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13 minutes ago, anniegb said:

Will this charge apply to suite passengers??

 

Annie

I would expect so.

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Looks like the furor over this change has died down a bit. Since I believe that HAL looks at these posts I wanted to get my vote in. 

 

My initial response when I read the reports about this change was they got to be kidding me. It's just another change that give the customer a bit less. And over time these reductions change the experience on HAL ships. Will this last change affect my selection for a cruise on HAL? It will. Will I stop going on HAL cruises? Probably not. But it adds to the decision on whether to sale on HAL vs other lines. 

 

Interesting thing is when we first started taking cruises in 1978, MDR servings were huge. I remember Prime Rib night and the waiter would be carrying around a huge plate stacked with slabs of meat to deliver to the customers. But over time these portion sizes were reduced.

 

From my perspective these current, much smaller portions, allow me to try other entrees that I may never had before. We tend to eat a small breakfast, salad for lunch, looking forward to dinner where w can try new items. Many times I would ask the waiter if they could bring me a small portion of a different entree so I could sample it. Sometimes they would, and other times they brought the entire entree. So now I'll have to either pony up an additional $10, or order the new entree and hope I like it. 

 

We cruise to relax, enjoy new locations, and try different foods. Telling me that to save the waste in the MDR from customers who order an extra entree seems cheap and a bit dishonest. Sit in the Lido and watch the waiters clean up the plates. Way more gets tossed than what I have seen in the MDR. 

 

But in the end HAL, will decide whether to implement this new reduction, and I'll get to decide if I take a HAL cruise. For 2019 HAL didn't make the cut. We'll see about 2020.  

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Some very good questions have been posed in this thread (some facetiously, some not) that HAL should think about before implementing this. They are likely to offend:

 

-- some traditionalists for taking away a traditional aspect of cruising

-- some 4- and 5-star Mariners who may feel they should get a discount on the charge

-- some solos who already pay for two people being asked to pony up an extra $10

-- some suite passengers who might feel it should be comped....

 

and on and on. Really, HAL -- think about it.  Is it worth it??

 

 

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12 hours ago, Doubt It said:

There are many options to spend your $. Cruises, a great house and great car.

 

Our travel budget has been used on a greater house and car.  Cruises can not compete with the 24/365 benefits of a house and vehicle, for us. No cruises booked now, have been cruising since 1989. Done.

 

Your mileage may differ, but cruise lines are hosing most passengers; they are reducing the quality of the product and charging more for it. Not!

 

I don't put cruising in the same category as basic housing and transportation.  Fortunately I'm in a financial situation where I can cover my basic living expenses and have money left for extras such as cruising and travel in general.

 

Roz

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3 hours ago, dogo88 said:

We cruise to relax, enjoy new locations, and try different foods. Telling me that to save the waste in the MDR from customers who order an extra entree seems cheap and a bit dishonest. Sit in the Lido and watch the waiters clean up the plates. Way more gets tossed than what I have seen in the MDR. 

 

Exactly. To cover the Lido waste, HAL can let waiters stamp on passengers for every plate they take, and charge them if they take more than 2 in one sitting. The stamp should be non-washable so passengers can't erase them. HAL will make different patterns and colors so they can track each Lido visit. At the end of the cruise, the passengers will be covered by stamps and call it a new exciting cruise experience.😫

 

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18 hours ago, CRUZBUDS said:

We are not happy to hear this.  We cruised with friends on the Eurodam in January.  We were quite pleased with the food.  The last few years we have primarily cruised on Princess.   Our last Princess cruise was last September and we were disappointed by the food quality.  

 

The husband of our friend's ordered two entrees at night and often did't get an appetizer.  He enjoyed them and usually finished them .  If he didn't finish, it was because he didn't care for it.  

 

DW and I will occasionally order 3rd entree to share - it is usually something we'd like to try.  We also almost always order two lobster tails -- we would not be happy to have to pay $10 for the 2nd tail. 

 

We have been considering moving up to a more inclusive line.  It will be more like what made us fall in love with cruising about 35 years.ago.  The nickel and dining on all of the mid-market lines is taking away the joy of cruising.  To us - it seems like a death of a thousand cuts.  

Your thinking is right about the Inclusive  like Regent or Seabourn,   However there is a middle ground  the Semi -Inclusive  like Viking and Oceania    I love  HAL for what it is an upscale mid market product that relies on what you call nickel and dime  or cost plus trips.    Everyone knows that so I dont see the upset warranted as the $10 is just one of dozens of extra charges that come with booking.    HAL try for the low prices and dosen't include tax or port, to make things look cheaper than they are. 

When I book  I accept these add -ons  as part of the deal

 

When I want a better experience, meals more and more inclusive  which HAL can not offer or won't, then I go with ones that do.   Some years ago I did the same as you... looked at the inclusive.   I concluded that on HAL I could not get better value by upgrade in cabin class.   I needed a new company .

   All inclusive  included a lot of things I would not get value from.   So I looked at the Semi-inclusive like Oceania. where you can pick without paying extra, A OBC, or  A selection of Shore ex  or A liquor package.   Your choice and if you dont want those  you can get a fare reduction....  Only extra is gratuities.   All restaurants are no charge ( 5) and all non alcoholic bev from smoothies and coffees to sodas and juice are included.   The most remarkable thing was that it was only  like $25 to 50 a day pp more on a ship of 650 ( HAL  puts 1200 on the same size)

I sail both   Hal has , for me some outstanding itineraries   Oceania  has outstanding food and ambiance.

 

 

 

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20 hours ago, Wasasalad said:

Well this is one busy topic! So, I book solo and pay double!

On Port days I’m off the ship all day, no lunch and no breakfast, just yogurt!

So I get to pay an extra$10 if I have a second entree!

I’m on VOV Zuiderdam as a solo in the cheapest inside cabin! My cost? $495 per day not including excursions booked with HAL, most over $200/pp per day! Internet and gratuity additional $1,300 for the cruise! Also extra for alcohol!

This may just be enough for me to cancel and do a very similar cruise on Oceana! Actually a better one!

You should....your already paying more than a Oceania cruise !!!  O offers a 150 deal for solos on many cruises You get free internet..unlimited, and my agent gets me free gratuities too...

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I am selfish. I don't want a second main dish. I don't spend anything on the photo gallery, the spa, the casino, shoe inserts, acupuncture, the shops, aromatherapy, art sales, collectible glasses, wine tastings, the drink of the day, logo wear, or specialty coffee. Any profit HAL makes from these items helps keep my cruise fare low.

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8 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

You should....your already paying more than a Oceania cruise !!!  O offers a 150 deal for solos on many cruises You get free internet..unlimited, and my agent gets me free gratuities too...

Yes!

I just found about Oceania and the pricing structure! I’m booking 2020 a 42 night round trip NYC Europe! I’m so excited!

It WILL cost less than my cruise on HAL in July! I’m not sure what to do this year! I haven’t paid final payment yet but have purchased private excursions!  I have met many on CruiseCritic so I’ll probably just go! This may be my last HAL cruise!

 

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Isn't the Oceania board full of reports of cost cutting and food quality deterioration, too?  I was researching them last summer and saw lots of complaints.

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18 minutes ago, bEwAbG said:

Isn't the Oceania board full of reports of cost cutting and food quality deterioration, too?  I was researching them last summer and saw lots of complaints.

 

While likely true, it's also evident that all lines are cutting costs in tandem, so theoretically Oceania food quality (which has received many plaudits) will still be at a higher level than mass market lines. 

 

(And yes I know food is subjective and some HAL cruisers did not have a positive experience on O. But I have read enough reviews from both professionals and passengers that I withhold judgement. If nothing else, it's pretty well vetted that O pays more per passenger per day for food than the mass market lines do....)

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Had to smile when I looked at the Seabourn board.  What are they talking about?  The change in the brand of Caviar (it is free to cruisers) that is going to soon be on their ships.   Our suite on an upcoming Seabourn cruise is substantially less then a comparable suite on HAL when I factor in the included stuff on Seabourn (all drinks, champagne, caviar, no fees in alternative restaurants, no tipping necessary, etc etc).  And of course the space ratio on Seabourn is far superior to what we get on HAL.  And, of course, there is no fee if you want an extra entrée (or extra anything).

 

Hank

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I don't know if someone has already posted this same comment, but the food my husband and I "waste" on the cruises we take is the food that doesn't taste good.  We don't force ourselves to eat something that we are not enjoying.  Especially not when we have so many more options available to us.  Instead of charging for extra entrees Holland should look into offering less options and work on making the ones available tastier (at least in the buffet).  Maybe they would get less waste that way. 

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1 hour ago, whogo said:

I am selfish. I don't want a second main dish. I don't spend anything on the photo gallery, the spa, the casino, shoe inserts, acupuncture, the shops, aromatherapy, art sales, collectible glasses, wine tastings, the drink of the day, logo wear, or specialty coffee. Any profit HAL makes from these items helps keep my cruise fare low.

 

Yes but most of the things you quote are entirely optional and not part of what I consider the tradition of cruising.

 

Besides which, everyone has SOME threshold beyond which the experience is diminished. Will it arrive for you when they start removing all the seating from your cabin making it impossible to effectively utilize room service (as they are currently doing on Princess)?  Will it be when the MDRs completely disappear and food is only available via the buffet or upcharge restaurants? Or when balconies shrink to an unusable size (e.g., chairs will only fit sideways) and most prime deck real estate is only available to suite passengers?  Room cleaned only every other day?

 

Let them keep heading to the bottom and eventually they will get there....

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6 hours ago, dogo88 said:

 

Interesting thing is when we first started taking cruises in 1978, MDR servings were huge. I remember Prime Rib night and the waiter would be carrying around a huge plate stacked with slabs of meat to deliver to the customers. But over time these portion sizes were reduced.

 

  

I can't imagine what it must have been like in 1978 but I was pleasantly surprised when I ordered this Prime Rib on the NA in Sep'17.  And it was excellent. 

DSCF3925.JPG

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The only time I would consider ordering a second entree would be if the first one came out too salty, or too spicy or just wasn’t something I could eat. Any decent restaurant would charge for a second entree. If there are many who do this, I would guess there’s a lot of waste and HAL feels justified in charging. You 

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I was on Nieuw Statendam in January and Koningsdam the year before, and while we enjoyed some of the food in the main dining room,  most of it wasn't anything to write home about (except for the Culinary Council dinner, which was excellent).  I've sometimes not finished my entree because it wasn't that great and then ordered another entree or I went to the Lido buffet to have something else.  But it never occurred to me, for example, to send my entree back like I would do with an entree I ordered at a land-based restaurant that wasn't up to snuff.  But if HAL introduces the $10 surcharge for an extra entree, they should be prepared for some of us to hold our first entree to a higher standard than we otherwise would.  Meaning, if the entree I order isn't delicious, I'll tell the waiter I don't like it and have them bring me something else (at no charge).  And if I order a second entree for $10, it better be worth $10 or back it goes.  I assume they can't charge you if you say the entree isn't satisfactory after tasting it.  If others do the same, HAL may find their additional charge backfiring on them with more food waste and cost than they would have had for the people who occasionally order an extra entree.  (We've already decided not to dine in any specialty restaurants next year on the K'Dam because they aren't, in my opinion, worth the up-charge.) 

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2 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

While likely true, it's also evident that all lines are cutting costs in tandem, so theoretically Oceania food quality (which has received many plaudits) will still be at a higher level than mass market lines. 

 

(And yes I know food is subjective and some HAL cruisers did not have a positive experience on O. But I have read enough reviews from both professionals and passengers that I withhold judgement. If nothing else, it's pretty well vetted that O pays more per passenger per day for food than the mass market lines do....)

 

Oceania is light worlds better than what Holland America has become.  Almost two hundred days on O for us and no significant issues.  Of course they are not perfect and we don’t expect it.      

I am very sad to have just canceled two Oceania Cruises.   

 

Some mass market passengers  cannot or don’t want to spend money for a better line.  So when they sail a better one they critique every morsel of food and every service as if something is life or death.  

To each his own.  

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I missed a lot of the comments on the 25 pages here.  I don't know if anyone has brought up the waiters in this other than tracking extra orders.  We dined in the MDR once on our cruise on the Rdam last month.  I could not believe how those waiters carried those massive trays.  So they have a table of 6 and 2 people order extra entrees.  Another table's 3 of 6 ordered double appetizers.   I think that sorting it all out and getting food delivered to our table added up to cold food.  I am sure that they are asked about extra plate ordering and wastage and work load. 

 

A few of photos from our trip.  I thought that the size of an entree were rather large myself don't seem shrunken to me.  Crabmeat topped filet, prime rib, veal roast, rigatoni

 

 

Crab topped filet.jpg

prime rib 21119.jpg

Veal roast 22219.jpg

rigatoni 21819.jpg

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28 minutes ago, ottahand7 said:

Crabmeat topped filet, prime rib, veal roast, rigatoni

 

Those entrees look more delicious and are plated more attractively than most of what was served to me on Nieuw Statendam.  Thank you for posting the pictures.

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2 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Those entrees look more delicious and are plated more attractively than most of what was served to me on Nieuw Statendam.  Thank you for posting the pictures.

We constantly saw the Executive Chef on duty.   Paid off with excellent food. Never saw one on any of the other ships.  

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5 hours ago, Wasasalad said:

Yes!

I just found about Oceania and the pricing structure! I’m booking 2020 a 42 night round trip NYC Europe! I’m so excited!

It WILL cost less than my cruise on HAL in July! I’m not sure what to do this year! I haven’t paid final payment yet but have purchased private excursions!  I have met many on CruiseCritic so I’ll probably just go! This may be my last HAL cruise!

 

Use HAL  when HAL offers something special... But now 90% of my cruises are on O..... If your into food, no kids, and no nickel and dime....The value is incredible         You can do both... as you see fit 

 Ya' HAL beats O for insides .......  but when you start booking HAL  in Ocean View Veranda and above , your paying much more way more and getting way less with HAL

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4 hours ago, Hlitner said:

Had to smile when I looked at the Seabourn board.  What are they talking about?  The change in the brand of Caviar (it is free to cruisers) that is going to soon be on their ships.   Our suite on an upcoming Seabourn cruise is substantially less then a comparable suite on HAL when I factor in the included stuff on Seabourn (all drinks, champagne, caviar, no fees in alternative restaurants, no tipping necessary, etc etc).  And of course the space ratio on Seabourn is far superior to what we get on HAL.  And, of course, there is no fee if you want an extra entrée (or extra anything).

 

Hank

Yes.....  the great cruise myth exploded  ............................................

 cruising  the mass market ships like HAL will  offer cheaper fares but by the time you add the soda, coffee specialty restaurants, taxes, Port, liquor...etc.  Your final bill will many times be fare more  lines like Seabourn Oceaina, Azamar,  etc

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5 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

While likely true, it's also evident that all lines are cutting costs in tandem, so theoretically Oceania food quality (which has received many plaudits) will still be at a higher level than mass market lines. 

 

(And yes I know food is subjective and some HAL cruisers did not have a positive experience on O. But I have read enough reviews from both professionals and passengers that I withhold judgement. If nothing else, it's pretty well vetted that O pays more per passenger per day for food than the mass market lines do....)

 

Ya'  O pays  about 3X more for food than HAL and others...   I am a foodie... and in the past 7 years on O I have been constantly impressed with quality, service and ambiance  ....light years ahead of Mass MArket lines....   Like comparing a Mortons to a Sizzler... it's pretty obvious  your don't have to be a food critic.

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