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4 San Diego to Canada & New England Cruise Reviews

Embarkation was delayed several hours by the need to scrub the ship for norovirus problems. As a result lunch was for a very limited time. The ships condition varied greatly from one area to the next. For example, the shopping area ... Read More
Embarkation was delayed several hours by the need to scrub the ship for norovirus problems. As a result lunch was for a very limited time. The ships condition varied greatly from one area to the next. For example, the shopping area and main dining were well maintained. However, in the main theater, there were numerous and large tears in the upholstery, in our room, tears in a couch that should have been replaced years ago. The carpeting looked like in parts of the ship was new but in others looked as if it should have been steam cleaned years ago. Leaks in the ceiling in the buffet area with buckets underneath did not add a classy air to that experience. Apparently, from another review, this is a problem at least six months old and so it is clear that a serious case of delayed maintenance exists. I am a fitness nut and out of about 35 pieces of equipment in the gym area, 11 had out of order tags on them. A couple can be expected in the normal course of things, but in dozens of gyms visited over the years, none has had 1/3 of equipment unusable and more with serious rips in the rubber where folks use it. The food experience was better then ship condition. The variety of fare offered is better then other major cruise lines and as a result something is sure to please. The only issue is that the staff too often brings the wrong items. In 4 days, 4 different meals the food was mixed up by the staff. Not the worst thing but no too professional either. Drinks were pushed very strongly and indeed it was noticed that servers frowned if they could not complete a drink purchase. The overall experience when this happens feels cheapened if the need to spend more money at every occasion is not met. The ship had rocky seas and the port scheduled was canceled. Only issue here was that entertainment was supposed to come aboard and therefore there was less to do but weather related things are beyond the cruise companies control. All in all, this ships condition and lack of service made it feel like I was at a cheap motel instead of on a premium cruise ship. I'm usually easy to please and any cruise experience is ultimately a good one out of the 30 or so taken. So yes, I had a great time. However, Holland America did not seem to contribute much to make it so. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
From the moment we left San Duego on Saturday until we left the following Sunday in Vancouver, it went very well. We got on cleanly, the buffet food was well cooked and the Dining room restuarant was beautiful. Many selections, The wine ... Read More
From the moment we left San Duego on Saturday until we left the following Sunday in Vancouver, it went very well. We got on cleanly, the buffet food was well cooked and the Dining room restuarant was beautiful. Many selections, The wine steward really loved his job and was able to asnwer many of my questions about wine, serving it,. he even gave us a lesson on how to learn to sense the flavors in wine. Our room was just above water level, with an outside large window. We got to wake up watching the waves roll by, and really feel like we were on a ship.The Murano restuarant food was excellent. the only downside here, was that it took a bit longer between some of the courses, and at the end. But this is very personaly and is nto a big issue with me.The stern of the ship on the 11th deck was great for hanigng out and watching the water, the waves, and the Whales go by. Unlike Carnival, which pushes drinks on you, we were left alone for most of the strip. If we left an empty glass or dish on our table while sitting there, the staff politely came by and removed them. The Cruise Director, Rich, was a real genuine person. When he talked to you, he acted liike he was a long time friend, and gave you his attention. My wife and I wondered if he ever slept, becasue we saw him all the time.And of course, I have to tell everyone that the Band Kenosis was fantastic. We had seen them 9 years ago on the Norwegain line, and loved them. We always hoped to see them again, and as we walked into the room and saw them playing, we recognized the lead singer and the keyboard player. Andy and John introduced themselves and enjoyed thei music every chance we got. Between the band and hte food and the service, I wodul gladly go on that ship again without a hesitation. Thank You Century. Loved every minute of it. BTW - My wife and I have been on 6 cruises in the past 10 yeras, and Celebrity ranks as a number one. I can tell you that Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We used this repositioning as a getaway cruise and with only two sea days--it was a good getaway with last minute pricing. This was our first cruise on Celebrity and I was a bit concerned after reading comments about disrepair on the ... Read More
We used this repositioning as a getaway cruise and with only two sea days--it was a good getaway with last minute pricing. This was our first cruise on Celebrity and I was a bit concerned after reading comments about disrepair on the ship. I didn't see it. Our cabin was great and even though I scoured the cabin carpet for issues--it was intact, clean and functional. I did notice a couple of places where carpet was tacked down in public areas, but overall the ship appeared to be in good shape and I saw people constantly 'cleaning up'....Perhaps the best thing about this ship is the service crew. They are a diverse group of people including European, South Pacific, Indian and South America backgrounds. Whether it was our room stewards (Jorge & Fernando), the dining room staff, or staff in general--there was a great deal of friendliness and enthusiasm. I can't say it was personal, but it certainly was professional and enjoyable to be treated that way.Our cabin was great--we have never seen so much storage space on a ship. We noticed that the room sizes seemed consistent no matter where you wereThe food started out good then seemed to stabilize at 'nothing special'. We were struck with how many fancy named items there were in the main dining room--but the dish didn't come out all that 'fancy'. Portion sizes were twice the size we are used to--The buffet had the same food all week which was repetitive--but it did have personal choices and simple things like fantastic pineapple made us smile each morning! The Aqua Spa Cafe is a very nice touch for those wanting some choices that are health conscious. Again--repetitive, but wandering between all the food choices allows some mixture of foods. Activities such as trivia were fun--and only meant to be entertainment, not necessarily fact based. Watch out as some of the competitive natures come out and we laughed at people we saw wander from one 'sports' event to another and try to dominate them. It takes all kinds, and this is a comment on the people--not Celebrity.Entertainment was enjoyable. They have a duo called Duo Validikov (?) that do cirque du soleil type acts. Very enjoyable performances! Comedian Al Ducharme is quite funny although borders on crass at times. Orchestra is great and music in general was good through out the ship. Dance class was fun---although the ship was rocking and rolling at the same time. Gives a new appreciation to performers on stage at sea!Casino is large. They have some interesting 'rules'.....single deck Black Jack is $10 minimum and players do not cut the deck. Don't know why they'd not allow that, but they adamantly won't. Overall-we enjoyed the cruise and especially the size of the ship. Easy to get around and easy to enjoy. She's a nice ship with good crew! Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We've cruised Carnival, Princess & NCL and enjoyed all 5 trips. So, I expected a good experience with Holland since it appears to be highly regarded. When we had the chance to take a quick 4-nites between San Diego/Vancouver (with ... Read More
We've cruised Carnival, Princess & NCL and enjoyed all 5 trips. So, I expected a good experience with Holland since it appears to be highly regarded. When we had the chance to take a quick 4-nites between San Diego/Vancouver (with 1-stop in Victoria) on the Zaandam, I jumped on it. We arrived a day early in San Diego to avoid any airline snafu and over-nighted at the Holiday Inn On The Bay, which is directly across the street from the Cruise Terminal where the Zaandam would dock. Convenience is thy middle name! We've stayed at this Holiday Inn before but now, the rooms have been nicely refurbished. Most of the major hotel chains seem to be bringing in new comfortable beds with top-rate linens; no exception here. We boarded the Zaandam at noon; embarkation was easy. Our stateroom was large & well-designed with a deep balcony, an actual tub (plus shower) in the nice sized bathroom, good lighting & heavy drapes you can use to separate the comfortable sitting area from the bedroom. The storage space looked adequate at first glance but there wasn't much room to hang long garments. The beds were even better than the Holiday Inn with luxurious Egyptian cotton linens & 3 pillows for each guest. All in all, this was the best balcony cabin we've had so far. I wish I could say the same for the cruise itself! Thank goodness this was only a 4-nite trip. Daily activities were limited to bingo, seminars, reading rooms, cards & an overly expensive Art Auction. I usually attend the art auctions but felt the pricing at this show was over the top, possibly because Holland appears to cater to the older crowd who may have money. There was, however, a short daily culinary demonstration plus cocktail/wine tasting. We found the small Casino entertaining & generous but did not attend the evening shows. You have your choice of assigned or open seating in the 2-story dining room. We chose open seating but found it necessary to phone ahead for reservations to avoid a somewhat long wait for a table. Personally, we found the meals tastier, with a good variety of dishes, in the Lido Buffet. Steaks (served twice at the buffet)seemed to be a better grade of meat than the daily steak option in main dining. Real mashed potatoes were available every nite along with your choice of two soups, a variety of well-prepared vegetables, a few choices of meat entrees but the desserts were uninteresting. Too much cut-up watermelon & cantaloupe, bland cakes and the diabetic selections had absolutely no taste. Breakfast at the buffet was a treat with fluffy scrambled eggs, made-to-order omelets, crisp bacon, ham on/the/bone and breakfast breads. The turkey sandwich I had for lunch was so-so; I expected carved turkey, not slices. And the potato chips looked like they came from the bottom of the bag - all broken! My husband enjoyed the stir-fry and fried rice and thought the salad selection was more than adequate. I've got to admit the Zaandam's iced tea was simply delicious. Regarding service, the waiters in the Lido buffet were pleasant enough and carried your tray to the table which was a nice touch. Waiters in the main dining room made no personal connection with the table guests from what we observed. Our cabin steward did his job, smiled a lot but no connection there either. Honestly, we only ran into one bartender that went out of his way to mix with us. Least I forget, the Captain. The Captain made no extra effort to reassure his passengers that all's well during 36-hours of very rough seas, 14' waves and a ship that was dipping and rolling Ad-nauseam. No announcement was made that meds were available if needed for sea sickness. The bad weather and rolling ship were simply ignored by staff unless you, as the passenger, made it your business to react. I cannot imagine a first-time cruiser EVER going back for a second try! That major lapse of judgment, along with the dead flowers on the dining tables, chipped paint, broken lounge chairs in the Observation Deck, (tasted like)watered down orange juice, uninterested cruiseship employees, etc. told me Holland America is not for me. I realize it's unfair to judge an entire line by one ship but, unless I'm given a free cruise, I will not use Holland in the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2008

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