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7 Holland America Line Barcelona Cruise Reviews

Great ports of call but many days lost to illness. I have cruised eight previous times and this is the first time I have ever been sick. That being said---MANY guests were very ill on this cruise. My cabin attendant did an excellent job ... Read More
Great ports of call but many days lost to illness. I have cruised eight previous times and this is the first time I have ever been sick. That being said---MANY guests were very ill on this cruise. My cabin attendant did an excellent job cleaning my stateroom but I never saw banisters, lounges or elevators being cleaned. Horrible meal at the "Pinnacle". No anchovies for the Cesar Salad and no fresh berries. The wait staff said that this was to be expected "at the end" of the cruise. Really? There were three more sailing days left. Was the upcharge expected? The fish was overcooked and the steak was below average. The food quality at HAL is diminished. The coffee is horrible. The wine list is really pitiful. No water onboard the day of desembarkation. I wonder how those guests who remained onboard were expected to wash their hands? Princess Cruise Line is far superior in food quality and Guest Services to HAL. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We booked three back to back cruises which totaled 29 days. We found the food inedible on the Eurodam. The food was so bad, I could not eat it. I lost 14 pounds on the cruise, which is probably the only good thing that happened. Meats, ... Read More
We booked three back to back cruises which totaled 29 days. We found the food inedible on the Eurodam. The food was so bad, I could not eat it. I lost 14 pounds on the cruise, which is probably the only good thing that happened. Meats, and fish did not taste fresh, and they were always overcooked. Vegetables were often sparingly served, and the sauces, and combinations that the kitchen came up with were terrible. There was construction going on while we were cruising. HAL was reconfiguring part of deck 3, and the smells and fumes that we encountered were awful. One early morning, we both woke up to strong smells of paint, or cleaning fluid in the room. We ended up on our deck at 5AM. We think that it was the fumes that caused an allergic reaction which I had for the entire remainder of the cruise. I had a superficial cough, lost my hearing, and had pus running out of my eyes. I went to the medical center, and the first doctor I talked to told me it looked like an allergic reaction. He later changed his mind and suggested that I should be isolated, and given antibiotics since I might be infectious. Nothing he gave me helped, but I was allowed to leave our stateroom after a day, since they determined that I was not dangerous to other passengers. After several days, I went back to the medical center, telling them I still had the same problems. Once again, I was isolate, and given more antibiotics. I was isolated for 24 hours, then released. I still had all the symptoms, and I was pretty miserable, but I did not return to the medical center. We spent over $600 in the medical center, and still felt awful. It was a terrible trip across the Atlantic. I tried to spend most of my time on the top deck where it is open. I did not start to feel better until several hours after leaving the ship. Since, I could not hear, I cannot comment on the entertainment, or lectures. My husband did attend several lectures, and visited the theatre more than once, and told me that I had not missed much. The service was not polished. Many of the attendants didn't seem to know what they were doing. We had to hang onto our drinks, or they would disappear. The servers did not ask if we were finished before removing glassware, and dishes. There were fewer servers, and cabin stewards on this cruise than what we experienced with Celebrity or Princess. The excursions were poorly scheduled, and nobody was on hand to help you find your group, or bus. I could go on, and on. We thought we were taking a cruise on a Premium Line, but that is not what we experienced. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I am a member of the Mariner Society and have sailed a number of times on Holland America. It had been a few years between sailings and this past cruise was a hugh disappointment in almost every respect. Only the Indonesian staff have ... Read More
I am a member of the Mariner Society and have sailed a number of times on Holland America. It had been a few years between sailings and this past cruise was a hugh disappointment in almost every respect. Only the Indonesian staff have keep the high quality. The food was sub-par. The selections were terrible. Lunch at the Lido was just a mad house of trolling plates and not enough seating. Almost no music for dancing. Dull dull dull in every respect and I am writing this as a senior citizen. The casino would put you to sleep--after you could not figure out the slot machines that is. The deck chairs (if you can fine one) just ache your back and are impossible to get of for senior citizens. The fire on board surely didn't win any positive points either! No more HAL for me. It is just not the same Line I once knew. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Not a cruise line I would recommend. We chose this cruise because of the ports of call. But once on board were informed that two ports we had booked to berth in had been change to tender ashore. Two of these ports were cancelled because ... Read More
Not a cruise line I would recommend. We chose this cruise because of the ports of call. But once on board were informed that two ports we had booked to berth in had been change to tender ashore. Two of these ports were cancelled because of "rough weather", some experienced cruiser said it was absolute rubbish, compensation, 1 hour free drinks with 2000+ passengers. The third port to be tendered ashore was the port with the shortest stay, time to get ashore, a cup of coffee then queue up to tender back to the ship. Cabin cleaning was very superficial, no clean linen. Meals did not vary much with only fair quality. As for entertainment, you're better off to read a book. BEWARE compulsory tipping is deducted from you account daily, it is up to you to alter this if you are not happy with the service. Overall this equates to a budget line without the budget price. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We were on a cruise of 3 eleven day legs and if not for the ports, which is what we took this cruise for, the experience of Holland America and the Noordam would turn you off from ever wanting to go cruising again. We are not novice ... Read More
We were on a cruise of 3 eleven day legs and if not for the ports, which is what we took this cruise for, the experience of Holland America and the Noordam would turn you off from ever wanting to go cruising again. We are not novice cruisers and have taken at least 15 cruises on other cruise lines but this was the first and last on HAL and have never experienced such treatment. We were in cabin 1060, below the Queens Lounge which was the venue for BB Kings Blues Club. This went on for over 3 hours from 2030 finishing at approx. midnight. There was three of us in the cabin so we were using the bunk bed. On the first night the bunk bed vibrated, the walls and wardrobe doors vibrated and the air pounded in your ears from the sound. It was impossible to sleep or even relax in the cabin. We reported the issue to the front office in the hope of being moved to another cabin only to be given ear plugs and suggested that we find another venue every night they are on, until they finish and then go to bed. Naturally we informed the front office that this was not a suitable suggestion. We were informed that an effort would be made to move us the next day however we were later told that the ship was full and we would have to remain there for that leg and efforts made to find us another cabin for the next leg. I asked for the Hotel Director to contact us the next day to discuss the problem only to receive a phone call that morning indicating that he was in a meeting and would contact us later, never heard from him.Tried to see him on two more occasions but no response. I ended up sleeping on sofa bed for over 2 weeks as bunk could not be used and no other cabin available for 2nd leg. Can go on and on about this but the end result was they did offer compensation at the end of the 33 nights but what was offered was a complete insult to us for what we missed out on for the whole cruise. The ports on the cruise were great however it would have been good if the Captain was on board as the cruise logs given out at end of each cruise were incorrect with wrong port, wrong weather and wrong berthing indicated. Excursions are too expensive and at times do not meet expectations. The food in both the restaurant and Lido are at a very low standard when compared to other cruise lines and even food on RCL is of a better standard. I guess due to the bad experience all problems stand out like, luggage being damaged both embarking and dis-embarking, failure for linen to be changed that required us to ask, cabin set up for only two people and having to ask for extra needs, for first two legs volume in show lounge way too loud with many of the audience having to walk out (this was rectified on 3rd leg). My suggestion is that if you are planning a cruise that you think about another cruise line where possible as HAL is not a cruise line that puts passengers/guest first. The comments above are not a reflection on the crew themselves, except upper management, as they try hard however penny pinching and a drop in standards means they also have to try to stay within these constraints. One big thank you to Carlo, at front office, who was the only person to show some sympathy for our predicament.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our 5th and last cruise with HAL. From the moment we arrived in Barcelona to be met by a porter with no English (The HAL rep was 20 minutes late) and a taxi driver who could not find his cab in the airport car park we should have ... Read More
This was our 5th and last cruise with HAL. From the moment we arrived in Barcelona to be met by a porter with no English (The HAL rep was 20 minutes late) and a taxi driver who could not find his cab in the airport car park we should have realised this was a sign of things to come!!! The HAL ***** hotel was not conveniently located, had a trainee receptionist who took 20 minutes to check us in and out (rendering some else's bill in the process). The bathroom fittings were hanging off the wall. Our fist night in our Superior Verandah Suite was spoilt by flooding from the pool valve. No plan of action just a blower in our cabin for 5 days. $300 in compensation for living in a jet engine. Service everywhere was lacking and not what we are used to, cabin not made up in a timely manner, 10-15 minutes to get a drink in the bars and by the pool, tables not cleared in the Lido, no coffee or tea trolley on the pool deck and in the Lido. HAL has always been fanatical about hygine, but no longer! The hand wash stations were mostly unsupervised and many times people entered public areas, restaraunts and returned to the ship with out sanitising their hands. Fortunately the ports on the trip were great and we really enjoyed the land experience. Tour guides on HAL organised excursions particularly in Spain, France and Italy left a lot to be desired. English was definitely a second language and in some cases almost a mystery. The insistence on the shopping experience was extremely annoying especially on tours that specified shopping as optional at the tours end. We gave up being polite and simply returned to the ship on our own and we were not alone in doing so. We have always enjoyed the Pinnacle Grille, well no longer. Staff cuts were also evident here, the service was terrible and on one occasion we weren't offered desserts or coffees simply rendered the bill. The night HAL paid for in compensation for some of our experiences was the same and it took 5 days and many requests to have the charge credited. HAL have obviously severely cut staff in all areas and this shows in lack of service and no attention to detail. The crew, what there is of it, worked their butts off but could not match the previous HAL service. The Officers were extremely stand offish and obviously did not want to converse with the passengers. Maybe too many complaints? The show were at best ammeter and poorly presented in most cases. The sound technician in the theatre seemed to have a hearing problem as the volume was set to high even for talks and presentations. Oh well Celebrity for Christmas and Princess for South America in Feb 14, hopefully these will live to expectation and not disappoint as badly as HAL.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
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 ... Read More
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. The Food 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 Service: 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. Wine: 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. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
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