What made you first choose the Holland America Line?



Most everyone here seems to love HAL - but I wonder what it was that made you book that first HAL cruise?

I booked because it was the first opportunity I had to go on a gay charter cruise on something that wasn't Carnival. Maybe Kathy Lee could see herself on a "Fun-Ship Cruise" - but I sure couldn't...



I originally booked with HAL because the Oosterdam was departing from Seattle...the other ships I considered were leaving from Vancouver or up near Anchorage and Seattle was easier for me to get in and out of...since then I've discovered many more reasons, but since I have yet to sail on HAL I can't speak from actual personal experience... However, the process thus far has been so smooth it can only portend an equally memorable and remarkable cruise. I'll know for certain in ten days, Brian.


Our first cruise was on Royal Princess.

Our second (upon the urging of friends who were "experienced cruisers") was on the then brand new Monarch of the Seas.

We knew we liked cruising but we also knew we were looking for something a little more.....well, more like HAL. Other friends of ours kept urging us to try HAL but, in those days, none of the ships had vernadas. Our previous two cruises were suites with nice verandas.

They kept at us and said....You'll miss the balcony but everything else is so much better on HAL you won't care.

We booked and cruised Noordam......and were never sorry we did!!! :) And now Noordam is leaving the fleet after prividing so many wonderful cruises for so many people.


We booked because we got a super price and besides, it was only 15 min. away from the Condo. (don't have to pay to park). We will sail anything out of our Port because it is close.



While we haven't had a HAL cruise yet (we're booked on Maasdam for August), we've been on a HAL ship as visitors. A few years ago, we toured Amsterdam and were taken by her immediately. We loved the layout -- the aft pool deck that is open on three sides, the way the rooms flowed -- and also the beautiful decor. I was also very pleased to see how HAL respected to the line's history. We both also enjoy a traditional ship atmosphere.

When we heard that Maasdam would be doing Canada/New England cruises from a nearby port this summer, it was a very easy decision to book.


Reading the cruise boards and seeing so many glowing reviews. The only complaints were from people we decided were "glass half empty people" who wouldn't be happy anywhere.

Post Edited (05-20-04 15:41)


Did a lot of study on the ambiance, food, service, age grouping and activities. Stared with Cruise Vacations for Dummies. After considering our likes, dislikes and interests, the amount of space available and cruise board advice, we decided on HAL. Am going on a RCI cruise for my daughter's college granduation present only because its short and I don't think I'd like Carnival (the only other short Bahama cruise). But DH and I talked about it and since HAL goes everywhere we want to go, why fix something that isn't broken, even if there are better prices elsewhere. You get what you pay for.


We cruised on Celebrity and loved it (even though we were the youngest people) and then on Carnival and hated it (even though we were the "target" market). As young professionals who don't really like to party, the Carnival atmosphere was not us. We also appreciated the service on Celebrity better.

When we heard that HA average was much older than Celebrity, we were a little apprehensive, but then that they are trying to get a younger group with the new ships, we thought we would give it a try. I am a little concerned about all the nickel and diming I am hearing about on the boards, but I am going in with an open mind. We paid for a suite so we will see. We leave on the 29th!

red stripe

My mother.. who while on a visit one day.. said to my sister and I... "lets go on a cruise" :lol

she wanted to go right away.. so we called a travel agent and asked what there was out there.. it so happened that a HAL ship was leaving that next weekend, and had three cabins for us.
So it was about 10 days from the suggestion.. to getting on the ship :grin
That set the pattern from then on.


I wanted to try HAL and was also interested in booking a newer ship for our 5th wedding anniversary. Our decision to try HAL was based on being able to book a fantastic itinerary on the Oosterdam. We will definitely sail on HAL again!


I booked HAL - The Oosterdam - when I did not have access to the internet.

So - I called lots of travel agents, gave them our time/price and other considerations. I knew I'd spend more than the usual (probably) amount of time in the cabin and on the verandah, so wanted a stateroom that wouldn't feel like the walls were closing in.

Also, had to be a cruise from the West Coast. And the closer to Portland, Oregon, the better.

Almost booked a Celebrity cruise out of San Diego to Alaska (12 days, I think), then discovered that for only a bit more money could get a b2b cruise (15 days) out of Seattle with a cabin about double the size of the Celebrity stateroom.

I would have preferred a smaller ship (500 - 700 pax or at least under 1,000) but decided the cabin size and extra days would be a better choice.

I had the helpful TA's that I'd called, send info on the types of cruises I was interested in. The ones who fulfilled that part of it, got a call back and I slowly weeded them out.

I'm fairly certain that we are paying more than many people for our Category S. At this point, I'm not overly concerned and now know who to contact the next time for the best price. I'm just too excited to be putting any negatives into my - 9 1/2 days from now - first cruise.

Good question!



My in-laws cruise with HAL 3 or 4 times yearly (and sometimes more), so when it came to cruising, we chose a family reunion cruise 3 years ago on the Maasdam...and we're so glad we did!!! We've taken 2 cruises since then, one to Alaska on the Veendam (just us and our 2 children) and another "family reunion" this past New Year's on the Zaandam. The food, service, cabins kids club, etc. are sure to bring us back to HAL again soon!!!!!


18 cruises and loved them all. Princess, RCCL, Celebrity and several that have bitten the dust. 8 cruises on HAL (66 glorious days). We chose HAL because of the senior passenger compliment, the mid size ships, the larger cabins, the service and now the new Signature of Excellence program. We proudly display our HAL gift tiles and my wife says she's going to make a blouse and a vest for us from our HAL tote bags. Our next HAL cruise is just 5 months away and we're counting the days!


I book because , after cruising with carnival a few times, I tried HAL and i love it.
there are less kids running around the ship. the personnal on board treat
you equally . from a inside stateroom to the penthouse. Its the little things
that they do for you that makes HAL better


It was the line my Grandfather was loyal to, and he always went with class. He was a very picky person and demanded good service everywhere. So naturally if it was good enough for him, I figured it would work for me;-)


I had been doing alot of investigating about $'s on cruise ships. I was trying to push it for my honeymoon. My husband wasn't really for it at first. We own a timeshare villa at Disney, and he wanted to use that at first. Then we were trying to exchange our villa for a villa in Newport Beach,CA. Well, we were married March 6. Prime Time vacation time. The villa we wanted wasn't available then. I started the cruise search. I wanted out of a specific port. Surprise, Port Canaveral. I picked the date the port and went from there. Oh, we were married at Disney! Anyway, I was on this certain site that had Great prices. For a mini-suite. My husband wanted the balcony. He was for it!!! Then one morning I got on the site to check out prices. The Deluxe Suite was cheaper then the mini-suite that morning. I couldn't beleive it. I called my mom, she said you better book it now!! I did. 5 hours later the same suite for 2 people was 1500$ more dollars. I didn't think it was real,but it was. We stayed in the Deluxe Suite and it was awesome!!!! The other ships are so big and have so many passengers!!! We loved our cruise. Western Carribean. I would definately say take the cruise!!!!!!! And, if you go to Jamaica, do the 4-hour 4x4 tour!! We had a blast!!!! Best Wishes!!!


1st HAL was the Rotterdam last year out of Boston.We were Looking for a summer cruise without having to fly to Florida. We live in New Brunswick , so Grehound to Boston and Aeroplan Reward ticket direct flight back to Fredericton for our 7 night Boston to Montreal and it was wonderful. Then we won a cruise at Bingo on the ROtterdam , so next up was the Oosterdam in March and now we are booked 17 nights on the Westerdam in November.


I did a lot of research and was between Celebrity and Hal. After looking at pictures of the ships, Hal looked much nicer. It had class. I don't recall which Celebrity ship it was but the decor was outright ugly, too modern for my tastes.

I prefer the S Class ships. The Vistas, especially the Zuiderdamn remind of that ugly Celebrity ship.


My first HAL voyage was a crossing from Hoboken, NJ to Rotterdam in 1952 aboard their beloved Nieuw Amsterdam (vintage 1938). I was a child. We used to cross to/from Europe regularly back then - I'm guessing it was to try a new ship since she went to Rotterdam, and Dad had business in Holland.

Post Edited (07-18-04 18:26)