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  1. Unfortunately, no. At least none that I saw. You would need to take the shuttle bus to terminal 1 and there will be plenty of taxis at that terminal. We live in Montreal so we had family come and pick us up directly at terminal 3. They said they had a hard time passing security to get into the terminal from the street but other than that, they picked us up right outside the terminal doors.
  2. LOL. We asked ourselves the same question!! In ever checked my in laws stateroom, which was right next door, to see if their buttons did anything...
  3. We were on the May 11th sailing from Boston Montreal. Both my in-laws are unable to walk for more than 10 minutes without having to find a place to rest (my father in law tends to lose his balance all the time (he had a brain tumour removed about 5 years) and my mother in law had severe arthritis in her 2 knees). Rather than have them stay on-board since they have never been to Sydney, we rented them both electric scooters. There was a great place right on the pier that is owned by a lovely women and her 2 kids.
  4. Enjoy your cruise! Hopefully it will be much warmer than it was last week. It actually snowed in Charlottetown, PEI the night before we arrived....
  5. Just off the Zaandam. We made it to Montreal but we had to dock at terminal 3 instead of Terminal 1. HAL provided shuttle busses to bring people to terminal 1 to meet up for shore excursions and the shuttles to the airport. Captain Smit was amazing in manoeuvring the ship to pass under the bridge at Trois-Rivieres. The Captain needed 5 feet to clear the ship and it passed under the bridge with exactly 5 feet of clearance. We received a letter on Wednesday letting us know of the terminal change and HAL provided passengers with free wifi for 24 hours for anyone who booked « independent disembarkation » to allow people the opportunity to adjust their travel arrangements. Terminal 3 is about 2 miles from terminal 1.
  6. We rented a fridge ahead of time for our trip on the Zaandam next Saturday (ocean view cabin). It costs $2/day to rent. We called ahead to ship services to make the reservation. On the Veendam last year, we had the same overview cabin and did not know there wasn’t a fridge until we got to our stateroom. I went directly to guest services to rent one.
  7. For anyone sailing on the May 11th trip from Boston, I spoke with HAL about this on Friday and they said everything is still status quo for now. I live in Montreal in the flood zone and the water has gone down for the time being. However, the snow is still melting up north which is sending the water down to us. We are still in high alert mode in Montreal but crossing our fingers the water will go down by the time we reach Quebec City on May 17th.
  8. Boarding on the Zaandam in 2 weeks!!! Any idea who the cruise director is? And the Dining Room Manager? We had Hadi Abraham as our Dining Room Manager for many years and he was wonderful! I’m wondering if we will run into him again...
  9. I’m sorry but this was truly an inappropriate comment to make on a board. Have your parents never taught you that “if you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all”?? The subject of the thread is clearly marked that it is about Club HAL and therefore related to kids and cruising with HAL so if you don’t like kids, then as others have mentioned before, there are adult only cruise lines out there for you. If you can’t afford those cruise lines and want to stick with HAL, then please keep your anti-kids comments to yourself! We have been sailing HAL since 2006, even before we had kids. My 8 year old son has done more than 130 days at sea with HAL. Although, yes, there can be some rowdy kids on-board and some parents who chose to let their kids run around, cruising is still a vacation for all ages! We’ve used club HAL on several occasions but there have been cruises where my son simply wanted to stay with us the whole time and we had great experiences every time. I think if HAL advises their passengers that the EXC voyages will not have Club HAL open during that voyage, then it is acceptable. At least then, parents can make a choice to either continue with the same trip or chose another voyage where Club HAL would be open.
  10. I would say to give yourself at least 1.5 hours.
  11. Still hoping someone can post the Pinnacle lunch menu......
  12. Not sure about the Volendam but we took the Veendam last time and there were still DVD players in the stateroom. You were able to rent dvds from the front desk. The rental is free.
  13. Unfortunately we haven’t sailed on the NS yet as we are only set to sail on her next winter. However, we’ve done 7 cruises on the NA, although a bit smaller in terms of size of ship and passenger capacity, we found that we never had issues with crowds or lines. Boarding time is always the hardest but we tend to come very early to board the ship to avoid the “peak times” when most people are trying to board. In my experience, the staff tends to be flexible when it comes to families with kids boarding and we have always been able to board in a short period of time. The terminal where you wait is fairly large so there is plenty of space for him to “get away and find some quiet space” if necessary. We bring my son’s noise blocking “headphones” with us to help keep the noise to a minimum for him in crowds. There have never been line ups at the Lido that caused my son to have a meltdown. The hardest part was waiting to board the tenders at certain ports like Grand Cayman or Half Moon Cay. I always asked the night before these ports what the best time was to wait for the tenders so that the line wasn’t so long and they were able to give me a “window” on when we should go and it’s worked for us the last 7 years 🙂 We’ve always taken “open seating” for dinner as my son tends to have meltdowns when he feels rushed or overwhelmed so we like the flexibility of being able to dine when we want. My suggestion is to always call ahead and make sure there is a table available when you go so that you don’t have to wait. When you board on the 1st day, try to see the Dinning room Manager and explain that your son cannot wait in crowded places nor in long lines. You will be surprised how flexible they will be with your family. I hope this helps! You and your son will have great cruise with HAL! Enjoy!
  14. Club HAL is always open, even when my son was the only child on-board. Out of courtesy to the staff, we would always give them advance notice if my son wasn’t going to the club that day. The staff were allowed to go out in port or even take a well deserved break the days he wasn’t in the club. When we knew we were going to a port where we would be doing a lot of walking or sightseeing, we sometimes would leave him for the day at the Club as he was still young and really didn’t have an interest in sightseeing. He loved that he could stay on-board and play games and do art. You do have to leave a cellphone number where they can call you if there is an emergency but it made the trip that much better for all of us. My husband and I didn’t need to worry that he was bored or unhappy walking in port with us and we had the piece of mind that he was safe and happy on-board with the staff. Enjoy your cruise!
  15. My now 8 year old son has been cruising every year (sometimes twice a year) on HAL since he was 6 months old. He actually just received his bronze medallion last year for having sailed more than 100 days with HAL. He is an only child and is autistic with ADHD. He doesn’t like large groups of kids as he feels out of place and he feels stressed with loud noises. The reason we love HAL is because there are less kids on board versus other cruise lines. We’ve done Celebrity and Norwegian with him but he didn’t like the fact that there were so many children in the club all the time. He loves HAL because the groups are small so he gets more attention from the staff and the activities are more “personal” since they get a lot of 1:1 time with the staff. There have been at least 3 cruises where he has been the only child on-board. Those times he loved being able to have free reign of the games he would play with the staff. It was so hard to pull him away when it was time for lunch or dinner as he wanted to spend the whole day at the club. There are plenty of activities for kids of all ages. Toys and board games along with art projects for younger kids and they have movies and gaming consoles like a WII on-board for the older kids to use. Although there are no fancy activities like rock climbing or ice skating or water slides, I find there is still a lot to do at the club. Hope this helps!
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