Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Host Walt

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

Recommended Posts

I'm a solos traveler---have been for years. I have no trouble finding a table, putting my HAL bag down to mark my place---maybe with a glass or a cup, too, then going to get my food. No one ever takes anything.

The signal to the stewards that you are returning, so don't clean up here, is to tip the chair against the table, with the napkin draped across the top of the chair.

 

It is much, much easier to claim your spot first, leaving something that is not temperature sensitive, than to seek out a spot after you've finished the hunting & gathering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is probably as good of a place as any to ask this question, and it's kind of side question to the tray discussion, but what's the protocol on tipping room service?

 

As I mentioned in over 14 years of cruising, I've never once used room service, but for various reasons, I may do so on this trip. And I just can't remember what the standard is, and I'm trying to manage my cash flow up front if I need cash to tip as I go.

 

Thanks in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This is probably as good of a place as any to ask this question, and it's kind of side question to the tray discussion, but what's the protocol on tipping room service?

 

As I mentioned in over 14 years of cruising, I've never once used room service, but for various reasons, I may do so on this trip. And I just can't remember what the standard is, and I'm trying to manage my cash flow up front if I need cash to tip as I go.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

My standard tip is $2 unless they are bringing more than one tray. I bring enough dollar bills for three room service deliveries a day and usually take quite a few back home for the next cruise.

 

The unfortunate side of Room Service is how difficult it is to get them to pick up the trays after you have finished. On many occasions, our Room Steward ended up removing the tray from our room during their 3X day cleaning.

Edited by Crew News

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Crews News, you're helpful as usual. Much appreciated. As for the excess trays, I guess I could do what I read about in this thread. Where somebody said they hung on to them so they could use them in the Lido. LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks Crews News, you're helpful as usual. Much appreciated. As for the excess trays, I guess I could do what I read about in this thread. Where somebody said they hung on to them so they could use them in the Lido. LOL

 

The Room Service trays are large enough to hold five large plates plus and just too huge for use in the Lido. As previously recommended, bring one from the dollar store.

 

I think if you grab your first course before finding a table and then go back for the rest of your meal, you will have no problems.

Edited by Crew News

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh I see. Well so much for that idea.

 

Since we will be on the Noordam in May, we look forward to hearing your experience and how what you learned here on CC might have helped.

 

Here is a link to a map of the Lido Restaurant serving lines so that you can plan your dining logistics:

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Vista-Class-Lido-Layout-no-background.pdf

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well one thing I can already tell you that CC has helped me with is keeping me from embarrassing myself on Formal night. Because without the info here, I would have proceeded to head right to the MDR with no jacket and tie. That would annoyed me to no end to have gotten turned back at that point.

 

But now that i know, I know I'll have other plans on those nights. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks Crews News, you're helpful as usual. Much appreciated. As for the excess trays, I guess I could do what I read about in this thread. Where somebody said they hung on to them so they could use them in the Lido. LOL

Listen to the voice of experience (mine): those room service trays are very heavy, as compared to the normal size ones you find in a cafeteria. When you add plates to them, they will weigh you down.

 

If your tray isn't picked up, PLEASE don't put it out in the passageway. Those who use a wheelchair or a scooter, or walk with a cane have a hard enough time negotiating the passageways without those obstacles. Call to have it picked up, bring it up to the Lido (or Front Desk ;)), or just leave it on the desk overnight.

 

As to tipping for room service, it is probably covered by the Hotel Service Charge, but there's no harm in giving a little extra if you want. You can break large bills for small at the Front Desk, so no need to stuff your pockets before you leave home.

Get out whatever tip you intend to give as soon as you place your order/hang the breakfast hang-tag. The stewards are in & out faster than you can collect the money to give them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

per luggage services update: try this link maketraveleasier.com/Holland

Edited by Toriadori

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The closer to the top of the alphabet of the second character, the better the cabin (supposedly).

 

This second letter assignment is often based on location on the ship even though the cabin interiors may be the same.

 

Thanks! That's what I thought, but I was a bit confused from this photo:

http://www.*************.com/deck_plans/Noordam/Verandah_Deck.cfm hmm looks like va cat ions to go is censored.

 

It looks like the letter is based purely on the location and has nothing to do with being a better room.

Edited by TeamPez

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We (2 adults)are wanting to do a private tour with Julio Tours rather than a ship organised tour while in Corinto in April on HAL Westerdam. Van will take up to 12 passengers - any one else interested in joining.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We (2 adults)are wanting to do a private tour with Julio Tours rather than a ship organised tour while in Corinto in April on HAL Westerdam. Van will take up to 12 passengers - any one else interested in joining.

 

It would probably be better to post in your roll call thread. You can find it here:

 

http://cruisecritic.com/rollcalls?cruise_line_id=21

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We (2 adults)are wanting to do a private tour with Julio Tours rather than a ship organised tour while in Corinto in April on HAL Westerdam. Van will take up to 12 passengers - any one else interested in joining.

 

definitely post on the roll call. I am sure that there are some that would like to join you as we have a wait list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the MDR open for lunch on embarkation day? Can you order items in the MDR that are not on the menu for lunch or dinner?

Thanks everyone this is a great thread 🚢

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is the MDR open for lunch on embarkation day? Can you order items in the MDR that are not on the menu for lunch or dinner?

Thanks everyone this is a great thread

 

 

 

The MDR is open for lunch for mariners (anyone that has sailed on a CCL ship in the past) on most occasions. Otherwise, there is the Lido and the Dive In on embarkation day.

 

I don't understand the second part of your question. Order items not on the menu? There are items available everyday and the menu. That's it in the MDR unless you are on a special diet and that is arranged on a day before I believe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The MDR is open for lunch for mariners (anyone that has sailed on a CCL ship in the past) on most occasions. Otherwise, there is the Lido and the Dive In on embarkation day.

 

I don't understand the second part of your question. Order items not on the menu? There are items available everyday and the menu. That's it in the MDR unless you are on a special diet and that is arranged on a day before I believe.

 

Wait, am I a mariner because I sailed on a Carnival ship in the past? I thought you only accrued on the line that you sail. i.e. If I sail on Carnival, it only counts towards Carnival and if I've sailed on HAL, it only counts on HAL even though they're owned by the same company.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wait, am I a mariner because I sailed on a Carnival ship in the past? I thought you only accrued on the line that you sail. i.e. If I sail on Carnival, it only counts towards Carnival and if I've sailed on HAL, it only counts on HAL even though they're owned by the same company.

 

Your are Mariner, for the purpose of dining in the MDR on Embarkation Day, even though you have not accrued any Holland America Line Mariner Loyalty points since you sailed on a Carnival Corporation ship in the past.

 

The Embarkation Mariner's Luncheon in the MDR has a limited menu:

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Mariners-Lunch-Alaska.pdf

 

It is my experience that deviations from the menu items is not permitted. If you are not completely sated, you may go to the Lido Restaurant and have an extended lunch.

Edited by Crew News

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Your are Mariner, for the purpose of dining in the MDR on Embarkation Day, even though you have not accrued any Holland America Line Mariner Loyalty points since you sailed on a Carnival Corporation ship in the past.

 

The Embarkation Mariner's Luncheon in the MDR has a limited menu:

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Mariners-Lunch-Alaska.pdf

 

It is my experience that deviations from the menu items is not permitted. If you are not completely sated, you may go to the Lido Restaurant and have an extended lunch.

 

Do I need proof of this? How do they know I'm a "Mariner"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do I need proof of this? How do they know I'm a "Mariner"?

 

There will be a small star on your Express Docs (you will receive about 50 days before the cruise) after the word "GUEST". If it is not there, contact your travel agent or HAL Cruise Consultant.

 

Your room card that you show at the MDR will also have your small star showing your Mariner status.

Edited by Crew News

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There will be a small star on your Express Docs (you will receive about 50 days before the cruise) after the word "GUEST". If it is not there, contact your travel agent or HAL Cruise Consultant.

 

Your room card that you show at the MDR will also have your small star showing your Mariner status.

 

OK, I am trying to get my head around this Mariner thingy.

I am cruising on Carnival Spirit in Feb 2016 (not my husband though - just myself, daughter & grandchildren), then cruising on Eurodam (with my husband this time) in May 2016.

So does that mean I am a Mariner for the Eurodam cruise & what does that mean for my husband?????? Also what does being a Mariner mean?

Don't understand all this cruise Mariner stuff...........

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you

Chris:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OK' date=' I am trying to get my head around this Mariner thingy.

I am cruising on Carnival Spirit in Feb 2016 (not my husband though - just myself, daughter & grandchildren), then cruising on Eurodam (with my husband this time) in May 2016.

So does that mean I am a Mariner for the Eurodam cruise & what does that mean for my husband?????? Also what does being a Mariner mean?

Don't understand all this cruise Mariner stuff...........

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you

Chris:D[/quote']

If your Carnival cruise in Feb is your first on a Carnival Corp. cruise line, you will be credited with being a "One Star Mariner" when you take your first cruise on Holland America. Sailing on HAL automatically enrolls you in their Mariner loyalty program.

 

Your husband will also be considered a "One Star Mariner" because he is sailing in a stateroom with you (all in the same stateroom have the same benefits as the highest Mariner Society occupant). His room card will also have a "One Star Mariner" star annotated on his room card.

 

The only advantage to being a "One Star Mariner" is that you and your husband will be permitted to attend the Mariner Society Embarkation Luncheon in the Main Dining Room. The waiter service in the opinion of many is that a sit-down lunch is preferable to the often chaos in the Lido Restaurant (buffet).

 

The Mariner Society loyalty program gives you credit for each day cruised (double if you are in a Neptune Suite category) and credit for one day for each increment of $300 in onboard spending plus HAL excursion spending. You can read more on the Holland America website.

 

As you increase in star rating, you get discounts on minibar, laundry, Specialty Restaurants, etc.

Edited by Crew News

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If your Carnival cruise in Feb is your first on a Carnival Corp. cruise line, you will be credited with being a "One Star Mariner" when you take your first cruise on Holland America. Sailing on HAL automatically enrolls you in their Mariner loyalty program.

 

Your husband will also be considered a "One Star Mariner" because he is sailing in a stateroom with you (all in the same stateroom have the same benefits as the highest Mariner Society occupant). His room card will also have a "One Star Mariner" star annotated on his room card.

 

The only advantage to being a "One Star Mariner" is that you and your husband will be permitted to attend the Mariner Society Embarkation Luncheon in the Main Dining Room. The waiter service in the opinion of many is that a sit-down lunch is preferable to the often chaos in the Lido Restaurant (buffet).

 

The Mariner Society loyalty program gives you credit for each day cruised (double if you are in a Neptune Suite category) and credit for one day for each increment of $300 in onboard spending plus HAL excursion spending. You can read more on the Holland America website.

 

As you increase in star rating, you get discounts on minibar, laundry, Specialty Restaurants, etc.

 

Hi Crew News :) After booking, I went to the Mariner Society page and enrolled us. Maybe the automatic enrollment/number weren't there because it hadn't updated that quickly after booking? Also at that point it did not show 1 star but a quick call to HAL corrected that issue. Also we were in a Vista Suite on the Veendam and got double points. Not sure if all suite categories get double points.

Edited by qsuzi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Your husband will also be considered a "One Star Mariner" because he is sailing in a stateroom with you (all in the same stateroom have the same benefits as the highest Mariner Society occupant). His room card will also have a "One Star Mariner" star annotated on his room card.
In our experience each person has the appropriate number of stars for their own Mariner level - not the number of stars of the highest Mariner occupant of their cabin. They will still have the benefits associated with the highest stars (IF on the same booking) tied to their card, but not the actual stars on the card.

 

I took a cruise with a friend several years ago. When she bought beverages at the Explorations Cáfe the crew member was pretty confused because, while her card only had 1*, the cash register was charging the amount appropriate with my 4* discount.

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
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...