I personally regard the issue as pretty much inconsequential, in other words a non-problem. So I thought it rather silly that someone would suggest that a life-long HAL loyalist find another line just because HAL decided to charge ten bucks for another lobster. LOL
Therefore, the other day I was curious as to how the HAL faithful were taking this news so I looked at one of their forums. About as one might expect, most were not happy, but the topic was drawing more posts that I would have guessed. Some read like this: "Hotel ServiceCharges (HSC)----You are charging me 10, I’ll just remove 10 from the HSC,----- That's not very fair is it? This restaurant has the audacity to charge me extra for ordering extra food, let's punish the waiter".
Truth may be that more are displeased due the mere idea of the new rule, not that they are stuffing their faces with double entrees.
One area of suggestion(s) really got my attention though. Some commentators recommended that HAL guests look at other cruise lines and dump HAL. Of course, most of those had their favorite line so the remainder of their harangue dealt with the perceived virtues of said line. Isn't that what "trolls" do?
However, I was aghast when reading what those who were pushing Oceania, big time, had to say. Now, I've never been on Oceania or NCL but have almost 150 sailing days on Regent, their sister line. So here are posters advocating FDR's Oceania over HAL for charging a couple of bucks for an extra entree, at a time when FDR is making worldly pronouncements like this: "So we’re focusing on price; we’re pushing price higher everywhere we can both in 2019 and 2020,” “While we still have a lot of cabins to fill, the emphasis will be on raising prices across all three brands.” If you will recall, he did the same in September 2018 too.
What gripes me in this regard is that we just finished up last cruise year with two cruises, one on Princess and one on Regent. Princess was 29 days and Regent 22, both trans-oceans. On Princess we had a full suite, an Owners Suite, on the Mariner we had a Concierge Suite. The Owners Suite including balcony was about 1000 square feet, the Concierge Suite was 301 sq. ft including balcony. With the Princess Suite we received "Club Class" dining plus exclusive breakfasts in one of the specialty restaurants.
Shore excursions were about equal, although most Regent shore excursions were included and we paid separately for the Princess excursions. From a food and dining quality standpoint Princess had a significant edge at breakfast and a slight edge at dinner. Obviously, from a cabin standpoint the Princess accommodations were far better. Regent had the edge in on board ambience. The Princess vessel, Pacific Princess, had 670 guests, the Regent Mariner had 700. The Mariner is 48,000 gross tons, the Pacific Princess is 30,300 gross tons.
We paid $530.00 per person per day on Princess which included about $3,000 in excursions and Business Class Air, Seattle to Venice, was also included in the Princess price. We paid our own air on Regent this time. Total we paid $631.00 per day per person on Regent.
By coincidence, I just recently calculated expenses for a 28 day cruise in North America on the Oceania's Regatta in the exact same Owners Suite as we had on the Pacific Princess (Note: The Pacific Princess is the R-3 from the defunct Renaissance Cruises and the Regatta is the R-2). This Oceania cruise would run us $957.00 per day per person. Compare this to what we paid on Princess during a 29 day cruise a few months ago, $530.p.p.--p.d. In addition, the Regatta charges are going to be even more as we get no free internet, plus we get 7 shore exclusions each on the Regatta but any more we take will be an additional charge. We do get a butler if we choose to use the Regatta. But been there done that, the Butler isn't worth it and we must pay for one like it or not on Oceania.
In summary, Oceania will cost us $1000. “more” per day for the same cabin and about the same cruise experience as we had on Princess.