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oceanmom

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  1. Our August 2019 cruise was OBC, but I have seen some cruises mention a cash card or shop card. Just checked our 2020 cruise and 2021 cruise and the big box store still advertise both as shipboard credit, not a cash or shop card. YMMV.
  2. Absolutely, Miss G. At least it's always worked that way for me. Whatever is on my HAL reservation moves with the booking to the Big Box. The additional OBC (usually about 8%) shows up on your shipboard account and is refundable OBC. The credit card bonus (I get one for the credit card and one for Executive membership which total about 5%) show up around the end of the year. I go to the store and get a check which I deposit at my bank. The only drawback is that the Big Box store does not usually send on the email upsells.
  3. You can get an idea of the Big Box offers by doing a dummy booking on their travel website which lists the benefits you receive by booking with them. I email the form to HAL and at the same time call the Big Box store and tell them I am transferring the booking. Not sure you need to call them as they'll have all your contact information when the reservation transfers.
  4. Generally but not always the main dining room is open on embarkation day. They try to guide everyone to the Lido for lunch but walk by the MDR to see. Also, the Mariner Brunch is later in the cruise and you will receive an invitation in your mail slot with the time and place.
  5. I agree. Comparing the various sizes of cruise lines and the number of repeat passengers for each line is comparing apples to oranges. Comparing percentages of repeat customers for each cruise line is better, If a cruise line has a total of 5,000 passengers in one year and 500 of them are repeat passengers, you have a 10% repeat rate. If another has a total of 50,000 passengers in one year and 500 of them are repeat passengers, you have a 1% repeat rate. Big difference for same number of repeat passengers.
  6. My goodness, completely different from our experience on the Rotterdam two months ago for the Scottish Highlands Explorer, and our previous cruises on the Rotterdam. Our Neptune suite was in very good condition, concierges were helpful and knowledgeable, food was good everywhere on the ship (my only complaint is I don't like the location of the Pinnacle restaurant), on our late return at midnight from the Edinburgh Tattoo we were greeted at the shoreside tender dock with hot chocolate and sandwiches even though we were also given the option of ordering sandwiches to be waiting in our cabin, had an extra evening in Liverpool when a small tender port was cancelled due to weather. It was a memorable cruise. I'm sorry your experience was so different from ours.
  7. Already booked a retreat cabana for 4/2021 Panama Canal.
  8. From the Mariner Society FAQ page: Yes, guests receive Cruise Day credits for all previous Holland America Line cruises and Alaska Land+Sea Journeys. Bonus Cruise Day credits for suite purchases and onboard spending is a new feature applied to sailings departing on or after September 18, 2009.
  9. We got the "port change from Haines to Skagway" notice for the September 2020 14day Maasdam Alaska cruise.
  10. Unless during holidays/local events. We found the Amsterdam hotel during Gay Pride week was close to the HAL price especially when considering the included breakfast and transfer as well as cancellation deadlines--and convenience of being right at the port for departure during the Saturday morning festivities. Our favorite hotel in AMS also had a 3-night minimum stay requirement which took them off the list. Similar issues for a Caribbean cruise out of FLL last Christmas week. When booking a family trip, you don't always have a choice of when you can go.
  11. Our tradition is first night dining in the Canaletto. The menu might not appeal to you, but we enjoy the table service and the big windows--no MDR chaos and no cafeteria Lido experience for that first dinner on the cruise ship.
  12. I have sent out two bags at the same time, one with white/light, and another with jeans and dark socks. Just ask the room steward for a second bag.
  13. https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/mariner-society.html Note the bullet toward the bottom of the page--How is the number of cruise day credits calculated?
  14. You need to have a HAL booking on the books, log in to your account and that booking, once there find the option for Travel Planning and then the option for pre- and post-cruise travel, which will then have an option for flights. You can book there even if you have a TA working on the cruise for you.
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