Go Back   CruiseMates Cruise Community and Forums > Cruise Lines (Mainstream) > Holland America
Register Forgot Password?

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old February 19th, 2007, 08:02 PM
MaryLou's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: A small suburb of Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 4,799
Default Why should I choose Holland America?

If I were going on my first cruise and had no idea what line to choose, tell me why I absolutely MUST sail on HAL? I am very interested in your reasons why.......
__________________
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
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old February 19th, 2007, 08:12 PM
crusin' fool's Avatar
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Posts: 154
Default

Well MaryLou, it would depend a great deal on what it is you want or expect out of a cruise. You age, your destination, your personal requirements to have a good vacation.

If you like quiet refined elegance, you will like HAL. If you appreciate good art and antiques you will appreciate HAL.

If you want the very best service the high seas have to offer you want HAL.

If you want the ability to have solitude at your fingertips but also great companions and entertainment, you want HAL.

If, on the other hand, you are one who like to "party like a rock star" and stay up til all hours, chances are another line would better serve.

If you want to travel with small children, you will probably prefer another line.

It is all a matter of perspective and what is right for you personally. Hope this helps some.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old February 19th, 2007, 08:15 PM
jhannah's Avatar
Senior Member
Cruise Maniac
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 180
Send a message via AIM to jhannah
Default

I have found that Holland America staff treats you more like a guest than just a customer. Their Indonesian and Filipino stewards are service-oriented and very anxious to meet your needs.

Their ships look like ships ... not floating shopping malls. The verandah decks are teak, not rubber mats. The passenger/space ratios on the ships are favorable, meaning you will find plenty of space to curl up with a book or a drink. Their staterooms are larger than industry standard. You'll find fresh flowers and fine artwork throughout the ship. Something interesting at every turn.

And that's just for starters!
__________________
'Vegas Jim
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old February 20th, 2007, 03:11 AM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 1,139
Default

First of all, no one absolutely MUST sail HAL. HAL is not for everyone. You have to determine what YOU are looking for in a cruise before deciding whether to consider HAL as your cruise line of choice.

HAL generally has smaller ships than many of the other lines. I think the largest ships in the HAL fleet, the Vista ships, sail with less than 2,000 passengers. Some of the other lines boast ships that can carry 4000+.

HAL generally isn't a "glitzy" line. You won't find non-stop action all hours of the day and night on HAL, because HAL's passengers don't necessarily want that. We want relaxation when we cruise, a bit of elegance, top notch service, and a quiet and peaceful environment where we can linger over a good book or just staring out to sea. We don't want a bunch of screaming children running wild around the pool, we don't need to hear non-stop announcements about upcoming BINGO games or art auctions, and we certainly don't need rock climbing walls or ice skating rinks because those are precisely the things that bring out all the screaming children on our cruise.

People who sail HAL want great food. That's important to us. We want that food served to us by smiling waiters who can usually anticipate our next request before we even get a chance to vocalize it. We want that food also served in a reasonably elegant environment, where people dress decently and behave appropriately.

We also like fellow passengers who appreciate the same things we do ... a quiet understated elegance that doesn't require a never-ending onboard night life. You'll find HAL ships very quiet after midnight and that's because HAL's passengers are generally the early to rise, early to bed types.

Does this mean that HAL ships are boring? Certainly not? But it does mean that HAL ships are quieter than most. Sailing HAL is more like visiting your favorite country club. It's a familiar place where you are sure to meet up with many old friends, as well as make some new ones. HAL is the same way. Its ships are familiar to us, because many of us are loyal HAL cruisers and have been for many years. We've sailed on most of their ships and while we love them all, we certainly do have our favorites. Each time we take another HAL cruise, we meet up with old friends from past cruises, both fellow passengers and crew members alike. We also are assured of making lots of new friends with each voyage as well.

So, if these characteristics describe what you would like in a cruise, then ... yes ... HAL is for you. But if you're looking for a more action-packed cruise and like the wide variety of ammenities that a mega ship can provide, then maybe HAL will not be your line of choice.

Just some food for thought ...

Blue skies ...

--rita
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old February 20th, 2007, 06:01 AM
Paul Motter's Avatar
Administrator
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: in my office!
Posts: 10,952
Send a message via AIM to Paul Motter
Default

My thoughts are that if you like a quiet, refined atmosphere, with plenty of creature comforts, then HAL is for you. To be more specific:

I love HAL's cabins, they are some of the largest at sea with wonderful new bedding, towels, etc.

You won't encounter loud party animals or kids running on the stairs. No one wearing an undershirt by the pool to show off their tattoos while slugging a bucket of beer by himself.

The buffets are the best, love the ice cream bar and bread pudding, and freshly baked chocolate chocolate chip cookies you can smell from across the room.

The staff is very cordial and friendly. Some of the best room stewards anywhere, many have been doing it for several years.

Night music includes a string quartet, and a sing-along piano bar. No rock clubs. The discos can be a little quiet, you probably do not want to sail on HAL as a solo single, it might be hard to find company.

Also - you can find great values on these ships, with some cruises going for not much more than a mass-market line like Carnival or Royal Caribbean. Their ten-day deep Caribbean cruises are some of the best values out there.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old February 20th, 2007, 04:40 PM
Y2C's Avatar
Y2C Y2C is offline
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Anaheim, CA
Posts: 2,869
Send a message via AIM to Y2C
Default

The beds on HAL are the best I've ever slept in, more than a 5 star hotel.

HAL is changing their image and now getting people of a younger age.
The club HAL program for children is considered wonderful by parents.

The cabins are larger which is a welcome sight, hate getting stuck with other cruise lines that are a size of a closet.

The art work, teak decks, wonderful verandas reminds me of the ocean liners of yesteryear.
__________________
Ready to Steer towards another cruise

Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old February 20th, 2007, 05:01 PM
MaryLou's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: A small suburb of Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 4,799
Default

Thanks to everyone who responded so far. That is all very good information for sure.
__________________
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
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old February 20th, 2007, 09:20 PM
Junior Member
Passenger
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Posts: 21
Default

Fabulous beds and bedding;
Gorgeous flowers everywhere;
Excellent quality and variety of food;
Smiling, efficient service;
Interesting, friendly fellow passengers;
A bathroom you can move around in;

Peace and quiet
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old February 20th, 2007, 09:44 PM
rinker250's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Northwest
Posts: 2,881
Default

I'll second Paul's opinion of the buffets! They are awesome AND the food changes.

We skipped meals in the dining room a couple times to enjoy the buffet.
__________________
Dan
Peace through superior firepower.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old February 21st, 2007, 11:53 AM
Divemaster's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Coral Gables, FL
Posts: 1,135
Default

Mary Lou:

IMHO -

HAL pros:

Better cabin size, better beds, not a rowdy crowd, smaller ships, fewer kids, consistency, classy, better food, many repeaters, nice art and appointments

HAL cons:

Less glitter, older group, no innovations (minigolf, rockclimbing wall, etc), less extensive shopping, staff more subdued and less dynamic, more formal, more oriented toward cruisers than hotelers, a bit more pricy

Of course some pros are cons and some cons are pros depending on individual perspective.

BTW, I've sailed most of the HAL's line over 20 years (age 30-50) and never been disappointed. Ditto says my 11 year old who has sailed more than most on this board, but he also likes some of the innovations in other lines. Recommend you pull a HAL video of one of their ships to get the flavor of cruising on HAL. 8)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryLou
Thanks to everyone who responded so far. That is all very good information for sure.
__________________
Amadeus:09Diamond;Celebrity:10Summit; HAL:87Rotterdam V,89Nieuw Amsterdam II,93Nordam III,94Ryndam III,96Westerdam III,99Veendam IV,01Maasdam V,02Amsterdam III,03Volendam III,03Zuiderdam II,04Westerdam IV,04Oosterdam I,05Zaandam III,06Statendam V,06Prinsendam II,07Nordam IV,08Eurodam I,08Rotterdam VI,09Veendam IV,09Volendam,10Nieuw Amsterdam IV,12Ryndam III,13Ryndam III, 14Volendam IV,14Eurodam;P&O:11Artemis;RC:07Splendour of the Seas,11Navigator of the Seas,12Majesty of the Seas;CDF:14Horizon
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old February 21st, 2007, 12:02 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 2,617
Default

HAL offers many outstanding features we haven't seen on other lines plus it is the class of the mass marketed lines. The beds are outstanding, the buffets, as already mentioned are far superior to other lines in our opinion. In fact all the food with the exception of the specialty dining room was superior. The cabins are larger than any others. I don't think anyone has mentioned the outstanding libraries HAL has. You can even exchange a book you have brought from home and finished for another. The benefit of doing this: no rush to finish the book. You just keep it, plus they offer daily newspapers, lots of puzzles and delightful seating and quiet areas all with views of the water.

That being said, yes, you will get quiet elegance but if you like a busy atmosphere you may find HAL a little too quiet. The activities are not as energetic as some lines. Unlike some others or most others we did not find the service all that outstanding. Our cabin steward was the best we have had after over 20 cruises, but the dining room staff wasn't quite what we had expected. We were not impressed with the overall entertainment.

I think HAL is for the more sophisticated cruiser who has cruised before and is inclined to want the professional staff over the busy energitic, relaxed crew.

NMnita
__________________
ncl, carnival, HAL, Costa, RCI, commodore,chamdres,celebrity,Princess
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old February 21st, 2007, 01:21 PM
Divemaster's Avatar
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Coral Gables, FL
Posts: 1,135
Default

Agree that the dining staff is not what it was in the late '80's, but then the reduced price per person per day is an offset. The cutback I miss is the traditional end-of-cruise presentation of the menus. Less staff now do more and each day's menu is more generic rather than date specific. That said a HAL baked Alaska is still a HAL baked Alaska.

The entertainment is a bit better, if more commercial than years past, but other lines do have an edge there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita
Our cabin steward was the best we have had after over 20 cruises, but the dining room staff wasn't quite what we had expected. We were not impressed with the overall entertainment.
NMnita
__________________
Amadeus:09Diamond;Celebrity:10Summit; HAL:87Rotterdam V,89Nieuw Amsterdam II,93Nordam III,94Ryndam III,96Westerdam III,99Veendam IV,01Maasdam V,02Amsterdam III,03Volendam III,03Zuiderdam II,04Westerdam IV,04Oosterdam I,05Zaandam III,06Statendam V,06Prinsendam II,07Nordam IV,08Eurodam I,08Rotterdam VI,09Veendam IV,09Volendam,10Nieuw Amsterdam IV,12Ryndam III,13Ryndam III, 14Volendam IV,14Eurodam;P&O:11Artemis;RC:07Splendour of the Seas,11Navigator of the Seas,12Majesty of the Seas;CDF:14Horizon
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 06:34 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 1,139
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rinker250
I'll second Paul's opinion of the buffets! They are awesome AND the food changes.

We skipped meals in the dining room a couple times to enjoy the buffet.
And I'll third Paul's opinion of HAL's Lido Buffet ... one of the best at sea ... and if you decide to take your dinner there, you will find a special ambience, with tableclothes on all of the tables. Your go through the buffet line, but often your main entree is cooked to order and is delivered to you at your table. There are also stewards at the end of the buffet line who will insist on helping you carry your food to your table of choice.

Even at breakfast and lunch, there is plenty of choice in the Lido ... and plenty of stewards to lend a hand for those perhaps having difficulty carrying their trays. I can't tell you how many times I've had to politely ward off the steward's efforts to help me, preferring that he extend them to someone more in need of them than me.

I've sailed Princess and I can honestly say that it is precisely because of food quality that I went back to HAL. No one can beat HAL's food, though Celebrity came close.

Blue skies ...

--rita
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old February 22nd, 2007, 09:05 PM
Senior Member
Admiral
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 2,617
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kryos
Quote:
Originally Posted by rinker250
I'll second Paul's opinion of the buffets! They are awesome AND the food changes.

We skipped meals in the dining room a couple times to enjoy the buffet.
And I'll third Paul's opinion of HAL's Lido Buffet ... one of the best at sea ... and if you decide to take your dinner there, you will find a special ambience, with tableclothes on all of the tables. Your go through the buffet line, but often your main entree is cooked to order and is delivered to you at your table. There are also stewards at the end of the buffet line who will insist on helping you carry your food to your table of choice.

Even at breakfast and lunch, there is plenty of choice in the Lido ... and plenty of stewards to lend a hand for those perhaps having difficulty carrying their trays. I can't tell you how many times I've had to politely ward off the steward's efforts to help me, preferring that he extend them to someone more in need of them than me.

I've sailed Princess and I can honestly say that it is precisely because of food quality that I went back to HAL. No one can beat HAL's food, though Celebrity came close.

Blue skies ...

--rita
It was lunch we enjoyed the most and yes, there was always a crew member there to help. In fact a few times I wanted to sey "I might be past my prime, but do I look like I need help? I didn't say it cause I was afraid they might say: "yes" I also loved how hot everything was and cold when it needed to be.
__________________
ncl, carnival, HAL, Costa, RCI, commodore,chamdres,celebrity,Princess
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
holland america, 18 nero Teen Cruisers 4 October 15th, 2006 06:55 PM
Will I like Holland America? steffie Holland America 25 March 30th, 2004 04:44 PM
Holland America Jean Swenson Holland America 30 December 9th, 2003 05:38 PM
Holland America george Gay / Lesbian Cruising 8 September 30th, 2003 08:20 AM
Holland America Paul Motter Crewmembers 0 October 23rd, 2002 12:38 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:22 AM.
design by: Themes by Design

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1