We have cruised a variety of lines- Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney- and were really looking forward to trying Holland America for our Alaska cruise. Unfortunately, a serious dearth of on-board activities and entertainment left us struggling to find things to do any time we weren't on land. Good things about this cruise: the public areas are nice, embarkation was smooth and friendly, food was definitely a cut above what we have experienced on other lines, and the service was impeccable. Bad things about this cruise: itinerary was just okay (we loved Glacier Bay, thought Juneau and Skagway were okay, and got absolutely nothing out of Ketchikan), and as I mentioned in the overall comment.. there were so, so few activities on board. The daily programs that were delivered to our cabin each night after dinner could have fit on a cocktail napkin. We aren't the kind of people that need to participate in belly flop contests or need a rowdy crowd to have a good time. But it's nice to have SOMEthing to do when you're on the ship. We found ourselves bored and aimless quite frequently. The TVs haven't been upgraded yet and our stateroom's TV was fuzzy and of poor quality, so even relaxing in our rooms before bed wasn't as enjoyable as it could have been. HAL could take a cue from Celebrity in this regard; it's a stately, refined crowd, but there are all kinds of cooking demonstrations and informational lectures and different get-togethers that make being on-board and at sea enjoyable. Usually sea days are our favorite parts of cruises; on this cruise, we came to realize that once we weren't setting foot in Alaska, our options for entertainment and amusement decreased sharply. What's particularly frustrating about this is that I can see many of the same complaints on these boards, so HAL has to know that they're coming up short in this regard, but they do nothing. All I can say is, if you're thinking of booking a cruise with HAL and wondering if the negative reviews you're seeing that mention no entertainment or activities are true, let me assure you: there is truly a serious lack of entertainment on this ship, lovely and well-serviced though it may be.

Beautiful Alaska but cruise left something to be desired

Noordam Cruise Review by kaylorcc

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
We have cruised a variety of lines- Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney- and were really looking forward to trying Holland America for our Alaska cruise. Unfortunately, a serious dearth of on-board activities and entertainment left us struggling to find things to do any time we weren't on land.

Good things about this cruise: the public areas are nice, embarkation was smooth and friendly, food was definitely a cut above what we have experienced on other lines, and the service was impeccable.

Bad things about this cruise: itinerary was just okay (we loved Glacier Bay, thought Juneau and Skagway were okay, and got absolutely nothing out of Ketchikan), and as I mentioned in the overall comment.. there were so, so few activities on board. The daily programs that were delivered to our cabin each night after dinner could have fit on a cocktail napkin.

We aren't the kind of people that need to participate in belly flop contests or need a rowdy crowd to have a good time. But it's nice to have SOMEthing to do when you're on the ship. We found ourselves bored and aimless quite frequently. The TVs haven't been upgraded yet and our stateroom's TV was fuzzy and of poor quality, so even relaxing in our rooms before bed wasn't as enjoyable as it could have been. HAL could take a cue from Celebrity in this regard; it's a stately, refined crowd, but there are all kinds of cooking demonstrations and informational lectures and different get-togethers that make being on-board and at sea enjoyable. Usually sea days are our favorite parts of cruises; on this cruise, we came to realize that once we weren't setting foot in Alaska, our options for entertainment and amusement decreased sharply.

What's particularly frustrating about this is that I can see many of the same complaints on these boards, so HAL has to know that they're coming up short in this regard, but they do nothing. All I can say is, if you're thinking of booking a cruise with HAL and wondering if the negative reviews you're seeing that mention no entertainment or activities are true, let me assure you: there is truly a serious lack of entertainment on this ship, lovely and well-serviced though it may be.
kaylorcc’s Full Rating Summary
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