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'The Bear'

'Crowsnest' Restricted Access -- Maasdam

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Attention Maasdam Cruisers:

 

I was wondering why this half of our B2B was almost sold out (1/5/08 - 1/15/08), while the second half had lots of space left in most catagories. Upon investigation I discovered that a 'Jazz Sea Cruise' (700 pax) are aboard the ship so, after reading about the 'Rotterdam Incident', I asked my TA to investigate the restricted areas !!

 

Sure enough the Crowsnest will be reserved from 11:00 - 22:00 on all 'at sea' days, and from 14:00 -16:00 on certain 'port' days (St. Martin for sure!). In addition the Ocean Bar will be closed for two hours on various nights. (She wasn't specific, because she stated that we would be at the shows then.)

 

These were the only 2 venues that I inquired about. I probably will still take this cruise, because I love this ship:) ; but I wanted to warn others who have already booked this cruise, or those that are contemplating booking this cruise of this impending inconvenience!

 

I wish that HAL would be proactive and notify/warn prospective passengers when accepting bookings, when these conflicts might occur; instead of remaining secretive, and forcing us to search for this info !! :mad:

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Attention Maasdam Cruisers:.... Upon investigation I discovered that a 'Jazz Sea Cruise' (700 pax) are aboard the ship so' date=' after reading about the 'Rotterdam Incident', I asked my TA to investigate the restricted areas !!

 

Sure enough the Crowsnest will be reserved from 11:00 - 22:00 on all 'at sea' days, and from 14:00 -16:00 on certain 'port' days (St. Martin for sure!). In addition the Ocean Bar will be closed for two hours on various nights. ...I wanted to warn others who have already booked this cruise, or those that are contemplating booking this cruise of this impending inconvenience!

 

I wish that HAL would be proactive and notify/warn prospective passengers when accepting bookings, when these conflicts might occur; instead of remaining secretive, and forcing us to search for this info !! :mad:[/quote']

 

Actually, based on my own experience, you're lucky your TA was able to get any information at all about which areas would be closed for a private group. I asked my TA to ask the same question, and they were told HAL does not give out that information, period. So they are even more secretive than you think!

 

You might want to post this info on the roll call for this cruise, and also make sure to pass it along to the person who is maintaining the group cruise list (see sticky on that subject).

 

What a rotten deal! I am so sorry to hear that you will be subjected to this treatment. Clearly HAL has NOT learned their lesson from the infamous Rotterdam incident. Since you know in advance, maybe you and your shipmates should organize some sort of protest via your roll call. Good luck!

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What exactly would the Jazz enthusiasts be doing in the Crows Nest for eleven hours on sea days? Jazz competitions? Jazz lessons? Miss Jazz International pageant?

 

Last year I took four cruises on HAL and had always enjoyed using Crows Nest on the various ships.

 

Donald.

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I would seek other confirmation before I took this as absolutely so. It is quite surprising that your TA would have been given that information which is what prompts me to seek additional confirmation. Not saying it isn't accurate but.......

 

 

 

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In the misery loves company boat, most of the boards are increasingly lighting up with this same topic, group cruises and areas being closed. And the cruise lines are not talking.

 

You are indeed fortunate that someone at HAL gave your travel agent this information this far in advance. I wonder if it is a new policy or someone who did not know better. Or perhaps, your travel agent has inside connections.

 

In any event, if you have any inkling that this will impact your cruise, I hope you will consider rescheduling it.

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I would seek other confirmation before I took this as absolutely so. It is quite surprising that your TA would have been given that information which is what prompts me to seek additional confirmation. Not saying it isn't accurate but.......

 

This is perhaps the best advice of the day.

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That STINKS!!!!:mad: :mad: :mad:

 

I would be madder than a wet hornet if that happened on my cruise!!!..Sea days are the times I really enjoy using the Crows Nest..:mad: :mad:

 

Perhaps HAL did not give the TA this info..It's very possible the TA learned it from the group organizer with a discrete inquiry..

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I too would be very disappointed to be barred from access to the premier observation point on a HAL ship by some private activity. I believe the proper venue for such activity would be the Half Moon/Hudson Room, or if a larger space was needed, the theater or show lounge during the day.

The Crows Nest should always be (at least one-half), open to 'the public' at all times.

I can see why HAL doesn't disclose this info. It would surely be a deal-breaker for me if I knew. I would reschedule or choose another ship.

If it happenned to me, it might even drive me to another cruiseline for my next cruise.

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'Serendipity' -- I discovered the group cruise yesterday on the 'sticky' at the top of the HAL board,, if not for that, I probably would never have known until I boarded the ship! I then requested that my TA investigate for me, the reserved areas for this group (I only inquired about the CN & Ocean Bar, because those are areas that and I particularly enjoy frequenting.) There may be other venues reserved as well!

I have no idea who all she talked to; but it took her most of the day to get a straight answer.

 

'Sail'-- How would you proceed to verify this info? Is there someone special that I could contact ?

 

 

Switching my B2B to the cruise on the other end of this booking won't work because the Maasdam is sailing to LA via the Panama Canal (15 days & lots more money!)

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'Sail'-- How would you proceed to verify this info? Is there someone special that I could contact ?

 

 

Google it. Here it is:

January 5 - 15, 2008

Bob Schulz Frisco Jazz Band

Jazz Cruise...Mediterranean...aboard Holland America Maasdam

JazzSea@aol.com, or call us toll-free at 1-800-323-3881.

 

SaltwaterTwo

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I would seek other confirmation before I took this as absolutely so. It is quite surprising that your TA would have been given that information which is what prompts me to seek additional confirmation. Not saying it isn't accurate but.......

 

Why would the TA make this up? Or are you implying that someone at HAL would make it up????

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Attention Maasdam Cruisers:

 

I was wondering why this half of our B2B was almost sold out (1/5/08 - 1/15/08)' date=' while the second half had lots of space left in most catagories. Upon investigation I discovered that a 'Jazz Sea Cruise' (700 pax) are aboard the ship so, after reading about the 'Rotterdam Incident', I asked my TA to investigate the restricted areas !! [/quote']

 

I found the agency handling this group, the cruise description is here. Interesting to note this:

"Although we realize that you may have a relationship with another travel

agent or agency, we must make you aware that we will not cooperate with other travel agents that might want to book this cruise for you. Please understand that the bands are hired & compensated by JAZZSEA

CRUISES not Holland America Lines. If you have questions about working

with our agency, please call us at 1-800-323-3881. We can provide you

with cruise line and JAZZSEA CRUISES passenger references."

 

In other words, the rest of you folks are SOL. I would expect your TA to work HAL very hard for adequate compensation for the loss of venues. I'd expect everyone in your roll call to do the same.

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I didn't mean to imply anything other than if it were me booked on that cruise, I would have beenseeking additional confirmation. It seems that since the original post, more confirmation has been established. I am not booked on that cruise and would not seek to book it under these circumstances in case it is true.

 

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Why guess?

 

unless most people on this board have just landed on Planet Earth, it's no secret that Seattle (and how many crew on the ships) reads CC:eek:

 

so Seattle (love how a city is a person:D) what's going on?

 

is the report accurate or not?

 

if Maasdam has been partially chartered, will public rooms be shut down or not?

 

is the Crow's impacted or not?

 

how about the Ocean Bar? do you intend to shut that down at all or deny access to pax other than the jazz set?

 

let's go CC posters!

 

everyone join in

 

no kidding around: if Seattle is at it again, let's force them to tell us what's happening

 

if I were booked on that cruise, I'd be looking for something else right now

 

if this is true, shame on you Seattle:mad:

 

if its' not true, come out from behind the curtain and tell us the truth

 

or is the bottom dollar more important than anything else

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A couple of years ago, we were on the Amsterdam to Alaska. I don't know if it had anything to do with Jazzsea, but there was a Jazz group with different Jazz singers and musicians. They were often performing in the Crow's Nest. We just walked in and enjoyed it with everyone else. No one stopped us and asked if we were part of the group.

 

Maybe something has changed since then.... and if you hated Jazz, it would ruin your cruise.

 

Has anyone been on an official Jazz cruise and were told you couldn't enter the Crow's Nest? Or did you just see the reserved sign and turned around and walked away?

Personally, if I didn't mind the music, I would just walk in and enjoy it.

 

I would be very interested in reports of anyone that was asked to leave because you weren't part of the Group.

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I found the agency handling this group, the cruise description is here. Interesting to note this:

"Although we realize that you may have a relationship with another travel

agent or agency, we must make you aware that we will not cooperate with other travel agents that might want to book this cruise for you. Please understand that the bands are hired & compensated by JAZZSEA

CRUISES not Holland America Lines. If you have questions about working

with our agency, please call us at 1-800-323-3881. We can provide you

with cruise line and JAZZSEA CRUISES passenger references."

 

In other words, the rest of you folks are SOL. I would expect your TA to work HAL very hard for adequate compensation for the loss of venues. I'd expect everyone in your roll call to do the same.

 

It is not uncommon for the TA organizing the group to require you to book thru them. After all, part of their incentive to put together the group is the number of bookings they get. I was part of Geek Cruises a few years ago and ran into the same thing. Their price for non-participants was higher so I booked my family thru another agency. I have also seen this on most of the groups as I research them for the list

 

Rich

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We (unknowingly) booked to cruise Volendam, October 2006, on what turned out to be a Jazz Cruise.

 

We had no restrictions on us whatsoever. Each night their Jazz Band (12 oe 13 pieces) played in Crows Nest and everyone was welcome to listen/dance.

 

Only one night of ten do I recall they played in Ocean Bar and all guests on the ships were welcome.

 

I have no idea who sponsored/conducted that group but there was no inconvience or limitation suffered by anyone not a part of their group.

 

Sounds very different from what is being said here about the Maasdam Jazz Cruise. I hate if what is being described it true.

 

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Sea King......

 

You raise an interesting situation.

 

I have been led to believe that some folks at corporate in Seattle may glance at this board from time to time but I never heard if any of them ever post.

 

IF they do, how much fun would it be to know their 'nicknames'. :)

 

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Why guess?

 

unless most people on this board have just landed on Planet Earth, it's no secret that Seattle (and how many crew on the ships) reads CC:eek:

 

so Seattle (love how a city is a person:D) what's going on? ....

 

Good questions (in the part of your post I omitted to save space)! I think "The Bear" or someone else who has booked that cruise should send a hard copy letter to Mr. Kruse asking those questions, and demanding some sort of appropriate compensation (OBC, upgrades, penalty-free rebooking) if the info is true. And whatever happened to the promise made by the Mariner Society lady (as reported in the Rotterdam thread) that HAL's policies have changed and this will not happen again?

 

The state of "denial" exhibited by the letter posted in the Rotterdam thread indicates that "Seattle" has not yet gotten the message that closing off the CN or other important venues for private groups is NOT OK with other pax. We need to bring it to their attention forcefully and repeatedly in every possible way.

 

I understand the economic need for HAL to solicit group bookings, but I cannot believe they really need to give individual pax the shaft in order to attract groups. There are lots of other incentives they can offer groups, and several venues they can make available to them, without shortchanging other passengers by barring them from premium areas of the ship.

 

The premium public areas are an important part of the reason people book the cruise. HAL's advertised ship descriptions constitute an implicit representation that the public areas will be available for public use. To close them off without pre-booking notice is FALSE ADVERTISING, and we should NOT let HAL get away with it!

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I am very disappointed after reading this thread because I received an email from Mariner Society stating that there would not be another situation like the recent Crow's Nest saga on the Rotterdam.

 

I informed HAL that I was…'considering the available cruises listed

for 2008'.

 

…I discussed the claim on CC by a passenger on the MS Rotterdam

(Black Sea & Egypt Cruise) that the Crows Nest has been

unavailable for MOST of the time because it had been made available to a select group of passengers.

 

I asked was this true (no doubt on the OP's integrity – just getting facts) and …'Is this practice by Holland America Line likely to be repeated on other cruise itineraries'.

 

The reply from 'Nobody' in Mariner Society -

 

'Dear Mariner;

This is an excerpt from a letter sent by the Hotel Manager to the 9 current guests on board the Rotterdam who either came to the Front Office or filled out a "We care" card regarding the Crow's Nest availability.

 

"We have re-scheduled group events to accommodate all of our guests. With the exception of May 11 and 13th, during the day, the Crow's Nest will be open to all guests at all hours. We are very sorry our group arrangements resulted in a less than extraordinary cruise experience for you during this cruise."

 

Rest assured there will not be another situation like this. (my emphasis)

Regards,,

Mariner Society"

 

If I find myself in a situation on any future HAL cruise where access to the CN is restricted in a similar manner as the Rotterdam incident, I would be entitled to claim that I had been knowingly misled . (I would be hopping mad if it happened and I don't care what justification is peddled - whereas if I know beforehand I can choose whether or not to cruise).

 

But perhaps HAL can cover itself by not restricting access to the CN in exactly the same way as on the Rotterdam.

 

Leaves me feeling disappointed just the same. Happy sailing to you anyway.

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I've thought long and hard about responding to this post as I realize I am opening myself and my company to some abusive posts. I have posted on this board for a long time and have never tried to hide who I am or the types of cruises I promote. Please take into consideration that I have been planning and promoting Dixieland Jazz cruises for over 25 years before you start calling me names and wishing me or my company or my bands ill.

 

Also consider that when available I will ALWAYS post that I have a large group on a certain Holland America Line vessel.

 

We do have a large group of jazz fans on our January 5 - 15, 2008, Maasdam sailing. Anyone who is sailing on the ship will know that a large group is booked because all of early dinner seating (both upper and lower level) are booked. Passengers are not given an option to waitlist this dining. The dining is CLOSED. Any time that happens on a ship it means that a large group will be aboard ship. (Note: TAs do not always tell their clients that the dining room is CLOSED. They will sometimes imply that the passenger can make a change aboard ship.)

 

Why do we reserve all of the first dinner seating? So that our evening entertainment will impact fewer "regular" passengers. We will use the Crow's Nest and the Ocean Bar while "regular" passengers are having dinner. Please note that the two hour period after early dinner is one of the few times that our music or these venues will be closed to other passengers. At most other times, all venues that our bands use will be open to anyone who wishes to be present. The only venue that is closed is the "Half Moon Room" as it is used for private and group music lessons.

 

The only other venue closing will be for our 25th Anniversary Cocktail Party.

 

I welcome your questions (if you have any) and will respond should you request a response from me.

 

You also need to be aware that Holland America Line executives do read these boards and that your remarks have been heard "loud and clear". We are currently working with several departments within Holland America Line to be sure that our group does not deprive any of you from having an excellent onboard cruise experience.

 

I have read most of the "group onboard postings" and actually appreciate reading what you post. In order for me to stay in business I need to know how to accommodate other passengers in order to produce a cruise that does not cause the ship's staff or Holland America Line executives any headaches.

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I've thought long and hard about responding to this post as I realize I am opening myself and my company to some abusive posts. I have posted on this board for a long time and have never tried to hide who I am or the types of cruises I promote. Please take into consideration that I have been planning and promoting Dixieland Jazz cruises for over 25 years before you start calling me names and wishing me or my company or my bands ill.

 

Also consider that when available I will ALWAYS post that I have a large group on a certain Holland America Line vessel.

 

We do have a large group of jazz fans on our January 5 - 15, 2008, Maasdam sailing. Anyone who is sailing on the ship will know that a large group is booked because all of early dinner seating (both upper and lower level) are booked. Passengers are not given an option to waitlist this dining. The dining is CLOSED. Any time that happens on a ship it means that a large group will be aboard ship. (Note: TAs do not always tell their clients that the dining room is CLOSED. They will sometimes imply that the passenger can make a change aboard ship.)

 

Why do we reserve all of the first dinner seating? So that our evening entertainment will impact fewer "regular" passengers. We will use the Crow's Nest and the Ocean Bar while "regular" passengers are having dinner. Please note that the two hour period after early dinner is one of the few times that our music or these venues will be closed to other passengers. At most other times, all venues that our bands use will be open to anyone who wishes to be present. The only venue that is closed is the "Half Moon Room" as it is used for private and group music lessons.

 

The only other venue closing will be for our 25th Anniversary Cocktail Party.

 

I welcome your questions (if you have any) and will respond should you request a response from me.

 

You also need to be aware that Holland America Line executives do read these boards and that your remarks have been heard "loud and clear". We are currently working with several departments within Holland America Line to be sure that our group does not deprive any of you from having an excellent onboard cruise experience.

 

I have read most of the "group onboard postings" and actually appreciate reading what you post. In order for me to stay in business I need to know how to accommodate other passengers in order to produce a cruise that does not cause the ship's staff or Holland America Line executives any headaches.

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Thank you Carol for your thoughtful and candid response. As you know from years in the business, travel is a competitive industry whose clients are seriously emotionally involved. They may be celebrating a special anniversary, birthday, taking the vacation of a lifetime, spending time with family members who are living far apart. Months of planning can go into these trips and expectations run high. It's the nature of the beast. That said, companies who provide travel services should recognize this and understand that decisions such as the one on the Rotterdam will not be tolerated quietly.

 

You have been very gracious in letting the board members know what to expect should they chose to book the Dixie Jazz Cruise. This give them the option of booking or not. Personally, I would sail in a New York minute if I could but that's just me.

 

I think it's the "UNPLESANT SURPRISE" that inflames people. Seattle should understand that it's the secret, spring it on the pax when they're captive policy that created this outcry. I suspect that if HAL, like you, were up front about groups and closed dining or venues on a cruise, their loyal passengers would continue to book their great cruises.

 

BYW will the passengers be able to enjoy the music?:)

 

Carole

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