We arrived at the Cruise Terminal after being collected with a private transfer. This year our luggage was taken and we had a long walk to the terminal. There should be assistance for people that are older. Check in was completed without any problems and we went onboard around midday. We arrived at our cabins, which were interleading and were totally shocked. The cabins were filthy to say the least. The sheets looked like they had been on the bed for months and the pillow cases had large holes. The dirt bins had been used to get sick in and not cleaned. The smell in the bathroom was absolutely atrocious. We complained and by the end of the day the cabins had been cleaned and new linen was put on the beds. One would think that after that welcome, that would be the end. The cabin saga went on for the duration of the cruise.
We booked and paid for 2 Lido Cabanas on the 9th floor for the 24 night cruise. My husband was recovering from major surgery and my mom did not enjoy the sun, so it was a perfect arrangement. Almost everyday, repairs were taking place, so one had continual noise and if repairs were not taking place then they would start to set up at 10 in the morning for a function in the evening. It was absolutely awful.
Sanitizing was a total joke....for the first 2 days when one entered the Lido area somebody stood half heartedly and sanitized a persons' hands. Thereafter nothing and many times there was nothing in the containers, hence the awful germ that spread around the ship. Imagine more than 1 000 people coughing as if they had whooping cough.
The food this year was completely inedible. We have always enjoyed the Kosher cuisine on Holland America. I don't know what happened this year. It was disgusting. Food was always cold, even the desserts were not nice.
We are Mariner Members, so our profile will always come up on booking. Strange that nobody from Holland America found it necessary to inform the travel agency that always does our bookings that the main entertainment on the ship was the same as the previous year. We needed to be given the information to make a choice whether we wanted to travel again with the same entertainment.
The balance of the entertainment was well below par.
We never take shore excursions, but on 2 occasions noticed the prices being charged if one wanted a shuttle into town. I am referring to Corfu and Marseilles. On both occasions people were completely ripped off. It was far cheaper to take a taxi.
The officers around the ship were most unfriendly and rude to say the least. They never deemed it necessary to greet one in a passage. If one was in a queue, they pushed in. In 24 days, I heard the captain's voice almost daily and never set eyes on him. Strange......very strange.
I have done so many cruises, many cruise lines that I have done don't even exist or their names have changed from Chandris to Celebrity, etc. This is the first time that I have experienced an awful cruise from day one to the end. To actually count the days until one disembarks, is not the way to have a holiday.
Disembarkation was fine, we know the drill and have done it so many times!!!!
Holland America Lines start taking real concern. You are not what you used to be and what a shame.