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

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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.

 

that's been my experience too Mary Ellen.

 

I have a few more days than DH so at certain stages he has had fewer stars (which did show on his card) but he received my discounts.:D

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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.

 

Correction: All suite categories (if the category has the word "suite" in it) receive double days.

 

Mariner Society stars will be for each passenger which means your husband will have no stars on his room card. For the purpose of on-board benefits, the entire stateroom has the same Mariner Society benefits as the the highest star rating passenger in the stateroom. Family members in the same stateroom may attend the Mariner's Embarkation Luncheon together.

Edited by Crew News

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For the purpose of on-board benefits, the entire stateroom has the same Mariner Society benefits as the the highest star rating passenger in the stateroom.
As I noted earlier - this is only the case if everyone in the cabin is on the same booking. For most this will be the situation, but some times friends/family traveling in the same cabin will book separately and have different booking numbers. Obviously anyone using the 'single share' program will have different booking numbers from their cabin mate.

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Correction: All suite categories (if the category has the word "suite" in it) receive double days.

 

Mariner Society stars will be for each passenger which means your husband will have no stars on his room card. For the purpose of on-board benefits, the entire stateroom has the same Mariner Society benefits as the the highest star rating passenger in the stateroom. Family members in the same stateroom may attend the Mariner's Embarkation Luncheon together.

 

Thanks Crew News.

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I use a wheelchair how are the rooms and helpfulness? I've only had 2 Princess cruises and they were great. I'm looking at Panama Canal for sure but this caught my eye... probably to late for a handicapped room.

 

21 NIGHT PANAMA CANAL WESTBOUND

 

Departs Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades) aboard Holland America Line - Westerdam

Sailing Date(s):* March 12, 2016

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I use a wheelchair how are the rooms and helpfulness?

Helpfulness can be excellent, but is less so in the Lido restaurant at peak times, and very off hour times. Will you be traveling alone?

 

The non-HA cabins are comfortable, but there is a step up into the bathrooms. Outside cabins and higher categories have tubs, so you would also need to be able to climb in/out. The sides of the Westerdam tub are about the height of a home tub, although when the seas are moving, it can be trickier to maneuver.

Inside cabins have a generous size shower with a low lip to step over.

 

You would need room in your cabin to store your wheelchair, which could make it tight in some cabins. The wheelchair cannot be left in the passageway.

 

The cruise you're looking at is still a year away---there may be handicap cabins available.

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Thanks,

 

I leave my chair by the bed and am it it otherwise. I'll have someone to help/assists with my needs.

 

The wheelchair must have a handicapped room it's 24-25 inches wide. I was told all other doors are 22 inches wide.

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Thanks,

 

I leave my chair by the bed and am it it otherwise. I'll have someone to help/assists with my needs.

 

The wheelchair must have a handicapped room it's 24-25 inches wide. I was told all other doors are 22 inches wide.

 

If you can't exit the chair, then walk into the room, yes, you need an accessible cabin.

Here's hoping you find a good one that suits your needs---and that you have a great time.

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Hi Everyone , Just a quick question regarding the DVD players in the rooms.

Do we have to get the movie selections from the Library etc or can we bring our own selection? If so which region do they play?

Also is there provision on the TV to allow USB's to be used so we can bring our own selection of movies from Home, like you would watch via a tablet etc on a plane.

Any info greatly appreciated.

We're seasoned cruisers but new to HAL, and this thread is very informative, many thanks

Karen

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Thank you all for your information. I just read every post. I have a few questions. First, I have sailed, Celebrity, Princess, Carnial, Disney, Royal Caribbean but never Holland America. It is my understanding that Princess Loyalty sends my info to Holland America so that I will already have a Mariner Number. I understand this will get me into the MDR on embarktation day. My questions regarding this is do I get the same level as I have with Princess or do I start at the beginning with Holland America? Also am I eligible for a past guest discount (not sure if Holland offers this but Princess and Carnival does). My next question and I don't mean to ruffle any feathers is that people told me not to use Holland because everyone is so old. With that being said hubby is 65 and I am 62. I kind of think that we fall into that group??? lol. What do you find is the average age for cruises. We are thinking of a 14 day cruise next year to Alaska. Thanks again for your help. Linda

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My questions regarding this is do I get the same level as I have with Princess or do I start at the beginning with Holland America?

 

Also am I eligible for a past guest discount (not sure if Holland offers this but Princess and Carnival does).

 

My next question and I don't mean to ruffle any feathers is that people told me not to use Holland because everyone is so old. With that being said hubby is 65 and I am 62. I kind of think that we fall into that group??? lol. What do you find is the average age for cruises. We are thinking of a 14 day cruise next year to Alaska. Thanks again for your help. Linda

 

You start as a rookie with Holland America Line but do get to attend the Embarkation Lunch.

 

No past guest discounts until you earn some HAL points by completing your cruise and spending while on your cruise.

 

We will be in Alaska next year for two weeks on the Noordam and expect to see few kids because schools will not be on vacation.

 

If you cruise while kids are out of school, younger families will be on board with their kids. If you cruise while kids are in school, younger families will not be as evident. On longer cruises, only retirees are usually able to take so many days away from home. So, average age depends on when you cruise on HAL and how long the cruise. IMHO HAL is a traditional cruise without all of the glitz of other cruise lines. Some have describe HAL as comfortable cruising.

Edited by Crew News

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I'm looking at booking the 21 NIGHT PANAMA CANAL WESTBOUND they are holding stateroom VF5140 for me can anyone tell me anything about it? I've looked at several reviews and the deck plans and don't see anything bad. How close to the water is that? looks close.

 

Thanks

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I'm looking at booking the 21 NIGHT PANAMA CANAL WESTBOUND they are holding stateroom VF5140 for me can anyone tell me anything about it? I've looked at several reviews and the deck plans and don't see anything bad. How close to the water is that? looks close.

 

Thanks

 

Which ship? And this year or next?

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On the Ms. Westerdam stateroom VF5140 March 12, 2016. The trip and cruise ship ship above.

 

It's the 5th deck - right?

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On the Ms. Westerdam stateroom VF5140 March 12, 2016. The trip and cruise ship ship above.

 

It's the 5th deck - right?

 

The first number of your cabin is the deck number.

 

That cabin balcony faces directly into the wind a it juts out from the other cabins aft of it. You will be facing 20 knot winds when the ship is moving so you will probably not be using it during that time.

 

If you need a handicapped cabin, my choice would be 4051 or 4054 which is somewhat shielded from the wind while the ship is moving, allowing you to have meals on the verandah while the ship is moving.

Edited by Crew News

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Another question. I've only been on the Princess Sapphire Cruise Ship once on the Baja Deck 11 and again on the Caribe Deck 10.

 

I assume deck 4 or 5 on the Ms. Westerdam will be really close to the water in comparison? It's tough to tell from deck plans and photos I've found.

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Hi Everyone , Just a quick question regarding the DVD players in the rooms.

Do we have to get the movie selections from the Library etc or can we bring our own selection? If so which region do they play?

Also is there provision on the TV to allow USB's to be used so we can bring our own selection of movies from Home, like you would watch via a tablet etc on a plane.

Any info greatly appreciated.

We're seasoned cruisers but new to HAL, and this thread is very informative, many thanks

Karen

 

You can get movies at the front desk and you can bring your own - we do both on long voyages. It is a standard DVD player so BluRay movies will not work.

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Another question. I've only been on the Princess Sapphire Cruise Ship once on the Baja Deck 11 and again on the Caribe Deck 10.

 

I assume deck 4 or 5 on the Ms. Westerdam will be really close to the water in comparison? It's tough to tell from deck plans and photos I've found.

 

Westerdam's Deck 1 will be a bit above or the floor will be at the water line so decks 4 or 5 will be well above the water - maybe 50 feet at least. HAL has no passenger cabins below the water line as far as I know. We often stay in the lowest level and only on rough seas do we see the sea waves in our window.

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I'm looking at booking the 21 NIGHT PANAMA CANAL WESTBOUND they are holding stateroom VF5140 for me can anyone tell me anything about it? I've looked at several reviews and the deck plans and don't see anything bad. How close to the water is that? looks close.

 

Thanks

 

As deck 1 is at or just above the water line, deck 5 is maybe at least 50 feet above the water line. The photos are deceiving so great question.

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Another question. I've only been on the Princess Sapphire Cruise Ship once on the Baja Deck 11 and again on the Caribe Deck 10.

 

I assume deck 4 or 5 on the Ms. Westerdam will be really close to the water in comparison? It's tough to tell from deck plans and photos I've found.

 

Deck 3 is just below the lifeboats and have no passenger cabins. So Deck 4 and up have passenger cabins quite high above the water line.

 

img_0332.jpg

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I don't recall any wind problems on the Sapphire - midship... Seemed the balcony breaks worked good. I think we were traveling slower about 16 to 18 knots in the daytime defiantly faster at night.

 

But I can see how this room 5140 does "stick out" and would probably catch the wind.

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I don't recall any wind problems on the Sapphire - midship... Seemed the balcony breaks worked good. I think we were traveling slower about 16 to 18 knots in the daytime defiantly faster at night.

 

But I can see how this room 5140 does "stick out" and would probably catch the wind.

 

the only issue I have ever had with winds was a "hump" cabin - highly desired by many - but not my cup of tea.

 

I would be cautious with those as our experience was that we caught the wind at both ends. We were in an NS so had a big verandah (which is why I think people like it) but I found I could only use a portion of the verandah)

 

On my other cruises without the "hump" cabin, we've had no effect and enjoyed it.

 

I've never had a problem using my verandah and I don't do afts. I've done a fair amount of TA's and enjoyed it.

 

hopefully I don't eat my words on the upcoming cruise ;)

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More input please.

 

Does anyone else have an opinion about the wind in cabin VF5140 on Ms Westerdam for sailing the Panama canal March 2016. I've not experienced any trouble on two Mexican Rivera cruises I was on a midship balcony.

 

A breeze would feel nice if it's 85-90 F temperatures. But yes I'd enjoy eating there too and don't need 20 knot wind constant. Are winds stronger on the east side? Above South America?

 

I'd hate to spend the money on a deck I can't use.

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More input please.

 

Does anyone else have an opinion about the wind in cabin VF5140 on Ms Westerdam for sailing the Panama canal March 2016. I've not experienced any trouble on two Mexican Rivera cruises I was on a midship balcony.

 

A breeze would feel nice if it's 85-90 F temperatures. But yes I'd enjoy eating there too and don't need 20 knot wind constant. Are winds stronger on the east side? Above South America?

 

I'd hate to spend the money on a deck I can't use.

 

We have done a partial Panama and South America with a balcony that was midship. I try to book midship for DH.

 

 

We didn't have any days that we couldn't use our balcony.

 

We leave in one week (YAY!) for a full Panama on the Westerdam and have a relatively mid ship balcony. I will be doing a live thread so keep your eyes out. If I can't use my balcony, you will definitely hear about it. the title will have something with the "Sail a Way Gang" in it.

 

Other than Princess with a balcony that wasn't covered , I don't remember not using it. :)

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The room I refer to is about ¾'s the way back and the first cabin's balcony to "stick out" as pointed out to me above which could let it catch wind. People's opinion about the amount of wind varies like the weather which makes sense.

 

Unless because the room/balcony does stick out is the only reason I question or ask. My two mid ship Princess balconies were great... the wind will vary and through the canal your moving slower.

 

Thank you all,

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