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John Alvey

Age: 55


Number of Cruises: 5

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Maasdam

Sailing Date: March 18th, 2004

Itinerary: Southern Caribbean

I am writing about our unfortunate experience with our recent cruise with Holland America on the Maasdam and to warn you of the perils of doing business with Holland America. We booked a cruise with Holland America to the Southern Caribbean. We specifically chose this cruise as it went to three destinations we had not visited before and which we wanted to visit, namely the Bahamas, Tortola and Guadeloupe. When we arrived on board ship, we found (buried in the other papers) a notice of change of schedule. Specifically Guadeloupe and Tortola were off and replaced by Puerto Rico and St Kitts, two places that we had already visited and did not want to visit again. Along with many other passengers, we made a fuss but to no avail. (The Bahamas visit was later cancelled because of poor weather.)

On-board investigation revealed that a few (but not many and not those who booked directly through Holland America) passengers had been informed of the change in schedule in advance, that Holland America had known about these changes for at least two weeks (we only booked around two weeks in advance, so they knew when we made the booking) and that the reason for the change was they had miscalculated the time it takes to get back from the final destination (St Thomas) to Norfolk, causing delays in turnaround time. In short, because of Holland America’s incompetence in planning travel time and deliberate withholding information about their schedule change, many passengers were sent to places that they had not chosen and did not want to visit. Other potential Holland America passengers may wish to consider this before booking a cruise.

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