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hubbard53

Has anyone ever suspected HAL of diluted spirits?

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On 4/9/2019 at 1:37 PM, foodsvcmgr said:

I’m in the business and never felt I was getting a particularly weak drink, frequently just the opposite as some have stated.

Keep in mind that watering down bottles or putting cheap liquor in a high end bottle is not only unethical but highly illegal in most jurisdictions.

Not worth taking the risk.

My cousin was a ABC officer  who used to  inspect bars without them knowing... for pour/ quality  etc. to meet the legal requirements.     That said   many a bar will play games when they think it safe.... That was my cousins take.  That why he did his job for ABC

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To answer the question - the jurisdiction would be the flag state - the Netherlands - hardly a flag of convenience like Liberia or Vanuatu.

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1 hour ago, mrmoviezombie said:

 

 

Just what jurisdiction do you think applies at sea? Do not make the mistake in thinking that most of your home country legal protections apply in international waters, they don't. Especially on ships flying a flag of convivence. And any of the real legal protections you might have are probably waived by the contact you signed to get onboard.

 

I'm fairly certain that they could serve water and call it alcohol, the only consequence would be bad reviews.

 

There is no ABC  at sea...... nor a Gaming commission to control the casino....        Flags of convienience.....Ah yes  Panama, The  Marshall islands.....  ya they have real strong enforcement teams.....don't they?     Aside from SOLAS  regs  and customs its a free fire zone once past the 3 mile limit so to speak...   

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18 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

Not a silly question......  people have different tolerances to ethanol,    Some get  effected by a few beers, others can slug down 3 martinis and not feel a thing.    Its quite possibly  the more you drink the more or less you get an effect.     If your putting down almost  2/3 of a pint a day for several days  it will affect  you.....

That said...its been said of bartenders that a good bartender will only rip you off a little.      But all bartenders like casino dealers are working for the house.

Assume what you may.

Bartenders work for themselves, not the house !!  They get close to minimum wage and work for extra tips.  If they give me a crap drink, they get stiffed.  If they give me what I ordered, I give them a normal tip.  If they give me a few drinks with a generous pour, then they benefit with a healthy tip.   I do the same on ships as I do in land bars.

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By many responses, one would think it impossible that the OP got weak drinks.  “Stranger things have happened”, than weak drinks being served!   A HAL cruise may be an unlikely place for this to happen, but to claim it could not happen is to vouche for numerous staff members who, face it, are basically strangers.

🤔

 

It will remain a mystery.

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I suppose an individual Beverage Manager might make the decision to do so on a particular cruise to increase his profit margin and his standing with management?

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2 hours ago, TAD2005 said:

Bartenders work for themselves, not the house !!  They get close to minimum wage and work for extra tips.  If they give me a crap drink, they get stiffed.  If they give me what I ordered, I give them a normal tip.  If they give me a few drinks with a generous pour, then they benefit with a healthy tip.   I do the same on ships as I do in land bars.

Yes, but, on the ship, the tip is automatic so you don't have the discretion  

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9 hours ago, kevingastreich said:

Yes, but, on the ship, the tip is automatic so you don't have the discretion  

Of course you do...A little cash goes a long way....

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I do know that proofs of liquor are different in some countries.  i.e. In Mexico vodkas are 70 proof vs 80 in USA.  Tequilas are also less proof.  Not saying this is the case on HAL but a possibility.  Origin of purchase.

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10 hours ago, kevingastreich said:

I suppose an individual Beverage Manager might make the decision to do so on a particular cruise to increase his profit margin and his standing with management?

I think this is a distinct possibility. Perhaps it was b/c it was a spring break sailing? Perhaps a high number of beverage packages were sold? Perhaps they simply ran low on their most popular brands? I noticed it on the popular brands  like Tito's,  Capt Morgan, & Bacardi. When I switched to something different, the flavor reappeared. 

 

10 hours ago, SetAnOpenCourse said:

By many responses, one would think it impossible that the OP got weak drinks.  “Stranger things have happened”, than weak drinks being served!   A HAL cruise may be an unlikely place for this to happen, but to claim it could not happen is to vouche for numerous staff members who, face it, are basically strangers.

🤔

 

It will remain a mystery.

 

This pretty much sums it up :) While it sounds as if I am alcohol addled lush, that is not the case. I'm good with taste- whether in food, wine, or spirits - so when something is off, I can recognize it (like getting a diet soda instead of regular, real truffle vs. artificial, a merlot instead of a cabernet - which happens a lot when ordering wine by the glass)

 

At the minimum, at least it's an interesting topic different than most here . . . 

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3 hours ago, tompeter said:

Of course you do...A little cash goes a long way....

Well, cash would be on top of the automatic 15% added to every drink charge.  So, if you had poor service, you are still going to be tipping 15% whether you want to or not.

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3 minutes ago, kevingastreich said:

Well, cash would be on top of the automatic 15% added to every drink charge.  So, if you had poor service, you are still going to be tipping 15% whether you want to or not.

 

The bartenders in the casino were awesome! I think it has to do with cash being readily available to their patrons. I tipped in dollar chips 🙂 

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14 hours ago, kevingastreich said:

Yes, but, on the ship, the tip is automatic so you don't have the discretion  

Actual you do.....If you frequent a specific bar and staff,   a few 20"s every now and  then can  greatly influence ones experience.

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18 hours ago, expectGREATthings said:

There's absolutely no way Holland America Line is going to dilute the alcohol in any way, shape or form.

Of course a profit seeking corp would never do anything that would make it more money...

https://apnews.com/99d1e11177f44ae1b99c14979695ec37

"The court filings said the monitor found that Carnival and its subsidiaries repeatedly falsified records, as recently as September 2018, when an engineer on Holland America’s Westerdam ship falsified maintenance records to make it appear he had cleaned and tested equipment when he had not. The same ship, according to court filings, dumped 26,000 gallons of grey water into Glacier Bay National Park in September 2018."

 

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On 4/9/2019 at 7:57 AM, hubbard53 said:

Ok, here's the conspiratorial part - I suspect that HAL waters down their spirits -- or at least their most popular spirits. For example, I can SEE them putting a jigger of Cpt. Morgan rum in the highball glass full of ice but once they add the coke, I can't taste the rum. I SEE them make a Tito's Vodka martini (straight vodka) but it is so incredibly smooth that it's like drinking water (because perhaps it is mostly water?). Plus, I made GREAT use of my drink package - we used 10 drinks of our daily 15 drink limit - you'd think we'd feel something, right? The only time we got a buzz was when we had wine or sake. 

 

Anyone else ever suspect this? 

 

 

Too much trouble to water them down, but short pouring would be easy to do.

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3 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

Actual you do.....If you frequent a specific bar and staff,   a few 20"s every now and  then can  greatly influence ones experience.

I've been on Holland America Line since 1988. I have never thrown about 20's every now and then, and got good pours for all this time. Yes, things have changed.  However, I have sat at the bar many a nights and watched bottles being opened.  The seals were intact.  This is just another person trying to disparage the cruise lines.  

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On ‎4‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 4:57 AM, hubbard53 said:

Ok, here's the conspiratorial part - I suspect that HAL waters down their spirits -- or at least their most popular spirits. For example, I can SEE them putting a jigger of Cpt. Morgan rum in the highball glass full of ice but once they add the coke, I can't taste the rum. I SEE them make a Tito's Vodka martini (straight vodka) but it is so incredibly smooth that it's like drinking water (because perhaps it is mostly water?). Plus, I made GREAT use of my drink package - we used 10 drinks of our daily 15 drink limit - you'd think we'd feel something, right? The only time we got a buzz was when we had wine or sake. 

 

Anyone else ever suspect this? 

 

 

 

I would be surprised if they did that.  A sure fire way to lose a revenue stream is caught.

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7 hours ago, kevingastreich said:

Well, cash would be on top of the automatic 15% added to every drink charge.  So, if you had poor service, you are still going to be tipping 15% whether you want to or not.

We usually pick a favorite bar for our pre-dinner drinks.  Same bar, same seats every night.  The waiter gets to know us and we get to know him.   We always have fixed dining, main (8:00 pm) seating.   When we walk into the Pinnacle bar, our drinks are sitting on our table, fresh and ready to go.   That kind of service deserves an extra cash gratuity a few times during the cruise.  We always take cruises of 21 days or longer, so establishing a relationship with our favorite waiter really adds to our enjoyment.   Yes, there is a 15% service charge added to each beverage, but that 15% is shared among all employees at that particular bar.   Any cash tip goes right into the waiters pocket and is not shared.

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23 hours ago, TAD2005 said:

Bartenders work for themselves, not the house !!  They get close to minimum wage and work for extra tips.  If they give me a crap drink, they get stiffed.  If they give me what I ordered, I give them a normal tip.  If they give me a few drinks with a generous pour, then they benefit with a healthy tip.   I do the same on ships as I do in land bars.

Oh you bet they do..... and any time folks pay in cash, there is a great opportunity to skim.    Pour 3  drinks short get paid by cc   then one guy offers cash... he gets the withheld short quantity and the  bartender keeps the profit.    Quantity only shows 3 sold but in reality 4 were.....

 

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That's why I usually always get beer.  Hard to screw that up or short change you.

I am with some of the folks on here that agree the original poster could in fact have gotten weak drinks.  I was wondering if maybe you show that you have bought the drink packages you might get shortchanged, with the bartenders knowing that you can always get more drinks (up to 15).  Where as the people who are paying for individual drinks don't get shorted, because you aren't getting a deal on the drink price.   Who knows, just a thought.

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1 hour ago, HappiestWhenCruising said:

That's why I usually always get beer.  Hard to screw that up or short change you.

I am with some of the folks on here that agree the original poster could in fact have gotten weak drinks.  I was wondering if maybe you show that you have bought the drink packages you might get shortchanged, with the bartenders knowing that you can always get more drinks (up to 15).  Where as the people who are paying for individual drinks don't get shorted, because you aren't getting a deal on the drink price.   Who knows, just a thought.

About 3 years ago we were on the Celebrity Eclipse where we had a Premium Drink package and would often hang out at the Ensemble bar where we got friendly with two bartenders.  Many folks on Celebrity have drink packages and while sitting at the bar we were wondering if a package had an impact on the pour.  We noticed that the bar tenders would actually give more generous pours to those of us with drink packages and during a quiet moment asked two of our favorite bar tenders about the generous pours for those of us with drink packages.  Why did they give more generous pours to those of us with packages?  Because they knew we could order as many drinks as we pleased which meant they had to mix more drinks.  A generous pour meant less work for the bar tenders :).  Makes sense.

 

Hank

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12 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

Actual you do.....If you frequent a specific bar and staff,   a few 20"s every now and  then can  greatly influence ones experience.

And I'll bet you have very rarely had a short poor from those bartenders.

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