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Considering first HAL Cruise with our teens


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Good morning! My wife and I are planning on taking a cruise March 2022 during Spring Break. We've cruised many times of several lines (DCL, RC, and Norwegian). We had planned on booking RCL Rhapsody of the Seas, but found a good offer on HAL Rotterdam. 

 

We had been told that HAL might not be the best fit for a cruise with our teenage girls (14, 16, and 18 at the time of sailing). But my girls don't do the Teen activities or Teen clubs on any of the ships we've sailed. It's family time for us and they prefer enjoying the live music, food, and just being out at sea. 

 

The Rotterdam itinerary goes to ports we've not yet visited, including Half Moon Cay. The ship will be brand new. It's bigger than the Rhapsody of the Seas, but we tend to like smaller ships.

 

What is everyone's thoughts on taking our girls on HAL?

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Absolutely ! Given how you describe your children's preferences, the Rotterdam, not only being the newest and a large ship (for HAL standards) should be a perfect fit.... I'm sure they will enjoy it. Their parents will too 😀

Edited by Lido - Lanai
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I took my nieces on an Alaska cruise a few years back when they were 14. Be sure to check in with The Teen Room on the first day (It's not Club HAL that's for kids) they will meet up with other Teens and then spend the rest of the cruise with them. There was a group of about 12-14 on our cruise and they hangout all over the ship together from morning until the late night Lido closed.

 

They get to meet Teens from other places and it expands their horizons. 

 

-Paul

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While I normally don’t think of HAL as a teen oriented cruise line, it might be a really good fit in this case. If you’re taking them on a cruise over spring break, there will be a higher number of families with teens on board. What you won’t find is huge numbers of the rowdy party til you puke crowd. They go for the ships with water slides and go cart tracks. Those ships, like Cancun, are best avoided over spring break with the family.

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I totally agree with everyone here, from how you explained your family the Rotterdam is an absolutely perfect ship for your family cruise.  Half Moon Cay is, for me and my family, always the highlight of the cruise.  Its a beautiful beach day for us as we all enjoy beaches.....ooohhhh I can't wait til we're sailing again...............

 

The Pinnacle Class ships also have Family cabins that will sleep 5.  I don't know how large these cabins are as they are new to this class of ship, but they may work for your family.  Be sure to ask about them on the Rotterdam if you decide to book it.

 

 

 

 

Edited by doone
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If your teens really are like your post says, they will be fine. Mine went to one Carnival teen club once and it was “one and done” and they never went back on any cruise line. HAL was a good fit for us. Mine enjoyed the ping pong table (beating mom) and visiting the ports.  On sea days we walked, watched videos, and looked for dolphins and birds off the side of the ship.  Half Moon is truly lovely. Sigh.

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Many teens enjoy the NY Deli & Pizza area overlooking the indoor pool.  Another teen activity that I have seen on all of my HAL cruises is the scavenger hunt.  Many teens make friends from all over the world with whom they keep in contact for years (so they have told me).

 

Here is an example of teen activities on a HAL Pinnacle-class ships:

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Club-HAL-Teens.pdf

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I did a Caribbean cruise on another Pinnacle class ship, the Koningsdam,  in April of 2019.  There were lots of families with teenagers and they appeared to be having a great time.  Yes, indeed, HAL offers some very nice deals in the Caribbean that time of year.

Edited by Mary229
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1 hour ago, Nachosdelux said:

I am going to offer a contrarian view.

 

HAL is great if you are an adult.

 

Teens will have MUCH more fun on RCL.  Not even close.  Do them (and yourself)  a favor and splurge.


Our teens prefer HAL over RCL.

They hated the rock climbing wall, the flo rider, and the hype of RCL.  They couldn’t wait to get off the 7 day cruise and spent almost all of their day in their cabin.

They thoroughly enjoy HAL cruises.  As an example on their 17 day Christmas cruise from Sydney to Auckland...not a single whine or complaint.  Chillin by the pool, excursions, dive in burgers, music, shows, scenery watching, and making friends from across multiple nations.  Rarely in their room and never “bored”.

Hands down HAL is preferred. They never want to see another RCL cruise ever again.

Just their perspective.

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43 minutes ago, SouthAltaCruisingFamily said:


Our teens prefer HAL over RCL.

They hated the rock climbing wall, the flo rider, and the hype of RCL.  They couldn’t wait to get off the 7 day cruise and spent almost all of their day in their cabin.

They thoroughly enjoy HAL cruises.  As an example on their 17 day Christmas cruise from Sydney to Auckland...not a single whine or complaint.  Chillin by the pool, excursions, dive in burgers, music, shows, scenery watching, and making friends from across multiple nations.  Rarely in their room and never “bored”.

Hands down HAL is preferred. They never want to see another RCL cruise ever again.

Just their perspective.

Same here. My teens thought the ice skating show on RCL was fun but other than that...nope to the rest of it. 

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6 hours ago, Nachosdelux said:

I am going to offer a contrarian view.

 

HAL is great if you are an adult.

 

Teens will have MUCH more fun on RCL.  Not even close.  Do them (and yourself)  a favor and splurge.


Normally I would agree, but NOT over spring break when RCL and Carnival are full of drunk college students cutting loose.

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We have taken our grandchildren on HAL since they were small and they love it. The older ones are now 17 and almost 13. We did take them once each on Carnival, but they prefer Holland which certainly suited us! We do the Caribbean almost every Thanksgiving on the bigger ships and did 14 days in Norway and Iceland on Nieuw Statendam in summer 2019 and they had a great time. The teenagers seem to find one another and hang together as they wish.

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My daughter joined us briefly whilst on a long cruise. ‘No Way’, said she. So-oo many more fun things for younger people on other lines. We LOVE Holland-America, but frankly it’s for old folks’ parents. That said, if these kids are going to simply ‘Veg-out’ 24/7 then who am I to say??

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We took our Grandson on an Alaskan cruise in 2019 on the Noordam and he loved it. There were a lot of other kids his age on the ship and never was bored. I say go for it.

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1 hour ago, Gail & Marty sailing away said:

You have picked a great ship for your family.

Totally agree, the Rotterdam is brand new and one of the Pinnacle Class ships which are a welcome addition to the HAL fleet, gives you options.............IMHO

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Just like some adults prefer various amenities on board, so do kids and teens.  In general, self-sufficient teens who enjoy traveling the world and who do not require constant in-your-face stimulation will do well on HAL.  I would advise the OP's teens, as another poster suggested, to go to the teen meet-up the evening of embarkation day.  They may choose not to participate in any of their activities, but will at least find out who else is on board in their age group and may even find out they enjoy spending time with them.

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My now adult kids never attended the kids clubs on cruises either. They cruised as teens and young adults several times. They have cruised on Hal and Celebrity and love both. Its funny they prefer small ships as well. We made sure to throw in a few games and some of our favourite memories were playing cards together in the evenings or having a wonderful meal as a family in the main dinning room.  We enjoyed spending time as a family onboard and your family will have a great time too! 

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We have done 2 HAL cruises with teens after 5 disney cruises, mine hated it we though the first time was just not a great staff, it was worst the second time. My 15 year old said she rather be in school then be on the ship 

Edited by Jareds_mommytoo
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On 2/10/2021 at 12:03 PM, Nachosdelux said:

I am going to offer a contrarian view.

 

HAL is great if you are an adult.

 

Teens will have MUCH more fun on RCL.  Not even close.  Do them (and yourself)  a favor and splurge.

 

22 hours ago, Horizon chaser 1957 said:


Normally I would agree, but NOT over spring break when RCL and Carnival are full of drunk college students cutting loose.

 

I think these are both good points.  

 

OP, I totally agree that RCI isn't a line I would say over Spring Break.  However, you should also know that HAL has pretty much eliminated all live entertainment during the day.  I only say that because you said something about enjoying live music.  On my last couple HAL cruises, there has been no live music at the pool.  Sea days can be very sleepy on board.  

 

Ref Half Moon; the beach is the best of any cruise line private island I've been to.  

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If you want them to be the only teens on the ship.  HAL caters to an older clientele.  The Caribbean itinerary will certainly be younger than if it was to Alaska or the Mediterranean but If I was going to pick a line that offered nice amenities and other teens plus fun things to do for them I would pick Royal Caribbean.  

 

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  • 1 month later...

My now 17 year old son has been on Norwegian, Princess, HAL and Carnival. He much prefers HAL and always has met kids his age. Alaska cruises will have a lot of kids and they will definitely not be the only teens on board. While off-season HAL cruises have an older clientele, cruises during vacations times are much more multi-generational regardless of destination.

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My DD, now an adult, was perfectly happy with HAL in her pre-teen to teenage years.  She being on the introverted side had no problems with the older crowd and would strike up conversations with older adults.  Other than eating everything she could, escargot especially, going with us to Bingo, reading, swimming, or just relaxing about while drawing were her thing.   But in the end it comes to the kid(s) in question if they must have external stimuli to be entertained.  

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