The beginning and end of the cruise was unacceptable. This was our third cruise and compared to the others there were some major differences.
We embarked at noon in San Diego and had to wait 6 hours till our baggage arrived outside our cabin. It was not just us, but all of the passengers suffered this ignonomy. Even though we came extra early so that we could get ready for the evening. It was especially difficult since our Sabbath starts at Sundown, and we had no clothes to wear that evening. The excuse given was "a computer glitch". There was not so much as "an excuse us" from anyone, not even the cruise director.
At the end of the cruise, after we disembarked in Ft Lauderdale, we had to wait on the Pier for almost three hours to go thru disembarkation". Once we got to the Customs officer, we were waved thru immediately. We still cant understand the long delay in Ft Lauderdale. the excuse given there was "the computer is down".
The rest of the cruise was very enjoyable. The crew was always helpful, happy and cheerful. We couldn't ask for more. The dining room staff went out of their way to accommodate us, even though we had special dietary requirements. Our Cabin was always clean, and the Captain's announcements very jovial. Everyone of the crew did their utmost to make our voyage smooth and calm.
We did not take any of the Ships organized shore excursions, instead we opted to find our own tours which were as good and much less expensive. Mostly we went with a couple of other passengers in Vans and Taxis. Only once did we get "gypped" - in Cartagena Colombia. We had asked the "Tour Guide" FERNANDO TOURS to take us to the Palacio Inquisition. He promised to do so, but said we would get there at the end of the tour. We never did. Instead he took us to various shops where I am sure he got commission. Never mind, we did little shopping since we were waiting for The PALACIO. I suggest that you stay away from FERNANDO's TOUR in Cartagena, and hope that HOLLAND AMERICA takes away his port license and does not allow him to enter the port to scam others.
Due to the inconveniences we experienced at the beginning and end of the trip, we will opt for other cruise lines in the future.