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39 Holland America Seattle Cruise Reviews

It started when we boarded the ship and lined up for the emergency drill. The Captain screamed for silence!! There was an older gentleman looking for his wife and they threatened to put him off the ship. The ship was old and in need of ... Read More
It started when we boarded the ship and lined up for the emergency drill. The Captain screamed for silence!! There was an older gentleman looking for his wife and they threatened to put him off the ship. The ship was old and in need of maintenance, everything had a worn feeling. The food was okay but they closed the buffets 1/2 hour early so if you missed out you only had the option of ordering from a small room service menu and waiting for up to an hour to receive your food. There was one comedian, his act was pretty good but the rest of the entertainment left a lot to be desired. The last day of the cruise my wallet including credit card and $540 was stolen from my state room. I've always wanted to go on an Alaskan cruise and was looking forward to dream vacation - very disappointing. I've been on Carnival Cruise lines and would highly recommend them over Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
After many years sailing with Carnival, we tried Holland America for our cruise to Alaska. My traveling party (all individuals under the age of 35) wanted a smaller boat and so we sailed on the Westerdam. What a mistake! Firstly, one hour ... Read More
After many years sailing with Carnival, we tried Holland America for our cruise to Alaska. My traveling party (all individuals under the age of 35) wanted a smaller boat and so we sailed on the Westerdam. What a mistake! Firstly, one hour after our ship sailed away, the boiler room caught fire. We were notified on this by the captian getting on the loudspeaker and asking crew members to get to their stations. We received little information until the fire was put out. Then, the fire reignited. The boat was turned around and we were sent back to Seattle. Then, no information was given for HOURS. We didn't know if we were going to sail at all; or if the itenerary would be revised; or when we would leave Seattle. Finally, at approximately 11 pm that evening, the CEO of Holland got on the loudspeaker (saying, "Well, I live here, so this wasn't a long trip for me"--thanks for that) saying we would miss the Sitka port and be compensated a measly $250 per cabin for our troubles. Frankly, this ruined our cruise. We were on the boat way too much. Instead of 1 day at sea, then a port, and then scenic cruising in Glacier Bay, we spent 2 full days at sea and then Glacier Bay, so we were on the boat for almost 4 days straight (counting when we got on at 1 pm on Saturday). It would have been okay if it were a nicer boat. But the decor was unbelievably outdated. And worse, the boat STUNK. The bathroom smelled of sewage the entire time. There was an area on the third floor that if you walked into, you'd gag-- it smelled like rotten vegetables for the entire cruise. I'd never been on a ship that odiferous in my entire life. Further, the food was the worst food I've ever had on a cruise. I've always gotten on here and laughed at the people who complained about the food, thinking "dude, it's a boat, what do you expect?" But this food was crap. We ate at the steakhouse one night, and I ordered the crab cakes to start. They were about the size of a quarter. When the waiter put the plate in front of me, he said "I always laugh at the looks of disappointment on the diners' faces." Ummm, thanks? The Lido had few options and none of them tasty. The only place with decent food was Canaletto, the Italian place. In sum, the food was pretty gross. I couldn't wait to get off the boat. The one positive is that the crew was the friendliest and pleasantest of any boat I've ever experienced. But everything else was complete and utter crap. Numerous emails to the customer service department have gone unanswered. We spent a large sum for this cruise and were completely and utterly disappointed. We feel like we wasted our money. Please, choose Princess and a newer, shinier boat. You'll thank yourself. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We booked this cruise at the last minute, 3 days before sailing. We arrived at the port a little before noon. Embarkation was pretty quick and painless, we were on board within twenty minutes and the cabins were ready so we went straight ... Read More
We booked this cruise at the last minute, 3 days before sailing. We arrived at the port a little before noon. Embarkation was pretty quick and painless, we were on board within twenty minutes and the cabins were ready so we went straight there to deposit our carry on. The cabin was ok, closet space was adequate but there was very little drawer space. Small balcony with two chairs, a small table and a footstool, at least I think it was a footstool. We left the cabin to explore the ship, which didn't take very long. Overall impression of the ship was that it looked a little dated, a little neglected, dark and drab. Next stop was the Lido for a light lunch. For the first 48hours, passengers are not allowed to serve themselves, this is to try to prevent illness, not sure if this is successful or not, it certainly meant that it took longer to be served. The seating area is somewhat small, consequently finding a seat was a real problem. I will come back to this later. The food was quite good, I think we had a salad and dessert but I can't remember exactly what. It was a beautiful day for Sail away, and we stayed on deck for quite a while until the ship entered the Strait of Juan de Fuca, then we headed back to our cabin to unpack and get ready for dinner. FOOD: In general I thought the food was quite good, especially the appetizers and soups. We did have a bad experience in the dining room on the first night, however I will not comment about that here yet as we will be contacting HAL about it. Suffice to say please be extra vigilant if you have allergies.SERVICE: I am sad to report that service on this ship did not meet our expectations. This was especially true of room service. On the occasions we tried to call room service, we were often waiting for ten - fifteen minutes for someone to pick up the phone, then waited an hour for food or drinks to be delivered, we only ever ordered drinks or a snack, soup on one occasion so it wasn't even meals that we were waiting that long for. I ordered tea one evening, they brought hot water and tea bags but no cups. We heard this same complaint from others on the ship. Vista servers did a little better, but the service just did not come up to the standards of other ships we have sailed on. ENTERTAINMENT: Woeful. We went to the show on the first night and we ended up leaving before the end, it was very amateur and we have seen better at our local high school. there was and Illusionist on one night and he was good, but the rest of the entertainment was a big let down. As the entertainment was so bad, we decided to rent a DVD from the Front Desk one night, we selected the DVD, took it back to our room only to find the DVD player was not working.We did not use the casino as it was just too smoky and the bars around the casino were also smoky(from cigarette smoke drifting in from the casino). PHOTOGRAPHERS: The photographers were good, taking time to pose people and they seemed to pay attention to detail, unfortunately the photographs are very pricey, much more expensive than other ships we have sailed on. Speaking of expensive, wine on the ship is vastly overpriced, we normally buy a bottle to have with dinner every night, not on this ship, not at those prices. No I don;t mind paying a little more for drinks on board, I understand that is where ships make money (at least that is what I have been told), but there is a limit. The ports were great, Alaska is beautiful, I hope to return, but it will not be with HAL. Very disappointed overall with this ship, crew and cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Was really excited to go on the 9/15/13 sailing of the MS Oosterdam, had been looking forward to an Alaskan cruise for years. This was my trip to Alaska and my first time sailing with Holland America. I will definitely go back to Alaska, ... Read More
Was really excited to go on the 9/15/13 sailing of the MS Oosterdam, had been looking forward to an Alaskan cruise for years. This was my trip to Alaska and my first time sailing with Holland America. I will definitely go back to Alaska, but I doubt I will ever set foot on a Holland America ship. The cruise started out great. Embarkation in Seattle was easy and there wasn't even a line to wait in when we arrived at 1:30. Had some lunch and began to explore the ship. Overall the Oosterdam has been well maintained and there weren't any areas that jumped out as being out as being in need or an update (minus the decor that is). Juneau and Tracy Arm were amazing, then things took a turn for the worse. There was some bad weather which forced us to cancel stops in Sitka and Ketchikan. I understand bad weather can happen, experienced a similar issue on Royal Caribbean but the difference is how a cruise line deals with it. Holland America failed on all aspects in dealing with the weather. The makeshift entertainment, if you can call it that, was atrocious. The cruise director kept trying to make jokes about the weather that were not funny, they were really nasty comments about how miserable he felt being stuck on the ship. Honestly, the guy should be fired as he upset a vast majority of the people in the room watching the cooking demonstration they were 20 minutes late in starting. Additionally, the staff became sullen with having no real time off due to the changes. I can understand their frustation but their job is to provide customers with a positive experience not a feeling that they couldn't care less about what they were doing. Bartenders need to be trained to make drinks consistently, it is a pet peeve of mine to order the same drink in different bars and have it made with different ingredients each time. This is kind of fundamental 101 stuff for cruise ship bartenders. I wasn't happy with the 15% off of a future sailing that HAL offered but understood they are not responsible for the weather, however now that I am back home and have learned that Princess stopped in Ketchikan the Friday we were supposed to be there I am furious with them for their mismanagement of the situation and making us stay on the boat an extra day. In all honesty they should have offered a lot more for that screw up and the horrible response by the entertainment staff to the situation. But as I said above, I will never step foot on a HAL cruise and that is all due to the dining. Food was good first two days, after that meals in the formal dining room were served cold, served a piece of mystery meat that was called a filet mignon, repeated menu items, and very poor reaction by the waitstaff to the problems encountered. After the third day the food was rather terrible and the service just as bad, this is my main reason for not wanting to sail on HAL again. This is exactly what happened with Princess when Carnival took them over. I heard several repeat HAL customers comment on how much worse the food was on this cruise in comparison to past cruises. Overall, the few ports we made it to were nice but the onboard experience was lousy with the exception of our cabin steward and his assistant who were very nice and did a great job.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We have just returned from spending a week on the Westerdam to Alaska. It will be the LAST Holland America cruise I ever take. Holland was my favorite cruise line before Carnival took over and now it is a sad & hollow reminder of what ... Read More
We have just returned from spending a week on the Westerdam to Alaska. It will be the LAST Holland America cruise I ever take. Holland was my favorite cruise line before Carnival took over and now it is a sad & hollow reminder of what it used to be. We left on June 1 out of Seattle headed to Alaska. The ship looked tired and worn - paint is peeling, the decks need a good oiling, etc. The cushions on the chairs on our balcony were worn and had holes in them. They didn't even match. They had one cushion that was thick with a big tear in the back of it and one that was thin. This is supposed to be Holland America now??? The old Holland was run with the greatest attention to detail. The food was terrible and very redundant on the Lido deck. We ate in the dining room to try and escape the crowds and the bland choices, but this wasn't much better. I ordered the lobster and got food poisoning. I got food poisoning on a Holland America Panama cruise as well. Throwing up and spending the evening in the bathroom is really my idea of a vacation! Thanks Holland America!The worst part about this cruise was that we had so little time in each port. It was rushed every place we went. I spent over $5000 on this trip and felt like I barely got to see Alaska. It was ridiculous to have only 4 or 5 hours in each place. I DID NOT PAY THIS MUCH MONEY TO SPEND MY ENTIRE TIME ON THE SHIP. In Sitka we only had a few hours. Same in Juneau. On most of the cruises I have been on before you are normally given the whole day in port. With your itinerary, time is so tight you can ONLY do the Holland excursions for fear of being left behind and there is no time to see the city and do any shopping or browsing. To top it off, the ship was late getting into Victoria. I paid $105 each for us to go to on the Grand Tour and have High Tea at the Empress Hotel. We had less than an hour for the tea and the bus driver kept complaining that the ship had come in late and now it was going to be too dark to take us to most of the places he had on the tour. We had to race through High Tea to get back on the bus. It was horrible. It was more like fast food than High Tea and when we finished it was dark outside. I didn't even have time to hit the gift shop. This was AWFUL and was a total ripoff. This was by far one of the worst cruises I have ever taken. Holland America has gone to the dogs and all they care about is taking your money!!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Just came back from a cruise to Alaska departing Seattle June 8, 2013. The best part of the cruise was a week spent with family and friends. Also, the weather in Alaska was perfect - sunny, not too cold. Perfect for taking pictures. The ... Read More
Just came back from a cruise to Alaska departing Seattle June 8, 2013. The best part of the cruise was a week spent with family and friends. Also, the weather in Alaska was perfect - sunny, not too cold. Perfect for taking pictures. The worst part of the cruise was Holland America. The food in the Lido dining room was terrible, very repititive every day. The service hours were very limited. Do not expect to find any food after 11 pm and before 6 am. The food servers (mostly Indonesian and Phillipino in origin) were extremely rude and unhelpful. The last night (Friday night) we went on a shore excursion in VIctoria (sold by Holland America on the ship). Came back to the ship at around 10:30 pm. So did most of the passengers. Of course the dining rooms were closed by then. But even the Lido deck service was closed at 11 pm. A whole lot of returing passengers were in long line in the Lido deck when they closed food service. So a lot of upset passengers had to go to sleep with nothing to eat that night. Next morning, our disembarkation time was 9:30 am (Seattle). When we went up to the Lido deck for breakfast (a little after 8:30 am) the breakfast service was already closed. So no breakfast for us either. The hours at the ports specially Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria are extremely limited. So do not expect to spend a lot of your day on the shore. The Internet on the ship is extremely expensive (which was expected). However, contrary to what they claimed, the Internet service (Wi Fi) was not available from your room or any other public place for that matter except the Library on deck 10. Although, there are two pools much of the time they were covered with nets, so no one could use them. There are three ping-pong tables, however, the balls were either missing or damaged. The paddles were all damaged and in pretty bad shape. I could go on. But I guess you get it. Holland America did not provide us with the quality cruise ship experience we expected. Overall, we all came back with a very bad experience and promised that this will be our last cruise with Holland America or their owners Carnival.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
I took advice from other HAL and Oosterdam reviews with a "grain of salt". Our loss. Our experience of one week, has left us vowing to never cruise on anything related to HAL or CCL again. They have cut the food budgets so badly ... Read More
I took advice from other HAL and Oosterdam reviews with a "grain of salt". Our loss. Our experience of one week, has left us vowing to never cruise on anything related to HAL or CCL again. They have cut the food budgets so badly that the Alfredo Sauce, for instance, is only flour and water. That is only a tiny example of a much bigger problem. We are not "Foodies" but what we found available after the morning meal was just awful. Only fifteen minutes into the 3-hour dinner window, they were out of some of the items posted on the menu. The staff said you have to get there sooner if you want the posted items. Sooner?? We found our way to a back-deck grill that was cooking excellent cheeseburgers and fries and that became our fall-back meal several times. The room was another failure. There are two 14 inch in diameter and three five inch diameter cut-outs in the floor covered by carpet at the foot of the bed. They are about an inch deep and make getting around the room very difficult especially if the seas are rough. The rest of the open floor area seemed to be buckled up and was just terrible. The front office said boat was full and they were sorry we didn't like the room but there was nothing to be done for it. This should be a broom closet not a stateroom. The banging of the movable panels from the wind on the balcony were so bad that I jammed folded paper between them to stop the banging at night. There was no fix for the howling of the wind on the balcony glass door, however. The room attendants and most of the staff were very courteous and helpful but I have a problem when the crew, on a limited-time meal break, are dropped in the middle of cruisers who are in no hurry. Both sides get annoyed. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
This was the worst cruise I've been on by far. Ever since being acquired by Carnival, Holland-America line has been steadily declining. This was my second HAL cruise. 6 years ago, I cruised on the Veendam and had a wonderful ... Read More
This was the worst cruise I've been on by far. Ever since being acquired by Carnival, Holland-America line has been steadily declining. This was my second HAL cruise. 6 years ago, I cruised on the Veendam and had a wonderful experience. ALOT has changed since then. When Carnival "updated" the ship in 2010, they removed most of the common areas from the 9th deck. The library and internet center were moved to the Crow's nest. The movie theatre was removed entirely and movie showings were in the Queen's Lounge, deck 2, which was very inadequate given the number of people on the ship. All of this was done in order to make room for more staterooms on the 9th deck. So instead of carrying 1500 passengers like the ship used to, it now carried close to 2000. The ship was very crowded. The first night we went to dinner in the Vista dining room, we were made to wait 45 minutes before being seated. Once seated, I noticed at least half of the tables in the dining room were open, yet hundreds of people were still waiting to be seated. It became very apparent that the ship was understaffed. Lines in the Lido restaurant were ridiculously long. Service overall was terrible. There simply were not enough staff to take care of the number of passengers. It was very obvious to me that the staff were not happy, probably due to being overworked. When you called room service, it would take at least 45 minutes for someone to show up. In typical Carnival tradition, I felt like HAL was nickel and diming us the entire cruise. You want popcorn with your in room movie, sure, it will be $5. They even started charging $20 per passenger for carrying your bags off the ship at the end of the cruise. Hotel service charges were tacked onto the bill for each person staying in a cabin (they used to charge one service charge per cabin, regardless of number of guests) Shore excursions were ridiculously overpriced. For example, 6 years ago, we went whale watching in Juneau for $40 per person. It now costs $140 per person to book on the ship. Need internet access? That will be 75 cents per minute plus a $3.95 activation fee. The majority of the ships activities each day were designed around the idea of selling your something(art, jewelry, etc.) And then there were the little things we noticed. No more ice sculptures. No more fresh fruit in your stateroom basket. No more chocolate extravaganza. I guess those activities were affecting the bottom line. The food was mediocre at best. The food in the lido was okay if you could tolerate the long lines. The main dining room food was very disappointed, with some nights verging on being edible. One night, I tried 10 different options from the menu in an attempt to find something decent. I gave up and ordered a hamburger from the stateroom. When the hamburger arrived, you could hardly recognize it as such. It was burnt beyond recognition. We noticed that our time in port was much shorter as compared to six years ago. Then we discovered the cause. HAL has decreased energy consumption by 10 percent in the last 4 years. Now, they will tell you that it is all in the name of "going green" and being environmentally friendly, but in reality it is all about the money. By slowing the ships down, they save alot of money in fuel costs. Also, the shops onboard have to be closed while in port. If the shops are closed, they can't sell you something, and they would rather you spend your money on the ship rather than at the port. So spending more time at sea helps accomplish that goal. This was our last Holland-America cruise. We will now be trying Celebrity or Reagent. It is sad that Carnival has ruined what was once possibly the finest cruise line around. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
This was our third cruise, our first and last with Holland. The food was nothing special. The servers couldn't understand English enough to serve a small portion, not half a plate full. The stations left you standing in line for one ... Read More
This was our third cruise, our first and last with Holland. The food was nothing special. The servers couldn't understand English enough to serve a small portion, not half a plate full. The stations left you standing in line for one or two items at a different station while your other food got cold. The buffet stations (main, salad, pasta, Asian, dessert) and poolside grill were open at all different times except for a couple hours over the main meal times they were all open. One day we went on a 10:30 am excursion coming back on ship at 2:00 and our only lunch option was the pasta station with the same sauce selections they served every day. Most stations never changed items all week. They didn't keep up with keeping containers filled at the salad bar. We had pretty much the same desserts every night and nothing special there either. Hershey's syrup just like at home. The main dining room menu was not appealing. When we did eat there, the food wasn't very tasty. On the night they served lobster it was one small lobster tail they drizzled butter over. When we sailed on the Princess 5 years ago they served us nice sized tails and they served us as many as we wanted. The shrimp in the shrimp cocktail were small and warm and I would guess came from a can. They don't keep any cold soda (I asked). Its warm and they serve it on ice. By the time it gets cold, it's watered down. The juices weren't cold either. At the buffet, the water glasses were so small, we'd bring back 2 or 3 so we wouldn't have to go back during our meal. The hot tubs closed at 8:00 and 9:00 at night! We like to finish our night with a soak in the hot tub but that would mean an early dinner and no entertainment after. At Tracy Arm, we didn't get near the glacier even though there weren't hardly any icebergs. We also saw other cruise ships pass us during a storm. The other cruise ships that passed us were docked in Victoria but we arrived too late to even dock. We wonder if there was something wrong with our the ship. We did enjoy the live entertainment and the game shows. Our room steward kept our room tidy and left us cute towel animals, and chocolates every night. That was the only pampering we received on the ship. We never had the feeling that the staff cared if the passengers were pleased, needed anything or if they could do anything for us like we felt on our other cruises. This cruise definitely was not worth the money. I feel bad for first time cruisers who might think that this was a great cruise and cruise again with Holland not knowing they could have a better experience on another cruise line. I hope the cruise industry hasn't changed. If our next cruise is anythng like this one, we're done cruising. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Traveled with my girlfriend (her first cruise) a 7-day Alaska cruise, first 3 days at Sea - that is a long time with limited food, horrific customer service, not much to do, horrible entertainment, average at-best food, and a non-working ... Read More
Traveled with my girlfriend (her first cruise) a 7-day Alaska cruise, first 3 days at Sea - that is a long time with limited food, horrific customer service, not much to do, horrible entertainment, average at-best food, and a non-working toilet in our verandah suite. Alerted Guest relations about the inoperable toilet in our room and it took nearly 3 hours for a plumber to come, the staff stated it was for security reasons. The repaired the toilet - flushed one time and was inoperable again. Eventually after new parts being installed and several trips from guest relations staff and the plumber, on the 3rd day, our toilet was finally fully operable. Each time our toilet was serviced, the plumber would guarantee it was completely fixed, he would leave and leave a mess and the toilet would flush once then would be inoperable. Even prisoners have a basic right to utilize the restroom multiple times per day. We had to utilize the shipboard restrooms for the first 3 days! The food was average at-best, customer service was horrible with the exception of the room attendants/housekeeping - they were awesome. Activities were minimal, entertainment was horrible at best with the exception of the piano bar, the ship was old and outdated interior, the evening dining food was C-, undercooked fish (raw and cold in the middle) and steak ordered medium turned out weel done and had the floavor of beef jerkey. The pinnacle restaurant was delicious, but cost extra. The coffee bar was horrible with horrible service. The small library/magazine bar was nice. We felt ripped off and held hostage. Our last port was Victoria British Columbia and was let off late at 730PM and we had to be back at 11:30PM - rediculous! The Guest Relations supervisor sent us a bottle of wine for our toilet inconveniences - however, when traveling through Tracy Arm - there was a fork in the travel line and the Captain made an extremely hard left turn of the 900,000 ton ship and our bottle of Cabarnet Sauvignon slip off the counter top and broke open staining the floor. We immediately called and over an hour later, staff came to clean up, and placed a gigantic loud blower in our room for the nest 3 hours. So no toilet and a huge blower in our tiny room. lol Overall, I would NEVER book on Holland America! Horrific at best! Final Grade D- (the only thing that saved HAL from an F grade was the housekeeping staff of Topic and Threshna - they tried their best. Disembarkation was EXTREMELY disorganized and something was wrong with the gangway and we could not depart for an extra 1/2 hour. No one was directing guest, and it was a mass exodus. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
First of all, I should mention that I was raised and have had a lifetime of employment in the hospitality industry. A 5-star facility in fact, so my 'critical eye' is probably a bit more precise and picky than the average guest. ... Read More
First of all, I should mention that I was raised and have had a lifetime of employment in the hospitality industry. A 5-star facility in fact, so my 'critical eye' is probably a bit more precise and picky than the average guest. With that being said, this was our first cruise, EVER! We were so excited and after a couple of years or planning our Alaska trip, we decided to go with HAL over NCL & Princess. Mainly for the 'Quality of Excellence' they were promoting and looking at the dvd's & brochures. I studied the reviews regularly, and yes, there were a few terrible reviews, but there were equally as many excellent ones. So basically I threw them out, but made mental notes of each. One good would cancel out the bad, etc. Trying to compare apples to apples with all cruise lines, generally, the HAL reviews seemed consistently above average overall, with the exception of a frequent observation of the worn areas (corners, furniture, robes, tiles, carpet, dated colors, chipped plates & glasses, etc.) of the ship. I thought we could get by that, and we did, knowing the Oosterdam was scheduled for dry dock shortly after our cruise. It definitely needs an overhaul. The part that disappointed and offended me immediately was the attitude from the crew we experienced right from the start. From then on, it was an immediate daily downhill experience. For starters, embarkation was a nightmare. Long waits and the long lines were just the beginning of daily longs lines over the next week. Reading many CC reviews, we tried to get into the dining room instead of the Lido once on board because of the long buffet lines. We were refused and said it was only for returning passengers. Not a good start. After waiting in a long line, we couldn't find any seats available. Another negative. Finally there was an announcement made that all rooms were ready. Excited for a rest and hopefully a nice room, we fought the crowds to our room. Yet ANOTHER huge disappointment! It was filthy! Hair on bathroom floor, around sink, toilet & in tub! Gross! Carpet was stained and dirty, but worst of all, on main desk area, where there was a welcome packet, there were glass rings and sticky jelly and food stains. There was a think pattern of dirt/dust around the mirror and edge of the brochures, so after picking up my purse, yes, stains of old food now on it....I went to the bathroom to get a washcloth to wash off the desk. It was gross. While doing so, the dirt was so bad that I decided to wipe around the literature after removing it to do so. Well, I found a bunch of pocket change in the corner under the pamphlets left from previous guests! So at that point I stopped cleaning, took pics and immediately called the front desk, who finally sent the room steward up. I pointed out the filth, dirt, coins and said how disappointed we were in the cleanliness. He apologized and said it was his 'assistant' who had cleaned the room and that they didn't have enough time to turn over the cabin from the earlier departing guests of that day. And then added that the folks in our cabin before us had two small children and a baby and they were very messy, with cookies, crackers and crumbs everywhere, including the bed! I was starting to freak! He agreed to reclean it so we left. When we came back, the obvious dirt I had pointed out had been removed, however, the room stunk like a cheap hotel. The pillows also smelled terribly. Not the quality they had advertised. From that point on my optimistic attitude changed. We were literally looking for something positive on this ship. The first two days the weather was rough, many of the passengers were sick. The lines were very long EVERYWHERE! Passengers were all grumbling. By the 3rd day, there was a letter and an announcement that a flu virus was going around, and to stay in cabins if sick. Luckily, we didn't get sick, however, many folks were. Hand sanitizing was full on! However, since the buffets were being served, (not self serve) it made for more long lines! Not ONCE a dining pleasure at the Lido. The taco bar was never open once during the trip. The Terrace grill was only open the 2nd half of the trip, and of course, long, long lines. We did make it to the Pinnacle one night. Not worth the $25 upgrade (increased from $20 after we booked the trip). The food was good, but not any better than the dining room. Unfortunately, we couldn't get back in again as it was booked all week. We did eat in the dining room a few times that we could get a reservation. We had anytime seating but found out that was a bad choice as there was never any room without a reservation. We we had to eat in the Lido or get room service. We had some type of room service daily. Not once was it right, either on time or food selection. It became a joke towards the end of the week, wondering what we'd get an when. Food in the dining room I would have to say was exceptional. Excellent presentation, portions, flavor! WOW! A 5+ rating, however, the service, very lacking. Again, the attitude that we were inconveniencing THEM. Cold, resentful types, especially if you didn't order alcohol. Which, by the way we did regularly, but as soon as you said no, they lost their fake smiles. We made it to a couple of shows, lame, but the biggest complaint was the seating. No room. We either had to stand or go up to the balcony in the back for a seat. Noticed that no one was ever in the lounge with the band. Did some trivia and game show deals, but seating once again a problem. Made it to the casino a few times. We play alot in Vegas & Reno, and noticed the same slots we played in casinos were poor paybacks, so we stuck to the tables. Held our $$ together, but the dealers were mentally 'elsewhere'. We tried talking to them, but some of them had a convenient english problem. They seemed to speak amongst themselves frequently. Again, the guy getting drinks was friendly, until you turned him down. Started out going to the the first day at sea. I was there at 6:00 a.m., YES, that early, and only one treadmill available. There was a 30 minute limit, I wanted to run/work out for an hour. Not allowed. Maybe it was packed because it was raining so no one was outside?? Or maybe it was packed because EVERYTHING on this ship was crowded and jammed! Tried to get in a few more times, no luck, after that quit going. I had a whole week of work outs planned that never happened. Therefore, the first class gym and equipment get a ZERO rating since I could never get on it!! Finally, disembarkation was just as disappointing as embarkation, if not more! We were told to wait in our rooms until our 'color group' was called. The announcement from the cruise director, Dave, was to not arrive ONE MINUTE prior to our scheduled time. That would've been fine, except the room stewards came an and basically kicked us out! They started ripping up the bed and pulling towels, and we weren't even out of there! They didn't speak, weren't friendly, NOTHING! It was a joke. I asked if we could have a couple of minutes and then we'd vacate, but no response. We decided to go and wait in the lounge but of course there were no seats! Finally, when we got off the ship, we had to wait yet again for our luggage and a bus. And here was the FINAL straw.....after waiting on the bus for our driver to depart. He walked on the bus, and with broken english, out of breath and holding a handkerchief to his head, made an announcement that "There is NO ONE in this town that worked harder than him, the over worked bus driver, loading and unloading all of our HEAVY luggage, all by himself, and that if we appreciated him we would TIP him!!!" I am NOT KIDDING! Everyone on the buss was shocked and we all looked around at each other. Did that guy actually just say that? My husband actually commented stating that he must have a pair of 'brass ones' to blatantly state that. With the bus drivers theatrical performance, I decided that the tip he WAS getting was now a suggestion....GET ANOTHER JOB! Finally, with all that being said, I am not sure if we'll ever do another cruise again. We were told by other passengers that Princess had more people, therefore, more lines. However, we were also told by others that Princess was better organized, cleaner and the crew were much more pleasant. Throughout this trip, both an NCL ship and a Princess ship stopped in the same ports as we did. HAL promotes their quality, service and attention to detail as above all others. I did not find this at all. If anything, it is over rated, over priced and the crew is over worked. At best, it was a mediocre hotel room with a view. I do not recommend HAL unless your expectations are not too high. If you are looking for cleanliness, attention to detail and quality service, look elsewhere! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Rooms: Booked two suites with partial ocean views and got a room that looked into staff staircase. Had to request clean towels for bathroom, never recieved ice or other room service from our steward. The room safe was broken, the ... Read More
Rooms: Booked two suites with partial ocean views and got a room that looked into staff staircase. Had to request clean towels for bathroom, never recieved ice or other room service from our steward. The room safe was broken, the nightstands locked with no key; therefore useless for storing items. I went to the office right away to avoid being charged for lost key and also I need the drawer space. Holland office staff never opened the nightstands, never fixed the safe, so both were useless the entire cruise. My son had a headache so I went to the office for asprin, gave it to my son and then noticed it was expired. I went back to the office and told them they were handing out expired asprin. Two days later I went back to see if they had changed the asprin (just for my knowledge) and they had not. The last day of the cruise they were still giving expired medications. Food: Service was very very slow, even in formal dining. The food was average at best, I certainly would not consider it a 5 star, maybe a 3 and only due to deserts. Amenities: There is one swimming pool that is open from 10AM - 7PM and full of kids. There is no second pool or adult swim times. Three hot tubs, one of which was broken the entire cruise. Several public restrooms, three were broken the entire cruise. The fitness center had the same hours and the spa was a joke. There is no jogging track and only walking on deck (when the deck is open because they closed it for cleaning while we cruised instead of while we were in ports of call). Tours BEWARE: Tours were good but I would advise booking online to save yourself lots of money. We did Zipline in Ketchikan and Holland charged $189 per person (we had 6 in our party). Tickets were available online before the cruise through Canopy Zipline for $99 per person, a savings of $600.00. Holland would not compromise on the charged prices. CHILDREN: This cruise is not teen friendly. I had a 13 and 17 year old with me and they had nothing to do. The HAL club is a joke, the dance clud only 2 nights, the rest of the time the kids could play WII with rated E or T games; something they could do at home for free. If you want to drink, gamble, and sing at the piano bar this cruiseline may be for you. There was very little else to do aboard ship. I enjoyed the ports, the cruise type of travel but the only way I would board Holland again is if it is free. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Hotel Info (if any) Stayed at the Hilton by the Airport. The room was fine. However, if you are there prior to the sailing, you may want to consider a hotel in town where you can enjoy some of the Seattle sights. The hotel is not located ... Read More
Hotel Info (if any) Stayed at the Hilton by the Airport. The room was fine. However, if you are there prior to the sailing, you may want to consider a hotel in town where you can enjoy some of the Seattle sights. The hotel is not located near food establishments or entertainment of any kind and you are locked into their dining room (Very Expensive.) Ship Info - We sailed on the Westerdam, Holland America line. The ship was beautiful, but the whole ship was geared to over 70's crowd. Lots of walkers, and very obese elderly. DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS line for anyone under 65 years old. Stateroom - Stateroom was very clean and the beds were exceptionally comfortable. We had a balcony and very glad we did. The view was great and would not have wanted to miss it. Dining:The food was adequate on the Lido Deck, but very, very sparse in the dining room. All the food was rather bland. You could put spice on it if you wanted, but the overall preparation was geared to the elderly and most was bland. Presentation was nice in the dining room, but portions were soo small, that you had to fill up on bread and salad because the main course id not cover 1/3 of the plate. On Formal Night, I had to search my plate for the steak. It was about the size of a quarter. If you like good cuisine, this is not the cruise for you. It was Denny's quality, very institutional and lacked any imagination. However, the Pinnacle Grill was excellent and more like a restaurant. $20.00 per person. We ate there twice in the week so we could at least enjoy a decent dining experience. Activities - Activities were also geared to the elderly. Bingo was a big hit. They had a movie theater on board and played a couple of good movies if you wanted to spend $4,000.00 to go to an old movie. They did have the newlywed game and a karaoke contest. Both were entertaining. More on the entertainment later. Service - Service was very good. The crew tried their best. I applaud the service on the ship. Shore Excursions - Shore excursions were very costly. We did not book any on the cruise ship but waited until the ship was in port and there were excursion booths around. The weather was really terrible and I am glad we waited or we would have lost a lot of money. If the weather had been better, some of the excursions would have been fun. They were not geared to the elderly and had some appeal. But you had to be able to walk and in this case there were not many on that ship who could even get off the boat. Entertainment - This was the worst we have ever had on any cruise line. The comedian was good and the illusionist was good. The Las Vegas show put on by the crew was very good. But none was the quality of either NCL, RCL, Princess, or Celebrity. After the show there was a band on the Observation deck. They played the worst music I have ever heard. Entertainment - The disco was a joke. The Disc Jockey was arrogant and rude. He did not want to play any 70's music except one night and then played only a few good songs. He was in love with the only young girl on the ship and played a lot of hip hop and 90's stuff. Needless to say, it emptied the disco quickly, to include us. Unless you wanted to lose all your money in the casino, the night was over after the show. Children's Clubs - There were only a very few children on the boat. I felt sorry for them. Travel To Port of Embarkation - Disembarkation - The cruise line did this all very well. The transfer system worked well. They did help on both ends of the journey, especially with the elderly. Have to say, I was glad, as I do not know how the older folks would have made it with their luggage. Summary - Do Not take this cruise if you are 30,40 or even 50 something. Check another line. Not what we expected. We will never go back to Holland America, at least not for 20 or 30 years. Read Less
Sail Date September 2006
Hello, Nancy (sister), Lan (mother), and Sydney (son) were on board the Westerdam from Seattle Port to Alaska's Inside Passage tour during June 18th thru June 25th. Complaint about the service: 1. On the Lido deck Nancy and I ... Read More
Hello, Nancy (sister), Lan (mother), and Sydney (son) were on board the Westerdam from Seattle Port to Alaska's Inside Passage tour during June 18th thru June 25th. Complaint about the service: 1. On the Lido deck Nancy and I cleared about 75% of our own table. Lan who is in a wheelchair with Cancer (terminal) never got assistance with the trays. 2. Lady at the gift-shop was defensive when returning a couple of shirts purchased the day before. I had to tell her three times that these were returns when she attempted to ring up the shirts a second time. 3. SITKA TENDER Tickets for shore: We were let on board approximately at 9:00am with out tender tickets. The announcements were hard to hear within the stateroom. We later found out about channel 43 at the end of the cruise on disembarkment meeting. Mark and Chris (shopping specialist) made sly, demeaning remarks indicating that we would be stupid not to know about tender tickets or where to get them. That is was obvious as we were getting onto the gangway for SITKA (not enough wheelchair service on this stop, Ketchikan was much better with wheelchair service.). I appreciate Mark stopping by to apologize and to find out what was going on but Chris denied the remark and did not stop by, so I heard. 4. Front Desk: I asked about early disembarkment procedures and after going over several scenarios Ms. Renckel (very nice service) had entered into computer wheelchair assist so that we could carry our luggage off the ship which was the prerequisite for early departure. A day before disembarkment I went down to the front desk to make sure of the procedure and Ms. Chelmi was helping me (very nice service) and had told me that there would be no wheelchair assist for early disembarkment. I wish Holland Staff would be better trained on procedures. Before we could go into the details of color tags departure, Ms. Hanna pulled her off the conversation to help another couple and another couple before I complained about this being very rude. In which Ms. Chelmi helped me after helping the others. Ms. Hanna should not have pulled her away until customer service was done with an individual. I went into guest relations to complain but no one was there. Ms Hanna did sit me down and talked with me about the procedure afterward but I felt that it was rude to interrupt customer service with a person to help behind in line. It should be in order of the line. 5. I had to call down the front desk three times about being charged for two cans of coke that we did not consume. Each time it was said that it was taken care of that day or the next but each time it wasn't. Ms. Hanna on the final day finally took care of this after I had explained the rudeness of the above 4 items. 6. On the day before disembarkment I tried to relax after a long stressful cruise on Holland due to the customer service. I went down at 9:50pm to watch Failure to Launch (which had already started) at the Queen's Lounge. I went up to the bartender to ask for popcorn, nothing happened, I asked again and he finally pulled away from watching the movie. He came back with the popcorn and placed it on the opposite end of me and proceeded to watch the movie again. So, I had to walk around to the opposite end of the counter to pick up the popcorn instead of just handing it to me. Another attendant was cleaning up the trash and he placed a used glass on the counter but the bartender did not clear the counter. I walked the glass over to him and he gave me a dirty look and said nothing. He finally walked the glass back and at this point I have had it with the service of Holland America and threw the popcorn over the counter when the bartender was in back and turned to the cleaning attendant and said this was wrong. I went back to cabin to cool off and hope for the end of the cruise. Because of Lan with terminal Cancer, we were hoping that is was going to be a good trip. Chris not apologizing, Ms. Hanna pulling Ms. Chelmi off of customer service when I am trying to get help, and the bartender was the final straw which prompted me to write this email and to follow up at Corporate's headquarters. I have cruise before with Celebrity Cruise and others and the food on other cruise was better. However, people Cruise to relax and to be pampered with excellent service. It is unfortunate that due to the customer service we stayed in our rooms most of the cruise. Due to the terminal Cancer, we were hoping the this would be Lan going away cruise. I am very angry with Chris, M. Hanna, and the bartender service. I understand that Ms. Hanna is in guest relations, Chris is in port shopping. Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
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