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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
First of all, I have never written a comment on a cruise before, but felt that I needed to let others know our experience. We though Holland had a good reputation, and we should have stayed with one that we knew and trusted like ... Read More
First of all, I have never written a comment on a cruise before, but felt that I needed to let others know our experience. We though Holland had a good reputation, and we should have stayed with one that we knew and trusted like Oceania. Here is the overall of what we experienced after paying over $6,500.00 for the cruise and then additionally $1,000.00+ in ship charges. The bathroom shower curtain had mold and mildew all over it, only after I demanded that it be removed was it replaced. It should have never been in there to begin with! The tub was disgusting very old and didn't look clean - I would never sit in it and hated to stand in it for a shower. Lots of mold and mildew around the tub, the ceiling, and door facings. VERY old, scared and chipped furniture - two people cannot pass at the foot of the bed. The refrigerator had NO HANDLE, it was totally broken off. Our balcony furniture was extremely cheap and the cushions look Walmart-ish. We walked to the outside deck to sit in the lounge chairs there but they were very old, the finish on the wood was non-existant and the seat cushions were stained and we couldn't find two that we would even sit in. The food was nothing to care about either, I would say it was LESS than average. Service was not as expected either. Friends we met on the cruise, shared this: that on steak and lobster tail night she requested no filet but two lobster tails instead. The waiter told her he was not allowed to do that, after complaining the waiter called on the food manager to come speak to her - not sure how that turned out. (This is so unlike any cruise line I have ever been on, where usually they try so hard to accommodate) Overall, Holland America is NOT the cruise line nor Rotterdam the cruise ship to be going on, although the excursions were very nice and we definitely did really enjoy them. I do have photographs and will be posting them on Facebook and Twitter. Please take a moment to look at them and post your comments. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
I had looked at the Canada/New England cruises for years. I finally decided to do it by myself. I did a back to back starting and ending in Boston, so I went to every port except Montreal twice. On the first leg of the journey I booked a ... Read More
I had looked at the Canada/New England cruises for years. I finally decided to do it by myself. I did a back to back starting and ending in Boston, so I went to every port except Montreal twice. On the first leg of the journey I booked a Holland/America excursion at each port. On the way back, I just wandered around in each town. It was a great experience since the ship was right near the town and I was able to get the lay of the land on the first week. The Veendam was very nice, older and small, but the crew was great. The ship was clean and the food was great. I wouldn't hesitate to sail on it again. The entertainment was very good. They have greatly improved it over the past few years. I enjoyed all of the excursions except for the tour of Quebec. The guide was boring and really didn't give much information. You could read more in a tour book. I did book tea at Chateau Frontenac. It was everything I had hoped it would be. It is definitely worth booking on your own and not through HAL. Lovely setting and great food/tea as well as service. Bar Harbor was accessible on foot, the Lulu Lobster boat was one of the best excursions I've ever been on. It was very educational and fun. The small group tour to Acadia National Park was also outstanding. I was fortunate to be there on a beautifully clear day, so the views from Cadillac Mountain were superb. The musical Anne and Gilbert was excellent and a quick walk from the ship. Charlottetown, PEI was a great port. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We embarked in Boston for an 18-day cruise to San Diego via the Panama Canal. Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Florida at the time while Hurricane Jose was setting sights on Puerto Rico. Captain Jutten navigated between the storms, never ... Read More
We embarked in Boston for an 18-day cruise to San Diego via the Panama Canal. Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Florida at the time while Hurricane Jose was setting sights on Puerto Rico. Captain Jutten navigated between the storms, never getting closer than 500 miles to either. We had 15-foot seas for one full day but the ship handled them well. Our interior cabin on the Lower Promenade Deck, #417, was spacious and comfortable. We loved walking the teak deck at four laps to the mile. Arriving at Fort Lauderdale, we found the city mostly without power and all shore excursions cancelled. We got a taxi to the beach but never made it there due to sand clogging the streets. We found a store running on a generator and got some supplies before re-boarding. Thankfully, the airport had reopened the day before and two dear friends were able to join with us for the remainder of the cruise. This was our longest itinerary to date and the first time cruising with friends. Maasdam is an older ship (1993) that is aging gracefully. She is well maintained and the perfect size for 1,200 or so passengers and 500 crew. We never felt rushed and didn't have to wait in a line for a single thing. Service from all staff was cheerful and attentive. Dining choices and food quality were very good. We had salads most days for lunch and went to the Rotterdam Dining Room most nights for dinner. We pre-purchased the Cellar Master Package, which afforded us several bottles of wine, two dinners in The Pinnacle Grill and two wine tasting events. The steaks were very good in Pinnacle but the Alaskan King Crab legs were even better; the premium wine tasting event was superior. The ship's entertainment was very good, with talented singers and dancers and an excellent comedian. About a week in, hotel staff advised that another passenger had designs on our stateroom, asking if we would mind relocating to a Vista Suite. Seems this other passenger was booked in cabin #417 for the next cruise, a 50+ day journey from San Diego to Sydney, and wanted to settle in as soon as possible. We were happy to oblige and super cabin attendant Joe made moving to balcony cabin #151 a breeze. What a great upgrade! The ten-hour passage through the Panama Canal was memorable. A local narrator came on-board for the 50-mile journey. That, together with excellent lectures and documentaries, really brought home the significance of this engineering marvel. Shore excursions were likewise excellent. Costa Rica's rivers and jungles, with crocodiles, poison dart frogs and exotic plants, Nicaragua and Guatemala, with smoldering volcanoes, bubbling mud pots and Mayan ruins and Cabo San Lucas, with its famous rock formations and snorkeling. Yet it was unassuming Puerto Chiapas, Mexico where we experienced the highlight of our cruise. On a small tour, we visited the modest but beautiful home of Josefina, a world-class chocolate maker with a wall of awards including #1 world's best chocolate as selected in competition at Perugia in Umbria, Italy. She served us an authentic Mexican breakfast on banana leaves, then demonstrated her art, picking the cocoa fruit, toasting the beans and inviting us to grind them up. She separated out the hulls in a wheat vs. chaff maneuver and packed the remainder tightly together for our tasting. We felt fully immersed in this wonderful culture. A tropical storm lay in our path on the last leg to San Diego, but the ship handled it with ease. We had a great last day watching sea lions in La Jolla and visiting Cabrillo Point, then on to our red-eye flight home. What a great cruise, made all the more special with the company of very close friends. It opened our eyes to how enjoyable longer itineraries can be, and we look forward to cruising with Holland America again soon. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We are from Australia and went on a 9 day coach tour starting in New York up to Toronto and back to Boston. We then went on the Ms Rotterdam for seven nights, Boston to Montreal. From the minute we boarded the ship we were delighted with ... Read More
We are from Australia and went on a 9 day coach tour starting in New York up to Toronto and back to Boston. We then went on the Ms Rotterdam for seven nights, Boston to Montreal. From the minute we boarded the ship we were delighted with our cabin and cabin staff. There were 80 Aussies on board and the rest mainly Americans. Our cabin was spotless, the meals were delicious, with choices of the buffet and the fine dining. The entertainment was good, the Cities we visited were amazing, with plenty of time to look around before we had to board the ship. It was an amazing holiday of a life time. Would love to go again. The gift shop was reasonably priced, friendly staff wherever we went. Ben, who works at the casino was very friendly and helpful, as were all the crew. The whole experience was fantastic and would highly recommend this magnificent ship. We had one rough night and everyone was offered sea sickness tablets. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Always have wanted to Cruise the canal . Ship left from Boston , where we live so perfect. Captain had to miss several Hurricanes, which he did . A little rough but not bad . Ft Lauderdal was in tough shape so excursions had ... Read More
Always have wanted to Cruise the canal . Ship left from Boston , where we live so perfect. Captain had to miss several Hurricanes, which he did . A little rough but not bad . Ft Lauderdal was in tough shape so excursions had been canceled . Missed a few more storms and than clear sailing . Great tour in Columbia by a firm called Duran Duran . Booked it myself and we had a terrific time . We stopped in Costa Rica , Nicaragua, Guatemala , Puerto Chiapas , Cabo and San Diego . Every stop was an adventure Botanical gardens , coffee plantation , Banana plantations colonial capitals and a great thermal spa in the mountains overlooking the volcano's . Truly a great tour. as usual Holland staff were on top of their game . Great waiter, wine steward , bar staff just excellent . The concierge in the Neptune lounge was amazing , couldn't do enough . Everyday a new treat . Nicaragua left a lot to be desired . Leon is a few walls still standing that could have been a barbecue pit . The view to the lake was spectacular . but just not much to see . check in and disembarkation were like silk , just smooth . As always thanks Holland America Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I chose it because of the date of departure , trip duration and ports of call. Holland American seems to have quite a variety of cruises going to New England. Overall, it was a nice cruise.. The food in Lido had a reasonable variety, ... Read More
I chose it because of the date of departure , trip duration and ports of call. Holland American seems to have quite a variety of cruises going to New England. Overall, it was a nice cruise.. The food in Lido had a reasonable variety, prepared in a healthy manner without too much salt or greasy . The meat from the carving station was quite high quality. Even desserts came with no sugar version. The ship is a bit dated especially the carpet in the lower level deck. Staff were very polite and provided good services. The music entertainment had a good variety. The only issue was our toilet were pumping water twice. It was found out that this affected many cabins nearby. They fixed it within couple of hours. But I was surprised that we received not apology from the ship as well as small token of credit like most hospitality industry would do. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I read the poor reviews on this cruise but my rep assured me that the activities changed a lot on the ship and they cater to children. They don't even appeal to adults. This is what I sent to the guest relations and all they are going to ... Read More
I read the poor reviews on this cruise but my rep assured me that the activities changed a lot on the ship and they cater to children. They don't even appeal to adults. This is what I sent to the guest relations and all they are going to give me for my grief is a measly $50 onboard credit on my next Holland America cruise, like i really am looking forward to going on another Holland America cruise. My dad spent about $30k for 9 cabins too. these are my complaints... AND NEVER HOLLAND AMERICA again! they dont care about customer service and took 2 months to answer my complaint. 1. Cruise activities were repetitve and uninteresting. They should have a variety of programs for all ages. The cruise director mentioned about having to work within the budget and I'm thinking the budget must be very tiny. You already know about the basketball and tennis balls, and I want to thank you for getting those balls for us. However, we couldn't use the tennis balls because they were only available to us on our last day and we were in Quebec City between 2 -5 pm. 2. Club Hal kicked me out of the room when I was talking to my nieces and nephew for a few minutes. My sister was also told that she couldn't take pictures of her daughter in Club Hal. Is that really the policy? We were disappointed that there was no cooking classes for the kids. Unfortunately, a few of my nieces, who are almost teenagers, wanted to go home by mid-week. 3. Fitness instructor is obviously not interested in teaching anything but stretches. I went to a 5:30 total body conditioning class and at 5:30pm, there was no class. At 5:35 pm, I approached a man who was sitting on the exercise floor creating some sort of a sign. He says I was the only one who was interested and I could come to his 7 am stretching class. If i wanted to do the stretching, I would be there at 7 am and not at 5:30. I went to the lady at the front desk and she talked to the man and his answer was the same... that I was only one person. Another lady came by and asked about the class and later says she was interested. So I say "ok, now there are two". He finally stood up in the front and two others joined us. Now there was four. In the first 10 minutes, he did stretches. I left the class and resumed doing my own exercises and 5:50 pm, when I turned around, there was no more class. The class was supposed to be for 30 minutes. The cruise hired the wrong person to do the fitness classes. I also heard the same man ignored my nephew and my sister when doing the foot analysis. His focus was only on an elderly woman trying to sell her orthodics. 4. One should be more careful in charging the right amount for one massage. My sister had to correct a mistake with customer service. She bought several massages even though I told her that massages are cheaper in her neighborhood. 5. The ship charges $20 for a picture with a background but charges $40 for doing my group pic at the staircase. Why is there such a huge difference? Other cruiselines charge just $20. I also do not appreciate Ralph, who is the photo manager, addressing me as "milady" as if he was being condescending. That was my feeling. I especially do not appreciate Ralph for not delivering the photos as he had promised so that my family had to come looking for him and the photos on the day of disembarkation. They also did not have the cruiseline and the date imprinted on the photos as they said they would. 6. My brother says there was a chemical smell, albeit temporary, in his cabin and I also saw that he had rust spots around the metal handle and spouts in his shower. 7. It was either an icebox or a sauna in some of cabins and I was told the thermostat was broken. Someone came out to fix it though it wasn't still working very well. 8. On Level 6, the engine thrusters woke me up early around 5:45 am, on the last two nights when I really needed my sleep. I thought we were given quiet rooms. 9. Never had the pool been closed while we were on a cruise. The last day, the pool was closed for cleaning. I'm not sure if that's a regular thing for Holland America or maybe someone had an accident in it? Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Chose this cruise for intergenerational travel with my parents and children. LOVELY way to cover a lot of ground. We used the ship more as a means of transportation to get from point A to point B, but it was a really wonderful trip. ... Read More
Chose this cruise for intergenerational travel with my parents and children. LOVELY way to cover a lot of ground. We used the ship more as a means of transportation to get from point A to point B, but it was a really wonderful trip. Pros: food, service, staff excellent. We had basic family room with bed hung from ceiling in interior state room-- more than adequate to meet needs. There are plenty of rich foods, but I can't eat them and was able to eat healthily during the entire cruise as there were many food options. Ship also has a 1/4 mile walk around on deck six and ample health club. Nice free stretching class for early mornings. Cons: children's programming is in need of a total overhaul. If you want to park your child someplace where they can have unlimited media- this would be sufficient, but the children's programming is decidedly lacking. Our children enjoyed going after dinner for an hour or so and they had one night of truly interactive activities, but this was a far contrast to the children's programming in Splash Academy that they had on Norwegian. Norwegian's programming was media- free, dynamic and organized. Staff was lovely, but the programming was an after-thought, room smelled terrible and it was stuffed with media. Shore excursions were overpriced as one would expect. In Bar Harbor, there is a free LLBean shuttle which operates in the summer for only the price of a park pass (fourth graders are free and seniors get discount). Great way to see park at a fraction of the cost. Hired private car in Charlottetown. Discovery Tours PEI and Shuttle Service, K. Fraser/T. Thompson-- info@discovertourspei.com. This was the sweetest man who loved our kids. We negotiated the rate up front and he took us all over island-- to Canadian national park, anne of green gables house, a mariner port, a toy factory, a place to pet the goats... He was so kind and it turned out to be about 30 a person for the tour of the island. Great way to explore. If you splurge for any excursion there is NOTHING to see in Sydney. We were glad the boys went to see Alexandra Graham Bell museum that day. They loved it and there really is nothing to do in town and I am generally very easily entertained! Overall, wonderful trip and a great way to cover a lot of area in a very relaxed way-- wonderful trip! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Despite some of the negative reviews (we experienced no soot on balcony or caufiflower in the bath!!) we loved the ship , food in the main dining room was top class , waiters (Dedham & team) were lovely people , Lido food was typical ... Read More
Despite some of the negative reviews (we experienced no soot on balcony or caufiflower in the bath!!) we loved the ship , food in the main dining room was top class , waiters (Dedham & team) were lovely people , Lido food was typical buffet so ok . Internally the ship is in great condition , externally it was showing its age and the cabin while comfortable had a few knocks /scratches if you looked carefully . We were in a balcony cabin B194 so we were one flight of stairs from everything . We loved the open plan explorations lounge area where we spent a lot of time . We booked a private Acadia park tour in Bal Harbour and the HA Peggys cove/Titanic tour , both were very good . We wandered around Sydney PEI and Quebec (quaint but rain) for an hour without getting overexcited , with hindsite we should have booked the Montmorency trip in Quebec . We really like the Maasdam size ships , nothing is too far , no noise . Overall a very good cruise Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I was a little hesitant just before leaving due to some of the recent reviews of this very cruise. Yes, the ship is a little tired in places. Seating cushions in public areas need to be replaced, along with the deck chairs on lower ... Read More
I was a little hesitant just before leaving due to some of the recent reviews of this very cruise. Yes, the ship is a little tired in places. Seating cushions in public areas need to be replaced, along with the deck chairs on lower promenade, etc. The 'hot tub' area aft seemed rather worthless. However, the ship is clean. The service and food were very good. I was impressed with the Lido restaurant. Happy to see the buffet has been done away with and the food and food utensils are not handled by guests. There were hand washing stations everywhere. The ship is smaller than many of the mega ships I've been on and this was a big plus given I was traveling with two individuals who use walkers. The ports of call I liked best were Bar Harbor and Quebec. Sydney didn't seem worthwhile. We dined at both of the 'specialty' restaurants. The Italian one was good, but they kept pushing the family style option and we all just wanted our own dish. It was fine, but seemed a little over the top. The Pinnacle was a real disappointment. We had much better service in the dining room. I had to ask for a finger bowl or something to wipe my hands with after my King Crab. We had to track down the waiter(s) a few times. Just didn't do a good job of reading the table in my opinion. Souffle for dessert was a real disappointment. Entertainment was OK. Comedian was very good. Piano man was awful, yet popular. Didn't understand that at all. Singers and dancers on board were acceptable, but we only went once. Spa was pretty good as far as packages available, but wait a few days as the prices go down and specials come available. Hot tub within the spa is worthless. No jets. Cabins are OK, tight as you expect. Bathroom was decent size and we had a tub. We were on lower promenade deck. Nice to be able to walk right out and it was mid ship and close to the gangways when we docked. Overall good value for the money and we enjoyed our week. I think the ship is worth a trip into dry dock to update her. Read Less
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