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#1
Denver
37 Posts
Joined Sep 2017
We are avid international travelers and only cruise every 5 years or so. This will be our 7th cruise with the last being in 2010. Our prior cruises have been on Carnival, Princess and Celebrity. We wanted something different this time. We ruled out the following mass market lines.

RCI- Just not interested in a floating shopping mall with an internal promenade. We like to see the ocean. (We know there are many loyal fans of RCI and that is good. Just not our thing).

NCL - Strong negative feelings on this one. They introduced alternative dining which (according to many posts on CC) has resulted in deterioration of food quality in the MDR and Lido. A big money maker for them. A reduced cruise experience for many. Probably will never go with this line.

MSC - Strongly considered this line (MSC Divina). From our other travels, we have become fond of a mix of international travelers. Between DW and myself, we speak 4 languages, so no problem. The smoking policy is a bit of a negative for us. However, we may give them a try in the future.

It just came down that the best fit for us seems to be HAL. Seems like it will be a more sedate cruise with time to relax with a drink and a book. Understand it is too relaxed for some but we are very good entertaining ourselves. Looking forward to BB King Lounge (wish more real blues) and Lincoln Center performances. Therefore, we are sailing on the Eurodam from Ft. Lauderdale Jan 28, 2018.

Just a quick note to Flamers who may be offended by my comments. 1. That was not my purpose. 2. Difference of opinion is the last untouched diversity. As the Eagles would say "Get Over It"
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Traveling the Big Blue Marble
#3
13,146 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
We sometimes select HAL for those exact reasons. But we do not have blinders on nor are we so loyal to any one company or cruise line as to believe that all of their product offerings meet our preferences or are similar in quality or experience. This is true for HAL. There are some HAL ships that are on our bucket list. There are others that we would never consider.

No different than our feelings toward any other commercial organization whether it be retail, capital, or service/travel firms.
We feel the same about all cruise lines. We select ship, itinerary, price. We don't take much notice of whats on the funnel
#4
Connecticut
13,721 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
I think HAL and Celebrity have much in common - although I prefer HAL's classic feel and, in my view, somewhat better service. MDR food quality seems to have dropped across the board with the ibtroduction of alternative dining; however, as recently as February we found HAL's to be uniformly good. They have less - we do not cruise for on board shopping, bowling, ice skating, ropes courses, surf riders, etc. -- and find that those who do choose HAL have similar interests/disinterests, and are thus more likely to be compatible.
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Six US Navy ships,
25+ cruises: Orient (1), Holland America (12), Norwegian (6), Carnival (1), Princess (1), Celebrity (3), Cunard (2), Royal Caribbean (1)
#5
Central Maryland
18,896 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
I tend to agree with your feelings with a couple of exceptions. Unfortunately, they may all be gone 7 years from now but you might consider RCI's smaller ships, the Vision and Radiance class. I much prefer them to the floating shopping malls.

You didn't mention Cunard but you should have a good look at it

I sail a lot of cruise lines but my real go-to choices are Crystal and HAL.

Roy
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Currently enjoying:
Grand Alaska Volendam-Denali-Westerdam

Index to active Crystal Roll Calls
Limited View Cabins

Future cruises:


7/18/18 Volendam/Westerdam Alaska >>> 8/10/18 Crystal Symphony Panama Canal
11/10/18 Grandeur of the Seas Southern Caribbean
1/4/19 Prinsendam Grand South America
4/21/19 Nieuw Statendam Transatlantic>>>5/9/19 QV Kiel-Southampton>>5/12/19 QM2 Brugges-Gurernsey-New York
10/18/19 QM2 NY-Southampton>>Bach Rhine>>Serenity Barcelona-Lisbon-Ft. Lauderdale
1/22/20 Crystal Serenity LA-Sydney>>>3/6/20 QM2 Sydney-New York
#6
ohio
911 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
You won't find another line with better service. Very important to us.
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Nordam 2/27/2015




Eurodam oct 09
Celebrity oct 04
#7
USA
1,498 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
Originally posted by navybankerteacher
... I prefer HAL's classic feel and, in my view, somewhat better service. MDR food quality seems to have dropped across the board with the ibtroduction of alternative dining; however, as recently as February we found HAL's to be uniformly good. They have less - we do not cruise for on board shopping, bowling, ice skating, ropes courses, surf riders, etc. -- and find that those who do choose HAL have similar interests/disinterests, and are thus more likely to be compatible.
Originally posted by esimon
You won't find another line with better service. Very important to us.
I agree 100%, PLUS HAL is the only cruise line that has a Roman Catholic priest on every one of its cruises, so we can attend daily Mass (which is very important to us) ...

Smooth sailing +++
#8
Oklahoma City
8,827 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by avian777
I agree 100%, PLUS HAL is the only cruise line that has a Roman Catholic priest on every one of its cruises, so we can attend daily Mass (which is very important to us) ...

Smooth sailing +++
Same here - Priest plus great service are the main reasons we sail HAL.
#9
85,725 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Originally posted by avian777
I agree 100%, PLUS HAL is the only cruise line that has a Roman Catholic priest on every one of its cruises, so we can attend daily Mass (which is very important to us) ...

Smooth sailing +++

My DH and I have always been claear, we sail HAL ships for the people. We have always admired and apprecfted HAL crews. all through the years, we felt like we were coming home eacht time we crossed anogther gangway at embarkation,,. All the cruise lines have good crews, , I suppose but I've never run across the wondderufl stewards, supervisors,bartenders, and officers such as on HAL. JMO To me, HAL has a gracious feel ab out their product.
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#10
NJ
2,149 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
We tryed HAL once but it wasn't for us we were younger and more into being entertained. That said we are now 50 & 52 so I can see us trying HAL again in the future. When we tryed before it was just to sedate for us, this was around 10 yrs ago. Now days relaxed is a lot nicer 😉

Sent from my SM-J700T1 using Forums mobile app
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#11
13,146 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
HAL certainly have great staff and service.

But this is no consolation whatsoever if you happen to have the bad fortune to be cruising on a ship with poor or deferred maintenance and in a cabin with AC or plumbing/flooding issues. Same if you are like me, very much allergic to mould, and spend your cruise fighting this allergy.
#12
113,034 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Eurodam -- great ship for trying HAL.


Do try the Silk Den for cocktails and the Tamarind Restaurant for Pan Asian food.
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Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.
#13
Connecticut
13,721 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by toxicfairy
We tryed HAL once but it wasn't for us we were younger and more into being entertained. That said we are now 50 & 52 so I can see us trying HAL again in the future. When we tryed before it was just to sedate for us, this was around 10 yrs ago. Now days relaxed is a lot nicer 😉

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Now that you feel more "grown up" , you might appreciate HAL more. One other factor- while you are more into relaxing and enjoying good service and reasonably good food, you will find that lines like Royal Caribbean and NCL have become more frenetic - sort of going in the other direction.
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Six US Navy ships,
25+ cruises: Orient (1), Holland America (12), Norwegian (6), Carnival (1), Princess (1), Celebrity (3), Cunard (2), Royal Caribbean (1)
#14
USA
1,498 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
Originally posted by sail7seas
My DH and I have always been claear, we sail HAL ships for the people. We have always admired and apprecfted HAL crews. all through the years, we felt like we were coming home eacht time we crossed anogther gangway at embarkation,,. All the cruise lines have good crews, , I suppose but I've never run across the wondderufl stewards, supervisors,bartenders, and officers such as on HAL. JMO To me, HAL has a gracious feel ab out their product.
Agree 100%!!!
#15
Saskatoon, Canada
7,439 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Originally posted by e3g
Therefore, we are sailing on the Eurodam from Ft. Lauderdale Jan 28, 2018.
We'll be on the same sailing - having tried Carnival and Princess, we found Holland America to be a great fit for us.


Originally posted by toxicfairy
We tryed HAL once but it wasn't for us we were younger and more into being entertained. That said we are now 50 & 52 so I can see us trying HAL again in the future. When we tryed before it was just to sedate for us, this was around 10 yrs ago. Now days relaxed is a lot nicer
Our son and daughter-in-law (early 30's) had 2 Holland America cruises under their belts when they decided to go on a Carnival cruise. While they enjoyed the ports, they said never again - they much preferred the passengers and crew of HAL ships and look forward to a time when they can bring their little boy on his first HAL cruise.


Smooth Sailing!
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Cruising takes me to places where memories begin.

#16
Oregon
215 Posts
Joined Oct 2016
Speaking for myself only, I will never cruise the big floating shopping malls/amusement parks. I don't care what their itinerary is, I don't care how cheap the fare is, I cruise to relax and just don't find crowds of loud people (kids and adults) rushing from one activity to another to make sure they "do everything" relaxing.


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#17
San Diego, CA
6,744 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
We are coming back to HAL after 20 years of cruising other lines. Looking forward to our experience on Oosterdam in 2 weeks.
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Otherwise known as 'Don Quique'..
#19
Victoria Harbour, ON
3,618 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
We're also long time HAL cruisers. Having tried 4-5 others we keep coming back to HAL because to us that is what traditional cruising looks & feels like.
Allan
#20
Honolulu
422 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
1. HAL crew is wonderful
2. Full teak/fake teak prom deck with deck chairs (now being slowly eliminated)
3. Big library with good selection of books and comfy chairs (now being eliminated)
4. Smaller ships that feel like ships and not floating malls. ( in jeopardy)
5. Good itineraries.

So three of my top five reasons to cruise HAL are in danger of disappearing....but then again i may live long enough to still cruise on the older HAL ships before the newer ones morph into just another big ship.