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

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On 1/21/2020 at 1:39 PM, CruisingAndDiving said:

I couldn't agree more.

 

While for me main shows are nice but not necessary, if I want to be entertained I will go to BB Kings.  I also very much enjoy not fighting through crowds of loud people participating in some activity on the pool deck.  Give me a nice single malt and a book or some friends you can actually have a conversation with and not have to shout, I'm happy and relaxed!

 

There are cruise lines out there for everyone, with as much or as little as you want to do, you just have to find the one that fits "you"

 

Happy Robbi Burns Day.

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The two are not incompatible. We were on the Statendam for the TA in October. We liked the quiet atmosphere of the cruise during the day but enjoyed lively music at night.
The few evening main stage shows we saw were not very good in my opinion.  One documentary on the ocean was like watching an aquarium said my husband. 
I really do not care much about the evening shows in the theater, do not attend many and it is not a factor when choosing a cruise. 
We liked absolutely everything else about our cruise on the Nieuw Statendam and we will soon be on the Knoningsdam for a 10 day cruise
 
 
So what exactly do you like on your various Holland America Cruises

Sent from my Lenovo K8 Note using Tapatalk

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3 hours ago, drsel said:

So what exactly do you like on your various Holland America Cruises

Sent from my Lenovo K8 Note using Tapatalk
 

Every trip we take we play Trivia! There is always a daytime trivia and night time and we do them both. We have met folks on the first day that we have formed a team with and had lots of fun. Of course, then you visit and do other things with your teammates. 

 

I also do the Windows classes a lot of days. They have some good information. I enjoy the cooking classes. DH isn’t into either; he hangs at the bar and reads and sips bloody Mary’s because they are the BEST bloody bloody Mary’s anywhere.

 

Depending on your trip, they will do shore information presentations OR information presentations. Those can be informative. We seldom stay on board on port days so we get off the ship and wander and stuff too. In the evening, we generally sit in the bar where we just finished trivia and listen to the music.

Janet

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3 hours ago, drsel said:

So what exactly do you like on your various Holland America Cruises

Sent from my Lenovo K8 Note using Tapatalk
 

I really like HAL and Celebrity both. We did 3 TA on Celebrity. On HAL we did 2 méditerranéen and the last TA.  The food, the employees are great.

 

On HAL I like that a standard veranda cabin has a foot stool on the balcony. I do not get the concierge class on Celebrity.

I did not have to stand on the bed to store my clothing like on the Reflection.

The roof over the middle ship pool opens and with the aft pool, it gives 2 outside pools.

The atmospheres in the pools areas.

The variety of music venues in the evenings.

The price of drinks seems lower.

 

Our coming cruise is in the caribbean. I am curious to see the atmosphere. Eventhough I do  not like crazy Circus atmosphere around the pool (we experienced this one  time on a different line) I enjoy some live music. All in moderation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What I like about HAL?

I forgot to add the $30 laundry bag. I think it is cheaper in the Caribbean. You can really put quit a bit of laundry in it!

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22 hours ago, ljgordon54 said:

"because they are the BEST bloody bloody Mary’s anywhere".

 

Couldn't agree more..! 😋😊 From Oosterdam last December..

 

20171001_150538.jpg

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21 hours ago, drsel said:

Wow that bloody Mary looks awesome

 

Trust me... it was! 😉😋

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1 minute ago, KroozNut said:

 

Trust me... it was! 😉😋

Of course I trust you.

Has CC stopped giving titles of 2000+, 5000+, 10000+ club?

Because I see posters who have crossed 2000 comments still labelled ''Cool Cruiser'', rather than "2000+ Club"

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1 minute ago, drsel said:

Has CC stopped giving titles of 2000+, 5000+, 10000+ club?

Because I see posters who have crossed 2000 comments still labelled ''Cool Cruiser'', rather than "2000+ Club"

 

I don’t remember there ever being a 2,000+ club.  I think it started at 3,000 or 5,000?  My memory is short.

 

Since CC switched to the new forum, it just shows total posts now under each user’s name.

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6 minutes ago, kazu said:

 

 

I don’t remember there ever being a 2,000+ club.  I think it started at 3,000 or 5,000?  My memory is short.

 

Since CC switched to the new forum, it just shows total posts now under each user’s name.

There are many in the 2000+ Club. But they reached 2000 before the forum app was discontinued

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5 minutes ago, drsel said:

There are many in the 2000+ Club. But they reached 2000 before the forum app was discontinued

 

I will try to word this better.  I believe that all CC does now with the new forum is count posts.  

 

I don’t think the “club” tally is changing any longer.

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On 1/25/2020 at 12:45 PM, KroozNut said:

 

Couldn't agree more..! 😋😊 From Oosterdam last December..

 

20171001_150538.jpg

I never saw any Bloody Mary like that on a HAL cruise, where did you get it?

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6 hours ago, kazu said:

 

 

I don’t remember there ever being a 2,000+ club.  I think it started at 3,000 or 5,000?  My memory is short.

 

Since CC switched to the new forum, it just shows total posts now under each user’s name.

I crossed the 3000 club border last fall, prior to that it said nothing other then Cool Cruiser. I believe 3000 posts is the first club level.

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44 minutes ago, terrydtx said:

I never saw any Bloody Mary like that on a HAL cruise, where did you get it?

 

At breakfast in the MDR on Oosterdam last December. Here's a shot of one taken on the Lido Deck of the Eurodam recently. Different glass than Oosterdam's version, but just as tasty! 😀

 

20181210_092124.jpg

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With China suspending all tours because of the Corona virus, I wonder what will happen to HAL Westerdam going to Shanghai (2N) & Tianjin (3N) near Beijing?

Edited by drsel

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When I try to sign in to my account, they say I have the wrong password, then when I try to click "forgot password" I get some other nonsense. Is this normal?

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Hi all,

fIrst time poster, second time cruiser here.

 

I have a very flexible schedule and am looking at cruising on the Westerdam on the March 14th trip. Right now, the fare is at 2050$USD for two people for an obstructed view cabin. Because I have little experience with this, I want to ask you folks if this price could drop more. I have no problem with booking last one or two weeks before departure. And also, do you think it may be canceled due to the current coronavirus issues affecting the Westerdam's itinerary. I understand that HAL will refund the cruise fare, but if our flights are booked, then we're in trouble in case of cancellation. 

 

Any input is very helpful, thanks

Jacques 

Edited by jacquesrules

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1 hour ago, jacquesrules said:

Hi all,

fIrst time poster, second time cruiser here.

 

I have a very flexible schedule and am looking at cruising on the Westerdam on the March 14th trip. Right now, the fare is at 2050$USD for two people for an obstructed view cabin. Because I have little experience with this, I want to ask you folks if this price could drop more. I have no problem with booking last one or two weeks before departure. And also, do you think it may be canceled due to the current coronavirus issues affecting the Westerdam's itinerary. I understand that HAL will refund the cruise fare, but if our flights are booked, then we're in trouble in case of cancellation. 

 

Any input is very helpful, thanks

Jacques 

 

IF the cruise is going I suspect (no one knows for sure) that the price may well drop as I suspect many people will be cancelling.

 

You do know that Westerdam is at sea right now, not allowed to disembark at any Japanese port?  None of the countries and ports on the itinerary are letting the ship in.  They are searching for a place where they will be allowed to disembark passengers!

 

Holland America has cancelled the Feb. 15th cruise and is evaluating Feb. 29th and on.

 

If the spread of this virus is not curtailed, then yes, I suspect the cruise will be cancelled.

 

JMO but there is no way I would go to Asia right now 😉 

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2 hours ago, jacquesrules said:

Hi all,

fIrst time poster, second time cruiser here.

 

I have a very flexible schedule and am looking at cruising on the Westerdam on the March 14th trip. Right now, the fare is at 2050$USD for two people for an obstructed view cabin. Because I have little experience with this, I want to ask you folks if this price could drop more. I have no problem with booking last one or two weeks before departure. And also, do you think it may be canceled due to the current coronavirus issues affecting the Westerdam's itinerary. I understand that HAL will refund the cruise fare, but if our flights are booked, then we're in trouble in case of cancellation. 

 

Any input is very helpful, thanks

Jacques 

If you go forward and with the Coronavirus situation, make sure you purchase travel insurance that includes your airfare if the cruise is cancelled. Also make sure any refund from HAL would be cash in lieu of just a future cruise credit. Several cruise lines that are canceling or changing departure and return ports are only offering FCC for canceling. Celebrity for example is only offering a $500 change of airfare credit which will not even come close to covering changing flights. 

 

My other advise is to forget this cruise because with the virus causing so much uncertainty right now I doubt it will be much better by mid March.  Stay away from that part of the world for now.

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Thank you all for your ideas.

I'll hold on to see what happens with the current Westerdam itinerary. If they do disembark in Japan, that will be a good sign for the March 14th sailing. Otherwise, I stay flexible and can easily get to most Asia-Pacific cities in short notice.

Cheers

Jacques

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On 1/24/2020 at 5:03 PM, Louise245 said:

I really like HAL and Celebrity both. We did 3 TA on Celebrity. On HAL we did 2 méditerranéen and the last TA.  The food, the employees are great.

 

On HAL I like that a standard veranda cabin has a foot stool on the balcony. I do not get the concierge class on Celebrity.

I did not have to stand on the bed to store my clothing like on the Reflection.

The roof over the middle ship pool opens and with the aft pool, it gives 2 outside pools.

The atmospheres in the pools areas.

The variety of music venues in the evenings.

The price of drinks seems lower.

 

Our coming cruise is in the caribbean. I am curious to see the atmosphere. Eventhough I do  not like crazy Circus atmosphere around the pool (we experienced this one  time on a different line) I enjoy some live music. All in moderation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi:  My husband and I are booking a HAL cruise next month.  We have been on over 65 cruises, but never on HAL - we figure it is time.   We usually do RCL, Celebrity, Princess, NCL (in that order).   Usually I have no trouble booking a cruise, but because I'm not really educated on HAL I am hoping someone can help me.  I am 65 and my husband is 77 - we are active, but we do not need the waterslides, rock climbing things like that.  At night we usually do the show and then just walk around the ship.  I love to walk out on the deck after dinner and just look at the ocean.    I am looking at the Veenham?  I also like to listen to music.  Would the Veenham be a good first choice for going on HAL???  Thank you.

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1 hour ago, lolaletu said:

Hi:  My husband and I are booking a HAL cruise next month.  We have been on over 65 cruises, but never on HAL - we figure it is time.   We usually do RCL, Celebrity, Princess, NCL (in that order).   Usually I have no trouble booking a cruise, but because I'm not really educated on HAL I am hoping someone can help me.  I am 65 and my husband is 77 - we are active, but we do not need the waterslides, rock climbing things like that.  At night we usually do the show and then just walk around the ship.  I love to walk out on the deck after dinner and just look at the ocean.    I am looking at the Veenham?  I also like to listen to music.  Would the Veenham be a good first choice for going on HAL???  Thank you.

Hi Lolaletu,

 It depends on what you're looking for in a ship. Our last 4 HAL cruises have been on the Koningsdam and Nieuw Statendam. We've never been on the Veendam,  these are newer, larger ships than the Veendam. We have never felt crowded or cramped on these ships, and there are all kinds of places where you can get away for some quiet time. Also. HAL caters primarily to a more "mature" age clientele, though you will also find a good mix of ages, especially during the holidays.  

My wife and I weren't interested in all of the water slides, go kart tracks, etc. either, and we have thoroughly enjoyed our cruises. The entertainment is excellent, though they don't don't have a show every night in the World Stage (which is an amazing venue), but they have the Rolling Stone Rock Room, the B.B. King Blues Club, Billboard OnBoard piano bar, and the Lincoln Center Stage for music. These are all first class entertainment venues with outstanding musicians. They also feature some BBC Earth screenings in the World Stage that are quite interesting, accompanied by live music.

All HAL ships have a Promenade Deck that is excellent for a late night (or any other time) stroll. You can also enjoy the breeze and look at the stars on the Sun Deck.

I hope that you and and your husband enjoy your HAL cruise on whichever ship that you choose!

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1 hour ago, lolaletu said:

Hi:  My husband and I are booking a HAL cruise next month.  We have been on over 65 cruises, but never on HAL - we figure it is time.   We usually do RCL, Celebrity, Princess, NCL (in that order).   Usually I have no trouble booking a cruise, but because I'm not really educated on HAL I am hoping someone can help me.  I am 65 and my husband is 77 - we are active, but we do not need the waterslides, rock climbing things like that.  At night we usually do the show and then just walk around the ship.  I love to walk out on the deck after dinner and just look at the ocean.    I am looking at the Veenham?  I also like to listen to music.  Would the Veenham be a good first choice for going on HAL???  Thank you.

We sailed the Veendam in Jan 2019, it's a small ship, only about 1300 passengers.  There won't be as many choices on a smaller ship.  It's very quiet in the way of activity, which is great if that's the experience you're looking for, HAL has larger ships which would offer more choices.  We really liked the laid back elegance, and calmness of the Veendam.   When my 19 year old son sailed the Amsterdam over Christmas with us, he said that it's like a floating nursing home, lol.  The musical choices last winter were good, the shows were good, we really liked the piano bar.  On the Veendam, we ate early dinner in the dining room every night, saw the shows every night, then to the piano bar, and we walked on the lower promenade day and night.  The lower promenade is a great place to look at the ocean.  It was a very enjoyable experience for us, but we understand not everyone else likes that type of atmosphere. 

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