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atexsix

Will HAL ever have mega ships?

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And if so will you sail with them?  I ask because I watched a couple of online videos about these gigantic, somewhat ugly looking ships and got very discouraged as it seems to be the trend among every mainstream line with significant North American market share: except HAL.  So is the writing on the wall?  Will they eventually go along with the majority or stick to their niche?  I know this is pure conjecture, but it just seems like they've already done some things I thought they'd never do like as you wish dining, private cabanas, and the infamous Crow's Nest makeover.  Is HAL's version of the Haven next?  Followed by Go-Karts and Magic Carpets?

 

I'm not trolling here, just wondering if I'm the only one.  I'm not even close to being in the same league as most people in this group with only a dozen cruises under my belt.  Are you all seeing something I'm not?  Or is the traditional cruising market going the way of the DoDo and I just have to deal with it?  Celebrity being the latest to join the bandwagon is concerning, unless they intend for that class of ships to attract a different segment of the market while maintaining their current brand.  It's hard to get a feel for the latest happenings when you are a once a year cruiser like me, all of a sudden it's like it's there: aft pool one minute, laser light show the next, omg I hope not!!

 

 

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I think they will stick to the Pinnacle class ships since that is the new build.

 

they want to “mid size” ships but for me, it’s not mid class.

 

It is what it is and there are a ton of options out there.  I’m sailing on HAL next year on Vista class.  Time will tell, I guess.

As much as I have enjoyed our Vista Class experiences, I can honestly say that the service we got on the Rotterdam and Prinsendam exceed it.

 

But, they are pricier cruises.  Time will tell 

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If I was younger when I took my first cruise it probably would have been on a mega ship so our kids would have fun too.  However, we were older when we first started and our first cruise was on the Ryndam.  I thought it was big!   We are now 4* and have sailed on the Koningsdam which is big enough for me.  I have no interest to cruise on a mega ship and hope HAL doesn’t go larger but who knows.

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If they do, I suspect it will only be after they have evaluated the success of the upcoming Princess mega ships which are still several years out.

Although there are more similarities than real differences throughout their combined fleets, Carnival Corp. has gone to considerable expense to maintain their various brands, so it is possible that HAL could be the unit that sticks with ships in the sub-3000 pax segment of the superior mass market category.

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1 hour ago, atexsix said:

And if so will you sail with them? 

Ya -- no.

 

Of course I said I wasn't interested in the Pinnacle Class either, but am now booked for 21 days in the Caribbean on N.Statendam... for a variety of reasons, most being the comfort of other people sailing with us. 

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Posted (edited)

There's a divide in the industry..... ships built to be amusement parks, and smaller ships that offer a traditional sailing experience. Thankfully HAL seems to be sticking with the latter, as it sets them a part in a very competitive industry. 

 

I'll continue to sail with HAL on the Vista and Signature ships, but I won't go larger to the Pinnacle class ( Koningsdam, N.S., etc.).   

Edited by Boatdrill

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It really comes down to economics. Larger ships mean lower per passenger costs and generally higher profits. In recent times, each new ship class has carried more passengers. I doubt HAL will stop unless it has trouble filling newer ships.

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The Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam are too big and quite noisy. I would like to see HAL build teo more Signature Class ships.  

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3 minutes ago, Himself said:

The Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam are too big and quite noisy. I would like to see HAL build teo more Signature Class ships.  

 

I found that true on K'dam too, - I don't intend to go on NS.

 

It's like they turn up the music [even the background music] to compensate for the bigger ship with more room.

 

So no - not unless I need a transAtlantic and it is the only Dam ship going at the right time. The other cruise lines offering this same itinerary - would be way too big. I hate flying.

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Never say never! Depends on what the market dictates in the future

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I think it wll limit flexibility for HAL in its current roll, it probably gives them headaches right now, having Koningsdam and Nieuws Statendam currently being not allowed to transit through Panama Canal, so when relocating them to and from Alaska, they have to navigate around South America. Until Canal authorities change this policy, they may think twice to build more and bigger than the Pinnacle class!

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50 minutes ago, Alphen said:

I think it wll limit flexibility for HAL in its current roll, it probably gives them headaches right now, having Koningsdam and Nieuws Statendam currently being not allowed to transit through Panama Canal, so when relocating them to and from Alaska, they have to navigate around South America. Until Canal authorities change this policy, they may think twice to build more and bigger than the Pinnacle class!

I understand that the new Pinnacle class ship will have changes that allow it to transit the Panama canal.  My recollection is that it involves the lifeboat configuration.

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I certainly hope HAL doesn’t go the way of the mega floating hotels!   The unique itineraries HAL offers are often due to the ships that can dock at smaller ports.  We shall see.....

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36 minutes ago, Btimmer said:

I understand that the new Pinnacle class ship will have changes that allow it to transit the Panama canal.  My recollection is that it involves the lifeboat configuration.

Indeed it is the lifeboat configuration, they extend too much on the exterior of the ship. New locks work with tugboats instead of the donkey’s and make the ship less controllable so fear of authorities that damage can be done to the locks equipment. This is applicable to not just the Pinnacle class, but to several other cruise ships of other lines.

 

Had not heard about adjustments on the part of the Pinnacle class ships, but this maybe a wise thing and probably cost effective in relation to the implications on ships relocation.
 

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I hope not.  We did one of those RCI ships, huge crowds, line up for everything, tried it didn't like it.  Those huge 4-5000+ pass. ships, that market seems to do mainly shorter cruises. Have cruised on all the HAL class ships except Pinnacle class. We'll be on the Nieuw Statendam next summer. It's a good thing that there are all the different markets out there for people to choose from. What ever cruise line/ship you sail on, enjoy.

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 I consider the Pinnacle class ships Mega ships for HAL.  And they are too large for us.  JMO

 

We sailed on the Grand Princess when she was 109 tons and didn't like the size of the ship.

 

But sadly I do think in the future HAL will have larger ships to stay in competition with the other cruise lines.

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5 hours ago, Alphen said:

Indeed it is the lifeboat configuration, they extend too much on the exterior of the ship. New locks work with tugboats instead of the donkey’s and make the ship less controllable so fear of authorities that damage can be done to the locks equipment. This is applicable to not just the Pinnacle class, but to several other cruise ships of other lines.

 

Had not heard about adjustments on the part of the Pinnacle class ships, but this maybe a wise thing and probably cost effective in relation to the implications on ships relocation.
 

It is not only damage to the locks that is the worry.  The reason that everyone on CC knows that the pilot takes command of the vessel in the Canal is because the Canal Authority takes full financial responsibility for damages to the Canal, the ship, and any other structure or ship.

 

As for redesigning the lifeboats, that will take a long, hard look by corporate, as the only way to do this is to return to the older style "gravity davits" where the boats are stored inboard and a deck above the promenade, and this takes away a full deck of balcony cabins, with their price advantage, and is why the lines went to the "sliding" davits in the first place.  It also reduces revenue generating space inside the ship.

 

As for the OP's question, HAL will either build larger ships, or raise their fares, and move more towards the high end of the market.  The same pressures are being placed on Arctic/Antarctic cruises, where the cost of meeting Polar Class will drive these itineraries to the luxury lines, with their smaller ships that can be built with less cost differential to meet Polar Class.

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8 hours ago, Copper10-8 said:

Never say never! Depends on what the market dictates in the future

That's a DAM shame!~!

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53 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

It is not only damage to the locks that is the worry.  The reason that everyone on CC knows that the pilot takes command of the vessel in the Canal is because the Canal Authority takes full financial responsibility for damages to the Canal, the ship, and any other structure or ship.

 

As for redesigning the lifeboats, that will take a long, hard look by corporate, as the only way to do this is to return to the older style "gravity davits" where the boats are stored inboard and a deck above the promenade, and this takes away a full deck of balcony cabins, with their price advantage, and is why the lines went to the "sliding" davits in the first place.  It also reduces revenue generating space inside the ship.

 

As for the OP's question, HAL will either build larger ships, or raise their fares, and move more towards the high end of the market.  The same pressures are being placed on Arctic/Antarctic cruises, where the cost of meeting Polar Class will drive these itineraries to the luxury lines, with their smaller ships that can be built with less cost differential to meet Polar Class.

I cannot comment with direct info, only quoting a fellow Platinum cruiser that had recently spoken to Mr. Ashford, who was quoted that the new Pinnacle class would be the largest in the fleet and they would not go above that. He was also quoted there would be a new Prinsendam, either new build or one that is already on the market. As discussed somewhere here before, the new Seabourne's would be an option there. 

 

Emphassising, I am not the (direct) source of this info!

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Perhaps. HAL now has drink packages and pub crawls; the decline has started.

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I hope HAL never builds mega ships as they are nothing more than amusement parks for kids and one of the reasons we sail on HAL is because there are so few kids. We sail more on Carnival because we live 45 minutes from Tampa and the cost is so much less, but we try to sail when school is in session so there will be fewer kids. We'll sail on the Nieuw Statendam in early Dec. and I'm sure that will be big enough for us.

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After each cruise you get a questionnaire. I make it very clear I will not sail on the mega ships for any reason. Hopefully Holland America will listen. I sailed Antarctica on the Zaandam and felt it was the perfect size. But was told by staff that they are having trouble competing with the mega ships. Sadly, I think the experience of sailing on a smaller ship might be over.  Or come at a might higher price. 

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When I first joined these boards, people were still wailing because HAL was building ships in the Vista class size range. That range was not so far from the "largest" ships of the period. It seems to me there is inevitable creep in size in the mass market segment of cruising, and HAL will likely try to maintain its precarious position of building "smaller" ships than the mega-monsters. However, to me a 5,000 passenger ship doesn't seem "small" just because they are building 7,000 pax ships. It's marketing and semantics. It will be interesting to see if, 10 years from now, people are here saying "I won't ever go on any ship over 3500 passengers. No jumbo ships for me."

 

As Kazu has pointed out several times, with the sale of Prinsendam, HAL lost quite a few unique ports. The remaining ships do not take up that slack. While HAL still offers some good itineraries, there are places HAL ships can no longer go. 

 

These are the unfortunate realities of "keeping up with the [mass market] Joneses."  I don't fault HAL, but that doesn't mean I will sail on any mega-ships either, just because they have a blue hull....  

 

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7 hours ago, Djptcp said:

I hope HAL never builds mega ships as they are nothing more than amusement parks for kids and one of the reasons we sail on HAL is because there are so few kids. We sail more on Carnival because we live 45 minutes from Tampa and the cost is so much less, but we try to sail when school is in session so there will be fewer kids. We'll sail on the Nieuw Statendam in early Dec. and I'm sure that will be big enough for us.

If they do build Mega ships they will say they are the new midsize..

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