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ALWAYS, ALWAYS check more than once if you don't get an answer you like!  Our TA called HAL yesterday afternoon to see if we could get the free HSC on our two booking 2/23/20 and 3/4/20 and was told "No, it is for new bookings only."  She called HAL again this AM and without any controversy was immediately given the free HSC on our bookings.  No loss of OBC or any change to our deposits.  YEA, life is good!😀

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17 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

Very glad I just read this here.

 

We are probably  going to book our first HAL cruise, and we may have waited a couple of days!
Our TA was indeed able to got the free gratuities!  Nice, for 14 nights in a Neptune suite.

(What are the regular pries for gratuities for suites on HAL?  I'm just getting started absorbing the website!)

 

Many thanks!

 

CC is just wonderful!

 

GC

HSC for Neptune Suites is $16 per person per day.

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14 minutes ago, regnig said:

ALWAYS, ALWAYS check more than once if you don't get an answer you like!  Our TA called HAL yesterday afternoon to see if we could get the free HSC on our two booking 2/23/20 and 3/4/20 and was told "No, it is for new bookings only."  She called HAL again this AM and without any controversy was immediately given the free HSC on our bookings.  No loss of OBC or any change to our deposits.  YEA, life is good!😀

I checked twice....got the same answer, with the added reason that all the cabins in my category are booked....not sure what that has to do with anything...oh well.

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Phoned our Big Bix TA this morning and was able to get our cruise refared. We already had free gratuities but fare was almost $800 less per cabin so took a chance. We got lower fare but gave up only a $50 beverage card and $70 extra OBC from TA.  We kept all other OBC and the free gratuities. The deposit is now non refundable but our final payment is do anyway in two weeks so wasn't concerned about this change.

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Thanks for letting us know. i called my TA and she was able to get it for me on my existing 17 day on the Eurodam the first of March.

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4 hours ago, mauimacho said:

HSC for Neptune Suites is $16 per person per day.

 

Thanks!

 

We just booked (at a price we cannot believe) and now we've also got the free gratuities.

What a nice start for our first HAL cruise!

 

If we enjoy this as much as we hope/expect, we may next try one of the Antarctic "sail-by" cruises (while there are still some icebergs remaining, ahem 😱 )

 

We are really looking forward to this, no surprise.

 

GC

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Hi GeezerCouple.  I "know" you from reading the Hurtigruten forum.  Your timing was great to book your trip.  Have a wonderful cruise!

 

~Nancy

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Contacted my TA...we had the package that included free airfare and $800 OBC. Last month refared when the price dropped, but lost the OBC except for the OBC that came with our FCC. Saved $1600 so it was worth it. We would lose the free airfare if we refared to get the free gratuities, so not worth it for us. Sailing January 16 day Panama Canal

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14 hours ago, oakridger said:

Hi GeezerCouple.  I "know" you from reading the Hurtigruten forum.  Your timing was great to book your trip.  Have a wonderful cruise!

 

~Nancy

 

Hi there!

 

It was that Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal RT  in March, 2018, that got us even more interested in distant locales, and that especially includes Antarctica.  And HAL was already on our list if we decided not to do a full excursion.type of trip.

 

I didn't even know DH was seriously looking at more cruises; usually I do that and ask, "Hey, what about this one!?"  He never wanted to have much to do with planning.

So imagine my surprise when on Thursday evening, he asked "what about this cruise to New Zealand;  is this a good price?".  And here I thought he was working - but NO complaints!  :classic_wink: 

I really could not believe the price, for a suite.  I was pretty sure he was mis-reading something, but nope... that was indeed "it".  And the next morning, our TA confirmed that price, so... "Here we are!"

 

And while our TA was getting started yesterday on Friday, I read here about the gratuities.  What perfect timing!

And now it also looks like we got WiFi thrown in, plus some OBC.

What a pleasant way to get a start with HAL, eh?

 

So we are all booked, and looking for awards flights.  That's not going to be easy at this late stage.  Usually we plan more than a year in advance, so we can start the awards flight search as soon as the schedules open up.  (Our TA is someone who also finds and arranges "awards air travel", so he's on the case now.)

 

This is the first time we've booked without a huge amount of advance timing (>> 1 year, usually).  So with a new cruise line, I'm really scrambling to figure everything out, making sure we've signed up for things, etc.  But it also means our trip is coming up nice and soon!

 

After that Hurtigruten cruise, where the landscapes were just *gorgeous* (!!), we are seriously considering Antarctica.  So if we really enjoy this HAL cruise (and we definitely expect to!), we may book again soon :classic_smile:

 

Cheers,

 

GC

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I'm getting confused. Once you put down the deposit, how can it go up in price? (I've never cruised before). We put down a fully refundable 600 deposit (our Personal planner said) and we get 800 on board credit and free gratuities and we finish paying by April. We booked 12 days but decided we're going to do land on our own. PP said in email it's no problem to change it, though she (of course) tried to convince me it's better to do land portion with HAL.

 

Can they raise the price on me?? If it goes down, does it go down for me if I notice? (This is Alaska in July 2020)

Thanks

Ellen

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10 minutes ago, Ellen495 said:

I'm getting confused. Once you put down the deposit, how can it go up in price? (I've never cruised before). We put down a fully refundable 600 deposit (our Personal planner said) and we get 800 on board credit and free gratuities and we finish paying by April. We booked 12 days but decided we're going to do land on our own. PP said in email it's no problem to change it, though she (of course) tried to convince me it's better to do land portion with HAL.

 

Can they raise the price on me?? If it goes down, does it go down for me if I notice? (This is Alaska in July 2020)

Thanks

Ellen

 

They can’t raise the price on you unless you opt to refare. . (Ie take the land portion). So, you have no problem 😄 

 

If you see that the price goes down and you notice, you can certainly request to be refared  BUT be sure to check to see what amenities you will lose and what you will get.  If you refare and your $800 OBC is no longer available you will lose it normally so you really have to do the math unless it’s a drastic drop.

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Interesting that despite the debate on other threads about the Hotel Service Charge being or not being the same as tips or gratuities Holland America’s offer equates gratuities to the HSC.    

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