We have been sailing with Holland America for nearly 30 years and have come to love the Grand Voyages and other longer cruises. It had been nearly 7 years since we took a 7 day Caribbean cruise and it was disappointing compared to our most recent cruise - the circumambulation of So. America 2with 4 days in Antarctica. We realize that this was an incredibly cheap cruise but still the repetitive, blah menus were shocking, No evening turn down service with a chocolate was greatly missed - who wants to step over wet towels from a late morning shower all day and night until room service the next morning? A displayed, printed menu outside the Ding Room was greatly missed (yes, we know we could look at it on the Navigator), Daily printed world news was greatly missed. The 2 movies shown were at least 25 years old. Desserts in the Lido were terrible. Desserts in the Cannellito were not good compared to past visits. The new New York Pizza station was good except they kept leaving the cheese off our pizzas (when there are only 4 toppings - cheese, sauce, onions and chickens, forgetting an ingredient seems odd). No early evening music. Terribly overpriced photos and highly overpriced internet on a per photo or per diem charge on longer sailings. An absent Maitre D in the Dining Room. The cruise is very, very cheap.
3 out of 5
The actual embarkation was 5* (love our 4* member status) but we received a total of 7 emails right up until the day before our cruise with constantly changing embarkation times and had to call our transportation company repeatedly to change our pick up time. We called HollandAmerica twice and were given conflicting information as to whether we followed the 4* instructions or the specific embarkation time which changed repeatedly. Badly managed!!!!
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
The Indonesian crew was 5* but the food was repetitive and boring.in both the Dining Room and Lido. The desserts in the Cannelleto were disappointing compared to previous cruises. New York Pizza was good but inconsistent - left the cheese off our pizzas twice. The Dive In hasn't changed in ages. Room Service was 5*.
3 out of 5
We loved the gym - great equipment, cool temp and never busy but the rest of the activities - except for the cooking demonstrations were of no interest.
2 out of 5
Nothing was ever playing before our late dinner seating. Music Walk was completely quiet. All the music seemed to start while we were eating and continued late into the night but after we finish eating at 9 - 9:30 we return to our room to relax, read and sleep. On past cruises we always enjoyed music before our dinner from 6 to 8 p.m. Now there seems to be none at those hours.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
The Indonesian staff in the dining areas and the room stewarts continue to be the best part of Holland America. We want to give a special 5* to Hendra our room stewart, Berezi (sp?) our dining stewart, Intan the Assis. Maitre D in the Dining Room, Muhrab (sp?) the Maitre D of the Lido for their above and beyond service. And, on the other hand, 0* to the Maitre D of the Dining Room who never - not once- came around to our table to greet us or ask after us.
4 out of 5
The art work is more Carnival than Holland America - no theme and no history. It looked like it was purchased and collected enmasse from a dozen other non Holland ships.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
The interior cabins on Deck 1 are large and comfy but noisy under BB King's nightly noise which can last until well into the night. There were "popping and banging" pie noises all day and night in our room which no one could solve, the remote didn't work til half way thru the cruise (it had gotten moisture in it from the disinfectant spray). We love the interior rooms on the lowest passenger deck because of our easy sea sickness.
Look at what's above your proposed room on the deck plans.
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