Being an avid traveler and having travelled the world, this trip by far was the most absolute worst cruise I have ever taken. For starters I would have expected that Holland America would send one of their nicer, not to mention newer, ... Read More
Being an avid traveler and having travelled the world, this trip by far was the most absolute worst cruise I have ever taken. For starters I would have expected that Holland America would send one of their nicer, not to mention newer, ships for a ten day holiday cruise and have something special for all of the passengers on Christmas Day. The arrival of Santa was a nice touch but a bit bland.
All of the crew members appeared to be going through the motions and at times were snobbish and unfriendly. I have heard more "no" on this cruise from the staff than I have ever experienced on past cruises. There appeared to be an "I don't care" mentality with the staff and this was evident with all crew members starting with the captain, whom we never saw, to the cabin steward. The service, or lack of one, was definitely not worth the $12 per day per person. The cabin steward did the bare minimum and conveniently didn't speak English when requests were made. In fact we barely saw him, any request we had was put into writing only to be ignored. Oh, did I mention that not ONCE was our bed sheets changed during the ten day voyage! Wow, that's service.
Moving on to the fiasco known as first seating dining, I have never witnessed such disorder. Our server acted as though this was his first day working on a cruise ship, he was very un organized and full of excuses. We waited fifteen minutes just to get our menus and even longer for water. On our first night he said that we can dine in open seating which I found to be odd and rude, as if he was put out by us being there. What a thing to say the very first night. The second night was even worse, we were the very last to be waited on even though we had arrived much earlier than the other passengers. We had to ask for ice tea three different times and dirty dishes were left on our table, he was too busy catering to the other passengers and completely ignored us. We left in disgust and complained. We were assigned a new table in open seating and had much better service but still not to the level of service we have experienced on other cruise lines.
I found the food on this cruise to be subpar both in quality and taste. Everything tasted bland and very small portions. I hated the fact that we couldn't help ourselves to what we wanted. Like little kids we were handed the plate of food and if we asked for extra then there was the eye roll from the server. I also hated the fact that there was a time limit on the buffet. On other cruises there is always some sort of buffet open 24/7. Not on this one, you are at the mercy of their time and you are very limited in selection. As far as ordering room service you are put on hold for upwards of twenty minutes or longer, this seemed to be the norm for any department you were trying to reach. A passenger told me that her daughter was on hold to order a DVD for 48 minutes and fell asleep in the process. The specialty restaurants were a joke in the excessive amount they charged extra per person, have we not payed enough for this cruise already?!!! I wasn't about to pay any more to have another plate of bland crap placed before me.
We never used the excursions, found them to be too pricey and we could always get the same things offered at half the price at each port. We did have a negative experience when trying to come back to the ship on one of the tenders (the little boats that you see hoisted up along the sides of the cruise ship) were there was a mechanical problem and it could not be steered properly. After thirty five minutes of being hammered by waves and bumping into the side of the ship's dock they managed to finally pull the tender by ropes enabling us to board the ship. There was no word of apology or any sort of on board credit for the hair raising trauma those of us experienced while on board the tender, and these are the rescue boats??
The whole ship is small and weathered with many broken things. Another passenger told me that their toilet didn't work for a couple of days, nasty. Once again no compensation just excuses. There is a total of two pools,one for adults and one for kids but it would have been nice to have been informed that babies who are not potty trained are not allowed in the pool at the time we made arrangements.
The shows were more of a high school musical from the 1800's, in other words oldies but goodies both in music choices and performers. I guess this is to cater to the seniors over 80 that accounted for 85% of the passengers. This is definitely not a cruise for fun loving young couples and families with kids. Will definitely never utilize this line again. Read Less