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Everything posted by GirlGoneTexan

  1. Right?! Funny thing is, I get this email a couple hours later, which seems to be a different response: On behalf of Mr. Kruse & Mr. Ashford, we want to thank you for taking the time to email us regarding your concerns of Club Hal and our new High Score! program. We truly appreciate your feedback; knowing your personal experience is important to us and we deeply regret the disappointment and frustration you encountered. At this time, High Score! has replaced Club HAL for guests 7-17 year olds on the Oosterdam. Club HAL still exists for 3-6 year old one the Oosterdam. High Score! is currently planned for deployment across the whole fleet with the roll out schedule yet to be determined. Unleash your competitive spirit at High Score!, our new family game room — currently available on the ms Oosterdam. By day, it’s a secret hideaway for kids and teens, where they can engage in a fast-paced flurry of four-person air hockey or contend for bragging rights in the video arcade. At night, the entire family is welcome to bond over board games, skee-ball, a tilting labyrinth and family activities. High Score! is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for kids and teens ages 7-17, and for the whole family, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. High Score! is a new family game room with a video arcade, Skee-Ball, four-player air hockey, foosball table, board games, tilting labyrinth and more. We acknowledge and appreciate your input regarding our change in programming for children. High Score! is part of a larger plan to make our voyages more enjoyable for families and multigenerational cruisers. This programming offers new activities like dance classes, game nights, nature presentations and cooking classes. There are activities for several age groups – ages 3-6, 7-12 and teenagers – giving kids and the entire family more ways to have fun on board in group settings. High Score! Is intended to cater to the more than 50,000 younger guests sailing each year with Holland America Line. Our goal is to ensure that all guests completely enjoy their time with us and return home eager to sail with us again and we are very sorry if we let you down. Comments and feedback are important to us and are definitely considered in the ongoing evaluation of our product and services. We assure you that we take guest input very seriously, and have forwarded your comments to the appropriate management for their information, benefit, and corrective action as necessary. We thank you for giving us this opportunity to review your concerns, and assisting us in our efforts to meet our goal of consistent excellence. We look forward to welcoming you on board soon. Feedback from our guests is vital in our mission to create once-in-a-lifetime experiences, every time, and we hope to share many more voyages with you. Kind Regards, Tyme Resolution Specialist Office of the President
  2. Sent HAL an email about it, this was their response to me, received this morning: *** Thank you for your recent correspondence with Holland America Line regarding Club HAL. At this time the only ship without Club HAL is the ms Oosterdam which is undergoing a trial program. We try to review no things and feature to find if we can offer an overall better experience for our guests. We appreciate your feedback and will be keep our guests as a whole in mind for our future decisions. Please feel free to contact us if we may be of additional assistance or visit us online. We look forward to welcoming you onboard in the near future! Kind Regards, Joshua
  3. We were also on this cruise. And our group contributed to the kid-count (5 kids in our group), but overall it was a great trip! We did Tamarind twice, and it was EXCELLENT. MDR lines on Deck 2 were super long, but since we were Neptune, we went in the Club Orange priority line and didn't wait at all. BB Kings was fun, but got repetitive with the same songs every other night. Billboard was entertaining, but I thought David Anthony on Amsterdam was much better. Only went to one show, Step One, and it was just OK. Pool was super crowded on sea days, and we did have to move towels left too long in order to get seats. Sea View pool was not full but chairs were. The deck above it had plenty of loungers and breezes, though.
  4. We took our kids (ages 8, 10 at the time) on a 2 week to Alaska on the Amsterdam. As Dulciana8 said above, because there are less kids, the kids definitely get more attention in the kids' club. We had cruised RCL before, and their kids' club was such a chaotic nightmare that my kids refused to go back. They loved the variety of activities and how engaged the counselors were at Club HAL. The counselors took them for ice cream, up on the sport deck for gaga ball and other running around games, and they enjoyed movie nights, skits, and other fun stuff at night. They made several friends that hung out around the ship together sometimes when not in the club. Outside of the club, they enjoyed the pools, nights of room service and a movie, and dressing up for dining. They sat with me at the piano bar one evening, and the performer saw them and started playing a medley of Disney songs for them. I took my son to a comedy show one night, and it was relatively clean (anything that wasn't was subtle enough to be over his head). We watched a show as a family - they enjoyed it. We danced in the Crowe's nest to the band one night. My daughter and I went to a movie one sea day afternoon when it was cold and rainy. They played the life-sized chess one afternoon while adults in the lido watched them with surprise... yes kids can play chess! 🙂 My kids loved their HAL experience. We will be on NA in less than 2 weeks for a Caribbean cruise, so I can report back with more when we return (they are 11 and 13 now, and we're going with my sisters' kids who are 4, 6, and 17). Here's my review of our cruise if that helps...
  5. N Amsterdam - 23-Nov-19 - 7 day Tropical Caribbean Our family (9 adults, 5 kids) will be on this cruise celebrating November birthdays, including a 40th & 50th, and Thanksgiving!
  6. Is the jet skiing something you have to reserve in advance, or do they have options to book activities upon arrival? If the latter, where do you go to rent/book once there?
  7. For our 14 day Alaska cruise, we packed a collapsible dolly in one of our bags. Then upon arrival in Seattle, we took an Uber to Total Wine and picked up a couple cases of wine we had pre-ordered online. We had no issues getting our wine on the boat via the dolly. In fact, everyone was asking us if they'd be invited to the party! 🙂
  8. Ahhh OK. Thank you for the clarification. Do they still have entertainment up there sometimes? Although we enjoyed the quiet evenings chatting with the bartenders & servers, we danced up a storm in there a few times!
  9. We previously sailed on the Amsterdam and spent many evenings in the Crow's Nest Bar. We booked on the Nieuw Amsterdam for Thanksgiving, so I was browsing photos of the ship. Did they turn the Crow's Nest into the Explorations Cafe? Is there no longer a bar up there???
  10. We did a 14day AK cruise on the Amsterdam with our 9 and 11 yr old kids. My kids absolutely loved it. We did have Club HAL, which they loved. But they also made friends with the few kids that were on the ship, and they all hung out at the pool together when not in Club HAL. One child even had an impromptu birthday party at the pool one day and invited all the kids to come celebrate. I would definitely say the lido pool was not crowded. And most of the time, the only people in the pools were the kids!! Since the roof could close, it didn't really matter what the weather was. The kids also participated in the Polar Plunge with the adults, which was fun to watch. I would recommend going on one with a Club HAL to give them more options of things to do. The caregivers were engaged, and the kids loved going. They didn't spend all day there, but would pick and choose different activities on sea days (gaga ball, scavenger hunt, etc). We did RCL Liberty in the past, and it was just too much stimulation for my kids. The crowds and lines were stressful, and the kids' club was always full (where they turned you away). The kids begged to go back on HAL. So we are going on a family cruise at Thanksgiving this year. My sister is bringing her 4 and 7 year olds on their first cruise. I know they will have a blast! I have a trip review somewhere on here from our Alaskan cruise that had a lot of info about the kids' experience on the ship. I think you can click on my name and see my previous posts. But I am happy to answer any specific questions.
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