No More Deck 9 Cookouts for HAL

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 07:44 AM.
Georgia
7,922 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Originally posted by Canada 59
No just that they were unwilling to do what was required to keep the service going for the guests, another way of saving money for the company at the clients expense!
What do you think was "required to keep the service going"?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Upcoming:
11/11/2017 Carnival Magic (W. Caribbean) [Roll Call]
6/30/2018 ms Nieuw Amsterdam (Alaska) [Roll Call]
"Sour people suffer sour lives."
Ontario, Canada
3,966 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by OlsSalt
How much would it cost to retrofit all their ships to provide this occasional and not universally welcome benefit?
I really don't have a dog in this fight and could not care either way if buffets were offered or not. However, I can safely say that the cost to retrofit the ship would probably be less than they are currently spending to retrofit the Crow's Nest into the EXC Tours space which is also not quite universally seen as a benefit, but rather a loss of current amenities.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Louis

January 2018 - 21-day Koningsdam - Southern Caribbean Seafarer / Wayfarer
September 2018 - 22-day Koningsdam - Iberian Adventures & Mediterranean Dream

HAL 18 cruises Princess 3 cruises NCL 2 cruises
Charlotte, NC, USA
305 Posts
Joined Jan 2001
Got off Westerdam a few days ago. Fantastic cruise but we did note that there was no deck party/picnic. Over the past few years, we enjoyed food on the deck when cruising the Greek Isles and again during our Baltic cruise (food matched to each port) on HAL. Also there was a dessert night on deck (yes, admittedly pared down each time). This year, nothing-- not even the charade of "try a local specialty," being passed around on trays in hopes you would also buy a drink. These european cruises are so port intensive that we thought it was nice to come in from a day of touring and not have to rush to the cabin and shower and change to eat in the dining room.
With all of that said, generally the food on this cruise was the best we've ever had.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Favorite: Holland America,
Cruised others: Princess, Carnival and United States Lines (Hawaii)
Vancouver
70 Posts
Joined May 2014
On Avalon Illumination in Durnstein Germany yesterday and we had the best BBQ on the sky deck I have ever had, Hamburgers, Salmon, Steak, Chicken . Potato Salad Cold Slaw Corn on the Cob,AMAZING! and they are going to do it again tomorrow in Bratislava! First river cruise and will not be my last every thing first class nothing to complain about what so ever! The Chef and staff are brilliant !


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
Miami, Florida
87 Posts
Joined Jan 2017
Originally posted by bUU
What do you think was "required to keep the service going"?
The general public has a difficult time understanding how the United States Public Health Service really works.
Their Cruise Ship Sanitation Manual is very long, very comprehensive and extremely detailed.
One needs to study it for years to get even fairly familiar with all the rules and regulations.

During a routine surprise inspection, if every regulation was applied, very few ships would be able to get a passing grade. And if every regulation was applied, the inspection - which normally takes from 3 to 6 hours - would require several days. Your cruise of a lifetime would sail a bit late.

So the inspectors come aboard, looking for the most obvious signs of a clean - or unclean - ship. When they see those signs, they then decide to start looking harder - or not.

Deck BBQs are a red flag for a USPH Inspection. Most cruise lines try to avoid having them in a US Port - unless they are reasonably sure that they are not scheduled for a surprise inspection that day. Difficulties with sneeze guards, open sky above food service areas, uneven heating of prepared foods, lack of handwashing facilities, open flames, lack of fire blankets and fire extinguishers, ashes flying around, electrical cords running on wet decks, and trip hazards are all things that get USPH inspectors very excited to look for even more problems - which they can always find.

Many of the mass market cruise companies got a bit smart and eliminated many of those red flags. Many ships today have electric rather than charcoal BBQ Grills. HAL refused to spend the money to fix that problem.

Many of the mass market cruise companies installed overhead electrical outlets for the BBQ and other powered machines needed for the BBQ. HAL refused to spend the money to fix that problem.

Many of the mass market cruise companies purchased portable handwashing stations to place next to the BBQ cooking areas. HAL refused to spend the money to fix that problem.

Many of the mass market cruise companies installed either portable or fixed bain-maries to keep the BBQ food at the proper temperature, behind sneeze guards. HAL refused to spend the money to fix that problem.

Many of the mass market cruise companies purchased market umbrellas and other tent-like structures to keep food service under cover. HAL refused to spend the money to fix that problem.

Do you see a pattern forming here??

All the cruise lines will still try to avoid deck BBQs in American ports. They just do not want or need the aggravation from USPH. But most of them have made the investments that allow them to serve a proper and safe BBQ to their clients whenever they would like.

HAL just is not willing to spend the money.
Georgia
7,922 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Originally posted by CHPURSER
The general public has a difficult time understanding how the United States Public Health Service really works.
Indeed, and yet the general public is quick to criticize authorities when something happens that they feel the authorities should have guarded against. It's kind of like a corollary to someone wanting consumer protections to apply when that someone is purchasing products or services but wanting them to not apply when that someone is selling products or services to the public.

Originally posted by CHPURSER
Do you see a pattern forming here??
I see one person's perception. The problem is that I have seen people posting corresponding criticisms against every other mass market cruise line, with regard to what those cruise lines have done to contain costs. If you read everyone's perspectives, paying especial attention to those of people who have cruised a similar number of times on a number of cruise lines, you get the clear message that they're all basically the same (with some minor compromises vis a vis Carnival and some minor biases in favor of Celebrity).
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Upcoming:
11/11/2017 Carnival Magic (W. Caribbean) [Roll Call]
6/30/2018 ms Nieuw Amsterdam (Alaska) [Roll Call]
"Sour people suffer sour lives."
4,686 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Originally posted by EDLOS
Does this mean the Mexican Food Kiosk is gone as well.?? or is it close enough for the washing sinks at the Dive In window ?? One of my favorite things to do on HAL is to swing by the Mexican station around 4:30 and pickup a plate of chips, salsa etc.
for a cocktail in my cabin before dinner. Say it ain't gone please !!
It is not gone. Food is preprepared at this station and does not have the same deficiencies CDC is apparently reviewing..
The issues seems to be the actual cooking of food outdoors, as in the occasional outdoor cookouts .
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Burlingame calif
39 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
This is HAL choice. We don't need to be. Negative toward them. HAL has there own marketing ways and so many repeat folks including my partner and my self. It really looks lot cleaner and nice with out all that food stuff and BBQ,s dragged out in deck.
There big difference between Hal and carnival, princess
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

New Brunswick
40,796 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by SFBayAreaShipLover
This is HAL choice. We don't need to be. Negative toward them. HAL has there own marketing ways and so many repeat folks including my partner and my self. It really looks lot cleaner and nice with out all that food stuff and BBQ,s dragged out in deck.
There big difference between Hal and carnival, princess
Umm, I never saw a messy lay out. check out my live thread on the Westerdam. There were live pics taken.

It was well done. And FRESH food.

On a Caribbean cruise you might not see it. On longer itineraries you do and speaking for myself (that usually abhors buffets), I will miss them.

there was nothing dragged out to the deck, but a nice arrangement of beers for our port, the bbq with the lovely choices, etc.

Everyone of our bbq's was a unique and lovely experience and NOT available in the MDR or Lido.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Jacqui emailme Click here for Prinsendam Roll Call's spread sheet for May 5, 2018 - 28 day Azores and Celtic Explorer

San Diego, CA
4,921 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Originally posted by kazu
check out my live thread on the Westerdam. There were live pics taken
kazu, can you point me to this thread? I'd love to read it! Yes, I admit that I'm technically challenged!

Thanks!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Otherwise known as 'Don Quique'..
New Brunswick
40,796 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by KroozNut
kazu, can you point me to this thread? I'd love to read it! Yes, I admit that I'm technically challenged!

Thanks!
Sure - from 2016 cruise on Westerdam.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2335667
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Jacqui emailme Click here for Prinsendam Roll Call's spread sheet for May 5, 2018 - 28 day Azores and Celtic Explorer

Napa Valley
1,340 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by OlsSalt
Here is the CDC write up for the poor Amsterdam which did not do so well on the last inspections :Score 86
(Other HAL ships did much better - all in the mid or high 90's - and several got the perfect 100 scores)

AMSTERDAM:
Item No.: 13Site: Food Service General-Lido Poolside Luau BBQ

Violation: A BBQ function occurred last on 25 November on the pool deck, which is not a food area. Staff explained how grills were staged next to a food employee-served buffet station. Although the area had a retractable roof, staff explained how this area is opened for the function since the function is done weekly and only weather permitting. This setup does not provide adequate protection for food and the nearest handwashing stations for the food employees were over 8 meters away.

Recommendation: Because of the risks for foodborne illness inherent to the food operation, ensure the supervisor or person in charge of food operations on the vessel demonstrates to VSP - during inspections and on request - knowledge of foodborne disease prevention, application of the Hazard Analysis Critical Point principles, and the food-safety guidelines in this manual. Ensure that the person in charge demonstrates this knowledge: (1) By compliance with these guidelines; (12) Identifying critical-control points in the operation from purchasing through service that when not controlled may contribute to the transmission of foodborne illness and explaining steps taken to ensure the points are controlled in accordance with the guidelines in this manual.
This is pure retaliation for a Princess ship dumping stuff in the ocean...
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature



Central FL
8,581 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Here in Port Canaveral the seagulls are known to dive bomb the restaurants along the water for Splenda pkgs! Yes, they seem to be able to tell the differences of the pkgs!!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Carol
Queen of Bermuda 4/65 * Carnival Festivale 1995 * AMSTERDAM Alaska 7/02 * Sovereign of the Seas Bahamas 1/05 * WESTERDAM Baltic 9/05 * NOORDAM West Mediterranean 6/06 * VEENDAM Western Caribbean 12/06 * Sovereign of the Seas Bahamas 4/07 * STATENDAM Alaska Cruise-Tour 9/07 * ZUIDERDAM Eastern Caribbean 12/07 * AMSTERDAM Panama Canal transit 4/08 * EURODAM Bahamas 10/08 * NOORDAM Southern Caribbean 12/08 * NOORDAM Southern Caribbean 12/09 * NIEUW AMSTERDAM Eastern Mediterranean 9/10 * RYNDAM Western Caribbean 12/10 * VEENDAM Bermuda 10/11 * MAASDAM Southern Caribbean 3/12 * PRINSENDAM TransAtlantic 5/13 * Disney Dream Bahamas 11/13 * EURODAM Viking Passage 8/14 * NIEUW AMSTERDAM Eastern Caribbean 12/14 * EURODAM Western Caribbean 11/15 * KONINGSDAM Bahamas 11/16 * OOSTERDAM Western Caribbean 12/16

.
81,805 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by Hlitner
We think buffets (which would include the ole BBQ) are fine...but our personal preference is to relax in a comfy dining room and have waiters see to our needs. Standing in queues for BBQ ribs, water logged corn on the cob (with no corn holders)...and then trying to find a clean table....etc etc....if just not our idea of a great time. If there is a BBQ on deck we will stroll past, eye the offerings, and usually end up in the MDR. If I want a BBQ I can do it at my own home and have what I want cooked to my own specifications, served hot, and with no hassles. We will admit that we once experienced an amazing exception to our rule...and that happened on the Grand Med cruise (Prinsendam) where they had a very nice BBQ luncheon. They opened the aft doors of the MDR and had the grills on the aft of the ship just behind the MDR. One could get their food (all served hot off the grills) and then walk a few feet into the MDR where there was plenty of seating and decent waiter service for drinks, extras, etc. The surprise at that particular BBQ is that they had BBQ Lobster Tails (as much as one wanted) which were terrific.




I
Hank
I love the sound of this. So civilized and nicely done.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
<img src=http://www.hollandamerica.com/images/5starMariner.gif border=0 alt= />

sail7seas7 At yahoo .com
Please put CruiseCritic in Subject Line
Miami, Florida
87 Posts
Joined Jan 2017
Originally posted by Sir PMP
This is pure retaliation for a Princess ship dumping stuff in the ocean...
There is a very good chance you are correct.

I was working on Oosterdam several years ago when they received an 86 score from USPH.
The Captain and Hotel Manager were very concerned that they might lose their jobs - until the Lead Inspector announced that the score was a retaliation for HAL Senior Management refusing to follow suggestions from USPH Inspectors who were monitoring HAL newbuilds in Italy.

After a very painful conference call with Seattle, all was sorted out.
Centerville, Ohio, USA
8,493 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Originally posted by CHPURSER
There is a very good chance you are correct.

I was working on Oosterdam several years ago when they received an 86 score from USPH.
The Captain and Hotel Manager were very concerned that they might lose their jobs - until the Lead Inspector announced that the score was a retaliation for HAL Senior Management refusing to follow suggestions from USPH Inspectors who were monitoring HAL newbuilds in Italy.

After a very painful conference call with Seattle, all was sorted out.
Your post makes me loose a bit of faith in the USPH scores that we see. Retaliation by a government agency has no place in a process that is supposed to protect public health.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
52 cruises: 31 Holland America, 4 Princess, 4 Carnival, 3 Pacific Far East Line, 2 Cunard, 2 Royal Viking Line, 1 each: Celebrity Cruises, NCL, Royal Caribbean, Sitmar, American Hawaii, Home Lines
Maine
11,089 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by CHPURSER
There is a very good chance you are correct.

I was working on Oosterdam several years ago when they received an 86 score from USPH.
The Captain and Hotel Manager were very concerned that they might lose their jobs - until the Lead Inspector announced that the score was a retaliation for HAL Senior Management refusing to follow suggestions from USPH Inspectors who were monitoring HAL newbuilds in Italy.

After a very painful conference call with Seattle, all was sorted out.
Interesting that you say USPH was making "suggestions", when the construction guidelines are very clear and very detailed, and required to be met in order to qualify for VSP inspections.

Originally posted by rkacruiser
Your post makes me loose a bit of faith in the USPH scores that we see. Retaliation by a government agency has no place in a process that is supposed to protect public health.
Was the 86 score a "false" score, or was it accurate given that USPH management requested the inspectors to be "extremely vigilant" in inspecting and applying the guidelines. I don't think there were any "made up" infractions, just that the inspectors looked more closely at every single item, which is actually the way they should do all inspections.
Miami, Florida
87 Posts
Joined Jan 2017
I have a very close friend who is retired after a long career inspecting cruise ships for USPH.
He had - and has - a reputation for being honest and fair.

He admitted to me several times that before the inspection begins, USPH inspectors already know the basic score that a ship will receive after the inspection. That is, unless they find any surprises. If the ship is exceptionally clean - or exceptionally dirty - the pre-ordained score can change.

As I posted earlier, USPH inspectors can choose which regulations they want to inspect for and enforce. If they inspected every item in the USPH manual, they would be there for several days - and nearly every ship would fail the inspection.

When the inspectors want to lower an inspection score, there are several simple ways to do it.
The area and distance between the dirty pan storage and the clean pan storage in the galley potwash area is one of their favorites. The minimum distance is specified in the manual, but splash prevention measures are not clearly spelled out. This is a judgement call by the inspectors. This is a 2 point deduction.

Galley can openers is another one. They are always dirty. 2 points.

The shepard's hooks at the swimming pools is another. They are almost never as long as required in the manual. It also depends on how they are measured. 2 points.

The warning signs at the pool is another. USPH specifies that the text letters must be a certain size. If inspected, another 2 points.

Void spaces around galley areas are also good. Gallery cleaners use too much water on the decks. The water seeps into the void spaces and sits there forever. It's too difficult to open those areas to clean them and drain the water. USPH inspectors rarely bother to open those spaces for inspections - unless they need to deduct a few more points.

Stainless steel welds in food storage and production areas can result in 2 points deduction anytime they need it. Gaps between steel panels must be tight enough to prevent a credit card sliding between them. But the crew are always crashing trolleys, hand trucks, and fork lifts into the stainless panels and breaking the welds. Very few ships are willing or able to do stainless steel welding repair, so there are always unacceptable gaps in food areas. 2 points.

Under counter refrigerators in galleys and pantries are always a problem. On any given day, there are several - or more - that are not maintaining cold enough temperatures. If the ship is in a US port and expects an inspection, they simply remove the food from these reefers and put an out of order sign on the door.
But if inspectors find "too many" of these, or find machines that have been out of order "too long", they can deduct points. How many is "too many", and how long is "too long"? That is up to the inspector.
2 more points.

My personal favorites;
Deck-head Condensation around dishwashers and cracked galley floor tiles.
There is ALWAYS deck-head condensation around dishwashers, and ALWAYS cracked floor tiles in galleys.
If the inspector chooses to see them and write them down - and more importantly chooses to make them deductible items rather than just findings - that makes 3 more points deducted.

So now you know, more or less, how Amsterdam and Oosterdam received such low USPH scores.