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

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11 hours ago, Jacaluke said:

We are on a cruise on the Maasdam in January and we have got a Lanai cabin CA370 - it is directly below the galley.  I'm just a bit worried about noise - has anybody stayed under the galley and if so how bad was the noise?  Thanks.

 

Never been under the galley but we did have a cabin under the Lido deck once and will never do that again. The unbearable noise from moving the deck chairs and other equipment around began every morning between 4 and 5am. I would think the galley would be just as noisy in the early morning hours. 

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Hi Everyone, taking my very first cruise on Saturday - the Eurodam to Alaska. I just wanted to thank all the posters for their insightful questions and answers - it has been very informative and I feel much better prepared for the trip, especially having never cruised before. We booked in November, so it is hard to believe the time is almost here! I think I have read all 174 pages of this thread in the last 9 months or so while anticipating our departure.

 

I did have one question related to the boarding passes. I printed the express docs, but there isn't any type of bar code or "scannable" on the pass - is this correct? I want to make sure it printed completely and nothing is missing from the document.

 

Thank you all!

 

 

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27 minutes ago, kyla.cole said:

Hi Everyone, taking my very first cruise on Saturday - the Eurodam to Alaska. I just wanted to thank all the posters for their insightful questions and answers - it has been very informative and I feel much better prepared for the trip, especially having never cruised before. We booked in November, so it is hard to believe the time is almost here! I think I have read all 174 pages of this thread in the last 9 months or so while anticipating our departure.

 

I did have one question related to the boarding passes. I printed the express docs, but there isn't any type of bar code or "scannable" on the pass - is this correct? I want to make sure it printed completely and nothing is missing from the document.

 

Thank you all!

 

 

 

In my experience - the express documents let you in the building for security and check-in. Then they put you in the correct line for the check-in process. I also offer it with my passport for check-in [sometimes they look at it - but mostly just use my passport to look me up.] and they hand it right back. No scanners anywhere for the express documents, just port workers verifying your cruise.

Edited by Happily@Sea

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We were below a galley on the Noorsdam last year and it was the worst. The ship was full so no remedy. If you can change do so. The staff was great but had no options.

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Our first time on Holland America in awhile...  I see several references to Happy Hour.  Is that a daily thing and what is the usual timing for it?  Available in all/most bars?

Thanks!

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1 hour ago, 7SeasTravellers said:

Our first time on Holland America in awhile...  I see several references to Happy Hour.  Is that a daily thing and what is the usual timing for it?  Available in all/most bars?

Thanks!

 

Yes, Happy Hour is a daily thing.  Usually limited to two bars IME.

 

It’s published in the When and Where each day.  Haven’t been on the newest Pinnacle Class ships but on the ones I was on it’s normally in the Crow’s Nest and Ocean Bar.

 

Times vary but usually one at 4pm and another around 10:00 pm.

 

Just check your When and Where on board.  Once you see the first one, it’s usually the same but do check to be safe.  They are well publicized.  

 

Basically, it’s buy one drink, get the 2nd for $2.  No limit to the cost of the drink 😉 

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21 hours ago, 7SeasTravellers said:

Our first time on Holland America in awhile...  I see several references to Happy Hour.  Is that a daily thing and what is the usual timing for it?  Available in all/most bars?

Thanks!

On the Noordam in July Happy Hour was daily in the Oceans Bar 4-5pm and Crows Nest 5-6pm. We did the Crows Nest every night before dinner. Great deal buy any drink and get second for $2. The Crows Nest also had a free assortment of cold and hot appetizers that were delicious. 

Edited by terrydtx

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Anyone who has cruised to Croatia, is it true that they don’t accept dollars, euros or credit cards. Will be going next month & wondering should I get kuna before I leave. 

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6 minutes ago, philliesgirl48 said:

Anyone who has cruised to Croatia, is it true that they don’t accept dollars, euros or credit cards. Will be going next month & wondering should I get kuna before I leave. 

We were just on a cruise with 3 Croatian ports (Dubrovnik, Split and Korcula) in July/Aug and found that it varied. It was easy to find ATMs at these ports so there was no need for us to get the local currency in advance of the cruise. We booked private excursions in advance and specifically arranged in advance to pay for those in euros so that was no problem.  But we found that many shops would only accept kuna so we needed a little bit of the local currency to pay for small things like a drink or snack. 

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Hello, i really like royal, but thinking of sailing on the Nieuw Stantandam. will i be disappointed or pleasantly surprised? the music venues sound great. thanks

 

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We have been on RC several times and enjoyed their ships, services and on board entertainment.

 

But Holland’s last two ships including the Statendam is incredibly tasteful on a number of fronts. The music venues are especially fun. We only used the Buffet for meals because of young kids, and the food has always been very good. We had a choice of returning to RC, but are instead planning a family cruise in Feb for 16 ppl on the Statendam. The reasons include ability to reserve larger family rooms, the itinerary, and all the reasons listed above. 

 

Doesn’t mean we won’t return to RC and it's beautiful lineup of ships, but you’ll find the Statendam and it’s similar sister, the Koningsdam as very nice mid-size ships. 

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6 hours ago, suzannecruisecritic said:

We were just on a cruise with 3 Croatian ports (Dubrovnik, Split and Korcula) in July/Aug and found that it varied. It was easy to find ATMs at these ports so there was no need for us to get the local currency in advance of the cruise. We booked private excursions in advance and specifically arranged in advance to pay for those in euros so that was no problem.  But we found that many shops would only accept kuna so we needed a little bit of the local currency to pay for small things like a drink or snack. 

Thank you. This is good information to have! If there are ATMs handy, I won't worry about getting kuna ahead of time.

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17 hours ago, philliesgirl48 said:

Anyone who has cruised to Croatia, is it true that they don’t accept dollars, euros or credit cards. Will be going next month & wondering should I get kuna before I leave. 

We had no problem using a credit card for all our spending.

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18 hours ago, philliesgirl48 said:

Anyone who has cruised to Croatia, is it true that they don’t accept dollars, euros or credit cards. Will be going next month & wondering should I get kuna before I leave. 

Great question, we will be stopping there next year and are also interested in the answers. You might also ask this question under the Ports of Call section of cruise critic. Have a great trip.

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On 9/16/2019 at 9:53 AM, philliesgirl48 said:

Anyone who has cruised to Croatia, is it true that they don’t accept dollars, euros or credit cards. Will be going next month & wondering should I get kuna before I leave. 

The only thing we needed kuna for was public restrooms. They were not free but only took coins so we had to ask a local to change a bill to get the necessary coins. 

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I read somewhere that on Gala night we are supposed to wear orange - something about King’s Night and orange is in deference to the Netherlands. I can’t find the reference nor read about it anywhere else. Does anyone know if this still exists?

 

Tx. Am packing for the trip as I leave home tomorrow. Really looking forward to it. 

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4 minutes ago, PaulineW said:

I read somewhere that on Gala night we are supposed to wear orange - something about King’s Night and orange is in deference to the Netherlands.

You may be mixing two different things together. Starting not that many months ago, most (if not all) the HAL cruises have an Orange Nite, in deference to the king. There are also Gala nights. But I have not seen an Orange Nite on a Gala night. 

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1 minute ago, RuthC said:

You may be mixing two different things together. Starting not that many months ago, most (if not all) the HAL cruises have an Orange Nite, in deference to the king. There are also Gala nights. But I have not seen an Orange Nite on a Gala night. 

Thanks a lot Ruth. I have obviously done that. Will pack an orange shawl 😊

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Nieuw Amsterdam room on deck 8 near the back - can you give me any info / advice? It seems to be under the pool towards the rear of the boat. I'm thinking that should be all right. I'm hoping not under a galley? but I see these rooms are less expensive that on the lower decks? any particular reason? Thanks!

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13 minutes ago, suec12 said:

Nieuw Amsterdam room on deck 8 near the back - can you give me any info / advice? It seems to be under the pool towards the rear of the boat. I'm thinking that should be all right. I'm hoping not under a galley? but I see these rooms are less expensive that on the lower decks? any particular reason? Thanks!

How far back?  Balcony or indoor?  If you're under the aft deck it should be quiet at night

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8 hours ago, jonyboy said:

How far back?  Balcony or indoor?  If you're under the aft deck it should be quiet at night

Quiet under the aft deck at night?  Not hardly.  Not with the scraping, booming and slam banging of putting away the deck furniture at midnight and taking it out again at 6:00 in the morning.  Good luck trying to sleep through that!

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Exactly the reason that I now ALWAYS look at what is over and under us after spending a week under the pool years ago.

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On 9/25/2019 at 1:17 AM, ToXS said:

Quiet under the aft deck at night?  Not hardly.  Not with the scraping, booming and slam banging of putting away the deck furniture at midnight and taking it out again at 6:00 in the morning.  Good luck trying to sleep through that!

Had an aft cabin right under the aft deck and slept like a log. Only time we heard any noise was if we were out on our balcony, then we could hear chairs etc. being moved or people talking.

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