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66 Holland America Seattle Cruise Reviews

We love cruising to Alaska and chose this cruise because it's easy for us to get to Seattle. We have cruised with HAL 3 times prior. We were unfortunate enough that our balcony stateroom was just above someone who was a prolific cigar ... Read More
We love cruising to Alaska and chose this cruise because it's easy for us to get to Seattle. We have cruised with HAL 3 times prior. We were unfortunate enough that our balcony stateroom was just above someone who was a prolific cigar smoker. That completely ruined our use of the balcony. The ship is showing some wear and tear. I was trapped in the elevator and was stuck until help arrived. Thankfully it only took about two minutes for them to let me out so it wasn't too scary. The carpet was pulling back in some areas and the drapes in our room had holes in them. There were a lot of families on board and many of the children had little to no supervision. That, of course, is just supposition based on how awful the kids were behaving. We saw some who were climbing on top of the dolphins at the pool in order to jump off and into the pool. Many of them were also going barefoot into the Lido restaurant. No rules were enforced on this trip. Kids were in the adult only pool, barefoot in the restaurant, leggings and flip flops on gala night. This was, by far, the worst experience we've ever had aboard HAL and we will not be back until the smokin policy is changed. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Rather mediocre quality food and entertainment for the most part. Food was overly sauced and fancy but the end result was "strange tasting food" that reflected the Filipino and Indonesian influences of the chef. Maybe 2 -3 ... Read More
Rather mediocre quality food and entertainment for the most part. Food was overly sauced and fancy but the end result was "strange tasting food" that reflected the Filipino and Indonesian influences of the chef. Maybe 2 -3 nights of decent entertainment acts unfortunately. The ship is very old and in a bad state of repair. I understand it is being sold to another country, good luck! Loud repairs were virtually a daily occurrence sometimes as early as 6:00 AM! I don't know about you but when I go on a cruise I want to sleeop a bit later than that. Nothing special at all. Crew still does not understand basic American English regardless of how the cruise line says different. Some helpful staff but Front Desk Personeel were notorious for giving you half-answers about things and many times just acted difficult when the hotel operations fell short. We would probably not go on Holland America again. The crowd they typically draw is the geriatric wing of a hospital it seems. Very quiet Casino and virtually no activity after 10:00 PM. Recommended for the over 80 crowd I guess! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Food was too salty and the Lido Buffet had virtually the same thing everyday. The ship is in need of remodeling, dirty doors, threadbare cushions in the Crow's Nest. The three switches for lights in the cabin are directly behind your ... Read More
Food was too salty and the Lido Buffet had virtually the same thing everyday. The ship is in need of remodeling, dirty doors, threadbare cushions in the Crow's Nest. The three switches for lights in the cabin are directly behind your pillow. If you're sitting up in bed and the pillow hits the switch, you can either accidentally turn on lights/turn off lights. There is a light above the head of the bed that cabin stewards left on after tidying up the room for the evening; this light gets very hot and touches curtains and pillows. This is a fire hazard. You cannot hear announcements in the cabin. This makes it difficult to hear what deck you will disembark on. While watching the ship approach Hubbard Glacier in the Crow's Nest, waiters did not come around for drink orders, you had to go and wait in line. Using a cane, it was not convenient to have to go to the bar for a drink. The activities on days at sea were a joke. Learn Windows 10 on vacation, multiple trivia contests and learn about Tanzanite, art, etc. - they were just trying to tell you something. Want to watch TV? Four channels of Holland America propaganda, and Alaska programs. If you're lucky you can catch a movie. Errors on bill were corrected overnight; though I had purchased a beverage card and presented it to staff, my key card account was charged. I traveled with a terminally ill friend and the difference in temperatures in various (indoor) parts of the ship was quite noticeable.If you did any excursions you had little free time to explore the city. Only in Sitka did we have time to explore a bit.Staff was friendly except for one guy manning the screening machine when you came on deck. Patty at the Seattle Terminal was outstanding. A walker was reserved for my friend and I was told to pick it up at the kiosk in the terminal. After seeing no kiosk on the first floor and going through security I saw a handicapped area on the second floor. Alas, no walker. The "kiosk" SNG had was actually a white tent outside of the terminal. Patty took me through the lines, escorting me to the tent and back. She also helped me look for my friend who has significant short term memory loss and was not sitting in the area she said she was going to be sitting. My friend decided to change two excursions and this was handled promptly by the excursion desk. The places to shop onboard are a joke - a jewelry store, a liquor store with Tylenol and seasickness patches and a general shop with t-shirts, fridge magnets, etc. A poolside sale was held one day from 9am to 2pm. After lunch my friend went to the spa and I was going to look at the sale. I was surprised to find that at 1:30pm they were packing stuff away. On non-formal nights the dress code was smart casual. Some people looked like they had just finished changing their oil. Sloppiness ruled for a large number of people. We shared a table but were never seated at the same table. Their idea of a tea is a buffet of desserts from the Lido and a few savory items. The Queen Mary and old Queen Elizabeth II knew how to throw a tea! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I went with Holland America because I had never cruised with them and had been told they were the best. Well if this cruise is any indication of the customer service that Holland offers, it will certainly be my last cruise with them. ... Read More
I went with Holland America because I had never cruised with them and had been told they were the best. Well if this cruise is any indication of the customer service that Holland offers, it will certainly be my last cruise with them. The pickup at the airport was not as smooth as you would expect, with them herding people into lines with no place to sit or really get out of the weather. There were long waits and we finally boarded a bus that had been there for the entire time we had waited. The embarkation at the cruise terminal went smooth and was fine. Our first indication of the customer service we were going to get came shortly after we had sailed, when my BIL and Sister found they had forgot to bring their toothbrushes. A minor thing for sure that could be fixed with a quick trip to the store on board. So you would think, but no that was not the case. They were told that the toothbrushes were locked up and they would not be available for purchase until the next day. The next day when they went down to buy some they were told to come back in an hour (three times) and then they were told very rudely that there were no toothbrushes on board for purchase. When we finally took the issue to the main desk they called and told them to go get some toothbrushes and make them available. They had been there to whole time but the one clerk who we had to deal with was too lazy to go to the storage area and get them. The food in the Lido was adequate if you could get them to give you enough to taste. The other cruises I have been on there was plenty of food. This cruise I felt like I had to beg for the food. Small servings with poor customer service. I personally witnessed 3 times where a serving spoon or knife had been dropped on the floor only to be picked up by the server and used again. I called them on it each time and they acted like that was not out of the ordinary and why would I complain about something like that. The entertainment was good and I enjoyed that. There were several times when it seemed they couldn't get closed up soon enough so that they would not have to serve the people. It seemed a common attitude with many of the servers. I was at the Salad line and they had just ran out of Ranch dressing on the side I was on. When I asked for ranch I was told, and I quote, " We out, pick something else." When returning from the Victoria Port ( we had docked two hours late so all the score excursions were cancelled) so we had walked into Victoria and back and I went to the Lido to get a drink of ice water when we got back. They had closed down one drink line ( no taking into account that everyone was running two hours late because of the late docking time) and the other drink line was out of ice, was out of lemonade and the glasses had just came from the dishwasher and were hot to the touch. So I had a very lukewarm glass of water and the server acted like we should be grateful to get that. There were times when the people were coming back from port and everything was closed down tight as a drum. I would personally think the Lido hours should have revolved around the ships schedule and the needs of the customers and not rush to close if people are coming from ports. The entertainment was good, Jude ( the cruise director) was fun and seemed to do a good job. The cabin was very spacious and cleaned every day so that was a plus. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We are over 62 it's for older people, our first cruise and will never go on holland again... I got sick early tue. Morning, the night before i had prime rib...it was cold and the milk was warm .i had a temp. Of 101.1 and diarrhea for ... Read More
We are over 62 it's for older people, our first cruise and will never go on holland again... I got sick early tue. Morning, the night before i had prime rib...it was cold and the milk was warm .i had a temp. Of 101.1 and diarrhea for 2 days, did not see what i went for, missed the highlight if the trip, and missed sitka..............we stayed in 8081 great state room out standing...i was not going too eat any thing i did not see cooked....i went to the head chef ... 2 days later the milk was warm no changes.....late disembarkment in b.c. Pissed me off real bad i had a enough by then.. the excursions was over price for got be careful when purchase them. I feel that after they got money they did not care. Service was so so but joe and mohomad where great they help me feel some better. Hope you have abetter trip then i had p.s also 8 other people got sick and one was sick so bad the person was made to stay in the room. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I will preface by saying this was our 7th cruise overall and 3rd to Alaska, but our first with Holland America. Let's start with what was good. Embarkation was fairly easy and our staterooms were accessible as soon as we boarded. ... Read More
I will preface by saying this was our 7th cruise overall and 3rd to Alaska, but our first with Holland America. Let's start with what was good. Embarkation was fairly easy and our staterooms were accessible as soon as we boarded. Our veranda stateroom was spacious although the layout does make it difficult to move about. The room is well appointed with plenty of storage and the bathroom was the largest of any stateroom we have ever had on any other ship. Our room stewards kept the room clean, tidy and stocked with essentials, but we hardly ever saw them. This was unlike any other cruise we have experienced before where the stewards were ever present and extremely attentive. The Westerdam is a very nice ship. It is well appointed, clean and easy to get around. It goes downhill from there. Communication was poor, inconsistent and inaccurate. Upon arrival at ports of call, no announcements as to where/when/how to disembark. Misinformation by ship's crew members as to where to meet for shore excursions. In Sitka, the time for the last shuttle back to port actually changed by 30 minutes earlier, AFTER we left to go on our excursion. We found out from other passengers while shopping in town and almost missed the last shuttle. So, even though we arrived on time (the only port we did), time was still cut short. Food quality on board was less than what we have experienced on other ships. There was no WOW factor to be found at any of the dining locations and there were several times during the day/evening when food was scarce and what was available during those times, was just plain BAD. Room Service was a game of chance. Not once did we receive what was ordered the first time. On time arrival to ports of call was NOT the Captain's first priority. Shore Excursions were cut short, rescheduled or cancelled due to late arrival into ports (twice by over 2 hours). Funny thing; the Norwegian Pearl left Seattle right behind us and arrived at the first port 2 hours before we did. They left port 2 hours after the Westerdam and still arrived at the next port ahead of us. This remained consistent throughout the cruise resulting in less time at each port of call than what was advertised on the Holland web site. As part of our "cruise package", we received a free dinner in their premium restaurant. Once on board, the certificate indicated we should make dining reservations, but restaurant staff said a day & time would be assigned to us. The day & time assigned conflicted with our prepaid shore excursion and the restaurant staff was unwilling to accommodate and they refused to credit accordingly. Holland America information is so inconsistent that even the route which was advertised on the web site, was not the route we took once on board. I chose our cabin location based on the route map. In short, we will cruise to Alaska again ...just not with Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
April 2014 we were in French Polynesia and had a wonderful time. This time we choose a Volandam cruise Seattle - Sydney - Bali because we thought the itinerary looked great as well. It was partly great indeed, but also partly ... Read More
April 2014 we were in French Polynesia and had a wonderful time. This time we choose a Volandam cruise Seattle - Sydney - Bali because we thought the itinerary looked great as well. It was partly great indeed, but also partly disappointing. e.g. To me it is a mystery why the ship went to Mystery Island. A lost day. In Honolulu the hop on hop of bus was not available. HAL had rented it for some excursion. We never join HAL excursions because you can save half of the money when you book ashore. Climat control in the lounges and bridge room were inadequate. Most of the time it was freezing there. The tables and chairs in the Lido restaurant really should be replaced. Take care for the buckets in the corridors when it's raining. Unfortunately the quality of food was worse again. Good bread and fresh orange juice, but cold soup, melted ice cream, bad coffee and overcooked meat and fish. Less expensive fruit and meat. Little variation as well. What a difference with 8 years ago! HAL has become a budget cruise line, though they will never admit. A good idea not to use the slogan "Signature of Exellence" anymore! HAL tries to save money where it is (im)possible. At the entrance of the dining room the new dress code was unknown, so they tried to give me a jacket when formal night, which I refused. A fellow guest got really furious when his entrance was refused. Well, we got an invitation for a "rijsttafel" dinner. A pity that it was planned one day after our disembarkation. Fewer shows, more movies. Less musicians.The smaller HAL Cats Orchestra seemed to be uninterested. Live music in the lounge at dinner time but not during the happy hour. Some mediocre "singers" came back a second time "on popular demand". Whose demand? The atmosphere on board was not nice at all. Too many crew members were very unfriendly. Take care for them in the buffet restaurant, for they will not stop when you are approaching with coffee and breakfast in your hands. No crew present at the meet and mingle. Don't ask for service. They don't know that word. An exception was our great waiter in the dining room and his helper. In the always cold Hudson Room the lights are switched off at about 23.45. Probably bed time. The bridge Tournament Director during the first part of the cruise was good. Unfortunately his wife was not and (the TD told this to me!) she insisted to do the lessons herself though the TD was much better. The TD during the last part of the cruise was incompetent, lazy and very rude. Hotel Director JH was the rudeness in person. Once he said to me: Why did you book this cruise when you were already disappointed this spring on the Rotterdam? When I answered that I booked this cruise about a year ago, he suggested that I might have had my money back via my insurance company....! What an attitude. Then we won a pearl necklace at a raffle. We were told it had a value of 1250 Australian $. After a bit investigation it proved to be fake. When I complained to JH he got rude and said "do you expect me to pay that money myself?" Of course not the smartest question ever and not relevant as well. It's just about responsibilities dear Hotel Director. Some weeks later we heard that the jewelry seller was dismissed in Sydney. Before disembarkation we got a letter: "For your convenience the individual cards have been pre-filled for you". That's nice. At the end if the cruise a little service. Unfortunately they wrote down wrong pasport numbers. Another visit to the front desk needed. We had planned to disembark in Bali together with about 50 other guests. Unfortunately the ship could not enter the port because of some dredger. Ofcourse we were unpleasantly surprised. I asked the captain why we could not disembark by using the tenders. He said the tender platform would be under water now and then. This sounds a bit strange but okay, he is the captain. So I asked why not entering the tenders where you have to enter them in case of emergency. Now the mysterious answer was: "because the passengers would not be able to return to the ship". Personally I don't see the problem, because those 50 guests wanted to leave the ship and definitely not embark again. Well, he is the captain and did his study. So we had to stay one more day at the ship and rebook our flights. When we arrived the next day about 15.00, a vulcan at Lombok just had erupted the same morning. When we disembarked, nobody at the ship told us that the airport was closed. The taxi driver at the pier told us. What a HAL-service and how dishonest (or incompetent?). Because HAL had send a letter to all 50 guests that HAL would refund all extra costs because of the delay we claimed 3 days Bali. Without success HAL tried to convince us that they were not responsible. So all is well that ends well. The days on Bali where some of the best days of the holiday. Back home I contacted HAL and the lady in the local office was very understanding and helpful. She contacted the jewelry and they gave some compensation. Well, only after they tried to mislead the customs without success, saying that I send the necklace for repair.... Only because HAL gave us a future cruise credit we will return one more time to a HAL ship. Ofcourse after having checked that JH will not be on board. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We made a group reservation with our family to celebrate my mother's 90th birthday. The entire family was there. Our problems started just after embarkation when we found out that one of the grandchildren who was definitely part of ... Read More
We made a group reservation with our family to celebrate my mother's 90th birthday. The entire family was there. Our problems started just after embarkation when we found out that one of the grandchildren who was definitely part of our group had been removed from the group. This cruise was originally booked on a prior cruise and because of that the group was afforded Explore 4 benefits which included a free meal at the Pinnacle Grill, up to 15 drinks (alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic) per day, and a 50% reduced deposit. Apparently the reason for her removal (plus husband) from the group was due to her upgrading her room from a D to a VE, for which she paid extra cash. This made no sense because my Mom also upgraded her room from a D to a VE and was NOT removed from the group. The first night of the cruise was my Mom's birthday and we had scheduled the Pinnacle Grill for that evening. We had to fight the front desk as well as the Pinnacle Grill to get them to allow our daughter (plus husband) to join our group. As to the free beverage, one of the folks at the front desk indicated that she would probably be eligible for that so they started using those credits. We found out 3 days into the cruise that the home office decided against our claim and our daughter had to pay extra for the "free" drinks. Luckily, I (as the group coordinator) had ALL the paperwork with me and could prove that what I described really did happen. Most of the front desk people were quite rude with one exception, that of Ms Ninka Bakker, who was quite helpful. The 2nd issue had to do with the birthday cake that I had ordered 3 months prior to our cruise, as well as almost once a month. Apparently, the chefs knew nothing about it, but were able to put a cake together at the last minute. These problems indicate a very faulty management system. One division of the HAL management team does NOT seem to know what the others are doing. They also have an issue with the bean counters getting in the way of customer service. My Mom is a 4 star mariner with HAL, and was very disappointed in their customer service, which according to her has drastically changed for the worse over the years. All in all, I probably spent 8 hours of our cruise on line at the front desk arguing with the individuals there. This did NOT put me in a very good mood. I did enjoy my time on line at the front desk because I got an earful of the problems that other mariners had. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We wanted an Alaskan experience via the cruise. We booked Holland America liner ,Amsterdam. We were boarding from Seatle .We reached the port ealier than the scheduled boarding time and was quite good the boarding process started ... Read More
We wanted an Alaskan experience via the cruise. We booked Holland America liner ,Amsterdam. We were boarding from Seatle .We reached the port ealier than the scheduled boarding time and was quite good the boarding process started early. Boarding was a smooth process the announcement of boarding was adequately announced. It could have been better managed as people sitting to be boarded sat scattered in the waiting area. The ship was very big so it was easy to find your way around. It is an old ship than the one I had travelled in the caribean in Carnival ships. The complimentary upgrading to the outside cabin was not big enough to accommodate our 1 large suitcase so we had to put it on the sofa.There was only space in the cupboards to keep our2 carryon luggage.The was clean and the bed was very cocomfortable. The window was large .Bathroom was clean and soap and shampoo dispensers.There was bath tub. The food was very disappointing. Indian food which was served everyday on the Carnival cruises was not available. They gave Indian dinner one day but that was only tandoori chicken and not the anything else.When we asked to cook us prawn curry they refused . Though one day they had cooked excellent array of Indian starters,mains and desserts which we heartily enjoyed. One good thing is this ship allows anytime dinner in sittings in the dining room. The choice of food on the buffet was limited. The main drawback on this ship was there was no 24hr. Meals available as we had on the Carnival ships not even sandwhich,pizza or burgers.They close very early the burger and chips bar.They also closed icecream dispensers early at night. They had long lines at the burger bars.They set Mexican food outside which went cold in no time and when the items ranout they were not replenished. There were not enough outdoor games eg golf etc. The photographs they took were very expensive, $20 a piece. The shows were OK NOT BRILLIANT. Disembarkation and embarkation at the ports of call were smooth. The staff were fine but rarely talked or smiled. We expected to see whales and snow on the land did not see any.I realised later that one has to book the cruise which takes further up to see these things so if want see those places and a dog slegedind in the snow etc and see s ow capped mountains in the proximity than this cruise which took us to Junea,Katchikan,Sitka and Victoria in Canada is not for you. Perhaps I will book another cruise with a different liner fo that. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Cruise highly recommended - small ship size, service, & food. Room: Neptune Suites. The cruise through Alaska was beautiful. Things started going downhill when we, sadly, lost cruisers to a plane crash in Ketchikan. I do feel that ... Read More
Cruise highly recommended - small ship size, service, & food. Room: Neptune Suites. The cruise through Alaska was beautiful. Things started going downhill when we, sadly, lost cruisers to a plane crash in Ketchikan. I do feel that the cruise line handled this professionally and respectfully. I purchased a $1000 ring in their fine jewelry shop. Promised a delivery of authenticity to my room on day of departure -did not arrive, Informed concierge & store; both came back w/ promises I would receive it. Did not arrive & one of my prongs broke two months later. The last 24+ hrs. Overflowing toilet & plumbing issues. Couldn't use bathroom/showers. No one offered to move us. We paid quite a hefty price to stay in our suite. We wrote the company; again no response. I would have at least expected an apology/acknowledgement, End result: No certificate of authenticity - ring broke, loss of excursion due to accident, plumbing issues (Sewage) & no apology. Cabin - would have been a five except for plumbing issues Fitness - Thank goodness there was a promenade and I like to run; otherwise, I would not have had an opportunity to work out. Paid for a yoga classes and couldn't even get a mat or a spot on the floor. Yoga was in the middle of the gym which is not where you would want to have conduct a class. Service would have been a five until my experience with my purchase Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
My mother and I sailed on the Amsterdam as an early birthday present to her. We got a great last-minute deal, 9 days out, which was so good that we were able to get solo cabins for ourselves. This was our first time on Holland America (I ... Read More
My mother and I sailed on the Amsterdam as an early birthday present to her. We got a great last-minute deal, 9 days out, which was so good that we were able to get solo cabins for ourselves. This was our first time on Holland America (I prefer Royal Caribbean while she prefers Celebrity). The ship is small, 1300 passengers, but it rarely felt crowded. There are enough public spaces so the passengers can spread out and do their own thing. The ship had just come out of drydock a few weeks before. Being a new HAL cruiser, I couldn't tell you what the differences were, but for the most part the ship was clean and shiny. There were some plumbing issues that we could see being repaired and there was always grease on the floor of the entrance to the MDR which I always seemed to almost slip on as I was leaving. We found the buffet to be disappointing. Sometimes both sides were open, sometimes only certain stations on one side were open, and often one side was reserved for crew only. There was little variety as most of the food was the same on both sides. We ate all but one of our dinners in the MDR and the food there was much better, as was the service. The main problem we had was with the customer service at the front desk. My mother and I each had guarantee cabins and, despite being told her cabin number a few days before sailing, it was never officially assigned until we got to the port and they couldn't find her key. For the next 2 or 3 days they didn't deliver her excursion tickets or apply the OBC from our TA because she wasn't showing up in the computer. It took several sessions of back-and-forth between me, the front desk, the Seattle office, and my TA for her OBC to be applied and even then it didn't hit until day 5 of our 7-day cruise. We both had issues with our cards not working anymore (I got 3 cards; she got 4) and each time they blamed us for demagnetizing them. My mom carries no electronic devices and had her card on a lanyard around her neck yet the staff chided her for keeping it next to her phone. She got conflicting information from the security guards when leaving the ship about whether she needed to show ID when coming back aboard, something no one else seemed to need but they told her she did. The biggest customer service failure was when the maintenance people decided to varnish the railing and paint the floor of her balcony when we were about to enter Tracy Arm Fjord. It made the balcony and cabin fill with fumes and we couldn't use the balcony for the one thing we wanted to use it for. I talked to 3 different people at the front desk who just shrugged off my complaints. They said it was our fault for not telling them that we didn't want maintenance done that day. It wasn't until I posted a picture of the balcony with a "wet varnish" sign to HAL's Facebook page that anyone made an effort to apologize, and even then they still said it was our fault for not telling them that we wanted to use our balcony. To make up for it we each got a glass of wine at dinner. Pfft. We signed up for Luggage Direct which, in concept, is a very good idea. We were exempt from paying the airline baggage fees but HAL charged us anyway, even though I put on the form that we were exempt. So there I was at 6:00 am on debarkation day trying to get the charge taken off. It wasn't until I demanded to talk to the crew member's supervisor (who was probably asleep but I didn't care) and threatened to put the entire charge for the cruise into dispute that they removed the fraudulent charge. That being said, our luggage did arrive at our destination airport. These customer service failures are the reason why we will not be sailing on HAL again. Everything was great about the cruise except for the women behind the desk who were constantly unhelpful and blamed us when they did something wrong. They need to be immediately replaced with people who are properly trained. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
What a disappointing cruise ship. This was our 12th cruise and our second with Holland. It is also our last with Holland. Starting from the beginning, the embarkation was good. Once on the ship the accommodations were great, love the way ... Read More
What a disappointing cruise ship. This was our 12th cruise and our second with Holland. It is also our last with Holland. Starting from the beginning, the embarkation was good. Once on the ship the accommodations were great, love the way the rooms are set up. Nice storage and a full tub/shower. However the service was really poor. I tried to book a reservation in The Pinnacle Grill before we ever set sail and it was already booked for the entire week. We later found out that they had 600 giftcards that had to be served before anyone else could eat there. There was no spark or enthusiasm with the wait staff and there was not enough wait staff in the eating areas or specialty area. Specifically, the Explorer Cafe had only 1 barista regardless of time of day. They even forgot to open the last morning of the cruise. The food was a disappointment as well with the exception of the Salmon Bake they did around the pool one day. That was great and the salmon was wonderful. In the Lido Cafe we had to get our own drinks most of the time. I have no problem doing that but in comparing to other cruise lines who really spoil you, this was definitely not the case. I also noticed that there was no particular push regarding hand sanitation when entering the eateries. There seemed to be an Art Auction every time you turned around which was overkill, especially when you see the same art on every ship that you cruise with. The size of the ship was nice as it was a bit smaller than many of the others and getting to go to Sitka was great. What a fun little town. The entertainment was average except for the comedian who was too funny. The Cruise Director was great. I wanted to go up to him and tell him he needed to go work for another cruise line. We usually travel with Princess and will return to this company. What surprises me is that both are part of the same corporation so you would think the standards would be the same, but not so at all. One good thing was in the disembarkation, they offered a program that would check you all the way through to your home destination with regard to luggage. There was a slight fee, but it was so worth it. We signed up for this and a packet was delivered to our room with airline luggage tags and our airline boarding passes. When they picked our luggage up the night before we disembarked we were done. The next time we saw it was when we got off the plane at home. Also we no longer had to check in at the airport, just had to go through security and hop on the plane. Great offer, especially for passengers who want to explore for the day in the final port but also for those of us who don't want the hassle of finding our luggage and hauling through the airport, etc. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Just returned from Alaska on the Westerdam yesterday. We were so lucky to have sun at every port. This was my 10th sail to Alaska. It was our second HAL experience. We chose this sailing because it included Sitka. I loved Sitka. It was a ... Read More
Just returned from Alaska on the Westerdam yesterday. We were so lucky to have sun at every port. This was my 10th sail to Alaska. It was our second HAL experience. We chose this sailing because it included Sitka. I loved Sitka. It was a quaint port. I enjoyed the tour of St. Michaels. It has an interesting history. Sitka should be on every Alaskan cruise. Not sure why it’s not other than maybe it’s out of the way. I always enjoy seeing Mendenhall in Junea. It’s like visiting an old friend. The cottonwood trees smelled beautiful the day we visited. It was an experience to see this glacier with the sun shining over it. What a beauty. Last time it was misty and the top was covered so it was not a clear view. What a treat this year. Ketchikan was also nice to be there when it was dry and sunny. In Sitka and Juneau we did tours. The tour in Juneau was to Mendenhall and back to the ship. It was basic transportation. I have done combination tours in the past and this time I just wanted to see Juneau. In Sitka we did a tour that was run by a local company booked through the HAL but not owned by HAL. We had a historian running the tour who has lived in Sitka for thirty five years. She was full of knowledge about Sitka. What a difference having someone who lives year round leading your tour rather than the flown in college student who lives there to work for the summer. Nothing against college students trying to make a living but getting a local you get more of the flavor. The Westerdam is a beautiful ship. I enjoyed the BB King Blues Band. We went to see them almost every night. They were everything you could hope for in a blues band. Entertaining and made you want to jump up and dance. Some passengers did exactly that! We loved every minute of the show. The Casino was small but I loved it so much I gave as much as I could! LOL. The hostess, Ottie greeted me every evening with a smile and welcomed me back always asking what I did that day. She was so pleasant and we shared a lot of laughs. Vista dining room server Sam was wonderful. He was very professional and courteous. We had a wonderful experience with him. He was “old school”, took pride in his work. I rarely do assigned seating for diner but we decided on it for this cruise and I was happy we made this choice. We sat with some interesting passengers and enjoyed our dining conversations. Room stewards were attentive and greeted us with smiles and good wishes daily. Our few requests were met with quick responses. Our verandah had very worn looking furniture but it was adequate for our needs. I was surprised at how work the furniture was though. It was pretty beat up with mold on the chair pads. We covered them with towels so no big deal. My first stop before visiting my stateroom is always the Spa. We did the tour and signed up for the package to use the hydropool, saunas and thermal beds at our leisure for the week. I booked a treatment (usually I book a few for each cruise) and off I went looking forward to these visits. The next day we were at sea all day and I was excited to make use of the Spa and my treatment. I went to the hydropool and it was filled with passengers enjoying it having drinks in glasses, towels thrown all over the floor and chaises. Looked like a party was in full swing. The hydropool was nice but not relaxing, too noisy with the party goers. I thought good for them having some fun but I would come back when it would be more relaxing for me. I went to the saunas and I found them just ok. They were very small, like being in a closet. I was surprised by the hoses for cooling off, they looked like worn out garden hoses without the spray nozels. The thermal beds were what I had experienced on other ships only they faced a wall of glass looking out to the ocean. What an added treat for thermal beds. I was in my robe with my hair wrapped in a turban and as I was resting feeling great I heard some laughing and loud talking. I opened my eyes to see next to me a man fully dressed in jeans with sneakers on in the bed and next to him another man and a woman, all dressed in street clothes laying in the thermal beds. The chuckling and yacking back and forth between them while I was trying to relax was just too much for me. I thought I would come back later when hopefully things quieted down. As I stepped out of the thermal beds I was in the regular hallway and it was easy to see that everyone was traipsing by in their clothes. This spa is not private or secure. It was a disappointment to me. At no time in the spa other than when you went to the desk were staff around at all. I went back the next day and it was pretty much the same experience. I did not return or book any other treatments on this cruise. The one treatment I did have was good. Not at any point in the Spa did staff pass through to clean up or check on things although we did have lots of passengers checking on us from the windows in the hallways. Lido deck: another warning: Inside and outside were both not up to standards. The servers behind the counters seemed surly. One morning I couldn’t help but giggle when I asked for blueberry pancakes and the server put on small pancake on the large plate and handed it to me. I thought of the Oliver Twist story and wondered if I should dare ask for more. This was constant. I heard passengers all around asking for more please. I was also surprised that no one comes around refilling coffee. It was odd to see folks struggling carrying hot coffee cups around. I could not help observe passengers with walkers struggling with carrying food to their tables. I watched one passenger seat an elder and run back and forth with food for both of them to the table. I wondered why the staff was not noticing this. I asked the woman at one point if I could help her and she was so thankful. She said none of the staff asked her at any point during the cruise if they could help on the Lido deck. We discussed the poor service we both noticed. Outside was not much different. Staff congregated around the bar talking with one another and did not pay any attention to passengers. This was something I have never noticed on a cruise before. One passenger commented that the staff on the Lido deck seemed lethargic. I agreed although I would add surly to the comment of the staff serving in the buffet. It was not unusual to see dirty tables and staff walking by them rather than stopping to clean up. Many times at lunch we would sit down at a dirty table and that was the only way to get the attention of staff to clear it off. I was happy to visit Alaska again and I was thrilled that we had a week of sun for this trip. I was disappointed with HAL, it did not live up to my expectations. One thing for sure, they have the selling on the ship down perfectly. Service and food quality need work. My first trip to Alaska was on the Volendam ten years ago, this was not the HAL I remembered. They leave a lot to be desired for cruising. I look forward to cruising again but not on HAL. As far as I am concerned HAL has a lot to learn and perhaps they could take some tips from Princess cruise line. Princess knows how to do it when it comes to service. I will be trying Royal Caribbean this December so it will be a new experience all together for me. Happy sailings. Mimi Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was the 4th time we sailed with Holland America we have sailed on the amsterdam. the osterdam and the westerdam twice. The quality of ship and services have slowly become worse each time. Poor quality and choices of food except the ... Read More
This was the 4th time we sailed with Holland America we have sailed on the amsterdam. the osterdam and the westerdam twice. The quality of ship and services have slowly become worse each time. Poor quality and choices of food except the formal dinners. Room service was terrible. Orders wrong most of the time, and when it did arrive it was barely warm. One handicap toilet near the show room was clogged for days.( I am handicapped.) Lots of times when walking down hallways sewage odor in the air. Had to have sink unclogged Had to have verandah light replaced which I believe should be checked before sailing Had a fire scare which turned out not to be serious. The same thing happened on one of their June 2014 sailings it had to turn around and go back to Seattle for a few hours. So happy sailing to all. Think twice about sailing with Holland America Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
C+
I just returned from a 1 week inside passage cruise on the Westerdam. This was my 16th cruise-only the second on Holland. I have cruised on Celebrity, RC, Disney, and Princess. This was a family reunion cruise of 3 adults in their ... Read More
I just returned from a 1 week inside passage cruise on the Westerdam. This was my 16th cruise-only the second on Holland. I have cruised on Celebrity, RC, Disney, and Princess. This was a family reunion cruise of 3 adults in their 50's, 2 in their mid-late twenties, and 2 late teens/early 20's. While we all enjoyed our journey this was not a high quality cruising experience. We are an active group and did non cruise line activies at each port. My sense of the service/staff on this boat was that they were not trained well in customer service. As an example, the waiter at our table (Table 71) never introduced himself to us and barely uttered a word and almost never smiled during our dinner services. I found this to be quite odd and unusual, as typically wait staff on cruises are highly motivated to be friendly, helpful and engaging. Our group as a whole were fairly easy to please and always thanked him for his service. One evening my daughter left a graduation gift on the table. She contacted the dining room staff and later the main desk on Level1 and was told the gift was not found. I find it hard to believe that it wasn't found on the table during the clean up after our second seating dining-when there were very few passengers in the dining room. The food was inconsistent. Some meals were wonderful, others were very unpleasant. The portion sizes were at times minute-and I am not a big eater. Our best meal was in The specialty dining Grille restaurant. Although I have to point out it did not compare to the specialty restaurants I have eaten at on Celebrity ships (such as the Murano Restaurant on Solstice). The boat itself had some attractive areas-such as the main dining room, library/computer/specialty coffee restaurant on Deck 12. The cabin we had, 1099-was bare basic in nature with completely drab colors and decoration. The entertainment was ok, but not particularly varied or of memorable quality. One notable exception was the piano player in the Piano Lounge next to the casino. He was wonderfully talented, has charisma and attracted a fun crowd every evening. He should be applauded for his efforts and talents. The staff in the ART gallery/auctions were wonderful and quite entertaining. I enjoyed attending their talks and auctions. Overall this cruise did not measure up to similar cruises on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Princess-in terms of quality of customer service, quality of food, and general attractiveness of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This trip it was for my husband and me to celebrate our twelve year anniversary we decided on Alaska because it leaves from our home port in Seattle so no flying score!! We were in a Verandah signature suite we both had the unlimited drink ... Read More
This trip it was for my husband and me to celebrate our twelve year anniversary we decided on Alaska because it leaves from our home port in Seattle so no flying score!! We were in a Verandah signature suite we both had the unlimited drink package and one dinner in their specialty restaurant the Pinnacle Grill from our TA. Port 4 out of 5- The new Seattle port is nice but if you are from out of town there is nothing near it shopping and food are pretty far away. Getting to port was a snap we pay for parking in Seattle already so we just parked for the seven days we were gone in our secure parking garage from here we simply ordered an Uber to transport us to the port. We were able to be dropped right outside the port and get right into the security line there were a lot of people so this line was pretty long it took maybe twenty minutes to get through security and checked in at the desk. We were able to walk right on the ship after taking our boarding photo. Stateroom 5 out of 5- Our room was ready as soon as we got on this was a nice thing about the cruise line and our room was nice it was large and had a nice bathtub with jets and more than enough room for the both of us my husband would be spending a lot of time in it. There were the basic TV channels mostly focused on the Alaska team gold panning shows and deadliest cache along with the shopping and movie channels. You were able to get DVDs from a menu in room. If we would have brought our children this room would have felt cramped but still have the room to function with all four of us. The best thing was the veranda this is a Alaska cruise so that was so important to us I enjoyed sitting outside with a blanket and hot coffee and looking at the ocean my husband would spend most of the trip sick so this was a blessing to keep him from going stir crazy. If you can do it get a veranda it is worth the price to see the Alaska land float by. Food I am going to just breaking dining into where we ate I would Give the food a 3 out of 5 due to a few special dishes we enjoyed but in all found the food to be lacking what I was hoping for it needs more fresh seafood choices for this itinerary Room Service -We also ordered room service nearly every morning and some lunch and snack items our service was good and the food was as good as room service food usually is I enjoyed their club sandwich a lot and this is a good option for people just relaxing in their verandas for the day or those who are less happy with the dining options. One of the evening formal night we were able to order the same dinner from the main dining to our room instead of doing formal night we got the lobster and beef options and they were ok. Main Dining Room- we ate at twice for dinner I ate lunch here a few time though the week lunches were fine nothing too over the top I usually had salads and soups. We were not impressed at all with the food in the main dining room it took too long from the time we ordered to the time it was delivered I usually understand that there are so many people all wanting to eat at the same time however our food was never totally right it would be cooked wrong or cold when we finally received it. We also thought that the menu choices were lacking for a cruise to Alaska we expected more options to follow that itinerary then they offered. There were few desserts that sounded appealing and I love desert .My go to dessert will always be crème brulee when I am unable to find something to interest me and I usually only eat the top. This trip on two nights I ordered this outside the specialty first night there was just cream not sugary burnt top that I love, and the second was so thick that it stuck to my teeth it was so chewy this was a big disappointment and a painful one as it pulled on a crown I have. On the one formal night I attended they had crab that was surprisingly good that they pre-crack this was a nice way to eat without the mess. Pinnacle Grill- was amazing we had appetizers of Lobster Bisque and Dungeness Crab Cakes both were delicious for our main course my husband had the Cedar Planked Halibut with Shrimp Scampi and asparagus for the both of us along with mushrooms I had the West Coast-Style Seafood Cioppino it was also delicious. The staff was quick and checked in on us often but not so much that we felt rushed. For dessert I had the crème Brulee as did my husband it was very good and I wish we would have chosen to eat here the rest of the trip. Lido Buffet- After boarding we decided to check out the Lido buffet. In short it was busy and since we are not allowed to serve ourselves until two days into the trip just getting water took an exorbitantly long time. As far as buffets go this one was less than impressive for its choices I understand this cruise is set for an older crowd but the flavor was missing from most dishes like they picked to not use salt and other spices. This was basic food that you expect from a buffet it was not the worst ever but I have seen better on cruise ships. We would go here late at night for a snack to tide us over as we usually do on trips and the late night offerings were so limited that we usually just got pastries or some kind of pasta. We also believe this is where my husband’s food poisoning came from unfortunately. Canaletto- was a nice little restaurant that they portion off some of lido for we enjoyed our food we had the sausage penne and the clams the clams were amazing and I was so sad not eat them one more time before we left they were out of this world and would be the only thing to get me back on this ship. This Restaurant is a share plate so we got large portions of what was ordered outside the appetizer to share with each other family style. We ordered a few extra things to try but the pasta we got and the clams did it for us. This was another place I wish we would have gone to more than once. We also ate burgers by the pool and the pizza these where pretty standard to all ships we also hit the cafe many times for coffee and pastries they also were in line with what we normally would get on other cruise ships. Outside of the specialty eating there was nothing that impressed us food wise and this was upsetting since we like to try all the options we felt that if we decided to do this trip on this ship again we would book specialty throughout the trip and skip the other options. On the day we tour Glacier Park they serve split pea soup my husband said it was good I do not like split pea so I did not partake but it is one of his favorite soups. Service 3 out of 5-I am mixed about the service it was not bad in general our steward was ok he cleaned our room and did what they are supposed to do he was not too friendly a theme I found though the ship. Coming off a Disney Cruise this service was a surprise and I Understand that they are not the same but there was really no personal interaction with our steward or other ship crew. Our dining staff was hit and miss also the order time took so long and they never checked in during our meal perhaps because of the drink package there was no check in to see if we wanted another drink or how our meal was we saw them for our order and then when the food was brought again no personal interaction or warmth. We only did the dining room twice for dinner so perhaps the service would have improved. The staff though the ship was fine there was one waiter I saw and he was amazing he always asked if I needed more drinks and was just in generally happy and helpful I gave him an additional tip at the end of the cruise because he was so nice. There just was not the friendliness I was hoping for it was not bad service it just was not great service. Entertainment 3 out of 5 - The entertainment was lacking on this ship perhaps because it was supposed to be relaxing but still there was not much going on after 9pm. The show Recycled Percussion was amazing and I enjoyed the shows so much I looked into going to their show in Las Vegas this show was fun loud and entertaining and I wish the rest of the entertainment keep up with this show this was the only reason I gave a 3. I also saw the magic/comedy show in the theater it was good there were some funny part this was something that kids could go to and you would feel fine about what they would hear. The production show about the fairy tales was interesting however I found my mind wondering though it that they really need to add more spice to the show it was pretty boring but cute in some ways. Bingo was good it and not just because I won but they tried to keep the crowd entertained and there were a lot of people so that was good. Bingo is no fun when there are ten people you miss the energy of lots of people. Bingo is Bingo it was pricy like all ships but if like me you enjoy a game when you cruise this ship did it well. Ports 4 out of five - The ports were fun we did not do ship excursions instead we got off and explored on our own looking at the shops and getting lunches. We liked the ports we went early May so the weather was hit and miss one port we got off simply to see my step sister and nephew in Sika the town was quaint and cute and the sun was shining. In Juneau it poured cats and dogs but we still got off to see the shops and look around there were lots of shops within walking of the ship this was true in all the ports. Ketchikan was a blast mostly due to where we ate we had the best crab and clam strips ever and we cannot wait to back there again it was the Crab Cracker seafood bar. Victoria we got in late 6 pm not really anything open so we walked to the marina area then had dinner at a restaurant next to the ship. We liked the Alaska water views and the cute shops we purchased some birch syrups and candies and I suggest picking these up in Alaska I Had never heard of it until then and the candy birch Carmel where chocolate covered caramel they had a slight root beer taste that was not bad at all the syrups were also a nice alternative to maple. You will be able to find the items all around the ports I always try to get one new thing when I go places that I just do not have at home and the candy was a hit with my kids also. While we liked Glacier Bay that was a part of the cruise I was not too happy about simply that there really was not much information about activities. There one guide doing talks but it was the same thing we hear over and over again on the TV. I did not see any real interesting workshops or classes about the area most of it was about the sale on cheap cruise items. There was a presentation about people native to Alaska and their culture that was really good but this was not widely showcased and I only found out about it because it was before bingo so I only heard the last part of it and there really were not many people I think due to there being no real advertisement they really need to add more to this day at the glacier park or at least let people know in a better way what is offered. Drink package 3 out of five - I was really the only one to try and take advantage of this due to my husband not feeling well I tried to order a variety of options to see what I liked and all of them were pretty good I liked mixed drinks and those are hard to mess up. There seemed to be an ample amount of liquor to the mixers this made good drinks. An issue however was that it took a long time to get that drink or to reorder I would hate to think that this was due to the package compared to buying per drink but it really felt like it was. I would stand at a bar and have two or more people served before I was when I was there first this was upsetting and only started after the first day or two when they knew who I was and the package I had. I loved not having to worry about the cost at the end of the trip. I think that if my husband had been feeling better I would have gotten more use from it. It covered everything I asked for and as long as you are not looking at twenty dollar drinks you should be covered in what you like to drink. We enjoyed the bar that overlooks the water we would go sit there on port days and enjoy a nice drink and they always had good drinks. Shopping 2 out of 5- I like to look at the shopping on cruise ships and I like to buy but this ship was lacking a lot they did have the blowout sales were the cheap stuff is even cheaper however there was really nothing to inspire me to shop. The jewelry was lacking they should have focused more on Alaska items instead of the same jewelry you see every cruise. There was not a lot of draw you in items that make you want to shop. We bought some alcohol and a watch since I misplaced mine and I like my watch but usually I can find a few things to bring back but all my shopping was in port since there so few things outside unimpressive t-shirts and Holland Alaska items . I would like to see a little more customization on the shops a lot of ships now are get cute boutiques and that is something that would really help this ships shopping. They were constantly announcing the sales instead of the things to do around the ship this was annoying. We all know that there are sales but being reminded every twenty minutes was a bit much instead they should focus on promoting the shows and classes instead of the cheap Alaska T-shirts. Kids Clubs- We did not bring our kids on this trip but I can say I would not bring my kids on this ship. I looked around and there was almost zero things in the cruise planner or around the ship to keep them from going crazy in fact I do not think I saw any kids at all. I do not know how the clubs for children where but I Would guess like the rest of the ship they would be lacking. All in all it was nice to see Alaska’s and we plan on seeing Alaska again next summer but we will not be doing it on Holland America again. The age of the people was mid 50’s and up and that was kind of what we were looking for a nice laid back cruise to relax without our children, however even the older people were saying there seemed to be nothing to do. There were just too many negatives for me to spend the money to go again perhaps if it was an amazing deal but even then I would not guarantee it. We are not really party all night people but If you are under mid 50’s run to another line would be my advice in fact 50’s and up should run also this ship was just too quiet we wanted relaxing not drop dead boring. Ship: ms WESTERDAM Category: SY Stateroom Number: 8083 Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We don't know why so many people are enthousiastic about this ship? We did already several other cruises with other company's, but the "Amsterdam" is really bad compared with the other ships we had. But positive thing ... Read More
We don't know why so many people are enthousiastic about this ship? We did already several other cruises with other company's, but the "Amsterdam" is really bad compared with the other ships we had. But positive thing and most important: the Alaska-cruise was beautiful! About the ship: - embarkation in Seattle was perfect. In a couple of minutes we were already on the boat - first impression of the ship was small, but we knew that already. And of course, a lot of older people!! And we mean with a lot, more than 80%! So be aware that you have to wait a lot of time as there are many "slow movers" on the ship! Sometimes it is frustrating in the Lido Buffet, but it is holiday....so don't frustrate!!! Interior of the ship is beuatiful with a lot of Dutch Artworks and other unique items. We liked it! - we were in stateroom (oceanroom) 2685. A nice room, not too small and nice bed to sleep. But as we were together we were littlebit disappointed that there was 1 towel in the room when we entered the room. Why? No checkings? And this is a trip to Alaska, middle of the summer. You have to close the window in the evening with a simple curtain. A lot of light is still in the room, even it is 12am....so why no curtains to make it more dark in the room? And did anyone inspect the door inside of the room on cleaning? This was really dirty! Fingertips, old dirt was vissible...jaiks!!! Bathroom is ok, but still with an old-fashioned curtain. And be aware that the floor upstairs is the walk-promenade, so around 7am you can hear already the first people walking! - restaurants: * La Fontaine. Beautiful restaurant to see and also to eat. We liked the food, but the food was not what we expected from the HAL. We travelled last year with the Princess and this food was more variated and same quality or even better. Our thoughts were that the HAL had the best quality of diners? But this isn't unfortunately. Our most negative point was the wine-serving. The first night we could wait till now I am writing. No one was coming. After already asked we asked this again when we had already the main-menu! And finally someone was coming. This was happening again after some days. But the wine-server "Antonio" is really good, he is hard working! But is someone inspecting the clothes of the servers? Every evening we were surprised about the dirty clothes of the servers? Never seen this on other cruiseships! And why did we had 2 days old flowers in the restaurant and other parts of the ship? And is someone inspecting the forks, knives before someone is dining? Almost every evening something was missing on the table! And did someone test the coffee? This is the worst coffee we ever drunk! * Lido buffet. Good variety of food. We had only breakfast and lunch here. The quality of food is good/very good. But one big negative thing. The coffee-machine is more not working than working. Very frustrating every time. And a lot people were complaining about this! And we didn't like the server behind the "sandwich"-buffet. He was always sulky. He never laughed or make a chat. Can this server removed of the ship? Last thing about the Lido. Many servers were more talking together than working. We never seen this on other ships * Pinnacle. In one word: EXCELLENT! This is the quality what you expect on a HAL-ship! Very good food, service, atmosphere. One thing...happy hour....this is normal one buy, one free.... on this ship it is, one buy, other for one dollar. But....why do we have to pay this with 2 cards???? It was not possible if you was alone and order a drink with the happy hour...very strange... - Service of HAL "Amsterdam". We were negative surprised about the service of this ship. The first days looked liked that the people working on this ship didnt like to work. Almost everybody was negative. We heard same of many other cruise-passengers. Something happened on this ship before we entered this ship, this must be for sure! We wrote a small survey on first days of the trip. This was treated very good by the HAL. We received some chocolates for our survey and also excuses. But after this most of our comments were not solved in the rest of the trip....unfortunately... I was really disappointed in the employees of the reception. I visited the reception as 2 of the 4 dryers on the third floor were not working again. As it was very crowdy in this wash-room (already at 7.30 am!) this was giving a big delay. Every time when I visited the washroom some dryers were "out of order". So I asked the reception when the dryers will be fixed. What was the answer of the employee? I had to go to the other wash-room on the 6th floor! Pardon????? The dryers have to work and to be fixed!!!! This is not the answer what I expect from the HAL. I was very frustrated about this On the last evening we received a letter that the bill of the trip would be delivered before 6am last morning on the ship. Well even this very easy thing to do was giving problems for this ship. As we had to leave the ship 7.15 hours and we didn't had the bill at 6.45 we went to the reception. But we saw our cleaner in the corridor preparing the bills. We asked if he had our bill. And yes, he had! But why so late?? Only half our before leaving you could inspect your bill.... This is no service!! About the photographers on this ship. It is so funny to see that they didn't want to make pictures. THey were more talking together than making pictures. But no problem, no pictures, no money for this ship! Hahaha... - Tours/places to stay: tours organized by HAL were very good! Well organized and value for money. We liked most the floatplane in Ketchikan, wale-tour in Ice Strait Point and the raft in Sitka. Places to stay: we don't understand why this ship is stopping in Homer. There isn't nothing to do! Don't stop anymore in this place and stay for longer for example in Sitka or Victoria. The best places to stay! Our overall impression of the Amsterdam is unfortunately negative. But fortunately we had a very good holiday as we liked Alaska! But next time with other company!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Thank goodness for Seattle. I'd finally convinced my husband to take an Alaskan cruise ( about 4 years of talking). When he said yes, I quickly booked a trip before he could change his mind. Booked in August for travel in September. ... Read More
Thank goodness for Seattle. I'd finally convinced my husband to take an Alaskan cruise ( about 4 years of talking). When he said yes, I quickly booked a trip before he could change his mind. Booked in August for travel in September. Since he had agreed to the adventure, I added 2 days pre cruise in Seattle. Thank goodness for Seattle. We stayed at the Seattle Marriot Waterfront. Nice hotel,great views, close to Pikes Place Market ,the BigWheel and lots of restuarants. We took two Savor Seattle Tours ,both great , a city bus tour and went up into the Space Needle. We had a great time and want to return for a longer visit. Thank goodness for Seattle. Since this was our first cruise , we were a bit apprehensive about embarkation. Happily , it was painless. Everyone was courteous and helpful. We were feeling excited, we were on our way. We had heard so many good things about Holland America obviously they had not been in our room on the Oosterdam. We walked into room 5154 and were so disappointed. The room looked worn and shabby. The sofa's arm was torn ,the springs ( it was a sofa bed) were showing. The pillows on the sofa were dirty and stained. The plaid throws looked liked they should have been thrown away cruises ago. But what I had noticed first was the most upsetting. The black knob on the blonde wooden cabinet over the sofa was being held on by white tissue sticking out all around the knob. Really. I realized it was the second to last cruise of the season and things may be a little worn,but REALLY. The bedding looked worn and the pillows smelled old. Thank goodness for Seattle. By Wednesday-the third day of the trip- the knob had been glued,the sofa had been changed. The bedding did not improve. The ship's decor was a bit dated and worn. Know now I should have checked the last time it was refurbished when choosing a ship. Positive note, the mattress was comfortable even in high seas. The food---------the buffets, not bad not great. Hard to find a place to sit. The Vista dining room was better but service was slow. We had dinner at the Pinnacle Grill, probably the best meal. The crab cakes were wonderful. Again the service was a bit slow. Canaletto, pretty good, BUT. We were offered the dessert menu before we were served our pasta. Lots of servers, one not knowing what the other was doing. We ordered drinks. We waited for the bill. Finally got up and told the person at the podium about the drinks and our room number. Our evening at Le Cirque is another story--------food very good ,service good BUT with 80 mph winds and 20 foot seas, a little hard to enjoy. I could see huge waves through the window ! We ordered breakfast room service each morning. Food good but always a little later than the time we requested. It was hard to get a call through to room service. Always busy. One afternoon i requested some orange juice. They said they only serve orange juice in the morning?? Thank goodness for Seattle. Alaska is BEAUTIFUL. We saw only a small amount and would love to go back. Just not on a cruise. Tracy's Arm was overwhelming. Could not believe that blue even on a cloudy day. Our Juneau tour,a glacier and whale watching photo safari, was great. Fun and educational. Our photo guide and boat captain were wonderful. THEN , a real adventure began. We thought we left the Gulf Coast and hurricanes. No, we were on a ship in Alaska with 85 mph winds and 20 foot seas and we couldn't evacuate !! Stuck on a ship rocking and rolling. We could not stop in Sitka--the reason I booked this cruise-- not many cruise ships stop in Sitka and from what I have read since we have been home,Holland America skips it often in September. I wish I had done more research on this cruise line. Let the buyer beware. We also missed Ketchican. So for a 7day cruise, we were on the ship for 5 days. Thank goodness for Dramamine and Seattle. Had never seen ships shows before. After the first show didn't really care to spend time there again. Though I did go back for Dancing With The Stars the last night-----entertaining. Wanted to see the magician, boat was really rocking that night , had to hold on to the bed instead. Most activities involved some sort of a fee. Movies were free but unless they moved to a bigger room only about 30 people fit. The Digital Workshop was so informative but there again if you didn't get there early there was no room. So happy to get to Victoria. To get off the ship. But by then we were a little ship shocked and sad we had missed so much. We did take a city bus tour. Victoria is beautiful and we want to return but not on a cruise. We tried but just couldn't get into it. Don't want to be, but still sad about the whole cruise. From what I have learned since returning home,maybe Holland America should leave for Hawaii at the end of August. It seems the weather is often not conducive to cruising in September. The salmon are gone--we saw none and the whales are on their way to warmer weather. Maybe the cruise ships should also leave or when offering a lower price also tell the customer that some ports may be skipped because of the weather in September. We are not from that area of the country and had no idea of September's stormy weather. Seattle was cloudy and rainy but thank goodness for Seattle. We paid $20 per person extra to have our luggage , best money spent. The disembarkation seemed a bit disorganized. Wish we could have stayed a few days in Seattle after the cruise. Thank goodness for Seattle! Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
this cruise was nothing like we booked 12 months ago.Embarkation in Seattle was fine nice and smooth and first impressions of the ship were fine the cabin was good . how wrong can first impressions be. it was down hill from there on. the ... Read More
this cruise was nothing like we booked 12 months ago.Embarkation in Seattle was fine nice and smooth and first impressions of the ship were fine the cabin was good . how wrong can first impressions be. it was down hill from there on. the ship left Seattle one day late due to bad weather which we can fully understand as safety comes always first. but then it started they changed the port of Hilo for laihaini cut of a day in Honolulu changed the dates on Dravuni island and Suva in Fiji cutting of the evening visit in Suva. we have never been on a ship with so many changes happening to the itenerary as on this one never mind if you had private tours booked you lost your money.We have never seen so many unhappy people as on this ship. the food standard was very dissapointing in the main restaurant the food was bland a cold we send it back on a few occations and walked out. the dining room waiters were great they tried their upmost. food in the Lido was average apart from the Oriental and italian sections they were great. we feel the standards have dropped on this vessel from a 5 to a 3 we do hope that it was just this vessel as we have sailed before with HAL and were very happy.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
I just returned from Holland America's Cruise to Alaska on the Oosterdam sailing June 23rd. I was very very disappointed. The room was clean and our steward could not have been better. The food was horrible. Old Country Buffet would ... Read More
I just returned from Holland America's Cruise to Alaska on the Oosterdam sailing June 23rd. I was very very disappointed. The room was clean and our steward could not have been better. The food was horrible. Old Country Buffet would have been gourmet compared to the food available. No taste. Poor Quality. Rude service from the buffet staff. Room service was a joke. Long waits and never get the order right. I was even sent rotten fruit. Any time I asked for something I was told they were out of it, on the second day. We were told on prime rib night they forgot to load the prime ribs. Turkey day the was no turkey in the buffet. We opted for open dinning. Do not do it the servers were over worked and we waited and waited. The next day we opted for late seating and our waiters at table 8 were great. With most of our food left on our plates(four adults) they asked if it was good they offered to bring something else after a few tries we gave up. The entertainment was poor. The singers and dancers work to canned music. Old and dated material. I have seen better high school productions. The magician was good. The ventriloquist's material was from the 60's-70's and not very funny. We ended up entertaining ourselves in the library with the games there. Other main night entertainment was provided by the passengers in the form of newlywed game and dancing with the stars. That's ok for extra entertainment, but not the night's main entertainment. Our ports were great, all but one excursion we booked after we got off the ship at much less. Alaska was beautiful! We wanted to adjust our tip that is automatically added every day and give to people who went the extra mile. We were told we were not allowed to do that and that was that. If that is the case then they should include it in the cruise price. We will not cruise Holland America again. They have cut back so much it was such a disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
I had read several reviews about cruising Holland America as well as the ship Oosterdam, I do not know what ship they were sailing on, but it could not have been the same. On a positive note, the crew were very friendly, always smiling, ... Read More
I had read several reviews about cruising Holland America as well as the ship Oosterdam, I do not know what ship they were sailing on, but it could not have been the same. On a positive note, the crew were very friendly, always smiling, and so helpful. Sometimes the language barrier was a little frustrating, but I would not trade that in as the crew was wonderful. That being said, lets start with the ship. It seems to be older, basically clean as long as you stay out of the casino, but there was not much to do unless you want to pay a couple thousand dollars just to get on the ship and spend several hundred more on shopping and activities. Everything seemed to cost. Internet usage was expensive, deoderant(my husband forgot his) was almost $8, every turn someone was trying to sell low quality wine at a price that would suggest robbery. I was excited about the movies, but there is only room for maybe 30 people-keeping in mind the ship holds around 2,000! And help you if you are caught saving a seat for your spouse, I thought one of the families who was saving a seat for her inlaws was going to have to walk the plank! Seating is cutthroat so go early if it is a decent movie that you really want to see. I went to an activity called "make a candy box", Ok there was no candy, and it involved a prefolded HAL box that took all of 15 minutes. * Ok now the room. I had the VA, which is delux verandah. I don't know what was delux about it. I always heard HAL rooms were bigger than other cruiselines-this room was no bigger than any other cruise I have been on, and our toilent did not work the first 4 days. We were constantly calling for someone to unclog it-keep in mind my rule is always flush twice, once before the paper and once after to prevent clogging. It was never less than 2 hours to get the toilet unclogged. Half the time it wouldn't even flush-you never knew when the toilet would work. Beds weren't bad, and the one thing I can say was great was the run of free movies in the room, especially since the screening room was always full. * The ship performances were low rate, say if you visited the old part of Branson Missouri, they were better performers. Even if you wanted to see the shows, there was no room. The only explanation I have for the tiny spaces, is they must have been trying to fit as many staterooms as possible, and no room for other spaces. The fitness center just plane sucked (sorry). It was one tiny room with a few treadmills and weights-people hovered trying to get a treadmill. My husband and I took to running the flights of stairs since working out was not working out in the fitness center. * The ports were great. Alaska is wonderful-but I would not take HAL to visit again. Careful with the excursions. We did the zipline and it was great-all we expected. The second excursion was not very active, and I did not realize that. It was the Wilderness Crab feast. The food was great, but it is more suited for a 70 year old than a 30 year old. We did meet a couple who found their own excursions in Juneau and Sitka. They went to a glacier on foot and kayaked-we were jelous. Their excursion turned out great and they made it to port in plenty of time. Yes, the boat will leave you if you do not make it in time, but don't let that scare you from a wonderful excursion, just do your homework. * Now I saved the best for last-the food. It was for the most part terrible. The positives- the fresh fruit is great, breakfast was just fine. It is hard to mess up 2 fried eggs and french toast, but that is where the good news ends. There were a couple exceptions. I had escargot and it was actually very tender and flavorful. That same night I had a salad with mushrooms and gorgonzolla cheese that was great. The rest of the food is typical buffet food. Tough beef-stay away from the prime rib, it is a sad waste of a cow's life, unless you like boot leather. Vegetables were super salty and full of butter, pizza was comparable to cardboard, I was given a salad that had bloated raisens and soggy apples-it was terrible. The desserts were awful, no flavor at all. We stopped eating in the dining room because it was the same food that was served on deck, and it took forever to get the food. We heard everyone say that the restaurants you pay extra for were great-but I already paid almost $3000, I should have great food. The better food on the boat is the in room dining. You are very limited on your choices, but the quality seemed a little better, and you didn't have lines of people. Oh, and you have a place to sit in your room. The buffet restaurant, you spend most your time fighting for a place to sit and eat before your food gets cold. * I am sorry this review is so negative, but both my husband and I were very disappointed. We are not first time cruisers, but may be last time cruisers. We were not the only passengers with this opinion, we spoke with several others who were disappointed. Yes there were people who were thoroughly enjoying themselves, but I suspect those are the same people happy with the golden coral special. If you like chicken stuffed with prunes, bloated raisens in your salad, the excitement of not knowing if you commode will work, and fighting to the death for a theater seat, this is the cruise for you, otherwise, I would look elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
My wife and I had done the Alaska cruise twice before and decided to take a fourteen day cruise to relax and enjoy both Alaska and Holland America. What a disappointing experience. First of all the weather was not good. We realize this ... Read More
My wife and I had done the Alaska cruise twice before and decided to take a fourteen day cruise to relax and enjoy both Alaska and Holland America. What a disappointing experience. First of all the weather was not good. We realize this is not HAL's fault but future cruisers should realize that late August and September are not the best dates to go to Alaska, cool wet weather. We have sailed on HAL twice before, once to the Med. and once to Alaska. This experience on HAL was eye opening and we will have to reconsider if we want to go with HAL again. The service and service people (Wait staff, room service staff and crew wonderful as usual). The ship is showing its age, worn, dirty, old and smelly. They worked on the ship at sea and during every port stop, smelly paint, poor air quality, blocked stairs, very inconvenient. False alarm fire, very rough cruise, ship seemed to always rolling. This had never happened before on any ship, even the small Azamara ships. Food servie during fixed seating in main dining room was great. Breakfast in Lido was fine. Lunch and dinner in Lido was terrible. Food preparation, good selection, food quality was just poor in Lido for lunch and dinner. Ship had a gastro intestinal problem that took over a week to clear up. Very difficult for both passengers and crew. I am sure that food prep and presentation during lunch and dinner in Lido contributed to this problem. Food off of the line was not hot enough, held and served at low tempertures which can lead to gastro problems. This was pointed out to the crew with no response. Cleaning was a problem, checked into our cabin and found a 'pill' on the floor. Gave it to the desk and was assured this would never happen. How can you clean and leave a pill on the middle of the floor. Air quality throughout the ship was poor. Our cabin had no ventilation, no fresh air. Lead to both headaches and nasal problems. Complained to the desk with no results. Noise level in cabin was very high. Joggers on third deck every morning at five was wonderful. Complained to front desk with no results. Smoking on board is a problem. Could not use Crows Nest, smoke smell everywhere. Went to Lido aft, lots of smoke. Smoking is allowed on all open decks. Very few smokers but inconvenienced everyone. Can't HAL limit smoking. Ships entertainment, singers and dancers just very amateur, saw two shows, not worth the effort. In general it seems HAL is beginning to fail in its promise of high quality cruising. Comparing HAL to previous cruises and to other cruise lines, they are going down hill and we will have a high level of hesitation before we book on HAL again. The Filipino crew and Indonesian crew are great, they are the only thing that makes cruising HAL worthwhile. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
We had not been on Holland America in over 10 years and we will definitely never sail with them again. I knew even before we sailed that this cruise was going to be a solid week of being nickel-and-dimed. Rather than sending cruise ... Read More
We had not been on Holland America in over 10 years and we will definitely never sail with them again. I knew even before we sailed that this cruise was going to be a solid week of being nickel-and-dimed. Rather than sending cruise documents, the passengers must now print their own documents as well as their own luggage tags. This took me a very long time since I was doing it for 5 people. That would have been okay, except for the fact that at the VERY end of this process the passenger is informed that Holland America was putting a $480 PER PERSON hold on our credit card until our bill was paid at the end of the cruise. Did Holland America think that we would try to get off the ship without paying our bill? They had the credit card number! Why insult the passengers by insinuating that we couldn't pay our bill? So, I was annoyed before we even stepped on the ship. We had booked 2 connecting suites for ourselves, 1 adult son and 2 10 year old grandsons. The suites were adequate, nothing special. Storage and closet space was sufficient for a 7 day cruise, but definitely not for a longer trip. The cabin basically just looked tired, in need of a good sprucing up. The bathroom was also adequate, but I would have preferred a glass door on the shower, rather than an old shower curtain that had probably not been cleaned or replaced in years. There were virtually no bathroom amenities either. There were no cotton balls or Q-tips, only 1 small bar of hand soap between the two sinks and rather than bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, etc, there were gallon size products attached to the shower wall, like you would find in a gym. There was no bath soap at all, which I would have preferred to the gel. I am making an issue of this, because it is indicative to me of how everything on Holland America is done "on the cheap." We had signed up for "open seating" at dinner, which according to the website allowed us to come to the dining room anytime between 5:30-9pm. However, when we boarded the ship we were told that open seating would end at 7 pm and that we had to be seated by then. Apparently, this was because there was a very large group of about 800 people on board who were all doing late seating and had reserved the lower level of the dining room for their group. Shortly after boarding the ship I tried to make dinner reservations for 6:45 every night and was told that no reservations were available, it could only be done 2 days ahead of time and we would have to "take our chances." I believe that this group should not have been able to have the run of the dining room; but, at the very least, our travel agent should have been informed about the limitations to "open dining" on this cruise. The first night on the ship we were finishing our dinner at about 8:20 and the maitre d' came over to our table and told us that we would have to leave because the table was needed for the next group. People at a table near ours were told the same thing and they had not yet even ordered dessert! The service in the dining room was mediocre and actually improper. Plates were grabbed from the table as soon as a guest put down his fork, often leaving one person still eating while everyone else had nothing in front of them. After 3 days of this I was really furious and spoke to the Maitre d" who, of course, was apologetic, and said that his staff was not trained to do that and that there was no intention of rushing us through our meal. He also asked if there was anything else he could do for us and I said that I would like 6:30 dinner reservations at a specific table for the rest of the cruise. He did agree to that, but only because I had complained and made my expectations very clear. It certainly wasn't out of any real desire to please the guests. As for the food, I think that "barely edible" covers it. The menus were truly bizarre and five out of the seven nights I ended up requesting a plain grilled chicken breast and a baked potato because there was not a single other thing that I would have eaten. Even at breakfast the food was not fresh or hot and had obviously been sitting out for quite a while. One day when I asked for an omelette I was told that it would take a long time to prepare, an obvious attempt to discourage my special order. We tried the Lido twice and both times it was chaotic, with very long lines and food that was definitely not worth the wait. At the end of the cruise, the gentleman who was the head of the section of the dining room where we usually sat, came over to our table and spent a good ten minutes trying to convince me to give him and our waiters a positive review. Ironically, there was no place on the evaluation form to provide a compliment to a particularly helpful crew member. I wouldn't have done it anyway, since a compliment should be given freely, not because it has been requested. Holland America's website made it sound as if there would be an interesting, active program for kids. It was, in fact, pathetic. The room where activities were held was small and under equipped. The days listing of activities was uninteresting. My grandsons went twice to play some version of dodgeball and would never go back. Other than the day we were in Glacier Bay, there were no activities geared to Alaska, despite the "Jr. Rangers" program that was advertised. The kids were already so turned off by the whole thing that they decided not to go to hear the Park Ranger speak. More than anything else, I resented the constant feeling of being nickeled and dimed. There was a $12 per day per person "hotel service charge" added to our bill, which we had never been told about. Virtually everything we did resulted in an additional charge. One very cold afternoon I wanted a cup of tea and had to pay for that. The one bottle of water in our room came with a notice that there was a $2.50 charge for it. Many of the so-called lectures were actually attempts to get us to spend money. There was virtually no place to sit and relax without being assaulted by waiters offering us drinks. I actually counted 15 bars on the ship! I really could go on about all the things we found wrong with Holland America, but I think I have made my point. I should also explain that over the last 10 years we have sailed only on Crystal or Regent (17 on Crystal, 4 on Regent), so I am very well aware of how things should be done. For someone who has only cruised on the mass market lines, the things that bothered me would probably not have been big issues; but for those who are used to the upscale lines, I suggest sticking with those. When all is said and done, the cost of the upscale lines is not that much more than the mass market lines because so much more is included. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
After reading the review just posted about the Holland Oosterdam, I must also express my disappoint with our recent cruise on September 4th. I also am in the hospitality/restaurant business and I believe that customer service is the most ... Read More
After reading the review just posted about the Holland Oosterdam, I must also express my disappoint with our recent cruise on September 4th. I also am in the hospitality/restaurant business and I believe that customer service is the most important element to anyone's vacation. We have been on over 20 cruises, with only a very few bad experiences. But this one was bad from the beginning. At the airport, the Holland bus was there to pick up our group of 12. My mother-in-law is in a scooter, so a bus with ADA lift was needed. The lift did not work and after an hour we were finally on our way. At port check in, my wife's parents were told that a military ID was not valid, after checking with our agent prior to leaving. That took more time and delays to get that approved. Once on board, all buffets were served by the crew, more delays. We were told that this was their policy for the first 48 hours. Come to find out from some crew members, the sickness that we had on board that was mentioned by the prior review, actually started the week before. And since they were not sure if it was gone, they served all buffets for 48 hours. Then they let people serve themselves by Tuesday, but on Tuesday night many people were sick and at the medical clinic. 7 of our 12 became sick. Now for food and service. Since I am in this business, I too watch this very closely. Both food and service were very poor. We had two large tables, some would get their salads, others that appetizers, then others would get salads a few minutes later, etc. There was no organization to meal service, very frustrating. Example of food quality. I order Surf and Turf, a filet mignon and lobster tail. Sounds good right. The lobster was not cooked completely, had an interesting smell, and my filet mignon, well it was about a 1/2 inch thick, tough and looked like a piece of flank steak. I told the waiter that is is not filet mignon and he said yes it was. I did neat not eat my meal. The head waiter then came over, I explained myself again, and he returned from the kitchen with the exact same poor quality dish. I said no thank you, and they literally tried to force the plate in front of me. There are many other stories of poor food, poor presentation, and poor service. Due to the sickness, they did not put anything on the tables. No butter, no bread, no salt/pepper, nothing. You had to ask then wait. One last comment on food. My wife wanted a vegetarian meal the first night, nothing on the menu. The waiter said that you have to order that 24 hours before you meal time. What????? I have never heard of this on a cruise ship, ever. How do you know 24 hours before your dinner what dish that you might be in the mood for???? In the spa, they had no drinking water before, during or after a treatment. They blamed this on the sickness and said they could not provide drinking water. After any spa treatment, the first thing you want is water. The answer was NO. Even if they could not provide a glass of water from a pitcher, the least they could do is provide a small bottle water after you paid $250 for a treatment. That is not too much to ask, is it?? We have sailed on Holland America in the past, many years ago. We were very happy then, not happy with our most recent trip. Where has the quailty gone? Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
As seasoned Holland America cruisers, we definitely expected better. Having gone to Alaska about 8 years prior, and taken the Oosterdam just 7 months ago (January 2011), we were sadly disappointed by the lack of maintenance in the ship, ... Read More
As seasoned Holland America cruisers, we definitely expected better. Having gone to Alaska about 8 years prior, and taken the Oosterdam just 7 months ago (January 2011), we were sadly disappointed by the lack of maintenance in the ship, and the lack of courtesy offered by the crew. We have been on 10 cruises before this one, 2 on Carnival, 1 on Norwegian, and the rest with Holland. We have grown to love Holland for the courtesy offered by the crew members, the general relaxed and slow-pace of most of the other cruisers, and the satisfaction we generally get from cruising on this line. Unfortunately, this was not a good example of the quality we have come to know and expect. Emabarkation was a breeze, as usual, there was hardly any waiting at all to get on the ship once you'd arrived at the pier. Day 1 was at sea, which was fine, we walked around the ship, visited the shops, ate, checked out the movie (which we'd already seen), etc, etc, etc. A typical day at sea. Day 2 was at Glacier Bay. I don't remember exactly what the bay looked like last time we came to Alaska, but I'm fairly certain it looked nothing like what we saw this time - dirt covered snow. I'm from Calgary, Canada, and well, it just wasn't exciting. It was almost like trying to build a snowman, and ending up with all that grass. (Example here: http://www.geekfill.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/e-vs-r-6.jpg) BUT we did see quite a few whales and some maybe seals/sealions. We were disappointed that the captain/cruise director didn't announce sightings of wildlife over the P.A. like the cruise director from our last trip to Alaska did.Day 3 was at Juneau. We didn't join any excursions as we'd already seen Mendenhall Glacier, and pretty much all the excursions went to Mendenhall Glacier. We did do some tourist shopping through the town, however, visiting the jewellery boutiques and the T-shirt factory. It was a fairly good day. Warm, fairly sunny. Day 4 was in Sitka. It was drizzly, but not too bad. We went around on our own again, as the excursions were either a repeat of our last trip or not suited to our interests. Sitka was a quaint little town, quite interesting, and we managed to walk by St. Micheal's Cathedral, as well as tour a Russian Museum, which we'd seen in the excursions. We also found a shop that sold Russian dolls (the kind that comes apart and has lots of 'babies,' which was fairly interesting. We also had to tender to port, but that wasn't a big deal, the system was fairly efficient and worked fairly well.Day 5 was in Ketchikan, which the crew members had nick-named Catch-it-if-you-can. We had to be back on ship by 12:30 in the afternoon. I would have liked to have a tad more time here, as we felt somewhat rushed, but we visited most of the places we wanted to. Day 6 was in Victoria. We were allowed off ship around 6 and had to be back on board around midnight. We decided to follow the Walk Victoria signs around to the Fisherman's Wharf, etc, as we'd already been here many times and had visited the Buchart Gardens, etc. on our own. The walk was good, and we noticed that many other people had decided to explore Victoria on their own as well. Day 7 was disembarkation. This went as it usually does. Nothing special. Except we found it odd that the Cruise Director didn't call out the colors for disembarkation. Usually, the times are listed and the colors are called, but this time it seems it was expected that you would get off at the appropriate time yourself, and there was only an announcement for the first people disembarking, and the last call. Not a big deal, but worth noting. All of the ports were ok. And if this review ended here, our cruise would have been pretty good. However...The snowballing of all the incidences which occurred left us wondering if Holland America as a line has truly deteriorated, or if it's only this ship and most of the crew members on it.1) We returned to our cabin one day to find someone working in the bathroom with both the bathroom door and the cabin door closed. If not for him flushing the toilet, we probably wouldn't have realized he was inside until we had to use the bathroom. We felt that this was unacceptable. 2) The cappuccino machine was broken - all through the trip. Not a huge issue, but when questioning our dining room stewards (Usman and Beng Beng - who were both fantastic) we found out that it was because Holland had decided to install new machines, but fail to provide the ship with adapters for the power source. This seemed a little ridiculous. 3) A toothbrush was misplaced. When we asked our cabin stewards to see if they could find it maybe accidentally grabbed with the towels or something, we were scoffed and told "We don't steal toothbrushes." We were not accusing them, and felt that being snickered at was both inappropriate and rude. Inquiries made to front desk were redirected with a "I'll ask them to look for it." Which was fine, BUT a second question "What if they don't find it?" was answered with "We have toothbrushes for sale in the shops." We found this answer to be unsatisfactory. 4) A 15" stuffed animal (with a gel pack inside) was taken. One of the members of our party is a young adult who is diagnosed with Autism. In order to sleep comfortably, she needs both her Lavender spray and her stuffed animal. At home, we could warm up the gel pack on cool nights, or for whatever reason, and basically, she has it every night (but leaves it in the cabin during the day). She distinctly recalls it being on the bed in the afternoon (day 3) after the beds were made, and gone when she looked for it at bedtime. Other members of our party remember seeing it the previous night, but not in the afternoon after the beds were made. Either way, when we realized it was lost, it was late, and so we tried to make due with more Lavender spray and reassuring words. We inquired with the cabin stewards the next morning. They replied that they would look for it. Then we thoroughly searched the entire cabin, but did not find it. We asked them the next day and the next if they had found it. All replies were negative. Finally, on Day 5 we went to the front desk and notified them of the missing item. They said that they would look for it, contacted the supervisor of our cabin stewards, and said they would let us know whether or not they found it. We received no calls, no messages, nothing. The next day, Day 6, we went to front desk again. No news. They suggested we complete a 'lost item' form. Needless to say, we didn't find it. All involved seemed apathetic and seemed to simply brush aside our frustrations with trained smiles and apologies. 5)The ship, in general, seems to be in disrepair. The seal on our bathroom door was falling off, the glass paneling at the ice cream station was cracked.... Before going on this cruise, we'd read reviews from previous travelers, and it seemed that this ship had gone downhill since April. Having just cruised in January, we doubted it, but were sadly mistaken. This ship has deteriorated, and if this was the first time we'd sailed with Holland, it would probably be the last. And 6) a minor, but still noteworthy point. The songs and dances (shows) that were presented each night were exactly the same as when we'd been on the ship in January. This was disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
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