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Sail Date: January 2012
OK. First, let me say that I have only cruised twice before but will cruise many more times in my life. I love sun, sand, the pool, aqua ocean water and having a good meal without worrying about the price and not getting stuck in ... Read More
OK. First, let me say that I have only cruised twice before but will cruise many more times in my life. I love sun, sand, the pool, aqua ocean water and having a good meal without worrying about the price and not getting stuck in traffic. I have done Carnival twice. Loved the Miracle, would not go back on the Valor. In any case, the Eurodam was different. I am 53 years old and felt like there would be a time in my future life when the Eurodam will be right up my alley but not now. There were an awful lot of the "mature" crowd on the ship..Lots of canes, walkers, and overweight people. They usually walked at a snails pace and never considered walking on the left or the right so people could pass. I am a fast walker so that was difficult for me. I met some great people on the ship and I can't say enough about the wait staff. We tried the open seating and liked it a lot. The two of sat a few times with a group but had asked for a 2 seater most of the time and were accomodated. The food was fantastic and much better than I remember the food to be on the Carnival. Entertainment, not much, and ended pretty much at 10:30. Unless you are into cooking and learning about Windows 7, there isn't much more than a couple of trivia and Karoake sessions. That was OK cause I spent alot of time relaxing and playing at the casino. If you get a chance, learn how to play the table game, Let it Ride. They will show you, its easy to learn and not intimidating as blackjack can be. I actually started with 60 and cashed out at 333. I should have started playing it from the get go. We had so much fun playing the "Golden Monkey" slot machine. If you play the max, you can get a shot at the progressive, which I did end up winning on the last night, the middle machine (1,000.00) I played 50 cents 99% of the time on all three and basically the jackpot paid for my gamblings for the week. One thing we discovered half way through the cruise is the Explorations cafe (observation deck)where you can buy a great latte or coffee, the pastries that are there are free. It is a beautiful place and you must visit early on to appreciate the view. I loved, I mean LOVED, Half Moon Cay. It was right off the ship and the most beautiful aqua water. You will not be dissapointed. No shopping there to speak of but that was perfectly fine for me. All in all, it was a great cuise but I probably will not go back on the Holland for about 20 years. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
We recently returned from the eastern Caribbean cruise aboard HAL's Nieuw Amsterdam which sailed from Ft. Lauderdale January 23rd for seven nights. I would like to offer my comments about this vacation trip. For the record; we have ... Read More
We recently returned from the eastern Caribbean cruise aboard HAL's Nieuw Amsterdam which sailed from Ft. Lauderdale January 23rd for seven nights. I would like to offer my comments about this vacation trip. For the record; we have cruised approximately 14 times in the past on several cruise lines, mostly on medium sized ships such as the Nieuw Amsterdam. These cruises have included various destinations around the world, including a transatlantic trip. We had sailed once before with HAL on the Noordam in 2010 and loved it. We have always elected a verandah stateroom or mini suite as our accommodation, and spend a lot of time on the verandah for activities such as coffee and juice early in the A.M., reading, relaxing, socializing with the group that we generally cruise with, and taking photographs of scenery, ports etc. (I consider myself an advanced amateur photographer.) Just to be fair to HAL, we had originally booked a 14 night back to back cruise departing earlier in January, but reduced it to a seven day cruise to be in synch with our cruising group, who booked the seven night cruise. We had changed these accommodations at least five months before the cruise, and were assured that we would receive the same cabin class (superior verandah) that we had originally booked. I began to get suspicious when we were not given a room assignment until around 2 weeks before embarkation. Our travel agent had been checking with HAL and assured us that there would be no problem. Finally, we received an email from HAL allocating us a VQ stateroom on Deck 11. On the internet, it appeared to be a Spa stateroom with a verandah, but I called HAL just to confirm, because Deck 11 was a little isolated with only 10 similar rooms on that deck. The first person we talked to said that the verandahs on deck 11 were only "viewing verandahs" and didn't have room for seating etc. When I called our travel agent to complain, she also called HAL and was told that on the Nieuw Amsterdam, the Spa VQ verandahs were standard size, and not to worry! I also called and was told the same when I gave the agent our cabin number. She even asked me to hold while she confirmed that fact with her supervisor, who did indeed confirm a "regular" verandah. When we finally boarded, we found the VQ room to be fine, but the verandah on deck 11 was much smaller that other verandahs on the ship, or the VD cabin we had originally booked. Our cruise mates who were in VD rooms confirmed this observation. The two small chairs and tiny table barely fit. If you sat in a chair facing the water, your feet were practically in the drain gutter at the front of the verandah. Needless to say, we did not spend a great deal of time on our verandah and missed out on one of the prime reasons we cruise. When we registered a complaint at customer service, we were told that "you got what you paid for" and the ship was full. Technically, the service representative was legally correct, as with all the legal disclaimers in the contract, we probably could have been put up in a storage bin! My beef with HAL is that even after inquiring, we were misled about the balcony, and we could have been told when we changed our arrangements months before that we could wind up in such a cabin. I would caution anyone getting a cabin on Deck 11 to check with HAL about the verandah size before accepting a reservation there. Deck 11 otherwise is a neat location, being somewhat isolated but containing the Explorers Cafe and Crows Nest, one of our favorite places on the ship. Having been rather critical so far, I think in fairness to HAL (I wish they were as fair to me,) I should state that: The entire crew and staff including those in the cabin areas, food locations, venues etc. were all above excellent and helpful. The food and service in the main dining hall and Pinacle Grill was excellent. The food in the buffet areas was quite satisfactory. The ship itself was very elegant and ergonomically laid out. If it weren't for our verandah issue, we would have had a great time. Unfortunately, the cruise left us with memories of a poor experience, and a negative opinion about HAL. We did mention these complaints in out exiting comments document, but we have yet to hear from HAL. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2010
Being our first cruise I must say we are already packed for our next! The golf guys decided that after all our selfish golf trips it was time to take the girls someplace nice! What will we do for seven days on a ship with no golf? ... Read More
Being our first cruise I must say we are already packed for our next! The golf guys decided that after all our selfish golf trips it was time to take the girls someplace nice! What will we do for seven days on a ship with no golf? Everything the answer? Yes we all had a ball! 8 of us flew to Fla and from airport to ship was a breeze. Boarding was quicker than walking down the yacht club dock to my own boat, it was that easy! These people are amazing with smiles and a helpful attitude! It was almost a Disney World place where everyone was happy and polite! Ship was wonderful and the crew beyond belief with assistance and could not have been friendlier ! We were lucky with four connecting rooms with balconies and the amazing steward opened the barriers and we had an ocean front night club of our own! I have a stressful job and this is really the first time I did nothing but relax! HAL helped with the tremendous Spa I highly suggest to all! Heaven on earth! Pools ok but who needs them when you can go to the spa! We are outgoing people and we made so many friends that People thought that we must be somebody! Everyone knew us and the crew always said hi using your first name! Hal treats you as a family member! Food outstanding at all venues but the Tamarind and Pinnacle were special! Rembrant was to FU FU for me and it took way to long for dinner! All lounges were outstanding and the Singing Samoan was the best ! He was wonderful just entertaining everybody! Joel needs help! and when Jason the cruise director helps him its a train wreck! These guys were wonderful!!!! All ports were fun and my goal was to relax!!! I did it! Joel had me so fired up after his first Elton John show that I being a muscian on a cruise without my guitar forced me to buy another 12 string in Puerto Rico! We played all night, every night somewhere on the ship! Thanks HAL for giving me the rest I needed! See you all soon! Hal has become my new favorite vacation home! Thanks all to Joel, Jason, Marcus and the rest for a trip of a life time! The captain was even nice enough to rescue a couple of guys lost at sea! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2009
Mediterranean MomentsOur Iberian flight left Washington D.C. for Venice on the evening of June 22nd allowing an extra pre-cruise day to explore this beautiful city.  We decided to stay a little off the beaten path in the Cannaregio ... Read More
Mediterranean MomentsOur Iberian flight left Washington D.C. for Venice on the evening of June 22nd allowing an extra pre-cruise day to explore this beautiful city.  We decided to stay a little off the beaten path in the Cannaregio neighborhood at the Hotel Vecellio.  This made for an easy transport from the airport on the Alilaguna water bus (less than a 10 minute walk to the stop and 13 Euro for the ticket) to the hotel which is located on the lagoon at Fondamenta Nuove.  It took about forty minutes and made one short stop at Murano. There was only one small set of steps to maneuver before entering this small charming family run hotel.  We practiced a little of our Italian while gathering tips of local places to have dinner, but not to worry as they also spoke English.  After refreshing ourselves, we set off to explore the area around the hotel which is quite residential and after about fifteen minutes arrived at Piazza San Marco.  From there we wandered along the amazing winding streets to the Rialto Bridge and checked out some of the shops.  To save time and steps as we weren't near a bridge, we took a traghetto across a small canal (inexpensive-.50Euro) and continued back to the Cannaregio neighborhood.  We had dinner among the locals at Osteria Storica which is run by the daughter-in-law of our hotel manager.  The seafood risotto was delicious but the S shaped Burano cookies and dessert wine was even better!  We were soon asleep with the sound of the water lapping outside our hotel room.   The next morning we walked to San Marco and easily purchased tickets for the Doge Palace at the Correr Museum and did a self-guided tour with info from Rick Steves.  Audio sets are also available.  This was a definite "must see."  We then waited in a long line for about 30 minutes to enter the Basilica San Marco.  We had done a lot of research about the basilica but the number of people, the overall darkness inside, and our schedule didn't allow for as much examination as I hoped.  If this is of great importance to you, plan to do a guided tour.  We returned to the hotel to pick-up our luggage, took a water bus to Piazzale Roma and a cab directly to the ship (10E.)  As we would be staying in Venice until tomorrow, embarkation was a breeze.....no lines at all.  We found the ship looking great with rich colors and many artistic accents.  We had lunch from the lido on the aft deck which became our favorite spot.  We returned to our cabin and found our luggage had arrived so we unpacked before heading back out to explore more of Venice.  We walked to the vaporetti stop and did a full tour of the Grand Canal.  Again using the info from Rick Steves, we were able to identify many of the key sites along the way.  We walked to the Rialto Bridge and again to Piazza San Marco and listened to the dueling orchestras before taking a cab back to the ship.  As it was now somewhat late for dinner, we decided to try dinner from the lido at one of the attractive table clothed areas.  This was not a good choice.  We found all of our entrees to be over cooked and dry.....perhaps because it was near the end of the serving time.  This turned out to be more the exception to the rule of our dining experience on the ship but we didn't return there for dinner either.  This is not to be confused with the new Canaletto Restaurant.   The next day we explored more of the city, did some shopping, and took pictures etc. before taking the water bus back to the ship for the sail away.  It was quite beautiful being on deck for this on a beautiful sunny day.  The music was playing, those fancy cocktails were flowing, and everyone was having a good time.  I would say contrary to other posts of HAL ships, there was quite a mix of age groups on board.  Though more than half were of my fellow Americans, there were also many Canadians and Europeans.  For those planning to travel this route this summer with children and teens, there were a lot of young people having a good time.  There were also a lot of young couples as well so this mix provided a good vibe. st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } Our next stop was Dubrovnik.  We took the local bus to the Pile Gate and though we were open to walking around and climbing the wall at the Ploce gate entrance if the lines were long, this was not necessary.  Walking the wall is a must.  You really get to see the city from a perch.  There were even a few residents with small tables selling hand crafted items along the way. The citrus trees were full of fruit almost asking to be picked.  The people were very friendly. Having local currency I'm sure is preferred but they would also take Euro if the bills were small.  Stop for a gelato by the big ice cream cone in the main square before you leave. st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } More sunny weather greeted us during our three days visiting the Greek Isles.  We walked into the city from the ship to explore the old city walls in Corfu and meandered through the streets.  Argostoli was a little gem on the Sunday morning we were there.  We attended a service at one of the churches, observed fishermen coming in with their catch of the day, visited an archeological museum, and enjoyed a cup of cappuccino before the shops opened up in the early afternoon.  Of course the favorite isle was Santorini.  The captain allowed us to go out onto the bow of the ship for the sail into the rim area.  We took the cable cars up to the top which moved right along after about a 10 minute wait.  We then took the local bus up to Oia.  This was even more beautiful than all the pictures that I'm sure you have seen.  Make time to visit here as it is less touristy than Fira.  We also took the local bus back which was inexpensive and you could buy tickets on the bus.  I believe they ran every hour this time of the year.  And then there is the sunset...whether you stay in Oia, Fira, or go back to the ship it is a lovely sight. st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } Back to Italy where the choices are many.  The fish market in Catania was great fun, and you also have the ruins right in the center of the city along with the churches.  Sit on a bench and people watch as this is a vibrant place. In Naples we took the hydrofoil over to the island of Capri.  This was our family name so this was more special for me.  It is extremely scenic.  You can walk around the many lanes that look over the sea, walk through the Gardens of Augustus, and see the Faraglioni rocks.  There are also many shops and cafes to spend time in, as well. st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } Arriving in Civitavecchia, we took the train into Rome and got off at the St. Peter's stop.  The train ride took about 40 minutes.  The train was very crowded and we had to stand during the trip in.  Once there, it is a short walk over to St. Peter's Square and there are also places to stop for a cappuccino. We chose to visit the Vatican Museum while in Rome as we had missed this during our previous visit.  Buy your tickets ahead of time online and get right in.  The art collection is amazing.  Our guide was great.  Pay attention when they explain highlights of the Sistine Chapel ceiling at the orientation of the tour as you are on your own when you arrive there at the end. You are also supposed to be silent which the guards had a hard time controlling!  The lines waiting to get into St Peter's were extremely long so plan for this or plan ahead!  In Livorno, we took the train and went to Lucca.  This was even more charming than I had expected.  The home of Puccini, it would be great to attend an opera if our visit was longer.  There are many beautiful churches and many shops to get lost in. Our last stop was Barcelona.  This is truly a magical metropolitan city.  We were there on a Sunday evening and so the Magical Fountains were showing there colors with music in the background.  It takes place in front of the art museum at the Placa Espana.  You can arrive there by Metro.  We added an extra day to our visit and stayed at the Hotel Jazz, a great modern hotel.  It was very conveniently located near the Catalunya metro stop.  It is close to La Rambla and La Sagrada Familia.  We only wish we had more time to spend in this fabulous city.   We truly had an enjoyable vacation sailing through one of our favorite destinations.  We found the ship to be in great shape with a variety of amenities.  With only one sea day we tried to save a few hours of each day for time relaxing on deck Though there were many people on  st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } board, we never found the ship to be over crowded.  With two pools, one having a retractable cover, there were plenty of chairs and tables for everyone to lounge around. I liked the old fashion wooden chairs with plump cushions.  We especially enjoyed the Pinnacle Grill and would highly recommend it.  We had both sea food and steak and both were cooked to perfection.  I would encourage booking ahead.....before you leave home.  We had booked two nights in advance and were given a third night from our booking agent that was a surprise when we arrived on the ship.  Unfortunately, we were not able to get a reservation for this third night (unless we ate at 5:45 the day we were in Rome) once on board as they were full.  They did arrange for onboard credit which was nice.  We really enjoyed anytime dining.  We never made reservations, always were able to get a table for four, and only one night did we have to wait twenty minutes (they give you a hand held beeper when your table is ready) for our table.  Though we had many different people serving us over the period, everyone was attentive and we did not find this to be a problem. Except for the first two nights when it was just ok, the food in the dining room was quite good, especially the onion soup.  Maybe they had trainees on those first nights!  During the cruise we celebrated Canada Day and the 4th of July.  On the July 4th celebration, they went all out with red, white and blue decorations, ice sculptures, carved fruit displays and of course bar-b-que. There was great emphasis on hygiene.  There was a letter in our room when we arrived explaining what they were doing to keep everyone healthy and what we should do to help.  There were many, many anti-bacterial dispensers dispersed throughout the ship, and a number of items were served to you in the lido.  The staff appeared to be working very hard and all tried to be helpful and friendly.  The special entertainment was excellent.  Preston Coe performed everything from a repertoire of the Three Tenors, Roy Orbison, and guitar riffs of Eric Clapton.  Leo Ward performed state of the art illusions sprinkled with comedy.  They each did one show in the early part of the cruise and returned for a joint show on the last day.  The HAL singers and dancers performed two energized shows of dance and Broadway.  The other lounge acts were the caliber mentioned in a number of previous posts.  I did have to use one service that I hope all of you don't have to.  I experienced a bad toothache and had to use the medical center.  Dr. Sanchez and his staff were great.  They helped to make me comfortable and even arranged for me to see a dentist when I arrived in Barcelona.  The other thing HAL did that impressed us was making everyone feel a little closer to home.  Having a news recap from a major news source in your country and printing both the daily program and the menu in your native tongue was a nice touch.  Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly as did tendering when it was necessary.  The G8 Summit was being held in Italy so extra security required that all of our passports be turned in for a few days and that procedure went well too.   Other than that, the only thing left to comment on is our cabin.  We had plenty of storage room and plenty of hangers....I even learned from some of you that I could lift the lid of the hassock for more storage options!  We used room service twice, though they had to enter sideways with the tray.  We enjoyed our robes and had more TV channel options than on Celebrity. Our only issue was their vacuum type plumbing system.  At peak times in the day there would be a long delay before flushing.  Though we often travel to Europe to visit family, we are new to cruising.  This was only our second cruise and our first on HAL.  I have learned so much from your many posted tips and comments and find great enjoyment in reading about your cruising experiences.  I hope my review recalls some memorable times for those of you that have been to these places before.  I also hope it provides information and confirmation to cruising newbies like me that you can have a wonderful time even if you aren't sailing in a veranda suite!  Hope to meet up with some of you on a future cruise.......    Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
This cruise had a good itinerary. We stayed for 3 days in Rome, it was a disgrace, with rubbish piled up in the streets everywhere. Embarkation was very efficient. However, the entertainmemt is very poor. There is no orchestra, no big ... Read More
This cruise had a good itinerary. We stayed for 3 days in Rome, it was a disgrace, with rubbish piled up in the streets everywhere. Embarkation was very efficient. However, the entertainmemt is very poor. There is no orchestra, no big dance productions, just 6 ballet style dancers. hALmust be cost cutting. There was no library. BB Kings played the same music every night. The Lido buffet was always crowded , with lines for everything, no self service so you had to explain what you wanted. Some of the servers had difficulty understanding English. Activities consisted of bingo or trivia, no dancing classes at all. The computer classes were impossible to access as ithey. were always packed. Internet expensive. Hard sell constantly for beauty salon. The decor on the ship is dingy. The Cruise Director did very little, apart from introducing stage acts. He rarely smiled and ever made a joke!! Overall a big disappointment. We will never sail o HL again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
My wife and I thought Holland America was a step above and tried the Panama cruise. First the ship is in disrepair ie: broken windows, window seal deteriorated causing windows to fog in main dining room, burnt out bulbs throughout ... Read More
My wife and I thought Holland America was a step above and tried the Panama cruise. First the ship is in disrepair ie: broken windows, window seal deteriorated causing windows to fog in main dining room, burnt out bulbs throughout especially at the elevators and Old wooden deck chairs on deck three of which 50 percent were broken. Attitude of the Hotel manager was not his problem. Staff throughout the ship in restaurants, cabins, bars etc. A 10 +++. The main dining room meals were over cooked much of the time during dinner hour though breakfast was fine. First night of cruise turkey was served bright pink ( scary !). One night tuna was so overcooked , it was like saw dust and most left it on their plates uneaten. On another evening the wiener schnitzel was served and waiters came around suggesting that we add gravy before we even tried the dish and through the gravy was not part of the menu the waiters were trying to correct another bad meal. Now the Pinnacle Grill was a great experience but we were forced to pay the extra charge to have good food compared to main dining room and we ate there four nights. Entertainment was very good and we enjoyed every performance. The shore experience in Costa Rica called canal tortuguero was a 100% waste of time. When we arrived by bus, there were bathrooms on the second floor of the building that were so unbelievably filthy that I perferred to not use since thing did not flush and one small sink to wash hands shared by men and women with nothing to wipe hands. The boat tour showed two iguanas,three birds and a couple monkeys. The second part of the tour was a banana plantation which consisted of the bus pulling off the main road to point out a few banana plans and return us back to the ship. So much for a plantation. Holland America charged 100 plus dollars and does not care how bad it is. Now it explains why Holland America does not even get mentioned in many ratings and independent reviews. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Attracted to cruise because it visited Cuba - first time on Holland America after approximately thirty prior cruises - Ship was in total disrepair - Booked four cabins near elevator bank to accommodate ninety year old birthday celebrant - ... Read More
Attracted to cruise because it visited Cuba - first time on Holland America after approximately thirty prior cruises - Ship was in total disrepair - Booked four cabins near elevator bank to accommodate ninety year old birthday celebrant - By end of ten days only one elevator cab was running for passengers resulting in extremely long waits to move around ships - Crew has to use one elevator as theirs were out of order - One day elevator opened and we saw crew member with carts of filthy linens! We were told they were waiting for parts - Public bathrooms on pool deck 11 were out of service from first day until last day - waiting for parts. We were directed to use facilities on same deck at rear of ship through buffet area - One stall only - filthy - no towels to wipe hands - Complained but to no avail - Leaking safety sprinkler valve on 12th deck down onto pool deck for entire length of cruise - Pool deck was always wet and slippery - Cone saying “caution wet floor” with no attempt to repair - Food was inedible with exception of breakfast - Too little personnel - family style trays of food were not refilled when empty - Italian specialty restaurant was disgusting at best - Entertainment crew shows would have been okay as high school productions - Cruise director wore same decrepit suit and dirty shoes nightly - Commented it was a uniform! Sent complaint letter to President and CEO of Holland America about all occurrences - Received response from customer service (not from Pres. or CEO) - Surprise! She claimed all issues were related to awaiting spare parts - Offered $100.00 discount per person on future cruise - Insulting at best - As repeat cruiser on Oceania they offer 10% discount on cabin which works out to hundreds of dollars and well worth every penny - Will never sail with Holland America ever again and neither should you Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Got bitten by bedbugs on the first night all over upper body. Cruise medical center refused to address the problem on Christmas Eve, unless I paid $95 for consultation on a problem caused by poor health condition and lack of proper ... Read More
Got bitten by bedbugs on the first night all over upper body. Cruise medical center refused to address the problem on Christmas Eve, unless I paid $95 for consultation on a problem caused by poor health condition and lack of proper maintenance and examination of bedding. I inspected pillows and found badly stained pillows obscured by pillow covers. The next day after I suffered these horrible red itching bites, I decided to inspect mattress also and discovered a blanket insert that had three dried blood stains, which was also hidden with a zipped cover over the mattress. It was disgusting! Again, we requested replacements. The overall ship is nice but everything shuts down by 11pm. You can't even get a hot dog from the outside Lido since the pools and outside area is completely closed and dark. No Karaoke for us lovers of this fun activity. The ship catered to selling high priced jewelry, terribly overpriced, if you have any knowledge of the cost of fine jewelry, which I have had for over 40 years. The best parts of the ship was The Lincoln Stage Performances and The BB King's All Stars band. It is a ship for the elderly who have no interest but to sun bathe and view overpriced jewelry and art. The Art Gallery was quite nice but I didn't bother to ask about the price of any of the wonderful paintings since I was convinced it would be as ridiculous as the jewelry. The jewelry auction proved my point. No one bid over approximately $1100 for any of the jewelry that was auctioned. The jewelry indicated pieces worth at least $28,000, with bids starting at around $18,000. In fact I said nothing but the guy who purchased the pair of earrings for the nearly $1100 must not have known he was being overpriced. No one bothered to bid on the over 20 or more items since they too must have realized it was overpriced. The ports that sold jewelry I believe were also a rip-off. In Cozumel you could possibly get a decent pair of cowboy boots at a reasonable price if you negotiated with the seller for Roger's Boots. Ocho Rios was a rip-off since you had to take a bus to beach and be charged for everything connected to it. No free rides here. The 7-mile beach had bad large graveled sand. Not comfortable for bare feet! I wanted to use an Expedia $100 onboard credit to purchase and monogram robe, but the guest service person, an Indonesian clerk, lied to me and told me no new robes were available for sale that I could use the credit towards. This turned out to be a lie, since my husband was able to order one to be billed to our cabin, with three letter free monogram, which was personally delivered to our cabin: 10033, by an apologizing guest services person. I was never offered any assistance for the painful and annoying bedbug bites and had to purchase skin irritation and abrasion cream as well as spray from the gift shop. The gift shop was also overpriced with items that should have cost much less. We are upper middle class people and are by no means tightwads, but the prices we encountered on this trip were ridiculous, including the price of the cruise, which offered very limited activities. No Broadway or Las Vegas style shows will you see here, even though the main stage is beautiful. What a terrible waste? The Main Stage entertainment was less than mediocre and short on time. The food was not the best, but good none the less. The overall staff attendants were excellent! However, we did not need two attendants @$14.50 each to be assigned to our small cabin, with small balcony. The person in charge of inspection of housekeeping should be heavily reprimanded for not instructing cabin attendants to inspect bedding for cleanliness, wear and tear --BEDBUGS! Never expected this on a relatively new ship. Horrible! There is no excuse for the heavily stained pillows or blanket or any other unhealthy bedding that I did not discover. We have been on many cruises throughout the years, but will never go Holland America again. Even the teenagers on deck were bored to death. I found them one night sprawled out on the outside of their so-called lounge or club area laying on the floor or doing whatever they could to keep from falling to sleep at around 11pm. I would never book this cruise again, even if I'm 100 years old. It would still be too boring for me. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise due to the itinerary and the supposed reputation of Holland America being a classy cruise line. It was to be a continuation of a seven night cruise that we took on the Paul Gauguin. We were looking forward to the ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the itinerary and the supposed reputation of Holland America being a classy cruise line. It was to be a continuation of a seven night cruise that we took on the Paul Gauguin. We were looking forward to the stops at Rarotonga, Cook Islands - Alofi, Niue - Vava u, Tonga - Savusavu, Vanua Levi, Fiji - Suva, Viti Levu, Fiji - Dravuni, Fiji - Nuku alofa, Tonga. To set the stage for the tender rides to shore we need to say that prior to our cruise a woman was killed while getting on the tender at a stop. Of course like the military Holland America made a decision to screw all of it's passengers due to the actions of one unfortunate soul. They cancelled the first two stops stating the sea state was to high to go a shore. They must not have realized there were many passengers that had a great deal of experience with boating and knew that the sea state was not as bad as they were saying. Real big disappointment to all aboard. All of the remaining stops we did go ashore. Shore excursions were totally overpriced. We went ashore an picked up tours at far cheaper prices than Holland America offered. For a cruise line that is supposed to be classy Holland America made it far from that. Everytime you turned around they were trying to up sale you. From the over price bottled water and canned sodas in the state rooms, to the over priced additional restaurants, to the drastically overpriced cocktails and wine. Add to this the upscale jewelry stores which I very seldom saw passengers present. The casino that was almost as empty as the jewelry stores. Really do they really need to send out daily sales brochures trying to temp you with the 20% off sale which they raised the price on items 20% prior to the sale. It seems they could have used this space for more over priced restaurants or even heaven forbid a better stocked sundry store. Now let us talk about a dead ship. Even though we are 59 and 62 we seemed to have more life than the typical passenger that appeared to be above the age of 70 and no young 70s for sure. You would think that there would be South Pacific Island music playing all over the ship. You know to set the mood. But, no, Holland America plays elevator music when they play it at all. You would get more exciting music in a mortuary or morgue. Who knows maybe that is what the old folks really want. The musical entertainers actually play Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak tree, Really? The ship seemed to be in less than stealer condition. There was rust everywhere. The cover over the midship pool broke during the cruise and it didn't seem like the crew had the capability to fix it. The covers on the lifeboats seemed faded and strained. In fact on a couple of them they seemed to be torn or caved in. The tenders were filthy and unkempt. To think that the elderly passengers could have to use these boats in an emergency was disappointing and scary. The average crew member did a good job. Even when they were forced to sell things which they looked embarrassed and not comfortable doing. Our cabin steward was great. The dining room staff was great. Can't really say anything bad about the basic crew member on the Maasdam. The front desk personnel did a great job. There was a strange noise that kept happening in our first stateroom. We complained and they moved us to a new stateroom very quickly. Our stateroom was very clean and comfortable. We purchased the laundry service for the entire cruise. We felt it was a good value and the staff did a great job. The internet service was slow and expensive for what you received. We realize the signal has to travel many thousands of mile but really that slow? The food on the ship was good. However, no better than any other cruise ship we had been on. Holland America really needs to step it up to live up to a reputation that seems like it had gotten many years ago. Stop selling and make it a classy ship again or close the line down and save not only themselves but the passengers from a poor experience. Many folks that we had spoke to that had cruised Holland America in the passed said that this would be their last cruise on the line. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Holland America provided the very worst guest experience of any cruise line we have sailed with (Carnival, Celebrity and Princess). There is something strange going on with the Eurodam's management. We can't quite put our fingers ... Read More
Holland America provided the very worst guest experience of any cruise line we have sailed with (Carnival, Celebrity and Princess). There is something strange going on with the Eurodam's management. We can't quite put our fingers on it, but the onboard staff are indifferent and disconnected. They are mostly flat and expressionless. With rare exception (the lovely married couple on the Ocean level), the Eurodam team appears to be largely unconcerned for guest comfort and satisfaction. Why is this not PRIORITY #1? And why are the staff so miserable?? Many told us they couldn't wait to get off the ship! We realize the ship is older and doesn't have all the bells and whistles that more modern ships have. However, we feel this can be overcome with creative programming and bright smiles. The Bon Voyage party, for example, was nothing more than a fruity drink. No live music, no streamers, no attempt to excite and impress incoming guests. Our first dinner took almost 3-hours. Breakfast in the dining room was blah and the service veeerrry slow. Eventually, we gave up on the dining room and opted for the Lido buffet but the offerings were repetitive and predictable with no pride in presentation or service. The seared Ahi salad was especially awful, bits of fishy, over-cooked, cold, brown chunks of chewy yuckiness. But most importantly, where are the smiles Eurodam?? We learned that the front desk and room service phones are automatically routed to an answering system/recording. Many times we were on hold for ages or received no answer at all. Requests for ice service in the cabin went unaswered multiple times. A quesadilla and chicken soup arrived cold, greasy and over salted to the point of being inedible. Similarly, we sat on the Lido Deck one afternoon for over an hour before anyone approached us to ask if we needed anything. And we gave plenty of indication that we DID want assistance - by making eye contact, waving a hand in the air, etc. Disembarkation was terribly disappointing. How about a thank you? A kind word or gesture? You know a vacation has been a total failure when you can't wait for it to be over. Instead of dying to travel with Holland America again, we feel ripped off, used and in need of a true getaway experience. The guests are so bored out of their minds with nothing to do for 3-days at sea besides drink and gamble. This makes for a rather poor cruise. Get creative with programming - poolside games, guest competitions, more interactive education programming that's not a constant pounding of buy this. And buy this. And buy this too. Same goes for the daily publications. They read more like an obituary than a daily schedule of offerings. But with no fun going on, lack of creativity and failure to focus on THE GUEST EXPERIENCE, it is hard to make the onslaught of sales flyers exciting too. Will not return. And we got overcharged for several items that we now get to spend the next few days on the phone correcting. Extremely unhappy are we! We have already shared our experience with our travel agent and fully intend to post these same comments across multiple online media outlets. Yes, that's how strongly we feel about the whole Holland America cruise experience. Very, very bad indeed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We selected this cruise to celebrate my husband's retirement. The combination of ports and transatlantic cruise was the perfect fit and the time of year was just what we were hoping for. We flew into Venice a couple of days prior to ... Read More
We selected this cruise to celebrate my husband's retirement. The combination of ports and transatlantic cruise was the perfect fit and the time of year was just what we were hoping for. We flew into Venice a couple of days prior to sailing and enjoyed checking out the city. The problems started once we arrived in our cabin and discovered the toilet did not operate. Nor did it work the next day, or the day after that, or the day after that.....7 days of our cruise. No operating toilet. We had a pool of disgusting sewage liquid on the floor of the bathroom on one day AFTER the plumbers left. After reporting the problems to Customer Service, we learned the problem was a continuation from the prior cruise. But we were the problem because we were not able to move to another cabin (my parents were next door and we were unable to leave them). For our "trouble", we were given $250. Seriously. The $250 "compensation" for 28% of our cruise being impacted was unacceptable. I would strongly encourage others to avoid HAL and the Oosterdam in particular. We have cruised both HAL and the Oosterdam in the past and had chosen this cruise over several others. We spent hours with customer service staff, plumbers and not doing what we wanted to do--but hey, we got pretty good finding the "public toilets" around the ship....as this was what customer service told us to do when we needed to do our "business". Yep, couldn't use our cabin's most basic facilities. Needless to say, this overshadowed our entire cruise and has changed our views of HAL. Additionally, there were challenges with the wine stewart. We were charged for wine we didn't drink. We were charged for a chard. ($62/bottle) when we drank a reisling ($32/bottle). Who knows who else he was stealing from. As much trouble as we had with the above, we enjoyed the entertainment, the special speakers and the America's Test Kitchen. Our cabin steward was a trooper in having to perform his usual duties and then also clean up from the mess the plumbers left. The ports and excursions we amazing. One challenge we did have with the excursions is that the descriptions regarding strenuousness and the passengers abilities often did not mesh. So those passengers who were more "agile" were held back by those could not keep up with the guides. Look beyond HAL to another cruise line before booking. Or be prepared for anything to go wrong. And then be prepared to be placated by the customer service staff "I'm so sorry Mrs. ***". These individuals are left to try to clean up problems across the ship without any information on what is causing the issues. We felt sorry for them. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We selected the Seattle to Alaska cruise for a special birthday. Four of us traveled together -- my husband and I and my parents. Holland America was not the cheapest, but had reasonably good reviews and a great route -- Sitka, Juneau, ... Read More
We selected the Seattle to Alaska cruise for a special birthday. Four of us traveled together -- my husband and I and my parents. Holland America was not the cheapest, but had reasonably good reviews and a great route -- Sitka, Juneau, Ketchikan, Victoria. We arrived late in the boarding window, so embarkation was easy. But, that's where the positive part of the experience ended. Our room was a nightmare. Although we paid a substantial amount to upgrade our room (to veranda, high floor, quiet location), our room was directly below the buffet. We had a ridiculous and stressful amount of noise -- pounding, rolling carts, etc -- from 6 am to midnight. We were finally moved after FOUR nights into a beautiful suite room but the thermostat was broken and we had cold air blowing on the bed for two nights. My parents' room was adjacent to another room where they were doing construction. The buffet food was mediocre. The dining room food was worse -- so bad that we stopped eating in there after two nights. We purchased one excursion but it was incredibly overpriced for the experience. We worked with the guest services staff during and after our stay. They were impatient, rude (and maybe overwhelmed since there seemed to be many unhappy customers on board) and clearly not interested in working to make us want to ever try Holland America again. For 6 really bad nights in our room, we received a $300 credit, and nothing more. My parents also received a credit but should have been offered a new cruise. We don't recommend Holland America and will not sail with any ship under the Carnival Cruise Lines umbrella. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Dear all My room no. Is 8012 in ms nieuw amsterdam. 23rd June departure from vancouver There are several issues. Let me point out each one 1. I am pure Hindu vegetarian traveller. Before booking I had clearly asked that I need ... Read More
Dear all My room no. Is 8012 in ms nieuw amsterdam. 23rd June departure from vancouver There are several issues. Let me point out each one 1. I am pure Hindu vegetarian traveller. Before booking I had clearly asked that I need Indian vegetarian meal. I was clearly told yes Holland America is best vegetarian friendly. On coming the same turned to worst nightmare On first day of lunch it was told that there were less supply as new supply is being refilled and from tommorow you will get variety of food. Told ok no problem. Let's manage a day while all other had there full option to eat. From 2nd day the same is situation till day 6.either something is over or we will do tommorow but there is no tommorow than. Had Worst experience where I had taken a naan and just yogurt to each and tried to break naam with hand and in couldn't and than with teeth than too it was unbreakable. Given it to chef MR mani who told me this is hard one requested by guest but no guest request a UNBREAKABLE NAAN as it is to eat and not a sovenier at the room I was told daily to contact Mr mani and he will make seperate but my simple question is why we are not provided quality food and substandard is done between guest who complains and some they are normal and no complain gets the unbreakable naan. Matter reported to charnea guest manager at lido market. Most Indian on cruise if asked are satisfied than you can see the reply 15 are there in my group. The best person who eats in to most item in our group it wss also now fed up. There are no variety. I had complained on day 3rd breakfast where I had waited 1 hrs for a menu item before the steward came to me and told item is wrongly written and had complained to Denise who was manager for in room dining and she called chef Mr siva Kumar who says he is only one Indian chef and have 120 people to handle alone. There is no fault of him seems and so called Denise in front of Mr siva Kumar and told her what Mr siva said as this is fault of Holland America side that enough staff was not provided though clear booking was done with passport details nationality and even telling our food preference to booking agent. Even in Indian item. Name tags are not being put and the same counter is mixed with non vegetarian. 2nd greenhouse spa Offered hydro pool and thermal suite package at 219 per couple and was booked by me immediately on the day of embarkation and was told only last 4 space left 35 couple. 70 person is the max allowed. All good for 2 days and than came the day of skagway where board was kept for the same thing of 130 dollars which was only for skagway joining passengers but to my surprise they took booking from all the guests who boarded from Vancouver too and with bargained price of 90-100 dollars for couple. Right now there are much more than 70 persons and had told first day that I would only do it if the max cap of 70 is maintained. It is like public pool now and also with this bargain thing totally dissatisfied with working and demand a strong refund for the same. Also all general public is entering the hydro pool as the door is not kept closed 3rd room shower had fallen when it was turned on leg on first day of cruise which can't be allowed as it was not checked 4th room ac not working properly complained on first day is not resolved till date. 5th highly overcharged from exc tours. Don't buy they don't care for us Team to my surprise I found that white pass railway done by me through exc tours is also price higher than the price given on its official website Matter report to Mr lyron who was not ready to agree the fact first that it's overpriced. After giving him proof he have taken time and than comes with terms and conditions no where published. Mr lyron says this offer is only for online purchase and sent letter of terms which wasn't available online. no where that terms are published online Also if its for online only it should have been clearly written on main page This is program with Holland America that you try to earn 10 dollars more for anything and everything after normal profit and than just tell to read terms where nothing was told to us like this. Point 1 reported to Denise and charnea as well as guest manager Mr Jorn Point 2 reported to mr jorn who committed me to get back to me within next 24 hrs. Point 3 and 4 reported to housekeeping Point 5 reported to lyron exc manager on board Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this particular cruise for the ports and age demographic. We are mid 50’s and although not ready for retirement we are past the “party animal” stage. We were looking for something in between. The first couple of days ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise for the ports and age demographic. We are mid 50’s and although not ready for retirement we are past the “party animal” stage. We were looking for something in between. The first couple of days were lovely and no complaints, other than the boring and run of the mill food in the Lido buffet and meh food in the MDR. But after 3 days at sea, we developed severe gastrointestinal issues that plagued us for our entire 10 day voyage. Despite our religious hand washing I might add. The hand washing sinks with the little warm sprayers were awesome, so we used them constantly. If you are looking for a cruise with great entertainment, this is not the cruise for you. B.B. Kings was ok, if you could find a seat, Billboard was the same thing over and over, the music trivia contests seemed to be a vehicle for the host to showcase his “singing” and the comedy show in the main theater was definitely not funny. The food in the MDR was good, not great and not horrible. Although our waiter and his assistant were wonderfully friendly, the language barrier was a problem as many things that we ordered either were not delivered or they were wrong. Hardly any refills on beverages until we had to make eye contact and nod them over. On the 8th day, my husband ( who is never sick I might add ) came down with horrible food poisoning that kept him in bed for the last 2 days of our voyage. I attribute it to the raw pork I had to take away from him at lunch at the Lido. Believe me, sitting at the Ft. Lauderdale airport with food poisoning is not fun-for anyone! I could have forgiven ALL of these things were it not for the fact that we purchased the $25 pp priority baggage service so that our luggage would be taken from our state room the night before disembarking and sent to the airport, so that we would not have to drag around our luggage prior to our flight back home, and not only did my luggage not make it to the airport I did not receive my luggage from Holland America until I had to call them and track it down At the port. Holland America then Sent it me via Fed Ex and I received it 4 days after we arrived home. Missing We’re two of my bras our brand new beats headphones and my Michael Kors diamond necklace. Also, my luggage was broken as the handle was jammed into the actual luggage and would not extend anymore . I promptly called Holland America and was directed to file a claim with their property loss department which I immediately did . I was subsequently informed by Holland America they didn’t feel that they are liable for the loss and directed me to file a claim with FedEx . Fed ex then informed me that they were not liable and I shed again file a claim with Holland America which I again did. After several emails and phone calls I spoke with a Jocelyn who assured me that yes Holland America was liable and would reimburse me, but I then received an email the next day telling me that after further review they decided not to reimburse me but out of the goodness of their hearts and a gesture of goodwill they would offer me a $400 shipboard credit for my next voyage . Sadly that $400 shipboard credit is going to go to waste because I will never patronize Holland America cruise lines ever again and as a matter of fact the group that I travel with has just booked our cruise for March 2019 on a competitors cruise line. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
2nd time around exact same cruise 4 years apart, after the first we knew we loved the ship, the company the itinerary, planned the 2nd trip, picked the aft cabin on purpose to cruise the canal with a wonderful view...however, first week ... Read More
2nd time around exact same cruise 4 years apart, after the first we knew we loved the ship, the company the itinerary, planned the 2nd trip, picked the aft cabin on purpose to cruise the canal with a wonderful view...however, first week out of dry dock, boarded the ship (3 hours later than scheduled) and pool deck above our cabin closed the first 2 days, sanding and resealing the deck and pool full of deck chairs and tables no bar, again choice of our cabin was for location to pool deck buffet and ability to use outside balcony for canal transit. all work done on pool deck ended up on our balcony, welding rods, dirt and debris daily--10 day trip able to enjoy the balcony 4, if this was not bad enough there was no air conditioning in our cabin the entire trip, when we spoke with the hotel management never got a answer other than we are trying. our room steward finally went to his cabin and brought us up his personal fan to help, we had to sleep with our cabin door open the first 3 nights of the trip to get a little relief, plumbing issues all over the ship , loud drying fans all day and all night, next to last day of cruise, they closed the pool deck again to finish the wood areas of the bar, again should have been done in dry dock, wood stools still tacky the next day so could not sit at bar but wish someone had said something before we did...you get the picture leaving the ship the same confusion and disorganization as getting on, just was not ready for the full cruise of passengers, really disappointed not in itinerary but the company and the way they did NOT handle our issues Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
From the minute we arrived at the Port in Tampa, I knew something was wrong, we could not board the Rotterdam as the workers that were on it for Dry Dock were still on the ship working we had to wait for them to get off which delayed our ... Read More
From the minute we arrived at the Port in Tampa, I knew something was wrong, we could not board the Rotterdam as the workers that were on it for Dry Dock were still on the ship working we had to wait for them to get off which delayed our trip and we left dock very late. Our luggage finally came and all seemed good till we started walking around the ship. Contractors still working, wiring all over, leaks, you name it. We had a bad feeling while in Key West and almost rented a car and went home, wish we did. We got back to our room and no Hot Water, oh crap my nightmare is to begin, we only had hot water 3 days of the total cruise, calling Guest Services fell on deaf ears, there were no other rooms to even put us in as they were leaking and some ceiling had fallen in. My nightmare is about to get worse, my fiancée goes to get in bed and is yelling and holding his foot, I looked down and saw blood, he had stepped on a needle on the floor (probably left by contractors). I brought the NEEDLE to Guest Services and girl looked at me horrified. I asked if Holland America would provide him a tetanus shot, she said they would not, I restated my concern in front of many guests and still refused. We had many days toilet did not work. Old TV and DVD did not work, called 6 times, to no avail. Had the Cellars Master Package which included a diner at Pinacle, got charged 70.00 and many calls to get it removed, as it was included. I now have a wonderful sinus infection from all the stench that was going on on 2nd floor,or maybe from all the varnish fumes.Oh the best part we got 75.00 each for our inconvenience...Please don't insult my anymore. We should all get together and file a class action suit.. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
First of all, I have never written a comment on a cruise before, but felt that I needed to let others know our experience. We though Holland had a good reputation, and we should have stayed with one that we knew and trusted like ... Read More
First of all, I have never written a comment on a cruise before, but felt that I needed to let others know our experience. We though Holland had a good reputation, and we should have stayed with one that we knew and trusted like Oceania. Here is the overall of what we experienced after paying over $6,500.00 for the cruise and then additionally $1,000.00+ in ship charges. The bathroom shower curtain had mold and mildew all over it, only after I demanded that it be removed was it replaced. It should have never been in there to begin with! The tub was disgusting very old and didn't look clean - I would never sit in it and hated to stand in it for a shower. Lots of mold and mildew around the tub, the ceiling, and door facings. VERY old, scared and chipped furniture - two people cannot pass at the foot of the bed. The refrigerator had NO HANDLE, it was totally broken off. Our balcony furniture was extremely cheap and the cushions look Walmart-ish. We walked to the outside deck to sit in the lounge chairs there but they were very old, the finish on the wood was non-existant and the seat cushions were stained and we couldn't find two that we would even sit in. The food was nothing to care about either, I would say it was LESS than average. Service was not as expected either. Friends we met on the cruise, shared this: that on steak and lobster tail night she requested no filet but two lobster tails instead. The waiter told her he was not allowed to do that, after complaining the waiter called on the food manager to come speak to her - not sure how that turned out. (This is so unlike any cruise line I have ever been on, where usually they try so hard to accommodate) Overall, Holland America is NOT the cruise line nor Rotterdam the cruise ship to be going on, although the excursions were very nice and we definitely did really enjoy them. I do have photographs and will be posting them on Facebook and Twitter. Please take a moment to look at them and post your comments. Read Less
37 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I'll start with the positive and end with the negatives... First, I've sailed on numerous cruises with a variety of cruise lines. I like the size and look of the Zaandam. The ship was clean and well-appointed. The ... Read More
I'll start with the positive and end with the negatives... First, I've sailed on numerous cruises with a variety of cruise lines. I like the size and look of the Zaandam. The ship was clean and well-appointed. The entertainment was excellent and the service of the crew was top-drawer. I have no complaints with the cabin other than it did not have a refrigerator. Now, lets get to the negatives. Without a refrigerator, you need water and ice. I was on the "Dolphin" deck or 1st Floor; meaning, I had to go up to the Lido Deck (8th Floor) to obtain water and ice. (Oh, don't tell me there was an ice bucket in the room; it was never filled.) The small size of the glasses offered (around 6-7 ounces) means you will be spending alot of time doing the rounds. (Sure, you can bring a BIG drink-holder; but this practice is frowned upon because it can pass germs from your Big Drink to others). Next, the food was sub-par. I give Carnival (even though it owns HAL) better marks for the food. Having cruised on Luxury ships (Radisson Diamond), I have a sophisticated palate. So, it was not that the choices were too complicated, it was simply that there was nothing to "fall" back on to if you were not interested in the small choices. HAL needs a COMMON meat and COMMON salad on every menu to fall back on if the choices are all UN-common. Add a common poultry, fish and pasta and your back in business. The specialty restaurants were both extremely good. The Lido restaurant was fair at best. Few daily changes and the menu was not good. I found myself eating peanut-butter for breakfast and spaghetti for lunch (at least 3 times). The way the buffet is run is "start down there"...but it breaks up and slows down due to the different sections which causes confusion and long waits. The worst problem the entire trip was the heat. I decided to travel to Alaska to get the hell away from the heat. Oh, Alaska was fine..temperature wise. It was the ship ! From the minute you board until you debark, get ready to spend alot of time trying to find ways to cool down. ALL of the common/public areas were awfully hot. The "Explorers" area was the worst. Yes, there were alot of older people on board...I presume the "Facilities Manager" thinks all older people love the heat. Well, they got plenty of it. When I first entered my room the air was on the lowest/coolest level. I told the cabin steward that the air was not working. He looked confused. And did nothing. What does this mean? It's simple. The ship had "flipped" the system. If you did not need heat, you got nothing else. The system, ship-wide, was not "geared" to allowing for air conditioning. You're only recourse; spend lots of time outside. Oh, and how about that other little thing...you know..the NoroVirus. Yes, I've been on ships when there was an outbreak. Never got it. This time, my wife did. And we did not bring it on. It was already there when we arrived I suspect. Regardless, we know that if we tell, we get isolated. Unfortunately, my wife's condition was such that she had too. And even though THEY gave us the virus; we had to pay over $250 to the doctor and medical center for medicine and an IV. Nice. Then, of course, she missed one port due to the illness even though she had recovered. If you are going to spend alot of money and time to get to Alaska; find another cruise ship with another company. HAL's reputation is overblown and false. Too few ports of call and too many days at sea. And hot. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Great ports of call but many days lost to illness. I have cruised eight previous times and this is the first time I have ever been sick. That being said---MANY guests were very ill on this cruise. My cabin attendant did an excellent job ... Read More
Great ports of call but many days lost to illness. I have cruised eight previous times and this is the first time I have ever been sick. That being said---MANY guests were very ill on this cruise. My cabin attendant did an excellent job cleaning my stateroom but I never saw banisters, lounges or elevators being cleaned. Horrible meal at the "Pinnacle". No anchovies for the Cesar Salad and no fresh berries. The wait staff said that this was to be expected "at the end" of the cruise. Really? There were three more sailing days left. Was the upcharge expected? The fish was overcooked and the steak was below average. The food quality at HAL is diminished. The coffee is horrible. The wine list is really pitiful. No water onboard the day of desembarkation. I wonder how those guests who remained onboard were expected to wash their hands? Princess Cruise Line is far superior in food quality and Guest Services to HAL. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
My Wife & I chose this Holland America Company purposely…as we were expecting a 5 star experience…especially after seeing numerous ads on television saying “Savor the Experience”. We spent top dollar for the Best Cabin- the ... Read More
My Wife & I chose this Holland America Company purposely…as we were expecting a 5 star experience…especially after seeing numerous ads on television saying “Savor the Experience”. We spent top dollar for the Best Cabin- the Neptune Suite. Holland America has a lot to learn on how to handle a VIP guest…as they believe all it takes is a larger room with better sheets & pillows. The reality is…you are treated like everyone else on the ship…with very little service and the most unorganized management style (waiting in lines constantly for EVERYTHING with lousy food too). There was absolutely nothing “special’… considering that were paying close to triple. And if you’re a Smoker (like we are) FORGET about it…they cram you in an area with 12 tables (48 seats) next to the bar outside in the back of the ship…& this is WHERE you will find all the drunk & Loud obnoxious guests drinking the CHEAPEST Caribbean cocktails that can be made:( I would like to add, we went on Carnival for my Wife’s very first cruise in December ( taking the Best suite)….and even with all the craziness & Carnivals “iffy” reputation…we were treated like royalty with GREAT service & very strong food in the Main Dining Room…We had a GREAT TIME!!!! The Bottom Line: AVOID Holland America if your looking for a Romantic 5 star experience & planning to spend the HUGE extra for a suite…..as you will be terribly disappointed…like we were!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I only chose this cruise as it leaves from San Diego. I have been on many of HA's ships and loved them all but this one was awful. The awesome Indonesians were replaced by Filipino's poorly trained. The food has gone down big ... Read More
I only chose this cruise as it leaves from San Diego. I have been on many of HA's ships and loved them all but this one was awful. The awesome Indonesians were replaced by Filipino's poorly trained. The food has gone down big time, even the lamb and steaks were STRINGY. Maybe a first time cruiser would like it but anyone who travelled on other ships would know the difference. My accident was the fault of HA but even so they refused to send doctor unless I paid exorbitant amount of money for the consultation. I am still in pain - 1 week later - bruised ribs, whiplash, etc. The entertainment by the crew was good, and also the piano man (he wasn't Liberace) but the rest of the entertainment was sub par. The Pinnacle Grill was excellent and I do recommend you eat meals there rather than the Lido. The first Hot Tub was scalding hot. The second one o.k. The cabin sofa was so dirty it was BLACK. When I pointed this out they threw a white sheet over it, lol. On the last day it was removed. The Breakfast in room dining never got it right! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
In the past I have remained faithful to Holland American Cruise Line.....not any more. First the inital passenger lifeboat drill took FOREVER...most people were roaming around, the cruise people were yelling the same cabin numbers at least ... Read More
In the past I have remained faithful to Holland American Cruise Line.....not any more. First the inital passenger lifeboat drill took FOREVER...most people were roaming around, the cruise people were yelling the same cabin numbers at least 7 times, people didn't know their cabin numbers, if this were a real emergency a lot of people would have been lost. I began to find this comical. Second, I have no issue with the handicapped and disabled being able to choose their destinations freely, but just how many hover-rounds, electric wheel chairs, cains and walkers can one cram in an elevator before people who are standing in them get hurt? let me tell you I have never seen such aggresive people in my life. They need to give them a separate bank of elevators to use that will accomodate these walking aids. Third entertainment on sea days and at night is sub par. There is really nothing to do except lay by the pool, or play in a very tight casino. The shore excursions are very pricey and not worth the time or money. You would do better to just go walk the ports of call yourself. Fourth after 3 days at sea our bathroom started to smell like mildew it permiated thoughout the cabin. It was coming up through the drains in the sink and tub. Fifth the food on the lido deck. Starts out great and by the 3rd day its unattractive, bland, and not the best. My recommendation eat a big lunch at the grill out by the middle pool. Good but takes a while to get your order. The wine stewardess was rude, pushy and not very knowledgable about the wines or where they are kept once you have purchased them. Summation: This cruise line is for the elderly, if you are under 68 you wont want to take this line. The boat basically shuts down at 9:00pm and everyone goes to sleep. Its boring on sea days, and way over priced for what the line provides. 75% of the crew are easy to deal with but I noticed most of the officers and up are no where to be found after 4:00pm. The cruise director is a snooze, and there is nothing to do after 9pm. I do not recommend this cruise line if you have children with you...there is nothing for them to do. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
This was our longest cruise and we upgraded to a Neptune Suite A big mistake, service was bad, food was bad, the employees attitudes were bad Was like we were a burden to them more to come later, but we wanted folks to know of ... Read More
This was our longest cruise and we upgraded to a Neptune Suite A big mistake, service was bad, food was bad, the employees attitudes were bad Was like we were a burden to them more to come later, but we wanted folks to know of this and we were not alone, a lot and we mean a lot of folks were very unhappy the dinner in the dining room were things you did not want to eat and food on the upper deck was dried out fried chicken, and if you wanted to try a hamburger, you better have a good 30 minutes before you saw you food. and most of the time, the food once you got to your table, NO TRAYS SUPPLIED so you had to always go back, if you wanted more than two dishes, and if you wanted to have a glass of wine or a drink, good luck getting anybodies attention Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
The inland passage of southern Chile fiords with glaciers and to visit relatives in Buenos Aires was our need. One glacier off the many we could see - because of the big ship we missed many others. Cabin 6141 very nice situated ... Read More
The inland passage of southern Chile fiords with glaciers and to visit relatives in Buenos Aires was our need. One glacier off the many we could see - because of the big ship we missed many others. Cabin 6141 very nice situated mid-schip, we locked forward to a relaxing cruise. We found the right cabin for restless honeymooner - sleep hard to get because of vibrating (could be felt even on the thick madrases) noise from an air duct under nice the cabin floor. 24 hours, 7 days a week, 12 month a year endless sound. The reception was unable to find a better cabin or suit for us. Even my body was affected and a visit at the medical ship nurse had to be done - very nice and helpful nurse! Mostly the reception was helpful, beside one attractive girl, dressed in blue uniform which send you to other destinations instead giving you the information and forgot to give full information. It was hard to get information about Chilean vins on board - it looked more that the special ship selection was pushed. Wenn we spook about this cabin 6141, we have been the lough of the cruise. It is a pity, most of the personal was kind and helpful, but that was the first and the last cruise with Holland America. By writing this I doubt that this critic will survive on the board, but my give some hints to the owner of HA-line!!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We were so excited about this cruise. Planned it for a long time. This was our 29th anniversary. The scenery and excursions were great, except tour in New York didn't include the 911 Museum. This was our 3rd HAL cruise. ... Read More
We were so excited about this cruise. Planned it for a long time. This was our 29th anniversary. The scenery and excursions were great, except tour in New York didn't include the 911 Museum. This was our 3rd HAL cruise. Alaska and Panama Canal were flawless. The Veendam was a smaller ship than expected. The shops were small. The "blowout" sales were the same price as they were the beginning of the cruise. Service was slow as if understaffed. Shows were mediocre except for the ships' singers. The worst was the food. Everything in the main dining room was far too upscale. I can see having a few dishes for a more sophisticated palette, but all the dishes were like that. I ended up eating French onion soup every night and the daily roasted chicken most of the time. The desserts were a joke. Everything was fluff. Nothing like it sounded it would be. So I ate fruit for dessert. This is the 1st cruise I've actually lost weight on. The Lido deck food had a good variety, but the best dish on the whole trip was the spaghetti and meat sauce, which I ate almost every day. Their desserts were also tasteless, except for the cookies and ice cream. Need to go for less quantity and more quality. Also, the heritage night food was very good. One evening they had a black and white night in the crows nest - supposedly by invitation of the crew. Thought there would be at least a free drink and hor' dervs. Instead, the crew was segregated from the passengers until they had their drinks, etc. Then they mingled for a short time. It was written up and n the daily schedule that it was one of the crews favorite events. Another joke. Read Less
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