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


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22 minutes ago, Omilona said:

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?

Planning on arriving in Barcelona from NYC the morning of your departure is, in my opinion, a bad idea.  Perhaps you should consider arriving in Barcelona a day or two before departure.

 

If there are dozens of people waiting for the tender back to the ship, they won’t be leaving without you.

 

Typically, the wait time for a tender to return to the ship is not nearly as long as the wait time to get from the ship to shore.  People tend to return to the ship on a more gradual, unhurried pace unlike the mad dash to get ashore upon arrival at the port.

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After the "Have it all" policy on 21st April 2021, the HAL prices have gone up like crazy!

The basic price without the offers has also gone up significantly

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13 hours ago, Omilona said:

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?

 

12 hours ago, d9704011 said:

Planning on arriving in Barcelona from NYC the morning of your departure is, in my opinion, a bad idea.  Perhaps you should consider arriving in Barcelona a day or two before departure.

Agree . Flying to Europe day of the cruise is unwise although doable . Barcelona is a great city and the three days we spent there pre-cruise was perhaps the highlight of our last Med cruise . Incredible sights, food and people . Very reasonable too .

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22 minutes ago, richstowe said:

 

Agree . Flying to Europe day of the cruise is unwise although doable . Barcelona is a great city and the three days we spent there pre-cruise was perhaps the highlight of our last Med cruise . Incredible sights, food and people . Very reasonable too .

Now that we are retired, we always spend a day or more at the departure and arrival cities in  Europe just to see the sights.  This also gives time to get over jet lag before the cruise starts. We have 22 nights of cruising booked in September with 10 nights on land at the various departure and arrival ports. In 2008 we did a RT cruise out of Barcelona and flew in day of departure and home day of arrival and all we saw of Barcelona was the 2 bus rides from and to the airport.  We were still working then and very limited on vacation time.

Edited by terrydtx
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On 4/26/2021 at 8:52 AM, richstowe said:

 

Agree . Flying to Europe day of the cruise is unwise although doable . Barcelona is a great city and the three days we spent there pre-cruise was perhaps the highlight of our last Med cruise . Incredible sights, food and people . Very reasonable too .

Absolutely! I'd find it very stressful to come in the day of. As for Barcelona, I had no desire to visit the city when we cruised in 2019, but DH and I did a walking tour. I fell in love with the architecture and history. And I'd love to go back again!

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When we took the inaugural cruise of the Nieuw Statendam out of Civitavecchia, we came three days early and explored the lovely little port city.  We had been there several times before but just were passing through.  Having the time to walk around, visit the market, the port and the sending church for the mission to Japan was so worth it.  We did a similar thing in Barcelona with similar results.

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Ok, so the current plan is to fly overnight the 30th arriving 6:45 am  on the 31st, check into the Melia to sleep for a few hours and then have that afternoon and most of the 1st to see/eat in Barcelona. If the departure time is 5 pm, what time do they start checking in? Would it not make the most sense to check in with the luggage as early as possible and then go sightsee? Thanks everyone! So excited for this trip!

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1 hour ago, Omilona said:

Ok, so the current plan is to fly overnight the 30th arriving 6:45 am  on the 31st, check into the Melia to sleep for a few hours and then have that afternoon and most of the 1st to see/eat in Barcelona. If the departure time is 5 pm, what time do they start checking in? Would it not make the most sense to check in with the luggage as early as possible and then go sightsee? Thanks everyone! So excited for this trip!

 

Your boarding pass will say 1 pm but normally check in has started at 11 am.  that all may change with covid.  I suspect everyone will get pre-boarding times and a time slot to arrive in or come much later.  We need to wait and see how that pans out.

 

Now, that being said, I see no reason why you can’t go there earlier just to check your luggage - but the cheaper options (as opposed to a taxi back and forth) is just to ask your hotel to hold your luggage for you and pick it up later when you are done sight seeing.

Melia is a nice hotel usually.  If they have the red rooms available for booking, they are great with the perks 😉 

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On 8/17/2014 at 7:47 PM, Host Walt said:

Every cruise line has its own standards, styles, techniques, idiosyncrasies, traditions and other characteristics that are unique. It has been suggested that we set up a sticky thread for folks who are new to Holland America but not necessarily new cruisers. Contributions by folks who have sailed on other lines as well as on HAL would be appreciated.

 

This thread is not intended to replace individual threads discussing specific issues. Rather it is intended to point out things that might be helpful to those who are cruising on Holland America for the first time.

 

My favorite user manuals for computers and associated software are the "Dummies" series, so that's the title I chose for this thread.

 

By the way, thus is not intended to replace the HAL Facts thread which has a different purpose.

 

Here's a thread on the First Time Cruisers board that may give you some ideas...but make sure your posts are specific to HAL. "I wish I knew before..."

Well, we are new to Holland America; usually cruise on Celebrity.  Does Holland charge a fee for room service?

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37 minutes ago, HappyCamper49 said:

Well, we are new to Holland America; usually cruise on Celebrity.  Does Holland charge a fee for room service?

 

For most items, no. But there is a charge for some menu items depending on what you want. For reference, here is a room service menu from a pre-pandemic sailing, and the menu is consistent throughout their fleet.

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Room-Service.pdf

 

Edited by KroozNut
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On 6/15/2021 at 10:49 PM, KroozNut said:

 

For most items, no. But there is a charge for some menu items depending on what you want. For reference, here is a room service menu from a pre-pandemic sailing, and the menu is consistent throughout their fleet.

 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Room-Service.pdf

 

Thank you!  We are senior citizens and HAL will be a change for us.  Hoping to meet more friendly cruisers!

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Can you purchase the wine packages after boarding.  I suspect the answer will be yes, but they are more expensive. If that is your answer, then my question is, How much more expensive? Please be as specific as possible. I'm booked on the World Cruise so it will be difficult to judge how many bottles in advance. I'll have to add more along the way.

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20 hours ago, dropframe said:

Can you purchase the wine packages after boarding.  I suspect the answer will be yes, but they are more expensive. If that is your answer, then my question is, How much more expensive? Please be as specific as possible. I'm booked on the World Cruise so it will be difficult to judge how many bottles in advance. I'll have to add more along the way.

 

You can purchase the wine packages on board and they are NOT more expensive.  Same price.  Pricing you see on line is with the bar service charge included.  Pricing on board will show the package cost and wine stewards’ service charge is added to it.

 

You can purchase wine packages on day 1 or any day on entire cruise. 🙂 

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