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Club Orange on The Non Pinnacle Class Ships


mcrcruiser
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Dining experience in the MDR is the same as without CO (on the older ships).  You are seated with others or by yourself (your choice) and if with others they likely will not be CO members.

 

One nice thing though is that there is a separate checkin desk for CO in the MDR.  We never experienced a wait with this, while others experienced long lines at times.  Of course, this only applies if you have Open seating.

 

You will get a separate menu each evening, in a white folder usually, which has all the same menu items PLUS one extra one (some very tasty options to me).

 

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We recently had club orange on the Zaandam.  We got priority embarkation and disembarkation, which was important to us.  We were in group A getting on and the first group off (after self disembark).

 

We were waitlisted for fixed dining, table for two but our boarding pass showed open seating.  When we got on board we found we had fixed with a great table for two. Did club orange help with that, I don’t know but we were happy.

 

There is a dedicated concierge to call and we did a couple of times and that was helpful.  They did have a little sign at the guest services desk for CO but we just waited in line and didn’t use it.

 

We already had a vista suite and didn’t get an upgrade, we weren’t expecting one, so we got a $100 credit pp on our account.  We didn’t use it along with some other credits and it all was refunded to us after the trip.

 

Would we do it again?  Probably not because we expect to be four star in a few months.

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3 hours ago, DaveOKC said:

Dining experience in the MDR is the same as without CO (on the older ships).  You are seated with others or by yourself (your choice) and if with others they likely will not be CO members.

 

One nice thing though is that there is a separate checkin desk for CO in the MDR.  We never experienced a wait with this, while others experienced long lines at times.  Of course, this only applies if you have Open seating.

 

You will get a separate menu each evening, in a white folder usually, which has all the same menu items PLUS one extra one (some very tasty options to me).

 

 

This seems like it would be more that a bit awkward, and not necessarily make other passengers happy... to sit next to someone who has "better" menu choices and might even be sitting there eating that "better food choice" right there with you.

That just seems odd... not good planning...

 

GC

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1 minute ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

This seems like it would be more that a bit awkward, and not necessarily make other passengers happy... to sit next to someone who has "better" menu choices and might even be sitting there eating that "better food choice" right there with you.

That just seems odd... not good planning...

 

GC

 

Haha!  On NA we had CO and our tablemates that first night quizzed us on why we were given glasses of prosecco and a special menu!

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9 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

This seems like it would be more that a bit awkward, and not necessarily make other passengers happy... to sit next to someone who has "better" menu choices and might even be sitting there eating that "better food choice" right there with you.

That just seems odd... not good planning...

 

GC

It really was not a problem once we explained why we were different (I tried not to rub in my superior deal!!).

 

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7 hours ago, DaveOKC said:

One nice thing though is that there is a separate checkin desk for CO in the MDR.  We never experienced a wait with this, while others experienced long lines at times.  Of course, this only applies if you have Open seating.

Can one get the same table for two every evening with the same wait staff at say 5:30 pm.?

Edited by morpheusofthesea
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1 minute ago, morpheusofthesea said:

Can one get the same table for two every evening with the same wait staff at say 5:30 pm.?

 

We were on Noordam just before the pandemic hit.

We had open seating.  On the 2nd or 3rd night, we happened to have an unusually pleasant and efficient waiter, someone really special.

We spoke with the maître d', and asked if it would be possible to be seated in his area each evening, if seating were available.  


We didn't even tell them when we'd arrive, because we never knew very far in advance. 😉 

But there was never much of a wait, usually almost no wait at all.

Once, we were pretty sure we were actually seated just outside his area (from having observed on previous evenings, although we could have been wrong).  But it was just the same as if we were at one of the same tables we'd had before.

 

Shortly after we arrived, so did he, with our preferred bottle of sparkling water... and a question as to whether we'd want our regular preferred of wine.  (We didn't always.). IF we had left a half bottle from the previous evening, that arrived automatically.

 

If you are eating very early, there should be less of a problem getting the same table, too.  As always, "just ask!" 🙂 

 

GC

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As a 5 Star Mariner, who already gets priority on various things, we think CO makes zero sense on the non-Pinnacle ships.  Just our opinion.   As to "priority" on HAL, if you go on a longer voyage (especially Grand Voyages) it is likely that at least 3/4 of the passengers will have priority for various reasons.  A question might be when is priority not really priority...and the answer is when nearly everyone has it!

 

Hank

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I’ve not sailed on any HAL ship with CO yet. However, the meta category cabin upgrade can more than pay for the cost of CO on a non-Pinnacle class ship regardless of whether the priority and dining benefits are of much value. It depends on the length of cruise and whether or not you want the higher meta cabin in the first place.  I just booked a 22 day Panama Canal cruise on the NA. I wanted an aft-facing Veranda cabin that costs about $600 pp more than the lowest cost VH obstructed view veranda.  The cost of CO was $330 pp so the net savings was around $250 pp and one gets  CO as a side benefit.   As seen many times on this board, the benefits and savings can be much higher on the Pinnacle class ships, but CO is really worth investigating on even the non-Pinnacle class ships especially prior to booking.  

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2 hours ago, *Miss G* said:

 

CO makes sense when the upgraded room from lowest meta category is cheaper than purchasing the highest meta category.

That assumes one is interested in the higher category.  We usually favor cabins in front of the forward stairs/elevator which are usually in lower meta categories.  

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9 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

This seems like it would be more that a bit awkward, and not necessarily make other passengers happy... to sit next to someone who has "better" menu choices and might even be sitting there eating that "better food choice" right there with you.

That just seems odd... not good planning...

 

GC

Not actually a better menu but just one added entree available. If your table mate elects not to choose that entree, you can order it. Usually if the number of "special" entree matches the number of Club Orange members at the table, the patrols will not be summoned to the table. 

 

 But yes there are many who have commented on other posts that paying for a special service/line/perk diminishes our Mariner status value, which is not as much of an issue as the decline in service that may come to those that haven't paid into Club Orange. 

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8 hours ago, billbunger said:

Miss G said: CO makes sense when the upgraded room from lowest meta category is cheaper than purchasing the highest meta category.

 

Please explain to me your use of the word meta or what you think the word means. 

 

 

Simply put, meta is data about data.  It groups items being categorized based on relationship.  In this case, the stateroom meta category (suite, verandah, ocean view, inside) groups together the levels within that category. 

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9 hours ago, billbunger said:

Miss G said: CO makes sense when the upgraded room from lowest meta category is cheaper than purchasing the highest meta category.

 

Please explain to me your use of the word meta or what you think the word means. 

 

 

It  means within the category you are in.  Example VH to another higher V.  You would not move from a Veranda to a Signature  Suite as that would not be in the same category. 

 

A Meta Category is a particular type of Category used to "categorize categories". More pragmatically, a Meta Category can contain sub-categories”

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1 hour ago, kazu said:

 

It  means within the category you are in.  Example VH to another higher V.  You would not move from a Veranda to a Signature  Suite as that would not be in the same category. 

 

A Meta Category is a particular type of Category used to "categorize categories". More pragmatically, a Meta Category can contain sub-categories”

 

Thanks Kazu.  For some reason my post was hidden until it was approved by a moderator.  After re-reading the post he was referring to, I think I caught his reference.  I omitted the words “in the” before meta.  My bad.

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I'm considering a future cruise on the Volendam and have a few questions about CO.  I understand about the upgrade but to clarify, if I book an HH, I could book CO and potentially get as high as a C?  As others have said, that would be the only reason for booking CO as I already get some of the other priorities.  I believe I would have to pay for CO now which would be fine but is that CO charge refundable should I later cancel the cruise?  It is more than a year away...  

 

And does the cost of CO depend on the length of the cruise?  This is a three week cruise.

 

Thanks for your help!

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50 minutes ago, Alberta Quilter said:

I'm considering a future cruise on the Volendam and have a few questions about CO.  I understand about the upgrade but to clarify, if I book an HH, I could book CO and potentially get as high as a C?  As others have said, that would be the only reason for booking CO as I already get some of the other priorities.  I believe I would have to pay for CO now which would be fine but is that CO charge refundable should I later cancel the cruise?  It is more than a year away...  

 

And does the cost of CO depend on the length of the cruise?  This is a three week cruise.

 

Thanks for your help!

I can’t speak for the refund part but it sounds like you would get it.  Yes you should be able to get the highest oceanview available.  The cost is $15 per day for cruises over 14 days but if it’s a b2b of 14 days that doesn’t count.  I’ve always had to pay immediately for my club orange even before final.

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The HAL PDF describing the program is pretty helpful. It's on the Club Orange page of the HAL website. As far as cost - this is what it says:

 

"$25/person/day on cruises up to 13 days $15/person/day on cruises 13+ days."

 

After reading these threads recently I looked into CO and decided to see if it was available on my February cruise. It actually was. And though it did not appear as though there were any cabins were available for the upgrade - I was wondering what the "alterative benefit" would be -  they found me one. I went from a VH balcony - which I was perfectly happy with - to a VA.  Since I was on a roll I also booked it for my August cruise on the NS. A separate dining room will be lovely. Again, I went from a VH to a VA. My TA did take some educating and she finally found someone at HAL who understood the program. 

Edited by Windsailer
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