Embarkation at Sydney was easy (better than a lot of ports). Missed the courtesy of being shown to our cabin (as said in another review, easy for us old timers but not so easy for first timers) There were plenty of activities for those wishing to take part. The service was first class.
The organisation of port excursion's was abysmal - never any ship's staff on hand to direct people to tour buses or courtesy buses and wrong information being given.
Komodo Island was a complete fiasco, we were told that we could do all or part of the trek by just asking the guides, but there was nowhere that we could have stopped so had to go on in the oppressive heat on a very roundabout route.
One couple we met never got to go on the island at all as their tour kept being put off until it was too late to go. Definitely one to miss unless you are desperate to see the dragons.
The dining was O.K. in the main except that many people objected to guests coming into the Lido with robes or swimming costumes on, feel there should be a ruling on this. Also the meat in the Rotterdam dining room was always underdone, even if you requested it to be VERY well done.
The times of the entertainment were bad, people on the 2nd sitting were getting ready for dinner at 7p.m. so we only made two shows which were not the best we have seen by any means.
A lot of people objected to the $11 per person per day that was to tip all the crew, then we were informed by one of the office staff that this was ONLY A SUGGESTION by Holland America obviously people didn't think much of the suggestion, guests like to tip the people that they feel have served them well.
We found out that the 15% service charge on all drinks is to pay the Beverage staff, this is disgusting, surely the shipping company should be paying the
beverage staffs wages, not the passengers who have already paid for their cruise?
We thought it was a lovely idea of Holland America to invite relatives of the crew on board at the Indonesian ports and to lay on marquees with food and drink and entertainment on the dock, the crew were delighted and loved introducing their families to the passengers.
Embarkation - Good
Activities - Good
Service - Good
Port and Shore Excursions - Very poor and too expensive
Stateroom - Adequate
Dining - Not brilliant
Entertainment - Could be a lot better
Disembarkation - Fair
Sorry Holland America but we will not be sailing with you again.