I read the poor reviews on this cruise but my rep assured me that the activities changed a lot on the ship and they cater to children. They don't even appeal to adults. This is what I sent to the guest relations and all they are going to give me for my grief is a measly $50 onboard credit on my next Holland America cruise, like i really am looking forward to going on another Holland America cruise. My dad spent about $30k for 9 cabins too. these are my complaints... AND NEVER HOLLAND AMERICA again! they dont care about customer service and took 2 months to answer my complaint. 1. Cruise activities were repetitve and uninteresting. They should have a variety of programs for all ages. The cruise director mentioned about having to work within the budget and I'm thinking the budget must be very tiny. You already know about the basketball and tennis balls, and I want to thank you for getting those balls for us. However, we couldn't use the tennis balls because they were only available to us on our last day and we were in Quebec City between 2 -5 pm. 2. Club Hal kicked me out of the room when I was talking to my nieces and nephew for a few minutes. My sister was also told that she couldn't take pictures of her daughter in Club Hal. Is that really the policy? We were disappointed that there was no cooking classes for the kids. Unfortunately, a few of my nieces, who are almost teenagers, wanted to go home by mid-week. 3. Fitness instructor is obviously not interested in teaching anything but stretches. I went to a 5:30 total body conditioning class and at 5:30pm, there was no class. At 5:35 pm, I approached a man who was sitting on the exercise floor creating some sort of a sign. He says I was the only one who was interested and I could come to his 7 am stretching class. If i wanted to do the stretching, I would be there at 7 am and not at 5:30. I went to the lady at the front desk and she talked to the man and his answer was the same... that I was only one person. Another lady came by and asked about the class and later says she was interested. So I say "ok, now there are two". He finally stood up in the front and two others joined us. Now there was four. In the first 10 minutes, he did stretches. I left the class and resumed doing my own exercises and 5:50 pm, when I turned around, there was no more class. The class was supposed to be for 30 minutes. The cruise hired the wrong person to do the fitness classes. I also heard the same man ignored my nephew and my sister when doing the foot analysis. His focus was only on an elderly woman trying to sell her orthodics. 4. One should be more careful in charging the right amount for one massage. My sister had to correct a mistake with customer service. She bought several massages even though I told her that massages are cheaper in her neighborhood. 5. The ship charges $20 for a picture with a background but charges $40 for doing my group pic at the staircase. Why is there such a huge difference? Other cruiselines charge just $20. I also do not appreciate Ralph, who is the photo manager, addressing me as "milady" as if he was being condescending. That was my feeling. I especially do not appreciate Ralph for not delivering the photos as he had promised so that my family had to come looking for him and the photos on the day of disembarkation. They also did not have the cruiseline and the date imprinted on the photos as they said they would. 6. My brother says there was a chemical smell, albeit temporary, in his cabin and I also saw that he had rust spots around the metal handle and spouts in his shower. 7. It was either an icebox or a sauna in some of cabins and I was told the thermostat was broken. Someone came out to fix it though it wasn't still working very well. 8. On Level 6, the engine thrusters woke me up early around 5:45 am, on the last two nights when I really needed my sleep. I thought we were given quiet rooms. 9. Never had the pool been closed while we were on a cruise. The last day, the pool was closed for cleaning. I'm not sure if that's a regular thing for Holland America or maybe someone had an accident in it?

Love the ports, hated the cruise

Veendam Cruise Review by tigran smart

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I read the poor reviews on this cruise but my rep assured me that the activities changed a lot on the ship and they cater to children. They don't even appeal to adults. This is what I sent to the guest relations and all they are going to give me for my grief is a measly $50 onboard credit on my next Holland America cruise, like i really am looking forward to going on another Holland America cruise. My dad spent about $30k for 9 cabins too. these are my complaints... AND NEVER HOLLAND AMERICA again! they dont care about customer service and took 2 months to answer my complaint.

1. Cruise activities were repetitve and uninteresting. They should have a variety of programs for all ages. The cruise director mentioned about having to work within the budget and I'm thinking the budget must be very tiny. You already know about the basketball and tennis balls, and I want to thank you for getting those balls for us. However, we couldn't use the tennis balls because they were only available to us on our last day and we were in Quebec City between 2 -5 pm.

2. Club Hal kicked me out of the room when I was talking to my nieces and nephew for a few minutes. My sister was also told that she couldn't take pictures of her daughter in Club Hal. Is that really the policy? We were disappointed that there was no cooking classes for the kids. Unfortunately, a few of my nieces, who are almost teenagers, wanted to go home by mid-week.

3. Fitness instructor is obviously not interested in teaching anything but stretches. I went to a 5:30 total body conditioning class and at 5:30pm, there was no class. At 5:35 pm, I approached a man who was sitting on the exercise floor creating some sort of a sign. He says I was the only one who was interested and I could come to his 7 am stretching class. If i wanted to do the stretching, I would be there at 7 am and not at 5:30. I went to the lady at the front desk and she talked to the man and his answer was the same... that I was only one person. Another lady came by and asked about the class and later says she was interested. So I say "ok, now there are two". He finally stood up in the front and two others joined us. Now there was four. In the first 10 minutes, he did stretches. I left the class and resumed doing my own exercises and 5:50 pm, when I turned around, there was no more class. The class was supposed to be for 30 minutes. The cruise hired the wrong person to do the fitness classes. I also heard the same man ignored my nephew and my sister when doing the foot analysis. His focus was only on an elderly woman trying to sell her orthodics.

4. One should be more careful in charging the right amount for one massage. My sister had to correct a mistake with customer service. She bought several massages even though I told her that massages are cheaper in her neighborhood.

5. The ship charges $20 for a picture with a background but charges $40 for doing my group pic at the staircase. Why is there such a huge difference? Other cruiselines charge just $20. I also do not appreciate Ralph, who is the photo manager, addressing me as "milady" as if he was being condescending. That was my feeling. I especially do not appreciate Ralph for not delivering the photos as he had promised so that my family had to come looking for him and the photos on the day of disembarkation. They also did not have the cruiseline and the date imprinted on the photos as they said they would.

6. My brother says there was a chemical smell, albeit temporary, in his cabin and I also saw that he had rust spots around the metal handle and spouts in his shower.

7. It was either an icebox or a sauna in some of cabins and I was told the thermostat was broken. Someone came out to fix it though it wasn't still working very well.

8. On Level 6, the engine thrusters woke me up early around 5:45 am, on the last two nights when I really needed my sleep. I thought we were given quiet rooms.

9. Never had the pool been closed while we were on a cruise. The last day, the pool was closed for cleaning. I'm not sure if that's a regular thing for Holland America or maybe someone had an accident in it?
tigran smart’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Ages Under 3
Ages 3 to 6
Ages 7 to 9
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
Ages 16+
Service
Onboard Experience
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