Popular Holland America Cruise Articles
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Cruise travelers with disabilities have concerns that others might never consider. Can they open their stateroom door and smoothly roll in on a wheelchair? Can they easily take a shower? Is it possible to get off the ship in port or hear the evening show? The best cruise lines have already thought through these questions. They aim to give these passengers extra peace of mind and a relaxing vacation. While all cruise ships (even foreign-flagged ones) sailing in U.S. waters should be compliant with the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), there aren't standards specifically addressing cruise ships, which means that some lines do more than others. To help you find the best ship for your needs, we're highlighting the vessels that excel in physical accessibility and also accommodate passengers with hearing and visual impairments. In most cases, we recommend the cruise lines' newest ships, which have the most cabins for disabled users and incorporate the latest designs that take into account limitations faced by those traveling with handicaps. We also call out a few fleetmates, older ships that get consistently positive reviews from travelers with disabilities.
The total price of a cruise is rarely just the ticket price and some government fees. While accommodations, most meals and tons of activities are included in your fare, you will have to pay extra for an array of tempting amenities and activities, like spa treatments, shore excursions and cocktails. If you're on a budget, it can be tricky to figure out just what your total vacation cost will be and what kind of extra charges to anticipate. While a $7 pina colada likely won't break the bank, you might be surprised to discover how quickly an exercise class here and a round of bingo there can add up. To help you figure out how much you might actually spend on a cruise vacation, we've culled and tallied the prices of common extra charges found on weeklong Caribbean cruises and listed them for eight popular -- and amenity-laden -- cruise ships. We've also added in the daily gratuities for each passenger in a standard cabin. (Tips for suite passengers might be higher.) Use these numbers as a guide to help you calculate the total price of a cruise. Editor's Note: Prices may vary by ships within the same cruise line, as well as by itinerary, and they're subject to change at any time, without notice; these prices were accurate as of July 2018. We realize that travelers will not rack up every one of these charges every day, but we have presented both the prices and a sample a la carte cost for one day to make the point that onboard charges can accumulate rapidly.
Even the healthiest cruisers sometimes crave the juicy beef and tasty toppings afforded by a great hamburger. That's why we've decided to call out cruise lines that boast the best burgers the industry has to offer. Some are free, and some require you to hand over a bit of extra dough, but all are superb. (Don't worry, vegetarians; there are some options for you, too.)
Nieuw Statendam, Holland America's second cruise ship in its Pinnacle Class, debuts December 2018 with many of the same popular amenities found on classmate Koningsdam: winemaking at Blend, cabins designed just for solo travelers, a comprehensive kids' club and elegant styling in public spaces.
Even with accommodations, meals and entertainment wrapped up in its fares, cruising can still be pricy if you're taking the entire family on an oceangoing getaway. Just when you thought that bringing the brood would break the bank, we've come up with a list of lines that let kids sail free. If the idea of free cruises for kids gets your heart racing with excitement, be aware of a few caveats: With most lines, free kids fares are only available as limited-time promotions, require applicable taxes and fees to be paid for each passenger and necessitate sharing a cabin with the junior travelers as the third and/or fourth passengers in the room. (Contact a travel agent or your cruise line for specific information before booking any cruise.)
New cruise ships are built with more balcony cabins than they are with any other accommodation type, but not all veranda cabins are created equal. Some have more interior space, while others have larger balconies or extra amenities. If you're looking for the best balcony cabin you can book -- without having to upgrade to a mini-suite or suite -- here are our five favorites across mainstream lines.
Holland America Line has formed an exclusive partnership with the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts in New York City onboard three of its ships. The venerable institution lends its name to a space to showcase classical music recitals, with top musicians performing numerous programs of chamber music every evening, and afternoons on sea days.
Although many people think that Australia and New Zealand are the same, the island nations coexist in the South Pacific as close neighbors with completely different personalities. Aussies and Kiwis enjoy a healthy sibling rivalry on the sporting field, but New Zealand has its own distinct offerings that cannot be compared to Australia's. The Maori culture is one of the strongest in all of Polynesia, and if you've seen the breathtaking, sweeping vistas portrayed in blockbuster movies like "Lord of the Rings," you won't be disappointed; this is where they were filmed. The early Polynesian inhabitants called New Zealand "Aotearoa," which means "The Land of the Long White Cloud." Ever since European traders and whalers arrived in the late eighteenth century, it has retained a reputation for being ruggedly beautiful and mysterious, a land of geysers and glaciers that's a fusion of Maori and British. The country is neatly packaged up in two halves. The North and South islands are separated by the Cook Strait, which is just more than 19 kilometers wide at its narrowest point. The North Island is more heavily populated, featuring bigger cities that include Auckland and the nation's capital, Wellington. The South Island is the true star of the show, with its wide-open spaces, spectacular mountains, lakes and glaciers. From the Bay of Islands at the top of the North Island to dramatic Fiordland in the far south, cruising New Zealand opens up a world of natural wonders and reveals a vibrant culture. It's also one of the safest countries in which to travel, with efficient airline networks, generally good roads, and excellent healthcare, and emergency and hospital facilities.
A private cabana is a plush way to enjoy the pristine sand and surf of Half Moon Cay, Carnival Corporation's private island in the Bahamas visited by Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America. Half Moon Cay cabanas are colorful wooden outposts peppered along the island's shoreline, and while they all offer special amenities, offerings vary based on cabana type. If you're not sure which enclave is the best fit for you during your time ashore, read Cruise Critic's guide to Half Moon Cay cabanas.
As you lie on a massage table, legs tucked into a soft sheet, hot stones soothing the tired muscles of your back and arms, you will most certainly not be thinking about cruise ship spa ratings. And while you relax on a heated tile lounger or in a steamy sauna, eyes drooping, thoughts of work and bills scurrying far away, you're probably not wondering about your cruise line's philosophy on its spa product. But when you sit down at your computer to research your next cruise vacation, you might very well want to know where to find the best spas at sea -- and we'll be there to help.
When Holland America announced it would offer a series of Oprah Winfrey and O, The Oprah Magazine themed sailings, we weren't sure quite what to expect. So, when we had a chance to sail on the inaugural voyage of the "Adventure of Your Life" cruises, we took it -- as did hundreds of Oprah fans