Just returned from a 7 day New Year cruise on the Noordam. This was our sixth cruise on Holland America. I think it is probably our last. It is sad to say that they are going downhill. I cannot say that anything is horrible, but in their effort to cut costs, they are making the cruise less enjoyable. All the web sites say that they have a crew of 800, but when we read the onboard propaganda, they say only 600. It seems that some of the staff cuts were supervisors. We have breakfast in the buffet. In all of our previous cruises (23 in all) people would come around asking if we would like more coffee. On this cruise, there were lots of people standing around and chatting instead.
Lots of other things seemed different. When we asked our steward for some ice, he brought it , but seemed like it was an imposition to ask.
I must say that the luggage handling was the best and most efficient that I have ever seen.
The mariners’ lunch was awful. Here were all their loyal customers and they threw the lunch at us, then they seemed to rush us out of the dining room. The officers spoke for a total of 90 seconds. Maybe this was a blessing)