Sometimes you may find yourself looking to plan a trip for a group of friends or family. It may seem like it’s not easy to find a solution that will make everyone happy. You need a diverse travel experience that welcomes everyone, and we mean everyone.
One place to look is the Holland America Cruise Lines. During a recent cruise we were on we noticed that Holland America Lines (HAL) caters to just about every demographic.
Who Would Be Comfortable On A Holland America Cruise?
No matter the age or cut of your jib Holland America has onboard and shore activities that will entice even the most diverse traveller.
Here are just some of the travelers who will find themselves at home at sea on Holland America.
- Multi-generational groups
- LGBTQ+ community
- Couples and Solo Travelers
Why Choose Holland America?
HAL has been in the cruise business for over 150 years. They have evolved and changed their business throughout that time but they have always kept their customers first.
At Holland America Line, we believe travel has the power to change the world. We consider it our higher purpose to help make the world a better place through opening minds, building connections, and inspiring a shared humanity.
If you’re planning a trip that includes all the members of your family from Great-Grandparents to newborns Holland America should be high on your list.
Activities For Everyone
They have plenty of activities onboard as well as shore excursions that will please everyone in your group. All excursions indicate the level of activity or strenuous. They also provide helpful passenger reviews to make your choices a bit easier.
We were pleased to see the amount of food and wine activities both on and off the ship. If you or anyone in your group is a “foodie” you’ll find plenty to keep you busy.
There are also alternatives like bus rides to get an overall view of each destination, hiking excursions, and beach activities. We went on a tour of the Botanical Gardens of Crete and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the local plants in full bloom.
Supervised age-appropriate activities onboard for kids, tweens, and teens are also available.
Food For All Ages
Let’s talk about dining. There are many options for all ages. The main dining room is available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We really enjoyed the seated breakfast in the dining room because it was quiet and the food was delicious. You can choose to sit by yourself or be seated with other guests. It’s a nice way to meet other people if you’re so inclined.
The Lido Market on the Lido Deck offers more of a cafeteria casual setting and you can find many options there just about all day long for either a meal or a snack. Pizza, pasta, salads, ice cream, and treats are available most of the day.
The Dive-In is the poolside grill that offers Nathan’s hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, fries, and more.
The Oosterdam offered two specialty restaurants, the Pinnacle Grill with traditional steakhouse specialties and Canaletto featuring Italian cuisine. Both require reservations and include additional charges.
Children are allowed in all the dining venues with kid-friendly choices like mac and cheese, pizza, and chicken fingers. There are also half orders of any of the regular menu offerings.
When we recently sailed on one of their cruises we noticed the diversity of the guests right away. Everyone was clearly comfortable and felt free to be themselves. We noticed many LGBTQ+ passengers traveling as couples, with their families, and even traveling solo. The staff certainly goes out of their way to make everyone at home on the ship.
Needless to say, that was important to us. Every night there was a “meetup” for LGBTQ travelers to get together. This certainly made us feel welcomed.
Couples & Solo Travelers
We saw many, many couples celebrating anniversaries, weddings, and just getting away on vacation. The ship has plenty of places to get away and have some privacy. You’ll have the opportunity to have romantic dinners, spa treatments, and private tour excursions if you so desire.
If you like a more active lifestyle there is a full fitness center with lots of classes to choose from. You’ll also find a basketball court, volleyball court, and even pickleball! It’s also a great way to get involved and meet new people. I’ll confess that I picked up the basketball when the court was empty and shot a few hoops. Muscle memory is still there and it’s still all in the wrist. It was fun to rekindle that long-ago basketball Jones flame.
Singles will also feel at home as there are plenty of chances to join in on-ship activities like cocktail-making classes, lectures on the ports you’ll be visiting, and trivia contests.
Entertainment On The Ship
Every night the ship turns into an entertainment center. After dinner, you can be entertained at one of the many musical venues. There’s music trivia, karaoke, dancing, and lots of different types of music like R&B, top 40, old standards, and jazz. The Rolling Stone lounge on the Oosterdam featured pop, rock, and country and had plenty of room for dancing and grabbing a cocktail.
Even folks who may enjoy slower travel will find ample opportunities on Holland America ships. Relax and read a good book on one of the open-air decks. There is always a nook to get away and just enjoy the sea air and light breezes.
While some in your group might love the nightlife and casino we found ourselves returning every night to a smaller lounge that featured a jazz trio that we enjoyed. The music was relaxing and the musicians were fun and talented. It was a good place to sip a nightcap, too.
It is also good to know that Holland America offers many tours that are accessible and easy to do for many who want to explore but have limitations or don’t want to worry about getting around.
Holland America Supports Diverse Travel
One look at Holland America’s Cultural Framework and Core Values and you’ll understand that they take their mission seriously.
- Safeguard ourselves and the environment
- Take pride in every action
- Are curious and ever-evolving
- Celebrate our differences
If you’re looking for a cruise experience that will cater to a diverse group of people you should consider Holland America. For more details on specific cruises and prices check out HollandAmerica.com.