Really enjoyed this 11 day cruise. Our Vista Suite, #4118, was fine. Our porters, Mono and Tasman were sensational. Loved watching sunsets from our private balcony. Loved the hot tubs and my wife enjoyed the massages very much. Visiting the islands, St. Lucia, St. Marteen, Barbados, Martinique, Antiqua, St. Tomas and HAL's Half Moon Cay was outstanding. The selection of TV shows and Movies in our room, did get very thin after 11 days. But we understand there were many outstanding things to do outside of our room.
Having said all that, I want to give you the negatives, so you are not surprised. Do not misunderstand, we loved the cruise and feel very positive about it, but want to tell you what we did not like.
The food was great. Loved the Lido buffet for both breakfast and dinner. All the eggs Benedict, omlets, waffles and pancakes you can eat for breakfast, who could not like that? After 11 days some of the sameness did wear just a little old. The hamburgers and hotdogs at the Dive were fine snacks. The Pizza, nachos and deli sandwiches were fine too. We ate at one specialty restaurant, the Tamarind and it was very good. We felt the dining room tried to be too fancy and gourmet and failed. Also the process in the dining room took too long...2 hours. I was shocked that the Crème Bule was almost liquid, not custardly. And, if you do not mesh with the people you are seated with, the 2 hour dinner can seem really long. Paying $50 per person for the Pinnacle Room seemed a little extreme, when our cruise fee already included food.
As far as the reviews I have read about bad pillows, dirty rooms, too loud if you are mid-ship over the entertainment, they are hogwash. We did not experience anything like that.
We were disappointed to learn that you had to come nearly an hour early for the one hour show in the main room, the World Stage, in order to get a seat!. There needs to be a better system for reserving seats or similar.
We very much enjoyed the entertainment in the BB King Room and the Rolling Stone Room.
Be prepared for Holland America to try to find many ways every day to separate you from your money. They present many "opportunities".
They price gouge you in some ways that I believe were over the top. Internet service is $24.95 a day! But worse of all was the wine. To buy 4 bottles of wine for us to have in our room I paid over $170...and this was for Estancia wine which I pay about $12.00 for in the grocery store!. Over $40 for a $12 bottle of wine! Paying double, like in a restaurant, would be understandable, but FOUR times the cost is simply uncalled for. And there is an $18 corkage fee for bringing on your own wine purchased at a port. So I ended up paying $25.50 for a $7.50 bottle of wine. Come on Holland America, I was already paying thousands for the cruise!
I found calling guest services with a problem, like when I screwed up the combination to the safe in my room, was fruitless. They put you on hold for the longest time. When I did reach a human, they said someone would be up in 10 minutes...after over an hour they had not appeared. I learned going to the Service desk in person worked well. The were competent and timely, In the case of re-setting my room safe, the person, said I will come and fix it right now, and she did.
Getting off the ship and finding your excursion in ports was no problem at all and the excursions were fine. We did the 2 snorkel catamarans (one with a lobster lunch) and a tour that included 2 hours at a beach and shopping. Staff was fine and everything was fun. Holland America's Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas was wonderful. Do not listen to the review that said getting your claim shell (basically an umbrella and 2 beach chairs) was a hassle. It was fine.
So there you have it. A fine cruise on a fine ship that was not without some down sides.
And I am 70, a young 70. Be aware that HAL seems to cater to seniors, I would say 70 was about the average age and less than 1/4 of the people were under 50. It is what it is.
Holland America, you really can do better on those wine and internet charges.
Very good. Spacious. Comfortable bed and pillows. Good clset and strage space. Nice balcony and view. Good bathroom and shower. Yes the toilet is oddly placed, but you get used to it quickly.
Took a water taxi for a small charge to a beach and had a great time.
Very nice. As far as a beach , had to swim to it,View All 123 Catamaran Sail Reviews
Outstanding tour, 2 hour beach stop and then shopping. All was good except shopping, which was disappointing.View All undefined undefined Reviews