Jump to content

Loving to Hate Hal


Recommended Posts

16 hours ago, Stateroom_Sailor said:

 

Carnival is often the most expensive mass market cruise line in Alaska too.  Too few ships, too many loyalists.  I've mentioned it on their forum, and most claimed that they liked their product, needed the points / status, or were willing to pay extra for the value (?).

 

That is a surprise since Carnival operates some of the oldest ships in the industry. They have not retired a ship since 2009.

 

Actually, Princess (supposed to be a premium brand) has larger revenues than Carnival. They have planned addition of 780k GT. Carnival only 525k GT. HAL only one ship 100k.

 

Got to wonder what's going on in corporate HQ?

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

 

That is a surprise since Carnival operates some of the oldest ships in the industry. They have not retired a ship since 2009.

 

Actually, Princess (supposed to be a premium brand) has larger revenues than Carnival. They have planned addition of 780k GT. Carnival only 525k GT. HAL only one ship 100k.

 

Got to wonder what's going on in corporate HQ?

 

 

Prices seem a bit more reasonable in 2020, a deal for a veranda even, probably because they are using both the Carnival Miracle and Spirit.  In the last couple years, just one ship, if memory serves me right.  I think it had more to do with the size of the passenger base and limited presence in Alaska, creating a scarcity. 

 

Interesting projections and maneuvering from Carnival Corporation, Princess may become their main squeeze financially.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/1/2019 at 9:07 AM, cruisemom42 said:

 

I believe there are some, of which I'm one, who would be willing to see prices go up in order to not have to see the many cut-backs and changes that lead to dissatisfaction with a product. Of course, others will not feel the same way, but what I think is lacking is a line that is priced, shall we say, mid-way between the fares HAL charges now and those charged by a Viking or Oceania, for an experience that is more in keeping with HAL's tradition (yet not as 'inclusive' or quite as 'premium' as the other lines....)

 

This, I believe, encapsulates the valid complaints about HAL’s recent evolution (or should I say “devolution”?).

 

Until about a decade ago HAL filled a niche between the mass market represented by Carnival, NCL and Royal Caribbean and the truly premium lines.  While Princess and Celebrity were also a notch above those three, they lacked the traditional ship design and top-of-the-line service which were unique to HAL - whose slightly smaller ships were also notable.

 

I agree that HAL has held fares down - but that has been done at the cost of giving up many of the small touches: fresh OJ at breakfast, fresh flowers throughout, live music in several venues, including at dinner — while replacing their smaller ships with ever larger, less traditional ones.

 

Management seemed to think it was necessary to seek a wider customer base - without recognizing that there is a continuing flow of the older population (real grown ups) to fill bunks. They have broadened their appeal, they have held fares down - but they have given up a special niche which would have permitted them to charge the higher fares to maintain profitability — by focusing on price competition rather than upon their distinctive product which gave them a true competitive advantage. Just as GM decided to give up the Oldsmobile brand as it lost identity separating it from Buick and Pontiac, Carnival Corp. may come to realize they do not need another Princess - which itself seems to be drawing closer to the bottom line Carnival.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, navybankerteacher said:

Until about a decade ago HAL filled a niche between the mass market represented by Carnival, NCL and Royal Caribbean and the truly premium lines.  While Princess and Celebrity were also a notch above those three, they lacked the traditional ship design and top-of-the-line service which were unique to HAL - whose slightly smaller ships were also notable.

 

I see people talk about HAL's service being top notch quite a bit on these boards and I agree that on my first HAL cruise back in 2012, I thought the service was excellent.  However, since then, I haven't seen anything about HAL service that makes it better than other lines.  In fact, judging by my last cruise, I wouldn't even put it in the top 3 of mass market lines.  MDR service was a mess and while my room attendant got the job done, he told me he had 29 rooms.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Aquahound said:

 

I see people talk about HAL's service being top notch quite a bit on these boards and I agree that on my first HAL cruise back in 2012, I thought the service was excellent.  However, since then, I haven't seen anything about HAL service that makes it better than other lines.  In fact, judging by my last cruise, I wouldn't even put it in the top 3 of mass market lines.  MDR service was a mess and while my room attendant got the job done, he told me he had 29 rooms.  

This had to be the outcome of HAL’s management deciding to compete with Royal Caribbean and NCL (as well as sister brand Princess) on the basis of price.  Holding down fares means having to hold down expenses, which necessitates cutting costs: on food quality, entertainment quality, and service quality.

 

What used to be a distinctly superior experience has been cheapened. The result is that people who want a quality experience need to make the full jump to a premium line.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Aquahound said:

and while my room attendant got the job done, he told me he had 29 rooms.  

When we started cruising each steward worked alone and had about 15 rooms to take care of. Now each two-steward team has about 30 rooms. I think the reason the change was done was to have more continuous coverage when one man takes a break or is off duty, but the total work load per man is about the same as in the past.

Edited by catl331
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that some of the complainers, are closet cheerleaders.  Probably true for any brand.   I remember the broad negativity when Celebrity cut fresh squeezed OJ from their buffet about 4 years ago, and the moaning was in my opinion, over the top.  "How much more of this can we take?  What cruise line should we all jump too?"

 

Now that X has introduced more controversial changes and procedures, criticism is no longer well received.  Some of the orange juice quitters, basically got called out on their bluff, and the picket signs got replaced by pom pons.

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎10‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 11:02 AM, catl331 said:

When we started cruising each steward worked alone and had about 15 rooms to take care of. Now each two-steward team has about 30 rooms. I think the reason the change was done was to have more continuous coverage when one man takes a break or is off duty, but the total work load per man is about the same as in the past.

 

Perhaps, but I remember the days of the room attendant greeting you at your room on embarkation day, introducing themselves, asking about meal times, special requests, etc.  This hasn't been my experience on my last couple HAL cruises.  Now, it seems you meet your room attendant sometime around day 2, and that's only because you run into them in the hall.  So, something has changed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We’ve been cruising with HAL for over 20 years, and the steward situation has not really changed as respects being greeted day one. This is not the case with other lines we’ve sailed with.  I really like getting their calling card, as I’m not as great with names as I once was.  

We’ve been on other lines and come back to HAL because it appeals to us personally and, thus far, hasn’t disappointed.  I wonder how much of the whining that seems so prevalent is not just the result of the general societal tendency towards negativity.  The relative anonymity of online forums enables the worst in some to emerge.  As a result, we see the picking apart of every little thing.  Take the trial run of charging for a second entree in the MDR, for example. I see it less as a grab for revenue and more as an effort to reduce waste, and as such I would applaud it heartily.  The amount of excess food - that people take out just because they can - that ends up being trashed on these ships is appalling. But enough people fussed that they ditched the plan.  Complainers gonna complain.  I’m trying hard to keep the whining from drowning out my enjoyment of the experience.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, momilani said:

We’ve been cruising with HAL for over 20 years, and the steward situation has not really changed as respects being greeted day one. This is not the case with other lines we’ve sailed with.  I really like getting their calling card, as I’m not as great with names as I once was.  

We’ve been on other lines and come back to HAL because it appeals to us personally and, thus far, hasn’t disappointed.  I wonder how much of the whining that seems so prevalent is not just the result of the general societal tendency towards negativity.  The relative anonymity of online forums enables the worst in some to emerge.  As a result, we see the picking apart of every little thing.  Take the trial run of charging for a second entree in the MDR, for example. I see it less as a grab for revenue and more as an effort to reduce waste, and as such I would applaud it heartily.  The amount of excess food - that people take out just because they can - that ends up being trashed on these ships is appalling. But enough people fussed that they ditched the plan.  Complainers gonna complain.  I’m trying hard to keep the whining from drowning out my enjoyment of the experience.


And yet, this was a very whiny post. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, momilani said:

We’ve been cruising with HAL for over 20 years, and the steward situation has not really changed as respects being greeted day one. This is not the case with other lines we’ve sailed with.  I really like getting their calling card, as I’m not as great with names as I once was.  

We’ve been on other lines and come back to HAL because it appeals to us personally and, thus far, hasn’t disappointed.  I wonder how much of the whining that seems so prevalent is not just the result of the general societal tendency towards negativity.  The relative anonymity of online forums enables the worst in some to emerge.  As a result, we see the picking apart of every little thing.  Take the trial run of charging for a second entree in the MDR, for example. I see it less as a grab for revenue and more as an effort to reduce waste, and as such I would applaud it heartily.  The amount of excess food - that people take out just because they can - that ends up being trashed on these ships is appalling. But enough people fussed that they ditched the plan.  Complainers gonna complain.  I’m trying hard to keep the whining from drowning out my enjoyment of the experience.

You have an interesting point of view.  Perhaps the "suits" in Seattle will read your post and decide that waiters should start checking everyone's plate (when they are finished) and assessing an extra charge for any left overs (I guess you would call it "waste").  I do recall once sharing a table with a lady who politely ask the waiter to just bring her a "half portion" of her main course.  As one would expect on HAL (and most lines) the waiter simply brought her the normal full portion (since getting a half portion would have likely taken extra time.  And as you might guess she did not even eat half what was on her plate.  Perhaps the waiter should be charged for serving too much food.  And consider the pre-made sandwiches in the Lido(the one's put in "classy" paper bags.)  Say a person only wants half a sandwich.  I guess they could take it out of the bag, cut of tear it in half, put half back in the bag and leave it at the buffet?  Oh Yuck!  Come to think of it, the next time I order eggs over easy I might ask for 1 1/2 eggs so that there is no waste on my plate.  And if I only want half a croissant I will just pick up one at the buffet, tear it in half, and return the rest to the buffet?    I was recently on a Princess ship and wanted half a donut at their International Café (the donuts are excellent).  When I asked the server for half a custard filled donut he just laughed and gave me 2 donuts!  I really did just want 1/2 of that custard donut (which is all I ate).  Was the waste my fault?  Should I have made a scene and insisted he cut that cream donut in half and serve the other half to another person (as the custard oozed out)?

 

In all seriousness I do get the jist of your post, but policy changes always seem to have unintended consequences.

 

Hank

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

You have an interesting point of view.  Perhaps the "suits" in Seattle will read your post and decide that waiters should start checking everyone's plate (when they are finished) and assessing an extra charge for any left overs (I guess you would call it "waste").  I do recall once sharing a table with a lady who politely ask the waiter to just bring her a "half portion" of her main course.  As one would expect on HAL (and most lines) the waiter simply brought her the normal full portion (since getting a half portion would have likely taken extra time.  And as you might guess she did not even eat half what was on her plate.  Perhaps the waiter should be charged for serving too much food.  And consider the pre-made sandwiches in the Lido(the one's put in "classy" paper bags.)  Say a person only wants half a sandwich.  I guess they could take it out of the bag, cut of tear it in half, put half back in the bag and leave it at the buffet?  Oh Yuck!  Come to think of it, the next time I order eggs over easy I might ask for 1 1/2 eggs so that there is no waste on my plate.  And if I only want half a croissant I will just pick up one at the buffet, tear it in half, and return the rest to the buffet?    I was recently on a Princess ship and wanted half a donut at their International Café (the donuts are excellent).  When I asked the server for half a custard filled donut he just laughed and gave me 2 donuts!  I really did just want 1/2 of that custard donut (which is all I ate).  Was the waste my fault?  Should I have made a scene and insisted he cut that cream donut in half and serve the other half to another person (as the custard oozed out)?

 

In all seriousness I do get the jist of your post, but policy changes always seem to have unintended consequences.

 

Hank

 

 

 

I was referring primarily to the Lido plate loading Olympics, or ordering multiples in the MDR “just for a taste.”  It happens. Sorry you misunderstood.  Just an observation on my part - the nitpicking kind of supports my initial point about the liberties of anonymity.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/7/2019 at 5:35 PM, Aquahound said:

 

Perhaps, but I remember the days of the room attendant greeting you at your room on embarkation day, introducing themselves, asking about meal times, special requests, etc.  This hasn't been my experience on my last couple HAL cruises.  Now, it seems you meet your room attendant sometime around day 2, and that's only because you run into them in the hall.  So, something has changed.

 

Interesting.  That hasn’t been my experience.  One of our stewards always visits our room, gives us their names and cards, asks our dining time, if we need anything special (ice, etc.).

 

Mind you, I’ve been on smaller ships over the last few cruises  I guess I’ll see soon enough when we are back on a Vista class.

Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

Interesting.  That hasn’t been my experience.  One of our stewards always visits our room, gives us their names and cards, asks our dining time, if we need anything special (ice, etc.).

 

Mind you, I’ve been on smaller ships over the last few cruises  I guess I’ll see soon enough when we are back on a Vista class.

 

FWIW, our cabin steward on our recent Zuiderdam cruise introduced himself on embarkation day, asked if everything is OK, if we needed anything, etc.    It has always been the case that I have met my cabin steward that first day - and we ask for an extra bar of soap for the shower as DH Is not fussy on shower gels.    Cabin steward replenishes supply of that extra bar when he sees that it is near finished - no further requests needed!

 

Hopefully on your Vista class sailings you should have same experience you previously had on embarkation day on smaller  HAL ships.

 

Carol

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Q&A with Chris Prelog, President of Windstar Cruises!
      • Register Now for Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Royal Caribbean
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...