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jaguarstyper

HAL is starting to lose me

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Regent is lovely and the same basic price as HAL. Once you put pen to paper, you'll easily see the attraction. The service is lovely, ship is immaculate and the food is very good. We are doing a Christmas cruise on Noordam and HOPE that it will not be the last! Sometimes the itinerary is just as important as the line. We are going to look into Crystal and Silverseas as well as an alternative==our friends rave about both lines.

Debi

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.........but I have to ask the question, where are you going because the other mid priced cruise lines are doing the same thing. I like to read the other boards just to understand what is going on within the other lines. Unless your willing to upgrade to the more expensive all inclusive lines, I think your walking yourself from one frying pan to another. Just my opinion.

 

Agree with you..I'm retired from the International Airline Business & have seen many changes in air travel..It was wonderful being able to fly trans-Atlantic & have a berth to sleep in..But those days are gone forever unless we fly Prestige class on Korean or Executive class on Japan Airlines & pay through the nose for our vacations..

DH & I flew constantly, when we retired we sailed our own boat & now we enjoy cruising because we've been to many places in this wide world & have not seen half of it..;)

We now have over 200 days on HAL & when we finally finish our Noordam & the Prinsendam cruises in March will have close to 290 days on HAL..We normally book outside cabins..We've also cruised on NCL & Oceania & once took a train trip on the American Orient Express out to the coast..We could book a Verandah cabin if we wanted to, but would not spend that much time on our private balcony.. Instead we prefer the outside cabins or the lanai's only because we enjoy our days spent on HAL's Wrap Around promenade deck, which we have yet to find on any other cruise line..That is why we cruise mostly on HAL..

I've kept track of the Price of all our cruises:

Our first cruise on the Ryndam to the carib. in Oct, 1998 cost us $267.00 per day..

In March 2003, on the Maasdam to the carib there was a special sale & it was $138.50 per day.

In Nov, 2008 (10 yrs after our first HAL cruise) our outside cabin to the Carib.on Maasdam was $215.60 per day..

In Jan 2012, our Carib cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam, was $242..00 per day..

And our Verandah on the Noordam this month has priced out at $231.81 per day..(BTW we got this for the price of an outside)..

We booked with a Travel Agent each time..The only cruises which have been close to $500 per day for an outside cabin is the Prinsendam in April of 2006 & this Jan of 2013, & also our lanai on the Veendam in Aug of 2010 was 374.50 per day..

Does anyone wonder why HAL has to charge for water & cappuccino in the MDR with these prices? Wake up everyone the prices of the staterooms has not increased only because cruisers demand a bargain..This is the only way to keep HAL from going belly up, like so many of our Airlines, including mine has done..

And Yes, we'll stick to HAL until the money or our health runs out for good!

Cheers..:)Betty.

Edited by serendipity1499

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Life is sweet in a suite, on almost any line. Concierge class and special amenities abound. And yes, when you're spending 8K-9K you should rightfully expect (demand?) certain luxuries. But most of us are not spending anywhere near that amount. In fact my cruise next month on the NA is costing over $100 less than a similar HAL cruise SIX YEARS AGO. So, if they're charging less (but most likely paying their suppliers more) you know there are going to be cuts. Frankly I'd rather pay less and be charged for what I want and use than pay more and have unnecessary items included. But that's JMHO. With the exception of Europe/Hawaii/Alaska, we cruise exclusively out of South Florida as we can drive to the port(s). We switched to other lines when my work schedule only permitted us to get away in the summer and HAL had no ships in the Caribbean then. After 7 years away from HAL (1 Costa, 1 Celebrity, 1 Princess, 1 Royal and 2 Carnival, not in any particular order) we'll be back on HAL next month (different job :-) . I'll report back and let you know if HAL has won us back or not.

 

And that's the problem for us. We spent a lot of money and didn't feel it was worth the money. We spent 8-9k because we really don't travel all that often, up until now, so we figured we'd splurge a bit. I can say if we had only spent a couple of thousand I would be in a much better place with this whole thing. But, there are plenty of other options. And we'll just try other cruise lines. We did a river cruise this summer and it was amazing. Totally amazing. It cost us a little more, but it was worth every penny to us. And now that's the problem. Uniworld set the bar pretty high.

 

 

Have a wonderful cruise!

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It makes me sad that someone is going on a cruise with this kind of uncertainty is the back of their mind. Vicocala - I'm hoping you have a great cruise. Please report back to us how it went.

 

 

Thank you very much, I am sure we will have a good time. I only get angry when I am surprised by something. Knowing what is going on is the best way for me to stay happy. :)

 

I will certainly report back and let everyone know how these issues are handled on the Westerdam. We are really looking forward to the cruise! I just wish I had a scorecard to keep track. :D

 

If someone is in a deluxe or a penthouse I would be interested to know if this is carrying over to the Neptune Lounge.

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But why should I pay for someone to gorge themselves on 2 or 3 lobster tails a night, when I only eat one? .

I generally will only eat one as well but Is eating 2-3 really gourging yourself? I do agree with most of what you are saing but I find this word so offensive!

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They're not cutting back on the river cruise lines. Everyone should try a river cruise at least once. Sure it's not the ocean, but there are many similarities all the same.

 

Prices are higher, but you get more too.

 

At least on European rivers, 135 to 180 people on the boat, small enough not to overwhelm each port of call, most excursions included, fabulous continental cuisine, wine and beer included with dinner, many include transfers to/from airport, stay in port until midnight at many stops.

 

I think the trend on the larger lines, including HAL, is irreversible as far as cutbacks go. Like so much of our society today, the lowest common denominator is becoming the norm.

 

You can still have the product that you want, but you need to pay the add-on fees for specialty dining, retreat access, etc. if you want what used to be. Otherwise, you'll likely find cutbacks in many areas.

 

We just did a Uniworld cruise and it was totally amazing. Totally. And we only spent a little more than we did on our HAL cruise, which really got us thinking about switching ocean cruise lines. If it weren't such a long flight, we'd do a river cruise each year. We just loved everything about river cruising. I know it's not for everyone, but we loved being able to walk into towns. And the food ... goodness, it was really good. We were never asked one time to buy anything. Nothing. It was so pleasant. The staff wasn't totally overwhelmed and tired. It was such a dramatic difference from our last HAL cruise.

 

I do think you're right on about the trend with the larger lines. I guess it's inevitable considering some of the deals that are out there these days. Like it or not, I guess I just have to live with the changes, and make choices that work for us.

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Patwell, you have several excellent choices. Tauck and Scenic are the premium river cruise lines (with great attention to detail, fantastic excursions and experiences, suites and balconies available) , Uniworld and AMA are next (going on my third Uniworld Christmas cruise this December), and many other excellent lines. Combining a pre and/or post stay with your river cruise makes for a wonderful trip. However, due to much smaller ships, you should be looking to deposit very soon in order to get the date you are interested in.

 

Thanks oysterdam....good head's up on booking early for this. Will most likely make the final decision while on our Noordam cruise with our traveling friends. They have done 2 Uniworld cruises and loved them so might well like this idea too. I'm ready for a bit of a change next year and this idea fascinates me. I LOVE Christmas and all the excitement of it, and I've seen a good bit of info on the markets that looks wonderful. And with dear friends in Germany and family in Norway it could make for a great trip. Appreciate your helpfulness.

 

Cheers, Penny

 

“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water” Rabindranath Tagore

 

Penny’s “Affair to Remember” QM2 Review Dec. 2006

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=471053

November 10,2007...QM2 to the Caribbean again

October 16,2008...QM2 transatlantic in tandem with the grand QE2 on her final transatlantic voyage.

December 9, 2008...QM2...back to the Caribbean

July 30, 2009....QM2....transatlantic again...

August 7, 2009....QM2... “home” to Norway

Feb. 7, 2010....Emerald Princess to the Caribbean

Aug 14, 2010...QM2... return to Norway, all the way to the top!

Aug 22, 2011...Diamond Princess....North to Alaska!!

Dec 2,2011...Noordam to the Caribbean...outstanding! http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1544173

2012...Assorted land trips in my own stunning country

Oct 2012....OBX

2012...Booked on the lovely Noordam again

 

Several North Atlantic crossings from childhood thru college on ships of the old Norwegian America line and Swedish America Line...RIP to those marvelous old ships

Edited by patwell

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Take what you read on here with a grain of salt. You just never know how high maintenance some people are. My last cruise on HAL was in April and I found it to be quite a bit like every other cruise on HAL, some good, some bad. I find it really hard to believe that HAL has gone to he** in a hand basket in that time but maybe it has. Sometimes some folks have unreasonable expectations too.

 

I'm with you, lorekauf. Our last cruise was on the Veendam in May and everything was great. We've been cruising HAL for not as long as some...only each year since '07....and I don't find things a lot different now than then...surely fewer stewards and that is upsetting for them...but they perform well under the pressure.

If I wanted "perfection", I guess I would try another line...at considerably more $$$. But I'm perfectly happy with HAL.

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Regent is lovely and the same basic price as HAL. Once you put pen to paper, you'll easily see the attraction. The service is lovely, ship is immaculate and the food is very good. We are doing a Christmas cruise on Noordam and HOPE that it will not be the last! Sometimes the itinerary is just as important as the line. We are going to look into Crystal and Silverseas as well as an alternative==our friends rave about both lines.

Debi

I have put the pen to paper on every cruise I've taken. I read people saying that Regent & Oceania are the same price or even cheaper than HAL if you take into account everything included. Unless I'm really missing something, I just cannot see it, not even close. I have done the math, run the numbers, did the what ifs and made an honest effort to figure out how I can make a cruise on Regent or Oceania come even close to the cost of HAL. For the cost of a similar cruise on Regent, I could book a Penthouse on HAL, stay stark raving drunk the entire cruise and still pay less.

 

I find cruises on Regent and Oceania, when all is considered, to price out right about double of what I pay on HAL. I really wish they were a little closer in price because I would have abandoned HAL years ago. And, quite frankly, I may be ready to abandon them now, cost be dammed.

 

I don't even want to talk about Crystal, Silverseas and Seabourn since they are even further apart. Although, I did do one cruise on Seabourn and it was a superb cruising experience. I only wish I could afford to cruise on that line exclusively.

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Thank you very much, I am sure we will have a good time. I only get angry when I am surprised by something. Knowing what is going on is the best way for me to stay happy. :)

 

I will certainly report back and let everyone know how these issues are handled on the Westerdam. We are really looking forward to the cruise! I just wish I had a scorecard to keep track. :D

 

If someone is in a deluxe or a penthouse I would be interested to know if this is carrying over to the Neptune Lounge.

 

Go and have a good time!! I read all the issues that were going on prior to our cruise and I worried about the cruise. We did have issues, however, we also had a good time. I also felt knowing in advance was a good thing. I almost didn't tell hubby what I'd been reading, but I ended up telling him. Our trip was on the Zuiderdam. Other than the cutbacks, I don't think I've read anything about issues on the Westerdam. We were worried about a non-functioning toilet and A/C issues.

 

The only problem we had in the NL was it was hard to find the concierge. It wasn't her fault. The other concierge was working the front desk (we knew because we gave up on the NL concierge a couple of times and just went to the front desk). On our last cruise, there were almost always two there, or at least one. I think this falls in with the stretching the crews responsibilities to handle more with less staff.

 

 

Have fun on your cruise!

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Have fun on your cruise!
That's really the bottom line, isn't it. Even with the nickel diming, cutbacks and service reductions, I have no doubt I will have a rousing grand time on any cruise I take. All I have to do is think about what I would be doing if I weren't on a cruise ship and a smile comes to my face. In spite of it all, its still a lot of fun and exactly what you make of it.

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Someone mentioned that Regent's was the same basic price as HAL. I have booked a partial trip to the Panama Canal on the Zuiderdam in a superior veranda suite. When I added all of the costs together including air, one night pre-cruise stay, tips, shore excursions etc., it came to about $792 per day. If you compare that to the same length carribean cruise with the all inclusive Regents in a similiar cabin, it computes to about $1,055 per day. That seems to make HAL a much better deal than the all inclusive Regents. Anyway, looking forward to our first cruise with HAL and I always enjoy this board. Bob from TX

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Everybody has there own expectations and wants from a cruise so you'll get all kinds of replies, and they're all right. We used to be huge HAL fans. Seven of our first ten cruises were on HAL, and we have a modest 101 days sailing with them. Because of cutbacks and many other reasons, only three of the last fourteen have been with them. We've now are in the Celebrity camp. We have our twenty-fourth cruise coming up this Sunday, on Celebrity, and will see if things have changed since this past May. Our two all time favorite cruises have been the last two, both on Celebrity Solstice.

Our three least favorite cruises, starting with the worst is (1) Ryndam, last November. By a long ways. (2) NCL Sun, several years ago. and (3) Amsterdam this past August.

I'm not so against HAL, but it would have to be the right itenerary at the right price to offset the cutbacks and changes.

 

I would appreciate it if you would go into detail about problems on your Ryndam and Amsterdam cruises.

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Thank you Twinkletoes!

 

I am with jaguarstyper, I don't see how I could match those prices. I am only getting the Deluxe out of good fortune and a very weak, week before Christmas pricing situation.

 

If people are spending 8-9,000 on a HAL ship and the river cruises are just a little more, that too is way oughta my price range.

 

I can handle 2-3,000 or so, but more than that is beyond our budgets for right down.

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They're not cutting back on the river cruise lines. Everyone should try a river cruise at least once. Sure it's not the ocean, but there are many similarities all the same.

 

Prices are higher, but you get more too.

 

At least on European rivers, 135 to 180 people on the boat, small enough not to overwhelm each port of call, most excursions included, fabulous continental cuisine, wine and beer included with dinner, many include transfers to/from airport, stay in port until midnight at many stops.

 

I think the trend on the larger lines, including HAL, is irreversible as far as cutbacks go. Like so much of our society today, the lowest common denominator is becoming the norm.

 

You can still have the product that you want, but you need to pay the add-on fees for specialty dining, retreat access, etc. if you want what used to be. Otherwise, you'll likely find cutbacks in many areas.

 

We would love to do a river cruise and have often talked about doing one. Then health issues set in and we can no longer do those long flights.

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Nickel and diming on HAL ??? :eek:

Could you be more specific?

 

I think they're talking about:

 

 

  1. Cappuccino no longer free in the MDR/Lido at breakfast
  2. Canaletto no longer free

The spring water issue I think is a red herring. AFAIK, the MDR waiters always offered you Voss spring water. However, it comes in a glass bottle and if the waiter did not mention it cost extra, one could be led to believe that all water was now extra. (Note: This is standard practice in a high-end restaurant.)

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That's really the bottom line, isn't it. Even with the nickel diming, cutbacks and service reductions, I have no doubt I will have a rousing grand time on any cruise I take. All I have to do is think about what I would be doing if I weren't on a cruise ship and a smile comes to my face. In spite of it all, its still a lot of fun and exactly what you make of it.

 

It is the bottom line! While we didn't have any major issues (a non-functioning toilet would have been a problem), we just had a good time.

 

On our latest river cruise about five days before we were to leave, we made the decision to purchase new airline tickets because Lufthansa was about to strike (they did). It was a bummer! But if we didn't, we might as well have canceled the cruise. We ended up getting 80% of the cost of the new tickets refunded (thank goodness we bought the "cancel for any reason" insurance). We just rolled with it. Not much else we could do. :)

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At one point I thought that I would not be returning to HA. When they changed a rule that did not work out so well for me, I truly thought about it. However, because I love HA for so many other reasons, I can't bear the thought of leaving them.

Before the rule change, I was able to cruise solo at a reasonable price and now that is not possible. Well.. maybe it is. But now I have to spend at least double for the stateroom that I want and that puts a halt to 3-4 HA cruises per year for me.

For now I see no reason to leave HA. I would be so heartbroken!

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We would love to do a river cruise and have often talked about doing one. Then health issues set in and we can no longer do those long flights.

 

The flight was awful. Even having a seat that folded into a bed didn't seem to help. I know now we'll never see Tahiti. Oh well, there are lots of other places we can visit. This is why we love to cruise from Florida. It's so easy for us to get there. And off we go!

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Thank you Twinkletoes!

 

I am with jaguarstyper, I don't see how I could match those prices. I am only getting the Deluxe out of good fortune and a very weak, week before Christmas pricing situation.

 

If people are spending 8-9,000 on a HAL ship and the river cruises are just a little more, that too is way oughta my price range.

 

I can handle 2-3,000 or so, but more than that is beyond our budgets for right down.

 

Good for you for getting such a good deal! We are starting to travel a little bit more than we used to, so we're going to have to spread the vacation dollars out a bit more. If you're getting an deluxe suite for that price, you have scored!! Enjoy!! Make sure and order afternoon appetizers. I think you have to do it by noon. The concierge will do this for you. We loved sitting on the balcony in the afternoon nibbling on appetizers and drinking wine.

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These next two cruises will help me decide where I will be spending my future cruising dollars, and it very well might not be with HAL.

 

Any suggestions?

The first time my husband and I cruised we went to a travel agent (in Denver) who was very experienced and who specialized in cruising. After spending a little time with us, she made some recommendations (size, destination, cruise line, price, cabin, time of year) that really pleased us. We had a wonderful time. You might see if there is anyone around your area with this experience who could help match you with a cruise that is more to your liking. We can all give you our opinions, but I know for a fact that mine are based on my preferences and not yours.

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The flight was awful. Even having a seat that folded into a bed didn't seem to help. I know now we'll never see Tahiti. Oh well, there are lots of other places we can visit. This is why we love to cruise from Florida. It's so easy for us to get there. And off we go!

If you're trying to avoid long flights, you could look into getting to San Diego on the train, and then taking the cruise from there that includes Tahiti. Lots of sea days, but no long flight. Not that the train bunks are plush, but I think the train is a lot of fun.

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We sailed in 2000 on a Panama canal transit in an ocean view(10 days) -- for the same price we sailed last year on the Eurodam in an SA suite(7days) -- the ony difference was the feeling on the ship -- the short cruise had a different atmosphere -- even the senior officers agreed -- it was a 7 day cruise -- other than the atmosphere we enjoyed the cruise. We had great service--I guess it's a matter of -- as my father used to say -- you make your life -- if you look for problems you will find them. I don't worry about the small details -- ....

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<snip>

 

 

I know I am in the minority, but I wish all cruiselines would raise their prices simultaneously so we could enjoy the same level of food and service we experienced 25 years ago!

 

 

 

We agree.

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If you're trying to avoid long flights, you could look into getting to San Diego on the train, and then taking the cruise from there that includes Tahiti. Lots of sea days, but no long flight. Not that the train bunks are plush, but I think the train is a lot of fun.

 

That's something I've not thought of, but it sounds interesting. I haven't been on a train since I was a little girl. We're getting to the point where we can get away for longer periods of time, so this might be the answer! We also love sea days! Thank you for the suggestion. :)

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