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As for me ... I got to experience a HAL ship with the two Dining schedules when I was on the Noordam in January. I had Traditional and couldn't tell the difference.
Thanks for the update. You'd never expect that that was the case as a new member just enter the forums.

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I am literally stunned ... and for a number of reasons. Clearly I went to bed too early last night:eek: .

 

I've just read everything since my last post. I'm afraid Luckiest Lady will likely get her wish and be let go or warned because I'm quite sure HAL employees are not supposed to post here as HAL employees which she has done.

 

Even more important, I don't like being chastised for phone calls she has received from other people. This is an open forum, we are free to post our feelings here, express our disappointments. To be told off by a HAL employee because some of us are not happy with the way the new system is going SO FAR is simply unfair.

 

I understand she's having some hard days. I was in Customer Service for years and had a lot of hard days. I'd get off one horrendous call and take the next and I couldn't let the previous call influence the next. The same holds true here.

 

We are reacting to something new on HAL. Yes, I resist change. I don't like it; most people don't. Maybe it will work out long term; maybe it won't. But just as HAL has told us that "the vast majority" wanted AYW and HAL listened, so should they listen to those of us who don't.

 

I believe HAL made this change too quickly. I'm sorry Luckiest Lady is getting the brunt of it by being on the other end of the phone, but at the same time it should tell HAL something. Maybe it isn't the great idea they thought it was; maybe they should take another look and tweak it.

 

Off the clock/on the clock doesn't matter. Luckiest Lady posted as a HAL employee ... had she not told us who she was and simply expressed her opinion (and maybe in a more sympathetic manner), that would be one thing. But by identifying herself, she is speaking for HAL.

 

in other cases it's a closely held secret

 

Not really, Greg.:) But whether we know who they are or not, they don't identify themselves as clearly as LL did and that's the difference.

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You know bob I wish they would fire me. I am looking or a new job b/c I hate that m job has become about putting a pleasant spin on negative things that upset people, and putting out constant fires caused by policy changes. I feel that the customer service positions at HAL become less and less about customer service, and more about company not guest interest with each passing day. I desire to represent a company that wont step on their customers interests as much as holland does.

 

You have grasped the essence of most customer care functions .....which have become, are more often than not, company versus client advocacy. The constant policy changes have to make what is already the toughest job, all that more challenging.

 

You sound like you have a passion for the customer. If you are inclined to move on, consider a smaller company offering a higher end product to those clients who pay a substantial premium for quality. When the majority of a company's product is sold at almost cost, companies often operate in a schizophrenic manner and most of us get what we pay for.

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Thanks for the update. You'd never expect that that was the case as a new member just enter the forums.

 

I couldn't tell the difference because I GOT Traditional Dining. The problem is not AYW, it's the ambiguity and uncertainty that seems to exist about those of us who want Traditional being able to get Traditional.

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Not really, Greg.:) But whether we know who they are or not, they don't identify themselves as clearly as LL did and that's the difference.

 

You might be surprised about certain individuals. And I don't mean the obvious ones. Ask me off-board if you want more details ... I won't tell you who they are, but I'll give you some data as to why it's not obvious.

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I am literally stunned ... and for a number of reasons. Clearly I went to bed too early last night:eek: .

 

I've just read everything since my last post. I'm afraid Luckiest Lady will likely get her wish and be let go or warned because I'm quite sure HAL employees are not supposed to post here as HAL employees which she has done.

 

Even more important, I don't like being chastised for phone calls she has received from other people. This is an open forum, we are free to post our feelings here, express our disappointments. To be told off by a HAL employee because some of us are not happy with the way the new system is going SO FAR is simply unfair.

 

I understand she's having some hard days. I was in Customer Service for years and had a lot of hard days. I'd get off one horrendous call and take the next and I couldn't let the previous call influence the next. The same holds true here.

 

We are reacting to something new on HAL. Yes, I resist change. I don't like it; most people don't. Maybe it will work out long term; maybe it won't. But just as HAL has told us that "the vast majority" wanted AYW and HAL listened, so should they listen to those of us who don't.

 

I believe HAL made this change too quickly. I'm sorry Luckiest Lady is getting the brunt of it by being on the other end of the phone, but at the same time it should tell HAL something. Maybe it isn't the great idea they thought it was; maybe they should take another look and tweak it.

 

Off the clock/on the clock doesn't matter. Luckiest Lady posted as a HAL employee ... had she not told us who she was and simply expressed her opinion (and maybe in a more sympathetic manner), that would be one thing. But by identifying herself, she is speaking for HAL.

 

 

 

Not really, Greg.:) But whether we know who they are or not, they don't identify themselves as clearly as LL did and that's the difference.

 

in response to anyones feelings about them having a right to express an opinion I agree, but I dont believe that I should be expected to never have an opinion just b/c i am paid a measly hourly wage by a company.

 

and those employees on the ship have the privilege of annonimity while still being recognizable as hal employees, what makes them any different why can they berate the line and give guarded company info out to people, and yet when someone in any other position says anthing less than positive and company scripted will get nothing but venomous reactions

 

guest were judging me by my company's policies and personally attacking me long before I had any opinions about this business, customer service people are hated by guests and travel agents everywhere for something as siimple as having the nerve to answer a phone they get paid to answer

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I couldn't tell the difference because I GOT Traditional Dining.
So as long as you are able to reserve what you want, it sounds like you're fine. There should be more focus on that.

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So as long as you are able to reserve what you want, it sounds like you're fine. There should be more focus on that.

 

That has been the focus!!!! Throughout this thread and all the others about this subject, our focus has been that it's perfectly fine to offer a choice ...

 

But it's NOT fine if you can't be assured of your choice ... even 8 months out. That's been the focus of this right along.

 

No one has said it should all be Traditonal.

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So as long as you are able to reserve what you want, it sounds like you're fine. There should be more focus on that.

 

I don't disagree. And, since I was aboard with other CCer friends it almost didn't matter ... my biggest problems with AYW dining would have been ameliorated by being with my CCer friends.

 

I "lucked out." But, many people appear to be having trouble getting the assignment of their choice. And THAT is the problem.

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Heather: As others have pointed out, even before AYW dining, you never were assured your choice. Beyond that, you can know, when you book, whether there is availability to book traditional or not. If there isn't availability, and it is a critical aspect for you, then don't book. This is an essential part of the consumer-feedback system. Talk is cheap. Money talks.

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And it's impacting those who want early seating moreso than late seating. Those who prefer late seating are potentially oblivious to this trend.

 

Not quite so, at least for Zuiderdam 3/15/08. I always request late seating and I'm certainly not oblivious to the fact that for the first time ever I am wait listed for second seating 8 months out. And to rub a little salt into my wounds, at the time of my booking (July 7th) I was offered the traditional HAL choices: early or main seating, upper or lower. No mention by HAL of the forthcoming change that was to be announced in their press release just 10 days later!

 

A couple of us have mentioned the possibility of cancelling because of this situation. Be aware: even within the no-cancellation-penalty period, HAL will not refund premium if you have purchased their insurance!

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Beyond that, you can know, when you book, whether there is availability to book traditional or not. If there isn't availability, and it is a critical aspect for you, then don't book. This is an essential part of the consumer-feedback system. Talk is cheap. Money talks.

 

And when some of us have said that they were doing this they have been severely savaged by AYW proponents, called names, and otherwise castigated for their being unwilling to "wait and see how it goes." Hence, some people have just shut up about doing so.

 

As for me ... I will take each cruise on a case-by-case basis. If I'm with CCers, and we happen to get stuck with AYW, then we'll make group reservations every night for the same time and -- if possible -- the same table. If I'm cruising with one or two friends/family, I'll probably go even if I can't get Traditional ... just to see. It won't be "As I Wish" but at least I won't be dining alone. If, however, I'm looking at cruising totally alone (like Ruth is, right now, on the Prisendam), and I can't get Traditional, then I just won't book that cruise. The uncertainty/ambiguity about the ability to get a Traditional seating confirmation when I'm cruising solo (and not as Chaplain) is a potential deal-breaker.

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guest were judging me by my company's policies and personally attacking me long before I had any opinions about this business, customer service people are hated by guests and travel agents everywhere for something as siimple as having the nerve to answer a phone they get paid to answer

 

The most challenging job is customer service interaction with the general public. Right off the bat, most callers are furious by the time they reach a human and it goes downhill from there. I have no idea how it works at HAL but I know that the giants ( phone/cable companies for example) time customer care calls and if a rep is spending too much time, over time, on each call, it's not good for them. They also award those reps who can upsell a caller on something, all the while towing the company line and script.

 

Having said all this, I continue to believe it represents some of the best business experience one can get, provided you don't burn out.

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Heather: As others have pointed out, even before AYW dining, you never were assured your choice. Beyond that, you can know, when you book, whether there is availability to book traditional or not. If there isn't availability, and it is a critical aspect for you, then don't book. This is an essential part of the consumer-feedback system. Talk is cheap. Money talks.

 

To the bold part of your post above, YES we were assured of our choice. I've been cruising for 25 years and I have ALWAYS gotten my choice of dining. I book far in advance and my confirmation has ALWAYS showed me as Confirmed for my sitting.

 

As NHBob points out and several others have as well (maybe on a different thread because there are a few on this subject), but they are getting notices of "waitlist" for 2nd sitting even when booking months ahead of time.

 

In addition to that problem, there are those saying they are "confirmed" on their reservation, but not getting what they asked for aboard ship. So

the second part of your post doesn't hold true. It IS that important to me and I won't book if I'm told it's unavailable, but I can't very well jump ship once onboard.

 

The rest of your post about "consumer-feedback system"...."talk is cheap" and "money talks" makes absolutely no sense to me. I'm not being rude; I really don't know what you're saying:confused: .

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A couple of us have mentioned the possibility of cancelling because of this situation. Be aware: even within the no-cancellation-penalty period, HAL will not refund premium if you have purchased their insurance!

 

Correct.

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Not quite so, at least for Zuiderdam 3/15/08. I always request late seating and I'm certainly not oblivious to the fact that for the first time ever I am wait listed for second seating 8 months out. And to rub a little salt into my wounds, at the time of my booking (July 7th) I was offered the traditional HAL choices: early or main seating, upper or lower. No mention by HAL of the forthcoming change that was to be announced in their press release just 10 days later!

 

A couple of us have mentioned the possibility of cancelling because of this situation. Be aware: even within the no-cancellation-penalty period, HAL will not refund premium if you have purchased their insurance!

 

Like you, I have been waitlisted for my preference for Late Seating and occasionally had to dine early. This goes back as much as 15 years or whenever more passengers wanted a particular seating, than seats were available. This has happened on HAL and other cruise lines too.

 

Pure speculation on my part, but perhaps HAL is just going to waitlist almost all passengers to give themselves the greatest shot at satisfying the most passengers.

 

Should you want to cancel, your insurance can be transferred to another HAL cruise, without penalty. But if you want to go elsewhere, you will have to eat it.

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The most challenging job is customer service interaction with the general public. Right off the bat, most callers are furious by the time they reach a human and it goes downhill from there. I have no idea how it works at HAL but I know that the giants ( phone/cable companies for example) time customer care calls and if a rep is spending too much time, over time, on each call, it's not good for them. They also award those reps who can upsell a caller on something, all the while towing the company line and script.

 

Having said all this, I continue to believe it represents some of the best business experience one can get, provided you don't burn out.

 

each of our calls are timed and i constantly take heat for the amount of time i spend on "direct guests" , making sure they are comfortable with all aspects of the cruise and reservation process before I finish the call, I also am in trouble for telling someone this past week that "while i cant guarantee the price i gave you during this call, if you need some more time to plan i recommend you do so and give us a call back if you need any more information or would like to sail with us." I dont like to forced anyone into spending their hard earned money on anything until they are ready to do so. so i guess this makes me a poor fit for my job, putting customers above my revenue percentage.

 

At the end o the day management see me as just a weak set of stats on apage b/c i really do care about what i do.

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Like you, I have been waitlisted for my preference for Late Seating and occasionally had to dine early. This goes back as much as 15 years or whenever more passengers wanted a particular seating, than seats were available. This has happened on HAL and other cruise lines too.

 

Pure speculation on my part, but perhaps HAL is just going to waitlist almost all passengers to give themselves the greatest shot at satisfying the most passengers.

 

Should you want to cancel, your insurance can be transferred to another HAL cruise, without penalty. But if you want to go elsewhere, you will have to eat it.

 

The purpose and thought and lastly hope of AYWD was that by offering it more dinning requests could be accommodated. I dea being that if the dinning times werent so rigidly defined, some people would chose 5:15 some 6 some 6:30 and so on. the problem has always been getting people the early dinning that they request. the idea o staggering the crowd a bit was accepted to alleviate some o the pressure on the matrade to accomodate everyone who didnt get their desired dinning through traditional means. this was not designed to detract from traditional dinning.

 

one quick tip for those who like verandah suites if you upgrade to deluxe ones you get guaranteed dinning, not this may be common knowledge but remember with all the turnover in the travel industry the rep you talk to may not offer it, so dont be afraid to ask them to call ship services to get you confirmed. as many of you said money talks so if you are paying for a premium room dont be hesitant to ask for the premium services available to you. especailly if you want traditional dinning

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Sorry Hammy I don't agree with you..When one identifies themselves as being a member of a Company, they are on the clock..It makes no difference if they are in Customer Service or Management!

 

luckiestlady...Yes it's tough being in a Customer Service Dept. especially when major changes occur which you do not agree with..I was in Customer Service for more than 30 years & had to learn that "this too shall pass"...

 

One of the worst days of my life at work, was when I walked into our office & learned that a group of teenagers, Chaperone's & Coach's had been killed when our flight went down..We all were so terribly sad..For days our sadness was exacerbated while taking phone calls from distraught families & others who called in just to make horrible threats...Many times, one of us would break down & cry after some of these calls...It was an experience I'll never forget & the only one where I almost quit my job..But we did get through that horrendous period..

 

However, if one of our Res/Telephone Service Agents had ever identified themselves in a Public Forum & told any of our Passengers that they were just being angry complainers, they would have been fired...I agree with Rev. Neal if you identify yourself as an employee of a company, you are no longer off the clock...Hopefully, you now understand what some of these posters are upset about..I can accept your explanation that you were tired & did not mean to insult HAL' s Passengers... RuthC has been one of the HAL's Cheerleaders for many years, & I believe has more than 300 days as a Mariner... Suggest you get to know the posters on this board a little better..

 

I'm probably in the minority on this board as have no problem with trying out As you wish Dining, but I do respect those who only want Traditional! Also agree there is plenty of speculation going on here it but it could be stopped if HAL handled it differently & explained why folks are being wait listed..

 

JMO..Betty

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Sorry Hammy I don't agree with you..When one identifies themselves as being a member of a Company, they are on the clock..It makes no difference if they are in Customer Service or Management!

 

luckiestlady...Yes it's tough being in a Customer Service Dept. especially when major changes occur which you do not agree with..I was in Customer Service for more than 30 years & had to learn that "this too shall pass"...

 

One of the worst days of my life at work, was when I walked into our office & learned that a group of teenagers, Chaperone's & Coach's had been killed when our flight went down..We all were so terribly sad..For days our sadness was exacerbated while taking phone calls from distraught families & others who called in just to make horrible threats...Many times, one of us would break down & cry after some of these calls...It was an experience I'll never forget & the only one where I almost quit my job..But we did get through that horrendous period..

 

However, if one of our Res/Telephone Service Agents had ever identified themselves in a Public Forum & told any of our Passengers that they were just being angry complainers, they would have been fired...I agree with Rev. Neal if you identify yourself as an employee of a company, you are no longer off the clock...Hopefully, you now understand what some of these posters are upset about..I can accept your explanation that you were tired & did not mean to insult HAL' s Passengers... RuthC has been one of the HAL's Cheerleaders for many years, & I believe has more than 300 days as a Mariner... Suggest you get to know the posters on this board a little better..

 

I'm probably in the minority on this board as have no problem with trying out As you wish Dining, but I do respect those who only want Traditional! Also agree there is plenty of speculation going on here it but it could be stopped if HAL handled it differently & explained why folks are being wait listed..

 

JMO..Betty

answer to the waitlist they have decreased the number of confirmable spots right now since it is becomming increasingly difficult to confirm dinning ahead of time. and to an earlier post staff got the memo late after the decision had already been made and travel agents began receiving the info on it. so things were not well planned especially right after the announcement. it is a work in progress.

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......................one quick tip for those who like verandah suites if you upgrade to deluxe ones you get guaranteed dinning, not this may be common knowledge but remember with all the turnover in the travel industry the rep you talk to may not offer it, so dont be afraid to ask them to call ship services to get you confirmed. ..............

 

The term "Deluxe" is relative. It's my understanding that you are only reasonably "guaranteed" your choice of seating if you are in S suites or above. HAL uses the term "Deluxe Verandah" for categories as low as "VH" and I'm quite sure all those categories aren't being guaranteed anything.

 

.................

 

However, if one of our Res/Telephone Service Agents had ever identified themselves in a Public Forum & told any of our Passengers that they were just being angry complainers, they would have been fired...I agree with Rev. Neal if you identify yourself as an employee of a company, you are no longer off the clock..................

 

.... and me, too. As I posted above, once LuckiestLady identified herself as a HAL employee here and became verbally abusive with those of us expressing our concerns, she is speaking for HAL. But she has also said she hopes to be fired, so who knows?

 

I find myself wondering why today LL seems to have become more pleasant. I wouldn't be upset at all with any of her recent posts, but when I read last nights posts by her, I took it very personally.

 

In fact, I'm reminded that she said "don't shoot the messenger". I suggest that it works both ways.

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LuckiestLady,

Why is it that some HAL reps will tell you where you are on the waitlist while others will not? I am booked with a TA and have not heard back from her regarding this. I am very curious about where we are so this is frustrating. I am not asking for any changes, just to know where I am.

Thanks,

Laura

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answer to the waitlist they have decreased the number of confirmable spots right now since it is becomming increasingly difficult to confirm dinning ahead of time. and to an earlier post staff got the memo late after the decision had already been made and travel agents began receiving the info on it. so things were not well planned especially right after the announcement. it is a work in progress.

 

And I might suggest that this WORK IN PROGRESS should have done more progression behind the scenes before throwing it at the paying passengers.

 

I'm not suggesting that the responsibility for this debacle falls in any way on LuckiestLady, but we're just talking here ... tossing it around.

 

Getting all your ducks in a row might be an old idea, but it works a whole lot better than just throwing caution to the winds and seeing if it flies.:)

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each of our calls are timed and i constantly take heat for the amount of time i spend on "direct guests" , making sure they are comfortable with all aspects of the cruise and reservation process before I finish the call, I also am in trouble for telling someone this past week that "while i cant guarantee the price i gave you during this call, if you need some more time to plan i recommend you do so and give us a call back if you need any more information or would like to sail with us." I dont like to forced anyone into spending their hard earned money on anything until they are ready to do so. so i guess this makes me a poor fit for my job, putting customers above my revenue percentage.

 

At the end o the day management see me as just a weak set of stats on apage b/c i really do care about what i do.

 

I am thinking I might have at least 30 years on you. I work soley on commission. It is too easy for me to nudge a client along to buy something they probably will not be able to afford longer term and connect them with people who will find a way to make it work, now. And if I did this, I would make more $$$ and take the approach that "down the road" is not my problem. This is how the most successful people in my business tend to operate.

 

Instead, I choose to do the right thing, strive to provide the best balanced counsel and take pride that I do not let my chosen profession determine my values or personal satisfaction.

 

In your business, you can make a difference, some of the time and this is what it's all about. Thanks for visiting this board and sharing your perspective.

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I am thinking I might have at least 30 years on you. I work soley on commission. It is too easy for me to nudge a client along to buy something they probably will not be able to afford longer term and connect them with people who will find a way to make it work, now. And if I did this, I would make more $$$ and take the approach that "down the road" is not my problem. This is how the most successful people in my business tend to operate.

 

 

Hammy,

I think we are in the same profession.

Laura

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