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EXC/ON LOCATION/PORT LECTURER ELIMINATED?

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We were on the Incan Empire cruise last month, and we definitely had lecturers on a variety of topics.  This was on the Amsterdam. They were much appreciatd, well done and informative.

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On 11/13/2019 at 12:10 AM, Alphen said:

Have not been on the newer ships lately, our recent experience (september/october) on Rotterdam was that there still was a seperate CD and an excellent EXC guide (Glenn Michael Askew). Flowers were still present in MDR, not in Lido. Our Maasdam cruise in May had a combination of CD/EXC.

 

I agree that Glenn Michael is a gem. We were on the Baltic leg of your same Rotterdam cruise, and DW & I found him delightful. A mesmerizing storyteller with an amazing feel for cultural nuance.

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20 hours ago, baggal said:

 

I completely agree.  We have a cruise booked on the Zuiderdam in July 2020 that has a unique itinerary - Norway, Iceland and northern Scotland.  These ports are new to us and up to now I made the assumption that there would be a port guide on the ship.  Since we are well within the cancellation without penalty period and I haven't booked air yet, I am going to look for a similar itinerary on another line.

 

Are you listening HAL?

 

(Emphasis mine.) You know, there must be someone on staff at HAL whose responsibility it is to monitor this board and report to management. Can anyone here on CC confirm? I agree that the elimination of the lecturer/guide is short-sighted in the extreme. With all due respect to the CD, I don't expect him/her to be expert on the history, culture, and significance of the sights we are seeing and the ports we are visiting. I don't expect the person who runs the trivia contest and introduces the entertainment to have the gravitas to make me sit up and listen about the loftier, more transcendent aspects of the itinerary. Short-sighted indeed.

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24 minutes ago, Petronillus said:

 

(Emphasis mine.) You know, there must be someone on staff at HAL whose responsibility it is to monitor this board and report to management. Can anyone here on CC confirm? I agree that the elimination of the lecturer/guide is short-sighted in the extreme. With all due respect to the CD, I don't expect him/her to be expert on the history, culture, and significance of the sights we are seeing and the ports we are visiting. I don't expect the person who runs the trivia contest and introduces the entertainment to have the gravitas to make me sit up and listen about the loftier, more transcendent aspects of the itinerary. Short-sighted indeed.

I wonder if they thought those EXC touch tables were a substitute for the port employee.

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On 11/13/2019 at 9:09 AM, AncientWanderer said:

It occurs to me that it's a really odd plan to market a cruise line as one that specializes in longer and more exotic destinations, but then to do away with destination guides and lecturers.  That just makes no sense.  It's as if World Cruise marries Booze Cruise and has a baby named Hal.

I just got of the NS after 24 days and a previous 12 days. I'll never sail on that ship again.

I was thinking the baby was named Carnival America.

Next cruise is on the Rotterdam. Let's see if I remain a HAL customer.

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10 minutes ago, aa7yy said:

I just got of the NS after 24 days and a previous 12 days. I'll never sail on that ship again.

I was thinking the baby was named Carnival America.

Next cruise is on the Rotterdam. Let's see if I remain a HAL customer.

 

Oh, no!  You were in Caribbean, correct?  And it was a Carnival kind of atmosphere?  

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11 minutes ago, AncientWanderer said:

 

Oh, no!  You were in Caribbean, correct?  And it was a Carnival kind of atmosphere?  

Nope, TA. I just didn't like the MDR for noise and bright lights. Screaming babies in the MDR is not ok.

Did anybody else have a Sound Meter app on their phone ? 10db higher on deck 2 and to high on deck 3. Table for 6 or more  was worthless the only people that you could talk to were right and left of you.

Club HAL taking the kids to the pool sucked.

Edited by aa7yy

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1 minute ago, aa7yy said:

Nope, TA. I just didn't like the MDR for noise and bright lights. Screaming babies in the MDR is not ok.

Did anybody else have a Sound Meter app on their phone ? 10db higher on deck 2 and to high on deck 3. Table for 6 or more  was worthless the only people that you could talk to were right and left of you.

 

The lighting they are using on new ships is really distressing.  I get migraine, and they are some kind of intense, low-energy lights that make the room and everything in it look awful.  That, and noisy, too, would be really bad.  🙁

 

 

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4 hours ago, knittinggirl said:

I wonder if they thought those EXC touch tables were a substitute for the port employee.

 

Sad, but probably true.

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10 hours ago, St Pete Cruiser said:

Just heard from friends on Rotterdam that the CD is now the combination there as well. Captain told him it is fleet wide.

Captain Bos van Dreumel.

Sad news.

 

Just guessing, but hoping it could also have something to do with the area of cruising? Rotterdam will now be in the Caribbean for the season, where there usually were no EXC guides, only shopping guides. Maybe if the ship cruises elsewhere, with more history and activity in ports, they will return the EXC guide for that season?

 

Maybe I am just hoping for the inevitable not to happen…..

 

I will be cruising again in spring, if there is no EXC guide and if this situation is effecting cruise experience in a negative way, I will surely address this, both on board and afterwards.

 

 

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12 hours ago, AncientWanderer said:

 

The lighting they are using on new ships is really distressing.  I get migraine, and they are some kind of intense, low-energy lights that make the room and everything in it look awful.  That, and noisy, too, would be really bad.  🙁

 

 

I cruise on th NA on 11/23. Looks almost sold out. I get migraines and cant tolerate loud decibels and

odd bright lights. Guess I’ll be eating in the lido or dive in.  
I am returning to Hal after many years 15 on other ships

this will be two and done

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On 11/12/2019 at 11:29 PM, St Pete Cruiser said:

The Maasdam is the only ship not cutting back according to several onboard.  

On the newer ships, there is a lot more attention and money being spent on the Music Walk, rather than the EXC program.

Actually don’t care about the music walk.  And I am a musician

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We are on the Rotterdam now, sailing back to FLL.  Glenn-Michael is our Cruise Director/EXC Director.  The day before we were to arrive in Naples, Italy, he gave us the temperature for Naples, FL.  As we sailed the Transatlantic portion of our cruise, they installed the new Dueling Piano area where the Piano Bar was, which now puts Jamm and other Piano Bar folks out of a job.  Lincoln Center was installed earlier this year where Explorations was, but it is a  real bonus, as the group playing there is fantastic and draws huge crowds.  All is not bad, just different.  

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2 hours ago, Caymus88 said:

Actually don’t care about the music walk.  And I am a musician

 

Try Lincoln Center. I don't like the rest of the music walk, as it's too loud. But the Lincoln Center performers are excellent and they have a good variety of programs. 

 

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On 11/14/2019 at 11:35 AM, St Pete Cruiser said:

The Grand cruises and maybe the Maasdam would be still using the EXC guide separate from CD.

 

We are just back from the Koningsdam TA. The excellent cruise director was leaving for a 2 1/2 week vacation in Fort Lauderdale and will then join the Maasdam in Sydney as a cruise director. He is replaced on the Koningsdam by a combined CD/EXEC guide. She comes from the EXEC side of the business, but she has a lively personality well suited to interact with guests. The two of them had a farewell/welcome coffee chat together. We also had two very informative enrichment lecturers and Captain Timms did questions and answer sessions almost daily. Fleet Captain Albert gave 2 interesting lectures as well.

 

Towards the end of a MS Amsterdam Grand Voyage, we had an EXEC guide replacing the CD who had taken ill. It worked out well for the passengers. I would never cancel a cruise based on rumors that an EXEC person doesn't have what it takes for a CD.

Edited by Floridiana

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6 hours ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

Try Lincoln Center. I don't like the rest of the music walk, as it's too loud. But the Lincoln Center performers are excellent and they have a good variety of programs. 

 

I agree, 

The Lincoln Center is a success. 

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We are on the Volendam and the positions have been combined.  We were happy to see Ian, the EXC guide that was on the Koningsdam three years ago, is now in this combined position.  We attended a lecture on pirates and rather than it being totally canned (like the lectures we attended on the Westerdam in September), he embellished and made it quite enjoyable.

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I have been reading the posts from "no more Travel guides/EXC guides on HAL", which I apparently missed this past summer.

It sure makes for sad reading which has been continued here.  

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3 hours ago, Floridiana said:

I would never cancel a cruise based on rumors that an EXEC person doesn't have what it takes for a CD.

 

I think it's more a question of whether a CD has what it takes to serve as an EXC guide.

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I'm an HAL Four-Star Mariner but cruise on other lines, too (in fact, quite often in recent years). If you're looking for good lecturers of all sorts, consider Cunard. My wife and I were on the Queen Mary 2 this past summer for 21 days (New York round-trip via England, Iceland, and Atlantic Canada). Fourteen of those days were sea days, and I can say without exaggeration that there were more lectures and other "enrichment" activities on that one cruise than on all our HAL cruises combined. Yes, Cunard can be pricier than HAL, but only if you insist on a "Grills Suite." We had a perfectly-fine "regular" mid-ship balcony cabin that was about the same price per day as most of HAL's longer voyages. The ship is beautiful, too, and the MDR is at least the equal of the ones on HAL.

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Presently on the TA portion of our 32 day cruise on MS Rotterdam. We have one guest lecturer aboard and have been attending his presentations.

 

Wish there where more.

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11 hours ago, Petronillus said:

 

I think it's more a question of whether a CD has what it takes to serve as an EXC guide.

 

I think it is also the other way around. We had Lance Schuler on a Maasdam cruise as EXC guide and on a more recent cruise on the same ship as combined Cruise and Travel Director, which does not suit him. He is ok as EXC, but does not do a good job at the CD part. Some people really like him, we have found him unapproachable and somewhat arrogant (personal opinion).

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17 hours ago, NRFBQN said:

We were happy to see Ian, the EXC guide that was on the Koningsdam three years ago, is now in this combined position.

 

 

If this is the same Ian that we had on the MS Amsterdam, he did an excellent job in filling in for the CD who had fallen ill.

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7 hours ago, Alphen said:

 

I think it is also the other way around. We had Lance Schuler on a Maasdam cruise as EXC guide and on a more recent cruise on the same ship as combined Cruise and Travel Director, which does not suit him. He is ok as EXC, but does not do a good job at the CD part. Some people really like him, we have found him unapproachable and somewhat arrogant (personal opinion).

 

I'm probably betraying a personal bias here, but it seems to me that the role of EXC guide requires a "higher" level of skill and expertise than that of a cruise director. I recognize that cruise director requires a certain personality type (the schmoozer, if you will) that will ill suit many of the more scholarly EXC guides. I've come to expect that if the CD is giving a talk on an upcoming port of call, the content will be heavy on shopping opportunities and light on history, art, and culture. I'm far more interested in the latter than the former.

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7 hours ago, Alphen said:

 

I think it is also the other way around. We had Lance Schuler on a Maasdam cruise as EXC guide and on a more recent cruise on the same ship as combined Cruise and Travel Director, which does not suit him. He is ok as EXC, but does not do a good job at the CD part. Some people really like him, we have found him unapproachable and somewhat arrogant (personal opinion).

 

I agree with you. In my experience, far more people attend shows than port lectures, so I think it's more important that a EXC guide be a good CD.  Besides, a CD isn't just what you see on stage.  The CD is an officer who manages all on board entertainment and activities.  Being a daily manager of people is far more challenging than regurgatating the same port info every week.   

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