December 5, 2003
Holland America has relaxed its standard afternoon embarkation time, launching a new program that permits passengers to board as early as 11:30 a.m. As a result, early arrivals can get a jumpstart on their vacations -- open facilities include the Lido buffet and the pool grill as well as various lounges. Live music is performed at each ship's main pool. The Neptune Lounge, the suite-only concierge area, is open for those passengers.
One real advantage is that early embarkers can make appointments at the ships' spas, book shore excursions and make reservations for alternative dining.
Cabins, on the other hand, are not included in the open-early-roster; guests will be escorted to their staterooms after 1 p.m.