Bring back Holland America to her past grandeur of cruising
Cruise Critic's embarkation port selection did not have Kobe, so I typed in Osaka which is near Kobe. We were very impressed when we arrived Vancouver, our final destination. All passengers could wait in the stateroom until the announcement was made to disembark. It was very comfortable waiting. It took us only less than 30 minutes from stateroom to the taxi stand at the very user friendly port of Vancouver.
Volendam's lunch and dinner improved a lot on May 18 and 20, 2009, on last two days. Maybe the company wanted us to forget the past 17 days of budget oriented dinner menu with fancy names and explanations. First time Lobster appeard on the dinner menu was May 18th, and the lobster they served there as well as in the Pinnacle Grill was a warm water lobster and not the cold water lobster like Maine Lobster. Even Carnival's 7 day Western Caribbean Cruise serves a lobster and filet mignon once during their 7 day cruise ! We had to wait 17 days to see our only Lobster and Filet.
At the speciality Coffee station, I saw the attendant opening a milk carton made in China, obviously Volendam uses milk materials made in China. So I start to drink my coffee black and avoided all milk products. Somebody should check each Cruise Line to see which product they buy and use aboard the ship from China. I do not want to dine on food made in China.
On our 10th day, we still had the same bed lines from Kobe. There were 61 Japanese guests travelling as a group and one of them told me that I had to request personally if I want my linens changed. So on our 11th day, we had a bed linen changed. I requested bed linens to be changed on every fourth day and the cabin steward followed my request.
In Ketchikan, I returned to my cabin,exhausted from the shore excursion and found out that my bed was neatly made with 3 day old linens. Cabin steward told me that the fresh linens were not available on the morning of May 18th and when he came back with the fresh linens at 1:30pm, my husband was asleep and could not change the linens. This shows that cabin steward is doing their best: making bed neatly each morning with the same sheets, and the fresh sheets were not available some mornings. I suspect it is Holland America's policy to cut the cost, therefore, they instruct the cabin stewards to use the same old sheets as long as they can. I do not blame ship employees as it was obvious everyone was working very hard and they were always pleasant and kind. I blame Holland America's Corporate Office to put a cheap.policy on bed linens and foods the guests consume daily.
I suggest the Line to start offering the eco-friendly card indicating if a guest wants clean linen and towels, to indicate a guest's request as done in most of US Hotels. There was a great Musician/Pianist/Band Leader called Jim. But his Afro American female vocalist was not good. We had sailed Holland America in the Mediterranean and the Carribbean about 15 years ago and our most recent trip was a sad experience for us. Is there any hope for Holland America to return to the past LEADER of the Cruise Industry ?