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 03:22 PM.
New Mexico
5,603 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by oellett
Thank you so much!! This is perfect! It is the same with Celebrity they are no longer formal nights but I can't remember their term. My parents are relying on me for guidance for this trip as this is only their 2nd cruise, so I want to make sure I give them the right info and they don't over pack. We are looking forward to the ship and the cruise!
Happy Sailings!!
Only collared shirts and slacks are required for Gala Nights, which means that polo shirts are fine and you can leave your jacket at home. Of course you may dress as formal as you wish if you have some extra room in your luggage for what that entails.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Photo Reviews -OR--Menus, On Locations, and More

Upcoming:

Konigsdam - Caribbean - December 2018 (11 days)
Westerdam - Alaska+Denali - June 2019 (11 days)
Nieuw Statendam - Caribbean - December 2019 (14 days)

Previous HAL Cruises - Days:
Alaska-124, Caribbean-85, Panama Canal-20, Mexico-7, Pacific Coastal-14
Zaandam - Alaska - May 2018 (14 days)
Westerdam - Pacific Coastal - April 2018 (4 days)
Oosterdam- Alaska - May 2008 (7 days)
Westerdam - Alaska - May 2009 (7 days)
Westerdam - Caribbean (Eastern & Southern) - Feb 2010 (14 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Caribbean (Western) - Nov 2010 (7 days)
Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera - April 2011 (7 days)
Zuiderdam - Alaska - Sep 2011 (B2B 14 days)
Noordam - Caribbean Seafarer - Mar 2012 (11 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Caribbean (Western) - Nov 2012 (7 days)
Westerdam - Caribbean (Southern) - Dec 2012 (7 days)
Zuiderdam - Alaska - May 2013 (B2B 14 days)
Zuiderdam - Panama Canal Sunfarer- Nov 2013 (10 days)
Westerdam - Alaska - Jul 2014 (B2B 14 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Dec 2014 Caribbean - (East-West 14 days)
Noordam - Pacific Coastal - May 2015 (5 days)
Noordam - Alaska - May 2015 (B2B 14 days)

Oosterdam - Southern Caribbean - Nov 2015
(11 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Pacific Coastal - Apr 2016 (5 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska Inside Passage - April 2016 (B2B 14 days)
Zuiderdam - Panama Canal - Nov 2016 (10 days)
Noordam - Alaska - Jun 2017 (Northbound + Denali) (12 days)
Veendam - Caribbean Seafarer - Dec 2017 (14 days)
USA
78 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Originally posted by Crew News
Only collared shirts and slacks are required for Gala Nights, which means that polo shirts are fine and you can leave your jacket at home. Of course you may dress as formal as you wish if you have some extra room in your luggage for what that entails.

Thank you! this will really help as my dad doesn't want to wear a jacket. :-). I will give him the good news!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature




Celebrity Silhouette 2013
Celebrity Equinox 2012
Carnival Valor 2005
RC Mariner of the Seas 2003
Celebrity Century 2001
Carnival Paradise 2000
USA
78 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Hello Everyone,

I have read that HAL allows you to bring your soft drinks on board, my dad is the only person who drinks sodas, mom and I stick with water or tea and NONE of us drink alocholic drinks... we may order a bottler of champagne one night just to toast we are cruising together but that is about it. Anyway, my question is can my dad bring a six pack or 12 pack of soda on board for his consumption? If he runs out he can buy at a port and bring on board. I have also ready somewhere that there is a soda card that you pay $25 for $50 worth of soft drinks (hope I understood properly). If that card does exist can we buy non alcoholic drinks with that or is it strictly sodas?

On prior cruises I normally do not worry about this when I cruise with my husband as I mentioned, neither one drinks sodas. My husband just buys wine at dinner (pay as we go), and I normally get a non-alcoholic foo-foo drink at dinner and stick with water. We just do not buy enough alcoholic drinks to warrant buying drink packages. But want to make sure I get the best deal and correct info for my dad.

Thank you so much,
Happy Sailing.
Olivia
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature




Celebrity Silhouette 2013
Celebrity Equinox 2012
Carnival Valor 2005
RC Mariner of the Seas 2003
Celebrity Century 2001
Carnival Paradise 2000
Warwick, R.I. , USA
39,080 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Bottles and cans of soda can be brought aboard at initial embarkation, and at all the ports during the cruise.
The $25 for $50 soda card is for soda only; you cannot purchase coffees, mocktails, or any other beverages with it.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
CCASE/LSSE

Chocolate is to women what duct tape is to men.
It fixes everything.
USA
78 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Originally posted by RuthC
Bottles and cans of soda can be brought aboard at initial embarkation, and at all the ports during the cruise.
The $25 for $50 soda card is for soda only; you cannot purchase coffees, mocktails, or any other beverages with it.

Thank you! I think we will bring his soft drinks on board and mom and I will purchase or foo-foo non alcoholic drinks during the cruise! :-) .
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature




Celebrity Silhouette 2013
Celebrity Equinox 2012
Carnival Valor 2005
RC Mariner of the Seas 2003
Celebrity Century 2001
Carnival Paradise 2000
Mojave Desert
1,041 Posts
Joined Oct 2016
Originally posted by oellett
Hello Everyone,

I have read that HAL allows you to bring your soft drinks on board, my dad is the only person who drinks sodas, mom and I stick with water or tea and NONE of us drink alocholic drinks... we may order a bottler of champagne one night just to toast we are cruising together but that is about it. Anyway, my question is can my dad bring a six pack or 12 pack of soda on board for his consumption? If he runs out he can buy at a port and bring on board. I have also ready somewhere that there is a soda card that you pay $25 for $50 worth of soft drinks (hope I understood properly). If that card does exist can we buy non alcoholic drinks with that or is it strictly sodas?

On prior cruises I normally do not worry about this when I cruise with my husband as I mentioned, neither one drinks sodas. My husband just buys wine at dinner (pay as we go), and I normally get a non-alcoholic foo-foo drink at dinner and stick with water. We just do not buy enough alcoholic drinks to warrant buying drink packages. But want to make sure I get the best deal and correct info for my dad.

Thank you so much,
Happy Sailing.
Olivia
HAL has no objection to pax bringing on soft drinks. Last cruise, I had three 2-liter bottles in
a plastic grocery store bag, slapped on a luggage tag, and it made it fine to our cabin. (YMMV
depending on how thirsty the longshoremen are)

Aboard, there is a soft-drink card, but I've never used it because all HAL carries is Coke
products and after drinking Pepsi for a while they taste weird.
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
New Mexico
5,603 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by oellett
Hello Everyone,

I have read that HAL allows you to bring your soft drinks on board, my dad is the only person who drinks sodas, mom and I stick with water or tea and NONE of us drink alocholic drinks... we may order a bottler of champagne one night just to toast we are cruising together but that is about it. Anyway, my question is can my dad bring a six pack or 12 pack of soda on board for his consumption? If he runs out he can buy at a port and bring on board. I have also ready somewhere that there is a soda card that you pay $25 for $50 worth of soft drinks (hope I understood properly). If that card does exist can we buy non alcoholic drinks with that or is it strictly sodas?

On prior cruises I normally do not worry about this when I cruise with my husband as I mentioned, neither one drinks sodas. My husband just buys wine at dinner (pay as we go), and I normally get a non-alcoholic foo-foo drink at dinner and stick with water. We just do not buy enough alcoholic drinks to warrant buying drink packages. But want to make sure I get the best deal and correct info for my dad.

Thank you so much,
Happy Sailing.
Olivia
You can also bring sodas for your father in your carry-on luggage as well. If you are flying to the port, I recommend bringing an empty collapsible duffel bag with you and fill it with sodas before you head to the port. There is no limit as to how many carry-on bags you bring aboard but make sure the soda-filled duffel bag can ride on top of a roller bag so you don't have to lug it.

The $25 soda card is limited to what is available in a bar's soda gun and that is very limited.

When you meet your Room Steward on Embarkation Day, ask them to remove everything from your minibar and you can then move your sodas to the "chilled" minibar.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Photo Reviews -OR--Menus, On Locations, and More

Upcoming:

Konigsdam - Caribbean - December 2018 (11 days)
Westerdam - Alaska+Denali - June 2019 (11 days)
Nieuw Statendam - Caribbean - December 2019 (14 days)

Previous HAL Cruises - Days:
Alaska-124, Caribbean-85, Panama Canal-20, Mexico-7, Pacific Coastal-14
Zaandam - Alaska - May 2018 (14 days)
Westerdam - Pacific Coastal - April 2018 (4 days)
Oosterdam- Alaska - May 2008 (7 days)
Westerdam - Alaska - May 2009 (7 days)
Westerdam - Caribbean (Eastern & Southern) - Feb 2010 (14 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Caribbean (Western) - Nov 2010 (7 days)
Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera - April 2011 (7 days)
Zuiderdam - Alaska - Sep 2011 (B2B 14 days)
Noordam - Caribbean Seafarer - Mar 2012 (11 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Caribbean (Western) - Nov 2012 (7 days)
Westerdam - Caribbean (Southern) - Dec 2012 (7 days)
Zuiderdam - Alaska - May 2013 (B2B 14 days)
Zuiderdam - Panama Canal Sunfarer- Nov 2013 (10 days)
Westerdam - Alaska - Jul 2014 (B2B 14 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Dec 2014 Caribbean - (East-West 14 days)
Noordam - Pacific Coastal - May 2015 (5 days)
Noordam - Alaska - May 2015 (B2B 14 days)

Oosterdam - Southern Caribbean - Nov 2015
(11 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Pacific Coastal - Apr 2016 (5 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska Inside Passage - April 2016 (B2B 14 days)
Zuiderdam - Panama Canal - Nov 2016 (10 days)
Noordam - Alaska - Jun 2017 (Northbound + Denali) (12 days)
Veendam - Caribbean Seafarer - Dec 2017 (14 days)
USA
78 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Originally posted by Crew News
You can also bring sodas for your father in our carry-on luggage as well. Bring an empty group collapsible duffel bag with you if you are flying to the port and fill it with sodas before you head to the port. There is no limit as to how many carry-on bags you aboard bring but make sure the duffel bag can ride on top of a roller bag so you don't have to lug it.

The $25 soda card is limited to what is available in a bar's soda gun and that is very limited.

When you meet your Room Steward on Embarkation Day, ask them to remove everything from your minibar and you can then move your sodas to the "chilled" minibar.

Thank you so much! I greatly appreciate all of the information received. We live in So. Cal and my husband will be dropping us off at the San Diego port. We will make sure we have sodas with us for him and can always purchase at the port if needed. This will save me some money to spend on something else. This cruise is my parents Christmas gift from my husband and I; my parents do not travel long distances by themselves anymore so I am tagging along for the ride Hubby and I normally cruise with Celebrity but they have limited sailings from So. Cal. My parents' friends took this cruise last year and loved it so we figured it was a good choice. My first time cruising with HAL and looking forward to it. WE love to cruise!!
Happy Sailings!!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature




Celebrity Silhouette 2013
Celebrity Equinox 2012
Carnival Valor 2005
RC Mariner of the Seas 2003
Celebrity Century 2001
Carnival Paradise 2000
Burien
1,215 Posts
Joined Dec 2015
Originally posted by oellett
Thank you so much! I greatly appreciate all of the information received. We live in So. Cal and my husband will be dropping us off at the San Diego port. We will make sure we have sodas with us for him and can always purchase at the port if needed. This will save me some money to spend on something else. This cruise is my parents Christmas gift from my husband and I; my parents do not travel long distances by themselves anymore so I am tagging along for the ride Hubby and I normally cruise with Celebrity but they have limited sailings from So. Cal. My parents' friends took this cruise last year and loved it so we figured it was a good choice. My first time cruising with HAL and looking forward to it. WE love to cruise!!
Happy Sailings!!
Kudos for assisting your parents on a cruise that's convenient for them. Our first two cruises were with my wife's parents (one on Carnival out of Long Beach and the other on HAL to Alaska) and it got us started enjoying cruising.


When in ports, one of the things we like to do is walk through local supermarkets or convenience stores. Quite often, soda can be purchased relatively cheap overseas especially soda water which we both enjoy. As has been stated above, you can bring on all you like.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Tim
**** Star HAL Mariner
Past Cruises also on Celebrity, Carnival, Uniworld, and Royal Caribbean
Hillsborough, North Carolina
6 Posts
Joined Feb 2018
My wife and I have never sailed on HAL. We are going to take a Panama Canal cruise on the Volendam this November (2018) and have a few questions:
1) Do the cabins have a small refrigerator?
2) We assume HAL does not permit small steamer devices?
3) We are on the third deck "Lower Promenade" deck and is there a laundry on this deck? Or has it been removed after the ship was refurbished?
4) We have been in the Celebrity Reflection on a Mediterranean cruise and felt that the pools were always very crowded, and it was hard to find a lawn chair. Is that a problem on the Volendam ?

Any feedback is appreciated...

Thanks in advance, Patrick
Warwick, R.I. , USA
39,080 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Originally posted by scubapack
My wife and I have never sailed on HAL. We are going to take a Panama Canal cruise on the Volendam this November (2018) and have a few questions:
...

Any feedback is appreciated...

Thanks in advance, Patrick
1.) Inside and outside cabins do not have a fridge; you are in one of those cabins. You can rent a fridge for $2/day; where to put it without taking up too much space can be a problem.
2.) You assume correctly---no irons or steamers allowed. You can send garments out for pressing and pay "by the piece", or purchase a pressing-only package good for the length of the cruise.
3.) There was a self-service laundry on Lower Promenade, just aft of the atrium. I don't know if it's still there, though.

4.) Deck chairs can be found right outside on Lower Promenade! Some of the best seats and views on the ship. But there are usually plenty around the pools, too.

Enjoy your first HAL cruise!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
CCASE/LSSE

Chocolate is to women what duct tape is to men.
It fixes everything.
Hillsborough, North Carolina
6 Posts
Joined Feb 2018
Originally posted by RuthC
1.) Inside and outside cabins do not have a fridge; you are in one of those cabins. You can rent a fridge for $2/day; where to put it without taking up too much space can be a problem.
2.) You assume correctly---no irons or steamers allowed. You can send garments out for pressing and pay "by the piece", or purchase a pressing-only package good for the length of the cruise.
3.) There was a self-service laundry on Lower Promenade, just aft of the atrium. I don't know if it's still there, though.

4.) Deck chairs can be found right outside on Lower Promenade! Some of the best seats and views on the ship. But there are usually plenty around the pools, too.

Enjoy your first HAL cruise!
Thanks for the quick reply Ruth... We are excited and can't wait for the cruise. I made a similar cruise with my father a few years ago and really enjoyed the ports. So I am excited to share the same experience with my wife. All the best, Patrick & Beckie
122 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
Thank you to all that have the patience in answering probably the same questions over and over. I was wondering if anyone could "resubmit" to these questions:

1. On Koningsdam: key or card swipe for safe?

2. Is there a "welcome aboard drink" with "souvenir glass and how much?

3. Is there "unlimited" photo package and the cost if so. Also, the present cost of small and large photos?

4. Is the promotion for Explore 4 Sig.Package listed on cabin card or is there a separate card?

5. I understand that the hotel has shuttle service (which does seem inexpensive), however, if we decide to go at a different time, does anyone know the cost of taxi from Hilton Marina, Ft. L to the pier?

I really do appreciate all the insights on this thread!
C/BB
Fort Lauderdale, FL
11,614 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Originally posted by 123Funcruiser456
Thank you to all that have the patience in answering probably the same questions over and over. I was wondering if anyone could "resubmit" to these questions:

1. On Koningsdam: key or card swipe for safe?

2. Is there a "welcome aboard drink" with "souvenir glass and how much?

3. Is there "unlimited" photo package and the cost if so. Also, the present cost of small and large photos?

4. Is the promotion for Explore 4 Sig.Package listed on cabin card or is there a separate card?

5. I understand that the hotel has shuttle service (which does seem inexpensive), however, if we decide to go at a different time, does anyone know the cost of taxi from Hilton Marina, Ft. L to the pier?

I really do appreciate all the insights on this thread!
C/BB
1. Safe is a code you set.

3. There is a photo package, but I don't know the current price.

4. Tied to your room card.

5. Taxi should be less than $12. You're right outside the port entrance.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
The mail thing: poa1 - at - instituteofcheer.com
Central Florida
1,103 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
Does Maasdam have the taco bar?

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

North Central Florida
5,840 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Yes, Taco bar on Maasdam by Dive In.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Carole

Cruising now: Not until - P'dam over Christmas/New Years

Prinsendam 14-DAY CARIBBEAN HOLIDAY Dec 2018
------------------ 2019
Oosterdam 7-DAY TROPICAL CARIBBEAN Jan 2019
Rotterdam 7-DAY WESTERN CARIBBEAN Jan 2019 (Tampa)

Past cruises:
Costa Flavia 1975 - 4 day Bahamas
Sarah - 2005 - 7 day Barge - W&S Netherlands [Road Scholar]
Maasdam Jan 2015 - 10 day Southern Caribbean B2B
Zuiderdam Jan 2015 - 10 day Southern Caribbean & Panama Canal Sunfarer [Road Scholar]
AmaCerto May 2015 - 14 day Amsterdam - Budapest [Road Scholar]
Brilliance otS Nov 2015 - 5 day Western Caribbean
Nieuw Amsterdam Dec 2015 - 7-day Western Caribbean;
Zuiderdam Dec 2015 14-day W/E Caribbean Holiday Collector
Oosterdam Jan 2016 21-day Southern Caribbean Seafarer/Wayfarer
Westerdam Mar 2016 21-day Panama Canal Fort Lauderdale to San Diego; B2B
Westerdam Apr 2016 35-day Circle Hawai`i, Tahiti & Marqueses: San Diego to Seattle [Road Scholar]
Prinsendam May 2016 16-day Azores and Normandy Explorer - FLL to IJmuiden [Amsterdam] Last HAL ship out
Avalon Tranquility II & Poetry II Jun 2016 16-day Rhine & Rhône Revealed/SB - Amsterdam to Côte d’Azur (Rhine, Saône & Rhône)
Queen Mary 2 June 2016 8-day Trans-Atlantic crossing Southampton - NYC
Zuiderdam Oct 2016 12-day The Atlantic Coast - Quebec City to FLL First HAL ship back
Amsterdam Dec 2016 14-day Panama Canal Holiday SD to FLL

Nieuw Amsterdam Jan 2017 21-Day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer/Seafarer
Koningsdam Feb 2017 7-Day Eastern Caribbean
Oosterdam Mar 2017 7-Day Western Caribbean [out of Tampa]
Nieuw Amsterdam - Dec 2017 17-Day Bahamas, W/E Caribbean Holiday Collector
Zaandam - Apr 2018 23-Day Repo FLL-Seattle
Maasdam June 2018 7-Day Canada & NE Discovery
Central Florida
1,103 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
Yes, Taco bar on Maasdam by Dive In.
Great! Thank you!!
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

SC Coast
101 Posts
Joined Oct 2016
I thought HAL had to remove all Taco Bars due to health safety rules re- on deck serve yourself food issues. Does the Maasdam really still have one?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

7 HAL, 22 Princess, 1 RCCL, 2 Carnival

Athens, GA
2,908 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by regnig
I thought HAL had to remove all Taco Bars due to health safety rules re- on deck serve yourself food issues. Does the Maasdam really still have one?
HAL had to remove the on deck BBQ they had one night a week where they set up food along the Lido Pool. The issue had to do with hand wash stations and fire protection not being near enough.

Taco Bars still exist, currently on Rotterdam.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Zaandam W Caribbean 2000, Alaska 2006, Hawaii 2013 | Maasdam E Caribbean 2001, W Caribbean Christmas 2003, East Coast Relocation 2012 Southern Caribbean 2015| Zuiderdam E Caribbean 2003, W Caribbean 2004, E Caribbean 2005, Panama Canal 2010, Alaska and Full Panama Canal 2014 | Volendam E Caribbean 2007 | Westerdam E Caribbean 2008 Med Cruise 2017| Ryndam W Caribbean 2009 | Noordam S Caribbean 2012 | Eurodam E Caribbean 2013 | Veendam Canada / New England 2014, Canada / New England 2016 Canada / New England 2017 | Oosterdam Southern Caribbean 2015 | Prinsendam Southern Caribbean Christmas/New Years 2016 | Koningsdam Eastern Caribbean 2017 | Rotterdam Voyage of the Vikings 2018

I am umbilically connected to the temperate zone
It brought me life, it brought me love I never have outgrown
It brought me one too many nights along that Biscayne shore
And one too many mornings in the Grove Drug Store
Everybody's Got a Cousin in Miami
Jimmy Buffett, Michael Tcshudin
Charleston, SC
43 Posts
Joined Aug 2017
Originally posted by regnig
I thought HAL had to remove all Taco Bars due to health safety rules re- on deck serve yourself food issues. Does the Maasdam really still have one?
Our cruise ended 12 May 2018. There was still a daily Taco Bar on that cruise.