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Everything posted by iceman93

  1. Both of those issues are real, for cruises just before and just after dry dock (I've experienced both). Supplies do start to run low since they don't want a big inventory during the dry dock, and while they try to minimize the impact on guests you will start to see areas closed off for staging, prep work, etc. It wouldn't keep me from booking another cruise just before or after a dry dock, just go in with eyes wide open.
  2. It seems that most of the problems MIGHT have to do with the fact this was an inaugural cruise. I'd like to see Captain Albert do the exact same cruise in six months or a year and see what he thinks then.
  3. I've had minor customer service issues with HAL in the past (nothing even close to what happened to the OP), and they bent so far over backwards to right the wrong that it's part of what cemented my loyalty to HAL over the years. I know that customer service in all industries and particularly hospitality has declined rapidly since "the unpleasantness of 2020", but hearing the OP's tale here really bothers me. HAL screwed up--no matter how, which doesn't really matter--and they should be not only apologizing and fully refunding the OP, they should be offering additional compensation (doesn't have to be cash, by the way) to do what they can to make it right.
  4. A company with sophisticated IT and revenue maximization systems would definitely do this. I just don't think HAL has their act together that well (which isn't a bad thing for us passengers in this case).
  5. I'm sure that the same picture in the RCCL boards would generate a lot of "you'd never catch me dead on that tiny, boring ship on the left" posts. Which is fine--different strokes, and all that. But yes, without ever having sailed on an ...of the Seas ship, I am quite content continuing to sail with HAL.
  6. I completely agree, and had such a poor experience with the Effy people on my NS cruise last year that I will never even consider buying Effy jewelry ever again. My wife and I had been considering a couple of items that were in the $10k-$15k range. Not the kind of decision we make on the spot, so we told them we were going to take a few days to decide which we wanted to get. Every day from then on, when we'd walk by the Effy area, they'd swarm over to us. "What have you decided? Are you ready to buy yet? You don't want your preferred items to sell out, so you should make up your minds!" The kicker was the one day I was walking through the area by myself and one of the sales staff approached me to say "If you want your wife to know how much you love her, you should buy the most expensive items." After being speechless for a moment (rare for me), I told her that my wife knows very well how much I love her and she doesn't need me spending money on trinkets to demonstrate it. I also told her she had lost the sale and to please not approach us anymore. She didn't, but a few days later when walking through the store manager approached us to say he understood there was a problem with a sale but that he'd like to take over, and if it was a matter of not being to afford what we wanted that he could offer a slight discount or offer some similar lower-priced items. I was speechless again (twice in one cruise!), but bless my wife she told him it had nothing to do with being to afford the items but that she now knew where the sales staff got their rude attitudes from and to please not approach us again. She also gave him our cabin number and asked that no further Effy offers be delivered to us. Since we were staying in the PS, I hope that put to bed the question of whether or not we could afford his jewelry...
  7. If so, they are sure to get their extra Mariner Society days for onboard spending.
  8. But they may still run out of certain types of fish as the cruise goes on. If you have a particular preference or just want maximum choice, early in the cruise is better.
  9. I sail with children, and often defend children against some of the old grumps on this board, but even I think the "retreat" should be an adults-only area.
  10. While I agree the Lido pizza on all ships is typical cafeteria-quality stuff, my family was extremely disappointed in the NY Pizza. We tried it twice and both times it was nasty--at least the Lido pizza is edible.
  11. I tend to put dry cleaning in a separate bag from laundry, just to make sure there's no confusion. I, like most others on this board, have had many wonderful experiences with this service on HAL.
  12. Yeah, at that price differential it's a no-brainer to pick the SC guarantee. You might end up in an SB or SA anyway, but it's not like the SC's are bad suites by any stretch!
  13. Do you really mean "a small fraction", like the SC was 1/10 the cost of an SA or SB? If so, good for you jumping on that deal!
  14. I'm not discounting your opinion at all, but I just want to point out mine which is different. After trying the production shows on our first few cruises we realized they weren't for us and stopped bothering. We still like the contracted magicians, comedians, etc. but the big stage shows don't do anything for us. So HAL dropping them was actually a huge benefit from our perspective, because we much more enjoy the musical entertainment they have now. And the quality of drinks, food, and particularly service levels are perhaps the most important things to us. For my family, HAL continues to deliver what we care about and enjoy.
  15. And there's the rub. Most of us who post here are loyal to HAL and so grouse about things like bad IT but we struggle, persevere, and make it work. But the average consumer doesn't really care if they cruise on HAL or X or RCCL (kind of like flying United or American or Delta--each have their loyalists but to the once-a-year flyer they're all pretty much the same). That kind of customer is just going to give up and take their business elsewhere, wherever it's easiest to spend their money. I haven't tried to book a cruise on X or RCCL, but I have to assume their websites (if not call centers and chat associates) are easier to work with?
  16. Absolutely, and they do a wonderful job.
  17. Yes, it's just like a land-based restaurant that adds an automatic gratuity (often for parties larger than 8). You can lower or remove that gratuity by speaking with a manager, as presumably there has been a service failure driving one to want to do so. If you had an exceptionally good experience and want to tip more, there will be a line to add it when you sign the final bill at the spa. And I'm sure they're good accepting cash, too.
  18. Yes, it is a bit odd. Maybe they should replace Tamarind with Morimoto @ Sea, and then do something else as a pop-up restaurant. We've got classic steakhouse, high-end seafood, and regional Italian already on board, but there are indeed plenty of other popular cuisines and themes they could try.
  19. Maybe we've just sailed on different ships. On ours, the handle on one side of the sliding door rotates 90° into a locked or unlocked position. When locked, the door is absolutely un-openable from the balcony side. I got stuck out there one time when my wife noticed the handle was in the unlocked position but didn't know I was outside--yes, I pushed REALLY hard on it and the thing was closed tight. *lol*
  20. Thanks for sharing your impressions. The menu sounds absolutely delicious to me, and I'm glad to hear that generally HAL delivered on the flavors and presentations.
  21. I also always stay in the PS, and the sliding doors always have a lock.
  22. You are so right, @Crew News. When HAL first introduced the Pinnacle Grill, we had some really incredible meals there. Keeping in mind the MDR used to be better too, the PG had to truly be something special to be worth the upcharge. Then a few cruises later (it was the Amsterdam) the PG was almost laughably bad. We tried it twice, because *any* restaurant can have an off night, but the experience was the same. That's when we learned how different experiences could be from ship to ship, and how it all starts with management/leadership.
  23. We had such a good experience at Rudi's on the NS earlier this year that we went back for a second dinner later in the cruise. Our server would have fit in at a land-based fine dining restaurant, and every single food item we ordered was delicious. The restaurant that we were super-disappointed in? Nami Sushi up in the Tamarind area. In fact, the service and food there were so bad that we cancelled our later-in-the-cruise Tamarind reservation. Tamarind seems to get universally praised here at CC, so we were especially disappointed.
  24. If I was miserable on a comped cruise, I wouldn't care about paying $778 to get off early. I'd be upset about the wonderful vacation I had imagined that I didn't get to have, but you couldn't pay me $778 to spend two weeks eating food I found disgusting. And since the OP sounds like a serious gambler, and the casino isn't to his liking, then he doesn't even get to enjoy the one thing he sailed for. There's no need to hurl accusations at the OP--he tried HAL and didn't find it to his liking. So be it; life goes on.
  25. And I'm sure you know how to do your own laundry, cook your own meals, and clean your own dishes. Lol. But when I am on vacation, and particularly on an upscale cruise, part of what I'm paying for is NOT doing any of those things. Is evening turndown going to make or break my experience? No, but given that our afternoon often involves a nap (messing up the sheets), a workout or pool time (requiring an in-cabin shower which uses towels), or bringing plates or glasses back to the cabin which need to be removed, we appreciate the evening service which returns everything back to perfection before we return for the night. Pillow chocolates and towel animals are bonuses. I guess the point of this thread is that HAL is wisely asking guests what they prefer. Those who want the full pampering of two daily services can get it, while those who just want once-a-day service can choose that. Seems like a win-win for all, with no need for snark.
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