Originally Posted by Dhill
I was looking at the Holland American Cruise line web site early today.I noticed that their Prices seem to be in between Carnivals and Priness which caught my attention right away. I was just wondering what kind of reputation do they have?I know its alot of personal opion and all that stuff but is it generally an older crowd or a younger crowd?Does there seem to be more then the average number of complaints? The only thing I didnt like was it seemed most of their ships only had one pool. Are their ships a little smaller then the average cruise ship?I really like their prices just a little curious about the food and service and all that stuff.
The cruising experience varies, of course, with every cruise. The destination, the time of year, the length of the cruise and many other factors affect ones perception of a ship.
In general HAL has had a reputation of catering to a more mature and more sedate crowd. Their night club is probably not as glitzy as Princess', and definitely not as glitzy as Carnival! The shows are more Broadway musical and less heavy metal, perhaps. They are working hard to spread their demographics, and have a very good kids program now. HAL to Alaska, for example, will be a pretty mixed crowd. A 14 day HAL Mediterranean will be more sedate.
All cruise lines get a few complaints, but I don't think HAL gets any more than any other line.
I don't quite know why you think their ships have only one pool. The Zuiderdam class ships have two pools, even the smaller Volendam has two pools. They have some delightful small ships like Prinsendam that may have only one.
They do not have the really mega ships. The Zuiderdam class is their biggest and I think is around 1800 pax. But that class of ship is plenty large to have all the bells and whistles.
Characterizing lines in terms of prices is very chancy. Pricing hops around, changes frequently, and is not easy to compare. In general I would say Princess and HAL come in about the same on average prices. If price is a main consideration you need to consider a particular itinerary on a particular date and compare, but the comparison might not be applicable on a different itin or a different date!
Princess and HAL are our two favorite cruise lines. In fact our two upcoming cruises booked are one of each!
I sincerely recommend that you find a good local Travel Agent who is a CLIA Accredited Cruise Counselor. ACC's have done a lot of cruising and have inspected a lot of ships, in addition to doing their assignments, and can give you a very good idea of the pros and cons of any particular itinerary, ship, or line.