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Holland America Cruises

Holland America Cruises Information

Tipping and Gratuity Policy

  • Holland America works very hard to make sure that every aspect of your cruise meets the highest standards. Gratuities are the customary means of recognizing and showing appreciation for good service. To save guests the need to locate crewmembers and determine the appropriate gratuity amount, a gratuity of $10 per day is automatically added to each guests shipboard account on a daily basis. If our service exceeds or fails to meet your expectations, you are free to adjust this amount at the end of the cruise. All gratuities are paid to the crew and represent an important part of their compensation. 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, we suggest that you extend gratuities consistent with customary local practices.

Boarding Procedures

  • Embarkation times are printed on the front of your Cruise Contract. Generally, however, early embarkation will commence at 11:30 a.m. There may be certain exceptions due to local governmental procedures. Due to new port security requirements at Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, we are unable to provide our guests with access to the cruise terminal prior to 11:00 a.m.. Keep in mind that you must be on the ship at least one hour before departure, and the gangway will be pulled thirty minutes before sailing.
  • Prior to boarding, you will pass through a security checkpoint. Next, you will be required to complete ship check-in formalities. Please note: beverages may not be brought on board during embarkation or in ports of call.
  • Upon completion of check-in, you will receive a guest identification card equipped with a bar code. This card serves as your identification for security procedures when embarking and disembarking the ship and for making purchases on board. It is also a room key on some ships. Please have your card and photo identification ready and available whenever getting on or off the ship, as you will need to scan your card at the optical monitors located at the gangway.
  • IMPORTANT: For this procedure, you will need to present your travel documents, including your Cruise Ticket portion of your Cruise Contract, a completed Immigration questionnaire (one per person), the Bahamian Immigration questionnaire (if applicable and one per person) and the required proof of citizenship. You can expedite your check-in by completing the Immigration form online prior to leaving home.
  • For more information on this and on the documentation you will need to have with you, please see Identification. You may also receive arrival documentation from Immigration when arriving at the airport. Please keep these available for check-in. The Front Office on board may require the collection of passports for cruises that travel from country to country to prepare for immigration formalities. You will receive a passport receipt upon collection of your passport, and will be advised on board when the passports will be redistributed.
  • When embarkation commences, our previous sailing guests will have just disembarked and we will still be in the process of preparing the vessel for your cruise. We anticipate that your stateroom will be ready at approximately 1:00 pm. Therefore, we kindly ask your cooperation not to visit your stateroom until an announcement that the staterooms are ready has been made via the Public Address system. For security reasons, the loading of luggage, which you checked in at the terminal, will not commence until 1:00 pm. Your luggage will arrive in your stateroom later this afternoon, via your cabin steward. Please feel free to relax in the Public and Pool Areas. The Lido Restaurant embarkation buffet and the Pool Grill shall open at 12:00 noon.
  • Our embarkation procedures are smooth and easy-you carry nothing but your hand luggage, and everything is beautifully organized so you will have no worries. It is truly a suitable prelude to your carefree holiday. Don't miss the sail away festivities with our entertainment staff!

Baggage Allowance

  • Airlines, limousines and other transfer vehicles have baggage allowance policies which may limit the amount of baggage you can take with you and/or impose excess baggage charges. You are responsible for complying with the policies. Please keep this in mind when packing.

Packing and Baggage Policy

  • If Holland America, due to any cause whatsoever, is liable for loss of, damage to or delay of your property, the amount of Holland America's liability will not exceed USD$100 (USD$600 for passengers who have purchased Cancellation Protection Plan) unless you have specified to Holland America in writing the true value of your property and paid to Holland America before departure of the Cruise, Cruisetour or HAL Land Trip, 1% of the value in excess of USD$100 or USD$600, as applicable. In that event, Holland America's liability will be limited to the amount so specified. Please contact the ship's Front Office immediately upon embarkation for forms and additional details; you must have your luggage with you when making these arrangements. Holland America's baggage policy is further detailed in the baggage section of your Cruise Contract.
  • IMPORTANT: Do not pack your passport, medications, cruise documents or airline tickets. Keep them close at hand in your purse or jacket pocket. We also strongly suggest that you carry or otherwise keep with you important items such as perishables, medicine, liquor, cash, credit or debit cards, jewelry, gold, silver, or similar valuables, securities, financial instruments, records or other valuable or business documents, laptop computers, cellular telephones, cameras, hearing aids, electric wheelchairs, scooters, or other video or electronic equipment, binoculars, film, videotape, computer disks, audio disks, tapes or cds. (Remember that checked baggage might not be accessible at all times.) Holland America assumes no responsibility for the items listed above.

Clothing and dress code

  • The right clothing can make a big difference in the enjoyment of your cruise. First and foremost, dress for comfort. Daily life aboard ship and in ports of call is laid-back and casual. We encourage you to wear whatever makes you feel most comfortable-sportswear, shorts, sundresses, slacks, and so on. Warmer climates call for clothing made of lightweight, breathable fabrics. For cooler climates we suggest casual clothes that can be layered easily and possibly a raincoat and waterproof hat or umbrella and gloves. Bring a swimsuit-all of our ships have pools and whirlpools. You may wish to bring more than one outfit for the water, if you'll be spending much time in and around it. We ask that you wear shoes and a cover-up over a bathing suit when walking through the interior of the ship.
  • If you'd like to jog on deck or work out in the fitness center, 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 three distinct categories. Each night a daily program will be delivered to your stateroom announcing the suggested dress for the following evening. Comfortable, relaxed clothing is fine for evenings designated as casual; however, T-shirts, jeans, swimsuits, tank tops and shorts are not allowed in the dining room, Lido restaurant, or public areas during the evening hours. During informal nights, dresses or pantsuits for women and jackets (tie optional) for men are standard.
  • On festive formal evenings, women usually wear cocktail dresses or gowns and men usually wear business suits or tuxedos. There are approximately two formal nights per week. (Gentlemen: Although business suits or tuxedos are suggested attire for formal evenings, they are certainly not required. You are welcome to wear a jacket and tie on formal nights.) Formalwear for ladies and gentlemen can be pre-ordered for your use for the duration of your cruise. Just call Cruise Line Formalwear at 800-551-5091 to reserve and it will be ready in your stateroom when you board.
  • In order to complement your fellow guests, Holland America asks that you observe the suggested dress code throughout the entire evening.

Leaving home checklist

  • To ensure peace of mind while you are away, why not run over this last-minute checklist of things to do before you go? Then you're off, without a worry in the world!
  • Have the post office hold your mail.
  • Stop your newspaper delivery, or have a friend or neighbor take them in for you.
  • Leave copies of your passport, airline tickets, travelers checks and any credit cards you plan to use with a family member or trusted friend.
  • Distribute your ship communications cards to friends and relatives.
  • Place a card with your name and address inside your luggage, as well as on the outside.
  • Bring your travel and health insurance information and have it handy at all times.
  • Verify that your identification and travel tickets are in your carry-on bag and will be available at all times.

Packing Advice

  • Holland America recommends that you use hard-sided baggage and cautions against the use of garment bags with hanger hooks protruding from the top. We also suggest that you consider placing articles in clear plastic bags inside your baggage to minimize handling by airport security screeners. Pack shoes on top of other contents in your luggage to expedite the baggage screening process. Finally, make sure that you label the inside of your carry-on and checked luggage with your name and contact information. Bear in mind that the screening process for any point of embarkation is similar to that at an airport. As such, all weapons and dangerous devices are prohibited and may result in denied boarding.
  • Please note: Firearms and illegal drugs of any kind are prohibited without exception. IMPORTANT: Do not pack your passport, medications, cruise documents or airline tickets in your checked baggage. (Remember that checked baggage might not be accessible at all times.) Keep them close at hand in your purse or jacket pocket. We also strongly suggest that you carry or otherwise keep with you important items such a.s perishables, medicine, cash, credit or debit cards, jewelry, gold, silver, or similar valuables, securities, financial instruments, records or other valuable or business documents, laptop computers, cellular telephones, cameras, hearing aids, electric wheelchairs, scooters, or other video or electronic equipment, binoculars, film, videotape, computer disks, audio disks, tapes or cds. Holland America assumes no responsibility for the items listed above. If Holland America, due to any cause whatsoever, is liable for loss of, damage to or delay of your property, the amount of Holland America's liability will not exceed USD$100 (USD$600 for passengers who have purchased Cancellation Protection Plan) unless you have specified to Holland America in writing the true value of your property and paid to Holland America before departure of the cruise or cruisetour, 1% of the value in excess of USD$100 or USD$600, as applicable. In that event, Holland America's liability will be limited to the amount so specified. Please contact the ship's Front Office immediately upon embarkation for forms and additional details for declaring additional value; you must have your luggage with you when making these arrangements. Holland America's baggage policy is further detailed in the baggage section of your Cruise Contract.
  • You will find your baggage tags in the top pocket of your documentation wallet. Please refer to the Arrival Advice section of your Travel Documents book for instructions on when to attach them to your baggage.

Carry-on baggage

  • Use a carry-on bag. Keep your Travel Documents, identification, medication, jewelry, camera, film, cash and other valuables with you at all times.
  • Do not pack your passport, medications, cruise documents or airline tickets. Keep them close at hand in your purse or jacket pocket. We also strongly suggest that you carry or otherwise keep with you important items such as perishables, medicine, cash, credit or debit cards, jewelry, gold, silver, or similar valuables, securities, financial instruments, records or other valuable or business documents, laptop computers, cellular telephones, cameras, hearing aids, electric wheelchairs, scooters, or other video or electronic equipment, binoculars, film, videotape, computer disks, audio disks, tapes or cds. (Remember that checked baggage might not be accessible at all times.) Holland America Line assumes no responsibility for the items listed above.

Baggage Insurance

Although we try to handle your bags carefully while in our possession, please be aware that Holland America cannot guarantee there will be no loss of or damage to your baggage or belongings. For this reason, we suggest you purchase baggage insurance before you leave home. Your travel agent can provide you with additional information if you are interested in this option.

Stateroom Furnishings

  • Your stateroom is furnished with a ship-to-shore telephone which enables you to easily call anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day (prices are found in your stateroom directory).
  • You'll also find ample closet and drawer space, individually-controlled air conditioning, a television for viewing CNN, movies and on board features.
  • All staterooms are equipped with standard 110 AC and 220 AC outlets. If your shaver operates on standard 110 AC, by all means bring it (guests with pre- or post-cruise hotel packages may want to bring converters and/or adapters for their hotel stay). You may wish to bring a travel alarm clock as they are not available in staterooms. Hairdryers are available in staterooms on all ships.
  • For safety reasons, we respectfully request that you do not iron clothing in your stateroom. Ironing facilities are available at the self-service laundry rooms for your convenience on all ships except the ms Oosterdam,ms Westerdam and ms Zuiderdam. In addition, full laundry and valet services are available on all of our ships.

Visitors

  • Holland America, upon evaluation of customer and security concerns, has implemented a "no visitor" policy and regrets any inconvenience this may cause. However, friends may easily arrange to send a bon voyage gift directly to your stateroom. Or you may throw a party of your own for fellow guests.

Laundry

  • For your convenience, we offer full laundry and dry cleaning service. You will find laundry bags and price lists in your closet. Self-service laundromats are situated in various locations on board, except the ms Zuiderdam, ms Westerdam and ms Oosterdam. The facility consists of washers, dryers, irons and ironing boards. There is a charge for the use of washers & dryers. For safety reasons, we ask you to refrain from ironing clothes in your stateroom.

Shopping

  • On all Holland America ships, we provide a variety of wonderful merchandise from around the world. Items for purchase range from jewelry to clothing and souvenirs, together with a selection of toiletries and drug store sundries. The shops on board offer duty-free/tax-free prices for most items and are open during the posted hours when the ship is at sea. The shops are not allowed to open in port in accordance with Customs regulations.

Stateroom Furnishings

  • Your stateroom is furnished with a ship-to-shore telephone which enables you to easily call anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day (prices are found in your stateroom directory).
  • You'll also find ample closet and drawer space, individually-controlled air conditioning, a television for viewing CNN, movies and on board features.
  • All staterooms are equipped with standard 110 AC and 220 AC outlets. If your shaver operates on standard 110 AC, by all means bring it (guests with pre- or post-cruise hotel packages may want to bring converters and/or adapters for their hotel stay). You may wish to bring a travel alarm clock as they are not available in staterooms. Hairdryers are available in staterooms on all ships.
  • For safety reasons, we respectfully request that you do not iron clothing in your stateroom. Ironing facilities are available at the self-service laundry rooms for your convenience on all ships except the ms Oosterdam,ms Westerdam and ms Zuiderdam. In addition, full laundry and valet services are available on all of our ships.

Deposits and payments

  • The per person, per cruise deposit requirements to secure reservations and Cancellation Protection Plan amounts are listed with the cruise fares in the Holland America brochure. Deposits are generally due within 5 days after reservation date. Cancellation Protection Plan, if desired, must be paid for at time of deposit.
  • Final payment is generally due no later than 75 days prior to departure although some cruises have different final payment date requirements. Please consult the Holland America Line brochure for the final payment date applicable to your cruise. In most cases, we are able to provide you with travel documents, including your Cruise and CruiseTour Contract, at approximately 30 days prior to departure. Travel documents, however, are only issued after final payment has been received by Holland America. Travel agents should make checks payable and send to:
  • Holland America Line Paymaster Corporation
    P.O. Box C34013
    Seattle, WA 98124-1013 U.S.A.
  • Payment by American Express, VISA, MasterCard or Discover Card is accepted. For faster processing, please include a confirmation number on your check. Travel agents please note that MCOS will not be accepted.
  • Travel agents or consumers outside the U.S. and Canada should make payment by wire transfer or passenger's credit card. The wire transfer information is as follows:
  • US FUNDS:
    BENEFICIARY - HOLLAND AMERICA LINE PAYMASTER CORP.
    US Bank of Washington
    1420 Fifth Avenue, 11th Floor
    Seattle, WA 98101
    Routing #19-10
    ABA# 125 000 105
    Swift Code: USBKUS44iMT
    Account # 153591179640 - for Bookings
    Account # 153591179632 - for CPO's, GL's, Other
  • CANADIAN FUNDS:
    BENEFICIARY - WESTMARK HOTELS OF CANADA LTD.
    Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
    400 Burrard Street
    Vancouver, B.C. V6C3A6
    Account # 46-01718 - for Bookings
    Account # 96-18619 - for GL's & Others
    Transit 10
    Notify: Sally Rohde @ 206-281-0690
  • EURO FUNDS:
    BENEFICIARY - HOLLAND AMERICA LINE N.V.
    JPMorgan Chase Bank, London
    Sort code: 60-92-42
    Swift: CHASGB2L
    Account # 23585110 - for Bookings
    Correspondent Bank:
    JPMorgan A.G. Frankfurt, Germany
    Swift: CHASDEFX
    Favor: JPMorgan Chase Bank, London

Salon

  • Our Beauty Salon staff can make you look and feel your best. Specially-trained professionals offer a full range of services such as hairdressing and beauty treatments. All services are available from 8:00am until 8:00pm. Appointments are strongly suggested (particularly for formal nights) and can only be booked on board.
  • Each Holland America ship carries certified massage therapists to help you relax and relieve stress. You can enjoy a twenty-five or fifty minute massage. Appointments can be made in advance through the Beauty Salon. Due to their popularity, we recommend you reserve early.

Spa

  • To help keep you in shape, all Holland America Line ships are equipped with a spa and fitness center offering both aerobic and strength-training equipment. Professional attendants can instruct you in the proper techniques of exercising. Hours of operation are from 6:00am until 9:00pm. Pilates, yoga, and personal training classes are available for a fee.
  • Our spa offers a number of treatments to help you relax and rejuvenate. Why not indulge in a massage or facial? Space is limited for these popular services, so we recommend you book your appointment soon after boarding the ship.

Medical Facilities and Services

  • Each Holland America ship has an onboard Medical Center staffed by licensed physicians and critical care nurses. While not a full-service hospital, the Medical Center is well equipped to handle most emergencies and routine medical procedures.
  • A customary fee will be charged for services and medications dispensed (with the exception of meclizine for seasickness, Tylenol. and aspirin, which may also be obtained at the Front Office). If you become ill or injured during the voyage and your diagnostic and/or care needs exceed the capabilities of the medical center, you will be transferred to medical facilities ashore. Please note that Medicare and many health insurance plans DO NOT cover the cost of medical care at sea, in foreign countries, or for air evacuation. Guests are encouraged to obtain travel medical insurance prior to travel in order to be reimbursed for services rendered.
  • If you have a chronic medical condition, please bring a recent report from your physician. The medical staff on board is not available for daily care, unless you are hospitalized in the Medical Center. You must be able to care for yourself, including dressing, eating and attending the ship's safety drills. If you are unable to function independently in these areas, you must bring a caregiver with you. Because of the limited medical facilities, infants 12 weeks or younger at the time the cruise commences and women who will be 27 or more weeks pregnant during the course of their travel are not permitted to participate in the cruise. If you are pregnant, please provide a medical note from your physician stating your expected due date and medical fitness to travel.
  • Keep medication close at hand in your purse or carry-on bag. Be sure to bring enough prescription medicine to last throughout your cruise, as it may not be available on board or in some of the countries visited.

Safety and Security Onboard

  • Holland America Line is totally committed to a comprehensive program to ensure the safety and security of its passengers and ship personnel. During the past two decades, North American cruise lines have maintained the best safety record in the travel industry, and safety standards on cruise ships are stricter and more consistent than in any other segment of the travel industry.
  • Holland America Line supports and adheres to stringent, internationally-agreed standards for the design, construction and operation of ocean-going cruise ships as set forth by the International Maritime Organization (a specialized agency of the United Nations) in the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention. This document has been ratified and is enforced by virtually all the major "seafaring" nations of the world, including the United States.
  • The SOLAS agreement prescribes, in great detail, safety specifications in all areas of passenger vessel operations, including design, construction methods and materials, refurbishment standards, life-saving equipment, fire protection, safety training and drill procedures, among dozens of other precautions. All materials from hull steel to upholstery must comply with IMO standards that result from extensive material and type testing by IMO's special technical committee.
  • Since SOLAS was first drafted in 1948, it has been continually updated and expanded to increase the safety requirements as based on practical experience and/or scientific research. In North America, the cruise industry also cooperates fully with the U.S. Coast Guard, which is empowered by Congress to inspect all foreign-flag vessels operating from North American ports and to issue a Control Verification Certificate, without which a foreign-flag ship would be prohibited from embarking U.S. passengers.
  • All Holland America ships meet the stringent Dutch standards for safety, in addition to SOLAS. The ships are inspected annually by the flag states and quarterly by the U.S. Coast Guard. In addition, surveyors from Lloyds' Register of Shipping, London, inspect each ship in detail annually and make spot checks at other intervals. Lloyds' is the "classification society" for all Holland America ships and acts for the flag state on many issues. All Holland America ships that visit Canada also are inspected annually by the Canadian Coast Guard.
  • All of the inspections test all watertight doors, firefighting equipment, fire- and smoke-detecting systems, fire screen doors, communications systems, alarm systems, lifeboats and liferafts, lifejackets and buoys, distress signals and all navigational equipment. These inspections are accompanied by extensive lifeboat, damage control and firefighting drills.
  • In addition to these required inspections and drills, Holland America Line conducts an ongoing safety program. Boat drills and fire drills for crew and boat drills for passengers take place weekly. Passenger boat drills -- at which attendance is taken and life jackets are worn -- take place in most ports of embarkation before departure and never later than 24 hours after departing the port of embarkation. Watertight doors and fire detection systems are tested daily; other equipment weekly. In addition a safety video covering lifeboat, fire and general safety is aired on the in-cabin television system for passenger viewing.

Crew Training

  • As part of their education at internationally renowned merchant marine academies, the officers of the Deck and Engine Room Departments receive extensive safety training. They receive additional instruction at the Marine Safety International training center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Holland America's marine hotel officers also receive marine safety training. In addition, deck and engine room officers receive practical training at institutes in England and the United States. Officers, petty officers and crew attend firefighting training classes at H.Z. Safety in Flushing, The Netherlands; Den Helder Training Center, Den Helder, The Netherlands; and the Fremont Maritime Services Training Center in Seattle, Wash.
  • In addition, officers have received crisis management and human behavior training as required by the Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW).
  • In addition to fire prevention and firefighting training, all crewmembers receive extensive instruction in emergency disembarkation procedures, lifeboat and life raft handling. Courses are given on board all ships for the lifeboat handler certificate. This training includes emergency disembarkation procedures, boat and raft handling, complete knowledge of lifeboat and life raft inventory, and survival at sea measures. SOLAS and the U.S. Coast Guard recognize this certification. The theoretical and practical exams are conducted on board in the English language by inspectors from the Netherlands Shipping Inspectorate. Crewmembers who pass the exams are fully licensed to be lifeboat commanders. All crewmembers also are required to view safety instruction videos on an ongoing basis.
  • Holland America Line requires all officers, crew and other staff to speak English. In addition, ongoing English language courses are conducted on board all ships to continually improve safety and service levels.

Security

  • Holland America has a comprehensive on-board security program developed in conjunction with the consulting firm, International Maritime Security Co. of London, England. Ship-specific security plans have been developed. All on-board security officers are professionally trained law enforcement officers. In addition, IMS continually updates Holland America with worldwide security advisories.
  • A cruise ship is comparable to a secure building with round-the-clock security. Since cruise ships operate in a strictly controlled environment, access can be tightly regulated. Every person on board, including passengers and crewmembers, is placed on an official manifest and may leave or enter the ship only after passing through strict security measures. Ship security measures include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Holland America Line provides photo identification badges to employees.
    Holland America Line does not permit visitors on board ship unless they have pre-arranged permits from Cruise Operations. Passengers are provided with guest identification cards (also used for onboard purchases) that are electronically checked before each passenger is allowed to board the ship. Hand-carried luggage is X-rayed and passengers pass through a walk-through security screening system prior to embarkation. All cabin baggage is also inspected. In the aftermath of the terrorism attacks of September 11, 2001, in December 2002 SOLAS was amended and the International Ship Security and Port Faculty Code was enacted with an effective date of July 1, 2004 for implementation. Security measures already in place by Holland America meet or exceed the requirements of the Code; and Holland America continually reviews and enhances security procedures to ensure the safest possible travel environment.