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newcomer questions

Discussion in 'Holland America Line' started by boatnewbie, Apr 13, 2004.

  1. boatnewbie

    boatnewbie Guest

    quick questions....

    we've never been on a cruise ever so we are extremely excited. we're heading out on the zuiderdam this summer.
    1. what drinks, if any, are included with meals? i've read about soda cards? how do those work?
    2. i want to smuggle in a few bottles of liquor in my check in bags- can i expect to be able to do this? has anyone done this successfully? has anyone ever been caught? are they super strict?
    3. is there any kind of boat etiquette i need to be aware of?
    4. do i need to have a passport?
    5. seasickness? is this common? best way to prevent seasickness?
    6. is there a charge for the coffees at the coffee bar/lounge?


    i know thats a random assortment of questions...thanks!



    Post Edited (04-13-04 15:57)
     
  2. earl_m

    earl_m Guest

    all drinks are extra on a cruise except for the captain party.

    there will be no problem with the booze if you put it in your suitcase

    passport would makes thing s goes alot easier and faster ,and you need a photo id
    if you want to get off the ship at different ports

    coffee is always free at meal time


    you buy a soda card and after that drink as much as you want




    zuiderdam nov 6 2004
    oosterdam nov14 2004
     
  3. CruisinTex

    CruisinTex Guest

    #1 - breakfast is coffee, tea, juices, milk; lunch is coffee, tea, lemonade; dinner is coffee and tea. "Coffee" is regular coffee, not any of the specialty coffees.
    #2 - Yes, you can smuggle--no, it's not supposed to be done but lots of people do it. If you're talking about hard liquor (booze), the new plastic bottles make it very, very easy. If you're packing glass bottles, be sure to wrap them in bubble wrap, then in an old t-shirt, then stuff them into 2 gallon ziploc bags and cushion the bags in between soft stuff in your suitcase.
    #3 - ship etiquette - this is a little tough. Be on time for dinner, let your tablemates and/or dining room waiter know the night before if you won't be at dinner the following night; ignore the complainers and whiners...most importantly, go with a good positive attitude and blow off the minor little things that might happen (remember, nothing is 100% perfect)
    #4 - passport - depends on where you're going. Some countries require it and many don't. It's an excellent idea to go ahead and get one since it will make life much easier and faster for you when arriving at a foreign country...and especially when returning to the U.S.
    #5 - seasickness - I'll pass on this one since I've never had a problem with being even slightly seasick, nor have I cruised with anyone who has. There are many people who get seasick so one of them can advise what's best to take.
    #6 - coffee charges - on the Vista class ships (Zuiderdam, Oosterdam and Westerdam), I believe there is a charge. On the S class and R class ships, the specialty coffees in Java Cafe are free.

    You've picked a great ship and a great cruise line for your first cruise. Have a great time!
     
  4. Frank Black

    Frank Black Guest

    One thibg we love about HAL is the Java cafe and free cappucino at dinner. Most ships charge for cappucino. The Java cafe has decent coffee, expresso, cappucino and free cookies and biscotti.
     
  5. bep_sf

    bep_sf Guest

    Ship Etiquette Tip #2:

    Don't hog the lounge chairs on the Lido. If you're going to be away from them for more than a potty/pool/munchies break, don't leave your towels/books/etc. Use the nice little HAL tote bag that you are given on the first night to schlep your books/sunscreen, etc w/ you and use an extra HAL luggage tag (you can get extras at the front desk) to identify your tote from other passengers bags.

    Ship Etiquette Tip #3:

    Formal Night is Formal Night all night long - dont change into shorts after dinner before heading to the Vista Lounge for the show.

    Have a great cruise and let us know how you enjoy the Big Z!

    Brian
     
  6. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    Please only smoke in smoking permitted areas.....and, on the other hand, if you are a non-smoker do not invade the smoking section and wrinkle your nose and wave your hand for the smokers to put out their cigarettes. They are in the proper spot; you are not. (before you start screaming at me....I am a non-smoker).


    Kindly keep any kiddies you have with you under your control. Of course, they should have the best vacation ever but they should not be destroying anyone else's vacation in the process.

    KINDLY pay your bill by the final morning as instructed so the rest of us do not have to wait around (while some miss their flights) as they call you name over and over again. No One leaves any ship until everyone has paid their bill. It costs those who miss their flights a great deal of money, aggravation, time etc to get themselves home because of the selfishness of one or two people.

    Same issue if there is an Immigration cattle call. Please report as instructed, when instructed. We ALL have to go; not just some of us and not when WE feel like it. It is when the Officials feel like. We all suffer for the one or two who think the rules are not for them.

    HAVE A GREAT CRUISE :)


    Didn't mean to sound like a real Witch but, on so many cruises, these are common scenarios that frequent cruisers see over and over and over. These are just my "pet peeves" that rile me when it all is simply revolving around the selfishness and me only attitude of few.

    Really...IMO, you are about to have the best vacation you have ever had. Enjoy every second of it.



    Post Edited (04-15-04 14:38)
     
  7. wildvoodoo

    wildvoodoo Guest

    Are you serious that the ship actually makes customers who have paid their bills wait for those who haven't before allowing anyone to disembark? Sounds ridiculous to me, but please tell me if I understood this correctly?

    JW
     
  8. BelleV

    BelleV Guest

    boatnewbie

    quick questions....

    we've never been on a cruise ever so we are extremely excited. we're heading out on the zuiderdam this summer.
    1. what drinks, if any, are included with meals? i've read about soda cards? how do those work?

    Coffee and water only. Don't know about soda cards.

    2. i want to smuggle in a few bottles of liquor in my check in bags- can i expect to be able to do this? has anyone done this successfully? has anyone ever been caught? are they super strict?

    Don't Do It!

    3. is there any kind of boat etiquette i need to be aware of?

    See under.

    4. do i need to have a passport?

    Definitely!

    5. seasickness? is this common? best way to prevent seasickness?

    Ginger Capsules

    6. is there a charge for the coffees at the coffee bar/lounge?

    Variable

    i know thats a random assortment of questions...thanks!

    .................

    I don't make a habit of repeating anothers post - but this one is worth it ÃÂ

    Specifically for WILDVOODOO - it is for real that the whole ship is held up if YOU have not paid your bill - there has to be a way to sue you when I miss my flight - I'm working on finding our how to do it!!!!!

    QUOTE:please only smoke in smoking permitted areas.....and, on the other hand, if you are a non-smoker do not invade the smoking section and wrinkle your nose and wave your hand for the smokers to put out their cigarettes. They are in the proper spot; you are not. (before you start screaming at me....I am a non-smoker).

    (COMMENT - I'm a smoker and object strongly to non-smokers moving signs for their convenience!)

    Kindly keep any kiddies you have with you under your control. Of course, they should have the best vacation ever but they should not be destroying anyone else's vacation in the process.

    KINDLY pay your bill by the final morning as instructed so the rest of us do not have to wait around (while some miss their flights) as they call you name over and over again. No One leaves any ship until everyone has paid their bill. It costs those who miss their flights a great deal of money, aggravation, time etc to get themselves home because of the selfishness of one or two people.

    Same issue if there is an Immigration cattle call. Please report as instructed, when instructed. We ALL have to go; not just some of us and not when WE feel like it. It is when the Officials feel like. We all suffer for the one or two who think the rules are not for them.

    HAVE A GREAT CRUISE

    Didn't mean to sound like a real Witch but, on so many cruises, these are common scenarios that frequent cruisers see over and over and over. These are just my "pet peeves" that rile me when it all is simply revolving around the selfishness and me only attitude of few.

    Really...IMO, you are about to have the best vacation you have ever had. Enjoy every second of it. END QUOTE

    All of this I endorse and can only add BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHERS! THEY ARE ON VACATION TOO!
     
  9. wildvoodoo

    wildvoodoo Guest

    I still cannot believe that if I have paid my bill on time and am in compliance that I will be punished for the tardiness of others who can't get the "stuff" together...Luckily my return flight is not a close call...Why would the cruise line want to inconvenience those who have paid by making them wait on those who haven't? Surely, I have no sway whatsoever on the other one thousand plus individuals onboard and therefore how can my right to exit the ship in a timely manner be tied to those who do not choose to act responsibly? Absurdly ridiculous, like many a corporate policy...
     
  10. Cruzman

    Cruzman Guest

    The reason no one is allowed to depart the ship until everyone's account has been settled, is that any offending party who wished to, could simply sneak off the ship with the rest of us. I suspect that the cruise lines learned this the hard way; consequently, no one departs the ship until all accounts have been settled.
     
  11. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    wildvoodoo.......It is not a unique HAL policy. ALL of the major cruiselines do the same thing. How can they find and stop those few who have not paid up as they disembark at the gangway? They can easily march on by and the cruiseline gets stiffed.

    (Please......let's not get into a back and forth about how easy or difficult it would be to "nab" the offenders before they disembark. ......If it were that easy, I am quite sure all the cruiselines would have been already doing it.) Believe it or not, they really do not want our last minutes aboard the ship to be negative and they want us leaving with smiles....not frowns. They full well know the time restraints many disembarking pax are under in terms of onward travel.

    I assure you in all of the millions of folks who have cruised, who continue to cruise through all the years.....NONE of us like it and NONE of us would purposefully choose to have it that way. It's the way it is done......by all the lines.




    (edited for spelling errors)



    Post Edited (04-18-04 11:40)
     
  12. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    BelleV.......As you said you do not usually repeat others' posts, I wonder about "but this one is worth it".

    I only intended to answer the question that was asked and attempted to be helpful. I am sorry you seem to object to either what I said or how I said it. Nevertheless, what I wrote is what I have observed and have been disturbed with in the past.

    And YES, I totally agree with you that no one should remove ashtrays which crew has placed where they belong or remove smoking permitted signs. It is still a legal thing to do and adult persons have the freedom to make choices with regards to legal activities. It is a smokers right to smoke whenever they please if they are in the proper place.


    (I repeat I am a non-smoker but feel as though smokers are badly mistreated).
     
  13. BelleV

    BelleV Guest

    S7S - Oh dear, oh dear! - I only repeated your post because it was so good and covered so much...........you're not getting any arguments from me......................
     
  14. wildvoodoo

    wildvoodoo Guest

    Sail7seas and belleV -- thanks so much for the information...I guess its just something I hadn't thought about and I'm sure HAL (and all the other lines) streamline the process as much as possible...As indicated in an earlier post, my departing flight from Seattle leaving the Oosterdam on May 29th is not until 2:00 in the afternoon and the ship pulls in early that morning so we shouldn't have any problems making our flight, but I do feel for anyone who does due to the inconsiderate behavior of procrastinators...
     
  15. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    Oh....sorry, Belle. I guess I misunderstood. :( I should have re-read your post.


    JW...I totally agree that inconsiderate pax give no thought to anyone but themselves. If they, just for a moment, realized the problems, inconvenience and expense they might be causing others, perhaps they would be more considerate. Unfortunately, it is easy to think that only a cruiser who has their car parked at the terminal and only needs drive an hour or less to be home would be apt to be so selfish. What does he or she care....they live down the road a bit.
     
  16. mlk

    mlk Guest

    Just when are you going on the Zuiderdam?
     
  17. ljeanbrown

    ljeanbrown Guest

    Just one other little detail, when you refer to the ship, that is what it is and not a boat :grin Have a great first cruise :wave
     
  18. JOHN(NJ)

    JOHN(NJ) Guest

    I have often wondered why they don't use your sign and sail card as you disembark. If they use it at the ports, why not on the last day? Its got your name and picture on it.
    Any who is tardy with their bill could be herded up right there.

    A question I have is how much of a credit line do you need when you present them a card at embarkation? I've always wondered if the last morning calls to the front desk are people who have gone over their limit, or paying in cash or whatever?

    The only other idea I have is making the offenders run the gauntlet between all of us who are waiting for them. After being waffled by a couple hundred HAL tote bags filled with souvenirs they'd never do it again.
     
  19. wildvoodoo

    wildvoodoo Guest

    How about making naughty offenders walk the plank?
     
  20. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    John....Now, with the photo embedded Cruise ID cards HAL uses, they DO have you swipe as you disembark. You get to keep the card as a souvenir if you wish, but they now know exactly who has left the ship for final disembarkation and who is still aboard. (Cuts down on stowaways....:) )

    I have heard (but am not positive) they reserve $60 pp per day for on-board spending.....that will include the new automatic gratuities that will begin very soon.
    Of course, if you spend less than that, nothing more than what you actually spent is ever billed.
     

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