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Carol28

Is HAL listening to Cruise Critic and FB comments?

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It's a good thing there are so many people who don't need to be entertained and are perfectly happy just reading books all cruise long.  There's hope for HAL after all.  😉

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1 minute ago, Aquahound said:

It's a good thing there are so many people who don't need to be entertained and are perfectly happy just reading books all cruise long.  There's hope for HAL after all.  😉

 

Except those people don't like the new ships that don't have libraries.

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We’re on the koningsdam in May 2020 around Alaska, and we our a bit disconcerted about the lack of entertainment we keep reading. about. We don’t need it constantly, but like to go to a show in the evening or a bar with band/singer/quiz at night. We have been on a few English cruise ships, (Marella/P&O) and they have fabulous west end style productions shows also music/quizzes during the day/night (many quiet areas you can escape to if you wish) but a good variety of entertainment, which you at least have a choice for. Which is what seems to be missing with HAL. I understand being in Alaska the scenery when sailing will hopefully keep us entertained, so we’re keeping our booking but wouldn’t like it on a cruise with many sea days.

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We were on Koningsdam September 2018. 

Lots of music each night, and at various times during the day. 

Trivia as well, but I don’t think it was every night. 

There are “shows” on the world stage, but don’t expect a Vegas type production. 

We thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact we will be on Nieuw Statendam in March.

enjoy Alaska, I’m trying to convince hubby to do that one.

 

 

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8 hours ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

Except those people don't like the new ships that don't have libraries.

 

It’s not just the new ships that don’t have libraries 😉 😞 

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8 hours ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

Except those people don't like the new ships that don't have libraries.

Anyone who plans on reading the "whole cruise" will bring a fully loaded kindle.  No way I would rely upon a ship to stock the types of books I enjoy.

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"We do not have to be entertained" (a quote from another poster) perhaps sums-up HAL and many of its long time fans.  They are happy if there is Trivia 24 times a day and could care less about entertainment after 8pm because they are often in bed.  I know this sounds overly dramatic, but there is also a lot of truth.  We cruise HAL for the itineraries or the very low prices we snag on last minute deals.  But if another cruise line has a comparable itinerary they get our business.  Now that HAL has all but abandoned Production Shows, real comedy (apparently the comedians are very restricted so that do not offend anyone) we are abandoning HAL.  We do have one more HAL cruise booked (30 days on the Westy) but are not looking at any additional future bookings.  

 

Here is the bottom line.  Every other cruise line has better entertainment then we get on HAL.  While entertainment is not always a deal breaker we would rather have it then not!  Even small ship lines like Seabourn have better entertainment then we now get on HAL.  And we have never been on any other line (and we have been on 16 lines) that has "dark nights" which is what HAL call those evenings when there is nothing in the main theater (except perhaps a movie).  

 

The "suits" in Seattle really need to be listening, because as word spreads about HAL entertainment, more and more folks are going to avoid the line.  This is especially true for the younger (anyone under 80 is young on HAL) folks who can stay awake past 8pm and are expecting entertainment that is competitive to what they get on other mass market lines.  On one of our  recent Princess cruises the main shows were so popular that the Cruise Director had to schedule 3 shows a night in order to have adequate seating.  On the Caribbean Princess the shows were so popular one had to be at the theater 40 min early just to get a seat.  And elsewhere on the ship there are usually 2 bands and a piano bar...all working during most evenings.  Or consider MSC (their Yacht Club is quite nice) that will have a different production show every night and usually 3 different entertainment venues with live music every night plus some laid back entertainment in the Yacht Club's dedicated lounge.

 

HAL seems to working hard to live up to their long time reputation as a floating nursing home!  That being said, many nursing homes have better entertainment schedules then we have seen on some HAL cruises.

 

Hank

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2 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

 

 

Here is the bottom line.  Every other cruise line has better entertainment then we get on HAL.  While entertainment is not always a deal breaker we would rather have it then not!  Even small ship lines like Seabourn have better entertainment then we now get on HAL.  And we have never been on any other line (and we have been on 16 lines) that has "dark nights" which is what HAL call those evenings when there is nothing in the main theater (except perhaps a movie).  

 

 

 

The "dark nights" completely astonished me on our last two cruises.  Hard to imagine a cruise line trying to get away with providing nothing in the theater.  The Music Walk entertainment is all well and good, but the venues are not large enough to accommodate a ship full of passengers and the Music Walk should just be a solid supplement to the main stage.

 

Even the most boring people appreciate a bit of an evening out -- without having to drive home.  

I think this whole new enrichment and entertainment direction is a complete misfire -- and doubt that it will last.

 

 

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We are cruising HAL for the first time this summer, round trip to and from Vancouver to Alaska through the inside passage. Cruising to Glacier Bay was important to us. The itinerary met our needs. Our only other option was Princess. We and coming from the East Coast and flying in and out of Seattle is far cheaper, but we don’t want many sea days. We hate sea days. We want to see as much of Alaska as possible and are not interested in a one way trip. 
 

We don’t need the evening entertainment. We are a couple in our late 50s, very active and we plan on being exhausted once we get back on the ship from our port days. On the days we are just sailing, we are looking very forward to watching the scenery go by from our balcony, glass of wine or a cup of hot coffee in hand. 
 

This will only be our third cruise; two others have been on Royal to the Caribbean. We went with a group of friends. While we enjoyed their company, those sea days were tough for us. Even with entertainment galore, we were bored. I’d much rather be out and about exploring. 
 

So why are we cruising to Alaska? Simply because I’ve heard there’s no experience like it. 
 

My point is: everyone has a different vacation style. Clearly HAL’s lack of entertainment is still ok with some people. 

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4 minutes ago, Kfrech said:

We are cruising HAL for the first time this summer, round trip to and from Vancouver to Alaska through the inside passage. Cruising to Glacier Bay was important to us. The itinerary met our needs. Our only other option was Princess. We and coming from the East Coast and flying in and out of Seattle is far cheaper, but we don’t want many sea days. We hate sea days. We want to see as much of Alaska as possible and are not interested in a one way trip. 
 

We don’t need the evening entertainment. We are a couple in our late 50s, very active and we plan on being exhausted once we get back on the ship from our port days. On the days we are just sailing, we are looking very forward to watching the scenery go by from our balcony, glass of wine or a cup of hot coffee in hand. 
 

This will only be our third cruise; two others have been on Royal to the Caribbean. We went with a group of friends. While we enjoyed their company, those sea days were tough for us. Even with entertainment galore, we were bored. I’d much rather be out and about exploring. 
 

So why are we cruising to Alaska? Simply because I’ve heard there’s no experience like it. 
 

My point is: everyone has a different vacation style. Clearly HAL’s lack of entertainment is still ok with some people. 

 

While true, HAL may find it is not "enough" people to fill their 14 ships, week after week, month after month.

 

Unfortunately word does get around, as another poster alluded, and it is hard to win people back, or win them over, once they get an idea in their head about a cruise line not being for them. Case in point: HAL was one of the last lines to ban smoking on balconies and there are still many posts I read on CC boards advising folks to avoid cruising HAL because their smoking policy is too permissive. (Even though HAL banned balcony smoking several years ago now...)

 

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I took my first HAL cruise for Alaska this past June.  I was blown away by everything HAL had to offer with the exception of the theater entertainment.  I enjoyed that cruise so much that I have since booked another Alaskan cruise with HAL.  I'm really not concerned about entertainment while on an Alaskan cruise.

 

However, I didn't book a cruise to Hawaii on the Koningsdam because of the lack of daily activities and theater entertainment.  That 17 day cruise has 10 sea days (5 going and 5 coming) and I was concerned I would get bored with the lack of daily activities and entertainment.  I would hope HAL would offer more on such a cruise but I didn't want to take a chance.

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4 hours ago, meeann said:

We’re on the koningsdam in May 2020 around Alaska, and we our a bit disconcerted about the lack of entertainment we keep reading. about. We don’t need it constantly, but like to go to a show in the evening or a bar with band/singer/quiz at night. We have been on a few English cruise ships, (Marella/P&O) and they have fabulous west end style productions shows also music/quizzes during the day/night (many quiet areas you can escape to if you wish) but a good variety of entertainment, which you at least have a choice for. Which is what seems to be missing with HAL. I understand being in Alaska the scenery when sailing will hopefully keep us entertained, so we’re keeping our booking but wouldn’t like it on a cruise with many sea days.

 

You will love the Koningsdam!  The Music Walk is fantastic with a variety of genres:  BB King’s, Lincoln Center Stage, Rolling Stone Rock Room, and more.  Quizzes are held each afternoon and evening and the productions I went to in the World Stage were really well done.  You won’t get the West End style productions, though, if you have your heart set on that.  Have a great cruise!

Edited by *Miss G*

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My sisters and brother-in-law’s family are considering a 7-day Norway cruise and the choices came down to a Nieuw Amsterdam or Crown Princess sailing. My sister asked me what are the entertainment and activities like on the HAL ship and I couldn’t recommend that it was comparable or even slightly inferor than the Princess sailing we did past summer. While I am sure the food and service on HAL will be better, the activities gap is too much to overcome.  Also, Princess has a free WiFi promotion going on right now, and even if there wasn’t, the internet pricing on Medallion class ships is half the cost of HAL. Internet is an important perk for us since a lot of us in the group need to connect for work or are teens. This is too bad, since HAL is losing out on about 10 passengers for a not-so-cheap itinerary. Guess Carnival Corp won’t care that much though.

 

However, I am also sailing on HAL in September on a 12-day Med cruise. The itinerary is pretty unique compared to other mass market lines. HAL still is superior in this aspect, for now. Most of the people on that cruise group aren’t native English speakers so entertainment isn’t as important. 

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Clearly in the minority but we think the Music Walk is a vast improvement over the production shows.

It would be a nice extra alternative if HAL had well written original shows like Princess or Cirque style acts like Celebrity but just to revert to the stale “Salute to Broadway”, Bob Mackie gown stuff they ran before, we say No Thanks.

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We are very much looking forward to the Music Walk! My husband is not much of a musical/theater production fan, so live music is much more of an interest to us. Even at almost 60, we are frequent concert goers. 

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2 hours ago, *Miss G* said:

 

You will love the Koningsdam!  The Music Walk is fantastic with a variety of genres:  BB King’s, Lincoln Center Stage, Rolling Stone Rock Room, and more.  Quizzes are held each afternoon and evening and the productions I went to in the World Stage were really well done.  You won’t get the West End style productions, though, if you have your heart set on that.  Have a great cruise!

We are going with an open mind, and the fact that it’s an Alaskan cruise, means hopefully the scenery will be more of a draw for us. Glad that they do quizzes though - love realising just how much we don’t know, when we only get a couple of answers right !😂

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1 hour ago, foodsvcmgr said:

Clearly in the minority but we think the Music Walk is a vast improvement over the production shows.

It would be a nice extra alternative if HAL had well written original shows like Princess or Cirque style acts like Celebrity but just to revert to the stale “Salute to Broadway”, Bob Mackie gown stuff they ran before, we say No Thanks.

 

I am not a fan of Cirque shows and I find that many of the production shows on Celebrity and Royal have ridiculous story lines that make me wonder what drug the creative team was on when they came up with it. And I HATE HATE HATE it when they do a song from Titanic on a cruise ship. It should made be illegal by maritime law!

 

In 2018 I saw a Number Ones show on Koningsdam which was basically just hit pop songs sung by a pretty talented group of singers. Other than the unnecessary video tribute to Whitney Houston, it was just popular songs sung right after the other and we really enjoyed it.  So they had the right idea but decided to save money/cabins by getting rid of the singers and dancers. They have Step One but they go from ship to ship and a dance show with no live music or singers is not a good replacement. I believe that Ben Yates (CD on Koningsdam in 2018, married to one of the HAL singers or dancers at the time, I forget which) told me that they were supposed to have a company of singers moving between ships (as guest entertainers often do) but that obviously did not happen.

Edited by MisterBill99

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1 hour ago, MisterBill99 said:

I am not a fan of Cirque shows and I find that many of the production shows on Celebrity and Royal have ridiculous story lines that make me wonder what drug the creative team was on when they came up with it. And I HATE HATE HATE it when they do a song from Titanic on a cruise ship. It should made be illegal by maritime law!

So, what are your thoughts on showing "The Poseidon Adventure" one night in the theater?

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2 hours ago, Kfrech said:

We are very much looking forward to the Music Walk! My husband is not much of a musical/theater production fan, so live music is much more of an interest to us. Even at almost 60, we are frequent concert goers. 

 

Even at 67, I'm a frequent concert goer.

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27 minutes ago, RocketMan275 said:

So, what are your thoughts on showing "The Poseidon Adventure" one night in the theater?

 

Should also be outlawed. Airlines are smart enough not to show movies with plane crashes!

Edited by MisterBill99

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On 11/29/2019 at 7:26 AM, Carol28 said:

We have a Grandeur of the Seas in March 2020, and in 2021 an Oceania and Princess.  I'm looking at a Princess for the 2020 Thanksgiving cruise.

We boarded Princess the day after Thanksgiving for a 14-day trip to Hawaii.  After a port day in Hawaii, all the Christmas decorations appeared!   We also did the Grandeur, one of their smaller ships, and liked it.  Royal Caribbean is tending toward larger ships these days.   Royal Caribbean also packs their main dining room.

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5 hours ago, Oakman58 said:

I took my first HAL cruise for Alaska this past June.  I was blown away by everything HAL had to offer with the exception of the theater entertainment.  I enjoyed that cruise so much that I have since booked another Alaskan cruise with HAL.  I'm really not concerned about entertainment while on an Alaskan cruise.

 

However, I didn't book a cruise to Hawaii on the Koningsdam because of the lack of daily activities and theater entertainment.  That 17 day cruise has 10 sea days (5 going and 5 coming) and I was concerned I would get bored with the lack of daily activities and entertainment.  I would hope HAL would offer more on such a cruise but I didn't want to take a chance.

That is what made us cancel our Panama Canal cruise. 16 days and 8 sea days.

We also wold get bored with that much sea time and nothing to do.

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8 hours ago, Chocolatemom2 said:

We were on Koningsdam September 2018. 

Lots of music each night, and at various times during the day. 

Trivia as well, but I don’t think it was every night. 

There are “shows” on the world stage, but don’t expect a Vegas type production. 

We thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact we will be on Nieuw Statendam in March.

enjoy Alaska, I’m trying to convince hubby to do that one.

 

 

 

What music did you have during the day? I've been on the K twice, and don't recall any daytime music.

 

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It was sea days, a chamber music performance on one and piano on another. There may have been two piano performances. We only had 3 sea days. 

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3 hours ago, Roz said:

 

Even at 67, I'm a frequent concert goer.

I'm older than that, and still go to concerts. The last one we attended was Santana with the Doobie Brothers opening at Bethel Woods (the site of the original Woodstock concert which I also attended.) Santana was coming back for the 50th anniversary of the original festival.

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