History & Genealogy Cruise November 2011 - Frequently Asked Questions
Holland America Line website has an extensive list of FAQs, so if your question isn't answered below, click here.
We highly recommend that you familiarise yourself with the content on their website regardless so that you do not miss important information prior to the cruise.
Q: Do I need a passport?
A: All passengers need to have a valid passport including passengers under the age of 18, valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond the date of the cruise return (5 December 2011).
Q: Do I need to take out Travel Insurance?
A: Absolutely. Australian Medicare and Private Health care will not cover you for any medical costs onboard. This cruise will require an International travel insurance policy. We strongly recommend that you ask Clean Cruising to arrange your policy when you pay your deposit.
Q: What if I would like to book flights and/or accommodation?
A: Clean Cruising are a fully licensed retail travel agency, with years of experience. They can assist you with all of your Travel Requirements. They can recommend and book the best available flight options and have great rates for pre and post accommodation close to Princes Wharf in Auckland.
Q: Can I book for the conference part of the cruise if I book the cruise with another agent?
A: No. The conference management and benefits can only be obtained by booking the total conference-cruise package. A few of the main talks will be open to the general public. Most of the conference presentations, workshops, interest groups, the registration pack (expected to include several hundred dollars worth of vouchers and products) and other benefits will only be available to those who book the complete conference-cruise package.
Q: If I am booking my own flights, what arrival and departure times do you recommend?
A: Please ensure your flight arrives no later than 4 hours before your cruise check in time (1-4pm Monday 21 November). This should provide enough time to travel to the cruise terminal and check-in for your holiday of a lifetime.
If you are flying home on the day you leave the cruise, please ensure your flight departs no earlier than 5 hours after your cruise arrives in port. This should help you to have a stress free return home from your relaxing cruise holiday.
When you are making your own air bookings, missed connections are always a possibility…so the more time you allow for unforeseen delays at either end of your cruise, the better.
If you do need to make changes to your air bookings, your chosen airline may charge fees; so ask Clean Cruising to check their airfare conditions when you book.
Q: How much luggage can I bring?
A: Airlines and transfer vehicles have luggage restrictions and might impose excess luggage charges. Keep this in mind when packing.
Q: Can I access the Internet on board?
A: You can access the internet on the Volendam -- there is WiFi on the entire ship. There is also an internet cafe.
The Volendam provides PCs in an Internet café (Explorations) on Deck 5 (Upper Promenade). However, if you want to bring your WiFi-enabled laptop, iPhone, PDA, etc., the entire ship is WiFi enabled. You can choose from the Holland America "pay-as-you" go rate for a one-time $3.95 activation charge and a 75¢ per minute rate. Alternatively, you can buy a block of non-refundable minutes for:
- 100 minutes for $55.00
- 250 minutes for $100.00
** please note these prices though are subject to change and should be used as a indication only.
An alternative is to use your own mobile modem at times the ship is in port. This will depend on getting a signal from your phone company where the ship is in port. Note that you will likely require different modems in Australia and New Zealand.
Q: Can I do my laundry on board?
A: Take advantage of the on-board laundry service (charges apply). All laundry is returned within 48 hours, or on the same day with our express service. We also offer self-service coin-operated launderettes with ironing facilities. There is a fee charged for these services.
Q: Can I bring my medical equipment to use on board?
A: In most cases, yes. To ensure your medical equipment will work on board, please advise Clean Cruising at the time of booking. We will then send you an information sheet and may ask you for more information. For safety reasons, your equipment will need to be checked prior to boarding.
Q: Is there a Doctor on board?
A: The ship has a medical centre staffed by registered Doctors and nurses, who are available during scheduled times to provide medical care. They are also available 24/7 for medical emergencies.
Q: What if I suffer from motion sickness?
A: A very small percentage of cruise passengers experience motion sickness. You can prepare yourself by purchasing medication before you leave home. Tablets or special magnetic wrist-bands can assist. Motion sickness can also be treated on board by the ship's doctor. Any charges from the on-board medical centre will be added to your Cruise Card and you'll be provided with an itemised account to submit to your travel insurance company.
Q: I take medication; do I need to let you know?
A: Yes, all medical conditions or medication must be advised at the time of booking. We want you to be safe and comfortable on your cruise, so bring enough medication to last you until the end of your holiday. It is also a good idea to bring a few extra days supply in case of any unforeseen delays. Make sure all tablets are in their original packaging.
Q: How can people contact me while I am at sea?
A: ms Volendam
Connecting to a Holland America Line vessel at sea is simple by using DialAShip.com. A credit card is required for all inbound phone calls to a ship. The rate is $USD16.00 per minute (may be subject to change) and billing begins at the time specified. Please have the ship's name, your party's name and stateroom number.
- Dial 1-866-HAL-SHIP (1-866-425-7447). From outside the U.S. access 1-732-335-3278.
- Listen to the announcement.
- Listen to the menu and select the number that corresponds to the ship you are calling.
- If you receive a busy signal or message, please hang up quickly and try your call again.