1. Privacy Violation.
2. So-So Cruise
1. We reported this to the Pursar and will escalate this further. Everything went well until the morning we arrived back in Ft. Lauderdale.
We had scheduled a late departure as were staying locally. We had just come out of the shower and were getting dressed - still in our underwear - when a man appeared on our veranda about 7:50AM. We had also asked for a wake-up call at 8AM which we obviously no longer needed but it came as scheduled. He apparently had opened the hinged nose of each veranda partition on our side of the ship. He seemed to have looked in and we immediately closed the drapes and called the front desk. We met with the Pursar to report the incident.
Well, the man left and we reopened the drapes. However, much to our surprise, he reappeared on our veranda. I then went out on the veranda and he then left to the rear of the ship. He saw me and I asked him what the hell he was doing here at which point he left. Curiously, he only stacked the furniture on our veranda but left furniture untouched on the other verandas. I then took a picture of our veranda and the two on either side of us.
My wife was mortified and quite upset over this event as was I. We don't know if this guy was following instructions or did this on his own. We can only guess at his motive.
Regardless, it was a violation of our privacy and casted a pall over the entire vacation. This was our first cruise on Holland America. We have been on many cruises with other cruise lines.
I also contacted HAL and got an insulting response from the customer service rep stating in a letter that we should have expected someone to be there and that he couldn't really see in anyway. In other words, why were we upset? They offered us a free upgrade on the next cruise which we also found insulting.
2. So-So Cruise.
First, we were not happy with the first luncheon in the Lido. Lines were long, plates were hot and there were no trays. Food was okay and difficult to find seating. Not a pleasent experience.
The outdoor barbeque was a disgrace. The food was mediocre, cold and the service worse. We had a hard time finding a table and when we did, it was not cleaned up and we had to sit down to a dirty table cloth. Also, unsanitary conditions in the Lido regarding availability of ice. They blocked access to the icemaker tap so everyone had to use the metal scoop which often sat in the icetray which meant people put their hands in the icetray in order to scoop-out ice. Ugh! We chose open-seating for dinner and liked that aspect as we sat with many different people. Service was slow and it took over 1.5 hours to eat. Food was OK; not great.
Not that much to do on the ship. Except I must say that the band, Charlie and the HALcats were great considering they were a pick-up group. We had a great time with them. The shows were also very good as was the comedian. Other than that few activities for active seniors. did not need a movie night in lieu of dancing. We can see a movie anytime at home.
Also, excessive number of very elderly people many with walkers and wheel chairs. We actually felt a bit out-of-place. While we expected a more-adult crowd, we did not expect a geriatric cruise. As such, many activities were geared to them.
On another positive note, the ship was well-maintained and in good shape and our cabin sewart was the best. We gave him an extra tip.
Finally, could hardly walk throught the casino without half-choking on the cigarette smoke. Disgusting!
Price was right but not sure if we will come back.