NCL vs. Holland America

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6 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Planning an Alaska cruise this coming September, I booke a mini-suite in the Norwegian Jewel (room 11062) but I wonder if I should cancel and book a Superior Verandah suite in the Oosterdam. The Oosterdam is a bit more expensive (really negligible). I have not travelled either cruise lines, so am having a hard time making a decision. I will be taking my 76 year (very very active) mom as a present for her. Any suggestions before I make a final choice? THANKS!!
Greenville, SC, USA
53,405 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
HAL and Princess are the main lines in Alaska. Each has a half dozen ships there each year. Add to that the fact that your mother will be the "young chick" for a week and it seems like a winner to me
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11,587 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
There's a fit for everyone. We tried NCL for a family cruise that included a range of ages from 11 - 88. We figured that NCL offered the widest range of things to do.

On my own, with my mother, I'd absolutely pick HAL over NCL. In fact, it's hard to come up with a scenario that would get me back on NCL. It's not that it was bad, the cruise was fine, but the atmosphere just didn't suit.
Vancouver, WA
923 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Here is proof that comparison is odious. The cheapest cabin in the saddest ship in the Alaska fleet offers a surpassing experience.
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Seven times on NCL since 2005, around the horn on Carnival Splendor in 2013 and two years long ago and far away on USS Princeton LPH-5.
6,124 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Are the itineraries very similar? Or might one to Glacier Bay and the other not? I would scrutinize the itineraries first. If they are the same, consider the style you would like. NCL is very casual and has all open dining and tends to draw a wide age range. HAL has formal night, traditional or open dining options, and a reputation for drawing a much older noted above, your mother might feel a "young chick" on board.
59 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
If it were me and my mother, I'd choose HAL. Mostly because HAL is geared towards an older crowd and is a bit more refined. Being a "very active" seventy six is good, but she's still seventy six. She will still be among younger folks on either ship, but on HAL I think she will be with folks that are still within an age group she can relate to.

The age group on HAL seemed to run around fifty to seventy more or less with a sprinkling of younger folks but not too many. But choosing a cruise ship is a personal thing.

Is she helping with choosing the cruise ship? Can you give her details on each one and let her help pick? Then she would be invested in the choice and not as likely to criticize but only necessary if she's that type of mom. Although for some folks, planning it is half the fun so maybe she wants to start the cruise early by helping plan?
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HAL Westerdam - Panama Canal, December 2017
Carnival Valor - Caribbean, August 2016
Sapphire Princess - Alaska, June 2012

First Cruise - HAL Rotterdam - Alaska, June 2010
Virginia Beach,VA
748 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
You'll be glad you chose HAL. It's our favorite line and we've been on a few of them...
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*Working on my bucket list one port at a time and spending my kids inheritance one cruise at a time *

* NCL Pride of America Sept 2020 - 7 days Hawaii - Honolulu RT - Maui, Hilo, Kona, Kauai
* HAL Zuiderdam Oct 2019 - 11 days Canada/New England - Quebec to FLL- Charlottetown PE Canada, Sydney NS, Portland ME, Boston, Newport RI, New York
* Carnival Dream April 2019 - 7 days Carb - New Orleans RT - Honduras, Belize, Cozumel
* HAL Eurodam Feb 2018- 7 days W. Carib- FLL RT- Half Moon Cay, Jamaica, Cayman, Key West
* Carnival Sunshine June 2017-5 days Bahamas- Norfolk RT- Nassau, Freeport
* Carnival Sunshine Oct 2016- 8 days Carib/Bahamas-Norfolk RT- Nassau, Dominican Rep, Turks & Caicos
* Carnival Splendor May 2015- 5 days Bahamas- Norfolk RT- Nassau, Freeport
* Celebrity Millennium Feb 2014- 14 days S.E. Asia- HK- to Singapore- Macau, Lantau Is, Vietnam, Thailand, 3 weeks side trip to the Philippines
* RCL Splendour OTS Oct 2012-7 days Greek Isles-Venice RT- Bari, Kusadasi, Corfu, Santorini, Katakolon, side trip to N. Italy, Prague, Austria, Germany
* Celebrity Constellation Nov 2011-14 days Holy Land-Istanbul to Barcelona- Kusadasi/ Marmaris Turkey, Athens, Rhodes, Israel, Valleta Malta
* Star Princess Aug 2010- 11 days Baltic-Copenhagen RT- Sweden, Finland, St. Petersburg, Estonia, Poland, Norway
* RCL Enchantment OTS May 2010-6 days Bermuda- Norfolk RT- Bermuda
* HAL Eurodam March 2010- 7 days E. Carib- FLL RT- St Thomas, San Juan, Turks & Caicos, Half Moon Cay
* Carnival Imagination Nov 2009- 3 days Bahamas- Miami RT- Nassau
* RCL Voyager OTS Oct 2007- 7 days W. Med- Barcelona RT -Monte Carlo, Florence, Rome, Naples, Sicily
* HAL Maasdam Dec 2006-11 days S.Carib -Norfolk RT- St Thomas, San Juan, Dominica, St Kitts, Barbados, HMC
* HAL Zuiderdam Aug 2006 - 11 days Alaska Cruisetour /Yukon
land tour from Anchorage to Denali, Fairbanks, Yukon, Skagway; cruise Skagway- Vancouve