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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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On 9/29/2019 at 3:37 PM, Copper10-8 said:

 

Having never served on any board of directors, except on the one for the bottom dwellers, I am not sure about that theory myself :classic_cool:

I believe you are in line..

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On 9/28/2019 at 7:24 AM, AncientWanderer said:

 

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.

 

 

The answer is a triple NO.

 

This is the longest expansion (since 2010) in the USA since WW2. A recession is overdue. IMO, the Federal Reserve will help cushion the recession when it arrives, unless there is a shock.

 

The problem is that USA federal debt is at historical levels. Currently, deficit of 5% of GDP while EU deficit is 1% with Germany running a SURPLUS.

 

Trump wants the Fed to drop interest rates to zero or less. So, interest rates will remain low for years.

 

The important difference between this phase and earlier cycles is the low low interest rates at the peak of cycle. Makes sense to borrow cheap money and build ships.

 

The second reason is about economies of scale. The mega-ships will kill the smaller ships in terms of operating cost. With 20 mega-ships being planned, there will be excess capacity and prices will drop.

 

In any price war, the guys with the lowest cost and ability to maintain price/quality will win. That's the Celebrity Edge. Sadly, Orlando's team is heading in the wrong direction.

 

What this means is that brands without a distinctive identity and economies of scale are going to get squeezed out. Yes, this means you, Orlando.

 

The last reason refers to the flexibility of mega-ships for multiple brands. MSC has no luxury brand. Logical for them to include a ship-within-a-ship on their big ships.

 

About a hundred Yacht Club staterooms occupying about 1/15 of the passenger decks (correct me if I'm wrong). That's just a little more tons of ship per passenger than the Rotterdam (50 tons per passenger). They're charging Seabourn (100 tons per passenger) prices!

 

So, expect more premium/luxury brands to share the big ships with the budget travelers. That's one way of cutting excess capacity.

 

Sadly, HAL will only have one type of ship, with all passengers sharing the same food and entertainment. The strategists and marketeers can't get creative without flexibility.

 

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On 9/12/2019 at 4:14 PM, RocketMan275 said:

JMHO, but many of the complaints I've seen are from 4* & 5* Mariners who don't think they're getting enough respect from Ashford.

3* Mariners are given almost NOTHING compared to similar status earned for the same number of cruises on Celebrity or Royal Caribbean.

We will likely be on our last HAL cruise starting in a week from Quebec City.  The only reason I chose HAL over RCL from the same port and itinerary was the schedule for departure allowing us to visit Canadian friends.............SAD how the amenities on HAL have been diluted and loyalty rewards diminished.

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I was browsing at the Seabourn forum. HAL is taking a big loss as these customers exit. Quoting arzz ...

 

"We have over 500 real sea days on HAL - we have taken two Seabourn Cruises this year (Antarctica in January and just got off after 14 days on Ovation yesterday) and we are sold on Seabourn. We miss the HAL that used to be and is no more. Seabourn, for us, is a great alternative though we, admittedly, will cruise a little less due to the tariff. "

 

 

 

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On ‎9‎/‎28‎/‎2019 at 8:50 AM, HappyInVan said:

 

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.

 

 

Why do so many posters use the first name of Mr. Ashford?  I find that interesting.  Do you know him personally?

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8 minutes ago, Dunelm said:

Why do so many posters use the first name of Mr. Ashford?  I find that interesting.  Do you know him personally?

mispost please forgive

Edited by rucrazy
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1 hour ago, Dunelm said:

Why do so many posters use the first name of Mr. Ashford?  I find that interesting.  Do you know him personally?

 

To me, it's a form of disrespect. Therefore it's typically the folks that are unhappy with his leadership that do it.

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27 minutes ago, KroozNut said:

 

To me, it's a form of disrespect. Therefore it's typically the folks that are unhappy with his leadership that do it.

Unfortunately, you probably are right.  But, I can offer another reason.  Being cynical, I am surprised some people do not refer to him as "boy."   Now, let's hear all the outcries.

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2 hours ago, ronbe65 said:

They are given a cruise on HAL. Those on Celebrity/RCI are not.

 

Huh?  Are you trying to say you get a free cruise on HAL at 3 Stars?  

 

That's an odd thing to say considering HAL's loyalty benefits are pretty much non existent through 3 Stars. 

Edited by Aquahound
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On 9/30/2019 at 6:54 PM, rkacruiser said:

 

My experience has been that contacting the Board's Lead Director with cc's to others in the corporate structure has been fruitful.

 

OMG.  I thought I was the only one who has done that.  (not with HAL)

 

My approach was sending a letter, on real paper, stamped "personal and confidential" with tracking to:

- Everyone on the board

- CEO and all officers listed as "senior staff"

 

That was the last time I was really hacked off about poor customer service.

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37 minutes ago, SempreMare said:

 

OMG.  I thought I was the only one who has done that.  (not with HAL)

 

My approach was sending a letter, on real paper, stamped "personal and confidential" with tracking to:

- Everyone on the board

- CEO and all officers listed as "senior staff"

 

That was the last time I was really hacked off about poor customer service.

 

SempreMare,

 

I am glad that I am not alone, either.  Thanks for your reply!  Squeaky wheels get crease; it's no cliche.  The more "squeaks", the sooner the grease is going to get supplied.

 

My hard copy letters were sent Certified Mail and directed to those at Carnival Corporation whom I thought could make a difference.  The Annual CCL Report requests communications directed to the Board be sent to the Lead Director which I did.  My concern was related to what I viewed as a potential impact on the value of my CCL shares due to then current marketing practices of Carnival Cruise Lines.  

 

With another change of Executives in the marketing department of Carnival Cruise Lines, that person had a "different view" than mine apparently.  In conjunction with the travel agent community and who knows whomever, my concerns were well addressed.  Permanently, no, apparently.  I did what I felt I needed to do at that time just as I think you did as well.  

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Thanks @rkacruiser for posting your process.

 

The other important detail:  I do not include the "CC" list on a complaint letter.


Everyone thinks they were the only one to receive the letter, until they start circulating the letter.  (Assuming they do anything.)

 

Benefit:

- the letter could cause 2 completely different paths of corrective action to be taken.  1 could be effective.  1 won't.

- No recipient can immediately assume that someone else on CC will handle the problem.  If they care enough to do something,  they will at least take 1 step.  Then they could become invested in championing a solution.

Edited by SempreMare
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3 minutes ago, SempreMare said:

Thanks @rkacruiser for posting your process.

 

The other important detail:  I do not include the "CC" list on a complaint letter.


Everyone thinks they were the only one to receive the letter, until they start circulating the letter.  (Assuming they do anything.)

 

Benefit:

- the letter could cause 2 completely different paths of corrective action to be taken.  1 could be effective.  1 won't.

- No recipient can immediately assume that someone else on CC will handle the problem.  If they care enough to do something,  they will at least take 1 step.  Then they could become invested in championing a solution.

 

It's interesting that our thinking was different in trying to cause what we saw as a corrective action.

 

I did cc copies because I thought the more Senior Officials would be more likely to take notice and start to question those more junior to them on my list.  I think this did happen.  The Senior V-P of Marketing did send a hard copy letter to me.  The wording in that letter indicated that he "had heard" from "above" and was directed to answer me. 

 

Who knows what the correct approach is to solving what those of us who care about the cruising industry is?  As customers, we have a right to express our opinions and that is why Cruise Critic is such a great forum.  As shareholders, we have a duty to ourselves to let the Companies know when they fail to meet our expectations.  Particularly, when those expectations are reasonable.

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On 10/5/2019 at 11:25 AM, Dunelm said:

Why do so many posters use the first name of Mr. Ashford?  I find that interesting.  Do you know him personally?

 

I'm not a lawyer. So, I'm not calling anyone's name with the prefix Mister. 

 

IMO, calling him Ashford seems disrespectful. Orlando seems casual and very American. Maybe I should call him by his initials O. A.
 

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13 minutes ago, HappyInVan said:

 

I'm not a lawyer. So, I'm not calling anyone's name with the prefix Mister. 

 

IMO, calling him Ashford seems disrespectful. Orlando seems casual and very American. Maybe I should call him by his initials O. A.
 

Can we also call you by your initials? HIV?

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5 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

 

I'm not a lawyer. So, I'm not calling anyone's name with the prefix Mister. 

 

IMO, calling him Ashford seems disrespectful. Orlando seems casual and very American. Maybe I should call him by his initials O. A.
 

I am hoping then that you are not one of the people who are complaining about the casual approach to cruising these days.  Just wondering why you cannot name him Orlando Ashford.

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40 minutes ago, Dunelm said:

I am hoping then that you are not one of the people who are complaining about the casual approach to cruising these days.  Just wondering why you cannot name him Orlando Ashford.

 

Just me... I think people call him Orlando because it's such a distinctive name -- almost like a last name.  On the Disney boards, they refer to the big shots as "the two Bobs."  Whatever.

 

But in other news, things could be worse.  Bad day for Norwegian Cruise Line.

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7551905/Cruise-ship-passengers-5-300-mystical-fjords-tour-rebel-tell-crew-want-liner.html

 

Edited by AncientWanderer
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1 hour ago, Dunelm said:

Just wondering why you cannot name him Orlando Ashford

 

 

Captain Kate is Captain Kate, not Captain McCue. MS Oosterdam is Oostie. The dining room greeter is the Yum Yum man. And nobody misunderstands when Mr Orlando Ashford is referred to as Orlando, like nobody would misunderstand "Michael" on a pop music forum. Who cares?

Edited by AmazedByCruising
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10 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

 

I'm not a lawyer. So, I'm not calling anyone's name with the prefix Mister.

 

Equating being a lawyer with common courtesy and respect is comical at best, but I'll admit, it was a valid attempt to justify your disrespect of HAL's President Mr. Ashford.

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50 minutes ago, KroozNut said:

 

Equating being a lawyer with common courtesy and respect is comical at best, but I'll admit, it was a valid attempt to justify your disrespect of HAL's President Mr. Ashford.

 

First, it is not disrespect. It is a term of address that I use. Who appointed you as Manners Police?

 


 

Edited by HappyInVan
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