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HAL Fans Give Princess a Try

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On 7/8/2019 at 1:41 AM, crystalspin said:

I don't know what you mean by "limited OBC"? 

Does HAL have military OBC like Princess?

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On 7/8/2019 at 4:47 AM, cubfan63 said:


Also, the Italian specialty restaurant (which was an area of the buffet - unlike a different room for Sabatini’ss) served food that was inedible when I was on it.  At the time, they were still not charging for it.   Apparently they have changed the menu and are charging but they still have it in the buffet area.



I really enjoyed HAL, but specialty dining is the one area (for me) where Princess wipes the floor with HAL.  The Pinnacle Grill (HAL steakhouse) was outstanding, but was also the only viable fee option in my opinion, and didn't have great revisitability due to the nature of their menu.


The specialty restaurant that you're referring to on HAL is Canaletto where they barricade off a section of the buffet seating.  In my view, Canaletto missed the mark on many levels.  The ambiance is virtually non-existent, as you're just sitting in a section at the buffet. The service was attentive to the point of hovering, but that's probably because it's a fairly small space, with very few guests, and is not designed with server-flow in mind.  Overall, in a word, I would describe eating there as awkward.


We found the food in Canaletto to be fine, but nothing special... maybe slightly better than the MDR, but not in the same class as Sabatini's (or any other fee dining).  We plan to cruise with HAL again, but even if it were offered for free, we would skip Canaletto.

Edited by Jeremiah On a Cruise

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On 7/8/2019 at 2:42 AM, Ombud said:

I was comparing the OBC on the 2 different lines for 1 future cruise in particular. Booked with Princess rather than HAL as I got more for about the same price 

Well, yes, promotions will vary between lines as well as within the line over time.


We really value Beverage Package, which is much higher to purchase on Princess and not applied to lowly OVs in their Sip-n-Sail promotion. Also a place to sit (not the bed) in said OV! These factors have caused us to choose HAL in the past for similar cruises like Alaska, but now we've got a couple Princess cruises booked for the fact of sailing out of Los Angeles -- no flying or hotel stays required for us!

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We have enjoyed both Princess and HAL but recently decided to stick with HAL now that we are in our older years.   Then we did an abrupt change of mind when HAL dropped its production shows.  They were one of our favorite parts, so we are back to Princess and hope a request for a barrel chair will work.  We really do not want to give up cruising but that might be the next decision.

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I've always had a barrel chair (off last ship 3/30/2019) so its uneven 


But I agree that their beverage pkg pricing is 'unusually' high and no idea why they don't have it for oceanview rooms on Sip & Ssle. Also I used to get the kids SODA & MORE ($7 day) but I can't justify the new CLASSIC SODA PKG ($11.79 a day).  We'll just buy as we go or get 3 of the CANNED SODA PKG (11.80)

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It’s great that you found a cruise line that you like!  Everyone has different tastes and that is why we tried HAL last summer - unfortunately that will be our last with them.  I think they have great itineraries, but found their entertainment and ship activities to be very lacking.  I, too, am a foodie, but after sending back 2 meals in 4 days (I have never done that before) we tried the buffet for dinner and found the quality to be the same.  I would also agree that the quality of food on Princess has declined, but for us it was better than HAL.  Food is so subjective, but the chef on the ship has more influence on taste and quality than the cruise line itself.  If cruise lines gave as much attention to improving the quality (not quantity) of their food as they give to badgering their customers into upsells once they are on the ship, their passengers would be grateful!

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