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


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On our recent 24 day alaska and hawaii b2b, the stuff the bag deal was $20. We looked at doing the all you want to wash deal but we decided that $168 was too much and had packed and budgeted to do the bag deal three times. Turns out that we only had to do it twice.  
 

I will admit we worked hard to stuff the bags. In the first one we had 24 items of clothes, in the second we “only” got 22 but that bag included several polo shirts that were bulkier than some of the things we had in the first bag. 
 

54BE0937-6595-4D0B-823A-2A131D639F19.jpeg

Edited by Clay Clayton
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15 hours ago, lissie said:

 I assume the bar prices are all plus 15% gratuities? If so the prices are comparable - and we've never bought a package on Cunard (they ae $69! but do allow you to carry on anything for cabin consumption). 

Yes, when you purchase cocktails, wine, coffee drinks, soda, beer, etc. an 18% gratuity is added. The $1,200 per person price comes out to $48/day on your 25-day cruise.  Once you take into account the shore excursion credit, free Wi-Fi, and free specialy dinners,  it comes to much less than that for just the drinks portion. Since drinks and wine are $9-11 plus 18%, it doesn't take many to make the Have It All package attractive. 

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On 11/5/2022 at 2:36 PM, Clay Clayton said:

On our recent 24 day alaska and hawaii b2b, the stuff the bag deal was $20. We looked at doing the all you want to wash deal but we decided that $168 was too much and had packed and budgeted to do the bag deal three times. Turns out that we only had to do it twice.  
 

I will admit we worked hard to stuff the bags. In the first one we had 24 items of clothes, in the second we “only” got 22 but that bag included several polo shirts that were bulkier than some of the things we had in the first bag. 
 

54BE0937-6595-4D0B-823A-2A131D639F19.jpeg

Oh I could fit everything I pack in that bag - I'm very good at rolling stuff!  I'm fine with paying for laundry its more I don't want some items mechanically dried would be the issue - though we could hand wash them, I just hate doing it 

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10 hours ago, IPB4IGO said:

Yes, when you purchase cocktails, wine, coffee drinks, soda, beer, etc. an 18% gratuity is added. The $1,200 per person price comes out to $48/day on your 25-day cruise.  Once you take into account the shore excursion credit, free Wi-Fi, and free specialty dinners, it comes to much less than that for just the drinks portion. Since drinks and wine are $9-11 plus 18%, it doesn't take many to make the Have It All package attractive. 

I must admit I've never paid for speciality dining - is it a big thing on HAL?  I wouldn't normally pay for wifi on the ship - I'd make do with an onshore connection particularly on this cruise as its almost all shore days. The $300 shorex we'd definitely use. But not sure we'd get the value out of the rest of it. Can you buy wifi by the day as you need it ? 

 

Just come off a sea intensive trip on Cunard  (the prices are higher - gin cocktails around $12/13) and our total spend was US$40/day for 2 pax ie $20pp.   On shore days I rarely  manage more than one drink at night - and obviously wouldn't need the wifi  those days.  

 

I'm off to find availablity of celllular services in Greenland, Iceland and the Canadian Maritimes! 

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On 10/24/2022 at 11:56 AM, washiotter said:

In some of the live reports and the posted When & Wheres, I’ve seen mention of a shuttle provided from the port into town. How common is that? Is it something that gets announced in advance?

 

We will be doing a Baltic itinerary with ports in Visby, Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki, Stockholm, Warnemunde, Kiel. Except for Warnemunde, where we’ll be taking the train excursion to Berlin, we plan to explore on our own. Trying to figure out how to get back and forth. 

Easy walk to Riga, Tallin and possibly Stockholm depending on your port.  We took a public bus in Helsinki to the market area... you can walk anywhere from there.  Never been to Visby.

 

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On 10/24/2022 at 12:56 PM, washiotter said:

In some of the live reports and the posted When & Wheres, I’ve seen mention of a shuttle provided from the port into town. How common is that? Is it something that gets announced in advance?

 

We will be doing a Baltic itinerary with ports in Visby, Riga, Tallinn, Helsinki, Stockholm, Warnemunde, Kiel. Except for Warnemunde, where we’ll be taking the train excursion to Berlin, we plan to explore on our own. Trying to figure out how to get back and forth. 

Visby is a lovely little island, easy to walk about on your own.  It's a tender port.

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10 hours ago, lissie said:

I must admit I've never paid for speciality dining - is it a big thing on HAL?  I wouldn't normally pay for wifi on the ship

 

When we spreadsheet out the business case for HIA, we never come up good.....

 

We never go to speciality dining, rarely do ship tours and certainly do not need internet when enjoying a cruise.......we get 25% of the wine package (3 star Mariner) so that works for our "drinks" and we are fine with the free coffee/tea/water, etc. 

 

As far as Specialty dining, you can certainly enjoy Holland America Line without darkening the door of a surcharge restaurant......we do.

 

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16 hours ago, lissie said:

I must admit I've never paid for speciality dining - is it a big thing on HAL?  I wouldn't normally pay for wifi on the ship - I'd make do with an onshore connection particularly on this cruise as its almost all shore days. The $300 shorex we'd definitely use. But not sure we'd get the value out of the rest of it. Can you buy wifi by the day as you need it ? 

No, you cannot get Wi-Fi by the day. You can sign up for it any time during the cruise, but you are charged for the remaining days of the cruise. Also, pay attention to what is available in the three different Internet plans

 

We really enjoy the specialty restaurants; we usually use them about twice a week. The most desireable times book up early on full cruises, but you can make reservations even before the cruise starts.

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I have seen an itinerary I like and have sailed with HAL a few years ago.  From doing searches people refer to opting in and out of the Have it All option but I can't see how to do that on the website.  I'm not interested in this package due to cost and the fact I'm travelling with a child.  Feel like I'm being dumb but just can't see how to do it. 

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30 minutes ago, dritan said:

I have seen an itinerary I like and have sailed with HAL a few years ago.  From doing searches people refer to opting in and out of the Have it All option but I can't see how to do that on the website.  I'm not interested in this package due to cost and the fact I'm travelling with a child.  Feel like I'm being dumb but just can't see how to do it. 

You're not dumb - you can't see the rate you want online. If you want the "Advantage" rate you need to have your TA call HAL or contact HAL yourself. The Advantage rate has a refundable deposit but does not include the Have It All perks.

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9 hours ago, dritan said:

I have seen an itinerary I like and have sailed with HAL a few years ago.  From doing searches people refer to opting in and out of the Have it All option but I can't see how to do that on the website.  I'm not interested in this package due to cost and the fact I'm travelling with a child.  Feel like I'm being dumb but just can't see how to do it. 

On the HAL website you can start a booking (without buying), and after entering number of people and type of cabin it will show 2 prices, one with Have It All and one without.

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41 minutes ago, WannaSea said:

On the HAL website you can start a booking (without buying), and after entering number of people and type of cabin it will show 2 prices, one with Have It All and one without.

However, there are three prices, and one does not show on the website. You have to contact HAL or your TA to get that price; it's called the Advantage Fare. 
Have It All and Advantage are both refundable, while the third (lowest, called Best Price) fare is not. 

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2 minutes ago, RuthC said:

However, there are three prices, and one does not show on the website. You have to contact HAL or your TA to get that price; it's called the Advantage Fare. 
Have It All and Advantage are both refundable, while the third (lowest, called Best Price) fare is not. 

Yup, there are lots of strings attached trying to pin down a price, and having a TA do it is oh so helpful. Refundable v. nonrefundable is a significant "string" that can be overlooked on the website. And sometimes there are short term promotions which can add other variations on price. The website gives you a ballpark range, TA will get you where you want to go.

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I’m not sure if there is a search option to go through all 215 pages of questions, so forgive me if this question has been previously asked. 
 

Can someone tell me what kind of “door key” the cabins have. Regular key? (I’m doubtful) Credit card-type? (Most likely) Disney-type wrist bracelet? (Possible, but I asked more for “levity” 🤪)

 

TIA

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9 minutes ago, cmrtl said:

I’m not sure if there is a search option to go through all 215 pages of questions, so forgive me if this question has been previously asked. 
 

Can someone tell me what kind of “door key” the cabins have. Regular key? (I’m doubtful) Credit card-type? (Most likely) Disney-type wrist bracelet? (Possible, but I asked more for “levity” 🤪)

 

TIA

 

They are the credit card type.  Sometimes there is a hole in them and I can use a wrist coil.  Sometimes there is no hole and I guess you could put them in a lanyard if that is your preference.  I hate having stuff hanging around my neck so I like the wrist coils.

 

Your room keys will be in the mail slot by your stateroom door.  They will scan your boarding pass bar code at embarkation and then you use your ship card.

 

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2 hours ago, cmrtl said:

I’m not sure if there is a search option to go through all 215 pages of questions, so forgive me if this question has been previously asked. 
 

Can someone tell me what kind of “door key” the cabins have. Regular key? (I’m doubtful) Credit card-type? (Most likely) Disney-type wrist bracelet? (Possible, but I asked more for “levity” 🤪)

 

TIA

As Miss G stated, credit card type. On Koningsdam the card (or perhaps one from a previous cruise 🤔) had to go in a slot inside the door to power up the room.
 

I saw someone somewhere punching holes in a guest’s card so they could hang it on a lanyard.   I would find the wrist bracket that Miss G mentioned unwieldy and like her don’t like wearing a lanyard but to each his own.  For me, simply slipping the card in my pants pocket works. 

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Hi, I received an email today from Holland America that said there was some information currently missing from my check-in. We are Canadian and it says that there is information “missing or incomplete” about our “U.S. address while in U.S.”

 

I looked at our check-in again and I couldn’t find anywhere to add this info, and every section had a green check mark except the last Health part which I can only do 3 days before the cruise. Can anybody suggest where I might find a place to provide this info, or if I should worry?

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12 minutes ago, CMDE said:

Hi, I received an email today from Holland America that said there was some information currently missing from my check-in. We are Canadian and it says that there is information “missing or incomplete” about our “U.S. address while in U.S.”

 

I looked at our check-in again and I couldn’t find anywhere to add this info, and every section had a green check mark except the last Health part which I can only do 3 days before the cruise. Can anybody suggest where I might find a place to provide this info, or if I should worry?

We had the same notification for our Nov. 19 sailing.  I couldn’t find anywhere to fill in the info, so I called a number that I found on the web site-  it MIGHT have been +1 877-932-4259- but if not, keep looking for a customer service number- the person that answered filled in the form for me- there was nowhere for me to fill it in myself.  Since we are Canadian, we needed to give a US address for before and after the cruise, since we weren’t flying.

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2 minutes ago, hmmm said:

We had the same notification for our Nov. 19 sailing.  I couldn’t find anywhere to fill in the info, so I called a number that I found on the web site-  it MIGHT have been +1 877-932-4259- but if not, keep looking for a customer service number- the person that answered filled in the form for me- there was nowhere for me to fill it in myself.  Since we are Canadian, we needed to give a US address for before and after the cruise, since we weren’t flying.

Thank you very much, I will call them.

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We're taking our first cruise with HA in two weeks.  We've been loyal Celebrity passengers but they're prices lately have prompted us to look into other options.  

 

We have the "Have it All Package" and plan to upgrade to the Elite Package which I understand we can't do until we get onboard.  My question is, if we order a glass of wine or cocktail that is over the $15 do we pay the difference or the full drink price?  We've seen conflicting information online.  

 

Also when calculating the $15 total, does that amount include the gratuity so we need to stay under $13 per drink?

 

Thank you for any assistance!

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2 hours ago, ohiopops4 said:

We're taking our first cruise with HA in two weeks.  We've been loyal Celebrity passengers but they're prices lately have prompted us to look into other options.  

 

We have the "Have it All Package" and plan to upgrade to the Elite Package which I understand we can't do until we get onboard.  My question is, if we order a glass of wine or cocktail that is over the $15 do we pay the difference or the full drink price?  We've seen conflicting information online.  

 

Also when calculating the $15 total, does that amount include the gratuity so we need to stay under $13 per drink?

 

Thank you for any assistance!

Very recently changed to only pay the difference.

 

limit is $15 excluding the gratuity. If its on a drinks menu for $15 or under its covered.

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