Jump to content

Is Holland America a Good Fit For Me?


Recommended Posts

19 hours ago, Hlitner said:

I believe that HAL has eliminated the Piano Bar from a majority of their ships.   

 

Hank

They just renamed it. It's now the Billboard Onboard venue. The dueling pianos is quite entertaining.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, LizO830 said:

They just renamed it. It's now the Billboard Onboard venue. The dueling pianos is quite entertaining.

I admit that I enjoy dueling pianos when both players have skill.  The first time I heard that format was back in the 60s when I first went to Pat O'Brian's in New Orleans.  However, there is a big difference between HAL's dueling pianos which are based on scheduled sets as opposed to a decent piano bar player (and HAL had some of the best).   Players like Barry from Boston and Stryker would often go from about 9 to midnight with a single short break.  Piano Bars also often develop a comradery among regulars (we have made some good friends in HAL's piano bars). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, LizO830 said:

They just renamed it. It's now the Billboard Onboard venue. The dueling pianos is quite entertaining.

 

Well, it’s two pianos not dueling pianos IMO.

 

But, it is a far cry from the piano bar.  There is a big difference.  If you have been in a piano bar which carries on and plays what the passengers want (at times) and builds camaraderie,  you know what I mean 😉 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In Jan 2020 we had just moved and wanted total relaxation.  We booked HAL knowing it would be quiet.  It was and we had a chance to unwind.  However, it was even more sedate than we remembered.  The cruise director staff consisted of about 2 people plus the child care staff.  There was no live music at the pool or during sail away.  There wasn’t a band at any of the shows, just recorded music and a light show with a handful of dancers.  We are not night owls, but the bars were vacant long before 10 pm.  And, there is no place except room service to get a cookie, ice cream, or anything sweet after 8pm because the buffet closes.  HAL has some lovely itineraries and the crew is great, but the line needs an infusion of energy.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

40 minutes ago, 81Zoomie said:

In Jan 2020 we had just moved and wanted total relaxation.  We booked HAL knowing it would be quiet.  It was and we had a chance to unwind.  However, it was even more sedate than we remembered.  The cruise director staff consisted of about 2 people plus the child care staff.  There was no live music at the pool or during sail away.  There wasn’t a band at any of the shows, just recorded music and a light show with a handful of dancers.  We are not night owls, but the bars were vacant long before 10 pm.  And, there is no place except room service to get a cookie, ice cream, or anything sweet after 8pm because the buffet closes.  HAL has some lovely itineraries and the crew is great, but the line needs an infusion of energy.

HAL does have a late night buffet at least, they did, on my last cruise.  It started around 10.  Perhaps it wasn’t every night. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have always thought the reason HAL shuts down at night is not because everyone is old and worn out but because they do have port intensive journeys.  I am usually off the ship by 8 am and may explore until 4 or 5 pm and if in port overnight we might go out for the evening.  Nights before days at sea tend to be more active on ship. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are looking forward to our first HAL cruise in November.  Southern Car.   Just want to be on a ship!   From what I read - seems like Rotterdam will give us options in the evening.  


Betty

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Mary229 said:

HAL does have a late night buffet at least, they did, on my last cruise.  It started around 10.  Perhaps it wasn’t every night. 

There is a regular late meal at 10:30 PM every evening for the staff that are working during the regular dinner time (Spa, entertainers, Shops, etc.) and passengers may participate.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, BettyPC said:

We are looking forward to our first HAL cruise in November.  Southern Car.   Just want to be on a ship!   From what I read - seems like Rotterdam will give us options in the evening.  


Betty

Here is a link to the daily activities on a Pinnacle-class ship (Rotterdam) to give you an idea of what to expect onboard: 

 

https://rogerjett-photography.com/specialty-2/on-locations-specific-cruises/caribbean-ms-nieuw-statendam-7-day-including-key-west-when-where-2019/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, LizO830 said:

They just renamed it. It's now the Billboard Onboard venue. The dueling pianos is quite entertaining.

A Piano Bar and Duel Pianos are two totally different concepts. They are not at all the same. 

I, too, miss the Piano Bars. I would even accept the Piano Lounges that the R-class ships had, but there was nothing like the true Piano Bars on the original configurations of the S-class ships, and even the Vista ships. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, Crew News said:

Here is a link to the daily activities on a Pinnacle-class ship (Rotterdam) to give you an idea of what to expect onboard: 

 

https://rogerjett-photography.com/specialty-2/on-locations-specific-cruises/caribbean-ms-nieuw-statendam-7-day-including-key-west-when-where-2019/

Thank you so much!   Very helpful - looks like lots to keep us busy!

 

Betty

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, BettyPC said:

Thank you so much!   Very helpful - looks like lots to keep us busy!

 

Betty

Here is a link to my photo review of the Nieuw Statendam (sister ship to Rotterdam) that with the exception of some decor, should be the same.:

 

https://rogerjett-photography.com/photo-reviews/ms-nieuw-statendam-images/

 

Feel free to ask lots of questions to help in your planning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of my favorite HAL "activities" happened on the Prinsendam during a 2 month Grand Med cruise when the then CD (Thom Faulkner) had "Animal Toss" on the schedule for every sea day.  This involved passengers (almost all of us were seniors) tossing stuffed animals at a target.  Seeing a group of Seniors (some using their walkers) standing in the Crow's Nest tossing stuffed Teddy Bears over their shoulder was quite a sight :).  Only on HAL.

 

Hank

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

HAL has good itineraries, but the ship life seemed more like a rest home to me.  The "entertainment and night life" was the worst I have ever seen on any cruise line.  Even their "party night" was like a sleep party with a few people playing the piano.  We are early 60, not the party type, but it was pretty boring.

Having said that, if HAL had a great itinerary at a good price, I would sail with them again and just treat the ship like a hotel. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/21/2021 at 11:51 PM, zgscl said:

I think it really depends on what you mean by night life. HAL has the music walk (someone will have to remind me what time these close down usually), as well as something in the crows nest after 10. That said. Around 10 or 1030 the ship basically shuts down. I am a night owl and usually walk around an empty ship by 11 or so. There may be some stragglers in the crows nest but other than one Panama Canal cruise that had a lot of 50s and 60s couples that kept the crows nest open I don’t remember much else going on late. 
 

I love HAL but I think Celebrity or Princess would be a better fit for night life. You may even look at Royal or NCL. Any of these will have more night life and a much younger and more late night crowd. 

I think Celebrity's (late) nightlife would be more what you are looking for.  The glassed in Sky Lounge is great for late night music and fun DJs with dancing and even an occasional conga line contest! (We are 72 and love it).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/22/2021 at 10:37 AM, Lovincruisin1321 said:

 You are right about the wonderful and port intensive itineraries.  Although the small ship we were on was just a 5 night Caribbean and still 10pm turn ins resulting in quiet ship - We may give it another shot with different expectations.  Thanks

Please give the Pinnacle Class ships a try, i think you will enjoy them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/24/2021 at 7:36 AM, Hlitner said:

One of my favorite HAL "activities" happened on the Prinsendam during a 2 month Grand Med cruise when the then CD (Thom Faulkner) had "Animal Toss" on the schedule for every sea day.  This involved passengers (almost all of us were seniors) tossing stuffed animals at a target.  Seeing a group of Seniors (some using their walkers) standing in the Crow's Nest tossing stuffed Teddy Bears over their shoulder was quite a sight :).  Only on HAL.

 

Hank

Sounds like an 'exciting' time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i would suggest a "Pinnacle-class" ship, and the Mexican Riviera for an itinerary from San Diego. We sailed this itinerary on the Westerdam in 2016 and doing it again this December for our anniversary on the Koningsdam. Not the usual HAL cruise.

 

If you want a staid cruise, choose VO!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/21/2021 at 3:41 PM, Lovincruisin1321 said:

I have only sailed on Holland America one time - a short New Year's Eve Caribbean cruise.

 

It was a smaller ship and I was disappointed with the lack of activities and everyone turned into their staterooms by 10pm.

 

I would like to give Holland another chance.   What ship would you recommend?  My husband and I are early 60's, love the night life and martini bars, good entertainment and music.

 

 

Can you remember what small ship that was?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Q&A with American Queen Voyages
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...