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What to do on HAL cruises on cruise days?


dlanesman
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I've only cruised on with Carnival, however, I would like to try a different line. I've found a cruise I really like on the Westerdam in April. I've heard that Holland is a really laid back cruise line-- which is fine. But I do like activities on "Days at Sea" days. What are some of the activities available on those days? I'm in my 50's so I'm not looking for rock climbing activities, but fun stuff for someone that is active. (and no, I don't care for Carnival's hairy chest competitions on the Lido deck!) Can someone help me "get to know" Holland?

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I would suggest that you go to HALFACTS.COM and look at some of the "On Location" (the daily schedule) that are posted. They are on the General Info page.

 

There are things going on but your definition of "fun and active" may not match HAL's.

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I've only cruised on with Carnival, however, I would like to try a different line. I've found a cruise I really like on the Westerdam in April. I've heard that Holland is a really laid back cruise line-- which is fine. But I do like activities on "Days at Sea" days. What are some of the activities available on those days? I'm in my 50's so I'm not looking for rock climbing activities, but fun stuff for someone that is active. (and no, I don't care for Carnival's hairy chest competitions on the Lido deck!) Can someone help me "get to know" Holland?

 

We've never been on a Holland America cruise with more than two consecutive sea days but that's because we'd be talking to the flower arrangements on day three but that's just us because we're destination cruisers and are always looking for new and interesting ports. Certainly HAL has cruises with sometimes several sea days and maybe they do a little better on those cruises but our limited experience is that it's not one of their strengths.

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Elise, Randy - Thanks for the quick replies! I looked at a "On Location" and there seems to be plenty of activities to keep me busy and amused. Randy I enjoyed your website and the pictures of your med cruise in 2012. I think I'll be comfortable enough with Holland.

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We LOVE sea days…and choose some itineraries just because of them.

To entertain you (if you're not a reader as we are), there are lectures (not necessarily on port-related subjects), cooking classes, dance classes, movies (some of the "bigger ones" are in the main theater/lounge instead of the smaller "movie theater,") if you're crafty they have assorted crafts (they had a box of yarn and needles for us to work with for gifts for children in various ports,) all kinds of games going on, the usual putting contests, etc…but no hairy chest ones! There's always Trivia.

The more sea days, the more time you have to meet your fellow passengers, so we've often spent hours visiting with our "new friends." There can be "interesting" emergencies…like watching a C-130 drop emergency supplies to the ship (that killed an afternoon!…surprised the boat didn't tip over with everyone on one side of the ship!)

HAL libraries are very good, so you can research your next ports, read some book you never thought about reading (they even have cookbooks), or just sit and look out the beautiful windows.

I'm sure you will wonder where the time went…

Then…there's always napping on the deck (HAL ships have a great deck to relax on).

Enjoy your trip!

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Elise, Randy - Thanks for the quick replies! I looked at a "On Location" and there seems to be plenty of activities to keep me busy and amused. Randy I enjoyed your website and the pictures of your med cruise in 2012. I think I'll be comfortable enough with Holland.

 

Thanks for the kind comments. Mrs. K is working on the final version of the 2014 cruise but that pesky thing called her job keeps taking up her time. Now we've booked yet another Med cruise she'll have to out that together. I help but she's really the expert webmaster. I'll have to look at a "On Location", maybe they offer more than I remember.

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You can check out an iPod from the library (no charge and it's so easy they were even able to show ME how to use it for the first time) that has an audio tour of the ship's artwork. Usually you start on a top or high deck and work your way down. Lasts maybe 45 minutes or so.

 

There's stretching, exercise classes, free time in the gym, swim a few laps (ok, very few..) walking the decks but I always wind up stopping and chatting with folks... yoga, meditation, sometimes learn-a-new-language classes ( tried Spanish), complimentary DVDs to pick from by the thousands... well maybe a thousand. We love the lectures, have gone to dance classes (DH too!! can you believe it?) And I hate to miss team trivia (which some days is more "active" than other days - those who go know what I mean ;)...

 

Plus there's hunting for DH... which can take me around the ship at least twice.... where did he go to enjoy to his Great Courses DVDs?

 

And when I want to take a breather I slide into a deck chair with a book but hardly ever read the book because watching the ocean is so mesmerizing and the lounge chairs are so comfortable... I love sea days... never enough of them for me.

Oh, and isn't it almost time to eat again? Maybe afternoon tea....

 

I'm counting the weeks! m--

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I've only cruised on with Carnival, however, I would like to try a different line. I've found a cruise I really like on the Westerdam in April. I've heard that Holland is a really laid back cruise line-- which is fine. But I do like activities on "Days at Sea" days. What are some of the activities available on those days? I'm in my 50's so I'm not looking for rock climbing activities, but fun stuff for someone that is active. (and no, I don't care for Carnival's hairy chest competitions on the Lido deck!) Can someone help me "get to know" Holland?

All HAL ships have a wonderful wrap-around promenade deck, great for walking!

 

Hendrika

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There is also the digital workshop with multiple free courses a day in everything from photo editing to where to store your files, there are sudoku and crossword puzzles in the library along with the jigsaw puzzles, the roll call (if you join) may have some sea day activities that they decided upon in advance that interest the group, The culinary arts center will have a few classes and demonstrations.

 

We are never bored onboard! We love the sea days as a break from all the activity on the port days. Our children love Club Hal so they are busy and it is the best of both worlds...family time and adult time all in the same day. :)

Edited by 1of4
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Been on 2 7-night Caribbean cruises. To me, they have just about nothing to do on sea days. Another couple agreed with me. Both sea days, they had one trivia and one arts and crafts. True they had cooking shows. I'm 70 and not into Bingo or casino. On trips to Alaska or Europe, I believe they have more to do. My daughter sent me daily sheets from Alaska and there was lots to do. BUT, in the Caribbean---nothing. Living in Florida and retired, I can see the ocean whenever. I have plenty of time to read also. Maybe the above posters were talking of more exciting itineraries they went on. Lovely "white gloved service", but not much else.

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Oh man, this is killing me. One more week until we leave for overdue holiday.

 

Sea days: eat, read, bingo, nap, repeat. Trivia if it fits in with already packed schedule.

 

Sounds just like me, except I try really hard to fit at least one trivia session in every day. I LOVE SEA DAYS!

 

KK

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Been on 2 7-night Caribbean cruises. To me, they have just about nothing to do on sea days. Another couple agreed with me. Both sea days, they had one trivia and one arts and crafts. True they had cooking shows. I'm 70 and not into Bingo or casino. On trips to Alaska or Europe, I believe they have more to do. My daughter sent me daily sheets from Alaska and there was lots to do. BUT, in the Caribbean---nothing. Living in Florida and retired, I can see the ocean whenever. I have plenty of time to read also. Maybe the above posters were talking of more exciting itineraries they went on. Lovely "white gloved service", but not much else.

 

Both of our previous cruises were in the Caribbean and we found tons to do. I spent a decent amount of time in the hydrotherapy pool and thermal suite on those cruises. ;) DH and I do like a good workout, so the gym was used as well. There was always something to do, even if it wasn't scheduled. We were able to find great ways to spend our time. I have never done the crafts, cooking shows, bingo, or trivia.

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I always look forward to sea days when we've had a port for several days in a row. But then I find that two sea days in a row is enough. Our last (longish) cruise, there was pretty much only Trivia to look forward to. There's only so much laying on a lounger reading (falling asleep) I can handle. But that's great for those who enjoy it.

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Been on 2 7-night Caribbean cruises. To me, they have just about nothing to do on sea days. Another couple agreed with me. Both sea days, they had one trivia and one arts and crafts. True they had cooking shows. I'm 70 and not into Bingo or casino. On trips to Alaska or Europe, I believe they have more to do. My daughter sent me daily sheets from Alaska and there was lots to do. BUT, in the Caribbean---nothing. Living in Florida and retired, I can see the ocean whenever. I have plenty of time to read also. Maybe the above posters were talking of more exciting itineraries they went on. Lovely "white gloved service", but not much else.

 

I always look forward to sea days when we've had a port for several days in a row. But then I find that two sea days in a row is enough. Our last (longish) cruise, there was pretty much only Trivia to look forward to. There's only so much laying on a lounger reading (falling asleep) I can handle. But that's great for those who enjoy it.

 

I'm curious. What is it that you would like to do on a sea day that isn't provided? I'm one of those who is happy to relax and read, walk around the deck, gaze at the horizon, go to a cooking demo, see a movie, go to the spa, go to the gym etc.

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We love sea days - and in some ports we don't even get off, because we enjoy the ship so much.

It's fun to explore, to chat with other cruisers, to visit the shops to see what's going on.

DH loves to relax and watch a movie, and I love to read, so sitting on the verandah with a good book is perfect for me.

We like to close the Piano Bar each night, so we always try to sneak in a mid-afternoon nap. :)

Edited by Oceanwench
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If you enjoy art, HAL ships have some fabulous art collections. The librarian has IPods to loan, so you can take the IPod art tour.

 

You can tour the ship at your own pace and enjoy some of the things you may not know existed. Call the library before heading up there, to make sure someone will be available when you go.

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