We were first time cruisers celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary. We worked with our local TA who assured us that HAL was the perfect fit for people who wanted an upscale, low key cruise. Sadly, this was not the case.
HAL left the port with one (of two) of the azipods functioning. With one of the azipods not working, it slowed the ship considerably and ports had to be changed. HAL was not forthcoming with this information. The guests were informed of this after leaving port, when HAL was fully aware of this issue because they had weeks ago cancelled a cruise on this ship because of the malfunction. We chose this cruise because of the ports, so this was disappointing. At one of the ports we were directed by HAL staff to a beach with raw sewage. Then let’s talk about the fact that HAL deemed it safe for their guests to port in San Juan when the island had just hours before suffered a catastrophic earthquake. No power, except in a few places and it was not safe to be out after dark. No beautiful Half Moon Cay for us either..swells were too high... if we had been able to travel at the correct speeds to our destinations, maybe we would have made it on time to the HMC location. Sadly disappointed in the lack of communication from HAL, and the frequent admonished warnings from the Captain to, “Not congregate at Guest Relations, because they cannot help you.”
Ship was not clean and when we were unpacking, we found a pair of soiled men’s briefs in one of the cupboards. Also there was the strange phenomenon of towels placed all over the ship to soak up water?? They were everywhere, and this did not suggest the first class experience that we were promised.
Food was just okay. The best food was in the MDR for breakfast. The Dive IN was also delicious, but if we were looking for good hot dogs and hamburgers we really didn’t have to go on a very pricey cruise for those.
Since this was our first cruise, we talked with other guests asking if this was a typical cruise experience...we were told that it was not.
When we returned home, both our TA and myself contacted HAL about our experience hoping that they would make things correct. After 7 weeks of repeated contact, they sent me an email that stated they were sorry, but they were not going to do anything except offer a minimal ship credit to use during a future cruise. It is safe to say, that will not be happening.
We chose HAL because we thought if it was good enough for OPRAH, it would surely be good enough for us. I do not know if we will cruise again, but it will NOT be with Holland America if we do. We planned and saved for this cruise for over a year, it was such a disappointment.
Dirty. Found dirty underwear in one of the cupboards.