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


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On 1/31/2023 at 4:20 PM, Haljo1935 said:

 

That's my tip for new HAL guests - use the laundry service to minimize quantity of clothes you bring. $20/bag, $49 unlimited. The team does a great job, takes pride in their work and will tuck a handwritten note into your laundry when it's returned. 🙂

New to HAL and not having access to a laundromat. 

 

We are doing a cold-weather cruise and practically all our clothes are merino wool. These will be destroyed if put through a dryer. Have you had any experience  of getting items returned wash only ie damp? They will dry overnight in our cabin no problem 

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On 2/1/2023 at 3:47 AM, CruiserN1 said:

I've never sailed HAL before but am a 1* Mariner because we've sailed Princess before. I see there is a Welcome Onboard Lunch for Mariners 1* and above. Where is this served?

Did you have to apply for this - we've sailed Cunard so guess we can become 1star mariners too? New to HAL 

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8 minutes ago, lissie said:

New to HAL and not having access to a laundromat. 

 

We are doing a cold-weather cruise and practically all our clothes are merino wool. These will be destroyed if put through a dryer. Have you had any experience  of getting items returned wash only ie damp? They will dry overnight in our cabin no problem 

How long is your cruise?  Can you get by without washing your woolens? We did a cold weather cruise recently.  We washed our woolens by hand, rung them out in a towel, and hung them in the shower. It did take longer than over-night for them to dry - 2 days usually.

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2 hours ago, islandwoman said:

How long is your cruise?  Can you get by without washing your woolens? We did a cold weather cruise recently.  We washed our woolens by hand, rung them out in a towel, and hung them in the shower. It did take longer than over-night for them to dry - 2 days usually.

It's 25 days and we want to fly in carry-on only as we are travelling for a  few weeks post-cruise too. The outer layers won't need washing - but we will have base layers and t-shirts that will need some washing - usually once a week is enough .

 

Yeah handwashing is an option - but I can't get them  as dry as a spin cycle can - so yes they will take more than 1 day to dry.   Its just a port-heavy cruise so I was hoping to not have to bother.   Maybe  American's don't wear wool that much?  I used to use poly-pro - but once you go merino you dont' go back 

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8 minutes ago, lissie said:

It's 25 days and we want to fly in carry-on only as we are travelling for a  few weeks post-cruise too.

 

I agree.  25 days is a long time to go without a clothes washer. The lack of passenger laundromats is the reason I've avoided Holland America for the most part. Some of HAL's ships used to have them, but they have been removed. 🙁

Americans who live in cold areas do wear wool. My base layers are poly, but my winter socks are always wool.

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(continued from post #5605) .... and my hats, sweaters and glove liners.   And the slippers that I bought in New Zealand.  If ever I went ice fishing, I would wear wool base layers too.

Edited by islandwoman
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5 hours ago, lissie said:

New to HAL and not having access to a laundromat. 

 

We are doing a cold-weather cruise and practically all our clothes are merino wool. These will be destroyed if put through a dryer. Have you had any experience  of getting items returned wash only ie damp? They will dry overnight in our cabin no problem 

I'd like to know this too?

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7 hours ago, lissie said:

We are doing a cold-weather cruise and practically all our clothes are merino wool. These will be destroyed if put through a dryer. Have you had any experience  of getting items returned wash only ie damp? They will dry overnight in our cabin no problem 

You can request gentle wash, hang to dry.  There are several many laundry threads.  Here’s a recent one,

 

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15 minutes ago, TxNewbie71 said:

I have looked all through the HAL website and the search for this site and cannot find an answer.

Does anyone know if there are fans available for use in the rooms or should I bring a small portable one?

We will be on Rotterdam. 

 

 

You can bring a small fan on board. Or ask your cabin steward if any are available. I requested a fan a few years ago as our cabins air was not working properly. We got a small desk fan.

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2 hours ago, TxNewbie71 said:

I have looked all through the HAL website and the search for this site and cannot find an answer.

Does anyone know if there are fans available for use in the rooms or should I bring a small portable one?

We will be on Rotterdam. 

 

I called Ship Services at 1(800) 541-1576 and requested one. It was waiting in the room. Once it was on a stand and another was a desk fan, not sure what type the Rotterdam has.

 

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On 2/12/2023 at 10:55 AM, TxNewbie71 said:

Does anyone know if there are fans available for use in the rooms or should I bring a small portable one?

When cruising to a warm climate, we always have our travel agent request a fan in our cabin. It's always there waiting for us. If it turns out we don't need it, the steward will take it away.

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Embarkation what happens and when?

 

What happens on embarkation day?   When can I load up?  Does the line give me a time or do I ask?   How does it all work?   What can I expect?  

 

Have not gone thru this and as you know this site is for "Dummies".

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2 hours ago, DAF7065 said:

Embarkation what happens and when?

 

What happens on embarkation day?   When can I load up?  Does the line give me a time or do I ask?   How does it all work?   What can I expect?  

 

Have not gone thru this and as you know this site is for "Dummies".

For our cruise in October from Vancouver, we were given a time to arrive at the terminal-10:20 am. We had prepared all the preboarding information for both Canada as well as HAL’s checkin information on the app.  The check in process took almost no time maybe 20 minutes and then we got what became known on our rollcall as “Purgatory at 10:50. See photo below. 
 

They finally started letting people board a few minutes after noon and we were released from Purgatory about 12:30. So not sure their timed boarding really meant much.  But this could have been a Vancouver issue. 
 

Not sure what you’re asking regarding “load up”

 

 

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Holland America assigns you a boarding time. They say this will be about 14 days before the cruise. Look up your details on their website or the app. When you have completed all their requirements for personal information, you get a link to a page where you can print your luggage tags and your boarding pass.  If it is 14 days or less till you go, the boarding pass will have your embarkation time listed. (Prior to that, it is an interim pass without a time listed).

When you arrive they take your main luggage away and leave you with your carry on.  You walk this onto the ship and can go to your cabin. The main luggage may not arrive there for an hour or two.

How long it actually takes to get on board varies a lot.

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On 2/12/2023 at 12:55 PM, TxNewbie71 said:

I have looked all through the HAL website and the search for this site and cannot find an answer.

Does anyone know if there are fans available for use in the rooms or should I bring a small portable one?

We will be on Rotterdam. 

 

Just got off HAL Nieuw Amsterdam 3 days ago - unfortunately due to improperly operating a/c we needed a fan the 2nd week. They brought us a full size box fan; it was adequate, a desk fan would never have been nearly strong enough. With that said, we were needing cool air, which a fan does not provide, but if you only want to move air around, a desk fan may due. To prevent possible confiscation, you might want to check with HAL first to see if a fan is allowed.

As for the laundry, they have done a great job of fulfilling requests to not put items in the dryer.

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2 hours ago, dropframe said:

Once onboard, can you order 750ml bottles of alcohol? How do you do this?

Yes you can.

 

You can go to a bar to request it and room service will deliver it and I believe you can also call room service.  We did the former to be sure of choices.  I think the bottles were a litre not 750 ml and still are?

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On 1/20/2023 at 2:52 AM, StLouisCruisers said:

 

I have no experience with Nieuw Amsterdam but I like to use the deck drag feature of cruisedeckplans.com.  Here is a link to that page.

 

https://www.cruisedeckplans.com/DP/deckplans/dragdeck.php?ship=Nieuw-Amsterdam&zoom=1

 

Just click on the cabin in question, slowly drag that deck to the deck above it and line up the stairs or elevators to make sure you are locating it properly.  Looks like J1031 is right near the Billboard pianos like you said.  The J1063 is under Queens Lounge and Culinary Arts Center as well as being connecting.  I have no idea what they use that area for nowadays.  Hopefully someone else has some ideas for you.  Good luck!

Wow what a fantastic site, thanks so much for sharing!

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Just booked! This will be out first HAL cruise. July 9-16, 2023, Westerdam- Alaska

We have cruised with Royal, Celebrity and Princess before. I tried to read info for new HAL cruisers but still have a few questions as some of the info may have changed.

1.Does HAL offer status match with any other lines (like Royal and Celebrity)? I think NO, but will still ask

2.Does HAL have Captain/Gala reception with ‘free’ drinks? Or any other similar events

3.Does Westerdam have steam room/sauna? Free or for the fee?

4. Can I bring wine on-board (with cork fee) for the room consumption?  If so is it one per cabin or per adult over 21? If not can I buy a wine by bottle to keep it in my room?

5.What juice/lemonade/iced tea is available with no extra charge? Where and with what meal?

6. Does rooms are usually ready at the time of boarding or we need to wait for certain time before we can drop items in our cabin?

7.Does balcony on deck 7 have bathtub or shower only?

8.How big is the safe – will tablet/laptop fit or it’s only for cash/passports/jewelry?

9.Is there a game room with games and cards to borrow or just to use there?

 

thanks!

Irina

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1. If you have cruised on another CCL ship, you will be considered a 1* Mariner but with 0 sea days. That gets you a tile. but no other "perks"

2. There will be a Captain's Welcome with one glass of free beverage (champagne, wine or soda) before the early evening show

3. Steam room/sauna is a for fee area. You can pre-purchase spa access on the Website

4. All wine brought onboard is subject to a corkage fee. You can drink it anywhere onboard. You can also pre-purchase wine on the Website or purchase once onboard.

5. At breakfast they have orange, cranberry, tomato and a few other juices plus milk, coffee and tea. At lunch and dinner only iced tea, lemonade, tea and coffee are complimentary.

6. Rooms are normally ready when you board. However, there have been a few times when customs and/or other regulatory agencies have delayed this.

7. Verandah staterooms on Deck 7 have a bathtub/shower combo. A few Verandahs on other decks have a shower only.

8. Depending on the size of your tablet/laptop, it may or may not fit in the safe.

9. Any puzzles, games or cards are for use in that area.

 

 

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16 hours ago, Cruise Suzy said:

1. If you have cruised on another CCL ship, you will be considered a 1* Mariner but with 0 sea days. That gets you a tile. but no other "perks"

 

 

thank you for the answers. How do I get my 1* Mariner - do i need to call HAL?

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1 hour ago, iaae22 said:

thank you for the answers. How do I get my 1* Mariner - do i need to call HAL?

 

Welcome to Holland America!  No need to worry about getting a star.  The Mariner Society will take care of that for you.

 

@Cruise Suzy pretty much answered all your questions but I would add:

 

- The safes hold our two iPads, cell phones, wallet/purse, documents, and jewelry with no problem.

- There should be a free drink coupon for each of you in your cabin when you arrive.  These can be turned in at any beverage service area.  It’s a specific HAL champagne cocktail so you won’t be able to trade it in for a beer or something different.  It’s not offensive.

- Check out the Wine Cellar Packages.  These can be a great deal if you find some wines on there that you like.

- Fruit smoothies are included at no cost in the Lido or MDR at breakfast.

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