The Good - 95% of the workers are lovely & incredibly hard working. They make up for the ship's many flaws. Embarkation/Disembarkation was smooth, swift & without issues. We had a balcony cabin, & the size of the ... Read More
The Good - 95% of the workers are lovely & incredibly hard working. They make up for the ship's many flaws. Embarkation/Disembarkation was smooth, swift & without issues. We had a balcony cabin, & the size of the balcony was impressive. Ports were also fantastic & the reason we chose this cruise line to begin with. This was our first cruise with HA & sadly will be our last. We have traveled over a dozen times with cruise ships & have used various cruise lines repeatedly, so we had the same expectations for HA. We've never had prior issues/concerns with other ships, so we believed HA would be a repeat cruise line for us as all others have been in the past. Not the case or even close. It seems a lot of corners have been cut from HA & the clients & the hard working employees are the ones suffering. So on to the bad...
The unfortunate bad... First, our room was the smallest we have ever stayed in for 3 people. The pull out bed is meant for a child/adult under the size of 5 feet. If you are 5'1+, you will get bruised, scratched & woken up daily because the bed hits right into the desk in front of it & you WILL hit the desk with your feet, etc. The bed also blocks the door to your balcony completely. You must climb over the pull out bed to get in/out of it (ie: to go to the restroom, change, etc) or to get in/out of your balcony (which are all fire/emergency hazards). I would not recommend this room for 3 people, 2 would be perfectly fine (the bed remains a couch the entire time), but definitely not 3, even with a small child as you will have no space or easy access to your balcony. Second issue with the room was the cleanliness. The gentlemen who were in charge of our rooms were as sweet as could be, however, they were also responsible for countless hallways of rooms. It would be physically impossible for these 2 hard working men to completely service/clean the rooms to their fullest. They were both being tirelessly overworked. On arrival, the shampoo/condition/soap dispensers in the showers were all near empty (an oversight & an understood one as these guys could barely get to all the rooms). Additionally, we had nail clippings in the bathroom & balcony, dust in the cabin & no tissue. Clearly, these workers just don't have the manpower or time to do a full on thorough cleansing & this was on our arrival. On 3 separate occasions we were given replacement towels with various stains on them & were unusable. On multiple occasions, we were without towels & had to ask for the dispensers to be refilled.
Smoking & noise issues were also a problem with one neighbor (the walls are paper thin) & we reported our concerns repeatedly, but nothing could really be accommodated (we asked to switch rooms), even after 2 separate occasions of cigarette butts on our balcony, I took photos & brought it to the attention of guest services, but they just ask you to let our servicemen be aware & they refer us right back to guest services. It was a joke all the different finger pointing of who to speak with for various issues. None of the employees want to handle or address concerns & refer you elsewhere constantly.
We also opted to pay for the unlimited LAUNDRY deal during our stay. This for the most part was a nice option, however, they did lose a laundry item on one occasion & on another instance, we had to wait for 3 days for our laundry return, when it is supposed to be returned within 48 hrs. Again, we were referred to guest services twice to get an update.
PHOTOS are another thing - buyers beware. We purchased several & were given wrong photos - definitely check before leaving. Our photos had wrong templates with different dates/locations of a cruise we weren't even on.
Last of interest was the FOOD. The taste & quality were fine & not better or worse than other cruise lines. We did the additional pay for Italian Canaletto restaurant & the Asian-fusion, Tamarind. Tamarind was far better than Canaletto (service & food wise). Canaletto food is actually cooked in the Lido buffet area & was a step below an Olive Garden.
We had the dine on your own time dining & had no problem getting a table. However, the service in the own time dining is horrible. I believe these workers may be in training because every night we had an issue with incorrect orders (not just us, but many tables around us as well) & lengthy times to be served. Dinner took 2-3 hours for a 3 course meal. We were eventually told (by mistake, perhaps), that the main dining food was the same as what was being served in the buffet's Lido's. An employee brought me a chicken dish & actually admitted HE picked it out for me himself. Lo & behold, the next evening, we decided to opt for the Lido buffet & sure enough the same soup, main entrees & desserts were exactly the same being offered in the main dining menu. We were able to hand pick the food ourselves & eat/finish within an hour, not 3 hours. A few differences on the menu, but 90% was exactly the same, including surf & turf.
Lastly, the wine stewards & beverages. We have never been more hounded to drink or pay for soft drinks like we were on the HA. I think because these employees are so overworked, they are really looking to make extra money via tips. We were constantly being bombarded throughout the cruise to purchase alcohol or soft drinks. The stewards would come by multiple times, even after declining & trying to get you to buy beverages (alcohol or otherwise). It was annoying & unnecessary after the first decline, especially, when drink orders, like the meal orders, were being delivered incorrectly to various patrons
Our experience about HA vs all the other big name competitor cruise lines we have taken, is that they do all they can to nickel & dime their customers at the sad cost of their hardworking employees. Where other cruise lines provided complimentary toasts at departure, HA passed out beverages (with the aim you believed it was complimentary) & then asked for your key card & said your beverage cost $. No thanks. Chocolate party night - on other lines, was magnificent, creative & worth waiting for. HA had 15 or so servers walking around for 5 minutes at 10pm at night that you had to actually chase down for a thumb sized chocolate sample bite. It was a joke (I took photos to show family/friends because it was comical). Reminded me of the samples people line up for at Costco. Same could be said for their alcohol samples. A complete joke.
HA is no value - they are after one thing & it's your money which unfortunately doesn't go into these hard working employees, but the corporate headquarters. The Koningsdsam was a sad disappointment & lacks great service because they are so overwhelmingly understaffed. Read Less