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New To Holland America


Coochuck

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Hi and welcome to HAL,

 

We started with HAL in 1997 on the old Noordam and will be doing our 9th HAL cruise in April. We like them more than many lines because of their friendly crew and their, generally, exceptional service.

 

We have tried other lines, and like Princess and RCL. We didn't have much luck with Carnival and just can't see paying the difference for Celebrity. Costa was an interesting change but not something that is always available.

 

I see you have been on a number of other cruise lines and I think you will find HAL most like Princess in the lines you have been on. The food is good as is the service. The ships have bigger cabins and bigger bathrooms than most cruise lines. The clientel will be older but that also depends on the length of the cruise. The longer the cruise, the older the clientel.

 

Have a great next HAL cruise and again Welcome to HAL.

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The room service menus are very comprehensive -- lots of choices. The promenade decks are lovely. All the cabin stewards are Indonesian or Filipino. All the staff do everything they can to make your cruise pleasant. I keep hearing there is fresh-squeezed orange juice at breakfast, but can't swear to it -- have not ever remembered to look for it :D

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This will be our 17th cruise, but our first on Holand America. What can I expect to see that is diffent from the other cruise lines?

 

Cunard and HAL are always are first choices. Some refer to these lines as quiet and reserved. They are not "party" ships. I like quiet, classical music, the piano bar, ballroom dancing, formal nights, nicely served meals, great room service & cabin service, and good manners. The activities and events on board are well done. The crew and office personal are friendly and ready to serve or solve any issues you may encounter. There are no loud announcements coming into your cabin constantly. The rooms definitely are larger than on other lines and without the awful liquid soap dispensers on the walls of the bath. Bath products are lovely and nicely presented. Cabin linens are a nice quality. I could go on and on. There are children and young adults, but you never feel they are taking over the ship or ship's activities. There ships tend to have a very nice mix of people. There isn't much on board shopping. I do not find this a draw back. Plan on doing your shopping ashore. We sailed the Noordam last on a three week cruise. There was no self serve laundry, and for that length on board, it was missed. Some ships do have self serve laundries.

We keep coming back to HAL.

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The first thing you will notice is the size of the ship compared to Princess or RCI ships. The stately dark blue and white hull is another plus. The teakwood promenade deck encircles the whole ship, you don't have to go up a deck or down a deck to find where you want to go. Just go to the Promenade deck and walk forward or aft. Teak wood deck chairs. Lots of wood and brass around the ship, letting you know you are on a sailing vessel. Fresh flowers on every table, even outside by the pool, IN ALASKA. We had fresh orchids, and they were beautiful. Elemis bath products in your cabin (the best). Robes in every stateroom. Chimes ring to announce dinner. And all crew members are friendly and greet you with a smile, whether they are your cabin attendant or server, or just someone else on the ship. The yum yum man outside the main dining room (with his little Phillip Morris uniform and the goodies). And full hot breakfast room service menu. And bingo was more affordable than any of the other lines I have sailed.

 

And the overall luxurious ambiance of an ocean voyage on an old elegant ocean liner. I believe HAL started as an ocean liner maybe 140 years ago, and although taken over by Carnival, has managed to retain their own identity. It may be sedate and quiet compared to Carnival or NCL, but definitely not stuffy.

 

Some posters have said the cruisers will be older, we didn't find that we were out of place, either when we were 50s or now that we are 60s. Celebrity had many more passengers in scooters and there were only 3 children on the New England/Canada cruise. We have seen families on HAL, as well as those our own age.

 

Have a great cruise!

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The room service menus are very comprehensive -- lots of choices. The promenade decks are lovely. All the cabin stewards are Indonesian or Filipino. All the staff do everything they can to make your cruise pleasant. I keep hearing there is fresh-squeezed orange juice at breakfast, but can't swear to it -- have not ever remembered to look for it :D

 

Fresh squeezed orange juice on the Eurodam 3 weeks ago. :)

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I'm also new to HAL, having recently moved our June Alaska booking from another line. I will say that, after watching their ships arrive/depart Seattle all weekend long from May - September that I've never had any desire to cruise with them; the ships seem somewhat, well, boring!

 

But I'm excited about this itinerary (which is how we choose), and after reading reviews/other cruisers' comments, I'm warming up to HAL and am getting really excited for this trip! Who knows...maybe it'll be the beginning of a beautiful relationship! :D

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I love all sorts of cruise lines and have enjoyed all my cruises, but one thing that sets HAL apart (aside from the fantastic design of their ships) is the crew. They really go out of their way to make you feel at home and comfortable, and the majority of passengers on HAL are a very kind, like-minded bunch.

 

You won't find as much nightlife as on Royal Caribbean or even Princess, but that's not exactly a bad thing. It's not boring, but you will have more fun if you're able to make your own fun, if that makes any sense.

 

The little things on HAL will spoil you: larger staterooms, better beds, good tolietries, flat-screen TV's and DVD players in every cabin...

 

Definitely worth a try!

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This will be our 17th cruise, but our first on Holand America. What can I expect to see that is diffent from the other cruise lines?

 

 

Clean and fresh ships, fresh flowers, great library, lovely staff, good room servise and most important they listen when minor problems arise.

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welcome to HAL .. you will find friendly fellow pax, a great crew, and good return for the money you spend ... be cautious about making any conclusions regarding HAL based on one ship experience as the fleet has many personalities depending on the size of the HAL ship on which you cruise. Some like larger, others prefer smaller - HAL has it all which is nice.

harry

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Someone else mentioned not many PA announcement in the cabins. I'll add "not many PA announcements AT ALL" to that. One cruise, (not HAL) it seemed as though there were constant announcements about "buy the drink" or "purchase pictures" or "spend more money". On HAL, very few of those.

 

And I don't recall anyone mentioning the beds/bedding -- pretty nice.

 

No "hairy legs" contests :D DVDs available for rent in the Explorations lounge area (by the computers).

 

the ships seem somewhat, well, boring!

 

I used to think that, too. Couldn't WAIT to try another line, just 'cuz HAL ships look so "old-fashioned". After having tried another line, I'm delighted to be back on HAL --- I do not care WHAT the ships look like. Now, I'm more appreciative of the classic lines and elegance.

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We took our first cruise on HAL to Alaska. We felt like we were treated royally. We then took NCL to Hawaii. There is no comparison in the world. HAL wins in all areas. Especially food. We are vegetarians, and found the food on HAL to not only be pleasing to the eyes - but to the stomach too. We also loved the little guy outside of the dining room with the treats. That was really special.

 

We are going back to HAL for our Panama Canal trip. We are going to be loyal from now on.

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When on other cruiselines, we submit a credit card at the gate or before

and use a room key card for all purchases onboard (exception being the

casino which loved the green bucks). How does HAL handle the onboard

finances?

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When on other cruiselines, we submit a credit card at the gate or before

and use a room key card for all purchases onboard (exception being the

casino which loved the green bucks). How does HAL handle the onboard

finances?

 

Same thing on HAL.

 

In the casino your winings on slots is also placed on your cruise card and has to be cashed out by the last night.

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Someone else mentioned not many PA announcement in the cabins. I'll add "not many PA announcements AT ALL" to that. One cruise, (not HAL) it seemed as though there were constant announcements about "buy the drink" or "purchase pictures" or "spend more money". On HAL, very few of those.

 

 

 

 

 

So they finally wised up ...

 

 

One time on board Oosterdam, there where at least 10 to 15 PA announcements from the bingo princess regarding bingo every day. :eek:

 

If I had a way of "stifling" her, I'm sure the rest of the passengers would have bought me drinks for the remainder of the cruise ... :rolleyes:

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there where at least 10 to 15 PA announcements from the bingo princess regarding bingo every day.

 

If I had a way of "stifling" her, I'm sure the rest of the passengers would have bought me drinks for the remainder of the cruise ...

 

Oh heavens! That would have been enough for me to complain to someone, anyone, everyone. Seriously, we were on another line and the announcements nearly drove me insane. If I ever experience that on HAL, I'll seriously consider a different (non-cruise) type of vacation.

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I felt there were way too many unnecessary announcements on HAL. It really drove me nuts. If I want to know that there's bingo in the Crowsnest, I'll find out by reading the daily.

One thing I've always appreciated about Celebrity was the lack of announcements, except for the Captain's noontime update on the ship's position, and weather.

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what does the "little man" outside the dining room give you

 

 

 

first time on HAL

 

am used to princess and royal carribbean - do you think there will be much difference as far as the shows and nightlife - is there dancing (other than ballroom)

 

carol

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