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JustinPlusLauren

What are your favorite things about sailing with HAL?

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I'm brand new to HAL and we're taking a cruise aboard the Nieuw Statendam at the end of July. I've sailed with Princess, MSC, and Carnival in the past. I'd love to know...what are your favorite things about HAL? What are some things that set it apart from other cruise lines? What are your favorite spaces on the ship to hang out on a sea day? What are your favorite activities, best entertainment options? I want to hear ALL about what you love about sailing with HAL so I can learn a few things before boarding! 🙂

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Just a few random thoughts....

  • The feeling of "coming home" when stepping on board.
  • The the frequent hellos and friendly greetings from the crew.
  • The beautiful ships
  • The bread pudding :classic_tongue:
  • Happy hour and trivia
  • Blackjack tournaments
  • Giving a random goedemorgen to the captain or CD and usually getting it right back
  • Few kids and even fewer drunk idiots
  • Delicious food
  • Early mornings at Explorations Cafe w/ a latte on the Crow's Nest
  • The Yum Yum Man
Edited by SumoCitrus

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I can have my early supper at 4pm  - just like at home.

I always get lots of sleep on a HAL Cruise. No pesky shows or entertainment to keep me up.

The only sounds coming from neighbor cabins at any hour will be snoring.

I have the whole ship to myself if I choose to stay up after 9pm.

Always a good supply of prunes and prune juice in the buffet.

The medical staff has far more experience than most cruise lines.

I never feel like the oldest person on the ship.

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3 hours ago, JustinPlusLauren said:

what are your favorite things about HAL?

What are some things that set it apart from other cruise lines?

What are your favorite spaces on the ship to hang out on a sea day?

What are your favorite activities, best entertainment options?

1) The consistent level of service (this was almost matched on RCI, not at all on NCL), always like it makes them so happy to make us happy. 

2) Fresh flowers and classical music. Affordable Signature Beverage Package. My Time Dining that really is.

3) Crow's Nest on Observation Deck. Which is also a #2 as far as I've learned.

4) Reading Kindle in the Crow's Nest (see #3) while drinking lattes from the Exploration Cafe, switching to foo-foo drinks in the afternoon, wine at dinner, all for one price (see #2). Adjusting our schedule to catch classical music in/at Lincoln Center Stage (see #2). 

 

HAL is considered "mainstream" and not high-end, but it just *feels* more luxurious than the two others we've sailed on. Going to try Princess next year for a particular itinerary. But just this week I cancelled RCI and Princess cruises in favor of two more HAL sailings! One on the Nieuw Statendam, first time on her class of ship.

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The crew. They smile and they remember us from before. We have not experienced that on other lines.

 

Jim

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Proper promenade walking decks with teak lounge chairs (except newer ships which have surrendered the decks to the bean counters)

 

Nice Libraries with lots of book choices and comfortable seating areas ( except newer ships which have decided libraries no longer needed even though they are always one of the most used places on the ship)

 

Always smiling and eager to help crew which so far the bean counters have left alone other than giving more rooms to clean and more tables to serve.

 

The crows nest.

 

The lido staff always eager to help fix /serve most anything you want within reason.

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The crew and the clientele.

Little extra touches like clean, rolled-up cloth towels in the public restrooms.

Half Moon Cay

The music walk

Subjective I know but the foods. 

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What’s the yum yum man? Something I have missed!

 

We like lots about HAL including the dive in by the pool, the ‘crisp’ desserts, the drinks package, the specialty dining, the calm, relaxing atmosphere, America’s Test Kitchen, the trivia. DS likes the sushi in the Lido.

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11 minutes ago, Chewbecca said:

What’s the yum yum man? Something I have missed!

 

We like lots about HAL including the dive in by the pool, the ‘crisp’ desserts, the drinks package, the specialty dining, the calm, relaxing atmosphere, America’s Test Kitchen, the trivia. DS likes the sushi in the Lido.

Shared by catl331 on January 8, 2014 : He is a young man who passes out mints, dates, or ginger candy just outside the MDR after dinner. Since the inception of Open seating on the lower level of the MDRs, he is usually only found on the upper level for Fixed dining.

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All of the above plus I sleep better on a cruise ship than a do at home.  If only I could make my bed do that gentle rocking!  Nothing like it for an insomniac like me!

 

Also they have the best European itineraries I've ever seen.  

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33 minutes ago, DFWGUYZ said:

Shared by catl331 on January 8, 2014 : He is a young man who passes out mints, dates, or ginger candy just outside the MDR after dinner. Since the inception of Open seating on the lower level of the MDRs, he is usually only found on the upper level for Fixed dining.

 

He was on the lower dining level on our recent Zuiderdam cruise, but was likely splitting his time between both decks. He was not at his post one evening but materialized very quickly when I tried to help myself to some ginger; he explained in a very sweet way that for health and safety reasons guests were not allowed to help themselves...

Edited by daisy-mae
typo

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12 hours ago, SumoCitrus said:

Just a few random thoughts....

  • The feeling of "coming home" when stepping on board.
  • The the frequent hellos and friendly greetings from the crew.
  • The beautiful ships
  • The bread pudding :classic_tongue:
  • Happy hour and trivia
  • Blackjack tournaments
  • Giving a random goedemorgen to the captain or CD and usually getting it right back
  • Few kids and even fewer drunk idiots
  • Delicious food
  • Early mornings at Explorations Cafe w/ a latte on the Crow's Nest
  • The Yum Yum Man

 

I love this!! Especially the feeling of coming home and the friendly staff. May I ask a silly question though.... who is the Yum Yum Man? 😄 

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The elegant ships, great crew, delicious food in all venues, the Neptune Suites, the Neptune Lounges, the casinos and their staff, easy embarkation and debarkation. The only thing I don't like is the Holland website - it can be non-user friendly sometimes. Otherwise, Holland America is the best! We are sailing on the Nieuw Statendam for the first time in Dec. - our 51st cruise and 9th on Holland America.

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1 hour ago, Chewbecca said:

What’s the yum yum man? Something I have missed!

 

We like lots about HAL including the dive in by the pool, the ‘crisp’ desserts, the drinks package, the specialty dining, the calm, relaxing atmosphere, America’s Test Kitchen, the trivia. DS likes the sushi in the Lido.

 

 

The Yum yum' s  real job  title is Doorman

 

 

 

 

 

What I like the very best about hAL      are the   CREWS

 

The BEST at sea iMO

 

 

image.png.a35e5dc458f69ec6f7b25194d9216b6a.png

 

Edited by sail7seas

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6 hours ago, DFWGUYZ said:

Shared by catl331 on January 8, 2014 : He is a young man who passes out mints, dates, or ginger candy just outside the MDR after dinner. Since the inception of Open seating on the lower level of the MDRs, he is usually only found on the upper level for Fixed dining.

He also walks thru the Promenade Deck with chimes to announce dinner time around 5:15PM.  

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Once, I forget which ship, Karen and I were sitting in the Ocean prior to the evening meal. It was sail away day and our first time into that lounge. Waiting for a server to approach...he passed by and said, "You want your usual?"

What? Wait a minute! Mark had been in the Ocean Bar on a previous cruise and remembered us. We were impressed beyond words.

Jim

 

 

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14 hours ago, JimnKaren said:

The crew. They smile and they remember us from before. We have not experienced that on other lines.

 

Jim

The service is so nice and personal. They know your names and will remember your drink preferences and other details like how you prefer your omelettes. "Right away, Sir Jeff!"

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All of these posts have been true.

You might not like this, but I like the sedateness. The passengers are older. The ships have a roomy feeling.

No music so loud that you can't have a conversation. You can find public places to relax and read. Very few out of control drunks. We go to bed, and sleep when we've had one too many. No fighting over seats at the evening shows. I've seen it on Princess.

 

I hope you enjoy HAL. The onboard experience will not be like Carnival though.

 

We've sailed on five other cruise lines. HAL and Celebrity are our first choice. Many things similar and a few differences

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Unfortunately some of my favorite things about HAL have been disappearing: a good library, very good lecturers, not a lot of sales. . . .

What they still have in the "favorites" categories are the larger cabins with good storage.  The salad and pasta stations in the buffet as well as the free ice cream there.  Excellent crew.

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11 hours ago, TomBeckCruise said:

All of these posts have been true.

You might not like this, but I like the sedateness. The passengers are older. The ships have a roomy feeling.

No music so loud that you can't have a conversation. You can find public places to relax and read. Very few out of control drunks. We go to bed, and sleep when we've had one too many. No fighting over seats at the evening shows. I've seen it on Princess.

 

I hope you enjoy HAL. The onboard experience will not be like Carnival though.

 

We've sailed on five other cruise lines. HAL and Celebrity are our first choice. Many things similar and a few differences

We usually do Carnival because I like it but we liked this itinerary. The thing I like best: the staff.  It sounds as if that is a positive for everyone so that is great! I always learn a few words of Indonesian so I can greet people in their native languages. 

 

We are noticing Carnival is going downhill fast. We will miss the steel drums by the pool but not the people walking around with their own music blaring. 

 

 We have done river cruising Celebrity, Carnival, NCL, Princess and Holland. 

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