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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Sailed HAL for 10 of 12 cruises. Last cruise 34 years ago. First vacation in 8 years and first vacation with wife in 28 years (never had honeymoon and always had kids)?? Basically, the shore system didn’t match the onboard system. I ... Read More
Sailed HAL for 10 of 12 cruises. Last cruise 34 years ago. First vacation in 8 years and first vacation with wife in 28 years (never had honeymoon and always had kids)?? Basically, the shore system didn’t match the onboard system. I bought 4 indulgences and packages and none were ready for us. We never received the excursion tickets or most of the Add-ons without multiple trips to Guest services. They never notified us of Port Valet services or shopping specials that were supposed to be delivered to room. HAL completely missed our anniversary. They were quick with ‘I’m so sorry’ but slow on resolutions. Missed several onboard events while waiting in line at Guest Services. They don’t answer the phone so don’t bother. MDR was nice but if you share a table, they may make you wait 30 minutes until the table is full. Lincoln Center Stage was the best. I wish they would let me throat punch the drunks and obnoxious passengers that walked by and disrupted the performance. Weather was rough 1 day (18’ swells) and passengers felt the need to vomit on the common area carpets instead of staying in their cabins. Everything is an add on. Better meals in MDR ($25+ extra), candid photos ($20 each or 5 for $60). Portraits at Gala, $40 each or $160 for 5). Bingo was about $40 plus the $2.50 dauber. Staff was always pushing drinks, pictures, spa treatments, etc. Had 2 of 8 days without problems and trying to get what we paid for. Well possibly travel on HAL again if they fix their problems. I’m a 3 star Mariner and have a long way until 4 stars. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We sailed recently on this ship from Sydney to New zealand on a two week voyage. Unfortunately we found that it is in need of a major overhaul -not just in terms of the decor itself, but also with the entertainments team -who appear to ... Read More
We sailed recently on this ship from Sydney to New zealand on a two week voyage. Unfortunately we found that it is in need of a major overhaul -not just in terms of the decor itself, but also with the entertainments team -who appear to be somewhat complacent in their approach to the job! Granted the general age of passengers is elderly, but the programme provided lacked fun and enthusiasm, and was more akin to an evening at an old people’s home - where the objective was to put something on to keep them happy for a while, then get them to bed early! Believe me we have cruised many many times on various cruise lines , and we were not looking brash or high energy entertainment- but a bit of fun and perhaps regular game shows might have been nice. Even the planned entertainment was not without problems. BB kings had to close for 2 nights because they had no drummer, and the piano player simply didn’t turn up at short notice on two separate occasions, because he was sick! I appreciate these things happen, but the cruise Directors ‘ solution to all of this was to simply put on a film in BB kings studio - which many passengers had already seen ! How’s that for intuition ! I fear some staff have been on this ship too long and it’s a case of “ the same old same old” approach Another missing element to mention was the shops- they were totally closed for refurbishment on the first 6 days of a 14 day cruise! AS most cruisers will know- on the sea days, many passengers like to browse around the shops , and their closure -coupled with poor or non existant entertainment, made for long and boring sea days! You could go to cookery demo if it was on or an educational lecture- but that was it,! It was my 60th birthday on departure day, and my husband had paid in advance for our cabin to be decorated , with flowers and champagne left in the room. When we arrived there was a warm bottle of champagne on the table , without glasses or an ice bucket and no flowers or decorations. The whole moment was lost- yet when he complained to guest relations , no one seemed to care or take charge of the situation. All we were told was to make sure we left the champagne out for collection so we’d get a refund- no apology - no compensatory gesture of any kind was given for spoiling what should have been a lovely memory !! My daughter who was miles away at home also ordered some birthday flowers to be delivered to my cabin- again they never came and again no apology- just money credited to an account without any cognisance being taken of what they were for, and the significance and importance of the gesture as intended. On the plus side the food in the main dining room was excellent and the staff were all welcoming and eager to please, but apart from this the ship is lacking in luster! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We were on a 10 day Southern Caribbean Cruise aboard the Nieuw Statendam. Here is our experience: First the good: Food was great, staff were great (with the exception of the 3rd floor Dutch Cafe who were real sarcastic and darn right ... Read More
We were on a 10 day Southern Caribbean Cruise aboard the Nieuw Statendam. Here is our experience: First the good: Food was great, staff were great (with the exception of the 3rd floor Dutch Cafe who were real sarcastic and darn right nasty), accommodations were great. Now the not-so-good: The entertainment, in our opinion, was poor. Same performances repeated over and over again. We found limited seating capacity for the Rolling-stone Rock Band, Nate & Debbie Piano performances, Lincoln Center stage & BB King Blues Band. A lot of people stood in the hallways to watch these performances. We felt that this ship was mostly populated by what seemed the 80+ age group with a handful of patrons under age 60. Many, many walkers, wheel-chairs & oxygen tanks. Almost all the venues shut down by 8:00 p.m. (with the exception of the New York Deli which stayed open till 11:00 P.M. If we were outside the restricted (and very short) feeding hours we had no options. Although It is not unusual for cruise ships to go after you "on board dollars", we found that Nieuw Statendam took this concept to a new height! Most of the Ship's spaces are designated to the exclusive Orange Club or pay per visit Cabanas and Spas. The toilets seemed "European miniature size" and definitely not designed to accommodate a man (in particular). Long "sea days" were quite boring as there was literary nothing to do for us on board.. Oh, one last thing, we found the "Art Works" all over the ship of the "Junk Art" category. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My wife and I had been planning this cruise for several years to celebrate our 43rd wedding anniversary as well as her completing her PhD. We had booked an ocean view cabin on Deck #1. We did not find out until out first night that we ... Read More
My wife and I had been planning this cruise for several years to celebrate our 43rd wedding anniversary as well as her completing her PhD. We had booked an ocean view cabin on Deck #1. We did not find out until out first night that we had a cabin under the B.B.King nightclub! Could someone please explain to me why a cruise line would put passengers in a cabin under a noisy night club! We complained to Guest Services several times and finally we moved to another cabin. 4 nights of a 10 night cruise spent in a cabin we could not sleep in! GRRRRR! I wrote to Holland America corporate customer service after the cruise to express my displeasure with their accommodations. They offered us $500.00 in Ship Board credits on our next cruise. So in order to avail ourselves of their offer we have to spend several thousand dollars. Not a good option. We also booked a Romantic Getaway Package. We were supposed to get complimentary pictures, casino lessons and credit at the casino, as well as flowers, sparkling wine, (upon entering our cabin on the first cruise day) and chocolate covered strawberries in our cabin. The wine was not chilled. We were told the florist was running behind. In order to get the pictures and the lessons and credit at the casino the letter with the package was not accepted. We had to go back to Guest Services and get a card showing that we should receive the services. We ended up doing this over several days as we tried to get our package services. So, basically we went to customer service on a nearly daily basis. GRRRRR! Holland America had many opportunities to make things right. Many of the onboard staff did a commendable job trying to resolve these problems. Corporate could have done a better job. The dining room staff and the Green House spa staff were great. The excursions were good. Overall I would have to say that when a problem arose the onboard staff tried to make the situation right. Holland America Customer Relations - Not so much. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was to be a second honeymoon but turned out to be a huge disappointment. It took years of saving on a disabled veteran's compensation to pay for the cruise and we feel ripoffed. Embarkation was slow and disorganized. When ... Read More
This was to be a second honeymoon but turned out to be a huge disappointment. It took years of saving on a disabled veteran's compensation to pay for the cruise and we feel ripoffed. Embarkation was slow and disorganized. When boarding, we were summarily given directions to an elevator and told how to go find our stateroom. Hardly the reception we had anticipated. No one told us that they was a welcome lunch in the Lido. We were traveling with friends and had connecting stateroom and it took two days to finally get screen between veranda removed. Dining room experience was mixed. After we changed our seating to assigned, we found fellow passengers were more likely to follow the dress code. Inaddition, the staff was very attentive and service was excellent. Boorish behavior of a group of fellow passenger was finally addressed after several complaints from other diners. Menu choices was minimal and food taste was marginal. Presentation,however was very good. Lido food was the same every day and tasted like it was recycled from the previous day. Testament to the Lid o food was the lines at the deli and the DIVE IN. Entertainment for 70 year passengers who love ballroom dancing was nonexistent even though the cruise consultant assured us it would be there. Unless you love acid rock and disco don't expect to be entertained. One world stage comedian was superb. The dancers were excellent and put on a good show. The rest of the shows were not worth the time and we left early. The music was the same in all three venues and was not "danceable". We went to the Blues Club at midnight as a DJ was advertised. The DJ began playing the same music as the three bands and did not have a clue when we asked for a rumba, chacha, or waltz. Stateroom was comfortable and veranda was spacious. Will never cruise with Holland again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
For New Years we wanted to try another cruise line that we haven't sailed in a while. With the delivery of the New Statendam we said why not? We last sailed HAL about 9 years ago. Without going on about why we haven't sailed ... Read More
For New Years we wanted to try another cruise line that we haven't sailed in a while. With the delivery of the New Statendam we said why not? We last sailed HAL about 9 years ago. Without going on about why we haven't sailed them in 9 years, I will move forward. The GOOD: New Ship is immaculate, except for the entertainment promenade the layout is good. In the entertainment area you have 3 competing LOUD venues going at the same time. Entertainment was good In the BB King venue, the All Stars were fantastic. We did not eat in the MDR as we had purchased the Ultimate Dining package. However the MDR menu every night look very good. We had a balcony cabin which was very nice. The water pressure in the shower was the best we have experienced on a ship. The BAD: Crew is as new as the ship and did not quite have its act teamwork together. Only a couple of seasoned crew we met had the wherewithal to go outside the box to help solve an issue or complaint. With our PREPAID Ultimate Dining Package, no one at the specialty restaurants and Guest Service services seemed to know about the program. EVERY night in whatever specialty restaurant we dined we ended up getting double charged for our PREPAID dinners. This required a trip to the GUEST SERVICES line every night to get our bill repaired. Total waste of time. The Elite Drink Package, supposedly good for drinks up to $15 ...there was no logic to this, only madness. The idea is that you pay a little more for an unlimited drink package (which is really limited 15 per day, including coffees, water etc.) which you have access to something called ELITE. We found no difference in why ELITE was priced higher than the SIGNATURE. As it happens, if you order say a martini with a premium vodka on the ELITE package it counts as 2 drinks, even though with a dollar upcharge for the vodka the drink total is $9.95, well below the $15 threshold. GO FIGURE? I met with the ship's Beverage Manager the next day and was told that too bad that is the policy. Whether it makes sense or not. I asked for and received a refund for the drinks package. We found it to be much more manageable that way. The UGLY: GUEST SERVICES: Each and every person we met with in Guest services wanted to go out of their way to help no matter the request. The problem is with the Guest Services operation...none, zero of the people wanting to help has any authority to do so. They simply take your issue and move it to the department responsible. The ever response is "you should receive a call in 24 hours as to your concern"....NOT ACCEPTABLE....The night before disembarking the ship the line was long with most getting no resolution to their concern..."Just wait until morning to see if the credit gets issued to you"...Hard to do when you have getting off the ship on your mind. Add on packages, DRINKS or SPECIALTY RESTAURANT: If you can not provide any value to these type packages then don't offer them. Also train your crew how they work. In each bar venue if we asked a server how the drink package works they're answer would always differ from the bartenders answer. This training problem the Beverage Manager owned up to. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I have been on 9 cruises on a variety of cruise lines, including Disney, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity, and Holland America. This was my second time booking a Holland America Cruise. The last cruise I took was a 7-day holiday cruise ... Read More
I have been on 9 cruises on a variety of cruise lines, including Disney, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity, and Holland America. This was my second time booking a Holland America Cruise. The last cruise I took was a 7-day holiday cruise a few years ago. I booked the original cruise primarily on the recommendation of a family friend, who told me that while Holland America caters to a more mature crowd, the service, food, and entertainment was second to none, and well-suited for a more refined experience. My first experience on Holland America was positive, which is why I decided to book again. My boyfriend and I wanted to take a short cruise (this was his first cruise experience), and I thought that we would splurge a little and take the new Holland America 4-day Bahamas cruise, traveling to their private island and Nassau. Having booked cruises before, I was a little surprised at the amount of information (or lack thereof) given prior to the cruise. Shore excursions seemed very limited, and very few details were made available on the entertainment options to be available onboard. I figured, not a big deal, perhaps this is because this is the inaugural sailing? The embarkation process was fine, but nothing to write home about. I noticed less of the "VIP" treatment I had received on other cruises, such as refreshments upon arriving onboard, and quite a few less-than-friendly faces as we explored the ship. We had an outside stateroom on the 10th deck - the room was fine, although the veranda was cramped with chairs and footrests that didn't quite fit the balcony size. Now, let me get to the areas we were disappointed: 1) Food: The best food I've had on a cruise line was on Celebrity, closely followed by my last Holland America experience. Unfortunately, we were left sending our meals back on multiple occasions on this cruise. Food was served luke warm, and some side dishes seemed oddly paired with entrees. They over-cooked our steaks, and fish was bland. The only decent meal we had was when we decided to splurge on one of their specialty restaurants, so perhaps this is their way of getting cruisers to spend more money? Understanding the large amount of people they are serving, I have experience much better on nearly every other cruise I had been on. 2) Entertainment: Typically, a cruise itinerary is packed with activities throughout the day, where one is left to make choices between, say, a dance class or a trivia game. This was not the case on this ship. There were very few options for entertainment, and for half of the days, we were left in our stateroom with nothing to do. Perhaps part of the issue is that we are not the type to blow hundreds of dollars on over-priced spa experiences. But it seemed as though this cruise expected you to spend your time spending the money in the spa, or be left with the dullest of activities to choose form (nearly every hour, there was a "Microsoft" training class - on a ship - really???). Completely disappointed with entertainment quality in the evenings as well. Now, I realize that cruise lines are notorious for cheesy very-off-Broadway shows, but in some cases, I have been impressed with the variety and talent. This was not the case on this cruise. The "dance" performances were of the quality like something you'd see a Six Flags amusement park, and the live music, while offering variety, was poorly laid out on the ship (e.g. while in the classical music hall you could hear the music from the rock club, poorly placed directly next door). 3) Service/Friendliness: Usually I have no complaints with service or friendliness on a ship. Unfortunately, this crew seemed genuinely unhappy to be serving us. Again I am not sure if this is simply because this is a new crew, but instead of friendly smiles and personal greetings, many of the staff seemed uninterested in answering our questions, or unable to. Lots of dull faces, and not many personal greetings in hallways as one would usually see on a cruise. The service was equivalent to something I would expect in a 2-star restaurant or hotel, not a quality cruise line. 4) Value/Quality: Last but not least, I'll address cost. The cost for drinks on the ship was about average, although the very green crew was not generous at all with their pours, and most bar tenders were clearly not trained to make any drinks not on their menus. Shore excursions were also average priced, and of course the spa was outrageous. We opted for a massage on Nassau so about 1/4th the price of what we would have paid on the ship - a very good decision. I felt as though I had a much better bang for the buck on my last Celebrity cruise, where perks like an all-inclusive drink package were added to sweeten the deal. Altogether, unfortunately, Holland America has proven to be a disappointment. I do not recommend this ship, the ship design, the food, the drinks, the activities, the entertainment, the crew, or the value. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
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
We did this same cruise last year and had problems but did it again because my husband liked the ports of call.. This year it was worse - Koningsdam just came off dry dock but there were lots of maintenance issues. Apparently it takes 21 ... Read More
We did this same cruise last year and had problems but did it again because my husband liked the ports of call.. This year it was worse - Koningsdam just came off dry dock but there were lots of maintenance issues. Apparently it takes 21 days but management felt that they could get it done in a week. We were not the only ones that experiened problems, many other did too. We did not meet anyone that was pleased with this cruise. Our problems were mainly with staff not being able to handle what issues and not being able to get our OBC. First day on the ship and was told at breakfast that they were out of egg whites. It was downhill from that point. There was no tea - out of order equipment of at beverage stations everyday. The lido staff were unfriendly and impolite. Ports of call were great but HA docked at two industrial ports leaving cruisers at the mercy of belligerent taxi drivers. Getting around was very inconvenient and difficult. Caution about OBC - check OBC before final payment is made and make sure that you read the fine print. HA did not honor the OBC and it was too difficult to get with travel agents or brokers when on the ship..Menus are limited and not practical. Entertainment was good but not well planned - there were repeat performances of artists. In addition, there were lighting and equipment problems throught out the cruise. Lastly one of the best things about HA cruises were their stops at their private island - cancelled on our cruise because of high wave swells. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Meals were good, although some of the restaurants were extra, but we weren't told until the end when they asked for the room card. Poor communication. We don't mind paying for drinks (alcohol), but coffee? Daily hotel ... Read More
Meals were good, although some of the restaurants were extra, but we weren't told until the end when they asked for the room card. Poor communication. We don't mind paying for drinks (alcohol), but coffee? Daily hotel charge (tip fee) seemed high at $13.50US per day per person. Pay the staff more! Have it included in the price of the cruise. We always tip the staff and we did this trip, only to discover at the end that we were charged the above amount daily. This cruise is all about shopping and buying, which we were not interested in doing. The uniformed woman who is in charge of the diningroom staff referred to them as her children, which we found rather demeaning as these men and women are adults often with families. She is not their momma as she stated. This is our first and last Holland American cruise. We do not mind paying for an all inclusive cruise, just don't nickle and dime us for little extras! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We had a high expectations about our first cruise but unfortunatelly HAL did not meet them. At least we expected a "4*" smooth service, a great dining options and a quality entertainment already included in the price we paid. All ... Read More
We had a high expectations about our first cruise but unfortunatelly HAL did not meet them. At least we expected a "4*" smooth service, a great dining options and a quality entertainment already included in the price we paid. All those points were not met. Good thing: no disaster happened with us. We safely came back with a lot of photos in the camera. The rest was not so shiny as we expected. No hard feeling leaving the ship! 1. Room Service. In general it was fine. No big complaints but it was not excellent. Few strange spots on a bed linen, few spots on bathrobe. No slippers included. Dirty windows and balcony glass. We asked steward to clean a glass surfaces but he did not make it well. 2. Embarkation. The ship departed from Amsterdam Waterland Terminal with no connection of public transport. I wish HAL could offer a free or at least very cheap transportation to the terminal but the did not. It was a huge queue for check in when we arrived. No water, no snacks were provided (sorry I still expect that little things for the price I paid). Just a huge hot hangar full of waiting people. Nobody provided us a clear instructions on what to do and how long to wait. We spent around 1 hour there. Not nice start of a journey. 3. Dining Service. Bad if not terrible. Very long waits. Breakfast or dinner takes 1 hour in average. Food is served on broken/chipped plates and cups and old dirty cutlery. One time we found a hair in the bread basket. The staff on the dining room reception does not try to get a good table for you. One time we were followed to the table for 4 in the corner even two nice tables for 2 were available just few steps next to us with a nice windows. Waiters always ask for a paid drinks and forget to offer you a free tea. They do not give you a chance for a water without ice but serving you an ice cubes. The food quality was average: during all 7 days I did not find something really tasty. They even served us a lobster tail but it was prepared in a simple and not tasty way. Starter soups were definetely terrible. 4. Entertainment is limited with a concerts. The concerts were nice. I would like to mention the BB King Blues and the classical musicians. They were awesome! My wife also enjoyed Bilboard on board where the two guys played piano and sing popular songs on requiest. Those things happen in the evening. During the day activities are limited to a "seminars" where the staff tries to sell you insole for 190 bucks or expensive watches or brilliants or strange paints. Who buys all of that? We might expect some educational program like TED or knitting courses or yoga lessons included in the cruise price. But HAL wants to earn every extra penny on you. Do not go on HAL seminars - it is brainwashing and sometimes rude sales activity (nicely named). 5. Security at gates. Rude and unwelcoming. 6. At the evening of last day crew blocked two elevators out of four just because they need to carry a luggage downstairs. Obviously it was comfortable for the stewards but not the guests. That also shows staff attitude towards the guests. 6. During the cruise we received NOTHING complimentary. No free drink, no badge or magnet, no free 10 minutes massage and no PERSONAL attitute from HAL personnel. Again we paid a lot of money for the cruise and we expected something on top of the "below average". 7. That's is funny but with that kind of service HAL automatically includes 15% service surcharge on all onboard purchased. And 13.5 dollars per person per day as a "Hotel service charge". Crazy guys! Fortunately you still can adjust the last point at the end of cruise. So we did. 8. HAL shore excursions were 5 (!!!) times expensive that you could book ashore or just travelling the same route using a local public transport! 9. Port times were inconvenient. Ship arrived early morning at 7 am in average. People wake up slamming the cabing doors with no chance for a good sleep. Ship departed at 5 pm so you basically have a very short time to explore the port. To summarize: that was our first cruise. Norway is beautiful. Cruising is fantastic thing to do on vacation but never again with a greedy HAL. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
The good: * Neptune Suite was spacious with sufficient storage area and was well maintained and clean. *. The staff were professional and friendly The Bad: * Entertainment options were significantly lacking. When there are ... Read More
The good: * Neptune Suite was spacious with sufficient storage area and was well maintained and clean. *. The staff were professional and friendly The Bad: * Entertainment options were significantly lacking. When there are was a show, the venue could not accommodate the guests. Really disappointed with lack of entertainment options. With 2 or 3 days out to sea, you’d really think they would have a few shows to attend. Other than the scenic views we were bored. *. The food was terrible. We believe the chef staff was on vacation. The menu also lacked options. Something simple like pizza was flavorless and like cardboard. The other problem was that because the food was so bad all of the paid restaurants were fully booked after day one for the remainder of the cruise. So we could t even pay the $50 per person dinner rate to get a decent meal. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Well, this is my 5th cruise, and 2nd time sailing Holland America and believe it or not, my second time on Ms Rotterdam. I had my first ever cruise with her and I loved it and had fond memories of the ship, however this time not so much. ... Read More
Well, this is my 5th cruise, and 2nd time sailing Holland America and believe it or not, my second time on Ms Rotterdam. I had my first ever cruise with her and I loved it and had fond memories of the ship, however this time not so much. I’ll try to just stick with the basics and facts. First, the cleanliness of our cabin was horrendous. One of the first things we had to do upon getting into our cabin was pee, and that’s where I noticed blood on the shower walls from my view whilst on the leu. After that, I entered the main cabin and lamented to my gf there was blood on the shower / tub from the previous guests and that’s where I noticed stained walls from what looked like dried Coke that had sprayed all over the walls behind the couch. And I mean all over, like how could you miss that cleaning crew. So we called to have our room cleaned and that led to a whole other incident where we were locked out of our cabin for 3 hrs. mind you we just got there, wanted to shower and change after a 10 hr flight. So it was not ideal right off the bat. The staff was very laid back about everything, and not in a good way. No hustle to get us situated (that will also come up later) During the process having to walk back and forth over 10 times to the front desk - to see if this key worked and if that key worked they finally resorted to call a locksmith that leasurley came 3 hrs later. Our toilets backed up daily and our room smelled like poop well because there was poop floating in our toilets that wouldn’t flush. At the first port I went to buy some Lysol wipes and wiped the cabin down myself. Being grossed out from everything upon arrival. The blackness that came off everything was nauseating: the phone, the switches, door handles, all black and filthy. I was trying to be a good sport and not complain bc it was my girlfriends first cruise and I wanted her to have a good time. But it just continued to disappoint. The food was not great. Everything was heavy, fried and very salty. The staff in the lido deck didn’t really interact with you and didn’t listen to any requests. Like go light with the salad dressing, they would drench the salad anyway and hand it over miffed and just want to move on to the next person. Customer service in all the food areas were bad, staff had a bad attitude and pretty much just lazy. they had lines at certain stations for 20 minutes or longer, when they had plenty of staff and should have made adjustments for the busier stations, like open another omlet section or salad station. So when having dinner with your companion that ate something different than you, they would be done with their meal by the time you got yours. Never saw any food managers, either. The only thing healthy was the salad bar and the lettuce was often the “last day of lettuce” if you know what I mean. So cleanliness- very poor, food not great, staff - pretty over it and other things like the internet package is 100 bucks for 5 days, but they don’t tell you the internet doesn’t work if you’re in the fjords (that happened to be about 24 hrs or more) and your guest in the cabin has to buy their own internet so it goes by person - definitely felt ripped off that - and when I told them they should have a disclaimer when buying the internet that it wouldn’t work docked in the fjord, she just looked at me like I was speaking another language and had this expression like “oh well” and didn’t do or say anything else. So. Customer service also pretty bad. All in all I was very disappointed with the “management” of the ship. The last thing they messed up was our debark- we didn’t receive luggage tags and had to get them from the long line at guest services. Then they were late delivering our luggage to the luggage drop off center and it caused us to miss our transport bus, that we had to now wait for another bus that in turn had us RUNNING to catch our flight. We debarked the ship at 7:45 am and had a 8:30 am bus, but had to take the 10:30 am bus. So while we waited and waited- we watched the luggage handlers just take their time like no one had anything else to do that day. Very disorganized and very over their “jobs”. New management and new crew ASAP. The ship itself had a lot of cool artwork, and I liked the “antique” vibe - but that’s the best thing I can say about the ship itself and Holland America. There were just a handful of delightful people that do work there with a smile on their face but it kinda sucks the 95% of the bad staff was so bad that those 5% don’t really get the review. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Panama Canal was on our bucket list, so we were really looking forward to this cruise. It's our third cruise with Holland America and the other two were perfect. Sadly, this was not the case for this cruise. I would definitely go ... Read More
Panama Canal was on our bucket list, so we were really looking forward to this cruise. It's our third cruise with Holland America and the other two were perfect. Sadly, this was not the case for this cruise. I would definitely go with another cruise/ship line. We had a balcony which was great for the canal portion. The drapes in the cabin were shabby and it took 4 days to fix curtain pull. We had fiberglass blowing out of the vent in the bathroom for 2 days. We lost the use of our toilet for one afternoon! The food was OK in dining room and service very very slow. A lot of lukewarm food. Ran out of our choice of red wine on our wine package so they substituted a cheaper red!! Wine manager said he didn't think that many people would order that wine ! Ran out of after dinner ginger the 3rd day of a 17 day cruise! Water dripping a lot in cafe lines; some table blocked off re dripping water from ceiling. The entertainment was just OK, but bar entertainment was great. Not a lot of activities on board unless you like cooking class and tea every afternoon. They were also varishing the decks everyday (so walking path blocked off each day) and once we had to leave our room because of the smell. They just said give them about 4 hours and they'll stop painting around our room. Front & rear camera was so dirty couldn't see. The shop (yes, only one) was a joke-very boring stuff and usual watches. This was the cruises reply to our concerns: We are grateful that you have shared your thoughts and observations with us, such as the condition and plumbing issues in your stateroom, the odor from maintenance work near your stateroom, the quality of the food served, and the availability of wine on board. We take your input very seriously and have made all appropriate senior management aware of your concerns and experiences for their review, consideration in future planning, and corrective action as necessary. If there is anything additional you would like to discuss with us or follow up on, please feel free to contact our Guest Relations team directly; you may reach us by email at guestrelations@hollandamerica.com or by phone at 1-800-599-8256. We thank you for your loyal patronage, and do hope to welcome you both back on board in the near future. Best regards, I feel this was just a standard reply with no recourse or compensation . Very disappointed with Holland America customer service Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Wanted a relaxing cruise with family for Spring Break- got it! But very disappointed with boat and selection of activities on it. Boat is very old and needs updating. They still have bathtubs in the showers! All food is served from a ... Read More
Wanted a relaxing cruise with family for Spring Break- got it! But very disappointed with boat and selection of activities on it. Boat is very old and needs updating. They still have bathtubs in the showers! All food is served from a buffet line, but you have to ask for them to put things on your plate, different from other ships where you can just get your own amounts of whatever you want. The main dining room was nice and servers were great, but food selection was a little unusual. If you like to eat duck and try new dishes you’ve never heard of, then the main dining room is for you. We found the food to be bland almost every night. The boat is very old, about 30 years, and does not have a huge atrium like other boats. There are a couple of little shops. The casino is very small, with only three $1 slot machines, three 25 cent slot machines, a few tables, and about 20 penny slots. The staff is very nice with all workers being very polite, but do not go above and beyond. The ship also has issues with plumbing. There were several announcements made about plumbing issues to everyone on the boat. Be prepared to have to call the front desk for a plumber to visit your room! The cruise director always says “let’s rock it until we dock it”, but not many activities are planned. Some activities included the art of flower arranging, movies, talks with port info, trivia, and art auctions. Many young people on the boat went to trivia to do something fun. We are used to having drinks of the day specials and a little send off party when we leave the port, but there was nothing like that on this boat. When we went into other ports and other cruise ships were there, they had music playing, but our ship was silent. People say that Holland America cruise line is mostly for older retired people, and we did find this to be true. So in conclusion, go on this boat if you like a nice relaxing time on a small ship, but avoid it if you are younger or traveling with family because there is not much to do. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We took this 11 day cruise because of excellent experience on the Westerdam a few years ago. This was our "bucket list" trip through part of the Panama Canal. Unfortunately, this is one of the oldest ships in the HA fleet and ... Read More
We took this 11 day cruise because of excellent experience on the Westerdam a few years ago. This was our "bucket list" trip through part of the Panama Canal. Unfortunately, this is one of the oldest ships in the HA fleet and most passengers complained of the motion sickness which has never bothered us on several cruises before. We observed that by the end of the trip there were at least 20 passengers wearing leg braces due to falls. Remember this cruise caters to mostly 60+ passengers. Perhaps the stabilizers were not functioning properly, but the ship constantly swayed so much that it caused the beds to actually twist while we were sleeping and the walls squeaked. This ship suffers from metal fatigue and many other shortcomings in spite of a muti-million dollar partial upgrade. Many corridors had dryers running the entire trip due to plumbing overflows. We were waiting to enter a theatre and water was dripping on us. We could not use the entire Promenade deck for a daily walk because part was always under maintenance. There have been many cutbacks since our last fabulous cruise with HA. For example, stop in Half Moon Cay was a full day now a half day, gone are the live bands on the pirate ship. No more champagne greeting when embarking except a glass of juice. Breakfast menu in the room cutback on the variety with charges for some items. Parade of staff in the dining room - gone. Lower quality of entertainment overall although we enjoined a few entertainers in the theatre very much. The 10th floor entertainment lounge gone and converted to a high pitch sales lounge for future cruises. There are many more shortcomings which are too numerous to mention. Food quality and variety was generally very good. It seems HA charges for just about everything extra. All the shops on board are boring strictly jewelry and clothing mostly for women. The Microsoft courses were excellent. I should mention we were charged $130US extra after disembarkation when we arrived home. HA accused us of taking the bath robes and towels that were left in the bathroom. It took almost 8 weeks and 3 calls before we were reimbursed. Apparently, this is not an uncommon practice these days. We recommend if you insist on taking HA cruise don't go use this ship. It should be sold off. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our 8th cruise. Previously we have cruised with Norwegian, Princess, Celebrity, and Holland America. This was my 3rd Holland America cruise. I had a good experience in the past. The service was superior and the food was ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise. Previously we have cruised with Norwegian, Princess, Celebrity, and Holland America. This was my 3rd Holland America cruise. I had a good experience in the past. The service was superior and the food was fantastic. But I was disappointed by my recent experience on Koningsdam. To be fair, the boat is quite new. The bathroom was an upgrade with glass sliding door and more spacious shower room. The shower water pressure was very good but the toilet had bad smell all time even with frequent flush and closed lid. The actual stateroom was smaller than other Holland America ships. Good in room movie selection. The buffet services was good. The dining room selection was limited and the service was slow and not very diligent. Two nights the server skipped a course of our dinner without informing us. The fitness center was small. No space for people working on mats by themselves. The studio room was always busy with classes to sell people skin care or shoe inserts. The evening performance and performance during the day was subpar. No comparison to what we saw on Celebrity and Princess ships. The casino staff was non-ethical. They kept soliciting my 74 year old mother to gamble more. One night after losing over $1,000 they solicited her to charge to her room another $1,000 at 2:30AM. Of course my mother is an adult and responsible for her actions, but it was non-ethical of the casino staff to keep soliciting a senior with obvious health conditions to gamble more. There was no educational materials to help people with gambling issues displayed in the casino. Most casinos have something educational displayed. Making money is certainly important but it is more important of being a conscientious human kind to not take advantages of the elderly. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
It left from fort lauderdale to southern caribbean and we thought holland might hearken back to glamorous days of cruising past. Big mistake. Average age must be 70 to 80. Shipboard service was 5 stars. Food in main dining room was a major ... Read More
It left from fort lauderdale to southern caribbean and we thought holland might hearken back to glamorous days of cruising past. Big mistake. Average age must be 70 to 80. Shipboard service was 5 stars. Food in main dining room was a major disappointment. One example for dinner: yankee pot roast. We ate at the specialty restaurants a few times. Lots of food on board is extra or a la carte in their many other food venues. Entertainment was lame and limited so little to do on board. Cabin: all electrical outlets went out 4 times, usually at night. Choice of movies very limited unless you want to pay up. We wanted to cancel the cruise due to harvey and irma hurricanes week after we booked. . when you book you can only cancel on that day; otherwise no refunds for any reasons. Shore excursions are very expensive; but if you d islands on your own, there's little to do and all of them are a ghetto once you get off the docks and into town. Ship itself has a major design flaw; the stern of the vessel rides about a foot above water so the ship bounced around like crazy on more than one occasion, getting jolted awake at night from it. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We had the signature suite Deck 6 Sailed 24 July -4th August Pros The staff dining staff were exceptional, they went over and above to please you. The drinks staff were polite but you got the feeling they were there to push sales. ... Read More
We had the signature suite Deck 6 Sailed 24 July -4th August Pros The staff dining staff were exceptional, they went over and above to please you. The drinks staff were polite but you got the feeling they were there to push sales. Good selection of movies and TV Shows which were available on demand and free. Cons It's a really boring ship....nowhere to have fun. Even the BB Kings lounge music was more about the band enjoying there particular taste in mellow music rather then getting the passengers up to have a dance. I would suggest that if you are between 25-55 yrs you were unlikely to have any significant nightlife at all. Nothing to enhance the sail away experience....no music (or God forbid a live band), and only once did I see canapés being offered by one steward. On the back deck And Lido bistro the music was on a repeat sequence which only lasted at best 45 mins so you heard the same songs and music time and again. The EXC Tour talks should have been broadcast directly into the state rooms. You could not access your stateroom account via the TV. Only via the mobile phone app. The food was repeated every 12 days so if on a 24 day cruise you would get the same menu again. The cabins were not cleaned well and twice cleaning cloth was left in our room. I agree with a previous reviewer that the norovirus cleaning of the stateroom was completely laughable.......nothing was moved from the bench tops in our room. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Picked this trip for Itinerary and HA reputation. We have cruised many times and this by far was one of the more expensive and least favorite. Fortunately Alaska is beautiful so the HA did not affect that. Sea days and lack of ... Read More
Picked this trip for Itinerary and HA reputation. We have cruised many times and this by far was one of the more expensive and least favorite. Fortunately Alaska is beautiful so the HA did not affect that. Sea days and lack of activities left for boring, wasteful time on the cruise. Bar tenders acted as though they were put out to get as drink and overall service was weak as they already are guaranteed their gratuity. Getting on and off the ship was well organized so that was good. The land portion was good, primarily because of the train and Denali park trip inside the park. The accommodations were just ok and pretty much on your own to figure out what to do. We did like the package f r purpose for complete laundry for the week. Thought it was fair and good. We did enjoy the comedian and magician they had on board. Casino was small but decent. no place to really dance as the house band would only play a 45 min set Rate the cruise and HA about a 3-4 out of 10 as we typically see at least a 7-8. We have cruised many times in many itineraries internationally Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
HAL is changing directions and have deleted Karaoke and poolside activities. No Ambassadors from San Diego to Lima and halfway back. So that left Trivia for at sea days. Trivia in the morning, trivia in the evening and trivia all day ... Read More
HAL is changing directions and have deleted Karaoke and poolside activities. No Ambassadors from San Diego to Lima and halfway back. So that left Trivia for at sea days. Trivia in the morning, trivia in the evening and trivia all day long. Bad decision by HAL as this was the most boring cruise that we have been on. The CD, John, just made excuses, but all he did on board was to announce entertainment and conduct Trivia. Several problems with this older ship, including two tenders breaking at Fuerte Amador - unacceptable delays. Even the fueling plans went awry and we ended up spending extra hours in Panama to re-fuel. Food was average but the main dining room service started out exceptionally poor and dinners ran over 2 hours long, forcing excessive use of the Lido, where food was less than average. Need to clean up your act, Holland America. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
After sailing on Holland America Line (HAL), four times and the last on the Noordam in February 2017, we have come to the conclusion that HAL treats some places better than the south Pacific. 1. Ships meals have been reduced in quality ... Read More
After sailing on Holland America Line (HAL), four times and the last on the Noordam in February 2017, we have come to the conclusion that HAL treats some places better than the south Pacific. 1. Ships meals have been reduced in quality and service as 4 meals had to be sent back, due to; 1 being cold, 2 overcooked and dry, 3 a steak that was tough and suspect quality while, 4 the fish was again overcooked and tasteless, 5 a Pasta carbonara was dry without any sauce, some sauce was supplied after I ask for it, then it was edible. 2. The hygiene control on the ship was/is lacking, as my wife was infected with the cruise cough/flu like symptoms this was the second time (again Holland America) and yet has NEVER been infected on the other cruise lines we have sailed with. We have sailed around New Zealand 4 times, twice with HAL, once with Cunard and Celebrity X, however my wife was struck down with ship flu both times on HAL, but not on the other cruise lines. Therefore, the food/ships hygiene on HAL appears to be at fault. 3. It appears that HAL uses the sailing in Southern climes of Australia/New Zealand as a training ship or just the area with disdain, knowing that Australian/New Zealanders do not complain/demand as much as some other natation’s do/can. 4. The Gratuities that are expected are also in contrast to other means of transport, such as airlines where the crew wages are similar for respective position and ranks on HAL but only draw their wages/salary. Also, it has been rumoured that the crew do not get all the monies collected, but a proportion it goes into the company revenues. 5. Defects with the ship a. 3 windows cracked, 2 on the Crow’s Nest lounge forward windows and the 3rd on the external glass wall (ship) of the aft/rear right side elevator on the 4th deck b. 2 lifeboats had damaged entrance/exit hatches (the stitching had separated from the hatchway) allowing water to enter the lifeboat, which would jeopardise the safety and integrity of both, the lifeboats were 11 and 14. They were reported 3 times to the front desk and each time I was given incorrect/differing answers, they were finally repaired. Photos are available. c. In the Lido dining area, a glass tea bag caddie was cracked with glass splinters missing, it was reported and it was changed to another position, again it was reported and it was finally removed to??? d. The cup/mugs for tea/coffee in the Lido were not washed properly (suspect the dishwasher) with foreign bodies/food being left in/on the mugs. e. Our cabin bathroom was in disrepair as the floor tiles were adrift/lifting and the shower wall tiling grout was missing, with several areas having dark mildew type stains. As we were dissatisfied with the overall Hotel and engineering (safety equipment) we spoke to many other passengers and they were of the same opinion that Holland America have lowered their standards and treat the south pacific cruises as training. Also, you can see by the above list, this cruise with Holland America Line was not as comfortable or as pleasant as the other cruise lines we have sailed with, (some 10 in all) then being told that we must pay the gratuities, gives an idea of what they think of the south pacific, so much so that I doubt it very much that we will sail with Holland America Line again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
I choose this Cruise because of Tim Timmons & Mercy Me. The concerts, meet and greets and biblical teachings were all great. getting to know some of the performers was excellent. The comedian and illusionist were very good with clean ... Read More
I choose this Cruise because of Tim Timmons & Mercy Me. The concerts, meet and greets and biblical teachings were all great. getting to know some of the performers was excellent. The comedian and illusionist were very good with clean humor. Our room steward was excellent and our main dining server was good. The Buffet was horrible having to wait in line to get my food, the menu was ok and the service was bad. The main dining room menu was just ok not enough seafood. The fitness center had unqualified staff. The pictures were way too expensive with horrible photo options. The cruise director was now where to be seen the whole cruise. The music venues were all good. The buffet said it was open from 2-4pm but whenever we went there it wass closed. The Gelato should be free for all guests and you should have self serve Ice Cream 24 hours per day. The excursions cost more on the ship then if you book them in port. In port they also have better options. The hamburger place messed up my order and it should be open 24 hours. The Pizza place advertised New York style pizza but they did not have it when I went there. It was like pita bread with sauce and cheese. I will be going again in 2 years because I like the Christian aspect of the Cruise , maybe it will be better then. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This cruise was already booked before we sailed in the summer on Nieuw Amsterdam in Alaska. After a disappointing first experience of HAL we tried to remain positive and not join the ship with any pre determined expectations. However ... Read More
This cruise was already booked before we sailed in the summer on Nieuw Amsterdam in Alaska. After a disappointing first experience of HAL we tried to remain positive and not join the ship with any pre determined expectations. However after just a couple of hours onboard we realised the Eurodam is very much the twin sister with little obvious differences. We had been booked to embark at 1pm and we arrived on time and flew through embarkation. Excited to try the mariner lunch experience we headed straight to the dining room only to be told it had finished at 1pm! So why book our arrival after it had finished. Not the best of beginnings. We took hand luggage to the cabin ... second disappointment ... it was pretty much exactly how we remembered the balcony stateroom on NA ... complete with the darkened tinted mirrors. It makes the cabin dull and depressing .. along with the outdated decor and dark wood. The narrow corridor between the bathroom and the wardrobes made unpacking a nightmare and opening the bathroom door a problem. We tried not to let all this dampen our excitement of starting a cruise and went to get lunch in the buffet. Little change here too. Oh dear ... it's all starting to slip down hill and we haven't even left port. We opted for a simple salad ... served as usual ... not self serve .. please not too much dressing ... ooops too late! Please don't mix ... ooops too late! Mental note.. don't ask for any dressing. Outside eating is our preference but one whole side is given over to smokers so that limits tables available as often passengers choose to linger long after they have finished eating. We did manage to find two seats but the table had not been cleaned there was food on the floor, the windows were dirty and the small shelf next to me was needing a good clean too. Still not left port! No cutlery .. no glasses ... no napkins ... after a frustrating 10 minutes we finally managed to sit and eat our soggy salads. There must be other choices ... but .. we had forgotten how quick those blinds drop!!! Hey .. this was New Years Eve ... we weren't going to get disheartened. Let's get on with the unpacking and enjoy the sail away. Back to our cabin .. some cases get unpacked and then it's time to go to the safety drill, again held on the pronpmenade deck. Cabins are called and names ticked off but in the chaos it's hard to think it's an accurate account of the passengers on the ship. Our officers hadn't finished the list when the captains message was played and once it had finished everyone left. I doubt they had completed the roll call. HAL do it different to other lines we have used where we have sat in comfort and been accounted for by scanning our cruise card .. seems to be better than a loud hailer on deck but it's a drill and we won't have to do it again next weekend for the second week we keep telling ourselves. We opt to book Tamarind for our evening meal so we can eat late and not be left with too many hours before midnight. The meal goes well .. the restaurant and bar our favourite area on the ship. New Year was mainly celebrated on deck around the lido pool with singing and dancing. Other areas seemed relatively quiet. We made it to midnight .. just. After a long day travelling all we really wanted was a good nights sleep. Going back to the cabin at night is worse than during the day. Most cabins on ships appear welcoming with bed side lights but ours appeared dark and gloomy with bright led reading spotlights pearcing the darkness. We had bought Christmas lights with us from our rented villa in Florida and for a few days these helped to cheer up the cabin. When we took them down as usual on 12th night the cabin felt really gloomy. The dark green sofa and dark wood and tinted mirrors just depressing. The cabin quickly got nicknamed 'the cave'. The AC unit was noisy and over the bed. No controls to adjust them fan speed or switch off. The only improvement from the last cruise was the modern flat screen TV wall mounted opposite the bed and the USB outlets that made charging phones and iPads easy. Since coming back home we have checked back on our photos from other cruises just to confirm we hadn't imagined how different the cabins looked. Apart from the occasional celebration splurge on a suite we have opted for balcony grades for all our other 40+ cruises. Princess,P&O, Cunard and Celebrity all have inviting decor and luxurious touches. That was the main thing we felt was missing not just in our cabin but through out the ship. Touches of luxury .. the 5 star feeling. It all felt dated and basic .. practical rather than luxurious. The upper level in the dining room had a horrible dark grey ceiling effect ... black lacquered chairs and dull colours. Corridors were carpeted in the main with clashing purple and red carpet designs and the theme followed through in most public area. The worst area was where the classical orchestra played in the evening .. greys ... just the most dowdy boring colour scheme imaginable. Perhaps the designer didn't want to distract the muscicians. It worked! Hard backed chairs ensured the audience remained attentive. In general the entertainment was way below average ... shows were well past the sell by date. Singers and dancers not much better than school productions. Reminded us of years gone by ... shows in general have come a long way since then. There is no self laundry .. not even a safe ironing room. Again struggling to think of any other cruise ship we have sailed that didn't have full laundry facilities. Cunard .. even free laundry powder for the machines. No one wants to spend hours doing laundry but somewhere to iron a shirt would at least be acceptable. The library is not staffed but the selection of books ok and the internet area light and open. There is no dedicated coffee lounge onboard but you can buy coffee here in this area alongside The Crows Nest bar at the top front of the ship. A pleasant area to sit and chat and enjoy Happy Hour at 4pm and later at around 9.30 ish. A good selection of free films available to watch on the modern flat screen TV ... which given the entertainment was our saving grace. Pity that it put us back in the 'cave'. The cinema room often played the same films so wise to check ahead and see what's coming up. We had opted for anytime dining but that turned out to be long queues after 7.30 .. the only anytime really being early or late. So instead we switched to the upper fixed dining level preferring to at least wait in comfort on chairs near the entrance until the head waiter found us an empty table for that evening. It did feel a bit like waiting on the naughty seats but better than standing downstairs. The second week we had a fixed table allocated to us so much better although waiter service was stretched and slow. The food quality was good and meals presented well but after a couple of nights we preferred to eat in the speciality restaurants at a time that suited us. Canaletto was average and the main course served over salted .. the chef came out to apologise .. but we were still charged. Tamarind varied .. but usually good. Pinnacle restaurant excellent but at an extra $50 dollars it should have been. We were seated next to a party of 10/12 which was far from relaxing. No intimate dinner for two that night. We tried the evening buffet and were surprised that the food was so good. Just the same hassle of getting up and down .. waiting in lines ... etc etc. Not really cruise luxury .. more like a night at the canteen when working. Had we have had the option to cancel the second week and stay in Fort Lauderdale we would have jumped at it and that was before we knew what the weather held in store. We had force 10 gale conditions. Decks closed for safety reasons so more time spent in the cave watching films. A port stop cancelled. An extra day confined indooors Think it's quite apparent from the length of this review this was our least favourite ship/cruise line and when chatting to other passengers it was apparent that many who had ventured further afield than HAL felt the same. However what is also very apparent is that HAL has many loyal passengers. Who no doubt are feeling this is not a true reflection of the ship. Apologies to them. However it is our personal review and after meeting such nice people on board who hold the ship in such fondness we realise the company must do something right. We just didn't find it. Our account was totally messed up and debited and credited in a random fashion resulting in pages of repeat invoicing. When we printed our account from the nachine it just kept sending out sheet after sheet. It finally got corrected but only after numerous trips to the front office. Seemed even the smallest error had to be corrected by the most senior staff and that took days. I doubt we will look at further sailings with HAL .. we have encountered new friends ... but the cruise industry is a large one .. just so many ships that seem to offer a true luxury experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
IN MY OPINION DO NOT CRUISE THIS LINE! THERE ARE BETTER CRUISE LINES THAT MAKE SURE THEIR PASSENGERS SAFETY, EXPERIENCE AND RESULTS MORE OF A PRIORITY. We chose this Cruise for the time and areas it went to. We have been on other ... Read More
IN MY OPINION DO NOT CRUISE THIS LINE! THERE ARE BETTER CRUISE LINES THAT MAKE SURE THEIR PASSENGERS SAFETY, EXPERIENCE AND RESULTS MORE OF A PRIORITY. We chose this Cruise for the time and areas it went to. We have been on other Cruises but this was our First Time with Holland America. Bed Linens in cabin had stains on them, food was ok at buffet but they ran out of simple items like bread at breakfast, ice cream at night, etc. Dining room food was good but seating was an issue at times. Entertainment was average to say the least. Excursion desk has poor hours and Excursion write ups are not exactly what they are so be careful what you book or better yet book separately with independent operators as they were cheaper for most things from what we saw at different ports. 2 of the 5 excursions we booked were not as described and also had major safety concerns that were not considered. We found out through Cruise employees that the safety on Jamaica has been an issue and our trip was the first in a while to this area. Well the excursion was not what we paid for and we felt completely unsafe during part of the excursion when we were left for 20 minutes shopping at a scary area of Jamaica. Most people did not want to get off the bus as they were sacred! The second excursion was on the Sting Ray City in high waves causing people to be sick, bang in to each other, having the masks and snorkels ripped off your face, and the whole experience was not enjoyable and we felt unsafe. The funny thing was they cancelled an excursion we had booked for this day due to high winds and safety but sent us out on this one which was worse. The last thing you want to worry about on a trip is your safety, experience and service. I know and have experienced other Cruise lines that do a better job! Read Less
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