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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, CruiseRQA said:

Just off Oosterdam.

 

On one of the gala nights ($10 for extra entree), my wife wanted a lobster tail to go with her veal chop rather than the "surf and turf" entree.   The entire surf and turf entree was brought to our table and we were charged $10.

 

I actually ordered the surf and turf.  The lobster tail was actually pretty good.  The "turf" may have been the worst steak I have ever had.  It had the appearance of a 6 oz fillet that had been slice in thirds.

 

I complained to the maitre d who was sympathetic but offered nothing.

So they dynamics between the MDR diners and the waiters will change - and not for the better. The days of the waiter offering another lobster tail and the diner saying "sure" will be gone. For no charge.  Rather, what we will see is the waiter offering another lobster tail, the diner asking if there is a $10 charge, the waiter sadly says "yes",  the diner saying "heck no I don't want another one then" and the diner being unhappy. Is that really how HAL wants its customers to feel? All for $10? And where does the "food waste" argument come into play here?  I must be missing that part. 

Edited by Windsailer
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Windsailer, in the post above, along with others, have made the excellent point that this $10 charge for a second entrée will change the "culture" on board, and not for the better. It will not be better for passengers, nor for the servers, who are put in an unenviable position by this policy.

 

As Kazu correctly stated (on the prior page), for eons, passengers were offered to "try some of this or that", or were encouraged, if unable to decide between, say, the steak or the lamb, to "have some of each"; or, have a lobster tail on the side even if you ordered the veal and not the fillet with which it is served. Leaving aside the silly arguments about cruise contracts by those shills of the cruise-line who defend every corporate decision, that was the prevailing and long-established culture on board. It was one of, "you're on vacation--enjoy a little more food than usual".  It was a nice culture, easy-going and beneficial for all. I hope the change is not permanent as the unintended consequence will be to change that positive culture and again, not for the better.

 

HAL claims its about food waste, not the money. Thus, all the earlier arguments to wit, "what does one expect if one pays $66 PPPD", also must fall by the wayside. In any event, most people pay far more than that--especially given many more passengers cruise in an outside or some level of verandah cabin than pick up a rare bargain on an occasional  repositioning cruise. Yet, in any event, if food waste is the issue as claimed, I still do not see how charging people in what many have expressed (and I agree) is a "nickel and dime" fashion will truly solve excessive waste--especially if one can (for now) order unlimited appetizers, or go to the Lido and ask the server there to pile your plate.   

 

While posting on cruisecritic, again, hopefully those who dislike this policy will directly inform HAL. As proven on other past occasions, that is the only way to effect change.

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And another reason why this charge is particularly irritating to me. Along with several previous posters - who cruise solo - and pay 200% for the solo cabin - we will still have to pay $10 even though we really have paid for two entrees already.  Not terribly fair. 

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It is also not "stated in the contract" that you will have bedding, pillows, windows, doors, sheets, towels, pools, hallways, carpet, water or food. Yet, based on previous delivery by the CARRIER (in this case, HAL), we expect all those things. This change (charging extra for a second entree without notification/ability to cancel), while legal, is immoral. I would equate it to saying, "We gave you a towel. If you want another towel (because it is dirty, because you want one for the pool deck, etc), it will cost you $10." Again, nothing illegal. But clearly not luxury. Not elegance. Not relaxing.

As previously stated, if this was properly noticed (re: ability to cancel without penalty) to impacted passengers, then the expectation is clearly set and this would be a very different discussion. But it was done without notification -- then they tried to cover it with terrible PR and B.S. excuses for waste. After it was already in place.

Don't get me wrong, I see lots of changes throughout the cruise industry (not for the better FOR ME). Alcohol is foolishly expensive, areas are being dedicated to suite passengers, food quality is going down, service is not as good, etc.

But these are published, publicly noticed changes with which I can make an informed decision as to whether my vacation time (and money) is better spent on cruises or land vacations.

And let's be honest - these are very "first world" problems!

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1 hour ago, Windsailer said:

And another reason why this charge is particularly irritating to me. Along with several previous posters - who cruise solo - and pay 200% for the solo cabin - we will still have to pay $10 even though we really have paid for two entrees already.  Not terribly fair. 

This does seem very unfair.  Surely, there is a way for HAL to remedy this one.

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1 hour ago, killsport said:

And let's be honest - these are very "first world" problems!

Well, that is where we live so that is why it is a problem for us.

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5 hours ago, kazu said:

For years, you were allowed to order extra or even encouraged by waiters to 'try' a little piece of 'this'.  The cruise lines set the expectation.

At work this was called 'past practice'. The grievance was usually won when the employer tried to change the practice. It might not have been in the contract, but it could not be changed without negotiation.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, CruiseRQA said:

Just off Oosterdam.

 

On one of the gala nights ($10 for extra entree), my wife wanted a lobster tail to go with her veal chop rather than the "surf and turf" entree.   The entire surf and turf entree was brought to our table and we were charged $10.

 

I actually ordered the surf and turf.  The lobster tail was actually pretty good.  The "turf" may have been the worst steak I have ever had.  It had the appearance of a 6 oz fillet that had been slice in thirds.

 

I complained to the maitre d who was sympathetic but offered nothing.

Well, those optics are bad bad. And on gala night and over one lobster tail? I bet the wait staff are hating this. Makes HAL look so cheap. Giving NCL a run for their money here.

Edited by fatcat04

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1 hour ago, RuthC said:

At work this was called 'past practice'. The grievance was usually won when the employer tried to change the practice. It might not have been in the contract, but it could not be changed without negotiation.

Unless you stupidly allowed them to include a zipper clause in the contract.  That effectively did away with past practice.

 

My question:   Does this mean Savor the Journey is a thing of the past since it now costs extra to do the savor part?

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15 minutes ago, fatcat04 said:

Makes HAL look so cheap.

 

Exactly so. I do not think this is the image HAL really wants to project.

 

I emailed guest relations on March 3rd essentially pointing this out; I have not gotten a response. If anyone has additional HAL email addresses, I will happily forward my note to them as well. 

 

For what it is worth, I chatted with our PCC today while booking a cruise under the "early booking bonus" promotion. She said she has received very little push back from her clients on the $10 surcharge. She also thought it was only for Gala Nights. It sounded like the surcharge "test" took the PCCs by surprise too. 

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On 3/9/2019 at 5:11 PM, Copper10-8 said:

 

Have a great time and enjoy, S7S! :classic_smile:

Thank you but 'great time  ' is not what I seek now.  I want to enjoy  the sea air, the s that are very  familiar to me.   I need a place   away  and be amongst happy people.  I've had my many 'great times'.     I know I will enjoy and that is my goal.  I would go to a favorite luxe hotel but feel being on  a ship   is a safer choice for me

 

.

 

sail.nooram@gmail.com

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9 minutes ago, dfish said:

My question:   Does this mean Savor the Journey is a thing of the past since it now costs extra to do the savor part?

 

Exactly  🙂 😄 😄 😄

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So if I don’t eat or want steak, and want two lobster tails they won’t substitute?  Will find out soon,  but really hate the nickel and diming!  

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10 minutes ago, sail7seas said:

Thank you but 'great time  ' is not what I seek now.  I want to enjoy  the sea air, the s that are very  familiar to me.   I need a place   away  and be amongst happy people.  I've had my many 'great times'.     I know I will enjoy and that is my goal.  I would go to a favorite luxe hotel but feel being on  a ship   is a safer choice for me

 

.

 

sail.nooram@gmail.com

 

I do understand S7S, and I hope you find the peace and enjoyment you seek. I would be honored to sail with someday as one of your happy people! 

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32 minutes ago, Overhead Fred said:

 

Exactly so. I do not think this is the image HAL really wants to project.

 

I emailed guest relations on March 3rd essentially pointing this out; I have not gotten a response. If anyone has additional HAL email addresses, I will happily forward my note to them as well. 

 

For what it is worth, I chatted with our PCC today while booking a cruise under the "early booking bonus" promotion. She said she has received very little push back from her clients on the $10 surcharge. She also thought it was only for Gala Nights. It sounded like the surcharge "test" took the PCCs by surprise too. 

officeofthepresident@hollandamerica.com

Dear Mr Ashford

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Posted (edited)

Still not very impressed by this IMHO little change, but it does take away a nice tool from the waiter's toolbox that waiters on land usually don't have. I.e. generously offering free food that is paid for by their employer.

 

HAL wouldn't be in business for long if they wouldn't be looking for more ways to earn money. And there ARE people abusing the system as I've personally observed. A spoonful of a desert. Having 6 lobster tails. 

 

It might be an option to keep the upcharge but also give the waiter the option to not actually charge it for a few guests each night. He'll know who the obnoxious people are who just keep ordering because they can, and eat just a spoonful. He'll also know the guest who really can't decide on the 4th night. When the waiter can decide, the same tool works even better because the guest knows the waiter is actually using one of his precious "coupons". 

 

Something completely different. The easiest way to prevent spillage could be to have pictures of the dishes on the menu. Yes, certainly, that's not classy at all. Maybe call it the seperate "international guests menu" as an excuse, but give me that one. I've been surprised a few times, and not always pleasantly, with what for example Rudi Sodamin thinks a shrimp cocktail looks like and what I think it should look like. And I've seen entrees on other tables that I would have loved if I knew what they looked like.

 

 

Edited by AmazedByCruising

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, Overhead Fred said:

It sounded like the surcharge "test" took the PCCs by surprise too. 

 

While we know that the good people employed by HAL in whatever call centers they may be try to be helpful, I think too often they are "out in left field" as to what the current situation may be. 

Maybe a too hopeful view, but I doubt this extra $10 charge is going to stick.  Someone in PR needs to remember that Savor the Journey slogan is not in the too far distant advertising past.  dfish's post and kazu's responses are not encouraging.  (Do I need to trash the blue bags that say "Savor the Journey"?  Or, indeed, those that say "Signature of Excellence"?)  

 

Probably too idealistic, I suppose, but it was the "Signature of Excellence" slogan and experience when it was in effect that encouraged me to book another Holland America Line Cruise.

Edited by rkacruiser

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25 minutes ago, AmazedByCruising said:

It might be an option to keep the upcharge but also give the waiter the option to not actually charge it for a few guests each night. He'll know who the obnoxious people are who just keep ordering because they can, and eat just a spoonful. He'll also know the guest who really can't decide on the 4th night. When the waiter can decide, the same tool works even better because the guest knows the waiter is actually using one of his precious "coupons". 

Sorry, but I think this places the waiter in an untenable position. It will take no time at all for passengers to determine the system, and how do you think the obnoxious passenger is going to react when he is charged for a second entrée and the person at the next table isn't? Some people will also play the waiter, slipping him a nice tip the first night to ensure that they can order at will for the remainder of the cruise. You either charge all diners for a second entrée or you don't charge diners at all, but you don't make it waiter's choice.

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42 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

Sorry, but I think this places the waiter in an untenable position. It will take no time at all for passengers to determine the system, and how do you think the obnoxious passenger is going to react when he is charged for a second entrée and the person at the next table isn't? Some people will also play the waiter, slipping him a nice tip the first night to ensure that they can order at will for the remainder of the cruise. You either charge all diners for a second entrée or you don't charge diners at all, but you don't make it waiter's choice.

 

It's not untenable, there are plenty of (possibly made up) excuses to not give away a free entree. Waiters can handle that. They can also handle the obnoxious and the bribers. It's their job.

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I never eat Surf and Turf - I am allergic to shellfish.

 

Maybe I should order double starters and surf and turf and offer my entree to the table to share?

 

Annie

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Just returned from a 2 night Bahamas cruise on decidedly "second rung" Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and no additional charge for second MDR entree.  I ordered the Indian vegetarian dish as my second.  No additional charge, no pushback.  Went as a solo, NO supplement.  If a cruise line can treat me properly at their price points, so can HAL.  

 

Waiters would definitely game this system to THEIR advantage, then the guests, company last. 

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Posted (edited)

Testing for @mafig 

 

Edited by bEwAbG

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On 3/9/2019 at 3:35 PM, rkacruiser said:

 

Good for you, Sail!  Glad to hear this.

THANK you for the good wishes.  🙂

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11 hours ago, LMaxwell said:

Just returned from a 2 night Bahamas cruise on decidedly "second rung" Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line

 

The next time that I drive to Florida, this is a cruise experience that I want to try.  What I read on CC on their message board intrigues me.  Particularly with the addition of the former Costa Classica to their fleet, that increases my interest.

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John Healds of carnival confirmed it was an experiment they were trying on Holland America.the carnival people are scared it is coming their way.they have no shame they will order 2-3 entrees or what have you on a regular basis.the cruise lines are crying about food waste.trying to squeeze out a few more dollars with out increasing prices again so quickly after the recent increases on almost everything.

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