Jump to content
Host Walt

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

Recommended Posts

We are cruising for the first time in a long time and first time using a travel agent. Our TA booked us at 8pm for dining each night on our cruise and I'm a little concerned because what if we get hungry at 6pm? Do we have to wait till 8 or can we go earlier?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We are cruising for the first time in a long time and first time using a travel agent. Our TA booked us at 8pm for dining each night on our cruise and I'm a little concerned because what if we get hungry at 6pm? Do we have to wait till 8 or can we go earlier?

 

No, you cannot go earlier. You could switch to "Anytime" or "Open" dining, where you go when you want and can request seating with others or on your own, and wait times depend on what is available. Many passengers prefer this option. You cannot switch back, once you change to Open dining. Or you could see if you can switch to early dining (usually around 5:30 pm) when you board.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We are cruising for the first time in a long time and first time using a travel agent. Our TA booked us at 8pm for dining each night on our cruise and I'm a little concerned because what if we get hungry at 6pm? Do we have to wait till 8 or can we go earlier?

 

No, you cannot go earlier. You could switch to "Anytime" or "Open" dining, where you go when you want and can request seating with others or on your own, and wait times depend on what is available. Many passengers prefer this option. You cannot switch back, once you change to Open dining. Or you could see if you can switch to early dining (usually around 5:30 pm) when you board.

 

You also have the option to eat at the Lido any time during the dinner period, either for a full meal or a snack to "tide you over" until your meal time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about dress code for dinner in the MDR? Will blue jeans and a polo or button up short sleeve be sufficient? We are starting a one year round the world trip and the cruise is our first step of the trip to get us to Europe. Formal clothes won't be very practical to stuff in the backpacks.

 

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What about dress code for dinner in the MDR? Will blue jeans and a polo or button up short sleeve be sufficient? We are starting a one year round the world trip and the cruise is our first step of the trip to get us to Europe. Formal clothes won't be very practical to stuff in the backpacks.

 

Thanks

 

We definitely saw jeans in the MDR on our recent cruise. On formal nights you might want to try the buffet or room service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I hope someone can answer this question. We are experienced cruisers but new to HAL. Will be on the Z 17Nov 2014

 

The meet and greet says at the Digital Workshop.

What deck is this on? I don't see it in the Deck Plan.

Also - will a ship officer or rep be there for the meeting also?

 

Does the safety drill involve going outside to the deck?

And is it with or without lifejackets?

 

We've been through the Canal already - going this time to see the progress on the "new" Canal lane.

 

Thanks. Peg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I hope someone can answer this question. We are experienced cruisers but new to HAL. Will be on the Z 17Nov 2014

 

The meet and greet says at the Digital Workshop.

What deck is this on? I don't see it in the Deck Plan.

Also - will a ship officer or rep be there for the meeting also?

 

Does the safety drill involve going outside to the deck?

And is it with or without lifejackets?

 

We've been through the Canal already - going this time to see the progress on the "new" Canal lane.

 

Thanks. Peg

 

 

 

That M&G is not a Cruise Critic M&G - it is HAL's facebook groups one. Very few people actually go to that. There is a Cruise Critic roll call for your cruise, and likely a M&G organised... go here: http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1889577

 

Yes, the safety drill is on deck 3, I believe - where the lifeboats are. Your lifeboat number will be printed on your card. Listen to the announcements, usually it is around 4:15pm. No, do not take your life jacket.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm not sure exactly what the dress code for breakfast and lunch is, but there is one. A friend made the mistake of wearing a sleeveless t-shirt to breakfast and was turned away as he "needed sleeves". A gentleman behind us had three pre-teen to teen daughters with sleeveless shirts and he asked if they needed sleeves. It was politely indicated that, yes, they did. Flip flops and shorts weren't a problem and we even saw them at the Mariners Brunch.

 

Wait a minute!!!!!!!!!!! We, DH and I have been on close to 40 cruises, and one Hal cruise about 13 years ago. We are currently booked on a 45 day next Oct. to the South Pacific. I have quite a collection of nice sun dresses, not beach cover ups. These dresses have been fine for all other MDR dining, and I have no dresses with sleeves, are you telling me that I'm NOT ALLOWED to wear my nice dresses in Hal's MDR? Many formals have no sleeves at all! But I think we are talking about breakfast and lunch as I don't wear pants much.

 

Is the Lido open 24/7 for free ice, iced tea, juice, coffee, and did I mention free self serve ice? What juices are free for breakfast/lunch/ dinner?

 

Does the Amsterdam have the blues club that I have been reading so much about?

Great thread......thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wait a minute!!!!!!!!!!! We, DH and I have been on close to 40 cruises, and one Hal cruise about 13 years ago. We are currently booked on a 45 day next Oct. to the South Pacific. I have quite a collection of nice sun dresses, not beach cover ups. These dresses have been fine for all other MDR dining, and I have no dresses with sleeves, are you telling me that I'm NOT ALLOWED to wear my nice dresses in Hal's MDR? Many formals have no sleeves at all! But I think we are talking about breakfast and lunch as I don't wear pants much.

 

I think in this case, it may have been the specific shirts the young ladies were wearing, I didn't think it was strange that my friend (who is male) was turned away wearing a sleeveless T-shirt, but with the young ladies I immediately thought of all the dresses and dressy shirts for women that have no sleeves. I'm sure you will be fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think in this case, it may have been the specific shirts the young ladies were wearing, I didn't think it was strange that my friend (who is male) was turned away wearing a sleeveless T-shirt, but with the young ladies I immediately thought of all the dresses and dressy shirts for women that have no sleeves. I'm sure you will be fine.

 

Thank you for your response, I do have light sweaters to "use" to enter the MDR, but this really took me for a loop! When one thinks "cruise" they usually think to pack several sun dresses. Jeans but no sun dresses does not make much sense.

 

Can anyone answer my question about the lido drinks/ice? We are used to having a "cooler" in our room and take juices from the breakfast/lunch self serve to enjoy later as is, or mixed with our spirits from guest services. We use a lot of ice for our drinks and my swollen feet. Thanks folks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wait a minute!!!!!!!!!!! We, DH and I have been on close to 40 cruises, and one Hal cruise about 13 years ago. We are currently booked on a 45 day next Oct. to the South Pacific. I have quite a collection of nice sun dresses, not beach cover ups. These dresses have been fine for all other MDR dining, and I have no dresses with sleeves, are you telling me that I'm NOT ALLOWED to wear my nice dresses in Hal's MDR? Many formals have no sleeves at all! But I think we are talking about breakfast and lunch as I don't wear pants much.

 

Is the Lido open 24/7 for free ice, iced tea, juice, coffee, and did I mention free self serve ice? What juices are free for breakfast/lunch/ dinner?

 

Does the Amsterdam have the blues club that I have been reading so much about?

Great thread......thanks in advance.

 

You are fine with your dresses, no worries .

 

The Lido is open 24/7 for water and coffee and tea. Iced tea is there during the day - I've never noticed if it is there at 2:00 am, so I can't say for sure it is there 24 hours :)

 

In the morning at breakfast time there is every kind of juice under the sun available both in the Lido and the MDR at no charge. the juices stay in the Lido until around 10:30 am (just check your on location).

 

For ice, just ask your room steward and they will happily fill your ice bucket for you as well as the small one in the room.

 

hope this helps a bit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You are fine with your dresses, no worries .

 

The Lido is open 24/7 for water and coffee and tea. Iced tea is there during the day - I've never noticed if it is there at 2:00 am, so I can't say for sure it is there 24 hours :)

 

In the morning at breakfast time there is every kind of juice under the sun available both in the Lido and the MDR at no charge. the juices stay in the Lido until around 10:30 am (just check your on location).

 

For ice, just ask your room steward and they will happily fill your ice bucket for you as well as the small one in the room.

 

hope this helps a bit

 

Thank you !:) Sounds like we will be collecting juice in water bottles to enjoy in the afternoon/evening in several collapsing coolers and also bringing our own trays to do so. Sounds very classy.:confused:

At least I'll be wearing a nice sundress!

Edited by Ocean Dancer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you !:) Sounds like we will be collecting juice in water bottles to enjoy in the afternoon/evening in several collapsing coolers and also bringing our own trays to do so. Sounds very classy.:confused:

At least I'll be wearing a nice sundress!

 

Just don't pour the juice right into your water bottle for sanitary reasons. There is a note to that effect. Just take some of the juice glasses.

 

We wanted to have mimosas, so I just brought some glasses to the room, put them in a bottle and the fridge and returned the glasses. No biggie. And I didn't use a tray:)

 

There could be juices available in the afternoon, I just honestly don't recall as we tend to have other beverages :o;)

 

Remember, there is fresh squeezed orange juice in the morning - free of charge :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Is the Lido open 24/7 for free ice, iced tea, juice, coffee, and did I mention free self serve ice? What juices are free for breakfast/lunch/ dinner?

 

 

Here is the HAL Lido Restaurant Breakfast menu:

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Lido-Breakfast-Menu.pdf

 

Here is the Room Service Breakfast menu:

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Room-Service-Breakfast-Menu.pdf

 

It is my experience that the Lido is open 24/7 for free coffee (regular and decaf), quite a number of teas, ice tea, lemonade, and milk in insulated pitchers at the Lido Restaurant Beverage Station.

 

I have reviewed my very large collection of MDR and Lido Restaurant lunch/dinner/late snack menus and none mention beverages.

 

Lido breakfast juices are available at the Dessert Stations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lido breakfast juices are available at the Dessert Stations.

Perhaps on some ships that's true (Vista and Signature, primarily). But as a universal statement it is totally incorrect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Perhaps on some ships that's true (Vista and Signature, primarily). But as a universal statement it is totally incorrect.

 

 

As always you are right on the money!

 

One can't generalize on the entire fleet when they haven't been on all of the classes of ships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the breakfast food links! :) Why do most cruise ships have the best juices at breakfast?:confused: We do not have a "cooler fridge" and won't rent one. That is why we need/want plenty of ice...........also need it for medical reasons. Thanks for all your answers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the breakfast food links! :) Why do most cruise ships have the best juices at breakfast?:confused: We do not have a "cooler fridge" and won't rent one. That is why we need/want plenty of ice...........also need it for medical reasons. Thanks for all your answers.

 

Glad my links could help.

 

Are you sure that your stateroom does not have a mini-fridge?

 

You can always bring a collapsible, insulated, ice container and have your Room Steward fill it several times a day.

 

We usually request a champagne bucket and have it filled in the AM, just before the Room Steward break at 2:00, and then at evening turn down.

 

Here is a link to all of the Specialty Restaurant, Beverage, and Room Service menus:

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/?page_id=908

 

I think you can ask your waiter in the MDR, someone in the Lido Restaurant, or even Room Service for juice and you will probably be successful.

 

Enjoy your cruise.

Edited by Crew News

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh dear, oh dear. I do hope the poster is not getting the wrong impression about HAL passengers. We really are - mostly - a nice and relaxed bunch.;)

Edited by Lizzie68

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are booked for the 17 day Hawaii cruise in January. We love the formal nights but in looking through the documentation I can't figure out how many to prepare for. Can someone give me an idea of how many formal nights there will be on a 17 day cruise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We are booked for the 17 day Hawaii cruise in January. We love the formal nights but in looking through the documentation I can't figure out how many to prepare for. Can someone give me an idea of how many formal nights there will be on a 17 day cruise?

 

When your Express docs are ready for printing, they will tell you how many formal nights. Traditionally, it was 2 formal nights for every 7 days (so probably 4 or 5) but HAL has made some recent changes to that from what I have read. You may well find it is only 3.

 

Formal nights can also be amended once you get on board. You may find they are decreased (never seen them increased).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ducksoop, we are doing a 45 day cruise and were also wondering how many formal nights to prepare for. I always wear dresses anyway, and can pack several nice sweaters to top them off. I think I'll pack only 4 dressy dresses and probably buy one during one of the ports. DH will pack 6 or 7 different ties to go with my dresses. If I wear something twice...........who cares?:)

 

Crew News, thanks for the links, you have been most helpful!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a question. I have heard of the Sink the Ship Competition. Do they do them on all HAL or just the long ones? Can't wait to start working on one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have a question. I have heard of the Sink the Ship Competition. Do they do them on all HAL or just the long ones? Can't wait to start working on one.

Never heard of that.

 

HAL used to have a ship building contest, if that's what you're referring to, but those ended quite a while back. The idea was to build a "ship" from materials found aboard, and see if it was sea-worthy by adding cans of soda and turning the whirlpool on full blast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Never heard of that.

 

HAL used to have a ship building contest, if that's what you're referring to, but those ended quite a while back. The idea was to build a "ship" from materials found aboard, and see if it was sea-worthy by adding cans of soda and turning the whirlpool on full blast.

 

I did a search on the entire HAL Forum and see they just had the ship building contest on a cruise over this Halloween so they do still do it. Just wondering which ships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I did a search on the entire HAL Forum and see they just had the ship building contest on a cruise over this Halloween so they do still do it. Just wondering which ships.

"A cruise" is the operative phrase.

 

I expect the cruise you're referring to is the one Cruisinetta was on. For years she has made it a practice to build ships while cruising. This time, the CD offered that as an event---probably in deference to her.

 

If you find a ship building contest on your cruise, consider it a rare find.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well that is depressing. How long ago did they do away with it? That seems like a really cool contest to have onboard. Sure beats the Hairy Chest one I have been subjected to on cruises past with other lines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How long ago did they do away with it?

Years. I don't recall how many.

Oh, HAL does not have hairy chest contests either. You can be relieved about that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a ship building contest on our South American cruise last year on a sister line. It was a fun afternoon and people were packed on the Lido deck. With all the cut backs, it does not make much sense to do away with free entertainment. I mean how much does a cheap bottle of bubbly cost for the prize?:confused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There was a ship building contest on the NA yesterday, the last full day of the transatlantic voyage.

 

Michelle.

 

Hi MIchelle, how are you doing?

 

I have normally found there are ship building contests on any Transatlantic crossing or any other cruise with a lot of sea days.

 

The shorter cruises - not so much.

 

The ship building contests aren't gone I don't think just selectively done for the right itineraries and the length of time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi MIchelle, how are you doing?

 

 

 

I have normally found there are ship building contests on any Transatlantic crossing or any other cruise with a lot of sea days.

 

 

 

The shorter cruises - not so much.

 

 

 

The ship building contests aren't gone I don't think just selectively done for the right itineraries and the length of time.

 

 

Hi Jacqui. Having lots of sea days makes sense, given the effort that goes into making the ships.

 

Michelle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When are the formal nights, typically?

That will vary based on itinerary and length of cruise. In addition to that, HAL is transitioning from two formal nights per week to one, so it isn't clear yet which night is the most likely on itineraries that repeat often.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Never heard of that.

 

HAL used to have a ship building contest, if that's what you're referring to, but those ended quite a while back. The idea was to build a "ship" from materials found aboard, and see if it was sea-worthy by adding cans of soda and turning the whirlpool on full blast.

 

The Grand cruises still have the ship building contests with some awesome entries. The last few we have seen were on the Prinsedam and the Amsterdam.

Edited by take us away

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And approx. how many on a 45 day? :confused:

 

Would guess you would have maybe 8 formal nights on a 45-day cruise. We have 4 formal nights on a 21-day cruise this year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Victory Cruise Lines Sweepstakes - Enter now for a chance to win a free 9-night cruise on Victory II
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2018
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×