We had cruised twice before on Holland America and thought it was a great cruise line. Unfortunately things have changed over the past several years. We took the inside passage to Alaska, then three nights in Denali. We booked a suite and sailed with two other couples who also booked suites. Service and food have deteriorated considerably in comparison to our two previous cruises with this line. With the exception of the salmon, which was excellent, every seafood entree we had was mediocre or worse. The Alaskan Halibut -- which we loved at restaurants on shore -- was thin, brown, and almost inedible. The rainbow trout was oily, salty, and fishy. At "High Tea," we felt crowded and rushed. The head waiter told us, as he ushered us to a table, that space was limited -- though tea was held in the main dining room with many, many empty tables. We felt that we were herded in, pushed to hurry through our tea, and offered only limited selections of dainties. In most situations, service was slow and they seemed understaffed. ENRICHMENT: Most likely the naturalist on board knew a lot, and I heard that the presentation she made in the auditorium was excellent. It was not possible to understand any of the information she related to us on deck because the sound system was so very bad, EXCURSIONS: Excursions offered by Holland America were generally very good, and the prices were competitive. The one exception to this was the Denali Covered Wagon meal which was a waste of time and money. There was little scenery because of the narrow pathway and canvas cover on the wagon. We were crowded onto benches in the covered wagon, and the food, while plentiful, was not very good. BUS RIDE TO (OR FROM) DENALI: The bus ride to Denali was long and cramped. There was no place on the bus to put a drink or a snack. After making restroom stops twice at facilities without running water, we stopped for lunch at a Holland America concession for a "sandwich buffet." Hundreds of people were crowed around open tables of bread, sandwich meat, potato salad, etc. Mustard was in common squeeze dispensers -- quite smudged and dirty. Hundreds of people had no choice about where to eat or use the restroom, so they lined up for the restroom, or chose to got right to the food line without washing up. One of the men's rooms was un-usable because the toilet had overflowed, in a very disgusting way, but there was no sign warning people to stay out. Many people went through the open food line after having stopped at an out-house to relieve themselves, and without bothering to stand in line to wash their hands. With all of the warnings about norovirus, I was afraid to eat this lunch. Friends who were on the southbound cruise two weeks before us told us that 300 people were confined to their cabins for several days because of an outbreak of some type of virus. I wonder whether they picked it up at this lunch stop? DENALI: Denali was wonderful, but we stayed in Holland America's McKinley lodges and wasted lots of time waiting for shuttles to the main lodge. Sometimes the shuttle was full, so we almost missed some excursion departures. Walking was OK for some of us, but one of our party is disabled, so she often felt that she was an impediment for the rest of us -- It was not her fault but the fault of the cruise line for being understaffed and under-equipped. WESTMARK HOTEL: In Anchorage we stayed at the Westmark owned by Holland America. Our room smelled musty, but they could not move us because the hotel was full. I think this cruise line has stretched its resources to the maximum while minimizing service to its customers. All six of us were disappointed and regretted our choice to take a cruise. A land tour would have been more comfortable and would have given us more control of our time.

Third and last cruise on Holland America

Zaandam Cruise Review by wordr

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Vista Suite with Verandah
We had cruised twice before on Holland America and thought it was a great cruise line. Unfortunately things have changed over the past several years. We took the inside passage to Alaska, then three nights in Denali. We booked a suite and sailed with two other couples who also booked suites. Service and food have deteriorated considerably in comparison to our two previous cruises with this line. With the exception of the salmon, which was excellent, every seafood entree we had was mediocre or worse. The Alaskan Halibut -- which we loved at restaurants on shore -- was thin, brown, and almost inedible. The rainbow trout was oily, salty, and fishy. At "High Tea," we felt crowded and rushed. The head waiter told us, as he ushered us to a table, that space was limited -- though tea was held in the main dining room with many, many empty tables. We felt that we were herded in, pushed to hurry through our tea, and offered only limited selections of dainties. In most situations, service was slow and they seemed understaffed.

ENRICHMENT:

Most likely the naturalist on board knew a lot, and I heard that the presentation she made in the auditorium was excellent. It was not possible to understand any of the information she related to us on deck because the sound system was so very bad,

EXCURSIONS:

Excursions offered by Holland America were generally very good, and the prices were competitive. The one exception to this was the Denali Covered Wagon meal which was a waste of time and money. There was little scenery because of the narrow pathway and canvas cover on the wagon. We were crowded onto benches in the covered wagon, and the food, while plentiful, was not very good.

BUS RIDE TO (OR FROM) DENALI:

The bus ride to Denali was long and cramped. There was no place on the bus to put a drink or a snack. After making restroom stops twice at facilities without running water, we stopped for lunch at a Holland America concession for a "sandwich buffet." Hundreds of people were crowed around open tables of bread, sandwich meat, potato salad, etc. Mustard was in common squeeze dispensers -- quite smudged and dirty. Hundreds of people had no choice about where to eat or use the restroom, so they lined up for the restroom, or chose to got right to the food line without washing up. One of the men's rooms was un-usable because the toilet had overflowed, in a very disgusting way, but there was no sign warning people to stay out. Many people went through the open food line after having stopped at an out-house to relieve themselves, and without bothering to stand in line to wash their hands. With all of the warnings about norovirus, I was afraid to eat this lunch. Friends who were on the southbound cruise two weeks before us told us that 300 people were confined to their cabins for several days because of an outbreak of some type of virus. I wonder whether they picked it up at this lunch stop?

DENALI:

Denali was wonderful, but we stayed in Holland America's McKinley lodges and wasted lots of time waiting for shuttles to the main lodge. Sometimes the shuttle was full, so we almost missed some excursion departures. Walking was OK for some of us, but one of our party is disabled, so she often felt that she was an impediment for the rest of us -- It was not her fault but the fault of the cruise line for being understaffed and under-equipped.

WESTMARK HOTEL:

In Anchorage we stayed at the Westmark owned by Holland America. Our room smelled musty, but they could not move us because the hotel was full. I think this cruise line has stretched its resources to the maximum while minimizing service to its customers.

All six of us were disappointed and regretted our choice to take a cruise. A land tour would have been more comfortable and would have given us more control of our time.
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Cabin Review

Vista Suite with Verandah
Cabin A 6156
Great location, great cabin with adequate storage. No noises or distractions, and a convenient location.
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins