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jargey3000

Help? Will we like HAL?

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1 hour ago, ajtaylor29 said:

We just returned from our first HAL cruise, and while there was a lot to like, we will probably not cruise with them again, honestly because of the older demographics of the passengers. We are 60'ish fun couple, love to cruise, gamble, enjoy the sun and the ports. We just found this cruise rather boring, other than the port days. The food was very good - i was especially impressed with the Lido buffet. The staff was great, the ship (Zuiderdam) was very nice.

We have only cruised with Carnival before this, and we're looking for an alternative to them (we're definitely over the hairy chest contests! 🙂) but this was one extreme to the other.

We're going to try Royal Caribbean next, hoping that's a little closer to our tastes.

 

Luckily you have a lot of other  cruise line options for more lively onboard diversions. Those of us who actually seek out and like the HAL low-key onboard experience, have only HAL at the similar price point. HAL will fail a lot of customers if they try to be all things to all people and not maximiz what keeps them unique in the crowd - yes, the more quiet over-all cruising experience. That remains their special niche. They own that market now. However, even HAL is moving away from that prior niche with its newer ships their --noisydams.

Edited by OlsSalt

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2 hours ago, ajtaylor29 said:

We just returned from our first HAL cruise, and while there was a lot to like, we will probably not cruise with them again, honestly because of the older demographics of the passengers. We are 60'ish fun couple, love to cruise, gamble, enjoy the sun and the ports. We just found this cruise rather boring, other than the port days. The food was very good - i was especially impressed with the Lido buffet. The staff was great, the ship (Zuiderdam) was very nice.

We have only cruised with Carnival before this, and we're looking for an alternative to them (we're definitely over the hairy chest contests! 🙂) but this was one extreme to the other.

We're going to try Royal Caribbean next, hoping that's a little closer to our tastes.

Maybe give Princess a try.  They don't have all the bells & whistles that RCL has (ice skating, North Star, Flow rider), but we found the evening entertainment on Princess varied and enjoyable.

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Ok......lots of advice.  Good stuff   lots of info.........  However, you have not said just why you want to change from Princess and Celebrity....    What was it that made you want to seek another cruise line.     OR... was it the premise that the grass may be greener if we take another line and it will be,, it has to be better than what we are doing now.     But, why is that true.      If your just changing to change  and have no expectations thats fine. 

 

  However ,if you go to another line and start comparing this to that on HAL  then your looking for frustration and disappointment .    You might be down right upset that some things are not as good and start a blame game.  Your looking around at ships and lines that are just about carbon copies of each other .   Not really a change if any 

 

  If you want a real  improved  experience  you have to move UP a tier  to the Premium lines  like Azamar,  and Oceaina    All of whom are night and day different than the usual suspects.....  Id check them out  if its change across the board.

 

The question your posing  is like someone who wants to sell their house  only to move 3 doors down the street. Your not really changing much.....  Think this through

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54 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

Ok......lots of advice.  Good stuff   lots of info.........  However, you have not said just why you want to change from Princess and Celebrity....    What was it that made you want to seek another cruise line.     OR... was it the premise that the grass may be greener if we take another line and it will be,, it has to be better than what we are doing now.     But, why is that true.      If your just changing to change  and have no expectations thats fine. 

 

  However ,if you go to another line and start comparing this to that on HAL  then your looking for frustration and disappointment .    You might be down right upset that some things are not as good and start a blame game.  Your looking around at ships and lines that are just about carbon copies of each other .   Not really a change if any 

 

  If you want a real  improved  experience  you have to move UP a tier  to the Premium lines  like Azamar,  and Oceaina    All of whom are night and day different than the usual suspects.....  Id check them out  if its change across the board.

 

The question your posing  is like someone who wants to sell their house  only to move 3 doors down the street. Your not really changing much.....  Think this through

Hawaiidan, 

your absolutley right!!! I have read a lot of your CC blogs on Oceania. We will be on The Riviera TA 3/31/20 Miami to Rome and then a month later do on Riviera Monte Carlo to Barcelona. Done all of this on my HAL soooo many times but, this time they had no TA to The Med after our departure off Rotterdam so Oceania it is! We’re excited with all the perks great reports and especially the food!

we are 4 Star Mariners and still have another cruise happening next month on Eurodam and also in 2021. We sure do like 

Oceania from how we are treated so far!

look forward to more of your posts here and on Oceania!

Denise😊

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On ‎2‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 2:35 PM, jargey3000 said:

OP: good info. folks thanks!

FWIW ...we're not too much interested in the lectures ... (get enough at home!!!  LOL)

or those "broadway-style" shows...mehhh...zzzzz

BUT ...anywhere featuring BB King, the Stones, classic rock etc. AND art.(as per sevenseas post above-thanks) has really gotten my attention!

 

BTW - do any of their other ships have these venues above, or just Statendam??

The only two ships that currently have Rolling Stones Rock Room are Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam.  BB Kings, Billboard Onboard, and Lincoln Center Stage are on all ships Vista class and above, which includes the two previously mentioned ships as well as Westerdam, Noordam, Zuiderdam, Oosterdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Eurodam.  Hope this information helps.

Edited by sevenseasnomad

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I like HAL’s food service above Princess.  All around, quality, service and selection.  

HAL is generally less densely populated  than Princess, be it the room size or public rooms, I don’t know but it is never as crowded.  

Princess has more nightlife than HAL 

if you book shore excursions through the cruise line I found princess has more variety especially for active folks.  I like biking 

what HAL excels at is enrichment programs and port intensive itineraries. I don’t think either of those would necessarily standout on a Caribbean cruise. 

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I hope you love HAL. We are a good family to join, and we all welcome you 🙂 We love the Rotterdam, of course, we also enjoy the smaller ships. We love all the ships. We do the up-sell and specialty everything, and we love it. Still so many ships we  have not sailed, but getting there. Good luck with your decision , happy sailing, and i do not think you can go wrong with whatever you decide. Missing the greenhouse spa about right now...

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I'm sort of in the same boat as the OP @jargey3000 (pun, I know).  Much like the OP, we just need the basics and don't go for specialty dining or upcharge services.  My first cruise was on Caribbean Princess but that was over 10 years ago. Next cruise was on Nieuw Amsterdam which I loved.  Then, we went on Celebrity which I really liked as well (Solstice, Summit, Reflection).  I'm going on Nieuw Statendam next month. I've only done 7 day Caribbean cruises.

 

I think you will find HAL similar to Celebrity when it comes to the 7 day Caribbean cruises.  Choose your ship based on the price and itinerary. HAL tends to skew to an older demographic than Celebrity, but that may change with the newer, bigger ships like Nieuw Statendam.

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I would choose the Nieuw Statendam.  New ship, great music venues, fantastic food (lobster & filet mignon in the lido (buffet).  We are cruising on her in March (can't wait).

 

I think you will find HAL to be a step above other cruise lines in food and service.  Just my honest opinion.  Give it a try!

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