This was our second cruise with Holland America. The first was June of this year on the Niew Amsterdam. It was superb, so we decided to stay with Holland America and book another for October. For both cruises we decided on the Neptune Suite, thinking that Holland America would have the same quality on all their ships. Big mistake!
Because we were flying 3000 miles to begin our cruise, we decided on paying for the pre night stay and transfer fee. We were told that given the fact we had suite status, we would be able to board as soon as the ship cleared customs. We were on bus 1 they said. Long story short...bus 1 was too small, bus 2 didn't arrive until 2 hrs later. We finally boarded the ship at 2 pm. No problem we thought, let's just get to our room and unpack and relax a bit. We looked forward to our suite. Another mistake.
The room was old and worn. The sink was so badly chipped I thought at first it was debris not cleaned. The tub was also chipped. The bags had not arrived! When they weren't their by 3:45, we let our room steward know we would not be staying on the ship if they weren't there by 4:30. The ship was schedule to leave at 5 pm. Bless the room steward, I think he went and found them himself...they arrived at 4:15.
Three days into the cruise we were informed they would be shampooing our carpet the next day! It was rainy and they expect it to dry? No problem, we let the concierge know to bypass our room for the entire cruise...but really? I should add there was not a clean window in any public area on the entire ship. I mean they were filthy, no crystal clear views to be had anywhere but in your stateroom.
One day after walking most of the day, we came back around 3 pm, changed into robes and decided to relax on our verandah with a glass of wine. We hear a noise and up pops 2 guys on a scaffold...they are painting! We had to pull the curtains and sit in our room. Apparently they paint while in port. The next day we came back and the patio was covered in paint chips...they had scraped on the deck above us while we were gone. It never was swept.
Except for the Pinnacle Grill, the food was mediocre. That didn't bother us too much given the fact we are not big eaters BUT we were told that on a smaller ship, the food is always better...definitely not the case on this ship. We ordered room service twice, both times order was incomplete, we gave up on ordering again.
Nightly entertainment was definitely for older crowd and we are in our early 70's! No BB King on this cruise! The casino was small but adequate.
We found the service employees on the ship very friendly. We always make a point to visit with our room steward, concierge, and dining personnel. They are friendly and each one has such an interesting life story.
Port excursions were wonderful. This cruise is advertised a a "fall color" cruise. It is misleading not because catching the fall color at just the right time is iffy, it is because you are cruising at night in the dark passing the color. By the time the sun is up, you are in port, which ports have little fall color. They are ports after all. Instead it should be advertised by the richness of history in every port they visit. It was wonderful!
Our cruise came to an end and our scheduled time was to disembark at 9:30 am. We were more than ready by 8 am but no problem, we walked to the concierge lounge, grabbed a a few snacks and brought them back to site on our verandah. We are sitting there and all of a sudden water comes shooting over the partition. This time we yelled, what are are you doing? The water ceased. Apparently they started hosing off decks without checking the departure time for each room.
So, my advice to all of you, take a look at the age of your ship first of all, ask what you will see while cruising and don't be afraid to speak up. Cruising is not cheap and you are entitled to what was presented to you initially.
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No time for sightseeing.
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We decided to explore on our own and loved it!
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