HOLLAND AMERICA CRUISE LINE
300 Elliot Ave W.
Seattle, WA 98119
OVERVIEW: Holland America offers an upscale cruise experience on understated ships with a Dutch heritage. The clientele tends toward older, more conservative passengers. One gets the impression that children are tolerated because grandparents bring them on board, although the addition of active shore tours in the Caribbean and the Just-for-Kids shore tours in Alaska attract families.
DESTINATIONS: Alaska, Canada, Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, New England, Panama Canal
SHIPS: Amsterdam, Maasdam, Noordam, Rotterdam, Ryndam, Statendam, Veendam, Volendam, Westerdam Zaandam
KIDS/FAMILY PROGRAMS: Holland America's youth program, Club HAL offers intermittent activities throughout the day for ages 5 to 8, 9 to 12 and 13 to 17 on all ships year-round. However, because enrollment in the program is often small, the age groups are often merged. Fact Sheet: Family Facts
Club HAL generally has one activity in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one or two in the evening. This is not a program where parents drop off children for blocks of time. Children may have a ping pong tournament from 10-11am, arts and crafts from 2-3pm and an ice cream party from 8-8:30pm.
For kids who are looking for lots of activities and friends on-board, and for adults who want blocks of kid-less time to lounge on deck, we don't recommend this cruise line.
TEENS: For teens (ages 13 to 17), Holland America offers a teen disco, arcade games, movies, videos and sports tournaments. Activities take place in public rooms or in special children's facilities on the line's newer ships.
NUMBER OF YOUTH COUNSELORS: Each ship is staffed with at least one full-time Club HAL youth director year-round, with additional staff assigned if the number of children warrants it.
HOURS OF OPERATION: Club HAL generally has one activity in the morning, one in the afternoon, and one or two in the evening.
IN-PORT KIDS PROGRAM: There are no activities when the ship is in port.
BABY-SITTING: Private babysitting only, on request but not guaranteed. Fee is $7 per hour per child, $5 for the second child. Limited number of cribs, high chairs and booster seats. Be sure to request when booking. Complimentary diapers, formula and baby food available through purser's desk.
KIDS SHORE EXCURSIONS: The line has developed shore excursions for kids on its Alaska sailings. The 2-4 hour excursions led by youth counselors are for ages 6-12 and for teens. In Juneau, kids go on hikes, participate in treasure hunts and take a tram ride. In Ketchikan, kids go on a float plane adventure and a look at giant totems. In Sitka, kids can take a three-hour sea kayak outing during which they keep and eye out for seals and eagles. In Skagway, there are horseback and haywagon rides as well as time for play at the beach.
SPECIAL KIDS RATES: Holland America generally offers several promotions a year in which kids rates are reduced.
SINGLE PARENT PRICING: No
CRIBS AVAILABLE: Yes. Reserve these when making your booking.
STROLLERS AVAILABLE ONBOARD: No
DINING OPTIONS: Kids' menus and 24-hour dining are available.
MINIMUM AGE TO SAIL: Six months.
COMMENTS: The newer ships have baby pools and kids' playrooms.: In Alaska, children's educational program -- Junior Ranger Program -- gives kids the opportunity to become a Glacier Bay National Park Junior Ranger. On Half Moon Cay, all-day youth activities are offered. At the end of each cruise, children get prizes including backpacks, mouse pads, disposable cameras and neck wallets
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