HAL newbie with Meet & Greet and also Gala Night questions

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9,685 Posts
Joined May 2009
Hi everyone, my wife and I are experienced cruisers, but haven't sailed HAL before. We are booked on the Zuiderdam's 2018 Viking Passage, and are very excited about the itinerary and about trying HAL!

This board is great and has been very helpful already. I do have a few quick questions. First, does HAL arrange a Meet & Great if passengers organize a list on their Roll Call and then contact HAL about it? From my reading on here, that seems to be the case, but I wanted to be sure before anyone goes to any trouble. Also, who at HAL do you contact?

Second, and unrelated, it looks like Gala Nights have replaced formal nights, correct? How many can we expect on a 20-night cruise? In terms of the dress code, clearly no tuxes are required for men, but do women need to be a cut above what I'd call "smart casual?" In other words, for women, are things like a glitzy top and dressy slacks necessary? (Dresses are not making this trip.)

And if we don't feel like being that dressed up on any of those nights, are our only dinner options room service and the Lido? (I read that the specialty restaurants observe the Gala Night dress code; if that's not correct, I hope someone will correct me! )

I appreciate any tips and advice, we truly are looking forward to sailing HAL! Thanks!
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107,632 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Sorry I can't help you with the Meet & Greet.

Gala nights have replaced formal nights. On our 21 day cruise we had 4 Gala Nights.

The majority of the men wore slacks and a collared shirt -- no jacket or tie. And this was attire for the Pinnacle Grill. Ladies wore nice slacks or skirts with nice tops or dresses. We saw only a handful of people really dressed up.
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Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.
New Brunswick
41,587 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
You are understanding the Meet and Greet correctly. HAL gives you the space and sets it aside. Someone on the roll call organizes as to who is coming, etc., asks HAL for a time and informs them of the numbers.

Whoever is doing it should let the shipboard co-ordinator know the final numbers by 30 days out.

To set up a Meet and Greet, just email or call the shipboard co-ordinator (On Board Events Services Coordinator). (I think the # is still 877-885-4259) or you can call ship services at 1-800-542-1576 and they should transfer you. They will usually help you out and email the confirmation to you. At that time you will find who is taking care of your ship.

Gala nights - correct again. You don't have to really "dress up". Some people do and some people don't. How much really seems to depend on the itinerary and the demographic on board. You can certainly just wear smart casual to the Lido any night.

Hope this helps a bit.
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399 Posts
Joined May 2012
Kazu covered the Gala Night dress quite well. Have noticed on cool weather cruises, higher percentage are "dressed up" than in warm weather. Often, women are a bit more "dressed up' than men. Not a scientific study.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
659 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
I wore jeans and a nice top for Gala Nights ... Not an issue. I don't have a clue what slacks even really are ?
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10-09-2013 Noordam
12-22-2013 Rotterdam

9,685 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by Lovely other
I wore jeans and a nice top for Gala Nights ... Not an issue. I don't have a clue what slacks even really are ?
Thanks for the info. I use "slacks" to describe things that aren't denim/jeans.