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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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4 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

I think you meant to say "Over 67% of past HAL cruisers 1) who are active on CC and 2) who have voted on this poll".  Not exactly the same thing. I, for example, have not voted because for me the answer is not clear-cut.

 

Thank you!

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56 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

I think you meant to say "Over 67% of past HAL cruisers 1) who are active on CC and 2) who have voted on this poll".  Not exactly the same thing. I, for example, have not voted because for me the answer is not clear-cut.

 

I suspect HAL realizes that a certain percentage of past cruisers are not happy with their direction. The question is, do they want to do (or have any reason to do) anything about it?

 

I didn't vote for the same reason.

 

I don't think HAL cares very much if past passengers like what they choose to do. There are a lot of people who have never been on a cruise. Cruise lines see them as a huge untapped source of cruisers--now how do we get their attention? Shiny things like climbing walls, water slides, ice shows, celebrity chefs, name brand tie-ins (e.g. BB King, Johnny Rockets, Godiva) seem to be (are believed to be?) more attractive than classic good service and interesting itineraries. 

 

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3 hours ago, kazu said:

 

There is NO Owners Suite on HAL, never has been.  (There is on Oceania).  

 

No, but the Pinnacle Suites are essentially the same thing.  I cruised in one a few years back.  You get pampered like I had never seen before.  I would do it again if a reasonably priced buy up was offered to Mrs Banjo and Myself. 

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3 hours ago, ricka47 said:

 

Is the corporate culture that much different on HAL/Carnival than it is at Royal Caribbean?  I really doubt that.

 

Well, I've never heard of a VP personally calling a customer about a food complaint. Nor, have I heard of senior ship managers greeting a passenger at the terminal.

 

Any chance of that happening at HAL or CCL?

 

Heck, I'm so impressed that I might have a look at their mega-ships. Doable if they have a Celebrity or Azamara 'boutique' (ship-in-a-ship) on board the mega-ship.

 

BTW, I work with numbers. RC has a big advantage in margins. Does RC charge a higher fare because of superior customer service. Or, do the managers care more because they  have better morale (due to higher revenues and less cost cutting)?

 

The difference in margins is large enough to make a comparison between MacDonalds and  Shake Shack(?)

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3 hours ago, rucrazy said:

I believe it is a fact that the cruise lines troll CC..to gauge their customer base, with that assumed, I have this question:

Do you think that according to this snapshot in time (poll) they get the fact that over 67% of past HAL cruisers are not happy with the direction the company is heading?

 

Joseph

 

I would think that HAL would be more likely to use their own cruise surveys to gauge the level of customer satisfaction on their cruises.  That's a much broader sample.

 

This has been a very interesting thread, though. A lot of good points made by both the loyalists and the realists.

 

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Before I sign off, I would like to thank LoveHAL for starting the other thread. It grew into a monster, and it was an educational experience for me. Everyone had something to say, including those without management or business experience.

 

I will end the discussion with a short note on the importance of brands. 

 

A brand cannot be created solely by corporate advertising. A brand is the creation of its community. For example, Coca Cola became #1 cola because it's franchise network made the product widely available. 

 

But, 'loyalty' is generated over time by users in a communal experience. Coke's advertisers recognized this, and focused on the sports/family setting in their advertisements.

 

Unfortunately, Coke's management failed to grasp this important point. In 1985, Coke launched a new cola. The resulting revolt by the loyalist of the original cola, forced Coke to reinstate 'Classic' coke.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Coke#Reversal


It is this 'loyalty' (or familiarity) that helped repel the challenge from the Pepsi  Generation.

 

Without loyal (or habitual) customers, HAL will need discounts to fill its ships. Attracting the wrong kind of customers, and destroying the brand. No amount of corporate PR b-s can save the brand once the substance is gone. 

 

I was impressed by ricka47's anecdote of the RCL VP calling him following a complaint. One characteristic of a healthy brand is that the employees believe in what they are doing. They are part of the brand's community.

 

The next time you meet Donald or Ashford, ask them about community and loyalty.
 

 

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7 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

Before I sign off, I would like to thank LoveHAL for starting the other thread. It grew into a monster, and it was an educational experience for me. Everyone had something to say, including those without management or business experience.

 

I will end the discussion with a short note on the importance of brands. 

 

A brand cannot be created solely by corporate advertising. A brand is the creation of its community. For example, Coca Cola became #1 cola because it's franchise network made the product widely available. 

 

But, 'loyalty' is generated over time by users in a communal experience. Coke's advertisers recognized this, and focused on the sports/family setting in their advertisements.

 

Unfortunately, Coke's management failed to grasp this important point. In 1985, Coke launched a new cola. The resulting revolt by the loyalist of the original cola, forced Coke to reinstate 'Classic' coke.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Coke#Reversal


It is this 'loyalty' (or familiarity) that helped repel the challenge from the Pepsi  Generation.

 

Without loyal (or habitual) customers, HAL will need discounts to fill its ships. Attracting the wrong kind of customers, and destroying the brand. No amount of corporate PR b-s can save the brand once the substance is gone. 

 

I was impressed by ricka47's anecdote of the RCL VP calling him following a complaint. One characteristic of a healthy brand is that the employees believe in what they are doing. They are part of the brand's community.

 

The next time you meet Donald or Ashford, ask them about community and loyalty.
 

 

 

Interesting. Are you sure you're not OlsSalt, a poster who loved to bring up the "new Coke" disaster in these types of discussions?  :classic_dry:

 

Yes, Coke was a cautionary tale -- in its time. Most companies would tell you now that brand loyalty isn't what it was. For every "new Coke" there are four or five examples of huge companies with loyal followings who failed to innovate and are now gone or greatly reduced:

  • Kodak failed to recognize the impact of digital photography. They stubbornly thought that traditional film would continue to be the medium of most photographers (even after allegedly inventing the digital camera....) . Filed for bankruptcy in 2012.
  • Nokia is another company that was caught flat-footed when smart phones were introduced. They went from undisputed market leader to "where are they now" status. Only just recently starting to make a comeback.
  • Blockbuster versus Netflix -- seen a Blockbuster store recently?  They didn't think they needed to change their business model. As Forbes said: "The internet didn’t kill Blockbuster, the company did it to itself.”
  • JC Penney -- oddly enough, this one reminds me most of HAL. This was a long-term stalwart store with a lot of history and brand loyalty -- not flashy but dependable. But when retail started to change, the store just couldn't seem to find a new identity. Today they are basically on life support.

And as for brand/customer loyalty, it may not be completely dead but it is not the factor that it once was. Recent data on millennials' brand loyalty suggests that while this group does have some brand loyalty (e.g., to their cell phones), that loyalty only goes to a point. Top reasons why millennials switch brands include:

  • A change in their financial situation (56%)
  • If the brand increases their prices (41%)  -- one reason why cruise lines work so hard to keep the entry level prices competitive.
  • If a friend/family member recommends another brand (38%)
  • If a new, more attractive brand comes out (37%)  -- Viking anyone? This could likely also be true for a more innovative class of ship being introduced -- for example the popularity of the Solstice class of ships for Celebrity, or the Oasis/Quantum classes of RCCL.
  • If a brand is found to have bad business practices (32%) -- something with the potential to trip up cruise lines, certainly, particularly disregard for environmental safety.

 

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8 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

A brand cannot be created solely by corporate advertising. A brand is the creation of its community. For example, Coca Cola became #1 cola because it's franchise network made the product widely available. 

 

But, 'loyalty' is generated over time by users in a communal experience. Coke's advertisers recognized this, and focused on the sports/family setting in their advertisements.

 

Unfortunately, Coke's management failed to grasp this important point. In 1985, Coke launched a new cola. The resulting revolt by the loyalist of the original cola, forced Coke to reinstate 'Classic' coke.

 

 

 

I just don't buy this communal experience nonsense.  I do not buy an iphone because other people buy it.  I do not fly Delta because I like the other passengers who fly their planes.  I really couldn't care less who sits next to me on a flight.  The same goes for a cruise ship.  I am not "loyal" to any cruise ship because of who is on the ship with me.  (See my other posts that cruising is not about making friends.)  I am buying a product.  Yes, part of the product is experience.  This includes the food, the cabin, the entertainment but price is king.  If it is low then I will buy it.  If it is too high then I look elsewhere.  I grew up in the 80s, and I remember New Coke.  I did not like the taste of New Coke.  I did not care what my friends thought.  I thought it was too sweet and stopped buying it.  My experience is my experience alone.

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9 minutes ago, ChinaShrek said:

 

I just don't buy this communal experience nonsense.  I do not buy an iphone because other people buy it.  I do not fly Delta because I like the other passengers who fly their planes.  I really couldn't care less who sits next to me on a flight.  The same goes for a cruise ship.  I am not "loyal" to any cruise ship because of who is on the ship with me.  (See my other posts that cruising is not about making friends.)  I am buying a product.  Yes, part of the product is experience.  This includes the food, the cabin, the entertainment but price is king.  If it is low then I will buy it.  If it is too high then I look elsewhere.  I grew up in the 80s, and I remember New Coke.  I did not like the taste of New Coke.  I did not care what my friends thought.  I thought it was too sweet and stopped buying it.  My experience is my experience alone.

 

I don't buy things because of who else buys it. But a lot of people do.

 

Something that I'd like to add to this and to cruisemom42's post is the impact of "internet influencers." Forget Oprah. HAL needs to get a Kardashian (any one of them, they're pretty much interchangeable) to rave about their ships and the sheep who get all of their ideas from the internet will flock to HAL. New and shiny or "so-and-so says it's good" is a big force in the marketplace these days. 

 

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6 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

I don't buy things because of who else buys it. But a lot of people do.

 

Something that I'd like to add to this and to cruisemom42's post is the impact of "internet influencers." Forget Oprah. HAL needs to get a Kardashian (any one of them, they're pretty much interchangeable) to rave about their ships and the sheep who get all of their ideas from the internet will flock to HAL. New and shiny or "so-and-so says it's good" is a big force in the marketplace these days. 

 

 

I agree with this post.  Logan or Jake Paul would also attract a lot of millenials. 

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22 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

I don't buy things because of who else buys it. But a lot of people do.

 

Something that I'd like to add to this and to cruisemom42's post is the impact of "internet influencers." Forget Oprah. HAL needs to get a Kardashian (any one of them, they're pretty much interchangeable) to rave about their ships and the sheep who get all of their ideas from the internet will flock to HAL. New and shiny or "so-and-so says it's good" is a big force in the marketplace these days. 

 

 Oprah is bad enough..but if I even hear of a Kar...I would throw up my hands......I guess our cruising days are coming to an end

It was a nice two decades though..

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10 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

 

Unfortunately, Coke's management failed to grasp this important point. In 1985, Coke launched a new cola. The resulting revolt by the loyalist of the original cola, forced Coke to reinstate 'Classic' coke.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Coke#Reversal


It is this 'loyalty' (or familiarity) that helped repel the challenge from the Pepsi  Generation.

 

Interesting article. I always assumed that it actually was done on purpose, as the first "conspiracy theory" explains:

 

The company intentionally changed the formula, hoping consumers would be upset with the company, and demand the original formula to return, which in turn would cause sales to spike.[2] Keough answered this speculation by saying "We're not that dumb, and we're not that smart."

 

Smart or not, it did work. Similarly, the $10 charge for a second entree that was introduced on HAL and removed a short while later turned into "See, they DO listen at HAL. Such a great company!" 

 

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3 hours ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

I don't buy things because of who else buys it. But a lot of people do.

 

Something that I'd like to add to this and to cruisemom42's post is the impact of "internet influencers." Forget Oprah. HAL needs to get a Kardashian (any one of them, they're pretty much interchangeable) to rave about their ships and the sheep who get all of their ideas from the internet will flock to HAL. New and shiny or "so-and-so says it's good" is a big force in the marketplace these days. 

 

Ooops, just need to clarify why I "liked" your post.  I liked it because I agree 100% with your theory.  Not because I was hoping that your theory will ever actually be implemented. 😀

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2 hours ago, Av8rix said:

Ooops, just need to clarify why I "liked" your post.  I liked it because I agree 100% with your theory.  Not because I was hoping that your theory will ever actually be implemented. 😀

 

I doubt HAL could get an "influencer" to "like" them. HAL isn't cool and trendy enough, and no "influencer" wants to lose cred by backing something uncool.

 

 

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7 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

JC Penney -- oddly enough, this one reminds me most of HAL. This was a long-term stalwart store with a lot of history and brand loyalty -- not flashy but dependable. But when retail started to change, the store just couldn't seem to find a new identity.

 

Re:  JCP:  a new CEO arrived with "new" ideas and plans and he "up-set the apple cart" and more recent executives hired are still trying to repair the mess he created.  Very much the same description, I think, of what has happened to HAL.  

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On 9/20/2019 at 1:56 PM, ricka47 said:

 

Is the corporate culture that much different on HAL/Carnival than it is at Royal Caribbean?  I really doubt that.

 

I was sufficiently disgusted with the advertising/marketing of Carnival Cruise Lines that I found out the name of the Senior Vice-President in charge of this area and wrote him a letter expressing my concerns (politely) as a Carnival Cruise Line customer and as a CCL shareholder.  I sent that letter along with copies to several Carnival Cruise Lines executives senior to this V-P and to the senior executives of CCL including the Board's Lead Director.  All were sent by certified mail.  

 

No phone call was received by me, but there was an exchange of letters about my concerns with the named V-P.  Eventually, my issue was addressed and changes were made in their marketing/advertising at that time.  But, that V-P left Carnival and the issue about which I wrote has returned.

 

To be perfectly clear, I am NOT suggesting that it was my  letters that caused this to happen.  My travel agent was irritated along with the travel agent community and had been complaining.  Sales Reps were getting "ear fulls".  Maybe my attempt helped?  All I know is that my letters prompted a personal response from an executive.  Maybe, my effort helped to "tip the scales". 

 

I agree with the thought that the cruise lines do monitor these Boards.  That is a source of information for them about what we "who care about cruising and the cruising industry" are thinking.  What many of us post on CC do influence the actions of others as to their travel plans.

 

I also believe that if one really cares about an issue/problem, directing one's concerns/opinions to those who are in a position to do something about it is more productive than just complaining on a public message board.  I have no doubt that my Senator and Representative in the Ohio General Assembly and my U. S. Senators and Representative grow weary from hearing from me.  But, they WORK for me.  Cruise line executives would not have their jobs if not for the work they do for US cruisers.  If we cruisers stopped cruising, these men and women would be unemployed.    

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21 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Re:  JCP:  a new CEO arrived with "new" ideas and plans and he "up-set the apple cart" and more recent executives hired are still trying to repair the mess he created.  Very much the same description, I think, of what has happened to HAL.  

 

Yes, there are more than a few similarities that struck me. Although I'd go farther and say that, also like JCP, HAL was already drifting vis-a-vis their competitors when that new CEO came aboard.

 

Some quotes from a CNN review of JCP's recent history that also remind me of HAL:

 

-- Penney is plagued by a "lack of understanding about what it is, what it stands for, and who it wants to serve," said Neil Saunders, an analyst at GlobalData Retail.

 

-- Johnson walked away from the old audience and assumed that a new one would appear instantly from out of the blue," Cohen explained.

 

-- Its more flexible rivals have adjusted their businesses to remain relevant. Kohl's and Nordstrom have reinvented themselves with fresh brands and hipper stores. [Celebrity, MSC anyone?] . Discount retailers, such as TJX and Ross, [Carnival?] have built loyal bases of value-focused shoppers.

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4 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Yes, there are more than a few similarities that struck me. Although I'd go farther and say that, also like JCP, HAL was already drifting vis-a-vis their competitors when that new CEO came aboard.

 

Some quotes from a CNN review of JCP's recent history that also remind me of HAL:

 

-- Penney is plagued by a "lack of understanding about what it is, what it stands for, and who it wants to serve," said Neil Saunders, an analyst at GlobalData Retail.

 

-- Johnson walked away from the old audience and assumed that a new one would appear instantly from out of the blue," Cohen explained.

 

-- Its more flexible rivals have adjusted their businesses to remain relevant. Kohl's and Nordstrom have reinvented themselves with fresh brands and hipper stores. [Celebrity, MSC anyone?] . Discount retailers, such as TJX and Ross, [Carnival?] have built loyal bases of value-focused shoppers.

 

"a lack of understanding about what it is" certainly applies to HAL. They bounce from idea to idea, tie-in to tie-in, trying to borrow identities of other companies and people instead of defining their own identity. 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

Although I'd go farther and say that, also like JCP, HAL was already drifting vis-a-vis their competitors when that new CEO came aboard.

 

Your points #1, #2, #3, I do agree with those.

 

Not sure that I can totally agree with the "drifting" when Mr. Ashford came on board.  My opinion based on what I remember and experienced during those times:  Kirk Lanterman became CEO of HAL in 1989 which was near the time that CCL acquired the Company.  He developed and built the line and helped to save this Brand from becoming extinct.  Upon his retirement, Stein Kruse appeared on the senior executive scene.  2003, Mr. Kruse became President and COO and CEO in 2004.  Mr. Kruse, in my opinion, continued the legacy that he inherited from Mr. Lanterman and tried to build upon that.  If any "drifting" began, it happened when Mr. Kruse's responsibility began to be divided between HAL and when Seabourn was added to his job description.  Compounding the potential "drifting" problem was the decision to keep increasing the size of the fleet which has made it, in my opinion again, increasingly difficult to manage.  And, manage the ships on a guest consistent basis.   The lack of consistency of the cruise product that I experience from one cruise to another has been my most recent concern and, as I read the Message Boards, others as well.

 

This issue is not confined to HAL.  My early Winter cruise on Royal Princess was disappointing.  My August cruise on Coral Princess fully met my expectations.  Another poster indicated the RCL's Hotel Director with whom he spoke indicated the same type of issues because there are so many ships to manage.

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13 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

And as for brand/customer loyalty, it may not be completely dead but it is not the factor that it once was. Recent data on millennials' brand loyalty suggests that while this group does have some brand loyalty (e.g., to their cell phones), that loyalty only goes to a point. Top reasons why millennials switch brands include: ...

 

 

You might want to enroll in a marketing MBA program. To learn the difference between sales and marketing. 

 

RCL's mega-ships attract BOTH millennial and families. Ponant's tiny ships bring together millennial and boomers with a SHARED INTEREST. 

 

In contrast, HAL is setting up a conflict between millennial and boomers. Classic cruising or cool? Young versus old!

 

While RCL and Ponant have seized on new technology to change the game, Carnival/HAL is still focused on squeezing the passengers.

 

Reminder: Always blame the management. Never blame the passengers.

 

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Guys, I don't know why there is so much misinformation on this forum.

 

There's the people saying that Carnival bought HAL for 'pennies'. The claims that Carnival saved HAL from bankruptcy. Here's the last one, comparing HAL to JC Penny.

 

They are not the same. Classic cruising has its fan, willing to pay premium. The problem for Princess/HAL is overcapacity. Get a clear understanding of cause and effect. 

 

Baby boomers have a vast amount of equity to burn. What do American baby bloomers love? Downton Abbey which is about a fictitious family within a mythical community (Seasons 1-2). Is Viking Cruises expanding?

 

Department stores like JC Penny and Macy have faced negative trends for many years. Brands are advertising and selling directly to its customers. 

 

I have replaced my wardrobe with technically superior clothes from Uniqlo stores. From socks to technical outerwear. Have not bought clothes from The Bay for years. So, branding has trumped the convenience of a department store.

 

As companies like JC Penny struggled to maintain margins, online shopping arrived. There are just too many redundant brick-mortar stores, and department stores will need to downsize.

 

For comparison, Barnes and Noble have a small online presence. But, they're still alive because the number of brick-mortar competitors has shrunk.


Please check the facts before you post.

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55 minutes ago, HappyInVan said:


Please check the facts before you post.

 

I do. 

 

Your facts just seem to differ from everyone else's. 

 

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3 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

Guys, I don't know why there is so much misinformation on this forum.

 

There's the people saying that Carnival bought HAL for 'pennies'. The claims that Carnival saved HAL from bankruptcy.................................................

 

Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc. purchased HAL for U.S. $625 million in 1989

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Instead of posting & complaining on this board maybe we should all write to head office to let then know why & what we're complaining about.  

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6 hours ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc. purchased HAL for U.S. $625 million in 1989

 I may be incorrect but i believe it was a hostile take over.. they were about to be purchased by RCI which would have given Royal a brand a step above Celebrity then at the last minute CCL moved in to take them over..

It may not be true but, that is the way I believe I remember it.

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