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Okay, so this might seem specific to the week and the ship ... but I honestly don't think it is.

We've booked a Thanksgiving cruise on a newer ship - Nieuw Statendam - for a week. Granted, I got an especially good rate for a verandah room at $439. (It is obstructed). Still, it's about as squarely in the middle of the ship as you get, four rows up, mid-ship. We booked a reservation in each of the fine dining establishments for five of the seven nights - including the $70 per person Dutch restaurant. (Thursday is Thanksgiving, no reason to pay for Turkey. Saturday is Key West, and that's Lobster Rolls in town). 

The fine dining shouldn't come to more than ... $400, for both of us. So that means the trip, with all the best dining HAL has to offer and a verandah room, on a newer ship will cost $639 for the week.

Before you say, oh - well, that's Thanksgiving week - consider ... last September, we booked a trip on Veendam, covering Boston to Montreal, then back to Boston for less than $800 a person. Now, that was a interior room on an older ship. But it was mid-September, almost perfect for walking around Quebec or Bar Harbor, and 14 days of cruising cost us almost $50 a day. Try and find a cruise from Boston to anywhere, anytime at $50 a day. And the Veendam is smaller, but it's still Holland America. 

I have every reason to be committed to Celebrity; I'm not all that far from moving all the way up to Elite +. I am dying, dying to upgrade myself to Oceania because I am at my heart and soul a foodie. But booking an Aqua Spa room on Equinox for the same week this Thanksgiving is $1229 (specialty dining, but only Blu). A 7 night cruise on Oceania was closer to $1400 I believe.

When I started sailing in 1995, I couldn't believe what you could get on the Zenith. I'm sure all dedicated cruisers were astounded on their first trip. But having a balcony, and dining a la carte in the finest offerings of a ship line known for good food, for less than $90 a day? 

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We're Elite on X and enjoy Blu and Aqua Class but spent last Thanksgiving on the Nieuw Amsterdam (and will again this year) for the value.  The prices on X have driven us to focus more on HAL for what I consider to be a very similar product.

 

PS  We cruised Oceania for the first time a few weeks ago and will again in March.  From our perspective, there is no comparison to X, HAL, or Princess when it comes to food or service.  I posted a short review on the Oceania board if you are interested.

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1 minute ago, ricka47 said:

We're Elite on X and enjoy Blu and Aqua Class but spent last Thanksgiving on the Nieuw Amsterdam (and will again this year) for the value.  The prices on X have driven us to focus more on HAL for what I consider to be a very similar product.

 

PS  We cruised Oceania for the first time a few weeks ago and will again in March.  From our perspective, there is no comparison to X, HAL, or Princess when it comes to food or service.  I posted a short review on the Oceania board if you are interested.


I will check it out. 

Oceania ... something special, I'm sure. "Price is what you pay, value is what you get" and HAL and Oceania in my mind have that figured out. I just have a hard time now turning over dollars to X, unless the itinerary is bang on. 

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When comparing Oceania to HAL, another consideration is that specialty restaurants are included in the fare. Also included are all non alcoholic beverages, mock tails and water, sparkling and still. 

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7 minutes ago, GrammieK said:

When comparing Oceania to HAL, another consideration is that specialty restaurants are included in the fare. Also included are all non alcoholic beverages, mock tails and water, sparkling and still. 


Indeed and good points.

Oceania and HAL ... it's not a reasonable comparison at the end of the day (hopefully I wasn't suggesting you could compare them). Sort of like the Yankees and the USC Trojans. I mean, Southern Cal puts together a nice team and all ... 

Cheers.


 

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13 minutes ago, GrammieK said:

When comparing Oceania to HAL, another consideration is that specialty restaurants are included in the fare. Also included are all non alcoholic beverages, mock tails and water, sparkling and still. 

 

Yes, not to hijack the thread, but that is a big plus when considering overall value.  My wife loves her specialty coffees and having that included was very nice.  The included specialty restaurants (guarantee of at least one time in each) is also great although we found the MDR to be equal to the specialty restaurants on other lines.

 

Edited by ricka47
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I like a 'good deal'.   I consider that $100 a day (CAD) per person for an inside meets that criteria.     I guess I should re-arrange my version of a 'good deal', downward.    But I'm not sure that's the best trend.   The cruise ship companies have to make a profit and $436 for a week for an obstructed verandah stateroom, even U.S. dollars seems too low for that.   Then it becomes a question of where can the money come from.    Fewer staff, lower pay for the staff, poorer quality food, docking at cheaper ports further out of town, marginally qualified speakers/lecturers.    I don't want all that to happen.   

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11 minutes ago, kira5 said:

I like a 'good deal'.   I consider that $100 a day (CAD) per person for an inside meets that criteria.     I guess I should re-arrange my version of a 'good deal', downward.    But I'm not sure that's the best trend.   The cruise ship companies have to make a profit and $436 for a week for an obstructed verandah stateroom, even U.S. dollars seems too low for that.   Then it becomes a question of where can the money come from.    Fewer staff, lower pay for the staff, poorer quality food, docking at cheaper ports further out of town, marginally qualified speakers/lecturers.    I don't want all that to happen.   


Vancouver - lucky you!

it's a fair point, they have to make a profit - but there has never been a cruise ship that lost money seeing me get on board. And before I leave my home I've already committed to each of their pay-per-use dining alternatives. 

Judging strictly by their balance sheets and the amount of CAPEX they are involved in, CCL, NCL and HAL aren't headed for extinction. 

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We started sailing HAL two years ago because of value, and we continue for that very reason. There are certain areas and times of the year where supply exceeds demand by a significant margin, driving down prices. OP, to get a true total cost, don't forget to include tips and taxes, which I expect were not included in your $439 price. Still, you got a great value.

 

We are cruising the Caribbean on HAL for the third December in a row because of the exceptional value.

 

I don't sail to make sure the cruise lines make a profit - that's their job to figure out. 

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I think for mid-size ships HAL is a value.  Once above 1500 passengers and for run of the mill Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises maybe not.  I sailed Oceania and I paid far more than I would have on HAL and I and none of my 22 member, well traveled party were impressed.  
 

PS. I think HAL’s cyber Monday sales are true deals, at least they have been the past few years. 

Edited by Mary229
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2 hours ago, friendswithdave said:

We started sailing HAL two years ago because of value, and we continue for that very reason. There are certain areas and times of the year where supply exceeds demand by a significant margin, driving down prices. OP, to get a true total cost, don't forget to include tips and taxes, which I expect were not included in your $439 price. Still, you got a great value.

 

We are cruising the Caribbean on HAL for the third December in a row because of the exceptional value.

 

I don't sail to make sure the cruise lines make a profit - that's their job to figure out. 



I find that the variable cost to consider is travel - especially when your home airport isn't a hub. Port charges, taxes, even gratuities - these are sunk costs, consistent for every ship and every sailing. 

The function of the $439 was grabbing that cabin in mid-October. And as such, my normal airfare roundtrip to FLL jumped from $500 with sufficient lead time to $1000 (for two, including upgrades and taking a pair of bags). 

(Nonetheless, a flight at $250 + $900 for the January 3 trip on the same ship, same room> $500+439. Was a damned fine price. LOL)

Enjoy your trip! You know, once you are on the Lido you tend to forget the price you paid. Oh Cabana boy, bring me a Pina Colada!

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45 minutes ago, Mary229 said:

I think for mid-size ships HAL is a value.  Once above 1500 passengers and for run of the mill Caribbean and Mediterranean cruises maybe not.  I sailed Oceania and I paid far more than I would have on HAL and I and none of my 22 member, well traveled party were impressed.  
 

PS. I think HAL’s cyber Monday sales are true deals, at least they have been the past few years. 


Really rather surprised to hear that about Oceania. Wow - that's a crowd for those ships. Like you accounted for 5% of their take! LOL.

And much of this is relative. I mean, if you get into a ship where you have to co-exist with 4000 other human beings well that's a non-starter to me. When I'm willing to allow my vacation time to include standing on lines and purely eating mass produced crap, I'll go to Six Flags. Hopefully that doesn't sound terribly elitist. 

But you are right. If that's the game, you just can't beat RCL. I guess it gets back to what you value. 

PS Yes!

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Just now, AlexCherie said:


Really rather surprised to hear that about Oceania. Wow - that's a crowd for those ships. Like you accounted for 5% of their take! LOL.

And much of this is relative. I mean, if you get into a ship where you have to co-exist with 4000 other human beings well that's a non-starter to me. When I'm willing to allow my vacation time to include standing on lines and purely eating mass produced crap, I'll go to Six Flags. Hopefully that doesn't sound terribly elitist. 

But you are right. If that's the game, you just can't beat RCL. I guess it gets back to what you value. 

PS Yes!

My sister at that time was one of their top selling private agencies and I have a lot of sisters.  Needless to say we are all avid and experienced travelers.  My sister is no longer promoting Oceania in her agency.  We were on the Riviera.  We found the staff grumpy and uncaring, the service abrupt and unpleasant, the shore excursions marginal.  The shore excursions were such a poor selection we did not even use up our free allotment choosing to pay for independent excursions or free ranging.   The ship was clean😉.  

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3 hours ago, kira5 said:

I like a 'good deal'.   I consider that $100 a day (CAD) per person for an inside meets that criteria.     I guess I should re-arrange my version of a 'good deal', downward.    But I'm not sure that's the best trend.   The cruise ship companies have to make a profit and $436 for a week for an obstructed verandah stateroom, even U.S. dollars seems too low for that.   Then it becomes a question of where can the money come from.    Fewer staff, lower pay for the staff, poorer quality food, docking at cheaper ports further out of town, marginally qualified speakers/lecturers.    I don't want all that to happen.   

 

Filling the ships at even low-low prices can increase the bottom line considerably.  Pax, especially newbies, spend and spend onboard.  That appears to be where a lot of the profit is.

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19 hours ago, AlexCherie said:

Okay, so this might seem specific to the week and the ship ... but I honestly don't think it is.

We've booked a Thanksgiving cruise on a newer ship - Nieuw Statendam - for a week. Granted, I got an especially good rate for a verandah room at $439. (It is obstructed). Still, it's about as squarely in the middle of the ship as you get, four rows up, mid-ship. We booked a reservation in each of the fine dining establishments for five of the seven nights - including the $70 per person Dutch restaurant. (Thursday is Thanksgiving, no reason to pay for Turkey. Saturday is Key West, and that's Lobster Rolls in town). 

The fine dining shouldn't come to more than ... $400, for both of us. So that means the trip, with all the best dining HAL has to offer and a verandah room, on a newer ship will cost $639 for the week.

Before you say, oh - well, that's Thanksgiving week - consider ... last September, we booked a trip on Veendam, covering Boston to Montreal, then back to Boston for less than $800 a person. Now, that was a interior room on an older ship. But it was mid-September, almost perfect for walking around Quebec or Bar Harbor, and 14 days of cruising cost us almost $50 a day. Try and find a cruise from Boston to anywhere, anytime at $50 a day. And the Veendam is smaller, but it's still Holland America. 

I have every reason to be committed to Celebrity; I'm not all that far from moving all the way up to Elite +. I am dying, dying to upgrade myself to Oceania because I am at my heart and soul a foodie. But booking an Aqua Spa room on Equinox for the same week this Thanksgiving is $1229 (specialty dining, but only Blu). A 7 night cruise on Oceania was closer to $1400 I believe.

When I started sailing in 1995, I couldn't believe what you could get on the Zenith. I'm sure all dedicated cruisers were astounded on their first trip. But having a balcony, and dining a la carte in the finest offerings of a ship line known for good food, for less than $90 a day? 

 

We're on that cruise too. I'll be getting my lobster roll at DJ's Clam Shack on Duval St. I've spent alot of time in KW and you cannot beat that place. Also, pickleballing in the am at the new dedicated 6 court facility on the water.

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5 hours ago, JoeMammy said:

 

We're on that cruise too. I'll be getting my lobster roll at DJ's Clam Shack on Duval St. I've spent alot of time in KW and you cannot beat that place. Also, pickleballing in the am at the new dedicated 6 court facility on the water.

 

We'll see you there! LOL - it's EXACTLY where we were going 

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