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Carnival Purchase of HAL

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It has been many years (probably 20) since we cruised HAL.  It was wonderful then, with Half Moon Cay being a particular treat as we were the only ship there at the time.  We are contemplating another cruise and are wondering what changes, if any, are apparent on HAL ships since Carnival took over. At some point, we heard that HMC was no longer comfortable due to the quantity of Carnival ships there at the same time.

 

Any insight would be appreciated. 

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Carnival ships are not at HMC the same time as HAL ships.

HAL is simply under the Carnival Corporation umbrella.  Had that not happened, HAL most likely would not have survived.

 

There’s been plenty of changes - some for the better and some for the worse - depends on your point of view.

 

To try to recap over 20 years is pretty tough.  And my memory can be short what has changed since 2000.  In fact, the changes I list here might have happened earlier.

 

 

I don’t believe cabins were available when you boarded back then as they are now.  I’m not sure if “tipping was not required” back then when you last sailed or not but HSC (hotel service charge/tips) are added to your on board account automatically on a daily basis.

 

It will depend on which ship you are sailing but generally, Vista class and above have the larger, flat screen tv’s with on demand movies, etc. (That has definitely changed since 2000).

 

You’ll probably want to do a bit of reading on these boards and hopefully others can help you.

 

 

 

 

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Smoking is no longer allowed in stateroom or balconies.

You can only bring on board (at embarkation) one bottle of wine per person. You cannot bring on board beer.

The menu for the Main Dining Room is not as good as it used to be, but you can find much better fare at the extra cost specialty dinning.

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As with many cruise lines now, there is no longer a "formal" dress code. Smart casual/country club casual is as formal as it gets (although you may dress up as much as you want).

Forget about seeing the beautiful and abundant flower arrangements - big cost reductions there.

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11 minutes ago, Tom O. said:

You can only bring on board (at embarkation) one bottle of wine per person.

You can bring on as much wine as you can carry at embarkation, but only one bottle per adult will be corkage-free if consumed in the cabin. Additional bottles are subject to an $18 corkage fee and may be consumed anywhere on the ship.

Edited by catl331

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Hi,

 

Carnival Corporation purchased Holland America Line in 1989. In general, ships have become more casual during the past few years and the food and service in the main dining room have gradually declined (I started taking cruises in 1967). I still love cruises, but the experience has changed.

 

Chuck

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1 hour ago, Roser said:

contemplating another cruise and are wondering what changes, if any, are apparent on HAL

 

There have been so many changes since you last cruised HAL, it is impossible to remember them all.  There are  many more balcony cabins on the ships than 20 years ago.  They no longer use 2(or 3?) -part NCR hand written bills in the bars and lounges.  No flaming desserts.  Bigger pools.  Different soap/shampoo provider, and the shampoo, conditioner, and body wash are in wall mounted dispensers. One small outdoor smoking area.  The beds are much more comfortable.  Port times may be shorter than in the past.  Bigger ships, more passengers, much more varied passengers. 

 

Re your specific question about HMC, there is another bar there IIRC.  The infrequent time HMC is on our itinerary, we stay on the ship.

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HMC is still one of my favorite spots, it is getting built up........hopefully not much more will be added, but I do so enjoy the beach there.  HAL, along with most cruise lines, have all changed to keep competitive, I still feel HAL is a good bang for the buck..........IMHO....

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1 hour ago, Roser said:

It has been many years (probably 20) since we cruised HAL.  It was wonderful then, with Half Moon Cay being a particular treat as we were the only ship there at the time.  We are contemplating another cruise and are wondering what changes, if any, are apparent on HAL ships since Carnival took over. At some point, we heard that HMC was no longer comfortable due to the quantity of Carnival ships there at the same time.

 

Any insight would be appreciated. 

Have you sailed on other cruise lines recently or haven't taken a cruise in a while? That would help frame how to describe the changes to HAL since the entire cruise industry has seen a bit of changes since 2000.

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1 hour ago, catl331 said:

You can bring on as much wine as you can carry at embarkation, but only one bottle per adult will be corkage-free if consumed in the cabin. Additional bottles are subject to an $18 corkage fee and may be consumed anywhere on the ship.

That is correct. I should have said just one bottle per person free of corkage fees.

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1 hour ago, retafcruiser said:

As with many cruise lines now, there is no longer a "formal" dress code. Smart casual/country club casual is as formal as it gets (although you may dress up as much as you want).

Forget about seeing the beautiful and abundant flower arrangements - big cost reductions there.

The so called smart casual dress code is also declining.  On a recent Caribbean cruise, we saw men in jeans, tee shirts and ball caps in the Main Dining Room. 

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When you do stop at HMC, you will only find HAL ships there -- maybe 2 at a time.  Carnival ships do not use HMC when HAL is there.

 

Cabin stewards have many more cabins to clean -- usually 2 stewards for every 30 - 34 cabins.  Lots of cutbacks in staff n the dining room as well.  They have more tables to take care of.  Not all the main dining is fixed seating -- there is now Open Seating which you can request and dine any time you want to between 5:15 and 9.

 

The Signature class ships -- Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam have the Tamarind specialty restaurant.  The Pinnacle class ships have a few other specialty restaurants.

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31 minutes ago, Tom O. said:

That is correct. I should have said just one bottle per person free of corkage fees.

And you should have said per adult, since anyone under 21 in the cabin can't bring any.

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59 minutes ago, catl331 said:

And you should have said per adult, since anyone under 21 in the cabin can't bring any.

I thought that was obvious.

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Just now, Tom O. said:

I thought that was obvious.

It wasn't. The "person" bringing on the wine must be over 21 for most itineraries. 

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I guess I need a lesson in semantics. Here I thought most people who read my posts understood what I was trying to say. But apparently I was wrong. 

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13 hours ago, shank63 said:

The so called smart casual dress code is also declining.  On a recent Caribbean cruise, we saw men in jeans, tee shirts and ball caps in the Main Dining Room. 

No DW to advise or correct them obviously 😉 

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12 hours ago, Alabaster Cruiser said:

No more yumyum man ringing the xylophon for meals.

We prefer open seating, so are not always in the vicinity of the library to see and hear him. Just asked DH whether he remembered too that the yum yum man still (or again) ringed the xylophone on the ms Rotterdam last autumn. The answer was: "yes, if not on the Maasdam in Spring". 🙂 

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