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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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56 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.

 

Please, explain which disrespect as I have seen none in this entire thread.

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11 hours ago, AmazedByCruising said:

 

Please, explain which disrespect as I have seen none in this entire thread.

 

The point I made earlier in this thread, and still believe, is that referring to HAL's president by his first name is a sign of disrespect to Mr. Ashford.

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5 minutes ago, KroozNut said:

 

The point I made earlier in this thread, and still believe, is that referring to HAL's president by his first name is a sign of disrespect to Mr. Ashford.

 

I have to agree with you, I too feel it is disrespectful to call any person anything but their proper surname unless invited to do so. If I am addressing that individual face to face I try and use Mr. or Ms. or something similar, if I am posting about an individual I try and use their full name in place of the prefixing. With that said many in the public eye wish to be addressed informally and in 2019 while it may appear that this maybe a bit of old school etiquette, but to me that is a good thing, Class and Respect never go out of style.
Joseph
 

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1 hour ago, KroozNut said:

 

The point I made earlier in this thread, and still believe, is that referring to HAL's president by his first name is a sign of disrespect to Mr. Ashford.

 

Obviously, usage varies. I don't see any standing orders about how to address corporate brass?

 

I'm not a HAL employee. I don't have to say Yes Sir, No Sir. 

 

I'm a paying customer. A corporate title does not automatically command respect. Respect is earned. 

 

Let me remind you that this thread is a poll and discussion about the direction of HAL's management. Let us not digress. The fact is that 66% of respondents say No to the President.

 

Stay focused.
 

Edited by HappyInVan
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1 hour ago, HappyInVan said:

 

Let me remind you that this thread is a poll and discussion about the direction of HAL's management. Let us not digress. The fact is that 66% of respondents say No to the President.

What percentage of Holland passengers does that 66% actually represent?  

All to often, Cruise Critic posters believe that they are representative of all Holland passengers when they are not.

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My guess is the occupancy rates,  the per passenger revenue numbers, the quarterly operating P&L, and the feedback from the top agency producers will speak far louder than this very unscientific poll that probably reflects some unknown fraction of one percent of HAL cruisers.

Edited by iancal
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16 minutes ago, iancal said:

My guess is the occupancy rates,  the per passenger revenue numbers, the quarterly operating P&L, and the feedback from the top agency producers will speak far louder than this very unscientific poll that probably reflects some unknown fraction of one percent of HAL cruisers.

 

DING! DING! DING! We have a winner no more calls please!

 

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So far, I have seen few discussions about solutions to HAL's downward slide to being the cheapest carrier.

 

Read posts 83-99 Page 4 of Dunelms thread...

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2699910-loving-to-hate-hal/page/4/


That's pretty unbelievable. HAL is $400 cheaper than NCL on the Alaska itinerary, which should be one of HAL's strength. The customers are sending a clear signal, if you are willing to listen.

 

The general customer consensus seems to be either abandon HAL (exit) or stay and bear it (remainders).

 

There is an option for the shareholders. Carnival Corp can spin off and list its major brands (Princess, CCL, HAL, AIDA, Costa).

 

Shareholders would get shares in each brand. Have the choice of which to keep and which to sell. This way, the market rewards the out-perform brands (Princess), and downgrades the under-perform brands.

 

This way, the management of under-performers can't hide under the corporate umbrella. Each brand would have to publish performance statistics. Let the market judge and guide the companies.

 

Good? 

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It could also be oversupply.   

 

The general customer consensus about exiting or sticking it out may be a reflection of HAL posters but it is hardly a reflection of the market in general.  

 

Do do you really think that underperforming  subsidiary management  can hide from the financials?

 

 Certainly not in my experience.  They are no doubt managed six ways to Sunday by various financial and operating targets, not to mention that they no doubt have a ‘best in class’ performance bar.

After a quarter or two of missing their numbers the subsidiary team would get some ‘help’ from Corporate.   

 

A few bad quarters or a fiscal year of underperformance would probably be the max before underperforming executives would be replaced.

Edited by iancal
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10 minutes ago, HappyInVan said:

 

 

There is an option for the shareholders. Carnival Corp can spin off and list its major brands (Princess, CCL, HAL, AIDA, Costa).

 

 

No.  It's good to have diversification within the corporate umbrella.  If one brand suffers one year because of a catastrophe of some sort, the stock is still buoyed up by the other brands.  Also, Carnival Corp is in the best position to decide if any particular brand is too problematic to maintain, and they can choose to sell off that brand.  They have access to the most information to make that determination.  IMHO

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, AncientWanderer said:

 

No.  It's good to have diversification within the corporate umbrella.  If one brand suffers one year because of a catastrophe of some sort, the stock is still buoyed up by the other brands.  Also, Carnival Corp is in the best position to decide if any particular brand is too problematic to maintain, and they can choose to sell off that brand.  They have access to the most information to make that determination.  IMHO

 

 

 

 

I don't have the same faith in Carnival and HAL HQ.

 

Remember the persistence pollution problems. Princess was the biggest culprit. Carnival is still on probation after paying fines (again) of $20m this year.

 

IMO, the problem is the corporate structure put together by Mickey. The brands are largely autonomous. For example, under Lanterman, HAL was self-financing and decided how fast it wanted to expand.

 

Princess had also expanded through the 2000s and 2010s. Today, Princess (supposedly a premium brand) has higher revenues than CCL.

 

Princess will have 2 mega-ships(>160k GT). Same as CCL, Aida, Costa and P&O. Looks positively medieval to me.

 

The Carnival CEO has had 6 years to sort things out. Organize the brands into some rational strategy. But, I don't see it happening. That's why it makes sense to break up Carnival Corp.

 

Most of the brands are now competing anyway with each other. HAL for example has lost its premium identity, and is competing with CCL/RCI/NCL. There's no economies of scale from Carnival's size.

 

Anyway, there is no meaningful diversification within the Carnival portfolio. All brands are in the cruise business. 97% of revenues come from budget or budget plus customers.

 

The cruise industry is highly correlated to the economic cycle (nowadays global economy is highly integrated). Demand for all segments will fall in a recession. Cruise prices for all companies will fall.

 

I've tried to point out that the future will belong to the mega-ships with their economies of scale and full entertainment/dining program. Something for everyone.

 

RCI will have an armada of mega-ships and they will crush the competitors with only a few mega-ships.

 

Viking is highly focused. With their planned 17 ocean ships, they could (if they can maintain prices) have higher revenues than HAL. That's economies of scale in corporate services, selling and advertising.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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My firm belief that the executives at Carnival Corp,and in each of their subs, know far more about the industry, the financials, the operations, and indeed the future trends than the people on this board.

 

it is no secret that the travel industry is closely geared to the economy.  Both leisure and business.  We took great advantage of the last recession with four last late booking European cruises.  Prior to retirement business travel and entertainment were the first on the chopping block when targets were not met.

Edited by iancal
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3 hours ago, iancal said:

My firm belief that the executives at Carnival Corp,and in each of their subs, know far more about the industry, the financials, the operations, and indeed the future trends than the people on this board.

Truly amazing, the number of people on this board who've become cruise line management experts after taking a couple of cruises.  One wonders if they've ever even owned a boat.

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Amazing is one word for it.  I can think of a few others as well.

 

 One would almost think that Carnival Corp has been loosing money for years because of their poor management practices and their business strategies.

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2 hours ago, iancal said:

 

 One would almost think that Carnival Corp has been loosing money for years because of their poor management practices and their business strategies.

 

I'm sorry. I'm going to put you on ignore because your comments aren't worth reading.

 

This once, I will post the comparatives.

 

https://www.cnbc.com/quotes/?symbol=CCL&qsearchterm=carnival

 

https://www.cnbc.com/quotes/?symbol=RCL&qsearchterm=

 

https://www.cnbc.com/quotes/?symbol=NCLH&qsearchterm=

 

Carnival's gross margin 38% versus RCL 45% and NCLH 44%. RCL simply has a better mix of newer ships, and fewer brands. NCL derives a third of its revenues from smaller ships (Oceania and RSS). But still profitable because they can charge premium prices.

 

As I have earlier pointed out, all cruise companies have benefited from a 50% fall in oil since 2012. From 2014 to 2018, there has been a huge improvement in COGS.

 

Any companies still making big cuts in cost are showing weakness in the prices they can charge. The customer has the final word.

 

Carnival's share price is near the bottom of the 52 week range, $30 from the high. In fact, it made a new 52 week low on October 8th. RCL's revenues are half of Carnival's, but market cap is only a quarter less.

 

Like I said, there's no sign that Carnival has a corporate strategy while Viking, Ponant, RCL etc are carpe diem.

 

 

 

 

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@HappyInVan , correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like at the heart of all of your analysis there is one main supposition -- that the mega-ships are the key to a profitable future.  I don't necessarily accept this idea.  While in recent years the big ships have been showing great numbers, isn't that because the economy has been doing great, and people are traveling who might not be able to do so in a downturn of the economy?  They are big ships to fill.  When personal belt-tightening begins, only the well-heeled will still be traveling, and, frankly, those people tend to like smaller ships.  Couldn't the mega-ships become white elephants, as so many mini-mansion homes did during the last recession?

 

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11 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

So far, I have seen few discussions about solutions to HAL's downward slide to being the cheapest carrier.

 

Read posts 83-99 Page 4 of Dunelms thread...

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2699910-loving-to-hate-hal/page/4/


That's pretty unbelievable. HAL is $400 cheaper than NCL on the Alaska itinerary, which should be one of HAL's strength. The customers are sending a clear signal, if you are willing to listen.

 

You are taking a lot for granted with this assumption.  The posts you are referring to don't make clear whether this person was comparing apples to apples.  Were the cruises the same length? The same sailing dates? Sailing from the same port? Did each include the same ports or number of ports? In Alaska that can be a factor due to the higher port fees. Same cabin class? Same class of ship? Last year I believe that NCL had one of their newest ships in Alaska. Those usually command a higher price than the older ships.  Did the NCL price include any of their "perks"? NCL has a marketing ploy where they offer x number of perks for "free" but you pay a gratuity/service fee of 20% on NCL's value for some of the options in the package like the beverage or dining package. 

 

There is a lot of missing information in those posts to base an assumption on them that HAL customers are sending a clear signal.

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59 minutes ago, cruisebie said:

 

You are taking a lot for granted with this assumption.  The posts you are referring to don't make clear whether this person was comparing apples to apples.  Were the cruises the same length? The same sailing dates? Sailing from the same port? Did each include the same ports or number of ports? In Alaska that can be a factor due to the higher port fees. Same cabin class? Same class of ship? Last year I believe that NCL had one of their newest ships in Alaska. Those usually command a higher price than the older ships.  Did the NCL price include any of their "perks"? NCL has a marketing ploy where they offer x number of perks for "free" but you pay a gratuity/service fee of 20% on NCL's value for some of the options in the package like the beverage or dining package. 

 

There is a lot of missing information in those posts to base an assumption on them that HAL customers are sending a clear signal.

 

While I don't necessarily agree with the analysis made by the other poster, the fact remains that the person who posted about HAL's lower price was looking to choose a cruise for Alaska and was making a 'real world' choice based on perceived value. For them, the two cruises were comparable enough to be considered as viable options.

 

People need to get away from the mentality that something isn't comparable if it isn't exactly the same. Smart management wants to know what choices people will make given various options that they would consider....

 

The average cruiser isn't someone who haunts Cruise Critic and agonizes over the (sometimes rather minor) differences between two ships or two lines. They have a week of vacation time and they want a 'nice' experience in Alaska or wherever. They may not even know the name of their ship or which cruise line it belongs to -- I've run into plenty of those cruisers. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, cruisebie said:

 

 

There is a lot of missing information in those posts to base an assumption on them that HAL customers are sending a clear signal.

 

IMO, post 88 and 92 were quite clear.

 

What would be interesting is the identity of the types of ships being shopped. Mid-size ship versus big ship?

 

In marketing, the non-customers are as important as the actual passengers. We know that the ship will be filled at a low enough marginal price. The big question is why the company has to drop its price so far. What's keeping potential customers away?

 

Why isn't HAL's ship quickly filled with loyal/repeat customers? In that light, the poll conducted in this thread is important.

 

Edited by HappyInVan
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1 hour ago, rucrazy said:

 

It was important enough to me to ask the question..

 

I got an answer, so I am satisfied... (it is not just me!)

 

I had a similar ***** experience in May.

 

Previously, I had sailed on HAL in 2010/2011, as well as RSS and Silversea. My recollection was that HAL was nice for its price point. While the Rotterdam's interior decoration was lovelier than the luxury ships.

 

This year, I sailed on the Rotterdam again in the Baltic/Norway. The price seemed reasonable. I had no hesitation paying the single supplement.

 

The experience was a shocker. The ship was full of handicap people in the Baltic. Entertainment and food was poor. The passengers seemed different from 2010/11. Overall, the experience was disappointing.

 

Fortunately, the interior was still lovely. The Lincoln Center Stage was a highlight. The Neptune Lounge was a relief. But, I felt that HAL was the wrong brand for me.

 

The destinations were interesting. I have no problem paying for the HAL EXC. But, I think that I will be visiting Scandinavia again in a smaller ship.

 

Anyway, thanks for starting this thread. It has allowed the critics to share their experiences. I've been motivated to probe into the reasons why HAL/Carnival has gone into a downward spiral.

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, cruisebie said:

 

You are taking a lot for granted with this assumption.  The posts you are referring to don't make clear whether this person was comparing apples to apples.  Were the cruises the same length? The same sailing dates? Sailing from the same port? Did each include the same ports or number of ports? In Alaska that can be a factor due to the higher port fees. Same cabin class? Same class of ship? Last year I believe that NCL had one of their newest ships in Alaska. Those usually command a higher price than the older ships.  Did the NCL price include any of their "perks"? NCL has a marketing ploy where they offer x number of perks for "free" but you pay a gratuity/service fee of 20% on NCL's value for some of the options in the package like the beverage or dining package. 

 

There is a lot of missing information in those posts to base an assumption on them that HAL customers are sending a clear signal.

 

I can only speak from my own experience.  My last 2 HAL cruises were booked based on the fact they were significantly cheaper than the competition.  And yes, all else was equal except for being different cruise lines. 

 

When I cruised Koningsdam, she was HAL's latest and greatest.  I agree with the point you made saying brand new ships usually demand a premium price.  Yet, I was very surprised to see the brand new Koningsdam cheaper than everything else doing similar cruises.  We paid $899 for a veranda on a 10 night cruise.  The competition was twice that amount and nearly sold out.  And still yet, the ship did not sell out.  We sailed 800 short of capacity. 

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On 9/12/2019 at 5:06 PM, rucrazy said:

 

Good Luck,

We gave Princess three trys and decided not to proceed further. We felt food and service both fell below where HAL and Celebrity stood at that time.

We used to cruise them a good bit, but stopped after they instituted MUTS and it was virtually impossible to escape the horrendous noise of car crashes, explosions, yelling on the big screens. Couldn't stay out on much of the deck, esp. by the pools; maybe it's been corrected in intervening years but we've no interest in finding out.

 

Celebrity confines its movie screens to a nice high aft deck--actually a good place to watch football, lol. Unfortunately on the Koningsdam we discovered that they also show movies by the pool now, so good luck if you just want to sit and have a pizza, without whatever movie is blaring at the moment. Bracing ourselves for the same on the Nieuw Statendam in Dec., but forewarned is forearmed; I have an excellent pair of earplugs!

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