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6 Star - coming soon? if not, when?


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1 hour ago, sansterre said:

Many of those PC rewards are given at the 5 star level.  We achieved 5 stars several years ago and are well on our way to PC.  But there are no additional amenities until then unless a 6 star level is created. Perhaps one more Pinnacle Dinner?  Or a bottle of wine?  I believe we get 100 days of internet;  why not double the minutes? 

It's a long time between 500 days sailed and 1400 days sailed!

 

Since the 100 minutes of internet is long gone, you get a whole $36-$38 worth of credit on the unlimited package.  ( I forget which it is sorry).

 

Frankly I see little benefit in being 5*.  We get 2 free PG dinners IF you can get them credited and IF you can get a reservation.

With all the free dinners being given away with “have it all”, I suspect if you want to use the benefit you will be stuck at eating at horrible times.

Or pre-book and hope you get the credit.  I remember a lot of disgruntled Prinsendam cruisers who were 5* and couldn’t get a reservation unless they wanted to eat at 9 pm.

Other than the 2 free PG dinners and the minuscule reduction in internet (and if you have “have it all” it’s all for naught), I see no big deal with being 5*.

To me, the biggest benefit is being 4*.  Being 5* does not give you a lot.  JMO.

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1 minute ago, kazu said:

 

Since the 100 minutes of internet is long gone, you get a whole $36-$38 worth of credit on the unlimited package.  ( I forget which it is sorry).

 

Frankly I see little benefit in being 5*.  We get 2 free PG dinners IF you can get them credited and IF you can get a reservation.

With all the free dinners being given away with “have it all”, I suspect if you want to use the benefit you will be stuck at eating at horrible times.

Or pre-book and hope you get the credit.  I remember a lot of disgruntled Prinsendam cruisers who were 5* and couldn’t get a reservation unless they wanted to eat at 9 pm.

Other than the 2 free PG dinners and the minuscule reduction in internet (and if you have “have it all” it’s all for naught), I so no big deal with being 5*.

To me, the biggest benefit is being 4*.  Being 5* does not give you a lot.

 

This is so true.  We will be 5 by the end of this year, if all goes as planned, and was thinking of ways to speed the process and DH and I kind of looked at each other and said, "What fer?"

I wish they would make 5 star better!

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6 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

Or the reason we stopped allowing the cruise line to assign us to tables with unknown people, when we were assigned a couple from the deep south that led off conversation the first night with comments about how many minorities there were in our area, and 3 or 4 very blatant racist statements about "lazy people" and so on....

and that’s why we started doing our two top unless we have friends.

 

We’ve encountered that enough.  Insulting and disgusting.  I won’t put up with it.  Ironically two tops (on the Prinsendam - our most recent experience) let us either talk or not.  We had lovely companions and no one mentioned the colour of DH’s skin 😉

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32 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

Or the reason we stopped allowing the cruise line to assign us to tables with unknown people, when we were assigned a couple from the deep south that led off conversation the first night with comments about how many minorities there were in our area, and 3 or 4 very blatant racist statements about "lazy people" and so on....

 

As a life-long Californian, I've been amazed at some of the stuff people from other areas will say about our fellow Californians.  Maybe they read a lot of inflammatory stuff that gives a really false perception of our state.

For the record, we like each other here.

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Agree that 5 star could have a few more perks.  HAL has taken away the Cooking Class and not replaced it with anything, so yes, adding a bit would be nice.

 

I sometimes think the ships don't really see 5 star as a big deal. Maybe they are seeing too many pax at this level, so it becomes "old".  Platinum gets a lot more attention, especially in the various dining rooms.

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35 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

Or the reason we stopped allowing the cruise line to assign us to tables with unknown people, when we were assigned a couple from the deep south that led off conversation the first night with comments about how many minorities there were in our area, and 3 or 4 very blatant racist statements about "lazy people" and so on....

Yes! On another occasion we had a couple that was just offended that we were Americans and started bashing our governments polices!

 

Hey! We are on a cruise what do you expect? Keep politics and opinions at home.

 

Be respectful and kind,

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11 hours ago, kazu said:

 

Since the 100 minutes of internet is long gone, you get a whole $36-$38 worth of credit on the unlimited package.  ( I forget which it is sorry).

 

Frankly I see little benefit in being 5*.  We get 2 free PG dinners IF you can get them credited and IF you can get a reservation.

With all the free dinners being given away with “have it all”, I suspect if you want to use the benefit you will be stuck at eating at horrible times.

Or pre-book and hope you get the credit.  I remember a lot of disgruntled Prinsendam cruisers who were 5* and couldn’t get a reservation unless they wanted to eat at 9 pm.

Other than the 2 free PG dinners and the minuscule reduction in internet (and if you have “have it all” it’s all for naught), I see no big deal with being 5*.

To me, the biggest benefit is being 4*.  Being 5* does not give you a lot.  JMO.

Yes, perhaps it is about $40 worth of internet for 5 star, not 100 minutes (I posted 100 days, sorry - meant minutes!).  I normally use mine up in two days, then use DH's and then purchase the middle package for the rest of the cruise.  It's a bit of a nuisance, but saves some money.  

We have been able to prebook and get full credit, but sometimes you can get the 50% discount back.

I agree the biggest benefit is 4* (free laundry).  

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11 hours ago, aliaschief said:

Yes! On another occasion we had a couple that was just offended that we were Americans and started bashing our governments polices!

 

Hey! We are on a cruise what do you expect? Keep politics and opinions at home.

 

Be respectful and kind,

 

Same thing happened to us on a B2B2B2B in Australia 4 or 5 years ago.  We had the same table for the whole 62 days but every time a new group of passengers boarded we'd get new tablemates.  The first night of a later segment this Australian man started out immediately with "do I detect an American accent?" then proceeded to bash us and our country, government, etc.  DH said if that's the way you intend to be we won't all be sitting at this table very long.  I'm sure if we'd have complained to the head waiter they would have "asked" them to move along to another table.  Lucky for us they didn't make it to the dining room every night.  But it was a very uncomfortable dining experience.

 

I agree with you on keeping politics and opinions out of it.  It's hard enough to get along with some personalities without adding that to it.

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90% of the time when we have fixed dining we have had great dinner companions.  A few were duds, but one was uncomfortable.  On the second night we were going to ask to be reassigned, but then noticed that the offending couple was not there and we saw them at another table.  YEAH!

 

So, perhaps WE were the offending ones and the other couple beat us to the reassigning!

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41 minutes ago, DaveOKC said:

90% of the time when we have fixed dining we have had great dinner companions.  A few were duds, but one was uncomfortable.  On the second night we were going to ask to be reassigned, but then noticed that the offending couple was not there and we saw them at another table.  YEAH!

 

So, perhaps WE were the offending ones and the other couple beat us to the reassigning!

 

One time, we asked to be separated from our awkward party of four and the clumsy MDR manager put is at separate tables for two, one right behind the other.  That was extremely embarrassing.  

 

I'm sure we all have some MDR stories to tell.  But overall, we have enjoyed meeting many nice people.  The happiest one I observed was on a very long cruise, I kept curiously observing the table across from us.  They seemed so ill-assorted.  Then the last night, one of the guys brought gifts for all the ladies, and they all ordered champagne to share, and were all super jolly together.  That was very, very heart-warming, and a lesson learned, too.

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I honestly find all the cruise line loyalty schemes to be on little material value.  If I get a perk here or there from them, fine, great - but I don't cruise with a  particular line just for the loyalty perks. 

 

Cruising has changed significantly in the last few years with bundled pricing being the latest, greatest trend which often diminishes the perks of high loyalty consumers.  I personally feel that the fare bundling is NOT to keep loyal consumers, but rather to obtain new cruisers at higher base fares and increase  revenue , and so they can sell more ancillary items downstream since more is included upfront.

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33 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

I honestly find all the cruise line loyalty schemes to be on little material value.  If I get a perk here or there from them, fine, great - but I don't cruise with a  particular line just for the loyalty perks. 

 

Cruising has changed significantly in the last few years with bundled pricing being the latest, greatest trend which often diminishes the perks of high loyalty consumers.  I personally feel that the fare bundling is NOT to keep loyal consumers, but rather to obtain new cruisers at higher base fares and increase  revenue , and so they can sell more ancillary items downstream since more is included upfront.

 

I agree with you mostly but I don’t see how the trend of HAL’s Have it All diminishes the perks for Mariners?  Beverage package, discount on shore excursions, free specialty dining , free internet or pre-paid gratuities.  None of these apply to Mariners with the exception of 2 free PG dinners & a minor discount on internet for 5* Mariners.

 

DH and I still order the wine packages whether we have SBP or not.  We like nice wine (& the SBP wine is not our choice at dinner 😉 ) and the 50% off sure helps 😉 

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1 minute ago, kazu said:

 

I agree with you mostly but I don’t see how the trend of HAL’s Have it All diminishes the perks for Mariners?  Beverage package, discount on shore excursions, free specialty dining , free internet or pre-paid gratuities.  None of these apply to Mariners with the exception of 2 free PG dinners & a minor discount on internet for 5* Mariners.

 

DH and I still order the wine packages whether we have SBP or not.  We like nice wine (& the SBP wine is not our choice at dinner 😉 ) and the 50% off sure helps 😉 

Agree with your assessment, kazu.  Complimentary laundry, two complimentary Pinnacle dinners and 50% off other specialty dining lunches and dinners, 50% off wine packages (Celler 3 works for me).  Yes, HAL could be more generous (see 6 star thread), maybe they will be some day :)  I look at the bottom line and if HAL insists on charging fares that are much higher than in the past as they are doing at this time, then these perks are an important part of that bottom line.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, kazu said:

 

....Beverage package, discount on shore excursions, free specialty dining , free internet or pre-paid gratuities.  ....

 

No, unfortunately the "Have It All" does not include prepaid gratuities.  And that was probably the only thing even remotely of value to me since I'm not much of a drinker (glass of wine with dinner), already have 50% off specialty dining anyway and the rest is paid for by shareholder and other types of OBC,  and generally prefer exploring places on my own or with independent tour contractors...rather than in a packed HAL shorex bus. 

Edited by Av8rix
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We like the discount on the wine packages and on the mini-bar purchases as well. The discounts are meaningful to us and kinda makes it all feel more like home.

 

For 5-star, it would be nice to be notified when specialty restaurant reservations open up, and to be given a few days lead time to make reservations.  This wouldn't cost HAL anything, but would be a show of appreciation and hospitality.  (Not useful to late-bookers, obviously.)

 

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34 minutes ago, Av8rix said:

No, unfortunately the "Have It All" does not include prepaid gratuities.  And that was probably the only thing even remotely of value to me since I'm not much of a drinker (glass of wine with dinner), already have 50% off specialty dining anyway and the rest is paid for by shareholder and other types of OBC,  and generally prefer exploring places on my own or with independent tour contractors...rather than in a packed HAL shorex bus. 

Forget pre-paid gratuities as a reward.  That is the only perk that cost the cruise lines at face value, everything else costs them next to nothing.  I expect gratuities to continue to rise, they may be bundled but that cost will be evident in the bundled price.   Prepaid gratuities are the one perk that the cruiser can't mitigate and are the special offer to seek.   

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1 hour ago, Av8rix said:

No, unfortunately the "Have It All" does not include prepaid gratuities.  And that was probably the only thing even remotely of value to me since I'm not much of a drinker (glass of wine with dinner), already have 50% off specialty dining anyway and the rest is paid for by shareholder and other types of OBC,  and generally prefer exploring places on my own or with independent tour contractors...rather than in a packed HAL shorex bus. 

 

 

Actually it did until a few weeks ago.  If you booked early you got it.

 

If you are on a short cruise and do HAL excursions then the shore excursions discount is worth it, but on longer cruises - the prepaid gratuities is much better IMO.

Have it all has varied but HAL seems to now have it set at the shore excursions.  Glad I booked early for one and for the other - I simply went “bare bones”.  

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3 hours ago, kazu said:

 

I agree with you mostly but I don’t see how the trend of HAL’s Have it All diminishes the perks for Mariners?  Beverage package, discount on shore excursions, free specialty dining , free internet or pre-paid gratuities.  None of these apply to Mariners with the exception of 2 free PG dinners & a minor discount on internet for 5* Mariners.

 

DH and I still order the wine packages whether we have SBP or not.  We like nice wine (& the SBP wine is not our choice at dinner 😉 ) and the 50% off sure helps 😉 

My only concern would be the impact on seatings In specialty restaurants as they will get more traffic then before.

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2 hours ago, AncientWanderer said:

We like the discount on the wine packages and on the mini-bar purchases as well. The discounts are meaningful to us and kinda makes it all feel more like home.

 

For 5-star, it would be nice to be notified when specialty restaurant reservations open up, and to be given a few days lead time to make reservations.  This wouldn't cost HAL anything, but would be a show of appreciation and hospitality.  (Not useful to late-bookers, obviously.)

 

What would actually be nice is if you got the discount when you booked and could book your free 5 star dinners.  If hal hired decent IT people this probably wouldn’t be a problem.  They had 16 months with nothing to do and they still didn’t get it done.  

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1 hour ago, Florida_gal_50 said:

What would actually be nice is if you got the discount when you booked and could book your free 5 star dinners.  If hal hired decent IT people this probably wouldn’t be a problem.  They had 16 months with nothing to do and they still didn’t get it done.  

On the Oosterdam 10 years ago (really!) the Hotel Director was taking questions from a group of 4 stars. In answer to a question about this issue, he said, "Seattle is working on it and it will happen".   Amazing!

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7 minutes ago, SilvertoGold said:

On the Oosterdam 10 years ago (really!) the Hotel Director was taking questions from a group of 4 stars. In answer to a question about this issue, he said, "Seattle is working on it and it will happen".   Amazing!

Someone should have asked, will that be in our lifetime 😛?  I knew they’d been saying that for a while but 10 years is ridiculous.

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12 hours ago, Florida_gal_50 said:

....If hal hired decent IT people this probably wouldn’t be a problem.  They had 16 months with nothing to do and they still didn’t get it done.  

CCL (corporate, not the line) outsourced IT to a French contractor, Capgemini, back at the end of 2016.  And the web site has been fraught with problems ever since.

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28 minutes ago, Av8rix said:

CCL (corporate, not the line) outsourced IT to a French contractor, Capgemini, back at the end of 2016.  And the web site has been fraught with problems ever since.

It wasn’t great before that.  I guess they must be cheap because why stick with a company that’s so useless?

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12 hours ago, SilvertoGold said:

On the Oosterdam 10 years ago (really!) the Hotel Director was taking questions from a group of 4 stars. In answer to a question about this issue, he said, "Seattle is working on it and it will happen".   Amazing!

In order to avoid any type of confrontation or negativity, that is their stock answer to basically any question 😏 I have heard that numerous times about the internet, applying 4 and 5 star discounts pre-cruise, improving shows in the theatre, better service from the laundry, bringing back bands, having some sort of sailaway party where staff and entertainers actually show up, officers being more visible and engaging around the ship, on and on ...  Seems like Seattle is always working on it!  They must be very busy! 

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9 hours ago, taxmantoo said:

They must be very busy! 

 

Or is it corporate inertia?  What has "worked" and been "accepted" in the past while our bookings are maintained, why change?

 

My opinion:  since Stein Kruse left HAL as its CEO/President, whatever his title was, HAL's successive leaders have left much to be desired.  His added responsibilities in Carnival Corporation left him less time to be concerned about HAL.  I am not even certain that Mr. Kruse is still an Executive of Carnival Corporation.  The 2020 CCL Annual Report seemed rather vague when I tried to determine the answer to that question.  

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