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DivotMaker

Finally Decided to Cruise with HAL

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We've been on about 15 cruises since our first in 1999 - Carnival, Royal, NCL, Princess, and Celebrity.  We're both about to turn 50, and we've noticed our ideas of the ideal cruise have changed over the years.  We just finished a cruise with NCL over the New Year's holiday aboard a ship with nearly 5,000 passengers, by far the largest ship we've ever been on.  After the cruise, we both agreed it might be time to look at a new line that might be a better fit for us.  We like to read on cruises, so we'll generally try and seek out quiet places on the ship.  We also like lounges with live music to sit and enjoy a drink.  We tend to avoid the buffets for every meal, but will stop in there for some ice cream from time to time.  So, as you can probably infer, we are not the "party" people, but much more quiet.  

 

After a quick Google search, we started looking into HAL for a future cruise.  We settled on a cruise to Alaska (our third) in June aboard the Eurodam.  We're going with another couple and both settled with Neptune Suites.  I've tried to read as much as possible about the HAL experience, and the more I read, the more excited I get that this may be a very good fit for us. 

 

So, I just wanted to say hi and also thank all of you for the excellent posts in this forum about HAL.  

 

Happy cruising.

 

Jason

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26 minutes ago, DivotMaker said:

We've been on about 15 cruises since our first in 1999 - Carnival, Royal, NCL, Princess, and Celebrity.  We're both about to turn 50, and we've noticed our ideas of the ideal cruise have changed over the years.  We just finished a cruise with NCL over the New Year's holiday aboard a ship with nearly 5,000 passengers, by far the largest ship we've ever been on.  After the cruise, we both agreed it might be time to look at a new line that might be a better fit for us.  We like to read on cruises, so we'll generally try and seek out quiet places on the ship.  We also like lounges with live music to sit and enjoy a drink.  We tend to avoid the buffets for every meal, but will stop in there for some ice cream from time to time.  So, as you can probably infer, we are not the "party" people, but much more quiet.  

 

After a quick Google search, we started looking into HAL for a future cruise.  We settled on a cruise to Alaska (our third) in June aboard the Eurodam.  We're going with another couple and both settled with Neptune Suites.  I've tried to read as much as possible about the HAL experience, and the more I read, the more excited I get that this may be a very good fit for us. 

 

So, I just wanted to say hi and also thank all of you for the excellent posts in this forum about HAL.  

 

Happy cruising.

 

Jason

 

Congratulations on you're Alaska cruise in a Neptune on the Eurodam  . It was our first Neptune but not our last . If you would like to read and see lots  of photos , we did a review here :

 

 

 

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Wow, thank you so much for that post.  I'm a few pages in and absolutely love it!

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7 minutes ago, DivotMaker said:

Wow, thank you so much for that post.  I'm a few pages in and absolutely love it!

 

You're welcome . One warning - a Neptune Suite will probably spoil you .

 

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1 minute ago, scubacruiserx2 said:

 

You're welcome . One warning - a Neptune Suite will probably spoil you .

 

Haha, I sure hope so!  I'll be celebrating my 49th birthday while we're crusing Glacier Bay.  Just can't imagine a better way to celebrate!

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I think you will like HAL if you are looking for a quiet cruise. HAL passengers tend to be much older than all of the other cruise lines. Older folks are usually more reserved and go to bed early.

If you are in your lower 50's you will be among the younger half of passengers.

We like the older crowd, and we prefer smaller ships. 

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1 minute ago, Tom O. said:

I think you will like HAL if you are looking for a quiet cruise. HAL passengers tend to be much older than all of the other cruise lines. Older folks are usually more reserved and go to bed early.

If you are in your lower 50's you will be among the younger half of passengers.

We like the older crowd, and we prefer smaller ships. 

 

Thanks Tom, and yes, we are definitely looking for a quieter and more reserved atmosphere.  We especially like the smaller ship.

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I think you’ve made a very serious mistake.  We did too-our very first cruise we booked Alaska as well in a Neptune suite.  Now we are 4* and got hooked!  😁

 

Make sure you know all the perks of the Neptune suite ahead of time.  It’s nice that both you and your friends are in a Neptune.  We enjoy the peaceful breakfasts in the Pinnacle.  

 

Have a wonderful cruise!

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1 minute ago, canadianbear said:

I think you’ve made a very serious mistake.  We did too-our very first cruise we booked Alaska as well in a Neptune suite.  Now we are 4* and got hooked!  😁

 

Make sure you know all the perks of the Neptune suite ahead of time.  It’s nice that both you and your friends are in a Neptune.  We enjoy the peaceful breakfasts in the Pinnacle.  

 

Have a wonderful cruise!

 

You sure got me there!  Felt a little panic set in after reading your first sentence....Well done!  And thanks for the tips, we've been reading as much as possible on the perks and are definitely looking forward to meals in the Pinnacle.  Did you happen to try it for lunch or dinner?

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We have enjoyed the quiet of HAL for many years and are just now getting close to retirement age.    We also are the type of people who enjoy quiet walks in the wilderness, whitewater rafting and other non-party type of vacations.   I cruise to see beautiful places and explore different cultures.  I think HAL caters to likeminded people. 

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1 minute ago, DivotMaker said:

 

You sure got me there!  Felt a little panic set in after reading your first sentence....Well done!  And thanks for the tips, we've been reading as much as possible on the perks and are definitely looking forward to meals in the Pinnacle.  Did you happen to try it for lunch or dinner?

 

Glad you got a laugh (after a quick panic)!  On our 2 week cruise in December on the Oosterdam we did not have lunch there (but have in the past & was very good).  We did have supper there one night and it was fine-however, being 4* we get it for half price.  It’s worth trying once and hopefully your food & service will be spot on.  

 

Being in a Neptune you should get free mimosas for breakfast in the Pinnacle-however, to be on the safe side, ask the maître de the first morning you go there (they will ask your cabin number the first day and then usually recognize you after that).   Our first morning they were going to charge for the mimosa until I questioned her-maybe she was new.  

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Just now, Mary229 said:

We have enjoyed the quiet of HAL for many years and are just now getting close to retirement age.    We also are the type of people who enjoy quiet walks in the wilderness, whitewater rafting and other non-party type of vacations.   I cruise to see beautiful places and explore different cultures.  I think HAL caters to likeminded people. 

 

This is music to our earys Mary.  I honestly don't think I've ever looked forward to a cruise as much as this one, especially given that we've already been there twice before.  I was thinking of renewing our marriage vows too, just need to do a little more research on HAL's process for it.

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Just now, canadianbear said:

Being in a Neptune you should get free mimosas for breakfast in the Pinnacle-however, to be on the safe side, ask the maître de the first morning you go there (they will ask your cabin number the first day and then usually recognize you after that).   Our first morning they were going to charge for the mimosa until I questioned her-maybe she was new.  

 

Thank you, I appreciate this info.  We always enjoy the specialty restaurants, and it seems HAL does it right with their offerings based on what I've been reading.

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8 minutes ago, DivotMaker said:

 

Thank you, I appreciate this info.  We always enjoy the specialty restaurants, and it seems HAL does it right with their offerings based on what I've been reading.

 

To be honest, we enjoyed the Tamarind better than the Pinnacle for supper when we were on the Eurodam.  Not all ships have the Tamarind but the ship you chose does!

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4 hours ago, DivotMaker said:

We've been on about 15 cruises since our first in 1999 - Carnival, Royal, NCL, Princess, and Celebrity.  We're both about to turn 50, and we've noticed our ideas of the ideal cruise have changed over the years. 

 

Hi Jason 

 

We have been on several cruises ourselves,  while for the most part we book based on itinerary and not line.  We have another Hal cruise booked for March of 21 on the Westerdam Santiago to FLL. We always look forward to returning to Hal it is the right mix of good food, warm service, classic ship design, interesting ports and the right size ships.  While certain lines do excel in certain areas we really feel that Hal does an overall nice job in all areas.  We always enjoy our fellow cruisers on Hal as well. While Hal has the worst Suite Perks of their competition I still rather sail on Hal than a ship with better perks. Neptune Lounge is great! Tamarind is imo one of the best specialty restaurants at sea. I just turned 50 last year and do not feel too old or young for Hal.  Based on your previous cruises I think you will like Hal, enjoy your cruise! 

 

Fred

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3 hours ago, DivotMaker said:

 

This is music to our earys Mary.  I honestly don't think I've ever looked forward to a cruise as much as this one, especially given that we've already been there twice before.  I was thinking of renewing our marriage vows too, just need to do a little more research on HAL's process for it.

DivotMaker,

There was a very complete review of renewal of vows (ROV) on the main HAL Cruise Critic Board (this board) a month ago.  People shared their photos, experiences, and fond memories. The subject title was HAL Renewal of Vows (ROV) and is currently showing up on page 14 of this board. If you go to page 14, you should find it.  I think you'll find the ROV stories very helpful in making your decision. Congrats!

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55 minutes ago, HAL Sailer said:

DivotMaker,

There was a very complete review of renewal of vows (ROV) on the main HAL Cruise Critic Board (this board) a month ago.  People shared their photos, experiences, and fond memories. The subject title was HAL Renewal of Vows (ROV) and is currently showing up on page 14 of this board. If you go to page 14, you should find it.  I think you'll find the ROV stories very helpful in making your decision. Congrats!

Thank you so much, I just found it.  Have a great weekend.

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1 hour ago, fpat said:

 

Hi Jason 

 

We have been on several cruises ourselves,  while for the most part we book based on itinerary and not line.  We have another Hal cruise booked for March of 21 on the Westerdam Santiago to FLL. We always look forward to returning to Hal it is the right mix of good food, warm service, classic ship design, interesting ports and the right size ships.  While certain lines do excel in certain areas we really feel that Hal does an overall nice job in all areas.  We always enjoy our fellow cruisers on Hal as well. While Hal has the worst Suite Perks of their competition I still rather sail on Hal than a ship with better perks. Neptune Lounge is great! Tamarind is imo one of the best specialty restaurants at sea. I just turned 50 last year and do not feel too old or young for Hal.  Based on your previous cruises I think you will like Hal, enjoy your cruise! 

 

Fred

 

Hi Fred, thank you for your comments.  We used to sail based on itinerary, but as we've grown older, it just seems like our outlook and desires with regards to cruising has evolved.  Again, thank you for taking the time to respond and hope you have a great weekend.

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6 hours ago, DivotMaker said:

So, I just wanted to say hi and also thank all of you for the excellent posts in this forum about HAL.  

 

Jason

Welcome to the land of Dam Ships! I think you've made a good choice by your descriptions.

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You will love the Neptune Suites and the Neptune Lounge!! We certainly do! The Holland ships are elegant, the crews are friendly and helpful, and the food is wonderful. Have a great Alaska cruise and welcome to Holland America!

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10 hours ago, fpat said:

we book based on itinerary and not line.

 

We always book based on itinerary and that has led us back to Holland America ships for their interesting itineraries. The problem with Neptune suites is that we don't want to book less expensive cabins any more. The concierges in the Neptune lounge are worth their weight in gold. 

 

 

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After 27 wonderful cruises on the usual cruise lines we've finally found THE LINE that fits us best!  No noisy parties, no hairy legs contests, no cheesy gimics, just relaxing cruising on gorgeous ships with lovely people, great service and comfy features!  HAL has it all at the same price as the others but you get so much more!  We just got off Nieuw Statendam and can't WAIT to go again!  We ARE above 65 but still like to have fun and meet nice people- and we did both here!  You'll love it- there's something for everyone!

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After more than 20 cruises, we came to the same conclusion about cruising as you did.  We tried HAL two years ago and were very pleased.  We're doing our third cruise next month to the Carribbean and have another planned to Hawaii in September.  I think you'll enjoy the HAL brand.  Have a great cruise.  Alaska is amazing!

 

Edited by carlyshenk

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