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Old October 1st, 2008, 10:00 AM
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Default Thinking of taking a HA cruise.

Hello all

I've cruised a number of times on Princess, but lately I've felt that princess is getting a little stale. The food is the same every cruise, and frankly I'm tired of getting nickled and dimed for every little thing. They even tried to charge me 3 bucks on my last cruise for fresh OJ!

So, the wife and I are now looking at other cruise lines, and we found a potentialy good one on HAL, on the Veendam. Anyone been on this ship before? Anyone have experiences they want to share? What is different from Princess?
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Old October 1st, 2008, 10:41 AM
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Hi there, Just wanted to let you know we've been on two HA cruises and enjoyed both tremendously. Great decor, great staff and wonderful food. Enjoy!!
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Old October 1st, 2008, 11:57 AM
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HAL will nickel and dime you to death, too, but no more than Princess. I've always preferred the Dining Room meals on Princess over HAL, but on HAL you get full room service meals, where on the Caribbean Princess all we could get was coffee and cereal.

We'll be doing Hawaii on HAL's MS Zaandam in December. Can't wait since our previous 8 cruises have been in the Caribbean.

Bob
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Old October 1st, 2008, 12:24 PM
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We've sailed on HAL for nearly 27 years (over 50 cruises on HAL) and I don't feel they've nickel and dimed us to death.

rpjkw11 - what do you mean by this - what was it you didn't like?

Fresh OJ is available in the Lido at breakfast and the ice cream bar is FREE.

We sailed on the Veendam to Alaska this past May and had a wonderful time even though the weather was lousy - couldn't get into Ketchikan because of fog and rough seas & it poured rain in the other 2 ports, but that didn't seem to bother anyone, at least I didn't hear any complaints.

The ship is showing her age, but then don't we all.

Veendam has a wonderful crew and as far as I was concerned the meals were fine - guess I'm not a picky eater.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 12:41 PM
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Hi DeeDee.

Perhaps 'nickel & diming' was a poor choice of words. The one thing HAL has started doing that really ticks me off is the soda card; $20 for 20 sodas, with a 12 oz can counting as two qualifies as nickel & dime. I suppose all the cruise lines are doing the same thing, but I miss the unlimited soda cards that were once the norm.

Thanks for making me rethink my post.

Bob
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Old October 1st, 2008, 01:13 PM
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Hello again,
I don't even think we got soda cards on our trips. Do these soda cards cover more than just sodas. We are taking 2 teenagers with us on our next cruise. We are on the Eurodam for the Nov 29/08 sailing. I guess we should think about getting them soda cards.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpjkw11
Hi DeeDee.

Perhaps 'nickel & diming' was a poor choice of words. The one thing HAL has started doing that really ticks me off is the soda card; $20 for 20 sodas, with a 12 oz can counting as two qualifies as nickel & dime. I suppose all the cruise lines are doing the same thing, but I miss the unlimited soda cards that were once the norm.

Thanks for making me rethink my post.

Bob
You're welcome!

I don't ever remember HAL having unlimited soda cards - does anyone else? I don't drink hard liquour and only drink wine at dinner, so during the day I always ordered cans of soda.

I may be mistaken but I think the soda cards for fountain drinks, like Coke, Diet Coke and Sprite. Please correct me if I am wrong. Maybe if they give you a can, then it counts for 2 on the card.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 03:27 PM
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Our first cruise was on the Zuiderdam some rears ago and, if memory serves, the soda card (actually a sticker affixed to one's key) was $27 and allowed unlimited sodas, cans or fountain. Princess had the same thing for $35.

There was, at the time, an ongoing discussion concerning the abrupt change in attitude of crew members when one ordered a soda rather than an adult beveridge. I, myself, never noted any change; the crew members were always friendly.

Bob
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Old October 1st, 2008, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpjkw11
Hi DeeDee.

Perhaps 'nickel & diming' was a poor choice of words. The one thing HAL has started doing that really ticks me off is the soda card; $20 for 20 sodas, with a 12 oz can counting as two qualifies as nickel & dime. I suppose all the cruise lines are doing the same thing, but I miss the unlimited soda cards that were once the norm.

Thanks for making me rethink my post.

Bob
Sadly, Bob....... You can thank your fellow cruisers for that change in policy.

So many times we saw people come to the bar with a quart size insulated mug and ask for it to be filled with soda. The bartender complied. They walked away and handed the card to a family member (friend) and they did the same. And that continued all evening, day after day.

The limitless soda cards were supposed to be one person per card. Not for the whole family!

People abused it so badly, what would you do? The same thing HAL had to do. They made the card a finite amount of soda.

There are always a few people like that who ruin it for everyone else.

Same as people say cruise lines are 'nickle and diming' us, I see fellow pax doing the same and worse in return.

Many scour the internet to find the absolutely lowest to the penny price. Then they find ways to 'cheat' the cruise line. They stuff liquor bottles in suitcases knowing that is not allowed. They remove auto tips from their shipboard account. They do everything they can to not spend a penny they can get away with and then complain the ships are nickle and diming. The cruise lines are actually in business to make money. They are for profit businesses.

Sorry...... Just my observations after 70+ cruises.
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Old October 1st, 2008, 11:30 PM
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Thanks for the info, sail7seas. I try to never take advantage of anyone or anything, so I pay little attention to those that do. I figured the soda cards would be abused, but not to the extent you related. I'm sorry to hear that and I can now understand the new policy. Funny thing is though, my favorite soda is diet A&W root beer and those are, sadly, not available onboard.

Bob
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Old October 12th, 2008, 08:01 PM
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Our first cruise was on the Golden Princess, this September.
In May, we are taking a HAL cruise, on the Statendam!

I'm always willing to try something new
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Old October 12th, 2008, 10:11 PM
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Don't recall it myself although they might have slipped it past me over the last 20 years...

>I don't ever remember HAL having unlimited soda cards - does anyone else?
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Old October 16th, 2008, 06:46 AM
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nickel and diming is a matter of opinion: all lines are finding ways to add to their revenue. If that is your reason for switching lines I would think a long time about this. Now if you just want to experience a different line, yes, HAL is a great one to try. We love the cabins, the service, in our opinion is far superior to Princess and the food is very good. The biggest negative, is the overall age of the cruisers thus there is a lack of activities. But if you like to enjoy a wonderful library, like to relax, don't need to be entertained all the time, give them a shot.

Oh, no unlimited soda cards on HAL, other lines do offer them, but they are pretty pricey..

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Old October 19th, 2008, 05:25 PM
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We've been Celebrity die-hards but after our last cruise notice some changes and have heard many positive things about HAL. I think we're going to give them a try in 2009.

I really like the itineraries on HAL!

I agree with other posters, that many lines are trying to find ways to increase their revenue...it's just business. Anyone been to the grocery store lately? Same there!
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