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TheSkipper

Holland American

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Would you belive in all our cruising we have never sailed on a Holland American Ship??

Have heard nothing by good about the line, but simply have not connected as yet.

How do they compare with the other mainstream lines -- Princess, Celebrity and RCI??

Would love to hear from those of you who have sailed HAL.

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They tend to appeal to an "older" crowd, and are more sedate. Activities are geared to adults (seniors) and even the midnight buffet is held at 11:30, so the passengers don't have to stay up too late.... Food is pretty good, but nowhere near Celebrity or Princess. I was 60 y.o. when I sailed on HAL, and many passengers referred to me as "Sonny...."

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If I could interject another opinion. David and I have very little cruising experience, having only done less then 20 days at sea so far. We have done HAL twice. The first time was awesome, it was on the Ryndam. Service was immaculate never wanting a thing, the bartender Roman in the crows nest would great us every evening before dinner. It was Great. Then we went on the Oosterdam and had a less then pleasant time. The Same Bartender who was now on the Oosterdam (his wife worked in sick bay) but his enthusiasm to serve had vanished. The difference in the two voyages came down to the realization that somewhere in between they left behind what made them special, the "no tip necessary" policy. I noticed that once the crew knew they didn’t have to provide the greatest service and would still get their tip the whole moral of the ship was lost.

We now have moved on to Celebrity, I doubt very seriously whether or not we will give Carnival Corp. another one of our travel dollars, although I would like to experience Princess, but from what I have read on other boards she may have already sold her corporate image to the devil .

The worse thing COULD happen I could run out of cruising options ..nah could Never happen ..I’m on Celebrity.. Right!?

Always,

<]

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Of our twelve cruise, so far, six have been on HAL. We always thought the age difference was very over stated. The only ship we were on that seemed to have an abundance of "older" folks was our first HAL cruise on the old Westerdam. We were with a large group so it was not a factor. The service was so good that when we decided to take a cruise for our third wedding anniversary, HAL was our first choice. It turned out to be the St Louis Cardinals group cruise and was the biggest partying cruise we have ever been on. All our HAL cruises have been great, except the last one. It was our first with them and their new tipping policy, and like JoeyandDavid stated, they have changed. If you read our Zaandam review in the review section you will understand. All the little things they spoiled us with on past cruises are gone. They are no longer our first cruise choice. :cry: :cry:

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I cruised on the Zuiderdam April 23rd my first HAL Cruise but not my last. The food, service, was wonderful. The demograpics were mixed , being its HAL's new Vista Class. This class of ship tends to bring a younger clientile. We are in our 50S traveling with our 15 year old daughter. We had 3 at our table in their 30S. There were alot of 30 somethings on our date. About 40% were seniors, but the rest a good mix.

Our mini Suite, Cat SS was large and very comfotable for the 3 of us. It's the first cruise I did not feel clutered. We booked this accomadation because the price was not much more than a balcony, and less than we had paid for a balcony last year on RCCL .

The buffet was at 11:30 but who wants to eat at 12 amyway.They did not have a Grand Buffet but had an afternoon Desert Extravaganza which was pretty and delish. The buffet was above average of all the lines I have cruised. I have cruised Celebrity, RCCL,Carnival and Princess. I would recomend HAL.

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I have second what folks above said. OUr first cruise on HAL was Ryndaam and my wife l9ved it. They have upgraded everything since then, and we cruised Maasdam in February last year. We didn't notice the age the first time. On Maasdam, there was an older crowd. Didn't mean anything in any port, where we did our own thing. The service and food are superb.

By the way, the tiers are:

Mass market: NCL, Carnival, and RCL;

Premier: Princess, HAL, and Celebrity

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Good topic. In 6 months I sail on the New Westerdam and always love to try new lines even though I have have never found a cruise I didn't like. :grin:

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Joey and David-

Don't judge Carnival Corp., and Princess, by your experience with HAL! Carnival bought a 'shipload' of lines, but allowed each one to run independently of the others. They all have their own management, from top executives on down! People who love Princess may very well despise Hal and those who love Carnival might be very uncomfortable on Cunard. They are all very different.

\In fact, I'm one of those people. I will never go on Costa again, and don't like HAL at all, yet I love Princess and often enjoy Carnival!

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Thanks again Jeff,

I think you may cause us to really consider Princess, I want to believe we have options.

Answer me this if you can. David and I prefer Verandah staterooms and no less then Concierge Class of Celebrity or S class of HAL.. what’s the equivalent on princess?

I appreciate it Jeff

Always

<]

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