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Do you Like the direction..


Right or wrong direction for Holland America Line?  

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



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19 minutes ago, sofietucker said:

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!

 

I didn't think the movies at night on K'dam were that loud. During the afternoon, they show a nature video but I don't recall hearing a soundtrack. 

 

I hated my Princess cruise because the only quiet outdoor space I could find was my tiny balcony. They started with a kiddie movie at noon, and before that they played loud music over the speakers. 

 

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24 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

I didn't think the movies at night on K'dam were that loud. During the afternoon, they show a nature video but I don't recall hearing a soundtrack. 

 

I hated my Princess cruise because the only quiet outdoor space I could find was my tiny balcony. They started with a kiddie movie at noon, and before that they played loud music over the speakers. 

 

Yes, that's true (K'dm movies not being that loud)--except if we wanted be by the pool to either eat or hang out in that lovely space (really gorgeous at night--should be soothing and calm), we had to be exposed to it. I unwillingly saw much of a shoot-em-up one evening, lol.  But I think just knowing what to expect makes a "new ship" cruise much better. 

 

I know that they tweak ships as they roll out and see what works; we were thrilled that the Sel de Mer was an actual, permanent restaurant on that ship, instead of a pop up--ooh lala, the food! Too bad it's apparently been limited to once a cruise. And the now discontinued temporary restaurant (something Central?) in the America's Test Kitchen space was EXCELLENT. We ate there 3 times. Plus the happy and excited staff and the energy (great music!) were just fantastic. A shame that quickly has gone by the wayside--it was always packed.

 

But hurray for the new Rolling Stone venue! We've loved BB King's but not for every single night, lol.

 

What was that great 7-8 course dinner they offered for awhile in the Pinnacle? Not the Le Cirque--De Librije! I hope that will be offered again on the Nieuw Statendam in Dec--anyone know if it's just certain nights?  They didn't have it on the P-dam in June.

 

As a 4-star Mariner, I heartily agree with what's been said in the many posts above, all the wonderful aspects of HAL. We do prefer smaller ships and greatly mourn the loss of the Prinsendam...

 

(The Dutch tradition fading away has been recouped a bit in my mind with the new Dutch Cafe; that's where all the officers seem to eat, lol. But we still have our traditional hats they used to hand out at dinner on Dutch night!)

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44 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

I hated my Princess cruise because the only quiet outdoor space I could find was my tiny balcony. They started with a kiddie movie at noon, and before that they played loud music over the speakers. 

 

 

That's one thing I hate about Princess.  Their balconies have been small for a long time but on their newest ships, they are pathetic.  This was my balcony on Regal Princess:

 

enhance

 

 

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5 hours ago, Aquahound said:

 

That's one thing I hate about Princess.  Their balconies have been small for a long time but on their newest ships, they are pathetic.  This was my balcony on Regal Princess:

 

enhance

 

 

 

That's pretty tight..

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9 hours ago, Aquahound said:

 

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. 

 

Wow! Wow! Wow!

 

Looks like the Pinnacle ships are struggling to compete with the mega-ships. I would dearly love to see HAL's P/L.

 

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On ‎10‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 9:55 AM, HappyInVan said:

 

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.

 

I tend to be skeptical about most polling data.  They are snapshots of a viewpoint at a particular point in time.  Responders to such polls tend to be people who are either extremely negative or extremely positive.  I take them with "a pinch of salt," if you know what I mean.

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On 10/10/2019 at 5:00 PM, Aquahound said:

 

That's one thing I hate about Princess.  Their balconies have been small for a long time but on their newest ships, they are pathetic.  This was my balcony on Regal Princess:

 

enhance

 

 

 

Like my veranda on Royal Princess; satisfactory?  For a solo cruiser, yes.  Breakfast/dinner on the veranda?  I think not.

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6 hours ago, Dunelm said:

I tend to be skeptical about most polling data.  They are snapshots of a viewpoint at a particular point in time.  Responders to such polls tend to be people who are either extremely negative or extremely positive.  I take them with "a pinch of salt," if you know what I mean.

 

 

Don't worry. I know who is credible, and who isn't.

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On 10/10/2019 at 8:42 AM, AncientWanderer said:

@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?

 

 

McMansions are residences. Cruise ships are earning assets.

 

From a marketing POV, the cruise industry is expanding aggressively because it believes that lower costs and higher value will generate greater penetration into the holiday industry.

 

That is, there will be many new customers and more repeat business. In effect, the new ships will be floating resort cities in direct competition with Las Vegas, Disney Land etc.

 

There are at least 24 mega-ships (>160k GT) planned for 2020s. That's 2.4 a year, and a total of @5 million GT. Plus a bunch of sub-mega ships.

 

Each Oasis class ships carries @6k passengers each trip. @300k passengers a year. Seems a lot but there are already 26m cruise passengers a year. So, a quick calculation suggest that capacity (after fleet retirements) will rise about 4%.

 

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

 

That should be manageable, unless there is a prolonged deep recession.

 

The main casualties will be the operators of older ships which will become obsolete faster. Unfortunately, Carnival is lagging behind and HAL appears to have capitulated.

 

Those with the lowest cost can charge the lowest price, and fill their ships. Those with higher costs must be able to charge higher prices.

 

The new mega-ships have several advantages besides costs. Can offer a wider range of activities and entertainment. Something for everyone. They are more popular with families.

 

That means that the new ships offer higher value for which consumers are willing to pay more.

 

Read post 408 (Page 17). The Pinnacle ships are conceptually old. They are not competitive with the floating resorts on the popular itineraries. By 2028, the S, R and Vista class ships will be retired. Leaving HAL only with Signature and Pinnacle ships. Likely refitted to take more passengers.

 

Consolidation in the industry is inevitable.

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

 

McMansions are residences. Cruise ships are earning assets.

 

From a marketing POV, the cruise industry is expanding aggressively because it believes that lower costs and higher value will generate greater penetration into the holiday industry.

 

That is, there will be many new customers and more repeat business. In effect, the new ships will be floating resort cities in direct competition with Las Vegas, Disney Land etc.

 

There are at least 24 mega-ships (>160k GT) planned for 2020s. That's 2.4 a year, and a total of @5 million GT. Plus a bunch of sub-mega ships.

 

Each Oasis class ships carries @6k passengers each trip. @300k passengers a year. Seems a lot but there are already 26m cruise passengers a year. So, a quick calculation suggest that capacity (after fleet retirements) will rise about 4%.

 

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

 

That should be manageable, unless there is a prolonged deep recession.

 

The main casualties will be the operators of older ships which will become obsolete faster. Unfortunately, Carnival is lagging behind and HAL appears to have capitulated.

 

Those with the lowest cost can charge the lowest price, and fill their ships. Those with higher costs must be able to charge higher prices.

 

The new mega-ships have several advantages besides costs. Can offer a wider range of activities and entertainment. Something for everyone. They are more popular with families.

 

That means that the new ships offer higher value for which consumers are willing to pay more.

 

Read post 408 (Page 17). The Pinnacle ships are conceptually old. They are not competitive with the floating resorts on the popular itineraries. By 2028, the S, R and Vista class ships will be retired. Leaving HAL only with Signature and Pinnacle ships. Likely refitted to take more passengers.

 

Consolidation in the industry is inevitable.

 

 

 

 

"Floating resort cities"?  So you figure a large number of people won't care where they go; just happy to be onboard to eat, drink and partake of the amusements?  (That's an essential point,  because the most popular itineraries simply cannot welcome many of these big ships at one time.)

 

Interesting idea.  I suppose that could happen, if a good enough product is delivered at a good enough price.   But I still see a market for ships that take people to desirable places.  

 

It'll be interesting to see how things unfold in the coming years.  As with a lot of things, I feel really fortunate to have already logged so many sea days -- just in case things totally go downhill.

 

(Btw...just as a side note, quite a few Californians certainly expected their McMansions to be "earning assets."  That didn't work out for a lot of people, though.)

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13 minutes ago, AncientWanderer said:

 

"Floating resort cities"?  So you figure a large number of people won't care where they go; just happy to be onboard to eat, drink and partake of the amusements?  (That's an essential point,  because the most popular itineraries simply cannot welcome many of these big ships at one time.)

 

Interesting idea.  I suppose that could happen, if a good enough product is delivered at a good enough price.   But I still see a market for ships that take people to desirable places.  

 

It'll be interesting to see how things unfold in the coming years.  As with a lot of things, I feel really fortunate to have already logged so many sea days -- just in case things totally go downhill.

 

(Btw...just as a side note, quite a few Californians certainly expected their McMansions to be "earning assets."  That didn't work out for a lot of people, though.)

 

Yes, floating resort cities. A friend once remarked that the megaships with all the bells and whistles are "for people who want to take a cruise but don't want to be on a ship." When the 6000-passenger Whatever of the Seas first came out, the price for a balcony cabin facing the atrium was more expensive than the same cabin facing the ocean. I guess that means they think their ship is the destination. 

 

Not my idea of a cruise. Like you, I'm glad I've had the chance to sail on real ships, not floating amusement parks. I hope I'll be able to continue to do that.

 

 

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1 hour ago, AncientWanderer said:

(Btw...just as a side note, quite a few Californians certainly expected their McMansions to be "earning assets."  That didn't work out for a lot of people, though.)

 

Ain't that the truth!

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1 hour ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

I guess that means they think their ship is the destination. 

 

Not my idea of a cruise. Like you, I'm glad I've had the chance to sail on real ships, not floating amusement parks. I hope I'll be able to continue to do that.

 

If and when that day happens we will definitely be done.

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1 hour ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

Not my idea of a cruise. Like you, I'm glad I've had the chance to sail on real ships, not floating amusement parks. I hope I'll be able to continue to do that.

 

👍👍👍

 

My thoughts precisely.  

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16 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

They are building (Viking) and/or refurbishing (Oceania) smaller ships. 

 

They just won't be mass market cruises.

 

 

So there may be a silver lining after all!

Thanks for the information.

 

Joseph

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52 minutes ago, rucrazy said:

 

So there may be a silver lining after all!

Thanks for the information.

 

Joseph

 

As to the size of the ship and the cruise experience offered, yes, it may be a silver lining.  But, how will this "silver" in this silver lining affect my ability to cruise as frequently as I would like?  

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30 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

As to the size of the ship and the cruise experience offered, yes, it may be a silver lining.  But, how will this "silver" in this silver lining affect my ability to cruise as frequently as I would like?  

 

Bob

I would imagine that would be a decision best left up to you and your check book.

Just like it is up to ours!

Joseph 

 

 

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49 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

As to the size of the ship and the cruise experience offered, yes, it may be a silver lining.  But, how will this "silver" in this silver lining affect my ability to cruise as frequently as I would like?  

 

As I was starting out my career (and often complaining about lack of funds to do this or that), my father wisely said to me "You are fortunate enough to have a good education, good job and good prospects. Unlike many people in the world, you can do almost anything you want -- but you cannot necessarily do everything you want."

 

We all (except for the 0.001%) have to make choices. You can cruise less often and have more enjoyable experience, or you can cruise more often and perhaps have a less enjoyable experience. Such is life.

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

As I was starting out my career (and often complaining about lack of funds to do this or that), my father wisely said to me "You are fortunate enough to have a good education, good job and good prospects. Unlike many people in the world, you can do almost anything you want -- but you cannot necessarily do everything you want."

 

We all (except for the 0.001%) have to make choices. You can cruise less often and have more enjoyable experience, or you can cruise more often and perhaps have a less enjoyable experience. Such is life.

 

 

Your father was definitely wise, as was mine and that's the kind of thing my father would say. It's a good way of looking at making choices. 

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On 10/10/2019 at 2:56 PM, HappyInVan said:

 

...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....

 

 

Upon reading this post, I had a flashback to my days 30 years ago managing an American Express travel agency in Chevy Chase, MD. A woman returned very disappointed from a vacation at a lovely resort on St. Maarten. Her reason? All the people on the beach were fat.

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19 hours ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

Not my idea of a cruise. Like you, I'm glad I've had the chance to sail on real ships, not floating amusement parks. I hope I'll be able to continue to do that.

 

 

 

There will be plenty of expeditionary and luxury ships. And, second tier operators.

 

There's push back on cruise ships in Victoria, BC...

 

“Victoria's mayor and two councillors have tabled a motion asking for among other things a limit on cruise ships entering the city until a plan can be found to limit their emissions and waste...”

 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/victoria-cruise-ship-proposed-regulation-city-council-1.5319802

 

If there is a limit on the number of ships, likely that the companies will switch to bigger ships. The operators of mega-ships can't lose!

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