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Do you Like the direction..

Right or wrong direction for Holland America Line?  

218 members have voted

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



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10 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

 

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

 

 

Some customers need to be fired, however. I have worked in retail before and management at two companies that I know first hand believed customers who complained a lot of and demanded compensation for every little thing should be told to go elsewhere. 

Edited by ChinaShrek

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9 hours ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

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

 

+1

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2 hours ago, ChinaShrek said:

 

Some customers need to be fired, however. I have worked in retail before and management at two companies that I know first hand believed customers who complained a lot of and demanded compensation for every little thing should be told to go elsewhere. 

Sorry, customer is king.

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Can someone please explain to me why HAL doesn't offer entertainment options anymore that gets people to laugh, whether it's in the form of game shows, allowing the CD to tell jokes before a show or even offering to host participative games such as scavenger hunts, Pictionary or even pouncing a ping pong ball into a cup?

 

Sure, they now have a lot of different music venues in lounge areas where they make money selling drinks, and computer classes where they teach pretty much the same things on every cruise. And of course, we can't forget the various 3rd party vendor events such as selling bamboo products, time shares and art. But where can you go on the ship in the evening and on sea days to laugh or just have fun doing something? We're in our mid 60s, love to cruise and I'm sure folks a lot younger than us like to laugh. So why has HAL eliminated the "fun" factor on their ships or are those venues there and we're just not seeing them?

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24 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Can someone please explain to me why HAL doesn't offer entertainment options anymore that gets people to laugh, whether it's in the form of game shows, allowing the CD to tell jokes before a show or even offering to host participative games such as scavenger hunts, Pictionary or even pouncing a ping pong ball into a cup?

 

Sure, they now have a lot of different music venues in lounge areas where they make money selling drinks, and computer classes where they teach pretty much the same things on every cruise. And of course, we can't forget the various 3rd party vendor events such as selling bamboo products, time shares and art. But where can you go on the ship in the evening and on sea days to laugh or just have fun doing something? We're in our mid 60s, love to cruise and I'm sure folks a lot younger than us like to laugh. So why has HAL eliminated the "fun" factor on their ships or are those venues there and we're just not seeing them?

 

Perhaps there isn't enough participation to make it worth allocating staff to these activities?  

I toss this out because DH was bored and went to a pickle ball competition, which was pretty much the only amusement offered,  and nobody else showed up.  People are glued to their devices.  Sad.

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31 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Can someone please explain to me why HAL doesn't offer entertainment options anymore that gets people to laugh, whether it's in the form of game shows, allowing the CD to tell jokes before a show or even offering to host participative games such as scavenger hunts, Pictionary or even pouncing a ping pong ball into a cup?

 

Sure, they now have a lot of different music venues in lounge areas where they make money selling drinks, and computer classes where they teach pretty much the same things on every cruise. And of course, we can't forget the various 3rd party vendor events such as selling bamboo products, time shares and art. But where can you go on the ship in the evening and on sea days to laugh or just have fun doing something? We're in our mid 60s, love to cruise and I'm sure folks a lot younger than us like to laugh. So why has HAL eliminated the "fun" factor on their ships or are those venues there and we're just not seeing them?

 

You gave an answer to your own question, "lounges where they make money selling drinks." If there's no money to be made, HAL seems not to be interested. Yes, I know, passenger satisfaction is worth something. But management and bean counters are looking at site-specific revenues to see what's "worth it" to them. So almost no CD staff, no library, etc.

 

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40 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Can someone please explain to me why HAL doesn't offer entertainment options anymore that gets people to laugh, whether it's in the form of game shows, allowing the CD to tell jokes before a show or even offering to host participative games such as scavenger hunts, Pictionary or even pouncing a ping pong ball into a cup?

 

Sure, they now have a lot of different music venues in lounge areas where they make money selling drinks, and computer classes where they teach pretty much the same things on every cruise. And of course, we can't forget the various 3rd party vendor events such as selling bamboo products, time shares and art. But where can you go on the ship in the evening and on sea days to laugh or just have fun doing something? We're in our mid 60s, love to cruise and I'm sure folks a lot younger than us like to laugh. So why has HAL eliminated the "fun" factor on their ships or are those venues there and we're just not seeing them?

 

This is actually an area that I feel is a differentiator for HAL. Unfortunately, their direction is not to your liking. However others may not really seek out those types of entertainment or HAL may not feel it's in their core wheelhouse.

 

I was on Regal Princess in her first year. Have to say I am just not a big fan of a lot of the entertainment that depends on passenger participation. It reminds me of reality TV. Some trivia -- okay fine. But I'm just not into all of the silly (yes, I find them silly) passenger "game shows" in their dedicated lounge for this activity. 

 

I also am emphatically NOT a fan of cruise directors who try to be entertainers -- whether they insist on singing or telling jokes (or something else) prior to introducing the 'real' talent. I always find it rather uncomfortably self-promotional, and especially so when the CD isn't actually very good, as seems to be the case more often than not.

 

Maybe that makes me sound like a stick in the mud -- I assure you I'm not. I enjoy a late night comedy sketch show onboard certain ships as much as the next person. But I just find that a lot of the 'manufactured' fun at customer expense is very amateur. I'd rather enjoy a classical concert, a GOOD comedian (anyone experience/remember Sarge?), or Cirque-type show. Even a good lecture from a true expert.

 

I know I'd enjoy what Celebrity has just introduced on a few limited cruises -- a couple of dancers from American Ballet Theater presenting some classic ballet highlights.

 

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20 hours 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.  

 

An article in today's paper caught my eye because it was about the new CEO and the changes JCP is making to definite itself. Apparently, they're focusing on what has done well for them in the past (clothing and accessories) and shedding what hasn't done well (major appliances). In that focus, they've tried to improve the in-store experience, starting with dressing rooms--brighter lighting, better mirrors, and a gimmick--you can borrow a Polaroid camera to get a picture of yourself in a potential outfit. They say it's improving sales, and as someone who likes to try something on--and has bought things I wasn't sure would look good until I did try them on--I see how it helps.

 

That alone won't save them, but they're going for customer experience, so at least it's a focus/direction, which new CEO admitted JCP had lost. She also said that feedback is that a lot of people browse online but like the idea of going to the store to actually see the clothing and try it on. Their take is that internet traffic may not result in internet sales, but it does get people to think about what JCP is selling and check it out in the stores. 

 

HAL's strength has always been good service. Not flashy, but perhaps they need to find a way promote that.

 

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3 hours ago, rucrazy said:

 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.

 

During that time (1987), Carnival's aim was directed at the mass market (it still is) and it was the fastest expanding cruise company in the world with a very aggressive new built program. It was looking to get into the 'premium' market and therefor initiated a study called the "Tiffany project." Carnival first attempted to take over its primary competitor, Royal Caribbean Cruise line, in 1988 however, this endeavor failed. It then set its eyes on HAL with which it competed directly in the Caribbean on seven-day cruises. Holland America Line, due to the aggressive expansion of Carnival, felt the this competition severely, and it did not look as if it would be able to survive if Carnival continued to grow.

 

At the time of the takeover on 15 January 1989, which included HAL, Windstar Cruises and Westours, Carnival owned seven cruise ships with several on order, while HAL owned four ships (Rotterdam V, Westerdam II - the former Home Lines' Homeric which HAL itself had taken over in 1988 - and the two "N"-class ships, Nieuw Amsterdam III and Noordam III). It could be called a hostile takeover however, it wound up benefiting both companies in the end. 

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26 minutes ago, Copper10-8 said:

 It could be called a hostile takeover however, it wound up benefiting both companies in the end. 

I had heard.... that it was at that time RCI was in negotiations to acquire HAL and because CCL wanted to dominate the world of cruising it did a last minute swoop in and the rest as they say is history.. I got this from a friend long time ago who was a  F&B  on Royal.

@Copper10-8 have i heard that story wrong?.He told stories of running into CCL senior people at airports and how they would joke "we are coming for you!"

 

Joseph

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1 hour ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

You gave an answer to your own question, "lounges where they make money selling drinks." If there's no money to be made, HAL seems not to be interested. Yes, I know, passenger satisfaction is worth something. But management and bean counters are looking at site-specific revenues to see what's "worth it" to them. So almost no CD staff, no library, etc.

 

Bingo!

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4 minutes ago, rucrazy said:

I had heard.... that it was at that time RCI was in negotiations to acquire HAL and because CCL wanted to dominate the world of cruising it did a last minute swoop in and the rest as they say is history.. I got this from a friend long time ago who was a  F&B  on Royal.

@Copper10-8 have i heard that story wrong?.He told stories of running into CCL senior people at airports and how they would joke "we are coming for you!"

 

Joseph

 

I have never heard that theory before Joseph, only that Carnival tried to acquire RCCL (no RCI yet at that time) but failed in that effort. Captain Albert Schoonderbeek, on his blog, would be a good one to ask

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1 hour ago, AncientWanderer said:

 

Perhaps there isn't enough participation to make it worth allocating staff to these activities?  

I toss this out because DH was bored and went to a pickle ball competition, which was pretty much the only amusement offered,  and nobody else showed up.  People are glued to their devices.  Sad.

Funny, that's not the experience I've had on Princess and Celebrity cruises. They are usually packed pretty good! But I have to admit, watching a pickle ball tournament doesn't sound all that exciting.

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56 minutes ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

It then set its eyes on HAL with which it competed directly in the Caribbean on seven-day cruises. Holland America Line, due to the aggressive expansion of Carnival, felt the this competition severely, and it did not look as if it would be able to survive if Carnival continued to grow.

 

 

I'm not sure that I understand this. CCL is focused on budget-fun travellers, and HAL on classic cruising. Why would competition from CCL impact HAL?

 

At the time, HAL was building their business in Alaska in competition with Princess (not yet a Carnival subsidiary). That business was worth enough for Mickey to make a generous offer. I presume that HAL's owners accepted because the prime rate was 11%.

 

I can see HAL making inquiries about selling or transferring the new ships. Then, Micky shows up on a re-bounce from the RC rejection.

 

The van der Vorm family took the money and reinvested it in startups. Today, their portion of HAL Investment is worth $9b, a third of Carnival's market cap.

Edited by HappyInVan

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2 minutes ago, HappyInVan said:

I'm not sure that I understand this. CCL is focused on budget-fun travellers, and HAL on classic cruising. Why would competition from CCL impact HAL?

 

At the time, HAL was building their business in Alaska in competition with Princess (not yet a Carnival subsidiary). That business was worth enough for Mickey to make a generous offer. I presume that HAL's owners accepted because the prime rate was 11%.

 

The van der Vorm family took the money and reinvested it in startups. Today, their portion of HAL Investment is worth $9b, a third of Carnival's market cap.

 

Primarily because Carnival, at the time, was offering cruisers, especially first-time cruisers, the same seven-day Carib itinerary for a much lower price than HAL could and that hurt HAL extensively in their pocket book. HAL has been sailing to Alaska since 1975 after it purchased a 70% interest in Westours/West Line in 1971 (increased to 85% in 1973 and 100% in 1977). 

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45 minutes ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

I have never heard that theory before Joseph, only that Carnival tried to acquire RCCL (no RCI yet at that time) but failed in that effort. Captain Albert Schoonderbeek, on his blog, would be a good one to ask

Like so many things in life.... "the stories one hears!! "

 

Thanks for your understanding...as to the events that lead up to HAL being part of CCL

 

One has to wonder what the face of cruising would be like IF RCI was able to capture HAL!....hmmmmm

Edited by rucrazy

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24 minutes ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

Primarily because Carnival, at the time, was offering cruisers, especially first-time cruisers, the same seven-day Carib itinerary for a much lower price than HAL could and that hurt HAL extensively in their pocket book. HAL has been sailing to Alaska since 1975 after it purchased a 70% interest in Westours/West Line in 1971 (increased to 85% in 1973 and 100% in 1977). 

 

I presume that HAL was doing okay in Alaska.

 

The only number I have is from the news report sourced by ncpl. Said that Carnival's profits were down slightly because of the interest cost of acquiring HAL and building the Bahamas resort/casino.

 

It implies that HAL's net profits before tax was well over $60m (prime rate 11%). Which would make sense for a $625m price tag.

 

https://www.cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/15101-carnival-reports-1989-earnings.html

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4 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Funny, that's not the experience I've had on Princess and Celebrity cruises. They are usually packed pretty good! But I have to admit, watching a pickle ball tournament doesn't sound all that exciting.

 

No....it was to play pickle ball.  I don't think it's much of a spectator sport!  lol

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4 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

The van der Vorm family took the money and reinvested it in startups.

 

This is a family name with which I have never heard to the best of my recollection.  Are you willing to provide more detail about your post?

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Just read on our upcoming Australia circumnavigation cruise roll call that the folks in the HAL Sydney office said they will be upgrading the entertainment offerings on our Maasdam cruise because of all the complaints they have been receiving. Not sure if this is just a HAL Sydney initiative or if it's coming from HQ Seattle. In any event someone appears to be listening.

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4 hours ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

I have never heard that theory before Joseph, only that Carnival tried to acquire RCCL (no RCI yet at that time) but failed in that effort. Captain Albert Schoonderbeek, on his blog, would be a good one to ask

 

I agree with your post.  That was a theory that I never heard.  And, to describe the acquiring of HAL by CCL as a "hostile takeover"  is incorrect in my opinion.  

 

Mr. Arison's desire for his "Tiffany Project" was well known by those who followed the cruise industry in the 1980's.  Acquiring HAL allowed CCL (and him) to fulfill this void that he saw in his Company without having to initiate a new Brand with all of the costs associated with such.  Acquiring HAL was a win for Carnival Corporation and it most surely was a win for Holland America Line.

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5 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

Acquiring HAL was a win for Carnival Corporation and it most surely was a win for Holland America Line.

 

First part Yes

Second part Not so sure.

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1 minute ago, rucrazy said:

Second part Not so sure.

 

If CCL had not acquired them, the company would not be here today.  HAL corporate at that time needed $$.  They did not have it.  New ships were needed in order to be competitive.  The acquisition provided that with the first ship being the first of the S Class ships, the Statendam.

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15 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

This is a family name with which I have never heard to the best of my recollection.  Are you willing to provide more detail about your post?

 

Google might help, but the family is very low profile (and there's no reason they shouldn't be). They own a lot but won't give interviews, not even in their own newspaper. 

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