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Help understanding internet, beverage, dining packages

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I've just made the final payment on the fare for my cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam in January, but I've done nothing about internet, beverage, or dining packages, because I need some help understanding them.

 

Internet - I've read the posts about the various internet packages, but "Premium" is the only one listed for my cruise. I won't need streaming capability, but I will use email and web sites. The price is acceptable, but should I also expect any other options to be offered?

 

Beverage - it appears that no beverage package makes any sense for me, since I'll be traveling alone and drink only moderately. Even a 4-bottle wine package is too much for seven days, unless I'm sharing it with someone. But a question: on another cruise line, I've sometimes ordered a bottle of wine and had the waiter or the wine steward tag it for retrieval the next night, usually a better value than ordering by the glass and with more choices.* Does HAL do that?

 

Dining - On other cruise lines I've purchased a specialty dining package about half the time. The price for "Distinctive" (Canaletto, Pinnacle Grill, and Tamarind) is acceptable, and based on reviews I think I might regret not eating once in Tamarind. Buy the package, or just pay the cover charge for Tamarind?

 

*One drawback to this is that, having initially chosen wine to complement the food, the next night one finds oneself choosing food to complement the wine.

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Internet--buy on-board since you don't need premium which is the only one available for pre-purchase. You will want the middle package.

 

Beverage--yes, they will hold your bottle for you.

 

Dining--you save a little by buying the package ahead of time and end up with the ship assigning you the dates and times (which may or may not be changeable) OR you can purchase individual evenings in the various locations on the dates you prefer by buying on-line ahead of time.

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The middle Internet package is called Surf, and (at least on Zuiderdam at this instant), costs either about $12.50/day when bought for the entire voyage, or $25day if you buy it occasionally. Download limit is 300MB/day. The more expensive package (Premium, the only one you can purchase in advance), tops out at 500MB/day, and allows streaming video,  which Surf doesn't. It's about $15/day if you buy for the whole voyage, or $30/day if bought day-by-day.

One last thing: you don't have to buy a plan the minute you get on the ship: the packages are always available, and the total price drops day-by-day. Still the price per day stays the same, you're just purchasing fewer days. 

Service seems reasonably fast, but HAL won't allow connections to sites that measure the speed. Good luck. 

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12 minutes ago, kwb101 said:

Still the price per day stays the same, you're just purchasing fewer days.

Actually the price per day drops as the number of days you purchase increases. In addition, the cost of the premium plan in advance is just a little more than the price on board of the surf plan. I believe this chart is still accurate.

image.png

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1 hour ago, richwmn said:

Actually the price per day drops as the number of days you purchase increases. In addition, the cost of the premium plan in advance is just a little more than the price on board of the surf plan. I believe this chart is still accurate.

image.png

 

This chart seems to show that the price per day goes down as the *length of the cruise* goes up.

It doesn't appear to matter how many days one purchases, for any given cruise (assuming the cruise length isn't varying).

 

Is that what you meant?

Or does the price per day actually vary for the *same* cruise, depending upon number of days used/purchased?

 

Also, I wonder why they have slightly different length cruises with the same total package price...?

(And these pairings don't seem to be consistent among the 3 different plans.  Odd.)

 

GC

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9 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

This chart seems to show that the price per day goes down as the *length of the cruise* goes up.

It doesn't appear to matter how many days one purchases, for any given cruise (assuming the cruise length isn't varying).

 

Is that what you meant?

Or does the price per day actually vary for the *same* cruise, depending upon number of days used/purchased?

 

Also, I wonder why they have slightly different length cruises with the same total package price...?

(And these pairings don't seem to be consistent among the 3 different plans.  Odd.)

 

GC

You are not given an option of how many days you can purchase. It is from the day you are on to the end of the cruise. On the first day of a 7 day cruise you can either buy 1 day or 7, second day 1 or 6, and so on. You can not choose to buy, for example, 3 days at any time other than with 3 days left in the cruise.

As far as having the same price for slightly different cruise lengths, only HAL knows the answer to that question.

 

Edited by richwmn

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9 minutes ago, richwmn said:

You are not given an option of how many days you can purchase. It is from the day you are on to the end of the cruise. On the first day of a 7 day cruise you can either buy 1 day or 7, second day 1 or 6, and so on. You can not choose to buy, for example, 3 days at any time other than with 3 days left in the cruise.

As far as having the same price for slightly different cruise lengths, only HAL knows the answer to that question.

 

 

That's what it looked like to me as well.

 

I was reacting to the comment above about the cost varying with the number of *days* purchased, but the only "choice", so to speak, is the length of the cruise.  But It still seems that the "per day" price is the same for any given length cruise, regardless of whether one purchases the entire cruise or the "last x days" or "last y days".

 

No?


GC

Edited by GeezerCouple

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Update--noticed the on-line premium internet package for our 9/2020 14 night cruise is $6 more than the on-board 14 night Surf package. Who knows if the price will go up between now and then, so I went ahead and bought it now. Can always cancel until 3 days before the cruise leaves...

Edited by oceanmom

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2 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

That's what it looked like to me as well.

 

I was reacting to the comment above about the cost varying with the number of *days* purchased, but the only "choice", so to speak, is the length of the cruise.  But It still seems that the "per day" price is the same for any given length cruise, regardless of whether one purchases the entire cruise or the "last x days" or "last y days".

 

No?


GC

The column marked voyage length is not named correctly. (I didn't do it)

On the first day of a 7 day cruise you will pay the 7 day price, on the second the 6 day price and so on. Purchase of a single day is $14.99/24.99/29.99 at any point you chose to purchase a single day. The breakdown of cost per day is if you buy the package.

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1 minute ago, richwmn said:

The column marked voyage length is not named correctly. (I didn't do it)

On the first day of a 7 day cruise you will pay the 7 day price, on the second the 6 day price and so on. Purchase of a single day is $14.99/24.99/29.99 at any point you chose to purchase a single day. The breakdown of cost per day is if you buy the package.

 

Well THAT is not particularly helpful if HAL is mis-labeling pricing charts!

Wow.

How could one know what HAL "meant"?

Seems like a billing dispute just waiting to happen...!?

 

GC

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10 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

Well THAT is not particularly helpful if HAL is mis-labeling pricing charts!

Wow.

How could one know what HAL "meant"?

Seems like a billing dispute just waiting to happen...!?

 

GC

If you look at in in one respect it isn't really mislabeled. For the most part people buy the internet package on the first day for the entire length of the cruise. So in that respect the label is correct. However, if you chose to buy the package later in the cruise, you look at it as if you were starting a shorter cruise on that later date.

There have already been discussions about how the packages are prices by those of us who have taken, or are taking, longer cruises. On the 38 day Voyage of the Vikings last year we were given several choices. 1) buy the 31 day package on the first day and then an additional 7 days at the end, or 2) Wait a couple of days and buy the 31 day package and let it run out and not have internet for the last couple of days, or 3) Wait a couple of days, buy the 31 day package then a short package at the end.

Buy or don't buy, your choice. Their game, their rules.

and btw - that chart just kinda appeared. It was never attributed to HAL directly but seems to be correct for what people have been charged.

 

Edited by richwmn

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Can anyone tell me if the Premium Package on HAL will allow me to use FaceTime and/or Facebook Messanger? 

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On my upcoming 7 day cruise on the Nieuw Statendam the cost of pre-paying for the premium plan is $111.99. After looking at the prices shown here it may best for me to purchase it now. 

 

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6 hours ago, canadarocks said:

Can anyone tell me if the Premium Package on HAL will allow me to use FaceTime and/or Facebook Messanger? 

 

Yes it will.  In fact I’ve used messenger with the Social plan.

 

You can use FB with the Social plan (the cheapest, lowest plan) - I’m not sure if messenger works with it or not.

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You can buy individual days at any time, but they're considerably more expensive: Social is $14.99, Surf is $24.99, and Premium is $29.99. For that price you get 24 hours from the time of purchase, and with the same limits and restrictions as the multi-day plans. However, if you only want to be online intermittently, you'll probably save a bit.

My good wife uses WhatsApp for texting during a voyage. 

Good luck! 

Edited by kwb101

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Sorry I misspoke. Can you use FaceTime and/or Skype with the Premium plan? I'm assuming that those are NOT available with the other two plans, correct?

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2 hours ago, canadarocks said:

Sorry I misspoke. Can you use FaceTime and/or Skype with the Premium plan? I'm assuming that those are NOT available with the other two plans, correct?

The sheet we got Tuesday on Zuiderdam has these descriptions:

  • Social: "Access the most popular social websites and applications." Daily download limit is about 200Mb.
  • Surf: "Surf your  sites including email, news, sports and more. " Daily download limit is 300Mb.
  • Premium: "Supports audio/video calling and streaming". Daily download limit is 500Mb, probably not enough to stream one hour of HD video.
  • Good luck!

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Our last cruise on Amsterdam, we decided to wait a few days to see if we needed internet, and in mentioning it to someone else on board, he said the internet was terrible and not worth buying.  So we didn't.  (The TV was poor, too, so perhaps it was a "ship" thing.)   We've only ever had the Surf plan, on other ships it was adequate, sometimes slow.

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I used Skype for Business to make phone calls on the premium wireless plan and it worked well, though some people wondered why I was calling them from my office line while on vacation 🤣

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On 9/8/2019 at 6:55 PM, richwmn said:

Actually the price per day drops as the number of days you purchase increases. In addition, the cost of the premium plan in advance is just a little more than the price on board of the surf plan. I believe this chart is still accurate.

image.png

Thanks for the question OP, and thanks for this chart. I was literally about to sit down and pre-order the internet today, but now I see that, since I don't need the premium plan, if I wait until I am onboard, I will save $40 US, which is significant since I don't need the premium.

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Not sure if this chart reflects onboard pricing? I just pre-booked the Premium Package for our 17 cruise next year and paid just $211.99 ($12.47 per day). 

Edited by canadarocks

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4 minutes ago, canadarocks said:

Not sure if this chart reflects onboard pricing? I just pre-booked the Premium Package for our 17 cruise next year and paid just $211.99 ($12.47 per day). 

It does. Reflect on-board pricing, that is. 
The cruise-long Premium package is the only one that can be purchased in advance, though. Many, if not most, people don't need the Premium package, so it is more expensive to purchase in advance for those people. 
It's not worth it. 

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Ruth, if I'm reading the chart correctly, it was actually less expensive for me to pre-book the Premium Package for our 17 day cruise (in truth... for 2 different 17 day HAL cruises that we're taking this winter). Unless I'm mistaken?

 

We have 3 young granddaughters and being able to FaceTime with them and their parents makes the $12.47 daily Premium Package seem pretty reasonable. 🙂 

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1 minute ago, canadarocks said:

Ruth, if I'm reading the chart correctly, it was actually less expensive for me to pre-book the Premium Package for our 17 day cruise (in truth... for 2 different 17 day HAL cruises that we're taking this winter). Unless I'm mistaken?

 

We have 3 young granddaughters and being able to FaceTime with them and their parents makes the $12.47 daily Premium Package seem pretty reasonable. 🙂 

This was the case for our cruise as well.  We saved by purchasing is advance.  

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3 hours ago, canadarocks said:

Ruth, if I'm reading the chart correctly, it was actually less expensive for me to pre-book the Premium Package for our 17 day cruise (in truth... for 2 different 17 day HAL cruises that we're taking this winter). Unless I'm mistaken?

That's what I said. The Premium package can be purchased in advance, and yes, it does cost less that way. 
But none of the other packages can be purchased in advance, and they cost less than the Premium package. If you don't need the Premium package, then it costs less to wait and purchase what you do need on board. 

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