I never thought i would write a review it is just not something that interests me mainly because i am a restaurateur and find reviews can be self serving and biased especially if that written by a professional. But I feel i would be doing a great injustice to my lifelong passion if i did not express how unacceptable the food and wine are on this particular cruise line. First things first my wife and I have owned and operated 2 upscale restaurants for the past twenty years I am a chef by trade and my wife is a US certified sommelier and we need to warn fellow foodies of the unacceptable and outdated wine and food offeered on holland america.
i was surprised at the low quality of ingredients used in the dining room and buffet(lido) the salad dressings came from prefab jars with everything we now know about the unhealthy affects of additives and preservatives in our foods i was surprised that they would use these products. in the dining room our food was on most nights unpalatable the beef was of the lowest grade imaginable every fish dish we ordered were bland meaning that it was frozen and probably freezer burned. the sauces were loaded with preservatives ie. msg and tasted prefabricated. all the soups came from powders and were laden-ed with salt to mask the blandness the vegetable were obviously frozen which would be acceptable if they weren't over cooked to a mushy constancy and again over salted also the mash potatoes came from powder again...unacceptable
the servers are split between food servers and alcohol servers
I`ll start with the food servers I have one comment train your staff every question we asked about our food was met with an I don`t know or let me check we ask simple questions that any waiter on land would know if they were indeed a professional also my wife being called moma was insulting.
I you know anything about wine you will not be impressed markups are how we as hospitality professionals make our living but these markup for the quality of wine is borderline fraudulent the wine industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the past couple of decades but Holland America is light years behind the other cruise lines and land restaurants. the selections are outdated and of very poor quality I do not mind spending money on good wine and price is not a determining issue when choosing a wine but the selections are grocery store quality and having a `wine stewards or a cellar master peddling these wines is a waste of time and money which brings me to the next point the wine servers and so called cellar master we went to a wine tasting that was stale unprofessional and a waste of time to say the least. the wine servers in the dining room obviously working on commission as when i asked for guidance the most expensive wine was offered or a undescriptive comment like it is good or it is nice asking for the grape varietal was a foriegn question to them.