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

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5 hours ago, Kerwin725 said:

can someone let me know when I should be able to print our boarding passes?  I have done the online check in and just wasn't sure when the option will open to print them.  thank you in advance!

 

You should receive an email 50 days out from your cruise BUT you can usually check the HAL website under your cruise "Online Check-in" five days before that to print your E-Docs.

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We never received an email, but our boarding passes became available at the 50-day out point for our upcoming Eurodam sailing on Dec 9th.

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I just wanted to clarify because I've seen conflicting info: are non-alcoholic drinks (soda, coffee, water) complementary with meals? Somebody said they were earlier in the thread but that was several years ago, and I see there is a beverage package specifically for non-alcoholic drinks. Are they no longer complementary? Apologies for not reading through all 92 pages of this thread, I did my best!

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We just cruised on Oosterdam.  Coffee, water and tea are free in the dining room.  You pay for everything else including sodas and bottled water.

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Water, tea and regular coffee are free, sodas must be paid for at meals times. They also have packets of hot cocoa mix.

 

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5 hours ago, invisible_pineapple said:

I just wanted to clarify because I've seen conflicting info: are non-alcoholic drinks (soda, coffee, water) complementary with meals? Somebody said they were earlier in the thread but that was several years ago, and I see there is a beverage package specifically for non-alcoholic drinks. Are they no longer complementary? Apologies for not reading through all 92 pages of this thread, I did my best!

Welcome to Cruise Critic @invisible_pineapple! You're forgiven for not reading the whole 92 pages -- some questions are so old, answers may have changed!

 

If you are looking at the non-alcoholic packing (Quench) on the HAL website, you'll see a short list of what is covered (I see it doesn't mention espresso drinks, how odd, they are covered). There is also a Coke-brand soda package for less than half the cost of the Quench. (Quench covers the sodas too, just like the Signature Beverage Package also covers Quench, and Elite BP covers Signature plus higher priced alcohols.)

 

The free drinks are ship's water (additionally filtered in the dining venues), coffee, tea (I believe both black and herbal teas are available), iced tea, lemonade, and in the Lido some sort of Hi-C punch. I believe orange juice (from concentrate) at breakfast. I believe Quench provides fresh-squeezed, but someone that's had it will have to confirm.

 

ETA: here are the still-not-comprehensive lists:

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Beverage-Packages.pdf

Edited by crystalspin
More info!

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In the mornings, we have found that in the LIDO there is typically orange, apple, cranberry, prune, and sometimes mango or another fruit drink (all free). 

 

In the LIDO, there's also quite a wide selection of teas, both herbal and non herbal.  I don't drink coffee, so I can't comment on that except that I know there is regular and decaf served in the LIDO.  All of the coffees and teas are free. 

 

One can order specialty coffees at the Explorations Cafe for a charge.

Edited by Btimmer

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On 8/23/2014 at 1:17 PM, serendipity1499 said:

 

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..

Wouldn't special needs put a small fridge in your cabin if you request it?  I have friends who do that on all other lines/ships for their insulin.

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25 minutes ago, Terre said:

Wouldn't special needs put a small fridge in your cabin if you request it?  I have friends who do that on all other lines/ships for their insulin.

 

HAL will store refrigerated meds in the Medical Center for free -- they would *really* rather do that than worry

about having a passenger at sea with spoiled meds due to freezing or overtemp in an unmonitored refrigerator.

 

That being said, insulin is now comes in a stable-at-room-temp-for-7-weeks-after-opening variety.

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9 hours ago, Haboob said:

 

HAL will store refrigerated meds in the Medical Center for free -- they would *really* rather do that than worry

about having a passenger at sea with spoiled meds due to freezing or overtemp in an unmonitored refrigerator.

 

That being said, insulin is now comes in a stable-at-room-temp-for-7-weeks-after-opening variety.

Thank you, I did not know that.  We have our first HAL cruise in March so this thread is great!

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9 hours ago, Terre said:

Thank you, I did not know that.  We have our first HAL cruise in March so this thread is great!

 

Just wanted to mention that you quoted a post which is 4.5 years old and a lot of things have changed since then.

 

Regarding juice in the morning... there is also tomato juice and V8 available for free.

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9 hours ago, Terre said:

Thank you, I did not know that.  We have our first HAL cruise in March so this thread is great!

 

Oops!  I also meant to say... Welcome to Holland America!  I really hope you enjoy your cruise and the wonderful staff on board.

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15 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

 

Oops!  I also meant to say... Welcome to Holland America!  I really hope you enjoy your cruise and the wonderful staff on board.

Thank you!

 

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20 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

 

Just wanted to mention that you quoted a post which is 4.5 years old and a lot of things have changed since then.

 

Regarding juice in the morning... there is also tomato juice and V8 available for free.!  I didn

 

Quote

Lol!  I didn't even look at the dates!

 

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We are arriving at FLL the night before our cruise on Oosterdam.  Our hotel provides shuttle from the airport, but we would like to have a car to make some overnight and morning stops before going to the cruise terminal.  It appears that you can rent a car (we are looking at Alamo) at the airport and return it to the cruise port.  I phoned Alamo at port everglades and was told that they provide a shuttle to the cruise ship after we drop the car off, but I'd feel better hearing from someone who has actually rented at the airport and returned to the cruise terminal.  

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Question: First time on HAL. Cruising on the Oosterdam to the Eastern Caribbean.

 

  1. How deep are the pools? 5 feet (stand up in) or 6-8 feet (deep)
  2. Do the pools have freshwater or saltwater?
  3. Can someone point me to a daily program (the ones they leave in your stateroom the night before) for an Oosterdam cruise? I hear the entertainment is lackluster. I'm use to NCL
  4. Is it difficult getting a sun bathing chair on this ship like it is on some overly populated ships?

Thanks in advance! I tried finding answers to my questions. The search function for CC isn't what it use to be.

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1 hour ago, Size12Stilettos said:

Question: First time on HAL. Cruising on the Oosterdam to the Eastern Caribbean.

 

  1. How deep are the pools? 5 feet (stand up in) or 6-8 feet (deep) depends on ths ship and if you are using the aft or LIdo pool.  I find the Lido is stand deep at one end and deeper at the other.
  2. Do the pools have freshwater or saltwater? Freshwater in one and salt water in the other on most of my cruises
  3. Can someone point me to a daily program (the ones they leave in your stateroom the night before) for an Oosterdam cruise? I hear the entertainment is lackluster. I'm use to NCL. Try halfacts (dot) com and there are some samples.  Programmes are the same for most ships.  I sailed NCL years ago and it was very Las Vegas style back then.  You won't find that on HAL.  HAL's shows tend to be more small scale.  They have to be - they are smaller ships.
  4. Is it difficult getting a sun bathing chair on this ship like it is on some overly populated ships? Not usually in my experience.  There are certainly some that live there but we have never had a problem finding a chari or a seat

Thanks in advance! I tried finding answers to my questions. The search function for CC isn't what it use to be.

 

I tried answering your questions above in bold.  Hopefully others will also share their experiences as they can all vary 😉 

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On 11/27/2018 at 2:47 PM, invisible_pineapple said:

We just sailed on Oosterdam.  I only got in the Lido pool, I recall markings of 4feetsomething in the shallow end, and 6feet9inches in the deep end.  But we are talking about my memory here...  I recall the water being verrrry soft, don't think it was salt water.  Did not get to enjoy the aft pool.  No issues getting deck chairs, I'd say they were 60% occupied the couple times I visited.  We bought the thermal suite package, $219 for two for the week, but we only went a handful of times.  It was nice tho.  Water in the thermal pool was maybe 5 feet deep.

J

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10 hours ago, Cajuntraveler said:

  It appears that you can rent a car (we are looking at Alamo) at the airport and return it to the cruise port.  I phoned Alamo at port everglades and was told that they provide a shuttle to the cruise ship after we drop the car off, but I'd feel better hearing from someone who has actually rented at the airport and returned to the cruise terminal.  

 

There are no rental car companies (Alamo or anyone else) at the cruise port. There may be some near the cruise port.

 

If Alamo will drive you to the cruise port from wherever you can return the card, I see no problem.

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We were just in Ft. Lauderdale following our Transatlantic on the Konningsdam. Over the years, we have rented a car and drove around before and after cruises. We either picked up the car at the airport and on the day of the cruise, we drove the car back to the airport and then took a taxi to the cruise terminal or did the reverse. This time we used Uber all the time while we were in Ft. Lauderdale. We never had to wait more than a few minutes for a car to arrive. At our hotel we were talking to some young people who mentioned they had used Uber to go to South Beach for a night of fun. It cost them $36 each way. 

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I was going to suggest UBER also. That is who we used. They took us to the grocery store for some supplies, to the liquor store for wine, and to dinner. We didn’t need a ride to the port, the hotel provided that. So much easier than messing with a car, and probably cheaper.

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Just as clarification for bringing alcohol on board--each adult can bring one bottle of wine on board at no charge, to be consumed in the stateroom.  Does it matter if it's a fortified wine (like port or sherry)?

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12 minutes ago, danb35 said:

Just as clarification for bringing alcohol on board--each adult can bring one bottle of wine on board at no charge, to be consumed in the stateroom.  Does it matter if it's a fortified wine (like port or sherry)?

'

Yes, it does.  It seems to vary by the ship somewhat.  We were allowed to bring on port in Portugal once and another time it was stored until we got off the ship.

 

It was going home anyway - not being consumed on board - so it was fine.

 

I wouldn't count on bringing it on as my "free" bottle 100%.  

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