Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Holland America
Sailing Date: December 17th, 2004
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Embarkation is a breeze. Cabin size and amenities good, not great! Note that new pillow top mattresses will replace the standard ship board-like mattresses now in use. Condition of this ship, tired! Only 2 years old and old looking. From non-functioning toilets to broken and taped mirror-glass panels in the Lido restaurant, to non-functioning elevators, this is an old ship.
We never saw our cabin stewart and that is just fine, however, not enough blankets ( that is changing also) and not enough lotion, shampoo. I noted some mold on the shower curtain liner. The cigarette ashes on the balcony were not ours! The cabin should have been vacuumed daily, and it is hard to say it was vacuumed at all. The automatic tipping is applied to room service, waiter service, bar service and I can say we probably would not have tipped as high. We found the waiter service bland, and not very good. Just average. Same goes for the food. But, we already knew institution food and expected what we got.
The shows are entertaining if you don't get out much. We tried to get in to see the comedian, however after waiting for over twenty minutes at the doorway, we found the space was just not large enough for all the people who wanted to see the comedy show. How disappointing. The photographers were not very good and we saw an awful lot of photos still on the wall the very last night of the cruise.
The ship itself is hard to navigate, choppy design makes it hard to manuever. We often found ourselves outside just to figure out where we were.
Back to the cabin, it creaked when the ship was out at sea. It creaked big time. Just randome enough to keep you awake. We complained in writing and received a small plate of chocolate dipped fruit. Plus, a card allowing a visit to the hydrotherapy pool and heated stone chairs. We discovered our cabin telephone was dis-connected on the fourth night of our five night cruise. The front desk had called said they sent someone to investigate and they heard nothing. Of course! The ship was not moving!
This cruise we decided to forego excursions, so sorry we can't help there. Hated Nassau, told to go back to America by a vender in Straw Market when I did not buy anything. Its dirty, smelly and expensive. Loved Key West, very friendly and easy to navigate the streets.
The gym looked great, but the crows nest high up at the front of the ship was better. Even if we sat a full 25 minutes the first time we went there before we were asked if we wanted a drink.
We were disappointed that formal night is no longer so formal. I loved seeing everyone dressed up.
Dis-embarkation is now pleasant. After breakfast we simply waited in our cabin until our number was called and we were off the ship before 9:30. Now if the airlines could just be as efficient, all would be great!
Oh, almost forgot. If going out to Half Moon Cay,the private island, do not go if it looks like a storm is coming. An hour and a half after getting there, a storm blew in and the Tender operation was suspended leaving about 2000 people stranded in a long,long line in wet bathing suits, pounding rain and strong winds. Cold!
We waited about 2 hours to get back to the ship.
Will we go again on Holland? Yes, it is still a good deal for what you get.
Oh, I should let you know that the ships are filling up with all ages. We saw many,many families with children of all ages. Not just retirees, and baby-boomers. So the atmosphere was very lively.