Stateroom requested Suite G2706 ... Paid $3850 per person march 2012
The same stateroom selling for $2200 per person in December 2012 two months before sailing. Called Holland America office and talked with supervisor who informed me that he could not refund the difference but would upgrade to window stateroom.
No refund but an update from HAL offered........BIG MISTAKE..DO NOT ACCEPT UPGRADES......
LIES FROM HAL #1
FEB 4 Day 1 to Day 14
To our shock and dismay the uPdated Stateroom is below galley kitchen Suite number 3372--- avoid any even numbered unit between 3300 to approx 3400.
Noise started at 5:30 am every morning lasted (2 weeks). It sounded like large industrial mixers and chains being dragged through the walls of our suite.
Notice that the location of the galley kitchen is never advertised on their website, on any brochure or on any ship map.. They show it as a blank spit with no information.
LIES FROM HAL # 2.
Asked to be moved to verandah suite for the last 2 weeks of our 4 weeks cruise.
Estimate given to us $699 per person for 14 days left on the cruise...... We said yes because we were desperate..before we moved I found an old email listing the price for a verandah upgrade to be for $599 per person for entire 28 day cruise....caught HAL again in a lie.
LIES FROM HAL #3.....
FOOD SERVICE ON A 28 DAY TRIP FROM HAL
Breakfast : stick to toast butter and jams...
Milk imported from china...it smells. Be careful if you are coming from North America
No respect for vegetarian cooking...all pasta dishes cooked with same utensils whether meat sauce or vegetarian in the Lido.. Chef is too busy trying to sweet talk the single women guests rather than worrying about serving good quality food by his untrained young staff. If he starts with Hello Darling ...move to another place to eat....LIES FROM HAL #4.
The quality of food in both the main dining room and the Lido is mostly mediocre served by waiters that would never eat it themselves. Reminds me of my college dorm days..
Day 2,5,8, 12,16 The Main Dinning Room (Ida the evil matire'd)
Look out for the maitre 'd on the 4th floor dinning room. He basically does not want to give you a nice table for 2... Most nights we waited for 15 minutes even when there were many small tables open. We wondered if he had something personal against us although we were polite and appropriately dressed. it would seem that this man needs some multi-cultural and manners training. The smile he use shows when his supervisor is around is not sincere.
More Lies from HAL #5.
The last time we ate in the main dining room was on our 18th day of a 28 day cruise. The dinner started with us finally getting a nice table by a window, for once. We ordered some wine and had our dinner. We expected to enjoy our evening , as we were leaving Shanghai. But as The ship left the magnificent lights of Shanghai our nightmare started..
We usually go to bed around 10 pm as we are not much of late night people. I went to bed as my wife watched tv in bed next to me. All of a sudden, I start to feel my fish and bok choi started to rise in my stomach. I barely made my way to the washroom where my dinner flew out of my mouth at full speed. This lasted the next 4 hours as I sat by the bathtub making sure not to make too much of a mess. After each throw up I ran the shower to make it disappear... Next morning my wife went down to the doctors office and picked up some anti-diarrheal pills ... We were told I was on voluntary quarantine, in our room. As I slowly waited out my condition in a room with no heat , while the temp in China dropped below freezing.... Calls regarding the lack of heat were ignored. LIES from HAL #6.
Next morning while freezing in our verandah suite my wife took charge as I lay in bed shivering. She got me tea one cup at a time because if you order the flask from room service, it was at most lukewarm , not hot. She cancelled my excursion bookings for Beijing and the Great Wall of China. . I could not bear the thought of a twelve hour excursion, riding buses 3 hrs each way without a rest room on the bus. My wife was determined to go see the Great Wall the next day... So she would have to go alone.
The day started with me still in bed and my wife running around the ship to get me some HOT soup. Lido serves two kinds of soup everyday. One is usually cream based the other being vegetarian. She brought me a cup of the vegetarian soup which I have to describe as smelling of rotten eggs with green leafs floating on the top. The smell of this soup started me into throwing up again. Please take a can of chicken noodle just in case you catch a bug as consomme is not available.
My wife noticed that she was feeling a little tired. As she rested in the afternoon on her bed, I knew that she too would be sick. It happened around 3 pm. She ran to the bathroom and threw up so violently that I was afraid for her. I jumped out of my bed and took charge. Now I had to be in control. She had magnificently handled my sickness , now it was my turn. As she sat near the bathtub spilling out her guts, I phoned the doctor and asked for more pills. The nurse came to our stateroom and informd us that we were both quarantined. If we violated quarantine we would be expelled from the ship and have to find our own way home. This seemed an extreme threat when we were left extremely ill, in a room with no heat.
We stayed in bed watched some movies and drank lot's of water $3.75/ bottle.
A night from hell..no heat in our room. Temp outside approaching freezing. Both confined to our stateroom. God help us.. A day from HAL...More Lies from HAL#7.
A new day dawned with me feeling better and my wife still feeling the effects of up chucking all night...
Breakfast meant calling room service ....some cereal and toast with tea...we could not look at any other food. The joy of eating was gone.
Phoned the front office. Requested that they clean our room and give us some fresh towels. We were informed that they would send someone in the evening to clean up. We basically lived in the filth of our stomach up chucking for 48 hours. Our normal stewards did not want to clean up. Also, no heat in the room. We were told that someone would check the heater but it had been days since our first request.
We sat in our room waiting for some help which came at 7pm with a knock on the door. An officer named Arpalata appeard with 2 stewards. The Stewart's cleaned the washroom and disinfected the room. We were grateful. Next came the guy to fix the heater. We finally had a clean room with some heat. Things were looking up.
The doctor called and inquired about our condition. We told him we were feeling much better. He informed us that we were no longer in quarantine. We were free to roam the ship. Free at last...I so much wanted to see Tianmann Square and salute the heroes of 1989. It was not to be. Thanks HAL.
Day 22 Beijing day 2
We stayed on the ship in Bejing . Had a quiet breakfast of hot cereal and toast with lot's of Earl Grey tea....so many lies constantly told have made us fearful of trying another long cruise with HAL. We will try cruise lines that are modern with new technology and newer ship..