John Paul & Sadie T. Picklesiemr
Occupation:Retired School Administrator/Teacher
Number of Cruises: 19
Cruise Line: Holland America
Sailing Date: November 16, 2002
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
This was our third time on HAL, the first two were great, this one left something to be desired. The Debarkation at Port Canaveral is a joke.. no parking spaces, they haven't a clue as to how to get people on board and most of all the people don't listen to instructions and just push where they want to go. The ships is nice but laid out like the old RCCL ships with split decks...the Atrium is a waste, this multi thousand dollar Oran that spans three decks just sits there.. automatic playing several times a day...leaves a lot to question.
Room was great, we had an outside with a tub, but all rooms are the same size, some have a shower only, but elevators and stairs very close by.
Casino was very small, did have nickel machines and we did win some money...gave it right back in the Dollar machines.
Entertainment was average, kids did a great job with what they had to work with, stage was about the size of the Big Red Boat's.. not much.
They did have lots of sitting and lounge area.
Food was not that great, really, service was not that good, took over two hours for our table of 7 to get through and we didn't waste time when we did get the food.
I must say that the Captain and the Chef were seen among the crowd more on this cruise than any we have been on.. very very friendly.
Shore trips were good but St. Thomas docking SUCKED.. because we were the smallest ship and Ray Charles designed the schedule, we were put at the north end of the island in outer Hoboken ..no kidding only thing there was a couple of gulls and one taxi...it really sucks to have to pay $16 dollars for a taxi ride to the mall where you usually just get off the ship and walk too...(thats taxi for two).
Weather was too bad for Half Moon Cay, this is the second time we have not been able to go ashore.. this is the main reason we booked...love Half Moon Cay.
Ship rocked a little but was ok if you took a seasick pill. We were not impressed this time by the crew, they seemed to be overworked.
The Cruise Director (Jennifer) left something to be desired.. cutesy, but come on, one of the main activities one morning was SCARF TIEING...hell why didn't you have walker racing or snoring contests on deck..
There were 1400 people on board, we are in our late 50's, there were 1200 at least older than us. After 11PM..it was a Ghost Ship.. no midnight stuff.
We love to cruise, but this was a little stuffy.
The Marco Polo Restaurant was great and I don't like Italian food.
Debarkation was usual, Carnival and NCL have the right idea, go to breakfast, come back and wait in your room till you get off.
In conclusion, running out of Desert (sucked), few activities, but a great assortment of movies, poor pool size, but great hot tubs were great, and my wife slipped on water on deck and really bruised her leg, not able to move, yet HAL would not let us out of a shore excursion, that's right, that took the cake, expected her with a 14 inch bruise on her leg to sit 4 hours on a bus.. yeah way to go HAL.
Room service was good, all in all on a scale of 1-10 we would give the Zaandam and HAL a 5.
Listen folks, Carnival's new ships (Destiny and Spirit Class) have the best service, entertainment and choices of food of any.. including Celebrity, Princess, RCCL and HAL.. no kidding.. check into the new Carnival ships, nothing like the old Neon and McDonalds.. we have been on 8 Carnival cruises in the past 4 years and the last three on the big ships AWESOME and you don't know your on board with 2000 other guests. We spoke to several people that ruled out Carnival when you mentioned the name.. don't be misled by other peoples stuffy attitudes.. do you know Carnival owns everything except RCCL.. so do your homework.
Before this Cruise we felt HAL was the top, then Princess overall.. now we have to honestly feel that Carnival has a better overall package.. check out the Victory and Pride.
If we can help any further email.
The P's in South Georgia.
Sadie T and JP