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What is your favorite and least favorite

PEB

Captain
Staff member
I will be on my first Holland America ships this coming summer. My question is what is the favorite things about Holland America ships?

I would also like to know even if you do love to cruise Holland America what is your least favorite thing about Holland America ships?

I am not trying to tear down any cruise line but so far I have not found a perfect cruise line but I have found that I have never had a bad time on any cruise. I can find good and bad on every line, I just normally prefer to focus on the good things. I also believe I really do not know the people on any cruise board so this is one way for me to get to know some of the likes and dislikes of people who use the boards.
 

Pam in CA

Captain
Things I love about HAL (in no particular order):

-- Hot hors d'oeurvres in lounges pre-dinner

-- Full room service menus for all meals. You can even request the dining room menu be delivered to your cabin and order off it for no additional charge.

-- The Crow's Nest on every HAL ship, a really nice lounge at the top of the ship forward. Great for reading during the day or a pre-dinner cocktail. Often a piano player in the evening.

-- On ships with a Canaletto, this is a really good fine Italian "restaurant" created out of buffet space in the evening. Free, reservations required. Excellent for formal nights if you don't want to dress formally.

-- depending on the ship, a really great "real" movie theater with very comfortable seating.

-- Generally excellent and interesting lecturers.

-- A Culinary Arts Center.

-- This is subjective but I liked the selections in their shops better than any other line I've been on, from perfume to jewelry to clothing.

-- Again, very subjective but very soft beds. I find them too soft but many love them.

-- Many cabins have a full-sized tub/shower. Check the deck plans to see which you have as sometimes, they're every other cabin.

-- HAL's buffet food is mostly made-to-order. There's a stir-fry station that often is really good. Look for the Indonesian dishes as they are outstanding.

-- HALs version of open seating dining at dinner is well-managed. I've done it several times and only once had a 10-minute wait, even at peak times.

Things I don't like about HAL:

-- Except for the Prinsendam, limited cabin closet or drawer storage with little or none at the desk.

-- With the exception of a few entertainers, their production shows aren't nearly as good as other lines and their singers and dancers also not as good.

-- Other than the nightly show, the lounges tend to be empty after dinner. Most of the ship is a ghost town.

-- Limited buffet hours. It closes early for breakfast, early for lunch and tighter than a drum at 8:00. So if you like to sleep late or have a tour that gets back at 2:00, your food options are limited to the grill, room service, pizza and salad.

-- Because food is made-to-order in the buffet, lines are very long and you find you have to get things in a particular order so you get your hot food last. It can take 20-30 minutes to get, for instance, a tuna melt, a salad, maybe some Indonesian and a drink.

-- This is just my experience but I've found the bar staff excellent, wait staff so-so (had much better on Princess and Celebrity) and cabin stewards "adequate." The two worst stewards I've ever had (really serious issues) were on HAL.

I'm a 3-Star Mariner on HAL and won't hesitate to cruise with them again.
 

KeithnRita

Deckhand
The Canaletto now charges $10 a head to dine. On our last cruise, which was the Noordam, we dined their twice.
Excellent food and service!
 

MyrtleSue

Deckhand
I really love HAL for their Grand Cruises. We did the Asia-Australia fall cruise twice and did the World Cruise twice on the msAmsterdam. I love the water color classes and the crafts. The speakers are great and lots of activities to earn Grand Dollars. The Indonesian crew is the best by far of any of our other cruises. As far as what my least favorite thing is, I guess it is packing up at the end of the cruise!
 

Pam in CA

Captain
I really love HAL for their Grand Cruises. We did the Asia-Australia fall cruise twice and did the World Cruise twice on the msAmsterdam. I love the water color classes and the crafts. The speakers are great and lots of activities to earn Grand Dollars.
I think I've cruised about 500 days total on a variety of cruise lines. Out of all of them, my cruise on the Amsterdam to Antarctica is one of my all-time favorites. :)
 

onlyrocknroll

Deckhand
I can't think of anything to dislike about HAL-oh wait, yes I do..that they make me leave the ship when the cruise is over!(an old joke, I know, but it's true!)
 
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