Holland America is a fallen star. This once superior line has substituted their bottom line for customer satisfaction. The cutbacks are obvious in all phases of HAL's performance.
Entertainment was the worst I have ever seen in over 30 cruises. Showing a movie in the main showroom does not constitute entertainment. In the movie theater they showed the kids movies on two nights. They had only one poolside party and one junk food party during the cruise. Sea days had almost nothing for us to do. Everything presented by the ship was a sales pitch for a future cruise or shore excursion. Other than the computer classes and a daily trivia game there was nothing available except things they wanted you to pay for (ie:, wine tasting, cooking, art auctions, bingo).
My impression was that HAL doesn't offer anything unless they are selling some product that adds to their revenue.
We had fixed dining. Most evenings they were sounding a gong for everyone to More
leave before we got our meal completed. Sometimes we had to skip the sweets to get out for the next seating. I think servers may have more tables to serve and there is not enough time to get everything done. The beef was never cooked the same way. I would order my beef cooked medium and it would sometimes be rare and running with blood. The next night it would be over cooked and dry.
The Lido was a disaster. They had 3 people on each end of the hall administering hand cleaning solution. This left fewer people to serve food and keep tables cleaned. The result was long lines getting food, dirty tables and floors.
The shore excursions we did with HAL were poor in quality. They got us to the ballet in Russia after the program had started. We had to walk in the rain for a couple of blocks because they dropped us off on the street instead of at the event. There is no way to put a good face on women in evening gowns walking through the mud in the rain to attend the ballet. These images will last a long time in my memory.
After doing a dozen cruises with this line, it is clear to me that HAL is on the decline. There has been a continual decline in the cruise experience on their ships. Their cuts have cost them my business as I will chose other lines for future trips. Less