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

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#41
Florida
212 Posts
Joined Dec 2013
first of all I want to say how friendly & helpful this HAL forum is!I booked our first HAL cruise for next year,and have learned so much already!Thank you so much.

This is for those of you who have sailed on both DCL and HAL,as this is our 1st with HAL,and we're doing our 4th DCL next month.We're both in our early 60's,so I'd love to hear what you have to offer.Oh,and our first trip will be on the Eurodam on the Navgation Deck to Western Car. in March next year!
#42
Henderson, NV
491 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
Instead of keeping your extra pens or vials in the medical center, you might want to get yourself a FRIO Pack. You soak the liner till it swells some, it has polymer beads in it, and put your vials or pens in there, then slip it in a fabric cover. You can carry it in a purse or carryon like this, and also keep it in your cabin, hotel room, etc. It will keep the items at a safe temperature for four or more days. Don't let it totally dry out. Then you soak the liner again (it takes less time if it isn't dry). I've been using one for years, and you could ask for more references on the Disability section.

Where do you get a Frio Pack? Well, I can't recommend a place, but Uncle Google is your friend They come in all sizes from those for one or two pens to those carrying several vials.

M.
#43
New Brunswick
41,521 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by PatLuv
first of all I want to say how friendly & helpful this HAL forum is!I booked our first HAL cruise for next year,and have learned so much already!Thank you so much.

This is for those of you who have sailed on both DCL and HAL,as this is our 1st with HAL,and we're doing our 4th DCL next month.We're both in our early 60's,so I'd love to hear what you have to offer.Oh,and our first trip will be on the Eurodam on the Navgation Deck to Western Car. in March next year!
Rather than ask the question here ( as I fear it would be missed), I would start a new thread asking the question where those who have sailed both would have a better chance of seeing this.
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#44
western co
21 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by Mindy97
Instead of keeping your extra pens or vials in the medical center, you might want to get yourself a FRIO Pack. You soak the liner till it swells some, it has polymer beads in it, and put your vials or pens in there, then slip it in a fabric cover. You can carry it in a purse or carryon like this, and also keep it in your cabin, hotel room, etc. It will keep the items at a safe temperature for four or more days. Don't let it totally dry out. Then you soak the liner again (it takes less time if it isn't dry). I've been using one for years, and you could ask for more references on the Disability section.

Where do you get a Frio Pack? Well, I can't recommend a place, but Uncle Google is your friend They come in all sizes from those for one or two pens to those carrying several vials.

M.
available at the company - http://www.frioinsulincoolingcase.com/
#45
6,163 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
I know this has already been mentioned, but perhaps it needs emphasis as recent discussions show:

WINE POLICY: You are limited to taking on board 1 -750 ml bottle of wine per passenger (Not 2 per cabin - solos take note).
You may NOT take boxed wine onboard.
You may take additional bottles of wine and pay $18 per bottle corkage for each. These bottles can be taken to the MDR for consumption.
If you take a "free" bottle to the MDR, you must pay the corkage there.

Hope that covers it, perhaps others can add anything I've missed.
#46
267 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
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!
Please check with your pharmacist about the necessity of storing medications at particular temperatures. Most insulins are now good for at least 28 days at room temperature and some for 42 days. I can think of very few that MUST be kept refridgerated. Please note, I am a pharmacist!
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Past cruises
MS Eurodam Nov'15
MS Noordam Caribbean Wayfarer Jan'15
MS Zuiderdam Caribbean Sunfarer Feb 24 '14
MS Nieuw Amsterdam Eastern Caribbean Dec 8'13
MS Noordam Southern Caribbean Nov 16'12
MS Nieuw Amsterdam Western Caribbean Jan 2 '12
MS Zuideram Southern Caribbean Nov 25'11
MS Ryndam Western Caribbean Dec 5'10
#47
Honolulu, HI, USA
1,291 Posts
Joined May 2003
The HAL for Dummies is a God-send - even though I am a 2-Star Marriner!

Our plane is coming in at 7:00AM - the day of our cruise. The ship leaves at 4:45pm.

If we opt for the transfer service from HA from the airport to the cruiseport, would our luggage be loaded directly from the bus to the ship?

I would think that the bus would get to the port by 9:00 and we probably would not be able board for another three hours and would hate to wait around guarding our luggage!

Thanks
#48
Honolulu, HI, USA
1,291 Posts
Joined May 2003
Originally posted by CowPrincess
There is also "stuff a bag" where you can send out a bag of laundry for $20 (N. America, not sure about the cost in other areas).
How big/small is the bag?

Thanks
#50
6,163 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by tommui987
How big/small is the bag?

Thanks
Lordy, kind of hard to describe. Small pillow case size, maybe. But you can stuff a heck of lot into it by rolling everything up. It's a great deal.
#51
Hanford CA
168 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by tommui987
The HAL for Dummies is a God-send - even though I am a 2-Star Marriner!

Our plane is coming in at 7:00AM - the day of our cruise. The ship leaves at 4:45pm.

If we opt for the transfer service from HA from the airport to the cruiseport, would our luggage be loaded directly from the bus to the ship?

I would think that the bus would get to the port by 9:00 and we probably would not be able board for another three hours and would hate to wait around guarding our luggage!

Thanks
I do not know how far you have to travel BUT:

Goggle "luggage forwarding". The will pick up your luggage from your home or office or pick up almost any where about a week before your trip and deliver it to to ship.

It is pricy about $124 for a large bag under 50 pounds from Calif to Florida.

They have a good reputation. There is also a thread on Cruise Critic if you wish to check them out.

This is not to be confused with Holland America program called "Luggage Direct"

This wonderful program is at the end of your trip and used to send your luggage to the air port from the ship. Cost is $19 dollars per person for your boarding pass and luggage handling.
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Hawaii 1982
Carnival Mexico 2000
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#52
New Brunswick
41,521 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by tommui987
The HAL for Dummies is a God-send - even though I am a 2-Star Marriner!

Our plane is coming in at 7:00AM - the day of our cruise. The ship leaves at 4:45pm.

If we opt for the transfer service from HA from the airport to the cruiseport, would our luggage be loaded directly from the bus to the ship?

I would think that the bus would get to the port by 9:00 and we probably would not be able board for another three hours and would hate to wait around guarding our luggage!

Thanks
you are talking about HAL's transfer from the airport to the ship, correct?

Yes, the luggage is loaded on the bus. If there is not enough room it will go on another one, but there usually is.

The stevedores will probably around be on duty and your luggage will be passed to them. Always good to see it happen
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#53
Florida
212 Posts
Joined Dec 2013
I'm assuming HAL does the "fire drill" before departing.How is it done?Asking because Disney has everyone on one deck,and they slide your room card to show you're there.The one time we were on Carnival in Jan.it seemed to be all over the ship!
#54
Virginia
21,820 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Do the Vista ships have only North American style electrical outlets? How many outlets are there in a standard cabin?

Thanks!
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#55
New Brunswick
41,521 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by PatLuv
I'm assuming HAL does the "fire drill" before departing.How is it done?Asking because Disney has everyone on one deck,and they slide your room card to show you're there.The one time we were on Carnival in Jan.it seemed to be all over the ship!
It usually is around 45 minutes before departing. Right now you go to an assigned spot on deck by your lifeboat station. No swiping of cards yet. You report to the steward with your cabin number and they call out the numbers and names of those that have not reported in to take attendance.

It's quite organized. The only thing that causes delays is "no shows".
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#56
New Brunswick, Canada
9,616 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Scrapnana
Do the Vista ships have only North American style electrical outlets? How many outlets are there in a standard cabin?

Thanks!
Each outlet will have both a North American and a European receptacle. A trick is to take along a European plug adapter for charging your electronics. Most chargers have a voltage range of from 100 to 240. Just check what is written on your charger and if you see that voltage range it is safe to use the European plug. This will allow you to plug in two items at one receptacle.

Since the chargers can be bulky enough that it is hard to fit two side by side, I take along a small thingy that I plug in and it has a few places for plugs in it. If I plug one charger in the end of the thingy there is room in the other outlet for another charger. I don't know what they are called----sort of an extension cord without the cord.

We normally book an SS on the Vistas and there are two outlets----one at each desk. We had a standard balcony cabin on the Oosterdam and there was one receptacle in the cabin. There will be a receptacle in the bathroom for charging razors or toothbrushes.

The hair dryer that is provided will work in the European receptacle only so don't make the mistake of plugging it into the European adapter. There is no built in converter in the hair dryer like you will find in the chargers.
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#57
6,163 Posts
Joined Mar 2014
Originally posted by PatLuv
I'm assuming HAL does the "fire drill" before departing.How is it done?Asking because Disney has everyone on one deck,and they slide your room card to show you're there.The one time we were on Carnival in Jan.it seemed to be all over the ship!
The fire drill has been undergoing safety changes, and you need to listen carefully to the announcements, as muster time is a part of the change. Do not head to your lifeboat station until instructed to do so. I understand it is after the second horn or whistle. Until now, you do not check in by swiping your card, but that is something coming soon - if not already - as well.
#58
Virginia
21,820 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Originally posted by sapper1
Each outlet will have both a North American and a European receptacle. A trick is to take along a European plug adapter for charging your electronics. Most chargers have a voltage range of from 100 to 240. Just check what is written on your charger and if you see that voltage range it is safe to use the European plug. This will allow you to plug in two items at one receptacle.

Since the chargers can be bulky enough that it is hard to fit two side by side, I take along a small thingy that I plug in and it has a few places for plugs in it. If I plug one charger in the end of the thingy there is room in the other outlet for another charger. I don't know what they are called----sort of an extension cord without the cord.

We normally book an SS on the Vistas and there are two outlets----one at each desk. We had a standard balcony cabin on the Oosterdam and there was one receptacle in the cabin. There will be a receptacle in the bathroom for charging razors or toothbrushes.

The hair dryer that is provided will work in the European receptacle only so don't make the mistake of plugging it into the European adapter. There is no built in converter in the hair dryer like you will find in the chargers.
Thanks!
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My Cruise Blogs
World Voyage Blog - http://kathisworldvoyage.blogspot.com/
A Winter Crossing - http://cunard2015.blogspot.com
The Sail-Away Gang's Cruise - http://westerdam2015.blogspot.com/
Fall Foliage Cruise -http://fallfoliagecruise2015.blogspot.com/
South Pacific/North to Alaska - http://halcruises2016.blogspot.com/

Evangeline - Nassau - 1960
Johan Van Oldenbarnevelt - EB TA - 1962
Queen Mary - WB TA - 1962
Raffaello - Caribbean - 1968
MV Three Gorges - Yangtze River - 1988
Atlas - Nile River - 1995
Olympic - Aegean Sea - 1996
Constellation - Baltic Sea - 2005
Disney Fantasy - Caribbean - 2012
Queen Elizabeth - World Voyage 2014
Queen Elizabeth - Southampton to Fort Lauderdale - 2015

Westerdam - FLL to Seattle with the "Sail-away Gang" - 2015
Liberty of the Seas - Canada/New England - 2015
Westerdam - Hawaii, Tahiti, and the Marquesas with the "Pearls of the Pacific" - 2016
Nieuw Amsterdam - Alaska - 2016
#59
Houston
137 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
Originally posted by Seawoff

This is not to be confused with Holland America program called "Luggage Direct"

This wonderful program is at the end of your trip and used to send your luggage to the air port from the ship. Cost is $19 dollars per person for your boarding pass and luggage handling.
Luggage Direct availability is limited to certain airlines, so if you're planning to use it, better make sure you are booked on an allowed airline.
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#60
Minnesota
5,890 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
I'll be on the Veendam. What deck are the muster locations on? Do you bring your life jacket with you? Do they do an indoors or outdoors muster? I'm doing a back to back cruise. Do you have to attend muster for both cruises? Thanks.