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What should a new HAL CEO bring back to ships ?

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9 hours ago, Galley Slave said:

They need to bring back more wait staff in the MDR so people can have dinner in less than two hours and get to the show.

What show???  

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, HamOp said:

For those who have never seen it....

image.thumb.png.f101ec57f6283ed47a37eb27026e34a3.png

Oh! Thank you for that. Wasn't that just delightful! How I miss it. 

 

Edited by BobbiSox
tyop

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Posted (edited)

Here's just some of the things I miss: Dinner at the Captain's table, orchids in the MDR and flowers everywhere else, a team of white-gloved waiters in the MDR, an escort to my cabin on embarkation day, pate de foie gras, live orchestra on stage, live music in MDR, DVD players with DVD menu, ballroom dancing venues, decadent treats in the Neptune Lounge (once there was lobster salad and caviar, now there is egg salad sandwiches), real FORMAL nights, real pizza in the buffet and not the tortilla pizza they have outside), fruit, vegetable, and ice sculptures in the Lido, and some 'quiet' areas with no piped in music.

Edited by BobbiSox
typo

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2 hours ago, BobbiSox said:

There were breads, and cakes and candies in whimsical shapes and sizes, all offered with complimentary champagne.

Two of the most memorable were the chocolate very old fashioned typewriter, with milk chocolate 'keys', with white chocolate key pads, and milk chocolate letters. I think it even also had the carriage return arm!

The other was the large box of chocolates. The box itself was made of chocolate, and there were individual assorted chocolates in each little square. The lid was attached, and raised, of course, so we could see the contents. 
They were much too pretty to eat. 

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Some of the wishes posted here are contradictory and I must admit  to contradictory thinking as well.  Some people love the addition of BB King bands (personally I love the music) while others find it to be too loud (personally I can not stay in the same room where the band is playing because I cannot hear myself think)

 

But most of the wishes to be fulfilled are going to cost money.  Most of the things that the posters wish to have back went away to save money and would cost money if reinstituted.  It may be that rather than raise cruise fare that HAL absorb these costs by reducing its profit.  We may wish that that is what HAL would do but that is the most wishful thinking of all.

 

Therefore to get our wishes granted we will need to accept much higher fares but then there would be a decrease in potential passengers who would could afford or be willing to pay these higher fares.   HAL would need to adjust its fleet size to match reduced demand at the higher price point.  These would include both the number and size of the ships.  Azamara in the RCL brand and Oceania in the NCL brand are example of the higher price point level size.  

 

HAL would need to sell off the newer ships like the New Statendam and Konigsdam because:

1. Their size would be way in excess demand at the new higher price point

2. They probably have the highest mortgages in the fleet on them and would result in the most benefit on the balance sheet if they were removed.

3.  They are likely to bring a better price on the market because of their condition than the older ships.

 

Even the most previous generation of ships in the 2,000 passenger level ie Westerdam would need to be considered for sale or extensive refurbishment to reduce the passenger level in these ships to correspond with the demand at the potential new price point.  By:

1. Increasing the number of neptune suites

2. reducing the number of interior cabins

3 Bringing the occupancy down to closer to 1,200 to 1,500 passengers . 

 

Whether our wishes relate to the quality of the food, the quality of the entertainment, the amenities that are not add on charges, or the number of staff to passenger ratio will determine our willingness to sail with HAL.   We will determine whether HAL has met these wishes ( or since we will be paying for it, these demands ) so as to justify our paying the higher cruise fares.

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I'm a simple man.  To me, HAL would be a far better cruise line if they just brought back slower paced lounge entertainment in the Ocean Bar and Crows Nest.  A solo guitarist in the Crows Nest would go a long way with me.  

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Some additions (or return to the days of yore) that would truly generate revenue:  Crow’s  Nest with actual music for dancing, or just conversation, where you could spend the evening with drinks; Ocean Bar with music both before and after dinner, where a waiter would bring drinks, and a real piano bar with people sitting around listening to “their” music. I don’t know how many nights my DH and I have spent in one of those venues and how many countless bar bills we had.  
 

And, NO, Billboard on Board is not a piano bar.  I have seen it on the Zuiderdam and the Westerdam, and only one cruise had a decent, entertaining pair.
 

In the MDR, remove the placards on the table trying to “upsell” items.  If you want lobster every night, go elsewhere.  Or, just print the info on the bottom of the nightly menu.  Everything doesn’t have to be “in your face!”

 

Yes, bring back Dutch Night.  What a fun way to honor the heritage of the cruiseline.

 

Keep Lincoln Center, return some sort of after-dinner coffee option in the area that used to be the Explorer’s Lounge.  Have the Lincoln Center musicians play during dinner some evenings in the MDR.

 

With all of the digital technology available today, don’t devote so much space to the photographers,  quit printing up so many pictures that will not be purchased. 
 

Let the spa put one sheet of paper in each cabin At the start of the cruise detailing their specials and quit killing several trees per cruise with all their junk mail.

 

There are many ways to increase revenue and decrease some expenses that might help to bring back some of the classy things many of us loved about HAL!

 

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23 hours ago, iancal said:

His or her first goal will be to bring back profitability and positive cash flow. Then enhance the balance sheet. It will be a huge challenge post covid.

This is the correct answer, lots of pipe dreams in the other replies. If cruising comes back, I expect a completely different beast. Holland Arabia line anyone? Seabourn Dubai Cruise Line? Norwegian Chinese Line? I expect higher prices, bigger ships, fewer crew, more passengers and more nickle and diming. Tender and deck chair prices will vary with demand. Want showroom entertainment? Buy a ticket to a show and enjoy. The Lido will be turned into a food court with a McDonald's, Taco Bell, and Chik-fil-A. Table service will be available at the Texas Roadhouse (deck 3) or Red Lobster (deck 4). I would expect commercials to be mixed in with the canned music. "This is Captain Torgudsen. Today's noon update is brought to you by Ford, proud manufacturers of the F-150 pickup truck. Remember that the Ford seminar is at 1:30 in the atrium next to the brand new 2022 Ingot Silver F-150 . Our noon position..."

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1 hour ago, whogo said:

This is the correct answer, lots of pipe dreams in the other replies. If cruising comes back, I expect a completely different beast. Holland Arabia line anyone? Seabourn Dubai Cruise Line? Norwegian Chinese Line? I expect higher prices, bigger ships, fewer crew, more passengers and more nickle and diming. Tender and deck chair prices will vary with demand. Want showroom entertainment? Buy a ticket to a show and enjoy. The Lido will be turned into a food court with a McDonald's, Taco Bell, and Chik-fil-A. Table service will be available at the Texas Roadhouse (deck 3) or Red Lobster (deck 4). I would expect commercials to be mixed in with the canned music. "This is Captain Torgudsen. Today's noon update is brought to you by Ford, proud manufacturers of the F-150 pickup truck. Remember that the Ford seminar is at 1:30 in the atrium next to the brand new 2022 Ingot Silver F-150 . Our noon position..."

That business plan might work but I would expect if that is done it will be with the Carnival Cruise line Brand as it competes with Royal Caribbean which is already doing this.  There is no need for one of CCLs other lines to follow suit as that would be too redundant and CCL would be better off just closing down that division.  General Motors tried multiple brands making the same car in the 1980s and 1990s without any success.

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As someone who loves HAL but has tried a number of other cruise lines over the past 6 years (NCL,  CMV, Star Clippers) I just ask that they dont cut anything ELSE.   We love the quiet lounges (NCL has eliminated all of these) we love the classes, we love the regional foods, (Mostly already eliminated unfortunately)   and mostly we love the smaller ships and unusual (longer) itineraries.    

 

Lastly.... If you are gonna advertise "fresh tropical fruit" in a restaurant, please PLEASE give us something more than Pineapple, Mellon, and Oranges!!!!!

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Posted (edited)

More onboard activities.

 

I noticed in a recent review (https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2747534-koningsdam-southern-caribbean-wayfarer-4-15-march-2020-a-review/) that the When & Where guide of daily activities was woefully inadequate.  I reviewed every day that was posted on the cruise in the review and thought, "what the heck would I do on this cruise?" 

 

Had I been on that cruise I would have been totally bored with the ship.  It reminds me of my only Celebrity cruise where there was so little to do on the ship that I spent more time watching tv in my cabin than on any other cruise.

Edited by cbr663

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4 hours ago, Aquahound said:

  A solo guitarist in the Crows Nest would go a long way with me.  

 

Absolutely!  It has been done and could easily be done again even in the newly "re-imagined Crow's Nests".  

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10 hours ago, Roz said:

I may be in the minority, but I liked Dutch night.  Remember the Dover sole the waiter would debone at the table?  And bami goreng as an appetizer?  Bring back Dutch night!

 

I agree.  Dover Sole is still properly prepared and served in Rudi's Sel de Mer.  

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On 5/13/2020 at 12:24 PM, npcl said:

I do not think that returning to the old HAL would survive with what cruise lines will be facing.  That said that they do have some advantages with their overall smaller ship sizes compared to the other main stream lines. Their demographics with a tendency for older passengers is also not in their favor post COVID-19

 

I think that HAL should get a near total reboot.  Build on the classic design and smaller size of their ships. Position the line between the main stream lines and the premium lines.  They could, for example, go with a higher quality, more inclusive model kind of like Oceania.  They could do that with only having to raise fares by about 30%.  That would position the line in a unique space when it comes to features/cost. 

 

In doing that they would reduce pressure on the onboard sale items, allowing some of them to be removed entirely. Leaving more space to be used for some of the more traditional features like crows nest.

If they were to do this with the S class ships, Mrs Banjo and I would be on board !

 

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It's amusing that so many think that restoring the libraries and the Crows Nest should be the highest priorities for the new CEO.  If removing the libraries and the changes to the Crows Nest are Ashford's biggest mistakes, then he was a very successful CEO.

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1 hour ago, RocketMan275 said:

It's amusing that so many think that restoring the libraries and the Crows Nest should be the highest priorities for the new CEO.  If removing the libraries and the changes to the Crows Nest are Ashford's biggest mistakes, then he was a very successful CEO.

 

The Crow's Nest was a hallmark of HAL ships, so yes, I think it was a big mistake.  Add it to all the other "little" things he took away, and it adds up and takes away from the experience.

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7 hours ago, Wonderingabout said:

 

Even the most previous generation of ships in the 2,000 passenger level ie Westerdam would need to be considered for sale or extensive refurbishment to reduce the passenger level in these ships to correspond with the demand at the potential new price point.  By:

1. Increasing the number of neptune suites

2. reducing the number of interior cabins

3 Bringing the occupancy down to closer to 1,200 to 1,500 passengers .

 

 

I don't think this necessarily has to follow. Not everyone who wants to travel on a premium or luxury line also wants to do so in a suite.  

 

I don't give two hoots what kind of cabin I am in, the itineraries matter most to me, followed by the public areas of the ship (finishings, decor, upkeep), number of passengers, amenities, food and lectures/enrichment programs.

 

Guess I am one of those that would rather have the smallest house in a great neighborhood than a mansion in a less expensive area....

 

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3 hours ago, rkacruiser said:

 

I agree.  Dover Sole is still properly prepared and served in Rudi's Sel de Mer.  

Thing is...in the Netherlands and Belgium, our Dover sole, the best sole in the World and found in the North Sea off the Dutch and Belgian coast, served Meuniere style, meaning pan fried,  is deboned by the client. It is actually quite enjoyable, makes you pace your food a bit more.

 

Best to eat it with fries, or pureed potatoes ( NEVER from powder obviously).

no sauces needed, the fish is too delicate for heavy sauces and melts on your tongue anyhow.

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1 hour ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

I don't think this necessarily has to follow. Not everyone who wants to travel on a premium or luxury line also wants to do so in a suite.  

 

I don't give two hoots what kind of cabin I am in, the itineraries matter most to me, followed by the public areas of the ship (finishings, decor, upkeep), number of passengers, amenities, food and lectures/enrichment programs.

 

Guess I am one of those that would rather have the smallest house in a great neighborhood than a mansion in a less expensive area....

 

We do not care for a suite either, but do demand quality service and food and a NO CLASS system onboard. ( we left Celebrity because of that class-system crap)

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3 minutes ago, Despegue said:

our Dover sole, the best sole in the World and found in the North Sea off the Dutch and Belgian coast, served Meuniere style, meaning pan fried,  is deboned by the client. 

 

Sel de Mer prepares the Sole in that style.  I prefer to have it deboned by my Steward.  He/she would do a much better job than I would do.  Simply a delicious fish as well as an elegant entree for a guest that does not often have the opportunity to experience such!

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I think people who believe that once Ashford is gone everything will be back to  ‘the good old days’ are dreaming in technicolor.  
 

Those days are gone.  Post Covid will be a whole new ball game.

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Lots of crystal ball jollification going on here.........But don't forget please, none of us here have any clue what the cruise industry, incl. HAL, will really look like after this charlie foxtrot-19 is extirpated 

 

Fortune Teller Funny Quotes. QuotesGram

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2 hours ago, Copper10-8 said:

Lots of crystal ball jollification going on here.........But don't forget please, none of us here have any clue what the cruise industry, incl. HAL, will really look like after this charlie foxtrot-19 is extirpated 

 

Fortune Teller Funny Quotes. QuotesGram

You are absolutely right. But it is nice to dream about days ahead and wish for changes.

I started this post and was wondering what other people would like to see come back or be gone if such an opportunity would arise with a new ceo. In general I’d say lots of posters would like to go back to HAL the way it was and keep some of the things added in the past years. Wether it is economically feasible , corona proof or not , it was nice to read so many opinions. Now let’s just hope we can board one of those dam ships real soon !

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