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Club Orange upgrade offer - on R class ship

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Spoke to my PCC at HAL this morning to see if Club Orange was offered on my Eurodam trip this October.  She told me it is, currently priced at $20/pp per day.  That would come to an extra $440 for my 11-nights.  Seems like a lot for the benefits; I'd rather wait and see about putting that toward an upsell if any Signature Suites are offered at a reasonable price.

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1 minute ago, msmayor said:

Spoke to my PCC at HAL this morning to see if Club Orange was offered on my Eurodam trip this October.  She told me it is, currently priced at $20/pp per day.  That would come to an extra $440 for my 11-nights.  Seems like a lot for the benefits; I'd rather wait and see about putting that toward an upsell if any Signature Suites are offered at a reasonable price.

 

I think until we hear more from people who've experienced CO on the non-Pinnacle ships, it's a good idea to wait and see what you'd really be getting for your $440.

 

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10 hours ago, twodjs said:

They have just started Club Orange on R ships and already lowered the price from $25 to $15. It started at $50 on the new ships and was lowered to $35. Based on your 4 star level, the only benefits would be 1 extra main course choice at dinner, better room service menu, mimosas with breakfast, and I guess a special line for seating at breakfast and dinner. Unless you REALLY  love that dinner choice EVERY night, I just don't see the value. If you decided to choose a Specialty restaurant, just add that $15 to your cost, because you paid it whether or not you ate in the MDR. Sorry... 

 

33 minutes ago, twodjs said:

Well except for laundry and restaurant discounts, those other perks given to CO guests WERE the perks reserved for 4 star or suite guests. HAL already offered fewer perks than every other major cruise line and now, rather than catch up and offer real value to their best customers, they do this. We are 4 star also. And they slapped our faces hard. As a result, we have 4 cruises coming up within the year - none on HAL.

 

 

 

 

Sorry, but I don't see the slap in the face. The only overlap is the priority tendering and embarkation. 

 

None of the CO perks you mention in the first post above are 4* or 5* perks, so they weren't taken away from you or diluted because you were made to share them. You don't see the value in these perks. So are you insulted/angry/offended because you think those perks should have been added to 4* or 5* perks rather than people who want to buy them? 

 

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2 hours ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

 

Sorry, but I don't see the slap in the face. The only overlap is the priority tendering and embarkation. 

 

When HAL dangles priority tendering and embarkation as rewards reserved for those in Suites or attaining 4 star Mariner status and then starts giving it away to anyone for $15 a day, it makes a mockery of the "Thanks for your years of loyalty (and MANY thousands of dollars) Mariner lunch. So HAL cares nothing about loyalty. And it dilutes the status we've spent a lot of money to reach. Add to that the expanded room service menu (formerly reserved for Suite guests) that includes free steak and eggs. Yes, less exclusive equals less perceived value. HAL was taking away Pinnacle for all Suites for breakfast until we complained for nine months - now only killed it for K and NS. Gee...thanks?  The entire approach to OC from the start has been an insult to me as a 4 star Mariner and a Suite guest. Obviously our opinions differ. It just doesn't work for me. 

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I don't see CO as a slap in the face of 5 stars, with even those with Platinum status. 

 

No different than pax who pay enormous amounts for suites and get the Neptune Lounge plus all the priority items.  They are paying for that, and those who book anything else, aren't.  Any overlap between CO and Mariner loyalty rewards and suite perks (priority tendering, for example) just shows how hard HAL finds it to come up with perks that they are willing to part with.

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Until it starts affecting anything promised as either a loyalty perk or as a booking perk, it doesn't really matter.  How do you know the person on the tender with you bought their way in versus not (unless you're being nosy)?  Suite guests themselves are actually buying their way in front of everyone, for that matter.  I don't get the angst.  No one has reported a diminished experience thus far.

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19 minutes ago, bEwAbG said:

Until it starts affecting anything promised as either a loyalty perk or as a booking perk, it doesn't really matter. 

 

Ok, I’ll chime in for a moment.  

 

It will affect the promised perks - at least the priority tendering perk, IMO.

 

There are already ships and sailings with so many 4 and 5* Mariners that it is virtually impossible to give them “true” priority.  Add a bunch of CO people into the mix and that is bound to be the case on sailings.  Or, is HAL going to give the CO’s real priority and tell the 4 and 5* to go to a different lounge to get their tender ticket and Neptune Suites that they have to wait until x time to disembark without needing a ticket?

 

I don’t see it affecting anything else in a major way at this stage.

 

 

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41 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

Ok, I’ll chime in for a moment.  

 

It will affect the promised perks - at least the priority tendering perk, IMO.

 

There are already ships and sailings with so many 4 and 5* Mariners that it is virtually impossible to give them “true” priority.  Add a bunch of CO people into the mix and that is bound to be the case on sailings.  Or, is HAL going to give the CO’s real priority and tell the 4 and 5* to go to a different lounge to get their tender ticket and Neptune Suites that they have to wait until x time to disembark without needing a ticket?

 

I don’t see it affecting anything else in a major way at this stage.

 

 

 

I really do think that the way priority tender is handled when there are many 4 and 5 stars is completely dependent on the ship.  I've been there and seen it done at least 5 separate ways. Some ships plan it better than others. With or with out CO, it could be fine or terrible.

 

Wasn't there something that said CO would be limited for purchase to a certain number of pax? How many max will this add to the priority tender perk?

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4 minutes ago, SilvertoGold said:

I really do think that the way priority tender is handled when there are many 4 and 5 stars is completely dependent on the ship.

 

I totally agree.  It can even vary on the same ship 😉 from sailing to sailing.

 

But if there are too many CO, 4* & 5* star mariners, it’s hard for anyone of them to have priority.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, SilvertoGold said:

I really do think that the way priority tender is handled when there are many 4 and 5 stars is completely dependent on the ship.  I've been there and seen it done at least 5 separate ways. Some ships plan it better than others. With or with out CO, it could be fine or terrible.

 

Wasn't there something that said CO would be limited for purchase to a certain number of pax? How many max will this add to the priority tender perk?

 

More or less the point I was trying to make.  Every ship and every sailing is going to have different capacity issues depending on the passenger make-up.  I've been on plenty of trips where "priority" gets you nothing because there is no line for anyone.

 

ETA: they did say that Club Orange would be limited in availability, though of course they're the ones who will determine how many is too many

Edited by bEwAbG

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15 hours ago, puppycanducruise said:

Let us know if you thought it was worth it and whether you would do it again after your cruise.  I'm curious about your experience.

OK, I will.

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On 8/21/2019 at 7:41 AM, RocketMan275 said:

If HAL wants to provide something special for suites customers like competitors, then they need to think big like converting the Tamarind to a suites only dining and lounge.

Don't even suggest this, the bean counters in Seattle might see your post. 😲 Tamarind is my favorite specialty restaurant on any cruise line!!!

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14 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

Don't even suggest this, the bean counters in Seattle might see your post. 😲 Tamarind is my favorite specialty restaurant on any cruise line!!!

 

I agree 100%.  I'm not a big fan of specialty restaurants, but Tamarind gets my vote.

 

Roz

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3 minutes ago, Roz said:

 

I agree 100%.  I'm not a big fan of specialty restaurants, but Tamarind gets my vote.

 

Roz

On our July Noordam cruise we decided to try Canaletto Italian restaurant after a terrible experience on the N. Amsterdam, and it was so much better than before. For the price I would  now make it my second favorite specialty restaurant on HAL. We heard a lot of complaints from others on the cruise about the PG and at $39pp it is not worth the cost. Not surprisingly the PG was mostly empty every time we passed it during dinner hours. 

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50 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

Don't even suggest this, the bean counters in Seattle might see your post. 😲 Tamarind is my favorite specialty restaurant on any cruise line!!!

Well, I hope they do.  Other cruise lines, X, NCL, RCCI, are implementing suites lounges and dedicated dining.  HAL is trying something similar with CO on the Pinnacle class ships.  It's a matter of time until HAL will have to do something similar on their Vista and Signature Class ships. Where else would you put the suites lounge and dining on the Signature class?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, RocketMan275 said:

Well, I hope they do.  Other cruise lines, X, NCL, RCCI, are implementing suites lounges and dedicated dining.  HAL is trying something similar with CO on the Pinnacle class ships.  It's a matter of time until HAL will have to do something similar on their Vista and Signature Class ships. Where else would you put the suites lounge and dining on the Signature class?

I am not disagreeing that HAL needs to offer something like CO dedicated dining but please not the Tamarind on the Signature class ships. HAL already is way behind their competition on Specialty Dining Venues too.  I would think they could portion off part of the MDR for CO dining more effectively, which is what they are doing in the Vistas. Fewer passengers would need the MDR if they had CO dining.

Edited by terrydtx

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They may want to consider reconfiguring/relocating the Neptune Lounge to turn that room into a CO lounge/dining room.  The MDR doesn’t sound appealing because it’s not very secluded or intimate.  The Tamarind location would be great but you can’t lose the Tamarind.  Maybe section off a portion of that area?

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

They may want to consider reconfiguring/relocating the Neptune Lounge to turn that room into a CO lounge/dining room.  The MDR doesn’t sound appealing because it’s not very secluded or intimate.  The Tamarind location would be great but you can’t lose the Tamarind.  Maybe section off a portion of that area?

 

Neptune Lounge is too small and too far from kitchen access. Plus it's an interior location with minimal charm, which is why people drop in to get a snack but don't hang out there for any length of time. I would not be pleased to learn that this space would be my dining room. If they make it a CO area, then they definitely ARE taking away a perk that already exists for a group of passengers. So they would have to move the Neptune Lounge, and we're back to the question of where. It would probably be to a space that was previously a public area. People were angry at the reserved chairs outside the lanai cabins because it took away a space that used to be available for all. Take away part of a lounge and people will definitely complain. 

 

Comments not directed at your post, but in general: HAL is in a tough spot. They don't have space to add an additional venue, whether as upsell or perk, without taking away something that generates revenue or pleases some segment of their population. They could build something where the retreat cabanas are, but that would take away a source of revenue and people who like the cabanas would protest, probably even more than the fans of Tamarind would. People say that HAL is "behind" on the trend for more specialty dining. But HAL is also "behind" in the rush to build huge ships. Larger ships mean more venues for lounges and dining. Pinnacle ships are already larger than I like. I'm happy to stick with MDR dinners as a trade-off to not be on a bigger ship. 

 

Edited by 3rdGenCunarder

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If they do it in the MDR in a considerate way then I would probably purchase.  But reports of CO patrons being mixed in with MDR dining brings zero value to the experience.

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4 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

If they do it in the MDR in a considerate way then I would probably purchase.  But reports of CO patrons being mixed in with MDR dining brings zero value to the experience.

 

I agree. And think of the poor waiters, having to remember who gets which menu and having to explain to someone why people at the next table have a different menu. Tacky, tacky, tacky.

 

The problem is, it was easy to implement CO on the Pinnacle ships. Now they're stuck with an idea an nowhere to do it.

 

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1 hour ago, terrydtx said:

I am not disagreeing that HAL needs to offer something like CO dedicated dining but please not the Tamarind on the Signature class ships. HAL already is way behind their competition on Specialty Dining Venues too.  I would think they could portion off part of the MDR for CO dining more effectively, which is what they are doing in the Vistas. Fewer passengers would need the MDR if they had CO dining.

The celebrity boards were aflame when celebrity announced they were partitioning a portion of the MDR for suites dining.  It's more than just set aside a few tables.  The spacing between tables has to be increased to provide a suites level experience.  I suspect they would get less kickback appropriating the Tamarind.

 

Perhaps they could offer a 'Tamarind' pop-up similar to the Sel de Mer pop-up in the Pinnacle Grill.

Problem is, HAL must do something and space is a premium.  

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Instead of taking away or reconfiguring an existing venue, why not think out of the box and add a Suites only lounge/suite dining space above the Lido? Great views and it's right above the kitchen facilities of the Lido.

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Or, on the oldest ships, look at the fantastic, completely unused space (now the roof) above the crow's nest. Best views and a completely open space to build the best venue. Could be an open kitchen concept or whatever. If HAL wants to create added value for the suites, they have the space. Real value does attract money. 

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To me, seems as if Club Orange is just another extra revenue stream and has very little to do with the suites.  The few times we've booked NS, we've observed many of the folks in the Lounge have other special requirements that necessitate having a bit larger stateroom -- disabilities and such.  Not all, but many.  Or they have a third guest in the room, so want extra space. Those are customers that can be counted on, so HAL doesn't really need to up their suite offerings too much to fill those rooms. 

 

 I don't really have any expectation that there will be a special restaurant just for suite guests.  Heck, I was sad last month when we didn't even get our printed stationery. 

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8 minutes ago, AncientWanderer said:

To me, seems as if Club Orange is just another extra revenue stream and has very little to do with the suites.  The few times we've booked NS, we've observed many of the folks in the Lounge have other special requirements that necessitate having a bit larger stateroom -- disabilities and such.  Not all, but many.  Or they have a third guest in the room, so want extra space. Those are customers that can be counted on, so HAL doesn't really need to up their suite offerings too much to fill those rooms. 

 

 I don't really have any expectation that there will be a special restaurant just for suite guests.  Heck, I was sad last month when we didn't even get our printed stationery. 

 

Actually, I have no desire to have dinner in a “suites only area” if I have friends on the ship I want to dine with.

 

But, I do think HAL needs to do something in that area and if I or someone chooses not to use it, that’s our choice 😉

 

No stationary on our last cruise either.  The cruise before we had to ask for it and got it.  Last cruise, when I asked for it, I got blank pages.

 

I don’t see HAL adding NS perks, I see them taking them away.

 

No collectors suite luncheons in the PG, no stationary, nor priority (until later) in some tender ports - the list goes on.  

 

And for the record, DH and I are not suffering from disabilities and such.  If we have friends on the ship or roll call members interested in a get together then we like to take advantage of the space 😉 

 

 

 

 

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