In February the Zuiderdam and Volendam will be at Half Moon Cay at the same time. Will the island be a bit crowded with passengers from two ships? The Volendam gets in at 7 a.m. and the Zuiderdam at 8 a.m.
I can only comment on my experience when there was only one ship.
With only one ship (Zaandam last March) we felt like the beach and the facilities could have easily handled many more people. Lounge chairs were abundant on the beach, food and drink facilities were uncrowded. HMC definitely was a highlight of our cruise.
We'll be there Nov 21 - Zuiderdam and Noordam are showing to be there. I'm curious how the "people density" situation will be.
On Maasdam last year for Thanksgiving week, we were the only ship there and it was awesome! Knowing there will be two ships, I am now leaning towards reserving a clam shell just to be sure we have a place to sit.
I was there when we were on the Maasdam and the Amsterdam was also there. THere were alot of people but it was not crowded. I suggest getting off the tender and going left down the beach a bit. looked like most people stay close to the tender and food area that area seemed crowded.
we had no trouble securing chairs for 6 and even a hammock by walking a few minutes.
Turns out CruiseCal was incorrect for our Nov 21 HMC day on Zuiderdam. Fortunately we only had the 2072 passengers of the Zuiderdam there (11/20 sailing). Still enjoyed our $9 clamshell though (arrived by 9 AM), and in the morning we popped into a couple hammocks to enjoy for a short while. By noon, some people came to claim "their" hammocks - dropping a pair of flipflops in each hammock, excited they had their own hammock for the day, and then venturing off to not be seen again (we left about an hour later). So nice of them to be considerate of other guests who might have wanted to spend a few minutes laying in "their" hammocks. We were near the last three cabanas - so quite a ways down the beach (of course spent some time walking to the very far end by the rocks).
Clamshell is a blue "half moon" thing that covers two lounge chairs to provide shade. You are guaranteed two chairs plus the blue thing, that is held up by a pole.
If you have ever been to Norwegian's private island, Great Stirrup Cay, it's the same thing you see lining the beach there that's actually free - first-come,first-serve. HAL charges $9 for their's.
We were on the first tender - which left at 8:15 - and the Zui was the only ship in port. I believe we had 2072 passengers onboard. The closer you were to the main entrance, the more crowded the beach was. We were down by the last three cabanas like we did last year, and enjoyed it. November 21 was the day we were there - the first day the waterpark was open - but we didn't go there (we don't have children). The hotel director shared with us one evening it seemed to be a hit - he enjoyed watching to see what the kids would actually gravitate towards. You can see the waterpark area as you pull up on the tender.
Two ships at Half Moon has somewhat ruined the experience. I have been to Half Moon many times and when there are 2 ships it is very crowded. If it is a nice day, the beach will be packed solid and lounge chairs can be difficult to find.