This was the most disappointing cruise I've ever been on. My sister & I took our mom on her first ever cruise for her 76th birthday. The first thing we found was moisture on the carpet by the elevators on each deck. It had a very foul smell like a sewer leak. We watched the wetness and smell get worse with each day. It was so bad by the Lido buffet that it affected the way the food food we ate tasted. The ship did use wet vacs and blowers to try to correct the problem, but whatever was leaking was never fixed. My sister and I have both cruised enough on several different cruise lines to know that ships do have a unique smell, but not a nauseating as this smell was.
On this cruise there were 2 ports that we were in until 9 and 10 at night. After a busy day of shore excursions and shopping we got back on the ship too late for our 5:15 dinner seating. Well, what a mistake. The dining room was closed and so was the buffet on the Lido deck. They closed at 8PM. One night we talked a crew member into re-opening the ice cream container and ate ice cream cones for dinner. The 3 of us had shared a meal on shore that day, planning on eating a good evening meal on the ship because why spend our money on food when there was a whole ship full we already paid for. What a joke. Another day in port day we were only able to get some cheese and bread for dinner. One day for lunch we chose to eat cheese and crackers, since nothing on the menu or buffet appealed to us. There was always salad, but that's what we eat at home, not on a cruise. We were told we could order room service 24 hours a day. Room service offered sandwiches and hamburgers, which we don't care for especially on a cruise where eating is the main entertainment. The food quality,variety and taste was also disappointing. The coffee and tea were undrinkable and only available on the Lido deck or in the dining room. All other cruise lines we have been on offer a different menu on the buffet in case you don't like the dining room menu, but on this ship they were both the same. There often weren't any choices on the menu that were to our liking. We did find lunch out by the pool that sometimes was not bad. They had tacos some days, pizza, and hamburgers freshly cooked. Every night we had to ask the waiter for lemon for our water. On other cruise lines the dining staff made note on the first night of our likes and we never had to ask again.
This was our first Holland America cruise and we are unsure if we will ever cruise Holland again. Our stateroom was always very clean and the attendant always happy to serve us in any way he could.
My husband and I just did this exact cruise in May 2009 on another cruise line and I was so excited to be going on Holland America to the same ports, but I was terribly disappointed by the ship.