I have cruised with 4 other cruise lines and I have to say, HAL Osterdam was my only regret. Before selecting Holland America, I researched the internet and found they were rated tops in several categories. How??
I must give credit to the room stewards, Lido food servers, and Atrium wait staff-they were ALL friendly, courteous and attentive to their guests! Bravo!!
We checked into 5002 and couldnt believe our eyes. What a mess!
-The mini bar had dried tomato juice and was dirty inside
-The carpet was dirty and stained(had to be cleaned on our Cabo shore day)
-The wallpaper was dirty, stained, and ripped
-Furniture was FILTHY!! Chairs dirty with water stains and ottoman had liquid dripping down
-Toilet seat was broken
I couldnt believe my eyes! I asked the head of housekeeping if I was being unreasonable or is this typical of Holland America-she assured me it wasnt. I could go on....
Mila with guest relations was nice enough to invite us to the Pinnacle Grill for our inconveniences. By this point we were actually tired of complaining and just wanted to enjoy our holiday. Mila's service recovery convinced us not to take further action. However Louie the wine steward in the Pinnacle Grill sent us over the edge!!!!!
We graciouly accepted Mila's invitation with no intentions of taking advantage of the situation. My partner ordered salad and lamb chops, and I ordered soup and steak. We didnt order any appetizers nor cocktails and we split a dessert. We did however order a bottle of wine. I was familiar with some of the pricier wines($200 and up) but not the moderately priced ones and again, my intentions were not to take advantage. I told the wine steward that I was looking for a Full-Bodied Red with a "Strong oak flavor" and ask which of 3 wines he recommended. He suggested the $89 bottle. Louie then asked if I was familiar with Italian wines and suggested another. My experience with Italian wines is that they tend to be lighter but I figured he is the 'expert.' My initial taste was a bit disappointing but as I said, I was tired of complaining and was hoping the wine would later come alive. Also, we didnt see the need to offend our hosts since there was never any mention that we would be responsible for our beverages. After all, I would NEVER invite guests to my house for dinner and hand them a bill for their wine at the end of the night. I wasnt familiar with that particular Italian wine however, I am familiar with 'upselling.'
The $108 bottle of wine that Louie recommended was not on the Pinnacle Grill wine list but I did find it the next night on the Atrium list. Its description began...Soft and Velvety with no mention of 'oak'. When checking out Saturday morning, we were surprised to see that Louie added the bottle onto our tab without our consent. We felt taken advantage of, swindled and gouged-exactly what WE set out not to do. What Mila had accomplished through service recovery was not only nullified by Louie but infuriated us!! No one likes being deceived!
We spent almost 2 hours Saturday morning with Mila and Louie trying to resolve the issue. I asked Louie how could he recommend a wine described as 'Soft and Velvety" when I SPECIFICALLY as for a Full Bodied Strong red wine with Oak? It was clear Louie's only interest was in fattening his gratuity and not the wishes of the customer.
I am a flight attendant with Delta Airlines and my spouse is an accountant with the Ritz Carlton(which Mila informed us is who Holland America models its customer service) and we come into contact with 'thousands' of travelers and are asked daily for recommendations regarding travel. I can assure you(as I did Mila and Louie) that the ill will created by that $30 bottle at cost was not worth it. My spouse assured Mila that this is not an example of how The Ritz Carlton would have handled this situation. The condition of our Suite alone would have dismissed the haggling(which caused us to miss our 11:15 flight).
I have never written a complaint letter and although HAL offered us a wine package as an apology, I will NEVER cruise HAL again.