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Cruise to Alaska, first on a large (1900 pax) ship. Really had a good time. Pleased not only with all the opportunities to do things but also that there were places to chill other than the cabin. Glad we had a good travel agent to sort out all the options. Clear that this cruise company has been doing this long enough to sort out most of the logistics in handling large groups but not a 5 star because there were still some "lost" in the crowd moments.
For the Cruise LINE itself, they are sharp/cordial, super staff, great rooms and have very good on board activities. On another front though, we were/are very dissatisfied on the final day of the cruise with a matter that took place in a port stop. We were delayed from leaving the last port as there were multiple small water vessels that had gathered around our ship and our multiple water craft refused to depart for many hours to allow ship to leave port. As a result of that action, we were unable to make the final location and missed our flight. The police finally arrived and forced the water craft to allow ship to leave.
Holland America did allow us to use communications to contact airline to make a different flight (soonest available flight was not until the following day, so we had to pay very high amount to change flight info at last notice (flight cost my wife and I $$1484.99 USD EACH). Luckily (not really, but to a degree so far); we had purchased Trip insurance from the company that was offering same (recommended via Travel Agent) which was to take care of any problem with trip, (so we thought). We paid a premium of $556.00 USD to the INSURANCE Provider (Arch Insurance Solutions) and THOUGHT that would take care of any situations that may arise. Well, were we surprised...they (ARCH Ins.) paid for the food and the taxi fare we paid, but denied our claim for the $1484.99 we EACH had to pay because we had to change our flight time (and date as earliest flight out was the next day.)
We are not wealthy people and had to save for a lengthy amount of time in order for us to take the trip that we did with HAL. We realize that HAL could not have prevented (?) the delay (had such taken place before on any visited ports/had the line been in touch with local authorities with such information) and they did assist to a degree (communications, etc.), but did not offer any funding for our additional expense. We are filing appeal to Ins. Co.
I have been on 12 cruises in total and my most enjoyable and memorable cruises were on Holland America Cruise lines. The staff members were extremely professional, sophisticated, and catered to our every need with zest and glee. The meals were wonderful and the wine list top rate. The ship was beautifully decorated and our room was very comfortable, cozy with plenty of room. Our ports of call were in the Caribbean and each stop gave us plenty of time to see the sites and enjoy the beach. Entertainment was also notable and we enjoyed the casino and pool area which provided everything one could expect on a 5 star all-inclusive vacation resort.
Third year in a row on the Holland America Koningsdam and I would say all is good. As we have been expecting good quality and even better service we can confirm receiving both good quality and good service. We received what we were promised at an affordable price i.e. quality to price ratio... good. The vessel is only three years old and holding well. The decor is simple to say the least and could use much improvement in the art department. If a passenger is expecting quality art throughout the ship they will be disappointed.
The onboard entertainment and nightly shows have been steadily improving (little more work needed) over the years with comedians, dancers and musicians. The main theater (world stage) is professional in every sense of the word and can accommodate the most demanding of performances with light show and sound equipment so I would not be surprised if good to exceptional quality performers will be sourced in the near future (hint). The Lincoln stage and the Rolling Stone Rock Room are small but have great acoustics and great performers... everything from B.B.King's to classical and rock, all worth the visit.
The ship has all of the typical amenities and service one would expect from a large cruise ship catering to a more mature and refined clientele. The main open eateries situated on the 9th floor called the lido is where you will find yourself if hunger sets in throughout the day but don't be surprised if they close between 3:30 and 5:00pm for cleanup and refreshment of food and staff. All in all a good cruise at good value if one is looking to rest and relax without the commercialization effects one would find among other cruise lines.
Jan 27 thru Feb 6, 2019. Excellent service in all departments. Very good entertainment even if it is repeated on trips. Dancers and singers are very good. Island Magic steel band exceptionally good. BB King lounge entertainment excellent. Food in Lido area very good and in the Dining room also good. Music selection over the speakers was just plain terrible. The boats age group is definitely over 65 not 21. Music selection the cabins just plain bad for this age group. Decor leaves a lot to be desired in the public areas. Staff in dinning areas and room service are really excellent.
A great ship for the "older" crowd with no kids or very few kids and lots of things to do. Health area absolutely fantastic and a big shout out to Albano in the gym who is very knowledgeable and helpful. Truly a great trip and number 12 cruise for us with 2 of them on HA line. Embarkation and disembarkation absolutely smooth and quick. It was a pleasant surprise to be dining with the Chief Engineer "Fitzwarren" and "Queen" from Guest services. Thank You Zuiderdam.
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My entire family (ages 40-90) set out to check off a bucket item for my 90 year old father; he always wanted to see Alaska. We decided on Holland due to the dates and price even though many of us were very experienced cruisers on other cruise lines. Collectively, there were 10 of us and 2 had never cruised before while the rest of us usually love the experience. We left from Seattle early May and were on board for 7 days. From the beginning, we were not impressed. It took quite a bit of time to even enter the hanger to check in as so many older people were on board and not nearly enough wheel chairs to accommodate a quick entrance. We waited for a long while for that wheel chair. My father fell out of the wheelchair he reserved for the trip 3 times, needing help from strangers passing by. It was not reliable.
The food was mediocre with the Asian restaurant being the very best we had but that was an additional charge. Twice, the hot dog place just up and closed and there was little to eat upon returning from late excursions. There was no party after leaving any port and never any live music on the deck or activities to do. We went looking for fun and finally found a word game competition but the cruise director played one round and it was over in 30 minutes with no chanced to get any real excitement going. The movies were dull and when they were showing the one about the wildlife in Alaska, the movie stopped and started over FIVE times before it finished. The comedians were boring and the shows poor.
The youngster on this trip (ages 40-61) liked to have cocktails and all bars were closed by 1130 with nothing and I mean nothing to do every evening. We could not wait to get off of that boat. I will never use Holland again. It was the most I ever spent on a trip and the worst trip I ever had. If you are looking for fun, don't use Holland. I have always had a great time on Royal Caribbean and my family loved Celebrity, Princess and Carnival.
My wife and I enjoy cruising quite a bit as such we try to plan one every so often. This particular time was shaping up to be an awesome trip because we would be also having our friends cruise with us. I had recommended we cruise Holland America because we’ve enjoyed our trips with them every time so far. We booked almost 6 months prior to the trip (2/13/19) through their cruise consultant Jeff ** who had be subbing in for our normal cruise consultant Elizabeth **. I feel like this was our 1st mistake.
We paid a premium for our rooms that came up to about double what others who booked later would have paid. I called these price drops to their attention (3/8.19). I was told they would price match up to 3 months prior to the trip at the time of booking so I decided to call in for the price match. I didn’t get through, so I sent an email and left a voicemail indicating my desire to have our cabins rates properly adjusted. No one responded to me that week or the week after and calling was fruitless. The week after, I was told there were notes saying I wasn’t clear on whether I wanted the rate lowered or not. But now it was within 3 months of the cruise date, so their hands are now tied. This set the tone for the trip.
I eventually got ahold of Elizabeth and gave her the run-down of what happen in her absence and she offered to give a slight bump in the cost of each cabin, give us free dinner at the Pinnacle as well as the Canaletto, cover the rest in $100 in shipboard credits, $100 in excursion credits and $100 in drink credits for each person in all 3 cabins. She said this would be the best she could do to close the gap according to her supervisor. With that we were in agreement and confirmed we were fine with it.
I double-check once more before the trip about the Eurodam which would set sail August 3rd 2019. When we boarded the ship, we found that the ship was mostly unaware of any previously mentioned complimentary items. My wife and I received a card to cover the mentioned onboard credit. That is it. No reservations, no drinks card, no excursion card for us, and nothing at all for the rest of our part at the time of embarkment. Of course, I go to guest services to get this matter discussed with management. They asked for proof of the conversations which I was happy to have in email form. They did not have onboard anyone who could make an executive decision. They had to send an email back to corporate. I ended up having to check on the situation almost every day of our trip.
In the end, corporate did not respond until 2nd to last night of the cruise around 4pm. We suddenly had most of what we were promised with a caveat. We had a struggle to get our reservations at Canaletto and Pinnacle, we could not fully use the credits provided because there just wasn’t enough time to do so. It was hard to enjoy ourselves in part because of the miscommunications and the lack of deciding power allotted to the ship managers. Worst of all the notes between the ship and the consultant we booked with said I missed some deadline and didn’t qualify for the things she promised.
After the cruise, I was advised to speak with Elizabeth regarding all the mishaps and she told me to list all my complaints in an email for her to send up the chain. She also said it would take about a month for them to investigate the situation. The whole thing just is disappointing to say the least. And, I’ve come to think after the cabin is paid for guests are screwed. I sent an email to corporate a week ago on top of all of this back and forth as well. They only reached out to my travel companion (not me) and offered them what we were supposed to have this trip, on their next trip. They do not trust Holland America. Holland America of course knows they’re not likely to take up on the offer, I guess.
In that email, I did tell them if our matters weren’t resolved sufficiently, I’d bring my matter public. My take-aways: don’t book too far ahead, check the competing companies for deal that are actually competitive and, if they screw up giving you what they claim they would don’t come back for more and make sure to tell everyone you know this is how they run their business.
The food included with the cruise was institutional product. Coffee was cheap and weak. You could purchase good coffee and dinners for an extra fee. This was a distinct down-grade from our cruise 10 years earlier. The room smelled like a toilet, which over-flowed through the floor drain on 5 different occasions during our week cruise. We purchased a veranda room and were told to expect top service. It never happened and we will never cruise with Holland America again. Last thought; the major entertainment was a ballet troupe. Have you ever seen a ballet performed on a ship during a storm? It was laughable and very sad.
Nice cruise line for middle age to senior travelers who want quality without some of the craziness offered on other cruise lines. The ships are quite nice and the amenities geared towards luxury and at a reasonable rate.
This was our 2nd cruise on Holland America. Entertainment the same on both cruises. Ships (Eurodam, Zuiderdam) were dated. Staff is very good, friendly and helpful. Shore excursions are well organized. Disembarkation well organized and quick. Beds are comfortable. Balconies are small but adequate. Great upstairs bar/lounge reading and game room on both ships.
Holland America Cruises expert review by ConsumerAffairs
The Holland America Line has been transporting guests to exotic destinations for over 140 years and is known for its five-star service and excellent cuisine.
Ballroom dancing: Guests can take complimentary "Dancing With the Stars" dance lessons from professional dancers, and they can then compete for the title of Cruise Champion and more.
Excursions included: All shore excursions are included in the package price for Holland America Cruises.
Dining variety: Guests have the option to dine as they wish; they can take a seat in the main dining hall, or they can visit the grill or pizza restaurant on the ship.
Cancellation Protection Plan: Guests can purchase cancellation protection, giving them peace mind and a refund should anything come up to prevent them from sailing as planned.
Gifts and indulgences: Holland America offers a program that lets guests and family members send gifts such as spa treatments and flowers to create extra special moments while cruising.
Best for: The Holland America Cruises are best for travelers who want a traditional and elegant experience.
Holland America Cruises Company Information
- Company Name:
- Holland America Cruises
- Year Founded:
- 300 Elliott Avenue West
- Postal Code:
- United States
- 877) 932-4259