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266 Holland America Line Entertainment Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for its length, reasonable price and nice itinerary. Generally, we were quite satisfied with the cruise. Of course there are always irritating issues on any voyage – in our case our television broke and the guest ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its length, reasonable price and nice itinerary. Generally, we were quite satisfied with the cruise. Of course there are always irritating issues on any voyage – in our case our television broke and the guest services staff noted that it could not be repaired or replaced. We requested Wi-Fi access so we could check the news the stock market. We were told this was not possible and we were instead given an access key to an empty cabin on the other side of the ship where we could watch TV. We thought this was an odd resolution. Our TV was replaced before too long, so the issue essentially became moot. However, we thought Holland America service staff could have been more accommodating since the broken TV was their problem, not ours. We also felt that onboard entertainment was not up to other cruise lines’ standards and there were very few daily activities. Our goal with this cruise, though, was to simply enjoy the sunshine and to relax, so the problematic issues we outlined were mere nuisances. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Been on 25 cruise this my 9th on Holland America. This is by far the most boring ever on. No main show, buffet and most bars close at 8pm. They have some music shows but after first time enough. No dance DJ music at night. Really not ... Read More
Been on 25 cruise this my 9th on Holland America. This is by far the most boring ever on. No main show, buffet and most bars close at 8pm. They have some music shows but after first time enough. No dance DJ music at night. Really not much at all to do in evenings or really during the day. No band by the pool, most of fellow cruisers playing cards, checkers during day. Relaxing but not a lot of fun. Thank goodness the kids didnt come on this cruise. Service is great and food good but as for activities and excitement it's a dud. Will be sticking to Celebrity or Princess in future. Always liked Holland America and I guess if we were 75 would be fine but prefer shows and activities. If you have teens as kids take them on other line. As bored as we were teens would go crazy with nothing to do Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We wanted a winter break and chose this cruise because it was a newer ship and much cheaper than Celebrity’s Edge. We also were interested in the new music walk area of the ship as we are music lovers. Embarkation was a breeze ... Read More
We wanted a winter break and chose this cruise because it was a newer ship and much cheaper than Celebrity’s Edge. We also were interested in the new music walk area of the ship as we are music lovers. Embarkation was a breeze although traffic into Port Everglades was very heavy. Our room was ready and very nice. Veranda on deck 7 with a great port side view and close to the aft elevator. The veranda was awesome for morning coffee! Bed was very comfy and the bathroom tight but the shower was very spacious. Our only complaint about the room was the doors slamming every morning at sunrise. I wish people would be a little more aware of the noise they are making and that not everyone wants to be awake at 630 am on vacation! Dining was good overall. The MDR generally good, not great. Very long wait on Gala nights! Pinnacle grill was okay, nothing special. Steak well cooked but bland. Rudi’s was great. Very attentive service and delicious French cuisine. Tamarind was amazing with its food and beautiful aft view! We did not spend much time in the Lido buffet...typical crowded cruise cafeteria really. Entertainment was great fun. Loved the Rock Room and BB Kings. Loud music and lots of dancing with a fun crowd! Not sold on the Billboard pianos. Just meh. We only went to the stage shows twice. The comedian was just okay. The dance group was excellent! Spa was very nice although the massage was only average, I thought. Fitness area was great with a large room, lots of equipment and free weights. The pool areas were very nice. The Lido pool roof was open so it was very comfortable. Always room in the multiple hot tubs. Good service from the bars! We also enjoyed the Explorations cafe. A nice quiet bar area with amazing forward views. Books and games are available there as well as the EXC area for excursion planning. Disembarkation was fairly efficient but getting thousands of people out of the terminal on Sunday morning is going to be a challenge for anyone. Overall, we loved our time on the Nieuw Statendam and would definitely recommend it. It is a very traditional ship but with lots of modern art and great musical entertainment to make it fun! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
If you are looking for a glitzy Las Vegas hotel on water, with countless shipboard activities, a booming disco, and an overactive cruise director shouting at you every 5 minutes - then this is NOT the cruise for you. We chose it because it ... Read More
If you are looking for a glitzy Las Vegas hotel on water, with countless shipboard activities, a booming disco, and an overactive cruise director shouting at you every 5 minutes - then this is NOT the cruise for you. We chose it because it was a well priced cruise on a smaller ship and we enjoyed the more mellow atmosphere and the feeling of actually being on a ship. The ship is older but the public areas are classy and the staterooms are spacious with comfortable beds, and bathtubs, but could use some styling. There was also a problem in our stateroom with a faint, stale smoke smell. They brought in a small machine 3 different times (while we were out) to freshen the air, and it helped a lot. We also appreciated the unexpected credit on our bill for the inconvenience of having to freshen up our room. The food on the ship varied from good to very good, the entertainment was surprisingly good considering the size of the ship (the dancers were better than many I have seen on larger ships) and there was a quartet performing live music in the Ocean Bar who were extraordinary. They were a jazz quartet with a talented, passionate singer and phenomenal pianist who were a joy to listen to and romantic to dance to. Unfortunately one of the passengers on the cruise complained because she wanted dance tunes that she and her girl friends could all get out and boogie to. So unfortunately, whoever was in charge asked the quartet to start doing pop tunes which was really a waste of their talent. Such a shame that the person in charge wanted to appease the complaining cruiser rather than allow the rest of us to enjoy the classy ambiance that this quartet was creating. And there was plenty of music to dance to after the quartet played - the entertainment staff would play whatever anyone requested over their sound system and you could dance as long as you wanted. Hope they figure out what a class act they have in Lila and her jazz quartet. The service on the ship was very good - personable, efficient, but not in your face. Holland America seems to attract an older crowd and I think there were only about 5 kids on this ship. Probably a little tame for the cruiser who wants to party, but lovely for those of us who don't really want to be at adult summer camp. The ports were typical Caribbean ports - gorgeous blue water, some lovely beaches, pretty good snorkeling. We felt a bit rushed with the time frame on some of them, but the itinerary was nice with all the active days at the beginning, so our 2 sea days at the end were a welcome relaxation time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We choose this cruise because it was going to Turks and Caicos one of favorite stops! Also a sponsored cruise by our community so many neighbors on board! We did do Rudi's Sel De Mer and for the extra charge this is well worth it! We ... Read More
We choose this cruise because it was going to Turks and Caicos one of favorite stops! Also a sponsored cruise by our community so many neighbors on board! We did do Rudi's Sel De Mer and for the extra charge this is well worth it! We also did another night at the Pinnacle Grill along with the Canaletto Italian fare included by VacationsToGo. I do need to say we enjoyed the Canaletto the best maybe because we are partial to the food! My wife had the Veal Scallopini and I the Lobster Ravioli. The Langoustine-Tomato Soup is the best we ever had! Entertainment: The dance crew were excellent and we really enjoyed (the comedy) Mike the ventriloquist with Terrance his Figure! Terrance kept picking on this loser in the first row who didn't understand the humor as Terrance kept saying "What A Loser"! In Gran Turk we did the Grand Turk Exclusive Supreme Snorkeling Tour almost 4 hrs. Snorkeled the wall first and then some shallow reefs. Tasting the fresh conch was excellent and conch salad even better! The Stingray back massage was a kodak moment to be captured and remembered! Thank you Capt Gary and First Mate Marshall for a trip to be remembered! These guys need a big tip also! Nieuw Amsterdam azipod thruster malfunction forced a change in Itinerary from stopping at Saint Martin and sailing to St Croux instead! This was a welcome change and we had the best weather day at this stop! Don't miss a small bar on the nearby beach run by Shelly and Big Sexy what a hoot that was! Best drinks better than the ship and best jerk chicken! Stop in Old San Juan just after first earthquake not so great with most stores closed due to power outage! We did not make the Half Moon Kay private island stop due to high winds and poor weather! Best Martini's on the ship are made my Michael in the Pinnacle Bar midships! Give Michael a big TIP!!! Just one note on our room we had Cabin #8147 STBD side just under the Lido Deck Sea View Pool area. You will be awoken by the movement of chairs and tables every morning between 6 and 6:30 am. Noise also goes to 11pm at night depending on the weather. Do not recommend staying on deck 8 aft unless you are a heavy sleeper! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This New Years cruise met every expectation of a fun filled and beautiful holiday. The ship itself is an antique lover's paradise. The statues, the paintings, the sculptures, the murals,were startlingly gorgeous and so rare to find ... Read More
This New Years cruise met every expectation of a fun filled and beautiful holiday. The ship itself is an antique lover's paradise. The statues, the paintings, the sculptures, the murals,were startlingly gorgeous and so rare to find on ships other than Holland America. The food was excellent.Menus in the dining room included those of celebrity chefs-David Burke and Rudi Sodamin. Rudi-Holland's Master chef usually has seafood offerings in the Pinnacle Grill but this cruise unfortunately not. However his creations of coconut shrimp and pot roast served in the Vista dining room were exceptional. The music especially the BB King band brought the whole ship to life in the evenings and the New Years celebration with all the ship's musicians was memorable. The passengers were a wonderful mix with many young families with children on holiday as well as multi generational families.Beautiful to see! The children's clubs must have met the children's needs as they did not seem to want to leave the clubs. Mexico was a happy holiday itinerary and San Diego -what a beautiful port to leave from. Always the service on Holland is wonderful and the bartenders and the housekeeping staff made this cruise such a pleasure to be with them. Now for the star of the show-The Captain!! Captain Rens van Eerten was so visible around the ship-even picking up glasses,talking to everyone,humourous and engaging,. His spirit and presence around the ship was 5 star!!Thank you for contributing to a memorable New Years Cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We choose this ship because of the dates and length of this cruise. We have been on 23 cruises and this was the worst one we have ever been on. Our main complaints are the lack of service and lack of entertainment! There was just nothing ... Read More
We choose this ship because of the dates and length of this cruise. We have been on 23 cruises and this was the worst one we have ever been on. Our main complaints are the lack of service and lack of entertainment! There was just nothing to do! They had a large screen over the pool, but it was hardly ever used! What a waste! We enjoy being in the pool and watching movies! They even had a restaurant that had snacks for movies, but there were only 3 the entire cruise! The Pinnacle Grill, the steak specialty restaurant had terrible service. We were not approached by a waiter until 45 minutes after being seated. Then, we waited an hour for our appetizers! 5 tables walked out and were not charged . We didn't wait around either!There were some good features like the room size, the itinerary embarkment and disembarkment. We also liked the Dutch Cafe and the New York Deli. However, the bad were really bad! Never again Holland America! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Hi there. It’s January, and I’m back home in Michigan. We are all snowed in today so I’m finally going back to submit my review for my holiday cruise. Most of which I typed while I was on the ship, and some I filled in just now. ... Read More
Hi there. It’s January, and I’m back home in Michigan. We are all snowed in today so I’m finally going back to submit my review for my holiday cruise. Most of which I typed while I was on the ship, and some I filled in just now. (So please excuse my mixed tenses!) Here it is: ROOMS: It’s 4:24 a.m. and I'm on the ship, on Christmas Eve morning, actually. I’ve been thinking about it since my first dinner here, so why not start my review now, because the reason I’m awake now in the first place is because I’m suffocating in this too-hot room. I bought a small digital clock to take with me that also shows the temperature. I would get the room just right and the system was set to auto-regulate. Then it would be too hot. I finally figured out that any time housekeeping would come in the room, they were setting the thermostat back to their set point of TOO HOT AND STUFFY TO SLEEP. I am laying by the floor by the door now in hopes of sucking some fresher cooler air into my body and to limit the light from my iPad. Since I mentioned the room temperature, before I move on from talking about the room, the smoke alarm went off the first time after I took a quick shower and left the door open. We’d all been diligently keeping the shower door closed after showering since. The second time it went off, I took a shower and although I was careful to keep the door shut, the captain started making announcements so I creaked the bathroom door to hear them, what with being a responsible guest and all. It almost immediately went off. It didn’t wake me, as I was up since 3:30. It did however (almost) finish the job of waking up my kids, which could stay asleep under interrogation lights. Interestingly, the smoke alarm has not gone off the last few nights when we distinctly smelled cigarette smoke. We called and the guy turned it off and explained to me how smoke alarms sense heat and smoke (well except cigarette smoke) and how it was all for our well being and the safety of the ship, Like I’m an absolute complete ticking idiot and never understood in 46 years the purpose of smoke alarms. Basically there is nothing they could do but turn it off remotely each time after they inspect for no fire. So I said thanks and “okay I’ll see you the next time I take a shower again, I guess.” Overall, though, sneaky temperature changing and smoke alarms that go off when there is steam but not when there is smoke, the rooms are good. More spacious than Carnival and the bathroom didn’t induce claustrophobia. SHIP DECOR: Now that I’ve gotten out of the way why I’m writing this at this very moment, I’ll start properly! I am on the Holland America cruise line’s ship “The Zuiderdam.” I took a short Carnival cruise over the summer with just the kids and wanted to go with my husband for a longer vacation over the winter break. The kids and I wanted more cruise fun but slightly more upscale. (That is to say, less people that see a cruise as a prolonged drinking contest, and less people that don’t have manners and step slightly to the side when they decide to plant themselves in doorways and see other people trying to get around them.) I researched and this ship’s size-to-occupancy ratio was one of the best. That is to say, it had the most square feet per person, so the overcrowded feel of The Carnival cruise would hopefully be avoided. Although generally this cruise line is thought of as more expensive, I shopped Carnival cruises at the same time and the prices were very close worked out on a per day cost but Carnival didn’t have one that fit our schedule well. This is my fifth cruise. The prior one was Carnival, about 6 months ago. Go back 20 years to two more Carnival cruises. Then one more when I was a kid. I don’t remember the line, but it wasn’t Carnival or Holland. I remember though, as a kid, the shows were amazing. I was in awe! That is the breadth of my expertise as a cruise guest. I’m no expert but am very well positioned to compare/contrast Carnival and Holland, so here goes! The ship took a little getting used to. It’s beautifully, well at least plushly, decorated. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It feels decadent with its plush fabric chairs and spacious layout. But it is decidedly less open than the three Carnival’s ships I’ve been on. The atrium only spanned three floors and isn’t spacious. It’s just more of a 3 floor open staircase isha. Crystal seahorse hanging down in the center. The center floor had some Christmas decorations there. It didn’t seem that even without the decorations there would be space for a d.j. And there wasn’t space around the edges enough for audience to gather. There were chairs put around but it wasn’t a comfortable place to gather around a performer. It was more of a very comfortable waiting room, with the exception of being overly lighted to the point of wincing - but more on that in a bit. What I’m trying to say is it was impossible to get that sense of a ship that was a singular cohesive body with all its separate parts working together, which I realize now was what was in large part appealing about the large unifying open inside atrium spaces of the Carnival ships. I got used to it after about a day, after learning my way around more. You really couldn’t go to the atrium first and then look around and see or remember. I had to always strategize in my head first where I was going, and how to get back. Felt like lots of luxurious appointed tunnels. Other than the general lack of an open floor plan, of note was that this ship has two additional full restaurants they’ve built into the main areas. They push them, announce them, put them prime and center in most of their print-outs for the days’ activities. I find this tacky because all the food is paid for in the price of the cruise, and here I am being told if I want a true fine dining experience I have to make reservations and pay more. That’s right, did I not mention they are full on paid restaurants? There is a sense of luxury in the use of the space (minus the open concept, as I mentioned). Halls that are curvy for no reason except that they can be. Little curved corridors with lighter art insets in the wall. His luxury isn’t as felt on the Carnival ships, where walkways always seem to be made the shortest space between two points. The Zuiderdam throws down the mike here, and deservedly. SHOWS: It’s important to me that you take a moment to recognize I did say some positive things first about the ship. Because it’s all downhill from there. Entertainment. Oh boy. Reviews said this ship was top rated for entertainment. Maybe those reviewers were very heavy drinkers? The first night, there was no show. The cruise social director kept asking about great upcoming shows they had, such great dancers. I was thinking maybe she just really like the dance part, because watching just dancers for an hour - that can’t be right. Right? It was right. The second night was all and nothing but dancers. I made everyone go, we stayed for 10 minutes. There was no second show going anywhere here to catch. They have an ongoing blues band act with a dance floor. It’s not something to go sit and watch, though. I walked up to the edge of it a couple of times. Nobody was dancing, and the music was so loud you wouldn’t have been able to hold a conversation in there. I was used to Carnival that had a main show and on a smaller stage other side of the ship they’d have a comedian or something smaller. The next night’s show was a guy that did a Beatles tribute. Why yes, that WAS on the main stage, it was the main show. It was starting out okay, I mean the Beatles, right? He told some little stories and did some songs but mostly lots of tiny bits of songs. Then his wife came out. I winced, just like I did with the interogation-wattage-level lights at dinner, which I’ll get to later. She was like a more saccharin and thin (personality-wise) version of Kathie Lee Gifford. Hey, Kathie Lee did Carnival Cruise commercials early on, so maybe this is the Holland America version? Wow. I can’t think of anyone more Beatles-contrary. Then she sang one of the best songs ever - "Let It Be." Were it not possibly the best song ever, it would have ruined it for me forever. If a female is going to sing that song at all, shouldn’t it be a little more Edie Brickell and less fake Marilyn, dramatically flitting her skirt around and coming out in different glamorous outfits that were all basically the same cut, but in different colors, with no explanation, on and off 5 times in a 45 minute show? Last night there was a comedian. He was mentioned excitedly by one of the cruise hosts earlier. I should have been on alert since the other host got so excited talking about dancers. This guy had no act. Zero. I kept waiting for it. He knew it, too, and seemed embarrassed, even. He was affable enough and talked to the audience for 45 minutes but no show actually came. He had just written a book and was on a late night show and taped a special, (and he told us all, plus he had done 10 commercials) so maybe he had no jokes left. My kids enjoyed it more than the dancing show or the Beatles guy, but still not as much as watching a movie in their room. They didn’t know how much of a non-act it was, as they are ages 9 and 11. His show was truly far below the standard of what you’d get from that comedian on Carnival on the smaller stage - that wasn’t even the main act. The last night of the cruise was supposed to be the “good” show, as touted by the comedian in his first show, when explaining why he had no jokes. (He was saving them for the last night.) It was going to be a variety show. It was about 17 minutes more of the comedian. Then the Beatles guy and his sacharrine wife again. Not really a variety show by my definition - more of a warmer-over recycling of what was bad to begin with. I missed the first 5 minutes of the comedian. When I was walking up the stairs outside the theatre to join my family I heard the comedian saying something about how he told his wife when she gives him the silent treatment it's not really punishment. As I sat down I was thinking "tonight's the good stuff?" He made a bunch of age put-down jokes the first night. My husband said that as soon as he came out onto the stage for his "finale show" some guy yelled "I don't like you." So, that has to suck as a comedian, but I'm not sure he didn't deserve it. Other "jokes" included saying he needed surgery once and started with a Jewish surgeon and then got "upgraded" to an Indian surgeon and they're smarter, so... (insert laughter here?) FINE DINING: Fine dining that is included? I’m still trying. The first night, as soon as we sat down to dinner, I winced in the brightness of the faux incandescent colored light. Why. So. Bright. Fluorescent supermarket lighting would be better, truly. I couldn’t stop wincing. Then they delivered a bloody rare steak to my daughter even though she ordered it medium well. They took so long to come back to the table that everyone was mostly done by the time they even knew they needed to try again, this time cooking it. And my husband and I very stupidly agreed to a salad which meant our kids just sat there for the first 20 minutes or more. I ate as fast as I could when I realized they were waiting before my kids could get to eat. We were there for an hour and a half with no dessert. And I never was able to stop wincing from the light. The next night at dinner I asked the dining manager if we could possibly please sit somewhere less bright. He said they were assigned, so no. I could wait “over there” for a family with another table to be asked I they’d be willing to trade with us. No straight thinking person would trade with us, and I didn’t want to be further at their mercy, so I said it was fine, I didn’t want to wait, I’d just wear my sunglasses. I went back to my room and brought back my sunglasses and wore them, like a jerk, through dinner. There are darker normal-restaurant-light-level tables around the edges and the very center of both floors. The overhead oval of light that goes all the way around both floors is nauseatingly bright and really I couldn’t get past it. After dinner I went to the desk and they said the only way I could change tables was to forfeit my assigned table if he manager would “release” us from it, so we could go in unassigned on the other floor. But we had to get permission to go in unassigned at a certain time and there were no slots. The other option was to make reservations in the main (still) free fine dining restaurant. There were no spaces for actual reservations, no spaces to reserve for “unreserved” spots. But guest services said I could always “try.” She said she couldn’t guarantee anything though because it was just like a regular restaurant and again we could not even try without getting permission to be released from our assigned table which, once we forfeited, could not get back. I said it’s not really like another restaurant, because if it were home like another restaurant, you could go home to feed your kids, or go to another restaurant. I had to risk losing all dining options for my kids on Christmas Eve and Christmas for the gamble to get away from the light. Please be warned that if you order anything from a different category from your fellow diners, they will not bring it all at the same time. They will serve the first course and not bring others’ food until you have sat there with the empty plate for quite a while for whatever soup or salad you were so dumb to say “yes” to when they suggested it. A waiter at dinner asked me if I wanted ice cream with the slice of apple pie for dessert I ordered. I said "okay." A different waiter delivered pie. I said “I ordered this with ice cream?” The waiter said it doesn’t come with ice cream, but if I wanted ice cream too, he could bring me some. (Because I'm a huge pig and he was making a special exception? No thanks!) Also a wrong desert was brought second night. Waiter set it down and walked off, and I had to wait SO long to get a chance to tell him he brought the wrong thing (which was getting awkward to keep repeating.) Another time, my husband had breakfast in the dining room with my daughter, just the two of them. The dining room was mostly empty. A while after they were seated, an older "proper" British couple were seated RIGHT ON TOP OF THEM. Well, right next to them, filling out the remaining 2 seats at their 4-top, but it felt uncomfortable to the British couple apparently because she politely asked to sit somewhere else (not in my family's lap) and the waiter said "no." I get cruise seating style but when someone politely asks to sit somewhere else, even one table over, and is told NO by the waiter, well, that's just weird. My husband said it was certainly memorable to hear this proper British lady get angry and raise her voice with her British accent at the waiter after he kept saying "no." It's just weird that it's the opposite of "customer's always right" here. It's "the ship staff is always right." Another time, my husband ordered a coke, waiter took forever, husband asked again, waiter dropped off TWO warm cans, no ice. Husband FINALLY gave up waiting for the waiter to come back, and walked around and found the waiter to return the second coke. The waiter said he'd take it off beverage gift card, and said he'd get back to us with a cup of ice. We gave up on ice eventually and took the can to lido to get our own cup of ice. The next morning, I tried to get a coffee with the beverage card and I couldn't because the beverage card showed no balance, because, of course, the errant charge for the unordered second coke can had not been removed. Finally, on Christmas Day, I was seated with 3 other ladies that were strangers but we were having a touching conversation about something very important that had happened to her, and were all leaning in. Other people around us were still eating their main course. We were finishing our coffee. The waiter INTERRUPTED her emotional story ON CHRISTMAS DAY to ask us IF WE COULD LEAVE. One of the other ladies snapped back at him "no we'll leave in a few minutes." I just really couldn't believe I wasn't hearing things. Nope, that really happened. ROOM SERVICE: The first night, we filled out our little placard for breakfast in-room the next morning. We all woke up but it wasn’t our set delivery time of 8:30 to 9:00. We could have gone to the lido deck or the fine dining restaurant, but we’d ordered something so kept waiting in the room the first morning of our cruise. I called and asked about it 10 minutes past the window, and we got it 20 minutes later, so it was 30 minutes after the end of our set window. Well, most of it. Except my husband’s, which wasn’t included at all. I called. We left and he stole a piece of my son’s toast. We got a message at 10:30 saying they tried to deliver the food but nobody was there. Next morning, the only thing that changes was that I started to ride them faster. 5 minutes before the end of the window, I called them and they THEN started the order and we got it in about 20 minutes. Still later than our window. It would be nice if on a trip like this I didn’t STILL feel like as a mom it was my responsibility to be sure my kids get food, but whatever. We get it. In room dining isn’t something they make more money off of, like their other paid restaurants. It doesn’t seem to be a priority to them to actually fill the orders, at least not ours. To that end, there is also no printed in-room dining menu anywhere to be found, as there was for Carnival. I waited in line to ask at the desk and they said I could find it on the television ship channel. One night we were hungry after the lido deck shut down everything but pizza, but we didn’t want pizza. So we tried room service and after an hour of no delivery we called and then were told again “we’ll follow up.” No explanation given. Seems they don’t start a room service order until the first complaint of it being late comes in? REFLECTIONS ON THE FOOD: It was difficult for the kids and even my husband to find things to order at dinner. There was usually just one thing they would eat, and the order would have to include instructions to leave certain things off. Carnival’s menu worked better for us. It had several recognizable things, a few fancier things, and one “exotic” type thing each evening as choices. Most of the food on this cruise was for the “refined” pallette so much it was alienating. Waiters would drop off food and then be gone for a good long while unless I was rude enough to wave them down, for, say, water. (The glasses were empty when the waiter set down the food and walked off.) My daughters’ medium well steak was ripe with fresh blood in the center. It took forever to get the waiter to come back, and then we had to wait for a new steak that was cooked. The first night that dinner took an hour and a half, with no dessert. Prime rib is suppose to be pink but we all found it too disgusting, wet with red blood in the center to eat, so we could never order that again. The coffee was way too strong. In the lido deck I would get 2/3 of a cup and add hot water to it to make a full normal cup. I could never get coffee in the dining room. I tried once. I only was given creamer and sugar, no Splenda or anything. I often felt I was breaking decorum to ask to get my family’s dining needs met. (Also please be aware that soy, almond, or coconut milk is not available for coffee.) There IS an awesome coffee bar on the 10th floor at the front of the ship. We didn’t discover it until halfway through our cruise, though, because it is all by itself and not listed as anything except EXC Tour Cafe in all the paperwork. We thought it was a desk where salespeople tried to sell excursion. I was looking for where I could get lattes and cappuccinos since I had these $25 drink cards and don’t drink alcohol. Do you understand I was LOOKING for this place and still only found it by accident out of boredom on the 3 rd day of the cruise? It’s a neat room. Seriously it is the coolest space on any cruise ship I’ve experienced. If you are reading this and go on this ship, go there first - it’s awesome and you’ll likely have it to yourself a few days with crickets chirping as nobody else will have figured it out yet. Unlike other cruises I’ve been on, about 9:30 the only offerings in the lido deck were self-serve pizza. Well, there was pasta with meat sauce behind the counter but glass separated you from it and there wasn’t someone to serve it. No cookies, cupcakes, sandwiches... just pizza. Good pizza. But wow if you didn’t want pizza and were hungry, you’d have to get room service, and you’ve read how that turned out for us… AFFILIATIONS, “O”/OPRAH AND MICROSOFT: There is a connection with “O” magazine they tout.. They advertise that they offer yoga and meditation classes for a comprehensive Oprah inspired well-being experience. One class was a guided meditation class at 5:30 the first full day. It was printed on the daily activity highlights insert as well as the daily schedule. It was supposed to be in the fitness center and was to be $15. I went with my daughter, who is mature for her age, and wanted to go. She does yoga with her dad sometimes. The first person in the fitness center said there was no class. I got out my paper daily schedule and showed it to her. She led us into the fitness room where on the floor in the center of all the loud machines were some mats. The fitness guy came up to us and clearly had zero class. I mean, had no idea of any meditation class. ; ) He handed me a clipboard and said "you can take one fitness class for $25 or a pack of 5 for..." I said, no, I wanted the mediation class for $15. I gently asked if he had done this before. He defensively said "yes, I've been in fitness for 10 years" or something. I said, "it's a little different." He looked alarmed, and seemed defensive. This guy was threatened and it didn't seem likely he meditated himself much less had ever led a meditation class. I said "Is it going to be in here?" and he said, "oh, well, you can do it in here" and led us back to the little room on the side with chairs. He walked off and I told my daughter I was sorry, but I didn't feel good being "led" in a meditation with this guy. We were getting up to leave when he came back and I politely said "we're going to pass this time" as I walked out. I didn't make eye contact with him. It was so awkward and embarrassing. For him, too, I think. I’m sure he was relieved. Oprah, methinks, would not be proud. The onboard daily schedule had huge spans of hours with nothing worth doing, so I went to a class on something I wasn’t really interested in. There is a Windows connection and I went to learn how to use a program that came on Windows that I don’t ever use. There were other classes that I didn’t go to because they were on how to use paid programs. OTHER SHIP “FUN” The piano bar had two pianos with guys singing. I usually love piano music but those guys were so canned and tame there was just nothing to latch on to. Definitely not dueling pianos, and absolutely it wasn't a sing-along piano bar. Trivia was a couple of times a day, we did that out of desparation a few days but by the end that was too boring to keep going to. Also, my daughter and I went to watch someone cook food, because we were that bored. I learned the difference between rice pilaf and just rice. Yay. One “game night” we went to had a capacity to be fun, but the female host wouldn't read a funny answer and she whined and ruined the joke like it contaminated everything. It was a PG-13 joke and it was mostly senior citizens, and us.. Ugh sometimes I had to wonder if this was a European sense of humor thing, like how in Europe maybe populations as a whole think crying clowns are hilarious? She was the same host that thought watching dancers with cool lights was just the bee's knees, so… I'm glad the televisions in the cabin had movies loaded on them for the kids. They watched about 5 movies and I let them have their video games. It was my intent to just let them have their "tech" on the plane too and from, but I felt sorry for them for having nothing to do. I made them leave their home from Christmas to be on a ship with no entertainment! I wish I could combine the spacious plush ship and polite other guests from this cruise and mix it with the "everything else" of any of my prior Carnival Cruises. I can't believe a Holland Cruise, which is supposed to be the top of the line, failed so greatly by comparison. I’m really glad my husband didn’t hate this, his first cruise, which I forced upon him. He is even willing to try again. He has no idea that cruise ships usually have nonstop ENTERTAINING “entertainment,” and by comparison this ship sucked SO BAD as far as that goes. The most entertaining thing I did, truly, was watch “Blinded By The Light” one afternoon in the main theatre. But even that had issues. It froze several times and had to be re-started, and fast forwarded up to the point where it had stopped. By the time it reached the end, I was almost the only one there. Like this too-long review, which if you are reading it, you may also be the only one “there”... ; ) Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Newest ship liked the ports The best Rock and roll band ever. Trying to find out there fb names so I can follow them on next ship Beautiful ship . Great food didn't care for handicap accessible room. They had a very big step ... Read More
Newest ship liked the ports The best Rock and roll band ever. Trying to find out there fb names so I can follow them on next ship Beautiful ship . Great food didn't care for handicap accessible room. They had a very big step up into the bathroom. Was very hard to get up and down. We were on 11 floor felt a vibration every night. We will be getting room on lower floor from now on. We missed key West cause of bad weather that was disappointing but will cruise again to there someday .Half moon cay was excellent! Grand Turk we didn't like it there and probably never go back . Amber cove was awesome will deff go back there . Just to let you know everything is very expensive at all of these ports. T-shirts souvenirs outrageous. We were planning on buying Xmas presents but way to much for tshirts and Nick nacks.But will do cruise again best bang for your money Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were scheduled to go on Celebrity in October 2019 but had to cancel so thought we would cruise in December. Always wanted to try Holland America and liked the itinerary. In general the ship is very nice, loved that the pool was never ... Read More
We were scheduled to go on Celebrity in October 2019 but had to cancel so thought we would cruise in December. Always wanted to try Holland America and liked the itinerary. In general the ship is very nice, loved that the pool was never crowded, elevators came quickly and the standard balcony was nice. However, as others have said the shows were lacking and only had a couple of comedians, a five piece band playing music from the 70's and a poorly acted production by the crew members. The BBking band was excellent and listened to them every night The other two venues - the duel pianos and the classical venue were not to our liking. it would have been nice to hear music while having a drink before dinner. The lido buffet was ok - felt the selection of food was the same every day and the food was just ok. The dinner selections were just ok also; however, the staff throughout the entire ship was very accommodating and friendly. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. We were seated with another very nice couple at dinner and they felt the same as us about the whole experience on this voyage and were disappointed. I could get the sense that Holland America wants to please its passengers and always asks what they can do to keep their passengers or bring on new passengers - they need much better music venues, better shows and better quality shows. Any questions please feel free and I will try to elaborate. Would I go back on Holland America, no - it was just too quiet for us and lacking pizzaz. I know the question is always asked about the age group of passenger. The answer is it was a mix anywhere from the 40's to the 80's. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Terrible food, like bad airplane food and no seasoning, odd combinations of food, and a glass of wine goes for $18, going to dinner is a 2 hour affair, fraudulent charges(watch your statement, they try to charge you), charged me $148 for ... Read More
Terrible food, like bad airplane food and no seasoning, odd combinations of food, and a glass of wine goes for $18, going to dinner is a 2 hour affair, fraudulent charges(watch your statement, they try to charge you), charged me $148 for a spa service I didn't even receive, rude spa staff that treat you like crap, nothing to do on board. The most exciting thing was bingo. One small pool for adults, and 2 small jacuzzis, and one small pool for kids. The ship is always swaying back and forth like I've never experienced before. I will never go on this boring, terrible cruise line again! Don't waste your time! You'll be disappointed! You're better off going on a direct flight to a beach. After all was said and done this trip cost me over $5,000. Totally not worth it by no means. Totally disappointed and upset about the whole vacation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
we had the best time ! the best time in this boat !! everything was super clean the staff were very friendly! we cannot wait to go back . we had room 7069 that was perfect for us ( Neptune suite) we also had access to the lounge John ... Read More
we had the best time ! the best time in this boat !! everything was super clean the staff were very friendly! we cannot wait to go back . we had room 7069 that was perfect for us ( Neptune suite) we also had access to the lounge John and Sarah (sorry if I got that wrong) were amazing ! getting the boat in Singapore was a little manic as the people on check in didn't know that suites have a priority check in so they were keep sending us from one counter to the other but other that that everything else was very smooth . we loved the piano players they were the best ! food was amazing everywhere a special thank you to our Turkish friend in the dining room he was the best holland america is having the best service in every port we went people were in the doc with cold water flesh towels and fruits first class service Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I have never experienced a more boring cruise than this one. The same selected songs got replayed over and over and over until my head hurt. Some crew members seemed like they didn’t really want to be there, some had attitudes or ... Read More
I have never experienced a more boring cruise than this one. The same selected songs got replayed over and over and over until my head hurt. Some crew members seemed like they didn’t really want to be there, some had attitudes or didn’t want to help. The 3 crew members that stood out to me were Ruel, Nissan and this one guy that i don’t remember his name but he was usually in the icecream station, very nice and kind people. The comedians that were there said some offensive things to the point where people wouldn’t even laugh. Things are barely announced, you never really know about things unless you ask a million questions. Things are also super expensive, when in others you can find them for way more reasonable prices. I can say the best thing there was the wide selection of great movies in the room, where I mostly spent my time because of how boring the ship is. Also, our bathroom smelled STRONGLY like urine when we got to the room. We notified Nissan and he said he’d clean it more but when we came back it still smelled horrible, it stayed that way the whole voyage. The disembarkation took longer than it should’ve, they kept saying there was a delay. There’s only 2 complimentary restaurants, everything else is money money and more money. All you could drink was water, super watery lemonade or no flavor whatsoever “iced tea”. I was so happy to come back home, will most likely never again step a foot on their cruises. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise to see what Holland America has to offer versus other cruise lines. Long story short, we will never sail with HAL again. We are a retired couple in our late 60's, We had heard that HAL was for the ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see what Holland America has to offer versus other cruise lines. Long story short, we will never sail with HAL again. We are a retired couple in our late 60's, We had heard that HAL was for the "older" crowd and we figured we would fit right in. If you want to spend your cruise knitting or gazing at the ocean, it is a nice, clean ship. If you are looking for some music, some activity and a younger-at-heart crowd, this boat is not for you. Embarkation was quick. Our balcony cabin was a good size with lots of storage space. The bathroom was an adequate size and included a bath tub. The room was attended to twice daily and kept immaculate. The buffet restaurant was crowded and sometimes difficult to find a seat. The buffet items are not labeled so we didn't know what a lot of items were and when we asked, the servers would point to a sign showing what was on the menu for the day. That didn't help a bit. The buffet had wo sides and often there were different items on each side. Many times one side would be closed while the other was open so it was a guess to figure out which side to walk to. The food was just okay but often there were meals that had nothing appealing to us. Pizza on the pool deck was not bad but not great either. I guess we were comparing to other ships we had eaten pizza on (i.e.RCI, Norwegian) Ice cream was served daily and mostly chocolate, vanilla and strawberry with the soft serve machine being empty every time I wanted some. Entertainment: TERRIBLE! Some nights there was NOTHING in the form of entertainment. We saw a comedian that was anything but funny. The illusionist was pretty good but the show was too short for him to perform anything spectacular. The one show they had was a contemporary dance group. The dancers and special effects were good but again, nothing spectacular. BB King Lounge was crowded at night with a Blues group that played the same music and a dance floor that not many danced on. The band had zero personality...very boring. During the day the activities consisted of things such as "losing ten pounds" (like I am interested in my diet on a cruise), how to whiten your teeth, how to cook (in their "test kitchen") and Microsoft classes. We opted for the Microsoft classes which were actually quite informative but not what I had planned to do on a cruise. I felt like I was on a senior citizen cruise with the average age about 70. Think twice about choosing HAL if you are at all active and looking for some fun. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was a charter, Malt Shop Memories, my 4th one. It's a 7d cruise, you go on for the entertainment. It's very pricey, you hope to meet the stars, singers etc. The surprise is how inaccessible The Beach Boys & Smokey ... Read More
This was a charter, Malt Shop Memories, my 4th one. It's a 7d cruise, you go on for the entertainment. It's very pricey, you hope to meet the stars, singers etc. The surprise is how inaccessible The Beach Boys & Smokey were, & how good/friendly the back up bands/acts were. Brooklyn Bridge (Jimmy Rosica :D) , Zmed Brothers/Everly tribute artists (wow!), Joey Dee (yay), Chris Montez, Sounds of the Street (hi Eddie & Lou), Hall of Fame, Britbeat/Beatles tribute artists, all tremendous! Approachable & talkative, loved pics w/them, sooo talented. I didn't do any shore excursions on the 2 port days, just enjoyed walking around St Maarten & Antigua. Magnets, shirts, & pics were plenty. There were so many on board activities, you had to leave Britbeat to run to Elvis, for example. Really enjoyed the music trivia & Wheel of Fortune games put on by my travel agents, Jim & Steve Hitmakers Cruises. They do a lot of music cruises & are great fun. Jason Venner was a wonderful cruise host, always a high spot. The other surprise was the food in Lido was a little blander than before, not as tasty, not as many choices. And the staff goes so fast to put so much on the plate, even when you're saying, just a little, not so much etc. Don't want to waste it! The dining room now has open seating so as a solo traveler it was harder to know where to sit. Ended up not dining there, stayed w/Lido. Cabin attendants were competent & friendly too, no problems there. Daniel at front desk was big help w/medical problem, directed us well. Robert & Vivien at photo hall were delightful & funny. Finally, embarkation & disembarkation were extremely smooth, no hassle, loved it, right onto Escot. Star Vista rocks! :D Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
While one expects to have an older cruise passengers on a Holland America ship. With this said that with the money I spent I would expect like hot water and clean rooms. The first night the room had a musty moldy smell like maybe ... Read More
While one expects to have an older cruise passengers on a Holland America ship. With this said that with the money I spent I would expect like hot water and clean rooms. The first night the room had a musty moldy smell like maybe it had a leak at sometime and hadn’t been cleaned properly. My friend had gone through some lung issues just before the cruise so the second day he was sick it. So they moved us to new cabin. So now the new cabin had no hot water for four days Then the fifth day no cold water just scalding hot both sides. So after talking among passengers and crew that this was problems throughout much of the ship . Then the ship was just of dry dock and were also experiencing HVAC problems. We talked with several people among the staff and after several meetings with staff was offered compensation but was kept silent to the passengers and the ones I talked to were offered much less to nothing basically saying that if said nothing then that’s wat you or you if didn’t stay on their ads you got a much smaller competition. Not on a different topic entrainment what they had was ok but you could tell they didn’t budget much for entertainment. There was never a band of any kind poolside or around during the day. But I guess that didn’t make too much a splash poolside as we only had about half or time with the pool in service. On the positive side the food was spectacular and the wait staff was equally as good Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Our third HA cruise, and probably the last. Entertainment during the day was non existant. Main Stage acts were poor apart from female impressionist. The smell of smoking in the Casino and deck 9 was overpowering. This is now a deal ... Read More
Our third HA cruise, and probably the last. Entertainment during the day was non existant. Main Stage acts were poor apart from female impressionist. The smell of smoking in the Casino and deck 9 was overpowering. This is now a deal breaker for us. Lido buffet food was cold and laid out all over the place. The meat on offer was very poor quality. Dining room was an unmitigated disaster, the menus were not to North American tastes and the service was a joke. Mediocre pizza place and Dive in kept us alive for most of the trip. Layout of the ship was terrible. It took 20 mins to get to deck 12 crows nest from our cabin for 4.30 trivia. A few days in we just gave up. The plus points: great gym , great free sauna with sea view, very comfortable beds with great TV with some nice movies ( in the absence of any real entertainment). Lincoln Stage musicians were wonderful if rather high brow all the time, they needed to mix things up a bit. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The price was right and we were traveling with friends who had never been through the Panama Canal. We usually always travel with Holland America and always pleased with travel Volendam was small and getting from bow to stern difficult ... Read More
The price was right and we were traveling with friends who had never been through the Panama Canal. We usually always travel with Holland America and always pleased with travel Volendam was small and getting from bow to stern difficult since galley is inconveniently located thus creating a safety hazard. The entertainment was mediocre except for the ventriloquist. A comedian was so crude and awful that several people walked out, including us. I did enjoy America’s Test Kitchen. We missed the crew show which is always a popular inclusion in entertainment. The Allegro Strings was a poor replacement for Lincoln Center on other ships. The lifeboat safety drill was disastrous. The announcement was unintelligible in cabins to announce the drill and once on deck, deck crew microphones were out of batteries or dysfunctional. The initial drill is important since it is supposed to indicate the competency of the crew. We didn’t even have to put on life preservers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It was a family reunion. Nine of us sailed with N.S. on my strong recommendation. I had good experience with Massdam years back. This time nine of us were so disappointed. And I was the only one to be blamed to take this ship. I was ... Read More
It was a family reunion. Nine of us sailed with N.S. on my strong recommendation. I had good experience with Massdam years back. This time nine of us were so disappointed. And I was the only one to be blamed to take this ship. I was not happy for the entire cruise holiday and now. My brother-in-law said he would not come back to this ship even it is free. 1) Lido Buffet - there was ALWAYS long line-up for food as most of the time there was only ONE server. Those servers only put a little food on the plate and thus made guests to line up again for food. We ate the same type of food for 15 days - just BORING. I remember vividly that one time I sailed with another cruise line on Asia route, the day I was in Thailand I had Thai food, while I was in Vietnam I had Vietnamese food. 2) Entertainment - very weak casts and artist/s usually repeated in two nights in such a tiny stage of the WORLD THEATRE. 3) Cruise Director - I have been cruising for 13 times. Justin had an easy job. He showed up at the WORLD THEATRE only on the 3rd night of the cruise. Through the 14-night cruise Justin only showed up for about 7 times. At one time he was watching the show with his friends and enjoying drinks. When the show was over Justin just left without going to the stage to greet the audience/guests informing what activities for the night, and for next day. I seldom saw him nor heard his announcements about activities on board. Guess he was paid very little, so he did just that little. 4) Sea Days - it was particular boring on sea days. I did not notice any activities on the pool side but only those seniors taking sun bathing. It was dead quiet. There were NO talks about history of the next ports. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Pick this cruise based on its Baltic itinerary, which was all that was expected.. Plus * Music offerings both in variety and quality was great * Food was good both in dinning and buffet( had very good variety) * Staff was very ... Read More
Pick this cruise based on its Baltic itinerary, which was all that was expected.. Plus * Music offerings both in variety and quality was great * Food was good both in dinning and buffet( had very good variety) * Staff was very friendly * Excursion personnel were helpful * Had a wide variety of things to do on the ship from Microsoft training to art and alcohol informational sessions * Was compensated for the negative cabin experiences, but could have been better, i.e. they provided free dinner at premium restaurants, but made use pay for our individual (1 each) pop/drinks Minus * Cabin was underneath pool area and it was miserable, ship crew rearranging chairs and washing area, late night and early mornings * Movie's volume in pool area was so loud, could hear it in my cabin one floor down * To get answers from service desk staff had to ask 2 or 3 different persons to get an accurate answer * Pop/soda cards was for bar pop only, can of pop cost more and charged to room * Had frustrating experience playing Texas Holdem in Casino..in short was winning!, then dealer got full house, I got four of a kind, winner again..dealer called pit-boss over, they both looked at each other for a several seconds .. pit-boss said count the cards..then he said replace the deck... All of this was to affect the flow of the game and re-establish the casino's odds of winning..bad gaming sportsmanship... Again protecting the ship's profits.. I walked away.. General Observations * Ship is new and understated, wonder what it will look like/hold up in the future * Ship was overall the nosiest ship I have been on * It felt like the ship and personnel where there/measured to make a profit Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this cruise as it seemed to be one of the few to visit Glacier Bay. With climate change we found the glaciers disappointing especially after seeing the ones in Argentina. The Volendam is a small ship and we were again ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it seemed to be one of the few to visit Glacier Bay. With climate change we found the glaciers disappointing especially after seeing the ones in Argentina. The Volendam is a small ship and we were again disappointed by the entertainment, it wasn't a patch on larger ships ( as you might expect), but was outshone by Fred Olsen which is a similar size. We found the drinks expensive and didn't like the 15% on top for service when we had already paid a general daily service charge. We had freedom dining and for the most part it worked, except when we made a booking for a certain time on a formal night and we still had to wait for a table. However the food was quite good. In spite of what they say in the dress guidance, they do not enforce the formal dress code and when we took the trouble to dress formally it was a shame that many passengers didn't and arrived as if it was a casual night. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I have recently made a Mediterranean cruise with koningsdam from 21 August 11 days. My tourism agency had recommended koningsdam. They said ”new ship, it is very clean and the food is very good” I believed of course. But unfortunately ... Read More
I have recently made a Mediterranean cruise with koningsdam from 21 August 11 days. My tourism agency had recommended koningsdam. They said ”new ship, it is very clean and the food is very good” I believed of course. But unfortunately as soon as I got on board I realized that this was not what I expected. Because I traveled with many different companies I can compare very easily. I have been cruising last 10 years with several different companies and ships. This time is my first time with Holland America. I wish to share my experience for the sake of other customers and as well as your benefit. (Actually I am very busy person who works 10 hours a day but I hope it will be appreciated that I spend my resting time to write this.) I have a very serious complaint about the reception manager (or chef) his name was M...... He made me angry so much. He treated me very unpleasantly. We are Turkish but since we are high level civil servant (We are professor doctor working in university) we were given a “special passport” which we don’t need any visa in EU countries. In every cruise, in check in desk they understand it and they don’t keep our passports. They know special passports or they can easily understand when they look at the pages there are plenty of stamps of many countries but there was not any visa. In Rome port they did the same. They checked the passports and gave them to us. The first day was sea day we would be in Cartagena following morning, But at night I found a note someone calling me to the reception. I went there a girl in the reception wanted me to give our passports to them. It was so strange. She said “my manager wants them”. I refused of course. The explanation was not adequate. She called the manager He said “Turkey is not EU country that is why I want to keep your passport”. It should not be a personal preference. I tried to explain why we did not need any visa. But he was person who cannot understand the situation. His attitude and words were very very annoying and irritating. He insist to take it. (Be honest even if we are not obliged to give it. Since I am a mature and respectful and respective person, If he had asked nicely and kindly I would give it right a way). I said no. Finally he wanted to scan them, I said “I have a copy I can give it”. In that case he dared to insist to get them before 7 am in the morning!!!!(Look at his personal caprice) I was even angrier he had to understand that I was a guest and on my vacation no one has a right to force me to do something. I said “I don’t want to get up very early in the morning”. Following day I ask an appointment for “hotel manager” to discuss this issue and the other issues related with crew behaviour. No one responded. I asked total 3 times for an appointment in different days. He didn’t even send a message to me. I know he must be very busy (actually I am one of his businesses) but even dough he should have had arrange someone else to meet me. He totally ignored me (as many of them). He didn’t give any value and credit to me as a human being who actually prefer and trust them to spend her holiday on his ship. There are plenty of issues to be mentioned: But I will briefly tell. First of all the behavior of the crew (most of them) was the most unacceptable. It seems almost all of them don’t like their job. Or even they hate with what they are doing. No smiling at all. They don’t make eye contact with you they don’t even say hello or any other greetings. From the barmen to the waiters, from the officers to simple mariners every one was tossing out you. I was shocked . (none of the ship had not had such a crew like that). First day as soon as we settled, we wanted to have a drink. We approached to the bar (opposite to “guest relation”) no one cared. I asked for a menu. He didn’t even move and looked at me very unwillingly and showed the wall (there were some writings on the wall). We didn’t drink anything. We went up to the restaurant (self-service) in deck 9. For lunch There were some stations with different type of food and there was one person in it as if they were in prison (They were looking at you as if somebody forced them to stand unwillingly). It was so strange that the self-service restaurant was not self-service. All stations were covered (protected from the customers) by glass. At dinner in the 2. floor is another story. It takes ages to wait for a dish. I had to speak to restaurant chef to attract the attention to be served. The most important thing is security. In the gang way going out and coming back, IN all other ship companies they ask to take off sun glasses and hats. It is very important to recognize the people. But in Koningsdam most of customers were wearing glasses and hats !! No one asked them to take off. Crew were only concentrated if there was an alcohol in the bags. All other companies they serve water and wet cold towels in the gangways in every port they make a tent. But in koninsdam we had nothing. Even water. No one greeted and no one welcomed us. Only last day in Livorno a couple of officers were standing in front of gangway and told “welcome”. And no entertainment at all.. There are many more to tell but these are facts. I have no intention being rude I didn’t mean to offend anybody. Because I respect everybody who does their job properly, I spent my time to give this feedback. I am sorry to tell these perhaps they reevaluate the issues to please their customers and consider them as "guest" Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
As we were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary it had all the places we wanted to visit. Very disappointed with the entertainment in the World Stage theatre nightly. We expected live cabaret/Broadway type shows. It was a 23 ... Read More
As we were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary it had all the places we wanted to visit. Very disappointed with the entertainment in the World Stage theatre nightly. We expected live cabaret/Broadway type shows. It was a 23 night cruise and we had to endure some of the pitiful acts/artists i.e. juggler, magician, comedian. People left the theatre every night after a couple of minutes as it was so boring and headed to other entertainment lounges which were very good. A noticeable lack of activities during the day for the older age group apart from computer courses.. We thought there would have been more outside activities such as deck quoits, mini golf or carpet bowls. The Cruise director was incompetent and lacked initiative. When approached about anything he always had an excuse and said would get back to you but never did, NOT good enough. For these concerns we would not recommend Koningsdam and would not book with Holland America again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We booked this highly-touted HAL EXC 6-Week Japan/ Western Pacific cruise back in May 2018, & expected great things. Suffice it to say that it turned out to be the most over-hyped & disappointing cruise we've every endured! ... Read More
We booked this highly-touted HAL EXC 6-Week Japan/ Western Pacific cruise back in May 2018, & expected great things. Suffice it to say that it turned out to be the most over-hyped & disappointing cruise we've every endured! We feel that the HAL marketing team sold us a bill of goods, & are guilty of false advertising at the very least! The HAL EXC cruise concept (available only on Maasdam) promotes the heavy use of its fleet of on-board Zodiac small craft (exactly 9 of them were strapped down on the bow) for more indepth exploration!! Right up until the day we departed TX for JAPAN, we received HAL emails recommending we book our HAL Zodiac excursions in advance, because there were limited seats & they were selling out fast. Imagine our surprise (once we embarked in Yokohama in mid August) to learn that there would be NO HAL EXC Zodiac tours available during our entire 43 day odyssey down to Sydney!! The HAL EXC concept involved a heavy schedule of lectures on sea days in both the showroom at sea and the Wajang theater, covering Pacific region flora and fauna, WW2 battles & history, Asian/Japanese cultrure, photography, future NASA Space exploration, etc. Unfortunately HAL has chosen to eliminate the staff videographer position & none of these EXC presentations were videotaped for the convenience of those who would have preferred to hear the lectures in the privacy of their rooms. Thus, the lecture venues were always jam-packed with ill-tempered passengers jostling for the best seats. Unfortunayely Maasdam staff frequently jammed extra folding chairs into the aisles creating extremely unsafe conditions that would have given fire marshalls heart attacks. The male cruise director, who shall remain nameless, was the most unfriendly, colorless, unexciting, boring individual we've ever encountered in almost 50 cruises. He let everyone know, on a daily basis, that he was even more eager than we were to be disembarking in Sydney at the end of his contract!! We feel the cruise director was overworked, under-staffed, & in way over his head!! Overall, we feel the Maasdam is too small, too old, and too poorly laid out to support the noble objectives of the HAL EXC in-depth cruise concept!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
First time sailing Holland America. We a frequent Celebrity and RCCL cruisers, but liked the HA Alaska itinerary, plus there were some pricing specials that made this cruise very affordable. We booked a category VD balcony cabin ... Read More
First time sailing Holland America. We a frequent Celebrity and RCCL cruisers, but liked the HA Alaska itinerary, plus there were some pricing specials that made this cruise very affordable. We booked a category VD balcony cabin (guarantee), and we were assigned our cabin 10 days before sailing. Location was pretty good....all of the VD cabins are either in the front or towards the rear of the ship. We had a cabin towards the front of the ship. Long walk to the dining venues (as they were on the other end of the ship), but we got used to it. The pros.....spacious cabin, quiet, large shower/bathtub combo, nice balcony. Service was first class and very friendly. Embarkation and disembarkation was so incredibly fast....HA blew away their competition on this aspect of the cruise. A nice choice of shore excursions, but pricey (as all Alaskan shore excursions tend to be). The highlight for us was the Tracy Arm Fjord/Sawyer Glacier excursion in Juneau. A long day (7 hour excursion), but well worth the time and money (tour is run by Allen Marine...wonderful tour folks). The one day we were cruising Glacier bay was an experience Holland America does best. This was the main reason we chose this cruise and HA did not disappoint. Had several other shore excursions which were ok....fortunately we got into Victoria before nightfall and got to Bourchart Gardens while it was still light. Had about 2 hours to visit and by the second hour it was nighttime. You cannot get the beauty of these gardens if you only have the night time to visit...so if you can't see the gardens during some daylight time, it is not worth going to (in my opinion, if you are a first time visitor). The not so good stuff had to do with the food and entertainment. The Lido restaurant is where the buffet is and we found the food selection and quality adequate, but nothing compared to the quality and selection you find on RCCL and Celebrity. We ate in the main dining room twice and the good was good in that venue (the gala night surf and turf was excellent.....probably the best we have had on any cruise ship). Service was fine. No quick way to get a slice of pizza or a quick hamburger/hotdog. HA does not do this part of their food routine very well. Also deserts were so so; cookies were lousy. Not much in the way of entertainment, but HA is not known for their big productions that RCCL and Celebrity have. We booked the premium wifi package ahead of time, as it was priced attractively but it was somewhat slow (but expected), and stopped working completely on our Apple devices that had IOS software under 10.0 (because of an HA wifi upgrade while we were at sea). So if your IOS software is not 10.0 or higher, their wifi will not work on those devices (primarily older Ipads). Very easy to catch a taxi from the cruise terminal back to the airport. They all charge a flat fee of $42. Lots of taxi's available despite two large cruise ships arriving at about the same time. Hope this info is helpful to any of you taking the Alaska inside passage cruise on HA. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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