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alfred 01-11-2009 04:13 PM

Hello Cruising Community,
After six with Celebrity and one with Royal it is time to try Holland. I will depart from Ft. Lauderdale on February 15th. Leaving from NYC the day before and booked the Comfort Suites near the airport. They offer pick up at the airport and drop off to the ship at no extra charge. I will review the hotel when i return and comment on the ship. Last cruise was in August on Royal's Liberty. I found I will never climb a rockwall or surf on board so I am going back to a smaller ship. I will be traveling with two teens this time and have dismissed "Holland is for an older crowd". They gotta have some kids right?. So I just wanted to check in and say I enjoy reading all of you and will fill you in with a revue when I return.

Cruise Fanatic 01-12-2009 06:03 AM

Have a great cruise.

penny3333 01-12-2009 08:11 AM

Hope you have a fantastic cruise. I think you'll enjoy HAL. They're ships are immaculate, service is great, and food is good. Comfort Suites is a good choice. Thank you for letting us know they offer free pickup and drop off. There are loads of questions about that. Please let us know how it goes when you return. Bon Voyage

denjoker 01-14-2009 04:32 PM

Well - I'm just the guy you need to hear from! Just got off of the Westerdam last Sunday - although we had cruised various lines we never had gone HAL - the food was top notch - but this line definitely caters to the older folks -not much going on - if you're looking for a relaxing week this is the ship for you. The ship is old and shows it but is clean and easy to navigate. The casino was small and dated. The shows targeted the srs. as there was actually a vantriliquist (sp?) yes they still exist and this guy who was a cross between Wayne Newton and Tom Jones. It was nice but we've decided to go back to Royal Carib or Celeb and consider HAL again in about 10 years when we're collecting that retirement check. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze - take the taxi to the airport - only $18 for all as opposed to $17 ea for the cruise provided shuttle. No matter what - we were still cruisin and that's always a good thing. Have a great vacation.

alfred 01-15-2009 05:48 AM

Hello Denjoker,
Thank you for your reply. I sort of knew what to expect from this ship from reviews I have read. I chose this ship and line for two reasons. First I was completely blown away by the size of Royal's Liberty in August and was looking for more of a cruising feel. Most times I could not even feel the ship moving. I can get that feel from any hotel. The second reason is my inlaws will be traveling with us again and they are senior citizens. I could use your help with a question please. I have tied my inlaws sea pass card to my credit card account to offset some of the expense of the trip for them.I figured I could pick up the every day expenses for them like bingo,drinks,and gratuities. Mom and dad like to play the slots. So my question is can they use cash in the Casino? Your reply would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,

susanmaz 01-15-2009 02:06 PM

Cash is used in the casino. I believe you can charge money to your ship account, but there is a service fee for that.

denjoker 01-19-2009 06:39 AM

Cash can be used in the casino - however - they've gone to this system in which you cannot 'cash out' with out the use of your ships card - each guest establishes a pin number and at the end of playing a machine you transfer any remaining balance to the card - go to the cashier and they'll pay out. At first I wasn't crazy about the idea but it's actually a lot easier. You can go to the cashier and put as much money on the card as you wish and it carries over the entire cruise.

LisaP 01-19-2009 06:47 AM

Thanks for the info, susanmaz and denjoker. To be sure I'm interpreting this correctly, I can still go into the casino with cash and play entirely with cash, and using the ship card is just another option?

denjoker 01-19-2009 02:47 PM

You can play with cash and put cash in the machines but you cannot withdraw any cash - it must be credited to your room card and then you can go to the cahier and get the $$.

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