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Old October 26th, 2006, 09:43 AM
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Default Taking wine onboard

We are leaving Saturday for our first ever cruise on the Maasdam out of Norfolk. I am super-excited! I do have a question, tho. I thought I read somewhere that you can take wine on board the ship. Is this true? And if so, can it be kept in the room with you? What about sodas?
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Old October 26th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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Yes, you can take wine, champagne and sodas on board with you and you can keep it in your room. If you need a corkscrew just ask your cabin steward for one, although there may be one in your cabin.

If you take the wine to the dining room to have with your dinner, they will charge you a corkage fee, which I think is $15.00.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 11:40 AM
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Thanks for that info! I didn't want to have to discard it or something if we got there and couldn't take it.!!
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Old October 26th, 2006, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by escape56
Thanks for that info! I didn't want to have to discard it or something if we got there and couldn't take it.!!
never fear, if you couldn't bring it on you wouldn't have to discard it, I am sure someone would be glad to drink it for you.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 09:52 PM
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We typically bring wine on board to enjoy in our cabin. We have also taken it in to the dining room and have never been charged the corking fee. Enjoy the trip!
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Old October 27th, 2006, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balirunner
We typically bring wine on board to enjoy in our cabin. We have also taken it in to the dining room and have never been charged the corking fee. Enjoy the trip!
Was that recently or before HAL started charging 15% on all bar bills a year ot 2 ago?

If it's been recently, then you were fortunate not to be charged.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 07:42 PM
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Hi DeeDee, last time out on HAL was June '04 to Alaska. That may have been before the 15% charge.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balirunner
Hi DeeDee, last time out on HAL was June '04 to Alaska. That may have been before the 15% charge.


Yes, it was. I believe it started in the spring of 2005
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Old October 30th, 2006, 03:52 PM
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So you CAN take it on board right?
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Old October 30th, 2006, 04:48 PM
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We were on Zuiderdam last October and brought a case of wine with us. So, yes you can bring it on board. We never brought any to dinner, however. Dont know about the corkage charge.

Tim
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Old October 30th, 2006, 06:49 PM
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so do you just wheel it in boldly or are you more discreet? This is our second sailing with HAL, I would like to bring maybe a couple of bottles of wine for in cabin and a 12 pack of caffeine free diet coke.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 07:29 PM
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There's nothing really to hide. I've copied a link to HAL's policy. They specifically state "Except for wine and champagne, alcoholic beverages purchased in the vessel's shops or otherwise brought on the ship cannot be consumed on the ship."

As far as taking them into the dining room, we have left a full case of wine with the sommelier and had them keep the wine in the cooler. We always enjoy talking with the staff about their families, where they are from (most waiters are from Indonesia, sommeliers from the Phillipines), speak a few words in their language... and we've never been charged a corkage fee.

DeeDee may be right in that things have gotten tighter in the last couple years (our last HAL cruise was in June '04) but I think the sommeliers tend to ignore this if you show a sincere interest in them and their culture.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 07:31 PM
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Sorry, forgot the link (kids keep knocking on the door for Halloween)!

http://hollandamerica.com/guests/cat...&topic=alcohol
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Old October 31st, 2006, 08:50 PM
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Balirunner - HAL now has a position called "Cellar Master" and they have taken the place of the Sommelier. The ones I have met are not from the Phillipines and I think they have a greater knowledge of wines than the former Sommeliers.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 07:17 PM
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Default No Problem taking wine onboard.

We just returned from our cruise and it was absolutely fabulous!!! The service, the food, the entertainment and the weather were near perfect.
And I can say with authority that you CAN take wine onboard, no problem. If you call the front desk, they will even send up a corkscrew for you. The woman refreshing our minibar, by our request. moved out all of the beer, sodas and liquor to make room for the items we brought, which included soda and wine.

The only negative was that it didn't seem to be okay to pour yourself a glass of wine and take it to the dining room, though I don't know how they could tell if it was from the bar or not. I just almost never saw anyone doing it. On the other hand, given the graciousness of the staff, I doubt they would have said anything. But I didn't try it, so I don't know for sure. I just sipped my wine as I was getting ready for dinner.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: No Problem taking wine onboard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by escape56
We just returned from our cruise and it was absolutely fabulous!!! The service, the food, the entertainment and the weather were near perfect.
And I can say with authority that you CAN take wine onboard, no problem. If you call the front desk, they will even send up a corkscrew for you. The woman refreshing our minibar, by our request. moved out all of the beer, sodas and liquor to make room for the items we brought, which included soda and wine.

The only negative was that it didn't seem to be okay to pour yourself a glass of wine and take it to the dining room, though I don't know how they could tell if it was from the bar or not. I just almost never saw anyone doing it. On the other hand, given the graciousness of the staff, I doubt they would have said anything. But I didn't try it, so I don't know for sure. I just sipped my wine as I was getting ready for dinner.
I would think pouring your own glass and taking to the dining room would be pretty tacky; at least we certainly wouldn't do it. NMnita
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Old November 9th, 2006, 07:53 AM
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Default Re: glass of wine

Taking a glass of wine is tackier than taking a bottle of wine? Having to pay a $15.00 corkage fee is the crime, if you ask me.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 11:59 AM
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Default Re: glass of wine

Quote:
Originally Posted by escape56
Taking a glass of wine is tackier than taking a bottle of wine? Having to pay a $15.00 corkage fee is the crime, if you ask me.
I agree, $15 is a crime, that is why we would just as soon order a bottle with dinner. It seems easier than bringing it on board and carrying to the dining room just to pay $15 for someone to open it for us: I still say carrying a glass into the dining room is totally tacky. NMnita
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Old November 9th, 2006, 07:52 PM
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Hi Nita,

I agree with you that taking your own drink from your cabin (wine or anything else), anywhere on the ship is "tacky", but how would anyone know?

We often order a drink while waiting to eat. Should I just leave 3/4 of a drink on the bar and not take it with me into the dining room? How would anyone know that I bought it at the bar and didn't bring it with me from the cabin?

We don't drink wine, but I agree that the $15.00 corkage fee is ridiculous. On our cruise's we've found that most people who brought wine to dinner were charged the $15.00 fee the first night, but there was no charge after that. That may not be done the same on HAL .
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Old November 9th, 2006, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fern
Hi Nita,

I agree with you that taking your own drink from your cabin (wine or anything else), anywhere on the ship is "tacky", but how would anyone know?

We often order a drink while waiting to eat. Should I just leave 3/4 of a drink on the bar and not take it with me into the dining room? How would anyone know that I bought it at the bar and didn't bring it with me from the cabin?

We don't drink wine, but I agree that the $15.00 corkage fee is ridiculous. On our cruise's we've found that most people who brought wine to dinner were charged the $15.00 fee the first night, but there was no charge after that. That may not be done the same on HAL .
I guess it would depend on what kind of a glass you had it in: I still wouldn't do it, but I certainly wouldn't leave a drink at the bar either. DH and I were discussing this just about an hour ago: I was telling him I wanted to stop at a store in Ft Lauderdale and pick up about 3 or 4 bottles. We usually drink $6.00-$10.00 price range wines; add $15 and it is still cheaper than the $30-45.00 they charge for the same thing. He agreed but still hates the idea. The suggestion was:we don't drink on the ship: after I finished laughing i gave him my answer....Nita
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Old November 9th, 2006, 10:17 PM
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Default Corkage

One of the wines I brought with me was Beringer White Zinfandel. I think I paid about $7-8. for it. It was on the suggested wine list at the top of the menu for $26. a bottle. So it would actually be cheaper to have them cork it for you, but not by much.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 10:34 PM
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How about beer the last time I went on Holland America in 2000 they allowed both wine and beer. I would like to bring some Fat Tire beer for the trip.

Thanks
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Old November 10th, 2006, 12:52 PM
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Default No Beer :(

Unfortuantly you cant take beer onboard...just wine ,champagne, and soda. Not sure why they draw the line with beer?? Suppose they gotta make their money somehow lol We also drink beringer white Zin. and it is WAY cheaper to buy before you board...And if a $15 fee for corkage is what I gotta pay it sure beats the hell out of our $200 bar tab! Not sure why everyone thinks taking a drink into the dinning room is tacky..unless it was in a plastic cup lol...plus it always seems to take forever to get a drink from the bar while in the dining room. ITS CRUISE PEOPLE!!! RELAX AND ENJOY AND QUIT COMPLAINING!!!
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Old November 10th, 2006, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nita
He agreed but still hates the idea. The suggestion was:we don't drink on the ship: after I finished laughing i gave him my answer....Nita
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Old November 21st, 2006, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: No Beer :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen&Rich
Not sure why everyone thinks taking a drink into the dinning room is tacky..unless it was in a plastic cup lol...plus it always seems to take forever to get a drink from the bar while in the dining room. ITS CRUISE PEOPLE!!! RELAX AND ENJOY AND QUIT COMPLAINING!!!
I totally agree with this. Last time on Zuiderdam in Oct '05 I ordered a Chivas on the rocks as soon as we were seated for dinner. I never did get it, even after asking about it several times. I solved that problem from that point forward. I had pre-ordered a bar set up for our suite that included a bottle of Chivas. Every night before dinner, I made myself a drink and took it to dinner with me. I even had the swizzle and napkin, provided with the bar set up. One night, I was even asked if I would like another drink. I said yes, please, I would. He asked what it was, and as expected, I never got it.

Bottom line, the bar service in the dining rooms on HAL ships is bad. At least it was on the one we were on. If you want a drink, you better buy one on the way, or make it yourself. I see nothing tacky about it.

Tim
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Old November 30th, 2006, 09:54 AM
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Hi- I am sailing on the Volendam on Dec 23rd and we would like to bring wine. This might be a dumb question, but how did you bring it onboard? We would like to bring a case - do you check it as luggage? How do you package it so it doesn't get damaged? Do you have to tell them about it when you bring it on?

Thanks!!
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Old December 4th, 2006, 02:26 PM
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We just put it in our back pack (purchased it in fort lauderdale the day beofre we got on) you dont have to say anything...its allowed and the room we were in a VF had a cork screw as well....
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Old December 4th, 2006, 05:01 PM
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Just returned from 10 days on the Volendam. At the start of the cruise, we diverted the taxi on the way to the airport to the wine store and bought 6 bottles of wine. When we picked up the wine it was packaged in a big old cardboard liquor box. We proceeded to the ship and were processed through check in and security -- liquor box in hand. When asked: "What's in the box?" and replied "Wine," we were waved right through. Held the wine in the room and brought down to the dinning room a bottle at a time, again no hassle with opening and serving the wine. Also, my experience with bar and wine service in the dinning room is contrary to that above. The issue is the first night can always be a hassle and the service spotty as the wine steward gets to known what the people at his assigned tables want. After that the service is always excellent.
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Old December 12th, 2006, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard White
Just returned from 10 days on the Volendam. At the start of the cruise, we diverted the taxi on the way to the airport to the wine store and bought 6 bottles of wine. When we picked up the wine it was packaged in a big old cardboard liquor box. We proceeded to the ship and were processed through check in and security -- liquor box in hand. When asked: "What's in the box?" and replied "Wine," we were waved right through. Held the wine in the room and brought down to the dinning room a bottle at a time, again no hassle with opening and serving the wine. Also, my experience with bar and wine service in the dinning room is contrary to that above. The issue is the first night can always be a hassle and the service spotty as the wine steward gets to known what the people at his assigned tables want. After that the service is always excellent.
We just took about 12 bottles on: no problem. We had one suitcase for wine only. We too purchased it in Ft Lauderdale prior to sailing. NMnita 8)
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Old January 4th, 2007, 08:26 PM
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Default Taking Wine On Board

I have been on 15 cruises and have brought my own wine every time. I probably have been charged corkage 25% percent of the time.

That being said, I bring wine because I collect and love to drink wine. I have no problem with paying a corkage fee. The cruise line is probably making less profit on the corkage than they do on the wine.

I have found that when they realize that I have brought special wine, they treat it (and me) better. They will decant it. On Celebrity they told me to bring the wine down earlier so they could let it breathe. That's worth the corkage.

Steve
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