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

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On 1/8/2020 at 1:49 PM, kazu said:

 

They do have internet packages.

 

If you pre-purchase on line, there is normally a discount for the premium package.

 

Otherwise, rates depend on the length of your cruise.

 

there are 3 packages.  The bottom is of no use unless all you want is FB and a few permitted social sites.  You need the middle or top package for email, internet, etc.

 

A9EE87AC-77BC-4668-8B42-C9FBFF18C947.png.0096c40ef44c0bf4c84cf0e96867828f.png

 

Can you tell me what the difference is between the surf and the premium please?...or where I can find it on HAL's website? Thanks!!

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18 minutes ago, LuAnn said:

 

Can you tell me what the difference is between the surf and the premium please?...or where I can find it on HAL's website? Thanks!!

 

Surf plan lets you do internet and email.  Premium plan lets you stream as well and technically allows for more mg use although we have not experienced a limit on our mg use.

 

I don’t know of anywhere on the HAL website where it is explained but it is fully described on board when you go to purchase.

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15 hours ago, LuAnn said:

 

Can you tell me what the difference is between the surf and the premium please?...or where I can find it on HAL's website? Thanks!!

 

Here is what I saw on a recent 10n Koningsdam sailing.

2020-02-16 10.46.54.jpg

2020-02-16 10.47.33.jpg

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1 hour ago, WackyWayne said:

 

Here is what I saw on a recent 10n Koningsdam sailing.

2020-02-16 10.46.54.jpg

2020-02-16 10.47.33.jpg


 

The best explanation is on the HAL ships as WackyWayne has just shown.

 

  There is little on the website as all you can pre-book is the premium package.

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22 minutes ago, kazu said:

Here is what I saw on a recent 10n Koningsdam sailing.

That graphic is possibly the best explanation I have seen. That, in combination with the chart previously cited, is a thorough explanation. 
Thanks for posting it. 

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4 minutes ago, Tobys Cruising Queen said:

 Do they "punch" your "sign and sail card" so you can put it on your lanyard?

 

I think "it depends".  Our most recent card on Koningsdam was not punched, but the previous card on Nieuw Statendam was punched.  I assume it was punched by default, as I don't recall ever getting mine punched, as I don't use a lanyard.  Both cards are RFID, so the punch has to be done properly.

 

If your card is not punched when you receive it, I think the best bet is to go to the casino host and ask them to punch it.  But maybe the front desk can do it, but they often have longer lines on embark day.

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14 minutes ago, Tobys Cruising Queen said:

We have always done Carnival and Royal.  First time on Holland in 12 days.  Do they "punch" your "sign and sail card" so you can put it on your lanyard?

 

I recently read a post that said the card was punched when they got it, but I just call by Guest Services and they do it for you.

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37 minutes ago, Tobys Cruising Queen said:

We have always done Carnival and Royal.  First time on Holland in 12 days.  Do they "punch" your "sign and sail card" so you can put it on your lanyard?

 

! was on Eurodam on Jan 26 - the key card was already punched - when I received it at check-in.

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5 hours ago, Happily@Sea said:

 

! was on Eurodam on Jan 26 - the key card was already punched - when I received it at check-in.

This was the same on the New Statendam in October and the Zuiderdam in January. Hubby's goes on a lanyard as is, and mine has always gone in a plastic pocket on the lanyard.

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On 2/15/2020 at 4:30 PM, kazu said:

 

Surf plan lets you do internet and email.  Premium plan lets you stream as well and technically allows for more mg use although we have not experienced a limit on our mg use.

 

I don’t know of anywhere on the HAL website where it is explained but it is fully described on board when you go to purchase.

 

Thank you! If it'a 14 day cruise but I wait to buy the package until the day after we board would I then pay the 13 day rate or is it based on the journey days no matter when you buy it? 

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On 1/12/2020 at 8:52 PM, Splashduo said:

I phoned HAL about this question and was told I could bring my own non-alcoholic mixers and water/soda, but that I was not to give it to the porters to carry and must carry it myself.  We're bringing two cases of water, plus our allowed wine and two bottles of MaiTai mix.  Instead of a drink package, we opted for  a less expensive option of purchasing spirits by the bottle in advance from HAL.  We ended up buying two vodka and a rum, plus two eight bottle wine packages and it cost about a third of what a drink package would have.

My husband and I are going on our 1st HAL cruise (Veendam) in a couple of weeks.  We do not drink alcohol, but my husband does like his non-alcoholic beer.  Last year we went on Carnival and we put in our suitcase a 12 pack of non-alcoholic beer (cans) and everything was fine.   We also have been on RCCL, Celebrity, Princess and I know we cannot do that.  I was wondering if anyone knows if we can bring a 12 pack (in cans) of non-alcoholic beer on HAL.  Thank you.  If we can, I will definitely be carrying it on myself.

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We had no problem carrying on our own non-alcoholic mixers with our one bottle of wine each in a wine six pack bag.  We DID, however, encounter a problem with the two cases of water we were planning to carry on.  The porter in the parking lot outside the ship INSISTED he was supposed to take our cases of water, even though I argued with him about it and tried to take it back from him.  As a result, we never received our water---we found out that those porters are third party --- not HAL employees, and only take the luggage as far as the ship's porters.  As I had been told, the ship's porters are not supposed to carry on liquids.  HAL customer service was very kind and comped us six liters of water to compensate our loss and said they would discuss this with the third party porters that they have to use at the pier. Therefore, be certain you carry on your own non-alcoholic beer or mixers and don't let the porters take them from you.

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3 hours ago, LuAnn said:

Thank you! If it'a 14 day cruise but I wait to buy the package until the day after we board would I then pay the 13 day rate or is it based on the journey days no matter when you buy it? 

 

You only pay for the number of days remaining. Or at least that was the case in February 2019.

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2 hours ago, Cruise Suzy said:

 

You only pay for the number of days remaining. Or at least that was the case in February 2019.

 

That was a year ago.. as we all know, cruise line policies change on the hour. 😏

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9 hours ago, Cruise Suzy said:

 

You only pay for the number of days remaining. Or at least that was the case in February 2019.

 

That’s my experience as well (May, 2019) and also what has been reported on the boards recently.

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I did it!  Read all 185 pages!  I would like my medal in gold, please....  I think the only question I have that hasn't been answered on this thread is regarding the cost of rentals on Half Moon Cay.  Do they rent floating mats and if so, can anyone tell me what they charge?  Also for snorkel equipment? 

I also wanted to share something I discovered that hasn't been mentioned.  We are leaving 2/26 on a western Caribbean itinerary that includes Half Moon Cay.  While browsing the HAL website, I found that you can purchase a drink package good for Half Moon Cay only.  It is $28.69 with all the same rules as a regular drink package, i.e., 15 drinks in the day, $11 limit, etc.  I thought it seemed like a fantastic deal and snapped it up.  Just wanted to share.

Edited by cruisincuzz
Additional information

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OK, I’m not usually a big drinker so I still have questions about this 1-day “fantastic” deal. What percentage of alcoholic drinks are priced at $11 or less?  I’m not interested in the simple (blank) & tonic drinks or (blank)-on-the-rocks. I like the mixed concoctions, at least a whiskey sour, amaretto sour or coffee nudge. Are those above $11? I’m not interested in the package if it doesn’t cover those. — Also, are you charged ahead of time a 20% gratuity fee for all 15 eleven-dollar drinks whether or not you actually consume that many? That adds $33 to your $28.69 daily package bringing it to $61.69. Make that x’s two if you add a travel partner, now coming to $123.38. We wouldn’t spend that much on drinks even under regular circumstances.—— I’ve found I have to be careful with “fantastic” deals. We were offered a “free” drink package on another well- known cruise line. They determined the package was worth UP TO $1,485 per person. You wouldn’t notice that you were being charged a 20% gratuity fee for the entire package value unless you looked closely at the final cruise bill.  Times two for my spouse and me, we were going to be charged $594 for that “free” drinks package. We turned it down!

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I forgot to add (no pun intended).....   If your one-day drink package costs $61.69 ($28.69 + a $33 20% gratuity fee for the top limit of 15 possible drinks), you would have to drink at least five $11 alcoholic drinks in one day to get your money’s worth — more if your drinks are worth less than the $11 limit.  I’m sure someone will let me know if my math is off.

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9 hours ago, cruisincuzz said:

I did it!  Read all 185 pages!  I would like my medal in gold, please....  I think the only question I have that hasn't been answered on this thread is regarding the cost of rentals on Half Moon Cay.  Do they rent floating mats and if so, can anyone tell me what they charge?  Also for snorkel equipment? 

I also wanted to share something I discovered that hasn't been mentioned.  We are leaving 2/26 on a western Caribbean itinerary that includes Half Moon Cay.  While browsing the HAL website, I found that you can purchase a drink package good for Half Moon Cay only.  It is $28.69 with all the same rules as a regular drink package, i.e., 15 drinks in the day, $11 limit, etc.  I thought it seemed like a fantastic deal and snapped it up.  Just wanted to share.

That is good deal as long as you actually get to visit HMC. Out of 3 HAL itineraries with HMC, only stopped there once, high winds kept us from being able to tender twice so we ended up with an extra sea day.

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1 hour ago, terrydtx said:

That is good deal as long as you actually get to visit HMC.

Your charges would be reversed if HMC was  cancelled . 

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10 hours ago, ToXS said:

If your one-day drink package costs $61.69 ($28.69 + a $33 20% gratuity fee for the top limit of 15 possible drinks),

Gratuity is 15%. 

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12 hours ago, ToXS said:

OK, I’m not usually a big drinker so I still have questions about this 1-day “fantastic” deal. What percentage of alcoholic drinks are priced at $11 or less? [snip]

Here's the bar menu: 

http://www.rogerjett-photography.com/here/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Bar-Menu.pdf

 

Sorry, aside from a few on the first page, it doesn't include the cocktail prices you referenced, just the simple highballs. E.g., a bourbon and coke is the price of a shot of bourbon. If you order a drink that costs more than $11, you have to pay the entire price of the drink, not just the amount over the $11 max.

 

Edited by IPB4IGO
Clarification

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I, too, have fallen victim to this “deal”. Drink selection aside, you need to be prepared to start drinking early in the day to get your money’s worth. With an all-aboard time of 4:00 you need to be in line by about 2:30 or so for the tenders back to the ship. Also, several of the bars start packing up earlier than that to make it back to the ship.

I believe that this may become less of an issue once HAL has completed their new  pier which will eliminate the rush to board the tender boats.

Other than that, enjoy your time in that little slice of paradise called Half Moon Cay!

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12 hours ago, ToXS said:

I forgot to add (no pun intended).....   If your one-day drink package costs $61.69 ($28.69 + a $33 20% gratuity fee for the top limit of 15 possible drinks), you would have to drink at least five $11 alcoholic drinks in one day to get your money’s worth — more if your drinks are worth less than the $11 limit.  I’m sure someone will let me know if my math is off.

 

The gratuity is on the package price.  $28.69 + is 15% = $32.99

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