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Kynana

HAL Mariner Wine Packages Are No More?

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7 minutes ago, VMax1700 said:

I was away for a couple of weeks. What is the letter about Sel de Mer about? 50% was available last week on Koningsdam.

 

Yes, we definitely had no problem on Koningsdam - but on Prinsendam and Zaandam, where it is just a "pop-up" in the Pinnacle once or twice in a cruise, not so easy.  Roger (Crew News) had asked for, and received, a letter from Seattle saying that Sel de Mer (even the pop-up) was included in the 50% discount, so I printed that, just in case...  Should be okay on Nieuw Statendam, too, as it has the Sel de Mer restaurant, but you never know with HAL!!  Hope we get a letter  like yours in our room on NS.

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The HAL site (as of this very moment) says that the Cellar Master packages are excluded. Those are different than the regular packages. Ironically, our TA called for us and was told that the discount still applies to the standard wine packages, but not the special Cellar Master packages.  I think the important takeaway is that we need to hear from someone leaving on a ship this weekend. If only I had a bullhorn.... I could shout out a question to the Zuiderdam passengers as they sail by tommorow.

 

wine-packages-HAL-site.thumb.JPG.d0fcecf0f8ca6495f553cb199368ee27.JPG

Edited by POA1

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11 minutes ago, Vict0riann said:

 

Yes, we definitely had no problem on Koningsdam - but on Prinsendam and Zaandam, where it is just a "pop-up" in the Pinnacle once or twice in a cruise, not so easy.  Roger (Crew News) had asked for, and received, a letter from Seattle saying that Sel de Mer (even the pop-up) was included in the 50% discount, so I printed that, just in case...  Should be okay on Nieuw Statendam, too, as it has the Sel de Mer restaurant, but you never know with HAL!!  Hope we get a letter  like yours in our room on NS.

Ann, I also have a letter from Mariner Society aboubt Specialty restaurant which I will bring along. 

Did you see my post that we can now book specialty dining for December. 

 

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When I go into my account on HAL and look at what is available to purchase for cruise December 5 on the Nieuw Statendam, there are several wine packages offered.  They are called "Sommelier Suite Cellar No. 1, 2 or 3.  With either 4, 6, or 8 bottles.   There is also a Cellar Master package.  

So, going by what a it says on HAL website, i think we should be able to buy one of the Sommelier packages and get the discount, but not on the Cellar Master.  Fingers crossed!

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30 minutes ago, VMax1700 said:

I was away for a couple of weeks. What is the letter about Sel de Mer about? 50% was available last week on Koningsdam.

 

 

As Ann says below, it was a struggle on the Prinsendam to get our discount for the pop up Sel de Mer.  I actually did a thread on it and emailed to get it rectified (not the normal sources 😉 ) .

 

the issue is supposed to be corrected but I still plan to take an e from the Mariner's Society to be safe.

 

18 minutes ago, Vict0riann said:

 

Yes, we definitely had no problem on Koningsdam - but on Prinsendam and Zaandam, where it is just a "pop-up" in the Pinnacle once or twice in a cruise, not so easy.  Roger (Crew News) had asked for, and received, a letter from Seattle saying that Sel de Mer (even the pop-up) was included in the 50% discount, so I printed that, just in case...  Should be okay on Nieuw Statendam, too, as it has the Sel de Mer restaurant, but you never know with HAL!!  Hope we get a letter  like yours in our room on NS.

 

 

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We leave on Sunday on our first cruise as 4* Mariners. We will definitely report back about wine package discounts.

To say we will be disappointed if the discount no longer applies doesn’t come close to describing how we’ll feel.☹️

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14 minutes ago, 1ANGELCAT said:

 

Did you see my post that we can now book specialty dining for December. 

 

 

I did, thank you.  We got an email today from HAL about that, too.  On Koningsdam on a three-week cruise, we ate in the MDR once.  So much to choose from.  We are really looking forward to NS dining!  Just have to do a bit of thinking about what to do and when...

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5 minutes ago, Divi said:

We leave on Sunday on our first cruise as 4* Mariners. We will definitely report back about wine package discounts.

To say we will be disappointed if the discount no longer applies doesn’t come close to describing how we’ll feel.☹️

Awesome!  We're counting on you. Make us proud! :classic_biggrin:

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We are Canadian so of course we’ll be polite.🙄👍

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Leaving on November 8th for 29 days on the Noordam. Hope this isn't true.  Just around the corner. Hopefully people will report back on cruises starting soon.

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All I can report is what I was told today. If it's true, this may be a blessing in disguise. My husband and I, who have been totally loyal to HAL so as to attain the 4-Star Mariner status, will likely branch out to experience other cruise lines. We have been very disappointed to hear that our favorite area on the ship, the Crow's Nest, is being taken over by the Excursion group, disappointed that the libraries seem to be in the process of being eliminated, disappointed in the HAL website and other areas that have experienced changes. Now the wine packages, which we have greatly appreciated and made our dinners every evening a special occasion. I hope that the 21 day cruise we are beginning this Sunday will not be our last. 

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This is what is currently (as of this very minute) says on the HAL Web site under Mariner's Club 4* Benefits.  Of course the 5* folks get all the 4* benefits plus a few extras.

 

An increase of a 50% discount on specialty restaurant surcharges and specialty coffees in all dining venues*, wine packages*, beverages in the Explorations Café* and all mini-bar purchases* (restaurant packages do not apply to discount and wine packages discounts exclude wine cards, Cellar Master packages, individual bottles, wine-by-the-glass and beverage gift cards)

 

This is what is currently (at this minute) stated on HAL's web site under the Mariner's Club benefits for 4*:  My suggeston would be to copy this and take it along on your cruise.

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If true, and sounds like it is, this is a big blow for us.  We take long cruises --- most 30 days or more -- and those discounted wine packages have come to be very important to us.

 

We just booked a cruise and felt pretty slammed into their special offering that includes the beverage package.  We don't drink a lot of cocktails, and virtually no soft drinks, so we don't need a beverage package.  I just wonder if this semi-sort of-giveaway of beverages has something to do with the loss of the discounted wine packages:  Give something with one hand as you take away something with the other.  

 

I'm just musing about this.  But again, very disappointed, if true, and it absolutely will enter into our future cruise analysis.

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What, no more standard wine packages??!! 

I would be extremely disappointed as we are 4 star mariners after a number of years of cruising HAL.

We are boarding the Maasdam in Papeete (Tahiti) this Sunday 28th and will certainly vent my disapproval if the usual wine packages are not available at 50% discount.  Could be the tipping point for us to cruise more regularly with other lines.  Would be such a pity as we really like HAL... 

 

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13 hours ago, Kynana said:

All I can report is what I was told today. If it's true, this may be a blessing in disguise. My husband and I, who have been totally loyal to HAL so as to attain the 4-Star Mariner status, will likely branch out to experience other cruise lines. We have been very disappointed to hear that our favorite area on the ship, the Crow's Nest, is being taken over by the Excursion group, disappointed that the libraries seem to be in the process of being eliminated, disappointed in the HAL website and other areas that have experienced changes. Now the wine packages, which we have greatly appreciated and made our dinners every evening a special occasion. I hope that the 21 day cruise we are beginning this Sunday will not be our last. 

 

I am on the Oosterdam for 14 days starting on Saturday. If there is no discount for 4-5* on the Sommelier Suite wine packages, I will be very disappointed. Thank you for doing the research on this. I'm not surprised about the conflicting information. Holland America can't even build a good website, let alone inform its best customers about changes in policy.

 

 

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Changes without advance notice are not unheard of with HAL. Remember the wine policy change of ~4 years ago?

 

(suddenly NO carry on wine was allowed).

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We'll be in Key West on the second day of our cruise (the 29th of this month), and by then we hope to know the status of the wine packages. I'll post what we find out. Hope we have good news to report. 

For what it's worth I received an email this morning from the TA. He said this about the wine package my husband purchased on the HAL site ahead of time:

 

I did get an email from our sales rep as she is currently on a HAL trip at this time.  She thinks you will receive the refund on the package purchased and most likely they will honor the 50% if you speak with the purser's desk. No promises, but that was her thought.

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17 hours ago, POA1 said:

The HAL site (as of this very moment) says that the Cellar Master packages are excluded. Those are different than the regular packages. Ironically, our TA called for us and was told that the discount still applies to the standard wine packages, but not the special Cellar Master packages.  I think the important takeaway is that we need to hear from someone leaving on a ship this weekend. If only I had a bullhorn.... I could shout out a question to the Zuiderdam passengers as they sail by tommorow.

 

wine-packages-HAL-site.thumb.JPG.d0fcecf0f8ca6495f553cb199368ee27.JPG

 

37 minutes ago, Kynana said:

We'll be in Key West on the second day of our cruise (the 29th of this month), and by then we hope to know the status of the wine packages. I'll post what we find out. Hope we have good news to report. 

For what it's worth I received an email this morning from the TA. He said this about the wine package my husband purchased on the HAL site ahead of time:

 

I did get an email from our sales rep as she is currently on a HAL trip at this time.  She thinks you will receive the refund on the package purchased and most likely they will honor the 50% if you speak with the purser's desk. No promises, but that was her thought.

 

As POA posted in the quote above yours, you will receive the discount UNLESS your husband has purchased one of the excluded packages.  The discount will be on your onboard statement of account.

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We would never purchase a wine package in advance!  It can mean a hassle onboard as you try and get a refund.  On our most recent HAL cruise (Zuiderdam) we had friends who spent too much time at Guest Relations trying to get their 5* discounts for both wine and dining they had pre-booked.   Another reason I do not like to purchase wine packages in advance is that HAL too often has issues with their onboard inventory.  You choose a package only to later discover that they do not even have half the wines on the package.  This happened on the 2018 Voyage of the Vikings cruise where they claimed that a lot of the wine was never put aboard in Boston.  

 

Hank

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19 hours ago, Vict0riann said:

 

I've printed this out, and we'll take it with us in December.  Also Crew News' letter about the 50% off Sel de Mer. Hopefully this is all a bad dream!

If a 3 or above Mariner pre-books specialty dining ahead of time, is the discount applied onboard as credit, or is the discount only provided when booking onboard?

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10 minutes ago, alwaysfrantic said:

If a 3 or above Mariner pre-books specialty dining ahead of time, is the discount applied onboard as credit, or is the discount only provided when booking onboard?

 

The discount applies when you pre-book, and it shows up as a "Loyalty" credit on your first or second day statement .

Edited by jtl513

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7 minutes ago, alwaysfrantic said:

If a 3 or above Mariner pre-books specialty dining ahead of time, is the discount applied onboard as credit, or is the discount only provided when booking onboard?

 

When we have booked ahead of the cruise, and paid with a credit card, the charge is always full price.  Then on board, we usually get the discount credited to our on board account.  Sometimes we have had to remind  them, so it is probably a good thing to mention your status to the Manager when you go in for dinner.  

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7 minutes ago, alwaysfrantic said:

If a 3 or above Mariner pre-books specialty dining ahead of time, is the discount applied onboard as credit, or is the discount only provided when booking onboard?

 

For the specialty DINING, you can book on the web site in advance (that way you get your day and time) and you pay the full amount.  However, once onboard your account will be credited for the Mariner Society discount.  Your onboard account may say something like Loyalty with the credited amount.   Personally have not had any trouble with receiving my discount onboard.  Realize that is not the case for some.

 

 

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