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Austin

Holland America line

9 posts in this topic

Hi , has anyone travelled with Holland America? we are thinking of caribbean cruise have been with P&O before so dont know weather to try someone else. But have always had lovely time with P&O.

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Hi Austin,

 

We've sailed with HAL quite a few times (7, in Europe, Australasia  & NZ) with another cruise already booked (with Bolsover CC) on MS Noordam for Oct 2017, so needless to say we like them quite a lot.

The ships are very well maintained, are efficiently run, with some of the happiest crew members you are ever likely to meet.

 

I think I'd put HAL's on board service style as somewhere in between P&O and Cunard.

 

Most notable differences being, just the 2 dress codes: Gala Attire & Smart Casual. It's fair to say that most people seem to dress up, rather than down, for Smart Casual, rather than the other way around.

 

We prefer to stick to our Late Dining 8pm option but they have also have 'Open seating' from 5.30- 9pm.

The main option restaurant is Pinnacle Grill, offering Steak and Seafood (Cover US$29) and there is also Canaletto (Italian) in a corner of the Lido Cafeteria in the evenings too (US$10 cover). Some of the larger ships have other venues or on certain nights Pinnacle becomes Le Cirque for the evening.

The food served in the Lido Cafeteria is excellent, with again some very smiley friendly people behind the counters.

We also particularly like 'Dive In' a cooked to order  Burger, Hot Dog facility out by the Lido Pool. Orders are taken at the counter, and when ready to collect they use pagers to alert you, it saves all that queuing. Plenty of good quality fresh Salad on a separate counter with Nacho chips, Guacamole and the like.

Afternoon Tea is also served in the Dining room at 3pm. 

 

HAL have a 'Hotel Charge' of US$ 11.50pppn for Inside, O/view and Verandah cabins and US$12.00pppn for suites. This figure can be adjusted or removed on the penultimate day of the cruise.

All drinks have a 15% surcharge, on top of a fairly heavy charge, but they serve the larger American measures, so the drink goes a bit further, especially if not used to stronger measures. Most of the main bars have a Happy hour in the afternoon 4-5pm and usually again in the late evening in the Ocean Bar.

 

Regrettably, we have no experience of MS Koningsdam as yet, and I believe she is set for the Caribbean next year, but so are many of their other ships too. 

HAL passengers tend to be drawn from all corners of the World, with some spending months at a time on the ship.

We settle for a more modest 2-3 weeks at a time, as we have dogs at home!   

 

I hope you'll be as pleasantly surprised, as we once were. 

 

PS. If you have any specific questions, please ask and we'll do our best to help if we can.

Oldworldtraveller likes this

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We have done 2 four week cruises with HAL in the last 2 years and thoroughly enjoyed them. They have some fantastic itineraries and the on-board experience is great. Wide variety of food often reflecting the area you are cruising in. Many aspects of life on board are a small step above P&O as outlined in an earlier reply.

 

That said if you like a drink in the evening, think the HAL tips are excessive (roughly 50% more than P&O) and prefer 99% British passengers P&O may suit better. It will certainly cost less on-board a P&O ship - however you could debate value for money forever because of the other HAL plus points.

 

Our main cruising experience has been with P&O.  We will certainly continue to sail with Holland America or Princess - particularly in the Far East, Africa, Australia, NZ and South America. They offer a much wider variety of cruises in these areas than P&O. For the Caribbean, Baltic, Med and Fjords we tend to use P&O or occasionally Princess

 

HAL is well worth considering as another option

HALaP&O likes this

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We did a HAL cruise last December and weren't impressed at all.  The service in the restaurrant was very slow.  Not the waiters fault though - not enough staff.  There wasn't enough to do on sea days so a bit boring. We were reduced to going to a cookery demonstation which we wouldn't normally do.  It isn't like Cunard where we seem to be busy doing all sorts of things like quizzing, playing croquet, going to interesting lectures etc.. I don't think we will be going with them again.

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My personal opinion is that Holland and America are head and shoulders above P&O. I rate them as similar to Celebrity.

 

Totally agree with you! wink.png

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