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bermuda triangle

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Posts posted by bermuda triangle


  1. Many posters have given their opinion of the Retreat areas of the Veendam and the Rotterdam. However, I wonder how many of the posters have actually had the personal experience of sailing on either of these vessels since the Retreats have been installed. In addition, it seems that no one has considered the business rationale which may have compelled this decision making process.

     

    First of all, I have experienced Vendam Retreat 1.0 and Veendam Retreat 2.0. It would be an understatement IMHO to say that Veendam 1.0 was not envisioned, executed or thought out properly to consider the actual operating considerations of the ship. Basically it was an unmitigated disaster with loose tiles, water slopping over the sides of the pool and no tangible benefit in actuality.

     

    Veendam 2.0 shows that someone at HAL recognized that a considerable error had been made and that a reconfiguration of the area was necessary. From the conversation on this board, it appears that no one has ever made a poor decision in business which they regretted afterward.

     

    Instead of beating HAL to death, IMHO they should be lauded for recognizing a mistake and doing something to correct it. Veendam 2.0 is now a valuable and esthetically pleasing addition to the ship. On my recent 6/11 cruise the hot tubs were constantly being enjoyed by guests.

     

    I did not have the experience of enjoying an aft pool on the Veendam or the Rotterdam. However, I did have the good fortune to enjoy an aft pool on the NCL Dreamward (NCL Dream)(FYI no longer in operation with NCL) and enjoyed it tremendously.

     

    Now, one can argue that the decision to remove the aft pools and replace them with cabins was it self flawed. In the ideal world where ships are only works of maritime art this would probably be true. However the realities of the ever changing business of cruising requires that ships find increasing sources of revenues in order to remain operationally viable.

     

    If the alternatives were to keep these ships operational by generating more passenger revenues per cruise versus the necessity of having these ships put out to pasture and lost to the HAL fleet, which of us would not choose the former?

     

    Finally, there is a segment of the cruising public to whom change of any type for whatever necessary reason is poison.

     

    To those who would choose not to sail on these vessels because the absence of an aft pool would ruin their enjoyment of their cruise it is their perogative to avoid these ships.

     

    I have sailed twice on Veendam retreat 1.0 and I will be sailing on Veendam retreat 2.0 in less than three weeks.

    The aft pool is my favorite pool on any ship. One midship pool is not enough for 1000+ passengers which essentially is what happened on the Veendam.

    I chose to do Caribbean Princess' last NYC to BDA/Carib cruise this July because she has a covered aft pool (there is shade and I am fair skinned and I've heard rumors that the night club covering the pool may be relocated) but the views are still amazing.

    I am going on the Veendam as a last minute cruise, I am overjoyed that they corrected some of retreat 1.0's problems. I'm sure the people in the cabins below the retreat are happy as well since I haven't read of any complaints of water leaking into them since the refit.

    HAL once added cabins to the old Westerdam by slicing her in half and adding a new middle portion. This left the pools in place and added the important revenue boosting cabins. Certainly a better idea in my opinion. And yes I had sailed the Westerdam pre and post expansion.

     

    Laura


  2. Here are several photos of the Retreat on the Veendam last week. Not sure if the Rotterdam has the same set up or not.

     

    Hope this gives you some idea of what it's like.

     

    v1.jpg

     

    v2.jpg

     

    v3.jpg

     

    v4.jpg

    Thanks for the photos..so much better than the splash water all over the place wading pool..:)


  3. I think it is interesting to read the differences in cruises now versus ten, twenty, thirty or forty years ago (or more).

     

    Since I was 4 on my first cruise I can recall some but not all things on it. Things have changed over time, some for better, some for worse, but one day people might be discussing how cruising changed from ultra luxury to activity based to who knows what.

     

    It is a part of history and as history changes those who have not experienced it or wish to recall what they did experience should have the opportunity to. Therefore, I do not think this is a negative thread, but one with historical value.

     

    Another thing I remember.. in 1984, NCL (Norwegian Caribbean Line)...Florence Henderson (Brady Bunch Mom) was an entertainer aboard, she helped Santa pass out gifts to all the children onboard...I received crayons and an SS Norway coloring book...........if only I still had that...:(

     

    Laura


  4. Being able to walk down multiple flights of stairs, outdoors, on the back of a ship to get to the promenade deck.

     

    Exercise classes usually led by cruise staff or entertainers.

     

    Ships without gyms.

     

    Queens Lounge on HAL, complete with stage for orchestra.

     

    Dutch hats on HAL for Dutch night.

     

    Galley and Bridge tours. (never did get to do either)

     

    Skeet shooting.

     

    Passenger Talent shows (very different than American Idol style contests now), masquerades, scavenger hunts.

     

    Thats all I can think of for now..

     

    Laura


  5. Wow. :eek:

    I don't book guarantees, so I guess that makes the difference. :)

     

    I priced the Jan 5th Oosterdam sailing as a single ... it came to $109. That's still fantastic for a solo, although it's a Guarantee.

     

    As for living aboard ... Yes, I would love to.

     

    For our Noordam 1/5 (11 nights) 1 and 2 are paying $76pp/d and our 3 and 4 are 23.72 pp/d. for cat. C not a guarantee. We are still waitlisted for our dinner choice however...

     

    Laura


  6. Hey, Laura, thanks for the offer. I can't be gone for 2 Sundays at that time ... not with me flying to South America for a 20 day cruise on the Rotterdam beginning January 27th. HOWEVER, I could be gone the first Sunday of January (maybe) for a 1 week "quickie" cruise. I'm trying to find that out right now.

     

    Okay Greg ... guess its not meant to be. Have fun on your quickie! That just sounds so wrong...LOL

     

    Laura


  7. The big deal is that, as HAL's communication infers, pax who book thru a T/A should be dealing thru that T/A when it comes to the particulars of a specific booking. I'm guessing that HAL would be forthcoming with most information for bookings made directly thru HAL. As to privacy issues mentioned in HAL's communication ... unknown callers can say they are anyone to get certain information, and that can lead to serious liability for HAL.

     

    Bottom line: It is the T/A's job, in return for earning the commision off the booking, to service his/her customer.

     

    I am not disputing the TA's responsibilities. I wasn't an unknown caller.. it was an email. It listed my booking information and my email address which is on file with my mariner number at HAL. I didn't mention I was a mariner, the person responding did.

    Also, I was not changing anything or asking anything regarding payment. I just wanted to know where we stood for dinner. I work in commission based sales. I can answer questions pertaining to many things without their being a liability issue. I don't think it is a big deal to say what number we are on the waiting list. It isn't as though it is personal information, ie credit card number, that I am asking for.

    My issue was with the new policy, as I stated originally. BTW no one was questioning your reading ability. There was also no reason to take this to a personal level. Unless of course, you were responsible for implementing the new policy.

     

    Laura


  8. The big deal is that, as HAL's communication infers, pax who book thru a T/A should be dealing thru that T/A when it comes to the particulars of a specific booking. I'm guessing that HAL would be forthcoming with most information for bookings made directly thru HAL. As to privacy issues mentioned in HAL's communication ... unknown callers can say they are anyone to get certain information, and that can lead to serious liability for HAL.

     

    Bottom line: It is the T/A's job, in return for earning the commision off the booking, to service his/her customer.

     

     

    The policy is that they are not telling anyone. Passengers will not know until they are checked in/onboard. That is what the email says.

     

    Laura


  9. My TA is not the easiest to get a hold of, so I email customer support at HAL to find out where we are on the dining waitlist.

    A couple of weeks ago we dropped from 71 to 55. This is important to me, therefore I emailed again, simply asking what # we are currently. This was the response.:(

    (names XXXX'd to maintain privacy). I wonder if this policy is going to lead to people canceling their reservations.:confused:

     

     

    Dear Ms. XXXXXXXX,

     

    Thank you for your recent correspondence with Holland America Line

    concerning your upcoming cruise on the ms Noordam departing on Jan. 5th,

    2008. We would be delighted to welcome one of our valued Mariners back

    on board.

     

    I do apologize for you receiving information and then not being able to

    receive any information. The new policy which has taken in affect

    this past week states that we can no longer provide what the waitlist

    number for dining is. You will be told when you arive on board the ship.

    You will have to direct all future questions to your travel agent

    because you did book through them.

    While we are anxious to provide as much assistance to you as possible,

    we regret that we are unable to make any changes, review monetary

    figures or release any information regarding your confirmation. This

    includes dining status and requests for room assignments. This is due to

    contractual agreements between Holland America Line and your travel agency.

    Any requests or inquiries regarding your booking must be made through

    your travel professional.

     

    Their services are beneficial to you. As your travel planner, they can

    assist you with the many details that will make your reservation worry

    free. Your agent must call us on your behalf for further details or

    assistance with the reservation. Please accept our apologies for any

    inconvenience this may have caused.

     

    Please feel free to contact us if we may be of additional assistance.

    Our valued Mariners’ comments or suggestions are always welcome and

    very much appreciated. We look forward to welcoming you on board in the

    near future.

     

    Thank you for your continued patronage!

     

    Kind Regards,

     

    XXXXXX

     

    Consumer and On-Line Support

    Holland America Line

    1-877-SAIL-HAL


  10. Okay so does HAL still have the baked alaska/farewell song with AYW dining? If so, how does it work? I guess if you have 2nd sitting it is less chaotic, but if early I am sure it is confusing and harried (if they still have it).

     

    I really hope they do.. I haven't had any in years..12 to be exact:eek: These are going to be the longest 5 mos. of my life...lol..trying to talk dBF into a tux. Some progress made though... he actually tried one on :cool:

     

    Laura

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