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jtdlmc

Demographics on HAL

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HAL has the best itineraries for us. After browsing on the HAL board and reading through some of the threads I am a little concerned about the impression I got. We are 50-somethings who like to have fun. We would not be able to sit around listening to classical music or string quartets. We are not late night people so nightlife ending relatively early does not bother us but we do like to have a few drinks and socialize. I am hoping with Alaskan itineraries the demographics are much more diverse than the norm on HAL?

 

 

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HAL has the best itineraries for us. After browsing on the HAL board and reading through some of the threads I am a little concerned about the impression I got. We are 50-somethings who like to have fun. We would not be able to sit around listening to classical music or string quartets. We are not late night people so nightlife ending relatively early does not bother us but we do like to have a few drinks and socialize. I am hoping with Alaskan itineraries the demographics are much more diverse than the norm on HAL?

 

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As a many-time HAL Alaska cruiser, the demographics are much the same as all other lines in Alaska since most of the season occurs while children are not in school and younger families are thus available for travel. It should be noted that HAL has such an impressive kid's program that kids are only visible during meal hours.

 

The "older" reputation for HAL is based on longer cruises and cruises during periods when children are still in school, thus negating younger families from cruising.

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I sailed HAL this summer in Alaska and I'm "fifty-something". The crowd was older and there weren't as many young couples and children. Entertainment was average.

 

I prefer a ship with more "life"! HAL was good with long port times and we usually had the best dock in town. I also thought they were good with the logistics of transfers, etc.

 

I really enjoyed Alaska but would hope to try a different cruise line if I get back to Alaska again.

 

Enjoy your trip!

 

Patti

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It's not really the activity level I am concerned about. Not wanting to sound rude - but the jist I got from reading some of the posts on the HAL board is that many regulars HAL cruisers seem a little, shall I say, pretentious. I would never consider sailing HAL on any other itinerary but as I said, they have the best Alaska itinerary for us but I don't want to feel like an outcast because my husband has long hair and tattoos on his arms!!

 

 

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Edited by jtdlmc

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We sailed HAL last month to Alaska - up until then, we have sailed strictly Carnival.

 

We are young 50-somethings and noticed that the majority of the guests were of an older demographic but that really didn't bother us as we knew cruising when school is in session that that would be the case. The times we were seated with an older crowd, we didn't notice anyone being pretentious - well traveled, yes but no one was being snobbish

 

And don't blow off the Lincoln Center Stage until you've tried it - we actually enjoyed it quite a bit! Its not all chamber music but also arrangements of songs by The Beatles, Radiohead, Dave Matthews, etc. Not like its going to cost you extra to do it, other than maybe an hour of your time.......

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Alaska is more about the itinerary than the specific cruise line or ship. Research the ports in Alaska and find things that interest you, then find an itinerary that spends the most time in those ports.

 

I have cruised on multiple cruise lines and have met friendly and snobbish people on almost every cruise, lol. The main difference in Alaskan cruises is that early and late season cruises will tend to skew to an older crowd and fewer children.

 

I have also found that Nightlife / entertainment in general is more subdued and ends earlier than the typical Caribbean cruise. Most people are up early and spend a full day on excursions and are headed to bed by 11:00 or sooner.

 

 

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Alaska seems to attract people who have never cruised and this is their first cruise and probably last - they want to see Alaska and don't consider themselves cruisers. Also, Alaska seems to attract an older demographic overall. Not sure why as there are so many things to do when one is young there.

 

I personally prefer one ways, I see more that way. I was underwhelmed by my RT Seattle and Vancouver trips. They often only have 1 glacier, poor times in port, and I see less.

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Doing a PANAMA CANALtransit cruise on 12/6. Go take a look at our roll call mostly 40s 50s 60s. My 24 yo son will be with us. Doing this cruise mostly for itinerary.

 

 

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Doing a PANAMA CANALtransit cruise on 12/6. Go take a look at our roll call mostly 40s 50s 60s. My 24 yo son will be with us. Doing this cruise mostly for itinerary.

 

 

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This is another itinerary that gets a lot of first time cruisers. And if you are doing a full transit - many young ones don't get that much time off to do that.

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We did a multigenerational family cruise on HAL to Alaska. Ages ranged from 13 months old to 75 years old. The demographics on our particular sailing were very similar to what we've encountered on more family oriented cruise lines like Royal Caribbean and Carnival. A little bit of everything; young, old, couples, singles, families, seasoned travelers, first timers, etc.

 

The ambiance onboard is indeed less energetic. Activities are more low key and cerebral. The pool deck is more of a quiet haven than the center of activity as in other cruise lines on warmer sailings.

 

As far as "pretentious HAL cruisers", we didn't encounter anything too blatant, but there were a few that seemed annoyed at the fact that we'd brought young cruisers with us on this cruise line. One woman actually said "Ugh!" out loud when she saw me pushing my toddler daughter in an umbrella stroller while directly staring at her. Thankfully she was the exception and not the norm.

 

Overall, we had an absolutely fantastic time on this cruise, but I don't think we'd be rushing to sail on HAL again any time soon. Although the product that they offer is indeed nice, it's not in tune with where I am in life right now, raising a young and very energetic family.

 

 

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It's not really the activity level I am concerned about. Not wanting to sound rude - but the jist I got from reading some of the posts on the HAL board is that many regulars HAL cruisers seem a little, shall I say, pretentious. I would never consider sailing HAL on any other itinerary but as I said, they have the best Alaska itinerary for us but I don't want to feel like an outcast because my husband has long hair and tattoos on his arms!!

 

 

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Yes there are several on the HAL forum who are pretentious. It is unlikely you will meet any of them on a ship though. And if you do, just consider them entertainment ;) Most of us are normal people who work for a living, cruise when we can, schlep our kids to hockey and ballet ...

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These days, there are so many people with tattoos. I would not think twice about going. We are 61/60 and looking forward to our Alaska Cruise on the Volendam. I picked HAL for the itinerary, and the ship for the smaller crowd. I have read about HAL attracting a "senior" crowd, LOL. You will find pretentious peeps all over. Go and have fun. p.s. No suit needed for Gala nights on board!

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We cruised AK on HAL and the demographics were varied. We chose HAL for the itinerary and were not disappointed. The entertainment was more lively than a string quartet and there were multiple venues around the ship. We have also sailed HAL in Europe. As a previous poster suggested that since the itinerary was longer the crowd was older. But still, there was more going on than a string quartet. We always book based on where we want to go and have never had a problem being bored.

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Thanks everyone! I think we will double check the itineraries but if I still think HAL offers the best for us, we will go for it. We are planning June so unfortunately the kids will still be in school and maybe not as many families will be on board but sounds like the pretentious group are the minority so there will be others to socialize with.

 

Dancing Shoes, love that no suit is needed for Gala nights

 

 

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Thanks everyone! I think we will double check the itineraries but if I still think HAL offers the best for us, we will go for it. We are planning June so unfortunately the kids will still be in school and maybe not as many families will be on board but sounds like the pretentious group are the minority so there will be others to socialize with.

 

Dancing Shoes, love that no suit is needed for Gala nights

 

 

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Schools in our area end in May. June is prime vacation for our section of the world (Midwest US).

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I realise demographic and entertainment are important but there are other things that were a pleasant surprise to us when cruising on new Amsterdam in AK: Ronnie Scott's jazz club, the fact that the IT demos were useful and not just a sales pitch, excellent staff, staff service at the buffet, excellent speciality restaurants, to name but a few. Also glacier bay was unbelievable, if that is on your itinerary a big plus - actually 3 or 4 glaciers feed into the bay so it's not as if you are doing one glacier - and you get commentary from a ranger and don't miss the post bay ranger presentation in the theatre (prob get those on other lines but well worth going to). One slight downside on our cruise was that there was a big dentist convention on board, that meant certain venues were closed to non dentists and they tended to stick together so it was a bit 'us and them' - but I think AK is favourite for this type convention so you can get this on any line at any time, I guess a plus side was by definition they were under retirement age so it lowered the demographic. I would really like to cruise HAL again, but from the UK their itineraries don't really work or are too expensive (same thing really).

 

 

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HAL has the best itineraries for us. After browsing on the HAL board and reading through some of the threads I am a little concerned about the impression I got. We are 50-somethings who like to have fun. We would not be able to sit around listening to classical music or string quartets. We are not late night people so nightlife ending relatively early does not bother us but we do like to have a few drinks and socialize. I am hoping with Alaskan itineraries the demographics are much more diverse than the norm on HAL?

 

 

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Consider Oceania- cosmopolitan adult demographic and far better food/service than HAL.

 

 

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We are active 50-somethings and we absolutely love HAL! Go have fun! Alaska is on my bucket list... we'll get there some day soon

 

 

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p.s. No suit needed for Gala nights on board!

 

Where is info on HAL Gala nights? We are sailing on Westerdam in July and we are trying to figure out which nights are Gala.

 

 

The last time we sailed HAL was about 10 years ago. We were in our mid to late 40s and had a great time. It was Caribbean so different but we always found something to do and/or a place to drink and socialize! The HAL reports that I have been reading do scare me a little also but we loved it then and I am sure will love it now. It is what you make it!

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HAL is nice because you're not segregated by cabin class (not yet anyways) and even status for the most part right now. It may be a lot less lively than a Princess cruise but not much different, it seems, from a longer Celebrity one.

 

As for classical music, sadly missing The last time I heard, it's been reduced to a duo. Wouldn't be surprised if it's a recorded holographic projection next.

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We are planning June so unfortunately the kids will still be in school and maybe not as many families will be on board

 

 

 

Classes end in May in many parts of the US. We went the first week in June and there were many families onboard

 

 

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I forgot to add: I was on a cruise in September which was the ship's (Celebrity) repo away from Alaska. The cruise director mentioned that the previous week-long cruise (1st week of Sept). had some 500 children out of a passenger complement of 2,200. Only 20 for the TPAC.

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Schools in our area end in May. June is prime vacation for our section of the world (Midwest US).

 

 

 

Classes end in May in many parts of the US. We went the first week in June and there were many families onboard

 

 

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Oh ok, that will be good then! Schools in my part of the world do not get out until late June.

 

 

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