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About HALrunner

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  1. HALrunner

    Is Club HAL always this anemic?

    I'm surprised about this. That is a lot of kids and not enough counselors. Your recent experience, and the OP's, makes me wonder if Club HAL is one of the newest victims of cutbacks? Fingers crossed this is not the case! We were on the NS in December for the crossing. Seventeen kids were on board (including teens) and there were three counselors. The kids & tween programs were combine, which is not unusual for sailings with few children, but they tailored activities to all ages.
  2. HALrunner

    Is Club HAL always this anemic?

    I'm sorry you are running into this on your trip. Club HAL is a usually fantastic program- your kids are missing out on a lot of fun! We primarily only cruise when school is in session and on long cruises. There have been some sailings in which our kids are the only ones onboard. We have never been on a sailing where there is only one Club HAL counselor. I'm guessing something came up last minute with the other Club HAL counselor- broken contract or illness, perhaps. On sea days they should be open 9-11:30am, 1-4pm & 7-11pm. On one cruise, the counselors crossed off the closing time of 11pm and changed it to 10pm. We called them on it and they made up a bogus reason for the change. At the next port we contacted our TA, who contacted Seattle (HAL HQ). The next day we received an apology from the staff and the the normal hours resumed. Club HAL staff are part of the entertainment department. I wouldn't bother talking to the front desk, but reaching out to the entertainment director to share your concerns. If you get nowhere, perhaps you could try contacting your TA/Seattle. p.s. Our kids are 4 star mariners and absolutely love HAL above all other lines. The comment that HAL is not really for kids is an urban myth that gets brought up on nearly every kid related thread on this board- but rarely (perhaps, never?) by someone who has actually brought kids on HAL!
  3. HALrunner

    Found: Nice uncrowded, quiet beach

    Please report back!
  4. HALrunner

    How Much for children at the Boatyard

    I'm curious to know what you found out! Please report back:)
  5. HALrunner

    Pier Sixty-Six Hotel or similar

    Thanks to all for the tips and advice! I will check out the other properties that you suggested. Happy Travels:)
  6. A few years ago we stayed at what was the Hyatt Regency Pier 66 and really enjoyed it. I see it has been sold/rebranded and is no longer a Hyatt property. If you have stayed since the change, can you please tell me if they still have the yard games (giant chess, cornhole, etc)? Or can someone recommend another resort style property? We will be staying for a few days post cruise and do not necessarily need to be so close the the port. Thanks
  7. HALrunner

    Anyone who has rented a Cabana

    Every day they place two large (1 liter, I think) bottles of water in your ice bucket. You can use them in the cabana or take them back to your room. The cabana attendant will also get you any other drink you might want (ice water, lemonade, tea, bar drinks, etc).
  8. HALrunner

    Club Hal — what if there aren’t many kids?

    We typically cruise when there are only a few kids onboard, including (and sometimes only) ours. We have found the staff is typically very flexible and accommodating in this case. Sometimes they offer to take the kids to the evening shows or other events happening around the ship. The only caution is on some sailings, such as Maasdam EXC voyages and the Prinsendam they are eliminating Club HAL- so confirm before your book!
  9. Thanks so much for your detailed review! We will be boarding the Rotterdam this Sunday with our two kids, so this is very helpful. I hope we cross paths with you on a dam ship someday as your "traveling with kids" philosophy matches ours! In January our 8 year old earned his 4th mariner star:)
  10. HALrunner

    Rotterdam inspection

    Thanks so much Homosassa!
  11. HALrunner

    Rotterdam inspection

    If true, what would the implications be for a cruise that departs this Sunday?
  12. HALrunner

    Zeebrugge and Brugges

    We spent some time in Bruges many years ago and agree it is a lovely city! Just in case we decide to skip it on our upcoming cruise (d/t a crazy itinerary for the rest of the trip), can anyone comment if there is something low key near Zeebrugge worth seeing/doing? If not, do I gather from this thread that a prearranged taxi is the least hassle method of getting between Zeebrugge and Bruges for a group of four.
  13. Thanks so much for your detailed review! It sounds like you were incredibly patient with the plumbing and noise issues in your cabin! Sorry you had to endure both of those on your vacation. Did I read correctly that the suites on the Rotterdam do have the interactive flat screens but the lower cabin categories do not? We are more library people than TV people so, at any rate, we are happy to hear the library still is well stocked!