Holland America Cruises - Page 2

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Holland America Refusing to Refund my Deposit as Paid
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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- I canceled my cruise prior to penalty and requested the full refund of my money back to me in the form of a check. I paid Holland America in the form of a personal check on 5-15-10 for a $600 deposit.

Since canceling the booking, in the beginning of September 2010, they have refused to send me my deposit back as paid to them. They also have refused to contact me, in writing, and state why they are not returning my deposit.

This is not right. Monies paid and that are fully refundable without penalties should be refunded as they were paid and in a timely fashion.

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saj80 on 11/10/2010:
The first thing that comes to mind is if you are entitled to a refund. When I have inquired about cruises, I am always told that without travel insurance, all monies paid are nonrefundable. I have not looked at Holland's policies regarding refunds, but will for curiosity reasons.
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Disappointing customer relations
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WASHINGTON -- Recently we were on a 12 day land/cruise tour of Alaska with holland America.sadly on day 2 of our trip we got news of a death in our family. we returned home. in time we contacted holland America to see if in the future we could have vouchers to return to Alaska. we were told we had trip cancellation insurance ,,not trip interruption insurance and all they could do was upgrade us on a future trip. we also wrote a letter to the CEO of company and got the same response, I am disappointed such a large corporation could not provide us with a spot on a future tour, plenty of cabins on cruise ships are empty and lots of food must go to waste. we also would be very likely to use them again in the future. lessons learned,,,expect unexpected and buy adequate insurance not from cruise company which was very expensive($269 each) but from travel agent..and don't count on being heard for your particular circumstance..general rules apply to all
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Ben There on 08/12/2010:
I am sorry for your loss. Next time, purchase trip interruption insurance in addition to cancellation. I agree that it would be super customer service if HA gave you two cruises for the price of one because of your loss, but at the end of the day most companies don't give you thousands of dollars worth of goods when someone in your family dies.

Out of curiosity, have any airlines or hotels offered your free flights and rooms?
jobee on 08/12/2010:
didn't ask anyone but holland America,,kudos to American airlines for getting us home
jobee on 08/12/2010:
didn't feel like they were giving us 2 cruises for the price of 1,,we were only on day 2 of the land for $6000
Ben There on 08/12/2010:
Jobee, I totally get what you are saying, but Holland America is not able to re-sell a trip that you have already started. It was yours, even though you were not able to occupy it.
Helpful on 08/12/2010:
I just wanted to leave my condolences.
tripleG on 10/13/2010:
You're absolutely right about Holland America not listening to specific circumstances. They did not address any of the issues I raised in my formal complaint. I got a boilerplate response.
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Very good food,
Posted by on
CALIFORNIA -- We traveled twice before on Holland America, we love to cruise and have been on large cruise ship lines and on riverboat cruises, and found the food on Holland America better than most. The complaint about the food being bland, is unfounded. There are salt and pepper shakers on every table, plus different condiments. We discovered that on Holland America ships, we did not end up with swollen ankles due to over salting, that usually is a covering up of poor quality ingredients, and poor cooking. good quality food products will not need masking with over seasoning. Our only complaint would be the choice of ports. Cruising from NY to Quebec, we found the stops in Canada,
not at all as interesting as Newport RI, or Boston, would have loved to stay an extra day in Boston, and stop in Montreal, instead of Quebec city.
Land excursion are too expensive, on all cruise lines, loved them being inclusive on riverboat cruising, but was not always happy with selection of tour, also once you have gone, the itinerary is always the same, going twice to the same destination would not make sense.
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Alain on 07/11/2010:
A very balanced and fair review. Thank you.
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Excessive Room Charges
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Traveled recently on an 11 day land/sea package with Holland America. We were very pleased with the trip; food, service, handling, HAL people, etc. The problem comes with booking an extra room night in Anchorage because we could not arrive on time for the 1st day departure.

I was quoted an extra room night for $154. After arriving in Anchorage, I realized that they booked the extra room night as they would an excursion - $154 per person as if we had two rooms. The end result is that I paid $308 for a room for one night. When I inquired about the cost for a room at the hotel desk, a Saturday night stay in May, the normal charge is $139 plus tax = $154.

When I explained my issue of double booking for one room/one night, HAL Guest Relations stated the charge was for both nights. We proved through our invoice that the arrival night in the hotel was part of the excursion package. HAL Guest Relations quickly changed positions and stated that each guest had to pay $154 for the extra night. I calmly explained that I could have booked a room for 1/2 that price however their response was to say "contact your credit card company and complain".

Anyone reading this knows you can book a room in Manhattan for $300 but in Anchorage, that's an excessive fee. After reading some of the other complaints listed on this site, my conclusion is that Holland America doesn't do refunds regardless of their mistakes.
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Helpful on 06/27/2010:
I would oblige HAL by actually contacting your credit card company. If you have it well documented that the room charge was only to be $154 and they've charged you twice, I would think you have a good case for disputing the extra charge.

Let us know how it goes.
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Reverse Discrimination For Dutch Seniors
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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- We were the first to have our luggage placed aboard the Holland America Ship at Ft Lauderdale Port. But several hours later we were told our room was sold to someone else. " My husband( Holland Americans Boarding Official) said he her husband did not have a proper passport and papers so now you know how it feels." Having a Red type Official Royal Dutch Pass Port did not matter along with an American Passport and Drivers Licenses. Being a US War Veteran, CEO with ID, Did not matter! We have yet to get an apology back from Holland America. Fortunately shorlly after we Booked NCL where we had an enjoyable time. The Management at Holland America seems to not care. Other members of our travel group have said lately Holland America is not the same. In the last two years we have not had a glitch on the overseas tours we have taken just Holland America and the Ft Lauderdale people.

This is an out rage to have your papers and not be able to board while the industry allows people to board Politically Correct with no papers because of sensitive nationalities paying cash. These internet reviews are very important, If we had seen all of the reviews on Holland America we would not have selected them.
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Anonymous on 12/30/2009:
"" My husband( Holland Americans Boarding Official) said he her husband did not have a proper passport and papers so now you know how it feels.""

What? How who feels? What's reverse discrimiation?
Anonymous on 12/30/2009:
Something doesn't sound right here. OP, did you show up at the port hoping to get a last minute deal on a cabin? My mother has friends that do that, and they can get really good deals if the ship is not completely booked. Perhaps the passport and papers was not really the issue.

PepperElf on 12/30/2009:
how is this discrimination

and was the passport proper?

being a vet and ceo won't change things if the passport isn't in proper order
madconsumer on 12/30/2009:
I missed something.
*Brenda* on 12/30/2009:
Who didn't have a passport?
Eloise on 12/30/2009:
'This is an out rage to have your papers and not be able to board while the industry allows people to board Politically Correct with no papers because of sensitive nationalities paying cash.'
What does this mean?
dan gordon on 12/30/2009:
its really hard to even follow your post. Since you live in Seattle drive down to HAL offices on 15th and talk to them.
PepperElf on 12/30/2009:
HAL.... lol giving me a nice 2001 flashback =)
Anonymous on 12/30/2009:
"Being a US War Veteran, CEO with ID, Did not matter!"

This sounds like a case of, Do you know who I am?? Someone's a bit full of themselves.
Anonymous on 12/30/2009:
I'm also a U.S. war veteran but I still follow the rules I'm supposed to. I don't expect any business to waive any requirements for me. Why would your veteran status matter?
ejack053824 on 12/30/2009:
I agree with Justthefaxx here. I myself don't seek special treatment just because I'm active duty with the US Air Force.
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Disappointment in Western Caribbean Cruise
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TAMPA, FLORIDA -- I have sailed on Holland America 3 times in the past and each time was very pleased with everything about the cruise. This January, however, that was not the case. My whole family (8 adults) went on the trip, my parents having a large veranda suite on the navigation deck and all the others have promenade deck rooms. The food was a terrible disappointment-it was bland, often overcooked, sometimes inedible. An example of the cheapening of the food was substituting milk for cream at coffee service, but calling it cream in every instance. The table service in the dining room was so slow-and the food quality so low-we often chose to eat in the Lido-where the food was no better but at least you could leave sooner!!! The ports of call for this cruise were for the most part absurd. Key West was fun. When I first looked at the cruise it was scheduled to to to Cozumel. At booking, it didn't. One port was Belize City, where you could at least get off the ship and look around a bit. At the Guatemalan port, the port was a cargo port-nothing else. A small building had been set up simply to separate cruisers from their money. Out final port, a Mexican one St Thomas-was canceled due to wind and high seas. No substitute port was offered-so we simply sailed around with bad food and bad service for and extra day. What fun!!!!

I used to refer all my friends to Holland America-but my husband and I will most likely NEVER cruise on th line again-for the above reasons and many more I cannot begin to have the time to write.
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Food Quality Decreasing On Ships
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SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA -- We traveled on the Holland America Oosterdam last December, and just returned November 1 2008 from the exact same cruise. The menu and food quality was far below our last cruise. The escargo was bland. They substituted a bad tasting lobster thermidor for the normal broiled lobster tail. The cold tomatoe soup tasted like tomato juice poured from a can and left to sit a day. The Caesar salad was very dry and there was sparse dressing. Pasta dishes were heavy on the pasta with very little sauce. Pancakes in the Vista Room in the morning were cold. A Banana French toast chef special turned out to be fried horrid banana bread. Link Sausages floated in water and looked unappealing on the Lido Deck. The special appetizer the last night of the cruise was dry and horrid tasting. Fortunately I did order the duck and smothered it in sauce and it wasn't too bad at all.

The best food seemed to be the cheeseburgers and fries outside by the Lido pool deck. This is just a short description of a few of the many food disappointments we experienced.
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Anonymous on 11/03/2008:
the banana french toast sounds pretty good.

Other than the lousy food,did you enjoy the trip?
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Holland makes out on it's cancellation policy
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My mother and I, sister and brother in law booked an Alaska trip through a local travel agent but it was Holland's cancellation policy that I am completely disgusted with. I've never cancelled any major trip so didn't even consider buying insurance (mainly because I think of insurance for other reasons - medical care while on the trip, weather, etc). Shame on me. BUT, my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer (no symptoms, not a smoker) and strongly recommended she have surgery immediately. This meant she could not take the trip and I was only traveling via this scheduled method because it was the easiest on her at 83. We had to wait for the results of tests and her doctor appointment to make our decision which put us 4 days beyond only paying a $650 penalty and into the 50% penalty time period, creating a loss for each of us of about $2000. I learned that Holland filled every room on the ship so my question is - how greedy do they need to be???? They basically get 150% of the price of the trip whenever someone cancels. Gee, don't we all wish we made profits like that on each product we sold. If Holland had not been able to book our rooms, I would understand it but when they are able to, why not charge a 10-15% fee like most companies do for products, like a "restocking fee"? This BURNS me as Mom lives on a tight budget and this trip meant so much to her and losing that much money just put that much sting into an already sad situation. Shame on you, Holland, and any other cruise line with a similar policy. Don't expect me or any of my family or friends to ever book one of your ships.
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Anonymous on 06/28/2007:
Cruise Lines have clearly stated cancellation policies, chalk it up to bad luck.
heaven17 on 06/28/2007:
Well, fair or not, it's pretty well spelled out on their website...

"Cancellation Policies
For most cruises and cruisetours, a full refund (except for amounts paid for Cancellation Protection Plan) will be made for written cancellations received by Holland America, 300 Elliott Ave. West, Seattle, WA 98119 at least 76 days before the date on which you are to commence travel (by air, rail, sea or otherwise). Passengers who cancel after that date for any reason, including medical or family reasons, are subject to the following per-person cancellation fees:

75-57 days before commencing travel: an amount equal to deposit requirement
56-29 days before commencing travel: 50% of gross fare
28-16 days before commencing travel: 75% of gross fare
15 days or less before commencing travel: 100% of gross fare"
Hugh_Jorgen on 06/28/2007:
How do you know they filled these rooms prior to sailing? Perhaps they did on this trip, but I bet they often go unfilled. And if they do fill them at the last minute, what kind of discount did they have to offer to sell the rooms at the last minute? Half of what you paid? A third? Less?
rhondam718732 on 06/28/2007:
I sympathize with your Mom's health issue arising, however, let's separate that from the cancellation issue. Waiting for test results was your choice. Many people would have cancelled within the initial period to recoup what they could not willing to gamble on only getting 50% back, etc. So in waiting, you took the chance. That was your call and not the fault of the crusie line and/or their policies. The cancellation policy is stated and at anytime you could have checked it. Cruise lines have these policies for many reasons: #1 they are in business to make $, not lose it or refund it. #2 how can they know they will be fully booked by a certain time should someone cancel? They wouldn't know and they need to have a policy in writing ahead of time. What if they weren't fully booked?
Slimjim on 06/28/2007:
What would be a nice policy to see adapted by cruise lines is some sort of tier penalty. Maybe you get a refund after the cruise sails with a more modest penalty if they are booked up.
ejack053824 on 06/28/2007:
I hope Mom gets better! The hell with the trip.
Anonymous on 06/28/2007:
Never take a trip with them again!
ejack053824 on 06/28/2007:
DebtorBasher on 06/28/2007:
That's ashame...it's all about money....it's not as if they were losing money because, as you said, they were booked. I agree there should be some kind of policy depending on whether or not a cancled trip is picked up by another consumer. How is your Mom doing now? Focus your energy on helping your Mom get better...and deal with them later. Best wishes to your Mom, I'm sorry this trip didn't come to being for her.
cadydid on 06/29/2007:
The cancellation clause is standard throughout the cruise line industry. Something as minor as missing the ship because you got a flat tire on the way to the port will cost you. That is why they have travel insurance. While you may not have not thought it necessary, you should have at least considered it because of your mother if for no other reason than her age.

The travel insurance covers so much more than just cancellation. I won't go into all the details, but I will bring up the two most important. 1) It provides medical insurance coverage. (some US health care insurance does not cover you while you are outside of the country) and 2)It provides up to $25,000 in the event that you have to be airlifted off the ship in the event you need medical treatment.

My sympathies and my prayers are with your family.. this has got to be a rough time for all of you
Dedicated Reader on 06/29/2007:
You wrote, "I've never cancelled any major trip so didn't even consider buying insurance."

Your choice, your decision. Do you really think that bad things only happen to people who've never had bad things happen to them before?

Based on your (exceedingly faulty) reasoning, the only people who get in car accidents are ones who have been in accidents before. Do you carry auto insurance and have you ever been in an accident? If not, you shouldn't carry car insurance, based on your reasoning.

Try using that logic (?) when the driver of the other car hauls you into court to explain why you don't carry car insurance. You'll be laughed off the planet.
Starlord on 06/29/2007:
My sincere hope for your mother's health.

Cancellation policies are posted, and insurance is nice, I won't travel without it.

A ststistician I know always packs a phony bomb in his luggage when he travels. He said that reduces the odds of someone else having a bomb on the plane to almost nothing.
justintime on 07/07/2012:
if you travel a lot, and have never bought insurance you are still ahead, Insurance often costs 12% of trip, if you travel 8 times the cost of insurance exceeds the cost of 1 journey.
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Anecdotal Experience
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SEATTLE WASHINGTON -- A physically filthy ship. Unhealthy hygiene practices observed among staff.
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clutzycook on 12/11/2009:
we need more details than that.
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Holland America Taking our money - poor customer service
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In June we booked a cruise for my mother's 80th Birthday, a week later, based on a variety of circumstances she realized she couldn't go and Holland America refuses a refund, in spite of the fact that they could easily fill the cabin. This company has managed to turn what should be a time of celebration into a hardship for the entire family, I have never before encountered such cold-hearted and poor customer service. All they'll do is quote their no-refund policy at us without any element of human understanding...

I've called my local TV station who is looking into it and I guess I have no choice but to voice my frustration wherever possible to warn others.
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Anonymous on 08/22/2007:
I'm pretty sure most cruise lines follow the same rules on this. You really need to give more details, here. Did you pay up front? Did you put down a decent deposit, and, didn't see anything back?

tnchuck100 on 08/22/2007:
It sure seems like no matter what one gets involved in. Be it cell phones, satellite TV, cable, building supply, on line shopping, banking, and so on. Quality customer service is a thing of the past.

Good luck with the TV station exposure. Let us know how that goes.
Anonymous on 08/22/2007:
Also, remember to purchase trip insurance. If she can't go due to health reasons you may have been able to have gotten your money back. I am sure they will allow a partial credit for a future cruise, ask them.
Anonymous on 08/22/2007:
It's pretty common knowledge that Cruis lines don't refund for a variety of reasons.
Anonymous on 08/23/2007:
If life hands you lemons, make lemonade.

You can take the cruise yourself or give to another member of your family.

I had similar problem couple of years ago. I book a vacation package for my mother-in-law and the week before the trip, she back out for medical reasons. My sister-in-law went on the trip instead.
mzpinay on 08/23/2007:
That sucks, but be sure to read the refund policy before you buy anything from anywhere.
justintime on 07/07/2012:
be warned if the person who is unable to travel is 1st or sometimes the 2nd person listed, you may not be able to switch for different passenger
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