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otters92

Warning to all Families with Children Traveling on Holland America’s Oosterdam

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This is incredibly disappointing to hear.  I love HAL and would choose it above most other lines for comparable price/itinerary.  But I do have a 6 year-old who often travels with me and enjoys the structured kid's programming.  This would be a deal breaker for us.  I guess if HAL doesn't want to provide supervised children's programming, they don't have to.  But better just to go "kid free" than go with this half measure.  It seems dangerous and unfair to both families and those who sail HAL to mostly avoid unruly children running around (seems this will just lead to a bunch of unruly children running around unsupervised).   Terrible move and I hope it's reversed quickly. 

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25 minutes ago, ProfCruise said:

This is incredibly disappointing to hear.  I love HAL and would choose it above most other lines for comparable price/itinerary.  But I do have a 6 year-old who often travels with me and enjoys the structured kid's programming.  This would be a deal breaker for us.  I guess if HAL doesn't want to provide supervised children's programming, they don't have to.  But better just to go "kid free" than go with this half measure.  It seems dangerous and unfair to both families and those who sail HAL to mostly avoid unruly children running around (seems this will just lead to a bunch of unruly children running around unsupervised).   Terrible move and I hope it's reversed quickly. 

 

It already has been.  See Post # 133

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28 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

 

It already has been.  See Post # 133


Miss G

 

Do you think supervised check-in is the same as supervised check-in and check-out? It was the unsupervised check-out policy that made me gulp. But there is no mention of check-out in post 133 that I could find.
 

When I book my next HAL cruise, I was going to make a point of getting confirmation that it did indeed mean check-in/check-out.  But maybe I am just being paranoid, and really do not need to do this.

Edited by cat shepard

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21 minutes ago, cat shepard said:


Miss G

 

Do you think supervised check-in is the same as supervised check-in and check-out? It was the unsupervised check-out policy that made me gulp. But there is no mention of check-out in post 133 that I could find.
 

When I book my next HAL cruise, I was going to make a point of getting confirmation that it did indeed mean check-in/check-out.  But maybe I am just being paranoid, and really do not need to do this.

 

Yes, you are right.  I did assume it mean check-out as well.  Definitely not the same.

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3 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

 

Yes, you are right.  I did assume it mean check-out as well.  Definitely not the same.


 

Thank you for confirming my understanding.

 

It would be nice to be able to assume HAL’s statement quoted in post #133 means business as usual, but this change is too important for me to take it for granted.

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On 12/5/2019 at 12:03 PM, otters92 said:

 

 

 


The fact that the Club HAL program was canceled without any prior notification to passengers is false advertising. I paid for a product. That product wasn't offered.  I am requesting a refund for that deception. (Incidentally, once we found out about the closure of Club HAL subsequent to boarding the Oosterdam but prior to departure, I requested the option of canceling our cruise and deboarding if we could be given a refund.  Priscilla Jimenez, the Guest Relations Assistant Manager aboard the ship said that a refund would not be possible at that time since it was beyond the final payment date.)


The offered remuneration is a credit towards future cruises on Holland America.  Without Club HAL, my family will never again sail on Holland America. (We currently have a 24-day cruise reserved out of Venice on June 15. Without this issue being fixed, we will need to cancel that cruise!)


Now let's talk about the problems with the current "High Score!" setup. The biggest problem is safety and security of your cruise passengers. As I stated in my letter posted on CruiseCritic (and soon to be posted on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) there is no sign-in/sign-out procedure. Kids from 7-17 are free to enter and leave on their own volition. Most 7 year old children are not capable of this type of self-care.  In fact, if I were to leave my 7 year old alone at my home alone for an extended period of time, I could be arrested for child endangerment. On an unfamiliar ship thousands of miles from home with thousands of strangers, the dangers much more extreme. Liability-wise, Holland America is setting itself up for a tremendous lawsuit should any child be injured, molested or otherwise harmed after leaving the "care" of the HAL staff in "High Score!" 


Additionally, Holland America is assuming that all children ages 7-17 share the same interests. That is blatantly not the case. Elementary, middle and high school students are separated in most schools because of this divergence of interests. Boy Scouts separates the elementary school kids from the middle and high schoolers.  Club HAL had three different programs for three different age groups because it recognized this variation. The corporate pencil-pushers who invented the "High Score!" program have obviously never dealt extensively with children of different ages.


And what about the rest of the cruisers aboard the Oosterdam? There were over 300 children aboard the ship the week of November 23-30.  Does your average Holland America passenger without children want hundreds of children running around the ship unsupervised?  How about the hundreds of extra children in the main dining room every evening?  Our normal procedure on cruises is to take our son to eat in the Lido cafe and then take him to Club HAL at 7pm so that my wife and I can enjoy a nice dinner and possibly a show. That was not a possibility on this cruise, so we were faced with the option of taking our son with us to the main dining room or bypassing the more formal dining for the cafe. (The results of this situation during the first formal night were very apparent: hundreds of people had to wait an hour or longer for a table because so many families were dining with their children during the early seating of dinner. And the dining room was a chaotic mess with bored and impatient children crying and running around their tables.)


Or maybe Holland America has made a corporate decision to de-emphasize family cruising in a desire to become more like Virgin or Viking or other cruise lines that don't permit children on board. If this is the path Holland America is taking, that is fine, but you must notify families in advance and offer them refunds.


In the end, Holland America's decision to do away with Club HAL was an unmitigated disaster. Unfortunately, my family was the victim of this rash and poorly implemented restructuring. My family suffered in multiple ways: 1) My son did not get to enjoy the programmed activities with other children in Club HAL but rather had to spend the entire cruise with his parents; 2) My wife and I had no alone time; 3) We were not able to enjoy our dining experiences or evening shows; 4) Since we could not leave our son onboard while in port, we had to cancel an "Intro to SCUBA diving" excursion planned in Mazatlan through an independent travel company. (Luckily we managed to receive a full refund from that company, but, unfortunately, we were not able to enjoy in the experience.)


As I said in the beginning, I am not interested in future cruise credit.  I am requesting a refund for a product that was sold to me but not delivered. I also am requesting that Holland America reevaluate the planned elimination of Club HAL fleet-wide. Before my family continues with its planned cruise next summer, we need reassurance that Club HAL will still exist for that cruise.

 

Lastly, my concerns go beyond compensation for our family's poor experience on the cruise last week.  To a person, everyone I spoke with from Holland America regarding this issue (from the former Club HAL staff monitoring the door at High Score!, to the on-ship Guest Relations Manager, to the over the phone Guest Relations support provider I spoke with yesterday) have asked me to make sure that my complaints are heard from the highest levels of Holland America. They all said "Nobody will listen to our complaints and concerns, but they will listen to you."  So the reason I am fighting so vociferously about this issue is so that the management of Holland America realize what a colossal cluster-f@&! this transition has been and how poorly thought out the plan for implementation was. You are losing good customers, but you are also losing good employees. Someone from upper management needs to take responsibility for this failure and have the guts to admit that it wasn't a well thought out change. (Think "New Coke" level of failure!)

 

After reading the entire thread, I am going to offer comments that might show HAL's actions in a different light and probably outrage some of you.

 

I have been cruising for a long time and that included years with my daughter who went on her first cruise with us at 18 months (1985).

 

At the time, not many people traveled with children. Those of us that did expected the cruise to be a family vacation in that we knew that the children would be with us throughout the day and night. But guess what: that is what a family trip is.

 

Any children's programs were limited and might consist of a random activity during the day.

 

The children did eat in the dining room and parents made sure the child could and would behave themselves (even an 18 month old can enjoy the MDR at dinner).

 

During the years, I have be bemused by the changing expectation that the cruiseline will provide a daycare program at no extra cost and that the parents will be able to "dump and go" with no further responsibilities.

 

God forbid that the child not like the program, refuse to go, and actually end up spending time with the parents.

 

It is time that the cruiselines pull the plug on the unrealistic expectations of some families that a family trip is not family time.

 

HAL is definitely being repositioned as far as its targeted demographics go and is being turned into a bridge tier between the bottom tier and the upper tiers.

 

As a result, the traditional cruise experience of limited families on board that did not overwhelm the offered children's program is attracting those that expect a "Dump and go" option and are outraged when the trip may actually turn out to be family time.

 

A cruiseline can very well be family friendly without offering a full time daycare program.  

 

An example is MSC. It markets itself as a family friendly cruiseline. They have such things as strollers and toys that parents can check out for use.  Family activities are just that. The activities can only be attended by a child and a parent. Children in the children's program do not participate in the family activities.

 

There is a children's program but there are closures when the parents must take responsibility for such things as lunch.

 

And families on MSC do take a family trip. The children are with them throughout the day and many are at dinner in the MDR where the idea of enjoying each other's company is the idea (Although some US passengers do think that "Gobble and Go" is the way dinner should be experienced.)

 

So if HAL is trying to make itself into a family cruiseline for families that look upon the cruise as a family trip to enjoy each other and do not do not want to turn their time with each other to a fragmented experience with the child being one place and the parents someplace else, more power to HAL.

 

There is a place for family cruising that is just that and possible the niche that will distinguish HAL as a family friendly line.

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2 hours ago, ProfCruise said:

It seems dangerous and unfair to both families and those who sail HAL to mostly avoid unruly children running around (seems this will just lead to a bunch of unruly children running around unsupervised).   Terrible move and I hope it's reversed quickly. 

 

That's what I was thinking re kids just checking themselves out and being unattended around the ship. I suspect most parents wouldn't allow this but it only takes a few!

 

 

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38 minutes ago, Homosassa said:

 

So if HAL is trying to make itself into a family cruiseline for families that look upon the cruise as a family trip to enjoy each other and do not do not want to turn their time with each other to a fragmented experience with the child being one place and the parents someplace else, more power to HAL.

 

There is a place for family cruising that is just that and possible the niche that will distinguish HAL as a family friendly line.

 

This hypothetical "repositioning" is neither here nor there as regards the OPs issue:  If HAL decides to make such a huge change, they should NEVER do so without announcing it well in advance, with very clear information, and allow cruisers who already booked a cruise on the understanding that Club HAL would be in place to cancel without penalty if desired.

 

At any rate, HAL seems to be walking back their position on this. I suspect it was a trial balloon, rather like the "let's charge for a second entree" debacle earlier this year.

 

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45 minutes ago, Homosassa said:

 

After reading the entire thread, I am going to offer comments that might show HAL's actions in a different light and probably outrage some of you.

 

I have been cruising for a long time and that included years with my daughter who went on her first cruise with us at 18 months (1985)....

I appreciate your post. I do believe that you have many valid points, although I have a different opinion based on my personal experience.

 

I stated cruising in the 1980’s aboard Cunard. But I wasn’t the adult back then, I was the child. As you mention, kid programs back then were either non-existent, or nowhere near what they are today. Cruising was different. The world was different. It was a time when parents wouldn’t freak out if we were out riding our bicycles around the neighborhood without a cellphone until the sun went down, or if we went playing in the woods without adult supervision. 
 

I remember being 10 years old, yet it was acceptable to walk around the ship with my two sisters, or to go to the pool, or to an arts and craft class, or attend a movie (back when cruise ships had a movie theatre) without our parents. Ships were small (my first one was 16,000 tons), and behavior expectations were different. 
 

Yes, there wasn’t a kids club, but that didn’t mean that families were together during the entire cruise. As mentioned, we, and other children onboard, were given freedoms and directives that parents don't (or at least shouldn’t) give their children these days aboard modern megaships. We were told specifically where to go, what we could do, and what time we needed to be back in our stateroom. And we were expected to dress up every night and go to dinner where we could showcase our well rehearsed manners and etiquette. 
 

But it’s not 1980 anymore. The ships have grown exponentially. The number of children onboard can no longer be measured in the tens, but sometimes can be measured in the thousands. Family dynamics have changed. Parents have changed. Children have changed. Entertainment expectations have changed.
 

As nostalgic as it may be to look back and remember the earlier days of cruising and the former definition of “family time”, for better or for worse, it’s not today’s reality. And because of that, the cruise lines either need to adjust to the ever changing times, reinvent themselves completely, or suffer a slow death. And that includes maintaining a children’s program that’s in tune with the current times and with what families want in 2019, not in 1980. 
 

And it’s not only about the kids program. Adults today want more options with everything. Dining options, entertainment options, spa services, etc. If a cruise line will be offering more options for the adults, then they also need to provide a kids program that will allow the adults to enjoy these options. No different than when we used to go to land based resorts when I was a child, where I got my first taste of kid clubs. 
 

I will end by saying that I don’t believe that “family time” can be measured in the quantity of time spent together, but in the quality of the time spent together. Wanting to spend an hour or two just with my spouse while the kids meet and hangout with new friends their age is not only enjoyable for all, but it’s healthy for the family dynamics. 

Edited by Tapi

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9 minutes ago, Tapi said:

I appreciate your post. I do believe that you have many valid points, although I have a different opinion based on my personal experience.

 

I stated cruising in the 1980’s aboard Cunard. But I wasn’t the adult back then, I was the child. As you mention, kid programs back then were either non-existent, or nowhere near what they are today. Cruising was different. The world was different. It was a time when parents wouldn’t freak out if we were out riding our bicycles around the neighborhood without a cellphone until the sun went down, or if we went playing in the woods without adult supervision. 
 

I remember being 10 years old, yet it was acceptable to walk around the ship with my two sisters, or to go to the pool, or to an arts and craft class, or attend a movie (back when cruise ships had a movie theatre) without our parents. Ships were small (my first one was 16,000 tons), and behavior expectations were different. 
 

Yes, there wasn’t a kids club, but that didn’t mean that families were together during the entire cruise. As mentioned, we, and other children onboard, were given freedoms and directives that parents don't (or at least shouldn’t) give their children these days aboard modern megaships. We were told specifically where to go, what we could do, and what time we needed to be back in our stateroom. And we were expected to dress up every night and go to dinner where we could showcase our well rehearsed manners and etiquette. 
 

But it’s not 1980 anymore. The ships have grown exponentially. The number of children onboard can no longer be measured in the tens, but sometimes can be measured in the thousands. Family dynamics have changed. Parents have changed. Children have changed. Entertainment expectations have changed.
 

As nostalgic as it may be to look back and remember the earlier days of cruising and the former definition of “family time”, for better or for worse, it’s not today’s reality. And because of that, the cruise lines either need to adjust to the ever changing times, reinvent themselves completely, or suffer a slow death. And that includes maintaining a children’s program that’s in tune with the current times and with what families want in 2019, not in 1980. 
 

And it’s not only about the kids program. Adults today want more options with everything. Dining options, entertainment options, spa services, etc. If a cruise line will be offering more options for the adults, then they also need to provide a kids program that will allow the adults to enjoy these options. No different than when we used to go to land based resorts when I was a child, where I got my first taste of kid clubs. 
 

I will end by saying that I don’t believe that “family time” can be measured in the quantity of time spent together, but in the quality of the time spent together. Wanting to spend an hour or two just with my spouse while the kids meet and hangout with new friends their age is not only enjoyable for all, but it’s healthy for the family dynamics. 


This.  

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Agree so much with Tapi’s post above.

 

That is why a proper children’s club is so important.  That, plus the amount of, or  he possibility of crime on a cruise ship.

 

We have no issue with HAL ending, or extending their kids club.  It is their business to run just as it is the customer’s to select the right cruise line for them. 

 

If significant (for some) changes are being made it seems to me that the very least that can be done is to provide reasonable notice so that customers do not loose in the process.  

Edited by iancal

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I don't have children, but in charge of setting up family cruise for my parents renewal vows.  Several of those traveling have children under 17.  I really wanted to sail with HAL, but not able to.

Glad now because while there are going to be times where everyone  is together,  cited children clubs are something kids can enjoy

I can see more than bullied children, some children are predators also.  Bad move HAL

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11 hours ago, Tapi said:

I appreciate your post. I do believe that you have many valid points, although I have a different opinion based on my personal experience.

 

I stated cruising in the 1980’s aboard Cunard. But I wasn’t the adult back then, I was the child. As you mention, kid programs back then were either non-existent, or nowhere near what they are today. Cruising was different. The world was different. It was a time when parents wouldn’t freak out if we were out riding our bicycles around the neighborhood without a cellphone until the sun went down, or if we went playing in the woods without adult supervision. 
 

I remember being 10 years old, yet it was acceptable to walk around the ship with my two sisters, or to go to the pool, or to an arts and craft class, or attend a movie (back when cruise ships had a movie theatre) without our parents. Ships were small (my first one was 16,000 tons), and behavior expectations were different. 
 

Yes, there wasn’t a kids club, but that didn’t mean that families were together during the entire cruise. As mentioned, we, and other children onboard, were given freedoms and directives that parents don't (or at least shouldn’t) give their children these days aboard modern megaships. We were told specifically where to go, what we could do, and what time we needed to be back in our stateroom. And we were expected to dress up every night and go to dinner where we could showcase our well rehearsed manners and etiquette. 
 

But it’s not 1980 anymore. The ships have grown exponentially. The number of children onboard can no longer be measured in the tens, but sometimes can be measured in the thousands. Family dynamics have changed. Parents have changed. Children have changed. Entertainment expectations have changed.
 

As nostalgic as it may be to look back and remember the earlier days of cruising and the former definition of “family time”, for better or for worse, it’s not today’s reality. And because of that, the cruise lines either need to adjust to the ever changing times, reinvent themselves completely, or suffer a slow death. And that includes maintaining a children’s program that’s in tune with the current times and with what families want in 2019, not in 1980. 
 

And it’s not only about the kids program. Adults today want more options with everything. Dining options, entertainment options, spa services, etc. If a cruise line will be offering more options for the adults, then they also need to provide a kids program that will allow the adults to enjoy these options. No different than when we used to go to land based resorts when I was a child, where I got my first taste of kid clubs. 
 

I will end by saying that I don’t believe that “family time” can be measured in the quantity of time spent together, but in the quality of the time spent together. Wanting to spend an hour or two just with my spouse while the kids meet and hangout with new friends their age is not only enjoyable for all, but it’s healthy for the family dynamics. 

 

thank you x

 

 


 

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12 hours ago, Homosassa said:

 

After reading the entire thread, I am going to offer comments that might show HAL's actions in a different light and probably outrage some of you.

 

I have been cruising for a long time and that included years with my daughter who went on her first cruise with us at 18 months (1985).

 

At the time, not many people traveled with children. Those of us that did expected the cruise to be a family vacation in that we knew that the children would be with us throughout the day and night. But guess what: that is what a family trip is.

 

Any children's programs were limited and might consist of a random activity during the day.

 

The children did eat in the dining room and parents made sure the child could and would behave themselves (even an 18 month old can enjoy the MDR at dinner).

 

During the years, I have be bemused by the changing expectation that the cruiseline will provide a daycare program at no extra cost and that the parents will be able to "dump and go" with no further responsibilities.

 

God forbid that the child not like the program, refuse to go, and actually end up spending time with the parents.

 

It is time that the cruiselines pull the plug on the unrealistic expectations of some families that a family trip is not family time.

 

HAL is definitely being repositioned as far as its targeted demographics go and is being turned into a bridge tier between the bottom tier and the upper tiers.

 

As a result, the traditional cruise experience of limited families on board that did not overwhelm the offered children's program is attracting those that expect a "Dump and go" option and are outraged when the trip may actually turn out to be family time.

 

A cruiseline can very well be family friendly without offering a full time daycare program.  

 

An example is MSC. It markets itself as a family friendly cruiseline. They have such things as strollers and toys that parents can check out for use.  Family activities are just that. The activities can only be attended by a child and a parent. Children in the children's program do not participate in the family activities.

 

There is a children's program but there are closures when the parents must take responsibility for such things as lunch.

 

And families on MSC do take a family trip. The children are with them throughout the day and many are at dinner in the MDR where the idea of enjoying each other's company is the idea (Although some US passengers do think that "Gobble and Go" is the way dinner should be experienced.)

 

So if HAL is trying to make itself into a family cruiseline for families that look upon the cruise as a family trip to enjoy each other and do not do not want to turn their time with each other to a fragmented experience with the child being one place and the parents someplace else, more power to HAL.

 

There is a place for family cruising that is just that and possible the niche that will distinguish HAL as a family friendly line.

 

#judgemental

 

It's not the 80s  - it's nearly 2020.

 

I am a SAHM mother of two children via foster-care (for the last 8 years). We spend almost every weekend as a family enjoying each other's company, eating out etc. Our kids have been on 2 cruises and have eaten in the MDR every night on both cruises - both behaving themselves...mostly (I'd be concerned if they were compliant and well behaved all of the time!). 

 

Forgive me for wanting a 2 hour break to go to the spa without my children.  

 

My experience is that most parents do not dump their kids for the whole cruise - I know for us, we have used it if the activities appeal to the children or if for example we visit the spa or do the 4 hour behind the scenes tour that children under 12 are not permitted on.  

 

 

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Thank you to the OP for mentioning this.  We travel multi-generation and my four kids LOVE Club HAL. We have a cruise booked for the holiday season and thankfully will not be impacted by this change.  That said, there are expecting approximately 200 kids on our sailing which is perfect as kids have a chance to get to know each other and play!!  However, if the clubs go, I will be reconsidering my options which is sad because HAL has the slightly longer cruises which are attractive to us. 

 

My kids tend to drop in for part of the morning or afternoon session and again in the evening.  It is a social event for them to be kids, not a daycare event!!  They will spend time with us during the day on excursions, or at the pool or sports court.  They also want to make friends!  The kids love going down to lido for ice cream in the afternoon with the club.  It's fun!  

Have an excursion the kids aren't interested in?  They can hang in Club HAL for the morning or afternoon.  We have also gone to ports I don't care to take the children off in, again, my hubby and I can take a couple hours to walk around and be back.   Club HAL closes for lunch and supper so the kids spend time with the family!  They will also eat dinner in the MDR 8/10 nights so they can rehash their day with their grandparents.

 

As others have said, not every family/kid wants a vacations with the crazy wild music, parties, and non stop madness.  We don't cruise for the video games!!  No water slide on the ship -- ask my kids how many times they actually used it last year on another ship (I could count on one hand!)  My kids preferred Club HAL to the clubs on Disney, RC and MSC.  They said the big clubs are crazy, loud and out of control.

 

Ironically, a lot of the marketing I have seen recently has been towards families!!  Even the Kids Sail free promo (rather than the normal discounted kid rates) is a marketing plan to get more families on board.   

 

 

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4 minutes ago, RGBFamily said:

Thank you to the OP for mentioning this.  We travel multi-generation and my four kids LOVE Club HAL. We have a cruise booked for the holiday season and thankfully will not be impacted by this change.  That said, there are expecting approximately 200 kids on our sailing which is perfect as kids have a chance to get to know each other and play!!  However, if the clubs go, I will be reconsidering my options which is sad because HAL has the slightly longer cruises which are attractive to us. 

 

My kids tend to drop in for part of the morning or afternoon session and again in the evening.  It is a social event for them to be kids, not a daycare event!!  They will spend time with us during the day on excursions, or at the pool or sports court.  They also want to make friends!  The kids love going down to lido for ice cream in the afternoon with the club.  It's fun!  

Have an excursion the kids aren't interested in?  They can hang in Club HAL for the morning or afternoon.  We have also gone to ports I don't care to take the children off in, again, my hubby and I can take a couple hours to walk around and be back.   Club HAL closes for lunch and supper so the kids spend time with the family!  They will also eat dinner in the MDR 8/10 nights so they can rehash their day with their grandparents.

 

As others have said, not every family/kid wants a vacations with the crazy wild music, parties, and non stop madness.  We don't cruise for the video games!!  No water slide on the ship -- ask my kids how many times they actually used it last year on another ship (I could count on one hand!)  My kids preferred Club HAL to the clubs on Disney, RC and MSC.  They said the big clubs are crazy, loud and out of control.

 

Ironically, a lot of the marketing I have seen recently has been towards families!!  Even the Kids Sail free promo (rather than the normal discounted kid rates) is a marketing plan to get more families on board.   

 

 

 

your children seem to be of the same mind as my grandchildren.   They love Club HAL, whereas they were not fussy on the children’s program on other lines such as Carnival.  As some of them are taking music lessons, they really are awed at the Adagio and/or Lincoln Center Stage performances.   

 

We find HAL a good fit with family cruising, and hope to continue.  We shall see what HaL has in store.

 

Carol

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1 minute ago, CJcruzer said:

 

your children seem to be of the same mind as my grandchildren.   They love Club HAL, whereas they were not fussy on the children’s program on other lines such as Carnival.  As some of them are taking music lessons, they really are awed at the Adagio and/or Lincoln Center Stage performances.   

 

We find HAL a good fit with family cruising, and hope to continue.  We shall see what HaL has in store.

 

Carol

 

Absolutely!!  Club HAL also had a performance talent show afternoon where the kids could get up and sing a song - they had group and individual entries!  This was on an 18 night and it was about an hour long performance because their were so many performers!  When my 7 yo daughter was chatting with a violinist she said she was learning and the violin and the performer was so excited about the fact she was learning twinkle twinkle.  Just the little things and little extra attention they give to kids makes them feel very special!!

 

This summer, in Alaska, they had a magician Nathan Pham (I think) and he came and did an extra show for the kids club.  Then when he saw them around the ship he always stopped to visit.  

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Sent  HAL an email about it, this was their response to me, received this morning:

 

***

 

Thank you for your recent correspondence with Holland America Line regarding Club HAL.

 

At this time the only ship without Club HAL is the ms Oosterdam which is undergoing a trial program. We try to review no things and feature to find if we can offer an overall better experience for our guests. We appreciate your feedback and will be keep our guests as a whole in mind for our future decisions.

 

Please feel free to contact us if we may be of additional assistance or visit us online. We look forward to welcoming you onboard in the near future!

 

 

Kind Regards,

 

Joshua

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So glad they’re not getting rid of the Kids’ Club! An arcade is not a safe replacement for a camp type place. Many families book cruises to be able to offer their kids supervised, fun activities while enjoying peace and relaxation on their own. 

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1 hour ago, GirlGoneTexan said:

Sent  HAL an email about it, this was their response to me, received this morning:

 

***

 

Thank you for your recent correspondence with Holland America Line regarding Club HAL.

 

At this time the only ship without Club HAL is the ms Oosterdam which is undergoing a trial program. We try to review no things and feature to find if we can offer an overall better experience for our guests. We appreciate your feedback and will be keep our guests as a whole in mind for our future decisions.

 

Please feel free to contact us if we may be of additional assistance or visit us online. We look forward to welcoming you onboard in the near future!

 

 

Kind Regards,

 

Joshua

 

Joshua needs to learn to proofread.

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16 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

 

Joshua needs to learn to proofread.

Right?!

 

Funny thing is, I get this email a couple hours later, which seems to be a different response:

 

On behalf of Mr. Kruse & Mr. Ashford, we want to thank you for taking the time to email us regarding your concerns of Club Hal and our new High Score! program. We truly appreciate your feedback; knowing your personal experience is important to us and we deeply regret the disappointment and frustration you encountered.

 

At this time, High Score! has replaced Club HAL for guests 7-17 year olds on the Oosterdam. Club HAL still exists for 3-6 year old one the Oosterdam. High Score! is currently planned for deployment across the whole fleet with the roll out schedule yet to be determined.

 

Unleash your competitive spirit at High Score!, our new family game room — currently available on the ms Oosterdam. By day, it’s a secret hideaway for kids and teens, where they can engage in a fast-paced flurry of four-person air hockey or contend for bragging rights in the video arcade. At night, the entire family is welcome to bond over board games, skee-ball, a tilting labyrinth and family activities. High Score! is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for kids and teens ages 7-17, and for the whole family, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. High Score! is a new family game room with a video arcade, Skee-Ball, four-player air hockey, foosball table, board games, tilting labyrinth and more.

 

 

We acknowledge and appreciate your input regarding our change in programming for children. High Score! is part of a larger plan to make our voyages more enjoyable for families and multigenerational cruisers. This programming offers new activities like dance classes, game nights, nature presentations and cooking classes. There are activities for several age groups – ages 3-6, 7-12 and teenagers – giving kids and the entire family more ways to have fun on board in group settings. High Score! Is intended to cater to the more than 50,000 younger guests sailing each year with Holland America Line. Our goal is to ensure that all guests completely enjoy their time with us and return home eager to sail with us again and we are very sorry if we let you down. Comments and feedback are important to us and are definitely considered in the ongoing evaluation of our product and services. We assure you that we take guest input very seriously, and have forwarded your comments to the appropriate management for their information, benefit, and corrective action as necessary.

 

We thank you for giving us this opportunity to review your concerns, and assisting us in our efforts to meet our goal of consistent excellence. We look forward to welcoming you on board soon. Feedback from our guests is vital in our mission to create once-in-a-lifetime experiences, every time, and we hope to share many more voyages with you.

 

 

Kind Regards,

 

Tyme

Resolution Specialist

Office of the President

Edited by GirlGoneTexan

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Here we go again, the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.

 

Been there, done that - with the pop up Sel de Mer question last winter - and it is STILL an ongoing debate, depending on who is answering the call.

 

🥴

 

Carol

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53 minutes ago, CJcruzer said:

Here we go again, the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing.

 

Been there, done that - with the pop up Sel de Mer question last winter - and it is STILL an ongoing debate, depending on who is answering the call.

 

🥴

 

Carol

Or it keeps changing- a work in progress.....

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Perhaps Joshua and Tyme should call a thirty-second time-out in order to stop the clock and to get their heads together in a huddle with the rest of the team, just a thought

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57 minutes ago, Copper10-8 said:

Perhaps Joshua and Tyme should call a thirty-second time-out in order to stop the clock and to get their heads together in a huddle with the rest of the team, just a thought

After all, Tyme is a "Resolution Specialist"  😋

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