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davy jones

New to HAL (sort of)

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Our first cruise was to Bermuda in 1982 on the Veendam.  Since then, we have taken many cruises, but none on HAL.  Recent cruises have been on the mainstream mega ship lines.  We feel that is time to try moving up the food chain and we booked Zuiderdam sailing.  

 

Since much has changed since that Veendam cruise, we are essentially first time HAL cruisers.  While we are searching and gathering information on our own, we would like to get information and opinions from actual HAL passengers about the line.  Please share with us the good and less than perfect things about the line, including dress, gala nights, internet, entertainment, service, tv, laundry, the overall vibe, and anything else that comes to your mind.  This will help us and others new to HAL.  Thanks.

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All those things are discussed here day to day. Just a little reading would give you volumes!

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41 minutes ago, davy jones said:

Our first cruise was to Bermuda in 1982 on the Veendam.  Since then, we have taken many cruises, but none on HAL.  Recent cruises have been on the mainstream mega ship lines.  We feel that is time to try moving up the food chain and we booked Zuiderdam sailing.  

 

Since much has changed since that Veendam cruise, we are essentially first time HAL cruisers.  While we are searching and gathering information on our own, we would like to get information and opinions from actual HAL passengers about the line.  Please share with us the good and less than perfect things about the line, including dress, gala nights, internet, entertainment, service, tv, laundry, the overall vibe, and anything else that comes to your mind.  This will help us and others new to HAL.  Thanks.

It is a step up...less passengers mainly,  and it is a middle of the road mass market ship.  Nice but not great.  Lesser entertainment   Older clientele   Lower key than the monsters of the seas.    

  

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I suggest you start your reading with the 771 Veendam reviews HERE, beginning with most recent and working backward.

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We love HAL, but would avoid the Veendam.  My brother was on it 6 months ago and really did not like it.  It is an older ship IMO.

 

 

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33 minutes ago, catl331 said:

I suggest you start your reading with the 771 Veendam reviews HERE, beginning with most recent and working backward.

Sorry, I should have said start by reading Zuiderdam reviews HERE

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1 hour ago, Hawaiidan said:

dress, gala nights, internet, entertainment, service, tv, laundry, the overall vibe, and anything else that comes to your mind. 

Off the Zuiderdam recently (transAtlantic to CPH).

  • Dresscode is really the old "sharp casual" even for Gala nights (no jeans and a collared shirt for men) with a slightly fancier menu. You *can* dress to the nines if your luggage allowance can stand it!
  • Internet was mostly fine for dr'spin's work VPN and a conference call off the coast of France (i.e. not close to equator); pretty slow for surfing but we were not going anywhere!
  • We only went to shows a few times (comedian was pretty lame) but really enjoyed Lincoln Center Stage.
  • Service always exemplary. 
  • Do not watch TV at home and never on ship; no comment.
  • We sent out one all-you-can-stuff-in-it bag ($20 US cruises, $30 Euro cruises). Got $93.50-worth of items in the sack! which is cloth not paper like RCI, bigger, and not restricted to undergarments and t-shirts like that line's -- although that is mostly what I had washed.
  • Although you will find plenty of threads and posts panning HAL as "just another mass market line", we find they have a very good product. They maintain standards and service even on their older ships (not like NCL for example). Yes they are low-key, no climbing walls or surfing machines, but if you like to be "forced to do nothing" in comfort and class -- HAL could be for you!

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