Originally Posted by dssm69
Just completed the HAL cruise on the Oosterdam starting April 25th for 12 nights from Barcelona. Can honestly say it is our first and last time.
The ship was just out of a re-fit.
Mainly new carpets are all you could see, but there were some mechanical repairs to the Azipod drives.
There was definatly something missing on the cruise, mainly a lack of crew, entertainment, late night activities. service.
It was like a ghost ship after 10pm
We had one 45 minute show in the first 5 days.
They then started bring entertainers onboard from other ships.
Something was definatly wrong.
The front service desk was the most popular place with a constant line of people seeking answers to many questions. With little success.
Many nights there was work continuing on the ship fixing things that had not been done.
We actually walked on in Barcelona and found our own cabins. No meet and greet service. Really amazing.
We introduced ourselves to our cabin steward after 3 days.
The only time we saw the white suits was at meal times and in the bars of an evening.
No infromation was offered for people who wanted to do thier own thing ashore. It was all about the paid excursions.
We travelled with friends and had requested cabins close to each other.
No such luck. We were even on different decks.
The staff had no interest in trying to fix the problem.
There were many objections to the $11 per day per person Hotel Service Charge that was added to your account, many requested it removed caring to handle the tips themselves.
The ship was fine, the food was great, just the wrong cruise at the wrong time. It may be the American style, but definatly not for Australians.
As you know if you've been reading this topic, I am not a fan of HAL. However, the problem with not getting any information about ports other than the ship's excursions I have found on other lines. HAL in the past had shown you to your cabin when you first embarked. On the Panama Canal cruise, no one was there when we boarded to help us.
I think HAL is in the middle of trying to save as much money as possible and in doing so, they are hurting their business. NCL, for instance, is known as a line which offers very good rates for their cruises, and tries to make as much money as they can on board their ships. However, I believe the way they do it is not insulting to passengers, and as I have said in the past, when there is a problem they try very hard to fix it and take care of their passengers.
A short example, we were in Morocco and had a problem with an excursion. I complained and told NCL I was not looking for compensation, but was more concerned with the local people and what was done to them by the excursion company. I received part of the excursion cost as a credit. Versus HAL, who charges 10% fee for excursion cancellation no matter what the reason. My friend, as you know, was injured on the ship and the doctor told us she could not go on excursions for several days. I had to fight with the excursion people about their fee. The attitude of that clerk was unbelievable and she should be fired.
Anyway, try NCL. I had a wonderful cruise last Nov. in Europe with them.