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Why We Chose HAL

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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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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

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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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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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... 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.

 

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) ... (y)(y)(y)

Smooth sailing +++

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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) ... (y)(y)(y)

Smooth sailing +++

 

Same here - Priest plus great service are the main reasons we sail HAL.

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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) ... (y)(y)(y)

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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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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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.

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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

 

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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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%!!!

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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.

 

 

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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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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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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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

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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.

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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

 

 

Absolutely -

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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.

 

Agreed: some of my favorite aspects of HAL are fading away - but HAL's newer builds (and their ongoing service standards) while not up to what they are replacing are still more about cruising the way it should be than that which is offered elsewhere by their competition.

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Thank you all for this thread. We are avid cruisers but have never done HAL until November when we are supposed to cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam. Thinking we might cancel because of Irma and affects on the islands we visit, but now are considering HAL for Alaska next spring. I'm concerned for two reasons about cruising HAL: unlike most of you, we like the informalness of NCL with the anytime dining and not dressing up and, the demographics. From what I have read, the average age on a HAL ship is something like 68 or 70. Nothing against that, I'm 61 myself, but a young 61 who likes to be active and not have to be to bed at 10pm because there's nothing to do after 10pm. Thoughts, anyone?

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So coincidental that I saw this post, because I was thinking of HAL for Australia or Canada because of the itinerary. Sounds like a good fit for us, we are 60-70.

 

 

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We've been cruising with HAL since we were 40 and have always loved it. Yeah, the average age is older than the average on other ships we have sailed. But, I suspect that is because the shortest HAL cruise we have taken was 18 days. Age has never been an issue....people are people regardless of age. The average age on our 90 day cruise was probably upper 60s, probably low 70s on the others. But we have never been the youngest on board.

 

 

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Thank you all for this thread. We are avid cruisers but have never done HAL until November when we are supposed to cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam. Thinking we might cancel because of Irma and affects on the islands we visit, but now are considering HAL for Alaska next spring. I'm concerned for two reasons about cruising HAL: unlike most of you, we like the informalness of NCL with the anytime dining and not dressing up and, the demographics. From what I have read, the average age on a HAL ship is something like 68 or 70. Nothing against that, I'm 61 myself, but a young 61 who likes to be active and not have to be to bed at 10pm because there's nothing to do after 10pm. Thoughts, anyone?

 

The average age on HAL is probably in the mid to late sixties. But it is more the attitude than the number which makes a passenger demographic compatible. From your post, I am fairly confident that you will be happier on NCL than on HAL.

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We have cruised on RSSC - Seven Seas Voyager - twice - very good

Celebrity -Mercury & Celebrity Eclipse - very enjoyable

Norwegian Sun - Definitely NOT for us

HAL - Maasdam, Veendam, Prinsendam & Eurodam - enjoyed the small ships, found the Prinsendam disappointing in terms of problems with the cabin which HAL would not take seriously, and were underwhelmed by Eurodam although we thought Tamarind Restaurant one the best we have ever experienced. We noticed that there was a marked deterioration in HAL's offering over the 5 years that we cruised with them.

Our go to line is now Cunard - QM2 twice, Queen Victoria twice. Being Brits Cunard ships suit us very well and as yet - standards have not fallen!

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we keep coming back to HAL because to us that is what traditional cruising looks & feels like.Allan

 

Thank you. We're again looking for that 'traditional' cruising experience, and hopefully HAL will deliver.

 

After 20+ years of cruising other lines (NCL, RCI, CCL), we're coming back to HAL and hopefully we won't be disappointed.

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