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Old March 28th, 2011, 05:06 PM
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Default Eurodam 3-19-2011 Review (Including Review of Club Hal)

This was our first cruise with HAL, and possibly our last (Iíll explain in the summary). We had a GREAT cruise, I just don't think HAL is the right line for us.

Cabin Review and Embarkation:
I found our inside cabin (6065) to be wonderfully spacious. For a ship that is only 2.5 years old, I found the bathroom to be really run down (cracks in the shower base, stained sink etc). The cabin stewards were just okay. We boarded the ship just afternoon. It looks like the first group (of which we were part of) had just been given the all clear. Due to HALís new policy we had early access to our room. Iím not sure how great this policy is as I think the staff is rushing to get all the rooms ready; that cleaning may be sacrificed. There was a few mounds of sand on the carpet. These didn't disappear for a few days. Having just boarded, we didnít bring the sand; it was there from the previous passenger. DH stuck the bar of soap in one of the bathroom drinking glasses. I later pulled it out. The glass was merely rinsed and put back (there were still chunks of soap stuck to it). ewwww ~ I assumed we got freshly machine-washed glasses every day. I hope we had new glasses for our sailing, and not a quick rinse after the previous passengers left. There was also a silver earring back on the counter that was there when we got there and never left. In short, the cleaning practices were not up to par, but we didn't complain. Other than that, the room stewards were friendly and courteous. Any requests, were promptly attended to.

Mariner Lunch & Brunch
We really enjoyed the welcome aboard lunch. It wasnít our best meal on the ship; but it was nice not to eat in the LIDO. This was our first cruise with HAL but we had Mariner status from having sailed with Princess and/or Carnival. We also, by accident and not by invitation, attended the Mariner Brunch. We were given a nice coaster set. Not sure that I will ever use it, but I like free stuff! There were also a few events were complimentary champagne (sparkling wine) was given out. Not the best sparkling wine Iíve heard, but I like free booze!

Dining
We only used the MDR and the Lido. Our dining steward (Yunis) was AMAZING. My kids loved him and especially the origami animals he folded for them each day. He was the best dining steward we've ever had. I wasn't impressed with the lido, but I haven't been on any ship other than Carnival dream. In fact, all the dining stewards were amazing (except for one grump we found on the last day). But Yunis was superb, it only took Yunis one night to learn our dining preferences (ex. that we liked our beef cooked to medium rare, or that my daughter liked her food without sauce (or the little ketchup pots that came with fries). After we told him how much we loved fresh berries, every night when we got to our table, was a silver goblet filled with mixed berries.

Club HAL
I know many of you here don't have need for club HAL - but this is seriously the best kid's club at sea, albeit we have not yet sailed on Disney. The head counsellor Cassandra was amazing and clearly loves kids and her job. Let it be known that the Royal Family of Oakville won the Family Scavenger Hunt (okay, we were the only family that participated). We sailed Carnival last year and my son hated Camp Carnival and refused to go. I don't blame him because the counsellors were terrible. Granted, he is older now and is now used to going to pre-school, but he really enjoyed Club Hal.

This is mostly due to the counsellors who are amazing. We mostly engaged with Cassandra and Amanda who were AWESOME and energetic. The kids loved them.

The club itself is small but adequate. There were 140 kids on our sailing, with 40 in the 3-7 age group. I'd say about 12 to 15 regularly attended club hal.

They have great activities like spy night and alien night, and a pj party at the end. One night they met in the Queen's lounge and made chocolate chip cookies, and watched Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

They do a lot of arts and crafts.

They also have about 1 family activity scheduled each day, usually at 4PM. I thought this was great because most ships don't cater to the family. Our sailing had a WII tournament, Karaoke, Scavenger Hunt, and a few other activities.

Other than Club Hal, there isn't a lot do to do on this ship for kids. My kids missed the waterslide and mini-golf which they enjoyed on Dream.

Overall, they really enjoyed Club Hal, and often (on sea days) opted to go to Club HAl than go to the pool. Club Hal on HMC was just okay. My son opted to stay with us, while my daughter opted to stay with Club Hal, until she started crying when someone poured water down her back! They did have waterslides at the beach, unfortunately there was not enough moving water to propel the kids down the slide. But HMC itself was beautiful; so who could complain!

Service IMPECCABLE!
On Grandeur of the Seas in the MDR, DH asked if he could get a sandwich without cheese, and he was asked to scrape it off. On Carnival Dream, when my daughter asked for apple slices for dessert, we were told it was not on the menu. On Eurodam, there was not a single service request that was denied. We were VERY IMPRESSED with this.

Smoking
We didn't have a problem in the rooms (i.e. smell of smoke) ... the only place it really bothered me was in the Casino. There was not a single non-smoking table to be found. I would have left a lot more money behind in the casino, if I didn't have to leave a table every time someone sat down beside me with cigarettes in hand. So perhaps thanks to HAL smoking policy, I left the ship with some money in my pockets.

Ports of Call:
Grand Turk Ė we used the local beach right off the dock. We also used the pool (for anyone who's been to Costa Maya - it is a similar set-up.

St. Thomas - we went to Magen's Bay. The waves were a bit rough for this time of year, and the beach was a bit crowded. We were in port with Allure (or was it Oasis?). Early in the day a wave stole my daughter's sunglasses and then the ocean stole them. She was upset and still laments about "the worst beach EVER". We visited this beach on our honeymoon and it is not as I remember; mostly due to calmer water and the lack of crowds. On our next visit, I might try and find a more secluded beach.

San Juan - we just walked around but it was scattered showers so we quickly returned to ship. The roof over the pool was closed but the water was also too cool.

HMC - was beautiful! My kids just love to search for shells (not too many were to be found!) and build sand castles. They also have these nice floating beds which the kids loved.

Return to Everglades and flying out of FLL:
You might want to tell the ship you have an earlier departing flight than you actually have!

We had a SW flight departing at noon. We were Grey 1.

We were done breakfast, and ready to leave the ship by 8:45. We had to wait another 20 minutes or so before we were called to depart. The security line at the port was pretty long. Nevertheless, we fought our way to the cabs, and made it to the airport just before 10. We tried to stand in front of the skycap; only to be told that the back of the line was - over there! It was a huge line; and we decided to take our chances on the inside. Another huge line; but it moved pretty quickly. We were told that we were among the last 15 to check in; so we had to get boarding passes at the gate. All was good until we got security around 10:30 or so. THE LINE WAS HUGE. There was the basic line, and then a reserve area, and then a line that circled all the way back around the car rental area. I've never seen such a ridiculously long line. We were worried we would not get our boarding passes in time. We did know they would call us from the line if our flight was due; but still, it was too close for comfort.

Oh, and then my 3 year old got randomly selected for a detailed security inspection.

Next time, we'll try not to fly out of FLL on a Saturday; or make sure we can clear the ship in time to brace the security lines.
The Ship and The High Seas
I don't know if it was the rough waters, high winds, or the captain sailing 20 nauts, but that boat was moving. Eurodam is the second smallest ship I've sailed and for the first time in 7 cruises, I was sea sick. Towards the end of the week, the Captain slowed down to 12 nauts, and it was a much smoother ride. We spent most of the week in a bonnine stupor.

Summary
We are in our early 40s, and found the ship a little too tame for us but we also were not particularly social as we were travelling with our kids and were not at our best because of the sea sickness. We found a lot of passengers were not particularly tolerant of children. We were actually refused seating at one table during the cupcake tea (the people sitting there did not want us!). Other than that, I found most passengers either looked lovingly at my children and tried to engage them in conversation or were looking at them with disgust as if kids did not belong on a cruise ship. When cruising with our kids, we might seek out a more family friendly ship the next time. However, the main reason we probably won't sail with HAL again is that we found the ship too small (with respect to feeling the movement). I know HAL is not headed in the direction of larger ships, which is too bad for us, because the service levels are excellent and HAL should be very proud of their crew. Even the guys cleaning or servicing the ships were well spoken and helpful; unlike on other lines where the behind-the-scenes crew don't want to engage with passengers.
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Old March 28th, 2011, 08:56 PM
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Queen, on the 2 HAL ships we sailed, both were quiet at night. The Zuiderdam was like a ghost ship, so, unless I sailed with a CM group, I would not sail this line again. On the Z, we went with pals who are major fans,and their jaws dropped, at the level of service in the dining room.

Both Saturday & Sunday in Fll, are crazy now, with the huge amount of cruisers from the Oasis and ALlure, plus the other ships, trying to get home.

While maybe not an A+, I know you relaxed with the family,and enjoyed being away...Rci or Carnival, I think should get another look for a future cruise....welcome home.
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Old March 29th, 2011, 07:26 AM
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Our best friends who have cruise over thirty times tell us that by 10 O'clock everyone is in bed on the Hal ships.

TM
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Old March 29th, 2011, 10:33 AM
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I wouldn't say that it was a ghost ship after 10, but certanily by 11:30. But to be fair, with two young kids, we were generally back in our cabin by 10:30 or sooner.

I guess like most cruisers - I WANT IT ALL! I'd say I'm going for the "feel" of Royal, with the "service" from HAL. The food was all good on HAL, and honestly can't complain. But, I don't think I was necessarily wowed by anything either. Trip, do you think X might be a good fit?

Our next cruise is with Disney. Even if we LOVE it, it would not be our go to, because DH and I both love to gamble! Casinos on board fuel our love our cruising.
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Old March 29th, 2011, 11:09 AM
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Thanks for the interesting and balanced review of your trip.

I have to say I'm somewhat surprised Club HAL was so good. They don't get all that much practice on HAL ships. With "the older demographic" HAL draws I'm not surprised that some passengers would view the kids as an "intrusion".... even if they never heard a peeps from them.

What you mentioned being the most important thing about you not returning to the line.. the motion.... wasn't/isn't due to the size of the ship. It's a falacy to believe that the larger ship, the less motion you'll feel. Big ships don't ride any better than smaller ships.

It's all just a matter of mother nature's oceans, winds, and currents, etc. All of the modern cruise ships have stabilizers, but if conditions are "wrong" you'll find the motion or lack thereof pretty similar.
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Old March 29th, 2011, 11:11 AM
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Have 110 days on Holland and just completed cruise on Eurodam in Jan and had the exact opposite on our room from your experience and were in a aft balcony suite whih was the best we have ever had and everything in the room was impeccable as to cleanliness and all other aspects of the room. For the record Holland has made a real effort to lower the average age and it has dropped some 10 years over the last 10 years.We had a great time in the piano and it was mostly packed around 10 to 11 each nite.We are seasoned cruisers with over 50 cruises and you might try the X line however they are very similar to Holland in many ways and will pick up somewhat the same age group.
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Old March 29th, 2011, 11:46 AM
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Queen, this is the kids area, on the Eclipse. Between RCI & Celebrity, I would honestly say, RCI would give you the better childrens fun experience onboard. The demographic Celebrity wants, is not geared to families, and, since RCI is all about families, better facilities with a long background in making kids happy is a plus.

The kids I remember on HAL were older,and seemed to be wandering around looking for fun,and seemed bored..glad your kids enjoyed themselves.

On the old Westerdam, we had a livlier night life, but still more quiet then other lines we have sailed. Our Z cruise, really was an odd one, glad that we have ever experienced that again. I thought she was a beautiful ship.
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Old March 29th, 2011, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manuel View Post
Our best friends who have cruise over thirty times tell us that by 10 O'clock everyone is in bed on the Hal ships.

TM

That's baloney! They may be in bed by 10 o'clock but obviously they have not seen the number of people in the Casino, disco, or Sports Bar. Then there's the 2nd show that doesn't start until 10pm and there are always a great number of passengers there. Maybe they should stay up some night after 10pm and see the number of people still up and enjoying themselves.
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Old March 29th, 2011, 08:11 PM
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Very nice review. You never know if a certain cruise line is for you or not until you sail with them. I probably would have said something to the room steward about the cleanliness issue.
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Old March 29th, 2011, 10:12 PM
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Queen, we were on the week before you were on (didn't you see me waving to you as you were getting on and we were getting off?). Our cabin was 6164 so you were not too far away! We were all the way at the stern, port side. Our balcony wrapped around on the side. I wonder if we had the same stewards? I did notice some difference in the Eurodam and Westerdam (took a second cruise on her last Thanksgiving) and I asked if they did certain things differently (i.e., cotton swabs and Qtips not in dressing area) but as soon as I spoke up, got whatever I asked for (in the same containers as were on the Westerdam, in the same spot, so you see, they were not there initially). When we boarded and met our stewards, we told them exactly the way we like things (give us double the towels--which we almost always do not use anyway, we don't vacate the cabin for dinner till 8 pm so make up other cabins first, and also to make our room up last on disembarkation day.) They are well provided for, the first day and the last day, so everyone is extremely happy.
As we always eat in the PG and are the last ones to leave (between 11 and 11:30), I do agree that there was not another soul in any of the lounges we walked by at that late hour. In fact, some of the crew members were already cleaning and running the sweeper in the Explorers Lounge, etc...When we went to Northern Lights one evening, there were only about 30 people there and half of them were crew. There were still some in the extremely smoky casino, but not a full house. We did not go to Mariner's Lunch/Brunch, but did go to about 5 other private parties and were able to drink whatever we wanted with no refusals given (Cosmopolitan, Bellini, etc).
We did not get sick but there were some people who did, I understand. We were also rocking and rolling on our cruise. It rained in HMC, both in the am when we arrived and then later in the day. It also rained in St. Thomas in the afternoon, but cleared up before we left. We took our own "private shore excursions" having been to those ports many times. You may want to try Sapphire Beach next time, or even take the ferry over to St. John's.
There were not too many kids on board with us, but did not hear any negative comments about them at all.
When we were in St.Thomas, the Allure was next to us (and from far away, you could really see the difference). We tend not to like huge cruise ships, so HAL size is just fine for our needs.
We were also off the ship by 9:15 am, gray white #1, but were driving back home, having parked our car in the terminal's gararge.
One thing which we also noticed was that the maitre'd in the PG (Jude Benjamin, or just Benjamin) insisted on having men wear jackets there on a couple of nights. Other PG maitre d's did not. (It was nice because they did look rather raunchy and everyone else was dressed up, even on non-formal evenings.)
We made out like bandits as it was my bd the last night. Were given 2 free dinners at PG by Mr. Stein Kruse as well as a cookbook. On board, given another 2 free dinners at PG, a free bottle of Christal champagne, two sets of coasters, a photo album, received choc candy and a floral arrangement from concierge (who also decorated the cabin with balloons), after dinner drinks and specialty coffee many evenings and perhaps some other stuff I've already forgotten about.
Going on the Century on 4/16--will you be on our tails and shall I get them ready for you?
Have fun on whichever sea you sail on!
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Old March 30th, 2011, 08:49 AM
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We just sailed on Zuiderdam and enjoyed it immensely. We're not old people, but we like the quiet dignity of HAL's ships.
We chose self-disembarkation because of our flights, and were off the ship by 8 at the latest. It's important to choose this option if you feel you are going to be in a jam.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki View Post
Thanks for the interesting and balanced review of your trip.

I have to say I'm somewhat surprised Club HAL was so good. They don't get all that much practice on HAL ships. With "the older demographic" HAL draws I'm not surprised that some passengers would view the kids as an "intrusion".... even if they never heard a peeps from them.

What you mentioned being the most important thing about you not returning to the line.. the motion.... wasn't/isn't due to the size of the ship. It's a falacy to believe that the larger ship, the less motion you'll feel. Big ships don't ride any better than smaller ships.

It's all just a matter of mother nature's oceans, winds, and currents, etc. All of the modern cruise ships have stabilizers, but if conditions are "wrong" you'll find the motion or lack thereof pretty similar.

Kuki - the Kid's club was amazing but that might have to do with the fact that child/counsellor ratio is so good. My kids went to the Kid's club on the embarkation day. By the next morning, they were greeted by name and welcome. I don't think on Carnival Dream, they were ever called by name. Who doesn't feel good when welcomed by name? I also think HAL did more for families then ANY other ship we've been on. (granted we haven't taken the kids on Royal yet). I find most ships have kids activities and adult activities. I think they see the kid's club as a way to keep kids busy so the adults have fun. Maybe we're a bit different but we want to have fun with our kids. As I think I said above, there was a family event every afternoon, and towards the end they had family events at night too. On the last formal night, we took over Northern Lights for a family disco night. We had a BLAST!. Interesting that my thoughts on the movement/size of ship are inaccurate. I know when I sailed Ecstacy (she was smaller) we didn't feel a thing, but it was July and the weather was calmer. On this trip, anyone I spoke to in port (all small ships) were complaining about sea sickness. Anyone I spoke to on Allure - said they were fine. It's the main reason, we likely wont' sail HAL again, but not the only reason. I can live without the waterslides, but there are other things we missed like minigolf. I know we don't particularly use all the activities that Royal offers, but perhaps its just nice to feel like we are in the company of young, active people?

Quote:
Originally Posted by big apple View Post
Have 110 days on Holland and just completed cruise on Eurodam in Jan and had the exact opposite on our room from your experience and were in a aft balcony suite whih was the best we have ever had and everything in the room was impeccable as to cleanliness and all other aspects of the room. For the record Holland has made a real effort to lower the average age and it has dropped some 10 years over the last 10 years.We had a great time in the piano and it was mostly packed around 10 to 11 each nite.We are seasoned cruisers with over 50 cruises and you might try the X line however they are very similar to Holland in many ways and will pick up somewhat the same age group.
Interesting. I wonder if they spend more time maintaining the more expensive cabins? We were an inside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
Queen, this is the kids area, on the Eclipse. Between RCI & Celebrity, I would honestly say, RCI would give you the better childrens fun experience onboard. The demographic Celebrity wants, is not geared to families, and, since RCI is all about families, better facilities with a long background in making kids happy is a plus.

The kids I remember on HAL were older,and seemed to be wandering around looking for fun,and seemed bored..glad your kids enjoyed themselves.

On the old Westerdam, we had a livlier night life, but still more quiet then other lines we have sailed. Our Z cruise, really was an odd one, glad that we have ever experienced that again. I thought she was a beautiful ship.
Thanks for the picture Trip. I never would have thought about checking it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2katz3fsh View Post
Queen, we were on the week before you were on (didn't you see me waving to you as you were getting on and we were getting off?). Our cabin was 6164 so you were not too far away! We were all the way at the stern, port side. Our balcony wrapped around on the side. I wonder if we had the same stewards? I did notice some difference in the Eurodam and Westerdam (took a second cruise on her last Thanksgiving) and I asked if they did certain things differently (i.e., cotton swabs and Qtips not in dressing area) but as soon as I spoke up, got whatever I asked for (in the same containers as were on the Westerdam, in the same spot, so you see, they were not there initially). When we boarded and met our stewards, we told them exactly the way we like things (give us double the towels--which we almost always do not use anyway, we don't vacate the cabin for dinner till 8 pm so make up other cabins first, and also to make our room up last on disembarkation day.) They are well provided for, the first day and the last day, so everyone is extremely happy.
As we always eat in the PG and are the last ones to leave (between 11 and 11:30), I do agree that there was not another soul in any of the lounges we walked by at that late hour. In fact, some of the crew members were already cleaning and running the sweeper in the Explorers Lounge, etc...When we went to Northern Lights one evening, there were only about 30 people there and half of them were crew. There were still some in the extremely smoky casino, but not a full house. We did not go to Mariner's Lunch/Brunch, but did go to about 5 other private parties and were able to drink whatever we wanted with no refusals given (Cosmopolitan, Bellini, etc).
We did not get sick but there were some people who did, I understand. We were also rocking and rolling on our cruise. It rained in HMC, both in the am when we arrived and then later in the day. It also rained in St. Thomas in the afternoon, but cleared up before we left. We took our own "private shore excursions" having been to those ports many times. You may want to try Sapphire Beach next time, or even take the ferry over to St. John's.
There were not too many kids on board with us, but did not hear any negative comments about them at all.
When we were in St.Thomas, the Allure was next to us (and from far away, you could really see the difference). We tend not to like huge cruise ships, so HAL size is just fine for our needs.
We were also off the ship by 9:15 am, gray white #1, but were driving back home, having parked our car in the terminal's gararge.
One thing which we also noticed was that the maitre'd in the PG (Jude Benjamin, or just Benjamin) insisted on having men wear jackets there on a couple of nights. Other PG maitre d's did not. (It was nice because they did look rather raunchy and everyone else was dressed up, even on non-formal evenings.)
We made out like bandits as it was my bd the last night. Were given 2 free dinners at PG by Mr. Stein Kruse as well as a cookbook. On board, given another 2 free dinners at PG, a free bottle of Christal champagne, two sets of coasters, a photo album, received choc candy and a floral arrangement from concierge (who also decorated the cabin with balloons), after dinner drinks and specialty coffee many evenings and perhaps some other stuff I've already forgotten about.
Going on the Century on 4/16--will you be on our tails and shall I get them ready for you?
Have fun on whichever sea you sail on!
Katz - YES, I waved back!!!!!!!!! We didn't try the PG. We generally don't do the speciality dining. I actually really wanted to try Tamarind, but we wanted our first trip, to just enjoy the MDR. If we sail HAL again, we'll definitely give Tamarind and maybe PG a chance. You did make out like a bandit! If I didn't say it above, we got more free stuff on this cruise than ANY other ship we've sailed on. Most of it was due to the kid's club though. We got prices for every activity we did. The kids got great trophies for the Karoake competition. I sang too, and got those reusable blue HAL shopping bags. We got prices for the Trivia contest (again, we were the only ones who showed, so DD and myself competed against DH and my son. We got great prizes for that too. For the scavenger hunt, we got more HAL stuff (pins, shopping bags etc.); DH got a set of golf balls, and both kids got HAL magic 8 balls (you know the kind you shake that give you answers). On the last day of kid's club; the kid's got more stuff in a yellow CLub Hal vinyl sports bag.
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Royal Oasis of the Seas - 2013 {pending}
Disney Fantasy - 2013
Disney Dream - 2012
Royal Freedom of the Seas - 2011
HAL Eurodam - 2011
Royal Grandeur of the Seas - 2010
Carnival Dream - 2010
Grand Princess - 2002
Royal Voyageur of the Seas - 2000
Royal Sovereign of the Seas - 1999
Carnival Ecstacy - 1991
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Old March 30th, 2011, 11:41 AM
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A few more things I posted elsewhere on this site, but forgot to add here:

Dress Code:
From what I had read on-line, I thought DH would be out-of-place if he didnt wear a tux. I saw less than 5 tuxes on formal night. Granted, we were the early seating, and it may have been more formal for the late seating. Most men had a on a light sport coat or light suit. In his dark (and well-tailored) suit, I thought DH was the best dressed guy in the MDR.

I also thought we were easily the best dressed family on the smart casual nights. In fact, our dress on the smart-casual nights was probably better than some on the formal nights.

On one smart casual night, the woman beside us had on a faded white t-shirt and tight peach capri pants. Her husband wore jeans and a grey sweatshit. This wasn't the norm - just a message that anything goes on smart casual night.

I'm not looking to start a dress-code debate (AGAIN) just mentioning this for anyone who is considering HAL but afraid the ship might be too formal for them.

Norovirus:
We were on a "watch" for an outbreak. Apparently, Eurodam has a perfect record, as do only 2 ships which sail from FLL. For the first 3 days, there were many alerts for hand-washing, and upon entering the lido, there was a steward there dispensing hand sanitizer to all who entered. Self-serve drink stations and self-serve buffet were also off limits. Everything was served by the staff. I spent the first few days watching my kids like a hawk and bathing them in hand sanitizer [or hand assitizer as my 3 yo calls it]



Gratuities
This was the MOST pleasant cruising experience where "Gratuities" were not shoved down my throat. Every other sailing, there is a CD or someone shouting TIP, TIP, TIP everywhere you go. The auto-tips or envelopes are discussed at lenght on most lines. But on HAL - this was never mentioned. On the second last day, DH asked me how tips were handled, because we had no idea. We had to go to guest relations to find out. I was so pleased not to be guilted into a "you must tip". Of course, we do always tip, but for me, it adds a "guilt" element to the trip, like I should feel guilty for being well-off and must tip, because the crew needs the tips to survive. There was none of that on HAL. On the last night, during the MCD, the singer made an announcement that we should show our appreciation for the dining staff. I thought to myself "here it comes, tip, tip, tip tip tip". But no, all she wanted was a round of applause. We did the auto recommended tips and even gave and extra cash to our dining room steward who we really thought was outstanding. He clearly did not feel comfortable taking the money, but was very grateful.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Manuel View Post
Our best friends who have cruise over thirty times tell us that by 10 O'clock everyone is in bed on the Hal ships.

TM

Well....... not Everyone.
We sail HAL often and your best friends must not have seen us out and about after 10:00 8)

We just returned from ten great days on Noordam and there were many of us enjoying shows, bars, casino etc after dinner.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by 2katz3fsh View Post


<snip>




We made out like bandits as it was my bd the last night. Were given 2 free dinners at PG by Mr. Stein Kruse as well as a cookbook. On board, given another 2 free dinners at PG, a free bottle of Christal champagne, two sets of coasters, a photo album, received choc candy and a floral arrangement from concierge (who also decorated the cabin with balloons), after dinner drinks and specialty coffee many evenings and perhaps some other stuff I've already forgotten about.
Going on the Century on 4/16--will you be on our tails and shall I get them ready for you?
Have fun on whichever sea you sail on!

I just want to be sure I'm understanding you correctly.......


Mr. Stein Kruse sent you Cristal champagne for your birthday? (Underline provided by me.)

How wonderful but surprising.... at least to me.

Do I understand you correctly?
Interesting as of all the many, many times we've sailed HAL, I've never seen Cristal served. For treats and luxe, we've seen Dom served on HAL ships.
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Old March 30th, 2011, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Queen of Oakville View Post
A few more things I posted elsewhere on this site, but forgot to add here:

Dress Code:
From what I had read on-line, I thought DH would be out-of-place if he didnt wear a tux. I saw less than 5 tuxes on formal night. Granted, we were the early seating, and it may have been more formal for the late seating. Most men had a on a light sport coat or light suit. In his dark (and well-tailored) suit, I thought DH was the best dressed guy in the MDR.

I also thought we were easily the best dressed family on the smart casual nights. In fact, our dress on the smart-casual nights was probably better than some on the formal nights.
I'm not looking to start a dress-code debate (AGAIN) just mentioning this for anyone who is considering HAL but afraid the ship might be too formal for them.

<snip>
Funny, but we just returned from Noordam and paid close attention to dress on formal night. DH was among the about 55% (approx) of gents dressed in tux for formal night. On our December Maasdam cruise, I'd say it was more like 45% but Eurodam in October was probably 55% or more.




Norovirus:
We were on a "watch" for an outbreak. Apparently, Eurodam has a perfect record, as do only 2 ships which sail from FLL. For the first 3 days, there were many alerts for hand-washing, and upon entering the lido, there was a steward there dispensing hand sanitizer to all who entered. Self-serve drink stations and self-serve buffet were also off limits. Everything was served by the staff. I spent the first few days watching my kids like a hawk and bathing them in hand sanitizer [or hand assitizer as my 3 yo calls it]


[/quote]

It is standard practice on all HAL ships to have no self-service in Lido and they call it Code Orange. It has made a huge difference in number of cases of Noro brought aboard and spread. By not allowing those with the virus to touch shared serving implements etc limits spread of Noro like Virus.
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Old March 31st, 2011, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by sail7seas View Post
I just want to be sure I'm understanding you correctly.......


Mr. Stein Kruse sent you Cristal champagne for your birthday? (Underline provided by me.)

How wonderful but surprising.... at least to me.

Do I understand you correctly?
Interesting as of all the many, many times we've sailed HAL, I've never seen Cristal served. For treats and luxe, we've seen Dom served on HAL ships.
Sorry, Mr. Kruse gave us 2 dinners free at PG, some coasters, and a cookbook. The corporate bar manager, whom we befriended, gave us the Christal champagne and another free dinner. The rest of the gang gave us the rest of the stuff.
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Old March 31st, 2011, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by sail7seas View Post
Funny, but we just returned from Noordam and paid close attention to dress on formal night. DH was among the about 55% (approx) of gents dressed in tux for formal night. On our December Maasdam cruise, I'd say it was more like 45% but Eurodam in October was probably 55% or more.



That is what I was expecting having read comments here and at other boards, but certainly not what we saw. Like I said, we had early seating, and maybe the better dressed gentlemen came out after dark! I had also read in the HAL site that passengers were encourage to maintain the dress code throughout the evening. I was please do read that; but what I found after dinner (in the casinos, at least) is that pax had returned to their daytime more casual attire).
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Old March 31st, 2011, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by 2katz3fsh View Post
Sorry, Mr. Kruse gave us 2 dinners free at PG, some coasters, and a cookbook. The corporate bar manager, whom we befriended, gave us the Christal champagne and another free dinner. The rest of the gang gave us the rest of the stuff.

How lovely.
Happy Birthday.
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Old March 31st, 2011, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by sail7seas View Post
How lovely.
Happy Birthday.
Yes, it was a great bd to remember. We sailed on the Westerdam over Thanksgiving last year and renewed our acquaintance with Walter, Bev Manager, who sat with us a few nights at the PG while going over past cruises. We normally drink DomP every night except formal (Opus One on those) and since HAL normally does not order in large quantities those bottles, he said he would email the Eurodam to make sure they had put some aside for us. (He did this as when we were in the PG, at least two people told us they had gotten the email.) Our first bottle of DP on Euro was good, but the second one not so good. They only had one more bottle left of the good vintage and maybe 5 or so of the not so good. We replaced the bad with the good and on the last night, they had no more of the good DomP so we ended up with Christal (but Dom P still remains our fave). DomP was about $199 and even cheaper than the C (@$325) and when we got our bill at the end of the evening, the C was not on it. By then, it was too late (after 11:30pm) and no one was around so the next day we questioned the concierge and Christine said the corp bev manager had "taken care of it," in addition to our other after dinner drinks and specialty coffee. Their "good" wine list is extremely limited, and they did not even have the Rothschild Lafite on board. We usually drink Inskillin (sp), an ice wine for dessert and they did not have this. We met Bernardo, the sommelier, in a store in Grand Turk buying it for us (as we were buying a couple of bottles to take on board and drink in PG, after paying corkage fee. We ended up drinking theirs, which he so kindly bought for us, and brought ours home, for another occasion.) "Bernie" did not have to do this on his free time, but did so and we were extremely grateful (he was compensated in kind). To know that HAL has this type of staff is another reason why we keep going back. You can bet the mortgage that Mr. Kruse got another letter to this effect when we got home. We're passengers for life!

Thanks for your good bd wishes! Hoping yours is as great!

Last edited by 2katz3fsh; March 31st, 2011 at 01:22 PM. Reason: added last sentence
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Old March 31st, 2011, 01:29 PM
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We just sailed with Walter on Noordam.
I tease my DH he is WAY too well acquainted with so many HAL Bar Managers.
Of course, they are more than happy to accomodate such 'big spenders' as you.

(BTW..... we left Westerdam the day you boarded.)

Last edited by sail7seas; March 31st, 2011 at 01:37 PM.
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Old April 4th, 2011, 12:23 PM
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Oh 7, had you told me that before, I could have waved to you, too! (we're always two ships that pass in the night, or on the ocean, or in between berths...)
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