We recently completed a seven (7) day cruise with Holland America on the MAASDAM and we were disappointed in the Holland America experience. We are experienced cruisers having cruised before on various lines including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Costa, Celebrity and Azamara. This was by far our worst cruise experience. Some areas of concern:
REGISTRATION/CHECK-IN: At check-in my wife and I were issued our stateroom keycards but when we went to board the ship her card would not scan and the shipboard security personnel questioned how she was able to get this card and directed us to the shipboard front office. At the shipboard office they again questioned how she was able to get this keycard and indicated we must have done something to the card so it would not work. The front office personnel finally issued a new stateroom keycard to her which we found out later would not work at the library. We returned once again to the front office desk where the on duty personnel once again indicated she must have done something to the card so it wouldnt work. The key card problem was finally straightened out on Sunday.
DINING: 1. Rotterdam Dining room: We ate in this dining room on the 1st night of the cruise. We experienced poor service and mediocre food. We were seated and it was over 20 minutes before a waiter approached us. Because of the first night experience we did not return to this dining room for the remainder of the cruise, eating at the Caneletto and Pinnacle Grill instead.
2. LIDO CAFE: Several times we experienced dirty dishes/bowls stacked for use. Appears to be some problem with the dish/bowl cleaning capabilities.
3. COFFEE: This was some of the poorest coffee we have ever had except for what we had in the Pinnacle Grill. Even some of shipboard staff expressed to us they couldnt wait to get to a port to find a good cup of coffee.
CRUISE DIRECTOR: The Cruise Director was not on board until Thursday, 5 days into the cruise.
ENTERTAINMENT: The nightly entertainment in the showroom was average and it was disappointing that there was no live performance on the last night (Friday) of the cruise.
ITINERARY: The ports of call and shore excursions were outstanding except for Sydney. Not sure why Sydney is a port of call included as there is not much there to visit.
SURVEY FORMS: We found Guest Satisfaction Forms on our bed but there were no instructions left with the form or on the form as to their disposition after we completed the forms. We subsequently mailed them to the President/Chief Executive Officer.