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Surcharges There are now four specialty restaurants in addition to the specialties within the Pinnacle (e.g. Rudy’s Sel de Mer) There is an additional charge for steak, lobster, cappuccino, and Tazo Tea. Overcrowding The number of passengers on the newer Holland America ships has increased from 1800 to 2100 with the number of crew and officers cut from 1000 to 836. These cuts stress waitstaff and cabin stewards who have to wait more tables and attend to more cabins. The quality of service is diminished because of errors and inordinate wait times for tables. Cutbacks Affecting Quality of Cruise Elimination of cast shows, live bands (HALcats) in the bars, exploration team, expert lecturers, travel team, library, meaningful trivia prizes instead of pins, “dam” brand hats, aprons in shops, toothpicks and after-dinner mints/ginger in dining room. There are no dance classes. There is a paucity of activities and horrific scheduling with attractions opposite one another or religious services during dinner. Holland America/ Carnival are saving money and turning off repeat passengers in favor of a boisterous drinking and gambling crowd. Gifts with strings attached from the shops and spa gave us a $50 discount respectively for our anniversary only on expensive massages, not use of facilities, and expensive items in the shops. A gift is something given freely for an occasion. Horrendous entertainment director ignored requests to slow down so that passengers could write answers to music trivia. She ignored questions and got very snippy with passengers. She had NO interpersonal skills always insisting she was right even when she was offensive. Combining cruise director and travel director eliminated information about what passengers could do on their own. There is no longer a gathering place in the mainstage to disperse tours. Passengers are sent far away to search for the tours on their own. There was no club soda or Coke at the welcome cocktail party. Flat water and brown water were served as non-alcoholic drinks. Casino and bingo were played in port raking in the money. We were not given the option of making reservations for a set time for dining with one waiter and one wine steward. Instead, we had “dine as you wish,” which turned into “dine as we wish.” When I called to make reservations, the genius I spoke with told me, “You cannot make dinner reservations between 5:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. because that is dinner hour.” Aside from an insufficient number of waiters, packets of Equal and Sweet and Low are not served with coffee or tea. Passengers must specifically ask for them. Ketchup in the Dive-In is rationed. Unsatisfactory Accommodations We booked an oceanview cabin but were forced to keep the curtains shut for “navigational purposes.” This directive rendered it a virtual inside cabin at a greater cost. Abysmal Information and Communication The A to Z catalogue does not list how to get general announcements from the monitor. The on-screen menu does not direct passengers to the bow camera. I sent an email, got a message, got a call, and got a note asking me to call Guest Services for the information because no one had told anyone else that I had gotten the answer to the question. I returned a book from the book club a week ago after the book talk. I was then called a week later to return the book. No one in Guest Services indicated when it was returned and the cabin number. The captain and cruise director claim they are grateful for repeat passenger business. If so, this list of what Carnival and Holland America have done to curtail features leave MUCH to be desired. Many people are unhappy with these nickel and diming policies and plan to take their business elsewhere. We are no longer treated as guests. Instead we are cash cows to be milked for everything. The amenities we have previously enjoyed with this line are gone. It is a bare bones operation now, and we feel as though we are being given bargain basement treatment.

Deterioration of Amenities

Nieuw Amsterdam Cruise Review by xquizitluddite

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2019
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Surcharges

There are now four specialty restaurants in addition to the specialties within the Pinnacle (e.g. Rudy’s Sel de Mer) There is an additional charge for steak, lobster, cappuccino, and Tazo Tea.

Overcrowding

The number of passengers on the newer Holland America ships has increased from 1800 to 2100 with the number of crew and officers cut from 1000 to 836. These cuts stress waitstaff and cabin stewards who have to wait more tables and attend to more cabins. The quality of service is diminished because of errors and inordinate wait times for tables.

Cutbacks Affecting Quality of Cruise

Elimination of cast shows, live bands (HALcats) in the bars, exploration team, expert lecturers, travel team, library, meaningful trivia prizes instead of pins, “dam” brand hats, aprons in shops, toothpicks and after-dinner mints/ginger in dining room. There are no dance classes. There is a paucity of activities and horrific scheduling with attractions opposite one another or religious services during dinner. Holland America/ Carnival are saving money and turning off repeat passengers in favor of a boisterous drinking and gambling crowd.

Gifts with strings attached from the shops and spa gave us a $50 discount respectively for our anniversary only on expensive massages, not use of facilities, and expensive items in the shops. A gift is something given freely for an occasion.

Horrendous entertainment director ignored requests to slow down so that passengers could write answers to music trivia. She ignored questions and got very snippy with passengers. She had NO interpersonal skills always insisting she was right even when she was offensive.

Combining cruise director and travel director eliminated information about what passengers could do on their own. There is no longer a gathering place in the mainstage to disperse tours. Passengers are sent far away to search for the tours on their own.

There was no club soda or Coke at the welcome cocktail party. Flat water and brown water were served as non-alcoholic drinks.

Casino and bingo were played in port raking in the money.

We were not given the option of making reservations for a set time for dining with one waiter and one wine steward. Instead, we had “dine as you wish,” which turned into “dine as we wish.” When I called to make reservations, the genius I spoke with told me, “You cannot make dinner reservations between 5:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. because that is dinner hour.” Aside from an insufficient number of waiters, packets of Equal and Sweet and Low are not served with coffee or tea. Passengers must specifically ask for them. Ketchup in the Dive-In is rationed.

Unsatisfactory Accommodations

We booked an oceanview cabin but were forced to keep the curtains shut for “navigational purposes.” This directive rendered it a virtual inside cabin at a greater cost.

Abysmal Information and Communication

The A to Z catalogue does not list how to get general announcements from the monitor. The on-screen menu does not direct passengers to the bow camera. I sent an email, got a message, got a call, and got a note asking me to call Guest Services for the information because no one had told anyone else that I had gotten the answer to the question.

I returned a book from the book club a week ago after the book talk. I was then called a week later to return the book. No one in Guest Services indicated when it was returned and the cabin number.

The captain and cruise director claim they are grateful for repeat passenger business. If so, this list of what Carnival and Holland America have done to curtail features leave MUCH to be desired. Many people are unhappy with these nickel and diming policies and plan to take their business elsewhere. We are no longer treated as guests. Instead we are cash cows to be milked for everything. The amenities we have previously enjoyed with this line are gone. It is a bare bones operation now, and we feel as though we are being given bargain basement treatment.
xquizitluddite’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin C
We booked an ocean view cabin but were forced to keep the curtains shut for “navigational purposes.” This directive rendered it a virtual inside cabin at a greater cost.
Main Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

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