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Itinerary Change!!! - When do you plan on letting us all know, HAL ????


kazu
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On 3/31/2019 at 11:41 AM, Fouremco said:

In the vast majority of threads involving complaints about missed ports, the decision to miss a port is at the last minute and usually involves bad weather. So the "suck it up it happens" type of response is common and quite understandable.

 

The situation here, where a port change is made weeks before the cruise but HAL fails to notify anyone is quite different. It has nothing to do with the cruise being on the Prinsendam or the Mariner status of the passengers.

 

I have no idea why you would think that Karma has anything to do with this situation. 

 

Karma.  If someone cruises enough times or takes a special cruise, Karma will eventually catch up and a port will be missed.  Happens to cruisers all the time.   I thought that maybe since the is the Prisendam on one of it's last cruises and is most likely loaded with high-end Mariners, HAL may take more care.  

 

Nothing nefarious.  

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5 minutes ago, slidergirl said:

 

Karma.  If someone cruises enough times or takes a special cruise, Karma will eventually catch up and a port will be missed.  Happens to cruisers all the time.   I thought that maybe since the is the Prisendam on one of it's last cruises and is most likely loaded with high-end Mariners, HAL may take more care.  

 

Nothing nefarious.  

I guess we just have a different understanding of the meaning of Karma. I think I'd call what you are describing the law of averages. 

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1 hour ago, Fouremco said:

I guess we just have a different understanding of the meaning of Karma. I think I'd call what you are describing the law of averages. 

 

Thank you 🙂 

 

I don’t call it karma either 😉. Port changes we’ve had all the time including the last Prinsendam cruise due to tides.  But it was communicated.

That was my only concern.  The lack of communication.

 

 

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57 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

Thank you 🙂 

 

I don’t call it karma either 😉. Port changes we’ve had all the time including the last Prinsendam cruise due to tides.  But it was communicated.

That was my only concern.  The lack of communication.

 

 

Lets see they made the decision last Thursday and put out the notice on Tuesday for a port that will not be visited until 30 days later.  Considering that once they started the process they need to cancel everything at the old stop, make all of the arrangements for the new port including getting all of the times set and approved with the port, getting excursions in place. Drafting the notice, getting it reviewed and approved.  Then taking care of distribution.  

 

The notice went out within 5 days of the change, and two of those days were weekend when the functions would not have been working.  Pretty quickly for a change like that.

 

I guess instead of making sure everything was set before making the notice, they could have sent out multiple notices each with incomplete information, but I suspect we would have seen even more complaints.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, RDC1 said:

Lets see they made the decision last Thursday and put out the notice on Tuesday for a port that will not be visited until 30 days later.  Considering that once they started the process they need to cancel everything at the old stop, make all of the arrangements for the new port including getting all of the times set and approved with the port, getting excursions in place. Drafting the notice, getting it reviewed and approved.  Then taking care of distribution.  

 

The notice went out within 5 days of the change, and two of those days were weekend when the functions would not have been working.  Pretty quickly for a change like that.

 

I guess instead of making sure everything was set before making the notice, they could have sent out multiple notices each with incomplete information, but I suspect we would have seen even more complaints.

 

 

 

 

There you go! :classic_smile:

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2 minutes ago, RDC1 said:

I guess instead of making sure everything was set before making the notice, they could have sent out multiple notices each with incomplete information, but I suspect we would have seen even more complaints.

 

 

 

Nope - they knew they were going there - so why not tell us ?  A lot of us leave in a matter of days.  This is sold as a collectors and not just a single cruise.

 

I just would have liked to know.  Not to hard to tell us itinerary was changed - seriously

 

I wonder if you would feel differently if YOU were on the cruise and leaving in 3 days?

 

I guess we’ll agree to disagree.  

 

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4 minutes ago, RDC1 said:

Lets see they made the decision last Thursday and put out the notice on Tuesday for a port that will not be visited until 30 days later.  Considering that once they started the process they need to cancel everything at the old stop, make all of the arrangements for the new port including getting all of the times set and approved with the port, getting excursions in place. Drafting the notice, getting it reviewed and approved.  Then taking care of distribution.  

 

The notice went out within 5 days of the change, and two of those days were weekend when the functions would not have been working.  Pretty quickly for a change like that.

 

I guess instead of making sure everything was set before making the notice, they could have sent out multiple notices each with incomplete information, but I suspect we would have seen even more complaints.

 

 

Completely agree that HAL acted appropriately here.

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Just now, kazu said:

 

 

Nope - they knew they were going there - so why not tell us ?  A lot of us leave in a matter of days.  This is sold as a collectors and not just a single cruise.

 

I just would have liked to know.  Not to hard to tell us itinerary was changed - seriously

 

I wonder if you would feel differently if YOU were on the cruise and leaving in 3 days?

 

I guess we’ll agree to disagree.  

 

Yep we certainly will.  They did tell you, once they had complete information and an approved notice.

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3 minutes ago, RDC1 said:

Yep we certainly will.  They did tell you, once they had complete information and an approved notice.

 

They were approved on Friday.  They were on the Port of Guernsey website already for coming.  I looked after finding out.  So they were approved.  

I guess it’s my fault then for using a tour guide that told me before HAL. 🙄 :classic_love:

 

HAL told him they were confirmed elsewhere so it was all done.  Personally, for the price this cruise costs, yes, this could have been done better.

 

They did it on Thursday, apparently.  They were in place in St. Peter’s Port on Friday.  We knew because we have a roll call member on board that went digging.  Shore Excursions told her.  So, it was definitely all “set” approved and complete information in hand on Friday.

 

they were approved on Friday at the latest (if not Thursday) and they had complete info then since our roll call member gave us our arrival and departure times.

 

5 days notice is fine when you don’t go for a year or a few months, but when you are days from leaving, it does make a difference - at least to a lot of us on our roll call., but heck, we’re just the ones cruising.  

 

The point of my thread originally was to let others know who might not be on the roll call (not everyone joins). I think that mission has been accomplished.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

They were approved on Friday.  They were on the Port of Guernsey website already for coming.  I looked after finding out.  So they were approved.  

I guess it’s my fault then for using a tour guide that told me before HAL. 🙄 :classic_love:

 

HAL told him they were confirmed elsewhere so it was all done.  Personally, for the price this cruise costs, yes, this could have been done better.

 

They did it on Thursday, apparently.  They were in place in St. Peter’s Port on Friday.  We knew because we have a roll call member on board that went digging.  Shore Excursions told her.  So, it was definitely all “set” approved and complete information in hand on Friday.

 

they were approved on Friday at the latest (if not Thursday) and they had complete info then since our roll call member gave us our arrival and departure times.

 

5 days notice is fine when you don’t go for a year or a few months, but when you are days from leaving, it does make a difference - at least to a lot of us on our roll call., but heck, we’re just the ones cruising.  

 

The point of my thread originally was to let others know who might not be on the roll call (not everyone joins). I think that mission has been accomplished.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In many ways that is exactly the issue, someone involved in one of the early steps of the process.. An excursion operator, was notified about the cancellation and that the port was being changed.  It was all done as far as the decision to change and the cancellation of his excursion.  That does not say and all of the other details was done or the notification approved by corporate. He then proceeded to give out, for all practical purposes, incomplete information to let you, who booked independently with him, know that your excursion with would not happen.

 

Under normal circumstances, that communication would not have happened, and the first notice about the change would the notice would have come out smoothly on Tuesday with complete information. Now even with that the number impacted by a premature, incomplete, distribution of information from an unofficial source was limited to relatively few.

 

If they had sent out incomplete info the span of confusion would have been a lot wider.

 

If I was working for HAL in this process, I would make sure that all excursion operators had a non-disclosure agreement, and made sure that they did not prematurely release info until notified by HAL that it was ok to do so. Probably a good thing for that operator that HAL does not routinely call there, otherwise they might be having a discussion about his release.  Then again the span of impacted individuals is not very large in the scheme of things.

 

 

Edited by RDC1
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Well, if I was on this cruise, leaving imminently with all my confirmations in hand, I would appreciate and indeed, expect, the earliest possible notice. In this case, I tend to agree that the notice could have been communicated with greater alacrity.

 

As for the speculation about a NDA with an excursion operator, an independent business person, while my knowledge of European law is limited, the use of such is far more restricted in some countries (compared with the US and Canada) when consumers are involved.

 

Despite this issue, I hope all on this final P'dam journey enjoy themselves and the memories they are creating. I look forward to the live threads that take us all along.

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11 minutes ago, ON cruiser said:

Well, if I was on this cruise, leaving imminently with all my confirmations in hand, I would appreciate and indeed, expect, the earliest possible notice. In this case, I tend to agree that the notice could have been communicated with greater alacrity.

You are absolutely right.

 

HAL already had the new port lined up and signed up before they canceled the old one. It would have been just as easy for HAL to notify passengers and excursion operators that the old port was canceled at the same time. The notification to passengers could have included a paragraph that port times (if not set, which apparently they were) and excursion information would be forthcoming.
Then do it.

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In a customer-oriented organization, it doesn't take 5 days to inform customers of changes that have an impact on their travel plans. Yes, once the decision was made, HAL had a number of tasks to perform, but these should have been conducted concurrently by different responsibility centres. Instead, it appears that it decided to perform the tasks consecutively, leaving the job of letting passengers know to the end. As the $10-for-second-entrée trial and numerous other events of late clearly demonstrate, HAL really needs to overhaul its communications strategy to address the inclusion of its paying customers as more than an afterthought.

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1 hour ago, RDC1 said:

In many ways that is exactly the issue, someone involved in one of the early steps of the process.. An excursion operator, was notified about the cancellation and that the port was being changed.  It was all done as far as the decision to change and the cancellation of his excursion.  That does not say and all of the other details was done or the notification approved by corporate. He then proceeded to give out, for all practical purposes, incomplete information to let you, who booked independently with him, know that your excursion with would not happen.

 

Under normal circumstances, that communication would not have happened, and the first notice about the change would the notice would have come out smoothly on Tuesday with complete information. Now even with that the number impacted by a premature, incomplete, distribution of information from an unofficial source was limited to relatively few.

 

If they had sent out incomplete info the span of confusion would have been a lot wider.

 

If I was working for HAL in this process, I would make sure that all excursion operators had a non-disclosure agreement, and made sure that they did not prematurely release info until notified by HAL that it was ok to do so. Probably a good thing for that operator that HAL does not routinely call there, otherwise they might be having a discussion about his release.  Then again the span of impacted individuals is not very large in the scheme of things.

 

 

 

So it's the tour operator's fault????????????

 

Tour operators take their reputations seriously, and one part of an operator's reputation that potential customers consider is communication. Any time I've booked an independent tour, the operator has been good about responding to questions promptly. 

 

As for putting a "gag order" on vendors, I don't see that happening. The cruise lines protect themselves by insisting that the vendor cannot take your booking directly, but they don't stop the vendor from answering your questions. I was able to identify a vendor for a tour in one of my Alaska ports, and I contacted them to see if one of their other tours was available. They said no, Cunard had booked only the one tour and they couldn't book me directly on their other tours. 

 

 

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Just now, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

So it's the tour operator's fault????????????

 

Tour operators take their reputations seriously, and one part of an operator's reputation that potential customers consider is communication. Any time I've booked an independent tour, the operator has been good about responding to questions promptly. 

 

As for putting a "gag order" on vendors, I don't see that happening. The cruise lines protect themselves by insisting that the vendor cannot take your booking directly, but they don't stop the vendor from answering your questions. I was able to identify a vendor for a tour in one of my Alaska ports, and I contacted them to see if one of their other tours was available. They said no, Cunard had booked only the one tour and they couldn't book me directly on their other tours. 

 

 

Only from the point of view that the angst in this discussion came about because the tour operator passed on information he received from another customer (in this case HAL who had booked excursions with him) prior to the official notification form the cruise line.

 

In this case the tour operator was not answering a question, he was acting upon information provided by HAL, as part of his business relationship with HAL, and used that information proactively  to notify another customer that the cruise ship would not be coming to that port.  A bit of a difference.  On one hand he was good in that he was notifying all of his customers. On the other hand he was abusing information given to him as part of a business relationship.  

 

Now usually this would not come up because in many cases the cruise lines consume most if not all of the capacity that an excursion vendor might have in port.  In places like Alaska the excursion operators work closely with the frequent cruise ships that come in.  In this case the port is one seldom visited by HAL.  As such there was a gap in process.

 

 

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57 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

In a customer-oriented organization, it doesn't take 5 days to inform customers of changes that have an impact on their travel plans. Yes, once the decision was made, HAL had a number of tasks to perform, but these should have been conducted concurrently by different responsibility centres. Instead, it appears that it decided to perform the tasks consecutively, leaving the job of letting passengers know to the end. As the $10-for-second-entrée trial and numerous other events of late clearly demonstrate, HAL really needs to overhaul its communications strategy to address the inclusion of its paying customers as more than an afterthought.

Are you sure?  Have you ever gotten a note from an airline saying we know your flight is going to be changed, but we are still working out the new schedule. No what you get is the notification after the details are worked out.   

 

In most cases all we as customers get is the final notification.  We have no view into the internal company workings between the start of a process and its conclusion with formal notification to the customers.

 

This was a rather unique  event in that someone that is part of that process was notified and then communicated.  

 

The only other times we get any view into the process is when a crisis of some kind happens (cancellation due to weather, maintenance failure, flight cancellation, etc.) and we get to see the crisis mode and actions taken real time.  We have also seen the postings about the communications and confusion that occurs in those situations.

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35 minutes ago, RDC1 said:

Only from the point of view that the angst in this discussion came about because the tour operator passed on information he received from another customer (in this case HAL who had booked excursions with him) prior to the official notification form the cruise line.

 

In this case the tour operator was not answering a question, he was acting upon information provided by HAL, as part of his business relationship with HAL, and used that information proactively  to notify another customer that the cruise ship would not be coming to that port.  A bit of a difference.  On one hand he was good in that he was notifying all of his customers. On the other hand he was abusing information given to him as part of a business relationship.  

 

Now usually this would not come up because in many cases the cruise lines consume most if not all of the capacity that an excursion vendor might have in port.  In places like Alaska the excursion operators work closely with the frequent cruise ships that come in.  In this case the port is one seldom visited by HAL.  As such there was a gap in process.

 

 

 

(bold is mine) I like proactive. To me, it shows he felt a responsibility toward the person who booked an excursion with him.

 

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So, the OP got her answer to the question she chose to start this thread with "When are you going to let us know, HAL?"

 

The answer - Three and a half business days from the day the decision was made to cancel the French port and replace it with Saint Peter Port, Guernsey. Btw, here's a tidbit; HAL has attempted to call at Le Palais, Belle-Île-en-Mer twice in the last few years and both times had to cancel the call due to weather/swell. Thirdly, the call at St. Peter Port, another tender port, is also not a given depending again on weather/swell so good luck to y'all!

 

Another piece of breaking news: HAL, like most large cruise lines, only has a duty officer (for nautical issues/emergencies) and a skeleton crew working at 450 Third Ave. West, Seattle on Saturdays and Sundays.

 

Now, bear in mind that Prinsendam is currently, Thursday, April 4th., still eight days away from completing her eighteen-day trans-Atlantic FLL to Lisbon voyage. After that, she's on a twelve day Lisbon-Civitavecchia voyage, and only then will she start her twelve-day Civitavecchia-Dover voyage of which the Le Palais, Belle-Île-en-Mer call would have been day eleven out of twelve!

 

HAL has now (yesterday, April 3rd) notified her passengers that the call at Le Palais has been cancelled ad replaced by a sea day and the call at Guernsey. That's a full 31 days prior to what would have been her arrival there. You could have made that 34 and a half days out, HAL!! :classic_cool:

 

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Copper, you have always been very helpful and informative on these threads, so I offer my opinion with respect: you are being a tad defensive of your employer in this case, and not seeing (or minimizing) the view of the customer who is directly impacted.

 

If the tour operator knew on the Friday, that is the day when the customers should ideally have been notified. After all, if the tour operator was told Friday, the decision itself was made before then. As has been pointed out, this is a collectors voyage. Many are leaving very soon, and earlier, even imperfect or incomplete earlier, notice would have been better.

 

You will note my use of the word "ideally". It is not a perfect world, and so the 5 days notice overall is not terrible. Yet, especially as you point out that the port is known to be risky, contingency plans should have been basically "on the shelf" and easily implemented, with minimal delay. The cruise-line (any line) taking into account that people are traveling to the port, early, is just common sense.

 

Just my opinion...but many businesses of various types operate on a "just in time" basis, many with limited staff, yet still manage somehow to get it done. Some do it better than others. Those that do it without offering excuses and justifications for less than stellar outcomes are the gold standard.

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3 minutes ago, ON cruiser said:

Copper, you have always been very helpful and informative on these threads, so I offer my opinion with respect: you are being a tad defensive of your employer in this case, and not seeing (or minimizing) the view of the customer who is directly impacted.

 

If the tour operator knew on the Friday, that is the day when the customers should ideally have been notified. After all, if the tour operator was told Friday, the decision itself was made before then. As has been pointed out, this is a collectors voyage. Many are leaving very soon, and earlier, even imperfect or incomplete earlier, notice would have been better.

 

You will note my use of the word "ideally". It is not a perfect world, and so the 5 days notice overall is not terrible. Yet, especially as you point out that the port is known to be risky, contingency plans should have been basically "on the shelf" and easily implemented, with minimal delay. The cruise-line (any line) taking into account that people are traveling to the port, early, is just common sense.

 

Just my opinion...but many businesses of various types operate on a "just in time" basis, many with limited staff, yet still manage somehow to get it done. Some do it better than others. Those that do it without offering excuses and justifications for less than stellar outcomes are the gold standard.

 

Appreciate your opinion ON cruiser! Take care!

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On 4/3/2019 at 1:12 PM, kazu said:

 

Got mine from my TA today too.  She's in a different time zone so it was around 1 pm which is fair ball 😉 

So HAL notified you of the port change within a week of their decision.  That doesn''t sound too bad.   

And your tour guide gave you a heads up on what was happening, so you knew it was coming.  

I'd say it all worked out and now you can look forward to a great trip.

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I also agree with Copper, RDC1 and others who feel HAL gave notice in a timely manner.  There's a lot that goes into the logistics of it all which has been pointed out in other Posts but is also common sense such as notifying Tour Companies, getting the Website updated, etc.  IMO, they did a great job notifying the Passengers and their TA's five (5) days after cancelling the Port and understand HAL not wanting to do so until they had everything in place.   

 

 

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10 minutes ago, idiebabe said:

I also agree with Copper, RDC1 and others who feel HAL gave notice in a timely manner.  There's a lot that goes into the logistics of it all which has been pointed out in other Posts but is also common sense such as notifying Tour Companies, getting the Website updated, etc.  IMO, they did a great job notifying the Passengers and their TA's five (5) days after cancelling the Port and understand HAL not wanting to do so until they had everything in place.   

 

 

After reading Copper's  and RDC1's posts I agree more than ever.  I asked early on what day HAL made the decision.  It was determined later (read on the roll call, and later yet on this thread) that it had been only 1 day before the OP started this thread. I didn't realize then that this port call was more than a month away.  We've all had port changes, some happen during the cruise.  In those cases, the private tour operators have to be contacted during the cruise, harder to do.  At least this was well before the port stop and the cruise.

 

I guess it was the 3 !!! and 4 ???? in the title of this thread that got my notice-- and made me wonder if OP was getting overly upset too soon.  

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Call me cynical, but it sounds to me like HAL was trying to prevent passengers from booking alternate, private, excursions before they had their own in place. It would be difficult, at best, for people to make plans after HAL had locked up all the tour operators, guides, busses, etc. Especially so in such a small replacement port.

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On 4/4/2019 at 4:10 PM, RDC1 said:

If I was working for HAL in this process, I would make sure that all excursion operators had a non-disclosure agreement, and made sure that they did not prematurely release info until notified by HAL that it was ok to do so.

 

 

I do not agree here.

a) Instead of communicating with the vendor one time, you want HAL to do it two times. If communicating twice with passengers is too complicated for HAL, this is no different.

b) So if a passenger had booked an independent excursion and communicates with the vendor to confirm it, what are you proposing that the vendor tell the passenger before HAL gives permission?  Lie and say that "everything is OK?"

c) It is simple for HAL to notify the passengers as soon as possible that the port has been cancelled and say either "the new port will be xxxx and you will be notified when shore excursions are available" or that the port has been cancelled and "you will be notified when a substitute port has been arranged."

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