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Any news from the Amsterdam?


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Like many people this year the enforced lockdown and general restrictions have given me a lot of time to think about life and what I still want to do, and though for many years I didn’t think I wanted to - I am now planning to do a world cruise (or substantial grand voyage)

It will be at least 2 years away and obviously Covid dependent, but I am allowing myself the luxury of planning and considering must sees etc.

I am based in the UK and will consider some U.K./European lines as well.

One of the factors I plan to take into account is how well the various lines coped with the pandemic this year . Looking at HAL my view at the time was that they didn’t do as well as they could have for their passengers. Is that fair?

I thought it was poor leaving pax to try and organise their own way home with restricted WiFi. The financial budget to do this at US $1250 also seemed poor.

Would any of those who were on that cruise mind giving me their thoughts? Did HAL follow up well  post cruise and offer reasonable recompense for the missing half of the cruise ? Did they leave you to the mercies of your insurance companies?

Thanks in advance for any comments

 

 

 

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On March 16th, Captain Jonathan made the announcement we had to leave the Amsterdam. That very same day, we gave our travel wishes to our Travel Agency Hosts onboard. They were taking the details and sending to them to their Seattle Office so that agents could book flights for all their client, of which there were almost 300. Since we wanted to use air miles, I immediately checked our United account on the same day, discovering I had enough for a one way flight from Perth to California. We made the decision to fly ANA to Japan and home. I booked the flight and told our TA we didn’t need a flight booked. Many others did the same as us. Some passengers had booked used Flight Ease from HAL to begin the cruise. HAL booked their homeward bound flights. 
 

At first HAL wasn’t going to help with flights for those who didn’t have a TA onboard or Flight Ease, but so many flights were getting cancelled and probably many passengers were complaining so they relented and helped book flights for the rest. Only day I had problems with the internet was on the 17th, the day after we booked our flight. I believe part of the problem was so many people logged on trying to book flights or rebook flights that were cancelled.

 

Since we used free air miles for our Business Class seats, I truly didn’t expect anything back from HAL. But we did a get $1250 each that was promised. Yes, it was frustrating to have the cruise end so abruptly. Lots of people thought HAL could have done more. But with 1200 people onboard and only a small staff in Guest Services, I thought they did a remarkable job. As did Shore excursion staff who pitched in to help. Staff worked around the clock to help everyone. 
 

When you travel, you have to be prepared for the unexpected. And when we do the next World, we will definitely have the air miles available to help us get home in the future since one way air is so extremely expensive. Looking back, we had a wonderful cruise and an enjoyable adventure getting home. 
 

We were given a more than generous settlement for the interrupted cruise that definitely not was of their making: 125% FCC or 50% cash and 50% FCC of the total price of the cruise minus port and taxes.  I thought this was extremely generous considering that we had been on the ship for 80 of 128 day cruise.

Edited by Storylady
Another paragraph.
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17 hours ago, gadabout60 said:

One of the factors I plan to take into account is how well the various lines coped with the pandemic this year . Looking at HAL my view at the time was that they didn’t do as well as they could have for their passengers. Is that fair?

Did any of the cruise lines do a good job dealing with the pandemic? 

 

There were some really disasters, think Diamond Princess and more than likely those that got handled ok, never made any big press splash, so we did not hear about it. Its not something they probably planned for and I suspect a they really had to wing it a bit in a extremely fluid environment. 

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I had forgotten that travel agents were on board - that’s not something you see in the UK.

It seemed to me that Viking and P&O both handled things a bit better

Some passengers are better than others obviously but I still think HAL should have organised flights and transfers for everyone unless the passenger opted out. Might have been nice to have sat out the virus in Western Australia - I have an open invitation to stay with a friend in Bunbury but maybe not for 3 plus months!

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2 hours ago, gadabout60 said:

It seemed to me that Viking and P&O both handled things a bit better

Its probably for a different thread but we were looking into Viking World next time just to see the difference. Its more $$ but more inclusive and some folks seem to like (others not) this cruise line (We have never sailed on Viking..yet). For you it begins in US but ends in UK so may be worth it.

 

For this cruise, we never had any COVID issues on board but HAL knew the difficulties coming up with getting into ports so that was the reason for disembarking. We had issues with internet and getting flights on our own (which were being cancelled as they were being made) and Aussie authorities changing procedures and plans but in hindsight, things went well for the most part. HAL treats us like family, but even the President's (Orlando) family waited more than an hour for transportation to show up to take them from the terminal so its was equal treatment for everyone. 

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3 hours ago, gadabout60 said:

I had forgotten that travel agents were on board - that’s not something you see in the UK.

It seemed to me that Viking and P&O both handled things a bit better

Some passengers are better than others obviously but I still think HAL should have organised flights and transfers for everyone unless the passenger opted out. Might have been nice to have sat out the virus in Western Australia - I have an open invitation to stay with a friend in Bunbury but maybe not for 3 plus months!

That was my biggest gripe.  I thought charter flights would be setup by HAL to at least get us back to the US (or wherever passengers are from).  And then the bus transfer to the airport was $59 per person which I thought was rather cheeky.  I have no complaints about what they gave us for the cancellation (in fact I thought it was generous) or the travel expenses but then we fly in the cheap seats.  They didn’t do so great with our luggage which will hopefully be home in early Oct which is over six months since we left the ship.  I know things changed on them but it seems like they could have done something sooner when they were floating of the Philippines 🇵🇭  for two months.

Edited by KirkNC
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To Gadabout60.....re your world cruise planning.

First of all....yes! You should definitely do it, but be aware that it may become addictive.😊

We have cruised on many other lines, but all our worlds have been on HAL. I agree with the comments others have made, but wanted you to also consider the "culture" of the experience onboard. Most all HAL world cruisers take the whole trip rather than than a segment, so there is more time for long term relationships to develop. As I understand it, this is not as true on some of the other Iines. Many passengers take the trip almost every year so there is a sense of family, but not to the exclusion of new members. As newbies in 2008 we were mentored well by other passengers and are still friends with many of them. The crew is a huge plus for HAL, as their worth is beyond measure....competent, kind, fun loving and totally unflappable even when we are grumpy. They too become part of the family. As Storylady said, HAL treats us like family and when they realized that we all needed wifi to make plane reservations, they made it happen. When it was clear that some had no clue how to make their own travel plans, they took care of those too. I felt their compensation package to be very generous.

Many of us really wanted them to sail us home and petitions were produced and carefully considered by Seattle. In the end, their decision not to do that was a wise one as they could not have cared for us safely in the prevailing circumstances. We have always felt safe with Holland America.

I hope you will pose your question on other boards so that you choose a trip that is the best fit for you. Most importantly.....just go and have a wonderful time.

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7 hours ago, Charleston Lady said:

We have always felt safe with Holland America.

 

 

Charleston Lady,

 

Your entire post is very well stated!  I feel more safe when I am sailing on a HAL vessel than when I am driving to wherever.

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2 hours ago, gadabout60 said:

I had forgotten that HAL charged for the transfer to Perth airport - that was appalling PR

Not totally accurate.... my departing flight was on the first possible day, 21/March/2020 and my onboard account was not charged for the transfer. From what I understand, those who disembarked the ship on the 22nd or later were charged, but if they included the charge on their travel home reimbursement form, they were refunded the cost.

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1 hour ago, Gloria sunrise said:

Just got our tracing numbers from Fed Ex.  Supposed to be delivered on the 1st of October.  Has anyone else heard?

 

Yes, lots of us have heard.  Oddly enough, my date is the 5th and I live 36 miles from where the luggage is.  Yet, San Francisco area will get theirs on Friday.  I'm NOT complaining though; Monday will actually work better for us.  I've seen pictures from some of the people that went to pick up their luggage today and heard from them that stuff was in pretty good condition; no breakage of things either.  So, good news in that respect!

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1 hour ago, cruzingnut said:

 

Yes, lots of us have heard.  Oddly enough, my date is the 5th and I live 36 miles from where the luggage is.  Yet, San Francisco area will get theirs on Friday.  I'm NOT complaining though; Monday will actually work better for us.  I've seen pictures from some of the people that went to pick up their luggage today and heard from them that stuff was in pretty good condition; no breakage of things either.  So, good news in that respect!

 

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1 hour ago, cruzingnut said:

 

Yes, lots of us have heard.  Oddly enough, my date is the 5th and I live 36 miles from where the luggage is.  Yet, San Francisco area will get theirs on Friday.  I'm NOT complaining though; Monday will actually work better for us.  I've seen pictures from some of the people that went to pick up their luggage today and heard from them that stuff was in pretty good condition; no breakage of things either.  So, good news in that respect!

 

Just now, Gloria sunrise said:

Is there a reason you do not drive the 36 miles to pick it up?  Think if we were that close we would probably do that.

 

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10 hours ago, Gloria sunrise said:

 

 

 

Yes, by having it delivered and living in a condo it will be brought to our door.  No having to load and drag it around, never mind I'm not sure it would all even fit in the car.

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11 hours ago, KirkNC said:

Ours is the 5th as well. Six and 1/2 months since we last saw it, good news is we have five tracking numbers which equals the number of pieces we have.

 

Ditto on the 5th for scheduled delivery to Northern Arizona.

Be well.

Bob

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20 minutes ago, michaelfl said:

have not heard anything yet. from whom did you get a mail with the delivery date. from fedex or from hal ?

We first checked our Fed Ex account and the tracking info was there, a few hours later (last night) we got an email from HAL.

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7 hours ago, michaelfl said:

thanks for the info. as i said, nothing received so far but i keep my fingers crossed....

 

I got the FedEx app and signed up.  Once I put my name and address in, the tracking numbers showed up.  That's the first info I got on it; I hadn't gotten the email from HAL yet about it.

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46 minutes ago, cruzingnut said:

 

I got the FedEx app and signed up.  Once I put my name and address in, the tracking numbers showed up.  That's the first info I got on it; I hadn't gotten the email from HAL yet about it.

Weird, I guess they are doing it in stages?

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10 minutes ago, KirkNC said:

Weird, I guess they are doing it in stages?

 

Not really....I did get the email within hours of checking in the app.  It did seem like they didn't send all the emails out in one big batch.  People were getting them at all different times. 

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