We are just about to book a cruise that leaves in two weeks on the HAL Zuiderdam and my son is 41/2 (will turn 5 in September.) The kids program starts at 5 years old and the booking agent said that they are pretty strict about adhering to the minimum age because of liability issues, etc. Has anybody out there tried to take a child who is almost 5 into their program? The booking agent said they might be flexible about it or they might not...we won't know until we get there. We were going to try a Disney cruise, but we've been on HAL before and my husbands thinks this is a much better value...is our 4 yr. old going to be miserable if he can't participate in the kid's program or do you think he'll have a great time regardless? Any input would be much appreciated as we have to book by tomorrow...thanks in advance.
Yes, Hal's youth program starts at five. Most cruise lines are pretty stringent about this. However, since most lines don't have a lot of kids on board in May (compared to June-August), they might make an exception once you talk to the youth counselors. But don't go on board expecting that's a definite.
HAL does have private babysitters if you want a night out alone with your husband.
Make sure you read the article on this section that I wrote, "HAL's New family approach" on our recent Zuiderdam cruise.
Luisa Frey Gaynor
Family Cruise Editor