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Vict0riann

Another itinerary change

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Some months ago, HAL took Ravenna off our itinerary and substituted Rijeka, Croatia.  Today, almost a month before we sail on Koningsdam, we got a notification that Rijeka has been removed, Split moved a day into the place of Rijeka, and Korcula, Croatia is now where Split used to be.  Korcula is a tender port.   So strange.

 

Does this happen often?  We only had something like this once, on Prinsendam, when they removed all the stops in Turkey and completely re-jigged the itinerary.  But that was understandable, then.

 

 

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I had a stop removed and replaced with something else on another cruise line, for me it was changed due to safety reasons.  I can only think this change may have been for the same reason, safety.

Edited by doone

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16 minutes ago, Vict0riann said:

The email says "For operational reasons..."  

we have received those notifications as well.. We even once got a change of Itinerary once we were underway.. It happens!!

 

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We have also experienced itinerary changes on various cruises -- same reason "for operational reasons".  Most times we were notified before the cruise began.  But a couple of times we found the letter on the bed when we boarded the ship.

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4 hours ago, Vict0riann said:

Some months ago, HAL took Ravenna off our itinerary and substituted Rijeka, Croatia.  Today, almost a month before we sail on Koningsdam, we got a notification that Rijeka has been removed, Split moved a day into the place of Rijeka, and Korcula, Croatia is now where Split used to be.  Korcula is a tender port.   So strange.

 

Does this happen often?  We only had something like this once, on Prinsendam, when they removed all the stops in Turkey and completely re-jigged the itinerary.  But that was understandable, then.

 

 

could you give me the dates involved please?

TIA

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4 hours ago, richwmn said:

could you give me the dates involved please?

TIA

 

For the cruise we will be on next month?  That is the Koningsdam, October 18.  Changes are on October 22 and 23.  Originally we had Ravenna on October 23 (changed to Rijeka), and later in the month, an overnight in Valletta.  Another change was that Valletta was changed to just a day (October 28) and Naples was added on the 30th.  I am running out of printer paper!😀

 

Just to add, I'm happy about Korcula - looks much nicer than Rijeka...

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I am just guessing what 'operational reasons' means. Some Adriatic ports are fairly new to large cruise ships. Dock space and tender space are probably limited. 

 

I did not know about Naples and Valletta, must have happened before we booked. I am really looking forward to this cruise. It has ports we will see for the first time and others after 40+ years!

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1 hour ago, Floridiana said:

I am just guessing what 'operational reasons' means.

It means anything HAL wants it to mean. It's their equivalent of the old parental 'Because I said so.' 

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An itinerary is never cast in stone.  There are a number of reasons for substituting one port for a planned stop, and, as some have pointed out, an itinerary change can occur while underway.  At least you know in advance which port in Croatia you'll visit.  Maybe. 

 

It can be confusing and frustrating, especially if a passenger has paid for a private excursion in a planned port only to discover the ship won't be stopping there after all.

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4 hours ago, sevenseasnomad said:

It can be confusing and frustrating, especially if a passenger has paid for a private excursion in a planned port only to discover the ship won't be stopping there after all.

 

Which is why one should never pay in advance for an independent excursion unless the vendor agrees to refund the money if the ship cannot make port as originally scheduled.

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I suspect the change is for the safety of everyone.   The Kdam was scheduled to dock at Rijeka Sept 6 but on approach ... there was a ship and crane unloading cargo crowding Kdams berth which made it unsafe considering the wind.  The captain and all crew turned a port day into a sea day seamlessly.  Had a great 13 day getaway!

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We’ve had this happen several times.  Twice pre-cruise and the others on the ship.

 

All of the reasons by HAL were “operational” or “improve the passenger experience”.

 

One of the pre-cruise changes was due to the political situation in a country (good move by HAL) and the other 3 were weather related.  Really bad weather in the South Pacific so ports were switched up so that the Westerdam could safely load supplies and we would hopefully be able to get to a couple of the islands.

 

The others were due to tides (Bristol) which would have limited our visit and silt in the river (Seville) preventing the Prinsendam from sailing up to Seville.

 

It is a shame that HAL uses “operational” reasons in their messages about itinerary changes.  If they were to simply state the issue, I suspect most passengers would understand and appreciate the changes.

 

 

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On 9/13/2019 at 1:02 PM, Vict0riann said:

Some months ago, HAL took Ravenna off our itinerary and substituted Rijeka, Croatia.  Today, almost a month before we sail on Koningsdam, we got a notification that Rijeka has been removed, Split moved a day into the place of Rijeka, and Korcula, Croatia is now where Split used to be.  Korcula is a tender port.   So strange.

 

Does this happen often?  We only had something like this once, on Prinsendam, when they removed all the stops in Turkey and completely re-jigged the itinerary.  But that was understandable, then.

 

 

 

As someone who books for itineraries, I for one would not be happy about that change. Ravenna has been on my wish list as a port for so long that I have finally decided to just take a couple of days and travel there by train on my visit to Rome (10 days) in November!  I don't know why, but not many cruise ships call there; also, there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to which ones DO call there (e.g., a few larger ones and some smaller ones, so size isn't the limiting factor). I suspect it may be that people are unhappy that the port is a distance away from the town -- cannot walk, it's too far -- but the town is soooo worthwhile!

 

At least Rijeka would have been some consolation, as it would be easy to get to the nearby town of Pula where there is an outstanding Roman amphitheatre (very well preserved) and Roman temple. Rijeka is, in fact, a port of call on my fall 2020 BTB Celebrity cruise.

 

But what is there in Korcula?  Not much -- a pretty little island, sometimes called a "mini Dubrovnik" (hopefully less crowded).

 

Sorry to hear about the changes. It doesn't seem to me that any good reason has been offered for the changes. Probably so the ship can sail at slower speed and save money.  :classic_angry:

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40 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

As someone who books for itineraries, I for one would not be happy about that change. Ravenna has been on my wish list as a port for so long that I have finally decided to just take a couple of days and travel there by train on my visit to Rome (10 days) in November!  I don't know why, but not many cruise ships call there; also, there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to which ones DO call there (e.g., a few larger ones and some smaller ones, so size isn't the limiting factor). I suspect it may be that people are unhappy that the port is a distance away from the town -- cannot walk, it's too far -- but the town is soooo worthwhile!

 

At least Rijeka would have been some consolation, as it would be easy to get to the nearby town of Pula where there is an outstanding Roman amphitheatre (very well preserved) and Roman temple. Rijeka is, in fact, a port of call on my fall 2020 BTB Celebrity cruise.

 

But what is there in Korcula?  Not much -- a pretty little island, sometimes called a "mini Dubrovnik" (hopefully less crowded).

 

Sorry to hear about the changes. It doesn't seem to me that any good reason has been offered for the changes. Probably so the ship can sail at slower speed and save money.  :classic_angry:

No I certainly wouldn't be happy with an extra sea day either.

 

I was planning on visiting Pula from Rijeka as I had a pen friend there in my school days (long long ago).  HAL will be missing out on the tour money as I certainly will not be booking a tour for Korcula.

Rijeka doesn't seem to be a very popular port option in general.

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On 9/13/2019 at 7:02 PM, Vict0riann said:

Some months ago, HAL took Ravenna off our itinerary and substituted Rijeka, Croatia.  Today, almost a month before we sail on Koningsdam, we got a notification that Rijeka has been removed, Split moved a day into the place of Rijeka, and Korcula, Croatia is now where Split used to be.  Korcula is a tender port.   So strange.

 

Does this happen often?  We only had something like this once, on Prinsendam, when they removed all the stops in Turkey and completely re-jigged the itinerary.  But that was understandable, then.

 

 

It is a shame they have done this, but it will save me money as I'll not need to book a HAL tour in Korcula.

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6 hours ago, caribill said:

 

Which is why one should never pay in advance for an independent excursion unless the vendor agrees to refund the money if the ship cannot make port as originally scheduled.

Exactly.  I only deal with tours that have this guarantee.  I've never had a problem getting my money back.  In fact, one tour operator in Athens moved my tour to the day the ship would be arriving, which was several days after we should have docked in that port instead of refunding the money.  I was grateful for his flexibility, as it was one of the best tours we took on that cruise.

Edited by sevenseasnomad

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36 minutes ago, jennjess said:

 

I was planning on visiting Pula from Rijeka as I had a pen friend there in my school days (long long ago).  HAL will be missing out on the tour money as I certainly will not be booking a tour for Korcula.

Rijeka doesn't seem to be a very popular port option in general.

 

Rijeka is a fairly new port option. I suspect they have probably made some improvements to their infrastructure as they are popping up on more itineraries starting with 2020....

 

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Changes in ports happen but worse than that is when HAL charters the ship out from under us after we have booked a cruise.  This has happened to us three times in the last 4 years.  One time they cancelled the cruise for a charter - so we switched to another ship and then a month later they cancelled that cruise because of a charter.  They are doing this when guests have booked a collectors cruise which is even worse.

 

I wish Orlando would realize that this is making a lot of loyal HAL guests very upset.

Edited by iflyrc5

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11 minutes ago, iflyrc5 said:

Changes in ports happen but worse than that is when HAL charters the ship out from under us after we have booked a cruise.  This has happened to us three times in the last 4 years.  One time they cancelled the cruise for a charter - so we switched to another ship and then a month later they cancelled that cruise because of a charter.  They are doing this when guests have booked a collectors cruise which is even worse.

 

I wish Orlando would realize that this is making a lot of loyal HAL guests very upset.

 

That's terrible. I hope they at least make these decisions before the window for booking flights opens. That would really be a hassle...

 

I think part of the problem stems from the fact that you can book travel so far in advance. I just recently had a BTB cruise on Celebrity Constellation for November 2020 cancelled "for operational reasons" (the reason being that Celebrity has decided to bring the ship back to the US in the fall to sail from Tampa during the Caribbean season....)

 

While I was annoyed at what was originally offered by Celebrity as compensation, I was able to work with them to come up with an earlier, alternative BTB on the same ship -- albeit with a less interesting itinerary and a slightly higher cost (but a large amount of OBC and more included extras). However I would have been MUCH less happy had the cancellation occurred after I had already secured my air and made other plans....

 

 

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15 minutes ago, iflyrc5 said:

Changes in ports happen but worse than that is when HAL charters the ship out from under us after we have booked a cruise.  This has happened to us three times in the last 4 years.  One time they cancelled the cruise for a charter - so we switched to another ship and then a month later they cancelled that cruise because of a charter.  They are doing this when guests have booked a collectors cruise which is even worse.

 

I wish Orlando would realize that this is making a lot of loyal HAL guests very upset.

 

That's why I won't book a 7-day cruise on HAL, or a 14-day that is a combination of two 7s. Groups most often take 7-day cruises, either as a charter or a large-group booking. 

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1 hour ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

That's why I won't book a 7-day cruise on HAL, or a 14-day that is a combination of two 7s. Groups most often take 7-day cruises, either as a charter or a large-group booking. 

What I had booked was a 21 Day collector 10 day then 11 day so staying away from the 7 day does not help.   

 

Yes - we book early because we want to pick a particular cabin and yes they did cancel before the airline (southwest) bookings became available but it sure is a pain and disappointment when you spend time doing the planning and then they cancel.  On the most recent cancellation I am also upset with my TA as I did not get the notice for over a month after HAL cancelled the cruise.

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Try to enjoy yourself anyhow, OP.  We were once diverted from Portofino to Genoa and almost lost our  minds, but Genoa turned out to be one of our favorite port stops.  

 

We've been to Korkula.  While it doesn't have the dramatic draws of Ravenna, it is a very charming place and I'm glad we have visited there.  You don't need a shore excursion at all.  It is delightfully walkable.  I wish we'd had a lovely seaside lunch there, as the cafes are adorable.

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On 9/14/2019 at 1:43 PM, Vict0riann said:

 

For the cruise we will be on next month?  That is the Koningsdam, October 18.  Changes are on October 22 and 23.  Originally we had Ravenna on October 23 (changed to Rijeka), and later in the month, an overnight in Valletta.  Another change was that Valletta was changed to just a day (October 28) and Naples was added on the 30th.  I am running out of printer paper!😀

 

Just to add, I'm happy about Korcula - looks much nicer than Rijeka...

we on the konnigsdam 28 day cruise in june and  changed from ravenna to rijeka , was a waste of time everybody on board said same thing hence further change ??? we had a second port in malta a nd naples replaced it . were advised of change i think about april 2019 probably takes a while to change  ports with legal requirements  etc.

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