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  #61 (permalink)  
Old November 25th, 2005, 06:02 PM
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Default Boring

Yes Holland America is boring. I just got back from a transatlantic crossing onboard Prinsendam. Unless you gambled (bingo or casino) your daytime sea days were defined by your own imagination. If you didn't bring books, games or personal music onboard you would not have enough to occupy your time at sea. There were not enough poolside activities, craft activities, sports activities, or daytime shows. All of the shows were performed at night so that the cruise line could sell more drinks. All of Holland America's onboard activities are designed to make money for the cruise line (internet, gambling, shopping, wine tasting, golf etc.). Please if you go onboard Holland America bring a book!
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  #62 (permalink)  
Old November 25th, 2005, 06:37 PM
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Standup, You were left to your own imagination? OMGOD tell me it's not true Must be a terrible thing for someone who is challenged in that department. Imagine the nerve, not entertaining everyone 24/7. Query: Who would go on a trans-Atlantic cruise without a book? I MEAN REALLY.
It depends a great deal on the individual cruise. Our last HAL cruise was around South America and to Antarctica. There were at least three lectures each day, including lectures on the culture, art and politics of the various countries we visited. as well as food and wine, natural history and the flora and fauna of the region. There was a good library, movies in the theatre, movies to check out and watch in your room. various ship tours, several hundred interesting people to meet., and of course the bingo and gambling if you were so inclined. There was also spectacular scenery, and the incomparable joy and solitude of the sea.

Bottom line: People who are interested in life, and facinated by the world they live in and the sea are never bored on any cruise. For the rest, well, you can but feel sorry for them.
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Polynesia, Carib. '86
Cr. Odyssey, Scandinavia, '91, 30 Day S Pac. 2002
Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
Statendam, 34 day China, Japan, AK '06
Cr.Pr., Carib. 08
Eurodam, Atlantic, Med. '10
Golden Princess
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  #63 (permalink)  
Old November 25th, 2005, 10:17 PM
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What do you expect on a trans atlantic cruise with a limited number of stops?As for the shows they are always held at nite with a few exceptions.It is my understanding that those who take a repositioning cruise know what to expect and you will not be entertained as much as thos making stops almost daily.I have never been on a cruise where I felt a lack of entertainment and if so would be quite happy enjoying the ship and my fellow passengers.AM not in agreement with your comment that everything is geared to only making money.Maybe you should try another type of vacation.
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  #64 (permalink)  
Old November 26th, 2005, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Boring

Quote:
Originally Posted by standup
Yes Holland America is boring. I just got back from a transatlantic crossing onboard Prinsendam. Unless you gambled (bingo or casino) your daytime sea days were defined by your own imagination. If you didn't bring books, games or personal music onboard you would not have enough to occupy your time at sea. There were not enough poolside activities, craft activities, sports activities, or daytime shows. All of the shows were performed at night so that the cruise line could sell more drinks. All of Holland America's onboard activities are designed to make money for the cruise line (internet, gambling, shopping, wine tasting, golf etc.). Please if you go onboard Holland America bring a book!

Oh dear! Just what did you expect when the itinerary was mostly days at sea - that's probably what attracted the majority of the passengers.

I wouldn't think of going anywhere without a couple of books and surely you could have struck up a few interesting conversatiions with fellow travellers - well, maybe not if you personally have few interests in your life and constantly need to be 'entertained'.

Next time, book a 7 day port intensive cruise.
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Old November 27th, 2005, 03:21 PM
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Well Suki I can tell you that I crossed the Atlantic ocean onboard Celebrity Millenium and had a fabulous time. I also crossed the Pacific Ocean onboard Crystal Harmony and loved it, I didn't want to get off of the ship. Crystal has craft classes every day, they have onboard shows and concerts during the daytime, they have sports activities all during the day, their lectures are interesting and informative, they treat singles like royalty. Holland America Prinsendam is a colossal bore! My fellow passengers agreed with me. They found the ship boring too. Even the crew finds the ship boring. Crew members stated that there were no parties for the crew, unlike onboard other cruise lines. Holland America is for people who like to play bingo and drink cocktails. Suki you have no reason to criticize my opinion, it is just that an opinion. If you love Holland America go back onboard and play bingo.
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  #66 (permalink)  
Old November 27th, 2005, 05:42 PM
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Standup, I too have been on the Crystal Harmony, great ship, but other than being a great deal more expensive than HAL or Princess, I didn't find that much difference in the "entertainment" offerings on sea days. Check my original post. What is inaccurate about it? Nothing. Admittedly, I haven't been on the Prinsendam, but I have been on the Volendam and the Ryndam (for 30+ days) and in both cases there was an almost overwhelming amount to do everyday. Do you suppose that they simply leave the Prinsendam out? I doubt it. In addition to the things I mention in my first post, HAL now offers culinary arts classes. Of the 4 or 5 major cruise lines I've been on, HAL offers by far the most in terms of meaningful lectures about history, culture ecology and the like. I'm sorry you had a bad trip, but some folks are difficult to please.
We are booked on a very long HAL cruise on the Statendam next April and May. it is in two parts really, the second part is repositioning the ship from Japan to Vancouver for the summer Alaska Run, I'm not expecting the repositioning part to be as activity intensive as the first 2.5 weeks. So I'm planning to read some really good books, watch some good movies, take some cooking classes, and meet a lot of new people. I also know there will be lectures on the Aleutian Islands and Alaska. I can't wait
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Polynesia, Carib. '86
Cr. Odyssey, Scandinavia, '91, 30 Day S Pac. 2002
Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
Statendam, 34 day China, Japan, AK '06
Cr.Pr., Carib. 08
Eurodam, Atlantic, Med. '10
Golden Princess
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  #67 (permalink)  
Old November 30th, 2005, 02:16 AM
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Since my ears perk up whenever I hear "HAL" I've enjoyed reading all these posts. I went around the world on the S S Ryndam 25 years ago. It took almost 6 months, and cost a total of $2000. Plus it was school (It was called World Campus Afloat out of Chapman U in California.) Mind you, the land campus then for a semester also was $2000. In 2 of the ports, Japan and India, we had a full week to go exploring and we took trains and planes to all over Japan and planes to Agra to see the Taj Mahal and stayed in hotels, etc. We were at sea for a week before getting to Hawaii from Los Angeles, and took finals for a week when we sailed back from Lisbon to New York. Where shows would have been, that was our student union, for student shows or just lazing around. Where gambling might have been was our library, and everywhere rooms were turned into classrooms. We slept 4 in a 1/2 cabin, bunk-style. We saw the same 7 movies for 6 months. We ate crew food, not fancy, but the best in the world, and lots of it. So to hear some of these complaints about when you're to get all these elegant dinners is kinda strange. The first time I was expected to pay $2000 for a one-week cruise, all I can tell you is I said, put away all this fancy food and add some ports and days for my money! And I'll make my own pictures and experiences, thank you! Don't worry about me getting bored!! Needless to say, there were a lot of marriages between crew and students and teachers, etc. The whole situation was different as we jogged around the decks for P.E. and had time to form intense friendships. The ships weren't stabilized then and although some people become so sick they had to fly home, I found I could sleep 4 hours and it felt like 8 it was so sound. Also, it sounds like a lot of you are coupled up on this post. I would give anything to be married again! What on earth difference could it make what cruiseship you're on if you're married. Get busy with each other and go out and see the world for heaven's sake!
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  #68 (permalink)  
Old December 1st, 2005, 03:37 PM
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VeryPicky: Enjoyed reading your post...Nice experience.
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  #69 (permalink)  
Old January 22nd, 2006, 12:33 AM
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Average age on HAL:

Well, my daughter has been the youngest on five separate HAL cruises (born 1998). With one or two exceptions my wife has been the second youngest (born 1965). And I am pretty certain that there haven't been many younger than me (born 1941). Thus, the average age on HAL must be about 70 or maybe 75.

All three of us have enjoyed every HAL cruise. But then we enjoy quiet, respectful people. And it is fun running ahead of our seniors after we jump off the tour buses.

We were attracted to each of our HAL cruises based on their itineraries. There have been few days at sea and many early breakfasts to be ready for the excursion of the day. Thus, night life has been irrelevant. We have needed our sleep!

This October we will join the Prinsendam in Athens for a 16-day cruise of the Southern Mediterranean.

As to Crystal, I agree with the above post: The only significant difference: The Price - but that's not quite true - the people were a bit snobby.

This Christmas we enjoyed an "active" time on a Carnival Cruise with my son and his wife. He is sitting beside me, so I will just say eight days was enough. But I would do it again, in three or four years.

As it may be a while before I post again, let me make a couple of recommendations:

The Polar Star out of Spitzbergen - a must!

The Silk Road Orient Express (Beijing to Moscow) - a land cruise - worth every jolt and cold shower.
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  #70 (permalink)  
Old February 23rd, 2006, 02:57 PM
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Just returned from the 15 day cruise to Hawaii on the Amsterdam. Hate to say it, but we were bored to death. The average age was over 80, many of whom were in wheelchairs or walkers, and the entertainment was definitely geared to an older age group. For example, "name that tune of the 20's, 30's and 40's" or the " 50's and 60's sock hop". We were with a small group of 40 and early 50 yr olds, all of whom complained about a lack of interesting activities to choose from. I can read a book anytime, and was hoping for more to choose from. We dined at 8:00, and the hot tub, pool, sauna, spa, exercise equipment, ping pong tables, etc were all closed down by the time we finished. We could choose from one movie per night at the theatre; there was usually a show, but often geared to the musical tastes of an older crowd. Of course, the casino and bars were all open, but we got sick of gambling and drinking about the 4th night! The crew indicated to me that the crowd was a little younger on shorter cruises. On the t.v's, we could only get 3 music stations, cnn, espn and a travel channel, plus some specific to the cruise on ports, etc. Guess it all comes down to what you want on a vacation. For our group, we are looking for activities that we normally can't participate in, not playing cards or reading books. We really didn't want to be on a rowdy party boat, but would have liked to have had more activities to choose from. On the plus side, the crew were outstanding and the ship itself was beautiful, and the food was great. Would have like to be in the ports longer, since we got to the point we dreaded heading back to the ship. We will never pick a cruise with 8 days at sea again, or make sure there are more on-board activities to choose among!
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KK
We will never pick a cruise with 8 days at sea again, or make sure there are more on-board activities to choose among!
Did you not do any research before booking? I am leaving for a 7 day cruise in 2 days and we did about 6 months of research before we booked anything.
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  #72 (permalink)  
Old February 23rd, 2006, 05:29 PM
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The average age was over 80? Nonsense! Over 60 maybe, over 80 never. Of the 1200+ passengers aboard I doubt if 80 were in wheelchairs or on walkers. Generally, the people on longer cruises are older because they can afford the time and the money. If you want to party, stay on Carnival or Disney or RCL and stay in the Caribbean, and do very short cruises only.

I'm curious, what exactly did you think you would do on a ship for eight days at sea? Did you think they would have wild dancing girls to entertain you 24/7 or what? Personally I like long cruises (and have been on several) because it gives me an opportunity to relax with the sounds of the ship and the sea and a good book. I hate cruises of less than two weeks because you don't get a chance to unwind. Maybe cruising is not for you. I f you have to be entertained all day long every day then it certainly is not.
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Landlocked in Denver, but cruisin every chance we get.

Polynesia, Carib. '86
Cr. Odyssey, Scandinavia, '91, 30 Day S Pac. 2002
Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
Statendam, 34 day China, Japan, AK '06
Cr.Pr., Carib. 08
Eurodam, Atlantic, Med. '10
Golden Princess
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  #73 (permalink)  
Old February 24th, 2006, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richstacy
The average age was over 80? Nonsense! Over 60 maybe, over 80 never. Of the 1200+ passengers aboard I doubt if 80 were in wheelchairs or on walkers. Generally, the people on longer cruises are older because they can afford the time and the money. If you want to party, stay on Carnival or Disney or RCL and stay in the Caribbean, and do very short cruises only.

I'm curious, what exactly did you think you would do on a ship for eight days at sea? Did you think they would have wild dancing girls to entertain you 24/7 or what? Personally I like long cruises (and have been on several) because it gives me an opportunity to relax with the sounds of the ship and the sea and a good book. I hate cruises of less than two weeks because you don't get a chance to unwind. Maybe cruising is not for you. I f you have to be entertained all day long every day then it certainly is not.
Maybe the OP thought he was going on a cruise ship, not a floating nursing home. The longer the HAL voyage the older the pax and Cunard aside, HAL has the oldest passengers at sea. Very Lawrence Welk and Guy Lombardo. When they start calling Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland Those crazy kids and think Benny Goodman plays wild music, you know you are in Heaven's waiting room.[/i]
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  #74 (permalink)  
Old February 24th, 2006, 02:03 PM
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Crunch, You obviouly take great delight in insulting people who don't share your particular tastes. In '03 we went on a 30+ day cruise around South America and to Antarctica on the Ryndam before its recent renovation. None of the stuff you said was true, not a word of it. The average age was 55 or 60. There was NO big band music. There were plenty of thirty-somethings, a few in their seventies or eighties, but certainly no more than you would find on Princess for a long cruise. As for your assertion that Holland has more old people than anyone but Cunard, that is rubbish. Obviously you have never been on Crystal. There you will find the really old and rich. Ditto some of the other high end lines. It is true that Holland ships do not have rock walls to climb and fake surf and other gimmicks to attract twenty something party boaters for 4 day to one week cruises. That is why veteran cruisers love HAL. We prefer the company of mature adults who appreciate, the ship, the sea and above all the culture of the lands we visit and the company of our like-minded table mates.
By the way, I am 63, I despise Lawrence Welk, and guy Lombardo. I am some what partial to the Eagles, Sheryl Crow, Credence C.R., the Indigo Girls and J.S Bach. Just because you are unable to understand people who are different from you, or who have different tastes does not give you licence to insult them, or to bad mouth one of the world most respected and loved cruise lines. Have a nice day
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Landlocked in Denver, but cruisin every chance we get.

Polynesia, Carib. '86
Cr. Odyssey, Scandinavia, '91, 30 Day S Pac. 2002
Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
Statendam, 34 day China, Japan, AK '06
Cr.Pr., Carib. 08
Eurodam, Atlantic, Med. '10
Golden Princess
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  #75 (permalink)  
Old February 24th, 2006, 08:57 PM
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Could not agree with you more and you certainly made your point for the record.I am 65 and as active as many of those who claim Carnival the party line.Look for me on the Ryndam on mar 19 and i will be the one entered in all the pool games and winning my fair share.Holland has many activaties that appeal to the younger group and no we are not almost dead.The difference is that you are dealing with a more mature crowd that knows how to party without seeing how many buckets of beer we can consume.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 09:52 PM
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Hey Big Apple, with a little bit of luck we will be on the Statendam come April 15 in Hong Kong. Bon voyage
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Landlocked in Denver, but cruisin every chance we get.

Polynesia, Carib. '86
Cr. Odyssey, Scandinavia, '91, 30 Day S Pac. 2002
Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
Is. Pr., Canal, 2004
Statendam, 34 day China, Japan, AK '06
Cr.Pr., Carib. 08
Eurodam, Atlantic, Med. '10
Golden Princess
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  #77 (permalink)  
Old February 25th, 2006, 10:32 AM
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Het Rich,Have a great time on the Statendam and it is one of our favorites of the Holland fleet.Our friends from Greenville travelling with us found Mrs. Statendam on the first day of 10 day cruise and the odds of this are almost impossable.Am sure you are familiar with this game to meet more of your fellow cruisers.Have fun on this great ship.For the record we lived in Denver from 1991-1994 and a big bronco fan and Buff booster member.You live in great city.
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Old February 25th, 2006, 02:07 PM
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We'll be on Oosterdam next week! Our first Hal cruise...after reading this thead...we can't wait!!!!

Especially enjoyed richstacy comments regarding the age thing...don't know why adults in their 20's and 30's tend to believe that when you hit your 40's and up you must be OLD and at heaven gate! That kind of thinking is OLD and OUTDATED!!!!
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Old February 28th, 2006, 11:48 AM
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Hi Dolores: Returned from our 1st cruise on HAL to Austraila and NZ last month. We have cruised around 12 times so far and found the HAL cruse the best we have ever taken. The food, room and entertainment was excellent. The help was fantastic from the dining room to the room service. Yes, the average age was probably higher than we are use too, but the ship (Staendam), the ports, the excellent service, etc., was so good that we will seek out HAL cruises in the future. We are not young ourselves but we are physically active (ride bikes, work out, etc.). It bothered us a little when we first arrived on board but soon forgot with all the wonderful amenities aboard. We really liked the idea that tipping was taken care of without all the normal hassle. If you are under 30, you might want to take a RC cruise but you will find the same ages on the Celebrity and the Princess line and HAL has them beat.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 02:15 AM
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Just completed our first HAL cruise on the Oo, and I must say that we were blown away by the beauty of the ship and the service.

Were we bored? NEVER! There was always plenty to do or see. But each cruise line and ship has it's own personality, and the Oo certainly fit our personality profiles.

We found a good mix of all ages represented. We truthfully saw a lot more 'older' passengers on the Celebrity Mercury than on the Oo.

What we found awesome, was the extensive use of wood throughout the ship. NO plastic! Wooden deck chairs, beautiful lounges, especially on the Observation Deck.

Our suite was really a suite with plenty of cabin space, a comfortable bathroom and we had a large veranda!

Another impression thing about the Oo is there are lots of intimate lounges and bars for passengers. We rarely ran into crowds, not even at the Service Desk... In fact the only time we saw evidence of the number of passengers was during muster.

Cruising HAL IS different than RCCI and Celebrity and that's ok too. HAL fits our personality...so we'll be cruising them again for sure!
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