We will be taking the Wssterdam out of Ft. Lauderdale on 1/4/05. We'll be going to Bahamas, their private Island in the bahamas (forgot the name) and Key West. We're looking to RELAX. We did the party scene last year on a cruise to the caribbean on RCL's EOS. But we really enjoy meeing people and were just wondering if the shows and activiites would cater to a much older crowd on this cruise.
We cruised on HAL's Zaandam last Christmas out of Port Canaveral. We were at the time 47, with college sophmore and HS sophmore. By far we were in the youngest group on the ship. Being Christmas and Port Canaveral (by Walt Disney World), you would think the passengers would have been younger. However. the overwhelming number of passengers are in their 60s and above. Also, unlike RCCL, which we have also cruised on, there were far more wheelchairs in use. The activities on HAL are very limited, especially compared to RCL. Expect Bingo, trivia, afternoon tea and evening shows with movies available. There is little in the way of live music and the shows are aimed at an older demographic. We went to the main lounge each night but there was only a disk jockey (asst. cruise director) and a group of entertainers at their own table and not much else. The passengers are friendly, but not in the resort way and are not up on deck all day and into the night. The lounges were pretty deserted by 10 and the casino not even full then. With our comments said, the ships are beautiful and the cabins are the best at sea and the wrap around promenade deck is wonderful. Many small touches are great: free popcorn at movies, free coffees and sweets all day, great afternoon ice cream at the Lido, etc. We are not real party people nor are the kids, but the shipboard life was a bit sedentary. We visited the private island, St. Maarten, and Tortola. HAL is refined and understated, but if you are looking for top notch entertainement, out going waiters, etc, there are better choices. We would cruise on HAL, but would carefully select the itinerary and the ship. The Westerdam is larger and may be a bit more lively than the Zaandam. However, we do applaud those older passengers for getting out and going on a cruise. For your information, we have choosen Voyager of the Seas for our yearly Christmas Cruise.
Voyager - Christmas 2004
Zaandam - Christmas 2003
Norwegian Sea - Christmas 2002
Monarch of the Seas - Christmas 2001
Festivale Color - Summer 2001
Thanks for the info. You pretty much told me what I was figuring. I spoke to a friend who is a travel agent and she told me with the newer ships they're changing up activities and added a "Club Hal" for the kids. They're trying to attract more families. If we want to go on a cruise it has to be that one because because we'll already be in the area and the day and departure port works out perfect. As I said earlier, we were looking for a relaxing cruise. Last year we cruised on RCCL's Exploer of the Seas. Whew, what a ship and what a blast. We met a ton of people. But let me tell you, relaxing it was not!!! We had the late seating at dinner so our evening didn't start until 10:00 PM. I don't think we had more than a couple of hours of sleep a night!!! We're pretty much going to stick to ourselves this time. We got the SS categorty, which is a suite, so we'll enjoy the amenities. I did hear that the ship and service were wonderful though. At least now I'll know what to expect, instead of being surprised.
I was actually referrering to the larger room, whirlpool tub, double vanity sink, feather pillows etc. I didn't even know anything about the Neptune Lounge. But that's okay there are plenty of other lounges I can visit . But thanks for the info anyway.
I've started hearing the same thing. About the Vista ships catering to a younger crowd.
You misread me, there was no arrogance intended. Rather, even my own parents could take a lesson and get out more. The passengers on board were such that they still got out and around, despite many having severe mobility limitations. I have been at untold numbers of family and neighborhood get togethers where many of the older individuals use the time to complain about health and mobility as limitations. It is great that the senior citizens on board got out and surmounted these limitations. I sincerely hope that I can follow their lead and be active for many, many years.
I just wanted to say I didn't mean any disrespect whatsoever when writing this post. And I'm truly sorry if anyone took offense. It was not my attention. I was just curious as to the age so that I knew what to expect, i.e. many children like on Carnival or like on RCCL, most of the people there were around my husbands and my age (31-38). The activites catered to a younger crowd (scavenger hunt, midnight beach party, etc) I was just trying to get an idea as to what type of activites and shows the ship would cater to. That said, regardless of the age, we still plan on booking this cruise and I'm sure we'll meet plenty of people of all ages!! My grandmother just recently passed away at 87 and I've got to tell you all, she was one of my most favorite people to hang out with. More fun than some of my younger friiends!!
Sail 7: I didn't think Neptune Lounge was a bar. I was just saying that I'll enjoy what I will get from the SS category and there are plenty of other places that we can hang out in and have a good time with the people around us.
Just thought I'd throw my 2 cents in here.
I'm 40, DH is 39 and DD is 13. We took our first HAL cruise on the Ryndam about 3 1/2 yrs. ago and I was hooked immediately! Yes, the average passenger age has always exceeded our own, but we enjoy the quiet refinement, friendliness of fellow pax and personal attention we receive on HAL. Our last cruise with them was the holiday circle Hawaii cruise aboard the Statendam. Being a cruise of 15 days, the average age jumped even a bit higher, but we were by no means the youngest or only folks under 40. There have always been families with children on our cruises and the Club HAL has always been active, keeping our daughter entertained and having a great time.
As far as live music, there's never been a lack of it on any of the HAL ships I was on. I guess it just depends on what you're looking for. To me, it's such a treat to round a corner and hear live strings playing in one of the lounges or to walk through the Lido deck at lunch time and hear a steel drum band. We're not the party type anyway, far preferring to dress up for formal nights and then down again to walk the deck in the moonlight. Like I said before, I guess it just depends on what you're looking for.
We're trying Princess for the first time this fall. I guess we just felt we should get out and try something different. They'll have a hard time measuring up! I'm sure we'll be back to HAL soon.
I can't say that age makes any difference. If one wants a diverse group they will find it on most longer cruises (2 weeks and up) and that will include all age groups and nationalities. That's part of the fun.
My husband and I had our first cruise together in the Mediterranean for our honeymoon two years ago and our dinner table included two other honeymooning couples, one in their 30's and the other in their 40's. We are in our 60's and had a great time sharing our celebration with the younger couples at dinnertime as well as on some of the shore excursions. We have two more cruises booked this fall and winter and intend to enjoy every bit of them, using our days at sea to swim, take walks around the decks and take in some of the movies and live entertainment. We're not party-goers either.