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822 Holland America Line Romantic Cruise Reviews

At the port we were greeted very nicely and had a gentlemen that did our paperwork that was very nice and patient. The embarkation went smoothly got our stateroom cards then hop on the ship! We had a guaranteed partial view balcony and it ... Read More
At the port we were greeted very nicely and had a gentlemen that did our paperwork that was very nice and patient. The embarkation went smoothly got our stateroom cards then hop on the ship! We had a guaranteed partial view balcony and it was ok. Next time I will prefer a full view balcony but the price was right. There is a lot of storage space everything was well appointed. I found that the toilet in the bathroom was set in a awkward manner since it's on an angle. The shower though was large and loved the glass door. We then met our stewarts that were going out of their way to help us. We then headed to the Ocean Bar for a glass of champagne. We had the elite beverage package and found that for us it was worth its price. Jose the bartender at the Ocean Bar is fantastic. All of the cocktails were made with attention and were very good. Then off to the adult pool and the pool bar and there we started our voyage. There was a very good vibe there also. Then off the Main Dining Room. All of our servers were excellent all through the week. The food at the Main Dining Room was very very good all the time. We did go to the Specialty restaurants Canalletto and found that it was not worth the extra money spent. I also have the same opinion with Tamarin but it was better. On our voyage the seas were rough but the captain travelled behind the Bahamas and could not stop at Half Moon Key. Captain O'Driscoll is Excellent very prudent and was out on the pier in Grand Turk to salute all the guess. The Music scene is great. BB King Blues Band was excellent, Billboard on Board, Rolling Stone Rock were awesome, I was impressed. We also had good times in the Crows Nest with EXP and the vision was beautiful. We did take an excursion of the ship and it was very nice. (Puerto Plata and Cabarete Beach). The Dutch Café was my morning RDV, Andre and Kessidy were always very nice and enjoyable to start the morning. Sunshines! Where there was some downfalls in my personnal opinion was how short the time lap was for having breakfast and Lunch at the MDR. I was turned away a few times. It is more quiet during the afternoon not as much entertainment. The theatre is a bit small for the amount of people on the ship. Service was sometimes a bit slow at the Aft Pool Bar. We attented the dance shows at the Theatre and they were beautiful. By the way we had a slowed disembarkation because of the testing on one individual by the government of Florida but that was beautifully taken care of. All in All a great cruise with many many great Qualities and some small downfalls. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This was out first cruise, and after much study, decided on HA Oosterdam. We went with teo other couples, and had a GREAT time. Embarkation in San Diego was seamless. It did help that Neptune Suite affords you priority boarding. :-) The ... Read More
This was out first cruise, and after much study, decided on HA Oosterdam. We went with teo other couples, and had a GREAT time. Embarkation in San Diego was seamless. It did help that Neptune Suite affords you priority boarding. :-) The Neptune Lounge had a very nice welcome champagne and hos d'hoeuvres party as well. Side note: the Neptune Lounge is a quiet place to relax; also, there is a Concierge there for ANYTHING you need of staying in the Neptune or Pinnacle Suites. They TAKE CARE of you! Not a lot of entertainment choices, but that's fine. We saw a magician and a comedienne, and both were fine. Our only complaint was the that Lincoln Center Theater had performances at 7:30 pm or so - each night we were at dinner, so we missed. This is NOT a cruise for children. We saw few. There are a few BORED looking teenagers. This is a cruise for the 50 and up crowd - and that's fine with us. The ship is in good condition for the most part - but is showing its age here and there. Teak wood decking is a bit weathered here and there on the Lido deck around the pools and hot tubs. Overall though everything is spic 'n span. The ship is nice. The Crew is OUTSTANDING. Over our 7 days on board, almost without exception, each crew member would greet you as you passed with a smile and salutation. Our cabin Stewards greeted us by name whenever they saw us. The people are incredible on the Oosterdam. The buffet is rather pedestrian. We only ate there for breakfast. The Dining Room is very nice, and we opted for the "Up Charge" rooms a couple nights. The Pinnacle Grill was the best $35 pp I have ever spent! Our server Mile was super nice, and what a pro! I really enjoyed the Dive In! burgers for lunch by the Lido Deck pool. We LOVED this cruise so much that we have booked the same ship and stateroom for Alaska in August! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Staff on board were just fabulous. Food was very good. Nightly Shows not so great, but then again there are only about 1200 passengers, so one cannot expect the same as a show where there are 5000 passengers. The Lincoln Center quintet ... Read More
Staff on board were just fabulous. Food was very good. Nightly Shows not so great, but then again there are only about 1200 passengers, so one cannot expect the same as a show where there are 5000 passengers. The Lincoln Center quintet was an absolute treat. All polished professional musicians.And they had different themes -- Classics - movie tunes -- Pops et. I would go again in a heart beat. Holland America shut down 3 days after I disembarked. A Global citizen in passengers come first. The Covid 19 was only getting underway and they immediately ceased operations. Rotterdam has Lani suites on the Promenade deck. They have full length sliding glass doors and it seems that everyone on the ship goes by. The suites have reserved lounge chairs just outside the stateroom. I am not much into excursions but the ports had usual shops close to the docking area. Stateroom staff are absolutely there for the passengers. Friendly, helpful - say hello every day using your name. Dinning room staff were also excellent. Or, it could have been just my table -- but not likely. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Late offering where and when we wanted to go, seemed like a winner, but food options not fitting our schedule. Formal dining each night at 8 pm was fabulous but prevented time to get to a y shows. And the lido banquet closed completely ... Read More
Late offering where and when we wanted to go, seemed like a winner, but food options not fitting our schedule. Formal dining each night at 8 pm was fabulous but prevented time to get to a y shows. And the lido banquet closed completely each morning for way too long, and long lines late morning at other food places made it tough for us to get a bit of breakfast. Ludo buffet always had a sign saying "Service continues on other side" but that was a lie as it all closed at the same time and was closed way too long. They failed to tag our liquor purchases onshore properly and so we were made to wait for a good portion of our last day in our cabin, and if I hadn't showed them my copy of our receipt from the shore store we'd probably still have nothing. Our package never got tagged and our tag was placed on someone else's package (had two tags). Again, should never have happened. Rooms were great and everyone was friendly and helpful except customer service, and we needed them most! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our 12th cruise but the first in 10 years. 4 previous cruises on HAL. It began somewhat ominously. Check in took forever because they reassigned us to a different cabin-same category (Signature suite) but a deck lower at the very ... Read More
This was our 12th cruise but the first in 10 years. 4 previous cruises on HAL. It began somewhat ominously. Check in took forever because they reassigned us to a different cabin-same category (Signature suite) but a deck lower at the very front of the ship with a handicap accessible bathroom that only had one sink. We were told our original cabin (SS mid ship) had a technical issue that could not be fixed. Our luggage was delivered to the original cabin and sat there until an hour before sailing. Jonah, from guest services worked tirelessly to find us another cabin and did just before departure. The final cabin was an SY signature suite at the midship jog which gave us a must larger-angled balcony which we loved-so much so we booked another cruise on Eurodam with the same SY suites. Overall a better suite then we originally booked but considered a lesser suite (by the cruise line) compared to the SS. The overall service was what he had come to expect from HAL-excellent. Our only complaint was with the Pinnacle Grill (specialty dining) The maître'de was rude and unaccommodating. We arrived about 20 minutes prior to our reservation and even though the place was 1/4 full we were told we would have to wait until our assigned time as not to stress the kitchen. By the time we were seated the PG was still only half full. The food was so so.. I ordered the 23 ounce porterhouse medium rare. It looked like a steak from Bonanza when it arrived and was cooked well done.. Not worth the extra money. The other specialty dining venues were wonderful. Tamarind and Canaletto were both outstanding both in food quality and service. We were assigned anytime dining because we booked late. Never had an issue getting into the dining room when we wanted and the food was pretty good. HAL caters to an older crowd so it was relatively quite and the lines for everything were easy and manageable. The only entertainment venue we visited was the BB King Blues lounge and considering the average age of our fellow cruisers it was hopping and fun. We purchased the premium beverage package but didn't come close to drinking enough to make it worthwhile. Booked this cruise because of the stop at Half Moon Cay ( the best private island of them all) We shared the day with another HAL ship but it didn't seem that crowded ashore. We just hung out on the beach and strolled the island. Our only excursion was the Dolphin encounter and Sting Ray city on Grand Cayman. Great fun and worth the money. Booked a snorkeling excursion in Cozumel but it was cancelled due to the windy weather. Cozumel has a new pier and outdoor shopping mall (since the last time we were here) so if you don't like being hassled by the locals its a great place to buy almost anything you might want. It has been 20 years since we visited Cozumel and while its much more commercialized then it was in the past its worth the stop especially if the weather is nice. Sea days were relaxing and while there is the normal scramble for deck chairs around the pool we were able to find loungers without too much problem. Disembarkation was a breeze and we were off the ship and in our car in under 30 minutes. As mentioned we booked another cruise onboard and received great perks-reduced deposits, full internet pkg's, paid gratuities and $300 on board credit each. We have always enjoyed HAL and the Nieuw Amsterdam is a great ship with a great crew. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Wonderful ship that can handle the 1300 passengers well. Food was super and service staff is great. Ship is a little tired but well cared for. Only has one swimming pool that is quite small. Theatre is intimate and works for ... Read More
Wonderful ship that can handle the 1300 passengers well. Food was super and service staff is great. Ship is a little tired but well cared for. Only has one swimming pool that is quite small. Theatre is intimate and works for this ship. We were hoping for some test kitchen shows but apparently they are not doing those anymore. We booked guaranteed large inside cabin and got a dinky 130sf “spa inside” which was without doubt the worst cabin we have ever had. Front desk did not give two stumps about it. To add insult the cabin did not cool well so it was like sleeping in an easy bake oven each night. Again the front desk had no solution. We are unlikely to sail with HAL again soon. Highlight of the cruise was the pace and food. We especially enjoyed Half Moon Cay. It was a a beautiful day! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise because Holland American offered us an amazing, discounted price. The Veendam was by far the smallest ship we have been on so far, but because we have sailed Holland ships before, the general layout was similar. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because Holland American offered us an amazing, discounted price. The Veendam was by far the smallest ship we have been on so far, but because we have sailed Holland ships before, the general layout was similar. Really the only difference being that there were fewer ship levels and less length of the ship to walk. I did have to find the Explorations Cafe one morning, and it is on a different floor, which I knew from the signage by the elevators. What I didn't know, was that the floor was not contiguous. It took me a couple of tries to get to it, after going down to the level it was on and finding out that you couldn't get to it from the elevator lobby where I had descended to. So, then you have to walk up a level, walk over to the next set of stairs, and descend again back to level it is on. Not fun, when you are after your morning coffee. I really wish they would put this in a location on all ships more accessible. You have to pay for it, so why not promote it, where people can see it and opt up when they want? I was surprised with how great the limited entertainment was on The Veendam. We had two excellent, and very different comedians on this ship. I have usually been underwhelmed by the comedians on many different ships, but Brian Bradley and Mike Hamilton, delivered! I won't give away what they are good at ( you are welcome Mike), but believe me they are funny. Luckily for the cruisers, their approach to humor was radically different, which made both their shows special and unique. Get a good seat early for Mike's show. Just a head's up! And speaking of entertainment, I was so disappointed to find out on board that the B.B. King's Blues Club was not included on the ship, which I have thoroughly enjoyed on the others. I guess due to the smaller ship, there is not room. However, I discovered the piano singer, Stryker, who without a doubt, is the best piano singer/entertainer/comedian I have ever encountered on any ship (not just Holland ships). He truly can play that piano, sing, and work the crowd. I'm not really sure why he is on a cruise ship really with that talent, but I went to see him every night! I heard later that Holland is getting rid of the piano bars and putting in a rock and roll area to attract a younger demographic. I understand that, but I will definitely miss the sing alongs at the piano bar. And quite frankly, Stryker was so good, very few even wanted to sing along. He was that good! Most just wanted to listen and if you didn't get there early, you had to stand (which I did every night) gratefully! The accommodations were okay. The ship is older and in places looks like it, but as usual the staff made up for that. Our room was an ocean view and we opened up to a walking area on the deck with reserved chairs for us on the balcony. A nice perk when you have an ocean view. We usually have a balcony, so while it wasn't a private balcony it was right outside our sliding glass window. Actually, we loved it! The staff and crew of Veendam did not disappoint. Holland America's staff members are all well trained and friendly, courteous, many times funny, and are always what make the trip memorable for me. From our room steward, Sugi, to the Casino Host, Iggy, to the Beverage Host in Canaletto's, Noel (also our incredibly talented and funny Bar Crawl Host), to Henry and Rose, the servers at the Retreat Bar, they made the trip enjoyable, personable, and fun! Also ned to mention Rekki, the host at Canaletto's (which you have to try!) and Dewi and Phoebe, servers at Canaletto. They all went above and beyond for us, delivering our leftovers to the room for us on tow nights so we could get to the shows, and one night delivering an entire meal for us when my husband wasn't feeling well and we had to cancel our reservations. I didn't even ask. I was just walking down the lido Buffet alone, and it had closed, and Refki saw me, drew me in, and somehow managed to order me food from the Dining Room and get it it sent to my room! He was a hero that night because the time had changed and I was off an hour, salad had missed the Lido Hours! All in all, this cruise met our expectations. We had been to all the destinations before and were really just on a rest and relaxation cruise, both equipped with four books! I'm more of a night owl, so I did a lot of the entertainment on my own, which is one of the things i love about a cruise. As a woman, it's easy, safe, and no one looks at you like you are there for anything but the entertainment! The staff and meeting fellow cruisers has always been my favorite part of a cruise, and this cruise was the same. We had a fun, relaxing time, and applaud Holland for their incredible hardworking cruise staff. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Good price, with free daily lectures. Wanted to try HAL again after many years and many cruises on RCL and Princess. Service and crew where very happy, friendly and efficient. Food was tasty great with lots of choices in Lido every ... Read More
Good price, with free daily lectures. Wanted to try HAL again after many years and many cruises on RCL and Princess. Service and crew where very happy, friendly and efficient. Food was tasty great with lots of choices in Lido every meal! Never ate in dining room. Won money in casino so that was great! Microsoft lectures where amazing from actual Microsoft employee and learned lots about many MS tools and apps. Photo shop provided "free photography lectures" from an actual National Geographic photographer -"Justin James" and learned many tips on improving my pictures! Really enjoyed all of the destinations especially Aruba because of the TukTuk Tour we took from a Expedia vendor. Wish HAL had large central public malls like RCL on some of their newer ships. Always enjoy sitting in a cafe and watch the people walk by. Eurodam just has a great VIB and loved this cruise. Would definitely go again. Highly recommend the Sting Ray swim excursion in Half Moon Cay. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
HA is know for their service and excellent service is what we usually have experienced with HA. The Veendam wasn't bad, but felt disorganized, like perhaps half the staff were either new or burnt out. Our stewards were excellent ... Read More
HA is know for their service and excellent service is what we usually have experienced with HA. The Veendam wasn't bad, but felt disorganized, like perhaps half the staff were either new or burnt out. Our stewards were excellent attentive and friendly. Our room with just a window, midship, main deck was actually nice, well laid out and quite. However, we encountered many other aspects that were below HA standards: The meals in the main and Pinnacle dining rooms were nothing special - presentation, flavor (overcooked vegetables, etc.) and variety were lacking. The service in the Pinnacle was atrocious (basics like sitting 10+ minutes before wait staff said hi, water not being refilled, coffee never arriving with dessert). The main dining room service was hit and miss - some areas were well served, others slow and sloppy. The Cannaletto was good, slow but attentive. The Dive was improperly staffed - 35 minutes to get a burger when my ticket was only the 3rd in the que. The basketball court had useless basketballs (worn, ripped covers with the rubber sticking through) at the beginning and none once those were removed. Other than that, it was a nice cruise, just not to the usual HA standard. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Cruise fit our timeline and location. Very clean elegant ship . Mostly elderly passengers. Great food and entertainment. Beautiful ship to walk around on and admire. Cabins are very comfortable. Staff are friendly and attentive. Pool ... Read More
Cruise fit our timeline and location. Very clean elegant ship . Mostly elderly passengers. Great food and entertainment. Beautiful ship to walk around on and admire. Cabins are very comfortable. Staff are friendly and attentive. Pool areas are well designed for swimming or sun bathing. There are lots of places to read or visit if you like. The world stage is incredible. Every seat is good. Easy to access for older people. The dining room was a relaxed pleasant experience with good selection . I can not think of any negatives for this ship. The outside walking track was great. Circle the ship three times and you will have walked a mile. I loved the aft pool area for happy hour. Nice shaded places to visit and have a few drinks. Ship seemed very stable in the waves so i did not worry about sea sickness. Over all i would recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose the Zuiderdam for a romantic, relaxing cruise. We were very disappointed with many things about the Zuiderdam and Holland America as a company. First, let me start by saying the Holland America has some serious operational and ... Read More
We chose the Zuiderdam for a romantic, relaxing cruise. We were very disappointed with many things about the Zuiderdam and Holland America as a company. First, let me start by saying the Holland America has some serious operational and procedural issues which need an outside consultant to fix. Embarkation: You know you are in trouble when getting on the ship is the best thing you can say about the ship. Embarkation was quick and painless. Cabin: We chose an inside cabin for this cruise because we like to take a nap in the afternoon and there is nothing better than a cold, dark cabin after a hot shore day. The cabin was very dated. The shower floor was filthy. I mean black filth. When the shower is dirty you have to wonder what else is dirty that you are not seeing. It is like walking into a restaurant and looking up to see black vents and ceiling tiles. If they do not care enough to make sure the shower floor is clean then you can bet they are not making sure the things you cannot see are clean. The steward was fine and helpful. Restaurant: We ate dinner in the restaurant only one night because the first experience was that bad. First of all, they sat me a 6 foot 7 football player type of a guy in a booth with a table cloth that almost went to the floor. I spent the entire dinner feeling like I had a blanket covering my legs and when I got up I took the table cloth off the table with me. Second, we never saw the same person twice. It was ridiculous. There was not one person you could have called our waiter. Third, it was chaos in the restaurant and took a very long time for the food to arrive. There was way too much time between courses and when the food did arrive it was bland and just not very good. We skipped dessert because by the time we got around to being asked what we liked we just wanted out. We went one morning to eat breakfast in the restaurant at 9:05 am and were turned away because they said breakfast was over at 9. Now mind you, we are on vacation and 9 am is too early to stop serving breakfast to people who are sleeping in and trying to relax. Buffet: The biggest problem with the buffet is there are not enough places for people to sit and eat. There are two many large tables and not enough smaller tables. Lunch and breakfast can become very stressful affairs. I literally felt like dropping my plate and walking out on more than one occasion and I have never felt that way on a ship before. It was not just us you would see and hear people upset they could not find a place to sit. I have never experienced something quite like this on a ship before. Also the buffet stops serving dinner at 8 pm. This is way too early because people from the West Coast are not ready for dinner until 8 pm. The problem with the Zuiderdam is it wants to run on its time schedule and not on a realistic time schedule for all of their guests. One evening I actually saw them removing the food away from people trying to get something to eat. This is not an exaggeration. They actually removed the food away from them leaving them to stand there hungry. Bars: The bar service was fine and as a matter of fact our best overall service was from Ricky in the Ocean Bar. The drinks were always plentiful and good. At least the bar was good to keep the edge off of how awful everything else about the ship was. America's Test Kitchen: One of the reasons we booked this cruise was for America's Test Kitchen. It was advertised that it was on the Zuiderdam. Guess what? There was no America's Test Kitchen. I have to say it really felt like a bait and switch type tactic. If you are going to advertise something to a potential customer as a cruise company you had better make sure it is happening on the ship when they arrive. BB Kings: The best part of the Zuiderdam entertainment was the BB King lounge. The only problem was the first three nights it was not offered. We got half the product for the full price. See how this is going? Billboard Music: This was the most laughable and horrible entertainment I have seen in years. I am serious it is awful. The two guys behind the piano's are awful. Mainstage Theater: Dance Shows - They had three dance shows which were very good. The dancers were very well trained and their interaction with the LED screens was really amazing. They were the best part of our trip. English Comedian - First let me remind you that we are a gay male couple. The homophobic comedian was not funny and as a matter of fact he was offensive. He made several awful gay jokes which were insulting. My husband and I did not pay to be insulted and that is exactly what happened. If this were racial jokes the guy was making they would have fired him on the spot. What is the difference? You do not insult people who are paying for your service. We will not make this mistake with Holland America again. It was really that bad. Half Moon Cay: You would think since Holland America has had this island since the 1990's if would be an amazing place to be. Well it is not. The straw market was a joke. The food was a joke. Not being able to use your drink package on their island was a joke. The facilities are run down and they are dirty. Once again Holland America and dirty are in the same sentence. Not good. We took a shore excursion on Half Moon Cay. It was awful. It was not on the ocean but in a lagoon. We rode a small uncomfortable boat around a lagoon. Seriously it was like one of those bad amusement park boat rides with the cheesy narrator. It was truly that bad. Disembarkation: Was quick and easy. In closing, we were very disappointed in Holland America. The ship and cruise were overall depressing. Holland had better change their game because this was truly one of the worst cruise ships we ever sailed. We will not choose Holland America ever again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We were very hesitate to go on this cruise after reading posts on this site. I am a 4 star mariner and was extremely surprised that the bad reviews were way out of line. This fall we sailed the Nieuv Statedam and in January took the ... Read More
We were very hesitate to go on this cruise after reading posts on this site. I am a 4 star mariner and was extremely surprised that the bad reviews were way out of line. This fall we sailed the Nieuv Statedam and in January took the Noordam around Australia and found the Noordam much better in almost all categories. The ship is not tired or in need of major upgrades. The crew was probably the friendliest that we have had in the last 5 cruises. including Celebrity Cruise Line. The food was great especially the fish, and I am a picky eater. They had Happy Hour at every venue all day long, even the shows. The carpets have recently been replaced along with minor room upgrades, including large flat screen TV's. The bedding and towels were clean and comfortable. Our cabin steward did an amazing job. We usually clean our room when we first arrive, we didn't find any missed areas. We have learned that when individuals have a good experience they don't always write about them ,but they sure do share their bad experiences. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We booked the first 16 days of the Far East Discovery because of the amazing itinerary and we were not disappointed. From Singapore to Hong Kong, every port had something wonderful to offer. This was our 8th cruise and our first on Holland ... Read More
We booked the first 16 days of the Far East Discovery because of the amazing itinerary and we were not disappointed. From Singapore to Hong Kong, every port had something wonderful to offer. This was our 8th cruise and our first on Holland America. Unfortunately, the embarkation was horrible. We had a 12:00 check in but had to wait about two hours in the cruise terminal before we could check in. We were denied access to the Orange Club line because it wasn’t printed on our cruise documents and by the time we checked in and then straightened out the Orange Club situation, it was 3:00 and we were hungry. Luckily, the hamburgers out by the pool are delicious, but we were pretty upset that we spent our first day onboard straightening out problems and waiting for service. Luckily, the cruise improved after that. Cabin Our cabin was 7147, an aft verandah cabin. It was very spacious with a comfortable bed, a couch with a table, and a desk. The shower was in a small bathtub and was much more roomy than what we’ve experienced on other ships. There was plenty of storage, oodles of hangers, and nice verandah chairs with footstools. With a large TV, access to a few tv stations and many movies, it was a comfortable place to hang out on sea days or when tired. Our steward kept us well supplied with ice and fresh towels throughout our cruise. Ship Activities and Entertainment The public spaces are very comfortable, with nice chairs and comfortable bar areas. The Gallery Bar is especially pretty. The drinks in the bars were not especially good, even a basic dirty Vodka martini just didn’t taste right and the glasses never matched the drinks appropriately. It was weird. Luckily, we had pre-ordered a bottle of vodka and some tonic so our best drinks were those we mixed in our cabin for the first week of the cruise. During the second week, we took advantage of Happy Hour when you can get two identical drinks by paying for the first and just $2 for the second. We were disappointed with the activities and entertainment aboard. It seems that Holland caters to an older crowd than we are used to and the only “fresh” entertainment every night was the chamber music in the Lincoln Center, which was always well attended. We hoped to find BB King’s Blues Club to be a regular stop, but after a few nights it seemed the program didn’t vary much and since each set was only a half hour, we found ourselves going there less and less. We did enjoy the wine tastings and were disappointed when the third wine tasting that had the best wines was cancelled due to a low turnout caused by conflicting popular activities. The port talks were very good but you had to arrive early because the theater was filled every time. We wanted to experience the test kitchen where the chef was preparing local dishes, but never could find a seat. It was immensely popular. I was hoping for a little more destination related travel and we did enjoy the Thai dancing, even though it was only a half hour. One of our favorite days was the day we booked a cabana. We arrived after breakfast to find that the cabana attendant would have served us that too! We were able to enjoy the heat of the day while lounging around reading and playing on the internet. The attendant brought us lunch and also some fruit and Prosecco in the afternoon. Only about four cabanas were booked so we had the deck almost to ourselves. It was very relaxing. Dining We ate most of our meals in the Main Dining Room. Each meal was beautifully presented and there was always a choice of fish, chicken, red meat, and pasta, with two or three choices of some on many nights. Most dinners were prepared with sauces and by the end of the cruise, I was yearning for some simpler fare. The breads were especially delicious. We took advantage of the Cellar Packages and found #1 to have enough good wines to meet our needs at a wonderfully reduced price compared to buying a bottle at a time. We had one meal at the Pinnacle Grill on the Rudi’s Sel de Mer night. The food was very good, but honestly, the service in the MDR was much more attentive. We enjoyed our special night and decided to stick with the dining room after that. We ate a few lunches and breakfasts in the buffet. There was a huge selection and everything we ate was very tasty. It was hard to keep a full cup of coffee in the morning and a lot of tables sat empty with dirty dishes. The atmosphere just wasn’t that great. Our favorite thing was room service breakfast. The menu was very large and we had to stop ourselves from overeating! As part of the Orange Club, the choices included mimosas and smoothies and we took advantage of both several times. Orange Club We were offered a discount on the Orange Club the week before the cruise and we decided to try it. As already mentioned, it was a bit of a trial to get the recognition and appropriate key card. The first night we did not get the Orange Menu in the dining room. (I think a lot of the crew were new.) We didn’t have robes in our room. No one seemed to know about the welcome glass of bubbly. It seemed like no one knew what the Orange Club was all about and we had to advocate pretty heavily for ourselves. But after the first day we enjoyed our in-room breakfast choices, ate in our Orange Club robes, used the Orange Club priority lines at Guest Services and the MDR, and were treated very well. Most nights we were seated at a window and the host remembered us by name and room number within three days. We only tried one or two of the Orange Club dinners because the choices on the main menu were so good. We were also treated to a tour of the galleys and store rooms which were amazing. For a first time Holland Guest, it gave us a few of the perks more frequent cruisers enjoy. It was nice. Ports and Excursions Singapore We arrived three days before the cruise which gave us some time to adjust to the time change. We stayed at the Amoy Hotel near Chinatown which offered an airport pickup. It was just across the street from an MRT station and was the perfect spot to explore Singapore. Glad we took the three days. Nathon (Koh Samui), Thailand We booked the EXC Explore Buddhist Temples tour which included four different stops at Buddhist temples, each quite different. At the Big Buddha there was an opportunity for some shopping, some of the best of the whole trip. It was a great introduction to Buddhism in Thailand. Laem Chabang (Bangkok), Thailand We were here for two days and quite a few people took advantage of the opportunity to stay overnight in Bangkok, which is nearly two hours from the port. We did not. The first day we took the EXC Hidden Treasures with Tuk Tuk tour because I wanted to see the large reclining Buddha. We also visited other temples and Elizabeth Hall. The tuk tuk ride was surprisingly fun. The tour included a lunch of pad thai and other Thai foods. Delicious! The second day we booked the EXC Footsteps of Pad Thai tour that took us into the Nam Tan Sat village, a sugar palm plantation where we watched the farmer scale the palm tree, the Golden Temple with a Standing Buddha, the Wat Pho Bang Kla temple with bats, an organic Botanical Garden with delicious Thai snacks (practically a meal), and a cooking demonstration for Pad Thai and Papaya Salad. It was a super busy day which also included a ride in a long tail boat from the Golden Temple to Wat Pho Bang Kla. We really felt like we saw some authentic Thai life on this tour and were happy to support the local businesses. Tip: Carry toilet paper. The bathrooms do not have it. Sihanoukville, Cambodia This top was both the best and the worst. We took a cooking class I found on TripAdvisor and with only two of us in the class, we had four hours to talk with the chef and learn all about life in Cambodia in a very intimate way. On the other hand, Sihanoukville as a city is a mess and the tuk tuk ride to the class was bumpy and very uncomfortable. I wouldn’t do anything in Sihanoukville without a tour. Phu My (Saigon), Vietnam We booked a private tour with ITourVietnam and it was fantastic. Part Foodie Tour and part History Tour, we were treated to sights, sounds, and tastes all day long. It was a chance to really get into the market and check “eating pho in Vietnam” off the bucket list. Nha Trang, Vietnam We took the EXC Cooking Class in Nha Trang which included a chance to learn to make spring rolls, banana flower salad, and cabbage package soup before we ate the chef prepared lunch of the same dishes. In addition, we got to walk through a dry and wet market (very quickly!) and see some Cham art at the resort where the class was held. DaNang, Vietnam This was a two day stop so the first day I booked a tour from TripAdvisor that included My Son, the Marble Mountain, and the Lady Buddha. It was a lot of walking and climbing, probably our most intensely physical day. We stopped for noodles at a local shop and they were delicious. The second day we joined a Cruise Critic group for Hoi An, the Marble Mountain, and the Cham Museum. Hoi An was primarily an opportunity for shopping and we skipped going into the Marble Mountain since our thighs were still sore from the day before. The Cham Museum was incredibly interesting and really added to our understanding of what we had seen the first day. Halong Bay, Vietnam This was our favorite port. We joined a Cruise Critic group and spent the entire day cruising the beautiful karsts. We also saw a remote fishing village and a pearl farm which were both very interesting. After the hustle and bustle of all the surprisingly large cities of the Far East, this opportunity for relaxation and nature was a real treat. Hong Kong I had booked a hotel near the airport so we took advantage of the EXC Hong Kong Tour with Airport Transfer. Disembarkation was very easy and well organized. The tour itself wasn’t really very good, but it did give us a chance to see Victoria Peak and Aberdeen. The fishing village was really just a marina around the Jumbo restaurant and the jewelry factory was a jewelry store where we were trapped for about a half hour. After being dropped at the airport, we took the Novotel Citygate shuttle to the hotel, which was great. The hotel is connected to the Citygate mall and also provided easy access to the transportation hub of Lantau Island. We stayed two nights and made the trip up to Tian Tan (Big Buddha), which made for a perfect final day. Summary Our first cruise with Holland was a success, primarily because the itinerary was so interesting. The service aboard was fantastic and we were able to name several of our favorites in our survey because they provided such great service. The rooms were comfortable; the food was good. Even still, we probably we wait a few years before we cruise Holland again so that we can age into what they offer. For now, we still like a ship with a little more vibrancy. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We had understood that the ship had been renovated and that the food on HAL was good - neither are true. The buffet is monotonous and the specialty restaurants are not worth the high prices. Facilities are worn (cushions on outdoor ... Read More
We had understood that the ship had been renovated and that the food on HAL was good - neither are true. The buffet is monotonous and the specialty restaurants are not worth the high prices. Facilities are worn (cushions on outdoor chairs, chipped walls in our bathroom, lamp in our room). The service was ok but nothing special. Our room steward was very nice and helpful. The food was often Luke warm or lacking flavour. We opted for “anytime dining” which we thought meant we could make a reservation for anytime which is not true. You cannot make a reservation between 6pm and 8pm . You have to take a buzzer and come back (once nearly an hour later). No one could explain why we couldn’t make a reservation. It is completely misleading. Entertainment was ok.This was our First try with HAL - there might not be a second one. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
If you are looking for a glitzy Las Vegas hotel on water, with countless shipboard activities, a booming disco, and an overactive cruise director shouting at you every 5 minutes - then this is NOT the cruise for you. We chose it because it ... Read More
If you are looking for a glitzy Las Vegas hotel on water, with countless shipboard activities, a booming disco, and an overactive cruise director shouting at you every 5 minutes - then this is NOT the cruise for you. We chose it because it was a well priced cruise on a smaller ship and we enjoyed the more mellow atmosphere and the feeling of actually being on a ship. The ship is older but the public areas are classy and the staterooms are spacious with comfortable beds, and bathtubs, but could use some styling. There was also a problem in our stateroom with a faint, stale smoke smell. They brought in a small machine 3 different times (while we were out) to freshen the air, and it helped a lot. We also appreciated the unexpected credit on our bill for the inconvenience of having to freshen up our room. The food on the ship varied from good to very good, the entertainment was surprisingly good considering the size of the ship (the dancers were better than many I have seen on larger ships) and there was a quartet performing live music in the Ocean Bar who were extraordinary. They were a jazz quartet with a talented, passionate singer and phenomenal pianist who were a joy to listen to and romantic to dance to. Unfortunately one of the passengers on the cruise complained because she wanted dance tunes that she and her girl friends could all get out and boogie to. So unfortunately, whoever was in charge asked the quartet to start doing pop tunes which was really a waste of their talent. Such a shame that the person in charge wanted to appease the complaining cruiser rather than allow the rest of us to enjoy the classy ambiance that this quartet was creating. And there was plenty of music to dance to after the quartet played - the entertainment staff would play whatever anyone requested over their sound system and you could dance as long as you wanted. Hope they figure out what a class act they have in Lila and her jazz quartet. The service on the ship was very good - personable, efficient, but not in your face. Holland America seems to attract an older crowd and I think there were only about 5 kids on this ship. Probably a little tame for the cruiser who wants to party, but lovely for those of us who don't really want to be at adult summer camp. The ports were typical Caribbean ports - gorgeous blue water, some lovely beaches, pretty good snorkeling. We felt a bit rushed with the time frame on some of them, but the itinerary was nice with all the active days at the beginning, so our 2 sea days at the end were a welcome relaxation time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
If you're looking for an extra special way to spend NYE don't book this cruise. You pay a premium to fly & cruise at this time of year so you expect the ship would really go the extra mile. Holland America has a reputation ... Read More
If you're looking for an extra special way to spend NYE don't book this cruise. You pay a premium to fly & cruise at this time of year so you expect the ship would really go the extra mile. Holland America has a reputation for catering to an older crowd but this trip made me feel like I was on a Disney ship and all the problems that travelling with "little darlings" entails.( ie ice cream fights in the Lido buffet, throwing objects during the Main stage shows, and you can imagine what the diapers in the pool caused.) Don't worry about dressing up for Gala Nights. People came in wearing raggy cut-off, well worn logo T-shirts, flip flops, etc. New Year's Eve itself was just a regular cruise event - nothing special set up. A band was setting up by the pool but didn't start till 11:30 if you wanted to sit around and wait. Certainly not a dancing area. On New Year's day, there was no evening show and even OnBoard Billboard (one of the more popular events) did not have a show. I realize it was a good time for families to travel, but you could easily pick out the ones that trained their children on proper behaviour or manners and the ones that assign that responsibility to others - in this case, cruise ship workers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We did two seven day cruises back to back on the Zuiderdam, coming back to Fort Lauderdale in between. We like Holland America because of the extra large verandas and the fact that their ships aren’t overwhelming. Big enough to offer ... Read More
We did two seven day cruises back to back on the Zuiderdam, coming back to Fort Lauderdale in between. We like Holland America because of the extra large verandas and the fact that their ships aren’t overwhelming. Big enough to offer enough to do but not so big we feel lost in crowds. We also signed on with Holland America in part because of their offering for America’s Test Kitchen. We love the show and on past cruises have learned SO much from their cooking classes. NO MORE! Holland America ended their contract with Test Kitchen, and the second half of the trip had absolutely nothing! Big mistake on their part, because now it’s got us looking at other cruise lines. The food was typical, very good, but not great. Presentation was always wonderful but we found the descriptions on the menu, never quite what we thought we were getting. We opted to do Holland America and supplement with additional dining at their other restaurants, and didn’t realize Zuiderdam only had two. The first three nights at Pinnacle or Rudi’s were OK, mostly because we had a waiter who was just plain bad. Served us like the main dining room. The steaks were cold and we had to send them back. I don’t mean cool, I mean cold. While the head came over and apologized, you’d have thought they would have caught on. Well, we were also a group of women, and I have noticed we do get worse service on most cruise lines. They pay attention to the couples, though we pay the same price. The fourth night we demanded to be seated elsewhere with a different waiter since the first one sucked, and they were planning on giving us that loser again (truly one of the worst cruise line waiters we’ve had). Then the experience was excellent. What a difference it makes when you get your food hot and the wait staff serves it with care instead of dropping it off on his way to another table! I’m always amazed how clean the ships are considering the hard use they get. Overall we were pleased with the boat. I have to say though, losing America’s Test kitchen is a huge disappointment, and will cause us to explore other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise as a special Christmas and New Year holiday, just for my wife and I coming from the UK, having been told that HAL was a big step up from P&O, which we travelled last time. Nothing could be further from the truth ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a special Christmas and New Year holiday, just for my wife and I coming from the UK, having been told that HAL was a big step up from P&O, which we travelled last time. Nothing could be further from the truth (except the price, I suppose). When I booked, the line couldn't/wouldn't tell me which cabin we'd be in - we didn't find out until we boarded. In the event it was fine, but others had a very different outcome. The general service was magnificent. The cabin was very good and the ship was in an excellent state of repair. The food in the buffet and dining room was simply outstanding, but ironically, the premium restaurants, for which additional payment was required, were ok but not worth doing (cold food; poorly seasoned). The entertainment was woeful; won't even bore you with the details, but more than half the advertised events were simply sales pitches or invitations to do the slots in the casino. Entertainments manager wasn't around much. This was Christmas and New Year, and aside from a pool party on NYE, nothing much changed. One of the propellors had broken so the ship vibrated considerably most of the time, and we were late to pretty much every port. This meant we had to cancel several private excursions - this was a real issue, as this was supposed to be the holiday of a lifetime. I got precious little help from most of what they laughingly refer to as 'Guest Services', although a couple went above and beyond and were massively helpful (I have contacted the line to acknowledge and thank them by name). Tenders were dreadul - we saw people who had waited 2 hours to get off the ship, and the stops were shortened anyway, because of the broken propellor. Also, the crew had been instructed not to talk about this: we heard it from friends who'd had their cruise cancelled. I expect to pay premium prices for beverages, but these were not only highly priced ($5.50 for a bottle of water; $7 for a beer; $50 for a really mediocre bottle of wine) but a mandatory 15% service charge was added (therefore $8.05 for a beer) as well as the gratuity charge at the end of the cruise. Money wasn't the overriding factor, but is there really any justification in charging $25 wifi per device per day? It's 2020, people, and hotels etc have free wifi. The trip rounded off nicely with late arrival (propellor again), problems with baggage collection and a curtailed excursion due to the lateness (the tour company had told the ship, but the ship didn't say anything to the tourists). Overall, we had a nice time because we saw some nice places and met some really nice people. However, I was expecting a great time. This was not that. While some things were great (especially the other cruisers and the destinations), the important bits that we'd paid for were pretty poor. Hopefully this was a one off, as we've planned 2 other HAL cruises over the next 18 months. I shan't be booking them until I have some resolution from my complaints this time round, and as HAL hasn't even replied to my emails or social media tweets, I'm wondering whether to look elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My husband and I are in our mid-30's/early 40's. During the holiday season, we always take a cruise. For the past four years, we've taken NCL cruises. This year, we decided to take a cruise on the Koningsdam. We already had ... Read More
My husband and I are in our mid-30's/early 40's. During the holiday season, we always take a cruise. For the past four years, we've taken NCL cruises. This year, we decided to take a cruise on the Koningsdam. We already had 3 HAL cruises under our belts, but those were all out of the Pacific Northwest. We were unsure about a HAL cruise in the Caribbean because the ports are less of a feature than on an Alaskan itinerary. What did we think? We absolutely loved the Koningsdam!! I'm mystified why there are so many low reviews. So far, this is our favorite HAL experience. Cruise Info: 7 Day Eastern Caribbean - December 15-22, 2019 Embarkation: We spent 2 nights at an Airbnb in Fort Lauderdale. We took a Lyft to Port Everglades and arrived around 11am. Embarkation was smooth. Check-in went by quickly, and there was plenty of space to wait in the terminal. By noon, we were on the ship and enjoying lunch in the main dining room. Ship: This is a beautiful ship! The decor manages to be both classic and modern. HAL seems to be moving in a new direction with this ship, and I like it! The atrium spans three decks with the Ocean Bar and Grand Dutch Cafe on two of them. On previous HAL cruises, I thought the atrium was too small and too dull. This one was bigger and had more energy from all the nearby areas. The ship was always clean and tidy. The promenade on deck 3 was more narrow than on previous ships, but it was still a great place to walk around and enjoy the sea air. We avoided areas on the starboard side because the ventilation for cigarette smoke was there. The BB King Lounge is 2 decks high, so there was always lots of seating. We didn't spend much time by the lido pool, but it did feel stuffy here. The only opening for the 2 deck area was the retractable roof. Cabin: We had originally booked a guaranteed inside cabin. Less than a week before the cruise, we were offered an upgrade to a veranda for $79 per person! Needless to say, we quickly got on the phone and got our new cabin. Please see my cabin review below for more details. Main Dining Room: The dining rooms on older HAL ships are dark, but the Koningsdam's MDR is bright, modern, and welcoming. We ate all our dinners and some of our lunches here. I also enjoyed afternoon tea a couple times, which is a fun treat. We had open seating, and we usually arrived around 7pm. On both gala nights, we were given a pager and had to wait 20-25 minutes, but the time passed quickly. The food was very good and offered a nice variety. The MDR staff is friendly and willing to fill special requests (e.g. extra vegetables, no sauce). There was only one dish I did not enjoy, and I was able to receive a new entree quickly. Drink service was extremely fast! I hope HAL eventually ends set dining times. When I looked at the deck above, I saw many empty tables. This seems inefficient. Also, I wish there were bathrooms in the dining room because you have to go through the people waiting to enter in order to reach the toilets. Grand Dutch Cafe: What a great addition!! Every staff member is from the Netherlands, and the menu consists of Dutch foods. We ate many lunches here. We especially enjoyed the quiche and the pickled herring. The coffees were excellent. The highlight of this area was the extremely friendly staff. They always made us smile. Room Service: Each day, we ordered room service for breakfast. It always arrived on time or a little earlier. We requested items not listed on the menu (e.g. grapefruit, plain yogurt), and these items were always included. It's very relaxing to enjoy breakfast in the cabin before venturing out on the ship. Signature Beverage Package: When we booked our cruise, HAL was running a great deal on the SBP ($140 per person for the entire week). This is such a wonderful perk! It covers all drinks priced at $11 or less, and this includes bottled waters and specialty coffees. (I should note that you can only get bottled waters that are 500mL or less. This seems to be a recent change.) Each day, we enjoyed a couple coffees, many bottles of water, a few glasses of wine, and a digestif. We definitely got our money's worth! If you can get the SBP at a discounted rate, go for it! Entertainment: The Music Walk is a great concept! Lincoln Center Stage and BB King are both amazing!! They are filled with talented musicians. I loved relaxing to classical musical before dinner and then dancing the night away after our meal. The nighttime music is loud. My husband and I both wore earplugs when dancing at BB King. We were still able to enjoy their music without getting headaches. We were unable to listen to the rock band for long. Even with the earplugs, they were still way too loud. They need to either turn down the volume or move to a bigger venue. We went to the main stage shows twice. We saw the BBC Earth presentation and a comedian. Both were good. Daytime Activities: This is an area HAL still needs to work on. There is not a lot going on at this time, so we usually entertained ourselves by walking the promenade or playing cards. Computer classes and spa seminars are not for me. I wish there more active options (e.g. dance classes). We did attend the presentation about HAL's history. This was fantastic and very interesting! Service: As always, HAL's service was top-notch. Our room stewards were wonderful! They took care of everything, and our room was always clean and tidy. Every staff member we encountered was friendly and helpful. The cruise director (Karlijn) was a real standout! She puts her heart and soul into her job. Guest Services: On day 2, we noticed a billing error. We had been charged for a few items that should have been included with the SBP. We visited guest services, and the issue was quickly resolved. We had no more issues the rest of the cruise. Great job!! Ports: The only port that stood out was San Juan. There is so much to see in the Old Town! Due to rough seas, we were unable to visit Half Moon Cay. On the morning of arrival, the captain announced the change. By 10am, the cruise director had planned several new activities for the day and had a new schedule printed. I was very impressed! Please read my port reviews below for more information on each stop. Disembarkation: We were able to enjoy room service breakfast and then wait in our cabin until our luggage group was called. Getting off the ship was easy. We took a Lyft to Pompano Beach and spent the next few days relaxing by the sea. Overall: We loved the Koningsdam!! Yes, HAL is moving in a new direction with a larger ship, new concepts, and more modern decor. I think the low rating on CC has to do with these changes. In order for HAL to go forward and gain new cruisers, it needed to change. The Koningsdam shows the company is looking towards the future. I can't wait to cruise with them again!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise because we had taken Holland America before and really enjoyed it. This trip was to celebrate my 60th birthday and what a wonderful celebration it was! Everything was perfect! Our stateroom was nicely furnished ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had taken Holland America before and really enjoyed it. This trip was to celebrate my 60th birthday and what a wonderful celebration it was! Everything was perfect! Our stateroom was nicely furnished with lots of storage. Our cabin stewards were amazing. Always there if you needed them but not intrusive at all. The concierge in the Neptune lounge were both knowledgable and helpful. It was nice for our other shipmates to gather in the lounge before going out or just visiting. We had early seating in the dinning room. The table was near the window and the service was exceptional. The food was terrific and the portions ample without waste. The Pinnacle Dining Room was very nice. We enjoyed dining there several times. There was an uncharge but certainly worth the expense. The wine list was wonderful and the service was very attentive. The pools were clean and the servers were close by to take your drink order. We ate at the Dive and the burgers and dogs were just fine. We did enjoy a number of Holland America approve excursions, they were all very nice with the exception of Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic. We had rented a pool cabana for $275 and it was a total rip off. The music was loud, the food and drinks were expensive and there was no one there! It was awful. Please do not even get off the ship in Amber Cove. Thanks for reading this and I hope you have as good of time as we did, Happy sails!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My family has traveled with Holland America many times in the past and was a little concerned about how the unique style and sophistication of the line would translate in a 2,000 + passenger configuration. The truth is that it translated ... Read More
My family has traveled with Holland America many times in the past and was a little concerned about how the unique style and sophistication of the line would translate in a 2,000 + passenger configuration. The truth is that it translated well. You never felt crowded and you were never confronted with endless lines. The size provided for more options of things to do, more options of places to eat and places to just relax and find quite. We loved some of the new features like the Grand Dutch Cafe, the music walk (Lincoln Center Stage, Billboard, BB King All Stars and the Rolling Stone lounge), Microsoft Studio as well as the tried and true standards. All of these venues dblended perfectly. The music venues were a hit and even our grandsons enjoyed the music and entertainment. But the real hit for these two kids was the Club HAL program. They could not wait to get back to the Kids Klub as they called it. The facilities are incedible with seperate areas for different age/interest groups and the staff was a real hit, caring and responsible. Just proves that you don't need a floating amusment park to satisfy your youngest travelers. The itinerary was perfect. We started with a call at Holland America's private island, Half Moon Cay. Which we made even better by arranging for a cabana to give our group a focal point. Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel were all casual and beach centric. While the free dining areas were excellent, the specialty restaurants were stand outs. From the Pinnacle Grill to Rudy's to the Tamarind and Canalettos they all addressed a specific cuisine and provided a incredible experience. My only wish is that they open the Sushi restaurant for lunch during the days at sea. All in all we had a very diverse group on board. My wife and I were celebrating our 50th Wedding Anniversary, our kids, young lovers and our two grandsons all found the experience to be exceptional. They are already talking about a return engagement. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Loved our first 2 cruises on Oosterdam most recent was perhaps 4 years ago to Alaska our first to Alaska years ago this was the Alaska too. We were delayed a day due to repairs on ship we had to miss mazaltan disappointed we went on this ... Read More
Loved our first 2 cruises on Oosterdam most recent was perhaps 4 years ago to Alaska our first to Alaska years ago this was the Alaska too. We were delayed a day due to repairs on ship we had to miss mazaltan disappointed we went on this cruise to go there as weve already visited Cabo and Puerto Vallarta on pasr Princess,We loved how easy it was to fly Alaskan Airlines to San Diego from PDX and really easy to get the bus out front to cruise port was a breeze too.The bus is set up like a airport parking lot bus so you luggage is no worry thing loved it for a couple bucks think 2,50 well worth it.Skip the transfers its right out front only goes to cruise port every 15 minutes or so. on board things have changed we missed the clear staircase in the middle of shop it looked amazing and great in photos.I didn't care much for the buffet seemed to be repeats each day, Hand santitizers weren't always full or available with people montering them in buffet or dining rooms. Weve always had balcony rooms the only way to go.Wished we had doors to leave open a bit to hear the waves and ocean air.Entertainment is no where near as good as I remember on past cruises.The crew were not as happy as before all anxious for their contracts to be done so they could move on.Loved our cabin attendant Dewa a very cheerful hard worker.Hated the tender into Cabo we had seniors that weren't to stable on their feet and I was scared for them but I think theres gotta be a better way for them to get aboard . Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Having booked this cruise on an exceptional deal around 6 months before sailing with a free drinks package for about £700 for 2 weeks, we jumped at the chance. However were very worried about the reviews as it got closer to sailing. We ... Read More
Having booked this cruise on an exceptional deal around 6 months before sailing with a free drinks package for about £700 for 2 weeks, we jumped at the chance. However were very worried about the reviews as it got closer to sailing. We needn't have worried. Boarding was quick, no champagne when embarking like Celebrity/Cunard/Silvesea etc, but no big deal..cabin was very large compared to Celebrity with the added benefit of a small tub. Ok the TV was old and the cabin dated along with a few areas of the ship (MDR dated, corridors etc) but kept clean - Celebrity Constellation was even more dated and dirtier when we sailed on her in 2017! Some public areas (Coffee Shop, Crows Nest etc) have had new chairs and carpets - very nice. Food was exceptional, love the made to order burgers, pizzas etc - everything is fresh, even good food in the lido where you don't help yourself but servers serve the food! MDR excellent most nights, one night a little off, but MD quickly sorted another dish out. Very impressed with the quality and service of HAL, shows were not great, only entertainment which was superb was Barry from Boston in the Piano Bar! Absolutely excellent, however I hear HAL are trying to get rid of the Piano Bar, such a shame! First time with HAL - very impressed, just for us, not much to do in the evening or on sea days and HAL are keen to upsell at every opportunity, however service and food couldn't fault. Didn't do any HAL excursions as they were expensive compared to Celeb etc and although we had a drinks package which we found was worth it - we couldn't use it on Half Moon Cay - we stopped there twice so took bottled beers and cans from the bar unopened to the island.... take a note from RCL and MSC who allow you to use the Drinks Package on their Bahamian Islands. Overall very good, will do HAL again at the right price so long as it includes drinks. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
11-Southern Caribbean cruise in December of 2019. Great itinerary of islands that were not the typical voyage. Martinique, Antigua and Barbuda are highlights! Ship is extremely well maintained - crew is extremely friendly. Grand Dutch ... Read More
11-Southern Caribbean cruise in December of 2019. Great itinerary of islands that were not the typical voyage. Martinique, Antigua and Barbuda are highlights! Ship is extremely well maintained - crew is extremely friendly. Grand Dutch Café and Club Orange dining room are great! Cannot say enough about the staff. Everyone from maintenance crew to housekeeping staff to Neptune Lounge crew to the Officers of the ship went out of their way to talk to everyone! Food was excellent! Portions were perfect! Room service for breakfast was spot on for accuracy and temperature - maybe a phone call to let us know it was on the way! Cabin accomodations were impeccable! Very comfortable beds and deck chairs! Plenty of room for storage. Public areas were tasteful and very light oriented. Carpets and wood tones were inviting to the eye. Would definitely book another cruise on this ship and enjoy it on a voyage longer than a standard 7-day cruise. You need that long to enjoy the ship! Some of the best entertainment on Holland America in a long time! The showroom is different without a balcony, but it works! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My wife and I enjoyed the cruise. Booked another on the cruise. The food was very enjoyable. We dined mostly in the Lido but twice in the MDR. Wish the food was labeled. Liked that it was served by staff which seemed much more ... Read More
My wife and I enjoyed the cruise. Booked another on the cruise. The food was very enjoyable. We dined mostly in the Lido but twice in the MDR. Wish the food was labeled. Liked that it was served by staff which seemed much more sanitary. The happy hours where a good value. Staff was friendly. We really liked the service from our room steward Ichsan. He was very pleasant and did an excellent job. Hopefully we will be able to have him on our next cruise. The main stage shows where a little boring. I'd rate the dance first, I looked forward to their second performance, then the magician. I enjoyed the Lincoln Center performances the most. There was a nice mix of different styles of music presented. The musicians were excellent. I wish they would have had a few performances on the main stage. There was a lot of people walking by that could be noisy. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
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