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Sail Date: January 2019
We love Tim Timmons & Mercy Me so we went on the Mercy Me at sea cruise it was awesome except for the Holland America cruise line. The service in the main dining room was horrible they were not friendly at all. The menu was bad except ... Read More
We love Tim Timmons & Mercy Me so we went on the Mercy Me at sea cruise it was awesome except for the Holland America cruise line. The service in the main dining room was horrible they were not friendly at all. The menu was bad except for 3 nights out of 7 nights. The buffets are bad because you cannot take what you want you have to wait inline and be served. There is nothing to do on the ship thank goodness we had special events all week. The ports we did not get to go to the ports we were expecting to go because they claim that it was too rough waters. It was not rough except for 1 night but we were at sea that day. The fitness center is very small and the staff is not qualified. I would never go on Holland America if they did not have the Christian Cruises. I like the ships and how they look but they need more activities. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We have been on many cruises before this one and by far this was our worst cruise every by a country mile. Embarkation was quick and efficient and on the ship in no time ( which turned out to be the best part of the cruise) The ship ... Read More
We have been on many cruises before this one and by far this was our worst cruise every by a country mile. Embarkation was quick and efficient and on the ship in no time ( which turned out to be the best part of the cruise) The ship is in need of some desperate overhaul as it is looking very old and run down. Their was no sail away party on any deck, only soft music which no one could hear on the back Lido deck. The bar staff on the Lido deck were outstanding and made the cruise a little more enjoyable with their outstanding service. ( maybe other staff members could look at them and learn something) Many thanks to Edwin,Leonard and Ed for their outstanding service. Lido restaurant was very blend with their food night after night. Same food just with different names often Luke warm served on very hot plates. My wife had a good talk with the Lido management one night about having different theme night for dinner EG Asian,Indian,Australian international type dinners. To the managers credit they did do Asian theme for one night only then went back to the old ways. The only entertainment on the back Lido deck was a music trivia every afternoon. A band playing music would have been a lot better. We had nothing but trouble with our cruise accounts being blocked by the front desk day after day, and we weren’t they only ones with this issue Maybe when HAL travel in Australian waters in the future the should accommodate fit the Australian market a bit more as 80% of guests are either AUS or NZ. best advertising in by mouth for any business and myself and my wife and other guests will not be doing any advertising. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Unfortunately, HAL has gone downhill in our opinion. We haven't cruised with them for a few years due to dates and prices, so were expecting similar experiences that we had before. The ship itself is kept extremely clean and ... Read More
Unfortunately, HAL has gone downhill in our opinion. We haven't cruised with them for a few years due to dates and prices, so were expecting similar experiences that we had before. The ship itself is kept extremely clean and the staff are wonderful. The main issues were the food, entertainment and the Loft (lack of). Firstly, the food in the main dining room for the first few days of the cruises was very uninspiring. It was hard to find something to eat. The food did improve. Cannot fault the wait, wine and front of restaurant staff, they were very friendly and always smiling. The entertainment was very poor, the entertainment that did come on to the ship were very good (in particular Patrick McMahon) but there wasn't enough. In one week they had two guest artists that played individually and then together one night. Also, on two nights they should movies. We don't get the chance to see live entertainment much because of children so in the past the cruise night time entertainment was something to look forward to. There is BB Kings that play 3 times a night. They are good but unfortunately both singers got sick at the end of the cruise so they weren't able to sing and the head office wouldn't let anyone else stand in for them. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Entertainment was the worst ever nothing to do on this ship . They just added Rolling Stone room two 45 min sets most days the only good entertainment on the cruise . Everything shuts down at 10:30 pm you cant find a cup of coffee or a ... Read More
Entertainment was the worst ever nothing to do on this ship . They just added Rolling Stone room two 45 min sets most days the only good entertainment on the cruise . Everything shuts down at 10:30 pm you cant find a cup of coffee or a snack anywhere . The days we stoped at a port of call the casino was closed and there was no entertainment on the ship not even the rock & roll room had a show everyone was walking around with nothing to do . The pools are very small one holds 40 people the othe holds 17 not great for a caribean cruise . The food in the dining room was good & also in the speciality dining rooms the service was good . They seem to focus on a older crowd that dosnt care about doing anything on the ship Im 60 years old . Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This will be my first review on Cruise Critic, but after meeting some CC people aboard MS Maasdam (Jan 6 2019 Freemantle-Singapore), I thought I’d contribute. This was a birthday/Winter getaway with apparently interesting stops, our 20th ... Read More
This will be my first review on Cruise Critic, but after meeting some CC people aboard MS Maasdam (Jan 6 2019 Freemantle-Singapore), I thought I’d contribute. This was a birthday/Winter getaway with apparently interesting stops, our 20th cruise and 4th on Holland America. We loved our previous HAL cruises (Zuiderdam and Prinsendam X 2). Sadly, this trip did not meet our expectations from HAL. The question is whether it is this particular ship or a new marketing model. Overall, the first impression is nickel-dime’ing. Quarters to use the laundry washers and dryers? Second impression, max effort to ‘sell’ something/profit incentive (I’ve never seen a captain appear and host a jewelry store sale event, speaking to shoppers - more so than at various Mariner events and meet-the-captain galas). This begins with surprisingly high excursion fees, often over double the cost for the same excursion online. Particularly galling is contracting with a local operator to sell ONLY through HAL excursions, i.e. blocking independent online or walk-up bookings; example - Dili East Timor: Hop On Hop Off is advertised at $45, with a stop at the cruise port. HAL contracted to do the booking for $79.95. They were not allowed to sell tickets to anyone not on a HAL excursion. Entertainment: cruise director was brand new (reportedly third in recent months). There were no “shows/productions”. There were individual entertainers, some quite decent, but not every night. Some ‘science/wildlife’ lectures were informative for those interested. Event scheduling seemed haphazard, e.g. captain’s reception and festivity at 7:55 PM, show start at 8:00 is only one example. There were many. Seems they are trying to appeal to a ‘younger’ clientele (average age still appears to be 70, with lots of older folks with walkers/canes/wheelchairs). The introduction of Zodiac inflatable excursions is new, and from reports (can not verify), some were disasters, acknowledged by the zodiac drivers that a monetary adjustment should be expected. Selections of cruise stops - sounded off the beaten track, and they were, not necessarily all bad but certainly raise some questions. Geraldton, Exmouth, Broome? Interesting introduction to relatively barren Western Australia (Exmouth often the hottest spot in the world - we saw 113* F). Komodo Island was a highlight and a big factor in selecting this cruise. It was worth the effort. Assumed (wrongly) that th Bali stop was the ‘known tourist destination. Actual stop was at a North Coast port, out of reach of any better known or advertised sites (e.g. Ubud). Probolinggo? Surabaya? O.K. Expensive, long excursions to Mt. Bromo were highlights available, but not sure how many took advantage. We did not, arranging our own private tours. An advertised 10 hour excursion from Semarang to the ancient temple of Borobudur was offered, and many booked it. They arrived back at the ship almost an hour late. Mixed reports,some loved the visit, but all mentioned huge crowds and difficulty getting pictures (including a professional photographer). The ship: getting OLD. Our vista suite had numerous wooden shims in the sliding glass door, presumably to stop it from creaking/rattling. They did work, if looking a little flakey. No complaints about our cabin/Port side. starboard side Vista suites had water (strong rains puddled on verandas) seep under sliding doors, wetting carpeting and personal items/luggage on the cabin floor. Food: no issues, and generally decent. Some local/Indonesian offerings were excellent. Very little local fruit offered - small plates purportedly put out at 11:30 were gone by 11:45, too bad if you weren’t there. Almost none in the evenings. We are not picky or demanding foodies, and more often than not eat at the Lido/buffet. Surf and turf (one night) in the dining room was very good. Overall, mixed emotions. May or may not give HAL another try (not on Maasdam). A little disappointed with this cruise, being a HAL fan. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Week long cruise with my mom and niece. Neptune suite 7034 with shower only was perfect for my mom who has trouble getting in and out of a bathtub / shower combo. Enjoyed the piano bar, comedian, and music on board. Ports were good ... Read More
Week long cruise with my mom and niece. Neptune suite 7034 with shower only was perfect for my mom who has trouble getting in and out of a bathtub / shower combo. Enjoyed the piano bar, comedian, and music on board. Ports were good - except we did not do anything in Guatemala. Had rented a wheel chair for my mom in advance through travel agent which was in the cabin when we arrived. Food overall was very good although we could not get dining room reservations earlier than 7:45. Really enjoyed the lido market - salads made to order were fantastic! Crew and overall service was excellent throughout the ship. Internet went down on the last afternoon / evening causing none of the slot machines to work and all ship computers were down for about 4 hours. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze as was valet parking at Tampa port. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Background- We ended up on this cruise because we waited too long to book for our planned Caribbean cruise and this was what was available with a good selection of cabins at the last minute. We are an extended family of 12 from 16 to 82 ... Read More
Background- We ended up on this cruise because we waited too long to book for our planned Caribbean cruise and this was what was available with a good selection of cabins at the last minute. We are an extended family of 12 from 16 to 82 and we booked 5 cabins. Some of us are from Southern CA and that made this a convenient cruise as it was out of San Diego. We parked at the Wyndham across from the cruise terminal. This is incredibly convenient and was only $11 per day. We dropped luggage and people off and then went and parked the car. The walk is only about 5 minutes. We parked around 11:30 and were on board by 12:30. The embarkation process was smooth, lines were not too bad and staff was as quick as possible and friendly. The cabins were ready and we dropped everything off and we were in the buffet before 1. Internet- My SIL bought middle tier on embarkation Sunday it was $99.99 for the entire cruise. I bought the middle tier just after midnight at about 1 AM Monday and it was $89.99 for the duration of cruise. For the most part the internet worked well all over the ship and my cabin but at times it would be spotty or stop working for a bit. Checking in water- We checked in 3 flats of water, no problem. They were delivered to our cabins. One flat was still intact at the end of the cruise and my brother checked it as luggage for debarkation. The water was delivered in tact with our luggage on arrival and at baggage claim on debarkation. Entertainment- BB King- Great band, very talented musicians, especially the trumpet player. The female was ill and only sang the last night. Billboard- Fun piano bar duo, the male had just got on board when we did. Lincoln Center- Again great musicians Stage Shows- Enjoyed 1000 Steps, not so crazy about One World. 4 in our group left One World after about 3 minutes. Comedian excellent. Really enjoyed the BBC Earth with live orchestra. I did not see the magician or the show the final night that was the comedian and magician with new material. Activities- Really enjoyed the Mexican ambassadors. Great entertainment with the folkloric shows. They also had dance classes, language lessons and art classes. Not much of interest to our group in the AM on sea days though. No morning trivia like all other lines I have been on. It seemed that all of the activities we would enjoy were lumped at the same time in the afternoon. This is one area this ship could be improved. Food- Loved that at the buffet the staff serves the majority of the food. I dislike using the same serving utensils as hundreds as other people so this was a biggie to us. We all agreed that the food was great in both the Lido and the MDR. Great fries at Dive In. Tried a piece of pizza and it was OK. Compared to Carnival, Celebrity and RCL, we all agreed this was the best food we have had. Liked that there was a legitimate late night buffet each night from 10:30 to 11:30. Staff- Incredibly friendly and accommodating. Top end of what we have experienced on other lines. I have no complaints about the staff, they were really amazing. Other guests- I was expecting an older crowd but it was actually skewed more to middle age, with some younger and some older. There were about 1/3 the number of kids on the ship per our waiter vs. the holiday weeks prior to ours. Kids running around at the pool was a bit dangerous and no one said anything. Ship- nice small size and in very good shape. No smoking indoors!!!! Cabins- I was in an obstructed OV. The view was mostly of one of the shorter life boats so we could see light and some things over the life boat. The cabin seemed smaller than other ships but the bathroom was much better with a tub, room to actually move around some. Lots of cabinets and storage, we did not even need it all. Two cabins in our group with balcony and they said they seemed small, they looked average to me. TV- I did not watch much but there was a very good selection of live TV, movies, America's Test Kitchen, etc. plus the dinner menu. I was on one ship with so little TV it became a joke that I kept watching the same episode of Big Bank Theory over and over in various languages! Ports- Cabo- Two of us booked a private excursion to bird watch, there were a couple of issues but it turned out nicely in the end. The others in our group booked with HAL a dolphin interaction (their original choice was cancelled and they did not know until they showed up in the AM, HAL had delivered a letter but they did not read it!) They loved it but the pictures they sell were outrageous, something like $160. 2 booked scuba, 2 a boat tour to El Arco and 3 snorkeling trip to Chileno Bay all with HAL, they said all the trips were great. After tours some shopped and hit bars/restaurants. 1 did not get off the ship. Tendering was smooth, we needed off early to meet our private tour and we got number 2. Show up earlier than posted to get your tender number if you want off early. Mazatlan- 5 of us did the Birding and Estuaries. It was wonderful, I really enjoyed this trip. It ended with lunch and a short amount of beach time. I am a birder, as is my Mom, the other 3 from our group are not birders. This is not a hard core trip for birders, there were some other birders on our trip but most just were there for the nature experience. Others booked a private ATV trip and said it was lots of fun. The rest booked Nautical Heritage by Land and Sea. They really enjoyed the trip that included a boat tour, watching the cliff divers and a bus tour of Mazatlan. After my birding and estuaries tour 3 of us hired an open air taxi to take us to the cliff divers, the church and a general drive around. Very nice, highly recommend as well. PV- 4 of us did the Dolphins, Whales and Marietas Islands trip. It is at least 1 hour by boat to the islands. Once there we snorkeled, kayaked and paddle boarded. After we had lunch and drinks on the ship. Then we looked at the blue footed boobies found there and then whale watching. There were tons of colorful fish. During the whale watching we saw 25 to 30 whales, many at very close range. It was awesome. This was booked with HAL but ran by Vallarta Adventures. 4 others did a trip that was a speed boat, snorkeling, horseback riding, lunch, waterfall, etc. They said it was great. The other 4 did a private tour zip that they loved. We were in port until 11 PM so Rhythms of the Night was offered as a ship excursion meeting at 5:20 PM and back about 11. Although a bit pricey, it was fantastic. There was about a 45 minute boat ride to a candle lit/tiki torch lit location with a fantastic dinner buffet. After dinner was a Mexican themed Cirque du Soleil type show that we loved. The benches were incredibly uncomfortable though. The speed boat and night show were also run by Vallarta Adventures. Bonus- I love that they had 2 staff on board dedicated to helping you organize port visits on your own without booking an excursion. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our first time with Holland America and it didn't disappoint. Been on most of the other cruise lines and they all have their pros and cons but we really enjoyed the Nieuw Statendam. Getting on board was quick and not ... Read More
This was our first time with Holland America and it didn't disappoint. Been on most of the other cruise lines and they all have their pros and cons but we really enjoyed the Nieuw Statendam. Getting on board was quick and not having to bring the life jacket to the muster drill and not having to go to the actual life boats was a nice surprise. The staff was amazing as expected and the food was above what we had experienced on prior cruises. The buffet on the lido deck was good and we had a hard time pulling ourselves away to the actual dining room. It was different that in the buffet you didn't just help yourself but people actually served you the food. My only complaint about the food was the lack of after hours Ice Cream which as I'm typing this sounds really petty and sad. The entertainment was amazing! The World Stage Dance group was soooo good especially since they used the innovative surround screen. Lincoln Center Stage with Atlys was incredible. So nice to hear classical music performed live on a cruise ship. We were planning on walking past the husband and wife dueling piano performance but we stopped and spent a few hours there they were so entertaining. The destination ports were all enjoyable except for perhaps Jamaica. We might of went to the wrong part of town but it wasn't a very nice experience. Grand Cayman, Cozumel, and Half Moon Cay were so much fun. The latter had beaches that we will never forget. We had an inside cabin and it was bigger than the one other inside cabin we had on a Carnival Cruise. Huge screens and of course great service. Definitely an older crowd. I don't think we saw more than 15 kids the entire cruise so over all it was quiet. If that isn't your cup to tea I understand but we figured that was going to be case when we booked. Overall we loved every minute of the seven days and were jealous we couldn't stay longer. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We did the first 7 days of the first 14 day Caribbean cruise ever on the Nieuw Statendam. She is without doubt the most beautiful ship on the high seas (at least amongst the main-line carriers). Overall we had a great experience on the ... Read More
We did the first 7 days of the first 14 day Caribbean cruise ever on the Nieuw Statendam. She is without doubt the most beautiful ship on the high seas (at least amongst the main-line carriers). Overall we had a great experience on the Statendam and there were no "dress rehearsal" elements to be seen on board. It was operating as it was meant to, and the service crew were in top form. We booked this cruise last minute when we saw a good price pop up, and realized it would be nice to take part in the 'maiden' month of the new vessel. We booked a quad veranda on the 5th deck and a few weeks later booked another veranda on the 8th deck for Grandma and sister. Both rooms were Forward, convenient to the elevators and access to the Gym, crows nest and World Stage. The rooms were nicely designed, with a great shower. Flat panel tv was huge and there were usb power ports all over. You do not need to bring a power bar on board, in fact they will confiscate I think. We also had the drop down bed for one of our kids to sleep in. Great bed for her, but it did encroach on the king size bed a little. Perhaps it would have been better placed elsewhere. The cruise started out with a bit of rough sea out of Lauderdale, but then calmed right down for the rest of the Cruise. This was our first Western cruise and the weather was outstanding. Also, the wind was non-existent on our patio compared with the 5 other eastern cruises we did. You could sit out there all day, it was fantastic. The music walk was a hit with the passengers, we especially enjoyed the Billboard duelling pianos and the Lincoln centre stage performances. The StepOne dance troupe is especially good in their Tuesday performance as well. A better stage show than you'll be used to at sea. The stops on this western tour were pretty decent, though I prefer the eastern ports. Half moon was great as usual, I liked how they added the splash pad area for the kids. Jamaica was a bit of a miss, the cruise ships dump you off at a port where a bunch of sharks soak you to get to the nearest beach. Next time I would just book an excursion with HAL. Will prob cost the same and be much more pleasant. Caymen was great, though the tenders got a little rough. Cozumel was the highlight stop, great shops right off the dock. Cool community, glad we stayed there for 12 hours. Finally the food, HAL did not disappoint. With their Chef's Council designing most menus, this cruise will delight all the foodies out there. We tried to hit the main dining room most nights and had a great dinner each night. The Lido was also outstanding with an incredible variety for each meal. Holland is still near the top on food, almost tied with Celebrity. A couple of footnotes: - The art on board is incredible. My daughter and I did the complete art tour (her idea) and it was worth it. -Club Hal hours were not too convenient and seem to be closed over dinner a lot. Hopefully that changes. -The Grand Dutch cafe is the best part of the cruise. Everything on the menu is crazy good. We lived there. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Attracted to cruise because it visited Cuba - first time on Holland America after approximately thirty prior cruises - Ship was in total disrepair - Booked four cabins near elevator bank to accommodate ninety year old birthday celebrant - ... Read More
Attracted to cruise because it visited Cuba - first time on Holland America after approximately thirty prior cruises - Ship was in total disrepair - Booked four cabins near elevator bank to accommodate ninety year old birthday celebrant - By end of ten days only one elevator cab was running for passengers resulting in extremely long waits to move around ships - Crew has to use one elevator as theirs were out of order - One day elevator opened and we saw crew member with carts of filthy linens! We were told they were waiting for parts - Public bathrooms on pool deck 11 were out of service from first day until last day - waiting for parts. We were directed to use facilities on same deck at rear of ship through buffet area - One stall only - filthy - no towels to wipe hands - Complained but to no avail - Leaking safety sprinkler valve on 12th deck down onto pool deck for entire length of cruise - Pool deck was always wet and slippery - Cone saying “caution wet floor” with no attempt to repair - Food was inedible with exception of breakfast - Too little personnel - family style trays of food were not refilled when empty - Italian specialty restaurant was disgusting at best - Entertainment crew shows would have been okay as high school productions - Cruise director wore same decrepit suit and dirty shoes nightly - Commented it was a uniform! Sent complaint letter to President and CEO of Holland America about all occurrences - Received response from customer service (not from Pres. or CEO) - Surprise! She claimed all issues were related to awaiting spare parts - Offered $100.00 discount per person on future cruise - Insulting at best - As repeat cruiser on Oceania they offer 10% discount on cabin which works out to hundreds of dollars and well worth every penny - Will never sail with Holland America ever again and neither should you Read Less
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