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10 Holland America Hong Kong Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because we wanted an Asian experience and it fitted the dates we could travel. Overall the ship is tired, but in saying that it is clean and well presented. Before we booked I read that the ship had had a make over ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted an Asian experience and it fitted the dates we could travel. Overall the ship is tired, but in saying that it is clean and well presented. Before we booked I read that the ship had had a make over recently. This is not true. Only one place had been done up and that is what used to be the Crows Nest Bar. It is now a coffee lounge and the EXC tours are run from there. According to the crew (spoke to many) it used to be the best place on the ship. Its now just a boring coffee lounge. The whole ship is badly designed from other cruise ships we have been on. There is lots of wasted space, and the ship is a rabbit warren. It took us until day three to work out our way to navigate around the ship (usually only takes a couple of hours). The Food was really really bad. The Lido was badly organized and unless you walked in there at opening, it really did just look like a pig trough. We had open seating in the dining room, but never got a chance to use it. The reason for this, is that every time we went down to the dining room, there was over an hour wait for a table, so in the end we just gave up and went back to the pig trough. We are fully aware that this was an Asian cruise, but we were not expecting the amount of Chinese that there were to be on board. The ships holds approx 1900 passengers. 1400 were Chinese. HAL is traditionally a cruise line that supports the western market so it was a shock. The cultural divide was immense. Even the crew really really struggled with it. The Chinese don't drink alcohol, so the bars were always empty. So there was no atmosphere at all. The Chinese didn't understand the traditional activities and entertainment on board provided by HAL, so didn't go or would walk out half way through a performance spoiling the show. Also the Chinese do not believe in queues or lining up. It was just barge on through. Probably why the Lido looked like a pig trough most the time. It was also a nightmare getting off the ship. Once again the Chinese would just barge on through. There is a huge cultural divide there. HAL has every right as a company to target the Chinese market, but they should not do it at the expense of their traditional market. The first 4 ports we went to were great, Japan and Taiwan, but Manila was a hell hole. I really cant understand why any cruise ship company would want to go there. On the tour we did, it took us 2 1/2 hours to travel 8 miles through the traffic. There was no toilet on the bus and my partner was seriously considering using a bottle at the back of the bus. The only major positive from the ship was our state room. Though dated, it was comfortable and had all the facilities we needed with our state room attendants being fantastic. Maybe on a different cruise it would have been better, but I do not think I will sail again on HAL in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Just out of dry dock and work still going on all over. AC in our cabin not working, far from ideal in tropical climate. We had an outside door to the lanai deck but this was broken!!! Temperature in our cabin was between 75-79 deg. I had ... Read More
Just out of dry dock and work still going on all over. AC in our cabin not working, far from ideal in tropical climate. We had an outside door to the lanai deck but this was broken!!! Temperature in our cabin was between 75-79 deg. I had to open the inner cabin door to let cool air from the interior corridor in to our cabin. The first few days had the smell of burning metal and sawdust but worst was an overpowering smell of soggy wet carpet from the many cabins with water leaks. Not surprising that my wife contracted a chest infection and ran up $2000 of medical bills and was confined to the cabin for a number of days. Funnily enough her chest infection cleared up totally as soon as the AC was fixed. Room service was appalling while my wife was unable to leave the cabin. I had to go to the restaurant myself to get the food she could eat. After repairs were carried out properly we enjoyed the rest of the voyage. Food and dining room were excellent. Service excellent. Wine at $40 a bottle and beer at $9 was bad, but a bottle of water at $3.95 + a bottle was a bit too much. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We are a 3 star Mariner with Holland America working towards our 4 star. We go away every winter and liked the itinerary of this cruise. We were on for a total of 42 days. We like to listen to the piano and violin entertainment with a ... Read More
We are a 3 star Mariner with Holland America working towards our 4 star. We go away every winter and liked the itinerary of this cruise. We were on for a total of 42 days. We like to listen to the piano and violin entertainment with a martini before dinner. Adagio, Andreea and Alexandru were fantastic. The food on this ship has slipped. The worst French Onion soup I have ever had. The service at dinner was very slow and the food often arrived cold. We like to eat breakfast and lunch on the Lido deck aft however this ship offered no service for these tables. That is no juice or coffee in the morning and nothing at lunch. We often had to get our own cutlery and clear a space at the tables. We used to enjoy the Culinary Centre and related activities however now Holland America has invited America's Test Kitchen to do the shows and they are very dry and poorly presented. Plus there are no samples. This is a big mistake on Holland America's part. We like Holland America however it seems evident that there is some serious cost cutting going on, at least on this ship. We will never book the Volendam again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Overall it was an enjoyable cruise and trip, however, some things made the overall experience a little sour. What we enjoyed: the destinations and the ship amenities and food service. What was quite poor: The guest relations. ... Read More
Overall it was an enjoyable cruise and trip, however, some things made the overall experience a little sour. What we enjoyed: the destinations and the ship amenities and food service. What was quite poor: The guest relations. McDonald's treats its customer better. Before we embarked we called the guest relations to get an address for where the ship was in port. The lady on the phone gave us the wrong address! We had to pay extra taxi fee to get to the correct destination. And had to find it and navigate with no phone or internet service. Which, in a foreign country is quite difficult to say the least. We also had a poor experience with guest relations after the cruise. My iPhone was misplaced the second to last day of the cruise and not found so we put our name on the lost and found items list. Of course it never showed up before we disembarked. I contacted the cruise line 2 weeks after the cruise asking if it had been found or turned in and they responded they had not found it. Well a week later they email me with a picture of the phone asking me if it was the correct phone and it was. So I said hooray please ship to my address. Well, it has been over a month since then and still no phone. I have emailed two times requesting some update or status and have not received an answer. My suspicion is that my phone was not "misplaced", but was stolen by the crew. But because I protect my phone with pin and password the member was not able to hack into it and eventually gave up and turned it in. I scoured everywhere I was the night I lost it, it had to have been taken by someone. So, anyway, we won't be using Holland America Cruise Line for any future cruises simply because of the guest relations. We love cruise travel and never have had anything like this as far as overall customer service. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Having cruised over 10 times and with several cruise lines we are definitely not new to cruising. Overall the itinerary made us glad that we went but Holland America seriously needs to consider what customers they are targeting. We will ... Read More
Having cruised over 10 times and with several cruise lines we are definitely not new to cruising. Overall the itinerary made us glad that we went but Holland America seriously needs to consider what customers they are targeting. We will not go with them again for 4 main reasons. 1. The crew seem to have become jaded and not as responsive to customer needs as would be expected of an industry leader. This was the first time we have felt that the crew's needs have impinged on the needs of the passengers. To keep this short just a couple of examples: this was the first time that we found crew pushing past passengers on the gangway, and on excursions with local guides running the operation a crew member was 'escorting' but they would keep the customers waiting on the bus because the only person late back after a stop was the crew 'escort'. It got so bad on one occasion that the passengers spontaneously started clapping our 'escort' when he finally appeared. 2. The food is generally poor. The good dishes are like islands in a vast sea of mediocrity. The buffet needs some serious attention as to how it can be managed better. A couple of examples of poor food: the dreadful quality of vegetables and the same two hot puddings every day for 2 weeks. 3. The passenger mix is very diverse, which could be a very good thing but there is a high percentage of non-English speaking passengers. However pro one might be of a multicultural society there is nothing more frustrating than having to spend nearly 2 hours at dinner in the evening on a table where you are not just the only ones able to speak English but you get the feeling that you are crashing a private party. 4.We all expect cruise lines to try to squeeze as much revenue out of their captive market but it went too far. A fairly high percentage of the on-board activities advertised daily were charged for. However, this was our first experience of having to pay for a shuttle bus to get to the advertised place from a sea port that was in a 'no walking zone', and too far away. It smacks of fraud to me to sell a cruise on the basis of visiting certain places but then charging US$16 per person for a round trip on a coach to be able to actually visit the location on the cruise itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
What a disappointment after all we had heard about HAL and particularly after paying an extra $2,000 for a upgrade and being placed under the lido deck and being woken up at 5.30am every morning by the crew scraping chairs and tables ... Read More
What a disappointment after all we had heard about HAL and particularly after paying an extra $2,000 for a upgrade and being placed under the lido deck and being woken up at 5.30am every morning by the crew scraping chairs and tables around the deck. It is very hard for me to say anything nice about this cruise from the cold food to the weird thumping at the rear of the ship that mysteriously stopped in Ho Chi Min. The whole ship was just badly managed. Unfortunately from day 1 the signs were there ,at lifeboat drill one of the officers made a man pushing his wife in a wheelchair stand in a different line -even when the wheelchair started rolling off down the deck with the woamn still in it all the officer did was put the brake on and still made them stay in different lines ? We went to the service desk and all five people in front of us were there complaining (still day one) We went for dinner that night and ended up on a table with Seven people (we asked for a table for Two) when we ordered all the meals placed in front of us were wrong -then the waiter with the senior waiter worked out the meals weren't even for our table -by this time they had been there 10 minutes -but they just picked them up and delivered them to another table -they must have been stone cold by then (still day one). I could go on and on - with the waiting for shore trips, camera shop not selling batteries (go ask the general shop we're told -general shop -sorry we are stocked out) people being charged on their on board accounts for returning a video a few hours late ($30.00) without being told - they discovered it on the last day. This cruise was purely a money making exercise - which can be expected but not with poor management -food that looked a million dollars and tasted like 20 cents- bland!! Docking in places hours away from the advertised destination - $70.00each for a shuttle to Ho Chi Min city (for one day -we were there for Two) so had we used this ship service both days myself and my wife would have payed $280.00 US dollars just to get a ride into town -similar situations in other ports. Most of this we shrugged off determined to enjoy the holiday we had worked so hard for all yearhowever we could not get past Two things -One the pompous attitude of the Senior officers & the arrogance of the service desk (they walked right past you without even a glance your way like you didn't exist -and the other was the fact that breakfast ,lunch or dinner -the food was served luke warm at best - and I could just go on - but whats the point this will fall on deaf ears just as it did with everyone else at the service desk every day complaining. HAL time you got out of the game ,there are many better cruise lines and ships better value than yours. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We joined Zaandam in Hong Kong. Departure was delayed by 2 hours because a few Russians on board could not understand English & therefore did not go to immigration clearance. After 2 hours of broadcasts looking for those guest the ... Read More
We joined Zaandam in Hong Kong. Departure was delayed by 2 hours because a few Russians on board could not understand English & therefore did not go to immigration clearance. After 2 hours of broadcasts looking for those guest the officials decided to translate the message in Russian & only then we finally set sail. They knew which room numbers were missing, surely they could have made the broadcasts in Russian earlier. In our stateroom on arrival was a notice warning of a vomiting bug on the ship. The sewerage smell mainly on deck 3 was disgusting. This went on for about 7 days. Complaining from numerous passengers got us no where. My husband ended up with a sinus infection & consulted the Doctor onboard, $95.00 USD later & then another $70.00 USD for 14 antibiotic tables ie $5.00 USD per tablet. Absolute daylight robbery. He ordered room service for dinner one night he was particularly sick & it took over 1 hour to arrive cold. No refrigerators in rooms either. Rubber matting to avoid slipping around the pool was way to short. Numerous falls. One lady even broke her ankle. On the whole the food was very plain & mostly cold as was the coffee. Coffee was really only available at the Lido which is 5 levels up or you could purchase it on one of the lower decks. Air-conditioning was either freezing or hot. Stage shows obviously designed for people over 70. Guest artist were good though. Wait staff & room attendants were great. But we will never sail with Holland America Again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
Our trip began in Hong Kong after a long flight from Kansas City. We added the extra night at Holland America's hotel of choice which was a great hotel but we were there for a very short time due to travel time that it hardly seemed ... Read More
Our trip began in Hong Kong after a long flight from Kansas City. We added the extra night at Holland America's hotel of choice which was a great hotel but we were there for a very short time due to travel time that it hardly seemed worthwhile. We were at the hotel by midnight and left to go to the ship at noon the next day. Comment about the Zaandam: We think that Holland America and the ship personnel would agree that the ship needs some work to restore and update the ship. A lot of rust, faded carpet in common areas, plumbing issues, safe malfunction, dated decorations, etc. We think that it is scheduled for dry dock in several months... good deal! We loved the size and format of the ship due to it being easy to get around with only 1500 passengers it was not crowded in any of the common areas. The deluxe veranda suite had a awesome veranda. The concierge at the Neptune Lounge could not keep my traveling partner and spouse separate from us so he was constantly referring to me as him and mixing our arrangements. It got more than a little annoying after a awhile. Room Service didn't seem to talk to the concierge very well so our orders for appetizers were mixed up several times. Comments about the Holland America 14 day Asia Explorer itinerary: We enjoyed the itinerary going to Halong Bay in Vietnam, then Sanya, Hanien island China, Nha Trang, Vietnam, My Phu, Vietnam, Sihanoukville, Cambodia, Laem Chabang,(Bangkok), Thailand, Koh Samoi, Thailand, Singapore, Singapore. All of the ports were very interesting with much to see and do. A bit crowded from a Midwesterner's viewpoint but very negotiable. We went on Holland America tours in all of the ports except Saigon, Bangkok, and Singapore. The boat ride and cave in Halong Bay was exceptional. The key sights in Sanya tour was drawm out too long... the tour could have ended after 4 hours instead of the scheduled 7 hours. Nha Trang city tour was great a nice mix of temples, beach, and city tour. Not much to see in Sihanoukville, Cambodia if you are not interested in coconuts, suggest making this a beach day. The elephant village was touristy but very much fun and we wouldn't miss the elephant ride... also a very nice lunch. In the other ports of Saigon, Bangkok, and Singapore we utilized a private guide with a van and driver. This went very well and allowed us to see the sights that we wanted to see at our own pace. The driver usually was able to pick us up at the sight with very little waiting and queuing so familiar to a bus tour. The guide were knowledgeable and spoke good English. The vans were great except for the one in Singapore which was totally unacceptable, due to size and lack of visibility. These tours were arranged by ReadyClickandGo.com. This is a Great Britain company which contracts the guides and vehicle with local companies. This worked OK but I would recommend also talking to the local company representatives to manage the details. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We have enjoyed cruising with Cunard and Princess and we were looking forward to the Zaandam for the China/Korea cruise out of Hong Kong. The ship and the cabin was extremely cold. Forget the high quality bedding it is just hype. We ... Read More
We have enjoyed cruising with Cunard and Princess and we were looking forward to the Zaandam for the China/Korea cruise out of Hong Kong. The ship and the cabin was extremely cold. Forget the high quality bedding it is just hype. We borrowed blankets from the pool deck. The cabin is very dated and the toilet was smelling. This ship is well past its prime according to other Holland America cruisers. Having stated that the ships crew were friendly and the food was fine. Comparable to Princess and Cunard. The Pinnacle restaurant is extra cost but worth it once per cruise. In addition the various workshops for sea days were well presented. The Culinary Arts was well received and the Digital Photography workshops were well presented. Others enjoyed other programs The Library is very dated and the magazines offered are rejects from your local dentists office. The shows were very mixed is both quality and in style. Some of the small music groups in the bars were excellent. One of the disappointing features was the person who presented the shore orientation programs. It went like this " My old Computer is acting up, Here are some vague facts" "There is nothing at this port at Jeju "South Korea" In fact most staff and cruisers found it quite delightful and it was easy to walk in into town. There were both weather and immigration issues on this cruise and the captain gave consistently poor information. We were granted "mariners status" although we have not cruised with this line before. The reason I mention it is that we were invited to the Captains lunch. This was a major PR disaster. A few words then run away!!! He had been getting criticism for his poor communication before. If Holland America is asking people to attend this thing then surely the captain and first officer should circulate and talk to the guests. Finally, I will be looking at other cruise lines and please don't use this ship for Alaska you will freeze! Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
My wife and I both active seniors were extremely disappointed with the ship and many aspects of the cruise. In our opinion Holland America is no longer a "Premium" line and should cease advertising itself as one! The cruise was ... Read More
My wife and I both active seniors were extremely disappointed with the ship and many aspects of the cruise. In our opinion Holland America is no longer a "Premium" line and should cease advertising itself as one! The cruise was my seventh on HAL and will likely be my last on this line! The ship is in very poor condition, generally dirty, carpets threadbare and badly stained in places. Our stateroom suffered at various time during the voyage from, no heat, no water, no hot water, no toilet, unserviceable DVD player and at times a very bad sewage smell. Bed linen was was worn and at times stained. The whole ship badly needs a refit which apparently is scheduled for October of this year. Our cabin stewards were excellent and made every effort to please and to ensure our comfort. The Indonesian crew members continue to be HAL's best asset. The deck chairs and chez lounges were very dirty and during the whole time aboard the Zaandam I did not anyone cleaning them. The chairs were carefully stacked and secured each night but never cleaned!The food on the ship was at best mediocre. It appears that the food budget continues to be reduced for we sailed last year on the Rotterdam with the same Executive Chef and enjoyed excellent food. Food in the Dining Room was often received cold and the service sometimes good and sometimes poor. I understand that the staff levels had been reduced which might explain the sometimes poor service. The menu was repeated on the second segment of the voyage and became repetitive. The choice of fruit and vegetables was limited, green beans were served night after night! Food handling in the Lido Restaurant should be improved. I saw a number of times under cooked and bloody beef being cut on the same board as chicken and pork and with the same knife. Entertainment was generally of a poor standard in our opinion. I was disappointed to find that there were no educational lectures provided on this cruise, no doubt another cost cutting measure. Too bad really, for we were sailing in an area rich in history and culture. The offered enrichment of "How to decorate your HAL tote bag" and similar was hardly a substitute. The Shore Excursion Department left a lot to be desired. There seemed to be a total lack of organisation and information on the ports visited was lacking in useful detail. The tours we took we found to be overly expensive for what was offered. There was one exception however,the Orchid Sheraton Hotel in Bangkokprovided the best meal of whole cruise! The very limited 'Happy Hour", in one bar, for one hour, at between 4.00 pm and 5.00 pm now charges one dollar for the second drink, nothing appears to be sacred at HAL! Towards to end of the cruise the Captain wrote a letter to each passenger advising that an extra charge of $11.31 would be added to the bill to offset "revisions in government fees and taxes". Front Office staff appeared either unable or unwilling to explain which government increased their charges or how the charge was calculated. Overall, an interesting itinerary but a disappointing cruise experience. I think the Zaandam should be avoided, at least until the refit is completed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
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