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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 7th, 2007, 06:02 PM
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Default Selecting a Deluxe Veranda Suite

We are planning a Caribbean cruise on the Westerdaam next February. I'm a neophyte at doing this on the internet by myself, and I would appreciate any help you could give me.

First, I'm confused by the categories of the Veranda Suites, VA through VH. They are all the same kinds of cabins, so I assume it's location that makes the prices different. What's the difference in location that makes one category more expensive than another? What are the positives and negatives of the various decks?

Second, I have never dealt with an on-line agency. I've heard some good things about Vacations to Go, but there are obviously many others . I would like a reliable agency where I would be assigned someone, and I could get back to that person if there are questions or problems. Any suggestions here?

Relating my first and second concern, do these agencies have a list of available cabins, and would the agent help you select one?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.

Gerhardt
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Old July 7th, 2007, 07:16 PM
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First let me point out that I have never cruised on HAL, or cruised at all. I'm scheduled for my first one August 26th to Alaska on the MS Noordam.

I too was confused by the VH-VA catagories too. The simple answer is yes, it's alot about the location, location, location. I've noticed the higher you go, the more the cabin cost. Also, in some catagories there is only a limited number available.

I initially did my booking directly with HAL after studing the web site. You can see which types of cabins are available on each deck and their locations. This might help you decide which cabin catagory you might be interested in.

Pay attention to what's above and below the deck you interested in. For instance, I have a VH guarentee. There on only 4 of these cabins available. They are in the very front (bow) of the ship on the 4th (Promanode deck) floor, the show lounge right above them (possibility of hearing the stomping at night and rehearsing during the day) and have a metal, steel railing (not plexi-glass) which means you can't see the sea while sitting down unless you're very tall. It's my understanding the the VF cabins also have the metal railings.

I have sense moved my booking with a local TA. So I have someone I can go to with questions. I'm also happying for an upgrade or the chance to buy up before the cruise.

I hope I've helped some. Happy Cruising.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 09:17 PM
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Magictam has some good info. We usually book balcony cabins, and we are booked on the Zaandam in April 2008.
Deluxe verandah cabins are usually a little larger, and I think you qualify for concierge ammenity.
They are very nice and usually have choice locations. They also have a whirlpool bathtub, which I like.
Look at the deck plans to make sure what is directly above your cabin. I also don't like a cabin directly over the lifeboats. I want to see below.
I study the deck plans quite a bit before I call my travel agent, then I tell her what rooms I am interested in.
The TA can do all that for you if would rather trust their judgement.
Have a good time !
Pat
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Old July 8th, 2007, 07:59 AM
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Default Re: Selecting a Deluxe Veranda Suite

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerhardt
We are planning a Caribbean cruise on the Westerdaam next February. I'm a neophyte at doing this on the internet by myself, and I would appreciate any help you could give me.
The best help I can give you is to strongly advise you NOT to do this by yourself unless you are really an experienced cruiser. Use a TA who is not just internet-based, but has a phone number you can call to speak with a real live person. Not all internet agencies provide that service.

Vacations-to-Go is one internet agency who will assign you a travel agent. He/she will be a real live person you can deal with on the telephone. You can tell them specifically what you are looking for in a cabin because cabin categories may seem alike, but they are not necessarily so. For example, you may think you are booking a suite, when in actuality what you are actually booking is a veranda stateroom. HAL's suite categories are very confusing. Only two or three categories are truly suites, complete with all the suite ammenties, while the others are what many other cruise lines would call "mini" suites that do not come with any of the true suite perks such as Neptune Lounge access, etc.

It's fine to book your cabin on your own when you are really experienced at it. You know all the categories and you know how to read deck plans so that you can determine EXACTLY what is above and below you. For example, you may think you booked the perfect cabin only to find out once onboard that the galley is located directly above you ... a place where there is work going on all the time ... all hours of the night ... that will possibly impact your ability to sleep.

Use a travel agent you can speak to by phone. Have him/her do the research for you. That's what they are getting paid for. And if they want your repeat business, they'll be only too glad to.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old July 10th, 2007, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: Selecting a Deluxe Veranda Suite

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerhardt
We are planning a Caribbean cruise on the Westerdaam next February. I'm a neophyte at doing this on the internet by myself, and I would appreciate any help you could give me.

First, I'm confused by the categories of the Veranda Suites, VA through VH. They are all the same kinds of cabins, so I assume it's location that makes the prices different. What's the difference in location that makes one category more expensive than another? What are the positives and negatives of the various decks?

Second, I have never dealt with an on-line agency. I've heard some good things about Vacations to Go, but there are obviously many others . I would like a reliable agency where I would be assigned someone, and I could get back to that person if there are questions or problems. Any suggestions here?

Relating my first and second concern, do these agencies have a list of available cabins, and would the agent help you select one?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.

Gerhardt
We have cruised 3 other times and for our 4th cruise we booked with "cheapcruises". Here we were able to speak to an agent that is assigned to me(just like in the mall). I can call him anytime I need something. I also found the price to be $200 less per person than other sights, including cruises to go.
I knew what level we wanted and we talked it through with my person on the phone, chose a cabin and paid my deposit.
I checked on the HAL website for booked guests and there we were. So I have been happy so far.

Good luck!
Nicki
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Old July 10th, 2007, 06:51 PM
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Oh!
I forgot we booked an SY suite 1st, then 1 week later we upgraded to an SC suite and Cheapcruises handled the whole thing.
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Old July 10th, 2007, 10:04 PM
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Categories are confusing but here is how HAL lists them



Deluxe Verandah Suites
are SA, SB, SC and they come with all the amenities.

The VA - VH suites are actually called "Deluxe Outside Vernadah Suites" and do not have the amenities that the Deluxe Verandah Suites have, like the Neptune Lounge, free laundry, priority boarding/tendering/disembarkation, etc. etc.

We always take either an SS or SY as they are much larger than the VA-VH but smaller than the SA/SB/SC and do not include the amenities.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 08:05 PM
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WE just got back and ours was on the verandah deck with a verandah just past where the lifeboats are and by the elevators toward the back. We were perfectly happy with ours and I didn't need all the snobbishness that come with the S categories. I don't like how Hal classify people by their rooms and give more to those in the s rooms. We all pay good money and alot to cruise with them. Should all be classified as VIP's.

ps Our verandah was not windy, I heard you wanted a verandah on the back of the boat because it's not as windy. Well you are well protected on your verandah with a petition on each side and the smoky glass. I usually just got settle in my chair to read when my husband would see somthing and I have to get up. Also the back of the boat you can look down onto those balconies easily from the lido deck. Never saw anyone on them.

We went with a ta offline though they have a website. It was one we had gone with before.
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Old July 17th, 2007, 06:56 PM
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I don't see snobbishness among folks in the "S" cabins....sorry you did.

HAL does not 'give' them more; they sell them more. All of the amenities that accrue to guests in those cabins have paid for them. They are buying more than just a larger cabin. They buy use of the Neptune Lounge and Concierge, priority boarding etc etc

They pay considerably more to get more. Same as Concierge Class in fine hotels; first class section on airplanes.
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Old July 17th, 2007, 09:08 PM
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Sails - you beat me to it. I was just going to say the same thing.

Just because someone "buys" a Suite does not make them a snob. We "buy" a Suite as we like the extra amenities that go with it, just like we prefer to fly Business Class on an airplane. We worked hard for our money and now in our old age (mid 70's) we like to pamper ourselves. Our children are grown and don't need our money, so we indulge ourselves sometimes. When we were younger, we couldn't afford a Suite so booked the cheapest cabin available.

Dianeisme313 - Please watch who you are calling a snob!
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Old July 17th, 2007, 09:45 PM
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I didn't realize I was calling the people who book the s classification snobs, I think HAL is snobbish that they give privileges like the neptune lounge to S classifications and penthouse. I realize they pay more for this.

I saw nothing but the nicest peole on HAL and would never call anyone snobbish. Hal had the nicest people I have ever seen on any ship and I apologize to one and all for calling anyone snobbish. You certainly were not.
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Old July 17th, 2007, 09:52 PM
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Apology accepted.
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Old July 18th, 2007, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dianeisme313
I didn't realize I was calling the people who book the s classification snobs, I think HAL is snobbish that they give privileges like the neptune lounge to S classifications and penthouse. I realize they pay more for this.

I saw nothing but the nicest peole on HAL and would never call anyone snobbish. Hal had the nicest people I have ever seen on any ship and I apologize to one and all for calling anyone snobbish. You certainly were not.

I'm not sure I yet understand you.

Are you saying you don't think HAL should 'sell' these amenities to "S" and "PS" guests? That they should not be offered? Why would you not want people (including you) to have the choice of buying these extras? If you don't wish to book one of those cabins..... fine. But others do want those comforts. Why shouldn't they have the option of buying them?
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Old July 28th, 2007, 01:59 PM
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We always book direct with Holland. Just call their vacation/cruise consultant number on their website. You'll be given a consultant with their direct phone # and email. They are the most knowlegeable and we have always felt comfortable and secure in our plans. They also have the authority to issue shipboard credits at time of booking ibased on price of cabin, etc.
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Old July 28th, 2007, 03:35 PM
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SAil the seas you are right and i am wrong. If you want to buy more in a room/services/ opportunities/ etc. you should be able too. We were perfectly happy with what we did buy in a verandah vc room. Hopefully in the future we will be able to enjoy the opportunities offered in a S class suite.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 10:43 AM
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I had a category VA on the Zuiderdam in April. I had no idea that it was considered a "suite". I booked a cabin with a verandah. And it was lovely and very quiet. It was directly below the Lido deck and we couldn't hear a thing. Where did the suite designation come from. On the otherhand I am booked in a category B on the Veendam and this is clearly labeled suite. We wouldn't use the "suite" lounge anyway since we travel with friends who don't book "suites". We do it for room and the balcony.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by candbgirl
I had a category VA on the Zuiderdam in April. I had no idea that it was considered a "suite". I booked a cabin with a verandah. And it was lovely and very quiet. It was directly below the Lido deck and we couldn't hear a thing. Where did the suite designation come from. On the otherhand I am booked in a category B on the Veendam and this is clearly labeled suite. We wouldn't use the "suite" lounge anyway since we travel with friends who don't book "suites". We do it for room and the balcony.
A "B" category on the Veendam is not a "Suite" with the use of the Neptune Lounge, even though it's designated as a "suite". When the S ships first came out it was designated as a "mini-suite". Only those paxs booked in the PS or an S, have use of the Lounge.

On the Zuiderdam a VA is considered a Deluxe Verandah Outside Stateroom


Deluxe Verandah Outside Staterooms
2 lower beds convertible to 1 queen-size bed, bathtub & shower, sitting area, private verandah, floor-to-ceiling windows.
Category: VA, VB, VC, VD, VE, VF, VH


Check out HAL's website under "Fleet", "Explore Staterooms"
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