This was our first cruise with the "upscale" Holland America and most definately our last. The room was not what we expected on many levels. We have cruised with several lines in the past and were amazed at the cleanliness and service provided - Holland America is NOT one of them. The bathroom floor was covered with hair from a previous guest(s), walls and mirrors were dirty, couch/fold-bed was stainned, the head board was covered with ink drawings possibly from a child on earlier cruises, curtains could have used a good washing, floor needed shampooed badly, etc. The public areas were somewhat better. The adult area on the ship is most unuseable on the Alaska cruise since it is NOT covered and the cruise is in a cold area most of the time. Entertainment was "slow". The only good entertainment was the comedian other than him the entertainment would have rivaled that of a nursing home. Activities onboard consisted of Sales of junk and jewelry or "how to shop" courses. The last time I was solicited this hard for money was in Las Vegas. Public areas were randomly closed off for private functions which created a problem since there was so little to do. If I was 90 years old the ship activities and entertainment may have been of interest. Pool closed at 7pm leaving the children with nothing to do, therefore they ran up and down the halls of the ship.
SERVICE: the first thing we noticed was how SHIP EMPLOYEES DID NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT AT ANYTIME nor did they attempt to speak. Getting assistance was impossible. We were owed a $65 credit to our spa services but never received it. Was told by the Main Desk Managment that it was being "checked into". That was the comment for the entire cruise. Quality of the spa was below poor.
FOOD - as in the my title - the only cruise I have ever heard of or been involved in where I left the dinner table as hungry as when I arrived. I have jokingly told friends that I was on the Jenny Craig cruise and that the food services group could feed the world with one cow for 10 years. Let me hit some highlights - Crablegs, my favorite food, was served. Let me be more clear, A CRABLEG, split down the middle and cut in sections was served on the 1 and 1/2 new potatoes as my entree'. This was after my 9 leaves of lettuce salad and the quarter sized seafood cake that I swallowed before I tasted it. The first night after dinner - what there was of it, I was thrilled that I had requested a cheese tray for midnight to celebrate our 25th anniversary with the bottle of Champagne I had ordered. I will say we laughed a great laugh when, at midnight, we received the 3 1/2inch squares of cheese and the 3 packs of crackers. The croutons with spread squeezed on top with an icing bag was the most comical of food items we were served. I did receive a raw veal parmasan which was replaced with the new one that contained the broken toothpick. The restaurant manager attempted to prove to me that the tooth pick was indeed an herb that had dried during cooking. I wasnt sure if I should laugh or be angry that he viewed me as an idiot.
The quality of food was very poor for any restaurant. The serving sizes were well below any I have ever experienced anywhere. The inability to get a decent meal was beyond our belief. The late night buffett consisted of a limited (VERY LIMITED) amount of food and once that was gone it was GONE! Upon returning from shore excursions there would be NO FOOD to be had. Room service was joke - if they did not forget then you might get some of what you ordered. The Ham and Cheese omelette consisted of no ham nor cheese and brown heavily on both sides - also known as scorched. Cresents - my favorite bread was as small as an egg and hard as a rock. The only good meal and flavorful food I received was from the lunch time sandwich guy who built the sandwich as I ordered.
Overall the cruise ship/line was subpar with poor chance of referral from us. I would never recommend this cruise line nor will I ever book with them again. The only good part of the cruise was the shore excursions - I can just as well cruise with Princess in the future and I will.