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157 Holland America Line Alaska Cruise Reviews

This was our first cruise--and we chose it based largely on reviews here and on other sites which gave it high marks for food. We beg to differ. Among the low-lights: burned omelets, over-cooked fish, under-cooked pasta, laughably bad ... Read More
This was our first cruise--and we chose it based largely on reviews here and on other sites which gave it high marks for food. We beg to differ. Among the low-lights: burned omelets, over-cooked fish, under-cooked pasta, laughably bad fried chicken and pathetic attempts at caesar salad. In fairness--the desserts on board were fabulous--but the only truly good meal we enjoyed came during an on-shore visit to a non-affiliated restaurant. The food was not the only disappointment. Drinks were exorbitantly priced and the constant badgering to buy jewelry of unknown origin and quality was extremely annoying. Add to that--easily 1/3 of the guests were ill by the end of the cruise--easy to recognize by the hacking and wheezing. Rumors were rife that the on-board medical clinic was charging highly excessive fees for such basic treatments such as Tamiflu--which may well explain the spread of the illness. We felt--and this was echoed by many of our fellow travelers--that Holland America was trying to relieve us of more money at every possible opportunity. If this is typical of cruising--we have done our first and last. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
As a former Hal loyalist, I was excited to cruise again after a short 2-3 years break. I grabbed my son to go with me as my hubby didn’t want to visit Alaska for the Nth time. The first indication that things weren't as rosy as ... Read More
As a former Hal loyalist, I was excited to cruise again after a short 2-3 years break. I grabbed my son to go with me as my hubby didn’t want to visit Alaska for the Nth time. The first indication that things weren't as rosy as I’d remembered was our embarkation lunch at the Lido. We selected a variety of items from the Asian section (Thai) and the meat was dry, tough and too salty. We thought, "Ok, maybe this is because it's embarkation day so quality control isn't as thorough..." How naive we were. Over the next couple of days, we realized that the Lido had severe issues. The Asian station's meat was consistently too dry, tough and salty. The pasta tasted like pure salt and no other flavours. Desserts usually had raw tasting dough. The waffle cones tasted stale. The printed menu on display was frequently wrong (as in the wrong menu was put up altogether or ingredients were missing compared to the printed version). And the plates are often too hot to hold. The only consistently decent hot food was from the Homestead station! How about the MDR food? Well, the taste there was quite a bit better but we found that the only thing consistent about the kitchen was their inconsistency... and their overly salty soups (we end up asking for half a bowl of soup and diluting it with hot water whenever we felt like soup). In the MDR, we've had two orders of the same item come differently(missing ingredients), a salmon filet filled with bones and pasta the texture of soggy cardboard. Our warm/hot water has come smelling/tasting like the pool and a medium-rare steak arrived overcooked. The most disappointing thing was the prime rib I ordered - it came was so filled with those fatty hard-to-cut parts I ended up not having a single bite because I literally could not cut the beef with my knife... even after I requested for another steak knife! Other than food issues, we've noticed the effects of budget slashing coupled with a lack of proper planning/training. We had to visit the photo gallery three times to receive our complimentary mariner picture of the shop and received a different answer/information each time. The Exploration Cafe didn't offer ceramic cups until the third day - the paper cups offered were completely inadequate: hot drinks were scalding to hold even using two cups. The paper cups were also prone to crumple if you kept cold drinks in them! Ordering hot water kettles from inroom dining resulted in kettles with hot handles most of the time.... The women’s washroom on Deck 3 was had completely unusable toilets one day (all of them!). Hotel management seemed a mess because we received the wrong information documents to our cabin... But although all these issues were disappointing, they weren’t completely “vacation ruining”. We can choose to eat the decent stuff in the Lido and the crew usually tried their best to fix things when problems happen (which was fairly often... we became VERY well acquainted with Guest services). It was our experience with the beverage manager that utterly ruined our vacationing mood. Here's the background: we aren't heavy alcohol drinkers so we purchased the quench beverage package planning to avail ourselves of mocktails, smoothies and specialty coffee. Unfortunately, we immediately noticed that all the bar menus on-board had been revamped for the worse. The drinks' description were removed, and most pertinently, the section on mocktails and smoothies disappeared. Not a problem, we can still ask the bar to make the drinks right? Well... Sort of! Turns out the bars no longer make drinks using real fruits. Instead it's "syrup" all the way! This caught us off-guard because we've had real fruit smoothies on previous cruises and during our cruise planning we saw another cruiser's May 2019 beverage menu and THAT one (multiple ones actually) still had drinks with detailed descriptions and real fruits stated. As we weren't reconciled to having only "syrup" ( corn syrup with a small % of real juice plus other favouring ingredients and preservatives) drinks, we wrote in to guest services and after a series of back and forths... we finally ended up speaking to the beverage manager in person. Horrible mistake. The beverage manager ( Cyrill?) had the worst service attitude ever and was confrontational to boot. He stated that he was the one in charge of ordering everything related to drinks. When asked about using real fruits in drinks, he basically implied we were lying about having it before or that it was some special one-off service. He swore that in all his 20+ years of service across multiple ships that he has NEVER ordered fruits to the bar and that drinks made due with just syrup. He even grabbed one of the bystanding crew members to collaborate his claim. Really? Was the poor guy going to contradict his BOSS to his face?! Talk about abuse of authority. When pressed, he told us to try the inroom dining... MAYBE they could make us a real fruit smoothie. As for if there was a charge there? He said he wasn’t sure. What kind of manager are you...? So after giving us a "that's that" attitude with no effort to apologize or make things better, he left and all we felt was incredulity. How did someone like this become a manager?! Was nepotism involved somewhere...?! On the spot, we weren't able to refute his highhanded claims but we afterwards we found the website with photo proof of previous/other ships having fruits in their drinks. (That url previously mentioned) We later also spoke privately to older bartenders who acknowledged that yes, they used to make drinks with real fruits. In fact, they still did so on their last contract a few months ago! So, the beverage manager straight up lied to our faces while trying to browbeat both us and his staff into accepting HIS way. This encounter with that disgrace of a manager completely destroyed any goodwill we felt towards HAL. In fact, because it's the beverage manager who has been such a disappointment, it's affected my impression of the whole beverage department and more... I know I’m sort of on the emotional side (really, most women are right? XD) but I ended up going out of my way to NOT walk by the bars if I could. Of course, we responded to Guest services about the horrendous treatment we received and the next day we met with the Food and Beverage DIRECTOR (one step up the chain?). He was a lot more gracious and friendly. We were given complimentary freshly made juice for breakfast/dinner (MDR) and one mocktail/smoothie of our choice each day for the remainder of the cruise. So in summary: - the kitchen was consistently inconsistent: the food was missing ingredients, under-cooked, over-cooked, too salty, wrong portions, etc - drinks from the bar for non-alcoholic drinkers nowhere near a “premium” experience - hotel management seems to have a systematic issue with procedures/training - crew was still great and did their best... except for ONE notable counterexample Final rating: Would not recommend and we’ll be trying other cruise lines in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was my wife's and my brother/sister in law " Cruise of a Lifetime ". Started off fine. Staterooms clean and the cabin staff very nice. Now for the fun parts: - LIDO so full, one could barely walk through. Food ... Read More
This was my wife's and my brother/sister in law " Cruise of a Lifetime ". Started off fine. Staterooms clean and the cabin staff very nice. Now for the fun parts: - LIDO so full, one could barely walk through. Food Service staff rude, close to being downright nasty. Same goes for bar staff on deck 9 stern. Terrible. - Food - Marginal at best. Dining room dinner maybe 1/2 star better. - Magician - I think he had three tricks. lasted 40 minutes. Pretty much a joke. Casino - Small and , well, never saw a roulette table with a 0, 00, and a Special third 000. - They should just eliminate it, but with odds further stacked I'm sure a good source of revenue. - Juneau - Port area typical tourist trap,,,,nothing special there. Did go to Mendenhall and that was fine. Walked to Nugget falls, pretty neat. Then went out whale watching. Saw some humpbacks, uuh, well at least their tails. Saw more wales from the back deck just while cruising. - Glacier Bay - Awesome. 100% beautiful day ( 8/27/19 ) Couldn't have asked for anything more perfect weather wise. Surely a sight to behold even if the servers were jerks. -Sitka - Ditto on the weather ( We got lucky! 8/28/19) Cool place. Saw the salmon going up river which was really cool, rainforest walk, etc. Really neat. Then...…….. we were to depart at 6:00pm. Ship was moving nowhere. Mechanical problem. Not corrected until approx. 10:00pm. As a result, the captain indicated he was changing the intinerery!!!! We were scheduled to go to Ketchican the next day arriving at 7:00 am. We had booked the " Deadliest Catch " excursion and were so excited...……. We lost out on the visit to Ketchican and ALL related scenery. Now, I don't know all international travel laws, speed limits, port rules, etc,,,, but lets do the math.... We were delayed (4) hours +/-, and as a result we aborted a (5) hour stop in Ketchican, all kinds of scenic viewing in and out of that port. Instead the captain put the ship back out to the Pacific in high gear and we spent 1.5 days out at sea, looking at nothing but the shoreline from 10 miles out, and/or open sea. Why you ask, so we could get to Victoria Canada early and spend more time there, which frankly I didn't drop $7k on an Alaskan cruise to see Victoria. Now, Holland American realized that all on the cruise were "disappointed" and so was the captain. They wrote everyone a letter and gave us a coupon for 20% our next cruise. Are you kidding me?!?!?!?. I will never, repeat never, cruise with this train wreck of an organization again. Don't be fooled. I have cruised with RC, NCL, Carnival and HA is not even close. Forget about the breakdown and change, things happen, but the demeanor of staff, lack of good food, poor entertainment, and a slap in the face apology for a breakdown ruined the trip. Buyer Beware. Go to Alaska, be prepared for some rain, but do it with another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I chose this cruise because of an awesome presentation by the travel agent. We were told this going to be a real Alaskan adventure and experience, instead we were on a ship full of Vietnamese people and forced to choose from mostly asian ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of an awesome presentation by the travel agent. We were told this going to be a real Alaskan adventure and experience, instead we were on a ship full of Vietnamese people and forced to choose from mostly asian food choices. I didnt pay $9,000.00 for an asian vacation to Alaska. The food lines ran out of popular food choices and we had to choose from some sort of mystery meat? We also bought a drink package and it sometimes took over an hour to get a drink from the bar staff. The only speedy bartender was the guy on the top deck. That guy was at least friendly, the others were rude and slow. The ship was neat and clean but the staff was quite rude. We sat for almost two hours at the Pinnacle Grill, so long that i almost fell asleep waiting for my food. The only good meal we had on the cruise was when we stopped in Ketchikan and went to a fresh seafood house. This experience for the money we paid was so bad, i will most like never take a cruise again.I've filled out multiple post trip surveys since returning and not a single person from Holland America has contacted me. Very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
In reading many of the reviews and write-ups on this ship I started to think I was on the wrong ship. I did not experience any of the great service and food everyone else was raving about. By day 2 I had already written an email to Holland ... Read More
In reading many of the reviews and write-ups on this ship I started to think I was on the wrong ship. I did not experience any of the great service and food everyone else was raving about. By day 2 I had already written an email to Holland America expressing my concerns about the poor service and food quality on the ship. It felt like I was on a training voyage for most of the staff. Let's start with the Dining Room. On my first night I asked my server what my complimentary drink options were with dinner and he could not answer the question. Same result when the Wine Steward was asked. I was a little taken back when I was told a can of Coke would be $2.50 with dinner. Really? Seems like nickel and diming when I can get a nice steak for dinner but have to pay for a soda. (Carnival got this right!). I had numerous experiences where the staff had to clarify simple orders several times (I do not have an accent), and several occasions where the wrong meal was served. I had steaks that were way overcooked, I had fish & chips where the fish was still a gelatinous mass and totally inedible. Diner was served without cutlery, steaks served without steak knives, a nearly empty bottle of ketchup provided for the whole table and everyone had fish and chips and wanted to have some. The waiter disappeared when asked for a full bottle and never came back. Another server had to be asked. In general, the Dining Room staff seemed untrained and confused most of the time. The fish & chips lunch special was a farce. We were one of the first tables seated, and yet 45 minutes later, while most other tables were already on to desert, we hadn't been served yet. And when we finally were, the fish was extremely under cooked. My daughter was ill after eating her first bite. We ended up leaving and finding some food on the Lido deck. On to the Lido deck buffet. In general the food on the Lido was OK. It was not exceptional by any means. Many of the preparation staff were obviously untrained with under and over-cooked food, and improperly prepared food. I've had better food at cheap buffet restaurants. My previous Carnival cruises far outperformed Holland America's Lido Deck offerings. Many of the table staff were non-responsive when thanks were given for their service. The hot water dispenser was constantly running out of water, and the milk dispenser for tea and coffee was also often empty. I had staff disappear and never return when I asked for the for more the milk to be refilled. I had one server tell me to go to the other side of Lido deck when the ketchup dispenser was empty instead of sourcing some for me. My food was getting cold as I wandered around trying to find ketchup, and in the end the dispensers on both sides were empty. The server seemed miffed when I approached her and asked again. In general there didn't seem to be any pride or ownership in the food preparation, and the staff didn't really seem to remember why they were there. Guest Services also dropped the ball on more than one occasion. I decided to have a movie night with my daughter and ordered a couple DVDs to our stateroom. 30 minutes later the wrong DVD was delivered. I asked for the correct ones and was promised he'd be right back. 30 minutes later, with no calls from Guest Services and no delivery, I called again and was told they would call me right back with a status. 45 minutes later I went to Guest Services and the DVDs were still sitting there, and one was not the selection I had requested. So 1 3/4 hours after my initial call I finally had the DVDs. When Guest Services was made of aware of my email to Holland America head office, they addressed 1 of the issues and had no comment on any of the other issues. I had been relating my issues to one of the staff, and they passed the info to one of the ship's officers who later tracked me down. We had a long conversation about the issues I'd experienced and he agreed that most of the issues I'd experienced were totally unacceptable and they had dropped the ball on multiple occasions. He promised to speak with the various department heads and ensure the rest of the trip would be issue free. Unfortunately this was not the case as there was no change in the service for the rest of the trip. On the 2nd to last night in the Dining Room we were presented with a couple of complimentary glasses of Prosecco, which neither of us drink. The better option would have been to come up and tell us that they would like to offer us a complimentary drink and ask us what we would like. We never bothered going back to the Dining Room after that. The last drydock did make some nice upgrades to the stateroom bathrooms, but they should have replaced the old tube TVs while they were at it. Our TV looked like Alaska in winter. Almost not worth trying to watch anything on it. Certainly not the quality we'd have expected based on the cost of the room. We did have some great service from our room stewards, and 1 Lido deck server whom I recognized personally at the end of the cruise. I also had Guest Services remove all the gratuities from my final bill as they were definitely not earned. The cruise itself was great, and despite all the service and food issues we had a good time, however the added stress of dealing with my feelings of being shortchanged by the cruise line did put a damper on a lot of the cruise. I don't get a lot of opportunities to take vacations like this and to pay this much and then be so let down after being sold that Holland America was a premium cruise line. Never again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We had never been to Alaska and as we're getting up in years we felt that if we were going to do it, we would do it all in one go. So when we saw a Holland America three-day cruise, followed by a nine-day land tour, followed by ... Read More
We had never been to Alaska and as we're getting up in years we felt that if we were going to do it, we would do it all in one go. So when we saw a Holland America three-day cruise, followed by a nine-day land tour, followed by another seven-day cruise advertised, we jumped on it. Having never cruised with Holland America before we weren't sure what to expect. Our entire cruise history was with Carnival (many many years ago) and more recently with several cruises on Celebrity and Azamara. So with that level of expectation set, we boarded the Volendam in Vancouver. The boarding process was fine, and we got on the ship very quickly, and even found our cabins ready (though the bags had not yet arrived). It took a while to find our room steward to ask for some special requests, but finally found him. We had not purchased a drink package for the cruise so the first thing we asked for was to have someone empty our refrigerator. We didn't want to be accidentally charged for any beverages. We were instructed to take out all the bottles and cans and place them on the top of the refrigerator, and that someone would be there shortly to remove them. Well, by the end of the next day they were still there, and we had to call again to get them removed. Our next not-so-great experience was in the Marketplace, their buffet. Every Celebrity ship we have been on had numerous stations throughout the buffet area so that people could get different types of food in an orderly fashion. Holland America has everyone queued in one line for all the main dishes and sides, so that you have to wait for everyone else to clear, even if you only want one item from that area. I assume one of the reasons they have done this is to ensure that not a lot of guests touch the serving utensils and food, but it seemed really inefficient to us and to everyone we spoke with in the line. The last thing I'll mention is the general lack of consideration of the guests by the staff. This was noticed in the main dining room, where, as one example, it took 15 minutes to get a dessert menu; to lounges where not a single ship employee could be found most times. You get the feeling that the staff knows they will get their gratuities regardless, so why bother? We were quite happy to get off the ship after our three days. We followed that cruise with an Alaska land tour, and I have to say it was very well orchestrated and coordinated, with all the motor coaches, a boat trip, a plane ride, and train rides. Good job with that one Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This is our 4th HAL cruise. We've been in Alaska few years ago and we loved the scenery. We booked the balcony so we could enjoy the beautiful view, but it was a BIG mistake because we never enjoyed it because of a strong smell of ... Read More
This is our 4th HAL cruise. We've been in Alaska few years ago and we loved the scenery. We booked the balcony so we could enjoy the beautiful view, but it was a BIG mistake because we never enjoyed it because of a strong smell of smoke. We reported it few times at the costumer service but they never did anything. They keep telling us they will investigate ( whoever smokes at the balcony), NEVER solved the problem and it just gets worse everyday. The buffet was always crowded and I often heard people complaining about lack of space. Food was ok .The other complimentary restaurants had about the same food as buffet just fewer choices and service was not good there either.The dinners were just ok. We spent an hour and a half waiting on courses to be served. The positives side of this trip were the staff, they were great and friendly.. except the staff at the costumer service whose not very helpful. Front desk folks not helpful or friendly...took us many trips to report a problem and NEVER solved. Lack of activities as well. Most activities were just an opportunity for Holland to sell you something. This time I was in some ways disappointed. I remember our previous cruises with HAL was always great.. Not this time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We recently completed our annual summer inside passage cruise to Alaska (this was our 36th Alaska cruise), and 21st Alaska sailing with HAL. This year we sailed on the Nieuw Amsterdam, VQ Spa Veranda on deck 10 - the views from up top ... Read More
We recently completed our annual summer inside passage cruise to Alaska (this was our 36th Alaska cruise), and 21st Alaska sailing with HAL. This year we sailed on the Nieuw Amsterdam, VQ Spa Veranda on deck 10 - the views from up top on the Panorama deck balcony are spectacular! - otherwise the Spa category isn't worth the higher price as it includes nothing else but 3 bottles of water. Our weather was sunny for the whole 7 days - INCREDIBLY lucky for an Alaska run! The dining (in all 7 venues) was stellar and much better than our recent sailing on Seabourn's Sojourn - and that is a high bar to beat. We ate well! The entertainment however, was without a doubt, the worst we have experienced on ANY ship, on any line, in our 388 cruises history. Literally a ghost ship inside and out. Not a single production show in 7 days? - and this is the new HAL norm according to the cruise staff... 1 sad illusionist and an unfunny comedian and the now very very tired BBC Alaska video summed up the weeks main showroom entertainment? Seriously. The piano is gone from the Ocean Bar, and no other entertainment is offered on the vacant band stage - and the people just walk by this once perfect cocktail location as there is no reason to sit there and pay for drinks in silence. The Crows Nest (EXC) is now just a place to sell shore excursions and buy Explorations coffee, no evening entertainment (or people). BB Kings and Billboard are tucked into spaces that allow no traditional cruise evening cocktails and conversation. No one stayed longer than a few minutes. We can enjoy fine dining any evening in 5 star restaurants at home, we can even watch the whales jump and play in the ocean from our homes deck during the summer months, but traditional productions shows and a compelling reason to get dressed up and enjoy a place to have cocktails in the evening has always been a reasons to cruise ... Quite simply, the party is over on HAL. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our 7 night dream Alaskan cruise was greatly marred due to the horrid cabin location. Cabin 392 and neighbouring cabins should not be used for paying guests (especially NOT as an UPGRADE) unless passengers made aware that the kitchen is ... Read More
Our 7 night dream Alaskan cruise was greatly marred due to the horrid cabin location. Cabin 392 and neighbouring cabins should not be used for paying guests (especially NOT as an UPGRADE) unless passengers made aware that the kitchen is located directly above. If you are wanting a decent nights sleep at all during your cruise ensure you check your cabin location. A late night here and there and early mornings to make the most of your day is what we expected but certainly didn’t get. Kept awake until after midnight every night and woken again early hours (sometimes as early as 4.30am) due to the noise from the kitchen preparation/cleaning? above us. The cabin itself was comfortable and a fairly good size but again the location DREADFULLY. We enjoyed the food and the dining areas were pleasant but found the counter service in the buffet very disorganised and slow a lot of the times. Very put off by the tipping that was automatically added to our account daily and then the expectation of further tipping at the bars, is this not double dipping? Would much rather tip the staff personally ensuring the full amount went to deserving staff and not only a small portion making it to them with the rest going back to the cruise company. Activities and shows were enjoyable but found the music in the lounge very repetitive. The majority of the shore excursions were just to expensive to participate in but enjoyed the time exploring the beautiful little ports. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
It was part of a cruise and excursion to Alaska and Yukon territory. The land part of the vacation was very well done and the land coordinator was exceptional. The ship must have a naval architects nightmare. It was very poorly designed ... Read More
It was part of a cruise and excursion to Alaska and Yukon territory. The land part of the vacation was very well done and the land coordinator was exceptional. The ship must have a naval architects nightmare. It was very poorly designed for efficient flow of passenger from one part of the ship to another. We usually choose not to go to the main dining room because of the time it takes to eat a meal. The Lido was extremely understaffed on this cruise. Only a couple of times on the seven day cruise were we even offered beverages except for alcoholic ones dining at the Lido. I usually had to go find pitchers of beverages, fill my own glasses, and return to our table. The quality of food on this particular cruise was by far the worst we have ever experience on a Holland cruise, and we took a 34 day cruise with them last year and the worst meal for 34 days was better than the best meal on this cruise. They routinely ran out of the featured meats for the meal. This will be out last cruise on a Carnival owned line since quality and service are no longer a priority. I recommend that you very carefully consider that your service on a Holland ship may be dismal. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Holland America's cruise from Skagway to Vancouver was wonderful. That is, if you were healthy enough to enjoy it. Once we were done with the aggressive land travel portion, their bus delivered us and many others to the ship ... Read More
Holland America's cruise from Skagway to Vancouver was wonderful. That is, if you were healthy enough to enjoy it. Once we were done with the aggressive land travel portion, their bus delivered us and many others to the ship coughing, sneezing, congested and worn out. Long land transports were ideal pathogen breeding grounds, and HAL was invisible with any contagion prevention. RCL does a much better job in this regard. Also, stayed in a real dive along the way. If you're lucky enough to be healthy at ship embarkation, you will see some gorgeous scenery, and, hopefully, some wildlife. But, wildlife viewing was sporadic at best. Other aspects of the cruise were about what you'd expect: very attentive service by stewards/waiters, good food (but specialty restaurants had the really good food), good entertainment, some good excursions/some to be avoided. If you can afford it, get a room with a veranda. The extra space and additional viewing area was great for relaxing and taking in the scenery. We had to have the steward fix a squeaky door leading out to the veranda, but he was very accomodating and got it done right away (along with fixing a slow drain in the bathtub). We usually dined with the other people in our 16-person group. The wait staff quickly became familiar with our group. We celebrated a couple of birthdays during the trip, and the staff entertained us with some birthday cakes and renditions of Happy Birthday. Food was good but did not blow us away. The ship was an enjoyable size--not so large that it took a long time to get from one end to the other and not too small as to be lacking in venues. Hot tubs were actually hot and not too crowded. Didn't get a chance to use any of the several pools but those that did looked like they were enjoying it. Overall, we were a little underwhelmed by the land portion of this tour. Didn't see much wildlife, smoke was everywhere due to the forest fires, and we're still trying to get better two weeks later. So, avoid that leg of the tour, stick to the cruise and you'll enjoy it more. Don't bank on Alaska being the "trip of a lifetime". It certainly isn't--especially the way HAL operates. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
HAL Westerdam July 14 to 28 Alaska We were on Niew Amsterdam in 2016 and found it to be excellent. We loved it so much, both managers and crew were very friendly and accommodating. Therefore, when an opportunity for an Alaska cruise ... Read More
HAL Westerdam July 14 to 28 Alaska We were on Niew Amsterdam in 2016 and found it to be excellent. We loved it so much, both managers and crew were very friendly and accommodating. Therefore, when an opportunity for an Alaska cruise North and Southbound on the Westerdam came by, we did not hesitate to book the cruise. However, what we experienced was far from our previous HAL experience. It was the total opposite that I am compelled to write this review. 1. Maitre d and Chef were unaccommodating to special requests unlike Niew Amsterdam wherein they were so pleased to fulfill any requests. The Lido servers in contrast were the friendliest and the only saving grace of this cruise. 2. Check-in was a pain. Their computer system had issues and therefore all the information I had filled in prior to the cruise was erased and had to be re-done. By the time we were assured that all information was complete and that both North and Southbound cruises were linked including our payment credit cards, etc, it was already over an hour. 3. Despite reassurances that all is well, when we got to immigration and looked at the key cards we were given, it said roundtrip FLL instead of Alaska! We did not even bother going back to queue again just to change our key cards- Florida it is. 4. The next day of our vacation, we were woken up very early at 6 AM! by incessant knocking on our door despite the privacy notice on our door. It was room service insisting we ordered breakfast at 6! We told him he had the wrong cabin whereupon he checked and he was indeed in the wrong cabin. Geez... 5. On several occasions, we tried calling reception for information; or room service; or anyone in the ship and we are always put on hold. When I asked other pax, I was told the same thing to the point we just give up and cancel the call. It really feels like the ship is short staffed! 6. Southbound: Well, despite reassurances during check-in, my key card no longer works. Security had a problem with it when I was about to leave the ship for a shore excursion- had to take photos again, etc. 7. After a long and very tiring day of excursion, the new key card I was given DID NOT WORK- NOT one time when I returned to open my cabin door, NOT the second new card, NOR NOT the third new card! Each time, I had to walk from my cabin down to reception and back 3x. All I wanted was to shower and sleep but with my key card not working, I could not get into my cabin. The cabin attendant felt so bad for me and he let me into my cabin. (Even the, I will still have to get a key card that works.) When finally a couple people from reception came up to the cabin, they key they brought with also DID NOT WORK. They wanted me to go down again and get a new key whereupon we requested that they are the ones who should bring the key up to us so they can also check if the 5th key card will work. NOT make me walk a 4th time roundtrip to their desk and my cabin. What if the 5th key also does not work? Walk roundtrip a 6th time?! This is a basic of CUSTOMER SERVICE. One should take care of the problem for the customer and not have the customer do the run around for you. 8. We waited a couple of hours whereupon I called reception to follow up (thank goodness someone answered the phone after ONLY 14 minutes on hold) and they said they will bring the key cards for both of us up. We had the PRIVACY PLEASE note on the door, but regardless, they knocked and despite our reply, they barged in anyway without waiting for us to say come in or go to the door. I was fresh from my shower and hastily had to dive into the bed for cover. 9. Despite all the issues with key cards, one would think there would be no other issues. However, the next day, I got a call from reception early in the morning to ask how I would like to pay for our account! I groggily informed the caller that they have my credit card all along since the Northbound trip and do not understand why they are waking me up for this information. But of course, system issues, bla bla, I later had to go down and given them the same credit card again. 10. Next day, guess what? Another early morning call. On vacations, we are hoping to sleep in and not wake up early-- after all, that is what we look forward to. This time the call was to ask if I was joining one of the excursions. Well, the excursion ticket was already delivered to my cabin a couple days prior so I am wondering what the question is all about. Turns out, they do not even know if I was going on the excursion or not when I informed them that they had already delivered my ticket! WHAT A MESS HAL's SYSTEM IS! 11. Did I mention none of their ship clocks on each floor on their stairwell work? Despite notices that the ship's clock would be one hour ahead or fall back for time changes, their clocks do not work.--- Not the entire 14 day cruise. The ship itself is good, facilities are well maintained by the crew. The cabins are good as well. Dining at Lido during lunch is a pleasure but dinner offerings are pretty much the same each night of the 14 days we took the cruise. With regards to information regarding wildlife, etc, I received far more information when we took the same North and Southbound Alaska cruise last year through Star Princess. To the point that other passengers followed me as I have a map from Princess showing waypoints where wildlife sightings are expected. I love wildlife and my hobby of photographing them calls me to cruise to Alaska each year. Next year, I will likely go back to Princess or try other lines for different ports. The saving grace as mentioned were the servers at the Lido including the Dive In personnel from the Philippines. They were most friendly and accommodating. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I did this exact same trip last September and boy, the things slipped a bit. Still enjoyed myself but Holland America Line really needs to look at making some changes. Generally, I really enjoyed my Neptune Suite. It was large and ... Read More
I did this exact same trip last September and boy, the things slipped a bit. Still enjoyed myself but Holland America Line really needs to look at making some changes. Generally, I really enjoyed my Neptune Suite. It was large and bright and had a great balcony. The Concierge Lounge is a huge benefit. Enjoy coffees and small plates in the morning and afternoon. Food for the most part was very good, I think the dining room tries too hard to serve fancy dinners. I would rather just calm down and made nice dinners that weren't too fancy and under two hours. My biggest problem with this ship is regarding the hours it keeps and the buffet service. The buffet seems to be closed more than it's open leaving only room service if you want something to eat. Sounds great, but the problem with that is with 2,000 passengers it really isn't a great idea. Sometimes you had to wait on hold for over 10 minutes. My first night it took an hour and a half to get a club sandwich. They need to keep something open 24 hours where you can go sit down and eat. Coffee shop style, anything but just relying on room service so many hours of the day is a terrible idea. Why is the buffet closed so often? Worried about food waste? This was the most disappointing aspect of the trip. And while we're on the subject of hours, why does it seem like they roll up the sidewalks right around midnight? If you do the late dinner you're not going to get to do a show afterwards the last show is at 9:00.. Really? Why so early? How about a midnight comedian?Something for the people that want to stay up past 10:00. They have a couple bars and the casino open late and that's really it. If you're doing a late dinner you really can't catch a show after you eat. I also felt the service wasn't as good as in the past. A lot more of the crew seem to have bad attitudes. Especially the bartenders. I think the reason for that is because they know they're getting 15% and nothing more, so why do they have to try? Having that policy is really terrible for customer service, cuz they basically just rolled their eyes and make you a drink. After this Cruise I'm probably moving on and going to try Celebrity or somebody else. Some of these policies Holland America has implemented seem like nothing but cost-cutting measures and really hampered our experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Sailed HAL for 10 of 12 cruises. Last cruise 34 years ago. First vacation in 8 years and first vacation with wife in 28 years (never had honeymoon and always had kids)?? Basically, the shore system didn’t match the onboard system. I ... Read More
Sailed HAL for 10 of 12 cruises. Last cruise 34 years ago. First vacation in 8 years and first vacation with wife in 28 years (never had honeymoon and always had kids)?? Basically, the shore system didn’t match the onboard system. I bought 4 indulgences and packages and none were ready for us. We never received the excursion tickets or most of the Add-ons without multiple trips to Guest services. They never notified us of Port Valet services or shopping specials that were supposed to be delivered to room. HAL completely missed our anniversary. They were quick with ‘I’m so sorry’ but slow on resolutions. Missed several onboard events while waiting in line at Guest Services. They don’t answer the phone so don’t bother. MDR was nice but if you share a table, they may make you wait 30 minutes until the table is full. Lincoln Center Stage was the best. I wish they would let me throat punch the drunks and obnoxious passengers that walked by and disrupted the performance. Weather was rough 1 day (18’ swells) and passengers felt the need to vomit on the common area carpets instead of staying in their cabins. Everything is an add on. Better meals in MDR ($25+ extra), candid photos ($20 each or 5 for $60). Portraits at Gala, $40 each or $160 for 5). Bingo was about $40 plus the $2.50 dauber. Staff was always pushing drinks, pictures, spa treatments, etc. Had 2 of 8 days without problems and trying to get what we paid for. Well possibly travel on HAL again if they fix their problems. I’m a 3 star Mariner and have a long way until 4 stars. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Probably I took my last cruise on Holland America last month. The cruise was a 7 day cruise on the Oosteram round trip from Seattle to Alaska. Here is an explanation of why I feel as I do: Pros: • The Hotel staff was nice and ... Read More
Probably I took my last cruise on Holland America last month. The cruise was a 7 day cruise on the Oosteram round trip from Seattle to Alaska. Here is an explanation of why I feel as I do: Pros: • The Hotel staff was nice and provided good service; the room was clean and comfortable; the ship was clean. Our cabin staff remember my name after the first day. • The bow was open for viewing and picture taking when at a Glacier; the naturalist’s narrative was helpful. Since it was cold out, hot beverages were served during the sightseeing on the bow. • Regular Coffee was better than the coffee on many ships I’ve been on. • Bar service was reasonably priced, and we were not constantly bombarded with someone trying to sell us a specialty drink. • The string quartet was very good in the Lincoln Center venue. Cons: There is a list of cons: Food: • Food and Food Service: Food service in the main dining room was spotty at best and on several occasions we had to flag down a server after a long wait. One of our party ordered a soda and it was never delivered. When we complained, he no longer wanted it as we were through with our meal although it was offered at no charge. At Breakfast the portions were very small, much smaller than what is normal in a regular Diner. In the main dinning room I ordered lamb chops, medium rare. I was served two very thin, too thin to cook medium rare, chops. I sent them back and got 3 chops, 2 of which I’d call medium, 1 close to medium rare-it was the only thick enough to be able to be cooked right. • In the extra $35 charge specialty restaurant there was an extra charge of $10 for a lobster tail with a steak, something I have not seen of other lines I’ve been on. In fact on one cruise two of the party I was with had three or four lobster tails, one after the other, in the specialty dining room at no extra charge. One of our party asked if it was possible to get a side dish of the mac and cheese entrée and was told she would be charged $15 for an extra entrée. We asked to speak with the dining room Captain and he approved it for no charge. I have never before been told on a cruise that a second entrée was an extra charge in either the regular or specialty dining rooms. Although the steak I ordered was very good, the sides were smaller than usual portions. • In the specialty Italian Restaurant the food was good, but again the service was slow and the portions smaller than I’ve seen on other ship. • The Lido buffet was a big disappointment when it came to service. Although the food was good, the lines were slow due to a lack of adequate staff, especially in the sections that required some preparation. Staff was slow to clean up tables during busy times and in one case only cleaned part of the table. I ordered two eggs over easy and the yoke on one broke and I was served this unappealing glob with one yoke whole and the other a yellow spot on the plate. When I saw an supervisor and mentioned it to him he said he would take care of it, took my plate and returned with only one egg where part of the white was still uncooked. On another day that featured poached eggs, I asked for two eggs and was given one. The portion of corn beef hash was smaller than I have ever seen before in any food venue, shipboard or on land. Other portions were also smaller than usual. As a side note, the Taco Bar by the pool was tasty, but often the bins were empty and the shredded beef was put out with so much juice that it was hard to get to the meat. • As a coffee lover, there was no place for specialty coffee drinks, even at an extra charge, on board other than in the main dining room. Entertainment: • Understanding it was Memorial Day weekend and there were a number of Vietnam Vets and families on board, the ship closed up early in the evening. The piano bar, which on every other cruise I’ve been on was always open in the evening was usually without a piano player, there was some dancing in BBKing Blues shows, but that’s because the shows were more Motown than Blues. The other bars were also pretty dead with almost no entertainment. • The first night had no entertainment venues other than BBKing that I found open. • The big production show had fine dancers, but I found it loud and the fantastic electronics took away from the talented performers. Some people said they liked it, most I talked with found it annoying, loud and overproduced. • Was there a lack of activity because the ship felt the passengers would not take advantage of it or was there no activity at night because the passengers give up trying to find a place to dance or do anything other than buy drinks. I don’t know the answer, but my guess it was the second reason. If you look at other reviews I’ve written you’ll see I tend to be positive in what I see and I’m sad that I am writing such a disappointing narrative. My other Holland America cruise a number of years ago did not have any of the problems I describe here. Hopefully the other passengers had a better experience than I did, but I’ve read where Holland America is playing with charging extra fees and cutting back in order to get a better bottom line. It’s unlikely they’ll see me again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Holland American Alaskan cruise. Very disappointed. Have taken other cruises on Carnival, Norwegian etc.. but this was the first cruise we've ever taken that had no activities. No entertain to speak of. We spent three out of seven ... Read More
Holland American Alaskan cruise. Very disappointed. Have taken other cruises on Carnival, Norwegian etc.. but this was the first cruise we've ever taken that had no activities. No entertain to speak of. We spent three out of seven days sitting on the lido deck staring out the windows. There's nothing else to do!! We finally accept the fact that this was just a vessel/transportation place to sleep and eat while going to Alaska. Thank goodness Alaska was worth the price of the cruise. The food was pretty good on the ship also the servers were helpful and friendly.I give then both 4 stars. The room we had for three people was actually set up for two people. It had a fold out that blocked the entire walk way to the cabin door and to the restroom. Anyone having to use the restroom during the night once the bed was folded out had to wake up who ever was sleeping in that fold out. It was a nightmare all week!! We complained to our steward we complained to customer relations. They already had our money. This is an issue that Holland America is aware but refuses to fix. Alaska was great but this cruise we could have done without. NEVER AGAIN HOLLAND AMERICA NEVER AGAIN!!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
As someone with Celiac Disease (gluten), I can't begin to tell you my frustration levels for first 3 days. Confusion, lack of training, poor communication and largely indifferent. The exact scenario someone who has Celiac wants to ... Read More
As someone with Celiac Disease (gluten), I can't begin to tell you my frustration levels for first 3 days. Confusion, lack of training, poor communication and largely indifferent. The exact scenario someone who has Celiac wants to avoid. I sure was glad I was trapped on a cruise ship! If you have food allergies, be prepared that every day will be full of conflict and misinformation. Note, that 1/2 way through the trip, I DID find a great waiter and Asst. Maitre'd who took care of my needs, but they can't be at every meal. Now, onto the cruise. Embarkation in Seattle was easy and well run. Meal times and daily activities were often wrong in the Daily Schedule (if you were lucky enough to get one, it's not a given). Ship was in good condition. Entertainment was horrible. Comedian was no funny, many walked out. Illusionist was amusing the 1st time, not so the 2nd show. The Dancers were "fine", certainly not impressive. The crew show was pleasant. The Dualing Piano Players were average, not engaged. Trivia was 30 minutes, no prizes. Kid/Teen Club failed to open on time 1st night, not promoted, NO other kids...daughter never wanted go back. Casino, staff was nice, but do the guests really have to urge them to open the Poker Table ..when the dealer is an electronic program? Seriously, set it up and let us play. Also, it's been 10 weeks since I got home and I still can't get the casino folks to give me an answer if I qualified for any future offers. Live music, why are the classical musicians stuck in too small of a room? EVERY performance was standing room only...in the hallway. Use the Showroom. BB Kings. I have seen the real BB King multiple times. I love the Blues, but the venue and showtimes just weren't convenient somehow. Shows too short, venue too small, conflicted times. Wanted to love it. Also, why not use one or more of these talented musicians to play some acoustic numbers? they're already in the ship! Lido Bar and outside deck. Why do gues5s have to open umbrellas and clean tables? Lastly, the ENDLESS hounding to buy something; wine, photos, knick knacks over and over and over. That blankin' Photographer yelling "SMILE!" every time anyone passed near the elevators, was deserving of being thrown overboard. I could go on, but suddenly all of my frustration came back. It could and should have been a trip of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My wife and I have been on two other cruise lines so a friend of ours invited us on a vacation to Alaska on the line HAL Oosterdam. The staff was very friendly but when we needed some guidance we couldn't understand what they were ... Read More
My wife and I have been on two other cruise lines so a friend of ours invited us on a vacation to Alaska on the line HAL Oosterdam. The staff was very friendly but when we needed some guidance we couldn't understand what they were saying and they didn't even know the answer to our question so make sure your staff who works on the ship knows everything about it like where's the nearest bathroom . While going down the hall to my room it smelt like sewage that was just not normal and it wasn't just my hall... we made a shore excursion n Ketchikan as soon as we were down we had 2 go back 2 the ship we had no time to explore Ketchiken cause we only hade 4 hours to stay. Now the food in the restaurants were EXCELLENT but n the lido deck buffet u couldn't serve yourself , same food every day , when they served you they gave you little portions . Now my main concern on my list is the ENTERTAINMENT !!! To talking to some of the other passengers there was nothing 2 do. Sure they had the comedian which who was hilarious and the magician which who could of had did something more than what she did if Lance Burton is her idol. Every day u should have some kind of ENTERTAINMENT it doesn't have to be something big but just something. Hope this helps cause I will not be recommending this cruise ship 2 anyone Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We love doing the Alaska trip, it is very easy for us coming from Vancouver Island. This trip makes the 4th time we have done this route and we will do it again, next time we will probably do a southbound run. Each time we have done ... Read More
We love doing the Alaska trip, it is very easy for us coming from Vancouver Island. This trip makes the 4th time we have done this route and we will do it again, next time we will probably do a southbound run. Each time we have done something slightly different: change in port Skagway to Sitka, change in glacier, Glacier Bay, Hubbard Glacier and Tracy Arm/Endicott. Embarkation took about an hour, there were only 2 ships departing on the 23rd (Westerdam and Noordam). We have experienced longer. They had more lines moving and sorted out passengers better than on previous trips. Luggage was in the cabin when we boarded. Disembarkation was quick. Since our last trip HAL has changed the way things are done. We chose our timing to go with the pick up time for our bus back to the island. We waited in the cabin until our color was called and then headed for the gangway. We took all of our luggage with us this time. Customs took about 30 seconds as I had the form fully completed. The ship: Well maintained. The crew: Excellent. We are still trying to figure out how the cabin stewart knows we are out, we have only caught him in the cabin once and that was because we came back for something. The entertainment and activities: Very good, this trip we had a comedian and a magician. The HAL dance crew were fun to watch. We love to play trivia (music and other), there were several times available and we hit most of them. The ECO talks that we got to were informative, wish they could have done them more than once on the trip as we found there were conflicts with other activities. Captain Mark did a talk about his duties and how the ship runs, very interesting. It was also his birthday that day so the entire audience sang to him, then the cruise director and some of the officers presented him with a gift. His slide show of the bridge was hijacked by the CD and pictures of Capt Mark were inserted into the show. Lots of fun and he took it well. He is very well liked by the crew. Dining: The main diningroom was excellent, we chose anytime dining so we didn't sit at the same table twice so didn't get the same waiters. I booked each morning once we had looked at the daily activities and the menu and was successful in getting a table for 2 each time. The Lido was a bit of a disappointment. The menu was varied, lots of choices and the servers were very nice and helpful. The downfall was the temperature of the food. We found the entrees lukewarm at best. So to get hot food we ordered made to order omelettes or other made or order items for breakfast. Lunches we did the same. The Dive-In was excellent as usual. Love the dive-in sauce for the fries. Really like the taco bar. Ports and excursions: Juneau was wet, only rainy day tho; not bad for the end of September. We did the Alaska Brewing Company tour on our own, always a good time. Went to the library to get the wifi to check email. Skagway was fairly warm. We did the HAL excursion to Dredge Town. It is a little cheesy but the PUPPIES were fun; they made the excursion worth while. Tracy Arm/Endicott. We couldn't get as close to the glacier as we wanted as there was a lot of ice in the way; some of the ice was as large as a semi trailer. We were still able to see the glacier with binos. The trip in and out was beautiful. First time we had seen Endicott. Ketchikan. It WASN'T raining!! :). We didn't get to go up the funicular as it was down for repairs. We did go on a non-HAL excursion just a quick city highlight with a trip out to the fish spawning grounds. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this sailing specifically to see Glacier Bay. At our first stop In Juneau it was pouring rain, we went on an excursion to Mendenhall glacier the bus was 1 hour overdue on picking us up to return to the ship, my parents, my ... Read More
We chose this sailing specifically to see Glacier Bay. At our first stop In Juneau it was pouring rain, we went on an excursion to Mendenhall glacier the bus was 1 hour overdue on picking us up to return to the ship, my parents, my wife and myself were soaked to the bone and freezing (mom 84yrs,dad 91yrs),they gave us a 40% discount!!. My dad's knees and hips were shot as a result for the rest of the cruise Unfortunately there was a medical emergency on the way into the bay and they turned the ship around and sailed back out . They wasted 2-3hrs sitting in fog waiting to see if a helicopter would come and get the passenger (no chance, the fog was soup thick), then we sailed a couple hours to a bay near Juneau to meet a coast guard boat, the Coast guard boat was too low, so they put the passenger on a lifeboat and lowered it to the water to make the transfer. That pretty much used up the entire day. They indicated they might ditch Ketchican and go to Glacier Bay. (most guest were in favor of this option) The Captain decided this was not practical, even though it seemed like it was his idea. (would imagine he was overruled by management). By not practical, I assume they meant paying for the extra fuel and refunding shore excursion money for Ketchican, then to add insult to injury they gave us a $15.38 credit for missing out on Glacier Bay (REALLY!). We lost out on 25% of the advertised adventure and they refund 15.38. it cost us $5336.00 US (4 people) for the trip, not really understanding Holland's math. Disembarkation was pretty chaotic, with not enough wheel chairs available inside the terminal, they pretty much rushed the people with mobility issues off the ship and dropped them in chairs to wait 45 mins to 1 hr for a second wheelchair to take them the rest of the way. When I contacted customer relations, I was told the president of Holland America issued a memo, that no compensation was allowed to be offered for missing Glacier Bay on this cruise. Interesting to say the least Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Meals were good, although some of the restaurants were extra, but we weren't told until the end when they asked for the room card. Poor communication. We don't mind paying for drinks (alcohol), but coffee? Daily hotel ... Read More
Meals were good, although some of the restaurants were extra, but we weren't told until the end when they asked for the room card. Poor communication. We don't mind paying for drinks (alcohol), but coffee? Daily hotel charge (tip fee) seemed high at $13.50US per day per person. Pay the staff more! Have it included in the price of the cruise. We always tip the staff and we did this trip, only to discover at the end that we were charged the above amount daily. This cruise is all about shopping and buying, which we were not interested in doing. The uniformed woman who is in charge of the diningroom staff referred to them as her children, which we found rather demeaning as these men and women are adults often with families. She is not their momma as she stated. This is our first and last Holland American cruise. We do not mind paying for an all inclusive cruise, just don't nickle and dime us for little extras! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
my husband has been wanting to sail to Alaska for years and we have been on at least 15 cruises so I finally gave in and I'm glad I did. Alaska was amazing however I will never sail Holland American again. the service was horrible. ... Read More
my husband has been wanting to sail to Alaska for years and we have been on at least 15 cruises so I finally gave in and I'm glad I did. Alaska was amazing however I will never sail Holland American again. the service was horrible. the staff was so unhappy and they showed it, I did have e good dining room server and one server in the casino that was nice but honestly that was it. I was shocked because service makes or breaks your experience. you could tell they did not want to be there. the food was mediocre to say the least, buffet was the same things over and over, dining room options and quality below par. to top it off they try to save on entertainment and had a show one evening called the Filipino cast show, I felt so sorry for them it was a train wreck. we will return to Alaska on a cruise but not on Holland America nor will I recommend it, if this was someone's first cruise I bet they would never go on another. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We picked this cruise because we were sailing on the Rotterdam and thought we were getting a good deal booking while sailing. We actually found out that people who booked through and 1st time sailings on HAL got a lot more perks than we ... Read More
We picked this cruise because we were sailing on the Rotterdam and thought we were getting a good deal booking while sailing. We actually found out that people who booked through and 1st time sailings on HAL got a lot more perks than we did. Having sailed 5 or 6 times before on HAL, we were shocked and disappointed by the food, the lack of entertainment and many amenities that once were included that are now nickle and dime you to death. All of the excursions are nearly double or more than what you can book them for online yourself. The cruise itself was fine. Glacier Bay was amazing. The amenities, food, and entertainment on board were way below our expectations and experiences on other cruise lines. This includes HAL cruises in the past were much better. The HAL hotels they put you up in while doing the Land part of Alaska are below sub standard. Dirty and musty smelling Westmark in Fairbanks. Complained to front desk twice and even call Joanna Reinard (HAL cruise consultant) and wasn't even acknowledged. No amenities included in the Land Portion. Hotels do not offer coffee. You must buy every cup at 4.00 plus. No continental breakfast anywhere on the Land portion. There were more negatives, but this gives you an idea. This was our Last trip with HAL. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Drab ship and dated. We were only three nights on the ship as it was the gateway to an amazing tour of the Yukon and Alaska. Three days was more than enough. There was only one electrical outlet in our suite and it was placed between ... Read More
Drab ship and dated. We were only three nights on the ship as it was the gateway to an amazing tour of the Yukon and Alaska. Three days was more than enough. There was only one electrical outlet in our suite and it was placed between the mirror and the desk so we could not place our own power bar on it. These days people have electronic devices CPAP‘s and other things that need to be plugged in and one outlet is not enough. The room only had one very tiny television that was supposed to be swivelled for both rooms of the suite. We had planned this cruise for our 50th wedding anniversary and our travel agent gave us I lovely bottle of wine which was in our cabin. I phoned guest services to ask if we could bring it to dinner and we were told we had to consume it in the room. Then I asked for a corkscrew as there was no device in the room. It took a half an hour and two phone calls to get it. The next morning there was a note outside our cabin congratulating us on our honeymoon rather than our 50th wedding anniversary . I decided to go to guest services to show them the note and I was given an apology but no replacement note ever showed up. Also, I was told that I could have brought the wine to and that I was misinformed. The attention given to entertainment I felt was less than stellar. The performers were fine but in the three nights that we were on the ship there was no change in the sets, just a couple of staircases for the dancers. The sound was good and the theatre was fine but the show was not memorable. The lectures were excellent and the food was fine but I would recommend doing research in picking another Holland America ship. Other than walking the deck, there was a little fitness activity. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I have taken been cruising since 1975 and have been on many different lines, but this was my first time on Holland America and was really looking forward to taking a "step up". The itinerary was wonderful and we really enjoyed ... Read More
I have taken been cruising since 1975 and have been on many different lines, but this was my first time on Holland America and was really looking forward to taking a "step up". The itinerary was wonderful and we really enjoyed the cruise from that aspect but the service was sub standard in my opinion. Our stateroom had a leftover champagne bottle and a few other items in the cabinets upon boarding and there was a layer of dust on the ledge behind the bed. Many of the chairs in the common areas were worn out with sprung seat cushions. This was a beautiful scenic cruise except the ship windows were dirty and were never cleaned during the two week cruise. I had dinner in the Pinnacle Grill and upon opening my menu had food fall from the menu into my lap. I have many other complaints but I think this gives you a good idea of why I gave this cruise a 2 star rating. There was generally a line at the customer service desk and the staff there actually got a tiny bit on the nasty side when trying to fend off the complaints - to be fair there were so many that they were probably very tired of handling them. On the plus side, I thought the food was very good and as I said before the itinerary was outstanding. I was also pleased with the entertainers that were brought onboard, the ship's singers and dancers were fine, typical cruise performers. Embarkation and Debarkation were quick, easy, no waiting around and I really liked how they handled it. The comfort level of inside temperature of the ship varied quite a bit. I was pleasantly surprised to find the dining room a very comfortable temperature and did not need a sweater for my short sleeved outfits. However, in the explorer cafe I had several layers on and still found it chilly. It seems that the outside temperature had a much greater influence on the inside temperature than on other ships I have been on. I was disappointed that it seemed like all the other entertainment revolved around food and drink - mostly drink - and of course all at additional expense. It was interesting to note that travel companions of ours who did attend many of these events got to know the cruise director quite well, he was always at the alcoholic events, but I am not sure I could even identify him since we rarely saw him. I did think it rather odd when we were sitting with our travel companions one day in an area very close to where the Sip & Savor event was to take place. He came over to offer to bring the Sip & Savor fare to them but never offered to bring it to us, indeed he did not even speak to us. I had already booked a second cruise with Holland America in January of 2019, I am sincerely hoping that it will be a different experience, but if not, they will never have my cruise business again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
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