Very Bad HAL Maintenance.....or is it just me?

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Albany, NY
840 Posts
Joined May 2013
Originally posted by KroozNut
Here, here.. stick with Toyota, Nissan and Honda and you'll never go wrong!

Traded it on a new Sonata and couldn’t be happier. I looked at the 3 you mentioned and found I liked the Sonata quite a bit better.


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lots 'o cruises, and hopefully many more to come

Holland America Line Mariner Society
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Albany, NY
840 Posts
Joined May 2013
Originally posted by kazu
Personally, I wouldn't consider the Regent the most luxurious at all. I think Crystal beats it by far

Each to their own taste though.

You did well on O and I was happy to hear it. We had an abysmal cruise and actually considered getting off in Nassau and buying another flight -but we just had 2 days left.

the rooms are beautiful. but the service (when we were on) not so great.

We have sailed a multitude of ships and we always found ourselves returning to HAL - in particular the Prinsendam, the oldest ship in the fleet. I haven't found a cruise ship yet that offers the itineraries that it does. (And it wasn't built in the ship yard you mention - and built as a luxury line years ago)



You don't have to sail on every ship in the fleet to make the statement made that you quoted.

We sail a lot of them. We avoid some not because of age but because of itinerary.

We like different and unique and so far, we haven't found another cruise line that offers what we are doing and have done on some cruises.

So, we are sailing the oldest ship in the fleet again and, perhaps again next year after too if she is still with us (and I hope she is).

Remember as you get older, the ships are like wine and women, aging can be a good thing


Prinsendam (I believe) is a Wartsilä ship. Could be mistaken though.


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lots 'o cruises, and hopefully many more to come

Holland America Line Mariner Society
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Those who make excuses for the dismal conditions described in this thread need to get out more. There are so many wonderful lines out there.
I have received nice service on every cruise line I've sailed. Frankly I cannot think of anything HAL did for me that was exemplary. Certainly nothing that I would overlook rusty water dripping in buckets in a dining facility. Certainly nothing that I would overlook shabby conditions for. Certainly nothing that I would overlook broken HVAC systems for. Etc, etc.
And this is hardly the first time similar conditions have been reported on the old HAL ships.
I've been on eight cruise lines including several mass market lines. The only one I experienced physical plant issues was Holland America, specifically the older ships.
Never ever again would I consider any of these "should be retired" ships that Holland America continues to milk.

My eyes roll every time I see a thread asking whether they should book one of these old ships. The OP always asks "is the ship really that bad" and loyalists pipe in to say everything was "great" when they sailed.

I have a good friend who is a travel agent and she told me five years ago she stopped recommending HAL because of passenger complaints about ship condition. These are not new problems.
She works for a high volume agency and attained the top commission tiers for all the mass market lines. Commissions are not a factor in her recommendations,
12,049 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
We are loyalists to a good itinerary, a good ship, and a good price. No such thing as brand loyalty to us....for any type of purchase.

We find that HAL does have first class service (other than the front desk) and friendly staff. No question about that. But, we do not really find any difference in staff friendliness, service, etc. between HAL and the others that we have cruised on. Certainly we see differences from time to time between ships. Perhaps this is due to ship morale, don't really know.

Bottom line. In our experience we do not find HAL Captains any different or better than the Captains of other cruise ships that we have been on. Not that we could ever discern a good Captain from a less one. Same with the staff-dining, cabin whatever. They all seem to work very hard, for very long hours, to make of vacation perfect-notwithstanding the cruise line. We think that the staff on most cruise lines are special-HAL does not really stand out in this regard for us. T
San Diego, CA
5,871 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Originally posted by swedish weave
If they all perform the same, the lower priced one would be my choice.
Of course, but clearly they don't perform the same.
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Otherwise known as 'Don Quique'..
Centerville, Ohio, USA
8,851 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Originally posted by UPNYGuy
Prinsendam (I believe) is a Wartsilä ship. Could be mistaken though.


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I think you are correct. The other Royal Viking Line ships were Wartsila built ships. And, I think, all are still in service.
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52 cruises: 31 Holland America, 4 Princess, 4 Carnival, 3 Pacific Far East Line, 2 Cunard, 2 Royal Viking Line, 1 each: Celebrity Cruises, NCL, Royal Caribbean, Sitmar, American Hawaii, Home Lines
New Brunswick
41,939 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by UPNYGuy
Prinsendam (I believe) is a Wartsilä ship. Could be mistaken though.


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You are absolutely correct

Looking forward to returning to her next year

And going to a number of ports that many other ships can't. A true EE itinerary
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Jacqui emailme Click here for Prinsendam Roll Call's spread sheet for May 5, 2018 - 28 day Azores and Celtic Explorer

New Cumberland,PA, USA
28,008 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by kazu
You are absolutely correct

Looking forward to returning to her next year

And going to a number of ports that many other ships can't. A true EE itinerary
The Prinsendam has long been our favorite HAL vessel, despite her age. We have spent exactly 200 days on the Prinsendam and certainly seen issues related to her age. But even at her worst, we have never seen the Prinsendam in the condition of the Rotterdam on our recent cruise. And at her worst, we still love the Prinsendam. We want to stand up on a soapbox and scream to the Seattle "suits" to never get rid of that wonderful old vessel. But we do fear that her end (at least for HAL) is approaching within the next 2 years. While on the VOV cruise we met some folks who had been on this year's World cruise. They told us that when Orlando Ashford has his Q&A, he was asked about the Prinsendam. His response did not give anyone confidence that the ship would remain in the fleet beyond 2019.

Hank
New Brunswick
41,939 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by Hlitner
The Prinsendam has long been our favorite HAL vessel, despite her age. We have spent exactly 200 days on the Prinsendam and certainly seen issues related to her age. But even at her worst, we have never seen the Prinsendam in the condition of the Rotterdam on our recent cruise. And at her worst, we still love the Prinsendam. We want to stand up on a soapbox and scream to the Seattle "suits" to never get rid of that wonderful old vessel. But we do fear that her end (at least for HAL) is approaching within the next 2 years. While on the VOV cruise we met some folks who had been on this year's World cruise. They told us that when Orlando Ashford has his Q&A, he was asked about the Prinsendam. His response did not give anyone confidence that the ship would remain in the fleet beyond 2019.

Hank
I was so sorry to hear about your Rotterdam cruise Hank.

I'm with you on the P'dam. We'll only have 100+ days on her so nothing compared to you but it's where we choose to "invest" a lot of cruise dollars

That's said to hear that Ashford doesn't "get it". But, why am I surprised with a man that takes out libraries and ravages Crow's Nests (JMO of course). If she isn't replaced, then I suspect HAl will lose a number of cruisers and they were willing to pay higher dollars to sail for this ship, it's crew and the itineraries it offers.

HAL has NO ship in the fleet that can get to some of the ports we are going to next year -nor sail down the rivers.

We'll just enjoy her while we can. .
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Jacqui emailme Click here for Prinsendam Roll Call's spread sheet for May 5, 2018 - 28 day Azores and Celtic Explorer

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Seems to me that those who have been directly impacted by a bad experience related to physical issues onboard a ship (lack of A/C, plumbing issues, other poor maintenance) are very concerned about encountering those problems again.

For those who've never had that experience, have a little empathy. Just because you have not been impacted does not mean that the experience was not very offputting for someone who did, and it can certainly change how you feel about an entire cruise line depending on how those problems are dealt with -- or not dealt with -- when you experience them.

I will never, EVER sail with NCL after the experience I had many years ago. Had that experience been on a HAL ship, I would likely not ever sail with HAL again either, unless I already had maybe 100 event-free days on the line to weigh against it, in which case I might sail again but with a lot of trepidation. It doesn't matter to me that the particular ship I sailed on is long gone or that NCL management may have completely changed since that time. It's the principle of the thing -- NCL treated us shoddily, and they won't ever make another buck on my vacations.

I suspect it does not matter to cruise lines that one bad experience can have an extremely negative effect on the likelihood of return bookings. I can only assume they prefer to look for "new" customers than work to retain old ones.
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Wherever the wind takes me I travel as a visitor. (Horace)
Gold Coast
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Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by cruisemom42
Seems to me that those who have been directly impacted by a bad experience related to physical issues onboard a ship (lack of A/C, plumbing issues, other poor maintenance) are very concerned about encountering those problems again.
For those who've never had that experience, have a little empathy. Just because you have not been impacted does not mean that the experience was not very offputting for someone who did, and it can certainly change how you feel about an entire cruise line depending on how those problems are dealt with -- or not dealt with -- when you experience them.
I will never, EVER sail with NCL after the experience I had many years ago. Had that experience been on a HAL ship, I would likely not ever sail with HAL again either, unless I already had maybe 100 event-free days on the line to weigh against it, in which case I might sail again but with a lot of trepidation. It doesn't matter to me that the particular ship I sailed on is long gone or that NCL management may have completely changed since that time. It's the principle of the thing -- NCL treated us shoddily, and they won't ever make another buck on my vacations.
I suspect it does not matter to cruise lines that one bad experience can have an extremely negative effect on the likelihood of return bookings. I can only assume they prefer to look for "new" customers than work to retain old ones.
Well said! I agree with your comments.
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Originally posted by KroozNut
Of course, but clearly they don't perform the same.
Correct!!!! But I see a lot of BMW's hooked up to tow trucks or on the freeways waiting for the tow truck.

Any brand can develop problems regardless of the cost.
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Rich people stay rich by living like broke people
Broke people stay broke by living like rich people

I noticed the squirrels are starting to gather nuts --
Are you in a safe place ??
San Diego, CA
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Originally posted by iancal
We are loyalists to a good itinerary, a good ship, and a good price. No such thing as brand loyalty to us....for any type of purchase.
Despite your veiled attempt to disguise your loyalty to HAL, it shines through in your postings.
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Otherwise known as 'Don Quique'..
Rochester NY area
286 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Interesting...I was just about to start a new post to ask about another HAL ship, Veendam. My husband and I last cruised in 2008 for our 5th anniversary, when we took a Panama Canal cruise on HAL's Amsterdam. We are considering another cruise for our 15th anniversary next year. We love the itinerary of the New England/Bermuda cruise on Veendam, and the dates work for when we want to travel. Unfortunately, however, this cruise has gotten a lot of negative reviews, mainly due to the poor condition of the Veendam. Anyone have additional thoughts to share?
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PAST CRUISES:
April/May 2008, HAL Amsterdam, Panama Canal (anniversary)
June 2003, Celebrity Galaxy, Caribbean (honeymoon)
June 1990, Dolphin Sea Breeze, Caribbean (college graduation)
Summer 1987, Chandris Galileo, Bermuda (family)
Summer 1985, Chandris Brittanis, Caribbean (family)
April 1982, Carnival Tropicale, Caribbean (family)
Texas
183 Posts
Joined Dec 2015
Originally posted by btobey
Interesting...I was just about to start a new post to ask about another HAL ship, Veendam. My husband and I last cruised in 2008 for our 5th anniversary, when we took a Panama Canal cruise on HAL's Amsterdam. We are considering another cruise for our 15th anniversary next year. We love the itinerary of the New England/Bermuda cruise on Veendam, and the dates work for when we want to travel. Unfortunately, however, this cruise has gotten a lot of negative reviews, mainly due to the poor condition of the Veendam. Anyone have additional thoughts to share?
there are many choices for that itinerary so be sure to shop around. If you are flexible there may even be newer HAL ships available for the itinerary.
New Brunswick
41,939 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by btobey
Interesting...I was just about to start a new post to ask about another HAL ship, Veendam. My husband and I last cruised in 2008 for our 5th anniversary, when we took a Panama Canal cruise on HAL's Amsterdam. We are considering another cruise for our 15th anniversary next year. We love the itinerary of the New England/Bermuda cruise on Veendam, and the dates work for when we want to travel. Unfortunately, however, this cruise has gotten a lot of negative reviews, mainly due to the poor condition of the Veendam. Anyone have additional thoughts to share?

the thing that concerns me is that if someone posts they had a great cruise 3 months ago, things may change.

When I posted I was surprised originally when Hank started this thread, it was not sarcasm. We got off her in May and everything was great. Probably one of the second best cruises I have been on with service, etc. Yet, just a few months later there are huge maintenance issues.

So everyone's experience can vary. And there is no predicting that.

there is no predicting any cruise. We sailed Oceania Riviera and it rates with one of the worst cruises I have done. the comments continued for 4 weeks and now, everyone is happy again and they got things straightened out. It's the luck (or unlucky) of the draw I guess. No guarantees on anything, sadly.
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Jacqui emailme Click here for Prinsendam Roll Call's spread sheet for May 5, 2018 - 28 day Azores and Celtic Explorer

Albany, NY
840 Posts
Joined May 2013
Originally posted by btobey
Interesting...I was just about to start a new post to ask about another HAL ship, Veendam. My husband and I last cruised in 2008 for our 5th anniversary, when we took a Panama Canal cruise on HAL's Amsterdam. We are considering another cruise for our 15th anniversary next year. We love the itinerary of the New England/Bermuda cruise on Veendam, and the dates work for when we want to travel. Unfortunately, however, this cruise has gotten a lot of negative reviews, mainly due to the poor condition of the Veendam. Anyone have additional thoughts to share?


Oceania also does it out of NY as a full Canada/NE to Bermuda.

Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess, Celebrity, Norwegian, Oceania, and Cunard ALL do Canada/New England cruises (O and HAL are the only ones that combine with Bermuda off the top of my head) so no need to limit yourself to just HAL.


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lots 'o cruises, and hopefully many more to come

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Rochester NY area
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Originally posted by Mary229
there are many choices for that itinerary so be sure to shop around. If you are flexible there may even be newer HAL ships available for the itinerary.
We are flexible in terms of ships, less so in terms of dates--we are firm on June, maybe July. I admit I have only looked around a bit so far, but I definitely have not seen "many" ships offering this itinerary during this time frame. (To be clear, we are not just looking to do a New England cruise--it was the NE plus Bermuda that attracted us.)
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PAST CRUISES:
April/May 2008, HAL Amsterdam, Panama Canal (anniversary)
June 2003, Celebrity Galaxy, Caribbean (honeymoon)
June 1990, Dolphin Sea Breeze, Caribbean (college graduation)
Summer 1987, Chandris Galileo, Bermuda (family)
Summer 1985, Chandris Brittanis, Caribbean (family)
April 1982, Carnival Tropicale, Caribbean (family)