All Club HAL® activities are supervised by permanent, full-time staff, and are designed to be kid friendly and age appropriate. Youth Staff hold degrees in education, childhood development, recreation, leisure studies or related fields.
Holland America has three different areas for kids:
- Club HAL® — Kids*: Children, ages 3-7, can participate in such activities as story telling, fabric painting, indoor games, arts and crafts, drawing contests, ice-cream sundae parties, puzzles, bingo, pirate treasure hunts or a farewell pizza party. Children in the Kid's age group must be toilet trained. Children in pull-ups or diapers are not allowed in the youth facilities, due to mandates from US Public Health. Exceptions to this rule cannot be made.
- Club HAL® — Tweens*: Tweens, ages 8-12 can learn golf putting, have disco parties and theme parties, participate in the award-winning National Park Service Jr. Ranger Program on Alaska cruises, compete in on-deck sports events, compete in scavenger hunts or simply play Ping-Pong with a friend.
- The Loft and The Oasis*: Teens, ages 13-17 will especially enjoy the teen disco, karaoke sessions, video games, teen sports tournaments, card games, trivia contests, bingo, movies, and videos. When there are more than 100 children on board, a HAL Talent Show is offered. (The Oasis is not available on all Vista-class ships)
*On the ms Prinsendam, youth activities are offered for ages 5-17. All other ships offer youth activities for ages 3-17.
Daily Youth Programs
Times vary based on age group, number of children on board and staffing:
Kids & Teens Culinary Arts Center Program
HAL Kids Culinary Workshops offer children a unique and fun learning experience. Kids will learn basic cooking techniques, kitchen safety, new ingredients and how to follow recipe instructions. Aside from the fun involved, cooking encourages kids to think about numbers and measuring, cleanliness, safety and time management.
HAL Kids Culinary Workshops are geared toward two age groups; ages three to seven and ages eight and up. Teenagers 15 and up may participate in the adult classes.
Additional Family Services
Holland America Line serves a wide variety of kid-pleasing food, including special sandwiches, tacos, hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza. Baby food, high chairs and booster seats may be requested in advance of boarding.
On sea days, babysitting services are available through the Front Office for a small surcharge for children 3 years of age or older. This service is provided by staff on a volunteer basis, and may not always be available. Babysitting service is not offered while the ship is in port, although Club Hal does offer activities for children aged 3-12 between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm on port days.
Special kid-friendly birthday parties can also be arranged with advance notice.
Club HAL's port day activities as well as After Hours is available for children ages 3-12 who meet Club HAL's eligibility requirements. (Children must be pre-registered for the program in the way of a completed parental consent form, they must be potty trained, out of pull ups and 100% independent in the restroom as the youth staff are not permitted to assist.) Club HAL® After Hours is available on all ships (except the ms Prinsendam) from 10:00 pm - 12:00 am for children 3 years of age or older, and babysitting fees are charged by the hour.
Parents must pick up their children on time or a late fee is charged. For babysitting outside of the hours offered in Club HAL, guests may check at the Front Office to schedule this service provided by staff on a voluntary/limited basis only.
Port Day Activities
Activities will be offered when in port from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. A lunch service is available for those attending port day activities between the hours of 11:00 am – 1:00 pm.
HAL Youth Programs recognize that some children may have special needs. Special needs children are invited to attend activities based on their chronological age. HAL Youth Programs have many staff members trained to work with special needs children. Guests should make HAL aware of this when booking their reservation.
Important Notes on HAL Youth Programs
A limited number of high chairs, booster seats, and cribs are available at no charge. These must be reserved in advance at the time of booking. An international children's menu is offered at dinner and includes a variety of appetizers, salads and soups, and standard items such as hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, and chicken, plus chef's specials like beef tacos, grilled cheese, fish and chips or spaghetti.