Booted off the Zuiderdam

Old Apr 5th, 2003, 05:30 PM
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Booted off the Zuiderdam

Two months ago, I booked a cruise on Hals Zuiderdam for2/08/04. My work schedule warrants I sign up for time a year in advance. Made the decision and started looking and prenight stays in Fort Lauderdale, which I booked and the Comfort Suites, and had my air arranged. All of the sudden I get a call from my TA that the week of my cruise they chartered the entire ship, cancelling my trip!!! I requested a different sailing on the Veendam out of Tampa but also requested an upgrade due to the inconvenience I had gone through. That was denied , so was any shipboard credit. I think my time and engy arranging this change would be worth something. Could anyone comment on this. It was explained to HAL that I cannot change my vacation time, but it really did not seem to matter to them, am I wrong in thinking this is poor PR. I cruise every FEb.and it seems they would like to encourage a frequent cruiser. Am I wrong. I cancelled and booked a Princess cruise aon the same week. Will I like it as much? And, should I write to Hal with a complaint? Thank for any input.
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Old Apr 5th, 2003, 05:39 PM
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A nicely worded letter of complaint wouldn't hurt. You should ask for what it would take to make you use that cruiseline in the future such as a credit for a future cruise. All they can say is no.
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Old Apr 5th, 2003, 06:23 PM
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I agree it was very poor PR. They should give you something for the inconvience.
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Old Apr 5th, 2003, 07:37 PM
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Although my personal experience with Princess is restricted to three cruise, I believe you will be not be disappointed with the service received. Both Princess and HAL are part of the Carnival Group, and at the time of your cruise the integration of Princess into Carnival will be just starting, so there may be some dislocation.

My policy has always ask. If they say "no" you are no worse off; if they say "yes" then you are ahead. Write, present the facts concisely, and you may be surprised.
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Old Apr 6th, 2003, 09:18 AM
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Cruislover-
You can write but seriously do not expect too much...

However, you still WILL have a great time on Princess...while it is NOT HAL, it is still a great cruise line....

Have a blast!
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Old Apr 7th, 2003, 03:56 AM
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Seems that HAL is, excuse the expression, a pretty hard-ass line. A friend booked a Milennium cruise and then...forget what happened...but she wanted to not cancel, simply apply the deposit to ANOTHER HAL cruise and they wouldn't let her. And she was a very frequent cruiser who had actually done a Rotterdam WORLD cruise! All sorts of VIPs had to be contacted and eventually they did allow her to apply the money to another sailing but jeez!
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Old Apr 10th, 2003, 04:43 PM
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I'm a little curious why you are posting this message two months after the cancellation.

We have cruised a great deal with HAL and feel they have always dealt very fairly with us when "unusual circumstances" have arisen.
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Old Apr 11th, 2003, 06:38 AM
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sail7seas: Look again. It was booked 2 months ago. It doesn't give the date of the cancellation.

cruiselover: So sorry to hear of your well-planned cruise getting cancelled.

I was scheduled for a Med. cruise one summer when I received notification (after arriving in Greece) that the ship had been chartered by Japanese car company. Thanks goodness the cruise lines found cabins for over 45 of us on another of their ships. We saw our ship in several of the ports---it even had a Japanese car parked on the upper deck as advertisement!!

Best of luck on your next cruise!!
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Old Apr 11th, 2003, 10:28 AM
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Lots of people bash Carnival and RCL for being crappy for some reason or another. The people who do that tend to brag about how superior service is on HAL. After reading your story, I would not consider HAL to be anything to brag about.
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Old Apr 14th, 2003, 01:59 PM
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I have had very good experiences with HAL in similar circumstance. We had a med cruise booked which was cancelled in 2002. In the letter of cancellation they offered alternative Europenan cruises but on ships we did not want to sail on. So I called them and ended up getting a very good deal on a superior room on the ship we wanted for the same time period, just different itinerary. After that positive experience we are booked now for another HAL cruise in June
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Old Apr 15th, 2003, 05:48 AM
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Lew,
I have not heard that Princess will be working its way into CCL, could you tell me more? Thanks
Ashuma 1 ,
Did you call the reservation number, or another? I called twice, and got nowhere with them. I have written a letter of concern with request of an answer... Thanks.
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Old Apr 15th, 2003, 06:59 AM
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Remember, the squeaky wheel....
Indeed, write a thorough letter, documenting all your complaints and inconveniences. Next, write a letter that you will post on fodors, cruisecritic, cruisereviews, cruisemates,about.com, epinion.com....want me to go on? Include that in the envelpoe and tell them your story will be posted on every internet site possible. I have learned how important press is to the cruise industry and everyone who depends on it (hotels,stores,excursion operators, etc)
All said, I think you'll enjoy your cruise. Go with a great attitude. Remember, sometimes things happen for a reason. ;-)
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