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"Wandering Wino's&quo

Unhappy people on the Oosterdam 10/15/05

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Boy, if I was scheduled for the late seating and they bumped me up to the early seating, I would jump for joy!

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Boy, if I was scheduled for the late seating and they bumped me up to the early seating, I would jump for joy!

But if it were the reverse? Would you feel the same way? Of course not. Because there's a certain fairness to "first come, first served". If I book---and HAL has my deposit---well in advance that should place me in line ahead of those who book later. I should have the right of first refusal as to dinner time/table size before those who came later. We all learned those types of lessons way back in the sand box. Remember the "no cuts" rule? It's the same thing.

Would $$$$$ refund make up for it? Depending on how much, probably not. But I wouldn't refuse $$$$$, either. HAL shouldn't be let off the hook completely and I can't think of a better way to put them on it.

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I just made up the quickest webpage for just this thing. Right now, it's nothing fancy just: the sailing date; name of the ship; group or charter; and a link.

 

If anyone wants to add informaion or make corrections, just send me an e-mail.

 

If it turns out that anyone really looks at the list, then I'll fix it up so that it is interactive and actually has some design elements. susana.

 

http://www.geocities.com/cruise_trubey/halcruisers.html

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I just made up the quickest webpage for just this thing. Right now, it's nothing fancy just: the sailing date; name of the ship; group or charter; and a link.

 

If anyone wants to add informaion or make corrections, just send me an e-mail.

 

If it turns out that anyone really looks at the list, then I'll fix it up so that it is interactive and actually has some design elements. susana.

 

http://www.geocities.com/cruise_trubey/halcruisers.html

 

Thanks for expediting this much needed website. I'm sure there will be a lot of grateful people.

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On the Zuiderdam in July we were assigned 5:45. (ALL seatings were WAITLISTED at sailing time.) Onboard, we asked for 6:15 or 8:00--no, couldn't be done. I had called ship service a month or so before departed with no luck. (We had booked months in advance.) I later learned one CCer had made last minute cruise reservation and got 8:00 dinner seating.

Yes, 5:45 did affect our enjoyment of the cruise. We missed dinner in the dining room 3 times that week. Just too early--you get back from excursions around 2:00 and go to Lido for something to eat. Whoa--2 1/2 hours later you supposed to start preparing for dinner. Nothing like tuxedos and evening gowns for the 4:45 Captain's reception! :(

We've always loved dressing for dinner and the special event of dinner at sea. Missing that enjoyment DOES affect your overall cruise experience. (I don't even like the "Early Bird Specials" on land !)

I've since said that I won't sail with HAL again unless I have 8:00 dinner seating in writing. Hmmm...now it appears that might not be enough. If I were on the Oosterdam and I had my dining time changed like this it would be my last HAL cruise.

(80% of those polled here wanted either 6:15 or 8:00 for dinner. Why does HAL insist on the FOUR dinner times?? Another unknown--like the upgrade fairy.)

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trubey,

 

thanks for starting the website. It is very informative and should help those of us that are concern with being on a cruise with a large group.

 

I will be on the cruise (Dec 11 Westerdam) that has the "single seniors" group. Does anyone know how large this group will be?

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Boy, if I was scheduled for the late seating and they bumped me up to the early seating, I would jump for joy!

It depends on the cruise in my case. Generally, I always opt for late seating ... especially on a port-intensive cruise. This way I can always squeeze in a nap before dinner. Also, if there are likely to be a lot of kids on your cruise ... or really any young children, late seating allows you to avoid them in the dining room since parents generally take early seating with the children.

 

But personally I do prefer early seating because I am not a night owl, and on some cruises ... those that are not port-intensive (like my upcoming Hawaii/South Pacific cruise with 16 sea days) and those not likely to have a lot of kids onboard ... I will opt for early dinner seating so that I can get to bed at a "reasonable" hour.

 

But, still ... if I was on this cruise, and had already gotten confirmed late seating ... and then got bumped for a group, I think I would be pretty pissed ... to say the least. I hope HAL is planning to offer these folks a little "consolation" in the form of a shipboard credit or something.

 

Blue skies ...

 

--rita

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If they did that to us, compensation would have no relevance. They would have so severely impacted our enjoyment that an offer of a shipboard credit would be insulting.

Well, at least the compensation would pay for a standing reservation at the Pinnacle every night for the two of you ... at your choice of dining times. :)

 

Seriously, though, I understand exactly where you are coming from. And, in the case of these folks, it sure sounds to me (from the way I'm reading this thread) that they DID have confirmed dining times ... some of them for 8:00 p.m. It appears that the ship just CANCELLED the 8:00 p.m. seating so that the group could populate the dining room at that time, and thus moved everyone else to the early seating. Didn't matter a hoot what they had confirmed in writing or otherwise.

 

Now, in my case, dining time is not a deal breaker. I can adjust. But, if they did this to me and did not follow up with a nice offer of shipboard credit to compensate me for my inconvenience in having to switch, I have to be honest ... I would probably never sail HAL again.

 

HAL is a nice line ... but there are other nice lines out there too.

 

Blue skies ...

 

--rita

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Groups of up to a hundred are very different to those who practically take over a ship. :(

Absolutely. In fact, there will be smaller groups on just about EVERY sailing. You would go nuts trying to keep track of all of them. Travel agents often put their own groups together ... seniors, etc. ... and market a sailing specifically to them. In fact, from what I understand, on my 30-day Hawaii/South Pacific cruise there is one such group.

 

These smaller groups ... even if they are programmed ... have very little impact on their fellow cruisers. Oh, they may take over one of the lounges for a couple of hours for a "Welcome Aboard" cocktail party ... or maybe use a few of the meeting rooms that would otherwise go unoccupied during the daytime ... but they really don't take away from anyone else's cruise experience with their group activities. But then you get 1000 cruisers all in one group and they very quickly become a force to be reckoned with onboard ship. Imagine being the travel agent who booked that group. She'd be damned sure to kiss the behinds of the group leaders by insisting on their needs being met onboard ... even if meeting those needs involves screwing over other passengers.

 

I don't know ... I think I would prefer to find out six months out that my cruise was cancelled because the ship was chartered by a group ... than to find out that I was sailing with a large group whose needs were going to always take precedence over mine.

 

Blue skies ...

 

--rita

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I know that you shouldn't have to do something like this just to get the seating time you would like, but try what we did on Zuiderdam last week. Because DW and I renewed our vows, it was impossible for us to eat during our assigned time. So, I went to the matri'd and asked if we could change to the 8:00 seating. What he did was check his list to see who had reservations in the Pinnacle Grill and sat us at their table. He gets a listing from the Pinniacle Grill for each seating each day.

Yeah, but then you have no assigned table and no assigned tablemates ... you're hopping to a different table each night. No, I wouldn't like that at all. I would sooner have a standing reservation in the Pinnacle each night ... with all cover charges waived, of course.

 

Blue skies ...

 

--rita

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But MHO, I don't care what the group is. A gay group, a church group, a Morticians convention, or group of septic tank salesman *LOL* Any inordinately large group on a ship will have an impact on the other pax

Oh, please ... not a morticians' convention! :( Could you imagine what a jolly group that would be? :)

 

Blue skies ...

 

--rita

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Do cruise documents state that dinner seatings are subject to being changed or that they are not guaranteed? I have never checked this, but now I am curious. I am a manager at a hotel and I suppose it is like how we handle reservations. Oftentimes people arrive to check-in and find that they did not get two beds as requested or non-smoking as expected. It is all on a request-only basis, although we do not state that anywhere. And I am constantly trying to manage upset travelers due to this. And we don't EVER state that you might not have a room at all, but there are times we oversell and have to walk guests.

 

I am a VERY easy traveler and it would not bother me to be seated earlier or later. However, I completely understand how some people would be upset. My family and I always eat the early seating and I know my parents would be extremely upset to be moved to a later seating as they go to sleep early. I am sorry that large groups are so influential and that paying guests are treated in this manner. As a previous poster said, money obviously talks. But I would think this would create a serious rift between the group guests and all the other guests. It must create a very tense cruising experience.

 

 

 

Michael

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I think they should mass attack. Obviously I'm kidding, but I do think there's strength in numbers and if enough people got together they just might be heard. Lucky it wasn't me ... that's all I can say.

 

One form of Mass Attack would be for all of the passengers that had been bumped to early sitting, to order room service at their assigned times and demand that the courses are delivered individually, that the old plates and utensils are removed and then the next course delivered. This would be part of the recompence from HAL. If all of the passengers did this then I think they would get the message.

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Do cruise documents state that dinner seatings are subject to being changed or that they are not guaranteed? I have never checked this, but now I am curious.

Michael

 

In my Travel Documents it says:

"Confirmed Dining: Main"

 

There does not appear to be any disclaimer in the "Terms and Conditions" section. susana.

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I find it amazing that so many CCers want 800P and 830P seating, yet on the Maasdam cruise we are taking in January, the two early seatings are wait listed and the late seatings had openings. We prefer the 6:15 seating because we do not like to eat so late. We have asked to be on the wait list for the 6:15 seating. Anyone who wants our 800P seats can have them in exchange for earlier seating. My DH said we may have to eat at the Lido some nights if we do not get the 6:15 seating (I know he is kidding!).

 

I cannot imagine that HAL has not known for some time that they were going to give the 800P seating to the group. They may not have said anything for fear of cancellations. Even so, I understand that dining times are very meaningful for many of you and of all people, the folks from HAL should know that! I think they should have alerted folks affected by the seating time immedafter the group was booked, giving them time to decide if they want to change plans and or take another time. They could probably booked other pax and they would know up fronts the seating times available.

 

I have two friends on this Oosterdam cruise. One is a Princess House rep with her daughter. I had no idea there would be that many from that company going. YIKES!

 

My last two cents, I also would not want my precious cruise time affected by such large groups that "take over" all of the public spaces on the ship.

 

Jcg

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Well, at least the compensation would pay for a standing reservation at the Pinnacle every night for the two of you ... at your choice of dining times. :)

 

--rita

 

Going to Pinnacle every night would allow us to dine at the time they had confirmed on our confirmation and on our documents. However, it would take us out of the dining room and away from the interaction of dining stewards as exists in the dining room but rarely in Pinnacle. I never tire of the 'goodbye song' and why should we miss out on it? We would not be there to hear it if we were forced to go to Pinnacle.

 

We would not be able to have the dining room menu to choose from but for ten days would have to choose from the same Pinnacle menu each night. I cannot eat beef for ten days and there is only one fish dish I like on Pinnacle's menu. I exagerate not when I say I would be ill if we ate in Pinnacle for ten straight nights.

 

Our enjoyment of our 8:00 dining is so important to us that if we were ever informed we would be bumped from it prior to our making final payment, we would cancel our cruise.

 

Some may say roll with it.....No. I would roll with some things. Not that!! This facet of our cruise is too important to US to accept such treatment. It would be unacceptable to us.

 

Of course, all I've written is in the category of 'ragtime' as it has not happened to us but it angers me it has happened to other people.

 

It isn't right!

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DH and I could never handle the early seating. We do many days of 6 to 8 hour shore tours and need time after such intensive days to shower and rest before dinner. In addition, cocktail hour is a PREDINNER priority.

We would be livid if we were told at embarkation that we had been reassigned to early dinner. Dinner at 8 PM or later at a table for 6 or 8 is one of the major high points of any cruise we take. Do be denied this would put a huge damper on our experience. I'm so sorry for anyone experiencing this.

 

Kay Stroud

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Sadly, Bram is right of course. But we can fantasize about what we might do if found in this position. The fact is if I got my docs and it did not say "Confirmed 8:00 pm Seating", I would immediately call and inquire. If I was assured that it would be 8, then I would not expect to get on the ship and be told a group had taken over that seating.

 

And I'm with Kay ... early sitting just would not work for us because we always return to the ship late. And I just happen to like the later time for reasons I won't go into:o .

 

It's just wrong. And I can only hope that HAL (who we know reads this board) is reading this thread. Because these kinds of things are remembered and not forgotten ... so even if we might apparently "roll with it" on that particular cruise, we haven't really.

 

What goes around comes around I always say. And as my Mom always told me, there are lots of other fish in the sea (and she was right;) ).

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Today on the Oosterdam out of San Diego there are a lot of unhappy people that have discovered that Holland America has bumped the late seating passengers to 6:15 and cancelled the 8:00 dinning' date=' all for a large group that has taken over the entire dinning area. Not a pleasent way to start your long awaited cruise.[/color']
Am I the only one who reads this as the late seatings (8:30) were bumped to 6:15 and they cancelled the 8:00 completely?:confused:

 

This would mean that nobody but the Princess House people have any dinner times past 6:15.:(

And why would they need "the entire dining area"?

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I'm sorry to say, my wife and I, our daughter and her husband were on the Maasdam Western Carribean cruise several years ago and "Princess House" had done almost the same thing to us. They never cancelled our dinner arrangements but we were shut-off from the Navigation deck pool and other areas , several times during our cruise so they could have drinking contests and other "Carnival like" games.

 

This group behaved rather badly, in my IMHO, as they were drinking booze out of the bottle in the hallways, dressing in shorts and other weird dress for dinner and a good number of the group were covered , I mean covered in tatoos. Many of the guys looked like they just got out of prison and were residing in East LA.

 

You couldn't get into the Crows Nest after 10:00 PM as they drove the Steel Drum group out so they could play Rap Crap! Most, but not all were the most uncouth, low-lifes I have ever seen on a cruise.

 

HAL used to be a rather refined cruiseline but since Mickey took over, times have changed. This is only our families experience with this group, your experiences may vary! We are just regular people who like to enjoy ourselves on HAL. We have taken 15 cruises with them and have another booked in February 2006.

 

I'm glad we had an "S" suite on the Maasdam so we had a peaceful place to hang out that was away from this group. If I knew that this group would be onboard for one of my cruises again - I would cancel in a heartbeat!

 

Just my humble opinion!

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They would need the entire dining area if their group numbered around 900 which is well may have. If, indeed, the group is that large, they need two full seatings. It seems they opted for the 8:00 and the 8:30 which were probably combined into one seating using both the upper and lower level.

 

So in answer to your question, the way I read it is that all passengers who are not a part of the group gets to have dinner at 5:45 or 6:15 whether they like it or not.

 

I am under the impression that people in "PS" and "S" Suites are guaranteed their choice of dining time. They may not get their choice of table size or particular table by number but I think HAL promises the choice of dining time. If so, it appears they broke a few promises........... It isn't likely that every "S" and "PS" was booked by the group; or maybe that is the case????

 

 

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It's very sad. I for one would feel like I was being treated like a "second class" citizen. How can it be fair to bump a full paying passenger for someone that has likely gotten a discount fare? We were on a cruise many years ago when a fuel company's convention was held on board. Though we had our proper dinner seating, the public areas were constantly being overwhelmed by this group. When the "boss" would show up, everyone would cheer. If you're quietly reading a book by the pool it's rather startling. They were obnoxious to say the least. Always loud and boisterous. My husband was almost put off cruising completly because of them and took a lot of convincing to get him back on for another cruise. If this were to happen again, I'm afraid he say "that's it" which would, of course, be truly sad. We too like the experience of the dining room and enjoy a show or two as well as the Crow's nest during scenic cruising and would be very put out if we had to avoid these areas for special groups.

I don't know what can be done to avoid this but , thank you Susana/Trubey for starting your website. I think it will be very helpful.

Colette

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They had many of the "S" Suites and the Penthouse which was an open bar party every night. We were unfortunate to be booked in S002 - right across the hall.

 

In addition - after dinner on the formal nights - these people changed back into their raggy old cut-off jeans and muscle t-shirts and took over the ship. We felt out of place in our tuxes and dresses.

 

I wish that HAL would designate 1 ship for group cruises and leave the rest of us the hell alone!

 

Let's see what the regular passengers have to say about this group after the cruise. If I'm wrong - I'll eat my words! You never know - maybe this group has read some cruise literature and Emily Post! Our experience with this group rsembled a Mad MaX movie or the Star Wars bar scene!

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Sadly karowd2 is likely right. Who needs an obnoxious group of partiers who act like 20 somethings on spring break in Florida on a ship meant for a higher end of travelling. I wouldn't go as far as to blame HAL going downhill since Carnival took it over - I think any cruise line would give away the ship to a large economic block. But yeah dressed down and obnoxious is not fun and truly horrifying for those who have cabins near the party.

 

Does anyone complain to the main office, the cruise director and the hotel manager? Do that. Write a bad review when you get those things on the last day (HAL really wants you to put in only good thoughts as they keep saying) and then write the company when you get back home. A thousand or so complaints en masse will tell the on board crew that this is a nightmare and HAL might just pay attention to what it is doing. Not as dramatic as a mutiny on the high seas but probably far more effective. Bad publicity is far worse than any cry for compensation.

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