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10,480 Holland America Cruise Reviews

Positives:inside cabin on navigation deck was spacious and a comfortable bed,with excellent cabin stewards.(wawan & wayan) pleasant bar staff ( Louis & Freddie)in the lido bar was excellent.waiteresses was pleasant.food was very ... Read More
Positives:inside cabin on navigation deck was spacious and a comfortable bed,with excellent cabin stewards.(wawan & wayan) pleasant bar staff ( Louis & Freddie)in the lido bar was excellent.waiteresses was pleasant.food was very good most days,excellent selection of premium alcoholic drinks. Negatives:the ocean bar lacked atmosphere in the early evening,perhaps some sought of entertainment would not go a miss! My wife is a big lover for ‘shrimps’on some occasions there where ‘shrimps’on the menu in the lido restaurant when it first opened in the evening but by 7.00pm when we ready to eat there was none to be had!was told by the servers you would have to wait 15 minutes,but this turned out to be not true on several occasions!what a con. We visited a beautiful island called ‘half moon cay’which they provided a bbq,you only had water,but we bought a drinks package which if you wanted a beer you had to pay for it!. However had a enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I cruise on holland america because they are the line that Legendary Blues Cruise charters. I would NEVER pay to go on this line otherwise. This last trip, end of october 2019, was especially bad. The food, especially the desserts and ... Read More
I cruise on holland america because they are the line that Legendary Blues Cruise charters. I would NEVER pay to go on this line otherwise. This last trip, end of october 2019, was especially bad. The food, especially the desserts and baked goods, were a travesty! While there was occasionally a decent item- flourless choc. cake, the popover rolls on the salad bar, I found most items to range between bad and disgusting. As a pastry chef with experience working in large scale operations (caesars vegas) in addition to small, fine dining establishments, i can tell you there is no excuse for food this bad. The apple pie was like a block of rubber, the choc souffle was accompanied by a sauce of watery cocoa, the cupcakes were frosted with some unknown rubber substance, the cookies were bland and overbaked, the ice cream was the cheapest pre-purchased crap available, the breads, rolls, etc, were flavorless and stale, etc. The hot food in the dining room was okay, but quality has definitely slipped in the last year. The buffet food was mediocre to bad- the pasta tasted exactly like Spaghetti-O's. i paid full price for a veranda cabin at the back of the ship (room 8175) Nice room, but not sure if something is wrong with the engines or what, but the constant vibration make it look like a strobe light when the bedside gooseneck lamp was on. That would have been okay, except every 20-40 seconds, the ship would give a jolt that would physically move me in the bed. I will continue to sail on this line only because of the great music and passengers on the blues cruise, but if you are looking to cruise for pleasure, definitely look elsewhere! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Food was awesome. Shows were good but only 5 and one was a sorta redo with same comedians different material. They did two “Taks” to replace shows. Although the talks were interesting they should have had them for the afternoon of Sea ... Read More
Food was awesome. Shows were good but only 5 and one was a sorta redo with same comedians different material. They did two “Taks” to replace shows. Although the talks were interesting they should have had them for the afternoon of Sea days , where there was only two things to do . Either sit by the pool or a gamble. Very few trivia contests. No scavenger hunt, no Newlywed game. They did have two great pianists but you couldn’t get a seat unless you arrived a half hour before showtime. The same was true of the Soul Music show and the Violinists. Never enough seating. If ships are going to accommodate thousands of guests they need thousands of seats. Casino small but non smoking. On the first evening we heard a sound like a barking dog. We called the front desk and they sent someone up to the hallway to check. They called me and they said there is no barking dog and I told them that it sounded like a barking dog , that I doubt it it was actually a dog on the ship. The following day I called again and reported the same issue. This time they actually sent someone up to my state room and I took them out to the deck so that they could hear the barking dog sound loud and clear . It turned out to be the door between the balconies was vibrating and sounded like a barking dog. They repaired it and we slept in quiet the following evenings. I wish they had believed me the first evening it would’ve been Nice to get a good night of rest on the first evening of the cruise. On the next to The last day of the cruise everyone had to go down to Deck three and present their passport at different times. Our groups time was 830. We normally went to breakfast in the dining room at 8:30 so we thought it would be good to go after the passport presentation. We went and found the dining room was closed. We were told the only breakfast available was at the buffet. Apparently thousands of other passengers were told the same. We walked around the buffet for 20 minutes before finding a table. The table was on a level with a step. Thanks to that step my sister-in-law fell and broke her shoulder bone. There should not be steps on a ship that caters to the elderly, they should be ramps. After the accident , my wife and her sister spent six hours in the hospital. The reason the time was so lengthy is because the x-rays they took on the ship were faulty. That was due to the fact that the doctor gave them the wrong x-rays with the wrong person‘s name on the x-rays. So the hospital had to take new x-rays to confirm that my sister-in-law in fact did have a broken shoulder. Thank the Lord, this all happened early in the day , due to the fact the ship was departing the Port at 4:30 and my wife and both her sisters did not return to the ship until 330. Bring your own soda . I called to order two diet cokes and they advised they would deliver Wednesday. Disembarked Saturday still no Diet Coke in stateroom. Needless to say, I will never take another Holland America cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Sailed on a 7 night itinerary from Ft Lauderdale to Half Moon Cay, Grand Turks, Amber Cove and Key West. Had sailed on the Nieuw Amsterdam about 18 months ago and really enjoyed the cruise. However, this time some things just seemed ... Read More
Sailed on a 7 night itinerary from Ft Lauderdale to Half Moon Cay, Grand Turks, Amber Cove and Key West. Had sailed on the Nieuw Amsterdam about 18 months ago and really enjoyed the cruise. However, this time some things just seemed "off" and different from the last sailing. So I am disappointed as this sailing was not what I had expected, but it was still an overall ok / good cruise and would recommend sailing on the NA. She is a beautiful ship. LOVE the promenade with the wonderful comfortable deck chairs. It is great that there still is a wide promenade to walk around to try to burn off some of the calories! Embarkation was excellent. Quick and no issues. On board within a reasonable amount of time in the port. Upon arrival we ate in the dining room which was very pleasant and nice as we wanted to avoid the crowds in the Lido. MDR lunch was excellent. After lunch, we proceeded to our stateroom which was ready. Upon checking out of the stateroom, I discovered that the bathroom area had not been cleaned up to standards. There were "body part hairs" on the toilet flush mechanism and surrounding area. There was also a horrible, nasty toilet ring. This was really quite gross. Obviously, this had not been properly cleaned and disinfected prior to our entering the stateroom. This is not acceptable. Then we noticed that there was a used bathroom towel underneath the bed, when we were trying to put the luggage away. We found our stateroom steward and told him about these problems and he apologized. He said they had to clean many rooms in a hurry and it must have been missed. He did clean it up and take care of the issues, but I never felt confident about the level of disinfection of the room after that first incident. Have sailed on many ships and have never had this happen before..... Found the bed to be very firm and uncomfortable. On day #2 we asked the cabin steward if he had a foam toper or memory foam pad to put underneath the bottom sheet to make the bed a little softer. He told us that the ship did not have any.... All he could do was take an extra duvet and place it underneath the bottom sheet to try to soften up the bed. Which he did do. However, it did not help at all. We questioned him about a foam topper again on day 3 and the same reply. The ship did not have anything like that to place on the bed. To me this makes absolutely no sense, as I know on Celebrity one time we had to request a foam topper as the bed was too firm for us and we were accommodated and no problems after that. But for some reason on this HAL ship, we were told no, we cannot do that , we do not have anything. So..... 7 nights of back pain...... I would NOT recommend staying in cabin 4166 as it was very noisy from the surrounding crew area. There is a crew door directly next door and then another crew door directly across the hall. And both of these rooms were used by the cabin stewards all day long. They would go in and out of these areas and cling and clang things around. This was as early as 8:00 AM. And was as late as 10:30 PM. So much clanging of racks or something or another going on in those rooms. Not sure WHY they had to make so much noise by they did. If noise does not bother you in the AM or late in the PM, then this is a fine cabin. It has a double size balcony which is fantastic. But to me, it is not worth it due to the potential noise issue. Never understood why the cabin stewards had to make so much noise in those rooms, but they did. Overall food was very good. Dinner in the MDR most evenings at fixed early dining. Nice table for 2 with good waiters. I will say that the waiters always seemed very rushed and if you had a question for your waiter, it did take quite some time to fine one to come to your table. I do understand that they are understaffed, and that is why things run the way they do in the MDR. Slow between courses, but that is usual in the MDR. Was not a problem for us as we were not in a hurry. HMC is a beautiful private island and I do wish I could stay there forever! Always enjoy the private island. It is really a beautiful place with stunning blue water. Grand Turk is a small island that there really is not a lot to see. We took a ship excursion where we drove "Hummer" electric vehicles (golf carts with a Hummer shell) in a convoy around the city to see the sites. Our tour guide was excellent and he made the trip worth taking. It was interesting to see most of the island, as I had never been there before. But truthfully, there really is not a lot to see. "Margaritaville" is at the port dock and I found it to be my worst nightmare! But this is JMHO. Lots of people love it there, but it was just not for me. If you enjoy sitting row to row with hundreds of people on a small beach then you will like it. What was worse than that was the incredibly LOUD music that was blaring from the pool / bar area with a woman DJ who did nothing but encourage drinking and doing Jello Shots. No way to relax with this blaring loud music and DJ. It was a shame as it could have been a nice place to visit. We left after 15 minutes. Went back to the ship. Amber Cove which is a port that the cruise line built in 2015 is actually a beautiful port. The cruise line did a very nice job of building nice shops and a beautiful pool area. There are even some lovely cabanas in the water than you can rent. We were told by the shore excursion desk that Amber Cove Pool Area was not at all like Margaritaville on Grand Turk. However, after arriving at the pool around 9:00AM we were very, very disappointed to discover that it was indeed like Margartaville. Loud music playing at the pool area! Again! Why they feel the need to play this loud music is beyond me. So, this was not going to work out for us as we just wanted to relax and unwind, not listen to loud blaring music..... And it is a shame as the pool area really is quite beautiful. So we left and decided to take a City Tour of Puerta Plata. We did enjoy the city tour and were glad that we got to see this town in the Dominican Republic. The tour guide was really excellent. Key West is Key West. Took a tour of the Truman Little White House and did enjoy learning about the history of this home. Enjoyed the tour and the guide was excellent. Do recommend that tour if you have never done it. Entertainment on board is just ok. Two comedians during our week. One was excellent (first name Derrick) as he was really very funny. The second one (Francis something or another) was just ok. Not so great at all. I don't think she was hitting it off at all with the HAL audience. Dancer show was not good for us and we walked out. No big production shows anymore and I do really miss those. BB Kings band is great! They always play to a packed house and I can see way. They really are good. Billboard Online is not really my thing, but everyone else seems to like them. I personally just do not like them. Casino was always busy at night and always hard to find a slot machine. Very tight slots. Casino is on the small side. Wish it was larger. Smoke was NOT an issue as I never saw anyone smoking in there. MDR food was good (not excellent) as well as the service. The Lido always felt crowded, not sure why it felt that way on this sailing as opposed to my last sailing on the NA but it was hard to find a seat. And many tables were dirty and needed to be bussed. Most times I had to flag down a server in the Lido to get them to clean off the table. The burgers at the Dive In are great! The pizza was very good too! Really LOVE Tamarind restaurant and we always enjoy a dinner there!! Outstanding service and excellent food! Overall an ok cruise, not a great cruise for the above mentioned reasons. Starting off the cruise with a nasty bathroom is not a good way of starting off a cruise. And sleeping on a hard bed with clanging noise next door does not make for a restful vacation..... Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I chose this cruise because of its destination without really checking the specific shop. This was our 5th HAL cruise and was the most disappointing. The food quality on the Lido deck wasn't up to the usual HAL Standards. It seemed ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of its destination without really checking the specific shop. This was our 5th HAL cruise and was the most disappointing. The food quality on the Lido deck wasn't up to the usual HAL Standards. It seemed that by the time we got back to our seats, most of the hot food wasn't. We ate a lot of lukewarm to cold meals on Lido. The communication for excursion departure needs some improvement. On one of the first excursions, the announcement called for Group A. No one had ever mentioned a Group A so we incorrectly saw a large A on our ticket and thought it was us only to find out later that that A meant adult. We missed getting our excursion Dot and ended up boarding the wrong bus. My biggest complaint about excursions is the HAL staff did not prevent those with physical impairments from joining events that had been categorized as difficult from joining the group. The result is that we all slowed down and it took longer to complete. We skipped some planned stops to make up time. Extraordinarily unfair to the majority of the group. On balance with the complaints is the extraordinarily friendliness of the entire staff...officers, wait staff, cabin severs, and even workers passing in the hallways. The ship was spotless by the way. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Service from all staff was excellent. There was crowd of mixed ages. From the reviews I read about everyone on this cruise line being more of an older crowd I would say 50/50. This worked to ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Service from all staff was excellent. There was crowd of mixed ages. From the reviews I read about everyone on this cruise line being more of an older crowd I would say 50/50. This worked to our advantage because the gym was almost empty and the pool was uncrowded and the rest of the ship seemed empty because I think the majority was playing bingo or bridge! The under 50 crowd partied at BB Kings or the bars every night. The band that played at BB Kings was the best entertainment I have ever heard on a cruise ship, they were amazing and so much fun. We went there every night. The dance show was also good but the rest of the shows were typical cruise venue type shows. The food was ok, but the Pinnacle and Tamarind were really good. We really were impressed with Holland, as we usually cruise Azamara and have been on Crystal. I found Crystal to have an older crowd too. The enrichment activities are geared for older crowd and found them to be uninteresting however I really could care less. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Have sailed on HAL many times over the years. Not our favorite line but consistent and convenient departure ports. Overall, everything on the ship is acceptable for the cost. We always take a Neptune suite to enjoy an experience ... Read More
Have sailed on HAL many times over the years. Not our favorite line but consistent and convenient departure ports. Overall, everything on the ship is acceptable for the cost. We always take a Neptune suite to enjoy an experience that is somewhat similar to our preferred lines. Staff needs additional training. Some very good. Others poor. Major gripe is the Pinnacle restaurant. Dined there two times. Both experiences were POOR. Maitre D was a waste of a good suit. No leadership to his staff. Servers tried but when the room got crowded, everything fell apart. I hold the Martre D responsible for the failures. We have another cruise planned with HAL but frankly, we will probably cancel. Holland America is moving down scale and we are not going with them. Too many other options. If cost is your main driver, try them but if you want a quality experience, look for other options. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were looking for a short cruise while in Florida. Usually any cruise itinerary that includes Half Moon Cay will get our attention. This one didn't disappoint. We enjoyed the staff and ambience of HAL. More mature and loyal ... Read More
We were looking for a short cruise while in Florida. Usually any cruise itinerary that includes Half Moon Cay will get our attention. This one didn't disappoint. We enjoyed the staff and ambience of HAL. More mature and loyal cruisers. Loved the ship. During our stop in San Juan we took the excursion to the Window Caves. We totally recommend it. Informative and something you don't do everyday. We also enjoyed the excursion to St. John from our port of St. Thomas. As always...Half Moon Cay did not disappoint,. We love the Aqua Trax (Jet Ski). We've heard others say they have enjoyed jet ski excursions in other ports and this is their favorite. Beautiful beach and lovely warm, clear water. This ship had a Tamarind Restaurant. Very nice and great food. The service and attention to detail were outstanding. We also ate at The Pinnacle. This restaurant was exceptional as well. The Pinnacle restaurants have never let us down. We preferred the dining room over the Lido on this ship. Breakfast was good and fast in the Lido but dinner was far superior in the dining room. A great week. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were interested in the Adriatic ports in the 13 day Mediterranean version of this cruise, and have had excellent experience with Holland America in prior cruises. This one was no exception. The Vista Suite cabin was nicely designed, ... Read More
We were interested in the Adriatic ports in the 13 day Mediterranean version of this cruise, and have had excellent experience with Holland America in prior cruises. This one was no exception. The Vista Suite cabin was nicely designed, with the sitting area near the entry door, and the beds closer to the window, making for a "roomier" feel than the typical walk-into the bed, and then around it to the sitting area. The furnishings are quite fresh, and we appreciated the large flat screen TV with free premium movies, generous sized mini-fridge, and ample, locking security safe. The verandah is decent sized, and I don't know if the seas were especially calm, but the sailing was the smoothest we've ever experienced, no matter where on the ship we were located. Main dining room service was "spotty" at breakfast, but outstanding at our assigned table for dinners. The Lido Market staff were also very helpful, and generous in getting us lemonade, coffee, teas, juices, water, and refills. The food was very good to excellent, depending on your taste, and had great variety in all venues. Entertainment in the main stage was not up to previously high standards, but the smaller venues were enjoyable, and Lincoln Center's string quintet performances were varied from Bach to Jacque Brel, to Broadway, and outstanding. The promenade decks are significantly narrower than on Holland America's other classes of ships, resulting in a rather cramped walking environment, and no deck chairs or lounges -- which we missed. Some travelers will be happy with the double-deck pool lounges, which is not a trade-off we like, but others may. Embarkation and disembarkation were extremely efficiently handled, as were port visits, including those requiring tenders. All in all, a very nice ship and very nice cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Cabin is smaller than any we have occupied on 18 prior HAL cruises (with the possibe exception of when we sailed on the MS Prinsendam) Pros: Centrallylocated amid ship. Easy access to Dining Room and Atrium area. Obstruction of view ... Read More
Cabin is smaller than any we have occupied on 18 prior HAL cruises (with the possibe exception of when we sailed on the MS Prinsendam) Pros: Centrallylocated amid ship. Easy access to Dining Room and Atrium area. Obstruction of view only about 35%. Friendly, efficient cabin stweards Yusuf & Nicko. Cons: Immediately below main gallery--constant noise (thudding, scraping of heavy objects, banging, etc. most of the night well into the wee hours of the morning). Minimal options for "mini-bar"--just sodas & water--no refrigerator. (Disadvantage for 4 & 5 star Mariners) Air condtioning inadequate to comfortably cool the cabin. Corridor outside the cabin is also noticebly warmer than most other interior public spaces on the vessel. Only a single electrical outlet in the area of the small desk. Outletr in bathroomis not capable of receiving polarized (let alone grounded) plugs. No USB receivers. Fortunately, cabin stewards will provide a power strip if you request one. Your mileage may vary, Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We have done a number of cruises with Holland America and always enjoy them. embarkation was smooth. Cabin crew were very good as was food. One of the staff in Tamarind remembered up from a cruise in 2017 which surprised and pleased us. ... Read More
We have done a number of cruises with Holland America and always enjoy them. embarkation was smooth. Cabin crew were very good as was food. One of the staff in Tamarind remembered up from a cruise in 2017 which surprised and pleased us. Did not care for a couple of entertainers but not a big issue. Cruise director who we had sailed with twice before (Nick) is great and hope to see him again. Already have another cruise booked with Holland and one with Princess. Ship is well maintained and crew very friendly. We will likely not do this cruise again but won't hesitate to sail with Holland America again. Daily trivia was like always fun and a great way to meet people. Not a big fan of changes made to Crows Nest I prefer when it was a bar. Dined at both Pinnacle and Tamarind and enjoyed both but Tamarind wins first place in my mind. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because we have never been disappointed with HAL, and they continue to provide excellent service and MDR dining, which are the two areas that we scrutinize when cruising. The great service continues at most levels ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have never been disappointed with HAL, and they continue to provide excellent service and MDR dining, which are the two areas that we scrutinize when cruising. The great service continues at most levels from room stewards to managerial staff, with a personal touch in knowing your name. Dining in the MDR has always been semi-gourmet, with small portions like very expensive restaurants, so order a side of steamed veggies. The buffet needs improvement, with more proteins and less carbohydrates. The entertainment is very limited on a seven day cruise, with only two production shows with dancers and no singers. The other activities (cooking class, classical music) can only seat thirty people. Huh?! Be ready to self-entertain while onboard. If you want to save money, book your shore excursions at the port or before the cruise. It is the classic case of a cheaper price for the same product. Embarkation and disembarkation went very well, and if you carry your luggage off the ship, you well get off at a early time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Excellent service excellent vegetarian food good place to meet a lot of World Travelers. I enjoyed the Lincoln Center this time around I wish I had more great classical music or modern music on this ship line. I met some very nice people ... Read More
Excellent service excellent vegetarian food good place to meet a lot of World Travelers. I enjoyed the Lincoln Center this time around I wish I had more great classical music or modern music on this ship line. I met some very nice people and in hindsight I wish I hadn't gotten Roberts information who I had High Tea with on October 13th 2019.Heathe Millard Fbk okay I have to add 65 more words I did meet one of the cruise critic's on the blog Gary he been on hundreds of cruises said he really enjoyed Holland one of his favorites I've been on Holland twice been on princess on going on Miracle Carnival January for my son's birthday. This is my second time doing the Holland America Riviera Cruise very easy to get on and off all ports for me I will be doing a 3 day cruise very soon now I have enough words Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I'm always curious to see if my assessment of a cruise ship matches the typical review of it I read here on Cruise Critic. Reviewers correct on the food, entertainment and things to do ... mostly pretty mundane. But the ship itself ... Read More
I'm always curious to see if my assessment of a cruise ship matches the typical review of it I read here on Cruise Critic. Reviewers correct on the food, entertainment and things to do ... mostly pretty mundane. But the ship itself is in immaculate condition after a fall 2019 retrofit. And the crew was one of the sharpest and friendliest I have encountered on the high seas, except for a few letdowns in the dining room. Also love the size of the ship, easy to get around with a max of 1,400 passengers. Our New England and Canada fall colors cruise encountered some storms and we could not get in to Bar Harbor or get off the ship at Halifax. An extra wine tasting was added, and it's nice they do them, some lines don't, but HAL uses mostly cheap wines . One habit I find distasteful is their tendency during wine tastings and Lido food service to begin to shut things down too quickly. Other lines not so bad on that score. HAL loves these Microsoft classes but after a decade it's gotten old as people now focused more on cell phones than laptops. Our cabin with a small porthole was fine but several people related horror stories about plumbing problems and rude service at the front desk. HAL needs to revisit its offerings of things to do .. why not try some new, creative things instead of the same old same old you have run for decades! The food? In typical HAL fashion had some great lunches and dinners and a a couple that were flops. Soups not as good as they used to be on HAL ships. We don't even try the Pinnacle anymore because they just can't cook a steak right! The stops we made were fine ... loved Quebec City and the North End of Boston. Also enjoyed small towns Charlottetown and Sydney and their friendly people. Found the casino in Sydney and also their nice waterfront boardwalk. People complained that there is nothing at the pier at Port Canaveral. Overall glad we did the cruise and HAL is fine if you don't get thrown for a loop by a few things not to your liking. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Nice cruise with great food, entertainment and service encounter part of a nor'easter in Halifax, but we just stayed overnight so it wasn't a big deal. Overall we had lots of sunny days to see the colors. Missed Bar Harbor, but ... Read More
Nice cruise with great food, entertainment and service encounter part of a nor'easter in Halifax, but we just stayed overnight so it wasn't a big deal. Overall we had lots of sunny days to see the colors. Missed Bar Harbor, but it would have been raining. Weather this time of year isn't always great. We've been on about 20 cruises and the singers and dancers on this one were the best. Amazing talent. Veendam is in great shape after dry dock earlier this year. They haven't messed up the Crows Nest like on some of the newer ships - and there still is a library. And we like it's (relatively) small size. Only critisizm would be we'd like more noncommercial (IE pay) activities on sea days. Since we don't gamble, shop of go to the spa, activities were limited in choice. Not sure what Orange thing was - we just got a menu with a different cover at dinner. Same menu. And a guy with an orange tie showed us to our same table. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was the first cruise I had ever been on as I had always been resistant to cruising. We picked the ship and itinerary carefully and I liked the idea of travelling on a fairly new ship. As hoped the Nieuw Statendam was a stunning ... Read More
This was the first cruise I had ever been on as I had always been resistant to cruising. We picked the ship and itinerary carefully and I liked the idea of travelling on a fairly new ship. As hoped the Nieuw Statendam was a stunning looking ship and the public areas all looked luxurious. The cabin was a little smaller than I expected, but was well layed out and very modern. The shower again felt quite small but was very clean and modern. We enjoyed all the dining options on board especially Tamarind which we visited several times. At first booking via the restaurant desk seemed confusing but once we had downloaded the Navigator app it was much simpler to book via the app. We dined in the main restaurant only once which was very nice, but much preferred the more intimate speciality dining options. We booked a retreat cabana for the whole trip which we loved!! We usually had breakfast there and often lunch as well. Marlon and Domingo the 2 guys looking after us up there were great bringing us drinks, champagne and strawberries every afternoon. The Retreat is next to the exc lounge which is another area we loved on the ship. We thought the evening entertainment especially BB Kings was amazing we also enjoyed the performers at the Rolling stone rock room. On a long cruise the performances may become a little repetitive as we noticed that the set list was repeated approx. every 3 days. Staff everywhere on board were amazing but especially at the Retreat, Exc and Tamarind Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had 3 choices for this itinerary from Canada to Ft. Lauderdale (inc. Zaandam from Montreal & either Zuiderdam or RCL AOS from QC), but we chose the Zuiderdam because of its sail date that would allow us to spend my wife's ... Read More
We had 3 choices for this itinerary from Canada to Ft. Lauderdale (inc. Zaandam from Montreal & either Zuiderdam or RCL AOS from QC), but we chose the Zuiderdam because of its sail date that would allow us to spend my wife's birthday with our friends in Quebec City. We are 3 star Mariners on HAL and will probably stop there and not choose HAL again when compared to the significantly better amenities for loyal cruisers we get on RCL and Celebrity for even fewer cruises. Positives: The age of the Zuiderdam did not detract from the significant improvements made by the last upgrades in the Lido and public areas which really impressed us since we typically include older ships in our many cruise itineraries. In the many reviews of this ship, there are definite differences in ratings for the same items with major differences in reviews of food and entertainment most evident. Crew in Lido, DR and cabins have ALWAYS rated a 10 for us in service on all of the HAL ships we have been on and this cruise was no exception. The service by the server crew in the LIDO that irritates some cruisers has apparently been very successful in decreasing food illnesses caused by careless cruisers and no incidents happened on our ship that we heard about. Food in the LIDO and main DR was good to very good on some nights but nothing to rave about on a typical evening where escargot and shrimp cocktails are no longer standard appetizers except on the 2 "gala" nights on our 11 day cruise. This time we did not participate in the computer classes although those have been very good in past cruises where we did sit in; these typically rate very high and deserve it along with the string musical group that add elegance to the evenings on the ship. Dowsides/Negatives: Walking into our Verandah cabin on Deck 6 gave us an initial shock on how small it looked because of the very low amount of free floor space compared to what we expected from our cruises on Eurodam/Nieuw Amsterdam class ships or even on older HAL ships. Worse: there are ONLY 2 small drawers in each of the tiny night stands in the entire cabin, NONE in the desk and a hidden one you need to discover under the foot of the bed but that requires you to bend down to the floor so might be best for things you might need only once or twice during a long cruise. The ONLY shelves in the cabin are located in one of the 3 closet spaces right by the cabin door and on the side of the desk already filled with glasses and a hair dryer......a small shelf under the vanity is the only other shelf in the entire cabin. So, when you read comments about "lack of storage", this ship was the first in our experience on other HAL ship classes or 3 other cruise lines that had the lowest possible amount of storage. For activities the cooking demos are fun although tasting the product is a thing of the past on HAL. If you like Jazz and dueling pianos with off key singers then evenings will be your high points; each of these events had their enthusiastic followers and demonstrates again why there are differences in reviews. The shows in the theater were hit or miss with a rather stunning light and techno start in one show and two rather boring performances in later efforts. The officers on the Zuiderdam. unlike on many other lines we sail are relatively invisible and not friendly. The cruise director on our 11 day trip to Fr. Lauderdale was visible for about 30 seconds or less (i.e., sometimes not at all) in introducing the entertainment acts and did not participate in any of the onboard activities we attended. We started to wonder why this cruise even needed a CD except for morning messages and perhaps a few more waiters would have been money better invested by HAL. OVERALL; The Zuiderdam will offer you a quiet cruise with afternoons that often seem like a day at a museum in the middle of a slow week. Evenings are better for Jazz/Pop piano and Casino enthusiasts but little else for those looking for audience games or alternative entertainment Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Typically cruise on Princess but wanted to try this due to itinerary. Hard not to compare Princess against Holland America. On the positive side we like the larger bathroom. Also the staff is great. On the not so positive side: The ship ... Read More
Typically cruise on Princess but wanted to try this due to itinerary. Hard not to compare Princess against Holland America. On the positive side we like the larger bathroom. Also the staff is great. On the not so positive side: The ship itself is old and is not well maintained compared to Princess ships except for cabins. Too much up selling in all areas. For example, Consistently being asked if we want to purchase a $75 steak or pay $25 for a lobster. When you say NO the demeanor of the staff seems to change. Not as attentive. Booked a walking tour at one of the ports. Due to fairly heavy and consistent rain and cold we thought it would be canceled but it wasn’t. Can’t imagine who would want to walk in the cold and rain for two hours. Probably will not be cruising with Holland America again anytime soon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I just want to add a more positive note over any bad or poor reviews that have been posted about the Holland America Zuiderdam. Unfortunately many CC writers believe that when people want to know what they think, they only write the ... Read More
I just want to add a more positive note over any bad or poor reviews that have been posted about the Holland America Zuiderdam. Unfortunately many CC writers believe that when people want to know what they think, they only write the negative. We had a lovely Canada & New England cruise ending in Ft. Lauderdale after 2 sea days. The slim shipboard theater entertainment was more than compensated for by the friendly and professional crew….everywhere from the Guest Services desk assisting with a possible shore conflict (thanks Kevin), to the great bar staff, to our great cabin stewards (thanks Tau and Matt), to the plentiful and wonderful and easy-going servers in the dining rooms, where we were thrilled with all of the amazingly delicious and well-presented food.. All the embarkations/disembarkations were efficient and smooth. The ship was going into dry dock in the near future to spruce things up a bit, but she stil looked to be in great shape. We have many, many cruises under our belts but this one will always stand out as enjoyable. Well done, Captain and crew of the Zuiderdam !!!. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was part of a package from a travel agent. No information when we arrived for the first days activities. When we visited the dining rooms or buffet no crew member there to ask people to wash there hands or use the hand cleanser. So ... Read More
This was part of a package from a travel agent. No information when we arrived for the first days activities. When we visited the dining rooms or buffet no crew member there to ask people to wash there hands or use the hand cleanser. So 50% of guests did not use the facilities, within days lots of people down with colds & flu. My wife got ill and that ended with a $503 bill to see the doctor. The ship was new but there were areas were stains on the furniture already. Our cabin was a good size and comfortable. The dining was O K they keep pushing for you to visit the speciality restaurant's. That's at a cost of about $30 p p. which is outrageous when you have paid a good price to get on the ship. The ships staff are good we did have a good waiter & cabin steward. The entertainment was very disappointing no big shows or enrichment activities. They are cutting back on all activities like welcome cocktail parties. I never saw the Captain on this 10 cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It was my husband's fall break from school and my dad and his wife could fit this cruise into their schedule so for the first time we were able to take a cruise together. We had been looking forward to it for many months. We flew ... Read More
It was my husband's fall break from school and my dad and his wife could fit this cruise into their schedule so for the first time we were able to take a cruise together. We had been looking forward to it for many months. We flew into San Diego a day earlier and got a night at the nearby Best Western prior to embarkation. Embarkation went smoothly. After checking in, we had to wait about 40 minutes before we could get on the ship but they had a decent waiting area with plenty of seating so it was not a big deal. Once we boarded the ship, we were able to go right to our rooms to check them out. We got side by side balcony staterooms and had our room steward open the balcony partition between rooms so that we could enjoy each other's company during the cruise. Our room stewards were Rohman and Ron and both seemed fine. One thing I didn't really like was that I felt a little shamed for asking for an extra towel to be inside our bathroom at all times so that if needed, I wouldn't have to ask for it. I got the lecture about how they want us to re-use the towels to save water. I get it but I'm also asking for one extra towel and shoot! I'm on vacation. If I want to use an extra towel, can't I? What I did learn super quickly though was an extra hand towel was needed to keep the sink area dry because every time we reached between the soap and the faucet, water dripped everywhere. They really should use hand soap dispensers - kind of like they do in the shower with shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. If the dispenser was right over the sink itself, there would be no mess of drips everywhere. We then went up to lunch in the Lido Cafe otherwise known as the "buffet." I would give it an 8 out of 10 for lunch. I found the desserts to be lacking in flavor though. And, the ice cream was good but twice I wanted a waffle cone and twice they said, no more. Wait until next time. I think whoever makes them needs to make more if they are this popular. I liked the salad station though. It was nice to be able to have salads made up however I wanted them. We pre-purchased a soda card and a drink card before boarding and they were both very useful. In fact, I don't think we actually zero'd out the soda card by the end of the cruise. The dining room was nice and we had great waiters. Supardi and Eki where wonderful and always greeted us with a smile, and gave us what ever we asked for. And, my thing is Creme Brulee. I asked for it every night but one and I got it every night but one. Thank you for that!! Now that is an awesome fulfillment of a request! The options for appetizers and soups and salads were a little bit lacking I thought. Maybe they have cut down on choices over the years? We also enjoyed our wine guy. His name was Ron and he was great. I only ordered wine once but my dad and his wife got a wine package and he was super friendly and not pushy which is what I like!! These 3 got extra tips from all of us! Entertainment...well, I hate to say it but I was totally bored by the HAL performers on the ship. That is the first time in 11 cruises (other lines as well as HAL) that I've ever had to say that. Too bad. We opted to skip the second night they performed too. Now, the hired help - Comedians...they were awesome! Both kept me laughing and left me wanting more. Went to all three shows of theirs. The entertainment in the lounges was good, however seating was lacking if you got there even one minute after it started. That actually annoyed me. The four of us did enjoy the game nights in the different lounges though. We originally pre-purchased two shore excursions from HAL but ended up cancelling the one for Cabo because it was a beach/resort day and we found out it wasn't even on a swimmable beach and to see the pictures online left a lot to be desired. We went out on our own and purchased a resort day online before leaving - for a whole lot less, and at a nicer resort on a swimmable beach! In Puerto Vallarta we also purchased HAL's resort/beach day and it was actually very nice! My only complaint was that it should have started and hour or two later so that it ended later. Many in our group never got to eat lunch in a restaurant at the resort because the seating was limited and we had to get back on the bus at 1:20 and the restaurants didn't open for lunch until noon. If you weren't there waiting in line right at 12:00, you didn't get a table. The excursion should have gone from 10-3 or something along those times. The resort itself though was super nice with multiple pools and a private beach with kayaks to use. The all-inclusive aspect at the resort was nice too. They had nice towels and free drinks! In Mazatlan, we caught a taxi to go to the Golden Zone to shop. It was SO HOT though that about 1 hour into it we had enough. Sweat dripping down your back just isn't fun. In the future, I would do a water related excursion - at least this time of year. We also went to the newer Wal Mart and picked up some extra bottled water and a few other little items. My husband likes to bake so picking up about 5 bottles of Mexican vanilla was "the thrill of the hunt" for him! I think he ended up with different brands too. So this next part is why I gave this cruise 3/5...On the last sea day, my husband started feeling sick in the morning. Not the ships fault, but what made it really hard was that our stateroom flooded! We were away from the room, and when I came back to change, the door was open, there were huge fans all around as the water had come out into the hallway, and our room was flooded almost all the way over to the balcony. No one could tell us why and how it happened but something about the pipes in the bathroom. So my husband went to Guest Services to tell them what had happened (Rohman had told him to since he couldn't handle the catastrophe) and they followed my husband down to the room, looked at the situation and then said, "well, we'll wait and see!" Ok, our bed had been upended. Our luggage which had been stored under the bed, was next to the balcony and every item of furniture was pushed over to the door of the balcony. All the water had been shut off. It was totally unlivable! And they say, "let's wait and see????" Nope, not good enough! So we were basically displaced outside of our cabin for a few hours while they decided to "wait and see." Finally, they found us and gave us a new cabin to go to which was nice because it was a suite. Great! But at this point my husband was really feeling awful and slept the day away in the suite which meant I had to get out of it so he could rest. Moving all of our stuff to the suite was all up to us too so that was all kinds of fun. I entertained myself the rest of the day - outside the new cabin and by 10:00 that night...I was now sick! Not a fun way to end the cruise. Disembarkation was quite chaotic and both of us felt awful and had to look forward to the journey home feeling that way. ***on another note, we heard from other cruisers onboard that the ship had an issue with A/C in multiple cabins. There was none!!! Why didn't they get moved to available cabins?? These people went all week with no A/C and many of them were elderly people! That seems unacceptable to me! Many had to beg for fans! And there weren't enough! Maybe it had something to do with just coming from Alaska but even so, these systems should have been checked out before getting to the Mexican Riviera where for the most part it was extremely hot in every port! If it had happened to us, my husband said it would have been our last cruise!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We picked this cruise because we were on the Koningsdam last year and had a great experience, plus we liked the itinerary. Here are the Pros and Cons...note that we are not drinkers so I cannot comment on anything related to that, ... Read More
We picked this cruise because we were on the Koningsdam last year and had a great experience, plus we liked the itinerary. Here are the Pros and Cons...note that we are not drinkers so I cannot comment on anything related to that, Pros: The ship was immaculate... hand washing machines on the Deck 9 dining room Friendly service and prompt in dining room and with cabin stewards. I did notice that any type of manager in the dining areas seemed surly and therefore not welcoming or really approachable. Lovely room....we just had an inside cabin and it was spacious with a large shower with sliding glass door. Itinerary was nice...good ports with a nice length of time. Food choices were pretty good although the well stocked salad bar on the first day lost several topping options the 2nd day thru the remainder of the cruise. Dining room service was prompt Nice pool deck area Cons: Activities were limited when at sea. There was an electrical issue with one of the music areas so that venue was closed 90% of the cruise. Music options were scarce and song choices repeated and became uninteresting. Upsell all the time....booked a relaxing spa time and was constantly pressed to buy them $100 creams. Entertainment is adequate but nothing special Excursions should be vetted more....one excursion to Bosnia required passenger seat to hand over passports (which as not noted in the brochure...only stated passport check). One passenger did not receive her passport back, which resulted in a long delay and a trip for her to the embassy, as passport was never recovered. Cruise Director was not very friendly...more on the sarcastic side, however the Asst. C.D., whose name is Voyja was extremely pleasant and interactive with all age groups! Even tho food was good...there was heaviness on East Indian cuisine as the head chef is of that ethnicity....I would’ve enjoyed more authentic local cuisine of the cruise ports. Ship lost all power and was adrift for about an hour.... although the Captain did regularly keep us informed. I would probably not choose this ship again for the above mentioned reasons and explore other cruise line options with better food and entertainment/activity options. Other cruisers seemed happy with the drink options .... they do have unsweetened iced tea and lemonade freely available and both were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This cruise was my second cruise in Europe, my third cruise with Holland America, but my first on the Koningsdam. We stayed one night in Rome before the cruise and one night after, both at the Starhotel Metropole which is less than ... Read More
This cruise was my second cruise in Europe, my third cruise with Holland America, but my first on the Koningsdam. We stayed one night in Rome before the cruise and one night after, both at the Starhotel Metropole which is less than ten minutes’ walk from Termini station, a location very convenient for transfers to and from the airport as well as the cruise port in Civitavecchia as we did both independently by train. A week or so before the cruise we got an email from Holland America indicating that they would like us to arrive at the cruise port at 3:00 pm. We had been planning to arrive a couple hours earlier, but we took them at their word and took the 12:42 train from Termini to Civitavecchia and were on board by about 2:45. When I bought the tickets I selected on the machine that I was going to Civitavecchia Port and therefore bought the ticket for the train and also for the PortLink bus without really intending to, but that made it very convenient when we arrived in Civitavecchia as we did not have to find someone to buy bus tickets from or walk the mile to Largo della Pace. Upon arrival at Largo della Pace you are immediately put on a shuttle to your ship; at ship side there is a temporary building/tent where check-in takes place. Check in was very quick they did not even want to see our boarding documents just our passports then they took our picture gave us our ship card and we were on our way. The Koningsdam is one of the largest in the Holland America fleet but it generally did not feel overly crowded or full. I did not love the layout of the ship, decks 10 through 12 were confusing and difficult to navigate, you could not get from one part to another without going down or up to another deck. This ship does still have the classic full promenade deck, perhaps my favorite thing about Holland America ships, such a nice place to take a stroll. We had anytime dining and walked in each night without a reservation between 5:15 (when the restaurant opened) and 6:00, although there was more of a push to have people reserve on this cruise than I have experienced in the past. I was a little bit disappointed that the dining hosts did not seem to recognize us any better on the 13th night than on the second night of the cruise. There was more sales pressure in the dining room than from previous cruise with waiters trying to get you to purchase the extra cost menu items (as well as an annoying extra page inserted into the menu), and I did not appreciate this, it felt beneath the dignity I usually associate with Holland America. We dined one night at Tamarind, my first try at a specialty restaurant. The food and service were very good, but I have mixed feelings about whether the surcharge was worth it. We attended a couple entertainment options on this cruise. The World Stage as others have commented is not as roomy as expected for a ship of this size and there are long, long rows of seats without an aisle which makes some of the seats hard to get to. On the first evening in Athens a local music/ dance group was brought onboard and they were quite good and we were able to get a seat, although we arrived a little bit late, probably because many passengers were enjoying an evening on shore. I was very disappointed that Lincoln Center Stage shared space with BB Kings on this ship as it meant that most evenings they only performed during the early evening whilst we were having dinner and only had evening performances on the BB Kings nights off, but we managed to catch one of those evenings and enjoyed it very much. We also loved the Ask the Captain event on the second sea day our captain was funny and informative, a very entertaining man. We had a change of itinerary just before sailing. We were originally scheduled to go first to Mykonos then Kusadasi and those two ports of call were switched which led to a two and a half hour earlier departure from Athens as well. I am not sure everyone got that message considering the number of names called out that evening at sail away time. We chose self disembarkation and walked off the ship with our luggage at about 7:30 am past a phalanx of taxi/bus companies trying to sell us a transfer to the airport or Rome and took the portlink bus back to the train station and the train back to Rome. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our second cruise with Holland America. The first was June of this year on the Niew Amsterdam. It was superb, so we decided to stay with Holland America and book another for October. For both cruises we decided on the Neptune ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Holland America. The first was June of this year on the Niew Amsterdam. It was superb, so we decided to stay with Holland America and book another for October. For both cruises we decided on the Neptune Suite, thinking that Holland America would have the same quality on all their ships. Big mistake! Because we were flying 3000 miles to begin our cruise, we decided on paying for the pre night stay and transfer fee. We were told that given the fact we had suite status, we would be able to board as soon as the ship cleared customs. We were on bus 1 they said. Long story short...bus 1 was too small, bus 2 didn't arrive until 2 hrs later. We finally boarded the ship at 2 pm. No problem we thought, let's just get to our room and unpack and relax a bit. We looked forward to our suite. Another mistake. The room was old and worn. The sink was so badly chipped I thought at first it was debris not cleaned. The tub was also chipped. The bags had not arrived! When they weren't their by 3:45, we let our room steward know we would not be staying on the ship if they weren't there by 4:30. The ship was schedule to leave at 5 pm. Bless the room steward, I think he went and found them himself...they arrived at 4:15. Three days into the cruise we were informed they would be shampooing our carpet the next day! It was rainy and they expect it to dry? No problem, we let the concierge know to bypass our room for the entire cruise...but really? I should add there was not a clean window in any public area on the entire ship. I mean they were filthy, no crystal clear views to be had anywhere but in your stateroom. One day after walking most of the day, we came back around 3 pm, changed into robes and decided to relax on our verandah with a glass of wine. We hear a noise and up pops 2 guys on a scaffold...they are painting! We had to pull the curtains and sit in our room. Apparently they paint while in port. The next day we came back and the patio was covered in paint chips...they had scraped on the deck above us while we were gone. It never was swept. Except for the Pinnacle Grill, the food was mediocre. That didn't bother us too much given the fact we are not big eaters BUT we were told that on a smaller ship, the food is always better...definitely not the case on this ship. We ordered room service twice, both times order was incomplete, we gave up on ordering again. Nightly entertainment was definitely for older crowd and we are in our early 70's! No BB King on this cruise! The casino was small but adequate. We found the service employees on the ship very friendly. We always make a point to visit with our room steward, concierge, and dining personnel. They are friendly and each one has such an interesting life story. Port excursions were wonderful. This cruise is advertised a a "fall color" cruise. It is misleading not because catching the fall color at just the right time is iffy, it is because you are cruising at night in the dark passing the color. By the time the sun is up, you are in port, which ports have little fall color. They are ports after all. Instead it should be advertised by the richness of history in every port they visit. It was wonderful! Our cruise came to an end and our scheduled time was to disembark at 9:30 am. We were more than ready by 8 am but no problem, we walked to the concierge lounge, grabbed a a few snacks and brought them back to site on our verandah. We are sitting there and all of a sudden water comes shooting over the partition. This time we yelled, what are are you doing? The water ceased. Apparently they started hosing off decks without checking the departure time for each room. So, my advice to all of you, take a look at the age of your ship first of all, ask what you will see while cruising and don't be afraid to speak up. Cruising is not cheap and you are entitled to what was presented to you initially. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Stateroom Attendant service was outstanding.. Quality of Lincoln Center Stage musicians and recitals were world class. Panama Canal presentations and speaker were excellent. The actual transit was normal : 8 hours from coast to ... Read More
Stateroom Attendant service was outstanding.. Quality of Lincoln Center Stage musicians and recitals were world class. Panama Canal presentations and speaker were excellent. The actual transit was normal : 8 hours from coast to coast...glad it was cloudy to keep the hot sun at bay... Visible changes to the ship from last dry dock are minimal....New cushions on the deck chairs and Lido pool chaise were welcome. However, the Nieuw Amsterdam's grace, class and grandeur seems downgraded and replaced with pedestrian/mundane colors, fabrics, designs, carpet, furniture, etc. We missed the orchid plants on Lido window tables and previous dramatic large imitation flower arrangements at various points around ship. The Atrium next to Guest Services is a perfect example of the "new" look. Made many wonder if cost cutting is a high priority at the cruise line. Also a significant changes in fleet wide Lido food items; fried chicken nuggets every lunch and dinner, bacon featured in one form or another at all three meals, etc. Soups were always excellent. All three fee restaurants featured expensive one night special menu extravaganzas; the one held in the Tamarind was outstanding and all of the staff wore their native costumes.. The "level" of entertainment and breadth of activities available were average. The main dining room was unpleasantly loud and major delays occurred with food delivery. Ports were standard Central American commercial ports requiring bus transit to shopping and attractions often an hour or more away.(except for Puerto Vallarta and Aruba). For some reason, the amount of flies coming on board the ship in Central America ports was high and they remained on board for the remainder of the cruise. Would not take this cruise again. I expect more than "Average" from Holland America.. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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