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Why do you hate HAL so much?

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2 hours ago, Wehwalt said:

I haven't cruised them, but I looked at one of their cruises once. Am I correct that their dress code applies in all public areas? That is very different from HAL where formal night only really applies to the MDR.

 

I don't think that's accurate.  I just read their website and it says all fine dining restaurants.  

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On 9/5/2019 at 11:03 PM, KirkNC said:

I read this on the “entertainment “ thread, thought it might give some a greater understanding of HAL and why us “old timers” feel the way we do.

 

Posted by Donald

 

I worked on HAL ships for many years. After the current President arrived, we had endless meetings on how HAL - now completely Carnivalized - could slowly and gently get rid of the older regular crowd that spent so little money onboard, and at the same time appeal to a newer, younger, free-spending demographic. This had to be accomplished gently, so that the older crowd did not realize they were no longer desirable, and so would desert the cruise line slowly. At the same time, HAL would slowly introduce new concepts that would appeal to a younger crowd, who would gradually replace the defecting oldsters. All of this had to be done with a careful eye to protecting profits and reducing costs during the entire process.

 

Very sneaky, but thinking about all those meetings and looking at the current state of HAL, they appear to be quite successful in their scheme. It will take a bit longer to complete, but their bottom line appears to be holding steady while slowly convincing the old crowd to look and book elsewhere.

This year, for the first time in decades, the average age of a HAL cruiser has dropped.

 

Personally, I do not see anything positive in these developments.

Edited August 23 by Donald

 

Thanks. 

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On 9/6/2019 at 1:03 AM, KirkNC said:

I read this on the “entertainment “ thread, thought it might give some a greater understanding of HAL and why us “old timers” feel the way we do.

 

Posted by Donald

 

If it's posted on the internet, then it must be true, right?

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Our first 4 cruises were on HAL, and we had a great time on each one.  Since then we have done cruises on Celebrity and Carnival.  We currently have one cruise booked on Carnival and one on Celebrity. 

 

Some things we have learned are that the 3 lines we have sailed on are more alike than different.  HAL doesn't close up every venue at 9:00pm, Carnival isn't a ship full of obnoxious drunks and Celebrity isn't a bunch of snobs.  The food on all 3 is good, sometimes great, and each has their own strengths and weaknesses.

 

One thing is universal...Cruise Critic is full of people who frequent each Line's forum who complain about everything they do, and also full of people for whom their chosen line can do no wrong.  The truth is somewhere in between.

 

Every line has taken actions to reduce costs that has lessened the on-board experience.  Every line has added thing to appeal to different demographics to attempt to keep selling our cruises.  When things change it is not comfortable for those who love the way things are.  Keep in mind that the relative cost of a cruise vs income level of potential cruisers has stayed the same or even gotten less expensive over the years.  There is no way to sustain that and keep everything the same.

 

One thing I found recently when planning a cruise for the winter of 2021 was a lack of diversity in HAL itineraries in the Caribbean. I could only find 4 different 7 day itineraries all going to Islands we have been to multiple times.  We actually decided to pay more than HAL was charging to go on a unique itinerary leaving out of San Juan on Celebrity.  I had always considered HAL to have some of the best itineraries, but it seems like they expended very little effort in creating the 2021 Caribbean offerings.

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I worked on ships (not HAL) for a few years.  Yes, we received a list of onboarding guests as did the all of the hotel crew members, it mentioned dietary issues and if they had sailed before with us (but not when or what ship).  I honestly couldn’t remember people by name when they returned but often I could remember how they took their coffee or their cocktail of choice years later.  And my crew members, especially the bar tenders remembered even more guests than I! 

It is a strange skill you gain in hospitality.  As for talking about guests after they leave - no one has time for that! They are too busy getting the ship ready for the new guests!  Unless it was some crazy story of course.....

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On 9/9/2019 at 10:32 AM, cruisemom42 said:

We can't know their thinking. Perhaps HAL ownership did not have the wallet (or the stomach) for the era of progressively larger ships and the need to cater to a mass market. (Remember Royal Viking, which had vowed not to lower its standards, was also starting to experience the financial issues that led to its demise a few years later....)

 

 

 

The outgoing HAL owners obviously had no interest in their maritime heritage since they sold their cargo business in the 1970s and closed their liner services.

 

IMHO, they viewed HAL as just an investment in their portfolio. Find a good niche. Reap the profits. Backslapping all around. Sell out to someone offering a good/great price. More backslapping. Move on to the next opportunity. Now, they're richer than Micky

.

What about Micky? What's his business strategy?

 

Micky is a self-made man. His father is a businessman who started CCL. He was cautious, buying only three old ships (average 15 years old). Mickey becomes CEO and starts a huge expansion in the 1980, 1990s and 2000s.

 

He is very impatient. Does not just buy new ships. Tries to swallow existing companies. Anyway, he employed a high-leverage, high risk program and got away with it.

 

Why was Mickey so aggressive? Well, he is obviously a successful man, because his company is #1.

 

How was he able to finance his expansion? He took long term loans on the ships. To ensure that he could pay the P+I, he had to keep costs down. I think that many long time customers noticed this.

 

What do you do when you run out of cost cutting ideas? That's when you cut value to the customers. Most passengers notice this. That's when the marketing geniuses do their thing.

 

CCL becomes party central. Party all night long. But, it's a one way ticket when you go down this road. No way back.

 

What do you have to do when you run out of ways to cut the programs? You cut value more deeply by adding more passengers. In 'upgrades', add more cabins and add more  bunks to the cabins. After all, it only costs $10 in food for each passenger.

 

The marketing geniuses can now sell family-friendly cruises.

 

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To me, its a sign of stress when CCL is still running 30-year ships, and there are complaints that the ships need to be maintained.

 

RCL has launched four 225k GT Oasis ships since 2009. Up to today, CCL has not matched them!

 

RCL has seen a shrinkage of their market share in the 2000s but has remained solvent. As CCL falters, RCL counter-attacks with mega-ships and the latest and greatest technologies. RCL also has the Icon and Quantum ships. They're going up-market!

 

Obvious question! Why does CCL need to do so much cost/value cutting? Why not just raise prices?
 

Edited by HappyInVan

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Here's where Mickey's aggressive expansion has come back to bite him in the rear end. He can't maintain market positioning because of over-capacity. As Party Central goes down-market, he's losing $$ customers for $ customers. 

 

Here's the current financials. CCL has actually paid their debts down to 46% of equity. So, they're in a solid financial position. Whilst, RCL's leverage has grown to 92% of equity.

 

https://www.cnbc.com/quotes/?symbol=CCL&qsearchterm=ccl

 

https://www.cnbc.com/quotes/?symbol=RCL&qsearchterm=

 

So, RCL has become the aggressor and they must now perform. Fortunately, RCL seems to have the right formula. Gross Margin at 45% is 6 points better than CCL despite the big increase in capacity!

 

Despite the cost of the high debt, RCL earned Net Margin 18% (CCL 15%) Translating into ROE of 16.5% (CCL 12.4%). CCL revenues are 2x RCL but CCL market cap is only  50% higher. 

 

Here's the important question for HAL customers. CCL $$ customers are being squeezed out by the party animals, and the periodic security incident. Where do they go?


 

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I suspect that a fair number will remain and continue to complain and wax poetic about the glory days of ‘seafaring’.

 

We will select the itinerary and the ship that best meets our preferences at that point in time.  We are not looking to marry a cruise line...just looking for a date as it were.  The offerings are changing with market demands so we will attempt to maximize our personal return from an enjoyment and a financial perspective.  There are many good ships and cruise lines to choose from.

 

We do not really care about cruise line financials.  We are not shareholders or bond holders.

Edited by iancal

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3 hours ago, iancal said:

I suspect that a fair number will remain and continue to complain and wax poetic about the glory days of ‘seafaring’.

 

We will select the itinerary and the ship that best meets our preferences at that point in time.  We are not looking to marry a cruise line...just looking for a date as it were.  The offerings are changing with market demands so we will attempt to maximize our personal return from an enjoyment and a financial perspective.  There are many good ships and cruise lines to choose from.

 

We do not really care about cruise line financials.  We are not shareholders or bond holders.

While I gave your post a "Like" I would suggest that frequent cruisers who have never purchased stock have really screwed themselves out of some decent money.  We have received thousands of dollars of OBCs because we own 100 shares of CCL and RCI....many times our original investment.  The stocks have also given us a nice return.  Every time we take another cruise its another $250 in our pockets.  

 

Hank

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5 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

While I gave your post a "Like" I would suggest that frequent cruisers who have never purchased stock have really screwed themselves out of some decent money.  We have received thousands of dollars of OBCs because we own 100 shares of CCL and RCI....many times our original investment.  The stocks have also given us a nice return.  Every time we take another cruise its another $250 in our pockets.  

 

Hank

 

I think of it as an extra dividend. 

 

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3 hours ago, iancal said:

We will select the itinerary and the ship that best meets our preferences at that point in time.  We are not looking to marry a cruise line...just looking for a date as it were.  The offerings are changing with market demands so we will attempt to maximize our personal return from an enjoyment and a financial perspective.  There are many good ships and cruise lines to choose from.

 

We do not really care about cruise line financials.  We are not shareholders or bond holders.

 

Then, why do you keep posting on this thread? What's your real agenda?

 

Forgive me for being blunt. You guys have been brutally honest. It is only right that I ask.

 

BTW, does anyone in the passenger community care what you do?

 

 

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3 minutes ago, HappyInVan said:

 

Then, why do you keep posting on this thread? What's your real agenda?

 

Forgive me for being blunt. You guys have been brutally honest. It is only right that I ask.

 

BTW, does anyone in the passenger community care what you do?

 

 

Me thinks you are being a bit harsh in your point of view.  And yes, I care what Iancal does because we make similar decisions.  While some cruisers are wedded to one or two favorite cruise lines (often having no clue about the rest of the industry) there are plenty of us who constantly reappraise the quality of cruise lines, ships, pricing, and itinerary and make our decisions somewhat based on the recent experience of other posters that we respect.

 

I have lots of "issues" with HAL and has impacted our own booking decisions.  At the current time we only have only 1 future HAL booking (30 days on the Westerdam) and 4 bookings with other lines.  As much as we enjoy HAL, it is near impossible to overlook its cut-backs and faults.  And some of the recent management decisions (such as eliminating Production Shows) really has me shaking my head.  That does not mean we are giving up on HAL, because things can certainly improve.  But with increased competition in the industry it has become very easy to find other alternatives.   While some lines (such as HAL) continue to cut-back on quality there are some other lines actually doing positive innovative things.  A great example is MSC who offers amazing quality within their Yacht Club (ship within a ship).  This has become so popular on MSC (the Yacht Club can book up over a year in advance) that the line is now building an entirely new group of "Yacht Club" quality ships that will begin hitting the market around 2023.  These are going to be in the 60-70,000 ton class and offer high quality (based on the current Yacht Club success).  I suspect they will price the product at something less than lines like Seabourn and probably  be price competitive with the smaller HAL suites.  Oceania and Azamara already try to hit that niche of the market, but MSC will likely be a lot more innovative (it is their style).  And since its a privately held company they are able to make quick decisions without having to deal with boards, stockholders, etc.  Meanwhile Viking Cruises continues to grab more and more HAL cruisers who appreciate the high quality of this company.  And quite a few of our old HAL friends are now doing most of their cruising with Oceania where they say the quality is similar to what they USED to get on HAL.

 

Hank

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I would share that because of the recent cutbacks, we really have made some changes to our future cruise bookings.  We did have a couple "pleasure cruises" planned, that had many sea days.  With the cutbacks in entertainment, speakers, and dining quality, we don't want so many sea days, so we scratched those.  But we don't "hate" HAL.  We have cruises planned with them that are more focused on itinerary, and using the ship as transportation.  We look forward to those more active cruises with HAL.   

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9 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

Here's where Mickey's aggressive expansion has come back to bite him in the rear end. He can't maintain market positioning because of over-capacity. As Party Central goes down-market, he's losing $$ customers for $ customers. 

 

Here's the current financials. CCL has actually paid their debts down to 46% of equity. So, they're in a solid financial position. Whilst, RCL's leverage has grown to 92% of equity.

 

So, RCL has become the aggressor and they must now perform. Fortunately, RCL seems to have the right formula. Gross Margin at 45% is 6 points better than CCL despite the big increase in capacity!

 

Despite the cost of the high debt, RCL earned Net Margin 18% (CCL 15%) Translating into ROE of 16.5% (CCL 12.4%). CCL revenues are 2x RCL but CCL market cap is only  50% higher. 

 

Here's the important question for HAL customers. CCL $$ customers are being squeezed out by the party animals, and the periodic security incident. Where do they go?


 

 

I'm just a simple traveler. All of the above seems like more than I really need to know and has little bearing on my yearly decision-making process of which types of cruises and land trips I want to plan for the following 1-2 years.

 

Whatever the previous HAL owners or Mickey did or do next, I will continue to look at proposed itineraries, read cruise line forums to get a sense of general trends and will read reviews on specific ships under consideration, and will make my decisions accordingly.

 

Like it or not, iancal's POV does represent what a significant number of people do.  We may like or enjoy certain lines more than others, but we are not emotionally invested in that particular line and are quite willing to try others that offer the best option based on our own criteria. 

 

 

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Fourteen pages of this.....If you don't like HAL cruise another cruise line.  That's not complicated.....Fourteen pages....

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1 hour ago, DFD1 said:

Fourteen pages of this.....If you don't like HAL cruise another cruise line.  That's not complicated.....Fourteen pages....

Exactly.....because people choose to digress and not stick with the original topic.  

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On 9/8/2019 at 3:51 PM, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

So how do you explain the instances where returning passengers are remembered and greeted by name? are they psychic? 

 

On 9/8/2019 at 3:53 PM, richwmn said:

 

 

 

 

Coach,  Pete,      Again, why do you  care if, indeed some people  are kidding   themselves as to how  sincere is a friendship they  think of  as real ?  Why do you  think it so import ant they be told to "stop pretending?"

 

  How   about leave 'em alone    Who are they hurting?

 

  :shrug:

 

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3 hours ago, DFD1 said:

Fourteen pages of this.....If you don't like HAL cruise another cruise line.  That's not complicated.....Fourteen pages....

 

Awww, DFD1, this is nothing.  I'm a big Disney parks fan, and you should hear them go on and on about changes, cutbacks, and so on.   People care.  They have a treasure box full of memories and traditions with these companies.  I think the continued discussion comes from love, not hate.

 

For those who just seek their entertainment where they can find it at a price:quality ratio that works for them, that's okay, too.  Just a different mind set.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, AncientWanderer said:

 

Awww, DFD1, this is nothing.  I'm a big Disney parks fan, and you should hear them go on and on about changes, cutbacks, and so on.   People care.  They have a treasure box full of memories and traditions with these companies.  I think the continued discussion comes from love, not hate.

 

For those who just seek their entertainment where they can find it at a price:quality ratio that works for them, that's okay, too.  Just a different mind set.

 

 

 

Good point. I think a lot of posters hate things HAL does, but they don't hate HAL itself. Hate the sin, not the sinner.

 

Edited by 3rdGenCunarder

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15 hours ago, sail7seas said:

 

 

 

Coach,  Pete,      Again, why do you  care if, indeed some people  are kidding   themselves as to how  sincere is a friendship they  think of  as real ?  Why do you  think it so import ant they be told to "stop pretending?"

 

  How   about leave 'em alone    Who are they hurting?

 

  :shrug:

 

You are asking me? After 14 pages of posts, you are asking me instead of someone else? The people that are HAL fanboys by insisting they are being remembered several years apart were questioned and came back to defend it?

I really don't care,  just popping imaginary bubbles of those that actually believe they are special. See SeaChef319 post in #330. It just confirms that the staff does get your information.

Do you or would you like going through life not knowing you were or are being deceived just to get your money?  (rhetorical question).

Edited by pete_coach

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On 9/8/2019 at 7:01 PM, taxmantoo said:

Image result for beating a dead horse

 

Ditto 😄 

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9 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

Ditto 😄 

I’m exhausted from this thread!

I’m surprised it has gone on for so long.

Denise😊

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19 hours ago, awhcruiser said:

Exactly.....because people choose to digress and not stick with the original topic.  

 

 

I often skip threads that do not interest   me,  I am bored with or  have  grown  tired of.

 

 

image.png.acc0f808090a153671bcc43ff154dfc0.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

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