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Sail Date: August 2019
This is our 4th HAL cruise. We've been in Alaska few years ago and we loved the scenery. We booked the balcony so we could enjoy the beautiful view, but it was a BIG mistake because we never enjoyed it because of a strong smell of ... Read More
This is our 4th HAL cruise. We've been in Alaska few years ago and we loved the scenery. We booked the balcony so we could enjoy the beautiful view, but it was a BIG mistake because we never enjoyed it because of a strong smell of smoke. We reported it few times at the costumer service but they never did anything. They keep telling us they will investigate ( whoever smokes at the balcony), NEVER solved the problem and it just gets worse everyday. The buffet was always crowded and I often heard people complaining about lack of space. Food was ok .The other complimentary restaurants had about the same food as buffet just fewer choices and service was not good there either.The dinners were just ok. We spent an hour and a half waiting on courses to be served. The positives side of this trip were the staff, they were great and friendly.. except the staff at the costumer service whose not very helpful. Front desk folks not helpful or friendly...took us many trips to report a problem and NEVER solved. Lack of activities as well. Most activities were just an opportunity for Holland to sell you something. This time I was in some ways disappointed. I remember our previous cruises with HAL was always great.. Not this time. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I did this exact same trip last September and boy, the things slipped a bit. Still enjoyed myself but Holland America Line really needs to look at making some changes. Generally, I really enjoyed my Neptune Suite. It was large and ... Read More
I did this exact same trip last September and boy, the things slipped a bit. Still enjoyed myself but Holland America Line really needs to look at making some changes. Generally, I really enjoyed my Neptune Suite. It was large and bright and had a great balcony. The Concierge Lounge is a huge benefit. Enjoy coffees and small plates in the morning and afternoon. Food for the most part was very good, I think the dining room tries too hard to serve fancy dinners. I would rather just calm down and made nice dinners that weren't too fancy and under two hours. My biggest problem with this ship is regarding the hours it keeps and the buffet service. The buffet seems to be closed more than it's open leaving only room service if you want something to eat. Sounds great, but the problem with that is with 2,000 passengers it really isn't a great idea. Sometimes you had to wait on hold for over 10 minutes. My first night it took an hour and a half to get a club sandwich. They need to keep something open 24 hours where you can go sit down and eat. Coffee shop style, anything but just relying on room service so many hours of the day is a terrible idea. Why is the buffet closed so often? Worried about food waste? This was the most disappointing aspect of the trip. And while we're on the subject of hours, why does it seem like they roll up the sidewalks right around midnight? If you do the late dinner you're not going to get to do a show afterwards the last show is at 9:00.. Really? Why so early? How about a midnight comedian?Something for the people that want to stay up past 10:00. They have a couple bars and the casino open late and that's really it. If you're doing a late dinner you really can't catch a show after you eat. I also felt the service wasn't as good as in the past. A lot more of the crew seem to have bad attitudes. Especially the bartenders. I think the reason for that is because they know they're getting 15% and nothing more, so why do they have to try? Having that policy is really terrible for customer service, cuz they basically just rolled their eyes and make you a drink. After this Cruise I'm probably moving on and going to try Celebrity or somebody else. Some of these policies Holland America has implemented seem like nothing but cost-cutting measures and really hampered our experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Sailed HAL for 10 of 12 cruises. Last cruise 34 years ago. First vacation in 8 years and first vacation with wife in 28 years (never had honeymoon and always had kids)?? Basically, the shore system didn’t match the onboard system. I ... Read More
Sailed HAL for 10 of 12 cruises. Last cruise 34 years ago. First vacation in 8 years and first vacation with wife in 28 years (never had honeymoon and always had kids)?? Basically, the shore system didn’t match the onboard system. I bought 4 indulgences and packages and none were ready for us. We never received the excursion tickets or most of the Add-ons without multiple trips to Guest services. They never notified us of Port Valet services or shopping specials that were supposed to be delivered to room. HAL completely missed our anniversary. They were quick with ‘I’m so sorry’ but slow on resolutions. Missed several onboard events while waiting in line at Guest Services. They don’t answer the phone so don’t bother. MDR was nice but if you share a table, they may make you wait 30 minutes until the table is full. Lincoln Center Stage was the best. I wish they would let me throat punch the drunks and obnoxious passengers that walked by and disrupted the performance. Weather was rough 1 day (18’ swells) and passengers felt the need to vomit on the common area carpets instead of staying in their cabins. Everything is an add on. Better meals in MDR ($25+ extra), candid photos ($20 each or 5 for $60). Portraits at Gala, $40 each or $160 for 5). Bingo was about $40 plus the $2.50 dauber. Staff was always pushing drinks, pictures, spa treatments, etc. Had 2 of 8 days without problems and trying to get what we paid for. Well possibly travel on HAL again if they fix their problems. I’m a 3 star Mariner and have a long way until 4 stars. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Probably I took my last cruise on Holland America last month. The cruise was a 7 day cruise on the Oosteram round trip from Seattle to Alaska. Here is an explanation of why I feel as I do: Pros: • The Hotel staff was nice and ... Read More
Probably I took my last cruise on Holland America last month. The cruise was a 7 day cruise on the Oosteram round trip from Seattle to Alaska. Here is an explanation of why I feel as I do: Pros: • The Hotel staff was nice and provided good service; the room was clean and comfortable; the ship was clean. Our cabin staff remember my name after the first day. • The bow was open for viewing and picture taking when at a Glacier; the naturalist’s narrative was helpful. Since it was cold out, hot beverages were served during the sightseeing on the bow. • Regular Coffee was better than the coffee on many ships I’ve been on. • Bar service was reasonably priced, and we were not constantly bombarded with someone trying to sell us a specialty drink. • The string quartet was very good in the Lincoln Center venue. Cons: There is a list of cons: Food: • Food and Food Service: Food service in the main dining room was spotty at best and on several occasions we had to flag down a server after a long wait. One of our party ordered a soda and it was never delivered. When we complained, he no longer wanted it as we were through with our meal although it was offered at no charge. At Breakfast the portions were very small, much smaller than what is normal in a regular Diner. In the main dinning room I ordered lamb chops, medium rare. I was served two very thin, too thin to cook medium rare, chops. I sent them back and got 3 chops, 2 of which I’d call medium, 1 close to medium rare-it was the only thick enough to be able to be cooked right. • In the extra $35 charge specialty restaurant there was an extra charge of $10 for a lobster tail with a steak, something I have not seen of other lines I’ve been on. In fact on one cruise two of the party I was with had three or four lobster tails, one after the other, in the specialty dining room at no extra charge. One of our party asked if it was possible to get a side dish of the mac and cheese entrée and was told she would be charged $15 for an extra entrée. We asked to speak with the dining room Captain and he approved it for no charge. I have never before been told on a cruise that a second entrée was an extra charge in either the regular or specialty dining rooms. Although the steak I ordered was very good, the sides were smaller than usual portions. • In the specialty Italian Restaurant the food was good, but again the service was slow and the portions smaller than I’ve seen on other ship. • The Lido buffet was a big disappointment when it came to service. Although the food was good, the lines were slow due to a lack of adequate staff, especially in the sections that required some preparation. Staff was slow to clean up tables during busy times and in one case only cleaned part of the table. I ordered two eggs over easy and the yoke on one broke and I was served this unappealing glob with one yoke whole and the other a yellow spot on the plate. When I saw an supervisor and mentioned it to him he said he would take care of it, took my plate and returned with only one egg where part of the white was still uncooked. On another day that featured poached eggs, I asked for two eggs and was given one. The portion of corn beef hash was smaller than I have ever seen before in any food venue, shipboard or on land. Other portions were also smaller than usual. As a side note, the Taco Bar by the pool was tasty, but often the bins were empty and the shredded beef was put out with so much juice that it was hard to get to the meat. • As a coffee lover, there was no place for specialty coffee drinks, even at an extra charge, on board other than in the main dining room. Entertainment: • Understanding it was Memorial Day weekend and there were a number of Vietnam Vets and families on board, the ship closed up early in the evening. The piano bar, which on every other cruise I’ve been on was always open in the evening was usually without a piano player, there was some dancing in BBKing Blues shows, but that’s because the shows were more Motown than Blues. The other bars were also pretty dead with almost no entertainment. • The first night had no entertainment venues other than BBKing that I found open. • The big production show had fine dancers, but I found it loud and the fantastic electronics took away from the talented performers. Some people said they liked it, most I talked with found it annoying, loud and overproduced. • Was there a lack of activity because the ship felt the passengers would not take advantage of it or was there no activity at night because the passengers give up trying to find a place to dance or do anything other than buy drinks. I don’t know the answer, but my guess it was the second reason. If you look at other reviews I’ve written you’ll see I tend to be positive in what I see and I’m sad that I am writing such a disappointing narrative. My other Holland America cruise a number of years ago did not have any of the problems I describe here. Hopefully the other passengers had a better experience than I did, but I’ve read where Holland America is playing with charging extra fees and cutting back in order to get a better bottom line. It’s unlikely they’ll see me again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Holland American Alaskan cruise. Very disappointed. Have taken other cruises on Carnival, Norwegian etc.. but this was the first cruise we've ever taken that had no activities. No entertain to speak of. We spent three out of seven ... Read More
Holland American Alaskan cruise. Very disappointed. Have taken other cruises on Carnival, Norwegian etc.. but this was the first cruise we've ever taken that had no activities. No entertain to speak of. We spent three out of seven days sitting on the lido deck staring out the windows. There's nothing else to do!! We finally accept the fact that this was just a vessel/transportation place to sleep and eat while going to Alaska. Thank goodness Alaska was worth the price of the cruise. The food was pretty good on the ship also the servers were helpful and friendly.I give then both 4 stars. The room we had for three people was actually set up for two people. It had a fold out that blocked the entire walk way to the cabin door and to the restroom. Anyone having to use the restroom during the night once the bed was folded out had to wake up who ever was sleeping in that fold out. It was a nightmare all week!! We complained to our steward we complained to customer relations. They already had our money. This is an issue that Holland America is aware but refuses to fix. Alaska was great but this cruise we could have done without. NEVER AGAIN HOLLAND AMERICA NEVER AGAIN!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
As someone with Celiac Disease (gluten), I can't begin to tell you my frustration levels for first 3 days. Confusion, lack of training, poor communication and largely indifferent. The exact scenario someone who has Celiac wants to ... Read More
As someone with Celiac Disease (gluten), I can't begin to tell you my frustration levels for first 3 days. Confusion, lack of training, poor communication and largely indifferent. The exact scenario someone who has Celiac wants to avoid. I sure was glad I was trapped on a cruise ship! If you have food allergies, be prepared that every day will be full of conflict and misinformation. Note, that 1/2 way through the trip, I DID find a great waiter and Asst. Maitre'd who took care of my needs, but they can't be at every meal. Now, onto the cruise. Embarkation in Seattle was easy and well run. Meal times and daily activities were often wrong in the Daily Schedule (if you were lucky enough to get one, it's not a given). Ship was in good condition. Entertainment was horrible. Comedian was no funny, many walked out. Illusionist was amusing the 1st time, not so the 2nd show. The Dancers were "fine", certainly not impressive. The crew show was pleasant. The Dualing Piano Players were average, not engaged. Trivia was 30 minutes, no prizes. Kid/Teen Club failed to open on time 1st night, not promoted, NO other kids...daughter never wanted go back. Casino, staff was nice, but do the guests really have to urge them to open the Poker Table ..when the dealer is an electronic program? Seriously, set it up and let us play. Also, it's been 10 weeks since I got home and I still can't get the casino folks to give me an answer if I qualified for any future offers. Live music, why are the classical musicians stuck in too small of a room? EVERY performance was standing room only...in the hallway. Use the Showroom. BB Kings. I have seen the real BB King multiple times. I love the Blues, but the venue and showtimes just weren't convenient somehow. Shows too short, venue too small, conflicted times. Wanted to love it. Also, why not use one or more of these talented musicians to play some acoustic numbers? they're already in the ship! Lido Bar and outside deck. Why do gues5s have to open umbrellas and clean tables? Lastly, the ENDLESS hounding to buy something; wine, photos, knick knacks over and over and over. That blankin' Photographer yelling "SMILE!" every time anyone passed near the elevators, was deserving of being thrown overboard. I could go on, but suddenly all of my frustration came back. It could and should have been a trip of a lifetime. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My wife and I have been on two other cruise lines so a friend of ours invited us on a vacation to Alaska on the line HAL Oosterdam. The staff was very friendly but when we needed some guidance we couldn't understand what they were ... Read More
My wife and I have been on two other cruise lines so a friend of ours invited us on a vacation to Alaska on the line HAL Oosterdam. The staff was very friendly but when we needed some guidance we couldn't understand what they were saying and they didn't even know the answer to our question so make sure your staff who works on the ship knows everything about it like where's the nearest bathroom . While going down the hall to my room it smelt like sewage that was just not normal and it wasn't just my hall... we made a shore excursion n Ketchikan as soon as we were down we had 2 go back 2 the ship we had no time to explore Ketchiken cause we only hade 4 hours to stay. Now the food in the restaurants were EXCELLENT but n the lido deck buffet u couldn't serve yourself , same food every day , when they served you they gave you little portions . Now my main concern on my list is the ENTERTAINMENT !!! To talking to some of the other passengers there was nothing 2 do. Sure they had the comedian which who was hilarious and the magician which who could of had did something more than what she did if Lance Burton is her idol. Every day u should have some kind of ENTERTAINMENT it doesn't have to be something big but just something. Hope this helps cause I will not be recommending this cruise ship 2 anyone Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I have taken been cruising since 1975 and have been on many different lines, but this was my first time on Holland America and was really looking forward to taking a "step up". The itinerary was wonderful and we really enjoyed ... Read More
I have taken been cruising since 1975 and have been on many different lines, but this was my first time on Holland America and was really looking forward to taking a "step up". The itinerary was wonderful and we really enjoyed the cruise from that aspect but the service was sub standard in my opinion. Our stateroom had a leftover champagne bottle and a few other items in the cabinets upon boarding and there was a layer of dust on the ledge behind the bed. Many of the chairs in the common areas were worn out with sprung seat cushions. This was a beautiful scenic cruise except the ship windows were dirty and were never cleaned during the two week cruise. I had dinner in the Pinnacle Grill and upon opening my menu had food fall from the menu into my lap. I have many other complaints but I think this gives you a good idea of why I gave this cruise a 2 star rating. There was generally a line at the customer service desk and the staff there actually got a tiny bit on the nasty side when trying to fend off the complaints - to be fair there were so many that they were probably very tired of handling them. On the plus side, I thought the food was very good and as I said before the itinerary was outstanding. I was also pleased with the entertainers that were brought onboard, the ship's singers and dancers were fine, typical cruise performers. Embarkation and Debarkation were quick, easy, no waiting around and I really liked how they handled it. The comfort level of inside temperature of the ship varied quite a bit. I was pleasantly surprised to find the dining room a very comfortable temperature and did not need a sweater for my short sleeved outfits. However, in the explorer cafe I had several layers on and still found it chilly. It seems that the outside temperature had a much greater influence on the inside temperature than on other ships I have been on. I was disappointed that it seemed like all the other entertainment revolved around food and drink - mostly drink - and of course all at additional expense. It was interesting to note that travel companions of ours who did attend many of these events got to know the cruise director quite well, he was always at the alcoholic events, but I am not sure I could even identify him since we rarely saw him. I did think it rather odd when we were sitting with our travel companions one day in an area very close to where the Sip & Savor event was to take place. He came over to offer to bring the Sip & Savor fare to them but never offered to bring it to us, indeed he did not even speak to us. I had already booked a second cruise with Holland America in January of 2019, I am sincerely hoping that it will be a different experience, but if not, they will never have my cruise business again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was my first cruise ever and I've wanted to go to Alaska for 17 years. I chose this cruise because it went to destinations other cruise lines did not cover. I had friends that told me I would love cruising. I saved for over a ... Read More
This was my first cruise ever and I've wanted to go to Alaska for 17 years. I chose this cruise because it went to destinations other cruise lines did not cover. I had friends that told me I would love cruising. I saved for over a year to take this trip and the entire thing ended up being over 15K (excursions, expenditures, etc.). I was guaranteed a BB stateroom (navigation deck) and received a suite on the deck 6 instead that was supposedly an upgrade. Not. Directly over entertainment and noisy. The ship had norovirus and that made things rather unpleasant for both crew and passengers, since you had to disinfect yourself 4 times to walk across the deck and several group activities were cancelled. The cruise continued; I did not contract the virus. But it didn't make things much fun. I found the crew, who were primarily from the Phillipines, polite, but not friendly. A polite smile and genuine warmth are two different things. Some had language difficulties. Overall, I didn't feel like anyone on the ship particularly cared if I lived or died; I was just a room number. After 3 days, I had to ask to have my sheets changed. Considering the charges for the room and service, I should not have had to ask and there was nothing there to indicate they would not be changed daily. Ick. The "flowers" supposedly in your room are "flower" - a single carnation that did not make an appearance at all the last 3 or 4 days. As this was my first cruise experience, I had high expectations in regards to food and had to ratchet them way down. There is a lot of food, and it is presented in a lovely way, but it is not especially fresh or tasty. The bread was stale every single day. My own cooking is better and I was very disappointed. Particularly hideous were the sandwiches, the pasta, the fried chicken, and the crab legs served at the Pinnacle Grill. "Hash browns" actually made me laugh; they looked like kid's hash browns - little triangles out of a plastic bag. Particularly good were salads (as long as you don't expect them ice cold and crisp), soups, made-to-order eggs, and selected desserts. The way another traveller put it was that it was just "restaurant food" and that sums it up. Not a high-end restaurant. Eating at the restaurant venue (not the buffet) involved standing in line and generally they seat you with strangers. It takes a long time to get through the meals. I didn't find the Gala Nights worth dressing up for. Also, someone needs to tell the crew that no flowers are infinitely better than dead flowers. We had the "special" restaurant package and there were dead flowers on every table. The shipboard activites were described as "geriatric" by one passenger, but I thought that was disrespectful to geriatric persons everywhere. There simply weren't many shipboard activities, they tended to be repetitive, and they weren't especially interesting. I find that "over 18" and "under 115" normally respond pretty much the same way to activities that are interesting. And I think Holland needs to get on the stick; baby boomers and younger aren't really your typical "geriatric" set. The productions were, well, I can't really describe them. I will just have to say that I was laughing out loud at the shipboard versions of Madonna, the Rolling Stones, and Sir Elton. The entertainers could sing, and they could dance, but they couldn't rock 'n roll. Rock 'n roll has a soul and is a bit more...gritty. I'm almost tired of typing, but I want anyone considering this cruise to also be aware of the port excursions. I did not know you had to beware of the on-board shopping coordinator; the ship is in cahoots with certain port stores that give a kickback. The jewelry stores are manned by Indian personnel who are just there for the season, and once you walk in the door, you can't get out. If you are in the market for high-end jewelry, be prepared to spend a LOT of time being pressured. Be prepared to bargain. You might have zapped in there just to get the free charm your shipboard coordinator told you about, but expect that only after at least an hour and if you are really determined to have it. And expect your shipboard coordinator to join in to help the jewelers. Hideous experience; like being in Vegas where they'll give you free show tickets to listen to their condo spiel. Awful. Look for local stores not subsidized by the ships and that are open all year. In terms of paid excursions, it's very hit-or-miss. We took a "russian tea" excursion that was the worst thing ever - like a few church ladies got together and planned a little function. Not russian tea, terrible snacks, in an episcopalian church lobby, entertainment by balalaika players whilst you sat at folding tables being served from a crockpot, wondering when it would be over. I liked Icy Strait Point which has native americans running and supporting everything, and I loved Homer. Homer had an excursion on a catamaran to see a rookery; we saw everything. whales, sea otters, crested puffins, bald eagles, everything. And the Homer spit is, in my opinion, the best place to poke around and shop. I wish we had more time there. The port of Victoria BC was cancelled as the ship couldn't get in to dock. It was windy that day and evidently it was enough to make it difficult. Elsewhere, I learned to pan for gold; it was like something set up for kids, as the pans were the size of a snack dish. But the salmon bake was very nice; beautiful setting, entertainment, good food. The musher's camp was good. In hindsight, I'd opt for physical activities or being out on the water for every excursion. I signed up for different activities in every port, thinking about variety. I think there were too many activities and talks that appeared to be something planned for an 8-year-old; what I disliked most about both shipboard and non-shipboard activities was that they were almost dumbed down to the point of being insulting or condescending. Also, be aware that the sommeliers on board aren't. Sommeliers, that is. I paid 60 bucks for a bottle of Very Bad Wine. I knew it might not be what I totally loved when there was no year specified in the wine list, but at that price, whatever is ordered should minimally be well-balanced and drinkable. Holland has a hub in Washington, for God's sake. They have access to outstanding wines from Washington, Oregon, and California. They should hire some people with a decent palate and stock good wines. If it's their margin they're worried about, you can buy good wine with a decent balance at 12-15 bucks. Just sayin'... So that was my sole, first, and likely last cruising experience. The most expensive vacation I've ever had and one of my least favorite experiences. Next time, I fly in to (wherever), rent a car, take a ferry or seaplane, and sign up for any tours I'd like to take on-line or when I'm actually at that location. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Boarding the ship with a wheelchair was easy and accommodating. The first day into the cruise was filled with underwhelming food. It seemed like the ship did not have any stabilizers and I got very seasick. Not only was there nobody in the ... Read More
Boarding the ship with a wheelchair was easy and accommodating. The first day into the cruise was filled with underwhelming food. It seemed like the ship did not have any stabilizers and I got very seasick. Not only was there nobody in the infirmary to answer the phone, but there was also nobody in the infirmary that could give me seasick medicine. I eventually was helped by someone in guest services. With the medicine I was given, I needed to take it with food. However bring it was late in the night, the only thing open was room service. I could not get ahold of room services for the entire day and still had my tray from lunch in my room. I also used the complimentary movie service. However I did not get to watch a movie because the DVD got stuck in the player. I called to ask for help in working the machine, was told someone would be to the cabin shortly- nobody ever came. The only thing that made my trip with Holland America bearable were the excursions. The excursion company was very good and helpful. The staff were very rude when boarding the ship and were rushing passengers through security. I understand the need to have a swift departure, but they were rude with even elderly passengers. The best food on the ship was the ice cream- which was running low (the popular vanilla and chocolate flavors were nonexistent) by the second to last stop on the cruise. The buffet was lacking in variety and flavor- lunch and dinner time consisted of the exact same things. By day four of the cruise, I was sick of the food. I enjoyed the decor of the ship but ultimately felt it was not a wise use of money and the longest week of my life. I understand that situations are out of control of the hands of the crew- like the rough seas- however, there was nothing extremely good to overshadow the rough beginning in which lots of things the crew could have done better went wrong. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We were with Our mom and dad on this cruise. Our rooms were nice but not The best. The staff was great. The service if we needed anything was great. The food was OK, just OK. They set times for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This included ... Read More
We were with Our mom and dad on this cruise. Our rooms were nice but not The best. The staff was great. The service if we needed anything was great. The food was OK, just OK. They set times for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This included the buffet. If you wanted anything after the times you had to order off room service and that was limited. We watched one show and it was pretty good. The boat had some music, but not a lot. This Is NOT A PARTY BOAT by any means. No games either. Oh there was bingo. We did have on board movies in our rooms and trust me we watched them. The staff in the bar by the casino was great. The bar staff and the staff that cleaned our room was the best part of the ship. We loved the ports that we were at. We visited Juneau, Sitka, Ketchika and Canada. The places were pure beauty. We visited Glacier Bay. This was amazing also. I would love to cruise here again, but not on this cruise line Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I chose this particular cruise since it went to Sitka and not many other lines go there. My family and I have been on 13 other cruises on various lines. Our ages are from 60 to 27. This was our first cruise on Holland and our first to ... Read More
I chose this particular cruise since it went to Sitka and not many other lines go there. My family and I have been on 13 other cruises on various lines. Our ages are from 60 to 27. This was our first cruise on Holland and our first to Alaska. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze. We had a signature suite and it was easily the nicest suite we have ever had. The ship itself was very classy; however, I found all inside areas to be dark and dreary. The food was horrible, both in the dining room and the buffet. Tasteless. Best food was the pizza and hamburgers/hotdogs. Buffet was worse than any buffet I have been to on land and deserts were a joke. Almost every desert had prunes, figs or raisins or was a pudding of some sort. You can tell the age group the line caters to. Other than the BB King group, the entertainment was also pretty bad. Very little activities in the evening and if there wasn't such beauty to be seen in the Alaskan inside passage, we would have been bored. Crew seemed exhausted and service was very spotty. In summary, I would not chose Holland America again. Just was not the line for me or my family. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We have been on Holland America ships three times before with no issues. First time for the Eurodam. Overall, the ship was clean, well maintained, and had great service staff. We went to Alaska which was amazing. We were in a balcony cabin ... Read More
We have been on Holland America ships three times before with no issues. First time for the Eurodam. Overall, the ship was clean, well maintained, and had great service staff. We went to Alaska which was amazing. We were in a balcony cabin which was clean, comfortable, and well appointed. There was no room guide for information or room service. When asked we were sent a small paper copy of the book which was hard to read. The cruise director was mia most of the time, unlike most cruises. Didn't see much of him around the ship. There was not a lot of activities when not in port. There were no games like newlywed and such. Everything was pretty much done by 11:30pm. The Lido deck was not really a fun place to be. No activities there, and a lot of seating taken up by private tent areas for rent with no takers as we were going to Alaska. Not even a polar bear plunge at the outside pool at the glacier. (Past Alaska Holland Am cruises had this) They did have some naturalists at Glacier Bay national park they were informative. Days with no port call were boring and lack luster. Now for the food. Most frequent cruisers know that cruise food is usually average. Some delicious items now and then. I'm not kidding when I say that food was equal to Granny's buffet or Old Country Buffet. Really! That was the buffet area on Lido (pool) deck. Also annoying was no self serve of hot foods or salad bar. If you asked for small portion, you got regular or larger. I ended up tossing out a lot of food. My spouse complained about the porting size of the food he asked for. There were also no sail away parties. If you returned to the ship later like around the last call at night, there was no food at the Lido except pizza or room service. I can say that the food on Eurodam was the worst food aboard a cruise ship we have ever had. Last. The entertainment was little and lack luster. There were only two main shows in the theater, plus a comedian for an hour once. The BB King Blues club was the only entertainment aboard that stood out. The band was amazing. We went every night they played. All in all: We would not recommend Eurodam. Almost forgot the dinning room. That was also below average. One night I sent the entrée back, and didn't get anything else due to the crapy offerings. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
The casino offered the worst blackjack payout of any casino I've encountered. They pay 7:6 (16%) instead of the usual 3:2 (50%) for a blackjack. The food is mostly disastrous. The worst of it can be had in the lido buffet. There ... Read More
The casino offered the worst blackjack payout of any casino I've encountered. They pay 7:6 (16%) instead of the usual 3:2 (50%) for a blackjack. The food is mostly disastrous. The worst of it can be had in the lido buffet. There are long lines for every station (asian, mex, omelette, etc) because HAL insists on serving each passenger individually rather than you serving yourself. The result is a huge waste of time and a terribly stressful meal. Start with a wait for an omelette, then wait in another line for side dishes. Then, hope you can find an empty seat/table before your food cools further. The Pinnacle grill for breakfast was just as bad, food wise, but at least you can sit and be waiting on. The MDR was hit or miss. The only highlights for food were to be had at the upcharge Chinese venue (Tamarind) and the pizza and burger stands, if you don't mind waiting a very long time to receive your order. We will never sail on HAL again. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My husband and I stayed in a balcony room. We went on this Alaskan cruise for our 1 year anniversary but unfortunately it wasn't what we were expecting. The food was quite poor everywhere we went. The only place with great taste was ... Read More
My husband and I stayed in a balcony room. We went on this Alaskan cruise for our 1 year anniversary but unfortunately it wasn't what we were expecting. The food was quite poor everywhere we went. The only place with great taste was the Asian Bistro! That place was excellent. Other than that the food tasted fake and very bland. The presentation was even bad. It was quite disheartening for the amount of money being invested in all of this. The ship was also outdated, seemed like it hadn't been renovated since the early 90s. The service of the ship however was quite nice. Everyone was pleasant and accommodating. The entertainment was average. There could have been more variety of it. The room was spacious, the tv and movie selection was great for the lazy moments of the cruise. The food was our number one complaint. We did not have a bad experience with the other cruise lines' food so we were expecting this one to be the same. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
Far too much chipping of paint and painting and varnishing around the ship. We were awoken in Sitka, Ak. to the banging of hammers on our window. We were both ill with coughs and colds. We planned to stay in our cabin for the day but ... Read More
Far too much chipping of paint and painting and varnishing around the ship. We were awoken in Sitka, Ak. to the banging of hammers on our window. We were both ill with coughs and colds. We planned to stay in our cabin for the day but couldn't stand the noise and had to leave our cabin for the better part of the day. To any cruiser this is totally unacceptable. For this reason alone Holland has lost at least 2 customers. The Dive in burger and taco bar continually running out of food. Straws almost nonexistent, never any straws in 14 days at the Dive in, throughout and so short they barely came up to the rim of your glass. It was funny watching folks at shows digging around their $9.00 drinks trying to find their straws. It was so bad one day there were 3 restaurant managers, a chef and an officer trying to fix the problem. Food in the Lido Cafe fair to poor. This Cafe seemed to be closed far more than it was open. Again totally unacceptable. We did the same cruise in 2016 on the Maasdam and it was a very nice cruise. Main dining room food and service excellent. Some shows excellent, some poor. Itinerary great. The reason we did it again. this was our 31st cruise. There were more short comings but I'm out of time. Think twice before cruising Holland. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
we wanted to go to Alaska and had favorable experience with HAL in the past. How things have changed. Being in Alaska, I expected that the crab legs in the dining room would be better than "pre-cooked, frozen and then thawed and ... Read More
we wanted to go to Alaska and had favorable experience with HAL in the past. How things have changed. Being in Alaska, I expected that the crab legs in the dining room would be better than "pre-cooked, frozen and then thawed and reheated". they were cold and soggy. My stateroom was very "tired" and the restroom caulking was discolored. we actually called the steward to sweep and clean the floor. We had no toilet paper or tissues. We embarked three hours late due to the need for a "deep cleaning" because of several norovirus cases on the previous cruise. This caused a mass entry into the terminal and ship and a one hour delay in leaving. Dinner reservations were mishandled. When my wife and i arrived at the dining room for breakfast or lunch, we were quickly escorted to a very undesirable table location. When i asked for a different table they looked at me like no one had ever requested that before. Lastly, men wearing baseball caps in the formal dining room on Gala night??? The bottom line is that HAL has evidently taken a very no frills approach to cruising that might be fine for many but not for those of us with higher expectations. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The Good: AMAZING FOOD Pinnacle Grill The Band Art Gallery Personnel Had the Norovirus hit on the Ship and their Containment Procedures and protective processes was Great. THE BAD: > No Proactive Wait Staff > ... Read More
The Good: AMAZING FOOD Pinnacle Grill The Band Art Gallery Personnel Had the Norovirus hit on the Ship and their Containment Procedures and protective processes was Great. THE BAD: > No Proactive Wait Staff > No wait staff to keep your beverages full. I had to get up 2/3rds of my time to get refills or get served which meant I had to get in line and wait at the Bar. > No wait staff to clear dirty dishes as you visit with your family. Traveling with my niece and nephew meant teenagers who eat a ton, so we always had empty dishes piled up on our tables. Only when we asked (when we found someone) did they finally clear. > Main dining room took 3 different people to receive milk for Dinner. Had to contact supervisor to get milk. Also, my niece asked to get an extra salad and the guy stated "Not right now I'm too busy". So apparently he was the only guy working our table? I think not. > It took until the morning of the 3rd day to Meet my Cabin Steward; he was in his closet working. > Unable to reach anyone for help in our Cabin late night; around 11:00. When we finally got a live person (after 30 mins calling around different numbers and then being on hold) asked for and extension cord and they brought a powerstrip. The did this twice. In the end, No extension cord was ever received. Reminder to bring an extension cord and Powerstrip on next Cruise. > The Burger Grill Closes after Lunch, so if you're looking for a late night burger on the deck or for dinner that is not going to happen. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Staff- friendly, accommodating and smiling. Neptune Suite- worth the money for the space-bed is comfortable- needs updating, countertops/tub/shower cracked. Ship is dated and smells- lack of staff cleaning regularly in common areas ... Read More
Staff- friendly, accommodating and smiling. Neptune Suite- worth the money for the space-bed is comfortable- needs updating, countertops/tub/shower cracked. Ship is dated and smells- lack of staff cleaning regularly in common areas until gastrointestinal virus hit the ship. Then procedures were put in place to keep all guests from being infected. More cleaning, servers at all food and drink stations, no items on tables that could be passed, (salt and pepper, bread, etc) disinfectant being given to each person entering all restaurants and dining areas. Food-Burgers are great at Dive IN poolside, Pinnacle Grill is worth the money, but reservations must be made before you get on ship or you won't get in unless you are a suite guest. The dining room food wasn't that great and the buffet, needs an overhaul. As well as the seating in the dining room, too many tables, sitting on top of one another. Seattle- great city worth seeing plan some extra time to see there and Pike's Place. Juneau- nice little town, walkable, Glacier Gardens is worth a see. Mendenhall Glacier and Salmon Bake is good. Sitka- also nice little town, but could have passed this one to have a full day in Victoria...as opposed to getting in there at night and having no time to see anything. Ketchikan- great little town, walkable, lumberjack show -didn't see the fascination the reviews on here had given..really a waste.. Victoria- need more time there and daylight hours. One thing about the dining on this ship- baseball hats, flip flops and cargo shorts in the dining room was allowed, which was new to us. I suppose Holland has relaxed their dress requirements. Entertainment- BB Kings- a definite yes and a different show each time- lively, not too loud, dancing if you want, great music and great talent. Westerdam dancers- some good talent and nice shows Jesse Kazemak show- fantastic- he should have done more Magic show- could have passed on that one Stryker- piano bar- didn't get this one- all the music sounded alike...reviews were over the top,not our cup of tea, went back to the BB King show. Cooking class- great Casino- okay- nothing great A lot of upselling on this ship everywhere you turn from drinks to spa to casino...got old..not relaxing. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Very disappointing onboard. Would definitely not recommend HAL. Everything was below average in terms of quality of service, food and especially lack of concern or caring by anyone in the "front office." If you have a problem ... Read More
Very disappointing onboard. Would definitely not recommend HAL. Everything was below average in terms of quality of service, food and especially lack of concern or caring by anyone in the "front office." If you have a problem onboard you are on your own. Crew is from Asia and they are hardworking but you get lots of "smiles" and very little actual service. The feeling onboard is "mass market" you're just a number. They are constantly trying to get in your wallet- from selling raffle tickets to "Special Hot Cocoa in Ship's Mugs for $20)…it's the same feeling as walking down the Vegas strip and getting pitched every five feet. Food was same quality as a Chamber of Commerce hotel banquet- service the same. The only exception was the luxury restaurant where service and food was great- but at an extra price. We are all equal in stature and I'm certainly no better than others but your fellow passengers on this boat were high in age, average weight and lack of manners- do not get in between them and a donut in the morning breakfast buffet- you'll get run over. This is not the way to see Alaska- half the trip is at sea looking at fog and overcast skies. Now Alaska is incredible when you get away from the Cruiseline owned T-shirt, curio and Tanzanite shops at the dock. Tanzanite is from Africa not Alaska. Fly to Alaska and see the real Alaska. We've been on HAL twice- first & last time (and that was on one cruise). I've had difficulty posting this review. Wonder if Trip Advisor editing negative reviews Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Let me start with this trip was a 71st birthday celebration for my husband. A cruise to Alaska has been on our bucket list for some time now. So here’s the good, bad and ugly about our Holland America trip to Alaska last week aboard ... Read More
Let me start with this trip was a 71st birthday celebration for my husband. A cruise to Alaska has been on our bucket list for some time now. So here’s the good, bad and ugly about our Holland America trip to Alaska last week aboard the Westedam. The good – the Pinnacle restaurant was fantastic! The food, service and personnel were all outstanding! The rooms were quite spacious with lots of storage space and a large bathroom. Alaska itself was beautiful. Glacier Bay was breathtaking and the whale watching excursion that we went on was amazing. The bad – Constantly pushing the shopping. There was a huge push to buy diamonds and jewelry from their onboard shops and within the ports we went to. We were told the cruise line owns the jewelry store in port. Every day there was more information in our mailbox outside our door about shopping, shopping, and more shopping. I didn’t go on a cruise to shop! Way over the top. The food in the cafeteria style dining room was ok but nothing to write home about, you have to fight for a table on the Lido deck and it's hard to get service there. My other pet peeve is that there was not enough time in the ports to see Alaska. Most of the time was spent on the boat. The ugly (and it was ugly) There were drawers under the foot of the bed. I know this because one night about half way through our cruise the housekeeper didn’t close the drawer all the way and I ran into it barefoot breaking one of my toes. The break was confirmed via x-ray by my podiatrist as soon as we returned with an 8 week recovery time. It happened at night right before bed and when I woke in the morning I could not put any weight on my right foot. We had an excursion that morning and my husband went down to the excursion desk to cancel since I could not walk. No one was there so he left a note and then we called and left messages but no call back that day. I called down to the infirmary and was told that there was nothing they could do for a broken toe. I asked if they had crutches they said they recommended a cane. My husband went down, since I was unable to walk, to get a wheel chair, they didn't have any, so he got a cane instead and asked for some adhesive tape to stabilize my toe and foot. He was unable to get any tape from the infirmary or ships store. My husband spoke to many people on the phone and in person trying to get a wheel chair and trying to get a refund for the tours we were not able to go on. Everyone took an "I am not authorized" posture. You would think that the safety and satisfaction of their "valued guests" would be of utmost importance but that was clearly not the case. At every turn the response was “how do you know you didn’t leave the drawer open” or “we are not authorized to do that”. Very disconcerting. So I spent the day Thursday in my room with my foot propped up and my poor husband running around the ship trying to get me some help. I had my husband take pictures of my discolored and swollen foot on the ship so there would be no question of when it happened. I tried to include them here but couldn't. Since we had dined so often in the Pinnacle Grill always at the same table we had made friends with our servers Stewart and Pol. Stewart's girlfriend also worked on the ship as a dancer although we had never met her. My husband was in the elevator and started talking to someone after they asked about our cruise and he told her what happened. It turned out to be his girlfriend. She was upset by what had happened, made some calls and was able to get me a wheelchair. Without her help I would not have been able to leave my room. I was then able to go to meals but still not able to go on the excursions. The utter lack of caring for me by the management of the ship was unbelievable, unprofessional, and unacceptable. The GRM (Guest Relations Manager) and Excursions Manager could not have been less helpful. The excursions manager was confrontational which really upset my husband. I have never been treated so poorly while on vacation. The wait staff in the dining rooms were so accommodating, the front office staff in helping us was just the opposite. Very, very poor experience. Customer service by the management on that vessel was lacking. Instead of trying to help turn the situation around they just ignored it using the “I’m sorry I’m not authorized to do that” mantra. I was shocked that Holland America did not step up, take responsibility and try to help. So what could have been a great birthday vacation experience that you tell all your friends about it turned into the vacation from hell. I spent half of this trip with my leg propped up in immense pain. The lack of consideration and indifference by the front office staff was unbelievable. This was a very expensive lesson and not a very fun birthday! Moral of the story – if something goes wrong on your trip BEWARE you will get no help from Holland America to make things right. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this line to go with our friends it was our first time on Holland America. I probably not go on this cruise line again we had a nice trip because of our friends not because of the cruise line. The first night it took us 25 ... Read More
We chose this line to go with our friends it was our first time on Holland America. I probably not go on this cruise line again we had a nice trip because of our friends not because of the cruise line. The first night it took us 25 minutes to get water in the dining room. There were 4 tables of 6 each of our friends and we all had to wait. Our waiter was very grumpy and didn't smile or great us. We all were taken aback as we all are experienced travelers and had never had this type of service before. The food in the dining room was sub par to say the least, many dishes were tasteless and in very small portions. The food in the buffet was better but we prefer to eat in the dining room. The service was better too. The ship seemed outdated and small. The rooms were old and cramped. We did have a nice cabin steward he was very attentive. Our veranda was small too. The pool was always filled with children who liked to scream and make noise all the time-no adult swim! Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Do not go on this ship!!! But do go to Alaska! This was a very poor experience, almost from day one. Before I start just let me say that I have been on about 10 cruses now with 5 different lines. The ship is outdated, and in need of a ... Read More
Do not go on this ship!!! But do go to Alaska! This was a very poor experience, almost from day one. Before I start just let me say that I have been on about 10 cruses now with 5 different lines. The ship is outdated, and in need of a remodel, with that being said the ships décor was not why I was onboard, Alaska was. The problems were with food, billing, and lack of communication between the ships departments. The lido deck food was terrible for lunch and dinner, breakfast was ok. The selection is terrible, the food was barely palatable. They were always out of food, or had one side shut down so the lines were very long. I can't tell you how many times they were out of desert, and the hours are very short. There is a hamburger/hotdog walk through window that served terrible hamburgers!! (The fries were ok.) They need to drop the cook in America for a month to learn what a hamburger should taste like. Main dining was hit or miss. The specialty restaurants were fine, when they say its a steak house order the steak, not the fish like I did. The billing was a huge problem. There was an issue with a PREPURCHASED excursion through Holland America that the ship had nothing to do with. We printed our folio the first night to check the account credit we should have and saw that all of our excursions had been canceled and rebooked with the balance being billed on our folio. We talked to front desk, they were USELESS!!!! Told me to speak with the shore excursion desk, they had to go the night auditor. Check the next day nothing was done, went is the same circle, day three same circle, no department would let me speak to a manager. We finally got the person over the shore excursions on the second to last day of the trip and she was able to get it fixed. I waisted over 6 hours of my vacation on this. Check your bill, frequently! We had a light in our bathroom that kept going out, we told our room steward everyday. I think the English translation was not getting to him. We put a work order in at the front desk, when they came it was working, and they did nothing. 4th time it went out we told our steward, 3 hours later after not seeing anyone we were on our way to the front desk when we passed the Third Mate who was on a date, and some one was in our room in 3 minutes and the problem was fixed, why did we have to go to the Third Mate? Don't get me started on the last port. It was windy so the captain decided to not make port. My issues with this are two other ships made port, one arriving after us. The second was they put a lifeboat in the water and delivered our paperwork so for TAX reasons it shows we ported in a different country. Can we say tax evasion? The worst part is that there was no communication with the other departments on the ship, there was not food, since they thought everyone was getting off, the shops were closed, the casino was closed, we were trapped with nothing to do but play cards. Or see a very blurry showing of the Jungle Book. Embarkation, a disembarkation were easy. Wild life was great, hundreds of wales, eagles, seals, sea lions, one bear, and otters everywhere. I will do Alaska again and again, but never will I pay for Holland America ever again! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
When shopping for an Alaska cruise Holland America was highly recommended by the travel agent as a great cruise line. But I was very disappointed from the start. First was the "suite". I had never had a suite before and ... Read More
When shopping for an Alaska cruise Holland America was highly recommended by the travel agent as a great cruise line. But I was very disappointed from the start. First was the "suite". I had never had a suite before and thought I would treat myself. This was only to find out that Holland America calls all balcony cabins suites. So what every other cruise line calls a balcony Holland America calls a suite. So I felt I paid extra for a suite and got a balcony. However everything on the cruise was mediocre. We went to the welcome aboard presentation where the cruise director went on and on about this being a 5 star cruise. It certainly wasn't in my mind. We were missed for turn down service the first night. The restaurant was hit or miss. One lunch was a dry Reuben with potato chips (are you kidding me? 5 star?) To add insult to injury they asked if we would share a table (which I don't mind) but they sat us with a couple half way through their main course. They were eating desert when we finally got our food. Again there is no excuse for this in a 5 star operation. One day we went to the poolside snack bar for a quick lunch and were told it would be 30 minutes for a hamburger and hot dog. Are you kidding me? When I finally got my hot dog with sauerkraut it was dry. I've had much better food at McDonald's. And you don;t wait 30 minutes for food at McDonald's. The Lido restaurant (buffet) had food served instead of self-service. This resulted in slow service rather than just pick your own and portions were always too much or too little. Finding a table with silverware was also challenging as busing the tables was slow. We usually just cleared areas and then scavenged for silverware. Entertainment was also mediocre. The first night ventriloquist was so-so. You would expect this entertainment on Fremont Street in Las Vegas. They constantly picked on the audience and called multiple people losers. The singers and dancers were OK but we noticed the "show band" didn't play for half of the numbers and they used canned music. When we heard a horn and saw no horns on the band we knew something was fishy. Most disturbing in the entertainment was the truth or dare show the cruise staff put on. First you were stuck seeing that show because it was right before the main show and you have to go early for a good seat. The women on the cruise staff used toilet humor recanting how she farted three times at a dinner with her boyfriends parents on the first meeting. Frankly I thought this was in poor taste. Play this in a lounge NOT the main show lounge. The pianist following the toilet humor though was excellent and this time the band actually played with him. My trip to the gym was also a disappointment. The national conventions were on TV and only 3 of the TVs on the treadmills worked. On the plus side they had a tech program on computers which we went to and this was very good. We went to the spa and it was immaculate. If you get a really good deal and don't mind mediocre service I guess the Amsterdam is OK but 5 star it is no in my opinion, Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
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
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