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adelaidefc

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  1. $15 corkage is pretty reasonable to me given they'll look after the wine between services and I don't have worry about the hassle of carrying my drink around the ship. And of course can then have another glass in the same meal easily! Can I pay the corkage onboard if I'm not sure if I want to open the bottle in the MDR or in room?
  2. Sorry to bring up an old thread, but seemed easier than starting a new one. Does this mean I can drink my two "corkage free" bottles in the dining room (with the staff keeping any leftover for the next night)? Should I still get them stamped at the alcohol table when boarding then? Or if I want them outside the room I'll have to pay the $15 each to get them stamped? Thanks!
  3. Thanks once again all for the advice. The HAL confirmation definitely has it on there, and I'll take that with me. We did have the Explore4 promo, and figured the Internet was nice but not essential (Norwegian fjords with 5 port days and a roaming sim), and $200USD credit each really didn't seem to go far for drinks (the cocktails around $10-12). And I love the comfort of the cruise being closer to "all-inclusive", so we switched and took the opportunity to request a better room. Strangely when the agent called HAL even with the better category room the price was dropped about $260AUD (about $180USD), so it was a win all round!
  4. Hi, A really simple question I hope. Does the $11USD limit refer to the on-menu price (i.e. the price listed on very helpful sites such as this https://profcruise.com/holland-america-menus/)? Or does it refer to the menu price + 15%? ie. I can really only get drinks that are on the menu >$10 because the gratuity brings it above $11? I'm confused as my cruise confirmation email has the line: includes all beverages priced $11.00USD or lower including service charges On a similar note, the package was included as perk in the Australian 'summer explorations' promo, but when I manage my booking online I still see the signature beverage package for sale under 'Cruise Actvities'. I booked through a TA for the first time ever and can only trust that I have the package from the confirmation email they sent me from HAL. Is that normal? There seems to be nowhere on the site I can confirm my inclusions or anything else. The site also doesn't include the 'including servicing charges' line on the beverage package description either.
  5. Thanks all for great info. About to go on my first Princess cruise to Tassie on Majestic leaving 7 Dec. Having only cruised on MSC, where the drinks package was really good value, was surprised to see Princess at $90/day. Given the drink prices posted here (and assuming gratuities are included on those for Aus departures), you'd have to knock back a lot of drinks (and pick the priciest ones). Having a look at the onboard reservations online, you can pick up a 375ml bottle of Bombay Sapphire gin for the room at $33. For a balcony nightcap or pre-dinner drink this seems good value at roughly $3 a drink + grabbing a can of tonic. Does anyone know if you can order this onboard at the same price? And if anyone had it handy, roughly how much a can of tonic would be? 🙂 I have a decent bit of OBC from promos so would rather get it onboard if I can.
  6. I was only on a 7 night cruise in May (but had travelled for 3 weeks prior). You can definitely split the pieces in the package over the length of the cruise, but make sure they're adding it up correctly. I did over 3 'washes' even on that 7 night cruise. The number of pieces you have left (or have done) will be on the receipt when the washing is returned. I do think getting the package beforehand is good value. It was considerably cheaper than the rates onboard - easily less than half the price depending on what you're washing.
  7. Hi, I've looked far and wide for the answer to this one. I'm thinking of booking a HAL Norway cruise on Nieuw Statendam next year, through either a TA or the HAL site. I've noticed HAL don't seem to have a direct Australian contact number, but they do charge in AUD on their website for the booking itself. So I was wondering if once you book, you can pre-pay excursions/drinks packages etc in AUD as well? Depending on the conversion, this could be very much cheaper. For example on an MSC cruise I went on earlier this year, I could pre-pay Internet, Spa Access and the Premium drinks package in AUD online, for what turned out to be much cheaper than the Euro amount when converted. Also, if I book through a TA, can I still manage my booking through the HAL website? (that's a completely newbie question - I've only ever been on that one MSC cruise). Thanks!
  8. Hi @Captain-John - awesome review thanks very much! A belated question: I'm looking at a Fjords cruise next year and noticed you saved money by booking a 6-day cruise embarking at Copenhagen and disembarking at Kiel. This would definitely work for us but I can't find a way to book that online. Did you go through a TA or through MSC directly? That sort of cost saving would put YC within reach for us potentially.
  9. We didn't really spend liberally on anything on or off the ship, and only off the ship for a grand total of about 6-7 hours during the week. I'd decided to treat the ship as the destination. Part of that was that I'd already paid for things, but the larger part was that I wanted to fully get the experience and have a relaxing time. Apart from a drinks package (that I got great incredible value from, see here), some wifi for $50 and some laundry (all 3 things I would need on land), we only spent about $30 off the ship and $60USD in onboard 'extras'. And that was mainly a few icecreams and then in the tapas bar, because not only the food was great, they had a Vega Sicilia Valbuena wine included in my Premium plus package by the glass. That wine goes for $200 a bottle on land (and $45/glass onboard!), so a few glasses of that was good value! Incidentally they also had a Cognac (Millésime 1973 Delamain) that goes for $600 a bottle on land in the L'Atelier bistro. I enjoyed that one without purchasing anything extra. 😋 As for your premise that you "cannot travel to other countries, with included reasonable dining options, entertainment, and accommodations for as little as you can on a cruise." , I'd still have to respectfully disagree. Even an inside cabin and removing the drinks, wifi and laundry would've been more per day than the per day cost of the 3 weeks before the cruise. And worth noting that from Australian ports, the only other countries you're visiting are some small South Pacific Islands or New Zealand. Everything is an 8-24 hour flight away (and if you're in Perth, even Australian cruises are largely a 5 hour flight away). You could take a cruise to other countries, but you're talking even 2 weeks to get to Singapore one-way, at a far greater cost than a flight. Again, that's not to disparage the true value of cruising. I loved it, thought it was worth the price I paid, and will do it again!
  10. That pretty much sums it up for me now that I've 'discovered' cruising! Also agree the view can be a highlight in itself, and is often a really unique perspective you couldn't get any other way. Much like @clo above - I'm very much usually in the 'go to markets and eat the most local stuff I can find' as much as possible camp. So on the few times we did get off the ship in the 7 days, that's exactly what we did. Sure it wasn't quite the experience of hitting some tapas and vermut bars on Calle de la Cava Baja in Madrid that we'd done a couple of weeks earlier, but still good.
  11. Wow really cool breakdown of costs, Alaska was already pretty high on my list of 'possible cruises to do'. Now it's up even higher. Especially given there are easy 14 hour flights straight from Aus to SFO - a city I already want to check out, and could make a nice trip of it.
  12. In addition to the great comments above I tend to forget that the bulk of forum members here are stateside where annual leave seems to be a bit less than most of the rest of the world. In Aus we're somewhere in the mid range but we still tend to get 4 weeks per year plus in some jobs after 10 years you'll get 3 months long service leave. I imagine if you're like me and like to stay somewhere between 3-7 days in a place it makes it hard to see much else if you only get a couple of weeks off. Of course we have to factor in 24 hours of travel each way to Europe or US so that balances a bit!
  13. My sincere apologies for the duplicate posts, not entirely sure how it happened and rather surprised you can't delete your own posts in this forum!
  14. Until this year I was entirely an independent traveler - as in, I'd travel with others but planning and organising everything myself, no tours, no travel agents. I enjoy being a bit out of my comfort zone, trying to pick up a bit of the local language, work out the easiest and cheapest way around towns and the weird and wonderful things to see (and eat and drink!). I've done this from Singapore, Japan, and Korea, to Spain, Hungary and Finland and plenty in between (something like 23 countries and 120+ cities so far). But mobility issues and a desire to sometimes just 'relax' may lead me towards more cruises in the future. I'm still <40yo, so while I can get around I will - but it was nice (though a little odd!) to be on MSC Bellissima and realise I had nothing to do, in a completely good way. Maybe I'll listen to a podcast and people watch near the pool, maybe I'll grab a room service cheese platter and a wine and watch the waves from the balcony. There's certainly a lot to enjoy about whatever takes your fancy when you're traveling, and frankly I just consider myself incredibly lucky and grateful I can afford the time and money to do these amazing things!
  15. Until this year I was entirely an independent traveler - as in, I'd travel with others but planning and organising everything myself, no tours, no travel agents. I enjoy being a bit out of my comfort zone, trying to pick up a bit of the local language, work out the easiest and cheapest way around towns and the weird and wonderful things to see (and eat and drink!). I've done this from Singapore, Japan, and Korea, to Spain, Hungary and Finland and plenty in between (something like 23 countries and 120+ cities so far). But mobility issues and a desire to sometimes just 'relax' may lead me towards more cruises in the future. I'm still <40yo, so while I can get around I will - but it was nice (though a little odd!) to be on MSC Bellissima and realise I had nothing to do, in a completely good way. Maybe I'll listen to a podcast and people watch near the pool, maybe I'll grab a room service cheese platter and a wine and watch the waves from the balcony. There's certainly a lot to enjoy about whatever takes your fancy when you're traveling, and frankly I just consider myself incredibly lucky and grateful I can afford the time and money to do these amazing things!
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