My wife and I, plus two friends, chose this cruise on the recommendations of several friends who had sailed Holland America many years ago. Then itinerary appeared to be very interesting and since we cruise often we decided to go on this 39 day (Sydney to San Diego) cruise. The flight from S.F. to Sydney was comfortable by Quantas and embarkation was well managed by Holland America. Once we set sail the problems started to occur. The Madam is an old ship with many problems. Many days we, and our neighboring cabins, were without hot water. Calls to the desk did not seem to resolve the ongoing problem. The ship dining services are quite understaffed. While the staff is very courteous, there is just not enough of them to attend to the passengers. The four of us boarded the ship in fine health but within a few days we, and it seemed like half the ship, was coughing continually. A trip to the ship's clinic to purchase a bottle of cough syrup resulted in a small four ounce bottle for $24 US. The ship then went into a quarantine mode. Everyone was coughing and wheezing! I bet they sold a bunch of those $24 cough syrup bottles. Several ports were severely delayed in disembarkation due to tender boat issues. They never did get that resolved! Half the washers and dryers in the laundry rooms did not function. This caused a lot of wasted time and frustration on the ship.The ships leaks badly: it leaked often in the showroom ( on us and others) and it leaked in the buffet, on our food, while we were eating.The staff was unable to do anything other than place buckets to catch the water! The topper, to some of us, was the televised channels listed and promoted the Winter Olympics, to begin on a certain day. That day arrived and the Olympics were not televised!!! I called the desk and was told the HAL will not televise the Olympics, even though ESPN had that capability. Now that is really cutting corners!!! In conclusion, I found the crew and staff to be very accommodating and friendly, but they can only do so much? HAL has got to be less concerned about ROI Return On Investment and more quality of experience focused.