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  #1 (permalink)  
Old April 3rd, 2004, 12:19 AM
60ish chic
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Default Help me understand!!!

AM (was) planning a Southern Carribbean 10 Cruise on the Rotterdam departing
Nov.2....there are ten of us (5 couples)...After checking everybodys' every day busy
lives, we decided this is the cruise for us....Perfect timing!

Well, I checked with my TA and the whole darn boat is booked (sorry, anything above
a D)....We have two Cat.C couples, one mini-suite, and one full suite....and not one
to be had! We have been persuing this for 3 weeks....even checking out the one
that leaves on 2/12....That's over 7 mos. away!

This is not a "special " or Maiden voyage....nor a holiday, nor spring break....I am soooo
disappointed!

Has anyone ever ran into this (there is a lot of experience on this board).....Do big
groups of TA hold blocks of rooms? Our TA is wonderful and she herself cannot
understand why! Her only recommendation is that 5 mos. before departure .... some-
ting like that ---- all available cabins have to be released and we might have a
possiblity.....

We all did Alaska on the Statendam, Eastern Carribbean on the Veendam....and had
no problem and it certainly wasn't this far in advance....

I know there are other lines, and different times, but we kinda had out heart set on
this.....Do we wait....any advice would be helpful.....
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Old April 3rd, 2004, 12:43 AM
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

Perhaps a big group has booked the whole ship for a convention or something like that. I have heard that it is possible for a ship to be competely booked out. It is a shame but I am sure I wouldn't want to be on a cruise with a whole group who all knew one another.

Jennie.

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Old April 3rd, 2004, 07:04 AM
glalonzo
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

As you are probably aware upper categories sell out the quickest mainly because their are fewer of them.

If your heart is set on this cruise ask your TA to call the group department and see if their are any large groups that will be releasing space soon OR ask your TA to ask the group department if you can book into one of the groups holding space. By doing this not only do you get your cabin you may also get the group discount of that group which may be a larger discount then you would get with your group.
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Old April 3rd, 2004, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

Dear 60ish chic,

You are looking for rooms on a ship that is due to sail in the month of November, right!

We have always observed that rooms become available when it gets close to the final payment of a cruise. People have reservations only with a down payment but many have second thoughts since situations come up in life where they have to change the date or cancel outright the thought of a cruise.

We had booked once in the past that way and even got upgraded on the Cunard Line.

That's not saying you will be upgraded, it just happen to occur once to us.

You can talk to your TA and check out this possibly. Maybe he can tell you the date of final payment of that criuse.

Hope you solve your problem! We went on a cruise in November once and it definitely took the pre-chill of fall out of our blood, except you have to return to the cold.

Good Luck

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Old April 4th, 2004, 12:44 AM
60ish chic
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

Thanks for the input thus far....but , to the Holland's group department's knowledge, no
big group has booked the whole ship. But, they might be holding back on cabins
for release later. (TA guess)

According to my TA and Holland, the first availability for this cruise on the
Rotterdam to the Souther n Carribbean is January 26, 2005.

We were all really up for this trip as we couldn't get together on a time since our
last cruise in October, 2001, after 9/11. Oh, and this is strange.....I think..... the
trip in January, 2005, has MUCH cheaper rates than this trip in November.

Thanks for your input, thus far, but I'm not giving up.....There could be still a
release in 2 mos.....and the rates could be cheaper!

I'm not a seasoned cruiser, as most of you, so I really don't know how to play the
game yet. This still perplexes me......no balconies left (and trust me....they are
not giving them away). I spoke with a friend who ONLY travels Holland and the
only time she booked this far in advance was when she was going to Alaska
and needed a handicapped room as she was taking her Mother who was
in a wheelchair.

Ed, I noticed you are on this ship in the end of next month....please let me know
if you enjoyed it.....In the meantime, I'm still hoping something happens
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Old April 5th, 2004, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

Maybe my Cruise Planner for 2004 is already out of date but I can find nothing about the Rotterdam sailing on Nov. 02 2004!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old April 5th, 2004, 09:41 PM
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Default Re: Re: Help me understand!!!

Yup no sailing on Nov 2/04 - u must mean another ship, location or date?
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Old April 6th, 2004, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

We just returned from the cruise you are seeking to book and it is worth all of your efforts to secure the cabins you want. It's a wonderful cruise and we had a great time in the "PS".

It is possible that TA's have a block on a certain number of cabins and they will be forced at a given date to either assign the exact name of who will be occupying a cabin or to release it back to HAL for sale by others. This should occur within a reasonable amount of time for you to be able to book and make your travel plans.

Early January cruise prices are lower than November/December's. Immediately after the holidays is traditionally very slow travel time and the prices reflect that.

We cruised last Thanksgiving on Maasdam for back-to-backs and it was fabulous. Keep up your efforts to see if the cabins you want clear....I think the odds are strong they may.

Good luck.
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Old April 6th, 2004, 09:54 AM
60ish chic
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Default Re: Re: Help me understand!!!

Thanks for the input thus far....as my friends tell me ..... I refuse to grow up, give up
or shut up!

To the two that could not find this cruise listed.....its listed in the books (Holland
Carribbean (Summer / Fall 04).

But, I first heard of this specific cruise via a postcard that was sent to my husband
from a group called "Continuing Education at sea".... and they offer seminars to
Dr., Dentiests, lawyers, nurses, accountants, et. (they even have a web site with
that cruise being offered to Dentists....which is what my husband is.....one of those
guys everybody loves (just joking).

I called them "Continuing Education" and asked how many dentists they have
booked and how many cabins are they holding....they had 5 dentists booked (three
are the speakers) and are holding 10 cabins.....one suite, no mini- suites and
the rest are C & D categories.

I don't book thru them as they are higher than the travel agency....and trust me, this
is not a give-away (as in the previous response....January is probably cheaper)

This cruise exists.....I'm not giving up, but even if I wanted to do the one without
the Education thing....which would be 11/12.....that's completely booked also....

Hopefully, the skys will open and bang.....we will have availability. November is
just the best month for ALL of us to get together as we are into Family winter
activities, etc......Thanks for all the advice.....
PS.....WOW! I bet that was awesome.....do you usually get the PS????
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Old April 6th, 2004, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

keep your options open, have your TA look into another line & itineary similar to the one you want. I know its so hard when you have your heart set on it. But cruising on another line as opposed to not cruising at all, no brainer! imo
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Old April 6th, 2004, 06:17 PM
mialtyco
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

Hi,
We ran into some of the same problems with our TA so we went to cruises-n-more.com and they have direct connections to HAL they had no problem getting us booked and at a better rate than oput TA.
Good luck
Nick
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old April 6th, 2004, 08:22 PM
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

Hi - this is weird 'cause its not even coming up on HALs own website. The first showing for the Rotterdams southern Caribbean is Wed. Jan 05, called the Canal Sunfarer cruise Ft L to Ft L. .but whatever, good advice here plse keep trying! Odds are strong there will be cancellations and u need to 'jump' on 'em quickly. U might have to reconsider choice of cabins but if u really want to go it might be necessary. Happy cruisin'!!
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Old April 6th, 2004, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Re: Help me understand!!!

Like you 'cruisecrazy' I checked the HAL webside - nothing listed - something weird! Maybe the whole ship is on charter to the Continuing Education folks.

Can understand the additional cost when travelling with the group - 'tuition fees' would be added to the cruise fare but would, I'd think, be a tax-deductible expense.

As for the itinerary, we've done it several times - just beautiful! The Rotterdam V1 is one of our favorite ships.

Good luck in your quest, '60ish chic'.

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Old April 6th, 2004, 11:18 PM
60ish chic
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

Gonna check the cruises n more site. Maybe......yes, maybe no.

I've never been on this board before.....you guys (gals) are great.

I also went to Holland's website and put in the info, but couldn't come up with
the cruise......but its in black & white on Page29 of their latest Carribbean cruises
book......

The suggestion that the ship could be held or bought up by Continuing Education
is not even remotely possible......I did talk with them and they are only holding a
couple of cabins.......My husband (dentist) pays $595. for the course, but the
cabins can be bought thru any TA company and at even the cheapest rate.....so,
that's not the answer. Also, the 11/12 sailing is ALSO BOOKED.....IS EVERYBODY
DOING THIS??????

I'm going to check the one cruise site out (cruises and more) and then back
to the drawing board......lovin the input....keeps me pumped!
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Old April 7th, 2004, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

My understanding is that the Continuing Education people cater to most branches of the medical profession, not only dentists. Even at that, it seems highly unlikely that the whole ship would be sold out.

Nothing showing up on 'cruises and more' - this is really weird!!!!!!!!!!!

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Old April 7th, 2004, 09:08 PM
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Default Re: Re: Help me understand!!!

You may be '60ish & chic' - I'm a bit of a British Bulldog!!!!!! :-) :-) :-)

It’s the old story – you have to ask the right questions to get the right answer
– here’s what’s showing available – air fare not included. Note there's no ention of Southern Caribbean. For HAL Mariners, there might be a discount on these rates -

The cruise is listed on HAL’s web site under
****CARIBBEAN PANAMA ****FROM FT LAUDERDALE
Departing Nov 02, 2004
Rotterdam

Outside Staterooms Max. occupancy

PS - Penthouse Verandah Suite 4 $8,871.97 Available
S - Deluxe Verandah Suites 4 $4,304.32 Available

DD - Large 2 $1,996.07 Available
FF - Large 4 $1,900.06 Available
G - Large 2 $1,861.21 Available

Inside Staterooms

I - Large 2 $1,720.79 Guarantee

L - Large 4 $1,624.22 Available
Third or Fourth Guest in the Same Stateroom
Adult Click Here
Child Click Here
Infant Click Here
Dining
Early Upper Dining: Waitlist
Early Lower Dining: Waitlist
Main Upper Dining: Available
Main Lower Dining: Available


For help with reservations call 1-877-932-4259
Mon. - Fri. 5 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sat. - Sun. 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. (Pacific).

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Old April 9th, 2004, 12:35 AM
60ish chic
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

Well, you British Bulldog....you did your homework.....But, these are pretty
steep prices (I think)....I'm not buying a timeshare, just want to Rent!

It appears already C Catagory has opened up......I have two couples who
are interested in the C.....two in the Mini-suites, and one Deluxe.
Three days ago, there were not C's....and maybe 3 weeks from now,
some balconies will open up.....

I'm staying positive more will open up....my TA is keeping a close watch,
and still thinks that five month mark (when eveyone has to release their
unsold blocked cabins have to be released. Sure hope so!

Also, the penthouses were not available a couple of weeks ago.....so,
we shall see! Thanks a bunch!
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Old April 9th, 2004, 10:33 AM
clo
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

Your TA should be able to get way, way lower prices than are listed on the HAL website. I used someone called "cruisecompete.com" and within a few hours we had a bid from a TA saving us $510 for my husband and my cabin and $392 for our mother's single supplement. (Just to clarify, this is a 14 day Mediterranean.) I was recently at a social function chatting with a travel agent and she pretty much said the worst fares are going to be from the cruiselines. I'll certainly continue to check various ways going forward. Good luck; sounds like things are looking up.
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Old April 9th, 2004, 12:08 PM
60ish chic
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

Clo....you do have that one right....Direct booking thru cruise lines is not a savings, but
more costly.

This is something I DON't understand.....you would think cutting out the middleman
(TA) would be more lucrative!......But, from what I have heard, that sweet voice on the
other end who is working for Holland America (and not only Holland) is also cutting
a commission.

I hope they can come up with the accommodations we want and a better price.

Two of the five couples really have to count their pennies. Actually, in this day and
aget, we all do.....I know what we paid for the Alaskan cruise (same group) and
the Eastern Carribbean, so I can't justify these prices!

It just still boggles my mind that they have minimum availability 7 mos. in advance...
and no availability for balconies other than their Deluxe.....

This is so much fun being put in charge of this group.....I think they know if its
out there I will find it.....Thanx for the info
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Old April 9th, 2004, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

No question, there are always cruise 'deals' to be had if you are prepared to wait until the last minute and take what's left over.......all the better if you live within easy driving distance of the departure port. For us it seldom, if ever, works - we end up paying full fare for the flights and probably a pre and or post cruise hotel night..........better we had gone with our Mariners discount fare.

As for an agent who can knock $500+ off the cruise cost - he/she has to be working for nothing and that's no way to stay in business. Agencies can't operate without commission - it's their bread and butter and the only thing that pays the rent.

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Old April 9th, 2004, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

In regards purchasing thru HAL or other cruiselines directly - yes u pay higher prices but the upgrades are great (4 - 8 levels usually) in my experience probably 'cause they don't have to pay a commis. to your TA and also they make more on the sale so they give better 'perks' to direct purchasers to get u to book thru them... However, that said, u have to want that to justify paying extra..I know these fares seem high now to you but we have been a bit spoilt. They may climb more in the future as ships are filling up & faster now as u can attest to - the fares before were artificially low. Hope your group finds what it needs & makes this cruise. Happy cruisin'!
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Old April 10th, 2004, 12:11 AM
60ish chic
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

Never thought about having a better chance for an upgrade by booking thru
the cruise line.....my hubby and I usually get the Suite so we're kinda locked in....
but then they're the others to think about.

Something happened again today that played with my head again.....I took a break
from preparing Easter Dinner to look at the mail. AND lo and behold, there comes
a postcard advertising the "continuing Educations at sea"......And, there it is my Nov. 2 cruise on the Rotterdam to the southern carribbean.

Obviously, I called and spoke to a very nice gal and told her I needed 5 cabins....
One Deluxe suite, 2 mini (they don't call them mini anymore) just suites from A
to BB. , and 2 C categorgies. She advised she'd check with Holland what is
available and call me back within 10 minutes. She said she hasn't booked this
seminar yet, but the itenerary looked great. She called me back within minutes
and priced out a Suite at $3,765 (all taxes-no air) and BB suites at $2,445 per
but did not have any C or even D categories.....I told her I would be in touch
but would have to check with THE GROUP......I immediately called Holland
and told them what I need and they said they have a couple of Deluxe suites,
but no A's to BB's, one C and no D's.

Now, this was minutes after she called Holland......

I decided to pour myself a glass of wine and go back to the Easter Bunny
Cake....at least I know what I'm doing in the kitchen.....

This is suppose to be Holy Week for me and I was beginning to have bad
thoughts.....Not Good!!!!!
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old April 10th, 2004, 03:55 AM
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Default Re: Re: Help me understand!!!

You deserve to get 'lucky' here if for no other reason than that u are sooo funny...my hopes are that u do!!
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Old April 10th, 2004, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

Until quite recently I was in the travel business - what you're describing is typical - the postcard sender (an Agency I'd guess) hopes to make a group on the Nov. sailing and is targeting Dentists – said Agency has been allocated, by HAL, a total of 10 cabins which may be in any category. It’s first come first served. Such arrangements can usually be terminated by HAL with about 48 hours notice to the Agency. Cabins, as required, are requested from HAL. Suites, Balcony and Cat. "C" cabins are very popular, they are on the ‘walk around’ deck, often referred to as the biggest balcony on the ship (our favorite location I might say). Also very popular are inside cabins on the same deck. At this point the ‘postcard Agency’ had only a few cabins (locations unknown) available, the others are considered 'booked' because a deposit has been paid. Your request is submitted and HAL advises that only full and BB suites are available to the Agency.

Now we’re not done yet – you call HAL directly - its story also is true - chances are several other Agencies are also hoping to get a group (not necessarily Medical people) on board and they too have blocked off X# of cabins – in short, on paper, the whole ship is almost ‘sold out’. In actual fact, Holland America has withheld cabins that it may sell, i.e. the ones you were offered.

Deposit is required 3 to 5 days after booking – balance payment is due and payable (no leeway!) at least 75 days prior to sail date.

My advice, at this point, would be to try getting your people on HAL’s waitlist – I don’t know for sure that this is still possible. Be sure to have Mariner numbers at hand! You could also make the request to the ‘postcard people’.

It is not unusual to book your preferred cruise accommodation about a year ahead of sailing date.

Good luck! – hope your Easter Bunny cake came out well!



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Old April 13th, 2004, 10:26 PM
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

Wonder if 60ish chic has got lucky -

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Old April 16th, 2004, 11:18 PM
60ish chic
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

Sorry I didn't respond, but kinda got tied up with the Easter Bunny & Grandkids....

It appears to be looking a little better .... still mixed messages on what's available.

As I have to PLEASE all (Now 6 couples) with the different catergories, I'm going
to wait until the 5 Month rule of dropping all available cabins groups tend to lock
up......And that would be June 2.....day after my Birthday....that would surely be a
great gift!.

I always VOLUNTEER my time (like I got loads) to make all travel plans for this
group......I love them all......but if it doesn't work out, I have two choices.....Just
going with my husband and taking a Suite.....or leaving them all behind and
getting a sex change and move to Aruba.....

This board has been and will be terrific....if I can ever get on a boat! l

Happy sailing to all.....
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Old April 17th, 2004, 11:52 AM
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

Try asking your T.A. to waitlist you for each specific upgrade. That way if one opens up, you will be first on the list. Meanwhile I'd book regular cabins just in case. You can always back out before final payment is due.
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Old April 17th, 2004, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

Good Luck in your quest! I hope you get lucky!

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Old April 18th, 2004, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

Dear 60ishChic,
I have never before enjoyed reading these boards as much as I did your responses...you sound wonderful, wish I was sailing with you. Forget the sex change in Aruba, I bet everyone ejoys you just the way you are. Good Luck to you and your group...will be sailing Med. onboard Prinsendam in Sept. can't wait...

Sandy
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Old April 19th, 2004, 01:32 AM
60ish chic
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Default Re: Help me understand!!!

ZSandy25.....Thanks for the complement....we "gotta" keep the humor.!!

Sure you can cruise with us, but under one condition....make your own reservations!'

Just joshing.....my friends are great, but they have been spoiled .... they just show
up at the boat and all get the cabins they wanted, in the area they want, and they
think this just happens....not to mention air travel and usually a nite's stay
somewhere before we cruise away...Thank God, I have a very patient TA....as
they do change their desires alot!
They all give me their credit card #'s and say
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