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Expert Guide: Holland America Line Beverage Packages

Holland America Line’s Rotterdam – Highlights Tour (Part 3)

Expert guide: Holland America Line beverage packages

Learn about the HAL drinks packages, inlcuding the popular Holland America Signature beverage package, water packages and wine by the bottle options.

A Holland America Line beverage package can be a convenient and economical way to get drinks on board. Thats because they usually arent included in the cruise fare. The Holland America Signature beverage package is a popular choice for getting drinks by the glass, but there are other options too including water and bottled wine packages.

Children’s Programs On Holland America

Holland America Line has plenty of programs designed to help kids feel welcome and stay entertained aboard a Holland cruise to Alaska. Activities are planned for guests age three to 17, and kids even have their own spaces to play and meet friends while sailing. Club HAL programs are split up by age group, and are supervised by a full-time staff with degrees in education, childhood development, recreation, or other related fields.

Programs include:

  • Club HAL Kids: For kids ages 3-7, with activities like pirate-themed treasure hunts, storytelling, arts and crafts and ice cream parties
  • Club HAL Tweens: For kids ages 8-12, with programming such as Xbox tournaments, karaoke disco parties, and ship-wide scavenger hunts
  • The Loft for Teens: For teens ages 13-17, with mocktail mixology classes, late night athletic competitions, hip-hop classes and teen-only nightclub events planned
  • Culinary Arts Center: Besides enrichment programs for adults, Holland offers kid-friendly events too basic cooking and kitchen safety classes are offered for two age groups – 3 to 7 and 8 to 15

Babysitting services are available on sea days for kids over the age of three. An after-hours program is also available between 10 p.m. to 12 p.m., with activities and care provided to kids ages 3-12 for $5 per child, per hour.

I Want To Cook Like That

And if eating it is not enough, Holland America Line offers a Culinary Arts Centre where every day you can learn to cook just like a master chef.

We enjoyed Mark Bests honeycomb and whipped crème fraiche. Even the kids learned a thing or two, and of course those taste tests went down a treat.

If cooking doesn’t light your fire, the Culinary Arts Centre also highlights the equally important complement – drinking! Each cruise holds wine tasting and mixology classes .

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Holland America Has A Long History Of Traditional Cruising On Spacious Elegant Midsize Ships

Holland America has a long history of traditional cruising on spacious, elegant midsize ships. The line is known for its gracious service and sophisticated dining, and its fleet sails to ports of call on all seven continents. Décor includes an abundance of fresh flowers, museum-quality art and attention to detail. Work out in the fitness centre, take in a movie at the cinema, learn yoga, pamper yourself with a massage, take a class in the state-of-the-art Culinary Arts Centre demonstration kitchen or check your email in the Explorations Café. Whatever you choose, there’s an onboard activity for everyone.

How To Snag A Free Drinks Package

Up close and personal look at Holland America Line

Most big-ship lines offer one or more drinks packages for an extra charge but you might be able to get one of the packages for free. Some big-ship lines will throw in drinks packages for no extra cost as a perk during limited-time booking promotions.

The line perhaps best known for throwing in free drinks packages as a booking perk is Norwegian. Norwegian seemingly always is running some variation of its Free at Sea promotion that brings a choice of a free drinks package, free specialty dining, free excursions and other perks. Depending on the cabin category you book, you can get one or more of the freebies thrown in.

Other lines that sometimes run promotions with free drinks packages include Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and Holland America.

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Holland America Beverage Packages Price

The cost is $44.95 per person + 15% gratuity and it has to purchased by all the adults in the cabin. This comes to $51.69 per day and a total of $723.70 for 2 people on a 7 day cruise. The package is priced slightly below all the other packages of the other cruise lines, about $3 to $4 less per day.

Holland America Line Drink Package Basics

There are some basic things you need to know about the Holland America Line drink packages before you make your decision.

Each Holland America drink package is priced per day, per person.

Further, the package must be purchased for the entire duration of the cruise.

There is also an 18% service charge automatically added to all Beverage Packages. Additional taxes may be added at the time of purchase for certain itineraries or ports of embarkation.

These packages may be purchased pre-cruise using your online cruise planner or once onboard the ship during the first or second day of your cruise. These packages are non-transferrable and non-refundable.

Further, there is no sharing of drink packages.

All adults of legal drinking age staying in the same stateroom must purchase the same Holland America Line alcoholic drink package. Underage guests must purchase the Quench Package.

Quench, Signature, and Elite Packages have a daily limit of 15 beverages. Further, you can only order one drink at a time.

Beverage packages work at any onboard bars, lounges, cafes, The Dining Room, and specialty restaurants.

However, these packages exclude the mini-bar, In-Room Dining, and any self-service draft beer.

Beverages on the private island of Half Moon Cay are also not included.

Of note, Holland America Line does offer a variety of complimentary beverages which do not require the purchase of a drink package. These include juice during breakfast, non-bottled water, iced tea, and brewed coffee.

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Holland America Line Navigator

Holland America Line Navigator is a free app that you can use once onboard your cruise ship. With this app, youll be able to organize and plan your trip.

  • Keep in touch with traveling companions
  • Plan daily activities
  • Purchase and use onboard Wi-Fi
  • View and purchase onboard photos
  • View spa treatments

Lido Restaurant: Grand Buffet


Every cruise ship has one. The LidoRestaurant with gorgeous sea views and a near-constant flow of an abundance of food. Holland Americas buffet may not have been open 24 hours, however it ranked very highly on quality.

The Lido staff were consistently friendly and always willing to help us find a seat in the very crowded dining room.

My favourite part of the breakfast – freshly squeezed orange juice . My perfect start to the morning and full of vitamins. Amongst others, breakfast options included a cook-to-order omelette station, pancake station and my favourite: eggs benedict. Yes, I could enjoy eggs benedict just the way I liked!

During lunch one station regularly transformed showing off cuisine from around the world Indian, Malaysian, Chinese, and more. Otherwise we hit up the sushi station, pizza and pasta, gourmet sandwiches and an extensive salad bar. Josh loved the on-demand pasta station and could get basil pesto linguine made just the way he liked – with extra garlic.

We rarely ate in the Lido for dinner, opting for fine dining at Vista, but we brought the kids there for dinner several times and the food was just as good as lunch time.

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Are Holland America Line Drink Packages Worth It

Now, the question becomes are Holland America Lines drink packages worth it for you to purchase.

If we look at the alcoholic drink packages, you would need to spend at least $60 a day to break even with the Elite package and $55 to break even with the Signature package. This would equate to about 5-6 cocktails or glasses of wine. This number would be more like 7-8 beers.

Obviously, this number could be less if you plan to drink a good number of specialty coffees, bottles of water, or sodas.

If we look at the Quench package, you would need to spend at least $18 a day to break even. This would equate to about 4 specialty coffees, bottles of water, or any combination of the two.

Using the chart below, you can do the quick math to see if you would routinely hit the daily break even point for the above drink packages.


Holland America Lines Black Friday Sale Includes Crew Appreciation With Shore Excursions Drinks Specialty Dining And Wi

Guests can book with $99 deposits and receive the five perks through Nov. 30

Seattle, Wash., Nov. 22, 2021 With Holland America Lines Black Friday Sale, travelers can have it all for the holidays and beyond. For one week only, guests can book a stateroom on select 2021-23 cruises with a reduced deposit of $99 and receive the Have it All package of shore excursions, beverages, specialty dining and Wi-Fi, plus Holland America Line will include crew appreciation, valued at $100 per person. The Black Friday Sale runs Nov. 23 through Nov. 30, 2021.

With the Black Friday Sale, travelers looking to get out and explore can book a cruise to all seven continents that departs from Nov. 30, 2021, through Dec. 31, 2023. Cruise destinations include Alaska, the Caribbean, Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, Panama Canal, Canada/New England, Hawaii, the South Pacific, South America, Antarctica, Australia and New Zealand, the U.S. Pacific Coast and more. Alaska Cruisetours, which combine an Alaska cruise with an overland exploration to Denali and the Yukon, also are included.

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Dutch Shipping And Passenger Line

Holland America Line was founded in 1873, as the Nederlandsche-Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Maatschappij , in short Holland-Amerika Lijn, a shipping and passenger line. It was headquartered in Rotterdam, in the building which is now the Hotel New York. It provided service from its European base to the Americas over the North Atlantic. The company was formed as a result of the reorganization of an earlier company, Plate, Reuchlin & Co. The company’s first ship was the original Rotterdam , which sailed its 15-day maiden voyage from the Netherlands to New York City on October 15, 1872. Other services were started to other new world ports, including Hoboken, Baltimore and South America. Cargo service to New York started in 1809.

During the first 25 years, the company carried 400,000 people from Europe to the Americas. Other North American ports were added during the early 20th century.

Though transportation and shipping were the primary sources of revenue, in 1895, HAL offered its first vacation cruise. Its second vacation cruise, from New York to Palestine, was first offered in 1910.

One notable ship was the elegant 36,000-gross register tonSS Nieuw Amsterdam of 1937, it and RMS Queen Mary being the only two liners built in the 1930s to make a profit.

Another notable ship during the post-war period was the SS Rotterdam of 1959, one of the first North Atlantic ships equipped for two-class transatlantic crossing and one-class luxury cruising.

Former fleet

Dining & Drinks On Holland America

Holland America vs. Celebrity Cruises

While dining venues vary by ship, you can expect plenty of options onboard a Holland America Cruise. Guests can choose from a traditional pre-set seating on one level of the main dining room, or come at any time between 5:15 and 9:00 p.m. on the other level. During the day , dine at a specialty restaurant or grab a light bite around the ship, such as a finger sandwich at afternoon tea or a scoop from the ice cream bar.

The Pinnacle Grill is a must on cruises to Alaska, as it is inspired by the Pacific Northwest, and serves fresh dishes like king salmon, responsibly raised beef, and a selection of boutique wines from the area. If you’re feeling French, try Sel de Mer, an intimate brasserie specializing in French seafood like oysters, whole fish, and bouillabaisse. The Lido Market offers a casual breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with many themed stations as well as sushi, sandwiches and a salad bar.

Of course, in-room dining is always available should you like a romantic breakfast in bed or an early dinner before an evening expedition. Holland America is also happy to accommodate special dietary needs for vegetarian, diabetic or gluten-free diets with advance notice. Kosher meals and health-conscious dining options are available as well.

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Accessibility On Holland America Cruises

Holland America seeks to provide a quality cruise experience for all guests. Safe, easy and accessible accommodations can be expected on every ship, and additional modifications are always being made to ensure the best trip for every guest. All public rooms and elevators onboard Holland America ships are wheelchair accessible, as are designated public restrooms. Specially designated wheelchair-accessible staterooms are available, and are equipped with roll-in showers with hand-held shower nozzles, shower seats, and heavy-duty handrails. These rooms also have wider doors to accommodate most wheelchairs and scooters. Let your Cruise Specialist know as soon as possible if you would like to stay in an accessible stateroom or if you have any questions regarding accessibility onboard a Holland America ship.

Holland America Alaska Cruise Ships

More than half the ships in Holland America’s 14-ship fleet sail to Alaska, including the ms Nieuw Amsterdam, built in 2010, the ms Eurodam, and the ms Noordam. These ships have nearly a 2:1 staff-to-guest ratio, and carry between 1,400 and 2,100 passengers. Holland America’s ships boast fully-equipped fitness centers, a Greenhouse Spa & Salon, thermal and outdoor pools, basketball and volleyball courts, Digital Workshops, a new cooking space called America’s Test Kitchen, numerous dining venues, a casino, bars, a theater and more.

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Explore Holland America Line Ships

Member reviews become available after at least 5 are received in order to provide you with an accurate picture of this travel product.

Holland America Lines first Signature-class cruise ship, Eurodam has delighted guests since her maiden voyage. In addition to amazing evening entertainment, an array of activities allows you to pursue new interests or relax and rejuvenate. Experience onboard cooking shows and hands-on workshops. On deck enjoy two outdoor pools, along with basketball and volleyball courts.


Member reviews become available after at least 5 are received in order to provide you with an accurate picture of this travel product.

Launched in 2016, Koningsdam carries forward all of the tradition, nautical heritage, and signature service and style for which Holland America Line is known, while raising the bar for 21st-century elegance. Pinnacle means “high point” and the debut of Koningsdam is a high point in Holland America Line history.


Member reviews become available after at least 5 are received in order to provide you with an accurate picture of this travel product.


Member reviews become available after at least 5 are received in order to provide you with an accurate picture of this travel product.


Member reviews become available after at least 5 are received in order to provide you with an accurate picture of this travel product.

Activities On Holland America

Holland America Drinks Packages Explained

Fill your days on a Holland America Cruise with an array of entertainment, enrichment activities, and nightlife. Holland has teamed up with America’s Test Kitchen to offer onboard cooking shows and hands-on workshops where you can learn cooking techniques and delicious recipes to make back on land. There is also the Greenhouse Spa & Salon, where you can kick back and relax while getting a massage, manicure or pedicure, facial, or other wellness treatment.

Holland has plenty of activities designed to stretch your brain, like Digital Workshop classes sponsored by Windows, and BBC Earth Natural History activities including concerts, films and shows. You can easily stay active in the fitness center, which is stocked with cardio and weight machines, or outside on the basketball or volleyball courts. For art lovers, there is a gallery walk hosting collections of art and antiques.

Other cruise ships staples like a casino, library, and theater are available onboard too. Enjoy classical music at Lincoln Center Stage, jazz at the B.B. King Blues Club, or live pop music and trivia at Billboard Onboard. The ships have several bars & lounges throughout too sip a cocktail in the Gallery Bar, drink wine before a stunning view in the Crow’s Nest, or get your groove on in the Northern Lights Nightclub.

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Hal Cruise Shore Excursions Best Price Guarantee

Since November 2017, HAL offers a “best price guarantee” for customers with pre-booked shore excursions . The new program is available fleetwide and on all cruise itineraries, excluding only voyages in Asia. By the program, any booked passenger who finds a comparable excursion/tour deal elsewhere at a lower price will receive an OBC of 110% of the price difference.

The request must be submitted online up to 7 days prior cruise ship departure. Booked passengers are notified within 2 days of submission if the tour/excursion meets the “Best Price Guarantee” requirements. If eligible, booked passengers receive a non-refundable OBC to be used during the voyage.

Best Price Guarantee applies only to publicly available and advertised with pricing tour deals. Passengers canceling their HAL tour on the ship are not eligible for “Best Price Guarantee” OBC. The new program further guarantees HAL tour deals’ exceptional value, competitive pricing, and best quality. As of 2018, through HAL can be purchased over 4100 tours/excursions in around 550 cruise ports.

Itinerary Of Holland America

The list of HAL-Holland America cruise destinations includes Alaska, Caribbean , Hawaii, Europe , Australia, Asia, Canada and New England USA, Transatlantic , South America, Around The World voyages.

At CruiseMapper you can easily compare all HAL cruise itinerary changes per liner on a single page. The comparison of all HAL destinations by boat will give you all homeport and itinerary changes in the company’s current program.

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