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What should a new HAL CEO bring back to ships ?


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5 hours ago, iancal said:

I think people who believe that once Ashford is gone everything will be back to  ‘the good old days’ are dreaming in technicolor.  
 

Those days are gone.  Post Covid will be a whole new ball game.

iancal, I agree 100% with this post!

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13 hours ago, Roz said:

 

The Crow's Nest was a hallmark of HAL ships, so yes, I think it was a big mistake.  Add it to all the other "little" things he took away, and it adds up and takes away from the experience.

What changes to the Crow's Nest do you think were a mistake?

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41 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

What changes to the Crow's Nest do you think were a mistake?

 

Combining the alcohol and coffee operation at the bar, taking out seats at the bar, taking out the library and associated seating for the Explorations area (I may not be calling it the right thing), and no live music in the evenings.  Used to be the bar would be full during afternoon happy hour and after dinner.  Now there's about 6 seats and the noise from the coffee machine drowns out any chance at a conversation.  Bartenders are expected to be bartenders and barristas.  Not a  good combo.

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42 minutes ago, summer slope said:

Those ugly screens with information, interactive boards instead of books, excursions desk with loud conversations.

 

Yes, that's what I was referring to as the Explorations area.  Very underutilized, and takes up a lot of space. 

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Two simple things … put the Half Moon back on the logo and remove the "Nieuw" in the Pinnacle Class MS Statendam

Two more complex things … restore the simple elegance and guest service where it has been lost or compromised.

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45 minutes ago, NavArch64 said:

Two simple things … put the Half Moon back on the logo and remove the "Nieuw" in the Pinnacle Class MS Statendam

Two more complex things … restore the simple elegance and guest service where it has been lost or compromised.

At least they didn’t name the Ryndam  Nieuw Ryndam as well . Must have realized how utterly stupid it was naming the Statendam the way they did.

The “ Halve Maen” is still on the funnels of the Rotterdam....

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On 5/14/2020 at 9:29 AM, cruisetheworld67 said:

 

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 onSeabournjust to check it out and see what luxury cruising has to offer. We can also go back to the HAL we know.

You are right about everything. Of course we are nostalgic! The  main reason I continue to travel with HAL: I  am ten days shy of being bumped up to 5-star Mariner, after twenty years of sailing HAL, and I am too old to start another loyalty program on another line. I probably wouldn't live long enough to enjoy the benefits.

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2 hours ago, Roz said:

 

Combining the alcohol and coffee operation at the bar, taking out seats at the bar, taking out the library and associated seating for the Explorations area (I may not be calling it the right thing), and no live music in the evenings.  Used to be the bar would be full during afternoon happy hour and after dinner.  Now there's about 6 seats and the noise from the coffee machine drowns out any chance at a conversation.  Bartenders are expected to be bartenders and barristas.  Not a  good combo.

The major reason some do not like the additional noise is it interferes with their naps in the Crows Nest.  We hardly ever could find a seat due to the number of seniors snoring away.

 

BTW, live music kills any chance of a conversation.

 

 

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30 minutes ago, BobbiSox said:

You are right about everything. Of course we are nostalgic! The  main reason I continue to travel with HAL: I  am ten days shy of being bumped up to 5-star Mariner, after twenty years of sailing HAL, and I am too old to start another loyalty program on another line. I probably wouldn't live long enough to enjoy the benefits.

 

this is all true.  HAL was not making money with their business model.  Ask most people what HAL was - it was "old" in every sense of the word.  Businesses can't make money with that moniker.  Just the fact that I see requests for books makes me wonder where its going to go.  Analog crowd vs Digital.  Many cruise lines offer computer skill classes, digital photography classes etc- not more paperbacks.  Cruise lines can't make money with pax curled up with a good book in corner for the afternoon - they aren't going that way

 

Seabourn is too far of a reach for the HAL crowd.  Oceania with maybe less expensive food and less glitz 

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Certainly agree about HAL customers on this post being set in their ways.  It could dissuade potentially new customers from selecting HAL.  They seem to want more, more more for the same price or for a marginal increase.  Most of them could get what they wanted if they were willing to buck up and pay the freight on a higher end cruise.

 

I was surprised at the comment that someone would continue to cruise on HAL because of the 4 or 5 star benefits.   HAL's program is really not that great to be polite.   When we select a cruise, the frequent cruise benefits are  typically at the end of our decision making process.

Edited by iancal
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20 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Absolutely!  It has been done and could easily be done again even in the newly "re-imagined Crow's Nests".  

 

Agreed. 

 

If I were HAL's new CEO, I would want to roll back to the basics.  Stop with all this ridiculous brand partnering like Oprah, BB King, Billboard, Rolling Stones, Lincoln Center Stage, BBC, etc.  Go back to offering a variety of entertainment in different venues.  Ditch this EXC crap and bring back a legit Cruise Director and staff.  I would then market the line by creating a commercial showing a drunken bellyflop contest and stuffy tuxedo-laden pomp and circumstance, followed by showing HAL as neither, but as a relaxing cruise with great service and quality entertainment. 

 

But I digress.  What do I know about running a cruise line?  That model may be quick to fail nowadays. 

Edited by Aquahound
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If the cruise lines are going to have to change considerably, resize, retire ships, etc.

 

They are more likely to make the changes that they think will be attractive to the next generation of travelers, not the last generation.

 

Anything in the short term, pre-vaccine or effective therapeutic, will be survival, operating at absolute minimal cost.  So no changes, no remodeling, simpler operations.

 

In the long term the changes will be for the future, not the past.

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1 hour ago, Aquahound said:

 

Agreed. 

 

If I were HAL's new CEO, I would want to roll back to the basics.  Stop with all this ridiculous brand partnering like Oprah, BB King, Billboard, Rolling Stones, Lincoln Center Stage, BBC, etc.  Go back to offering a variety of entertainment in different venues.  Ditch this EXC crap and bring back a legit Cruise Director and staff.  A relaxing cruise with  great service and quality entertainment. 

 

But I digress.  What do I know about running a cruise line?  That model may be quick to fail nowadays. 

 

I Totally agree with this plan and yes I would totally be willing to pay the additional price for the obvious improvements.  We had this type of cruise on HAL back in 1980"si. That is when I fell in love with HAL. Now I am 5* and yes, I am nostalgic.

It would be my dream But what do I know about running a cruise line that is in trouble through no fault of their own?

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3 hours ago, Aquahound said:

 

 

 

If I were HAL's new CEO, I would want to roll back to the basics.  Stop with all this ridiculous brand partnering like Oprah, BB King, Billboard, Rolling Stones, Lincoln Center Stage, BBC, etc.  Go back to offering a variety of entertainment in different venues.  Ditch this EXC crap and bring back a legit Cruise Director and staff.  I would then market the line by creating a commercial showing a drunken bellyflop contest and stuffy tuxedo-laden pomp and circumstance, followed by showing HAL as neither, but as a relaxing cruise with great service and quality entertainment. 

 

But I digress.  What do I know about running a cruise line? 

 

The branding of venues was overdone.  It may have been thought to be a wise move because there have been segments of our society who are very "brand conscious" and spend their money on such brands.  

 

Your idea of a commercial appeals to me.  Advertising that I see on TV anymore leaves me "cold".  After viewing such, I think:  why would I buy (insert product name, particularly insurance companies), based on that commercial?

 

"What do I know about running a cruise line?"  I think more than what Mr. Ashford knew about running a cruise line when he was hired.  

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9 hours ago, Roz said:

 

Yes, that's what I was referring to as the Explorations area.  Very underutilized, and takes up a lot of space. 

Interesting! to each his own I guess. My family and I went up daily and used those interactive boards! We also looked through a lot of the books, had coffee or other drinks, played checkers, or just sat and looked out the windows. It was one of our favorite spots to visit each day. Although now in a post COVID world I would give pause to using the interactive board or reading the books and playing games for quite some time!

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Lots and lots of people who want to turn back time...

 

If HAL wants to survive, then to my mind they need to be super vigilant to NOT go down the path of "yesteryear" "former glory" "olden days" or any of those things that bring to mind your great-granny in a corset and bun.

 

There is a way of retaining what is good about HAL's maritime history and traditions without coughing up an exact duplicate of a 1980s (or 1950s or 1930s) onboard experience. 

 

Look at, for example, how brands like Rolex market themselves in commercials -- classic, timeless, they know how to avoid falling into the 'fuddy-duddy' trap while still reminding people of their traditional niche and their history.

 

Or even Coca-Cola (maybe a better example for HAL than the lofty heights of Rolex) -- if you've ever visited their headquarters or museum in Atlanta, you will see how every bit of what makes Coke iconic is engineered with their brand firmly in mind -- the CONSISTENCY of the iconic shape of the bottle, the font of the name, the color throughout everything they do. They modernize, they adapt, but they remain true to who they are. (Another example might be Burberry -- they are 'plaid' through and through, but what that plaid looks like may change superficially over time....perhaps it is pastel rather than red, tan and black....)

 

If HAL were to bring back everything that many cruisers remember from their heyday, there is no guarantee they would be successful today. The 'formal dress' ship has sailed (pun intended), but "Tradition Reinvented" (thanks Despegue) will always have room for fresh flowers, live music, sterling service, and well-designed and maintained ships with itineraries that attract those who feel the destination and the journey are both important. 

 

Edited by cruisemom42
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On 5/14/2020 at 8:51 AM, HamOp said:

For those who have never seen it....

image.thumb.png.f101ec57f6283ed47a37eb27026e34a3.png

Those were the days my friend!  Those were the great days or I should say the nights.

Edited by Himself
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On 5/13/2020 at 3:08 PM, slidergirl said:

When I started reading this thread, the first thing that popped into my brain was the song from Aerosmith: "Dream On."

 

I really do not care about 90% of the items listed by people as I'm not a "long time" HAL cruiser - I've spread my trips among different lines.   Vastly updated health and safety procedures (not just lip service) are what I need to see first and foremost.  If I'm not comfortable with how the ship is sanitizing and physically distancing, I don't care what ship it is, I'm not going to be on it. 

 

I'm not sure HAL needs to bring back those long cruises for quite some time, if ever.  Wait until the memories of the "bad press", the denial of porting, hundreds sick on board, are less present.  Start small and get things right there before branching out to more than 7 day cruises.  

 

I'd like to have the places that used to be unused quiet places brought back.  Quiet places are my favorite - I can sit back, close my eyes and listen to my music.   Oh - music - Please do NOT bring back the HAL Cats!!!!!   😉

Yes the Hal Cats were absolutely horrible.

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5 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

Lots and lots of people who want to turn back time...

 

If HAL wants to survive, then to my mind they need to be super vigilant to NOT go down the path of "yesteryear" "former glory" "olden days" or any of those things that bring to mind your great-granny in a corset and bun.

 

There is a way of retaining what is good about HAL's maritime history and traditions without coughing up an exact duplicate of a 1980s (or 1950s or 1930s) onboard experience. 

 

Look at, for example, how brands like Rolex market themselves in commercials -- classic, timeless, they know how to avoid falling into the 'fuddy-duddy' trap while still reminding people of their traditional niche and their history.

 

Or even Coca-Cola (maybe a better example for HAL than the lofty heights of Rolex) -- if you've ever visited their headquarters or museum in Atlanta, you will see how every bit of what makes Coke iconic is engineered with their brand firmly in mind -- the CONSISTENCY of the iconic shape of the bottle, the font of the name, the color throughout everything they do. They modernize, they adapt, but they remain true to who they are. (Another example might be Burberry -- they are 'plaid' through and through, but what that plaid looks like may change superficially over time....perhaps it is pastel rather than red, tan and black....)

 

If HAL were to bring back everything that many cruisers remember from their heyday, there is no guarantee they would be successful today. The 'formal dress' ship has sailed (pun intended), but "Tradition Reinvented" (thanks Despegue) will always have room for fresh flowers, live music, sterling service, and well-designed and maintained ships with itineraries that attract those who feel the destination and the journey are both important. 

 

Hmmm.  Coca-Cola - remember "new Coke"???  oops.  At least they realize the massive mistake and rolled it back.

Burberry - maybe not the best example.  Filed for bankruptcy a year ago, closed many stores.  With COVID, they have said they may have to cut even more.  But, that plaid is indeed timeless.  

 The "Tradition Reinvented" concept is a good one.  But, as you said, it has to be done in a modern way to get the next gen of passengers, not re-create the old days for the "mature" bunch.   Perhaps as a nod to the cruisers who want the old HAL, take the oldest ship in the fleet, put back whatever the Mariners want, and sail it in the Caribbean or short close-to-shore itineraries so that they are always within quick reach of a port when there are medical emergencies.  I'd think of it as an experiment Carnival did back in the day with the smoke-free ship that sailed in California. 

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8 hours ago, aliaschief said:

What do I want? I just want to be back on a Dam ship safely cruising around the world!🛳

 

Oh yes, and that's why I currently have five HAL cruises booked that will take me to several days shy of Christmas 2021!

 

I hope everyone who reads this post stays healthy and safe.

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I think we are dreaming if we think HAL will go back to smaller ships.  My impression is that the larger the ship, the more economical it is to operate on a per passenger basis.  That is why HAL sold the Prinsendam and Princess sold the Ocean Princess.  We spent 65 days on 3 Prinsendam cruises and one 71 day cruise on the Ocean Princess and loved them both.  I noticed that when the Ocean Princess was sold to Oceania, the price for similar cruises was now about triple what they had been under Princess.  And if HAL needs to watch expenses closely in the coming years, they certainly are not going to order many new less economical ships.  It would be like American Airlines saying "We have only 20% passenger bookings for the next few months, so let's buy a fleet of Lear Jets."

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