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rkacruiser

Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle Party

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I just noticed an "ad" on our HAL Message Board.  Maybe it was there during 2019; if so, I didn't notice it.

 

I signed up for the CC M&G Party for my MSC Meraviglia January 5th cruise.  MSC supplied the type of Roll Call get togethers that HAL once upon a time did.  Senior Officers present, a nice selection of free drinks with many, many passes by the Stewards, mixed nuts on the tables with "high end" type  hors d'oeuvres  (i.e. good caviar), the CD and Captain spoke to the attendees for an extended period of time with the Captain and HD remaining for individual pictures (taken with the guest's camera) for as long as anyone wanted.  The CD was Gene Young, a former HAL CD.  Cost?  Zero for the guests.  We even received an invitation in our stateroom the night before to remind us of the Party.  The Lounge overlooking the mid-ships pool was close to capacity of guests.  

 

Compared to the Roll Call gatherings on my Volendam December 20th cruise (attended by 6 people when more were expected) and my Eurodam's meeting on her January 15th sailing , I was there, a few others were there, we never found each other:  a total waste of time.  My other recent HAL informal gatherings have mostly been a disappointment.  When the Roll Call for the cruise has been active, why don't people show up?  If HAL would offered what I experienced on Meraviglia make a difference?

 

 

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Yeah, CC Meet ups have been lackluster on HAL for a while. You get water, tea, coffee, and cookies and no HAL representatives at all. I don't know but I have wondered if they have just had it with the cranks pinning down the staff and giving them the 5th degree.. who knows. I have found that many 7 day roll calls don't even bother anymore or else very few folks show up.

 

I organized the CC Meet Up on the cruise before last and we had a great turn out, super group of folks, and really had a lot of fun but we, the CCers, provided the fun with Human Bingo and lots of good conversation. But yeah, on this last cruise even the 3 star plus Mariner reception with free bubbly and nibbles was sparsely attended. I was surprised but hey, I got 2 free glasses of bubbly so yeehaa!

Edited by fatcat04

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I have found that many people come to the roll call very late, and often just to join tours or find people to join their tours, not to be social.  I think the longer and less common itineraries get better participation. It's fun to share the anticipation and planning when the cruise is special. When we did Cunard's first circumnavigation of Australia, we had a very busy roll call. One woman was so funny that she was the one we all couldn't wait to meet in person. 

 

The roll call group for my upcoming Zuiderdam cruise has been small but social, so I'm looking forward to meeting them, especially my fellow Jersey girls.  Quite a few people have joined the roll call only recently because they booked late so they weren't in on the early chatting. I've been keeping and updating a list but didn't bother to contact HAL because I know they don't do much and our numbers were too small for them to bother. 

 

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Meet and Greet participation like roll calls can vary.

 

We’ve had good turnouts for ours and good participation.  I currently have 89 registered for our upcoming cruise and those that have chosen to email me their cabin #’s will all receive invitations 😉 

 

While HAL stopped the officers coming some time ago, we were graced on the Westerdam by the officers, captain, HD, etc and at our 2nd Meet and Greet they were back with great drinks, treats including cupcakes for the children in our group.

 

My main purpose at a Meet and Greet is to meet those I have been talking with on the roll call in person and enjoy their company so, I am grateful that HAL provides a venue for us to do that.

Our upcoming roll call is in the Billboard.  This is a new venue for me so I hope it is conducive location.

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Many, many years ago when I did go to the meet and greet get togethers, the captain and other officers did show up.  No free drinks -- just coffee, water, tea and cookies.

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I find that the shorter 7 - 14 day cruises have poor attendance at M&G. And it is mainly to meet and get to know the people who have been involved on the roll call, put a face to a name. 

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5 hours ago, kazu said:

Our upcoming roll call is in the Billboard.  This is a new venue for me so I hope it is conducive location.

 

We've got one coming up in Billboard (Eurodam) for the March 1st Hawaii sailing.  The organizer tried to get it moved but was told there wasn't anywhere else available.  Guess we'll see how it goes.

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On the ships that have it, Billboard seems to be the new default location for our Meet & Greets.

The setup is generally the same.

 

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35 minutes ago, zelker said:

 

We've got one coming up in Billboard (Eurodam) for the March 1st Hawaii sailing.  The organizer tried to get it moved but was told there wasn't anywhere else available.  Guess we'll see how it goes.

 

My friend did a Meet and Greet in the Billboard on one of the Pinnacle ships.  She told me it was hard to hear anything so I have asked for a microphone so people can be heard (if it is needed).  Our ship co-ordinator was happy to oblige and it’s been ordered.

 

I had the same experience as you.  I asked for the Crow’s Nest or another location and was told “it’s the Billboard”.

Time will tell 😉 

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7 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

My friend did a Meet and Greet in the Billboard on one of the Pinnacle ships.  She told me it was hard to hear anything so I have asked for a microphone so people can be heard (if it is needed).  Our ship co-ordinator was happy to oblige and it’s been ordered.

 

I had the same experience as you.  I asked for the Crow’s Nest or another location and was told “it’s the Billboard”.

Time will tell 😉 

 

She requested a microphone for ours as well.  So you're right - time will tell.

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39 minutes ago, richwmn said:

On the ships that have it, Billboard seems to be the new default location for our Meet & Greets.

The setup is generally the same.

 

 

Hey, Rich - glad we were still able to hold both of ours in the Crow's Nest on Noordam, eh?  🙂  

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48 minutes ago, zelker said:

 

Hey, Rich - glad we were still able to hold both of ours in the Crow's Nest on Noordam, eh?  🙂  

Yes, it was. Glad to see y'all are on another dam cruise. Wish I were there instead of here.

Rich

 

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9 minutes ago, richwmn said:

Yes, it was. Glad to see y'all are on another dam cruise. Wish I were there instead of here.

Rich

 

We leave this coming Sunday - on until March 18th.  Looking forward to seeing green and blue instead of WHITE!!!  

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If MSC continues the type of CC M&G gatherings that I experienced as well as the continued development of their new private island, Ocean Cays, and provide the kind of main theater entertainment that HAL used to have and that many of us still enjoy, MSC is going to be major competitor for many HAL regulars. 

 

If one is a Neptune Suite "regular", MSC Yacht Club is a fare class that one ought to investigate.  Joining the MSC's guest loyalty program before making a booking allows whatever one's Mariner Society status to be recognized by MSC, i.e. 5 Star Mariner will be a Diamond Voyager Club Member (their highest status), etc for other Mariner Star levels.  Plus a 5% discount on your initial booking.

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I'm organizing the MG for the 4/15 sailing to Hawaii on Eurodam and we're stuck in the Billboard too, although the gal said it's because we exceeded capacity for the Tamarind Lounge which is what I asked for. We have 75 so far and our RC is a lively group, at least compared to the last one I organized, even with 60 people the RC was a dud, but most showed up for the MG at least.  The Tamarind venue was fantastic, out of the way with great views, and very few Looky Lou's popped in.  Are we going to lack privacy in the Billboard? We're having it in the morning.  I will say that the Eurodam gave us pastries and a bartender eventually appeared to make drinks which was nice, so it was more than coffee n cookies. 

 

I attended a MG years ago on the Oosterdam and officers were there, but it was in the evening.

Edited by atexsix

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I've organized a number of M&G's over the past few years.  Most have been well attended with active participation by the attendees.  The Volendam 12/20/19 one was certainly an exception and I attribute it to it being a shorter cruise.  We have one planned for when we get back on the Maasdam mid April cruise to Mexico, and it's looking to be another nice one.  We've never had officers present and have always had them in the Crow's Nest.

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16 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Joining the MSC's guest loyalty program before making a booking allows whatever one's Mariner Society status to be recognized by MSC, i.e. 5 Star Mariner will be a Diamond Voyager Club Member (their highest status), etc for other Mariner Star levels.  Plus a 5% discount on your initial booking.

Seriously?  I didn't know that....and THANK YOU for telling us!  Unbelievable that MSC will honor  CCL loyalty status when even CCL itself won't do that between its own lines (if you have Mariner status but want to switch to Cunard or Seabourn you'll be starting from square 1). 

 

I'm starting to have the same issues with HALs cost-cutting that are shared by many on this board and am considering switching to another line but think I'm too old to start any loyalty program on the bottom rung.  My daughter is in the RCCL system and loyalty status is shared between RC, Azamara and Celebrity.  Makes sense to me.

 

 

Edited by Av8rix

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We have also attended a couple of Meet and Greets on MSC's Divina and they were very nice parties.  In each case there were many senior officers including the Captain, free drinks, snacks, live entertainment and a free 8 x 10 group photo.  A completely different experience then on our HAL cruises with nobody trying to impose rules or speech restrictions, no skits, no passenger speech making, etc.  Just good fun, nice drinks, food, and conversation.  On our first Divina voyage we were delighted to see an old senior officer friend from HAL.

 

Hank

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17 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

If MSC continues the type of CC M&G gatherings that I experienced as well as the continued development of their new private island, Ocean Cays, and provide the kind of main theater entertainment that HAL used to have and that many of us still enjoy, MSC is going to be major competitor for many HAL regulars. 

 

If one is a Neptune Suite "regular", MSC Yacht Club is a fare class that one ought to investigate.  Joining the MSC's guest loyalty program before making a booking allows whatever one's Mariner Society status to be recognized by MSC, i.e. 5 Star Mariner will be a Diamond Voyager Club Member (their highest status), etc for other Mariner Star levels.  Plus a 5% discount on your initial booking.

 

Do you know how MSC verifies the Mariner Society tier status?  

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1 hour ago, AncientWanderer said:

 

Do you know how MSC verifies the Mariner Society tier status?  

You have to send them a screen copy of your account (star status).  It tells you how and where on their website as I recall.

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On 2/10/2020 at 4:22 AM, Krazy Kruizers said:

...and other officers did show up.  No free drinks -- just coffee, water, tea and cookies.

We did several on Oosterdam years ago (when Jamers Deering was HM) and he subsequently reached out to participants with various perqs.

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A lot of people just aren't interested in these types of gatherings.

While I will usually join the roll call, because this helps in the planning process for the cruise, I won't be attending a meet and greet.

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1 hour ago, Tom O. said:

A lot of people just aren't interested in these types of gatherings.

While I will usually join the roll call, because this helps in the planning process for the cruise, I won't be attending a meet and greet.

Several years ago we stopped attending HAL Meet and Greets because we often found them boring with a few  self designated take charge types trying to control the discussions.  I guess that HAL Officers also grew weary of the functions since most do not attend.  On MSC we found an entirely different atmosphere and had a lot of fun.  Princess functions are similar to HAL's and we generally stay away.   We also generally avoid the Mariner luncheons since the menu leaves something to be desired.  That also happens to be a great day to have lunch in the Lido since it is not nearly as crowded 🙂

 

Probably the most fun function for us was the "block party" on Seabourn when nearly everyone parties in the corridors outside their cabin and the Senior Officers come walking through to socialize and chat.  It is a great idea that would not likely work on HAL sized vessels.

 

Hank

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25 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

Probably the most fun function for us was the "block party" on Seabourn when nearly everyone parties in the corridors outside their cabin and the Senior Officers come walking through to socialize and chat.  It is a great idea that would not likely work on HAL sized vessels.

 

 

Well, the block party worked quite well on the Prinsendam.

We really enjoyed it 🙂 

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