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  #1  
Old September 18th, 2008, 07:24 PM
joeohl joeohl is offline
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Default Holland America Deluxe Verendah vs Regent and Alcohol Policy

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?
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  #2  
Old September 18th, 2008, 08:15 PM
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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.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 08:21 PM
BILLP1 BILLP1 is offline
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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.
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  #4  
Old September 18th, 2008, 09:34 PM
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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.

Last edited by Travelcat2; September 18th, 2008 at 09:35 PM.
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  #5  
Old September 18th, 2008, 10:12 PM
joeohl joeohl is offline
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Default travel cat 2 question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelcat2 View Post
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.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 10:41 PM
AirGorilla AirGorilla is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeohl View Post
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.
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  #7  
Old September 19th, 2008, 12:44 AM
avalon1025 avalon1025 is offline
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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.
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  #8  
Old September 19th, 2008, 07:30 AM
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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.
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  #9  
Old September 19th, 2008, 10:54 AM
lborne lborne is offline
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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.
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  #10  
Old September 19th, 2008, 12:06 PM
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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.
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  #11  
Old September 19th, 2008, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeohl View Post
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"

Last edited by Travelcat2; September 19th, 2008 at 02:09 PM.
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  #12  
Old September 19th, 2008, 04:22 PM
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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.
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  #13  
Old September 19th, 2008, 05:38 PM
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Default HAL v Regent

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.
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  #14  
Old September 20th, 2008, 11:50 AM
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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. 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.
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Old September 20th, 2008, 01:22 PM
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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.
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Old September 20th, 2008, 01:28 PM
gr8lakes gr8lakes is offline
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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.
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Old September 20th, 2008, 11:57 PM
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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.
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Old September 22nd, 2008, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BILLP1 View Post
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.
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Old September 24th, 2008, 04:10 PM
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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.

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Old September 24th, 2008, 06:11 PM
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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?
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