I sailed with my sister, on what we anticipated to be a great Carribean cruise. My sister is a seasoned Mariner and she selected Holland America Line due to it's previous reputation. We boarded the ship and our stateroom was ready early. Given the two separate beds and no curtains to close between the beds, I slept on the pull out couch. I felt the metal bar against my back all week. When I asked to have this fixed, I was given an egg crate foam that was disintegrating - old, yellow, ripped. It didn't do much. The fabric on the couch was so old and dusty, my allergies were in full bloom.
The food in the Lido bar/dining area was poor. No self service due to the GI outbreak on the ship, so the line ups were long and the food was cold. The portions served were very small. In fact, they actually ran out of coffee cups on the last day so - no coffee was available and then they served it in the juice glasses! Hot!!
The food in the paying restaurants was delicious. The food in the Vista Dining room was mediocre and the serving staff were rude and they rushed us, often wanting to serve dinner before they brought us our bottle of wine that we had pre-ordered.
Given the GI outbreak, all pools, hot tubs and spa pools were closed by Tuesday. I had purchased a $300.00 package for my sister and I to use what was sold as a Mineral Pool and heated lounge chair deck. We used it twice, it was very crowded and there was no sign of Mineral Water or Sea Salt springs etc. They closed this entire area and took the towels out of the gym change room/shower room so we were not able to use this amenity. When I asked for a refund, the spa manager argued with me that it was actually open from Saturday to Tuesday noon, so she charged me the daily rate x 2!! What a cash grab!
The spa area had the public elevator in the middle so you had to walk across open, public space to reach the change rooms - lovely in your robes or swim suites. I was told this was to increase exposure to the spa, as only a small percentage of guests use the spa.
All in all - the excursions were just ok, the ship was old and there were limited activities on board. The staff were rude and indifferent - likely over worked and perhaps ill themselves?
I would NEVER cruise on Holland America again. I completed the evaluation they sent, but have heard nothing back as yet. They were very quick to charge my credit card though. Oh - one other thing, they have finance/accounting issues. You must check you statement often as there were duplicate charges on the beverage card and also posted to the account, mixed up charges between the room occupants and extra charges for water/pop that we didn't use. The front desk staff kept us waiting 20 - 30 minutes, after our debarkation was called, to try to sort it out. We were last off the ship - over a water and a can of pop!!!!