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MisterBill99

Thanksgiving Sale -- some agents (maybe HAL themselves) offering free gratuities for verandahs and suites

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I've been waiting for the Thanksgiving Sale before booking a January cruise and my waiting appears to have paid off. I have checked 2 travel agents sites (one is the huge one and I found a link to their Thanksgiving Sale preview) and it appears that they are offering free gratuities when you book a verandah or suite. Here are the terms from one agent's site:

 

For a limited time enjoy reduced deposit on select 2019-2021 Holland America Sailings. As an additional bonus when you book a verandah or suite category, we'll pre-pay your gratuities for your first 2 guests. Prepaid gratuities only cover gratuities for the complimentary restaurant staff and stateroom stewards. Guests are responsible for any other onboard gratuities applicable to all other shipboard purchases. Both offers not valid for 3rd or 4th guests. Call to book. New bookings only made 11/20/2019 - 11/25/2019

 

Even better, the fare on the cruise I was looking at dropped by another $100.

 

I do not see the sale on HAL's site yet so I am not sure what they are offering if you book with them directly. I'm guessing it will be posted soon if they will also be offering it. 

Edited by MisterBill99

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I always anxiously await the Cyber week sales.  I have gotten some really great deals not only directly from HAL but also from FlightEase.  Last year some of the best sales were held on Cyber Monday

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Our Christmas/New Year's cruise isn't discounted at all.  My son's friend was hoping it would be, so he could tag along.  Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that he'll be going, as price has remained constant.

Edited by sevenseasnomad

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10 hours ago, Mary229 said:

I always anxiously await the Cyber week sales.  I have gotten some really great deals not only directly from HAL but also from FlightEase.  Last year some of the best sales were held on Cyber Monday

 

I'm not inclined to wait another week for a better deal given that I got the gratuities I was hoping for and the price dropped. One of my TA's confirmed that my Private Fare price is combinable with the free gratuities offer, and that's what i was waiting for.

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10 hours ago, sevenseasnomad said:

Our Christmas/New Year's cruise isn't discounted at all.  My son's friend was hoping it would be, so he could tag along.  Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that he'll be going, as price has remained constant.

 

Did you check for a Private Fare? Of course holiday cruises are often heavily sold, but obviously many do get discounted eventually.

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Just now, MisterBill99 said:

 

I'm not inclined to wait another week for a better deal given that I got the gratuities I was hoping for and the price dropped. One of my TA's confirmed that my Private Fare price is combinable with the free gratuities offer, and that's what i was waiting for.

I never miss a big sale but I think I have the best deal for my next two sailings.  You never know what they might entice me with.  I probably change my options at least twice after initial booking.  It is so much easier to simply book onboard with the room and sailing you want then watch for the sales to modify the terms.  I use a number of alert services to keep up. 

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17 hours ago, MisterBill99 said:

Prepaid gratuities only cover gratuities for the complimentary restaurant staff and stateroom stewards. Guests are responsible for any other onboard gratuities applicable to all other shipboard purchases. 

 

So let me get this straight - the automatic gratuities that are charged basically cover only the stewards and dining room/lido staff? That would settle the occasional discussions about how these compulsory payments are apportioned.

 

And what would the "other" gratuities cover? Is that another word for taxes (i.e. on alcoholic beverages)?

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2 minutes ago, daisy-mae said:

 

So let me get this straight - the automatic gratuities that are charged basically cover only the stewards and dining room/lido staff? That would settle the occasional discussions about how these compulsory payments are apportioned.

 

And what would the "other" gratuities cover? Is that another word for taxes (i.e. on alcoholic beverages)?

"Other" gratuities would be the auto gratuity that's charged when ordering drinks.  Or any other services (spa?) that you pay additionally for onboard.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, daisy-mae said:

 

So let me get this straight - the automatic gratuities that are charged basically cover only the stewards and dining room/lido staff? That would settle the occasional discussions about how these compulsory payments are apportioned.

 

And what would the "other" gratuities cover? Is that another word for taxes (i.e. on alcoholic beverages)?

 

If I were to take that literally on the stewards and dining room staff then the full HSC would not be covered.

 

Some of the HSC go to the behind the scenes staff - laundry, cleaning, workers in the kitchens, etc.

 

I think it is just a badly worded promo - but who knows?

 

I will definitely check pricing when and if my cruises benefit but since HAL was kind enough to give we Canadians our own Thanksgiving gift, I suspect it will be for naught and I am quite pleased with my pricing.  But if there is better., I’ll do the math 😉 

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13 minutes ago, daisy-mae said:

 

So let me get this straight - the automatic gratuities that are charged basically cover only the stewards and dining room/lido staff? That would settle the occasional discussions about how these compulsory payments are apportioned.

 

And what would the "other" gratuities cover? Is that another word for taxes (i.e. on alcoholic beverages)?

 

The free gratuities cover what is normal the daily service charge ($14.50, I think) would. They cover dining, stateroom and (in theory) behind the scenes people in those departments. What they are calling other gratuities is on additional purchases such as the bar or spa. So basically would not be able to say that you don't have to pay gratuities if you bought alcoholic beverages or spa service (which seems obvious to me but apparently was not to everyone and needed to be mentioned).

Edited by MisterBill99

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1 minute ago, kazu said:

 

If I were to take that literally on the stewards and dining room staff then the full HSC would not be covered.

 

Some of the HSC go to the behind the scenes staff - laundry, cleaning, workers in the kitchens, etc.

 

I think it is just a badly worded promo - but who knows?

 

It covers the daily HSC. It's not poorly worded, you're just reading too much into it.

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1 minute ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

It covers the daily HSC. It's not poorly worded, you're just reading too much into it.

I agree - it likely covers the HSC and what they are trying to say is that it does not cover all tips (such as the auto 15% on drinks).

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13 minutes ago, Mary229 said:

I never miss a big sale but I think I have the best deal for my next two sailings.  You never know what they might entice me with.  I probably change my options at least twice after initial booking.  It is so much easier to simply book onboard with the room and sailing you want then watch for the sales to modify the terms.  I use a number of alert services to keep up. 

 

I have a FCD to use on this sailing so I'll get the benefit of extra OBC and not have to use it to pay for my gratuities. 

 

I'm not picky about the cabin, I'm going to book a VH guarantee and take my chances. And the sailing is based on the price so I would not have guessed that this was the sailing I wanted at the time I bought the FCD in June.

 

I did get a great deal on a Celebrity cruise during their Veteran's Day sale earlier in the month. I saved $2300 and added extra perks, including the upgrade to the premium beverage package. I guess the only other thing I would have liked to receive on this HAL promo was a beverage card.

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1 minute ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

I have a FCD to use on this sailing so I'll get the benefit of extra OBC and not have to use it to pay for my gratuities. 

 

I'm not picky about the cabin, I'm going to book a VH guarantee and take my chances. And the sailing is based on the price so I would not have guessed that this was the sailing I wanted at the time I bought the FCD in June.

 

I did get a great deal on a Celebrity cruise during their Veteran's Day sale earlier in the month. I saved $2300 and added extra perks, including the upgrade to the premium beverage package. I guess the only other thing I would have liked to receive on this HAL promo was a beverage card.

Yeah, I gave up the beverage card for free gratuities, free internet, larger OBC, free dinner and lower price.  It was great by me since I hardly drink anything but water and coffee.  I consider it a sport😉

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6 minutes ago, Mary229 said:

Yeah, I gave up the beverage card for free gratuities, free internet, larger OBC, free dinner and lower price.  It was great by me since I hardly drink anything but water and coffee.  I consider it a sport😉

 

We are also usually happy with free drinks. We'll have $200 of non-refundable OBC on this cruise between the FCD and shareholder OBC and do not need to spend it on the HSC. We will use some on dinner at Tamarind but I'm sure we can find some for drinks if we need it. We didn't bother in Europe but in the Caribbean we might have to go for some frozen drinks.

 

For a while I was always searching for the great deal. A sport, as you said. Then I booked a few cruises where I booked early and paid more than I wanted to and was determined to go back to my bargain shopping. I'm not always doing that but I did it for the Mediterranean cruise we did on Kdam in June (where we paid even less than I will be for this one) and now this one.

 

Edited by MisterBill99

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18 minutes ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

It covers the daily HSC. It's not poorly worded, you're just reading too much into it.

 

Sorry but you said this “Prepaidgratuities only cover gratuities for the complimentary restaurant staff and stateroom stewards. Guests are responsible for any other onboardgratuities applicable ”

 

in your post.  HSC covers much more than the restaurant staff and stewards.  They only are a portion of it.  

 

I guess I read it literally. 😉  But, that’s what it said.  

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16 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

Sorry but you said this “Prepaidgratuities only cover gratuities for the complimentary restaurant staff and stateroom stewards. Guests are responsible for any other onboardgratuities applicable ”

 

in your post.  HSC covers much more than the restaurant staff and stewards.  They only are a portion of it.  

 

I guess I read it literally. 😉  But, that’s what it said.  

 

That's how I understood it as well (and it isn't even buried in the fine print...)

 

🙂

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I looked up a cruise I was interested in, and strangely enough, it was priced in US dollars.  My HAL site usually shows me the prices in Canadian dollars.   I will check with my PCC tomorrow.  Price said it was good until December 3.

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40 minutes ago, Vict0riann said:

I looked up a cruise I was interested in, and strangely enough, it was priced in US dollars.  My HAL site usually shows me the prices in Canadian dollars.   I will check with my PCC tomorrow.  Price said it was good until December 3.

 

It does not appear that HAL is offering free gratuities if you book thru them, at least I do not see it on their website.

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1 hour ago, Vict0riann said:

I looked up a cruise I was interested in, and strangely enough, it was priced in US dollars.  My HAL site usually shows me the prices in Canadian dollars.   I will check with my PCC tomorrow.  Price said it was good until December 3.

Me too.  I just checked our Europe cruise and it came up in US dollars.  Strange.  

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5 hours ago, Vict0riann said:

I looked up a cruise I was interested in, and strangely enough, it was priced in US dollars.  My HAL site usually shows me the prices in Canadian dollars.   I will check with my PCC tomorrow.  Price said it was good until December 3.

This also happened to me yesterday.  I hope this is not some new pricing scheme by HAL.

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I'll try that today.  And see what the difference is!

 

That worked.  Thanks!  But no free gratuities, just the SBP.  I will check to see what the price might be without the SBP (hope it is the "real" one, not just a beverage card for $25!).

Edited by Vict0riann

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The Thanksgiving cyber sale for the US will run from Nov 27 - Dec 3 and has $25 deposits and free gratuities for veranda and suite guests. It is combinable with the summer exploration event.

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2 minutes ago, newtocruiseinblue said:

The Thanksgiving cyber sale for the US will run from Nov 27 - Dec 3 and has $25 deposits and free gratuities for veranda and suite guests. It is combinable with the summer exploration event.

 

Interesting. So I guess the agents are just starting a few days early. Deposit amount doesn't affect me since I have a FCD (plus it's inside final payment time, anyway). And if you're booking a veranda or suite directly thru HAL, important to not pay your deposit until Wednesday so it can easily be changed to include the gratuities. 

Edited by MisterBill99

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