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

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I haven't stayed in it, but I have visited similar small inside cabins. Yes, it is really small.

The largest insides on that ship, and they are
huge, are the insides on Main Deck (categories J- & K-, but only those on Main Deck). There are also some large I-category cabins on an upper deck, but I can't remember which deck they are on. All the other insides are tiny.

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3 hours ago, loving goldens said:

Hi everyone... we are doing our first holland cruise on the nieum amsterdam.... we have only cruised Celebrity so far... we booked an inside cabin this time... category M 7133... just wondering if anyone would have stayed in this cabin..and was it really small.... thks for any help this thread is very informative!!!   🙂

On another post this was listed, these cabins are near yours, so .... not sure if same problem exists.  I always check for reviews to see if I can live with the complaints.  "Cabins 7129, 7125 : a loud mechanical banging noise near the rear wall ceiling, starts randomly at about 4:00am and continues until the late morning. HAL could not identify the cause and we were moved after 5 sleepless nights."  7113 said "weird humming noise"  ???  Hope it helps

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If we have a signature suite booked, do we get any kind of priority boarding?  The lines are always so long, and this time we have a Sig Suite.  Thanks!

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5 minutes ago, CTOM said:

If we have a signature suite booked, do we get any kind of priority boarding? 

Sorry, it's Pinnacle and Neptune suites that qualify for priority boarding.

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3 hours ago, CTOM said:

If we have a signature suite booked, do we get any kind of priority boarding?  The lines are always so long, and this time we have a Sig Suite.  Thanks!

I am curious about when you have suffered  long lines getting onboard HAL ships; this has never been our experience. 

 

For what it’s worth: in February we embarked from Ft. Lauderdale. After a quick check-in (no line whatsoever) we went to talke a seat to wait for our group number to be called to board. We realized there was an elevator directly in front of us, so we asked if we could use it. We were told yes, so we skipped waiting behind groups moving up the escalator, bypassed the line waiting to have their welcome aboard photo taken — we always avoid that — and were onboard in a flash.  Maybe you could try that. 

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Posted (edited)

So you "cut the line", instead of waiting your turn, and you're recommending someone else to do the same?

 

Edited by TonyC1952
error

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The elevator is intended for use by those with mobility issues or passengers otherwise unable to use the escalators.

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On 4/9/2019 at 10:31 AM, TonyC1952 said:

So you "cut the line", instead of waiting your turn, and you're recommending someone else to do the same?

 

I did not recommend, I suggested.

On 4/9/2019 at 11:20 AM, Fouremco said:

The elevator is intended for use by those with mobility issues or passengers otherwise unable to use the escalators.

 You will have to take that up with the uniformed HAL employee who said we could use it.

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1 hour ago, SeagoingMom said:

 

I did not recommend, I suggested.

 You will have to take that up with the uniformed HAL employee who said we could use it.

Don't worry about it . Some live to be holier than thou scolds . 

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2 hours ago, SeagoingMom said:

 

I did not recommend, I suggested.

 You will have to take that up with the uniformed HAL employee who said we could use it.

 

Agree with previous posts in that just because the 'uniformed HAL employee' said you COULD use it, doesn't mean you SHOULD use it. Etiquette and common courtesy should prevail here..

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On 4/8/2019 at 7:42 PM, SeagoingMom said:

I am curious about when you have suffered  long lines getting onboard HAL ships; this has never been our experience. 

 

. We were told yes, so we skipped waiting behind groups moving up the escalator, bypassed the line waiting to have their welcome aboard photo taken — we always avoid that — and were onboard in a flash.  Maybe you could try that. 

Well, first of all, I think what you did was not wrong at all.   You asked and were told yes.   Plus, like us, we avoid the picture taken.   Secondly, I hit some disorgainzation and long lines at Seward, Alaska.  Twice!   I'm thinking that I just caught HAL on a bad day or I arrived at peak checkin time.   Most people report good fast checkin lines at HAL, and I believe you.   I think I just hit an exception.

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Getting Off Early on Port Days

 

Wanting to get off the ship early to beat the crowds on port days for our private tours, I am not familiar with HAL's way of handling passenger traffic.

 

Does HAL have a ticket system of first come first serve to get off the ship in an orderly manner or is it just a matter of getting in line?

 

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As long as your docked you can get off any time. If it's a tender port then you have to get tender tickets & it's ships tours first.

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In a foreign port the ship needs to be cleared by local authorities before anyone is allowed off the ship. After that happens, you are free to leave whenever you wish.

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On 4/11/2019 at 5:09 AM, KroozNut said:

 

Agree with previous posts in that just because the 'uniformed HAL employee' said you COULD use it, doesn't mean you SHOULD use it. Etiquette and common courtesy should prevail here..

Nothing wrong with using the elevator when the rest is using the escalators like sheep. Sorry, but you can use all available modes of getting yourself to your required level, as long as it is allowed by the ‘authority.”

There is also absolutely no etiquette regarding that, exept that you obviously never cut in line for your chosen way of ascending.

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5 hours ago, Despegue said:

Nothing wrong with using the elevator when the rest is using the escalators like sheep. Sorry, but you can use all available modes of getting yourself to your required level, as long as it is allowed by the ‘authority.”

There is also absolutely no etiquette regarding that, exept that you obviously never cut in line for your chosen way of ascending.

 

As has previously been mentioned, the elevators are typically reserved for folks with mobility issues. And I disagree that there is no etiquette involved here. Able bodied people should use the escalators or stairs, and you are correct, we never cut in line 'for our chosen way of ascending'. That would not be proper boarding etiquette.

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I asked a similar question a while ago, but now we finally have times and plans confirmed, so I wanted to follow up on HAL's disembarking procedures.

 

I know they will issue me a disembarking time/group.   BUT... Since we have NO checked luggage, and do not need Steward help,  and are NOT using any of HAL's ground transports, can we disembark whenever we want? 

 

Let's assume we're in Group 4, but we wander down early to disembark with Group 1. With no checked luggage, they should just let us off the ship, right?   Allowable?

 

The ship arrives at 7am and our flight is at noon.  When we fill in the flight info beforehand, is HAL good about noticing we have a somewhat tight window and will schedule us for an early disembarking?   Thanks!

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, CTOM said:

I know they will issue me a disembarking time/group.   BUT... Since we have NO checked luggage, and do not need Steward help,  and are NOT using any of HAL's ground transports, can we disembark whenever we want? 

Not an easy question to answer as the answer will vary ship to ship.

 

12 minutes ago, CTOM said:

Let's assume we're in Group 4, but we wander down early to disembark with Group 1. With no checked luggage, they should just let us off the ship, right?   Allowable?

On recent cruises it has seemed that they were checking groups carefully and not allowing anyone off before their group was called. Remember, it is not just about the  luggage, but controlling the number of people in line waiting for immigration.

12 minutes ago, CTOM said:

The ship arrives at 7am and our flight is at noon.  When we fill in the flight info beforehand, is HAL good about noticing we have a somewhat tight window and will schedule us for an early disembarking?   Thanks!

My experience is that the ship is very good about scheduling you for a time that works with your flight. If you feel that your time is too close, you can go to the desk and ask for an earlier time slot.

 

Edited by richwmn

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9 minutes ago, CTOM said:

I asked a similar question a while ago, but now we finally have times and plans confirmed, so I wanted to follow up on HAL's disembarking procedures.

 

I know they will issue me a disembarking time/group.   BUT... Since we have NO checked luggage, and do not need Steward help,  and are NOT using any of HAL's ground transports, can we disembark whenever we want? 

 

Let's assume we're in Group 4, but we wander down early to disembark with Group 1. With no checked luggage, they should just let us off the ship, right?   Allowable?

 

The ship arrives at 7am and our flight is at noon.  When we fill in the flight info beforehand, is HAL good about noticing we have a somewhat tight window and will schedule us for an early disembarking?   Thanks!

 

 

 

Near the end of your cruise, the Front Office will send out a questionnaire regarding your disembarkation plans.  One of the options is to get what I believe they call Expedited Disembarkation for travelers who require no assistance and have no luggage.  Select that option and it's the first group allowed off.  If you have that color code, once it is called you can get off at any time.  My experience over many cruises is that the ship staff is very strict in following the disembarkation color codes.  One can't just wander down to the gangway and disembark.

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40 minutes ago, richwmn said:

On recent cruises it has seemed that they were checking groups carefully and not allowing anyone off before their group was called. Remember, it is not just about the  luggage, but controlling the number of people in line waiting for immigration.

 

Thank you, good point. I didn't consider the immigration.   It's a Baltic cruise, disembarking in Copenhagen.  We're US citizens, and will have to go through immigration, and then jump in a taxi asap.

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Hi everyone! We just booked the 12 day Mediterranean Legends on the Koningsdam for this July and were hoping for a little general advice on a couple of things...


- SPECIALTY DINING: If we want to eat in a couple of the specialty dining restaurants like Tamarind and Pinnacle, would you recommend booking in advance in order to secure preferred times? It seems that there are options on HAL's website to go ahead and reserve (and pay for) specific reservation times and also some packages available to purchase online that would give a little discount on multiple specialty dining but won't allow you to make the reservations until you get on board. Anyone know the cancellation policy for dining reservations made ahead?

 

- INTERNET: Is it cheaper to buy in advance on HAL's website? Are there more options available on board?

 

- I've found and joined the Roll Call. Is there any other forum or board on here that might have helpful input specifically on our itinerary/ship/port? I've done some searches and stumbled upon some old helpful posts on a range of topics but just wondering if there's a better way to navigate through the tons of helpful info on this website?

 

- Do other cruisers post daily programs somewhere? Thought it might be nice to get an idea of which nights have shows or dinners that are most appealing to us so that we avoid booking specialty dining or spa appointments or dinners out at port (we have a few really long port days) at the same times.

 

Thanks in advance for any help you can send my way!

 

 

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Go to the "Ports of Call",  on the CC main page. Lots of info there. 

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On 8/18/2014 at 5:48 AM, cbr663 said:

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.

As far as table cloth, we were in a NS on the Eurodam last week and did room service breakfast.  We rang down that morning as we apparently went through a bit of rain in the night and had no problem with Room Service bringing a nice white table cloth.  I don't know if that was the norm or because we were in a suite.

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Posted (edited)

Hi.  We are new to HAL, having cruised previously primarily on Princess.

We have identified the cruise we want.  It sails the south pacific from Seattle in Sept 2020 on the Oosterdam.  We have not yet booked, but have plenty of time.

 

My question is - are there certain "sales" that arise with some amount of predictability that we should hold off booking for so that we might get a better deal?  With Princess, there seem to be a never-ending series of sales (mostly perks or OBC rather than big price drops), but some are better than others.  September historically marks the start of the best sale of each year (3 for free).  Wondering if HAL has something like that?

 

We are not drinkers, so not really interested in any promotions that include all-inclusive booze packages, but any other OBC, free Grats, free specialty dining, free shore excursion money, room upgrades, or price reductions would be good to know of.

 

Thanks for any help

 

Don

Edited by Mud_Shark

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16 minutes ago, Mud_Shark said:

Hi.  We are new to HAL, having cruised previously primarily on Princess.

We have identified the cruise we want.  It sails the south pacific from Seattle in Sept 2020 on the Oosterdam.  We have not yet booked, but have plenty of time.

 

My question is - are there certain "sales" that arise with some amount of predictability that we should hold off booking for so that we might get a better deal?  With Princess, there seem to be a never-ending series of sales (mostly perks or OBC rather than big price drops), but some are better than others.  September historically marks the start of the best sale of each year (3 for free).  Wondering if HAL has something like that?

 

We are not drinkers, so not really interested in any promotions that include all-inclusive booze packages, but any other OBC, free Grats, free specialty dining, free shore excursion money, room upgrades, or price reductions would be good to know of.

 

Thanks for any help

 

Don

The best sale in my opinion is the cyber sale but that's not until November (typically grats included, a beverage card, and a decent reduction in price, don't remember if there's some modest OBC or not). With the caveat that **as long as you do not reserve with a non-refundable fare** you may as well go ahead and book now. If the fare drops or you find a deal with better perks later, you can refare any time (and multiple times) before final payment (again, see caveat). The next big sale will be Explore4, the major draw to that being an included beverage package, which will have less appeal for you than it does for others (although non-booze drinks are included in that). Explore4 runs a ridiculously long time (all summer and into the fall). I think the current promo includes grats. You can also ask at any time for a price quote that does not include whatever perks the current sale offers, often at a significant savings. But again, make sure you're getting a refundable fare or you'll be stuck with whatever your deal was when you reserved.  

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