The Rotterdam was just out of dry dock when we boarded for the Dec. 16/09 cruise thru Paqnama Canal ending up in San Diego. When we finally were able to board the ship after sitting in a extemely hot hall for 3 hr it looked lovely. But as we started for our state room we noticed workmen working everywhere on the ship trying to put it together in order to leave port. We were suppose to leave at 5pm & we left at 9pm.
When we got to our state room it was lovely until we looked in the bathroom. the floor was filthy & the toilet was filled with black water. Tried to flush it & it would not flush. Called the front deck & a plumber was dispatched promptly to fix it. He told us it was fixed & the room steward cleaned up the floor.The next morning the used the toilet & would not flush. Again called the desk quite irate & another plumber came to fix the toilet. again he told it was fixed. The next morning used the toilet & this time it would not flush but for some reason the water & content of toilet started to overflow into cabin & out into the hall. We were absoletly mortified & my husband was down at the front desk in a robe going ballistic. Again everyone is extemely apologetic but by this time we are both thinking 3 days of this & we have 16 more days to go. I don't know whether I can stand it.
Anyway the toilet was good for a few days but did break down again. On to all the other problems. The A/C was not working properly all over the ship. Some folks had to go & sleep on the couches in the common rooms because either the rooms were freezing or stifling. Panels from the ceilings fell off & hit people in the head & sprinklers fell out of the ceiling & water poured down the walls.
Holland America had cut staff on this cruise & it was very evident in the dinning room. Our cabin stewards & dinning room steward were wonderful but extremely overworked. We were told in confidence by one of the crew that the ship truly needed at least 2 more weeks in dry dock to be completely finished.
When the life boats were used for tenders one of them each time broke down. This really didn't give a lot of confidence if anything did go wrong & we had to abandon ship.
Several of the ports were really bad - Mayaguez, Santa Marta, Corinto(awful). When we finally reach San Diego debarqation was a nightmare. People were standing in the stairwells up to the Lido deck for up to 2 hr. Some people missed flights. Holland America should be ashamed. There were many other problems but not enough space to list. The only compensation HAL were giving was bottles of wine & 1 hr. of free drinks. What if you are a non drinker & the hr. of free drinks was a stampede.
Some people were so fed up before the end of the cruise several of them got off at the various ports & flew home.