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charlielinda

Thinking of Holland Transatlantic

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Hi.  We are loyal Celebrity cruisers and now retired and have more time.  Some of the longer cruises with Holland intrigue us.  We would book a verandah or higher for 21 day cruise.  Could anyone give me insights on the differences between Celebrity and Holland and anything I should consider.  

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We have been regular RCI/X (Diamond/Elite) cruisers and really enjoy Aqua Class on X.  But, I'll just look at the non-Aqua class experience vs HAL in a typical balcony (non-suite) cabin.  We took a Thanksgiving cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam last year after a 14 year HAL absence and enjoyed it enough that we're doing it again this Thanksgiving.   We're far from the 4 Star Mariners that will probably have input here with perhaps more depth.  We'll earn our second star on the next cruise.

 

We find the MDR on both about the same (ranging from OK to good) and despite the reputation for HAL being an "older crowd" (I'm 69) we did not see a difference - maybe because it was a holiday cruise.   We were not blown away by the Pinnacle Grill but enjoyed Tamarind very much and have that booked twice this year.

 

The entertainment in the main theater is better on X although, for us, the quality of the music in BB Kings and the Lincoln Center Stage made up for that.  We really enjoyed those two venues and wish that X had something similar.

 

We didn't walk around the ship (well, I limped because I broke my foot early in the cruise - that's another story!) saying, "fill in the blank" is much better on X.   We don't party until the wee hours although I do think that may be a plus for X if that is desired.

 

One major difference for us is that X, in general, has really priced themselves at a higher point than HAL for what I consider to be an equal experience.  If the price, ship, cabin class, and itinerary were about the same, I'd say that both X and HAL deliver a very similar experience.

Edited by ricka47

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The differences will depend on which ships you choose to compare.  The Solstice Class ships of Celebrity (among our favorite ship design) have a much more open and spacious feeling then most of the older HAL vessels.  But if you are cruising on one of the newer (and larger) HAL vessels those differences will be somewhat less.   Given all the recent cut-backs on X, we think the food in the MDR is pretty comparable with, perhaps a slight edge to X.  The Lido buffets on Celebrity are nicer then on the older HAL vessels but quality is comparable.  HAL has recently eliminated all their production shows (the ones with singers and dancers) and now only use Guest Entertainers, perhaps a dance troupe, and sometimes will show a documentary Nature movie and bill it as the major entertainment.  But about half the HAL ships have a BB King group/club which we enjoy, and some of the ships (the larger ones) have a Lincoln Center entertainment venue.   When it comes to HAL the differences between the older ships like the Maasdam and the newer ships like the Koningsdam  are significant.  

 

One area that HAL truly lags is with organized activities.  Some HAL ships only have a cruise director with a staff of 1, and the main activity is trivia (morning, afternoon and evening).  Take away Trivia from HAL, and many passengers would spend all their time reading or knitting.

 

As to the age group, on repositioning cruises the passenger demographics are similar on both lines.....lots of seniors (and their parents).

 

Hank

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We have taken five transatlantic on HAL and one on Celebrity.  The Celebrity Constellation was similar to the the Nieuw Amersterdam and Eurodam.  We would choose our transatlantic based on itinerary.   The Constellation went to Rome while other HAL TA's went to Rotterdam, Copenhagen, Barcelona as well as Rome.  However, since we are 4* on HAL, the free laundry is nice.  Next year we are looking at transpacifics.

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I haven't sailed on Celebrity in a long time. I am 4 star on HAL. I prefer the smaller ships. I've done two TAs with HAL, and you can get great deals on those. The food is comparable. I love the Pinnacle Grill, and if you are lucky enough to sail on a ship with a Tamarind, it's great too!! Lincoln Center and BB King are great. Some of the lecturers are great, some not. The food is about the same. I think HAL has amazing customer service, and the staff is super friendly!! If you are looking for go, go, go, it's not the right place. But if you like elegant ships with a smaller passenger load, and like to read books, or play cards, or watch the world go by, you will be happy. They also have some amazing ports they go to as well, and pretty big cabins. 

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I gotta agree with itinerary as the deciding factor. Once you are out in the Atlantic, it does not matter which ship you are on. So, the ports of call at either end can make a difference. Sure, money can mean a lot, but if you are in a port at the wrong time for too long (or not long enough), then it doesn't matter.

We have crossed on Princess and Holland America. Similar demographics as to the passengers. Celebrity is good, but I am spoiled because other cruise lines have a tendency to discount their fares during the last few weeks. Celebrity does not. I live in Florida and can make it to many ports easily. Not the same if you live in the middle Atlantic states.

Keep an open mind (after reading a bunch of posts) and then talk it through.

Jim

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We are Celebrity Elite and HAL 3 Star.  We have done trans Atlantic cruises on each line.  We enjoyed all of them.  We decide based on time of year and itinerary.  I have always felt HAL offers more interesting itineraries.  We just did a Rotterdam to Boston, stopping in Iceland (4 days) and Greenland.  Very enjoyable and interesting cruise.

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We also did a Rotterdam to Boston via Iceland and Greenland in 2017. Best cruise ever as it was the almost perfect blend of sea days and port days. Only disappointment was too much ice in Prins Christian Sund so we missed it--but a good excuse to go again!

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I know you were asking about a comparison between HAL and X, but may I also suggest you take a look at Princess transoceanic cruises in one of their mini-suites. With the 6 assistant CDs, all comedians in their own right, Princess has become our go-to cruise line, especially on their longer itineraries, because we they just have a lot more fun things to do on sea days. We're in our mid 60s and love to laugh and Princess just does a better job at that than X. 

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