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Old July 18th, 2008, 07:55 PM
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Default Nickel and Diming ...

Do you feel that there there is too much nickel and diming onboard HAL ships these days? Do you feel that there are a lot of things vital to your good cruise experience that you are now being asked to pay for?

Would you be willing to pay more for your cruise to get some of those things included once again -- things like specialty coffees, gym classes, specialty restaurants, soft drinks, etc.?

Would you go for a cruise line that charged a bit more, and included pretty much everything except alcohol, shore excursions, spa treatments, and boutique purchases in your base cruise fare?

Just curious since I notice a lot of complaints about nickel and diming lately and wonder if it could be our own fault in demanding lower and lower cruise fares.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old July 18th, 2008, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: Nickel and Diming ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kryos
Do you feel that there there is too much nickel and diming onboard HAL ships these days? Do you feel that there are a lot of things vital to your good cruise experience that you are now being asked to pay for?

Would you be willing to pay more for your cruise to get some of those things included once again -- things like specialty coffees, gym classes, specialty restaurants, soft drinks, etc.?

Would you go for a cruise line that charged a bit more, and included pretty much everything except alcohol, shore excursions, spa treatments, and boutique purchases in your base cruise fare?

Just curious since I notice a lot of complaints about nickel and diming lately and wonder if it could be our own fault in demanding lower and lower cruise fares.

Blue skies ...

--rita
Why should I have to pay for some of the items listed. I don't use the gym , drink specialty coffee , use the specialty restaurant.

If these where included I would probably find a cruiseline that is cheaoer or doesn't include them.



When I want an all inclusive vacation , we will go to Mexico which is lot cheaper than taking a cruise.

Cruising is our always our first choice for a vacation

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Old July 19th, 2008, 12:01 AM
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Ijust saw an all inclusive in the Dominican Republic for $49 per person with a swim up bar ,several restaurants ,tennis cts. and you can book air at $210 round trip from Miami. The resort is first class and there are no add ons like the cruise lines are now doing everytime you turn around.Am convinced more people will be looking at these resorts in the future.
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Old July 19th, 2008, 09:27 AM
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Do you feel that there are a lot of things vital to your good cruise experience that you are now being asked to pay for?

No


Would you be willing to pay more for your cruise to get some of those things included once again -- things like specialty coffees, gym classes, specialty restaurants, soft drinks, etc.?

No, don't use the gym, rarely eat in the specialty restaurants or drink soda pop. We usually book a Deluxe Suite so we can get the specialty coffees there. If we are not in a Deluxe and I want a specialty coffee, then I am willing to pay for it.......cheaper and better than Starbucks and you get a free pastry/cookie


Would you go for a cruise line that charged a bit more, and included pretty much everything except alcohol, shore excursions, spa treatments, and boutique purchases in your base cruise fare?
[/quote]

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Old July 19th, 2008, 09:31 AM
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Most of the stuff you mentioned I wouldn't pay for anyway. I'm just not into specialty coffees and gym classes. And I dohn't think HAL is nickel and diming people any worse than the other lines.
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Old July 27th, 2008, 02:03 PM
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Just my opinion but I feel that somne cruisERS are just as guilty, if not more so, than HAL in terms of trying to get every last penny.

I read this and other cruise BB's a lot. Over and over I read, How can we sneak liquor aboard? Can I bring 2 cases of wine? Who can tell me where I can save another $10 off my fare? Anyone know how I can book excursions for less?

I'm not saying people shouldn't save money where possible. But I do say HAL should make money on board where they can. That is what keeps fares in line. If they don't make it in on board spending, the fare will have to increase.

No one is forced to drink. No one has to buy a photo. You can drink iced tea, coffee for no extra charge. You don't need a soda. Etc
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Old July 27th, 2008, 10:35 PM
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S7S, I couldn't agree more. It seems that some folks think the cruise line shouldn't make any money and the passengers shouldn't have to pay for anything---" We want the cheapest inside cabin price but upgraded to a suite or at least a balcony--we want to bring on our drinks ---how is the best way to smuggle our alcohol aboard ?? How do we complain and to whom do we complain and about what so we can get a free bottle of wine or a shipboard credit, etc., etc. "
I think the term " nickel and diming is greatly over used.
Land or sea, vacation or no, the old saying of you get what you pay for holds true.
Cruise lines today face a terrific amount of competition and try to hold down the cost of the cruise and make money by selling drinks, photos, spa
treatments, speciality restaurants, etc. If they can't make money on these type items, they will have no other choice but to raise the price of the cruise itself.
After 30 + cruises on several different lines, I don't feel I was ever pressured to buy anything. The deck waiters come around with their trays of drinks--if you want one, get it. If not, a friendly smile and " no thanks" has always worked for me. I have yet to be dragged bound and gagged to the spa for a treatment-nor forced to stand for 30 minutes in line to get a photo made, nor have I ever been forced to buy any photo I did have made.
Including drinks, soda, spas, etc. in the price of the cruise doesn't mean it's free, you just pay more up front--whether you use it or want it, you would still have to pay for it--unfair to those who don't want or use these things.

When you go to a gas station, what's the primary reason of going--- to buy gas. But, they have coffee, beer, milk, bread, candy, --you name it--it's there. Is that " nickel and diming " ?? I have never heard anyone complain about all these extras the gas stations sell--just about the price of gas !!
So, as said, I totally agree with S7S.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 09:42 AM
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Good Point

Should gas stations include the cost of all the coffee, tea , pop etc in the price of fuel. No , fuel is already to expensive. The cruise lines shouldn't have to include the extras in the cost. If you want to have some of that included ther are cruiselines that include them . They usually cost a lot more and don't have any cheap cabins.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 11:35 AM
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I expect "nickle and diming" on services that are person-specific. The cruise lines are first and formost a business and with the addition of services that customers require comes the task of paying for them by charging back the customer. Distributing the cost to all customers is an idea that won't catch on. Even in an upscale hotel they don't give away massages as a general rule, they just charge more for having all the facilities and the user still individually pay for their spa treatment. No different than going to a ships hair salon which has always individually charged as well. On a ship they pass it directly to the user as well. It is 'having' the facilities that matters to those cruisers who use them. And they can pre-purchase packages so it doesn't feel like "nickle/diming". Specialty coffees are no different than specialty drinks so paying is natural. Now if they charged for regular coffee I'd be with you on that.

If any line wants to keep their ship full it has to meet the expectations of a wider demographic unwilling to pay more for add on services they don't use.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 12:41 PM
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Default Re: Nickel and Diming ...

Rita:

Since when did HAL ever have specialty restuarants that were not fee-based and soft drinks that were not fee based? Did I miss something on my many HAL cruises?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kryos
Would you be willing to pay more for your cruise to get some of those things included once again -- things like specialty coffees, gym classes, specialty restaurants, soft drinks, etc.?
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Old July 29th, 2008, 11:06 AM
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Divemaster......

Actually, HAL DID have complimentary specialty restaurants on four of their ships.

Rotterdam and Amsterdam both came from Fincantieri (the shipyard where she was built) with a restaurant called Odyssey. It was Wonderful Italian food and no extra charge.

Zaandam and Volendam came new from Fincantieri with Marco Polo restaurants which were the same as the Odyssey but different name.

Those restaurants have now been converted to Pinnacle Grills and Pinnacle Grill has been added to all HAL ships that did not have a specialty restaurant until then.

So, yes...... they had specialty restaurants for years with no extra charge except for tipping. Service and food were outstanding and most people chose to tip.
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Old July 29th, 2008, 12:16 PM
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Amazing - have sailed all ships excepting the Rotterdam and never remembered that the Amsterdam, Zuiderdam and Volendam had free specialty restaurants. Guess my kiddo showed no interest in the restaurants and so they sailed under the radar, like the spa. Or perhaps they had already been converted at the time of our sailing?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sail7seas
Divemaster......

Actually, HAL DID have complimentary specialty restaurants on four of their ships.

Rotterdam and Amsterdam both came from Fincantieri (the shipyard where she was built) with a restaurant called Odyssey. It was Wonderful Italian food and no extra charge.

Zuiderdam and Volendam came new from Fincantieri with Marco Polo restaurants which were the same as the Odyssey but different name.

Those restaurants have now been converted to Pinnacle Grills and Pinnacle Grill has been added to all HAL ships that did not have a specialty restaurant until then.

So, yes...... they had specialty restaurants for years with no extra charge except for tipping. Service and food were outstanding and most people chose to tip.
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Old July 29th, 2008, 11:41 PM
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They were converted at the dry docks that occured post Zuiderdam joining the fleet.

If you noticed, when Zuiderdam was new, her Pinnacle was called Pinnacle at Odyssey. The tile floor had been designed and made prior to the decision to make all the specialty restaurants into Pinnacles.
Zuiderdam NEVER had a complimentary specialty restaurant. Pinnacle was an additional charge right from the day she started sailing. We sailed her five cruises her first year. (I mispoke when I wrote Zuiderdam in my post above...... I was thinking Zaandam but typed Zuiderdam.) The sisters Zaandam and Volendam both had Marco Polos their earlier years in the fleet. They were changed over to Pinnacles just before or during Signature of Excellence upgrades.)

Rotterdam VI joined the fleet (as flagship) about 1997. We sailed her for her first New Years Eve cruise (and a number of cruises since) and had many excellent dinners in her Odyssey and one or two in Amsterdam's Odyssey.

Can't leave out Volendam and Zaandam as we enjoyed our fair share of lovely dinners there as well.

When you look at Pinnacles now on those ships, that is where these other restaurants previously were located.

Shame you missed them. Top notch service, beautiful decor, wonderful food and all at no extra charge except for tipping.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 12:02 AM
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Will have to look over my cruise books for pixs of the dining rooms as I log all my Mariner hours for HAL. Did you get the messages about verifying your days at sea? From the looks of it HAL had a system crash with no backup. Lost all my days at sea 1987-1991 and miscounted some in the following years.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 12:42 AM
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Default Re: Nickel and Diming ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster
Rita:

Since when did HAL ever have specialty restuarants that were not fee-based and soft drinks that were not fee based? Did I miss something on my many HAL cruises?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kryos
Would you be willing to pay more for your cruise to get some of those things included once again -- things like specialty coffees, gym classes, specialty restaurants, soft drinks, etc.?
We started sailing in 1981 on the old Volendam and I don't ever remember HAL soft drinks that were FREE! We have always had to pay for them.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster
Will have to look over my cruise books for pixs of the dining rooms as I log all my Mariner hours for HAL. Did you get the messages about verifying your days at sea? From the looks of it HAL had a system crash with no backup. Lost all my days at sea 1987-1991 and miscounted some in the following years.

I've heard some people got e-mails re: their Mariner's Days but we didn't.
Sorry to hear they messed up your number of days but good you have the records. You surely can get the records corrected with only date of sailing and ship. They can verify you were on the manifest for those sailings. We get our next medallion on our upcoming Maasdam cruise.


I also do not remember soft drinks ever being complimentary on the ships. We drink very little soda but whenever we had a soft drink, there was a charge.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 02:33 PM
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The nickel and diming that "cheapens" the cruise experience are the "inch of gold", "designer watches" or other sales that are conducted in the main areas of the ship.

I personally would like tips included in the price of the cruise. One price not an add on or an option. Not the old "Tipping Not Required" that HAL used to use. You were still expected to tip and walking around with dollar bills for drinks could be a pain in the rear. Then pay the staff a real wage.

I wouldn't mind if some alcohol was included in the price of the cruise but many people don't want it so it probably wouldn't fly on mainstream cruise line. There is a cross section of cruisers who want a low cost cruise and pay for only the things they use, regardless of what they are.

Take care,
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Old July 30th, 2008, 02:50 PM
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You CAN prepay for all these options. So it is possible to have an all-inclusive experience on HAL. https://book.hollandamerica.com/pdfs...rder_Polar.pdf. Coffee Cards, Soda Cards, and even Cocktail Cards. There are even a few spa treatments you can prepay for.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beentravelin
You CAN prepay for all these options. So it is possible to have an all-inclusive experience on HAL. https://book.hollandamerica.com/pdfs...rder_Polar.pdf. Coffee Cards, Soda Cards, and even Cocktail Cards. There are even a few spa treatments you can prepay for.
Pre-pay is different than all inclusive. With pre-pay you must go online or arrange with your TA or the cruise line to have these things added rather than knowing they are there at the time of booking. Basically one stop shopping vs. "nickle and diming".

Take care,
Mike
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Old July 30th, 2008, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: Nickel and Diming ...

I understand the difference between nickle and diming and all-inclusive. I don't believe any of these things have ever been included with the exception of the restaurant surcharges. My point was if you were willing to pay more for a cruise that included more, you can. Albeit ala Carte. I thought I was providing good information for those who were willing to pay more for a somewhat all-inclusive cruise.

Or they could simply raise the base fare and we could all pay for free specialty coffee we don't drink and gym classes we don't attend.

I have read in some other posts of some different "nickle and diming" that I don't agree with like charging $1 for popcorn during the big-screen movies and charging $1 for pizza delivery to your room. I thought all food and room service were supposed to be free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kryos

Would you be willing to pay more for your cruise to get some of those things included once again -- things like specialty coffees, gym classes, specialty restaurants, soft drinks, etc.?

Would you go for a cruise line that charged a bit more, and included pretty much everything
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Old July 30th, 2008, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M
Quote:
Originally Posted by beentravelin
You CAN prepay for all these options. So it is possible to have an all-inclusive experience on HAL. https://book.hollandamerica.com/pdfs...rder_Polar.pdf. Coffee Cards, Soda Cards, and even Cocktail Cards. There are even a few spa treatments you can prepay for.
Pre-pay is different than all inclusive. With pre-pay you must go online or arrange with your TA or the cruise line to have these things added rather than knowing they are there at the time of booking. Basically one stop shopping vs. "nickle and diming".

Take care,
Mike

There really isn't a difference between all inclusive and pay in advance IMO

All inclusive simply adds up the price of the individual items of your vacation and bills in advance.

Paid in advance does the same thing IMO
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Old July 30th, 2008, 09:54 PM
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Thank you S7S.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tennisbum
Ijust saw an all inclusive in the Dominican Republic for $49 per person with a swim up bar ,several restaurants ,tennis cts. and you can book air at $210 round trip from Miami. The resort is first class and there are no add ons like the cruise lines are now doing everytime you turn around.Am convinced more people will be looking at these resorts in the future.
And as a travel agent I would be very leary of any AI, even in Dominican Republic that has rooms for $49 per person per day. Normally speaking the really upscale AI will be higher than cruising. Of course everything is included which makes it very attractive..This is just my feelings, but again I would certainly check on Trip Advisor or someplace like that for reviews.

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Old August 1st, 2008, 12:08 PM
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Default Re: Nickel and Diming ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kryos
Do you feel that there there is too much nickel and diming onboard HAL ships these days? Do you feel that there are a lot of things vital to your good cruise experience that you are now being asked to pay for?

Would you be willing to pay more for your cruise to get some of those things included once again -- things like specialty coffees, gym classes, specialty restaurants, soft drinks, etc.?

Would you go for a cruise line that charged a bit more, and included pretty much everything except alcohol, shore excursions, spa treatments, and boutique purchases in your base cruise fare?

Just curious since I notice a lot of complaints about nickel and diming lately and wonder if it could be our own fault in demanding lower and lower cruise fares.

Blue skies ...

--rita
this seems to be question that comes up over and over. For us, we prefer keeping the price down, allowing us to spend our extra money on what we want. for some, that might be using the spa, others like to spend more on shore excursions and others the alternative dining rooms.

Nita
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Old August 1st, 2008, 07:07 PM
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I recall when specialty coffees were free in the Java Cafe. And sodas used to be unlimited fountain drinks for xamount of $. Now it is one glass full of ice and a little soda for the same amount of $$.

That said, I like HAL the way it is. If I want someting extra I buy it and have the choice to not purchase as well.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 08:52 PM
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[quote="nmnita"]
Quote:
Originally Posted by tennisbum
And as a travel agent I would be very leary of any AI, even in Dominican Republic that has rooms for $49 per person per day. Normally speaking the really upscale AI will be higher than cruising. Of course everything is included which makes it very attractive..This is just my feelings, but again I would certainly check on Trip Advisor or someplace like that for reviews.

Nita
You took the words out of my mouth. Either this place is a total dump, or there's a misunderstanding somewhere, and the $49 only includes the room. There is no way you're gonna get an AI for $49 per night ... at least not anything remotely considered decent.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 10:56 AM
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[quote="kryos"]
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita
Quote:
Originally Posted by tennisbum
And as a travel agent I would be very leary of any AI, even in Dominican Republic that has rooms for $49 per person per day. Normally speaking the really upscale AI will be higher than cruising. Of course everything is included which makes it very attractive..This is just my feelings, but again I would certainly check on Trip Advisor or someplace like that for reviews.

Nita
You took the words out of my mouth. Either this place is a total dump, or there's a misunderstanding somewhere, and the $49 only includes the room. There is no way you're gonna get an AI for $49 per night ... at least not anything remotely considered decent.

Blue skies ...

--rita
I've been in AI , where if you removed the cost of the airfare the room cost comes out to 60$us
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Old August 2nd, 2008, 01:58 PM
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Love to add my two cents to the expert travel agent who says that $50 will be a dump and for the record you should look at RIA Mambo in Puerta Plata Dominican Republic which just gave me a rate of $700 which is $50 each for an all inclusive including local taxes.For your info. we stayed in an ocean front room at the Barcelo Decameron two years ago for this rate and it was very nice with alternative restaurants at no additional charge. The only problem in today,s environment is doing your home work for air fare which we also must do for cruising.For the record we are cruise fans also with 110 days on Holland and some 40 plus cruises in total.In summary all inclusives are not for everyone however they are becoming a better deal with the numerous add ons that cruise lines are forced to do to remain profitable.
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crusin' fool
I recall when specialty coffees were free in the Java Cafe. And sodas used to be unlimited fountain drinks for xamount of $. Now it is one glass full of ice and a little soda for the same amount of $$.
I remember when you could have unlimited fountain soda by purchasing a moderately priced soda card. Families used to buy one card and pass it around their whole family to be used. It was intended to be one card per person. I remember people would come to the bars with quart size thermal containers and ask their jug be filled again and again, over and over.

It is that sort of abuse by guests that ruined it for everyone.
It never ceases to amaze me the way guests nickle and dime and find schemes to squeeze from the cruise line.

Everyone suffers for the abuse by some.
I hardly have 3 or 4 sodas in a year so it means nothing to me whatever they charge for soda.

Drink water from the tap. Water is delicious on the ships. Go to any bar and ask for a glass of iced water. (You might want to tip the bartender if you do it time and again. )
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 08:29 PM
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I noticed on my last cruise (NCL Majesty to Bermuda) that if you used a soda card you received a fountain soda, if you paid outright you received a glass of ice and a can.
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