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

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#21
Hanford CA
168 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by innlady1
I'm not sure if it's been mentioned here, but trays are no longer provided in the Lido.

Select your table - in the Lido, at the SeaView Pool or Lido Pool - and then go through the food line.

Signature and Vista class ships have a larger Lido than the smaller ships...but the same selection.

Sometimes at the late night buffet in the Lido (starting at 10 PM), HAL's signature pea soup is available. Also many other light (and not so light) bites....
We also noticed that there are no trays in the Lido

So we hid a tray from room service in our closet, took it with us to the Lido and brought our food back to our room to eat on the veranda.
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Hawaii 1982
Carnival Mexico 2000
The Big Red Boat 2002
#22
6,256 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by Host Walt
If you know, what is the current "turn around" time? Last time we used their laundry they wanted the dirty laundry (piece work, not the unlimited deal or the stuff a bag) by 8:30am and promised delivery back to the room by 6:00pm the next afternoon.

The daily deal is a great idea because it really cuts down on luggage and is much nicer than washing your stuff in the bathroom sink.
Ours has always been about 24 hours. We've never had a time limit, but I use the bag and leave it on the bed and the room steward picks it up next time he is in. Everything comes back sometime the next day.

One tip - keep the pink copy of the laundry sheet so you can check what comes back.
#23
East Coast
834 Posts
Joined May 2004
Originally posted by Host Walt
If you know, what is the current "turn around" time? Last time we used their laundry they wanted the dirty laundry (piece work, not the unlimited deal or the stuff a bag) by 8:30am and promised delivery back to the room by 6:00pm the next afternoon.

The daily deal is a great idea because it really cuts down on luggage and is much nicer than washing your stuff in the bathroom sink.
I used the "stuff a bag" on one cruise and the "unlimited" on another. The shortest turn around was same day with "turn down" service. The longest was two days (out on Monday morning, back on Wednesday with "turn down" service). I say "turn down" service because the laundry came back very late in the afternoon while I was out to dinner.
#24
9,407 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by Host Walt
If you know, what is the current "turn around" time? Last time we used their laundry they wanted the dirty laundry (piece work, not the unlimited deal or the stuff a bag) by 8:30am and promised delivery back to the room by 6:00pm the next afternoon.

The daily deal is a great idea because it really cuts down on luggage and is much nicer than washing your stuff in the bathroom sink.
I think they say 48 hr turnaround, don't quote me though We've gotten ours back 24 to 36 hours after sending it. It has never taken 48 houts.
#25
British Columbia
9,178 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by PatLuv
HAL also has a great thing going with this Explore 4 deal,plus its costing us much less,and 2 of the ports we wanted are included in one sailing!We do get good Florida sailings with DCL,and they have onboard booking where you pay 10% down,and depending on cruise length 100-200$ onboard credit which does not include specials.
If you book a future cruise on board, the deposits are reduced, depending on the length of the cruise, and you will probably get some OBC. If you don't have a specific future cruise in mind, you can also buy a future cruise credit (FCC) at the same reduced rates, and apply it to your cruise of choice at a later date. Or, when you get home from your cruise, you may receive a "welcome home" email offering you some on board credit on your next cruise if you book within a certain time.
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#26
virginia beach, va
51 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by cbr663
1. You are not limited to ordering just off of the room service menu. You can order almost anything from the main dining room menu through room service and have it delivered to your cabin.
2. On the room service menu, you can write in additional items that are served at breakfast throughout the ship and they will bring them to you.
3. The Hotel Service Charge covers all your tipping whilst on board. There is no need to provide additional tips. If you wish to tip extra, I recommend that you increase your Hotel Service Charge.
4. HAL passengers love to line up. They enjoy lining up to get on the ship and lining up to get off the ship. Whenever you arrive in a port, passengers will start lining up early to get off the ship. Just wait until about 30 minutes after arriving in port and you can easily walk directly off the ship.
5. Bring a small table cloth if you plan to dine on your balcony. It will elevate the experience even more.
I'm new to HAL. So please forgive the silly question but is room service free?
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#27
Tarzana (San Fernando Valley), CA
4,805 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by CowPrincess
I think they say 48 hr turnaround, don't quote me though We've gotten ours back 24 to 36 hours after sending it. It has never taken 48 houts.
Sounds like an underpromise/over deliver approach to customer service...which is a good thing.

Thanks.
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#28
New Mexico
4,658 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by dlanesman
I'm new to HAL. So please forgive the silly question but is room service free?
It is free and 24/7 with just a call.
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Oosterdam - Alaska - May 2008 (7 days)
Westerdam - Alaska - May 2009 (7 days)
Westerdam - Caribbean (Eastern & Southern) - Feb 2010 (14 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Caribbean (Western) - Nov 2010 (7 days)
Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera - April 2011 (7 days)
Zuiderdam - Alaska - Sep 2011 (B2B 14 days)
Noordam - Caribbean Seafarer - Mar 2012 (11 days)
Nieuw Amsterdam - Caribbean (Western) - Nov 2012 (7 days)
Westerdam - Caribbean (Southern) - Dec 2012 (7 days)
Zuiderdam - Alaska - May 2013 (B2B 14 days)
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#29
Hanford CA
168 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by Crew News
It is free and 24/7 with just a call.
As stated before. Room service is free

Also as stated before you can order anything off the MDR menu if you call for your meals between 5:30 and 6:00 pm. This is also free.

It will be delivered to your room at the time you choose between 5:30 and 9:00), but you must order your meal in the first half hour the dining room is open for the evening meal (5:30-6:00)

If you wish to see the MDR menu before supper/dining time.

Go to the dining room captain any time during the day and ask for a complimentary copy of that days menu. They will be happy to provide you with a souvenir copy.

If you are in a Neptune Suite a copy of the next nights menu is left in your room as part of the turn down service.
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Hawaii 1982
Carnival Mexico 2000
The Big Red Boat 2002
#30
Southwest Florida
10,433 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Originally posted by glomarrone
Do ocean view rooms on the Amsterdam have fridges in them? My husband needs one for his meds.
No they don't but you can rent a cooler for about $3.00 a day.. That's what our Friends do..Ask your Travel Agent to set it up or call Reservations & ask to be transferred to Ships Services..Sorry I don't have their direct Number..
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Cruises: '70 Hellenic "Orion" Greek Isles; '83 Norwegian Carib. "Southwind" East. Carib. ; '96 NCL "Dreamward" East. Carib; '98 HAL "Ryndam" South. Carib.; '99 NCL "Majesty" Panama Canal-Mexico; '01 HAL "Volendam" Trinidad/Martinique; '02 NCL "Dream" Trans-Atlantic MIA-ROM; '03 HAL "Maasdam" West. Carib.; '03 HAL "Amsterdam" South Amer. RIO-SCL; '04 HAL "Westerdam" Trans-Atlantic BCN-FLL; '05 NCL "Crown" SCL-MIA via Canal; '06 HAL "Prinsendam" FLL-Amazon via Carib.; '06 HAL "Ryndam" Carib-Isla de Margarita; '07 Oceania "Regatta" Amazon via Carib. '08 HAL "Veendam"-Alaska; '08 HAL "Maasdam" Southern Carib.: '09 HAL "Statendam" RT FLL-SAN via Panama Canal; '10 HAL "Veendam" Bermuda '10 HAL "Noordam" B2B Carib.; '11 Oceania "Regatta" U.S. Coastal, Bermuda & Carib.; '12 HAL "Nieuw Amsterdam" B2B Carib.; '12 HAL "Noordam " B2B Carib.; '13 HAL "Prinsendam" South Amer. Antartica, & Amazon via Panama Canal & Carib.
#31
Southwest Florida
10,433 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
In post Number 6, it was recommended to increase the Hotel service charge if you receive exceptional service & really wish to give an additional tip/thanks to someone..

We do not do it this way...On our many cruises we've found there are some special people who have gone over & above for us...We give them cash in an envelope with a Thank you note for taking care of us.. In addition we also mention their names on the evaluation e-mail which HAL will send you after your cruise, asking for your comments..

Bear in mind if you increase the Service charge, not only your immediate Stewards will receive the additional cash.. All those behind the scenes will also share in it, as you can't specify it for one person..When you leave the Hotel Service charge on your tab any extra cash given to your stewards is theirs to keep & does not have to be shared...
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For Meet & Greet Info. Pls. put Cruise Critic in Subject line.. Betty
Cruises: '70 Hellenic "Orion" Greek Isles; '83 Norwegian Carib. "Southwind" East. Carib. ; '96 NCL "Dreamward" East. Carib; '98 HAL "Ryndam" South. Carib.; '99 NCL "Majesty" Panama Canal-Mexico; '01 HAL "Volendam" Trinidad/Martinique; '02 NCL "Dream" Trans-Atlantic MIA-ROM; '03 HAL "Maasdam" West. Carib.; '03 HAL "Amsterdam" South Amer. RIO-SCL; '04 HAL "Westerdam" Trans-Atlantic BCN-FLL; '05 NCL "Crown" SCL-MIA via Canal; '06 HAL "Prinsendam" FLL-Amazon via Carib.; '06 HAL "Ryndam" Carib-Isla de Margarita; '07 Oceania "Regatta" Amazon via Carib. '08 HAL "Veendam"-Alaska; '08 HAL "Maasdam" Southern Carib.: '09 HAL "Statendam" RT FLL-SAN via Panama Canal; '10 HAL "Veendam" Bermuda '10 HAL "Noordam" B2B Carib.; '11 Oceania "Regatta" U.S. Coastal, Bermuda & Carib.; '12 HAL "Nieuw Amsterdam" B2B Carib.; '12 HAL "Noordam " B2B Carib.; '13 HAL "Prinsendam" South Amer. Antartica, & Amazon via Panama Canal & Carib.
#32
Southwest Florida
10,433 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Originally posted by dlanesman
I'm new to HAL. So please forgive the silly question but is room service free?
Room service is free but we always give a few dollars tip depending on what the steward delivers.. Obviously for a a full meal we give more.. BTW they are always prompt, or even a bit early so if you want to give them a few dollars, put it in your pocket as they deliver & rush out to do other deliveries..
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For Meet & Greet Info. Pls. put Cruise Critic in Subject line.. Betty
Cruises: '70 Hellenic "Orion" Greek Isles; '83 Norwegian Carib. "Southwind" East. Carib. ; '96 NCL "Dreamward" East. Carib; '98 HAL "Ryndam" South. Carib.; '99 NCL "Majesty" Panama Canal-Mexico; '01 HAL "Volendam" Trinidad/Martinique; '02 NCL "Dream" Trans-Atlantic MIA-ROM; '03 HAL "Maasdam" West. Carib.; '03 HAL "Amsterdam" South Amer. RIO-SCL; '04 HAL "Westerdam" Trans-Atlantic BCN-FLL; '05 NCL "Crown" SCL-MIA via Canal; '06 HAL "Prinsendam" FLL-Amazon via Carib.; '06 HAL "Ryndam" Carib-Isla de Margarita; '07 Oceania "Regatta" Amazon via Carib. '08 HAL "Veendam"-Alaska; '08 HAL "Maasdam" Southern Carib.: '09 HAL "Statendam" RT FLL-SAN via Panama Canal; '10 HAL "Veendam" Bermuda '10 HAL "Noordam" B2B Carib.; '11 Oceania "Regatta" U.S. Coastal, Bermuda & Carib.; '12 HAL "Nieuw Amsterdam" B2B Carib.; '12 HAL "Noordam " B2B Carib.; '13 HAL "Prinsendam" South Amer. Antartica, & Amazon via Panama Canal & Carib.
#33
Beside the seaside! Essex, UK
3,647 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
What a great thread! We are cruising HAL for the first time in October . We are seasoned cruisers but of course, every line is different.
HAL for Dummies, I love it
Sue
#34
9,407 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
Originally posted by Host Walt
>SNIP<

The daily deal is a great idea because it really cuts down on luggage and is much nicer than washing your stuff in the bathroom sink.
Every cabin I've been in has a pull-out clothes line in the shower or tub. So if you do decide to wash items in the sink, you can use the line to hang them to dry. (Just another tip not a judgment on washing things in the sink.)

Also, the smaller ships have self-serve laundry. Last time I used one it was $2 for a load of washing, and $1 for a load of drying.

(I am starting to sound laundry-obsessed. I'll try to get that under control )
#35
FL
3,268 Posts
Joined May 2013
Originally posted by glomarrone
Do ocean view rooms on the Amsterdam have fridges in them? My husband needs one for his meds.
Gloria - HAL does NOT recommend that you keep meds in the fridge in your room as they do not guarantee the temperatures. A regular ocean view room does not have a fridge but you can rent one - but I recommend against that.

I also travel with temperature sensitive meds and always have them stored the medical facility as they monitor the temps of the fridges. I just put them into a zip bag, add my name and cabin number to the bag and they store them. Also do the same to the freezer packs and they will put those in the freezer for me so it is ready to go when it is time to disembark. The medical facility opens at 8 am on most days and stays open until about 6-7 each evening, with an hour break for lunch. Have asked the staff if they could open early one day as we had a 1st off tour to the pyramids and one of the nurses opened up at 7 for me to get my meds.

Please reconsider keeping your meds in the room fridge as we have had soda freeze in 1 fridge - it was a mess!
#36
FL
370 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Hi,


Thanks for your reply. I have now ruled out renting a fridge. I will tell my husband about your idea. I'm sure that will work fine. I appreciate the information. Gloria

Originally posted by take us away
Gloria - HAL does NOT recommend that you keep meds in the fridge in your room as they do not guarantee the temperatures. A regular ocean view room does not have a fridge but you can rent one - but I recommend against that.

I also travel with temperature sensitive meds and always have them stored the medical facility as they monitor the temps of the fridges. I just put them into a zip bag, add my name and cabin number to the bag and they store them. Also do the same to the freezer packs and they will put those in the freezer for me so it is ready to go when it is time to disembark. The medical facility opens at 8 am on most days and stays open until about 6-7 each evening, with an hour break for lunch. Have asked the staff if they could open early one day as we had a 1st off tour to the pyramids and one of the nurses opened up at 7 for me to get my meds.

Please reconsider keeping your meds in the room fridge as we have had soda freeze in 1 fridge - it was a mess!
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Gloria



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#37
717 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
Complimentary hors d’oeuvres are served during evening hours in the lounges upon request. These are different than the Starters in the Main Dining Room. We love to go to the Crow’s Nest, listen to the music and have hors d’oeuvres before dinner. Complimentary cold appetizers and freshly-made snack bars are also available throughout the day in the Explorations Café. In the Daily Program, there’s usually a listing for A Little Something, offering the Pinnacle Grill's appetizer for that evening (while there’s a charge for the beverages offered, in my experience you can request only the appetizer, which is complimentary. I get them to go).
#38
Southeast - in Disorder!
2,372 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Is the Lido open for a casual dinner? I've not cruised HAL before but am looking at a port-intensive cruise for next year. I'd like a casual dining option for the evenings that I'm worn out from the day ashore.

And, if this is an option, please tell me about it. Buffet? Salad bar? Types of food, etc.

Thank you!
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#39
6,256 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by Beach4me
Is the Lido open for a casual dinner? I've not cruised HAL before but am looking at a port-intensive cruise for next year. I'd like a casual dining option for the evenings that I'm worn out from the day ashore.

And, if this is an option, please tell me about it. Buffet? Salad bar? Types of food, etc.

Thank you!
Yes it is, with pretty much the same food as in the MDR, plus lots of other choices. Excellent salad bar, too. There are different stations, depending on what your preference is.
#40
Hernando, FL
812 Posts
Joined May 2003
Originally posted by glomarrone
Do ocean view rooms on the Amsterdam have fridges in them? My husband needs one for his meds.
Can't speak re the Amsterdam, but we were quite upset not to have refrigerators on the Veendam this month, nor did they have any to rent. We had to leave my husband's insulin pens in the Medical Office.

There was a refrigerator in our Prinsendam cabin last year, also ocean view.
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Mickie