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About dockman

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    Holland America and Crystal

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  1. Could this thread be a nominee for weirdo thread of the month?
  2. If you order a bottle of booze/liquor from room service do u get a discount if u are four stars mariner?
  3. Quite seems to be an endangered species these days in the world. Normal life seems to be bombarded with too much, too loud music in malls, supermarkets, elevators, restaurants,etc. Add in people talking at way too loud volumes, screaming kids, roaring motorcycles, beeping horns, trucks roaring around, and on and on. One thing i love about a cruise is being able to find a truly quiet place like a nice deck chair on prom deck where the only sounds i hear are the ocean and the wind. Getting harder and harder to find. A nice long hike in the woods, or around a nice prom deck, has more appeal to me than a DJ blasting his/her idea of music. Seems most ships are big enough to provide quiet and non quiet areas to satisfy those who want quiet and those who like more activity. Unfortunately seems the future is more noise, more announcements, more blah blah blah and less peace and quiet.
  4. It's really quite simple: If you love, like, prefer, Holland then sail with them. If you hate, dislike HAL,or prefer another cruise line sail with them. If you don't want to cruise or can't afford the ones you want then stay home or find another vacation option. I have over 350 days on Holland so it appears that I must certainly at least like it. The fact that I take the time to bring some of my observations as to MY OPINION as to both positive and negative changes to management is because as a frequent cruiser I do hope that if enough people happen to agree with my opinion and share those opinions with management it just might cause execs to take my observations into account as they contemplate changes
  5. How many of us predicted ten years or so ago that people would be convinced to use self check in at airports or self check out at walmarts? How many of us would have thought ten years ago that we would buy all sizes and types of products sight unseen via Amazon and have someone bring it to our doorstep a few days/hours later? We shall see what happens with cruise line bookings but I for one am pretty sure the systems ten years from now will likely be a very different model from the currently employed systems.
  6. 66% are NOT booking direct with cruise line web site. That is a massive amount of money being paid out in the form of commissions. 34% are booking direct and over time that number will continue to grow and grow...ESPECIALLY if the agents are rebating half or more of their commission to get the booking. The original idea of paying agent commissions was that the agent would actually solicit clients, recommend a cruise vacation, spend time answering clients questions , ask a lot of questions, and then make good solid recommendations as to the best ship, itinerary, room etc would best fit the client....in other words SELL the cruise, not just take an order or figure a way to intercept a direct booking made with the cruise line by rebating commissions. The fact that so many people seem to love to go online and brag about what a big rebate they got from an OTA after they had booked and deposited direct will hasten the crackdown by cruise lines on the transfer of bookings. The recent changes by HAL to somewhat restrict the transfer of already deposited direct bookings to OTAs as well as the beginning of the save the sale program are certainly attempts to stop this practice and increase direct bookings. We shall see where this eventually leads. Not so different from what was happening with agencies rebating airline commissions to corporate accounts which ultimately was a major reason that airines quit paying commissions to agents on air travel....and yes travel agents made all kinds of threats to move market share blah blah blah...didn't happen.
  7. Well thanks so much for your reply. I don't think it will be necessary for me to start my own cruise line to eventually have travel agent commissions cut.....you can bet your last banana that it is just a matter of time until it happens...in fact it is already happening and with improved AI web sites it will only result in more and more direct bookings and less and less commissions paid. Whether the cruise lines take that expense savings to the bottom line or reinvests some of it into the end product remains to be seen. I suspect the bulk of it will go to the bottom line. Oct 19, 2017 - According to the survey of Google search and Sojern travel intent data formed by 350 million unique and anonymized traveler profiles, 48 percent of past cruisers reported booking their last cruise online, with 34 percent booking on the cruise line's site directly and 14 percent booking on third party sites.
  8. Maybe the cruise lines don't really "know" how many pax like the libraries or more likely they don't really care as the library is not a source of revenue and naturally they want to maximize revenues and reduce expenses as much as they can while still attracting and maintaining customers. I for one would prefer that the cruise lines would stop paying big box stores and OTAs 15+++ % commissions on bookings being transferred after they were already booked and deposited direct with HAL PC staff who have done the work. This practice means HAL pays staff to answer phones, questions etc etc which is what a travel agent is supposedly being paid via commissions to do....Ends up as a double expense for HAL. Eliminate some of that expense and you can afford a lot of non revenue spaces such as prom deck and libraries. Profits are not only determined by increased onboard revenues but also by decreased cost of sales like commissions.
  9. One person's "complaining" is another person's suggestion for improvement. Some people send their complaints/concerns directly to HAL executives in the hope that the complaints/concerns might actually be addressed by management. Others seem to prefer to post their observations and opinions on sites like cruise critic. Some do both. Some "hope" that just maybe some of the cruise line execs might actually review sites like cruise critic as well as passengers comments and have serious discussions to fix or improve the areas that consistently impact the most passengers. A perfect example that seems to draw the ire of a lot of HAL customers is their website....this has been beat to death but for some very strange reason the problems go on and on and on. How many direct bookings or completely lost bookings this has cost HAL is unknown but it really is unimaginable that a seattle based company can't seem to hire competent web designers to make booking with HAL a piece of cake rather than a pain in the butt. My "complaints/concerns" may well not mean anything to others.....but keep in mind that your complaints may not mean much to me as I don't care about or utilize that feature. My pet peeves are the elimination of real libraries as well as the cut back on proper promenade walking decks equipped with teak deck chairs. I also dislike music being played in most every lounge non stop making it difficult to find a quiet place to sit and read or just enjoy a bit of silence. I also don't care for being bombarded with all the sale promotion literature and announcements but I have learned to try and just ignore it. If you prefer e readers and/or non stop music and don't ever use or care about a good prom deck then good for you. We all have our opinions on what is important to us. It does seem to me that almost all HAL pax do agree that overall the service provided by the vast majority of the crew is exceptional. As we all likely know sometimes you can read a review of a cruise that you were on that is full of complaints and you ask yourself, "gee were they on the same cruise as me?" While I certainly do not HATE HAL I see nothing wrong with attempting to let HAL know what I most enjoy as well as things that I do not enjoy.
  10. Good question. I never found out as i refuse to play any 6/5 blackjack payout which is a HORRIBLE gouge. They did have 3/2 payout but only on $20 tables if i remember correctly.
  11. when i was on royal in 2017 the two mid ship open air decks referred to above were closed to the public and only the shop employees seemed to use them as their smoking/ hang out areas....glad to hear that at least a few more outdoor spots with chairs are now available to the passengers on deck 7
  12. there are two mini prom decks that have teak chairs....both are at the back of the ship....the access door for starboard side is just past the tiny library (if u can call a broom closet size space a library)...the port access is directly across from the starboard entrance....both have approx 10 or so teak chairs where u can sit and enjoy a close up view/sounds of the ocean without having to look through often dirty plexiglass 15+ floors above...
  13. I try to walk ten miles a day...five in morning and five in the afternoon. I love walking the prom decks on the HAL ships that still have good ones wide enough to walk and still have room for some nice teak chairs. It is one of the most important features that a ship can have for my taste. Unfortunately the bean counters seem to win in eliminating them or making them absurdly narrow as they don't generate revenues....to this I say the Marketing department needs to grow a spine and say revenues are also lost when customers who love a proper walking deck decide to not cruise on a ship that lacks this feature. If the bean counters win every "revenue" argument we will soon see further cut backs in a variety of now included features, cover charges for shows, more for fee dining, and lots of other things that are the very items that have made cruising so very popular over the years.
  14. 2 mile walk will burn maybe 200 calories....oh how i wish that a two mile walk would really burn off those extra calories on a 40 day cruise....maybe 20 miles a day would do it?
  15. Point is bills can often have mistakes in either direction. Check your bills and report errors in either direction is the HONEST thing to do. Just like when a clerk gives you too much change you can either put it in your pocket or you can return it just as you would expect errors in stores favor to be returned to you.
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