2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Holland America's cruise from Skagway to Vancouver was wonderful. That is, if you were healthy enough to enjoy it. Once we were done with the aggressive land travel portion, their bus delivered us and many others to the ship ... Read More
Holland America's cruise from Skagway to Vancouver was wonderful. That is, if you were healthy enough to enjoy it. Once we were done with the aggressive land travel portion, their bus delivered us and many others to the ship coughing, sneezing, congested and worn out. Long land transports were ideal pathogen breeding grounds, and HAL was invisible with any contagion prevention. RCL does a much better job in this regard. Also, stayed in a real dive along the way. If you're lucky enough to be healthy at ship embarkation, you will see some gorgeous scenery, and, hopefully, some wildlife. But, wildlife viewing was sporadic at best. Other aspects of the cruise were about what you'd expect: very attentive service by stewards/waiters, good food (but specialty restaurants had the really good food), good entertainment, some good excursions/some to be avoided. If you can afford it, get a room with a veranda. The extra space and additional viewing area was great for relaxing and taking in the scenery. We had to have the steward fix a squeaky door leading out to the veranda, but he was very accomodating and got it done right away (along with fixing a slow drain in the bathtub). We usually dined with the other people in our 16-person group. The wait staff quickly became familiar with our group. We celebrated a couple of birthdays during the trip, and the staff entertained us with some birthday cakes and renditions of Happy Birthday. Food was good but did not blow us away. The ship was an enjoyable size--not so large that it took a long time to get from one end to the other and not too small as to be lacking in venues. Hot tubs were actually hot and not too crowded. Didn't get a chance to use any of the several pools but those that did looked like they were enjoying it. Overall, we were a little underwhelmed by the land portion of this tour. Didn't see much wildlife, smoke was everywhere due to the forest fires, and we're still trying to get better two weeks later. So, avoid that leg of the tour, stick to the cruise and you'll enjoy it more. Don't bank on Alaska being the "trip of a lifetime". It certainly isn't--especially the way HAL operates. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was a very important bucket list cruise for my sister. We were very disappointed with this cruise. One of the best parts was arrival, less then an hour from airport to onboard the ship. The departure was delayed as people were in line ... Read More
This was a very important bucket list cruise for my sister. We were very disappointed with this cruise. One of the best parts was arrival, less then an hour from airport to onboard the ship. The departure was delayed as people were in line for 3-5 hours they said. We were fortunate. But from then on.. the cabin was shabby and dirty, we found a crew members private papers in the drawers, torn up pictures in the waste basket. The balcony was very rusty, for a ship that was suppose to have been updated. We saw carpet that was in horrible condition, along with small pieces of the flooring missing. No working refrigerator or Tv. The second day they found us a small medical refrigerator for her insulin. Since the ship was full they said, we were put in a small dining room on the side, away from the dining room festivities. The main theater production was cancelled, rescheduled, cancelled again. That seemed like the theme of the cruise. Excursions cancelled, rescheduled and cancelled again and again. 2 days we waited on the pier with the promise of any time now. The piers were all very nice contrary to another cruise critics comments, we were able to navigate them fine. The food was very good in the dining room, but in the Windjammer they were serving more food for the different ethnic cruisers, I did try some of it but it was not very much of it to our liking.I wish they had listed the ingredients.After talking with different passengers, the reason most do not eat in the dining room is because of the constant, you like my service from the waiters, almost coming right out and asking for large tips. I too found this annoying but just chalk it up to cruising. As usual most of the service was great. We especially enjoy the photographers they have so much fun and work so hard. Because I use a small walker, one of our excursions was told to us as to strenuous, and they persuaded us to do another. This was disappointing, but we agreed to change. Most of the excursions were fine. We enjoyed the helicopter landing on the glacier, a switch from our intended helicopter with dog sledding. The Vendors on the dock told our small group not to let RC to keep postponing and postponing our excursion. Apparently it in their best interest as they already have your money and how many people can shell out another $2000.00 to go with another vendor. We waited and wished we'd just gone with another vendor. Our land tour was very interesting, we would not take the tundra tour again in May, very few animals. Our weather was perfect for the entire cruise. At the last hotel The Denali Lodge, we had a serious medical emergency. We waited for an hour and a half for the paramedics to arrive. They said my sister could have died if her airway wasn't cleared as it did just minutes before they finally got there. They said that this medical emergencies, had happened also in the past few weeks that the hotel did not call right away.We tried to overlook most of the negative things while on the cruise and just have fun. But this is not our first cruise and it will probably be our last RC. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Awful from the beginning. Rude people and nobody to help with problems. This was a trip with so much that was wrong that it would take more space than allowed. We spent extra money for this ship thinking it would be better for us as ... Read More
Awful from the beginning. Rude people and nobody to help with problems. This was a trip with so much that was wrong that it would take more space than allowed. We spent extra money for this ship thinking it would be better for us as first time cruisers, WRONG. THE TOILET in our stateroom was to the rim with water when we got into our room. They got it to go down but the next morning it was the same. They sent a plumber 3 times and could not put us in another room. All in all I had to put towels on the floor 4 different times. We took the elevator to a different floor to use the public restroom. Awful. The main dinning room was only open for lunch 1 hour every day. We spent money for formal wear for our big night, could have saved our money. This diner was a joke. The only buffet style restaurant was so small we had to wait for seats. Entertainment was employees dancing with cruise people for a contest. A piano player, a magician that is out of a county fair and tries to sell you a cheap magic kit in a Ziploc bag. There was a movie playing several times a day in the theater, free popcorn, Wow. At every turn there is someone trying to sell you something, good God art of all things. Who goes on a cruise for fun to buy art. Ridiculous. Wine seems to be the main thing they try to sell. On almost every channel on TV is a ship commercial telling you about this and that in on board store. If you play cards this is your ship. We do not. It has a very small casino. All in all this was terrible for the 3 of us. The 20 year old was bored as was myself 60 & my husband 65. Everyone that's cruised tells us to go again because they are not this bad. Just never Holland America again. We might but it will be a while, this was a very bad experience. Read Less

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