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Old October 9th, 2011, 10:36 AM
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I was looking at the Holland American Cruise line web site early today.I noticed that their Prices seem to be in between Carnivals and Priness which caught my attention right away. I was just wondering what kind of reputation do they have?I know its alot of personal opion and all that stuff but is it generally an older crowd or a younger crowd?Does there seem to be more then the average number of complaints? The only thing I didnt like was it seemed most of their ships only had one pool. Are their ships a little smaller then the average cruise ship?I really like their prices just a little curious about the food and service and all that stuff.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 11:01 AM
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You know, everyone has here own experiences as you mentioned, so here is mine. On the old Westerdam, we had the finest service you could imagine. Loved the magradome,and, it did rain, and it was used. Had a fun themed cruise, but the ship was old by then,and looked it.

FF to 2005, we went on the Zuiderdam, very pretty ship, loved the Pinnacle Grille, had service issues in the DR, with waiters and busboys at odds with each other. The placement of our table w/banquettes in the raised portion of the DR, created terrible service, in this way too crowded area. The waiter was not at fault with design flaw.

We were on this cruise with dyed in the wool HAL fans, who, were quite surprised with these issues. What surprised me the most, was how the ship became a ghost ship at night. Now, we are not party people, but wanted lots more then what we experienced as far as night life.

For me, the only way I would book again, is if we had a Cruisemate group cruise, then, I know I would have built in friends and fun. I want to book a cruise, with a bit more upbeat attitude. I sailed them twice, and now I know, it's bit too quiet for us. I know I may be in the minority, but that's my story,and I'm sticking to it.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dhill View Post
I was looking at the Holland American Cruise line web site early today.I noticed that their Prices seem to be in between Carnivals and Priness which caught my attention right away. I was just wondering what kind of reputation do they have?I know its alot of personal opion and all that stuff but is it generally an older crowd or a younger crowd?Does there seem to be more then the average number of complaints? The only thing I didnt like was it seemed most of their ships only had one pool. Are their ships a little smaller then the average cruise ship?I really like their prices just a little curious about the food and service and all that stuff.
The cruising experience varies, of course, with every cruise. The destination, the time of year, the length of the cruise and many other factors affect ones perception of a ship.

In general HAL has had a reputation of catering to a more mature and more sedate crowd. Their night club is probably not as glitzy as Princess', and definitely not as glitzy as Carnival! The shows are more Broadway musical and less heavy metal, perhaps. They are working hard to spread their demographics, and have a very good kids program now. HAL to Alaska, for example, will be a pretty mixed crowd. A 14 day HAL Mediterranean will be more sedate.

All cruise lines get a few complaints, but I don't think HAL gets any more than any other line.

I don't quite know why you think their ships have only one pool. The Zuiderdam class ships have two pools, even the smaller Volendam has two pools. They have some delightful small ships like Prinsendam that may have only one.

They do not have the really mega ships. The Zuiderdam class is their biggest and I think is around 1800 pax. But that class of ship is plenty large to have all the bells and whistles.

Characterizing lines in terms of prices is very chancy. Pricing hops around, changes frequently, and is not easy to compare. In general I would say Princess and HAL come in about the same on average prices. If price is a main consideration you need to consider a particular itinerary on a particular date and compare, but the comparison might not be applicable on a different itin or a different date!

Princess and HAL are our two favorite cruise lines. In fact our two upcoming cruises booked are one of each!

I sincerely recommend that you find a good local Travel Agent who is a CLIA Accredited Cruise Counselor. ACC's have done a lot of cruising and have inspected a lot of ships, in addition to doing their assignments, and can give you a very good idea of the pros and cons of any particular itinerary, ship, or line.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 12:13 PM
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I am 1 of those died in the wool fans(400 +days). Yes it does tend to be an older clientele, but we prefer that.
I don't have a lot of experience on other cruise lines, but we have tried some and always come back to HAL. You can not beat the service or the food anywhere. IMHO. As far as night life not sure what you are looking for. Shows every night and the bars and casino open till the wee hours.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 01:40 PM
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Its hard for my wife and I to decied on which cruise line to go on. Are first and only cruise was easy to decied it was a 14 day to Hawaii on the Sapphire Princess. We were really happy with are chose altho it was a little Quit at night but I think that had alot to do with the length of the cruise and all that. We are planning a Carribean cruise for 2013 but are having a harder time chosing a cruise line .It seems all the itenerarys are pretty close.The prices now thats a diffrent story. At first I thought go with Carnival but the more I think about it the less sure I am.More people not sure about the quality.We are thinking about just going back to Princess.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 01:43 PM
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What time of year are you planning your cruise. THere are less ships in the Caribbean from May to Oct/Nov,as they are sent up to Alaska, and over to Europe.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 02:19 PM
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What time of year are you planning your cruise. THere are less ships in the Caribbean from May to Oct/Nov,as they are sent up to Alaska, and over to Europe.
April 15th 2013 my wifes 50th birthday I hope she doesnt find out I said that.I think we have decied on either H.A or Princess.WE feel for some reason there will be less people on one of thhos cruises.The carnival ship we looked out had almost 4000 people that seems like a lot of people on a ship might be to crowed for us.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 02:29 PM
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April 15th 2013 my wifes 50th birthday I hope she doesnt find out I said that.I think we have decied on either H.A or Princess.WE feel for some reason there will be less people on one of thhos cruises.The carnival ship we looked out had almost 4000 people that seems like a lot of people on a ship might be to crowed for us.
April is Spring Break for many areas...... expect FULL sailings for cruises 7 nights or less in length !
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Old October 9th, 2011, 03:00 PM
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Overall I would rate HAL ahead of both Princess and Carnival.
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Old October 9th, 2011, 03:11 PM
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HAL is my all time favorite cruise line (other than Home Lines years ago!) and you do see things differently somewhat. For instance, the passengers are older, are more sedate, and may have a little more money than say, Carnival passengers. HAL has much prettier flower arrangements in all of their public areas (they are noted for this) and I think most of their ships are beautiful. (Was somewhat surprised by Eurodam whose interior I thought would have been more elegant, for some reason or another, but I did not find it "up there" on par with other HAL ships. We did, however, enjoy our cruise on her.)
HAL also has a better library (which is funded by the NY TIMES so that may be the reason why it has a better and current selection of authors/books), a better culinary kitchen theater (funded by Food and Wine Magazine, ditto), and I also think their cabins are slightly more decorative and larger than other cruise ships.
I will say that their food (both MDR and PG) and on par with other lines (or maybe even worse). I think Celebrity has the best food, both in main dining room and specialty restaurants.
Having said that, I have always found HAL to go out of its way for us and whenever I have complaints, they are rectified while still on board, which I appreciate.
I have been sailing with HAL since 1981--my honeymoon cruise on the old Volendam from NYC to Bermuda and they just do that extra special something every cruise for us. That's what brings us back time and time again.
Whatever cruise line you favor, it's according to your own personal likes/dislikes, but keep in mind that not every cruise/cruise line is perfect.
Happy sailing!
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Old October 9th, 2011, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fun2cruiz View Post
April is Spring Break for many areas...... expect FULL sailings for cruises 7 nights or less in length !
HUH never thought about Spring break.Maywe will Go with Princess might be a lot quiter then Carnival. Maybe we will save Carnival for a diffrent time. Or may we could sail a month earlier.Thaks for the DQ website fun2 cruiz we passed it on to all are family
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Old October 9th, 2011, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
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HUH never thought about Spring break.Maywe will Go with Princess might be a lot quiter then Carnival. Maybe we will save Carnival for a diffrent time. Or may we could sail a month earlier.Thaks for the DQ website fun2 cruiz we passed it on to all are family
I think you will sail better with Princess for an April sailing..... and a large step above Carnival for certain ! Glad the www.blizzardfanclub.com helped a few folks out and got some free Blizzards in your hands too !! November Blizzard of the Month ???? Anyone got a guess ?
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Old October 9th, 2011, 09:43 PM
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For a 7 day Caribbean cruise, it's my experience that HAL and Princess have very similar demographics.

Based on their size, more elegant ambience, and imho much better food and service, if choosing between the two, I'd easily opt for HAL.

On of my favorite things about Princess was the 24hr. Horizon Court area, but I understand they're no long open 24/7.

Princess has better entertainment I think, but the horrible design of their showrooms makes me nuts, when people have to sit in the aisles and stairways.
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