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AdrieneAGD

Never cruised HAL - looking at Zuiderdam or Oosterdam

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Hi everyone!

I won't bore you with the details, but the cruise we had originally scheduled on RCI's Mariner of the Seas did not happen due to Frances. Luckily, RCI gave us our money back, especially since any comparable cruises with RCI ships are going for roughly 1.5 times what we originally paid.

 

Anyway, our TA is looking at several other options to get us on a cruise sometime in October or November. One option she's looking at is either the Zuiderdam or Oosterdam with HAL. I've never cruised with HAL, and the only thing I know about them is the stereotypes I've heard that it caters to an older crowd, etc. So, what should I expect, having only sailed on RCI before? How do the rooms, food, entertainment, etc. compare?

 

TIA!!!

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I have never sailed on Royal Caribbean, but I have friends who have and who have also sailed on HAL. They had a good time on Royal Caribbean, but they said that the food on HAL is much better and the cabins are more spacious. If you are looking for more of a party group on HAL, I would suggest, from what I have read, the Zuiderdam would be a perfect fit for you. In either case, whichever ship you choose, how can it be bad, your on a cruise!!!!! Make it an adventure and you will have a great time.

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We cruised the Baltics on RCI's Brillance of the Seas a couple of years ago. It was a beautiful ship and the staff was fine but the food was disappointing.

 

The ambience, passenger mix and food choices on HAL keeps us coming back. We've been on all three Vista class ships and like them all.

 

The Oosterdam is newer than than Zui and has a decor more to our taste. But the itinerary would dictate which ship we sailed on. We'd be very happy on either.

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Hey Adrienne,

I see you were celebrating your hubby's 30th, we are doing the same, 11/6 on the Z. Although, he still doesn't know, it's a surprise. I have sailed on RCI repeatedly in the past and was hesitant booking HAL for the same reasons you are. I decided to take a chance as I felt that RCI was not all that I had come to expect. From what I hear, I am anticipating better food, service, cabins, etc.. We may have to sacrafise the occasional late night of dancing, but it will be worth it.

 

Needless to say, I don't think you can make a bad decision. It's vacation, your on a cruise and you'll be together, how bad can it be?

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In October and November you will find an older crowd than during the summer of a vacation period on HAL and most other lines too.

We sailed on the sister ship this summer and had loads of kids.

I dont know what it is you like or are looking for in a cruise vacation. The cabins and service are quite good on HAL. The energy level is going to be lower than what you are likely to encounter on the Mariner.

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We sailed on the Oosterdam in April and loved it. We have the Zuiderdam booked for next March.

There was quite a wide age range on our ship. Families with 3 generations, single people, couples without children. It was quite a nice mix. Maybe it was because it was Spring Break and that is not typical.

We did enjoy our cruise with HAL much better than on NCL though.

 

Katy

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We were on the Oosterdam this past March and had a great time. There was a wide age range; saw very few children. The Crow's Nest was a very popular gathering spot for dancing -- excellent band, good mix of music selections. The disco also seemed to draw a good crowd. We were very pleased with the quality/variety of the food on board and with our cabin. As experienced on past HAL sailings, the service was outstanding. We also sailed on the Zuiderdam Dec. of last year and, although we enjoyed ourselves, there was something about the Oosterdam that would sway us in her favor.

Whatever you decide have a wonderful cruise.:)

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i have been on both RCCL and HAL. for me, HAL is a much better experience. the service and crew are great. the food is good and have enterrtainment is in the good to great range--great, joel mason, especially if you love elton john.

dont hesitate to book HAL, it really an enjoyable time.

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Thanks guys! If she's able to book us, I think I will definitely be less-hesitant to book with HAL than I was before. :)

 

We'll see what our TA can pull together, but so far, HAL is winning in the price-race with us!!

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you'll love HAL! and the nightclubs are definately for the younger crowd! Cruised on Zuiderdam in April. (hubby and I are in our mid 50's...went in for a drink...loved watching the young folks have a ball...one young lady actually had just gotten engaged and the entire bar erupted in cheers and toasts). Crowd was in their 30's...and there were couples and singles. In fact, cruising in November on Oosterdam with my best fried and her daughter who is 27...there will be entertainment and fun for all of us. Yes, HAL does tend to attract older clients...but the younger (savy) cruisers have discovered HAL and enjoy the great food, entertainment, and service! Like others have said...it's a cruise...enjoy!

CP

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We will be on our honeymoon during our HAL Oosterdam cruise, and we are late thirty-something's, and we are excited about being on HAL ships. We really prefer crowd in their 30's 40's and up........ Good luck in your choice!

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