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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Check in was fast. We didn’t have to wait on a line. We went straight to the counter. We were given a number (10) and told to wait until our number was called. We waited about an hour before they started calling numbers, but boarding ... Read More
Check in was fast. We didn’t have to wait on a line. We went straight to the counter. We were given a number (10) and told to wait until our number was called. We waited about an hour before they started calling numbers, but boarding went quickly and smoothly. I didn’t like the fact that I was forced to wait on a photo line even though I wasnt interested in taking a photo. Disembarkation was also quick and organized. The ship is boring in decor. I couldn’t quite guess what the ships theme was, if any. Our room, 1096, was large and comfortable. We've never booked a room lower than the 6th floor because I was afraid of the noise level (motor) but this ship was quiet all the time. Dining was the best part of this cruise. No matter what or where we ate, the food was always delicious. The food had the right amount of spice to make them very flavorful. They could improve a little on the desserts however. Most of them lacked the one ingredient that would put them over the top. Entertainment and Activites: I was extremely disappointed with this part of the cruise. The shows did not meet my expectations. I’m a frequent cruiser so I’ve seen my share of shows. They were boring and not at all entertaining. There were no clubs for dancing except B.B. Kings and even that was lacking. We participated in a Ping Pong competition and there were 8 players. A volley ball tournament on Half Moon Cay never happened because there were no participants. Everything was mostly empty or closed early. The service was impeccable. Everyone was always friendly and attentive. Our waiters Tri & Sugito were fabulous, always making us feel comfortable. Photos: The backdrops for the photos were boring & old. Solid color canvases in green, gray & burgundy. The Atrium is small so the stairs are nothing to write home about. The photographers do not pose you correctly. Imperfections are not removed or corrected. Pics come in sheets with an 8x10, a 5x7 & 2 wallet size for $39.99. No options. They print every single photo you take, regardless of the quality (eyes closed). I thinks that’s a waste of paper & time. We did our own excursions purchased elsewhere. The ships excursions were more expensive. The ship has a much older crowd 60+. There are no slides, rock climbing walls or anything exciting to do. If you’re looking for a cruise that will provide quiet and relaxation than this is the ship for you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Warning, if you're not a foodie the first few paragraphs will bore you! FOOD & DINING VENUES I am a lowly two-star mariner, but know the ropes of HAL cruising and had been going to the specialty restaurants to reduce my meals in ... Read More
Warning, if you're not a foodie the first few paragraphs will bore you! FOOD & DINING VENUES I am a lowly two-star mariner, but know the ropes of HAL cruising and had been going to the specialty restaurants to reduce my meals in the MDR on past cruises. After reading so much about HAL's cost-cutting measures I thought I'd be disappointed with my meals, but instead was pleasantly surprised. Certainly the portions are small, but not when it counts. On steak and lobster nights, it was more then enough (though I think some were ordering a second lobster tail -- and good for them!). My steak was perfectly medium-rare, and this was the first cruise it came out perfectly. Most of the lunches in the MDR, were even better than dinners. I was surprised to like even the chicken strips which appeared to be hand-breaded with a coating containing crispy almond slices. I loved them so much and knew my (12 year old) daughter would actually want to eat in the MDR if she could have them, so asked for it to be arranged, and no problem -- she had them for dinner that same evening. Curries, were mild and the lamb was fork-tender, and delicious. I usually don't order any ethnic food on HAL, because I mistakenly thought it would be food-fair quality. Shame on me! As for the paid dining venues, we had 3 dinners in Canaletto, 2 dinners and 2 lunches in Pinnacle Grill. Pinnacle was excellent (as had been our previous experience), and the menu also included a page of selections from Tamarind (which I had tried on the Eurodam previously). I had not liked Canaletto on a past cruise, but due to recent reviews here gave it a try again. It was really tasty. Not every dish was to my liking, but we did get to try most of the selections over the 3 meals, as there were 3 people sharing -- lots of food to choose from each evening. The service in Canaletto was just as attentive and kind as I've had in Tamarind, and I feel like I'm getting better value as the price has crept up over the years for PG. Breakfasts for us were primarily in the Lido. I liked the quiet atmosphere of MDR breakfasts, but the hours didn't always work. With my jetlag I was up early and waiting for Lido to open most mornings. I also seemed to have a better chance of getting my eggs done perfectly (for eggs benedict) as they were made to order instead of having the poached eggs reheated. I think the food in the Lido starts out very good, but if it sits there it tastes terrible. There was a huge difference between getting french toast made to order, vs. them taking it out of the warming drawer. The waffles also suffer under the heat lamp, so my main trick to the Lido was to pick anything they would make in front of me. Prime lido breakfast times were terrible to get a seat. People were circling watching for any sign that you might be finishing, and if you were 4 people (at a table of 6 for instance), you could bet another couple would come to sit with you. Next cruise I think I will take those extra steps out to the pool deck -- it is such a quiet spacious atmosphere in comparison. Tea time wasn't as good as I remembered, they serve Bigelow teas (English Breakfast, Darjeeling and Early Grey primarily -- not sure if they have herbal choices) and can't really manage to get you milk for your tea like they do the silver cream jugs. They will bring milk in a juice glass (which you can then spill all over the table when aiming for your teacup). The hot water comes to you in small metal-ish pots, but is often not quite hot enough to really brew well (which is done in your cup not a teapot). That aside, there were a couple of tasty deserts and sandwiches -- most were rather bland but pretty. My husband and daughter raved about the tuna salad sandwich, so when I asked for one they were already done. The next batch of sandwiches to come out did not include the tuna -- so be warned, they are a good thing and will be gobbled up! Despite the great onboard food, don't fill up on a big breakfast for your days in port on this itinerary. Vietnam (in particular) is a treasure of AMAZING food! Eat in the lido on your day in Cambodia (you'll understand when you go!). Okay, enough about food. ENTERTAINMENT (or lack thereof) I will start by admitting my husband and I are in our mid 40's and do not fit the HAL demographic they are trying to serve. We LOVE Trivia and pretty much centered our schedule around it. The BBC Earth presentation to music and EXC talks about the ports you're seeing are also very good. The mainstage shows were often cringe-worthy (as my daughter and husband decided), and we walked out of many. Those talented Volendam dancers and singers are poorly choreographed, have old music, boring sets and some awfully ugly costumes to deal with. I hate to be negative, but only one of the 3 special acts they brought in were really enjoyable right to the end and kept me in my seat. I don't really want to mention the acts I didn't like, everyone needs to form their own opinion. The venues often did not hold the crowd adequately -- standing room only (uncomfortably crowded) at the Test Kitchen presentations, the one good movie they showed we couldn't get a seat at. There were scheduling blunders so trivia got moved to a bar (yes, people had to leave the crows nest and head to The Mix, and there were hardly any seats for everyone. If you like classical violin, the couple who plays in the Explorers Lounge are excellent. As for our beloved Crow's Nest, the DJ request nights were awkward. When you have such a spread in ages wanting to dance, each song could have a whole new set of people going to the dance-floor or not at all. The disco set got a few tunes and was getting in their groove, when all of a sudden a ballroom dancing type song comes on and there is a complete change of the demographic. Same with 80s-now music -- a whole new crowd would come on. It made for a disjointed evening, and who wants to sit around and listen to 10 songs from a decade they don't related to, just to get to the ones they do like. They need another dance club on this ship and have a theme IMO. I'm not sure if wine-tasting counts as entertainment -- it was a paid event. It was a fun enough event but mostly mediocre wines. There was only one that I ended up purchasing for dinner, but it was a good way to spend a bit of the afternoon. People were relaxed and chatty -- it was quite social even though I attended solo. STAFF I love them. I had a list of names at the end of the cruise to make sure they got formally recognized in my review sent to HAL. I hope it helps them -- they are a wonderful crew. My room steward San, was amazing and predicted my every need. SERVICES This is the first cruise I purchased the unlimited laundry. OH MY WORD. Lovely and clean pressed clothing, bagged and folded neatly. It was almost the highlight of the day to get my clothes back! Also with this hot itinerary, I really needed those linen shirts more than I thought -- it was fantastic to have the laundry and I won't go without it on future cruises. SHORE EXCURSIONS I had 3 HAL excursions, and only one of the guides had fluent enough English that he was great to listen to. One of them practically shouted and kept spelling out words (to make up for her accent no doubt). It was very slow with such a large bus of people. I highly recommend going to the Sanctuary of Truth (it is stunningly beautiful, a marvel). However, I would have been much happier taking it at my own pace and hiring someone to get me there and back. The ships tour was too long and the guide appointed to us was loud and annoying to be around. I had 1 excursion with a group from Cruise Critic, and it was a smaller group for Ha Long Bay. I think that was much better, the smaller group made it more relaxed and this tour included an amazing seafood lunch. Three other tours we did were arranged privately for our family of 3. Now I know this is absolutely the way to go. We had amazing fun with our guides in Vietnam. On the back of scooters in Saigon, with insane traffic, driving into districts where they rarely see foreigners is really fun. They were very curious about us. It was food/sightseeing tours we had arranged and we had the most amazing food experiences. Things I can't get at my local Vietnamese restaurant for sure. And the ones I had tried at home were different there, and so delicious. It is shockingly cheap outside the tourist areas, we had a feast at lunch for 6 of us (3 guides and 3 in our family) and it came to the equivalent of $12 CDN. Getting off the beaten track, in to back-alleys and cooked in front of you almost primitively. Not something I would have experienced without a local guide for sure. Do not miss Hoi An. It is an absolute treasure and not to be missed. If you can stay into the evening, it is very beautifuol and atmospheric with the lanterns lit throughout the streets. Great shopping there too. If you need souvenirs in Vietnam, they are much classier in Hoi An. IN CLOSING Overall, we loved this cruise. It was an amazing itinerary, the ship was in good enough shape for us, food was great as were the kind gracious staff. I had a good book and a deck of cards so can entertain myself anywhere -- I didn't need HAL to do that in the end. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Our first cruise ever was on the MS Zuiderdam from Jan 7, 2018 to Jan 17, 2018. It was an initiation for sure! The weather was not the greatest to start with and progressively worsened throughout the cruise. After our second last stop in ... Read More
Our first cruise ever was on the MS Zuiderdam from Jan 7, 2018 to Jan 17, 2018. It was an initiation for sure! The weather was not the greatest to start with and progressively worsened throughout the cruise. After our second last stop in Colon, Panama the weather really turned nasty and the ship truly started to rock. The weather was so bad, that the captain decided that it was unsafe to dock at our last port of call Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. So we proceeded back to Ft. Lauderdale and spent the last part of our cruise on rough seas for 3 days. It was not much fun! To be fair, the weather was not Holland America’s fault and we and they attempted to make the best of an unfortunate situation. For the most part, we did enjoy our cruise especially the stops at Half Moon Cay, Aruba and Curacao. However, the cruise through the Panama Canal was boring and if you did not partake of one of the many day excursions offered through EXC Tours then you were not allowed to disembark from the ship at Gatun Lake (there was absolutely nothing there). Some of these tours were expensive and exceeded on average 5.5 hours in time. Passengers who took the tours were picked up at Colon when the ship docked but were warned that the ship could be late because their return time through the canal was controlled by the Panama Canal Authority. They were told to stay within the terminal facilities until the ship’s return for the safety reasons as elaborated below. When the ship did return to Colon, we were allowed to disembark but were warned to stay inside the terminal premises as it was considered unsafe to venture past the terminal facilities. The shopping within the terminal facilities was somewhat limited and there was not much else to do but return to the ship and await departure. Personally, I would find another more inviting and safer port of call. Overall, staff and crew on the MS Zuiderdam were very organized, efficient, friendly and courteous. The embarkation and disembarkation were systematic and well controlled. Our room stewards Nugi and Chris were amazing and were always present should you require some assistance. Their positive vibes were constantly evident even when the last part of our cruise was not the best. I truly wanted to thank them in this review. Servers that also came to our attention were Joel and John Patrick who provided excellent and attentive service - again, making this a somewhat more relaxing cruise. Overall though, I am not sure that I would recommend this cruise for everyone. If the weather was inclement as it was for us, then the alternatives were small to nil with the exception of returning to Ft. Lauderdale. Would we go on a cruise again? – most certainly!! Sometimes you just have to rock and roll with the flow. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Let me preface this by telling you that my husband and I have been on several Holland America cruises in the past, including another on the Eurodam several years ago that was quite satisfactory. Unfortunately, this particular cruise ... Read More
Let me preface this by telling you that my husband and I have been on several Holland America cruises in the past, including another on the Eurodam several years ago that was quite satisfactory. Unfortunately, this particular cruise changed our previously positive attitude towards HAL into a negative one. Cons: Checking in for the cruise was miserable for handicapped passengers needing wheelchair assistance. The waiting area was very limited and all the seating was taken by a mix of disabled plus many people who were not disabled, leaving just a narrow standing space against a wall for incoming disabled guests. Family members of disabled pax who were sitting in the few available chairs refused to give them up for the disabled and cruise terminal staff who saw the problem did not request that they do so nor did they provide any extra seating. After half an hour of suffering, one staff member estimated it would take more than 2 hours to get aboard the ship via on of the only TWO wheelchairs that were being used for this purpose. Although there were a dozen chairs lined up outside the terminal building, there were not enough Eurodam crew members available to push them and non-staff were not allowed to touch them. After this announcement, which seemed optimistic since it was taking 20 minutes for each wheelchair to return, several disabled guests opted to painfully hobble through the very long lines and board the ship on their own. Not a good start for any cruise. Without any prior notification, our stateroom assignment was arbitrary changed from a convenient (for the disabled) location on deck 6 down to deck 1. Our luggage was found and rerouted late in the day. The worst part of this switch was that the type of stateroom we had requested was still available but Front Desk staff refused to change the assignment despite the difficulties the lower stateroom would cause due to my walking disability. Even worse, upon locating the new stateroom, we found the area in which the room located was not only very noisy (possibly situated above the ship's laundry,) but it had a pervasive and very strong stench of sewage! When we complained of this by phone to the Front Desk we were told a plumber would be sent but none ever showed up nor did the Front Desk ever follow up on the problem. Not that this surprised us. We (and many past reviewers) personally noticed on a cruise two months ago on a sister ship to the Eurodam that this part of deck 1 has a chronic problem with sewage stench. The stench is worst in the hallways, but it gets into the rooms, as well. When walking through that part of deck 1 on the previous cruise I had even remarked to my husband that I felt sorry for the people who had staterooms there! The sewage stench persisted throughout this cruise, to the point that we could taste it in our mouths. The lack of responsiveness to guests complaining about what seems to be a major ship design problem is what angered us most. That and the totally unapologetic Front Desk staff stating "we have the right to assign you wherever we want" changed our previously positive attitude towards Holland America. We cruise several times each year, but will no longer do so with HAL. As a direct result of our experience aboard the Eurodam, we have since chosen another line for our next four cruises. We have also told our story to friends and family, all of whom have previously sailed in very high end multiple room suites on HAL because of our previous recommendations, so they will no longer be patronizing Holland America, either. Other negative aspects of this cruise were minimal compared with the above. Crowded conditions in entertainment venues as well as lounges, long waits for elevators (some of which were not working,) a very unstable ship in rough seas that caused seasick passengers and the cancellation of stage shows, filthy outdoor decks, bad beds, uncomfortable seating in every venue & restaurant and other worn out furniture and fixtures, generally unhappy staff, mediocre entertainment and demos, inadequate staffing in the main dining room which led to long waits between courses, an hour to get ashore at Half Moon Cay due to crowded conditions (the Koningsdam was at HMC at the same time as the Eurodam,) no roof or umbrellas provided for Eurodam guests to wait in the pouring rain for 20 minutes before boarding the tenders to leave Half Moon Cay, the list goes on and on. Pros: Despite the many downsides of this cruise, there were positives. The string quintet featured at Lincoln Center Stage was excellent -- show up an hour early to get a seat in this limited venue. The Lido buffets sometimes had fresh fruit that was very nice. It goes fast, so be sure to get it when you see it. A couple of Lido staff members were helpful enough that at the end of the cruise I made sure they were given credit for their efforts by mentioning them on a comment card. Very helpful staff assisted guests in leaving the ship to board the lifeboat tenders that were rocking badly in the rough seas at Half Moon Cay. These guys were very careful and patient with a variety of fearful guests. Pilots for the lifeboat tenders were skillful at maneuvering amongst several boats at the very crowded conditions of the tiny Half Moon Cay harbor. Debarkation at the end of the cruise went smoothly and overhead color coding in the cruise terminal made it easy to find our luggage. Customs lines were long but people processed through relatively quickly. Outdoor terminal staff were helpful in directing us to parking shuttle areas. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
I am not a complainer and prefer positive feedback. This is a little of both. I can only compare to P. & O. Stateroom, food, staff exceptional. I did not find as much fun as P. & O. lines. The Gala nights were almost not, ... Read More
I am not a complainer and prefer positive feedback. This is a little of both. I can only compare to P. & O. Stateroom, food, staff exceptional. I did not find as much fun as P. & O. lines. The Gala nights were almost not, sure we dressed up but nothing special went on. I missed the buzz of theme nights. Activities were mostly, to me and my two daughters, boring. I mean who goes on a holiday to have lessons in cooking, computer and digital camera. The art was exceptional, the Spa was great albiet very overpriced. Shops were better than P. & O. and the bars were great altho the cocktails I love just did not taste the same as P. & O. We loved our rooms next door to each other and balconies which were opened so we enjoyed going in and out of each others rooms without having to knock. When I was sick it was great my daughters could check on me without me getting out of bed. The Restaurants were wonderful and staff everywhere as I said were exceptional,. Entertainment was mediocre but enjoyable. Summery: Theme nights more fun, activities which are fun rather than chores. Would I go on a Dam again. Not sure, but as an avid cruiser it is possible. I did win a "cruise" but was told that it is not actually a cruise you get whereas when I won one on Aria, myself and friend have a balcony suite for two and ten day cruise, so with P. & O. I did win a full cruise, have not rung yet but will be interested to see exactly what I won with Noordam. Excursions - unfortunately I am physically unable to get into a tender so could only do two shore excursions which I enjoyed immensely. I took a photography package and photographer was wonderful, we have everlasting memories. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our 8th cruise. Previously we have cruised with Norwegian, Princess, Celebrity, and Holland America. This was my 3rd Holland America cruise. I had a good experience in the past. The service was superior and the food was ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise. Previously we have cruised with Norwegian, Princess, Celebrity, and Holland America. This was my 3rd Holland America cruise. I had a good experience in the past. The service was superior and the food was fantastic. But I was disappointed by my recent experience on Koningsdam. To be fair, the boat is quite new. The bathroom was an upgrade with glass sliding door and more spacious shower room. The shower water pressure was very good but the toilet had bad smell all time even with frequent flush and closed lid. The actual stateroom was smaller than other Holland America ships. Good in room movie selection. The buffet services was good. The dining room selection was limited and the service was slow and not very diligent. Two nights the server skipped a course of our dinner without informing us. The fitness center was small. No space for people working on mats by themselves. The studio room was always busy with classes to sell people skin care or shoe inserts. The evening performance and performance during the day was subpar. No comparison to what we saw on Celebrity and Princess ships. The casino staff was non-ethical. They kept soliciting my 74 year old mother to gamble more. One night after losing over $1,000 they solicited her to charge to her room another $1,000 at 2:30AM. Of course my mother is an adult and responsible for her actions, but it was non-ethical of the casino staff to keep soliciting a senior with obvious health conditions to gamble more. There was no educational materials to help people with gambling issues displayed in the casino. Most casinos have something educational displayed. Making money is certainly important but it is more important of being a conscientious human kind to not take advantages of the elderly. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Excellent and Professional Service keeps us going back to HAL. We love the Indonesian staff. Our cabin 6148 was a handicap room. The only negative was the bathroom floor is very slippery when wet, be careful if you book handicap room. ... Read More
Excellent and Professional Service keeps us going back to HAL. We love the Indonesian staff. Our cabin 6148 was a handicap room. The only negative was the bathroom floor is very slippery when wet, be careful if you book handicap room. Also the bed is high for transfer. Was very painful for me to get into it. We enjoyed the casino on non-smoking night, it was packed on that night, which should tell HAL something. We did rent a cabana and it was wonderful. Dining in all restaurants was not five star, but we had very good food and great service. No time to get to know room stewards or waiters, since they are so busy.. Entertainment we saw was ok. We have been to islands before so we did not take shore excursions. We did get off ship at a few ports, where I could take a scooter. Embarkation went smoothly, after a wait, disembarkation was so slow. We were told to be in disembarkation station 10 minutes early, well we waited over 1 hour. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We had never sailed on HA and had heard good things about this cruise line, so when a Dec cruise to Asia came up with ports we had never been to but wanted to see, we jumped at the chance to be a part of this experience. First off, the ... Read More
We had never sailed on HA and had heard good things about this cruise line, so when a Dec cruise to Asia came up with ports we had never been to but wanted to see, we jumped at the chance to be a part of this experience. First off, the crew and staff for the most part were great - very friendly, helpful and accommodating. In addition to the destinations, they were the best part of the cruise! Negatives: 1. our cabin - it looked good, but the air conditioning never worked so it was always 75°F or more, in countries that were already uncomfortably hot and humid. The staff were vigilant in trying to fix the problem but were not successful. Also, there was a leak somewhere that left a wet area outside our bathroom for the entire 2 weeks. To remedy the problem, a large, loud fan that blew hot air onto the spot was brought in, but as our cabin was already too warm, we sent the fan away after a few hours. 2. public areas - meanwhile, the hallways and public rooms (bars, theater, restaurants, library, etc.) were freezing cold, which other passengers also complained about. That finally got fixed on our last 2 days on board. It's a wonder that we didn't catch a cold. 3. the food - the food at the Lido and in the dining room was bland for our tastes (being foodies from SF who are 65+) and seemed geared to older people whose taste buds don't like surprises. I finally started asking for sambal to be brought out for my meals, which they did. We also thought that the meat and fish served was not the best quality... The fries at the Dive-in and the morning congee and omelettes at the Lido, however, were some of the best we had. The other problem with the food was that it was generally not served until 7am or after 8.30pm, so there were a few times we woke up or went to bed starving. Also, as everything at the Lido had to be served, there were long lines of impatient, sometimes rude, passengers. 4. the activities - On Princess cruises I'm usually racing from lectures to dance classes to trivia, and back again, often without enough time for a sit-down meal. On this HA cruise, I was rarely busy as there were few lectures and even fewer dance and arts and crafts classes. It was good to have down time, but I felt again that this cruise was geared to older, more sedentary passengers. The Test Kitchen and lectures that were given, however, were excellent and informative. 5. the excursions - Most ship excursions are expensive, and these were no exception, but the HA excursions were much better than the ones I've been on with Princess. The guides, transport and organization were generally excellent, but were worth paying the premium prices. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Husband and I rate this trip is one of the best we have ever taken. Mostly because of the service of the Holland America staff was amazing? All staff including our Captain to the carpenters who built last minute dock with a Chief where ... Read More
Husband and I rate this trip is one of the best we have ever taken. Mostly because of the service of the Holland America staff was amazing? All staff including our Captain to the carpenters who built last minute dock with a Chief where there was none on the Amazon River's edge. We met wonderful people we now consider friends. Our cruise had its fair share of mishaps which of only added to the cruise experience. There was propeller concerns in Martinique, extra five hours. We drifted in Alantic ocean for 10 hours, our captain kept us informed at all times what was going on and then bough the entire ship drinks for an hour. The presentations were of professional quality and we learned a lot. I would say this was not recommended for children. On our entire ship there was one child. For those who do not do well with traveling with advanced age people, you might want to consider something else also. I will say it was embarrassing when 80 and 90-year-olds were doing far better than my husband and I who are in our 60s. This was a once-in-a-lifetime trip for us. The Amazon itinerary might not be for everybody, but we sure enjoyed it. We are going to be spending many times and years talking about this journey. I would recommend to do this one at least once. Like I said in the beginning this was the best trip we've ever taken. We would not change a thing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
The ship needed more time in dry dock that's for sure but I've never seen a staff try harder oh sure there are always a few ppl who don't go the extra mile but the stewards, servers and bartenders were just excellent. We did know the ... Read More
The ship needed more time in dry dock that's for sure but I've never seen a staff try harder oh sure there are always a few ppl who don't go the extra mile but the stewards, servers and bartenders were just excellent. We did know the cruise was not off to a great start when we sat 3-4 hours in the marshalling area with never an explanation or offer of food or drink! It was after 3pm when we finally got on board and up to the Lido for lunch. This is the smallest Holland America ship we've sailed on and I've never seen such an empty daily planner. There was not a lot going on. The shows in the test kitchen were excellent but there were not enough of them, they were repeating themselves before the trip ended. There are a lot of things I like on HAL, the teas were excellent and dinner in the dining room always had a wide choice of meals. The Lido had some very good meals too but they did serve the same things night after night. There was also nothing to eat after 8pm until the Lido reopened at 10:30 by which time I don't want to eat. After an early show it would have been nice to have a snack with our tea and coffee. A tray of cookies or pastries would have been very nice but there was only dry crackers. The Dive In closed at 5 o'clock so if you wanted a hamburger or hot dog for a light supper you were out of luck. I will say that HAL did offer a nice bit of cash for future cruises so they were trying to make up for what they knew was not a great cruise. Read Less
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