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About RedmondCruiser

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    Seattle Washington

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  1. True - Industry standards and all bottom line driven. The exorbitant increase of 71% is to drive you to buy your drinks at the bar. I still enjoy sitting on my veranda with a drink and watch the ocean pass by. The profit margins are undeniable - a bottle generates 21 shots. Using Johnny Walker black as a yard stick - at $93 a bottle that's $4.42 per shot, at the bar its $9.50 per shot or just short of $200. Whole sale the bottle cost HAL roughly $35 - so its either $58 profit or $165. Guess what they want you to take ?? I've come to realize that the upscale lines (all inclusive) are looking better - especially when you get your final statement on the last day.
  2. In October my Gin and Tonic package came with a bottle of Sapphire where it is normally Beefeaters. The cost was $42.55. Johnny Walker Black was over $93, which is a rip. I've cruised HAL for over 33 years and many moons ago you could go down to the Kiosk and buy a bottle to take back to the cabin for a 20% surcharge. Those days are long gone and sounds like HAL is just getting greedier. They need to realize that nickel and diming people leaves a bad taste.
  3. We have been on HAL on Thanksgiving and the meal was not that good. The meat was dry and the stuffing was all but none existent. I love the Thanksgiving meal so I may be a bit too critical but the meal was not that good. We just got off a 35 day cruise to Lima and we celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving. The Amsterdam did a fantastic job and produced an excellent turkey day dinner. Therefore Thanksgiving dinner can vary widely depending on what ship your on.
  4. Thank you Ruth for your prompt response. We are in a Veranda Room which they now call a Vista Suite so I guess I'll get hit with the $16 charge. I can see that a signature suite and a Neptune Suite are bigger and therefor are harder to clean but this is a balcony room on the Amsterdam. Will see when I get on board Monday.
  5. Do they still have an embarkation lunch ? Used to get on after 10:30 now they say 12:30 is the earliest Is the standard gratuity still $14.50 PP Happy Hour was eliminated on Princess but from the threads it appears that HAL still has happy hour.
  6. Since we are retired and we do no require a specific time frame, we normally book after the final payment is due. We are booked on a 35 day cruise this month. After the final payment was due the price increased, substantially. Therefore you cannot depend on lower prices. If the bookings are good for HAL then they have no incentive to reduce fares. We did finally booked on a day that they were probably changing algorithms and we made out with a great price. So you can never tell. We have cruised on HAL since 1986 and always enjoyed the produce. In past years we received some great free upgrades but now it goes into upsells.
  7. Noticed the same confusion. Called HAL and the home office said it was $11 per drink.
  8. There will be 5 gala nights and since many of the people on the ship will be on for the whole 34-35 days they normally try not to repeat menu's. We did this cruise out of San Diego two years ago for 32 days. It was our longest cruise and after a while you tend to get into a routine. I found it very relaxing. We will be getting on in Seattle so hope to see you at the MG. I can't speak about the entertainment since I rarely go to the shows. You will have a great time.
  9. I booked back in June for a 35 day cruise from Seattle to Lima and back to San Diego. A Signature Beverage Package was included. The rules were then 15 drinks per day with a maximum of $11 per drink (I don't know who could consume that much alcohol) I was told that the surcharge of 15% was not included. Just did a booking change and now the confirmation states that the maximum is $9 per drink and that will include the 15% surcharge. Can they change the rules and amounts in mid stream ? My wife does not drink and I don't drink that much but looking at the web site it still lists $11 per drink. Can anyone unravel this for me
  10. I have a question about the "Signature Beverage Package". Its included in my booking an I know that it will pay for up to $15 for a libation. If one orders an $18 glass of wine does it show up as $3 or $18 on your statement. The package pays for up to 15 drinks per day and not more than $15 per drink. Since my wife does not drink and I generally only have two drinks at happy hour HAL should be the winner.
  11. HAL has had a habit of going cheap on shuttles. We had sailed into Puntarenas Costa Rica several times and really enjoyed the port. Then they started going to Puerto Caldera where you can see Puntarenas in the distance. Puerto Caldera is a hot dusty shipping port with nothing there. You could see a princess ship docked at Puntarenas but HAL people said that if we wanted to go to Puntarenas we would have to take a cab. The reason for not going to Puntarenas was it was easier to get busses for tours and Puerto Caldera is easier to dock at. My point is, if they are going to go to a garbage port then at least offer a free shuttle, or a reasonably cheap shuttle to go to a destination of interest.
  12. We have been on over 10 Alaska cruises. The weather is not predictable but it will be colder, if you are coming from FLA. I have seen temps in the 80's in Juneau, Been sunburned in Glacier Bay and have seen the pools full in Ketchikan. On the flip side its been cool, but never cold and you do tend to run into rain a lot. Therefore its like a box of chocolates - you never know what you will get. Take layered clothing and don't forget the shorts. On the ship, it tends to be more casual than on a Caribbean cruise. You will have a great time - enjoy.
  13. Have done several Alaska cruises and the inside passage is spectacular and you will enjoy it. This all depends on when slack tide is in the Seymore Narrows. Ships only transit this area at slack tide for safety reasons and this will dictate the time of day that you do through. We normally cruise out of Seattle, which means that we go on the outside of Vancouver Island and this is a boring passage. Have a great cruise.
  14. I understand service dogs but people do take advantage of loose interpretations of the rules. On one cruise a woman brought her cat along as a comfort animal. I finally came to the opinion that it was to garner attention from fellow passengers. To take it to the extreme - call HAL and tell them that you want to bring your comfort python along on the cruise. Wonder what they would say ?
  15. We always purchase the platinum coverage and have never had any problems. On a Sunday sailing out of Seattle on the Amsterdam I awoke that morning with a 102 temp. Called HAL to cancel and had a credit on my credit card by Monday. I thought they were outstanding. If you don't read the contract don't feel alone. I'm a former insurance agent and I have never read the entire contract either.
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