We thought the ship food was very good, the staff was very friendly and we appreciate that they gave us a two category room upgrade. We loved the itinerary and had an especially good time at Half Moon Cay and Grand Turks. The cruise director and captain were very nice and the front desk people were very kind. The excursion Grand Turks for ultimate snorkeling was very nice. Embarkation and Disembarkation were both very smooth and organized. We loved the different classes that were offered onboard such as the culinary classes and Microsoft classes. It is a great idea that Holland America had by teaming up with the likes of Food & Wine magazine to bring us those fun and informative classes.
We felt there could have been more variety of excursions especially in Puerto Rico and especially excursions that had to do with seeing the beach and not centering on shopping.
We appreciated so greatly how the cruise line allowed us to adjust the tipping amount for each day. We also had a chance to watch the “front desk” crew in action with several hostile guests and were so impressed at their patience and kindness.
Our room was a comfortable size although our room air conditioner didn’t work and our bathroom floors were always sticky appearing unmapped. However our room crew did an excellent job of keep our room made up and neat.
The only other issue we had was the illness aboard the ship. Apparently it was the Noro virus which starts because someone doesn’t wash their hands well and contaminates the food with feces as you know. Within a few days of being on the ship it was in code red due to this virus. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/179107.php “According to the CDC, USA, the majority of food borne Noro virus infection outbreaks most likely arise through direct contamination of food by an infected handler immediately before its consumption” therefore, probably originating with the crew.
We understand that illness will happen and it will spread when you are sharing a cruise ship, hotel, and airplane with many people. However, our issue is that the ship had the same problem the week before. We wondered why they didn’t notify the passengers of this and why they didn’t take extra time to sanitize the rooms before the herded us all on and why we were not all notified of the problems they had the week before. .
I am equally surprised as globtrotter that the captain kept its onboard shops open and its merchandise sales promotions on schedule. It made the efforts to stop the illness seems somewhat hap hazard. Maybe he is correct that apparently, Holland America can bear the infection risk of passengers touching counters and rummaging through sale items so long as the cash registers continue to ring. The last day we were there the wait staff on the Lido deck was giving drinks out without gloves on.
There were sanitizer kiosks everywhere but it wasn’t mandatory to use them. On previous cruises we have been on employees stand guarding all entrances to dining areas and entrances on to the ship, in the theaters and so forth. You simply cannot enter without using sanitizer. We also noticed that on other cruise lines they had employees constantly wiping down door knobs and hand rails with sanitizer which we didn’t see on this cruise. Hey, a little Lysol sprayed on each mattress, in every cabin of both guests and employees would go a long way.
This was our 20th anniversary; what a strange and disappointing thing to be on a cruise line under code red. It really did feel like being on “floating bacteria” I caught both something respiratory and some viral rash around Thursday on the trip and I am still fighting both. Although these things do happen I felt this was the weakness of this cruise line that they didn’t take it more seriously. Holland America could have us back if they would put their selves out there as industry leaders in going above and beyond whatever they are obligated to do by CDC to prevent virus..