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Club Orange on the Westerdam?

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1 hour ago, Av8rix said:

Well, I've been offered CO at just $15 per diem on my upcoming cruise on Volendam in a couple of weeks.  Since I'm already 4*, my only benefit would likely be the extra entree on the MDR menu.  I don't really trust what their concept of an "upgraded" stateroom might be.


But I'm just off Amsterdam this week and it was my first cruise since implementation of CO.  I did find the priority CO line at Guest Services somewhat troubling.  I never really needed Guest Services except for obtaining my tip envelopes near the end  so just waited for a slow time to do that.  However, on my cruise there were four (two couples) President's Club folks, numerous platinum-medallion holders and even more 5*s.  As we all know, the line at Guest Services can get pretty long sometimes.  JMO, but it seems wrong that the President's Club members and 5*s (who have spent dearly to achieve that status) have to stand in line while someone else -- who may be on their first HAL voyage -- can just wave their orange card and receive immediate attention.  Again, that's JMO so no flames please.


BTW, there was much discussion among us HAL "regulars" during the cruise about the CO concept.  But I never met another high-status (4* or 5*) cruiser on this cruise who had taken the CO bait.  Like me, they all seemed to feel that there was little perceived benefit over the perks that we already have.  Although just because I never encountered someone that took it doesn't mean that there might have been some that did.


I doubt many high-status Mariners would take CO. HAL doesn't have a lot of perks to give, so they're forced to use the same ones for multiple programs. NS, PS, 4*, 5*, CO all get priority embarkation and priority tendering. So I'm 4* (and on my next cruise in a NS). What do I need CO for? I'm already doubling on the embarkation and tendering perk. I do fixed dining, so priority at the MDR  has no value to me. I always choose my cabin and say "no upgrade" so that perk has no value for me. So, as you say, it's $15 for an extra entree at dinner. And that's a pig in a poke. If you don't want that, you didn't get anything for your $15. 


I'm not going to flame you for your comment about 5*-plus passengers. It would be nice if HAL would give them access to a dedicated concierge or something like that. Another priority line would be a bit too much. As it is, the CO line did nothing for me this winter on K'dam. I was in a NS, so I got CO. Nobody was waiting on the orange CO mat, so I went there instead of the  regular line to see what would happen. The person ahead of me had some long complicated discussion going on and there was only that one staff member working at the left end of the desk. All the other staff were at the right end, where the line is. Instead of calling me next, they just kept taking people from the line they could see. So I would have done better in the regular line. Don't flame me, I'm NOT complaining, just pointing out that this perk may not be what it's cracked up to be. 


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As a Platinum level Mariner I think a concierge or some means of priority at the Front Desk would be welcome (as would any other things they want to throw at me), but I do think HAL's plan, while duplicating some perks/rewards among Mariners, CO and Suite pax, is to make the extra money off newbies/non-Suites/non- high Mariners.  This is what CO does. 

On our recent cruise, Alaska, 2 x 7 days, I was surprised to see the CO card around the necks of a lot of newbies (no stars on their cards). Without past experience of HAL, they buy CO.  Interesting.  I saw very few CO cards on anyone with stars on their cards.

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