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Shawnino

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1 hour ago, LHT28 said:

I am happy to say I have not met  any of those people on Oceania

The closest I have come  is people asking if we have sailed on O before ?

we say yes  & leave it at that

I cannot recall EVER being asked my loyalty status on Oceania ... or on any other line either.

 

I DO recall being asked on Renaissance how much we had paid for the cruise ... but Ren was famous for having any different number of fee schedules for the same cabin level.  Not that we ever answered that question ...

 

Mura

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I have heard those conversations and been asked that. I have had people tell me how much they paid. 

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One item that HAL does well at is itineraries that allow you to move around as opposed to repeated "milk runs".  They are almost like mini world cruise segments.  Most lines (and O does this with many ships as well), get into a back and forth sailing pattern which is not very interesting to us.  HAL lost a major component in this when they sold the Prinsendam but other ships, specifically the Veendam and Maasdam, are still doing these mini segment like itineraries.  Our cruise next week on the Maasdam is 96 days and only repeats a few ports.  This is a major factor for us doing HAL cruises.  The line is going to hell in a hand basket and we are moving away starting in 2021 but will probably still sail them some due to the itineraries.  

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On my first O cruise I was asking people if they sailed O before... I was looking for advice.

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On every cruise (every ;-)) we have been asked about the number of cruises we did - and as an answer were told on how many the fellow guests had been on. The tier level of the loyality program was also included in the answer most times. (Seabourn, Oceania, Azamara, Costa, Tui Cruises/Mein Schiff).

 

I would however definitvely agree, that the the way the "Mariners" told you their two to five star "rating" was the most "offensive" we encountered. We also have never seen so many pins and plaques - even at stateroom doors - that showed their status.  But that did not change the friendlyness and openness of most fellow guests. If you said hello to someone - a friendly hello came back. That was sometime difficult on other lines.

 

We might be an exception as we are younger than the average and travel with our kids - now in their teens. That lead to many staring at us (and the kids). Best of all was the CD on Seabourn who greeted us on embarkation day with: "Oh my god, what is this?" "It´s commonly called kids…." On O in 2016 we were next to having t-shirts printed after a few days: Front: "Yes, I´m a kid - yes I ´m a kid on a cruise - and yes I have behaved and I will behave" - and on the backside "For every stare a flat charge of 9,99 (15% gratuity not included) will be conveniently charged to your onboard account". So - its different on every ship.

 

The discussion about different prices followed quickly (Azamara: "Bluntly asked, how can you afford this?" "well, we save, make no presents for Christmas as the kids asked for this (and a cruise instead) - and we look for good rates - as we are not married to a special cruise line".

 

So - we have a ranking of cruises and cruise lines (best of all the mentioned cruise in 2016 with O to Greenland) - but do not believe in one line - as - frankly - there are only 3 (Carnival, RCCL and NCL)  on the market - which - sadly - seem to streamline their brands (fka "Cruse Lines) to their respective company.

 

Happy cruising to all  

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4-star here with HAL.  We just completed an Alaska run with them, and I have to agree with the OP on all points.  (That raw hamburger tartare is real, folks, even in Pinnacle Grill, where it used to be entirely different -- DH's favorite thing.)

 

The problem with HAL is its inconsistency.  We had a beautiful cruise with them just this past spring.  And with the interesting routes they offer, coupled with some 4-star perks we like, we've been perhaps too optimistic and keep booking with them.

 

Our "kids" really love Oceania, but they are young professionals who can't take long journeys, as we do, so they find itineraries that work for them.

 

Anyhow, we are keeping an open mind and looking at all the cruise lines more carefully -- accepting that HAL may not really be for us anymore.

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I actually gave the pax on the HAL cruise the benefit of the doubt on asking "How much did you pay?" because it felt like a special situation. (I understand it's gauche under ordinary circumstances.) The ship had been switched from 850 pax to 1450 pax capacity and by the end I think the price was "well, how much can you spare?". One couple told al and sundry they paid EUR 900 pp for an inside (20-day cruise). 

 

Just as reference (all figures Canadian), when we pulled the trigger the Lanai was $3899 + fees etc pp. It ended up dropping below $3K. Next year's was being simultaneously advertised at $11,499, basic-drinks-pkg-in. (Ours had no drinks package, not precisely apples-to-apples then.)

 

Secondary topic for the early bookers (those who paid higher prices) was "Did you get compensation when the price fell through the floor after final payment?" One couple claimed to have gotten $2500 OBC. (Wow.) I had never even heard of this notion--I thought once final payment came and went, you got what you bargained for. But I overheard several people in the observation lounge claim they asked to be made whole and got some measure of OBC.

 

 

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There's a line between making simple conversation and asking intrusive questions. I don't mind at all being asked about whether I've cruised on a line, or how many we've done with them. Perhaps it's more a issue with the people that it does bother being asked. These discussions aren't necessarily about bragging, but sharing information. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, ORV said:

There's a line between making simple conversation and asking intrusive questions. I don't mind at all being asked about whether I've cruised on a line, or how many we've done with them. Perhaps it's more a issue with the people that it does bother being asked. These discussions aren't necessarily about bragging, but sharing information. 

 

 

 

On our HAL Alaska cruise, lots of people were talking about their late booking "great deals" without being asked.  It was an odd cruise.  But we won't be booking early again for anything -- unless it's a Crystal cruise because they have so few ships.  There's just so many big ships out there to fill, seems like waiting for prices to "settle" makes sense.

 

 

 

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I think that Oceania is a fine cruise line. We did 2 month long cruises with them but recently couldn't find an itinerary we liked.

 

We are itinerary driven, so we did one of the Grand Voyages on the MS Amsterdam. It turned out to be one of our best cruises. (been on ~ 12 different lines including Oceania) Great crew, varied daytime programs, experienced excursion staff and cruise director team. We had been unhappy with our long HAL cruise before, but now they are back in the running. If you expect more from HAL, take a Grand Voyage.

 

The food was better on our Oceania cruises and the Riviera is much more tastefully decorated. Crew friendliness and efficiency: even. 

 

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47 minutes ago, Floridiana said:

I think that Oceania is a fine cruise line. We did 2 month long cruises with them but recently couldn't find an itinerary we liked.

 

We are itinerary driven, so we did one of the Grand Voyages on the MS Amsterdam. It turned out to be one of our best cruises. (been on ~ 12 different lines including Oceania) Great crew, varied daytime programs, experienced excursion staff and cruise director team. We had been unhappy with our long HAL cruise before, but now they are back in the running. If you expect more from HAL, take a Grand Voyage.

 

The food was better on our Oceania cruises and the Riviera is much more tastefully decorated. Crew friendliness and efficiency: even. 

 

 

 

Isn't a Grand Voyage just multiple shorter cruises strung together?

 

No idea about the overall demo, but on our Roll Call for our 20-day cruise (luckily, we only did the one leg) roughly half the pax were on for the prior 15 days and 10-20%-ish were on for the subsequent 12 days (with some overlap of people doing all three). I can't imagine that the slop on offer was any tastier on the leg prior or subsequent. I guess if the excursion 'expert' or the CD was a different person, that might have been better--they could not have been worse.

 

The enrichment stuff was a real shock to me as I had been reading the HAL boards, and the Antarctic cruises had actual experts aboard. I was really looking forward to same. They had lots of ways to make it right: as mentioned before, there are taught-in-English universities in Longyearbyen, Akureyri, and Reykjavik. Bring on some keen grad students to give a few talks. 

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A Grand Voyage is like a world cruise but shorter. Ours was 82 days Los Angeles - Los Angeles around the Pacific Rim. You could buy segments or do the entire cruise with incentives similar to a world cruise. The food was good (They had upped the food budget). The desserts were lacking which means that I did not gain weight. Sushi, salad bowl, Asian soup bowl freshly prepared in the buffet in addition to American standards. They had berries for breakfast! The destination experts were excellent as was the excursion staff. It was 3 steps up from our previous b2b on the MS Veendam. 

 

We did an Azamara cruise around Japan, booked it for the itinerary a few months later. The food was really good, certainly more varied and sophisticated than on HAL. The excursion staff was inexperienced; the expert was a dud with 3 basic factual errors in the first 30 minutes of his first talk on Japan.  I think this can happen on any line, but we often don't know the destination well enough to notice. 

 

We were looking at Oceania's world cruise. It's a bit too long for us and I don't like the cramped bathrooms of the standard balcony cabins of the R ships. As to passengers, I found most Oceania passengers easy going, but I also met extremely demanding people. 

 

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I am very well aquatinted with HAL.  We stay in Neptune Suites that can cost $1,000.00 per night.  The ships are very nice and so is the service.  The food is up and down, but the main dinning room is suffering. Entertainment comes and goes also.  The pax are fine. The reason I am here looking is due to the MANY recent cut backs over the past 10 years.  HAL needs to figure out what it is.

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29 minutes ago, Mosaic said:

I am very well aquatinted with HAL.  We stay in Neptune Suites that can cost $1,000.00 per night.  The ships are very nice and so is the service.  The food is up and down, but the main dinning room is suffering. Entertainment comes and goes also.  The pax are fine. The reason I am here looking is due to the MANY recent cut backs over the past 10 years.  HAL needs to figure out what it is.

 

Happy looking. We've put in for some 2021 O cruises and I guess we'll find out if we got the cabins tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed.

 

You are much more tolerant than I am.

Even if I had Warren Buffett's money, I just couldn't bring myself to pay $1,000/nt for something which includes food that is "up and down". 

Whether I'm buying a piece of chocolate or a car, I get very annoyed with myself if I don't get what I perceive to be value-for-money. I can eat at McDonalds or French Laundry--but I want to pay what I think is a fair price.

 

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Hal has been transitioning over the last 5 years plus to music being their priority.  The BB King Blues Club has been very popular and now the Pinnacle Class Ships have four music venues.   We are like a lot of folks and we would be bored with just one or two lines.  We like variety.

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53 minutes ago, Mosaic said:

I am very well aquatinted with HAL.  We stay in Neptune Suites that can cost $1,000.00 per night.  The ships are very nice and so is the service.  The food is up and down, but the main dinning room is suffering. Entertainment comes and goes also.  The pax are fine. The reason I am here looking is due to the MANY recent cut backs over the past 10 years.  HAL needs to figure out what it is.

 

Well said, we are on the same journey as you, trying to find a line that suits us.  

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On 8/16/2019 at 12:42 PM, AncientWanderer said:

 

On our HAL Alaska cruise, lots of people were talking about their late booking "great deals" without being asked.  It was an odd cruise.  But we won't be booking early again for anything -- unless it's a Crystal cruise because they have so few ships.  There's just so many big ships out there to fill, seems like waiting for prices to "settle" makes sense.

 

 

 

And on Crystal if the price drops, they will honor the lower price.

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I have to agree with you. We've been on 6 HAL cruises and will be leaving to try Oceania, but not due to the other passengers. We feel that the service and told have been slowly eroding over the past few years. I give them kudos for young the entertainment choices and have really enjoyed the music improvements. The B B King and Rolling Stone bands are wonderful. It's the GDR service on our recent transatlantic for example. The dining steward actually missed taking a dinner order from one out of our table of six one night. Another night five of the six of us received our meals and one person wasn't served until after the table finished. 

 

those were only two examples. We actually paid to eat at Rudi's for the last three nights.

 

we're looking forward to new experiences and hopefully find a new favorite line.

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11 hours ago, Shawnino said:

 

Happy looking. We've put in for some 2021 O cruises and I guess we'll find out if we got the cabins tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed.

 

You are much more tolerant than I am.

Even if I had Warren Buffett's money, I just couldn't bring myself to pay $1,000/nt for something which includes food that is "up and down". 

Whether I'm buying a piece of chocolate or a car, I get very annoyed with myself if I don't get what I perceive to be value-for-money. I can eat at McDonalds or French Laundry--but I want to pay what I think is a fair price.

 

Just saw some "cruise only" B1 balcony fares this evening for some of the just released Jul 2021 O cruises on the Riviera, Regatta and Nautica at $480 pp/day! Wow! HAL Neptune suites might be expensive, but those prices are crazy!

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No worries, Nymich. The friendly fire (against HAL) on Oceania is mostly here on the message boards!  I read some of these posts and wonder where they come from!  You will meet tons of wonderful and helpful people on board the ship. 

I'm one that goes back and forth between HAL and Oceania and love both for different reasons. 

If you have any questions about O or comparisons to HAL, just ask. 

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55 minutes ago, Nymich said:

Well said.

Seems there are a few on the Oceania board who have a big complex with HAL.  The hate comes out in masses.

Just hope we never get stuck at dinner with them because all they will want to do is slam HAL.    I am looking forward to our cruise with Oceania just trying to learn what I can while trying to avoid the friendly fire lol

Just  go by your own wants & needs

Everyone has different  wants ...

 

We tried HAL  a few years ago  but it was Charter cruises  so not easy to compare  with a regular HAL cruise

It is not the same HAL from the 90's   I can say that for sure 😉

We do not care for  larger ships  that is  any line  

prefer under 1500 pax   so that is what we will be choosing

it is what works for us

 

 

 

 

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We're really looking forward to our trip in November and as relatively value conscious folks, we've been on NCL and HAl.  Sigh, we do fit the budget shopper profile, but long term financial planning requires the discipline. Both of us are a bit worried we'll get spoiled and need to get second jobs to support the cruise habit. 🙂

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Posted (edited)

Though those that are interested in the evolution of HAL entertainment over the past few years, you might like to see the comment Donald posted at #53 (page 3) on the following thread.

 

 

Edited by Ken the cruiser

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Though those that are interested in the evolution of HAL entertainment over the past few years, you might like to see the comment Donald posted at #53 (page 3) on the following thread.

 

 

Just one opinion. Fact is many of the older people are pissed about the changes.   No different than Celebrity with Edge and Virgin with their new concept geared to the millennials which the oldest are pushing 40 now.  Everybody is driving for market share into the future.

Edited by Nymich

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27 minutes ago, Nymich said:

Just one opinion. Fact is many of the older people are pissed about the changes.   No different than Celebrity with Edge and Virgin with their new concept geared to the millennials which the oldest are pushing 40 now.  Everybody is driving for market share into the future.

The one thing that impressed us about Donald's comment was that it made sense of what my DW and I had been noticing for the past few years, and then highlighted when HAL decided to get rid of the production shows. But, you're right, it's just an opinion.

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