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Rotterdam Tender service not functional?

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Hi,

I read a few reports on cruise critic about quite recent MS Rotterdam cruises where some ports are missed because of not funtional tender service. From the writting I got the impression that the non functional service was quite consistent. Apparently it lasted several days thus multiple ports are missed. And apparently all of the tender boats were not functional at the same time.

 

I‘m now quite concerned as our upcoming cruise early August has 4 tender ports.

 

I was quite shocked how HAL had handled the situation on board, if actually that happened what has been reported in the reviews. But if HAL knows the situation now and does not inform passengers of upcoming cruises properly I would consider this as very bad business behaviour.

 

Still hope HAL is able to solve the problem. Does anybody have info if this problem has been solved? Or if the problem actually existed at all? You know about this faked reviews which goes in both directions. The good and bad one.

 

regards

MBerry

 

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????? Perhaps you can provide some links so we can review the posts?

 

As the tenders are also the lifeboats, I would be surprised to hear that they are out of commission.

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I guess I found the two reviews that mention two missed ports (with substituted ports) on a recent cruise off the coast of Norway in May of this year.

 

Given the problems that can be encountered off the Norwegian coast, I wonder if the port cancellations were due to potential sea conditions.  Check the thread on the Viking Ocean forum for the problems the Sky encountered this year in March while cruising the coast.

 

In any case, one of the reviewers seems to want monetary compensation and was unhappy that the Captain warned him about organizing a passenger protest.

 

The other reviewer was unhappy that they booked a guaranteed room and didn't like the location. Everything else just seemed to add fuel to the negativity.

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Posted (edited)

I’m no expert but, given that the lifeboats are for life-saving, I would think that functional tenders are mandatory.  Safety is the priority so if tendering is cancelled it would be attributable to unsafe conditions; not broken equipment.  Not every tender is used and I cannot imagine a scenario where every single tender is broken.

Edited by *Miss G*

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Good posts by Homosassa & Miss G and I agree.

 

We've certainly missed some tender ports in our time between sea conditions, landing docks being destroyed from a storm, weather, etc.  I have seen one tender with issues (it was checked and repaired on board) but that was a one off on my cruises.

 

A ship can usually afford to have one tender missing safety wise but I would think more than that would be a serious issue and the ship would have to dock somewhere for safety reasons until they were in good working order.

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1 hour ago, kazu said:

 

 

We've certainly missed some tender ports in our time between sea conditions, landing docks being destroyed from a storm, weather, etc.  I have seen one tender with issues (it was checked and repaired on board) but that was a one off on my cruises.

 

A ship can usually afford to have one tender missing safety wise but I would think more than that would be a serious issue and the ship would have to dock somewhere for safety reasons until they were in good working order.

 

Many passengers seem to be surprised when they find that routine maintenance is performed while the cruise is ongoing.

 

This results in certain areas being closed for short periods.

 

I know that maintenance was being performed on one tender during my last Rotterdam cruise which meant the area under that tender on the lower promenade was roped off.  

 

In any case, the one reviewer that had a face to face with the Captain over the reviewer's behavior about the port changes and a warning given about being put off the ship certainly seems to have left out about the issues.

 

One is not hauled before the captain for a minor incident.

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2 hours ago, MouseBerry said:

Hi,

I read a few reports on cruise critic about quite recent MS Rotterdam cruises where some ports are missed because of not funtional tender service. From the writting I got the impression that the non functional service was quite consistent. Apparently it lasted several days thus multiple ports are missed. And apparently all of the tender boats were not functional at the same time.

 

I‘m now quite concerned as our upcoming cruise early August has 4 tender ports.

 

I was quite shocked how HAL had handled the situation on board, if actually that happened what has been reported in the reviews. But if HAL knows the situation now and does not inform passengers of upcoming cruises properly I would consider this as very bad business behaviour.

 

Still hope HAL is able to solve the problem. Does anybody have info if this problem has been solved? Or if the problem actually existed at all? You know about this faked reviews which goes in both directions. The good and bad one.

 

regards

MBerry

 

Tender service has never been a problem, the only time you might miss a port is because of  Captain's decision due to poor weather conditions..

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I personally don't think tat a tender problem exists.  When tendering the sea conditions are the deciding factor, Safety comes first when at sea.  Some people thrive on spreading false stories.  The tender are also the Life Boats that are used in an emergency.

 

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Posted (edited)

If I studied the pictures taken of the m.s. Rotterdam on July 1st - 2nd well, tenders/lifeboats are all on board. Star- and portside.  If you wish to study them yourself: see Facebook pages of : "Vrienden die Holland America Line Leuk vinden". Please note that departure from Amsterdam was a tiny little bit delayed as the last tender still had to be pulled up from the IJ. Anyway, I will board the m.s. Rotterdam on August 4th in full trust of any of her two captains (and her crew). 

Lenny

Edited by MAVIP
name

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Any number of things can cancel a tender port including some relatively minor issues.  I think a ship can normally sail minus one lifeboat as there is usually enough reserve capacity including the life rafts but more than  that is likely to be a problem.  I remember on the 2014 world cruise we had tender ports at both St. Helena and Ascension Island.  Tendering was rough in St. Helena and one lifeboat was damaged.  Captain Jonathan cancelled out port stop in Ascension because damage to a second lifeboat would have been a problem.  Even if a boat is out for routine maintenance that might cause a port to be cancelled if conditions made damaging a second one risky.

 

Roy

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What you describe is a safety issue caused by rough seas, not the proper functioning of the tenders. We have had tender ports, and even ports where we were to dock (Hawaii) cancelled because the weather caused unsafe disembarking conditions. We were thankful the Captain made the right decision.    

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I think you are all missing the point. It was not weather or sea that caused the no tender situation, rather a technical problem with tendering. Now, two reviewers reported this as is shown by following copy/paste.

 

Soon after we boarded the ship on May 25th we were informed via a piece of paper stuffed in the “welcome package” that our itinerary had changed. We were no longer going to Flam or Geiranger due to tenders not working. "

 

and

 

There were two key port downgrades due to tender maintenance issues...completely within HA control, and either an example of poor maintenance or an inadequate PM (Preventative Maintenance) Program."

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, jakkojakko said:

I think you are all missing the point. It was not weather or sea that caused the no tender situation, rather a technical problem with tendering. Now, two reviewers reported this as is shown by following copy/paste.

 

Soon after we boarded the ship on May 25th we were informed via a piece of paper stuffed in the “welcome package” that our itinerary had changed. We were no longer going to Flam or Geiranger due to tenders not working. "

 

and

 

There were two key port downgrades due to tender maintenance issues...completely within HA control, and either an example of poor maintenance or an inadequate PM (Preventative Maintenance) Program."

 

 

 

 

So I am interpolating from this that there were HAL tender boats not operational - which would mean that there were less than the normal functioning number of lifeboats??

 

All I can say is WOW!   If there had been a real need/emergency/urgency  for those tender boats, what then?

 

This entire episode has made my decision regarding itineraryon the Rotterdam versus another HAL ship for next summer, where tenders are required in several ports.  Even though the Rotterdam has a slight advantage edge in itinerary - would not be happy if I could not get to Shetland Islands, Edinburgh etc.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by CJcruzer

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16 minutes ago, CJcruzer said:

 

So I am interpolating from this that there were HAL tender boats not operational - which would mean that there were less than the normal functioning number of lifeboats??

 

All I can say is WOW!   If there had been a real need/emergency/urgency  for those tender boats, what then?

 

This entire episode has made my decision regarding itineraryon the Rotterdam versus another HAL ship for next summer, where tenders are required in several ports.  Even though the Rotterdam has a slight advantage edge in itinerary - would not be happy if I could not get to Shetland Islands, Edinburgh etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am speculating now, but it is quite possible that they can still be used in an emergency, just not in a tender role as maybe the hoist system is not working properly.

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I find it very hard to believe a ship would sail if the life boats (tenders) are not working due to mechanical problems. I don't know but I'm sure there is some law that says have to to be in working order.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, ski ww said:

I find it very hard to believe a ship would sail if the life boats (tenders) are not working due to mechanical problems. I don't know but I'm sure there is some law that says have to to be in working order.

I still think the most likely scenario is that there is a situation where they have enough but could not afford to lose another in a tendering accident.  I also suspect that repairs will be made very quickly.  If this was May I suspect that whatever the issue is is long past.

 

Roy

Edited by rafinmd

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58 minutes ago, jakkojakko said:

I think you are all missing the point. It was not weather or sea that caused the no tender situation, rather a technical problem with tendering. Now, two reviewers reported this as is shown by following copy/paste.

 

Soon after we boarded the ship on May 25th we were informed via a piece of paper stuffed in the “welcome package” that our itinerary had changed. We were no longer going to Flam or Geiranger due to tenders not working. "

 

and

 

There were two key port downgrades due to tender maintenance issues...completely within HA control, and either an example of poor maintenance or an inadequate PM (Preventative Maintenance) Program."

 

 

 

Glad you posted this.  The loyalists here are too quick to absolve the carrier of any deficiencies. 

  I actually read about HAL non working tenders on another site. 

 

We have missed quite a few ports on multiple cruise lines for rough seas.  We’ve also had a couple ports canceled for political turmoil.  

But we have never been on a ship with non working tenders.  We do not sail the old ships of Holland America,  been there and done that a couple times.  

 

 

 

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First, there is redundant capacity for lifeboats on every cruise ship, so one tender being out of service is not critical, in terms of evacuation if necessary. 

 

Second, the problem could be with the docking platform on the side of the ship, not with any tender.

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Hi,

just to avoid any misunderstanding: cancellation of ports or tender ports due to security reasons, might it due to weather conditions or any other security reason, is not a problem at all. Actually safety is always very much appreciated.

 

My concern is to miss a tender port due to other reasons. Of course I would suppose HAL would do anything to avoid such situations. My experience, not specific to cruise industry, is that there is always an optimization between customer and operator concerns.

 

If nobody else from CC has encountered such a situation with not functional tender boats, then I suppose situation was an exceptional situation and not a repeating one.

 

regards

MBerry

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Once again, I am not sure what the two reviewers are referring to as tender "issues." 
 

The first reviewer has jumped to the conclusion, without any supporting facts, that the problem was due to inadequate preventive maintenance or poor maintenance. He is also on a crusade to have his cruise fare refunded to him due to the itinerary change as he feels the two substituted ports were inferior to the original. He is also incensed that when he demanded compensation on behalf of the twenty five cruise critic members on board, his behavior resulted in the captain's warning that he would be put off at the next port if he continued to forment passenger unrest.

 

Again, this is not an action that would have been done by the captain without provocation.

 

The second review appears to be an attempt to back up the first reviewer and is even more sketchy about the tender issues.

 

It is not clear if the tender "issues" are something out of the captain's control such as problems on the shore side, tides, ir something else. A generic "tender issues" really doesn't give any information.

 

I just did some quick research on the four ports involved.

 

Geiranger was replaced by Hellesylt. They are described as tandem ports where cruise ships will call at both in the same day to pick up people on excursions (similar to Colon and the Lake Gatun stop in Panama). If both ports are being called at, the order of the calls can be at either port as the first stop.

 

Excursions from both ports will go to the same places.

 

They are close together and both are ports at which either tenders or docking might occur.  

 

Flam was replaced by Skjolden. Both ports involve cruising the Sognefjord which is the main attraction of both ports.

 

Neither replacement port is "inferior" to the original port.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, jakkojakko said:

I think you are all missing the point. It was not weather or sea that caused the no tender situation, rather a technical problem with tendering. Now, two reviewers reported this as is shown by following copy/paste.

 

Soon after we boarded the ship on May 25th we were informed via a piece of paper stuffed in the “welcome package” that our itinerary had changed. We were no longer going to Flam or Geiranger due to tenders not working. "

 

and

 

There were two key port downgrades due to tender maintenance issues...completely within HA control, and either an example of poor maintenance or an inadequate PM (Preventative Maintenance) Program."

 

 

 

 

I don't think the posters are missing the point.  They just assume that the captain is concerned about safety and not profit. I do not.

Edited by ChinaShrek

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2 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

Second, the problem could be with the docking platform on the side of the ship, not with any tender.

 

Exactly.  That same thing happened to us in St. Tropez and another port.

 

Tender "maintenance" may not refer to the ship's tenders but to the ports they had to tender to.

 

 

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2 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

First, there is redundant capacity for lifeboats on every cruise ship, so one tender being out of service is not critical, in terms of evacuation if necessary. 

 

Second, the problem could be with the docking platform on the side of the ship, not with any tender.

 

A malfunctioning tender platform would definitely impact tendering.

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There are multiple reasons why the use of tenders could not go ahead as has already been mentioned.

The ship is "Unseaworthy" if it goes to sea without the required lifeboats being usable.  No cruise ship master would be so stupid to do this.

If you do not comply with the masters instructions or cause trouble by starting a mutiny among other passengers then you can expect to be put ashore.

If you do not like this fact you should not cruise.  

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Tender #8 back on ms Rotterdam (after reparation) on July 1st.

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