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Do you Like the direction..

Right or wrong direction for Holland America Line?  

226 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you like the direction Orlando Ashford seems to be leading Holland America Line?



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1 minute ago, sail7seas said:

 

 

Dutch, Yes   🙂

 

 

But are they residents of Netherlands? Or maybe live elsewhere?     Aruba, Curacao,  Bonaire,,,  New York ?

 

 

 

 

 

They were however, I believe the current son has made his home in Monaco

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1 minute ago, mcrcruiser said:

Is this thread ever going to end ?

Yes, just as soon as there is no more comments............

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22 hours ago, Copper10-8 said:

Nico van der Vorm, chairman/CEO of Holland America Line, 1967-1993. His daughter, Beatrijs van der Vorm-van den Wall Bake, would become godmother of Nieuw Amsterdam III in 1983. He was succeeded by A. Kirk Lanterman who, in turn, was succeeded by Stein Kruse

 

Thank you Copper for jogging my memory.  Of course, the family's name is one of which I have heard.  

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20 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

 

This was discussed in the other thread where the trolls were claiming that Carnival rescued HAL, bought HAL for pennies, subsidized HAL etc. All publicly available info.

 

The van der Vorm family joined HAL in the 1930s, and helped rescue it in the 1970s. Withdrew from cargo and liner business. Focused on tourist industry in Alaska.

 

When HAL was sold in 1989, the family had the majority stake (68%?), and there was a complex financial scheme. HAL Investments using the money for investments. The holding company (HAL Holding N.V ) being in Curacao. 

 

https://www.halinvestments.nl/

 

Curacao being where HAL's shell company was located.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverse_takeover

 

https://nltimes.nl/2017/12/06/eu-releases-tax-haven-blacklist-netherlands


The shareholders are able to liquidate their investment in the Trust through the Amsterdam stock exchange. Note that the market cap is Euro 11.5b. P/E 37x. Price to book 1.5x.

 

https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/HAL:NA

 

I just don't buy the story that HAL was forced to its knees by Carnival predatory pricing in the Caribbean. Sounds to me like Mickey couldn't fill his Caribbean ships. Tried to steal customers from NCL and RCL. 
 

 

 

I appreciate the links that you have posted.  As I have time, I will read them and I think I will learn more.

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Rucrazy,

Thanks for a good question asked.

I was shocked when I read this for the first time:

“Club Orange allows guests to add extra premium benefits and luxury amenities to their cruise for a great value,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. “One of the reasons people choose Holland America Line is because of the quality of what we offer — the best food at sea, the most authentic live entertainment and our award-winning service — and Club Orange is another way for guests to enhance their cruise experience.”

In other words, "the value of our cruises isn't great enough", "our luxury amenities need improvement", "benefits we provide are not that premium", or "we are able to provide top quality cruising experience only for a limited number of passengers, on condition that they pay extra".

My face got red: Holland America is selling priority boarding...

Carnival? No, Holland America...

NCL? No, Holland America...

Royal Caribbean? No, Holland America...

Or... yes, Holland America too...

Marketing trash!

The only way "to enhance cruising experience" for your clients is to add your talent and fantasy to what this cruise line has achieved, Mr. Holland America.

"One of the reasons" I choose Holland America is because I am tired of these "revolutions", "amplifiers", "havens", "yacht clubs", "aqua classes" and other gimmicks that are supposed to distract attention from the reduction in cruise line's class. 

 

A product that is really great does not have to beg for extra pennies.

What should have been done?

"Our ships are so spacious and comfortable, our food is so good, embarkation is so easy, our itineraries are so fantastic, our team members are so professional , we deliver such a great value for money, our service is so generous, the atmosphere on our ships is so inspiring that, unlike other cruise lines, we do not need to separate our ships into clubs and classes. We provide a top class cruising experience for every passenger. The only club we have is called "Holland America", and everyone who steps on board is a valued member of this club".

Why not do this?

A rhetoric question...

 

What else to expect after seeing these screens that block the sea views in the observation lounge, and a premium space on the ship converted into an excursion shop?

 

1.jpg

 

A2.jpg

 

M2.jpg

 

Please pardon my emotions.

Happy cruising!

Edited by ronbe65

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22 minutes ago, ronbe65 said:

What else to expect after seeing these screens that block the sea views in the observation lounge, and a premium space on the ship converted into an excursion shop?

 

Do not disagree that a better location for these screens from the Bridge could be better located in the Crow's Nest.  The information that is provided is of interest to many of us, however.  The Amsterdam, when I last sailed on her in Alaska a couple of years ago, had an excellent screen positioned between the Captain's Corner and the forward part of the Crow's Nest.  That screen showed a duplicate of what the Bridge Officers were seeing.  Course, ships in the vicinity and their names, etc.

 

Having sailed on two ships where the Crow's Nest has been changed, I don't object for the Shore Excursion Office being re-located there.  The interactive port tables serve a valid purpose.  The old Captain's Corner area of the Crow's Nest is surely a poor use of that space.  It will be re-thought in time, I hope.  The expansion of the Exploration's Cafe's offerings with what appeared to be a full--or almost full--bar menu of beverages was a pleasant surprise.  Steward service from the bar at certain times?  Did not expect that to be available, yet it was.  Missing was a "Cheers" type of atmosphere bar that I have enjoyed in the Crow's Nest on many HAL cruises.  Not enough seating and the vibe isn't right. 

 

How to well use the Crow's Nest on HAL vessels is a "work in progress" for the current executives of HAL.  That's why we who pay our money to patronize their business need to express what we like or not. 

Edited by rkacruiser

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18 minutes ago, ronbe65 said:

 

"One of the reasons" I choose Holland America is because I am tired of these "revolutions", "amplifiers", "havens", "yacht clubs", "aqua classes" and other gimmicks that are supposed to distract attention from the reduction in cruise line's class. 

 

A product that is really great does not have to beg for extra pennies.

What should have been done?

"Our ships are so spacious and comfortable, our food is so good, embarkation is so easy, our itineraries are so fantastic, our team members are so professional , we deliver such a great value for money, our service is so generous, the atmosphere on our ships is so inspiring that, unlike other cruise lines, we do not need to separate our ships into clubs and classes. We provide a top class cruising experience for every passenger. The only club we have is called "Holland America", and everyone who steps on board is a valued member of this club".

Why not do this?

A rhetoric question...

 

 

 

Well put -- I could not agree more with the thoughts expressed above.

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26 minutes ago, ronbe65 said:

In other words, "the value of our cruises isn't great enough", "our luxury amenities need improvement", "benefits we provide are not that premium", or "we are able to provide top quality cruising experience only for a limited number of passengers, on condition that they pay extra".

My face got red: Holland America is selling priority boarding...

Carnival? No, Holland America...

NCL? No, Holland America...

Royal Caribbean? No, Holland America...

Or... yes, Holland America too...

Marketing trash!

 

Carnival sells Priority Boarding as part of their "Faster to the Fun" package (they were the first to do so)

Royal sells Priority Boarding as part of their "The Key Program"

NCL is trialing a for fee amenities package similar to these on two ships that includes, you guessed it, Priority Boarding .....

Celebrity sells Priority Boarding as part of their "Concierge Class" cabin enhanced benefits

 

HAL is not alone here - in fact one could say they are relatively late to the party.

 

Airlines and Hotels have being doing similar extra-fee for extra perk packages for years.  The entire travel industry is looking for ways to add ancillary revenue anywhere, and anyway they can

Edited by AtlantaCruiser72

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8 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

 

HAL is not alone here - in fact one could say they are relatively late to the party.

 

 

They could have politely declined the invitation.

Edited by ronbe65

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59 minutes ago, ronbe65 said:

 

They could have politely declined the invitation.

Nicely put.  It seems that AtlantaCruiser missed your point.

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1 hour ago, ronbe65 said:

 

They could have politely declined the invitation.

...and should have.  Another way the distinction of HAL product is being made to resemble all the others.

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On 9/23/2019 at 9:30 AM, Copper10-8 said:

 

 

No need for apologies Joseph! Neither RCCL, nor Celebrity, put in bids for HAL. Only Carnival did. If you've got the time (long reads), here is some history of RCCL/RCI

 

https://www.shipsnostalgia.com/guides/Royal_Caribbean_-_Part_1

 

https://www.shipsnostalgia.com/guides/Royal_Caribbean_-_Part_2

 

Wow! Thanks for the link. There's a great description of the deal crafted by Lanterman. Not a hostile takeover at all,

 

Ted/Mickey paid a monster price (1989 $625m) for HAL's 5k passenger capacity, hotels and tourist business. In 1987, CCL was valued at just $2b when it went public. CCL had tried to buy RCCL (13k passenger capacity) for a valuation of just $750m.

 

https://www.shipsnostalgia.com/guides/Carnival_Corporation_History_-Part_1
 

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On 9/22/2019 at 9:08 PM, AL3XCruise said:

 

I don't have the time to seek out detailed financial data, but based on what I've seen here and on a few other sources it sounds like HAL was neither in danger of insolvency nor setting the world on fire.  The cruise market was evolving, so HAL's owners had two big questions facing them: 1) could their management team devise an effective strategy going forward and 2) were they willing/able to invest/secure the funding needed to support such a strategy... Presented with an offer that eliminated uncertainty and provided immediate cash, it makes sense the owners decided to sell and pursue other ventures.  Given HAL Investments current valuation, it seems like it was a smart choice.

 

Given CCL's larger size and and desire to create a broader portfolio, they had more options to secure capital and more incentive to accept the inherent risks.

 

Following up on post 266. I disagree with the popular view that Carnival directed and financed HAL's expansion. After Mickey paid $625m in cash (30% of Carnival's valuation), they must have been tapped out.

 

In view of the latest information, it looked like it was Lanterman and team that guided HAL in the 1990s and 2000s. That HAL financed itself on its higher margins in the premium trade.
 

See next post about the future....

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Let's have at look at Carnival's corporate structure. Mickey was able to expand rapidly because he offered a premium price to buy brands, and allowed the managers to be autonomous. In 2018, Princess (a premium brand) had slightly higher sales than CCL! 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_cruise_lines


And, Princess has two mega-ships on order, which would compete against CCL/Costa//Aida/P&O mega-ships. Just as Princess has competed against HAL for the last 40 years.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Cruises#Future_fleet

 

The popular misconception is that the bigger you are, the stronger you are. In Carnival's case, the corporation's nine brands are somewhat diversified, but its organic units are behaving in a cancerous manner.

 

Carnival;s brands are competing against each other, and expanding beyond their traditional competence.

 

The future appears to belong to the focused. RCCL has only 3 brands (mass, premium, luxury). No confusion here.

 

In 2018, it is RCI that is clearly the biggest brand (14% of cruise industry sales). Followed by Princess (9.1%), CCL (8.9%), NCL (8.4%) and MSC (6.8%).

 

RCI has 8 mega-ships with 7 on order. They're going to be the elephant in the room. Carnival will have ten, but they are dispersed among 5 brands. Meanwhile, MSC has plans for 9 mega and 2 R-class ships. 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MSC_Cruises#Future_ships


By 2026, NCL and MSC will be the undisputed #1 and #2 in terms of passenger capacity and revenues. 

 

What about HAL? AFAIK, HAL has only plans for another Pinnacle ship. After the S and R ships are retired (soon), HAL will only have ships 80-99k tons. Neither big enough to be economical, nor small enough to be fun/special.

 

I expect that Orlando and team will still be cutting cost, and nickel and dime the passengers.

 

Viking's seventeen 47k ton ships are going to slip in and seize the premium market from Princess and HAL. They have a corporate strategy team.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking_Cruises#Future_ships


That friends, is the news for Tuesday September 24th.

Edited by HappyInVan

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3 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

 

 

What about HAL? AFAIK, HAL has only plans for another Pinnacle ship. After the S and R ships are retired (soon), HAL will only have ships 80-99k tons. Neither big enough to be economical, nor small enough to be fun/special.

 

 

 

 

HappyInVan, you are perhaps too pessimistic and seriously underestimating the appeal of HAL's ships.  We adore the ships with their aft pools and with the retractable cover over the main pool -- and, yes, the ever-shrinking promenade decks.  These glorious outdoor spaces let us breathe the sea air and know we are on a ship on the ocean.  Pure heaven! 

 

I personally don't think the ships are the problem.  There will be a market for the ships.  There might be some hiccups going on as a new management team feels pressure to show good numbers, but really, bring back some better food and a few other niceties that have been removed, and HAL could quickly return to its premium line status.  Maybe HAL won't be as profitable as some of CCL's other brands, but certainly profitable enough to keep sending its ships out to sea.  And profitable enough to serve as good advertising for CCL as a whole.

 

 

 

 

 

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39 minutes ago, AncientWanderer said:

 

HappyInVan, you are perhaps too pessimistic and seriously underestimating the appeal of HAL's ships.  We adore the ships with their aft pools and with the retractable cover over the main pool -- and, yes, the ever-shrinking promenade decks.  These glorious outdoor spaces let us breathe the sea air and know we are on a ship on the ocean.  Pure heaven! 

 

 

 

 

Don't get me wrong. I want you to enjoy your cruise. I want to enjoy the cruise. I'm just pointing out that by 2025, the choice of HAL ships will be very limited.

 

I wouldn't feel so bad if I had confidence in Carnival/HAL management. But, as someone said in the other thread, they have no direction. They're just following others.
 

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3 hours ago, AncientWanderer said:

....  

...We adore the ships with their aft pools and with the retractable cover over the main pool -- and, yes, the ever-shrinking promenade decks.  These glorious outdoor spaces let us breathe the sea air and know we are on a ship on the ocean...

....

🤔

Whoaaa.

You’re referring to Pinnacle class, specifically mentioning the promenade decks, and using the word “glorious”.  Was there a typo?

 

 

 

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37 minutes ago, SetAnOpenCourse said:

🤔

Whoaaa.

You’re referring to Pinnacle class, specifically mentioning the promenade decks, and using the word “glorious”.  Was there a typo?

 

 

 

 

Only 2 ships have the bad promenade deck. And that decision may not have been HAL's. It may have come from Carnival. Cunard's newbuild will be based on the Pinnacle design, not the Vista like QE and QV. (Cunard fans aren't happy about that promenade deck, either)

 

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Just back from a 2 week Alaska cruise on the Amsterdam.  A number of cutbacks or price increases experienced - JUST FROM OUR APRIL, 2019 cruise!  Mostly small things, but still cutbacks, plus specialty dining up at leaszt $5 pp in all venues.  

 

Catholic Mass was at 5 PM daily, even on sea days.  Really messed with early dining, which was also at 5 PM.  This was even true on both Sundays, which were sea days.

 

Note - reportedly only 27 people signed up for Club Orange.

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27 minutes ago, DaveOKC said:

Just back from a 2 week Alaska cruise on the Amsterdam.  A number of cutbacks or price increases experienced - JUST FROM OUR APRIL, 2019 cruise!  Mostly small things, but still cutbacks, plus specialty dining up at leaszt $5 pp in all venues.  

 

Catholic Mass was at 5 PM daily, even on sea days.  Really messed with early dining, which was also at 5 PM.  This was even true on both Sundays, which were sea days.

 

Note - reportedly only 27 people signed up for Club Orange.

Please expound here or in a separate review.  We are boarding the Amsterdam next month for 51 days.  Thank you.

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On 9/12/2019 at 1:51 PM, cruisemom42 said:

To be truthful, I don't like the direction of most cruise lines. Why single out HAL?

 

-- I don't like larger ships.

My wife and I totally agree. After a few sailings on the Noordam we thought she was the perfect ship in every way.

 

On 9/12/2019 at 1:51 PM, cruisemom42 said:

-- I don't like cruise lines that create an obvious "class system" onboard.

  We have stopped booking cruises on Celebrity because of this trend "The Suite Life". 

 

On 9/12/2019 at 1:51 PM, cruisemom42 said:

-- I don't like the trend toward "unbundling" of costs.

 

 

None of these are unique to HAL.

 

Entertainment is very subjective so I'll leave it to the side for the moment (although I am not terribly fond of endlessly recycled production shows or canned music or shows that largely depend on passenger participation).

 

I do think some lines are trying new things in an effort to see what works. I may not like every single new idea, but I am often willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and withhold judgement until I experience them.

 

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