Feel too old on HAL

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#1
Redondo Beach, CA USA
748 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
We are looking at cruising again in 2014. My DDP and I (will be 42 and 49) feel RCCL is getting too young, the service is going down, and the quality of entertainment and cuisine is going down. Me personally I would love to sip a martini or brandy and hear a small chamber ensemble tucked off in a corner than to have my ears ringing from a high energy disco. Is HAL for us?
#2
82,157 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Do lots of reading here on CC.
You will find the answers.

The more reading you do, the better feel you will get for what is HAL is about.
Ask us specific questions. We are happy to help, if we are able.
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#3
Petaluma, Ca. 94954
29,092 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Originally posted by sail7seas
Do lots of reading here on CC.
You will find the answers.

The more reading you do, the better feel you will get for what is HAL is about.
.
Some of the best advice I have heard here recently. Wish more would follow it!

We started cruising HAL about your age and found exactly what you describe. 8 HAL cruises later, and two booked, we are still here.
#4
49 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
I'd say HAL might very well be for you, based just on the little you've said. I too don't like the blaring music and silly loud-speaker pool games, and would much rather enjoy a classical string quarter (or duo, as it's recently become) with a martini in hand. That's the ambiance HAL delivers.

HAL has a reputation (somewhat deserved) of appealing to an older demographic, but don't get tied up with ages. Travel agents sometimes do that, and it's a mistake. As an example, when I was in my 20s (waaaaaaay before the Internet where I could do my own research!), an agent put me on a Carnival, figuring that's where you put the young ones. I was unhappy with most of that experience. (Maybe I was just old before my time, but I cringed at the "Best-Body" contests and all that other stuff.)

Anyway, I started sailing HAL in my 40s (about a decade ago) and have never looked back.
#5
New Jersey
8,914 Posts
Joined May 2007
Originally posted by ScottC4746
We are looking at cruising again in 2014. My DDP and I (will be 42 and 49) feel RCCL is getting too young, the service is going down, and the quality of entertainment and cuisine is going down. Me personally I would love to sip a martini or brandy and hear a small chamber ensemble tucked off in a corner than to have my ears ringing from a high energy disco. Is HAL for us?
Yes, you can get that on HAL. Also lovely jazz combos that know how to balance and control their volume level. You can have your ears assaulted by the HAL Cats (there's a thread about them somewhere on this board) if you wish, but you do have other. more civilized (IMO) options.

HAL ships tend to be smaller. This allows HAL to go places a lot of the other ships don't go, giving HAL some unusual itineraries. There aren't a lot of sea day activities. Yes, there's bingo, I think there's a law that says ships have to do bingo. But mostly there are quiet places to read or gaze at the ocean. A good library. A teak promenade deck that goes all the way around for a jog or a leisurely stroll.

One thing I love about HAL is that they keep the announcements to a minimum. It's a while since I was on RCCL, so I don't know what they're like, but I remember Princess drove me crazy with endless announcements about bingo and sales in the shops.
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Kathy
The THIRD generation in my family to sail on a Cunarder
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#6
Dallas, Texas
7,971 Posts
Joined May 2003
I think Hal will be a good fit, we cruise many lines including RCCL but last 3 cruises have been Hal, food is better than RCCL, also they have a great wine policy for BYOB and a really good steak resturant for 25 per person if you want to treat yourself to something extra.
#7
Michigan
2,732 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
As we age, we find certain cruiselines are not for us anymore. This is how we've evolved over 25 cruises...

20's Carnival

30's NCL, RCCL

40's RCCL,Princess

50's Celebrity,HAL

60's HAL Prinsendam (small ships), luxury cruiselines

I think you may be ready to switch to HAL....
#8
107,156 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
In the Explorer's Lounge there is the Adagio Duo -- a piano player and a violin player usually playing classical music. You can enjoy a martini or a brandy there every evening.
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#9
11,752 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
I think it very much depends on the ship, the length of the cruise, and the date of your cruise.

We are not particular fans of HAL's entertainment programs...perhaps we ave been unlucky or have different tastes.
#10
SoCali
341 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by ScottC4746
We are looking at cruising again in 2014. My DDP and I (will be 42 and 49) feel RCCL is getting too young, the service is going down, and the quality of entertainment and cuisine is going down. Me personally I would love to sip a martini or brandy and hear a small chamber ensemble tucked off in a corner than to have my ears ringing from a high energy disco. Is HAL for us?
We did our first HAL cruise last year when we were 37 and 40 respectively. Before that we had done RCC and NCL.

We loved HAL, because mainly we enjoy quiet. We have absolutely horrible neighbors where we live; with screaming kids at ALL hours of the day and night, dogs barking constantly, people having loud parties - you name it and I can point to one of the houses surrounding us and it is happening.

As such, we do not look for a pool crowd, any major loud DJ events, or anything along those lines. We just want to be alone and enjoy the silence (well, at least to whatever extent is possible).

HAL is nice for us. You can just take nice walks around the deck and also sit in the library or Crow's nest. We enjoyed the dinners in the MDR and the breakfast in the Pinnacle.

I hope you will enjoy, should you decide to book HAL.
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Fortuna Audentis Iuvat!
#11
Abbotsford, British Columbia
348 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
I'm only 32 and am very excited for my first HAL cruise. My husband and I are not into loud music, night clubs or heavy drunken partying as we prefer to find a quiet spot and curl up with a good book while enjoying the scenery. I would love to listen to live classical music on board!

I know, I know... we have Allure booked for October but my husband picked the ship and I don't think we'll ever get to Florida again so we're making a big trip out of it (Disney World, Universal, Kennedy Space Center). :P
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#12
Quilcene, Washington
2,308 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
We sailed on HAL just after we got together in 1993 and have never had a desire to go elsewhere (well except for Key West, but that's not a cruise).
I had previously sailed on several lines and HAL is and will be my number 1.
We are getting married on the Oosterdam in May so HAL will always have a HUGE place in our hearts.
We love the low key, no pressure, no conga lines in the hallways atmosphere and the smaller more intimate ships.
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#13
Suffolk Eng
67 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I did my first Hal cruise in my 50's(with a cousin) the next year my husband came(early60s)along with my edest son and his fiance both aged 30 and my youngest son then aged 26 and guess what ? "The kids" are coming with us again this year.........that says it all, they love HAL cruises
#14
39 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
I'm in my late 20's and my partner early 30's and we cant wait to experience HAL. The service, food and quality sounds perfect. Its cruising how cruising should be....

I agree it may not be the livest party at sea, but do you research before you book
#15
Florida
237 Posts
Joined May 2001
Sorry for stating the obvious, but you'll never know until you try it. We're actually doing the opposite of the OP. We have grown tired of the HAL ships and are taking our first RCCL cruise next month. We met an older couple on the Ryndam last month, who said they prefer Royal Caribbean to HAL, and we have been wanting to try specifically the Freedom of the Seas, so that convinced us.
#18
Raleigh, N.C.
11,922 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
If you're taking a 7-night cruise to the Caribbean, HAL will probably be a good fit. We're about to take a cruise from Quebec to Boston. We have you beat by 10 years, yet I'm thinking we'll be among the youngest passengers on this cruise. The rollcall is stagnant.

If someone your age asked me, I'd probably recommend Princess over HAL. Most of their ships are larger, which means they can offer more entertainment options.
#19
Wales
124 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by ScottC4746
We are looking at cruising again in 2014. My DDP and I (will be 42 and 49) feel RCCL is getting too young, the service is going down, and the quality of entertainment and cuisine is going down. Me personally I would love to sip a martini or brandy and hear a small chamber ensemble tucked off in a corner than to have my ears ringing from a high energy disco. Is HAL for us?
I'm 40. I took my first HAL cruise when I was 37.
I wanted a rest, in classy surroundings with good food and no irritations.
I love a martini!
We've booked our second cruise and didn't consider anyone else.
HAL suits us down to the ground.
#20
Florida
20,180 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
You will be fine ...
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