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For those who have recently sailed on Rotterdam please tell us your experience with entertainment on board  .  How are the main shows ? Any other music aboard   with dancing ?  Do they do a lot of Trivia games  ? Any other passenger  games offered ?

 

 TIA for your replies

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Post Modern Jukebox is currently on the Rotterdam and does two performances on the main stage.  We also had a comedian and a magician other evenings.

 

Trivia was offered twice per day.

 

Music and dancing took place in the Ocean bar nightly.

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2 hours ago, TrolleyGirl said:

Post Modern Jukebox is currently on the Rotterdam and does two performances on the main stage.  We also had a comedian and a magician other evenings.

 

Trivia was offered twice per day.

 

Music and dancing took place in the Ocean bar nightly.

Thank you for this information 

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The Rotterdam also has the old style, intimate Piano Bar, next to MIX.   It is a single piano, not the dueling pianos of the Billboard Onboard.   We were on the Rotterdam in March and the Piano Bar entertainer, Don Alexander, had his own sideman accompaniment and also a small alto sax that he played simultaneously with his left hand as he played the Piano with his right.  He also played a harmonica, Billy Joel style, along with the piano.  Very talented guy.  That type of variety is what I miss on the larger ships that have the Billboard Onboard venue.   Also, the very talented entertainer on the Rotterdam had applied to Billboard Corp to be one of the dual piano entertainers, but at age 58, he was rejected as being too old for the HAL ships.   Kind of makes you wonder what they were thinking.

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I totally agree with you.    We were on the Rotterdam Nov. 04th, and there were many, many complaints about the so-

called entertainment.    Showing a movie in the main showroom instead of having the usual, expected singers &

dancers was very disappointing.    The choice of movies shown (except for maybe 2) in the Wajang is also up for 

some serious discussion.     As I said....many, many complaints.

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On 12/14/2018 at 10:01 PM, roddonn said:

I totally agree with you.    We were on the Rotterdam Nov. 04th, and there were many, many complaints about the so-

called entertainment.    Showing a movie in the main showroom instead of having the usual, expected singers &

dancers was very disappointing.    The choice of movies shown (except for maybe 2) in the Wajang is also up for 

some serious discussion.     As I said....many, many complaints.

I don't like what HAL has done to the entertainment.  Nor do I like seeing a movie in the main showroom.  I think the passengers could have put on a better talent show (with the band) than what HAL is now offering.  I think it might be time to try Princess Cruise Line.

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I cancelled our Rotterdam cruise earlier this year when I heard they got rid B.B. Kings. It is a shame as I enjoyed it on the Westerdam so much.  Will have to cruise HAL from ports other than Tampa in the future.

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Interesting thread. We've been noticing the dwindling quality of main theater entertainment on the smaller HAL ships for the past couple of years now and have pretty much stopped booking their cruises because of it, with one exception. We are definitely interested in the transition of the Maasdam and their in-depth cruises. So much so we've booked a 40 day Australian cruise hoping their 2-3+ informative lectures each day turn the Maasdam into more of a exploration-type cruising experience. But, to satisfy our need for fun on a cruise, we are now booking a lot more Celebrity and Princess cruises as HAL just doesn't do it for us anymore.

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I've got the Rotterdam booked and I'm sticking with it.  Sailing out of Tampa....four port days....I think we will be okay!  Actually we are looking forward to it!  Just got off the Oasis just this month.  Lots to do for sure.  Entertainment was unprecedented for us.  I think it will be nice to have a relaxing, easy-going cruise.  Gonna really go for it in the port though! 

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Just off 3 weeks on Rotterdam.  There were one or two performers in Main Stage I thought were good.  But I have to agree with the majority of comments above.  HAL seems more interested in spending money on co-branding activities than investing in live entertainment / musicians / performers / social staff. There were many evenings before or after dinner you could walk the Upper Prom Deck (the primary evening entertainment venues) and the only think you would hear is air conditioning hiss.  What little they have left is scheduled poorly for the standard dinner sitting guests.  If you just count the number of empty stages in the various rooms of the ship you can see how much has been cut back in favor of co branding.  They even close the upper level of Main Stage now - so little attendance.  Sail Away is now 2 speakers and recorded music.  No live bands at the 'Sea-No-Pool' or the Lido Pool. No Mix Entertainer.  No Crows Nest entertainer.  But hey, some Oprah consultant told me how to wear metallic eye shadow and use a scarf as a belt.  I feel so enriched - thank's O.

 

The strings remain a blessed reminder of HAL.  They were the most attended live entertainment, with the Piano Bar performer a close second.  The CD Rebekah and her ACD Kelly were far better caliber than HAL deserves.  If they had astaff, it could be a nice activity schedule.  The Ocean Bar was usually on break when I passed by, and not even recorded break music.  And speaking of music, the ship's 'musak' was the worst mix of disjointed, poor audio quality and irritating tunes which was not rotated in 3 weeks.  Digital music is cheap...but not even HAL can muster up for that.  Whoever in Seattle approved this noise should be locked in a room for 3 weeks with this on replay for punishment.   The paint chipping atop of Crows Nest was a welcomed addition.

 

HAL has lost itself.  It is trying so hard not to be a cruise line.  They pay a good chunk of change to co-brand with non cruise stuff they have all but decimated the cruising experience.  Personally, I think that cash should be invested to the waning cruise product, musicians, social staff and Seattle management should be asked 'do you EVEN like cruising?'.

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42 minutes ago, chill6x6 said:

Mike,

 

Pardon my ignorance, but what do you mean by "co branding?"

 

Thanks!

I might be wrong, but here's what comes to mind when I see HAL in the same sentence as rebranding. Besides BBC Earth shows/trivia and Oprah stuff, on some of the recent cruises we've been on they had a bamboo product vendor that took orders at the end of their presention, a Peter Max art sale (not an auction) to include items priced over $2,500. On one cruise, they even teamed up with a time sharing company that we have never seen again on any other HAL cruise we've been on. 

Edited by Ken the cruiser

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We own three timeshares but we would never want to be pestered on a cruise by timeshare salesmen.  What's next, car salesmen? "As seen on TV" hucksters?  

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Meaning of co-branding is a tie in between two brands in attempt to draw more attention and consumption of the brand(s).  HAL pays to have a connection with these brands in expectation to improve revenue.

 

Examples:  Oprah, Microsoft, Sophia Fiori, New York Times, ESPN, Cariloha, etc.  None of these I see as any investment that improves the cruise experience.

 

Some do work, such as BB King, America's Test Kitchen (maybe, not my interest, but seems to please some passengers).

 

But overall, I think some of the co-branding would be money better spent on improving the cruising experience over attaching brands that IMHO do nothing for the cruising experience - especially when so much of basic cruise activities have been cut.

 

In short, you want me to cruise HAL more. make the CRUISE the focus.  Adding co-branding experiences is a nice addition when your foundation product (a CRUISE) is strong.  I feel HAL's cruise experience has been pummeled into anonymity and no amount of co-branding gee whiz will compensate for that.  Put the money where it matters, HAL.

 

As I stated previously, as I watch this brand devolve, I wonder if the Seattle management making such decisions even LIKE cruises.

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Just saw a HAL ad on television. BB Kings is shown. Just can’t figure out why entertainment on their older ships is so different. Almost need to rebrand their older ships such as Rotterdam as HAL Classic. Should be a somewhat similar product across all their fleet.

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Thanks Mike and Ken.  I got it!  

It doesn't sound like a whole lot to look forward to entertainment wise...

 

A given on a cruise ship should be at least a 5 or 6 piece band and a production show, say two nights during a 7-day cruise.  Nothing wrong with a comedian a couple of nights during the 7 days.  I love variety acts including jugglers/unicyclist/etc.  Have one of those one night of the week.  When not doing the production show the band can set up and play to give folks an alternative.  Is it THAT HARD?

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I recently sent a Facebook message to HAL about entertainment on the Rotterdam for our cruise in April.  We were very concerned as we were big fans of BB King on our past cruise on the Rotterdam and a recent cruise on the Oosterdam.  This is the reply I received.  as of April 2019 Rotterdam will have Billboard Onboard and Lincoln Center Stage, which are fantastic. BBC Earth Experiences include the Live Concerts and the ship also has The Mainstage

 

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On 12/24/2018 at 6:44 PM, chill6x6 said:

Thanks Mike and Ken.  I got it!  

It doesn't sound like a whole lot to look forward to entertainment wise...

 

A given on a cruise ship should be at least a 5 or 6 piece band and a production show, say two nights during a 7-day cruise.  Nothing wrong with a comedian a couple of nights during the 7 days.  I love variety acts including jugglers/unicyclist/etc.  Have one of those one night of the week.  When not doing the production show the band can set up and play to give folks an alternative.  Is it THAT HARD?

 

That sounds good to me! 

 

I am pleased to see the Lincoln Center Stage spreading through the fleet. For me, that was the best entertainment on K'dam. I still miss the Neptunes, who played in the Ocean Bar, but they were dumped when BB King came in.

 

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22 minutes ago, FuninRetirement said:

I recently sent a Facebook message to HAL about entertainment on the Rotterdam for our cruise in April.  We were very concerned as we were big fans of BB King on our past cruise on the Rotterdam and a recent cruise on the Oosterdam.  This is the reply I received.  as of April 2019 Rotterdam will have Billboard Onboard and Lincoln Center Stage, which are fantastic. BBC Earth Experiences include the Live Concerts and the ship also has The Mainstage

 

Sounds pretty "sleepy" to me. This is one big reason we're switching to Celebrity and Princess cruises, as we're in our mid 60s and want to have a fun time while we're onboard to include going to interactive game shows, attending professional lectures and going to great evening performances in the main theater. Sorry, but the Lincoln Stage just doesn't cut for us and BBC Earth shows and trivia are pretty much the same on every HAL cruise we've been on since they teamed up with them.

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I will say that the Lincoln Stage and the Billboard performances were both VERY good on the Oosterdam.  It's good that there are plenty of choices so you can find the cruise/line that you enjoy the most.  Have fun cruising.

 

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Friends just came back from the 7 day cruise and said that there were no dancers in the show. We haven't gone to a show on HAL in many years.

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4 hours ago, SeaBands said:

Friends just came back from the 7 day cruise and said that there were no dancers in the show. We haven't gone to a show on HAL in many years.

On Rotterdam right now the 2 "shows" are Post Modern Jukebox, which is music but not dancing.....just like BB King's Blues Club on the other ships is music but they don't dance while they sing.  Personally, I can't wait to see Post Modern Jukebox - it sounds like a refreshing change from the traditional production shows.  

 

Sue/WDW1972

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21 hours ago, FuninRetirement said:

I recently sent a Facebook message to HAL about entertainment on the Rotterdam for our cruise in April.  We were very concerned as we were big fans of BB King on our past cruise on the Rotterdam and a recent cruise on the Oosterdam.  This is the reply I received.  as of April 2019 Rotterdam will have Billboard Onboard and Lincoln Center Stage, which are fantastic. BBC Earth Experiences include the Live Concerts and the ship also has The Mainstage

 

We are on a 7 night Western Caribbean Rotterdam  cruise  .At least they will have those 2 music  venues .Thanks fir the info 

 

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Sailed both the Veendam and the Rotterdam in November. Liked the Rotterdam better as a ship but truly lacking in evening entertainment. The Veendam had great entertainment but the ship was a mess. One example, 2 of the 8 elevators did not work the entire 11 days!! I could go on but why!

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