New to Holland America? This is for you...AKA "HAL For Dummies"

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 01:02 AM.
28 Posts
Joined Apr 2018
Originally posted by SeaFairy707
Gosh, I just want to talk to a consultant.
Is there a particular reason you aren't talking with a travel agent? Granted, HAL should act like it wants your business, and it doesn't sound like they are, but this is kind of what a travel agent does, right?
Mojave Desert
901 Posts
Joined Oct 2016
Originally posted by SeaFairy707
Perhaps not prominently but a disclaimer or explanation at some point before expecting payment would be ethical and expected and neither was provided. Additionally, every other cruise line I have gone on has had prompt customer service and appeared to actually want my business. As you can see I have had to result to a forum to get even the explanation which doesn't provide any resolution yet. Gosh, I just want to talk to a consultant.
Did you ask HAL for a block of staterooms, or did you book piecemeal only
to discover HAL wasn't offering as many staterooms as you --ahem!--
assumed were available?

If you're not an expert and it's important, get an expert involved -- especially
when there's no cost to you for their services. And by "expert" I don't mean
a 800-number cubical-dweller.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
MV Royal Majesty • N Caribbean
MS Zenith • Bermuda
MS Rhapsody of the Seas • S Caribbean
MS Ryndam • Alaska
MS Horizon • Bermuda
MV Yorktown Clipper • San Francisco/Sacramento (!)
MS Paul Gauguin • Tahiti
MS Navigator • St Lawrence Seaway
MS Emerald Princess • Australia/New Zealand
MS Ruby Princess • California Coast
MS Eurodam • Alaska
DC area
550 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Originally posted by RuthC
Every cabin on every HAL ship gets robes. But only the high rent district cabins get slippers.
Much to our surprise, our ocean view cabin did not have robes on our cruise ending last week. Wondering if too many people take them thinking they're free. We have never had slippers but also haven't sailed in anything other than your standard OV.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Previous Cruising Adventures:
HAL Maasdam 20-day Panama Canal transit April/May 2018
HAL Veendam 7-day Bermuda graduation cruise May 2017
HAL Maasdam 14-day Alaska Great Land Explorer June 2016
Italian Line Guglielmo Marconi 10-day Caribbean 1979
DC area
550 Posts
Joined Mar 2016
Just to comment on what SeaFairy's going through, I agree that for a four day cruise, HAL may only be offering guarantee cabins for people only sailing on that segment. However, with the switch to the new website, I'm having problems doing bookings (to check on prices, not to actually complete a booking) on the new site which I used to do very easily on the old site. The default is guarantee cabin, but when I go to select my own cabin, I can pick ocean view or whatever but it's not allowing me the option to switch decks like it used to. So it looks like everything else is unavailable. I've tried this for several cruises, both the two bookings we currently have and random others and have always run up against the same obstacle.

Now I'm not sure why she can't get a PCC to call her back, that's just uncool, but I'd think you'd be able to call the general reservation line and be able to speak with someone who should be able to tell you whether or not you can book a specific cabin or talk you through your options. Or as others have suggested speak with a travel agent.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Previous Cruising Adventures:
HAL Maasdam 20-day Panama Canal transit April/May 2018
HAL Veendam 7-day Bermuda graduation cruise May 2017
HAL Maasdam 14-day Alaska Great Land Explorer June 2016
Italian Line Guglielmo Marconi 10-day Caribbean 1979
Los Angeles California
26 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
[quote=Haboob;56114318]Did you ask HAL for a block of staterooms, or did you book piecemeal only
to discover HAL wasn't offering as many staterooms as you --ahem!--
assumed were available?

If you're not an expert and it's important, get an expert involved -- especially
when there's no cost to you for their services. And by "expert" I don't mean
a 800-number cubical-dweller.[/quote

The major problem is that I can't get HAL to provide me with someone to talk to despite numerous attempts, apparently I'm assigned someone who doesn't return calls. The hours they are available is problematic too, they must really cater to the retired set. Yes, you're correct, I'm an experienced cruiser so I know I need to be working with a consultant to coordinate dinner reservations and hopefully getting cabins relatively close.
The info shared earlier about this being the last leg of a longer cruise clears up some of the confusion but also adds to my feeling that the customer service has been very poor.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Heather In California
🧚❤🛳

CCL 3 Night Mexico, May 2018
NCL TA on Getaway May 2017
RC Pacific Coastal Oct. 2015
Princess 4 Night Mexico
Disney 3 Night Bahamas 2009
Los Angeles California
26 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by joekerstef
Just to comment on what SeaFairy's going through, I agree that for a four day cruise, HAL may only be offering guarantee cabins for people only sailing on that segment. However, with the switch to the new website, I'm having problems doing bookings (to check on prices, not to actually complete a booking) on the new site which I used to do very easily on the old site. The default is guarantee cabin, but when I go to select my own cabin, I can pick ocean view or whatever but it's not allowing me the option to switch decks like it used to. So it looks like everything else is unavailable. I've tried this for several cruises, both the two bookings we currently have and random others and have always run up against the same obstacle.

Now I'm not sure why she can't get a PCC to call her back, that's just uncool, but I'd think you'd be able to call the general reservation line and be able to speak with someone who should be able to tell you whether or not you can book a specific cabin or talk you through your options. Or as others have suggested speak with a travel agent.

Thanks, you're correct the site has a lot to glitches and if the only cabins available are guarantee it would be nice if it actually stated that so you're not clicking around to see if you missed something.
Regarding the reservation line, my phone number is now in the system so it recognizes it and auto transfers my call to the PCC where I get an error message. My son called last night and his call goes through to the reservation system just fine. I will have call with my number blocked tomorrow but the general reservation folks told me I need to speak to my PCC so you can see my frustration....
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Heather In California
🧚❤🛳

CCL 3 Night Mexico, May 2018
NCL TA on Getaway May 2017
RC Pacific Coastal Oct. 2015
Princess 4 Night Mexico
Disney 3 Night Bahamas 2009
Los Angeles California
26 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by danb35
Is there a particular reason you aren't talking with a travel agent? Granted, HAL should act like it wants your business, and it doesn't sound like they are, but this is kind of what a travel agent does, right?
I have contacted one now and I'll see if he gets better results. The reason I haven't used one is that I usually enjoy doing all the arrangements and have never had issues like this before. So far the travel agent has been very nice but not provided me with anything more than I already knew so now I'm waiting for him or HAL to contact me. Meanwhile I've booked cabins through the site and I have no idea where they are on the ship. As an experienced cruiser I know location can make or break a cruise.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Heather In California
🧚❤🛳

CCL 3 Night Mexico, May 2018
NCL TA on Getaway May 2017
RC Pacific Coastal Oct. 2015
Princess 4 Night Mexico
Disney 3 Night Bahamas 2009
Burlingame calif
278 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Originally posted by SeaFairy707
Perhaps not prominently but a disclaimer or explanation at some point before expecting payment would be ethical and expected and neither was provided. Additionally, every other cruise line I have gone on has had prompt customer service and appeared to actually want my business. As you can see I have had to result to a forum to get even the explanation which doesn't provide any resolution yet. Gosh, I just want to talk to a consultant.


I am surprised you haven’t got a call back yet. The bad part is with any cruise line and found same with few airlines. The folks that work the phones later afternoon and evening aren’t always the sharpest. And found best to deal with day sales folks. I work part time as a travel agent that my mother owned for 40 years after leaving the cruise ship refit business and we all have same problem when calling in too. Waiting could be 30 min on hold. And many times were the more experienced ones.

If you have a TA. Let them do the work for you at the same cost. And solve your problems. Often we can look up the info on there systems.

As said before, sounds like this is the leg of a longer cruise and most of not all cruise lines will do same thing and have sections that are guaranteed only. But they should tell you the min category you will be in, often they will upgrade if room as a marketing tool. HAL is. Very good line


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


Los Angeles California
26 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by danb35
Is there a particular reason you aren't talking with a travel agent? Granted, HAL should act like it wants your business, and it doesn't sound like they are, but this is kind of what a travel agent does, right?
I just got a response from a travel agent and he booked me a spa veranda no where near where my 80 year old father and other members of the party will be. Plus he added $220 in charges...
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Heather In California
🧚❤🛳

CCL 3 Night Mexico, May 2018
NCL TA on Getaway May 2017
RC Pacific Coastal Oct. 2015
Princess 4 Night Mexico
Disney 3 Night Bahamas 2009
Los Angeles California
26 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by SFBayAreaShipLover
I am surprised you haven’t got a call back yet. The bad part is with any cruise line and found same with few airlines. The folks that work the phones later afternoon and evening aren’t always the sharpest. And found best to deal with day sales folks. I work part time as a travel agent that my mother owned for 40 years after leaving the cruise ship refit business and we all have same problem when calling in too. Waiting could be 30 min on hold. And many times were the more experienced ones.

If you have a TA. Let them do the work for you at the same cost. And solve your problems. Often we can look up the info on there systems.

As said before, sounds like this is the leg of a longer cruise and most of not all cruise lines will do same thing and have sections that are guaranteed only. But they should tell you the min category you will be in, often they will upgrade if room as a marketing tool. HAL is. Very good line


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
I just got a response from a travel agent and he booked me a spa veranda no where near where my 80 year old father and other members of the party will be. Plus he added $220 in charges...
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Heather In California
🧚❤🛳

CCL 3 Night Mexico, May 2018
NCL TA on Getaway May 2017
RC Pacific Coastal Oct. 2015
Princess 4 Night Mexico
Disney 3 Night Bahamas 2009
Sunny Sequim, Washington state
6,196 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
For Sea Fairy - I don't know if this will help you or not, but HAL has a number for handling group bookings involving 8 or more cabins: 1 877 932 4259 fax is 206 298 3059
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
"I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them" - Mark Twain
2 Posts
Joined May 2018
Dining attire?!!!

We are sailing on the Eurodam to Alaska. First time on HAL, first time cruising with our kids (7-12). I've tried searching the HAL website and have had no luck. Google searches gave me conflicting info.

Can anyone tell me:

How many formal nights will be on a 7-night cruise?

What is required for a formal night? Do young boys have to wear suit coats?

What is the dress code for casual nights? Are jeans allowed? How about t-shirts? Are they more lax for children?

Also, even though we booked 6 months ago and have followed up regularly, we haven't been able to get a set dining time. We would REALLY like one. Does anyone know if it's possible to get one once onboard?

Thanks for any and all help.
Georgia
10,194 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Originally posted by trines33
Dining attire?!!!

We are sailing on the Eurodam to Alaska. First time on HAL, first time cruising with our kids (7-12). I've tried searching the HAL website and have had no luck. Google searches gave me conflicting info.

Can anyone tell me:

How many formal nights will be on a 7-night cruise?

What is required for a formal night? Do young boys have to wear suit coats?

What is the dress code for casual nights? Are jeans allowed? How about t-shirts? Are they more lax for children?

Also, even though we booked 6 months ago and have followed up regularly, we haven't been able to get a set dining time. We would REALLY like one. Does anyone know if it's possible to get one once onboard?

Thanks for any and all help.
2 gala nights on 7 night cruises.

"Most evenings smart casual attire is appropriate. Shorts, pool/beachwear, distressed jeans and men’s tank tops are best left to the daytime and are not permitted in fine dining restaurants."

"Gala Nights evoke the grand traditions of cruising as guests dress to impress for special events on board, including a five-course gourmet dinner in the Dining Room. For gentlemen, collared shirt and slacks are required in all fine dining restaurants . For ladies, dressy attire is appropriate, dresses skirts and slacks are all acceptable."

So, as long as they aren't beachwear, t-shirts are allowed most nights, but not on gala nights when a collared shirt is required.

Jeans are allowed on most nights, but not distressed jeans. And jeans aren't allowed on gala nights.

The problem is that the t-shirts that the youngsters in my family wear are suitable for the beach and therefore not the dining room, and the jeans that the youngsters in my family wear are generally distressed. So unless your children are different, t-shirts and jeans probably won't work.

There isn't a more lax policy for children. The same rules apply.

It is possible to get a set dining time once you get aboard but there are no guarantees.

This message may have been entered via voice recognition. Please excuse any typos.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
“Those who do not know satisfaction, even when living in a heavenly palace, are still not satisfied. Those who do not know satisfaction, even if rich, are poor. People who know satisfaction, even if poor, are rich.” ― Gautama Buddha
Oregon
2,073 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
Alaska does not seem to be as dressy as say Europe or East Coast departure cruises. Many passengers take land tours before ,after, and during a cruise sailing so their wardrobe is slanted to outdoor attire and less to dressy so do not make that your major concern. You will see all types of attire and since "Formal Night" has been change to Gala the dress code is much more appropriate to the journey..IMHO.
1,602 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by SeaFairy707
The major problem is that I can't get HAL to provide me with someone to talk to despite numerous attempts, apparently I'm assigned someone who doesn't return calls. The hours they are available is problematic too, they must really cater to the retired set. Yes, you're correct, I'm an experienced cruiser so I know I need to be working with a consultant to coordinate dinner reservations and hopefully getting cabins relatively close.
The info shared earlier about this being the last leg of a longer cruise clears up some of the confusion but also adds to my feeling that the customer service has been very poor.
I feel so bad that you are receiving such poor customer service. The PCC I work with works Sunday thru Thursday so it does vary. But even if he was off I get a response from the person who covers his absences, both via phone and email. They are crazy responsive! I wish you had him/them instead.
California
388 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
Originally posted by SeaFairy707
Meanwhile I've booked cabins through the site and I have no idea where they are on the ship. As an experienced cruiser I know location can make or break a cruise.

I am getting together a small group (8 rooms). I’m not one to call, since I work a ton. I’ve handled all my reservations via email. Our PCC usually responds immediately. Have you tried just emailing your PCC? We gave her a list of rooms we were interested in and she booked our rooms. I’ve never had to call anyone. Maybe try dealing in email only?




Sent from my iPhone using Forums
Central Florida
1,085 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
Does anyone here know if Holland America offers a shuttle in Guayaquil, Ecuador? Posted on the South American boards, but haven't gotten any responses.

Thanks!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."



Princess (25)
Pacific x 5; Grand x 3; Diamond x 3; Caribbean x 3; Ruby x 2; Island x 2; Golden x 2; Crown x 2; Star x 1; Regal x 1; Emerald x 1
=X= (24)
Mercury x 6; Solstice x 5; Century x 5; Zenith x 3; Constellation x 2; Summit x 1; Millennium x 1; Horizon x 1
RCCL (7)
Monarch OTS x 2; Brilliance OTS x 2; Song of America x 1; Navigator OTS x 1; Grandeur OTS x 1
Holland America (3)
Oosterdam x 2; Nieuw Amsterdam x 1
Quark x 1
Sea Spirit (Antarctica)
Azamara x 1
Quest
Big Red Boat x 1
Big Red Boat
Carnival x 1
Tropicale

Central Vermont
248 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
I was wondering if the Veendam has a spa pass daily/weekly and cost? anything like a chef's dinner offered? anything needed to be signed up for the day of departure that most people don't know about or is in high demand? I love using the spa's off and on throughout the week as well attending the chef's dinner if they offer them. What are the specialty activities they offer like cooking demo's, computer classes, etc. I saw online something like that Any other tidbits would be very welcome my first time on a HAL ship I am looking forward to a more laid back, quieter, stimulating, ship.Thanks!!!
334 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by kb4683
Does anyone here know if Holland America offers a shuttle in Guayaquil, Ecuador? Posted on the South American boards, but haven't gotten any responses.

Thanks!


We were there in January during our S America & Antarctica Cruise. The ship provided a shuttle service, dropped you off at “Parque Seminario” (also known as Parque De Las Iguanas). Malecon 2000 (tree lined waterfront area) is near by from there.


Sent from my iPad using Forums
Central Florida
1,085 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
Originally posted by rim140
We were there in January during our S America & Antarctica Cruise. The ship provided a shuttle service, dropped you off at “Parque Seminario” (also known as Parque De Las Iguanas). Malecon 2000 (tree lined waterfront area) is near by from there.


Sent from my iPad using Forums
Thank you! Just what I was looking for.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."



Princess (25)
Pacific x 5; Grand x 3; Diamond x 3; Caribbean x 3; Ruby x 2; Island x 2; Golden x 2; Crown x 2; Star x 1; Regal x 1; Emerald x 1
=X= (24)
Mercury x 6; Solstice x 5; Century x 5; Zenith x 3; Constellation x 2; Summit x 1; Millennium x 1; Horizon x 1
RCCL (7)
Monarch OTS x 2; Brilliance OTS x 2; Song of America x 1; Navigator OTS x 1; Grandeur OTS x 1
Holland America (3)
Oosterdam x 2; Nieuw Amsterdam x 1
Quark x 1
Sea Spirit (Antarctica)
Azamara x 1
Quest
Big Red Boat x 1
Big Red Boat
Carnival x 1
Tropicale