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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our 8th cruise. Previously we have cruised with Norwegian, Princess, Celebrity, and Holland America. This was my 3rd Holland America cruise. I had a good experience in the past. The service was superior and the food was ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise. Previously we have cruised with Norwegian, Princess, Celebrity, and Holland America. This was my 3rd Holland America cruise. I had a good experience in the past. The service was superior and the food was fantastic. But I was disappointed by my recent experience on Koningsdam. To be fair, the boat is quite new. The bathroom was an upgrade with glass sliding door and more spacious shower room. The shower water pressure was very good but the toilet had bad smell all time even with frequent flush and closed lid. The actual stateroom was smaller than other Holland America ships. Good in room movie selection. The buffet services was good. The dining room selection was limited and the service was slow and not very diligent. Two nights the server skipped a course of our dinner without informing us. The fitness center was small. No space for people working on mats by themselves. The studio room was always busy with classes to sell people skin care or shoe inserts. The evening performance and performance during the day was subpar. No comparison to what we saw on Celebrity and Princess ships. The casino staff was non-ethical. They kept soliciting my 74 year old mother to gamble more. One night after losing over $1,000 they solicited her to charge to her room another $1,000 at 2:30AM. Of course my mother is an adult and responsible for her actions, but it was non-ethical of the casino staff to keep soliciting a senior with obvious health conditions to gamble more. There was no educational materials to help people with gambling issues displayed in the casino. Most casinos have something educational displayed. Making money is certainly important but it is more important of being a conscientious human kind to not take advantages of the elderly. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
Average cruise, smaller rooms than most cruises, good service, okay food, great entertainment, big outdoor pool (deep), smaller indoor pool (shallow), kind staff. Our TV circuit kept popping, so we did not have TV for the first 2 days, our ... Read More
Average cruise, smaller rooms than most cruises, good service, okay food, great entertainment, big outdoor pool (deep), smaller indoor pool (shallow), kind staff. Our TV circuit kept popping, so we did not have TV for the first 2 days, our sink would not turn off (plumber had to come and fix it), shower/tub would not drain. I traveled with my husband, my daughter (14), and my mother-in-law. Food to your room takes a bit of time...faster just to get food from the buffet and bring it down to your room. Overall, average cruise, not a lot for kids to do, and not a lot of time spent in the ports. Other cruise ships had arrived before us and we left before they did. Nice, but not luxurious or fancy. My daughter loved the outdoor pool and the basketball court. Not many activities for kids her age. Wish we had more time in the ports. I would choose a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
Always led by itinerary. Italy, Montenegro, Greek mainland and Islands just perfect end of May. No issues - an excellent voyage. Meals very good with Special diets catered for in Lido and restaurants. Very good hygiene practices in all ... Read More
Always led by itinerary. Italy, Montenegro, Greek mainland and Islands just perfect end of May. No issues - an excellent voyage. Meals very good with Special diets catered for in Lido and restaurants. Very good hygiene practices in all areas. No self-service - staff served everyone individually so there was no contamination in serving bowls. You still find a person filling their water bottles from the tap although there were large signs prohibiting this practice. English spoken by all staff. Enjoyed the relax ambience on board. Very busy schedule with only 2 sea days in 14 days so no time to sunbathe on decks. We occasionally had breakfast out on the back terrace. The small stage in the theatre did restrict movement for dancers and performers, but a refreshing array of shows were were splendidly performed. Would love to cruise on this beautiful ship again. Shame it does not enter Southampton port on any of it’s itineraries. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
we did in fact enjoy our vacation in spite of the condition of the ship. We were aware of the age of this ship but shocked at the appearance. We have been on many cruises on many different lines but not prepared for this. Dirty and ... Read More
we did in fact enjoy our vacation in spite of the condition of the ship. We were aware of the age of this ship but shocked at the appearance. We have been on many cruises on many different lines but not prepared for this. Dirty and stained lounge cushions on the Promenade Deck, pitted and rusty tables at the back pool and badly chipped and dented cocktail tables in the Crow's Next Lounge (inside lounge). Photos available and sent to both Holland America and Vacations to Go. Both rated this ship a 4.5 even though Cruise Critic gave it a 3.5 and Cruise Line a 3.8 Both defended their rating in spite of seeing the photos. We requested a reduction on our final bill the day of disembarkation and was told that they would take it from the service charge. Confirming the "service charge" was the crews tip money we emphatically declined. The crew had nothing to do with the condition of these furnishings. These items were easily and inexpensively replaceable. After send Holland America a formal complaint we were offered dinner for two at the Pinnacle Grill and a $100 cabin credit ON OUR NEXT CRUISE. Fat chance. If this is how Holland America treats their passengers and personnel we are finished with Holland America. Dining was very slow and entertainment average. We had a balcony and it was find. Our cabin steward was wonderful. I couldn't imagine cheating these hard working people out of their tip money. I can only wonder how many people fell for this trick!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
We took the Volendam from Japan and the immediate reaction to the ship was that it was kept in great shape. It was just a beautiful ship maintained very nicely. Our room which was with a window was in good shape with all things working ... Read More
We took the Volendam from Japan and the immediate reaction to the ship was that it was kept in great shape. It was just a beautiful ship maintained very nicely. Our room which was with a window was in good shape with all things working properly. Our room attendants were excellent. Food in the main dining room was very good. The buffet during lunch was at times disappointing. The pizza was inedible and I even brought a slice to an officer to taste and the next day we had several officers checking out the food during lunch time. Service in the dining room was very good. What shocked me was when we were in the Pinnacle, and asked for another portion, the waiter said that we don't do that anymore. That got me very annoyed since that never happened to us and we have traveled the HAL at least 6 times. In all it was a good cruise around Japan. Service was good but not great. Food was good and in the private restaurants very good. Shows were adequate and enjoyable. We did enjoy ourselves. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary which included two Turkish ports. Sadly both were cancelled due to the problems recently. Instead we did Nafplion and Rhodes, both of which were lovely in their own right but the loss of Turkey was a ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary which included two Turkish ports. Sadly both were cancelled due to the problems recently. Instead we did Nafplion and Rhodes, both of which were lovely in their own right but the loss of Turkey was a big disappointment. Not much one can do about the sad state of the World though. The ship itself was beautiful and bang up to date in every aspect! However, if you expect to experience the same décor and atmosphere as other HA ships you will be disappointed. There's more polished steel and modern art than Oak panels on this ship. Still lovely in its own right, but very different. The cabin (7045) was as expected, no real difference between this and most other ships we've been on recently. Enough room to swing the proverbial cat plus adequate hanging and draw space for the average couple on a two week holiday. The air con system worked well, heat when needed (as the weather was cold the first week) and cool enough for sleeping. The bathroom was also adequate space-wise with a large walk-in shower. A night light would be very useful though HA! The balcony was larger than on our last cruise on The Rotterdam. We took the free-time dining option and had little problem getting a table somewhere within a few moments of arrival. The food was of a good standard but, as always in my experience, never hot enough. This seems to be the norm on cruise ships these days. The buffet was brilliant! I love the layout of the buffets on HA ships. Much better than the wide open style of the newer Celebrity ships. 'Enough' choice of food and served by the staff, which keeps the floors cleaner and less hazardous than allowing the guests to serve themselves in my experience. An Orchid on every table is a nice touch! The number of restaurants on the Koningsdam is astonishing! (Most have an extra charge of course) but offer every choice one can think of. We only tried the Canaletto Italian, which was fabulous as the food elsewhere was OK for us. The entertainment was a little contentious. We understand from feedback received from a few people that they were unhappy (or worse) with the music on board! Well it IS more 'modern' than on most ships we've been on. We loved most of the music on offer overall. The addition of B. B. King's venues on HA ships is, in my view, a step forward from the usual MOR dross that we've experienced on most cruises. But it IS loud and proud as it should be. A great eight-piece band providing soul, pop and rock music from across the decades. Well done the B B King all star band! A great sound system in that venue too. There was a solo pianist in one of the lounges doing a couple of early evening spots, he was brilliant too. A wide range of music on offer from him. Classical music lovers were catered for by a talented group (Piano, two Violins, Viola and Cello) who did a couple of sessions a day in the Lincoln Centre Stage area. A mixture of pure classics plus other show tunes etc. The Billboard On-board lounge, also on deck 2, was a multi-purpose venue used for quizzes etc. occasionally but was generally hosted by two piano players/singers who offered a range of pop music from the days of the Beatles and beyond. Both performers were very talented but the female of the duo was a bit heavy-handed on the old Joanna at times and tended to over shadow the guy. Pity as they both were entertaining. The World Stage theatre is a WOW!! LED panels almost surround the auditorium. These display images in keeping with the performances on the unusual shaped stage. The sound system is awesome! THE BEST sound we've experienced on a cruise ship ever! The cast and singers were of the highest quality and the production shows were fabulous. Well done guys! The 'guest artistes' were pretty good overall but not quite as entertaining as on other ships perhaps. The Juggler was brilliant but we've seen him about three times before. The service? Well apart from one instance excellent! When the ship arrived in one port (I can't remember which) the port authority was supposed to supply shuttle buses to get us into town. They didn't! No reason was given only that 'there will be no shuttle buses' over the PA system. Well it was a long walk and one of our party has MS so walking distances is a prob. I asked if they could supply transport, NO was the reply. How about a wheelchair? Only if you 'hire' it for the week!! Sorry HA not good enough!! I must mention also, why do HA ships have the sliding roof over the swimming pool? It takes up space on the deck about plus it's seldom open when required. I really can't see the sense in it. One other niggle is the lack of sun beds around the pools. Too many tables and chairs and not enough beds. The ports of call were well chosen and enjoyed by all in our party. Shame the weather was cold the first week but that's the chance you take going early in the season. We only took one of the ships excursions, to the Santorini town of Oia. The trip was well organised and well-priced. All other ports of call we did our own thing, usually a Hop on Hop off bus was perfect. One big disappointment for us was the recent smoking policy change. On our last HA cruise last year we were able to smoke on our balcony, this time the ONLY space was on the open rear deck!! NO other space was allocated to smokers. This is rubbish guys! We pay the same as other guests and should be granted at least a couple of options on the open decks and not forced to have to walk the length of the ship and up to deck 9 for ciggy. We really enjoyed our cruise on Koningsdam and would recommend the ship if you are prepared for a different experience to other HA ships. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
My family and I went on our first Holland America Cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam for the 4/2/17-4/9/17 Western Caribbean cruise. We were booked in a Neptune Suite. Check in went smoothly with a slight delay on boarding due to a large ... Read More
My family and I went on our first Holland America Cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam for the 4/2/17-4/9/17 Western Caribbean cruise. We were booked in a Neptune Suite. Check in went smoothly with a slight delay on boarding due to a large amount of cruisers who stayed on board from the previous cruise needing to be cleared by customs. Our room was ready when we boarded and we found the room was great, with lots of space for our family of four and a spacious balcony to enjoy. We found all the workers to be great, friendly and helpful. We had reserved a cabana on the Lido Pool deck and it was perfect to have our own space while the kids swam, and the cabana service was top notch. Food was good in the dining room, lido, and we enjoyed Tamarind and the Pinnacle Grill, both were excellent. We booked all of our excursions though Holland America prior to the cruise. On Half Moon Cay we booked a cabana and cabana service, again excellent service by our server Daniel. On Grand Cayman we did a trolley ride around the Island and enjoyed that as well. Everything had been great up to this point. For Cozumel we booked an excursion through Holland America called La Casa en la Playa: A Special Retreat. My family (My husband and two children)and I were placed into a Taxi Van with 2 other couples from our ship to be taken over for our excursion. This taxi only had a few working seat belts and car batteries and other debris all throughout. We were driving down the highway when we were involved in a significant car accident. This is where our trip went down hill. The injuries from the accident ruined the rest of our trip. We were seen by medical on board, but I feel like the staff were only looking out for Holland America's protection instead of my best interest and care as their patient. We were sent flowers by Holland America Guest Relations manager Melanie, and assured SEVERAL times that we were under Holland America's care and insurance at the time of the accident since it was their excursion, and not to worry that all my medical bills post cruise would be covered. Not only did this turn out to be false, but we have felt ignored and dismissed since we disembarked. It took almost 6 weeks for someone to even respond to our inquiry on who to speak with in regards to our medical bills, and then we were told it was not Holland America's responsibility at all, that it would be the excursion companies responsibility. To say that I'm disappointed by the lack of customer service or concern during all this is an understatement. Prior to this incident I was ready to book another cruise on the spot with Holland America, but now I'm so disappointed in their lack of concern or care for their customer's, that I will not be sailing with them again. Our once a year family vacation was ruined, and we are not only out the money we spent on the cruise that we didn't get to enjoy, but we are also out the money we spent on the drink packages that went unused after the wreck, and out a ton of money in medical bills, with no one taking responsibility. We would say cruising with them is fine, but we would say avoid booking excursions directly through them and don't expect much in the form of customer service from them. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Reasonable fares, new and well conceived programs and a decent ship do not make a for a good cruise, it is really about the experience provided by the staff and crew. Seriously disappointing, that is the only way to describe this cruise ... Read More
Reasonable fares, new and well conceived programs and a decent ship do not make a for a good cruise, it is really about the experience provided by the staff and crew. Seriously disappointing, that is the only way to describe this cruise and it is all on HAL and the Eurodam leadership. Note that this is after giving them a pass on choppy seas, the overflowing toilet in our cabin, non-working toilets in public area restrooms, two safety alarms (one for an incinerator flue fire and the other for what sounded like a burst sprinkler head in a food storage area) and evenings on board that ranged from subdued to somnolent. Despite a decent and low key itinerary, the delightful “Music Walk” experience, a quality dining experience in the Pinnacle grill and the absence of upselling, this cruise was marred by, with few exceptions, a failure of the Eurodam crew and staff to understand that they are in the Hospitality business (like a hotel or land based resort). The ships officers were aloof and arrogant (more on this later), and staff generally clueless as to their importance in delivering service. The any-time dining was poorly executed with widely variable wait times, poor estimates on such times, and a lack of intimate seating available. In addition, seating was cramped and the staff seemed more concerned with turning the table than providing an acceptable dining experience. Activities, relative to other similar sized ships, were sparse. Staff often seemed to be more interested in social interactions with other staff members than doing their jobs (as an example on each of my daily visits to the Explorations Café, I observed and heard the same children’s program staff member talking to any other staff member that would listen to her, including when she was allegedly running a scavenger hunt for the children)…note that off duty staff/entertainers appear to congregate here for their morning latte. Ships officers were only visible when they were present in the Lido market, forcing passengers to search for the rare open table. The passenger fronting staff only exacerbated this problem by also grabbing tables and lingering over their meals. Given that this was a full ship, such behavior was unconscionable and showed a direct and unmistakable lack of concern/disregard for the people that are paying their salaries. This same issue appears to apply to the Dining room and may in fact have been part of the problem with any time dining. Any attempt to speak /say hello to an officer or senior staff person, or even find their name was an exercise in futility. Worst of all this illness also infected the Guest Services desk, for example, when I took my card to the desk and explained that it did not open the stateroom door (and that I did not hear the click of the lock opening, I have cruised and been in hotel rooms and know when a key isn’t working) I was told I was wrong and only after it became apparent to the guest service staff member that I wasn’t going to leave without a new key was I given one. We also had a duvet that was dirty with significant unknown stains that we had to have replaced, but only with significant effort with guest services. On return from one of the days on shore we found that all but one (of six available) elevators were "being serviced" or otherwise out of service...who planned this? The final insult, HAL lost one of our bags on disembarkation (it was finally found behing a pallet in one of the ship's holds). They did, however, get it to us at the airport before we departed, notwithstand that HAL lost the bag, the return was actually good service but came from a land based staff member. The preceding were only a few of the daily “surprises” that confirmed and reflected that any concept of customer service seemed to be beyond the crew and staff comprehension. If HAL beleives that its future is in co branding (e.g., Lincoln Center Like and Oprah) it misses the "boat". Yes, these names will attract guests (and probably higher fares) but without a higher level of service it will not retain them. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Had a very nice time on Eurodam for 7 day Caribbean Itinerary March 25 to April 1. Embarkation: Flew from Toronto and got into FLL airport around 11:45, grabbed a taxi, was very easy to find one, be a bit careful though the ride was for ... Read More
Had a very nice time on Eurodam for 7 day Caribbean Itinerary March 25 to April 1. Embarkation: Flew from Toronto and got into FLL airport around 11:45, grabbed a taxi, was very easy to find one, be a bit careful though the ride was for some reason about 6 dollars more going there than coming back (around 26 dollars including tip). Embarkation was very easy, we basically walked right onto the ship and after dropping off our luggage in our cabin, we were off to the Lido for lunch around 1pm. Dining: This was the one true disappointment of the cruise compared to some of the others we took (been on a variety, including Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Princess, Oceania). There were a few good things. The Lido Market had great made to order salads with grilled tuna (my absolute favorite thing to have). The selection of the buffet was generally pretty average and I would say the baked and deep fried selections were overcooked and overdone and dry. The worst part was the service. From morning to evening, it was obvious that there were not enough staff to cover the Lido or the dining room. It was hard to get any drinks or even have tables cleaned and some of the staff seem to be at their stations simply cleaning up the dirty dishes and not enough attention to the customers. We had open dining which meant we had to either call in the morning or get on a wait list. Tables for 2 were never available before 8:30 sitting it seemed even if we called early. The formal dining nights were much worse, the second last evening we waited over an hour to get seating. There seemed to be only one waiter attending to us on multiple nights and they all seems overwhelmed and rushed even though the dishes were coming out very slowly. It basically took two hours to finish a 3 course meal. What that meant was that if you were planning on activities like shows you really have to make sure you plan ahead and may have to miss a lot of activities. This in addition to little things like taking a long time to get tea/coffee, no mention of if we wanted pepper from the pepper mill (we had to do it ourselves, first world problem), and seeing the waiters all run around looking frazzled, it came across as a very disorganized operation. The dishes were more fresh in the dining room as compared to the Lido but the time it took to finish a meal I'm not sure it was worth it. Good things to try in Lido (fresh salad at lunch, sushi bar). On the plus side definitely recommended are the Dive In Burger bar, best burgers I've ever had and New York Pizza, which also had the most amazing Panna Cotta Desert!! Nice alternatives if you don't see anything you like in the Lido. The Ship: Very nice understated ship, it was not one of those megaships which I actually appreciated. We had an oceanview cabin, which was very suitable for our needs as we booked an inside GTY and spent most of our time outside. The cabin attendants did not introduce themselves and we hardly saw them but they did do a decent job cleaning. Although fair warning, the toilets often seemed stinky (even before we got to use it!) and the smell never seemed to go away. The beds were comfortable, although they were on the narrow side (twins separated my guess). The temperature in the room seemed very hard to regulate at night. Either it was very cold or it was very hot, even though we put the thermostat in the middle setting. Entertainment: We only went to a few shows, they seemed run of the mill, although the lead singers seemed to be more talented vocally than some of the cruises we were on. We went to one culinary demonstration which was average. We spent the most time at Lincoln Center Stage, and although classical music is not for everyone, this part of the cruise was very special. What a talented group of highly trained musicians. I have to say in comparison to the larger stage show, the shows these musicians put on elevated the entire atmosphere of the cruise to the point that if there is one thing that would put me back on Holland America, it would be this. They obviously have to work so hard for so many shows and I hope Holland takes care of them, you don't want such talent to burn out! Casino was busy most evenings and the machines were very tight, but then we heard that the only way to win is to play the max on the slots, some of them went up to 8.88 per spin!! We went on the cheap side an lost a few bucks but its par for the course I guess. Go check out the Promenade wrap around teak deck it is great for quiet lounging away from the pool area and nice to walk around too! The pool area I found way too loud and hectic, even though the music was quiet but too many people were jostling about. Service: In general, the service was very average, we didn't drink much but the staff were not overly friendly and not inattentive. Fitness: Very nice sized gym with lots of cardio machines and equipment. I had to work out every morning at 6 or would have gained 20 pounds!! The staff there are friendly and there is this one very hot Serbian trainer guy who I saw later suntanning, like wow, made me feel worse about gaining 20 pounds haha (if eye candy matters to you LOL) Disembarkation: We had a flight back to Toronto at 12:35 and chose the 9:00 disembarkation. It was very smooth and luggage was very easy to find at the port. The lineups to customs weren't so bad but there was a long waiting line at the FLL airport. We made it in plenty of time but didn't have any seats in the boarding area so had to sit on the floor. So you may want to set an earlier time but we didn't want to rush off the boat with the first lot of people. Overall: Would definitely go again, although the dining service really needs fixing. It almost seems they want to have fewer people trying to do the same service and it shows. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the schedule worked. Have cruised mainly on Royal Carribean and have done a couple on Carnival. We decided to try Holland America. We booked on the Eurodam for 3/25/17 through 04/01/17. On ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the schedule worked. Have cruised mainly on Royal Carribean and have done a couple on Carnival. We decided to try Holland America. We booked on the Eurodam for 3/25/17 through 04/01/17. On departure day we arrived at the port upon opening. The departure process was pretty well organized and the ship opened swiftly. Embarkation photos were taken but did not include the ship in the background that was used. The buffet on the Lido deck was open and as we would learn the ships team served all passengers at the buffet they would do this the entire week. We were excited to learn that the staterooms were open already-around 11:30am. However, the ships team was still cleaning them Holland should revisit this. Staterooms should not open until cleaning is 100% done. The food in the main dining room and the buffet I would rank as very good I felt better than both RCCI and Carnival. I had an inside cabin on deck eight. The cabin was average very little drawer space and the bathroom had no shelf space. My package included one night in the premium steak house the Pinnacle Grille The food and service was beyond reproach. In terms of things to do on board the ship I would rate RCCI as stronger.I was disappointed that on our sea days there was no pool deck activities and no entertainment in what would be called the centrum although Holland does not refer to the area around the center of the ship in this manner. I realize that Holland is catering to an older clientele. I was also disappointed to hear that the hydro pool was an additional charge. I did make use of the spa and found that they offer all the standard services The spa was very comfortable and the service very good. the casino for this average size ship was well suited The slots seemed to payoff early in the week. From a night time entertainment standpoint I found the eurodam to outshine Carnival cruise ships but while very good not quite as good as RCCI. The ship featured live entertainment nightly in four locations. Read Less
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