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Carol28

Is HAL listening to Cruise Critic and FB comments?

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6 hours ago, Lazz58 said:

I have cruised with RCCL the most over the years (been cruising since the 80s), but have recently enjoyed Celebrity.  

SO?????

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One thing we have found as we only book cabins with a balcony and go mostly on 3-5 week cruises anymore is that around 80% of the cabins on HAL's smaller ships are either inside or OV cabins and they seem to like to charge 2-3 times as much for the vista suite (balcony) cabins (between $300-400+ pp/day) in an attempt I guess to break even.

 

So for us in many cases because of the HAL upcharge for a balcony cabin, we can book either a sky suite on X or at least a mini-suite on Princess and get a better deal with a lot more perks than we can on a similar HAL cruise. For example right now we have an aft-facing Penthouse cabin booked on a 30 day Asia/TP cruise on the Grand Princess for about $275 pp/day.

 

Princess and X also offer a much greater variety of fun things to do on sea days than HAL. Part of the reason for this might be that Princess has 6 assistant CDs and X usually has 3-4 assistant CDs to run multiple sea day activities whereas HAL only has 1 assistant CD.

 

But as far as HAL listening to what a very small subset of passengers say on CC or FB, I doubt that very much, especially if they're not reading about the same issues from folks who take the time to fill out their end-of-cruise questionaire as well as any comment cards they receive during the cruise. 

Edited by Ken the cruiser

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5 hours ago, Himself said:

I am sure HAL has someone reading the boards and I hope they try to improve.  However a more positive way of communicating is to bring these matters on the post cruise surveys might be a more effective way of communicating concerns to HAL.

A carefully crafted letter, addressed to the proper person at corporate, has the greatest effect.  Talk to any congressperson and he/she will tell you that one letter equals about a thousand voices.  Businesses usually feel the same way.  A letter carries more weight.  Now, if all of us would write Seattle. . .well, maybe that would have some effect eventually.  Copper even supplied the name of the person we should address if our gripe encompasses the entertainment or lack thereof.  Just saying. . .

Edited by sevenseasnomad

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16 minutes ago, sevenseasnomad said:

A carefully crafted letter, addressed to the proper person at corporate, has the greatest effect.  Talk to any congressperson and he/she will tell you that one letter equals about a thousand voices.  Businesses usually feel the same way.  A letter carries more weight.  Now, if all of us would write Seattle. . .well, maybe that would have some effect eventually.  Copper even supplied the name of the person we should address if our gripe encompasses the entertainment or lack thereof.  Just saying. . .

And just exactly would one say that would monetarily be worth it to HAL fleet wide to change their current course. Just curious ...

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I am such a fan of consumerism!

if a product or name is not making you happy... put it in writing.

if you received no response in 7 days.   Find another company and product to deal with. The Industry has too much competition to ignore your concerns.

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5 hours ago, Shmoo here said:

Correct.  They are not dueling pianos, it is a "dual" piano show.  They switch off playing, not try to outdo each other.

 

 

9 hours ago, Oakman58 said:

I would agree the weak link on a Holland America cruise is the theater entertainment but I enjoy the lounge acts although I wouldn't refer to the two piano bar as dueling pianos. 

 

 

Since many people here like to claim that the 2 piano players on HAL aren't really "dueling" I would like to point out that the show they do is the exact definition of dueling pianos. So while they may not fight or shoot or argue with each other, it is the correct term what what they do.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dueling_pianos

Edited by MisterBill99

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Ever stop to think that the reason HAL doesn't react to complaints about entertainment (or other things for that matter) is that only a few really care for those things?

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10 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

On board Noordam now, and this may not be conventional "entertainment", but it was posted that as we left our last port yesterday evening, there would be commentary as we passed a particularly noteworthy (or not!?!?) bird area.  

 

A huge group gathered in the Crow's Nest, such that viewing would have been difficult for all but those in front.  I say "would have been" because... THERE WAS NO COMMENTARY!

 

As we passed the last "edge of land", and headed toward quite clearly more open seas, everyone began mumbling about "WHERE are the birds", etc...

 

And then... AND THEN... AND THEN  -  an announcement from (mumbled name/position not intelligible, or not by us, anyway) stating SO DRATTED CAVALIERLY about how golly gee, we've passed the bird area, I [the speaker] DIDN'T TRACK THE TIME PROPERLY (or words to that effect, also something like we got underway early?? - which we did NOT!), and a totally UNapologetic "non-apology", and blah blah blah...

 

WE ALL KNEW WHAT TIME THE SHIP WAS SUPPOSED TO PASS THE BIRD AREA, AND INDEED THE SHIP *DID* PASS THE BIRD AREA AT THAT TIME, maybe 5 minutes before the printed time in the daily schedule.  FIVE MINUTES?  At that point, the "commentary" should have already started, unless it was going to be a too-quick, "HURRY, LOOK OVER THERE RIGHT NOW!!! or Oooops you missed it!"

 

Grrrrrrrr.

 

We are not birders, but there were plenty of people around us who clearly were (and there were many sets of binoculars and fancy cameras at the ready), although all of us were disappointed, and ASTONISHED at both the "excuse" and the tone of the "non-apology"!

 

Wow.

 

GC

 

It's a shame that there was no satisfactory commentary as Noordam was passing the Albatross Colony.

Hope you are having a good experience cruising Fiordland.

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6 hours ago, wyobean said:

We choose our cruises for the places we want to visit. We are perfectly happy reading a book, visiting with other passengers, playing a game in the Crow’s nest or watching a movie in our room. If I can’t find something to do I just walk around the ship. We do not have to be entertained. If the show is something that interests us we will go. Totally enjoy having someone to do the cleaning, cooking and laundry. I hope I never get to the point where I complain about a lack of entertainment. I am just thankful I am able to cruise...many people are not.

 

I am probably in the minority, but if She Who Must Be Obeyed and I never had to sit through another over-amplified production show, I would be a happy cruiser.   Sometimes, when the show is too loud and the singers are screeching, we leave and take a few turns around the promenade and preserve the hearing we have left.  We don't cruise for the entertainment, but rather to enjoy being at sea on an interesting itinerary.

 

Our next cruise on HAL is about a year away, so we'll see what's changed by then and how we feel about it.

 

In the meantime, a bad day at sea is still better than a good day at the office.

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2 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

Ever stop to think that the reason HAL doesn't react to complaints about entertainment (or other things for that matter) is that only a few really care for those things?

 

That's an interesting question. Clearly they have decided that their entertainment direction is the Music Walk. They gutted their activities staff (which is ridiculous) and got rid of production shows with live musicians/singers. The more people who let them know that they do not like the new direction the better.

 

Check out cruise prices for upcoming Caribbean sailings on both HAL and Celebrity. Celebrity's prices are staying high while HAL's are low.  I don't know if it's because aren't booking HAL cruises because of the changes they have made or because Celebrity has more "buzz". Celebrity still has production shows and they have music around the ship all day. They also have an activities staff. And I actually preferred the production shows on Koningsdam a year and a half ago over Celebrity's shows.

Edited by MisterBill99

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3 hours ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

 

Since many people here like to claim that the 2 piano players on HAL aren't really "dueling" I would like to point out that the show they do is the exact definition of dueling pianos. So while they may not fight or shoot or argue with each other, it is the correct term what what they do.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dueling_pianos

 

A great dueling piano bar should be raucous, disrespectful, cheeky, funny, loud, and later in the evening perhaps a bit naughty.  Requested songs are played but they may even adlib some of the lyrics of a song to make it funny or nasty.  There are usually two pianos and three musicians, the third musician is used to give breaks to the others.  It is non-stop music and mayhem for the entire evening with great interaction with the audience.  This is what a dueling piano bar is supposed to be.  Even the section of your link under History and especially The Show should give you a better idea of what a dueling piano bar is.

 

I’ve seen two piano players on HAL playing song requests but it’s not a dueling piano show.

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16 minutes ago, MisterBill99 said:

Check out cruise prices for upcoming Caribbean sailings on both HAL and Celebrity. Celebrity's prices are staying high while HAL's are low.  I don't know if it's because aren't booking HAL cruises because of the changes they have made or because Celebrity has more "buzz". Celebrity still has production shows and they have music around the ship all day. They also have an activities staff. And I actually preferred the production shows on Koningsdam a year and a half ago over Celebrity's shows.

You mentioned you compared HAL to Celebrity. Is there a reason why you didn't compare HAL prices against those of Princess? You may be pleasantly surprised. 

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24 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

You mentioned you compared HAL to Celebrity. Is there a reason why you didn't compare HAL prices against those of Princess? You may be pleasantly surprised. 

 

Because they are my two primary cruise lines and I was actually looking at a Celebrity cruise that friends are on but it was too expensive. HAL was much more affordable. I think I also checked Princess and other than not having any itineraries I liked, they didn't seem particularly cheap.

 

Also I think any people would consider HAL and Celebrity as direct competitors. I think of Princess as a competitor of Royal.

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24 minutes ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

Because they are my two primary cruise lines and I was actually looking at a Celebrity cruise that friends are on but it was too expensive. HAL was much more affordable. I think I also checked Princess and other than not having any itineraries I liked, they didn't seem particularly cheap.

 

Also I think any people would consider HAL and Celebrity as direct competitors. I think of Princess as a competitor of Royal.

I was just curious. We are in our mid 60s and like taking 3-5 week cruises and HAL has just gotten too "relaxing" for us while both Celebrity and Princess, depending on the itinerary, have proven to be much more lively especially when it comes to having fun things to do on sea days.

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20 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

I was just curious. We are in our mid 60s and like taking 3-5 week cruises and HAL has just gotten too "relaxing" for us while both Celebrity and Princess, depending on the itinerary, have proven to be much more lively especially when it comes to having fun things to do on sea days.

 

So that basically hows how HAL has gone wrong in this approach. They had the "cruise line for seniors" reputation. Getting rid of activities is not the way to combat that. And I LOVE Billboard Onboard. And I enjoyed Koningsdam enough to be sailing her for the 3rd time in less than 24 months (although the latter two are coincidence of finding a good deal/itinerary, I don't think I'd do the same on Celebrity Edge).

 

They should really do a President's Cruise like Royal and Celebrity do to hear from their customers, although I'm not sure how much you actually get to talk to the executives during those (or if it would do any good).

Edited by MisterBill99

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15 hours ago, Carol28 said:

I'm booking a new cruise today, not because it's Black Friday (although that is a thought.) It's for next Thanksgiving time.  This is the fourth cruise we will have booked for 2020 -2021 time period.  Now there is a perfectly good cruise on HAL's Neiux Amsterdam at the exact time period we choose to go. And we are 4 star Mariners, so we get lots of perks. We love the Neptune Suites, the service is impeccable, the food is just what we like and I love the promenade deck.  

However, we are NOT BOOKING on HAL. We are so tired of the lousy entertainment.  We just go off of the Zuiderdam last month.  The stage shows are only dancers, no singers. We left the comedian's show as he repeated the same line 10 times before he got to the punch line, "Men, watch what happens when I say these words," or something like that, and didn't even bother with the impersonator as we were told about it prior to the later show.  We are tired of the dueling pianos and B.B. King performances. Both are fun for two evenings each, but they get repetitive. And there is nothing else happening on board all day except for trivia games or purchasing promotions. There are no interesting lectures except about port excursions. There's no dance music before dinner. 

I know others have mentioned the exact same thoughts. Is anybody listening who can change this? If I thought the entertainment would be upgraded this year, I'd jump aboard.

Well said and my thoughts exactly.  I have one more cruise with HAL and that will be it unless they liven things up. 

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10 hours ago, wyobean said:

We choose our cruises for the places we want to visit. We are perfectly happy reading a book, visiting with other passengers, playing a game in the Crow’s nest or watching a movie in our room. If I can’t find something to do I just walk around the ship. We do not have to be entertained. If the show is something that interests us we will go. Totally enjoy having someone to do the cleaning, cooking and laundry. I hope I never get to the point where I complain about a lack of entertainment. I am just thankful I am able to cruise...many people are not.

 

My sentiments exactly!

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We cruise mainly for the itinerary. I agree the entertainment has gone down hill on all HAL ships. HAL post cruise survey is time sensitive & I have make that comment on the survey, nothing has changed. I think if all the dissatisfied cruisers were to email, write letters to the office of Orlando Ashford we might see something happen. I have emailed Conner Nagan at guest relations & did get an answer thanking me for my concerns. I don't think complaining on CC is going to make any difference other then to get it off your chest. We enjoy any cruise that we are lucky enough to be on.

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8 hours ago, Sue from Canada said:

Well said and my thoughts exactly.  I have one more cruise with HAL and that will be it unless they liven things up. 

I called Guest Relations yesterday and spoke to this nice woman who is sending my comments to another department and should get back to me next week. My suggestion is for all of us who feel this way should call Guest Relations to express our displeasure.  I thought the comment about how many cruise assistants there are on each ship enlightening.  And now that the Cruise Director is combined with the Tour Director, there are even fewer activities.

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19 hours ago, wyobean said:

We choose our cruises for the places we want to visit. We are perfectly happy reading a book, visiting with other passengers, playing a game in the Crow’s nest or watching a movie in our room. If I can’t find something to do I just walk around the ship. We do not have to be entertained. If the show is something that interests us we will go. Totally enjoy having someone to do the cleaning, cooking and laundry. I hope I never get to the point where I complain about a lack of entertainment. I am just thankful I am able to cruise...many people are not.

 

I agree with you, but only up to a point. I don't "need" to be entertained all of the time, but part of being on a cruise and relaxing has, for me, always included some type of entertainment options. I don't need to sink into a coma when I go on a holiday, I may still want to listen to some good music and get my feet tapping, or attend a lecture and learn something new about where I am going (or something else).

 

It would be one thing if people were complaining about cruises in general having a lack of entertainment -- in that case it would clearly be a case of "maybe cruising isn't right for you".  But when HAL is so much of an outlier among what could be considered comparable cruise lines, I think it is a fair criticism that HAL needs to look at this issue more in depth.

 

Perhaps they thought that by adding the various music venues, they could cut elsewhere and people wouldn't notice or care. But this thread -- and the many others I have read in the last 6 months that are similar -- should be telling HAL loud and clear that there a significant number of even HAL regulars who are disturbed by the losses.

 

Edited by cruisemom42

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DH and I are actually thinking of booking a cruise on HAL after having sailed on Celebrity for several years.  Celebrity has been cutting back drastically and their prices have been increasing dramatically compared to what they were a few years ago.  Celebrity does monitor CC boards and they have CC parties on board.  Not sure if HAL does this or not.

 

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We agree.  After 9 cruises we choose HAL only if the price and iternerary beats out princess.  The entertainment is very poor on HAL compared to other cruise lines.  We dont need waterparks, golf, ice skating and 50 shops on board like some people do but we do like to visit the theater at night for a nice show........and HAL has really gone down in this department.

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7 hours ago, vermonter16 said:

DH and I are actually thinking of booking a cruise on HAL after having sailed on Celebrity for several years.  Celebrity has been cutting back drastically and their prices have been increasing dramatically compared to what they were a few years ago.  Celebrity does monitor CC boards and they have CC parties on board.  Not sure if HAL does this or not.

 

 

HAL does not run the CC parties. They will get you a room if someone organizes it, but no one from the ship attends (or has attended when I've run it). With only the Cruise Director and his assistant, I can't blame them for not showing up since they probably have something else to do, although having some sort of officer show up would be a nice touch. On Celebrity, you almost always get the CD and sometimes the captain makes an appearance, depending on who is at the helm of the ship.

 

As for Celebrity's prices, it shows that the demand is still high. If it weren't, prices would be lower, especially for close-in cruises.

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10 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

It would be one thing if people were complaining about cruises in general having a lack of entertainment -- in that case it would clearly be a case of "maybe cruising isn't right for you".  But when HAL is so much of an outlier among what could be considered comparable cruise lines, I think it is a fair criticism that HAL needs to look at this issue more in depth.

 

Perhaps they thought that by adding the various music venues, they could cut elsewhere and people wouldn't notice or care. But this thread -- and the many others I have read in the last 6 months that are similar -- should be telling HAL loud and clear that there a significant number of even HAL regulars who are disturbed by the losses.

 

 

We were on Oceania last year and even they had better theater entertainment on a 600 person ship than HAL (and yes, I know they're more expensive but still). It's really shameful that HAL got rid of their live singers, given that they were known for them (the HAL Cats, I believe, plus the HAL Singers and Dancers).

 

Clearly they think that the Music Walk will wow people and convince them to overlook the theater cutbacks. And the Music Walk venues are excellent. But they cut back way too much in other areas of entertainment and activities.

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