WILL impact you. 

 

But hopefully people won’t stop by that thread and say “it doesn’t impct us. You are overreacting.” in response to your frustration.  

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35 minutes ago, iancal said:

I would certainly not consider HAL to be Premium line. 

 

All of the the mass market cruise lines, this includes HAL, have been ‘taking away’

things that have been considered basic to cruising for years in an effort to keep base fares low.  

 

This is not the first time and no doubt it will not be the last time.  It is one of the reasons why we have been doing fewer cruises and more independent travel or AI’s.

You are correct in that HAL is "mass-market" in the proper sense of the term being that it is offered to a large scale of people rather than a niche group.  Most internationally known brands fall into this category regardless of being premium or not.  Chanel and Cover Girl can both be considered mass-market cosmetic brands though one is most definitely more "premium".

 

There's a fairly accepted hierarchy of cruise lines, at least that Cruise Critic and travel publications write about, which includes HAL, Celebrity, and Princess in the "premium" category.  This compares to the more budget focused lines like NCL, Carnival, & Royal Caribbean as well as to the "luxury" lines like Seabourn, Crystal, and Regent.  Often the likes of Oceania, Cunard, and Azamara fall somewhere in between premium and true luxury lines in these ratings.

Edited by Bostonjetset
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56 minutes ago, BPCW said:

Jeez, what is wrong with some people? The number of people supporting this or saying “this doesn’t impact me so I don’t care” is crazy. 

 

I am quite heartened by the number of people who are saying "this doesn't impact me but I still dislike that it is being done".

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On 3/2/2019 at 8:03 AM, tx121 said:

is there a 15% gratuity on top of the $10 upcharge??

If anyone on the 4 test ships gets a second entree, could you please let us know if you were also charged a gratuity, making the total $11.50? Thanks! 

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1 hour ago, Underwatr said:

I've been under the impression that food isn't wasted until it's plated.

 

After experiencing several Behind the Scenes Tours, your comment is close to being reality based on what I heard.

 

What the situation is for un-ordered, but prepared, food in the dining rooms, I don't know.  From what I have learned, based upon the MDR's Stewards orders to the Galley, entrees, at least, are prepared more "to the minute" than one might expect, if possible.  (Prime Rib would be an obvious example that could not be.)  Based upon HAL's tracking of historical patterns of ordering for food items, the amount of "wasted food" may be less than what we think.

 

The Lido Restaurant is different.  Food that is placed on the serving line and not served is discarded when service ends for that restaurant.  Some items, i.e. the prepared deli sandwiches, have a "lifespan" that is shorter than the Lido Restaurant's operating hours.  When their time is up. the food is discarded.

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On 2/24/2019 at 5:44 PM, djhsolara said:

We were just seated in the Dining Room on NA and were informed by our server that if you order more than one main course, there is a $10 surcharge. Still unlimited starters, etc. We’ve never heard this before. 

Have they lost their mind? 

 

About to NOT book my first HAL cruise.  Under 40, w kids, 30 minutes from Port Everglades.  Household income over $140K.  Stupid move HAL. 

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1 hour ago, dobiemom said:

If anyone on the 4 test ships gets a second entree, could you please let us know if you were also charged a gratuity, making the total $11.50? Thanks! 

Not sure why there'd be a gratuity involved.  Purchased food items don't have a gratuity added, only beverage orders.

 

 

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If two main courses appeal to me, I might order both. I hate this trial idea of HAL's. I don't buy that it is a way to cut down on food waste. If that was the case, then HAL should only charge people who don't eat the second one.

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1 hour ago, rkacruiser said:

 

After experiencing several Behind the Scenes Tours, your comment is close to being reality based on what I heard.

 

What the situation is for un-ordered, but prepared, food in the dining rooms, I don't know.  From what I have learned, based upon the MDR's Stewards orders to the Galley, entrees, at least, are prepared more "to the minute" than one might expect, if possible.  (Prime Rib would be an obvious example that could not be.)  Based upon HAL's tracking of historical patterns of ordering for food items, the amount of "wasted food" may be less than what we think.

 

The Lido Restaurant is different.  Food that is placed on the serving line and not served is discarded when service ends for that restaurant.  Some items, i.e. the prepared deli sandwiches, have a "lifespan" that is shorter than the Lido Restaurant's operating hours.  When their time is up. the food is discarded.

 

Interesting. I too would have thought that the Lido would account for far more food wastage, as this suggests, than the MDR.

 

I'd happily see those pre-made deli sandwiches gone rather than instituting this silly $10 fee for a second entree in the MDR.

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I am still trying to process this - in theory - I could go to the buffet and have them cut me an entire prime rib and that is ok. I could follow this with 17 theoretical burgers at Dive In, and then ten or so pizzas - all totally acceptable because it is not in the main dining room. Is this an effort to get people to utilize the buffet more, thereby reducing stewards in the dining room? Only the bean counters know.

 

It seems like HAL is grasping at straws in order to boost on board revenue.Perhaps hitching their horses to Oprah’’s wagon did not result in the expected revenue boost and now it is time to look for ways to cut costs and initiate the process of nickel and diming.   Next up - will there be abu dant towels on deck or will they now have to be checked out? 

 

To all of those who are so adamant about it not affecting them - because apparently everyone eats like a bird - what will it be for you? Apparently at the Mariners’ Lunch on the NS last week the FREE champagne was flowing quite freely - maybe that is the next thing on the chopping block. I wonder how many would be drinking champagne if revenue management decided it wAs time for an upcharge on this? Then we would hear all of the - it doesn’t affect me because I never drink. Just a thought.

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Free champagne on HAL?  More like ginger ale.  Same as what Celebrity pours on embarkation.  

 

I do drink champagne occasionally  but do not do so simply because it is free. 

Edited by iancal
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Holland America is most definitely Premium massmarket line (together with Celebrity, Cunard, Princess)

 

None of them introduced room service fee yet, mandatory drinking package for second person in cabin if first is buying ... but this change puzzles me.

 

As for “it doesn’t bother/touch me”.... I don’t eat pizza or order room service ... it won’t bother me if there is a charge. 😉 It will, because it’s a first step to taking free (well ... paid off) stuff away. Plus it’s a sign to other lines.

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We've been exploring some other lines since our last HAL cruise, on the Prinsendam last year.  At this point we don't have any further HAL cruises booked,  or even on the radar... but I have to say that this extra charge for a 2nd entree is a terrible idea.  It would not have impacted us, as we could probably count on one hand the number of times we've ordered a 2nd entree (to share)...  this coming from 4* Mariners.

 

Lots of changes at HAL over the recent years, and many of the changes have not been for the better.   The food quality has slipped, and IMO, the MDR entrees are generally not worthy of an extra portion charge.  I guess I can see doing it in the specialties, but the MDR??????  No way.

 

 

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 I have only been on one HAL cruise.  My daughter and I were on the 4 day, inside passage itinerary on the Eurodam last May.  We only ate in the MDR one night and the other three nights I paid for specialty dining.  Would cruisers get a credit/refund for not eating in the MDR.  I mean, if you are charged for an extra entrée then you should get a refund for not consuming one.  Just a thought… 

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14 hours ago, BPCW said:

 

Just because it doesn’t impact you directly doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.  Maybe the next time a cruise line tries to nickel and dime passengers, it WILL impact you. 

 

But hopefully people won’t stop by that thread and say “it doesn’t impct us. You are overreacting.” in response to your frustration.  

 

I totally agree with you.  In truth, this particular change doesn't impact me because I don't remember ever ordering a second main course.  However, I can still see it for what it is....another nickel and dime money grab by a mass market cruise line.  Overall, it impacts all of us because it's part of a growing trend.  Mark my words; if this "test" fails, HAL will find something else to upcharge or "test."

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On 3/2/2019 at 10:03 AM, tx121 said:

 But all jokes aside... is there a 15% gratuity on top of the $10 upcharge?? If so, you can surely bet the waiters would love this! No more extra lobster tails for the table!! (Shaking my head)

Very interesting point.  I wonder if the gratuity will be added to the $10 upcharge.

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Part of me is afraid that if there is a huge backlash against this charge, HAL will just say, "Screw it....you can have unlimited quantities of crummy food."

 

They did go through a period where the quality was pretty bad.  Lately, I think everything has been really very good in MDR.  I'd much rather have limited portions of high-quality food, than lots and lots of nastiness.  Point being, beware of what you ask for; you might get it.

 

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7 minutes ago, AncientWanderer said:

Part of me is afraid that if there is a huge backlash against this charge, HAL will just say, "Screw it....you can have unlimited quantities of crummy food."

 

They did go through a period where the quality was pretty bad.  Lately, I think everything has been really very good in MDR.  I'd much rather have limited portions of high-quality food, than lots and lots of nastiness.  Point being, beware of what you ask for; you might get it.

 

 

Perhaps.  But HAL does have to remain competitive with their "close" competitors Princess and Celebrity.  I view these three lines as being in the market for the same passenger base, more or less. I think a good number of cruisers monitor these three lines -- since they all seem to go up and down based on our own individual value assumptions. A few years ago Celebrity clearly seemed to have the best food of the three, but lately I have been hearing more praise for HAL. 

 

It's a bit unfortunate for the cruise lines that food has become a major touch point and preoccupation for many -- I see it slightly less in older passengers but among those in my age group and younger, food is an important component and one that will receive a lot of consideration when planning a vacation.  I say it's unfortunate because at the same time ALL cruise lines have made certain reductions in the quality of ingredients provided for most meals as well as simplifications in the number of courses presented and the removal of most items that are labor intensive (or replacement with pre-made, frozen, or similar).

 

However, I'm quite sure that each of the three lines named above monitors every step taken by the competition and how well those changes (positive or negative) are received....

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