Hapag-Lloyd Cruises reveals dramatic growth in English-speaking passenger numbers

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!

Luxury Cruising
Is it a state of mind?
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 On
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 04:12 PM.
#41
California
669 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Travelcat, for someone not particularly interested in HL, and who has made clear you have zero interest in trying one of its ships, I do not understand why you spend so much time talking about it and tracking it! But you are right that so far it has been very easy for them to fill their ships with overwhelmingly German language pax so I have also wondered why they bother on the E2 and the Hanseatic, and plan to continue on the new expedition ship.

English Voyager, there are definitely some Germans who resent bilingual announcements on a bilingual ship, I have heard a few express annoyance, and a few have written about their annoyance on online reviews. But they appear to be a minority of crankpusses, as most are too busy having a good time to seriously care about announcements in English, as well-traveled rich Germans are used to hearing English everywhere they go.

I am counting down to my upcoming trip on the E2.
#42
1,253 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Originally posted by Catlover54
English Voyager, there are definitely some Germans who resent bilingual announcements on a bilingual ship, I have heard a few express annoyance, and a few have written about their annoyance on online reviews. But they appear to be a minority of crankpusses, as most are too busy having a good time to seriously care about announcements in English, as well-traveled rich Germans are used to hearing English everywhere they go.

I am counting down to my upcoming trip on the E2.
On embarkation day there will be several announcements in English prior to the safety drill.

Thereafter, on an average day there will be the customary noon announcement from the bridge, and a pre-, and post, evening theatre show announcement.

Occasionally, if there is something of particular interest being passed, such as when we sailed through the Dardanelles, and passed Gallipoli, the port lecturer will give a commentary from the bridge.

Hardly angst inducing.



Have you long to wait for your cruise ?
#43
Katonah,NY, USA
2,792 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
There are always people that will complain about something!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Jacqueline [email protected]
Upcoming Hanseatic Antarctica February 2018
Viking River Cruise on the Rhine, August 2017
HAL Eurodam March 2017 Carribean from Ft. Lauderdale
Silver Sea Silver Galapagos Jan 2017
Queen Mary 2 round trip New York to South Hampton July/August 2016
Caribbean Princess March 2011 So Caribbean
HAL Westerdam October 1 2010 Black Sea
AOS August 2009 So Caribbean
Celebrity Summit Feb 2009 So Caribbean
Crown Princess Spring Break So Caribbean 2006
Golden Princess Spring Break So Caribbean 2005
Hal Westerdam London to Athens July 30 2004
Celebrity Constellation So Caribbean Spring Break 04
Tahitian Princess - Tahiti ! August 2003
Grand Princess Spring Break 2003
Brilliance of the Seas Baltic 2002
Ocean Princess Alaska 2001
Celebrity Zenith Bermuda 2001
Grand Princess Med 2000
--------------------------------
QE2 1985 - Hurricane Kate- NY round trip to Carribean
Cunard Countess
Greek Islands 1983
#44
Washington State
22,837 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by Catlover54
Travelcat, for someone not particularly interested in HL, and who has made clear you have zero interest in trying one of its ships, I do not understand why you spend so much time talking about it and tracking it! But you are right that so far it has been very easy for them to fill their ships with overwhelmingly German language pax so I have also wondered why they bother on the E2 and the Hanseatic, and plan to continue on the new expedition ship.

English Voyager, there are definitely some Germans who resent bilingual announcements on a bilingual ship, I have heard a few express annoyance, and a few have written about their annoyance on online reviews. But they appear to be a minority of crankpusses, as most are too busy having a good time to seriously care about announcements in English, as well-traveled rich Germans are used to hearing English everywhere they go.

I am counting down to my upcoming trip on the E2.
You are sort of correct but every time I go to the luxury board, there is H-L staring me in the face (numerous threads). I check some of them out to see if anything has changed which apparently it has (making Europa all German speaking). If they were not filling ships and decided to go all-inclusive and had at least 50% English speaking guests, I would be interested as I do feel that the ship is lovely.

BTW, I realize that luxury cruise ships have very few announcements so I'm not concerned about that. It is the general atmosphere of the ship, shows and interacting with the crew.

There is a great solution to those of us not interested H-L -- CC could give you a board. That would make everyone happy. Then, if there was a major announcement, Laura would likely put it on the luxury board. Other than that, I would to visit the H-L board.
#45
California
669 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
The officers speak excellent English, so you could certainly interact with them in English, (when I was on the Europa the CD was actually an ex-pat American), crew on the level of waiters and bartenders speak decent though not nuanced English unless it is food and drink related, and the lower base service people, e.g., those who dish out foods in the buffet areas or clean suites often speak better English than German, as they may be Filipino, like on Regent or SS, or are from other non-German countries where English and not German is their second language of choice. My stewardesses were Ukrainian and Filipino on the Europa, and they were pleased to have me talk English ( or Russian, with the Soviet-born Ukrainian) rather than German, but on the E2 the butler was from Berlin and his English was on the level of Filipino butlers on SS. He was reluctant to say anything about himself or his life in Berlin, so I did not force it, he was just all business.

Unlike on SS and Regent, and SB, however, I was told by a crew member that other than officers and bartenders and people in social positions, crew are not supposed to engage in chit-chat with pax, their supervisors frown on it, as that distracts from their duties, though they are instructed to be polite, friendly and responsive to requests. They are told they work for their affluent customers, they are not supposed to pretend they are their friends.

Some of us on English language lines have been annoyed when crew, e.g., bartenders, are busy socially chatting on and on with pax they know, (especially the important high-end regulars) rather than moving on to getting us our drinks and food, so on the one hand I like the business like approach, on the other I could see how regulars and those who have status and like to chat might be put off.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
#46
1,253 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Originally posted by Travelcat2
I realize that luxury cruise ships have very few announcements so I'm not concerned about that.
And yet only yesterday you stated:

' I would not be happy if my luxury line of choice was making announcements in other languages for only 2 or 4 passengers.'
#47
NY, ZG/Colorado
947 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Originally posted by Catlover54
The officers speak excellent English, so you could certainly interact with them in English, (when I was on the Europa the CD was actually an ex-pat American), crew on the level of waiters and bartenders speak decent though not nuanced English unless it is food and drink related, and the lower base service people, e.g., those who dish out foods in the buffet areas or clean suites often speak better English than German, as they may be Filipino, like on Regent or SS, or are from other non-German countries where English and not German is their second language of choice. My stewardesses were Ukrainian and Filipino on the Europa, and they were pleased to have me talk English ( or Russian, with the Soviet-born Ukrainian) rather than German, but on the E2 the butler was from Berlin and his English was on the level of Filipino butlers on SS. He was reluctant to say anything about himself or his life in Berlin, so I did not force
it, he was just all business.

Unlike on SS and Regent, and SB, however, I was told by a crew member that other than officers and bartenders and people in social positions, crew are not supposed to engage in chit-chat with pax, their supervisors frown on it, as that distracts from their duties, though they are instructed to be polite, friendly and responsive to requests. They are told they work for their affluent customers, they are not supposed to pretend they are their friends.

Some of us on English language lines have been annoyed when crew, e.g., bartenders, are busy socially chatting on and on with pax they know, (especially the important high-end regulars) rather than moving on to getting us our drinks and food, so on the one hand I like the business like approach, on the other I could see how regulars and those who have status and like to chat might be put off.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Very well said. Luxury to me is not having to interact and have the staff spend time hanging over our table asking too many questions. Do the job you are paid to do, and let us enjoy our evening.

Your posts on Europa have had me looking at cruising with them for some time now given the proper itinerary.

On most lines, the language barrier can be difficult and quite personally, as long as the service is excellent, I really do not care. I know they try and that is what is important to me.

I would mostly likely enjoy the German line because I like a ship that is run well. Just like my Grandparents of German decent. My family always ran a "tight ship" and I inherited that quality.

I enjoy many of your posts and what you offer on these boards.

Thank you.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
"I haven't been everywhere but it's on my list".....
-Susan Sontag
#48
Washington State
22,837 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by Catlover54
The officers speak excellent English, so you could certainly interact with them in English, (when I was on the Europa the CD was actually an ex-pat American), crew on the level of waiters and bartenders speak decent though not nuanced English unless it is food and drink related, and the lower base service people, e.g., those who dish out foods in the buffet areas or clean suites often speak better English than German, as they may be Filipino, like on Regent or SS, or are from other non-German countries where English and not German is their second language of choice. My stewardesses were Ukrainian and Filipino on the Europa, and they were pleased to have me talk English ( or Russian, with the Soviet-born Ukrainian) rather than German, but on the E2 the butler was from Berlin and his English was on the level of Filipino butlers on SS. He was reluctant to say anything about himself or his life in Berlin, so I did not force it, he was just all business.

Unlike on SS and Regent, and SB, however, I was told by a crew member that other than officers and bartenders and people in social positions, crew are not supposed to engage in chit-chat with pax, their supervisors frown on it, as that distracts from their duties, though they are instructed to be polite, friendly and responsive to requests. They are told they work for their affluent customers, they are not supposed to pretend they are their friends.

Some of us on English language lines have been annoyed when crew, e.g., bartenders, are busy socially chatting on and on with pax they know, (especially the important high-end regulars) rather than moving on to getting us our drinks and food, so on the one hand I like the business like approach, on the other I could see how regulars and those who have status and like to chat might be put off.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
We always interact with the officers and crew of our preferred luxury cruise lines, however, their work comes first and we would never interfere with them taking care of other guests. If I'm saying something to a bartender, for instance, and see a passenger waiting, I'm interrupt myself and tell the bartender to go and attend to her customer and we'll continue later. Some of these crew members have actually become friends that we have kept in contact with for years.

The cultural differences are what concerns me (as well as a language that we do not speak). These articles, IMO, express this well. The BBC article, IMO, this would be similar for those of us in the U.S. and Canada.

BBC News excerpt:

"There are Britons in Berlin who get taken aback by the directness of Germans. And there are Germans who get really annoyed when Britons (and Americans), in an effort to appear friendly, say things that they don't really mean. Some Germans call this 'lying'.

She found (or verified) that Germans really don't do small talk, those little phrases so familiar to the British about the weather or a person's general well-being, but what she describes as "empty verbiage".

Saying things like "It's nice to meet you" are rarely meant the way they are said, she says. 'It's just words. It's stimulating interest in the other person'. From a German perspective, this is uncomfortably close to deceit'"

Lastly, excepts from an article entitled "Communication Styles in Germany and the United States (from a class taught on "Intercultural Education in K-12 Classrooms"):

"Germans tend to say exactly what they mean and do not value superfluous "fillers" within conversations, Americans on the other hand, usually include these fillers without even realizing. Due to this cultural difference, Americans often see Germans as impolite and harsh.

I remember being startled the first time I called a friend's house in Germany and her father answered the phone by saying 'Linnemann' (his last name). There was no polite 'Hello?', only a quick confirmation that I had reached the Linnemann household. While this seemed unnatural to me the first several times it happened, I soon came to realize that the German way of answering the phone was not impolite, but efficient. The same can be said about their communication style in general; it is direct, clear and to the point.

There is one instance in which German communication is not so different from the United States. In both cultures, a lack of eye contact can be interpreted as a sign of weakness, dishonesty and poor self-esteem".

I learned a lot from these articles and wanted to share.
#49
Katonah,NY, USA
2,792 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Travelcat, that's actually pretty interesting. I am comfortable with the German style but can see it will be very interesting for my partner who is quite theatrical and talkative.
I had German aupairs in my home for years, and their families visited as well. The girls were the best drivers!
In part, my choice of the Hanseatic for Antartica is based on my comfort level with German competency and seamanship. The Silversea Cloud is doing a maiden voyage there next year and should be a magnificent ship . In my opinion, it's bad enough doing a shakeout season in the Caribbean. Not for me, but others are very excited about it.
The HL captains literally have 100s of voyages in both poles and I believe the Hanseatic will be at 200 Antarctic voyages next season.
My only reservation is that it is a long cruise with a lot of sea days at the end, as it is a repositioning cruise.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Jacqueline [email protected]
Upcoming Hanseatic Antarctica February 2018
Viking River Cruise on the Rhine, August 2017
HAL Eurodam March 2017 Carribean from Ft. Lauderdale
Silver Sea Silver Galapagos Jan 2017
Queen Mary 2 round trip New York to South Hampton July/August 2016
Caribbean Princess March 2011 So Caribbean
HAL Westerdam October 1 2010 Black Sea
AOS August 2009 So Caribbean
Celebrity Summit Feb 2009 So Caribbean
Crown Princess Spring Break So Caribbean 2006
Golden Princess Spring Break So Caribbean 2005
Hal Westerdam London to Athens July 30 2004
Celebrity Constellation So Caribbean Spring Break 04
Tahitian Princess - Tahiti ! August 2003
Grand Princess Spring Break 2003
Brilliance of the Seas Baltic 2002
Ocean Princess Alaska 2001
Celebrity Zenith Bermuda 2001
Grand Princess Med 2000
--------------------------------
QE2 1985 - Hurricane Kate- NY round trip to Carribean
Cunard Countess
Greek Islands 1983
#50
California
669 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
1. EV, my cruise on the E2 departs ex-NYC 10/27. I will be meeting a German friend in NY a couple days early as she has never seen NY, and last time I was there people were preoccupied with the presence of a very large hole in the ground

I want to see the 9/11 memorial museum and the rebuild, and go to The Modern restaurant I have fond memories of, a couple museums, and also swing by the old area where my refugee immigrant parents lived a few years when they came to NYC and where my sister was born ( previously a cheap rundown area, but now gentrified and upscale)

The ships sits two nights in NYC after embarkation.

2. Jacqueline, I hope you have a lovely time on Hanseatic! Along the lines of warnings about what TC2 said about German communication style, you may wish to read parts of my MS Europa review from last year, about half-way down under the section labeled "GERMAN" I talk about communication, and the relative formality ( key issues are to not first-name someone without invitation, do not pry, do not act fake-friendly, and leave the flashy American style jewelry at home

https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberr...EntryID=547145
#51
Brisbane
115 Posts
Joined Jul 2012
Originally posted by Travelcat2
The cultural differences are what concerns me (as well as a language that we do not speak). These articles, IMO, express this well. The BBC article, IMO, this would be similar for those of us in the U.S. and Canada.

BBC News excerpt:

"There are Britons in Berlin who get taken aback by the directness of Germans. And there are Germans who get really annoyed when Britons (and Americans), in an effort to appear friendly, say things that they don't really mean. Some Germans call this 'lying'.

She found (or verified) that Germans really don't do small talk, those little phrases so familiar to the British about the weather or a person's general well-being, but what she describes as "empty verbiage".

Saying things like "It's nice to meet you" are rarely meant the way they are said, she says. 'It's just words. It's stimulating interest in the other person'. From a German perspective, this is uncomfortably close to deceit'"

Lastly, excepts from an article entitled "Communication Styles in Germany and the United States (from a class taught on "Intercultural Education in K-12 Classrooms"):

"Germans tend to say exactly what they mean and do not value superfluous "fillers" within conversations, Americans on the other hand, usually include these fillers without even realizing. Due to this cultural difference, Americans often see Germans as impolite and harsh.

I remember being startled the first time I called a friend's house in Germany and her father answered the phone by saying 'Linnemann' (his last name). There was no polite 'Hello?', only a quick confirmation that I had reached the Linnemann household. While this seemed unnatural to me the first several times it happened, I soon came to realize that the German way of answering the phone was not impolite, but efficient. The same can be said about their communication style in general; it is direct, clear and to the point.

There is one instance in which German communication is not so different from the United States. In both cultures, a lack of eye contact can be interpreted as a sign of weakness, dishonesty and poor self-esteem".

I learned a lot from these articles and wanted to share.
Hehe, I still remember when I first moved to the States and everybody kept asking me how I was. I thought the constant interest in my health and state-of-mind weird. And then those waiters - always telling me their name and wanting to chat with me. So annoying... Over the years I have grown accustomed to it and even manage some 'empty talk' myself.


The younger German generation has lost quite a bit of its formality though, e.g. addressing one's boss with his first name is becoming pretty commonplace. That won't help with the average Europa customer but the Europa 2 with its younger target market should be better. My rule of thumb is if they look older than about 50, I introduce myself with my full name (letting them choose how to respond), if younger I go with my first name.
#53
1,253 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
Catlover54,

Your cruise appears to be after the Europa 2's refresh, so it will be interesting to read of any changes that have been made.

Also, the evening entertainment looks promising with the Vintage Vegas, and Tap Factor, tap dancing, shows.

The 27 October will be here before you know it.
#54
Katonah,NY, USA
2,792 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Great help all!
It is a longish cruise, 20 days and all with most of them sea days.
It sounds like we will be spending a lot of time with the other English speakers. Honestly, my biggest fear is not the Germans, but that the other English speakers will try and speak about politics.
I might ask to be put at an all german table if that happens!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Jacqueline [email protected]
Upcoming Hanseatic Antarctica February 2018
Viking River Cruise on the Rhine, August 2017
HAL Eurodam March 2017 Carribean from Ft. Lauderdale
Silver Sea Silver Galapagos Jan 2017
Queen Mary 2 round trip New York to South Hampton July/August 2016
Caribbean Princess March 2011 So Caribbean
HAL Westerdam October 1 2010 Black Sea
AOS August 2009 So Caribbean
Celebrity Summit Feb 2009 So Caribbean
Crown Princess Spring Break So Caribbean 2006
Golden Princess Spring Break So Caribbean 2005
Hal Westerdam London to Athens July 30 2004
Celebrity Constellation So Caribbean Spring Break 04
Tahitian Princess - Tahiti ! August 2003
Grand Princess Spring Break 2003
Brilliance of the Seas Baltic 2002
Ocean Princess Alaska 2001
Celebrity Zenith Bermuda 2001
Grand Princess Med 2000
--------------------------------
QE2 1985 - Hurricane Kate- NY round trip to Carribean
Cunard Countess
Greek Islands 1983
#55
Washington State
22,837 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
So many interesting responses! Jacqueline (BTW, that is my name as well), it is considered to be in extremely bad taste to discuss politics with people that you don't know extremely well. Unfortunately, as you no doubt know, not everyone follows the rules of good taste. If someone brings up politics, I simply (and politely) explain that this is not something that we care to discuss since there are so many different opinions.

Also want to comment on Silversea's "new" Cloud. Firstly, she is far from new - she is very old and was taken out of service by Silversea. I toured her when she was in port and she definitely needed a facelift (actually, a whole body lift). IMO, unless they totally gutted the ship, it is not a ship that I would want to sail on. I would pay special attention to all information that is put forth about this ship to see if they have solved all of the issues (air conditioning being one of them) and that the suites are new (including the bathroom granite and tiles - something that luxury cruise lines do not tend to replace). If she is as advertised, I would give her a try.

English Voyager: Love your post about the differences between *Americans and the English.

cathaana: I can only imagine how strange it felt for people to ask you how you are all the time. As you know, "we" still do that.


Catlover54: Thanks for adding to the articles that I posted. I do wonder what "flashy American jewelry" is. I haven't noticed that "our" jewelry is different than in other countries (except in the Middle East where they sometimes wear what seems like a pound of gold on their necks and arms).




*Speaking of "Americans", I learned something in Costa Rica a few years ago that makes me not refer to myself as an American (instead I say that I'm from the U.S.). A very sweet (young) tour guide reminded us that they are "American" too - as are all people that live in North, Central and South America.
#56
antwerpen
1,042 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
Originally posted by English Voyager
Catlover54,

Your cruise appears to be after the Europa 2's refresh, so it will be interesting to read of any changes that have been made.

Also, the evening entertainment looks promising with the Vintage Vegas, and Tap Factor, tap dancing, shows.

The 27 October will be here before you know it.
I am just back from the "2" Bilbao to Hamburg with a call in my hometown - did not leave i stayed on untill Hamburg
it was not so great the Europa 2 did stay a half day in Jersey on a Sunday where everything was closed
unfortunately her older sister Europa will do the same in september : a full day in Rouen on a "death Sunday"

I will be back a last time on her after dry dock end of September for 5 days and i will inform you about the changes , and make overs.

By the way it was great as usual. Unfortunately she had to wait an hour in Amsterdam to dock as the Crystal Symphony left too late .
#57
Charlotte, NC
731 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by vistaman
I will be back a last time on her after dry dock end of September for 5 days and i will inform you about the changes , and make overs.

By the way it was great as usual .
Wonderful to hear of your enjoyment.
Yes please detail the changes.

I am particularly interested in how the change to be able to split the bed works out.
Aren't the bedside tables attached / fixed in place?
From where will they find the "space" to separate the bed into 2 singles?