Glad we did not go this year

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#1
Beautiful Gulf Coast Fl
481 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Our friends just call us as soon as they got off the Volendam ship this am.
Remember they are a young 62 & 65. They loved HAL until this cruise.
we are so glad we did not go with them this year. We are a young 41 & 53.
They had a horrible time. The ship had a sewage problems when they left the dock in Ft. Lauderdale and cont. for a few days. It was like a ghost ship they said. No activities-- They have done 17 cruises with HAL and this is their last.
They now know how we felt when we went 2 years ago for 2 weeks on the Noordam. We were the youngest on the ship NO LIE.
She said this is not the HAL they knew in the past. At the dinner table, they were the youngest.
They were more upset because of the sewage problem .. Not as friendly either.
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#2
81,751 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Sorry to hear they were not pleased with their cruise.

But I think one thing is evident from their comments.....
It is hit or miss what age demographic will be on any ship, any cruise at any time.

We were on the 12 day Veendam cruise when one would usually expect to see an older crowd as a number of younger families do not have the time/money for a lengthy cruise.

We had a very large number of 30 something, 40 and 50 something year olds in addition to more senior. There were few children as our cruise was immediately after Christmas vacation and the kids were back at school.

Your friends were on a shorter cruise when one would usually expect a younger crowd....and they found a more senior demographic. Goes to show.....you can never predict.

We are in our fifties and found MANY folks our age aboard.
Not that it makes much of a difference to us what the age is.....To us it is how they act that matter.
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#3
Northern California
7,062 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
So sorry to hear that your friends were disappointed on this cruise.

Age demographics vary on HAL ships but generally I would guess that the crowd is older during the winter Caribe cruises because all those lucky snowbirds get to migrate south, and the retirees in Florida also enjoy the reduced fares from local ports for a quick and easy vacation. I hope to be old enough someday to join them!
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#4
Texas
14,199 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
I'm also sorry they did not enjoy their cruise. As S7S notes, age is more in the way one acts than simply their chronology. On our Prinsendam cruise last fall we (59 and 60) were also the youngest at our table. But we had the most delightful companions whom we enjoyed very much. We also had a few days where there was sporadic stoppage of the vacuum system. But it by no means "ruined" our cruise. I do know that sometimes things just hit me wrong. What would normally not bother me much just runs all over me for some reason or another. Maybe this was the case with your friends. They have apparently had good experiences with HAL before, so I hope they will look at this as a fluke and give another ship another shot at another time. Things just might be completely opposite.
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#5
Nutley NJ 07110
467 Posts
Joined May 2000
I love having an "older" crowd. There are always plenty of good seats in the Crows Nest at night. The servers aren't rushed, you can chat with them. There is plenty of room on the dance floor. I find these to all be a plus.
The only time demographics concern me is during the Holiday/Spring Break/Summer vacation periods. These I try to avoid.
#6
656 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
No Casino? No Entertainment? No Excursions? No Movies? No Pool/Spa? No just enjoying each other on a beautiful ship?

I have just never had to have other people to have a great time--I'll cruise anytime. Hopefully, no sewer problems!
#7
Seattle, WA
1,773 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by divadiverfl
Our friends just call us as soon as they got off the Volendam ship this am.
Remember they are a young 62 & 65. They loved HAL until this cruise.
we are so glad we did not go with them this year. We are a young 41 & 53.
They had a horrible time. The ship had a sewage problems when they left the dock in Ft. Lauderdale and cont. for a few days. It was like a ghost ship they said. No activities-- They have done 17 cruises with HAL and this is their last.
They now know how we felt when we went 2 years ago for 2 weeks on the Noordam. We were the youngest on the ship NO LIE.
She said this is not the HAL they knew in the past. At the dinner table, they were the youngest.
They were more upset because of the sewage problem .. Not as friendly either.
Didn't someone just come back from the Volendam with glowing reports!?
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#8
106,587 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
I certainly hope that they get the sewer problems fixed by the time we get on the ship on Feb 28.

What deck did your friends notice the problems?

We are in our 60's.

And we can find things to do - trivia - pool - shore excursions - etc. We have yet to be bored on a cruise.
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#9
375 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Originally posted by JohnR49er
I love having an "older" crowd. There are always plenty of good seats in the Crows Nest at night. The servers aren't rushed, you can chat with them. There is plenty of room on the dance floor. I find these to all be a plus.
The only time demographics concern me is during the Holiday/Spring Break/Summer vacation periods. These I try to avoid.
So you avoid certain groups of people based on their age. Obviously more kids and younger adults travel Holiday/Spring Break/Summer vacation periods?

"Older" is also relative, to a 60 year old, a person of 70 is a contemporary, but to a 45 year old a person of 70 is an elder. Yet to a 30 year old, a person of 45 is "old".

But I'm glad your open about your concern for the demographics on board a cruise ship. Some merely complain about other's ageism without relecting upon their own preferences. or is it prejudices?
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#10
Point of Rocks, MD
9,521 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by shipcafe
Didn't someone just come back from the Volendam with glowing reports!?
Check here

Just goers to show once again how some people let a single incident color their entire cruise while otherws prefer to dwell on the positive side.

Now I'm quite ready to believe that the OP's friends feel they had an awful cruise. But if I'd done something 16 times and enjoyed each time, then had one bad expertience, I'd think of the bad one as the anomoly, not the 16 good ones!
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- dave
#11
Massachusetts
4,548 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
I am also sorry your friends didn't have a good time on the Volendam. I sailed her 2 years ago and absolutely loved her. We are booked on her again for this March and I am looking forward do it. I treat age like what it is, just a number. Some people are old at 25 and others are still young at 92, just depends.

Just remember, the longer the cruise, usually, the older the passengers will be onboard, can happen on any cruise line, not just HAL.
#12
Orlando, FL, USA
3,122 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
As my mother used to say... another birthday, another year older, but consider the alternative!! I'll take those years, thank you very much!

I transcribe medical records for a living and always get completely tickled by the fact that "middle aged" is completely dependent upon the age of the physician dictating the report. To a 70 year old doctor, a 50 year is middle aged; to a 35 year old doctor, the same patient is elderly. Of course, I love the southern gentleman doctor who calls ALL his female patients, regardless of age, "this charming young lady" - gotta love him!

TinaLee
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#13
Seattle, WA
305 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
I can understand being upset about plumbing problems. What I can't understand is the idea that enjoyment of a cruise would be diminished by the presence of elderly passengers. It really seems that there's an inherent prejudice against older people and an unquestioning prefence for youth. I'm 42 and I can only hope that these sorts of attitudes will change by the time I reach retirement age. Imaging someone saying, "We didn't enjoy our trip because there weren't enought (fill in the blank ethnicity/ race) onboard the ship." Is there a difference between age and race prejudice????
#14
palm city, fl usa
1,845 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
I've sailed the Volendam twice and have booked again for October. Aside from the sewage problem (which is understandably upsetting), why did your friends say there is nothing to do? They say the first few days there was nothing to do. Is that because the sewage problem stopped all activities? There's lots to do on the Volendam, and I was really surprised to hear that. The casino is always going, there are shows, and then there is the hilarious "Sea Quest" audience participation game put on by the CD staff. There's Bingo, art auctions, and piano bars. Of course there are shore excursions too. I am truly puzzeled. One of the best shows we've ever seen on a cruise was on the Volendam. All this, and many of the folks on board were "older" and having a blast. Curious, huh? I look forward to sailing the Volendam again.....must admit, though....I sure hope the sewage problem is solved!
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KATY

NCL NORWAY - 2000
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#15
2,311 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
On a long cruise, where the Cruise Director has Q&A sessions with the ship's officers, the Engineer brought us samples of what had caused plumbing problems. Well, he brought clean versions. As there had been several problem days in some areas of the ship, he could tell us for each one what had caused the problem. Washclothes came in first. There was also a hand towel, various inappropriate (for flushing) sanitary items as well as waded, non TP types of papers. Oh yes, there was also underwear.

Some probably fell off of the towel racks, but some had to have been dumped there. The vacumn is such that they leave the toilet, but then clog in the pipes were they cannot fit. As I recall, while there was one mechanical problem, but all of the rest were caused by passengers carelessness.

He then explained how they have to track down where the clog actually is. That is not an easy task. Depending on where the clog is and the length of the involved pipe(s), it may take minutes, hours, or apparently days.

So, while there certainly can be mechanical breakdowns, most plumbing problems are caused by passengers who are careless or at least do not look before shutting the top and pushing the magic plunger.

NO I AM NOT DEFENDING HAL, just reminding us of something we probably already know, and asking folks to be CAREFULL what goes into the toilet onboard ship. Do whatever you want at home.
#16
Las Vegas, NV
3,729 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
The above post reminds me of a sign I saw in the head on an excursion boat up in Alaska -it said something like this:

If it didn't come out of your body or off the roll of paper in this bathroom, DON'T flush it in the toilet!

I wish HAL would use straightforward language like that in all the public and private bathrooms. It wouldn't stop accidents but, hopefully it would get the point across to those challenged by subtle warnings.
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#17
Nutley NJ 07110
467 Posts
Joined May 2000
Yes I do avoid certain times based on the demographics. I think that would be a preference on my part.
A prejudice would be if I stated that they shouldn't allow large groups of Teachers, students and Club Hal members onboard. They have every right to cruise when they like. Since many seem to choose the same time frame, I prefer to go at other times.

I have reflected on this, believe me.
Wish the plumbing problems could be as predictable.
#18
South of Denver
183 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Originally posted by JohnR49er
I love having an "older" crowd. There are always plenty of good seats in the Crows Nest at night. The servers aren't rushed, you can chat with them. There is plenty of room on the dance floor. I find these to all be a plus.
The only time demographics concern me is during the Holiday/Spring Break/Summer vacation periods. These I try to avoid.
That is the way I will try to look at it too. I am 40 something how about you?

On small sloops that I sail no TP allowed down the head, separate basket.

Do they use marine TP in the big cruisers? Just curious.
#19
Texas
14,199 Posts
Joined Mar 2002
Originally posted by wander
So, while there certainly can be mechanical breakdowns, most plumbing problems are caused by passengers who are careless or at least do not look before shutting the top and pushing the magic plunger.
Bingo!
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Jim
#20
Saranac, MI USA
2,169 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
our favorite table mates in 5 cruises now were a couple, 2 cruises ago. who were 90 and 91 and full of life.. an absolute delight..(we and the couple who travel with us are all mid 50s)

age is SO relative.. know some at 45 who are old farts.. not these 2...

and as for activity.. we play trivia, mad gab, scattergories, all those games thruout the day and always meet a great group of people looking to have fun..

not discounting op's experience.. and who needs plumbing issues... but give it another try.. try posting on roll call as well before sailing.. we had a group of 16 we met up with on Volendam last Nov who we had become acquainted with precruise thru the roll call.. had a ball with them and they are meeting for a mystery weekend reunion mid march in ohio.. if not for scheduled knee surgery we'd be there with them..*S*