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Not a novice but not experienced enough to have these answers....

Discussion in 'Holland America Line' started by dadecitycruiser, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. My wife and I have been on several cruises, however, having just booked a family cruise for this spring, we have a few questions that our previous cruise experiences don't answer. Any help with some answers would be greatly appreciated. We are taking the 7 day western Carribean cruise on the Zuiderdam leaving May 7. We have booked a total of 4 cabins, three of which are located in a row on the main deck for the kids and their families and a S catagory suite for ourselves since we expect to have the little ones in our care for parts of the evenings when their parents want to see shows and other things.

    So here are some questions that have come to mind:

    1. One cabin will have 2 adults, a 1 year old and a 3 year old. Will their shipboard account be charged for mandatory tips for both kids?

    2. Another cabin will have 1 adult and a 12 year old. I am assuming that since the full fare was charged for the child that daily tips will apply for this child as well. True?

    3. Cabanas on Half Moon Cay. What is the difference in the color designation? I got the impression from other posts that it had something to do with the location. If so, is their a link somewhere that explains it? I have searched the Holland America site but haven't found anything.

    4. Again on cabanas. There will be 10 of us. Two cabanas with additional charge for 3 in each or 1 with the extra charge for 8 additional people? The math loooks about the same so I guess it comes down to how much sense it makes to have 2 of them? Don't know the first thing about them so any input here would help of a lot.

    5. The information on their site indicates that suites have a DVD player in the room and you have access to their library of DVDs. Again, since we expect to be doing a bit of kid sitting, does anyone have experience with their DVDs? Good selection for the kids or should we pack some with us?

    6. What, if any, special services for suite passengers might they extend to the rest of our family even though they are not in suites? I am not asking because I would be expecting any, just curious if there is any.


    That is it for now. Thanks in advance for any replies.

    Jack
     
  2. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    So here are some questions that have come to mind:

    1. One cabin will have 2 adults, a 1 year old and a 3 year old. Will their shipboard account be charged for mandatory tips for both kids?


    Yes. There is automatic tipping of $10 per person per day and applies to all pax. Sometimes the 'little ones actually make more work for the cabin stewards and dining stewards, particularly with cleaning up. You know....all the little toys; cheerios on the floor etc. Special requirements in the dining room.

    2. Another cabin will have 1 adult and a 12 year old. I am assuming that since the full fare was charged for the child that daily tips will apply for this child as well. True?


    Yes. You may have the automatic tip removed BUT if you do, anything you choose to give any stewards/bartenders etc will have to be submitted to a pool for sharing with all the others. The Vast majority of pax leave the automatic tips in place and then anything additional they choose to tip their cabin/dining steward etc can be kept by them and not shared.

    I think you will find that the service you and your family receives will be so good and so genuine that you will want to leave the (IMO moderate) automatic tips in place and probably will want to tip a bit additional


    3. Cabanas on Half Moon Cay. What is the difference in the color designation? I got the impression from other posts that it had something to do with the location. If so, is their a link somewhere that explains it? I have searched the Holland America site but haven't found anything.


    They are all the same. The only difference is the location.... As in how far down the beach from where the tenders drop pax. The cabanas are all the same.

    I do not think the rules of this forum allow us to direct you to where but if you are familiar with other message boards and visit them, one of the others has a wonderful link (use their search function) that shows pictures of the cabanas.


    4. Again on cabanas. There will be 10 of us. Two cabanas with additional charge for 3 in each or 1 with the extra charge for 8 additional people? The math loooks about the same so I guess it comes down to how much sense it makes to have 2 of them? Don't know the first thing about them so any input here would help of a lot.

    IF you wish to have cabanas, you can pre-reserve on line booked as a shore excursion or can call Shjps Services. 800-541-1576

    Only you can determine if "worth it". With the young children you mention, I think it would make your day at the beach a lot more pleasant. The cabanas have a shower where you can rinse the sand off the kids. They have a/c and a fan so anyone who minds the heat can cool off. You will get snorkel gear and float mats included. The snacks/fruit/cold drinks will be great for you and the kids.



    5. The information on their site indicates that suites have a DVD player in the room and you have access to their library of DVDs. Again, since we expect to be doing a bit of kid sitting, does anyone have experience with their DVDs? Good selection for the kids or should we pack some with us?

    I have no clue what would be considered a "good selection for the kids". Probably a good idea to bring a few with you.


    6. What, if any, special services for suite passengers might they extend to the rest of our family even though they are not in suites? I am not asking because I would be expecting any, just curious if there is any.

    None. The amentiies that are available for "S" and "PS" pax have been purchased and apply only to the pax in those accomodations. It would get totally out of hand if everyone Suite pax on the ship who had friends and family aboard in many other style cabins wanted to bring them all into the Neptune Lounge etc That facility is not designed to handle anymore people than the amount of pax who would be in the designated cabins.


    Hope this is of help to you and that you have a great cruise.
     
  3. CruisinTex

    CruisinTex Guest

    dadecitycruiser,
    To see pictures and location of the various cabanas, go to the message boards at cruisecritic.com. Either search for "cabanas", or go to the post by texkat on 6/12/04. There are panoramic pics of cabana location and also close-up shots of each one. Perhaps looking at a picture would help you decide if you should get one or two of them.
    (sail, Cap'n. John is much more lenient here about posting links, etc. than over at CC - I'd post the link if I knew how! )
     
  4. Judi

    Judi Guest

    dadecitycruiser,

    As far as suite amenities for your entire group, you can order hors d'oeuvres to be delivered to your suite for as many people as you wish.

    It's a great idea, especially with children, as you can take your time getting ready for dinner and still enjoy the pre-dinner hors d'oeuvres! :thumb :thumb
     
  5. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    Judi....

    That depends upon the ship. I have read that in recent months, some ships are charging to have large amonts of hors d'oueves delivered. Still complimentary for the occupants but for a party etc, they are not always complimentary.
     
  6. Lady Jag

    Lady Jag Guest

    You might want to sign up for Netflix http://www.netflix.com and rent some DVDs before you leave home. There's no return date; you can keep them as long as you want. Just drop them in the mail when you get home. You can pick the ones you want ahead of time and you'll get them in the mail in about 2 days.

    We've done this for quite a few cruises with our kids. They watch them on our laptop when on the ship or when waiting in the airport. Our kids have even invited other kids to their cabin to watch the movies. Never heard kids be so quiet! :thumb
     
  7. Judi

    Judi Guest

    Interesting, sail....I wasn't aware of that.

    We'll certainly check Volendam out in 33 more days and report back! :grin :grin
     
  8. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    We'll be on Veednam even sooner than that! :)


    Shall I report back what Veendam is doing as soon we board so you can compare what Volendam is doing?
     
  9. Judi

    Judi Guest

    Please do....we can do report cards on the "V" ships! =lolgang
     
  10. JOHN(NJ)

    JOHN(NJ) Guest

    Okay Judi, Judy...............
    On the Maasdam, as of Oct 30 when we were onboard............. You could order hot horsey douvers for 8 and there was no charge. We ordered for 5 and there was more than enough for the five of us. You had to let the girls in the Neptune know at least 2 hours ahead of time. It worked out well and they were always on time.
    I guess you could sneek some dry cleaning in for the folks in the non snob cabins LOL
     
  11. Judi

    Judi Guest

    Thanks for the info, John.

    There will be 15 of us, and most are in the "snob cabins" so it shouldn't be a problem. We can order for 8 and our next door neighbors can order for 8!

    The very first time Michael and I stayed in a suite many years ago, I ordered hors d'oeuvres as a surprise for him one evening. Because he has a hearty appetite, I ordered for 4 people. We had enough hors d'oeuvres for the entire deck!
    =lolgang =lolgang =lolgang =lolgang
     
  12. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Guest

    Judi,

    And since you're sandwiched in between two very interesting neighbors, who knows what can happen ONE MONTH FROM TODAY.... =lolgang
     
  13. Thanks for all of your replys. They gave me what I needed to know. I wasn't looking for "perks" as such for the rest of the family so much as embarking and debarking info and things like asking the "kon-see-a" to make arrangements for the family, such as the cabanas on HMC.

    Thanks again;

    Jack
     
  14. sail7seas

    sail7seas Guest

    The "Concierge" will make any arrangements needed for cabanas and answer all questions re: disembarking for all Suite Pax.
    The Cruise Director conducts a Disembarkation Talk in the Show Lounge at the end of every cruise to explain to all guests what the procedure is for disembarkation. It is played and replayed on the tv's in the cabins.
     
  15. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Guest

    At some point in the cruise, you'll be given a disembarkation form to fill out. It will ask for information such as flight details or post-cruise hotel, etc. But it will also have space where it asks if you're disembarking with any other people - just fill in the cabin numbers of the rest of your family and the ship will make arrangements for you to disembark together. They can all sit in your suite until it's time to leave.
     
  16. sage

    sage Guest

    I just returned from a cruise on the Volendam, and we had a cabana. Truthfully, the cabanas only have so much room inside, and six is about the limit. They provide four chairs, and you can add two additional chairs at either end of end of the table. Two loungers are also provided on the porch area. A good portion of the sand has been eroded by the recent storms, so there isn't as much beach as there used to be. The water was coming under some of the chairs set out on the beach, so keep an eye on the little ones. The taupe cabana was the closest to the lifeguard as well. The cabanas also need to be booked through the shore excursion, which you can do online, and don't count on them being available once you board; they tend to be booked months in advance. The cost for the regular cabana is $219 for up to four people, and each additional person is $45 for adults and children over age 2.
     
  17. Judi

    Judi Guest

    sage,

    Welcome Back!

    Thanks for the up-to-the-minute report. We'll be on Volendam in just 18 more days!

    What ports did you visit on your cruise, and were any of them other than Half Moon Cay affected by the storms?
     
  18. sage

    sage Guest

    Judi,

    Thank you for the welcome home. We loved our cruise on the Volendam and now have a new favorite ship and suite. I now see why ShipMaven loves her home away from home. The only island really affected by the hurricanes was HMC. Most of the vegation was brown, the beach much shorter, and in some places dropped off dramatically. The water was still incredible though, and the people more friendly than ever. It was freezing the day we were there, so we were really glad we had the cabana. We also visited St. Thomas, Tortola, Dominica, and Barbados. We took the tram in Dominica, and it was very relaxing and beautiful and even chilly. The people of the island were very friendly and most gracious. They were more than happy to help and even invited us in for a special Christmas drink, Sorrel, in several places stores and even homes that we passed. I'm envious of your upcoming cruise and wish that I was still aboard or joining you.
     
  19. Judi

    Judi Guest

    sage,

    We love "our" Volendam, too!

    It's always nice to hear that someone else feels the same way! :grin

    Please join us...I guarantee that we will "quack" you up!
    =lolgang =lolgang =lolgang =lolgang =lolgang =lolgang
     
  20. sage

    sage Guest

    Judi, thank you for the invitation to join you on a duck cruise. Believe me if it were possible, we would be abaord for the January cruise. Perhaps we might join you on the next one? Happy Birthday. May all of your wishes come true.
     

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