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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: December 2018
I don’t know what happened to the Holland America I know and loved. Food was mediocre but the breads and baked goods were quite good but even the ice cream wasn’t very creamy, and room service had limited breakfast choices ... Read More
I don’t know what happened to the Holland America I know and loved. Food was mediocre but the breads and baked goods were quite good but even the ice cream wasn’t very creamy, and room service had limited breakfast choices unless you wanted to pay more. The room service menu in general was very limited unless you wanted to pay. Really. 2/3 ports of call were industrial with no redeeming qualities. On board activities included uh uh shopping, learning about shopping, special events to buy something, learning about spa treatments to buy. The comedienne who wasn’t funny, forgot her lines, and repeated the same material both days she performed.. Didn’t stay for the magician. Did I mention I was 1 of many who spent 24 hrs quarantined due to GI problems? Cost me $140.00 for the nurse, an injection and pills. Our dinner in the Pinnacle Grill was fabulous but I didn’t buy a cruise to pay extra to eat good food. The popcorn in the movie theater was good. The crew seemed disconnected from the passengers. Not a happy lot. Our cabin Stewards were efficient but didn’t always understand our requests, like clean wine glasses. The New Years Eve party was not remarkable. And the jewel in the crown, the Prinsendam, has been sold. I took 2 wonderful grand voyages on her and was looking forward to another. Our verandah cabin on Deck 6 was spacious and had lots of storage. So sad to experience the decline of what has been a wonderful cruise line with wonderful memories. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This was my 23rd cruise, and I like to offer my insights. I like to start with positives so here we go: Staff is amazingly helpful. Ship is immaculate. Storage is amazing on this ship. Closets, cabinets, shelving, compartments. ... Read More
This was my 23rd cruise, and I like to offer my insights. I like to start with positives so here we go: Staff is amazingly helpful. Ship is immaculate. Storage is amazing on this ship. Closets, cabinets, shelving, compartments. Everything was terrific. Elevators are really fast and never crowded. Cabins have a great amount of USB ports so you don’t have to lug charging bricks with you. Loved the makeup mirror they give you in the cabinet. The LED reading lights are terrific. The free movie selection in the room was unparalleled! Truly the best ever offered on a ship. For once, the pictures were lovely. No hard sell, very good value and the best, they had REASONABLY priced photo gifts that the produced right on the ship. BB Kings location and music was terrific! It’s enclosed and the acoustics are lovely. Much better than the Konigsdam which was wide open and had no ambiance of a club. Now for the real issues: This was our 3rd New Years cruise on HAL and the first time there was NOT ONE table to put your drink on while you were enjoying the New Years party near the pool. I looked at pictures from the Konigsdam and saw all of the high top tables around the deck. We had the 8pm seating for dinner and were NOT offered ANY New Years party favors. The ship has horrible plumbing issues. We had standing water in shower and backed up toilets constantly. Other people had brown water in bathroom sink and was told at first that it was ok to use to brush your teeth. Then Later, was not to use it. This ship doesn’t have a “sports bar” per-se but there are so many TV’s around and they just didn’t have enough viewing locations for all the college bowl games and NFL playoffs Some smaller issues: no laundry bags in room. If you make the mistake and take the bag marked “laundry” bag, you will be charged $15. The daily activities were pretty much non-existent. If I had not been on three other HAL cruises, I would have just chased it up to the “target” demographic but I must tell you, I think this is a direct reflection of the “middle aged” cruise director who just doesn’t necessarily care about making the shop have varied activities. On deck 11, there’s an area where they do all the cultural talks. I don’t know why they don’t utilize the same seating area and show movies so people don’t have to stay coupes up in their rooms if they want to watch a movie. There should be scheduled movie times crwatingvan atmosphere of socialization! It wasn’t until the last day at sea that I saw coloring pencils in the Fugi craft area. Why the ship didn’t let people know there was an adult “coloring ” time is beyond me. The food was ok. Nothing special and certainly nothing like other Holland ships. When they say “rack of lamb” but serve two pancake thin lamb chops, this is NOT rack of lamb. The food in Lido was mediocre to say the least. The bakery selection for breakfast was terrible and the eggs (scrambled) were just inedible. I don’t understand why the “daily menu” selections were not printed in the menu every day considering the menu was not very good. Ships should move over to paper straws rather than discontinue straws (on request only) Port of San Dirgobwas very easy for both embarkation and disembarkation. There were over 280 kids this week but the ship didn’t change anything on the daily program. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Booked a New Year’s cruise on this brand new ship after having had a great cruise last year on the Koningsdam. Wow, things have changed in a year. After over 40 sailings, 8 of which have been with HAL, can’t get over the ... Read More
Booked a New Year’s cruise on this brand new ship after having had a great cruise last year on the Koningsdam. Wow, things have changed in a year. After over 40 sailings, 8 of which have been with HAL, can’t get over the incredible budget cutting to the entertainment program. Really sad. No HAL orchestra, no live pool music, no HAL Cats, no sailaway music, no singers in the shows, no ballroom, latin, Jazz or swing music. No pre-dinner or after dinner dancing. The dance troop has been downsized and the shows were repeats on a 7 day cruise. If you like to have fun and dance, don’t go on this ship. New Year’s Eve was like an acid rock funeral complete with Fox News live-streaming. Luckily they poured a glass of cheap champagne at midnight to help dull the pain for those that stayed. It’s unfortunate to see a great line like HAL succumb to the budget ax especially when it comes to critically important entertainment and at a time when so many new and innovative ships are being launched. The irony is that the ship is music themed- just without the music (but it should be noted that the BB King band was great when they performed and the only time that passengers seemed to be having any fun on this ship). Luckily the food is on par with other HAL ships and the gym is one of the better ones at sea- though it has very dim lighting so make sure you work out when the sun is out otherwise it can be quite hazardous. Hopefully HAL will quickly re-learn how to give their passengers a good time on a Caribbean cruise before they do too much damage to their business. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The Good-The Ship is stunningly beautiful, the artwork, the cabins, the WALK IN SHOWER in every cabin! It's a stunner. The Crew is lovely but you could see cracks in their patience (see more in "The Bad"). Sadly our cabin is ... Read More
The Good-The Ship is stunningly beautiful, the artwork, the cabins, the WALK IN SHOWER in every cabin! It's a stunner. The Crew is lovely but you could see cracks in their patience (see more in "The Bad"). Sadly our cabin is one I would not suggest as there is something in the Wall behind the bed making super loud noises ..so much so that we were moved to a "Sleeping Cabin" ( Kudos to Guest Services). The cabins are gorgeous and loving all the storage. (Don't miss the Drawers under the foot of the bed). The main dining room served the best Cruise Ship food I've ever had and in fact it was so good that the alternative restaurants which you pay for was a harder sell. Don't shy away from the main dining room as it really is spectacular. Like Sushi? for Sure the sushi bar is a hit- It was packed most nights and at about $5.50 a roll for huge 8 piece roll it's a solid winner. The not so Good- Service, Holland is using IPads for waiters of every type and the Drink servers are having a real hard time. So much so that they resorted to paper several times during the cruise and it was super hard to get drink service outside as it often took two or three minutes for the ipads to "update". Hey HAL, drop this system ASAP! Servers were super frustrated and the HAL "enthusiasm" that you normally see form the staff, seemed to be sucked out of these guys/gals. They seemed just exhausted. Also, be sure to buy the drink Package in advance as a standard cocktail hovered in the $10 Per drink Area- 5 drinks a day and you were well over the package cost. Wines were outrageously expensive. Woodbridge Cab for over $40 a bottle- What? As for Rolling Stone, it was hardly ever busy and the band was slightly better than a garage band. My guess is HAL will have this removed sooner than the first drydock. For New Years Eve they just sort of missed out (Where was the Cruise Director?) The Lido deck party they actually missed the countdown and midnight just sort of happened. In general the programming on board was the type you'd see on a typical 10 night Europe Cruise. In the Caribbean, people want to have a little fun and kick up their heels a bit- this was not the case and I felt that the Cruise Director could have done a much better job with on board programming. Also, what happened to the big BBC Earth promise-We saw a stunning show on the Koningsdam showing BBC Earth accompanied by a orchestra- Nada here. Seems like HAL has really cut back on the big shows. They have this STUNNING showroom and super thin productions. The cast is talented but very small and I was a bit disappointed. I realize it's only the 4th sailing of the vessel but I also sailed on the 4th sailing of the Koningsdam and it was a night and day experience. I wanted it to be great. It just wasn't. Dare I say I was a bit bored! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Service st pinnacle grill has a lot to be desired very slow we canceled future dinner reservations and had free Neptune suite breakfasts and only went to two because of the same service problem What made this worse was HAL CEO onboard ... Read More
Service st pinnacle grill has a lot to be desired very slow we canceled future dinner reservations and had free Neptune suite breakfasts and only went to two because of the same service problem What made this worse was HAL CEO onboard and this happens. First Neptune suite and it was awesome and the concierge ladies Ari and Diane were outstanding and graciously worked things out. Lido was good as always as was the Dive in. When we left the Captain was awesome with his toots way too many that he even gave the pilot three little ones for his goodbye. Weather was awesome throughout the week. IMO Falmouth should be changed to Ocho Rios which would make it much better itinerary. The hydro pool was good but too many items breaking down for which they gave us $31 OBC still enjoyed it very relaxing Neptune suite had toilet issues and leaking pipe outside veranda area but they were fixed Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We have only sailed once before (with Princess) and were looking for a holiday cruise that wasn't overrun with kids on winter break. We love kids, but as teachers, we needed a little break ourselves! Although there were kids on ... Read More
We have only sailed once before (with Princess) and were looking for a holiday cruise that wasn't overrun with kids on winter break. We love kids, but as teachers, we needed a little break ourselves! Although there were kids on board, they weren't the focus of the cruise and seemed polite, in control, and even "cultured". We enjoyed seeing kids reading books and appropriately enjoying the entertainment. Most positive aspects of this cruise: *The food was outstanding! *The service was amazing - many attendants and servers were from Indonesia and we found them engaging, positive and hard working. We gave above and beyond our planned gratuities because we were so impressed with the people who can easily make or break a vacation. *The entertainment was clean and fun. We went to the Main Stage almost every night and enjoyed all of the shows. Billboard On Board was our favorite nightly club event and we were impressed with the performances at the small Lincoln Center Stage. A few things to improve on: *internet access... In this day and age, internet should be easily accessible, if not completely free. Without paying an entire day's fee, we couldn't even check into our flight home. Just being able to connect with our family on board was difficult as well. *The daily buffet closed at 9:30 pm with a few (old, dried out) leftovers available for the starving ones. As a diabetic, I needed access to snacks and meals on a regular basis. Room service menus were very limited and honestly, a little pathetic. It usually took an hour or more for food to arrive. It was such a contrast to the amazing dining room meals, that we were confused as to the purpose of this neglected area of service. We felt like we didn't get the memo... *Sales pushing - although they weren't as overt as Princess in pushing sales for jewelry, alcohol and future cruises, almost half of the activity offerings on the daily agenda were sales pitches. At least this time, we recognized them for what they were and could avoid them. Overall, we were pleased with our experience and would consider booking another cruise with HAL. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose this cruise for ports of call and schedule. Except for the quality of the food, the cruise was a disappointment. The ship was worn and tired. Booked a Neptune suite and there was wallpaper falling off the wall and rusty areas on the ... Read More
Chose this cruise for ports of call and schedule. Except for the quality of the food, the cruise was a disappointment. The ship was worn and tired. Booked a Neptune suite and there was wallpaper falling off the wall and rusty areas on the balcony. The carpets are stained throughout. Many small things added up: missing bathroom fixtures, a towel hangar that was replaced with a simple screw in the wall. The Neptune/Pinnacle suites are supposedly the nicest aboard -- if that is true, then I feel badly for those in lesser cabins. The service was also poor, but I consider this a reflection of how the crew is treated by their employer. Most crew members seemed disinterested in being helpful, and some where downright rude. More often than not, I was getting my own drinks in the Lido restaurant. In the dining room, we gave our order and the waiter confirmed it, only to bring the wrong thing. I would describe most of the crew as aloof. HAL supposedly provides a premium experience, but this was far from it. Would recommend you cruise with someone else. Read Less
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 ... 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Holiday Cruise. The entertainment has its ups and downs. The comedian was very entertaining, and the dance/laser show was spectacular. However, the musicians in the lounges were mediocre at best, and poor in several painful instances. The ... Read More
Holiday Cruise. The entertainment has its ups and downs. The comedian was very entertaining, and the dance/laser show was spectacular. However, the musicians in the lounges were mediocre at best, and poor in several painful instances. The blues band has a talented female singer...too bad she was overpowered by a bass player that was so loud, the lead guitar could hardly be heard. The dueling pianos should should have dueled to the death, doing a favor to everybody who had to put up with two poor amateurs playing off one another. The rock band was OK. The music was loud but, that's rock and roll. A real bummer was the casino personnel. As a traveler, who has made over 50 voyages, I have never been so poorly treated by the casino staff. They were rude, offensive and made even a small amount of winning into a most uncomfortable occasion. After being told how hard to throw the dice, how high to throw the dice, and how my wife should bet, we got away before the bad vibes got any worse. The personnel said these were simply the rules of the house, but as experienced travelers, who have recently played on other Holland ships, we knew this was not true. With the TV not working for several days, the bands being either much too loud or poor (or both), finding something fun to do was much harder than it should have been. Read on about the room...and the picture just gets worse. There is a pervasive language problem on the ship. Everyone speaks a little English...just enough to fool you into thinking they understand you, until you realize they don't. Thus, asking for an apple, becomes problematic, asking for sauerkraut becomes a three way conference, and asking for directions makes you wish you had a GPS, just for getting around the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I was worrying before the cruise due to many negative reviews and feedback here regarding the ship and the cruise line itself. I think if someone is "hardly American or Canadian" should be a different category in the ... Read More
I was worrying before the cruise due to many negative reviews and feedback here regarding the ship and the cruise line itself. I think if someone is "hardly American or Canadian" should be a different category in the reviews. These people usually cannot recognize any kind of food but hamburgers and fried things. Every other food is just an "unknown thing" for them and after, they write a really negative review, mostly complain about the food. European cruise lines (HAL, MSC, Costa, NCL) are really different then Princess, Celebrity and especially Carnival. If you hate European food and don't like the European vibe and style - stay away from there companies and don't mislead others with your negative reviews. Zuiderdam is a little bit old ship and you can see some signs of her age (Carpets, walls in the elevators), but the staff tries their best to keep it clean and good condition. There is a lots of elderly person on board, not such much child you can see on MSC or Carnival. However HAL doesn't focus on families with children, there is enough activities and programs for children. My kids ( 8 and 11) loved the Club HAL and the pool area. Dining room staff entertained kids during every dinner, made their dining time funny and unforgettable. Embarkation and the check in is very well organized, it was very quick and smooth with only few minutes of wait. Our room steward was excellent, but I can say the whole crew on board was extremely nice and helpful. I have not experienced this kind of service before. The only negative I can say is the hotel service charge. HAL charges the same amount for kids and adults ($14.50 per person for a balcony stateroom). But, you can ask the customer service to reduce this amount or even remove every hotel service charge. We decided to make it zero and we gave cash for our steward and our dining room waiters. It was out first cruise with HAL, but not the last. I have already booked a new one on board for the summer break and I definitely recommend this cruise line for everyone who is not afraid of the European things. Read Less
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