Consumer Complaints and Reviews
I bought a watch in the jewelry dept on the ship. They sold me the watch as a watch with 10 diamonds. I believed them and paid almost $700 for it. Of course the box they put it in said 10 diamonds. Well I was in a jewelry store the other day and saw my watch. I asked about it and the price was $350. And it was 10 sapphires, not diamonds. I went home, check my watch with a magnifying glass and mine said sapphires. So I went online to citizen.com just to double check and yes they took me for a fool. The one with 10 diamonds is gold and silver and the one I have is gold, the gold one is sapphires. I don't have the receipt anymore. It happened in October between 21st and 28th on the Eurodam traveling eastern Spain. Everything was charged on the ship card.
The itinerary options include a plethora of beautiful locations such as the Caribbean, but even before arriving at the location, the voyage on the cruise feels like a five star luxury resort, an extension to the Caribbean. The amenities were so vast and luxurious that it is easy to forget that you are traveling on a ship in the middle of the ocean. There is an abundance of food and beverages of all kinds, pools and tanning, shopping areas, restaurants, and everything else you could ask for. My stay was wonderful, as it provided me a nice relaxing break from the daily stresses on my life. The only bad aspect is when you leave, and have to resume back to your normal daily lifestyle.
I felt that that the price was very reasonable, especially given the experience that you will remembering. Once on the cruise, you don't have to spend a dime, as most of the experiences are included in the initial payment. It was a valuable experience because not only was it relaxing, but offered a number of experiences that I would not have been able to experience outside of this. It brought me to a gorgeous location that I never expected to see in person. I would absolutely do this again.
Pretty standard lists like all other cruise lines but beginning to be a bit more adventurous to include more exotic/global ports like Asia, South Pacific, etc. Was refused dining room entry when I was certainly as well dressed as many other guests but not with an official "jacket" or other piece of clothing. Evening theater productions were not as good as other lines. Standard cruise industry cabins. Small and adequate. Tiny shower stalls, cabinets to tuck away most things. Food was not much different than entry-level cruise lines such as Carnival or RCCL. Even though I will never patronize Holland America again thanks to their dining room Gestapo the ship itself was a reasonable deal and got me where I wanted to go.
Easy to find trips online to make reservations. We chose the cruise to Alaska. We were able to pick and choose the type of cabin we would want. The cabins were clean and comfortable. The bedsheets were turned down each night. The food was so good it seemed gourmet. The casino was really fun. The beds were very comfortable. It was quiet and relaxing. I slept really well. The staff was very friendly. I loved the casino and the bar. All inclusive trips save money. I felt like the price per day was reasonable. It was a good deal compared to other cruises I've been on from other companies
I enjoyed lots of food, good music & entertainment, the staff was very helpful & courteous, the ship was clean & huge. There was always something to do. There was lots of food to eat, many things to do on the ship & off the ship, lots of entertainment & music to enjoy, the staff was so friendly & helpful whenever you need something. The rooms are small but clean. You have your own restroom & dressing area which was good. The bed are made up & down for you every day & night. I had a very delightful time spending relaxing time sunbathing soaking up the sun. I also enjoyed my free time with my friends exploring.
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No time off ship to socialize. Taxes were unfair and cruise members don't have private area. Captain was nice and very familiar with the waters and places we visited. I seen first hand the madness off free food and drink at club bar. Karaoke was nice along with the surprise guest. Food was horrible, who serve sandwiches? The rooms were small for price but had great decor and state of the art technology. If only they had a bar with free in room drink my date and I would have liked it more. I believe that they had big plans for the customers but failed to deliver on several levels. On different occasions we were disturbed by room service.
Plenty of activities to enjoy. There was something for everyone to enjoy during the whole duration of the trip. The ship was clean. Our rooms were well furnished. The food was excellent and the entire staff was a pleasure. Slept like a rock. Had a fun time and it seemed like the crew was enjoying themselves as well. Had a fantastic time. The money was well spent and no one was let down. Just a great experience on a top of the line ship. Would recommend to anyone thinking about taking a cruise.
We found exactly what we wanted, where we wanted and when we wanted it! Plenty going on shipboard to keep everyone happy and a wide variety of options to choose on shore. Ship was clean and rooms were neat and tidy. Entertainment options were aplenty as well as relaxing options. We all enjoyed the experience! Since our group ages ranged from 15 to 90, we were afraid we would leave an age group out in the family experience. That was not the case! We found plenty of options to experience together and we all enjoyed our trip! I wished the shore excursions weren't so expensive because we would have taken more. However, we did manage to always find something exciting to do!!
I had no choice in options but not due to lack of availability. It was another family member making the decision. I was just there. I enjoyed myself. The pool and jacuzzi were nice and you could swim while looking at glaciers in Alaska. That's so rad. The gym was nice too and the room service was handy. I got to relax and enjoy delicious food and pampering while partying it up with my family. Even the staff was partying it up with us. I would go on a cruise with them again. That sounds nice right now actually. These are memories you will never forget. I loved having my whole family there with me. We had a grand adventure and got to enjoy ourselves safely. :)
Variety of dates and length and excursion routes. There were many tour options from which to select, from high to minor activity; Small groups and great guides provided wonderful experiences. Cabins were clean and tasteful - suitable for 6 night cruise. We enjoyed the veranda view. Bedding was comfortable and seating area unexpectedly sufficient. After the first night at sea which strongly rocked us to sleep, next nights were much less rocky. Bedding was comfortable and we slept well. Bathroom although tiny, provided all the amenities we needed. Value for cruise itself was ok. Excursion tours were pricey but worth it. Extra charges for thing not included were high, such internet access. Suggested daily tipping amt was high, but staff were helpful and responsive.
My trip was horrible life changing experience. The 1st event was in Mazatlan. My sister and I took a tour provided by the ship (Westerdam) Mexican dance show, cliff divers etc. The tour was with Playa Sol. Our driver Jose told us at the last stop we needed to go into a jewelry store before we could go to lunch. They hurded us into the jewelry store "Joy Jewelry Emporium" for a shot of tequila. On the way out I looked at a ring I like which way more than I could afford so they baited and switched it with one less expensive - I was told by Jose he would get me one at the port. NOT. He disappeared before I could get his attention. I then went on board the ship and checked with Brent (Diamond Internationals rep on board). He checked and asked that I check with the Jewelry store on board. Both confirmed it was fake.
I became physically ill at this point. Brent told me to accompany him to DI in Puerto Vallarta to talk to an associate there. So the next morning we left with Brent to help resolve this issue. While at their Tanzanite Store I was told what to do about the previous purchase. Brent said he would also take me to meet someone else that knew all the jewelers and would help me resolve that issue. While waiting his associate offered me a shot of tequila to help calm me down. Well I was given shot after shot until I became inebriated. The sales people brought me jewelry and put it on me. Brent's associate kept telling me what a wonderful deal he was giving me. Well I could go on and on but after getting drunk I walked out of there $10000 in debt. When I got back to the ship and realized what I did I talked to Brent he assured me they would send me an RMA to send back the jewelry. But as of this writing they are refusing to work with me.
I trusted him and trusted Holland for not putting me in any situation that would cause me harm. The past two weeks have been the most miserable in my life - it's right up there with losing my son. I feel violated. I've been raped so I know what being violated feels like. When a business has to get a person drunk to make a sale is unconscionable. I found a credit card from DI when I got home-I cut it up and sent it back with a written dispute. Hopefully you will be compassionate enough to help me out of this deplorable situation. I am not some rich American, just an extremely embarrassed and heart broken one. And I pray no one in the future ever has this experience. I can't afford and will never be able to afford $10000. I'm 67 on SSI. I just want to send this stuff back - no harm no foul. I am asking you to please help me get my life back. I've been traumatized and have lost faith in humanity.
I did not choose the itinerary options as there were others from our group handling those details. Overall, the itinerary was satisfactory. Amenities and services were good. Food and meals were excellent and there was an abundance of dining choices. Particularly, the late night dessert spreads were very exciting and decadent. I think I gained 10 lbs on this trip! The quality of stay was fair at best. We had an outside cabin. Should have gotten something with a little more room. Bath facilities were very tight and had odd quirks to be functional. Overall it was fine for what it is but nothing to write home about.
Value was okay. Since we had a fairly modest size group booked, it afforded us a nice price making it a good value. I think the food and beverage and entertainment more than paid for the price. Service was good by the staff. My only complaint was the constant selling of upsells through the entire trip. I want to relax and enjoy myself. That's why I will not do another cruise.
I never got to take this cruise because the airline HAL booked me on had a disaster and canceled my flight and HAL could not get me to the cruise for at least 6 days after a 12 day cruise set sail. I bought air and cruise from HAL for more than $6,000 per person. HAL failed to deliver, and so far HAL has refused to refund any of the money I paid them for a trip they didn't deliver except for a few hundred $$ refunded of port fees. I even bought trip insurance from HAL, and yet no refund. I will keep you posted as things develop, but as it stands now, I advise everyone to never take a trip with HAL unless you can find a trustworthy independent insurance provider and buy their platinum plan, and I don't think such a thing exists.
In a nutshell, Holland America RUINED the vacation I had planned and had saved up for for over two years to pay for and experience!!! I left port in Seattle on September 11, 2016, and returned on September 18th, 2016. I was on The Amsterdam, cruising the inner passage of Alaska. My luggage had tags, supplied by Holland America, that were firmly secured to both, which clearly stated the ship that my bags were supposed to be delivered to, as well as my stateroom number.
When my bags arrived in Seattle, there was a Holland America representative who met me at baggage claim and gave me a small piece of blue paper, listing the name of my ship (The Amsterdam) and she informed me to take my luggage to an area near Baggage Claim carousel number 6, which I did. There were quite a few Holland America representatives there, and one of them approached me, took the small piece of blue paper with all of the pertinent information on it from me, and took possession of both of my bags. She then instructed me to exit through the double doors with the numbers 00 above them at the very end of the baggage claim area (which I did) and that would lead me to the ground transportation area where I was to check-in with one of the desk clerks, which I did as well.
After I had a seat on the bus, a Holland America representative temporarily boarded the bus and made a few announcements. One of the announcements he made was that our bags would show up in our stateroom later on in the afternoon. I went through the check-in process, and boarded the ship. When my bags had not appeared in my stateroom by 7 pm, I went to the front desk and inquired. They told me to be patient (their words, not mine), and I was assured that my bags would show up shortly. Each time I approached the front desk, I was dismissed, and heard the same story "Be patient, and I assure you they will be delivered shortly." Their tone and attitude in general was very irritated and condescending, and they made me feel as if I was inconveniencing them by continuing to ask for an update about the location of my bags, approximately every hour.
I was growing very upset and began to panic. Because I had come from Arizona, where it is very warm, I was wearing only a pair of cotton shorts, a t-shirt, and sneakers. I had no other clothes, or even my toiletries with me. Thank God I had the wherewithal to keep my medications with me. I had been traveling all day, and didn't even have a hairbrush. Basically I looked, smelled, and felt like a homeless person.
Late Sunday evening, after ordering dinner through room service (I was not appropriately dressed to dine in any of the specialty restaurants or even the buffet) I was told they had located my bags. THEY WERE ON AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SHIP - THE RUBY PRINCESS. At that time, I was provided a Holland America t-shirt (really?! WE'RE IN ALASKA! I need warm clothes, not another t-shirt!!!), a small and basically useless toiletries bag (the bare minimum) and was told there was nothing more they could do until we docked in Juneau, where possibly my bags would be there and would be transferred to our ship after being off-loaded from The Ruby Princess. That was it... I was on my own until Tuesday evening. I cried all the way back to my stateroom, and I cried myself to sleep.
I am permanently disabled, and I suffer from spinal stenosis, fibromyalgia, and clinical depression, ALL OF THESE CONDITIONS ARE EXACERBATED BY STRESS AND TRAUMA. And I live on a low, fixed, disability income. It took me almost 2 years to save up for this dream vacation, and I had SO MANY hopes and dreams I was looking forward to fulfilling on this trip. But instead, I had a completely miserable week, and feel taken advantage of, mislead, mistreated, and I just want to forget it ever happened. And when I added up all of the costs associated with taking this cruise, it made me physically nauseous. All in all, this 7-day Alaskan inner passage cruise cost me over $5000 (I was in the cheapest stateroom available.)
I completely missed out on all of the experiences I had been looking forward to for almost 2 YEARS, both on and off of the ship, as well as my excursions that I had paid for ahead of time, initially because I had NO warm and/or CLEAN, APPROPRIATE clothes, and even after I received my luggage because after 3 days of physical and emotional pain, even with my luggage, by that time my mood and state of mind were such that I was completely miserable for the remainder of the cruise. I even investigated getting off of the ship in Ketchikan and flying directly home to Phoenix, but could not afford the one-way air fare, which would have cost me well over $1,000. So that was not an option.
Besides the clinical depression I experience, spinal stenosis and fibromyalgia are both chronic, incurable, degenerative physical diseases that are greatly and dramatically exacerbated by trauma and stress, and as I previously stated, even after my luggage was retrieved, I was in SO MUCH PAIN AND SO DEPRESSED for the remainder of the cruise that I found myself confined to my bed in my stateroom because I was in excruciating pain 24 hours a day, and between my physical illnesses and my emotional state of mind, I was not able to even take advantage of any of the on-board activities. I had to up my dosage of narcotics dramatically, which made me feel foggy, lethargic, and at times, even unable to make it to the Lido deck to eat.
I ate a fair number of my meals in my room provided by room service (a very limited menu), by myself, or a friend I made while on the cruise was kind enough to get food from the buffet for me and bring it to me in my room, bless her heart. I was also extremely embarrassed about the way I looked and smelled. Even when I showered, I had to get re-dressed in my dirty clothes that I had been wearing for days. I didn't even have a hair brush to tidy myself up somewhat. I went to the on-board gift shop, but they were out of hair brushes and/or combs. So for the remainder of the cruise (Wednesday through Saturday) I was held up in my stateroom, ordering room service or asking my blessed new friend (who, ironically, treated me much better than the staff did) to bring me food because I could not make it to the Lido deck.
I did manage to make it to one of the restaurants, but only once, because even though I took a shower daily, as I stated I had to put back on DIRTY, WRINKLED shorts and one of my two dirty t-shirts, and was stared at by the other guests because of how disheveled I looked. So I stopped going out of embarrassment as well as pain. And yes, I could have gone to the on-board clothing store and spent even more money to buy items that were neatly packed in my suitcases. But on principle alone, I refused to give the company one more penny of my money. Besides that, the appropriate clothes were so expensive and overpriced that honestly, I could not afford them.
I think one of my biggest disappointments wasn't actually that my baggage had been mishandled, but THE WAY I WAS TREATED BY THE GUEST RELATIONS STAFF AS A RESULT OF THIS MISTAKE. They came across as indifferent, unsympathetic, uncaring, and every time I requested reasonable services I was told that there was nothing else they could do for me. This entire experience threw me into a dangerous, downward emotional spiral. I was literally at the end of my physical and emotional rope, and realized that in order to get anyone to listen to me, I had to make a scene, throw a public temper tantrum in front of any and all guests who were in the surrounding area, and simply act like a lunatic.
Finally, after several of those outbursts, in order to contain me, I was taken into a back office that ended up being Michelle's office. I believe she was the manager of guest relations. I began demanding what I felt the company had the resources to provide to and for me, and what I believed they could do for me, even in the circumstances we were in. If I had been in their shoes, I would have tied myself in knots trying to do damage control, and would have offered me whatever they were able to provide with the resources available. THEY should have been proactive and attempted to come up with anything and everything that might have made the miserable situation I was in just a little less stressful and traumatic. I want to be completely clear here: EVERYTHING THAT I RECEIVED IN THE WAY OF UPGRADES OR COMPLIMENTARY SERVICES AT NO CHARGE, I HAD TO DEMAND. Nothing was proactively offered to me.
These are just a few things, off the top of my head, I think the staff could have AND SHOULD HAVE offered me: They could have and should have upgraded my stateroom to the best available room they had. They could have offered me a complimentary facial, massage, or both from the on-board spa. They could have comped all of my drinks while on-board. They could have taken me to one of the on-board clothing shops and comped me some warmer clothes, a hairbrush and hairspray, maybe even a little make-up. Just to make me feel a little better about how I looked and felt.
I DID manage to get an upgraded room (from an interior room to a room with two portholes), a $50 Beverage Card, and 2 pairs of new underpants. And they did bring me several clothing items that were warmer, but unfortunately they did not fit. It was obvious that the clothes they provided me with were used, and probably retrieved from the Lost and Found. They also provided me with a hair brush.
I was provided 100 minutes of internet access needed so I could try and contact the private excursion company I had booked the excursions through, explain the circumstances I was in, and request a refund for the excursions. I had 2 excursions booked. One in Juneau (a kayak adventure - $175.00) and one in Ketchikan (a Jeep and Canoe adventure - $117.00), both which I was very excited about experiencing. However I was unable to participate in either of them both because I had no appropriate, warm clothing, and was in too much pain to participate. Unfortunately the excursion company was completely unsympathetic to my situation and refused to refund my money. So basically I lost the entire $292.00.
All in all, the underlying theme that the guest relations department adopted throughout this entire experience I have come to describe as the no theme. It felt like every time I turned around I was being told "No no, we cannot do that. No, there's nothing we can do for you. Wo, we don't do that." It was tremendously irritating.
I finally received my luggage late on Tuesday night. But to be quite honest, because of my struggles with depression and my physical ailments, I was in no frame of mind and/or body to enjoy the remainder of the cruise. I just wanted to go home. I was terribly traumatized and depressed. I investigated the option of getting off the ship in Ketchikan and flying home to Phoenix, however I would have had to spend over $1000 on airfare money I didn't have. I chose to just stay in my stateroom and watch DVDs, order my meals off of the room service menu, and read. Depression is a serious illness, and it's not something you can just snap out of. I really tried, but mostly I stayed in my stateroom and slept and cried. Immediately after the trip, I spent 3 days in the hospital, where the hospital staff attempted to stabilize my mood and get my pain under control.
All in all, Holland America REALLY DROPPED THE BALL on this one. And I tried to follow the chain of command upwards with my complaints, I was continuously stone-walled, passed around from department to department, and simply dismissed. Shame on you, Holland America! I would strongly recommend that if you are planning a cruise, SKIP HOLLAND AMERICA as an option. There are a variety of other cruise companies for you to choose from.
Holland America Cruise Problems. From Sep 16 thru Sep 26, 2016, my wife and I took a cruise on the Zuiderdam from Quebec thru the St Lawrence down the Atlantic coast to New York. The scenery was extremely pleasant, the shore excursions interesting. The food very good, and the crew polite, helpful and friendly. However, there were problems with infrastructure.
Initially, the plumbing didn't work. Water would not come from the faucet in the tub, only from the shower head. The cold water would not turn on at all making a bath or shower impossible. This was fixed in a day and my wife took a bath only to find that the tub drained onto the bathroom floor via an opening there. This flooded the bathroom with effluvia from previous occupants and a strong smell. Following many apologies from officers and a visit from a plumber which didn't help. The problem was solved by our stewardess (who cleaned the room). She put a plastic shower cap in the floor drain.
The air handler was controlled by a dial of red and blue dots (not degrees F or C). I could not get the dial do anything with the air. The DVD player provided in the room didn't work. It was replaced, but there was an hour and a half wait between ordering a DVD and watching it. All this for over $600 per day. In fairness, I should note that they took $300 off our bill, gave us a bottle of wine, and promised me 100 minutes of internet time. Of that q time, I probably used 15 minutes-- their expertise in computing matched that of plumbing and I could not figure out the system in spite of earning my living in IT for forty years.
Finally, we found about $600 in unexpected pending charges on our credit card from Zuiderdam. May be legit, may not be. We are awaiting a response to a recent enquiry from them. We found that the internet access promised free as partial compensation for the sewage on the bathroom floor was charged at the usual rate. We had gone to the front desk the day before disembarkation to tell them to remove this charge. They said it could not be done until the bill was finalized (but then didn't do it at that time use no more.) Always a pleasure to deal with Holland America.
Let me preface this with my former experience with this ship. I cruised on the Eurodam in 2015 with 4 days of plumbing problems in our Neptune Suite. We had other small issues with the condition of the ship last year but didn't complain about them; only the plumbing as it was very disruptive. You gave me $100.00 OBC for that issue which I thought was not enough and told you so last year; considering the cost of that transatlantic voyage. I was hesitant to go on the Eurodam again but I did. A huge MISTAKE!!!
Then this year I was assured that the ship was "overhauled" and fixed, so I took it this time. As soon as I boarded I found that my room had no air conditioning!!! I spent the whole day and the next day dealing with maintenance to NO AVAIL. They finally got it working but at a very low capacity and gave me a fan!!! (really a fan for 16 days!)??? I had not even unpacked until Cartagena!!! After they took the A/C unit apart and cleaned it; then it would work but on and off; totally unreliable. The staff went out of their way to help but the problem lay with the ship. I was in 10025 but the crow's nest on 11 and the spa on 9 were fine with their A/C so the height was not the issue. Several times during the cruise they completely shut it off!!! ("maintenance madam" is what I was constantly told.) I have many health issues but even that aside the lack of proper A/C RUINED my TRIP!!!
One night I slept on the balcony in a chair since it was cooler out there than in my stuffy room. I was livid and I still am!!! There were MANY people that had poor A/C but none worse than mine and believe me we all compared!!! The white fan they gave me had dark grey dust on it every day which I cleaned off. I had to take allergy medication just to breathe in there!!! I will be warning others on TripAdvisor and other travel sites about this ship when I have time to do so. I am too stressed out and exhausted from this ORDEAL to write the review now. Last year on the Nieuw Amsterdam cruise everything was fine. I can only hope that my next cruise with you will not be a disaster. I have just wasted $9000.00 plus (Canadian) on this trip (with my flights) and I have not even listed EVERYTHING that went wrong!!! I went alone to relax!!!
It was a total waste of time and money. Plus I have come home feeling robbed and so stressed out. The only saving grace was that I went to Paris for a few days after the cruise and calmed down. NOW I AM STILL EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED AND MAD!!! ALSO I was "squirted" three times from the men cleaning the balconies (my floor and from the floor above). I was NEVER INFORMED of this scheduled maintenance dates nor times!!! The last day I was to debark at 9:15 so I was all ready and set up my breakfast outside on my balcony at 8:30 and was drenched in water!!! The first time they dry cleaned my clothes but the last time I had to get changed all over again. LUCKILY I had an extra outfit in my carry-on or I would have had to fly soaking wet!!! Again I was told "sorry madam" as if that helped me in any way. I will NEVER go on the EURODAM again.
Next year in the fall I might try the Koningsdam transatlantic and pray that I have a decent cruise. I went alone and paid almost $7000.00 Canadian for the pleasure of constant disruptions, none or poor air conditioning and getting doused from huge hoses!!! I am so upset and I missed 4 ports due to maintenance and issues with my room; which were never resolved. I received many apologies but that doesn't make up for the most stressful cruise I have ever been on. Every time I thought things would get better something happened AGAIN. It was never-ending. I just wanted to get off the ship and fly home. I was in tears and my health suffered the consequences of all the stress on this cruise. Words cannot describe the drama and circumstances. It was pure HELL!!! Also the name of "Exotic Coastlines" should be changed to "SHIPYARDS". Never have I docked in so many industrial sections.
I was well aware that major cities were a distance away but since I had been everywhere already. I just wanted to explore the local ports' towns. In most cases we docked in the ghetto shipyards; even when there were terminals!!! (In Naples I was told the "Oosterdam stole our spot"!!!) Then the small towns were not even close to where we docked and they charged us $16.00 for the bus ride into town and back!!! Now I do not mind paying for these shuttles; however they should be included in the cruise PRICE OR we should be informed from the start of the cruise which ports we will have to pay you money to get out of the shipyard and into town!!! This was totally annoying and disruptive and waiting times were ridiculous!!! In Dubrovnik I waited IN THE SUN and extreme heat for over 20 minutes and fainted; thus, I NEVER got into the town!!! Even though we were there until midnight I could not go there alone at night.
The day was ruined and this was the one city I had NEVER seen. I am still reeling mad. I went back to my room with NO AIR CONDITIONING and just cried. Yes they shut it off for maintenance again and on the day that I needed it the most. I was so sick. I didn't even get off in Venice. I just stayed on the ship in the lounge for some air conditioning. I am sure you are aware of the extreme heat we had. Extreme heat weather is still no excuse for the A/C not working since it worked on other areas of the ship!!! I do not understand how you could let this happen.
Also after getting soaked with the hose from the balcony cleaner and having to change my clothes again (to debark) I had no breakfast (it was drenched too) and was supposed to have a wheelchair to debark. This was chaos too. Finally, a very disgruntled person took me off and plopped me where my private taxi was coming. I got out of the chair for less than a minute to look around the corner for my car which had not arrived yet. I didn't look behind me and went to sit down and hit the pavement!!! The man had just taken it away without saying anything. I yelled after him and he just ran faster with the wheelchair back to the ship. Unfortunately I do not have his name. As if the cruise wasn't enough of a disaster I ended my HELL of 16 days sprawled out and injured on the stone/cement! Nobody from HAL cared. I asked for HAL help and they IGNORED me.
Kindly some other passengers helped me up and found me a place to sit and wait!!! You cannot imagine how IRATE I was!!! I STILL AM!!! The staff (front desk) was always very polite but you could see that they had NO CONTROL of the situation. They tried their best. They sent me flowers and chocolates for which I thanked them and told them please do not send anymore. Having poor or no A/C in my stateroom ruined the entire cruise. I spent MORE TIME dealing with this issue and many servicemen and women coming to my room; NOBODY could fix the problem. They gave me a fan. I do not think a fan compensates me for all the stress and aggravation I experienced. The stewards were fantastic and the hardest workers on the ship!!! Omma and Yahu. I am worried about having the same or similar issues now.
I cruise with you because you allow me to smoke on my veranda otherwise I do not think I would attempt another disaster unless I was assured ahead of time that all was in excellent working order and that you improve your maintenance scheduling and communication!!! I will try the new ship (Koningsdam) next year or I will cruise with Seabourn (I think that is the OTHER line that allows me smoking on my balcony). I wasted my vacation TIME and a LOT OF MONEY. I had NO VACATION only PROBLEMS. I FEEL LIKE I NEVER went on this cruise. I missed so many ports and constantly was uncomfortable. THIS was supposed to be my SOLO cruise and it was ruined. I spent double the price since I wanted a cruise ALONE and now I will not be able to do that again due to the cost. Plus I missed most of Spain and that was the main reason I took this cruise since I had never been to Spain. ALL was a waste. It saddens me deeply.
My elderly mother and father went on their cruises and Holland America lost their bag, since they had an airplane to catch after their cruise they had to go on to the remaining of their holiday with no clothes. The bag was taken by a "bag handling" company subcontracted by Holland America who then went on to charge us exorbitant storage fees before they could release our bag to Holland America. The whole experience was a waste of time and effort. We gave up trying to retrieve the bag - and since it is not "lost" insurance won't cover it.
I booked a cruise with Holland America on July 3, 2016 for a 12 day cruise in the Mediterranean. I was looking at other cruises but I received an offer in the mail for an incredible offer. I called the cruise line directly and asked about the deal. The agent that spoke to me said had a lower price she could offer. She looked up my mariner number and said, "You qualify for a military discount and a casino discount." She offered a balcony room for $779 per person. I jumped at the deal and paid the entire amount. I received cruise documents but no breakdown on the money. I checked with American Express and it showed that Holland had taken 1300+ out which was about $200 less than they should have charged me. I was confused, but my documents said, paid in full.
Later in Europe, I received several emails offering upgrades. I ignored them until they offered a suite for an additional $398 for both of us. I paid this with a separate card. When I looked at the documents I noticed that I was paying about $1100 each now, and that didn't include the upgrade. It was too late to change anything, we were stuck in Europe with no place to go if we canceled the trip. This kind of business is Wrong. I did check with American Express and the initial amount that was charged was changed to 2227.00. Somehow they managed to get the amount changed. I would have taken a different cruise if I'd know I was paying that much. I can only assume that Holland called American Express back after the initial transaction and said they made a mistake. This price would have been a deal breaker for me.
I booked a tour with their tour department. My husband accompanied me to the desk to arrange for a four hour tour. We didn't speak French, or Spanish so we didn't know how the cities that we were going to. We just wanted a four hour tour to kill some time. We spoke to the agent behind the counter at length and told him as well as showed him which tour we wanted to go on. 'The next day, as our tour bus was leaving the port, the guide announced that we would return at 5 pm, making this a seven hour tour.' We paid $179 each for the tour instead of $49 each. I brought it to their attention the next day, but like our payment to the cruise line it was too late to do anything about it. I told them it was a nice tour, and I would pay for it, but I don't do business like this, and in the future, I would really appreciate it if they would be honest in their bookings. I know people were not booking tours very much. It seemed like a desperate move on their part.
Now, the Spa: I called for a pedicure and I told the I wanted the Gel pedicure. They asked if I had gel on my toes already and I replied yes. This would have been the opportunity for them to tell me that they were going to charge me an additional $20 to remove the gel. I was furious. At that point, I reminded them that they were going to color my hair so is there a charge for blow drying my hair. They said Yes. I told them we could forego the entire deal, but they insisted on provided the service at a lesser cost. They were rude, inappropriate, and made remarks to demean me during this time. At this time, my hair is dry and brittle. I need to see my own hairdresser for some type of repair.
I've cruised with Holland more than they have listed me for, Cunard, Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Carnival. This is the worst experience I have ever had with a cruise line. I'm disgusted. I'm a wife, mother, educator, and advocate for people's rights. This behavior is wrong. I've tried to retrieve the initial emails from July 3rd from Holland, but I cannot locate them. All I find is the ones generated after that time. Interesting that everything took a change like it did with these people. Maybe you can get the agreement that was made on July 3 and generated on July 3rd, and sent to me on July 3rd.
We purchased a Platinum photo package on Ms Westerdam cruise ship sailing to Alaska between July 2-9, 2016. After disembarking, found out that our photo was missing both hard copy and soft copy for the second night gala. The photographer, Marcia who took our photo on July 8 at Pinnacles Grill restaurant said that she will mail the copies to us the following day. Never see the photos/images after 1 week.
We send email to request the images on July 14 to email@example.com. They do not reply after emails following up with them. Finally, on August 15, the customer service send email saying that the ship unfortunately not able to locate the images and sorry. IS THAT ACCEPTABLE? Is this how they handle their mistake with customers? We spend almost $400 on the packages and this is how they treat customers. Because of this incident, we will never ever cruise with Holland America and spread the words out to all the customers out there.
Upon disembarking the MS Westerdam on Aug 13, my 10 yr old son realized that he left his IPAD on the pullout couch in suite 6086. We called Holland America approx. 15 minutes getting off the ship. The Holland America rep told us lost and found was closed and there was nothing they could do. He told us to call back on Monday, 3 days after the fact. I filed a report with property claims at HA. They said they investigated and denied the claim. The rep, James, even questioned if we left the ipad. When I asked if I could have a copy of the investigation he said no, it was internal. The rep did say that HA should have called the ship the minute we called it in verses saying call back on Monday. HA could care less about their passengers once they disembark. HA is owned by Carnival Cruise Lines so beware. I'm sure the treatment extends to all of their brands. It's unfortunate since the cruise was lovely but HA ruined that. Never cruise HA.
I have been on two cruises with Holland America and I have been absolutely blown away by the experiences. The ratio of staff to guests is amazing and it shows. I was treated with respect and personal attention at every turn and any requests were met with a smile and quick service. I will absolutely take another cruise with Holland America in the future and will be recommending it to others.
I'm sad to see so many negative reviews of Holland regarding their customer service. We have sailed with Holland America a couple times now (Zuiderdam and Maasdam) and have always been impressed with their customer service. Our room stewards have been helpful, kind, and friendly--always ready to go the extra mile to ensure our comfort. On one occasion, we had a storm in port that resulted in a little flooding to our balcony room. The issue was addressed immediately and we were given a small room credit for our inconvenience. Our dining room experiences were always excellent. Some people have complained about how slow service is, but we have never had that problem. At worst, I might call a dinner "leisurely", but never slow.
Any room issue we have ever had was addressed and corrected promptly and courteously. We usually take the longer cruises so have an older population on board. My only complaint is that there isn't a great deal to do on sea days, but that's just me. Can't wait to take my next Holland cruise--hopefully to the South Pacific!
As a solo traveler and a person with a handicap requiring the constant use of a walker, I was extremely distressed with the way I was managed especially on the gangways, at the excursion desk, and in the Lido buffet on my Holland America cruise to Alaska from May 23, 2016 to June 6, 2016. When I exited and re-entered the ship, gangway crew members would routinely get in front of my walker and pull it forward in an effort to make me go faster. Often they wrenched it right out of my hands, leaving me grasping for something else to hold onto. Then they wanted to take my hand (a totally inadequate substitute) while they held my walker! I said, "NO! GIVE ME MY WALKER!"
Of course, they saw me as the safety hazard and would not see themselves as causing a hazard by grabbing my walker away. I kept telling them, "Do not pull my walker! Let me hang onto it and push it. You may GUIDE it but do not PULL it." A couple times somebody started pushing me from behind to make me go faster. At the same time the gangway assistant was grabbing my walker from the front. I told them, "Stop pushing!" At that point, if the front man had torn my walker from my hands while the person behind me was pushing, I would have fallen down on a narrow gangway over frigid water (no doubt, it would have been framed to be my fault, not theirs). In addition, the moment I yelled, "Stop pushing", they continued pushing violated my person and became an assault. I know what I can and can't do and even on a cruise ship with assistants, I am ultimately responsible for my own safety; when left alone I manage quite well.
Now, I was never deliberately stalling at all, I was walking at a pace that was safe for me in that situation. I honestly would have preferred to communicate my needs in a more mutually satisfactory manner. When we reached Kodiak, the gangway men tried to prevent me from getting off the ship simply because there were five steps, on land, easily negotiated with an available assist, at the end of the gangway. I told them that I had paid thousands of dollars to see Kodiak and I was not going to let five negotiable steps stop me. The gangway assistants let me through only because I was determined to go ashore. If they had insisted that I not go, it would have become an equal access issue.
In addition, your tour guide explained that they held front seats [on buses] for those using wheelchairs but not for those using walkers or canes because, as she stated during her pre-tour instructions in the auditorium, "We have to cut it off somewhere." [Who is she to judge? Struggling to the back of the bus was tough and painful, to say the least.] This is a premeditated denial of accommodation and a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Auditorium seating for handicapped individuals was too scarce, and I had to miss a lot of shows. There is not really a serious issue here; there were accessible seats, just far too few for so many handicapped passengers.
I applied at the desk for a ticket to the 26 Glacier Cruise & Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center (In transit) excursion out of Wasilla through Anchorage. I asked if they accepted passengers who had walkers. Now, this excursion boasts a large boat with three decks, tables, chairs and restrooms. I am sure they had room to accommodate one walker, since they offered accommodations for wheelchairs in their brochure! However, the assistant at the tour desk rejected my application for a ticket because they did not accept walkers. Huh? The literature for this trip indicated that they even accept wheelchairs, and walkers require much less accommodation than wheelchairs! I think this was just laziness or ignorance on the part of the lady at the tour desk. I think it indicates an entrenched negative mindset toward disabilities. I was deprived of what some people have called the highlight of the trip.
When I took excursions on the private economy outside the umbrella of Holland America, I had no difficulties whatsoever and was able to enjoy the excursions. I realize that some shore excursions require vigorous energy and are simply not designed to accommodate people with handicaps, but this particular excursion was. By the time we got to Victoria, I had just given up. Holland America offered me a $200 port excursion credit for a future Holland America line sailing, and nothing else. What good will the $200 port excursion credit do me? I believe these are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) violations by a ship line that operates out of American ports.
Upstairs in the Lido buffet, your servers created an unpleasant atmosphere, juvenilizing me and denying me the same rights as other adults. This is not a feeling issue: creating an unpleasant, nerve-wracking atmosphere because of a handicap is also an Americans with Disabilities Act Violation. Upstairs in the Lido, your servers would jump on me the moment I picked up a small plate with bread and fruit and placed it on my walker seat. They would say, "Let me help you", insist on showing me to a chair, taking my walker away and putting it out of sight I have no idea where thus preventing me from getting any more food. I would say, "No I have to get my main meal first." They said, frowning, "I was only trying to help!" What could I do? Whose needs was I obligated to meet? I needed to get my meal.
I have to ask what are they thinking? Instead, why cant they ask, "How may I help you?" They persisted in trying to take my walker away from me and I routinely said "NO." (Hello, this is a buffet, and I, a solo traveler, have a right to get up to get a desert or something more to eat. Besides, when seated in a chair without arms, I lean on my walker for support.) I finally got the idea to tell them to take the chair next to me away so that I could place my walker there, and that strategy worked. Why couldn't they think of that simple solution? I have to ask, "Whose needs are operating here?"
When we had that exciting salmon feast in the pool area (a thrilling, refreshing idea) they allowed all the adults to serve themselves, but they grabbed my plate away from me and said, "Let me help you. Do you want some of this? Do you want some of this? Do you want some of this?" (I wasn't even close enough to see what this was: I am allergic to corn and corn products.) STOP! NO, I DON'T. I just want to be treated as an adult and be allowed to get in line and take what I want just like everyone else! Why couldn't they simply offer to help me instead of forcing help on me, as if I were a threat to be neutralized?
In the Rotterdam dining room, on the contrary, I reached a copacetic compromise by placing my walker right next to my seat in such a way that I could lean on it and the servers could get both in front of and behind it. Now, this was my solution; their solution was to grab my walker and haul it out of sight, haul it out of their way. Do I want to redeem that skimpy $200 voucher? Time to think twice!
I had booked this through an agency I have used before, so no problem with them. This was to have been a retirement and 65th birthday gift to myself so I booked the South American cruise, an outside cabin, paying the single supplement, on the SS Zaandam sailing from Valparaiso, Chile on the 22nd of November 2015 and arriving in Buenos Aires, Argentina on the 6th of December 2015. The ship sailed late due to passenger being ill and she/he was offloaded. Before sailing the passengers on my left side were moved to an upgraded cabin due to them having 'special needs'. On the third day out I decided to indulge myself by soaking in the bathtub, which was fine until the smell of raw sewage wafted through the bathroom. I looked out of the tub to notice raw brown sewage seeping through a grill located underneath the bathroom sink.
I was now wondering how I was going to get out of this mess, and so I turned the shower nozzle on the hottest setting and aimed it the widening pool of sludge on the floor. Slowly the mess ran down another grain and I rinsed off and after throwing towels on the wet floor got out of the tub and headed in to cabin where I dried off and dressed. I have sailed on perhaps 26 cruises and several different cruise lines (this was my first experience on HAL) and know what not to put in toilets. I went up to the Purser's desk and reported what had happened and to be moved or even upgrading to a higher category of cabin which I would have been happy to pay for. The lady at the desk said the ship was full and she would send staff down to the cabin to clean and fix the problem.
I know that people of the other side of my cabin also had sewage issues and I heard passengers commenting on the sewage smell as they passed by these cabins while I was in my cabin for the duration of the cruise. The entire crew could not have been nicer, my cabin steward, the bar tenders, the casino people, the restaurant team, as well as the entertainment was flawless. One regret was that to bad weather the ship had to bypass the Falkland Islands and for safety reasons it was a good call. I made some very special friends on this cruise and other than the bathroom issue all was fine. My main complaint is with the management/customer services or complaint department as I have written three letters and to this day have not received the courtesy of a reply. Hopefully if they read Consumer Affairs they may respond to my review. Thank you.
We did a Land and Sea cruise with Holland America (HM) our second and probably our last. Land first starting at Fairbanks then boarding Veendam a week later at Haynes. Our flight to Fairbanks arrived at 1:00 AM so we had paid $132.79 each (which we thought a rip-off) for early check in and were charged for it knowing we would arrive very late. When we arrived at Fairbanks Airport, others with early check in were given their hotel keys and bused immediately to the hotel. Not us. They had no record of our reservation even though my showed them a valid reservation number. HM said it was the hotel's problem.
When we got to the hotel about 2:00 AM, we stood near the back of the line of about 30 while a lone clerk checked people in. The folks in front of us got a room for $100. The clerk had no record of our reservation and blamed HM. Our room cost $160? The clerk blamed the problem on HM. We got to bed about 3:00 AM. Remodeling work in the room next door started at 8:00 AM sharp. The next morning we tried to resolve the problem with the hotel manager without success but later they decided to refund the $160 and go with the $265.58. We thought we should be charged $100 like the folks in front of us as we had not received any early check in benefits.
We have tried very hard to resolve this but HM thinks that we got what we paid for, early check in. The thing you can concluded from this is that HM has no problem screwing someone who has spent thousands with them for $165.58. An interesting fact is that the cruise line owns the hotel so the finger pointing is just a ruse to get you to go away. We rate their customer service as zero!
This is our 7th time on a cruise. I'm in my late 30s. We paid for an upgraded stateroom in a vista suite with a balcony on the verandah deck of the Amsterdam. I want to start off with the positives: The embarkation process was speedy and well-organized. The crew (mostly from Indonesia) was very friendly and welcoming throughout our trip. We loved our stateroom attendant. The musicians/singers/bands were talented. The announcer was pleasant and wasn't on the PA as frequently as on other cruise ships.
The bad and the ugly: The food was mediocre at best and inedible at times. I ordered "French onion soup" through in-room dining one night and it was as salty as pure soy sauce. There were multiple erroneous charges on our final statement, that I have yet to correct. The service in the dining room is very slow-be prepared to be there for a couple hours. We ate at the Pinnacle Grill specialty restaurant, which we were really looking forward to (at $29 per person) and were let down as the crab was overcooked and very fishy. I didn't even finish it. Gross. Red Lobster crab is high end compared to the crab we were offered.
Parts of the ship near the casino were permeated by cigarette smoke. Disembarkation at the ports of call is a lengthy and crowded process as there is only one exit for 1600 people. And on the last night when we had packed everything except a few items which we left on the desk, my husband's new RayBan sunglasses were stolen out of our stateroom. I really doubt it was our stateroom attendant though, because I tipped him generously and he was very kind to us. But, there are other people who can get into the stateroom.
Overall opinion: Wish we would have gone to Alaska on our own--would have been cheaper and the food would have been much better. The salmon chowder on land in Alaska was incredibly delicious. I feel like we wasted $4000. I hope this review helps someone else to use their precious vacation time and money more wisely than we did.
No hot water for the first 4 days of cruise. Cabin was extremely noisy when anchor was lifted and dropped. Telephone did not work properly...unable to get wake-up calls. Light switches worked sporadically.
I paid a significant amount of money for a Suite and the entire cruise. There were numerous problems that were not what I would expect from a quality cruise: At least every other day we were unable to use our bathroom for 1 to 3 hours. The toilet would simply not flush... and we were left with a full toilet (smelly) until they turned the toilets back on. It turns out that, in our case, 19 rooms are connected, and if someone is dumb in one room, everyone's toilet is turned off... and, if you are on a 7 day cruise, and the other room is really dumb, then you constantly can't use your toilet. The staff was unconcerned. The last day it simply never flushed and we could never use it.
We had weather problems so they didn't stop in Key West. Not a big deal; except that they had absolutely horrible communication. They made an announcement but you couldn't hear in my room. I called "Information" to find out what was going on. They said (after a lengthy wait) look in the elevators. Nope. I went to the 1st floor. They said, "We'll have information in 30 minutes." Had to wait. They could have simply correctly had all of the information ready before the announcement. Overall, the staff was unconcerned and showed no understanding that their communication needed improvement.
Misleading pricing - My wife went to the spa. They told her the price and she agreed. Nope. After she was done, they had added HUNDREDS of more dollars of mandatory tips. If they are mandatory and part of the procedure, you should give us the total. More misleading pricing - I happened to be sitting in the spa waiting area for 90 minutes... continually while I was sitting there. "Husbands" would show up with bills for $180 that they had never approved. The staff would say, "Here is the $150 we charged, I don't know what the other is for, you need to see the front desk." It would have been no big deal if it was only one person, but I heard this over and over the entire time I was waiting... The fact that many people had problems with the spa billing means there is some real problem here.
Duty Free Bait and Switch - And, the reason I actually sat down to write this. I went to Duty Free and bought two bottles of liquor... neither of which are available anywhere I have seen. But, they don't give you the liquor, they "deliver" it just before you leave the boat. I got home and opened the box, and was shocked that instead of the special liquor I purchased, they had "mysteriously" substituted Bailey's Irish Cream that you can buy at every store in the US. I've written then a note and we'll see what they do... I am shocked (and, what would have happened if customs opened the box and it didn't match the receipt I had? ).
As other people said, if you wanted "adequate" food, you have to stand in line and then sit for 2 or 3 hours... The food on the Lido Deck was horrible at dinner time, and "bad" at lunch. Breakfast was "good". For the amount I paid for the entire event, I am shocked at the low quality across the board. And, being forced to stand in a 200 ft long line for "real dinner" detracts from the entire affair. And, wasting more than an extra hour on dinner due to their inefficient. Billing - The final bill hasn't cleared; however, they had the final amount yesterday, but when they submitted their "hold" to the credit card company, it was $500 more than we approved or spent... Hopefully, that is just a temporary issue and they haven't tried to "accidentally" overcharge us more.
I am writing to share my horrible experience with HAL. The only other cruise I have ever taken was with HAL back in the 1990s and it was a wonderful experience. I have always thought of HAL as one of the better lines. That is part of why I was nothing short of shocked by what went on with my HAL experience in 2015.
My wife and I booked a 14 day Holy Land Explorer cruise with HAL for Nov 2015 going to, among other places, Athens, Israel, Turkey and Egypt. This was literally going to be the trip of a lifetime for us. We are planning to start our family shortly after returning from this trip, and so the trip was going to be our last hurrah prior to becoming parents. It is not a stretch to say we may never again get to visit these places, and certainly not while we are this young and healthy. We chose this cruise specifically because it went to Egypt and Israel, and because it spent 2 days in each of those countries. We also trusted the HAL name and reputation.
On 9/21/15 we were notified by other passengers that the ports in Egypt had been canceled. I immediately called HAL and was told it was true, but that official notification should be coming from our Travel Agent (Cruise Brothers). At that time, the HAL representative gave us no further explanation, just citing "safety concerns". They also said no compensation of any sort would be offered.
While we were extremely disappointed in the cancellation of the ports, I realize we signed a cruise contract that contained language about the possibility of itinerary changes. My main concerns however are not necessarily that these changes were made, but rather the way in which they were handled. Specifically, my concerns are as follows:
1.) The information given by HAL on the reason for cancellation of the Egypt ports was extremely vague. In the official notification, literally all that was said was "out of an abundance of caution". In 4 other conversations I had with HAL representatives, "safety concerns" were the only reason ever given for the cancellation. No specific events, threats, warnings or concerns were ever given. Also of interest, the US State Department had a warning posted about Israel (a port we did go to), but in a search of the official Alerts and Warnings for Egypt, there was nothing. My wife and I ended up paying to go back to Egypt on our own after the cruise and we had an amazing time. Never felt unsafe in any way. In fact Rome seemed a lot scarier given the huge military and police presence there (understandably) after the Paris attacks.
2.) Aside from why Egypt was canceled, the other very alarming aspect concerns the timing. According to a HAL representative I spoke with (and confirmed by my Travel Agent) if I had canceled prior to 9/14/15 I would have had to pay only $60 per person to cancel. After 9/14/15 that changed to 50% of the cruise ($1589) and on 9/21/15 the notification to change ports was released. Had we be told about the port cancellations only 7 days earlier when the penalty would have been $120 rather than $1500, there is no doubt whatsoever we would have canceled on the spot. It also seems reasonable for HAL to have waived that penalty, given how close the cancellation notification was to the penalty date.
When asked in multiple phone calls HAL representatives, both directly and via my Travel Agent, refused to offer any compensation of any kind. They would not even allow me to downgrade to another interior room on the same deck, just down the hall (category I to K) that I found on 9/26/15 for $900 less. I had hoped to use that savings to offset a portion of the purchase of airfare and accommodations in Egypt for my wife and I after the conclusion of the cruise. After emailing everyone within HAL we could find, we finally received a response offering to let us rebook on another cruise, but it had to cost the same amount and leave the same month. This was only about 30 days before the trip and we would have had to pay a huge amount of fees to change our airfare and other accommodations, so we ended up just going on the cruise.
Well it didn't get any better onboard. The food was horrible on the Lido, even worse (and cold) for room service, and was good in the main dining room, but that was always a 2-3 hour affair. And they wont let you make a main dining reservation for between 6pm and 730pm. So you can only make a reservation for the times you don't need one. The pool, hot tub and locker rooms also have short, inconvenient hours, despite not being attended anyway. We both became horribly ill for the entire 2nd week of the cruise, and in talking to others it sounded like the entire ship had a cold. We never booked a single shore excursion through HAL. We took smaller, better and cheaper excursions booked ourselves based on Trip Advisor and Cruise Critic. So glad we did not give HAL any more money for those.
We also had dinner one night with a bunch of 4 and 5 star people who take HAL cruises for 30, 40, 50+ days a year. Even they had to admit that HAL is not as nice as it used to be. They thought it had all gone downhill after it was bought by Carnival Corp. No more baked Alaska, cocktails with the captain, conga lines, or any of the other fun stuff HAL used to do. They said it really seemed like it was all about the bottom line for HAL now.
The ship (Rotterdam) is starting to show its age. It is still nice, but not luxurious. The room was ok, but our oceanview window was filthy making it hard to see out of and impossible to take pictures. The only good part about the cruise line is the wait staff. They were very nice and really seemed to take an interest. Other "higher up" staff however either seemed inept at their job (the port consultant, culinary director, etc.) or were very standoffish when approached (front desk staff, casino staff, etc.).
As a final fun experience with HAL, I discovered my credit card has been charged for about $100 more than what my final bill says. I tried to call HAL to get this resolved. I was transfered 3 times and finally ended up with a message saying that department was closed. And the voicemail was full, so I couldn't even leave a message. I actually got to this website looking for the billing dept phone number, read the other horrible reviews, and thought I too should share my story. Avoid HAL at all costs!
My mom and I bought an Alaskan cruise to celebrate finishing my Masters degree. We haven't had a vacation together since 1989 so this was very special. AND AWFUL! We started out not being able to go in our room (#2605) due to a weird smell which affected my mom's asthma, which is life-threatening. They concurred that something smelled and after HOURS of waiting, carrying around our luggage, we were sent to another room in the evening where we could stay for the next full day, but had to vacate the second morning. We kept checking in with the front office to find out the status of our room as they were giving it a good cleaning, which they did. Unfortunately, it did not get rid of the cause of the smell/asthma. We were then told on the third day we could stay another night in the new room.
We have visited or been told to come to the front office around 15 times at this point and missed seeing Juneau as they told us to wait in our room to find out the new one, which they did at 8:30pm. In Skagway, where many people disembark for a land portion, we had to move back into our old room while they waited to see if there was a room available, but told us it was unlikely. This was day 4 of our trip and it's been anything but relaxing having to constantly check in and not unpack yet. This would have been a really easy time to have new passengers switch into our room and give us a different one. They didn't want to go through the hassle. They also told us we could fly home, but it would be on our dime and it was useless to fight it as they have really good lawyers. My 64-year-old mother asked of she could stay in the theater on the chairs and they said they'd leave the door open for her. We were in tears with this thought.
I will say the cabin crews did an excellent job of trying to find the cause of the smell and cleaning the room, but it was embedded. We ended up sleeping in our room with the door right open to anyone who passed, having daily ozone cleaning, where you can't enter the room, and mom on max asthma meds. She had asthma the remainder of the trip and for the following 3-4 weeks after, before it was back under control. They actually told us to sleep in the room and cause an attack even though we said it was life-threatening. She asked if she could stay in the medical room and they said "no". We knew other people had changed rooms because of noise as we met them, but a medical condition didn't require a change.
This was BRUTAL service with many easy solutions which required a little bit of work. I know I wouldn't question a cruise line saying my room was different, but the same type. The dining staff and art gallery staff were fantastic. The front office had 1 person who showed some compassion and the others were patronizing. Four months later their idea of a solution to a written complaint was to offer $200 coupon on our next cruise. We told them we weren't travelling with them again and would be letting others know of the issue. Do your homework before you go. Carnival Cruise Line was awesome.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.
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.
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Holland America Cruises Company Profile
- Company Name:
- Holland America Cruises
- Year Founded:
- 300 Elliott Avenue West
- Postal Code:
- United States