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213 Holland America Hawaii Cruise Reviews

picked this cruise because of start and finish in Vancouver rather than flying one way. 99% of passengers were retired, staff were very attentive, dining menus were varied. went to Rudy's Sel De Mer one evening , the meal was ... Read More
picked this cruise because of start and finish in Vancouver rather than flying one way. 99% of passengers were retired, staff were very attentive, dining menus were varied. went to Rudy's Sel De Mer one evening , the meal was excellent as was the waitress, only fault was that we felt rushed when the entree came minutes after the appitisers. After asking the waitress to slow down dessert came when we wanted it. cabin 6085 was a signature suite with tub and shower stall, the hot water control and the shower diverter in the tub was not working when we boarded but was fixed shortly after telling stateroom attendant. embarking and disembarking was a breeze. Our luggage was at our cabin within an hour of boarding. overall the cruise was great, weather to and from Hawaii was not good. i would recommend Holland America. in fact we are doing a transpacific cruise on the Noordam. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This ship is a wreck! (bad pun) Seriously, the cabin air conditioning is basically not functioning. While in the port in San Diego (embarkation port), we could not get our assigned cabin cooled below 78 degrees. Knowing we were headed ... Read More
This ship is a wreck! (bad pun) Seriously, the cabin air conditioning is basically not functioning. While in the port in San Diego (embarkation port), we could not get our assigned cabin cooled below 78 degrees. Knowing we were headed for the equator and much hotter climates, we complained that it was not acceptable. In fairness, they did move us to a cooler cabin, but when we got to the South Pacific areas, even this cabin would not cool below 74 degrees, even with the drapes closed and most of the lights out. Most cabins received fans to help blow hot air around. The carpets, drapes, and loveseat were all dirty and gross. The loveseat was broken down in the middle. The bathtub and sink all had dirty cracks in them. Food was generally bad, with a few really good meals. America's Test Kitchen presentations were great, but they only had presentations for half the length of the cruise. I will not take a Holland America cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Greed seems to be the drive for Holland America and the parent company (Carnival). The internet service was worse than the old dial up system in the 90's, and at $25. a day or $179. for the cruise, it was definitely not worth it. We ... Read More
Greed seems to be the drive for Holland America and the parent company (Carnival). The internet service was worse than the old dial up system in the 90's, and at $25. a day or $179. for the cruise, it was definitely not worth it. We signed up, but had to wait for emails and or Text, finally just waited until the next port to answer emails and other communications I liked the Idea of paying gratuities up front, but it took the encentive away from the service personal onboard. Of course some strived to please while others just did as little as possible to get by. Service suffered in the main dining room as it was 30 to 45 minutes between courses. Weather prevented us from going to one Island (one I was really looking forward to visit) and only port charges were refunded. We spent an extra day on Oahu which we had already been on for two days, I realize all costs for the cruise line remained except for fuel cost to travel to the other Island. I believe some restitution is in order, after all we paid to visit four islands and only visited three. Ship problems occurred on the way back and had to stop the ship to keep ballast from banging the hull of the ship. You could hear and feel it throughout the ship. Lots of shuttering and vibrations at night prevented a good nights sleep and we were as far away from motors as possible. Not all was bad of course, ship was well appointed, and we watched some good movies on sea days (very expensive way to watch movies I might say) All in all the cruise was average at best, and the ships sells people did there best to sell you everything possible. Photos were fuzzy and expensive, the whole experience reminded me of "Hey Lady Beach" in Mexico, if you catch my drift. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
My wife and I wanted to celebrate our 55th wedding anniversary by going to Hawaii to escape cold weather without a long airflight. We have taken numerous cruises with Holland America and enjoyed all of them except that we can notice ... Read More
My wife and I wanted to celebrate our 55th wedding anniversary by going to Hawaii to escape cold weather without a long airflight. We have taken numerous cruises with Holland America and enjoyed all of them except that we can notice cutbacks in many areas. First, the good: The staff, in general, was very friendly and helpful, (more on staff heads later). We didn't need much extra, but when I contacted the front desk for minor things, they were very helpful. The food was excellent with a reasonable number of choices. The exception was that the soups in the Lido were almost all purees that didn't have much taste. The service in the main dining room was sometimes very slow, but they were really working at it (probably a result of staff cutbacks). The staff in the Lido was always ready to help or bring drinks or anything else that was needed. We did not take many shore excursions because we had been to Hawaii several times and had taken most of the tours we were really interested in, and it seems that they have gotten considerably more expensive. Now the bad: The ship was recently refurbished and has a brighter look and some high tech displays on deck 10 where they now sell land tours and future cruises instead of the night club where it should be to avoid continually frigid throughout the hallways and especially the main showroom. Many passengers wore jackets (not sport jackets) throughout the day. There was a scarcity of onboard activities, especially for 5 sea days each way, although they had plenty of art auctions. The computer classes were good, but the internet was very slow and unreliable even though it was expensive. The average of the passengers was close to 80 and most of the main stage shows were totally inappropriate to the passenger age level, except for shows put on by "Hawaiian Ambassadors" on the ship or those who came on at Honolulu. The sound was unbearably loud (decibel level over 100 as measured by a fellow passenger; anything over 85 is detrimental to hearing ability) in all the venues, including the Lincoln Center Stage (classical music) even when they were accompanying a BBC Earth film. When complaints were voiced about the cold and the volume at the "coffee chats" (there was no coffee involved) with staff heads, the responses were " Thanks for the input", "it's hard to control the temperature" and not that the volume would be turned down, but "the volume has been turned down from what it used to be" and nothing was done, As one passenger put it, "if the sound has been turned down, I can't imagine what it was like before". The Cruise Director seemed to only be around to introduce acts or conduct afternoon trivia or "coffee chats": we did not see her mixing with passengers. The staff heads were unresponsive to input from the passengers. We've taken numerous cruises with Holland America, but we've had about enough and no longer recommend HAL to our friends. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
A destination we've always wanted to try and it didn't disappoint. Embarkation was as easy and quick a always. Arrived by 11 on board before noon. Ship is absolutely beautiful. Crows nest is reconfigured. Didn't ... Read More
A destination we've always wanted to try and it didn't disappoint. Embarkation was as easy and quick a always. Arrived by 11 on board before noon. Ship is absolutely beautiful. Crows nest is reconfigured. Didn't have a problem with it but - there is plenty of room for a larger library, dance floor and a quiet dance group. EXC is ok where it is but there is lots of unused space. New seats were nice as far as I am concerned. They took the dance space out of the Ocean Bar and people danced on the carpet where they could find room. One more small, quiet group that you could enjoy and/or dance too would have been nice. Cabin was ready and nicely redone. Bathroom is small and needs a little updating but everything worked well. Bed was comfortable and bedding wonderful. Room steward was beyond accommodating as on any HAL ship. Dining in MDR was very good and service great - I do feel there has been a cut back on staffing and that makes it tough. Dinners did not take as long as some people have said. Lido was delish and if you can't find something you like, well..... I loved the 'pre-made' sandwich which gets a bad rap. Fruit was yummy and breakfast is always good. Pinnacle Grill was over the top. Dive In has great burgers and fries. Entertainment was so so in the main stage area. BB King Blues band is beyond good and the dueling piano bar was packed every time they played. Biggest issue is - happy hour only in two spots and not nearly enough staff to man the stations. Not enough Drink staff by the pools either. The Ports were great - didn't do any HAL excursions - pricey! Booked a 10-1 tour in Costa Rica with Thumbs Up tours !!!!! Will never forget it. ATV tour with Amigos tours in Cabo - also good. We ended up on a 'tour' with a local in Nicaragua - great - $10. Chiapas was not needed and not enough time in Cabo. Had a minor problem with the Greenhouse Spa charging mandatory 15% gratuity and not telling you till you were done ( it was printed in fine print in a couple of places) Would consider it again as there is lots to see but there are lots of other cruises to take also. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The Westerdam Circle Island cruise was a perfect choice as it was literally round-trip from our hometown.... Also, we'd heard good things about Holland America and figured we would give it a try...as we are in the process of shifting ... Read More
The Westerdam Circle Island cruise was a perfect choice as it was literally round-trip from our hometown.... Also, we'd heard good things about Holland America and figured we would give it a try...as we are in the process of shifting travel gears to do more cruising in the future. Two thousand passengers is a whole lot of people to confine in close quarters for a lengthy sea voyage, but with a balcony as respite from the 'Madding Crowd' we were OK with that. The ship is lovely, well appointed, after removal of the atrium concept others have, felt more like a real ship. The 2017 refurb left things very spiffy looking and well functioning. As it was a longer cruise the travelers were all adults...no kids or teenagers and mostly the crowd was 50+ in age. While that made for pleasant company, it also meant more passengers needing quite a bit of assistance and slower elevator times. Again, not a problem but a consideration. I felt there could have been more staff available to assist in the buffet area, however. Not easy leaning on a cane or pushing a walker with a plate of food!! Just a minor note! If I have any criticism at all it is this: the entertainment was in most cases not what I would assume an older crowd (and I am in that group) would appreciate. The shows generally were very "Las Vegas" meaning loud, glitzy and over amped. We attended those which were a bit more aimed at our taste. Also, the enrichment programs were scanty and poorly done. One major exception: THE HAWAIIAN AMBASSADORS aboard ship were amazingly knowledgeable and presented fascinating lectures and programs for us all. The trip home offered nothing along the lines of 'enrichment'. The staff in the MDR seemed overwhelmed at times with the amount of work. I frankly don't know how they coped, so despite what other reviewers may say, I found the food amazingly good: properly prepared, professionally served, and pleasantly tasty. I honestly believe most of the severe criticism I read is based on some assumption that the MDR is supposed to be a five star experience. You honestly cannot expect that when it comes to feeding 2,000 people a variety of foods. The food in the buffet was tasty and offered a wide variety. I was, however, chagrined to see passengers filling their personal coffee and water bottles/containers at the urns, despite a prominent sign asking them not to do so. A crew member standing guard and making sure it didn't happen might have helped. The whole concept of doing this is, to me, a bit outrageous. All the staff were very helpful and ready to fulfill any request....there just didn't seem to be enough of them...that is HAL's failing as I don't think it is limited to the Westerdam. Over all, would I sail again on HAL. Yes, depending on the itinerary and ship size--the smaller the better. Thanks for listening! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was our 4th HAL cruise and about our 40th cruise overall. We have been fortunate to have done of the worlds best cruises itineraries all over the world. We started cruising in our 40s and have done as many as two a year. For reference ... Read More
This was our 4th HAL cruise and about our 40th cruise overall. We have been fortunate to have done of the worlds best cruises itineraries all over the world. We started cruising in our 40s and have done as many as two a year. For reference most of our cruises have been on Celebrity, but our more recent cruises on Azamara (4), Celebrity (2), Oceania (1) HAL (2) and Crystal (1).. This last cruise was the 18 day San Diego - Hawaii departing in January 2018. Overall this cruise was a major disappointment and joined the unenviable list of the other (1) cruise when i could not wait to exit the gangway and go home. Only our 3 week trip on the QEII (2006) was worse taken the year before it was decommissioned and Cunard's maintenance had stopped completely and the crew was ready to split. Overall headlines of my review - HAL manages to the dollar not to customer satisfaction. Every aspect of the cruise had been subject to clear value engineering to provide the minimum possible - While most visible areas (save one) were well maintained, cabin decks showed serious neglect and were shabby and under-maintained. - Staff were courteous but had minimal training and management - Chef clearly had no interest in how food tasted Ship The ship info claimed that it had been refit in 2016. Its clear that that is meant to mean "some areas". Main areas looked fairly fresh and some very fresh, but it was also easy to find ripped carpets on stairs, major dings, scrapes and significant and visible defacement in elevators. My sleeping deck was dingy, had marred up walls and stained carpets. Major odors were present and attendants continually spayed deodorizer. The ship was full and apparently with the additions of more cabins always felt crowded. The most obvious and in your face issue was the condition of the exterior deck chairs. Decrepit, stained, torn and broken..... any Hotel Manager or Ship Captain who saw this should have been ashamed. Ratty, torn, broken dirty. No self respecting Holiday Inn would have put these out. So dirty we had to cover them with towels. Disgusting. Cabin Our cabin 1007 was on the Main deck. The room was satisfactory. Bedding was of good quality and we slept well, room was quiet. Entertainment system featured many very good moves (free) and was well past expectation (a blessing on this cruise). Walls were dirty in some places and appeared to need heavy scrubbing. Water in sink would often run only hot (scalding) from the COLD water side? Metal baseboard trip near bed was missing and sharp edge cut my wife's foot. Dining Lido and main dining room food was 75% tasteless and ranged from horrible to good (on occasion). Lido lunch was repetitive and tasteless. Pizza was below the level of frozen from the Safeway. Highlights were fresh made omelettes were great and Dive in burgers were very good. Dining room served me a piece of prime (?) rib that was perhaps the worst piece of meat I had ever encountered. It was not cut-able and looked like something that should have become hamburger. Any food service professional should have deemed this best for the trash can. Highlight was dinner at the extra cost Italian restaurant where the food was very good to terrific. It is well worth the modest fee of $15 (discounted for loyalty classes). Really good and competitive with more expensive cruise lines. We did not try Pinnacle as the $35 surcharge was too high for my expectations of value. Mixed drinks were measured to the drop and I judged them as a poor value. Beers at about $7 ++ are over priced. We found that their supply of keg beer was never delivered at the onset of the cruise (hard to believe) so advertised draft been was unavailable. Likewise 20% of the wine choices in the mid-level wine package were unavailable even at the onset. Entertaiment Main stage was fine, but had many seats with impaired visibility (posts). Only some seats had a table if you buy a drink or bring one. Dance shows were very good quality and I applaud HAL for not doing yet another "salute to Broadway". Very enjoyable. Other entertainment was bad to good. Comedian doing simplistic and worn fat cruise ship jokes and grade school puns got me heading out the door. Another asking "have you ever seen someone make a dog out of balloon" left me also running for the door. Variety pianist was talented and entertaining as was the Sax player. Enrichment speaker was presenting a standard presentation and was not an expert. She simply learned a presentation. Highlights were the Lincoln Center stings which put on superb classical and popular concerts curated for HAL. This was terrific quality. however the room was uncomfortable and always crowded. Passengers sometimes came in an hour early and slept in the chairs to hold seats. Chairs were uncomfortable at best. It seemed at odds with all the minimal things HAL put forward on this ship to see something of such over the top quality. Kudos to HAL for getting something very, very right. Cruise Director was amateur level and added no value. Service HAL's people displayed good attitudes and were always friendly. Find a good waiter in the DR and you will get good service for a cruise at this price point, but quality varies greatly. Maitre D's were very good, learned our names and tried to get us to the waiter we preferred. Generally though service staff for meals had minimal skills and training. Dishes often not collected, had to beg for coffee and many times we would see them chatting with their peers and not working. On more than one occasion I was given morning OJ that had clearly set out for a very long time and was room temperature. What are they thinking? Ports and Shore excursions Hawaiian ports were routine. Major problems occurred at Lahaina on Maui where the re boarding of the ship via tender took nearly 1 1/2 hours. We heard via rumor that it was due to the local Harbor Master but the ship never explained nor did they take the opportunity to set any expectation before we boarded the tenders to go ashore that the re-boading was going to be problematic due to local procedures. HAL is not a premium or luxury line and had no expectations that it was. But the obvious cost cutting, deferred maintenance and fair service were below their advertised value proposition. This will be my last cruise on Holland America. You can get more for the money from Celebrity and probably several others. This is the last HAL for me. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was a our first cruise on a HAL ship and longest itinerary of the 10 previous cruises we have taken. Overall the Oosterdam was quietly average, but disappointing for several reasons: 1. Guests demographics and mobility issues ... Read More
This was a our first cruise on a HAL ship and longest itinerary of the 10 previous cruises we have taken. Overall the Oosterdam was quietly average, but disappointing for several reasons: 1. Guests demographics and mobility issues were a big surprise. We knew HAL drew older guests, but had no idea this would feel like are floating "retirement home". We are active 65-67 year olds yet we felt like "spring chickens". A majority of the guests appeared to be 75+. A large number were unsteady on their feet, used wheelchairs, canes and mortorized scooters which made it a challenge at times to move about the ship. 2. Electronics were horrible. The Navigator Intranet site is a good idead poorly executed. Our devices would not stay connected for more than a couple of minutes... extremely frustrating. TV channels were not always available... tended to come and go. Glad we didn't buy the internet package... heard from another cruiser it was the worst he had ever experienced. 3. Though the Oosterdam had recently been in dry dock for refurbishment recently, the pool deck furniture was awful. The sling lounges were stretched, worn, ripped and extremely uncomfortable. On the good side cabins were good size and well serviced by the cabin stewards. All service was friendly and for the most part efficient. The food in the Main Dining was good with a large and varied selection. Both the Pinnacle and Canelleto specialty restaurants were very good with excellent service. I do not recommend the Hawaii itinerary during this time of year if you are looking for sun. Of the 18 days we had maybe 5 good days. We had monsoon type rains in Hilo... our best day was Ensenda, Mexico. Overall a very average cruise with disappointing weather and guest atmosphere resulting in a low value vacation. Heading back to the Caribbean on Celebrity next year. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Booking - Direct with HAL. Price similar to other agents. Boarding – We boarded in San Diego. Nowadays, the detail work is done online from home so the process was quick. About an hour after arriving at the terminal we were in our ... Read More
Booking - Direct with HAL. Price similar to other agents. Boarding – We boarded in San Diego. Nowadays, the detail work is done online from home so the process was quick. About an hour after arriving at the terminal we were in our stateroom. Gone was the typical crowding into the upper deck cafeteria while awaiting stateroom to be prepped. The ship – Oosterdam is showing its age despite a 2016 refurb. The passageways were full of scratches and dents from luggage. I saw places where the walls had drip marks at the bottom, like someone sprayed surface cleaner and allowed it to run. Ten minutes out of San Diego, the ship began a steady rocking motion which intensified through the night. The next morning I expected to see white caps but the sea was calm. This is my tenth cruise (not counting two years on an aircraft carrier) and I've never been bounced around this much. Many veteran cruisers agreed. The Lido deck has two pools separated by the casual dining area. One has a retractable cover. Only 46 lounge chairs surround the main pool; around them are perhaps 60 or so 4-seat tables. Initially, I thought this to be insufficient but was proved wrong. Of the 8-10 I came to the pool, I always found an available lounger. Stateroom - Our cabin was a typical veranda class. It mirrored the wear & tear of the ship in general. Rather than a typical shower, there's a 4' tub. Gouges in the sink & tub were through the melamine surface exposing the base material. I sat on a wooden chair at the desk and it cracked and broke. I admit to being overweight but 250# shouldn't have done that. Cabin staff was helpful and attentive. Cabin staff was excellent. Any requests were met quickly and cheerfully. Dining - The food was quite good. We enjoyed a good selection of well prepared dishes. There were half a dozen varied entrees each night plus the standard fare (NY strip, grilled salmon or chicken) The breakfast choices were especially diverse. I never knew there were three varieties of Eggs Benedict. If anything, the food might have been a bit too chic. I couldn't pronounce 30% of the menu items. By the end of the cruise, I was ready for a trip to Cracker Barrel. The Lido deck cafeteria was a pleasant surprise with a nice variety that often mirrored the dining room menu. The tables were all set up with place-mats, napkins and flatware. Bus boys bring you iced tea, water or lemonade. Forgot to get ketchup or tartar sauce? Just ask. The dining arrangements were a different story. I had “Open seating” so I called to make a 6pm reservation. No go. They don't take Open Seating reservations for anytime between 5:30 – 7:30 but I could come down w/o a reservation and wait in line. Turns out the wait can be up to 30 min. The next day I called for a 5:30 seating. They told me that the only thing available was after 7:30 and that would be the case for the next several days. Something seemed amiss. Eventually I spoke with the senior waiter. He was very nice and seemed genuinely embarrassed to confess that a computer glitch had jumbled many seating times and table numbers. This poor fellow was forced to do hundreds of seating changes by hand. He quickly resolved my issue and sent a complementary plate of chocolate covered strawberries to our stateroom. A poolside hot dog & burger bar also offers taco fixin's. The food was very good, the fries were outstanding. There are three specialty restaurants with premiums of $15 to $49. I did not visit any of them. Entertainment – Less than stellar. The few evening shows we attended were pretty Ho-Hum. I’ve seen much better talent on Celebrity. About the third day however, we discovered a neat little gem. One of the lounges featured a concert pianist and string quartet. They were amazing. You needed to get there 30 min early to get a seat. Farther forward was a lounge that featured a couple guys playing twin pianos. They were outstanding. Every night 80 – 100 people would crowd in to watch them. It was next to the casino and people would turn chairs from the slot machines to watch the show. I’ve gotta believe the casino manager wasn't thrilled by this. Excursions – Like most cruise lines, these were expensive. We’ve found it’s often cheaper to book your own trips from the non-affiliated companies at the end of the pier. Disembarkation – Very well coordinated and easy. Everybody gets luggage tags and a time slot. We had relatives picking us up so there was no need to rush. We waited in our cabin until 9:30am then spend 20 min in a lounge. When they called our number, the crowd was gone and our luggage was easy to find. Summary – HAL is an attractive choice for older folks. I doubt there were even a dozen school-age passengers. I’d estimate the median age at 70. If you’re in this age group or if you’re comfortable being around older folks, HAL is a good bet. Things are quiet and refined. If you prefer a younger crowd, try Princess or RCCL. If you want a floating fraternity house, consider Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I chose this 25 day trip to Mexico and Hawaii because though Costco Travel, it was a chance for fun in the sun during January and less expensive than booking a hotel for the same period of time. The ship was not as nice as Celebrity or ... Read More
I chose this 25 day trip to Mexico and Hawaii because though Costco Travel, it was a chance for fun in the sun during January and less expensive than booking a hotel for the same period of time. The ship was not as nice as Celebrity or Norwegian ships I had been on. San Diego has a lovely harbor location. It was cold everywhere and even though many complained, the ship remained cold in public areas. Mainstage evening performances were not good! Out of about 18 performances I attended, I counted 3 worth seeing. Lincoln stage was outstanding! And fortunately they often performed 3 times a day. I had requested diabetic menu before departure, but when I went to Dining Room first night, was told by attendant I just should order vegetarian. My daughter was on a Disney cruise the month before and requested Vegan and had the best meals ever night after night by their Indian Chef who was happy to accommodate their request. I did not receive that courtesy. Food was inconsistent. I saw Tiramisu prepared 3 different ways. But the dining room crew members were superior! They just served the food, didn’t prepare it. I used the fitness room daily, but the treadmill rarely had internet access. The fitness instructor gave the same speech for every class it seemed! Our Lahaina harbor embarkation experience was a nightmare. Stood in line in the harbor for 1 and 1/2 hours and treated poorly by American Guard Security. The Captain never said a word about it. All passengers who disembarked were affected. And everyone was outraged. This was a ship with predominately seniors with wheel chairs and walkers and canes. Most conversations after that experience were in relation to how the captain never apologized or offered an explanation. Overall, this was the worst cruise I had ever been on and that seemed to be the general consensus amongst passengers when visiting with them. But I liked being with friends and making new ones and getting some sunshine! I want to give a big shout out to Jose Rosales Housekeeping Director and Dining Room crew for 210; Agus and Willy for superior service. And for Angga for such kindness! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this particular cruise for the perks offered (OBC, free gratuities). We cruised with friends and we've all been on the Mexico route many times. My major negative is the loss of the music on the ship, especially in the ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise for the perks offered (OBC, free gratuities). We cruised with friends and we've all been on the Mexico route many times. My major negative is the loss of the music on the ship, especially in the evening on the way to dinner A pianist on deck 3 doesn't reach those of us on deck 2. The Adagio Strings was lovely. We always enjoyed having music on the Crow's Next in the evening but now it's just a big meeting area. Still, you can't discount the views. The MDR was hit and miss as far as service went. There were major areas where people were being served promptly and others received tepid food, as we did one of our three times. We were not alone - other table groups were experiencing the same thing. We requested coffee with our dessert one night and dessert came but coffee never did and our waiter didn't check back. The food itself was very good. Perhaps they had a new group of waiters? Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I frequently cruise the San Diego to Mexican Riviera cruise when I find a good price. I have sailed only HAL the past few years. I was on this ship before and since my last trip they have gone into dry dock and added the Lincoln Center ... Read More
I frequently cruise the San Diego to Mexican Riviera cruise when I find a good price. I have sailed only HAL the past few years. I was on this ship before and since my last trip they have gone into dry dock and added the Lincoln Center concert area, expanded the showroom, added more top deck outside veranda cabins, some cabanas and squeezed in more inside cabins by making them smaller. I was told that the ship was due to go into dry dock again in a couple of months and it needs it. Several areas are looking worn and in need of upgrade. Overall I enjoyed my cruise very much. I think the dining food is very good for a mid price ship. Service is not a ubiquitous as it has been in the past but it was OK. Embarcation and disembarkation procedures have been streamlined which is an improvement. Because I return to these ports I choose not to go ashore in Cabo and do my own thing walking in Mazatlan while taking the PV city bus (7 pesos) to the beach area and downtown. So, I cannot comment on the excursions. They do appear overpriced to me. I purchased a future cruise deposit which is a $100. cost but will pay my next cruise deposit not requiring any further expense until 90 days before when the cost is due in full. By doing that I also receive a $25. cruise credit on my account for that upcoming cruise. The other thing I do that might not be as well known is to purchase 100 shares of Carnival stock, which owns HAL as well as several other cruise lines. As a shareholder I can request a $100 credit on my account for each cruise I book and more $$ for longer cruises. Plus the stock pays a dividend as well. I was glad someone told me about this several years ago. Happy cruising everyone. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Embarkation was perhaps a clue of what was to come after we were checked in as we joined several hundred fellow cruisers to wait and wait and wait while a problem was resolved so we could actually board. We chose this for our annual ... Read More
Embarkation was perhaps a clue of what was to come after we were checked in as we joined several hundred fellow cruisers to wait and wait and wait while a problem was resolved so we could actually board. We chose this for our annual December cruise to enjoy the voyage to and from the Hawaiian Island destinations. It was a much smaller ship that we have been traveling in the past few years but had some very nice entertaining and learning opportunities that compensated somewhat the frustrations of getting used to poor dining room organization, and indoor temperatures that were so very cold it required most passengers to wear coats throughout the days and evening onboard --- even the men were wearing jackets! From the first evening the dining room experience was chaos and remained so for 3 days. We had requested a table for two, and that seemed to be a real problem for some reason. We were shifted from one section to another, unlike all past cruises where we had the same waiter, same table, and our wine bottles were waiting for us when we arrived. Not so on the Oosterdam. The dining room manager was a very unpleasant man to work with. We nicknamed him Mr. Smiley face since he never was seen without a scowl. On the 3rd day we finally had a regular table and waiter. However, we felt very sorry for the wait staff as they were terribly overworked and understaffed for the number of people being served at the same seating. The top 3 things on the ship included: 1) An amazing string quartet that played 3-4 times most days. They packed the room for all performances and each member was outstanding! 2) The Microsoft Workshop was hosted by Frank Barcelona who presented 3-5 sessions daily about using Outlook and Cortana. He was outstanding, patient, and provided good solid support for computer and phone users to sync their instruments to the Outlook utilities. 3) The America's Test Kitchen presentations were great! The presentation room was well designed with overhead monitors for everyone to see the chef as she demonstrated wonderful recipes in a very entertaining way. The port stops were enjoyable, especially Lahaina and Kauai. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We wanted a cruise that left on our anniversary, bonus that it left from our home city & returned to same. Plus who can turn down a trip to Hawaii. The service was great, our room stewards were awesome. However, the food was ... Read More
We wanted a cruise that left on our anniversary, bonus that it left from our home city & returned to same. Plus who can turn down a trip to Hawaii. The service was great, our room stewards were awesome. However, the food was atrocious. 90% of the time, I left most of my meal on the plate. The meat was always over-cooked & dried out. (Except for the Tamarind, the steak there was cooked to perfection.) They seriously need some new cooks, new menus. And the in-room dining menu needs far more options. My biggest peeve with them was that we paid for our cruise by the due date, and then the price dropped by nearly $3000. No offer of a refund from HAL. They did give us about 1/3 in ship board credits and we ended up with a larger suite only because I pestered them about it. I'm wondering how many other guests over paid and didn't know that they had. All in all, I've cruised twice with HAL and was less then impressed both times. It's back to Celebrity Cruises for us. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
16 night cruise from Van to Hawaii and back....No flying which is the way we like it! This was a very enjoyable cruise.Lots to do and also lots of time to relax on your own. I took in the windows 10 digital workshop classes which were good ... Read More
16 night cruise from Van to Hawaii and back....No flying which is the way we like it! This was a very enjoyable cruise.Lots to do and also lots of time to relax on your own. I took in the windows 10 digital workshop classes which were good ( there's always something to learn) Thanks Scott. . Mainstage shows were pretty good..dancers and singers top notch..enjoyed Dan St paul the comedian...Vivian Guzman, Frances Dilorinzo,Brett Cave.Hawaii night was very good..Billboard on board (pianos)John & Jason? ) was well received..very enjoyable but crowded.. Lincoln center stage was wonderful. America test kitchen was very interesting and well done.Kathleen did an awesome job! BB King Blues,very talented but was not really our thing...crowds were hit and miss.Would prefer 50s-60s music and dance . Happy hour at 4pm..otherwise drinks can be expensive. We enjoyed the Hawaiian Ukulele music and the dancers at 5pm on our way to the Islands. Would recommend the New York pizza place and the Dive- in was good ( I tried the sauerkraut hot dog and the chicken burger) Food was good, generally small portions except the schnitzel which was very good! Prime rib was excellent as was surf and turf. Dining went pretty well with open dining and the reservation team was very accommodating. Staff was excellent...always cheery and helpful.Getting the daily itinerary on our ipad was great. All day info at your fingertips! Appreciated Catholic mass onboard which is missing on other cruise lines.My wife enjoyed the tea time at 3pm ( getting to visit and chat with other ladies) We would highly recommend this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
THE ITINERARY Our main objective for this trip was to visit Hawaii, and we would like to visit these interesting islands again—there’s more than you can possibly see in 5 days. EMBARKATION Embarkation at Vancouver was very ... Read More
THE ITINERARY Our main objective for this trip was to visit Hawaii, and we would like to visit these interesting islands again—there’s more than you can possibly see in 5 days. EMBARKATION Embarkation at Vancouver was very smooth and very well co-ordinated. THE SHIP Comparisons between the Eurodam to her sister-ship (the Niew Amsterdam) are inevitable. As you might expect, she is very clean and tidy above decks and below. We found the ship layout very easy to navigate, and really appreciated the unobstructed Promenade Deck (3 times around = 1 mile). The back-lit navigation signs located by each elevator provided all necessary information and directions in a highly visible manner. Likewise, the menu screens outside the Lido and MDR were easy to read, much better than paper menus. TIP: many of the comments and observations we made after travelling on the Niew Amsterdam also apply to the Eurodam. For more information refer to our previous reviews. DÉCOR We found the décor on the Eurodam to be rather sombre compared to that of her sister-ship. There are some interesting cabinets-of-curiosities near the Main Dining Room (MDR) and next to B.B. King’s and a few good paintings of ships in the stairwells, but the overall feeling is (in our opinion) rather drab and dated. A lighter palette might help – there are large areas of grey and dark blue throughout the ship and the theatre seems to be especially dingy. TIP: Sightlines in the theatre are not good from the balcony seats on deck 3 (except for those seated in the middle section). Avoid the two boxes on the port and starboard sides: it is almost impossible to see the action on the stage, and you get blinded by the stage lights located in the wings. THE CREW The crew of the Eurodam always manage to be upbeat and are very pleasant company. They are busy, but always seem able to find a few minutes to share a joke or a comment, and their hard work makes life as pleasant as possible for the passengers, so we want them to know how much we appreciate their efforts. Our cabin stewards (Mantri and Hari) were excellent. They kept our cabin neat and tidy and were always cheerful and friendly. FOOD We found no reasons to complain about the food in any of the restaurants onboard the Eurodam. The Lido Market serves a range of interesting dishes from all over the world including Asia and Italy. It tends to get a bit hectic at times, especially when people are lining up to get served at the buffet stations. The Tamarind restaurant has the same Asian-Fusion menu offered on the Niew Amsterdam, but the dishes and presentations fell short of the standard we had experienced on the sister ship. We decided to try the Canaletto restaurant, and we were pleasantly surprised at the innovative dishes presented. We believe the extra $15 was very well spent. We usually ate dinner in the Main Dining Room and never regretted any of our menu choices. The menu is always very inventive, although it does list some dishes that you might call standards every day for the less-adventurous diners (for example, salmon and strip-loin steak). For some reason seating assignments were chaotic during the first few evenings, and again on a Gala night. Passengers (including those who had made reservations) waited for ages to be assigned a table. We complained to the maitre d’ and the following night diners were issued pagers that would signal a table ready to receive them. This didn’t seem to improve matters because after being told we should expect a 20 minute wait, we gave up after 25 minutes and ate in the Lido market instead. TIP: Try varying your arrival time at the MDR, or make an early reservation. MARINERS’ LUNCH This is a special event for members of the HAL Mariners Club (aka, repeat customers). The food was excellent (set menu) and you get an opportunity to meet the Captain and the Cruise Director in person. Disappointingly, this time we did not receive a small Delft tile featuring the ship, as we have at other Mariner Lunches. ENTERTAINMENT BB King’s Blues Club featured a very capable band, who treated us to a wide range of R&B, Motown, and a few contemporary pieces, and this time the band included plenty of blues classics. This entertainment was a big attraction that helped us decide to take this HAL trip. In the Main Stage we were entertained by a magician (James Cielen) a juggler, a comedian and an accomplished flautist. Song and dance shows featured on two nights, and these were very good indeed – we appreciated them because they added to the variety. There were no guest aerialists/acrobatics on this cruise, perhaps because of the many sea days or the stage wasn’t built to accommodate them. The Indonesian crew members gave a very good cultural show one evening, but it started at 11:00 p.m., so the theatre was only about 25% full. Guest speakers Ginny Stibold and Lawrence Taglatino presented outstanding lectures on the biology and history of the Hawaiian Islands. On the outward leg of the voyage, a group of Hawaiian women presented workshops on a number of topics including making leis and hula dancing, while a musician taught volunteers how to play a ukulele. FELLOW PASSENGERS A much older demographic (our opinion) than those we met on other HAL voyages. The number of passengers using walking frames, wheelchairs, scooters, or sticks was incredible, and we wondered how the crew would cope during a real emergency in the event of needing to evacuate the ship. Waiters in the MDR had to valet-park the scooters! No wonder many reviewers refer to it as a floating retirement home. We met plenty of Canadians, some Americans, and a few Australians. A FEW PROBLEMS TIP: If you have any problems or concerns, raise them with appropriate people (usually the Front Desk) immediately. They are very responsive, and take all complaints seriously. SMOKING Smokers are no longer allowed to poison themselves (and others) in the casino nor on their balconies. Smoking is now restricted to on the starboard side of the Lido deck aft, allowing most of us to avoid the deadly cancer fumes. However, there will always be some determined puffers who think the rules do not apply to them. For example: we detected the smell of smoke in the corridor outside our cabin on a several days and reported this to the Front Desk. Guest Services came to our cabin, agreed that the smell was noticeable and promised to investigate. The problem occurred a few more times, and Guest Services eventually discovered the source (a balcony suite opposite ours). The problem did not recur. Full marks to HAL for eliminating this menace. GENERAL TIPS Bring jackets or wraps as the temperatures vary widely in different public areas around the ship. B.B. King’s is predictably chilly. If you need to use the mid-ship elevators, the glass ones on either side of the ship are much faster than the regular ones in the middle of the ship. PORT REVIEWS We went ashore at every port of call, and took four excursions from the ship. Hilo—Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Garden. A do-it-yourself walking tour of a lush, tropical garden that was created in a valley reclaimed from a previous garbage dump. TIPS: Steep hills and a vertiginous boardwalk to descend into the valley. Golf carts run continuously up and down the narrow path (there are one or two passing places). You may need some DEET-based insecticide or some drinking water (both available at the on-site shop). Be smart and bring your own from the ship. Honolulu—Blue Hawaiian helicopter flight The flight lasts 50 minutes, and cameras record you in cockpit and the outside scenes. We flew over Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, and Pearl Harbour. Weighing in, but they keep it secret—6 persons per copter pilot plus 2 passengers in front, 4 behind. Only the two outer seats offer decent photo-opportunities. You will be buckled into the harness by company staff: they are not trying to grope you, so don’t be offended. TIPS: If flying over active volcanos and flowing lava is on your bucket list, book the helicopter trip in Hilo as soon as you get onboard the ship—it sells-out very quickly! We were too late, so we had to sign-up for this trip instead. Dark clothing is preferred because light colours reflect off the canopy and spoil any photos you might take. Wear a dark shirt if you have it, but if you don’t, Blue Hawaiian Helicopters will lend you a dark T-shirt. You can’t bring anything with you except a camera; excess items must be checked before you board the helicopter. Lahaina—Atlantis submarine trip Passengers sit back-to-back along central seats, each seat has an individual porthole. The sub dives to a depth of 124 feet taking you over coral beds and the wreck of sailing ship called the Carthagininan. This vessel was deliberately sunk as artificial reef. We saw a range of different fish including White-tip Sharks, Barracuda, Puffer Fish, Porcupine Fish, Moray Eels, Surgeon Fish, etc. TIP: If you think you might be even slightly claustrophobic, give this trip a miss. After the crew closed the hatch, one female passenger panicked and had to leave the vessel. Nawiliwili—National Tropical Botanical Gardens. A guided tour of two gardens (Allerton and McBryde Gardens) led by a very knowledgeable guide. We also stopped for a brief visit to the Spouting Horn volcanic lava tube. TIP: This is a chance to visit some of the locations used for filming Jurassic Park and for birders to see a rare Hawaiian Gallinule. This tour involves step climbing and negotiating muddy paths so if you have mobility issues, consider carefully before you sign up for it. A FEW GRIPES! Yes, we have a few! We sincerely hope HAL is listening: Eurodam’s library is very poorly stocked. No pins as prizes for winning games—winners receive a bottle of sparkling wine instead! No Trip Log at the end of the voyage to keep as a record of the trip, describing distance travelled, ports of call, etc.! This was particularly disappointing for us. DISEMBARKATION Very smooth and fast because HAL uses a system of numbers and colour-codes to direct disembarking passengers off the ship, but there was a long wait to load the buses to the airport, with only one bus being loaded at a time. WOULD WE SAIL ON THE EURODAM AGAIN? Possibly, it really depends on the itinerary and we will always be open to trying different HAL ships. While we enjoyed our trip, the ship fell short of expectations because of the missing items we had anticipated after previous HAL trips. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Hawaii was nice but the Eurodam itself was the true destination. The ship is beautiful. The food is great. The specialty restaurants are outstanding. The variety and quality of musical venues on Music Walk is wonderful with something ... Read More
Hawaii was nice but the Eurodam itself was the true destination. The ship is beautiful. The food is great. The specialty restaurants are outstanding. The variety and quality of musical venues on Music Walk is wonderful with something for everyone. The dual piano players with Billboard Onboard was my personal favorite. The crew was exceptional from John Scott the captain who entertained us every day with the origin of nautical based expressions such as between the devil and the deep blue sea, Nick the delightful Cruise Director, and all the way down the chain of command. The entire crew was relaxed and happy and eager to help. I booked the last Alaska cruise of the season and stayed on the Eurodam through Hawaii for a total of 24 days. Anyone who doesn't like to leave home for a 7 day cruise should consider combining these two destinations as a "collector's voyage" some year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this because it ended in Honolulu, our home. We sailed from Vancouver and stayed at the Pan Pacific which was right on the pier! I highly suggest that hotel if you are sailing from Vancouver. Bags went from hotel room to ... Read More
We chose this because it ended in Honolulu, our home. We sailed from Vancouver and stayed at the Pan Pacific which was right on the pier! I highly suggest that hotel if you are sailing from Vancouver. Bags went from hotel room to stateroom!!! We were on the Oosterdam last October and November in the Mediterranean and many of the employees were on this cruise so it was like home! They remembered us and what we liked! They will also be on in March and April when we do the other part of this itinerary beginning in Sydney and ending in Honolulu. The ship is definitely worn..."tired" is a better word. We were told it was to be dry docked soon but apparently not for another year plus. We were on the Noordam in 2014 and it was old then and has not been upgraded that we could see. We enjoyed the famous daily Happy Hours, buy one get one for $2...it used to be one dollar...but the servings were small! We normally get a bottle of champagne from the company, nothing this trip! We really felt unappreciated this time from the company. My main complaint was the On Deck For A Cause. I did it last October and it was wonderful. This year we all met before the walk and were offered "refreshments and fellowship" after the walk. After two rounds on the deck (less than a mile) most people had dropped out. I ran and walked and when I finished 3+ miles (it was a 5K) I went in and found everything cleaned up and the place empty! I had to go to a bar downstairs to get a drink of water. Others who finished after me were also surprised. We had been abandoned and only an hour out! What a slap in the face for those of us who did the entre walk! Again, it seemed as tho we were very unappreciated by the higher ups! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Been on this cruise three times before. Great if you like days at sea, as we do. The entire staff of the Zaandam, in every department, provided excellent service, with a few monitor hiccups during the cruise. We are confused by a ... Read More
Been on this cruise three times before. Great if you like days at sea, as we do. The entire staff of the Zaandam, in every department, provided excellent service, with a few monitor hiccups during the cruise. We are confused by a couple of negative reviews of the short repositioning cruise just prior to ours - the one from San Diego to Vancouver. We heard rumours about up coming changes to the Zaandam during its next refit - such as the elimination of a library and changes to the Crow's Nest that we are concerned about, but change is constant in our current world, and we will wait to see if these rumours are true and, most importantly, if we feel they are positive ones or not. Handrie, or dining room steward, was excellent in his attention to our needs during our entire cruise, and our several visits to the Pinnacle Grill reconfirmed what we had experienced on our three Hawaii previous cruises on the Zaandam - the steaks are outstanding. We have never experienced better in our business travels around the world. Great to experience the same captain, Christopher Turner, as last year! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My wife and I did a similar cruise on the Zaandam from San Diego to Hawaii several years ago and wanted to try it from a different port, and to see what changes may have occurred to the ship and/or ports of call. The ship seems brighter ... Read More
My wife and I did a similar cruise on the Zaandam from San Diego to Hawaii several years ago and wanted to try it from a different port, and to see what changes may have occurred to the ship and/or ports of call. The ship seems brighter and refreshed, except for the TVs in the cabins which are from the 70s, or so they appear based on the very poor picture quality. Speaking of which I can't understand why we were void of major TV news channels on the last three days back to Seattle except for two ESPN stations, and the only TV weather updates were for South American countries through the BBC channel. HAL, it's 2017 and we have the technology so PLEASE USE IT!! Try for some better customer service here. Our primary negative perception about the cruise and the ship is about how cool/cold the ship's public areas were kept requiring us and many other passengers to habitually walk around wearing our coats, hoodies, etc. We would sit in, for example, to listen to Adagio only to have cold air conditioning blowing on our heads, as well as elsewhere about the ship. Uncalled for. The lack of a librarian/IT supervisor was another failure in customer service, and the staff at the front desk was no substitute, nor should they be. The excessive cost coupled with the poor quality of WiFi service is a slap in the face for any passengers trying to make use of that service and should be improved. One thing that seemed to have changed for the better was the overall quality of the entertainment throughout the cruise, at least in comparison to our last four cruises with HAL since 2014 on other ships. But the over amplification of the band and singers constantly corrupted what could have been a better musical experience and often took away from the quality of the singers voices who always seemed to be trying to be heard over the band; those gals and guys deserve better treatment and respect from any musical group that accompanies them. The cabin stewards were good, and the 5th floor dining staff excellent. The Lido's dining chairs need reupholstering, now. Almost every chair's cushioning has been flattened down to the frame. Our overall experience was such that, contrary to our usual practice, we didn't sign up on board for a specific future cruise; we did leave a future cruise deposit that will be good for the next several years on a cruise of our choosing. If there is one. Our next several cruises will be with Cunard and we'll just keep reading CC's blogs and look forward to hearing about improvements. I'm not going to say anything about the tours offered under the precept of, if you can't say anything nice...... But if HAL perceives all touring passengers to need a shopping stop, please do away with them on cultural tours and just organize plain old shopping tours for those who want to shop and visit markets, etc. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My wife and I have been cruising for 20 years, and this was our first sailing with Holland America. We have sailed with Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Carnival, and Oceania, enjoying 266 days at sea. After sailing on the Maasdam ... Read More
My wife and I have been cruising for 20 years, and this was our first sailing with Holland America. We have sailed with Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Carnival, and Oceania, enjoying 266 days at sea. After sailing on the Maasdam for a 33 day south pacific cruise we Won't use Holland America again. The major concern of mine was the lack of service, lack of maintenance, and little concern for our safety. No matter what the positive reviews in the past say, the ship is not a luxury ship. Deferred maintenance and a crew cut down to the absolute minimum, has helped the Maasdam age beyond its years. The most important part of this review is about safety. I have never seen such a lack of concern for safety on any other ship. The muster station drill was held outside on deck six under our life boat. This drill was held dock side along side the port. With the noise of equipment working below, the safety team tried to communicate the safety drill with bull horns under each life boat. I could not hear half of the instructions because of competing noise. Life jackets were left in the cabins, and we were told that in case of an emergency, we would go to our cabins, and there we would be told how to use them?? How in the world is that going to work in an emergency? At least I have had proper instructions on other ships about the life vest. I'm sure other first time guests had no clue how to properly user it. The safety issues continued during our first tendering port in Lahaina, HI. where it took FOUR hours for us to make it ashore. One of the four Maasdam tenders (lifeboat) was not operational and was stowed back aboard. This left three tenders to bring people to shore. The condition of the remaining life boats were not up to the standards I have seen on other ships. The life boats smoked with large plums of blue smoke, had plastic windows that you could not see through, damaged hand grab rails you could not use to enter the boat ,peeling paint on the outside. The under staffed life boat team could not keep up. The Captain finally hired private boats from shore to help with the Maasdam's failing life boats. He also added help from the undertrained buffet staff to help with the tender operation. This continued for the many remaining tendering ports . Not a good thing if you needed the life boats at sea. It gets better, the Maasdam lost power 1000 miles south of Hawaii and was drifting motionless for about an hour, using the side thrusters to steer the ship. At that time I kept thinking, how is that going to work with the life boat problem! The last straw for me was on the last week returning to San Diego, when the inner door to my muster station on deck 6 forward was TIED closed with a large rope for a repair of the outer door. The outer door to my life boat was totally removed, and the inner door held closed with rope and heavy sand bags so no one could use it! How in hell was I to get to my muster station in an emergency! There should have been someone stationed at that door in case it needed to be opened: short staff again. I have NEVER seen an emergency exit door tied closed. SHOCKING. I guess saving money is more important to Holland America Line than safety. The crew on the Maasdam were the saving grace of this cruise. Always quick to smile and help, but again woefully under staffed. Six waiters in the entire buffet working like mad trying to wait tables , serve coffee, and clean dirty dishes off tables. An impossible task that left dirty dishes piled up on tables and overflowing dirty dish bus stations. Daily I was trying to find a clean table. HAL is taking advantage of its help , and not in a good way.It was worse around the rear pool and the Lido terrace with only ONE person to clean up dirty dishes , clean the area around the pool side deck chairs including removing and replacing the used towels. The wood floor at the poolside terrace was stained with food/grease below the outside tables. The bases of those tables were filthy, covered with old food/dirt. That area of the buffet had not been cleaned in a long time. Again dirty dishes piled three levels high at the table busing station. The lack of care was every where. Water leaking on the food from the ceiling of the buffet, wet carpets around the ship constantly being dried out with numerous electric fans. People were constantly complaining about the AC not working in their cabins, the smell of diesel fumes so bad in some cabins on deck 4 and 5, the door was left open with a fan running to clear the smell. People were leaving the ship early in Bora Bora, because of nonworking AC , and the high temperatures in their cabins. I wish there were more honest reviews of this ship on this board. It is obvious some people are loyal to HAL no matter how bad it gets. Save your hard earned money for a cruise line that cares about your safety , not about saving money at yours; and the crews expense. Imagine opening the lid to the toilet in your room seeing the Holland America logo floating on the water close the lid...Push the button! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We had heard about the cruise from friends who did it a couple of years ago and it sounded great and they wanted to go again. We did. Overall it was a fantastic experience for us. It is a lot of days at sea but we managed to handle it. ... Read More
We had heard about the cruise from friends who did it a couple of years ago and it sounded great and they wanted to go again. We did. Overall it was a fantastic experience for us. It is a lot of days at sea but we managed to handle it. Laying by the pool for me and reading most of the time, for the wife, activities here and there. We had only one day of real rain in 33. Seas were very calm, worst was 2 days before the return to San Diego. She was unhappy with the type of activities overall as she was not keen on the number of activities that were aimed at over 70 types and the lack of movement oriented activities. There was no Karioke, not type of dance lessons other than hula/polynesian and the music in the lounges tended to be late 40 - 60 era. Cooking demos were interesting but short. The only more "modern" stuff was in the crows nest after the shows and the stuff on tape was a waste. The DJ just sat and made sure the tape didn't stop. The nights the band played upstairs was really good. Surprise gig by the RaveOns was just what we waited for. More of that needed. Shows were ok but accordian, violin and over the hill gymnist not what you want in entertainment, the RaveOns were the best act. We ate in the dining room most times and found the food really good and the service was the best we've had on 8 cruises. Very impressed with the executive chef Peter and would even try to find out what ship he was on next. He really made the attempt to meet you and get input and his attention to details was evident in the food. We ate anytime dining but tried to get the same table/servers every night and it made a huge difference. Room was fine, we had no problems with flooding or temperature though many on the same deck (4) did. The ship is definitely in need of a refresh and we heard they were trying to sell it. Not impressed with the cruise director or shoreside support. Very impressed with dining room crew, so-so service at the Pinnacle. 2nd time was better. Islands visited were interesting and we had some great excursions. Bora Bora we took one of Patricks tours, otherwise most were through the ship and were good. Tendering was a pain due to breakdowns, many people taking hours to get off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was my Number 1 bucket list trip. The itinerary was perfect but the ageing ship presented many plumbing issues, some cabins were flooded and a few unlucky passengers had to be moved several times. Bathroom flushing issues were taken ... Read More
This was my Number 1 bucket list trip. The itinerary was perfect but the ageing ship presented many plumbing issues, some cabins were flooded and a few unlucky passengers had to be moved several times. Bathroom flushing issues were taken care of in a timely manner. One deck had problems with no air conditioning. One of the two hot tubs was closed for most of the 33 days ..I mainly ate at the Lido buffet which served a variety of entrees and sides and the food was moist as long as you got there early. Dining room service is always slow. I had a lunch and a dinner in the Pinnacle,and was disappointed with the quality of the food. Fish was dry and the cioppino featured halibut that I couldn't pierce with a fork. Service was excellent. Desserts were always plentiful and the pastries were great. The WWII crowd loved the entertainment which featured a harmonica player, an accordion player, a magician, a comic, a violinist, and a former Olympic gymnast. Different movies were featured daily and could be viewed on the TV the next day. I did enjoy the daily Cooking demonstrations and the presentations on Gauguin. I chose this line for the itinerary but the steep single supplement was tough on my pocket. A majority of the ports were tendered, which presented many issues for the aged crowd. The first two ports were tendering fiascos due to mechanical issues that we were granted a one hour open bar from the captain. I would not sail this ship again, and rumor has it that it has been sold and is getting a total rebuild. This was my third HAL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
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