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Any relationship is based on trust. After close to 200 days sailing with HAL, I expect that I will be treated with respect and the trust I put into the company to work in my best interest be upheld. I do not know how HAL will heal the distrust I hold after this trip. I realize that Carnival, the "mother-ship" holds all the cards. But as an "almost" 4 Star Mariner, I will not be back on board for quite a while. I went through 4 cabins (Deck 2 forward... brown water; Deck 1 midship...vibrations; Deck 3 aft...a constant "thumping"; Deck 2 forward...brown water) before realizing the situation had no remedy on this cruise. The "GI" outbreak began about 4 days into the cruise (and must be noted that it was held in check by immediate attention).Though there was no handling of common items as newspapers and books, salt and pepper shakers, handshaking...the casino stayed open. Though the staff did disinfect the casino before and after operations, the cards, chips and slot machines were handled by any number of possibly contaminated people. I guess there is a price to the passenger's welfare! The cost of the HAL excursions are outrageous! I do not want to have my time in port wasted with stops at shopping areas / malls or restaurants.When there is a port with an extended stay (ie: into the evening, overnight as in Yangon), I do not want to be back on board by 4 or 5pm. Seeing a city at night is another experience of the visit. I understand the Excursion agents, using deception and "scare tactics", are to make money for the company, but, I believe, the Shore Desk agent should be working for the guest. Withholding information that would make the shore time of guests easier (and less expensive) is, I feel, wrong. (ie: there is a train that goes from Port Klang to KL for about $1.25, available city maps for other than shopping centers, going to a port in Cambodia, having paid the $63 visa fee and being too far from anything of interest (Angor Wat or Phnom Penh). The cruise director, Jonathan, was the WORST in the position I have ever experienced on HAL's or any other company's ship. His closing was "see you around the ship" but you never, ever did! He had no communication with guests, no sense of humor. He was obnoxious, selfish and very, very arrogant! Tom, in the piano bar, could play the piano and sing (a bit). But he had NO personality. He basically played with his head down with no interaction with those in the room. He had no flair, no fun banter or musical "games" / jokes. There were no sing-alongs unless the guests took it upon themselves to sing (the hundredth time he would play his "My Fair Lady" medley). The Front Office staff tries to be helpful but their hands are tied by company policy (I was "subtly" warned my third room was not suitable but didn't heed the warning). The restaurant, deck and cabin staff were always up-beat and friendly. Chase, the assistant social director (though not given that title) did a Herculean job of lifting spirits. He was incredibly kind, cheery with a good sense of humor, thorough and available.

How the Mighty has Fallen

Volendam Cruise Review by gemininsd

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2015
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Any relationship is based on trust. After close to 200 days sailing with HAL, I expect that I will be treated with respect and the trust I put into the company to work in my best interest be upheld. I do not know how HAL will heal the distrust I hold after this trip. I realize that Carnival, the "mother-ship" holds all the cards. But as an "almost" 4 Star Mariner, I will not be back on board for quite a while.

I went through 4 cabins (Deck 2 forward... brown water; Deck 1 midship...vibrations; Deck 3 aft...a constant "thumping"; Deck 2 forward...brown water) before realizing the situation had no remedy on this cruise.

The "GI" outbreak began about 4 days into the cruise (and must be noted that it was held in check by immediate attention).Though there was no handling of common items as newspapers and books, salt and pepper shakers, handshaking...the casino stayed open. Though the staff did disinfect the casino before and after operations, the cards, chips and slot machines were handled by any number of possibly contaminated people. I guess there is a price to the passenger's welfare!

The cost of the HAL excursions are outrageous! I do not want to have my time in port wasted with stops at shopping areas / malls or restaurants.When there is a port with an extended stay (ie: into the evening, overnight as in Yangon), I do not want to be back on board by 4 or 5pm. Seeing a city at night is another experience of the visit.

I understand the Excursion agents, using deception and "scare tactics", are to make money for the company, but, I believe, the Shore Desk agent should be working for the guest.

Withholding information that would make the shore time of guests easier (and less expensive) is, I feel, wrong. (ie: there is a train that goes from Port Klang to KL for about $1.25, available city maps for other than shopping centers, going to a port in Cambodia, having paid the $63 visa fee and being too far from anything of interest (Angor Wat or Phnom Penh).

The cruise director, Jonathan, was the WORST in the position I have ever experienced on HAL's or any other company's ship. His closing was "see you around the ship" but you never, ever did! He had no communication with guests, no sense of humor. He was obnoxious, selfish and very, very arrogant!

Tom, in the piano bar, could play the piano and sing (a bit). But he had NO personality. He basically played with his head down with no interaction with those in the room. He had no flair, no fun banter or musical "games" / jokes. There were no sing-alongs unless the guests took it upon themselves to sing (the hundredth time he would play his "My Fair Lady" medley).

The Front Office staff tries to be helpful but their hands are tied by company policy (I was "subtly" warned my third room was not suitable but didn't heed the warning). The restaurant, deck and cabin staff were always up-beat and friendly. Chase, the assistant social director (though not given that title) did a Herculean job of lifting spirits. He was incredibly kind, cheery with a good sense of humor, thorough and available.
gemininsd’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
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Entertainment
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin E 2520
On March 2, I walked into the (upgraded) cabin I was assigned to find "brown water" coming from my sink, tub and settled in my toilet. When I asked the cabin attendant he said they were working on the pipes. As days go by, I find the probable was quite pervasive on the ship, not limited to one area or deck. Why was I assigned an "unprepared" cabin?
Two weeks and three cabins later, I accepted the fact that I would be dealing with contaminated water. I didn't just "let the water run until it was clear" as suggested, I asked for a supply of bottled water. Though the GI breakout was put on the guests, I wonder if the unclean water people drank and bathed in was a contributing factor.
The travelers coming onto the ship in Singapore were offered their money back or rescheduled cruises if they decided not to cruise. The guests on the ship were made no such offer, we were just considered "trapped rats".
Lower Promenade Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins