WOW - huge change for us - bicycles are now on prohibited list

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#41
Ottawa, Canada
490 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Originally posted by NordicPrince
As for the people who say rent them, they are definitely not cyclists. They don;t know the joy of riding. How would people get to a bicycle shop from the ship anyway? Probably too far to walk and not your own bike that fits you perfectly.
Exactly!

We planned to rent bikes on a recent stop in Bonaire; the owner of the company had confirmed - via email - that he would have two bikes available for us on arrival. It took us half the day to finally track him down, at which point he admitted that he had totally forgotten about the reservation, he was too busy, and in any case by then it was too late for us to venture away from town.

It may sound like a solution, but renting is rarely an acceptable substitute for one's own bike.
#42
646 Posts
Joined May 2016
Originally posted by daisy-mae
.....

It may sound like a solution, but renting is rarely an acceptable substitute for one's own bike.
Particularly if one is an avid biker -- a one-size-fits-most bike just doesn't do it
#43
Colorado
1,141 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
I have talked with both Celebrity and Cunard and, as of TODAY, they both still accept bikes. I'm using the fact that it apparently isn't a CCL rule in my letter to HAL, requesting allowing bikes, with restrictions (I don't even care what those are). Just started a letter today, but at least it's started. I'm not quite ready to give up, though either Celebrity and Cunard are fine, just not the variety (and we just started our "free laundry" perk as 4* :-).
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#44
Raleigh, N.C.
11,742 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
We were docked next to a TUI ship in Costa Rica earlier this month on our Zuiderdam cruise. I was a little bit jealous of the bicycles they had, except that it was raining. They had a lot of well-dressed cyclists.

For those talking about the fit of having their own bicycles, I wonder how that works with the folding ones.
#45
City of Angels, CA
28,164 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by geoherb
We were docked next to a TUI ship in Costa Rica earlier this month on our Zuiderdam cruise. I was a little bit jealous of the bicycles they had, except that it was raining. They had a lot of well-dressed cyclists.For those talking about the fit of having their own bicycles, I wonder how that works with the folding ones.
Yeah, Puerto Limon; that's where I saw all the German pax as a group on their bikes also, sailing on Mein Schiff 3. Typically German, everything was organized to a tee
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#46
FL
3,214 Posts
Joined May 2013
Now that we have hashed this topic - 1 question:

Has anyone recently emailed HAL and asked for an exemption to be allowed to bring their bicycle on board? Did you get a response?

have found calling is pointless as you may get several different answers but that a response via email is accurate.
#47
Colorado
1,141 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Some folding bikes are designed to just run around town but Bike Friday's are engineered for touring (some even for racing). They are custom built to you and for the type of riding you do.

We are working on a formal letter and will pursue the conversation. If I'm going to ask via the phone, I've learned that having the TA make the formal request means it is documented.
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#48
1,897 Posts
Joined May 2008
Originally posted by Copper10-8
Hapag Lloyd, a German shipping co/tour operator with four cruise ships, does things a bit differently. They have their own bicycles onboard and they are available for bike tours under the guidance of crew bike guides. Saw them return, about twenty five of them, in Bar Harbor, Me. last year. Another German company, TUI Cruises with the "Mein Schiff" ships (my ship ships ), do the same thing. Then again, both companies' clientele are a bit different than the avg HAL pax

Also AIDA. The carry about 80 bicycles on their ships and run bike tours at many, if not most, of the ports. We parked next to them in St. Georges, Grenada. Apparently, these tours are extremely popular. Most of the passengers exiting the ship, even those not on the bike tour, looked very fit. We were on a van tour and passed the bicyclists climbing a steep and winding hill. No wonder they looked so fit!
#49
5 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
We are working on a formal letter and will pursue the conversation. If I'm going to ask via the phone, I've learned that having the TA make the formal request means it is documented.[/quote]

Any progress with HAL regarding transport of bicycles?
#50
San Diego, CA
1,686 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Are you saying that you want the bicycles at your destination or at every port stop? Not sure how you are comparing cruising versus flying "to cross the seas".

I personally would not want to encounter bicycles in the elevators and hallways, and I would not be surprised if someone rode their bicycle around the promenade deck. Sorry, but I am with HAL on this one even though my wife and I ride our bicycles frequently.

Renting is a better option for a port stop and I would disagree that a rented bicycle would cause injury at any distance. We rode hotel bicycles every morning on a recent land vacation without discomfort or injury. Least you consider us lightweights, my wife completed the Solvang Century.

igraf






Originally posted by kahtrav
Just a followup. We have taken our bikes for close to 10 years on HAL. There occasionally has been one other bike on board, so it's a small group. To me, one of the ironies is that HAL is nominally Dutch and the Netherlands is the most bike friendly country - bicycles are a huge part of their culture. We use our bikes for transport (i.e. tour), so it really doesn't work to "rent bikes in port" - we've tried that on occasion but any distance on a bike that does fit causes injury. We realize we are a minority and try to be respectful of others. It's just sad to have to return to using airplanes as our only option to cross the seas.
#51
Colorado
1,141 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
I hope this conversation will broaden somehow. I will post the formal response I got from HAL, with no explanation just that they won't make exceptions. I've had very nice conversations with Cunard, Celebrity and Oceania, who will, at this time, welcome bikes.

I still think it's a conversation to keep alive.
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Costa Mediterranea - Venice to Istanbul R/T
HAL Rotterdam - Copenhagen to Rotterdam - Baltic Capitals
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HAL Volendam - Alaska - Vancouver - Skagway R/T
HAL Volendam - Mexican Riveria - San Diego R/T
Celebrity Infinity - Panama Canal - Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles
Croatia - Bike and Boat Dalmatian Islands
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Queen Elizabeth SFO - SOU World Cruise 2/8/15
HAL Prinsendam - TA - Baltic - Norway 5/15/16
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#52
New Brunswick
40,794 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by kahtrav
I hope this conversation will broaden somehow. I will post the formal response I got from HAL, with no explanation just that they won't make exceptions. I've had very nice conversations with Cunard, Celebrity and Oceania, who will, at this time, welcome bikes.

I still think it's a conversation to keep alive.
If they make an exception, it could be to a person who would abuse it and ride the bike in the hallways, the Lido, etc. Just like the guy with the segway on our Westerdam cruise who caused injury to one and near injury to several. (After the incident, the segways went on the prohibited list).

I'm sure you are not such a person, but sadly they do exist.
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#53
5 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Regarding bicycles on board a HAL cruise, we were looking forward to our retirement years to travel the world by bicycle and using HAL to transit between destinations. Although transport by boat is timely, it is so much more comfortable than the "cattle call" that flying has become. Also it was so much safer for our bicycles.
First off, I must admit that I am not a "cruiser". I am one who prefers to immerse myself, as much as possible, in the local culture and to meet the local people. In my personal view, a cruise does not allow that. I see it, perhaps, as a sampler of a region when a few hours are spent in a port allowing and promoting the shopping aspects of travel. I understand some individuals enjoyment of cruising, the safety aspects, the ability to see many locations with ones residence at hand. We have traveled with HAL a couple of times and via contact with Ship Services gained permission to bring and store our touring bicycles in our cabin for the duration of the cruise. Mind you, we did transition cruises, San Diego to Vancouver and Vancouver to Los Angeles. The return trip would be by bicycle. The bicycles remained in our cabin for the duration and were only seen upon embarkation and debarkation. I am aware we were noticed because during meals, we always took our meals in the dining rooms rather than the buffets, we sat with other passengers and shared life stories which included travels by bicycle. I could expand on the benefits of travel by bicycle, however I am aware that such an discussion may be lost on those who have not or are unable to experience this mode to touring.
I was made aware of Holland America's change in policy as we booked our travel last year for this past spring. I have gone through the process to gain an explanation and understanding of the ban on bicycles with minimal response:

Thank you for your recent correspondence with Holland America Line concerning your concern. I went ahead and looked more into this matter for you this morning. When speaking with my Ship services department it was recently update back in august that bicycles will no longer be allowed. Based on a lot of complications and issues that we have had with several other guests we had to make the tough call to not allow them on board anymore. I do apologize for any inconvenience that this might cause.
Thank you for contacting Holland America Line. Please feel free to contact us if we may of additional assistance, or visit us online. We look forward to welcoming you onboard in the near future!
Savor the Journey,
Nick

I did respond requesting Orlando Ashford's office for explanation to no avail. In initial requests we offered to sign waivers, obtain liability insurance and to meet personally with HAL representatives. We have a history of traveling safely with bicycles on board with HAL, we are respectful of others and are willing and able to follow directives which will allow us to travel with bicycles. Mind you, the bicycles function as luggage carriers, as they do when we check into hotels, and not as mobility devices on board. I have not heard further from HAL. BTW, HAL, Holland America Lines, not allowing bicycles is very much an oxymoron as Holland is one of the foremost places in the world for travel by bicycle, as is Seattle. I am disappointed in HAL's policy change.

My reason for posting is to chime in with the minimal response I have received from HAL and perhaps see what alternatives are available.
#54
New Brunswick
40,794 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by WorldByBike
Regarding bicycles on board a HAL cruise, we were looking forward to our retirement years to travel the world by bicycle and using HAL to transit between destinations. Although transport by boat is timely, it is so much more comfortable than the "cattle call" that flying has become. Also it was so much safer for our bicycles.
First off, I must admit that I am not a "cruiser". I am one who prefers to immerse myself, as much as possible, in the local culture and to meet the local people. In my personal view, a cruise does not allow that. I see it, perhaps, as a sampler of a region when a few hours are spent in a port allowing and promoting the shopping aspects of travel. I understand some individuals enjoyment of cruising, the safety aspects, the ability to see many locations with ones residence at hand. We have traveled with HAL a couple of times and via contact with Ship Services gained permission to bring and store our touring bicycles in our cabin for the duration of the cruise. Mind you, we did transition cruises, San Diego to Vancouver and Vancouver to Los Angeles. The return trip would be by bicycle. The bicycles remained in our cabin for the duration and were only seen upon embarkation and debarkation. I am aware we were noticed because during meals, we always took our meals in the dining rooms rather than the buffets, we sat with other passengers and shared life stories which included travels by bicycle. I could expand on the benefits of travel by bicycle, however I am aware that such an discussion may be lost on those who have not or are unable to experience this mode to touring.
I was made aware of Holland America's change in policy as we booked our travel last year for this past spring. I have gone through the process to gain an explanation and understanding of the ban on bicycles with minimal response:

Thank you for your recent correspondence with Holland America Line concerning your concern. I went ahead and looked more into this matter for you this morning. When speaking with my Ship services department it was recently update back in august that bicycles will no longer be allowed. Based on a lot of complications and issues that we have had with several other guests we had to make the tough call to not allow them on board anymore. I do apologize for any inconvenience that this might cause.
Thank you for contacting Holland America Line. Please feel free to contact us if we may of additional assistance, or visit us online. We look forward to welcoming you onboard in the near future!
Savor the Journey,
Nick

I did respond requesting Orlando Ashford's office for explanation to no avail. In initial requests we offered to sign waivers, obtain liability insurance and to meet personally with HAL representatives. We have a history of traveling safely with bicycles on board with HAL, we are respectful of others and are willing and able to follow directives which will allow us to travel with bicycles. Mind you, the bicycles function as luggage carriers, as they do when we check into hotels, and not as mobility devices on board. I have not heard further from HAL. BTW, HAL, Holland America Lines, not allowing bicycles is very much an oxymoron as Holland is one of the foremost places in the world for travel by bicycle, as is Seattle. I am disappointed in HAL's policy change.

My reason for posting is to chime in with the minimal response I have received from HAL and perhaps see what alternatives are available.
Bolding is mine. The response seems quite clear to me. It alludes to issues and problems so...

They had issues with a few "bad apples" and unfortunately those "bad apples" spoiled the opportunities for the rest of the barrel. Sounds like what we experienced with the segway which I mentioned previously happened with inconsiderate bicycle users as well, sadly.

A shame that a few have to spoil it for the rest.
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#55
5 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Originally posted by kazu
Bolding is mine. The response seems quite clear to me. It alludes to issues and problems so...

They had issues with a few "bad apples" and unfortunately those "bad apples" spoiled the opportunities for the rest of the barrel. Sounds like what we experienced with the segway which I mentioned previously happened with inconsiderate bicycle users as well, sadly.

A shame that a few have to spoil it for the rest.

Thanks for a response. I am sure passengers such as yourself are pleased with the new policy. Next will be wheelchairs and other mobility devices as, I suspect, others have been "mowed down" by those inconsiderate few. However I doubt it was just a bicycle that was involved in the "bad apple" incident - suspicions are that alcohol was involved and that is where I have seen issues on board. And, of course, alcohol will not be banned as it is a significant source of revenue, despite the "bad apples". Typically the remedy is to ban the individual. As I mentioned we have a history of safe and respectful travel with bicycles prior to HAL's recent ban which was not taken into account. I am aware that travelers of our sort are extremely minor and of no consequence to HAL. I wish you well on your Prinsendam excursion. It is truly a fine vessel and I will miss it.
#56
New Brunswick
40,794 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by WorldByBike
Thanks for a response. I am sure passengers such as yourself are pleased with the new policy. Next will be wheelchairs and other mobility devices as, I suspect, others have been "mowed down" by those inconsiderate few. However I doubt it was just a bicycle that was involved in the "bad apple" incident - suspicions are that alcohol was involved and that is where I have seen issues on board. And, of course, alcohol will not be banned as it is a significant source of revenue, despite the "bad apples". Typically the remedy is to ban the individual. As I mentioned we have a history of safe and respectful travel with bicycles prior to HAL's recent ban which was not taken into account. I am aware that travelers of our sort are extremely minor and of no consequence to HAL. I wish you well on your Prinsendam excursion. It is truly a fine vessel and I will miss it.
Don't misunderstand me. I am NOT against bicycles.

I was simply stating what I read into HAL's reply. I can tell you that there was no alcohol involved in the segway incidents that was obvious. The guy was just a jerk with no regard for anyone but himself, sadly.

Sadly, it is hard to make exceptions as then others will complain that they were not allowed to bring theirs - no matter what the prohibited items are.

Thanks for the good wishes Hoping all your cruises are good in the future and you can enjoy your bicycles on them all
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#57
6,028 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by WorldByBike
Thanks for a response. I am sure passengers such as yourself are pleased with the new policy. Next will be wheelchairs and other mobility devices as, I suspect, others have been "mowed down" by those inconsiderate few. However I doubt it was just a bicycle that was involved in the "bad apple" incident - suspicions are that alcohol was involved and that is where I have seen issues on board. And, of course, alcohol will not be banned as it is a significant source of revenue, despite the "bad apples". Typically the remedy is to ban the individual. As I mentioned we have a history of safe and respectful travel with bicycles prior to HAL's recent ban which was not taken into account. I am aware that travelers of our sort are extremely minor and of no consequence to HAL. I wish you well on your Prinsendam excursion. It is truly a fine vessel and I will miss it.
As with everything else in life, it just takes one "bad apple" to upset the apple cart, so to speak. HAL has to factor that in to their decisions. Personally, having been "mowed down" by a scooter, I'd be quite happy if they were banned, but HAL caters to an older crowd, and so it is not likely they will ever do that and I may need one myself one day. I have cruised on an RCI ship where the captain always took his Harley motorbike, and people had cycles - and yes, some did try to ride them on the ship, so were severely curtailed. Not sure if they were banned or not - but that's the problem, it just takes one to spoil things for everyone. .
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#58
4,686 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Originally posted by kazu
Bolding is mine. The response seems quite clear to me. It alludes to issues and problems so...

They had issues with a few "bad apples" and unfortunately those "bad apples" spoiled the opportunities for the rest of the barrel. Sounds like what we experienced with the segway which I mentioned previously happened with inconsiderate bicycle users as well, sadly.

A shame that a few have to spoil it for the rest.
Ships are closed systems, as we have noted in the past - the few can and do spoil it for the many. Those who won't wash their hands before using common utensils, leave their balcony doors open, put prohibited items down the commode, use balconies as if they had no neighbors up. down or sideways, and now recklessly abuse a mobility option that put other passengers in peril.

We also had Segeways scooting through the Pinnacle restaurant one night. But the tragedy is one woman was also using her Segeway very responsibly and some even how got it to the top of the huge Borobordur Temple in Indonesia (with onsite guide apparently allowing this). Her travel world was immensely expanded by the use to this device. Now it is gone for her too.

Cruising is a unique and self-selected environment. One does agree tacitly or imliciety to give up certain freedoms when coming on board.
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#59
St. Louis
122 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Gosh, I'm really sorry to hear this. I'm no a bicycler, but it causes me not one ounce of inconvenience to walk onto the ship behind someone who is carefully pushing their bike beside them. I feel like the irresponsible "bad apples" should be the ones punished. Like the scooters. One cruise I was on an older man was using a scooter responsibly, but would park it and sit at a table. But then his relatives would jump on it to go get something from the buffet and about mow people down. That ticked me off. I think they should address the bad apples individually and not punish those following the rules.
#60
San Diego, CA
1,686 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
In most cases it is simply better to avoid the problem altogether. Punishing a wrongdoer doesn't make up for the diminished cruise for others.


igraf



Originally posted by melodyesch
Gosh, I'm really sorry to hear this. I'm no a bicycler, but it causes me not one ounce of inconvenience to walk onto the ship behind someone who is carefully pushing their bike beside them. I feel like the irresponsible "bad apples" should be the ones punished. Like the scooters. One cruise I was on an older man was using a scooter responsibly, but would park it and sit at a table. But then his relatives would jump on it to go get something from the buffet and about mow people down. That ticked me off. I think they should address the bad apples individually and not punish those following the rules.