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Club Orange is Excellent

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5 hours ago, Crusinsusan2 said:

We were on the 3/17-3/27 Koningsdam sailing in a NS. Club Orange was in our opinion wonderful and a perfect fit for us. Breakfasts were cooked to order in front of you. Pastries served warm and crisp. Mimosa's and cappuccino's overflowing. Service by the same team that knew your name on day 1 was excellent. Dinner's were equally impressive. The nightly chef's special created and prepared in Club Orange were some of the best meals we have experienced on any ship in any venue. Again service team and chef off the charts. Meals timed around your pace. Want a lingering meal? You have it. Have to be somewhere? You have that too. We found the chairs, room, lighting and all over feel very comfortable.  I'm not sure how this could be implemented on other ships in the main dining room without a designated space or kitchen for it but for us it was a overall great intimate experience if not the highlight of our dining this trip. Would seriously consider CO now after experiencing it even if booking a lower category cabin. We liked it that much.       

 

My experience was exactly the same!

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36 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

 

My experience was exactly the same!

 

As was our experience on April 7 - 14, with the exception that the chairs weren‘t my favorites. (DH was OK with them.) 

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On 3/4/2019 at 9:54 AM, NanaBnana said:

We are currently on the Nieuw Statendam in a Neptune Suite and have had dinner and breakfast in Club Orange.  It was 75% filled for breakfast and 50% for dinner.  Our meals were cooked in the open kitchen by Chef Nella.  Both meals were perfect!  There is one dedicated wine steward, one dining captain and several servers that take efficient and excellent care of all the diners in a team fashion.  Jazz music playing for both meals was nice; the chairs are comfortable and spacious; tablecloths for dinner only.  I like the space and the less hectic pace of the dining room.  My only issue is the lighting could be softer especially in the evening.  Overall it feels modern, personal and fresh.  I am glad that Club Orange is available to suite passengers.

I certainly liked it when I was a passenger on the NS a few weeks ago.

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13 hours ago, JRG said:

I give HAL credit for trying with Club Orange as I agree with the concept...

 

...but from the pictures I've seen on CC it does not look very appealing.    

 

It just looks rinky-dinky and I can't believe HAL is passing this along as a suite perk or an add-on for other guests.

 

 

I am at a loss as to how this concept could would or should ever be implemented in a partitioned area of the main dining room on the older smaller vessels and pull it off to the degree that the Koningsdam and NS have but looking forward to what they may come up with. The open kitchen concept that is cooked fresh, personalized by chef and served by a perfect cohesive team direct to table in a non chaotic, quiet location is what sold us. Heck, who am I kidding I would gladly eat on picnic table with strangers or standing in line at an expensive food cart to replicate some of the recipes we were served! I can assure you there was nothing rinky-dink about the most excellent quality of food, pride in service or venue on the Koningsdam for both breakfast and the ADDED suite perk dinner option. Suite perk X 2  has been added in our opinion as the Pinnacle breakfasts were not or ever our thing. Major step up on the Holland dining experience for us. For those just observing through the glass strolling by and not personally having the experience yourself spend the money give it a go before you don't like it.  Same hours daily as the MDR. 75% full for both breakfast and dinner.                    

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Crusinsusan2 said:

I am at a loss as to how this concept could would or should ever be implemented in a partitioned area of the main dining room on the older smaller vessels and pull it off to the degree that the Koningsdam and NS have but looking forward to what they may come up with. The open kitchen concept that is cooked fresh, personalized by chef and served by a perfect cohesive team direct to table in a non chaotic, quiet location is what sold us. Heck, who am I kidding I would gladly eat on picnic table with strangers or standing in line at an expensive food cart to replicate some of the recipes we were served! I can assure you there was nothing rinky-dink about the most excellent quality of food, pride in service or venue on the Koningsdam for both breakfast and the ADDED suite perk dinner option. Suite perk X 2  has been added in our opinion as the Pinnacle breakfasts were not or ever our thing. Major step up on the Holland dining experience for us. For those just observing through the glass strolling by and not personally having the experience yourself spend the money give it a go before you don't like it.  Same hours daily as the MDR. 75% full for both breakfast and dinner.                    

 

Breakfast there was great because, as you said, it's cooked right there. But they won't be able to do that on the other ships, so I expect that it will be the same food in a separate space. They could probably manage an extra entree at dinner, but I don't see a waffle going from the iron in the MDR kitchen to my table in 30 seconds. 

 

Edited to add: I just looked at the drydock list in the charter/group thread. Noordam has a drydock in September and Zuiderdam has a drydock in December. So I guess if HAL really intends to expand CO, those ships would be the next to get it if there's any kind of wall/barrier to be built to set that area apart from the MDR. If they just intend to rope off an area and put up a sign, they can roll it out any time.

 

 

Edited by 3rdGenCunarder

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

Breakfast there was great because, as you said, it's cooked right there. But they won't be able to do that on the other ships, so I expect that it will be the same food in a separate space. They could probably manage an extra entree at dinner, but I don't see a waffle going from the iron in the MDR kitchen to my table in 30 seconds. 

 

Edited to add: I just looked at the drydock list in the charter/group thread. Noordam has a drydock in September and Zuiderdam has a drydock in December. So I guess if HAL really intends to expand CO, those ships would be the next to get it if there's any kind of wall/barrier to be built to set that area apart from the MDR. If they just intend to rope off an area and put up a sign, they can roll it out any time.

Bingo!

 

Unless they add a kitchen area to the MDR for any ship they retrofit, which I don't think is really feasible, I see this as a pretty large service delivery issue for people who have experienced CO on the new ships versus the retrofits. 

 

As for the whole CO concept, while we have not experienced it, as we very rarely book Neptunes, so if we want it we'd have to pay the $50pp for it and since: 

 

  • Breakfast for us is pretty much always room service prior to leaving the ship to go on tour. Since we are not morning folks, its also rare that we are up and out of bed for breakfast on Sea Days. 
  • We like the MDR, especially with the Anytime Dining, it allows us to meet new people every night for dinner. 
  • We are 4 Stars, so we already get all the priority stuff. 

I don't see the value of an additional $100/day for us. I can put that money to better use elsewhere. So for us CO is not something we are interested in. 

Edited by drowelf

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18 minutes ago, drowelf said:

Bingo!

 

Unless they add a kitchen area to the MDR for any ship they retrofit, which I don't think is really feasible, I see this as a pretty large service delivery issue for people who have experienced CO on the new ships versus the retrofits. 

 

As for the whole CO concept, while we have not experienced it, as we very rarely book Neptunes, so if we want it we'd have to pay the $50pp for it and since: 

 

  • Breakfast for us is pretty much always room service prior to leaving the ship to go on tour. Since we are not morning folks, its also rare that we are up and out of bed for breakfast on Sea Days. 
  • We like the MDR, especially with the Anytime Dining, it allows us to meet new people every night for dinner. 
  • We are 4 Stars, so we already get all the priority stuff. 

I don't see the value of an additional $100/day for us. I can put that money to better use elsewhere. So for us CO is not something we are interested in. 

 

I had CO because I was in a Neptune Suite. I would not pay the the $50 pp for it. 

 

Now that I think about the "short order" breakfast cooking in CO, I wonder if anything at the Pinnacle breakfast was prepared in their kitchen. Given how long it could sometimes take to get the main course, I suspect the waiters were going to the MDR for the food. But I did like the quiet ambiance of the Pinnacle for breakfast, especially on the Vistas where they tried to seat everyone near the windows, not in the interior area. 

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10 hours ago, Crusinsusan2 said:

Major step up on the Holland dining experience for us. For those just observing through the glass strolling by and not personally having the experience yourself spend the money give it a go before you don't like it.  Same hours daily as the MDR. 75% full for both breakfast and dinner.                    

 

I agree with you. What’s that saying? “Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it.”

 

Before our N Statendam cruise last week, I must admit I wasn’t convinced I would like the setting, but was pleasantly surprised with how peaceful and cheerful it was, and how much better the sea view actually was than I expected through the frosted glass “fork window.” 😀

 

The very professional and congenial staff got an A+ in my book and we thoroughly enjoyed it enough to skip the specialty restaurants all week.

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27 minutes ago, Caribbean Chris said:

 

I agree with you. What’s that saying? “Don’t knock it til you’ve tried it.”

 

Before our N Statendam cruise last week, I must admit I wasn’t convinced I would like the setting, but was pleasantly surprised with how peaceful and cheerful it was, and how much better the sea view actually was than I expected through the frosted glass “fork window.” 😀

 

The very professional and congenial staff got an A+ in my book and we thoroughly enjoyed it enough to skip the specialty restaurants all week.

Did you get it as part of your Suite Perks (Neptune) or did you pay for it? Due to the reasons I listed above, I already have a good idea that we would not get $100/day value out of it unless it came as part of being in a Neptune. Thats a good bit of money to pay for something sight unseen. In over 100 sea days we have only taken 1 cruise of less than 10 days. So we would probably have to invest quite a bit of money to experience CO, unless we were in a Neptune, which surprising we were for that 1 cruise. 

 

What will be really interesting is hear a comparison from someone who as experienced CO on the new ships and the retrofitted ones, but alas that might be far in the future. 

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1 minute ago, drowelf said:

Did you get it as part of your Suite Perks (Neptune) or did you pay for it? Due to the reasons I listed above, I already have a good idea that we would not get $100/day value out of it unless it came as part of being in a Neptune. Thats a good bit of money to pay for something sight unseen. In over 100 sea days we have only taken 1 cruise of less than 10 days. So we would probably have to invest quite a bit of money to experience CO, unless we were in a Neptune, which surprising we were for that 1 cruise. 

 

What will be really interesting is hear a comparison from someone who as experienced CO on the new ships and the retrofitted ones, but alas that might be far in the future. 

 

Yes, it was a suite perk for booking a Neptune. My husband thinks it would be worth $50 pp per day, though I would probably consider carefully on anything longer than ten days.

 

You are right, it will be interesting if/when the other COs roll out.

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Since on the rest of the fleet CO would be part of the MDR and use that galley My guess is that CO on the new ships will have the galley removed in a remodel for more seating and the MDR galley will be used. Either that or the current CO space would be converted to another use and all ships would use part of the MDR for CO

I was told that the PG galley is used for breakfast. The PG Chef came out to say hello during breakfast a few times.

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19 minutes ago, frankc98376 said:

Since on the rest of the fleet CO would be part of the MDR and use that galley My guess is that CO on the new ships will have the galley removed in a remodel for more seating and the MDR galley will be used. Either that or the current CO space would be converted to another use and all ships would use part of the MDR for CO

I was told that the PG galley is used for breakfast. The PG Chef came out to say hello during breakfast a few times.

 

I don't think they'll remove the CO galley. People who have experienced CO with its own cooking area would NOT be happy to return to K'dam or NS and discovered that a very strong point of the CO experience had been removed.

 

Given how scattered amenities are in HAL's fleet, I'm willing to bet that The Powers That Be decided to do this wonderful thing on the new ships without giving much thought to how they could do something comparable on the existing ships. 

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4 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

I don't think they'll remove the CO galley. People who have experienced CO with its own cooking area would NOT be happy to return to K'dam or NS and discovered that a very strong point of the CO experience had been removed.

 

Given how scattered amenities are in HAL's fleet, I'm willing to bet that The Powers That Be decided to do this wonderful thing on the new ships without giving much thought to how they could do something comparable on the existing ships. 

My money is still on if stand alone CO generates enough revenue  to justify a fully staffed stand alone restaurant. How many will pay $100 per day?

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Why not just upgrade to a premium cruise line?  The perdiem will be more than $50 but better food, free specialties and more  included amenities are worth it.  

No way would I pay a premium for HAL food.  Not good enough. 

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Do they take advance dinner/breakfast reservations for those who purchase this perk or is it meant to be like "anytime dining" but presumably without a wait?

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1 minute ago, suzannecruisecritic said:

Do they take advance dinner/breakfast reservations for those who purchase this perk or is it meant to be like "anytime dining" but presumably without a wait?

 

It is "anytime," but they do take reservations.

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, frankc98376 said:

My money is still on if stand alone CO generates enough revenue  to justify a fully staffed stand alone restaurant. How many will pay $100 per day?

 

It's not $100/day.  It's $50/day per person.  Are you assuming HAL is like an ark and every one travels in pairs? 😉

 

Edited by slidergirl

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1 minute ago, slidergirl said:

 

It's not $100/day.  It's $50/day per person.  Are you assuming HAL is like an ark and every one travels in pairs? 😉

 

Most would be paying $100 for 2

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We would indeed spend 50.00 pp per day as CO currently stands on the K and NA if we choose a lower cat cabin that didn't include it. (AND they continued to provide the same level of cuisine and service we just experienced) Starting most breakfasts with 2 Mimosa's each (don't judge its vacation 🙂 ) and a cappuccino each by the time we were done with a delightful breakfast and not running around with trays while food gets cold trying to find a place sit we were close to 1/2 way to to the daily pp cost. Add dinner's which blew the pants off even our favorite Tamarind (very recent menu change that eliminated the crispy soft shell crab appetizer, and the beloved lobster tempura entree that is now shrimp and lobster stir fry on the K) had us there only once this trip. The cutbacks there were noticeable. New menu had not started yet on the Eurodam a few months back and it was still fabulously perfect. 7 nights, 3 meals there.      

 

Because we are 4* with most of the other perks already included I can't imagine that we could justify the cost of CO + voluntary additional grat's we chose to extend if it was just an annex of the MDR which we gave up on a few years back. Also confirming it was anytime dining, and if you wanted a standing table at the same time it was available. Only one evening at 8:45 was there a 5 minute wait to get a table cleared.  

 

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35 minutes ago, Crusinsusan2 said:

Add dinner's which blew the pants off even our favorite Tamarind (very recent menu change that eliminated the crispy soft shell crab appetizer, and the beloved lobster tempura entree that is now shrimp and lobster stir fry on the K) had us there only once this trip. The cutbacks there were noticeable

 

We felt the same in December.  We were even offered a comped meal the next evening by the Tamarind Manager but chose to eat in CO instead.

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Hate to interrupt a good controversy but does anyone happen to know if CO is open for lunch on embarkation day?

Thanks!

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4 hours ago, DennisNV said:

Hate to interrupt a good controversy but does anyone happen to know if CO is open for lunch on embarkation day?

Thanks!

 

No (on the Nieuw Statendam last week). MDR was open.

 

As far as I know, CO was never open at lunch.

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3 hours ago, Caribbean Chris said:

 

No (on the Nieuw Statendam last week). MDR was open.

 

As far as I know, CO was never open at lunch.

 

It wasn't open for lunch on the K this winter. Just breakfast and dinner.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/16/2019 at 7:34 AM, JRG said:

I give HAL credit for trying with Club Orange as I agree with the concept...

 

If the food is very good,  then perhaps one should vote, not with their feet, not with their wallet,  not with their heart,

..but on the actual CC cruise review format, so that it shows up next year in the annual CC Critics Choice Dining Awards.   

 

I'm willing to stipulate that your dining experience was par excellence and that is a good thing....but.....$50?

 

The furniture and the change-out signage makes it look rinky dink and the tablesettings don't fool me. 

 

And lastly,   I'm just not comfortable with the naming,    CO sounds too much like one of the periodic  elements. (i.e. cobalt).     I think HAL could have done better.

 

How about "Club L'Orange"   or    "Prince Albert's"    or     "Studio 65"  ....something that doesn't sound so cheesy.

 

Edited by JRG

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