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What are your favorite things about sailing with HAL?


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7 minutes ago, JustinPlusLauren said:

 

Wait...there isn't a formal night? I swear that I have 2 formal nights on my upcoming cruise and we were planning to bring our fancy clothes for it!

The call them "Gala Nights" now and many people still do dress up. 🙂 

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54 minutes ago, canadarocks said:

The call them "Gala Nights" now and many people still do dress up. 🙂 

Yes, there are Gala Nights.  But not near as many dress up, and there's not much enforcement to do so.

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Like all main stream cruise lines HAL is not what it was. The USP used to be smaller more intimate ships, beautifully decorated with smiling attentive crew. 

Economics now dictate larger ships (with more garish decor) which make for better returns for the company.  The crew are still pretty good. Head Office and the website leave a lot to be desired. Many of the old service perks have now disappeared ( not unique to HAL)

Tamarind restaurant ( on the newer bigger ships only ) is probably one of the best extra tariff restaurants at sea. 

We have sailed 6 times with HAL however we now believe Cunard suits us better.

 

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On 7/13/2019 at 9:28 PM, JimnKaren said:

Once, I forget which ship, Karen and I were sitting in the Ocean prior to the evening meal. It was sail away day and our first time into that lounge. Waiting for a server to approach...he passed by and said, "You want your usual?"

What? Wait a minute! Mark had been in the Ocean Bar on a previous cruise and remembered us. We were impressed beyond words.

Jim

 

 

 

I LOVE this!!! 😍

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm the original poster of this thread, and I'm back from my cruise! I discovered all sorts of favorite things about my cruise with HAL 🙂 I've outlined them in a blog post all about my cruise experience, if you're interested in reading it!

https://justinpluslauren.com/norwegian-fjords-cruise-nieuw-statendam/

 

Thanks everyone!!!

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Lauren, I'm so happy to read how much you enjoyed your first HAL cruise! Absolutely wonderful blog as usual.

 

We've done quite a few HAL cruises and our Northern Europe 21-nighter in 2011 that included Norway was our absolute favourite so far. So sorry your Kristiansand day wasn't the best weather. We did the same shore excursion in perfect weather and it was amazing! And we were lucky to overnight in Oslo and enjoyed every minute of it. 

 

Thanks for reporting back! 🙂 

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Just now, canadarocks said:

Lauren, I'm so happy to read how much you enjoyed your first HAL cruise! Absolutely wonderful blog as usual.

 

We've done quite a few HAL cruises and our Northern Europe 21-nighter in 2011 that included Norway was our absolute favourite so far. So sorry your Kristiansand day wasn't the best weather. We did the same shore excursion in perfect weather and it was amazing! And we were lucky to overnight in Oslo and enjoyed every minute of it. 

 

Thanks for reporting back! 🙂 

 

Oh my goodness a 21-night Northern Europe cruise would be absolutely dreamy! I'd love that, too!

And yeah, I saw some photos of Kristiansand and Lillesand in the sunshine and both looked so beautiful. I'm glad that I was able to salvage part of the day in Kristiansand, but the weather in Lillesand was just miserable. What can you do! The weather more than made up for it when we got to Flam, and I was super grateful for that!

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14 hours ago, JustinPlusLauren said:

I'm the original poster of this thread, and I'm back from my cruise! I discovered all sorts of favorite things about my cruise with HAL 🙂 I've outlined them in a blog post all about my cruise experience, if you're interested in reading it!

https://justinpluslauren.com/norwegian-fjords-cruise-nieuw-statendam/

 

Thanks everyone!!!

As I said  before your in-depth report with beautiful pictures and your blog is fantastic!! I encourage people to see your review in detail! Loved it! A big winner to me.

Denise😊

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15 hours ago, JustinPlusLauren said:

I'm the original poster of this thread, and I'm back from my cruise! I discovered all sorts of favorite things about my cruise with HAL 🙂 I've outlined them in a blog post all about my cruise experience, if you're interested in reading it!

https://justinpluslauren.com/norwegian-fjords-cruise-nieuw-statendam/

 

Thanks everyone!!!

Wow, that reads like an advertisement for HAL. It does seem like you two really, really enjoyed the cruise.

 

You did cover a question I was going to ask about the availability of dancing. We cruised on a much smaller HAL sip, the Maasdam, last summer (Boston to Montreal), and the lack of dance opportunities really bothered my DW. Are there dance classes?

 

The only port we have visited that you covered was Oslo on a Baltic cruise, and it was a wonderful port. The highlight for us was the Munch Museum that was not on the excursion list, but we did on our own. Also the sculpture garden was to say the least extremely interesting.

 

I'm going to send the link in an e-mail to my wife as that is a cruise we have not done and to see what she thinks of it.

 

Thanks for taking the time to post it, and also returning to a thread you started. So often hit and run posters ask a question and then disappear.

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15 hours ago, JustinPlusLauren said:

I'm the original poster of this thread, and I'm back from my cruise! I discovered all sorts of favorite things about my cruise with HAL 🙂 I've outlined them in a blog post all about my cruise experience, if you're interested in reading it!

https://justinpluslauren.com/norwegian-fjords-cruise-nieuw-statendam/

 

Thanks everyone!!!

 

Nicely done.  Concise and easy to follow hitting all the major points.

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7 hours ago, ontheweb said:

Wow, that reads like an advertisement for HAL. It does seem like you two really, really enjoyed the cruise.

 

You did cover a question I was going to ask about the availability of dancing. We cruised on a much smaller HAL sip, the Maasdam, last summer (Boston to Montreal), and the lack of dance opportunities really bothered my DW. Are there dance classes?

 

The only port we have visited that you covered was Oslo on a Baltic cruise, and it was a wonderful port. The highlight for us was the Munch Museum that was not on the excursion list, but we did on our own. Also the sculpture garden was to say the least extremely interesting.

 

I'm going to send the link in an e-mail to my wife as that is a cruise we have not done and to see what she thinks of it.

 

Thanks for taking the time to post it, and also returning to a thread you started. So often hit and run posters ask a question and then disappear.

 

LOL! Well, I was being completely honest and I really didn't find fault with anything on the cruise. It was my favorite cruise to date!

 

RE: Dancing. Yes, there were dance classes. I didn't attend any of them as I'm not much of a dancer myself. People were up and dancing at the B.B King's every night to live music. I feel like your DW might enjoy that!!

 

I really loved the sculpture garden in Oslo. I'd like to return to Oslo to see even more - I heard the Viking museum was quite cool! 🙂 

 

Let me know if you have any other questions, too!

 

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9 hours ago, colonialinnkeeper said:

Lauren,

Thanks for a wonderful Norway blog.  So glad to read about your views of a first HAL trek.  Lousy weather when reaching port is always a possibility.  We always look at it as a reason to come back (as if we ever need a reason to cruise!).  Lauri

 

That's such a good way of looking at it. Nothing you can do about it, may as well try to make the best of it! And return in the future 🙂

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8 hours ago, DeeniEncinitas said:

As I said  before your in-depth report with beautiful pictures and your blog is fantastic!! I encourage people to see your review in detail! Loved it! A big winner to me.

Denise😊

 

Thank you so much, Denise! I'm happy you like it and recommend it 🙂 It took a very long time to write so I appreciate all the kind words!

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7 hours ago, JustinPlusLauren said:

 

LOL! Well, I was being completely honest and I really didn't find fault with anything on the cruise. It was my favorite cruise to date!

 

RE: Dancing. Yes, there were dance classes. I didn't attend any of them as I'm not much of a dancer myself. People were up and dancing at the B.B King's every night to live music. I feel like your DW might enjoy that!!

 

I really loved the sculpture garden in Oslo. I'd like to return to Oslo to see even more - I heard the Viking museum was quite cool! 🙂 

 

Let me know if you have any other questions, too!

 

I did  not mean you sounded like an advertisement as a criticism. It was more like you could feel your enthusiasm coming right off the page.

 

Another thing I liked in Oslo was at the bus stops you were told how long it would be until your bus came.

 

I was not that impressed with the Viking Museum. Now the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, that I found super impressive.

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4 hours ago, ontheweb said:

I did  not mean you sounded like an advertisement as a criticism. It was more like you could feel your enthusiasm coming right off the page.

 

Another thing I liked in Oslo was at the bus stops you were told how long it would be until your bus came.

 

I was not that impressed with the Viking Museum. Now the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, that I found super impressive.

 

😄 That's so nice of you to say!

 

Good to know about the Viking Museum! And I also didn't know that about the buses. I walked everywhere, but I think that I should have used the bus at some point for things that were way too far. Good to know for my eventual return!

 

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3 hours ago, JustinPlusLauren said:

 

😄 That's so nice of you to say!

 

Good to know about the Viking Museum! And I also didn't know that about the buses. I walked everywhere, but I think that I should have used the bus at some point for things that were way too far. Good to know for my eventual return!

 

I'm sure that there are folks who did enjoy the Viking Museum, but I just found it very dark which made it hard to view items, just a personal opinion.

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22 hours ago, ontheweb said:

I'm sure that there are folks who did enjoy the Viking Museum, but I just found it very dark which made it hard to view items, just a personal opinion.

 

That's good to know! I can see why that would be difficult if it wasn't lit properly. And thanks for the tip about the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. I'll put that one on my list for when I someday go there!

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23 hours ago, JustinPlusLauren said:

 

That's good to know! I can see why that would be difficult if it wasn't lit properly. And thanks for the tip about the Vasa Museum in Stockholm. I'll put that one on my list for when I someday go there!

The Vasa was a ship that sunk literally as soon as it left port for the first time (It was top heavy.). Having a museum about it does not sound fascinating, but it was. Everything about the ship, its crew, and its passengers is revealed.

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