What Makes a HAL Cruise Director Excellent?

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#21
Beautiful Southwest
8,073 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
As one who participates in many, many of the things the CD is responsible for I do care who our CD is.

IMO a great CD is courteous, takes time to listen if you have something to say, has a great deal of showmanship, a good sense of humor and the ability to roll with the punches.

I know quite a few of HAL's CD's ( or former ones) personally and some have become true friends.

I find a bad or incompetent CD can take a lot of joy out of a cruise, whilst a good one can make your cruise a joyous thing.
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#22
America's Hometown
16,673 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by Langoustine
You betcha. I remember the name of our CD on the Veendam two years ago, but I won't repeat it here. A more annoying human being I have never experienced. Constantly making announcements.
Can you please email me the name...the name of the one I'm thinking of escapes me but I'm sure if I see it, it'll ring a bell!

The CD on our recent cruise was a great guy. Not an "in your face" CD, but did a great job on the ship from what I could see. Just the right amount of showmanship. I don't do Trivia or Bingo, but he was at all the cooking demos as well as the shows we attended. He told me that he's moving over to the Eurodam next year as is the Hotel Director, Marco Belleghem.
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Sheila
"innlady1"
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Future Cruises
MS Rotterdam - Southern Caribbean - 02/18
MS Veendam - Canada & Atlantic Coast - 10/17
Past Cruises
MS Veendam - Bermuda - 05/15
MS Nieuw Amsterdam - Eastern Caribbean - 02/15
MS Noordam - Southern Caribbean - 02/14
MS Maasdam - Eastern Caribbean - 01/14
MS Nieuw Amsterdam - Med/westbound TA B2B- 10/13
MS Ryndam - Southern & Western Caribbean B2B- 02/13
MS Veendam - Bermuda - 05/12
MS Maasdam - Caribbean - 01/12
MS Maasdam - Caribbean - 01/11
MS Noordam - Caribbean B2B - 01/10
MS Noordam - Caribbean B2B - 01/09
MS Noordam - Caribbean - 02/08
MS Noordam - Caribbean - 02/07
Caribbean Princess - Eastern Caribbean - 02/06
#23
New Cumberland,PA, USA
27,275 Posts
Joined May 2000
Our favorite HA cruise director on HA was Tom Faulkner. We use the word "was" because Tom is no longer a cruise director but will now be found doing is future cruise consulting (along with his lovely wife...Tina) on various HA ships. What made Tom special? He quickly won-over most passengers the first day of every cruise with a short announcement that he would only be making one PA announcement per day (at noon with the Captain's report) and folks who wanted to know about activities could find this info in the daily schedule. To spend all day without the annoying PA stuff was a true pleasure. We are just back from the Veendam where there is an excellent CD (Alex) except that he simply had to interrupt everyone with announcements at around 9:45am, 12:30pm and again at 4pm (and sometimes had 1 or 2 other annoucments). Everything said in those announcements is contained in the daily schedule but I guess HA (and most of their CDs) feel that their charges are illiterate and need frequent reinforcing of the daily schedule and ways to spend their money ("there is a sale at the spa," "a shop sale at the pool," "a scheduled show in the Showroom," etc).

There is an interesting facet of cruising for those who cruise on many different lines (we have been on 14 lines). The number (and length) of annoying PA announcements seems to be inversely proportional to the overall quality of the product. If you cruise on the ultra luxury lines there are generally no more then a single announcement per day. But the mass market lines seem to feel that its fine to annoy customers. It reminds me of the "Blue Light specials" that are announced at K-Marts.

Hank
#24
81,674 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by catl331
Best CD--doesn't tell the same old corny jokes that we have heard so often at the end of the cruise!!!!
No more end of cruise Disembarkation Talk so more of the corny jokes, told over and over and over again.

However, that also means no more singing of Love in Any Language and I do miss that.

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#25
Peoples Republic of Illinois
2,084 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by innlady1
Can you please email me the name...the name of the one I'm thinking of escapes me but I'm sure if I see it, it'll ring a bell!

The CD on our recent cruise was a great guy. Not an "in your face" CD, but did a great job on the ship from what I could see. Just the right amount of showmanship. I don't do Trivia or Bingo, but he was at all the cooking demos as well as the shows we attended. He told me that he's moving over to the Eurodam next year as is the Hotel Director, Marco Belleghem.
Senorita, did his name start with the letter C ??
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Rich
#26
Central FL
8,513 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
On our cruise to Bermuda our Explorer / On Location states we had Carlos Mendoza. We found Anthony Choice to be a great friendly guy on the Maasdam.
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#27
America's Hometown
16,673 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Bingo!!!
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Sheila
"innlady1"
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Future Cruises
MS Rotterdam - Southern Caribbean - 02/18
MS Veendam - Canada & Atlantic Coast - 10/17
Past Cruises
MS Veendam - Bermuda - 05/15
MS Nieuw Amsterdam - Eastern Caribbean - 02/15
MS Noordam - Southern Caribbean - 02/14
MS Maasdam - Eastern Caribbean - 01/14
MS Nieuw Amsterdam - Med/westbound TA B2B- 10/13
MS Ryndam - Southern & Western Caribbean B2B- 02/13
MS Veendam - Bermuda - 05/12
MS Maasdam - Caribbean - 01/12
MS Maasdam - Caribbean - 01/11
MS Noordam - Caribbean B2B - 01/10
MS Noordam - Caribbean B2B - 01/09
MS Noordam - Caribbean - 02/08
MS Noordam - Caribbean - 02/07
Caribbean Princess - Eastern Caribbean - 02/06
#29
81,674 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
I'm relieved they stopped the daily Bingo announcements. That used to get under my skin.

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#30
canada
373 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by Hlitner
Our favorite HA cruise director on HA was Tom Faulkner. We use the word "was" because Tom is no longer a cruise director but will now be found doing is future cruise consulting (along with his lovely wife...Tina) on various HA ships. What made Tom special? He quickly won-over most passengers the first day of every cruise with a short announcement that he would only be making one PA announcement per day (at noon with the Captain's report) and folks who wanted to know about activities could find this info in the daily schedule. To spend all day without the annoying PA stuff was a true pleasure. We are just back from the Veendam where there is an excellent CD (Alex) except that he simply had to interrupt everyone with announcements at around 9:45am, 12:30pm and again at 4pm (and sometimes had 1 or 2 other annoucments). Everything said in those announcements is contained in the daily schedule but I guess HA (and most of their CDs) feel that their charges are illiterate and need frequent reinforcing of the daily schedule and ways to spend their money ("there is a sale at the spa," "a shop sale at the pool," "a scheduled show in the Showroom," etc).

There is an interesting facet of cruising for those who cruise on many different lines (we have been on 14 lines). The number (and length) of annoying PA announcements seems to be inversely proportional to the overall quality of the product. If you cruise on the ultra luxury lines there are generally no more then a single announcement per day. But the mass market lines seem to feel that its fine to annoy customers. It reminds me of the "Blue Light specials" that are announced at K-Marts.

Hank
I agree 100%,Tom was outstanding,wish there were more like him around,we miss him big time.
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#31
Greater Vancouver
4,935 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by lorekauf
That post made me wonder too sail. A cd is totally unimportant to me. Maybe we wouldn't have the twice daily updates about what is going on around the ship without one. Clearly none of us can read. I rarely go to any organized activities so I really don't care who the cd is.
I tend to agree with you Lorene. Those daily updates drive me nuts. The only PA I look forward to is the Captain's talk around noon. Wish people would not talk while he is talking.
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#32
Napa Valley
1,336 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by sail7seas
A post in another thread got me wondering.......

What do you think makes an HAL CD more excellent, more to your liking, better at his/her work than another?
CD's are at their best when they stay home...
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#33
Alberta
346 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
My comment is not about a cruise director but someone on his staff. The fellow who ran name that toon, bingo, line dancing as well as other activities on the Amsterdam was hard to take. His attitude was rude and condescending and at times bordered on bullying. An example of this is; four from our group got up to learn to line dance. After a couple of songs we wanted to sit, watch and sip a drink. He actually took my arm and pulled me and others back while making comments that I found upsetting. I did stay dancing but left the crow's nest soon after as I felt that this was the only way out of this situation. The group of us discussed this after and felt that he was completely inappropriate. I commented on this in my survey to HAL.
#34
Alberta
20,419 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Lauranne
My comment is not about a cruise director but someone on his staff. The fellow who ran name that toon, bingo, line dancing as well as other activities on the Amsterdam was hard to take. His attitude was rude and condescending and at times bordered on bullying. An example of this is; four from our group got up to learn to line dance. After a couple of songs we wanted to sit, watch and sip a drink. He actually took my arm and pulled me and others back while making comments that I found upsetting. I did stay dancing but left the crow's nest soon after as I felt that this was the only way out of this situation. The group of us discussed this after and felt that he was completely inappropriate. I commented on this in my survey to HAL.
Wow, that is totally inappropriate.
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#35
Tigard, OR
4,393 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by catl331
On our cruise to Bermuda our Explorer / On Location states we had Carlos Mendoza. We found Anthony Choice to be a great friendly guy on the Maasdam.
I agree, Anthony Choice is one of the few I remember.
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#36
Athens, GA
2,586 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by catl331
On our cruise to Bermuda our Explorer / On Location states we had Carlos Mendoza. We found Anthony Choice to be a great friendly guy on the Maasdam.
Originally posted by cruisinjudy
I agree, Anthony Choice is one of the few I remember.
As soon as I saw Anthony's name I remembered him as one of the better Cruise Directors I have had. Very friendly and easy to talk to.
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#37
Michigan
2,732 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
We had a new cruise director on Prinsendam. She had a lot of excellent qualities BUT.....she insisted on getting on the P.A. at 9 a.m. with her announcements. Sometimes we like to stay up late and sleep in, on sea days. I don't remember Thom Faulkner or Linda M. being so thoughtless!!
#38
America's Hometown
16,673 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
I think the Cruise Director is an especially important job on the transatlantic cruises...more so on the short Caribbean runs with an intensive port itinerary. We had 8 sea days this last cruise, with one "break" in between in the Azores.

That's a lot of passengers to keep entertained for 8 days at sea!
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Sheila
"innlady1"
[email protected]

Future Cruises
MS Rotterdam - Southern Caribbean - 02/18
MS Veendam - Canada & Atlantic Coast - 10/17
Past Cruises
MS Veendam - Bermuda - 05/15
MS Nieuw Amsterdam - Eastern Caribbean - 02/15
MS Noordam - Southern Caribbean - 02/14
MS Maasdam - Eastern Caribbean - 01/14
MS Nieuw Amsterdam - Med/westbound TA B2B- 10/13
MS Ryndam - Southern & Western Caribbean B2B- 02/13
MS Veendam - Bermuda - 05/12
MS Maasdam - Caribbean - 01/12
MS Maasdam - Caribbean - 01/11
MS Noordam - Caribbean B2B - 01/10
MS Noordam - Caribbean B2B - 01/09
MS Noordam - Caribbean - 02/08
MS Noordam - Caribbean - 02/07
Caribbean Princess - Eastern Caribbean - 02/06
#39
New Cumberland,PA, USA
27,275 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by LindaM
We had a new cruise director on Prinsendam. She had a lot of excellent qualities BUT.....she insisted on getting on the P.A. at 9 a.m. with her announcements. Sometimes we like to stay up late and sleep in, on sea days. I don't remember Thom Faulkner or Linda M. being so thoughtless!!
9am! OMG! If we were awakened by worthless 9AM announcements we would quickly seek out the CD and have a very polite conversation. The gist would be that if it happened again, there would be an e-mail soon on it's way to Seattle. Believe it or not but there are actually a few HA cruisers who stay awake after 10pm and enjoy sleeping late

Hank
#40
Chicagoland
2,404 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
The perfect CD is one I'm not aware of. A CD who keeps announcements short.
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