Sail Date: July 2019
We were part of an 18 member family party on a cruise from Vancouver BC to Anchorage AK. The staff were generally helpful, the facilities fine, the Alaskan scenery amazing, the food ok, yet my experience was largely negative. We brought ... Read More
We were part of an 18 member family party on a cruise from Vancouver BC to Anchorage AK. The staff were generally helpful, the facilities fine, the Alaskan scenery amazing, the food ok, yet my experience was largely negative. We brought our three small children with us. Mistake. The marketing literature implied “child friendly” but that is misleading. The kids center “Club Hal” was fun for older kids (mostly they watched movies) though occasionally with limited hours, but unfortunately not available to toddlers. But THERE WAS NO SAFE PLACE ON THE SHIP FOR OUR TODDLER. Lots of ways he could get hurt. For example, on Glacier Bay day we rented a cabana and we were on high alert (hard to enjoy) because he could easily slip thru the bars and fall 11 stories to certain DEATH. Deck 2 was the floor with the entertainment on it, and it included a Casino with sounds and lights which seem designed to attract toddlers. CASINO STAFF (manager Tom) WERE MILITANT ABOUT NO KIDS. So I spent endless hours in the evenings going up and down the stairs and elevator, trying to keep our toddler entertained, safe, and out of the casino. BEING TRAPPED ON THE WESTERDAM WITH A TODDLER WAS A FRUSTRATING, STRESSFUL, and EXHAUSTING EXPERIENCE. Never again. For the most part, with the exception of the casino staff, the WESTERDAM staff were empathetic and helpful to our situation, but still a horrible way to spend a vacation. In retrospect we should have just told the family we were not going with them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We were on this ship for 59 days. For 59 days we smelled SEWAGE in the corridors. The ship and its furnishings appeared rundown, worn out and FILTHY. Cabin ceiling ventilator was encrusted with dirt and dust. Some food served in the ... Read More
We were on this ship for 59 days. For 59 days we smelled SEWAGE in the corridors. The ship and its furnishings appeared rundown, worn out and FILTHY. Cabin ceiling ventilator was encrusted with dirt and dust. Some food served in the main dining room looked and smelled rotten. Kitchen staff paid UNFAITHFUL adherence to special dietary need and illness ensued requiring proximity to bathroom and staying on the ship even when docked. The Lido restaurant was not properly cleaned in the area of the tables and chairs. The same dirt and food particles were visible in the same areas several days in a row. When this was pointed out to a uniformed officer in the restaurant the officer immediately required one of the servers to do a clean-up. Dearth of on board activities and lack of entertainment crew. Consequently, the on-beard experience was often boring. There was no Karaoke, no organized sports event, no choirs, no shuffleboard, steeplechase etc. like we experienced on other cruise ships. The on-shore excursions were BADLY over-priced. Very minimal compensation was given for pain & suffering caused by Thai massage injury to back - a highly recommended ship excursion by excursion staff. The excursion manager was RUDE and insulting when the back injury was brought to her attention. The ship’s hotel manager was RUDE and insensitive to us in a meeting we had requested to tell him our numerous disappointments on the cruise. On a positive note, most of the staff were friendly and caring. The guest relations manager was particularly sensitive to our concerns and very kind. The quintet (four string musicians and pianist) were excellent in the Lincoln Centre. The on-board grand pianos were BADLY out of tune. This greatly compromised the beauty of the artists’ music and talent. In fact, several of the grand pianos on board, including the one on the main stage theatre and the two in the piano bar were badly out of tune. This was confirmed by the on-board musicians themselves in discussions I had with them. The hotel manager’s assistant said that all the pianos had been tuned at the beginning of the cruise because she had written a check to the piano tuner. If the piano tuner had been paid, the tuner did not do the job! The HAL complaint department at the president’s level have been very slow to respond to our written complaints and request for a full refund of our expenses associated with the cruise. They have offered us approximately one-one hundredth (1/100) of our request. Their offer to settle our numerous complaints is clearly an INSULT. Our letter of complaint was submitted while still on board the WESTERDAM. We have been home from the cruise more than TWO MONTHS and HAL has failed to settle our complaint at this point Our happiest day on this cruise was the 59th day when we could leave the ship and go home. We look forward to being treated with the respect we deserve by president’s office in granting us a FULL REFUND. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Embarkation/disembarkation: generally quite smooth. Embarkation took a bit longer than other cruises I had been on, but it may be due to the departure procedure in Singapore. Dining: Lido buffet and Main Dining Room In general, the ... Read More
Embarkation/disembarkation: generally quite smooth. Embarkation took a bit longer than other cruises I had been on, but it may be due to the departure procedure in Singapore. Dining: Lido buffet and Main Dining Room In general, the food was over-salted, so much so that I had to ask for half a cup of soup and added a half cup of hot water to make it edible. You can do that to liquids, but there is very little you can do to other dishes. Why can’t they be a little easy on the salt, and let those guests who prefer otherwise add their own salt at the table? The way they served soup (in dining room as well as buffet) seemed a little odd to me. They put a few cold ingredients, for example, pastas, vegetables, in the bowl and ladled hot soup over them, instantly lowering the soup’s temperature. I have honestly never seen anyone do this and find it quite strange. I wish they would do as most do at home: just cook the ingredients in the soup to the correct serving temperature. Most meats were quite dry and seafood tended to be overcooked. The only things they did well, in my opinion, were poultry. The Asian food department is not up to standard at all. I thought that the cruise, starting/ending in Singapore, would stock some shredded pork floss, the one ingredient essential to congee, and for which Singapore is famous. The ship: It is small, with 1850 guests at full capacity. In this voyage, when the ship was in the South China Sea, approaching and leaving Hong Kong, it rocked very badly. Many got seasick. I am not complaining about getting seasick. HAL had anti-seasickness pills, but, strangely, they never told us. I ran into officers a few times and we talked about the ship rocking, but none had informed me they had remedies at Guest Services. I found out from fellow cruisers when it was too late. How hard was it to just announce it and make the voyage a little better for most people? The ports: Koh Samui The port does not seem ready for cruise ships. After a ride on the tender boats for 25 minutes, you arrive at a pier and are bombarded by tour venders and taxi drivers. The port is quite ugly and dirty. Laem Chabang The ship tries to tell you that this is the port for Bangkok, but in fact it’s a 2 ½ hr drive to Bangkok. Public transportation is complicated and takes even longer. So if you don’t want to stay on the ship, you have no choice but to book an excursion, organize your own tour, or use a taxi. The ship’s excursion is expectedly over-priced. We joined a one-day tour organized through Cruise Critic roll call. This has to be done ahead of time. The tour was OK except it was a very long day with the 5 hr travelling time. The port is a cargo port and there’s no port facilities. The nearest shopping mall is almost two miles away. Travelling by bus or taxi to Pattaya is another option. Leisurely wandering around the port area is not. Sihanoukville, Cambodia This port is a joke. There is zero port facilities, except a shuttle bus that takes you to downtown Sihanoukville. We were dropped off in a dirty, ugly and chaotic open air market. Walking on what looks like a sidewalk is downright dangerous because it’s uneven and muddy; motor bikes and scooters can travel anywhere they like, including sidewalks. Before you even get off the bus, tour venders bombard you with local tours. But with the chaotic traffic, how would I know that they could bring us back before the ship departs? Many of our fellow cruisers didn’t even get off the shuttle bus. Some were a little braver and took a walk for several blocks before getting the next available bus back to the ship. This port is totally unprepared for cruise passengers, and they don’t even seem to care. As I said, it’s a joke, and it’s an expensive joke at that, since most passengers have to pay for a visa, even if they decide to stay on the ship the whole time. Phu My It’s a cargo port and there’s nothing to see around the port area. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) is over an hour away. Again, the ship offers excursions to Saigon, but it’s better if you organize your own. Plan ahead and use roll call on Cruise Critic to gather a group and book a tour together. That’s what we did, and we ended up with something very similar to what the ship offered and paid less than half of what the ship charged. Saigon is quite an interesting city with lots to see, but because it’s so far away, public transportation may not be the most efficient use of the limited time in port. Da Nang The ship offered a shuttle bus to downtown Da Nang, but in my opinion, there are more interesting places farther away. We booked a tour to Bana Hill and Hoi An, through a local tour company, Andy. There are other choices such as Hue and Marble Mountain, but one must pick and choose since there’s just one day in port. Hoi An can be done easily by taxi, if that’s the only place you want to visit. We went there later in the afternoon and stayed till sunset to enjoy the lighting of the lanterns in the Old Town. Our ship did not leave until 11:00 pm that night. Halong Bay Beautiful destination. Again, we joined an organized boat tour through Cruise Critic to see Halong Bay up close, including one of the caves with a huge chamber and interesting rock formations. Hong Kong Here some of our fellow cruisers disembarked. For us, it’s a long day in port since we would be back on board for the next leg of our SE Asia cruise. Among all the ports we visited on this cruise, I would say Hong Kong is the most prepared for cruise ships: modern, clean, and efficient. There is a large park on the roof of the cruise terminal building, with a nice view of the Hong Kong skyline. Lots of transportation options to choose from. I don’t know about other cruise lines, but one thing HAL told us about this port needs to be clarified here. In their onboard talks about Hong Kong, one thing they tried very hard to do is to persuade people to buy the ship’s transfers. They showed us a picture of a couple hundred people at the taxi stand with no taxi in sight. They claimed that taxi drivers don’t like to go into the cruise terminal and so the only other option is their shuttles to the airport or to the airport express station in town. Well, they may be right about fewer taxi drivers wanting to come into the terminal, but they also conveniently omitted an option that all local people know about, which is also on the website of the Kai Tak cruise terminal – a free shuttle that takes you to two of the closest MTR (subway) stations. Even after I asked, they tried to tell me that the free shuttles do not allow you to take your luggage. That was a blatant lie. The driver does not help you load your bags onto the bus, but you can definitely take them with you. Lots of people have done that. I have done that. I understand that this may not be for everybody, but it is a viable option that should not be omitted in any port talk. It does require a bit of planning and research, and you must have some local currency with you, and you must be able to handle your luggage by yourselves, but it’s totally doable and can save you significant amount of money, depending on where you want to go and how many are in your party. Once you get to an MTR station, you have the options of using public transportation or taxi. Hong Kong has many, many interesting places reachable using the MTR, which is fast, clean and efficient. Naha, Japan We went to two gardens and a walking street. Fukushu-en, walkable from the cruise port, is larger and more beautiful than the Y200 entrance fee suggests. So it’s a delightful surprise. Shikina-en is another ½ hour walk from the last station on the YUI rail. The entrance is double that of Fukushu-en, but on the whole, we enjoy it less. It may be the time of year, but there’s not much to see. Both gardens offer a nice and serene space to take a leisurely walk. Lastly, we went to Kokusai-dori, the famous shopping street. There are some interesting things there, but we are not shopping people, and it didn’t really appeal to us too much. The time in port was short, and we did not have time for anything else. On the whole, we enjoyed our stay. The town was clean and orderly, and people were friendly. Not many spoke English, but between gesturing, a map, and a few Japanese phrases here and there, we managed. Ishigaki, Japan There is a free shuttle from the port to the pier (to other islands), which is close to downtown. We just took a walk to a temple, and a few tourist sites. We enjoyed a leisurely day. Keelung, Taiwan There is not much to see in the port area, but it is very close to the train station. Train to Taipei takes about 50 minutes and NT$42. We took the train to Taipei and got a day pass for the metro, which we used to go to a few famous sites. The port stop in Keelung is too short, not enough for even just Taipei. There are other interesting towns we would love to visit, but did not have enough time. Kaohsiung, Taiwan Kaohsiung has a pretty extensive subway system that will get you to most touristy places. You can also use the ferry to get to Cijun Island for street food and open air market. Manila, Philippines As soon as we got off the ship, we were bombarded by tour venders who tried to tell you how far Intramuros is. It is not far at all, easily walkable, but the traffic in that area is kind of chaotic. So one needs to be careful when crossing the street. Our ship had a free shuttle that takes us to Robinson Place Mall, in the modern downtown area of Manila. After visiting the mall, we walked back to the ship through Rizal Park, a large urban park with a Chinese garden and a Japanese garden inside. It is quite a nice space in very busy and noisy Manila. Although there are numerous banks around, you can’t exchange foreign currency unless you have an account with them. This is not very helpful to tourists. So exchange your money ahead of time, or look for a money changer. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
To give this context, I want to start by stating that I have been on 20 different cruises, each lasting 7 or more days. These 20 cruises have included 8 different cruise lines, as I value iteneraries and price above blind allegiance to a ... Read More
To give this context, I want to start by stating that I have been on 20 different cruises, each lasting 7 or more days. These 20 cruises have included 8 different cruise lines, as I value iteneraries and price above blind allegiance to a single cruise line. That having been said, I have cruises with Holland America before. There is no doubt about it; this cruise line is different. I won’t get into that, though. Different is not bad; it’s just different. That having been said, I was hit with one negative surprise after the next on this cruise. It started when I got on board and had no hot water. It took 2 days to get this resolved. Then I got word that my onboard spending account was weong; I was charged twice for three of the excursions that I had already booked. Then, on my first excursion in Shimizu, the tour guide left me at the first stop. Bear in mind that I am a healthy 33 year old, who was told when and where to meet back at the bus, and was still left behind, despite being 5 minutes early. Then, later that night, I receive a call from the excursion desk stating that I am going to get an additional $300 tacked onto my bill. Why? Well, since I was traveling alone, apparently there was meant to be a premium on my overnight excursion to Beijing. My problem is this; I booked and paid for an excursion to all but one of our 10 stops on the Asia cruise I was taking, and I did so 2 months in advance. So when I got a call two days into my cruise stating that they misbilled my excursion, and that it was non-refundable, and that I could either take a $900 dollar loss or be forced to pay $300 to stay on the tour... needless to say, I was pretty upset. The cruise just kept having issues mount up. The excursion team did nothing to try and make this blunder on their part right. Then, despite all of my problems with excursions on this trip, I decide to book one more (for the one port stop I had not already booked one for). Sad news for me. The excursion desk wasn’t open for 24 hours straight, the self help kiosk was broken, and guest services apparently didn’t have the ability/authority to help me. So I also went without trip plans on the one day where I failed to book in advance. All told, as a young, healthy, active, intelligent repeat cruiser, this was the worst cruise of my life by far. If I had to assign a percentage to it, I’d say that this cruise was %20 of the value of any other cruise that I’d ever been on. With all due respect to the readers of this review, if you book a cruise on this thankless, and leaderless cruise ship, quite frankly you deserve every atrocity that will inevitably come your way. Thank you. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise primarily based on timing and the beginning/end points. Less on the cruise line. Holland America met our needs for our criteria. In spite of all that we'd heard about HAL catering mostly to elderly clients, we ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily based on timing and the beginning/end points. Less on the cruise line. Holland America met our needs for our criteria. In spite of all that we'd heard about HAL catering mostly to elderly clients, we signed up for a 15 day cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to San Diego. Leaving Ft. Lauderdale, our first stop was Half Moon Cay. Overall, less touristy and was fine for the short time we were there. After 2 sea days, we hit Cartagena. We were there for a half-day. Didn't have time to really go anywhere other than a quick city tour. Honestly, not sure why we visited this port. Would have gladly traded Cartagena for a day in Panama City, Panama. The canal was everything we had heard it would be. The views were amazing and the trip transiting the canal was something we'll never forget. The crew did a nice job making folks comfortable. Seriously made the entire trip worth it. This is where the wheels started coming off. The first thing we found was the hot tub closed at 10 pm. Having dinner at 8 pm made this problematic. Wasn't much else to do after dinner so this was the logical choice for our 40/50 year-old group. There were six of us cruising so we thought we would ask for a little extension for one of the hot tubs. We were quickly told no. The staff was beyond confused when we told them their simple no wasn't good enough and we would like to escalate the issue to a higher authority. This really threw them for a loop. After a fair amount of complaining and 7 days into the cruise, the Captain firmly and finally said no. Guess he wasn't too interested in our opinion or issue. The second issue involved shipboard credits and the communication form our travel agency. It's too long and involved for this but suffice it to say, the crew was little to no help with this issue either. Overall, we found the staff beyond our cabin stewards and waiters to be pretty bored and less than concerned about pretty much anything beyond the basics. Couple that with the fact that everything other than ice water and coffee (even coffee in some areas of the ship were costly) were charged. HAL seems intent on getting every possible cent from their passengers. As I said, the crew was generally not helpful. Not sure if this is the HAL culture or a profound lack of leadership from our particular captain. The ports were a mixed bag with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Guatemala being the best by far. Chiapas, Mexico was a serious waste of time. The crew admitted there was absolutely nothing to do there. Again, not sure what we stopped there. Have to say I've taken my last cruise on Holland America Lines. Not impressed in any way. Oh,the best part of the ship was our shower was the best I've ever had on a cruise ship. This is our 8th cruise overall and was the most disappointing when it comes to the cruise line. The rep they have catering to elderly passengers is well-deserved and earned. We felt totally out of place. Should have listened to my gut! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was my first cruise and the third for my wife, although it was more than 30 years ago. It was at a friends couple’s suggestion to join them on this cruise and we took the opportunity to celebrate my wife’s retirement, birthday and ... Read More
This was my first cruise and the third for my wife, although it was more than 30 years ago. It was at a friends couple’s suggestion to join them on this cruise and we took the opportunity to celebrate my wife’s retirement, birthday and 25th year of life together. It was not our friends first cruise with Holland America and we felt reassured it would be a carefree cruise. We had read a lot of reviews on Cruise critics and they were very helpful. Especially for a first timer: We still brought to many clothes but enough money and a night light with movement detection that was very useful at night in the bathroom. We took the transfer from Rome airport to Civitavecchia Port from Holland America. Easy to find their representatives at the airport but we had to wait for other travelers in the bus (old) with no A/C on. On our way to the port, the water from the A/C started to leak on the head/back of a few passengers. The stateroom (with balcony) was ready early, upon embarking. The Westerdam renovation are partial as we noticed that the bathtub was damaged and so was the table. However, the color scheme is nice. My first surprise. it is cramped in there. We decided to attend the Sail Away Party with our friends after noticing the invitation. Upon arrival on the aft deck, we are offered a welcoming drink…too late, my wife started to drink it and its not free. I choose a beer special, 5 for the price of 4. Upon receiving the bill I notice that there was also a charge for my wife cheap plastic glass. Total 46.86$. During the party, we were offered at least five times Beverage Packages. We felt harassed (especially since, by the end of the day, we were offered packages a dozen times!). Thank you for the invitation and welcome aboard! We had also decided to take the Navigator Package and were told (us and our friends, in separate occasions) by the Holland Representatives in Seattle (not the same one) that we could wait and take it onboard. Wrong. And it became very complicated, frustrating and time wasting. On the first dinner night, we asked for the Navigator Package because it is not available on the Westerdam list of packages. The Cellar Master offered us instead the Cellar Master Package with one diner at the Pinnacle Grill instead of two. However, his proposal was more expensive, but we decided not to spoil our trip over this. Wrong again. On the next day, the hand written invoice amount did not match the charges billed on our account. Furthermore, the « gift set » was also charged (17,70$) - not a gift for sure as it was never credited. We were also provided with Oosterdam and Westerdam Cellar Master Package descriptions, which are slightly different. Why? To add to this comedy of errors, we were also charged for our « included » diner to the Pinnacle Grill. It would require many visits to the Guest Services Desk and we were told countless times that it would be fixed the next day, and the next, and the next… At one point, I wanted to talk to the manager, who, we found out, was always unavailable and obviously hiding behind his/her staff. I never was able to speak to him/her nor received any reply. Overall, all the billing errors (and there were also additional ones) were finally resolved the morning of debarkation. On the positive side, the staff remained polite despite their lack of powers to resolve any such issues. I said to them: « I am not a valued customer! » We took only one tour package with Holland America and, yes, they managed to displease us. First, there was a delay to obtain the disembarkation authorization. Therefore, the guided tour left later and lasted 7h15 instead of the 8 hours (approximately) scheduled. As a result, we could not visit a key attraction. It would be understandable if it was not that we were back at the port 1h45 before the boat departure! On other occasions, we saw the boat departure postponed by 30 minutes to allow for the return of a late tour. We were also unable to visit St-Tropez due to the windy conditions in the morning, another disappointment. Unfortunately, the weather in St-Tropez was perfect in the afternoon. We visited Villefranche-sur-Mer instead. The windy conditions in Monaco showed us the risks of injuries during a tender taken by everyone, especially the staff. In the afternoon, only the fit and able were allowed to go shore. We must command the professionalism of the staff! We were surprised to receive in writing security recommandations for Barcelona only, on our last stop, while mentioning Holland America guided tour. Nothing about Nice however, where we went from Monaco, a 25 minutes train ride. The staff friendliness is uneven. Superb service in the stateroom, uneven at the Lido. There was a group of disorganized and unsmiling staff at breakfast time. No complaint at the dining room and even a few praises. Despite our open seating, we ended up at the fix seating one night and received the best service. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to share our comments with the Manager. The Pinnacle Grill service is what you should expect. It is however a far cry compared to 30 years ago, says my wife. The food: it all depends on your point of reference. If you expect the average, you may not be disappointed. Not the most healthy, excepted for the salad bar and the sushi. We found it too salty, greasy and overcooked at times. And, I must laugh at the two micro scallops I was served as entree, the size of a bubble gum each. However, there was one recipe we asked for and obtained from the Pinnacle Grill. Finally, the transfer process to the airport by Holland America was not explained. We did not know that we had to carry our luggages to the bus and which one was going to our terminal. Based on our experience, we will not recommend Holland America. We met people who did not have any problems but never attended the Sail Away Party nor took any package. We wasted a lot of time trying to resolve frustrating problems Holland America created and never were offered some compensation for our troubles. Furthermore, we felt harassed to buy packages. To us, HAL primary objective is not customer satisfaction, it is profits. We have filled their survey and received a standard reply…but no apology…it says it all! Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This is our third cruise. We sailed with Raphosy of the seas and celebrity reflection both were really good and far superior to westredam in any aspect. The Celebrity was the best. We are not fussy in any sense and don't mind if ... Read More
This is our third cruise. We sailed with Raphosy of the seas and celebrity reflection both were really good and far superior to westredam in any aspect. The Celebrity was the best. We are not fussy in any sense and don't mind if things are not perfect but this was just a poor experience. And the sad things is it cost us more than the celebrity cruise. We paid quite a lot of money for this cruise but got nothing in return!! We are a couple in our mid-40s with 2 girls 15 and 9. The average age was probably 70. So many old, unfriendly and grumpy couples that don't seem to like younger people and kids. They just everywhere you go on the ship. Entrainment was non-existent. Poor shows that lasted half an hour. Celebrity had the tenures of rock on for 2 amazing shows and 4 live bands playing all day all over the ship. We sadly had to go to bed at 10 every night and just watched a movie. No discos or parties to go to. No bands in the pool, no pool parties, no activities for younger the crowd. The BBKING band was good but played the same oldies songs every night. The whole place was like sedated. It felt like old age home rather than a cruise ship. The daily activities were mostly talks and seminars about how to fold towels, how to diet and bridge card game. Old people staff all day long. Great basketball court but no activities on it. Food was repeatable. Sma every night. For instance, the celebrity had a theme night. If we docked in Greece they had Greek food and so on. Nothing like that on the Westerdam. Food was always the same. Eating time are very short especially for lunch which was 12-14. If you missed the time then no food! so if you onshore you have no chance of making it back for lunch. How stupid!! Celebrity had the dining room open till 4 for lunch which made life much easier. Not enough staff to clean the tables. They did not have one BBQ party on the pool deck for the whole 10 days!! It felt like the whole ship is running on a really tight budget. The ship is also built really funny. It's an old ship very poorly decorated. Felt like in some sort of a rundown 80s hotel. No central area. Unless you are penthouse VIP passenger. you cannot access the front of the ship at the top deck so it was impossible to watch the ship entering ports from the front ogf the ship. The back of the ship there is a pool, and a bar it was always flooded with water and people were smoking there the whole time which made it really unpleasant. The Gym was but only strech classses which full of old ladies . Destinations were fabulaous. Especially kotor and venice. Bot the ship dont giver you much time onshore. The had to back on the boat by 16:30 and some days it was 15:30! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We were on a 12 day Greek Island cruise that started in Venice and finished in Rome. We chose the Westerdam because of its ports and day trips. The ports were everything we hoped for. Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Olympia, Delos, Naples were ... Read More
We were on a 12 day Greek Island cruise that started in Venice and finished in Rome. We chose the Westerdam because of its ports and day trips. The ports were everything we hoped for. Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Olympia, Delos, Naples were all wonderful. We had a Neptune Suite in cabin # 7151. The ship had been recently refreshed and as a result the cabin was quite nice. Spacious, clean and lots of closets. This is a corner cabin at the aft of the ship with an amazing wrap around balcony. Our cabin steward was very friendly and attentive. We enjoyed breakfast on our balcony every morning. The food was always delivered on time and was clearly the best meal of the day. Dinners in the main dining room were very poor. The waiters were pleasant but they did not make up for the flavourless, over cooked food. Salads were frequently delivered with brown lettuce. We ate 5 nights in one of the two specialty restaurants. The food was better in the specialty restaurants but it was still over cooked and tasteless. As hard as it is to believe the buffet was probably the best choice for the freshest, best tasting food. The BB King bar had a very good band that played on 7 or 8 nights. It was well attended and full every night. The piano bar was quiet and boring. There was very good chamber music playing most evenings and it was very well attended. The main theatre entertainment was horrible. If you are expecting the large stage shows most other cruise ships have you will be very disappointed. I spoke with several fellow passengers who said they had never spent so many nights in their cabin watching movies on any other cruise. The ship uses its own life boats as tenders when in port. This is not a problem until there is wind and rough water. The life boats bounce around like bobbers in waves. While tendering passengers to the ship from Mykonos two life boats bounced around for an hour trying to get passengers back on the ship. After an hour of trying the life boats with their passengers were returned to Mykonos. The passengers were terrified!! Kids were screaming and crying!!! Most passengers were wearing their life jackets. I saw all this myself and know it to be true. This is a very unsafe practice and more than anything else will prevent me from using Holland America again. On the 10th day of our cruise the captain announced on the speaker system that Norovirus was present on board and many people were seriously ill. This was our 6th cruise. We have cruised with 4 different cruise lines. This was the worst cruise we have been on and we will never cruise with Holland America again!!!! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Great ports of call but many days lost to illness. I have cruised eight previous times and this is the first time I have ever been sick. That being said---MANY guests were very ill on this cruise. My cabin attendant did an excellent job ... Read More
Great ports of call but many days lost to illness. I have cruised eight previous times and this is the first time I have ever been sick. That being said---MANY guests were very ill on this cruise. My cabin attendant did an excellent job cleaning my stateroom but I never saw banisters, lounges or elevators being cleaned. Horrible meal at the "Pinnacle". No anchovies for the Cesar Salad and no fresh berries. The wait staff said that this was to be expected "at the end" of the cruise. Really? There were three more sailing days left. Was the upcharge expected? The fish was overcooked and the steak was below average. The food quality at HAL is diminished. The coffee is horrible. The wine list is really pitiful. No water onboard the day of desembarkation. I wonder how those guests who remained onboard were expected to wash their hands? Princess Cruise Line is far superior in food quality and Guest Services to HAL. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Cabin and ship very poor, In the morning you do not even get a pot of tea and a freshly baked hard roll. In every port the worst berths, not a single time a transfer to the city for travelers who even go on a sightseeing tour. It is the by ... Read More
Cabin and ship very poor, In the morning you do not even get a pot of tea and a freshly baked hard roll. In every port the worst berths, not a single time a transfer to the city for travelers who even go on a sightseeing tour. It is the by far bad ship with which I have ever taken. Complaints are accepted and one is friendly, but absolutely nothing is done. Every 10 meters on the corridors a bucket that catches water. In the gourmet restaurant sorbet was on the menu, I ordered it. With a grin I was given the cheapest ice with the comment on the table, sorbet would not exist. This is quite typical of this ship, I have experienced it several times. Only positive was the fruit in the morning and the check in. I will never travel with Holland America. Other shipping companies offer much better ships and a real service. Most of the staff on Westerdam made a very untrained impression Everything quite terrible! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
thought with 11 sea days there would be a lot of onboard activities....there were if you wanted to buy art, buy wine, buy spa treatments, buy a tour of the kitchen, buy old t-shirts, buy next cruise.....buy....buy...buy..- means bye - bye ... Read More
thought with 11 sea days there would be a lot of onboard activities....there were if you wanted to buy art, buy wine, buy spa treatments, buy a tour of the kitchen, buy old t-shirts, buy next cruise.....buy....buy...buy..- means bye - bye HAL....ciao ! Cruise director and staff were good looking.......no other discernible assets or skills. No people skills....afraid to interact with passengers.....could not even handle a sail-away or deck party. I was longing for a hokey disco night or country and western night....even a Hawaiian night....IT WAS A CRUISE TO HAWAII AFTERALL....no such luck with these dim bulbs. They get an A+ for their sense of self-importance......"we have been all around the world, you know"..............too bad you did not learn anything in your travels LIDO salad bar and LIDO omelets best thing on the ship....service from all the waiters and stewards in he LIDO buffet was excellent.....main dining room was average minus Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
To begin with, this wasnt our first cruise. We have done Disney -- 7, NCL - 4, Royal Car-- 4, Carnival - 2 prior to our first ever with HAL. Wanted to take time to list out the various issues we have had with HAL. Concierge / Lounge :- ... Read More
To begin with, this wasnt our first cruise. We have done Disney -- 7, NCL - 4, Royal Car-- 4, Carnival - 2 prior to our first ever with HAL. Wanted to take time to list out the various issues we have had with HAL. Concierge / Lounge :- Maybe we expected a bit too much comparing it to Disney. W ehave sailed disney and being a suite occupant are entitled to concierge services and lounge. 1) HAL execs managing the lounge do not seem to have a handle on HOW THE THINGS need to get done. 2) The lounge door was at most times, open which resulted in many ppl from regular staterooms into the lounge or using the servies. Staff :- This is the first ever services company that I have seen where in the staff wasnt even motivated to Smile. With the exception of the Stateroom helper making our beds /cleaning, everyone seemed to have a frown on their faces. Not welcoming atall. Services industry requires customer service with a smile, here we never saw anyone greeting anyone. Food: Pathetic is the word. Apologies if this comes as strong but that is the fact. We were promised that there shall be Indian menu that we could choose from, Fisrt day we got green lentil and we did understand that second day onwards it shall be better, as is the case with our previous cruise experiences. We spke with the manager the first night and were promised better food next eve, needless to say we got the same lentil on Sunday and monday. Mon eve we spoke witht he chef Vishal and what told us threw us back. He told us that there is limited supply from HAL office and that they do not have any variety. We started eating out and avoiding dinners /meals on the ship and had to eat fries etc on Sea days. One incident was that there was A SOLID METAL WIRE in the meal and this was downplayed by the restaurant staff and even the manager. Entertainment: Rate it the lowest amongst all cruise lines. Even the game of Bingo seemed so dead viz-a-viz disney. Bottomline, I felt it to be a complete waste of money and more so the waste of valuable time that could have been well spent elsewhere. Especially in the festive season that we went thru. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
I chose cruise because it departed San Diego. However what I didn't know is that they sold out to CARNIVAL and so the impeccable service always offered by Holland America no longer exists. The elevator doors closed on me resulting in ... Read More
I chose cruise because it departed San Diego. However what I didn't know is that they sold out to CARNIVAL and so the impeccable service always offered by Holland America no longer exists. The elevator doors closed on me resulting in CRACKED RIBS and a very painful journey without any medications because HA refused to provide medical attention unless I paid an exorbitant fee! Their elevator!!! I have since learned this is a common occurrence on the ship. The food was substandard - meat stringy and tough. Chicken flavorless and tough. Resorted to eating at Pinnacle Grill which was good. Guest Services were awesome in not providing any services, lol! The Indonesians have been replaced for the most part by Filipinos who are poorly trained. The entertainment left much to be desired but the Piano Man was good (not Liberace) and the crew show was good. The rest of it was mediocre. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
I only chose this cruise as it leaves from San Diego. I have been on many of HA's ships and loved them all but this one was awful. The awesome Indonesians were replaced by Filipino's poorly trained. The food has gone down big ... Read More
I only chose this cruise as it leaves from San Diego. I have been on many of HA's ships and loved them all but this one was awful. The awesome Indonesians were replaced by Filipino's poorly trained. The food has gone down big time, even the lamb and steaks were STRINGY. Maybe a first time cruiser would like it but anyone who travelled on other ships would know the difference. My accident was the fault of HA but even so they refused to send doctor unless I paid exorbitant amount of money for the consultation. I am still in pain - 1 week later - bruised ribs, whiplash, etc. The entertainment by the crew was good, and also the piano man (he wasn't Liberace) but the rest of the entertainment was sub par. The Pinnacle Grill was excellent and I do recommend you eat meals there rather than the Lido. The first Hot Tub was scalding hot. The second one o.k. The cabin sofa was so dirty it was BLACK. When I pointed this out they threw a white sheet over it, lol. On the last day it was removed. The Breakfast in room dining never got it right! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
I chose this cruise because we live in Vancouver and it would be a no hassle (airports) way to enjoy a leisurely much needed holiday. The first day should have been the omen that would tell us how the rest of the trip would work out. We ... Read More
I chose this cruise because we live in Vancouver and it would be a no hassle (airports) way to enjoy a leisurely much needed holiday. The first day should have been the omen that would tell us how the rest of the trip would work out. We took 3 hours to check in.. everyone had been instructed to leave because they had to sanitize due to abnormal amount of Nor walk virus.. Many many people got sick... The entertainment was one step above a school production, social staff clearly did not enjoy their jobs. The library was moved to the top level of the ship where they had exciting activities such as "Napkin Folding". Really? Food was mediocre ..Do not book a set table.. the dining room was very sparsely attended .. we had a table for 8 and NO ONE showed up most nights ... the staff offered no other options in terms of moving us to another table even after we asked. The sea was rough 10 meter waves etc. Not really the fault of the cruise line but some effort could have been made to reroute into calmer waters ( we sailed the Atlantic and the cruise company we sailed with avoided a huge storm by sailing out of it's path) The stabilizers even malfunctioned coming into Victoria. Bar and Wait Staff seemed harassed and worked very hard but didn't put any extra effort in ..an example of this was ..I ordered a drink and they had run out of the mix they needed but were to busy apparently to send someone to another bar for what was needed .. I honestly do not know how this cruise company functions... We will NEVER cruise with Holland America again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
I purchased jewellery on board, and was given a certificate for 2 years, and it was dated 2015 instead of 2016. I sent it back to be corrected and have had no reply. When I got the jewelry valued in my country there was a huge gap and I ... Read More
I purchased jewellery on board, and was given a certificate for 2 years, and it was dated 2015 instead of 2016. I sent it back to be corrected and have had no reply. When I got the jewelry valued in my country there was a huge gap and I had paid much more than would be reasonable. No one from that company will reply to my emails or letters. The jewellry on shore was much more affordable, should have purchased it there. I am taking my concerns to Consumer Affairs now as no-one from Holland America will answer me. The ship is in need of refurbishment, and the entertainment was average. The italian restaurant had great food, but it was a weird venue, just blocked off by some barriers to the noisy main buffet. The cabin crew were amazing. I would not recommend this cruise line to any of my friends, as they are not customer responsive after you have spent your time on their boat. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
They made a very convincing advertisement for their cruise ship. They said it would be relaxing, but it was not. We wanted to relax, so I purchased their Couple's Massage worth $295.00. I knew it was overpriced, but then, ... Read More
They made a very convincing advertisement for their cruise ship. They said it would be relaxing, but it was not. We wanted to relax, so I purchased their Couple's Massage worth $295.00. I knew it was overpriced, but then, I thought it would be indeed relaxing. I was really expecting a really good, relaxing massage , but it turned out to be irritating instead, for all I got was an oil bath. The massager put so much oil, but she couldn't even put pressure on my body without slipping off . Good thing she didn't work on my gluts. ( you know what i mean) Another services I paid for is the Hydro SPA which was good the whole duration of the cruise. I considered the price was reasonable for a week service. But then i didn't get a week of spa. The Steam Room went down and the pool was drained a day before we got back to the last port in Victoria, BC. The worst thing on the cruise was we were not able to see our favorite port excursion in Victoria BC. Our whole life, I and my wife wanted to go and see the Butchart Garden and Butterfly Garden with 1200 butterflies. But the Ship Captain announced that it was too windy the night before. We were so dismayed. What has that have to do with the present time? I felt we were lied to. The Crown Princess was behind us on the whole cruise but was pointed inward, towards port as we bowed down to her, it speedily went by our ship and docked in minutes, Something else was going on. It was one of the most beautiful day. As an Ocean Fisherman in a 22-foot boat , I personally would have sailed out to our ship in a 10-foot aluminum boat. Why? Didn't they have proper paper works? no room to dock at the port? or something else besides weather? To make things worse there was nothing else to do on board but to eat. They added Trivia Activities but there were too many people that they could not all participate. There was nothing else to do and everyone was there! The trip ended up not being relaxing. It was actually stressful that they sure didn't know how to end a cruise.When the ship docked at Seattle,they didn't let us get off ship at 7:30 like i was told, we had relatives waiting for us for an hour..before they let us off and to top it off when i went down to get my new luggage the soot case wheels were torn off and bag was split open .also i went and talked to office about compensation the answer was not going to happen ,may people were very unhappy.So on monday i called guest relations to tell about my experience, they said they would get back to me asap ,nothing called again said they would take care of it still nothing its been a week i know one thing they had high ratings but didnt seem to matter on our cruise. GOOD LUCK Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
My main complaints for the Holland America Westerdam to Alaska were: The food was awful and TERRIBLE for anyone who wants to eat healthily or who has food allergies. All the veggies had butter on them (you should use olive oil). The ... Read More
My main complaints for the Holland America Westerdam to Alaska were: The food was awful and TERRIBLE for anyone who wants to eat healthily or who has food allergies. All the veggies had butter on them (you should use olive oil). The salad and pasta bar were cross-contaminated with cheese - little bits of cheese or dairy were in many items, making it impossible for anyone with dairy allergy. I had ordered several gluten free foods, which occaisionaly were out, but 80% of the time they had no gluten free options, after asking. Twice I ate in Lido, the fancy dining hall, but each time my food came with items I couldn’t eat, despite giving the ship a list of my allergies. The second time, I even said “can I give you my allergy list” and handed it to the waiter, but they didn’t want to see the list, said they had it. I guess they don’t read English. And to boot, very few of the food staff speaks English well enough to have any confidence they understand you. The soy and almond milk was gross as it was packed with sugar. There was also very little variety in the food. The same two cookies were served every night. The food was just a notch above that of a public high school from the 1970s. They used the same, dirty measuring vial for preparing liquors, for every drink - I watched, and they didn't clean it between uses/customers. So anyone with food allergies beware. My food suggestion would be to have one station at all meals that is gluten free, dairy free and vegan. Just have a pot of brown rice or quinoa or millet (NOT made with meat broth like it usually was). Several pots of separate, PLAIN steamed veggies. And several condiments/sauces to choose from. Problem solved for anyone with allergies or who wants to be healthy. In fairness, the staff was very nice and the ship was clean. The room maintenance was good. I would cut the entire entertainment (which was terrible except for the piano bar and violin which were good), and just have a movie night. Would be cheaper to run. The afternoon before, Holland America cancelled the main excursion we were looking forward to. The letter said it was due to a "mechanical" issue. But then the staff said it was because not enough people signed up. So someone from your staff was lying. To boot, the Internet was down that day so we couldn't research third party options. The excursions were a rip off, and WAY too short. Too little time at the ports. Compared to other cruises I have done with other lines, I was disappointed. We also got charged for 3+ items from the mini bar that we didn't use. We didn't use a single item from the mini bar. I guess they were hoping we wouldn't notice. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
It had been many years since we sailed HAL and we decided to go back on what was the new Westerdam. Embarkation was simple. We had a signature suite which we were to.d that we would receive early embarkation....did not happen, but we still ... Read More
It had been many years since we sailed HAL and we decided to go back on what was the new Westerdam. Embarkation was simple. We had a signature suite which we were to.d that we would receive early embarkation....did not happen, but we still had fast service. The ship was lovely although getting somewhat worn. Our suite was large and very comfortable. The bathroom was huge with a separate bath and shower. Although the veranda was a good size, the chairs were missing and mismatched. The food in the main dining room was hit and miss. Very often almost cold when served. We dined at least twice in Canelloto restaurant, where the quality of food was better than the main dining room. The Pinnicle Grill was very good and compared to the restaurants on Celebrity, a good value. Since we are tired of the old Broeadway shows, we really enjoyed the pianist and violinist duo in one of the bars....they were brilliant. One added note, the smoking policy on HAL will prevent us from ever returning, smoking is permitted in the casino, and although we do not gamble, the second hand smoke permeates throughout the deck. It is also permitted on the verandas and although we were in a suite, we were unable to enjoy the veranda, due to the smoke. Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I have cruised over 20 times and I chose this ship because it was smaller. I had booked in August, 2015 for my wife and I and she passed away shortly before the trip. I was told that I could not change the travel date but that I could ... Read More
I have cruised over 20 times and I chose this ship because it was smaller. I had booked in August, 2015 for my wife and I and she passed away shortly before the trip. I was told that I could not change the travel date but that I could change the passenger only one time complimentary. Shortly after that I called to change the name and was told that they had canceled my wife since she had passed and to add a new name would cost full fare. I argued that I had already paid the double occupancy rate and that this would amount to paying triple occupancy. I paid the fare and sent an email to customer service and received no response. For the cruise itself, very substandard. *The entertainment was like no other I have experienced. It was like watching high school performers. The few professionals that were there were good, the comedian and the magician. *The food was good but not plentiful. The buffets were limited to breakfast, lunch and dinner. There was a taco bar on the Lido deck and if you are used to the extravagant midnight buffet, it is not here. *24 hour room service menu consisted of a hamburger and a couple of other items, I think it was about five with the burger being the only meal. *Most bars were closed during the day unless you were on the Lido deck. *Entertainment during the day at sea was sparse, not like other ships I have been on. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
"Holland America prides itself on its service" Some interesting notes about the service - Our very first night we went to the dining room, and the service was so slow that after waiting for desert for about 30 minutes we went ... Read More
"Holland America prides itself on its service" Some interesting notes about the service - Our very first night we went to the dining room, and the service was so slow that after waiting for desert for about 30 minutes we went up to the Buffet to get desert. But since it was past 9:30 (We went into dinner with a 7 PM reservation so it was a 2.5 hour dinner/wait for our meal) we couldn't get any desert. So when I want back to the Vista Restaurant and complained, we had some deserts sent up to our cabin. The Restaurant manager did call us that night and apologized (something the Maitre de never seemed to do) and asked we try again. So the next day for breakfast my wife and I went to the Main dining room (Vista) and the service was slower and our food was cold. Pretty poor start for the first 24 hours. I did "track down" the restaurant manager as he requested (no easy task I might add). Let him personally know about our fate and he put us on the other side of the dinning room, (with better staff?) and we were good for the rest of the week. That was until our dining in the Pinnacle Grill which is a charge of $30 per person to eat at the "Signature Restaurant". We had a 6 PM reservation at the Pinnacle Grill and since it was "Gala" night in the Vista, it didn't seem very busy (since everyone was having Lobster and Filet Mignon in the Vista dining room). Well another long and tiring dinner. We did manage to only spend 2.5 hours there, but the service was again disappointing. Pretty bad when my wife has to ask for water multiple times and the waiter finally acknowledges "I'm sorry you really shouldn't have to ask for something so many times to get it". Also had to get up and go from table to table to find Salt (since service/help was non-existent at times). Embarrassing to have to pull a "McDonald's" move because no waiter is available for 10 minutes after delivering our bland Lobster Bisque. We did see the Maitre de, he stopped at both tables next to us but never ours. Also he and the Waiter spent tons of time at one of the tables, but that was because they spoke Dutch and were chatting a lot. So for the extra money it was a mistake. I should have gone and got just as Fillet and Lobster and better service in the Vista. In 2.5 hours you would think someone other then our waiter and Wine steward might have come over to poke us or something. This is our first (most likely last) Holland cruise. Kind of bummed they have the Auto-tip added to the room Bill, you can't reward the good and bad all the same. Holland really fell flat when it came to the service. I did fill out the on-line comment request and got back the robo-response saying "We thank you for choosing Holland America Line, and we do hope you consider us for future trips." . Included the above info and additional stuff (Like the Captain shouting over the loudspeaker "Everyone on the stairs SHUT UP") but I doubt we'll hear anything more. Sorry to give such a bad report card. Holland doesn't seem to be consistent with the service, except for maybe the Lip-Service they give you after they get your money. Read Less
Meh
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Took this cruise to Alaska with my adult daughter. It started out bad with lost luggage, grease on my jacket from somewhere on the ship during the lifeboat drill and didn't get any better. It was suggested that I hunt down my own ... Read More
Took this cruise to Alaska with my adult daughter. It started out bad with lost luggage, grease on my jacket from somewhere on the ship during the lifeboat drill and didn't get any better. It was suggested that I hunt down my own luggage at guest services which is where I found it missing BOTH identification tags. Those airline ID tags on the elastic are impossible to get off without scissors, yet it was gone. Found underwear under the bed that didn't belong to either one of us. We put it in the trash, went out and when we returned we found it folded up nice and neat on the desk. We tried to explain to the cabin steward that they didn't belong to us and to leave them in the trash. Somehow they assumed my daughters bathing suit was also an errant article of clothing. They took the bathing suit bottom but returned it the next day. Weird. As for everything else, mediocre is the only thing that comes to mind. There seemed to be an upcharge for everything. I was turned away from a happy hour in the Crows Nest on the final day because of a private party. The entertainment was underwhelming. The ship was showing its age. Oddly, when water is considered at premium, the gushing showerhead was delightful. Maybe it was because it was the last sailing to Alaska for the year that the crew wasn't that interested service; this made the mandatory daily service charge (per person) somewhat insulting. If it wasn't for the spectacular setting of Alaska I'd have considered this cruise a total bust. I've been on Royal Caribbean and Norwegian and would recommend either over Holland America. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Never Again on Holland America! My recent trip to Alaska from Seattle on Holland America’s Westerdam, in celebration of my grandson’s 10th birthday, was so disappointing that I will NEVER travel with this line again and I will ... Read More
Never Again on Holland America! My recent trip to Alaska from Seattle on Holland America’s Westerdam, in celebration of my grandson’s 10th birthday, was so disappointing that I will NEVER travel with this line again and I will advise my friends the same. I chose HA as I had traveled with the company before (I am a HAL "Mariner" and have been to Alaska and the Caribbean, albeit on other HA ships) and found both experiences very satisfying. Unfortunately, this was not the case this time! Here are the most glaring, and disappointing, examples of my displeasure with the cruise and the very poor customer service. Ship and Crew: The ship itself was worn and somewhat seedy in places. Our “large inside stateroom” (booked because my daughter gets very seasick and did not to be in an outside room from previous experiences) was small, with a tiny bathroom and peeling wallpaper. I was offered a veranda upgrade before we left, but when my agent went to book it, she was told “everything was gone”. I tried to upgrade on the ship, as I was advised to do, only to be told by a very rude and dismissive officer that they send out “email blasts” on these upgrades and, “sorry, Madam, you were too late”. (By the way, my agent said this had never happened to her as she has booked HA cruises and others before.) When I asked about a clock in the room, he told me to turn on the TV. He was so rude that the woman behind me even remarked on his behavior. The night before we docked in Ketchikan, we stopped by the Excursion Desk to inquire about an excursion for the following day, hoping that places had opened up on the one we wanted to take. When told no, we asked the agent what she might suggest as an alternative for my grandson. She shrugged her shoulders and said “she didn’t have any” and turned away. I think she needs a new position. By the way, we were able to take a tour from a dock-side vendor: $60 less than what HA charged for the same thing. Dining: Three days had gone by before we knew there was a children’s menu in the dining room. One evening, my daughter remarked that she was surprised there wasn’t one with so many children aboard. The waiter, in a dirty, food-stained uniform, said “Oh yes, we have one. You have to ask for it.” WHAT??? It should have been offered to us the first time we sat down! We moved our table to another area and the waiters there could not have been more accommodating; one of the very few nice aspects of the trip. In the Lido buffet, the lines were very LONG, especially at breakfast. My daughter waited nearly 40 minutes for an omelet one morning, prompting us to eat breakfast and dinner in the dining room for the rest of the trip. Wait times at lunch was nearly as bad although most of time we ate from the grill in the Lido. When I asked for coke one morning at breakfast (we had a beverage card), I was told, “sorry, the bar is closed”. The steward was but 5 feet from the door behind the bar; was it so difficult for him to go in and get one? By the way, no one else was there; it wasn’t like he was particularly busy. Ice on board is a precious commodity, apparently. Room stewards were nowhere to be found in the evening after they did their turn-downs. We finally found some, behind a door saying “crew only”. Embarkation: Unfortunately, we left an item in a cab after we left the ship. While admitting that this was clearly our mistake, we tried to contact the ship (we did call the port and the cab company as well ) when we realized the loss to see if by any chance, the item was returned to the port/ship. Yes, it was the weekend (and a holiday one at that) but there was NO ONE at HA to call; the web site advised us to send a fax, which we did and which was NEVER answered. On the Monday after our return, I was able to speak with someone after several transfers. Although she was initially helpful…she called back and said she contacted the port (to no avail) and was “trying to contact the ship”….we never heard anything else. I did purchase traveler’s insurance; hopefully, we will be able to recoup some of the loss. Several things you should know. I am a very seasoned traveler; I have been around the world; to 5 of the continents. I know what to expect from trips. I know “you get what you pay for”; this trip did not even meet the minimal standards of value for cost. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
I almost don't know where to start. I set up the cruise thru them directly and told them I would need a room for 4 adults over 65. we were assured the cabin would fit our needs. It did not! One of the beds pulls out of the ceiling ... Read More
I almost don't know where to start. I set up the cruise thru them directly and told them I would need a room for 4 adults over 65. we were assured the cabin would fit our needs. It did not! One of the beds pulls out of the ceiling over the head of the bed. None of us could manage that crawl in to the shelf. When I brought this to the attention of the front desk ( they have very narrow hours) I was told they were in a meeting and would get back to me. S 2 days into the trip they offered me sleeping accomadations in an unused cabin on the lowest deck for only $900.00 more. We waited 4 hours from our flight into Seattle until we boarded the ship. Most of that standing inline. When we got onboard at last , they closed the buffet and we had not eaten it was 2:30 and they didn't care. time for a lifeboat drill standing on deck in the sun huddled together. then it got worse. From a staff that was hard to find and slow to help, to a 30 minute wait to get a hotdog. The buffet line was not held at proper temp and if it was on land they would be closed down as unsafe. Soups barely warm and they delivered all baked potatoes so cold they would not melt butter. It was a complaint shared by many. This was my Seventh cruise and the first and last with Holland. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
The only thing that exceeded the problems we encounters on our cruise was the sheer ARROGANCE and dismissive attitude of the "Customer Service Director". I took my wife and four kids for Spring Break on this cruise as we dearly ... Read More
The only thing that exceeded the problems we encounters on our cruise was the sheer ARROGANCE and dismissive attitude of the "Customer Service Director". I took my wife and four kids for Spring Break on this cruise as we dearly wanted to see Grand Turk to fulfill my promise for my daughters Sweet-16 (to get her to Turks & Caicos). A couple things went wrong that we just "went with the flow" and tried to make the best of, but in the end, it was a bad experience. The head of guest relations was not only unhelpful, he was antagonistic. For all the problems we brought to him, he shrugged them off and said there was nothing he could do. Later he was a real jerk to my daughter and we are taking that up with HAL directly. Problems ranged from missing the main port-destination; to 2-hours to get dinner in the main dining room (we were told it was our own fault since we had open dining instead of assigned timed-seating); to repeated issues with the room keys not working (and being told it was our own fault - that we probably were rubbing them up against our cell phones - but in fact they were all in the paper holders we were issued); to the fitness director kicking my son out of the fitness room because he was under 16 (when all he did was come up to coordinate schedule with me while I was working out). On-ship activities for teens/kids is minimal. More "kid-tolerant" than anything else. All my kids (ages 9-16) heard from other kids onboard about other cruises that have MUCH better entertainment. HAL blew off our primary port at Grand Turk because of some light wind. While nobody would ever ask anyone to put the ship, passengers, or crew at risk, there was very little safety issue and when pressed, they admitted the wind they claimed blocked our port was on the light side. -- Other thoughts -- The kids (ages 16, 15, 12, and 9) had fun at the pool and the sport court, but that was about it. They rated "Kid Friendliness" as a 3 on a scale from 1 (low) to 10 (high). They have added a couple of things for teenagers/kids - but clearly it is an add-on / afterthought. The friends they made on-board told them about activities on other cruises that were missing from this cruise line. Lido deck buffet seemed closed more than open but we were able to cater our schedule to theirs and make due. GOOD POINTS: 1) The soft serve ice cream was good when it was open. 2) Bingo was fun. We didn't win, but it was fun. 3) Private Island was easily the highlight (available on other cruises too). We bought a cabana which was nice to have a place in the shade, but since we were the only cruise ship there that day, there was tons of shade anyway, so not really needed. Bottom line is that there is NO WAY anybody in my family will EVER sail Holland America ever again under any circumstances. There are too many competitors out there that offer better service without the arrogance and rudeness. Read Less
Westerdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 4.5 3.7
Public Rooms 4.5 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 2.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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