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My husband & I have cruised at least 12 times prior to this on other cruise lines but decided for our 25th anniversary we would book with Holland America based upon their reputation as a 5 star experience. Boy did we ever make a mistake. Not only did we spend more money for an interior cabin with Holland than we ever have for a balcony on competing lines, but we personally experienced the worst service, food, and hospitality we ever have onboard a cruise. Our overall opinion of the ship is she is well past her prime and overdue for upgrades in dry dock. The ship smells particularly on lower decks, the public restrooms smell of urine and we observed cracked and fogged windows. Service in the restaurants is lacking greatly and the food was minimal at best. Even service in the specialty steakhouse was bad although the food was better despite being served cold. The two best things other than our stateroom attendant, Asis, and he was fantastic, was the itinerary and the entertainment onboard. They have a club called BB King Blues Club with live music and it was wonderful. We contacted Holland about our "extremely disappointing anniversary celebration" with hopes they would offer some form of compensation and they responded by offering a 3 bottle wine package to try them again to show us their level of service. Shame on them for that service the first time but shame on me if I ever spend another penny with Holland America. In conclusion I would say HAL is not for us but we booked based upon positive reviews from other travelers. I will say we heard repeatedly this was not the typical HAL experience but we are just not willing to risk our money with them to have another awful experience.

Overall Disappointing Anniversary Cruise

Oosterdam Cruise Review by Pepperharris

17 people found this helpful
Trip Details
My husband & I have cruised at least 12 times prior to this on other cruise lines but decided for our 25th anniversary we would book with Holland America based upon their reputation as a 5 star experience. Boy did we ever make a mistake. Not only did we spend more money for an interior cabin with Holland than we ever have for a balcony on competing lines, but we personally experienced the worst service, food, and hospitality we ever have onboard a cruise.

Our overall opinion of the ship is she is well past her prime and overdue for upgrades in dry dock. The ship smells particularly on lower decks, the public restrooms smell of urine and we observed cracked and fogged windows. Service in the restaurants is lacking greatly and the food was minimal at best. Even service in the specialty steakhouse was bad although the food was better despite being served cold.

The two best things other than our stateroom attendant, Asis, and he was fantastic, was the itinerary and the entertainment onboard. They have a club called BB King Blues Club with live music and it was wonderful.

We contacted Holland about our "extremely disappointing anniversary celebration" with hopes they would offer some form of compensation and they responded by offering a 3 bottle wine package to try them again to show us their level of service. Shame on them for that service the first time but shame on me if I ever spend another penny with Holland America.

In conclusion I would say HAL is not for us but we booked based upon positive reviews from other travelers. I will say we heard repeatedly this was not the typical HAL experience but we are just not willing to risk our money with them to have another awful experience.
Pepperharris’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Interior Stateroom
Cabin K
Room was expected for an interior room but bathroom smelled of urine
Observation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins