Seven Interesting Facts About Holland America Line


Holland America Line is just one of a number of brands that fall under the Carnival Corporation umbrella.   Along with sister-lines Princess Cruises, Costa Cruises and others, each has a rich history, unique to itself.  Sailing on Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam, we noticed some elements of the cruise experience, exclusive to the line, that differentiate it from others.  Sourced from the ship’s On Location daily newsletter, various publications provided during the sailing and our personal observations, here is a quick list of interesting facts about Holland America Line.

All The Menus, Right Up Front
Ever wonder what is going to be on the menu on any given night of your cruise vacation?  Holland America gave us the entire week’s menus on the first night of the sailing.  That’s for all dining venues on the ship, including specialty restaurants as well as the main dining room.  Want to be surprised every night? Hide them.  Want to remember what you had later?  Take them home.

Man Overboard? New Help Is On The Way
Holland America Line has installed and is testing the first ever thermal imaging system designed for a large cruise ship which immediately detects any person who may accidentally fall overboard.

Complementary Movies On Demand
Holland America’s Ship Flicks program offers guests a choice of films to watch in their staterooms.  Over 1000 titles are featured and offered in a unique way.  Each stateroom television is equipped with a DVD player.  Want to watch a movie? A call on the stateroom telephone and they deliver it.

Reducing The Potential Of A Norovirus Outbreak
During the first few days of any sailing, buffet line offerings are not self-service.  The cross-contamination potential from bacteria being passed from one passenger to another via the handles on serving utensils is totally eliminated.  Apparently not everyone is honest when answering the pre-boarding questionnaire asking if they have been ill recently.  Who knew?

Daily Mass
This is not really something we look for when choosing a cruise line but Holland America is apparently the only major cruise line that holds a daily Catholic mass.

Explorer Guide
Keepsake multi-page brochure received in cabin upon embarkation outlines entire sailing.  Includes information on itinerary, entertainment, music & lounges, restaurants, ports (including maps) and ship’s services.  No sales pitches.

Shore Excursion Guide
Aimed to sell shore excursions (duh) the guide also includes weather forecast for the sailing at each port, helpful suggestions for first-time cruisers, tips, information and frequently asked questions.  Normally literature we set aside the first day, it is worth keeping handy throughout the voyage.