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

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1. You are not limited to ordering just off of the room service menu. You can order almost anything from the main dining room menu through room service and have it delivered to your cabin.

2. On the room service menu, you can write in additional items that are served at breakfast throughout the ship and they will bring them to you.

3. The Hotel Service Charge covers all your tipping whilst on board. There is no need to provide additional tips. If you wish to tip extra, I recommend that you increase your Hotel Service Charge.

4. HAL passengers love to line up. They enjoy lining up to get on the ship and lining up to get off the ship. Whenever you arrive in a port, passengers will start lining up early to get off the ship. Just wait until about 30 minutes after arriving in port and you can easily walk directly off the ship.

5. Bring a small table cloth if you plan to dine on your balcony. It will elevate the experience even more.

 

I'm new to HAL. So please forgive the silly question but is room service free?

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I think they say 48 hr turnaround, don't quote me though :D We've gotten ours back 24 to 36 hours after sending it. It has never taken 48 houts.

 

Sounds like an underpromise/over deliver approach to customer service...which is a good thing.

 

Thanks.

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I'm new to HAL. So please forgive the silly question but is room service free?

 

It is free and 24/7 with just a call.

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It is free and 24/7 with just a call.

 

As stated before. Room service is free

 

Also as stated before you can order anything off the MDR menu if you call for your meals between 5:30 and 6:00 pm. This is also free.

 

It will be delivered to your room at the time you choose between 5:30 and 9:00), but you must order your meal in the first half hour the dining room is open for the evening meal (5:30-6:00)

 

If you wish to see the MDR menu before supper/dining time.

 

Go to the dining room captain any time during the day and ask for a complimentary copy of that days menu. They will be happy to provide you with a souvenir copy.

 

If you are in a Neptune Suite a copy of the next nights menu is left in your room as part of the turn down service.;)

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Do ocean view rooms on the Amsterdam have fridges in them? My husband needs one for his meds.

 

No they don't but you can rent a cooler for about $3.00 a day.. That's what our Friends do..Ask your Travel Agent to set it up or call Reservations & ask to be transferred to Ships Services..Sorry I don't have their direct Number..

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In post Number 6, it was recommended to increase the Hotel service charge if you receive exceptional service & really wish to give an additional tip/thanks to someone..

 

We do not do it this way...On our many cruises we've found there are some special people who have gone over & above for us...We give them cash in an envelope with a Thank you note for taking care of us.. In addition we also mention their names on the evaluation e-mail which HAL will send you after your cruise, asking for your comments..

 

Bear in mind if you increase the Service charge, not only your immediate Stewards will receive the additional cash.. All those behind the scenes will also share in it, as you can't specify it for one person..When you leave the Hotel Service charge on your tab any extra cash given to your stewards is theirs to keep & does not have to be shared...

Edited by serendipity1499

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I'm new to HAL. So please forgive the silly question but is room service free?

 

Room service is free but we always give a few dollars tip depending on what the steward delivers.. Obviously for a a full meal we give more.. BTW they are always prompt, or even a bit early so if you want to give them a few dollars, put it in your pocket as they deliver & rush out to do other deliveries..

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What a great thread! We are cruising HAL for the first time in October . We are seasoned cruisers but of course, every line is different.

HAL for Dummies, I love it :)

Sue

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>SNIP<

 

The daily deal is a great idea because it really cuts down on luggage and is much nicer than washing your stuff in the bathroom sink.

 

Every cabin I've been in has a pull-out clothes line in the shower or tub. So if you do decide to wash items in the sink, you can use the line to hang them to dry. (Just another tip :) not a judgment on washing things in the sink.)

 

Also, the smaller ships have self-serve laundry. Last time I used one it was $2 for a load of washing, and $1 for a load of drying.

 

(I am starting to sound laundry-obsessed. I'll try to get that under control :D )

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Do ocean view rooms on the Amsterdam have fridges in them? My husband needs one for his meds.

 

Gloria - HAL does NOT recommend that you keep meds in the fridge in your room as they do not guarantee the temperatures. A regular ocean view room does not have a fridge but you can rent one - but I recommend against that.

 

I also travel with temperature sensitive meds and always have them stored the medical facility as they monitor the temps of the fridges. I just put them into a zip bag, add my name and cabin number to the bag and they store them. Also do the same to the freezer packs and they will put those in the freezer for me so it is ready to go when it is time to disembark. The medical facility opens at 8 am on most days and stays open until about 6-7 each evening, with an hour break for lunch. Have asked the staff if they could open early one day as we had a 1st off tour to the pyramids and one of the nurses opened up at 7 for me to get my meds.

 

Please reconsider keeping your meds in the room fridge as we have had soda freeze in 1 fridge - it was a mess!

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Hi,

 

 

Thanks for your reply. I have now ruled out renting a fridge. I will tell my husband about your idea. I'm sure that will work fine. I appreciate the information. Gloria

 

Gloria - HAL does NOT recommend that you keep meds in the fridge in your room as they do not guarantee the temperatures. A regular ocean view room does not have a fridge but you can rent one - but I recommend against that.

 

I also travel with temperature sensitive meds and always have them stored the medical facility as they monitor the temps of the fridges. I just put them into a zip bag, add my name and cabin number to the bag and they store them. Also do the same to the freezer packs and they will put those in the freezer for me so it is ready to go when it is time to disembark. The medical facility opens at 8 am on most days and stays open until about 6-7 each evening, with an hour break for lunch. Have asked the staff if they could open early one day as we had a 1st off tour to the pyramids and one of the nurses opened up at 7 for me to get my meds.

 

Please reconsider keeping your meds in the room fridge as we have had soda freeze in 1 fridge - it was a mess!

 

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Complimentary hors d’oeuvres are served during evening hours in the lounges upon request. These are different than the Starters in the Main Dining Room. We love to go to the Crow’s Nest, listen to the music and have hors d’oeuvres before dinner. Complimentary cold appetizers and freshly-made snack bars are also available throughout the day in the Explorations Café. In the Daily Program, there’s usually a listing for A Little Something, offering the Pinnacle Grill's appetizer for that evening (while there’s a charge for the beverages offered, in my experience you can request only the appetizer, which is complimentary. I get them to go).

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Is the Lido open for a casual dinner? I've not cruised HAL before but am looking at a port-intensive cruise for next year. I'd like a casual dining option for the evenings that I'm worn out from the day ashore.

 

And, if this is an option, please tell me about it. Buffet? Salad bar? Types of food, etc.

 

Thank you!

Edited by Beach4me

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Is the Lido open for a casual dinner? I've not cruised HAL before but am looking at a port-intensive cruise for next year. I'd like a casual dining option for the evenings that I'm worn out from the day ashore.

 

And, if this is an option, please tell me about it. Buffet? Salad bar? Types of food, etc.

 

Thank you!

 

Yes it is, with pretty much the same food as in the MDR, plus lots of other choices. Excellent salad bar, too. There are different stations, depending on what your preference is.

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Do ocean view rooms on the Amsterdam have fridges in them? My husband needs one for his meds.

 

Can't speak re the Amsterdam, but we were quite upset not to have refrigerators on the Veendam this month, nor did they have any to rent. We had to leave my husband's insulin pens in the Medical Office.

 

There was a refrigerator in our Prinsendam cabin last year, also ocean view.

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first of all I want to say how friendly & helpful this HAL forum is!I booked our first HAL cruise for next year,and have learned so much already!Thank you so much.

 

This is for those of you who have sailed on both DCL and HAL,as this is our 1st with HAL,and we're doing our 4th DCL next month.We're both in our early 60's,so I'd love to hear what you have to offer.Oh,and our first trip will be on the Eurodam on the Navgation Deck to Western Car. in March next year!;)

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Instead of keeping your extra pens or vials in the medical center, you might want to get yourself a FRIO Pack. You soak the liner till it swells some, it has polymer beads in it, and put your vials or pens in there, then slip it in a fabric cover. You can carry it in a purse or carryon like this, and also keep it in your cabin, hotel room, etc. It will keep the items at a safe temperature for four or more days. Don't let it totally dry out. Then you soak the liner again (it takes less time if it isn't dry). I've been using one for years, and you could ask for more references on the Disability section.

 

Where do you get a Frio Pack? Well, I can't recommend a place, but Uncle Google is your friend :rolleyes: They come in all sizes from those for one or two pens to those carrying several vials.

 

M.

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first of all I want to say how friendly & helpful this HAL forum is!I booked our first HAL cruise for next year,and have learned so much already!Thank you so much.

 

This is for those of you who have sailed on both DCL and HAL,as this is our 1st with HAL,and we're doing our 4th DCL next month.We're both in our early 60's,so I'd love to hear what you have to offer.Oh,and our first trip will be on the Eurodam on the Navgation Deck to Western Car. in March next year!;)

Rather than ask the question here ( as I fear it would be missed), I would start a new thread asking the question where those who have sailed both would have a better chance of seeing this.

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Instead of keeping your extra pens or vials in the medical center, you might want to get yourself a FRIO Pack. You soak the liner till it swells some, it has polymer beads in it, and put your vials or pens in there, then slip it in a fabric cover. You can carry it in a purse or carryon like this, and also keep it in your cabin, hotel room, etc. It will keep the items at a safe temperature for four or more days. Don't let it totally dry out. Then you soak the liner again (it takes less time if it isn't dry). I've been using one for years, and you could ask for more references on the Disability section.

 

Where do you get a Frio Pack? Well, I can't recommend a place, but Uncle Google is your friend :rolleyes: They come in all sizes from those for one or two pens to those carrying several vials.

 

M.

 

available at the company - http://www.frioinsulincoolingcase.com/

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I know this has already been mentioned, but perhaps it needs emphasis as recent discussions show:

 

WINE POLICY: You are limited to taking on board 1 -750 ml bottle of wine per passenger (Not 2 per cabin - solos take note).

You may NOT take boxed wine onboard.

You may take additional bottles of wine and pay $18 per bottle corkage for each. These bottles can be taken to the MDR for consumption.

If you take a "free" bottle to the MDR, you must pay the corkage there.

 

Hope that covers it, perhaps others can add anything I've missed.

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Gloria - HAL does NOT recommend that you keep meds in the fridge in your room as they do not guarantee the temperatures. A regular ocean view room does not have a fridge but you can rent one - but I recommend against that.

 

I also travel with temperature sensitive meds and always have them stored the medical facility as they monitor the temps of the fridges. I just put them into a zip bag, add my name and cabin number to the bag and they store them. Also do the same to the freezer packs and they will put those in the freezer for me so it is ready to go when it is time to disembark. The medical facility opens at 8 am on most days and stays open until about 6-7 each evening, with an hour break for lunch. Have asked the staff if they could open early one day as we had a 1st off tour to the pyramids and one of the nurses opened up at 7 for me to get my meds.

 

 

 

Please reconsider keeping your meds in the room fridge as we have had soda freeze in 1 fridge - it was a mess!

 

Please check with your pharmacist about the necessity of storing medications at particular temperatures. Most insulins are now good for at least 28 days at room temperature and some for 42 days. I can think of very few that MUST be kept refridgerated. Please note, I am a pharmacist!

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The HAL for Dummies is a God-send - even though I am a 2-Star Marriner!

 

Our plane is coming in at 7:00AM - the day of our cruise. The ship leaves at 4:45pm.

 

If we opt for the transfer service from HA from the airport to the cruiseport, would our luggage be loaded directly from the bus to the ship?

 

I would think that the bus would get to the port by 9:00 and we probably would not be able board for another three hours and would hate to wait around guarding our luggage!

 

Thanks

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There is also "stuff a bag" where you can send out a bag of laundry for $20 (N. America, not sure about the cost in other areas).

 

How big/small is the bag?

 

Thanks

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How big/small is the bag?

 

Thanks

 

Lordy, kind of hard to describe. Small pillow case size, maybe. But you can stuff a heck of lot into it by rolling everything up. It's a great deal.

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