What to Know Before You Go
Thank you for booking The Big Easy Cruise, we look forward to seeing you soon to Let the Good Times Roll at Sea! Here are a few important details and dates to keep in mind as you plan your vacation.
As a charter cruise guest, you have two important numbers tied to your sailing:
- A Reservation Number from StarVista LIVE (SVL) assigned once your booking was confirmed either via phone or online. Access your SVL account any time by clicking here to manage your guest information, payments, insurance and SVL add-ons for this and future cruises.
- A Booking Number from Holland America Line (HAL). SVL will email your Booking Number approximately 45 days prior to sailing and it will be posted in your SVL account for your convenience. With your HAL booking number, you will need to go to hollandamerica.com to complete the check-in online no later than 72 hours prior to the cruise and download the Navigator App. Not only will your mobile boarding pass be there, but you can also manage premium dining, spa and shore excursion reservations, review deck plans and read more information regarding your account with Holland America.
Remember, as guests on Holland America Line, not everything we do to make this cruise so special and unique for you will appear in the Navigator App. So, take a moment to familiarize yourself with our important details regarding The Big Easy Cruise below. There’s a handy search bar at the top of the page to help you find additional information available!
You will also find our onboard schedule of events approximately 30 days prior to sailing under “Performance Schedule.”
IMPORTANT DATES, LOCATIONS AND TIMES
- DEPARTURE DATE: Saturday, November 4, 2023
- DEPARTURE CITY: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- SHIP: Holland America Line Nieuw Amsterdam
- EMBARKATION/CRUISE TERMINAL LOCATION AND BUILDING: Port Everglades (see port signs for terminal building)
- SHIP DEPARTURE TIME: 4:00 p.m Guests must arrive to the cruise terminal building no later than 2:00pm!
- RETURN DATE: Saturday, November 11, 2023
- RETURN TIME: 7:00 a.m. (all times are EST)
ONLINE CHECK-IN AND PRE-CRUISE REQUIREMENTS
- Complete Online Check in: As stated above, your booking number will be emailed to you and available in your StarVista LIVE account 45-60 days prior to sailing. Log in to hollandamerica.com. All guests must complete the Vaccine Attestation and accept the Holland America Line Cruise Contract and complete the online check in 72 hours before embarkation. Your boarding pass and your check-in time will be available on the Navigator App.
- Download the Holland America Line Navigator App: This is your essential tool for pre-cruise tools and forms, boarding passes, embarkation updates, onboard experiences and more. Learn more here.
How do I do online check-in?
- Click here to be taken to the check in page on HollandAmerica.com
- Enter your Holland America Line Booking Number that will be emailed to you. It is the 6-digit alphanumeric character code.
- Follow the instructions (please have your passport handy to complete this process). It will take about 10-15 minutes to fully complete your online check-in.
- Complete the vaccines attestation and accept the Holland America Cruise Contract on the online check-in page. You will not be able to sail if this form has not been signed/agreed to.
- Print the luggage tags to adhere to your luggage when you arrive at the terminal. Please DO NOT apply to luggage before your flight in case they rip or tear off en route.
- Deadline to check in online is close of business October 31, 2023 (EST).
- Download the free Holland America Line Navigator app to see your boarding pass.
What is the Holland America Line Navigator App? Why do I need it?
This is your essential tool for pre-cruise tools and forms, boarding passes, embarkation updates, onboard experiences and more. Learn more here.
What time can I arrive to the terminal and what do I need to present?
Holland America Line will assign check-in times for arrival to the terminal. Upon completion of your online check in, if the time shows "To Be Assigned" it will be assigned soon. Please download the Navigator App for updates and to access to your digital boarding pass and more.
Guests arriving to the terminal more than 20 minutes prior to their assigned check-in time may be asked to return at their designated time to maintain proper controls on capacity.
IMPORTANT ITEMS THAT NEED TO BE PRESENTED AT CRUISE TERMINAL
- Boarding Pass: Navigator App or printed form
- Passport, Identification & Visa documents: Holland America Line requires ALL guests to PRESENT A VALID PASSPORT from their country of origin at embarkation. There are no substitutes for this requirement. A valid passport is one that expires more than six months after the date the cruise disembarks. Since the date of disembarkation is November 4, 2023, all passports must be valid through May 4, 2024. Guests with non-US passports are responsible for obtaining whatever required visas necessary to disembark at any and all of the ports of call. Visit travel.state.gov for identification, visa and vaccination requirements.
TRANSPORTATION FROM AIRPORT TO THE CRUISE TERMINAL
- Holland America Line shuttle service. ($19/person from Fort Lauderdale airport and $29/person from Miami airport, each way). Please call Holland America Line at 866-929-2332 to make these reservations.
- Taxi from Fort Lauderdale airport (approximately $25).
- Taxi from Miami airport (approximately $85).
- StarVista LIVE does not offer a shuttle from the airport to any hotel prior to our cruise departure. We suggest taking a taxi, rideshare like Uber or Lyft or booking travel through your airline and/or hotel.
It is your responsibility to arrive to the cruise terminal building no later than 2:00pm in time for the ship’s departure and it is also your responsibility to secure your transportation at the end of your cruise
TRANSPORTATION FROM THE RENAISSANCE FORT LAUDERDALE MARINA HOTEL TO THE TERMINAL
For just $24 per person, we have private motor coach transportation available. You will need to bring your luggage down to the lobby and transportation helpers will assist you loading your luggage into box trucks at the hotel and delivered to the terminal. Please make sure your bags are properly tagged with Holland America luggage tags and loaded onto the box truck before you board the motor coach.
To purchase this service, simply log in to your StarVista LIVE account and add Hotel Transfer to Cruise Pier to your reservation or speak to a representative from the transportation company in the lobby of the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Marina Hotel.
This service is only offered from the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Marina Hotel.
Transfers are not included in the cost of the hotel and will be charged to the credit card on file connected to your StarVista LIVE account. For information or assistance, call us at 855-923-7222.
LONG TERM PARKING AT THE PIER
Port Everglades offers on-site covered parking for $15 per day. Please follow the signs to the midport garage.
Handicap parking is complimentary only if there are ADA modifications done to the vehicle such as: hand controls, extended pedals, wheelchair ramp, etc. Also, 100% Disabled Veterans with ADA license placard will receive complimentary parking.
For more information go to https://www.porteverglades.net/cruise/parking/
THE BIG EASY CRUISE ATTIRE
CASUAL is the word for this cruise! You can dress up as much as you want to, or not.
Daytime attire is not subject to limitations, so guests may dress in appropriate and tasteful clothing of their choosing. Coverups and footwear are required in all venues and dining areas.
For the entire cruise, the evening dress theme is “smart casual,” which means dining dress codes are relaxed with the same requirements as daytime attire. Bathing suits are not permitted. Jeans are acceptable attire for “smart casual” evenings. Should you wish to dress up, our semi-formal night is the Black and Gold night on Sunday. Our theme nights offer you a chance to dress up in theme-appropriate clothing on many nights.
PARTIES AND NIGHTLY THEMES
The Big Easy Cruise will host a wide variety of gatherings and festive events. While it is not mandatory to dress in keeping with the theme, we do encourage you to have some fun and plan some outfits!
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4 | FORT LAUDERDALE
Welcome Aboard Party: Join Rockin’ Dopsie and the Zydeco Twisters on the Lido Stage, Deck 9 midship, for drinks and dancing as we get the fais do-do started.
Nightly Theme: Welcome to The Big Easy Cruise – No special outfits required. Get unpacked and settled in for the week ahead!
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5 | AT SEA
Nightly Theme: Black and Gold Party - Who dat say they're ready to party? It's time to don your black and gold finest! Slip into your most glamorously glittering attire OR throw on that Saints jersey. Whether you're a die-hard fan or a gilded goddess, join the revelry!
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 6 | NEW ORLEANS
Annual T-shirt Party: An afternoon of great live music and drinks at the Lido Stage, Deck 9 Midship—wear your Big Easy Cruise T-shirt for complimentary select beverages.
Nightly Theme: Enjoy the Night – No special outfits required. We have planned an overnight to enjoy some of the best music this side of the Mississippi for you.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7 | NEW ORLEANS
Nightly Theme: Mardi Gras – Let the good times roll as we say, ‘Au revoir, mon ami!’ to the Crescent City. Throw on your rowdiest feathers, sequins, and masks because it's time to unleash your inner party animal! Join the colorful chaos, where the streets are filled with vibrant parades, dazzling floats, and an endless supply of beads. This is your chance to let loose, dance like nobody's watching, and embrace the spirit of New Orleans.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 8 | AT SEA
Nightly Theme: Bayou Beach Party – Think beach vibes with a Louisiana twist. Bust out your floral shirts, grass skirts, and Mardi Gras beads as we bring the beach party to the bayou. Get ready to boogie on the bayou in your wildest beach-inspired costumes!
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9 | COZUMEL
Nightly Theme: Fiesta Night – ¡Arriba, arriba! It's time to fiesta like there's no mañana at our colorful and vibrant Fiesta! Dust off your sombreros, shake those maracas, and bring the fiesta spirit to life. This night is gonna be hotter than a summer night in NOLA!
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10 | AT SEA
Nightly Theme: Farewell Night – A celebration of the bittersweet feelings for the last night of a wonderful cruise. Wear whatever is still clean.
THE BIG EASY CRUISE PROGRAMMING
To help you better prepare, we will post our onboard show and events schedule here in October. We hope this enables you to better plan your days and schedule dining around the events you want to attend. Check back regularly for any updates as we fine-tune our time onboard. Once on board, you will receive daily programs with the most up-to-date schedule, or you may use the Holland America Line Navigator App to check out real-time happenings as well as plan ahead
THE MAINSTAGE PERFORMANCES
The Mainstage is our main theater and follows an open seating format as do all venues. Each event and performance onboard are set up in a festival environment. With numerous shows and activities going on at the same time with limited capacity in each venue, it is suggested that you plan in advance what events you would like to attend and arrive as early as you can.
The Mainstage Show Policies and Procedures
To ensure that the entry and seating procedure is both fair and easy, we have adopted the following policies and procedures:
- There are four entrances to the Mainstage, two on Deck 2 and two on Deck 3. No other entrance is available for guests.
- Doors will open for each show approximately 30 minutes before scheduled show time.
- Guests who interfere with the fair and safe entry into the Mainstage may risk forfeiting their rights to attend that show or other shows. Our goal is to provide the best entertainment experience for all our guests, and we request that you treat all passengers and staff with respect. Any behavior that disrupts the enjoyment of other passengers will result in removal from the show by security staff.
- The taking of flash photos and the recording of shows violate our contracts with the performers. Since it is impossible to easily discern what type of equipment can record, no electronic equipment of any kind will be allowed in the Mainstage during shows.
MAIN DINING ROOM INCLUDED IN CRUISE FARE
- On embarkation day, November 4th, you will be given your Stateroom Key Card with dining times listed on your card.
- All dining is Open Seating, meaning you can be seated between 5:30-9:30pm at your leisure.
- Guests who previously made table requests with our office will receive a letter in their stateroom on embarkation day with the assigned table number. These guests should enter the Upper Dining Room on Deck 3.
OTHER DINING OPTIONS
- Please visit The Holland America website or Navigator App to view the complete Dining (included in fare) and Fine Dining (additional cost) options on board.
- Reservations for Fine Dining (additional cost) are recommended and can easily be made through the Holland America Line website or Navigator App once you complete your Online Check-in or from your stateroom.
Beverage packages are available through Holland America Line. Once you have your Holland America booking number, they can be purchased:
- before boarding through the Holland America Line website, Navigator App or by contacting Holland America Line at 800-541-1576
- once onboard through the Navigator App or from Guest Services or Beverage staff
Please note: All guests in a stateroom must purchase the same package. For more information, visit the Holland America Line website.
Once you have completed your online check-in, you can book excursions directly on the Holland America Line. Click “Already Booked” and login with My Account.
Choose your tour times, book tours, and receive confirmation of your shore excursion reservations up to three days before sailing. Make your payment online and receive the approximate tour departure times. Reservations made online receive priority handling and are processed prior to requests made on board. We recommend booking as early as possible because many of the popular excursions sell out quickly.
TIPPING ON BOARD
Other than drink and Spa service charges, all tips for servers, cabin stewards, etc., have been pre-paid. However, please feel free to reward exemplary service with the internationally recognized sign of gratitude: “tipping.”
HOSPITALITY AND SALES AREAS
Our Hospitality Desk is located on Deck 1 Midship across from Guest Services. Our sales office is located on Deck 3 Forward in the Hudson Room. Hours will be listed in the daily program delivered to your stateroom. Please stop by to say hello! It’s always great to put a face with a voice.
T-SHIRT ONBOARD DELIVERY AND EXCHANGES
Our Hospitality Desk on Deck 1 Midship will be open for exchanges on Sunday and Monday before the T-shirt party. Hours of operation will be posted on board. Please bring your T-shirt with you and we will happily exchange it, pending availability.