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Holland America Explorations Central Creates In-Depth Cruise Experiences

Holland America delves deeper into destination experiences.

What better way to cultivate new cruisers and keep dedicated Holland America Mariners coming back for more than to create a unique destination immersion program; Explorations Central, or EXC.

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Located on the top deck, in an area affectionately known on many Holland America ships as the Crow’s Nest, Exploration Central will be hub for interactive destination discoveries. As part of Explorations Central, guests will be able to learn more about the ports on their itinerary, including little known facts to enhance their shoreside experiences. There will even be an electronic board that displays a virtual ship’s bridge with data in real-time.

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This new conceptual space will open on select ships over the next two years. First with the Westerdam in late April 2017, and across the entire fleet by the end of the year.

Explorations Central is revolutionizing the way we deliver destinations to our guests, and it’s going to profoundly change how our guests are immersed in the history, culture and cuisine of the places we visit,” said Orlando Ashford , Holland America Line’s president. EXC is going to show our guests the world in a whole new way and enable them to engage in truly meaningful experiences.”

For those who love a coffee with a view, a newer version of the Explorations Cafe will still be there along with many more of these digital and interactive experiences.

A new EXC Team will staff the new area and provide answers to questions about local culture and history of the port. EXC Guides will be well-versed to recommend shore excursions and exploration based on guests’ requests as well as answer questions pertaining to each port.

EXC Encounters will bring local cultural representatives on board to stir up excitement for the next port visit. Guests might learn how to play the steel drums from a Trinidadian, make a flower lei with a native Hawaiian or create a sense of balance and serenity every morning in a class led by a master tai chi instructor. AFAR Media will provide special handbooks for each destination.

Each stateroom will also have the EXC Channel that will feature a selection of curated films, documentaries and TV shows exploring destinations on the ship’s itinerary.

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Holland America Brings Explorations Central Program Onboard

Ashford making the announcement.

Promising its guests a better destination experience, Holland America Line is introducing an Explorations Central (EXC) program based in a central location on each ship.  

Destination experts, called EXC Guides, will be stationed at the shipboard centers to offer destination education and advice. Each center also will have a coffee bar, EXC Port Guides for each destination, and EXC Port Maps that highlight sights of interest in each port. 

The guides also will hold scheduled talks during sailings and host gatherings that offer language and cultural etiquette lessons. 

The cruise line, which sails to 400 ports in 120 countries on all seven continents, is hoping to “enhance your ability to truly engage,” and provide guests with “the most vivid experience possible,” president Orlando Ashford said in announcing the program on Wednesday.  

Holland America also will offer EXC Encounters, in which local cultural representatives will come on board before a ship enters a port to give guests a taste of local culture and tradition—such as lessons in  tai chi or playing the steel drums or making a flower lei.

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Following the same theme is new stateroom programming that will add an EXC Channel to each television, providing “a portal to the destination” that guests have just experienced or are about to experience.  

EXC will be rolled out first to ms Westerdam in April 2017 and then to the entire Holland America fleet through 2018.   

“For those people that really want to travel, there’s nothing wrong with vacationing, there’s nothing wrong with touring,” Ashford said. “But Holland America’s strength is that we cater really well to travelers. For those of your clients who really want to do that, I think Holland America is a perfect partner.” 

Cuba and Turkey update   Ashford touched upon new destinations for Holland America. The line hopes to gain permission to visit Cuba “in the very near future,” though it has yet to get clearance.  

But it will only return to Turkey, which it began avoiding because of safety concerns earlier this year, when it’s safe to do so, Ashford said. But whenever Holland America does schedule sailings to Turkey or Cuba, EXC will be part of them. 

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Holland America launches shore excursion Best Price Guarantee

Post date: Nov 8 2017

Date: Nov 8 2017

By: Travelweek Group

SEATTLE — Holland America Line passengers who pre-book the cruise line’s EXC Tours will get the lowest rates through a brand new Best Price Guarantee program.

The Best Price Guarantee is available on all ships and all itineraries except Asia cruises and promises that if a guest finds a comparable shore excursion elsewhere at a lower price, Holland America Line will provide an onboard credit of 110% of the price difference.

“Shore excursions are an essential part of the cruise for many of our guests, and we’re introducing Best Price Guarantee because we believe our EXC Tours offer exceptional value, competitive pricing and the highest quality,” said Holland America Line President, Orlando Ashford.

He added: “We’ve taken an extensive amount of care in creating experiences that showcase the best of each destination and offer something for every taste, whether it’s enjoying the iconic sites through a different lens or someone who’s looking for something special and unique.”

If a guest pre-books a Holland America Line EXC Tour (shore excursion) and then finds an equivalent tour that offers the same amenities and experiences, including date, time, duration, transportation and meals, then a request easily can be submitted through an online form up to seven days before cruise departure. Guests will be notified within two days of submission if the tour meets the requirements for Best Price Guarantee.

If eligible, guests will receive a non-refundable onboard credit to be used during their cruise. Best Price Guarantee only applies to shore excursions that are advertised with pricing and publicly available. Guests who cancel their EXC Tour on board will not be eligible for the Best Price Guarantee credit.

Holland America Line’s EXC Tour lineup now includes more than 4,100 tours in nearly 550 ports.

The Best Price Guarantee submission form can be accessed at hollandamerica.com by all booked guests once they have checked in online.

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Holland America Line Introduces Culinary-themed EXC Tours (Shore Excursions) Developed in Partnership with FOOD & WINE

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Holland America Line Introduces Culinary-themed EXC Tours   

Currently Mediterranean and Northern Europe cruises feature FOOD & WINE tours

Holland America Line;

The long-time partnership between Holland America Line and FOOD & WINE has delivered immersive culinary experiences for more than a dozen years. The collaboration is expanding with a collection of exciting culinary-themed EXC Tours (shore excursions), that explore food, wine and culture in some of the world's hottest gastronomic locales. 

"Holland America Line continues to develop deeply immersive experiences in the ports we visit, and through our partnership with FOOD & WINE we've been able to craft exceptional new excursions that show the culinary side of these destinations in some very special ways," said Orlando Ashford , president of Holland America Line. "We want to do more than simply take our guests to a local restaurant. We want them to cook with the restaurant chefs, visit hidden hotspots only the locals know about, and combine food and culture with fun and unique experiences."

Twenty-three new shore excursions are now available for booking on select 2018 cruises to the Mediterranean and Northern Europe . FOOD & WINE EXC Tours on Mediterranean cruises are offered in Dubrovnik, Croatia ; Kerkira, Nisos Kerkira (Corfu), and Thira (Santorini) , Greece ; Livorno (Florence), Naples and Venice, Italy ; Monte Carlo, Monaco ; Kotor, Montenegro ; and Cádiz ( Seville ), Barcelona and Málaga (Granada), Spain .

Guests on Northern Europe cruises will find FOOD & WINE EXC Tours in Copenhagen, Denmark ; Tallinn, Estonia ; Helsinki, Finland ; Kiel (Hamburg) , Germany ; Reykjavik, Iceland ; Bergen, Norway ; St. Petersburg, Russia ; and Stockholm, Sweden .

Guests have the opportunity to take hands-on cooking classes, go on culinary walking tours, visit wineries, sample street food, explore local hideaways and more. Noteworthy FOOD & WINE EXC Tours include "La Boqueria Market Cooking Experience" in Barcelona that includes a hands-on culinary workshop led by chef Txema Aroca; "Ino & the Uffizi Gallery" in Livorno, combining the finest art with the best local street food; Copenhagen's "Smorrebrod: The Art of Sandwich Making," where participants learn everything including how to bake bread and create authentic toppings; "Nordic Food Walk" in Stockholm that is a delicious gastronomic journey through the old Haymarket — now the Hötorgshallen Food Market; and a hands-on cooking class in the kitchen of the renowned Selene restaurant in Santorini.

Over the next year, FOOD & WINE EXC Tours will be available in an expanding array of destinations, including additional European ports, Alaska , Australia , New Zealand , Asia , Canada /New England, Caribbean , Mexico , South America and more. 

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Holland america line offers new exc in-depth voyages with zodiac excursions.

This September  Holland America Line  will offer an innovative approach to cruising for travelers who are looking for thoughtful and immersive ways to see the world. New  EXC In-Depth Voyages  onboard the 1,258 guest  Maasdam  will explore some of the most fascinating corners of the globe on itineraries from 12 to 34 days, using world-renowned experts, local scholars and customized Zodiac tours to immerse guests in the experience.

With EXC In-Depth Voyages, each journey will offer guests a variety of themes and choices to tailor their exploration: photography, science and nature, arts and culture, food, wine and spirits, history and perspective and active exploration. Guests will be able to focus on one area of interest or combine their passions through onboard enrichment and captivating shore activities, choosing to do as much or as little as they like.

NOTABLE EXPERTS LEAD WORKSHOPS, SEMINARS AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

From September 2018 through April 2019, EXC In-Depth Voyages will expand Holland America Line’s exciting Explorations Central (EXC) programming by creating a total experience on board and ashore. Onboard enrichment will be guided by a special resident team of subject-matter experts – covering such topics as marine and bird life, geology, cultural anthropology, history and more – who sail on all EXC In-Depth cruises, complementing each adventure with informative talks and insightful discussions of their own field experiences.

A sea day could for example include a lecture on Captain Cook (history and perspective), discovering the indigenous breadfruit (food, wine and spirits), growing coral (science and nature), DSLR Basics (photography) and a traditional tattoo design workshop (arts and culture). Additional EXC programming on board will be designed to bring guests together with similar interests and will offer interactive activities, destination insight from location experts and EXC Guides, and cultural encounters to make each cruise more engaging and meaningful.

Since EXC In-Depth Voyages are designed with added emphasis on the destination and onboard learning, the evening entertainment will reflect the local culture instead of mainstage production shows. America’s Test Kitchen will be replaced with local chefs, locally sourced ingredients and local traditions to enhance the culinary offerings. And while junior cruisers are welcome, Club HAL kids’ activities will not be offered on EXC In-Depth Voyages.

ZODIAC INFLATABLE BOATS AMPLIFY UP-CLOSE EXPERIENCES

Maasdam will carry Zodiac inflatable boats, the type popularized by famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, giving guests the opportunity to explore less-accessible sites and wildlife habitats in select ports as part of the ships EXC Tours program. A mix of onboard experts and local guides will co-guide the Zodiac outings to enrich the experience for guests.

Other shoreside activities will focus on offering memorable experiences like photographing the colors of a Tahitian market (photography), taking a guided walking tour of Komodo National Park in search of the Komodo dragon (active exploration), touring the Nukubalavu Village and seeing the Fijian kava welcoming ceremony (arts and culture), visiting famous ruins in Thailand (history and perspective) and watching the platypus playing in billabongs in Australia (science and nature).

OFF-THE-BEATEN TRACK ISLANDS AND PORTS

The ports on EXC In-Depth itineraries were selected to evoke curiosity and inspire wonder. Maasdam will visit 154 ports in 36 countries on 12 individual cruises with guests having the opportunity to explore far-flung locales like Easter Island, Pitcairn Island, Java, the Maldives, the Marquesas and Nuku Hiva. Twenty-eight ports are maiden calls or have not been visited by Holland America Line ships in years.

EXC IN-DEPTH VOYAGES RANGE FROM 12 TO 239 DAYS

The first EXC In-Depth Voyage will depart Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on  September 10, 2018 , and set sail for Papeete, Tahiti, via the Panama Canal. Along the way the ship will call at ports on the west coast of South America, sail across the Pacific Ocean to Easter Island and visit several South Pacific islands during the 34-day voyage. Maasdam will then spend October and part of November exploring the South Pacific before heading to New Zealand.

Come December, Maasdam will journey along the southern coast of Australia. The ship will spend January cruising the northwest coast of Australia up to Singapore where it will embark on a 20-day adventure in the culturally rich Indian Ocean region. Following a 20-day Southeast Asia itinerary in February 2019, the ship will explore the Spice Islands and ports along the northeastern coast of Australia, then sail back to the South Pacific and chart a course throughout the idyllic islands. The final EXC In-Depth cruise will be a 24-day Polynesian Crossing ending at San Francisco, California,  May 7, 2019 .

All cruises can be combined to form longer voyages extending up to an incredible 239-day adventure that covers French Polynesia, the South Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean.

Overnight calls are a highlight of the EXC In-Depth Voyages. Guests will have overnight experiences in Callao (Lima) in Peru, Easter Island, Papeete (French Polynesia), Tauranga and Waitangi (New Zealand), Adelaide (Australia), Singapore, Laem Chabang (Bangkok) in Thailand, Sihanoukville (Cambodia), Halong Bay (Vietnam) and Hong Kong in China.

Learn more about Holland America Line’s Explorations Central, or  EXC  as Holland America calls its new destination immersion experience in “ Holland America goes interactive with Explorations Central and Rijksmuseum at Sea “.

Fares for the EXC In-Depth Voyages start at $1,599 per person, double occupancy, for a 12-day sailing. Taxes, fees and port expenses are additional. Air specials are available on select cruises: Fly roundtrip Los Angeles, California, for $999 per person when booking the  October 14  or  October 28, 2018 , 14-Day Polynesian Idyll cruise. Additional gateways also are available from $1,199 per person.

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Holland America drink packages: Cost, inclusions and what to know before you buy

Melinda Crow

Beverage packages aren't for everyone, but they can be a nice way to give your cruise vacation a more luxurious, all-inclusive feel. If you're sailing Holland America , drink packages are available as optional add-ons to your cruise fare. Choose from four different packages, ranging from a simple soda package to an option that includes premium alcoholic beverages.

Sorting out the differences between the packages and understanding what you are actually paying for can be confusing. Most cruisers want to know what exactly they're getting with each drink package and whether or not the packages will save them money.

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If you're considering a Holland America drink package for your next cruise, here's everything you need to know before making your purchase.

What's included in Holland America drink packages?

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Holland America alcohol packages aren't the only drink packages available. The line offers two nonalcoholic packages and two options with alcoholic beverages.

All packages allow you to order beverages at most bars, restaurants, entertainment venues and poolside. Exceptions include self-serve draft beer where available and drinks in the Chocolate Seduction and Honor Bar. Packages do not include drinks consumed from in-cabin minibars, ordered from room service or purchased on Half Moon Cay. All packages except the Coca-Cola package have quantity limits.

Related: Cruise ship drink packages: A line-by-line guide

Coca-Cola package

Sodas are not included in your cruise fare, and passengers may not bring them on board. That leaves soda drinkers with the choice to buy a beverage package, pay per drink or get their soft drink fix in ports of call.

The Coca-Cola package covers fountain drinks from bars and bar servers on all ships in the fleet. Three ships — Koningsdam, Rotterdam and Nieuw Statendam — have Coca-Cola Freestyle fountain machines that allow you to mix and match your flavors at will. Canned soft drinks are not included in the package, but fountain drinks are unlimited.

You might consider this package if you're the person who relies on soft drinks to quench your thirst throughout the day and drink few, if any, cocktails, mocktails, beer, wine or spirits. It works great for tweens and teens who regularly drink soda.

Quench package

The Quench package includes unlimited fountain soft drinks and up to 15 specialty coffees, bottled water (still and sparkling), fresh juices or mocktails per day.

With this package, you can order your favorite coffee each morning at Explorations Café, drink sodas with your lunch, chill with a frozen mocktail by the pool in the afternoon and grab bottled water before you head out on a day of exploring in port— all without worrying about the individual cost.

Quench would be the Holland America drink package for someone who dives into the vacation spirit with beverage treats throughout the day and evening, but mostly enjoys them sans alcohol.

Signature beverage package

The Signature beverage package is the mainstay Holland America alcohol package. It covers beer, wine, spirits and cocktails priced under $11, plus everything from the Quench package. There is a 15-drink limit, whether alcoholic or non, not counting fountain soft drinks.

You can order a drink with a price higher than the $11 maximum and will be charged only the price difference plus gratuity.

The Signature package satisfies the beverage needs of most cruisers. Unless you prefer top-shelf liquor, you'll be fine with this package. Even the quantity limit of 15 drinks takes care of the average cruiser. If you party into the wee hours of the night, you'd have to order a drink from the package every hour and a half almost around the clock to use all 15.

All adults of legal drinking age within a cabin must buy the same alcoholic drink package. If one person does not drink, they can be granted special permission to buy only the Quench package.

Related: The best drinks to order with a cruise ship beverage package

Elite beverage package

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For those who want to eliminate some of the limits on their drink package, Elite is the way to go. This package includes everything from the earlier packages but raises the price limit to $15 per drink. That covers premium beer, wine and spirits.

The daily limit is also removed for nonalcoholic drinks. That means you can drink all the fountain drinks, specialty coffee, bottled water and mocktails you want without touching your 15-drink limit on alcoholic beverages, which for most cruisers, means you're not likely to reach the limit at all.

What does a Holland America drink package cost?

Here are the standard Holland America drink package prices:

Coca-Cola package : $9.44 per person, per day ($8 plus an 18% gratuity) for unlimited fountain sodas, including from Freestyle machines on select ships

Quench package: $21.18 per person, per day ($17.95 plus an 18% gratuity) for unlimited fountain sodas and up to 15 nonalcoholic drinks per day

Signature beverage package: $64.84 per person, per day ($54.95 plus an 18% gratuity) for unlimited fountain sodas and up to 15 alcoholic or nonalcoholic drinks up to $11 each

Elite beverage package: $70.74 per person, per day ($59.95 plus an 18% gratuity) for unlimited fountain sodas, unlimited nonalcoholic beverages and up to 15 alcoholic drinks up to $15 each

I was hard-pressed to find any discounts off the advertised Holland America drink package prices. Even in the midst of Black Friday sales, the only beverage-related discount I found was for the line's Have It All package that upgrades your cruise fare to a more inclusive experience by bundling the Signature beverage package with Wi-Fi, specialty dining and shore excursion credit (with the last two based on the length of the cruise).

It should be noted, however, that the Holland America website states drink package pricing as "starting at." That would imply that the prices could increase from time to time, though I could not find anyone who said they had paid more than the posted prices.

Related: The best cruise ship bars

Drink discounts beyond the drink packages

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Before you settle on a drink package, know that it's not your only option for discounted alcohol or inclusive pricing. Holland America offers some add-on items that can be used to supplement or entirely replace a drink package under certain circumstances.

The first is an option to purchase a bundle of wines by the bottle called The Sommelier Suite. You can choose from three different wine lists at three different price points. You can then opt to buy four, six or eight bottles from your preferred list.

Prices start at $119 for a four-bottle package on the lowest-priced list and go as high as $329 for eight bottles on the highest-priced list. These prices are advertised as "up to 25 percent off" the menu price before the 18% gratuity.

Frequent cruisers who are members of Holland America's Mariner Society are offered a 25% discount on the Sommelier Suite packages after 75 cruise days and 50% off after 200 cruise days. Even without the Mariner discounts, the package price makes sense for anyone who enjoys wine on multiple nights of their cruise. You can drink the bottles in any restaurant, share them with friends and even take them to your cabin.

Related: How to get free or cheap drinks on a cruise

The final alternative to beverage packages on Holland America is to purchase pay-as-you-go drink cards. These are not discounted but offer the ability to control drink spending or simplify drink accounting by pre-purchasing what is essentially a drink debit card. Funds left on the card at the end of the cruise are refundable to your onboard account.

Holland America cruisers I found on social media report buying the drink cards with cruise line gift cards bought at a 10% discount at some grocery stores and websites, essentially gaining a 10% discount on the drinks they purchase with the drink card. (By the same token, you could use the discounted gift cards to buy your standard drink package, as well.)

You can also purchase gift cards with credit cards, such as the American Express® Gold Card , that give you extra points per dollar spent at grocery stores to get additional value from your purchase.

Is a drink package worth it on your Holland America cruise?

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Now that you have the facts, it's time to decide if the packages are worth the price. Remember that free drinks on board include drip coffee, hot and iced tea, water, lemonade, milk and punch, available at meals and drink stations. The ship's water is drinkable, and you can bring a refillable water bottle, which is particularly useful on port excursions.

Fountain soft drinks ordered from a bar are cheap on Holland America at $2.50 (plus tip) each, but that's for a small glass. Serious soda drinkers (me included) could suck down a couple of these in a flash on a hot day in the Caribbean.

Since Holland America does not allow even canned soft drinks to be brought on board at embarkation, this package price seems easy to match for those who regularly drink one or more large sodas at home, especially when cruising in a warm destination. On the three ships offering Freestyle machines, the purchase is definitely a no-brainer.

Related: Are cruise line drink packages worth the price? What to know before you buy

This is my favorite package for making me feel like I'm really on a cruise vacation. I'm a lightweight drinker when it comes to alcoholic drinks, but I can slurp frozen mocktails (which average around $8 each) all day long on a sea day.

Since the package also includes unlimited soft drinks, you can have soda with your hamburger at lunch, followed by a virgin mudslide for dessert if that's what makes you happy. Add in the bottled water, which is the only part of any drink package you can take with you to Half Moon Cay, and it all starts to look quite convenient.

If you drink one specialty coffee per day at around $4.50, two or three of the skimpy fountain sodas, and at least one mocktail per day, you'll top the $17.95 package price without even counting the bottled water, which can be as high as $4.50 for sparkling brands.

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Holland America's main alcohol package packs in quite a bit for the money, allowing you to enjoy a nice combination of nonalcoholic and alcoholic drinks. At $54.95, if you don't drink anything but the $11 drinks allowed by the package, you'd need to drink five per day to break even.

But factor in a specialty coffee every morning, some bottled water on port days and a soda now and then, and your break-even alcoholic drink tally drops to three or four. If that looks like your typical cruise consumption, you'll at least break even on this package.

The best way to get this package, however, might be by purchasing what Holland America calls the Have It All package , which includes not only the drink package, but Surf Wi-Fi, shore excursion credit ranging from $100 for a six- to nine-night sailing up to $300 for cruises longer than 21 nights, and at least one specialty dining night. It is not available on every cruise, but when it is, the $55 price per person, per day is an incredible bargain, essentially throwing in freebies on top of the beverage package.

This package bumps up the price by a mere $5 per day over the Signature package, so if you prefer premium alcohol in your cocktails, or if the beer and wine on the Elite list are more to your liking, you'll cover the difference with just a handful of drinks. It's your vacation, why not splurge a little, right?

I found cruisers on social media who said you can upgrade to the Elite package from the Signature bought within the Have It All package. They said as long as nobody in the cabin has ordered a drink on the Signature Package, it can be upgraded at embarkation at any bar.

Is a Holland America beverage package right for you?

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Drink packages are a personal preference. You can certainly cruise with Holland America without one, combining drinks included in the cruise fare with a pay-as-you-drink routine for everything else. If that's what you are most comfortable with, you can easily keep an eye on your drink expenditures using the cruise line app or checking your daily expenses on the in-room interactive TV screen.

You can also earn a discount by buying bottled wine packages or paying with discounted Holland America gift cards.

If, however, you prefer to pay for as much of your cruise experience upfront as possible and not worry about the spending once you are on board, the package that most closely matches your drinking habits will be the one that makes your cruise most enjoyable.

Drink packages allow you to pay once and forget about the price of each individual glass. Even the tipping is bundled into the purchase price for you, though you can add additional tips if you wish.

The bottom line is that Holland America drink packages, while not designed to save you a fortune, certainly allow you to enjoy beverages on your cruise in an all-inclusive fashion if that's the vacation experience you'd prefer.

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Moscow mule on the maasdam?

rachelfran

By rachelfran , July 30, 2017 in Holland America Line

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500+ Club

On the August 5 departure out of Montreal and wondering if I'll be able to get this on board?

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Gail & Marty sailing away

Gail & Marty sailing away

Maybe???? 😀

RuthC

If the ingredients are at the bar, and the bartender knows how to make the drink, you will be able to get it.

If the bartender doesn't know how to make the drink, but you can provide directions, then you can have it made, too. Again, so long as the ingredients are there, the bartender will make anything you want.

Thanks- appreciate the reply but wondering if someone has specific info as to whether they do have the ingredients ...

... wondering if someone has specific info as to whether they do have the ingredients ...

In that case, it might be helpful if you itemized the ingredients. People might not recognize that particular drink, but know about the things that are in it.

taxmantoo

Vodka, ginger beer and lime juice. It is likely that the ship would substitute ginger ale for the ginger beer.

1,000+ Club

freestyling

They also will not have the copper cup which is a must for a Moscow Mule IMHO.

DeeniEncinitas

DeeniEncinitas

Hi Taxmantoo!

Your absolutely right! Unfortunately on our cruise to the Med on The Nieuw Amsterdam last September they tried in the Ocean Bar with subsitute ginger ale, no

Copper cup! 😞 Did not taste at all like one!

Hope they have ginger beer for you! My DH said I should bring a copper cup next time LOL!

bluesplayer

bluesplayer

You can bring your own ginger beer and copper cup.. tada . Moscow Mules

bluesplayer I am so down with that!!

Doing that this February for sure on our month cruise on The Maasdam.

ksmaxey

Actually Ginger Beer has alcohol so per HAL policy it cannot be brought on board. There would be no problem with the copper cup

Your right called HAL. I also figured that.

I got copper mule cups from Wm. Sonoma

A few years go, we do our own mules when we have a party. I'll pass on HAL.

VennDiagram

VennDiagram

I've purchased loads of ginger "beer" over the years, and it has not been alcoholic.

Murray's Pop

Murray's Pop

Agree. Goslings is my favorite. Dark and Stormy with Goslings dark rum.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Forums mobile app

I purchased several bottles of ginger beer in Bermuda in May. Was not alcoholic and had zero problem bringing it back on Veendam.

Today's brewed ginger beers are categorized as non-alcoholic drinks because their alcohol content is less than 0.5 percent , which meets FDA requirements. Since ginger beers are naturally fermented, they have less carbonation and often develop a beer-like head when poured into a glass. Bring the FDA classification as non alcoholic

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Back to Shore Excursions

What are the cancellation policies for shore excursions.

Answer:  Cancellations for pre-paid tours are allowed up to 3 days prior to cruise embarkation and will be refunded to the credit card used for the purchase. If within 3 days of embarkation, all changes/cancellations must be done onboard the ship and refunds will be applied to your onboard account. If the credit is not fully utilized during the cruise, the balance will be paid to that passenger by the ship's Purser at the end of the voyage. If cancellation occurs onboard after the cancellation deadline for specific shore excursions, a 100% cancellation fee will apply. The ship's shore excursions office will be able to advise you of the cancellation deadline applicable to each tour. Optional shore excursions during the land portion of a Land & Sea Journey are non-refundable within 3 days of your Land & Sea Journey departure date. Group shore excursions cancelled within three days prior to embarkation (sail) date are nonrefundable. Custom tours may have different cancellation deadlines which will be stated in the proposal. In the rare instance that tours are cancelled by Holland America Line or the tour operator, the full amount will be refunded within four to six weeks after the voyage ends.

COMMENTS

  1. Find Shore Excursions

    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. ... In the rare instance that tours are cancelled by Holland America Line or the tour operator, the full amount will be refunded ...

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  4. Holland America Shore Excursions Have a Best Price Guarantee

    Guests who pre-book Holland America shore excursions, called EXC Tours (Explorations Central), will have the lowest rates through the cruise line's Best Price Guarantee program. Best Price Guarantee is available on all ships and all itineraries except Asia cruises. If a guest finds a comparable shore excursion elsewhere at a lower price ...

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    What better way to cultivate new cruisers and keep dedicated Holland America Mariners coming back for more than to create a unique destination immersion program; Explorations Central, or EXC. Located on the top deck, in an area affectionately known on many Holland America ships as the Crow's Nest, Exploration Central will be hub for ...

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    Explorations Central™ (EXC®), Holland America Line's exclusive destination programming, is designed to deepen your understanding of the places you visit. Its indispensable travel resources and opportunities to engage with experts and local insiders, make exploring each port of call more vivid and meaningful. EXC Talks

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    Explore exotic destinations on board Maasdam with expert-led workshops, seminars and Zodiac excursions. Choose from 12 to 34 days of immersive themes and activities, from photography to history, in 36 countries.

  10. Holland America Adds 20 Culinary-Themed Food & Wine EXC Tours

    Holland America Line is building on its popular collection of immersive culinary-themed FOOD & WINE® EXC Tours (shore excursions) with the addition of 20 new tours throughout Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Canada & New England.. Developed in partnership with FOOD & WINE magazine, Holland America debuted 23 excursions earlier this year on select cruises in the Mediterranean and Northern ...

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    There's an EXC desk for cruisers to book tours or get help planning self-directed tours; EXC guides are more than happy to spread a map out and sketch out a rough itinerary with you.

  12. Holland America Brings Explorations Central Program Onboard

    by Daniel McCarthy / December 15, 2016. Ashford making the announcement. Promising its guests a better destination experience, Holland America Line is introducing an Explorations Central (EXC ...

  13. Holland America Line Will Launch New EXC In-Depth Voyages

    Offered on the 1,258-guest Maasdam, new EXC In-Depth Voyages explores corners of the globe on itineraries from 12 to 34 days, using world-renowned experts, local scholars and customized Zodiac tours to immerse guests in the experience. Holland America's Maasdam is a staunch favorite among passengers. Photo courtesy of Holland America Line

  14. Holland America launches shore excursion Best Price Guarantee

    Holland America Line's EXC Tour lineup now includes more than 4,100 tours in nearly 550 ports. The Best Price Guarantee submission form can be accessed at hollandamerica.com by all booked guests ...

  15. Shore Excursions for Holland America Line sailings

    Holland America Line shore excursions that are higher quality than cruise line offerings--at substantially lower pricess. Enjoy a more intimate cruise tour experience.. ... In the extremely unlikely event you were to miss the Holland America Line due to one of these tours, the tour consolidator guarantees that they will pay the full cost of ...

  16. 'Alaska Up Close' Programming Delivers Authentic Experiences

    Holland America Line has been exploring Alaska since 1947, and the premium cruise line is putting 75 years of expertise into new "Alaska Up Close" programming — a 360° experience that immerses guests in The Great Land in a way that only Holland America Line can deliver. Through authentic experiences on board and ashore that focus on culture, cuisine and […]

  17. Holland America Line Introduces Culinary-themed EXC Tours (Shore

    The long-time partnership between Holland America Line and FOOD & WINE has delivered immersive culinary experiences for more than a dozen years. The collaboration is expanding with a collection of exciting culinary-themed EXC Tours (shore excursions), that explore food, wine and culture in some of the world's hottest gastronomic locales.

  18. Holland America Line offers new EXC In-Depth Voyages with Zodiac

    This September Holland America Line will offer an innovative approach to cruising for travelers who are looking for thoughtful and immersive ways to see the world.New EXC In-Depth Voyages onboard the 1,258 guest Maasdam will explore some of the most fascinating corners of the globe on itineraries from 12 to 34 days, using world-renowned experts, local scholars and customized Zodiac tours to ...

  19. Moscow shore excursions on Holland America....are ...

    We're on the Holland America Noordam 09July with a stop in St. Petersburg. We've requested the Moscow excursion hoping it'll be worth the high 'price tag'. Also signed up for the full day ...

  20. Find Cruise Packages for Holland America's Award-Winning Cruises

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  21. Holland America drink packages: What to know before you buy

    Elite beverage package: $70.74 per person, per day ($59.95 plus an 18% gratuity) for unlimited fountain sodas, unlimited nonalcoholic beverages and up to 15 alcoholic drinks up to $15 each. I was hard-pressed to find any discounts off the advertised Holland America drink package prices.

  22. Moscow mule on the maasdam?

    I really enjoyed embarking at Greenwich in September; it was beautiful there, and a very easy embarkation. I don't know that we would have spent three nights in London precruise if we would have been embarking in Southampton

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  24. What are the cancellation policies for shore excursions?

    Answer: Cancellations for pre-paid tours are allowed up to 3 days prior to cruise embarkation and will be refunded to the credit card used for the purchase. If within 3 days of embarkation, all changes/cancellations must be done onboard the ship and refunds will be applied to your onboard account. If the credit is not fully utilized during the ...