Is Holland America Website the worst of all western based cruise lines?

Nolafolks

Deck Crew
In August 2023 we booked a HAVE IT ALL cruise on HAL for May of 2024. The booking was paid in full by November 2023. This is our first cruise on HAL and in fact our first cruise since 1987 so we anticipated much had changed. I paid the booking off early in anticipation of early access to booking for specialty dining and excursions, which I was told could be easily handled through the HAL website.

While I was able to register (pre-board) via the website, including the almost $900 hold on my credit card for any billings, something no one told me about until I had already completed the booking and payment) but using the site to access specialty dining and excursions has been a no go since November. Either they are sold out, or the site is not functioning properly every time I log in. If this is any indication of what I can expect from our Holland America experience I regret the booking already.

If there is a secrete to using this I wish someone would tell me. Are all cruselines this difficult to deal with?
 

BSeabob

Forum Manager
Staff member
The secret is to have a Travel Agent that will work with the cruise line for you. On the website specifically sometimes things go smoothly and sometimes they don't no different than on mainline cruise sites in my experience.
 

red stripe

Staff Captain
Nola.. we love HAL.. and Celebrity..and Princess.. and Cunard!..and RCI…
BUT.. BSea is giving you the best advice.. get a good TA to work with.

cruiseline websites? Princess and Cunard are good to work with…
and OK.. HALs sucks!
 

seamom

Staff Captain
I could tell a very long tale of HAL call in service but I will say I no longer go rushing to the site to sign in for ‘Private Sales’ and ‘Special Offers’ after I get an email from them… unless I’m missing something, they’ve never been a penny less than anyone could see on the open public web.
 

Nolafolks

Deck Crew
Seamom, I have found the same with the "private: site, or once you have signed in. We have a travel agent that has been helpful with the booking. I am now frustrated with just booking things like specialty dining an shore excursions. Also getting basic info like what nights are "special event" like the infamous Orange night or glamour or "formal" night. You would think that once you are confirmed and have do the pre-boarding thing is done that this type of information would be easily available. I have found it all a bit disconcerting.
 

Nolafolks

Deck Crew
Please tell me what you mean by "specific date"FB pages. Are there Face Book pages for specific sailing dates for various cruses? Ex: a HAL FB account (FB.com/HAL) with pages specific to my sailing date or is it more specific (FB.com/HAL-Nieuw Amsterdam 5-5-2023)?
 

seamom

Staff Captain
Please tell me what you mean by "specific date"FB pages. Are there Face Book pages for specific sailing dates for various cruses? Ex: a HAL FB account (FB.com/HAL) with pages specific to my sailing date or is it more specific (FB.com/HAL-Nieuw Amsterdam 5-5-2023)?
Yes, if you post here and don’t find anyone sailing with you and in addition to this site, often a passenger will start a Facebook group for a cruise which they are booked on to meet and discuss with interested fellow passengers and start a meet and mingle on the first sea day. I’ve been here during sailing times since 2000 and am on an FB site for my current sailing. Search for Holland America and/or ship name and month in full/year variations… depends on the person creating the group.
 
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