Thank you, you have successfully subscribed to our newsletter! Enjoy reading our tips and recommendations.
A link has directed you to this review. Its location on this page may change next time you visit.
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.
Thank you, you have successfully subscribed to our newsletter! Enjoy reading our tips and recommendations.
Service-food-activities everything was great. I plan to use this line for my future trips. The suite was spacious. The bed and covers felt heavenly. The crew and staff always wanting and ready to please us. The food was delicious! The different venues available to get a meal was challenging but I always made the tough decision and would eat a little from each venue. This was fun and the food was great!
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.
- 2,208,408 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
- We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
- We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
- Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.
For more information about reviews on ConsumerAffairs.com please visit our FAQ.
Never, ever board the ship known as the Volendam, or probably any of the other Holland America ships, for that matter. Disinfecting and cleaning these vessels takes a back seat to profit, which is totally apparent when passengers are dumped, and the ship reloaded with new suckers within a 12 our period at the dock. It took us 3 months to recover from clinically proven lung infections, which we clearly afflicted with after our stay in one of their cabins. The toilet overflowed twice during our one week stay in this musty, virus saturated cabin, and no effort was made to disinfect the carpet that got soaked with toilet water. Same goes for the common areas, and that is why the Norwalk virus often surfaces on these ships. The Coronavirus is also having a hay-day in these environments too. The perfect breeding ground for viruses and disease, can be found on Holland America ships. Avoid them like the plague!! Wang from Washington state.
We chose the Zuiderdam for a romantic, relaxing cruise. We were very disappointed with many things about the Zuiderdam and Holland America as a company. First, let me start by saying the Holland America has some serious operational and procedural issues which need an outside consultant to fix. Embarkation: You know you are in trouble when getting on the ship is the best thing you can say about the ship. Embarkation was quick and painless.
Cabin: We chose an inside cabin for this cruise because we like to take a nap in the afternoon and there is nothing better than a cold, dark cabin after a hot shore day. The cabin was very dated. The shower floor was filthy. I mean black filth. When the shower is dirty you have to wonder what else is dirty that you are not seeing. It is like walking into a restaurant and looking up to see black vents and ceiling tiles. If they do not care enough to make sure the shower floor is clean then you can bet they are not making sure the things you cannot see are clean. The steward was fine and helpful.
Restaurant: We ate dinner in the restaurant only one night because the first experience was that bad. First of all, they sat me a 6 foot 7 football player type of a guy in a booth with a table cloth that almost went to the floor. I spent the entire dinner feeling like I had a blanket covering my legs and when I got up I took the table cloth off the table with me. Second, we never saw the same person twice. It was ridiculous. There was not one person you could have called our waiter. Third, it was chaos in the restaurant and took a very long time for the food to arrive. There was way too much time between courses and when the food did arrive it was bland and just not very good.
We skipped dessert because by the time we got around to being asked what we liked. We just wanted out. We went one morning to eat breakfast in the restaurant at 9:05 am and were turned away because they said breakfast was over at 9. Now mind you, we are on vacation and 9 am is too early to stop serving breakfast to people who are sleeping in and trying to relax.
Buffet: The biggest problem with the buffet is there are not enough places for people to sit and eat. There are two many large tables and not enough smaller tables. Lunch and breakfast can become very stressful affairs. I literally felt like dropping my plate and walking out on more than one occasion and I have never felt that way on a ship before. It was not just us you would see and hear people upset. They could not find a place to sit. I have never experienced something quite like this on a ship before. Also the buffet stops serving dinner at 8 pm. This is way too early because people from the West Coast are not ready for dinner until 8 pm.
The problem with the Zuiderdam is it wants to run on its time schedule and not on a realistic time schedule for all of their guests. One evening I actually saw them removing the food away from people trying to get something to eat. This is not an exaggeration. They actually removed the food away from them leaving them to stand there hungry.
Bars: The bar service was fine and as a matter of fact our best overall service was from Ricky in the Ocean Bar. The drinks were always plentiful and good. At least the bar was good to keep the edge off of how awful everything else about the ship was. America's Test Kitchen: One of the reasons we booked this cruise was for America's Test Kitchen. It was advertised that it was on the Zuiderdam. Guess what? There was no America's Test Kitchen. I have to say it really felt like a bait and switch type tactic. If you are going to advertise something to a potential customer as a cruise company you had better make sure it is happening on the ship when they arrive.
BB Kings: The best part of the Zuiderdam entertainment was the BB King lounge. The only problem was the first three nights it was not offered. We got half the product for the full price. See how this is going? Billboard Music: This was the most laughable and horrible entertainment I have seen in years. I am serious it is awful. The two guys behind the piano's are awful. Mainstage Theater: Dance Shows - They had three dance shows which were very good. The dancers were very well trained and their interaction with the LED screens was really amazing. They were the best part of our trip.
English Comedian - First let me remind you that we are a gay male couple. The homophobic comedian was not funny and as a matter of fact he was offensive. He made several awful gay jokes which were insulting. My husband and I did not pay to be insulted and that is exactly what happened. If this were racial jokes the guy was making they would have fired him on the spot. What is the difference? You do not insult people who are paying for your service. We will not make this mistake with Holland America again. It was really that bad.
Half Moon Cay: You would think since Holland America has had this island since the 1990's if would be an amazing place to be. Well it is not. The straw market was a joke. The food was a joke. Not being able to use your drink package on their island was a joke. The facilities are rundown and they are dirty. Once again Holland America and dirty are in the same sentence. Not good. We took a shore excursion on Half Moon Cay. It was awful. It was not on the ocean but in a lagoon. We rode a small uncomfortable boat around a lagoon. Seriously it was like one of those bad amusement park boat rides with the cheesy narrator. It was truly that bad. Disembarkation: Was quick and easy. In closing, we were very disappointed in Holland America. The ship and cruise were overall depressing. Holland had better change their game because this was truly one of the worst cruise ships we ever sailed. We will not choose Holland America ever again.
My wife and I are frequent travelers and have in the past few years been impressed with the emphasis that we felt Holland America places on excellent service and value for their customers. Unfortunately we were very wrong about how they protect their customers. During the first half of this cruise, we encountered many wonderful stewards, wait staff, and other service personal who clearly take their jobs seriously and display a deep value for passengers. Unfortunately, as we were to learn later, Holland America had retained an abusive contractor even with numerous complaints of treatment of the passengers.
On the day we were getting off the ship In Anchorage, we headed down early and by chance happened to walk down the stairs right at the point of exit. We noticed a large group of people waiting in the hallway to our right and a few staff in the elevator hall, including Holland America's EXC guide for that cruise. We were standing on the stairs with one other passenger for a short time and some of the passengers were telling us not to cut in line. We would never cut in any line for any reason and we tried to reassure them that we were simply walking down the stairs and had no intention to cut. Before we could move, the EXC guide yelled at us across the hallway. She accused us of being like poorly educated children and that we should know better and be ashamed of ourselves for cutting the line.
This alone was extremely shocking; to berate us in public when we had no idea that we were even in a place that was supposedly not allowed. There was no signage or blockade preventing us from walking down those stairs and, as passengers and not crew, we would have no way of knowing that we were not allowed to stand there. At that point, before we could digest the insults she was hurling at us, the crowd of passengers became increasingly abusive as well, fueled by her public verbal assault. We then exited back up the stairs to remove ourselves from the situation. After waiting upstairs for some time, we proceeded to disembark and get on one of the shuttle buses. There were some people from the initial crowd on the bus that were pointing at us and talking about us being the line cutters. For the rest of the cruise we were harassed by other passengers who had witnessed the accusations.
We talked several times with customer service and were asked to write a letter to Holland America. We were devastated to be treated so poorly and they ignored our letter and have never responded with even an email to apologize for the incident. We were repeat customers and were looking forward to our next cruise which we cancelled. We have learned the hard way that Holland America does not protect their passengers and will purposely choose to retain abusive contractors and staff. They will also ignore your complaints. If anyone chooses to cruise with HAL, they need to do so with the understanding they will be ignored if they are abused by their staff. They had over 3 months to even say they were sorry. Nothing.
While no one should be doing any work while on a cruise, it is nevertheless important to have Internet access to communicate with family (children; elderly parents, etc.) and therefore it is critically important to have Internet access for some people, such as us. On a recent cruise on the Koningsdam, we purchased the premium service for three devices. Well, it was the most horrible experience one can imagine. Nothing seemed to work well and when this was repeatedly brought up, we got nothing but stonewalling. The response was highly unprofessional. And of course, when a refund was requested, none was offered (or given).
We have travelled with HAL for 14 consecutive years. I even bought stock in CCL. We agreed to have Joanna (our HAL consultant) book our 1st class flight reservations. Sadly, my wife and I were not seated together. I noted this to Joanna and was told “it is the airline’s responsibility to seat you together”. The airline got a chuckle out of that silly response. Whoever books the flight is supposed to place traveling companions together. A WARNING: DO NOT BOOK “Air” THROUGH HAL. Unless, of course, you don’t want to sit with your wife...
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
Keep an eye on your inbox, the latest consumer news is on its way!