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Old March 30th, 2011, 12:37 PM
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Queen of Oakville Queen of Oakville is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Oakville, Ontario
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Originally Posted by Kuki View Post
Thanks for the interesting and balanced review of your trip.

I have to say I'm somewhat surprised Club HAL was so good. They don't get all that much practice on HAL ships. With "the older demographic" HAL draws I'm not surprised that some passengers would view the kids as an "intrusion".... even if they never heard a peeps from them.

What you mentioned being the most important thing about you not returning to the line.. the motion.... wasn't/isn't due to the size of the ship. It's a falacy to believe that the larger ship, the less motion you'll feel. Big ships don't ride any better than smaller ships.

It's all just a matter of mother nature's oceans, winds, and currents, etc. All of the modern cruise ships have stabilizers, but if conditions are "wrong" you'll find the motion or lack thereof pretty similar.

Kuki - the Kid's club was amazing but that might have to do with the fact that child/counsellor ratio is so good. My kids went to the Kid's club on the embarkation day. By the next morning, they were greeted by name and welcome. I don't think on Carnival Dream, they were ever called by name. Who doesn't feel good when welcomed by name? I also think HAL did more for families then ANY other ship we've been on. (granted we haven't taken the kids on Royal yet). I find most ships have kids activities and adult activities. I think they see the kid's club as a way to keep kids busy so the adults have fun. Maybe we're a bit different but we want to have fun with our kids. As I think I said above, there was a family event every afternoon, and towards the end they had family events at night too. On the last formal night, we took over Northern Lights for a family disco night. We had a BLAST!. Interesting that my thoughts on the movement/size of ship are inaccurate. I know when I sailed Ecstacy (she was smaller) we didn't feel a thing, but it was July and the weather was calmer. On this trip, anyone I spoke to in port (all small ships) were complaining about sea sickness. Anyone I spoke to on Allure - said they were fine. It's the main reason, we likely wont' sail HAL again, but not the only reason. I can live without the waterslides, but there are other things we missed like minigolf. I know we don't particularly use all the activities that Royal offers, but perhaps its just nice to feel like we are in the company of young, active people?

Originally Posted by big apple View Post
Have 110 days on Holland and just completed cruise on Eurodam in Jan and had the exact opposite on our room from your experience and were in a aft balcony suite whih was the best we have ever had and everything in the room was impeccable as to cleanliness and all other aspects of the room. For the record Holland has made a real effort to lower the average age and it has dropped some 10 years over the last 10 years.We had a great time in the piano and it was mostly packed around 10 to 11 each nite.We are seasoned cruisers with over 50 cruises and you might try the X line however they are very similar to Holland in many ways and will pick up somewhat the same age group.
Interesting. I wonder if they spend more time maintaining the more expensive cabins? We were an inside.

Originally Posted by Trip View Post
Queen, this is the kids area, on the Eclipse. Between RCI & Celebrity, I would honestly say, RCI would give you the better childrens fun experience onboard. The demographic Celebrity wants, is not geared to families, and, since RCI is all about families, better facilities with a long background in making kids happy is a plus.

The kids I remember on HAL were older,and seemed to be wandering around looking for fun,and seemed bored..glad your kids enjoyed themselves.

On the old Westerdam, we had a livlier night life, but still more quiet then other lines we have sailed. Our Z cruise, really was an odd one, glad that we have ever experienced that again. I thought she was a beautiful ship.
Thanks for the picture Trip. I never would have thought about checking it.

Originally Posted by 2katz3fsh View Post
Queen, we were on the week before you were on (didn't you see me waving to you as you were getting on and we were getting off?). Our cabin was 6164 so you were not too far away! We were all the way at the stern, port side. Our balcony wrapped around on the side. I wonder if we had the same stewards? I did notice some difference in the Eurodam and Westerdam (took a second cruise on her last Thanksgiving) and I asked if they did certain things differently (i.e., cotton swabs and Qtips not in dressing area) but as soon as I spoke up, got whatever I asked for (in the same containers as were on the Westerdam, in the same spot, so you see, they were not there initially). When we boarded and met our stewards, we told them exactly the way we like things (give us double the towels--which we almost always do not use anyway, we don't vacate the cabin for dinner till 8 pm so make up other cabins first, and also to make our room up last on disembarkation day.) They are well provided for, the first day and the last day, so everyone is extremely happy.
As we always eat in the PG and are the last ones to leave (between 11 and 11:30), I do agree that there was not another soul in any of the lounges we walked by at that late hour. In fact, some of the crew members were already cleaning and running the sweeper in the Explorers Lounge, etc...When we went to Northern Lights one evening, there were only about 30 people there and half of them were crew. There were still some in the extremely smoky casino, but not a full house. We did not go to Mariner's Lunch/Brunch, but did go to about 5 other private parties and were able to drink whatever we wanted with no refusals given (Cosmopolitan, Bellini, etc).
We did not get sick but there were some people who did, I understand. We were also rocking and rolling on our cruise. It rained in HMC, both in the am when we arrived and then later in the day. It also rained in St. Thomas in the afternoon, but cleared up before we left. We took our own "private shore excursions" having been to those ports many times. You may want to try Sapphire Beach next time, or even take the ferry over to St. John's.
There were not too many kids on board with us, but did not hear any negative comments about them at all.
When we were in St.Thomas, the Allure was next to us (and from far away, you could really see the difference). We tend not to like huge cruise ships, so HAL size is just fine for our needs.
We were also off the ship by 9:15 am, gray white #1, but were driving back home, having parked our car in the terminal's gararge.
One thing which we also noticed was that the maitre'd in the PG (Jude Benjamin, or just Benjamin) insisted on having men wear jackets there on a couple of nights. Other PG maitre d's did not. (It was nice because they did look rather raunchy and everyone else was dressed up, even on non-formal evenings.)
We made out like bandits as it was my bd the last night. Were given 2 free dinners at PG by Mr. Stein Kruse as well as a cookbook. On board, given another 2 free dinners at PG, a free bottle of Christal champagne, two sets of coasters, a photo album, received choc candy and a floral arrangement from concierge (who also decorated the cabin with balloons), after dinner drinks and specialty coffee many evenings and perhaps some other stuff I've already forgotten about.
Going on the Century on 4/16--will you be on our tails and shall I get them ready for you?
Have fun on whichever sea you sail on!
Katz - YES, I waved back!!!!!!!!! We didn't try the PG. We generally don't do the speciality dining. I actually really wanted to try Tamarind, but we wanted our first trip, to just enjoy the MDR. If we sail HAL again, we'll definitely give Tamarind and maybe PG a chance. You did make out like a bandit! If I didn't say it above, we got more free stuff on this cruise than ANY other ship we've sailed on. Most of it was due to the kid's club though. We got prices for every activity we did. The kids got great trophies for the Karoake competition. I sang too, and got those reusable blue HAL shopping bags. We got prices for the Trivia contest (again, we were the only ones who showed, so DD and myself competed against DH and my son. We got great prizes for that too. For the scavenger hunt, we got more HAL stuff (pins, shopping bags etc.); DH got a set of golf balls, and both kids got HAL magic 8 balls (you know the kind you shake that give you answers). On the last day of kid's club; the kid's got more stuff in a yellow CLub Hal vinyl sports bag.

Royal Oasis of the Seas - 2013 {pending}
Disney Fantasy - 2013
Disney Dream - 2012
Royal Freedom of the Seas - 2011
HAL Eurodam - 2011
Royal Grandeur of the Seas - 2010
Carnival Dream - 2010
Grand Princess - 2002
Royal Voyageur of the Seas - 2000
Royal Sovereign of the Seas - 1999
Carnival Ecstacy - 1991
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