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Old December 12th, 2004, 04:46 PM
Jeff Coudriet
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Default Live onboard Zuiderdam -- "Friends of Dorothy" par

Hey folks...I'm writing live onboard the Holland America Line Zuiderdam. We are at sea today (having not been able to tender at Half Moon Cay).

This morning I wrote a nice note to the Cruise Director Pete (can't remember last name....) requesting a Friends of Dorothy party to be scheduled for tomorrow, which is also a sea day.

Pete was kind enough to leave me a voice mail letting me know that, per Holland America corporate policy in Seattle (my paraphrase) about 6-7 weeks ago they can no longer host and publicize such gatherings. He said he would be happy to put such a party together in a public room, but they could not put it in the daily bulletin!

At this moment....I am damn angry! Which I certainly don't need on my long awaited vacation. At great splurgy expense to myself I have booked as a solo in a Cat S suite....not exactly chump change! But this is absolutely my 2nd and last Holland America cruise unless this policy is changed asap! I can't believe in this day and age such a policy would exist. I think in today's program, for example, they've had meetings for people who like to play bridge, and for veterans. So what is the big deal -- we are but yet another group of people who have some common interests. Isn't the cruise line's job to bring people together for an enjoyable vacation experience?

I do want to be clear I do not harbor any ill will towards the CD...he was kind enough to respond to my note and was just relaying a corporate policy -- which he did not create -- to me.

In any case, Pete said I could call him at various times this evening, but really why bother? The whole point is to get a room and have it in the daily program....it's not like I have some magic ability to "spread this by word of mouth", using his words....to every gay and lesbian passenger on the ship. I don't want to go around making presumptions about people right?

Holland America -- wake up!!

Jeff Coudriet <-- taking my $$ back to Celebrity which has never turned down my request to host such a party.
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Old December 12th, 2004, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: Live onboard Zuiderdam -- "Friends of Dorothy"


Sorry to hear they didn't accommodate your request, but honestly, I wouldn't let it upset you so much.

We've sailed on quite a number of ships, where we've requested they publicize a "Net Buddies" meeting onboard via the daily paper. Perhaps oddly, the majority of the time these requests have been denied.

Their reasoning...that every "interest group" sailing would begin asking for meetings to be announced, even if they were unsure anyone else in that group were onboard. And, I suppose it could come to pass... with notices for Net Buddies, Friends of Dorothy, Fisherman, Bowlers, Bankers, etc filling the daily.
On seveal occassions different lines have done as the CD suggested, and set up rooms for our gathering, and even supplied food and drink, without putting it in the daily.

Just wanted to let you know, that I don't think it's a matter of any discrimination though.

Do hope you find other FOD onboard, and enjoy your cruise!

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Old December 14th, 2004, 11:21 AM
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Default Re: Live onboard Zuiderdam -- "Friends of Dorothy"

I was Zuiderdam a couple weeks ago and saw Friends of Dorothy listed on the daily program; maybe something changed very recently?
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Old December 16th, 2004, 05:13 AM
Una Una is offline
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Default Re: Live onboard Zuiderdam -- "Friends of Dorothy"

Yes it must have been very recently as we were on the Westerdam in November and when I looked back at my daily programmes just now I see there were at least six "Friends of ... " meetings listed.
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Old December 16th, 2004, 08:10 AM
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Default Re: Live onboard Zuiderdam -- "Friends of Dorothy"

we were on the Zuiderdam the week of 10/23 and there were several "friends of dorothy" meetings on the ship's daily schedule
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Old December 22nd, 2004, 09:48 AM
Jeff Coudriet
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Default Re: Live onboard Zuiderdam -- "Friends of Dorothy"

Kuki -- thanks for your note. I didn't let it upset me all week, but I still think it's an incredibly stupid policy nonetheless. In fact, if they were smart (and I'm thinking HAL isn't a very smart company by now!) they would in fact open up some of these lounges, which on the Zuiderdam at least, were nearly ghost towns at 11 pm to some group activities. At the very least, having a FOD cocktail party would mean the cruise line would sell some drinks! I guess they are not interested in making a profit?

With some other gatherings I have put together (with folks I have met on Cruisemates and Cruise Critic) the big difference is....I knew those people in advance, and in many cases I had folks' names and cabin numbers....and we made definitive plans in advance to have something like a sailaway party on a certain day, time and location.

With respect to having a FOD party....you can't just wing it like this. I don't know people in advance like I do with having a Cruisemates/Critic party. So the only way to get the word out is through the daily program, or by posting signs around the ship (which I think would be very tacky...and subject to vandalism potentially). So there is a bit of a difference here in the nature of the 2 group's meetings.

Anyhow, need to do my letter to the head of HAL to complain. I was especially shocked at the "no" to my FOD party request because I had read here and elsewhere that HAL seemed to routinely do such parties....so it indeed was a rude shock when I was told "no". Other lines, notably Celebrity, have never turned me down....so I'm taking my money back there! Princess I got a party....but it took multiple days...oh well.

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Old February 3rd, 2005, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Live onboard Zuiderdam -- "Friends of Dorothy"

I was on the Westerdam 23-30 Jan 05. One of those days, while browsing the daily activities listings provided by the ship, I did notice that there was a Friends of Dorothy gathering included.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 09:01 AM
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Default Re: Re: Live onboard Zuiderdam -- "Friends of Dorothy&q

There were 40+ of us on the Sapphire Princess this Xmas. Princess would not let us post a meeting on the first sea day afternoon. Probably because of the name Cruise Critic. So a lot of us purhased CC t-shirts & other items to wear on embarcation day and also had own personal e-mail roll call....not posted on computer. Got a great pix of the group. They had a great time doing things together independently and meeting each other on board....so I heard.

By having our private roll call list, we could leave msgs for our group. We did not get to go as husband broake his ankle & had to cancel cruise.
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Old February 4th, 2005, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: Live onboard Zuiderdam --

I'm sure it was the CD's policy and not the cruise line, Hell, Holland America is sailing on the 20th of Feb with 1800 Gay/Lesbian's with RSVP Vacations.
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Old February 5th, 2005, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: Re: Live onboard Zuiderdam --

I went on an Olivia cruise (lesbian only) on HAL's Zuiderdam last April. HAL's quite gay friendly, so I'm very suprised that they denied the FOD request.
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Old February 11th, 2005, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: Live onboard Zuiderdam -- "Friends of Dorothy"

Well this came up on another message board so I thought I would post HAL response to me:

Dear Mr. C,

Thank you for contacting Holland America Line regarding recent policy changes that have taken place on our ships.

The only "policy" is that we do not post the Friends of Dorothy "get together" on the daily programs.

Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions. We look forward to welcoming you aboard again in the very near future.

Warm Regards,

Internet Department
Holland America Line
1-877-SAIL HAL

On February 5, 2005 at 9:01 PM, mikec5426@aol.com wrote:

>Topic: New reservation
>First Name: Mike
>Last Name: C
>Email: mikec5426@aol.com
>Booking Number:

I am looking to book a cruise on Holland America. My partner and I are avid cruisers and I am also a past cruiser of Holland America.
>I heard recently that Holland America changed their policy on having "FOD" or "Friends of Dorothy" get togethers for gay and lesbian passengers?
>Could someone please confirm or deny if this is now Holland Americas 'policy'?
>Mike C
>Washington DC
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Old February 15th, 2005, 07:24 AM
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Default Re: Live onboard Zuiderdam -- "Friends of Dorothy"

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