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Eph60

First time HAL cruise

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Ok I have cruised many many times and even worked on cruise ships so I have an understanding of cruising. I have cruised on several different cruise lines, however we are booked for the first time on Holland Amaerica this summer for Alaska. We will be on the Westerdam and the Statendam. We will do one week on the Westerdam and a B2B on the Statendam.

To get to a point what are the things that you like the most about Holland America? Also no cruise is absolutely perfect so what are some of the things that are not your favorites on Holland America?

I have asked this on several boards and never really get more then one answer so I hope people will be honest in their post and give me some response. Regardless I am looking forward to a great time on a cruise line I have never cruised before. I will go with an open mind.

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Hello and welcome to CruiseCrazies! Ten years ago we could have offered many reasons to cruise on HAL versus other cruises lines. Now ten years later and they, like most other cruise lines, have eliminated some of their uniqueness. We still like to cruise on HAL mainly because we like to cruise. Depending on the ships they still have great service. One thing we really like that you would not be able to do on your first cruise is the dining room is open on boarding day to past HAL cruisers. We like the idea of live dance music before and after diner. Also, they have happy hour for bar drinks. Smoking has been eliminated in all the venues, which is not the case with their parent, Carnival. They still have afternoon tea in the dining room and they still provide cold wet towels for returning passengers in the Caribbean ports. Just about every thing else is the same as other cruise lines. Some say the clientele is older, which is okay by us since we are also older! We cruised Alaska on the Statendam in 2001 and after 10:00 pm there was not many souls out and about. The casino was quiet!

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We haven’t cruised with Holland America ourselves yet (no particular reason – we’re looking forward to it – the pieces just haven’t fallen into place) but we have some friends with a good HAL story. I know they won’t mind if we share it.

They had been on a couple of cruises already (Princess, Celebrity) before their first with Holland America. When they got back they told us it had been a good trip (great food, outstanding service) with the only negative being they felt that they had spent too much money in the ports.

Three months later their travel agent got a call from HAL; turns out they didn’t spend so much money after all. They’d left $300.00 cash in the room safe and had no idea! Seems that things take a while to work their way through the lost and found system, but Holland America saw to it that they got the money back.

Since then they’ve been on several HAL cruises – and because of that one act they say they’ll never sail with anyone else!

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I've been on 16 cruises, (mostly with RCL and Celebrity) and I don't mind cruising with older passengers. What I do find disturbing is, cruise lines allowing passengers that are so handicapped that if there was an emergency, such as the Concordia, these people would not make it off the ship. Not only make it off the ship, they would hinder the exit by healthier passengers. I was on Celebrity's "Reflection" last December and learned from the staff, 3 nursing facilities allowed people so infirmed, that they actually had nurses assisting them to take this cruise. Some where on IV's and so immobile that to think they were having a good time, is unblievable. I could only imagine the caos in trying to evacuate these people in an emergency situation. The couple in the cabin next to us, needed assistance just to open the door to their cabin. The cruise lines has a responsibility to ensure the safety of all it's passengers and Celebrity failed miserably on this particular cruise. I took 14 cruises with my wife before she had a stroke and when asked if she would take another, she said "NO". She felt she would be a liability because of her wheelchair. I'm not saying people in wheelchairs should not take cruises....and I've seen many on the cruises I've been on. What I object to is allowing people so infirmed that they can't move or even be aware of where they are. I now shudder when I hear......."they have a "older" clientale". This is my first cruise with HAL and I hope the "older clientale" is just that..."older". I'm looking forward to my first cruise with HAL and from what I've heard so far, it will be a memorable one......by memorable I mean, not having the elevator door open and seeing a person in a wheelchair, held in place by a posey belt with a nurse holding a IV.

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Our friends and their 2 teenage children sailed on HAL in the Caribbean. They loved the cruise. Yes, it was quiet at night and they felt as if they had the run of most of the nightlife. However, they also said that they met up with many other families. They said that every lounge chair by the main pool had a hibachi by it and you could get skewered meats and veggies during lunchtime. (Something that we have yet to experience on any other line.)

We always look at price and itinerary. If HAL happens to offer the best value ...

I say: go and have a great time!

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