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Posts posted by cruzin4us

  1. 11 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

    But it sounds like you have a huge credit card bill before the cruise... and are paying interest too to avoid paying after with  the same money  but NO interest !!!.    HAL loves you  Your credit card must love you.


    Maybe not....I use my debit card to purchase some OBC every payday.   I don't charge any of my OBC to my cc as that defeats the purpose 😀

    • Like 1
  2. I ordered the crab legs on NA and I agree with some of the others.   I've had way better crab legs.  They were dry/overcooked and not as big/thick as I had hoped.


    I paid extra for the Maine Lobster and it was amazing.....Not New England amazing, but much better than the MDR or the small 5 oz versions.


    If you like lamb, the chops were delicious and I highly recommend.


    Pics:  Lobster, lamb chops, bite of lamb chop and scallops (new menu)







    • Like 2
  3. 1 hour ago, RocketMan275 said:

    I like to compare the beverage packages to an extended warranty.  You know you probably won't have as enough repairs to break even on the cost.  Still, you also know that you won't ever spend more on repairs than the warranty costs.  It's an insurance package.  And, no, we don't buy the packages or the warranties.


    I think you are right on this one.  People would rather know they CAN drink up to 15 cocktails a day but in reality, most probably don't consume more than 5-6.   Sure, there are the exceptions, but on the average I bet HAL just laughs all the way to the bank.   

    • Like 1
  4. 20 hours ago, fatcat04 said:

    1000 times yes! I have never had a lobster on a cruise ship because we have had the real deal in NE. We are spoiled. Lobster rolls in that part of the world are some of the best eating anywhere.

    Okay now I wanna take another Canada/NE cruise. Done it twice. Would do it again in a heartbeat.


    This is how I feel about Mexican food......I never order it on a cruise ship.  Some people's version of Mexican Food is Chips with Nacho Cheese Sauce....gag. 


    I want to go to NE right now just to get lobster!!


  5. 39 minutes ago, Robnor said:

    I cannot help but think I must be missing something here.  What is the advantage of pre-paying for drinks rather than just paying as you go and settling your on board account at the end of the cruise (as all passengers must do anyway)?  We have determined that the beverage packages are not an advantage for us because we are reluctant to have our choices limited to what is included in the plan, and most days we would not drink enough to hit the breakeven point.  If there were a discount attached to the pre-purchased drink cards I could understand the value of buying those as opposed to buying individual drinks.  Since that is not the case I don't see their advantage. Likewise I do not understand the advantage of buying OBC in advance to cover drink costs when I can simply pay at the end.  If I want to limit my drink budget to a particular amount I can monitor my purchases just as easily without pre-paying anything.  What am I missing?


    For me it is about making sure I have enough money to cover everything without having to put anything on my cc.  I'm on a "barely can afford this cruise" so it's a saving's plan in a sense to purchase OBC before the cruise when ever I can scrape some money together.   Unless I get a terrific deal on a drink pkg, I no longer purchase them as I've experienced I never reach the break even point.   


    I don't want the hassle of buying beverage cards and having to wait (and calculate) to get any unused portion returned.  If I buy OBC, I can withdraw the unused portion in the casino and be done with it.   


    I guess it boils down to whatever works due to finances and convenience.  

  6. 21 minutes ago, magictam said:

     I just received a small tax return, yah for me.  So I’ve done the drink cards  before and struggled using them up.  I am not a soda or specialty coffee drinker or even water for that matter. I added up what I thought I’d spend on drinks, bingo,  daily hotel service charge and the spa and I just added that amount to  onboard credit.  I like knowing that most everything is paid for in advance and I don’t have to keep track of my charges per say.  I’ll just check it occasionally to make sure I’m not going to crazy  😂😂😂


    That's kind of how I roll too :classic_biggrin:  I'd rather pay up front.....cash as I go sort of speak.  I dread putting things on my cc which I have to pay off later.     I love that you don't drink water.....(me either😎).....now coffee on the other hand is a whole other subject.

  7. On 3/1/2019 at 10:29 AM, OlsSalt said:


    The virtue of the Grab and Go sandwiches, besides being very fresh and delicious, is no lines and no waiting.  Only delay is surveying them all to make your own best choice. They have cut samples on the counter shelf above them so you can see the insides. 


    Nothing tacky about the speedy service feature at all. Grab a little bag of potato chips as well from the same station. Take that sandwich anywhere you want to enjoy it now or later. They have been a great addition to the HAL bill of fare.


    Hungry and lines in the Lido- hit the Grab and Go station. They picked the perfect name for this option.


    Sounds like a lot of carbs to me.....😂

  8. 1 minute ago, OVgirl said:

    You keep your wine with you, so no need to have it returned. As far as corkage fee, I think you've paid to bring it onboard so likely no refund of that.


    You'll just have to drink a bit more or lug it home again.


    Last cruise (Oct '17 on NA), they took my wine just after I went thru security.   I paid the corkage at that time as well.  My folks were on the same cruise and they had the same scenario as you described...lol

  9. 18 minutes ago, VMax1700 said:

    I usually get it at the station labelled 'English Breakfast'. It has quirky things like grilled tomato, fried bread, mushrooms, bangers, and baked beans. This time the station is missing!

    Not just Brexit but also Halexit.😁


    What, no Bangers???   Geez, that's my favorite thing in the Lido....I won't survive without Bangers & Chocolates and if I have to pay for an additional entree cuz I'm starving, I'm really gonna be pissed!  😩

  10. I plan on bringing a bottle of wine for every night on the cruise.  My question is this:  What happens if say I should get over zealous on an excursion (free tequila) and wine just isn't in the cards for dinner?   If I end up having bottles of wine left over, do we get them returned?  What about the corkage fee that was paid....does that get refunded?



  11. 1 hour ago, terrydtx said:

    OP you make a good point about how much you have to drink to get your valve back for the cost of the SBP. We have the Explore 4 promo for our Alaska cruise in July which includes the SBP, 2 dinners in the PG and $200 OBC. The price of our SS cabin with the X4 is about $200pp more than what the same cabin would cost now without the X4, so with all the X4 addons we are only paying $130 more for both of us to have the SBP. We will upgrade to the Elite BP on board for about $140 total just to have better wines by the glass ($15 vs $9) with meals, so in our case we are way ahead of the game because 10 glasses of $15 wine pays for the extra cost.


    That makes perfect sense on upgrading.  I would do that too if I had the X4, but unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) I received a free cruise from a casino offer so I'm on my own when it comes to drinks....lol


    I've come to the confusion that we will bring our own wine and pay the corkage.  I'll then throw some money ontomy  OBC and not worry about my "extra" drinks which should be relatively few (maybe 1 a day).  We bought the Quench Beverage Pkg so I can get my coffees/energy drinks/sodas/water.   Also bought a bottle of Bailey's for the room to add to my coffee.

  12. I guess my thought of buying the OBC was this.   If I loaded up on the OBC with the approx amount of the beverage pkg then I could keep track of it daily (have to have something to do when I wake up at 2 a.m. :classic_blink:).   Then if I could gauge if I will have a credit balance.  If I do, then I could hit the casino, spa, or duty free shop.  If I purchase the Beverage card, I would have to wait until I get home to be refunded....right?   I'm probably on more of a Top Ramen Budget than most of you, and I'd rather not wait for the refund if that makes sense.   

  13. 43 minutes ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

    We buy the Beverage Cards as they can also be used to buy bottles of wine.


    Depending on how much ship board credit we have, depends on if buy the cards before the cruise or once we are on the ship.


    For us -- the drink packages are not worth.  We don't drink 6 cocktails a day.  Also we do not drink sodas and buy only 1 bottle each person of water and keep refilling it from the bathroom tap.


    Please explain the main purpose for purchasing Beverage Cards rather than just purchasing OBC.  It seems more of a hassle to me to carry around another card??   Is the main purpose just to keep all the alcohol purchases off your main invoice/bill?   

  14. 36 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

    Do you not drink soft drinks or bottles of water? Those help "balance" our drink packages, as we each drink at 2 or 3 soft drinks per day, and a couple bottles of water.


    You are correct about this part.  We aren't soda drinkers and we bring a case of water on board with us....It's under $4 a case and you can get this in most ports.   I think a smarter value is the Quench Beverage Pkg....especially if you are a coffee/soda lover!

    • Like 1
  15. Sometimes I overthink things and this is one of them.   I have purchased the Signature Beverage Pkg and the Elite Beverage Pkg. on prior cruises.  Neither time did we come close to making them worth the value (and we can drink with the best of them).


    Reason for purchasing:  Strictly for convenience and I don't want the "shell shock" on my final bill.  I would rather order a cocktail when the mode arises, rather that thinking I bet my bill is going to be huge at the end of the cruise (this takes away the pleasure of cruising especially when you are on a longer cruise). 


    Problem with the packages:   As many of you know, it takes about 6 drinks a day to break even.  On port days, I probably will have a cocktail before dinner, a couple glasses of wine with dinner and maybe a cocktail after (maybe).  This puts me in the negative by 2 drinks.   On sea days, I may have a cocktail by the pool, one before dinner and 2 glasses of wine during dinner.   This puts me in the negative by 1.   Just maybe I will meet my "quota" on the first day at sea, but rarely after.  And on embarkation day, we don't get rolling until 5:00 p.m. so I'll never meet my quota on this day.    And remember, you have to buy 2 pkgs if you are sharing a room.   SBP = $722.60 and EBP = $884.66 for a 7 day cruise (remember too, it's really a 6.5 day cruise, not 7 days).....That's a lot of drinks!   I doubt few if any people get their monies worth from the packages.    Somethings to consider:  What if you get seasick or get a cold/flu?  You won't get a refund for that day.  Also, if you order a bottle of wine (or bring your own) these won't be covered. What if you are in port until 8:00 pm...you probably won't be drinking 6 drinks that day either.  If I think about what I do at home, I would never drink 6 drinks a day for 7 days.   Granted I'm on the vacay, but after 2-3 days of this you tend to slow down, at least we do!!


    What's my point?:   For those of you thinking to yourself "this has been hashed over a gazillion times already", I think it would be better to just purchase OBC's in the amount of the beverage package.   At the end of the cruise you can get your money back for any unused portion.   With the beverage pkgs, you either use it or lose it.   This way we can order a drinks when we feel like it and not feel like we have to make our quotas.

    • Like 2
  16. 1 hour ago, SJSULIBRARIAN said:


    To be honest, I really did not notice too much difference with the new menu because I had in my mind, I would order certain entrees that were also on the old menu.


    My recollections of portion size may be wrong but the shrimp cocktail is 3 shrimp and I had thought there were 4 in the past. There is a different presentation - on a plate rather than around a pedestal dish.  There were two lamb chops whereas in the past, I remember 3. But I might be remembering other restaurants so I could be wrong here.


    Also I was told the Caesar salad is no longer made tableside. I think they tried this in the past but returned to tableside after an outcry.


    I have a couple of pics from Oct. 2017 showing the shrimp cocktail and the lamb chops.   I think my DH ate 2 of the shrimp before I snapped the pic.  If memory serves me correctly (which I have a 50/50 chance of being right), there were 3 very large shrimp.  There were 3 lamb chops, but they were pretty thick/big....not like the MDR's.


    I hope they bring the table side  Caesar back...that makes this a Specialty dining experience and not a massed produced thing.




    • Like 1
  17. On 1/16/2019 at 1:48 AM, DeAnna from Oregon said:

    Hi all, we (husband & I) are first time cruisers,  Princess Ruby Alaska September 2019, after purchasing our tickets paying for the all inclusive drink packages, paying for excursions, booking specialty restaurants, and all the other extras we are already paying nearly $10,000, is this pretty common for cruises, or is this typical cost of a cruise? We are in a mini-Suite but it seems to me that after this amount of money we should be Captains Circle, I believe that is what they term it, I’m just wondering if this is typical or not? Here is the breakdown of costs:  We spent $1500 each per excursions, $1000 on our drink packages, and $5000 for our tickets, the remaining $1000 is specialty restaurants (2), hotel and parking costs, and incidentals. Thanks again for your thoughts.

    Oh gosh, I have a lot to say :classic_biggrin:

    Here's what I would do.....

    1.  Keep the mini suite

    2.  Dump the drink package....I promise you will never drink enough to make it worth the price.  You are in port quite a bit and it's cold by the glacier (another whole day) thus you won't be drinking as much as say you were in Mexico.   I've bought the drink pkg in the past, and we NEVER came close to make it pencil out in our favor....and we drank.  ☺️  My suggestion is this.   Buy onboard credit in the amount of the drink package.   What you don't use you cash out or use toward something else.  Bet you don't drink $500 in drinks 🙂  

    3.  Excursions - Look online for private tour operators.   Try Trip Advisor to get some ideas.  You will save up to 50% or more...Just do your research and make sure they have lots of favorable reviews.   Ketchikan is a fun town to walk around in.   Walk up the path to the hatchery and you can see the salmon swimming up thru town.   Really cool and it cost me "zippo".

    4. Specialty Restaurants - I only eat in them too....no more main dining room for this gal.  I suck it up and pay the $.


    Hope this helps....you still have a bit of time to change your alcohol pkg. and excursions.


  18. This isn't meant to sound mean, but you could always eat in the Lido....there is usually something there you may like.  PLUS, if you are really picky this gives you the advantage of seeing what you are getting rather than assuming it will be good when the descriptions on the MDR menu never seem to match what I have visualized in my head....:classic_blink:


    I'm just the opposite....I can eat anything (except black licorice...gag).

    • Like 3
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