How And When Do I Pay My Deposit? Is motion discomfort a problem?
Deposits are required to confirm your booking and will be advised by Global Journeys at time of booking. A second deposit is required for all Grand Voyages.
What should I pack?
Rarely. Cruise itineraries ply some of the calmest waters in the world. In addition, stabilizers on modern ships, availability of advance weather information, and development of effective preventative medications have greatly reduced the incidence of motion discomfort.
Is cruising good for families with children?
Pack as you would for any resort. Cruise vacations are casual by day, whether you're on the ship or ashore. The suggested attire for most evenings is resort casual; slacks and collared shirts for men, and casual dresses, slacks and informal evening-wear for women. On gala nights women usually wear a suit, cocktail dress or gown and men wear a jacket and tie, dark suit, or tuxedo.
In the event of unexpected travel delays and emergencies, please remember to bring additional prescription medication for at least 2 weeks beyond the length of the cruise. Also bring a list of the names, strengths and dosages of all medications in case refills are required.
What is there to do during days at sea?
Cruising is for everyone, and we welcome and cater to families with children. Holland America Line provides youth and teen activities and facilities specifically for younger guests, such as Club HAL, the Club HAL Gameroom, and The Loft. Supervised fun and babysitting services are also available. Plus, kids and families love the wide selection of food choices available when dining on board Holland America Line ships.
What are my dining options?
Cruises feature extensive on-board enrichment programs and activities every day. Take a self-guided art tour, lounge by the pool, practice yoga or work out in the fitness center, or pamper yourself with a spa treatment and indulge in world-class luxury shopping. You can also choose from a variety of group activities such as cooking and computer classes, basketball, volleyball, bridge and board games to name a few. Or you can do nothing at all. It's entirely up to you.
Do I have to participate in the activities?
Throughout your cruise vacation, you may enjoy delicious and innovative menus across a broad range of dining venues. On your Holland America Line cruise you're free to dine As You Wish®, from a casual bite poolside to a formal five-course affair in our classic main Dining Room, where you can choose traditional pre-set seating or a flexible open schedule. Take advantage of 24-hour room service on your verandah, or enjoy a sophisticated meal in the elegant Pinnacle Grill. The choice is always yours.
Every day aboard a Holland America cruise ship brings a wealth of cruise activities and indulgences, along with the freedom to partake in as many — or as few — as you please. On a Holland America Line cruise, you do what you want, when you want. You can do everything or absolutely nothing. It's your choice. We recommend that you explore our wide-range of activities to find those that appeal to you.
How Do I Check-In Online? What are Express Docs?
For your convenience, and to expedite your departure, Holand America encourage all guests to utilize their online check-in procedure and start the process as soon as possible. During online check-in, you can securely submit your Immigration, Disembarkation and credit card registration forms. For the most accuracy onboard your ship, please complete the process at least 30 days prior to your departure. If you begin the process and cannot finish due to insufficient information, you may return to complete it at your convenience prior to departure.
Details on how and where to check-in will be provided by your Global Journeys cruise consultant, once your cruise booking is confirmed.
What is the difference between paper documents and Express Docs?
Preparing for your Holland America Line cruise is now easier, faster and more convenient. With Express Docs you can access comprehensive, up-to-date information on all aspects of your cruise. You can review your personalized information, print only what you want and have convenient access to everything you need for your cruise in one place.
And it’s easy to email — or leave copies of — your itinerary and important information with friends and family. No more waiting for mailed documents.
The Express Docs notification arrives electronically approximately 45 days before departure (after your final payment has been made).
When will I be able to access my documents?
Paper documents are the traditional printed documents presented in the blue pouch and are received in the mail approximately 45-30 days prior to departure. Paper documents are issued only for the Grand World and/or Grand Voyage bookings. All other voyages will receive Express Docs.
Express Docs provide the same information in electronic format and are available for you to access at your convenience for each person on the booking. Express Docs are available online 24/7, approximately 45 days prior to departure.
How will I know when Express Docs are ready for my booking?
Once Online Checkin is complete, the booking is paid in full, and the cruise is approximately 45 days prior to departure, you may access your Express Docs online 24/7.
Why is a notification sent to each guest booked?
Once the booking is paid in full and the cruise is approximately 45 days prior to departure, Holland America Line will send an email to each guest booked to notify you that Express Docs are ready.
With Express Docs, how will I receive luggage tags?
It is a requirement that each guest complete the Online Check-in process and review the cruise contract to access his or her Express Docs.
I have opted for a guarantee stateroom. When will my Express Docs show a stateroom number?
Holland America have two convenient ways for you to obtain your luggage tags:
- Printable luggage tags are available at the Online Check-In start page and include your name, stateroom and departure date. You may select to print up to 10 additional tags at a time.
- Luggage tags are available from Holland America Line staff at the pier or at the port city airport. Your luggage will follow normal processing and loading on to the ship from this point.
Do I Need A Visa?
Guarantee staterooms may be assigned at any time prior to travel and up until embarkation day. Express Docs will show a stateroom number if it has been assigned but will otherwise show "To be assigned". If you have printed your Express Docs prior to the stateroom assignment, you may wish to check back prior to departure to see if a stateroom has been assigned. Otherwise, there will be staff available at the pier to advise you of your stateroom number as you fill out your luggage tags.
What dining options are available for kids?
Some countries require that you obtain and carry with you official documentation, called a visa, before entering that country. It is your sole responsibility to obtain and have available the proper travel documents necessary for your travel, including all associated costs related to obtaining your travel documents. Boarding may be denied if you arrive at the pier without the proper travel documentation, and in that case you would not be eligible for a refund.
If you have any queries, phone or email your Global Journeys cruise consultant for advice.
Children are welcome in any of our dining venues. A special kids’ menu is available at each venue, and we can accommodate a variety of dining restrictions and preferences. Our kids’ menu includes favorites such as pizza, chicken strips and mac and cheese, as well as salads, soups and fresh fruit. Menu items from the daily menu are also available in half portions upon request. And if your child is celebrating a birthday on board, ask our dining crew for a special, personal-sized cake!
Children 12 or under receive half off in our specialty dining restaurants or can select items from the kids’ menu for free.
Are There Restrictions On How Much Luggage I Can Bring? Do I Need Baggage Insurance?
Airlines, limousines and other transfer vehicles have luggage allowance policies which may limit the amount and/or weight of luggage you may take with you and/or impose excess luggage charges. You are responsible for complying with the policies. Please keep this in mind when packing.
Should I Bring A Carry-on Bag?
Although we try to handle your bags carefully while they are in our possession, please be aware that Holland America Line cannot guarantee there will be no loss of, or damage to, your luggage or belongings. For this reason, we suggest you purchase luggage insurance before you leave home.
Is There A Dress Code?
Holland America Line recommends that each guest keep all personal identification, airline tickets, customs forms, medications, jewelry, money, credit and debit cards and other high value or important items, along with the clothes and shoes you intend to wear the next day, separate from your tagged luggage. Place these items in your carry-on bag or keep them with you so you can access them easily and keep them secure.
Do not pack your passport, medications, cruise documents or airline tickets in your checked luggage.
Yes, some refinements were made to improve consistency and the policy now reads:
- Most evenings smart casual attire is appropriate. Shorts, pool/beachwear, distressed jeans and men’s tank tops are best left to the daytime and are not permitted in fine dining restaurants.
- Gala Nights evoke the grand traditions of cruising as guests dress to impress for special events on board, including our five-course gourmet dinner in the Dining Room. For gentlemen, collared shirts and slacks are required in all fine dining restaurants. For ladies, dressy attire is appropriate - dresses, skirts, and slacks are all acceptable.
What Currency Is Used On Board? Can I Use My Credit Card On Board?
On board our ships, U.S. dollars is the only currency accepted. We also accept U.S. travelers checks. A currency exchange service will be available for selected itineraries, such as our European and World Cruise programs. In most ports of call you may easily exchange your U.S. dollars into the local currency at banks, airports and major hotels.
In many countries, you can use your ATM card to obtain local currency. Most locations will accept major credit cards and some will even accept U.S. dollars. If you choose to use U.S. dollars, carry smaller denominations--ones, fives, tens and twenties. Please note: Foreign currencies cannot be accepted or exchanged by the Front Office.
Is There A Service Charge (Gratuity/Tip)?
All onboard purchases and services are charged to your account by using your stateroom keycard. Cash is not accepted for individual transactions, e.g. bars, the shops, spa, shore excursions. Cash is accepted in our casinos.
If you do not want to use a credit or debit card, on the day of boarding, you will need to visit Guest Services and deposit $60 cash per person per cruise day (applies to all guests 18 years of age and over). Any excess deposit will be refunded to you at the end of the cruise.
Are Visitors Allowed On Board?
Our crew works 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 Dining Room wait staff and the stewards who service your stateroom each day. There are also many others who support their efforts whom you may never meet, such as galley and laundry staff. To ensure that the efforts of all of our crew members are recognized and rewarded, a daily Hotel Service Charge is automatically added to each guest’s shipboard account.
The daily Hotel Service Charge is $14.50* per guest per day for non-suite stateroom guests and $16.00* per guest per day for suite guests. *These charges are subject to change without notice.
If our service exceeds or fails to meet your expectations, you are free to adjust this amount at the end of each segment and/or voyage. The Hotel Service Charge is paid entirely to Holland America Line crew members, and represents an important part of their compensation.
A 15% Bar 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.
Can Guests Under 21 Travel Alone?
Due to customer and security concerns, we have a "no visitor" policy on board our ships, and regret any inconvenience this may cause.
Can I Bring My Pets On Board With Me?
Guests under 21 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or chaperone that is at least 21 years old; one adult chaperone is required for every five people under the age of 21. Infants must be at least 6 months of age at the time of embarkation in order to sail. Children must be at least 12 months of age at the time of embarkation to sail on trans-ocean crossings and remote itineraries, where there are more than 2 consecutive sea days.
Guests must be 21 years of age or over to purchase or consume alcohol onboard. For voyages that depart from and return to Australia and/or New Zealand, Europe, China, Hong Kong, Singapore or Taiwan, this policy applies to guests 18 years and older. For Voyages that depart from and return to Japan, this policy applies to guests 20 years and older.
Can I Bring Alcoholic Beverages Onboard?
With the exception of qualified service animals for guests with disabilities, animals or pets are not allowed on board our ships. If you plan to bring a service animal, you must call our Guest Accessibility Dept. at 800‐547‐8493 or 206‐626‐7044. You will need to provide proof of current vaccinations for the animal. Please talk to your travel advisor about this requirement.
Is Smoking Allowed On Board?
Each guest 21 years^ and older may bring one bottle of wine or champagne (no larger than 750ml) onboard in carry-on luggage at the beginning of the voyage. This bottle will not be subject to a corkage fee if consumed in the stateroom. Additional wine or champagne bottles (no larger than 750ml) in carry-on luggage are welcome, but will incur a US$18.00 (subject to change) corkage fee each, irrespective of where they are intended to be consumed.
Guests are not allowed to bring beer, boxed wine, or other liquors and spirits onboard. Holland America Line reserves the right to remove all alcoholic beverages from any guest luggage that violates this policy. Any alcoholic beverage found will be removed and returned on the last evening of the voyage.
Guests will not receive any monetary compensation for alcoholic beverages that were removed from luggage.
What Childcare & Youth Programs Are Available?
For the comfort of all of our guests, all staterooms (cabins), showrooms and most other indoor areas are designated non-smoking. No smoking of any kind will be permitted on any stateroom verandah. Smoking is permitted in designated smoking areas only on all ships.
Are Laundry Facilities Available On Board?
Holland America Line has a youth program for guests ages 3-17. Each ship is staffed with a professional Club Hal® Director dedicated to making sure children have a great time. Some of the fun-filled activities include bingo for prizes, arts & crafts, special parties and much more. Each participant also receives a Club Hal® t-shirt. An activity schedule for each age group will be delivered to your stateroom each evening.
Activities are offered for kids (ages 3-7), 'tweens (8-12) and teens (13-17). The program has an open door policy, which means participants may come and go as they please. All activities are supervised; however, the Club Hal® Director is not responsible for any child if he/she chooses to leave the activity.
Do you offer babysitting on board?
For your comfort and convenience we offer full laundry and dry cleaning service on each ship in the Holland America Line fleet. In your stateroom you will find laundry bags and price lists conveniently located in your closet.
Please note: For safety reasons, travel irons, steamers, and electric water heaters/kettles may not be used in your stateroom.
On sea days, limited babysitting may be available through Guest Services for children five years of age and under. The cost is $10 per hour for the first child and $7 per hour for each additional child. 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 ages 3-12 between 8:00am and 4:00pm on port days. Babysitting will not be allowed while the parents are off the ship, and in-cabin babysitting is not available.
What are shore excursions? Can I purchase shore excursions prior to my cruise?
Shore excursions are available through our partnerships with local suppliers and guides, in the majority of ports we visit. They cover an amazing array of places, landmarks, activities and experiences — from wildlife encounters in the Outback and salsa lessons in Havana to wine-tastings on a French estate and zip-lining in the Costa Rican rainforest. We offer something for every interest, taste and capability level.
Do I have to buy the shore excursions online?
Yes, Holland America's shore excursions can be purchased online once you have booked your cruise and Global Journeys have provided you with a booking number. Online purchases close at three (3) days prior to your cruise. Your shore excursion tickets will be delivered to your suite. All pricing is in U.S. Dollars.
Can I purchase tours for both myself and my companion?
Many tours have limited availability, and booking tours in advance reduces the chance of disappointment. All tour bookings are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Prices are subject to change without notice. Tours are booked and paid with a credit card and a confirmation will be sent to your email address.
If a tour is sold out, many tours offer a waitlist option. If a tour is waitlisted and space becomes available, an email notification will be sent to you at which time you will have 72 hours to book and confirm the tour. Your credit card will be charged once you have confirmed your tour.
Will my kids be able to go on shore excursions with Holland America Line?
Yes, you can purchase tours online for all guests on the booking. You may also purchase excursions for additional bookings.
What is the timing of shore excursions?
Yes, you’ll find a range of experiences to suit the interests and activity levels of everyone in your family. Our family-friendly shore excursions give you new ways to discover destinations together.
What is Explorations Central?
Shore excursion departure times coincide with the ship’s schedule as well as other tours, enabling you to take multiple tours if desired with worry-free return to the ship. In the very rare event that your tour is late and the ship must leave, we will arrange at our expense to get you to the next port of call. With independently booked tours, you are responsible for rejoining the ship at the next port of call.
What if I need to cancel my excursion?
Explorations Central (EXC™) is a one-stop, multi-faceted program that combines indispensable travel resources and on-board enrichment opportunities, making your time ashore more engaging, vivid and meaningful. The program —including our EXC Guides, shore excursions staff and other resources— is located in the Crow’s Nest (on some ships) or another specially designated place.
What if I want to do more than one tour in the same day?
We understand plans change. However, last minute cancellations can result in costs to us or to our third party service providers. Cancellations of shore excursions, spa services or gift orders made more than three days prior to embarkation will be fully refunded; cancellations made onboard or within the three day window prior to embarkation may be subject a cancellation fee. Cancellation fees for certain shore excursions may be up to one hundred percent (100%) of the shore excursion price, depending on the shore excursion.
For onboard cancellations of shore excursions, therefore, please speak with the Shore Excursion department onboard for the actual cancellation fee amount. Cancellations of spa services within twenty-four hours of the appointment are subject to a fifty percent (50%) cancellation fee. All cancellations made onboard will be refunded in the form of onboard credit, regardless of whether the purchase was made by a guest or a third party.
Is it customary to extend gratuities to local tour guides?
In many ports, it is possible to do more than one tour in the same day. Our booking system will not allow tours to be booked within forty-five (45) minutes of each other.
How soon will shore excursions be available for my cruise?
Yes. Holland America tour prices do not include gratuities for guides, drivers and other tour operator staff.
What if the excursion I want is not available, should I waitlist for that excursion?
Holland America’s shore excursions are typically available one year prior to sailing. Guests are encouraged however to go back on line a few times prior to their cruise departure date to see if any new programs have been added.
Can the price of shore excursions change?
Yes. If the excursion is of particular interest to you, please do waitlist for it as our shore side teams monitor sales and will work with our tour providers to add more space or additional departures where possible. Guests are waitlisted in the order received and will receive an email if additional space becomes available. Responses to those emails are limited to seventy-two (72) hours at which time the next guest in line will be able to book the excursion. Destination Managers will also check on additional space once you are on board.
Yes. All excursion pricing is subject to change. As Seabourn tries to make excursions available well in advance of your cruise, we will often encounter cost increases in the form of taxes, transportation costs or admission fees after our tours are made available for sale. Pricing can also be increased based on demand. We encourage guests to book early to receive the best price. All prices are quoted for adults only in U.S. Dollars.