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kflynn04 12-05-2007 09:05 PM

We have cruised with RCI and Celebrity and our teens have had a wonderful time.

I have heard Holland America is not as good a choice for teens (during holiday time). What have you found? I like the itinerary! Thanks

penny3333 12-06-2007 09:54 AM

Hi kflynn04, HAL is normally not a line that will have a lot of teens on board. However, during the holidays, and depending on the length of the itinerary (the shorter, usually the more children), there will be others on board. There will be plenty to keep them busy and entertained. I'm sure they'll have a marvelous time, what a wonderful way to spend the holidays!! Best wishes and happy holidays!

TrvlPro 12-06-2007 01:26 PM

kfly, If the itin is a very high priority I'd consider HAL with teens. If there is another more children friendly sailing similar I'd consider that strongly. HAL has facilities and there will indeed be families onboard during the holidays. HAL has a reputation as among the most senior of cruiselines. It's not the staff, other families or facilities I'd be concerned about. Its the loyal passengers. There is an expectation by many frequent passengers that there be quiet early. Since HAL markets to seniors and gears entertainment and other things toward their primary clientelle, it may just not be what the teenagers have in mind for vacation.

Some good options to look for among mainstream lines would be RCCL, Carnival, NCL's newer ships (Pearl and Gem would be the best fit) and even Princess. Princess, although not known so much as a family cruiseline does a very good job with families and are moving more in that direction recently.

Not that HAL would be a bad experience, just not probably the best choice for the teens.

Cheers, Neil

LisaP 12-06-2007 02:48 PM

Hi kflynn04, and welcome to cruise-chat.

If your teens had a great time on Celebrity, they would probably enjoy HAL as well. Which ship are you considering, and how old are your teens?

ChucksOK 12-06-2007 02:59 PM

Well said. I'm a Copper Medallion cruiser with HAL and although one does see teens on HAL ships, the other lines you mentioned have larger ships with more "things" for teens to do; example, the RCI Freedom with rock-climbing and surfing. However, HAL does seem to do a great job with teens. I have seen a vast improvement over the years in NOT having kids running up and down the companionways, or playing "hit all the buttons" on the elevators when I've sailed during school breaks, so maybe HAL is doing good things.

TrvlPro 12-06-2007 04:03 PM

Thanks for the post Chuck, your post kind of makes the point.

Again, it's not HAL and their programs that are the concern. The issue I'm trying to get across without being too direct is that many, if not most of the loyalists on HAL are trying to get away from kids. No matter how many teens or how well behaved are onboard and how well recieved they are by the staff I get complaints on a pretty regular basis from Mariner Memebers about some sailings when kids are out of school. Matching a cruiseline to the right expectations for all is the goal. You've seen the comments on here and elsewhere from those who got back from a cruise only to complain about there being too many teens, small children, etc. Those comments are sometimes made onboard as well in a less than tactful manner. Your kids being treated as outcasts on the wrong line is not a high probability but it happens. At the dinner table, in elevators and especially in the corridors at night when sleep is the goal for some who are very early risers. When an issue does arrise, someone has a cruise experience they end up writing about as a bad experience. Either the teenagers or other passengers who chose HAL to get away from families with children common on other lines. There is no rule against kids, HAL would probably love to become a common choice for every demographic. They'd increase their market share. Until the demographics change, the Mariner Members (rightly or wrongly, this is the non-politically correct version of the answer) feel strongly that HAL should be their escape from the family cruiseline experience. With so many other choices, it just makes sense to investigate options that would eliminate possible unpleasant issues for everyone.

Cheers, Neil

Dave 12-06-2007 04:11 PM

My son is one who would never make a lot of noise or screw with the elevators. He is a very quiet and disciplined young man. I am not just saying that because I am his father - he really is that way. All that said, I wouldn't go on HAL with him and for the very reasons Neil mentions. Plus he has a better time on RCI and Carnival, and it is his cruise too.

headusher 12-07-2007 09:42 AM

Howdy everyone. Just registered on this site a few minutes ago. Have cruise with HAL twice over the last 5 years. Yes, the line caters to the older generation and on our last cruise I can honestly say that the sidewalks were pulled in after the last show - around 10:30 pm. Went to several of the bars and they were also empty. This may not be the case on our ship but be prepared just in case.

What we have seen are groups of teens getting togther at night in one of the lounges just sitting around & talking. During the day we rarely see them so there must be something for them to do. Other than that you make the cruise what you want to make it. We always find ways to have fun and keep ourselves occupied on a cruise.

LisaP 12-07-2007 03:20 PM

I see both sides.

My husband is a teacher, and we have a 14-year-old son, so we are limited to cruising during school breaks. I also hate being on a ship with rowdy kids/teens and the "parents" who accompanied them onto the ship but spend little, if any, time with them afterward.

We love HAL and Celebrity, and so does our son. Like Dave's son, he is disciplined (usually), social, and polite, and knows how to act in public. He also spends most of his time with us. On the occasions he uses the kids program, we do not give permission for him to sign himself out. Sure -- he got cranky sometimes, more so when he was younger, but we would get him out of the situation quickly.

After one Caribbean cruise during February break a couple of years ago, we vowed to never cruise that area again at that time of year. It was pandemonium, with kids canonballing into the pools, kids running the corridors, and families saving rows of seats in the show lounge. (And this was on Celebrity.) After that experience, we now tend to seek out itineraries that would attract fewer families. On HAL a few summers ago, he was one of 70 kids on board a Canada/New England cruise. This past summer, we went to the Norwegian Fjords on Celebrity. Not once on these cruises did we feel out of place. Now, I can't say what people were thinking, but very often other pax would come up to us and comment on how great it was that he got to experience travel at such a young age.

My point, after being so long-winded, is that pax who travel with kids need to be respectful of other pax -- and vice versa (so long as the "parents" are being parents).

Dave 12-07-2007 03:47 PM

Good points, Lisa. The larger problem is parents who decide to stop performing their obligations while on a cruise, and let the kids do whatever they want. I don't blame the kids for their conduct, but sometimes would like to read the riot act to their parents.

Jacob prefers to be with us most of the time, and he hasn't used the youth program since 2005 on any cruise we've taken.

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