They are fooling early bookers when they reduce rates 1 months prior to departure without compensating early bookers to same level like other cruiselines, e.g. Royal Caribbean in such cases.
On our cruise they reduced the cabin prices with 2.600 USD the last month prior to departure and thereby cheated early bookers the same price.
And they difinitively reject to compensate early bookers in any way. They may have the right, but it is certainly not decent to early bookers.
They could have compensated early bookers with a free beverage package, which would be a very cheap way for them to compensate the fooling. Or by upgrading for same amount. But they just have away the better cabins to late bookers instead of early bookers.
Besides, beverage packages,and especielle ordinairy wines are extremely expensive. Internet charges were 25USD for 24 hours, claiming you can be streaming, but limited to 500 MB a day. How can anyone be streaming with a limitation of 500 MB ??? - So a constant squeeze everywhere.
Merely, the cabin layout is not in accordance with the showings at their website. In our case, the cabin should contain a couch with a little table and a chair. It only had the chair.
All in all a very very bad experience compared to other cruise lines. So never ever Holland America Line again. And we recommend others to stay away from HAL and find other cruise lines with a decent behavour against early bookings, such as e.g. Celebrity Cruises.
Travel operator: Seascanner.com
DINING: Being a vegetarian the variation of food on board was very limited. The Lido (buffet) restaurant only had one option at lunch and dinner of pizza or pasta and after 11 days this grew very boring. The best place for a vegetarian option was from Pinnacle Grill ($39 each to dine there) and we didn't want to pay for this every evening. The room service menu offered nothing but salad for vegetarians and I feel this isn't acceptable when there were up to ten options for non vegetarians. I don't feel I should have paid a supplement each evening to eat however in the Vista (sit down) restaurant I ended up having the same main course three nights on the run as there was no other option, not exactly what I was expecting or wanted and it made me start to resent the food on the ship.
DRINKS PACKAGE: This was definitely worth the purchase however some more information on the running of it should be provided before use, as outlined earlier.
ENTERTAINMENT: Shows in the Vista:We felt the on board entertainment staff were the best and we were very disheartened that we only saw them 3 out of our 11 night cruise, the rest of the evenings were made of of guest entertainers who were very variable in talent and standard.
CASINO: Both my partner and myself spent what we feel is a considerable amount of money in the casino whilst on board, my partner taking place in several tournaments of poker. During one tournament my partner placed more money on his casino account which didn't go on instantly and when we brought this up with the casino staff they 'used the CCTV footage as they didn't have access to the accounts' to find out that the money went on eight minutes later, however they couldn't show me this footage to clarify it for me. When I expressed that in a game of poker 8 minutes is a long time I was offered no compensation or reimbursement for our issue just simply told, these things happen. I was very unwilling to accept this and felt the way I was spoken to was rude and disrespectful.
PIANO BAR: This was always excellent and guaranteed to liven up your evening, the talent, level of entertainment and rapport that was on offer was second to none.
POOL AREA: One pool was supposed to be adults only and was constantly used by parents and children. I accept that there are only two small pools on this ship however something needs to be done so that adults can enjoy time in the pool also, not once did I use it and would have liked to but couldn't get in due to excessive amounts of children at all times.
ROOMS: The air conditioning was ridiculous, you couldn't turn the temperature up or down or turn the fan speed up or down. This resulted in being frozen during the evening. Since returning from holiday both myself and my partner have been very ill with flu like symptoms which we can only put down to the horrendous air conditioning which was blowing a gale in our faces all evening.
SUMMING UP: The final thing that I had an issue with was on our first and last day on the ship things weren't available, drinks and food, and the answer was we have run out and are awaiting delivery. There should have been around 1800 people on the ship but due to children there were close to 2300, they need to accommodate for this when buying in food and drink and not give the answer 'we have run out'."
Travel operator: Cruise.co.uk
We waited 2.5 Hours along with other nationalities to get on the ship whilst the Americans and the Canadians checked in and walked on the ship. Others had been waited longer than us. After the last American/ Canadian had cleared the US Boarder Control, we were finger printed and Photographed by an apathetic US Customs Guard who did not check all our documents. We made it on the ship with 30 minutes to spare before sailing. We had missed the life boat drill, Lunch and no welcome party from the Ship.
The organisation by Cruise Management and the US Boarder Control was a disaster and it must happen every week.
The cabin we paid for was an Outside Verandah. The bathroom had pubic hairs along with small soft brown items on the floor. Could not find the cabin steward and had to clean the bathroom ourselves.
After three days we meet the cabin Steward, we had to resort to leaving notes if we had any issues. Towards the end of the cruise he made himself self apparent?
No maps supplied in the cabin as the Ship was trying to peddle a book on Alaska with maps at just under $20 US. Information supplied usually through the TV was constantly 2 days old.
Excellent – some of the best food we have had on any cruise.
Main problem was no English bacon for breakfast only the crisp bacon doggy treats
We had two formal nights to which we had taken the correct dress.
Many of the Americans men dressed in mis-matched clothes and looked like clowns, sports jacket with and bright trousers one had hiking boots on. The same could not be said of the American Women who all dressed correctly for the special nights
The Ship did not support any special occasions such as Birthdays or Anniversaries
Same show nearly every night with a group singing dated songs. Very Poor
We had three excursions costing over £600. Poor values for money; two of these were half days
General OK but we had some disputed with some one who introduced Herself as the Cruise Tour Director who tried to move us out of the Main Dinning room part way through the meal for some else to sit and presumably finish our Dinner. We were offered another table in a Dark corner. My wife was upset especially since it was our 30 Wedding Anniversary. The Cruise Tour Director spoke to us through the waiters and not directly. The head waiter eventually moved us to a table in the light and gave us a bottle of wine as compensation and apologised
Leaving the Ship
The Ships management had organised set time for leaving the ship so there would be not problems or waiting. Our time slot was last time frame to leave the ship. We left the ship to join a 45 minute queue. Apparently the ship was late docking but they decided not to change the departure time frames
We enjoy Cruising but would not use this company again. The trip had a Ferry feel to and poor management of the ship
Travel operator: Holland and America
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