Maasdam's Club HAL facility is clearly an after thought, compact and low slung. It operates on at-sea days and on a limited basis (pre-registration required) during port days, and in the evenings from 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Kids can stay for "After Hours" activities until as late as midnight, with an hourly charge after 9:30 p.m. Programs are geared to Kids (ages 3 - 7), Tweens (8 - 12), and Teens (13 - 17). There's a sign-in/sign-out sheet and "password" system for pick-up for the youngest group, but Tweens and Teens come and go as they please.
Club HAL's programming is modest. It tends to skew more toward easy entertainment (PlayStation, Disney movies, coloring, ice cream) than truly imaginative or enriching activities. And more than once during my cruise, descriptions exceeded the delivery: An "Alien Night" failed to produce much that related to aliens. And a "Pajama Party" didn't deliver on the advertised "ultimate pillow fight" until one mom urged the staff to make good on the promo copy.
Club HAL features a windowless room with six or so PlayStation systems, usually occupied by zoned-out boys whose only sign of life is their moving thumbs. A teen corner is little more than a corner, but a small often gathers there nightly for music videos, UNO and, probably, nascent flirting.
Private babysitting can be arranged through the front desk. In the late-night program at Club HAL, from 10 p.m. til 1 a.m., it is $5 per child, per hour. If there is sufficient staff available who want to babysit away from the Club, its $10 per hour for the first child, then $7 per hour for each additional child.
Editor's Note: All children on under age 12 are required to wear a special band on their wrists or ankles that identifies their designated lifeboat station.
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