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Old March 2nd, 2007, 01:12 PM
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Default HAL Lost Customer

Our 3rd cruise with Holland America was our last. They've completely lost us.

On an 11-day cruise on the Maasdam, it took nearly half the cruise and three rooms to be able to sleep through the night in comfort. In our first we were awakened each morning at 6:30 by clattering noise, probably supplies being moved up to the restaurant for breakfast; and the air was so bad my wife consistently got a headache within 20 minutes of coming into the room. Our second room was so warm that sleeping with no nightclothes and with no sheets I still was soaked in sweat; once we finally found a front desk staff person who would take us seriously, she measured the temperature of 82 degrees.

The most annoying thing was how uncommitted to helping most of the staff seemed to be. People were much more concerned about explaining why it wasn't their fault and they were limited in what they could do than saying "I'm sorry. I will try to make this better."

The clincher was that upon return from the cruise I wrote a detailed letter of complaint to the guest services department at their US headquarters. That was over 4 months ago and I have never received even an acknowledgment of the complaint. This confirms what we felt during the cruise: no commitment to customer satisfaction.

Since then, our next cruise was with Royal Caribbean. Further cruises will be with anybody but HAL.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 03:47 PM
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guess you will find every website to let us know you are leaving HAL. That is too bad, but everyone has his/her reasons for choosing a cruiseline, and everyone has the right to change brands when they are unhappy. I hope you find RCI more to your liking. I think and will always think, HAL is the classiest of all the mass marketed lines. As for service, as I said on the "other board" we had no serious complaints. NMnita
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita
guess you will find every website to let us know you are leaving HAL. That is too bad, but everyone has his/her reasons for choosing a cruiseline, and everyone has the right to change brands when they are unhappy. I hope you find RCI more to your liking. I think and will always think, HAL is the classiest of all the mass marketed lines. As for service, as I said on the "other board" we had no serious complaints. NMnita
you're exactly right, nita, especially when it appears that they joined for just that purpose. I agree--I've yet to find a *perfect* vacation experience, but HAL does an amazing job.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 04:08 PM
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I think this post on the other Board was their first one over there, as well.\
I hope you next cruise is more to your liking.

We love Maasdam and am sorry to hear you didn't.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 04:57 PM
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I am sure if you try it again ,you will change your tune. Going on
a ship once ,how can you say that the whole cruise line is no good.
I hope you enjoy RCL.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 05:02 PM
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My advice is to never feed a troll.

Tim
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Western Caribbean - Holland America Westerdam


Alaska Explorer - Holland America Westerdam
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 05:04 PM
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Over the years I have wondered what compels people to take their perceived bad experiences to message boards, especially boards where they have not established any prior credibility. It happens on all message boards for all cruise lines.

What's in it for them?

My all time favorite cruising forum is cruisebruise.com where everything wrong with the world can be linked to cruising.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sail7seas
I think this post on the other Board was their first one over there, as well.\
I hope you next cruise is more to your liking.

We love Maasdam and am sorry to hear you didn't.
It was. I am never quite sure why people do this? I understand not every cruise is perfect for everyone nor will we all come back with faving reviews but to post negatives only does nothing. Maybe it makes them feel better, who knows? NMNita
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 06:16 PM
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I really like the "never feed a troll"! Maasdam is one of our favorite ships. Now more room for those of who love her!
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: HAL Lost Customer

Quote:
Originally Posted by pm54
The most annoying thing was how uncommitted to helping most of the staff seemed to be. People were much more concerned about explaining why it wasn't their fault and they were limited in what they could do than saying "I'm sorry. I will try to make this better."
Did you book a specific cabin for this cruise, or take a guarantee? If you took a guarantee, then you might have wound up with a better cabin category than you paid for, but one in a less desireable location of the ship.

I'm sorry your cruise did not turn out to be what you hoped, and I'm sorry your correspondence went unanswered. Perhaps sending it certified might have ensured it got to the right person.

It's sad, but in all large corporations today, correspondence often gets misrouted and winds up on someone's desk where it shouldn't be. It sits there, gathering dust, until someone eventually routes it to the proper person. That's why I always send mail like this certified, with a return receipt requested. That way I know someone has to sign for it, and thus take "ownership" of it. Chances are my query will be read and promptly responded to. Might not be the response I want, but at least I get some sort of a response.

I hope you find RCL to be a better fit for you, though I personally think you are giving up on HAL a bit too quickly. Any cruise line can have problems with certain cabins on certain cruises. I just hope you don't encounter a similar problem on that line.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 06:53 PM
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We truly have never been on a bad cruise or a bad vacation. I don't know if we are too easily pleased or what but I just love being away from the normal day to day activities in our lives and being able to get away from it all and relax.

We particularly love the Maasdam, having cruised on her a couple of times for lengthy periods. We also find HAL is a great cruiseline and has an excellent product. If you had been complaining about a 2 or 3 star cruise line then I could understand your complaint but on HAL we have always found that we have had excellent service from everyone.

If our cabin was found to be too hot, then of course I would go to the front desk and tell them about it politely and if nothing had been achieved then you go to the top, the Hotel Manager. I am sure that he would sort it out for you.

Jennie
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 07:03 PM
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[quote="aussiegal"]We truly have never been on a bad cruise or a bad vacation. I don't know if we are too easily pleased or what but I just love being away from the normal day to day activities in our lives and being able to get away from it all and relax.


My wife and I would agree with your comments. I believe you can make an experience what you want to, good or bad. We have yet to be on a bad cruise and this will be our first with Holland because a close friend highly recommended it.
BTW, I love Melbourne and had very good business friends there for many years.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aussiegal
We truly have never been on a bad cruise or a bad vacation. I don't know if we are too easily pleased or what but I just love being away from the normal day to day activities in our lives and being able to get away from it all and relax.

We particularly love the Maasdam, having cruised on her a couple of times for lengthy periods. We also find HAL is a great cruiseline and has an excellent product. If you had been complaining about a 2 or 3 star cruise line then I could understand your complaint but on HAL we have always found that we have had excellent service from everyone.

If our cabin was found to be too hot, then of course I would go to the front desk and tell them about it politely and if nothing had been achieved then you go to the top, the Hotel Manager. I am sure that he would sort it out for you.

Jennie
Jennie, I am afraid you are like us: too easy to please. At least that is what I often think. I wonder why we never seem to have the problems others have, we never have found the food to be bad or barely edible, the service has always been better than what I give DH at home and the cabins or rooms if it is a hotel much cleaner. Most of the crew always smiles, I can't say I always smile. This isn't saying every vacation is so wonderful we can't wait to do it all over again or that every ship has been wonderful. We have had a couple we would not cruise again and have stayed in a few hotels/motels not to be repeated, but never bad enough to get that upset. NMnita
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 07:09 PM
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[quote="Cruising Bob" My wife and I would agree with your comments. I believe you can make an experience what you want to, good or bad. We have yet to be on a bad cruise and this will be our first with Holland because a close friend highly recommended it.
BTW, I love Melbourne and had very good business friends there for many years.[/quote]

When are you going to visit us down here again? Melbourne is a great city and we are about to have the Grand Prix here in two weeks time, followed by the World Swimming Championships followed by the Comedy Festival. There is always something happening down in this part of the world!

Jennie
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 07:15 PM
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It is my favorite city in Australia and I had the good fortune to visit many in your beautiful and interesting country. Since I retired in '04, I have not had the opportunity to get back and lost contact with my close friends who moved from Melbourne to a small coastal town(can't remember the name but their home was in House Beautiful or something like that). I tried by fax and phone but lost them after his wife became ill.
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 07:42 PM
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Bob,

Could your friends have moved to Portsea, Sorrento or Lorne, Anglesea or Airey's Inlet. They are all well known towns on our coast, where a home could be built that was worthy of being in a magazine.

Here is the website for the Australian Phone Directory which may be of use, if you want to look them up.

http://www.whitepages.com.au/wp/index.jsp

Jennie
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 07:51 PM
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Jennie, I think the town began with a "B" with a beautiful view of the ocean but now I'm not sure. I will look in the directory you linked me to to see if I can locate my lost friends. Thanks, Bob
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 08:21 PM
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Bob,

It could have been Balnarring or Barwon Heads. Also Bemm River but that is not the sort of town that a Home Beautiful house would be built in. I cannot think of any other seaside town.

Jennie
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 08:25 PM
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Jennie, I will let you know when I figure it out with directory. Thanks again for your help.
Bob
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 08:40 PM
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Jennie, I just think the light went off in my head and is there an Eden?
Bob
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Old March 2nd, 2007, 10:34 PM
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"Over the years I have wondered what compels people to take their perceived bad experiences to message boards, especially boards where they have not established any prior credibility. It happens on all message boards for all cruise lines.

What's in it for them?"

Hey, I wasn't aware of the requirement to post positive comments prior to a negative one. If I'd I known, I would have first posted exuberant praise for Holland America's dining. It is exquisite. Like eating in a four star restaurant every night. Neither Celebrity nor Royal Cariibbean even comes close.

Yes, I joined more than one board and posted the same comment. Why? Because I figure these boards are read by people who are considering whether to select a line, and I'm hoping to reach some of those people. And I posted on multiple boards in the hope to reach different readers not to to reach the same people multiple times.

I wasn't looking to start a flame war, I was describing our extremely negative experience. YMMV. And if that's Tim's idea of trolling...

What's in it for me? Absolutely nothing.


In response to a some other responses:

- we reserved a generic low-rate cabin. We realists, and experienced cruisers; weren't expecting luxury. But even in the cheapest cabin on a ship, it's fair to expect a bare minimum such as being able to sleep through the night.

- onboard we went all the way up to the person in charge of Guest Services.
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 10:25 AM
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Of course there is no requirement as to when you can post what, but certainly you can understand some not taking your flaming HAL becasuse of one bad experience to seriously. Your reasoning makes sense to you and yet, I can pretty well assure you not many futher cruisers will take it to heart. You do have every right to expect a cabin that is temperature control comfortable and where the noise level is such it will not interfer with your sleep. On the other hand, like any hotel the cheapest accommodations will be in the least desirable locations. If you had booked the cheapest hotel room and there was construction going on next door or at the hotel, I can asuure you the noise level would quite annoying.

You felt the staff didn't care about your comfort, well, after all the complaining you apparently did, I can't say I blame them.

Enjoy RCI or whatever line you choose and maybe you should consider a little higher priced cabin next time. RCI has very tiny cabins, if you to with the lowst price you will be doing good to move around. NMNita
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 10:36 AM
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All the way to the top of Hotel Department on an HAL ship is the Hotel Manager. The Hotel Manager currently aboard Maasdam is a very, very competent gentleman. Well experienced and extremely approachable. He does everything in his power to make his guests happy and comfortable. We have sailed with Firmin van Walle many times and he runs a 'dam' fine hotel. Had you spoken with him about legitimate issues, I would be shocked if you were not well taken care of.
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 06:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aussiegal
If our cabin was found to be too hot, then of course I would go to the front desk and tell them about it politely and if nothing had been achieved then you go to the top, the Hotel Manager. I am sure that he would sort it out for you.
That's exactly what we did, politely informed the front desk. We didn't go down there yelling and screaming and making a big thing out of nothing, as seems to be assumed by some of the people responding here.

Actually we started with our cabin steward. He said he would inform maintenance. After after another night in the heat we spoke to him again. Then we spoke to the front desk (yes, politely). Someone from the front desk came up to check it out, said that the air conditioning had been adjusted but would take a few hours to cool down. I indicated to her a corner of the room from which I felt heat rising. She replied that that was impossible because all there was below us was another room, we just had to be patient and wait for the room to cool down now that the air conditioning was working right. After several more hours with no drop in the room temperature we went again to the front desk and told them about it again, and a different person came up and actually measured the temperature in that corner at 86 degrees and at my pillow at 82 degrees. She said that this room was right next to an exhaust duct from the engine and that the insulation must have shifted. She found another room for us and arranged to have us moved.

We found out later that another passenger had been in this room and been moved out of it. So... why were we moved into a room where they knew they had a heat problem?

As for going to the Hotel Manager, when we had our first problem room we went to where we were referred, who I believe was called the Guest Relations Manager or some such. It was she who arranged for us to get moved in to the hot room.
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