HAL upgrades will include a new show lounge.
Holland America Line (HAL) is investing in a new 18-month, $200 million Signature of Excellence program to bring a variety of upgrades, enhancements and new features to the Statendam, Ryndam, Maasdam, Veendam and Rotterdam. The first phase of the Signature of Excellence upgrades included Culinary Arts Centers and Explorations Cafes. This additional investment brings the total of HAL’s fleet enhancements to more than $525 million and comes on the heels of HAL and Carnival Corp. executives’ statements that new building contracts for the North American fleet would have to await until there is a more favorable economic climate.
"We absolutely believe this is the right thing to do," said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president of sales, marketing and guest services. "Anytime you invest in the existing product to make it more relevant, it pays off, and these additions are going to excite the consumers."
The most dramatic alteration will be to the aft portion of the ships, creating a resort-style pool area on the Lido deck called The Retreat. A new pool bar and an upscale pizzeria called Slice will also be added.
All staterooms will receive new decor, carpeting and soft goods. Each ship also will have an additional 44 to 46 staterooms, 32 with verandas and the remaining inside staterooms. On the four S-class ships, 12 staterooms near the spa (on Deck 9) will also have verandas added and, along with three inside staterooms, they will become spa staterooms with enhanced amenities. On the Rotterdam, 23 staterooms on the Verandah Deck will become spa staterooms.
Public rooms also are being enhanced, with the casino and piano bars reconfigured into a multi-themed area called Mix including three separate bars — Martinis, Champagne and Spirits & Ales. In addition, the casino will be redesigned, the main showroom will take on a nightclub ambience and a new Sky Room on the Sports Deck will feature the latest in multigenerational video games and high-tech entertainment.
A new Explorations Team will provide enrichment from cruise staff specialists in areas such as dance, travel and technology.
The Veendam will lead the way with a drydock from March 29 to April 27; the Rotterdam from Nov. 18 to Dec. 16, 2009; the Ryndam from Jan. 16 to Feb. 13, 2010; the Statendam from March 26 to April 23, 2010; and the Maasdam in late 2010.