We are booked on both the Amsterdam and Mercury to Alaska the first week of August. We love the Mercury and have sailed her several times, but thought maybe we should give HAL a try.(never sailed them). We will be bringing our 16 year old son along and now I have concerns about the age issue sailing on HAL. The most important issue to us is food and service. Some people say HAL food tends to be bland. I must decide which cruise to stay with. Any thoughts or idea's that previous passengers to both of these ships to Alaska would hopefully will allow me to make the right choice. Its a toss up to me....
I would go as far as suggest you look at Royal Caribbean ....this might suit your 16 year old better.
Mary Lou Scanlon
NCL Pride of America April 24, 2010
NCL Epic February 12, 2011
RCCL Allure of the Seas - September 18, 2011
Celebrity Eclipse - February 11, 2012:
RCCL Navigator OTS - February 9, 2013
Hi I sailed with Celebrity and Hal and both are very comparable. The food is excellent with both, the service is excellent with both and as far as the teenager well sorry You can't have everything. I have to agree with the previous to posts. Royal carribean or Carneval would be better for the teens. But as far as the food and service you could be a little disappointed with these two lines especially if you are used to Hal and Celebrity.
I would choose H.A.L. over Celebrity, but only by a nose. Both have good activities for teens. The Amsterdam cruise is fairly port intensive. I know because I too am on this itinerary 06-21. I like H.A.L. because the staffs are usually quite friendly and there are lots of little touches. H.A.L. has bigger cabins and the balcony staterooms on H.A.L. are vastly superior because the decks are about twice as deep. On some sailings you can get a full suite for $1500 or $1600 p.p. I booked ours for $1550 p.p. and do in deed have a full suite. The cabin is nearly 600 square feet. A week with a teen will be easier if everyone has enough space.
Other touches include fresh squeezed orange juice, free capuccino, woolen blankets on real wooden deck chairs, etc. The food on these two lines is quite similar in quality.
(Good but not great) Service is very good on both lines.
Balcony doors on the Mercury open out and literally cut the deck in half because the verandas are so very shallow.
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Re: HAL vs Celebrity
If I were you, I would stick with HAL....I love Celebrity, but I think with HAL's past history in Alaska you will be better off with them....and in the summer, all cruise ships have many families and kids on board.
Crown Princess 1/18/14....the NEW Me, Myself and I cruise!