Holland America Completes Signature
by Roy Witman © 2008
For some, cruising is all about rock-bottom
pricing. Bare-bone cruising gets you to the
destination of your choice, but that's about all it
does. However, cutting corners is not for everyone.
The Holland America Line recognized that many
vacationers are still looking for a truly distinctive
experience: one that gives them total satisfaction as
well as good value. That way of thinking was what
sparked the Signature of Excellence program.
Starting in 2003, Holland America chose to
implement a $225-million initiative that would allow
them to provide unprecedented destinations and
services to passengers like no other cruise line before
them. It was expected that the Signature of
Excellence program would take approximately three
years to expand throughout the fleet. Holland
America is proud to announce that it's in the final
stages of implementation and will complete its
program on schedule at the end of 2006.
What enhancements can be found aboard Holland
ships since the execution of the Signature of
Excellence program? Extensive improvements
throughout every area of the ship.
Providing the most spacious cabins in the
premium cruise category, Holland America offers
elegantly appointed staterooms complete with
Sealy® Euro-Top mattresses, 250-thread count
cotton linens, Egyptian cotton towels, massage
shower heads, flat-panel televisions and more. In
addition, guests staying in suites can take advantage
of personal concierge services, special luxury linens,
fully stocked minibars and special embarkation and
Club HAL is Holland's youth program and was
added as part of the Signature of Excellence
program. With permanent, full-time directors and
staff, parents can feel confident leaving their
children to enjoy a full range of fun activities in a
safe, age-appropriate environment. Club HAL offers
the most elaborate children's areas of any cruise
line. Children will find colorful surroundings, art
tables, big-screen TVs, games, supervised Internet
access, Sony Playstations, board games and a host
of family events, including the Family Olympics.
For Teens Only
Kids aren't the only ones that can have fun on
these retrofitted ships. Teens get their own
hangouts as well. The Loft provides a lounge with
the feel of a New York artist's loft. Filled with
popular music and videos, Internet access, karaoke
and more, teens can have a space all their own. The
Oasis is yet another teen getaway with a teens-only
sun deck, a nine-foot-high waterfall and cave, snack
machines, sound and laser-light show, and more.
One of the most anticipated parts of cruising is
undoubtedly the food! That's why the Holland
America Line gave special attention to not only the
meals themselves, but also to the environment in
which guests would dine.
From the addition of fine art and antiques in the
main dining room to elegant Rosenthal china and
expert wine stewards, no detail was overlooked in
the dining experience. Now with two servers per
table, guests will experience unparalleled service
along with exceptional five-course meals under the
consultancy of Master Chef Rudi Sodamin. From
reservations-only dining featuring Sterling Silver beef
and fresh seafood to healthy alternative meals and
complimentary in-room trays, passengers will not be
disappointed with any aspect of Holland's food
The acquisition of a 55-acre private island, Half
Moon Cay, is but one of the many highlights of the
Signature of Excellence program. The highest-rated
port of call on Holland's itineraries, Half Moon Cay sits
adjacent to an international bird sanctuary in the
Bahamas. Repeatedly rated the “Best Private Island”
by Porthole Cruise Magazine, guests will find
horseback riding, stingray adventures, watercraft
adventures, an aqua park and more.
Although the Holland America Line is concluding
the implementation of its Signature of Excellence
program at the end of this year, the effects of this
innovative fleet-wide expansion will continue to
impress and thrill guests for years to come.
Read more about the Holland
America Cruise Line.
Read more about Caribbean Cruises.