Holland America Line is rolling out celebrity talk show hostess Oprah Winfrey’s O’s Reading Room across its fleet of 14 ships around the world.
Passengers will now have the chance to read the latest books selected by O’s Reading Room and participate in book forums and discussions while cruising on a HAL ship.
The first novel to go fleetwide is “An American Marriage” by award-winning author Tayari Jones who will sail on board HAL’s Nieuw Amsterdam to the Caribbean on March 3.
“Our guests are fanatical readers and O’s Reading Room quickly became one of the most popular activities on the ship,’’ said HAL president Orlando Ashford. “Oprah’s personal passion for reading is evident by the books she chooses and we’re privileged to feature the same selection as Oprah’s Book Club.’’
The move to introduce O’s Reading Room has not pleased all passengers.
“I like to make my own decisions about what to read and I want a real library on board every ship. Stop turning HAL into some celebrity driven, interactive screen nightmare,’’ said T Compton on HAL’s website.
Another comment by Julie was equally critical.
“I cannot believe that HAL thinks this is a substitute for the beautiful libraries (especially on the Noordam) that they had previous to this latest upgrade. Does HAL ever listen to it’s devoted passengers? There is a reason we return. Why do you have to change?” commented Julie.
HAL responded to Julie explaining that the rollout of O’s Reading Room is “one of many optional activities that guests can take part in and is simply a book club discussion that will be held onboard for those who wish to participate.”
The rollout is expected to be completed by May this year.
HAL also has The O Shop on select cruise ships which feature Oprah’s favourite things for sale.