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

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Just finished on line document and am confused about the gratuity credit card charges portion. Are we automatically agreeing to a hefty gratuity in advance. What are the policies or options for a 21 day cruise.

 

Hotel Service Charge is automatically added to your on board account. Policy for a 21 day cruise is $11.50 or $12 per day ($12 if you are in a suite). so, 21 days of hotel service charge per person.

 

The only option is to reduce or remove it IF service is VERY disappointing. If you have issues have them addressed rather than do that. The hsc doesn't just go to your stewards and waiters, it goes to the entire staff that helped make your cruise wonderful - including all the people behind the scenes.

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No problem here with that..seems reasonable.....but there was a page in the on line documents right before we before we

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Whoops...hit the wrong button. To continue, there was an area where it asked about using cash or credit card and we replied with credit card and gave info. They talked about charges of either 30 or 60 dollars a day per person depending on the length of the trip. What was that referring to.

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Whoops...hit the wrong button. To continue, there was an area where it asked about using cash or credit card and we replied with credit card and gave info. They talked about charges of either 30 or 60 dollars a day per person depending on the length of the trip. What was that referring to.

 

no charge there. They are talking about a "hold" on your credit card to make sure there is enough room on your credit card to pay the bill at the end of the cruise. Similar to what hotels do. As long as you have sufficient room in your credit card authorization amount, it is a non issue and should not affect you. You will only be charged what you actually spend on board along with the HSC. hopefully, his makes sense? if not, do post and I will try to be clearer.

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We couldn't imagine that we hadn't figured such a large amount into our travel budget. Thank you so much for your quick replies.

Almost time to start packing

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We couldn't imagine that we hadn't figured such a large amount into our travel budget. Thank you so much for your quick replies.

Almost time to start packing

 

you are very welcome! Have a great cruise :D

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We are cruising on N. Amersterdam in Feb, I have traveled on carnival and princess before but never Hal so I have a few questions.

When have the drink package and free specialty dining ( pinnacle) just wondering if the drink package is available when we embark or do we have to wait for it to be delivered?? Also since the one night dining is included in our package at booking and many other people will have this perk as well we cannot prebook our reservation, does anyone know when we will be able to book this at the restaurant??

Also if it is a 7 day I read there is 2 formal nights but also people say changes are coming wondering when the changes will take place, and when they typically are. Also our last night is valentines day do you think that will be a formal night???

Wondering if you can use the gym free of charge and do you have to pay to use the thermal beds and Sauna or steam room and do you have to book these in advance.

Thanks for everyone that puts there time into answering everyone's questions.

Jennifer

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We are cruising on N. Amersterdam in Feb, I have traveled on carnival and princess before but never Hal so I have a few questions.

When have the drink package and free specialty dining ( pinnacle) just wondering if the drink package is available when we embark or do we have to wait for it to be delivered?? Also since the one night dining is included in our package at booking and many other people will have this perk as well we cannot prebook our reservation, does anyone know when we will be able to book this at the restaurant??

Also if it is a 7 day I read there is 2 formal nights but also people say changes are coming wondering when the changes will take place, and when they typically are. Also our last night is valentines day do you think that will be a formal night???

Wondering if you can use the gym free of charge and do you have to pay to use the thermal beds and Sauna or steam room and do you have to book these in advance.

Thanks for everyone that puts there time into answering everyone's questions.

Jennifer

 

Jennifer, I can help a bit but we need others.

 

Which drink package do you have? The explore4 with the beverage card or the explore4 with the limit of 15 drinks per day under $7? If it's the former the beverage card should be in your stateroom ready to use once you activate it. Remember until you are to see in International waters, there could be tax charged on drinks depending upon your port.

 

Formal nights are supposed to change on 7 day cruises. When you get the notification to print your docs it will specify the number of Formal nights.

 

Even though Valentine's Day is a typical time for a formal night, with it being the last night I can't see it. The last night of the cruise is always smart casual to allow you time to get your bags packed and ready for pick up that night. It might be a Formal "optional" evening?

 

The gym is free. The sauna/hydrotherapy pool do cost. You can book by calling shipboard services or you can book once you are on board. There are usually specials if you book the first day, at least from my experience.

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We are cruising on N. Amersterdam in Feb, I have traveled on carnival and princess before but never Hal so I have a few questions.

When have the drink package and free specialty dining ( pinnacle) just wondering if the drink package is available when we embark or do we have to wait for it to be delivered?? Also since the one night dining is included in our package at booking and many other people will have this perk as well we cannot prebook our reservation, does anyone know when we will be able to book this at the restaurant??

Also if it is a 7 day I read there is 2 formal nights but also people say changes are coming wondering when the changes will take place, and when they typically are. Also our last night is valentines day do you think that will be a formal night???

Wondering if you can use the gym free of charge and do you have to pay to use the thermal beds and Sauna or steam room and do you have to book these in advance.

Thanks for everyone that puts there time into answering everyone's questions.

Jennifer

 

 

The steam rooms are free. But you do have to pay to use the thermal beds -- it part of the thermal pool package. Some people pre-book it and some say they have gotten a better deal once on the ship.

Once on the ship -- the free dinner that you are suppose to get -- the card will be in your cabin with the date and time already assigned to you. If you do not like the day and time, you can go to the Pinnacle manage and see if they will/can change it for you. It all depends on how busy they are.

Which drink package do you have?

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Thank you both for your info, not sure the name of the drink package but I do know that it has the limit of 15 drinks/ day.

I have been trying to book the greenhouse spa online for the day but that option doesn't come up so I think I will just call this week to find out more info on it and price, and if I decide to book I might just wait till the first day too see if it is a better deal tks.

I'm hoping that we will have two formal nights but I will have to wait till I get the boarding pass and see what it says.

 

Thanks again,

 

Jennifer

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The one day pass for the Thermal pool and heated loungers can only be bought once on the ship. No discounts on one day passes. They usually are about $40 per person.

Seven day cruises have 2 formal nights.

Which NA itinerary are you doing? Eastern or Western?

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Thank you both for your info, not sure the name of the drink package but I do know that it has the limit of 15 drinks/ day.

I have been trying to book the greenhouse spa online for the day but that option doesn't come up so I think I will just call this week to find out more info on it and price, and if I decide to book I might just wait till the first day too see if it is a better deal tks.

I'm hoping that we will have two formal nights but I will have to wait till I get the boarding pass and see what it says.

 

Thanks again,

 

Jennifer

 

It should be two formal nghts Jennifer - from the HAL Website:

Less than 7 days 1 Formal evening

7 - 13 days - 2 Formal Evenings

14 - 20 days - 3 Formal Evenings

21 - 28 days - 4 Formal Evenings.

 

 

You have the nice drink package. You should be able to use it as soon as you board as well. Not sure if you get a separate card now or if they use your room key. I believe it is still a separate card.

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Awesome news from both of you!!! Thanks again, we are going to Grand turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay. We have been to all these ports except St. Thomas it is a 50 th birthday celebration for my husband and a friend of ours. we are two couples and both new to Hal so anxious to experience it.When I read about the formal nights I took it as two nights as well but I have been reading on cruise critics and there are a lot of people saying that they will be changing it to 1 night so I just thought if they were gonna change might have been in the new year? When we can print the boarding pass will it say specifically when the formal nights are?

 

Jennifrr

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When we can print the boarding pass will it say specifically when the formal nights are?

No, not the "when"; the boarding pass will tell you the "how many" of formal and smart casual nights there are.

When you board there should be some paperwork, possibly the brochure with information about the ports, what to see/do, port agent, etc., that has the formal nights listed. This is always still subject to change, but unlikely.

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I'm another who isn't new to cruising but new to HAL. My question is about the food on the ship. How does it compare to other cruise lines?

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Rejeana,

 

The only non-HAL cruises we have taken are 2 Disney Line cruises and, IMHO, the Disney food did not compare favorably to the HAL food. I believe the food on our HAL cruises has been better than the food on either the Disney Dream or the Disney Wonder.

 

Rod

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I'm another who isn't new to cruising but new to HAL. My question is about the food on the ship. How does it compare to other cruise lines?

 

Rejeana,

 

The only non-HAL cruises we have taken are 2 Disney Line cruises and, IMHO, the Disney food did not compare favorably to the HAL food. I believe the food on our HAL cruises has been better than the food on either the Disney Dream or the Disney Wonder.

 

Rod

 

agree, have been on NCL, Disney, Princess & Celebrity - prefer HAL's food for sure, not just the MDR but the Ldio as well.

 

JMO though and my experience. Food is VERY subjective so everyone may have different opinions.

Edited by kazu

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Ok... This is a true "dummy" question: I just read that an engine "blew" on the Nieuw Amsterdam January 11th cruise. They have had a few problems and delayed their arrival to San Juan. Will this effect my cruise in the 25th? Can they fix it before then?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Our HAL cruise is Sunday, but I have spent 25 minutes doing a "Catch 22"! The HAL m&m does not offer a sign up link. I have signed up in the past, but I can't find where it went?! Princess has the same missing link. Azamara was the only one I found with a way to sign up. What am I missing here? :confused: Thanks much!

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Our HAL cruise is Sunday, but I have spent 25 minutes doing a "Catch 22"! The HAL m&m does not offer a sign up link. I have signed up in the past, but I can't find where it went?! Princess has the same missing link. Azamara was the only one I found with a way to sign up. What am I missing here? :confused: Thanks much!
:confused: Are you talking about the CC Roll Call (to which you've posted)? I don't know if someone there has taken charge of coordinating a Meet & Greet with someone from HAL. That will be on your Roll Call if so. Or, are you taking about what HAL has on [a well-known social media site that we aren't allowed to mention here]? If it's the latter, that is a set time and place, usually around sailaway. We've never been to one of those, but I believe you just show up.

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Our HAL cruise is Sunday, but I have spent 25 minutes doing a "Catch 22"! The HAL m&m does not offer a sign up link. I have signed up in the past, but I can't find where it went?! Princess has the same missing link. Azamara was the only one I found with a way to sign up. What am I missing here? :confused: Thanks much!

HAL doesn't organize the Meet & Greet; the people on the Roll Call do.

 

You need to go to the Roll Call forum for HAL, find your ship, then find the date of your sailing. Read the thread and find when/where the M&G is being held, and post to let them know you want to attend.

Edited by RuthC

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Thx to both of you! I guess we have none for our cruise:( Oh well, we'll have lots of ways of meeting anyway!

 

HAL doesn't organize the Meet & Greet; the people on the Roll Call do.

 

You need to go to the Roll Call forum for HAL, find your ship, then find the date of your sailing. Read the thread and find when/where the M&G is being held, and post to let them know you want to attend.

 

:confused: Are you talking about the CC Roll Call (to which you've posted)? I don't know if someone there has taken charge of coordinating a Meet & Greet with someone from HAL. That will be on your Roll Call if so. Or, are you taking about what HAL has on [a well-known social media site that we aren't allowed to mention here]? If it's the latter, that is a set time and place, usually around sailaway. We've never been to one of those, but I believe you just show up.

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Ok... This is a true "dummy" question: I just read that an engine "blew" on the Nieuw Amsterdam January 11th cruise. They have had a few problems and delayed their arrival to San Juan. Will this effect my cruise in the 25th? Can they fix it before then?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

 

Is anyone able to answer this? Any past experience would be welcomed!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Is anyone able to answer this? Any past experience would be welcomed!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

Years ago the Statendam had engine problems. I was on one cruise when we had to slow down because of it. The Statendam has never had a cancelled cruise after that, that I'm aware of. If it was a huge deal I'm sure we'd hear more about it. I wouldn't worry.

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Years ago the Statendam had engine problems. I was on one cruise when we had to slow down because of it. The Statendam has never had a cancelled cruise after that, that I'm aware of. If it was a huge deal I'm sure we'd hear more about it. I wouldn't worry.

 

 

Thanks 😊

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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