Zaandam for Families
Because my cruise was over a holiday, there were quite a few children and teenagers onboard. Children and teens have separate public rooms on Deck 9. Club HAL Kids is for children ages 3 - 7 and Club HAL Tweens is for kids ages 8 – 12. The Loft is for teenagers ages 13 - 17. Signs limit access to these areas of the ship to the appropriately aged passengers.
Club HAL activities are scheduled at sea from 9 a.m. to noon and from 2 to 5 p.m. Activities resume at 8 p.m. and last until 10. From 10 p.m. to midnight there is group babysitting for $5 per child, per hour. (Personal babysitting may be available at a mutually negotiated rate after midnight.)
To participate in Club HAL children must be potty trained. Younger children must be signed in and out of the program by their parents; older children and teens may come and go as they please. The teen program is not as organized as the program for younger children, which is broken up into half-hour activities. The teen area is more for "hanging out" and self entertaining with video games, karaoke, videos and music. In the evening there is a party for teens in the Loft. When in port, the ship's company provides all-day activities for children, including lunch. On sea days children are expected to lunch and dine with their parents.
On Deck 10 there is outdoor space for children, a veritable fort with wooden palisades for climbing and defending. On my cruise, the children's and teen areas were well patronized, and there was adequate supervision of activities. When I visited, I was accompanied the whole time I was in the Club HAL space, a good sign that children are protected.