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


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5 hours ago, T8NCruise said:

That has been our experience aa well.  A price drop after final payment date has almost always gotten us a perk of more OBC.

Can you use all OBC in the casino and try to win it back?

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14 hours ago, drsel said:

Can you use all OBC in the casino and try to win it back?

 

You can’t use OBC given by HAL in the casino.  Only OBC you purchase or given to you by other means (like a TA).

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Hi,

We are going on our first HAL cruise.  Eight family members have decided to join us.  None of us have cruised on HAL.  My question is about the dining.  If we choose the anytime option would we be able to get a table for 10 or 12?  Would we be better off with one of the set times?

Thank you!

DB

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11 minutes ago, dkdb said:

Hi,

We are going on our first HAL cruise.  Eight family members have decided to join us.  None of us have cruised on HAL.  My question is about the dining.  If we choose the anytime option would we be able to get a table for 10 or 12?  Would we be better off with one of the set times?

Thank you!

DB

 

I don’t think you will be able to find a table for 12 on board or even a 10.

And, it would be hard to hear everyone with a table that large.  I would be tempted to go with a side by side  6 and 4 or 6 and 6 (depending on your group size) and alternate seats.

 

That might be tougher on anytime dining.  I would be tempted to do one of the set dining times and make your request clear for dining.  JMO.

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1 hour ago, dkdb said:

Hi,

We are going on our first HAL cruise.  Eight family members have decided to join us.  None of us have cruised on HAL.  My question is about the dining.  If we choose the anytime option would we be able to get a table for 10 or 12?  Would we be better off with one of the set times?

Thank you!

DB

We were on a cruise with a group of 13 on a HAL and we had anytime dining. We sat at the same table together every night. We did have to call for the reservation and we generally ate at the same time. We had the same wait staff. It worked out great!

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, ljgordon54 said:

We were on a cruise with a group of 13 on a HAL and we had anytime dining. We sat at the same table together every night. We did have to call for the reservation and we generally ate at the same time. We had the same wait staff. It worked out great!

This has been my experience as well with large groups and anytime dining.  I just do not like set dining, early is too early and late is too late for me. I prefer to enter the MDR between 6:30 and 7:00 and never had to wait more than a few minutes to be seated. 

Edited by terrydtx
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I tried to search this but had no luck and if it is in the 190 pages of this HAL for dummies once again I did not go thru 190 pages:

1. Does HAL offer the self assist debarkation where you carry your own luggage off so you can get off the ship as soon as allowed. This would be for the port of Amsterdam when we cruised Royal it was allowed and we were able to catch a 1055am flight out of AMS.

Looking at doing Midnight Sun for Norway in 2022.

2. Has anyone used the service where they take your luggage and you do not see it until you arrive at your home airport once again this will be for Amsterdam. Also I have status with my preferred airline and do not have to pay for baggage I understand I need to pay for the service so does HAL take that into account so you do not get charged for Baggage fees.

Thanks

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On 3/3/2021 at 6:36 PM, AllenF said:

I tried to search this but had no luck and if it is in the 190 pages of this HAL for dummies once again I did not go thru 190 pages:

1. Does HAL offer the self assist debarkation where you carry your own luggage off so you can get off the ship as soon as allowed. This would be for the port of Amsterdam when we cruised Royal it was allowed and we were able to catch a 1055am flight out of AMS.

Looking at doing Midnight Sun for Norway in 2022.

 

Yes, HAL has that.  First ones off the ships.  You MUST manage all your own luggage, of course. 😉 

 

On 3/3/2021 at 6:36 PM, AllenF said:

2. Has anyone used the service where they take your luggage and you do not see it until you arrive at your home airport once again this will be for Amsterdam. Also I have status with my preferred airline and do not have to pay for baggage I understand I need to pay for the service so does HAL take that into account so you do not get charged for Baggage fees.

Thanks

 

Haven’t used the service but lots have and it works well.  I know it is offered out of Port Everglades but not sure about Amsterdam.  And it’s only available with certain airlines - which is why we haven’t used it.  Not available on the airline we have to use to get home.

 

I don’t think the service shows on the HAL’s website for “my bookings”.  You may need to contact HAL or your TA to check if it’s available for Amsterdam.  We flew home from Amsterdam a few years ago and I honestly don’t remember the service offered.  Checked my When and Where and I don’t see it.

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Posted (edited)
On 2/27/2021 at 8:58 PM, T8NCruise said:

That has been our experience aa well.  A price drop after final payment date has almost always gotten us a perk of more OBC.

If I book HAL with a non refundable deposit and there is a price drop prior to final payment, will I get the benefit of the price drop and a lower price?

 

If the price drop is after final payment, can I get the difference in refundable or non refundable OBC ?

Thanks

Edited by drsel
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47 minutes ago, drsel said:

If I book HAL with a non refundable deposit and there is a price drop prior to final payment, will I get the benefit of the price drop and a lower price?

 

If the price drop is after final payment, can I get the difference in refundable or non refundable OBC ?

Thanks

 

Best advice - If you want the benefit of price drops, don’t book with a non refundable deposit. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 3/3/2021 at 5:36 PM, AllenF said:

I tried to search this but had no luck and if it is in the 190 pages of this HAL for dummies once again I did not go thru 190 pages:

1. Does HAL offer the self assist debarkation where you carry your own luggage off so you can get off the ship as soon as allowed. This would be for the port of Amsterdam when we cruised Royal it was allowed and we were able to catch a 1055am flight out of AMS.

Looking at doing Midnight Sun for Norway in 2022.

2. Has anyone used the service where they take your luggage and you do not see it until you arrive at your home airport once again this will be for Amsterdam. Also I have status with my preferred airline and do not have to pay for baggage I understand I need to pay for the service so does HAL take that into account so you do not get charged for Baggage fees.

Thanks

 

In the past, we have done self debarkation a few times. It can get dicey if there is any slowdown with the receiving country authorities giving the ship permission to let passengers disembark. When that happens, the hallways clog up and people get very tetchy. It’s not pretty.

 

Also, no one knows what will be allowed when cruising resumes. Many procedures we were used to in previous travels could very well go the way of the dodo bird.

 

JMHO

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  • 3 weeks later...
4 hours ago, batoryfirst said:

Do all HAL ships have tub/shower combo in the balcony cabins?

 

No. They don’t.  Most do but any of the Pinnacle Class ships (Koningsdam, N Statendam and soon to arrive Rotterdam) are shower only.

The rest of the ships have the combo except HC cabins.  They are shower only.

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On the Signature ships (Eurodam, N. Amsterdam) some of the aft verandah cabins are shower only, and they are not handicap-accessible rooms.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A question for those who have had a 2021 cruises cancelled.

Our August  2021 Alaska cruise on HAL has not been cancelled yet. Final payment is due in a couple of weeks and I am undecided whether to go ahead and pay even thou I expect the cruise to be cancelled. The same cruise in 2022 is priced about 30% higher than my current price, so the opportunity to have the cruise rebooked in 2022 at the 2021 is attractive.  I'd appreciate any info you can offer about your rebooking experience.  If you bought the trip cancellation insurance through HAL was it transferred to your 2022 booking? Were you able to select a stateroom that was comparable to your 2021 selection?

Thanks for any info you can share.

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I have had three cancelled, the first was cancelled about three days before final payment date.    I would recommend waiting until the final minute to cancel if you want to cancel.  They will likely honor your current price and automatically move you to a like sailing in 2022 and may spice it up with a small OBC.  Yes prices have gone up and the price protection is worth considering.  Now of it gets to a day or two you will need to rethink this.  I did not buy the insurance.  

Edited by Mary229
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On 4/21/2021 at 6:24 PM, Mary229 said:

I have had three cancelled, the first was cancelled about three days before final payment date.    I would recommend waiting until the final minute to cancel if you want to cancel.  They will likely honor your current price and automatically move you to a like sailing in 2022 and may spice it up with a small OBC.  Yes prices have gone up and the price protection is worth considering.  Now of it gets to a day or two you will need to rethink this.  I did not buy the insurance.  

Thank you, so much, for sharing your experience.  We will wait till the last minute to make the final payment.   I checked with HAL on what happens if we purchase the cancellation insurance prior to final payment.  The rep said she "thinks" the funds will be refunded if HAL cancels the cruise.  

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Hi All,

It's been 30 years since we cruised. We are booked on the 24 day  June 1, 2022 sailing on the Westerdam. For the purposes of planning excursions, what is the all on board time requirement before departing port? For example we are in Kotor from 7 am - 2 pm.Do we have time to have lunch on shore or do I have to  be back on board 2 hours in advance?

Thanks,

Stephanie

Edited by Omilona
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5 minutes ago, Omilona said:

Hi All,

It's been 30 years since we cruised. We are booked on the 24 day  June 1, 2022 sailing on the Westerdam. For the purposes of planning excursions, what is the all on board time requirement before departing port? For example we are in Kotor from 7 am - 2 pm.Do we have time to have lunch on shore or do I have to  be back on board 2 hours in advance?

Thanks,

Stephanie

 

Your all aboard time is when the ship wants all passengers back onboard from shore prior to setting sail. It is typically anywhere from 30 mins to an hour (occasionally longer) prior to sail.

 

The time will be announced on the ship prior to folks going ashore, and it is usually posted in that day's activity schedule.

Edited by KroozNut
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1 hour ago, Omilona said:

Hi All,

It's been 30 years since we cruised. We are booked on the 24 day  June 1, 2022 sailing on the Westerdam. For the purposes of planning excursions, what is the all on board time requirement before departing port? For example we are in Kotor from 7 am - 2 pm.Do we have time to have lunch on shore or do I have to  be back on board 2 hours in advance?

Thanks,

Stephanie

KroozNut is correct. I would remind you to also be sure to factor in the time it takes to return to the ship. For example, when we were in Kotor on the Celebrity Silhouette, our ship was as close to the Old Town as was possible. You may want to find out where the Westerdam will dock and see if you need to add travel time back to your ship. (BTW, we prefer to cruise with Holland America and Disney now).😊

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Thanks, guys. For a ship the size of Westerdam, how much time should I allow for wait time for the tender to get back on the boat for departure? Dare  I assume if there are dozens of people still waiting for a tender that the ship does not depart? As a related question, if the ship embarks from Barcelona at 5 pm, what is the window of time between check in starting and the ship embarking? We are flying overnight  from NYC, so realistically landing between 9:30 and 11:30 am. so could we go straight to the ship?

Edited by Omilona
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