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6 Holland America Brisbane Cruise Reviews

Because of the ports of call around the Pacific and previous cruises with HAL had been quite good. Embarkation at Brisbane was fine. Our Neptune suite felt like the same as previous on the other HAL cruise, very comfortable and ... Read More
Because of the ports of call around the Pacific and previous cruises with HAL had been quite good. Embarkation at Brisbane was fine. Our Neptune suite felt like the same as previous on the other HAL cruise, very comfortable and immaculately clean. How ever, the joy seemed to stop there! It appeared that the staffing levels had been reduced and things just took that little longer for serviceand attention. Prices have certainly increased and being in US$ for an Australian NZ Pacific cruise was a bit of a pocket hit when the service charge was then added. As we're the tours. This resulted in many of the passengers taking local tours upon going ashore. Including several US passengers. I will blame ourselves for not realising that it was an exploratory cruise with lectures mainly for entertainment. The result was a very dull and boring onboard cruise. At least during the day there could have been some life around the pool area. Nothing! People sat around bored looking at each other, looking at each other. If it wasn't so sad, it could have been funny. Then there's the food!! Oh dear!! The food was the worst I've had on the past 23 years of cruising. I am sure they constitute left overs in an attempt to make a curry. The curries were so bad, twice I attempted and had to bring to the attention of the food manager. The lunchtime pizza's were so heavy with grease, they were stuck to the pizza pan! I think the cheese was not pizza cheeses? Dining room food was OK, but the standard certainly has dropped. OXTAILS! My Lord, my mother served that on tight money days and it is now served as cruise cuisine. No more veggies served on the side, all piled under the meat selection and often not hot as the over run servers can't get it to you in an acceptable time. I do not fault the servers, they are marvellous, just not enough of them. As for the food quality and selection, again no fault of the kitchen hands, this come from above them. Being mainly Indonesian or Indian in the kitchen, they know how to make a good curry or Indonesian food, but cook what they are told to. The evening entertainment in the bars mostly were over before evening dinner was finished and the crows nest entertainment was a recording DJ when there was some passengers to try and entertain. The passengers were an older interesting mix but they were still alive and they were also disappointed in the lack of entertainment Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
When we booked last year we didn't know it would be an EXC cruise. We thought we'd give the new product a go but it seems to be a cost cutting venture. We went to the major ports of Noumea, Port Vila and Auckland on sundays when ... Read More
When we booked last year we didn't know it would be an EXC cruise. We thought we'd give the new product a go but it seems to be a cost cutting venture. We went to the major ports of Noumea, Port Vila and Auckland on sundays when everything is closed and the other days to beaches where it didn't matter. The cruise hopped around with no order or reason to be in these ports on sunday....maybe cheaper docking charges? Entertainment was very poor with nothing organised for sea days other than lectures on photo, computers and upcoming ports given with no enthusiasm. The were lots of BBC wildlife documentaries on both the main stage and on the Tv in cabin. We have yet to find what the cruise director KK did other than make introductions on stage. Entertainers were " more classical than fun" and their appearance times were hard to fit in with dinner in the dining room. There were no fun activities and you felt you were in an old folks home although they have more organised for them! Everything was dead after 11pm. Food was plentiful but tasteless. One night after a drinks get together at 7 and then going to the show until 8.45 we found the restaurants were closed and we were told to order room service to get anything. The Explorations coffee shop closed at 9pm and you could only get tea or coffee from the Lido if you were lucky enough to find some milk. The whole cruise lacked atmosphere, not what you want on a long awaited holiday! The ship is old but spotlessly clean. The cabins are large and well equipped. The crew are amazing, always helpful and smiling. They made the trip worthwhile! The ports visited were Ok but as I said some would have been more enjoyable if they were open. The beaches and snorkeling were wonderful. HAL excursions were over priced and much cheaper and better bought on shore run by the locals. Come on Holland America pick up your game and give us back what we came to expect from you. There were a lot of us complaining about this voyage and we hope all cruises will not become EXC. We will be watching as we have booked South America and Antartica for next year and if it's an EXC we will be cancelling. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We did a Auckland to Sydney cruise on the Maasdam just prior to Christmas last year. Needed to go to sea again(yes I am getting hooked) and found a great deal for a Brisbane to Auckland via South Pacific so jumped at it. Booked a ... Read More
We did a Auckland to Sydney cruise on the Maasdam just prior to Christmas last year. Needed to go to sea again(yes I am getting hooked) and found a great deal for a Brisbane to Auckland via South Pacific so jumped at it. Booked a outside cabin and a few days before we left we’re given a free upgrade to a balcony suite.woopee. Embarkation was as smooth as we had come to expect,this was our 6th HAL cruise and we were on board and enjoying lunch by 1.30pm. Cabin was great,level 9 forward. Nice size plenty of space and storage. HAL might want to upgrade the tv as the sets are getting a bit old. Quickly slipped into a routine. Cabin stewards introduced themselves that day and as usual greeted us by name thereafter. A few sea days in the cruise but days went quickly between talks workshops trivia etc. Blessed by good seas and weather throughout. The 3 excursions we went on ran like clockwork. The islands we visited were interesting and in most part beautiful. The colour of the water wow. Friendly locals. No complaints at all. Really appreciated the Mariners presentation and lunch. It’s just one of the things that HAL do that puts them above others in my opinion. It was only a 14 day cruise but we covered nearly 4000 nautical miles. Would recommend to anyone especially those thinking about doing a long voyage to test their ability to manage sea days. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
HOLLAND AMERICAN CRUISE 11/06/17 A few months prior to our cruise we consulted our Holland American Cruise Consultant, Amy, who kept us up to date on last minute offers and any information that might be helpful to us. Boarding was ... Read More
HOLLAND AMERICAN CRUISE 11/06/17 A few months prior to our cruise we consulted our Holland American Cruise Consultant, Amy, who kept us up to date on last minute offers and any information that might be helpful to us. Boarding was as smooth as I have experienced over many cruises. We had access to our cabin immediately. After reading the many horror stories about the Holland American Line ship Maasdam we kept our reservation with some trepidation. Upon entering our cabin we were pleasantly surprised to find everything spotless and in excellent condition. After our first day on the cruise all was good, No negative issues. Our two cabin Stewarts are great. I used the Wi-Fi in our cabin and it was “cruise ship super slow” as expected. So far so very good! Other reviews will follow. Ten days into the cruise. We have had meals in the dining room, the Camelitto restaurant, the cafeteria style restaurant and room service. The food in all venues was excellent as was the service. We have no complaints about the food selection quality, quantity or service. We have had interaction with many of the staff and all have been professional, helpful and very cheerful. The ship itself is fine, she is a beautiful vessel. We can’t understand the comments that she is ready for the scrap yard. These folks must have been going around with a magnifying glass looking for issues to complain about. The entertainment is fine for a cruise ship; we live in Las Vegas so our idea of live entertainment is skewed to the “over the top” end of the spectrum. Twenty days into the cruise we are still very happy with the ship and crew. The shore stops leave much to be desired but this is not the fault of HAL, the stops after Hawaii – Pago-Pago, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia are places with some interesting things to do, but primitive. How many native villages do you want to see? Disembarking in Sydney was fast and easy with a very efficient shuttle to the airport. Overall I give this ship five stars. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Most ill-conceived, badly planed circumnavigation of Australia. Hamilton Island waste of a port day. Most passengers returned to the ship by 11.30 or 12.00. Why arrive in Cairns at 1000hrs? Sun Seeker Cruises leave for a day trip ... Read More
Most ill-conceived, badly planed circumnavigation of Australia. Hamilton Island waste of a port day. Most passengers returned to the ship by 11.30 or 12.00. Why arrive in Cairns at 1000hrs? Sun Seeker Cruises leave for a day trip to the Outer Reef at 0930, Quicksilver leave Port Douglas for Agincourt Reef at 10000hrs. Could have increased speed for a 0730 > 0800 arrival. We sailed 1,600 miles through the Great Barrier Reef, yet no information. Best talk was by the Reef Pilot but nothing about the Reef or its inhabitants. Why leave Darwin so early, could have left a couple of hours later and made up, on the way to Komodo Island. Consider Port Hedland instead of Geraldton as not much in Geraldton on a Sunday. The overnight in Fremantle was good but then whats the point if passengers need to be back at 1045hrs on the second day. What can anyone do before 1045hrs, again leave later and burn a bit more bunker oil and catch up between Fremantle and Albany. Why leave Melbourne so early? Surely there is a more interesting place than Burnie! What about an overnight in either Adelaide or Melbourne Many passengers thought there were too many sea days. Consider two sea day from Bali to Port Hedland and another two sea days down to Fremantle. Holland America should have employed sensible people to talk about Australia and the area in which we sailed through like ex park rangers, marine biologists, historians and people with local knowledge. Talk about the history of the Dutch East India company, the West Australian coast is littered with Dutch vessels. Early explorers: Dirk Hartog, Abel Tasman, William Dampier, James Cook and Charles Darwin on the Beagle. The Great Barrier Reef, the history of Queensland, its produce and industries and a bit of political history. The Gulf of Carpentaria tourism, fishing and the prawn industry. No none talked about the Leeuwin Current, the annual Humpback whale migration down both the East and West coasts. The weather patterns in the Southern oceans, the Great Australian Bight. At a talk on Australian Art, the lecturer could not even pronounce Canberra correctly. According to her Pro Hart was Australia’s greatest artist. Absolute ignorant rubbish. The problem with such shoddy, ill-informed speakers is that the mainly American passengers were not told about painters like Arthur Boyd, Arthur Streeton, Brett Whiteley or Charles Blackman. They were mis-informed. The quality of local knowledge was shameful. The tours were expensive. Why no visits to aquariums to learn about Australian sea creatures. There are aquariums in Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, Perth and Melbourne. I am a New Zealander who has lived in Australia for twenty years. I found it frustrating listening to passengers asking each other about many of the issues I have mentioned here and if I didn't intervene and comment they would have remained ignorant and frustrated. There should be a constant flow of sensible facts, figures, some trivia and some folk lore. A daily talk with supporting images in the theatre about “where we will be tomorrow” I thought the food repetitive and quite often tasteless and badly cooked Would have expected fresh Australian produce like Bowen mangoes, Gulf Tiger prawns etc etc The menu in the Pinnacle Grill had not changed since Seattle, went twice, nothing exceptional, bland in fact. Holland America’s alcohol policy is draconian and childish. The "security" in searching for alcohol was threatening and heavy handed. "We" are the passengers, "we" are paying their wages! Holland America pay their Indonesian and Pilipino crews atrociously, then hit up us, the passengers who have already paid for the cruise with a 15% charge on all drinks and a daily “Hotel Service Charge” of $12.50 per person which I gather is meant to be distributed to the crew to supplement Holland America’s 4th world wages. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Due to recent orthopaedic surgery I could not fly long distances so had to change our planned Alaska followed by Eastern Canada cruises to something closer to home. We were delighted to be able to embark at our home port. This is the first ... Read More
Due to recent orthopaedic surgery I could not fly long distances so had to change our planned Alaska followed by Eastern Canada cruises to something closer to home. We were delighted to be able to embark at our home port. This is the first time this has happened to our knowledge. A 1 Hour suburban train ride versus 14 hour flight! Unfortunately the Port staff were not familiar with HALs usual routines. We stood in the priority boarding queue but unfortunately none of the Port staff knew to serve us. Only after a complaint to a HAL officer was the problem rectified and I am sure it will not be a problem again. The ship was clean & well maintained and the fresh flowers were a delight. The night before we departed we received a second upgrade to a A balcony suite and as it was my birthday on departure day things started in fine form. The entertainment was great, this was the best group of HAL entertainers ever on a HAL ship. Not only the 4 leads could sing in perfect pitch but the remainder of the group as well. The Murder Mystery dinner was excellent. First time I have ever been offered this on any ship. A most entertaining evening with the best dessert ever. Dining was excellent in whichever venue we choose. Again we went Open Seating and never had a problem getting a seat at our requested time. We ate several times in Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto and in both places enjoyed the extra special service. As always all staff were cheerful and attentive, any request was dealt with quickly. The mature aged cruise director was one of the best we have come across. He managed to be efficient and entertaining with out too much of the "are we having fun" attitude. Our veranda suite was perfect for our needs and the bed, again one of the most comfortable at sea. We enjoyed using our balcony for a before dinner drink or occasional room service meals. After being disappointed that we couldn't make it to USA & Canada it was a pleasant surprise just how much we enjoyed cruising in our own backyard with a side trip to Indonesia. Yes, you can go more cheaply with other cruise lines but its worth the bit extra to go with an old friend who treats us so well. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
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