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boze9999

2020-2021 Explore4 Appears to Offer Different Benefits

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On 7/30/2019 at 3:18 PM, Selion said:

Not that much different from the Early Booking Bonus promo they ran in May this year.  It had:

SBP

50% deposit

Pinnacle Grill Dinner

$200 OBC for suites

 

Need to see fare difference to get a feel.  Internet isn't important for us.

The EBB (Early Booking Bonus) was WAY different than Explore-4.   The EBB was added to cruises with NO increase in price.   I booked a 29 day Rotterdam cruise in March.   I have been watching the price for 6 months, waiting to book while onboard the Eurodam.  The price for a Lanai cabin 6 months earlier was $4299.   When I booked onboard, the FCC told me I had the SBP and a PG dinner.   I said "Whoa", what is the price increase ?   She said the price was exactly the same.   When the EBB dropped off at the end of June, the cruise was still $4299.   The SBP for 29 days is valued at $1500 P/P.    

Conversely, when Explore-4 is tacked onto a cruise, the price usually goes up by exactly the purchase cost for the SBP.   

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7 hours ago, sirvegetables said:

Ah got it!  Thanks for sharing.  You made me realize I need to keep up better with the latest promotions.  It really can make a difference in savings as long as you are open to changing plans/ships if needed.  thanks!

 

There are definitely bargains to be had ... but it takes a lot of time keeping up with all the promos.  Even the personal cruise consultants I work with, at times, seem to know less than the people on these boards.  

 

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1 hour ago, TAD2005 said:

Conversely, when Explore-4 is tacked onto a cruise, the price usually goes up by exactly the purchase cost for the SBP.   

Well, we'll find out the increase by tomorrow.

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1 hour ago, TAD2005 said:

Conversely, when Explore-4 is tacked onto a cruise, the price usually goes up by exactly the purchase cost for the SBP.   

Not always; the two times I've had it, one there was essentially no increase -- and that was 10 people to Alaska! and the cost never went down after -- the other there was an increase but nowhere near the VALUE (much less the cost) of the SBP. Then the PG dinner is a true perk, being something we would not buy outright. 

 

I didn't have a pre-EBB price on our 2021 cruise, but it was a nice package all right!

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We also got the EBB - however it didn't apply to anything in 2019 or a number of our selected cruises for 2020. More than ever now if the E4 we have known in the past is no more.  Thankful for the ones we did get EBB for! 

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Posted (edited)

So the Explore4 package is now showing on the HAL UK website for selected cruises.

It is:

OBC up to $800 per cabin

Pinnacle grill dinner

$25 beverage card for kids or 3rd/4th guests

Reduced deposit

Free internet for Verandah & suite guests

 

What you actually get (per the T&Cs) is:

OBC for inside, ocean view, lanai and verandah on cruises of 7-9 days = $400 per cabin; for 10+ days it is $600 per cabin

OBC for Suites (Vista, Signature, Neptune and Pinnacle) on cruises 7-9 days = $600 per cabin; for 10+ days $800 per cabin

 

Pinnacle grill dinner for guests 1 and 2

Beverage card only if there are extra guests in the cabin, otherwise don't get it apparently.

 

Verandah and suite guests get premium internet for guests 1 and 2, which is valued at $140 on a 7 day cruise and up to $700 for 81+ days. ** I can't remember if each guest in a cabin would normally pay a fee for internet if they were adding it to their ship's account and paying, as in 2x $140 for example **

 

Book by 31 October 2019

I was waiting for the Explore4 as I value the SBP, although my DH doesn't drink any alcohol, only soft drinks and tea, so I wouldn't normally buy the package as that would be a waste of money. I would normally drink 5-8 cocktails during the day/evening on a sea day, less on port days.

 

However, there is an increase in OBC which covers some of the SBP, and then the internet package which I would value but my DH would not.

I need to think about whether this is for us this time around. YMMV.

 

Edited by Bretty

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Posted (edited)

US site here:  https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/deals/explore4.html

 

Same T&C as the UK site.  Pretty lame promo IMO.

 

Without checking fares, if I were to refare/rebook with the new promo, I'd lose SBP for $400 extra OBC.  It'll be nice for someone who doesn't drink much.  I think I'll keep my SBP.

 

Edit - Just checked the fare difference.  My booking will drop by $858.  The question is, how much will our bar bills be at the end of 7 days?  BTW, majority of savings came from 3rd PAX in our room.  Fare dropped from $699 to $99.

 

Edit - Got the sailing's list from my TA.

2019-Explore4-Sailing-List-080119-103119.pdf

Edited by Selion

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17 minutes ago, Selion said:

Edit - Just checked the fare difference.  My booking will drop by $858.  The question is, how much will our bar bills be at the end of 7 days?  BTW, majority of savings came from 3rd PAX in our room.  Fare dropped from $699 to $99.

 

Edit - Got the sailing's list from my TA.

 

 

Thank you for the link.

Checked my price and it is UP nearly $900.  No thank you, HAL.

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We also booked using EBB. Just checked and pricing for Verandah on same deck (but not Aft cabin) is up $1,500. Explore4 is not attractive on this example, and based on the recent comments here,  it doesn’t incentivize me to search for additional sailing opportunities. 

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On 7/30/2019 at 11:51 AM, VMax1700 said:

It's not really Explore 4 is it?  There isn't 4 Extras + Bonus Deal, there is 3 Extras + Bonus Deal + possible Beverage Card! It states Beverage Card for kids or extra guests, but not a Beverage Card for the booking guests!

 

 

I was waiting for this promo to book but now I see that there is no beverage package and the beverage card ($25) is only for kids and extra guests.  They will give you $400 obc plus a dinner in the Pinnacle Grill ... but here's the kicker, they raised the price by, well, you guessed it, by an $400.  The travel insurance probably goes up by doing it that way.  Ugh!  They will give you free internet for the week if you book a balcony or better.  Well, the promo is pretty much a complete bust as it is really only a free dinner.  Woop woop!  I will pass!!  I am sticking with the Princess one for which I got a way better deal.  

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Eligible cruises aren't until summer 2020. Not happy.  😞

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8 minutes ago, Boatdrill said:

Eligible cruises aren't until summer 2020. Not happy.  😞

 

]Even so, I don't think the promo is a good one.  They raised the price by essentially the same amount they give out as OBC.  

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On 7/30/2019 at 3:06 PM, friendswithdave said:

There is something wrong with this screenshot. Why would a $25 beverage card be for kids or guests UNLESS the SBP was included in the deal? Don't read too much into this. I predict this is a draft page not meant for public view and the actual Explore4 package revealed on August 1 will not look like this and WILL include the SBP. I think Celebrity is winning over their customers (included me on the last cruise) by including a bev package in deals. We will see.

 

They won me as a customer as well! I have booked my first cruise with Celebrity, partially because of their package pricing.  I have only sailed with Holland America in the past (currently 3 stars with HAL), and was leaning towards trying something different next time anyways, but the bundled package at Celebrity was much more appealing to me than what HAL was offering, and the pricing was very similar.  With Celebrity we got the elite beverage package, OBC ($300), prepaid gratuities and free internet.  It really was a no brainer.  I do love HAL and look forward to future sailings, but also very much looking forward to trying out Celebrity! 

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1 hour ago, Boatdrill said:

Eligible cruises aren't until summer 2020. Not happy.  😞

 

My cruise in April 2020 is eligible according to the link provided earlier in this thread.  

You better do a price check though as mine is up and not worth the promo.

 

I checked the HAL site to be sure and yes, the promo is up and yes, my cruise qualifies. 

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19 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

My cruise in April 2020 is eligible according to the link provided earlier in this thread.  

You better do a price check though as mine is up and not worth the promo.

 

I checked the HAL site to be sure and yes, the promo is up and yes, my cruise qualifies. 

My April 2020 cruise is not included (7 day Pacific Coastal).

 

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2 hours ago, DaveOKC said:

My April 2020 cruise is not included (7 day Pacific Coastal).

 

I am on the coastal in April 2020 as well.  I was waiting for that one to be included, but sadly, it is not.

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3 hours ago, DC1979 said:

 

They won me as a customer as well! I have booked my first cruise with Celebrity, partially because of their package pricing.  I have only sailed with Holland America in the past (currently 3 stars with HAL), and was leaning towards trying something different next time anyways, but the bundled package at Celebrity was much more appealing to me than what HAL was offering, and the pricing was very similar.  With Celebrity we got the elite beverage package, OBC ($300), prepaid gratuities and free internet.  It really was a no brainer.  I do love HAL and look forward to future sailings, but also very much looking forward to trying out Celebrity! 

Yep, agreed.  The SBP was always a very intriguing carrot for us.  We're not huge drinkers, but loved  the freedom of the SBP.  I think this is a mistake HAL.  I too will be looking more closely at Celebrity - have done one and thoroughly enjoyed it - with a cocktail in my hand!

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5 hours ago, DaveOKC said:

My April 2020 cruise is not included (7 day Pacific Coastal).

 

 

They rarely are for those sadly.  

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2 hours ago, canadianbear said:

 

They rarely are for those sadly.  

 

2 hours ago, canadianbear said:

 

They rarely are for those sadly.  

The Fall 2020 Coastals mostly are.  But then again, the prices are higher.

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March 21 2020 Hawaii and Tahiti not on the list. (the similar itinerary in fall 2020 is, but the terms are not attractive anyway). Was waiting for E4 with the possibility of switching from an inside to a verandah, but even if our cruise were on the list, looks like we'd get $264 internet for $6000 base fare to make that switch without even the SBP to sweeten the deal. 

 

Not going to happen! We'll stay in our inside, buy our own SBP, and spend our time in the Crows Nest. 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Like everyone else is commenting --- what a bust. Usually we do 2-4  bookings during the E4 promo. Not this time - we won't book any more new ones on HAL. We were also hoping to re-book 3 of our 5 booked cruises.....one was eligible...got the 600 credit but the price went up 600- no deal there!!  Our other 2 (one in Caribbean and 1 on west coast were not "eligible"). This is not the E4 we've enjoyed for the past many years!!

 

Edited by boze9999
correction

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10 hours ago, boze9999 said:

Like everyone else is commenting --- what a bust. Usually we do 2-4  bookings during the E4 promo. Not this time - we won't book any more new ones on HAL. We were also hoping to re-book 3 of our 5 booked cruises.....one was eligible...got the 600 credit but the price went up 600- no deal there!!  Our other 2 (one in Caribbean and 1 on west coast were not "eligible"). This is not the E4 we've enjoyed for the past many years!!

 

 

E4 hasn't been a good deal for a few years because of the price bump it causes. And now it's really E3 and a "maybe," because the beverage card benefit only exists for 3rd and 4th passengers in the cabin. 

 

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11 hours ago, DaveOKC said:

 

The Fall 2020 Coastals mostly are.  But then again, the prices are higher.

We like the spring ones but certain ports.  Doubt we will go in 2020 as have a Europe cruise planned.

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Have a 31 day repositioning cruise to Europe in April. Got prepaid gratuities and some OBC. I just looked. This cruise is eligible, BUT the price went up about $400 and losing $800+ in prepaid gratuities doesn’t make any sense. Never have had the SBP so no big deal to us. Guess we will have to keep an eye out for the prepaid gratuities in the future...unless they change that, too.

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This is sad of HAL!!! Just my thoughts.

In May we booked another cruise with HAL 

included the usual Explorer4 !! SBP AND PINNACLE. Our cruise coming up has the same. We enjoy this promo.

I finally looked at this promo and now they

the advertising team with HAL IMO said “Let’s do Explorer 4 different! OBC, PINNACLE DINNER, A 25.00 beverage card 

AND REDUCED DEPOSIT!! ( There are the 4 items!!)

Why? The original Explorer 4 was great and I believe possibly as well as me you think at first great let’s book another cruise for this great promo! On board credit not that great and the SBC at 25.00 awful!!

I believe this kind of promo might not last if more people not book with this!

I enjoy HAL as a 4 Star but things are changing. Have a good day all! Sorry for the long reply.

Denise😊

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