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BCEagle78

What has happened to the quality of the on board activities / shipboard experience

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Iti s your fault if you know this upfront and still pick HAL cruise ships.

 

 

I didn’t know this upfront when we cruised HAL, and probably won’t be cruising them again now that I do. We booked 5 weeks out when we found out we had a week available to take a trip. The HAL ship fit the time schedule and had a couple of ports we hadn’t been to, so we booked. Others are in similar situations and may appreciate others experiences before they book.

 

 

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Wow, BB King's was removed? I thought that the BB King's concept was brand new and one of HAL's latest entertainment ventures.

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Wow, BB King's was removed? I thought that the BB King's concept was brand new and one of HAL's latest entertainment ventures.

 

It was removed off the Rotterdam - the only S & R ship that had it. Having sailed when they were there, I can say the performers were very good on our cruise and I'm glad I sailed while they were still there.

 

BBKings remains on the larger ships - but, it's not a brand new concept. They've been around for a while - at least nearly 4 years. They were on our Westerdam "Sail a Way Gang's" cruise in 2015.

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We did the partial transit of the Panama Canal in January and I had been looking forward to the "cheesy" swim the Panama Canal activity. If it occurred, I missed it in the Where and When.

 

I'm sorry you missed the Swim as well, but I feel better that my cruise was not the only one that it was missing from. I know it was not simply because it was a Partial Transit cruise, because my parents had been on a Partial Transit cruise a couple of years ago and they had the opportunity to Swim the Panama Canal.

 

Yes, I know it's silly but I really was looking forward to it and I really did want the silly t-shirt.

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Just off Volendam. Great service throughout. Waiters and Maitr d’ said they preferred the smaller ships since the galleys were closer and they could spend more time with guests. Makes sense as the galley was on 4 and we were dining on 4. A bit inconvenient as you can’t go fore and aft on 4 since the galley blocks. Will check out the difference when we board K-dam in the fall.

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There is no question that HAL has great service and good food.

 

The issue for some is that their ships often have poor, or outdated, or no entertainment. That can spell boring to some cruisers who like to do more than sit by the pool with no music/entertainment and read.

 

We can do that at home. Our preference is for a cruise line that gives us some of both. Contemporany entertainment ans some quiet zones. Other cruise lines do this, HAL it seems used to do it at one time. What is so difficult about this? Or is the P&L so bad that they cannot spring for anything but some has beens or some junior talent just starting out.

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There is no question that HAL has great service and good food.

 

.............Or is the P&L so bad that they cannot spring for anything but some has beens or some junior talent just starting out.

 

CLL Annual Report has a consolidated financial statement and does not break it down by partner cruise line. There are cryptic comments in the footnotes. Can you translate them for us? It appears some brands are doing better or worse but I don't know how to decode it - it is in accountant-speak.

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The other lines I have cruised with offer more entertainment and activities, but also have quiet places for those that want that as well. You can always find a quiet place to read, do a puzzle, nap or just relax, but if no entertainment is offered, those who prefer that are out of luck. There is no right or wrong, just different preferences.

 

Fair point. But IMO, being in a quiet place on a large ship with many passengers and many activities / venue / entertainments, vs. being on a smaller ship with fewer passengers and an overall more tranquil atmosphere throughout the entire ship are two quite different things. As you said, there is no right or wrong but just different preference.

 

My next 2 cruises, both 7 days Caribbean, will be on the Veendam and then the Oasis of the Seas - two different ships, with different expectations.

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The HAL cruises I have been on, have not had much happening during the day at all. I think it is because of the typical HAL cruiser. They don't party or drink just read and like to play trivia. I think HAL thinks if they have several Trivia games a day they will keep their cruisers more than happy. Even on the late 10:00 on shows, the theater is usually mostly empty. Probably most of the cruisers are asleep by 10:00.

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My comment is really easy to decode.

 

Since this appears to be causing you some angst here it is again in very simple english.

 

Compared to other lines that we have sailed on, Celebrity, Carnival, RCI, NCL, Princess, and Crystal, HAL is at the bottom of the list when it comes to entertainment. Both quality and quantity. It has been so for quite some time. The comments on this forum would lead me to believe that it is still going, comparatively, in the wrong direction. This leads me to believe that HAL is not directing their sales or marketing efforts to people in my age group, ie mid sixties, retired, and travel 4-5 months per year. We do not consider a library as entertainment any more than a deck chair.

 

Don't understand cutting back on enrichment speakers. Our understanding is the cost to the cruise line is often merely free passage.

We spoke to an enrichment speaker on Celebrity and another on Princess. The both said the same. The submitted a suggested topic based on their respective areas of expertise The cruise lines took them up on it. Both got passage in an ocean view cabin for them and their guest. That was the extent of the cost to the cruise line.

Edited by iancal

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In the interest of sharing opinions and experiences- which is what this forum is intended for - I can give a good example having done the same 20+ days repositioning cruise 4 times in 5 years. Onboard entertainment and activities steadily declined in that time. Last year there were no game shows and very few sea day activities. They didn't even bother with a gala night in the last 9 days. The first time we did this itinerary we were spoiled for choice. What a let down. As someone famously says - sad!

 

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In the interest of sharing opinions and experiences- which is what this forum is intended for - I can give a good example having done the same 20+ days repositioning cruise 4 times in 5 years. Onboard entertainment and activities steadily declined in that time. Last year there were no game shows and very few sea day activities. They didn't even bother with a gala night in the last 9 days. The first time we did this itinerary we were spoiled for choice. What a let down. As someone famously says - sad!

 

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Having been on the same four cruises, I have to say that I agree. I am very glad that I like to read, do crossword puzzles or spend time with friends to pass the time at sea. Trivia is fun but that only lasts for half an hour.

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In the interest of sharing opinions and experiences- which is what this forum is intended for - I can give a good example having done the same 20+ days repositioning cruise 4 times in 5 years. Onboard entertainment and activities steadily declined in that time. Last year there were no game shows and very few sea day activities. They didn't even bother with a gala night in the last 9 days. The first time we did this itinerary we were spoiled for choice. What a let down. As someone famously says - sad!

 

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I agree. We took the 42 day Atlantic Adventure in 2014 and then again in 2017. World of difference. Zero interest from the cruiseline in onboard entertainment and the CD could not care less. Awful. Incredible indifference. We wondered if we would ever bother sailing again. But, we are hopeful. We think that was a glitch in the whole cruising experience, not to worry again. Perhaps a different itinerary.

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all cruise ships have limited activities compared to the olden days

i like seadays but i like to be entertained. all are cutting the staff to save $

i like daily trivias . that does not cost them much. they always have alot of things that cost money casino drinks specialty places to eat shore excursions

i come on cruises to be busy and entertained it si sad to see those activities go away

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I am a very frequent traveler on HAL and have also noticed the lack of lido pool side live entertainment on sea days. I have made mention of this in my survey comments to HAL after returning from cruises. I also found that sometimes, the lido pool staff forgets to turn on the recorded music. Steel drum players use to hold guest lessons back on the sea view pool area. There also use to be ice sculpturing by the lido pool. The librarian has also disappeared, thus there isn't any one to help when there is an issue with their wonderful internet ! Maybe, soon we will have to cook our own meals and make our own beds on board (ha - ha).

 

So sad how they've cut back. Well, if HAL doesn't want to entertain the passengers then we'll just have to do it our selves. Give us the showroom or Wajang theatre every day and we'll call bingo, do talent shows, swap books, share info about ports and what to do and not do, where to shop etc. However, I'd want a price reduction. I'll even make my own bed:D

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They’re adding the Oprah Book Club!!!!

 

 

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Oh how exciting. I can't contain myself...:rolleyes:

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all cruise ships have limited activities compared to the olden days

i like seadays but i like to be entertained. all are cutting the staff to save $

i like daily trivias . that does not cost them much. they always have alot of things that cost money casino drinks specialty places to eat shore excursions

i come on cruises to be busy and entertained it si sad to see those activities go away

 

I also expect activities and entertainment. It's great that some passengers are more than happy to sit and read a book or do a crossword. I have different needs. I do not need to spend upwards of $1000 a day to read a book or to do a crossword on a ship.

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I agree. We are a family of 4 with two youngish kids, they are 13 and 9 and we travel with my in laws. We have been on 4 Hal cruises together. Our last was on the Eurodam over Christmas. While we had a great time, for us it’s time to move on. We missed the steel drums at the pool, and other activities.

 

Several nights it was early, say 8:30-9 ish and there wasn’t much going on and dh and I ended up sitting on our veranda reading. While I love doing that during the day, I want to be entertained in the evening, so we are trying something else. That plus we want a Caribbean itinerary that’s slightly different and Hal doesn’t have one that suits our time constraint and price.

 

So we are trying a 9 night on RCCL and can’t wait.

 

 

 

 

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So sad how they've cut back. Well, if HAL doesn't want to entertain the passengers then we'll just have to do it our selves. Give us the showroom or Wajang theatre every day and we'll call bingo, do talent shows, swap books, share info about ports and what to do and not do, where to shop etc. However, I'd want a price reduction. I'll even make my own bed:D

 

(bold is mine) Shhh! Don't give them any ideas!

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Thanks everybody for all of the comments in response to my original post.

 

I carefully read all of the responses on this thread. I also called Holland America Ship Services to get their point of view. I guess that my sense that there was less going on for activities on the ship was accurate. The Hawaii Circle cruise has many sea days... we don't want to be bored.

 

We made the decision to book our Hawaii cruise with Princess. We last cruised on Princess about 10 months ago and really enjoyed the entire experience. At this point, this makes the most sense for us, even though Holland America has been our favorite for the past 20 years. It is too bad that all the cutbacks on Holland America are driving us away but when it comes right down to it, in a free market, there are always choices..

 

Will we come back to Holland America again sometime? Probably but it won't be for a while... they have lost my business for the near term...

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There are ways to make one's point, firmly if need be but still politely and respectfully -- without name calling, without snark and without casting aspersions on the experiences of others.

 

Agree 100%, but one's point may not always be 'nice' (but still polite and respectful) depending on the subject matter being discussed. Your original comment was that if one doesn't have something 'nice' to say, then it shouldn't be said. I simply disagree with this statement.

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Agree 100%, but one's point may not always be 'nice' (but still polite and respectful) depending on the subject matter being discussed. Your original comment was that if one doesn't have something 'nice' to say, then it shouldn't be said. I simply disagree with this statement.

 

That was posted by someone else.

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Sometimes there's a need to be frank and honest with someone and the conversation may not meet everyone's definition of "nice". Everything isn't always unicorns and rainbows.

 

Roz

 

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Thanks everybody for all of the comments in response to my original post.

 

I carefully read all of the responses on this thread. I also called Holland America Ship Services to get their point of view. I guess that my sense that there was less going on for activities on the ship was accurate. The Hawaii Circle cruise has many sea days... we don't want to be bored.

 

We made the decision to book our Hawaii cruise with Princess. We last cruised on Princess about 10 months ago and really enjoyed the entire experience. At this point, this makes the most sense for us, even though Holland America has been our favorite for the past 20 years. It is too bad that all the cutbacks on Holland America are driving us away but when it comes right down to it, in a free market, there are always choices..

 

Will we come back to Holland America again sometime? Probably but it won't be for a while... they have lost my business for the near term...

I'm sure you'll have a great cruise with many wonderful memories to look back on!! Happy sailing is what it's all about!!

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We last cruised with HAL in March 2017 roundtrip to Hawaii. There were several onboard activities, including crafts and other demonstrations with a Hawaiian theme. There were lectures as well although the Crow's Nest had undergone it's change to include what library remained.

 

I am not interested in Bingo, trivia, do not spend my days in the casino and found the new food programs to be repetitive and basic. Shows were a mix as to quality.

 

We do enjoy the games of various types, some crafts, the destination lectures as well as many of the various lectures presented by guest lecturers. I would not care to attend an Oprah book club event, just not my choice of literature.

 

Our next sailing is the Voyage of the Vikings, 38 days, and I am beginning to be concerned as to what might be available during the day.

 

 

 

Our next booking is the Voyage of the Vikings.

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