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How Will Holland America Survive ?


mcrcruiser
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3 minutes ago, Roz said:

I'm supposed to sail from Amsterdam in December.  First I have to find a test site in Nashville.  Not easy because most either require you to have a doctor's referral or be symptomatic.  Then they have to assure me they can send a negative test result to me within the required window before my flight.  When I get to Amsterdam where I'm spending 3 days, I have to find a test sight that's open on the weekend and can assure me they can send a negative test result to me within the required window before my cruise.  Coming home Tauck cruise line is offering tests onboard (for a fee) which I'll take in order to fly home from Brussels.  

 

For those of you who live in big cities with low Covid rates, that's great.  For those of us who don't, it's a very stressful situation.  In Nashville we can't even buy the home tests that are accepted.  They're all sold out.  The few test sites I found where I can pay for a test don't have any appts. left.  They're booked solid.  My cardiologist told me to avoid stress and this whole situation is stressing me out.  I'm traveling by myself and am afraid of being stranded in a foreign country.

Are you sure you want to do this?

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Just now, KirkNC said:

Are you sure you want to do this?

 

I'm calling my TA today or tomorrow to see what I'm out if I cancel.  Before this, not only were there all these requirements, but the Netherlands wanted us to quarantine for 5-10 days.  

 

I booked this cruise to celebrate a successful open heart surgery and now it's turned into a real sh*t show.

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5 minutes ago, Mosaic said:

The OP thread title and the thread have nothing to do with each other...


Well, sort of. HAL will survive by getting people to cruise again. Right now that is a problem because of so much uncertainty and stress in meeting the requirements to sail, the risk involved in failing. I see it as related to HAL’s ability to return to profitability.

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The whole cruise industry is up for grabs.  All these requirements, some imposed by the cruise lines and some by the airlines and countries being visited.  And they seem to change by the hour.

 

The cruise lines (including HAL) could make it a little easier for folks and put their minds at ease if they offered pier testing or at least some testing options in the embarkation city.  Let's suppose you tested at home but don't have the results by the time you're supposed to be board.  Wouldn't it be nice to at least have the option to test at the pier if your best laid plans fell thru?

 

We're in Year Two of either no cruising or limited cruising.  How much longer can the cruise lines (not just HAL) hang in there?  And the cruise lines that depend on family cruisers are out of luck with children not being able to be vaccinated.

Edited by Roz
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3 hours ago, steve 48 said:

 

As for Holland America target market.. They are fully aware the current client age is dying off quickly, or too old to cruise.. how to convince carnival and princess supporters to age into Holland america..

 

As I recall from my travel preferences at a younger age, your body takes care convincing you to age into Holland America on its own. Today’s Boomers are yesterday’s Woodstock goers. Clever marketing schemes had nothing to do with it.🤔

Edited by Horizon chaser 1957
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17 hours ago, zgscl said:

I think it really depends where you live. We had absolutely no trouble getting a test through my primary care doctor with results back in 24 hours and now with the emed/Binax Now ag home kit it is even easier. $150 for a pack of 6 which you can do from the comfort of your own home or any other place.

 

I am definitely of the mind that I want a negative result in hand before leaving home. It is one thing to test positive and need to cancel the trip, but arriving at the pier only to test positive and then need to quarantine in a far away city? No thank you.

So here is what I want to know.

If you DO test + just before your cruise.....you have to cancel the cruise. Now, does HAL provide a FULL refund or only if you have the Cancellation Plan? Which provides for only 80 - 90% of the cost.

Also, what about non refundable airline fares and/or hotel reservations? Flying cross country this could amount to $$$$.

 

And what about the "stress" already present when getting ready to depart for a cruise? 

Worrying about the weather, having taken care of all the little details ( the mail, pets, work schedules, etc).

These Covid guidelines just add another layer of stress. I bet everyone is just praying "Please don't let the test come back +!" 

I "get" that you would want to know; but I am of the opinion that we are just going to REALLy need to get back to normal....NORMAL! And just learn to live with this virus. Get vaccinated when appropriate , but these new testing restrictions 72 hours before one cruises has TOTALLY  turned us off to cruising as I am sure it has others. There will be some pent up demand in the near future and passengers  will put up with these restrictions, but I believe as time goes on and more and more ships come to the market  and demand fades; many will seek alternatives to cruising. Just not worth the headaches.

 

I agree with another poster.....if this is truly the future of cruising....forget it!  Better to book a condo  by the beach/ lake/ in the mountains, whatever....within driving distance  and bypass airports / cruise  ships/ etc. Yes , yes  I know more cruising space for you but if this is the NEW cruising  you can have it!   And I can guarantee you....I am not alone in my feelings on this!

Edited by cruisetheworld67
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2 hours ago, Roz said:

 

I'm calling my TA today or tomorrow to see what I'm out if I cancel.  Before this, not only were there all these requirements, but the Netherlands wanted us to quarantine for 5-10 days.  

 

I booked this cruise to celebrate a successful open heart surgery and now it's turned into a real sh*t show.

If you're vaccinated, no quarantine required..

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22 minutes ago, cruisetheworld67 said:

So here is what I want to know.

If you DO test + just before your cruise.....you have to cancel the cruise. Now, does HAL provide a FULL refund or only if you have the Cancellation Plan? Which provides for only 80 - 90% of the cost.

Also, what about non refundable airline fares and/or hotel reservations? Flying cross country this could amount to $$$$.

 

And what about the "stress" already present when getting ready to depart for a cruise? 

Worrying about the weather, having taken care of all the little details ( the mail, pets, work schedules, etc).

These Covid guidelines just add another layer of stress. I bet everyone is just praying "Please don't let the test come back +!" 

I "get" that you would want to know; but I am of the opinion that we are just going to REALLy need to get back to normal....NORMAL! And just learn to live with this virus. Get vaccinated when appropriate , but these new testing restrictions 72 hours before one cruises has TOTALLY  turned us off to cruising as I am sure it has others. There will be some pent up demand in the near future and passengers  will put up with these restrictions, but I believe as time goes on and more and more ships come to the market  and demand fades; many will seek alternatives to cruising. Just not worth the headaches.

 

I agree with another poster.....if this is truly the future of cruising....forget it!  Better to book a condo  by the beach/ lake/ in the mountains, whatever....within driving distance  and bypass airports / cruise  ships/ etc. Yes , yes  I know more cruising space for you but if this is the NEW cruising  you can have it!   And I can guarantee you....I am not alone in my feelings on this!


HAL’ s assistance plan, which is in effect until April for cruises booked this year, will give you FCC if you test positive within 30 days of sailing. If you have insurance, you could get a cash reimbursement instead. HAL will assist you in opening a claim so that FCC does not interfere with your ability to get reimbursement from insurance. Otherwise, insurance will not pay because they consider you already compensated with FCC.

 

As far as air fare or hotels, if you booked those on your own, you’d have to look to insurance for that. Airlines typically issue a voucher, precluding insurance reimbursement; but you could file for any other nonrefundable expenses.

 

Be sure to consult a doctor for an official diagnosis before cancelling if you plan to file a claim. Insurance will require doctor’s orders against travel, and a positive test alone will not suffice. Check your policy to be sure.

 

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1 hour ago, cruisetheworld67 said:

So here is what I want to know.

If you DO test + just before your cruise.....you have to cancel the cruise. Now, does HAL provide a FULL refund or only if you have the Cancellation Plan? Which provides for only 80 - 90% of the cost.

Also, what about non refundable airline fares and/or hotel reservations? Flying cross country this could amount to $$$$.

 

And what about the "stress" already present when getting ready to depart for a cruise? 

Worrying about the weather, having taken care of all the little details ( the mail, pets, work schedules, etc).

 

There is always stress involved in travel, some of it due to the travel process, some of it due to other factors in our own lives (illness other than COVID, illness or injury to a family member requiring your care, hurricanes, blizzards, you name it).

 

Seems to me that is what travel insurance is for. Should ships be in the business of guaranteeing that anything that keeps us from getting onboard a ship at the last minute is their problem?  Cruise lines already offer a pretty good deal to mitigate the uncertainties of COVID.  Most will give you an FCC if you cannot board due to COVID. And if you book air through them I assume that is covered also.  Why should it be their responsibility to give you a cash refund -- they are not the ones who gave you COVID.

 

I hear people bemoaning the restrictions now, after booking, but where was your thinking at when you originally booked?  Every expert and his cousin has stated that AT THE RE-START OF TRAVEL things are going to be rocky for a while and that we should all anticipate CHANGE and ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS. Now is not the time for travel if you are not willing to keep up with the changes and are not a bit flexible.

 

Edited to add:  What I do agree with is that HAL needs to be clearer in their communications and make it easy for everyone to find the relevant information to help them make decisions about whether or not to cruise at this time. And to update those already booked when things change.

Edited by cruisemom42
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14 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

There is always stress involved in travel, some of it due to the travel process, some of it due to other factors in our own lives (illness other than COVID, illness or injury to a family member requiring your care, hurricanes, blizzards, you name it).

 

Seems to me that is what travel insurance is for. Should ships be in the business of guaranteeing that anything that keeps us from getting onboard a ship at the last minute is their problem?  Cruise lines already offer a pretty good deal to mitigate the uncertainties of COVID.  Most will give you an FCC if you cannot board due to COVID. And if you book air through them I assume that is covered also.  Why should it be their responsibility to give you a cash refund -- they are not the ones who gave you COVID.

 

I hear people bemoaning the restrictions now, after booking, but where was your thinking at when you originally booked?  Every expert and his cousin has stated that AT THE RE-START OF TRAVEL things are going to be rocky for a while and that we should all anticipate CHANGE and ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS. Now is not the time for travel if you are not willing to keep up with the changes and are not a bit flexible.

 

 

The last we checked Pandemics are not covered by insurance   .We use the Chase Sapphire Credit card to book our cruises because they will cover our Trip cancellation ,Trip interruption & baggage  up to a 30 day travel window  & up to cost of $20000 each  person  for the trip   up to 2 people  . This cover illness & death  with doctors letter or death certificates  . They don't cover pandemics  & covid .At 83 ,a  $ 6000..00 trip  would normally cost us to insure  approximately $720 .with the Chase Sapphire P{referred we get that insurance free . The card cost is 395 per year .There is a  $1000 cash back  of spending is $4000 or more within 80 days of card issuance . .There are many perks great for travelers with this credit card  . 

 

 Saves us a lot in insurance cost . Mt medical plan covers emergencies & med vac emergencies out of the USA 

 

 The problem is this pandemic when it comes to insurance  & lack of protection 

 

 In addition to the  trip insurance problem are airline flight changes  plus all the covid tests ie requirements . Therefore , many people will take the easier way out   & do alternative vacations that are not cruise related . This is a huge problem facing all cruise lines because of this pandemic & it;s associated difficulties in travel  .At least there is no requirement for covid testing in hotels ,time shares , National & State Parks  & even a beach front home 

 

  

Edited by mcrcruiser
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23 minutes ago, mcrcruiser said:

The last we checked Pandemics are not covered by insurance   .We use the Chase Sapphire Credit card to book our cruises because they will cover our Trip cancellation ,Trip interruption & baggage  up to a 30 day travel window  & up to cost of $20000 each  person  for the trip   up to 2 people  . This cover illness & death  with doctors letter or death certificates  . They don't cover pandemics  & covid .At 83 ,a  $ 6000..00 trip  would normally cost us to insure  approximately $720 .with the Chase Sapphire P{referred we get that insurance free . The card cost is 395 per year .There is a  $1000 cash back  of spending is $4000 or more within 80 days of card issuance . .There are many perks great for travelers with this credit card  . 

 

 Saves us a lot in insurance cost . Mt medical plan covers emergencies & med vac emergencies out of the USA 

 

 The problem is this pandemic when it comes to insurance  & lack of protection 

 

 In addition to the  trip insurance problem are airline flight changes  plus all the covid tests ie requirements . Therefore , many people will take the easier way out   & do alternative vacations that are not cruise related . This is a huge problem facing all cruise lines because of this pandemic & it;s associated difficulties in travel  .At least there is no requirement for covid testing in hotels ,time shares , National & State Parks  & even a beach front home 

 

  

 

There is a difference in saying that insurance companies don't cover a pandemic and saying that your preferred source of insurance does not cover it.

 

People have to take responsibility for their own decisions. Either get the insurance (more expensive) and remove the stress, or do not get the insurance and deal with the consequences if they occur.

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16 minutes ago, mcrcruiser said:

The last we checked Pandemics are not covered by insurance   .We use the Chase Sapphire Credit card to book our cruises because they will cover our Trip cancellation ,Trip interruption & baggage  up to a 30 day travel window  & up to cost of $20000 each  person  for the trip   up to 2 people  . This cover illness & death  with doctors letter or death certificates  . They don't cover pandemics  & covid .At 83 ,a  $ 6000..00 trip  would normally cost us to insure  approximately $720 .with the Chase Sapphire P{referred we get that insurance free . The card cost is 395 per year .There is a  $1000 cash back  of spending is $4000 or more within 80 days of card issuance . .There are many perks great for travelers with this credit card  . 

 

 Saves us a lot in insurance cost . Mt medical plan covers emergencies & med vac emergencies out of the USA 

 

 The problem is this pandemic when it comes to insurance  & lack of protection 

 

 In addition to the  trip insurance problem are airline flight changes  plus all the covid tests ie requirements . Therefore , many people will take the easier way out   & do alternative vacations that are not cruise related . This is a huge problem facing all cruise lines because of this pandemic & it;s associated difficulties in travel  .At least there is no requirement for covid testing in hotels ,time shares , National & State Parks  & even a beach front home 

 

  


If Chase does not cover Covid, it will not cover your cancellation if you test positive before your trip. But - there actually are lots of insurance policies today that cover Covid as any other illness. You can find them on major travel insurance websites by using the filter for covid-friendly or pandemic coverage.

 

It is true that insurance excluded Covid as a known risk when the pandemic first appeared. Now that we have vaccines and treatment, insurance companies are including coverage in the same way they cover other illnesses for cancellation and medical.

 

There are still some policies with exclusions, so use the search filters, read the policy, and ask questions if necessary to find the right coverage for you.
 

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5 hours ago, steve 48 said:

if you study the company reports,{ ccl] the huge increase in fares and future booking  deposits  are keeping these cruise ships afloat. keep a eye on the stock, and as long as it stays above 10.00 a share we should be allright. 

As for Holland America target market.. They are fully aware the current client age is dying off quickly, or too old to cruise.. how to convince carnival and princess supporters to age into Holland america..

 

This, IMHO, is much, much more than simply convincing cruisers to 'age' into  HA.   There is a new generation of older cruisers coming along.  Early retirees, people who expect more and see attributes like excellent internet as a basic standard, not a plus.   Their idea of entertainment will not be third or fourth run movies.    They will have far less vendor loyalty and will be far more apt to shop and compare.  

 

This is a different group. If HAL is expecting them to come simply because of a past reputation then I believe that will be a serious marketing failure.

 

We are in out late 60's.  We enjoy HAL but to be frank HAL is not doing a great deal, other than perhaps some itineraries, to attract our cruise dollars.

Edited by iancal
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3 hours ago, Roz said:

I'm supposed to sail from Amsterdam in December.  First I have to find a test site in Nashville.  Not easy because most either require you to have a doctor's referral or be symptomatic.  Then they have to assure me they can send a negative test result to me within the required window before my flight.  When I get to Amsterdam where I'm spending 3 days, I have to find a test sight that's open on the weekend and can assure me they can send a negative test result to me within the required window before my cruise.  Coming home Tauck cruise line is offering tests onboard (for a fee) which I'll take in order to fly home from Brussels.  

 

For those of you who live in big cities with low Covid rates, that's great.  For those of us who don't, it's a very stressful situation.  In Nashville we can't even buy the home tests that are accepted.  They're all sold out.  The few test sites I found where I can pay for a test don't have any appts. left.  They're booked solid.  My cardiologist told me to avoid stress and this whole situation is stressing me out.  I'm traveling by myself and am afraid of being stranded in a foreign country.

We are in Hermitage and have the BinaxNOW that we purchased at Walgreens. We can get you a test if that will help. I don't know if the results will work for what you need.

We were in the emergency room(Summit) Last week, and the person checking people in told someone that they have a list of places to get tested. I believe CVS on Lebanon pike in Hermitage offers drive by testing. The CVS website shows their locations that offer testing.

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Well, I don’t know and have no crystal ball, but so far from what I have seen, HAL still has the best itineraries for the unique areas.

I think that will have some appeal for a lot of people and as long as HAL steps up their game, they should be good to go.

 

They need to move the smaller ships to the level of the Prinsendam, not dictated to by Seattle and offer interesting menus and sight.  JMO.

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44 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

There is a difference in saying that insurance companies don't cover a pandemic and saying that your preferred source of insurance does not cover it.

 

People have to take responsibility for their own decisions. Either get the insurance (more expensive) and remove the stress, or do not get the insurance and deal with the consequences if they occur.

Exactly.  Also if people book non refundable air and hotels it’s on “you” as well.  Even before the pandemic I never booked a non refundable hotel.  It’s not worth it to save a few bucks.  I’ll be buying air thru hal for the foreseeable future and taking Hal’s insurance even though it’s expensive.  I got money back pronto when I canceled my cruise in March 2020 with no pain.  Others spent what seemed like days on the phone trying to get money back.  Good if you have nothing better to do I guess.

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38 minutes ago, kazu said:

Well, I don’t know and have no crystal ball, but so far from what I have seen, HAL still has the best itineraries for the unique areas.

I think that will have some appeal for a lot of people and as long as HAL steps up their game, they should be good to go.

 

They need to move the smaller ships to the level of the Prinsendam, not dictated to by Seattle and offer interesting menus and sight.  JMO.

It seems fairly clear to me that HAL is abandoning the smaller ship market.  Other vendors have acquired some of HALs older, smaller ships and have been busy refurbishing them up to an acceptable standard.   
 

HAL continues to move away from this niche by  launching much larger ships.  I suspect that the smaller ship market may be taken over by new entry niche players and by premium/luxury cruise lines.  

It seems to me that in the past HAL has been struggling with what they want to be.  It shows in their disjointed marketing.   Their fleet decisions appear to be indicating where they are going.

Edited by iancal
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7 minutes ago, iancal said:

It seems fairly clear to me that HAL is abandoning the smaller ship market.  Other vendors have acquired some of HALs older, smaller ships and have been busy refurbishing them up to an acceptable standard.   
 

HAL continues to move away from this niche by  launching much larger ships.  I suspect that the small ership market my be taken over by new entry niche players and by premium/luxury cruise lines.  
 

Exactly.  I think it’s pretty evident that’s the direction hal is taking.  No crystal ball needed.  If hal made so much money on these ships they’d still be in the fleet.  

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21 hours ago, mcrcruiser said:

 Will HAL  make it easier for it's  customers  to get the  covid test at the pier  or what other good remedy should they put in place ,to keep people cruising  ?

 

Your question has nothing to do with whether HAL will survive!  

 

The answer to the cruise industry's ability to survive depends upon a decision each of us must make.  Which is more important?  Responsibility for the greater good of our society?  Or one's one's belief in what "freedom" means?  

 

Those that want to be tested--wherever--prior to their cruise:  they will sail.

'

Those of us who aren't going to jump through the hoops required to sail and then jump some more when we are on the ship or in the ports:  we are not going to sail.  

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4 hours ago, Roz said:

 

I'm calling my TA today or tomorrow to see what I'm out if I cancel.  Before this, not only were there all these requirements, but the Netherlands wanted us to quarantine for 5-10 days.  

 

I booked this cruise to celebrate a successful open heart surgery and now it's turned into a real sh*t show.

I had 4. Bypasses in 2019. Left me with confusion and anxiety. And trying to read everything now to travel is nearly impossible. The rules of traveling internationally seem to change daily. At least now things finally seem to be opening up. We are flying to London in two months. No problem getting the test free at CVS when I looked ten days out.

Good luck whatever you decide.

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2 hours ago, Sir PMP said:

If you're vaccinated, no quarantine required..

 

I understand that.  Notice I said "before this", but there are still the testing requirements.

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@TomBeckCruise, thank you for your kind responses.  All the Walgreen's, CVS, Kroger, etc. around me are sold out of the tests, but I haven't looked beyond my immediate neighborhood.   I realize things can change before December, but I have to make a decision before final payment is due in October.  

 

Your post made me realize I may be suffering some post-surgery anxiety I wasn't aware of.  

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3 hours ago, Sir PMP said:

If you're vaccinated, no quarantine required..

Are you sure?  The Netherlands has the U.S. listed as "very high risk" and the way I read it, having a vaccination didn't exempt you from the 5-10 day quarantine.

 

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8 minutes ago, SueMo said:

Are you sure?  The Netherlands has the U.S. listed as "very high risk" and the way I read it, having a vaccination didn't exempt you from the 5-10 day quarantine.

 

 

the Netherlands changed their quarantine requirement a day or two ago (I forget which, sorry).  Quarantine is no longer required for U.S. citizens if you are fully vaccinated and have your covid test.

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