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  #1 (permalink)  
Old November 28th, 2007, 02:31 PM
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Default holland compared to others

i have never cruised on Holland.. how does it compare to carnival, royal caribbean & norweign?

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old November 29th, 2007, 10:12 AM
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 1,139
Default Re: holland compared to others

Originally Posted by SMCCRACKEN
i have never cruised on Holland.. how does it compare to carnival, royal caribbean & norweign?

Sherry, it is hard for people to describe it to you ... you have to experience it for yourself ... just as you have probably experienced these other lines for yourself.

Holland is more "quiet" than those other lines. On the average, their passenger mix runs a bit older than the other cruise lines you mention. That's not to say HAL's passengers are necessarily old. Rather, they are more mature and appreciate the "finer" things in life ... such as elegance when cruising.

When I say Holland America ships are quiet, I don't mean "dead." What I mean is that you won't have the constant party atmosphere that you have on many of the other lines you mention. Holland America's ships are generally smaller than those of the other lines, and thus they do not have all the ammenities of those other lines (i.e., rock climbing wall, ice skating rink, etc.). But then ... Holland America's passengers generally don't want those sorts of ammenities ... they also don't want a lot of screaming kids if they can avoid them.

What you will get on a Holland America cruise is elegance. The food will be a touch above that of which you can get on the other lines. Since the ship is smaller, the dining staff can offer more personalized service. Not just the food taste, but the presentation will often be far superior than what you can get on a "mass market" line.

Holland America will also offer more quality in the way of diversions onboard. Depending on the length of your cruise, HAL will have an extensive explorations speaker series, gentleman hosts for dancing, wine tastings, cooking classes, martini making classes, etc.

But the main difference between Holland America and those other lines is just atmosphere onboard. Will you like that atmosphere? Obviously many of us do and that's why we sail Holland America almost exclusively. But the only way you can find out if HAL is for you is to come onboard and take a cruise on one of her ships. Try a seven-dayer to begin ... on maybe one of the Vista class ships. Those ships are the largest in the fleet, and you'll get a younger passenger demographic on them (if that is what you prefer). But you will still get much of the elegance that Holland America is known for. Then, after you've taken that first cruise, please ... come back here and submit a reader review, telling us how you enjoyed (or didn't) the experience and why. We would all like the opportunity to benefit from your insights.

Blue skies!

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Old November 29th, 2007, 04:30 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: California
Posts: 305

Wow~~Rita. What a wonderful insight to HAL !
We usually sail HAL unless DH wants a golf cruise, then we have used Carnival.

That said, I did not like Carnival Spirit, but I very much liked Carnival's Elation.

So far, we have sailed 2 Hal ships, and will be on Zandaam in April. That's a different class, so I am excited to see the difference.

We love HAL for all the reasons you just gave.


RCL Radiance
CCL Splendor
HAL Zaandam
CCL Elation
CCL Spirit
HAL Statendam 2x
HAL Ryndam 2x
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 07:56 PM
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I will give you my perspective on the 2 HAL ships we sailed. I was on an 8 dayer on the old Westerdam. We experienced the wonderful service, everyone had raved about. The pool service was something we had never experienced before and we enjoyed it. The crew member at the buffet line, remembered our name and on our last day, presented us with a memento he signed..a prelude to a tip? Maybe, but we were delighted to do so. The ship was quiet at night, and this was unusual for us..We are not late nighters, but it was way too quiet for us..

2005, we sailed the Zuiderdam, with our friends.. they are big HAL fans, so we booked too....Such a pretty ship. Our dining room service was terrible, and many of the dishes during the week. were very mundane.

Our servers had issues with each other and we paid the price for it. Our one night at the Pinnacle Grill was divine, and although we tried to get another reservation all week, we couldn't. This ship was even quieter than than the Westerdam, we wondered where the heck is everyone...!!!

My friends were amazed at the level of non service onboard this ship, and it was at this point we decided, that maybe, that would be our last HAL..Having had the wonderful service HAL is known for before, it was surprising to say the least.. I think we need a line, with slightly more of an upbeat atmosphere.

Everyone has different need I guess, but not to have the level of service we expected as well as the food, was surprising..JMHO...

Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator

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Old December 5th, 2007, 12:03 PM
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
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Originally Posted by Trip
Our servers had issues with each other and we paid the price for it. Our one night at the Pinnacle Grill was divine, and although we tried to get another reservation all week, we couldn't. This ship was even quieter than than the Westerdam, we wondered where the heck is everyone...!!!
As for the Pinnacle, I doubt you'll have any problems getting all the reservations there you want now. Since they raised the price to $30 pp, it seems the place is dead everytime I walk past.

As for the servers having "issues" with each other which caused your dining service to be impacted, I sure hope you said something to the head waiter about it. Their "issues" are not your problem and shouldn't be.

That being said, I will add that my last several cruises on Holland America I've noticed that service has definitely gone downhill in the main dining room. On our last cruise, we had a table for ten, and it took us about 2.5 hours minimum to get out of the dining room each night. This was due to the number of people at our table and the fact that the servers would only put their "tickets" in for one course at a time. So, if some people ordered from every course, those at the table who maybe only got an appetizer and the main course, had to wait for the others to get through their appetizers, soup and salads before getting their main courses.

Hopefully with the advent of As You Wish Dining these problems should resolve themselves since there will be fewer people to be taken care of in traditional.

But if my service was bad because of problems the servers had working together, that, at least to me, would be unacceptable ... and if a quiet word to the servers didn't resolve the problem, I would be forced to take it up with either the head waiter or the Matri 'd.

Blue skies ...

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old December 13th, 2007, 04:33 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 335
Default Comparison HAL/RCL

Having cruised on both lines the last few years I find very little difference.
The age and and quality of the ships was even, the entertainment was about even, the quality of food and dining service was a little better on HAL, shore excursions were even and the total cruise experience was even.

The clientle on HAL was a little order with fewer smaller children. We chose RCL for our last few cruises based solely on availability and itinerary. We would sail with either line with no hesitation.
Splendour of the Seas 97
Veendam 05
Westerdam 06
Serenade of the Seas 07
Liberty of the Seas 07
Jewel of the Seas 08
Westerdam 09
Volendam 09
Solstice 10
Solstice 10
Caribbean Princess 11
Nieuw Amsterdam 11
Oasis of the Seas 12
Queen Elizabeth 12
Eurodam 13
Carnival Valor 13
Carnival Fantasy 14
Constellation 14
Carnival Valor 15
Allure of the Seas 16
Equinox 17
Equinox 17
Caribe Princess 17
Equinox 18
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Old December 13th, 2007, 04:53 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: kansas city
Posts: 35
Default Unbelievable service.....

The service is what sets Holland apart from most other lines. I have sailed with HAL, Celebrity, and Princess....and they rank in that exact order. Its all really in what your looking for in a cruise...theres a line for every type! If yourl oking fora smaller ship w/ un surpassed service then Hollands a good chocie....if your looking for more action and more people Royal Caribbean, or just a run of the mill Carnival. Either way have a great cruise!!
HAL Zuiderdam 12/07
Caribbean Princess 4/07
HAL Zuiderdam 11/06
Celebrity Century 3/06
HAL ZUiderdam 10/05
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old December 16th, 2007, 11:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 84

The posters have given some very good and realistic advise. Kyros said it best, there is a cruise line for every person. I personally LOVE Holland America because it has excellent service, good food, very few (if any) children, and comfortable staterooms. A cruise on HAL will be an experience well above mass market cruise lines.
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