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HAL newbie with Meet & Greet and also Gala Night questions

Holland America Line - boards.cruisecritic.com
Hi everyone, my wife and I are experienced cruisers, but haven't sailed HAL before. We are booked on the Zuiderdam's 2018 Viking Passage, and are very excited about the itinerary and about trying HAL!

This board is great and has been very helpful already. I do have a few quick questions. First, does HAL arrange a Meet & Great if passengers organize a list on their Roll Call and then contact HAL about it? From my reading on here, that seems to be the case, but I wanted to be sure before anyone goes to any trouble. Also, who at HAL do you contact?

Second, and unrelated, it looks like Gala Nights have replaced formal nights, correct? How many can we expect on a 20-night cruise? In terms of the dress code, clearly no tuxes are required for men, but do women need to be a cut above what I'd call "smart casual?" In other words, for women, are things like a glitzy top and dressy slacks necessary? (Dresses are not making this trip.)

And if we don't feel like being that dressed up on any of those nights, are our only dinner options room service and the Lido? (I read that the specialty restaurants observe the Gala Night dress code; if that's not correct, I hope someone will correct me! )

I appreciate any tips and advice, we truly are looking forward to sailing HAL! Thanks!
Date: Mar 20, 2017   


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