PDA

View Full Version : Holland America Deluxe Verendah vs Regent and Alcohol Policy


joeohl
September 18th, 2008, 07:24 PM
I am considering sailing on Regent during Holidays because they have a cruise that includes free kids. I usually sail on Holland America in a deluxe verendah suite (550 sq feet w balcony) that includes free dry cleaning, conceirge lounge and other perks. However, there are alot of extra charges that seem to be included on Regent. I understand there is free wine with dinner. How about cocktails? Is the food quality on regent much better than Holland? I found Hollands food to be ok. Their private dining costs extra and is very good. I am not trying to pick the cruise based on kids clubs, etc. I am thinking that Regent is the Ritz and Holland America is the Marriott?

Wendy The Wanderer
September 18th, 2008, 08:15 PM
I haven't been on Holland, although I know people who have enjoyed it.

Anything but premium brands are included, everywhere. Cocktails, everything.

There are some tangible differences aside from alcohol--no tipping, for instance. No charge for anything like classes, specialty restaurants.

You can book a standard cabin, with balcony, which will be smaller than your suite on Holland, but very nice. You can go several levels up and get your butler, and more space, et a.

Intangibles play a part too--great service, small intimate ships, spacious feel.

BILLP1
September 18th, 2008, 08:21 PM
Open dining, 690 people on board, No lines, Much better food, Seat at the pool any time you want, Depending on the ship there are four restaurants for dinner plus room service from the main restaurant, drinks, wine included.

It really is two different experiences.

Travelcat2
September 18th, 2008, 09:34 PM
In my opinion, it is almost impossible to compare a mainstream cruise line with a luxury all-inclusive one. Although we have heard very good reports about HAL, and the size of your suite sounds good. . . what happens when you walk out of the door? How many more people are there on HAL than Regent? There is a significant difference.

On the other hand, with the exception of school holidays and summer, many Regent guests book their cruise with the hope that there will not be many children on board. Usually, the children that are on Regent, are well traveled, very polite -- do not interfere with others at their one swimming pool, etc.

So, if you have children, can book a large suite on HAL, and can put up with being on a very large ship -- this seems to me to be the best choice.

P.S. With your children on board, you really can't drink that much alcohol. . . Add up the daily soft and hard drink prices -- compare the total price to Regent.

joeohl
September 18th, 2008, 10:12 PM
In my opinion, it is almost impossible to compare a mainstream cruise line with a luxury all-inclusive one. Although we have heard very good reports about HAL, and the size of your suite sounds good. . . what happens when you walk out of the door? How many more people are there on HAL than Regent? There is a significant difference.

On the other hand, with the exception of school holidays and summer, many Regent guests book their cruise with the hope that there will not be many children on board. Usually, the children that are on Regent, are well traveled, very polite -- do not interfere with others at their one swimming pool, etc.

So, if you have children, can book a large suite on HAL, and can put up with being on a very large ship -- this seems to me to be the best choice.

P.S. With your children on board, you really can't drink that much alcohol. . . Add up the daily soft and hard drink prices -- compare the total price to Regent.



Travel Cat,

I am sensing that you don't enjoy kids the Regent. First off, I am looking at a holiday cruise over XMas that will have many kids. Secondly, drinking occurs with our my wife and I regardless. I am just trying to understand if we will get better quality for food and drinks on a regent vs holland. I agree holland is midlevel. Yet, when you pay for the top on midlevel, i am wondering if it is = to higer level. You post alot on the regent board and i respect your views. Take away my kids and let me know why this line rocks or if it is just ok.

Thank you.

AirGorilla
September 18th, 2008, 10:41 PM
I am considering sailing on Regent during Holidays because they have a cruise that includes free kids. I usually sail on Holland America in a deluxe verendah suite (550 sq feet w balcony) that includes free dry cleaning, conceirge lounge and other perks. However, there are alot of extra charges that seem to be included on Regent. I understand there is free wine with dinner. How about cocktails? Is the food quality on regent much better than Holland? I found Hollands food to be ok. Their private dining costs extra and is very good. I am not trying to pick the cruise based on kids clubs, etc. I am thinking that Regent is the Ritz and Holland America is the Marriott?

If Regent is the Ritz (and I would put Crystal in the same category), then HAL is NOT the Marriott. Probably Hilton Garden Inn, or Courtyard by Marriott. Once you get to the dining room, you'll understand.

avalon1025
September 19th, 2008, 12:44 AM
I sailed the Noordam in a cate SA Deluxe Veranda suite last month. The ship and service and cabin were fine, but the entire cruise was mediocre compared the the Regent, Silversea and Sebaourn cruise we have taken. The price was about the same (single in a suite is 190% on HAL and less on the lux lines). If you have the choice, jump on Regent, even in a smaller suite its much more superior to the mass market lines.

TravellersTwo
September 19th, 2008, 07:30 AM
We were faced with this same decision just a month ago. We've traveled in HAL Deluxe Vereanda Suite and in RSSC Penthouse Suites. Must agree that BILLP1 was right on target by saying they are two diferent experiences.

The deciding factor for us was the itinerary and schedule. We wanted to do the Panama Canal crossing in 2009.

We would have preferred to sail on RSSC because we like the feel of a smaller ship and all inclusive travel is a plus for us. HAL's intinerary was more appealing, there was better availability of cabins and the cruise sets sail on my 60th birthday plus the base price of the cruise was far less. Seemed to us like it was meant to be.

We're booked in a Deluxe Veranda Suite. Of course we will have to carry on wine and buy a bar set up. Probably have a lot of Room Service to avoid the crowds and use the Neptune Lounge to the fullest. The plus side is we will truly enjoy the massive corner veranda as we go through the canal.

As far as kids, we were on the Navigator last Christmas and the kids aboard seem mto have a wonderful time and added to the Christmas spirit.

lborne
September 19th, 2008, 10:54 AM
We are on the Navigator over Christmas this year with our boys age 5 and 10. We've only taken them on Disney cruises before. But we'd been on Regent twice before, once on the Navigator for a Med and once on the PG. We never dreamed we would ever get a luxuary cruise without having to leave the kids with the in-laws.

I've never been on HAL, so can't answer your question directly. But I can tell you Regent is far above Disney and RCCL in terms of food and service. If you choose the Navigator, not only will you get to cruise with us :) , but you'll be with a max of 490 people. As others have said - that means no lines, no hunting for pool chairs, and best of all, you will make some friends on board since you see the same few people often. I'm guessing there will be fewer than that, because I only see one other person in the meets area going on this cruise.

I have a copy of the kids program from last year, and can send it if you PM me your e-mail. I was worried a bit because the cruise does tend to have an older crowd that is not used to having kids on board. However, I don't think they will sail ones that advertise kids sail free.

cstrick
September 19th, 2008, 12:06 PM
We have sailed on HAL and on Regent ( both to Alaska). We sailed on the Ryndam in a deluxe suite with use of the Neptune Lounge. The cabin was lovely and the service was very good. The food, however, was just ok. We ate in the premium restaurant at least 3 times. We did not run up a huge bar bill and it was annoying to have to sign for soft drinks. The cruise costs were less than Regent. We loved our Regent cruise in spite of the costs and are planning another cruise to the western Carribbean. The service on the Mariner was very good and the food was a whole lot better. Children were a non issue and were well behaved( for the most part ) on both cruises. There was a noisy family on the Regent cruise and the parents did nothing about the children. That can be an issue on any line.

Travelcat2
September 19th, 2008, 02:08 PM
Travel Cat,

I am sensing that you don't enjoy kids the Regent. First off, I am looking at a holiday cruise over XMas that will have many kids. Secondly, drinking occurs with our my wife and I regardless. I am just trying to understand if we will get better quality for food and drinks on a regent vs holland. I agree holland is midlevel. Yet, when you pay for the top on midlevel, i am wondering if it is = to higer level. You post alot on the regent board and i respect your views. Take away my kids and let me know why this line rocks or if it is just ok.

Thank you.

Did not mean to come across anti-children. We have children (grown) who grew up traveling in age appropriate places. My only problem with children on Regent is when they are taken out of school to go on a cruise when there are no kid's programs for them. It is really unfair to younger children who may get bored.

As mentioned above, Regent's accommodations and food is wonderful. The best description was about different levels of hotels (above). The same can be said for the food. Based on crowds at our local Applebees, many people enjoy their food. Regent is more like a fine dining restaurant.

Because you are paying and tipping per drink on HAL, the "pour" may be a bit stronger than Regent. However, you can ask for a "double", different name brand alcohols, etc.

I read a recent review (not on these boards) from a person who typically cruises on luxury lines. In this case, they opted for a master suite on a main stream cruise line. While in the confines of their suite (and the few "special" places on board exclusively for them), it was enjoyable. However, once outside the suite, there were masses of people everywhere. I don't imagine that they will repeat the experience.

The bottom line is that you should choose what you are comfortable with. Just like the "Three Bears". . . you'll know if HAL or Regent fits you "just right":)

giustot
September 19th, 2008, 04:22 PM
Joeohl, I have sailed both and will try to answer you questions. Since you already know what it's like to be in an SA on HAL I won't talk much about that.

I believe sailing at the top on a midlevel line is not as good as sailing at the bottom on a luxury line like Regent. But when kids are involved other factors may tip the scales.

On Regent, your room will be smaller than an SA on HAL and you will have to pay for laundry and dry cleaning, unless you do the laundry yourself. You will not have to pay extra for sodas, wine, cocktails, dining in speciality restaurants or any tips.

People have compared prices before and, even with kids sailing free, it probably will cost more to travel on Regent.

I agree with your analogy that it's the Ritz vs Marriott. But to take it one step further, if you sail in a suite on HAL it's the Ritz vs the concierge floor at Marriott.

The choice will depend on your tastes and that of your children. A Regent ship has a max of 700 passengers and very personal service. HAL has up to 2,000 passengers. And while Regent does offer kids sail free at certain times, it really is not a line that caters to children. So the kids may be happier on HAL. I don't think you gave their ages. Regent has one swimming pool, HAL has two or three.

Good luck in making your choice. Tom.

ChatKat in Ca.
September 19th, 2008, 05:38 PM
I've been on both as well. I love Regent and I'd sail HAL Again of course preferred with the SA and Neptune Lounge - the 550sq ft cabins on HAL are really terrific. There were a lot of amenities onboard the HAL ship - the Amsterdam - catering to kids. If I were crusing with kids, I would not take them on Regent. There are really not any areas of the ship that are set up for them. Leaving the kids out, we felt that service on HAL was very good - but on Regent usually stellar. Food there is no comparison - I hate fixed seating dining and the main dining room for dinner was not our cup of tea. We ate at the Pinnacale Grill which is extra charge. Signing for drinks is no big deal to us but we brought wine with us and even paid corkage since we brought some special vintages onboard. Regent includes it so no signing.

Suite Travels
September 20th, 2008, 11:50 AM
I must agree with Travelcat. On the luxury lines there is not much for children to do. I believe Crystal and Regent do have activities when they have certain amount of children on board. I don't think that Seabourn or Silversea offer anything for kid's. On Crystal everything is included with the exception of alcohol. I do give credit to Regent for offering suites that have two bedrooms.

I don't know how old your children are but if they are toddlers I would leave them with grandma. On the Crystal boards a couple of years ago, one guest was taking their one year old on the world cruise.:eek: 108 day's with an infant is really crazy. First of all the doctors are not Pediatricians and think about the diapers,formula etc.

On one Regent cruise we saw the parents in the pool with their baby in diapers and the innocent little girl pooped. They had to drain the pool and inconvenience the rest of the guests. On another cruise on Crystal we had a couple with a two year old who screamed <terrible two's> in any venue and the parents did not care. We complained and something was addressed to them so things quited down.

On the other hand we have seen well behaved children who were about ten to sixteen. We always go out of our way to compliment the parents. In this day and age it is so refreshing to see polite and behaved children.

Depending on the age of your children and how they behave will also depend on your personal enjoyment of the cruise as well as your fellow cruisers.

gr8lakes
September 20th, 2008, 01:22 PM
We are just off the Oosterdam Alaska from a Deluxe Verandah Suite SB with the huge rear deck. Have sailed Regent a number of times. There is just NO comparison. Yes, the cabin was wonderful, however, twice it was not made up when we returned from dinner because the steward had so many cabins to work.
The Neptune Lounge concierge could not help with dinner reservations which were needed for As You Wish Dining. The new As You Wish Dining system does not work well - there were huge lines at the doors before opening. We ended up transferring to set dining to get a table for 2 and the Maitre D helped us, but said they do not allow the concierges to make dinner rez in the dining room. The concierge also never looked up from her desk or said hello when people entered. We had to literally stand there for minutes while she kept typing and finally call her name to even get her attention. We made our own Pinnacle Grill reservations.
Our main dining steward were excellent - as good as some on Regent or Silversea. The food in the dining room was very good and the waiters even accomodated some special requests. Pinnacle Grill waiters actually were not as good and the food was overcooked both evenings we ate there.
The main problem is that once you leave your cabin, you are with 1800 or more passengers. Trying to get food at the Lido is a real problem. Getting on and off the ship results in huge lines - there were about 400 (really!) people standing in line to disembark this morning - they did not follow the luggage tag codes and it was a mess!
The most annoying part was just being charged for everything (plus 18%). You must pay for bottled water even in the suites. People were furious at having used the one bottle of water sitting on the counter without a bill, and ending up being charged $2.88 for it. On the Hubbard Glacier day it was freezing and sleeting and there were stewards touting "free hot chocolate." Well, in order to get the hot chocolate, you had to buy an $8 mug or you couldn't have any! They actually refused to serve you! That isn't Marriott, it's more like Motel 6. Everywhere you went someone was trying to sell you something or promote one of the ship stores.
HAL had advertised live commentary during the sail in to Hubbard Glacier. There were about 200 people sitting in the Crow's Nest (forward observation lounge) for 4 hours waiting for the commentary. The PA system had broken on the last cruise and was not fixed, therefore, only those people outside in the sleet and ice could hear snippets of the talk. The speaker was on the bridge, not in the lounge like Regent.
There was a group of Australians who had not been to the US or Alaska before. They totally missed any legend, myth or discussion of the glacier or the cultures in Alaska. It was a shame.
Regent just does it better and with class. No more HAL for us.

gr8lakes
September 20th, 2008, 01:28 PM
One more thing about HAL. On the formal nights, there were camoflage hats, bib overalls, cowboy hats, carhartt jackets, sweat pants, sweat shirts, flip flops, you name it in the dining room. No one was turned away.

avalon1025
September 20th, 2008, 11:57 PM
I also found it strange that the concierges in the Neptune could do nothing for you when it came to dinner reservations. Isn't that what you are paying the huge premium over the smaller suite? We hated, hated As You Wish dinning on the Noordam, rushed, noisy and long lines just to get near the doors of the dinning room. We are off on Silversea next and can't wait to get back to a smaller luxury ship.

crusinbanjo
September 22nd, 2008, 04:42 PM
Open dining, 690 people on board, No lines, Much better food, Seat at the pool any time you want, Depending on the ship there are four restaurants for dinner plus room service from the main restaurant, drinks, wine included.

It really is two different experiences.

I have to agree with that statement.

Having said that I have not had a bad cruise on any cruise line, but I have always looked first at the atinerary then the cruise line.

If lots of lines offer similar trips, I'll pick Regent over any other antime. You have to know in advance what to expect from different cruise lines, then go in with an open mind. If you do that, it is always fantastic.

JoAnne B
September 24th, 2008, 04:10 PM
Sailed HAL years ago before I converted to Regent, then again with a group last Feb.....no comparison. Although I was upgraded to a nice cabin, the sofa was so rusted with grime that I refused to sit on it. Cabin service was okay, the food mediocre in quality and taste, dining room service left a lot to be desired, and there seemed to be long lines everywhere. I had fun with the group, but wasn't impressed with much else. On Regent service is sharp for the most part, the food quality much better, and open seating at meals that actually works. On Regent you'll feel more like a guest and less like a walking credit card.

Personally, I avoid cruise ships over the holidays. But if I were to take one, it would definitely be Regent over HAL any day.

JoAnne B
Houston

TedC
September 24th, 2008, 06:11 PM
One more thing about HAL. On the formal nights, there were camoflage hats, bib overalls, cowboy hats, carhartt jackets, sweat pants, sweat shirts, flip flops, you name it in the dining room. No one was turned away.

We've had more than 200 enjoyable days on HAL and NEVER saw anything like that in dining room. What did they wear on casual nights?

You're being facetious, right?

gr8lakes
September 24th, 2008, 07:29 PM
Unfortunately, I was not being facetious. There were two formal nights on our Oosterdam Alaska cruise. We saw the dress I mentioned above over those two nights. It was appalling. We actually asked the matre d' and assistant why they did not enforce the dress code. Both said that they were not allowed to ask people not to enter the dining room. They had to allow whatever was worn in by people and seat those people.
On "smart casual" night it was shorts, t-shirts, flip flops, etc. I wish I were kidding. There were people in shorts in the Pinnacle Grill at dinner.
I know the subject of dress is not a popular one. However, I do believe it reflects on the overall cruise and I have been on other lines where people dressed improperly were asked to eat in the more casual restaurants, in a very nice way. Some people enjoy a very casual atmosphere. We will avoid HAL in the future.

DebbieH103
September 27th, 2008, 09:35 AM
We are going on Voyager on December 18, and they seem to not be doing the kids free on that particular ship, though they will have Club Mariner. I have not sailed on Regent or Silversea when they had a lot of kids, but the few that are on each cruise are as integrated into activities as they want to be. We are both 46 (me for only a few more days), and we never had children, but the few that have come on board don't bother us, except the diaper baby/squakers if not well-tended. We have seen teens enjoy snorkeling and other things, have seen a 7 year old enjoy ballroom dancing, etc., and I am sure you and your children know what they will like. I traveled since I was 7, and my sister and I never expected anything special for us and have many memories.

I would expect Regent to be festive and fun, and I think they will do some Christmasy things for the kids, and such, and the food is so good, it should be a very good family time. If nothing else, it will be something new and very exciting for your family. I would go for it.

Jade13
October 30th, 2008, 03:26 PM
Open dining, 690 people on board, No lines, Much better food, Seat at the pool any time you want, Depending on the ship there are four restaurants for dinner plus room service from the main restaurant, drinks, wine included.

It really is two different experiences.

There are no lines on HAL and always seats at the pool, always. Room service is included.

Jade13
October 30th, 2008, 03:31 PM
Unfortunately, I was not being facetious. There were two formal nights on our Oosterdam Alaska cruise. We saw the dress I mentioned above over those two nights. It was appalling. We actually asked the matre d' and assistant why they did not enforce the dress code. Both said that they were not allowed to ask people not to enter the dining room. They had to allow whatever was worn in by people and seat those people.
On "smart casual" night it was shorts, t-shirts, flip flops, etc. I wish I were kidding. There were people in shorts in the Pinnacle Grill at dinner.
I know the subject of dress is not a popular one. However, I do believe it reflects on the overall cruise and I have been on other lines where people dressed improperly were asked to eat in the more casual restaurants, in a very nice way. Some people enjoy a very casual atmosphere. We will avoid HAL in the future.

It is definatley a reflection of the location and not the cruise line. In Alaska on HAL I brought a gown and was totally overdressed. The last two summers HAL in Europe/Med I did not bring a gown because of limited suitcase/airlines (but brought cocktail length dresses/pantsuits) and I felt a bit under dressed. And btw, we never saw jeans nor one person in shorts on HAL in the Med(I don't remember shorts in Alaska). That is too bad regarding your first experience on HAL but you will see people really dressed in Europe.

Goofyisme
October 30th, 2008, 04:34 PM
Did a Christmas cruise on Regent a couple of years ago and the Mariner Club seemed to do an excellent job of keeping the kids occupied and they seemed to be enjoying themselves. Seemed to be about 20 to 30 kids on the cruise and they all seemed to be having a great time including the CHief Engineer dressing up as Santa and giving out presents on Christmas day.

cusyl
October 30th, 2008, 05:21 PM
We cruised last November on the Regent Navigator. There were a few children onboard, but they had no room of their own or organized activities. Everytime I saw the children they were in the library playing board games.
I believe that all drinks were included, at least the wine that we drank was. We loved being able to take most of our meals in our cabin from the TV dining room menu. Also, a smaller ship and not as many passengers was a plus.
We have sailed on HAL in the veranda suites several times and there is no comparison.

Travelcat2
October 30th, 2008, 05:49 PM
[quote=cusyl;16833288]We cruised last November on the Regent Navigator. There were a few children onboard, but they had no room of their own or organized activities. Everytime I saw the children they were in the library playing board games.

Was your cruise during school vacation? The Navigator can handle children, but, is the least equipped to do so of the three ships. When children play board games in the library, they are right next to the computer room -- both places are typically "quiet" areas to read, etc.

I remain puzzled as to why people go on a luxury cruise ship with almost nothing to do (again, except during school breaks) when they can be on a ship (HAL for instance) with wonderful facilities for both adults and children.:confused:

pvgal
October 31st, 2008, 08:11 PM
I must say that I love kids. Have two grown daughters and four wonderful grandchildren. We have taken the two older granddaughters on two cruises. One Disney, which is the best for kids, and one Carnival which did a terrific cruise for them. I feel that when a parent wants to take children on a Regent cruise, they are only thinking of themselves. There is a time and place for children and Regent is not one of them. If you want to sail with children, then choose a line that has the facilities for them. RCCL is terrific for children. Granted there will be lots of people on those ships, but what is your purpose? A great vacation for you or wonderful memories for your children? Think about it.

RachelG
October 31st, 2008, 08:53 PM
Actually some kids are different--my sons loved quiet times, eating really nice food in nice surroundings, visiting interesting and historical places. They never liked all the loud rambunctious behaviour. They liked (and still enjoy) reading books and being around adults, provided the adults were nice. We have had some great cruises on Regent (and Radisson). But they were taught how to behave appropriately from an early age. Now they are young adults, but they still prefer an excellent meal to one of less quality, and they can tell the difference. They would have tolerated Disney, but they would have hated Carnival.

Travelcat2
October 31st, 2008, 09:58 PM
I have seen children like yours on Regent. In fact, on the last night, we had to go to their table to compliment them. This is a very unusual situation (but, one that I wish were more common). Still, I prefer children not being on cruises when school is in session:)

Wendy The Wanderer
October 31st, 2008, 10:40 PM
I've had almost uniformly great experiences with the few children who have been on cruises with me. Well behaved, friendly, quiet. The exception was our second PG trip, which was over Easter, with about 10 kids, who weren't bad at all, but hogged the tiny pool for the whole week. It just showed how little there was for them to do on board--they just played in the pool, when they weren't off on excursions. But I don't mind having a few kids around, no matter the time of year.

RachelG
November 1st, 2008, 09:52 AM
I agree, Travelcat--you wouldn't have seen mine on a cruise when their school was in session because they would have been in school. Travel is educational, but they need to go to school also. However, some schools have really weird schedules. My oldest son went to one that had a whole week off in fall for teacher conferences and big arts festival thing, so we often went on vacation then--cheaper airfares and less crowds then too.

PaulaJK
November 2nd, 2008, 09:57 AM
Joeohl,
I was in the room category you describe on Oosterdamn for a New Year's cruise about 4 years ago. As another poster noted, the attire and behavior of many of the guests was below expectations. Food was just ok, better in the Pinnacle. Service stretched too thin. Loads of kids, many of them running around unsupervised, shrieking into their walkie talkies.

Regent offers a far more upscale package, in all respects..........although as noted, there will probably be few offerings for your children. If they are in the middle ages, the Mariner's Club,if offered,may keep them partially occupied with games, supervised pool games, treasure hunts,etc.

Some people don't like children on their vacations...most respond positively to nicely behaved kids.