March 2014 - Veendam to Mexico
BAD CRUISE EXPERIENCE FOR HOLLAND AMERICA FIRST (AND LAST) TIMER
We arrived at the San Diego, CA terminal early Sunday for our March 9, 2014 cruise to the Mexican Riviera. Embarkation was delayed and we sat and stood around for over 2 hours.
On Monday morning in our cabin area, technicians were removing ceiling panels for maintenance. Went to lunch in the dining room and it took an hour and a half. Our one waiter was way overworked and couldn’t keep up. Never went back
On Monday evening, just before our first formal dress dining, the power went out in our section of the ship, which also shut down the bathroom water. We couldn’t shower and unable to clean up, ate in the casual area. The casual dining area was the worst of any cruise. First, we really expected a buffet like every other cruise company, but were surprised and disappointed to find cafeteria style lines, where crewmembers dispense a standard portion of the item you want. Next, the lines were long and disorganized with no clear entry or end of the line. I started timing them. Typically, 9 minutes for the fried egg line then 9 more minutes to get bacon. A separate line for coffee (got a human hair in mine) and another line for deserts. Just hope someone remembered to hand you silverware or get back in line, and who knows where the salt and pepper was. Ultimately…cold food. Furthermore, the port side half of the serving area was usually closed for officers and crew, which reduced half of the seating, making finding a table very difficult. I began to notice that the staff cleaning the tables was saving tables for some of their favorite passengers. Several times, I received dirty silverware and dirty (lots of food stuck) dishes.
On Tuesday, I asked about the ship spending money that was supposed to come with my cruise booking. I was told that I was not eligible. Don’t know why, but after the cruise was over (and too late to matter) I can investigate.
On Wednesday, we started to hear water pouring into our cabin. I jumped up and saw sewer water pouring out of the toilet bowl onto the floor. We had to leave our cabin for clean up and repairs, returning to find a noisy blower drying the wet floor carpet. We had to put up with that noisy blower taking up limited floor space for 2 days. Who knows what bacteria were blowing around our small cabin.
On Friday, we missed out on the formal night lobster dinner because my formal jacket had sewer water on it. (no jacket, no entry)
Saturday night, I talked to two other passengers who also got flooded cabins and found out that one received a new upgraded cabin and the other received complimentary Pinnacle steak and seafood dinners.
For half of the cruise the pools and hot tubs were out of order and empty.