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Sunday, 7 July 2013

Disappointing cruise to South America (cont'd).....

Of the five HAL cruises which I have been on, the food on this cruise rates at the bottom.  I got the impression that HAL was becoming excessively cost conscious, with the result that quality was lower.  They even started charging $1.25 in the dining room for an espresso coffee and more for a cappuccino - this seems so hokey and penny-pinching to me.  We had to request salt, pepper and sugar in the dining room and Lido; then, the stewards would give us packages of the item(s).

I had open seating in the dining room.  On past cruises, I was seated within 30 seconds of giving my room number.  The first night I waited for about 15 minutes before I was seated, and this was repeated every night with a wait of between 5-15 minutes.   I don’t understand why it was taking them so long to seat me, but everything on this cruise seemed strange.

The entertainment was also the lowest of all the HAL cruises.  For a cruise of this length (over 30 days) the entertainment should have been much better.

 Everything that was done on this cruise was done for the convenience of HAL, and nothing for the good of the passengers. 

Tenders are an excellent example.  They consistently seemed to have too few crafts operating.  It seemed like they said to themselves:  “Let them (the passengers) wait.”   It seemed to me that they were frequently pinching pennies.  I wonder if the captain or HAL at higher levels were falling into the money-crazy trap.   All companies have to make money, but sometimes companies can go crazy about pennies at the expense of creating a pleasant experience for travelers.

Thinking about this cruise after I returned home, HAL (at the highest levels), must have known the captain’s personality and inclinations because he was second in command on other HAL ships.

I liked HAL because I thought it was a safe decision.  HAL seemed to be very customer-oriented on past cruises.

Next blog - continuation...

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