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-A Diiferent HAL vs Celebrity Comparison

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Our cruising experience first .We have done 68 cruises with most on Celebrity ,then Royal ,Holland Princess & Carnival in decending order of number of cruises with each line .

 

We just came home from our longest Holland America cruise on their relatively new Nordam from San Diego to Sydney Australia ;which was a 21 day cruise . First off their food quality & service doesn't even come close to Celebrity .For 80% of the cruise they had problems in their kitchen with lost special menu diets , long waits for food to come out & I even had a piece of wire in my French fries one lunch .:eek:

 

For the most part their officers are Dutch & mostly remote to customer contact ,especially when problems exist . I was injured in their GYM one morning cutting my leg on a exposed piece of metal edge that should have had a plastic protective cap . Not even a first aid kit in their GYM .Had to get first aid at customer relations & then at 8 AM went to the infirmary

& got a tetnus shot :eek:

 

The A/C unit in our balcony cabin took them 4 days to fix the fan to distribute cool air :eek:

 

The entertainment was comparable to Celebrity & the independent performers were excellent .The dancers & singers below average imo

 

My review with Holland America at the end of this cruise this cruise told them that it was highly unlikely that we would sail with them again & we would not recommend them to our friends

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Thanks for the review, Cliff. Hope you are recovering well from your accident in the gym. Tetanus shots hurt! :(

 

Your honest assessment of your recent HAL cruise is much appreciated.

Like you, we are frustrated by the lack of RC and X ships, here on the West Coast. We've thought of trying other lines, just to avoid having to fly cross-country -- almost every time we cruise. For us, Princess is at the top of the "alternate cruise line list". But, I like the exteriors of the HAL ships (they look like ships, not floating amusement parks). If they would only bring their balcony smoking policy into the 21st Century, I've said that we'd be willing to give them a try.

 

But as much as Celebrity's food and service have slipped in recent years, I'm certainly not eager to try something that's a step down. And, I definitely don't want to find a piece of metal in my french fries! :eek:

 

PS -- From our many cruises on RC, I've found their officers to be a little on the "remote" side, too. About the only time you see the Captain, other than onstage at the "welcome back" party, is when he's hurrying to get somewhere. I think that X has spoiled us. We are now used to senior officers attending various functions, and mingling with the guests. :cool:

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Thank you for sharing your recent HAL experience. We had 2 30 day cruises with HAL in the past and, just recently scheduled a 48 day one. But in the last week have read more and more reviews of dissatisfaction and slow attention to mechanical issues. Based on these multiple reports, we cancelled our HAL cruise and wil stay with Celebrity. Your experience as well as other objective CC reports, coupled with their antiquated smoking policy tips the scale toward Celebrity for us. HALs loyalty program does little to persuade allegiance either. JMO.

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As one who has cruised about 350 days on HAL and several hundred on Celebrity we fully understand the OP's complaints. We currently prefer both Celebrity and Princess over HAL.

 

Hank

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We used to view HAL and Celebrity as similar, but with differences.

 

Not so any more. There are now two very large turnoffs that make us very selective when considering (if at all) a HAL cruise.

 

The first item is condition of the ships. HAL, it seems to us, have slipped and have clearly cut back on maintenance. We are not interested in a cruise where there is a possibility of no A/C or plumbing problems. HAL's fleet is one of the oldest is the business. I get the impression that they are 'milking' revenue from the regulars, delaying mtce issues, with a view to selling those aging vessels.

 

Second issue is smoking on verandahs. Does not bother me if someone is smoking on a balcony near us but it does bother DW. So that is a consideration. We never, ever go in the casino on HAL even on non smoking nights. Don't want to come out smelling like an ashtry and having to send our clothing out for cleaning.

 

So, our short list tends to be Celebrity and Princess where not too long ago HAL was very much in the mix.

 

It really is a shame as HAL was a very good cruise line.

Edited by iancal

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We used to view HAL and Celebrity as similar, but with differences.

 

Not so any more. There are now two very large turnoffs that make us very selective when considering (if at all) a HAL cruise.

 

The first item is condition of the ships. HAL, it seems to us, have slipped and have clearly cut back on maintenance. We are not interested in a cruise where there is a possibility of no A/C or plumbing problems. HAL's fleet is one of the oldest is the business. I get the impression that they are 'milking' revenue from the regulars, delaying mtce issues, with a view to selling those aging vessels.

 

Second issue is smoking on verandahs. Does not bother me if someone is smoking on a balcony near us but it does bother DW. So that is a consideration. We never, ever go in the casino on HAL even on non smoking nights. Don't want to come out smelling like an ashtry and having to send our clothing out for cleaning.

 

So, our short list tends to be Celebrity and Princess where not too long ago HAL was very much in the mix.

 

It really is a shame as HAL was a very good cruise line.

 

Not to pile on but, we used to alternate between Celebrity and HAL -- or last HAL cruise was in 2011; we've cruised 16 times since then. (ten with Celebrity). Too bad, as our nine cruises with HAL started out so great.

I agree 100% with iancal, except we are lukewarm fans of Princess.

 

Enjoy!

Kel:)

Edited by kelmac

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We've been pretty fortunate on all of our cruises to not have many issues, but do agree that HAL seems to be cutting back in several areas ... although we have always found the officers & staff to be very approachable & friendly. Of course, we've never had to deal with any issues such as the OP.

 

I hope they didn't charge you for the shot??

 

Celebrity has much better food & facilities in general.

 

But for us, HAL continues to have some of the best itineraries ... so we will continue to sail with them and hope for the best ...

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As someone who continues to enjoy both HAL and Celebrity, I agree that Celebrity offers a more modern fleet. With bookings on the Eclipse next March and on the Koningsdam in November, I'll get to see whether HAL's future is any rosier. Right now, HAL's main drawing card for us is the itineraries, but if both offer the same or very similar cruise, we would most likely pick the one offered by Celebrity.

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Thanks for the review, Cliff. Hope you are recovering well from your accident in the gym. Tetanus shots hurt! :(

 

Your honest assessment of your recent HAL cruise is much appreciated.

Like you, we are frustrated by the lack of RC and X ships, here on the West Coast. We've thought of trying other lines, just to avoid having to fly cross-country -- almost every time we cruise. For us, Princess is at the top of the "alternate cruise line list". But, I like the exteriors of the HAL ships (they look like ships, not floating amusement parks). If they would only bring their balcony smoking policy into the 21st Century, I've said that we'd be willing to give them a try.

 

But as much as Celebrity's food and service have slipped in recent years, I'm certainly not eager to try something that's a step down. And, I definitely don't want to find a piece of metal in my french fries! :eek:

 

PS -- From our many cruises on RC, I've found their officers to be a little on the "remote" side, too. About the only time you see the Captain, other than onstage at the "welcome back" party, is when he's hurrying to get somewhere. I think that X has spoiled us. We are now used to senior officers attending various functions, and mingling with the guests. :cool:

 

Suzzane couldn't agree with you more . Although Celebrity has lessened their food ,it still is better than HAL .Not only the replies here ;but ,people on the cruise ship who sailed long time HAL cruisers were dissatisfied with the food selection quality & presentation . That imo can mean only one thing that Carnival corporation is cutting back ;but ,it is definitely noticeable sad to say :o

 

Also we agree that Celebrity has spoiled us with the attention they give all of us . Imo , it is their training & level of excellence that makes the differences . Example is John (can't remember his last name --he was the last CD on Century ) ,he is so personable & talented .He was a Hollywood stuntman before becoming a CD .Really nice person to chat with .:D

 

We just booked Princess from San Pedro ,3 nights to Vancouver ,May 8th sailing .Then one night over at the Bayview Western on the water (5 min from Canada Place ) .May 12th we board Millenium for the 8 night Alaska cruise to Seward .This one extra night includes Sitka . We love that port & it's Russian history .hope the ladies are still doing the show with the Russian dancing :D They were so good & successful . We camcorded the whole show

 

Perhaps you & your DH might be interested in this cruise on Millenium May 12,2016

 

Best Regards

Cliff

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We've been pretty fortunate on all of our cruises to not have many issues, but do agree that HAL seems to be cutting back in several areas ... although we have always found the officers & staff to be very approachable & friendly. Of course, we've never had to deal with any issues such as the OP.

 

I hope they didn't charge you for the shot??

 

Celebrity has much better food & facilities in general.

 

But for us, HAL continues to have some of the best itineraries ... so we will continue to sail with them and hope for the best ...

 

Hi Lady Chew no they did not charge for the tetnus shot ;). Yes HAL has excellent itineraries ;however ,with the decline in service & the food quality & presentation ,we will not sail with them in the future & stay with Celebrity for our future cruises .:D

 

We see the need for more itineraries here on the west coast . Since Europe is having all those refugee problems ,perhaps next year ,after the new wider & longer Panama Canal locks open up ,Celebrity & RCCL will be deploying more ships out to the west coast & Pacific regions .We can only hope ,at this time .;)

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Suzzane couldn't agree with you more . Although Celebrity has lessened their food ,it still is better than HAL .Not only the replies here ;but ,people on the cruise ship who sailed long time HAL cruisers were dissatisfied with the food selection quality & presentation . That imo can mean only one thing that Carnival corporation is cutting back ;but ,it is definitely noticeable sad to say :o

 

Also we agree that Celebrity has spoiled us with the attention they give all of us . Imo , it is their training & level of excellence that makes the differences . Example is John (can't remember his last name --he was the last CD on Century ) ,he is so personable & talented .He was a Hollywood stuntman before becoming a CD .Really nice person to chat with .:D

 

We just booked Princess from San Pedro ,3 nights to Vancouver ,May 8th sailing .Then one night over at the Bayview Western on the water (5 min from Canada Place ) .May 12th we board Millenium for the 8 night Alaska cruise to Seward .This one extra night includes Sitka . We love that port & it's Russian history .hope the ladies are still doing the show with the Russian dancing :D They were so good & successful . We camcorded the whole show

 

Perhaps you & your DH might be interested in this cruise on Millenium May 12,2016

 

Best Regards

Cliff

 

John was on Summit 12/18 -24 and the following cruise. Not sure when his vacation starts.

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We just booked Princess from San Pedro ,3 nights to Vancouver ,May 8th sailing .Then one night over at the Bayview Western on the water (5 min from Canada Place ) .May 12th we board Millenium for the 8 night Alaska cruise to Seward .This one extra night includes Sitka . We love that port & it's Russian history .hope the ladies are still doing the show with the Russian dancing :D They were so good & successful . We camcorded the whole show

 

Perhaps you & your DH might be interested in this cruise on Millenium May 12,2016

 

Best Regards

Cliff

 

Cliff -- sounds like a wonderful b2b -- I'm sure that you and your lovely DW (please tell her "hi" for me) will have a great time! Sadly, we have so much going on next spring, that we've already had to cancel our May British Isles cruise on Silhouette. But, I do love Pacific Coastal cruising, and would like to see RC/X get back into that particular market. They both have a product that can compete with anything Princess and Hal have to offer! :cool:

Edited by wwcruisers

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We want on HAL once. It was our daughter's first cruise and she was about 4 at the time. It was a nice cruise and the service was very good but we did not have many memories from it. It was very vanilla. I do not remember anything spectacular abut it other than we were surprised to find out we had been upgraded when we got onboard the ship.

 

We still get emails from HAL regarding various offers. About 2 weeks ago, we got an offer from their casino department. We gambled some and at most lost $300. They were offering us cabins on a 7 day cruise for $99 and the ability to upgrade to suites for an additional $199. This offer applied to numerous cruises over a several month period. I was shocked.

 

My sense from this email, a person who played at most $10 a hand, was that HAL was struggling. I had no clue why we were on their radar.

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