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


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6 minutes ago, mara.something said:

Every cruise we've done up to now we've been trying to get off the boat on disembarkation day as early as possible to catch a flight or whatever.

 

But I am curious, how long can you linger on board when the trip ends. Can you stay for lunch as long as you are out of your room? Or do they just want everyone gone asap and no lingering allowed?

 

mara

 

They want you off in a reasonable amount of time (based on your debarkation group), so they can begin processing and boarding the next group of passengers.

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16 minutes ago, mara.something said:

But I am curious, how long can you linger on board when the trip ends. Can you stay for lunch as long as you are out of your room? Or do they just want everyone gone asap and no lingering allowed?

Your first meal after boarding was a lunch. The people boarding on your last day would like the same courtesy. 
Last call to leave the ship normally happens sometime between 9:30 and 10:00 AM, which leaves little time for the ship to register a zero count, and the cabins thoroughly cleaned, before the next passengers are boarded. 

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On 7/31/2022 at 2:45 PM, cruzercruiser said:

We are used to Norwegian cruises but considering a Mexican Riviera cruise on Koningsdam in December. Our strategy has been to get the cheapest possible inside cabin and then pay for the thermal suite pass. We are fine with the main dining room and buffet for meals and we don't drink enough to even cover the service fee/gratuity on the NCL drinks package. Not sure how the drinks package works on HAL. Don't need wifi.  Any tips as we make the transition from NCL to HAL? How much is the thermal suite pass for 2 people? 

Yes HAL charges approximately $15 to $18 a day for crew appreciation.  That is added to your onboard account daily.  Two websites usually have information about the various packages Halfacts.com and “Roger Jett Photography”.  There people have provided images of forms.  
 

one tried and true way to gather information on the costs is to make a 2 day dummy booking.  Go through the booking procedure and at the end where you are asked for a payment click request a courtesy hold.  Now that the booking is in service you can view packages, excursions, travel arrangements, etc....  be aware the website shows two fares, the Have it all and the plaine fare with a non-refundable fare.  There is a third hidden fare slightly higher than the non-refundable which allows for refunds in given time. You must call for that fare.  Also HAL allows you to change your fare for any sales that may come up up until final payment date which is 60 to 90 days prior depending on the length  of cruise 

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9 hours ago, mara.something said:

But I am curious, how long can you linger on board when the trip ends. Can you stay for lunch as long as you are out of your room? Or do they just want everyone gone asap and no lingering allowed?

 

You will not be allowed to stay for lunch. The last scheduled group for disembarking usually ends by 10AM. You are expected to be off the ship at that time. If not, they will start paging you and search for you. ALL passengers must be off before they can accept those on the next cruise. Even those who are staying on for the next cruise must report to a specified location to be cleared.

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13 hours ago, mara.something said:

Every cruise we've done up to now we've been trying to get off the boat on disembarkation day as early as possible to catch a flight or whatever.

 

But I am curious, how long can you linger on board when the trip ends. Can you stay for lunch as long as you are out of your room? Or do they just want everyone gone asap and no lingering allowed?

 

mara

No lingering and definitely out by 9/9:30. The staff are intent on getting the ship ready for the next cruise and we'd be in their way if we stayed beyond our time.

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On 10/7/2018 at 1:11 PM, Cajuntraveler said:

We are sailing on the Oosterdam out of port everglades in Dec. 2018. First time on HAL and 1st cruise out of FLL. I would like info on shuttle services available from area hotels to the cruise port. We will be arriving the night before the cruise and will need transportation from the hotel to the ship on cruise day. Some hotels show that they have a third party shuttle for a fee, but no info on when the shuttle leaves the hotel. We prefer to arrive at the terminal early afternoon, after the morning/noon rush. Thanks for any info.

Most of the hotels have you pay and sign up when you check in.  We find it's better and cheaper to use uber or lyft.   There are several hotels very close to the port and it is cheap and fast.

 

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On 8/2/2022 at 3:17 AM, Mary229 said:

Yes HAL charges approximately $15 to $18 a day for crew appreciation.  That is added to your onboard account daily.  Two websites usually have information about the various packages Halfacts.com and “Roger Jett Photography”.  There people have provided images of forms.  
 

one tried and true way to gather information on the costs is to make a 2 day dummy booking.  Go through the booking procedure and at the end where you are asked for a payment click request a courtesy hold.  Now that the booking is in service you can view packages, excursions, travel arrangements, etc....  be aware the website shows two fares, the Have it all and the plaine fare with a non-refundable fare.  There is a third hidden fare slightly higher than the non-refundable which allows for refunds in given time. You must call for that fare.  Also HAL allows you to change your fare for any sales that may come up up until final payment date which is 60 to 90 days prior depending on the length  of cruise 

This was a great tip, thanks.  We did the courtesy hold and found all the details we wanted once we had a booking number.   Once we got it all figured out we paid the deposit and confirmed the booking.

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On 8/3/2022 at 8:32 PM, 3bigdogs said:

Most of the hotels have you pay and sign up when you check in.  We find it's better and cheaper to use uber or lyft.   There are several hotels very close to the port and it is cheap and fast.

 

 

Just a couple of comments:

 

1.  We actually had an Uber driver tell us he was going to change his mind about taking us to the port because it’s too much of a hassle.  The times we took an Uber, we waited in long lines and needed to produce passports and boarding passes in order to enter.  We switched to the shuttles and it was the complete opposite. They have a dedicated lane with no waiting and no requirement to produce documentation because the port puts that onus on the shuttle driver.

 

2.  You are responding to a 4-year old post.

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Mara, we drove to the port on our last cruise so we were in no hurry.  They do want to get you off because depending on when the next one leaves, they could be letting the next cruise on as early as 11:30 am.  I think you have to be in to breakfast no later than 9am including the buffets and completely out of your cabin by 10am.  You might be able to sit around and get a cup of coffee and do some last minute shopping on board by they want you in a line to get off by 10:30.

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4 hours ago, tschwa2 said:

Mara, we drove to the port on our last cruise so we were in no hurry.  They do want to get you off because depending on when the next one leaves, they could be letting the next cruise on as early as 11:30 am.  I think you have to be in to breakfast no later than 9am including the buffets and completely out of your cabin by 10am.  You might be able to sit around and get a cup of coffee and do some last minute shopping on board by they want you in a line to get off by 10:30.

You probably can't shop, since the shops are typically closed when the ship is in port.

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Yes you can bring your own wine aboard and you will pay the $20 corkage for each bottle when you board. In the past it was my normal process to bring a case or two on every cruise insuring that I would get to drink what I like to drink. 

However our last two cruises we have been offered a great deal on the 'have it all' package and have opted for that instead. There are several more than adequate choices of reds and whites and bubblies which provide a nice variety to choose from with 'have it all'.

Without 'have it all' I would certainly bring my own wine instead of paying the exorbitant prices they charge for single bottles.

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15 minutes ago, '51 Pinot said:

Yes you can bring your own wine aboard and you will pay the $20 corkage for each bottle when you board.

Thank you! Looks like the policy was revised in June 2021. Maybe before that, you could bring 2 bottles per person free. Or perhaps that is just other companies.

 

We just booked... and are SO excited.

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35 minutes ago, -The-True-North- said:

Thank you! Looks like the policy was revised in June 2021. Maybe before that, you could bring 2 bottles per person free.

 

 

Actually it was one 750ml bottle per person that was allowed without corkage, not any more.

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On 8/6/2022 at 4:57 PM, '51 Pinot said:

However our last two cruises we have been offered a great deal on the 'have it all' package and have opted for that instead. There are several more than adequate choices of reds and whites and bubblies which provide a nice variety to choose from with 'have it all'.

Have just booked with a drinks package for the first time thanks to the "Have it all" package. Is the 18% gratuity included, or is that $1.50 or whatever added to your on board account each time you order? We'll be on for 18 days so it could start to add up.

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4 minutes ago, lavictoria said:

Have just booked with a drinks package for the first time thanks to the "Have it all" package. Is the 18% gratuity included, or is that $1.50 or whatever added to your on board account each time you order? We'll be on for 18 days so it could start to add up.

Yes, it is included.  Any drink $11 or less is 100% “free”

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1. We are also receiving the HIA for our first time. Do you have to pay sales tax if you get a drink before the ship leaves port? We are sailing from Fort Lauderdale in February. 
Just asking because we got nailed with sales tax in NY when we sailed Carnival. DH stopped at the first bar and Bam, taxed us!

2. Since we received HIA as part of our package, can we still upgrade to the Elite Beverage Package?

3. How do I know what drinks are in each package? I’m not a big drinker, but maybe would like to try something new.  

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14 minutes ago, cruisetravlr said:

1. We are also receiving the HIA for our first time. Do you have to pay sales tax if you get a drink before the ship leaves port? We are sailing from Fort Lauderdale in February. 
Just asking because we got nailed with sales tax in NY when we sailed Carnival. DH stopped at the first bar and Bam, taxed us!

2. Since we received HIA as part of our package, can we still upgrade to the Elite Beverage Package?

3. How do I know what drinks are in each package? I’m not a big drinker, but maybe would like to try something new.  

That is a very new thing.  I think your best course of action is to ask the bartender prior to ordering. 

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On 8/6/2022 at 8:14 PM, -The-True-North- said:

Thank you! Looks like the policy was revised in June 2021. Maybe before that, you could bring 2 bottles per person free. Or perhaps that is just other companies.

 

We just booked... and are SO excited.

 

On 8/6/2022 at 8:51 PM, KroozNut said:

Actually it was one 750ml bottle per person that was allowed without corkage, not any more.

That's too bad . Just off a Princess cruise where they still have the 1 "free" PP bottle policy provided you don't drink it in the MDR . We were expecting to pay for our third bottle but because of Covid protocols nobody asked about carry-on wine . 🍷🍾

 

Can we still bring soda on ?

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