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Everything posted by Real NHDOC

  1. Again, this is your perception of things...from what I read it was only after 5 days of use (out of the first 6 days) of the Crow's Nest did HAL relocate the special events - not exactly what I would call quick. Guests do like to use the area in the evenings for playing card, puzzles, etc and had an expectation that it would be available. Does it ruin the cruise?, no, but it is still disappointing to people to find out that a venue was sold out from under them so that Park West could use it to sell art - and clearly they found another space (a bar) that they could hold the events in that would have less of an impact on the guests than commandeering the crow's nest did. An apology and a gesture to make it right isn't from a sense of entitlement - it's simply doing the right thing. I guess we can all agree to disagree about this but as for HAL, they should always err on the side of making things right because goodwill is hard to get back once it is lost.
  2. We've been on cruises where things didn't go according to plan and even though it wasn't the cruise line's fault they still apologized and made some token offer to make things right. We've missed ports because of weather and been given a free "happy hour" to ease the disappointment. We've had issues with people in neighboring cabins that have caused disruption of our enjoyment and were upgraded to a better cabin even though we just asked to be moved. In one case we received FCC for changes to the itinerary caused by Covid issues at South Pacific islands that caused us to miss those ports even though we didn't ask for it and certainly it was outside of the cruise line's control. Being in the hospitality business sometimes means being accommodating even if you, as host, wasn't the cause of the guest's disappointment. Apologizing isn't an admission of guilt, it's just recognizing that for whatever reason the guest was disappointed with a particular experience. In this case a business decision was made to trade the use of a ship's space for a small group over all of the other guests who paid for the use of that amenity. Certainly HAL has been in this business long enough to know that it would upset at least a few guests who prefer to spend time in that space instead of other spaces on the ship and expected it would be available to them. Or for people who might want a specialty coffee in the evening but were told the explorations cafe was unavailable. It would seem that, at the very least, acknowledgement of the guests' disappointment with a token apology, along with something like a tray of chocolate covered strawberries, or a bottle of wine sent to the guest cabin would go a long way to making things right. People on this board tend to belittle the experiences of others with the equivalent of "suck it up" when they didn't suffer any inconvenience or disappointment because they aren't even on this cruise or if the loss of use of the space didn't matter to them. What's important to one person may not be important to another but it doesn't mean you can't sympathize with them, at least a little.
  3. Honestly, given the way HAL handles things, waiting for them to contact you is a formula for disappointment one way or another. If I were to ever participate in this program I would definitely be proactive about contacting them at the 48 hour mark (or as close to that as you can given the office hours they keep) because you're basically risking a "your word against theirs" if they claim they tried to notify you (either through email or phone). So many people on this thread only found out they were cleared after they called in. The T&C of this offer are so poorly conceived that it's more likely than not that you could easily find yourself paying for a cruise you didn't go on just because of miscommunication if you wait for them to call you.
  4. From the T&C on the standby list page: "If HAL does not confirm guest on the Cruise’s standby list at two (2) days prior to the Cruise’s depart have two options. They can choose to have their reservation cancelled and will be refunded the full amount of the cruise fare that they were charged at the time they were placed on the standby list or they will have the option to remain on the Cruise’s standby list until 90 minutes prior to departure and their booking will be fully refundable if they do not sail." My read on this is if you get to the 48 hour point and don't hear that you have been cleared you can cancel or not but I suspect if you didn't cancel and then cleared the list between 90 minutes and 48 hours prior you may lose the right to cancel. It sounds like you would like to hear by Monday so if you call in then and still haven't cleared it sounds like you can cancel and get your money back.
  5. Interesting. They have the condition that says if you aren't notified within 48 hours you can get a refund but I wonder how that works if the office is closed?
  6. The only case I have heard of on this board was a guest who cancelled an excursion after the refund period had closed and asked for a refund anyway. When told they were not entitled to the refund they disputed the charge and were banned for abusing the dispute process. To say the cruise line has a policy of banning anyone who disputes a charge is simply not the case, as I pointed out, I personally have disputed charges that were upheld as being justifiable disputes by the CC company, and I received the refund from the CC company and it was not held against me. Lucky, perhaps, or more likely that those who complain about being banned as a result of abusing the dispute process then rewrite the facts and present a case saying they were banned unjustly. When you hear only one side of a story you are likely not to hear the whole truth.
  7. Mine was a contact about my disappointment over the decision to discontinue the embarkation day lunch in the MDR. I didn't feel following up after not hearing a canned response which others reported receiving was worth the time. My point was, that my history of having guest relations follow up was less than satisfactory so don't believe them when they say they will follow up.
  8. This is a misrepresentation of their policy. Their policy is to ban people who file disputes that aren't valid disputes. That's a lot different than banning people for using the dispute process to resolve a real dispute. I have had to resort to disputes a couple of times with HAL, mostly after Covid cancellations. My disputes were deemed to be justified and I continue to sail on HAL.
  9. I hope you get the issue resolved to your satisfaction. I emailed guest relations only once and only received a robo-response saying I would hear back within 7 days. Never heard anything again. Unfortunately you have left yourself in a position where HAL has your money and now the burden is falling upon you to prove they owe it to you. I had posted elsewhere that the cruise lines will respond to complaints made to the BBB website pretty quickly so if you get no satisfaction with guest relations I would post a complaint there.
  10. If you booked your cruise through a HAL PCC they also can handle overcharge situations for you. Probably not something your TA would be too eager to do since there's nothing in it for them. If you do put in a good faith effort to resolve it with guest relations and still cannot get satisfaction then as a last resort you can always calculate the overcharge and dispute that amount on your CC - you will certainly hear from them after that.
  11. No horns, no funk. Plus the singers just didn't have the same spirit as the BBK singers. Just disappointing.
  12. My impressions were similar. My thought was this was the old RS band that they just asked to play other types of music. I recognized several of the band members from past RS bands. When they stuck to the rock sets they were fine but when they tried to do the BBK sets they were pretty bad.
  13. They have eliminated the BB King band from all of the smaller ships. All they offer now on anything smaller than the Pinnacle is the Rolling Stone Lounge which is supposed to play all kinds of music (they have different sets - rock, R&B, 80s, etc). We were on Eurodam this winter and found the band was OK for rock but for R&B were pretty bad. Nothing like BBK on the larger ships. That's my opinion, anyway.
  14. They've also added more seating to both the RS and Billboard areas when they removed the staircase. I have found that the bands on the smaller ships that try to be the "jack of all trades" land up just not doing anything particularly well. You just can't get the BBK sound without brass instruments so saying they play R&B and Soul is fine but it's just not nearly the same experience. Plus that venue on the smaller ships is terrible. It's always either too cold or too hot and doesn't have enough seating for the size of the ship.
  15. The cruise lines will push and push to get away with everything they can do to maximize revenue but unless people complain they will keep pushing the envelope further and further. I have no doubt that it was as a result of people complaining about the smell of smoke on deck 2 in the Pinnacle ships (from the casino above) that caused HAL to remove the spiral staircase that was between the casino and Rolling Stone/Billboard on Nieuw Statendam and that has fixed the problem. Of course we still can't walk across deck forward 3 but that's a lot better than smelling the smoke when sitting in those lower venues.
  16. I'd follow up with the guest relations department in Seattle then. If not during the cruise, when you get home afterwards. You may not get OBC for this cruise but may receive a FCC for use on another one. Also, a complaint to the BBB gets the cruise lines attention, believe it or not, and it only takes a few minutes to lodge one. We had a problem with a cabin on a Celebrity cruise and until I left a complaint on the BBB website we got literally no response. But within 3 days after posting it I was offered $1500 in OBC as compensation. So that definitely did work for me.
  17. So many people say things like "Princess, NCL and Celebrity do the same thing" as if it makes it OK for HAL to now follow their bad practices. Maybe loyal HAL customers feel HAL should be better than those others are. Like the whole favoring triples and quads things now and their willingness to cheat the general cruisers out of being able to use a venue because they double sell it (selling it once as an amenity and then again as a special events venue to a charter group like Park West). It's just bad business and saying "everyone else does it" doesn't make it right to do it, it just lowers HAL to the level of Princess, NCL and Celebrity.
  18. I can say I would also be pretty upset if I were on this cruise. It's another one of those "conditions of the contract" that most people never read and some apologists here on CC think HAL will never abuse that allows this, but clearly this crosses a moral line of what's right and wrong. It's one thing to take a venue like the Rolling Stone lounge and close it during the day when it would not ordinarily be used for anything else and let the Park West people peddle their near worthless, objectively terrible art but it's quite another to take a space like the Crow's nest over every evening of a cruise. One of the bright spots of the post covid cruising was the absence of Park West on the ships - we had hoped it was permanent but apparently, like cockroaches, you just can't get rid of them!
  19. Unfortunately, now, with the contract being the way it is even if you book a 2 person cabin for 2 they can move you for any reason so basically every booking is a guarantee cabin booking as you have no control over where they want to put you and no recourse if you are unhappy with it. Instead of calling a particular cabin your "chosen cabin" it should just be called your preferred choice of cabin.
  20. It's blatantly obvious that section 4 of the contract wouldn't grant HAL the latitude to change your cabin at will or else they wouldn't have changed section 8 to explicitly give them that. Even they, in good conscience couldn't interpret it that way. Unfortunately, now that they have granted themselves such unilateral power over cabin assignments it's something they could easily exploit to maximize their profits any way they see fit. As I said before, they CAN do a lot of things, but SHOULD they? No, they shouldn't. If they choose to offer triple and quad rooms to singles or couples that's their choice, but they want it both ways. They want to be able to under-fill them with whomever wants to buy them but then reserve the right to put you anywhere on the ship to accommodate a larger party who happens to book after you do. It should be "first come first served" not "we don't care what YOU want it's all about stuffing as many people on the ship as we can legally stuff onto it". At some point they should be taking into account how it makes the guest feel about booking a cruise with them. I know it certainly makes me less likely to book a triple or quad room if it is being offered to me with the understanding that it's only "at will".
  21. The contract which they just revised to include this right. When I booked my cabin they had NO SUCH CONDITION in the contract, as pointed out earlier in this thread. So you're saying they can revise the agreement at any time and the guest is just stuck with whatever condition they choose to include in the contract? Sorry, no. In order to have a valid contract there has to be a "meeting of the minds" between the parties. Would a typical consumer expect that the cabin they chose and paid for would only be "at the whim of the cruise line" to supply? No, I don't think so.
  22. If the cruise line offers a 3/4 cabin to 2 they should honor that offer. That's a contract. Offer, acceptance, consideration. If they don't want to sell trips and quads to couples or singles, that's fine, then don't offer them. But to offer them, book them and then say at some later date "we can move you at will because someone with a larger party wants your cabin" (or really any other reason they choose to use according to the contract) is just wrong, IMHO. I have noticed that now many cruises only show double occupancy cabins as being available when I say 2 people are traveling but the trips and quads show as being open if I say 4 are traveling. Fine, I don't have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with is that I booked J insides on Eurodam for 31 days next winter and those are all quads. All booked before this new policy was announced. If we get bumped I will not be happy with any OV cabin as those are much smaller and don't have the layout that the J has. So an "upgrade" to an OV isn't an upgrade to me. In fact, the guarantee OV is cheaper than the J interior so it isn't an upgrade to HAL either if you consider the pricing, not the category as being the metric by which you judge cabin "level". They can also "upgrade" me to a connecting cabin that has a higher category grading but to me that's a terrible cabin choice and one which I would never make myself. So, again, the idea of what is an upgrade is very subjective.
  23. The main problem with being "bumped up" is HAL's opinion of an upgrade and mine are often not the same. The term upgrade can be VERY subjective, especially when it comes to location on the ship.
  24. Seeing the newly revised ticket contract makes me think someone from HAL monitors this board. Clearly, the old contract did not appear to allow them to reassign cabins at will like this new revision does. So much of what is in their contract is so advantageous to them it's hard to believe it could hold up on court. For example, according to the contract you could book and pay for a Pinnacle suite and just because someone else wanted to pay more for it (or for any other reason they had) you could be bumped out of it and put into any cabin on the ship that was available without recourse or any refund. It would seem to be a breach of the normal "meeting of the minds" that's a requirement for a contract to be legal. While they can write whatever they want into the contract, it's up to the courts to determine if it is actually legal. I think the cruise lines operate in very grey areas of "truth in advertising" most of the time but this seems to push them well over the line. If you book and pay for a specific cabin then you should expect that you should get that cabin...not whatever they want to give you.
  25. As a side note to this - be sure you bring all of the email confirmation of anything you "prepurchase" with you on the cruise because I personally have experienced situations where these items did not show up on our account and had to present the emails as proof. And it still took several days for them to find and apply them correctly. This happened as recently as last month on Nieuw Statendam with some prepurchased spa services but I have had it in the past with OBC, gratuities and wine packages prepurchaed. That's why I recommend just doing it onboard. If you apply the GC onboard they show up the instant the Guest Services representative enters them.
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