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

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#61
Central FL
8,433 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
I haven't read all of the above but I would guess it is their liability insurance; they don't want to get sued. Daily rentals at ports sounds good but make sure you have insurance that covers anything medical for foreign ports. In Copenhagen I noticed one morning everyone riding bikes to school and work. They were all in a line and going the same speed. No bike jockeys and racers. If we rode bikes, the way people here drive on I 95 there would be medical issues!!
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#62
Las Vegas
10,733 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by catl331
I haven't read all of the above but I would guess it is their liability insurance; they don't want to get sued. Daily rentals at ports sounds good but make sure you have insurance that covers anything medical for foreign ports. In Copenhagen I noticed one morning everyone riding bikes to school and work. They were all in a line and going the same speed. No bike jockeys and racers. If we rode bikes, the way people here drive on I 95 there would be medical issues!!
How could they get sued if you kept your bike in your cabin or in it's bag if it is a a folding bike and then rolled or carried it off the ship? Please explain that to me.

If they wanted to avoid the problem of some idiot riding their bike on the ship and if they also wanted to be customer friendly (which they certainly do not want to be), they could have a bike holding area somewhere and you pick up the bike on the way off the ship.

DON
#63
4,477 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Originally posted by donaldsc
How could they get sued if you kept your bike in your cabin or in it's bag if it is a a folding bike and then rolled or carried it off the ship? Please explain that to me.

If they wanted to avoid the problem of some idiot riding their bike on the ship and if they also wanted to be customer friendly (which they certainly do not want to be), they could have a bike holding area somewhere and you pick up the bike on the way off the ship.

DON
One of the downsides picking a mass market cruise line. You want individual attention at mass market prices. We seem to be hearing a lot of these similar complaints of late. I want this to be all about me, but I also want to use a low price mass market cruise line. I don't think it will work this way.
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#65
New Jersey
8,722 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by donaldsc
How could they get sued if you kept your bike in your cabin or in it's bag if it is a a folding bike and then rolled or carried it off the ship? Please explain that to me.

If they wanted to avoid the problem of some idiot riding their bike on the ship and if they also wanted to be customer friendly (which they certainly do not want to be), they could have a bike holding area somewhere and you pick up the bike on the way off the ship.

DON
A bike storage area would be ideal, but that would require space and also crew to open the storage area so you could reclaim your bike. They can't all be delivered to the gangway and lined up there because there's no room and again, it would take crew time. If you want the bikes all nicely lined up on the pier, that's even more crew time. How much would you be willing to cover the cost of a bike-storage service?
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The THIRD generation in my family to sail on a Cunarder
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#66
Southern California
3,454 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by 3rdGenCunarder
A bike storage area would be ideal, but that would require space and also crew to open the storage area so you could reclaim your bike. They can't all be delivered to the gangway and lined up there because there's no room and again, it would take crew time. If you want the bikes all nicely lined up on the pier, that's even more crew time. How much would you be willing to cover the cost of a bike-storage service?
Good option actually. Charge a cargo fee for each bike, and require prearranged check out at the pier. That way only those whose bikes will be going for a spin have their bikes moved. Fees charged should cover all staff costs. Maybe have a set cargo fee for the cruise and a modest additional fee per port that covers the added labor. (Add in a bottle of water at each port for the "bike concierge" service and market it as a Dutch tradition.)

It's a win-win. Bikes are not accessible except at prearranged ports, so no one is riding the decks. They are also not taking up space in cabins. HAL gets a modest fee to cover the service and a new service to market. Pax gets their own bike....

I'm not an avid cyclist here, but regularly ride, and am in the process of recovering from being "bitten in the butt" by a bike that did not fit.
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#67
4,477 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Originally posted by TiogaCruiser
Good option actually. Charge a cargo fee for each bike, and require prearranged check out at the pier. That way only those whose bikes will be going for a spin have their bikes moved. Fees charged should cover all staff costs. Maybe have a set cargo fee for the cruise and a modest additional fee per port that covers the added labor. (Add in a bottle of water at each port for the "bike concierge" service and market it as a Dutch tradition.)

It's a win-win. Bikes are not accessible except at prearranged ports, so no one is riding the decks. They are also not taking up space in cabins. HAL gets a modest fee to cover the service and a new service to market. Pax gets their own bike....

I'm not an avid cyclist here, but regularly ride, and am in the process of recovering from being "bitten in the butt" by a bike that did not fit.
Since staff allegedly is spread thin already, how does paying for the "costs of staff" for this extra personalized service get calculated?

Which staff during the disembarkation and re-embarkation period would be paid extra? Who would cover for the staff taken off their regular duties to provide this extra service. Would the time for pick and deliver need to be strictly regulated for this additional staff service?

Ship's crew and services are a zero sum game. They are not unlimited and bought and sold at whim. Though I understand some off-duty staff members do provide baby-sitting services. But that would most likely be the Children Center activity staff who would be available to pick up this additional income since they are truly off duty once the Children Centers close for the day.
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#68
23 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
I haven't been on a bicycle for 50 years, but I think it really stinks that responsible people are no longer able to bring bicycles aboard because of X number of irresponsible people, but evidently that's how it's going to be. By this quote attributed to HAL: "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" it's closer to a sure thing that there have been multiple problems over an extended period of time.

The real shame is that those who've responsibly (and safely) done this for years are now denied, but we live in a litigious society. I look forward to reading reports of their trips on alternate lines... which is the logical choice for them now.
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#69
FL
305 Posts
Joined Nov 2013
That quoted HAL response does not clarify anything. It is so generic that the actual events it refers to might, if clarified, be viewed as a lame excuse for the decision.

They should at least allow folding bikes, with a signed agreement that they are not to be used on board.
#70
New Brunswick
40,150 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by SetAnOpenCourse
That quoted HAL response does not clarify anything. It is so generic that the actual events it refers to might, if clarified, be viewed as a lame excuse for the decision.

They should at least allow folding bikes, with a signed agreement that they are not to be used on board.
I don't disagree at all but.....

that was the agreement our segway guy had that caused so much disruption and injury.

It didn't work and the only solution was for the ship to confiscate his segway. He didn't get it back until he left the ship. But, that didn't happen until after several complaints, warnings to him (which he ignored) and a passenger being injured.

The risk to the ship with a passenger injured and others nearly injured was pretty signficant I would guess, since they permitted it and, I would think, would be liable?

Sadly, it just takes a few incidents. The segway guy nearly ran me down and I was recovering from a serious olecranon surgery. Well enough to cruise, but not well enough to be knocked down and have it re-broken. He did run down another passenger who had to have medical treatment.

I don't know what happened with bicycles to cause this. I can only use the segway as an example.

One serious injury on board and they (HAL) are going to take a hard look.

It's sad I know. Some jerk(s) ruined it for the rest.
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#71
FL
305 Posts
Joined Nov 2013
We do not know that HAL has put bicycle in the same category as Segways. Plus, if you were to study all shipboard accidents, those which involve either might be so rare that they couldn't reasonably assign equal risk to everything with wheels.
#72
116 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Oh that is not good news. We bought bikes in Copenhagen a couple of years ago to ride before the cruise and then took them on our Baltic Cruise. We had a balcony where we stored them and were very careful to clean the tires before we got back on the ship. We also waited to get off the ship after the crush of people. We only have a few incidents where we tried to get into an elevator, there would be one person and they refused to move to allow one bike in.

We so enjoyed all our ports with our bikes, got to see so much more of the real city, not just the tourist areas.
#73
5 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Gosh, thank you for all the responses. I do wish to hear different peoples' concerns and considerations. I know passengers who are bicyclists on cruises are a very small minority. As I mentioned our intent during retirement was to use the ship as transportation from one cycle tour location to another. We are "cycle tourists" that is we used the bicycles as transportation and carry all of our required needs. However, these days we are "credit card" campers - no tent and sleeping bag, we bed in hotels, motels, B&Bs, Air B&B, by invitation, etc.
Perhaps I should have used the term "repositioning" to describe our preferred "cruise". Also we only planned to use the bicycles to ride to the port of embarkation, roll our "luggage carriers" to our cabin, then ride/tour again upon disembarking. This is how we have performed in the past on Holland America. And yes, like carolcp, we are and were very conscientious regarding the cleanliness of our luggage carriers and provided additional gratuity to our cabin steward to "work around" the bicycles. If and when we had ports of call we would spend the time walking through neighborhoods, cemeteries (in Barcelona, fascinating), taking public transportation (in Kusadasi to Ephesus) rather than risk missing the departure time. We look at our travels as an adventure and would enjoy sharing our day and hearing about fellow passengers' adventures while dining, particularly on the smaller Prinsendam. It has been an experience we were looking toward during retirement while we still can tour by bicycle to reposition from Montreal to San Diego, San Diego to Sydney, Lisbon to Ft.Lauderdale, etc. Its a different way to see the world and, actually, a very non-threatening way to interact with people in most of the world. We will still make the travels, we'll just need to adjust our plans - isn't that part of travel - accommodating changing conditions?
Anyway, we have not completely given up on Holland America. I would still like to hear from Mr Orlando Ashford before we relinquish our Mariners Society status.
Safe and amazing adventures to all!
#74
4,477 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Originally posted by WorldByBike
Gosh, thank you for all the responses. I do wish to hear different peoples' concerns and considerations. I know passengers who are bicyclists on cruises are a very small minority. As I mentioned our intent during retirement was to use the ship as transportation from one cycle tour location to another. We are "cycle tourists" that is we used the bicycles as transportation and carry all of our required needs. However, these days we are "credit card" campers - no tent and sleeping bag, we bed in hotels, motels, B&Bs, Air B&B, by invitation, etc.
Perhaps I should have used the term "repositioning" to describe our preferred "cruise". Also we only planned to use the bicycles to ride to the port of embarkation, roll our "luggage carriers" to our cabin, then ride/tour again upon disembarking. This is how we have performed in the past on Holland America. And yes, like carolcp, we are and were very conscientious regarding the cleanliness of our luggage carriers and provided additional gratuity to our cabin steward to "work around" the bicycles. If and when we had ports of call we would spend the time walking through neighborhoods, cemeteries (in Barcelona, fascinating), taking public transportation (in Kusadasi to Ephesus) rather than risk missing the departure time. We look at our travels as an adventure and would enjoy sharing our day and hearing about fellow passengers' adventures while dining, particularly on the smaller Prinsendam. It has been an experience we were looking toward during retirement while we still can tour by bicycle to reposition from Montreal to San Diego, San Diego to Sydney, Lisbon to Ft.Lauderdale, etc. Its a different way to see the world and, actually, a very non-threatening way to interact with people in most of the world. We will still make the travels, we'll just need to adjust our plans - isn't that part of travel - accommodating changing conditions?
Anyway, we have not completely given up on Holland America. I would still like to hear from Mr Orlando Ashford before we relinquish our Mariners Society status.
Safe and amazing adventures to all!
This is a lot about you, you realize. Not about anyone else, or company policy which we can still assume is not totally arbitrary or capricious.

However, look on the bright side. Gluten-free has now taken over cruise travel even though less than 1% have true confirmable disease conditions requiring these now universal menu accommodations. Maybe in time bike carryons will also gain similar wide-spread appeal.

I hear you. I like riding bikes too. And I think it is a terrific way to see ports on your own. I am sorry HAL put this restriction on your carry-on luggage. But the issue on a mass market cruise line will need to go well beyond what you want, or what you are willing to do.

You should have been around here when HAL stopped allowing unlimited bottles of wine to be brought on board too. If that uproar did not cause HAL to relent, a few bike enthusiasts will have an uphill climb. Best wishes, and since you want a ship solely inter-continental for transportation, the Cunard ships might work better. I think they might even offer more cargo options.
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#75
New Brunswick
40,150 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by TiogaCruiser
Good option actually. Charge a cargo fee for each bike, and require prearranged check out at the pier. That way only those whose bikes will be going for a spin have their bikes moved. Fees charged should cover all staff costs. Maybe have a set cargo fee for the cruise and a modest additional fee per port that covers the added labor. (Add in a bottle of water at each port for the "bike concierge" service and market it as a Dutch tradition.)

It's a win-win. Bikes are not accessible except at prearranged ports, so no one is riding the decks. They are also not taking up space in cabins. HAL gets a modest fee to cover the service and a new service to market. Pax gets their own bike....

I'm not an avid cyclist here, but regularly ride, and am in the process of recovering from being "bitten in the butt" by a bike that did not fit.
Actually I think this is a good solution.

Assuming cyclists are willing to pay a nominal fee, they should all write to HAL and suggest it.

Originally posted by OlsSalt
<snip>

You should have been around here when HAL stopped allowing unlimited bottles of wine to be brought on board too. If that uproar did not cause HAL to relent, a few bike enthusiasts will have an uphill climb. Best wishes, and since you want a ship solely inter-continental for transportation, the Cunard ships might work better. I think they might even offer more cargo options.
Just a bit of correction in the history here.

HAL DID relent due to the writing campaign.

They not only changed the effective date of the new wine rules, they also amended their change.

Originally they were not going to allow any additional bottles of wine to be brought on board (except for the allowed "free" bottle).

They changed the rule to allow as many bottles as one wants to bring on with the corkage fee.

So, yes, they did listen and had a middle meeting ground which I think was satisactory.
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#76
New Jersey
8,722 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by WorldByBike
Gosh, thank you for all the responses. I do wish to hear different peoples' concerns and considerations. I know passengers who are bicyclists on cruises are a very small minority. As I mentioned our intent during retirement was to use the ship as transportation from one cycle tour location to another. We are "cycle tourists" that is we used the bicycles as transportation and carry all of our required needs. However, these days we are "credit card" campers - no tent and sleeping bag, we bed in hotels, motels, B&Bs, Air B&B, by invitation, etc.
Perhaps I should have used the term "repositioning" to describe our preferred "cruise". Also we only planned to use the bicycles to ride to the port of embarkation, roll our "luggage carriers" to our cabin, then ride/tour again upon disembarking. This is how we have performed in the past on Holland America. And yes, like carolcp, we are and were very conscientious regarding the cleanliness of our luggage carriers and provided additional gratuity to our cabin steward to "work around" the bicycles. If and when we had ports of call we would spend the time walking through neighborhoods, cemeteries (in Barcelona, fascinating), taking public transportation (in Kusadasi to Ephesus) rather than risk missing the departure time. We look at our travels as an adventure and would enjoy sharing our day and hearing about fellow passengers' adventures while dining, particularly on the smaller Prinsendam. It has been an experience we were looking toward during retirement while we still can tour by bicycle to reposition from Montreal to San Diego, San Diego to Sydney, Lisbon to Ft.Lauderdale, etc. Its a different way to see the world and, actually, a very non-threatening way to interact with people in most of the world. We will still make the travels, we'll just need to adjust our plans - isn't that part of travel - accommodating changing conditions?
Anyway, we have not completely given up on Holland America. I would still like to hear from Mr Orlando Ashford before we relinquish our Mariners Society status.
Safe and amazing adventures to all!
Can you box your bicycles for transport? Try asking HAL if there's a way to take them on the ship to be stored as excess baggage. What about shipping a bicycle ahead? Is that prohibitively expensive?
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Kathy
The THIRD generation in my family to sail on a Cunarder
28 QE2 - including 2 Midnight Sun, 2 Panama Canal, 6 TAs, 4 Canada/New England, and various Caribbean, Bermuda, Europe itineraries
9 QM2 - 5TAs, Caribbean, Royal Circumnavigation of Australia, Canada
1 Caronia - Baltic
10 HAL
1 Princess
2 RCCL
5 NCL - including 2 on SS Norway (RIP)
1 Uniworld River Cruise (Tulips and Windmills)
1 American Cruise Line - Queen of the West, Columbia & Snake Rivers
#77
Central Maryland
15,914 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
HAL has provisions to store electrical cords, wine, and other "prohibited" items for the duration of a cruise. At least in the case of wine, they have procedures to move things from the gangway to that location at each port. It should not be that big a deal to expand the process to deal with bicycles and (even if for a fee) to return them to the gangway at intermediate ports.

Roy
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#78
23 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Originally posted by WorldByBike
Anyway, we have not completely given up on Holland America. I would still like to hear from Mr Orlando Ashford before we relinquish our Mariners Society status.
Personally, I'd hang onto my MS status even if I sailed on other lines for a while.

In the unfortunate but possible event that illness, aging or injury end cycling days for one or both of you, you may decide to continue to cruise with HAL again.

Here's to new adventures, regardless!
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#79
Preston UK
433 Posts
Joined Nov 2014
I have sort of skimmed through this thread and dont think it has been mentioned but how long do you think it will be before they introduce Bicycle Excursions. On our last Thomson Cruise
They had a staff member lead a gang?flock?wheel? of cyclists on a cycle tour at most if not all of the ports. The bikes belonged to the ship
and were stored out of sight on the embarkation deck though they caused quite a clutter while others were trying to get to the gangplank.
As a non cyclists since DW fell off in Vietnam I didnt look into this but assumed that a charge would be made. The downside would maybe that they didnt go where you wanted to go and as anyone could go there would be an experience gap and an ill fitting bike.
#80
4,477 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Originally posted by Aulanis
I have sort of skimmed through this thread and dont think it has been mentioned but how long do you think it will be before they introduce Bicycle Excursions. On our last Thomson Cruise
They had a staff member lead a gang?flock?wheel? of cyclists on a cycle tour at most if not all of the ports. The bikes belonged to the ship
and were stored out of sight on the embarkation deck though they caused quite a clutter while others were trying to get to the gangplank.
As a non cyclists since DW fell off in Vietnam I didnt look into this but assumed that a charge would be made. The downside would maybe that they didnt go where you wanted to go and as anyone could go there would be an experience gap and an ill fitting bike.
They offer some HAL shore excursion bike tours now. Bikes are provided by the tour company. They are obviously recognizing passengers like a biking option. So this might well be is a start of a new recognition HAL passengers do like bike riding in port. Supporting those bike riding shore excursions could be one way of voting with your "dollars" to demonstrate support for the activity.
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