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-   -   Hollywood tour, 11/14/09, Kaua'i/Hawaii (http://www.cruisereviews.com/forum/holland-america-line/1948-hollywood-tour-11-14-09-kauai-hawaii.html)

RAJohns 11-27-2009 12:15 PM

GREAT cruise...except for one expensive experience that left us saying "is that all?" Tour started overcast, w/acknowledgement from guide that we likely wouldn't see one part of tour because road reportedly underwater/out...yet radio contact would be maintained and it would be determined later whether that point would be accessible. First stop: waterfalls light-brown w/dirt/mud (hint: It's raining hard somewhere, although it hadn't started pouring where we were). Further on we proceeded, the worse it got.

Some were unhappy about the scanty lunch allowance of half-sub w/1 oz. Doritos and piece of hard candy for dessert (are we talking just a little cheap here?), but I was more concerned about the tour's content, as we sped by the fields where Jurassic Park had been filmed (yes, it was raining hard, but why was no one offered the alternative of at least stopping briefly to take a picture, if possible?). I was asked by the shore excursions staff member why I didn't ask to stop...but I was on the right side of the bus, couldn't see a lot on the other side, esp. given heavy rains pelting the bus...and by the time I SAW it (announced), I was already PAST it (how many of us have ever shouted "stop! Take us back there!" to a tour op?

Taken to alleged spot where Minnow (Gilligan's Island) storm-landed back in '60's, no evidence (left to our imagination). That's like saying in front of empty lot "There was a demo here yesterday"...but there's nothing there today. At LEAST provide pretense (like a fake Minnow) of authenticity here...tour op claimed they compensated for the inaccessible site by going somewhere else nobody I could find could remember afterwards.

A visit to Coco Palms was too contrived; singer Rivera (from original "Blue Hawaii") trying to sell CDs at hurricane-destroyed resort (liability disclaimers? PUULEEASE!) wasn't impressive. An hour there, w/o even seeing the inside of the resort (which would've been a lot more interesting than standing under loosening coconuts...something more to be desired here, too)...the word "hokey" comes to mind.

Severe rain abbreviated tour by what I believe was about 2 hrs. No back-up plan of any kind provided; nothing else offered. No DVD/film offered to let people know "this is what you would have enjoyed had the weather been favorable" or something to that effect. I would contend that, given the initial/early knowledge that rains had already affected one site unvisited (and might have affected others as well), this tour should not have gone out at all. It's difficult to believe this tour hasn't had to deal with inclement weather before; it's characteristic of the area. So why no back-up "Plan B" to provide for alternative to otherwise unfavorably-impacted experience? It was easy to come away from this feeling short-changed...and anyone considering taking this tour should take into account the very real prospect they won't really enjoy something for which they've paid a considerable sum (two other tours we took were excellent, in spite of rain on one; the cruise on the whole was excellent as well). But BEWARE of this tour: for us, it simply wasn't worth the money (ie. way overpriced, even w/good weather...one had to wonder how much Hollywood was getting from this gouge). Better off seeing the "Grand Canyon" of the Islands...

penny3333 11-30-2009 11:35 AM

Hi RAJohns, welcome to Cruise-Chat. Thank you for letting us know about your experience with this excursion. Sorry to hear it wasn't what it was advertised to be. I do hope the excursion desk listened to you and investigated the tour operator(s). We have been on a few excursions that upon returning to the island were no longer offered due to bad reviews from the passengers. One of them was a snorkeling trip where the captain drank to/from/during the excursion. The snorkeling was fantastic, so it was sad to lose that, but we were glad the operator was no longer used by the cruise line.

Glad to hear the rest of the cruise was great and your other excursions were worth the money. Best wishes!

Maurine 12-02-2009 06:14 AM

Not all the excursions are as advertised. After my first cruise, I learned I had to read between the lines of excursion summaries. This still doesn't guarantee excursion happiness. For the most part I've been happy with my excursions.

It sounds like you told someone on the ship about the excursion. You might want to contact someone at corporate and give them feedback. Excursion companies are contractors of the cruise lines and I would hope that if enough people complain a cruise line would reevaluate doing business with them or offering that excursion.

Maurine 12-02-2009 06:14 AM

Sounds like they should have given you the option of canceling and refunded your money.


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