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jaguarstyper

HAL is starting to lose me

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Tim, I totally understand where you are coming from and totally agree. As many know I have been a fan HAL for many years but my prospective is rather two sided one on a business level and one as a client/passenger.

On a Business level I have seen a decline in some areas but I have to agree that sadly have seen the over all HAL product decline. I still love HAL and do not plan to totally stop cruising HAL but after our cruise on NCL that just ended Sunday we plan to split up our cruising vacation time between the two cruise lines.

This last cruise we knew no crew or Officers on Board, there was not any one looking out for us we were just regular cruisers in an Aft Facing Suite cabin. The Dawn is a 10 year old ship which is the same age of the Zuiderdam that we were last on and also in a Suite. The difference was amazing, the ship truly was in far better condition, never feared that a toilet would not flush, as a matter of fact it was if they were on on Super Flushers :D Crew were constantly cleaning and very happy. The service was amazing and the difference between Suite amenities were night and day with NCL definitely having the advantage.

Never once did we feel like NCL was nickel and diming us but then maybe because we expected it but we found it to be far less than on HAL which is kind of strange.

Just my personal opinion HAL needs to do some major restructuring of how they do business both in sales and what is being done on board but I fear they have themselves backed into a corner.:o

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Tim, I totally understand where you are coming from and totally agree. As many know I have been a fan HAL for many years but my prospective is rather two sided one on a business level and one as a client/passenger.

On a Business level I have seen a decline in some areas but I have to agree that sadly have seen the over all HAL product decline. I still love HAL and do not plan to totally stop cruising HAL but after our cruise on NCL that just ended Sunday we plan to split up our cruising vacation time between the two cruise lines.

This last cruise we knew no crew or Officers on Board, there was not any one looking out for us we were just regular cruisers in an Aft Facing Suite cabin. The Dawn is a 10 year old ship which is the same age of the Zuiderdam that we were last on and also in a Suite. The difference was amazing, the ship truly was in far better condition, never feared that a toilet would not flush, as a matter of fact it was if they were on on Super Flushers :D Crew were constantly cleaning and very happy. The service was amazing and the difference between Suite amenities were night and day with NCL definitely having the advantage.

Never once did we feel like NCL was nickel and diming us but then maybe because we expected it but we found it to be far less than on HAL which is kind of strange.

 

Just my personal opinion HAL needs to do some major restructuring of how they do business both in sales and what is being done on board but I fear they have themselves backed into a corner.:o

 

Thanks for your comments Lisa. Coming from a professional and personal level your observations are a bit sad and very telling. I hope HAL is watching and doesn't dismiss this thread as a bunch of whining or folks piling on some minor issues. To me HAL and cruising is all about ambiance and HAL is starting to serious slip in what I think once was their very clear distinction and lead in that arena from other cruise lines.

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Lisa/LAFFNVEGAS;

 

You have some good points, your perspective has been suite to suite, and I understand NCL does a good job with Suites. From my research on Suites is that NCL offers several gradations above Deluxe Verandah Suites on HAL, and most of my acquaintances who rave about the NCL suites are paying in the neighborhood of $500/day each for those categories. Could you compare and contrast HAL/NCL on a price basis? I also believe that HAL is adding additional levels of accommodation on the future classes of vessels.

 

First of all, HAL and NCL both offer a competent product, my small sample experience on NCL in the below-suite categories is that cabins ran smaller, base per diems were similar, except that my personal impression is that I would have to factor in $25/pp/day into the NCL per diem to reconcile NCL dining to HAL. The range of demographics onboard NCL was extreme and varied, where HAL tended to be a more homogeneous demographic base, but this really depends on the port and time of year as much as anything.

 

Last comment, I was on a panama canal cruise on Zuiderdam October of 2011, while I had no personal issues, and had a great cruise, the Zuiderdam general upkeep was not quite that of her Vista/Signature sisters - just my impression.

 

Look forward to your comments!

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I did an 8 day cruise on NCL Spirit out of NYC. I believe the Spirit is one of their older, oddball ships that they acquired from another cruise line. The condition of the ship was absolutely immaculate. The entertainment was good, the atmosphere in the lounges was upbeat, fun and exciting well into the night and the food was as good, if not better than HAL in some cases. What really blew us away was the suite. It was an aft owners suite and was magnificent. It was much nicer than the suites on HAL, save the PH suites, which are comparable, but much pricier. And, I have learned that the suites on the Spirit are not as big or as nice as some of the suites on other NCL ships. The only drawback was the butler, who seemed to have fallen overboard on the first day. We met him when we boarded and never saw him again the rest of the cruise. It wasn't a significant issue since we never really had a need for him and the cabin stewards took care of everything we needed. Aside from one particular gaff that could happen on any cruiseline (lost luggage) we had no problems and a wonderful cruise.

 

I did cruise on NCL again with a large family group and had a similar good experience. And, I would do it again without hesitation. It was not as "refined" or as "elegant" as HAL, but very enjoyable in a different way.

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It was not as "refined" or as "elegant" as HAL, but very enjoyable in a different way.

That is exactly it and well stated, but it was FUN too :D, the entertainment is plentiful no matter what type you are looking for. We also found the food to be quite good and it was more refined and elegant in some of the restaurants such as Le Bistro. All together NCL is just a different product but very very enjoyable. Tom and I stated numerous times thru out the week that HAL could learn a few things from NCL ;) Or we would state things like we "We wished HAL did this"

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My wife and I have done several HAL cruises. Two years ago, we were in the Niew Amsterdam for Christmas, and we had a very enjoyable time. Last year we booked Celebrity Constellation for New Year's. We had been on Celebrity years ago. I must say that we both missed HAL very much. Although in general, it was a pleasant trip, we had some issues with the upkeep of the cabin. For instance, the mattresses were atrocious. We had to request so called crates to make the beds somewhat better. Also, the bathroom never smelled real clean. The ship felt extremely crowded, and the food was just good, but nothing to write home about. We were very dissapointed with the surf and turf they served on New Year's Eve. The meat was just OK, and the lobster was nothing but a lobster shell filled with some bread and small lobster pieces!! Honestly the best was the desserts.

Above all, we missed the friendly HAL crew.

To make a long story short, we are again booked on the Niew Amsterdam for a 7 day Christmas Caribbean cruise this December. In MHO, most if not all cruise lines are somehow cutting down in what they offer. Unfortunately, in cruising, like everything else, nothing is what it used to be. Think you might have to go to the real upscale lines to get the level of service you used to get in HAL and other similar cruise lines.

As for us, until we are ready to spend the big bucks on Crystal and the like, we are sticking with HAL.

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Celebrity: You can enjoy a glass of wine in Cellarmasters, and with your paid beverage, some cheese, olives, or other nibbles/appetizers are available, but will set you back $3 - $6 per "tasting".

 

HAL: Complimentary hot and cold appetizers are served in bars and lounges during cocktail hour.

 

Celebrity: You can enjoy the selection of specialty restaurants - for $40 per person (plus gratuity, for which your servers will gracefully hint/solicit).

 

HAL: Pinnacle Grill is $25, with gratuity most definitely optional. Tamarind is a steal at $15, less than half Celebrity's offerings, and yet one of the best specialty restaurants at sea.

 

Celebrity: Enjoy Gelato in Cafe al Bacio for an up-charge of $5.

 

HAL: No Gelato, but home made ice creams are complimentary, along with a selection of toppings including liquors.

 

Celebrity: home made ice cream Free

Celebrity: Specialty Restaurants, I've tried HAL's & there is simply no comparison to Celebrity's

Celebrity: Working toilets & AC included in cruise fare.

 

 

I've cruised both, & I much prefer the atmosphere & style of an X S class ship, but that doesn't mean that I don't like HAL too. The thing that will now keep me from booking them is the idea that flushing toilets & working AC is somehow a luxury item that may or may not be included with your cruise. A cabin that I can't get cold is a deal killer for me.

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Celebrity: home made ice cream Free

Celebrity: Specialty Restaurants, I've tried HAL's & there is simply no comparison to Celebrity's

Celebrity: Working toilets & AC included in cruise fare.

 

 

I've cruised both, & I much prefer the atmosphere & style of an X S class ship, but that doesn't mean that I don't like HAL too. The thing that will now keep me from booking them is the idea that flushing toilets & working AC is somehow a luxury item that may or may not be included with your cruise. A cabin that I can't get cold is a deal killer for me.

 

The homemade ice cream is not free -- not on HAL or on Celebrity. You have paid for it. It is included in your cruise fare. Just because it does not incur an additional charge does not mean it's free.

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Celebrity: home made ice cream Free

Celebrity: Specialty Restaurants, I've tried HAL's & there is simply no comparison to Celebrity's

Celebrity: Working toilets & AC included in cruise fare.

 

 

I've cruised both, & I much prefer the atmosphere & style of an X S class ship, but that doesn't mean that I don't like HAL too. The thing that will now keep me from booking them is the idea that flushing toilets & working AC is somehow a luxury item that may or may not be included with your cruise. A cabin that I can't get cold is a deal killer for me.

It might be that a lot depends on the particular ship and the age of the ship. Our experience in the Nieuw Amsterdam, which is a newer ship was very good. Never had a problem with the toilets, and the AC was just fine. On the other hand, as I said in my previous post, our experience with Celebrity Constellation (a much older ship) was not all that good. I think that, at the end of the day, one can not generalize. Two individuals might have a completely different impression depending on their particular experience.

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The homemade ice cream is not free -- not on HAL or on Celebrity. You have paid for it. It is included in your cruise fare. Just because it does not incur an additional charge does not mean it's free.
You know, I get weary of reading this type of comment. I think we all know we pay for everything we get without having it pointed out every time someone says something is free. When comparing cruise line to cruise line, its perfectly understood what is meant when someone says its "free" compared to another line where there is a charge.

 

You pay a fare for every cruise. If something is available at no additional charge on one line and a upcharge on another, then as far as I'm concerned, for the sake of comparison, its free.

 

Insisting that its included and not free is just being a bit niggling, IMO.

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You know, I get weary of reading this type of comment. I think we all know we pay for everything we get without having it pointed out every time someone says something is free. When comparing cruise line to cruise line, its perfectly understood what is meant when someone says its "free" compared to another line where there is a charge.

 

You pay a fare for every cruise. If something is available at no additional charge on one line and a upcharge on another, then as far as I'm concerned, for the sake of comparison, its free.

 

Insisting that its included and not free is just being a bit niggling, IMO.

Right. Otherwise, we start pointing out that things like free tap water and free restrooms aren't really free. I refuse to drink more water and pee more than I need to just so I feel I got my money's worth :D

 

The other poster makes a good point about A/C, though. I hate to feel that others subsidize my A/C use. Maybe they could install pay thermostats that charge by the hour, a higher fee for lower temperature? That way, Europeans and others who don't care about A/C could save money while the rest of us could complain even more about nickel and diming. Win win.

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Right. Otherwise, we start pointing out that things like free tap water and free restrooms aren't really free. I refuse to drink more water and pee more than I need to just so I feel I got my money's worth

 

:D I love it when somebody says something that makes me burst out in laughter.

 

CJ

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As a person who has been on Holland Americas ships over the years I have seen recently a move to change the Holland modle.

Years ago it was touted asan all inclusive line where event where tips were included and elegant traditional crusing was preserved Then came Carnival who added then to their stable and too the economy and demographics of the market changed In Carnivals line up of 6lines( from Carnival entry to Seabourn, luxury) Holland was slid to # 3 as a midrange experience.

 

As I saw it, the goal was to take new customers and introduce them to crusing in an economic option.Then as the passenger grew in taste and wants( not to mention fiscal ability) There would be a stepping stone to the next level.

Thus the goal was to get them to finish with Seabourn.....not Holland America , which to become a stepping stone along the way.

 

Carnival too saw that Hollands customer base was dying off and they wanted to create and train the new replacements to follow the road they laidout. It would be un wise to make Holland the top of the line.

It needed to havejust enough to tease the passenger to seek out the next level.

Holland America need to change and stepdown from its former self,slowly but steadily so as to make the upper niches more attractive.

 

This is what I see. and why the Holland America is doing more and more to do less and less . To become more like Carnval than Seabourn .

 

I see it as a good business plan Marriott does similiar from Fairfield inn to RitzCarlton !

 

Those who have been long term passengers bemoan the change and wonder why Holland will not improve. Well its is not in the selfish best interest of the CarnivalCorp, that why. And with older passengers going the company is eager to replace then with the new formula passenger, for who Holland is not an end to be sought, just traveled through.

 

Thats my observation

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As a person who has been on Holland Americas ships over the years I have seen recently a move to change the Holland modle.

Years ago it was touted asan all inclusive line where event where tips were included and elegant traditional crusing was preserved Then came Carnival who added then to their stable and too the economy and demographics of the market changed In Carnivals line up of 6lines( from Carnival entry to Seabourn, luxury) Holland was slid to # 3 as a midrange experience.

 

As I saw it, the goal was to take new customers and introduce them to crusing in an economic option.Then as the passenger grew in taste and wants( not to mention fiscal ability) There would be a stepping stone to the next level.

Thus the goal was to get them to finish with Seabourn.....not Holland America , which to become a stepping stone along the way.

 

Carnival too saw that Hollands customer base was dying off and they wanted to create and train the new replacements to follow the road they laidout. It would be un wise to make Holland the top of the line.

It needed to havejust enough to tease the passenger to seek out the next level.

Holland America need to change and stepdown from its former self,slowly but steadily so as to make the upper niches more attractive.

 

This is what I see. and why the Holland America is doing more and more to do less and less . To become more like Carnval than Seabourn .

 

I see it as a good business plan Marriott does similiar from Fairfield inn to RitzCarlton !

 

Those who have been long term passengers bemoan the change and wonder why Holland will not improve. Well its is not in the selfish best interest of the CarnivalCorp, that why. And with older passengers going the company is eager to replace then with the new formula passenger, for who Holland is not an end to be sought, just traveled through.

 

Thats my observation

 

Spot on!

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As a person who has been on Holland Americas ships over the years I have seen recently a move to change the Holland modle.

Years ago it was touted asan all inclusive line where event where tips were included and elegant traditional crusing was preserved Then came Carnival who added then to their stable and too the economy and demographics of the market changed In Carnivals line up of 6lines( from Carnival entry to Seabourn, luxury) Holland was slid to # 3 as a midrange experience.

 

As I saw it, the goal was to take new customers and introduce them to crusing in an economic option.Then as the passenger grew in taste and wants( not to mention fiscal ability) There would be a stepping stone to the next level.

Thus the goal was to get them to finish with Seabourn.....not Holland America , which to become a stepping stone along the way.

 

Carnival too saw that Hollands customer base was dying off and they wanted to create and train the new replacements to follow the road they laidout. It would be un wise to make Holland the top of the line.

It needed to havejust enough to tease the passenger to seek out the next level.

Holland America need to change and stepdown from its former self,slowly but steadily so as to make the upper niches more attractive.

 

This is what I see. and why the Holland America is doing more and more to do less and less . To become more like Carnval than Seabourn .

 

I see it as a good business plan Marriott does similiar from Fairfield inn to RitzCarlton !

 

Those who have been long term passengers bemoan the change and wonder why Holland will not improve. Well its is not in the selfish best interest of the CarnivalCorp, that why. And with older passengers going the company is eager to replace then with the new formula passenger, for who Holland is not an end to be sought, just traveled through.

 

Thats my observation

 

Agree completely

Carnival is not the only Cruise company to follow this model, Royal Caribbean does the same thing.

They bring new cruisers to the RCL brand, attempt to move them to Celebrity and finally to Azamura. To encourage this movement their loyalty perks are transferable between brands.

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The spirit of this thread reaffirms observations in the review I made recently respecting the Rotterdam.

 

Yes the business model is changing. I hope it works out for HAL. Its not on my A list anymore and a model that flushes its return customers is a daring one indeed - some would say foolhardy.

 

The suits in HAL seem to me to be tapping in the dark - and bumping into things as they go.

 

Its the same old story - bigger and more. Time will tell if the models of the 60's and 70's will work as well in the 21st century.

 

Its possible, but oh so unlikely.

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I did not think I would ever say it but am kind of agreeing with you. The latest thing is the charging for water in the MDR and also for the cappuccino coffee in the MDR. Our next cruise in two weeks on the Maasdam will be our eleventh and with a total of 149 days on Hal. We have a Celebrity cruise booked for next June and are in the market for a future cruise. A lot will depend on how we enjoy this upcoming cruise who we will cruise next. We are hoping that the negative things and comments we have been reading about here on CC will not be seen or happen to us. To date we can say we have enjoyed all our cruises with Hal and are very much looking forward to that continuing to happen.

 

 

HAL is not charging for water in the MDR. You may have poured water throughout your meal. If you prefer, you may pay for bottled water.

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The spirit of this thread reaffirms observations in the review I made recently respecting the Rotterdam.

 

Yes the business model is changing. I hope it works out for HAL. Its not on my A list anymore and a model that flushes its return customers is a daring one indeed - some would say foolhardy.

 

The suits in HAL seem to me to be tapping in the dark - and bumping into things as they go.

 

Its the same old story - bigger and more. Time will tell if the models of the 60's and 70's will work as well in the 21st century.

 

Its possible, but oh so unlikely.

 

Well said!

 

Hank

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Our Oct. Med cruise was Celebrity. Our TA is on the Celebrity Equinox in a few days.

 

And last week we just booked a 10 day 12/16 on rhe NCL Sun. Agree very much that these lines are not the same but after a 14 day TA we may just be ready for what the NCL product delivers.

 

HAL was on the list for the Dec Carribean.cruise but DW vetoed it-even though the 7 day rates were about as bargain basement as they come. And I agreed wholeheartedly with her decision.

 

I do not think think that HAL management 'gets' it. So either there is some other master plan at work or they are just trying to squeeze out every last dollar of revenue before they run the company aground.

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But many do not.

Holland America in no longer a Cadillac product. It new role will be that of a Chevy.

 

Take a look at the latest Carnival and Holland ships... same hull different paint and some cosmentcs. 2800 passneger... interchangeable as the market may change.

 

Some posters here are wanting change.. to be more glitz and glam of a seagoing mall and resort complex , and the wish Holland America would be more line NCL. They want less tradition and more entertainment

 

 

 

Thats fine, thats what the majority on new cruisers want. The older passengers are by far outnumbered . Young money talks while older money balks .

 

As I see it Hollands function is to introduce the new recreatonal customer to the concept of class distinction cruising. Special elite restauraunts for just them, exclusive lounges, special that, special this. Selling the concept of being on a level above other passengers. Whetting their appetite for more.. like the Cunard and Seabourn products.

 

Have a complaint, a gripe, quality not the same..." Well sir, Have you considered our wonderful CUNARD or Seabourn."

 

Bottom Line: It is both unprofitable and un wise to maintain Holland as a premimum product. If you want what you miss or they lack you will have to change ships... and guess what Carnival Corp has just what you need! Suprise Suprise...

 

.They want you not to stay but pass on to bigger and more profitable products so they can move up more new clients into the program.

 

That dear friends is the plan and desire of a very well thought out plan.... You do not have to agree but thats what they are doing and will do like it or not.

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...

.They want you not to stay but pass on to bigger and more profitable products so they can move up more new clients into the program.

 

Think so?

 

Well they are talking about going to X and NCL - lateral moves.

 

Wonder how that kicking them up to a more profitable thing is working out for them?

 

Smooth sailing

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But many do not.

Holland America in no longer a Cadillac product. It new role will be that of a Chevy.

 

<snip>

 

Some posters here are wanting change.. to be more glitz and glam of a seagoing mall and resort complex , and the wish Holland America would be more line NCL. They want less tradition and more entertainment

 

 

 

<snip>

 

Really? I haven't read one post on here that says anything like that. I believe most simply want the HAL that used to be. The understated elegance, the superior service, and ships that were in excellent shape.

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Really? I haven't read one post on here that says anything like that. I believe most simply want the HAL that used to be. The understated elegance, the superior service, and ships that were in excellent shape.

 

I agree with that statement. Don't forget better quality food and special items like escargot!! I don't think people want glitz from HAL.

 

I do believe there is NO other mainstream line that does not have the same issues. We didn't sail HAL until 2009, so I don't know how it was. (I take that back--we sailed Noordam in 2000 which was a superior cruise, even though the ship was old). Since cruising from the late 70's, I know all the mainstream lines are lacking---it's not the same. And, it will never be, because people want a bargain. When people want a better product, they go to luxury or the just below luxury lines. The Prinsendam haters will disagree, but those of us who want a better HAL experience sail her.

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Think so?

 

Well they are talking about going to X and NCL - lateral moves.

 

Wonder how that kicking them up to a more profitable thing is working out for them?

 

Smooth sailing

I agree, lateral move is what is happening.

As many know I love HAL and most likely will not stop cruising HAL but I just got off NCL on a 10 yr old ship. There were no toilets not working, as a matter of fact they worked really well,. There were no strange smells anywhere on the ship, service was amazing and the ship was clean and looked great. One thing that stod out was NO vibration anywhere ever. The dining venues had lots of room and no crowding. As a matter of fact the crew to passenger ratio was far more and this is crew that wait on you. I paid considerably less for an Aft Full Suite than I would with HAL (I also purchased more than a year out) Granted it may not have been refined like HAL but it was pretty darn good. Entertainment was amazing and everywhere, there would be 4 to 5 things going on all at the same time all night long. This was our third NCL and we have decided to start doing more of them.

Right now I am looking at a 2 week Trans Atlantic in a Suite that with Air and hotel for 2 nights in Copenhagen from NCL will cost me exactly the same as my 15 day Eurodam Cabada New England with No hotel just air and me finding the air myself in a regular balcony VD category. Right now heading to Copenhagen in a Suite seems far more appealing;)

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Personally the notion of moving laterally to another line in basically the same category isn't all that attractive. For us it's a quality versus a quantity decision in that we'd rather cruise less frequently for a better experience than continue to cruise frequently for what we see as a degraded experience.

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