Let me begin by saying that this was my first cruise on a “big ship” cruise line. I chose Holland America because I liked their itinerary and I had heard good things about them on Cruise Critic and from friends.
Regrettably, my experience with Holland America is such that I will never travel with them again!
Stateroom accommodation: . The room was lovely, the bathroom was large, there was plenty of storage space and the verandah had two chairs, a table and a chaise. It also had a vibration that was so bad it made my husband constantly nauseous and caused our stateroom door to rattle so loudly that it kept us up at night. Customer service agreed the vibration was very strong in our room, but could do nothing about it, so my husband, the engineer, fashioned a door plug from a piece of cardboard and jammed it in the door each night. That helped the noise, but the vibration remained and was unchanged whether we were in port or at sea. When you stood in the shower you had to hold on at all times because the vibration actually caused the shower curtain to move! The first two nights there was no air conditioning and we left the door to our balcony open. Customer service came to the room to check the temperature and agreed it was hot. I explained about asthma and how important clean air was and on day three the a/c was finally fixed. On day four we were notified that there would be balcony maintenance between 1 and 4 p.m. I don’t know what they did to the balcony but my chaise disappeared and the smell of varnish/lacquer was so strong I was unable to stay in the cabin for more than a few minutes at a time!
Cabin service: Our cabin steward was very polite, friendly and kept the cabin very clean. Unfortunately, on the first morning on board my husband informed me that there was only one bath towel, so I called customer service and asked for another bath towel. 40 minutes later I called again and demanded another bath towel. 30 minutes later a bath towel was delivered. Our cabin category included “fresh fruit in your cabin daily”…. 4 days out of 7 we did not receive any fruit. One day our cabin steward left no ice in the room so I called customer service and requested ice. 30 minutes later they called me to inquire if I had received my ice yet….I had not….30 minutes later I called and asked “where is the ice machine?” I was told that my cabin steward would bring me ice and I informed them that apparently that wasn’t working out and could I please get my own ice….20 minutes later ice was delivered to my room.
Food: Oh my, where do I begin….first formal night: steak was tasteless, full of gristle and fat and so tough I could not cut parts of it with the steak knife! Potatoes were instant and I will stand by that remark no matter what HAL says. Vegetables were greenish yellow and mushy….could have been broccoli, can’t be certain. Lido buffet was great for breakfast and lunch; as for dinner suffice to say I’ve had better meals at Denny’s. Ice cream was semi-soft, grainy textured tasteless gluey stuff. And then I got food poisoning, which I won’t go into except to say that I disembarked in Vancouver so sick I could barely stand because I had been so ill all night long. No one was able to help me until I got off the ship and one of the Vancouver tour guides called the Pan Pacific to try and get me an early room. When we finally arrived at the hotel around 2 p.m. we received a welcome packet from the HAL representative that advised we could have picked up our keys any time after 10 a.m.! It would have been so helpful to have known that before we left the ship.