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Is it worth upgrading to Neptune suite from Signature suite


geologyrx
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I will be cruising to New Zealand (14 days) in March 2022.  I am trying to decide between the Neptune suite and the Signature suite on Oosterdam.  Apart from the size of the suite are there any other compelling reasons to incur the additional cost?

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The perks of a Neptune Suite are listed on HAL’s website.  You will also get the Club Orange perks except for the “extra” offering just for CO.  You can have breakfast  in the Pinnacle dining room with a free mimosa on Oosterdam, a special check in line for the MDR with one added entree on a special CO menu.  Free laundry services.  A coffeemaker in the Neptune Suite.  Neptune Lounge services and snacks are available only for Neptune Suites.   

 

Neptune Suites are very nice if you can afford them.  The aft Neptune Suites are a long way from the Neptune Lounge.  The Signature Suites are somewhat smaller and lack the NS perks of free laundry services and special dining and expedited embarkation and disembarkation.

 

The expedited tendering is a questionable feature as I have never seen it working.  In NZ you may have some tender ports.   We really enjoyed our New Zealand cruise in 2019.

 

You can send laundry out every day with a NS .  In a SS you may want to purchase the unlimited laundry service package.

 

 

Edited by oaktreerb
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Look around the board...this topic is discussed very frequently. 

 

We have sailed exclusively in Neptune Suites...10 times, plus two in the Pinnacle Suite, so we think it worth it. But "worth" is a personal opinion only you can come to.

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This is a tough call, especially if you are not at least a 4 Star Mariner with HAL (4 stars get some of the Neptune perks anyway).  To me, it really depends on how much more is the cost.

 

If you decide to stay in the Signature (nice cabins to be sure), remember that you might get offered a "paid upsell" deal to a Neptune about 2-4 weeks prior to sailing.  In my experience, the paid upsell costs are about 1/3rd of the price difference (if you were paying full price) between the two.  The Vista class ships (like Oosterdam) seem to offer this upsell more often, likely due to the higher number of Neptunes vs Signatures that they have.

 

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In general, I think it's worth it, but I would have to know the fare difference between the two on your particular cruise.  

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54 minutes ago, DaveOKC said:

This is a tough call, especially if you are not at least a 4 Star Mariner with HAL (4 stars get some of the Neptune perks anyway).  To me, it really depends on how much more is the cost.

 

If you decide to stay in the Signature (nice cabins to be sure), remember that you might get offered a "paid upsell" deal to a Neptune about 2-4 weeks prior to sailing.  In my experience, the paid upsell costs are about 1/3rd of the price difference (if you were paying full price) between the two.  The Vista class ships (like Oosterdam) seem to offer this upsell more often, likely due to the higher number of Neptunes vs Signatures that they have.

 

The two times we've been in a Neptune Suite (on the Noordam and the old Ryndam), we were originally booked in Signature Suites and got very attractive last-minute upsell offers (of course, you can't count on that). We're now Four Star Mariners, so, as DaveOKC has pointed out, we get the free laundry and other perks, anyway. The one time we were on the Oosterdam, we were in a Signature Suite. We thought it was about the nicest cabin we've ever been in on any ship, any cruise line. It was spacious and had the perfect layout. The Neptune Suites we've had were certainly big, but much of the space seemed wasted. Unless the current price difference is relatively small---$100 pp, per day or less)---I'd go with the Signature Suite.

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IMHO, for the difference in price, free laundry is really meaningless. You can pay for laundry everyday and not come close to the money you would spend on a Neptune Suite. All of the other benefits have no real monetary value but they do make for a nice experience.

It is up to you whether or not those experiences are worth the money. For us, the value was not there. We thought the Signature Suite gave us the space we desired for a very reasonable price.

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I think everyone should try a Neptune Suite at least once, just for the luxury of it. Other than the extra space in both the room and the balcony, there are plenty of other nice perks. No waiting in line for tender tickets, for example. The in-room dining menu is extensive, and offers complimentary mimosas. The main dining room will deliver your dinner selections to your suite, if you prefer private dining.  You'll never have to stand in line at Customer Service because the Neptune Lounge has  people there who do EVERYTHING for you, from booking reservations to  printing up personalized  stationary.  No problem getting a table for two in the upper dining room either.  When the Lounge is closed, just call your 'special' number and get immediate assistance 24 hours.  The HAL site doesn't mention half of the perks in their description. It's kind of a 'learn-as-you-go' experience'. The ships' offerings have always varied slightly in their Neptune Suites,  and who knows what's to come. Twenty years ago, the Neptune Suite passengers were treated like royalty and showered with perks, and over the years it's become less and less, but it's still been worth the experience. Who knows what's to come in the future. 

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Out of 10 HAL cruises, we have sailed in Neptune Suites 5 times, a Vista Suite once and Verandahs the other four. We would say the Neptunes are definitely worth the extra cost. The extra space is wonderful and I love the separate vanity area for makeup and doing my hair. We try to get close to the Neptune Lounge as we enjoy the peace and quiet and the great food offerings during the day. The concierges are so helpful and order our dinners for us every night we decide to eat in the suites. Only one time we were very unhappy with a Neptune - we had to take a Guarantee Neptune in order to get a cheap casino rate and were stuck in one of the aft Neptunes on the Oosterdam. Hated the location as it was so far from everything, especially the Neptune Lounge, and I have some mobility issues of which the cabin inventory dept. was well aware. The suite was much smaller than the regular Neptunes with the same amount of furniture so we were always bumping into something. Never again will we book a Guarantee anything!

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12 minutes ago, Djptcp said:

Out of 10 HAL cruises, we have sailed in Neptune Suites 5 times, a Vista Suite once and Verandahs the other four. We would say the Neptunes are definitely worth the extra cost. The extra space is wonderful and I love the separate vanity area for makeup and doing my hair. We try to get close to the Neptune Lounge as we enjoy the peace and quiet and the great food offerings during the day. The concierges are so helpful and order our dinners for us every night we decide to eat in the suites. Only one time we were very unhappy with a Neptune - we had to take a Guarantee Neptune in order to get a cheap casino rate and were stuck in one of the aft Neptunes on the Oosterdam. Hated the location as it was so far from everything, especially the Neptune Lounge, and I have some mobility issues of which the cabin inventory dept. was well aware. The suite was much smaller than the regular Neptunes with the same amount of furniture so we were always bumping into something. Never again will we book a Guarantee anything!

I have always had good luck booking a guarantee, but I only do that on a shorter cruise, less than ten days, which I can handle, even if it's not the most convenient cabin. Anything longer, I choose my own, with the help of a cruise site that shows exactly where the cabin is and also has warnings about cabins that aren't so great and why. I have learned not to trust the HAL booking agents; they aren't familiar with the ships, or the cabins. 

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If I've learned anything on my thirty or so cruises it's "Never Book a Guarantee Cabin!" (I might add to that, "Never accept an Upgrade"). I don't care what ship or what cruise line I'm on, I want to study the deck plans carefully---not only the deck I'm looking to be on but the decks immediately above and below that one---and choose my own cabin.

 

As for upgrades, if they're free they rarely, if ever, involve an upgrade to a better type of cabin; it's only a location upgrade. And the cruise line's idea of a better location may not be my idea of one.

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We only do Neptune Suites except for four day cruises to try new ships like we’re doing in November on the Rotterdam VII. In addition to the perks others have listed I would suggest you consider how much time you spend in the room. We don’t spend time in the public areas so having the extra space is wonderful. One of us can nap while the other reads without bothering each other. We spend time in the Neptune lounge chatting with others.

One other thing we really like is that the wonderful concierge staff do everything for you. Checking your account, booking spa treatments and tours, contacting your stewards, etc.  They were fantastic on our ill-fated March cruise holding for hours with airlines to rebook flights home. We never have to stand in line at reception. They will also schedule a meeting for you with the FCC (Future Cruise Consultant) in the lounge.
For us this is well worth the price. And for chocolate lovers you get special chocolates on gala nights 🤪.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think the answer to the OP's question really depends on them (habits, financial situation, etc).   If money is no object a large suite is always desirable :).  But for folks who are more careful with their money it really does depend on one's own habits.   DW and I once calculated that we spend no more then 3 waking hours a day in our cabin.  So if an upgrade to a Neptune cost us $300 per passenger day that would mean we were paying $200 per waking hour (per couple) for that nice Neptune.  For us it would not be worth the money because, weather permitting, we would be out on deck (not in the Neptune lounge) doing our usual thing of relaxing and reading.  On the other hand, if the additional cost (for an upgrade from a Signature Suite) was under $100 per person/day we might consider buying the upsell.

 

A few years ago we booked our first HAL suite which was a very nice Signature Suite on the Prinsendam.  The cabin was large and had a wonderful 2 room bathroom.  I our cabin we had a very nice L shaped Sofa and a nice table that could be used to dine in the cabin.  On that long cruise we never dined in our cabin (we prefer socializing in the MDR) and never even used that sofa.  However we did love the bathroom :).    We know other folks who spend a lot of time in their cabin (something we would find very boring) and for them a Neptune is worth every penny.

 

Hank

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Agree with depends on your personal need. We've been in Neptune 4 times and none of them were initially booked. For almost half the price,  a Vista or Signature works for us as long as we have a balcony so we usually start there and have been upgraded (for a cost must less than initially booking) to a Neptune. Our last Neptune was on 113 day cruise and we found that it was nice but really too much space for what we use (depends on your personal needs) so we booked a Vista on our (supposedly) 128 day cruise which was fine. We did miss the lounge perks and being spoiled by the crew in there but still didn't justify the cost. However (we are 5 star mariners) the Neptune suites get priority boarding and tendering so if you are on a cruise where there are mostly 4 and 5 stars or your tendering does not follow Mariner status (as most Grand Cruises don't) it helps if you have a lot of tender ports and do your own excursions in port. (Not sure if this will be allowed in the immediate future in ports). We learned from many other seasoned travelers that sailing twice in a Vista was better than once in a Neptune (cost wise). Not sure what post COVID cruising will be like so you may want to wait until a later cruise to book direct  and just hope you get an upgrade call. They do tell you what cabin your upgrade will be so you can accept or decline but need to be quick so study the floor plan just in case. We try to stay just on the other side of the stairs from the lounge as you sometimes hear traffic in the halls but the most important for us in what is above you. Under the lido or pool is usually noisy at night while crew are cleaning and moving chairs. 8075-81 are our choices under the carpeted Canaletto. Good luck and enjoy. 

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On 1/11/2021 at 6:20 PM, jimdee3636 said:

If I've learned anything on my thirty or so cruises it's "Never Book a Guarantee Cabin!" (I might add to that, "Never accept an Upgrade"). I don't care what ship or what cruise line I'm on, I want to study the deck plans carefully---not only the deck I'm looking to be on but the decks immediately above and below that one---and choose my own cabin.

 

As for upgrades, if they're free they rarely, if ever, involve an upgrade to a better type of cabin; it's only a location upgrade. And the cruise line's idea of a better location may not be my idea of one.

We’ve had several free upgrades from OV to Vista. I guess we just got lucky ....

and they they were in good locations as well . Midships on the Rotterdam. Also some upsells from OV to Neptune, with an upsell you can choose the cabin. Always hoping one comes along.

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On 1/12/2021 at 3:50 AM, ger_77 said:

Neptune suites also have a clock on the wall.  LOL

 

Smooth Sailing!  🙂🙂🙂

 

When entering a different time zone, the clock automatically changes to the new time.

One cruise we were on, a fellow Neptune Suite passenger tried to alter the time himself, the clock had to be replaced.

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On 1/10/2021 at 1:24 PM, geologyrx said:

I will be cruising to New Zealand (14 days) in March 2022.  I am trying to decide between the Neptune suite and the Signature suite on Oosterdam.  Apart from the size of the suite are there any other compelling reasons to incur the additional cost?

Here is a chart comparing the two.  Cruise Ship Rooms - Suites & Staterooms | Holland America

 

One major perk since you will be gone 14 days on the cruise and we don't know how many pre and post cruise days you will spend, is unlimited free laundry.   This will save you from having to bring too much.  The Neptune Lounge for me was a plus.  You also get breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill or Club Orange Dining Room depending on what ship you are on.  The verandah is bigger in the Neptune Suite with a table large enough to have room service there plus an upgraded room service menu.  Too me the perks are worth it but it also depends on the price point for your situation vs. the perks.  If it were me I would say go for it.

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There were some things that we liked in the Neptune Suite.  We liked the extra floor space that allowed us to walk around freely without getting into each other's way.  We enjoyed the larger washroom.  And we definitely enjoyed the larger balcony.  Spent a lot of time on the balcony.

 

The rest of the perks had little to no value to us.  For us, it would come down to the price difference.  I did a quick scan of HAL's site and it seems like the price difference for your cruise is about $2100 per person. I would pass on that.

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1 hour ago, cbr663 said:

The rest of the perks had little to no value to us.  For us, it would come down to the price difference.  I did a quick scan of HAL's site and it seems like the price difference for your cruise is about $2100 per person. I would pass on that.

Yes, at that price "free laundry" would not be a consideration for us.

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On 1/10/2021 at 7:10 PM, jimdee3636 said:

The two times we've been in a Neptune Suite (on the Noordam and the old Ryndam), we were originally booked in Signature Suites and got very attractive last-minute upsell offers (of course, you can't count on that). We're now Four Star Mariners, so, as DaveOKC has pointed out, we get the free laundry and other perks, anyway. The one time we were on the Oosterdam, we were in a Signature Suite. We thought it was about the nicest cabin we've ever been in on any ship, any cruise line. It was spacious and had the perfect layout. The Neptune Suites we've had were certainly big, but much of the space seemed wasted. Unless the current price difference is relatively small---$100 pp, per day or less)---I'd go with the Signature Suite.

We've often cruised in NS (esp afts, for the wraparound balcony). But the Prinsendam's final cruise had sold out of those when we booked, so we got a Signature...Wowie zowie, the best suite ever! Granted, that was on very special ship, but we will book a Sig again for sure. (And we've not felt Club Orange was all that special...)

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On 1/24/2021 at 3:04 PM, Sea42 said:

Yes, at that price "free laundry" would not be a consideration for us.

Normally no, but we are doing several days pre cruise in Athens and several aft cruise in Rome.  The first day they open up laundry we are sending them all through and the same on the last day of laundry.  This way we don't have to pack as much.

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