Australia / New Zealand January, 2017 by rozvendittiVerified Review / Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends
This is the first cruise we have taken on Holland America. Our cruise consultant, Harry, was the best - very informative and helpful. He answered all of our questions and provided excellent customer service throughout the booking process. The best part of the trip was being able to visit Australia and New Zealand. All of the ports had something to offer - we especially liked Napier - just beautiful. The wildlife parks were a great joy - getting up close to the native animals- kangaroos, wallabies, koalas and some others. We also enjoyed visiting the various wine regions throughout the voyage - we were able to purchase wine and even bring some home with us. Learning about the Maori culture was also very interesting. We visited one of the Maori villages in one of the ports and saw some of the native dances. The nightly entertainment onboard was very good. The Maasdam singers and dancers were very professional. On one of the last days of our trip we were able to have a "meet the performers" session where they answered questions that we had and we were able to go behind the scenes backstage - very enjoyable. Meals onboard were good. We had dinner in the Pinnacle Grille one night and it was the best meal we had onboard. There was an issue with the wine packages we purchased - we purchased a 5 bottle package and only ONE of the wines we requested was available. We kept being told the wine would be brought on at the next port but this did not happen. The wine steward did meet with us and several others who had the same issue. He allowed us to select other wines in place of what we could not get in our wine package. It was a little frustrating. Two days before we were to disambark, the air conditioning system on our floor went out. I called the front office and was told the problem was being worked on. However, at about 9 pm that night I called again and was told the proble, was fixed. The temperature in our cabin was 77 degrees and did not cool down overnight. It actually got hotter. The next morning I called again and was told the problem was "being worked on". I called several times again on that day and received the same response. Upon returning to our cabin later in that day, there was a workman in our cabin supposedly fixing the unit in the ceiling. However, when he was finished, the temperature kept rising and got up to 83 degrees. At that point I want to the front desk to complain since I was getting nowhere with phone calls. The cabin was extremely uncomfortable and I was told the supervisor was aware of the problem and was working on a concession for us. The next morning (the day we were getting off) we received a letter stating we would get a $250 credit for our inconvenience. The restaurant and wait staff were very good at their jobs. The ship is older and, I feel, in need of the care. Specifically, in the lower dining room one of the windows has a crack from top to bottom - it was not very comfoto see that crack. Shopping was just OK - nothing spectacular. It would have been nice to have more items of the local areas that we were sailing through to purchase onboard. The itinerary was wonderful but the ship needs some TLC. I would definitely recommend the itinerary. I absolutely recommend our cruise consultant. Thank you.