Newbie Question - What's included on HAL cruise?

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#1
NJ
99 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Hi all. I'm planning a family vacation to Alaska this summer and we are booked on the Statendam. I am new to crusing. One thing I was not clear on: What is not included? I know that shore excursions, alcohol, spa treatments, and, I assume, gratuities are not included.

Can someone clue me in as to what is extra:
Are sodas during meals included? What about if I want to get a coffee during the day or a non-alcoholic drink by the pool? (ok, maybe we won’t use the pool much in Alaska—but I have kids and they will use the pool as long as I’ll let them).

What about using the gym? Or spa facilities like the steam room? Exercise classes? I’m also not sure what activities they will have during the day. Are many of the activities for a fee?
What about the kids club?
Thanks in advance for any info.
Best, Amy
#2
107,607 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Alaska -- great place for a first cruise.

Sodas are not included anywhere on the ship -- not even in the dining room.

Coffee is available in the Lido 24/7 -- free. You can also get tea and iced tea there as well. Along with hote chocolate -- all free. Sometimes during the day there may either be punch or lemonaide -- free.

Gratuities are Hotel Service Charge which will either be $11.50 or $12 per person per day which is automatically added to your shipboard account each night.

There are no free non-alcoholic drinks anywhere on the ship.

You can get ice water -- free. But if you ask for bottled water -- you pay for it.

The gym is free -- treadmills, elpticals, bicycles, rowing machines, weights -- ordinary items. Classes like Pilates, Yoga and Spinning -- $12 per person per class.

There are free cooking demonstrations usually held on sea days. There are cooking classes -- held on sea days -- $29 per person and limited to 12 people.

There are also digitial workshops -- free.

There is trivia -- free. Bingo -- $25 for a set of 3 cards or something like that -- I don't play Bingo.

There are free dance classes.

The Mixology classes cost.

Club HAL is free -- but many people do tip the staff working there at the end of the cruise -- that is optional.

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#3
Colorado
7,828 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
Originally posted by Krazy Kruizers
There are no free non-alcoholic drinks anywhere on the ship.
Among the free non-alcoholic drinks you'll find onboard (besides the afore mentioned iced tea, coffee [excluding the Explorations Cafe - prices clearly marked there], hot cocoa, lemonade) are juices and milk, assorted varieties of each. There are some non-alcoholic mixed drinks on the bar menus, but there will be a price listed for them.

You may be using the pool more than you think. The mid-ships pool has a retractable cover over the area. The pool does get used in Alaska. Also one of my favorite Alaska cruise memories was watching us sail from Glacier Bay from the aft pool one lovely evening. Now on most (if not all) of HAL's ships that is an adult only pool, so you probably won't be there with your kids.
#4
Dallas, Texas
8,091 Posts
Joined May 2003
What we like is all the entertainment , the shows, piano bars( you do not have to drink) and the other musicians on the ship
#5
Cumberland Plateau, TN
1,076 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
I believe I recall being able to get fancy coffees (cappucino, etc.) in the MDR withmeals at no charge.
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#6
107,607 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by hvsteve1
I believe I recall being able to get fancy coffees (cappucino, etc.) in the MDR withmeals at no charge.
Some ships over the last couple of months reported that they were charging for the cappucino and espresso in the main dining room.
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#9
Alameda, CA.
512 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
The only time you can find free alcohol is the free Champagne at random times. Art Auction, Art Auction Preview on the first day, casino grand opening, Captains Toast, etc. It comes down to the basic tenant. If you want something free that normally costs, you have to hunt for it as it is rarely announced.
#10
2,025 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Is the regular coffee on board of a good quality? If I want a strong cup will I need to go to Constellations? How much are drinks there? I like Americanos. Are they priced as coffees wod be anywhere, or expensive?
#12
Warwick, R.I. , USA
38,257 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Originally posted by alwaysfrantic
Is the regular coffee on board of a good quality?
I find the coffee in the Lido decent enough for my morning fix; ymmv. I was satisfied with the room service coffee. It is brewed coffee, as opposed to some type of liquid used on another cruise line.
I have given up ordering coffee after dinner in the dining room, as it has been poor so often in the past. I order a cappuccino after dinner now, and am pleased with that.
If I want a strong cup will I need to go to Constellations?
Better to look for "Explorations Cafe", as there is no "Constellations" on the ship.
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#13
West Central OH
3,411 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Spa services cost. There is a steam room in the thermal suite and is included in the daily or weekly cost to use the thermal suite. The couples package for the use of the thermal suite offers a small saving over the individual charge,and it can be used by any two people, not just a couple. My Dear Sis and I always buy the couples package. I think there is a sauna that is free on most ships but I don't know for sure.

I think the charges for beverages in the Explorations Cafe are reasonable. Guess it depends on your experience when you buy those drinks at home.
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#14
NJ
99 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Thank you all for the good info!! I just wanted to set expectations. (Like warning the kiddie ahead of time that this is a no soda voyage).

Originally posted by Doh15
I have a vivid memory of the at sea day out of Seattle when semi-rough seas turned the main pool into a wave pool.
But perhaps they'll be happy with the free wave pool!
#15
2,025 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Originally posted by RuthC
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Better to look for "Explorations Cafe", as there is no "Constellations" on the ship.
Haha. Okay. Will not keep wandering around the ship getting caffeine withdrawal headaches looking for Constellations!

How much are specialty coffees in this bar? In the evenings is it known for some other type of drink?
#16
201 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
A newbie to HAL I know you are unable to pay tips ahead of time, I normally like to have pay the tips in advance so at the end of the cruise I am not hit with it, bar tab usually causes enough pain :-)

Can I add money to my onboard account before departure? I know HAL automatically adds $60 to the onboard account. If by chance there is extra money in my onboard account how do I go about getting that money reimbursed.
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#17
Warwick, R.I. , USA
38,257 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Originally posted by alwaysfrantic
How much are specialty coffees in this bar? In the evenings is it known for some other type of drink?
Hope someone can help you on that one. I may purchase a hot chocolate there once or twice on a long cruise, but that's all.
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#18
Warwick, R.I. , USA
38,257 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Originally posted by neverleavingthebalcony
Can I add money to my onboard account before departure? I know HAL automatically adds $60 to the onboard account. If by chance there is extra money in my onboard account how do I go about getting that money reimbursed.
You're combining two separate concepts that really shouldn't be combined in your mind.

HAL places a $60 per day hold against your credit card, but that does not show up on your account. It's a reserve that's between HAL and your credit card company to be sure there is enough available credit to pay your bill. That's all.

Yes, you can either purchase on-board credit in advance, or put cash down against your account when you board to reduce the final bill. Charges will be subtracted from your on-board credit first, and the remainder will be charged to your credit card.
You can also go to the Front Desk on the last morning and settle your account with cash or Travelers' Cheques.
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#19
United Kingdom
197 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Originally posted by Amy5000
Thank you all for the good info!! I just wanted to set expectations. (Like warning the kiddie ahead of time that this is a no soda voyage).



But perhaps they'll be happy with the free wave pool!
You can take soda on with you, but only for use in your own cabin. You can call for ice. The wife and I are big soda drinkers (neither of us drink alcohol), and so we took a 24 can case on with us (and then topped up the supply in Juneau).
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#20
West Central OH
3,411 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by alwaysfrantic
Haha. Okay. Will not keep wandering around the ship getting caffeine withdrawal headaches looking for Constellations!

How much are specialty coffees in this bar? In the evenings is it known for some other type of drink?
Specialty coffees cost about the same as my favorite coffee place at home. The hours for the Explorations Cafe are listed in the daily program. When it closes, no other beverage service is done from that same location.

Explorations Cafe also has a display case of lovely snack items, little fancy sandwiches, cookies, pastry and cake. They are free, all you have to do is ask. The selection changes from day to day and depending on time of day.
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21 HAL Cruises, 1 Princess, 1 Royal Caribbean, 1 Uniworld Rhine River, 1 Viking Amsterdam to Budapest. Next up: Viking Sea Caribbean cruise (maybe, if ports are open by that time)