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Chuck

JUST OFF THE ZUIDERDAM--MY COMPLAINT LIST.........

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9 hours ago, Hlitner said:

I thank the OP for taking the time to post their experience and feelings.  As one who is in his 70s (but still walks 10 miles for fun) I understand some of the comments.   But the comments about the Lido really made me laugh.  About 5 years ago (when I was still in my late 60s) I was standing in line, one morning, to get my Eggs Benedict (when HAL still had the station with about 8 variations).  There were 6-8 behind me as I reached the beginning of the line (queue for you Brits) when this little ole Lady (probably in her young 80s) just walked right in front of me and started to order her breakfast.  I immediately said to this lady something like, "excuse me m'aam, but we are all in line to order at this station."  Her response (and this is exact) was "it's OK, I am old!."  Without thinking I responded, "the line for the old people is back there" (and I pointed to the back of the line).  I immediately heard applause coming from nearly everyone behind me (some of whom were older then the offending lady).  She immediately turned red as a beet and walked to the back of the line (no pride).  As I placed my egg order the cook gave me a big grin and said, "thank you."

 

So when I read the OP's comments about the line cutters at lunch there is no surprise.  On the other hand the OP did not comment about almost being run over by reckless scooter drivers  (it has happened to DW...twice!).  Scooters, Wheelchairs, and canes are fine (but for the grace of God go I) but we have lately seen too many reckless scooter drivers on ships (not just HAL).  One friend who uses a scooter tells me the problem is that many scooter folks on cruises do not use scooters at home...and simply have no clue how to be safe.  They decide to rent scooters for their cruise and use no common sense in their operation.  On a recent Princess cruise we watched a man simply put his scooter in reverse and back into two folks (he never turned to look and did not have a mirror).  His reaction was to get angry at the two folks he hit.  I truly thought that the husband of one of the victims (who was hit) was going to toss this man (and his scooter) overboard!  There is just something that happens to some cruisers where they leave all their manners at home.

 

Hank

I am 56.  I have to use a scooter as I have muscular dystrophy.  I agree about bad scooter drivers.  They don't drive them often.  They rent one maybe once a year and think they can drive them on the fastest setting with no practice.   I have never ever hit anyone with my scooter but I have been driving one for years.  I have often been hit by able bodied people.  I think they don't see me because I am in a lower level of vision.  I have to dodge able bodied people all the time.  They walk right in front of me.  A lot of time they try to beat me into elevators and to shopping displays.  Scooters don't stop on a dime.  

Once I was in the atrium waiting on my husband.  I parked my scooter and turned it off.  An able bodied person walked/backed right into me.  She then said I hit her.  How can I hit her when I was not moving and my scooter wasn't even on.

Elevators in crowds are impossible for me.  I am a strong believer in waiting my turn. I don't want any special treatment.  Even when it is my turn  I can't get in an elevator. They are always full of able bodied people before I can even get close to one.  People practically crawl over me to get in before me. Perhaps it is partially my fault as I don't assert myself.   Believe me if I could walk the stairs I would be happy to.  What I do now is to  drive to the opposite end of the ship catch an elevator where it is  less crowded.  I do this even though it is a long way and in the opposite direction of where I am going.  

I can understand your frustration with some scooter drivers but please don't put us all in the same boat.  No pun intended.  

 

Linda 

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DW and I recently had a discussion about Lido buffets.  On just about every ship we have cruised (and there have been many) there are problems with lines and seating in the Lido during prime times of both breakfast and lunch with lunch always being the worst.  Princess (with their new Royal Class) and Celebrity (Solstice and Edge Class) have done some good things to reduce the lines by spreading out the serving areas over a huge area.  But there is a downside to just about everything new and you will hear some grumbling on these lines that its hard to find things and "we have to do too much walking" to get our food.  HAL has gone a different direction by implementing what they used to all "Code Orange" as the normal policy.  On HAL there is a lot more crew service in the buffet which likely minimizes the spreading of germs/viruses but results in longer lines.  HAL is the only line we have cruised that actually uses servers for the salad bar.  Many other items are pre-plated or packaged (like sandwiches).  If HAL were to adopt the Celebrity Solstice-Class model there would be lots of whining about the walking distance involved in filling one's plate..but it would help alleviate the lines.   Perhaps this is one area where there is no perfect solution other then finding a way to attract more folks to the MDR.


I should mention one idea used on most of the Princess ships which is called their International Café.  It is a combination specialty coffee bar/small dish restaurant.   At breakfast they will have plenty of fresh pastries, donuts, hot egg sandwiches, etc.  By late morning they change over to lunch food and have a decent variety of pre-made sandwiches (which can be grilled, toasted or heated if requested), salads (these can be quite complex and interesting, and some other items.  On some sea days Princess opens up a large space (either in a bar or one of their specialty restaurants) where they serve a free (and popular) "Pub Lunch" with a small menu having terrific Fish and Chips, Bangers and Mash, etc.  This also helps them pull folks away from the Lido.

 

Celebrity goes one step further by using several alternative restaurants for special lunches (at a price) similar to when HAL uses the Pinnacle.   They really promote these "fee" lunch venues which helps the line generate more revenue and pleases some cruisers who are willing to pay for decent specialty lunches.

 

By the way, when we cruised on MSC (Yacht Club) we were delighted to discover that Le Muse (the dedicated special restaurant for only those in the Yacht Club) was open for 3 meals a day 7 days a week.  Even when in port, those in the Yacht Club can go to their private restaurant where there was always a pretty decent breakfast and lunch menu with fantastic service.  They also have a special buffet (in a different location from Le Muse) for just those in the Yacht Club.  On their ships this pulls about 5% of the passengers away from the regular Lido.  There is  also a Sports Bar venue that has a pretty small (but decent) lunch menu with things like Reubens, Grilled Cheese, Fish and Chips, etc. 

 

But HAL only uses the Pinnacle on some sea days (rarely on a port day) and doesn't go out of their way to advertise that the Pinnacle is open.  They could certainly promote this option and attract a few more lunch folks.  I also think HAL could improve their MDR Lunch menu to make it a more attractive option.

 

Hank

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3 minutes ago, Umbarger said:

I am 56.  I have to use a scooter as I have muscular dystrophy.  I agree about bad scooter drivers.  They don't drive them often.  They rent one maybe once a year and think they can drive them on the fastest setting with no practice.   I have never ever hit anyone with my scooter but I have been driving one for years.  I have often been hit by able bodied people.  I think they don't see me because I am in a lower level of vision.  I have to dodge able bodied people all the time.  They walk right in front of me.  A lot of time they try to beat me into elevators and to shopping displays.  Scooters don't stop on a dime.  

Once I was in the atrium waiting on my husband.  I parked my scooter and turned it off.  An able bodied person walked/backed right into me.  She then said I hit her.  How can I hit her when I was not moving and my scooter wasn't even on.

Elevators in crowds are impossible for me.  I am a strong believer in waiting my turn. I don't want any special treatment.  Even when it is my turn  I can't get in an elevator. They are always full of able bodied people before I can even get close to one.  People practically crawl over me to get in before me. Perhaps it is partially my fault as I don't assert myself.   Believe me if I could walk the stairs I would be happy to.  What I do now is to  drive to the opposite end of the ship catch an elevator where it is  less crowded.  I do this even though it is a long way and in the opposite direction of where I am going.  

I can understand your frustration with some scooter drivers but please don't put us all in the same boat.  No pun intended.  

 

Linda 

Linda,

I doubt that you are ever a danger to others and in a sense you are being victimized by others who are reckless with their scooters.  Those reckless folks have given scooters a bad name among many cruisers.  It is similar to Service Dogs who just about everyone supports....but that has now been badly maligned by unthinking folks who take advantage by calling their pets "comfort dogs" and trying to drag them everywhere.

 

The elevator problem is truly difficult for folks like yourself.  We see it all the time and DW and I always try to give scooters priority on elevators.  We also routinely use the stairs (at least for 4 or 5 decks) to leave the elevators for those who must use them.  Able bodied folks (we are in that class) can almost be amusing about elevator usage.  Some folks would rather wait 10 min for an elevator rather then walk down one flight of steps.  We actually laughed at one young couple who had just come out of the gym (all sweaty) and got in the elevator to go down 2 decks.  When they saw me smile they both started to laugh and explained that they wore themselves out on the elliptical :).  I do think that all of us who are able bodied can do a lot more to help those who are not as fortunate.  But I do not want my DW or me to become "crippled" by being run over by a reckless scooter driver.

 

Hank

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51 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

Perhaps this is one area where there is no perfect solution other then finding a way to attract more folks to the MDR.

 

 

Here's an idea for HAL: start by actually OPENING the MDR for lunch more often. 

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15 hours ago, AncientWanderer said:

Just with regard to the buffet line in the Lido, I totally agree.  I find the new "Bistro" arrangement hopelessly confusing.  I can't tell where the line starts or ends. The direction of the line seems to change every time I make an attempt to enter the line.  In fact, I'm now so fearful of being one of the rude cut-in people that I almost never even make a go at it.  Luckily, we dine in MDR or the specialty restaurants for dinner.  At lunch, I grab a salad, sandwich or hit up the Asian station.  Any attempt at the Bistro just bums me out.

AMEN and AMEN AGAIN.   IT WAS TRULY A FRUSTRATING EXPERIENCE.   AND YES, THE DRINK PACKAGE IS A RIP OFF.

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15 hours ago, taxmantoo said:

 

They are quite small and not that visible, and I would not blame someone for not seeing them, but most Lido stations do have a sign that says something like "The line starts here".  I remember pointing it out to a few people who (on purpose or not) stepped in front of me while I was waiting.

NO SIGNS ON THE ZUIDERDAM CRUISE.  I WOULD HAVE SEEN THEM AND POINTED THEM OUT CLEARLY TO THE PEOPLE I GOT INTO ARGUMENTS WITH .  NO SIGNS. 

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10 hours ago, Hlitner said:

I thank the OP for taking the time to post their experience and feelings.  As one who is in his 70s (but still walks 10 miles for fun) I understand some of the comments.   But the comments about the Lido really made me laugh.  About 5 years ago (when I was still in my late 60s) I was standing in line, one morning, to get my Eggs Benedict (when HAL still had the station with about 8 variations).  There were 6-8 behind me as I reached the beginning of the line (queue for you Brits) when this little ole Lady (probably in her young 80s) just walked right in front of me and started to order her breakfast.  I immediately said to this lady something like, "excuse me m'aam, but we are all in line to order at this station."  Her response (and this is exact) was "it's OK, I am old!."  Without thinking I responded, "the line for the old people is back there" (and I pointed to the back of the line).  I immediately heard applause coming from nearly everyone behind me (some of whom were older then the offending lady).  She immediately turned red as a beet and walked to the back of the line (no pride).  As I placed my egg order the cook gave me a big grin and said, "thank you."

 

So when I read the OP's comments about the line cutters at lunch there is no surprise.  On the other hand the OP did not comment about almost being run over by reckless scooter drivers  (it has happened to DW...twice!).  Scooters, Wheelchairs, and canes are fine (but for the grace of God go I) but we have lately seen too many reckless scooter drivers on ships (not just HAL).  One friend who uses a scooter tells me the problem is that many scooter folks on cruises do not use scooters at home...and simply have no clue how to be safe.  They decide to rent scooters for their cruise and use no common sense in their operation.  On a recent Princess cruise we watched a man simply put his scooter in reverse and back into two folks (he never turned to look and did not have a mirror).  His reaction was to get angry at the two folks he hit.  I truly thought that the husband of one of the victims (who was hit) was going to toss this man (and his scooter) overboard!  There is just something that happens to some cruisers where they leave all their manners at home.

 

Hank

THANK YOU HANK.  ATLEAST IAM NOT ALONE IN MY FEELINGS.  BUT JUST FOR THE RECORD I DO HAVE COMPASSION FOR PEOPLE THAT ARE HANDICAPPED, ETC.   I TRULY DO.   I WAS JUST TRYING TO EDUCATE FOLKS WHO MAYBE HAVE "NOT DONE A H A CRUISE" AS TO WHAT TO EXPECT????   LIKE I SAID "AFTER 13 DAYS OF IT ENOUGH IS ENOUGH".  WE ARE TAKING A 2 TO 3 YEAR BREAK FROM H A CRUISES.   But as I mentioned previously the service and food was absolutely great.  So not wanting to have folks think that it was a total bummer as it was NOT.   But like I said after 13 days on the whole thing (including all the coughing and hacking) we were just ready "TO HEAD HOME".   We needed a break from the whole thing. 

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7 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

@Chuck, you do know posting in all caps is considered yelling, and is against Cruise Critic rules?

Bruce;  No I did not know that.  Iam sorry and will not do that again.  You might want to also let Mamaofami, Mexico8, and Krazy Kruizers know that as well.  Their script is super large.  I always assumed people do that for much easier readability for older folks.  Its certainly easier to read a large script than a small script.  So there was no yelling involved on my part.  Sorry again.

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11 hours ago, Hlitner said:

On a recent Princess cruise we watched a man simply put his scooter in reverse and back into two folks (he never turned to look and did not have a mirror).  His reaction was to get angry at the two folks he hit.  

 

Hank

I had the same experience on our last Princess cruise. I was in the very crowded buffet line and unbeknownst to me an elderly man drove into the buffet area to see what was being offered. He was right behind me when I backed up slightly to get around my wife. I backed into his scooter and he yelled "WATCH OUT!" in a very aggressive and angry voice. I almost fell over backwards over his scooter.
Why are these allowed in the buffet area? I understand wanting to see what is being offered but in a crowded situation it is a danger to others. This is where buffet staff can be really helpful in assisting those who are not as mobile.

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59 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Here's an idea for HAL: start by actually OPENING the MDR for lunch more often. 

It is open on sea days and serves a wonderful lunch.  Many of the items on that menu are also available at the Lido Marketplace.  When the ship docks, a lot of waiters are given some well-deserved free time to get off the ship.  If you speak to any of them who go ashore, they will quickly tell you they're heading to an internet café, where they can connect with their loved ones back home.  For most, home is halfway around the world.  

 

I suppose they could open a smaller section of the MDR, but wouldn't that defeat the purpose, since that idea would generate a long line too?

 

The majority of passengers are also off the ship on port days, and some explore a port by having lunch ashore, sampling local cuisine.  The problem comes when a lot of passengers return to the ship at the same time.  Their first order of business is to grab lunch.  "Hey, the Lido is fast, let's go there." 

 

A crowded venue, sometimes confusing as to where a line starts or ends, with some people breaking in line, creates frustration for all.  There are multiple other options available, especially on the Pinnacle Class vessels.  Even the older ships have other options too, not as many, but other choices.  And if a passenger is truly fed up with all the choices, there is room service, which is excellent, IMO.  Most of the time, the attendant on the phone will tell me my order will arrive in 45 minutes to an hour.  The most I have ever waited for an order was 20 minutes.  

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Please do not assume that everyone who is standing on two legs is capable of hiking the stairs.  For years, DH cruised without needing a wheelchair; however, he couldn't climb even one deck's worth of stairs due to COPD.  Those last three cruises we took together, I finally convinced him to rent a wheelchair, which he only used if he was walking from one end of the ship to the other.  

 

Some people, even so-called youngsters, may have bum knees/ankles, like my son who crushed his foot in a skate-boarding accident.  Now, he has a metal plate in that foot and limps.  When the weather changes, he is in constant pain.  He is only 33, but walking up any stairs, is impossible.  At 71, I take the stairs only if I'm going up or down one deck.  Any more than that, I really need the elevators.  My son and I will get off an elevator if it becomes too crowded or if we need to make room for a wheelchair or scooter.  Needless to say, it sometimes takes us a while to get to where we want to go, but heck, we're on vacation.  What's the rush to get anywhere?

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We also have been on several cruise lines and what the OP complains about is NOT unique to HAL. Line cutters in the Lido type buffets are almost universal to all cruise lines as are sick people on the cruise. These are things that you cant blame on HAL. The amount of people with mobility issues may be higher with HAL and that may be more because HAL does more to accommodate them, and I have NO problem with that because one day that could be me. I am 69 and will need Knee replacements down the road.

 

I do agree with the OP that the HAL SBP is a rip off. When the drink cost cap limit was $9 there was at least one sparkling wine at that price as were most bar drinks. When the cap got raised to $11 the price of wine by the glass and many bar drinks went up too. No sparkling wine under $11 either. I saw this in July on our Noordam cruise. I was glad I did not have the SBP. BTW we are booked on a Viking Ocean cruise next year and their drink package only cost us $18 pp/day with a $15 drink cap price, compare this to HAL's $45 per day or more cost. On the Noordam we bought a 4 bottle wine package and drinks by the glass and spent less than half of what the SBP cost for the two of us would have been. With the numerous Noordam happy hours drinks were a great bargain. On VO the drink prices for a martini is under $8 and they have a lot of wines by the glass including a champagne and Prosecco under $15. We also can bring any bottle of wine aboard and drink it in the MDR or anywhere on the ship for no corkage fee. They even allow us to bring onboard our favorite liquor and the bartenders will use it for making us drinks at no charge.

 

We will still use HAL as our mainstream cruise line because we love smaller ships, no late night drunk fests, and the food is still IMHO better than any cruise line we have been on. We are trying VO next year and looking at Oceania for a 2021 cruise because of small ships and the itineraries.  On the VO cruise we compared the itinerary to one on the Veendam and we add in all the inclusive benefits there was not much difference in price. We are booked on a Penthouse Verandah Suite and we compared that to a Vista Suite on the Veendam.

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54 minutes ago, TriumphGuy said:

I had the same experience on our last Princess cruise. I was in the very crowded buffet line and unbeknownst to me an elderly man drove into the buffet area to see what was being offered. He was right behind me when I backed up slightly to get around my wife. I backed into his scooter and he yelled "WATCH OUT!" in a very aggressive and angry voice. I almost fell over backwards over his scooter.
Why are these allowed in the buffet area? I understand wanting to see what is being offered but in a crowded situation it is a danger to others. This is where buffet staff can be really helpful in assisting those who are not as mobile.

So handicapped people are not allowed to eat in the buffet?  Not allowed to look at the food? Handicapped people aren't allowed in crowed areas?  Perhaps you should have looked behind you before you stepped backwards to get around your wife.  The scooter driver wasn't even moving.

Yes, you should have "watched out"

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Most has been said already, but --

 

1.  Although the melee of scooters and the like is sometimes unnerving, I actually am heartened by the fact that older, less mobile folks still have the gumption to travel despite their physical limitations.  We are still fortunate enough to walk about on our own, but I am not sure that I will have the nerve to travel when we are unable to move about with the assistance of other devices.  In any event, there is hope for my future, as I see those so challenged living their lives and seemingly enjoying themselves despite their limitations.

2.  Line-jumping is one of those things that absolutely drives me berserk, regardless of whether it occurs on the highway, at Panera, or other places.  My spouse is aware of my incipient "rage" at such things, and has thus steered us into dining early when using the Lido, and otherwise having dinner in the MDR.  I agree that it is difficult to locate the front of the line, especially at those stations that actually begin on either end, and feel that there could be better signage to point folks in the correct direction.

3.  Our other favorite vacation spot is Disney World (yes, I know that it is expensive, crowded, tacky, food for the masses, etc., but so is a cruise), and one of the things I have observed is that the staff (aka "cast") seemingly never intervenes to deal with line jumping.  Believe me, those who cut in line at Disney far exceed the miscreants on a HAL cruise.

4.  As to the beverage package --- we have carefully calculated that this package is in no way economical for us -- and nonetheless seem to purchase it anyway!  Once on a ship, I would prefer not to obsess about the cost of alcohol, and instead enjoy trying out different concoctions -- drinks that we would never have at home.  Fortunately as an old Kentucky boy, I cut my teeth on cheap whiskey, and am thus happy with pretty much anything with an appropriate alcohol content.  Sadly, however, my favorite bourbons are not embraced within the SBP, and I thus sympathize with the OP in this regard.  That said,  the beverages offered are pretty clearly stated in the material, and I wonder whether it would have been worth the cost for the OP to upgrade to the "elite" package?  

5.   We were on the same cruise on the same ship as to the OP last year, and loved every minute of it, but all of the points raised by the OP (limited booze selection, chaos in the Lido, insufficient computers and slow speed, line breaking, scooters), are entirely correct and it was proper for the OP to raise those points.  We are just happy not having to make up the bed every day.

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3 minutes ago, Umbarger said:

So handicapped people are not allowed to eat in the buffet?  Not allowed to look at the food? Handicapped people aren't allowed in crowed areas?  Perhaps you should have looked behind you before you stepped backwards to get around your wife.  The scooter driver wasn't even moving.

Yes, you should have "watched out"

You completely missed my point. It is a danger to other passengers when scooters run right up behind others with no warning. I was not expecting a scooter to be inches behind me, out of my line of sight. 

What bothered me was his entitled attitude. Believe me, I sympathize with those less fortunate and I think it's great that they don't let their limitations prevent them from enjoying life. But he acted like I was at fault and I was not. Scooters should not be in crowded buffet lines. It is too dangerous for everyone.

If it were me, I would ask my wife or a crew member to assist.

And yes, he was moving at the time.

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1 hour ago, TriumphGuy said:

I had the same experience on our last Princess cruise. I was in the very crowded buffet line and unbeknownst to me an elderly man drove into the buffet area to see what was being offered. He was right behind me when I backed up slightly to get around my wife. I backed into his scooter and he yelled "WATCH OUT!" in a very aggressive and angry voice. I almost fell over backwards over his scooter.

So, you stepped without looking to see if there was space available to accommodate you, and it's the OTHER PERSON's fault? 
No. It's your fault. Next time don't be so oblivious. 

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2 minutes ago, RuthC said:

So, you stepped without looking to see if there was space available to accommodate you, and it's the OTHER PERSON's fault? 
No. It's your fault. Next time don't be so oblivious. 

Had this been you, instead of me I think you would understand. We are talking INCHES. He was directly behind me. You weren't there. Yes, I accept some responsibility for not scanning the area directly behind me but coming up behind someone in a scooter with no warning is unsafe. 
If you've ever been in the Horizon Court on a Princess ship you would know how tight the buffet area is. 

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5 minutes ago, TriumphGuy said:

Scooters should not be in crowded buffet lines. It is too dangerous for everyone.

 

People who are handicapped shouldn't be allowed to see what food choices are available to them?  They shouldn't try to maintain some type of independence by trying to wait on themselves?  Every person on a ship should be aware of who and what is around them at all times to avoid running into each other and into things. 

 

Knowing that HAL accommodates disabled passengers who are in wheelchairs or scooters, we all need to watch where we're going.  I've witnessed other passengers backing into wheelchairs or scooters more times than I can count.  The person driving the wheelchair or scooter has tried to stop (or was stopped).  The second passenger ignored them and ran into them/backed into them.      

 

I've taken your comments out of context, so let me apologize for it.  However, as a mother who has a child with a disability, I see red when I read comments similar to those quoted.  For most of his life, especially in school, he was marginalized.  By writing that people in scooters shouldn't be in the buffet line, you've done the same thing to these people.

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31 minutes ago, Arrowinc said:

Most has been said already, but --

 

1.  Although the melee of scooters and the like is sometimes unnerving, I actually am heartened by the fact that older, less mobile folks still have the gumption to travel despite their physical limitations.  We are still fortunate enough to walk about on our own, but I am not sure that I will have the nerve to travel when we are unable to move about with the assistance of other devices.  In any event, there is hope for my future, as I see those so challenged living their lives and seemingly enjoying themselves despite their limitations.

2.  Line-jumping is one of those things that absolutely drives me berserk, regardless of whether it occurs on the highway, at Panera, or other places.  My spouse is aware of my incipient "rage" at such things, and has thus steered us into dining early when using the Lido, and otherwise having dinner in the MDR.  I agree that it is difficult to locate the front of the line, especially at those stations that actually begin on either end, and feel that there could be better signage to point folks in the correct direction.

3.  Our other favorite vacation spot is Disney World (yes, I know that it is expensive, crowded, tacky, food for the masses, etc., but so is a cruise), and one of the things I have observed is that the staff (aka "cast") seemingly never intervenes to deal with line jumping.  Believe me, those who cut in line at Disney far exceed the miscreants on a HAL cruise.

4.  As to the beverage package --- we have carefully calculated that this package is in no way economical for us -- and nonetheless seem to purchase it anyway!  Once on a ship, I would prefer not to obsess about the cost of alcohol, and instead enjoy trying out different concoctions -- drinks that we would never have at home.  Fortunately as an old Kentucky boy, I cut my teeth on cheap whiskey, and am thus happy with pretty much anything with an appropriate alcohol content.  Sadly, however, my favorite bourbons are not embraced within the SBP, and I thus sympathize with the OP in this regard.  That said,  the beverages offered are pretty clearly stated in the material, and I wonder whether it would have been worth the cost for the OP to upgrade to the "elite" package?  

5.   We were on the same cruise on the same ship as to the OP last year, and loved every minute of it, but all of the points raised by the OP (limited booze selection, chaos in the Lido, insufficient computers and slow speed, line breaking, scooters), are entirely correct and it was proper for the OP to raise those points.  We are just happy not having to make up the bed every day.

I absolutely love your numbers 2 and 4.  Oh how true how true. 

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5 minutes ago, TriumphGuy said:

Had this been you, instead of me I think you would understand. We are talking INCHES. He was directly behind me.

He was looking where he was going. You weren't. That's all that matters. He had as much right to be in that space as you did. 
People standing in line would have been inches directly behind you, too. Next time watch where you're going. 

 

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13 hours ago, Hlitner said:

I thank the OP for taking the time to post their experience and feelings.  As one who is in his 70s (but still walks 10 miles for fun) I understand some of the comments.   But the comments about the Lido really made me laugh.  About 5 years ago (when I was still in my late 60s) I was standing in line, one morning, to get my Eggs Benedict (when HAL still had the station with about 8 variations).  There were 6-8 behind me as I reached the beginning of the line (queue for you Brits) when this little ole Lady (probably in her young 80s) just walked right in front of me and started to order her breakfast.  I immediately said to this lady something like, "excuse me m'aam, but we are all in line to order at this station."  Her response (and this is exact) was "it's OK, I am old!."  Without thinking I responded, "the line for the old people is back there" (and I pointed to the back of the line).  I immediately heard applause coming from nearly everyone behind me (some of whom were older then the offending lady).  She immediately turned red as a beet and walked to the back of the line (no pride).  As I placed my egg order the cook gave me a big grin and said, "thank you."

 

So when I read the OP's comments about the line cutters at lunch there is no surprise.  On the other hand the OP did not comment about almost being run over by reckless scooter drivers  (it has happened to DW...twice!).  Scooters, Wheelchairs, and canes are fine (but for the grace of God go I) but we have lately seen too many reckless scooter drivers on ships (not just HAL).  One friend who uses a scooter tells me the problem is that many scooter folks on cruises do not use scooters at home...and simply have no clue how to be safe.  They decide to rent scooters for their cruise and use no common sense in their operation.  On a recent Princess cruise we watched a man simply put his scooter in reverse and back into two folks (he never turned to look and did not have a mirror).  His reaction was to get angry at the two folks he hit.  I truly thought that the husband of one of the victims (who was hit) was going to toss this man (and his scooter) overboard!  There is just something that happens to some cruisers where they leave all their manners at home.

 

Hank

You are correct (wish I could have just cut'n'pasted part of the 2nd paragraph).  People rent the scooters for their trips due to all the walking (and even if you stay on board, there is a lot) and they aren't used to them.... and people that aren't used to being around scooters don't realize that they can't stop on a dime.   I don't think most are being "reckless" but just aren't  used to it.  I saw an older lady break down in tears and apologizing over and over  on the Zuiderdam because she couldn't get it turned around quickly enough and was holding a few folks up near the elevator.  I felt bad for her..... I think it is great that HAL is a cruiseline that is more suited for those that aren't as mobile - on some cruise lines they'd be run over and trampled on the 1st day.

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3 minutes ago, Shih-tzu said:

 (wish I could have just cut'n'pasted part of the 2nd paragraph).  

You could try using the 'quote' link and then deleting the text you don't want.

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Didn't know I could do that.....  tried to delete some but it wouldn't go.... maybe it's because I'm on a device that I don't use that often.....   Thanks for the tip 🙂

 

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1 hour ago, sevenseasnomad said:

It is open on sea days and serves a wonderful lunch.  Many of the items on that menu are also available at the Lido Marketplace.  When the ship docks, a lot of waiters are given some well-deserved free time to get off the ship.  If you speak to any of them who go ashore, they will quickly tell you they're heading to an internet café, where they can connect with their loved ones back home.  For most, home is halfway around the world.  

 

I suppose they could open a smaller section of the MDR, but wouldn't that defeat the purpose, since that idea would generate a long line too?

 

The majority of passengers are also off the ship on port days, and some explore a port by having lunch ashore, sampling local cuisine.  The problem comes when a lot of passengers return to the ship at the same time.  Their first order of business is to grab lunch.  "Hey, the Lido is fast, let's go there." 

 

A crowded venue, sometimes confusing as to where a line starts or ends, with some people breaking in line, creates frustration for all.  There are multiple other options available, especially on the Pinnacle Class vessels.  Even the older ships have other options too, not as many, but other choices.  And if a passenger is truly fed up with all the choices, there is room service, which is excellent, IMO.  Most of the time, the attendant on the phone will tell me my order will arrive in 45 minutes to an hour.  The most I have ever waited for an order was 20 minutes.  

 

I was looking at it from the standpoint of reducing crowding in the Lido -- and restoring something that used to be on offer. (Plus, I have read on these forums that the MDR is not open on ALL sea days, just some -- I can't vouch for the accuracy but there it is.....Reported on CC so it must be true!)

 

Even if they open only a small section of the MDR, it would help relieve the crowding a bit and those who "self select" to go to the MDR would be happier, while the crowd in the Lido would have more space and fewer crowds.

 

I haven't been on a Pinnacle class ship but there are not so many options on other ships. Room service is not something I have ever used on ANY ship for ANY meal. Just me, but I don't enjoy eating in my cabin. 

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