Hi. I am doing the Alaka cruise on the Veendam and I want to bring 4 bottles of wine on board with me in Vancouver. I have been told that they charge a $20.00 cork fee for each bottle. I have also been told that I only pay the cork fee if I am drinking it in the dinningroom with dinner. I only intend to have it in our cabin....will I still have to pay for the cork fee? Thanks
No not as long as you don't tell any one.
Wrap each in a large zip lock bag, the 2 gal size, then in bubble wrap, put it in a garbage bag, seal with duck tape, and put all this into a hard sided suitcase. don't put any clothes in with them. If they break, what a mess. A lot of work to save a few bucks.
you could just order your wine before you leave and have it delivered to your table on a night you choose. that would be the easiest. IMOP
Sea Trekker: Why would I hide the fact that I had wine with me? I was under the understanding that we were allowed to bring wine onboard.......hmmm.....am I mistaken? Also....do they have ice machines onboard so I can take ice to my cabin? This is rough on a first time cruiser.... so many questions.... thanks for your reply
I brought wine on the Ryndam in 2003 without any issue. I think some of the precautions mentioned above may have simply related to breakage, not hiding the fact you are bringing wine on board. I had a separate duffel bag with only wine in it. I opened it in my room with a room service cheese plate in the afternoon. The room steward replaced the used glasses daily and the wine glasses were in my room upon arrival. That may have been because a friend had purchased a bottle of wine for my room. In any event, no corkage fee in the room, no hassle from HAL and I am planning on bringing wine on board my next cruise on the Rotterdam in June.
Many Thanks Joe: Bringing onboard in a separate bag sounds like the way for me to go. I am finding this new adventure is going to cost me an arm and a leg but we are so looking forward to it..reading everything I can find on cruise do's and don't.s , this forum has been a godsen , for now I know what to take and whom to tip and whatnot, Great to know I can bring along the wine. Have a great cruise in June. I have read wonderful things about the Rotterdam..hope the Veendam is as nice.... its a shame we have to wait till Aug .
Hi Dani: Fortyish couples you say?....perfect as we also are fortyish. I am afraid we wont be anywhere near St; Thomas as we are taking an Alaska Cruise leaving on August 14 via Vancouver. When we get back I will add what I can to this forum about my trip and the ship (we newbies soak up all we can read) I hear its breathtaking, have you been on the Alaska cruises? Glad you had a great time on the Zuiderdam, maybe I will get to sail on her one day.
I do hope you get to sail on Zuiderdam. Lovely ship and incredible staff, food, etc. After I hit post I realized you said Alaska, sorry about that.
I used to live on Vancouver Island and made the trip to Alaska many times. It never ceases to amaze no matter how many times you travel it. Nature cannot be beat! I heard some of the staff saying that the logistics on ages is on purpose to get a more diverse cross section of people. It makes for a terrific cruise as the ship is large and can accomodate everyone's activities.
Do post when you return, as you said, us newbies appreciate all the input we can get.
Have a great cruise,
I think Italy next..................
hey Dani... glad to hear u like Alaska, everyone says we will have a blast! I dont think the Vandeem is as big as the Zuiderdam, I have read so far the the food is fantastic and the ship lovely but am also reading that the staff has quite an attitude!!!!. I dont plan on askin much of them so I suppose we won't have any problems with them . I am sure the trip will be great reguardless. Only 12 weeks or so to go...woohooo!!! ....Gayle..
Have you ever cruised Holland America Lines before? The Zuiderdam was my first cruise and the thing I would rate highest with them is their staff/service. I think they use the same nationality on all the ships and if they do, you will be in for a treat. Taking care of you is their main objective. The staff and crew make you feel like royalty. If you ever do come across an attitude or something isn't right, go to the front desk, they will fall over themselves to rectify the situation. Nothing should come between you and your fun. With a happy, positive attitude, nothing can ruin your holiday.
Definitely post your cruise when you return. I would love to hear how you found Alaska and any side trips you do.
Do have a blast, it's your vacation. I wish you guys the best.
I think Italy next..................
Hi Dani: No I have never cruised Holland America before, in fact this will be our first cruise. We are looking so forward to the trip and have already been putting stuff aside so we dont forget to take it.. isnt that silly? We are just so excited!! I admit I almost died when I read that they charge $9.50 for a glass of housewine!!!! We have also purchased soda cards for the trip. Can you tell me how much I should tip when using the card or ordering wine. I know these ppl work very hard and I dont want to offend anyone. So far we have booked the white pass scenic rail and gold rush camp and theDenali self drive adventure and I have been told not to miss Dollys House. Where is your next cruise taking you? I bet you cant wait!!!!!! Thanks for your best wishes. Happy sailing!
I have 204 days with Holland America including 04-25-05 on the Ryndam. I brought three bottles of wine on board with no problem. They did search my carry-on because the X-ray machine showed bottles and you are not allowed to bring hard liquor or beer.
House wine is not $9.50, it's about $4.35 and it's usually Chilean wine. They also have Meridian Vineyards and Chateau Ste. Michele and others for $5.75 and up. 15% service charge is added to all bar/ wine service orders. You can get a 10% discount if you pre-order your dinner wine at the gourmet shop, and they also included free wine tasting some days at the gourmet shop from 3:30 - 4:30. They also had a plan where you could get one glass of wine at dinner each night for a set discounted price.
One of these days the cruise lines will price some wines in the $15-$20 range and may see a real increase at dinner.Right now they are charging 3 times what I pay at retail in South Carolina and they do not pay retail.On my most recent cruise with Holland,they had happy hour by the pool each afternoon with 2 for the price of one and I was amazed at the number of people taking advantage of this special.Am sure this came from passenger comments.On the other hand I paid more for the cruise 20 yrs ago than the price today.
Thanks Timothy... I guess we cant believe everything we read. I am glad to know that I can get a nice glass of wine for a reasonable price. No need to even take my own on board at those prices. I am not a big drinker by any means but there is four in our party and a nice glass of wine before dinner on the varandah would be so nice. The plan with a glass of wine at dinner sounds perfect for us. When the wine gets to be $15- $20 a glass you can count me out lol. I think they need a newby booklet... it would save us asking all these dumb questions on forums... thanks for your replys...happy sailing... Gayle
I meant to tell you to carry your wine on in your checked luggage. Make sure it is in a waterproof bag incase it breaks.
I would still take a couple bottles of the nice wine on board for the verandah, as you were saying. The bar bill does add up pretty quickly. The tip for all alcohol is built right into the price, so you don't have to tip unless you want to.
The second last night of my voyage I gave some money and a phone card to our cabin steward as he was so great and few other people who made our cruise extra special.
As for putting a few things away now for the cruise, you are being smart! You won't believe how fast that day arrives!
Keep asking those questions Gayle. That's what these message boards are for and we get the experience of many, many cruisers and I myself cannot thank them enough for there help.
Have a great one,
I think Italy next..................
Sailed the Volendam two months ago and simply placed about 6 bottles of wine in my carry-on bag with no problems. I enjoy Rosemount Shiraz which at home is $8.99 a bottle however the exact same bottle on board is almost $40.00. Save where you can. I'll also throw a couple of plastic flask style Captain Morgan or Barcardi rum bottles in my regular suitcase. You won't have a problem.. there are no alcohol sniffing dogs and no one is going to be checking some 4000+ pieces of passenger luggage prior to boarding for liquor. I have heard some people say this is a "cheap" tactic however I disagree. It is very convienient to be able to make a drink in your stateroom and enjoy it on the balcony, couch, etc. There are plenty of times during the duration of the cruise where you'll purchase drinks from the ship i.e: at shows, during dinner, poolside, etc. So in the end the cruise still makes some money off of you and you save alot of money. If you're not a big drinker it probably doesn't really matter but after a ten day cruise I have literally saved hundreds of dollars. Anyway have fun and enjoy!
Right on with your comments and Ican honestly say that the money saved on a 10 day cruise will be almost enough for another 7 day affair.This is not being cheap but quite smart and yes we will order drinks from different locations on the ship.Our last trip on the Vollendam had happy hr drink prices in the pool bar and finally they sold some drinks to this most sedate group.
My DH and I brought 2 bottles of wine on board the Z 4/17/04. Wrapped the two bottles in bubble wrap and placed in carryon luggage. All luggage goes through xray and my two bottles showed up. We had to open the carryon and upwrap the bottles. They couldn't tell if it was wine or liquor. Only paid for one corkage fee, the other bottle we drank in our suite. ONLY PROBLEM: The carryon was heavy with just two bottles. Not sure I'll do it again in November, 2005.
Remember someone mentioning that they had a case of champagne delivered to the dock for their use on board. They had no problem.
I agree with all the positive comments above about the service on HAL, at least it was that way on our first cruise on the Maasdam. The literature about wine on board was a bit ambiguous. We specifically asked about bringing wine on board from shore and there is no problem in bringing wine aboard.
It is not unreasonable for there to be a corking fee in the dining room if you bring your own bottle to dinner, pretty standard stuff even in restaurants.
If we didn't finish our (ship bought) bottle of wine with dinner, they stored it chilled and the bottle was back on the table the next night...just great service all around!