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Old February 5th, 2009, 12:29 AM
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Default Booking 1st cruise, HAL/RCI?

For the last two nights I have been entertaining myself with the all knowing comments from the RCI message boards. I have had two co-workers give high recommendations to RCI; however, I have also heard HAL might be another choice. This will be a mom-daughter cruise, (32/59)...I am not seeking the "Carnival" type cruise experience. The two ships I am looking at are RCI, Serenade of the Seas and HAL, Eurodam.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 09:29 AM
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HAL will be an older crowd where RCI is more middle aged with families. Either way you cant go wrong.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 12:57 PM
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like the proverbial comparing apples to oranges. hal is refined and caters to a more mature (age or otherwise) and cruise-wise clientele; it is more formal than rcl, not so many activities like rock walls and such. cabins tend to be a bit larger on hal. and most likely there will be fewer kids on hal than on ncl, just because of the range of activities. hal is touted to be a 'premium' line, while rcl fits into the 'standard' category. hal ships tend to be smaller, though the eurodam is a large ship; but it is much smaller than the larger rci vessels. so, it depends, like everything else, on what you are looking for and expect. more sedate or late night revelry. why not try them both and see for yourself?
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Old February 6th, 2009, 12:25 AM
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Thank you for your informative advice on both cruise lines. I would love to try both of them. If I enjoy cruising, this will be my first experience I will most definitely try the other that I did not choose the first time.

Still undecided, both lines look great; however, I'm not one to want to be around children so I know what way I am leaning already. Though I would miss the rock wall :/
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Old February 6th, 2009, 01:03 AM
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Holland America, though owned by the same company as Carnival, is a mid-grade premium line, which means better service and food, and will not be a party type cruise. I do not know much about them as I am still working my way through the 5 Mainstream lines(Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Norwegian, and Disney(although it could be argued this is a Premium, I consider it Mainstream due to it's status as a "family" cruise line). Pricing and service are often the difference between mainstream, premium, and luxury lines. My personal recommendation would be Holland America unless you like to have plenty of activities to choose from. Royal Caribbean is the activity cruise line, especially on the Voyager, Freedom, and Oasis(brand new) classes. Also consider budget. I would ask recommendations from a travel agent on this. They can tell you the differences in more detail and get you the same price as booking directly. Also, keep in mind that you should not be asked to pay a service fee for a cruise booking, only a deposit, plus look for a travel agent with at least an ACC certification through CLIA, as they are required to go on cruises as part of their certification so you know they are a reliable source of information.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 12:56 PM
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Good advice on the travel agent. I heard it doesn't matter if you use a travel agent or not...prices are still the same. However, good to know what certifications they should have as well.

Thank you!
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Old February 6th, 2009, 01:10 PM
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Not a problem. I am a travel student currently about to enter the certification routine, likely before I go on my cruise. Being that I am still learning the business, I can only give so much advice right now, but working with a travel agent is highly recommended if you are not clear on what you want to the extent you can book directly. Plus, using a travel agent regularly has the advantage of having a "friend" in the business since you are building a relationship there.
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