Originally Posted by meldelan
really enjoyed reading your post. am reserved for the westerdam on friday, april 1st to the southern caribbean and am looking forward to it. have been on several cruises, but this is my first HAL cruise.
I don't know whose post you enjoyed reading, but on behalf of everyone who posted on it, thank you.
HAL is a sentimental fave of mine because in 1981, took my honeymoon cruise on old Volendam from NYC to Bermuda and they went over and above for us. We got a bottle of wine in our cabin, flowers in the cabin, a free party with the captain in which we "cut" the wedding cake (and ate it, too!), free champagne, free photos, and lots of other stuff as well. That impressed me (I had, by that time, been on about 4 other cruises--Home Lines--no longer in existence, which did not even come close to what HAL did for us) and it became one of my faves. Here are more reasons why: the fantastic artwork on each ship, the beautiful "live" flower arrangements in all public rooms, the friendliness and willing to help nature of the crew, the upkeep of their ships (even if some are older), the food in the Lido and PG (not in the dining room, however--this went downhill, in our opinion), and the fact that it "caters" to a more mature (and somewhat more dressed up--not always showing up in shorts, a tank top and flip flops to eat) passenger--not alot of roudiness going on, drinking/smoking/loud antics by the pool (not to say that there is not some going on, however, but less than on other cruise lines). It is quieter by nature because of the maturity of the passengers, but it still has some young families who do sail on her ships, not so many singles unless during the summer time. The entertainers cater to all people: a string quartet in one loung, a singer/piano player who tells lots of fun stories in their piano bar, a more sedate quartet who play middle of the road music in a lounge suitable for dancing, and usually a more modern hip band in another lounge who sometimes hosts the theme music parties. Of course, you always have the carib band/singers out by the pool as well. The disco, of course, is open late, is loud, and plays music for dancing for the younger set. You'll have one tribute to a band/singer (it was Elton John and the Eagles on board ours), and the entertainment theme show in the theater changed nightly as well.
We have alot of friends who work on the ship we are on, or we try to meet them in port, or exchange phone calls/letters/emails if we can't. Their cabins seem a little bit larger as well by other cruise lines (imho).
When we go on the Eurodam in March, Walter (the bev manager on Westerdam) is going to send an email to the bev manager there requesting our fave wines/champagne (they have done this many times in the past, sending emails to their contemporaries on other ships and requesting certain things for us as well and it always comes to happen!) Our maitre'd also requests our reservations ahead of time for the next cruise's PG as well. It comes in handy to "know" people.
I hope you have an excellent and enjoyable cruise!