This was my 6th or 7th cruise, and my third with Holland America (prior 2 were to Alaska). This cruise left from Rotterdam for one week in the Norwegian fjords. A good friend, who had only previously cruised on small expeditionary ships joined us as I told her how satisfied I had been with Holland America in the past. To say I was embarrased by Holland America this time is a vast understatement.
Embarkation in Rotterdam felt like what I imagine the waiting halls were like before prisoners were shipped off to the concentration and work camps during WWII. There were masses of people EVERYWHERE, it was hot, EXTREMELY disorganized and not at all well-marked. No one knew what was going on or how things were even supposed to be working (including the HAL staff)! We arrived an hour after my friend and were given a color-coded embarkation ticket and told to go upstairs and wait for our color to be called. Our color was called immediately (although the line was -- literally -- an hour and a half long), but our friend's color was not called in time for her to be on-board for the muster drill. Had the ship gone down, she would not have known what to do. Thoroughly unacceptable.
Our room was as expected, although there were numerous hairs in the bathroom (which was a little gross), and the bathroom could also have used a new coat of paint.