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Billthekid

No joy in mudville or on HAL cruises

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, KirkNC said:

Sorry double post

 

Edited by KirkNC

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15 minutes ago, KirkNC said:

The number  of cruises depends on length,  the $90k is probably about right though. I have spent way more then that for 5 star status on HAL, 600 plus days.  What do I get for that?  Free laundry and priority tendering and two free Pinnacles....wow.

 

and to clarify, the free cruise is two weeks.  What’s that worth? And that does not include the $500 in OBC you get pp at that level when you book another cruise.

Yes, it does depend on the number or length of cruises.  If you took a round the world and a couple of 3
"weekers", the free cruise is a nice perk;  otherwise it requires an awful lot of brand loyalty to accrue 225 days.  As an aside, my last cruise in May was on Oceania and quite disappointing, particularly the quality of the cuisine for which "O" is noted.  Prior to that, I did a 31 night Asia cruise on Westerdam which I actually found superior.  In my humble opinion, no cruise line offers the perks that would induce me to stick to one or two cruise lines when so many other factors come into play.

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2 minutes ago, doublebzz said:

 In my humble opinion, no cruise line offers the perks that would induce me to stick to one or two cruise lines when so many other factors come into play.

 

I agree completely on that, ship size and itinerary are most important to us.  I was just commenting on the sole aspect of loyalty perks in my previous posts, not all attributes of a line.  Part of the reason for my comments were that on the 2019 WC Orlando said repeatedly how “rich” the loyalty benefits are on HAL.  I maintain that is not true compared to some other lines using X and O as examples.

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2 minutes ago, KirkNC said:

 

I agree completely on that, ship size and itinerary are most important to us.  I was just commenting on the sole aspect of loyalty perks in my previous posts, not all attributes of a line.  Part of the reason for my comments were that on the 2019 WC Orlando said repeatedly how “rich” the loyalty benefits are on HAL.  I maintain that is not true compared to some other lines using X and O as examples.

Agree.  Whiles perks are not a deciding factor in choosing my cruises, If I had to pick which line has the best perks for a 4 or 5 star equivalent I would select RCCL for the following reasons:  (1) Recognition of loyalty status across all lines (RCCL, X and Azamara); (2) four days of free internet (2 24 hour periods pp) and (3) free drinks during happy hour from about 5-8 daily.  

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24 minutes ago, KirkNC said:

And remember, specialty dining on O is free, a 100% discount

 

Consider that I've never set foot in a specialty restaurant and have no intention of doing so.  Therefore, that's a nothing for me.  I just wouldn't care.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, cowmilker said:

 

Consider that I've never set foot in a specialty restaurant and have no intention of doing so.  Therefore, that's a nothing for me.  I just wouldn't care.

 

Then you would not care about the 4 & 5 star discount on HAL either which if you read Kazu’s post, is what I was responding to.

Edited by KirkNC

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1 minute ago, KirkNC said:

Then you would not care about the 4 & 5 star discount on HAL either.

 

Probably not. I'll let you know.  We'll be 3 star after our next trip and make 4 star on the one after that.  The only thing that would be nice is the discount on the wine packages, but that certainly wouldn't make us pick HAL over any other line.

If you hate HAL so much, why are you here?  I'm asking this seriously.  We sailed with MSC once and will never do it again. I wrote a review of our trip, why we didn't like it, and that's been my entire participation on the MSC board. I have no interest in it because I am never putting my foot on another MSC ship.

I don't understand the obsession with bashing a cruise line over and over and over again.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, cowmilker said:

 

 

Probably not. I'll let you know.  We'll be 3 star after our next trip and make 4 star on the one after that.  The only thing that would be nice is the discount on the wine packages, but that certainly wouldn't make us pick HAL over any other line.

If you hate HAL so much, why are you here?  I'm asking this seriously.  We sailed with MSC once and will never do it again. I wrote a review of our trip, why we didn't like it, and that's been my entire participation on the MSC board. I have no interest in it because I am never putting my foot on another MSC ship.

I don't understand the obsession with bashing a cruise line over and over and over again.

 

Wow, heaven forbid someone takes a critical review of all things HAL,  Now I hate HAL.???  You do realize we have over 600 days on HAL right, is that something one would do if they hated it?  I am in Tokyo right now waiting to board the Maasdam for another 96 days and I hate HAL.  After our return in Dec, we board the Amsterdam for another 128 day cruise but I hateHAL???  I am sorry if making statements critical of HAL upsets you but a lot has changed over the last several years on HAL and I don’t like some of it.  A place called Cruise Critic is where that gets expressed, sorry I am not a cheerleader 📣.

Edited by KirkNC

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We have earned "perks" on several different cruise lines, and for our style of cruising (however that could be defined) the 4-star Hal stuff makes us happiest.  We really enjoy our wine packages and the mini-bar discount and the complimentary laundry -- and, of course, priority tendering and so forth.  These extras combined make for a very pleasant journey.  We've experienced the "free drinks" cocktail parties on other lines, and that just puts us on somebody else's schedule, and we don't really want to hang out in a special lounge.  We book accommodations that we enjoy.

 

Just trying to explain why there are reasons some may remain loyal. 

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4 minutes ago, KirkNC said:

 

Wow, heaven forbid someone takes a critical review of all things HAL,  Now I hate HAL.???  You do realize we have over 600 days on HAL right, is that something one would do if they hated it?  I am in Tokyo right now waiting to board the Maasdam for another 96 days and I hate HAL.  After our return in Dec, we board the Amsterdam for another 128 day cruise but I hateHAL???  I am sorry if making statements critical of HAL upsets you but a lot has changed over the last several years on HAL and I don’t like some of it.  A place called Cruise Critic is where that gets expressed, sorry I am not a cheerleader 📣.

I am so happy for you.

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9 minutes ago, KirkNC said:

 Now I hate HAL.???  

 

Well, all I know is that if I hated a cruise line as much as you seem to hate HAL, I wouldn't go.  I'm just as critical of MSC as you are of HAL and you don't see me booking with them.

 

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On 8/12/2019 at 11:28 AM, Hawaiidan said:

You better check your timing....HAL  ships and others  except for specialty built expedition ships are going to be banned after 2020 in Antarctic waters.... Seriously.....    Better look at the next sailing you can get...it will probably be the last.      New laws and rules for 2021.... please check this  I may be off  but this is coming soon....

 

I think that the last HAL Antarctica cruise is January 2021, on the Westerdam.  We are taking the December 2019, Zaandam because we prefer the R class.  The rules are not new.  They became effective, I  believe in 2017.  However, ships are certified for 5 year periods, so they last 5-year group will run out as of January, 2022.  Only those ships with a certain ice breaking classification will be allowed below the 60 degree parallel or above the 60th.  That excludes Iceland because the climate is warmed by the Gulf? Stream (some stream, anyway).  Greenland will be out.  I think that I have this correct, so please correct me, if not.

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1 hour ago, KirkNC said:

I know your not a fan of O Kazu and I respect that but you can’t convince me the perks on HAL hold a candle to other lines O’s included.  Plus as we sit here and watch HAL circling the drain, we (more specifically I) feel compelled to look for a line that aligns with what I want, not perfectly, but at least in most cases.  I know you understand that.

 

And remember, specialty dining on O is free, a 100% discount. 😉

 

Oh, I am not arguing with you Kirk.

 

Just pointing out there are other pluses.

 

Yes, O’s specialty dining is free but you need to get in and it needs to be palatable.

 

I know we might have been on a “one off” cruise (even if the Riviera issues went on for 3 cruises after).

 

There are lots of cruise lines out there and all you have to do is find the one that fits 😉 

 

Reading the O boards, it seems that our experience is not alone and it’s not necessarily the “best food at sea”. I’ve sailed lots of lines and will happily explore other alternatives IF I can find a decent itinerary. 

 

The world is an oyster and everyone just has to find their pearl 😄 

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24 minutes ago, cowmilker said:

 

Well, all I know is that if I hated a cruise line as much as you seem to hate HAL, I wouldn't go.  I'm just as critical of MSC as you are of HAL and you don't see me booking with them.

 

 

WOW!  Did you even read Kirk’s post?  He’s on a cruise right now with HAL.  He doesn’t hate HAL he’s just pointing out the obvious - what many of us have seen for some time.

 

He’s not being critical, he’s being honest from how he sees things.  There’s a big difference.

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1 hour ago, KirkNC said:

 

I agree completely on that, ship size and itinerary are most important to us.  I was just commenting on the sole aspect of loyalty perks in my previous posts, not all attributes of a line.  Part of the reason for my comments were that on the 2019 WC Orlando said repeatedly how “rich” the loyalty benefits are on HAL.  I maintain that is not true compared to some other lines using X and O as examples.

You are right about the loyalty benefits.   We've finally reached 4 star and basically, it's the laundry (not that I don't appreciate that with our long cruise coming up).   It's so much more on X and by extension, RCCL.  RCCL is my least favorite of the lines we've sailed, but knowing that I'd get my Elite on X benefits would make me consider booking if the itinerary and price were right.  

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Actually, the number of days cruised is not the determining factor when Oceania awards the free cruise. 20 cruises is the threshold for the free cruise. Cruises up to 24 days are counted as 1 cruise and the free cruise is a 14 day cruise, but you can pay a prorated amount to take a longer cruise. 

 

The free cruise is not in an inside cabin unless that is the cabin you usually take. It is in a cabin or suite that is most typically the category you have cruised.  It doesn't include taxes. I have had 2 "free" cruises on HAL. Each were for an inside cabin that I added $$$$ to.  On Oceania, my free cruise, if I live long enough, will reflect what I normally book. 

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, GrammieK said:

Actually, the number of days cruised is not the determining factor when Oceania awards the free cruise. 20 cruises is the threshold for the free cruise. Cruises up to 24 days are counted as 1 cruise and the free cruise is a 14 day cruise, but you can pay a prorated amount to take a longer cruise. 

 

The free cruise is not in an inside cabin unless that is the cabin you usually take. It is in a cabin or suite that is most typically the category you have cruised.  It doesn't include taxes. I have had 2 "free" cruises on HAL. Each were for an inside cabin that I added $$$$ to.  On Oceania, my free cruise, if I live long enough, will reflect what I normally book. 

 

Actually the 20 cruises is free only works if the cruises are less then 24 days.  As pointed out earlier, one WC = 15 “cruises”, confused yet, go here:

 

https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=2483

Edited by KirkNC

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2 hours ago, cowmilker said:

 

 

Probably not. I'll let you know.  We'll be 3 star after our next trip and make 4 star on the one after that.  The only thing that would be nice is the discount on the wine packages, but that certainly wouldn't make us pick HAL over any other line.

If you hate HAL so much, why are you here?  I'm asking this seriously.  We sailed with MSC once and will never do it again. I wrote a review of our trip, why we didn't like it, and that's been my entire participation on the MSC board. I have no interest in it because I am never putting my foot on another MSC ship.

I don't understand the obsession with bashing a cruise line over and over and over again.

That must be a very long cruise with 3 star being 75 days and 4 star being 200.  

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No, I'm not confused. I get that the WC counts for a lot.  The point I was trying to make, is that 225 days is inaccurate and that the free cruise is not an inside cabin. 

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Posted (edited)

Besides getting shareholder benefits for cruising on all RCI and Norwegian lines, we also enjoy getting loyalty perks from the various lines we cruise with. We are 4* on HAL and enjoy the free laundry and 50% of wine packages. On O we are silver and like the free gratuities and $250 OBC. We're Elite on Celebrity and enjoy the 1 bag of laundry per person per leg and free internet minutes as well as 3 free drinks during happy hour every night except for embarkation day and look forward to making elite+ and getting 2 bags each as well as more free internet minutes. But I will say we do appreciate Princess for giving us $250 pp military service OBC (as we are both retired military) and look forward to the 250 internet minutes when we reach platnium and free laundry once we make elite. Crystal has the worst perks in our opinion, but who needs perks when you get everything included regardless of your loyalty standing.

 

BUT, we like to have fun when we're on a cruise, especially on sea days, and besides the itinerary, that carries the most weight in our decision rather than loyalty perks. Based on that, Princess with their CD and 5-6 assistants and Celebrity with their CD and 3-4 assistants, all comedians in their own right, get our top vote. Crystal also ranks up there as they have plenty of things to do on sea days to include having some great lecturers. HAL and O IMHO with their CD and one assistant (maybe) really don't offer a lot of variety of things to do on sea days, especially if you have cruised with them multiple times. 

 

HAL has caught our eye with their in-depth EXC program on the Maasdam, but hanging out listening to music in bar room type settings like HAL is now promoting on their other ships is not for us. Oceania has some nice itineraries, but for what they're asking for a balcony cabin, they need to upgrade their internet service much like Crystal, Celebrity and Princess have done before we sail with them again. We realize HAL's internet service is pretty weak, but we're hoping for big things with their in-depth EXC presentation on our upcoming Australia circumnavigation cruise, especially since they now offer an unlimited internet package so we don't have to count internet minutes anymore.

 

Edited by Ken the cruiser

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Thanks to those who corrected the misinformation about Oceania free cruises.  Especially the statement that a free cruise is limited to an inside cabin.  In our experience and from talking to fellow guests, Oceania slightly upgrades the level of the free cabin but generally you get the average of what you previously booked.  It certainly is not free, 20 cruise credits will cost quite a bit.  But it is a fun reward. 

As far as getting into O specialty restaurants, everyone is guaranteed a minimum number of seatings, depending on cabin level and length of cruise.  Extra reservations are available on board, we’ve gotten quite a few.  

We love Oceania but I would say if someone is stretching their budget to sail a premium or lux line, they will probably spend a lot of time critiquing just about everything.  

Back in the day when we were paying for multiple college degrees, undergrad and graduate, weddings, helping newly marrieds get started,  we sailed a lot of Princess.   It was a good value, much like Holland America. Other than their Alaska program,  there is nothing on Princess that I would judge to be superior to a premium line.  You get what you pay for.   

i wouldn’t try to compare reward programs.between mass market and premium /lux lines.  Their pricing structures are night and day.  When passengers are getting on board for $399 a week, rewards will not amount to much.  

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Well said, sammiedawg. I agree totally!  

We had the lean years......college educations, weddings, etc., but now we enjoy Oceania with an occasional HAL thrown in with reasonably priced Caribbean cruise round trip from Florida when we are down there. 

You can't compare the loyalty programs. It costs a lot of $$$$$ to get those Oceania loyalty benefits!

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45 minutes ago, npcl said:

That must be a very long cruise with 3 star being 75 days and 4 star being 200.  

 

Operative word is "trip."

We'll be 3 stars long before we finish our next TRIP (two cruises, one 77 days), but not quite to 4.  On the TRIP after that (three cruises B2B), we'll hit 4 stars by the time we're done. We take long TRIPS, usually involving several cruises.

Honestly, I know how to count.

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