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  #1 (permalink)  
Old June 15th, 2007, 03:13 AM
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Default Why HAL??

I'm doing a ton of research for our first cruise, which we are hoping to schedule for the fall. Of course, I'm seen a ton of people mention that they choose HAL as their "favorite". However, I've seen no explanations. Can you tell me why?
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Old June 15th, 2007, 06:31 AM
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Default Re: Why HAL??

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Originally Posted by CO_Cruiser
I'm doing a ton of research for our first cruise, which we are hoping to schedule for the fall. Of course, I'm seen a ton of people mention that they choose HAL as their "favorite". However, I've seen no explanations. Can you tell me why?
Of course, the people on this board are going to prefer HAL. Otherwise, why would we post to a HAL message board? Other people prefer RCL or NCL or Celebrity ... or whatever.

Every cruise line appeals to a certain type of cruiser. For us here on the HAL board, we prefer the degree of "elegance" experienced on the HAL ships ... the special service touches, the beautiful artwork that adorns each ship, the fresh flowers, the elegant two-level dining room, and the list goes on and on. HAL is also a line that appeals to a more "sedate" type of cruiser. That's not to say people who sail HAL don't like to have fun ... but we generally prefer not to be surrounded by a party hardy type atmosphere 24 x 7.

I guess I can only say that if you want a cruise experience a notch or so above mass market, but not quite in the luxury category, HAL will be for you. All I can suggest is trying a HAL cruise ... maybe one on a Vista class ship if you want a bit more varied of a nightlife ... and see how you like it. It will either be for you or not. And, if not, you can try another line next time around.

Also, if you can tell us a bit about yourself ... what you want to be able to do on your cruise ... how you would like to spend your sea days and your evenings aboard, maybe we can provide some guidance as to whether a HAL sailing would be suited to you, or if perhaps another line might meet your needs better.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old June 15th, 2007, 12:04 PM
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Thanks for the reply. My research of finding people who preferred HAL did not come from this HAL board. It came from a Poll in the "General" questions about "Which cruise line do you prefer?" So, I brought the question to the HAL board myself.

My wife and I are 30. We drink very little but definitely like to have fun and stay active. We're hoping to participate in a cruise that is relaxing, but has plenty to do and see. We both love to snorkel, lay on the beach, and experience new cultures. We both would enjoy some good quality shows while on board, and I'll spend a little time in the casino. She would love a nice spa where she can get a massage and a little pampering.

We recently went to the Bahamas for our 5th anniversary and stayed at The Atlantis. The atmosphere and quality of the resort were superb, and well within our expectations. The service was terrible however. So, I mention this to give an example of our "taste", and what we are looking for.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 12:14 PM
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Yes, everything Rita said is why we prefer HAL. We are 60 and 58 yrs. old, but by no means are we "old folks".
We like HAL's elegance and the impeccable service, gourmet food, smaller number of passengers, and fewer number of kids.
We don't drink, like the casinos and spas, and like the entertainment. For medical reasons, I don't sit out in the sun or use the pools.
We really AREN'T boring !!
We get alot for our money with HAL, even though some cruises can be pricey. We have never been dissatisfied with ANYTHING on any of our HAL cruises, although some other lines occasionally offer a better selection of tours.
We are booked for HAL's Hawaii cruise (again) in 2008, but are planning to try Dawn Princess because they offer a golf package to the Mexican Riviera from San Diego. We did a golf cruise in 2006 on Carnival Spirit, but that really wasn't what we are looking for.
Hope this gives you the info you are looking for.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 01:56 PM
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Kyros and Sassyredhat comments really sum up the reasons why my husband and I prefer HAL cruise lines.

We've found HAL's...service, food and ships to be top in the Premium cruise category.

We of course didn't appreciate the difference until after we cruised other cruise lines. They weren't bad, but they didn't really suit our personalities and vacation needs. Then we tried HAL...world of difference!

But in the end...it's really is a matter of personal taste and what YOU want from your cruise vacation. HAL met and exceeded our expectations.

It's all good...Happy cruising...
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Old June 16th, 2007, 12:08 AM
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We are 61 and 58 and consider ourselves young at heart, except for some of the creaks!!! We sailed on Statedam in 2002 to Alaska and loved it. We are sailing to Alaska on back to back cruises from Vanc in July on HAL Volendam. As others stated, we liked the service and also the smaller ship size that still looks like a ship. We have now been on Amer Hawaii, Royal Caribbean, HAL, Celebrity, Carnival and Princess. HAL is one of our best. We have had a good time on each cruise and line. You make it what you want.

On HAL, you will be one of the younger couples but we found all ages on our last cruise. The shows and clubs will likely be less lively in the late evenings, which is fine with us, as I am up at first light and enjoy the solitude of the early mornings on ship.

If you give cruising a chance, I think it one of the best types of vacations to take. In fact, we have a hard time doing anything else!!!
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Old June 16th, 2007, 02:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassyredhat
We are booked for HAL's Hawaii cruise (again) in 2008, but are planning to try Dawn Princess because they offer a golf package to the Mexican Riviera from San Diego. We did a golf cruise in 2006 on Carnival Spirit, but that really wasn't what we are looking for.
Hope this gives you the info you are looking for.
It's funny, but sometimes I think it's smart to try other lines for exactly the reasons you cite ... sailing them often gives us a greater appreciation of those HAL touches you can't get anywhere else. Also, you never know ... you might just stumble on a ship/cruise line that you really enjoy.

I sailed Princess a couple of times as well. Personally, I didn't care for it ... but that was just me. The folks I traveled with loved the ships. I found the food very disappointing.

However, I just sailed the QE2 a couple of months back. First time onboard and I merely used the sailing to get back from a HAL repositioning cruise to Europe (beats flying anyday). I honestly didn't think I'd care for the ship at all. Well, wasn't I surprised! I absolutely fell in love with the grand old dame and only hope I get the chance to sail her again sometime.

But still ... HAL remains my all-time favorite.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old June 20th, 2007, 10:56 PM
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Sassyredhat - I took that Golf Cruise 3 years ago on Sapphire Princess. I won't go into it, but we did not enjoy Princess. However, if lugging your golf clubs from your room all thru the ship & out to busses parked some distance away & then lugging them all the way back after a hot exhausting round of golf will be troublesome for you, I suggest you contact your TA & find out if golf participants still have to lug their own clubs. I am very fit & walk 18 holes 3 - 4 times a week dragging my own cart, but this was EXHAUSTING. Good luck.
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Old June 21st, 2007, 11:38 AM
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Thanks Golfette~~
We took Carnival Spirit last year. My sister and her husband loved it, but we are used to HAL and didn't like it. However, the golf portion was wonderful ! The onboard golf pro, Kate, took care of EVERYTHING for the guys, even down to bringing water for them. They had to do nothing. Oh-they did have to carry their clubs off the ship, but that was the only time. They were provided carts for the golf courses.
The golf portion of the cruise was great, but we just like HAL.
The more I read, the more I am convinced that we should take HAL and book our own private golf tours.
Thanks !
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Old June 25th, 2007, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CO_Cruiser
We recently went to the Bahamas for our 5th anniversary and stayed at The Atlantis. The atmosphere and quality of the resort were superb, and well within our expectations. The service was terrible however. So, I mention this to give an example of our "taste", and what we are looking for.
It's doubtful you will be disappointed with service on a HAL cruise. You'll get the "pampering" in a nice spa, some casino nightlife, lounges and bars where you won't have to flag a server down to get a drink or a refill, and be surrounded by what I like to call "understated" elegance.

If you're looking for lots of activities, though, my recommendation would be to book a cruise that is port-intensive. You'll have all the activity you want ... to whatever degree you want ... in port. Then on the ship, you will have the nice "laid back" atmosphere to enjoy. The best of both worlds.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old June 26th, 2007, 10:51 AM
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Default why Hal

We just got back last week from Alaska. I have sailed on other ship like RCL and Princess. Hal has the best service of them all. The rooms are big and the crew gose out of there way to make your trip great. Not a lot of kids I saw only 12. Other ships will have many more. Night life is ok the others have a little more. My wife and I love to dance and we got lots of that on this trip. My Son 29 and daugher 32 came with us and are now hooked. They had the best time of there lifes. My son said he liked unpacking onces. I myself I like the lunch on other ships better then HAL. This is were I feel they need to work a litte better. I can get my own drinks without someone geting it for me. I also like to service myself lunch I think it would more faster. The dinner service was Four star. I hope what ever cruise line you go on you have a great time. This was My first with HAL and will not be my last. I rate them a 10 !!
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Old June 26th, 2007, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: why Hal

I'm 50 with a 12 year old kiddo. Cruised HAL 20 years, kiddo 11 years. HAL is more upscale, more art, better food, less party atmosphere, more reliable crew in an emergency, no balcony divers, no spring breakers, not as stuffy a crowd as the next cruise tier up. Compares to Princess and Celebrity. RCCL is a bit more kiddo friendly.

HAL is consistent with no surprizes. Trust me, no surprizes is a good thing aboard ship. 8)
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Old June 27th, 2007, 07:05 AM
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I love cruising on HAL. I know what to except with HAL. I like a quiet cruise, no bellyflop,hairy chest,or biggest stomach contests, and no screaming in the hallway in the middle of the night.
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Old June 27th, 2007, 10:36 AM
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I am looking forward to trying out HAL. I like those things you mentioned too a lot, but I do also like some of the fun crazy cruises too in the hot weather. I think there is a time and place for each type of cruise and what you are in the mood for.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 06:48 AM
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Default Re: why Hal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster
I'm 50 with a 12 year old kiddo. Cruised HAL 20 years, kiddo 11 years. HAL is more upscale, more art, better food, less party atmosphere, more reliable crew in an emergency, no balcony divers, no spring breakers, not as stuffy a crowd as the next cruise tier up. Compares to Princess and Celebrity. RCCL is a bit more kiddo friendly.
I agree with your comments. The only thing that concerns me, though, is that some of the posts on this thread seem to indicate that HAL is a cruise line where people who don't like to have fun go. And that's not the case.

There's a lot of fun on HAL ships ... games, contests, music, good food, BBQ's, laughter ... and all the rest. It's just that the fun is enjoyed in a more mature fashion than you will often find on some of the other lines. As you say, it's unlikely you'll find people so drunk on a HAL ship that they will want to jump overboard. Why that is, I don't know ... except to say that maybe the bartenders are trained to watch for signs of overdrinking and then maybe cut the person off if they feel he/she has had too much?

Whatever it is, I guess the thing I like about HAL is that I can have fun in an environment where I feel safe. I don't have to worry (for the most part) about fellow passengers coming up to me in a drunken stupor wanting to dance or "make out." It's a cruise line where everyone wants to have fun, but generally don't feel that to do so they need to become totally out of control stooges.

After hearing some stories about the goings on with some of the other cruise lines, I really enjoy my HAL experience and hope to continue to enjoy it for a long time to come.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old June 29th, 2007, 12:26 PM
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That was the impression we got even from our TA...that HAL was kinda stuffy, elderly cruisers and no fun. In fact that's why we sailed RCCI and Celebrity, etc. first because of our TA's suggestion that HAL was NOT for us. Was she wrong!

We didn't find any of the negatives our TA was worried about. There is plenty of entertainment and fun.

There's a nice age mix of passengers, and they were a bit more upscale than on RCCI and Celebrity, but not stuffy.

There are fewer children and teens on HAL in comparision to the other big three, and the night life does NOT go on until the wee hours of the morning...all of this is fine with us.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 01:22 PM
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Well I'm really looking forward to trying HA out. I've tried almost every line so far.
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Old November 24th, 2007, 06:48 PM
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Bump. This thread is really informative if considering HAL.
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