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Expatcat

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About Expatcat

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  1. Hi there, I am sure your family will have a great time next year, we certainly did! I loved Deck 4 - the balconies were a great size (on Noordam and Oosterdam too I think the Deck 4 balconies are some of the deepest). I also loved the size of the bathrooms and the little bath was great for my youngest! I just had a quick look at the December Oosterdam cruise itinerary, it looks amazing!
  2. I don’t recall there being a minimum age. Our 11 year old came and enjoyed it! From memory the only requirement was to wear closed-toe shoes. It was a fast paced tour and probably lasted only 20 minutes but it was really interesting!
  3. Hi Vicki, As our cruise was during school holidays there was a separate Club HAL for ages 3-6. I have heard that when there are less children on board they sometimes combine the clubs. I was worried about how the kids would manage without some of the ‘bells and whistles’ but I needn’t have been. The teens really used the teen club as a meeting place and then would make their own fun around the ship. The programming for the younger ones had a good variety - games on the sports court and lots of craft (which they loved). I also found the evening main shows to be very family friendly - my 7 year old loved the shows! Hope this helps.
  4. We have just returned from the Noordam 14 night (4-18 January 2020) cruise around New Zealand. Our children attended Club HAL (7-12 years) and The Loft (13-17 years). This cruise took place during the Australian / NZ school holidays and, prior to travelling, I struggled to find information about cruising HAL with children (particularly in the Southern hemisphere). We had a wonderful time and I wanted to share information that might help others. I have posted a blog that includes many photos of the Club HAL and Loft daily program guides, as well as many of the When and Wheres and menus. Hopefully it will be of interest / help to others! https://bonjourn.al/journal/124230-new-zealand-2020
  5. Thank you for posting this - I knew I’d read this somewhere and I did a search and couldn’t find it!
  6. Thanks RuthC...I guess that if they turn the request down I can just cancel the booking and get a refund....
  7. It is advertised on the HAL website, along with the paperwork you complete. Usually we would book independently but HAL offers this particular tour at a better departure time!
  8. HAL newbie booking a shore excursion....I wanted to check I have understood their price promise correctly! HAL has the tour we want, however it is more expensive than an outside provider. If I book through HAL and submit the correct paperwork I can get the difference in price as an OBC I believe. Does anyone know how this works when HAL prices in US dollars and competitor is priced in another currency? If I make the request and it is rejected, can I just cancel the HAL shore excursion without penalty and book with the competition? Thanks for any help you can give!
  9. We recently faced this dilemma although our children are a bit older. We decided to go with Noordam...we don’t sail until January next year though! The itinerary was a winner for us.
  10. Thank you for sharing, these options look great!
  11. Holland America website had a holding page briefly yesterday. Looks to be: up to $800 OBC, Pinnacle Grill dinner, $25 beverage card and 50% reduced deposit. Suite and verandah receive free internet.
  12. It is a balcony and an inside. Cheaper to book 4 in the balcony and 1 in the inside than to book 3 in the balcony and 2 in the inside.
  13. We are a family of 5 and about to book 2 adjoining cabins. It is cheaper to book 4 in one cabin (and pay reduced 3rd & 4th person fares) and 1 in the other cabin (and pay single supplement) than it is to book the same cabins with 3 people in one and 2 people in the other. Any hidden pitfalls / disadvantages to setting up the booking this way? Thanks!
  14. Thanks for the help everyone! As a HAL newbie it is sometimes difficult to understand how things will operate!
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