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

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We have cruised with Carnival four times and fifteen times with Hal.  We are 4-star mariners, but is not due from any cruise day credits for the Carnival cruises, only the days cruised on Hal and extra cruise day credits for money spent on the Hal cruises.  We would pretty close to the 300 day medallion if we could get the Carnival days included.  

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I took my first HAL cruise last November. Having cuised with Princess previously I contacted the Mariner Society with my Princess membership number before the cruise and was made a 1 star mariner straight away.

Only benefit was an invite to the mariners' luncheon onboard at which they handedout a Delft tile to everybody.

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So I read another thread about the mixology and beer tastings HAL does on sea days. I’m a bit worried I’ll get bored on the 3 sea days of my 7 day Alaska cruise. What other activities will the Westerdam have on a NB cruise to Alaska?

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1 hour ago, Bengalfang said:

 What other activities will the Westerdam have on a NB cruise to Alaska?

 

More than you can even hope to participate in! :classic_wink:

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Since KroozNut had nothing to offer for a real answer, I will answer based on our HAL Caribbean cruise where we spent numerous days at sea, with even more added since we didn't stop at places where we had to anchor. There were repeats of previously given talks about ports that we had already been to. There were wine tastings which were not free even though we had the beverage package and a Neptune suite. We enjoyed the cooking demonstrations, because it at least got us out of our cabin.

If you are spending 3 days at sea on a 7 day cruise in Alaska, I would take a different cruise. That's too many days at sea for that area unless you like to spend most of your time in the spa, the casino, playing trivia in the bar, watching cooking demonstrations,  and listening to lectures.

I would definitely look for a cruise that had more stops. We did Regent to Alaska, but others might have something similar.

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33 minutes ago, SWFLAOK said:

Since KroozNut had nothing to offer for a real answer, I will answer based on our HAL Caribbean cruise where we spent numerous days at sea, with even more added since we didn't stop at places where we had to anchor. There were repeats of previously given talks about ports that we had already been to. There were wine tastings which were not free even though we had the beverage package and a Neptune suite. We enjoyed the cooking demonstrations, because it at least got us out of our cabin.

If you are spending 3 days at sea on a 7 day cruise in Alaska, I would take a different cruise. That's too many days at sea for that area unless you like to spend most of your time in the spa, the casino, playing trivia in the bar, watching cooking demonstrations,  and listening to lectures.

I would definitely look for a cruise that had more stops. We did Regent to Alaska, but others might have something similar.

 

I still like my answer better..  :classic_wink::classic_smile:

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I have a  question about stockholders perks? I could not  get past the proxy server to read about owning stock for Carnival   and getting shipboard credits on Hal. If I were to purchase Carnival stock, CCL, would it allow us some credit on our March 31,2019 cruise? Is there a better reference about this subject? Thanks.

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58 minutes ago, jonyyuma said:

I have a  question about stockholders perks? I could not  get past the proxy server to read about owning stock for Carnival   and getting shipboard credits on Hal. If I were to purchase Carnival stock, CCL, would it allow us some credit on our March 31,2019 cruise? Is there a better reference about this subject? Thanks.

 

Click this link:  http://www.carnivalcorp.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=140690&p=irol-sharebenefit

then click on "Click here to view our Shareholder Benefit" -- that should take you to the pdf of the instructions for submitting the docs, etc.

 

If you're talking about purchasing the stock now to get credit for your March 31, 2019 sailing, you'll need to hustle:  

"Please provide by fax or by mail your complete legal name, reservation number, ship and sailing date, along with proof of ownership of Carnival Corporation or Carnival plc shares (for example, photocopy of shareholder proxy card, a dividend tax voucher or a current brokerage or nominee statement with your brokerage account number blacked out) no later than 3 weeks prior to your sail date to your travel agent or to the cruise line you have selected below."

 

Hope this helps ...

 

Lana in Bellingham, WA

 

 

 

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On 10/10/2014 at 12:12 AM, HALMariner23 said:

Two quick questions:

 

1. When do you select your dinning time? When we booked online, it just asked us if we wanted a set time or not, but we didn't get to specify what time.

 

2. How do you order off the vegetarian menu in the MDR? Do you need to do anything before hand or can you just show up at dinner and request the vegetarian menu?

 

Thanks!

 

Call HAL reservations and let them know your wishes.  Ask to see the Vegetarian Menu on your first night and you can place your order for the next night.  There is usually a few vegetarian items on each menu so you will not go hungry on your first night in the MDR.

 

Here is a link to the Vegetarian Menu:

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Vegetarian.pdf

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I have a question about the $1 deposit per person promotion.  If I decide to cancel my booking after final payment, but early enough to only lose my deposit, will I just be out $2?

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8 hours ago, bea555 said:

I have a question about the $1 deposit per person promotion.  If I decide to cancel my booking after final payment, but early enough to only lose my deposit, will I just be out $2?

If you cancel after final payment, you lose everything you have paid. If you cancel before final payment, normally you lose your deposit only. There are a few instances where the penalty period starts before final payment; interim payments will have been made.

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12 hours ago, bea555 said:

I have a question about the $1 deposit per person promotion.  If I decide to cancel my booking after final payment, but early enough to only lose my deposit, will I just be out $2?

I used to think it was as RuthC said, but my current cruise documents state:

Day after Final Payment: Lose your deposits

20 days after FP: 50% of gross fare

48 days after FP: 75% of gross fare

65 days after FP: 100% of gross fare

 

So it does seem that you have an extra 20 days to lose only your deposits. But you would have had to pay the full amount on Final Payment Date.

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Bringing bottles of water off the ship into ports... do they have stations with waters ready to grab or do we need to pay a visit to one of the bars? We will have a beverage package.

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14 minutes ago, raesive said:

Bringing bottles of water off the ship into ports... do they have stations with waters ready to grab or do we need to pay a visit to one of the bars? We will have a beverage package.

 

They do have a station as you are getting off, but, IIRC, they didn’t have the ability to use the beverage cards or SBP (in case you have one of those).

 

Otherwise, yes, and the water is cold.

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19 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

They do have a station as you are getting off, but, IIRC, they didn’t have the ability to use the beverage cards or SBP (in case you have one of those).

 

Otherwise, yes, and the water is cold.

So if they don't have a setup for cards, do they take cash or are the waters free?

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Just now, raesive said:

So if they don't have a setup for cards, do they take cash or are the waters free?

 

They're definitely not free. We find it convenient to just stop by one of the bars and use our card to grab a couple of bottles just prior to leaving the ship on port days.

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1 minute ago, KroozNut said:

 

They're definitely not free. We find it convenient to just stop by one of the bars and use our card to grab a couple of bottles just prior to leaving the ship on port days.

Thanks. We'll stop by a bar then. 🙂 

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1 hour ago, raesive said:

So if they don't have a setup for cards, do they take cash or are the waters free?

They charge it to your stateroom.

 

We’ve only had Explore4 once but like the beverage cards, so, in both cases, I just go to a bar the day before, stick it in my mini fridge and take it out for the next day if I need it.

 

 

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35 minutes ago, NedRyerson57 said:

Does the Oosterdam have any formal or gala nights during the 7 day Alaska trips?

 

HAL sailings typically include at least one Gala evening (regardless of ship or itinerary), depending on cruise length. A 7-day sailing will likely include 2 Gala nights.

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4 hours ago, NedRyerson57 said:

Does the Oosterdam have any formal or gala nights during the 7 day Alaska trips?

They do, but Gala is rarely formal esp. in Alaska. The required dress is only the same in MDR as any night: collared shirt for men, no shorts, etc. Wear what you like (dress up if you like!), but cruiselines in general are responding to the airlines baggage fee increases with changes of their own.

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So.....being that I have a lobster fetish I thought I should ask.   Do they serve Maine lobsters on the gala night or the smaller lobsters like Australian?   Can't believe I just asked that question but after seeing those lobsters, I have to know :classic_love:

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Posted (edited)
On 3/9/2019 at 4:42 PM, kazu said:

 

They do have a station as you are getting off, but, IIRC, they didn’t have the ability to use the beverage cards or SBP (in case you have one of those).

 

That is certainly contrary to our experiences, as we have always used our Room Key (card) to "pay" for our bottled water as we made our port exits.  And now that the SBP "card" is included (embedded) in the Room Key card, it can be used it to "pay" for bottled water at the exit areas: and that is exactly what we did on our Zuiderdam Panama Canal cruise in late-January/early-February, 2019. 

Edited by avian777

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33 minutes ago, cruzin4us said:

So.....being that I have a lobster fetish I thought I should ask.   Do they serve Maine lobsters on the gala night or the smaller lobsters like Australian?   Can't believe I just asked that question but after seeing those lobsters, I have to know :classic_love:

Smaller. Caribbean lobster probably? MDR had a small lobster tails available as an upcharge on some nights. It was only included during the last gala night (NOT the first two gala nights). I think Pinnacle's is Maine lobster (also tail, not whole) and is also an upcharge -- on top of the usual Pinnacle charge.

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In our just concluded Hawaiian cruise, the last gala night included surf and turf, steak and lobster tail.  We did have the option of forgoing the steak and having two lobster tails.  There was plenty of lobster meat.

 

Lobster was available every day for an added charge.

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