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What should a new HAL CEO bring back to ships ?


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25 minutes ago, Despegue said:

Oh, and bring back the YumYum man ( dining room greeter) and xylophone chimes at dinner.

 

HAL needs to,set itself apart by offering a modern cruise experience, with modern classic dishes that are regionally inspired, but with traditional “heritage” touches that make it unique.

 

new slogan: “Tradition  Reinvented”

 

 

 

 

That sounds like a plan.

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10 hours ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

I agree about restoring the Crow's Nest -- complete with Libraries.

 

More activities on sea days.

 

Bring back music in the Ocean Bar -- our last 3 cruises there wasn't any music there.  

 

Do away with the Loud music for entertainment.

 

Bring back the production shows -- one hour!!

100% Yes to bring back all of these. To keep: cabins ready at 11:00 AM

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10 hours ago, cruisetheworld67 said:

Sure! HAL will bring back the "Old HAL."  Anything you want. 

 

Question is: Are you willing to pay more for it? 

 

 

Yes, of course I am willing to pay for it. If I were not willing to pay for it I would have been cruising on Norweigen or Carnival instead of being 5* on HAL.

 

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31 minutes ago, Sir PMP said:

Replace the Pinnacle Bar by Dutch Café on Vista and signature class vessels.

 

Patates frites met mayo, haring, bitterballen, croquetten, brooodje garnalen, heerlijk..

And uniquely HAL.

 

On smaller vessels, ( if they will sail again, which I do hope but fear not) without the space for a Dutch Café, remove the Pizza place and replace it with a Dutch Corner. Pizza can then still be ordered via the Dive-in.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Sir PMP said:

Replace the Pinnacle Bar by Dutch Café on Vista and signature class vessels.

 

Patates frites met mayo, haring, bitterballen, croquetten, brooodje garnalen, heerlijk..

 

Even though we like the Pinnacle Bar for pre-dinner cocktails (even before the MDR), I like the idea of the Dutch Cafe replacing it....never have been able to try the cafe.

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2 minutes ago, PSR said:

 

Even though we like the Pinnacle Bar for pre-dinner cocktails (even before the MDR), I like the idea of the Dutch Cafe replacing it....never have been able to try the cafe.

 

I have been a patron of the Pinnacle Bar prior to a dinner in the Pinnacle Grill.  My impression of the ambiance?  It's dull.  I prefer a more "active" pre-dinner HH such as the Ocean Bar or the Crow's Nest.  However, on both of my most recent HAL cruises, no music in the Ocean Bar (the interesting fellow guests at the bar and the bartenders/staff helped to make up for that).  

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HAL vessels, pre-dinner are often dead in terms of atmosphere. 

Some classical concerto music before dinner? Seriously? I do like classical music but do this late afternoon, the evening should be full with entertainment that is perfect for an aperitif, like a piano player, guitar,  local band , like Caribbean steel band on-deck. What we get now is sleep inducing before dinner and is not getting the consumption of drinks to higher levels ( and that is where the money is made, make no mistake).

now, people need to hush hush when walking through the Lincoln Stage performance on their way to dinner, instead of continuing their cheerful anticipation to a great dinner in the MDR.

talking about the MDR, a live pianist is not only classy, it also actually reduces ambient noise. On Elegant nights, Lincoln Stage can perform some livier pieces in the MDR ( please no Bach 🙄)

 

Billboard on Board can stay, but only if they upgrade the talent. Now there is a vast difference in quality of singing, sometimes it is cringeworthy to be honest. Better keep these talented players as solo , pure instrument playing artists.

 

 

Edited by Despegue
Replaced formal by elegant
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3 minutes ago, Despegue said:

HAL vessels, pre-dinner are often dead in terms of atmosphere. 

Some classical concerto music before dinner? Seriously? I do like classical music but do this late afternoon, the evening should be full with entertainment that is perfect for an aperitif, like a piano player, guitar,  local band , like Caribbean steel band on-deck. What we get now is sleep inducing before dinner and is not getting the consumption of drinks to higher levels ( and that is where the money is made, make no mistake).

now, people need to hush hush when walking through the Lincoln Stage performance on their way to dinner, instead of continuing their cheerful anticipation to a great dinner in the MDR.

talking about the MDR, a live pianist is not only classy, it also actually reduces ambient noise. On Elegant nights, Lincoln Stage can perform some livier pieces in the MDR ( please no Bach 🙄)

 

I am probably going to be "blasted" for this comment, but a daily dose of Lincoln Center Live with classical music that is unfamiliar to me is a non-attendance of such for me.  I appreciate when their programming includes popular music.  Yet, enough of such music is enough.

 

Only on Nieuw Statendam have I experienced Rolling Stone Rock Room.  I am a senior citizen.  There were other more senior citizens than me who were on the dance floor and enjoying the music as much as me.  The group was playing the music that we "grew up with" and "enjoyed with fond memories".  Only concern was that their playlist was too repetitive from one set to another on different nights. 

 

I remember solo/singer guitarists performing in the Crow's Nest as well as on the ships that had the Mix concept Lounge performing.  Enjoyable, pleasant music!  And, at least with the young man performing in the Mix on one ship, one had to arrive early to get a seat at the bar or at a table!    

 

4 minutes ago, Despegue said:

Billboard on Board can stay, but only if they upgrade the talent. Now there is a vast difference in quality of singing, sometimes it is cringeworthy to be honest. 

 

OK with me.  All of the performers that I have witnessed have done a good and entertaining job.  Such a venue is surely different than the days when the Piano Bar had artists like Diana Fast, etc.

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8 hours ago, npcl said:

I do not think that returning to the old HAL would survive with what cruise lines will be facing.  That said that they do have some advantages with their overall smaller ship sizes compared to the other main stream lines. Their demographics with a tendency for older passengers is also not in their favor post COVID-19

 

I think that HAL should get a near total reboot.  Build on the classic design and smaller size of their ships. Position the line between the main stream lines and the premium lines.  They could, for example, go with a higher quality, more inclusive model kind of like Oceania.  They could do that with only having to raise fares by about 30%.  That would position the line in a unique space when it comes to features/cost. 

 

In doing that they would reduce pressure on the onboard sale items, allowing some of them to be removed entirely. Leaving more space to be used for some of the more traditional features like crows nest.

I agree. I am in my 40s and although I am a book lover, the thought of touching books with lots germs in a post-COVID world is not enticing. Same with a buffet, while I love the Lido changes need to be made to feel comfortable... The current thing I love on HAL are the elegance of the ships, the traditional style, Billboard Music venues and BB King, afternoon tea service and some of the restaurant options such as Pinnacle Grill, the Dutch Cafe, and Tamarind. I'd be willing to pay a little more if i knew I was getting a more upscale product, excellent service, better food, some entertainment by the pool (not a hairy leg contest but a live band would be nice), and more production shows but in smaller venue on small - mid sized ships.  

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Having sailed on HAL since 1970, the one thing that has become missing is the consistency of the cruise experience from one cruise/ship to another.  For many years:  the consistency was there.  As the fleet grew, the consistency of experience began to diminish. 

 

What has not diminished since 1970, even with my experiencing primarily Dutch/European staff to the primarily Filipino/Indonesian staff, is the crew's interactions and service for their guests.  

 

If Holland America Line has a problem, that problem lies in the Executive Suites.  It does not lie aboard their ships with their staff that have provided this guest with many, many memorable experiences.     

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14 minutes ago, Galley Slave said:

They need to bring back more wait staff in the MDR so people can have dinner in less than two hours and get to the show.

In our experience, The dinner duration is fine on HAL compared to some other lines, ( it is a restaurant, and not Mac Donalds, some waiting between courses is appropriate) but waiters are overworked and need to rush. Personal touches like breadcrumb removal after the Main courses is lacking nowadays

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9 hours ago, PromenadeDeckWriter said:

This Millennial loves HAL for its classic cruising style.

 

 

A dream come true:

A new ocean liner dressed in the old HAL livery (a modern version of Nieuw Amsterdam II of 1938 but with some modern conveniences. This could be a one-off ship in its own class. Perhaps name it the Stellendam as that name has not been used yet?  Well, a combination of the best elements of the NA and the Rotterdam of 1959 plus perks from the Vista/Signature classes. (I've been messing around with redrawing deck plans and figuring out how to bring back the enclosed promenade deck but making it functional (ie not a wasted underused outdoor-indoor space). Basically I would take the so-called "Royal Promenade" that are found on ships and turn it inside-out with the cafes, bars, shops, etc in the center opening out to a wraparound indoor promenade area with sitting areas for the cafes/bars/clubs/lounges and quiet niches to read/talk/etc. But importantly, keep it walkable. Keep the outside promenade on the S, R, Vista, and Signature but with a second indoor promenade deck. (it would have to be broken up into fire zones somehow to comply to safety codes. So no stunning vistas like the Normandie. Kinda of like the one on the SS France/SS Norway

 

This has always been a dream of mine as well..the Nieuw Amsterdam II was such a beautiful ship, inside and out.

I wish I had a digital camera back then, I would have made tons of pictures instead of a having a small pocketcamera with a 12 picture film roll. But at least I've been on her ( mmm , that sounds kinda funny) many times when I was a young kid whenever she was in port in Rotterdam and my father sailed on her.

 

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8 hours ago, lazey1 said:

Yes, of course I am willing to pay for it. If I were not willing to pay for it I would have been cruising on Norweigen or Carnival instead of being 5* on HAL.

 

Absolutely ! I'd rather pay more for a great experience than less for an average cruise.

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I may be in the minority, but I liked Dutch night.  Remember the Dover sole the waiter would debone at the table?  And bami goreng as an appetizer?  Bring back Dutch night!

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These are some very excellent ideas here on what HAL should look like going forward. Maybe these should be sent to corporate head office at CCL/ HAL.

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22 hours ago, RuthC said:

A resounding YES! But I have been willing to pay more for years now, if it meant keeping the HAL I used to cruise on. With HAL, I know what I have, and I know all too well what I've lost. 
The company can't keep the standards it had when the cost of those standards increased, but the prices charged hold steady (or decline!). 

I miss the 'glory days', when EVERYTHING was special. I look at my cruise photos from  20 years ago, and it's remarkable how much HAL has taken away. Chocolate Extravaganza was once a major party which took place around the pool in the evening. The lights were turned down, and potted trees placed throughout, providing a garden party atmosphere. The entire pool area was surrounded by banquet sized tables, draped in white linen, and covered with trays and baskets filled to the brim with all things chocolate. There were breads, and cakes and candies in whimsical shapes and sizes, all offered with complimentary champagne. It was a most elegant evening; a chocolate paradise.  That was then, and this is now: a few waiters cruise through the open areas  near the casino, each carrying a small tray of chocolate cookies,  and that event is now called "Chocolate Surprise".  Holland America was once miles above the competition, in every way. Now I see they are declining in every way. I too would pay much more to bring back the past but I doubt that is the goal of the Carnival Corporation. 

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6 hours ago, rotjeknor said:

Absolutely ! I'd rather pay more for a great experience than less for an average cruise.

 

Well....if you are not getting the experience you want from HAL….why continue to cruise with them?

Why not "up the ante" and cruise with Seabourn, Silversea, Regent, or Crystal.....where the food, service, etc. will most likely be what you are looking for?

 

It seems that this thread is more about the "nostalgia"  of the way HAL used to be....not the what it has become.

 

And while some have commented that they would be willing to pay more for an experience they desire; I am sure that the increase in fares for such an experience (subjective to each one's desires), there would be an outcry on this board about the "ridiculous" price increases put into place by HAL. Even with a much  improved overall experience.

 

I remember a post awhile back where similar concerns were voiced and Orlando Ashford said something along the lines (not exact quote)…"If people want a Seabourn experience....they had better be prepared to pay Seabourn prices."

 

After 12 or cruises on HAL....we too are somewhat  disappointed with what HAL has become. Which is why our next cruise (whenever that happens) will be on Seabourn just to check it out and see what luxury cruising has to offer. We can also go back to the HAL we know.

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1 hour ago, BobbiSox said:

I miss the 'glory days', when EVERYTHING was special. I look at my cruise photos from  20 years ago, and it's remarkable how much HAL has taken away. Chocolate Extravaganza was once a major party which took place around the pool in the evening. The lights were turned down, and potted trees placed throughout, providing a garden party atmosphere. The entire pool area was surrounded by banquet sized tables, draped in white linen, and covered with trays and baskets filled to the brim with all things chocolate. There were breads, and cakes and candies in whimsical shapes and sizes, all offered with complimentary champagne. It was a most elegant evening; a chocolate paradise.  That was then, and this is now: a few waiters cruise through the open areas  near the casino, each carrying a small tray of chocolate cookies,  and that event is now called "Chocolate Surprise".  Holland America was once miles above the competition, in every way. Now I see they are declining in every way. I too would pay much more to bring back the past but I doubt that is the goal of the Carnival Corporation. 

For those who have never seen it....

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Fix the bloody web site. The current site has major usability problems, and the navigation goes haywire in multiple places. People are used to doing everything online these days, and I shouldn't have to sit on hold on the phone for 15 minutes to find a cruise, book a cruise, or make changes to an existing booking. The usability of most airline and hotel booking websites puts HAL's to shame.

 

Keep the port-intensive European itineraries which are the main attraction for us.

 

(I can't comment on anything else because what was to be our first HAL cruise got cancelled this year.)

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