Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Host Walt

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

Recommended Posts

 

 

AFAIK each ship has an Explorations Cafe, though not all are in the same area as the Crow's Nest.

 

 

Yes, thankfully some of the ships still have a true Crow's Nest and the Explorations Cafe is elsewhere on those ships :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The "sandwiches" that we have seen and enjoyed at the Explorations are little two-bite snacks. IMHO the offerings there don't warrant calling it a "sandwich cafe". The primary service is beverages (non-alcoholic). Little nibbles such as brownies, tiny sandwiches, and cookies are available, but not the primary focus.

 

 

AFAIK each ship has an Explorations Cafe, though not all are in the same area as the Crow's Nest.

 

Actually, when you consider the size of the little signs in front of the "sandwiches" you can see they must be only "one bite" snacks, LOL! Certainly not enough for lunch. On the W'dam they only ever had the sweet snackies and squares.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

New to HAL but not to cruising; we are taking a 3-day cruise in Sept to try it out.

I read boarding can begin around 11:30 am but cabin might not be ready until 1:00 pm. Are you able to access your cabin to drop off luggage? It is just a 3-day cruise so will only have carry-on bags and don't want to check them to be delivered later.

We have open dining and prefer a table for two; is it necessary to make a rsv or can we walk up at any time and be seated at a table for two? I know we might have wait a bit.

Anyone familiar with 3-day cruises, states there is one formal night; are they kidding?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
New to HAL but not to cruising; we are taking a 3-day cruise in Sept to try it out.

I read boarding can begin around 11:30 am but cabin might not be ready until 1:00 pm. Are you able to access your cabin to drop off luggage? It is just a 3-day cruise so will only have carry-on bags and don't want to check them to be delivered later.

We have open dining and prefer a table for two; is it necessary to make a rsv or can we walk up at any time and be seated at a table for two? I know we might have wait a bit.

Anyone familiar with 3-day cruises, states there is one formal night; are they kidding?

 

Hi there. Cabins are usually available when you board, around 11:30 am, but of course there are sometimes glitches or delays due to - for instance - a deep cleaning. You can drop off your bags as soon as the cabin is available.

 

For dining you can request a table for two, and you may have a little wait but they can usually accomodate you fairly quickly.

 

As for formal nights - we just completed a 20 day cruise and the final four days was a separate segment with no formal night during that time. Formal nights are becoming less and less, we only had 4 in 20 days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
New to HAL but not to cruising; we are taking a 3-day cruise in Sept to try it out.

I read boarding can begin around 11:30 am but cabin might not be ready until 1:00 pm. Are you able to access your cabin to drop off luggage? It is just a 3-day cruise so will only have carry-on bags and don't want to check them to be delivered later.

We have open dining and prefer a table for two; is it necessary to make a rsv or can we walk up at any time and be seated at a table for two? I know we might have wait a bit.

Anyone familiar with 3-day cruises, states there is one formal night; are they kidding?

 

The staterooms will be ready at 11:30 with very little exceptions (fruit, flowers, ice, etc). In any case, you can drop your carry-on bags and go to lunch.

 

Yoyu just show and up and request a table for two.

Edited by Crew News

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi everyone, can anyone tell me if the dvd player run dvd's of NTSC or PAL format?

Thanks

Karen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all. I have a couple of questions about Signature suites. From my understanding they get double mariner days. I also think (but not quite sure) that they pay the larger amount for the service/gratuity charge. Do they also qualify for the 'suite luncheon'? Thanks in advance for any answers. Jen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi all. I have a couple of questions about Signature suites. From my understanding they get double mariner days. I also think (but not quite sure) that they pay the larger amount for the service/gratuity charge. Do they also qualify for the 'suite luncheon'? Thanks in advance for any answers. Jen.

 

 

You are right on the double Mariner days and the higher gratuity.

 

Unfortunpnately the Signture unites do not qualify for the suite luncheon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi all. I have a couple of questions about Signature suites. From my understanding they get double mariner days. I also think (but not quite sure) that they pay the larger amount for the service/gratuity charge. Do they also qualify for the 'suite luncheon'? Thanks in advance for any answers. Jen.

 

You will get double points unless you get your signature suite through an upsell or free upgrade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi all. I have a couple of questions about Signature suites. From my understanding they get double mariner days. I also think (but not quite sure) that they pay the larger amount for the service/gratuity charge. Do they also qualify for the 'suite luncheon'? Thanks in advance for any answers. Jen.

 

Your other questions have been answered, so I will just add that the HSC is $12/day for suites. All other cabins are (I believe) $11.50/day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hi everyone, can anyone tell me if the dvd player run dvd's of NTSC or PAL format?

Thanks

Karen

 

NTSC. You can pickup free DVDs in the ship's library.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks all for your answers. I thought I was right, but don 't quite get why for the first two but not invited to the luncheon. Not that I'm worried, just interested. Jen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks all for your answers. I thought I was right, but don 't quite get why for the first two but not invited to the luncheon. Not that I'm worried, just interested. Jen.

 

There are several amenities that go with the Neptune Suites (and PS) that the signature suites don't get. It's part of the paid for perks of the Neptune Suites and one of the reasons they are more expensive than the Signature Suites.

 

There is limited space for the Suite Luncheon as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi there. Cabins are usually available when you board, around 11:30 am, but of course there are sometimes glitches or delays due to - for instance - a deep cleaning. You can drop off your bags as soon as the cabin is available.

 

For dining you can request a table for two, and you may have a little wait but they can usually accomodate you fairly quickly.

 

As for formal nights - we just completed a 20 day cruise and the final four days was a separate segment with no formal night during that time. Formal nights are becoming less and less, we only had 4 in 20 days.

 

 

Hi Lizzie. We are booked on the Eurodam for 19 nights from July 19. I was wondering about the amount of formal nights. 2 is enough for me. I only have one cocktail dress! I read that black trousers and a dressy top is considered acceptable for these nights as well. Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello,

We are booked on our first HAL Baltic cruise in Aug-15 on Eurodam. Sadly no free drink package for us and I am not sure we'd get value out of the SBP. So we'll probably pay as we go.

So what is the difference between buying a drinks card vs charge your account?

Are the drinks cards really a 50% discount ? (Web site isn't clear on that)

And does that apply to expensive wine by the glass?

 

I am also interested in this. I can't find any info on the charges of wine / beer/ soft drink per glass so it is hard to calculate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Kazu and all others for the answers. I guess if I was paying the extra for the Neptune Suites or PS I would expect a few extra perks. Being only my second cruise and first HAL I am really looking forward to cruising again and experiencing HAL first hand.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Lizzie. We are booked on the Eurodam for 19 nights from July 19. I was wondering about the amount of formal nights. 2 is enough for me. I only have one cocktail dress! I read that black trousers and a dressy top is considered acceptable for these nights as well. Thoughts?

 

 

not Lizzie, but on a 19 night cruise I would think the max formal nights would be 3. HAL has recently changed the frequency of formal nights on the cruises. On our 30 day there were 4 (only 26 days would count as the last 4 were the Pacific Coastal and they no longer do formal nights on this).

 

Yes, dressy pants and a dressy top are indeed acceptable for formal nights. You will be fine if you dress nicely.

 

Once you are able to print your express docs (you will get an email) the number of formal and smart casual nights will be showing on them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am also interested in this. I can't find any info on the charges of wine / beer/ soft drink per glass so it is hard to calculate.

 

 

The beverage cards that can be used for alcohol have no discount. No difference whether you use the card or charge to your on board account. The only benefit is that you avoid a lot of charges and slips to keep track of.

 

The soda card (beverage card for sodas only) do have a 50% discount. So the $50 card costs $25. My understanding is that with this card you get fountain soda as opposed to cans. With the other card, you can have the cans.

 

There is a site that has all of the drink costs and menus but unfortunately it is not permitted to be named here.

 

To give you an idea, beers are around $5.95, wines vary depending upon whether you get house wine or "better" brands. Prices vary from $6.95 to $11.00 if memory serves correctly. There is a 15% gratuity added automatically to all beverage purchases.

 

There are also happy hours (buy one drink get the other for a $1) at various times (posted in the On Location) and drinks of the day.

 

hope this helps a bit :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you Kazu and all others for the answers. I guess if I was paying the extra for the Neptune Suites or PS I would expect a few extra perks. Being only my second cruise and first HAL I am really looking forward to cruising again and experiencing HAL first hand.:)

 

 

you are very welcome. I think you will find the Signature Suites very comfortable. The extra room is very nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Lizzie. We are booked on the Eurodam for 19 nights from July 19. I was wondering about the amount of formal nights. 2 is enough for me. I only have one cocktail dress! I read that black trousers and a dressy top is considered acceptable for these nights as well. Thoughts?

 

On our recent 20 day cruise, there were only 4 formal nights and no one would care if you wear the same dress to each one!:) But your black pants and dressy top is fine, too. Enjoy your cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On our recent 20 day cruise, there were only 4 formal nights and no one would care if you wear the same dress to each one!:) But your black pants and dressy top is fine, too. Enjoy your cruise.

 

Thanks, I've been wondering the same thing about black slacks. What about dressy palazzo type capris?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The beverage cards that can be used for alcohol have no discount. No difference whether you use the card or charge to your on board account. The only benefit is that you avoid a lot of charges and slips to keep track of.

 

The soda card (beverage card for sodas only) do have a 50% discount. So the $50 card costs $25. My understanding is that with this card you get fountain soda as opposed to cans. With the other card, you can have the cans.

 

There is a site that has all of the drink costs and menus but unfortunately it is not permitted to be named here.

 

To give you an idea, beers are around $5.95, wines vary depending upon whether you get house wine or "better" brands. Prices vary from $6.95 to $11.00 if memory serves correctly. There is a 15% gratuity added automatically to all beverage purchases.

 

There are also happy hours (buy one drink get the other for a $1) at various times (posted in the On Location) and drinks of the day.

 

hope this helps a bit :)

 

Yes it does help. Thanks again

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. Some wonderful photos there. Must have taken a lot of time and effort to put that together. Thank you :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I am also interested in this. I can't find any info on the charges of wine / beer/ soft drink per glass so it is hard to calculate.

 

Here is a link to the current HAL Specialty Restaurant, beverage, and Room Service menus that will help you in pricing:

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/specialty-2/hal-regular-and-specialty-restaurants/

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...