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UM-Fan

Love/Stressed Relationship with HAL

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I love sailing on HAL ships. By nature I am fairly easy going, but dealing with HAL stresses me to the max sometimes!  I have been trying to purchase a gift card from HAL all morning.  It literally took me six phone calls to actually get it done.  They have published a phone number on their website that states to purchase gift cards call this number.  I called the number three times to wait for a representative to pick up. Was on hold for more then 30 minutes each time with nobody ever answering.  I called and spoke with the Mariner Society and they gave me a website to use instead.  I hung up (should have tried it while I was on the phone with them the first time) tried the site address they gave and it came up as an error page on the HAL site.  Called the gift card number once again and waited for more then 30 minutes and no answer. Called back to the Mariner Society once again and finally got someone that took the time to help. Seems the number that they have published for gift card purchases belongs to Club Orange. (Don't get me started on why Club Orange won't answer the phone) I explained that I used the number that was published on HAL's own site and received an I'm sorry answer. (Bet the same wrong number will still be on the site for months)   They then proceeded to tell me that gift cards can only be purchased through the Mariner Society. Don't know why the first call to the Mariner Society didn't tell me that!!  Finally after 3 hours and 42 minutes, gift card finally purchased.

 

I almost need go on a cruise to help me let go of the stress caused by dealing with the cruise line! LOL

Edited by UM-Fan

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Today's reality. Not enough people,  not enough people knowledgeable. 

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UM-Fan, your post reminds me why I buy my HAL gift cards at Kroger. 😀

 

Roz

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UM-Fan:  you have a LOT more patience, when stressed out no less, than I could ever have.  

Your experience was unacceptable, of course. Thanks for writing this up: it was an "interesting" read (scary!).  You do need a cruise!

 

aledomom:  I was thinking the telephone companies are the same, too, but let's add Hydro, as well.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Roz said:

UM-Fan, your post reminds me why I buy my HAL gift cards at Kroger. 😀

 

Roz

 

Well to add to my story Roz, I was fortunate enough to receive an offer on my AmEx card that if I booked a cruise with HAL and spent a minimum of 500 dollars I would receive a rebate back to my card for 150 dollars.  So I called my TA and tried to take advantage of that but my TA does not accept AmEx for payment. So the only way they could think of to be able to take advantage of the offer would be to buy a gift card directly from HAL on my AmEx card then to call the TA back and book the cruise using the newly purchased gift card. What I won't do to save 150 dollars..... 😀

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2 hours ago, aledomom said:

Sounds like my experiences dealing with AT&T!

 

At one point I felt like I was dealing with Comcast!! LOL

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1 hour ago, SilvertoGold said:

UM-Fan:  you have a LOT more patience, when stressed out no less, than I could ever have.  

Your experience was unacceptable, of course. Thanks for writing this up: it was an "interesting" read (scary!).  You do need a cruise!

 

aledomom:  I was thinking the telephone companies are the same, too, but let's add Hydro, as well.

 

 

 

In the end it all turned out okay. I am just amazed on how HAL does such great training with the crew onboard, but then they can't  train the folks that work in the IT department to post the correct information and then train all of the folks that answer the phones to be all on the same page to provide correct answers to those that call in.  I am amazed that you can call three people at the HAL offices and get three different answers. (Yes it has happened to me more then once.)

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13 hours ago, UM-Fan said:

 

Well to add to my story Roz, I was fortunate enough to receive an offer on my AmEx card that if I booked a cruise with HAL and spent a minimum of 500 dollars I would receive a rebate back to my card for 150 dollars.  So I called my TA and tried to take advantage of that but my TA does not accept AmEx for payment. So the only way they could think of to be able to take advantage of the offer would be to buy a gift card directly from HAL on my AmEx card then to call the TA back and book the cruise using the newly purchased gift card. What I won't do to save 150 dollars..... 😀

 

Believe me, I understand wanting to save $150.  I've had similar offers on my AMEX card.  Here's what I don't understand....the TA should be putting the charge thru to HAL.  When I make a deposit or payment on a cruise, my AMEX statement shows the charge being made to Holland America, not my TA's agency.  

 

Roz

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18 hours ago, UM-Fan said:

 

Well to add to my story Roz, I was fortunate enough to receive an offer on my AmEx card that if I booked a cruise with HAL and spent a minimum of 500 dollars I would receive a rebate back to my card for 150 dollars.  So I called my TA and tried to take advantage of that but my TA does not accept AmEx for payment. So the only way they could think of to be able to take advantage of the offer would be to buy a gift card directly from HAL on my AmEx card then to call the TA back and book the cruise using the newly purchased gift card. What I won't do to save 150 dollars..... 😀

Easier way - buy yourself $500 in On Board Credit (for your cabin) via the HAL website.  Quick, easy and very flexible as it can be used for anything (daily grats, drinks, spa, gambling, etc).  I did not use all of mine and since I used a Visa card for my onboard expenses and for the cruise (Am Ex for the OBC) the $300 I had left was credited back to my Visa card!

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7 hours ago, Roz said:

 

Believe me, I understand wanting to save $150.  I've had similar offers on my AMEX card.  Here's what I don't understand....the TA should be putting the charge thru to HAL.  When I make a deposit or payment on a cruise, my AMEX statement shows the charge being made to Holland America, not my TA's agency.  

 

Roz

 

My TA was adamant that they can't process a payment with AmEx. I even asked if they wouldn't just mind calling the cruise line and processing the payment through them and I was told that they couldn't do that.  I do know when I use any other card with my TA, all charges are shown as being billed through HAL.  So I don't get why they couldn't do it with AmEx.

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2 hours ago, DaveOKC said:

Easier way - buy yourself $500 in On Board Credit (for your cabin) via the HAL website.  Quick, easy and very flexible as it can be used for anything (daily grats, drinks, spa, gambling, etc).  I did not use all of mine and since I used a Visa card for my onboard expenses and for the cruise (Am Ex for the OBC) the $300 I had left was credited back to my Visa card!

 

My TA gives me onboard credit as part of the service they provide. Then I usually get some type of cruise line onboard credit.  I most generally don't use all they give me so I kind of hated to buy some with the AmEx card just to have it come back mostly unused as a credit at the end of my cruise.

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5 hours ago, UM-Fan said:

 

My TA gives me onboard credit as part of the service they provide. Then I usually get some type of cruise line onboard credit.  I most generally don't use all they give me so I kind of hated to buy some with the AmEx card just to have it come back mostly unused as a credit at the end of my cruise.

Unless I am misunderstanding, you will make $150 on the $500 you spent to buy the OBC.  Seems like a good deal to me.

 

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8 hours ago, UM-Fan said:

 

My TA was adamant that they can't process a payment with AmEx. I even asked if they wouldn't just mind calling the cruise line and processing the payment through them and I was told that they couldn't do that.  I do know when I use any other card with my TA, all charges are shown as being billed through HAL.  So I don't get why they couldn't do it with AmEx.

 

This is just wrong.  HAL accepts Amex, there is no reason for your TA to refuse to accept it.  I use Amex for all my cruises, no matter who I book with. 

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I did not know HAL has gift cards! I would have purchased some, but not if it's that big of a hassle!

 

I purchase Princess gift cards online using a link on their website. So easy! (screen shot attached)

 

It seems like HAL could do the same, I wonder why they don't?

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2019-07-24 at 10.39.14 PM.png

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5 hours ago, bobalink said:

I did not know HAL has gift cards! I would have purchased some, but not if it's that big of a hassle!

 

I purchase Princess gift cards online using a link on their website. So easy! (screen shot attached)

 

It seems like HAL could do the same, I wonder why they don't?

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2019-07-24 at 10.39.14 PM.png

 

They are a fairly new thing with HAL, I believe they have only been around for a couple of months.  According to HAL they will eventually be available for sale via their website, but currently you need to call the Mariner Society to buy them directly from the cruise line or places like Kroger offer them too.  Right now when you go to the gift card section of the HAL website you can only check your gift card balance online.

 

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6 hours ago, T8NCruise said:

 

This is just wrong.  HAL accepts Amex, there is no reason for your TA to refuse to accept it.  I use Amex for all my cruises, no matter who I book with. 

 

My TA is the travel department of a big box warehouse club.  They don't accept AmEx anymore, just Visa (with some great perks if we use their Visa card). 

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3 hours ago, SargassoPirate said:

 

My TA is the travel department of a big box warehouse club.  They don't accept AmEx anymore, just Visa (with some great perks if we use their Visa card). 

 

You summed up my AmEx card situation. 😃

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On ‎7‎/‎23‎/‎2019 at 11:37 AM, UM-Fan said:

I love sailing on HAL ships. By nature I am fairly easy going, but dealing with HAL stresses me to the max sometimes!  I have been trying to purchase a gift card from HAL all morning.  It literally took me six phone calls to actually get it done.  They have published a phone number on their website that states to purchase gift cards call this number.  I called the number three times to wait for a representative to pick up. Was on hold for more then 30 minutes each time with nobody ever answering.  I called and spoke with the Mariner Society and they gave me a website to use instead.  I hung up (should have tried it while I was on the phone with them the first time) tried the site address they gave and it came up as an error page on the HAL site.  Called the gift card number once again and waited for more then 30 minutes and no answer. Called back to the Mariner Society once again and finally got someone that took the time to help. Seems the number that they have published for gift card purchases belongs to Club Orange. (Don't get me started on why Club Orange won't answer the phone) I explained that I used the number that was published on HAL's own site and received an I'm sorry answer. (Bet the same wrong number will still be on the site for months)   They then proceeded to tell me that gift cards can only be purchased through the Mariner Society. Don't know why the first call to the Mariner Society didn't tell me that!!  Finally after 3 hours and 42 minutes, gift card finally purchased.

 

I almost need go on a cruise to help me let go of the stress caused by dealing with the cruise line! LOL

I called the emergency number listed in my cruise documents when I had a problem with a Hal transfer from airport to hotel in Amsterdam, only to be told that the number was no longer in service !!!

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5 hours ago, SargassoPirate said:

 

My TA is the travel department of a big box warehouse club.  They don't accept AmEx anymore, just Visa (with some great perks if we use their Visa card). 

They have to pay 3.5% if using a American 

Express card as vendors! Some companies don’t want to loose that amount. As a retired DDS we used American Express and for me I paid the %

I didn’t have a problem with it. Maybe also the TA didn’t want to loose a little of her commission. Who Knows

Denise😊

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The big box warehouse locations only accept Visa in the store.  However, the travel website accepts Visa & MasterCard.

 

I'm guessing there's some bad blood since AMEX was dropped as the only credit card they would take in stores for a long time.

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6 hours ago, mame42 said:

I called the emergency number listed in my cruise documents when I had a problem with a Hal transfer from airport to hotel in Amsterdam, only to be told that the number was no longer in service !!!

 

Oh my..... My issue pales in comparison to yours.  I hope it all worked out for you anyway!

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1 hour ago, UM-Fan said:

 

Oh my..... My issue pales in comparison to yours.  I hope it all worked out for you anyway!

The issue was truly with rude, uncooperative airport personnel at the Amsterdam airport involved in handicapped transport.  Unbeknownst to me, while I was desperately trying to contact the HAL rep at the airport to let her know there was a problem, she was as anxiously trying to find me.  We finally connected several hours later and all was well.  When I returned home I did report that the given phone number was no longer in service, but who knows... ???

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That is about 3 1/2 hrs more than I would have waited. Cannot imagine waiting that long for anything other than a hip replacement!

 

It is why we seldom bother with HAL's website and would never call them.  Our TA will do that for us.  And in a much timelier fashion.  

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On 7/24/2019 at 1:16 PM, UM-Fan said:

 

My TA was adamant that they can't process a payment with AmEx. I even asked if they wouldn't just mind calling the cruise line and processing the payment through them and I was told that they couldn't do that.  I do know when I use any other card with my TA, all charges are shown as being billed through HAL.  So I don't get why they couldn't do it with AmEx.

Funny.  I am a TA and I can apply an AMEX payment online Through HAL’s TA booking engine. No additional charge to our agency.

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