Rotterdam Cruise Review by ladycruzer20: A great disappopintment
Member Since 2011
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A great disappopintment
This was our second ( and definitely last ) cruise on HAL. Just one disappoinment after another. To begin with Check-in in Singapore ( a very efficient city ) was a disaster - waited hours in the heat with not so much as a bottle of water offered, no direction ( some people were waiting in the wrong area ) , and mistake ridden. We gave separate credit cards for our individual expenses, however, when we asked to see an accounting partway through the cruise, all charges were lumped together on one card ( by this time we had learned to double check everything ).
Our Lanai cabin was OK - one of the reasons we chose this cruise, however there were often other people using our 'personal' lounge chairs. Cabin steward was OK, but did nothing outstanding for us, and like everyone else working on this ship, seemed to care little about the passengers comfort. We were charged ($$$) for bottles of water placed in the cabins that would be complimentery on any other cruise line. More
Food was generally awful to terrible - no choice ( the same sort of muffins every morning for 2 weeks - fruit crumble every night ( bananas do not make a good crumble but guess they were just using up leftovers )) , inconvenient hours, often told ' there's no more ...', but again service was the worst part. Dining room was no better - terrible service - when I ordered Rainbow Trout one night I was served a white fish and when I questioned it's identitiy I was told 'That's Rainbow Trout'. I ordered a glass of wine one night - a known brand and it was so terrible I couldn't drink it - an unusual situation for me. As usual no one came around to ask if there was a problem - they just took the almost full glass away. I guess they are so used to people not consuming their product that they no longer question it.
Shore excursions were generally terrible - lunch at the end of a dangerous and almost impassible "road' in Bali, and three hours sitting on a bus, not moving, in Java. Shore excursion staff knew that this happens every Sunday and yet still offer this excursion but do not even warn the passenegers what they will expereince -' possible heavy traffic' does not describe what actually occurs. And why they go to Makassar I'll never know.
And finally getting off the ship was no better - again confusing information. First we were told that early disembarkation was only available from 7:15 - 7:30 am even though we had returned to Singapore the previous day, and that in order to take advantage of this we would have to take all of our own luggage off of the ship. We asked if we could at least get some help with our luggage, however I am still waiting for an answer to that request.
Overall the ship was OK - nothing special and some areas need sprucing up, but the biggest downfall was the service. No one seemed at all interested in the passenegers - we were just an inconvenience. We were often given conflicting information and after a few days learned not to believe anything we were told.
I mentioned all of these problems to my travel agent who contacted their HAL representative, and I did receive a standardized reply, however it was 'too little, too late', and I seriously doublt that any improvements have been made.
As I said ' never again '. Less
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