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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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17 minutes ago, Sir PMP said:

And if the larger ships don't make any money, what then?

 

This is to me the biggest driver downward.  There are so many gigantic ships now that have to be filled.  The laziest way to show good bottom line is to just cut costs drastically everywhere while at the same time offering cheap booking deals to the cruiser to fill those Gargantuans.  

 

For now, our response to this is to stick with the small to mid-sized ships and to avoid a crummy experience by making good use of specialty restaurants and whatever else we can to make the cruise a good one.  If this strategy fails, I'm afraid our cruising days will just come to an end.

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29 minutes ago, Sir PMP said:

And if the larger ships don't make any money, what then?

Then Royal, Carnival, NCL, Princess, Celebrity and HAL are ALL in trouble ........

 

A good example of where HAL is with the Pinnacle Class - HAL is moving Konigsdam to the West Coast, not because they can't make money on her in the Caribbean and Europe, but because they believe the increased capacity on the West Coast for Mexico/Hawaii and Alaska will deliver better yields and ancillary revenues on a full year basis.  They need a "new" ship in Alaska to compete with the Royal Princess, Celebrity Solstice/Eclipse, NCL Bliss/Joy/Encore and Royal Ovation of the Seas.  They may not be going for Millennial's like Royal and NCL, but there is enough market overlap with the others that they feel they can capture some  passengers with Konigsdam that they may have otherwise lost.

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2 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

They need a "new" ship in Alaska to compete with the Royal Princess, Celebrity Solstice/Eclipse, NCL Bliss/Joy/Encore and Royal Ovation of the Seas.  They may not be going for Millennial's like Royal and NCL, but there is enough market overlap with the others that they feel they can capture some  passengers with Konigsdam that they may have otherwise lost.

 

And with even more guests in the Alaska ports, at what cost to the quality of the Alaskan experience for those guests?

 

 

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1 minute ago, rkacruiser said:

 

And with even more guests in the Alaska ports, at what cost to the quality of the Alaskan experience for those guests?

 

When corporations are chasing market share and revenue those kinds of considerations are not as imperative as they might otherwise be.  If it were we would see cruise lines voluntarily capping capacity in markets like Alaska.  The very fact that they all keep adding more, larger, newer vessels, with more passengers, tells me that port crowding is less of a deciding factor to cruisers than we on Cruise Critic would make it out to be.

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4 hours ago, newtocruiseinblue said:

Not defending them, but just looked this up and they went to different colleges. 🤔

I'm not defending them either. I couldn't be bothered to look it up.

When Orlando first joined HAL, he visited all the HAL ships to meet the employees.

One day he had lunch with the Senior Officers on my ship.

At that lunch he confided that he had been Arnold Donald's room-mate in college.

Maybe he was lying??

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9 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

And with even more guests in the Alaska ports, at what cost to the quality of the Alaskan experience for those guests?

 

 

 

So,  Koningsdam is not a  whopping hit but are building another mega ship?    Huh ?

 

 

Time to rethink some of these falling flat decisions.      Pinnacle class ships, okay,    maybe  it is time  for them to decide who they want to b e?  Whose heads they want in all these beds?   They seem to be very busy seriously turning   some of us off. 

 

JMO

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18 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

 

When corporations are chasing market share and revenue those kinds of considerations are not as imperative as they might otherwise be.  If it were we would see cruise lines voluntarily capping capacity in markets like Alaska.  The very fact that they all keep adding more, larger, newer vessels, with more passengers, tells me that port crowding is less of a deciding factor to cruisers than we on Cruise Critic would make it out to be.

 

However, I feel that it's something that's trending upward. In many different places recently I have come across discussions of crowding and overtourism at ports and at other destinations. However, ports where large cruise ships come to call seem to be particularly in the cross-hairs: in Venice, in Dubrovnik, in Santorini and I'm sure others. It is an area that bears watching.

 

Just like a few years ago many people thought that anyone who wanted to eat "organic" food was far removed from the mainstream consumer....

 

 

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2 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

 

When corporations are chasing market share and revenue those kinds of considerations are not as imperative as they might otherwise be.  If it were we would see cruise lines voluntarily capping capacity in markets like Alaska.  The very fact that they all keep adding more, larger, newer vessels, with more passengers, tells me that port crowding is less of a deciding factor to cruisers than we on Cruise Critic would make it out to be.

 

No disagreement with your thinking.  Market share and $$ surely is involved.  It's disappointing to me, but I realize it's realistic, that an Alaskan cruise guest might prefer to patronize a Diamonds International, etc. rather than engage in a really Alaskan  experience. 

 

What about the environmental concerns that should NOW be addressed by an excess of cruise visitors to our 49th State?  Thankfully for the NPS, cruise ships visiting Glacier Bay National Park are regulated. 

 

I have a Nephew, now raising a family and happily and successfully employed there,  who moved to Alaska from metropolitan Washington, D. C.  Why did he do so after he graduated from the University of Georgia?  He wanted to get out of the chaos of urban life in which he was raised.  (Maybe his experience in Athens, Georgia might have encouraged that thought.  Athens is a lovely city and lacks the chaos that I regularly experience when I am in the Washington, D. C. area.)   

 

 

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With regards to newbuilds and size......... let's look at the direction the entire industry has been going.  In the last 20 years not a single one of the "Big 6" (Carnival, NCL, Royal, Princess, Celebrity or HAL) has built a ship under 70,000 tonnes or 2.000 passengers.  That has become the provence of Ultra Premium and Luxury lines like Oceania, Viking, Azamara, Regent, Silversea, Crystal and Seabourn.   Even those lines are continuing to build bigger higher capacity ships than they have in past.......   

 

Let's compare Oceania Marina/Riviera to HAL R Class  - The Oceania ships are slightly larger at 66K tonnes than the HAL R class at about 63K tonnes.  The Oceania ships carry about 1250 guests whilst the HAL ships carry roughly 1350-1400.   Now look at the average per-diems on Oceania (without the included air/O-Life amenities) to anything on the HAL R Class - yes Vista suites and higher might compare with Oceania pricing, but I'm willing to bet on similar itineraries you will see Oceania price out significantly higher for Inside and Oceanview rooms than HAL.  HAL also has a larger pergentage of these lower price rooms than Oceania does.  Sure Oceania includes water/specialty coffee/soft drinks, as well as specialty dining, but gratuities are still extra, excursions, extra, etc.

 

How many here are willing to pay the higher per-diems it would take for HAL to build and operate a fleet of new 40K-60K tonne, 1000-1500 passenger vessels,?????  Those that are willing to do so have already moved on to Oceania, Viking and Azamara as well as to Seabourn, Silversea, Regent and Crystal.  

 

Carnival Corporation has decided to keep HAL firmly in the upper end of the mass market branding, keep her ship size a step behind her peers (Princess and Celebrity) and keep her pricing structure competetive.  With this come cuts to quality and service, much like her peers are doing.

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1 hour ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

However, I feel that it's something that's trending upward. In many different places recently I have come across discussions of crowding and overtourism at ports and at other destinations. However, ports where large cruise ships come to call seem to be particularly in the cross-hairs: in Venice, in Dubrovnik, in Santorini and I'm sure others. It is an area that bears watching.

 

Just like a few years ago many people thought that anyone who wanted to eat "organic" food was far removed from the mainstream consumer....

 

 

There is indeed the perception out there among people not enticed towards cruising, that the port experience is, primarily, a few thousand people being disgorged at once and killing the atmosphere that they had in mind.  Perhaps they are deluding themselves and that’s the experience with or without the cruise ships.  But anyway the perception is out there and certainly can’t be getting any better as ships get larger.

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9 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

 

The saddest thing I have ever seen was a table full of millennials busy with their phones. Ignoring each other. Perhaps, they're playing online game with each other?

 

Ever noticed that?

 

This is the New World...sadly!  We own a Restaurant and very sad that people come out to eat and don’t have conversations.   The young kids have their Tech Devices, Parents on their Cell Phones playing and even the young couples just sit there on their phones and don’t talk.  I walked by one Table of a young couple who appeared to be on a date.  I thought maybe they were texting each other.  She was playing Candy Crush and he was checking emails.  

 

The worst thing is they don’t even look up at the Servers when asked for their drink order, etc.  

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49 minutes ago, SetAnOpenCourse said:

There is indeed the perception out there among people not enticed towards cruising, that the port experience is, primarily, a few thousand people being disgorged at once and killing the atmosphere that they had in mind.  Perhaps they are deluding themselves and that’s the experience with or without the cruise ships.  But anyway the perception is out there and certainly can’t be getting any better as ships get larger.

 

From my own experience, it is more than a perception. I've stayed in Venice for several days before a cruise and you could really tell the difference when there were 3-4 large ships in port during a given day (and at night when they had departed it was quite a different place).

 

Same with Santorini. I've had the benefit of arriving there on a 350 passenger ship when there were no other shpis in port. Wonderful day; no crowds until one other ship -- not even a huge one -- showed up in the early afternoon. And I've also been there when there was a "cruise passenger" load of over 10,000 in port. Not pleasant at all.

 

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2 hours ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

 

When corporations are chasing market share and revenue those kinds of considerations are not as imperative as they might otherwise be.  If it were we would see cruise lines voluntarily capping capacity in markets like Alaska.  The very fact that they all keep adding more, larger, newer vessels, with more passengers, tells me that port crowding is less of a deciding factor to cruisers than we on Cruise Critic would make it out to be.

 

Oh, definitely the cruise lines are eager to grow business in all ports, and cruise passengers may tolerate the crowds willingly, but I really believe that eventually there will be government agencies -- local or otherwise -- who will step in and put the brakes on things, because of environmental and quality of life concerns in port areas.  It's well and good for the cruise lines to make hay while the sun shines, but I don't think "bigger and more" is sustainable in a place like Alaska.

 

Of course, around the world is a different matter.  The cruise lines always seem to come up with new port offerings.  That will be interesting to watch, as they invest money in new places to make desirable new stops to replace the overly impacted ones.  

 

 

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11 hours ago, ricka47 said:

I guess we have to ask ourselves, how much more are we willing to pay to come close to the standards that we perceive we enjoyed at a certain point in the past.

 

The problem is similar to the experience of long time flyers after airline deregulation.

 

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

 

Currently, I fly Premium Economy because of the mess in the economy section. The price  adjusted for inflation, is similar to what I would pay 40 years ago for long distance economy. 

 

I also fly Business class to Europe when the price is C$4k. The lie flat seats are value. They have an upgrade path.

 

Deregulation (and the fleet expansion of cruise brands) has been great for the budget  passenger. Whilst, affluent travellers have been squeezed upmarket. 

 

Consider this. CCL passengers can upgrade to HAL. Can HAL passengers upgrade, and stay within the Carnival group?

 

Seabourne is far too expensive for too little. What's missing is a HAL+ brand. Carnival Corp is actually forcing its customers to join other companies. So, goodbye Micky!

 

Another sign of corporate disarray at Carnival HQ. That's a lot of money out there for premium/luxury experiences and Carnival is out of the picture.

 

The weird thing is that Micky was willing to buy HAL for $$$$$ when corporate bonds cost 10%. But, in this decade of low low interest rates, its RCL and Ponant who's charging ahead.

 

Most cruisers don't care. They choose their itinerary year by year. 'Loyalist' sail with friends, and are willing to pay more from time to time.
 

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19 hours ago, idiebabe said:

 

This is the New World...sadly!  We own a Restaurant and very sad that people come out to eat and don’t have conversations

 

 I walked by one Table of a young couple who appeared to be on a date.  I thought maybe they were texting each other.  She was playing Candy Crush and he was checking emails.  

 

The worst thing is they don’t even look up at the Servers when asked for their drink order, etc.  

 

That is sad 😢 😢 

I stopped all social media except for cruise forums.

Joseph

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They should ban all ships over 2000 pax out of European, S. American and Asian ports, let them go to their private islands and spent 7 days there, pax won't notice the difference, the just play with their phones..

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On 9/14/2019 at 11:42 AM, Sir PMP said:

People in their 20's and 30's don't use Hal,  they use Yahoo lines like NCL, RCCL and Carnival, that's why we don't need a Carnival II. We shook hands with Orlando on the Prinsendam 2 years ago, nice person, but that doesn't make him competent..

Yahoo lines, really?  Totally unnecessary comment IMO.  

 

 

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We have sailed on 84 cruises to date with 4 new cruises booked . One is on Koningsdam for Nov 3 ,2020 18 night Hawaii .We like this ship & have sailed on her already  .The other 2 cruises are on Princess with the last one booked for Feb 14 ,2021 /After that we would need to renew our passports to   continue to cruise or travel outside of the USA  . Reason I have said this is because we are coming to a fork in the road  .If we continue to see decline in value  ,we will change to do land & rail trips in the USA 

 

 We equate value with food quality ,preparation & presentation . Entertainment  value that we can enjoy  . The continued  non  refundable ,at supposedly a lower price vs a refundable fare ,at a higher price  is disturbing ,along with perks that we all know are included in the price  pf a cruise anyway . Further those OBCs that we get in those perk packages are never refundable &   just another way cruise lines can get you to spend more  of your money on their ships  .  Good marketing ploy for them but bad for the consuming public .They are going the way of the airline industry ,extra costs for checked  baggage  ,extra cost to preselect your seat ,extaa cost for a aisle sear ,ie . You get the point 

 

 We no longer fly to ports & save lots on no airfares ;but , if the cruise lines continue on this path ,we simply side step & do our land trips & no resort fees .We own a time share to use or trade & also get in expensive weekly get aways . Better than any hotel stays because we have 2 TVs ,a washer .dryer .a one or 2 bedroom unit  in a resort with resort extras at no charge  .The time share  ownership works very well because hotel rates are increasing faster than inflation 

 

  The last consideration is a recession will happen some time in the future ;because they simply do happen . Watch the cruise industry scramble  when that happens  LOL😂

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Edited by mcrcruiser

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38 minutes ago, mcrcruiser said:

 We equate value with food quality ,preparation & presentation . Entertainment  value that we can enjoy  . The continued  non  refundable ,at supposedly a lower price vs a refundable fare ,at a higher price  is disturbing ,along with perks that we all know are included in the price  pf a cruise anyway . Further those OBCs that we get in those perk packages are never refundable &   just another way cruise lines can get you to spend more  of your money on their ships  .  Good marketing ploy for them but bad for the consuming public .They are going the way of the airline industry ,extra costs for checked  baggage  ,extra cost to preselect your seat ,extaa cost for a aisle sear ,ie . You get the point 

 

 We no longer fly to ports & save lots on no airfares ;but , if the cruise lines continue on this path ,we simply side step & do our land trips & no resort fees .We own a time share to use or trade & also get in expensive weekly get aways . Better than any hotel stays because we have 2 TVs ,a washer .dryer .a one or 2 bedroom unit  in a resort with resort extras at no charge  .The time share  ownership works very well because hotel rates are increasing faster than inflation 

 

  The last consideration is a recession will happen some time in the future ;because they simply do happen . Watch the cruise industry scramble  when that happens  LOL😂

 

 

 

I'm curious how you reconcile valuing "food quality, preparation and presentation" with staying in a time share. Do you eat out every night? Do you go out and pay for entertainment that's better than what's available onboard ships?

 

Personally, I am just the opposite of you. I have no desire to have "2 TVs a washer and dryer" and presumably a kitchen when I travel. I like to take a break from cleaning, making beds, washing, and food prep. And I prefer not to just set up and stay in one place.

 

Cruise lines have already weathered several recessions in quite recent memory -- the travel recession following 9/11 and the recent one that started in 2007/8 and ended sometime around 2010, depending on what indicators you use...

 

 

 

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23 hours ago, AncientWanderer said:

 

This is to me the biggest driver downward.  There are so many gigantic ships now that have to be filled.  The laziest way to show good bottom line is to just cut costs drastically everywhere while at the same time offering cheap booking deals to the cruiser to fill those Gargantuans.  

 

When's the last time you cruised a "gargantuan?"  Thinking of the biggest of the big, RCI Oasis Class, many things about them blow HAL out of the water including suite perks, entertainment, activities, and specialty restaurants. You say its the gigantic ships that are cutting costs and need filled, but I argue that's the case with all mass market cruise lines.  Heck, I think HAL's cuts are some of the most egregious.  

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2 hours ago, rucrazy said:

I stopped all social media except for cruise forums.

Joseph

 

CC and the Amtrak Discussion Forum (via a different name) are the only ones on which I participate.  

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Having  only sailed for 3 days on 1 cruise, 15 months ago, I'm not sure.  I saw an incredible decline in Celebrity from October 2018 to April 2019, where I believe HAL is the clear winner.  The service, food, and cabin were already a notch above.  All the live music may be a financial cut from the entertainment offered beforehand, but some of us prefer it.  I'm glad to see the veranda smoking policy, and dated 70's cabin decor, gone.  Unique itineraries may not be new, but I'm looking forward to what HAL has to offer.

 

I am anything but a cheerleader, and will be happy to grab my pitchfork if cutbacks get out of hand.  I'll take last minute deals and reposition cruises from the luxury market if I have to.

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4 hours ago, mcrcruiser said:

 

4 hours ago, mcrcruiser said:

 

  The last consideration is a recession will happen some time in the future ;because they simply do happen . Watch the cruise industry scramble  when that happens  LOL😂

 

 

 

That's what my husband keeps bringing up -- the coming recession.  Particularly since it won't just be the US.  Asia and Europe are probably going to be a part of that.

 

Dh is looking forward to the amazing deals to come -- with all these new ships floating around out there.  But with the deal comes the bare-bones cruise. DH is more tolerant than I am of a mediocre experience at the right price.  But we all know who rules most roosts!  We'll probably be staying home.  lol

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3 hours ago, Aquahound said:

 

When's the last time you cruised a "gargantuan?"  Thinking of the biggest of the big, RCI Oasis Class, many things about them blow HAL out of the water including suite perks, entertainment, activities, and specialty restaurants. You say its the gigantic ships that are cutting costs and need filled, but I argue that's the case with all mass market cruise lines.  Heck, I think HAL's cuts are some of the most egregious.  

 

You may be right, Paul.  HAL's may be the most egregious.  Sometimes I wonder if they plan to just do away with the brand altogether, since they don't seem to be focused on building it up.  The new ships could just be absorbed into Princess...or Carnival.

 

The largest we've sailed is 3,500 passengers and disliked the experience,  but maybe sometime would book a big, active ship for a family trip with different generations involved.  Never say never.

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