This was our third summer on the Rotterdam, and 2nd transatlantic. I must say the weather was an issue throughout our month onboard. We were delayed almost 36 hours in Amsterdam and missed 2 ports because of high winds and rough seas. HAL responded with a refund of $24.95 pp and champagne at dinner. Of course shore excursions were automatically refunded. HAL's early embarkation is very popular. We arrived at the pier at 11:45 and there was a line snaking around the terminal. Things moved very quickly and orderly and we were on board by 1230.
The service as always was top notch. This is HAL's ACE, and they play it well! The crew couldn't have tried harder to please or have been friendlier. There were a few language barrier problems, mainly at the stir fry and pasta bars, and one wine steward who only knew white and red (no mixed drinks), but he smiled a lot.
The food was disappointing this trip. Dinners were strange to say the least. Entrees were all served with sauces strange', and broccoli was everywhere. It turned out to be the joke of the cruise "HAL's broccoli sale". Soups which are usually great, were floured to the max and tastless. We had to add sugar to the corn chowder. On more than 1 occasion our tablemates sent back their entrees. Desserts were good, but salad's were wimpy. The Lido at lunch was much better, but has anyone ever seen steaming scrambled eggs taken out of a freezer bag, probably nuked?
Many minor mechanical problems. Rumor had it that the bridge referred to this trip as the cruise from H***. Electricity went out, stabilizer broke, oil leak, latte machine kept fritzing out, No TV, Internet was in and out all trip. Well we were in areas that Satellites were difficult to access, but it doesn't help when the receiver is behind the funnel either.
Poor traffic patterns for major events. Ran out of food for both on deck BBq's.
What did we do? We took the lemons and made lemonade. We had a wonderful time with old and new friends, loved the crew and they loved us back.
HAL needs to work on COMMUNICATION company-wide, entertainment bookings, and the MENUS and the chefs, one of whom told us in all seriousness, that he was a culinary school drop out.
We'll go back, we're booked on the Zaandam for New Year's. We didn't let the minor junk ruin our trip, we paid too much money to be mad. Please HAL, Shape up. Give us back what has trickled away through in-attention to detail.