Join the discussions on the Holland America ROLL CALL Forums
before your cruise to find out who you'll be sailing with.
The information below has been compiled from our Holland America Forum, and is based upon individual experiences by our members. We appreciate the generosity of Holland America in setting up these gatherings as they recognize the loyalty of Cruise Critic members All of the above said, let’s get started with the party planning!
1. Before contacting anyone at Holland America, your first step should be to POLL everyone on your ROLL CALL
to see if they are interested in attending a Meet & Mingle on your cruise. It would be helpful to consider your daily itinerary, and obtain a general consensus as to when our fellow cruisers would be most likely to attend. More than likely someone has been keeping a general "who’s sailing" list on the ROLL CALL
throughout its duration. Keeping this listing "fresh" encourages others to continue to participate and to join in on the fun! Please make sure your efforts are coordinated so that only ONE person from each sailing is contacting the cruise line.
2. Once you have determined that there is enough interest, you will need to contact the Holland America On Board Events Coordinator for your ship no later than 5 weeks before your sailing. See the list here
3. The On Board Events Coordinator will ask you to complete a Space Request Forum. See the form here
and return either via email or fax. Note you will have to return the form to HAL 30 days prior to departure. The On Board Events Coordinator will then contact the ship for space approval and get back to you with your confirmation.
4. Tips for Completing the Form: Be sure to ask for a NO HOST
get-together, which means no one person will be responsible for payment. Indicate what you would like them to serve, such as Coffee, tea, pastries or a NO HOST
Bar. Best bet is to choose items marked as "no charge", so that no one person is responsible for payment. Also it's nice to invite Officers, such as the Beverage Mgr., Hotel Mgr. CD, etc. to attend your get together. You should have a general idea of when⁄where you’d like the party to be held. Offering up a few suggestions would be very helpful.
5. You may want to ask ROLL CALL
participants to contact you with their full names & cabin numbers. You should consider creating an email address for this purpose (yahoo or gmail are good choices) since you will be posting it on the boards. Consider contacting the Beverage Manager once you are on board. He/she should be able to fill you in on any specifics for your Meet & Mingle, and you can update the headcount for them as well. If you are so inclined, it would be a nice touch to create a personalized invitation to the event. You can deliver the invites yourself, or you can ask if the Beverage Manager would be willing to assist with distribution.
We know there were SO MANY choices on board it is easy to see how it would be tempting to skip the M&M, but DON'T! You'll be pleasantly surprised by how much effort is put into these gatherings by the staff on board. Make it worth THEIR while, too. They truly want to meet you (and you can get a few nice pics with them, too!). Also, don't sign up just so a party will be held. It is disappointing to members, as well as the staff on board, to have only a few show up -- when they were anticipating a crowd.
We cannot stress this enough. You won't have a good time if you just park yourself in a chair. There is no entertainment other than each other. Get up, walk around, and mingle with your new friends.
Before the memories fade, be sure and share your Meet & Mingle experience right here with everyone on the Holland America Forum
. If you've taken a picture, email it to us, and I'll help you get it posted on the boards. Everyone loves to see pictures of community members, and you'll be able to share firsthand just how much fun your Meet & Mingle can be.
Final Note: Please understand that there is no official sponsorship of Meet & Mingle Parties on board Holland America ships and it should not be expected that each ship will offer the same amenities, or anything at all. Remember, too, that “paid” groups on board take precedence over non-paid groups, and there are often many groups on board vying for the same space.