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12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Sixth cruise to Mex. Riviera, fifth on Holland. Didn't disappoint at all. One negative: Holland has cut back on more "gourmet" or continental food offerings such as gourmet cheese, smoked salmon, a more extensive room menu, no ... Read More
Sixth cruise to Mex. Riviera, fifth on Holland. Didn't disappoint at all. One negative: Holland has cut back on more "gourmet" or continental food offerings such as gourmet cheese, smoked salmon, a more extensive room menu, no homemade ice cream or tropical flavors, but otherwise we found the food in all venues to range from very good to excellent. The quality has not been cut, just the choices. We love things like sweetbreads, soft-shell crab, salmon and tuna tartar; special food we don't normally have. Most people seemed to enjoy pizza and french fries more. Dining room options seemed a little more limited as they have changed the menu to encourage you to order just two starters rather than three as in the past. But the gracious waiters will bring you whatever you want from the menu. We don't have a single complaint about any of the dining room food or service! The dining room never was half full, the lido buffet always was packed. Unfortunately it would appear that americans are leaning more toward fast food and informal dining. We thoroughly enjoyed every meal, the service was elegant as was the setting. Another great job by Holland. Service all over the ship was just perfect. Crew seemed to be happy enough and always greet you. The room, an inside, was spacious and well laid out, and the service was impeccable. There were very few announcements which really makes for a quiet and relaxed experience. We have been on cruise ships where there are constant blaring announcements for hairy chest contests, word trivia challenges, etc. and it is not as nice an experience. You can spend a lot of money on what we felt were overpriced drinks ($9 with tip for Ten High bourbon for example) but there were plenty of opportunities for reasonable happy hours, wine tastings, port/chocolate tastings, and the free wine and champagne flowed freely for past mariners. Even at the Captain's presentation you were offered free champagne. Classy! The ship is older in maritime terms, but it is kept immaculate. Yes, there is some wear and tear, but really it is not an issue that we could see. Same as you would find in an older but elegant grand old hotel. It is a beautiful ship and it is rumored she will be reoutfitted this year. We never had difficulty finding a wonderful quiet private spot to enjoy the sea going by. Walking around the promenade was always special. Embarking and disembarking flowed smoothly and did not take an unreasonable amount of time: 45 minutes total to board, 15 minutes to get off. The Lido at times felt very busy and crowded, more so than other Holland ships we have sailed on. Canaletto, which was wonderful, never was full. The Pinnacle was difficult for reservations, very popular. Breakfasts in the dining room were elegant and unique, lunch in the dining room was open only for mariner's brunch that we could tell, room service food was timely and delicious. Musical entertainment was outstanding, a wonderful violin/piano duet nightly, and a BB King Motown band that brought the house down every night! We didn't see any shows other than the America's Test Kitchen which was fun enough. It felt like we were in a nursing home at times. Lots of wheel chairs, scooters, mobility-challenged passengers, but there were few children which made up for it. Passengers generally were friendly and mature. The ports are nice visits, particularly if you stay away from the tourist traps and overpriced excursions. Cabo is a beautiful setting, but the town is nothing but tourists. A lovely walk down the "blue line" takes you to historic Mazatlan, very nice. If you wander a block or two from the ship in Puerto Vallarta, there is a very nice local Mexican supermarket which is fun to visit. It is a beautiful city but for some reason seeing a walmart across the street from the cruise port is disappointing. We have been in these ports when there were several cruise ships and it was not nice at all. Thousands of people milling around. You can check the cruise port calendar website for San Diego and make sure you are not caught in this situation. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
I chose cruise because it departed San Diego. However what I didn't know is that they sold out to CARNIVAL and so the impeccable service always offered by Holland America no longer exists. The elevator doors closed on me resulting in ... Read More
I chose cruise because it departed San Diego. However what I didn't know is that they sold out to CARNIVAL and so the impeccable service always offered by Holland America no longer exists. The elevator doors closed on me resulting in CRACKED RIBS and a very painful journey without any medications because HA refused to provide medical attention unless I paid an exorbitant fee! Their elevator!!! I have since learned this is a common occurrence on the ship. The food was substandard - meat stringy and tough. Chicken flavorless and tough. Resorted to eating at Pinnacle Grill which was good. Guest Services were awesome in not providing any services, lol! The Indonesians have been replaced for the most part by Filipinos who are poorly trained. The entertainment left much to be desired but the Piano Man was good (not Liberace) and the crew show was good. The rest of it was mediocre. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Our overall cruise experience was fair, mainly based on cabin issues ( see below ). This was our 5th cruise with Holland. As usual, the service was excellent for the most part, but for some reason, this was the second cruise where the ... Read More
Our overall cruise experience was fair, mainly based on cabin issues ( see below ). This was our 5th cruise with Holland. As usual, the service was excellent for the most part, but for some reason, this was the second cruise where the Explorations Cafe staff were giving us some grief. I am at a loss to explain this, given the high level service elsewhere. Our cabin steward was top notch, as were the dining room staff. The Westerdam is getting old and tired and it shows. Perhaps this is reason for increased maintenance 'events' which could result in various areas being closed off, and the smell of marine paint is ever present. I realise this stuff has to be done, but it gets bit old when you are trying to enjoy some fresh air on the promenade. Could they not just schedule maintainance days in port to get all this done at once? Good news is she is due for refit next June. General advice...avoid rooms under Lido, and get on the newer ships, or ones that have been refit. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I only chose this cruise as it leaves from San Diego. I have been on many of HA's ships and loved them all but this one was awful. The awesome Indonesians were replaced by Filipino's poorly trained. The food has gone down big time, even ... Read More
I only chose this cruise as it leaves from San Diego. I have been on many of HA's ships and loved them all but this one was awful. The awesome Indonesians were replaced by Filipino's poorly trained. The food has gone down big time, even the lamb and steaks were STRINGY. Maybe a first time cruiser would like it but anyone who travelled on other ships would know the difference. My accident was the fault of HA but even so they refused to send doctor unless I paid exorbitant amount of money for the consultation. I am still in pain - 1 week later - bruised ribs, whiplash, etc. The entertainment by the crew was good, and also the piano man (he wasn't Liberace) but the rest of the entertainment was sub par. The Pinnacle Grill was excellent and I do recommend you eat meals there rather than the Lido. The first Hot Tub was scalding hot. The second one o.k. The cabin sofa was so dirty it was BLACK. When I pointed this out they threw a white sheet over it, lol. On the last day it was removed. The Breakfast in room dining never got it right! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My husband and I cruise several times a year, usually on Carnival, but have ventured to other lines when there were good deals, wanting to check out differences from one to another. We jumped on The Westerdam because we love to cruise out ... Read More
My husband and I cruise several times a year, usually on Carnival, but have ventured to other lines when there were good deals, wanting to check out differences from one to another. We jumped on The Westerdam because we love to cruise out of San Diego. As seniors,we were able to ride the train from Oceanside to the Santa Fe Station for $5.50 for 2 passengers each direction and avoid the week long parking costs and commutes. We were then able to walk from the station to the ship for boarding! A great start! Embarkation was timely and quick- short lines at about 12:30 to board...and note, we had no privileges, this was our 2nd Holland America Cruise. We had booked this trip for the home port as well as a familiar itinerary...Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta are very familiar to us having been there many times- we can really relax knowing exactly what we like to do there. We booked as an inside cabin guarantee for the least expensive way to board, and were also granted gratuities included and 2 $50 drink gift cards- we were all set til we got an upsell call about 4 days before boarding which would give us an aft extended balcony at an affordable price we couldn't refuse- cabin 8145 on the Navigation Deck, just below Lido. Though we are now "seniors" at 62 and 63 years, we have always been huge fans of Carnival, love all the activities and entertainment....and were wary that we would be bored on HAL....glad to say, not the case!! We were busy, and thoroughly entertained every day and did not feel the entertainment was geriatric at all! This cruise was the total package- great ship, service, food, entertainment and enjoyable fellow passengers! Definite win,win! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose Holland America because our other HAL cruise was wonderful, exceeded expectations, plus it departs from San Diego, our home. This cruise, however disappointed in a few ways: our cabin attendant was not as friendly as on prior ... Read More
We chose Holland America because our other HAL cruise was wonderful, exceeded expectations, plus it departs from San Diego, our home. This cruise, however disappointed in a few ways: our cabin attendant was not as friendly as on prior cruises; with the exception of the lobster the dining room food was not superior, (although the service was); and the $125 per head hydro-therapy pool package was a let-down. They told us the pool was same as Oosterdam, which we loved. But it was not the same, lacking massage jets and having seating only on one end. On around day 3 my husband asked an attendant whether they had sold their limit. She said yes, that they had a waiting list. He asked why a waiting list if they had reached capacity. She explained that if someone wanted to drop out, they would give a pro-rated refund and resell the spot at a pro-rated price. Encouraged, we said we'd sell our spot back; she informed us the policy only applies in the event of illness, which didn't make sense if they had people waiting for a spot. Also the ship was showing its age, with maintenance ongoing all the time. Re. the food: We found we often preferred the on-deck fare over the sit-down dining room, although the "hash browns" were the frozen type served at McDonalds, and the breakfast egg strata had texture of pudding as if made from powdered eggs. And most of the fruit served onboard was substandard, lacking flavor and desirable texture. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
We chose this 7-day cruise because the embarkation port was close to our home, and the duration of the cruise was short and the ports very familiar from past visits. Our Neptune DV Suite was fantastic and the service in the Neptune Lounge ... Read More
We chose this 7-day cruise because the embarkation port was close to our home, and the duration of the cruise was short and the ports very familiar from past visits. Our Neptune DV Suite was fantastic and the service in the Neptune Lounge was excellent. All the dining arrangements we had each night were great and we liked the flexibility of choices. The mood was very festive as we were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. The cruise staff made this cruise very special for us and we appreciate all they do for all cruisers. We have cruised on other Holland America ships and will certainly consider them again when making future cruise plans. Leaving from San Diego was very convenient, as it did not include any airline flights, etc. Parking for the 7-day period was very convenient at a hotel near the terminal. It feels good to be home again, but now we must begin our research for a future adventure on the high seas. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
I wanted to take my 3 grown daughters on a cruise during Thanksgiving week out of San Diego. Two of the girls had never cruised before and I could barely keep up with their excitement over everything! Embarkation was good and didn't ... Read More
I wanted to take my 3 grown daughters on a cruise during Thanksgiving week out of San Diego. Two of the girls had never cruised before and I could barely keep up with their excitement over everything! Embarkation was good and didn't take too long. Was told we couldn't go to the cabin and sent to,Lido deck. It was very crowded . Asked another officer when we could go,to cabin and he said immediately. Our,cabin steward was so very nice. We had 2 cabins in the same hall and he took care of both. The only annoying problem during the cruise was at the beginning. At the dock when we got our sail and sign cards I explained that while we were in 2 cabins I was paying for the four of us. She got all the names mixed up and we couldn't get into,our,cabins. It took multiple,trips to front desk to get things fixed. The Dive was my favorite food service. The girls loved the dining room for dinner and we all liked the lido for breakfast and lunch. Our MDR servers were just fantastic! Food was mostly so so but the prime rib was surprisingly really good. The shows in theater were really really good and the BEST entertainer was Stryker in the piano bar. Just loved him. Everything went well at the 3 port stops. Debarkation went smoothly after the last non American finally was roused to go get his paperwork done. Finally someone got the bright idea of announcing his announcement in HIS language. Problem solved! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We have sailed many times on different lines, but we do prefer Holland. Recently, it has been necessary for me to book an accessible cabin for mobility issues. Once again Holland rises over other lines, as they frequently can/will ... Read More
We have sailed many times on different lines, but we do prefer Holland. Recently, it has been necessary for me to book an accessible cabin for mobility issues. Once again Holland rises over other lines, as they frequently can/will accommodate wheelchairs and scooters in tender ports whereas on Princess, for example, I'm shipbound unless we're docked. This last adventure was almost perfect; in fact ship's staff called us twice before the first tender port to make arrangements to help me disembark. I would say our cabin was great but it had a serious flaw for an accessible stateroom. Cabin 6004, a veranda on the Westerdam, is apparently the only accessible cabin with a verandah that will sleep 3, which we need. However there is a massive structural post smack inside the cabin door, making it almost impossible to maneuver once inside the room. The bathroom does offer a roll-in shower but the accessibility stops there, as there is neither a raised toilet or an accessible sink. Bottom line: DO NOT BOOK CABIN 6004 ON HOLLAND AMERICA WESTERDAM if you are actually disabled! On other notes, Westerdam is scheduled for dry dock in April 2017; try to avoid her until then, she needs the refurbishment. The staff, as always on HAL is amazingly gracious. These dedicated people work so hard and yet they are always so lovely. The food has been better on other voyages, but we learned quickly to take our waiter's advice and meals improved immediately. Entertainment was limited, but traveling with a family of 5 adults means we tend to amuse ourselves while on board - there's usually a bar close by! Read Less
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