Last year I returned home from a holiday with my wife which included the 10-Day Holy Land Sojourn on-board the Holland America, deeply dissatisfied with the quality of the cabin we stayed in. We paid the cost of an ocean-view room (being at a premium above the basic inside-room), which turned out to have a window facing the deck, where other passengers could view the inside of our room if the curtain was drawn closed. This therefore made the “ocean-view” feature completely redundant, however we were refused recompense for this misrepresentation. There was also a problem with the toilet flushing system which forced us to use the public toilets and not those in our cabin.
The ocean-view room we stayed in had a window which looks out directly onto the ship deck, where passengers frequently lingered and passed, and who could see inside of our room. This was quite distressing for myself and my wife as we were not expecting our room contents to be in full view of other passengers. We could therefore not actually leave our window curtain open and make any use of this window, as it was quite uncomfortable to do so. Although technically there was some ocean-view from our room, it was not what we believed to be paying for and had no extra qualities to a basic room. Had we known this would be the case, we would have absolutely not paid the extra charge booking an ocean-view room as opposed to the basic room we have used on other cruises.
Furthermore, we also experienced much trouble with the toilet flushing system during the 10-day period. We complained of this to staff during our stay, who advised this could not be resolved, other than to wait for extended periods each time after using the toilet before the flush would work. This was a serious quality problem for us, as we have been on-board many cruises, and have never experienced this before. This was quite uncomfortable and troublesome for us, as we felt quite restricted in our room and unhappy with the quality of the system in place.
We felt we should have been compensated for the trouble we experienced on board the vessel, as we did not experience the promised level of quality of the room we paid for.
After making a few detailed complaints with management at Holland America, they apologised in writing, however did not offer any satisfactory remedy other than $100 future on-board credit should we choose to travel with them again. We considered this completely useless as we were clearly left with a very bad impression of Holland America cruises. Given that the price differential between the cabin we paid for and a standard inside cabin is $300 per person, and we did not feel that we experienced anything additional to a standard inside cabin would provide (likely WORSE than a standard room), we feel completely taken advantage of and quite rudely refused an appropriate remedy for our trouble.
I would strongly recommend you DO NOT travel with Holland America, because if you experience any quality issues, you will likely just have to take it. Don’t expect management to take your complaint seriously or provide you an appropriate remedy, but rather an empty apology and inconsequential future board credit on a cruise you will likely never book with them!