Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Host Walt

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

Recommended Posts

10 hours ago, cruises42 said:

We  will be on the Amsterdam. I looked at the deck plans our TA sent us and on HAL's site and could not see a difference in any of the balcony pictures on deck 6. How can you tell?

Well, you don’t have many selections of adjoining decks on Deck #6. Look at the deck plan https://www.hollandamerica.com/content/dam/hal/inventory-assets/ships/pdf-files/AM_deck_plan_web_100118.pdf

you will see some of the rooms around the edges you have a “+”. Those are the ones with adjoining decks. That was our experience on the Zaandam. I could be wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, cruises42 said:

We  will be on the Amsterdam. I looked at the deck plans our TA sent us and on HAL's site and could not see a difference in any of the balcony pictures on deck 6. How can you tell?

If there's a cabin next door, they the divider between can be opened. It the next area is public space, or for crew only, then it can't be opened. IIRC, the S-class ships don't have partitions that open, but I am not positive on that.

The '+' sign referenced above refers to connecting cabins, not partitions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/31/2014 at 4:59 PM, Mindy97 said:

Instead of keeping your extra pens or vials in the medical center, you might want to get yourself a FRIO Pack. You soak the liner till it swells some, it has polymer beads in it, and put your vials or pens in there, then slip it in a fabric cover. You can carry it in a purse or carryon like this, and also keep it in your cabin, hotel room, etc. It will keep the items at a safe temperature for four or more days. Don't let it totally dry out. Then you soak the liner again (it takes less time if it isn't dry). I've been using one for years, and you could ask for more references on the Disability section.

 

Where do you get a Frio Pack? Well, I can't recommend a place, but Uncle Google is your friend :rolleyes: They come in all sizes from those for one or two pens to those carrying several vials.

 

M.

I use a Frio all the time and it even kept my insulin cool when I accidentally left it in a hot car.  It is reported to keep cool for 45 hours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm coming over from Princess where they have a coffee card to use for specialty coffees on any ship and/or brewed for that trip only. Does HAL offer something like this or do you have to buy the beverage package which doesn't work for us at all?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, we3peas said:

I'm coming over from Princess where they have a coffee card to use for specialty coffees on any ship and/or brewed for that trip only. Does HAL offer something like this or do you have to buy the beverage package which doesn't work for us at all?

Yes, you can get a coffee card. One the ships we have been on the specialty coffee is great

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am sailing the Oosterdam soon. First time on Holland America.  I am used to restricted room service menus for anyone who is not a suite guest. 

 

But reading through this thread, I am coming across comments that imply one can order almost anything through room service , without a additional charge.

 

Yet I watched a vlog about someone sailing the Oosterdam in 2017, that had a $4 service fee for room service.  I am confused.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, MoyCoy said:

But reading through this thread, I am coming across comments that imply one can order almost anything through room service , without a additional charge.

 

Yet I watched a vlog about someone sailing the Oosterdam in 2017, that had a $4 service fee for room service.  I am confused.  

A very few items do carry a charge (for everyone, btw), so that could be what you read. Or, IIRC, there may be a charge now during certain hours? I'm not sure on that. 
Or were they referring to the tip they might have given? 
But basically, pick up the phone and call room service, and what you want will be delivered---nothing to it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you. What a difference from other cruise lines! I will be sailing in a Neptune suite - 1 day, than 3 months later in a balcony,  7 day. I wonder,  while I am sailing the Neptune suite, can I order room service dinner from the main dining room for my family,  and extended family who is sailing in a inside. I would like to dine with them, but would like to keep it very casual.  

 

I was also considering upgrading my balcony to a Neptune Suite. But I noticed on this thread a strategy of waiting for a discount upgrade. There are only 9 suites left . And my sailing, in general is not selling well. Should I wait?  

 

Thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've never paid any extra amount for room service.  And yes we did order off of the main dinning room menu.  I think there was a certain time frame for dinner.  Anyways, this is what the "know before you go" says ... "SHIPBOARD MEALS In addition to breakfast, lunch and a multi-course dinner, you can enjoy afternoon tea, a stir-fry or pasta buffet, an ice cream bar, hot hors d’oeuvres during the cocktail hours, and the traditional late-night snack. Try the Dive In, located on the Lido Deck, featuring hamburgers and hot dogs. Complimentary In-Room Dining is available 24 hours a day. Casual dining is available in the Lido Restaurant every night. Adjacent the Lido Restaurant area, Canaletto restaurant serves classic Italian cuisine with tableside service for dinners. Luxury dining options in the Pinnacle Grill, featuring the highest quality meat and fish, is available on all ships. Reservations may be made on board by contacting the restaurant manager. There is a nominal restaurant charge for the Pinnacle Grill, Canaletto and Tamarind (available on Eurodam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, and the upcoming Ryndam)."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, MoyCoy said:

I wonder,  while I am sailing the Neptune suite, can I order room service dinner from the main dining room for my family,  and extended family who is sailing in a inside.

Everyone, even the lowliest inside, can order dinner to their cabin off the dining room menu. If you want all the dinners delivered to your cabin so you can all dine together as a family, I know of no reason why you can't do that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trying to figure out if we should buy the quench beverage package. Hard to figure out when you don't know how much a soda, juice, smoothy, bottled water,  or coffee costs on board, if you choose to pay as you drink. Does anyone have a current pricing on beverages on HAL Noordam September 2019? Also wondering about alcohol - beer, wine, and mixed drinks pricing. Have been looking online, but not finding exactly what I need.

TIA!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, kaylouiseschmidt said:

Trying to figure out if we should buy the quench beverage package. Hard to figure out when you don't know how much a soda, juice, smoothy, bottled water,  or coffee costs on board, if you choose to pay as you drink. Does anyone have a current pricing on beverages on HAL Noordam September 2019? Also wondering about alcohol - beer, wine, and mixed drinks pricing. Have been looking online, but not finding exactly what I need.

TIA!

 

Here you go:  Current HAL Menus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Travelling in Nov to Eastern Caribbean on Nieuw Statendam for first time in 6th floor AFT veranda cabin.  Does anyone have any positive feedback/tips to share?  Also is it possible on HAL ships to plug in a low watt nightlight in bathroom?  Many thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi. We are hoping to combine a HAL cruise with a Rocky Mountaineer trip. This will be our first trip with HAL. We would be looking at balcony or above. Have done suites on previous cruises. What are folks thoughts and what are the benefits from suites. Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Frugalsgirl said:

Hi. We are hoping to combine a HAL cruise with a Rocky Mountaineer trip. This will be our first trip with HAL. We would be looking at balcony or above. Have done suites on previous cruises. What are folks thoughts and what are the benefits from suites. Thanks

 

What ship are you looking at going on?  I ask as on some ships you will see the term Vista Suite.  These are in essence just balcony cabins, balcony size and carry no suite amenities.  You will get double mariner points for booking them but they are in no way suites.

 

On the larger ships there are Signature Suites.  These are popular with a lot of people as they are about 1.5 x the size of the balcony cabins with double sinks, separate shower and tub.  Very comfortable layout.  Telephone concierge and pillow selection is about all of the real amenities.  The real benefit is the room itself and for some, a chance for an upsell offer to a Neptune Suite if they are not sold out.  (Getting them at a much cheaper price that what you would have paid if you booked it).  And, of course the pricing.  It’s much more reasonable than the Neptune Suites and usually a good price for the size of the room.

 

The Neptune Suites are double the size of the balconies.  These carry the real amenities of the suites on HAL.  Neptune Lounge with munchies, non alcoholic drinks, coffee machine, etc., free laundry & drycleaning, breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill or Club Orange (depending on the ship), Club Orange menu (just one extra item) in the Main Dining Room, Neptune Lounge concierge, priority embarkation, priority tendering, etc.  There’s some other stuff but I think those are the most significant.

 

The Pinnacle Suite (aka Penthouse) is huge on the Vista class and above and has all of the same amenities as the Neptune Suite.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Beachnut53 said:

Travelling in Nov to Eastern Caribbean on Nieuw Statendam for first time in 6th floor AFT veranda cabin.  Does anyone have any positive feedback/tips to share?  Also is it possible on HAL ships to plug in a low watt nightlight in bathroom?  Many thanks

 

There is a razor plug in the bathroom for your nightlight.

 

AFT staterooms facing the wake have lots of advantages:

  • no wind while the ship is moving so you can enjoy your balcony while the wind may prevent others from enjoying balconies on the sides of the ship
  • you can see both sides of the ship without leaving your stateroom
  • it is a short elevator ride up to the Lido Market for meals (late coffee) and a short ride down to the Main Dining Room
  • it is a short elevator ride up from the Room Service kitchen so hot food will still be very hot when received
  • there is little foot traffic
  • the sound of the wake is very soothing when sleeping
  • great expansive view for photographs
  • some staterooms have night lights in the bathroom

Bring US to European adapters to allow your smartphone and tablets to take advantage of their 110-240V capability and use the European outlets.  There are USB outlets on each side of the bed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, kazu said:

 

What ship are you looking at going on?  I ask as on some ships you will see the term Vista Suite.  These are in essence just balcony cabins, balcony size and carry no suite amenities.  You will get double mariner points for booking them but they are in no way suites.

 

On the larger ships there are Signature Suites.  These are popular with a lot of people as they are about 1.5 x the size of the balcony cabins with double sinks, separate shower and tub.  Very comfortable layout.  Telephone concierge and pillow selection is about all of the real amenities.  The real benefit is the room itself and for some, a chance for an upsell offer to a Neptune Suite if they are not sold out.  (Getting them at a much cheaper price that what you would have paid if you booked it).  And, of course the pricing.  It’s much more reasonable than the Neptune Suites and usually a good price for the size of the room.

 

The Neptune Suites are double the size of the balconies.  These carry the real amenities of the suites on HAL.  Neptune Lounge with munchies, non alcoholic drinks, coffee machine, etc., free laundry & drycleaning, breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill or Club Orange (depending on the ship), Club Orange menu (just one extra item) in the Main Dining Room, Neptune Lounge concierge, priority embarkation, priority tendering, etc.  There’s some other stuff but I think those are the most significant.

The Pinnacle Suite (aka Penthouse) is huge on the Vista class and above and has all of the same amenities as the Neptune Suite.

 

 

 

Hi kazu,

 

Lots of helpful information.  (I feel like I need the "accelerated learning program"!).

 

Free laundry and dry cleaning in Neptune Suites?  Any limits (or should I just bring the contents of all the laundry hampers at  home <joke alert!>)?

What is the turnaround time?  This should make packing so much easier.

 

What types of specialty coffees are there, and prices?  DH really enjoys lattes and such!

 

There is a note at the bottom of your post:  "Jacqui emailme "  Is that supposed to be clickable?

 

Is there a tour of the ship early in the cruise?  It's nice *not* to find out that a favorite activity or sitting area was overlooked until the next to last day (or worse, to read about it after returning :classic_ohmy: )

 

We'll be on the Noordam, apparently not too long after the dry dock.

 

Many thanks!

 

GC

 

P.S.  I just hate when ships use the term "suite" for accommodations that have *none* of the suite amenities!  Why don't they use terminology similar to "Deluxe Balcony" or such?  Then there would be less confusion and, importantly, less disappointment.

<end rant>

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

Hi kazu,

 

Lots of helpful information.  (I feel like I need the "accelerated learning program"!).

 

Free laundry and dry cleaning in Neptune Suites?  Any limits (or should I just bring the contents of all the laundry hampers at  home <joke alert!>)?

What is the turnaround time?  This should make packing so much easier.

 

What types of specialty coffees are there, and prices?  DH really enjoys lattes and such!

 

There is a note at the bottom of your post:  "Jacqui emailme "  Is that supposed to be clickable?

 

Is there a tour of the ship early in the cruise?  It's nice *not* to find out that a favorite activity or sitting area was overlooked until the next to last day (or worse, to read about it after returning :classic_ohmy: )

 

We'll be on the Noordam, apparently not too long after the dry dock.

 

Many thanks!

 

GC

 

P.S.  I just hate when ships use the term "suite" for accommodations that have *none* of the suite amenities!  Why don't they use terminology similar to "Deluxe Balcony" or such?  Then there would be less confusion and, importantly, less disappointment.

<end rant>

 

 

 

When I get on a new ship which I've never sailed on before I like to go & explore the different decks inside & out to see what they have to offer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

Hi kazu,

 

Lots of helpful information.  (I feel like I need the "accelerated learning program"!).

 

Free laundry and dry cleaning in Neptune Suites?  Any limits (or should I just bring the contents of all the laundry hampers at  home <joke alert!>)?

What is the turnaround time?  This should make packing so much easier.

 

No limit on the laundry nor how often it is sent out.

 

Turnaround time is supposedly 48 hours.  I’ve always gotten ours back in 24 hours or less.

16 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

What types of specialty coffees are there, and prices?  DH really enjoys lattes and such!

There are lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, etc.  Pretty much the usual choices.  Cost is changing constantly but I think it’s around $3.50 still.  The machine in the Neptune Lounge is free for those in Neptunes or the Pinnacle, of course.

 

16 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

There is a note at the bottom of your post:  "Jacqui emailme "  Is that supposed to be clickable?

 

It used to be.  The forum had another upgrade and now it doesn’t work.  I’ve tried fixing it to no avail and keep hoping the forum gets another upgrade so I can.  LOL

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, ski ww said:

When I get on a new ship which I've never sailed on before I like to go & explore the different decks inside & out to see what they have to offer.

 

We enjoy doing that, too.  However, it's nice if there is a tour, although that doesn't guarantee "finding all the nooks and crannies", etc.

We tend to keep some printed out deck plans with us, especially the first few days, until we feel more oriented, ad feel like we "know what is 'there' ", etc.

But a lot of this is also learning about the various activities/services, and for that, CruiseCritic is just invaluable.

Exploring will be fun, of course.

 

Thanks!

 

GC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

We enjoy doing that, too.  However, it's nice if there is a tour, although that doesn't guarantee "finding all the nooks and crannies", etc.

We tend to keep some printed out deck plans with us, especially the first few days, until we feel more oriented, ad feel like we "know what is 'there' ", etc.

But a lot of this is also learning about the various activities/services, and for that, CruiseCritic is just invaluable.

Exploring will be fun, of course.

 

Thanks!

 

GC

 

There is a little map as well you get with your key card holder.

 

Best advice, go for a walk on the various decks and check things out. 🙂 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, kazu said:

 

No limit on the laundry nor how often it is sent out.

 

Turnaround time is supposedly 48 hours.  I’ve always gotten ours back in 24 hours or less.

There are lattes, cappuccinos, espressos, etc.  Pretty much the usual choices.  Cost is changing constantly but I think it’s around $3.50 still.  The machine in the Neptune Lounge is free for those in Neptunes or the Pinnacle, of course.

 

 

It used to be.  The forum had another upgrade and now it doesn’t work.  I’ve tried fixing it to no avail and keep hoping the forum gets another upgrade so I can.  LOL

 

 

 

Very good news about the free laundry, and dry cleaning too.

Now we'll see if the "no limit" laundry/dry cleaning will help us to avoid overpacking!  
If not, then I/we've got no excuses anymore...

It's one problem we don't seem to be making much progress towards solving, alas.

 

We're in a Neptune suite, and not too far from the lounge, so that will be *very* convenient for DH.  He'll be a happy camper!

But if there are "better" ones from a barista-type person somewhere, then that's one of his few splurges, no matter where we are. :classic_wink:

Are there smaller coffee machines in the suites?  If so, do you happen to know what type (Noordam, in case it matters)?

 

I'll check if the "clickable" link one of my other CC friends uses still works.

Meanwhile, we've just got ours written out below in the "signature" section under each post.

Could you perhaps send me an email so I can send a question directly to you?

 

Many thanks!

 

GC

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

Very good news about the free laundry, and dry cleaning too.

Now we'll see if the "no limit" laundry/dry cleaning will help us to avoid overpacking!  
If not, then I/we've got no excuses anymore...

It's one problem we don't seem to be making much progress towards solving, alas.

 

We're in a Neptune suite, and not too far from the lounge, so that will be *very* convenient for DH.  He'll be a happy camper!

But if there are "better" ones from a barista-type person somewhere, then that's one of his few splurges, no matter where we are. :classic_wink:

 

There is the Explorer’s Cafe where they make specialty coffees.

 

9 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

Are there smaller coffee machines in the suites?  If so, do you happen to know what type (Noordam, in case it matters)?

 

Yes, there are coffee machines in the suites.  They use a type of pod.  I’m not sure they are a brand any of us are familiar with.

 

9 minutes ago, GeezerCouple said:

I'll check if the "clickable" link one of my other CC friends uses still works.

Meanwhile, we've just got ours written out below in the "signature" section under each post.

Could you perhaps send me an email so I can send a question directly to you?

 

Many thanks!

 

GC

 

 

 

I liked having my email “slightly hidden”.  But it was the same thing with the spread sheet.  I had to put the whole google link in my signature.  Before I could just do a “click here for the attachment”.  

I guess I’m not tech savvy enough to do know how to do it now with the new forum.

Certainly I will email you.  Check your spam

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We just came back from a land/sea Alaskas cruise and had a Neptune Suite. There is no limit to the amount of laundry you can have cleaned.  Your steward will give you a different bag to put it in as it is complimentary. When we first arrived on the ship we had 8 days of laundry to have cleaned. The steward arrived with a huge (Santa size) sack to put our clothes in. You fill out a form that has items listed and you put down how many of each you're giving them to clean.  I just made piles on the bed and counted each shirt, jeans, socks etc. We had our laundry back the next morning and it was great. We could continue to give them laundry until 10 am the day before you leave the ship. So if you do that the only laundry you'll have when you get home is what you wear the day before you disembark and what you sleep in. I thought it was a great perk and well worth considering a suite again on our next cruise. Now the Neptune Lounge. Ours was open from 7 am until 8:30 PM. For breakfast they have bagels, toast, yogurts, fruit and muffins. On the idea of a continental breakfast. They had a coffee machine and you could have cappuccino, lattes, hot chocolate, and they had 8 teas to choose from.  There were also juices to choose from. At around lunch time they had little plates with various items from shrimp salad, hard boiled eggs, yogurt along with cookies muffins etc. There is alcohol there but it's an honor bar and they will charge your room. The concierge will make all your dinner reservations and take care of any needs you may have. Ours was great. Very dedicated to making sure we had a great time. Don't forget you can have breakfast in the Pinnacle Restaurant if you want, There you can get full breakfasts and the food was great. The staff will be very attentive. I hope this helps.

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