Never Again HAL: Zaandam Cruise Review by Notimpressed

Zaandam 1

Overall Member Rating

Never Again HAL

Sail Date: February 2012
Destination: Asia
Embarkation: Hong Kong
Ship - Internally and externally TIRED.

Food - repetitive after first 14 days. Second 14 days food portions in Rotterdam greatly reduced and service also went downhill.

Cabin - tired and desperate for re-fit. Bedding needs replacing asap. Many had air con/heating problems.

Main complaints:
Ship Freezing for the first 14 days - 13 degrees C. in restaurant - had to wear jackets whenever we went about ship.

Management seemed totally incapable in dealing with immigration issues at certain ports, it appeared as though this was a first time experience for them.
We never got to Shanghai - sat at sea for a day and a half in 'fog' then told we were going to Shanghai but when we got up next morning realised we were going north!!
Beijing - were sent ashore with only passport copies - HAL refused to give us our passports despite being told we were staying in Beijing. Ended up being refused to check in at hotel as we did not have our passports. Tried to More resolve this by various telephone calls but ship staff totally unhelpful. Ended up waiting in freezing cold -5 degrees C for first train and taxi back to ship where we received half hearted apology. Never went back as it took us 24 hours to get over the trauma. Guest relations manager would not meet to discuss problems. This totally ruined our holiday as we only booked the first 14 day cruise so that we could visit Beijing and Shanghai.

Ship Captain - he made very few announcements - only ship's position and weather every day - never saw him around ship.

Cabin and restaurants staff - excellent, shame management did not take some training from them!!!

Shore excursions - far too expensive.

Entertainment - Third rate - apart from occasional visiting artist. Had much better on other cruise lines.

Overall Opinion. Our holiday was totally ruined by the Beijing passport debacle. Not at all impressed by HAL. We were told before we booked that they were the best (5*) I would suggest 2* was a better description.
Never again will we go HAL. Less

Published 04/01/12

Cabin review: D Large Ocean-View Stateroom

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