Thursday, April 16, 2015

Holland America's Club HAL

This is a sponsored post.

If you ask Catherine what was the best part of our recent cruise, she will emphatically exclaim "Kid's Club!"  Just look at that smile on her face!  (The facepainting was a part of kid's club events.)  She loved it there, in fact, she still gets sad that we aren't on the Noordam so she can "go to Club HAL everyday!".

Club HAL® -- Kids is for children ages three to seven.  (I did see online that on the ms Prinsendam, children must be at least five.)  They play games, make crafts, color, play Legos, eat ice cream, watch movies, have a pajama party, and simply enjoy themselves.  Below is the main area for Catherine's age group, the three to seven year olds.  Tweens and teens have separate areas to play and hang out.

Children participating in this program must be completely self-sufficient in the restroom as the staff cannot assist the kids.  Catherine had no problem with this, in fact it was even easier for her in the kid's area because they had a smaller toilet and sink just for the kids.

The one and only negative was Catherine was quite sad one night.  On Pirate Night they built ships out of Legos but the "teachers", as she called them, put all of the Legos away before she had time to play with the ship.  All activities were scheduled, and while it was a somewhat loose schedule, they did try to follow it.  At home I have a more Montessori-ish approach and let her work (play) with something until she's finished with it and then we move on to the next activity.  So it was rather shocking and upsetting for her that she wasn't able to play with her creation.  I realize this is a small thing, and it was exasperated by tiredness, but it was surprising to me to find Catherine on the verge of tears (even though she didn't want to leave) when I went to pick her up one night.

Every single time I went to pick Catherine up from Club HAL she was disappointed to see me.  She always wanted to stay longer.  The above picture is after I picked her up and brought her back to our stateroom for bedtime.  She was begging and pleading to go back.  Dominic was sympathetic to her case.  While it was somewhat disheartening that my little girl didn't jump for joy to see me when she saw me coming to get her, I really loved that she enjoyed the youth activities.

It should be noted that Holland America takes the children's safety seriously, the staff at Club HAL is accredited by Praesidium, Inc..  They have a zero tolerance policy on child abuse.  All of the staff that Catherine and I encountered through Club HAL were fantastic.

For more of our cruise related fun check out the following:

I did receive a few amenities free of charge from Holland America, but everything you read on my blog is my honest opinion.

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