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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This started poorly with the embarkation process. Very unorganized and SLOW. once onboard, no music (Usually a calypso band playing on other cruise lines), no welcome drink. To top it off, we didn’t leave Port for four hours waiting ... Read More
This started poorly with the embarkation process. Very unorganized and SLOW. once onboard, no music (Usually a calypso band playing on other cruise lines), no welcome drink. To top it off, we didn’t leave Port for four hours waiting for the meat delivery! Holland did nothing to compensate for this late departure. Most lines will serve drinks or snacks or SOMETHING to ease the pain of inconvenience. Thie ship was nice, but the availability of entertainment was far less than mediocre. Also, the service was almost nonexistent at the pool and on deck. Had to keep going to the bar. The main pool was like a sauna because they didn’t fully open the roof! Forget about late-night - no food and not many entertainment options. The Main Stage Theater had less than average entertainment and the showtimes did not coincide with the dining. 2nd Dinner seating was at 7:45 and the last show was at 9:00. The staff was so slow that we had to skip dessert in order to see a show. There were two bands and a dueling piano bar. Nothing available after their last sets at 11 pm. I always felt like the staff was doing me a favor by doing their jobs. I will stick with Royal Caribbean or Carnival for guaranteed fun and better service. Holland America is not for me. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We heard great things about Holland America but unfortunately for us, none of it was true. Service was horrible in all areas , from the cabin to the pool bar. We had the drink package and didn't have more than 4-5 drinks a day. ... Read More
We heard great things about Holland America but unfortunately for us, none of it was true. Service was horrible in all areas , from the cabin to the pool bar. We had the drink package and didn't have more than 4-5 drinks a day. At times, no one would wait on us. The ship itself was beautiful but service is more important to us. I had an appointment for accupuncture and when i got there, my name wasnt even listed. If this was the first cruise we went on, we would never cruise again. Going through immigration in Key West was painful. I have mobility issues and we kept being redirected in circles . No one would help us walk to where we were going or find a place for me to sit. It was a horrible week and we have already decided that we will never do HAL again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Because it fit in with a followup to our WONDERFUL ROYAL CARIBBEAN HARMONY OF THE SEAS the prior week! --1st big thing is 900 gospel singers on the ship that they couldn't totally fill leaving people like us as LEFTOVERS. They got ... Read More
Because it fit in with a followup to our WONDERFUL ROYAL CARIBBEAN HARMONY OF THE SEAS the prior week! --1st big thing is 900 gospel singers on the ship that they couldn't totally fill leaving people like us as LEFTOVERS. They got early entertainment, ours was 9:00 p.m. We were not told this was the scenario when we booked directly with them. I asked the front desk on the 1st day WHY we were not told! NO ANSWER! --Ship stores closed for renovation & improvements. Even when they reopened they were not much to look at. --Ports were 3 beach type ports: Coco Cay, Labadee, Amber Cove (closed that day due to waves) and Cozumel. Coco Cay was fabulous! Cozumel mediocre. Labadee, been before, but okay for a beach day. Really wanted to see the new Amber Cove development, but no go. --Food was poor in dining room compared to Harmony. One day there was nothing on the main menu we would eat so opted for a 3rd day of salmon. The best thing there was our table partners whom we had just met. --Lunch and Breakfast Buffet upstairs okay, but not the best and many repeat items. Service for meals mostly good. --Ship full of old people. I am old too, but not decrepit. Not a young person's cruise. --Entertainment couldn't touch Royal Caribbean performances. Offers after dinner were cheesy games in the lounges, guy and girl singer that couldn't sing the greatest, a nature movie, dancing on the stage, a gal that impersonated other singers was not bad, but did it 2 nights, dance routine we skipped. Just wasn't worth it. Been on 20+cruises mostly with Royal Caribbean and this one line will never be on my list again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I am top level with Cunard and Princess. I needed a one week Caribbean cruise near Christmas. Cunard only had a 2 week from New York and Princess didn't fit my dates. I hadn't sailed Holland America since 1973 so I decided to try ... Read More
I am top level with Cunard and Princess. I needed a one week Caribbean cruise near Christmas. Cunard only had a 2 week from New York and Princess didn't fit my dates. I hadn't sailed Holland America since 1973 so I decided to try it. I knew I made a mistake the minute I walked on board Eurodam. The atrium area was dreary and had no activities around it. Other complaints included running out of English Breakfast Tea Bags in the dining room at breakfast and running out of vanilla ice cream at the buffet. The wait for your food after being seated in the dining room for breakfast was 45 minutes to an hour every morning. There were never enough lounge chairs at the pools when at sea. The gift shop only had size small for the tee shirts I needed and no model ships which I wanted. Poor ordering. The buffet has ridiculous hours. It closes between 1030-1130, 230-530, and 830-1030PM. It opens from 1030PM-1130PM and if you are hungry after 1130 you are out of luck except for room service. Pizza is not by the slice and the wait for a whole pie is always 20-30 minutes. Explorations cafe offers fresh baked chocolate chip cookies but when they are open they are out of them. The internet didn't work. The wakeup call feature on my in room phone never worked despite my complaining. I have sailed on 100+ cruises and this was the only one that didn't serve Baked Alaska the last night or any night. The line is so cheap that on sea days crew tried to sell animal cracker cookies to kids for $1. The bar stewards on deck were way too pushy with the drinks. The final straw was disembarkation. They gave EXPEDITE tags to over 500 people for 715AM. The lines were ridiculous. They could have staggered it to 715, 730 , 745 etc. Finally, I would like to say that my detailed letter to HAL customer service and my survey were IGNORED. NEVER AGAIN. I would have enjoyed Titanic more. At least they had some excitement at the end! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our fifth cruise on Holland this year but our first time on Koningsdam. I am still in utter disbelief how they could screw up this new ship so much. Our cruise was a complete trainwreck from start to finish. Ten days of barely a ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise on Holland this year but our first time on Koningsdam. I am still in utter disbelief how they could screw up this new ship so much. Our cruise was a complete trainwreck from start to finish. Ten days of barely a day without some sort of debacle. Let's start with the good. The cabins are very nice and I will say the bathrooms have a huge improvement over the old ships. One downside is the balcony rooms no longer have bathtubs. The ship is new and very very clean! Our room attendants were wonderful. First off the ship is poorly laid out and no matter where you go you feel cramped in tiny hallways and restaurants that are too small for the size of the ship. This is the first Holland ship we have ever gone on that had a line for the dining room every time no matter what time you went. The service was spotty. A real hit or miss. The food was definitely not nearly as good as other Holland ships and was always cold!!! Specialty dining couldn't have been worse. The Tamarind took 2 hours for dinner and we left before dessert. The waitress was slow and the food made PF changs look good. Cold, bland, uncreative and the list goes on. The Canalletto was the worst dining experience I have had in years. We couldn't have felt less welcome. Our waitress was rude, we didn't even receive bread for 20 minutes and 30 minutes between course, all of which were disgusting. They never filled our water glasses, cleared plates. Bottom line we walked out and nobdoby cared. Bottom line is this ship puts a tarnish on Hollands reputation. It is an embarrassment to their name and the cruise line we have grown to love. If you are going on Holland go on other ships but not Koningsdam. We would never step foot on that ship again even it if was free. My complaints to corporate about our experience have gone completely unanswered which doesnt sit well. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2016
My family decided to take a New Year's cruise with our two children ages two and four. As soon as we got on board we knew this was not a kids friendly ship. It was obvious that it was an older/retired crowd who didn't want to ... Read More
My family decided to take a New Year's cruise with our two children ages two and four. As soon as we got on board we knew this was not a kids friendly ship. It was obvious that it was an older/retired crowd who didn't want to be bothered by little children. Right away we tried to find an area where she could play but there was absolutely nothing to do for her on board. She was not even able to use the swimming pool because she was not potty trained and swimming diapers are not allowed in the pool. People complained in the restaurant, pool, outside on deck and pretty much anywhere my two kids tried to play or do what two and four year olds do. We were receiving numerous complaints and could not enjoy our time on the ship. We've asked and there was not one single designated area that could accommodate by 2 year old daughter. If anyone has kids under age of 3 please do not select this cruise line. Very bad experience overall! Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Just returned from our 7 day cruise on the Ms. Konnigsdam from Dec23- Dec 30th. I was looking forward to this vacation as I was going with my mom, and we live in separate cities. Here is my honest opinion of the ship. Positives: ... Read More
Just returned from our 7 day cruise on the Ms. Konnigsdam from Dec23- Dec 30th. I was looking forward to this vacation as I was going with my mom, and we live in separate cities. Here is my honest opinion of the ship. Positives: Physically, the ship is grand and reminds me of Baz Luhrmann's Great Gatsby movie. Ports were amazing ! The rooms are super large and spacious for two people. The cruise is super clean and there is places to wash your hands all over the boat. The BB King band is super talented! High tea everyday at 3:15 pm, was amazing. Negatives: From the second we entered the ship on Dec 23rd it was an utter disaster. It was my birthday and I was told we were entitled to a Welcome Drink, which I never received. The steward neglected to provide soap in our cabin and our shower cap looked like it was open. To make matters worse, the phone in our room did not work. I walked up to the front desk where the staff assured me that this would be attended to. I come back from the pool and there still is no soap, so at this point I am about to loose it. Finally, the steward brings us the soap. Then I make my way to the buffet, where I was instructed that there was only 1 restaurant open at the time. I was disgusted by what I saw, the food looked gross and soggy. The whole time, I was made to feel like cattle, as I was always instructed to wait in line. To get off the ship to see ports, there were lines and not enough employees to scan keycards and search ID. The waiting in line for food at the Lido Market buffet was such a pain. o make matters worse, food was rationed. I have never been on a cruise where you cannot serve yourself, the servers serve you in the buffet. To some this may appear to be classy but to me, I was insulted as this was obvious it was to save money. I stopped attending the buffet, because my food was always cold from waiting in line. Since I was traveling with a diabetic, so my travel agent made arrangements and contacted Holland America personally to express our concerns regarding meal times and fridge for medications. The fridge in the stateroom was not cold enough for a vile. Therefore, we went to the medical center to see if we could store the vile, in there fridge. When we arrived at the medical center, a nurse told us that the regular fridge had not been in working order for 2 months. As a lawyer, I find this shocking and utterly irresponsible. I said to the nurse how is this possible, this is a liability. Clearly, after I said that she made room in the staff fridge for the vile. To make matters worse, we made previous arrangements to have a our dinner at the dinning hall at 7 pm every-night. That evening, when I arrived on my Birthday, I was told we had no reservations and it was our responsibility to make them on board ship when we arrived. So at this point, I lost it and said no its my birthday and we did make reservations and based on your miscommunication and disorganization you screwed up and likely forgot about us. Eventually, they sat us and every evening after this episode, we ate at the Dinning Hall for dinner at the food was excellent. However, if one wants to eat the dinning hall for breakfast the hours are from 730 am- 9am. If one wants to sleep in they need to eat at the Lido buffet, which was gross. I have never been on a cruise where there was no midnight buffet and the hours of eating in the dinning hall were odd, for example: 730 am-9am and lunch it was rarely opened. I was sold a pack of lies when I heard that this cruise ship is upscale. There is nothing upscale about waiting and waiting in a line. On the 5th day, we lost total communication, which was super scary. For 48 hours we were out of contact with the rest of the world and unable to communicate with guest services via telephone line, as all forms of communication were down. This was utterly ridiculous and needs to be shared. The ship was also filled with elderly people and others with medical conditions. This type of situation should not occur. I felt that they were constantly trying to penny and dime me on everything. For example, I wanted to pay bingo one evening and when I wait in line for 20 minutes I am instructed, there is a cost to pay. Now for my steward due to him not providing itinerary at the appropriate times, I showed up to a gala evening completely under-dressed. I was always felt there was a lack of communication, I was always unaware of what was happening due to him not providing the appropriate itinerary on time. He also ignored me when I saw him in the hall. It was only when I was with my family that he tended to pay more attention to me. I guess because he thought I looked young, he didnt think he would get tips out of me. A lot of the staff seemed very sad to be away from there families and it was obvious they did not want to be there. I felt that many of the staff were fake and constantly wanted tips. However, they did try there best but many, lacked proper training. Many did not speak english properly and it was difficult to understand them. The nightly entertainment shows at the World Stage was a joke. Having previously cruised with Celebrity and the Disney where the entertainment was amazing, the Konigsdam really lacked in this area. I will never take another Cruise with Holland America and I know others on the cruise experienced similar situations. Also, on the last day in the Bahamas, we were eating lunch and grabbed a burger, which was raw. Please avoid and take a Celebrity Cruise ! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Holland America – Cruise on KONINGSDAM Dec 22nd to Dec 30th 2016 I have been very busy building a house for five years, (-yes doing it myself) and I had not managed a holiday for five years. So I finally decided that I deserved one ... Read More
Holland America – Cruise on KONINGSDAM Dec 22nd to Dec 30th 2016 I have been very busy building a house for five years, (-yes doing it myself) and I had not managed a holiday for five years. So I finally decided that I deserved one and booked the above cruise. My very first cruise experience was on the HA Westerdam and Christmas and it was MAGIC. There was plenty of room in the aisles around food counters, there are were four course set meals, Christmas decorations everywhere, and a good deal of elegantly dressed people at formal dinners. It was elegant and comfortable and – I thought- great value. I remember that there a great many choices of juice at breakfast including – if memory serves me- Prune Juice! Well that’s how it used to be. We took this cruise recently to see how much had changed and we expected some. But KONINGSDAM got Carnivalized and Cannibalized. The customer does not matter anymore. And here in bullets is just how awful it now is: • If you are going to build new ships you should have the skills to do so: putting a giant disco on the center of a floor with rooms directly above/around it is a ridiculous design. The disco was way over-amplified for sound and one evening we heard the DJ encouraging the guests to scream in unison. The floors of my room and the glass in my shower vibrated with the bass rhythms. I took this vacation for a REST! I complained bitterly. They made NO adjustment and one evening ran the disco until 2 am. My husband walked around the fourth floor (don’t book a room on the FOURTH FLOOR EVER) and estimated that at least 20 rooms would be affected. They will keep the disco running while there is ANYBODY to buy alcohol. It’s ALL about $$$. • The buffet restaurant is no longer about assisting customers to get fed conveniently. Most food is now behind windows and you have to wait to be served. This makes for huge congestion and long lines. It’s all about making sure you do not take too much as you can NO LONGER get a tray. So as well as dodging large crowds you can only carry one plate and go back for whatever you want to drink or a dessert or pretty much anything later. It’s ALL about $$$. One kudos goes to the fresh flowers on the main dining room tables and most of the proteins they serve. The desserts have a good many well known names but do not conform to the standards. For instance you cannot slop custard and a sprinkle of sugar into a dish and call it a Grand Marnier Crème Brulee. Nor can you stick a bit of sponge into a wedge of mousse with no alcholol at all and call it Tiramisu. Fortunately I was avoiding desserts. • The Westerdam on our first trip was elegant when we had “Formal nights” Most wore tuxes and almost all the women had long gowns. On this trip we saw a Hawaiian shirt in the service dining room on formal night and many short cocktail dresses. If you enjoy the dress up aspect on this ship you may find yourself standing out as I did. • On this trip they told us that the Christmas decorations were late. There were two small bauble wreaths on the customer service desk, some giant baubles around the pool, and a tree of boxes at Center ship. Christmas comes but once a year and you HAL dudes were late for it? I personally did not buy that. There were no specific decorations in dining rooms at Christmas I remembered fondly white covered chairs and table dressings on my first trip. • They don’t play movies in the theater; they play them on screen at the end of the pool and you have to watch them on lounging chairs—this has the effect of limiting the size of the audience and you can NOT hear the bally dialogue because of the noisy drunks at all the bars in close proximity. The giant baubles prevented would-be viewers from seeing the whole screen.. Great planning HAL! • We choose HAL because we expect the age of the passengers to be on the mature side. This cruise had a good many teenagers who raced and chattered in hallways and on verandahs loudly with no thought for anyone but themselves. • The insulation between rooms appears to be non-existent; we could hear several TV’s around us until the small hours of the morning. • A presentation to improve your health was solely a marketing idea for some supplement. Needless to say I complained about the severe lack of sleep and when the “let’s book your next vacation with us” paperwork arrived, I scrawled “over my dead body” all over it and “you’ve got to be kidding!” They gave me a credit of $200 dollars and a free meal in one of their “specialty” restaurants. We checked the menu at said specialty restaurant and walked out at the utter lack of any item on the menu which might even whet our appetites. By the way I suggested that they reserve the fourth floor noise-affected rooms for specifically the younger folk who wanted to patronize the disco. You would have thought that this was a Nobel prize- winning suggestion from their reaction – “oh what a great idea!” I am quite sure that instead they struggle with complaints every dam (sic) week and fob guests off with miserable sums to compensate. After five years waiting for a great holiday do they think that a small sum of cash is going to offset $4000 going down the drain and no opportunities to make up for that? I fear that much of what I encountered may now be common place. I took cruises because it enabled me to get a glimpse of far flung places without lugging a suitcase behind me all the time. However I’ll rough it from now on just to get some sleep. Combine all this with a diabolical journey (my first and last) on Virgin and what I got was the vacation from HELL! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
In the past I have remained faithful to Holland American Cruise Line.....not any more. First the inital passenger lifeboat drill took FOREVER...most people were roaming around, the cruise people were yelling the same cabin numbers at least ... Read More
In the past I have remained faithful to Holland American Cruise Line.....not any more. First the inital passenger lifeboat drill took FOREVER...most people were roaming around, the cruise people were yelling the same cabin numbers at least 7 times, people didn't know their cabin numbers, if this were a real emergency a lot of people would have been lost. I began to find this comical. Second, I have no issue with the handicapped and disabled being able to choose their destinations freely, but just how many hover-rounds, electric wheel chairs, cains and walkers can one cram in an elevator before people who are standing in them get hurt? let me tell you I have never seen such aggresive people in my life. They need to give them a separate bank of elevators to use that will accomodate these walking aids. Third entertainment on sea days and at night is sub par. There is really nothing to do except lay by the pool, or play in a very tight casino. The shore excursions are very pricey and not worth the time or money. You would do better to just go walk the ports of call yourself. Fourth after 3 days at sea our bathroom started to smell like mildew it permiated thoughout the cabin. It was coming up through the drains in the sink and tub. Fifth the food on the lido deck. Starts out great and by the 3rd day its unattractive, bland, and not the best. My recommendation eat a big lunch at the grill out by the middle pool. Good but takes a while to get your order. The wine stewardess was rude, pushy and not very knowledgable about the wines or where they are kept once you have purchased them. Summation: This cruise line is for the elderly, if you are under 68 you wont want to take this line. The boat basically shuts down at 9:00pm and everyone goes to sleep. Its boring on sea days, and way over priced for what the line provides. 75% of the crew are easy to deal with but I noticed most of the officers and up are no where to be found after 4:00pm. The cruise director is a snooze, and there is nothing to do after 9pm. I do not recommend this cruise line if you have children with you...there is nothing for them to do. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose Holland America because we had cruised with them last year. The experience this year was a nightmare. I needed assistance on board as did at least 30 other couples and due to my size I was left abandoned while the so-called ... Read More
We chose Holland America because we had cruised with them last year. The experience this year was a nightmare. I needed assistance on board as did at least 30 other couples and due to my size I was left abandoned while the so-called wheelchair assistants remained on the second floor laughing and having a great time. We saw pictures of this from another couple who were also waiting over 2 hours to get a wheelchair aboard. So from the start I saw they were cruel and insensitive to people of size. Once we finally made it aboard, we were told to muster which we were expected to attend and were directed into rows 6 people deep. Fine, no problem, our names and room was called and that should have been the end of it but instead 5 staterooms felt it wasn't worth their time to show up so the rest of us were forced to stay put, standing, for 45 minutes or longer. I excused myself into a lounge nearby and watched as elderly men and women were assisted to sit down too. I was waiting for someone to have a stroke or pass out. Passengers are NOT sailors, and NOT on board for an endurance test. If they call for passengers 3 times and they are not there, throw them off the ship because they didn't comply but don't punish the rest of the passengers. Finally, my husband got sick with severe diarrhea the second day aboard and was quarantined for the rest of the cruise! They said they would call and check on him but once a day he got a call and if he was still sick they extended his quarantine an additional 24 hours. Also, I went to a seminar about gems and on the daily events it read that if you attended you would receive a pair of tanzanite earrings. I went and got a coupon that I would have to redeem on shore but since we were stuck in our room, I got nothing. A week or two after our ordeal we both got a survey from Holland America and I shared what I have written here. The response was horrible as well. It basically said "Thanks for telling us how mean and cruel the service and cruise was for you. Hope you'll sail with us again. We'll try to make it nicer for someone else on a future cruise." I hope someone treats them the way they treated me. They have no compassion and will not admit to any wrong-doing. I'll tell as many people I know what we experienced. They have no excuse and they never apologized, just acknowledged it happened. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
It had been many years since we sailed HAL and we decided to go back on what was the new Westerdam. Embarkation was simple. We had a signature suite which we were to.d that we would receive early embarkation....did not happen, but we still ... Read More
It had been many years since we sailed HAL and we decided to go back on what was the new Westerdam. Embarkation was simple. We had a signature suite which we were to.d that we would receive early embarkation....did not happen, but we still had fast service. The ship was lovely although getting somewhat worn. Our suite was large and very comfortable. The bathroom was huge with a separate bath and shower. Although the veranda was a good size, the chairs were missing and mismatched. The food in the main dining room was hit and miss. Very often almost cold when served. We dined at least twice in Canelloto restaurant, where the quality of food was better than the main dining room. The Pinnicle Grill was very good and compared to the restaurants on Celebrity, a good value. Since we are tired of the old Broeadway shows, we really enjoyed the pianist and violinist duo in one of the bars....they were brilliant. One added note, the smoking policy on HAL will prevent us from ever returning, smoking is permitted in the casino, and although we do not gamble, the second hand smoke permeates throughout the deck. It is also permitted on the verandas and although we were in a suite, we were unable to enjoy the veranda, due to the smoke. Read Less
103 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
I’m dumbfounded and not sure where to start my review of this “dam” ship - Eurodam. As a disclaimer, remember – this review is only my opinion and commentary. As a qualifier, I am well cruised and love all the things about ... Read More
I’m dumbfounded and not sure where to start my review of this “dam” ship - Eurodam. As a disclaimer, remember – this review is only my opinion and commentary. As a qualifier, I am well cruised and love all the things about cruising that make addicts out of so many of us. My kids have grown up cruising – often on HAL with really terrific experiences and memories in the past. Unfortunately, things have changed for the worse with HAL. For a reference point I am writing this as a veteran of 79 cruises (including this one) and have cruised on lines such as Princess, Seabourn, Oceania, Regent, Crystal, Premier (defunct), Celebrity, Chandris (defunct), Royal (defunct) Royal Caribbean, Holland America, NCL, Carnival etc. My personal favorite remains Oceania and Regent as the experience on board is exactly the flavor of cruising I look for. This cruise on Eurodam is our 11th Holland America Cruise. After our last Holland America cruise 1.5 years ago – which was an awful experience - I made my wife promise that if I had a break with reality and chose HAL again to stop me. Well, here we are by circumstance on the Eurodam and my wife warned me and reminded me, but fell short of stopping me. I wish she had been more vigilant. How quickly one forgets! Don’t get me wrong – I vacation and cruise to enjoy myself and will always have a good time. In fact, we had a great time on Eurodam because the choice of being miserable is never a choice for me or my family. This does not preclude me from citing my observations and experiences which I hope are helpful to those contemplating a Holland America cruise. Vacation time is precious and because there are choices we should be able to make an educated decision when it comes to choosing a cruise that is a good marriage between our expectations, desires, and pocket books. Certainly, there are many brands to choose from when it comes to cruising and HAL will be for some and not others. I’m certain HAL is no longer for me. In my experience, the “Carnivalization” of the lines the Carnival Corporation has acquired has led to the demise of any expectation of a quality or luxury cruise experience like those dreamed about and advertised in the brochure. Profit has become king at the expense of quality or service. Eurodam is no exception. With the mass market revolution so too came the concept of charging guests for everything from ice cream to dining experiences to room service and so on. I was most put off by the up charge beyond the service charge in the Pinnacle Grill if you chose certain steak types. Enter Eurodam. The epitome of what, in my opinion, is wrong with much of mass market cruising today. One of my favorite expressions is that hogs get fat and pigs get slaughtered – I’d rather be the fat hog. It seems that HAL’s philosophy is to be the pig as long as they can by sucking passengers dry of every last cent while piling guests onto their ships like sardines to maximize every revenue possibility at the expense of food, service, cleanliness etc. As long as it is working for the masses and HAL is profitable I suppose why change? Now I’m not cheap and don’t mind paying for quality. In fact, I booked a Neptune Suite hoping that the money leeching would be less apparent because of the included amenities and higher fare paid. I was wrong. So if you are getting the sense that I’m unhappy with HAL you are right. In fact, never again. I won’t cite all the specific examples – and there are many - but only a few. From the time we arrived at the pier and were sneered at by the nasty, unenthusiastic check in clerk who was clearly angry about working that day until disembarkation my experience screamed of an unhappy and miserable crew on a filthy and unsanitary ship (just out of dry dock too!). Sure the ship was filthy – and I do mean filthy – with un-cleared dirty dishes waiting hours to be tended to by the pool to the stained carpeting and blatantly dirty decks that stained your feet black. Upon arriving in our stateroom we found hairs in the sink, stains on the duvet cover, finger prints and greasy nose prints on the windows and back of the cabin near where the peep hole was. However, the lack of cleanliness of the ship, poor food and poor food quality were not the worst part. Oh…I almost forgot to mention the beach towels we kindly returned to our cabin only for our steward to fold the same dirty stained towels for us to use at the next beach port. The worst part about the Eurodam was by far the angry, indifferent, non-service oriented and non-English speaking crew that were downright nasty and poorly trained. My son said the crew reminded him of the zombies from the Walking Dead. Almost any simple request required an act of congress. For example, we asked for extra towels daily (2 bath towels instead of 4) and this required prior authorization from a housekeeping supervisor which took two days – and this was in a Neptune Suite! My request had to be escalated to a customer relations manager as the room steward was not able to understand my request or get it done and the Neptune concierge Lucie was downright seemingly incompetent. So many times my party was sitting at a table in the Lido Café or sitting on a lounge by the pool and were never able to get any type of drink service despite the zombies walking by every so often. Early one morning the pool stewards watched as my wife struggled to drag an umbrella across the deck to her lounge without it occurring to them that maybe they should offer some help. The dining room staff was efficient, but just present and there – that’s it. No emotion. No ability to understand anything other than an order as it was written on the menu and frankly rude. If I were treated at any land based restaurant the way I was in the dining room I simply would have gotten up and left – that option does not exist at sea. Any one experience by itself would not have been a big deal, but collectively they wear one down – especially on vacation. After asking the Neptune concierge no less than 5 times to have the Hotel Director Marco contact me to discuss the 80 degree plus temperature in our cabin for 2 nights that could not be resolved I got a phone call from the front desk asking me to meet with the Hotel Manager Marco and the Guest Relations Manager Lizbeth (spelling?). The Guest Relations Manager seemed to care, but the Hotel Manager was limp, lackluster, indifferent and frankly pathetic in my opinion. No accountability. His excuse was that he just joined the ship when we did in Fort Lauderdale, but noticed much of filth about the ship that we did. In fact, after bringing to his attention the dirt laden back deck around the Sea View pool and the hundreds of thousands of dead and alive nocium bugs in the pool he conceded that the deck was not properly cleaned and that night they were to empty the pool and “strip and wax” the deck. As far as English goes, I know some HAL fans would say that the warm Indonesian smiles are so terrific that this mitigates any language barriers – at least that’s what the brochures promote. Perhaps smiles would carry some merit if they existed and were genuine to mitigate the language barrier which Holland America self-inflicts on its guest. No crew member looks you in the face or smiles and don’t bother asking any questions as instead of saying “I don’t understand” the response will likely be a wrong one or some type of angry reply. Downright foiling and incompetent crew. The crew lacks any ability or authority to think outside the box or be intuitive. In fact, a number of times the response to something simple was “it’s not my job”. The reality is that HAL caters to primarily English speaking passengers, is an American company and English is supposed to be the official language spoken on board (according to their own Guest Relations Manager). You will frequently hear crew conversing in their native dialect in front of passengers. Other cruise lines prohibit anything but English being spoken and would fire an employee for such insubordination. I suspect HAL hires from a lesser qualified applicant pool than some other lines. Something is wrong on board that the crew is so miserable and robot like with a pool of about 10 rehearsed and scripted answers to just about any question. This reflects poor management in my opinion. Some crew even indicated to me how badly they are treated. Maybe this is a case of you can only kick a dog so many times before it bites. Employees are a service company’s most valuable resource and HAL has unsuccessfully harnessed this potential asset and turned it into a detrimental deficit which hurts guest relations and certainly does not breed my loyalty. In summary, it’s not the filthy lackluster ship, poor food or any factor other than the miserable, unhappy, and indifferent crew that made this cruise a disaster. It was the exhausting beating down of guests by nasty and hostile crew members who clearly did not want to be on board in the hospitality business. In fact, it was almost as if some crew members wanted to intentionally tantalize and torment the guests for the sport of it. Holland America and the Eurodam are broken – perhaps beyond repair - and will remain that way as long as management puts bait and switch advertising and profit ahead of delivering service and the experience it promises. My friend on the Nieuw Amsterdam the same week I was on the Eurodam and I both concluded we felt like our experiences on HAL as if we were the analyst geeks in the “Big Short” movie who recognized the housing market crash of 2007 before everyone else did. This cruise line is the same house of cards as the 2007 loan industry. I can’t imagine it is sustainable. If HAL were marketed as Walmart and they were bottom of the barrel cheap their model might make sense. However, as long as the brochures promote a luxury and quality cruise experience with an emphasis on dining and service this misrepresentation – again in my opinion - will not be able to maintain itself long term. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
After travelling on a number of cruise lines I had 3 bad experiences with Holland America. It does not matter the ship because its the same attitude. May 2013 (Alaska) with friends, September 2014 (Alaska) with my parents and December 2015 ... Read More
After travelling on a number of cruise lines I had 3 bad experiences with Holland America. It does not matter the ship because its the same attitude. May 2013 (Alaska) with friends, September 2014 (Alaska) with my parents and December 2015 Caribbean with my husband) (only because of a small cruise credit) there was problems with cross contamination with food. These issues can be very serious and even lead to death. I will itemize: 1. If you have a shell food allergy you can NEVER eat an omelet because in the Lido they do not have vegetarian only pans. They cook everything in the pans with prawns, meat etc. This also would not work for people who are vegetarian, vegan, Jewish or Muslim. 2. When they make sandwiches they do not follow international standards and use utensils for each container. You have them using a a gloved hand and handling pork, then tomatoes, then turkey, then cheese so you cannot even have a vegetarian sandwich. Sandwiches are the only thing available to each after doing a tour. So we had nothing to eat. 3. They said one dish was a beef roll up and the chef said it only had vegetables added. A six inch piece of bacon is the funniest looking vegetable I saw. Holland America - bacon is pork and a meat!. 4 Lasagna was to have ground beef in it and ended up being beef and pork mixed. Other issues: 5 The gym manager said that exercises for abdominal muscles do not work to decrease waist size and will only increase the waist size. He told me to attend a session that would help. I attended and that session and it was to sell a test and blue green algae which was a product that the owners of the spa and gym sell. 6 The entertainment was poor and repeated frequently. Sometime the people doing the sessions did not even show up like for lessons on the metals drums. 7. Tomatoes in the salad bar were mushy and seems to be 'off'. I discussed this with the guest services manager, executive chef to correct the issue. The executive chef assured me it had been dealt with but the behaviour was witnessed at least 7 least seven times over the 21 days. I sent an email to the company with no response in a week. I would never recommend this line. There are many other line in the same price range. Holland America, like in baseball its 3 strikes you are out!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
"Holland America prides itself on its service" Some interesting notes about the service - Our very first night we went to the dining room, and the service was so slow that after waiting for desert for about 30 minutes we went ... Read More
"Holland America prides itself on its service" Some interesting notes about the service - Our very first night we went to the dining room, and the service was so slow that after waiting for desert for about 30 minutes we went up to the Buffet to get desert. But since it was past 9:30 (We went into dinner with a 7 PM reservation so it was a 2.5 hour dinner/wait for our meal) we couldn't get any desert. So when I want back to the Vista Restaurant and complained, we had some deserts sent up to our cabin. The Restaurant manager did call us that night and apologized (something the Maitre de never seemed to do) and asked we try again. So the next day for breakfast my wife and I went to the Main dining room (Vista) and the service was slower and our food was cold. Pretty poor start for the first 24 hours. I did "track down" the restaurant manager as he requested (no easy task I might add). Let him personally know about our fate and he put us on the other side of the dinning room, (with better staff?) and we were good for the rest of the week. That was until our dining in the Pinnacle Grill which is a charge of $30 per person to eat at the "Signature Restaurant". We had a 6 PM reservation at the Pinnacle Grill and since it was "Gala" night in the Vista, it didn't seem very busy (since everyone was having Lobster and Filet Mignon in the Vista dining room). Well another long and tiring dinner. We did manage to only spend 2.5 hours there, but the service was again disappointing. Pretty bad when my wife has to ask for water multiple times and the waiter finally acknowledges "I'm sorry you really shouldn't have to ask for something so many times to get it". Also had to get up and go from table to table to find Salt (since service/help was non-existent at times). Embarrassing to have to pull a "McDonald's" move because no waiter is available for 10 minutes after delivering our bland Lobster Bisque. We did see the Maitre de, he stopped at both tables next to us but never ours. Also he and the Waiter spent tons of time at one of the tables, but that was because they spoke Dutch and were chatting a lot. So for the extra money it was a mistake. I should have gone and got just as Fillet and Lobster and better service in the Vista. In 2.5 hours you would think someone other then our waiter and Wine steward might have come over to poke us or something. This is our first (most likely last) Holland cruise. Kind of bummed they have the Auto-tip added to the room Bill, you can't reward the good and bad all the same. Holland really fell flat when it came to the service. I did fill out the on-line comment request and got back the robo-response saying "We thank you for choosing Holland America Line, and we do hope you consider us for future trips." . Included the above info and additional stuff (Like the Captain shouting over the loudspeaker "Everyone on the stairs SHUT UP") but I doubt we'll hear anything more. Sorry to give such a bad report card. Holland doesn't seem to be consistent with the service, except for maybe the Lip-Service they give you after they get your money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
The only thing that exceeded the problems we encounters on our cruise was the sheer ARROGANCE and dismissive attitude of the "Customer Service Director". I took my wife and four kids for Spring Break on this cruise as we dearly ... Read More
The only thing that exceeded the problems we encounters on our cruise was the sheer ARROGANCE and dismissive attitude of the "Customer Service Director". I took my wife and four kids for Spring Break on this cruise as we dearly wanted to see Grand Turk to fulfill my promise for my daughters Sweet-16 (to get her to Turks & Caicos). A couple things went wrong that we just "went with the flow" and tried to make the best of, but in the end, it was a bad experience. The head of guest relations was not only unhelpful, he was antagonistic. For all the problems we brought to him, he shrugged them off and said there was nothing he could do. Later he was a real jerk to my daughter and we are taking that up with HAL directly. Problems ranged from missing the main port-destination; to 2-hours to get dinner in the main dining room (we were told it was our own fault since we had open dining instead of assigned timed-seating); to repeated issues with the room keys not working (and being told it was our own fault - that we probably were rubbing them up against our cell phones - but in fact they were all in the paper holders we were issued); to the fitness director kicking my son out of the fitness room because he was under 16 (when all he did was come up to coordinate schedule with me while I was working out). On-ship activities for teens/kids is minimal. More "kid-tolerant" than anything else. All my kids (ages 9-16) heard from other kids onboard about other cruises that have MUCH better entertainment. HAL blew off our primary port at Grand Turk because of some light wind. While nobody would ever ask anyone to put the ship, passengers, or crew at risk, there was very little safety issue and when pressed, they admitted the wind they claimed blocked our port was on the light side. -- Other thoughts -- The kids (ages 16, 15, 12, and 9) had fun at the pool and the sport court, but that was about it. They rated "Kid Friendliness" as a 3 on a scale from 1 (low) to 10 (high). They have added a couple of things for teenagers/kids - but clearly it is an add-on / afterthought. The friends they made on-board told them about activities on other cruises that were missing from this cruise line. Lido deck buffet seemed closed more than open but we were able to cater our schedule to theirs and make due. GOOD POINTS: 1) The soft serve ice cream was good when it was open. 2) Bingo was fun. We didn't win, but it was fun. 3) Private Island was easily the highlight (available on other cruises too). We bought a cabana which was nice to have a place in the shade, but since we were the only cruise ship there that day, there was tons of shade anyway, so not really needed. Bottom line is that there is NO WAY anybody in my family will EVER sail Holland America ever again under any circumstances. There are too many competitors out there that offer better service without the arrogance and rudeness. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
Our experience on the Maasdam was less then positive. My partner and I cruise a lot and this was our first and last time sailing with Holland America. The experience started off on a negative note with lunch at the buffet. Lines were ... Read More
Our experience on the Maasdam was less then positive. My partner and I cruise a lot and this was our first and last time sailing with Holland America. The experience started off on a negative note with lunch at the buffet. Lines were confusing people did not know where to line up, the plates that were handed to us with our food were so hot they burned your hands, the staff did not listen to you and just tossed whatever they thought you said on your plate. Next came the muster drill. This lasted more than 40 minutes. Most of which was spent standing packed together waiting for other passengers and the long drawn out instructions presented over the P.A. system. Our first dinner was spent in opening seating because due to the ship not giving us early seating as requested. This was corrected on the second night and our server Andrei was excellent and the menu in the main Rotterdam restaurant was excellent. Beyond that food in the other venue options was mediocre. Entertainment on the ship for us was mixed. The Broadway night was great as was the comedian and the Elton John impersonator. Due to an unfortunate event on a dive excursion and my assistance in saving a gentleman’s life the Captain provided us with a dinner for two at the Pinnacle restaurant. We thought it a nice gesture and unexpected. We made our reservations for the last night. The dinner turned out to be a two and a half hour drawn out mess. It took forever for the wait staff to get us menus, take our orders and serve our food sometimes with as much as 40 minutes in between courses after 2.5 hours we finally decided to leave without having dessert. Our cabin was 363 on the lower Promenade. The room was worn with paint chipping from the door wells and old carpeting. The ship defiantly needs to be restored. If you are taking children expect to entertain them. There were not many activities for young people. Music at the pool was by a one man pan drum that reminded me of a high school band member. So if you don’t mind a ship full of older passengers with a mean age of 60, mediocre service and poor entertainment options the Maasdam is your ship. But first you might want to check out some of the other cruise line options before you commit. Just because the cruise is a good price is not a tradeoff for spending seven days unhappy with your decision.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
After having taken previous HAL cruises, I looked forward to the Eastern Caribbean aboard the Westerdam. I was very disappointed. The HAL standards have gone down hill. The ship was very attractive, and clean, but HAL has cut corners in ... Read More
After having taken previous HAL cruises, I looked forward to the Eastern Caribbean aboard the Westerdam. I was very disappointed. The HAL standards have gone down hill. The ship was very attractive, and clean, but HAL has cut corners in every department. The ship was understaffed. It was difficult to get service for anything. The food was bland, boring, and limited. The casino was so tight that no one was winning anything at slots or tables. Very disappointing cruiise. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
My wife and I along with our two sons booked two cabins on this ship. When we first got aboard, the ship seems to be at least 10 years out of date. It is musty and even dank in come places. The buffet on the ninth deck was mediocre and it ... Read More
My wife and I along with our two sons booked two cabins on this ship. When we first got aboard, the ship seems to be at least 10 years out of date. It is musty and even dank in come places. The buffet on the ninth deck was mediocre and it seemed at times to be like feeding the pigs. It was every man for him/her self. The cabin was small and cramped. The drill before sailing was tedious and disorganized. I thought it was never going to end. There were relatively few activities onboard and certainly very little to do for the smaller children. The final straw was my older son went to inquire about internet and was told that he was buying a package limited to 75 minutes. When we received the bill the night before departure, they had added almost $1,000.00 to the bill for internet!!!! I disputed it and they said too bad, the bill stands as is. This company is guilty of misleading and overbilling. To pay $1,000.00 for internet that was not used is outrageous. I will never sail with them again and anyone who does should think long and hard before booking with them. What a sad, miserable time we had on this ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2014
We had a suite in the back corner and paid a lot of money and it was a wreck❗️ I used the extra blanket in the room in the closet and I kid you not, it wasn't till the next morning that I found TWO blood spot! The pillows and ... Read More
We had a suite in the back corner and paid a lot of money and it was a wreck❗️ I used the extra blanket in the room in the closet and I kid you not, it wasn't till the next morning that I found TWO blood spot! The pillows and couch were also stained with? They never once wasted the balcony glass so your view was obstructed with sea water that built up everyday! The tables that sat on our deck were like sandpaper eaten up by the sun" we bought a finger nail file to try to get them down so our arms could have some comfort! Last the chairs were a woven plastic that had snapped pcs everywhere! Another u comfy thing to sit on! I would NEVER cruise with this outfit again! They do not pay attention to detail! The hugest turn off for dinner was, I started noticing that what was on the lunch menu became dinner later! I wrote in to them and they NEVER responded in anyway! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
The Veendam was several hours late arriving at the Fort Lauderdale cruise terminal on April 24, 2014 because of delays getting out of dry dock. We finally left around 2:00 AM instead of the scheduled 4:00 PM departure. This meant that we ... Read More
The Veendam was several hours late arriving at the Fort Lauderdale cruise terminal on April 24, 2014 because of delays getting out of dry dock. We finally left around 2:00 AM instead of the scheduled 4:00 PM departure. This meant that we basically missed one complete day of the cruise and the first port of call. I can understand that any large organization can have unforeseen problems, but the way Holland America handled the delay was very poor. As a result, I will never go on another cruise with them. We have been on several cruises with most of the major cruise lines, but have never been treated so poorly. Holland America offered to give all passengers a 15% discount on the next cruise with them instead of a more reasonable 15% refund on this cruise. They basically turned an unfortunate problem into a marketing gimmick. After several attempts to complain about their poor customer service, I was told by Holland America that their offer for a future discount was very fair. I find their offer disingenuous and certainly not "providing their guests with the highest level of customer service". We had other problems problems with our cabin - such as no water in the bathroom when we arrived. It took several hours to get someone to fix the problem. When the plumber arrived he said the toilet was leaking and needed to be fixed before the water could be turned on. He fixed the problem and left around 1:30 AM. Next morning we found water all over the bathroom floor - so we had to find someone again to fix it. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
After getting thru the awful traffic jam to get to the Westerdam, on the 1st day of our cruise we were just underwhelmed with the quality and cleanliness of the ship. The staff need to take an English course as most do not seem to ... Read More
After getting thru the awful traffic jam to get to the Westerdam, on the 1st day of our cruise we were just underwhelmed with the quality and cleanliness of the ship. The staff need to take an English course as most do not seem to understand English. Our state room, 6058, was adequate but no where near luxurious. The outside balcony deck and windows were filthy and despite repeated requests to clean them nothing was ever cleaned. The mini fridge was never restocked despite repeated requests(and I had only used one can each of diet coke and regular coke the first day). So for 6 more days it was never restocked. I never saw or met our stateroom attendant in 7 days. The tiles in the bathroom floor were cracked and were popping up. The food in the upper dining area was gross and the same every day and NO BUFFET. The kitchen staff was doing the plating of the food. Hated having to eat the same crap every day. There was a hamburger grill area in the upper pool area but seriously? Burgers and dogs and fries when I thought I was going to allow myself to over indulge on good gourmet food? The portions in the dining rooms were tiny. The desserts were gross and small. It was wonderful when we stopped in the different ports and countries just so we could get off the ship and walk around and maybe eat a decent meal that we had to PAY for but it was worth it. The casino is very very small and dated. The whole ship is old and dated and for what we paid, I expected way more luxury. The gift shops were small. The shows were laughable at best. The rest of the time there was nothing to do but drink and wish for the cruise to be over. Never ever again with Holland. And I would never recommend this ship or cruise line to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
The Maasdam is a ship built back in 1993 which accommodates up to 1,258 passengers. When initially built and christened it was probably was shining star in the Holland America fleet. Even though, it has been operation for now going on 21 ... Read More
The Maasdam is a ship built back in 1993 which accommodates up to 1,258 passengers. When initially built and christened it was probably was shining star in the Holland America fleet. Even though, it has been operation for now going on 21 years and has undergone several refurbishments, the years have taken a toll on this ship. I embarked on my 21 day journey to many of the magnificent islands located in the Eastern Caribbean on January 17th, just a little late to fully escape the bitter temps of the polar vortex. Embarkation, in Ft. Lauderdale went very smoothly, from the time HAL representative met me in baggage claim at FLL until I boarded the ship. I was able to avoid the elevator lines as my stateroom was on the same floor. The ship offers 5 locations for dining, the Lido (cafeteria style dining), The Rotterdam Dining Room, The Cantelleto (Italian dining at $10), The Pinnacle Grill (Steaks and Seafood at $29) and now the newly established Dive-in (Hamburgers and Hotdogs), First I will address the Rotterdam, where I only ate 4 times in 21 days. In the beginning of my cruise, the dining room was appointed with smelly canvas drapery, filthy windows, burned out lights, and our table was accented with a dead flower arrangement, that I asked to be removed. The dining room steward and his assistant was very sociable, and very apologetic, as it took almost 2 hrs to complete my meal, as they were consistently waiting on the kitchen staff. The meal was presented uniquely, the vegetables were luke warm and the meat selection was sub par. I tried 3 more times through out the 21 day cruise, and eventually the outside windows finally got washed and the light bulbs were replaced. Now the Lido, a different style of dining. The food selection was adequate only if you like chicken, beef or pork a lot. Almost all the side dishes were luke warm. The real treat for the Lido was the late night menu selection. For 21 days, the menu never changed, same old french bread style pizza (cheese never melted), a satay beef dish, almost like shoe leather, chocolate cake, the usual lunch meat, sliced fruit and a couple other things not worth mentioning. I guess to change the menu may have been to stressful for the chef. Another issue with the Lido is staffing and cleanliness. Tables weren't being bused during prime periods, the kitchen staff were disorganized consistently running out of supplies. The Pinnacle Grill was a disappointment and not up to par as other HAL ships I have been on. The new Dive-in was a great place to get semi cooked hamburgers or dried out hotdogs. Miss the old days of brats, chicken burgers, veggie burgerss, salmon burgers, lamb burgers, accompanied with sweet potato fries. Cleanliness and maintenance of the ship appeared to be a work in progress. They were always wiping down the hand rails etc. but seemed to forget to check replace empty hand sanitizers, or refill the soap dispensers in the public restrooms. Many of the sinks in the public restrooms are cracked and need replaced. In addition, the restrooms were not being serviced well as they were in short supply of hand towels, kleenex and needed to be deodorized. Elevators always seemed to be out of service. In the Lido dining area, the air vents above the table are filthy with mold, or whatever. I would not sit along the windows, In the Ocean bar many lights were burned out and in need of replacement. And finally for the last night of the cruise, a letter was sent out to everyone the main water lines were to be shut off for repair, so no water from 11 pm to 5 am. Activities on board the ship were dismal at best, unless your into jewelry seminars, spa treatment seminars, or towel animals. No games shows, limited cooking demos, bingo only a couple of times, no Wii tournaments, no scavenger hunts, no water aerobics, very little in daily entertainment. Only one guest speaker and it was only about wine. Boring!!!! Guitarist , piano player and steel drum player were excellent. HALCATS, virtually non-existent. The ship should be named the Morguedam based on activities, as it was dead. Overall, the ship needs much work and should go back into dry dock for an extensive overhaul to fix all rust areas, remove excess paint build up, and to repair all plumbing, elevator and ventilation issues. In addition staffing needs to be reviewed so simple maintenance and cleaning can be preformed, without having the clients, (us cruisers) raise the issues or be forced to relocate to another cabin. However, if you want to go on a old ship with problems, poor food, with little to no activities, then this ship may fulfill your needs. Personally I rather spend more money and get a ship well staffed, clean and one that has activities that will keep me busy all day. Shame on Carnival for destroying a good product line as Holland America.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
We’re currently wrapping up our 7 day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Westerdam, and we will never cruise aboard this or any other Holland America vessel again based upon our experience here. It’s almost not worth mentioning the sum ... Read More
We’re currently wrapping up our 7 day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Westerdam, and we will never cruise aboard this or any other Holland America vessel again based upon our experience here. It’s almost not worth mentioning the sum of little disappointments, like the filet burned beyond recognition to shoe leather for dinner at Pinnacle Grill, the surly service from bartenders and wait staff, or the fact that the ship is an absolute ghost town after 11 pm, with virtually all bars, the casino, and any other entertainment options closed for the night (the “zombie apocalypse” feel of seeing dozens of forty-and-fifty somethings wandering the ship at 11:30 pm looking for anything to do captures our “nighttime fun”). Our cruise has been ruined because, since day three, the ship has been under semi-lockdown due to a reputed gastrointestinal illness that is present among a small number of crew members and/or guests (reputed because there have been no official explanations…the chirpy onboard announcements from the captain and cruise director ignore the reality on ship…guests can only gather information via individual conversations with staff). We’ve dubbed Holland America “Hauling Bacteria” based on the many services the cruise line has discontinued in a rash and reactionary way so out of proportion with whatever threat may exist. Pools and hot tubs have been closed, the spa public area has been shut down, the books and computers in the library are under lock and key, the casino closes at 11 pm for “disinfecting”, and even in-room DVD rentals have been suspended because it is a supposed sanitary risk for crew and guests to touch the disks. My partner is a physician, and he laughs at the notion that chlorine in a hot tub won’t kill a contact-based illness, or that handling DVD’s poses any realistic health risk. Ironically, the line has kept its onboard shops open and its merchandise sales promotions on schedule. Apparently, Holland America can bear the infection risk of passengers touching counters and rummaging through sale items so long as the cash registers continue to ring. Regardless, Holland America’s mysterious decision to ruin 1500 passengers’ voyage to seemingly avoid bad press from the remote threat of a GI outbreak at sea is baffling and disappointing. We've cruised from Miami and Fort Lauderdale a dozen times, and this has been the worst experience by far. We won’t make the mistake of entrusting our vacation to Holland America again.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
I must totally agree with the previous writer's experiences on the Holland America Westerdam. We too sailed from Fort Lauderdale for what we were anticipating to be a restful, relaxing cruise vacation. Little did we know that it ... Read More
I must totally agree with the previous writer's experiences on the Holland America Westerdam. We too sailed from Fort Lauderdale for what we were anticipating to be a restful, relaxing cruise vacation. Little did we know that it would be virtually a week without hot water in our stateroom, tiny, disappointing tiny portions of food in the main dining room, and most of the cruise experienced through 'Safety Precautions' to reduce the spread of a virus. Mind you, the shops, the spa and the casino remained open, but we were forced to endure paper packets of salt and pepper, lack of self service in the Lido and rude, uncaring staff. The first three times we complained about lack of hot water, we were told that it had already been fixed. NOT! Later, it was suggested that we could use another stateroom to shower and then return to our room. REALLY? We have definitely learned our lesson this time. Holland America ? As a three star Mariner, I say, never again! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
I sailed with my sister, on what we anticipated to be a great Carribean cruise. My sister is a seasoned Mariner and she selected Holland America Line due to it's previous reputation. We boarded the ship and our stateroom was ready ... Read More
I sailed with my sister, on what we anticipated to be a great Carribean cruise. My sister is a seasoned Mariner and she selected Holland America Line due to it's previous reputation. We boarded the ship and our stateroom was ready early. Given the two separate beds and no curtains to close between the beds, I slept on the pull out couch. I felt the metal bar against my back all week. When I asked to have this fixed, I was given an egg crate foam that was disintegrating - old, yellow, ripped. It didn't do much. The fabric on the couch was so old and dusty, my allergies were in full bloom. The food in the Lido bar/dining area was poor. No self service due to the GI outbreak on the ship, so the line ups were long and the food was cold. The portions served were very small. In fact, they actually ran out of coffee cups on the last day so - no coffee was available and then they served it in the juice glasses! Hot!! The food in the paying restaurants was delicious. The food in the Vista Dining room was mediocre and the serving staff were rude and they rushed us, often wanting to serve dinner before they brought us our bottle of wine that we had pre-ordered. Given the GI outbreak, all pools, hot tubs and spa pools were closed by Tuesday. I had purchased a $300.00 package for my sister and I to use what was sold as a Mineral Pool and heated lounge chair deck. We used it twice, it was very crowded and there was no sign of Mineral Water or Sea Salt springs etc. They closed this entire area and took the towels out of the gym change room/shower room so we were not able to use this amenity. When I asked for a refund, the spa manager argued with me that it was actually open from Saturday to Tuesday noon, so she charged me the daily rate x 2!! What a cash grab! The spa area had the public elevator in the middle so you had to walk across open, public space to reach the change rooms - lovely in your robes or swim suites. I was told this was to increase exposure to the spa, as only a small percentage of guests use the spa. All in all - the excursions were just ok, the ship was old and there were limited activities on board. The staff were rude and indifferent - likely over worked and perhaps ill themselves? I would NEVER cruise on Holland America again. I completed the evaluation they sent, but have heard nothing back as yet. They were very quick to charge my credit card though. Oh - one other thing, they have finance/accounting issues. You must check you statement often as there were duplicate charges on the beverage card and also posted to the account, mixed up charges between the room occupants and extra charges for water/pop that we didn't use. The front desk staff kept us waiting 20 - 30 minutes, after our debarkation was called, to try to sort it out. We were last off the ship - over a water and a can of pop!!!! Dreadful service. Read Less
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