3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We love Tim Timmons & Mercy Me so we went on the Mercy Me at sea cruise it was awesome except for the Holland America cruise line. The service in the main dining room was horrible they were not friendly at all. The menu was bad except ... Read More
We love Tim Timmons & Mercy Me so we went on the Mercy Me at sea cruise it was awesome except for the Holland America cruise line. The service in the main dining room was horrible they were not friendly at all. The menu was bad except for 3 nights out of 7 nights. The buffets are bad because you cannot take what you want you have to wait inline and be served. There is nothing to do on the ship thank goodness we had special events all week. The ports we did not get to go to the ports we were expecting to go because they claim that it was too rough waters. It was not rough except for 1 night but we were at sea that day. The fitness center is very small and the staff is not qualified. I would never go on Holland America if they did not have the Christian Cruises. I like the ships and how they look but they need more activities. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We selected this cruise to celebrate my husband's retirement. The combination of ports and transatlantic cruise was the perfect fit and the time of year was just what we were hoping for. We flew into Venice a couple of days prior to ... Read More
We selected this cruise to celebrate my husband's retirement. The combination of ports and transatlantic cruise was the perfect fit and the time of year was just what we were hoping for. We flew into Venice a couple of days prior to sailing and enjoyed checking out the city. The problems started once we arrived in our cabin and discovered the toilet did not operate. Nor did it work the next day, or the day after that, or the day after that.....7 days of our cruise. No operating toilet. We had a pool of disgusting sewage liquid on the floor of the bathroom on one day AFTER the plumbers left. After reporting the problems to Customer Service, we learned the problem was a continuation from the prior cruise. But we were the problem because we were not able to move to another cabin (my parents were next door and we were unable to leave them). For our "trouble", we were given $250. Seriously. The $250 "compensation" for 28% of our cruise being impacted was unacceptable. I would strongly encourage others to avoid HAL and the Oosterdam in particular. We have cruised both HAL and the Oosterdam in the past and had chosen this cruise over several others. We spent hours with customer service staff, plumbers and not doing what we wanted to do--but hey, we got pretty good finding the "public toilets" around the ship....as this was what customer service told us to do when we needed to do our "business". Yep, couldn't use our cabin's most basic facilities. Needless to say, this overshadowed our entire cruise and has changed our views of HAL. Additionally, there were challenges with the wine stewart. We were charged for wine we didn't drink. We were charged for a chard. ($62/bottle) when we drank a reisling ($32/bottle). Who knows who else he was stealing from. As much trouble as we had with the above, we enjoyed the entertainment, the special speakers and the America's Test Kitchen. Our cabin steward was a trooper in having to perform his usual duties and then also clean up from the mess the plumbers left. The ports and excursions we amazing. One challenge we did have with the excursions is that the descriptions regarding strenuousness and the passengers abilities often did not mesh. So those passengers who were more "agile" were held back by those could not keep up with the guides. Look beyond HAL to another cruise line before booking. Or be prepared for anything to go wrong. And then be prepared to be placated by the customer service staff "I'm so sorry Mrs. ***". These individuals are left to try to clean up problems across the ship without any information on what is causing the issues. We felt sorry for them. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I chose this cruise because of the wonderful ports offered and because I had previously cruised with Holland and been quite pleased. It was a mistake. . .. a horrible mistake, The ship is in great disrepair aesthetically. From chipped ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the wonderful ports offered and because I had previously cruised with Holland and been quite pleased. It was a mistake. . .. a horrible mistake, The ship is in great disrepair aesthetically. From chipped and peeling paint, to dirty mats and peeling closet rods. The Oosterdam needs to be placed in service and cleaned. Other cruisers were similarly complaining about the food, the dirt, the lack of service etc. . . I learned that the cruise director was leaving the ship at the end of our cruise which may have accounted for her lack of involvement ( unless it was hanging out drinking with other cruise line personnel), but must comment about the lack of activities ( or rote nature of same). While the Oosterdam " strives to offer activities for every age range and nationality," there were very few choices and the entertainment quality was bad. The exception was the BB King band, which was quite good. In addition to the state of the ship, the food offered was poor ( except the one excellent meal enjoyed at the specialty restaurant). Otherwise, the stations close at 9pm, and have old ( as in expired cream cheese, old (smelly) seafood, etc) food options . Pizza however is available pretty much 24/7. Positives: The cabin stewards work tirelessly. The assistant cruise director was great, my spa appointments were reasonably priced and quite good. One concern to note was that we had an overnight in Malta. We docked at Valletta and were due to depart from Gozo the following day. My son and I notified the ship ( and filled out paperwork and provided contact information) to inform them that we would exit the ship from Valletta and meet the ship in Gozo. Because of weather, the Captain decided not to go to Gozo and changed the aboard time in Valletta. WE WERE NEVER CONTACTED, Had it not been for a fellow passenger texting me about the change, we would never have known and missed the ship's departing from Valletta. I tried to let the ship know of this error and my other concerns. The only response I received was when the manager of the Lido deck hunted me down at the fine dining establishment were I had reserved the following night to inquire about my comments about the curdled milk offered for coffee drinkers on the Lido in the mornings. No one from HA addressed the issue of failing to inform us of the port change. Scary. I will never ever cruise HA again and the biggest reason for that decision is that they did not address my concerns. There are numerous fellow passengers who felt the same way. All told, this cruise cost over $10,000.00. I expected a lot more. Don't waste your money on poor service, poor food, and dirty accommodations. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We wanted a Panama canal cruise and picked Holland because we wanted to try them. We have been on 7 cruises before this on other cruise lines. There must be something wrong with the stabilization system on that ship. It never stopped ... Read More
We wanted a Panama canal cruise and picked Holland because we wanted to try them. We have been on 7 cruises before this on other cruise lines. There must be something wrong with the stabilization system on that ship. It never stopped rocking. 15 days of walking like you were drunk. The night entertainment was cheap. Sitting through 45 minutes of piano playing by one man. On another night was one man playing saxophone for 45 minutes. A comedian that was so bad my wife and I left. One good night was a ventriloquist. He was funny. The food for lunch at the buffet was a different way to cook chicken for 6 days or how many different ways are there to serve fish. Very boring. Asian cooking also left us amused. Cashew chicken with no cashews. Sweet and sour pork was bad. Brisket that you could not chew. Tomato soup with barley that didn't taste like tomato and in the cup were only 14 pieces of barley my wife had 17. The food for dinner in the dining room was good though. Other ships we have been on have pool side entertainment. Like ice carving, or dance contests, house races. Pool games. Not this cruise, not a thing. So boring that my wife and I put together jig saw puzzles. The end was that they charge you $13.50 per person per day for hotel services. For what? That is the first time we have seen that. We will never go on another Holland cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I wanted to have an experience of a life time. I did not however. The food was not worthy of a cruise, the entertainment was nill to say the least. the dining room was very dull and not a great place to be. The Lido deck was very ... Read More
I wanted to have an experience of a life time. I did not however. The food was not worthy of a cruise, the entertainment was nill to say the least. the dining room was very dull and not a great place to be. The Lido deck was very uncomfortable, and not open long enough. There was no food for mid nite snacks. Who does an art auction on a cruise? The selection of food was in bad taste. The ship was cold all the time, no heat even in cabins. Although I have to say the staff was very professional. The Hotel (Four Points) was located in the middle of nowhere. No restaurants, no eateries, no shopping, nothing to do in the town.The plane arrangements were in poor taste, I will not ever use this cruise line again. The travel agency or the agent again. I have never had an experience so bad in my life. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
recommended by a friend but I will not recommend Our cabin was obstructed by a lifeboat and we were not told that. Bedding was not changed the full 2 weeks we were there. Very small smoking area and no smoking in the casino at all. I ... Read More
recommended by a friend but I will not recommend Our cabin was obstructed by a lifeboat and we were not told that. Bedding was not changed the full 2 weeks we were there. Very small smoking area and no smoking in the casino at all. I was not impressed with this cruise line at all and will not cruise again on Holland America. Nor will I recommend this line. Dr wait was more than 2 1/2 hours and it seemed most of the people were sick. Fine dining was very very slow. Bread and buns were hard as a rock. Buffet was ok and offered a nice range of foods, After 8 pm there was nowhere to get anything to eat in the buffet area but cookies and ice cream. People at buffet were very nice though. Most glasses were dirty with a film on them. Several times I had to replace my glass. Not enjoyable at all Read Less
Sail Date: November 2016
This was our longest cruise and we upgraded to a Neptune Suite A big mistake, service was bad, food was bad, the employees attitudes were bad Was like we were a burden to them more to come later, but we wanted folks to know of ... Read More
This was our longest cruise and we upgraded to a Neptune Suite A big mistake, service was bad, food was bad, the employees attitudes were bad Was like we were a burden to them more to come later, but we wanted folks to know of this and we were not alone, a lot and we mean a lot of folks were very unhappy the dinner in the dining room were things you did not want to eat and food on the upper deck was dried out fried chicken, and if you wanted to try a hamburger, you better have a good 30 minutes before you saw you food. and most of the time, the food once you got to your table, NO TRAYS SUPPLIED so you had to always go back, if you wanted more than two dishes, and if you wanted to have a glass of wine or a drink, good luck getting anybodies attention Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
I will never travel Holland again. Been on many cruises nothing for young adults going on. I`m 57, took my 35 year old son on his first cruise. They double charged all our guest credit cards. My son said first and last for him. He call ... Read More
I will never travel Holland again. Been on many cruises nothing for young adults going on. I`m 57, took my 35 year old son on his first cruise. They double charged all our guest credit cards. My son said first and last for him. He call it the Gray Pride cruise.Bad food, Customer service could not even figure my or my sons bill right.Finally found someone that could so we cashed out two days early. Also ordered a bottle of crown for our room 2 weeks early. didn`t come for 24 hours later give or take 2 or 3 hours. They kept saying its on it`s way.Cabin was good for stateroom. Men who cleaned room great. Worthy of a good tip. Nothing much going on at night.No pool party activity. That was the first for me,even through I`m not a big partyier. If your not over 65 don`t take this cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
A comprehensive review of OUR HAL EXPERIENCE on the 09/28/16 Oosterdam 12nt Mediterranean Dreams cruise follows. Summary: With the exception of the two very negative experiences, our overall HAL cruise experience was nothing out of the ... Read More
A comprehensive review of OUR HAL EXPERIENCE on the 09/28/16 Oosterdam 12nt Mediterranean Dreams cruise follows. Summary: With the exception of the two very negative experiences, our overall HAL cruise experience was nothing out of the ordinary. I highly recommend reading through all of our experiences listed, while paying special attention to the deal breaking experiences detailed at the end of this review. This was our 34th cruise, 7th and LAST on HAL. The people, both staff and guests were a good bunch, we met new people and made some new friends. The itinerary was decent and the aspects of some ports, as well as this cruise experience, were better than others. For those who are concerned only with QOS (quality of service) and food, this cruise was par for the course with HAL. Due to our belief in the HAL brand, we paid a small premium, a bit more than we usually would, to go on this cruise. Unfortunately, the faith and trust which had been built over years in the HAL brand, was quickly obliterated in a matter of three weeks (one post cruise). In essence, terrible decision making by HAL ship side management and shore side executive management, ruined our cruise experience and earned (the hard way) a trifecta of terrible ratings in Overall Rating, Onboard Experience and Value for Money. If I could give a negative rating in these experiences, I would. Embarkation: Poor and mismanaged - slow, long queues. Service: On par for HAL, friendly and excellent. In particular the cabin stewards, bar and lido staff. Food: The Dive-In burgers, all beef hot dogs and taco bar were a nice alternative. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner: In the Lido Buffet was very good; the staff and management were most accommodating to our needs. Port day lunch included a pasta bar, tasty sushi rolls and Asian dishes. Main Dining - never bothered due to queues and the variety and quality of the food being literally identical in the Lido. Entertainment: Average at best - The BAND is gone? BBKing and the Ventriloquist Magician were excellent; New dueling pianos, meh. Sing around single pianist was better; Shows, not very good. Enrichment Activities: Average, the computer classes were a nice touch. Family and Children: Not applicable Fitness and Recreation: Clean and average; pools, jacuzzis, free men and womens locker shower, gym and dry sauna. Public Rooms: Average - On average, a mostly orderly ship. Ports: Average - see detailed review below Shore Excursions: Not applicable Disembarkation: Poor - swift and merciless. Fastest we have ever been given the bums rush. Hundreds were awaiting buses, shuttles and cabs, many with reservations for a hour or two later. Cabin Review: Excellent, see details in optional review below. Port Reviews Venice: Romantic, but expensive. Buy a vaporetto pass and validate it before riding. Visit Venice, stay and eat on the Lido. Sarande (Albania): Quaint beachfront esplanade. The best and least expensive "greek" food (15E for two) on this cruise. Kerkira (Corfu): Scenic historic city center and park walks await. Katakolon (Greece): Waterfront, two streets, four blocks of shops. Olympia ruins and Giorgio's Bike Bar ride await. Nafplion: Trendy beach front, downtown and exhausting bay fortress walk await. Athens: Best Duty Free, Parthenon and Acropolis ruins await. It's a big city. Mykonos: Quaint is now over commercialized, Big money bought out the independent's. Iraklion (Crete): Historic city center now glorified brand name outlet mall. Knossos Palace ruins await, big AM queues, empty after 1PM. Santorini: Take the funicular, beware of queues, avoid donkeys. Overrun with small shops. Naples: Capri, Sorrento, train to Pompeii, Herculaneum ruins await. You must be cautious, a young couple was victimized. Do not get on a bus or train without a validated ticket and announce the fact. You will be legitimately fined or caught in the typical Napoletano "we are the police" scam. Pick pockets, purse, phone, camera and jewelry snatchers galore. If you value it don't bring it ashore. As for your bank card and getting cash, do not use the ATM's. Theft of cash, identity, card eating ATM's and non dispensation of cash, while debiting your account are common here. Rome: Nice beach at port of Civitavecchia. Take train to Termini station, see the Colosseum first. Like Naples, it's the big city, beware. Negative experience #1: The Petri Dish Experiment We gave ample monetary consideration in the form of time off, airfare, transfers, excursions and the cruise itself, only to be subjected to a lack of hygienic common sense or a virus known as stupidity on the part of HAL ship side management. To be clear, in 34 cruises taken over a 50 year span, I have never been exposed to such unsanitary conditions and unhygienic practices. In 34 cruises, 31 ships, 9 lines, 122 ports, this was the first time I have contracted any type of illness on a cruise. Many were afflicted as witnessed by multiple conversations with passengers and crew who were impacted and aware of the situation. Aside from the "hacking" going on all over the ship, outbreaks of diarrhea and influenza were brought to my attention by several crew and passengers in the know. Two passengers made the unsolicited comment which I cannot take credit for, "this ship is a floating petri dish". Some of HAL's guests suffered, my wife and I to the tune of 14 days of downtime, misery and inconvenience from influenza (including the last 6 days of the cruise, hence impacting our overall rating and onboard experience). Whether HAL violated CDC health regs is beside the point, as their wanton lack of common sense, ultimately violated their guests trust. The cause? In the prior 33 cruises, I have never seen beverages or ice dispensed in such a haphazard fashion. From the beginning of the cruise, the non touch ice beverage dispensers in the Lido buffet were occasionally non functional, i.e. did not dispense ice or water. When they were functional, unprotected pitchers were often positioned on the drip tray blocking their usage, forcing unnecessary manual usage of make shift ice chests and pitchers. Rather than no touch, the process required a minimum of eight full hand to surface contacts on three different surfaces; chest lid; ice scoop; pitcher. In addition, the ice chest was compromised by the complete insertion of a hand during the scooping process. These conditions were mysteriously allowed to persist for the duration of the 12 night cruise. An email to the Office of the CEO and President at HAL, solicited the following response. "Interestingly enough we had our public health specialist on board this cruise. Non-touch beverage/ice machines were functional during the cruise and not disabled as suggested. There was no outbreak of influenza or diarrhea as suggested. We are not in a position to provide you with a monetary refund." The above response from HAL's Office of the CEO and President (Stein Kruse and Orlando Ashford) shot a clear message across my bow regarding the complaint. Their "Special Advisors" denied all circumstances and issued a complete refutation of my on board experience. The response which in essence called me a liar is so many words, left my family feeling cheated, deceived and lacking any future trust in the HAL brand. We also copied Arnold Donald the CEO of Carnival (Kruse and Ashfords boss), and never received any response. If you think that's the end of this story, sadly it only gets worse. I thought paying to unsuspectingly participate in a covert infectious disease or immunization program, was hitting rock bottom for HAL. Not even close, after reading below, plunging to new depths with U-boat Captain Lehmann-Willenbrock (Das Boot) will seem like a step up from HAL. Negative experience # 2: Terrorizing The Guests We had the extreme displeasure of witnessing a family of six with toddler, having their twelve night vacation completely ruined by HAL's front office and immigration administration. Some one in HAL's shipboard administrative office spotted a clerical error on a Visa, measured in mere hours and decided to flex their authoritative muscle in threatening to throw the mother of the toddler off the ship. Shortly into the cruise, HAL staff informed the family that the mother must debark the ship, a night prior to the cruises termination in Rome. HAL claimed that the mothers Schengen zone visa would terminate during the family's privately arranged post cruise transit to the Rome airport. The following day, HAL claimed the administrative error or visa oversight had been resolved. The next day, HAL staff reversed course again and like Schettino's Costa Concordia ran aground, insisting that the mother would have to debark in Naples. The husband made continued attempts to appeal to common sense. After a long weekend, the husband finally put his foot down and informed HAL staff that they would have to "physically remove" the whole family from the ship, along with their possessions. Magically, HAL staff finally "resolved" the administrative "problem" with "port authorities" and said all was well. The emotionally wrought disruption of this families vacation by HAL was unconscionable. Worse yet, for nine out of twelve nights, we watched this poor family being held hostage and terrorized by HAL's administrative Yo-Yo's (not ok, ok, not ok, ok) as they whimsically waved the sword of Damocle's over this poor families heads. Sailing with distemperate Captain Queeg (The Caine Mutiny) would be a step up from HAL. HAL administrative staff exhibited a complete lack of common sense and misguided application of policy and authority. Paying to be a guest, then being held emotional hostage, replete with psychological torture, redefines hospitality and service as well as taking it to new depths. This is how HAL treat their paying guests? Perhaps HAL should change their name to SSC or Stockholm Syndrome Cruises? Being Christian Fletcher and suffering the harsh punishment, criticism and abuse of Captain Bligh (Mutiny on the Bounty) would be a better fate. At the end of the day, apparently no one in HAL management ship or shore side has ever read Conrad Hilton's BE MY GUEST. In hospitality and service, misrepresentation should not be rife, with "caveat emptor" as the maxim of the day. HAL sure seems to have taken this to heart, as they apparently have forgotten about their most important resource, the customer. HAL is in the hospitality service business, at least that is the rumor which their hygienic practices, shipboard administration and post cruise customer service rapidly dispels. HAL's shore side upper management attitude and lack of customer satisfaction in problem resolution has left this formerly satisfied customer feeling like, sailing with Capt. Jack Sparrow on the Black Pearl (Pirates of the Caribbean), would be an upgrade from HAL. In an effort to deny reality and just recompense, I shudder to imagine what HAL's professional deflection tactics and denial system aka "wall of non stick voodoo teflon" at the Office of The President and CEO, might cook up and attempt to serve future victims. Because of late, that is exactly what the HAL experience left us feeling like. Caveat Emptor. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was my 12-13th cruise and we had heard that HAL was among the best -- we found them among the worst. Poor, absent, on the verge of unfriendly, service; room steward constantly complaining about being overworked. Truly awful, ... Read More
This was my 12-13th cruise and we had heard that HAL was among the best -- we found them among the worst. Poor, absent, on the verge of unfriendly, service; room steward constantly complaining about being overworked. Truly awful, repetitious food with few choices (even their BBQ was bad -- cold and VERY few choices); the simplest things, like getting a glass of milk,were all but impossible and the hours for the Lido deck buffet were very short -- tried to get dinner at 8:45 but everything was closed! No service either, just had to push dishes aside and get our own drinks while servers huddled together talking -- every day for 12 days. Entertainment was poor and there were few activities to do onboard. Most irritating was that there was a constant barrage of people selling things that are often free (such as the therapy pool) on other ships. We stayed in a veranda room and it was so small that you couldn't get to the veranda when extra (uncomfortable) bed open. Could only get by the regular bed by going sideways. Will never travel on another HAL ship. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
Being an avid traveler and having travelled the world, this trip by far was the most absolute worst cruise I have ever taken. For starters I would have expected that Holland America would send one of their nicer, not to mention newer, ... Read More
Being an avid traveler and having travelled the world, this trip by far was the most absolute worst cruise I have ever taken. For starters I would have expected that Holland America would send one of their nicer, not to mention newer, ships for a ten day holiday cruise and have something special for all of the passengers on Christmas Day. The arrival of Santa was a nice touch but a bit bland. All of the crew members appeared to be going through the motions and at times were snobbish and unfriendly. I have heard more "no" on this cruise from the staff than I have ever experienced on past cruises. There appeared to be an "I don't care" mentality with the staff and this was evident with all crew members starting with the captain, whom we never saw, to the cabin steward. The service, or lack of one, was definitely not worth the $12 per day per person. The cabin steward did the bare minimum and conveniently didn't speak English when requests were made. In fact we barely saw him, any request we had was put into writing only to be ignored. Oh, did I mention that not ONCE was our bed sheets changed during the ten day voyage! Wow, that's service. Moving on to the fiasco known as first seating dining, I have never witnessed such disorder. Our server acted as though this was his first day working on a cruise ship, he was very un organized and full of excuses. We waited fifteen minutes just to get our menus and even longer for water. On our first night he said that we can dine in open seating which I found to be odd and rude, as if he was put out by us being there. What a thing to say the very first night. The second night was even worse, we were the very last to be waited on even though we had arrived much earlier than the other passengers. We had to ask for ice tea three different times and dirty dishes were left on our table, he was too busy catering to the other passengers and completely ignored us. We left in disgust and complained. We were assigned a new table in open seating and had much better service but still not to the level of service we have experienced on other cruise lines. I found the food on this cruise to be subpar both in quality and taste. Everything tasted bland and very small portions. I hated the fact that we couldn't help ourselves to what we wanted. Like little kids we were handed the plate of food and if we asked for extra then there was the eye roll from the server. I also hated the fact that there was a time limit on the buffet. On other cruises there is always some sort of buffet open 24/7. Not on this one, you are at the mercy of their time and you are very limited in selection. As far as ordering room service you are put on hold for upwards of twenty minutes or longer, this seemed to be the norm for any department you were trying to reach. A passenger told me that her daughter was on hold to order a DVD for 48 minutes and fell asleep in the process. The specialty restaurants were a joke in the excessive amount they charged extra per person, have we not payed enough for this cruise already?!!! I wasn't about to pay any more to have another plate of bland crap placed before me. We never used the excursions, found them to be too pricey and we could always get the same things offered at half the price at each port. We did have a negative experience when trying to come back to the ship on one of the tenders (the little boats that you see hoisted up along the sides of the cruise ship) were there was a mechanical problem and it could not be steered properly. After thirty five minutes of being hammered by waves and bumping into the side of the ship's dock they managed to finally pull the tender by ropes enabling us to board the ship. There was no word of apology or any sort of on board credit for the hair raising trauma those of us experienced while on board the tender, and these are the rescue boats?? The whole ship is small and weathered with many broken things. Another passenger told me that their toilet didn't work for a couple of days, nasty. Once again no compensation just excuses. There is a total of two pools,one for adults and one for kids but it would have been nice to have been informed that babies who are not potty trained are not allowed in the pool at the time we made arrangements. The shows were more of a high school musical from the 1800's, in other words oldies but goodies both in music choices and performers. I guess this is to cater to the seniors over 80 that accounted for 85% of the passengers. This is definitely not a cruise for fun loving young couples and families with kids. Will definitely never utilize this line again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We returned last night from what will now be referred to as 'the trip from Hell on the Oosterclunk'. I will start out by saying we have taken 28 cruises on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Azamara, and in the past 12 ... Read More
We returned last night from what will now be referred to as 'the trip from Hell on the Oosterclunk'. I will start out by saying we have taken 28 cruises on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Azamara, and in the past 12 months, two other Holland America ships. Imagine our disappointment to find that the Oosterdam is in such disrepair that they would offer us an oceanview room on 1st floor right which was filled with 'engine noises' that were evident morning, noon and night...to the point in was in tears and not able to sleep. The ship was apparently full...we were told the only way was if someone left the ship would they be able to offer us another room...we gave up....but after 6 days someone did vacate a room up on 5 and we were able to relocate there. For that we were grateful...however there were other major concerns we found. Lack of sanitization stations throughout the ship...not once did a staff member offer or remind anyone to sanitize their hands and we were amazed by this considering it is now the new normal on all other ships we have been on. The nightly line up at anytime dining was inexcusable...expect to wait 20 - 30 minutes and on formal night we waited over an hour...we gave up some nights and headed to the Lido Buffet rather than beg for a table for two...and that had issues of its own....large groups of staff, and spa staff gather and congest the tables so that guests had difficulties finding places to sit. Food choices were very poor...and I would rate food average at best. Steak tough, few fish options even fewer vegetable offerings ...desserts were often inedible. Staff were not up to par with our other Holland America cruises...and I believe the front office staff are not equipped to handle the many complaints coming their way from disgruntled guests...and there were many we chatted with during our 11 days. The Oosterdam is old, tired and clearly in need of an overhaul. When paying for a cruise holiday, one should not have to beg for sleep, an acceptable dining experience or wonder about the cleanliness of the ship due to lack of sanitization by fellow guests...this is unacceptable. We did receive two letters of apology and a small onboard credit on the last day, however by this time our vacation was ruined and we will no longer be considering Holland America for any future cruises. Please note we have never had to formally complain about anything on any other cruiseline and I do regret having to write such a review but since I use cruise critic to assist in my planning i hope to offer some insight and consideration for others in making their choice. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
After travelling on a number of cruise lines I had 3 bad experiences with Holland America. It does not matter the ship because its the same attitude. May 2013 (Alaska) with friends, September 2014 (Alaska) with my parents and December 2015 ... Read More
After travelling on a number of cruise lines I had 3 bad experiences with Holland America. It does not matter the ship because its the same attitude. May 2013 (Alaska) with friends, September 2014 (Alaska) with my parents and December 2015 Caribbean with my husband) (only because of a small cruise credit) there was problems with cross contamination with food. These issues can be very serious and even lead to death. I will itemize: 1. If you have a shell food allergy you can NEVER eat an omelet because in the Lido they do not have vegetarian only pans. They cook everything in the pans with prawns, meat etc. This also would not work for people who are vegetarian, vegan, Jewish or Muslim. 2. When they make sandwiches they do not follow international standards and use utensils for each container. You have them using a a gloved hand and handling pork, then tomatoes, then turkey, then cheese so you cannot even have a vegetarian sandwich. Sandwiches are the only thing available to each after doing a tour. So we had nothing to eat. 3. They said one dish was a beef roll up and the chef said it only had vegetables added. A six inch piece of bacon is the funniest looking vegetable I saw. Holland America - bacon is pork and a meat!. 4 Lasagna was to have ground beef in it and ended up being beef and pork mixed. Other issues: 5 The gym manager said that exercises for abdominal muscles do not work to decrease waist size and will only increase the waist size. He told me to attend a session that would help. I attended and that session and it was to sell a test and blue green algae which was a product that the owners of the spa and gym sell. 6 The entertainment was poor and repeated frequently. Sometime the people doing the sessions did not even show up like for lessons on the metals drums. 7. Tomatoes in the salad bar were mushy and seems to be 'off'. I discussed this with the guest services manager, executive chef to correct the issue. The executive chef assured me it had been dealt with but the behaviour was witnessed at least 7 least seven times over the 21 days. I sent an email to the company with no response in a week. I would never recommend this line. There are many other line in the same price range. Holland America, like in baseball its 3 strikes you are out!!! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
My wife and I have cruised 15 times several with Celebrity ,Norwegian , Royal Caribbean , one Carnival several Holland America .This cruise was a total disappointment the first two nights the toilet backed up smell was evident we ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised 15 times several with Celebrity ,Norwegian , Royal Caribbean , one Carnival several Holland America .This cruise was a total disappointment the first two nights the toilet backed up smell was evident we complained wanted to move but was told nothing was available ,food at the Lido dinning was mediocre the Vista dinning room was laughable who serves one small scalop for an appetizer , portions for entrees minute .The ship was tired time to move this one out to pasture,staff were going through the motions, the entertainment was ok Avalon were good lot's of energy .Cursicao ,Aruba & Bonaire were nice Samana needs a lot of work . This is our last Holland America cruise never again back to Celebrity Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
I am a 4 star cruiser with Holland America and have always praised how much they do for you and what a wonderful cruise line they are. I can no longer say that. I brought a high school friend with me and we stayed in a Neptune suite. The ... Read More
I am a 4 star cruiser with Holland America and have always praised how much they do for you and what a wonderful cruise line they are. I can no longer say that. I brought a high school friend with me and we stayed in a Neptune suite. The room was great and our stewards were wonderful, but the rest of the staff need a book on manners, especially in the Neptune lounge you will be treated to the rudest person on the ship. He has no idea how to help you with a problem except to say she's worked for the cruise line for 5 years and knows everything and you are not right and I am not screaming the way he did. The food was bland and not fresh. I have never sent a seal back but my salmon smelled so fishy I had them take it away and a meal replacement came when the rest of my table was finished. Trying to get a drink was easy if you jumped them but if you wanted another I suggest standing on the chair and waving your napkin over your head. If it wasn't for the people we were eating with we would have used the Pinnacle Grill every night. I did hear you could get good food there. As for service on the hole ship, there were times you had to go to the bar if you wanted a drink they were so under staffed. Things that they promises to give you has perks, LOL Are never seen or not what you were told. Even the perks of being 4 star were not honored. I left the cruise with my head down and totally embarrassed. What happened to Holland America? Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
My husband & i have recently returned from a 22 night cruise from sydney to vancouver, on holland america oosterdam. the cruise was then continuing onto alaska. We were really looking forward with great anticipation to this 22 day ... Read More
My husband & i have recently returned from a 22 night cruise from sydney to vancouver, on holland america oosterdam. the cruise was then continuing onto alaska. We were really looking forward with great anticipation to this 22 day cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. We have done many cruises over the past number of years, and have always enjoyed it. We have continued to go on cruises as our preferred holiday, because we have thoroughly enjoyed the 'total' experience. However on this cruise, after one week at sea, it soon became evident that this was not going to be the wonderful trip we had saved for & hoped it would be. my husband became very unwell with a 'virus' that was going around the ship. He started on some antibiotics that we had taken away with us 'just in case' we were unwell while we were away for a month. After spending 3 days in bed, and still no better, he visited the ship's doctor. The infirmary was so busy they were making appointments! He was given a different antibiotic, and we received an account for $us180.00. I would say that at least 50% of the passengers & some crew, came down with this debilitating coughing virus. why is it that cruise ships can't draw in the fresh sea air into the air conditioning system, instead of recirculating the germ infested stale air. Even the so called 'fogging' they say happens at night doesn't fix the problem!!! Washing hands to combat bugs is one thing , but the greater problem is in the air that you breath all the time. The remainder of our time away in vancouver & hong kong was totally ruined because my husband was still unwell & by then i had also contracted the same thing. All we could do was to wish our time away to get back home. On our return home, we visited our doctor who said we had influenza, and no antibiotic would be effective for that. We have both spent the past 4 days in bed trying to recuperate! We will never do another holland america cruise again. We would like holland america to refund us 10% of our cruise cost, (we have written to them, but don't think we will ever hear from them), as we were unable to go to the dining room , the evening shows, or partake in the activities provided on the ship. On the positive side our cabin stewards & the staff were all very pleasant and helpful. Joybells. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
This was my first cruise with Holland America Line and must say a very disappointing experience in comparison to other companies. Oosterdam ship is aging, and unfortunately this is not balanced with the service which I would quote as very ... Read More
This was my first cruise with Holland America Line and must say a very disappointing experience in comparison to other companies. Oosterdam ship is aging, and unfortunately this is not balanced with the service which I would quote as very poor for a cruise experience. Thanksfully, you'll find some friendly staff onboard, but overall the level of service is poor. Staff reflect a low level of standards and worse tell you things but doesn't act as said! Curiously staff is using the same facilities than customers on their day off and you lost sense of who is the customer and who is the professional supposed to be in charge to make your cruise an enjoyable experience. Worse... as ship needs some refresh works, workers do execute those from early morning with short notice and refrain from ability to use the outside veranda. Food is ok, but once again below expectation for a ship cruise. It is hardly difficult to say a positive word on this cruise, but once again a few staff members are willing to offer a great experience, but these individual skills are not taken consistently through management not raising the bar and ensuring everyones fully dedicated to service. All in all poor service, aging boot, staff nor dediated to service and customer, ongoing works and lack of professionalism... NEVER BACK ON HOLLAND AMERICA LINE! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
In Short; Not likely to use this carrier in future. Where to Start for the cruise Oosterdam South Pacific Cruise 02/01/2015. To Those who read this & this was their first cruise I am very pleased you had a great time and were treated ... Read More
In Short; Not likely to use this carrier in future. Where to Start for the cruise Oosterdam South Pacific Cruise 02/01/2015. To Those who read this & this was their first cruise I am very pleased you had a great time and were treated well. Previous cruises 4 and Yes were comparing due to cost & promotions attached to this cruise line high expectations for this & very very disappointed. Room was ok as all carrier are similar, Room staff we had was great they did as much as required to make this accommodation enjoyable & did their job very well, Activities non existent or very lack of unless you only wanted to exercise or into beauty treatments, Staff (except the room attendants) need re-training as courtesy or lack of, help always asking for some service of some type but to no avail, I should also mention this would apply to 90% of the staff not all. maybe I am just like to complain but when you have previous cruised you would normally expect at lease the same service regardless of the carrier. Also the small things you experience make the cruise more enjoyable. The ship easy to navigate through, set out pretty well, Food, out of all meals which were tasteless, below average, 3 days before end of cruise running out of simple items always told "Sorry Sir we have run out of that", Beverages very average catering for all countries except Australian tastes. Port Excursions for those who took part enjoyable. Entertainment Very Average have seen high school entertainment of higher standard. maybe a C.D. with a little more attitude for pleasing All passengers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
I have just came back from a cruise on the ms Oosterdam with my sisters and we were mortified to say the least, This wasn't our first time cruising but it will be the last with Holland America I had mildew throughout my bath room. ... Read More
I have just came back from a cruise on the ms Oosterdam with my sisters and we were mortified to say the least, This wasn't our first time cruising but it will be the last with Holland America I had mildew throughout my bath room. The walls were filthy; I had no air conditioning so they gave me a small box fan. The first night of the cruise was so hot that I had to sleep on my balcony, supervisors were notified as when housekeeping came in I was still asleep on the deck furniture. I was told to keep my balcony curtains closed as this would help keep the room cool, I asked them what was the point in me paying for a suite with an ocean view if I had to kep the curtains drawn all of the time. There was gap filler in the bottom of the bath room walls and when I walked out of the bath room I kicked my foot and cut my little toe on the gap filler at the bottom of the shower recess near the bath room door there was more gap filler up the walls that hadn’t been sanded back. The pillows had a dreadful odour of perspiration and dirty hair. The curtain at the balcony door was covered in black grease and the black grease got on my long white pants I sent them off to the laundry but they couldn’t remove the stain so I threw them out, My king bed kept coming apart when I was sleeping on it There was a 2 inch gap from the edge of the mattress and the frame of the base which they covered with a valance so it couldn’t be seen and I ran into it not knowing it was there and badly bruised my lower leg . The sound on my T.V was crackly and of poor quality The sofa lounge was broken. The glass coffee table had four obvious chips in I The water pressure was extremely poor My state room door didn't close properly. My sister staying in room 6115 had bugs /insects and their lava breading in the lights grills in her bathroom and as we were leaving we found more in the living room lights All of these things were reported to the appropriate manager. They could do nothing with the air conditioner or the tv or the bed or the curtain. They did get someone to attempt to fix the mildew but that as a poor attempt. They did fix the gap filler problem. I hope to get some feedback from you as I intend to take this matter further..... They did take $400 of my account and sent me flowers which I thought added to the insult . My sisters and I took this cruise as the beginning of my healing after recently losing my husband of 15 year. He and I had intended to take this cruise and then New Zealand , Antarctica and Alaska my sisters and I decided we would do them with him in our hearts..... .Holland America you wasted my money and shamed yourselves. A waste of my late husband’s life insurance. Shame shame shame. Holland America Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
From the moment we stepped on board it was obvious that this was not going to be fantastic. No lanyards available until i did a sit in at the shop and then they were for Alaska 2014 and Alaska 2013. It took 80 minutes and 3 calls to get ... Read More
From the moment we stepped on board it was obvious that this was not going to be fantastic. No lanyards available until i did a sit in at the shop and then they were for Alaska 2014 and Alaska 2013. It took 80 minutes and 3 calls to get coat hangers for my stateroom. My room card failed twice and my drinks card 4 times. each time i was expected to tramp down to the main deck and have it fixed even though i have a walking disability. Service was lack lustre and room service took up to 90 minutes. The captain was non existent and I only briefly saw him at a mariners lunch where he told us to reverse mortgage our houses and do more cruises. Then he didn't even stay to eat with us. On level 2 you could smell sewerage and the crew were not able or prepared to control or supply entertainment for over 350 under 18s. I was told HAL were a 5 star line. i have traveled with Princess and P&O and frankly they both were 100 times better. Frayed carpets and broken windows. Life boats with railing falling off. Do yourself a favour and don't travel on the Oosterdam Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2014
I will start with the bottom line, one of the more expensive vacations we have taken, Holland America provided the least value of any cruise line or vacation package we have ever purchased. I fell for the pitch Holland America has been ... Read More
I will start with the bottom line, one of the more expensive vacations we have taken, Holland America provided the least value of any cruise line or vacation package we have ever purchased. I fell for the pitch Holland America has been doing Alaska package the longest in the Alaska area and were the best. They cannot stand up to Royal Caribbean or Disney Cruise Lines. We take 2 vacations a year and usually I plan each one a year in advance to ensure we can participate in the activities we are interested in. Biggest mistake, I left the planning to Holland America. One week on land, one week on the water. We travel as a family of 4, 2 teenage boys included. Won't bore you with a novel, just bullet statements to share the comedy of errors Holland America laid on us. - When arranging rooms at hotels for land package, we were separated as a family by being assigned rooms apart from each other. I booked this vacation months in advance, you think they could get a clue and notice the same last name on the reservations? -rooms had no AC. I understand we were in Alaska, but the rooms were stuffy. We were told to open the windows. One hotel, The Chalet in Delani was set up in separate building. We were in the last building in the "loop" therefore the shuttles were always filled. We had to run to make our excursion. No ironing board or iron in the room. Overall, hotel selection was average at best throughout the trip. Exception- The Alyeska Hotel and Resort, very nice. -bus driver "William" did not know how to operate the lift to assist an ADA individual, wasting close to an hour to figure it out. Then instead of allowing all to board the bus or get off the bus, William made everyone wait until he was able to service the ADA individual. Because of this, we were last in line for all activities, again, not allowing us to enjoy the activity as a family. We could not get seats together. The whole trip, Holland America drivers seemed to be last in line. Our family is up and out early to avoid these types of situations. -from transfer to transfer, new baggage tags had to be filled out with detailed information in order to get your bags to the next stop. Come on Holland America, it is 2014, pre-printed labels would be nice. A number of items in the baggage were damage during transit, worse than the airlines if you can believe it. -the stateroom my wife and I had on the cruise ship had defective or broken throughout. Reported immediately and none were ever resolved. Stateroom attendants were great, as usual. Rooms were smaller than any other ship we have been on, but yet were the most expensive. We had a verandah room, curtains were torn therefore you could not keep the light out (Alaska had 22 hours of light during the day while there). -attitude of staff on board the ship, the worst we ever experienced. they seemed angry they were working there. outside of the stateroom attendants, we found 2 bartenders that had a great attitude and were fun to be around. -food, average at best, if you get any. We are average size people who do not gorge ourselves at meals. Half way through the serving period, the servers would run out of many selections and just shut it down. I have never seen anything like it on a ship before. This included coffee! When ordering a soft drink with our meals, we never received the drink until we were completely finished with our meals. Service was terrible throughout. Servers were very slow. -ship was replacing carpet while cruising. Give me break, they only have 3-4 months to travel in this part of the country, have the ship ready. Many other flaws in other areas, ship not up kept properly. -captain never shut up. once on the speaker, he loved to hear himself talk. -laundry service, one day folded everything in a basket, the next time everything thrown in the basket leaving it totally wrinkled with no iron to press. -purchased a DVD package (3 DVD's for $65) of "our" cruise. Not quite sure what cruise we got, but wasn't ours. Just some clips of the different stops from a different time. -we had 4 hours to catch our flight after receiving our time to get off the ship. Due to the poor transfer system Holland America practices, we barely made out flight. Terrible system. Slow and unorganized. -I could go on and on. Terrible experience. When you spend a good amount of money on a vacation, you expect a bit more. Surprised people travel Holland America, they have not experienced other cruise lines that do a much better job. Extremely sorry I allowed them to coordinate the land package. Many other cruise lines in Alaska, I would try any of them in place of Holland. By the way, I completed their survey, they got back to me and told me if I wanted to discuss the concerns further, call them. That should tell you something. They should have made that call. Alaska is beautiful, go see it, just do not do it with Holland America at the helm, you will be sorry. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
Restaurant operation seemed unprepared for guests. At various times ran out of coffee, coffee cups, and breakfast syrup. Had two buffet sides with different dishes. One side would close without warning during buffet operational hours. ... Read More
Restaurant operation seemed unprepared for guests. At various times ran out of coffee, coffee cups, and breakfast syrup. Had two buffet sides with different dishes. One side would close without warning during buffet operational hours. Bring a book as there are very few day activities. Crew can't give any information or dispense incorrect information. On a five night cruise we experienced "songs and dances" from their native land (crew provided entertainment) and "Dancing with the Stars at Sea" (passengers provided the entertainment). One night there was no entertainment. Cruise line therefore paid for entertainment 2/5 nights. Ship is old and needs a facelift. I shared all of this in the post cruise review and never got a reply. It was my first and last cruise on Holland America. At the final departure port in Fairbanks it turned out that Holland American owned the hotel and restaurant provided in the package. The land experience was like the sea experience. Dinner in the restaurant took three hours. They were out of half the entrees on the menu. We all ordered dessert and one guy in our party gave up after an hour and went back to his room. Holland America also seems to cut corners on lighting. The dim lighting did help cover up the shabby condition of the ship! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
I and my husband were another two of the unfortunates that chose the Xmas new year cruise. Dirty towels in our cabin from previous passengers was our first encounter . Bookings I had made and paid for ,on board restaurants were mislaid, ... Read More
I and my husband were another two of the unfortunates that chose the Xmas new year cruise. Dirty towels in our cabin from previous passengers was our first encounter . Bookings I had made and paid for ,on board restaurants were mislaid, when I turned up at arranged time was told too come back in 1/2 an hour and they would try and fit us in.The house staff were over worked so things such as a half drank coffee cup sat on my bedside table for 4 days. A passenger at our dinning table dropped a knife which was still there two days latter. Getting a drink at the 6pm quizz at the crows nest bar was nearly impossible. I ordered a banana dacqueri which was un drinkable when I stated that it didn't even taste like banana I was informed that they do not use real fruit in any of there cocktails.Getting a drink at the Vista dinning room took up to 3/4 of an hour and another hour to get your card back.Waiters worked there hardest but there was just not enough staff,so we regularly missed the show.Often the liddo cafeteria was the only option for lunch, and there was not enough tables for the amount of people.Attention to detail was lacking, ordered room service yogurt arrived with no spoon and cheese and biscuits arrived without biscuits. The explorer caffe ran out of regular cups half way through cruise so passengers were told they must pay for large cups until these also ran out. By the end of the cruise they had run out of numerous items including many beers. I feel that organisational skills were lacking. Any complaints were addressed with arrogance and dismissed . I like many will never travel with HAL again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
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
Oosterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.5 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.5 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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