May 2014 - Veendam to Canada, New England, New York
This is our second cruise this year. We can comfortably comment on the cruise because it's not our 1st or even 5th cruise. We have sailed on at least 5 different cruise lines in the past 17 years. That being said, this last cruise with Holland is a reminder of what I feel are the dramitic changes that have occured in the past 3 years. Without wasting too much time let me point out these changes or differences as I have noted them.
A) The quality of the food has detiorated dramatically
B) Instead of being brought water or tea or having adequate staff in the Lido dining area to service the customer, it appears many of the staff are walking around trying to sell Coke or Beer, of course this is an upcharge from which they profit
C) The shows and entertainment (professional quality) has all but gone away. There are some shows but they are not of the quality that had been the norm during previous years of cruising.
The most important thing I would like to note is the rediculous toilet flush location these ships have. You have to touch the toilet seat each time to either lift it or lower it in order to flush the toilet. The reason for this is obvious, they do not want you to flush the vacumn toilet with the seat cover up, however, touching the seat in order to flush and then prior to using each time puts your hands in contact with many potential germs. No wonder the noro virus has become so prevalent. The first cruise we took this year on a Princess ship our of Galveston experienced a large number of the passengers and crew coming down with the virus. During our most recent cruise we were cautious of everying, handrails, door handles, elevator buttons, toilets, etc. It is not pleasant thinking of all the germs, the fact that in order to maintain profitability the cleaning the rooms from one guest to another has to happen within hours does not allow enought time to clean each cabin properly. The first thing my wife saw on this past cruise was pubic hair from the prior guest in the bathtub. Not the way you want to start your cruise for sure.