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Family cruises on Holland America 2016

Holland America Line once was considered a haven for seniors cruising to Alaska but now carries more than 25,000 kids and their families aboard its 15 mid-size ships every year — including so many multi-generational groups that they have designed a special Family Reunion Program (for groups booking 8 or more state rooms) featuring a complimentary room upgrade, $50 beverage card per room and more. The junior foodies in your gang will love the kids and teen Culinary Arts Center with complimentary cooking lessons. All the kids will like the Cartoon Network offerings that air on the in-cabin television.

What’s new

In April 2016, Holland America Line’s newest ship, ms Koningsdam, will sail its maiden voyage from Rome and add a series of Northern Europe and Baltic cruises to HAL’s itineraries.

With a $300 million brand enhancement initiative, Holland America Line is planning exciting enhancements to its top staterooms with new furnishings, décor, amenities and upgrades for all suites on the line’s Signature-, Vista- and R-Class ships.

For kids, tweens & teens

The Club HAL program provides supervised activities for kids ages 3-12, including PJ parties, arts and crafts, kids Olympics, videogame tournaments and more.

The 8- to 12-year-olds have their own special area featuring arcade games, air hockey, Foosball, karaoke, Xbox 360, family-safe Internet access (for a minimal fee), videogames, deck sports and pool parties. They may participate in the National Park Service Junior Ranger program on Alaska cruises.

The Loft is an adult-free lounge where teens (13-17) can hang out and enjoy movies, games and music. Oasis, a teen-only sundeck with a wading pool and juice bar, is also available on select ships.

Around the ship

You'll find swimming pools, basketball, volleyball and tennis on HAL ships. Families love the private island Half Moon Cay with its array of activities like snorkeling, bicycle tours, watersports and adventure areas. Limited babysitting is available from for kids ages 5 and under through the Front Office. Club HAL is open from 10 pm to midnight for After Hours Care for $5/hour/per child. Babysitting is not available when the ship is in port.

In this series

Your take

Have you and your family cruised on Holland America? What was the highlight? Did we overlook anything in this roundup? Please leave a comment below.

Interested in a family cruise on Holland America?