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  #31 (permalink)  
Old July 12th, 2006, 10:27 PM
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I think HAL compares favorably with Celebrity. Their service and food are excellent. What impressed me the most - our fellow passengers all seemed to be seasoned travelers, gracious and interesting people. There has to be a reason why so many cruisers are loyal to HAL! We were surprised to meet the captain waiting in line for ice cream - and met his second in command while in the gourmet coffee shop. Other things I like about HAL - their shrimp cocktail! I guess I could go on and on - love the fact that most cabins have bathtubs.....
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old July 13th, 2006, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita
Quote:
Originally Posted by richstacy
Big Apple, that's what everyone says about Celebrity so were are anxious to give them a try. Weve seen their ships all over the world and never heard a bad word about them.
The Broncos didn't quite get it done this year. I hope they'll be back. A few years back we lived in San Jose for five years. Our neighbors were big Raider fans, and we were Bronco fans, having lived in Wyoming and Colorado for years. Every time the two teams met, if the Broncos won, I'd discreetly hang a bit of bronco paraphernalia on his door, like a coaster or something. If the dreaded Raiders won, he'd do the same to me. Glad to say that he collected more Bronco stuff than I did pirate gear!
We are about to book HAL for the Panama Canal 10 day cruise: it is either that or Princess. I may be in the minority here, but I expect to enjoy HAL more than Celebrity. We have sailed Celebrity twice in the past 2 plus years and were not totally impressed. Don't get me wrong, we had a good time and with the exeption of service in the dining room our last cruise nothing was really bad, but it certainly wasn't what it was cracked up to be. BTW we are Bronco fans after the Redskins. NMNIta
It has been the same for my husband and I. We've enjoyed cruising on Celebrity...but were not really impressed by anything above what you would expect from food and service. BUT on HAL we WERE impressed by the exceptional service both in our cabin and in the dining areas.

The food on Celebrity is excellent...and we enjoyed our meals on HAL too...so food is not a good enough reason for us to choose Celebrity over HAL.

We are looking to enjoy the overall cruise experience...this includes food AND service, and in this, HAL has exceeded our expectations.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old July 13th, 2006, 11:02 AM
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I can't wait to go back on HAL.......it was my best cruise. LOved the age group and the children that were on there were well behaved. We had the Deluxe Verandah Suite and there were kids on both sides of our cabin and we never heard them. When we did see them, they were with their parents and very respectful. We went during Spring Break a couple of years ago.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old October 19th, 2006, 12:06 AM
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I am actually going to give HAL a try. I am booked on the Noordam from NYC 1/6/07. I am a TA and been on many a cruises and a got a great rate. I know HAL caters to a middle age crowd but I am 25 and my partner is 28. People in my office think I am nuts but I am sure I will like it. We are very low key people who often go to bed at 9pm even at home! I have always loved Celebrity and have always felt HAL is on that level. So for the original poster you are not too young! Go and enjoy!
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Old October 19th, 2006, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by nycruiser
I am actually going to give HAL a try. I am booked on the Noordam from NYC 1/6/07. I am a TA and been on many a cruises and a got a great rate. I know HAL caters to a middle age crowd but I am 25 and my partner is 28. People in my office think I am nuts but I am sure I will like it. We are very low key people who often go to bed at 9pm even at home! I have always loved Celebrity and have always felt HAL is on that level. So for the original poster you are not too young! Go and enjoy!
You will have a wonderful time. Want to hear all about it when you return. Have fun.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old October 20th, 2006, 01:48 AM
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Holland America has my heart. Nothing compares.
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Old October 20th, 2006, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by VeryPicky
Holland America has my heart. Nothing compares.
That's the perfect way to put it.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old October 20th, 2006, 05:50 PM
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We will be sailing on our second HAL cruise Nov 13, southern carib, our first experience was excellent and we are so looking forward to this one. We have sailed NCL and Royal Carib but returning to HAL. I am 47 and DH is 54, we are very low key and like a more sedate atmosphere. Go and enjoy!
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old October 22nd, 2006, 01:10 PM
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You all keep cutting Carnival down and that's the only cruise line i've been on. We were on a beautiful ship called the Valor. We had great service too. The crew gave us a show in the dining room too. I thought all ships did that. Every nite our bed was turned down with an animal made of towels, and a chocolate on our pillow. They are very friendly. The food was great and I seriously thought all cruise food must be great. There wasn't any drunken people hanging around or children. We went to the eastern carribean in January that year. We saw a couple kids on the slide, and a couple older children walking thru. They did have young people who made it fun *20's. Bingo and the usual things being offered during the day. I only heard what you could do around the pool. Our room was quiet. I don't know maybe you should cut carnival after you been on it. The bed was great on Carnival I slept like a baby.

I heard we should take Holland to Alaska and get a balcony room so we are trying the Noordam July 2007. I expect everything we got on Carnival and know we will have a great time. We are going with 9 other couples in our 50's. I'm thinking the Holland repeat customers are going to be stuffy and stuffed up. Hope that's not the case, of course, no one is saying Noordam as the only ship they would take, so maybe won't run across any of you.
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old October 22nd, 2006, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dianeisme313
You all keep cutting Carnival down and that's the only cruise line i've been on. We were on a beautiful ship called the Valor. We had great service too. The crew gave us a show in the dining room too. I thought all ships did that. Every nite our bed was turned down with an animal made of towels, and a chocolate on our pillow. They are very friendly. The food was great and I seriously thought all cruise food must be great. There wasn't any drunken people hanging around or children. We went to the eastern carribean in January that year. We saw a couple kids on the slide, and a couple older children walking thru. They did have young people who made it fun *20's. Bingo and the usual things being offered during the day. I only heard what you could do around the pool. Our room was quiet. I don't know maybe you should cut carnival after you been on it. The bed was great on Carnival I slept like a baby.

I heard we should take Holland to Alaska and get a balcony room so we are trying the Noordam July 2007. I expect everything we got on Carnival and know we will have a great time. We are going with 9 other couples in our 50's. I'm thinking the Holland repeat customers are going to be stuffy and stuffed up. Hope that's not the case, of course, no one is saying Noordam as the only ship they would take, so maybe won't run across any of you.
I am sure you will have a great cruise, but it will be very different than cruising Carnival. The age group will be much more mature, cruising Alaska is not like any other type of cruise you can imagine. It is for those who really want to experience the scenery, etc. You won't have games out by the pool, the bars will not be jumping at midnight, etc. As for things like entertaining in the dining room, this is not a popular or as common as in the past. I haven't cruised HAL for many years so don't know if you will experience the towel animals etc, but even though all mass marketed lines are alike in many ways today, if any two could be different it would be Carnival and HAL.

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  #41 (permalink)  
Old October 22nd, 2006, 02:43 PM
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We've never cruised Carnival...but we've heard that they have changed somewhat, and their appeal is broading to a wider range of passenger than before.

We've experienced the big 3...(RCCI, Celebrity and HAL) All three have the towel animals and nightly chocolates. Service is superior on Celebrity and HAL...with HAL on the upper end.

Carnival is considered 'mass market'...Holland American 'premium'...they are different...and they should be! Each cruise line in order to survive has to find a marketing nitch.

Cruising is becoming more popular, but there is only so much 'pie' to divide. So...Carnival, Disney and RCCI appeal to one group, where as Celebrity and HAL appeal to another.

Of course you have lines like Windstar, Silverseas, Seabourn, etc. which are considered 'top-shelf luxury' cruise lines. You couldn't really compare even HAL or Celebrity to them...you might PREFER HAL or Celebrity to lets say Silverseas...but in price and service you really shouldn't compare them. Again, they've found their marketing nitch.

We found our fellow HAL passengers open and friendly. But then, my husband and I are very open, down to earth and quick to look for common interests in future friends.

HAL is a great cruise line...be prepared to enjoy!
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old October 23rd, 2006, 12:22 AM
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Fieldmouse & nmnita: Thank you for your replies. I still don't understand about this premium ship business, but will find out in July 2007. I know Valor,our cruise ship, was nothing to sneeze at.

The open bars all night, again I don't know about this, we didn't go to any bars. We did go to the lounge to listen to the music and watch people dance again all ages, including one very mature couple, who really could dance. They were always dressed to the nines. We intend to dance this time.

We aren't really the kind to start a conversation, but my sis in law is. Like I said we will be with 9 other couples.

Thank you for explaining more about the Alaska cruise. I didn't think it look like we be on the ship that much unless we didn't spend much time on shore. We are planning on seeing a lot of beautiful scenery and things we have never seen before. Sounds wonderful.

There wasn't any games by the pool on my Carnival cruise, but others may have them. There was a musical groups out there in the evenings. It was nice to sun out by the pool, and no children where we were sunbathing or the pool we were by. The pool was really too cool and the children were enjoying the slide, but only a handful not loud. Adults in the hot tubs too.

Entertainment in the dining room, I can take it or leave it, no problem.

There was mature people on our cruise - actually all ages.

I didn't see all the partying I keep hearing about Carnival having. Guess if you are in the right place at the right time you see it (or if you drink), we were usually in bed after the midnight buffet, so it might have been after that, but it didn't wake us up,lol.
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old October 23rd, 2006, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dianeisme313
You all keep cutting Carnival down and that's the only cruise line i've been on. We were on a beautiful ship called the Valor. We had great service too. The crew gave us a show in the dining room too. I thought all ships did that. Every nite our bed was turned down with an animal made of towels, and a chocolate on our pillow. They are very friendly. The food was great and I seriously thought all cruise food must be great. There wasn't any drunken people hanging around or children. We went to the eastern carribean in January that year. We saw a couple kids on the slide, and a couple older children walking thru. They did have young people who made it fun *20's. Bingo and the usual things being offered during the day. I only heard what you could do around the pool. Our room was quiet. I don't know maybe you should cut carnival after you been on it. The bed was great on Carnival I slept like a baby.

I heard we should take Holland to Alaska and get a balcony room so we are trying the Noordam July 2007. I expect everything we got on Carnival and know we will have a great time. We are going with 9 other couples in our 50's. I'm thinking the Holland repeat customers are going to be stuffy and stuffed up. Hope that's not the case, of course, no one is saying Noordam as the only ship they would take, so maybe won't run across any of you.
I will be cruising the Valor (first time on Carnival) on May 6, 2007 with a bunch of ladies and we plan on having a great time. Glad to hear you thought it was wonderful. We are really looking forward to it........BUT, my favorite cruise line has to be Holland. We also did the 10 day southern caribbean and they had to pry my hands off our balcony to get me off the ship.........I would go back in a minute. But, we had some newbies and we needed to et their feet wet first on a 7 day cruise during that time of year and Holland wasn't an option.........unfortunately. Go have a great time on Holland.........you will love it.
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old October 23rd, 2006, 06:45 PM
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Thank you cris - you enjoy your cruise on the Valor. It really is a great ship and hopefully the newbies will get to enjoy a Holland ship next time. I slept like a baby on the Valor cruise.
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old October 29th, 2006, 06:04 PM
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The bad rap for CCL, AFAIAC, comes from attracting a younger, more rowdy crowd who have, in cases reported to me by staff aboard in the past 20 years: forgot to return to the ship on time, dived into the swimming pool while drunk (when it was netted), and came aboard the ship drunk and disorderely; and reports of crew who were inexperienced, failed to secure the ship for rough seas (you can imagine what happened in the kitchen), and failed to reassure passengers during rough seas (more to the point, they panicked the passengers).

Realistically, not every Carnival ship will have problems and not every HAL ship will not, but Carnival caters more to new, younger cruisers (think "Fun Ships") while HAL to older, repeat cruisers. Can't say as I have every met "Cruisers Gone Wild" on a HAL ship, although I met an Italian couple who jumped ship in St. Martin and held us up for hours until it was determined that they had illegally immigrated and left with all their possessions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dianeisme313
You all keep cutting Carnival down and that's the only cruise line i've been on. We were on a beautiful ship called the Valor. We had great service too. The crew gave us a show in the dining room too. I thought all ships did that. Every nite our bed was turned down with an animal made of towels, and a chocolate on our pillow. They are very friendly. The food was great and I seriously thought all cruise food must be great. There wasn't any drunken people hanging around or children. We went to the eastern carribean in January that year. We saw a couple kids on the slide, and a couple older children walking thru. They did have young people who made it fun *20's. Bingo and the usual things being offered during the day. I only heard what you could do around the pool. Our room was quiet. I don't know maybe you should cut carnival after you been on it. The bed was great on Carnival I slept like a baby.

I heard we should take Holland to Alaska and get a balcony room so we are trying the Noordam July 2007. I expect everything we got on Carnival and know we will have a great time. We are going with 9 other couples in our 50's. I'm thinking the Holland repeat customers are going to be stuffy and stuffed up. Hope that's not the case, of course, no one is saying Noordam as the only ship they would take, so maybe won't run across any of you.
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