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


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15 minutes ago, spocruiser said:

Our first Holland America cruise coming up. We are trying Holland in large part because I love live music and I'm excited about the various live music venues.  As I'm currently making dinner reservations in the specialty restaurants and have Anytime Dining otherwise, I was wondering...

 

Is is difficult to get seats in the live music venues, i.e. is it necessary to eat on the early side (5:00 or 5:30 p.m.) to get seats or is there enough turnover into the evening that seats can be obtained later?

 

Thank you. 

Earlier this month we cruised on the Koningsdam and loved Billboard Onboard and went every night. They do 45 minute sets and then take a 45 minute break which is the best time to find seating. Also many couples will sit at a table that accommodates 4 or more and we just ask if we can join them at their table which worked every time. 

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I’d like some opinions please. We are booked in a full aft (8164) for our upcoming cruise on tgg by e Eurodam in a couple of weeks. 
 

I hit an email from HA offering an upgrade to a signature suite for $400/pp. This is a 7 night cruise. 
 

My question for you in the know, should I do it? Or stay where we are?  We do love watching the wake at the stern of the ship but a suite…

 

Opinions please?

Edited by Mimie03
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32 minutes ago, spocruiser said:

Our first Holland America cruise coming up. We are trying Holland in large part because I love live music and I'm excited about the various live music venues.  As I'm currently making dinner reservations in the specialty restaurants and have Anytime Dining otherwise, I was wondering...

 

Is is difficult to get seats in the live music venues, i.e. is it necessary to eat on the early side (5:00 or 5:30 p.m.) to get seats or is there enough turnover into the evening that seats can be obtained later?

 

Thank you. 

Welcome to HAL!! Mon night, Billboard was almost completely empty while BB Kings was packed.

Last night there was room upstairs at BB Kings; didn't go downstairs, so I can't comment on capacity. 

Here's a little snippet from last - enjoy (the music and the dancer).😏

 

 

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@Mimie03I love an aft.  A Signature Suite is just a larger room.  No other perks.  For a 7 day cruise, I’d keep the aft.  Also, if no one bites, you’ll get another offer.  
 

We did take an upgrade from our non-aft verandah once on a 15 day cruise.  Received the 4th offer 3 days before departure for $149 pp.

Edited by 0106
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My opinion.....

 

It's an additional $114 a day ($800) and that seems like too much $$$ especially for a 7 night cruise with probably lots of port days.

 

Especially since you already have your nice Aft stateroom.

 

Only you can decide it if is worth it but we would jump on it if it was a longer cruise with lots of sea days and the daily price was say, less that $80 a day. 

 

You can enjoy lots of wine, more excursions or more Pina coladas on shore with $800.

 

Enjoy/

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40 minutes ago, Mimie03 said:

I’d like some opinions please. We are booked in a full aft (8164) for our upcoming cruise on tgg by e Eurodam in a couple of weeks. 
 

I hit an email from HA offering an upgrade to a signature suite for $400/pp. This is a 7 night cruise. 
 

My question for you in the know, should I do it? Or stay where we are?  We do love watching the wake at the stern of the ship but a suite…

 

Opinions please?

A Signature Suite is a suite in name only, all you get is more room and larger balcony, no other real benefits. For 7 nights I would stay where you are and spend the extra $400 on specialty dining.

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Thanks everyone. I think I’ll stay where I am. I kind of suspected it was a bit much for just a seven day cruise, but I’ve never been offered an upgrade before, so I wasn’t entirely sure.

 

We did upgrade to the habit all package and that was already a bit of a sticker shock so I think we’ll just stay where we are. Usually the full balconies are a bit bigger anyway. The thing is my husband thinks we are midship when I saw this full aft become available, I jumped on it. I haven’t told him about the change. I want to surprise him. I was willing to surprise him with an aft or a suite but I think I will stick with what I have. Pretty sure I can use that $800 in Cardow jewellers in St. Thomas. Haha 😆 

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Hello everyone! We booked Nieuw Statendam Sept 2025 for the itinerary going to Alexandria, Egypt & Istanbul overnight amongst other ports of interest.  We always cruise Celebrity (love the silent disco 💃its so much fun) but this itinerary was too good to pass up.  Question?  What is the entertainment like on sea days? Are there activities during the day?  Also, I keep reading about the music venues but does the theatre have nightly shows with live productions?  Just curious as we have never cruised HAL before. 

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42 minutes ago, debfed65 said:

Hello everyone! We booked Nieuw Statendam Sept 2025 for the itinerary going to Alexandria, Egypt & Istanbul overnight amongst other ports of interest.  We always cruise Celebrity (love the silent disco 💃its so much fun) but this itinerary was too good to pass up.  Question?  What is the entertainment like on sea days? Are there activities during the day?  Also, I keep reading about the music venues but does the theatre have nightly shows with live productions?  Just curious as we have never cruised HAL before. 

Welcome to HAL!! You will not find Broadway-type productions in the theater or Silent Disco. There are presentations in the theater and other entertainment like magicians and dancers (for example).

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New to Holland America, have two cruises booked, one in January 2024 and the other in June 2024.  I booked the latter cruise first and was able to book June shore excursions through HAL's website. After booking the January cruise, I was able to book dining reservations for the January cruise through Navigator, but I can no longer access Manage my Cruise for the June cruise through the website or Navigator, despite both bookings showing up on both the website and in Navigator.

 

My question...

 

Navigator seems to work fine for me for the January cruise, but every time I log on to Navigator, the January cruise loads. Is there any way in Navigator to switch between bookings?  I want to review excursions and be able to book specialty dining once it opens.  Or is Navigator stuck on January until that sailing has come and gone?

 

Hopefully someone has multiple HAL cruises booked and can comment on Navigator.

 

Thanks in advance for any assistance you can offer.

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Just now, spocruiser said:

Hopefully someone has multiple HAL cruises booked and can comment on Navigator.

You will need to log in through the website in order to manage dining and excursions for your June cruise. 

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7 hours ago, debfed65 said:

Hello everyone! We booked Nieuw Statendam Sept 2025 for the itinerary going to Alexandria, Egypt & Istanbul overnight amongst other ports of interest.  We always cruise Celebrity (love the silent disco 💃its so much fun) but this itinerary was too good to pass up.  Question?  What is the entertainment like on sea days? Are there activities during the day?  Also, I keep reading about the music venues but does the theatre have nightly shows with live productions?  Just curious as we have never cruised HAL before. 


We are considering booking this same ship for a TA and British Isles cruise.  We are Royal Caribbean cruisers (100 days booked in 2024) but in 2025 their itineraries are less than desirable.  Can anyone comment on this ship?  Will we like HA? We are just retired, still active, like live entertainment, and a solarium or similar on sea days to read. We are not foodies, don’t gamble but like to dress a little for dinner and enjoy good drinks and conversation. Does the ship shut down at 10 p.m. or will there still be some live music somewhere? What do you like the most and what is your least favorite thing about HA?
 

Just tagging on to the previous poster questions trying to get more answers.

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6 hours ago, spocruiser said:

My question...

 

Navigator seems to work fine for me for the January cruise, but every time I log on to Navigator, the January cruise loads. Is there any way in Navigator to switch between bookings?  I want to review excursions and be able to book specialty dining once it opens.  Or is Navigator stuck on January until that sailing has come and gone?

The cruise with the earliest date is the only one you can access through Navigator. You can access them both online. Once the cruise starts, you can access it only through Navigator. 

Welcome and enjoy your cruises!

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On 10/3/2023 at 11:29 AM, seaoma said:

 

I just do not like sleeping in a watch. I have tried for a few years with my Fitbit. I can only manage about 5 days. I'm also someone who takes off their wedding rings and earrings every night too.

I take mine off too.  I can’t see my watch at night anyway.

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On 11/4/2023 at 11:58 PM, Haljo1935 said:

My happy place - a discussion of HAL laundry service!!

Looky at the lovely note I received from them yesterday. 😊

20231104_151400.thumb.jpg.8e4f87b3b0b20d4bc964720db4bbe03b.jpg

We got a similar note every laundry service, from the same person. Too late, I realized she had repaired a tear in a linen shirt I had sent to be  cleaned, and would have made an effort to give her a tip for the kindness. I mentioned her in my review to HAL, and hope she got some recognition.

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