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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our third cruise to Mexico and first cruise on a Holland America ship. It met our requirements for a new or recently refurbished ship, left from a nearby port, offered a last minute deal and was destined for ports with beautiful ... Read More
This was our third cruise to Mexico and first cruise on a Holland America ship. It met our requirements for a new or recently refurbished ship, left from a nearby port, offered a last minute deal and was destined for ports with beautiful weather. We went out on a limb to experience an interior cabin just to make the shipboard and port fun budget go farther. Here's what we learned ... Port = San Diego knows how to process two ships at once. Despite the spring break crowd the Disney ship leaving at the same time, luggage loading, processing and boarding ran efficiently. Holland America gives you a time window for loading based on your stateroom deck. Adhere to this and it should go well for you! Parking was $11 a day at the Wyndham hotel directly across from the port. Nieuw Amsterdam Ship = We liked the classic interior, beautiful sculptures and artwork that lined the ship walls. The main staircase isn't dramatic like the Princess ships and their main dining room isn't as cheery and bright like Celebrity Dining Rooms but it does have a small ship feel with large sea viewing windows and offers cozy alcoves like the Billboard Onboard with dueling pianos and the Crows Nest for reading/watching the sea and drinking a good cappuccino. When you stay in an inside room, you are quite interested in alternative places to hang on sea days. We frequented the well equipped gym and Tamarind Bar for views, without music, and comfy chairs for lounging and reading. I would not pick this ship for the pool experience because the pool is small and the deck is somewhat crowded with people and privately rented cabanas around the perimeter. If you choose to sunbathe, visit the Seaview deck on the back of the ship with a small pool. Bring your towel clips because it can be a bit windy. The pool dome is closed at night or cool weather, so the pool area stays busy during the day and night. You don’t see a lot of kids onboard but you do see them during afternoon pool hours. With all the mega ships now offering adventurous amenities for families or partiers, HAL is wise to cater to the interests of grandparents and people over 60 first. I wouldn’t hesitate to book a family reunion on the Nieuw Amsterdam but I think it’s real attraction is that it is not a "TEEN SHIP". It’s sophisticated and classy vibe is perfect for a couple getaway. My favorite feature on the ship was the elevator. Each elevator rug was changed daily to announce the day of the week…brilliant! Entertainment = Holland America has thoughtfully considered it's clientele. They have the BB King Blues Club for mo-town and dance music, the Lincoln Center for classical recitals and the Dueling Pianos in the Billboard for 60, 70's, 80's and singer songwriter favorites. The talent was incredible this cruise! The main stage dance shows by Step One Dance Company were skillfully produced with technical lights and lasers and the comedian- Chris Pendleton and illusionist Leon Etienne - couldn't have been better. Activities = Highlight of this cruise was the America Test Kitchen sessions and the games hosted by cruise directors. EXC cruise talks for this Mexico cruise need improvement. Folklore dances on the sundeck need a stage for more passengers to see. I didn't use the casino but KUDOS to Holland America for offering a SMOKE FREE casino so all passengers can enjoy the Onboard Billboard Entertainment. I was surprised to see that the library limited to games and primarily travel and educational books. Bring your own novel. Food and Service = This aspect is pretty important to cruisers and I was worried how it would par with our previous Celebrity and Princess cruises. I can happily tell you that steak tastes like steak (not liver) and lobster portions are wonderful! We didn't have to go to a specialty restaurant to find food we enjoyed. I was most impressed by the Lido Food court and enjoyed being served. This was far different from milling around Horizon court or encountering a traffic jam at the Celebrity food stations. Passengers may have to wait a bit longer for the crew to dip up your food choices, but it is more sanitary. The Nieuw Amsterdam offers an outstanding salad bar. While ice-cream offerings and desserts don't compare to the Norman Love creations on Princess they were tasty, plentiful and enjoyable. Servers were quick to clean tables, serve drinks and always friendly. Booking last minute, Anytime Dining was our only option. We learned to call up to two days in advance to request a dining time. This cut down on waiting in line like other guests. It was also enjoyable to sit and meet other guests. Bar drinks on cruise ships are expensive. Check the rules and consider bringing your allotment of beverages (including water) on board at each port or enjoying in port. Ports = Mexican ports are not particularly spectacular but with a little personal research and port reviews you can book some great tours. My husband and I have never felt afraid or had any concerns about getting off the ship. The people in Mexico are friendly and tourism is quite important. Keep in mind that local taxi drivers don't always speak English but they know the way to popular tourist areas. I can't comment on HALS ship tours as we typically book our own. I highly recommend the following ... Mazatlan - Enjoy the city with a personal guide on a bike along the water. We saw cliff divers, fishermen feeding huge birds, harbor sculptures, city square and the greatest local food market. We gained knowledge of the city's history and learned to appreciate what the locals love from Daniel at Blue Foot City Bike Tours https://bluefoot.mx Cabo San Lucas - This port requires a tender but there is enough to do in the vicinity if you choose just to shop or refill your prescriptions for half the price. Our preference is to get off the ship and negotiate with locals for a tour. We have taken a whale ride excursion in the past. This time we enjoyed and recommend taking a water taxi (both ways) to Medano Beach. Once there you can enjoy the day at a local resort with a perfect view of the ship and Lovers Beach. Puerto Vallarta - The port is nothing to see except a huge Wal Mart across the street. Instead, opt for a taxi to and from the Malecón. Walk the large boardwalk along the ocean to shop, view beautiful art sculptures, street performers and colorful flowers. There are plenty of great restaurants along the way. Visit the Lady of Guadalupe Church downtown, avoid most city streets and sightsee in touristy areas. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Nine of us traveled together to cruise the Panama Canal. Our group consisted of three married couples and three single ladies ranging in age from 50 on up. Despite different interests among the members of the group, I don't remember ... Read More
Nine of us traveled together to cruise the Panama Canal. Our group consisted of three married couples and three single ladies ranging in age from 50 on up. Despite different interests among the members of the group, I don't remember anyone complaining of being bored. Three of us enjoyed the trivia contests, others spent lots of time (and money!) at bingo, some enjoyed the movies and entertainment in the theatre, one single lady in our group enjoyed visiting all of the lounges, and one of the married gentlemen in our party (my own DH) enjoyed hanging out on his balcony, reading and enjoying the scenery. Our signature suite, SY 8094, was situated where the ship juts out and featured a long balcony, which we both enjoyed immensely. My only complaint would be the casino, which was dinky and did not feature a good variety. Of course, I would have done better if I would have stayed away, as I lost a bunch of money. It wasn't like there wasn't enough to do.... The shore stops were long enough to provide a good overview of places that we'd like to revisit. Entertainment was good, food was good, and I would recommend anyone for this ship and PC itinerary! Consistent quality keeps us coming back to HAL. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Our ninth cruise first with holland america,cruised mainly celebrity and one cunard. The ship was consistantly cold rattled and vibrated non stop for the whole 3 weeks. First time i have had seasickness. 1 port in hawaii was cancelled ... Read More
Our ninth cruise first with holland america,cruised mainly celebrity and one cunard. The ship was consistantly cold rattled and vibrated non stop for the whole 3 weeks. First time i have had seasickness. 1 port in hawaii was cancelled due to weather, but 2 were cancelled in ensenada and victoria for maintenance ,trouble with an azipod ,was that why the ship continually vibrated. Only attended one enrichment lecture ghis was poorly presented with lighting on stage and poor speaker. Entertainment was badly lacking walking into bars at night about 9pm was like the marie celeste , there was o nly bartenders around. Billboard piano players were awful bland boring excrutiati g to listen to. Bb king club was lively music better but this was the same act every night for 20 days if you didnt like blues /motown you were unlucky. Lincoln centre was enjoyable if they were playing music you like but they had to cater for all the ship and was set up like a concert except it was open to one of the corridors and people talki g walking past. Mainstage had a few good acts( outstanding was benjamin makisi) ,if you were stood/ sat at back there was a lot of noise from billboard pianists though i supposd you got two concerts at same time. There was not a lot of dressing up even on gala nights a lot of guests looked scruffy. . Food was good , in main di ing room and lido buffet,wine choice on signature package was barely drinkable. I would not sail on the eurodam again even if i was offered it free. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
1. The title says it all! Nothing for the younger crowd. This caters to the 50 plus group. 2. Service was excellent! 3. They cram liquor down your throat! I understand that's where the money is but wow! 4. Excursions. ... Read More
1. The title says it all! Nothing for the younger crowd. This caters to the 50 plus group. 2. Service was excellent! 3. They cram liquor down your throat! I understand that's where the money is but wow! 4. Excursions. Ehh....ok. I did better with a guy in a van! And MUCH CHEAPER! 5. The ship was super clean! 6. Entertainment....not for me on this ship. And everyone goes to bed at 9! THIS IS FOR THE OLDER CROWD! If you want to relax and do nothing...this is YOUR cruise! 7. Food was good....but all the "extra" restaurants were also crammed down your throat as no one would eat there! No coffee shops no snack shops, nothing. 8. Disembarkation, IMPRESSIVE! Customs....I didn't see any! NO ONE SAID A WORD! Had a neighbor that bought $400 in tequila, they didnt even ask to hold it when he boarded! We were told to just take it to our room! When we left the ship no one cared what we had! Not even a customs form! It was great! 9. Great ship, great line but I'm going back to RC and fight the crowds! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have been on several holland America cruises. Like it because they actually have some computer and photo classes. This 7 day trip out of San Diego is probably my last. We about fell over when we saw the price of wine. It has ... Read More
We have been on several holland America cruises. Like it because they actually have some computer and photo classes. This 7 day trip out of San Diego is probably my last. We about fell over when we saw the price of wine. It has doubled. I ordered an after dinner drink of cream de mint, kahlua and white cream de cocoa. I got a shot glass of nothing but cream de mint. I said this is wrong. They refused to fix it. Kids took over the adult aft pool. We loved the violin and cello guys. The blues group was good. That’s about it. I was more than ready to leave before the end of the cruise. We gave our room steward a tip at the end. Aidet. - he was the best. I doubt our $29 per day for tips goes to those who work so hard. I had a $20 massage in each port. - way better than the ones the ship charges 7 times more for. We are next headed to an adult only ai in mexico. Much better value. We tried to play pickle ball on the ship but it was over-run with basketball players. Ai places have tennis courts. I don’t have to wait for a ticket to be herded off the ship like cattle. I can tip who I want and the drinks are included. Thoroughly disgusted after this last cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We wanted an easy vacation and now that Holland America is once again sailing from San Diego, we hopped on board. The Mexican Riviera is a well-traveled path and we met many returnees, plus quite a few Midwesterners, Utahns, Idahoans, and ... Read More
We wanted an easy vacation and now that Holland America is once again sailing from San Diego, we hopped on board. The Mexican Riviera is a well-traveled path and we met many returnees, plus quite a few Midwesterners, Utahns, Idahoans, and Canadians. Incidentally, we met up with the Cruise Critic roll call members the first morning of the cruise and enjoyed their company throughout the week. Here are a notable features from our cruise: * Great: Crew, passengers, the ship itself, the food * Good: the weather, the happy hours (2nd drink $2 and passed appetizers) * Missing: HAL cats, the onboard ship's band we enjoyed on previous HAL cruises * Also missing: hand-wash stations and sufficient Purell hand sanitizing stations * Fabulous: the Lincoln Center chamber orchestra and the BB King's Blues Club band * Fantastic: the new Humanity dance show with Step One dancers and light show * Always present but not welcome: sales, sales, sales. Spa treatments, cabanas, on-board jewelry shopping, liquor, future cruises, on-shore jewelry shopping, fee restaurants * Excellent: folklorico dancers, guitarist, comedian Tim Kaminski * Fleeting: one show each by truly excellent guitarist and good Elton John/Billy Joel vocalist-pianist * More detail on food: the Lido had tasty food, well prepared, and served by cooks so that there was very little passenger tong handling. The dining room food was creative, inspired and varied. * Off-putting: the drink prices, especially the wines. Just no. Cheapest white $9 per glass for a bottle that retails for $7 and wholesales for $3 * Inconsistency: Smart casual in the dining room: Night 1, a passenger at a nearby table wearing a ballcap in the dining room. Night 3, a warm day and evening, my spouse appears in a collared button down shirt and long shorts, gets sent back to the room for long pants, oops, our bad. But what's this? Seated next to us: a teenaged boy in basketball shorts and shirt. * More inconsistency: 2nd Gala Night: female wearing capris and a t-shirt with words on it, plus a visor; her dining partner (likely husband) wearing shorts, a baggy t-shirt and a cap. * Final inconsistency in the DR: final night, smart casual again, man wearing shorts and t shirt. Not sent back to change. Also: not a warm day, so no excuse for the attire. * Final missing: an atrium that's a gathering place. The Ocean Bar wraps around the small atrium, but the ship simply isn't large enough for a central space with a music and dance floor. However, with that comes fewer passengers and a more pleasant ambiance. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Embarkation was organized by group number you're assigned as you check in. We spent a few minutes chatting with fellow passengers and soon enough we were called aboard. There probably is not a wait if you arrive after 11 or so. We ... Read More
Embarkation was organized by group number you're assigned as you check in. We spent a few minutes chatting with fellow passengers and soon enough we were called aboard. There probably is not a wait if you arrive after 11 or so. We were early for this cruise, unlike others where we sailed through embarkation. We chose the expedited group for disembarkation, meaning we carried our own luggage off at 7:30 AM. I highly recommend it because we were through customs and in a cab to the airport by 7:45. It sure beats hanging around the theater or a bar for a few hours waiting for your group to be called. We were very happy with the remodeled bathroom in the cabin. The glass walk-in shower is super-convenient, drained well and was tiled with a no slip surface. The clothes line in the shower served to dry wet clothes overnight, no problem. The cabin was clean and comfortable. Gatot and Sigit took great care of us including the towel animals and chocolates every night. The TV is small and could be upgraded, but it's just fine to catch MSNBC in the morning and maybe get a DVD for a movie one evening. There were plenty of hangers in the closets and there were plenty of drawers and shelves for all your things. We took advantage of the flat-rate laundry bag and got our clothes back and pressed the same day, both times! I'd say the food was very good. We ate at the Lido Buffet and in the Dining Room. I was very impressed by the caring service we got at anytime dining. The beverage service was prompt too. We shared meals with new table mates each time. There were always plenty of laughs. The final night was a standout, from the excellent service in the dining room to the excellent seared Ahi and the rest of the menu. The burgers at the Dive-In are delicious as are the crunchy fries. Be sure to visit the various musical venues as they're all very entertaining. The Adagio pianist and violinist were great! We met members of the house band and their music was as nice as they are in person. Don't miss the Blue Earth show! America's Test Kitchen is definitely worth the time. The presenter is super and you get new ideas. It's too bad that the food wasn't passed around for tasting at the presentations we attended. The gym is clean and has good, new equipment. It's cool to watch the ocean go by as you're on the elliptical. Bar service is great, as always. We spent most of our time at the Aft Bar in the smoking section. You always meet fun people there, and this trip was no exception. Bernard the bar man took great care of us and even arranged for servers to come by after he closed for the night. We found the Signature Beverage Package to be a good deal on this cruise. There are six sea days when you can really enjoy the package to your heart's content. The Panama Canal is the highlight of this cruise and it sure didn't disappoint. Just wrapping your head around locks without pumps takes some understanding. The on board narration helped make you feel like you're part of the experience, regardless of where you happen to be. The ship itself is beautiful. Be sure to notice the beautiful and creative flower arrangements all over the place. There's even orchids on the tables in the Lido Buffet. I noticed workers sprucing up the white paint in preparation for opening the forward decks to passengers during the canal passage. The naturalist is a gifted font of knowledge. Glenn-Michael, the lead EXC is super. He was all over the ship and uniformly seen chatting with one guest or another. He shared some great hints during his port talks too. The officers impressed me by being so accessible and always being around for sail-aways and sea day parties. Even the captain had time to chat for a few minutes. One of us needed some medical attention and found the crew there to be excellent. The check on you and make special arrangements as needed. The small charge for a bit of medicine plus the personal care turned around what could have been a major downer. Holland America does a great job; the Volendam is a fine ship with a highly skilled and friendly staff. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The first time around, it was our first cruise together. We sailed on the Eurodam in January, same itinerary, and had a wonderful time. We felt like it wasn't long enough, though, so we decided to book the same itinerary on a ... Read More
The first time around, it was our first cruise together. We sailed on the Eurodam in January, same itinerary, and had a wonderful time. We felt like it wasn't long enough, though, so we decided to book the same itinerary on a different boat. The Nieuw Amsterdam is not quite as nice as the Eurodam. Of course, it hasn't been updated as recently, so that stands to reason. For the most part, they are almost the same-- same restaurants, same staterooms, same places to spend money. But there are subtle differences. The Nieuw Amsterdam has an identity problem in its decor. Here a little Art Deco, there a little quirky, and over there-- well, the main dining room, it looks like the twin of a fancy Chinese restaurant, all in red and mirrors. It is just missing lazy susans on the tables and a gigantic fish tank. No shark tale soup on any menu, though. So, let's talk entertainment. The blues club-- can't beat it. Fun, great music, great entertainers. The classical musicians-- same same. The pianists, well, I guess others liked them, but they didn't do it for me. Mainstage entertainment-- well, were it not for the parents who decided to allow their children to climb over me (literally) and then sit, screaming, it was pretty good. The first show, all dancing, was creative-- the lights became both a character and a prop, with them dancing with the dancers. It was something I haven't seen before. The second dancing show was okay-- one dancer was significantly better than the others. She was good, she wasn't great. But entertaining enough. The magician played to a packed house. I coudn't see it because there was no where to sit. The few minutes I did, it looked like fun. Dining was hit and miss, but mostly hit. Whoever was in charge of cooking the meat hit a home run each time. Whoever was making the sandwiches needs to learn how to spread butter. Other than that, it was the usual high-quality food we have come to expect from HAL. The main issue we had with the cruise was the behavior of the children. I like kids. In fact, I have spent a lifetime teaching other people's kids. When they are well-behaved, they add a great deal to a social occasion. When they are badly behave, they ruin it. Besides the children climbing on me, then screaming, there were packs of young and pre-teens running around (yes, running,) leaving pool towels in the elevators, using the adult pool, several times, complete with floatees to jump onto, splashing the guests, shouting and jumping into the whirlpools. Our complaints seem to fall on deaf ears. And then there is the cell phone issue. Ours were on airplane mode the whole time. And yet we were charged for their service. So, we enjoyed ourselves. But we do feel like HAL has a few wrinkles to iron out. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I recommend this cruise. We've been to these ports many times and this was by far the smoothest sailing we've been on. The weather in our Mexican ports was really good, too. Although there were over 400 children on this ... Read More
I recommend this cruise. We've been to these ports many times and this was by far the smoothest sailing we've been on. The weather in our Mexican ports was really good, too. Although there were over 400 children on this cruise it wasn't a problem, at least to us. Except for the swimming pools, which they seemed to take over, the children were a pleasure to have around. We found the staff to be very friendly and helpful. Everyone! I thought the food was very good. We opted to eat in the dining room every night because we found the food very good there. Even the buffet was, in my opinion, a little better than most other lines we've been on. The entertainment was okay. On the main stage the special effects were good, but they only had six dancers. Excellent dancers , but not exciting. However, the comedian and the magician they had on other nights were very good. We would have enjoyed a little more of a live band around the ship -- maybe by the pool. They had the BB King band, and we enjoyed them.. LOVED the two piano players, and didn't miss many of their performances. Overall, we were satisfied with the entertainment. I thought the ship was beautiful. The balcony cabin was well appointed and, of course, our cabin stewards were the best. The only complaint I have isn't with Holland America, but with Cruise Critic. This is the first time we've signed up for a roll call and not had a meet and greet on the ship. I have no idea why not. We're looking forward to another Holland America cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
They sent as a coupon. 1) My husband booked me a 2 hours spa treatment. I was taken in late for my treatment, while i did the seaweed wrap the therapist left the room , and never bothered to come check on me, and ask how i was doing. ... Read More
They sent as a coupon. 1) My husband booked me a 2 hours spa treatment. I was taken in late for my treatment, while i did the seaweed wrap the therapist left the room , and never bothered to come check on me, and ask how i was doing. The massage was probably the worst massage i have ever had. Once the treatment was done, she was trying to sell me $ 350+ worth of products, and trying to talk me into purchasing additional treatments, by pointing out my skin is sagging, my eyes are puffy etc.....very intelligent:) They put a bottle of water in your room, but there was no label or warning that they were going to charge you $ 5.75 for it! When we got the final bill they raised the daily mandatory tips at $ 14.50/person. The food in the buffet was same every single day, without a fail. As far as entertainment, not much , there was only one show worth the time in the whole week. In the day time , the ship was like a dormant boring place, unless you had plenty of cash to spare you would keep yourself entertained because all they did , tried to sell you anything. The library had no books, other than speciality travel books and such. To conclude, I think I am pretty much done cruising. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We are loyal Holland American cruisers and within a few points of 4 star Mariners. This 28 day cruise was a great disappointment when it came to the quality of the food in the Lido and for the most part, the main dining room. We have been ... Read More
We are loyal Holland American cruisers and within a few points of 4 star Mariners. This 28 day cruise was a great disappointment when it came to the quality of the food in the Lido and for the most part, the main dining room. We have been on the Eurodam before and just couldn't believe how poor the dining experience has become. We used the Lido for breakfast but nothing else and eventually gave up with the main dining room. To get around it we used the Pinacle for lunch and the other specialty restaurants when necessary. As usual the service in all areas was wonderful and the key that keeps us coming back to Holland America. There can be improvements with the availability of live entertainment and they have severely changed the Signature Beverage Package limiting the selections of beer and wine to the point that we probably will no longer purchase it on future cruises. This cruise was an eye opener for us and the cutbacks are now coming to the point where we will be reconsidering using Holland America in the future. There are many other cruise lines available and the quality of the Holland America staff can't continue to offset the recent cutbacks. If necessary they may need to increase prices, but leaving things as they are will be suicide. We intend to give Holland America one more try, but if improvements aren't made it will unfortunately be our last. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We do an annual late winter cruise every year. We've traveled mainly on HAL, and have been pleased with the smaller ships and good service. This year we did the full transit of the Panama Canal, leaving from San Diego. We ... Read More
We do an annual late winter cruise every year. We've traveled mainly on HAL, and have been pleased with the smaller ships and good service. This year we did the full transit of the Panama Canal, leaving from San Diego. We splurged this year on a Neptune suite. We have had one in the past, and really enjoy the bigger room, but especially the larger balcony. They are twice the size of the Vista suite. The extra perks of the Neptune Lounge and the Concierge service is excellent. We met quite a few other Neptune suite passengers, and had many interesting conversations. The room steward was top notch. Always had ice, coffee and fresh fruit. Laundry service was top notch and was always ready by the next day. Embarkation was very smooth. Neptune passengers go through the same embarkation as the 4 star Mariners. There is virtually no line. For tender ports, there is no need to go for disembarkation passes. You simply hold up your room key, and you're put on the next tender. Unfortunately, there is no priority disembarkation after the cruise. We travel with our daughter, who has a learning disability. She gets her own room. But, she gets to know everyone on board. Her favorite breakfast was an omelet. The Lido omelet chef knew her by name, and what she ate. The same goes for the salad bar crew. We chose to eat in the dining room, along with another couple. Our daughter ate salmon nearly every night, and she had a chocolate mint mocktail every night. For desert, it had to have chocolate. Our dining staff went our of their way to accommodate. On the last night of the cruise, there was no chocolate deserts. But, they went back and got one for her. In addition, my daughter had told them previously that she liked carrot cake. They brought out 2 pieces of carrot cake. She ate one, and carried the second one back to her room. You can't find service like that just anywhere! Every evening, the wine steward would make an origami animal. We did have a complimentary dinner at the Pinnacle Grill. It was very good. It was more than I would normally eat. Steak done to perfection. The only thing I regret is that I didn't try breakfast at the Pinnacle. It was included with the Neptune suite. But, I did have breakfast at the dining room. It is a step above the Lido and I would recommend it. Lunch is also very nice. Lido is a typical buffet. I didn't eat breakfast in the Lido, but opted for a light breakfast from the Neptune Lounge. Lunch offered an International option. They rotated national foods, and it was interesting to try foods from other nations. They were all Asian offerings. The ports were very nice. Some of the places aren't as developed as much as on the Caribbean ports. Cabo San Lucas is a tourist trap, and we didn't have a bunch of time there. We booked a glass bottom boat tour on Viator. A long walk to get there, but well worth it. We didn't book anything in Guatemala, and their port area was very relaxing. On Honduras, we booked with a local guide and it was very informative. In Costa Rico, we booked the eco tour, which took us to a rive to see crocodiles. We visited the aviary in Cartengena, which was very enjoyable. Entertainment was very good. John Wing was the comedian on board. He was runner up in America's Got Talent. I'm not big on production numbers, so I didn't attend. We did spend several evenings at the Crows Nest. Some nights we were the only ones there, some nights there were quite a few. Happy hour at the Crows Nest is always a lot of fun, especially the 2 for 1 drinks. The crew was very accessible, even the Captain. The team at the Neptune Lounge couldn't do enough. I would definitely travel this itinerary again, and would definitely would travel on the Volendam. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
First time sailing with so many sea days. Little to nothing was planned as entertainment for days at sea. Fitness center was excellent. Hawaii was great, the excursions were awesome, whale watching and copter over the big island was ... Read More
First time sailing with so many sea days. Little to nothing was planned as entertainment for days at sea. Fitness center was excellent. Hawaii was great, the excursions were awesome, whale watching and copter over the big island was great. Food was good, but portions were small and seconds cost $10. Beef Wellington came and I got the tip of the filet, smaller than a meatball. For dessert ordered ice cream, dish came and appeared to have scooped with a melon baller. New York Pizza had no prices, paid $28 for cardboard and ketchup. No on ship singers and dancers, report was they were cut to save money. One evening the entertainment was a movie you could see on BBC America. Room steward for good, if not a little over eager. Came several times at 6:00 PM for nighttime turn down when I was dressing for dinner. For the money, traveling as a single, I expected more and got less. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We've been on HAL before and we never had any issues. We chose this cruise as we have always enjoyed sea days, we like Hawaii and it was very easy for us as we departed and returned via our home port. The positives: Professional ... Read More
We've been on HAL before and we never had any issues. We chose this cruise as we have always enjoyed sea days, we like Hawaii and it was very easy for us as we departed and returned via our home port. The positives: Professional and helpful crew, including check-in personnel. Attractive public spaces including the main dining room, the theatre and the bars. The negatives: Cabin. Our cabin was a spa suite. The online description indicated a larger space. It was larger but otherwise, terrible. The furniture was worn out and frayed. The carpet had several large stains. The bathroom was the smallest we’ve ever had on our past 20 cruises (with various cruise companies). A tiny bathroom with one sink in a ‘suite,’ seriously? There was a large empty wall with four holes that were covered with tape. (We were told by our attendant that the space used to have a TV; when the TV was removed the holes were not patched.) The WORST part of the suite was that the very small balcony had a metal wall; you could only see the sea when you were standing. If you sat in one of the two chairs you were staring at a metal wall! HAL should have warned us when we booked this suite. Dining. The quality of the food was hit and miss. Some very good and some, yuk. When one of the four of us didn’t like a dish we were not asked by a waiter if we would like something else. One time we asked for another entrée and we were politely told that there would be a $10 charge for an additional entree! The waiter was not trying to scam us; that was on the bottom of the menu in small print. NEVER heard of paying for a second entrée on any other ship. I want to point out that the servers were very nice but it seemed like they were overworked; we could hardly get any assistance once our food was served. As an example, when I ordered hot tea I got the cup and the tea bag but could not find anyone to bring me hot water—this happened two evenings. In the buffet they were featuring seafood one day; we went to get some shrimp and the attendant would only give each of us six shrimp. If we wanted more we’d have to get back in the one long line. The Retreat. We decided to rent a cabana for the 17 days so that we could have a nice outdoor place to get away from the crowds. It was lovely and the service by the staff in the Retreat was very good. However, the maintenance and smells from that were over and over. After the third day of workers sanding, scraping, varnishing, etc. in the Retreat area we complained to guest services. We were assured that the workers would not be in our area again. WRONG. Two days later a worker was applying some type of sealant (identified by a ship’s officer) in the cabana next to us. No warning! All of us had to leave. Then on the next to the last day the cleaning crew was working on the deck immediately above the Retreat area and we got sprayed a few times by their water hose. Retribution? Who knows? Entertainment. On every cruise we’ve been on (same size ships) there has been some type of production show. Not on the Eurodam. One light show with dancers was very good. Otherwise really poor. For example; one show was animal video clips, ones we had seen at home on National Geographic, set to music. What? Showing stuff we’ve seen for free at home on our TV. That’s entertainment? I will say that a couple of singular entertainers were good; otherwise very disappointing. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We are a married couple in our 60's. This was our 17th cruise overall, but our first on Holland America. We were cruising with our regular cruise companions, another couple in their 60's. We have cruised on Celebrity, ... Read More
We are a married couple in our 60's. This was our 17th cruise overall, but our first on Holland America. We were cruising with our regular cruise companions, another couple in their 60's. We have cruised on Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Carnival in the past. We normally take cruises of 10-14 days so this 17 day cruise was our longest yet. Rating this cruise itself is difficult as it was a bust in that we only saw two of the five scheduled stops in Hawaii. This was mostly because of bad weather. So rather than focusing on the cruise we will provide our observations of Holland America in general. The Eurodam is a beautiful ship and the perfect size. The service was outstanding. The food was great. The entertainment was enjoyable. Embarkation and Debarkation were as easy as any ship on which we have traveled. Why then only three stars? Using a baseball analogy, it is widely accepted that many of the cruisers on Holland America recognize that they (we) are in at least the bottom half of the seventh inning in life. What we want to do with the last two innings is based on our individual prospective. The great majority of HA travelers are like travelers on the other lines we have been on only with a few more of life's scars. They want to have a good time, enjoy the scenery, the food, the drinks and everything else that can be found on a cruise ship. Life has been tougher on some than to others and HA seems to have experience dealing with those issues. This was scheduled to be a seventeen day round trip cruise from San Diego to the Hawaiian Islands with stops in Kona, Honolulu, Kauai, Maui and Hilo on the Big Island. Because of predicted bad weather the captain decided to by-pass Kona and head straight to Honolulu. When we arrived in Honolulu the wind was strong and all of the afternoon tours, including the luau's were cancelled. We were then told that because of bad weather predicted for Kauai (they suffered a severe storm) we would not go there. When the weather forecast did not improve we were told we would be staying in Honolulu an extra day and then return to Kona the following day. This meant that Lahaina, Maui would be taken off our schedule. No excursions were available through the ship for the second day in Honolulu so everyone was on their own. The following day we arrived in Kona, a port where the ship's tenders are needed to go ashore. We did not drop anchor. Even though the seas looked calm to most with no white-caps to be seen anywhere, the captain decided the harbor was too dangerous to transport people on the tenders. As fairly seasoned cruisers we realized that we had been in tenders in much worse than we were witnessing in Kona and that got us thinking as to why that decision was made. Our reasoning is that because we were traveling with so many people with considerable life issues it would be impractical, if not impossible, to transport all those people safely with the crew that was available to assist them. Therefore, we lost our third port and we headed back out for another sea day. We have been on cruises where ports were missed and we understand that is always a possibility. What made this tough for us this time was that in lieu of going to Kona or Maui as scheduled the cruise director suggested people could gather for a game of CHECKERS in one of the lounges! When we arrived in Hilo for a last possible Hawaiian stop the gangway was not put into position at the designated time. The captain advised us that because of rough water the gangway was not holding steady and a safe walk off the ship may not be possible. He was assessing the situation. I think he may have heard the mumblings of the several hundred of us who had gathered in the atrium and the gangway was opened shortly thereafter. We had a great day in Hilo doing a private tour with a company known as Big Island Aina Tours that we HIGHLY RECOMMEND. We spent the next six days sailing back to Ensenada, Mexico and then on to San Diego for debarkation. While the cruise was not what we had planned or hoped for, we still had a great time. (If you can't enjoy yourself on a cruise ship chances are pretty good that you can't enjoy yourself). Getting back to that baseball analogy: If you are a person who enjoys some of the finer things in life and just wants to live with grace and dignity during the last few innings you can have a really nice time on Holland America. You can't beat the service or the food. But, if you have the problem we have in that you still live with the allusion that there may be at least one more headfirst slide into home left in you (albeit in slow motion), HA may not be the place for you. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise to go to Hawaii Round trip from San Diego. We have been on 3 prior HA cruises and enjoyed ourselves. We booked the cruise a year earlier and friends cruised on the Eurodam last August with no issues. We were not ... Read More
We chose this cruise to go to Hawaii Round trip from San Diego. We have been on 3 prior HA cruises and enjoyed ourselves. We booked the cruise a year earlier and friends cruised on the Eurodam last August with no issues. We were not informed of any of the following money saving changes: No singers and dancers and orchestra, 5 piece band replaced. Entertainers, comedians, singer, musician were good. Dancers to light show with recorded music also was entertaining. A repeat of the show a second night was a waste, as was showing a movie. Numerous changes in the Dining room resulted in smaller portions, fewer choices, $10 charge if you wanted a second entre at lunch or dinner. No bread basket at breakfast. Both the card room and game room were rented out to Quilters for the entire cruise. No Bridge director. No Art Auction Dining Room closed for lunch on at least 4 of the last 5 sea days. Stores were taken over by high end merchandise: no small souvenirs. Very friendly staff and great cruisers. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because being HAL Past Guests (Mariners) we received a promotion that we could not let pass, as this cruise was on our bucket list. This was our 17th cruise overall, our first one being on our honeymoon 47 years ... Read More
We chose this cruise because being HAL Past Guests (Mariners) we received a promotion that we could not let pass, as this cruise was on our bucket list. This was our 17th cruise overall, our first one being on our honeymoon 47 years ago. We have cruised on Costa Line (honeymoon in 1972 and Mediterranean in 1991); Carnival, Celebrity and HAL. As seasoned cruisers, we have developed expectations as to our experiences on board. I will be basing this review on whether our expectations were met on this cruise. We flew to San Diego from San Antonio, TX (direct flight on Southwest). We had arranged transfer through HAL. The transfer service was efficient and personnel were friendly. I highly recommend arranging a transfer ahead of time. Embarkation went smoothly. The only glitch was that we had Priority Embarkation and although our bags were tagged as such, we did not receive our luggage until 4pm. The Eurodam is a beautiful ship, with understated elegance. The five days at sea were fantastic. The activities during the day were well planned. There was something for everybody. Kudos to the activities director! Sometimes we had trouble deciding what to do because of the amount of varied activities offered.Our favorite activities were the talks in the theater about Hawaiian history, given by a Hawaiian with so much knowledge about his land! There were Hawaiian ambassadors on board (as well as on the 5 days at sea returning to San Diego) who provided their personal insight in the history and culture of Hawaii. We learned the Hawaiian alphabet, there were hula and ukulele classes, classes to make leis and kukui bead bracelets, sunset celebrations with chants, beautiful and authentic hula dancing and sing alongs. These were fabulous. We felt like we were in Hawaii since Day One. I praised and thanked the Port Guides and the ambassadors for giving us this unique experience. One thing they told us that if we liked the experience we need to let HAL know, because with budget cuts this program might cease. I made sure to let HAL know that this a must. As long as I am talking about entertainment, let me talk about the evening events. In the evenings there was a pianist in the Ocean Bar (5pm to 7:45pm). If you wanted to dance you could, in a dance floor big enough for perhaps three couples, but the music, although good, was mainly for entertainment. Then there was the 'B B King Lounge', (3 shows nightly, one hour each), with jazz and blues, and themed music. The dance floor here is fairly comfortable, but the seats on the main floor and in the bar area fill up quickly. This was the only venue conducive to dancing. 'Billboards on Board' are two pianists on two pianos, singing and encouraging sing-alongs. This was fun. They had 3 shows nightly, each one one hour long. They had themed nights and took requests and were very popular. They are not HAL employees. Apparently they are contracted, although there is a Billboards Bar with HAL bar staff. But, no dancing here. For us, a highlight was the 'Lincoln Center Stage', a partnership between HAL and the 'Lincoln Center'. There is a strings quintet who give 3 performances, one in the afternoon and two in the evenings. As the cruise went on they were performing to Standing Room Only crowds. They are classically trained musicians with a varied repertoire, from chamber music to popular songs, arranged especially for them. We always went to the shows before and after dinner. They are a treasure, and HAL should feel proud of having this partnership. The musicians are provided by the Lincoln Center, they are not HAL employees. Contrary to daytime, there is a lack of variety and originality at night. Other than the theater shows, this was it for the evenings, unless you are a gambler (we are not), the "Sip and Savor' and Sampling events for a fee, (another way to get your money), the Jewelry shops spotlights, and.....Bingo. As for the theater shows: there are no more review shows with dancers and singers in HAL. This was a big disappointment. The shows were generally good though. There were two comedians, both hilarious; a magician/comedian who was excellent; a pianist/comedian, very talented and funny; a clarinetist and a guitarist (both talented but more suitable to a lounge venue than a theater); an Australian singer with an amazing range of voice. Our very favorite were 'The Alley Cats', a Doo Wop quartet that are bringing back the a-capella singing with that 50's feel. They are beyond fabulous. Think 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight', 'Goodnight Sweetheart' and you get the idea. They brought the house down. There was also the BBC Planet Earth with live musicians. This is thrilling. The night the Philippines crew did their authentic show, there was not an empty seat in the house. Having said that, the 'show' one evening was a movie we could have watched in our rooms. Thumbs down on this one. One show that was fantastic, and not to be missed is "Humanity" by Step One Dance Company. This blew our minds. Although the majority of the acts were great, many comments were heard, as well as the Cruise Director being asked about the lack of the review shows. Is HAL trying to save money by cutting the review shows? Service around the ship was excellent, meeting our expectations. The only draw back was that whenever we asked for a glass of water at a bar or the theater, we were either ignored or served with reluctance. I know there is no remuneration for water, but we are paying guests and if we want water we should get it without reservations. If we ordered cocktails or wine, there was no problem. Our cabin steward exceeded our expectations. He made sure our flowers were fresh and the fruit replenished. He noticed my husband had a mild cold, so he brought us extra tissues so we had them anywhere in the cabin. He was attentive and caring. Dining: we had Open Seating. The first night service was horrible. The assistant waiter came and served water and gave us the menu. Did not say Good Night or greet us in any way. Then the head waiter came with his notepad ready and without introducing himself he asked for our order. My husband ordered steak and had to ask for a steak knife. One of the assistant waiters was talking to someone on the other side of the half wall dividing our section from the one on a level one step above. He was joking and yelling right behind us. This is not right. Our experience was not what we are accustomed on a cruise. When we made reservations for subsequent nights we were specific not to seat us at that table or his section. We found a good team and asked to stay with them if possible. We did and were very happy with them, as expected. Food was hit and miss, but overall good. Be aware that HAL is now charging a $10 surcharge if you order a second entree. This does not apply to appetizers, salads or soups, or desserts, just entrees. They also charge $20 surcharge for lobster. We ate at the four Specialty Restaurants: Pinnacle Grill, Tamarind, Canaletto, and Rudi's. Rudi's is the Pinnacle Grill transformed into a Chef Rudi restaurant with his recipes and ambiance. They were all a delight, with superb service and amazing food. Also, because of the Neptune Suite, we could have breakfast at the Pinnacle Grill (included). Fabulous service and a great menu. We did this on sea days. The Photo Shop has not gone electronic. No more looking through thousands of photos to find yours, and then see hundreds thrown away. This is fantastic! I gave kudos to the staff. You insert your card in a computer and through a face-recognition program the computer finds your photos and you buy them as if you were buying from home online. Shore excursions: varied and well planned. The excursions followed the descriptions in the brochure. These are the excursions we took: Honolulu: Pearl Harbor and the Mighty Missouri. This is a must if you like history and this is your first visit to Hawaii. The "gangway" to the Arizona Memorial is damaged and unsteady so we did not go inside the Memorial. We knew this so it did not catch us by surprise. You are standing right in front of Battleship Row, where everything happened. Goose bumps! They showed a movie that was informative and poignant so we did not feel like we had missed much by not visiting the actual Memorial. Then we boarded a Navy launch to go the Missouri. On the ride we took great photos of the Arizona Memorial and the other markers. The Missouri is impressive. Standing there where the Japanese surrender actually happened was exciting to say the least. We also went to the Punchbowl, the National Pacific Cemetery, and saw highlights of Honolulu including the King Kamahameha statue and the Iiolani Palace (photos only.) We still had time to go to a Luau. We thought about booking on our own, but the logistics of getting there and back were too risky, so we booked it with HAL. It was fun, food was great, seeing how they prepare the Kahlua Pork was interesting. I tried poi (my husband did not). I leave it up to you to decide if you like it or not, but it is something worth trying if you are in Hawaii. The show was colorful and pretty, but the audience participation got to be too much. Overall, it was fun. Kauai: we took a helicopter ride. This one we booked on our own. We read the reviews from the rides booked thru HAL and were not impressed. We booked Jack Harter Helicopters and cannot say enough about them. They were efficient throughout the process and answered all our questions before we got there. They picked us up at the pier. The ride was the most thrilling thing we have done in a long time. There are places in Kauai that are only seen from the air. We were not disappointed. This was a 65 minute ride, compared to 45 minutes with the HAL excursion. Highly recommend Jack Harter. (The helicopter views in Jurassic Park are in Kauai as well as in Maui.) Their driver took us back to town, which is within walking distance from the ship. We had a delicious lunch overlooking the ocean. Maui: Road to Hana. Reviews said this was an unpaved, windy road. It is now paved. There are many curves and bridges but the guide was so informative, and he made so many frequent stops that the time went fast. Scenery is gorgeous. The water falls are numerous and beautiful. We had lunch at Waianapanapa State Park, at the Honokalali beach, a unique black sand beach. Spectacular! We ate coconut ice cream, freshly made, and went to Ho'okipa beach to see leatherback turtles. This was a fun and informative excursion. Kona, Big Island: Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Due to the recent eruption, most of the park was closed, as was the Thurston Lava Tube, but we were able to walk on lava fields from an 1868 eruption and learn everything about lava and volcanoes. The Kohala Coast gives amazing views. The Coffee Plantation is beautiful and Kona Coffee is fabulous. Try the apple bananas. The Punalu'u Bake Shop is a delicious stop. Our guide was fantastic. Hilo, Big Island: Historical Hilo and Akaka Falls. Our guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. He moved to Hilo from Minnesota 22 years ago and does not regret it. Hilo is beautiful, full of history. We stopped at the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory. There are the plain salted macadamias and macadamias covered in every kind of goodies. Their shop is very pretty. Akaka Falls and Rainbow Falls are spectacular. The Lyman Museum and Mission House are very informative. Ensenada, Mexico: Bufadora Adventure. Bufadora is a specatacular blowhole, one of the biggest in the world. You have about an hour and a half in the Bufadora area. You walk about 20 minutes through a long street full of vendors of every kind. They will offer samples of margaritas, piña coladas, they will entice you to go to their shops. I suggest that unless you want to spend your time with one of them, say "No thank you"and keep walking. The blowhole's peak time is at high tide. We got there at low tide and the seas were calm. We waited patiently and saw quite a few big sprays, about 30 ft high. The spray can go 60-100 ft in the air with the right conditions. Our guide told us the best times are Nov to May. She was fantastic. We experienced a traffic jam going back but we were all in a good mood. Our last stop was an old hacienda that is now an activities center, and tried a margarita at the spot where the margaritas were invented. The story is fascinating. At the end of the tour we asked our guide where we could have fresh lobster and she recommended a restaurant that was a bit hard to find but worth it. The port guides on the ship give suggestions as well. Calle Primera (main street) is very picturesque and the break water (malecón in Spanish) is absolutely beautiful. Debarkation was smooth. no problems. Back in San Diego, we took the pre-arranged transfer to the airport. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
The Holland America Eurodam is as old-fashioned a cruise ship as they come--with 3 "gala" nights with quite a few tuxedos in evidence on a 17-night cruise, with the towel animals and the chocolate buffet if you want them, and ... Read More
The Holland America Eurodam is as old-fashioned a cruise ship as they come--with 3 "gala" nights with quite a few tuxedos in evidence on a 17-night cruise, with the towel animals and the chocolate buffet if you want them, and with mostly senior cruisers at this time of year and on a cruise this length. But for those with a love of old-style cruising, the itineraries and the value really can't be beat. The Eurodam loses points for an interminably long line for check-in in San Diego (disembarkation was much more efficient) and for virtually no welcoming ritual (no champagne) but after that initial disappointment, what's not to like? Excellent food in the dining room and, for an extra price, at Tamarind, the Asian-fusion specialty restaurant--and good food, too, and lots of choices in the Lido buffet (once you figure out the times to come so you don't have to search relentlessly for an empty table). The staff is mostly Filipino and Indonesian and always smiling and eager to please; what pleased us most is that they truly seemed to be enjoying themselves and each other and took much pride in whatever task they took on. The public areas have recently been renovated are are quite glamorous--and we appreciated the vintage cruise ship photographs on the walls, the tasteful art (especially the stunning Bas Sebus print in our verandah cabin), and the many musical choices for listening. This wasn't a cruise of fervent dancers, but we could have danced every night ("Mustang Sally" to "Uptown Funk") at the fabulous BB King Blues Club. Our favorite things about this cruise were the two astonishing dance and light show performances by One Step Dance Company, truly, the most spectacular productions we've seen in more than 15 cruises and the superb culinary talks/demonstrations by the American Test Kitchen host Annette. No alcohol, or even bottled water, is included so bar tabs can quickly mount, but if you only want a glass or two of wine at dinner, drinks by the glass are probably the way to go. We signed up for free-style dining and, once we learned the right time to come, never had to wait for a table for two. This was a truly enjoyable, relaxing--and delicious--time. And we loved all those sea days! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Due to poor weather conditions the cruise missed 3 ports (Maui, Kona, Kuai) and left us onboard with no planned activities. No special rewards for our disappointment. The cabin was nice and the ship clean but due to the fact we were ... Read More
Due to poor weather conditions the cruise missed 3 ports (Maui, Kona, Kuai) and left us onboard with no planned activities. No special rewards for our disappointment. The cabin was nice and the ship clean but due to the fact we were stuck onboard there was a lot of sickness and coughing. We made port in Honolulu but were there for 2 days. The service and food were very good but the entertainment was ok and the shows were only 45 minutes in length. Our shore excursions had to be canceled due to the fact that we never made it into the 3 (in my opinion) more important ports. The cruise line offerer a small refund of $100.00 per person for our trouble and disappointment. I would also recommend travel insurance for cases like this. The medical staff was good but the charges were extreme. We would NEVER sail for that long on open water with no ports for that long. Disembarking was chaotic and a possible dangerous situation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Embarkation and disembarkation were pretty much the same as the three prior cruises we have taken. Don't bother getting to the pier until after noon unless you are intent on having lunch aboard ship. The crew was outstanding. ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation were pretty much the same as the three prior cruises we have taken. Don't bother getting to the pier until after noon unless you are intent on having lunch aboard ship. The crew was outstanding. Always friendly, smiling, anxious to please. The language barrier was seldom a problem, and when it was, simply asking for a repeat solved it. This ship has a capacity of around 2,000 passengers. I bet there were no more than 100 under the age of 65. There were literally more mobility scooters and walkers than children on the ship. That's one reason we selected HAL--a quiet, peaceful environment in which to enjoy our days at sea and meals in the dining venues. A huge storm hit Hawaii the same time we did. That meant that three of the five port calls in Hawaii were canceled. We were disappointed, but not terrifically so; we have been to Hawaii enough times to have experienced it pretty thoroughly. If it had been our first trip to the islands, I would have been seriously bummed. The ship itself was in very good shape. The furniture, decor, and cabin amenities were in excellent condition. The big TV in our Verandah cabin had useful ship's info (menus, weather, etc.) as well as TV shows and movies. My wife discovered that closed caption can be turned on in all the movies, not just those under the Closed Caption menu. We had Open Seating dining. We traveled with another couple. We would show up at the Main Dining Room around six each evening that we ate there, telling the maitre d that we wanted a table for four, not shared with others. On one formal night we had to wait about 20 minutes for a table, but in every other case we were seated either immediately or within five minutes. One disadvantage to our method is that we usually ended up at a table in the back, right above the azipods, where there was significant engine noise. Speaking of engine noise, I explored the various decks to see whether there was a location to avoid to get a quiet cabin. Surprisingly, the only areas that I could hear mechanical noise (at least in the passageways) was on the lower decks (A and 1), midship. I believe it was exhaust noise from the diesel engines. I was surprised that there wasn't mechanical noise near the aft cabins, since there sure was a lot of it in the main dining room in the tables at the back. Our cabin was nice, although the cabin I selected (5039) had a substandard size balcony. Our friends on the fourth deck, in the same class of cabin, had a regular-depth balcony. Speaking of balconies, we noticed that when we took the glass elevators midship, we could see the entire balconies for the cabins adjacent to those elevators. I would have been very unhappy to have such a public balcony. Overall, a great cruise. The staff, the ship, and the food were outstanding. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose the Eurodam because of its destination. We left a chilly and windy San Diego CA on February 2 sailing to Hawaii and back. The weather did not cooperate as we encountered rough seas all the way. It was necessary to cancel three of ... Read More
We chose the Eurodam because of its destination. We left a chilly and windy San Diego CA on February 2 sailing to Hawaii and back. The weather did not cooperate as we encountered rough seas all the way. It was necessary to cancel three of our ports for safety concerns. The ship staff and crew made the trip very enjoyable anyway. Entertainment was very good. No food complaints about the main dining room. Service and food were were fine. Selection was amazing. The captain is to be commended for taking excellent care of his passengers in rough weather. Our cruise director came up with several on board activities when we were unable to go ashore. We learned a lot in the America’s Test Kitchen where Annnette cooked up some great dishes. I would not hesitate to take another cruise with Holland America. This was our third and longest. They are a cruise line serving seniors well. If you want water slides and rock walls you will need to look elsewhere but if you want excellent service, food, and a spotless ship consider them. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
The ports were new to us and the timing worked so we chose the 30-day Incan Empire Voyage. Embarkation was OK, we heard later this year the ship will be under review as to updates. Cabin fine, but the tiny TV and limited channels was ... Read More
The ports were new to us and the timing worked so we chose the 30-day Incan Empire Voyage. Embarkation was OK, we heard later this year the ship will be under review as to updates. Cabin fine, but the tiny TV and limited channels was annoying when in quarantine. Staff were friendly and helpful. Entertainment seems to have improved, enjoyed most of the comedians, but music still too loud. Good selection of presenters. Wish the port talks were available on TV in rooms, not just the excursion sales. We didn’t realize that some of the ports were industrial and how long the free shuttles would be. Also the poverty, so I recommend taking a lot of $1 bills. We are so fortunate. The biggest disappointment was the food. On the first night, Feb. 2, there was about an hour+ wait for the dining room (we chose anytime dining) so we went to the Lido. I chose a baked potato, chicken and green beans. The butter just sat in my potato, the chicken was not hot and the lovely green beans were not crisp or hot. Second night was Super Bowl so the boys went to watch the game and the girls went to the dining room. Third night, couldn’t get into the dining room again without a long wait so spoke with the Hotel Manager, I mentioned the disappointing cold dinner on the first night and our friends (4 star mariners) complained they never had to wait long for dinner. We were comped to the Pinacle Dining room, meals good. My husband got sick and went to the medical centre on Feb. 11, staff caring and prescribed Tamilflu for him and recommended I take some too. He returned on Feb. 17, had X-ray and new prescription. This is March 9 at time of writing and my husband is still congested and coughing. I sent a message about the cold dinners and a very nice staff member came to the table that evening to see if my meal was hot - it wasn’t. He returned other nights but seldom heard it was. Had a good Indian lunch one day, nice spices and hot temperature. I don’t know what the temperature of the food is in the kitchen, or when it is picked up by the servers, or brought to the serving stations, served and finally eaten, but it is too long. Manners dictate we wait for everyone at the table to be served before diving into our meals, but with staff cutbacks, there are not enough bodies to clear tables and serve the food while it is still hot. HAL May think it is elegant to have your server present everyone with their dinner, but perhaps they could take a tip from places where more than one server delivers meals while they are hot. Their DiveIn snack bar with make your own fajitas and tacos was also a huge disappointment with cold foil wrapped soft taco shells, barely warm meat fillings, cold cheese. I can’t help but think poorly kept food adds to sickness, and there was a lot of heavy congested coughing and people quarantined to their cabins on this trip. First and last 30-day voyage for us. Air conditioning on ship, especially in the Atrium worked overtime. Captain tried to explain why it was so cold. Took about six excursions. Enjoyed Lima’s water fountains at night. Disembarkation was best ever! I doubt we will travel with HAL again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Did this cruise before twice, and really liked the ports. So much more to see in each area. The excursions were really great, on board a different story. The EXC events were lacking in quality speakers, related to the itinerary. There was ... Read More
Did this cruise before twice, and really liked the ports. So much more to see in each area. The excursions were really great, on board a different story. The EXC events were lacking in quality speakers, related to the itinerary. There was one naturalist that was great but only gave 3 lectures. The Mexican Ambassadors gave a great performance on deck. On the down side, the usual lectures on culture, history or the region were lacking. The speakers seemed to talk down to the audience and read from brochures. They were not experts in the field. The EXC person talked to the audience as if they were kinder-gardeners. The food was outstanding as was the in stateroom staff. The service was great and the ship was well organized and on time. The culinary classes did not emphasize health promotion. There was heavy emphasis on taste drawn from fats and salts, hardly appropriate for the middle aged audience or above. The last time we did this same cruise there were more on board activities, lectures and enrichment programming. Considering the number of fabulous ports offering rich history, art, culture and welcoming people, it is too bad there was such a lack of enrichment opportunities. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
This cruise was chosen because the ports were places we had not visited yet. While 15 nights on board were about 7 too many, we were able to visit 6 new cities during that time. Our days at sea were restful & quiet overall, because ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because the ports were places we had not visited yet. While 15 nights on board were about 7 too many, we were able to visit 6 new cities during that time. Our days at sea were restful & quiet overall, because most of the passengers were well past 80 years of age. The noise level was low & service by staff attentive & friendly. Holland does a good job overall. Internet service should be offered & fresher fruit served on the buffet table. The 'nickel & diming' of the passengers is annoying & why many choose other cruise lines for future trips. The on shore excursions were better than those on the Westerdam Mediterranean cruise 2018. I feel for the staff who have to accommodate so many seriously handicapped individuals who often put others in jeopardy due to there physical limitations. May the staff receive extra pay for these duties. Read Less
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