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Bringing Unlimited Wine Policy Officially Change Yesterday

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I can remember many years ago -- 2003 or 2004?? -- not sure -- when HAL sprung the new rule about people not being allowed to bring on bottles of alcohol any more. There was no advanced warning. Many people were embarrassed at embarkation when their bottles were taken away.

And then people were also stopped from buying Duty Free alcohol from the shops to take back to their cabins.

There was quite a rant about that.

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I don't understand why some people are so pleased about this. How does someone bringing their choice of wine onboard affect those who choose to not bring wine?

 

.... and we too would happily pay the corkage fee (which has now been increased) to bring aboard a few bottles more than the "limit".

 

Not often I write any company when I'm displeased, but I will be writing about this change.

 

that makes two of us!

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I hate this. I really hate this a lot.

 

My personal objective would not be buying in ports, but holy moly.....for those that do want to try various wines from areas......you will be flying home with a dozen bottles?? Terrible idea. If you can carry one on at the beginning, I'd like to see a customer being able to bring one at each port as well.

 

Disney does beverages right.

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I wonder if HAL is smart enough to couple this new policy with a MAJOR upgrade in their wine list. As it is, there are few wines on HAL's wine list that I'm inclined to buy, regardless of their "bring aboard" policy. It is mostly over-priced grocery store wines. Having said that, I'm pretty sure they aren't clueless enough to ignore that side of the equation.

 

I seriously doubt HAL is smart enough. When they buy the Mark West Pinot Noir ($7.99 at BevMo) and charge over 5x mark up, why should they improve their offerings? That's a pretty hefty profit just on the "swill" they try to pass off as a "premium" wine list. If you take say a BV Sienna (retail approximately $35) they can only mark it up to maybe $70 or $80 before people go into sticker shock. They won't move those as quickly as the Mark West, therefore they have more incentive to get volume vs. quality. When they limit the amount of wine people bring on, the wine people have two options: Drink swill or else their OB account will bankrupt them by buying the expensive stuff.

 

Or don't drink wine at all with the exception of a special bottle during the cruise. Which is probably my option as my hard liquor consumption has been drastically reduced during the last five years. Funny, the Oceania cruise I have coming up has no restrictions on wine OR alcohol being brought onboard. And no, I'm not lugging a case of wine on that cruise thank you.

 

We'll wait and see if this makes any sense from a bottom line aspect for HAL in the future I guess.

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Does anyone know the email address that I can use to express my unhappiness to this change in policy. I sail in 19 days and when I booked and paid for my cruise it was with the understanding that I could bring unlimited wine aboard. We were in France last week and brought wine home to bring on this cruise. :(

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.....

 

We are currently booked thru a PCC -- I will be transferring our res to an online agency that provides OBC, to help underscore my displeasure with the new policy. HAL will have to pay that agency commission. I encourage everyone else who is booked thru a PCC, who is displeased with the new policy, to move their res to a travel agent, too.

 

:confused: Why punish the PCC, he or she didn't make the change in rules! That would be like withholding a tip from your waitress because you don't like how the cook prepared the meal.

 

I for one will not punish my PCC for HAL's decision, it was out of her control.

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Does anyone know the email address that I can use to express my unhappiness to this change in policy. I sail in 19 days and when I booked and paid for my cruise it was with the understanding that I could bring unlimited wine aboard. We were in France last week and brought wine home to bring on this cruise. :(

 

just go to the HAL website and click customer service - then you get the email option:D

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Does anyone know the email address that I can use to express my unhappiness to this change in policy. I sail in 19 days and when I booked and paid for my cruise it was with the understanding that I could bring unlimited wine aboard. We were in France last week and brought wine home to bring on this cruise. :(

 

I went to the HAL website. At the bottom of the page you can click "contact us" and you will then have the option of sending them an email.

 

I used that forum to express my disappointment with the new policy and the implications for my future cruising choices.

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Well they are squeezing another nickel out of their customers. I remember when you could buy a bottle in the duty free store and pay a 20% surcharge and take it back to your cabin. Now it costs over $90 to get a bottle of JWB for cabin consumption.

Another change - On our Oosterdam cruise in May I noticed that they had almost no hand towels in the rest rooms but plenty of paper towels. Air dryers are next.

Some of the things that made HAL special are going away, in favor of policies made by bean counters.

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:confused: Why punish the PCC, he or she didn't make the change in rules! That would be like withholding a tip from your waitress because you don't like how the cook prepared the meal.

 

I for one will not punish my PCC for HAL's decision, it was out of her control.

 

I think the PCCs might be on salary. Others might post to verify this.

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I wonder if they will give refunds to any guests who booked their cruise under the old Wine Policy, are in penalty phase and wish to cancel because they don't like the new policy?

 

 

I have already sent that question. I have one cruise which is past final payment date, and another long one coming up in April.... which I may well cancel as this is just one more thing that HAL has pi**ed me off about lately, being a loyal customer and therefore getting shafted.

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:confused: Why punish the PCC, he or she didn't make the change in rules! That would be like withholding a tip from your waitress because you don't like how the cook prepared the meal.

 

I for one will not punish my PCC for HAL's decision, it was out of her control.

 

I agree - don't punish the PCC - just let HAL know how you feel - heck if enough people do it - they might rethink things or revamp it - if we don't tell them how we feel how are they going to know? A constructive complaint is not a bad thing IMO;)

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The Holland America cruise contract has already been revised:

Holland America Line Cruises and Cruisetours only: You agree not to bring alcoholic beverages of any kind on board for consumption except one bottle of wine or champagne per person of drinking age (no larger than 750 ml) per voyage only in your carry-on luggage. A corkage fee of U.S. $20.00 per bottle (which is subject to change without notice) will be applied to wine and champagne brought aboard by you and consumed in the ship’s restaurants and/or bars. At embarkation, all luggage will be scanned for suspected alcohol in excess of the one bottle policy as provided herein. Your luggage will undergo a secondary inspection by a security team operating under CCTV (closed circuit surveillance) or in the event your luggage is locked, you will be notified and are required to attend the secondary inspection where any alcohol found in violation of this policy will be removed and returned to you on the last night of the voyage. You agree to surrender alcoholic beverages that are purchased duty free from the ship’s gift shop, or at ports of call, to Carrier, which will be delivered to your stateroom on the last night of the voyage. Any guest who violates the alcohol policy, including refusal of a luggage search or screening, or any guest traveling with such items, may be denied boarding or disembarked and no refund of the cruise fare will be issued. You will be solely responsible for any and all damage and/or loss caused by your violation of this policy.

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We paid close to $80 for a $10 bottle of St Michelle Cabernet in the Pinnacle,

I agree that they really need to re-visit their pricing if people are forced to buy on board only. I'm betting they won't see the anticipated surge in on board wine sales they hoped for.

I know when Washington put a huge tax on tobacco they gambled that people would keep smoking and pay higher prices. Many quit or moved their buying to the Reservations and the state saw a huge drop in tax revenue.

Some times the bean counters just get it dead wrong.

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I, too, encourage people to contact HAL re this policy. To go from unlimited quantities to one bottle is really bad public relations. It is the inability to bring a bottle in from each port that bothers me the most. For those of you who don't like this policy, I really don't understand your position and don't see where you have a dog in the fight. What difference does it make to you if others bring on a bottle of wine - or two - or three?

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I think the PCCs might be on salary. Others might post to verify this.

 

They also get bonuses (?) or similar for cruises booked. They get "credit" for each cruise they book that is actually taken (per our PCC)

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Well, see that? There we go, off to another line that is.

 

They have horrible offerings, no sangria, no chianti, (even in Canaletto) no ports worth anything, no almond or red sparkling wines, (nothing but the typical old brut) everything is not for everyone...

 

The unlimited beverage package is just crap, does not come anywhere close to X.

 

When they do something about these offerings, or do something that competes with other lines, then we will keep booking. Otherwise, no thanks.

 

And my money is on CCL keeping things just the way it is, that is why the unlimited beverage package is closer that Carnivals than other lines.

 

I do not foresee them expanding offerings to keep cruisers happy. They already have enough inventory to worry about. Shame shame, change the wine policy, but don't expand? HAL, that is your BAD.

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My understanding is that the PCC (who is on a salary) gets "points" for a booking, which has some earnings attached, which is unaffected by moving a cruise to a TA. Once I have booked with the PCC, according to the info I have, the PCC gets whatever money to which he or she is entitled, regardless of whether I move the booking or not. The $$$ (again from the info I have) is based SOLELY on me booking with the PCC. So AFAIK, the PCC will not suffer at all. HAL will have to pay a commission, though, to the TA.

Edited by CowPrincess

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I just sent a highly critical e-mail to HAL. Now . . . any bets as to whether a Customer service rep will actually call?

 

O.K. and of all of you who have complained, has anyone besides me e-mailed their displeasure? Who know, the squeaky wheel might bring some results.

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Well, see that? There we go, off to another line that is.

 

They have horrible offerings, no sangria, no chianti, (even in Canaletto) no ports worth anything, no almond or red sparkling wines, (nothing but the typical old brut) everything is not for everyone...

 

The unlimited beverage package is just crap, does not come anywhere close to X.

 

When they do something about these offerings, or do something that competes with other lines, then we will keep booking. Otherwise, no thanks.

 

And my money is on CCL keeping things just the way it is, that is why the unlimited beverage package is closer that Carnivals than other lines.

 

I do not foresee them expanding offerings to keep cruisers happy. They already have enough inventory to worry about. Shame shame, change the wine policy, but don't expand? HAL, that is your BAD.

 

I entirely agree. It's not just the amount of wine, it's the way they changed the policy so drastically. I don't drink a lot, but I know what I like - and HAL doesn't have it, nor anything decent that I'm willing to pay an extortionate price for. I have a Celebrity Passages to use, and I will be doing a switch. I believe they are likely to loose a great many customers over this.

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I just sent a highly critical e-mail to HAL. Now . . . any bets as to whether a Customer service rep will actually call?

 

O.K. and of all of you who have complained, has anyone besides me e-mailed their displeasure? Who know, the squeaky wheel might bring some results.

 

Oh yes, and I asked my TA to pass on my comments too. At the moment she is trying to get me a price drop, which they are refusing - again. Ya think I'm a happy HAL customer right now?:(

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Re the Cruise Contract. That's not the Cruise Contract I agrred to when I booked my next 4 cruises (one of which is in a couple of weeks) or when I made final payment for two of them. You lawyers out there - can they change the terms of a contract just like that?

 

And is HAL going to be notifying all the booked passengers of this change?

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I noted that the new policy did not say for "personal" consumption. A good reason to make friends with those who do not drink wine.

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Well I guess we all knew this was coming but why go to such a sever change???? Going from unlimited amounts of wine to 1 bottle per person per cruise, WOW.........One would have thought if they were going to change their policy on bringing wine/champagne on board that they might have gone to 2 bottles per person for a 7 day cruise. For those doing longer cruises like 30 day for instant, bring on 2 per week or 8 bottles for the 30 days.

Personally it does not affect us, as we seldom bring wine on board but for those that do, wow is all I can say and sorry. I understand it from your point of view but also understand Hal's reasoning because so many passengers were taking advantage of their wine policy by bring on cases of wine, which takes a way from their bottom line. Would love to know the ramifications of this new rule. Will they loose more customers then making more money by selling more wine on board. I have a feeling I know the answer, time will only tell.

Could be a big mistake on Hal's part as I think more and more customers are getting fed up with all the nickle and diming going on.

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