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If you could change one thing about how HAL has changed over the years, what would it be? For me it would be to restore the staffing levels in all areas to their former levels.

 

I seriously doubt to previous service levels, BUT on my recent cruise we had only cabin steward for our cabin (he had 15 cabins instead of the 31 when he has an assistant). The service was the best we have had in years, so I wish they would go back to the old system of one steward for your cabin. This would not cost much more for the company and I think service levels would improve.

 

I used to work in the supermarket business and I learned that efficiency levels were higher in similar situations (like working one person per aisle). More accountability and fewer social interactions were the key.

 

DaveOKC

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I'd like to see improvement in the MDR dinner offerings.

Seems to us that the dining room waiters/assistants are stretched way too thin, especially in the open dining. They have no time to learn your names or preferences since they are practically running to get their tables done. This is one of the reasons we have continued to have fixed dining, but is also suffering from diminished service.

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More stewards working cabins, lounges and MDR/Lido.

We have always had wonderful service and I am appreciative for the hard work the stewards have done providing it. There truly are times I do not ask for something I would like as I don't want to request an added trip to the galley, or more work in any way for something I can do without. I think two or three times before asking for 'additional' service.

 

I'd like a return to Higher end menu selections at dinner.

 

Edited by sail7seas
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I also would like to see more staff in the dining room. I think its so sad to see people working their butts off with out the support staff that they deserve. On our first cruise (not Hal, but RCCl) one waiter and asst had two tables for dinner about a total of 16 people. They were there the whole time. As soon as you finished your plate as removed and the next course was placed. Drinks were refilled immediately. After the first two days they knew what we wanted to drink and it was there when we arrived.

 

ALso one more thing. on our first cruise the cabin stewart sat on a little chair at the end of the hall all day (I don't think it was just our cabin stewart but I think they rotated) for the cabins in our area. Anytime we left our cabin they immediately went in and tiddied up the cabin. This went on all day until they turned down the cabin at night. That is the only cruise where this happened, but it was very cool! They didn't clean, but straightened the bed hung fresh towels, and straightened anything out of place. Coming back to a perfect cabin was somthing really special. I wish HAL could do that!

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<snip>

 

 

ALso one more thing. on our first cruise the cabin stewart sat on a little chair at the end of the hall all day (I don't think it was just our cabin stewart but I think they rotated) for the cabins in our area. Anytime we left our cabin they immediately went in and tiddied up the cabin. This went on all day until they turned down the cabin at night. That is the only cruise where this happened, but it was very cool! They didn't clean, but straightened the bed hung fresh towels, and straightened anything out of place. Coming back to a perfect cabin was somthing really special. I wish HAL could do that!

 

 

 

This reminds me of a lovely hotel where we stayed. We could never figure out how housekeeping knew when we were in or out of our room but if we were gone for any length of time, we would return to fresh towels and anything we had used was tidied if we had left it a bit out of place. :) One time we left and I noticed a small piece of wooden match stick they place against the door when you enter and if has fallen over, they knew you had left the room. Super cool...... :D

 

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... we had only cabin steward for our cabin (he had 15 cabins instead of the 31 when he has an assistant). The service was the best we have had in years, so I wish they would go back to the old system of one steward for your cabin.
I think there are two reasons for the 2 per 30/31 system instead of 1 per 15/16: first they can alternate break periods and have continuous coverage for all 30/31 cabins. Second they can have a junior man getting on-job-training instead of trying to handle 15/16 cabins alone fresh out "steward school".

 

I believe the quality of the service is not dependent as much on whether they are working solo or in pairs as on the experience and work ethic of the one(s) you draw. That is, you could have had one "junior" steward and gotten lesser service than when you have had two.

.

Edited by jtl513
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I would institute all the above mentioned, by raising prices.
But they have to stay competitive with similar lines (Princess, Celebrity) doing similar itineraries. One reason that your beloved Prinsendam can charge higher prices is the unique itineraries. Without something to differentiate a ship from the competition, higher prices will just drive customers away.
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Increase staffing levels in several hotel departments:

 

1. Fewer guests to serve for the MDR Stewards

2. Return of the Table Captain position

3. More Wine Stewards

4. One Cabin Steward per stateroom with a reduction in the number of staterooms the individual must service

5. During Happy Hour time, more Lounge Stewards which could be offset by fewer Lounge Stewards soliciting drinks in the Showroom

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Improve the quality of the food, especially the beef, and return to the previous recipes that highlighted the food itself. Lose the convoluted sauces that do not successfully disguise the fact the ingredients are not good.

 

Increase the number of stewards to the former levels.

 

Return to fun activities both day & night. Not everything passengers are offered during the day should be an opportunity for HAL to make a buck. Bring the energy and socialization back.

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They need to adequately staff the Lido where most passengers eat two meals a day. There was no table service of any kind on the Prinsendam, the ship that some posters think is the golden one. We jumped up and down like rabbits for beverages, silverware and anything else needed. In 14 days I did not see a single crew member do anything but pick up dirty dishes. Lido service was never a strong suit but previously I would see a beverage cart going around, sometimes they made it to my table, sometimes not.

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They need to adequately staff the Lido where most passengers eat two meals a day. There was no table service of any kind on the Prinsendam, the ship that some posters think is the golden one. We jumped up and down like rabbits for beverages, silverware and anything else needed. In 14 days I did not see a single crew member do anything but pick up dirty dishes. Lido service was never a strong suit but previously I would see a beverage cart going around, sometimes they made it to my table, sometimes not.

 

Personally, I think the Lido is adquately staffed. Maybe the supervision of the staff needs to be improved. It is not only aboard the Prinsendam that the Lido beverage cart is spotty.

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But they have to stay competitive with similar lines (Princess, Celebrity) doing similar itineraries. One reason that your beloved Prinsendam can charge higher prices is the unique itineraries. Without something to differentiate a ship from the competition, higher prices will just drive customers away.

 

A possibility is that HAL could improve it's service/food in a way that would make it more like Oceania. People pay a premium for those perks on that line, and also Prinsendam. I disagree that it's only itineraries on Prinsendam, because other HAL ships have great itineraries. I don't know about the larger ships, but the midsized ones do.

 

The other lines like Celebrity and Princess are no better than HAL with similar food and service. At one time HAL and Celebrity were more upscale with better service and food. Now, they are all the same, sadly. I think it's a waste of time to talk about what we miss and would like to change unless we are aware that changes are going to cost someone. If you don't want prices to rise, you need to accept the mainstream cruiselines as they are. I miss the old days as well....particularly the escargot! Those days are long gone, unless HAL decides to differentiate itself from Princess and offer something more upscale. There are many here who don't want prices to go up, but there are lots of us who may go to other lines like Oceania, Azamara, Viking Ocean, Regent, Seabourn to find what we appreciated and enjoyed from the old days. You get what you pay for! That's just how it is.

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But there was no beverage cart on Prinsendam, no table service of any kind. No one providing beverages, missing silverware or any other needs. I was shocked how little staff was in the Lido. On the serving lines there were two or three very hard working crew members who attempted to personalize omelets and other foods. They needed a couple more and they needed many to work tableside.

I disagree totally that the lido service is adequate and I disagree the HAL service is comparable to other mass market lines. Princess has a large crew in the Horizon Court working the tables.

I don't look for HAL to raise prices much if at all, they know their market and the price point needed to fill cabins.

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But there was no beverage cart on Prinsendam, no table service of any kind. No one providing beverages, missing silverware or any other needs. I was shocked how little staff was in the Lido. On the serving lines there were two or three very hard working crew members who attempted to personalize omelets and other foods. They needed a couple more and they needed many to work tableside.

I disagree totally that the lido service is adequate and I disagree the HAL service is comparable to other mass market lines. Princess has a large crew in the Horizon Court working the tables.

I don't look for HAL to raise prices much if at all, they know their market and the price point needed to fill cabins.

 

Thanks for your reply! It is a bit shocking.

 

I have never seen what you experienced on any HAL ship. Silverware, wrapped in a napkin, was in place on most tables that had not just been cleared, dirty dishes were mostly quickly cleared from empty tables, the food service lines were all adequately staffed with expected cues at those stations that produced made-to-order omelets, ice cream service area, or deli sandwiches. A steward was at the juice station and dessert station. There were enough Stewards in the Lido Restaurant in my experience that some had a few seconds to stop and chat if one so desired.

 

My analysis of your experience says that there was a supervision issue.

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Thanks for your reply! It is a bit shocking.

 

I have never seen what you experienced on any HAL ship. Silverware, wrapped in a napkin, was in place on most tables that had not just been cleared, dirty dishes were mostly quickly cleared from empty tables, the food service lines were all adequately staffed with expected cues at those stations that produced made-to-order omelets, ice cream service area, or deli sandwiches. A steward was at the juice station and dessert station. There were enough Stewards in the Lido Restaurant in my experience that some had a few seconds to stop and chat if one so desired.

 

My analysis of your experience says that there was a supervision issue.

 

You mean too many supervisors walking around doing nothing and not enough workers doing something? ;)

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The problem was lack of staff in the dining room. Lack of manpower. The crew members were all working hard, just not enough of them in the lido. I have no idea what supervisors can do about lack of staff.

I did not mean to imply the dish picker upper was not putting down silverware packets, he was but sometimes we needed extra silver pieces or someone from another table reached over to borrow from our table before we sat down.

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You mean too many supervisors walking around doing nothing and not enough workers doing something? ;)

 

Just as there has been an elimination of Table Captains in the Main Dining Rooms (i.e. the Head Stewards as I recall they are recalled), those same positions have been reduced in the Lido Restaurant, if my observations are correct.

 

There is a Head Steward (or so) in the Main Dining Room, but that position seems to be located in the Anytime Dining section of the dining room, taking reservations or seating folks.

 

If there are Lido Restaurant Stewards not performing their tasks correctly, adequate supervision ought to correct that.

Edited by rkacruiser
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