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Contacting HAL in an Emergency


Petronillus
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Here's what I copied from HAL and sent to family members

 

Connecting to a Holland America Line vessel at sea is simple by using Ship Dial Service. We recommend that you use this for the most critical emergencies only.  A credit card is required for all inbound phone calls to a ship. The rate is $US16.00 per minute and billing begins at the time specified. Please have the ship's name, your party's name and stateroom number before you call.

Instructions:

Dial 1 800 993 5483 (US). From outside the U.S. access 1 321 837 6106.
Listen to the announcement.
Listen to the menu and select the number that corresponds to the ship you are calling.
If you receive a busy signal or message, please hang up quickly and try your call again.


 

See you onboard!

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I have always given these HAL emergency numbers to family when we cruise. No one has had to use them so far so I cannot tell you how effective they are. I assume they get you in contact with people at HAL that can then get word to your ship. Can anyone confirm this?

 

Holland America Emergency Phone Numbers:

 

5 am -7 pm M-F & 7 am - 3:30 pm Sat-Sun -

     1-800-426-0327

Other hours and holidays -

     1-888-361-8803

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56 minutes ago, Overhead Fred said:

I have always given these HAL emergency numbers to family when we cruise. No one has had to use them so far so I cannot tell you how effective they are. I assume they get you in contact with people at HAL that can then get word to your ship. Can anyone confirm this?

 

Holland America Emergency Phone Numbers:

 

5 am -7 pm M-F & 7 am - 3:30 pm Sat-Sun -

     1-800-426-0327

Other hours and holidays -

     1-888-361-8803

 

Just curious - why would you want to use an (untried) alternative when HAL has clearly set forth the procedure for contacting people on a HAL cruise?  See Post # 2 above.

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The easiest thing to do is to turn all data off on your phone and leave on only cellular so that the only thing that can come to your phone is voice. That doesn't normally run up large bills unless you get a lot of calls.

 

Alternatively get an Internet package, and check your e-mail every few hours. In an emergency it is not like you can do something quickly anyway.

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1 hour ago, Overhead Fred said:

I have always given these HAL emergency numbers to family when we cruise. No one has had to use them so far so I cannot tell you how effective they are. I assume they get you in contact with people at HAL that can then get word to your ship. Can anyone confirm this?

 

Holland America Emergency Phone Numbers:

 

5 am -7 pm M-F & 7 am - 3:30 pm Sat-Sun -

     1-800-426-0327

Other hours and holidays -

     1-888-361-8803

 

The above numbers are mainly for you (the passenger) to contact HAL. Here is what HAL has written:

 

At some point in your travels you may experience an emergency. With this in mind, the following emergency phone numbers are available for your use. Representatives are on hand to assist you in any way they can, including assistance with travel delays and contacting loved ones. During our regular business hours, please call: 800-426-0327.

Representatives are available from 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (Pacific Time). Outside of these hours and during holidays, please call 888-361-8803, or 206-301-5293.*

*This number is for emergency use only; please do not call unless you are experiencing an emergency of a critical nature.

 

It then has what I posted earlier (bolding is mine):

 

Additionally, you can call the ship directly from the shore.  We recommend that you use this for the most critical emergencies only: Connecting to a Holland America Line vessel at sea is simple by using Ship Dial Service. ...

 

 

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The OP's question was how could family get word to them in the case of an emergency. Calling the ship from shore as described in post 2 would work. It is also the most expensive option. 

 

If family or friends wanted to "get word to you" while you cruised and did not have any previous guidance, they would no doubt search the HAL website. The FAQ section has an entry for "what if there is an emergency" and the link takes you to the EMERGENCY Contact entry (caps are HAL's) with these phone numbers: 

 

Business Hours: 206-626-9000
After Hours & Holidays: 1-888-361-8803 or 206-301-5293

 

The numbers I listed in post #5 were obtained a few years ago by doing a similar search. They may no longer be current which is why I asked if anyone could confirm the information. The number to call the ship is buried on page 16 of the downloadable "know before you go" PDF. No one trying to reach you would find this number easily. 

 

There does not seem to be any clear guidance from HAL on the best way to get word to someone on one of their cruises. I suspect that, when faced with a panicked emergency situation, most people would call the first HAL number they could find and, hopefully, they would be directed to the correct contacts. 

 

I have heard numerous stories from fellow passengers about someone being asked to contact the front desk when some type of emergency information needs to be conveyed. I suspect, but I have been wrong before, that the information got to HAL by some means besides calling the recipients room phone from shore. 

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1 hour ago, Overhead Fred said:

There does not seem to be any clear guidance from HAL on the best way to get word to someone on one of their cruises. I suspect that, when faced with a panicked emergency situation, most people would call the first HAL number they could find and, hopefully, they would be directed to the correct contacts. 

 

When I called HAL for clarification of what I read, I was told that anyone who called the HAL Emergency Numbers you posted about contacting someone on a ship would be told to use the Ship Dial Service which I described in Post #2. That's when I was also told the HAL Emergency Numbers were intended for aiding passengers.

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