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HAL Entertainment ?

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On 7/29/2019 at 9:32 AM, JimnKaren said:

Maybe we have become old fuddy-duddies, but we don't go on a cruise because entertainment in the evening is prime on our list of things to anticipate.

When we are home, we don't need to be entertained in the evening and we get by OK. If we go away for a few days to visit with family, we don't need to be entertained in the evening.

 

 

I am the same with regard to being at home or visiting family -- I don't expect to be entertained. However, a cruise isn't marketed like a quiet visit to one's family. It's always been a sort of strange mix of old Catskills family entertainment (comedians, jugglers, singers) and "Las Vegas lite" type music reviews.

 

HAL has tried to reinvent its entertainment with the Music Walk concept, which works for some and not others. On a short cruise, it's fine for me, but on a longer cruise I'd like more variety too.

 

There is a world of difference between providing some entertainment in the evening that gives people something to do after dinner that's enjoyable, and having nothing to do, a.k.a. renting a DVD and watching it in one's cabin....

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9 hours ago, Shmoo here said:

And I don't consider running a television show in the main theater with a live "orchestra" accompaniment a true "show".

^^this^^

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9 hours ago, Shmoo here said:

And I don't consider running a television show in the main theater with a live "orchestra" accompaniment a true "show".

Well said ... and hardly worth getting dressed up for if on a gala night 🙄

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3 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

I am the same with regard to being at home or visiting family -- I don't expect to be entertained. However, a cruise isn't marketed like a quiet visit to one's family. It's always been a sort of strange mix of old Catskills family entertainment (comedians, jugglers, singers) and "Las Vegas lite" type music reviews.

 

HAL has tried to reinvent its entertainment with the Music Walk concept, which works for some and not others. On a short cruise, it's fine for me, but on a longer cruise I'd like more variety too.

 

There is a world of difference between providing some entertainment in the evening that gives people something to do after dinner that's enjoyable, and having nothing to do, a.k.a. renting a DVD and watching it in one's cabin....

Oh my.  As I read your third sentence, visions of "Dirty Dancing" and "Viva Las Vegas" took over my brain...I also thought "Showgirls", but that is a little too sleazy for HAL...

 

But, Postmodern Jukebox regularly plays in Las Vegas, so I guess they would qualify in my mind as "Las Vegas Lite." 

 

HAL really isn't the cruise line you want if you need entertainment like "the old days."   I don't need all that much - I never liked the production shows, don't care for magicians or comedians anywhere (land or sea), I don't dance.  Give me a little music of almost any type, performed well, and I'm good.  

 

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Posted (edited)

I enjoy theater productions whether I cruise or go to an all-inclusive resort.  I loved my recent cruise on the Holland Westerdam to Alaska but the theater entertainment was the weak link.


I’m currently looking at booking a round trip cruise to Hawaii from the U.S. but I’ve ruled out Holland.  With 10 sea days I want a ship that offers good entertainment.

Edited by Oakman58

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Everybody has different ideas of what "entertainment" is. For years, most cruise lines were similar, offering production music/dancing shows mixed in with comedians/magicians and the like on the main stage, and limited entertainment elsewhere (perhaps a piano player or small band in another lounge). For better or worse, HAL has broken with this model, putting all of its efforts into multiple smaller live-music venues. The production shows are gone, and although comedians/magicians are still around, some nights the main stage is empty or showing a movie. But the live-music venues are top notch with BB Kings, for a popular band, Billboard On Board for piano and singing, and Lincoln Center for quality classical music. For some people, this is a huge upgrade in entertainment; for others, it's considered a major cutback. I don't have any facts on this, but I strongly suspect there's a generational divide, with younger, first-time, short-trip cruisers being happier with the new format, and old-timers being disappointed. All I know for a fact is that on my recent 7-day Alaska Nieuw Amsterdam cruise, all of the live music venues were overflowing with passengers who seemed to be enjoying themselves. When I stuck my head in to the main stage shows, there were a lot of empty seats. Maybe it wouldn't have been that way with production shows, but I don't know. Personally, I quit going to almost any main stage shows on any line at least 15 years ago.

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Posted (edited)

Is there a place on CC to find sample daily activities for the Alaska cruises?  We will be on the Noordam next year and are interested in the entertainment.  

 

I didn't realize one of the cool entertainment venues will not be on the Noordam until after our cruise. We might look at switching to a different ship that covers the same itinerary if the dates will work.

Edited by bvocruise

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We have been on Koningsdam in March  & Roterdam in April . For sure we love the Koningsdam  live entertainment vs Roterdam  .The other HAL ship we enjoy is Eurodam  & it's entertainment 

 Next Nov 3rd ,2020 we booked a 18 night Hawaii cruise from our home port of San Diego  .We expect a lot of Hawaiian style entertainment on the way to Hawaii 👍 .We also enjoy the interactive TV across from out beds  .Many good movies :classic_biggrin:

 

 

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Are there any quizzes on the koningsdam either during the day or evening, as we enjoy quizzes - I think it’s because we both love finding out just how much we don’t know! But enjoy taking part in it anyway. 

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32 minutes ago, meeann said:

Are there any quizzes on the koningsdam either during the day or evening, as we enjoy quizzes - I think it’s because we both love finding out just how much we don’t know! But enjoy taking part in it anyway. 

I believe you are referring to trivia. Yes, they usually have a couple of trivias on sea days in one of the lounges. They are a lot of fun and there are always folks looking for new members to join their team if you're in to meeting new people..

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3 hours ago, DougK said:

Everybody has different ideas of what "entertainment" is. For years, most cruise lines were similar, offering production music/dancing shows mixed in with comedians/magicians and the like on the main stage, and limited entertainment elsewhere (perhaps a piano player or small band in another lounge). For better or worse, HAL has broken with this model, putting all of its efforts into multiple smaller live-music venues. The production shows are gone, and although comedians/magicians are still around, some nights the main stage is empty or showing a movie. But the live-music venues are top notch with BB Kings, for a popular band, Billboard On Board for piano and singing, and Lincoln Center for quality classical music. For some people, this is a huge upgrade in entertainment; for others, it's considered a major cutback. I don't have any facts on this, but I strongly suspect there's a generational divide, with younger, first-time, short-trip cruisers being happier with the new format, and old-timers being disappointed. All I know for a fact is that on my recent 7-day Alaska Nieuw Amsterdam cruise, all of the live music venues were overflowing with passengers who seemed to be enjoying themselves. When I stuck my head in to the main stage shows, there were a lot of empty seats. Maybe it wouldn't have been that way with production shows, but I don't know. Personally, I quit going to almost any main stage shows on any line at least 15 years ago.

Very well put and for us being in our mid 60s the main reason we now book most of our future cruises with Princess and Celebrity. We're giving the Maasdam with their In-depth EXC program and lecturers a 40 day try in October and hoping for the best. But, that's pretty much the extent of it for us.

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2 hours ago, DougK said:

Everybody has different ideas of what "entertainment" is. For years, most cruise lines were similar, offering production music/dancing shows mixed in with comedians/magicians and the like on the main stage, and limited entertainment elsewhere (perhaps a piano player or small band in another lounge). For better or worse, HAL has broken with this model, putting all of its efforts into multiple smaller live-music venues. The production shows are gone, and although comedians/magicians are still around, some nights the main stage is empty or showing a movie. But the live-music venues are top notch with BB Kings, for a popular band, Billboard On Board for piano and singing, and Lincoln Center for quality classical music. For some people, this is a huge upgrade in entertainment; for others, it's considered a major cutback. I don't have any facts on this, but I strongly suspect there's a generational divide, with younger, first-time, short-trip cruisers being happier with the new format, and old-timers being disappointed. All I know for a fact is that on my recent 7-day Alaska Nieuw Amsterdam cruise, all of the live music venues were overflowing with passengers who seemed to be enjoying themselves. When I stuck my head in to the main stage shows, there were a lot of empty seats. Maybe it wouldn't have been that way with production shows, but I don't know. Personally, I quit going to almost any main stage shows on any line at least 15 years ago.


I would say that it is quite obvious there is a great degree of "generational divide" on this opinion with regards to HAL.   Those past (roughly) 60 with 20-30 years cruising on HAL are going to see things way differently, and have different expectations than a (roughly) 35 year old on their first or second cruise. 

In many ways, a lot of posts on this subject almost read like they have been pulled from a generational case study in marketing and brand refreshment.

My wife and I had our first cruise with HAL in 2010, as young 30 somethings, and since then, I can only say that our opinion on the entertainment options and varieties have only improved over 7 cruises and 9 years.    All subjective, or course, but its almost impossible to not see how generational expectations colour our opinion. As follows;

The Piano Bar as it used to be?  Fun for an evening, but to a couple 30 somethings,  it was already a bit of a relic of yesterday, The Great American Songbook is not the music we grew up with, its history.   Hang around and sing the hits to the early hours?  No, those our not "our" hits, and our parents can go do that for the night.  Give me BB Kings, Billboard or the new Rock Room any day of the week.    

Production shows?  Depending on theme and music, they can be entertaining, but they were never an automatic must see for us (in jest, I once asked my wife if we would be getting a vaudeville act the next night, so you can see how to us, these shows are already, mostly "for our parents" and indicative of a different era).

How many times do I have to have "Motown", "The Beatles" or "The 60's" as a theme?    We had both of those, multiple times, across multiple lines, multiple cruises.  If its "your" era, "your" music, and you have great memories of youth and your life associated with it, you can probably go every time and enjoy.   For us, that music is Van Halen and Madonna.  I play bass, and Motown has some really exquisite players, but please, not cruise after cruise after cruise after cruise of "My Girl" or even "Hey Jude".

Live (small) orchestra to a BBC Earth film?  Works for us.   Violinists that play Led Zeppelin and ABBA?  Yup.  Comedians?  Go for it.  All good for us, but I can understand how these experiences do not resemble a production heavy, Broadway style show, and if that is your preference, or expectation, you are likely going to feel disappointed with changing entertainment options.

I understand that change is not comfortable.  I played video games most of my life, but as of late, looking at how the industry, games, and culture has evolved, I have no interest in new systems, new machines, or "playing with my friends online".

So now, in my rec room, I have my older games systems hooked up, and I play away, and I am OK with that because it is where I am happy.   

The new market, and I, are no longer overlapping.  Its not a personal slight.  There is simply more money to be made from new consumers, far surpassing what could further earned from me, going forward, catering to my needs, and that is why a profit maximizing public corporation exists (like it or not).
 

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We're early 60s and really like the new music offerings.  The ships were way too quiet at night.  Things have livened up a bit.  It's fun to "go out" without having to drive home or call an Uber.   😉

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, TheCruisingAccountant said:


I would say that it is quite obvious there is a great degree of "generational divide" on this opinion with regards to HAL.   Those past (roughly) 60 with 20-30 years cruising on HAL are going to see things way differently, and have different expectations than a (roughly) 35 year old on their first or second cruise. 

In many ways, a lot of posts on this subject almost read like they have been pulled from a generational case study in marketing and brand refreshment.

My wife and I had our first cruise with HAL in 2010, as young 30 somethings, and since then, I can only say that our opinion on the entertainment options and varieties have only improved over 7 cruises and 9 years.    All subjective, or course, but its almost impossible to not see how generational expectations colour our opinion. As follows;

The Piano Bar as it used to be?  Fun for an evening, but to a couple 30 somethings,  it was already a bit of a relic of yesterday, The Great American Songbook is not the music we grew up with, its history.   Hang around and sing the hits to the early hours?  No, those our not "our" hits, and our parents can go do that for the night.  Give me BB Kings, Billboard or the new Rock Room any day of the week.    

Production shows?  Depending on theme and music, they can be entertaining, but they were never an automatic must see for us (in jest, I once asked my wife if we would be getting a vaudeville act the next night, so you can see how to us, these shows are already, mostly "for our parents" and indicative of a different era).

How many times do I have to have "Motown", "The Beatles" or "The 60's" as a theme?    We had both of those, multiple times, across multiple lines, multiple cruises.  If its "your" era, "your" music, and you have great memories of youth and your life associated with it, you can probably go every time and enjoy.   For us, that music is Van Halen and Madonna.  I play bass, and Motown has some really exquisite players, but please, not cruise after cruise after cruise after cruise of "My Girl" or even "Hey Jude".

Live (small) orchestra to a BBC Earth film?  Works for us.   Violinists that play Led Zeppelin and ABBA?  Yup.  Comedians?  Go for it.  All good for us, but I can understand how these experiences do not resemble a production heavy, Broadway style show, and if that is your preference, or expectation, you are likely going to feel disappointed with changing entertainment options.

I understand that change is not comfortable.  I played video games most of my life, but as of late, looking at how the industry, games, and culture has evolved, I have no interest in new systems, new machines, or "playing with my friends online".

So now, in my rec room, I have my older games systems hooked up, and I play away, and I am OK with that because it is where I am happy.   

The new market, and I, are no longer overlapping.  Its not a personal slight.  There is simply more money to be made from new consumers, far surpassing what could further earned from me, going forward, catering to my needs, and that is why a profit maximizing public corporation exists (like it or not).
 

I think your statement "whose past (roughly) 60 with 20-30 years cruising on HAL" is funny. I graduated high school in 1970 when Led Zepplin, Queen, Deep Purple and Emerson, Lake and Palmer as well as C,S,N and Y, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Peter Frampton were just coming on the scene. Then in my 20's when I learned the fine art of "partying", Bob Seger, Cheap Trick, Meatloaf and similar bands joined the crowd. However, when the heavy metal bands started to pop up like Metallica, Iron Maiden and the like, that was the end of my era in music.

 

Then, fast forward 40 years to 2012. We're now in our early 60s and just started cruising with HAL and sat through their Lawrence Welk type shows in the main theater. They were ok, but my DW and I kept asking ourselves when will it be our turn? Well, I guess HAL decided to bypass our hippie and hard rock generation and target the millennial generation and those who like to sit in bar-like settings, drink and listen to music. That's cool. It all works. For us we're more into the Las Vegas style shows that play our era of music. Glad to hear HAL hit the market they were aiming at because they sure missed ours. 

Edited by Ken the cruiser

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1 hour ago, TheCruisingAccountant said:

The Piano Bar as it used to be?  Fun for an evening, but to a couple 30 somethings,  it was already a bit of a relic of yesterday

DH and I are late 60's and early 70's and we've never cared for the piano bar. Can't quite see the draw of it.  So it isn't for all of us over 60-somethings 😉  

Give us BB King and the newer rock room and Billboard.  

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Hal's entertainment: on a scale of 1 to 10, it will be a zero..

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The first night's entertainment on my recent back to back cruises was Mary Poppins Returns.  Really, HAL?

 

Roz

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1 hour ago, Roz said:

The first night's entertainment on my recent back to back cruises was Mary Poppins Returns.  Really, HAL?

 

Roz

That is pretty pathetic.

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1 hour ago, Roz said:

The first night's entertainment on my recent back to back cruises was Mary Poppins Returns.  Really, HAL?

 

Roz

 

In the grand "Showboat" tradition.  lol  🤷‍♀️

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3 hours ago, Roz said:

The first night's entertainment on my recent back to back cruises was Mary Poppins Returns.  Really, HAL?

 

Roz

 

And here's an example of the terminology problem. By "entertainment," I'm guessing you mean on the main stage. But I'm willing to bet there was plenty of what I'd include in the category of "entertainment" in other venues on the ship, particularly various types of music.

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5 hours ago, DougK said:

 

And here's an example of the terminology problem. By "entertainment," I'm guessing you mean on the main stage. But I'm willing to bet there was plenty of what I'd include in the category of "entertainment" in other venues on the ship, particularly various types of music.

 

You're correct, Doug.  There was music entertainment, but we've grown to expect something on the Main Stage each evening.  In the past movies were shown in the movie theatre.  They weren't the evening's featured entertainment.

 

Roz

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Our recent transatlantic the Nieuw Statendam had the best entertainment of our 6 HAL cruises (too bad I can't say the same about the food and GDR service). Music Walk with B.B. King, Rolling Stone Room and Billboard were filled to standing room for 14 nights. Dance floors were overflowing into the main walking aread. The band's were fabulous playing Cream, Janice Joplin (Big Brother and the Holding Company), Jimi Hendrix and some great R&B classics. 

 

i will continue to sail on HAL but only the Pinnacle ships for music walk and specialty restaurants and only for a specific itinerary. I am currently booked on Oceania and looking at Azamara and Viking for the immediate future for the food and service.I

 

HAL lost me with luke warm food, dining service that left one of six at our table without food served until all of us finished and topping it off with missing gluten free pre-order meals. The GDR menu choices appears to be shrinking as well (no more chilled soups??? What's up with that?).

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Currently on Eurodam on an Alaska 7 day.  Mainstage entertainment has consisted of 2 performances by the dance company synchronized to background light displays. Pretty good performances. 1 magician/comedian, 1 comedian, 1 movie style presentation on Alaska (during a late departure 10 pm, from Juneau). Nothing the first night and the last night is during a late stop in Victoria so not sure what will be done that night. Main theater usually not full. Well attended, but not full. On other had music venues mostly standing room only.

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15 hours ago, Roz said:

The first night's entertainment on my recent back to back cruises was Mary Poppins Returns.  Really, HAL?

 

Roz

 

14 hours ago, AncientWanderer said:

 

In the grand "Showboat" tradition.  lol  🤷‍♀️

At least it wasn’t Titanic 😂😱

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Hi,

we have been on Koningsdam this June and the shows in the Main-Stage were quite boring. The  show „Humanity“ by a dance-group was special because of the well integration to all the Main-stage facilities like videowalls and lasers.

 

On the Koningsdam the music-walk was the main entertainment and we liked it very much.

 

In August we were on the Rotterdam, which doesn‘t have the music-walk (Lincoln center stage only) for 14 nights. Thus we didn‘t expect much entertainment at all.

 

But this was not true. We had in the Main-Stage

- 2 shows Postmodern-Jukebox which were quite good and we liked it

- 2 shows of the dance group „Humanity“ and „Stages“ to our taste it was a bit boring and „Humanity“ had no support by modern equipment and was a bit lame

- One comedian from Scotland. To our surprise we understood his language and humor although we are Germans.

- One show of a piano player supported by a band, was not bad

- One show by an magican, which we did not attend to

- One show with a guy which sounded and behaved like Tom Jones, quite good

- One show with Scottish traditional music, made by a local group on board

- One show organised by the Filipino crew and one from the Indonesian crew, both far from being perfect but very charming

 

Yes, no real big production show. But we got more than we expected. It was a quite good fit to the relaxed overall mood on this old lady.

 

In the Mix bar almost every night there was a show by an Piano Entertainer called Stryker. This was very special. We liked some shows, but some were not our taste.

 

There was a kind of a jazz band playing every night in the Ocean bar and almost daily classical music in Lincoln Center stage.

 

 

If we want razzmatazz very likely we would not choose HAL.

 

regards

MBerry

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