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Do you Like the direction..


Right or wrong direction for Holland America Line?  

228 members have voted

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



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10 hours ago, DaveOKC said:

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.

 

 

Why do you view this as a cut-back?  I agree that a morning Sunday Mass when at sea makes more sense.  Did you ask the Priest why this change took place?

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19 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

In view of the latest information, it looked like it was Lanterman and team that guided HAL in the 1990s and 2000s.
 

 

It was Mr. Lanterman et al that gave us the Holland America Line experiences that we have had since 1989 until his retirement.

 

It was those cruise experiences prior to Mr. Lanterman, starting in July, 1970, when I first embarked a Holland America Line ship, Rotterdam V, that encouraged me to continue to patronize Holland America Line or Holland America Cruises.  Did I "wander far afield and try others?"  Look at my signature:  I did.  Am I going to still be "wandering"?  Yes, with a Yacht Club booking on MSC Meraviglia in 2020.  But, the HAL "Signature of Excellence" standard is what I always use to compare my cruise experiences.  I have to say based on my recent Alaskan cruise on Coral Princess, their slogan of "Come Back New"  rivals "Signature of Excellence".   

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Guys, facts drives the ghosts and trolls away. Do refer to this post the next time the trolls attack again.

 

Here's something from the past. Lanterman ...

 

"In today's world, a cruise line needs to have a clean and viable market position. It must be able to diferentiate itself from other cruise lines and target a specific segment," said Lanterman at the recent cruise conference held in Miami.”

 

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/14582-a-look-beyond-the-year-2000.html

 

Who is Kirk Lanterman? Merely the Westour guy who sold the company to Nico van der Vorm of HAL in 1983. Became President of the enlarged company. Then, sold HAL to CCL in 1989. See the section 'North to Alaska ' here ...

 

https://maritime-executive.com/article/holland-america-line-history-distinction-innovation-and-growth

 

No hostile takeover. No bankruptcy. No distress sale.

 

 

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The history of HAL (before and post CCL) is filled with innovations (not just follow the leader). Also, constant pressure of 'tight ship' cost control.

 

“What does limit ship size, said Senior V.P. of Fleet Operations Stein Kruse, is the need to maintain a premium level of service. "That will never change."

 

In 2000, HAL was also concerned about demographics...

 

“Consumer Demographics. HAL unquestionably is still shadowed by an image as an old-folks cruise operation, a legacy of its past, but demographics are skewing downward. "In the Caribbean, passengers are getting younger and younger, and we're getting less and less experienced cruisers," said Lanterman.”

 

“And Giersdorf, while admitting the "age question" was still an issue "from a perception point of view," noted that "from a passenger satisfaction point of view, our surveys show we're satisfying all age groups."

 

“CFO Larry Calkins explained "Our margins are equal to those of Carnival Cruise Lines. When you consider the fact that our ships are not as big as theirs, and are thus not as efficient, when you consider that we sail all over the world, which means we at HAL are in a tougher business than Carnival - and when you see that our margins are still the same as theirs, that sure says a lot about how we are managed." Calkins asserted that HAL has no debt, and pays for all newbuildings prior to delivery.” 

 

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/14220-holland-america-strategy.html

 

HAL financed itself from its cash flow. Limiting its expansion to a sustainable rate. While Princess is now larger in revenues than CCL. 

 

The problem is that HAL will by 2025 have only Pinnacle, Signature and Vista ships. While being challenged on all sides by new brands and ships. Can the current management build a distinctive brand, while cost cutting and offering value? 

 

IMO, it cannot without increases in the real price of its fares.

 

Demographics is an important marketing tool. But, the strategic issue is about the brand and price/positioning against your competitors, not just about age. What is your target segment?


 

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On ‎9‎/‎25‎/‎2019 at 5:39 AM, 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.

I tend to think that you are privileged to have a catholic mass at anytime.  I imagine there are many cruisers of different faiths or with no faith at all.  Gratitude is a great attitude!

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15 hours ago, *Miss G* said:

 

The Koningsdam is my favorite HAL ship.

 

 

Don't mind ronbe. He's just blowing off steam.

 

The Rotterdam is my favourite. It's comfortably spacious. 50 tons of ship per passenger. About the same as the Viking ships, and the MSC Yacht Club.

 

Enjoy your cruise.

Edited by HappyInVan
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21 hours ago, ronbe65 said:

The HAL crisis is a part of the Carnival Corp. crisis.

 

If there has even been an overblown statement on Cruise Critic, I would nominate this as Number 1.

 

Celebrity's Edge Class vessels are more high tech than the Pinnacle Class vessels.  The Edge Class mirrors the direction that Royal Caribbean International has chosen with the ships of Royal Caribbean Line and Celebrity.  The "infinitive veranda" concept of Edge has no appeal for me.  Sailing in a cold region:  thanks for making my stateroom cooler than I prefer.  Sailing in a hot/humid region:  thanks for making my stateroom hotter and more humid than I prefer.  (I know there is a separation that the guest must activate to separate the veranda from the stateroom.)  Why should I have to do so?  Of what advantage is it to me to do so?  Such an act sounds like "work"; something that I really need to remember to do. 

 

Did the Solstice Class ships of Celebrity need an update?  Yes, and that is what Celebrity is doing.  

 

I have friends now completing their Canada/New England cruise on September 28th in Boston.  They have sailed on Celebrity Edge.  They have said already to me:  the Zaandam does not have the stunning decor of the Edge nor the high tech features.  Nothing wrong with their Vista stateroom, cuisine has been excellent as has the service.  They are pleased with their HAL cruise on one of HAL older vessels as compared with their cruise on the newest in the Celebrity fleet.

 

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23 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

.  They have sailed on Celebrity Edge.  They have said already to me:  the Zaandam does not have the stunning decor of the Edge nor the high tech features. 

Edge is new, Zaandam is 20 years old, 2500 less passengers, and not the class of ship HAL is spending money on. Very unfair comparison

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7 minutes ago, Tennessee Titan said:

Edge is new, Zaandam is 20 years old, 2500 less passengers, and not the class of ship HAL is spending money on. Very unfair comparison

 

My post was meant to show that a ship of Zaandam's vintage remains attractive for cruisers that like the facilities offered.  My post was meant to indicate that HAL has chosen to go in a different direction that Celebrity Cruises have gone.

 

Celebrity will attract those guests that prefer their direction.  HAL will attract those guests that prefer their direction.  

 

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7 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

My post was meant to show that a ship of Zaandam's vintage remains attractive for cruisers that like the facilities offered.  My post was meant to indicate that HAL has chosen to go in a different direction that Celebrity Cruises have gone.

 

 

Relax. Everyone has their own preferences. Nothing wrong with that.

 

I'm concerned about the different directions of the companies. Celebrity has a committed 32-year RCCL veteran with sales/marketing experience.

 

https://www.celebritycruises.com/about-us/leadership/llp

 

They have the confidence to launch another 4 Edge ships by 2024. Edge being meant for 'cool' cruisers. Don't know why the trolls hang out here instead of joining cool Celebrity X.

 

On the other hand, Orlando's team seem to be out of ideas. The mid-size ships are going to be retired, without replacements. Just one new Pinnacle ship being planned.

 

I hope that they have something new in the Skunk Works, or the critics will have a field day.

 

 

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6 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

I'm concerned about the different directions of the companies. Celebrity has a committed 32-year RCCL veteran with sales/marketing experience.

 

https://www.celebritycruises.com/about-us/leadership/llp

 

They have the confidence to launch another 4 Edge ships by 2024. Edge being meant for 'cool' cruisers. Don't know why the trolls hang out here instead of joining cool Celebrity X.

 

 

 

(quoted post edited to save space)

 

Trolls hang out here to stir up trouble. Go ahead and bash HAL (or is it just Ashford you're aiming at?), but if Edge and Celebrity represent "cool," I'm happy to be an old fogey. Off-topic, as this is the HAL board, but since you keep throwing Celebrity at us, I have to ask if anyone has seen their new ad using Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit". I see that as "come to Celebrity and get stoned." NOT my idea of cool. 

 

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I'm very intrigued with Celebrity's Edge.  I've read all the hype and reviews, and it's a mixed bag of reactions.  My last cruise with HAL left me shaking my head.  I'm looking for something new.  I just did a quick fare check on 3 ships leaving Ft. Lauderdale on Dec. 1, all 7-day itineraries.  Fares are for the lowest category inside cabin.

 

Edge - $899

Nieuw Statendam - $449

Veendam - $399

 

So, will the passenger paying $899 spend even more once they're onboard, or will their vacation budget be tapped out after paying the much higher fare?  Will the $399 passenger spent a lot more onboard because they got a bargain basement price, or will the $399 simply attract the budget minded cruiser?  These are all questions I'm sure cruise lines are pondering and researching.  

 

Like or not, today's cruisers are looking for several dining and entertainment options, and HAL's older ships just can't deliver.  I still think it's possible to have a traditional look and experience (which is what HAL promotes itself as) and still provide passengers with a modern, up to date ship.  

 

Roz

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3 minutes ago, Roz said:

Like or not, today's cruisers are looking for several dining and entertainment options, and HAL's older ships just can't deliver.  I still think it's possible to have a traditional look and experience (which is what HAL promotes itself as) and still provide passengers with a modern, up to date ship.  

 

Roz

 

Completely agree. Celebrity has a clear idea of who they are going after on Edge class. (Hint: it's a demographic for whom "White Rabbit" resonates.... :classic_dry:) .  A lot of long-time Celebrity cruisers on their board are also not very happy.

 

For me, Celebrity's Solstice class ships were beautiful -- sleek, modern, still a bit of a wink toward onboard fun and entertainment but not over the top. If only HAL would decide to do something similar but about 1,000 pax less.  But then, if that happened we probably wouldn't be talking of $399 or even $899 fares....

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A couple of people have commented on Celebrity's White Rabbit 🐇 theme song.  I like it!  😈  Even as kid growing up in the Sixties, I grasped that the song could be interpreted on several different levels.  Posters are going berserk on the Celebrity board  and taking it way too personally.  It's not a personal affront to those with drug addicts in their families.  

 

There are different ways of feeding your head, travel and new experiences being one of them.  I think that's what Celebrity is trying to say.

Edited by Roz
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6 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

Relax. Everyone has their own preferences. Nothing wrong with that.

 

I'm concerned about the different directions of the companies. Celebrity has a committed 32-year RCCL veteran with sales/marketing experience.

 

https://www.celebritycruises.com/about-us/leadership/llp

 

They have the confidence to launch another 4 Edge ships by 2024. Edge being meant for 'cool' cruisers. Don't know why the trolls hang out here instead of joining cool Celebrity X.

 

On the other hand, Orlando's team seem to be out of ideas. The mid-size ships are going to be retired, without replacements. Just one new Pinnacle ship being planned.

 

I hope that they have something new in the Skunk Works, or the critics will have a field day.

 

 

 

HappyinVan, isn't it possible that the bullish attitude of RCCL could be a gross miscalculation, and CCL might be better positioned to ride out the coming recession?  Everyone says its a'comin'.  I see signs all over the place of companies battening down the hatches.

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4 minutes ago, Roz said:

A couple of people have commented on Celebrity's White Rabbit 🐇 theme song.  I like it!  😈  Even as kid growing up in the Sixties, I grasped that the song could be interpreted on several different levels.  Posters are going berserk on the Celebrity board  and taking it way too personally.  It's not a personal affront to those with drug addicts in their families.  

 

There are different ways of feeding your head, travel and new experiences being one of them.  I think that's what Celebrity is trying to say.

 

To me it just seems like a very weak attempt at coolness.  They're tapping into something that many would like to forget.

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1 minute ago, Roz said:

 

There are different way's of feeding your head, travel and new experiences being one of them.  I think that's what Celebrity is trying to say.

 

Exactly!  And I also think it works well with the overall aesthetic, e.g., Eden, that I've read about...

 

But there are always going to be those who can only think literally and who can't see the forest for the trees.

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4 minutes ago, AncientWanderer said:

 

To me it just seems like a very weak attempt at coolness.  They're tapping into something that many would like to forget.

 

I never want to forget the Sixties and Jefferson Airplane. 😎

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6 minutes ago, AncientWanderer said:

They're tapping into something that many would like to forget.

 

Really?

 

My older sister was a late 60s/early 70s young adult. I've seen her and her friends when songs of the era are played -- they love it. It's a walk down memory lane. One didn't have to be a hippie or a junkie to enjoy the music of the time. 

 

I'm 10 years younger and came of age during the punk era. The first Sex Pistols album is still a treasured possession of mine. Was I an anarchist? No way. Do I still enjoy belting out the songs?  You bet.

 

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Let's just hope " Seattle" reads this post as well....

I would also suggest writing directly to HAL with concerns, the questionnaire after the cruise seems to serve only statistical purposes. If Mr. Ashford is receiving s(t)acks of (e)mail everyday with lots of concerns from passengers , he would at least know that a lot of people are not too happy with the direction he is taking.

Maybe a cc. or copy Mr. Arnold of CCL would help too 😉

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27 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Really?

 

My older sister was a late 60s/early 70s young adult. I've seen her and her friends when songs of the era are played -- they love it. It's a walk down memory lane. One didn't have to be a hippie or a junkie to enjoy the music of the time. 

 

I'm 10 years younger and came of age during the punk era. The first Sex Pistols album is still a treasured possession of mine. Was I an anarchist? No way. Do I still enjoy belting out the songs?  You bet.

 

 

What do I know?  I'm just an old Californian.

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1 hour ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

(quoted post edited to save space)

 

Trolls hang out here to stir up trouble. Go ahead and bash HAL (or is it just Ashford you're aiming at?), but if Edge and Celebrity represent "cool," I'm happy to be an old fogey. Off-topic, as this is the HAL board, but since you keep throwing Celebrity at us,

 

Excuse me. It is not I who 'keeps throwing Celebrity' at you.  I have never sailed on Celebrity, and am not endorsing 'cool' I'm a senior and my ideal HAL ships is the Rotterdam. See post 286.

 

I am contrasting Orlando to the 32-year RCCL veteran running Celebrity. She's preparing Celebrity to welcome the next generations and the newly rich, whilst Orlando is reportedly trying to get rid of the loyal Mariners. But, his ships are last generation and on-board experience is steadily declining in quality. 

 

I am loyal to the oldster community, not to the company. I'm speaking up on behalf of the community as I criticize the company.

 

 

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