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promisem

Never again on Holland America

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4 hours ago, canadianbear said:

 

We were on this cruise too (plus the one before doing a back to back).  I’m glad we decided against using the shuttle-we ended up waiting for the rain to stop and just walked around Seaport Village.  We also just about had a run in with one of the port security guards-had to drag my husband away!

 

I’m sorry so much went wrong on your cruise.  We really like the Oosterdam and the staff.  However we didn’t have to deal with front desk people luckily as we were in a Neptune so had concierge.  I do agree (from other past experiences) the front desk can be useless.  

 

I can understand your reluctance to go on another HAL cruise but hope one day you will give another ship another try.  

 

I have always found San Diego one of the most disorganised ports and with some of the mostly unhelpful shore staff. 

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2 hours ago, Hlitner said:

What can we say?  The OP has every reason to feel upset.  We have been in the same boat (good pun) on some past HAL cruises and it has led us to mostly choose other lines over HAL.  We are going to give HAL one more try on an up coming Westy cruise, but if  things are not up to the quality we have experienced on other lines it may be our last HAL voyage.  It is just so sad to see unsatisfied customers on this line.

 

Hank

 

Hope you will write about your cruise on the Westerdam, good or bad. I'll be looking forward

to your expert opinion on this ship.

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While I didn't experience what the OP did, on my last HAL cruise it was death by a thousand cuts.  There was no one thing that was a deal breaker, but it all added up to a less than satisfactory cruise.

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11 minutes ago, Roz said:

While I didn't experience what the OP did, on my last HAL cruise it was death by a thousand cuts.  There was no one thing that was a deal breaker, but it all added up to a less than satisfactory cruise.

You are exactly right.  Just when you think there are no more places to cut, you can read a thread on this board that HAL no longer has complete drink menus in their bars.  What's next;  offering 7 night cruises for $99 to those that want to rent a cot on the Lido Deck?

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7 hours ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

................... Seattle does not have the time to read all those survey's...............

 

Once again, you have it hopelessly wrong! All guest surveys sent in to Seattle are read by staff there, disseminated and tabulated/scored, and then forwarded via email to the hotel directors of the various ships. The HD's, in turn, will forward the results,incl. scores and highlighted comments to the various dept. heads on the ship. How do I know? The security officer is one of the recipients of the survey results forwarded by the hotel director 

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40 minutes ago, doublebzz said:

You are exactly right.  Just when you think there are no more places to cut, you can read a thread on this board that HAL no longer has complete drink menus in their bars.  What's next;  offering 7 night cruises for $99 to those that want to rent a cot on the Lido Deck?

 

Hah!  Just like the Alaska Marine Highway ferries.

 

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1 hour ago, Roz said:

While I didn't experience what the OP did, on my last HAL cruise it was death by a thousand cuts.  There was no one thing that was a deal breaker, but it all added up to a less than satisfactory cruise.

That was my experience too...couple of months ago.  And unlike many others on this forum I've only been sailing HAL for 10 years.  Yet there seem to be more cutbacks with each cruise.  Probably worst of all, the room stewards and dining stewards seem to be increasingly more overtasked each year.  Anyway I had a whole list of things that I put on my survey after my last cruise.  Next one is on Maasdam in May.  I'm getting too old now to start on square 1 of another lines' loyalty program though.

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, Av8rix said:

 I'm getting too old now to start on square 1 of another lines' loyalty program though.

 

I highly recommend reconsidering that position.  A cruise with all or most of the features you want is far better than loyalty perks on a line that is no longer satisfying.  I'm Diamond Plus on RCI but I haven't sailed them in 5 years.  The new experiences have been far better that the same-old, same-old with cheap perks.

Edited by Aquahound

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2 hours ago, SilvertoGold said:

 

Hope you will write about your cruise on the Westerdam, good or bad. I'll be looking forward

to your expert opinion on this ship.

We do not publish cruise reviews here on CC because there are constraints regarding both format and content.  Posting positive things are always welcome on the HAL blog.  Anyone who dares to be negative will generally get flamed by those who think their line can do no wrong.  DW and I do like the Vista Class ships, and other then a few very bad days on the Zuiderdam, all of our Vista Class cruises (and we have been on all the ships  of that class) have been pretty good except for the entertainment.

 

2019 was a pretty good cruise year for us.  We had some excellent experiences on Princess, Seabourn, and MSC.  We cancelled our one long HAL booking (transpacific EXC cruise on the Maasdam) for several reasons, including the thought  of a month on a ship with very limited entertainment.   After reading some of the recent comments about HAL we thought about cancelling our 30 day Westerdam cruise, but DW likes the itinerary so we will just hope for the best.  We just hope that they do not cut out all the booze and food before next spring :).  

 

Hank

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15 hours ago, promisem said:

 

I understand your point. Just for clarification, this situation was different because of the broken propeller and the San Diego shuttle. It was obvious that HAL should have had an employee outside of the ship to tell people where and when to get the shuttle -- which no one seemed to know -- as well as deal with the security guard.

OP, so sorry you had a bad cruise.

I would say that the yelling security guard was most likely with the port authority and beyond the control of HAL.   Only bad disembarkation we've had was  in San Diego and would never choose to cruise from there again....long story but ended up with surgery for me.   Related to port, not the ship in my case.

Sounds like the  O needs some work...both on facilities and customer service.   Have never encountered rude front desk staff...but I've never been on that ship either.   That and the state of repair speak to leadership on the ship.

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8 hours ago, Hlitner said:

Anyone who dares to be negative will generally get flamed by those who think their line can do no wrong. 

 

Did you read this thread?

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11 hours ago, doublebzz said:

 What's next;  offering 7 night cruises for $99 to those that want to rent a cot on the Lido Deck?

LOL -you may not be that far off in your statement.

 

I just read an article about the new Celebrity Flora that is an all suite yacht. It carries 100 passengers and is designed to sail to the Galapagos Islands.

 

A balcony suite starts at $10,184 (don't know if that is per passenger or a cabin price).

 

Now comes the part that made my husband and I choke: For an extra fee, up to four passenger an evening can reserve a set of cabanas on the ship's top deck to camp out ("Glamping" in Celebrity terms). Each reservation comes with two cabanas: one with a double bed and one with a table and chairs for alfresco dining.  

 

That's right, you can spend the night with a set of strangers in the cabana next to you.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Homosassa said:

That's right, you can spend the night with a set of strangers in the cabana next to you.

 

No thank you. 🤣

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29 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

 

Did you read this thread?

Of course.  And it is actually one of the more constructive/honest HAL threads we have seen in some time.  Apparently some of the cheerleaders have also become disenchanted with the many changes at HAL, or they are burned-out trying to defend the indefensible.  Like many others, we simply want HAL to restore more of the quality we used to enjoy.  

 

I was actually thinking about the degradation of standards at HAL and Celebrity.  HAL decided to appoint a CEO with impressive business skills but zero experience in running a cruise line.  Celebrity, on the other hand, appointed a CEO with lots of cruise line management experience who seems hell bent on cutting-back on quality, increasing prices, and enhancing the bottom line.  This latter is a too common management style seen mostly in the USA where executives play the "short game."

 

One thing that is very evident about MSC is that their owner has decided to play more of the "long game" with a solid plan to expand and respond to their customers.  MSC, which has really come out of nowhere (as a cruise line) and will soon have more than 25 vessels while HAL seems almost stagnant in their growth.   What I find fascinating about MSC is that they have seen the demand for smaller high quality ships (this used to be a HAL hallmark) and quickly decided to spin off a new division with 4 smaller ships dedicated to the quality we see in the Yacht Club (a ship within a ship) on their larger vessels.  Meanwhile, HAL seems to dedicated to replacing their smaller medium sized vessels with larger ships and abandoning their smaller ship history.  The management attitude of the two lines could not be more different and this is even reflected onboard.  When folks have an issue on MSC (especially in their Yacht Club) it is quickly resolved or you get a pretty decent explanation.  On HAL, it seems like management is deaf to the cries of their loyal customers.

 

Hank

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19 minutes ago, Homosassa said:

LOL -you may not be that far off in your statement.

 

I just read an article about the new Celebrity Flora that is an all suite yacht. It carries 100 passengers and is designed to sail to the Galapagos Islands.

 

A balcony suite starts at $10,184 (don't know if that is per passenger or a cabin price).

 

Now comes the part that made my husband and I choke: For an extra fee, up to four passenger an evening can reserve a set of cabanas on the ship's top deck to camp out ("Glamping" in Celebrity terms). Each reservation comes with two cabanas: one with a double bed and one with a table and chairs for alfresco dining.  

 

That's right, you can spend the night with a set of strangers in the cabana next to you.

 

 

I touched on Celebrity's current CEO and her management style/philosophy.  The line is more about innovation (at some sacrifice of quality) and this sounds like another crazy idea that might make a lot of sense.  Is it for everyone or even most folks?  Nope.  But there will likely be some takers and it keeps with a long time Celebrity policy of finding ways to use the oft underutilized upper deck spaces.   When Princess introduced their "Sanctuary" with prices of up to $40 per person/day my initial reaction was, "why would a passenger pay that much money for a reserved sunbed in an exclusive area?"  But the Sanctuary quickly became popular on most warm weather cruises and folks often go running (not walking) to the Sanctuary that first day to get a reservation.   Celebrity has previously used some of that upper deck space for Hot Glass shows (used to be handled by Corning Glass), alternative restaurants, and a grassy area with cabanas.  Meanwhile on HAL they try to modify those upper decks so they can add more cabins a-la the Rotterdam.

 

Those upper deck cabanas got me thinking of one fabulous Oosterdam cruise when we were crossing the Pacific.  HAL had engaged an excellent astronomer (Alan Wright) who soon had quite a few folks heading to the topmost deck (at night) for stargazing.  I can see Celebrity eventually selling those cabanas for that kind of related activity.

 

Hank

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12 hours ago, Roz said:

While I didn't experience what the OP did, on my last HAL cruise it was death by a thousand cuts.  There was no one thing that was a deal breaker, but it all added up to a less than satisfactory cruise.

 

That's a good way to put it. You can tell from my list that we had many cuts, including ones I didn't mention. But not quite a thousand!

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It’s definitely not rude or obnoxious to expect a working toilet in a stateroom. A toilet that isn’t flushing properly would cause most people to be concerned about a clog and the resulting over flow.  I definitely would report repeatedly until it’s resolved to my satisfaction. Otherwise I would constantly be worried and feel that I have to use a different toilet to avoid the possibility to Of it flooding.

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22 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

HAL had engaged an excellent astronomer (Alan Wright) who soon had quite a few folks heading to the topmost deck (at night) for stargazing.

 

That would be amazing.

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1 minute ago, *Miss G* said:

 

That would be amazing.

More then amazing.  Dr. Wright was, by far, the best lecturer we have ever heard on the high seas (of just about anywhere).  He had 9 lectures on that cruise and by the 3rd or 4th it was standing room only in the main theater.  At his last lecture he received a standing ovation (that lasted for several minutes).  DW and I got to know him (and his lovely wife) during the cruise and spent some quality time discussing some fascinating issues such as life elsewhere in the Universe and Black Holes (which he could explain in relatively simple terms for those of us with small brains).    DW and I have agreed that we would book a future cruise just to hear more of his lectures.  He continues to lecture on HAL (Noordam during 2019) and Viking.

 

Hank 

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1 hour ago, SumoCitrus said:

Does anyone read these kinds of reviews and think perhaps the OP had something to do with the trouble they experienced? You know, you get more bees with honey than vinegar. I've never been yelled at by any HAL crew member. I've never had a surly or unpleasant rep at the customer service desk. But I am fairly confident these people would react like any other human if they were first accosted by a rude, obnoxious passenger.

 

Not sure if that's what happened here, but you gotta wonder.

I am sorry if the OP had a poor experience  on the cruise, the only thing I wonder about is that they claim to have been on several cruises and now they decide to make a first post on cruise critic and it is too report a negative experience.  Where are all the good comments about the other cruises?  How do you find cruise critic once you are unhappy?   They received OBC for the missed port and would have in addition received the port charges back.  They also  report that the automatic HSC was credited back, but they say the crew cabin stewards were good.  I think there is an untold back story here and I agree with SumoCitrus.

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23 hours ago, awhcruiser said:

Just my opinion but I would never abandon a cruise line based on one bad cruise.    Why would you think all futrue cruises on any HAL ship would be like this one?

We gave up on Norwegian Cruise Line in 1997 for less. There are plenty of other cruise lines to choose from, hope promisem has better luck in the future. I am surprised that anyone would try to get the OP to stay with HAL. Why take the risk?

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Lido deck main said:

I am sorry if the OP had a poor experience  on the cruise, the only thing I wonder about is that they claim to have been on several cruises and now they decide to make a first post on cruise critic and it is too report a negative experience.  Where are all the good comments about the other cruises?  How do you find cruise critic once you are unhappy?   They received OBC for the missed port and would have in addition received the port charges back.  They also  report that the automatic HSC was credited back, but they say the crew cabin stewards were good.  I think there is an untold back story here and I agree with SumoCitrus.

 

I'm a little confused about your post. On the one hand, you are critical of me for no positive comments, but then you are critical when I make a positive comment about the stewards. Otherwise, are you saying you "agree" with the other poster that I am rude and obnoxious and caused all of the problems I listed?

 

Also, do you think a $100 credit is equal in value to losing 1/3 of our ports on a $1,000 cabin? Are the other passengers at the front desk who complained about the same problems also wrong? Just asking.  🙂

Edited by promisem

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9 minutes ago, whogo said:

We gave up on Norwegian Cruise Line in 1997 for less. There are plenty of other cruise lines to choose from, hope promisem has better luck in the future. I am surprised that anyone would try to get the OP to stay with HAL. Why take the risk?

 

Agreed. They either want me to stay because they are loyal HAL customers or for another reason. I'm not saying this is the case, but I know that companies watch major forums like these on a regular basis.

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I have been there with HAL.  They do have shortcomings.  Even though we did a short cruise (12 days) on one of HAL's newer ships last spring I prefer not to use HAL when there is a lot of competition for the given market.  I only use HAL for those specialized itineraries they do so well.  If I were doing a short west coast, Alaska, Caribbean or Med cruise I would shop around.  There are plenty of options with newer ships and similar costs.  

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9 minutes ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

 

How much do you think HAL should have given you?
 

 

A fair question. We lost 33% of the port value, 16% of the days at sea, but got room and food for the day we stayed in port. You tell me. But the lost value is more than $100.

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