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Done with HAL For Now


iceman93
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22 minutes ago, SumoCitrus said:

I don't mean to be crass in saying this, but if you're done with HAL because they are not a good cruise line for kids, that's just solidified HAL as my choice of line. There's a reason I don't cruise Disney.

 I would be concerned that more kids will be wandering aimlessly throughout the cruise.   Families will book not knowing this is not available and not find out till they board.   Not everyone researches these things.  

 

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2 hours ago, taxmantoo said:

Club HAL is NOT going away.  High Score is an addition as explained on the HAL Blog page a while ago ...

 

Appreciate you posting this but based on a thread posted a short while ago by very disappointed  parents on the Oosterdam, High Score basically replaced Club HAL on their cruise and there was no supervision.  Children were able to sign themselves in and out on their own.

 

It looks like the beginning of High Score did not go according to Captain Albert’s report.

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I think if this is indeed the decision fleet wide it is coming from corporate not from the executive team at HAL.   CCL may want to segment their various brands so they each have a niche and are not competing directly with each other.  Besides Carnival which is really advertising the family vacation I wonder which other line will be designated family.    I don’t think CCL has an adult only line but that may be in the works too.  

Edited by Mary229
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2 hours ago, kazu said:

 

Appreciate you posting this but based on a thread posted a short while ago by very disappointed  parents on the Oosterdam, High Score basically replaced Club HAL on their cruise and there was no supervision.  Children were able to sign themselves in and out on their own.

 

It looks like the beginning of High Score did not go according to Captain Albert’s report.

 

I remember that thread. It sounded like Club HAL was on its way out. I wonder if the negative response to what happened on Oosterdam prompted HAL to put that reassuring post on the blog. It really was stupid to try that out on a cruise over Thanksgiving when they had to know there would be a lot of families.

 

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The info on the HAL blog was fairly clear, but unfortunately there has not been consistent messaging from HAL reps, the website, the Cruise Atlas, etc.  Given that they dorked up the Oosterdam sailings so badly (and, as reported by a CruiseCritic member who was actually on the sailing, it had NOTHING to do with high demand for the arcade which therefore calls the blog post's credibility into question), and they haven't put forth a clear and consistent position since, it's simply not worth the risk to me (and apparently at least one other cruiser who cancelled today for the same reason).

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I have had 4 different responses from HAL about this. The most common one is this: 

 

High Score will be rolled out on all ships by 2021. This means that Club HAL is only available for children aged 3-6.

 

High Score: children from 7+ will be lumped in together with teenagers up to 17 years. Parents will also be allowed in the arcade (with other people's unattended children!). Children will be allowed to sign themselves in and out which means that there will be a higher number of children roaming the ship on their own.

 

This doesn't serve families who do wish to travel HAL or people who prefer children to be seen and not heard. 

 

Club HAL should remain available for children up to at least 12 years old. The idea of my under 12 kids being lumped in with teenagers, with minimal supervision is scary. 

Edited by shudie
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I really enjoy HAL but am left scratching my head at several of their decisions the past couple of years... declining entertainment and now getting rid of children's programming? It seems (pun intended) no one is driving the ship. There seems to me to be a lack of focus and direction from the top.

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Change is a necessary constant. One of the charges leading to Socrates' capital punishment was that he corrupted the morals of the youth. A story, perhaps apocryphal, has it that an ancient tablet was discovered, covered in symbols representing a previously unknown language. Once translated after years of scholarship and painstaking effort, it was found to be a screed bemoaning the younger generation's lack of respect for history and traditions.

 

I really enjoy HAL. I used to love the Adagio Strings; now I'm a huge fan of Lincoln Center Stage. A few hallmarks of HAL, I suppose, are dealbreakers: that's how I feel about the onboard services of a Catholic priest. If HAL discarded this feature, I would howl -- but where else I would go to fill the gap? Maybe switch to all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana.

 

I have come to liken HAL to GM's Buick line. It's not a Lexus, and it's not a Chevrolet either. I like the niche Buick occupies, and I like the niche HAL occupies. Buicks have evolved over the years. I'm sure some families who used to rely on Buick station wagons were upset when GM killed that model but they eventually embraced the SUV -- or else they switched to a Chrysler Odyssey minivan. (Incidentally, the reason the Buick line survives whereas Pontiac died is that for reasons that mystify GM management the consuming public in China realllllllly took a shine to Buicks. Go figure.)

 

If HAL stops changing it will die. I'm glad -- very glad -- that we get to vent on Cruise Critic, and the insights into each other's care-abouts are hugely beneficial. But I for one don't believe for a minute that the changes being made, whether they have their origins at CCL or HAL or Mr. Orlando personally, mean that HAL is going to hell in a handbasket.

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Yes, change happens. I like some of HAL's changes and don't like others, but I accept that many people like some of the things I don't.

 

I don't have kids, so Club HAL isn't a personal issue for me. If HAL wanted to dump the program entirely and be less family-friendly, that would be their decision to make. I think it would be a bad one because it further solidifies the "old people" image, but I'm an "old people," so it wouldn't drive me away from HAL. 

 

But the way the new set-up lumps a wide range of kids together is worse than completely dumping Club HAL. What happened on the Oo at Thanksgiving bothers me a lot on principle. I taught those ages, I know how different they are, and I would NOT lump them together. 

 

Maybe the arcade will turn out to be an extra and Club HAL will remain as it is. But at the moment, HAL doesn't seem to be able to reliably explain what they're doing with the kid program and on which ships they're doing it.  I can understand a parent of young kids being nervous about booking with HAL. 

 

Edited by 3rdGenCunarder
typo
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The father of a friend of ours bought a new Cadillac every two or three years for a long time.  Not certain if it was habit or a status symbol thing with him.

 

Until the day he happened to stop at a Lexus store  while killing time to meet his spouse.  He drove a Lexus from that time forward.

 

People change.  It really is not that difficult to change from Celebrity to HAL or HAL to Princess.  Unlike the Cadillac/Lexus situation, they are much of the same.  You only have to buy one cruise, not marry the cruise line through sickness and through health.....

Edited by iancal
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We had heard that HAL catered to an older demographic, which was fine with us, and we did find it to be true.  Our cruise probably had fewer than 20 children, all very well behaved.  I can't speak about Club HAL because if it was up and running, I never knew it -- I never saw or heard any children's activities going on.

 

My husband and I did notice, though, how much the activities were geared to senior citizens.  Here are some items that were on our daily schedule:  "Arthritis Pain Relief through Acupuncture"; "Diminish Swollen Ankles and Fluid Retention"; "Wrinkle Remedies"; "Advanced Facial Rejuvenation" -- we actually cracked up at some of the offerings!  I thought, "what's next -- how to choose adult undergarments wisely?"

 

I understand trying to cater to your demographic, but I thought some of these choices were a bit ridiculous -- I mean, we're on a cruise to have fun, not to go to a class about fluid retention.  Not only that, but it made me feel a little sorry for the younger adults who were on our cruise -- activities like that must have made them feel they had chosen a "geezers" cruise.

 

I think HAL is making a mistake if they go too overboard (pun unintended) in catering to seniors.  I think it's fine to offer entertainment geared to an older crowd -- dancin' to the oldies, a Beatles tribute, Planet Earth and classical music specials, trivia, and even bingo -- but I think they could dial back on some of the blatant "geriatric" stuff.  That was actually a turn-off for me, and I'm 70!

 

I loved sailing on Holland America and would do so again in a heartbeat, but I would like to see them remain family-friendly for inter-generational groups, and also to remember that even us 70-and-older folks are pretty vibrant and young at heart and don't need our cruises centered around wrinkles and arthritis.

 

 

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1 hour ago, RAS4331 said:

We had heard that HAL catered to an older demographic, which was fine with us, and we did find it to be true.  Our cruise probably had fewer than 20 children, all very well behaved.  I can't speak about Club HAL because if it was up and running, I never knew it -- I never saw or heard any children's activities going on.

 

My husband and I did notice, though, how much the activities were geared to senior citizens.  Here are some items that were on our daily schedule:  "Arthritis Pain Relief through Acupuncture"; "Diminish Swollen Ankles and Fluid Retention"; "Wrinkle Remedies"; "Advanced Facial Rejuvenation" -- we actually cracked up at some of the offerings!  I thought, "what's next -- how to choose adult undergarments wisely?"

 

I understand trying to cater to your demographic, but I thought some of these choices were a bit ridiculous -- I mean, we're on a cruise to have fun, not to go to a class about fluid retention.  Not only that, but it made me feel a little sorry for the younger adults who were on our cruise -- activities like that must have made them feel they had chosen a "geezers" cruise.

 

I think HAL is making a mistake if they go too overboard (pun unintended) in catering to seniors.  I think it's fine to offer entertainment geared to an older crowd -- dancin' to the oldies, a Beatles tribute, Planet Earth and classical music specials, trivia, and even bingo -- but I think they could dial back on some of the blatant "geriatric" stuff.  That was actually a turn-off for me, and I'm 70!

 

I loved sailing on Holland America and would do so again in a heartbeat, but I would like to see them remain family-friendly for inter-generational groups, and also to remember that even us 70-and-older folks are pretty vibrant and young at heart and don't need our cruises centered around wrinkles and arthritis.

 

 

 

Amen! From your lips to HAL's ear. . . .

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I strongly suspect that those so called activities for seniors are all about revenue.  
 

The first session is the hook.  The following sessions will all be about a pay for service ‘opportunity’ to resolve/relieve those issues.  
 

The only session on fluid retention that we would attend would be the one held in the bar or lounge.  During serving hours.

Edited by iancal
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23 hours ago, iceman93 said:

The info on the HAL blog was fairly clear, but unfortunately there has not been consistent messaging from HAL reps, the website, the Cruise Atlas, etc.  Given that they dorked up the Oosterdam sailings so badly (and, as reported by a CruiseCritic member who was actually on the sailing, it had NOTHING to do with high demand for the arcade which therefore calls the blog post's credibility into question), and they haven't put forth a clear and consistent position since, it's simply not worth the risk to me (and apparently at least one other cruiser who cancelled today for the same reason).

 

I applaud your decision and agree with your reasoning.  It is preposterous to me that HAL cannot seem able to clearly communicate the services and amenities that it offers on a ship.  I know that this experience would also not give me the confidence to make a booking either.

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Celebrity has their "kids sail free" promotions that put more kids on the ships, especially 7 day cruises during breaks. The Elite and Zenith members are having a time adjusting to all the changes over there but X is def going for the younger demographic. You could yry them. Or Royal, of course.

 

I wouldnt mind if hal stuck to their "mature adult" demographic.

Edited by Jammu2
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Just to be slightly argumentative, All-adult cruising is not only for old people.  Many young adults like to be only with adults and it does seem to be a trend.   Also people of maturity can and are very active, healthy people.  Some people like HAL for the more sedate setting without the big price tag.  I think that is style, not age.  Just my opinion to counter those who consider HAL a nursing home.  

 

I have sailed many lines but I have sailed HAL since my late 20s and never felt isolated.  

 

Finally to Club HAL.  It is an operational expense like any other and has to be subject to cost analysis like any other expense.  It also comes with a rather large legal liability and that may be a larger burden than we know.  

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2 hours ago, Mary229 said:

Just to be slightly argumentative, All-adult cruising is not only for old people.  Many young adults like to be only with adults and it does seem to be a trend.   Also people of maturity can and are very active, healthy people.  Some people like HAL for the more sedate setting without the big price tag.  I think that is style, not age.  Just my opinion to counter those who consider HAL a nursing home.  

 

I have sailed many lines but I have sailed HAL since my late 20s and never felt isolated.  

 

Finally to Club HAL.  It is an operational expense like any other and has to be subject to cost analysis like any other expense.  It also comes with a rather large legal liability and that may be a larger burden than we know.  

 

I agree that kid-free cruising doesn't automatically mean the ship is a nursing home. But for many people, HAL's image is "cruises for seniors." Becoming less family-friendly will only add to that image. 

 

If HAL wants to reduce the cost of running Club HAL, I'd rather see them get rid of it than have the mess that was reported about the Oo at Thanksgiving. There's more liability in a loosely run program than a well structured program.

 

 

 

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I'm OK with HAL not having a beefed up kids program.  I have enjoyed cruises with less kids now that ours are grown up.  When they were young we did the Disney/Carnival circuit with them and they had a blast, but I rather enjoy lounging by a pool that is not full of kids.  I enjoy not hearing small feet pounding the hallways or playing in the elevators.  The OP will find their "niche" for the few years their kids are younger if HAL is not fitting the ticket right now.  Time goes fast.  But even when my kids were young they loved getting dressed and going to the dining room and they enjoyed doing things with "us" parents also so it's never an either/or decision.  I do tend to agree that they either fully embrace the kids club or just discard it entirely. 

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1 hour ago, conwakr said:

I'm OK with HAL not having a beefed up kids program.

 

Now, that your children are grown 😉 and you don’t need it 😉 

1 hour ago, conwakr said:

I I enjoy not hearing small feet pounding the hallways or playing in the elevators.  The OP will find their "niche" for the few years their kids are younger if HAL is not fitting the ticket right now. 

 

 

You miss the point - with Club HAL you don’t have children playing in the hallways or in the elevators.  Club HAL prevents such incidents.

 

Without it, you may well find that on HAL.  Just saying 😉 

I don’t take children on a cruise but I do think HAL is a good thing and I do think encouraging families to come is great.  JMO of course.

 

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10 hours ago, Mary229 said:

 Also people of maturity can and are very active, healthy people.

 

One of the reasons this "mature" adult chooses HAL is because of the cruise line's recognition that a growing number of seniors enjoy playing pickleball, and appears to have made a conscious decision to provide the necessary space and programming for us to engage in a healthy activity.

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5 hours ago, daisy-mae said:

 

One of the reasons this "mature" adult chooses HAL is because of the cruise line's recognition that a growing number of seniors enjoy playing pickleball, and appears to have made a conscious decision to provide the necessary space and programming for us to engage in a healthy activity.

And I'm not "mature" in years or any other way, probably...but I'd love to learn to play pickleball, so I hope some "mature" folks will be friendly this summer and clue me in! 🙂

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On 1/12/2020 at 8:38 AM, kazu said:

 

Now, that your children are grown 😉 and you don’t need it 😉 

 

 

You miss the point - with Club HAL you don’t have children playing in the hallways or in the elevators.  Club HAL prevents such incidents.

 

Without it, you may well find that on HAL.  Just saying 😉 

I don’t take children on a cruise but I do think HAL is a good thing and I do think encouraging families to come is great.  JMO of course.

 

 

Thank you, exactly this. 

 

The new structure is not good for families or people who enjoy sailing without children.

 

and....

 

As many of you must have experienced, sometimes you chose a cruise because of the itinerary regardless of the ship - we are taking our two on the 29 day baltic/viking passage in august this year - we wouldn't naturally have chosen HAL, mostly because of what i am hearing about the lack of entertainment (eg. we love being able to take the kids to the stage shows - for a family of 4 on land, it is $400-800 to go and see a stage production) but what other way to take our kids out of school for a term and to see the Baltic, Scandinavia, Iceland, Greenland, Canada and the US? this is a wonderful experience for children to grow into amazing young adults!!! 

 

and...

 

Not all families enjoy Disney, RC and Carnival! Our last Carnival cruise was a nightmare - unattended kids and teenagers in the pool submerging massive plastic loungers on other kids' heads and guest services didn't give two hoots.  My husband was in the spa supervising our two little ones and he was the only parent to be seen! Ugh... no thanks. 

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