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teachesfirst

Have I made a mistake?

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I used to participate on these boards YEARS ago, but we took a break from cruising and took other types of vacations. 

 

However, a good deal popped up over New Years that covered a 25th Anniversary and a 80th birthday so a group of us (10 adults age 50-80 and 10 kids age 16-23) are going on a cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale hitting Half Moon Cay, Turks and Caicos, Amber Cove and Key West.  

 

We liked the dates, price and these are new ports for us (except Key West - we are all FL residents) so we booked quickly.  I've never cruised HAL before.  

 

And now I'm worried.  We are a lively group -- even the adults.  I'm concerned that it is going to be too stuffy and not enough fun especially for the 16-20 year olds.  I was told they could not going into the club at night even if they don't drink.  These are all college kids except for the 16 and 17 year old.  What are they going to do on the ship?  They are too old for a kids camp and too young to hang with the adults which they are used to doing. I'm afraid everything is going to be too low key.  

 

I also didn't check the dress code.  We would all prefer not to dress up for dinner.  We are FL residents and used to shorts/capris and nice top even for nice restaurants.  I know the boys in particular are not going to want to wear pants.  

 

Did we pick the wrong cruise line for our group?  Thoughts? Ideas or tips?  Too late to back out now.  Everyone is very excited and I still like our ports.  These are good kids, but I want it to be fun for them as well.  

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, teachesfirst said:

I used to participate on these boards YEARS ago, but we took a break from cruising and took other types of vacations. 

 

However, a good deal popped up over New Years that covered a 25th Anniversary and a 80th birthday so a group of us (10 adults age 50-80 and 10 kids age 16-23) are going on a cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale hitting Half Moon Cay, Turks and Caicos, Amber Cove and Key West.  

 

We liked the dates, price and these are new ports for us (except Key West - we are all FL residents) so we booked quickly.  I've never cruised HAL before.  

 

And now I'm worried.  We are a lively group -- even the adults.  I'm concerned that it is going to be too stuffy and not enough fun especially for the 16-20 year olds.  I was told they could not going into the club at night even if they don't drink.  These are all college kids except for the 16 and 17 year old.  What are they going to do on the ship?  They are too old for a kids camp and too young to hang with the adults which they are used to doing. I'm afraid everything is going to be too low key.  

 

I also didn't check the dress code.  We would all prefer not to dress up for dinner.  We are FL residents and used to shorts/capris and nice top even for nice restaurants.  I know the boys in particular are not going to want to wear pants.  

 

Did we pick the wrong cruise line for our group?  Thoughts? Ideas or tips?  Too late to back out now.  Everyone is very excited and I still like our ports.  These are good kids, but I want it to be fun for them as well.  

Well, for starters, from the HAL website:

Q: Can I wear shorts in the main dining room?

A: Not at dinner. The dining room is considered a fine dining restaurant and shorts are not permitted.

 

  • Most evenings smart casual attire is appropriate. Shorts, pool/beachwear, distressed jeans and men’s tank tops are best left to the daytime and are not permitted in fine dining restaurants.
  • Gala Nights evoke the grand traditions of cruising as guests dress to impress for special events on board, including our five-course gourmet dinner in the Dining Room. For gentlemen, collared shirts and slacks are required in all fine dining restaurants.

 

 

Edited by Shmoo here

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You can always eat in the Lido buffet.  Once on board you will learn the fine details of decorum.

Shirts with collars, shoes, (long pants??) will get your gentlemen into the main dining room for dinner.  Ladies have more latitude.  Your happy group should fit in just fine.  Hope for the best and enjoy your celebrations.

Barbara

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Which ship?  The newer, larger ships have (IMO) more and better entertainment than the older smaller ships.

I've seen children in the bars, I'd be surprised if your 16-20 year-olds wouldn't be allowed.

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 A Cruise is what you make of it  . For the older kids just bring them in along with you .I really don't think you will have a problem  . 

 

 You did not say what HAL ship you are on  .when we did the southern Caribbean in  March on the koningsdam ,we saw younger people in BB kings  &  the  Rock music lounge 

 

 Hope this helps 

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15 minutes ago, teachesfirst said:

I'm concerned that it is going to be too stuffy and not enough fun especially for the 16-20 year olds.  I was told they could not going into the club at night even if they don't drink.  

 

This is news to me!!  I have certainly seen teens at BBKings, etc.  I am wondering if someone misspoke?

 

There is alcohol in many venues on the ship so this makes no sense to me at all. 

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We will be on the Zuiderdam (sp?).  

 

We are a fun group - so I know we will make it fun.  It is just a lot of the posts on here talk about how low key, sophisticted, etc.  The adults will appreciate the better quality dining, but I just want the kids to feel comfortable.  I'd hate for people to resent having them around, especially since it is a group of 10.  Like I said, they are good kids, but I want everyone to have lots of fun!  We are all a bit silly at times.  

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4 minutes ago, teachesfirst said:

We will be on the Zuiderdam (sp?).  

Good, you'll have BB King, Rolling Stone Rock Room and more.  I think you'll be fine! (and you spelled it correctly) 😁

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The Northern Lights, where those under 21  cannot go no longer existed on the HAL ships. The Music walk have eliminate the Hothern Lights.  It now the Galleria Bar.

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The Zuiderdam is a great ship.  I have seen kids in the BBKings, I don't see why they would be excluded as long as they are not trying to order an alcoholic beverage, they should be fine.  I believe the Rolling Stone Rock Rooms are only on the Pinnacle Class ships, which are the Koningsdam and the Nieuw Statendam.

 

You have a great itinerary and a great ship, don't sweat the small stuff, everyone will have a great time..........

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17 minutes ago, Cruising-along said:

Good, you'll have BB King, Rolling Stone Rock Room and more.  I think you'll be fine! (and you spelled it correctly) 😁

The Rolling Stone Rock Room is only on Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam!

BB Kings will be great for them.

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OK -- well....fun it is!  We will make it fun!  Excited to try a new cruise line!  I'll be here regularly until the cruise.  Thanks everyone! 

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I've seen lots of families in the music venues and bars.  I never gave it a second thought.  I've been sailing with HAL since 2001 and don't find their cruises stuffy at all.  

 

Roz

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Have you looked at Royal or NCL? Depending on ship, they have rock climbing walls, go karts, pool slides, zip lines, Flo-riders, ice rinks, and any manner of distractions. You will also have staff insisting you Have Fun. Does that sound like a match?

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One thing to add, my nieces and nephews sailed HAL for the first time when they were teens, they LOVED Club HAL and still talk about their time there.  They are all in the early to late 20's, we just sailed the Koningsdam this past March, they still love HAL had such a great time they have all booked the Nieuw Statendam with us again for 2021............

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19 minutes ago, VMax1700 said:

The Rolling Stone Rock Room is only on Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam!

BB Kings will be great for them.

Oops, you're right.  

At least it has BB King and Billboard Onboard. 

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1 hour ago, teachesfirst said:

I used to participate on these boards YEARS ago, but we took a break from cruising and took other types of vacations. 

 

However, a good deal popped up over New Years that covered a 25th Anniversary and a 80th birthday so a group of us (10 adults age 50-80 and 10 kids age 16-23) are going on a cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale hitting Half Moon Cay, Turks and Caicos, Amber Cove and Key West.  

 

We liked the dates, price and these are new ports for us (except Key West - we are all FL residents) so we booked quickly.  I've never cruised HAL before.  

 

And now I'm worried.  We are a lively group -- even the adults.  I'm concerned that it is going to be too stuffy and not enough fun especially for the 16-20 year olds.  I was told they could not going into the club at night even if they don't drink.  These are all college kids except for the 16 and 17 year old.  What are they going to do on the ship?  They are too old for a kids camp and too young to hang with the adults which they are used to doing. I'm afraid everything is going to be too low key.  

 

I also didn't check the dress code.  We would all prefer not to dress up for dinner.  We are FL residents and used to shorts/capris and nice top even for nice restaurants.  I know the boys in particular are not going to want to wear pants.  

 

Did we pick the wrong cruise line for our group?  Thoughts? Ideas or tips?  Too late to back out now.  Everyone is very excited and I still like our ports.  These are good kids, but I want it to be fun for them as well.  

While we are avid HAL fans, IMO HAL is not the best choice for your group.  There are a few things to do at night, but after 10 PM or so it really quiets down. 

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We've already booked so there is no changing now.  We are a big enough group (and we travel together a lot) so we know how to make our own fun.  

 

I just want a balance of us having a good time, and other passengers not thinking we are ruining it for them.  

 

 

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4 hours ago, Cruising-along said:

Good, you'll have BB King, Rolling Stone Rock Room and more.  I think you'll be fine! (and you spelled it correctly) 😁

Oosterdam is Zuiderdam's sister ship, and my 16 year-old cousin had a blast this past April.  She and her parents joined me and my best friend, who is the teen's grandma who married my 1st cousin whom she later divorced.  My family regarded her as family while my 1st cousin was the black sheep whom no one wanted to claim.  

 

Anyway, my cousin had a fabulous time.  She had never cruised HAL before.  She brought only two appropriate outfits for the MDR, which she alternated until her grandma took pity on her and purchased a couple of dresses to expand her choices.  She hung out with us in BB Kings and Billboard Onboard every night.  She even danced with me, and a couple of times she had to force me onto the dance floor.  I will say though that she is quiet and retiring, probably the exact opposite of how you describe your teens/college-aged kids.  Nightlife lasted well past midnight on our cruise.  However, if you're expecting a party-hardy atmosphere, please look elsewhere.  If you want lots of theme park style attractions, cruise with NCL or RCCL, not HAL.  Let us know what you decide, and if you do go on the cruise you've booked with HAL, come back and post a review.  No matter which line you sail, have a fabulous cruise with your family.  

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1 hour ago, teachesfirst said:

We've already booked so there is no changing now.  We are a big enough group (and we travel together a lot) so we know how to make our own fun.  

 

I just want a balance of us having a good time, and other passengers not thinking we are ruining it for them.  

 

 

 

What will you be doing that would ruin it for other passengers? Is your group loud and obnoxious?

 

Roz 

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Many cruise  lines from luxury on down have relaxed dress codes because people do not want to dress up on vacation.  They can look as nice or better in country club casual wear,  nice fabrics, collared shirts or nice blouses. I have worn nice khaki capris on multiple cruise lines and have never been turned away from a dining venue. 

Not sure if your boys could get away with cropped  khakis or whatever trendy stores call young men’s pants.  

But if you are sure they won’t wear pants I would cancel the reservation. I don’t agree with those that advise you to eat dinner in the buffet.  I wouldn’t relegate myself to evening buffet meals. 

 

If if you have plans to do a lot in port I wouldn’t worry too much about entertainment.  But more active lines would be more fun for your kids.   Royal Caribbean will be more expensive but much more active with lots and lots to do.  

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I must have missed the part about aversion to pants.  You’d better distribute the dress code and take it from there.

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Posted (edited)

Zuiderdam is our favorite ship (and favorite sized ship, we're booked to do 28-days on her sister the Oosterdam). 

 

We often had our dinner in the Lido; several of the mains were always the same in the buffet, maybe not the more elaborate ones. Have the young men bring one pair of trousers each; if they only wear them to dinner, and don't spill, one pair will do all cruise! Anyway, dinner in the Lido is certainly a different experience than in the MDR; it's a cafeteria not a restaurant, BUT it is faster and we didn't "inadvertently" overeat so readily! (some may have the opposite experience)

 

HAL has an intranet app (put phone in Airplane mode, turn on wifi, download app) where they can check the night's MDR menu and decide if something is worth changing clothes for!

Edited by crystalspin

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1 hour ago, Roz said:

 

What will you be doing that would ruin it for other passengers? Is your group loud and obnoxious?

 

Roz 


Well - -we are a group of 20.  Not obnoxious, but sometimes silly.  We are always considerate - which is why I'm bringing it up.  There were just so many descriptors of "quiet" "calm" "laid back" "older crowd" etc. that I was a bit worried.  

But I'm over it.  We are going to have a blast!  

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