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

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The last time I sailed HAL, the wine rules were different. Now I note it is limited to 1 bottle per adult.

This is not correct.

 

The wine rule is one 750 ml bottle per adult without corkage charge, if consumed in the cabin. Adults may carry aboard as many additional bottles as they wish, so long as they pay an $18 per bottle charge.

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There is no $50 daily limit; there's a 15 drinks per day limit. If all of those drinks were cocktails at $6.95 each, the price would be worth $104.xx, plus service charge for a total of $119.xx.

 

The "value" of the package is (roughly) $50 per day, but that's not a limit. It's the price someone would have to pay if they were to purchase the Signature Beverage Package.

 

We too got the SBP with the Explore4 promotion, and we were told it was worth up to "$50 per day, per person, and no drinks above $7." We figured that meant the cost of each beverage purchased was tallied until we reached the $50 maximum per person, per day. The way you explain it, it sounds a lot better.

 

Lorie

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The last time I sailed HAL, the wine rules were different. Now I note it is limited to 1 bottle per adult.

 

What about water and soda? Last time I checked a 12 pack of soda and water with luggage tags on the outside. They were delivered to the room with our luggage. Is that still possible?

 

Please opt for this, if it is still allowed. Some people recommend packing soda in their luggage, but having recently had a soda can spontaneously leak in my pantry, I can only imagine the sticky, ikky mess it would cause in luggage - and to other people's luggage.. Please make sure your container is leak-proof.

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Please opt for this, if it is still allowed. Some people recommend packing soda in their luggage, but having recently had a soda can spontaneously leak in my pantry, I can only imagine the sticky, ikky mess it would cause in luggage - and to other people's luggage.. Please make sure your container is leak-proof.

Thanks for the advice.

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Also be sure to catch the wine/beer steward as he comes by during lunch that day - you can buy beverage cards at that time.

 

What is the purpose of beverage cards and how do they work?

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What is the purpose of beverage cards and how do they work?

 

You can purchase beverage cards in various denominations. $50, $100 and $250 I think. This is mainly for convenience of not having every beverage you purchase show up as a line item on your shipboard account. It is also a way you can pre-pay for your beverages. You don't really save any money on these cards, but there is a soda card that costs $25 and you get $50 worth of soda. If you're a soda drinker I guess that's a good deal.

 

There's also the signature beverage package card that costs a little over $50 per person per day. The package includes up to 15 drinks per day - alcohol, specialty coffees, etc. up to a maximum value of $7 per drink.

 

You can purchase these in advance, but I was told on my last cruise that the bartenders could get time off if they sold the signature beverage package, so I wait until I'm on board and buy from a bartender. That may have only been on the Volendam, and may not still be the case, but I'll wait and purchase from the bartender.

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I was wondering if anybody can help me with the schedule for this live music. I understand they don't play every night. We are sailing Sat-Sat and I want to make reservations in Pinnacle Grill but I don't want to make them too late and miss the band. HAL says the band decides and it can change each cruise. Can somebody give me an idea what time they start...is it 7:30 or 9? or is that different each night as well???

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We just came back on Sunday from a cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam and the bb blues usually played 3 shows most nights 8:45, 9:45 & 10:45. One night they played in the main show room for two times only.

Edited by luv2 cruise

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We just came back on Sunday from a cruise on Nieuw Amsterdam and the bb blues usually played 3 shows most nights 8:45, 9:45 & 10:45. One night they played in the main show room for two times only.

 

Oh! Well, that would be great. Thanks for your reply.

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You can purchase beverage cards in various denominations. $50, $100 and $250 I think. This is mainly for convenience of not having every beverage you purchase show up as a line item on your shipboard account. It is also a way you can pre-pay for your beverages. You don't really save any money on these cards, but there is a soda card that costs $25 and you get $50 worth of soda. If you're a soda drinker I guess that's a good deal.

 

There's also the signature beverage package card that costs a little over $50 per person per day. The package includes up to 15 drinks per day - alcohol, specialty coffees, etc. up to a maximum value of $7 per drink.

 

You can purchase these in advance, but I was told on my last cruise that the bartenders could get time off if they sold the signature beverage package, so I wait until I'm on board and buy from a bartender. That may have only been on the Volendam, and may not still be the case, but I'll wait and purchase from the bartender.

So if I'm understanding this right if I have the signature beverage card I can get 15 $7 drinks a day? Even though that is above the limit of the cost of the card at $50?

Thanks!

(first time cruiser)

tropicgirl

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So if I'm understanding this right if I have the signature beverage card I can get 15 $7 drinks a day? Even though that is above the limit of the cost of the card at $50?

Thanks!

(first time cruiser)

tropicgirl

Yes, you have it right.

Note that the Signature Beverage Card is different from the Beverage Card (gotta love how HAL uses such similar names for different things).

The Beverage Card is just a separate card for convenience sake, and has no bonus value involved.

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So if I'm understanding this right if I have the signature beverage card I can get 15 $7 drinks a day? Even though that is above the limit of the cost of the card at $50?

Thanks!

(first time cruiser)

tropicgirl

 

As RuthC said...yep! I am constantly seeing people confused about the Signature Beverage Package. People keep posting it's only good for up to $50 in beverage purchases per day. I think what confuses them is when HAL offers the package as part of a promotion, they say something like "A $50 value per day." That just means it would cost $50 per person to purchase the package.

 

While I'm on the Signature Beverage Package, keep in mind you can't use it for the mini-bar in your cabin, nor to get bottled water where they set up the table by the gangway. You can, however, use it to purchase water or soda at a bar and take that off the ship on your excursion.

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I have to say I find the whole deal withe Explore 4 and the Signature Beverage package very confusing - so I just pre-purchase my regular beverage cards for my cruise, both achohol and non-alcoholic beverages, and I'm happy with that.

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I have to say I find the whole deal withe Explore 4 and the Signature Beverage package very confusing - so I just pre-purchase my regular beverage cards for my cruise, both achohol and non-alcoholic beverages, and I'm happy with that.

 

Well, if they offer the signature beverage package as part of the Explore 4, it's the same as the one you can purchase for around $50/day.

 

In the past, I've often spent more than $50/day on beverages on a ship, so I purchase the signature beverage package after I board.

 

I find that what they charge for the cruises with Explore 4 included is much more than I can get the same cruise without that promotion and just purchasing the beverage package. Especially since I'm solo in a cabin.

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Well, if they offer the signature beverage package as part of the Explore 4, it's the same as the one you can purchase for around $50/day.

 

In the past, I've often spent more than $50/day on beverages on a ship, so I purchase the signature beverage package after I board.

 

I find that what they charge for the cruises with Explore 4 included is much more than I can get the same cruise without that promotion and just purchasing the beverage package. Especially since I'm solo in a cabin.

 

Smart thinking! I just purchase a $100 (or more, depending on the length of the cruise) beverage card so that it's all paid for before I cruise. When they have a "special offer" with the Explore 4 or whatever, the cruise price goes up with it.;)

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Sorry, if I missed something here...so, say, for example that someone really just wanted one can or so of a soda everyday to sit on the balcony and sip....would a beverage card be better, a signature beverage card, just go buy it at the bar, or just bring some on board with your luggage, given you can walk to a store near the port.....or would it be better to find it at the first port stop, and bring it on board then. Say, this is for a Carib cruise,......thanks for any help:o

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Sorry, if I missed something here...so, say, for example that someone really just wanted one can or so of a soda everyday to sit on the balcony and sip....would a beverage card be better, a signature beverage card, just go buy it at the bar, or just bring some on board with your luggage, given you can walk to a store near the port.....or would it be better to find it at the first port stop, and bring it on board then. Say, this is for a Carib cruise,......thanks for any help:o

 

Definitely NOT the Signature Beverage package from what I can see. That'd be something like $50/day per person, and every person in the cabin needs to buy the Signature Beverage package. If all you want is a soda, there is no benefit. Of course, if you want other drinks, and would be spending more than $50/day for EACH person in the cabin, then maybe you could justify it.

 

Personally for a 7 (??) day cruise, for 1 soda per day only? I'd be buying it onboard, but many people would carry it on after purchasing it at the embarkation city.

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Sorry, if I missed something here...so, say, for example that someone really just wanted one can or so of a soda everyday to sit on the balcony and sip....would a beverage card be better, a signature beverage card, just go buy it at the bar, or just bring some on board with your luggage, given you can walk to a store near the port.....or would it be better to find it at the first port stop, and bring it on board then. Say, this is for a Carib cruise,......thanks for any help:o

 

I think a can of soda at the bar is a little more than $2.

 

If it were me, and I just wanted one or two sodas a day to drink in my cabin, I'd just purchase it at the bar and take it back to my cabin. I'm flying from Phoenix to Ft. Lauderdale for my next cruise and I really don't want to worry about stopping at a store between the airport and the cruise port just to save a buck or two. After everything I'm spending for this cruise, that's peanuts, and adds yet more steps and stress to what's supposed to be a fun experience.

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Find a Happy Hour where the drinks are 2 for the price of one. Order your soda unopened, and bring them back to your cabin to have when you want them. You can even build up a small stash.

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Find a Happy Hour where the drinks are 2 for the price of one. Order your soda unopened, and bring them back to your cabin to have when you want them. You can even build up a small stash.

 

Thanks so very much...sometimes, I just over think these things, so I think the idea of buying the soda unopened or during happy hour is very much the way to go! You are the best...thanks all!

Edited by dibbitz

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Hi again, There are 4 of us boarding HAL in FLL.....we are told that transfers from the airport to the port are $19.00 per person.....should we pay for the transfers or find a shuttle or taxi instead? We will be arriving around noon for a 4 o'clock sailing....thoughts?

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Hi again, There are 4 of us boarding HAL in FLL.....we are told that transfers from the airport to the port are $19.00 per person.....should we pay for the transfers or find a shuttle or taxi instead? We will be arriving around noon for a 4 o'clock sailing....thoughts?

 

If it were me, I'd take a taxi. I hate waiting for the bus to get full. Once when getting off a ship in Seattle we had to stand there in a line waiting for almost an hour just for the bus to show up. I doubt the taxi fare will be anywhere near what you'd be paying for the HAL transfers for four people.

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I would take a cab (or two - do they have van cabs in FLL?). Much cheaper than the shuttle and quicker.

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I would take a cab (or two - do they have van cabs in FLL?). Much cheaper than the shuttle and quicker.

 

Thanks Lizzie and Cave Creek Guy...that settles it, the Taxi it is! Enjoy! :D

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