Old April 3rd, 2008, 09:04 AM
MKC22 MKC22 is offline
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Default 1st Cruise......Princess or Holland America????

Hi Everyone,

My family and I have never cruised before and have just planned our 1st cruise to the Caribbean with Holland America on the Eurodam on November 8. We were torn between the Crown Princess and the Eurodam and we finally decided to put a deposit on the Eurodam as it is a newer boat. We really liked the Crown Princess for the kids club and it looks just as amazing.

Does anyone have any advice and/or opinions.

1) I have a 7 and 4 year old . Will they enjoy Club HAL or Princess Pelicans better?

2) My husband and I are in our mid-late 30s, will the Holland America ship be too "old" for us?

3) Has anyone tried a Suite on Princess or Holland? If yes, did you like it. Is it worth the extra money?

Our only concern with Princess, RCI and NCL is the passenger capacity,with over 3000 people on them. We don't like crowds too much and fear that it would overwhelm us. We were drawn to Holland because of the simple and classy ships, less passengers and supposedly good food.

My travel agent tells me that my kids are at an age where they will have fun on any ship and since it is our 1st cruise it will be great for them anywhere so he suggested we choose a ship to cater more to our needs. I think our main priorities are a good stateroom, kids club and a good spot to just lay in the sun and do nothing! We just really want to experience cruising and what it's like to be on a ship.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 01:05 PM
nmnita nmnita is offline
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one more thing, you may want to check another web site. I don't like to mention other sites as I love CruiseMates, but you might get a little better response and cross section of views.

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Old April 3rd, 2008, 01:42 PM
Sanibel*Gal Sanibel*Gal is offline
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Nita has good advice, but reading your post I really think you would be better trying Princess for your first cruise. Unless it is Thanksgiving week you probably won't have many young people on the HAL ship. The Crown Princess is still considered a fairly new ship and I know that the Princess children's programs rank high. Just my two cents, but whatever you decide have a wonderful cruise!
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Old April 21st, 2008, 06:30 PM
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user999 user999 is offline
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Our only concern with Princess, RCI and NCL is the passenger capacity,with over 3000 people on them. We don't like crowds too much and fear that it would overwhelm us.
And thet is what you should really be concerned about.

Go small ships and you will get much better feel.
Take it from someone who has spent 7 years sailing on big cruisers.
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Old April 22nd, 2008, 03:50 PM
alshasta alshasta is offline
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I have cruised on both lines and I was not disappointed with either. I was on the Diamond Princess which is one of the largest ships in their fleet. We found no problem with getting off to ourselves. I have also been on both Holland America Westerdam and Oosterdam. Both were very nice ships. The Oosterdam is one of the smaller ship but I gelt no less crowded from that of the bigger ships. I cant tell you anything about the kids programs as we do not have children of that age. One thing I do give the edge to Princess is on the food. My opinion the food is a little better than on Holland but you wont be disappointed either way I'm sure. I hope this helps a little.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 01:36 AM
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subtropic subtropic is offline
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Never sailed HAL but I think the passengers will be older than on Princess.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 12:50 PM
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I think if you want a well rounded first cruise experience for everyone, go Princess. Just the fact that your child might not have lots of kids to interact with, could impact the thrill of cruising for the first time. ,my two HAL cruises, one in April, and one in October, had few children.

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Old May 16th, 2008, 08:13 AM
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rollerdonna rollerdonna is offline
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Hi, I'd like to add my 2 cents:
My husband and I just returned from a Princess cruise (Caribbean) and loved it! We are at least 20 years older than you, but Princess catered to all age groups with a vast array of activities. We also were able to just veg out in the sun and do nothing!
My biggest surprise was the number of kids on board at the end of April (not a school vacation time). It was full of kids, and their activities, especially the Kids' Fun Fair looked like a lot of fun.

On the other hand, we honeymooned on HAL Maasdam 6 years ago, and found it very "old", even for us! Yes the service is excellent, food was great, but activities were boring, and the general age of passengers was "older".
I don't remember seeing many kids at all.

Princess wins this contest, hands down, and by the way, they have the BEST sail-away and mid-week night-time deck party I've ever experienced!
Fun for old and young alike!

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Old June 17th, 2008, 09:55 PM
lenora516 lenora516 is offline
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Having sailed both Hal and Princess... Princess is the way to go.

Suites are nice but, If you are just using the room for sleeping don't waste the money !
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Old June 18th, 2008, 03:19 AM
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DeepSpace DeepSpace is offline
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I never sailed HAL, but I think (subtropic) is right, you will see a older crowd. You will still have a great time, and so will your kids.

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Old June 18th, 2008, 04:13 AM
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Jules in Sydney Jules in Sydney is offline
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I cruised to Alaska last year on HAL and was worried there would be too many old people. How wrong was I? I am 33 and I had a great time.
I walked in on the kids in the Kids Club and they seemed to be having a ball. There was a seperate adults only pool which was nice - and the food on HAL was SUPERB!!!!

Have a great trip - I dont think you will go wrong with either cruise line.
According to teh blogs - I think these seem to be the best 2 (apart from Silver Seas which is only for the super rich)
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Old June 18th, 2008, 12:08 PM
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Roger91 Roger91 is offline
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I went on the crown princess last summer, and as a kid, i can tell you that the the princess programs kid's program for your children was really great (I was one age group up)

I remember looking inside there and the room is gigantic (mcdonald's style playground, planned/supervised activities all day, video games, you name it)

Although there are a lot of people on the crown princess, you don't really feel too crowded, there are plenty of public spaces for people to spread out and for you to get your own space

We had a balcony room, and it was bigger than the balcony room on norwegian, but i suppose that's not very helpful to you. you won't be disappointed with a suite.

The food was great too, even in the main dining rooms.
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