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213 Holland America Hawaii Cruise Reviews

Great trip! Beautiful ports and wonderful water experience. Mathew in the Culinary Center was a treasure! Best I have seen in several cruises. Location guide in the beginning was Kenoah, a native of Hawaii who shared more ... Read More
Great trip! Beautiful ports and wonderful water experience. Mathew in the Culinary Center was a treasure! Best I have seen in several cruises. Location guide in the beginning was Kenoah, a native of Hawaii who shared more information than one could imagine from history to personal tales! Unfortunately he left the ship mid cruise and was replaced by someone who had information but no personality. A great loss! This ship is in need of some TLC. We had no problems with our cabin, but many others did. Plumbing issues and A/C issues were frequent topics of conversation. HAL has apparently decided that a librarian is no longer needed. I hear rumors that they are planning to remove the libraries all together. I hope I am wrong! Shore excursions in Polynesia were great! We did a couple boat trips with snorkeling and beach time. I was surprised that the snorkeling was in shallow water which was a real treat since I am a non-swimmer. I wish they had advertised the shallow water part, I am sure more would have signed up. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
On March 4, 2017, my wife and I disembarked from an 18 Day round trip cruise from San Diego, CA. to Hawaii aboard the Holland America cruise ship ms Westerdam. First let me tell you what we liked about our journey, because I also ... Read More
On March 4, 2017, my wife and I disembarked from an 18 Day round trip cruise from San Diego, CA. to Hawaii aboard the Holland America cruise ship ms Westerdam. First let me tell you what we liked about our journey, because I also want to let you know what we DID NOT like, and why we were very disappointed in this overall cruise experience. The 2 young men, Rozi and Nana, that took care of our cabin were outstanding and treated us with respect and made us feel like VIPs. The Cruise Director Simon and his Assistant Taylor were also outstanding. They genuinely enjoyed their position, and worked very hard at entertaining the passengers. The nightly shows were very entertaining, especially Viviana Guzman and Rob Watson. Our dining room waiter, Riris, was very professional, and accommodating to all of our wants and needs. We booked our cruise through CostCo Travel. We had originally booked a Balcony Stateroom, Stateroom Room # 5076. During the time we first made our reservations on March 18, 2016, until January 11, 2017 my wife’s medical conditions deteriorated to the point where she now required a Mobility Scooter. We contacted CostCo Travel to inquire about getting a handicap room large enough to accommodate the Mobility Scooter . Unfortunately, NO handicap rooms were available. We had CostoCo Travel further inquire if there was someplace other than in our room to park the scooter since there was not sufficient room in our cabin to park it. At this point we were told NO, and the only option was for a larger stateroom. When I inquired about the upgrade, I was told it would cost an additional $ 3760.00. At first I declined, thinking I would just have to dismantle the scooter to store it in the room every night. The scooter comes apart into 5 pieces. I really didn’t think the additional cost was a good value for the little extra space provided, however my wife convinced me to upgrade to the Signature suite. So Now we are aboard the ship in a $10,767.66 Signature Suite # 8058 with a scooter. On our way to our cabin after the Vista Lounge show, and what do we see. Two scooters parked in the forward elevator area. We were told that there were NO areas where we could park a scooter outside of our cabin, yet here are 2 scooters, and we paid an additional $3,760.66 for a larger room for us to park our scooter inside the cabin. I was very disappointed with the service in the Lido Market. I was hoping to get some assistance with getting food for my handicapped wife. Why aren’t trays available for people to use to pick up their food in one trip instead of having to make several trips through the lines to get ones food? Not once did I receive assistance carrying several plates for me and my wife to the table. The Lido Waiters seemed more interested in filling glasses with tea and lemonade than assisting folks. I believe there was an exceptional number of a folk with handicaps on board this cruise. We chose this cruise because we live in San Diego, therefore No Airports, and NO Airplane travel required. We didn't realize it was a Senior Cruise until we got on board and got a look at the other guests. Not a problem, we are 75 years old. If I had to guess the average age of the guests on board this cruise, I would say it was 77. Breakfast: For 18 days, there was “LUMPY” and “WATERY” oatmeal, cream-of-wheat , and grits. I’m not a cook, but it quit apparent what was going on. Whoever was making these items was doing it backward. You do NOT pour the hot water into the pot of dry oatmeal, cream-of-wheat , and grits, but you stir the oatmeal, cream-of-wheat , and grits into the pot of HOT water to prevent Lumps. Because the dry ingredients did NOT absorb the liquid properly, the mixture was watery. We don’t eat eggs every day for breakfast at home, so we applied the same rule to the cruise. The days I ordered an omelet, I received what looked more like a scrambled eggs. When the cook went to flip the omelet it just fell apart. I don’t know what they mixed into the omelet batter, but it was obvious there was something in there besides just eggs. The egg batter looked clabbered, and also tasted strange. Lunch: We are soup for lunch people so we were looking forward to a nice tasty bowl of soup during the cruise. I don’t know if the cook thought he was making GOURMET soups, but his concoctions were terrible. You don’t mess with Chicken Noodle Soup, it does NOT NEED anything added to it, just serve tasty chicken noodle soup. The same goes for chicken with wild rice. Beef barley if done right doesn’t need anything else added. The worst was the “Navy Bean Soup” Why would anyone puree all the beans and call it soup. On the other side Broccoli soup taste much better as Broccoli-Cheese soup. Pureed broccoli in a cream base is BLAH! Diner: If you are going to serve fish, you need to have a cook that knows how to cook fish. Over cooked fish is unacceptable. The salmon, mahi mahi and other fish that were served were over cooked and dried out. The Mexican Food served on the Friday we docked in Mexico was SO BAD, I couldn’t believe it was being served. You would have been better off going to CostCo and purchased their ready made burritos and enchiladas heated them up and served them. I have to question the ability of the cooks you hire. I have lived in San Diego for over 50 years, so Mexican Food is something we have frequently. The Chicken Marsala I ordered that was on the menu in the main dining was very disappointing. Chicken Marsala is already a tasty gourmet dish, and should not have anything added to it. The dried cranberries that were in the dish I was served diluted the flavor of the Marsala sautéed mushrooms. If the cooks do not know how to cook, they need to at least try following a recipe. Due to the taste and quality of the food served on this cruise, it created problems for my diabetic wife. She had a difficult time finding things to satisfy her TASTE and maintain her blood sugar levels. I sincerely hope someone looks into these matters and does something to correct them. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We were invited to join some friends on this cruise. Since my partner hates to fly and this left from our Hometown of San Diego-we decided to give it at try. We are 2 star Mariners and although we've been on many cruises but never ... Read More
We were invited to join some friends on this cruise. Since my partner hates to fly and this left from our Hometown of San Diego-we decided to give it at try. We are 2 star Mariners and although we've been on many cruises but never one with so many sea days and we were apprehensive. We booked a balcony VB4166. The room is standard but the veranda is twice as large as the others on the upper promenade ( not including Neptune Suites) as we enjoy entertaining and spending time out there. We were unable to spend much time out there as the weather was very windy at times on the way to HI but when we were able there was maintenance going on directly below us and on the aft Lido deck. It was very annoying. They called and offered us earplugs which we considered laughable. In the end they did give us a credit off our bill which was very welcome. Early dining was okay. We were seated at a table of ten and lucked out with our table mates.I considered the menu to have little variation ( the first 3 nights-peppered tenderloin was offered). If you don't like cilantro or fish there isnt much to choose from, Our servers were very nice but not really personable and the food was mediocre many nights. Wine steward was really seen. Our room stewards were excellent and the bar staff on the Lido deck were terrific! Ocean bar too. Overall we enjoyed this cruise and even though we are seniors (69 &73) I would say that most passengers were much older and less mobile than most. if you're looking for a younger crowd and late entertainment check out a different cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose this cruise due to destination and because we got a good deal price wise. Our cabin was tiny and ill arranged but guess that goes with the great price. Our senior room steward was Tutu and he was wonderful. Very efficient and ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to destination and because we got a good deal price wise. Our cabin was tiny and ill arranged but guess that goes with the great price. Our senior room steward was Tutu and he was wonderful. Very efficient and intuitive and he somehow remembered everyone's name on the first day! Food on Lido and in main dining room surprisingly lacked the quality we are accustomed to on our cruises. Meats were tough and tasteless and there were few vegetable choices in the "Bistro" section of the Lido. The "Asian" and "Italian" sections of the Lido were however outstanding. Desserts were lackluster and saved only buy Ice Cream! Even sandwiches were disappointing -- breads not fresh and the crust on all of them were tough. I heard this from several other people so its not just me. Shops, Ship Offices and clubs and bistros were located on lower levels of ship decks so there were fewer cabins available on lower decks for those of us who tend to get seasick. Ships staff and services were all wonderful! I will not choose this ship again. I prefer the old style Maasdam/Zandaam size and layout. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Celebrating 50 years of marriage. Wanted an adult cruise, few kids. we haven't cruised in 25 years so things change. Most people on this cruise were older, 70's plus, and many were physically challenged. We are "young ... Read More
Celebrating 50 years of marriage. Wanted an adult cruise, few kids. we haven't cruised in 25 years so things change. Most people on this cruise were older, 70's plus, and many were physically challenged. We are "young 70's" and were pretty bored. First five days were at sea. Not a lot of entertainment. BB King Allstars were fantastic, main shows not so much. Service onboard was exceptional. Our cabin stewards (DoDo and SoSo) were outstanding. Wait staff and food service staff were fantastic. Only complaints I had were they ran out of Crown Royal half way through the cruise???? There was one waiter pouring coffee on the Lido deck so you might as well plan on serving yourself in the morning. Breakfast was nothing special, eggs, bacon etc. Made to order eggs were very good and cooked to perfection. Main dining room we did not care for. Breakfast was cold when served, eggs were very runny and bacon was not cooked enough. Couldn't get any coffee there either. Commented on the survey card sent to our room. Head waiter apologized and assured us it wouldn't happen again. Next morning, cold breakfast etc. We were disappointed in the food overall. I would compare it to Golden Corral. It was always hot but not much variety. All the breads were very crusty and tough. Very hard to bite into for us older folks. Not much choice for desserts. As I said earlier it has been some time since our last cruise and we remembered the lavish buffets and meals. We took a couple shore excursions and we enjoyed them very much. Only complaint was there were no bathroom facilities on board and no arrangements to stop anywhere. Not a good idea to feed "old folks" a big breakfast and then stick them on a bus for hours. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Having long wanted to visit Hawaii, and disinclined to take any more flights than necessary, I saw this as a perfect opportunity to escape some of winter. Additionally, we have a Navy Seal grandson stationed at San Diego, so the two ... Read More
Having long wanted to visit Hawaii, and disinclined to take any more flights than necessary, I saw this as a perfect opportunity to escape some of winter. Additionally, we have a Navy Seal grandson stationed at San Diego, so the two days before and one day after allowed time to catch up, as well as to enjoy the city. The only downside was the horrendous music festival on March 4-5, whose sound penetrated our adjoining hotel's walls. I have no problem with other people choosing their music, but do not like being kept awake by what amounted to a public nuisance. We enjoyed dinner at Little Italy, and the entire waterfront area. Boarding was badly handled due to long lines at check-in because there was only one person doing initial ID checks on the close to two thousand boarding passengers. Once past this initial bottleneck, everything went swiftly and smoothly. Debarkation was very smooth and efficient. MDR service was traditional HAL quality, menu selections were good - and well served. Entertainment was also traditional HAL - not exciting, but reasonable - except for the over-produced cast shows: the singers and dancers were talented, but the productions were pretentious. We had a couple of minor problems with stateroom: air conditioning and toilet - but they were competently addressed when reported. If you enjoy being at sea and courteous, friendly service, and good food - but do not require endless go-go entertainment, this itinerarynnis ideal. If you require much external stimulation, you might want to think,of other lines. We enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We were interested in a warm weather cruise with plenty of sea days. Usually cruise with Celebrity But this was our 4th cruise on HAL The ship is a good size & tastefully decorated except for a couple of ghastly ornate benches near ... Read More
We were interested in a warm weather cruise with plenty of sea days. Usually cruise with Celebrity But this was our 4th cruise on HAL The ship is a good size & tastefully decorated except for a couple of ghastly ornate benches near some elevators. The lounge areas were nice & comfy. Entertainment was varied. The BB King show was great! There were usually 3 shows per evening with a couple nights off ; Some of the lectures were interesting & some so so;. Good movies but poor viewing area. At least the movies could be watched the next day on the cabin tv. ; There is a DVD player in the cabin & DVDS may be borrowed @ no charge from Guest Relations ; There is an American Test Kitchen that was a cooking demo. It appeared to be very popular just not for me.; THE BAND was excellent & had frequent shows;. There was the usual trivia shows & bingo .; Several dance classes for tango.cha-cha, line dancing, waltz. Several bars but our fav was the Ocean Bar Food above average but Celebrity may be a bit better , WE ate dinner in MDR & Lido Marketplace. Great crew!!! Comfortable cabins but dreadful lighting around vanity/ desk. BEST DISEMBARKATION EVER ! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We scheduled this cruise because it gave us six days on four islands (with an overnight in Honolulu) which seemed to balance out the sea days. It also included a night passing of Kilauea with the spectacular sight of lava entering the sea ... Read More
We scheduled this cruise because it gave us six days on four islands (with an overnight in Honolulu) which seemed to balance out the sea days. It also included a night passing of Kilauea with the spectacular sight of lava entering the sea the highlight of the cruise for me. We have sailed with HAL before on other long cruises and knew that it would be an older crowd (I think only 8 children) with more sedate activities and that was not a concern. We met a lot of interesting people while sailing, often folks who had sailed the same itinerary many times. The Westerdam itself was a very nice ship though larger than we prefer. Considering it is about to go in for refurbishing, it was attractive and in very good condition, not too worn. Our cabin (6046) was behind the elevators but not at all noisy. Our room stewards (Tutu and Gede) were excellent; they knew our names right away, figured out our schedules quickly but worked around days when we spent extra time in the cabin, and were extremely helpful when we had a scooter problem. The balcony even got cleaned off from the collected sea salt several times during sea days. Front desk and shore excursion staff were also quite good. You can tell that there have been cuts to staff in the Lido and dining room as service was not what it once was--but we were usually very well satisfied. In the Lido I saw staff going out of their way to assist some of the many passengers with disabilities--and several times a crew member would carry my plate and drink to the table for me. It was, however, often hard to find someone to clear plates or fill water, especially at dinner. We had open seating dining and this worked well for us since we were willing to share a table. We typically had breakfast and lunch in the Lido where the selection and quality of food were good. I especially liked eggs cooked to order and sushi availability. Hamburgers by the pool and pizza at the Italian station were also good. Soft ice cream availability by the pool was missed. Room service for breakfast was disappointing since the menu is now much more limited--but we did discover that if you wrote something on the order sheet that wasn't on the menu (like bagels and cream cheese) they would provide it. Menu for dinner in the dining room seemed more limited than it used to be, especially the first week, but the food was good. The Lido dinner menu was similar but with the hot appetizers and cold soups missing. One disappointment was that on an 18 day cruise we only had lobster available one night (it was excellent!). Even in the Pinnacle Grill (pay extra restaurant) you pay extra extra for lobster. Perhaps that is why it often seemed almost empty. We had lunch in the Pinnacle one afternoon and enjoyed the quiet there. Our first evening we ate in Canneloni, the extra pay Italian restaurant up on the Lido deck, but find the new menu not nearly as much to our liking as the old. Service was excellent. For us days at sea are for reading, relaxing, talking to people and attending shipboard activities. HAL seems to be cutting back on libraries which is a shame. Entertainment in the showroom was varied and enjoyable, especially the magician and floutist. Unfortunately, if you didn't get there 45 minutes before the early show you wound up with a seat behind a pole or no seat at all. If there was only one show for the night it was even worse. This was the biggest complaint I had with the cruise--seats filling up long before the events and full rooms--which to me is a sign that there was not enough going on from which to choose. This was the case for the showroom, movies, trivia, afternoon tea, cooking demos, pretty much everything. This makes it even more annoying when some people insist on "saving" the better part of a row of seats for friends who come much later. Teas are now in the Ocean Bar--and I miss them being in the dining room (at least some of the time). Educational talks were not as good as I expected from past experience in that they were often not related to the Hawaiian itinerary (really--the Bermuda Triangle when you are mid-Pacific?). The talk as we sailed by the lava flow at midnight was only available in the Crows Nest but the sound should have been broadcast on stateroom TVs for those like us who wanted to watch in PJs. The group of Hawaiian entertainers who were onboard as we sailed to Hawaii were charming and did a very nice job with making leis, teaching hula, etc. The pool area was not often too crowded to find a spot and was enjoyable. Sometimes the pool was like a wave machine but the hot tubs were usable most of the time. Shore excursions did a good job of making things do-able for passengers with disabilities (thank you Debbie). At tender ports the crew members were wonderful helping passengers on and off the tenders in rough waters. We did two privately arranged excursions (Chief's Luau in Honolulu and Marylou's Tours in Hilo) that were reasonable in cost compared to HAL tours. Marylou's was exceptional and I would recommend her to anyone visiting Kona or Hilo. HAL's Pearl Harbor / Arizona tour and Pali Coast tour in Honolulu were both good but had much more overlap than was evident from the descriptions. Blue Hawaiian helicopter tour and time sitting along the nearby beach were a great way to spend a day in Kauai. A Trilogy Catamaran tour in Maui was not a good choice for anyone in need of shade or who wound up in the back of the vessel where you could not hear the narration. Two hours mid-day on the water in the sun was too much for many on board. It also was too high in price when purchased through the ship--there were definitely better and more reasonably priced options available on-shore--but we did see whales!! I wish we had done another Marylou tour in Kona as that had more personalized guidance at the sites (Coffee museum and store, Painted Church, and a Refuge along the beach) but our ship arranged tour was good as we went from one place to another. I very much enjoyed this cruise and think it is a wonderful way to see Hawaii. In spite of some corner cutting with staffing HAL continues to provide a good experience for the price. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We had only taken a 6 day cruise to the Bahamas previously, so felt we were really stepping out to do an 18 day cruise. First of all, we could not praise our room steward, Aziz, and his partner Dan enough. They were friendly, competent, ... Read More
We had only taken a 6 day cruise to the Bahamas previously, so felt we were really stepping out to do an 18 day cruise. First of all, we could not praise our room steward, Aziz, and his partner Dan enough. They were friendly, competent, & personable. Our verandah suite was comfy with even more storage than we needed. It seemed we were always eating! While some of the lunches & dinners in Lido were "so-so" (and I'd agree that the fish was overcooked on several occasions), the breakfasts and desserts were top-notch! We also enjoyed the Dive-In and the taco bar. We ate at Pinnacle Grill for lunch which was good but, again, the dessert was the star of the show. We found the dining room to be too formal for our more casual selves at dinner but had good breakfasts there on several occasions. It was a treat to order room-service coffee every morning which arrived minutes after the order was placed. The room-service lunches were also excellent. We're now missing soft-serve ice cream and our nightly cookie snack! Since we had relatives to tour us around Oahu for two days (Punchbowl, USS Arizona, Buddhist temple, blowholes and more, plus a wonderful time at the Polynesian Cultural Center including a luau and the evening show), we skipped a shore excursion in Kauai, preferring to shop & lay on the beach. Our whale watch in Lahaina was fun. We could not get as close to the whales as we do on whale watches in Boston, but the flip side is that we saw so many...and some only 200 feet or so from our balcony on the ship! We did the submarine dive in Kona (fun!) and had a wonderful naturalist, Kent, for a tour of waterfalls, a lava tube cave & black sand beach on Hilo. That excursion was enhanced by Kent's sharing his exceptional knowledge about Hawaiian shrubs, trees, flowers, and animals. And I enjoyed seeing my first mongoose in the wild! Probably the biggest thrill was viewing the bright orange lava and plumes of steam from the active volcano under a cloudless, star-studded sky at midnight from our verandah. A forever memory! We attended the John Denver tribute show which was excellent! We also enjoyed the Westerdam singers and dancers, as well as the crew show. We devoted a few afternoons to sitting by the pool with margaritas and beer. I might have worked off a few cruise calories participating in the On Deck for a Cause walk--cold and overcast on several of the days back but then you can't change the weather. And I took two hula classes on-deck! The friendliness, work ethic, and helpfulness of the crew cannot be over-emphasized--they were fantastic! As we were waiting to depart Ensenada for San Diego, I enjoyed watching all the glittering lights on the hillsides...and seeing the crew straggle back by ones, twos, and threes from a night in town--I was glad they got some free time after all their hard work! The entire cruise was a great experience. We had so much fun and all our friends are envious. ;) We would do it again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My mom and I booked this cruise through Craft Cruises as a knitting cruise - so we didn't specifically choose this ship, it just happened to be the ship and the itinerary associated with the craft trip. Having said that, HAL exceeded ... Read More
My mom and I booked this cruise through Craft Cruises as a knitting cruise - so we didn't specifically choose this ship, it just happened to be the ship and the itinerary associated with the craft trip. Having said that, HAL exceeded my expectations in every way. I've cruised with NCL, Disney, and Cunard, but this was my first time with HAL; HAL is now my favorite line (maybe tied with Disney). The food and service, especially, were excellent. I'm a vegetarian, and I enjoy cooking and eating exotic / gourmet food. I was particularly impressed with the variety of vegetarian options in the MDR. When we booked, I was concerned because the Westerdam is due to be overhauled next month. So I was particularly impressed that the ship seemed to be in excellent shape, no more worn or dirty than any other ship I've cruised. Because we had knitting classes each sea day, and other group activities, I didn't get to try out any of the ship's entertainment or enrichment activities. I did visit the spa several times, and it was comparable to most other ships. I would absolutely sail with HAL again, and in particular, I'd love to see the Westerdam after it's overhaul. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
thought with 11 sea days there would be a lot of onboard activities....there were if you wanted to buy art, buy wine, buy spa treatments, buy a tour of the kitchen, buy old t-shirts, buy next cruise.....buy....buy...buy..- means bye - bye ... Read More
thought with 11 sea days there would be a lot of onboard activities....there were if you wanted to buy art, buy wine, buy spa treatments, buy a tour of the kitchen, buy old t-shirts, buy next cruise.....buy....buy...buy..- means bye - bye HAL....ciao ! Cruise director and staff were good looking.......no other discernible assets or skills. No people skills....afraid to interact with passengers.....could not even handle a sail-away or deck party. I was longing for a hokey disco night or country and western night....even a Hawaiian night....IT WAS A CRUISE TO HAWAII AFTERALL....no such luck with these dim bulbs. They get an A+ for their sense of self-importance......"we have been all around the world, you know"..............too bad you did not learn anything in your travels LIDO salad bar and LIDO omelets best thing on the ship....service from all the waiters and stewards in he LIDO buffet was excellent.....main dining room was average minus Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise at the last minute just to get away from our unseasonably cold weather. We couldn't believe how Holland America had changed since last fall. There were hardly any books in the library, and the ones that were ... Read More
We chose this cruise at the last minute just to get away from our unseasonably cold weather. We couldn't believe how Holland America had changed since last fall. There were hardly any books in the library, and the ones that were there were mostly Fantasy and SCI_FI - not our "cup of tea". They have no attendant and the books are placed "haphazardly" on the shelves. They had changed the WIFI and one now has to purchase unlimited for the whole cruise - I think it was $179, or close to that for 17 days. As we just wanted to check our email, that sounded pretty steep! We did inquire if as 5 star we would get $55 off,(it still lists under 5 star benefits that each 5 star gets half price of $55 for 100 mins) but were told that we would have to purchase 2 packages (his & her's) to get that off - and why would you do that when one gives you unlimited minutes-DAH?? The band is even smaller and there are no wind instruments, any longer, and definitely no dance band-(though that has been gone for 2 years) and as a result we only had 5 nights out of 17 to dance as the band was required for the show the other nights. There were also no dance hosts. The on board (free) activities were cut way back - no dance lessons, the lecturers subject were boring and the lecturers , though pleasant people, were not good lecturers. We had 11 sea days and in the past that number of sea days would have brought a couple of first rate lecturers and interesting subjects - 4 lectures on the laws of space and another 3 on laws of the Poles did not keep an audience. There was no boat building contest, no welcome aboard lunch or reception for long serving Mariners, on departing, and we could go on and on. However the Holland America crew still keep us coming back. They seem to try and compensate for all that has recently been cut and their smiling faces shine through. They are all so pleasant and helpful. We did not feel that the food choice or quality of food had changed and even though we were shocked at the other changes we will probably sail with them again as their itineraries are so great, but we certainly will be looking further afield. Happy sailing, McSweeney Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Chose this for many (10) sea days. Mistake. Very little to do in daytime. No bridge instructor, no craft instructor, same dull games, poor lecturers who read script. TV only Sports, MSNBC, FOX, BBC. Too cold and windy to walk outside. ... Read More
Chose this for many (10) sea days. Mistake. Very little to do in daytime. No bridge instructor, no craft instructor, same dull games, poor lecturers who read script. TV only Sports, MSNBC, FOX, BBC. Too cold and windy to walk outside. Bring your Kindle books. Best were the Filipino and Indonesian staff and the company performances very good with memorable visuals never have I seen on a ship. Dining room was tops with many choices though they had trouble with special requests and serving the soup hot and ice cream still hard frozen. The Lido at meal times was not pleasant with no clear line order. The fish was very good even though mostly from frozen. Nicely cooked. They said the salmon they served was caught by crew in Alaska last summer. You can order several lobster tails on the gala night. The beef was always tender and rib roast cooked to perfection. And I enjoyed the strong coffee. Become a Carnival Corp shareholder (100 shares) for a handy shipboard credit. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Sailing out of my home port was attractive and I'm now four star with HAL. The service, per usual, was outstanding, but some changes are worth noting. No more librarian is bad news and whoever is now responsible at the home office ... Read More
Sailing out of my home port was attractive and I'm now four star with HAL. The service, per usual, was outstanding, but some changes are worth noting. No more librarian is bad news and whoever is now responsible at the home office needs to take a few collection lessons. Books were disorganized and using the location specialist as an occasional organizer just does not fly. The ship singers and dancers were outstanding and the newer shows were great, but 'Ever After' needs to be permanently shelved. The imported talent were a mixed bag. The Hawaiian ambassadors got great reviews and the magician was a fast talking, card sharking guy. I'm very sorry I missed the night when he used pomeranians ';cause I might have liked him a bit better with some warm fuzzies around. The comic was so-so at best -- too much 'insult' humor. Cruise Director Erin was lovely and seemed to keep things moving effectively and I truly enjoyed hearing the captain giving our bearings and talking about the 'wedder' every day, but I'd like to have seen him around and about more often. Another sad thing was that none of the outstanding lectures were recorded. We were quite able to see all the HAL sales items on TV, but the outstanding lectures are now a one time only offering. I'd much rather have seen them again than another shot at buying from the spa or the shops. BAD policy, HAL. I may have to head for ships that value lectures rather than bingo in the future. HAL undoubtedly knows what SELLS, but some of us need IQ offerings as well. Oddly, I felt that the food in the dining room had improved since my last cruise and that was great news. As a solo sailer, the Lido is usually purgatory requiring multiple trips to the buffet and begging for table space, but the FOOD was consistently GOOD in dining room and Lido. I did not do either of the specialty restaurants. The band has lost too many members, but the five who were (2 keyboards, 2 guitars, 1 drummer) did a yeoman's job satisfying the fox trotting dancers in the Ocean Bar and all the different imported talents. Bravo, them! The excursions, particularly the Dolphin Experience were in Puerto Vallarta were well researched and enjoyable, and disembarkation was a breeze. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We have enjoyed several Holland America cruises, and were our friends who had moved to San Diego invited us to join them. We looked forward to 11 sea days of relaxation and the possibility of playing bridge with other interested players, ... Read More
We have enjoyed several Holland America cruises, and were our friends who had moved to San Diego invited us to join them. We looked forward to 11 sea days of relaxation and the possibility of playing bridge with other interested players, plus 5 days in 4 Hawaiian islands. (Because of an unexpected tropical storm, we missed Kawaii, but appreciated the captain's keeping us safe. HA adjusted the schedule to add a day in Oahu, provided free telephone calls for those of us who had booked shore excursions with independent agencies, and automatically credited passengers who had booked cancelled excursions through HA -- all very professional). Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly, with reasonable waits to board and disembark. Disembarkation was unusually fast in the San Diego port, As noted in the "professional review," the Westerdam is unique in its providing a high ratio of space, relative to a moderate number of passengers. This gives us plenty of room to walk the Promenade deck (3) and upper deck (10) without crowding, or even having to walk up/down stairs while completing a circle (unlike some larger ships). There is also ample room in the main entertainment theater (no reservations needed, but come early for good seats), and various public areas where relaxation and sea views are easy. We liked our Verandah Suite cabin (reviewed below), and the cabin service was outstanding, and almost equaled by the great service in the main dining room and Lido Market deck (the best Lido Deck food and service we've had in 10+ cruises). The main dining rooms were lovely, and we were given a nice table near the water for the early dinner (see picture). Food was very good, and if you didn't like an item you ordered, the very friendly/efficient server was glad to bring something you would like better. We also enjoyed two dinners in the Pinnacle Grill, which had outstanding food and service. Room service provided a good menu at all times, very prompt and friendly service, and was complimentary for full menus, unlike some other cruise lines that have recently started adding service charges for room service. We particularly enjoyed room service breakfasts served at our convenience on days with early shore excursions. We also appreciated the cruise line providing us with space and equipment for duplicate bridge during the 11 sea days (out of 17) on the cruise, although it took a lot of "pushing" by bridge players and three professional bridge "directors" who were passengers and generously volunteered their services for free. It is hoped that future Holland America cruises will automatically include duplicate bridge, which is increasingly important to many cruise passengers. Entertainment in the main theater was not as good as previous HA cruises. With a couple of exceptions, the entertainers were mediocre. The smaller lounges had better talent, especially BB King and Adagio. One final comment is that even through some heavy seas, the ship's stability was very good, even in the rear dining rooms and our cabin, which was towards the rear. We would happily sail the Westerdam again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We've been sailing with HAL since 1978 and the food, service and entertainment were excellent. We did not sail on the 24 day collectors voyage but only the 17 day San Diego to Hawaii and back to San Diego leg. It was a wonderful ... Read More
We've been sailing with HAL since 1978 and the food, service and entertainment were excellent. We did not sail on the 24 day collectors voyage but only the 17 day San Diego to Hawaii and back to San Diego leg. It was a wonderful vacation especially with the Hawaiian Troupe that was brought on ship from San Diego to Hilo. They were terrific entertainers and crafts people. We did have a few small problems that when brought to the attention of the Front Office, were fixed immediately. We met wonderful people, ate delicious food that was served with not just one smile, but many smiles and were eager to please us in any way they could. The people who complained about service and food on this ship complained about EVERYTHING. - there was just no pleasing them. I ran across one passenger who complained that one of the doors in the lido was put in the wrong place and was upsetting her. Need I say more? We ate breakfast in the dining room and the lido, lunch in the lido, had tea in the afternoon and dinner in the dining room and also both restaurants. The food everywhere was delicious with hot things hot and cold items cold. They were presented beautifully by wonderful staff, some of the best we've ever had. The only (negative?) comment I have is I would not know the Captain if I fell over him! He was only known to me by his voice over the PA system and not physically present around the ship, or introduced at the beginning of the cruise with his staff as on prior cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
While the Westerdam is not one of the newest ship of the fleet, it certainly is one of the friendliest! The staff and crew were unbelievably wonderful and made us feel like family. We chose this particular voyage because there were ... Read More
While the Westerdam is not one of the newest ship of the fleet, it certainly is one of the friendliest! The staff and crew were unbelievably wonderful and made us feel like family. We chose this particular voyage because there were multiple days at sea and the Hawaiian destination. Due to bad weather, our itinerary was changed, but the Captain took advantage of it by allowing us to see the volcano up close (relatively speaking). Probably the best food we've had on any HAL cruise we been on, and generous portions. The new Test Kitchen was a real plus for me...not only in attending presentations, but also in participating in a hands-on class. The Hawaiian 'ambassadors' on hand were excellent!!! I learned on to play the ukulele, make a fresh lei, and make two different bracelets. These ambassadors also taught passengers how to hula. The four-person team also did a number of presentations. I cannot say enough positive things about that team! As always, the ship's singers and dancers were excellent and I felt that they use more technology in their shows which made them even more fun. The Filipino and Indonesian crews worked very hard on their shows, but I have to say, the Indonesian one was a riot! While excellent talent, it was the humor that stoled the show. My only complaint of the cruise was having to use the ferries in Cablo San Lucas along with HAL tenders. I didn't think the Cablo pilots were as careful. Going in and out of San Diego is a breeze. With the cruise terminal so close to everything, passengers can easily get from one place to another. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
SWe had a nice trip to Hawaii. Be ready for a long time at Sea. We were busy in the carvers room as we joined on in a carvers group. However, I think there is enough to keep one busy on this ship. It has a nice active schedule for ... Read More
SWe had a nice trip to Hawaii. Be ready for a long time at Sea. We were busy in the carvers room as we joined on in a carvers group. However, I think there is enough to keep one busy on this ship. It has a nice active schedule for everyone. This was not a trip for children as we saw only about 4 total on the adventure. Although I am sure they enjoyed their excursions in Hawaii. You might have to do your own plans as the ship was lacking in the excursion category. Ricky's Tour in Hilo was great for getting to see that area and the Volcano also. If you have time go to Paradise Cove for that dinner and show. Their bus will take you back to the port. You have to take a taxi to the Mona Loa Hotel for starters but that went well also. That bus reserved us four seats in front. So kind of them and easy for our journey. This was all done before .we left the states. Our Pacific Whale Watch we booked before hand too. We had to change the date due to our ship changing ports but that went well. The Whale watch on the ships excursions was cancelled all together. The weather was fine... A little work on your own and you should enjoy the islands. Although I always find one day is not enough for exploring. We'd change the food choices to more Italian and American foods The ship is gorgeous and the rooms were fine, beds also. Our Stewards were fantastic and knew our names. Fun and friendly ship and people. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
My wife and I (a senior couple) chose a back-to-back on the Westerdam in January to Mexico and Hawaii to try to get away from the cold, wind, and rain of a Victoria January. We had sailed once before with the line, on the old ... Read More
My wife and I (a senior couple) chose a back-to-back on the Westerdam in January to Mexico and Hawaii to try to get away from the cold, wind, and rain of a Victoria January. We had sailed once before with the line, on the old "Noordam" in 2003. That trip had been a disaster - the ship was long after its "Best Before" date (and was retired within a year). We had been promised an early dinner seating, but were given 8:30 pm with no option to change on board. The ship was very dusty (we both have dust allergies). I got some sunstroke in St Lucia and the ship's doctor quarantined us both for three days in our 'stateroom', after which she especially was quite sick. Between that trip in 2003 and our latest trip in January on the Westerdam, we have taken around 70 cruises, all on other cruise lines. However, we decided to give Holland America another chance. Sure enough, the Westerdam was also past its "best before" date. Part of our window sill had rotted. Some doors did not close (I even found two toilet cubicles with doors that didn't lock. It turns out the ship will have a refit in March, too late to do us any good. The service was uneven, sometimes very good, sometimes poor. The ship was the second worst we have been on at dealing with my soy and corn allergies, and as a result we left the ship after the two cruises with my right arm completely broken out with eczema. The ship refused to recognize that we were returning passengers, not that we necessarily would have attended their "Mariner" functions, but we should have been invited. The shuffle board was a disgrace - it was impossible to get the rock more than half way to the house! Twice the salmon dish ordered by my wife arrived with the center completely raw. We found that the coffee shop, which offered both ordinary lattes and soy lattes, did not clean the machine properly between the two types. We also found enormous lines to disembark the ship. There were positives - to our surprise, the ship offered a digital workshop, which included excellent lectures on Windows 10. And, when the captain found that, due to high swells, it was not safe to go to all five of the scheduled ports, he scheduled a night time pass within a mile of the place where Kilauea volcano flows into the ocean - a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
From January 7-31, a friend and I spent 24 days aboard Holland America’s Westerdam on a Collectors Cruise to Mexico and Hawaii, followed, three land-days later, by a 15-day cruise through the Panama Canal aboard the Island Princess ... Read More
From January 7-31, a friend and I spent 24 days aboard Holland America’s Westerdam on a Collectors Cruise to Mexico and Hawaii, followed, three land-days later, by a 15-day cruise through the Panama Canal aboard the Island Princess (February 3-18). Below are my thoughts about the two cruise lines. It was apparent on all three cruises that, with the exception of some very weak and generally irrelevant lecturers (topics included the death of Marilyn Monroe and rich LA kids who killed their parents!!), both ships have virtually eliminated all their contracted passenger-activity providers (bridge directors, ballroom dance instructors, etc., even -- on the Princess -- religious personnel). The difference between the two ships was that on Island Princess, Cruise Director Simone Smith and her highly visible and tireless staff (Greg, Hannah, DJ, in particular) made every effort to pick up the slack and provide activities for every fitness level. They offered Zumba, line dancing, ballroom dancing, martini-making demonstrations, sail-away parties, seemingly impromptu demonstrations, contests, and dancing in the Atrium, as well as many other passenger-participation activities. On the Westerdam, on the other hand, the cruise director and her staff were not a highly visible presence on the ship. Physical activities for passengers were virtually non-existent. There was only one free exercise (abs) class a day -- at 7 am. In fact, there were very few activities that didn't either cost money (yoga, speed cycling, bingo) or were geared toward making money (the casino, art and jewelry sales). There were no sail-away parties to speak of. (Really? They can't start a 17-day cruise to Hawaii by handing out a few leis and offering a discounted tropical drink? There was neither live music nor a photographer nor a single member of the cruise director's staff on deck for the sail-away, although there were a few munchies.) In my opinion, the Westerdam staff consistently failed to engage the mentally and physically active 60-70 somethings (and younger) aboard the ship, most of whom probably preferred to balance the excessive eating and drinking on board with some actual physical activity. This was particularly inexcusable on the cruise to Hawaii, which included 10 cool and cloudy sea days that were not conducive to lying by the pool or swimming. Island Princess formal entertainment was also terrific. The in-house shows were Broadway worthy, the in-house musicians were first rate, and the contracted musicians, magicians, comedians, etc. were excellent. Each of the contracted performers also performed one night in one of the lounges in addition to his/her performance in the main theater. This gave passengers who'd missed the first show a second chance to see the performer and also increased the nightly entertainment options. I'm not sure why every ship doesn't do that. Clearly, Island Princess has an exceptional entertainment director and staff as well! Some other comparisons between the Westerdam and Island Princess: The Westerdam had better tasting food in the dining room. Island Princess had a greater variety of dinner selections in the buffet. I loved the salad and taco bars and the burger shop on the Westerdam. The specialty restaurants on the Westerdam were much better than those on the Island Princess. Overall, the Westerdam won in the food categories, although both ships could benefit from offering true low-cal options. The Westerdam room stewards knew our schedule our second day on board and took care of our rooms without us ever seeing them. Also we got the traditional towel animals along with our chocolates every night. Island Princess room stewards were very nice, but required us to put the Please Refresh Room card in the door when we left the cabin, morning and evening. They never did figure out our schedule. And no towel animals were left with our chocolates : ( Neither was a big deal, just worth noting the different attitude toward customer care.) The dining staff on the Westerdam was better. Island Princess clearly required their dining staff to push purchases of specialty drinks and wine tastings, which often seemed intrusive. Also one evening on Island Princess, we were refused a new bottle of wine from our wine package because we had left our punch card in our cabin. (Did they think we were going to jump ship?) The Westerdam wine steward kept track of our wine packages in the dining room and didn't require us to carry a punch card. (Again a minor but telling difference in attitude toward passenger comfort.) The gym on the Westerdam was much bigger and more attractive that the one on Island Princess (which is a good thing since the Westerdam provides few other options to stay fit on this 24-day eating and drinking binge). Island Princess also has blocked off the back of its Promenade Deck to offer more balcony cabins, which means the only way to actually "promenade" around the deck is to cut through the back of the ship. I don't know about the Westerdam's Promenade Deck. I used the treadmill in the gym on that ship. Island Princess has a large movie screen over the outdoor pool, showing movies and concerts during the day, and fairly recent popular movies (with free popcorn!) around 9 pm every night. The Westerdam does not have a movie screen on deck – although it is due for an upgrade this spring. Not sure what that will entail. So, the Westerdam actually beat out the Island Princess in several categories that may matter to you. (Although the differences in those categories were minimal.) But the bottom line for me is that I was bored to tears during the many sea days on the Westerdam and do not intend to ever again choose to cruise on HAL, which I believe is in danger of losing an entire generation of future passengers by catering exclusively to their current very elderly and sedentary passenger base. I had a great time on Island Princess because of the very hard work of the cruise director and her staff and the entertainment director and his staff. I'd be happy to sail on Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We choose this cruise as it fit into our trip to the states with our adult children. This was our 7th cruise but first with Holland America. Our adult children nick named it "Rest-a home-a-dam. We think the spare cabins must ... Read More
We choose this cruise as it fit into our trip to the states with our adult children. This was our 7th cruise but first with Holland America. Our adult children nick named it "Rest-a home-a-dam. We think the spare cabins must have been sold off cheap to the San Diego rest home. we have never seen so many walkers, wheelchairs or mobility scooters. Yes, I know we all get there at some stage but some of these passages expected everyone to move for them. At the buffet it was very hard to get serve as the passage was taken up with vehicles. Some passengers were very rude about it. The ship, carpet in our cabin was dirty, the sheets were thread bare. The food was not up to the usual standards that we have had on other cruise lines. I had an apple pie where the pastry wasn't cooked through. The desserts at the buffet were poor quality. Thank god for the ice cream bar. There was a server at the buffet who didn't know how to carve meat. Nice pieces of roast pork were hacked at. Most of my cooked breakfasts were cold. I gave up and eat fruit and toast. Room serves meals were also delivered cold. Ordered tea for one and that's what I got, not enough hold water to make a second cup, and the cups were small. Not a cruise line I will be looking at in the future. The one bright spot was the comedian, he was enjoyable and we had a good laugh. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Special occasion cruise for us. Handpicked our suite. We have sailed with HAL before to Alaska and the Panama Canal. Anticipated same stellar experience. Off to a great start when boarding process went smoothly. Absolutely wonderful staff ... Read More
Special occasion cruise for us. Handpicked our suite. We have sailed with HAL before to Alaska and the Panama Canal. Anticipated same stellar experience. Off to a great start when boarding process went smoothly. Absolutely wonderful staff ! Extremely clean suite. Unmatched Attention to detail by cabin steward Rozzy. We booked the Mexican Riviera and Hawaiian Islands cruises back-to-back, 25 days! The Westerdam is due for an overhaul very soon and it showed in our cabin's burst ceiling pipe ! We had to swiftly move mid-cruise to a nearby suite of equal amenities but not location. But, OK. HAL had our wet clothing cleaned and pressed, gratis, of course. A little flower arrangement and some chocolate covered strawberries as a consolation from Macy in Guest Services. Thank you very much. Resuming our memorable cruise, we enjoyed the Crow's Nest activities, the wonderful ship's cuisine, meeting new people, a bit of casino action, some sunshine on the vacant 10th Deck...even fog and a couple rough sea days did not deter us from our enjoyment. Captain Smit made the cruise more exciting by maneuvering the Westerdam close-by nighttime lava flows on the islands. His efforts were much appreciated, especially by us, as we returned to our cabin as the ship turned around and watched again from our balcony! We anticipated spending quiet time on our balcony reading and enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail...but the dang pingpong tables above us spoiled it. A few days of that, we had to ask guest services to intervene. It was as if a gymnast was performing above us! :\ they moved one pingpong table. Still the noisy one remained above us. The divine islands our wake, we returned to sea days and the "dam" noise from the pingpong players all afternoon, evening... Finally, with two sea days remaining, we went to Guest Services and told Macy our plight. She made a small $ compensation to our account and a free Pinnacle lunch. HAL tries very hard to please their customers. We will sail HAL again but will definitely speak up sooner if something should go awry. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We have done this cruise previously and found it to be all of the above things as stated. The only suggestion I would have, is it would be nice, and I would be agreeable to pay more if we could have more time at some of the ports. There ... Read More
We have done this cruise previously and found it to be all of the above things as stated. The only suggestion I would have, is it would be nice, and I would be agreeable to pay more if we could have more time at some of the ports. There is so much more to see that 8-12 hours can afford. A very special evening was when the Captain changed our course in order to cruise slowly by the flow of lava into the ocean as we left Hilo after dark. It was spectacular. One thing that bothered me personally on this cruise is that so many people were so negative. Most were people our age (old) and complained about almost everything. I can only conclude they were unhappy to start with. An example, at breakfast in the Lido I heard a lot of complaints that a certain food did not taste like what they had eaten at other places. I thought the food was all tasty and hot, even tho it was not like I have had other places. that, to me, is just part of the fun of traveling is to experience new and different things. We are great fans of the Pinnacle Speciality Dining. The food is superb and the service was flawless, and the remainder of the dining choices were great also. The entertainment was very good, and in a few instances spectacular. While we had done this cruise before we only participated in two land tours, which were also quite satisfactory, in spite of rain at times. There is no question we will cruise again, and again. Holland America is the perfect cruise line for those of us a bit older, and content with experiences geared a bit more in our direction. That is not to say younger people would not enjoy it, it is just a bit of an easier cruise with a lot to choose from on board. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The 17 day cruise to Hawaii was wonderful. It was the first time my wife and I have ever cruised and we both loved it. The staff of the Amsterdam could not have been nicer, more helpful and just as friendly as could be. The food was ... Read More
The 17 day cruise to Hawaii was wonderful. It was the first time my wife and I have ever cruised and we both loved it. The staff of the Amsterdam could not have been nicer, more helpful and just as friendly as could be. The food was always good, with a great selection. The Captain even changed his route to enable us to see the lave flow into the sea at night. The whole package was great! The housekeeping staff kept the room perfect, with chocolates and towel animals every evening and fruit during the day. They also knew our names after the first day. The Staff at the Ocean Bar treated us like family and knew what we were drinking before we sat down. One night one of our waiters made paper flowers for all the women in our group. Entertainment and activities were really very well done and if any one was bored on this cruise it was their own fault. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was our second cruise out of San Diego, and embarkation went very well both times. Disembarkation went well, although it is a long walk to the street, where you have to go if you are using Uber rather than one of the taxis or ... Read More
This was our second cruise out of San Diego, and embarkation went very well both times. Disembarkation went well, although it is a long walk to the street, where you have to go if you are using Uber rather than one of the taxis or shuttles at the pier. We never go to shows on cruises, so I can't comment on those. Food and service in the main dining room was good. Not great, but good. While the menu always had several delicious-sounding appetizers and desserts, more often than not they were seriously under-seasoned for our tastes. On the other hand, the meat, fish, and fowl were always cooked perfectly and were juicy and tender. On the one night they had surf and turf, my wife had two of the 5-ounce lobster tails rather and a filet with her lobster. She was happy! I quickly learned to request a "double order" of any appetizer that looked particular good, because with the exception of the soups the appetizer portions were tiny. One thing I did not like was the way the dining room staff aggressively tried to insist that we order our dessert at the same time we ordered the rest of our meals. We usually did not want dessert by the time we finished our entrees, and if we did we could order them at that time. It may not come as quickly, but it was better than throwing away food we didn't want. We ate most of our breakfasts in the Lido, preferring the cooked-to-order dishes there to the same thing cooked centrally and brought to the tables in batches some time later in the main dining room. The same for lunch. We ate almost all our dinners in the main dining room. Keep in mind that you can order room service from the main dining room menu, not just from the room service menu. It costs nothing, and if you don't feel like dressing up you can have the "gala night" food in your jammies! We never had trouble finding a place to sit without snuggling up to other passengers in the Lido. One thing that made breakfast easier there was that we brought our own trays (purchased at a thrift store). That made it possible to carry our entrees (milk and cereal in my case), coffee, juice, fruit, bread, etc. to the table in one trip rather than four. We ate dinner in the Pinnacle Grill twice. It was $35 each, plus an additional $20 for the 12-ounce lobster tail that my wife ordered one night. The rib-eye steak I had there was unremarkable, but the king crab legs and lobster were superb. The crab legs were on the menu there every night. We did not go on any excursions but I had reserved a car in every port except Kona and Ensenada, so we explored the islands on our own. It was a great choice. The one caveat I have: the rental center in Lahaina (Maui) for National/Enterprise/Alamo runs its last shuttle back to the ship at 4:00 PM and will take only one driver and one passenger from each party on that trip. Since our ship wasn't leaving until 7:30, we just put the car keys in the key drop and took an Uber back to the ship at the end of the day. Service on the ship was excellent. With the exception of the wine attendants, we never had the impression that they were simply trolling for end-of-cruise tips. (Nevertheless, we did tip the wine attendants, because they gave good service in additional to pretending to be our long-lost friends.) The cabin attendants, room service staff, telephone staff, dining room and Lido staff, and everybody else we encountered did a terrific job. The ship itself was in very good condition. Nothing seems worn, tattered, rusty, or broken. My wife spent most of her time on the balcony of our cabin, while I was usually wandering from public area to public area, reading. There are a number of areas, in addition to the Explorations Cafe, that have chairs that are quite comfortable for extended periods of watching the ocean go by with a book. I was in the Fitness Center early most mornings, looking for a treadmill. On three occasions there were no treadmills available, but 3.5 laps around the Lower Promenade was one mile, so if a machine wasn't available I could get my walk done in the great outdoors. I'm sure our next cruise will be on HAL. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
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