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HAL reducing long exotic voyages


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On 10/8/2020 at 6:09 PM, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

 

It's not an age bias thing, it's just that with the remaining fleet consisting mostly of the larger vessels HAL has to focus more on a demographic that they can fill their ships with PROFITABLY.  The more seasoned the cruiser - both in terms of number of cruises, and in years, means less ancillary revenue per guest per day.  The data bears this out across ALL cruise lines not just HAL.  Younger cruisers, or those newer to cruise, are more likely to spend more on gambling, alcohol, specialty dining, spa treatments, photos, shore excursions, wifi, etc.  Going forward the ancillary revenues are going to be more important than ever to help shore up the bottom lines of all the cruise companies as they have amassed HUGE debt loads in the last few months to avoid liquidation.  Also the shorter the cruise duration the higher average spend per day on ancillary items across all age demographics.  No cruise line is going to refuse bookings solely on age, but I do see HAL being more  focused than ever on adjusting their target demographic to the 50-70 yo range, which falls in line with adjusting deployment strategies to offer fewer cruises of 14+ days and more in the 7-14 day range.


There is much to what you say, although the original 5 - 70 age statement wouldn’t work with HAL. Even the newer, larger HAL ships can’t compete with RC, Disney, or Carnival when it comes to child, family, or young adult entertainment. The cost of outfitting existing ships with the water slides, mini golf, and amusement parks the younger market demands would make no sense.

While HAL isn’t exactly child free, I think appealing to an adult oriented, destination oriented 40+ demographic would be smarter than literally competing in someone else’s wheelhouse.

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I believe that this is all academic.  This covid scourge has a way to go and it will take some time before the industry gets back to normal.

 

Until that time anything can happen.  More ships could be sold, there could be consolidation with some brands disappearing altogether.   Some of those brands could go the same way that Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Plymouth went....into the history books in order to make the parent company more competitive and financially viable.

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2 hours ago, Horizon chaser 1957 said:


There is much to what you say, although the original 5 - 70 age statement wouldn’t work with HAL. 


I never meant to say 5-70. My intention was to say 50-70. I didn’t catch the error until the conversation had progressed to a point where I think I stated my 50-70 target demographic. 
 

While HAL welcome children/teens it is far from a family centric line, nor should they try to be. 

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21 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:


I never meant to say 5-70. My intention was to say 50-70. I didn’t catch the error until the conversation had progressed to a point where I think I stated my 50-70 target demographic. 
 

While HAL welcome children/teens it is far from a family centric line, nor should they try to be. 

 

I understood the 50-70 demographic.

 

Here’s the issue - a lot of people in that demographic do have the ability to do longer cruises so if that’s what HAL is targeting (and yes, I’m in that demographic now) then they do need to offer them IMO.

 

While HAL might not be a family centric line, Club HAL for youngsters when offered is one of the best kept secrets of this line.

Friends I have sailed with and my DS took their children and swore by it.  They literally had to “drag” their children out.  In fact, it’s very being let us dine with friends at Le Cirque one year.  When Club HAL closed, my friend went to get the children and they joined us.  The waiters offered them dessert 😉.  

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48 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:


I never meant to say 5-70. My intention was to say 50-70. I didn’t catch the error until the conversation had progressed to a point where I think I stated my 50-70 target demographic. 
 

While HAL welcome children/teens it is far from a family centric line, nor should they try to be. 


Don’t you just love when your keypad hijacks your statement and runs with it? 😂

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4 hours ago, kazu said:

Friends I have sailed with and my DS took their children and swore by it.  They literally had to “drag” their children out.  In fact, it’s very being let us dine with friends at Le Cirque one year.  When Club HAL closed, my friend went to get the children and they joined us.  The waiters offered them dessert 😉.  

I always smile on the HAL cruises when I see the one or two kids hanging around their parents early in the cruise, and then by the end of the cruise they've become BFFs with all the other kids on board and they're inseparable.

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22 hours ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:


When “casual” means a waistcoat, dicky bow, and Norfolk jacket........

 

If that was the dress code, I would require a definition without having to use a dictionary before I would book a cruise.  😀

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7 hours ago, iancal said:

Some of those brands could go the same way that Pontiac, Oldsmobile, and Plymouth went....into the history books in order to make the parent company more competitive and financially viable.

 

Let's add Packard, Studebaker, DeSoto to that list.  Favorites during their time.  Father Time made them irrelevant.  May happen to a few North American cruise brands as well.  😢

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5 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Let's add Packard, Studebaker, DeSoto to that list.  Favorites during their time.  Father Time made them irrelevant.  May happen to a few North American cruise brands as well.  😢

Don't forget the Corvette, still around..

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6 hours ago, kazu said:

 

I understood the 50-70 demographic.

 

Here’s the issue - a lot of people in that demographic do have the ability to do longer cruises so if that’s what HAL is targeting (and yes, I’m in that demographic now) then they do need to offer them IMO.

 

 

I've always thought HAL should be able to capitalize better on their significantly different (and longer) itineraries. 

 

Unfortunately, the economics of filling larger ships with more berths on these longer, specialized itineraries does get much more difficult. It's a catch-22. Bigger ships --> more berths --> shorter voyages.

 

 

 

6 hours ago, kazu said:

 

While HAL might not be a family centric line, Club HAL for youngsters when offered is one of the best kept secrets of this line.

Friends I have sailed with and my DS took their children and swore by it.  They literally had to “drag” their children out.  In fact, it’s very being let us dine with friends at Le Cirque one year.  When Club HAL closed, my friend went to get the children and they joined us.  The waiters offered them dessert 😉.  

 

 

I've heard this, but my DS did not enjoy Club HAL, so much so that we only did one HAL cruise when he was young. We never went on the typical 'family' ships, so I can't say he was missing the more kid-friendly atmosphere of Carnival or Royal. But he did like Princess (and our one Celebrity cruise in those days) much more.

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23 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

 

 

 

 

 

I've heard this, but my DS did not enjoy Club HAL, so much so that we only did one HAL cruise when he was young. We never went on the typical 'family' ships, so I can't say he was missing the more kid-friendly atmosphere of Carnival or Royal. But he did like Princess (and our one Celebrity cruise in those days) much more.

 

Perhaps the difference had to do with the Club HAL staff on that cruise.  Anyone that has cruised on a HAL ship for a number of years knows that the quality and the personality of the crew with whom they interact--as well as those with whom they may not interact, i.e. the Hotel Director, the Executive Chef, the CD, the Maitre d', the ship' Master, and others--can have an important influence on one's on-board experience as well as the memories that are taken with them upon disembarkation.  

 

Inspecting the Club HAL facilities and reviewed the Club's "When and Where"on Nieuw Statendam, as one who has worked with youth, I saw nothing with the facilities or the programming to quibble.  It is the job of a quality staff to fulfill the "promise" that, I think, exists for Club HAL.  

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On 10/13/2020 at 9:28 PM, cruisemom42 said:

 

 

I've always thought HAL should be able to capitalize better on their significantly different (and longer) itineraries. 

 

Unfortunately, the economics of filling larger ships with more berths on these longer, specialized itineraries does get much more difficult. It's a catch-22. Bigger ships --> more berths --> shorter voyages.

 

 

 

The test of "longer itinerary / larger ship" theory is about to be put to the "test" with the cruise of Zuiderdam doing the 35 day Hawaii/ Tahiti round trip out of San Diego in February of 2022.  This trip was originally scheduled on Volendam which carries 1432 passengers, but was changed to Zuiderdam which carries 1964 passengers.  That is 532 more passengers. 

One of the biggest challenges for Hal will be tendering passengers off and back on from the islands in a timely manner.  I believe there are  7 tender ports on this voyage.   People will not be willing to cruise on a ship if they are not able to get off in a timely manner to meet their tours especially with the short stop times (8am to 5pm)

Also entertaining the guests during the "sea" days will also be an important factor in how well this voyage goes.  To Hawaii is 4 days and returning from Tahiti is 8 days. That is a lot of days to fill with events!  

Anyway I am keeping my fingers crossed this cruise goes ahead and we have a wonderful time.  We are celebrating our 50th Anniversary and so looking forward to it!

 

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On 10/13/2020 at 8:44 PM, rkacruiser said:

 

Let's add Packard, Studebaker, DeSoto to that list.  Favorites during their time.  Father Time made them irrelevant.  May happen to a few North American cruise brands as well.  😢

I suspect that when you mention those car makes on the HAL blog many remember them well.   You might even have HAL cruisers who used to own a Henry J!    Speaking of Studebakers my best boyhood friend's parents had a Studebaker Station Wagon with real exterior wooden panels.  They actually had some mushrooms growing out of one of those panels.  They do not make them like that anymore 🙂

 

Hank

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14 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

   You might even have HAL cruisers who used to own a Henry J!

 

Didn't remember that car.  Your post caused me to access Wikipedia to learn about that car.  Very interesting reading if one is interested in automobile history.  The car was sort of a very early model of the compact cars of future years.  

 

I think its interesting that there was a 1952 Henry J Corsair.  Lincoln has resurrected the "Corsair" name for its compact SUV that had been labeled the MKC.  Prior to this, Chevrolet used the name "Corsair" for their "high-end" Corvair line.    

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7 hours ago, Hflors said:

The test of "longer itinerary / larger ship" theory is about to be put to the "test" with the cruise of Zuiderdam doing the 35 day Hawaii/ Tahiti round trip out of San Diego in February of 2022.  This trip was originally scheduled on Volendam which carries 1432 passengers, but was changed to Zuiderdam which carries 1964 passengers.  That is 532 more passengers. 

 

They also used the Zuiderdam for the Voyage of the Vikings in either 2018 or 2019 (I can't remember which year).  I know MANY loyal VOV passengers were not happy with the change and I also got the impression that HAL had difficulty in selling out the sailing without some discounting, which is VERY unusual for that particular itinerary.  It will be interesting to see how those who have typically only cruised Prinsendam and S/R Class vessels adapt to the new environment with Vista Class taking over some of the longer voyages.

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2 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

 

They also used the Zuiderdam for the Voyage of the Vikings in either 2018 or 2019 (I can't remember which year).  I know MANY loyal VOV passengers were not happy with the change and I also got the impression that HAL had difficulty in selling out the sailing without some discounting, which is VERY unusual for that particular itinerary.  It will be interesting to see how those who have typically only cruised Prinsendam and S/R Class vessels adapt to the new environment with Vista Class taking over some of the longer voyages.

 

Interesting that loyal VOV guests were unhappy with the change.  Do you know why?  The Vista Class ships offer better amenities in some areas than the R Class ships do/did.  Specifically in the Greenhouse Spa facilities.  

 

Maybe people were unhappy with a larger vessel?  Maybe  just because it was a "change" from the "usual"?

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6 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

Maybe people were unhappy with a larger vessel?  Maybe  just because it was a "change" from the "usual"?

 
Both of these things, plus it wasn’t “their” staff that had been on the previous VOV - Captain, Hotel Director, Cruise Director, Bar/Dining/Housekeeping staff, etc.  One of the chief complaints I remember was around onboard activities (or lack thereof) and the Cruise Director, who was on his/her VOV. Folks were NOT happy!

 

I have noticed many posts from those doing these longer specialized voyages, including Grand Voyages, want EVERYTHING about the onboard experience to be the same year after year after year after year.  They find comfort in the familiarity, and I think to some degree the sense they are sailing on “their” ship with “their” crew in “their” cabin feeds a bit into some people’s entitlement/ego.

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7 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

I have noticed many posts from those doing these longer specialized voyages, including Grand Voyages, want EVERYTHING about the onboard experience to be the same year after year after year after year.  They find comfort in the familiarity, and I think to some degree the sense they are sailing on “their” ship with “their” crew in “their” cabin feeds a bit into some people’s entitlement/ego.

 

Bingo!

 

8 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

it wasn’t “their” staff that had been on the previous VOV - Captain, Hotel Director, Cruise Director, Bar/Dining/Housekeeping staff, etc.

 

Based on my experience, who these folks are can make an important difference in the quality of a cruise experience of whatever length or itinerary.  Some are more guest friendly and personable than others.

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1 hour ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

It will be interesting to see how those who have typically only cruised Prinsendam and S/R Class vessels adapt to the new environment with Vista Class taking over some of the longer voyages.

 

I’ve done longer cruises on the Vista class (31-35 days), the S & R class with admittedly most on the Prinsendam.

There are pros and cons to both.  I look at the itinerary and, if it’s one that appeals then I will book it regardless if it is a Vista, S & R or the prior Prinsendam.

Of course, most of the interesting itineraries were on the Prinsendam and I will miss that ship and her itineraries.  In fairness, I will say that the itinerary for our Zuiderdam cruise next fall is different from a typical TA with more ports than a typical TA.

Our last cruise on both the Westerdam and the Zuiderdam were very enjoyable so we will embark with expectations of a good experience 😉 

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1 hour ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Interesting that loyal VOV guests were unhappy with the change.  Do you know why?  The Vista Class ships offer better amenities in some areas than the R Class ships do/did.  Specifically in the Greenhouse Spa facilities.  

 

Maybe people were unhappy with a larger vessel?  Maybe  just because it was a "change" from the "usual"?

 

One big pain point that I remember reading about was the amount of time that tendering took in ports like Greenland -- where there might only be room for one tender at a time to load and unload at the dock. I think people were waiting for hours to get ashore. That would certainly make me VERY unhappy....

 

Big ships don't always fare well in small ports.

 

 

Edited by cruisemom42
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11 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

One big pain point that I remember reading about was the amount of time that tendering took in ports like Greenland -- where there might only be room for one tender at a time to load and unload at the dock. I think people were waiting for hours to get ashore. That would certainly make me VERY unhappy....

 

Big ships don't always fare well in small ports.

 

 

 

I recall that being a big issue - some folks were never able to get ashore in one or more ports as a result,  if I remember correctly, from reading the "live from's" and other trip reports. 

 

Tendering is always a pain point and the larger the ship the more it tends to exacerbate the issue

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10 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

One big pain point that I remember reading about was the amount of time that tendering took in ports like Greenland -- where there might only be room for one tender at a time to load and unload at the dock. I think people were waiting for hours to get ashore. That would certainly make me VERY unhappy....

 

Big ships don't always fare well in small ports.

 

 

MY concern exactly!  There are 7 tender ports on the tahiti / hawaii cruise and the port time isn't that long.  If people can't get off in a timely manner there are going to be some pretty unhappy cruisers.  I also wonder about two of the ports Bora Bora and or Moorea on our last cruise on Rotterdsm we anchored in the lagoon, will Zuiderdam be able to get into the lagoon?

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4 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

 

I recall that being a big issue - some folks were never able to get ashore in one or more ports as a result,  if I remember correctly, from reading the "live from's" and other trip reports. 

 

Tendering is always a pain point and the larger the ship the more it tends to exacerbate the issue

I was on eurodam on a new england and in (i believe it was bar harbour) tendering was so slow that we finally gave up around noon and went and got some lunch.  Lots of people like us were never able to get off in that port.  Some very unhappy people!

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9 minutes ago, Hflors said:

I was on eurodam on a new england and in (i believe it was bar harbour) tendering was so slow that we finally gave up around noon and went and got some lunch.  Lots of people like us were never able to get off in that port.  Some very unhappy people!

 

I've had similar experiences in MANY tender ports on ships of varying sizes from the Paul Gauguin to the Mariner of the Seas, and missed a fair share too (even missed a few "docked" ports due to winds or tidal conditions).  When booking cruises I will not not book an itinerary with a tender port if that port is a make/break to the trip as there is such a higher likelihood of something running amok.

 

Given the wrong conditions even on a 200 passenger vessel it can be a problem, let alone on vessels with multiple thousands!

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