Faulty plumbing taints first time cruise experience
Four of the seven days on board our May 23rd HAL cruise on the Ms Amsterdam, we had ZERO toilet facilities because they were experiencing huge problems with the sewage system so ours either OVERFLOWED or DIDN'T WORK. It was really no surprise when a lot of people(reported 78) came down with gastro-intestinal illness onboard resulting in a code red from Thursday thru Saturday. Weather resulted in us not being able to get off in Victoria so being on board with limited toilet facilities and a lot of sick people was not fun in any way shape or form. Of course coming down with the cooties from Saturday night thru yesterday(Monday) made the trip all the more horrible for me. The front desk and guest relations were not terribly concerned or responsive, we were given a bottle of wine after my husbands keys ceased to work to comp us for the technical difficulties however lack of toilet facilities didn't result in anything other than a pat, "we are aware of the problem and are working on it" or my least favorite, "people flush things down the toilet they shouldn't so it's not really a surprise yours is broken." Presumably, I am those people? At one point 50 plus staterooms, crew cabins etc. were affected by a faulty sewage tank on a day at sea from early morning until 6:30 pm.
Service in the dining room for our table #55 was abysmal on our first night(we never returned), our wine steward never showed, food came at different times or not at all. The people we were traveling with complained and got re-assigned to table #43 and a superb waiter named Reo who was indeed excellent. Our room stewards were great and our room was topically clean at least. Disturbingly I never smelled bleach or any other agent that would leave me to believe our room was bacteria free nor was our room/bathroom cleaned with hazmat gear meaning that our raw sewage was presumably tracked thru our cabin, down the hallway and any other room the repair people and or stewards visited.
The singing barista, Leo, was a joy, Andi in the gym and a few of the Lido staff but otherwise the service was rather unremarkable. I have ten years in the hospitality industry and choose my land bound accommodations based on value versus service. Sadly HAL didn't even come close to breaking even in this regards.