CRUISING WITH HOLLAND AMERICA LINE (HAL)
The Holland America Line (HAL) was founded in 1873 as the Netherlands-America Steamship Company (NASM), a shipping and passenger line. Because it was headquartered in Rotterdam and provided service to the Americas, it became known as Holland America Line.
The company is considered by many as the leader in the cruise industry's premium segment and consists of a fleet of 13 ships. They have completed a program of product and service enhancements to its fleet of five-star ships. Called "Signature of Excellence", this initiative will build on Holland America Line's renowned "Tradition of Excellence" by significantly raising the standard in premium cruising.
Always at the heart of the Holland America cruise experience is their warm and award-winning style of service that is never in the way and never out of reach. They sail with nearly one crew member for every two guests, providing the intuitive, gracious service that has long defined classic cruising. Their specially trained crew takes pride in anticipating and fulfilling your every wish. From their waiters and bartenders to the chefs and wine experts, spa technicians and fitness instructors, officers and housekeeping staff, everyone is dedicated to providing you with the gracious and personalized service that will make your cruise memorable. On board the ships of Holland America Line you'll discover a cruise experience that is modern, fresh and appealing - in an ambiance that is timeless and refined.
LIFE ONBOARD HOLLAND AMERICAS CRUISE SHIPS
The cruise experience delivered by Holland America Line and the Signature of Excellence enhancements appeal to discerning cruisers who prefer mid-sized ships, personalized service, five-star dining, and sophisticated ambiance throughout both public areas and staterooms.
All suites include comfortable bed duvets, fully-stocked mini-bars, DVD players with access to an extensive DVD library, personalized stationery and use of the exclusive concierge-staffed Neptune Lounge. Lanai staterooms feature doors that open directly onto the walk-around lower promenade, while Spa staterooms located near the Greenhouse Spa offer exclusive amenities such as an organic cotton bathrobe and slippers, yoga mat, water fountain, special room service menus and treatments, and more. Additionally, on all ships, staterooms feature the Mariner Dream Bed with premium plush Euro-top mattress and high-quality cotton bed linens, flat-screen TVs and bathroom enhancements ranging from deluxe bathrobes to lighted, magnifying make-up mirrors. Public area highlights include:
- Mix, a bar concept with three specialty lounges serving their namesakes: Martinis, Champagne and Spirits & Ales.
- Showroom at Sea, a glamorous nightclub with performances featuring Broadway entertainers.
- Resort pool feature called The Retreat, complete with an upscale pizzeria and a giant LED screen for evening movies.
- Canaletto, a complimentary Italian restaurant comes to life for dinner with gourmet Italian selections.
- The Culinary Arts Centre program, presented by Food & Wine magazine, is a groundbreaking program that integrates guests' love for fine food and wine with a unique and entertaining experience. The Culinary Arts Centre also features:
- An innovative theatre-style venue with a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen
- Multiple large plasma video screens so you don't miss the fine details (or you can watch the broadcast from the comfort of your own stateroom)
- Cooking demonstrations and hands-on cooking classes by their own award-winning chefs and their culinary staff
- Wine and cheese experts hosting special wine tastings and food pairing seminars
- Special guest chefs, wine experts and leading cookbook authors who appear in the pages of Food and Wine magazine
- Book signings, Q&A sessions, market tours in selected ports of call
- Demonstrations & Classes Onboard Holland America Cruise Lines hosted by the on-board party planners and include:-
- Signature Cooking Classes and Demonstrations
- Wine Tasting and Mixology
- Learn Digital Photography, Video Editing, Blogging and Web Skills While Cruising
- Refresh, Relax and Rejuvenate Onboard Holland America Cruise Ships
- The Greenhouse Spa & Salon, featuring heavenly beauty and wellness rituals. Facilities include:
- A hydrotherapy pool bubbling with warm, therapeutic sea water*
- Heated ceramic lounge reminiscent of an opulent Turkish bath**
- Private treatment rooms, including couple's massage rooms
- Massage therapy inspired by an exotic blend of cultures — from Hawaiian Lomi Lomi to Chinese Tui Na
- The latest exotic skin, body, hair and nail treatments
- Knowledgeable, professional therapists trained to guide you through your spa experience
- Fully equipped Fitness Centre. Facilities include:
- Fully equipped Fitness Centre
- Classes in low-impact aerobics, yoga and Pilates
- Basketball, ping pong, tennis, volleyball, walk-a-mile
- Golf putting greens on the ms Prinsendam
- Golf shore excursions in selected ports
- Art Collections Onboard
Holland America Line is known for the extensive art collections onboard each ship. Now, fine art goes high tech when you sail with Holland America Line. We invite you to enjoy the self-guided walking tour for each ship which highlights the art onboard an eclectic collection that is valued at tens of millions of dollars.
- The Signature Shops Onboard
A world-class shopping experience is just steps away. The Signature Shops on board offer a great selection of fine jewellery, watches, fragrances, premium alcohol, exclusive Holland America souvenirs and more all at tax and duty free savings.
HOLLAND AMERICA, DRESS CODE: SEMI-FORMAL
The right clothing can make a big difference in the enjoyment of your cruise. First and foremost, dress for comfort:-
Daily Dress for life aboard ship and in ports of call is relaxed and casual:
Warmer climates call for clothing made of lightweight, breathable fabrics. For cooler climates, Holland America Line suggests casual clothes that can be layered easily and possibly a raincoat and waterproof hat or umbrella and gloves. Certain shore excursions may require particular attention to clothing. For example, certain churches or other places of worship may not allow tank tops or shorts. Bring a swimsuit as all of their ships have pools and whirlpools. You may wish to bring more than one outfit for the water. They ask that you wear shoes and a cover-up over a bathing suit when walking through the interior of the ship. If you would like to jog on the sports deck or work out in the fitness centre, bring workout gear. Footwear should include comfortable walking shoes for visits ashore and sandals or rubber-soled shoes for strolling on deck.
Evening Dress falls into two distinct categories: Formal or Smart Casual.
On Formal evenings, ladies usually wear a suit, cocktail dress or gown and gentlemen wear a jacket and tie, dark suit or tuxedo. There are approximately two formal nights per week. In order to complement your fellow guests, Holland America Line asks that you observe the suggested dress code throughout the entire evening.
Smart Casual can be defined as slacks and collared shirts for men and casual dresses, slacks and informal evening wear for women. T-shirts, swimsuits, tank tops and shorts are not allowed in the restaurants or public areas during the evening hours.
HOLLAND AMERICA CRUISE SHIP DINING OPTIONS
Enjoy exquisite dining across a range of venues with Holland America
Throughout your cruise, you will enjoy delicious and innovative menus across a broad range of dining venues. From a casual bite poolside to a formal five-course affair in the classic main Dining Room, the crew of Holland America Line will orchestrate a truly memorable dining experience. Led by Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, their exceptional culinary staff create signature Holland America Line dishes using only the freshest produce and the highest quality meats and seafood available. Their knowledgeable wine stewards are adept at pairing the perfect wine with every dish. Whether you desire the relaxed atmosphere of the Lido, the elegance of the Pinnacle Grill or dinner for two on your private verandah, the choice is always yours.
As You Wish dining on Holland America Cruise ships
From a festive five-course affair to a quick, casual dinner for two, their As You Wish® dining lets you choose the venues and style that suit you:-
The Main Dining Room on Holland America Cruise Ships
- Luxurious Dining Room, graced with fine art and antiques
- Sophisticated Rosenthal china and crisp white table linens
- Five-course menus with offerings from classic preparations regionally inspired cuisine to vegetarian options
- Your choice of traditional pre-set seating and dining times or a flexible open schedule
The Pinnacle Grill Experience
The Pinnacle Grill offers a level of elegant sophistication unmatched anywhere on the seven seas. Beautifully appointed with Bvlgari china, Riedel stemware and Frette linens, the intimate Pinnacle Grill is ideal for a romantic dinner for two or a special group celebration. Creative and innovative menus, drawing from regional ingredients of the highest quality, will delight the palate and ignite the senses. Indulge in hand-selected aged Sterling Silver Beef, fresh seafood and an extensive, world-class wine list. For this exquisite sophisticated dining experience, guests pay a modest surcharge. Adults may dine for US$20.00 per person or lunch for US$10.00. Children under 12 dine free of charge. A rate of 50% applies for children between 13 years and under 18 years of age. The Pinnacle Grill is available by reservation only for both lunch and dinner.
- Intimate dining featuring Sterling Silver Beef and fresh seafood
- Luxurious appointments including Bvlgari china, Riedel stemware and Frette linens
- Extensive wine list featuring many selections rated "Excellent" by Wine Spectator
Other delightful ways to dine
- Fresh, cooked-to-order specialties in the Lido Restaurant for breakfast and lunch
- Made-to-order dinner entrees and tableside waiter service in the Lido Restaurant for dinner
- Complimentary 24-hour in-room dining
- The Terrace Grill on deck
- Late-night snack; Chocolate Dessert Extravaganza
- Explorations Café featuring pastries and espresso drinks
- Daily Afternoon Tea service, elevated to Royal Dutch High Tea once per cruise
A master staff and crew
Rudi Sodamin is Master Chef and Culinary Consultant for Holland America Line. Internationally recognized as a food authority and one of the hospitality industry's most innovative chefs, Sodamin is the driving force behind the evolution of fine dining at Holland America Line. Rudi has revolutionized the culinary practices and perceptions of the most prestigious cruise lines in the world and is the author of numerous internationally published cookbooks, including Seduction & Spice (Rizzoli, 2000) and Holland America Line's A Taste of Excellence (Rizzoli, 2007) and A Taste of Elegance (Rizzoli, 2009). He is working on the third volume, A Taste of Celebration. All books are available onboard in the gift shops and can be signed by your executive chef and dining room waiter. Sodamin belongs to Academy Culinaire de France, Master Chef Society and Club de Chefs des Chefs.
- Enhanced menu design under the direction of Master Chef Rudi Sodamin
- Executive chefs inducted into the prestigious Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs, an international food and wine society
- Ice cream bar featuring complimentary treats
- Hot hors d'oeuvres during cocktail hour
Special dietary needs, such as vegetarian, diabetic or gluten-free meals, are easily accommodated with advance requests. Kosher meals and a Health Conscious Dining option are also available.
LOYALTY CLUB ONBOARD HOLLAND AMERICA CRUISE SHIPS - MARINER SOCIETY
After your first cruise you will automatically be enrolled as a member of the exclusive Mariner Society. Each day you cruise with Holland America, you'll earn Cruise Day credits that entitle you to special gifts and invitations to exclusive onboard events. Plus, you'll earn additional Cruise Day credits just for doing all the things you look forward to while at sea. Like enjoying a gourmet dinner in any of the intimate specialty restaurants, indulging in a relaxing massage at the Greenhouse Spa & Salon or booking shore excursions. As you collect more Cruise Day credits, you'll move up to higher Star levels and earn even greater rewards and discounts on future cruises.
Every guest that cruises with Holland America Line returns as a Star Mariner. It's their way of saying Welcome Back, and you'll start feeling the special treatment as soon as you come aboard. Star Mariners receive:-
- Welcome Back Embarkation Lunch in the dining room (from 12:00pm to 1:30pm) as well as a complimentary Mariner Champagne Brunch
- A special collectible gift presented to you on board
- A free subscription to the print or digital* version of Mariner magazine
- Offers to special sailings hosted by a representative of the Mariner Society
2-Star Mariner Receives the Above Plus:
Collect 30 Cruise Day credits and you'll be elevated to a 2-Star Mariner, which entitles you to:
- A complimentary ship photo
- A 10% discount on Holland America Line logo clothing sold in onboard signature shops (may exclude already discounted merchandise)
- A 15% discount on merchandise from www.shophollandamerica.com
- An annual cruise planner
- A special recognition lapel pin
3-Star Mariner Receives the Above Plus:
When you collect 75 Cruise Day credits you become a 3-Star Mariner, which means you'll receive:
- A 25% discount on specialty restaurant surcharges, wine packages†, beverages in the Explorations Café† and all mini-bar purchases
- Discounts on select treatments from the Greenhouse Spa & Salon
- Advance information on new itineraries*
- A 50% cruise fare discount on the 3rd/4th guest staying in your stateroom on select sailings
- A waiver of air deviation fees
4-Star Mariner Receives the Above Plus:
Guests who collect 200 or more Cruise Day credits join our elite group of 4-Star Mariners. These premier travelers will receive all the following benefits:
- A 50% discount on specialty restaurant surcharges, wine packages†, beverages in the Explorations Café† and all mini-bar purchases
- A complimentary winetasting session
- Complimentary laundry and pressing services†
- Priority disembarkation†
- Priority tender†
- Priority check-in†
- Early notification of shore excursions available for prebooking
- A complimentary one-year subscription to Travel + Leisure or Food & Wine magazine (one per household)
- Offers to special sailings hosted by a representative of the Mariner Society
- Complimentary cruise fare on 3rd/4th guest in your stateroom on select sailings
Earn Bonus Cruise Day Credits
Increase your Mariner Star status simply by enjoying your cruise. In addition to earning Cruise Day credits for each actual day sailed, there are also easy ways you can earn bonus Cruise Day credits. The more Cruise Day credits you collect, the faster you increase your Mariner Star status, and the more exciting rewards you'll receive.
- Suite Bonus- When you pay a published fare for a spacious suite or penthouse on your next cruise you'll not only enjoy special amenities, but you'll also qualify for double cruise day credits. For example, a guest who pays published fare for suite accommodations for a 10-day cruise earns 20 cruise day credits.
- Onboard Spending BonusOne bonus cruise day credit will be granted for each $300 on eligible onboard purchases. This is calculated on the combined folio charges for all guests on the booking, regardless of who signs each charge and who pays the bill. There is a limit of one bonus day for each day sailed, and 3rd and 4th guests on the same booking do not earn the onboard spending bonus+.
TIPS & GRATUITIES ONBOARD HOLLAND AMERICA CRUISE SHIPS
Holland America's crew work very hard to make sure that every aspect of your cruise meets the highest standards. This includes those crew members who serve you directly, such as their dining room wait staff and the stewards who tend to your stateroom each day. There are also many others that tend to your care that you may never meet, such as galley and laundry staff. To ensure that the efforts of all of their crew members are recognized and rewarded, a Daily Hotel Service Charge of US$11 per passenger is automatically charged to each guest's shipboard account. If their service exceeds or fails to meet your expectations, you are free to adjust this amount at the end of the cruise. The Hotel Service Charge is paid to Holland America Line crew members, and represents an important part of their total remuneration.
A 15% service charge is automatically added to bar charges and dining room wine purchases. In terminals, airports, ports of call and on shore excursions, they suggest that you extend gratuities consistent with customary local practices.
SPECIAL OCCASIONS ONBOARD HOLLAND AMERICA CRUISE SHIPS
Weddings Onboard Holland America
Whether you prefer a simple ceremony and a small, elegant reception or lots of family and friends at a larger celebration, a wedding cruise on one of Holland America's elegant ships will launch a lifetime of memories. Choose to get married on board, under the palms on an exotic Caribbean island beach or on top of a majestic Alaskan glacier. No matter what your preference, the wedding cruise coordinator is ready to help you tailor a wedding package to meet your needs and help you and your loved ones have the ultimate onboard experience. Wedding cruise packages are available on each ship in the fleet and include:-
- A personalized ceremony
- Wedding coordinator services
- Flowers, cake, champagne, a photo album and a keepsake-wedding certificate
- Services such as photography, live music, receptions and pampering appointments can also be added to customize your wedding cruise package
Special Occasions Onboard Holland America
To celebrate special occasions it is also possible to pre-order a gift from either the "Sommelier" or "Well-Being" range of gifts which vary from wine tasting classes and wine gift sets to monogrammed bathrobes and spa treatments. If you are unsure what to give, try a shipboard card which allows the recipient to choose their own gift.
Renewal of Wedding Vows Onboard Holland America
For couples that would like to renew their wedding vows while at sea, Holland America Line offers an onboard Renewal-of-Vows package. As part of the package, the bride receives a corsage, and invitations are made available to invite guests to the ceremony and celebration. The couple also receives:
- A 10x7 activity sheet
- Dinner for two one evening in the Pinnacle Grill
- A celebration featuring music, champagne, wine and hors d'oeuvres served by Holland America Line's five-star staff
KIDS CLUBS ONBOARD HOLLAND AMERICA
Holland America provide a wide variety of exciting youth and teenage friendly activities and facilities for children ages 3 to 17. With supervised fun for our younger guests, the entire family can have the cruise holiday of their dreams.
Safe and Managed Supervision
You can feel at ease knowing that your child's onboard experience is safe and well-managed. All Club HAL® activities are supervised by permanent, full-time staff, and are designed to be kid friendly and age appropriate. Youth Staff hold degrees in education, childhood development, recreation, leisure studies or related fields
Children Programs Available
- Club HAL — Kids*: Children, ages 3-7, can participate in such activities as story telling, fabric painting, indoor games, arts and crafts, drawing contests, ice-cream sundae parties, puzzles, bingo, pirate treasure hunts or a farewell pizza party. Children in the Kid's age group must be toilet trained. Children in pull-ups or diapers are not allowed in the youth facilities, due to mandates from US Public Health. Exceptions to this rule cannot be made.
- Club HAL — Tweens*: Tweens, ages 8-12 might learn golf putting, have disco parties and theme parties, participate in the award-winning National Park Service Jr. Ranger Program on Alaska cruises, compete in on-deck sports events, compete in scavenger hunts or simply play Ping-Pong with a friend.
- The Loft and The Oasis*: Teens, ages 13-17 will especially enjoy the teen disco, karaoke sessions, video games, teen sports tournaments, card games, trivia contests, bingo, movies and videos. When there are more than 100 children on board, a HAL Talent Show is offered. (The Oasis is not available on all Vista-class ships)
On the ms Prinsendam, youth activities are offered for ages 5-17. All other ships offer youth activities for ages 3-17.
Times vary based on age group, number of children on board and staffing:
- Sea Day — Morning, Afternoon and Evening Activities
- Port Day — Morning, Afternoon and Evening Activities
Kids & Teens Culinary Arts Centre Program
HAL Kids Culinary Workshops now offer children a unique and fun learning experience.Kids will learn basic cooking techniques, kitchen safety, new ingredients and how to follow recipe instructions. Aside from the fun involved, cooking encourages kids to think about numbers and measuring, cleanliness, safety and time management. All the workshops are hands-on where questions are encouraged and having fun is a must!
HAL Kids Culinary Workshops are geared toward two age groups; ages three to seven and ages eight and up. Teenagers 15 and up may participate in the adult classes.
- The menus range from simple to teen gourmet
- Classes are usually limited to fifteen students unless otherwise noted
- All classes are hands-on
- Each student receives copies of the recipes prepared in class
- All classes are complimentary and last approximately one hour
Additional Family Services
Holland America Line is dedicated to making your family's cruise holiday memorable and happy for each member of your family. They serve a wide variety of child-pleasing food, including special sandwiches, tacos, hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza. Baby food, high chairs and booster seats may be requested in advance of boarding. On sea days, babysitting services are available through the Front Office for a small surcharge for children 3 years of age or older. This service is provided by staff on a volunteer basis, and may not always be available. Babysitting service is not offered while the ship is in port, although Club Hal does offer activities for children aged 3-12 between 8:00am and 4:00pm on port days. Special kid-friendly birthday parties can also be arranged with advance notice
Club HAL's port day activities as well as After Hours is available for children ages 3-12 who meet Club HAL's eligibility requirements. (Children must be pre-registered for the program in the way of a completed parental consent forms, they must be potty trained, out of pull ups and 100% toilet trained as the youth staff are not permitted to assist.) Club HAL
After Hours 10:00 pm– 12:00 am
After Hours group babysitting is offered every evening from 10:00 pm to 12:00 am. Children must be 3 years of age and potty trained. Charge is $5.00 hour per child. Late charges apply to children who are picked up after 12:00 am. Limited private babysitting is available for all ages through the front office.
Port Day Activities
Activities will be offered when in port from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm. A lunch service is available for those attending port day activities between the hours of 11:00am – 1:00pm
Special Needs Children
HAL Youth Programs recognize that some children may have special needs. Special needs children are invited to attend activities based on their chronological age. HAL Youth Programs have many staff trained to work with special needs children. Guests should make HAL aware of this when booking their reservation.
Other Information of Note
A limited number of high chairs, booster seats and cribs are available at no charge. These must be reserved in advance at the time of booking. An international children's menu is offered at dinner and includes a variety of appetizers, salads and soups, and standard items such as hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and chicken, plus chef's specials like beef tacos, grilled cheese, fish and chips or spaghetti.
SINGLE PARTNERS ONBOARD HOLLAND AMERICA CRUISE SHIPS
Cruising Single Partners Program Onboard Holland America Cruise Ships
Each Holland America ship hosts a gathering for Single Travellers early during their cruise. And there are plenty of things for single travellers to do that make it fun and easy to meet fellow cruisers. From cooking classes to computer instruction, dance classes to games, there's something for every interest and skill level. On most cruises of 30 days or longer, they offer dance partners for single ladies.
You can count on their gracious staff and crew to make everyone feel welcome. Guests may even request to be seated with other single guests at dinner. Many of their Single Partner Program guests have become fast friends and some even book future Holland America cruises together.
Single guests who agree to share a stateroom with another non smoking guest of the same sex pay only the per-person, double-occupancy rate. Single guests who prefer not to share a stateroom may book a double stateroom for 150 to 200 percent of the double occupancy fare, depending on the cruise and stateroom category. This program applies to selected staterooms on all ships in the Holland America fleet. The Single Partner Program is not available on Grand Voyages, the Grand World Voyage, South America & Antarctic Voyages, Mediterranean & North Africa Voyages, or Alaska Cruise Tours.