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Storylady

No more Travel Guides/EXC Guides on HAL

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18 hours ago, Boatdrill said:

Hmmmmm. Does that mean the Crow's Nest will return to its previous incarnation ? (probably not, right ?) 

The Captain's Corner is really missed, as it was the perfect place for private cocktail parties, and the bar provided a wonderfully intimate late night escape.     

The current incarnation of the Crow's Nest on the Eurodam is blah.  I spent absolutely no time there.  The Explorations Café location is now the excursion desk.  The original bar has been cut to 1/2 bar, 1/2 coffee café. One corner is a sort of small sales room/video presentation area divided partly with a bookcase for give one/take one books from the passengers. The seating as a whole is not relaxing. The library is scant and not welcoming.  I trekked there from my aft cabin to the excursion desk to ask a question and that was pretty much it. I had no desire to spend any time there.

 

St. Louis Sal

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On 7/17/2019 at 3:25 PM, iflyrc5 said:

Below is the response that I received  from HAL when asking about lecturers on our upcoming cruise on the Rotterdam in Oct/Nov 2019.  Nov 2 is when the segment starts for the TA back to FLL so it appears we will have 2 extra presenters for this segment.

 

Hello Ted,

 

We would like to thank you for your email. 

 

Yes,  we do have EXC personnel on all of our voyages giving talks on ports.  In addition,  on the segment starting 11/2 we will have EXC Culture & EXC Nature – Presenters

 

We hope this information is helpful and look forward to welcoming you on board your  Holland America cruise.

 

Thank you and best regards,

ANNA BABCOCK 

Onboard Events Coordinator 

877-885-4259

Would it be possible for you to change that almost illegible font?

thanks!

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49 minutes ago, BarbarianPaul said:

Would it be possible for you to change that almost illegible font?

thanks!

Hello Ted,

 

We would like to thank you for your email. 

 

Yes,  we do have EXC personnel on all of our voyages giving talks on ports.  In addition,  on the segment starting 11/2 we will have EXC Culture & EXC Nature – Presenters

 

We hope this information is helpful and look forward to welcoming you on board your  Holland America cruise.

 

Thank you and best regards,

ANNA BABCOCK 

Onboard Events Coordinator 

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3 hours ago, Shmoo here said:

Hello Ted,

 

We would like to thank you for your email. 

 

Yes,  we do have EXC personnel on all of our voyages giving talks on ports.  In addition,  on the segment starting 11/2 we will have EXC Culture & EXC Nature – Presenters

 

We hope this information is helpful and look forward to welcoming you on board your  Holland America cruise.

 

Thank you and best regards,

ANNA BABCOCK 

Onboard Events Coordinator 

The woman on our transatlantic Koningsdam cruise this spring, who’s primary responsibility was selling excursions, also spoke for about 15 minutes reading a canned, generic presentation for each port. It was always listed on the daily program as an EXC talk. 

It really wasn’t.

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I agree with the Eurodam Crow's Nest comment. It's another "not invented here" target for Orlando.

 

It looks like a high school cafeteria on PTA night.

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I agree with the Eurodam Crow's Nest comment. It's another "not invented here" target for Orlando.

 

It looks like a high school cafeteria on PTA night.

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Thank you BarbarianPaul, your e-mail from HAL confirms what I said from the beginning, FAKE NEWS

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1 hour ago, MikeD4134 said:

Thank you BarbarianPaul, your e-mail from HAL confirms what I said from the beginning, FAKE NEWS

It isn’t fake news. HAL just got rid of the EXC Port Guides and gave the job to the Cruise Director. Some of the EXC guides took the job and other like Brett who is one of the best told them no, that he didn’t want the job of Cruise and Travel Director. I have friend on the Maasdam and he sent me the daily program. The job that Brett did is now called the Cruise and Travel Director. Don’t know if it is a canned talk, but will find out in January. 

 

As for lecturers onboard, HAL hasn’t eliminated that yet as they are guest lecturer.

 

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On 7/19/2019 at 4:58 PM, tkwbear said:

I agree with the Eurodam Crow's Nest comment. It's another "not invented here" target for Orlando.

 

It looks like a high school cafeteria on PTA night.

Ditto for me 😢

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9 hours ago, Storylady said:

It isn’t fake news. HAL just got rid of the EXC Port Guides and gave the job to the Cruise Director. Some of the EXC guides took the job and other like Brett who is one of the best told them no, that he didn’t want the job of Cruise and Travel Director. I have friend on the Maasdam and he sent me the daily program. The job that Brett did is now called the Cruise and Travel Director. Don’t know if it is a canned talk, but will find out in January. 

 

As for lecturers onboard, HAL hasn’t eliminated that yet as they are guest lecturer.

 

Just been on Maasdam, which is the odd one in the fleet. Former EXC guide Lance is now the cruise and travel director and frankly, he should have stayed what he did best, EXC, he "does not shine" as cruise director, to put it mildly. He basically has one opening line to introduce entertainment. He does not do a canned talk on ports, but in my opinion shows off to much on his experience and when pointing out a situation that was different from his talk, he is way to arrogant in his response. In no way he can stand in Brett's shaddow.

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55 minutes ago, Alphen said:

Just been on Maasdam, which is the odd one in the fleet. Former EXC guide Lance is now the cruise and travel director and frankly, he should have stayed what he did best, EXC, he "does not shine" as cruise director, to put it mildly. He basically has one opening line to introduce entertainment. He does not do a canned talk on ports, but in my opinion shows off to much on his experience and when pointing out a situation that was different from his talk, he is way to arrogant in his response. In no way he can stand in Brett's shaddow.

 

We agree about Lance. We have never been on a ship in 40 cruises where the “cruise director” was so standoffish. He walked past you with his nose so far up in the air it might be frozen. He just didn't fit the job. That being said, we aren't even guests who usually notice a cruise director but he stood out in a not so good way. 

 

The EXC presenters on our 6-18 Maasdam cruise were wonderful. We thoroughly enjoyed every presentation!

 

Cheers, Denise 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/8/2019 at 12:27 PM, cruisemom42 said:

 

, but HAL seemed like the one holdout in the more mass market category to offer genuine port information 

oops. Finger trouble.

Edited by saatuk

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5 hours ago, Alphen said:

Just been on Maasdam, which is the odd one in the fleet. Former EXC guide Lance is now the cruise and travel director and frankly, he should have stayed what he did best, EXC, he "does not shine" as cruise director, to put it mildly. He basically has one opening line to introduce entertainment. He does not do a canned talk on ports, but in my opinion shows off to much on his experience and when pointing out a situation that was different from his talk, he is way to arrogant in his response. In no way he can stand in Brett's shaddow.

 

Lance S. has been around the block a couple of times, started off as a travel guide. Very knowledgeable guy; not sure how he feels about the added responsibility of his "new" job

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8 minutes ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

Lance S. has been around the block a couple of times, started off as a travel guide. Very knowledgeable guy; not sure how he feels about the added responsibility of his "new" job

I do not question his knowledge, but found his reply when I noted that certain part of his information in his port talk was not accurate anymore to be pretty arrogant. I merely wanted to provide him with the new information, but he treated this poorly!

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On 7/21/2019 at 5:51 AM, Alphen said:

Just been on Maasdam, which is the odd one in the fleet. Former EXC guide Lance is now the cruise and travel director and frankly, he should have stayed what he did best, EXC, he "does not shine" as cruise director, to put it mildly. He basically has one opening line to introduce entertainment. He does not do a canned talk on ports, but in my opinion shows off to much on his experience and when pointing out a situation that was different from his talk, he is way to arrogant in his response. In no way he can stand in Brett's shaddow.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t stay as EXC Port Guide. HAL eliminated the post soon as the current Guides contract was up. Brett, like Lance, was given the choice of being Cruise and Travel Director or leaving the company. Brett told them he didn’t want the job as Cruise and Travel Director. This isn’t the first time HAL has dumped more responsibilities on the Cruise Director. I can remember a famous Cruise Director who told them that they could give the job to someone else. And she just walked off in the middle of the Voyage of the Vikings after having worked for HAL for 25 years. Brett, I suspect didn’t feel comfortable doing the Cruise Director job. He will be greatly missed due to this change.

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On 7/21/2019 at 11:35 AM, Alphen said:

I do not question his knowledge, but found his reply when I noted that certain part of his information in his port talk was not accurate anymore to be pretty arrogant. I merely wanted to provide him with the new information, but he treated this poorly!

Lance blew me off when I mentioned that it would be nice if the EXC in depth lectures were repeated on TV the next day so those passengers who were unable to attend could catch up on the content.  I do remember that some of the other ships have televised the guest lectures the following day.  Maybe he’s too stressed with the expanded responsibilities.  Most CD’s would have been open to the suggestion, at least, for the future.  The Maasdam lecture content was excellent and definitely kept us busy trying to take them all in!

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They used to broadcast all kinds of things on TV after the fact (Meet the Captain, Guest Speakers, EXC Guide talks, etc.) but, for some reason, stopped doing that.  I know one of our EXC Guides said that the only things that are allowed on TV now are the Shore excursion talks and possibly the future cruise talk.  He always let everyone know that the only time available to hear the information he presented (very excellent and helpful) was to actually attend in person.  Occasionally there have been disgruntled passengers when there is not room for everyone who wants to attend in the Main Stage.

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22 hours ago, Storylady said:

Unfortunately, he couldn’t stay as EXC Port Guide. HAL eliminated the post soon as the current Guides contract was up. Brett, like Lance, was given the choice of being Cruise and Travel Director or leaving the company. Brett told them he didn’t want the job as Cruise and Travel Director. This isn’t the first time HAL has dumped more responsibilities on the Cruise Director. I can remember a famous Cruise Director who told them that they could give the job to someone else. And she just walked off in the middle of the Voyage of the Vikings after having worked for HAL for 25 years. Brett, I suspect didn’t feel comfortable doing the Cruise Director job. He will be greatly missed due to this change.

I also left the Maasdam on July 9th and wasn't impressed with Lance as CD.

 

I was on the VOV in 2009 when Susan walked. A lot of people were very upset because she was popular. Personally I didn't miss hearing "toodeloo".

 

Until Orlando is replaced you can expect further random changes, most of which will be bad.

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11 minutes ago, tkwbear said:

Until Orlando is replaced you can expect further random changes, most of which will be bad.

Usually what happens when you make a "human resources" specialist the head of "operations".  😞 They may have good intentions but they are not trained or prepared to take care of the business of running a business.  

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, mcmarya said:

They used to broadcast all kinds of things on TV after the fact (Meet the Captain, Guest Speakers, EXC Guide talks, etc.) but, for some reason, stopped doing that.  I know one of our EXC Guides said that the only things that are allowed on TV now are the Shore excursion talks and possibly the future cruise talk.  He always let everyone know that the only time available to hear the information he presented (very excellent and helpful) was to actually attend in person.  Occasionally there have been disgruntled passengers when there is not room for everyone who wants to attend in the Main Stage.

I suspect that the decision to not rebroadcast the EXC in depth lectures was made by corporate.  HAL would have to pay someone to tape the lectures so they could be shown on TV.  I did notice that the EXC lecture staff seemed to be very aware of the standards set by a supervisor....not to start early and not to talk about the subject matter prior to the actual presentation.  This EXC in depth program is something new for HAL and I’m sure they have put a lot of money into it only to have to cut fares  to fill cabins.   I hope they can grow the program and rebroadcast the lectures in the future.

Edited by oaktreerb

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2 minutes ago, oaktreerb said:

I suspect that the decision to not rebroadcast the EXC in depth lectures was made by corporate.  HAL would have to pay someone to tape the lectures so they could be shown on TV............................

 

A heads up; virtually all events taking place in the main show lounge are taped by the black shirts in the booth located in balcony center

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27 minutes ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

A heads up; virtually all events taking place in the main show lounge are taped by the black shirts in the booth located in balcony center

A few years ago when HAL had singers and dancers we went to the backstage tour and one of the singers indicated that their shows were all recorded for evaluation of the performance.  On the Maasdam some of the lectures were in the theater where the cooking shows are presented...a smaller venue but they could still record them.

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1 minute ago, oaktreerb said:

A few years ago when HAL had singers and dancers we went to the backstage tour and one of the singers indicated that their shows were all recorded for evaluation of the performance.  On the Maasdam some of the lectures were in the theater where the cooking shows are presented...a smaller venue but they could still record them.

 

Sure they could! If the booth is manned (sound and lighting guys) everything taking place in the theater can be recorded, and most of it is. Those guys (at least two, sometimes three) have to be there anyway so it's not a matter of paying them extra for doing their job

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They have the capability to record anything and probably do when it is requested.  It just isn't shown on TV.

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55 minutes ago, Copper10-8 said:

 

A heads up; virtually all events taking place in the main show lounge are taped by the black shirts in the booth located in balcony center

Brett’s Port Talks in the Prinsendam were recorded and shown on TV during the last two months. His recordings alternated with Shore Exc talks. Same with Heather’s talks during the Grand Voyage to SA this January. 

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