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


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1 hour ago, *Miss G* said:

 

I haven’t been in an SC on the Koningsdam but I’ve been in an SQ-10006.  It was large but I didn’t much care for it for multiple reasons.  Can I ask what date you’re sailing to provide specific input?  I’m surprised you’ve been assigned a room already but it may be a popular itinerary.

Hi Miss G…it’s the Jan 7 sailing - Mexican Riviera.  It actually didn’t specify a room # yet — just “SC”. But there are only 2 SCs — 11006 and 11005.  Your SQ was directly below SC and appears to be identical on the deck plan, so I imagine they are just alike.  Do you mind sharing your experiences with the suite — the good, the bad and the ugly?? Thanks so much!

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5 minutes ago, dixiejen said:

 It actually didn’t specify a room # yet — just “SC”. But there are only 2 SCs — 11006 and 11005.

Then you haven't been assigned to anything, including an SC. Think of SC as the default 'assignment' for a guarantee Neptune Suite. Your cabin assignment will come close to the sailing, about 10 days out (more or less). 

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6 minutes ago, RuthC said:

Then you haven't been assigned to anything, including an SC. Think of SC as the default 'assignment' for a guarantee Neptune Suite. Your cabin assignment will come close to the sailing, about 10 days out (more or less). 

Oh, thank you RuthC!!  So at least there’s a chance we won’t be in an SC. Yay!  I’ll keep fingers crossed… Why in the world wouldn’t the HAL rep tell me that when I called??  🙄 Thanks for responding!

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2 hours ago, dixiejen said:

Hi Miss G…it’s the Jan 7 sailing - Mexican Riviera.  It actually didn’t specify a room # yet — just “SC”. But there are only 2 SCs — 11006 and 11005.  Your SQ was directly below SC and appears to be identical on the deck plan, so I imagine they are just alike.  Do you mind sharing your experiences with the suite — the good, the bad and the ugly?? Thanks so much!

 

I know I posted a summary of that room somewhere but darned if I can find it.  I will go by memory:

 

The balcony is very small.  Unlike the regular Neptunes, it can only fit two chairs.  No footrests and no round table which seats four.  We tried to have the divider opened to give us more space (it wraps to the front of your room where there is a big picture window) but we were told no.

 

The room itself is kind of an L shape with the bed near the balcony and the couch and chairs, and the TV near the picture window.  The TV swivels so you can watch it in the sitting area or while in bed.

 

The bathroom has a small glass shower, jetted tub, two sinks, and the toilet in the same room.

 

You are far from the Neptune Lounge.

 

I took a look at 3 different sites and the Neptune Suites are definitely sold out.  It’s a good thing you asked to be put on a waiting list.  Keep checking the HAL site to see if a higher category opens up and then put a courtesy hold on it.  (Do not pay!)  Then call HAL and let them know what you’ve done.  They’ll be able to see the hold and hopefully move you over.  You will have to pay the difference for the category upgrade but, if the prices haven’t sky-rocketed, it’s worth the money.  (To me.)

 

I would say the best time to check for available suites are the weeks leading up to final payment because that’s when most people cancel.  That would also be a good time to give HAL a call to check in, just in case rooms have been cancelled but haven’t yet been released back into online inventory.  Also check right after final payment (if you don’t cancel).  Good luck!

 

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Edited by *Miss G*
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46 minutes ago, *Miss G* said:

You will have to pay the difference for the category upgrade but, if the prices haven’t sky-rocketed, it’s worth the money.  (

Thanks so much for taking the time to give me a description and for your suggestions on how to try to get moved if another suite opens up.  I will definitely do that!  I guess what upsets me is when booking, the only other “category” of Neptune Suites was for a Neptune Spa suite, and the only difference in the description was access to the spa and a yoga mat in your room. 😖 I don’t recall that there was even a price difference. In fact, I opted for HAL to choose our cabin BECAUSE it didn’t show different categories which could be upgraded!  I assumed, stupidly, that if there weren’t several options in a specific suite category (as I have seen on other cruise lines) all Neptune suites would be VERY comparable.  I also honestly thought that by letting them select our cabin, I was giving up my choice of the location of the suite — not volunteering to be put in an inferior suite. A balcony with no wind break and room for only 2 chairs vs. a balcony with 2 loungers AND a table with 4 chairs isn’t comparable at all.  (Not to mention no powder room and a smaller shower.).  Just seems a little deceptive to me.  
 

RuthC suggested that the SC designation may be a default assignment and that it is still possible it will be changed since room assignments will be made later. One can only hope!!  But I WILL call tomorrow and see if it’s possible to pay the extra to select our suite if any of the regular Neptunes haven’t been assigned yet.  Thanks again for all your advice!!😄
 

 

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8 hours ago, dixiejen said:

RuthC suggested that the SC designation may be a default assignment and that it is still possible it will be changed since room assignments will be made later. One can only hope!!  But I WILL call tomorrow and see if it’s possible to pay the extra to select our suite if any of the regular Neptunes haven’t been assigned yet.  Thanks again for all your advice!!😄

 

Yes, Ruth is correct.  Your plan to call for a specific room assignment today is a great one!  Try to get an SA in the area of the Neptune Lounge (see pic).  I can’t imagine they will sell you Club Orange for the included upgrade because it’s already included in the Neptune Suites.  But the advantage to that is that it’s sometimes cheaper to purchase than upgrading to the advertised price.  7 days x $25/day = $175 pp. 

 

I’d tell you to wait but the NS category is already sold out, which means there won’t be an opportunity to take advantage of a price drop.  Let us know how it turns out!

 

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5 hours ago, *Miss G* said:

I’d tell you to wait but the NS category is already sold out, which means there won’t be an opportunity to take advantage of a price drop.  Let us know how it turns out!

(If this shows up twice —sorry! What I wrote the first time didn’t show up!)

 

Ok, Miss G — here is what I just found out….

I called HAL and the rep said that yes — the SC showing on my ‘Manage my Cruise’ IS a default assignment for a guaranteed Neptune suite — BUT, only guaranteed for the SC category.🙄 She said that IF there were no SCs at assignment time, then I COULD possibly end up in an SA or SB (but also the SQ, which we determined was exactly like the SC.)

 

So—  I asked her if she could look to see if there were any unassigned SAs (deck 7, near lounge, regular Neptune suite) or SBs (various decks, but AFT which we love, legit Neptune suite with a HUGE balcony); that I would pay to go ahead and have one assigned to us. She said it would be $300/pp to “re-rate” (which is exactly how much it would have cost to select our cabin when I booked it! LESSON LEARNED! NEVER let the cruise line choose your cabin! 
 

Alas — she checked and said that ALL Neptune suites were on a wait-list, which we already figured out. BUT — she said if I wanted to SPECIFY to be wait-listed for a SA or SB, that would put me at the top of the list for those categories. 😳 Finally, she said to be on the lookout for n email from HAL; that I would have 72 hours to accept or reject the upgrade.
 

So who knows…maybe they tell everyone who calls they are at the top of the list!!  But we’ve decided we don’t want to mess with changing our flight to San Diego, so I guess we’ll just take our chances and hope for the best.  
 

Miss G — I know I’ve probably way over-explained all this, as you seem quite knowledgeable about how cruise lines work! But I figured it might possibly help others in my predicament (and since this is the HAL for dummies thread😆!). 


thank you again for all the time you took to look up our cruise, post pics, and offer your advice!!  Greatly appreciate it!  And IF, by some miracle, we are offered a legit Neptune, I will come back and let you know!  Best regards!!

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Hi Folks

 

Similar to the previous discussion. We are sailing on Westerdam out of Sydney 8 November 2022, for 15 days New Zealand return to  Sydney. We have booked a Signature or Mini Suite.  This is the first time we haven't been able to book a specific cabin.

 

According to our boarding pass we are "SZ". No room has been allocated. According to the Westerdam deck plan, as far as I can tell, there are only 2 cabins with the SZ designation.  Both are mid ships aft deck 8 and both have connecting doors - which we do not want or need. 

 

Before I call HA was wondering if regular HA cruisers share my concern about the room location and the fact that the cabins have connecting doors. 

 

Many thanks in advance. 

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The connecting doors should not present a problem.  We have had many a stateroom with them and found them to be as sound proof as the walls.  Those SZ staterooms are under the very end of the Lido Market where there are tables. Unless you plan on sleeping until 9a/10a in the morning you should have little to no noise from above.

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I agree with regnig that connecting doors shouldn't be a problem. I have been on more than a few cabins with connecting doors and only heard it once---when the person next door was having a screaming meltdown. The immediate area could hear that, though, so it wasn't the doors that were the problem. 

But you won't necessarily have an SZ cabin, remember. You haven't been assigned a cabin yet, and the SZ cabins are only 2 possibilities out of a good deal more cabins. SZ is the default category for a guarantee Signature cabin. 

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Gosh I wish CC had a better search engine! I am sure this has been answered many times but maybe one of you HAL regulars will help a newbie out? (Promise I will pay it forward!).


We just had our guarantee obstructed veranda stateroom assigned for the first segment of our B2B next week and it’s a Spa Veranda!  Based on what I can see on the HAL site it means I get a better shower head, an iPod dock (???? Who has an iPod anymore?), some soothing decor, a special robe (how much you wanna bet it won’t fit this 6’-7” fluffy man?😂), some special slippers (see previous comment and change height to size 16 shoe!) and a location near the spa. 
 

I’m perfectly happy with just loosing our obstruction and that they moved us from our original stateroom on the second leg so we won’t have to move cabins on changeover day but want to get the most out of our cruise so if anyone has any suggestions on how to leverage our stateroom to make the most of our cruise I am all ears! 
 

TIA

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My experience with connecting doors on HAL ships, is not good. My DH and I could hear people talking, TV, and other sounds that we would have preferred not to hear 😉 We always book a cabin without an adjoining door. We have really good hearing so that may be a factor.

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7 minutes ago, Dunmore2 said:

Has anyone who has cruised after the Covid shutdown asked for an Indian menu in the MDR?

There's an Indian menu?  I love Indian food (if it isn't too hot). What do you have to do to get it?

Edited by islandwoman
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Ok guys and gals — need you help again!  As you can see above and the previous page, I whined aplenty because we are booked in a SC Neptune Suite, which is in the very front of the ship with a teeny balcony. We are supposedly on a waitlist for a legit Neptune suite, so fingers crossed.

 

‘BUT — I just received an email reminding me of the final payment date, and I noticed that it had us with a queen-sized bed AND open dining.  I promptly called HAL and she said that’s what I requested. Told her I would not have requested a queen because I’m almost 6’, and my husband is even taller AND in the suite perks, it lists a king bed in the Neptune suites. She said she would TRY to request a king bed. I asked could we please be switched to late seating; that IF I checked Open Dining (which I really don’t remember doing, but…), I must have assumed that we could change it (4 months prior to cruise) because, again, Neptune perks includes “priority dining and seating requests”. I asked what exactly is Open Dining, she said you just show up anytime between 5:30 and 8:00. I asked why no later than 8 if late dining is going on, she said that you just couldn’t after 8. So we are on yet another waitlist for late dining. 😫😫😫 We have always done late dining, and we do NOT want to sit at a table with 6 strangers.  LOVE meeting people and socializing on the ship, but not at dinner. We want a table for 2 and preferably the same waitstaff each night.


At this point, my husband wants to cancel, but I’m tempted to give it a try and hope we’re moved.  So my questions are, Is it too much to expect a king bed when it’s listed as a perk in your suite? And is there any possibility that on-ship customer service or maybe the suite concierge can arrange for us to get late dining and maybe a king bed if we don’t snag a real Neptune suite?  Final payment is due October 9th so we have to decide if we can or can’t live with what we might end up with.  We may be paying an awful lot of $$ for a suite that lacks several of the key perks most important to us.

Your input and advice will be GREATLY appreciated!!!

 

 

 

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10 hours ago, dixiejen said:

Ok guys and gals — need you help again!  As you can see above and the previous page, I whined aplenty because we are booked in a SC Neptune Suite, which is in the very front of the ship with a teeny balcony. We are supposedly on a waitlist for a legit Neptune suite, so fingers crossed.

 

‘BUT — I just received an email reminding me of the final payment date, and I noticed that it had us with a queen-sized bed AND open dining.  I promptly called HAL and she said that’s what I requested. Told her I would not have requested a queen because I’m almost 6’, and my husband is even taller AND in the suite perks, it lists a king bed in the Neptune suites.

The Koningsdam Signature/Neptune/Pinnacle suites are all listed as having King beds on the HAL website - not sure why you would be told you have Queen - https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/cruise-ships/ms-koningsdam/2.html

 

Open dining definitely does not close off at 8:00pm - its always been 9:00pm since 2013 and was that in September (on the Rotterdam). I expect you could change to late dining once you are on board if you want the same table/servers each night and to avoid any waiting in line.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Nang said:

The Koningsdam Signature/Neptune/Pinnacle suites are all listed as having King beds on the HAL website - not sure why you would be told you have Queen - https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/cruise-ships/ms-koningsdam/2.html

 

Open dining definitely does not close off at 8:00pm - its always been 9:00pm since 2013 and was that in September (on the Rotterdam). I expect you could change to late dining once you are on board if you want the same table/servers each night and to avoid any waiting in line.

 

 

We were on the Oosterdam last month and anytime dining was open until 9pm as well. My experience with calling HAL is that many of the customer service reps are poorly trained and too often give our erroneous information.  Our bed in our Signature Suite on the Oosterdam also said queen configuration on the invoice, but I can assure it was more like a king. Putting 2 full sized beds together do not make a queen bed.

Edited by terrydtx
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16 hours ago, dixiejen said:

Ok guys and gals — need you help again!  As you can see above and the previous page, I whined aplenty because we are booked in a SC Neptune Suite, which is in the very front of the ship with a teeny balcony. We are supposedly on a waitlist for a legit Neptune suite, so fingers crossed.

 

‘BUT — I just received an email reminding me of the final payment date, and I noticed that it had us with a queen-sized bed AND open dining.  I promptly called HAL and she said that’s what I requested. Told her I would not have requested a queen because I’m almost 6’, and my husband is even taller AND in the suite perks, it lists a king bed in the Neptune suites. She said she would TRY to request a king bed. I asked could we please be switched to late seating; that IF I checked Open Dining (which I really don’t remember doing, but…), I must have assumed that we could change it (4 months prior to cruise) because, again, Neptune perks includes “priority dining and seating requests”. I asked what exactly is Open Dining, she said you just show up anytime between 5:30 and 8:00. I asked why no later than 8 if late dining is going on, she said that you just couldn’t after 8. So we are on yet another waitlist for late dining. 😫😫😫 We have always done late dining, and we do NOT want to sit at a table with 6 strangers.  LOVE meeting people and socializing on the ship, but not at dinner. We want a table for 2 and preferably the same waitstaff each night.


At this point, my husband wants to cancel, but I’m tempted to give it a try and hope we’re moved.  So my questions are, Is it too much to expect a king bed when it’s listed as a perk in your suite? And is there any possibility that on-ship customer service or maybe the suite concierge can arrange for us to get late dining and maybe a king bed if we don’t snag a real Neptune suite?  Final payment is due October 9th so we have to decide if we can or can’t live with what we might end up with.  We may be paying an awful lot of $$ for a suite that lacks several of the key perks most important to us.

Your input and advice will be GREATLY appreciated!!!

 

 

 

 

I wish HAL would train their staff properly.  It shouldn’t be up to random strangers on the internet setting you right.

 

All Neptune Suites have King beds.  No idea why it says Queen.  Maybe the default is set wrong.

 

Your booking says open dining because that’s what Club Orange dining is.  You don‘t have to share with strangers and you will get the same waitstaff for breakfast and dinner.  Club Orange dining follows the MDR dining time:  5:30pm - 9:00pm.

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