Number of Cruises: 7
Cruise Line: Holland America
Sailing Date: December 13th, 2003
Itinerary: Eastern Carribean
This past cruise was suppose to be a celebration of 4 generations. All eleven of us had balcony suites. All of our cabins were tastefully decorated. We had 3 cabins that were category SS. While these cabins were wider we did not feel that the configuration was necessarily better. The couch is across from the bed so you do not get the 'feel' of a separate space.
We left port on Saturday and embarkation went very smoothly. We had lunch in the lido and liked the way they have separate stations for different foods. Service tho is very SLOW. The food was very good considering this is buffet style.
On Sunday we visited the private island Half Moon Cay. We all had a great time. As usual the beach is clean and there were plenty of chairs available. We left HMC about 2:30 pm.
My wife and I were getting cleaned up and ready to go to dinner (5:45 sitting). All of a sudden my wife got very ill. While she was in the bathroom my daughter came to our room saying she felt just awful. Next thing I knew she was on our balcony throwing up while my wife was doing the same in our bathroom. My wife became so ill that she had to go to the infirmary. The ship CREW doctor was wonderful. When the PASSENGER doctor arrived in the infirmary she seemed a little 'put out'. Meanwhile the CREW doctor gave my daughter a shot to stop her throwing up.
The next morning both my wife and daughter felt fine. A little weary from the previous night but no temp etc. To our surprise the head nurse along with the ships customer relations person told us that we would need to get off the ship at the next port! The PASSENGER doctor says they both had NORWALK VIRUS. We feel it was food poisoning from HMC. My wife and I along with my daughter and her husband had to stay in our rooms Monday, then leave the ship on Tuesday in St. Maarten. Our daughter and her husband did leave the ship. We stayed as long as my wife promised not to leave the cabin. I was allowed to roam freely on Tuesday. Meanwhile my wife stayed in the cabin and the a/c went out for 6.5 hours! It was like a sauna in there. When we asked the question on why I could be out and about we were told that I wasn't contagious (but I was sleeping in the same room etc etc.) This made no sense to us. Also, I nor my son in law ever got sick. And we were the ones cleaning up after them.
My wife was allowed her freedom on Wednesday. I must also tell you that no medical personnel came and took any vitals after Monday morning. During our quarentine we were treated very poorly. We had to eat off paper plates, plastic forks, paper cups what don't they have sanitizing dishwashers? Also, this type of service didn't start until WE said something about if my wife is so contagious how come the cabin steward etc don't know about it?
When we did get a chance to eat in the Vista dinning room the food was good but the vibrations were awful. We were at table 26 & 28 overlooking the rear of the ship. The view was wonderful but our son and other son in law got sick every time they ate there from the vibrations. The Vista is crowded, the tables are so close together it is very hard for the waiters to serve you. Even the head waiter said it was hard to work in this dinning room compared to the other HAL ships.
All in all we did not have a good time. We wrote a letter to HAL and they will only reimburse for our daughters unused portion of her trip. It was a real shame to spend over 10K for a family celebrating 4 generations to walk away with such bad memories. HAL will not get our business again.