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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I organized this cruise for a group of our friends - 10 of us total and all in Neptune Suites. My sister took this ship last year and loved her experience, and we really had a great HA Alaskan cruise three years ago. This was my 1st 11 ... Read More
I organized this cruise for a group of our friends - 10 of us total and all in Neptune Suites. My sister took this ship last year and loved her experience, and we really had a great HA Alaskan cruise three years ago. This was my 1st 11 day - and I loved having the extra days at sea, and the late afternoon bay cruising after ST Lucia and Martinique. We were in room 7067 - right near the Neptune Lounge because we had such an amazing neptune lounge experience in Alaska. We when got on board, our suite was not very tidy. The floor had not been swept and there was literally crumbs from the previous guests. YUCK. I did politely ask our steward if they would vacuum and also requested proper red wine glasses to keep in our room - He did so and was very good the remaining of the trip. I did notice that the glass windows on the ship and even our balcony glass didn't get cleaned often - always spotted and dirty. The Neptune Lounge was our biggest dissapointment - the 2 girls working the lounge all 11 days seems to rather talk to one another over guests. They were nice, but not overly attentive. In Alaska our lounge mangers were amazing and suggested wonderful tours, these girls just printed sheets and left on your door. It seemed they really didn't know much about the ports - or offers on the ship. I would grab 2 coffees every morning and had to place a cup on the sofa and catch the doors with my foot and hope to not spill while they talked to one another. The entertainment was also weak in my opinion. the same band every night at BB Kings - and limited times at other bars on board. I felt HA overall just really started to cut down on staff and they poor workers are tired and over worked. The dining room was horrific - we went one time as a table of 10 - it took forever to be serviced and we never got our courses together - made it awkward on when to eat or wait , etc. we never went back - had a couple bad experiences in Pinnacle too - Tamarind was very good and good service, as well as Sel De Mar and Culinary Arts - Canneleto Italian also very good. I don't like to complain, but I feel cruisers need the truth - and we each spent over 12,000 for our suites - plus more to eat every night - etc ... just not worth the charge. WE are all looking at Celebrity for a bermuda adventure next - I hate this, because I wanted o generate more mariner status. I think HA is catering more and more to the older crowd still as well - I understand this is their reputation, but you need more middle age guests to grow. Our suite was very nice - large balcony with table, 4 chairs and 2 lounge chairs. we could easily host our group of 10 for wine and cheese inside or out. But another disappointment were the cheap fried appetizers they brought for cocktail hour - then I asked for just cheese and charcuterie and crackers - they sent an obnoxious cheese chunk plate with a few grapes and saltine crackers. I am not joking.... Jonathan who managed Sel and Culinary Arts did send us a more appropriate cheese and meats board after I told him of my experience - he saved the party! If you get a good deal on a room, and you want to relax, and not go out at night and don't mind paying more for the better restaurants, then go and I'm sure you will have fun - but be aware that it's hard to get a chair on sun decks - and if you go to the spa, remind the manger you don't want harassed about products and sales - the 299 hydro pool package was worth the money - it's a great area to unwind and enjoy. Gym is very nice too - but don't pay for yoga - no music and mats were cheap and smelled. you can use the yoga room on your own most of the time anyway. Because we could not get info on excursions, we just got off ship and took taxis most of the ports. I will say that St Thomas Sapphire Beach is amazing!!!! still with bar, restroom after hurricane and you can snorkel - Also the 5 star catamaran exclusion in Barbados was well worth the money spent - We did rent a cottage at Half Moon Cay for our group of 10 , and it's worth 1,000. In fact, I wish HA offered a short tip where you stay there for 2-3 days! It's that enjoyable. OH! don't listen about priority boarding, e tc - there are NO reps to direct you and it's a cluster. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We really enjoyed this restful cruise. There is a difference in Holland America an elegance no longer on Carnival or Royal Caribbean. Linen tableclothes, the meals were delicious. Excellent surf and turf with prime beef and perfectly ... Read More
We really enjoyed this restful cruise. There is a difference in Holland America an elegance no longer on Carnival or Royal Caribbean. Linen tableclothes, the meals were delicious. Excellent surf and turf with prime beef and perfectly prepared full size lobster tails. Classical pianist and violinist played before and after. No long pushy lines on the Lido. It is a mature crowd, the young people were usually with family. No hairy chest, no carry the woman type of entertainment. No drunks wandering around. There is no big screen, no slides, no party atmosphere. Small ship with1400 possible passengers. Lovely wooden decks for walking. Not a lot of activity the Test Kitchen and BBC Earth movies in a small theatre. One major production by the singers and dancers, a comedian and a magician in a medium theatre. This is a cruise for an older crowd or someone wanting a restful cruise. I loved it. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise primarily based on timing and the beginning/end points. Less on the cruise line. Holland America met our needs for our criteria. In spite of all that we'd heard about HAL catering mostly to elderly clients, we signed ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily based on timing and the beginning/end points. Less on the cruise line. Holland America met our needs for our criteria. In spite of all that we'd heard about HAL catering mostly to elderly clients, we signed up for a 15 day cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to San Diego. Leaving Ft. Lauderdale, our first stop was Half Moon Cay. Overall, less touristy and was fine for the short time we were there. After 2 sea days, we hit Cartagena. We were there for a half-day. Didn't have time to really go anywhere other than a quick city tour. Honestly, not sure why we visited this port. Would have gladly traded Cartagena for a day in Panama City, Panama. The canal was everything we had heard it would be. The views were amazing and the trip transiting the canal was something we'll never forget. The crew did a nice job making folks comfortable. Seriously made the entire trip worth it. This is where the wheels started coming off. The first thing we found was the hot tub closed at 10 pm. Having dinner at 8 pm made this problematic. Wasn't much else to do after dinner so this was the logical choice for our 40/50 year-old group. There were six of us cruising so we thought we would ask for a little extension for one of the hot tubs. We were quickly told no. The staff was beyond confused when we told them their simple no wasn't good enough and we would like to escalate the issue to a higher authority. This really threw them for a loop. After a fair amount of complaining and 7 days into the cruise, the Captain firmly and finally said no. Guess he wasn't too interested in our opinion or issue. The second issue involved shipboard credits and the communication form our travel agency. It's too long and involved for this but suffice it to say, the crew was little to no help with this issue either. Overall, we found the staff beyond our cabin stewards and waiters to be pretty bored and less than concerned about pretty much anything beyond the basics. Couple that with the fact that everything other than ice water and coffee (even coffee in some areas of the ship were costly) were charged. HAL seems intent on getting every possible cent from their passengers. As I said, the crew was generally not helpful. Not sure if this is the HAL culture or a profound lack of leadership from our particular captain. The ports were a mixed bag with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Guatemala being the best by far. Chiapas, Mexico was a serious waste of time. The crew admitted there was absolutely nothing to do there. Again, not sure what we stopped there. Have to say I've taken my last cruise on Holland America Lines. Not impressed in any way. Oh,the best part of the ship was our shower was the best I've ever had on a cruise ship. This is our 8th cruise overall and was the most disappointing when it comes to the cruise line. The rep they have catering to elderly passengers is well-deserved and earned. We felt totally out of place. Should have listened to my gut! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I chose this cruise because of the overnight in Havana. I would suggest that HAL drop one of the Mexican ports for additional time in Cuba. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale the day before embarkation so as not to feel rushed. We had a very ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of the overnight in Havana. I would suggest that HAL drop one of the Mexican ports for additional time in Cuba. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale the day before embarkation so as not to feel rushed. We had a very pleasant overnight at the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Cruise Port. The taxi fare from the airport was very reasonable at only 15.00. We arrived before Noon, but were very pleased to find a room available. The location of the hotel is within walking distance of stores and restaurants. On the day of embarkation, there was some confusion regarding transportation to the port. We were able to get a refund and took a taxi for half the cost of the van. We arrived at the pier at 12:00PM where our luggage was taken immediately. Going through security was fairly quick, but the actual check-in took a while, because of forms that needed to be filled out because of the Cuban leg of the trip. Once we checked in, we were sent to a waiting area, before being allowed to board the ship. We were on level 10, Cabin 78 Aft. Our luggage was in the room when we arrived. Went to the dining room to check our table for 2, then headed for the Lido for lunch. I found the ambiance of a smaller ship to be perfect for this trip. Where ever we went on the ship, we were greeted by very polite crew members. The staff in the both the Lido and main dining room were exceptional. Always willing to offer extra service. Day 1, At Sea: A bit rough, I was glad that I was wearing Scapalomine patch. There were enough activities to keep me busy. Also a chance to just wind down. We were at 2nd seating for dinner. Food was very good, with extras available. Day 2, Cayman Islands: Tender Port. Had to be bused into town, though not a problem for me. Wandered around in the various shopping plazas and shops in the morning, Went back to the ship early for an uncrowded Lido lunch. After we set sail, there was an announcement that due to a medical emergency, we had to return to Grand Cayman to get a passenger to the hospital. Day3, Costa Maya: Because of the medical situation in Grand Cayman, we were about 2 hours late in arriving. Captain delayed our departure from Costa Maya by one hour. Very easy to get off the ship and wander around the shopping area. Some vendors can be a bit aggressive. Day4, Cozumel: The shopping area is almost identical to Costa Maya. Really don't need to have the same experience two days in a row. I would suggest that HAL add an additional stop in Cuba. I must say that the waters in the port area were very clear. Day 5, Havana, Cuba: Very exciting entrance into the port. We waited in the theatre to be released for our various tours. Passport control was actually fairly quick, compared to what I was expecting and with almost everyone getting off the ship. There were plenty of money exchange booths open. We were on the walking tour of Old Havana. I found the people to be very friendly and open. We saw many of the iconic sights that you always see in travelogues. I would certainly like to go back on my own and take more time. We were taken to Sloppy Joes for a Cuba Libre and a Cubano sandwich. Day 6, Havana: Since we were departing at Noon, we were able to leave the ship briefly on our own and wander about the port area. Havana Club rum is very inexpensive. We had no problem changing the Cuban money back to US. Now is the time to visit Cuba before it becomes too commercialized. Day 7, Fort Lauderdale: Because we had a late flight, we took an Everglades air boat tour. It certainly beats sitting in the airport all day. Because of the tour, we were in one of the first groups to disembark. This was the easiest disembarking I have ever experienced. Luggage was loaded onto a bus, we had our tour, then back to the pier for those who were in transit, then to the airport where the driver offloaded the luggage at the terminal. I am a fan of HAL and will certainly sail with them again! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
I'd sailed happily on the Westerdam last year 5 times to Mexico, but its sister ship was disappointing. The crew seems to be dispirited and bored, more interested in chatting with their fellow Filipinos or Indonesians instead of with ... Read More
I'd sailed happily on the Westerdam last year 5 times to Mexico, but its sister ship was disappointing. The crew seems to be dispirited and bored, more interested in chatting with their fellow Filipinos or Indonesians instead of with passengers. The Explorations Cafe barista is downright surly, with never a smile or a thank you, something I've never seen on Holland before. After 3 cruises on Carnival in the past month, greeted in the dining room by charming hostesses from 5 different countries, it was disappointing to see nothing but male Indonesians on Holland. My image of the dining room went to zero when I went to use the restroom next to the dining room one morning, only to be chased away by security, who had a table set up stacked with urine sample bottles. There was also a line-up of miserable-looking crew waiting to be drug tested. Has anyone ever seen drug testing done in a public area of a hotel, restaurant, or any other business? Would you continue patronizing a restaurant that would display to patrons urine jars at its entrance? Well, I'm not, I cancelled the 3 other Holland cruises I had scheduled this Spring. The second big fail was having surly contractors close off sections of the promenade outside deck for the entire cruise, from 8-6, so nobody could do laps, run, or relax, without having to turn around and go the other way. Several days they closed off sections on both sides, including 10 minutes before the charity walk they do on the last sea day. There was apparently no oversight of these contractors and no attempt to balance desires of the passengers to enjoy unimpeded access to the promenade versus their maintenance needs--on other ships they saved major maintenance work for port days. Everyone on the ship acted and sounded bored, from the lifeless cruise director on down. The same singers and dancers were doing the same dull, plotless shows I saw 6 months ago on an Alaska cruise (why can't cruise lines do like Norwegian and Vegas and put on 1-hour versions of Broadway shows?) As usual on Holland, the only people who were truly friendly were the Lido servers and the room stewards, along with the jolly captain, bragging about the beautiful, elegant Oosterdam (well, other than the bottles of pee outside the dining room). It's definitely a shock going back to Holland after Carnival. Mobility carts everywhere, older couples bickering like George Costanza's parents everywhere. Despite the tattoos and trashiness of Carnival, I think I had more fun there, the crew seemed to enjoy life more, there was music everywhere (not the corporatized piano duo and classical quartet playing the same programs on every cruise), and Carnival fulfills what it promises, whereas Holland just seems to project faux elegance to gloss over its money-grabbing and upselling. The lack of crew diversity and gender equality is disappointing (if you're not a male Indonesian you can't work as a dining room server or room steward). With every activity on Holland now tied to some corporate partnership, everything is now standardized, so I'll see the same piano and classical programs, the same cooking demonstrations and Oprah/BBC lectures on every Holland cruise, so there's nothing new or original. More and more Lido and outside deck space is being closed off by cabanas that I've never seen anyone use (even the airlines aren't stupid enough to try to raise money by putting a tent cover over a seat--at least not yet). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose to sail on the Koningsdam because its ports included Martinique and Antigua, which we had not visited previously. We were also interested in this ship because it shares a designer, Adam Tihany, with the Celebrity Solstice-class ... Read More
We chose to sail on the Koningsdam because its ports included Martinique and Antigua, which we had not visited previously. We were also interested in this ship because it shares a designer, Adam Tihany, with the Celebrity Solstice-class ships, which we love. We were very impressed with the Koningsdam, which is beautiful and the perfect size (not too big and not too small). The food is the best we've had on a mainstream/premium cruise line. The food on the Lido deck was particularly good. We ate in the main dining room three times for dinner and the food and service was quite good by cruise ship standards. We had nine dinners in the specialty restaurants, Sel de Mer, Culinary Arts Center, Pinnacle Grill, Tamarind, and Canaletto, and had good food there as well. The burgers and hot dogs at Dive In, and the pizza at New York Deli and Pizza sounded better on the menu than they were, but still a notch above most other cruise ships. We love the music walk concept, especially the talented young quintet performing at Lincoln Center Stage. Our veranda stateroom was a little tight but well-appointed with plenty of storage and a great television opposite the bed. The live TV channels were restricted to news (BBC News included, fortunately) and sports (ESPN), but there was a great selection of on-demand films and TV shows at no additional cost. Very comfortable bed and pillows. As others have noted, the toilet is positioned so that I had to sit almost sideways on it (I'm 5 foot 8 inches tall). It didn't really bother me but it's unfortunate; as others have noted the shower is fantastic and made up for the toilet. Best water pressure I've had on land or sea. The service in the staterooms and throughout the ship was efficient and friendly. We did not notice a lot of attempts to sell us add-ons during the cruise as others have noted. In fact, we had less up-selling than on other cruises. We enjoyed our 11 days on the Koningsdam so much that we booked a 10-night cruise for next January on the forthcoming sister ship Nieuw Statendam. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Rotterdam Review We stayed at the Fairfield Inn Westshore near the Tampa Airport. We have stayed there before. It is a fairly new hotel and the staff are helpful and friendly. It is within walking distance from Total Wines and More ... Read More
Rotterdam Review We stayed at the Fairfield Inn Westshore near the Tampa Airport. We have stayed there before. It is a fairly new hotel and the staff are helpful and friendly. It is within walking distance from Total Wines and More and Whole Foods. The hotel offers a free shuttle to/from both the Westshore Plaza and International Mall as well as the Airport. A free shuttle to the cruise port is offered as well. This was our 35th cruise and 9th cruise on Holland America. We have also sailed Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Costa, and MSC. We chose this cruise because of the itintary and for the stop in Guatemala because we have never been there. This cruise also sailed to Costa Maya, Roatan, and Cozumel. From previous experiences, we think that Holland America provides a very predictable cruise. Holland does the little things that make the cruise experience unique from other lines. Embarkation was quick and the port staff were pleasant. We were on the ship eating lunch in the Dining Room by 12:30. The Rotterdam is a very pretty ship even though it is older. This cruise was 5 weeks after the dry dock/refurbishment and all of the furniture and public areas looked brand new. The layout of the ship was easy to maneuver. The ship was spotless and didn’t show much wear and tear. The first few days of the cruise were rainy so we spent a lot of time at the dome pool. The outside walk-around on deck 3 is a great place to walk off the buffet or to take a nap. We spent a lot of time there throughout the week. Our cabin was an inside cabin on Deck 2 (Main) Forward. Our room steward, Muse and his assistant Nia were efficient and friendly. We appreciated that they refreshed our wine ice bucket everyday. No complaints at all with the cabin. The food onboard Holland America ships is always a step above all other cruise lines in my opinion. You never go hungry on this ship. I thought the food in the Main Dining Room was very good. Our waiters, Tirtana and I Puto were great. Desserts were delicious and I ate my fair share of ensaimada pastries. LOL! The Lido Buffett food was also very good. Lots of choices and they have workers serving you instead of self-serve which is a plus. We sat at the same table every morning in the Canelletto section of the Lido and had a server who really went out of his way to be friendly and made sure we were taken care of. I don’t remember his name but he wore glasses. The Dive-In burgers, Taco/Nacho Station, New York Pizza, and Explorations Cafe were also good. Entertainment was good for the most part. We really enjoyed the comedian, Chris Pennington. She was funny. The singer, George Soloman was talented and the older folks thought he was a riot. Andy from the Piano Bar was entertaining and I think he had quite the following onboard. His New Years Eve Celebration was upbeat and more fun then the Celebration being held at the MainStage Show Lounge. The MainStage Celebration wasn’t much of a “Celebration.” Lots of people were sleeping in the front row. They probably had to wake people up at Midnight. We didn’t make it to any of the production shows so cannot comment on that. There was a Marachi Band from Cozumel that came onboard, which was fitting because we were actually in Mexico that night. The movie theatre was much larger then on other Holland ships so it wasn’t as much of an issue to find a seat. The Cruise Director had a shy personality. He kept us informed throughout the day but wasn’t really engaged. Fitness Centre had Life Fitness machines with built in tvs. I think they brought in new ones when the ship was refurbished. The spa manager isn’t very nice though and gets frustrated when the passengers don’t go the right way when exiting the gym. Ports: In Costa Maya we took the shuttle to the beach just outside the cruise port. It was a nice day. We sat at the The Krazy Lobster. Beach chairs are free if you buy something from the bar or order food. Chips and guacamole are 4 dollars and a bucket of beer is 5 dollars. It’s pretty reasonable. In Guatemala we were supposed to do the Ametec Beach Excursion. When we arrived in Guatemala, it was raining so we went to the excursion desk to cancel it. They wouldn’t cancel it because it was after the 48 hour window where you can cancel. They gave us the option to switch it to a different excursion. We didn’t want to walk away from the money spent, so we went with the Tale of Two Cities Tour. This tour showed both cities and also travelled to the Ametec Resort. We had no idea that Guatemala was such an extremely poor country. This tour showed mostly poverty, which is expected but alarming especially when you see emancipated animals roaming the streets. The tour guide was very informative and kept telling jokes to lighten the mood. We felt very uneasy throughout the whole tour. If cruise ships are continuing to stop there, they should spend the money to build a dock similar to Mahogany Bay. It would at least be more tourist friendly. Right now, the cruise ships pull up to a shipyard with barbed wire all around it and it is across from a navy base with armed soldiers at the gates. I don’t think we will be back to Guatemala but at least we can cross it off and say we have been there. In Roatan, we went to Mahogany Bay and sat at the beach. The Carnival Sunshine was also in port with us so it was busy for that little amount of space. We had a good day even though it rained on and off most of the day. In Cozumel, we went to Chakkanab. we haven’t been there in a number of years and wanted to try it out again. There was more cons then pros for this time around. There were 7 ships in port at once so it was super busy. We paid roughly 120 dollars in cab fares and the cost of admission to get into the park. I liked seeing the dolphins and crocodiles. I disliked that there was garbage in the water. I also didn’t like how pushy some of the workers were. The workers from the beach bar are very imitating and would stare at you in disgust until you ordered something. When you do eventually order something, they go away but still continue to watch you and come running if you sneak food or drinks from somewhere else. Also, the sign that says “free wifi included” is a lie. When we asked for the password, the server hesitated and then said we needed to buy something to get the password. After we bought something, he came back 10 minutes later and showed us a password that was 25 characters long but refused to give the paper with the password on it to us. I overheard people saying throughout the day that the password was made up anyways. We won’t be back in the near future. I would recommend Paradise Beach, it is much cheaper, much cleaner and wifi is free. Disembarkation was a bit behind schedule but wasn’t disorganized. We didn’t do “expedited” disembarkation so we had to get off the ship with everyone else. Port staff were pleasant and were actually smiling and cracking jokes. We were off the ship and picked up our luggage by 9:30 AM. Overall, I would rate the Rotterdam experience a 4/5. I would sail this ship again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
This was my 17th cruise, but 1st on Holland America. We had 23 people in our group....6 "kids" ages 13-17, 6 "kids" ages 18 - 22, 5 "old" people ages 70 - 92 and 6 of us ages 46-52. I am 46. This is ... Read More
This was my 17th cruise, but 1st on Holland America. We had 23 people in our group....6 "kids" ages 13-17, 6 "kids" ages 18 - 22, 5 "old" people ages 70 - 92 and 6 of us ages 46-52. I am 46. This is important because of what our expectations were. We did the Holiday Cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West, Amber Cove, Grand Turk, and Half Moon Cay. Embarkation was the easiest I have ever had on a cruise line. We arrived at the port at 11am and were on the ship by noon and all staterooms were ready! Ship is very clean and upscale. We had an AFT facing balcony room (6166) which I loved! The staff was friendly and professional (except in the casino - not friendly at all). The New Years Eve deck party was awesome with the BB King Band playing. Then it went downhill....meaning for things to do at night and entertainment. I will get back to that. FOOD....the buffet food was served by staff (which I liked as no germs from passengers) and was above average in quality. The Dive In poolside food was excellent! I'm from Chicago and know good food....the burgers were some of the best I have had. The dining room food was a bit dissapointing. It wasn't bad, but the selection was not great and quality was just average. Small portions, but order extra dinners, so not really a problem. ENTERTAINMENT....this is where I was dissapointed. Aside from NYE, the shows were typical after dinner. We went to the 10pm show each evening. The HAL dancers are OK, but the female singer has an annoyingly high voice. The black male had a great voice, but was the only one of the 3 singers. The comedian was funny (all old people VS. young people jokes) and the magician was just fair. If you are in are the type of person who is NOT a participator, and are good going to the show then going to bed, this is the cruise for you!! I think this is typical of "older" cruisers. Personally, our group would have loved things to do during the day....like Family Fued, Trivia, Bean bag games, scavenger hunts, etc. We expected music (DJ or Band) at the pool on At Sea days. Nope...nothing like that. There was quiet, classical type music playing at the pool. At night, after the show, the BB King lounge and Dueling Pianos were open until Midnight. Then bars and all entertainment shut down. The Casino Bar and one other was open until 1am, but no music or entertainment. No Late Night Comedy show or late night magic show...or game shows. The Casino was open until almost 2am (depending on day). The dealers were not very friendly and did not interact with the guests. They barely smiled. The pit boss looked like his face would break if he tried. As for the kids under age 18. After the show, they were pretty much told to go the room because they could not really be in any area. The "bars" that were open did not allow them. They were with us...just hanging out and talking, but were asked to leave. They had to watch movies in the room every night. The 18+ sat with us in the casino since there was nothing else to do as the Casino was the only thing open. Disembarkation was super easy - again the easiest I have ever had on a ship. The ports were great. We did independant tours on each and loved all of those. We were only at Half Moon Cay until 2:30 pm, which stunk because we loved the island. DRINKS....we did the "Signature" drink package. Well worth it if you are a drinker. They say 15 drinks per day, but we know we went over a few times and no additional charges were on our cards. Top shelf booze is fantastic and the bar tenders make great drinks! Nice pour for red wine too!! It is easier to go to the bar than wait for drink staff. This is NOT a cruise that pushes drinking. PICTURES....I was dissapointed in the back ground selection, I always buy family portraits on cruises and have a hard time decising which to buy. There were only 2 very bland, single color backgrounds on this ship. I think its because older people do not buy pictures. That is all I could come up with. Overall, I will ceratinly do a Holland America again, but not until I am of the age or inclination of going to bed early and being happy with little to do all day long. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Been on HAL many times, but it has been a year since we sailed with them as we took 2 other cruises with other lines instead. It was a fine cruise, but not the superior quality we have come to expect from HAL. Service in the MDR was ... Read More
Been on HAL many times, but it has been a year since we sailed with them as we took 2 other cruises with other lines instead. It was a fine cruise, but not the superior quality we have come to expect from HAL. Service in the MDR was average at best. Can see cutbacks on food quality. Again, it was fine but not outstanding. Caneletto was also average. Tamarind and Pinnacle were amazing as always.Lido marketplace did not disappoint and love the eggs benedict statio still. 1 tile per family now at the Mariner Luncheon. Again, not a deal breaker but another cut. Unfortunatley- with all the cuts, HAL is may no longer be any different from the other lines, the very reason we chose to sail with them. Going back on the Eurodam in April and hoping this cruise was not the new norm. Cabin stewards were still amazing and the ship is in great shape! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Embarkation: Arrived at 12 noon, no lines at all. Straight onto Ship. Dining: Food was great. Lobster and Filet was excellent. Pinnacle Grill was excellent as well as Tamarind. Bars: First 2 days there were no Limes to be found. ... Read More
Embarkation: Arrived at 12 noon, no lines at all. Straight onto Ship. Dining: Food was great. Lobster and Filet was excellent. Pinnacle Grill was excellent as well as Tamarind. Bars: First 2 days there were no Limes to be found. They were making margaritas with lemons, after the first 2 days all Bars had Limes and all was good. Key West: Did the Pub Crawl, tons of fun Highly Recommend. Sea Day 1: Seaview Bar/Pool was great to hang around, though the music they play is pretty terrible. Turks and Caicos: Did the Clear bottom Kayaking, Amazing! Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville was not very good, the food was very disappointing. Dominican Republic: Absolutely Beautiful. Amber Cove is a fantastic port. We did the Cultural Adventure Excursion. Was a bit long, but loved the Rum Tour and Fort Tour. Sea Day 2: Again we did the Seaview Bar/Pool most of the day. Had the Dive in Burgers/Chicken which were outstanding. The Pizza at New York Pizza was decent too. Half Moon Cay: Weather was a bit chilly, but we had a great time. Captain Morgan Bar was awesome, and the beach was immaculate. Lobster Shack had very good food. Disembarkation: We were in yellow group 3, was off the ship before our scheduled time and literally no waiting in line. Highly recommend taking a Taxi instead of doing the Ship Sponsored shuttle to the Airport, was cheaper and faster. Time to disembark was 830, we were at the airport before 9am. But be warned, security at FLL can take over an hour if there are many ships in Port that day. Overall: Great cruise for the price. Have been on Celebrity before as well. Celebrity is better but costs more, so you get what you pay for. Wish Holland Ships were a bit bigger like celebrity with more things to do. Read Less
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