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HAL reducing long exotic voyages


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6 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

Surely can be, but even with my experience aboard the Prinsendam at St. Bart's, the sea was OK just enough to allow for tender operations.  Even then, there was a guest who was injured trying to enter a tender.  Tender operations in both directions were slow and somewhat frustrating.  Magnify the size of the guest load, such ports probably are inappropriate for the larger vessels.  Does this mean "bye-bye" Moorea,  Bora Bora, Bay of Islands, Maui, Petrovovlask, Sitka, and how many others as ports?  Maybe in this "new era of cruising" that seems to be coming, some ports need to make some adaptations if they still wish to have cruises visit their wonderful communities.  

 

There are often injuries on tenders unfortunately.  It doesn’t matter what ship it is.  It just takes a passenger who is not up to it or the wrong tilt of the waves to throw things off.  The crew do a great job but tendering is risky.

I don’t know if it means the end of some of those ports you mentioned.  The Westerdam certainly went to some of them on our Hawaii, Tahiti, Marquesas cruise.  AT least, what ones we got to.  Weather was the issue on that cruise.

 

6 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Regardless of whatever Class/size of HAL ship on which I have sailed, the service has mostly met my expectations.

 

 

I am not quibbling about service but stating the true difference on a small ship.  There were a LOT more crew on the Prinsendam to passenger on any other ship and it showed.

They knew who you were, there were nice appetizers on every sail a way, great hors’ d’hoeuvres at every happy hour and your drink (if you had a favourite) was memorized after the first visit.  The only cruise that I have been on that came close was the Rotterdam due to one person in the Retreat and fabulous stewards in the MDR.

 

I’m not saying staff aren’t great but there is a HUGE difference when there are more.

 

And yes, Prinsendam had fabulous staff IMO and that size did make a difference.  

 

Yes, you lost some amenities but it had the nicest PG in the fleet IMO and smartest laid out cabins.  Each to their own, but having sailed on S & R ships, Vistas, Signature, I can say honestly, for us, there was a difference.  We’ll have to adjust now 

 

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There have been a lot of good comments here.

Most of my days aboard have been on the S and R class ships.  We tried to overlook some of the problems that came with the older ships because we did, as several of you said, enjoyed the advantages of a smaller ship.  I was curious about the Koningsdam, so we did an 11 day Caribbean cruise.  The ship was overwhelming at first, but beautiful in many ways.  K'dam's MDR lacked any individual attention for the most part.  The walk around deck without deck chairs was sad. We were dazzled by the theater.  Everything worked and nothing leaked.  Our only tender port was HMC, and with the bigger island tenders, it was fine.  By the end of the 11 days, I thought I was converted.  Lo and behold, a good price came up for the Veendam for an itinerary we liked.  Would we still like the old Veendam after being on the new ship?  Short answer; YES!  

 

Sadly, with the covid crunch, I don't see the Vista class ever replacing the itineraries of the 

S and R class, let alone the Prinsendam.  The little P'dam was 30 years old when HAL sold her; the Amsterdam was just 20.  

 

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On 10/15/2020 at 4:41 PM, 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.

The short answer is that we won’t adapt to HAL’s only bigger ships, we, (at least Mrs Banjo and Myself), will be moving on to other lines.  Oceania being one we are eying right now that has ships similar in size to S class and with more interesting IT’s.  But, it is not because we want to leave HAL, it is because HAL is abandoning us.

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14 minutes ago, crusinbanjo said:

the new environment with Vista Class taking over some of the longer voyages.

The Zaandam, a R class ship, is scheduled to do the next VoV, Grand Africa and Grand World Voyage so not all is lost!

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4 minutes ago, Lido - Lanai said:

The Zaandam, a R class ship, is scheduled to do the next VoV, Grand Africa and Grand World Voyage so not all is lost!

I wish hal had scheduled zaandam to do the hawaii/ tahiti cruise in 2022 instead of moving the passengers to zuiderdam!!!

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33 minutes ago, crusinbanjo said:

The short answer is that we won’t adapt to HAL’s only bigger ships, we, (at least Mrs Banjo and Myself), will be moving on to other lines.  Oceania being one we are eying right now that has ships similar in size to S class and with more interesting IT’s.  But, it is not because we want to leave HAL, it is because HAL is abandoning us.

 

Don't overlook Azamara. They have long focused on itineraries and have a low-key vibe rather like HAL. I haven't yet cruised Oceania -- every time I think I will book with them, something about the experience turns me off.

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32 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Don't overlook Azamara. They have long focused on itineraries and have a low-key vibe rather like HAL. I haven't yet cruised Oceania -- every time I think I will book with them, something about the experience turns me off.

We have yet to cruise Azamara but want to give them a try.  We are going to them and O in the future (watch out, Kazu will show up and say O is horrible 😇).

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4 hours ago, Hflors said:

I wish hal had scheduled zaandam to do the hawaii/ tahiti cruise in 2022 instead of moving the passengers to zuiderdam!!!


Volendam is still scheduled for a 45 day Hawaii/Tahiti sailing in fall 2021, so that is an alternate option.

Edited by AtlantaCruiser72
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5 minutes ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:


Volendam is still scheduled for a 45 day Hawaii/Tahiti sailing in fall 2021, so that is an alternate option.

 

If one believes long cruises will happen in 2021....  (I am on the fence on that.)

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I know a number of people who could show up and claim that HAL is horrible based only on one unfortunate cruise and none thereafter.  Seems to me it is possible to have a wonderful cruise or a very poor cruise on many lines.

 

Does anyone think that HAL, Celebrity, Cunard or Oceania are exempt from this?  In the past we have met a few former Veendam cruisers who feel exactly this way about HAL.

Edited by iancal
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1 hour ago, iancal said:

I know a number of people who could show up and claim that HAL is horrible based only on one unfortunate cruise and none thereafter.  Seems to me it is possible to have a wonderful cruise or a very poor cruise on many lines.

 

 

I laughed to myself when I saw this statement.  I was wearing my "On Deck for A Cause" T-shirt and a man walked up to me and said, "How could you publicize such a terrible cruise line?"  He then proceeded to tell me everything that was wrong with HAL based upon a single cruise.

 

I am not KAZU, but I'm a bit hesitant to book a cruise on Oceania.  My first cruise on that line was wonderful.  My second cruise was a comedy of errors. 

 

I have read some pretty great suggestions as to what HAL could do in the future to please those of us who like the longer voyages and the HAL environment.   It is still my favorite cruise line.

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We really enjoy the longer and more exotic itineraries as well.   We didn’t have the pleasure of the Prinsendam,  and our Tahiti cruise on the Pacific Princess  that I should be on right now was cancelled. 

 

But we have sailed on the Rotterdam, which we loved and three of the four signatures, one Vista and one Pinnacle class. We have loved them all, even the much aligned Koningsdam,   She is truly beautiful.  My only concern is that sometimes maintenance has  been deferred too long.  Our first 20 day cruise on Noordam was wonderful. Our last was a real disappointment,  the lack of repair of a suite was unacceptable, let alone the old TVs and leaks with buckets.  

 

So really hoping this paring down of the fleet results in a quality offering on every cruise. We too have looked elsewhere,  really want to give Crystal a try if it survives.  

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6 hours ago, crusinbanjo said:

The short answer is that we won’t adapt to HAL’s only bigger ships, we, (at least Mrs Banjo and Myself), will be moving on to other lines.  Oceania being one we are eying right now that has ships similar in size to S class and with more interesting IT’s.  But, it is not because we want to leave HAL, it is because HAL is abandoning us.

As we have searched other lines, I have made that exact comment, we are not leaving HAL, they are leaving us.

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@crusinbanjo @KirkNC Carnival Corp/HAL have made the future of the brand clear starting with the launch of the Zuiderdam in 2002. They have had nearly 20 years (since delivery of the Amsterdam in 2000) to develop & build ships in the size of the Prinsendam or S/R class vessels if they wanted to. Instead we got 4 Vista Class, 2 Signature Class and at least 3 Pinnacle Class. The writing has been on the wall for 20 years, and sadly the COVID crisis has only accelerated it.  
 

The future of HAL is going to be vessels of 2000 passengers and larger. They will continue to be marketed and sold as a mainstream premium brand. They will lose some of the specialized/boutique itineraries that only smaller vessels can operate.  They will lose some of the passenger base that will only sail the smaller ships.  
 

Carnival Corp seems okay with all of the above for the HAL brand.

Edited by AtlantaCruiser72
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1 hour ago, AtlantaCruiser72 said:

@crusinbanjo @KirkNC Carnival Corp/HAL have made the future of the brand clear starting with the launch of the Zuiderdam in 2002. They have had nearly 20 years (since delivery of the Amsterdam in 2000) to develop & build ships in the size of the Prinsendam or S/R class vessels if they wanted to. Instead we got 4 Vista Class, 2 Signature Class and at least 3 Pinnacle Class. The writing has been on the wall for 20 years, and sadly the COVID crisis has only accelerated it.  
 

The future of HAL is going to be vessels of 2000 passengers and larger. They will continue to be marketed and sold as a mainstream premium brand. They will lose some of the specialized/boutique itineraries that only smaller vessels can operate.  They will lose some of the passenger base that will only sail the smaller ships.  
 

Carnival Corp seems okay with all of the above for the HAL brand.

You are absolutely correct.

 

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2 hours ago, lcand1923 said:

I laughed to myself when I saw this statement.  I was wearing my "On Deck for A Cause" T-shirt and a man walked up to me and said, "How could you publicize such a terrible cruise line?"  He then proceeded to tell me everything that was wrong with HAL based upon a single cruise.

 
I have never had that happen, but as a cancer survivor, I did the “On Deck For A Cure” only once and won’t ever do it again because of the way it was run.  Long story, but for another thread.

 

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Clearly the small ship cruises will be in the premium class lines, not the main stream lines.  Which of course means that the cost will also be in the premium category.

 

While an overall comparison of pricing information is not available there is information on percentage of revenue and percetage of passengers that a cruise lines has.  If you use those numbers to create a ratio to give a relative comparison HAL comes in at about 1.75 compared to Princess at 1.42,  Looking at the Premium lines you get Oceania at 4.6, Azmara at 3.0.  Viking comes in at 2.17.  Now this is a crude measure that could be impacted by how small some of the numbers are in % revenue vs % passengers giving a wide margin of error.

 

But if you compare balcony cabins on Oceania vs HAL figure at least 50% more per day on Oceania  At least that is where the cruises we have taken and priced have come in.

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19 hours ago, St Pete Cruiser said:

The ship was overwhelming at first, but beautiful in many ways. 

 

That was my impression on Embarkation Day on the Nieuw Statendam.  I did expect such a reaction, however.  I quickly got used to the size and the layout.  Beautiful?  A bland decor in the Theater, a MDR with Yellow/White decor that got "old" quickly for me, and unlabeled art in which I found some interesting and some simply weird,  

 

19 hours ago, St Pete Cruiser said:
19 hours ago, St Pete Cruiser said:

The walk around deck without deck chairs was sad. We were dazzled by the theater.  

 

The Promenade Deck is a disappointment.  I was seriously un-dazzled by the Theater.  The performances that I attended in such a hyped, high tech Theater were most underwhelming and certainly failed to use the 270 degree screen to its best use.  My reviews on CC and to HAL that I wrote were most negative.  I expected Wow!  What I experienced:  what was all the hype about?  

 

19 hours ago, St Pete Cruiser said:
19 hours ago, St Pete Cruiser said:
19 hours ago, kazu said:

Yes, you lost some amenities but it had the nicest PG in the fleet IMO and smartest laid out cabins

 

Prinsendam's PG had "character" that the the S and R Class ships lack/lacked.  The PG's on the other ships that have tables arranged in "rings" are fine--if--if--one gets a table that is not on the outer most ring.  

 

 

19 hours ago, St Pete Cruiser said:
19 hours ago, St Pete Cruiser said:
9 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

Don't overlook Azamara.

 

Azamara will never find me aboard one of their current ships.  They are the former ships of Renaissance Cruises.  Friends who have more cruising experience than me sailed on them when they were Renaissance vessels.  The physical layout and the noise due to the low ceiling of the MDR were important items that they disliked.  The Azamara deck plans that I have seen do not show much alterations as to how the ships were originally built.

 

19 hours ago, St Pete Cruiser said:
19 hours ago, St Pete Cruiser said:
9 hours ago, crusinbanjo said:

But, it is not because we want to leave HAL, it is because HAL is abandoning us.

 

 

 

cruisinbanjo, I know exactly how you feel.  I have felt the same regarding my abandoning two organizations of which I have been a member for many years.  I affiliated with one of those organizations in 1964.  

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56 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Azamara will never find me aboard one of their current ships.  They are the former ships of Renaissance Cruises.  Friends who have more cruising experience than me sailed on them when they were Renaissance vessels.  The physical layout and the noise due to the low ceiling of the MDR were important items that they disliked.  The Azamara deck plans that I have seen do not show much alterations as to how the ships were originally built.

 

 

How odd you should say this. I found the MDR on Azamara exceptionally quiet. Tables are well spaced apart, good use of upholstered surfaces deadens noise. The room may not have been physically altered, but it has certainly been extensively redone.

 

Also, it's always been my understanding that low ceilings, while less visually appealing, are better at deadening noise than high ceilings, where the noise tends to bounce around. See, for example, this article on why restaurants have gotten so loud:

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/11/how-restaurants-got-so-loud/576715/

 

A quote:  "No soft goods and tall ceilings mean nothing is absorbing sound energy, and a room full of hard surfaces serves as a big sonic mirror, reflecting sound around the room."

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4 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

How odd you should say this. I found the MDR on Azamara exceptionally quiet.

 

I am only posting what I was told by cruising friends whose opinions I respect.

 

Maybe after RCI acquired these ships and created Azamara, sufficient physical changes were made in the MDR ceiling to make the room "exceptionally quiet".  Given what an Azamara cruise costs, I have no interest in deciding whether they are correct or you are correct.

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43 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

How odd you should say this. I found the MDR on Azamara exceptionally quiet. Tables are well spaced apart, good use of upholstered surfaces deadens noise. The room may not have been physically altered, but it has certainly been extensively redone.

 

Also, it's always been my understanding that low ceilings, while less visually appealing, are better at deadening noise than high ceilings, where the noise tends to bounce around. See, for example, this article on why restaurants have gotten so loud:

 

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/11/how-restaurants-got-so-loud/576715/

 

A quote:  "No soft goods and tall ceilings mean nothing is absorbing sound energy, and a room full of hard surfaces serves as a big sonic mirror, reflecting sound around the room."

On the Pacific Princess, also a former R ship, did not notice any noise issues in the MDR.  Certainly quieting than on the Celebrity Solstice class ships.

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38 minutes ago, nocl said:

On the Pacific Princess, also a former R ship, did not notice any noise issues in the MDR.  Certainly quieting than on the Celebrity Solstice class ships.

 

I appreciate reading your post.  I still have no interest in an Azamara cruise.  I do not care for the layout of the ship as I see it in their deck plans.  

 

Having sailed on Celebrity Eclipse, I did not find her MDR to be unusually noisy.  

Edited by rkacruiser
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16 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

cruisinbanjo, I know exactly how you feel.  I have felt the same regarding my abandoning two organizations of which I have been a member for many years.  I affiliated with one of those organizations in 1964.  

 We are 4 star Mariners, almost always take a Neptune Suite  and would be 5 star on our next cruise.  Very disappointing 

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18 hours ago, crusinbanjo said:

 
I have never had that happen, but as a cancer survivor, I did the “On Deck For A Cure” only once and won’t ever do it again because of the way it was run.  Long story, but for another thread.

 

I am so sorry for your bad experience.

 

I have done Cancer Walks on HAL and Celebrity.  Some are run well, others are run very poorly.  It seems to depend on the Cruise Director and his/her staff.  In quite a few instances, I have seen the participants more or less run the walk because the Cruise Director had no idea what makes a successful walk.

 

 

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