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DutchByAssociation

A new HAL Blog! (Yes, I'm a HAL employee!)

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Hi Dutch --

 

One of my 'fun' things to do from time to time is to go to the HAL site and check my booked reservations. It is exciting and adds to the whole cruising experience for me. However, I can only check the bookings that we have made online. Do you think that the site could be modified so that all future bookings can be viewed?

 

 

We have an additional booking with HAL that we cannot access because it was made while on board ship. We plan to book another cruise when we are on the Volendam next month because we enjoy the perks that go along with booking on board. It would be awfully nice if we could access that booking online as well.

 

This is no urgent matter, obviously, but it is a suggestion I am making to see if HAL can somehow modify its site so that you can view all your bookings online and not just the ones that you have made that way. Do you think there would be any chance of that happening?

 

Thanks for your patience with all us cruisers, questioners, petitioners!

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Hi Dutch --

 

One of my 'fun' things to do from time to time is to go to the HAL site and check my booked reservations. It is exciting and adds to the whole cruising experience for me. However, I can only check the bookings that we have made online. Do you think that the site could be modified so that all future bookings can be viewed?

 

 

We have an additional booking with HAL that we cannot access because it was made while on board ship. We plan to book another cruise when we are on the Volendam next month because we enjoy the perks that go along with booking on board. It would be awfully nice if we could access that booking online as well.

 

This is no urgent matter, obviously, but it is a suggestion I am making to see if HAL can somehow modify its site so that you can view all your bookings online and not just the ones that you have made that way. Do you think there would be any chance of that happening?

 

Thanks for your patience with all us cruisers, questioners, petitioners!

 

Hi, Dutch: I completely agree with the above. Most of us book with a TA and it is fun to see the booking online, as is done on the Celebrity site.

 

I have another question. I have checked daily for the tour in Honolulu called something like "The Pearl Harbor VIP Tour" with visits to various military bases in addition to PH. It is in your general tour descriptions, but not on the April 21 Zaandam cruise. We've been to PH, but my husband would thoroughly enjoy this day-long informative tour, which includes lunch at one of the bases in the Officers Club. The cruise is only two months away. I would think all the tours would be posted by now. Can you advise me, please.

 

Many thanks,

Jennie

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Hi Dutch --

 

We plan to book another cruise when we are on the Volendam next month because we enjoy the perks that go along with booking on board. quote]

what "perks" come along with booking future cruises on board???

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what "perks" come along with booking future cruises on board???
A low initial deposit per person and a shipboard credit based on the category of stateroom you occupy and the length of the cruise. The lowest amount is $25 per person.

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I wonder if you have any comment on the possible doing away with the wine cards? We used them in May/June of 2008 on the Rotterdam. I have read here that they might be discontinued.

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I'm heading off on the Oosterdam - the TA out of Ft. Lauderdale on Mar. 14. Discussion about the weather leads me to expect anything while crossing. However, no one mentions temperatures on the ship. What temperature should I expect in public areas and can I control temp. in our cabin? Thanks.

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Hi, Dutch: I completely agree with the above. Most of us book with a TA and it is fun to see the booking online, as is done on the Celebrity site.

 

I have another question. I have checked daily for the tour in Honolulu called something like "The Pearl Harbor VIP Tour" with visits to various military bases in addition to PH. It is in your general tour descriptions, but not on the April 21 Zaandam cruise. We've been to PH, but my husband would thoroughly enjoy this day-long informative tour, which includes lunch at one of the bases in the Officers Club. The cruise is only two months away. I would think all the tours would be posted by now. Can you advise me, please.

 

Many thanks,

Jennie

 

I'm not Dutch, but I thought I'd help answer your question. I was on the Jan 21st Zaandam 15 Day Circle Tour. There was a tour called "Pearl Harbor VIP Military Base Experience - 7 hours, that is listed. The description is: Guided by Historians, enjoy exclusive access to the Wheeler Army airfield, Schofield Army Barracks & Fort Shafter. Visit the Arizona Memorial, Punchbowl Crater & the city of Honolulu. Authentic radio & TV footage, bulletins & music played. "Note: Bring photo ID.

This one was $152 per person. Hope this helps!

Chris

Zaandam Jan 21 to Febr 5, 2009

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I've noticed as well for our upcoming Westerdam cruise, that several tours offered in the brochure are not offered online. Are the tours really offered, or is the online version the current available offerings?

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Outstanding blog, Thank you, we'll be checking it from time to time as we get closer to March 2010 and the Rotterdam's departure to Tahiti:D!

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I've noticed as well for our upcoming Westerdam cruise, that several tours offered in the brochure are not offered online. Are the tours really offered, or is the online version the current available offerings?

I believe the brochure lists all tours that may be offered in each port. Not all tours are offered for each sailing. As your cruise gets closer, you may find additional tours listed on HAL's site for your sailing ... also, there may be others offered onboard that may not have been on the website but likely were in the brochure your have.

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Please let me know anything you are curious about or would like to see covered.

 

 

So ask away, I’m here! And welcome!

http://dutchbyassociation.blogspot.com/

 

~B

 

Hi DBA,

 

I would like to ask about how HAL’s changes on board are created, approved, tested, and implemented?

 

For a couple of examples of past changes HAL made:

· Offering different dining options such as “when you want”, casual, and pay extra.

· Automatic tipping.

· On board entertainment (like the Elton John impersonator vs. the standard Vegas type shows).

 

I understand HAL has a huge job balancing activities from Children to Seniors, but curious who is the main focus is right now and where your headquarters think they should market 2-3 years down the road (example: do you focus more on the Baby Boomers now or later?).

 

When your headquarters try to decided how much nickel and diming is too much, what is involved in that decision making (example: Pinnacle Grill started at $10-$15 then up to $30 then later back down to $20).

 

I know it might be difficult to answer specifics in what I’m trying to ask but hope you can shed some light on the decision tree and maybe what we can expect a short time down the road?

Thanks,

John

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I'm not Dutch, but I thought I'd help answer your question. I was on the Jan 21st Zaandam 15 Day Circle Tour. There was a tour called "Pearl Harbor VIP Military Base Experience - 7 hours, that is listed. The description is: Guided by Historians, enjoy exclusive access to the Wheeler Army airfield, Schofield Army Barracks & Fort Shafter. Visit the Arizona Memorial, Punchbowl Crater & the city of Honolulu. Authentic radio & TV footage, bulletins & music played. "Note: Bring photo ID.

This one was $152 per person. Hope this helps!

Chris

Zaandam Jan 21 to Febr 5, 2009

 

Chris, that's exactly the tour I was looking for. Apparently, it is not offered on our cruise, or at least not yet. In fact, there are no Pearl Harbor tours offered yet, so maybe there is hope. The price will be well worth it.

 

Thanks again.

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I'm not Dutch, but I thought I'd help answer your question. I was on the Jan 21st Zaandam 15 Day Circle Tour. There was a tour called "Pearl Harbor VIP Military Base Experience - 7 hours, that is listed. The description is: Guided by Historians, enjoy exclusive access to the Wheeler Army airfield, Schofield Army Barracks & Fort Shafter. Visit the Arizona Memorial, Punchbowl Crater & the city of Honolulu. Authentic radio & TV footage, bulletins & music played. "Note: Bring photo ID.

This one was $152 per person. Hope this helps!

Chris

Zaandam Jan 21 to Febr 5, 2009

I too rate that tour as excellent. I did it last October and it was an absolutely fascinating way to spend a day in Honolulu. A bit pricey, but worth every cent.

 

Blue skies ...

 

--rita

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Hi, Dutch: I completely agree with the above. Most of us book with a TA and it is fun to see the booking online, as is done on the Celebrity site.

 

I have another question. I have checked daily for the tour in Honolulu called something like "The Pearl Harbor VIP Tour" with visits to various military bases in addition to PH. It is in your general tour descriptions, but not on the April 21 Zaandam cruise. We've been to PH, but my husband would thoroughly enjoy this day-long informative tour, which includes lunch at one of the bases in the Officers Club. The cruise is only two months away. I would think all the tours would be posted by now. Can you advise me, please.

 

Many thanks,

Jennie

 

 

Accessing any bookings online regardless of how they are made is a good idea, and certainly one that would be considered, but keep in mind also that the ones that are made online you are able to see the booking financials, etc. This would not be possible for agency bookings and applying a screen or filter that would distinguish what kinds, what you can and can't (or shouldn't) see etc is more difficult that it initially appears. Certainly a good suggestion though, and perhaps in time (although that doesn't hint at anything I'm aware of in the works)

 

Regarding the Pearl Harbor tour, at 2 months from sailing I believe everything should be available. I would recommend calling Shore Excursions directly (or call reservations and ask to be transferred) and speak to someone that can help you. NOTE: Monday's can be busier since Shore Ex is not open on the weekends.

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A low initial deposit per person and a shipboard credit based on the category of stateroom you occupy and the length of the cruise. The lowest amount is $25 per person.

 

Took the words out of my mouth! :)

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I wonder if you have any comment on the possible doing away with the wine cards? We used them in May/June of 2008 on the Rotterdam. I have read here that they might be discontinued.

 

I've heard conflicting stories about this both on and off these boards... I know that if they are removed, something equivilent will be offered, but I don't feel comfortable going into more details on this at this time.

 

I'll let you know when I hear something certain.

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I'm heading off on the Oosterdam - the TA out of Ft. Lauderdale on Mar. 14. Discussion about the weather leads me to expect anything while crossing. However, no one mentions temperatures on the ship. What temperature should I expect in public areas and can I control temp. in our cabin? Thanks.

 

Higher capacity and higher traffic areas are usually a little cooler as all the people will warm it up.

 

There is a blower in the room which is constantly on but you can control the temperature that comes out. Recommend keeping it at neutral until the ship leaves the dock then seeing where you need to go from there. And also keep in mind it does work a little different than your central heat at home :)

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I've noticed as well for our upcoming Westerdam cruise, that several tours offered in the brochure are not offered online. Are the tours really offered, or is the online version the current available offerings?

 

Best folks to confirm with are in Shore Excursions, or log in on the website and view your specific sailing and choices. That will let you know precisely what is available to you on your cruise.

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Outstanding blog, Thank you, we'll be checking it from time to time as we get closer to March 2010 and the Rotterdam's departure to Tahiti:D!

 

You're welcome!

 

Is that the 30-35 or so day cruise that goes back to back with the Americas West Coast? :) If only I had 2 months... I would be there!

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Hi DBA,

 

I would like to ask about how HAL’s changes on board are created, approved, tested, and implemented?

 

For a couple of examples of past changes HAL made:

· Offering different dining options such as “when you want”, casual, and pay extra.

· Automatic tipping.

· On board entertainment (like the Elton John impersonator vs. the standard Vegas type shows).

 

I understand HAL has a huge job balancing activities from Children to Seniors, but curious who is the main focus is right now and where your headquarters think they should market 2-3 years down the road (example: do you focus more on the Baby Boomers now or later?).

 

When your headquarters try to decided how much nickel and diming is too much, what is involved in that decision making (example: Pinnacle Grill started at $10-$15 then up to $30 then later back down to $20).

 

I know it might be difficult to answer specifics in what I’m trying to ask but hope you can shed some light on the decision tree and maybe what we can expect a short time down the road?

Thanks,

John

 

John, Very good questions and first off I appreciate that you recognize I'm not one of the folks with a corner office on the 4th floor (that's where the executives are) I'm happy to take a stab at your Q's though as best I can.

 

This is also probably a good reminder time for everyone that I am not an officially sanctioned "voice of HAL" although I have been given the green light by PR. I, personally, am not Public Relations, nor do I put or should my information be considered a Press Release or perfect. I am simply doing my part to answer questions and be a useful resource on CC, while simultaneously having what I believe is a pretty nifty blog :) (And no, they don't make me say that...LOL)

The dining options such as Open Dining, part of As You Wish Dining, were in part or possibly full inspired by the success on both PCL and NCL. More people these days cruise on the line with either the itinerary or the price that they like without as much regard to loyalty as they may otherwise have. Being able to offer things that our potential or repeat guests come back and suggest, while being able to intelligently perform a test run of these approaches on some vessels and the following success or failure are huge deciding factors on what we are willing to try. Additionally, physically being able to accommodate the suggestions is a factor as well. While I don't remember the specifics, I was in Reservations when As You Wish started and Open Dining was available and while I don't remember the details, I know there was a separate tester program on a couple ships as well. Open Dining was by far the preferred of the 2.

 

Automatic Tipping (Hotel Service Charges) simply boils down to feedback given by Mariners that they hated having to try and track down the people they loved over the last 12 hours (8pm to 8am usually) of their cruise. By adding a reasonable and industry appropriate amount to each person's onboard bill accomplishes that. And please know, not only does HAL disclose that this amount can be INCREASED OR DECREASED onboard depending on the level of service you receive (and the staff know this. I've seen thoughts that the auto amounts don't inspire the staff do do their best and that simply is not true) but for those that feel this is a way to nickel and dime the guests... if it was prepaid with the cruise fare as an alternative... then you are asking for a refund if it doesn't go how you expect. This way, you simply tell the front office "My service was great. Exceeded my expectations! Double my amount!" or, if we fail to meet our own designated standards, you can reduce the amount as you see fit.

 

If you are asking about a change in entertainment offered, it has always been a combination of stage shows and impersonators/magicians/comedians/etc so I would not be able to accurately draw the contrast in an answer for you. From my perspective, this has been a constant.

 

In looking at the brochures, mailers, photography, etc I think the current marketing goal is the boomers and families as well as multi-generational families. Of course, as is often said on here, WHEN you cruise, WHERE you cruise to and HOW LONG the cruise is can override any goals attempted to draw bookings for that itinerary.

 

From my understanding, the PG started low because no one was really sure how well it would go over for HAL. Guests were skeptical of if it would be worth it. Corporate likely wondered if there was an audience onboard their ships that would enjoy it... What's the easiest way to draw people in? Offer an unbeatable deal! As the selections and quality started to improve and the PG was a proven asset to the ships, the price did start to go up. The price has more recently come back down, I BELIEVE, due to a combination of the economy (look at the price of anything right now if you aren't convinced) and in that with the launch of Eurodam the menu started going through some changes that once again, guests might be skeptical about and corporate was maybe not totally certain how they would go over. And again, best way to draw people in...? You got it! Lower the price to offer an amazing deal!

 

I hope the above essay is of some use :)

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Morning Dutch, just wanted to let you know that we are having an outstanding time on Ryndam in the Sea of Cortez as we speak!

Keep up the good work!:)

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Best folks to confirm with are in Shore Excursions, or log in on the website and view your specific sailing and choices. That will let you know precisely what is available to you on your cruise.

 

Thanks! Then the website is the most current as I suspected.

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LISA...... How can you pop in here and not catch us up with Yummer Fun??!!

 

Hope you are all having a great time.

 

 

Edit* Edit* Edit*

 

Just saw your post on the other thread. :)

Thanks.

 

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Hi Dutch: finally got our room assigned, wondering now if we can count on this guarantee to stay our room or if it might change again, we leave in two weeks. Also, we are on the Zaandam, very close to the launderette, will there be noise coming from there? Is it open 24 hours? Thanks for all your help in answering our questions.

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