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TAD2005

New changes to wines available with SBP

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We are onboard the Eurodam now, (March 9 thru April 6)  DW ordered her usual glass of Pinot Grigio in our first night dinner in the MDR as we have done for years.  We were informed by the wine steward that they no longer carry Zonin Pinot Grigio, and the only similar wine would cost $10 per glass and would not be covered under the SBP.

We expressed our feelings to the wine steward, but this was a decision made by Seattle.

When we arrived in our cabin, they provided a list of beverages covered by the SBP and the Elite package.   Another CC member posted the same list from Dec. 2018.   I put the available wines covered under the SBP into a side=by-side comparison in the pix below.  In the Dec 2018 list, there were 17 wines covered by the SBP.   The list issued to us on March 9 shows only 9 wines covered by the SBP.   There are only 2 available white wines presently covered under SBP, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

And yes, we did see the new "$10 for an extra main course"  policy was in effect for this cruise.   Nice "Welcome Aboard" !!!

 

wines with SBP.jpg

Edited by TAD2005

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Sorry to hear this 😞. But thank you for thinking of us and giving us the heads up.

 

Makes me relieved though on my decision to forego the Explore4

 

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15 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

Can you still upgrade to the Elite package?

 

The answer to that always seems to be "it depends" - it depends on the ship, the bar manager in charge, the bar server involved, and so on.  On some ships/sailings they seem to actively promote it, on others it seems they put as many obstacles and roadblocks in place as possible.  That said - one would hope if they are changing the beverages included under the $9/serving limit of the SBP (by raising prices) that they would make it easier to generate additional revenue by promoting an upgrade to the Elite SBP.  If you are gonna nickle and dime over a second entree in the MDR and charge $10 for it, why put as many obstacles in front of those WILLING to pay more to upgrade a drinks package! What kind of sense does that make??????

 

Oh wait - this is HAL management where logic and sense seem to have left the building!

Edited by AtlantaCruiser72

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Quite frankly, I do not understand the consternation.  JMHO, but none of those wines in either the signature or the elite packages are worth drinking.  If I want decent wine, I will bring my own.

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9 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

Quite frankly, I do not understand the consternation.  JMHO, but none of those wines in either the signature or the elite packages are worth drinking.  If I want decent wine, I will bring my own.

 

Easier said than done. Fine if its a 7 night Caribbean cruise and maybe you drove to the port. What about the couple doing 14 plus nights sailing from a foreign port or like the OP -28 days in Hawaii, Tahiti & Marquesas?

 

You can't bring on enough of your own stuff. 

 

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I found in January that the new VP of Food and Beverage has tinkered with the entire wine list, not just the wines that are available in any packages.  The reason I was given by an experienced bartender was that "he wanted to upgrade the wines being offered".  My opinion:  his "upgrade" has replaced long favored wines by HAL guests with wines some of which are unknown and with wines which are more costly than the wines that they are replacing.  Example:  my favorite Villa Maria has been replaced with Cloudy Bay, an increase of at least $30/bottle.

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As a wine drinker, HAL continues to disappoint with this selection. :classic_dry:  The SBP doesn't seem like it would offer much, for me.

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1 hour ago, wombatKY said:

 

Easier said than done. Fine if its a 7 night Caribbean cruise and maybe you drove to the port. What about the couple doing 14 plus nights sailing from a foreign port or like the OP -28 days in Hawaii, Tahiti & Marquesas?

 

You can't bring on enough of your own stuff. 

 

Doesn't affect my assessment that none of the wines in either the signature or elite beverage packages are worth getting upset about.  

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Hi All-

 

We just got off the Zaandam and had a SBP included in our fare. We found the McPherson Shiraz and the Caliterra Sauvignon Blanc to be the best $9 wines for our tastes. It was a 15 day cruise but we survived with the limited wine choices.🤨  What I still don't get about the SBP package is that when I order a whiskey or even a martini they will ask me if I want a double, and that's included in the package, but upgrading to a more expensive wine choice and just charging me for 2 $9 wines is not? I guess it might be an inventory thing. I've had the SPB 3 times now and are generally happy with it, but why don't they just up the cost a little and let you get any drink $10 or less? 

 

and one another thing, I think there was only 1 or 2 wines available in the Pinnacle for $9, it's a different wine menu than the MDR.

 

-Paul

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5 minutes ago, kangforpres said:

Pinnacle for $9, it's a different wine menu than the MDR.

 

The PG's wine list has been different from the MDR's for a long time.  An attempt to make the PG more "special" has long been my thought.

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The food & beverage manager told me that they have changed wine suppliers and the new list that is covered under the SBP is the result of this.   Pretty lame excuse !!   

Yes,  upgrading to the Elite package is easy, just fork over the $322 per person and they will happily upgrade me.   DW drinks wine, I do not.  But you can't upgrade just one person in the cabin, you have to upgrade both.   No way !!!

 

Something else new, at least to me.   At both the Dive-In and NY Pizza, when you give your order, they ask for your cabin number.   I can't figure out the reason for that.   Are they now tracking our eating habits ?  They don't ask to see your key card, so you could give them any cabin number, and the cabin number is not displayed on the key-card.  They just write it on the food order ticket.  

 

Yes, the $10 upcharge is listed on the menus.  The servers hate it, because they have to take the heat when they have to deliver the bad news.  The food & beverage manager told me that this is primarily designed to curb the people who order 5 lobster tails.   He said that they have plenty of steaks and chops, and that is not a problem if you want a 2nd one.  The problem is on higher ticket items like lobster, where they do not over-order when provisioning the ship.

 

He told me express my feelings in the comment cards, because Seattle pays attention to them.

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7 hours ago, wombatKY said:

 

You can't bring on enough of your own stuff. 

Actually, you can. You might want to read this thread, wherein IslandThyme took several cases of wine aboard for her cruise:

 

 

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10 hours ago, Fouremco said:

Actually, you can. You might want to read this thread, wherein IslandThyme took several cases of wine aboard for her cruise:

 

 

Good to know. I don't have a wine cellar, though.

 

Still, I think for your average wine drinker it's too much hassle and expense of schlepping on enough wine for an extended cruise, especially for HAL's mature customers of which I am one.

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Thanks for this thread.  I say that sincerely.  It has been many years since we've cruised in HAL, but the current sailings that include the basic alcohol package and gratuities have us considering a return.

 

This information makes it FAR more likely that we will stick with Celebrity.  Which makes me a little sad;  there were definitely things we preferred about HAL, and remember fondly.

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21 hours ago, TAD2005 said:

We are onboard the Eurodam now, (March 9 thru April 6)  DW ordered her usual glass of Pinot Grigio in our first night dinner in the MDR as we have done for years.  We were informed by the wine steward that they no longer carry Zonin Pinot Grigio, and the only similar wine would cost $10 per glass and would not be covered under the SBP.

We expressed our feelings to the wine steward, but this was a decision made by Seattle.

When we arrived in our cabin, they provided a list of beverages covered by the SBP and the Elite package.   Another CC member posted the same list from Dec. 2018.   I put the available wines covered under the SBP into a side=by-side comparison in the pix below.  In the Dec 2018 list, there were 17 wines covered by the SBP.   The list issued to us on March 9 shows only 9 wines covered by the SBP.   There are only 2 available white wines presently covered under SBP, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

And yes, we did see the new "$10 for an extra main course"  policy was in effect for this cruise.   Nice "Welcome Aboard" !!!

 

wines with SBP.jpg

Why don't you ask for the Danzante Pinot Grigio from package one, it's close to the Zonin, if they don't want to poor it by the glass, buy the bottle and walk around with it or have them put it aside for you at the bar...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is so disappointing.  My drink of choice is wine, but I am a total cheap wine girl as are most of my peers.  In fact, I don’t know of any woman friend that prefers cocktails to wine (excepting margaritas with TexMex).  Yes- on our last cruise all I had to say is “the SBP chard, please.”  There are a LOT of cheap wines that aren’t that bad.  I think HAL is screwing up here.  The SBP is pretty pricey for us and no way we would upgrade to the Elite.  My husband only drinks beer and already feels “cheated” because his beers are cheapest drink 😂.   Unless of course HAL changed their drink packages and policy wherein one passenger could get a “beer package (“BBP!” Basic Beverage Package!) and one an Elite package.   

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we saw the same thing in January on the Koningsdam.  Our normal "go to " wines were priced outside of the package.  But I have heard that the SBP limit of $9 is being raised to $11 shortly.  They should have raised the package limit and the prices in tandem but they didn't.

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2 hours ago, Sir PMP said:

Why don't you ask for the Danzante Pinot Grigio from package one, it's close to the Zonin, if they don't want to poor it by the glass, buy the bottle and walk around with it or have them put it aside for you at the bar..

 

 

But that is adding a cost to the OP's SBP and theoretically defeating the purpose of what the OP most likely intended for the SBP.

 

They will be forced to buy a bottle when they have already paid to enjoy wine without doing so.

 

 

 

 

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22 minutes ago, dshroyer said:

But I have heard that the SBP limit of $9 is being raised to $11 shortly. 

Will raising the SBP to $11 still include that many more or better wines by the glass than the current $9 limit? Will the Elite BP also go up to $17?

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21 hours ago, TAD2005 said:

The food & beverage manager told me that they have changed wine suppliers

 

Thank you for posting this information inasmuch as it confirms what I was told on the Nieuw Statendam.  The decision to change the suppliers was an "executive's" decision.  In the best interest of the guest?  Or in the best interest of the VP of Food and Beverage's job stability? 

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