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Holland America's Signature of Excellence Program!

Holland America Line's Signature of Excellence is a $225-million initiative that provides unparalleled product and service enhancements to our fleet of five-star ships. Signature of Excellence will build on our renowned Tradition of Excellence by significantly raising the standard in premium cruising.

The comprehensive enhancements focus on five areas central to the Holland America guest experience; spacious, elegant ships and accommodations; sophisticated five-star dining; gracious, unobtrusive service; extensive enrichment programs and activities, and compelling worldwide itineraries.

Signature of Excellence enhancements encompass virtually every area of our ships and range from new state-of-the-art facilities and public areas to new services and amenities. It also includes new activities on Half Moon Cay-our private island in the Bahamas. This initiative is a 24-month project that began in late 2003 and is expected to be complete by the end of 2006. Some enhancements may vary by ship.

Accommodations Enhancements

Holland America Line provides guests with the most distinctive ships at sea and the most spacious accommodations in the premium cruise category. Our classic, mid-size ships are elegantly appointed and provide more space per guest than other major cruise lines. Enhanced stateroom amenities include:

  1. Plush Sealy® Euro-Top mattresses
  2. High quality, 250-thread-count cotton bed linens
  3. Large, extra-fluffy Egyptian cotton towels
  4. Deluxe waffle and terry cloth bathrobes
  5. Grohe massage shower heads
  6. 5x magnifying make-up mirrors with halo lighting
  7. Salon-quality hair dryers
  8. Complimentary fresh fruit basket
  9. Polished stainless-steel ice bucket and serving tray
  10. Flat-panel televisions and enhanced programming
  11. DVD players
  12. Early embarkation program allows guests to board as early as 11:00 a.m. (an average of two hours earlier than other cruise lines)

In addition, enhancements to suites include:

  1. Use of the exclusive Neptune Lounge and personal concierge services
  2. Luxurious duvets and pillows
  3. Fully-stocked no-host mini-bars
  4. Special (dis)embarkation privileges

Club HAL (Holland America Childrens Program)

Enhanced Youth Program features separate, age-specific areas with a variety of activities for every interest. Supervised by permanent, full-time directors and staff, children can meet friends and enjoy a variety of safe and entertaining choices. Created by world-renowned designers, these areas are the most elaborate of any cruise line.

  • A colorful, expanded playroom for kids 3-7 with art tables, big-screen TV and games
  • Club HAL age lowered from five to three
  • Separate area for ages 8-12 featuring arcade games, air hockey, foosball, karaoke, Internet access, Sony Playstations and DDR (Dance Dance Revolution)
  • Expanded board game offering through partnership with Cranium
  • Family Game Time, Family Olympics and Family Karaoke Club HAL After Hours so parents can enjoy an evening alone (extra charge) 10 p.m. to midnight

Crow's Next Nightclub and Disco

The Crow's Nest is a hip, fashionable gathering spot for cruise guests who enjoy vibrant nightlife. During the day, sweeping views make the observation lounge a top choice for relaxing, reading, and sightseeing from comfortable loungers facing out to the sea.

In the evening, the Crow's Nest comes alive with a full-service bar and the latest music from top-notch DJs and great bands, with a video-wall system and a light show to make the dance floor explode with motion. Enhancements (ms Ryndam, ms Statendam and ms Maasdam only) include:

  • Increased seating capacity
  • All new furniture, including two cozy conversation pits
  • Distinctive glass bar
  • Additional service bar
  • State-of-the-art light and sound system
  • Fully equipped DJ booth and bandstand
  • New 5x10 video wall for light effects, movies and sports and entertainment events

Culinary Arts Center

A groundbreaking program that integrates guests' love for fine food and wine with an entertaining experience and opportunity to immerse themselves in the unique traditions and tastes of their ports of call. Special gourmet presentations, demonstrations, tasting events and intimate cooking classes highlight cuisine that reflects the ship's itinerary or special occasions. Renowned Master Chef Rudi Sodamin has helped develop this five-star culinary experience.

  1. A state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen featuring premier tools and equipment from industry leaders such as Wolf®, Sub-Zero® and KitchenAid®
  2. Large, plasma screens overhead to give guests in the audience and in their staterooms a close-up look at the free, one-hour demonstrations
  3. Interactive cooking classes limited to 16 guests each (extra charge)
  4. Culinary Signature Cruises, which will bring acclaimed celebrity and regional chefs on board selected sailings to host themed lectures, wine and liquor tastings, seminars and related shore excursions. Celebrity chefs will host a variety of demonstrations and classes per cruise
  5. Wine tasting and specialty wine shop

Holland America Dining

Holland America Line believes that the dining experience must be as extraordinary as the cuisine itself. Long known for its innovative dining concepts and the most extensive menus at sea, Holland America Line is further differentiating its dining experience with new additions and enhancements, such as:


  1. Two-tiered dining room with fine art and antiques
  2. Elegant details including Rosenthal china & Vista white table linens
  3. Two expert servers per table
  4. Knowledgeable wine stewards
  5. Elegant five-course meals
  6. Enhanced food program with culinary consultant Master Chef Rudi Sodamin
  7. Four dinner sittings in the main Dining Room (two on ms Prinsendam)


  1. Intimate, reservations-only dining
  2. Fine dining featuring Sterling Silver beef and fresh seafood
  3. Luxurious appointments including Bvlgari® china, Riedel® stemware and Frette® linens
  4. Extensive wine list


  1. Complimentary in-room dining
  2. Made-to-order dinner entrees and table-side waiter service in the enhanced Lido - our popular casual dining alternative
  3. Healthy alternative meals in all restaurants, including low carbohydrate options

A comfortable, coffee house-type environment, where guests can sip espresso drinks, browse through one of the most extensive libraries at sea and enjoy access to a variety of activities, resources and audio and video programming. It"s a great way for guests to immerse themselves in the culture of their destination and enjoy enriching content and programming.

  • Espresso and pastry bar featuring Torrefazione Italia fine roasted Italian coffee
  • Over 2,000 books, including a wealth of content provided by The New York Times on the destinations being visited
  • Discovery Times Channel  programming for viewing
  • Music listening stations with comfortable lounge chairs that face out to the sea
  • Internet stations to stay up to date on news and E-mail, including free access to
  • Unique travel-related New York Times crossword puzzle tables
  • New York Times merchandise such as photo collections, trivia books and commemorative newspapers
  • Large jigsaw puzzle table
  • Explorations Speaker Series featuring guest lecturers and discussions on varied topics related to the history, culture and cuisine of ports of call

Holland America Line is expanding the exclusive Greenhouse Spa, to offer guests a luxurious and pampering experience that is as self-indulgent as it is therapeutic. Relaxing treatment rooms offer breathtaking views where guests can enjoy exotic skin, body and hair treatments ranging from hot stone massages and pedicures to hair styling and facials. The Greenhouse Spa fitness facility includes the latest exercise equipment, and experienced exercise professionals for personal training. Enhancements include:

  • Additional treatment rooms-including couple's massage rooms-offering an impressive menu of luxurious treatments
  • Dry float suite with massage option
  • Thermal suites with hydro-therapy pool, steam and aromatic room, heated ceramic lounges and in-suite showers
  • New relaxation area
  • New manicure and pedicure area
  • Lifestyle Fitness Center with yoga, Pilates, spinning and the latest exercise and weight-training equipment

Half Moon Cay Private Island

The highest-rated port of call on Holland America's Caribbean itineraries, Half Moon Cay is located on 55-acres of the 2,400-acre Little San Salvador Island, an international bird sanctuary in the Bahamas (only two percent of the island is developed). Rated as "Best Private Island" by Porthole Cruise Magazine for the past four years, Half Moon Cay now offers several new and exciting activities from which to choose.


Ride on a specially-trained horse to one of the highest points in the Bahamas, then through the surf as your horse swims in the ocean.


Swim and snorkel with stingrays in a secluded cove, which is part of a beautiful 700-acre lagoon. Learn about their behaviors and habits and get the chance to hand-feed them.


Guided personal watercraft tour with stops at a tidal outlet, the Bahamian village and Stingray Cove. Race on a buoyed course. (Located away from the main beach area.)


Features a multi-level play set featuring water-shooting cannons, water-walls and slides, plus colorful sea creatures for kids to climb on.

Other features on Half Moon Cay include an aqua-sports center, a fully-equipped Club HAL children's playground, beach chairs, volleyball, shuffleboard, basketball, a network of nature trails and a designated wild bird reserve. Guests can also rent an air-conditioned, private beachfront cabana, have a beachside massage and then enjoy a barbecue. Plus, there is plenty of room to relax peacefully on the beach.

The Lofts and Oasis (For Teens Only)

New areas designed exclusively for ages 13-17 to get away from family, have fun, socialize and hang out with people their own age. Unmatched anywhere in the cruise industry, these are areas teens can truly call their own.


  • A lounge area designed to resemble a New York artist's loft
  • Modern environment with music and videos
  • Internet access stations, video games and karaoke
  • Big-screen TV
  • Special, secluded passageway upstairs to The Oasis


  • Sun deck for teens only with comfortable and cool lounge chairs
  • Nine-foot-high waterfall and cave for cooling off
  • Snack machines filled with teen favorites
  • State-of-the-art sound system and laser light show for dancing
  • Other special activities including "Luau at the Oasis," "Teen Superstar," DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) contests, "Campin' under the Stars" and Wacky Olympics

View Best Cruise Buy's Holland America Cruise Blog

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