10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We like NZ and have been there on land, but wished to see the Sounds and ports offered. In the past HAL gave reasonable value for $ and "tried" to sort our differences. We are two 70yr olds and travel on ships geared for minimal ... Read More
We like NZ and have been there on land, but wished to see the Sounds and ports offered. In the past HAL gave reasonable value for $ and "tried" to sort our differences. We are two 70yr olds and travel on ships geared for minimal children.This trip had abysmal dining and very poor entertainment and shore assistance. We could not get palatable food and found that the feedback forms gave no option for feedback so after the first form went off on day 2, I fired off another on day 5 with our contact details and problems. [ Food in Vista was too rich and/or spicy for our tastes and stomachs. Standards of dress had dropped. Children allowed unsupervised and intrusive.Wait staff abrupt/overworked. Supervisors would not listen/understand. Gassed out of cabin twice by maintenance painters. Heart monitor on bike in gym was erratic/busted and supervisor took little interest. Shore/port assistance very poor.] In sheer frustration I fired off another feedback form on day 10. We got to be able to preorder meals with notes regarding the spices on day 12!! We got some decent food for the last 2 days!! There was never any personal feedback until one supervisor gave us a free bottle of sparkling wine on the last day - but no discussion. As usual the cabin staff were good. The cabin was tidy but getting a little tired. Would we go again on HAL/Noordam? We'd go anywhere if the price is right and itinerary interesting - but only if there was personal interaction BEFORE and during the cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
First time with HAL and the last. What a boring, tired ship. The lighting is so dim everywhere and there is just no atmosphere at all! I travel mostly with Royal and Celebrity and there is no comparison. I found the ship cold, and it ... Read More
First time with HAL and the last. What a boring, tired ship. The lighting is so dim everywhere and there is just no atmosphere at all! I travel mostly with Royal and Celebrity and there is no comparison. I found the ship cold, and it didn't help that the weather wasn't good and that I wasn't well throughout the whole cruise. I also found the staff very aloof, like nothing I've experienced before. The whole ship needs to be revamped. Its just shabby and lack luster. I couldn't find a central point such as a main deck area or promenade - the ship is so disjointed and really odd. I've been on 22 cruises so I am not a newbie, to tell you the truth, I couldn't wait to get off the ship. It was the worst cruise experience I've ever had, and it was expensive as I pay double being a solo traveler. Perhaps their newer ships have more going for them. There were some nice touches. I liked the bathtub in the room, and I liked the PG tips. Just thinking back to this cruise makes me feel depressed so I really didn't want to write a review, but after about 15 email requests I decided to go ahead. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this particular cruise because of the itinerary in Australia and New Zealand. This was my second trip on Holland America, the first being to Bermuda and I was hoping for a better experience. First for the positives: the cabin ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because of the itinerary in Australia and New Zealand. This was my second trip on Holland America, the first being to Bermuda and I was hoping for a better experience. First for the positives: the cabin stewards and dinning staff, inclusive of the restaurants and Lido deck, were all very accommodating and attentive to our needs. The cabin, a suite, was very comfortable and well maintained. The ports visited were interesting and a fairly good variety of excursions were offered. Now for the Negatives: There was a definite lack of organization for the excursions and the information provided for the ports of call was not properly vetted. In Melbourne we chose to go ashore on our own. We were told there was a tram that does a city loop and we would be able to get off at different points of interest. We specifically asked if the trams were accessible to a motorized scooter and we were assured that they were. Well......not all are and specifically those that loop the city are not. Unfortunately because of this misinformation our trip to Melbourne consisted of waiting at tram stops to get back to the ship and not being able to see any of the sights (so much for my dream vacation) In Akaroa we chose the Nature Cruise. We took the tender assure and according to the tickets the meeting place for the cruise was the "tender pier". Well we were sent back and forth from one end of the pier to the other before we were finally told that the meeting place was in the middle of the pier. My husband, as well as a number of other guest with disabilities, found it very difficult to get around. The entertainment left a lot to be desired. There were not enough activities during sea days and port days, especially since this was not a warm weather cruise and spend hours at the pool was not optimal. Many of the activities were bunched closed together making it necessary to opt out of some. We originally had a set diner time (asked for a table of 6) but we switched to open seating because we were put at tables that were often empty....... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Why are disabled cabins either at the front or back of the ship? A trek to either the theatre or the restaurants. Our cabin 6003 was at the front, a good size with a pillar ( ideal for tying the wheelchair and walker to whilst crossing ... Read More
Why are disabled cabins either at the front or back of the ship? A trek to either the theatre or the restaurants. Our cabin 6003 was at the front, a good size with a pillar ( ideal for tying the wheelchair and walker to whilst crossing the Tasmin Sea ! ) It was clean but scruffy and worn, we placed a blanket over the sofa to cover stains and another over a chair to cover the threadbare arms. There was a dangerous narrow ramp leading to the balcony and a wider wooden ramp on the balcony itself which meant you couldn't turn a wheelchair round. As the cabin was under the bridge it had an electronic door curtain which could be operated from the room or the bridge, in theory that was fine but who installed it so the curtain closed over the door opening and not on the other side? You had to place the curtain behind the chair to be able to get out of the balcony door, the curtain hooks had broken and had to be re attached on each opening. As it was the cabins' situaition was so windy it was rarely able to be used on sea days. A great shame. We chose this adventure of a lifetime for the destinations and because we had enjoyed a wonderful 40 night cruise from Southampton to Singapore on ms Rotterdam 18 months previously. A mid ship disabled cabin with a restricted view which was lovely and really easy to move around the ship. Not only was it a very different ship it felt like we were travelling with a completely different company. We chose to eat in the Lido most days, the food was acceptable and the young staff really lovely and helpful. Its a great shame some of the passengers from the US had a need to be so rude to them. And they seemed to think it was beneath them to use the supped hand gel ! The Lido, like the rest of the ship had some serious maintenance problems including water leaks which could be experienced at the tables, whilst queuing to be served and whilst trying to walk on the main narrow walkthrough. I fell heavily on a wet floor causing unnecessary pain to my arthritic body. The cane chairs were worn and very scruffy, some had been replaced but ms Noordam really is in need of a major refit. We tried room service for breakfast on 8 occasions and only twice did we get what we ordered, we tried it for dinner just once and after a microwave burger and cold pasta arrived I had to fetch pizza from the Lido. Really not good. They also tried to charge for a bottle of vodka that we ordered but wasn't delivered. Entertainment. Oh dear ms Noordam really got that wrong ! During the first show the 'comedian' referred to someone as a "spas", we left the theatre and it didn't really get much better after that. If you wanted a seat it was best to get to the theatre approx 45-60 mins before any show or lecture and take a book ( I actually read 18 during this voyage !) The theatre has restricted viewing from the upper levels and really wasn't big enough for the amount of passengers on board. On the second sea day from Vancouver I asked the cruise director John what entertainment had been organised for the long sea days leading to and after Hawaii, a total of 10, his reply was "nothing, this is what head office have told us to do" The last long cruise was filled with quizzes, interesting lectures, art classes, craft classes, dance classes, language classes, music throughout at different venues throughout the day and evening and a cinema, deck games a brilliant library with games and puzzle boards, dancing and happy hour in several bars. Onboard ms Noordam there was so little to do, in the end we stopped looking at the 'Whats on' for the following day as there was nothing unless you wanted to spend at the highly priced spar, shop, play bingo or visit the casino. Its such a shame that with a total of 20 sea days that more thought into entertaining the guests wasn't given. It was a cruise that seemed to appeal to an 'older' passenger, the average age approx 70. That being the case then why couldn't the entertainment happen during the day or early evening? BB Kings was something we had been looking forward to, unfortunately we only went twice, same songs, same set list and it started at 8.45pm, by 9.15 the audience were up dancing. Great, except that when the band took a break at 9.30 the audience departed for their beds !!! Why not make the set longer at an earlier time and just 2 performances a night to correspond with the timings of the theatre show ? All the empty space on the ship and it could and should have been used and enjoyed. After all the cruise should be all about the passenger experience. Happy and contented passengers will spend and they will cruise again with that line. We are wanting to visit South America, a must on the bucket list, but although Holland America have many interesting itineraries for that area we are looking at other companies after this experience. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
I have travelled 3 other cruise lines and thought I would try Holland America and this is what I found: Pros: - very little waiting time to embark and disembark - exterior of the ship quite beautiful - size of ship was perfect ... Read More
I have travelled 3 other cruise lines and thought I would try Holland America and this is what I found: Pros: - very little waiting time to embark and disembark - exterior of the ship quite beautiful - size of ship was perfect for our trip to Alaska - offer two set times for seated dining - front desk were very professional Cons: - horrific coffee - smoking on balcony - we had chain smokers and we had two connecting balconies making it unbearable to sit out, or even have our cabin doors open for fresh air - interior was in dire need of a total face lift - the Buffet was very limited in selection and quality of food was subpar - the dining room food was always warm and over salted - wait staff in the buffet area were not as accommodating as most ships - staff did not ensure that hand sanitizers were used at all times - Queen's lounge banquet seating reeked of urine Conclusion: I would not recommend this ship to anyone under 75 and who loves great food with beautiful accommodations. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I recently returned from an Alaskan land/sea cruise on Holland America. We were met at the Anchorage AK airport by a cruise line employee who directed us to the bus which took us to our Anchorage hotel for the land portion of our ... Read More
I recently returned from an Alaskan land/sea cruise on Holland America. We were met at the Anchorage AK airport by a cruise line employee who directed us to the bus which took us to our Anchorage hotel for the land portion of our cruise. The drop off point is the side entrance of the hotel (whose name escapes me) where we checked in with more cruise line personnel. The hotel itself was an absolute dump and one I would never have booked for myself. The place is in need of a total renovation from top to bottom. The following morning we were transported to the rail station where we boarded a glass top train to Denali National Park. The scenery from the train was absolutely beautiful and the train personnel were full of information. I loved the Denali part of the vacation. However once we boarded the boat things went downhill. We were part of a large retirement party that also included a wedding onboard. There were supposed to be champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and a wedding invitation in our cabins upon arrival. Needless to say they did not appear until AFTER the wedding. Additionally, there was confusion as to the place for the ceremony itself. Apparently the site for the ceremony was changed and no one told the wedding guests or even the bride and groom. The day of embarkation I had a massage scheduled for 8:00 p.m. just as the ship was to leave port. Immediately after the safety meeting I went directly to the spa only to find absolute chaos. There were more than a hundred or so people milling around the spa/gym for some type of raffle. The employees were scrambling around and no one could point me in the right direction. When I finally checked in I was shown to the dressing room and told to undress and put on a robe. I did so and was then escorted through the halls full of people. I was mortified to be walking around with nothing but a robe through hall after hall. The massage thankfully was blissful and put me in a better mood, although I had to then go back through those same halls to get back to the dressing room. I returned to my room to relax and unpack and found a note advising that my dinner reservations for the Pinnacle Grill were that evening at 8:30. Obviously this wasn’t very helpful to me since it was now 10 p.m. It would have been nice to have this information ahead of time so that I could have changed the day and time. The dinner was part of a package. Unfortunately for me the dinner wasn’t the only reservation screw up. Prior to the trip I booked several excursions. While reviewing my itinerary online a few days before the trip I noticed two of the excursions were not on my itinerary. I contacted my Holland America rep and asked why they weren’t listed. She emailed back and noted the itinerary would be given to me once we reached Anchorage and checked into our hotel. This didn’t occur. Once onboard I went to the Excursions Desk to inquire about the issue and was told I was not booked on any of those tours. Fortunately the tours I booked still had availability and I didn’t have to blow my top. One morning I was jerked awake by workmen hammering and drilling at 8:30 a.m. Also that morning there was a drill scheduled for the crew at around 9:30ish that shut down the elevators while people were still headed to or from breakfast or off the ship. Why couldn’t these things have been scheduled for a bit later when the majority of the ship was off on excursions? As for the food – breakfast time on the Lido deck was an absolute mess. It was obvious there wasn’t enough staff and the lines for everything were ridiculously long. They also only had one waffle maker and one crepe maker on the entire deck. Really? There were also times when I went to eat and everything was closed down. Now I have only been on one other cruise before (a cruise through the Mediterranean on Celebrity which was phenomenal in every way) and food was available until after midnight. Grant it I didn’t expect to have every choice available but a few things at least. There were a few other issues but I’ve said enough. Overall this was a letdown for something that I spent a good amount of money for and was really looking forward to. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
To be fair - we sailed on the Veendam 14 years ago and had a perfect trip. That is why we wanted to go again. Sailing on Noordam May 29th, 2016 Alaska / Denali (not collectors voyage as stated above)- the following was submitted to HAL ... Read More
To be fair - we sailed on the Veendam 14 years ago and had a perfect trip. That is why we wanted to go again. Sailing on Noordam May 29th, 2016 Alaska / Denali (not collectors voyage as stated above)- the following was submitted to HAL in email and on survey. The following is a listing of issues for a very disappointing cruise that was submitted to HAL on Friday June 10th and have not even received an acknowledgement that they received the survey or email as of the 20th!! Day 1 • Flights and transfers were good • No notification of where and when Mariner Welcome was taking place, and so missed it. • Noise level in room was unacceptable. Evidently, we were booked in rooms directly below the Blues Club (we were later informed that Corporate was aware and were not to book the rooms) Day 2 • Lido constantly running out of food at the different stations • Room Noise again horrible until close to midnight. We complained to front desk and were moved. • Our other party complained and were eventually moved. But there was one woman at the front office that basically blamed the room selection on our other party and her travel agent. When the lady was informed that Holland was the travel agent, she told her that she should have known that the room was noisy and should have reviewed the layout of the ship to determine that prior to booking. Horrendous customer service and guest treatment – that lady does not need to be working with people. They moved her (and credited her $150 later in the cruise). Furthermore, when booking the cruise, we were initially responding to an internet special that offered an outside cabin for the same price as an inside cabin. The Holland America agent that booked the cruise informed us that no outside rooms were available and that these larger rooms were being offered to us in replacement as an upgrade. Very disappointing to then find out that she was aware that not only were these not an upgrade, but that they would be unbearable for a family with young children to occupy during a vacation. Day 3 to Day 8 • No Incidents (food shortages/outages Lido) Day 8 • Bus was a Princess Bus – Not a HAL Bus. Rest Room was disgusting. Guide was good. • We were under the impression that all food was included in the land tour portion of our trip. Evidently our fellow cruisers received meal vouchers while we had to spend hundreds of dollars to eat. Why wasn’t this explained during booking, and why weren’t we offered the vouchers? Day 9 • Accommodations were little more than barracks, stuck up against a dirt wall. We believed we would be staying at the lodge. The first evening, the shuttles ran so sporadically, it took 45 minutes plus to get from our room to the front desk. This continued during our stay at the McKinley “Resort”. Climbing the hills to get to the main lodge was very difficult for a 65 and 68 year old, since we could rarely find a shuttle that had room in it. You would think that you would provide enough transportation based on the number of guests. • Parties were traveling as a group and were booked that way and they put us on different floors. Aggravating to say the least. Day 10 • On the McKinley Explorer, in our car, one restroom was closed and the other was disgusting. • We paid for airport transfers, and when we received our packets upon arrival at hotel Westmark, they were not included. We had to stand in line at the desk for 40+ minutes before even speaking to an agent about it. They did issue the transfers eventually, blaming it on flight changes (there was a time change of 10 minutes on one flight which Holland informed us of – shouldn’t the rest of Holland Staff know that) Wasted time and aggravation. • The Westmark was a joke. Air conditioner did not work. At 5 o’clock in the morning, raw sewage bubbled up into party one's Tub. When we called the front desk, they told us there was nothing they could do until we were out of the room. Could not take a shower – disgusting. Found out later from the hotel housekeeping staff that this was common in this room and happened most times it rained (room 201). Front desk staff tried to ease the mess by giving us 25% off ($17) of our breakfast. Day 11 • When we set up the transfer to the airport, we were told that the 1PM transfer would have us there by 1:15 – we asked several times, as our flight was at 2:52. We were assured we would be there by 1:15. We were not – the bus stopped along the way and we finally arrived at the airport at 1:50. This caused a significant amount of stress and aggravation trying to check our bags, get our boarding passes and get though security in time to catch the flight. Food and Service in Main Dining room on Noordam was excellent for the whole cruise. Gave the average rating due to not keeping stocked at the Lido. All in all – a very disappointing tour. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We did not pick this ship, we were with a group of 12. This was our fourth cruise with four different cruise lines. I have to say it was the worst. Getting on was a breeze as was disembarking. We had three pieces of luggage and only ... Read More
We did not pick this ship, we were with a group of 12. This was our fourth cruise with four different cruise lines. I have to say it was the worst. Getting on was a breeze as was disembarking. We had three pieces of luggage and only two made it to our room The other one we found standing in a hall near a maintenance door, nowhere near our room. Went for a drink at the Pinnacle Lounge and the bartender snapped at my husband for mispronouncing his name. The Vista Restaurant was no better. Servers took forever to take and bring our drink orders, food was cold and steaks not done to taste, or not done at all. I asked for well done and it was only seared on both sides, could not eat. Food was not hot nor tasty. The buffet was no better, not a good selection and cold. We ate at the Pinnacle Restaurant and no better, service was better, but crab legs were cold and watery. No one on this ship seemed to have it together. So disappointed after cruising before, I expected this to be better. Our cabin steward and the bartender at the Ocean Bar were the only bright spots. Would go to Alaska again, but not anywhere with Holland America. Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this cruise for a different experience. Much of Alaska is "untamed" so much there is much natural beauty.. Our cruise actually started in Sydney. We sailed around New Zealand and up to Vancouver where our cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a different experience. Much of Alaska is "untamed" so much there is much natural beauty.. Our cruise actually started in Sydney. We sailed around New Zealand and up to Vancouver where our cruise continued to Alaska. We have sailed on the Noordam before, two years ago. Compared to that trip, the ship has deteriorated. There was a mechanical problem when we reached the port of Napier. We spent an extra day there for repairs so we missed the ports of Aukland and Bay of Islands. Crossing the ocean, the ship leaked in many areas during a rain. There were soggy floors. They laid out towels (crow's nest and deck 6 hall) to sop some of it up. Our cabin was dry but we spoke with people that had towels on their cabin floor because of the leaks. Service in the dining room was incredibly slow. The entertainment has been scaled back and wasn't as good Overall the ship decor is tired and I would not recommend this ship until it has had a referbishing. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We selected this cruise to see New Zealand, particularly Auckland, for the first time and to return to the USA via a transition cruise across the Pacific from Sydney to Vancouver. Our first impression was not too good as Noordam ... Read More
We selected this cruise to see New Zealand, particularly Auckland, for the first time and to return to the USA via a transition cruise across the Pacific from Sydney to Vancouver. Our first impression was not too good as Noordam obviously needs a refit with dated and dirty passageway decoration and graffiti on our balcony door glass.The air conditioning system is of the old design which will not shut off and is extremely annoying. On more modern ships the air cuts off when the balcony door is left open so you can breath real air! The HAL maintenance people managed to fit a part incorrectly and we were stranded in Napier for 2 days which caused the Auckland and Bay of Islands stops to be cancelled! HAL would not organize a coach to take interested passengers on a day visit to Auckland. Compensation offered was totally inadequate at $100 per passenger plus 20% discount on a future cruise within 12 months.HAL to date have refused to rectify this - will be talking to my attorney. A very high percentage of the passengers and some crew became seriously ill and I developed bronchitis which is still being treated. The Noordam is simply a germ machine. We departed healthy and both returned home seriously ill. Normal hand sanitation practices were being promoted but I am convinced that the closed system air conditioning is and was the culprit - circulating germs around the ship. With 2000 passengers the air system should be sanitised every week and the cabin filters changed. HAL should employ health experts for a full independent investigation in the interests of public safety. Cabin, restaurant and bar staff were excellent and most of the food a reasonable standard with the exception of some steak and particularly lamb which was very tough. We will not cruise with HAL again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2016
We flew to Australia and toured by land for a month. Then we embarked in Sydney for a two week cruise around New Zealand and a Pacific crossing to Vancouver. I would recommend seeing New Zealand by land also. The ship had mechanical ... Read More
We flew to Australia and toured by land for a month. Then we embarked in Sydney for a two week cruise around New Zealand and a Pacific crossing to Vancouver. I would recommend seeing New Zealand by land also. The ship had mechanical problems when we reached Napier so we missed two ports. The only advantage that I can see about seeing New Zealand by sea, is traversing the fjords. They are truly spectacular. Besides the mechanical trouble, the ship leaked a lot when it rained. In the Crowe's nest, in the hallway on deck 6, even in a stateroom that friends of ours were staying in. Towels were everywhere to soak up the water. Our friends weren't given another stateroom because the ship was full they were told. I don't think this cabin should have been sold in the first place and I question possible health issues from the dampness. It the cruise line wants to encourage repeat business, I think they should address the disrepair of this ship Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Holland America claims to be a 5* cruise line so I had high expectations. This particular holiday was a once in a lifetime luxury cruise, so we decided to pay the extra for the experience. Embarkation was at the White Bay Cruise ... Read More
Holland America claims to be a 5* cruise line so I had high expectations. This particular holiday was a once in a lifetime luxury cruise, so we decided to pay the extra for the experience. Embarkation was at the White Bay Cruise terminal (Sydney) which can only be likened to a cattle market. Be prepared to stand in line for 1 - 2 hours. Once on board, we were given immediate access to our room and luggage which was nice as this is not always the case on other cruise liners. Cabin was well appointed and staff were polite and friendly. Presentation of food was excellent, but a case of style over substance. Food in the restaurants was served warm which was disappointing. As part of the 5* experience, we dressed up for the formal nights only to find that we needn't have bothered as other diners wore trainers, jeans, polo shirts and sports wear. I was disappointed in the entertainment as it was limited to 30-40 minutes in the theatre. Nine days into our cruise, the ship developed a technical fault resulting from (as I understand it) a part that had been fitted incorrectly which caused damage to the starboard propeller. This delayed our departure from Napier and resulted in us having to stay there another day. The knock on effect of this was that the planned stops at Auckland and Bay of Islands was cancelled. So very disappointing as we were looking forward to these stops - the delays were caused by HAL. Compensation for the cancelled ports was a derisory $100 per person which was re-credited to our on board accounts and a 20% discount off a future cruise booked with HAL. I asked for financial compensation instead of 20% discount, but HAL remain resolute and will only offer the discount off a future cruise. It appears that HAL have had my money and are not prepared to repay an equitable amount of the fare to compensate for the missed ports. In order to gain compensation, I have to spend more money with them!!!! SO VERY DISAPPOINTED. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
The cruise started promising: beautifull big cabin (neptune lounge facility) large balcony-two stewards-not good at cleaning. activities: poor-very poor. port and shore excursions:verry expensive dinning:verry good (sometimes bad in ... Read More
The cruise started promising: beautifull big cabin (neptune lounge facility) large balcony-two stewards-not good at cleaning. activities: poor-very poor. port and shore excursions:verry expensive dinning:verry good (sometimes bad in specialty restaurants.entertainement: non existent . Disembarkkation: fortunately very quick summary very expensive from any aspects;exchange rate (on ship) for a$100.00 nz $ 80.00 incredible bottle of black label jonny walker approx a$ 100.00 for use incabin. The only thing free:use of lift on ship (but this is included in your purchase price) balcony on our cabin never cleaned-the table on balcony wobbley,the glass never cleaned.sugest to future passengers check prices for any additional services (drinks-excursions or anything else).cost of trip only approx 20000.00 austr. Dollars. We have been on18 other trips crystal,seaborne,azamara ,royalcarribyen, etc. B ut will never again go on holland america line. The choice is yours. try and rent a wheelchair cost a$ 500.00 ????????? Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We are experienced Holland America cruisers with this being our 5th (out of 11) with the company and second on Noordam since 2012. It could well be our last. We can understand first time cruisers being satisfied, happy even, with their ... Read More
We are experienced Holland America cruisers with this being our 5th (out of 11) with the company and second on Noordam since 2012. It could well be our last. We can understand first time cruisers being satisfied, happy even, with their experience because it had a lot going for it. However when you are able to compare with previous trips the quite noticeable drop in standards are very apparent. Clearly the bottom line has become critical and cuts to service and quality are very evident. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the quality, choice, quantity and presentation of the food, particularly in the main dining room where it would appear that the menus are planned by accountants rather than chefs. HAL promotes its 5 star dining experience. Yes, in the specialty restaurants this is appropriate but you pay the surcharges for this. However, comparing what we have experienced on previous Holland America cruises, the last being November 2014, and particularly with dining experiences on other cruise lines the standard has plummeted and is more worthy of two star at best and at worst some meals as one star! Yes, sitting down to a meal, served by wonderfully friendly stewards, on a ship visiting interesting places for the first time is all new and great but...(kids enjoy their first trip to Pizza Hut) The profile of HAL target cruisers are older, perhaps retired, comfortable middle class people. Their ships are not for the young, excitement, party, with kids people with water slides, climbing walls, throbbing discos, ice skating rinks, rock bands etc. What we and others of similar ilk look for in our shipboard experience has been met quite well by HAL in the past. Good but not opulent accommodations, attentive staff, quality entertainment, quiet places to read and have a chat, good library and interesting lectures, classes and activities and very importantly a relaxing pre dinner drink before a quality dining experience in the dining room. Remove this last component and a major reason for choosing that particular cruise company goes. With repeated substandard meals the positives of the days get lost in the disappointment of the meals particularly when other companies cater (literally) for this better. If HAL doesn't address this then its major client base will become increasingly disenchanted and look elsewhere as we are doing. Two asides: How serving staff in the Lido buffet get away with placing and arranging food on your plate by hand (albeit gloved) is beyond me and makes you wonder what sort of standards go on and are accepted behind the scene. Sitting together on a tender ride we spoke briefly with two other experienced cruisers who had joined the Noordam from another connecting cruise immediately prior to joining this one. It was the first time for them on HAL. On hearing that we had been on four previous cruises with HAL they asked "Is it (the food) always this bad and if so why do you keep going with them?" They also suggested that some of the food offered in the buffet wouldn't be acceptable at a school boarding house. They won't travel HAL again. Yes if you haven't cruised before, you will have a good time. However if the bar has been set high by previous experiences you could well be disappointed. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
This was our first cruise on Holland America. We have done 4 or 5 cruises on Princess (very positive experiences) and 1 on Carnival. The positives: food and service was excellent; bed was comfortable; gym was good; Glacier Bay was ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Holland America. We have done 4 or 5 cruises on Princess (very positive experiences) and 1 on Carnival. The positives: food and service was excellent; bed was comfortable; gym was good; Glacier Bay was amazing. The negatives: our room was located above the Vista Lounge and was noisy during some shows and numbers -- noisy enough to wake us up when we went to bed at 10 pm and we could actually hear the words for some of the numbers. With 4 cruise ships in each port, it was very crowded -- especially in Juneau and Skagway. There seemed to be more room for the crowds to dissipate in Ketchikan. There's no running track. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
This whole Alaska cruise is a joke. Imagine sailing through some of the most beautiful uninhabited country then docking in a city of 800 people with three other cruise ships. 10,000 plus people descending on the town all at once. Every ... Read More
This whole Alaska cruise is a joke. Imagine sailing through some of the most beautiful uninhabited country then docking in a city of 800 people with three other cruise ships. 10,000 plus people descending on the town all at once. Every port, three other cruise ships and 10,000 plus other passengers. We arrived at the Canada Place Pier at noon. We waited in line for 1 1/2 hours just to go through security. Waiting in line turned out to be the major theme of the entire cruise. We were on the Holland America MS Noordam. Even though the ship is only 9 years old its getting tired. The bed, I'm positive, was the original bed when new. The linens were thread bare, also original. For the first two days the suite smelled like a urinal. The food was marginal at best. Unless you wanted to spend an additional $29 per person for a better meal. At every meal we stood in line. We stood in line to get on the ship, we stood in line to get off and we stood in line for an hour just to get a ticket to get off There were plenty of organized activities on the ship except most were designed to sell you something. Every morning when I woke up I could hear a loud sucking sound. It was the giant Holland America vacuum trying to suck up every last dollar in your pocket. I pay $6000 for a seven day cruise and I get charged a daily service fee for the room, a 15% service fee on all food or beverages and I have to pay to take a tour of the ship. If you want to see Alaska go by car. Forget the cruise. If you go do not book shore excursions through the cruise line. You'll find better excursions and at a lower price. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
Firstly, my wife and i were first time cruisers. We wished to see Alaska as part of our vacation and had been recommended Holland America cruiseline. I contacted HAL prior to the start of the cruise and expected 5* experience. We were ... Read More
Firstly, my wife and i were first time cruisers. We wished to see Alaska as part of our vacation and had been recommended Holland America cruiseline. I contacted HAL prior to the start of the cruise and expected 5* experience. We were sorely let down. I'll break my review down into sections: Embarkation: - A shambles. We were shown to a large hall where we dropped our luggage. We were then given a ticket with a number and had to wait in a large seated area for over an hour before we were called. There was no refreshment or food facilities in the hall. Various excuses were given for the delay which didn't help while we sat around waiting. Rooms: We had a state room with a balcony which we were charged US 11.50 per person per day for services. The bathroom smelled of urine and when the cabin assistant came to greet us I advised him the bathroom was not clean. He cleaned the toilet area but the sink was unclean and I had to ask for that to be cleaned later. Not 5* as expected. After day 2 the room was kept clean, although this was not difficult as we are not untidy people. One big disappointment was no coffee / tea making facility in the room. All hotels I have previously stayed in had this facility as a basic service. I did, however, love the balcony as it was the one place away from the madding crowd that we could sit watching the world go by. The scenery was stunning. Meals: We ate mainly in the Lido restaurant, as the meals in the a la carte were really strange. I think the chefs were trying to think of concoctions that no one else had used and for us they just didn't work. The food in the Lido was ok but nothing more. I have stayed at 5* hotels in Mexico and the food on board ship was no where near Mexico standard. The service in the Lido was poor. Trying to spot a drinks waiter was as easy as spotting a whale (we didn't see any whales). We ate one night at the formal evening in the a la carte, as we had both brought clothes to dress formally. I could only eat two of the four courses. My main was steak with a couple of shrimp, a sliver of cooked spinach and four small roasted pineapple chunks. It tasted ok but whatever happened to steak with a nice sauce with potatoes and vegetables? This was the one night I felt the service was good as the waiters were literally falling over themselves to serve tables. Perhaps that's why there were no drinks waiters in the Lido. Drinks: There was a reasonable selection, but quite expensive. All drinks came with a 15% service charge. The service in the bars was good until the place got busy. During busy periods we experienced getting the wrong drinks and getting other peoples cards. Entertainment: This was pretty good. I enjoyed the Blues Band and the Casino (although again, you've guessed it, you suffered a service charge for buying chips to play the tables). Activities: I was disappointed with the activities. I expected something like volleyball, archery, soccer etc. but there were no activities like that. Most activities, other than the gym, seemed to be indoor and seated activities (cards etc). Also, the swimming pools are not accessible to customers with a disability. There were ladders in the 6ft end to climb out. My wife has a walking disability and could not use the ladders and therefore could not use the pool. HAL do not advertise that their swimming pools are not accessible. We spoke with the front desk about this and they were going to get back to us. We're still waiting. Front Desk: A major disappointment. We complained about no tea / coffee maker in the room. Front desk said we could order room service. This would not work, as my wife is an early riser and I like to lie in a bit longer. I did not wish wakened by room service. We therefore had to wait till the Lido restaurant opened at 7am. My wife complained about the non accessible swimming pools and we are still waiting on a response. We also visited front desk for information about the formal evening. We were advised that we could attend the event at the a la carte restaurants on floor 2 and 3. I asked if we needed to book and was advised we could just turn up at either restaurant when we wished or could book whatever suited. We decided not to reserve seating and turned up at the restaurant at level 3, which was a fair walk from the elevators only to be advised that level 3 dining was for reserved customers only. We were not too pleased as that contradicted front desk advice. Finally on the last night we received luggage tags which were not suitable for our situation. The tags were for luggage going to the airport and not independent travel on. I explained this to front desk and they asked if I had contacted my travel agent as if I didn't know what I was doing. Eventually I managed to convince front desk that I was not going to the airport and the assistant had to agree my change of disembarkation with her manager. The girl then suggested I still use the same tags and couldn't grasp the fact that if I did my cases would end up at the airport. After about 15 minutes and nearly at my wits end I managed to obtain luggage tags that suited our situation. Disembarkation: After our issues of the previous night it was a pleasant surprise that disembarkation went smoothly. Excursions: We did not book any through HAL. We had already booked Whale watching tour through out travel agent, which saved money. We also booked the Helicopter and Dog Sled Tour independently and saved around US 100. The independent trip was exactly the same as the ship excursion offered. In summary we were very disappointed with our cruise given the high expectations we had after contacting the HAL representatives. The cruise was not value for money the service charge extortionate for the level of service provided. We have certainly been put off cruising for the time being but may give another cruiseline a chance if it suited in future. I would not recommend HAL. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
This was the 3rd cruise on HAL, the second on the Noordam. In the time between Jan 2013 to Nov 2014 this ship has seen a Major overall decline. The room, verandah, was so outdated and worn, the air conditioning never worked right, even ... Read More
This was the 3rd cruise on HAL, the second on the Noordam. In the time between Jan 2013 to Nov 2014 this ship has seen a Major overall decline. The room, verandah, was so outdated and worn, the air conditioning never worked right, even with numerous calls and supposedly work by technicians, and the bathroom sink plugged. The pillows were hard and the decorative pillows that were placed on top of the ones I lay my head on were dirty and stained. Food - eatable but not at all like it was before. There was no presentation on the plates (I am a foodie and eat with my eyes first); there was nothing that made me think wow. Same things every nite, Really, just with a different sauce. I really think the Lido deck had better choices than the Vista dining room. The food on the plate was minimal at best and very bland. Wilted Caesar salads. Instead of anchovies one nite it was sardines! Thanksgiving dinner was horrible!!!! Pinnacle Grill - the only bright spot of the whole culinary experience. Menu delicious, but it was $29 pp surcharge. Le circ - horrible dinner. Dry beef, fish with bones. $49 pp surcharge was definately not worth it. Really really bad. If I were part of the Culinary Council and had my name associated with this food ( as many top chefs do) I would be embarressed. No chocolate or special desert nite where people line up to take pictures and eat delectable pastries. Was told by staff it was eliminated at the beginning of the year. This was such a special part of the cruise experience, why would the eliminate it? Entertainment - really lacking here. Out of 10 nites two had comics and one had a fiddle (Irish) player. One night had guests trying to win a cruise, Dancing with the stars concept, dancing with the dancers ( last nite), and the rest were the singers and dancers. Singers - there was one guy who was pretty good, but the girls sounded more like opera singers and too screeching for my taste. Dancers - very often not in sync, nothing special. The one really good nite with them was their play Droon. The costumes were beautiful and the play very entertaining. In 2013 there was a hyptonist, a ventriloquist, a comic; a variety. I have been told that HAL has been cutting corners and staff have been reduced. Cabin stewards have more rooms to take care of and waiters more tables, which lend to a decrease in Service. Captains Brunch - no captain, not even for a moment. It was his brunch! An officer gave the toast! Other than at the beginning of the cruise when the captain gave a toast and introduced his staff we never saw him! Since this cruise gave me 2 star status we wanted to continue grow our relationship with HAL but after this experience We have changed our mind. I wonder if Princess or Celebrity is doing the same? Ports of call - samana, Dominican Republic. Wow, this is a place where we should not have stopped. Nothing, absolutely nothing, here to do. So very very poor, dirty. Not good. We did take a tour outside of ship excursions that showed us the area. While the people are very poor they are a very proud people. We were also told my locals that it is very unsafe, a lot of drugs and robbing of tourists! The other ports were established ports.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2014
we have cruised with P&O and Princess in excess of 25 occasions and have often seen Holland America ships alongside. We have admired the appearance of efficiency and cleanliness and decided on that basis to give them a try. We took ... Read More
we have cruised with P&O and Princess in excess of 25 occasions and have often seen Holland America ships alongside. We have admired the appearance of efficiency and cleanliness and decided on that basis to give them a try. We took our 8year old granddaughter and 11 year old grandson with us as a special treat and initially were offered cabin 1036. This is under the nightclub and, as experienced cruisers, we know not to take such cabins because of noise. We were then offered cabin 1061 which was under the Culinary Arts Centre and Queens Lounge. We challenged Holland America UK office regarding any possible noise intrusion in this cabin from the Lounge above and were assured that the Culinary Arts Centre and Queens Lounge were not in use at night and there would be no noise. We booked on that understanding. Our first night proved that the Queens Lounge is used every evening by the BB King Blues Band and the noise intrusion in our cabin was horrendous. After two days of complaining (we were initially offered ear plugs like a previous cruise critic commentator who occupied cabin 1060 on an earlier trip) we were moved to a much better cabin thanks to Andreia Santos, the Passenger Services Supervisor. Cabin apart, we found the service in the Lido Buffet to be very poor; waiting staff had to be asked repeatedly to remove used crockery and even following complaints to Restaurant supervisors and front Desk staff there was no improvement; service of food was also poor and occasions we had to wait for 20 minutes to get food served even when then were only a few customers present; the biggest failing was the inability to have replenishments ready to replace the empty trays as food was served. It felt as if no one was really in control and the standards simply didnt match those on other ships. The quality, selection and standard of food, in particular desserts, felt well short of our expectations. Waiting service in the bars was, in our experience, poor and we had to seek out the waiters rather than the other way round - we frequently gave up! Perhaps we were just unlucky on this particular cruise but we also found a significant number of older passengers who were simply child intolerant and they had to be reminded that if they wanted absolute peace and quiet they should choose a ship with NO children. On one such occasion a man asked the children in the swimming pool to be quiet because he was reading his book! It should be notd that the swimming pool at the rear of the ship is adult only but it was evident that the better quality sun beds are surrounding the Lido Pool where children are very much allowed.   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
I have been on a total of 10 cruises in the past 10 years (8 of which were in Europe), four on Celebrity, two each on Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, one on Princess, and this one. I was under the mistaken belief that HAL would be on a par ... Read More
I have been on a total of 10 cruises in the past 10 years (8 of which were in Europe), four on Celebrity, two each on Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, one on Princess, and this one. I was under the mistaken belief that HAL would be on a par with Celebrity. Not only was that belief mistaken, but Holland America is far worse than any of the others. First, the good. Our stateroom accommodations (Superior Verandah Suite on Deck 8) were lovely. The ports of call were excellent, but that was the primary reason we chose this particular cruise. The quality of the food in the main dining room and the Italian specialty restaurant was good. The medical staff was outstanding. Room service was prompt and very good. Now, for the bad (in no particular order): The general level of service was abysmal. In the Lido and pool areas, items were not cleared from tables and surfaces. In fact, one Lido employee refused to clear items from our table. This was called to the attention of a supervisor, but his response was unintelligible. The service in the main dining room was hit or miss, depending on the server and the day. Some was excellent, but at other times the staff seemed overwhelmed. The amount of space in the Lido and pool areas was sometimes insufficient to meet the number of people on the cruise. People were eating on furniture in the elevator lobby area outside the restaurant when they couldn't find tables and were laying all over the deck when they couldn't find lounge chairs. Besides the aforementioned, the Lido had other problems as well. Lunch hours were insufficient given that many people returned from tours about the time lunch ended. The presentation of some of the items (e.g., salad bar, desserts, juices) was poor. Ice was frequently in short supply and drink dispensers ran out or dispensed the wrong thing (e.g., water instead of lemonade). The ship ran out of lemonade two or three days prior to the end of the cruise and lettuce the day prior to the end of cruise. The condition of some of the furnishings was in disrepair. For example, I think if I attempted to donate your pool lounge chairs to Goodwill, they would reject them as being not sellable even at Goodwill prices. The manner in which the Tunis port was cancelled was really unacceptable. Passengers were not advised officially of the cancellation until well after the time that the ship should have docked. Until the captain spoke, no ship employee would confirm anything. Since the decision was supposedly made around midnight, a letter should have been slipped under every cabin door so people would not have found it necessary to rush in the morning to prepare and have breakfast. No real reason was given for the cancellation except for the very vague safety concerns. Given the fact that other sailings had also skipped Tunis, the ship should have been prepared with a contingency plan to call upon another port, if necessary, rather than have a sea day. It was certainly foreseeable that a diversion might occur and alternative arrangements should have been made in advance. I had occasion to visit the medical staff because of a fall I took on a wet deck. The reason the deck was wet in that area was because an employe was pushing water from the deck above onto the deck below, directly in front of an entry door. Upon embarkation, we found that the toilet in our cabin was not clean. There was a caked on substance on the bottom of the seat that appeared to be feces. We advised our cabin steward and it was cleaned. On the last morning of the cruise at about 3:00 AM, there was a fire in the incinerator. The captain made repeated announcements about it, but some people apparently did not understand and donned life jackets and went into the hallways.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
I had been told my cruise with Holland America would be a step up from my usual line -- Royal Caribbean. It was a step. But a step down. I do not believe there is such a thing as a bad cruise. And I liked this one. But I would never ... Read More
I had been told my cruise with Holland America would be a step up from my usual line -- Royal Caribbean. It was a step. But a step down. I do not believe there is such a thing as a bad cruise. And I liked this one. But I would never recommend HAL to anyone else. The cabin was excellent. We had a fantail suite with a great wrap-around deck -- which we used extensively. And our cabin stewards were top notch. The rest of the cruise was so-so. Like most cruise dining room food, the meals were banquet food. Special requests were generally ignored. HAL must have cut their dining room staff. Water and wine glasses went unfilled. Plates with meals uneaten did not cause any inquiry. Even the specialty restaurant had slow service and mediocre steak. I go on cruises for the entertainment. On this cruise, the entertainment would not have made a good pier show. With the exception of an American jazz pianist, Judy Carmichael, who actually attempted to teach the audience and stretch their minds. Our concierge duo, Homer and Celine, made yeoman efforts to make up for the shortcomings elsewhere on the ship. They were gems. I do not expect much from ship shore excursions. And that is what I got. The excursions I most looked forward to were cancelled. Those that I took were over-crowded and far too hurried for the expense. I would advice anyone who takes a cruise in this area of the Mediterranean to skip te shore excursions. Most can be done on foot -- or with the help of a local taxi. I do not regret taking the cruise. I just would not make the same mistake twice. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
We (two couples) recently completed a 22 a day Mediterranean cruise on the Noordam, Holland America Line (HAL). All of the party have previously had cruises on other cruise lines and as HAL had been recommended for providing 5 star ... Read More
We (two couples) recently completed a 22 a day Mediterranean cruise on the Noordam, Holland America Line (HAL). All of the party have previously had cruises on other cruise lines and as HAL had been recommended for providing 5 star service we gave it a go. It is our opinion that HAL is very money orientated, e.g. charging a Hotel Service and also a 15% surcharge on services. The port transfers were very expensive. The air-conditioning in our cabin was very noisy and could not be controlled, even after asking for it to be looked at nothing was done, there was little if any information in our cabins regarding the use of the telephones, TV etc,. The entertainment in our view was very poor. On the plus side we did have excellent service from our dining room waiters and the food on most occasions was fine. The Noordam is an old and it shows. We have to say that given the opportunity to cruise with HAL or another cruise line we would choose another cruise line.   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
I had high hopes for a great experience. My wife had her 60th and I wanted to surprise her with a spectacular experience and give her a trip to remember, 16 nights Rome to Greece, Turkey, Rome, Rhodes, Gythion (Sparta), Athens, Naples, ... Read More
I had high hopes for a great experience. My wife had her 60th and I wanted to surprise her with a spectacular experience and give her a trip to remember, 16 nights Rome to Greece, Turkey, Rome, Rhodes, Gythion (Sparta), Athens, Naples, Monte Carlo, Tunisia, Palermo etc.. Arrival was great, fast embarkation, we were welcomed to a nice Veranda Room with balcony as promised everything was great. Our first Meal was blah and the service dead slow. Due to recent health issues we could not serve ourselves for the first two days and had to stand in line for up to 15 minutes to even just to get a coffee. The food was worse than the food in a high school cafeteria. I mean it looked good, it was the right stuff, but it had no flavor. Well perhaps it was just the first dinner. The next morning Breakfast came and we were excited, down we go, it smelled good. Oh no, more lines, Sausage and eggs takes 10 minutes.... and again the eggs are tasteless, the bacon is mass cooked like a slab. The next day we try the omlette station, 15 minutes for an omlette, lot's of ingredients, looked good, smelled good, very little flavor. Then I see the cook filling the egg bowl with egg mix from a carton. They don't use real eggs! They have eggs for show on the counter, but they use eggs from a box. The bacon in the omlette is cooked like cardboard and taste about the same. So we decide to try the upgraded Dining in the Tammirand. Nice ambiance, good appi's. I ordered the Filet with Wasabi crust. Not bad. My Wife ordered the Shrimp and Scallop dish. I figured something was wrong, she offered me a taste. These had to be the worlds smallest scallops, tasteless in what taste like a luke warm consume. The shrimp were not much better. Yuk. One night we had shrimp cocktail, the shrimp were soft, and you guessed it tasteless, but also without any smell, like they have been defrosted in water overnight any hint of flavor washed away. The Steak and Lobster night, more of the same. The Lobster could have been from one of those packages of crab sticks that are made up of fish bits and shaped and colored to look and smell like Crab or Lobster but don't taste like much. We Purchased the Admirals wine Package, again what a disappointment. I like my wine, but the quality was not anywhere near what I expected. Most of the wines were of a sub $20 value. I hate paying $100 for a bottle I can buy at home for $17. More important here we are in Italy and no Barolos, no Amorone. But Columbia Valley or Mondavi Jr for $50 a bottle. Really sad. Of course Costco sells the same for $7.99 I had such high hopes, Many people had told me this was one of the best lines. Hardly, we had better food and wine selections on the Carnival Triumph. The flight home was welcoming experience, the food was out of this world. I was relieved, I was worried they had ruined my taste buds. I provided my feedback to HAL and they replied that they were sorry to hear that. So I think you get my point by now. Next cruise will be with a different line. When I spend over $10,000 for a cruise I expect a little more. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Everything was adequate, but certainly no "wow" factor. Steward tried to overcharge us multiple times for water from the minibar. Even though we sat at the same table every night, the waiters never learned our names or beverage ... Read More
Everything was adequate, but certainly no "wow" factor. Steward tried to overcharge us multiple times for water from the minibar. Even though we sat at the same table every night, the waiters never learned our names or beverage preferences. They were polite, but very rushed, and service was impersonal. Many repeat HAL cruisers expressed disappointment at the cutbacks. They all said it was the "little things" that were gone, all done to trim the budget. The welcome glass of champagne, the flowers in the cabin, the "higher end food", etc. The food and service at the Pinnacle Grill was at the level you originally would have had in the main dining room - for no extra charge. At the same time, the aggressive approach to get you to spend money was very noticeable - ridiculously high internet fees, charging you for a soft drink with your lunch, or loud promotionals to get you to shop,shop, and shop some more. Age is a state of mind. Some have commented on the age of the passengers. It's not so much the chronological age of the passengers, but their physical and mental shape. It was a traffic jam of walkers, Hoverounds, and wheelchairs. Others were walking around disoriented or confused, or fell sound asleep at the dining tables. Suffice it to say, the fitness center was never crowded. Entertainment was mostly music from the 1940's and 1950's. (Doris Day not Little Richard). Although I qualify as a "senior citizen", I felt like I was a bit young for HAL's "target audience". In all fairness, many seemed to be enjoying the cruise, but I'll look for different cruise line for future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
Just returned from a 7 day New Year cruise on the Noordam. This was our sixth cruise on Holland America. I think it is probably our last. It is sad to say that they are going downhill. I cannot say that anything is horrible, but in their ... Read More
Just returned from a 7 day New Year cruise on the Noordam. This was our sixth cruise on Holland America. I think it is probably our last. It is sad to say that they are going downhill. I cannot say that anything is horrible, but in their effort to cut costs, they are making the cruise less enjoyable. All the web sites say that they have a crew of 800, but when we read the onboard propaganda, they say only 600. It seems that some of the staff cuts were supervisors. We have breakfast in the buffet. In all of our previous cruises (23 in all) people would come around asking if we would like more coffee. On this cruise, there were lots of people standing around and chatting instead. Lots of other things seemed different. When we asked our steward for some ice, he brought it , but seemed like it was an imposition to ask. I must say that the luggage handling was the best and most efficient that I have ever seen. The mariners’ lunch was awful. Here were all their loyal customers and they threw the lunch at us, then they seemed to rush us out of the dining room. The officers spoke for a total of 90 seconds. Maybe this was a blessing)   Read Less
Noordam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.8
Family 2.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.6
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 3.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.3

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