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rotjeknor

What should a new HAL CEO bring back to ships ?

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What should NOT return though, are the wasteful night buffets, although great for picture taking and Instacrap etc. We live in different times, and wasting food is not done socially.

they can reinvent these events though .

 

regarding Dutch heritage, I would like to see a typical Dutch/Flemish bar, different from the excellent Grand Dutch Café,  specializing in the wonderful Dutch and Flemish Gins ( Jenever) in all their flavours,( we have hundreds)  and Benelux beers. (for the Dutchies: type bruine kroeg met misschien “de Jordaan” als naam...) no food, that is for the Grand Dutch café.

The Galery bar/Northern Lights area would be perfect for it.

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3 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

People are fond of quoting this. But to have had one major marketing snafu in its 125+ year history, and to have recovered as well as it did..... well, HAL could have worse models.

Actually the new coke fiasco turned out to be on of the best marketing events in history.  It could not have turned out better for the company if it had been planned.

 

People think of it as a mistake but it turned out wonderfully for the company.  People clamoring to get the old coke back, people complaining about new coke saying that it tasted like Pepsi.  THe new coke "fiasco" drove cokes market share growth for years afterwards.

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6 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

You left out the most important.  Establish a  toll free number where 4* & 5* mariners can call the CEO directly to keep him informed of the wishes of the most important of HAL passengers.  This 'hot line' would recognize the importance of these 4* & 5* Mariners and their advanced knowledge of the things that make a cruise line successful.  This "hot line" would be, of course, connected to a phone on the desk of the CEO.

 

You forgot to add at the end of your post:  LOL🤣

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On 5/13/2020 at 11:02 AM, cruisemom42 said:

If I were giving the new HAL CEO his marching orders on Day One, I would include the following, as a starting point. (My assumption is that profitability and positive cash flow are going to be paramount on EVERY cruise line's list, as will doing whatever it takes to get people back to feeling it is safe to cruise, so I am not including them per se, but attention to the items below should bring positive results.)

 

  • Standardize how the brand is experienced across all current ships by all customers -- including specialty dining experiences, entertainment, lectures (in-depth vs. not in depth), library or no library, Crow's Nest or no Crow's Nest, etc. This should also include all SOPs on how Mariner perks/events are handled. Even itineraries to an extent. Should HAL be doing cheap Caribbean 7-day cruises or concentrating on their longer, more unusual itineraries?  They have very different requirements in terms of cost per day, type of entertainment expected, staffing, etc.
  • Fix the website to ensure information is easily found and bookings are easily completed.
  • Make the HAL brand more visible -- more traditional media, more social media, more emails. Visibility of HAL seems low relative to comparable brands.
  • Conduct extensive market research to find out what attracts current HAL cruisers, and to identify with better precision the "future" HAL cruiser and what s/he is looking for. Test. Probe. Test some more before making big changes.
  • Following the above, clarify and rationalize HAL's niche in the market. Is there room for HAL (and perhaps Cunard) to be in a niche above Princess but below the Luxury lines -- and even perhaps a bit below the so-called "Premium" lines (Oceania, Azamara)?  If so, what is the basis?  Is it itinerary driven (good lecturers, special programs/experiences ashore)?  Is it music driven (building on the newer music venues)?  Is it food driven?  Is it more inclusive? Is it driven by size of the ships? (mid-size vs. small or large)
  • Stop competing in the $299 fares market. An approach that emphasizes value over cost might be just the ticket in the next few years. (I'm thinking along the lines of "sure, you could pay less for a vacation, but would it really BE a vacation?" or "If you're only going to take one vacation this year, make sure it's one that really delivers" ...)
  • Avoid a catchy phrase/logo/motto that is too aspirational (if it falls short, it becomes a joke). I would suggest perhaps a focus on/return to HAL's nautical traditions, but done in a way that is fresh and modern, without too much nostalgia. Offer a dream, but not one that you can't (mostly) deliver on.
  • Ditch awkward partnerships that aren't true to your brand.
  • Amp up (and emphasize) things that have been shown to matter to people in recent times -- come up with some special programs for your wonderful crew and tell us about them. Show us how you are becoming more environmentally conscious -- not just by removing straws but in ways that are inspiring.
  • Come up with industry-leading procedures that will help avoid spread of disease (COVID-19 or any others) onboard ship -- and FULLY support them by intensive staff/crew training, materials, etc.

These are excellent points and I agree. We've been sailing with HAL for 35 years and I have to say, the changes we've seen over the last 5-10 years are very disappointing. Unlike other cruise lines, HAL takes it's 4 and 5 Star Mariners for granted. My wife and I have introduced a significant number of people to HAL over the years. Our value as long term guests is underappreciated. I could go into a bit of a rant here but your very good statements pretty much says it all. Thank you.

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12 hours ago, comcox said:

the Crow's Nest as a wonderful place to sit and enjoy the scenary,

 

Mr/Ms. Poster:  please understand that my comment is not directed specifically at your post.  There have been many comments from many posters in recent years complaining about the "loss of a wonderful place to sit and enjoy the scenery."  I have never quite understood why particularly after I first embarked a HAL ship whose Crow's Nest had been re-designed/re-purposed.  I feared the worst when I visited the Crow's Nest on that ship on Embarkation Day.  I was quite relieved to find that seating was still there; the windows were still there; and, yes, there were changes.  (The loss of the Captain's Corner was the most disappointing for me.)  My experience has been since that first visit to the "new Crow's Nest" is that it is still a superior venue for sightseeing.  And, when the ship is sailing in very scenic areas, i.e. Glacier Bay, the Panama Canal, etc., the staff set up folding chairs to accommodate more who wish to sit and sightsee.  This is not something that is new.  Such was done for many years prior to the changes in the Crow's Nest.  

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3 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

I was quite relieved to find that seating was still there; the windows were still there; and, yes, there were changes.  (The loss of the Captain's Corner was the most disappointing for me.)  My experience has been since that first visit to the "new Crow's Nest" is that it is still a superior venue for sightseeing.  And, when the ship is sailing in very scenic areas, i.e. Glacier Bay, the Panama Canal, etc., the staff set up folding chairs to accommodate more who wish to sit and sightsee.  This is not something that is new.  Such was done for many years prior to the changes in the Crow's Nest.  

 

Agreed.  It's a head scratcher to me when someone says it's no longer a nice place to sit and enjoy scenery.  That definitely still exists.  Although, I think there was more seating before the change. 

 

My complaint about the CN is the loss of the evening entertainment.  In my opinion, it was the best venue on the ship to enjoy a drink while listening to slower paced live music.  It was just a nice atmosphere.  I have very fond memories of doing that on my first HAL cruise, which wasn't that long ago. 

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4 minutes ago, Aquahound said:

My complaint about the CN is the loss of the evening entertainment.  In my opinion, it was the best venue on the ship to enjoy a drink while listening to slower paced live music.  It was just a nice atmosphere.  I have very fond memories of doing that on my first HAL cruise, which wasn't that long ago. 

 

The Lounge has been used in the past for a solo guitarist/singer; very pleasant.  Not loud enough to interfere with a conversation.  A small live musical group later in the evening provides good dance music without being too loud.  Even a late night DJ can be entertaining.  Maybe it was on my Rotterdam VOV cruise (could have been a different one), the Crow's Nest was the site for a BB King's Group.  Low ceiling, hard surfaces:  if one was hard of hearing, you could have heard them!  Yet, people attended the various sets and there was dancing.  The Master's wife and HD often were present as well.  

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Despegue said:

.............................

 

regarding Dutch heritage, I would like to see a typical Dutch/Flemish bar, different from the excellent Grand Dutch Café,  specializing in the wonderful Dutch and Flemish Gins ( Jenever) in all their flavours,( we have hundreds)  and Benelux beers. (for the Dutchies: type bruine kroeg met misschien “de Jordaan” als naam...) no food, that is for the Grand Dutch café.

The Galery bar/Northern Lights area would be perfect for it.

 

This is the name of the O.B. (Officers Bar) on the co-flagship Amsterdam, not a Dutch/Flemish but an Irish bar and a very popular location for crew (officers rank and equivalent) during nighttime hours plus, being in crew country, not accessible to passengers. For those who don't speak Dutch, the name translates into "the little leaking azipod." Amsterdam was the first HAL ship that came out with azipod propulsion. "Ol, ceol agus craig" is Gaelic for "Drink, Music and Fun." If any crew member, in a moment of unexpected exuberance, rings that ship's bell inside the O.B., there will be consequences! 😉 Darts is one of the most popular games onboard  

 

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Edited by Copper10-8

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John:

Thank you for sharing the pictures of the Officrers Bar.

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Ring the bell, expect to pay lots of beers 🤪🥳

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20 hours ago, Despegue said:

Once again, this “new Normal” is just a temporary thing people.

it is simply impossible to permanently do this social distancing etc etc.

Ships will sail again like before, with mdr and lido market, with your lounges, and with people to actually being allowed to interact with eachother in a normal way.

Covid19 will maybe stay, but as one of the other flu type  and corona virii. 
There is simply no alternative. not socially, and not economically.

 

Ps. I am currently quarantined in Dubai and having to undergo daily Covid19 tests, which by the way, are highly unpleasant.

Hope it turns out negative for you . As strange as that may sound. Voorlopig geen frites dus 😉

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15 hours ago, iancal said:

Biggest mistake....probably the mismanagement that took place leading up to the pre Carnival Corp  HAL management's inability to secure financing from any source. Their weak, and probably untenable, financial situation made them an easy target for take over by Carnival Corp.

May I remind you that HAL was coming back from difficult years. They were financially healthy and had just acquired Home Lines with two vessels , the Homeric and Oceanic. The Homeric was lengthened in Papenburg, Germany and sailed as Westerdam for HAL.

Early 80’s also saw two newbuilds, Nieuw Amsterdam and Noordam. The Rotterdam V had a major refit in 1989 .The occupancy rate was in the 90’s .

The real reason for selling to Carnival was that the major shareholder and CEO, van der Vorm, had no luck in finding an adequate successor. 
He sold the company and started an investment fund which his sons took over and is one of the most successful funds in the Netherlands, HAL investments . They use the old NASM flag as their logo ...

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John, I remember the officers bar on the Rotterdam V. The beer and jonge borrel were so unbelievably cheap that it was pretty hard to stay sober. I was lucky enough that one of my uncles  was 2nd Engineer on the one cruise I took on the Rotterdam and access to the officers bar was no problem..... From my old man I heard the stories of what went down ( most probably not even half of it ) in the officers bar on the old Nieuw Amsterdam (II). Being at sea for 6 months in a row wasn’t that bad 😊

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On 5/14/2020 at 11:45 AM, Wonderingabout said:

Some of the wishes posted here are contradictory and I must admit  to contradictory thinking as well.  Some people love the addition of BB King bands (personally I love the music) while others find it to be too loud (personally I can not stay in the same room where the band is playing because I cannot hear myself think)

 

But most of the wishes to be fulfilled are going to cost money.  Most of the things that the posters wish to have back went away to save money and would cost money if reinstituted.  It may be that rather than raise cruise fare that HAL absorb these costs by reducing its profit.  We may wish that that is what HAL would do but that is the most wishful thinking of all.

 

Therefore to get our wishes granted we will need to accept much higher fares but then there would be a decrease in potential passengers who would could afford or be willing to pay these higher fares.   HAL would need to adjust its fleet size to match reduced demand at the higher price point.  These would include both the number and size of the ships.  Azamara in the RCL brand and Oceania in the NCL brand are example of the higher price point level size.  

 

HAL would need to sell off the newer ships like the New Statendam and Konigsdam because:

1. Their size would be way in excess demand at the new higher price point

2. They probably have the highest mortgages in the fleet on them and would result in the most benefit on the balance sheet if they were removed.

3.  They are likely to bring a better price on the market because of their condition than the older ships.

 

Even the most previous generation of ships in the 2,000 passenger level ie Westerdam would need to be considered for sale or extensive refurbishment to reduce the passenger level in these ships to correspond with the demand at the potential new price point.  By:

1. Increasing the number of neptune suites

2. reducing the number of interior cabins

3 Bringing the occupancy down to closer to 1,200 to 1,500 passengers . 

 

Whether our wishes relate to the quality of the food, the quality of the entertainment, the amenities that are not add on charges, or the number of staff to passenger ratio will determine our willingness to sail with HAL.   We will determine whether HAL has met these wishes ( or since we will be paying for it, these demands ) so as to justify our paying the higher cruise fares.

I agree with you ...

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On 5/15/2020 at 1:40 PM, 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.  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. 

I've never figured out the Oprah thing. I even wrote to HAL and asked them. They mentioned a magazine, which I've never seen anywhere on board. I couldn't really get a definite answer. I still don't know what it is!

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3 hours ago, rotjeknor said:

May I remind you that HAL was coming back from difficult years. They were financially healthy and had just acquired Home Lines with two vessels , the Homeric and Oceanic. The Homeric was lengthened in Papenburg, Germany and sailed as Westerdam for HAL.

Early 80’s also saw two newbuilds, Nieuw Amsterdam and Noordam. The Rotterdam V had a major refit in 1989 .The occupancy rate was in the 90’s .

The real reason for selling to Carnival was that the major shareholder and CEO, van der Vorm, had no luck in finding an adequate successor. 
He sold the company and started an investment fund which his sons took over and is one of the most successful funds in the Netherlands, HAL investments . They use the old NASM flag as their logo ...

That is an interesting piece of History.  I once sailed on the Westerdam II that had been the Homeric.  

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30 minutes ago, Himself said:

That is an interesting piece of History.  I once sailed on the Westerdam II that had been the Homeric.  

She is still sailing . After the Westerdam she became Costa Europa, Thomson Dream and nowadays Marella Dream . Here’s a picture taken February 2019 near Tenerife on the Canary Islands.

2457139C-398E-4684-9C6C-C8435DB6DBCB.jpeg

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I am not sure what the new CEO should bring back but I wish he/she would revisit Holland America's smoking policy. We used to switch back and forth between cruises on HA and Celebrity Cruises but, being non-smokers, we generally have sailed only on Celebrity since Carnival Corp. turned HA into the cruise line for smokers.

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12 minutes ago, sunnypalms said:

I am not sure what the new CEO should bring back but I wish he/she would revisit Holland America's smoking policy. We used to switch back and forth between cruises on HA and Celebrity Cruises but, being non-smokers, we generally have sailed only on Celebrity since Carnival Corp. turned HA into the cruise line for smokers.

 

Huh??  Where is this coming from???  When was the last time you were on HAL?

No smoking on balconies or on most areas of the ship other than one by the sea view pool and in a smoking section in the casino of some of the ships.

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Posted (edited)

image.thumb.png.190dff18534cc1e7e833202c3ed1c026.png

 

On the première voyage of the Nieuw Statendam, we met up w/ the Marella Dream in Funchal.  The Dream (as Westerdam) was our first cruise.  Where it had been lengthened it had these stairwells that ended 'nowhere' -- ie a wall.     Scott. 

 

Edited by YXU AC*SE

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16 minutes ago, kazu said:

No smoking on balconies or on most areas of the ship other than one by the sea view pool and in a smoking section in the casino of some of the ships.

Two areas too many !

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4 hours ago, rotjeknor said:

May I remind you that HAL was coming back from difficult years. They were financially healthy and had just acquired Home Lines with two vessels , the Homeric and Oceanic. The Homeric was lengthened in Papenburg, Germany and sailed as Westerdam for HAL.

Early 80’s also saw two newbuilds, Nieuw Amsterdam and Noordam. The Rotterdam V had a major refit in 1989 .The occupancy rate was in the 90’s .

The real reason for selling to Carnival was that the major shareholder and CEO, van der Vorm, had no luck in finding an adequate successor. 
He sold the company and started an investment fund which his sons took over and is one of the most successful funds in the Netherlands, HAL investments . They use the old NASM flag as their logo ...

AAAhhhh Home Lines, great line, took my second cruise with this line, then onto Holland America once Home Lines were acquired by Holland America..........Been with HAL ever since!!

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What needs to be brought back on board Holland America Line  Ships?

 

The DUTCH  in    the  proud name  of  the cruiseline.  

 

IMO It is way past time to bring Dutch back aboard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PLEASE return to the former Logo.

I cannot see any good reason    they  changed  it or why they still use it  seeing the former was logo was so much better than just fine

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13 minutes ago, sail7seas said:

PLEASE return to the former Logo.

I cannot see any good reason    they  changed  it or why they still use it  seeing the former was logo was so much better than just fine

While it was an unnecessary waste of money to change the logo, changing it back would be more so. But while we are dreaming, we should go farther back to a time with only two dinner seatings, assigned tables, no lido buffet, no balcony cabins, no television, no internet, with jacket and tie required except on formal nights when jacket and tie would not suffice.

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