Holland America not 5 star: Volendam Cruise Review by away again

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away again
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Holland America not 5 star

Sail Date: March 2013
Destination: Asia
Embarkation: Osaka
Ultimate Japan & China. March 2013
Very disappointed with Holland America, not up to 5 star standard expected.

Kobe Japan, Check in experience very chaotic.
Nearly every passenger was extremely jet lagged after long haul flights, this was not taken into consideration.
Our luggage was not put on our transfer coach it was taken to a truck, this included my hand luggage which contained articles that I needed in the cabin. I had to chase around up and down stairs with an assistant to look for it.

On entering the cabin strong smell of sweat, on bed especially pillows.
Blood on floor and wall of bathroom not ours, reported then it was cleaned.
Bath slip mat black around logos.
Dirty black stains on pillow case before use, reported it,they changed pillow case.
Thick streak of dark blue paint across window, rectified after about a week
Dirty windows for the duration of the cruise, not cleaned in port.
The painting More around the window has been poorly executed, smudged and sloppy.

Promenade Deck
The painting on promenade desk was amateurish, there is no excuse sloppiness
Lounger cushions dirty with bird droppings.
Rugs were left out to get soaked and could not be used when needed.
White plastic tooth pick/floss tool was in the gutter for days.

Trying to get a 2 table each night was a joke, staff stared blankly at the screen as though no one had ever asked for a table for two before, always had to wait even though there were loads of empty tables.
Service patchy, waiters seemed to be novices or bored, working by rote.
Muddled orders and long waits, stacked food left for 10 minutes to get cold before taking to tables.

Outdoor table-tops stained and worn not clean, these should be replaced, even on 3 star ships they are not this bad. Coffee mugs often dirty and stained inside.
Plates are badly crazed, we would have thrown them out at home ages ago.
Some Food not hot enough, thermometers should be used surely?
Last day on board the passengers and outside tables on lido deck were showered with large flakes of black soot. That's a first on a cruise! No attempt by the crew to remove the dirt from tables or the deck, they just took a couple of empty glasses away and left. The soot was getting into peoples hair and onto their light coloured clothes.

Red Tape
Disorganised 'face to face' with .Chinese officials
Excessive queuing due to passengers arriving too early, before their allocated times, just because they were not told NOT TO. Surely their vast customer research has taught them to manipulate crowds, or at least keep them happy while waiting.

Ports of Call
We feel that Independent travellers were treated as second class passengers
NOT 5 star ones.
When booking a cruise, the most important thing for us are the ports of call, each one is analysed for the length of stay.
All our previous cruises have allowed half an hour before departure - for all aboard.
As one example 6.30 departure normally means 6 .00 all aboard, not 4:30 last shuttle for a ten minute coach trip, or 6:30 last shuttle when we are overnight onboard!.
Shuttles were too late departing and too early coming back,this made it impossible to achieve our planned itineraries on several occasions.
Their excuse to us was Chinese Red Tape, so does lengthy red tape only apply to those not on excursions? The shore excursions were leaving hours earlier and coming back 30 mins before sailing

This was a once only holiday, we cannot consider repeating it to catch up on the missed sights.

In all aspects a very tired ship.
Crew suffer from lack of motivation and loss of any identity. Less

Published 03/25/13

Cabin review: G Large Ocean-View Stateroom

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away again
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