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#1
10 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
We are a couple in our early 40's. We have cruised on RCCL, Princess and NCL. We have always enjoyed our cruise but we do prefer RCCL. We like good food and service, enjoy listening to music in the lounges and dancing, also like the watching the shows with passengers in them ( like the newleywed game etc. ). Looking into booking the Noordam in Dec 07. What does HAL offer for activites on the ship at sea days? Do the have any deck parties on certain nights? Does anybody have the patters ( Not sure what HAL calls them ) that have the activites listed. Just trying to get an idea of how HAL compares to the other cruise lines. We are not party people but do enjoy staying up till 12 or 1 while on vaction.
#2
5,361 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Originally posted by phil28
We are a couple in our early 40's. We have cruised on RCCL, Princess and NCL. We have always enjoyed our cruise but we do prefer RCCL. We like good food and service, enjoy listening to music in the lounges and dancing, also like the watching the shows with passengers in them ( like the newleywed game etc. ). Looking into booking the Noordam in Dec 07. What does HAL offer for activites on the ship at sea days? Do the have any deck parties on certain nights? Does anybody have the patters ( Not sure what HAL calls them ) that have the activites listed. Just trying to get an idea of how HAL compares to the other cruise lines. We are not party people but do enjoy staying up till 12 or 1 while on vaction.
HAL is very comparable to the other lines, especially Princess. The food and service is great, the lounges have good music, and they are probably the best of the lines for dancing, if you mean ballroom and not hip hop! However HAL is not known for late night action, fun and games with passengers, or deck parties.

Check out Cruiseclues Shiptips for daily schedules from most ships.

Whichever you pick, have a GREAT cruise!
#3
Winter Haven FL
3,332 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
I don't have the specific things you asked about, but I can tell you that, in my opinion, HAL is a bit quieter, a good deal more elegant, more spacious in terms of passenger/space ratio, much more traditional and usually imparts a feeling of quality.

To me, HAL seems less "modern" although its fleet is one of the best in the business. I believe HAL appeals to the "well traveled" who do not want to bear the expense of one of the "small ship, all inclusive" cruise lines.

Hope this helps.
#4
Mysitc, CT
1,366 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Here's the link to the schedule for a ten day Noordam cruise: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showp...90&postcount=8
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#5
Arizona City AZ
743 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
I'm a ret USN Ships Bosn/LDO. On HAL Cruises we like to participate in the Talent Show (The GreatPretenders) . Most HAL ships do this one time each cruise. It is free, at a lot of fun. Only about twenty people are allowed to participate, so VOLUNTEER early. See the senior rec person at Bingo, and they'll hook you up. MARK MY WORDS, it's really fun, and you'll be glad you did it. You don't need any talent.......they provide the script and props. Have fun on your cruise
#6
Tulsa, Oklahoma
583 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
The do the Superstar competition on the zuiderdam instead. You go the first night to Northern Lights and they take like the first 10 to 14 people that sing and they "go to the next round". It's alot of fun to watch because the judges are alot of fun.

I've been on Carnival and Princess and I was a little bored on HAL. There's not alot going on during sea days. One day they did a chipping contest where you try and hit the big bears in the pool with a golf ball. We didn't see the other water games on our 2nd day at sea. Thank goodness we met some great folks on this board and we sat around the pool most of the day talking and sharing buckets of beer. They do have a disco and they have theme nights. Crow's Nest also has some activities, like one night they did line dancing.

Just remember, the average age on our cruise was 70, so they seem to still cater to them a little more than the younger crowd. Bingo was the highlight of the day. The 2 "broadway shows" were pretty lame, we even got up and walked out on the 2nd one.

The service was incredible and the people were the nicest I've had on a cruise, but I'm not sure if I'd sail with HAL again.
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#7
Arkansas
31,098 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by vpoopsy
The do the Superstar competition on the zuiderdam instead. You go the first night to Northern Lights and they take like the first 10 to 14 people that sing and they "go to the next round". It's alot of fun to watch because the judges are alot of fun.

I've been on Carnival and Princess and I was a little bored on HAL. There's not alot going on during sea days. One day they did a chipping contest where you try and hit the big bears in the pool with a golf ball. We didn't see the other water games on our 2nd day at sea. Thank goodness we met some great folks on this board and we sat around the pool most of the day talking and sharing buckets of beer. They do have a disco and they have theme nights. Crow's Nest also has some activities, like one night they did line dancing.

Just remember, the average age on our cruise was 70, so they seem to still cater to them a little more than the younger crowd. Bingo was the highlight of the day. The 2 "broadway shows" were pretty lame, we even got up and walked out on the 2nd one.

The service was incredible and the people were the nicest I've had on a cruise, but I'm not sure if I'd sail with HAL again.
We felt much like you after cruising on the Amsterdam. Will we cruise HAL again, probably cause we did like so much about it, especially the food, but DH particularly got a little bored. Although the average age was about 70, maybe not quite that high, many acted like they were 70 going on 93. NMnita
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#9
Bellingham, WA
550 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
My hubby and I are close in age to you and we took our first HAL cruise (Oosterdam) a few weeks ago. We are like you - we like night life and activities, and we were pleasantly surprised on the Oosterdam. Some of the planned sea day activities we enjoyed were wine tastings, swimming pool games, trivia contests, and the THREE champagne art auctions. In the evenings we enjoyed the 70's disco night and the newlywed game (which we participated in - and lost). We found there was a ton to do but that the ship did quiet down earlier than our first cruise (on Carnival). There were a few times when the band would play on the Lido deck, most notably the night we left Puerto Vallarta when there was a mariachi band *and* a rock band on the Lido (not at the same time!) along with a big poolside BBQ and all-you-can-drink pina coladas.

No, the Oosterdam did not have some of the "wacky" games (like horse racing) that Carnival did; and the crowd was a little older; but we found plenty of folks around our age and also enjoyed hob-nobbing with the "older" crowd when we had the chance, too!

Side note: on our cruise there was a passenger who was (evidently) a choreographer on Dancing with the Stars - he and his wife were AMAZING dancers and always attracted quite a crowd when they were dancing each evening at the Ocean Bar. Made me want to take dance lessons. Sigh.
#10
11,051 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Originally posted by phil28
We are a couple in our early 40's. We have cruised on RCCL, Princess and NCL. We have always enjoyed our cruise but we do prefer RCCL. We like good food and service, enjoy listening to music in the lounges and dancing, also like the watching the shows with passengers in them ( like the newleywed game etc. ).
On a typical HAL cruise ... seven to ten days ... you will surely find things to do around the ship that will easily keep you up until midnight or so. I rarely go to bed before midnight on any voyage, though I'm not a late night partier. There is always music in a lounge ... the piano bar, the Explorer's Lounge, Ocean Bar, etc. There is a show every night in the Queen's Lounge. Some of the ships (the Vistas) have the Northern Lights Disco. Plenty to do, especially if you dine late. Heck, by the time the show is over, it will be after 11:00!

But the difference on HAL is that you will find things more elegant, more understated. You won't find hairy chest contests at the pool, though they will more than likely have a deck party one or two nights during your cruise. They will play games and invite passengers to participate.

The only thing I can suggest is to try HAL and see how you like it. Maybe do a sailing on a Vista ship ... of which the Noordam is one. These are the bigger ships that have more passengers, and thus more night time activities. If worst comes to worse and you find that you don't care for HAL, you can always go back to the lines you are more comfortable with. And if you do like it, then you've availed yourself of the benefit of discovering a whole new cruise line on which to book.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Past Cruises:

HAL Rotterdam - 3/3 to 3/13/04 - Panama Canal Cruise with the Maui Writers' Conference at Sea
HAL Zuiderdam - 8/28 to 9/11/04 - Caribbean b2b (Eastern and Western) "Hurricane Francis Cruise"
Sun Princess - 1/8 to 1/18/05 - Eastern Caribbean "CCers Unite!" Cruise
Island Princess Hawaii Cruise -- 4/19 to 5/4/05 - "Princess Lacka Nookie Nookie's Maiden Race Cruise!"
Celebrity Zenith - "Cruise University" 5-day Western Caribbean -- 12/12 to 12/17/05
HAL Amsterdam 30-day Hawaii/South Pacific Cruise -- 1/6 to 2/5/06 - My "Dream Cruise of a Lifetime"
HAL Amsterdam 13-day Panama Canal Cruise -- 10/17 to 10/30/06 - My "R & R Discovery Cruise!"
HAL Veendam 18-day TransAtlantic Sailing -- 4/1 to 4/19/07 - My "Rita Becomes a Lush" Cruise
Cunard's QE2 6-day "Crossing the Pond" ... Southampton to New York City -- 4/21 to 4/27/07
Carnival Paradise 4-day Mexico Sailing -- 9/15 to 9/19/08 - the "Battlestar Galactica Fans Reunion at Sea or Let's Make Richard Hatch Rich" Cruise
HAL Statendam 35-day Hawaii/South Pacific -- 9/20 to 10/25/08 - "the Absolute Best Cruise of my Life"

Future Cruises:

HAL Zaandam 19-day Hawaii Sailing -- 10/4 to 10/23/09
HAL Rotterdam 33-day Hawaii/South Pacific Sailing -- 3/8 to 4/10/2010
#11
10 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Thanks Navy Chief for the link. The schedule of activites looks good. We are planning to cruise with another couple so at least someone will be our age. (LOL) I did kinda suspect the passengers average age might be older than what we are. As I said we are not late night partiers but do like to have fun. Do not like ballroom dancing or hip hop. Just like good classic dancing music from the 70's and 80's. We were just worried about the ship being to boring on sea days and nights. But from looking at the schedule and the comments from CuriousJ it doesnt seem thats the case. Thanks to all for their help and if anyone has any additional comments please post them.
#12
Durham NC
6,828 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
I have mostly cruised RCI, but have done 2 HAL cruises, both on Noordam, most recently on the 12/16 cruise. The similarities between the 2 lines are much greater than the differences, but IMO, the food and service are slightly better, the lounge music and dancing is much better, the shows are generally geared toward on older audience, and there are not quite as many audience participation type things.

There are plenty of sea day activities, but not as many or as varied as RCI.

On our 11 day cruise, we had one outdoor BBQ, but there were no nighttime deck / sailaway parties.

In general, things are just a bit more subdued; however, I love the ship and will continue to sail her.
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Patrick
About 550 Days at Sea since 1998. Gave Up Cruising for Swimming, Biking and Running...
Completed Marathons: 18 Completed Half Iron Distance Races: 3