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Carol28

Is HAL listening to Cruise Critic and FB comments?

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2 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

 

They have gutted the entertainment on the Pinnacle ships?

 

Meant to say activities and entertainment. And maybe gutted was too strong a word for entertainment, but it isn't for what they have done to activities. Plus the downgrading of theater entertainment.

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1 hour ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

How is that any different than other cruise lines? They've added new ways of getting you to pay extra like specialty dining and expensive stores on board. And HAL's prices for cruises more than 6 months out seem to be pretty high. It's only as you get closer in that they get cheaper. And they're getting to that point with a bunch of available inventory because enough people aren't booking.

 

If you want to make an excuse, say that it's because they have smaller ships so the revenue per ship is lower. But it doesn't excuse them also gutting the entertainment on the new Pinnacle class ships, which of course are still small compared to other lines.

I’m not sure it is any different than any other cruise line. I’m not making an excuse, just an observation.

 

You simply get what you pay for.

 

Carnival is a public company. Review their financials and make your own observation. Are all these cutbacks delivering staggeringly increased profits, or are profits directionally similar as a result of low prices/less amenities.

 

Further, cruises more than 6-months out in 2097 were typically higher than cruises that were closer as well.

 

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8 hours ago, ASIWISH said:

While I agree with everything you are saying, I think it’s important to note that cruise fares are at or about the same price they were when we travelled on our first cruise in 2008.

 

I think that very much depends on the itineraries you are choosing.

 

I haven’t found that to be the case and yes, I did look back to check.  But, we rarely do Caribbean cruises which can really be bargains for sure.

 

And, I know everyone says the best deals are closer to the cruise but again, on some of the itineraries we’ve chosen, I haven’t found that to be the case.  Booking early has netted us better pricing and perks.  And, of course the ability to watch and if there is a deal to snatch it.

 

I think it all depends very much on where you are sailing, how much in demand it is, etc.

 

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On 12/4/2019 at 4:36 PM, kazu said:

 

I think that very much depends on the itineraries you are choosing.

 

I haven’t found that to be the case and yes, I did look back to check.  But, we rarely do Caribbean cruises which can really be bargains for sure.

 

And, I know everyone says the best deals are closer to the cruise but again, on some of the itineraries we’ve chosen, I haven’t found that to be the case.  Booking early has netted us better pricing and perks.  And, of course the ability to watch and if there is a deal to snatch it.

 

I think it all depends very much on where you are sailing, how much in demand it is, etc.

 

 

The perks you get are based on the offer available at the time you book, not just because you booked early. Maybe you're booking at that particular time because of the promotion, and when you've looked closer to the cruise the offer wasn't as good. I can say that the last two HAL cruises I booked were during free gratuities promotions 5-6 weeks before the cruise. One was to the Mediterranean and I paid $899 for a 12 night cruise in a veranda. I doubt it was available for anything close to that price prior to final payment.  Last week I booked a 10 night Caribbean cruise and paid $1299, also veranda. Not as great a deal but still likely a few hundred dollars cheaper than people paid a few months ago.

 

In 2018 I overpaid for a Norway cruise. I did not try to get the price reduced  but should have. But it made me determined not to overpay in the future if possible. Of course, these last two HAL bookings have been of the "I'm waiting for a deal and if I don't get one, I'll find something else" variety. So I waited for the deal and got it.

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21 minutes ago, MisterBill99 said:

The perks you get are based on the offer available at the time you book, not just because you booked early.

 

There are certain itineraries, on particular ships, which have the best prices when they first come out.  These are sometimes first seen only onboard from the Future Cruise desk.  I know I have had regrets for some I hesitated on, only to find out later on that those were the best prices.

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31 minutes ago, MisterBill99 said:


The perks you get are based on the offer available at the time you book, not just because you booked early. Maybe you're booking at that particular time because of the promotion

 

Well THANK YOU very much.  

 

Seriously?  Please don’t ASSUME why I book when I do.  I think I have cruised enough to know how things work and while there might be some promos when I book early, I have often dropped them.

 

I do NOT book because of promos - I book because I want the cruise.  I book early as a) I have found we either have a better price on the more unique itineraries b) because we have the option to take advantage of sales, promos, discounts, whatever and c) because of the need to plan my flights.

 

Not to mention planning private tours.  Good guides go fast.

 

Sorry, but I have been around a while and know how things work.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

 

There are certain itineraries, on particular ships, which have the best prices when they first come out.  These are sometimes first seen only onboard from the Future Cruise desk.  I know I have had regrets for some I hesitated on, only to find out later on that those were the best prices.

 

I was disagreeing more on the "best perks" piece rather than best prices. Prices for late bookings depend on demand. I'm not sure what the  price history was on the cruises I mentioned since the "fish" price tracking site is more or less defunct. It does show that for the VH category I booked on the 1/2/20 Koningsdam, the original price the show was $1999 on 3/4/18 and went up to $2199 a month later. I paid $1299. I cannot check the history of my June sailing, that feature seems to be broken, but I'm sure it wasn't anywhere near $899 to start.

 

I also know that they've had a lot of casino bookings on this sailing (in fact, the inside cabins are more expensive on that sailing than on the two later in the month while the veranda cabins are cheaper on my sailing). I would also imagine that for smaller ships on more popular sailings, the prices would not be as cheap as I saw on mine.

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15 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

Well THANK YOU very much.  

 

Seriously?  Please don’t ASSUME why I book when I do.  I think I have cruised enough to know how things work and while there might be some promos when I book early, I have often dropped them.

 

 

You're the one who said you get better perks booking early. Don't blame me for reading what you wrote and reacting to it.

Edited by MisterBill99

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58 minutes ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

You're the one who said you get better perks booking early. Don't blame me for reading what you wrote and reacting to it.

 

Nope I’m the one who said I get BETTER PRICING and some perks by booking early.

 

from my post - “ Booking early has netted us better pricing and perks.  

 

Don’t blame me for reacting back to you smiling me sound like I am a newbie and misinterpreting my post.

 

No harm, no foul, but I stand but what I say. 

 

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programme.  

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20 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

Nope I’m the one who said I get BETTER PRICING and some perks by booking early.

 

 

Booking early has netted us better pricing and perks.  

 

I can appreciate being upset when you think someone is making you sound like a newbie. But I didn't make any assumptions, I merely went by what you said.

 

Anyway, I am done here. We can agree to disagree.

Edited by MisterBill99

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Back to the OP's posted question...

 

I doubt CC is considered a valid source of information by cruise lines - suspect because most of us are long time cruisers with way tooooooo much information. We do not represent the younger, industry ignorant, demographic they are chasing.

 

Cruise lines today exhibit considerable arrogance based on their pricing schemes, downgrading evidence etc.

 

The 3 big cruise companies I suspect collude to ensure their joint maximum profit - there simply is not the competition there used to be. I believe RCL recently acquired Seabourn for example.

 

The consumer is the loser with the increasing cruise industry consolidation - the case where any sector consolidates.

 

My impression is that Oceania is the most corporately arrogant cruise line based on my experience and that of my friends,  threads and reviews. Celebrity has the most self righteous LLP CEO who knows everything, ie Edge.

 

But there are many vacation options out there, cruising is but one.

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36 minutes ago, ABoatNerd said:

I believe RCL recently acquired Seabourn for example.

 

I don’t believe so.  Seabourn is under the Carnival Cruise Line umbrella.

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17 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

I don’t believe so.  Seabourn is under the Carnival Cruise Line umbrella.


What I think he meant to say was RCCL bought a controlling interest in Silversea.  

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If you want production shows, try MSC. On Seaside and Meraviglia (and possibly others, I have only been on those two), there are full production shows with singers and dancers every night. They even had an abridged opera show one afternoon.

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16 hours ago, Jimbo59 said:

If you want production shows, try MSC. On Seaside and Meraviglia (and possibly others, I have only been on those two), there are full production shows with singers and dancers every night. They even had an abridged opera show one afternoon.

 

They did the opera in the evening when I was on Seaside. It must have been unpopular so they replaced it with another show and now present it as a matinee.

 

While the MSC entertainment is good, the rest of the product is not. And I would prefer an occasional good comedian or singer to having a production show every night.

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On 11/30/2019 at 6:53 AM, Carol28 said:

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.

 

It's been a week. Did they get back to you?

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2 hours ago, MisterBill99 said:

 

It's been a week. Did they get back to you?

Yes. The same lady emailed that most people enjoy the Music Walk which has been reviewed as some of the best entertainment on board a ship. I did not keep the message. In essence, HAL said it won't be changed anytime soon.  We just booked the Enchanted Princess and have an Oceania, RCCL, and another Princess booked for the next two years.  I love everything about HAL except the entertainment and that is very important to us.  I read another post recently on FB, I think, that said people who are happy don't usually write comments. People who are not happy, write. Perhaps that is correct.

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6 minutes ago, Carol28 said:

Yes. The same lady emailed that most people enjoy the Music Walk which has been reviewed as some of the best entertainment on board a ship. I did not keep the message. In essence, HAL said it won't be changed anytime soon.  We just booked the Enchanted Princess and have an Oceania, RCCL, and another Princess booked for the next two years.  I love everything about HAL except the entertainment and that is very important to us.  I read another post recently on FB, I think, that said people who are happy don't usually write comments. People who are not happy, write. Perhaps that is correct.

 

So as I mentioned earlier (and is pretty obvious), Music Walk is their direction and they feel that they can cut back on main stage entertainment because of it. As you say, the more people who tell them that they are wrong, the better. Putting it in the post-cruise survey is probably the best way.

 

I hope you told her that your future plans do not include HAL.

Edited by MisterBill99

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21 minutes ago, Carol28 said:

The same lady emailed that most people enjoy the Music Walk which has been reviewed as some of the best entertainment on board a ship. 


HAL and I must have totally opposite ideas of what defines “best.”  

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27 minutes ago, Carol28 said:

Yes. The same lady emailed that most people enjoy the Music Walk which has been reviewed as some of the best entertainment on board a ship.

 

Reviewed by who, HAL employees?

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22 minutes ago, Cruzaholic41 said:


HAL and I must have totally opposite ideas of what defines “best.”  

 

They obviously do. And you can consider Music Walk to be "best" and still feel that their overall activity/entertainment program is lacking. I like the Music Walk (BB Onboard in particular) and still feel that the entertainment is not "best".

 

17 minutes ago, Oakman58 said:

 

Reviewed by who, HAL employees?

 

Probably some cruise websites that write fluff pieces. When was the last time you saw a feature article here that was negative? And many websites just parrot what the cruise line says.

Edited by MisterBill99

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After my first HAL cruise, I raved about the Music Walk concept in the post-cruise survey.  I think it's much better than the formulaic production shows.  I think this is mainly about changing demographics.  There are fewer people who want to see singers and dancers in a cheesy revue these days.  I'd even vote for dropping the comedians (many of them quite unfunny) and magicians (all doing the same basic magic tricks) and spending that money on more music venues or perhaps better quality guest musicians.  

 

That said, they do need to expand the set lists and also rotate them so that the Music Walk venues don't become stale.  Also wouldn't hurt to have roaming musicians to fill in between sets in the different venues.

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4 minutes ago, bEwAbG said:

That said, they do need to expand the set lists and also rotate them so that the Music Walk venues don't become stale.  Also wouldn't hurt to have roaming musicians to fill in between sets in the different venues.

 

Because of the layout of the ships,  they can't have them all going at the same time. On Kdam/NS, Rolling Stone and Billboard are across from each other and have to alternate time slots. In fact, the BB sets were cut from an hour to 45 minutes when RS started. But it would be nice to have other musicians moving around the other bars like Celebrity and other lines do, especially during the day. It might increase beverage sales too.

Edited by MisterBill99

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Just now, MisterBill99 said:

Because of the layout of the ships,  they can't have them all going at the same time. On Kdam/NS, Rolling Stone and Billboard are across from each other and have to alternate time slots. In fact, the BB sets were cut from an hour to 45 minutes when RS started.

 

I was thinking of the venues that are "quiet" when another show is on elsewhere, like having a solo pianist in the Queen's Lounge on NA while Billboard is doing their set down the hall.  Lots of possibilities with just a little creativity.

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