Alaska Zandaam Cruise: Zaandam Cruise Review by amc2828

Zaandam 3
Member Since 2011
7 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Alaska Zandaam Cruise

Sail Date: May 2011
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: Seward
I took an 11 night cruise on the Zandaam with my younger brother as a graduation gift for him. We had a great time. Alaska's natural beauty is wonderful. The excursions offered were fabulous and the food was excellent. On our excursions we kayaked, took a helicopter, rode ATV's, swam in hot springs, went river rafting, went whale-watching, and visited an animal refuge.

We also did a 3 day pre-cruise tour of Denali National Park. The land part of the tour was perfect and I recommend it whole-heartedly. I think this is a must see/do in Alaska.

The trip was great overall, but I don't think Holland America truly lives up to its reputation as providing excellent service.

In general, it seems that Holland apologizes a lot for its shortcomings but does nothing to fix the issues or truly address your problem.

The first night, I wanted extra blankets in the room bc it was cold. When I called the front desk, they said they would put in our request. One hour More later. No blankets. Then I called again. Same response. Another hour later, I asked what the issue was. The woman hung up on me. When I called back, she accused me of hanging up on her. Totally untrue. I then asked for a supervisor, which she could not reach. Then she offered to have the person in charge of my stateroom floor come by. When he came he had no knowledge of the request. I explained that we just wanted extra blankets and had been waiting 3 hours and was hung up on by the woman at the front desk. He brought the blankets and apologized. Just a minor incident, but even a motel 8 functions better than this. A simple request from a tired and cold traveller should not be that difficult to accomodate. Plus the rudeness of the woman at the front desk was uncalled for. So lots of apologies and 3 hours later we got our blankets.

ALSO, just a word of CAUTION when booking your air fare through Holland America. On my June trip on the MS Zaandaam to Alaska, they booked our flights home through Air Canada on PROP PLANES WITHOUT WARNING US. I was horrified to reach the 2nd leg of the trip and be confronted with flying in in thunderstorm on prop planes.

When I called HA for help to re-book or re-route, they explained that from Toronto to the Mid-west there are no planes other than prop planes. They could have flown us anwyere in the US or Canada to get home, but they chose this terrible route and stuck us on prop planes.

I refused to get on and had to rent a car and drive 5 hours (at midnight), all night to get home.

When I complained that I wanted a refund for the air or for the car rental, all they did was offer us a $100 credit and blame us for not calling the airline to confirm the make of the plane....

Even on orbitz they have to disclose if you get on a prop plane.

In general the trip to Alaska was great, but I think the so-called great customer service of HA is a farce. All they do is apologize a lot but do nothing to fix anything. I have other petty examples, but this flight nightmare was egregious I think.

I give HA 3 stars. The ship and service etc do not measure up to that of a 4 star Marriot or Hilton, but are adequate. The trip itself to Alaska was amazing bc it's amazing and the activities are incredible. Less

Published 07/09/11

Cabin review: B Vista Suite with Verandah

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Port and Shore Excursions

Haines is a nice representatives Alaska town. There is not much here though. There is a small village to shop in and there are shore excursions. We visited the animal refuge and it was great to see all the native Alaskan animals up close. Also, I enjoyed shopping for local crafts and especially that of Tresham Gregg, who has an art gallery in town.

Read 63 Haines Reviews

I was very excited to see Juneau. It seem to be the largest city we visited. We took a helicopter ride and landed on Mendenhall Glacier. This was one of the highlights of our trip. What a thrill, and we even got to drink the pure glacial water right from the stream on the glacier itself. Later we did a whale watching tour was nice and relaxing. The boat was very large and although we saw whales, the trip was rather mellow.

Read 1188 Juneau Reviews

Ketchikan was surprisingly interesting. We did a kayak excursion through the tatoosh islands. I highly recommend going there. It's a very unique geographical location and eagles are abundant. Every five minutes it seemed we had a bald eagle sighting.

Read 1342 Ketchikan Reviews

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Member Since 2011
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