Considering HAL Cruise... need input

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#1
160 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
My wife and I are considering booking a HAL Cruise... taking second Princess cruise soon...Princess seemed like a good fit but HAL has an appeal.

What are the advantages of HAL over Princess?

Look forward to replies.

Thanks.

G-Mark
#2
Alberta
20,419 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I think HAL and Princess are a lot alike. There are some things I like on Hal some things I like better on Princess. If I could put the 2 together it would be the perfect cruise line IMO.
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Elite on princess

cruzchic1 at hotmail dot com
#3
Massachusetts, USA
1,794 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
I think there are some major differences.

First off, most staterooms, head to head, are bigger on HAL than on Princess, especially on the older, smaller ships.

Second, if you get a balcony stateroom (called a Veranda Suite) on HAL, you will get a bathtub. There might also be bathtubs in oceanview rooms, but I am not positive.

Secondly, you will get a small sofa in your room on HAL, not so on Princess unless you have a minisuite.

The service on HAL can be superb. It is always very good.

HAL's perks for repeat customers are not as good as those on Princess. On Princess, if you are platinum captain's circle member you get free internet (less now than previously - it is no longer unlimited) which can be worth considerable money. Elite captain's circle members get great perks - a liquor setup and platinum level free internet. There are other perks, too, like an invitation to a Captain's VIP party. If you check the Princess website, they list them.

Princess perks for booking while on board are more generous than HAL's. HAL has just started accepting bookings for $100 deposit per person while on board, matching that of Princess, but the onboard credits are more generous on Princess.

If you are in a full suite on Princess, you get a two room suite. On the Sun Class ships (the Sun, the Dawn and the Sea) even the mini-suites are two rooms. On HAL, a suite is one large room with a small dressing room. However, HAL has a concierge and concierge lounge for suite passengers, a lovely perk.

I think the gyms are comparable.

HAL has one show lounge. Princess has a show lounge and a theater which has shows. HAL has entertainment in many small lounges. Princess usually has entertainment in one small lounge.

I think the food is better in HAL's Lido restaurants than in Princess' Horizon Court. HAL has ice cream every day for lunch and they serve bread pudding at lunch which is to die for. The food in the dining rooms is comparable.

Princess does not have a sommelier. They did away with them prior to 2000. HAL does have wine stewards, but by and large they are glorified bartenders.

Princess has pool games. I haven't noticed any on HAL.

We like both cruise lines and usually have a cruise booked on one or the other or both.


If you have specific questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Roberta
#4
Andover, MN
2,443 Posts
Joined May 2007
I have to agree with "Charliesmom". HAL has some very definate advantages.
I had expected the same level of service as we had on HAL, but that wasn't the case. If we had taken our first cruise on Princess, everything would have been fine. After being spoiled on HAL, I don't know that anything can compare. Plus, the food on Hal seemed much better. Seemed like our cruise on Princess was more of a self-serve type of thing.
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Deb & Steve
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#5
Warwick, R.I. , USA
38,988 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Originally posted by Charliesmom
There might also be bathtubs in oceanview rooms, but I am not positive.
Yes, with very few exceptions all outside cabins have a tub.
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CCASE/LSSE

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#6
Alberta
20,419 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Northshorecruisers
I have to agree with "Charliesmom". HAL has some very definate advantages.
I had expected the same level of service as we had on HAL, but that wasn't the case. If we had taken our first cruise on Princess, everything would have been fine. After being spoiled on HAL, I don't know that anything can compare. Plus, the food on Hal seemed much better. Seemed like our cruise on Princess was more of a self-serve type of thing.
It's funny how people perceive things differently. I was a die hard HAL lover up until 2006. I've tried other lines and I just didn't like them. People love Celebrity and I didn't really care for it. I tried my first cruise with Princess in 2006 and expected not to like it. I was very surprised to find I really enjoyed it. I think Princess and HAL are pretty neck and neck with me.
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Elite on princess

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#7
utah
834 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
I pretty much agree with Charliesmom as well. HAL food, service and staterooms are outstanding.

I would add that Princess takes the advantage in the night life category. Pretty much HAL shuts down after 10 pm. There are a few things that are "lively", but not much. Didnt bother me too much but my college age kids were a tad bored.
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Karen D.

Past cruises:HAL, NCL, Princess, RCCL, Disney, Carnival

#8
Lincoln CA USA, 95648
12,739 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
I think Charliesmom pretty well summarizes the differences between Princess and HAL.

I do think Princess has an edge in variety of itineraries.

We like both lines, but have recently become very smitten with Oceania Cruise Lines.
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Michael
#9
871 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Count one vote for someone who WANTS the ship to go to bed around 10:00 PM. Might make it easier to sleep . So, HAL continues to sound like the right choice for us. We'll find out in a few months.