New Itinerary Possible?

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#1
Lake Norman, NC
475 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Taco Bell -- like many other franchise restaurants -- keeps only 10 or 12 actual ingredients on hand yet routinely lists well over a hundred menu offerings. That being the case, you'd maybe think someone at HAL (or anywhere else) could come up with a new Caribbean itinerary.

What do we have now? Eastern, Western, Southern, Panama Canal, and a few B2B's that are actually awfully repetitive.

So ... I guess what I'm asking is that some of you more 'experienced' HAL cruisers put on your thinking caps and hopefully come up with something -- anything! -- new, different, exciting for those of us whose cruising is pretty much limited (for various reasons) to the Caribbean.

It may be an exercise in futility because I know HAL is not going to base an itinerary on Cruise Critic suggestions, but I'm still interested as to what might be proposed. I know there are some great brains out there that are just waiting for a challenge.

Thanks in advance.
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Enjoying Retirement!
#2
Niagara Falls
757 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
There is a new cruise ship terminal in Havana. Too bad the ships can't go there. (Built in readiness for when they finally can. I think a British company is in and out of there for now.)
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Festival Bolero January 1997
HAL Zaandam Alaska May 2007
HAL Noordam WB Transatlantic Oct 2010
HAL Noordam June 2012
HAL Noordam November 2012
HAL Noordam EB Transatlantic Mar 2013
HAL Ryndam November 2013
HAL Noordam EB Transatlantic Mar 2014
#3
America's Hometown
16,864 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by hensghan
Taco Bell -- like many other franchise restaurants -- keeps only 10 or 12 actual ingredients on hand yet routinely lists well over a hundred menu offerings. That being the case, you'd maybe think someone at HAL (or anywhere else) could come up with a new Caribbean itinerary.

What do we have now? Eastern, Western, Southern, Panama Canal, and a few B2B's that are actually awfully repetitive.

So ... I guess what I'm asking is that some of you more 'experienced' HAL cruisers put on your thinking caps and hopefully come up with something -- anything! -- new, different, exciting for those of us whose cruising is pretty much limited (for various reasons) to the Caribbean.

It may be an exercise in futility because I know HAL is not going to base an itinerary on Cruise Critic suggestions, but I'm still interested as to what might be proposed. I know there are some great brains out there that are just waiting for a challenge.

Thanks in advance.
Because we own a B & B inn that is open from April through October, we are limited to cruising in the winter. So I, too, would love to hear some creative Carribean itineraries. The most interesting we've done is the 14 day cruise on the Maasdam, this winter and last. Wish HAL would repeat the one with St. Kitts and St. Croix during the winter next year as we've not done that.
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Sheila
"innlady1"
innlady1@gmail.com

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
#4
Albuquerque, New Mexico
12,653 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Cannot really answer all as I've not been to all of the Caribbean Islands yet and I've done Eastern, Southern, Southern and Western (I know I said Southern twice, but they only had 1 island in common outside of HMC)

I'd love to go to the following on one cruise:

St Maartens, Martinique, St Lucia (those are the ones I really love)

I've not done the following, but would love to try them on the same cruise as the 3 above:

St Croix, St Kitts, Montserrat and any other islands right around St Lucia, Martinique and Montserrat

Joanie
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Email irl_joanie@yahoo.com

"To me a stranger is just a friend I have not yet met."

Our Personal Web Site for our cruises, photos, menus, activities, etc. http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/


Past Cruises
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Brendisi-Piraeus Jun 83

Greek Islands Jun 85
Piraeus-Venice Dec 85
Oosterdam-
VA 5054-Alaska May 08
Westerdam-SA 7076-Alaska May 09
Westerdam-
VF 8154-Caribbean (E&S) Feb 10
Nieuw Amsterdam-
SC 6164-Caribbean (W) Nov 10
Oosterdam-SC 6166-Mexican Riviera Apr 11
Zuiderdam-SC 6166-Alaska Sept 11
Noordam-SB 7142-Caribbean (S) Mar 12
Nieuw Amsterdam-SC 6175-Caribbean (W) Nov 12
Westerdam-SA 7085-Caribbean (S) Dec 12
Zuiderdam-SC 5190-Alaska May 13
Zuiderdam-SC 6166-Panama Canal (PT) Nov 13
Westerdam-SC 5190-Alaska July 14
Westerdam-SS 6052-Alaska July 14
Nieuw Amsterdam-SB-5187-E/W Caribbean 7-21 Dec 15
Noordam-SB-7142-San Diego/Alaska 5-23 May 15
Oosterdam-SB-6166-Caribbean Wayfarer 16-27 Nov 15
Nieuw Amsterdam-SC 5186-San Diego to Alaska Inside Passage - 19 Days-25 Apr through May 14 2016
Zuiderdam-SB 5190-Panama Canal (Partial Transit) 20 November 2016
(FINAL Cruise due to HAL Smoking Policy Change)
#5
America's Hometown
16,864 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by IRL_Joanie
Cannot really answer all as I've not been to all of the Caribbean Islands yet and I've done Eastern, Southern, Southern and Western (I know I said Southern twice, but they only had 1 island in common outside of HMC)

I'd love to go to the following on one cruise:

St Maartens, Martinique, St Lucia (those are the ones I really love)

I've not done the following, but would love to try them on the same cruise as the 3 above:

St Croix, St Kitts, Montserrat and any other islands right around St Lucia, Martinique and Montserrat

Joanie
Joanie...I'm curious why Martinique is at the top of your list? We've been there several times...twice on the Noordam; twice on the Maasdam. And it's the most unfriendly island we've ever encountered. The residents speak French only and make no attempt to understand English, for starters. In January, we disembarked, tried to get a taxi tour of the island, and none of the tour guides we encountered spoke English....
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Sheila
"innlady1"
innlady1@gmail.com

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
#6
82,487 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by hensghan
Taco Bell -- like many other franchise restaurants -- keeps only 10 or 12 actual ingredients on hand yet routinely lists well over a hundred menu offerings. That being the case, you'd maybe think someone at HAL (or anywhere else) could come up with a new Caribbean itinerary.

What do we have now? Eastern, Western, Southern, Panama Canal, and a few B2B's that are actually awfully repetitive.

So ... I guess what I'm asking is that some of you more 'experienced' HAL cruisers put on your thinking caps and hopefully come up with something -- anything! -- new, different, exciting for those of us whose cruising is pretty much limited (for various reasons) to the Caribbean.

It may be an exercise in futility because I know HAL is not going to base an itinerary on Cruise Critic suggestions, but I'm still interested as to what might be proposed. I know there are some great brains out there that are just waiting for a challenge.

Thanks in advance.
It isn't quite that simple as 'think up a new itinerary'. Actually, HAL has about the best Caribbean itineraries IMO for the size of their ships.

These big ships cannot go into just any 'ole harbor. How deep is the harbor? What kind of docks to secure the ships? Is tendering required? What demands do the islands make to permit the company to call there? So many questions I don't even know to ask.
The islands have to be able to support a port call of upwards of 1,250 - 2,200+ passengers. Many do not have the infrastructure to accomodate for all the needs these big cruise ships have when they schedule a call.

I don't pretend to know all the issues but politics, infrastructure, accomodation, interesting sites to visit, adequate tours that are suitable, and all the marine requirements.

Carnival has been 'creating' new ports with their building at Roatan, Costa Maya, Grand Turk.......
We've sailed to just about all the islands the various ships sail to with maybe one or two exceptions and that's plenty of variety for us. There really are a fair number. HAL seems to be cutting back on how many Caribbean cruises they do. They are repositioning the ships for longer, more distant cruising.

Many of us would love to cruise to Cuba.... hopefully in my lifetime before I'm too feeble to sail.

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#7
Niagara Falls
757 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
I've been to Martinique. Scary. In the park near the cruise terminal where the market was, there were sculptures of Napoleon and Josephine. Both had been be-headed and there was red paint depicting blood that was very realistic. Felt very intimidated by the locals all sitting and following our every move with their eyes. Couldn't get back to the ship fast enough.

No english spoken to us there.
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Festival Bolero January 1997
HAL Zaandam Alaska May 2007
HAL Noordam WB Transatlantic Oct 2010
HAL Noordam June 2012
HAL Noordam November 2012
HAL Noordam EB Transatlantic Mar 2013
HAL Ryndam November 2013
HAL Noordam EB Transatlantic Mar 2014
#8
Seattle, WA
2,562 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by hensghan
Taco Bell -- like many other franchise restaurants -- keeps only 10 or 12 actual ingredients on hand yet routinely lists well over a hundred menu offerings. That being the case, you'd maybe think someone at HAL (or anywhere else) could come up with a new Caribbean itinerary.

What do we have now? Eastern, Western, Southern, Panama Canal, and a few B2B's that are actually awfully repetitive.

So ... I guess what I'm asking is that some of you more 'experienced' HAL cruisers put on your thinking caps and hopefully come up with something -- anything! -- new, different, exciting for those of us whose cruising is pretty much limited (for various reasons) to the Caribbean.

It may be an exercise in futility because I know HAL is not going to base an itinerary on Cruise Critic suggestions, but I'm still interested as to what might be proposed. I know there are some great brains out there that are just waiting for a challenge.

Thanks in advance.
Here you go, here's a new one :
http://www.hollandamerica.com/find-c...orAudit=CSF234

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DBA
#9
Petaluma, Ca. 94954
29,378 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
DBA - great route! If it stopped at HMC twice, coming and going, we might jump on it.

Where have you hiding?
#10
Seattle, WA
2,562 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by CruiserBruce
DBA - great route! If it stopped at HMC twice, coming and going, we might jump on it.

Where have you hiding?
I've been around. Lots going on, did a little more lurking, getting some priorities back in order.

The blogger cruise with John Heald on Carnival Magic and some chats I had with him definitely helped re-energize me in terms of blog/social media and being a little more present again

And you're right, it's a shame HMC wasn't worked into this route, although I suppose if I was spending this much for a month at sea and 2 crossings in the winter I might want more than a cruise line's private island (although if I do say so myself, we set the standard for private islands )
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DBA
#12
flushing, ny
6,052 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
I don't know how popular or not it would be, but I would like a cruise from Port Everglades or whereever, to call at US Ports, like Miami, Key West, Tampa, Mobile, New Orleans, Galveston, with at least one call at a nearby foreign port to make it 'legal'. Or go the other way, stopping at Port Canaveral, Jacksonville, Savannah, Charleston, etc. True, you could easily do a motor trip to see these, but I thought perhaps if they just did one or two a year, they might get some response from those wanting a break from island-hopping, and wanting to see our country without having to drive.....
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getting there is half the fun!
coming back is the other half!
#13
Wisconsin
2,794 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
I wonder if HAL has ever considered offering 7-day cruises out of San Juan, Puerto Rico as Carnival, X, Princess and RCCL does. I realize it would not appeal to some, but after visiting islands like St. Lucia, Martinique, Barbados and Dominica, my DW and I was amazed how beautiful and different these islands were from all the other we've visited in the Caribbean.

We also liked Martinique. We were somewhat apprehensive after reading posts about how unfriendly the inhabitants were, but the complete opposite happened to us in January. We took an excursion to a rum distillery and to St. Pierre and the Mt. Pelee area, and everyone we ran into including the vendors spoke English and were very friendly. When we got back from our excursion, we participated in their Carnival celebration downtown with the locals. All were hospitable and spoke English.
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#14
Alicante, Spain
5,691 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
I think with Martinique being unfriendly and unwelcoming, it depends on your attitude to them. It is similar to Paris.

If you go there with the attitude I am American/English (delete as applicable) and you should speak to me in English, you will get a very cool reception.

If you go there and try to speak a few words of French (if only hello, please and thank you) you will be surprised at how friendly and helpful they can be.

Joanie, I don't think any cruises will be going to Montserrat in the near future. Since the earthquake there in 1995 it is mostly an exclusion zone.

I have cruised to almost every island in the Caribbean, even the lesser known ones, a lot of them would not be able to, or not want to, take the larger cruise ships. Some of them are also very expensive for the ships to use the port facilities.

HAL seem to prefer to do alternating 7 or 10 day cruises which can be combined for a B2B or 'collectors' cruise which are more flexible.
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Carol

Past cruises
1 P&O, 1 Radisson (now Regent), 4 NCL, 3 Festival (no longer exists), 4 RCI, 6 Windstar, 11 HAL

HAL

RCI Platinum






#15
107,612 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by DutchByAssociation
Here you go, here's a new one :
http://www.hollandamerica.com/find-c...orAudit=CSF234

Not good for many of us -- as OP mentioned -- many of us are now limited to the Caribbean -- and that itinerary starts in Rotterdam.

We are no longer able to fly long distances.
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Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.
#16
107,612 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
We have been to Martinique quite a few times -- do not like the people there.

Very rude.

Some do speak limited English but refuse to use it whenever a US citizen walks into a shop.
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Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.
#17
107,612 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
HAL's Caribbean itineraries have really gone downhill since the Vista class ships came out. Basic 7 day itineraries.

Years ago HAL had the Zaandam and Volendam doing 2 different 10 day itineraries -- wonderful. Now those ships have been moved out of the Caribbean leeaving not many choices for ships for longer cruises.
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Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.
#18
America's Hometown
16,864 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by Krazy Kruizers
We have been to Martinique quite a few times -- do not like the people there.

Very rude.

Some do speak limited English but refuse to use it whenever a US citizen walks into a shop.
We, too, have been there several times: Four or five. One of our daughter's sews quite a bit so I thought it would be fun to buy some of the traditional fabric from Martinique. I asked how much and the man looked at me like I had seven heads. It's a really strange island. I've never encountered so many rude people in one place!
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Sheila
"innlady1"
innlady1@gmail.com

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
#19
11,377 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
From a business standpoint it is shortsighted for a retailer to refuse to speak at least a little of a customer's language, if it's commonly used. For example, a lot of retailers in Manhattan can speak at least a little Spanish if they are in a neighborhood where the customer base can only communicate that way.

While it may seem to us that small vendors on a Caribbean island are missing out on "a lot" of business by not speaking English, we don't have the full picture. They might be missing a lot, they might not. At the end of the day I suspect it has more to do with being a very, very small player in a very big world; when those from the big outside world show up on their doorstep and then expect to be treated like visiting royalty (as in "now you speak our language, not yours, if you want our money"), I can understand folks getting their backs up. True, it could be cutting off their noses to spite their faces, but it's an understandable response when the balance of power is so uneven.

Can you imagine the response they'd get in your local Walmart if they insisted on speaking only French and trying to pay in their local currency? Yet we Americans seem to think that it's okay to expect to do the reverse in their country.
#20
Brooklyn, NY
17,880 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by bob brown
I don't know how popular or not it would be, but I would like a cruise from Port Everglades or whereever, to call at US Ports, like Miami, Key West, Tampa, Mobile, New Orleans, Galveston, with at least one call at a nearby foreign port to make it 'legal'.
Our RSVP charter next February does that: Port Everglades, Key West, New Orleans (on Mardi Gras) and Half Moon Cay (the foreign port).

Many RSVP regulars are not thrilled by the itinerary; they feel they can visit those places on their own and that it may be a bit cooller than the usual February Caribbean itinerary about two weeks later that this Mardi Gras cruise.

I wonder if it would be maiden port calls for the Eurodam in Key West and New Orleans?
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Peter


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