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Holland America Cruises - Page 2


23 Reviews & Complaints
www.hollandamerica.com

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Stinky Stateroom on Rotterdam
Posted by TripleG on 10/13/2010
This is where the leak occurred in stateroom 7040.
This is where the leak occurred in stateroom 7040.
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- On the second night of a 7-day cruise to Alaska, a pipe burst in "deluxe" verandah stateroom 7040. The smell of raw sewage was strong. The crew was not trained properly to handle the problem. Despite assurances that the room would be ready for us the next day, strong chemical odors remained throughout the week. Although another cabin was found for sleeping, it did not meet my disability needs. I had booked a deluxe verandah stateroom because it was fully wheelchair accessible.

In addition to problems with the stateroom, the key to my scooter was lost during the shuffle. When asked if there were spare keys on the ship, I was told "No." This was a lie! When the gentleman from Special Needs at Sea picked up the scooter, he told us that spare keys ARE left on the ship.

I was denied disembarkation in Sitka "because of weather conditions." When I asked for a log of the weather conditions, I was told that I should have been allowed off the ship. Another lie!

What should have been a relaxing vacation was very stressful. I asked for a meeting with corporate guest relations in Seattle and was told that corporate did not meet face-to-face with guests. This says a lot about Holland America's guest relations!

Holland America has refunded 37.5% of what I paid for the cruise. How was the amount determined? Do they they I was satisfied 62.5% of the time? In my communications with advisors to the president, my disability issues have not been addressed. My independence was taken away from me because of crew errors.

I was told that "it would seem further communication would only serve to cause additional frustration and disappointment." Nobody tells a dying guy to shut up!

     
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Posted by jeniferlyn on 2010-11-24:
I believe you 100% We upgraded, after having a ugly, dilapidated, emergency boat parked infront of our large floor to ceiling window. Imagine my suprise to find a worker out on the boat, while I was changing! That was the final straw & went to the front desk in tears!
We upgraded to room 5035, & it also stunk. The carpets were filthy, the drapes had huge holes & what looked like burns on them. This room had faulty plumbing as well, & as soon as the plumber had left, it didn't flush again. After being on hold for 20+minutes, which is about average, the lady at the front desk told me, "Please do not call again unless the contents have gone over the rim, & have gone onto the floor!" Yes I am serious! The last 4 days I used the Lido Decks restroom, if anything other than the need to urinate occurred. My husband had already waded through my fecal matter & I was not going to let that happen again!
After getting home to Seattle, after the awful Mexican Riveria cruise,which left Oct 9-16th, I tried to call and complain. A recording stating they were in a 90min meeting greeted me, without stating the time it started, or was to end. Also the HA web site was and still is down.
The customer service desk told us one lie after another. Wrong dinning times, wrong dress codes, unavailability of room service items, such as bread! It was a joke! Also be aware the BBB does not support HA, the food is awful & so full of salt, that is if you are able to get any food! I lost 6lbs on this cruise compared to a substantial gain on past cruises. Also be aware the average age of travelers on HA is about 70, which would not be an issue, but getting around canes, walkers, & wheelchairs/scooters, can be difficult!
My final statement is from what I witnessed, the customer service desk, as well as the beverage manager, dinning room manager, and the crew who answer the phones, continually lie to there customers as easy as batting there eyes. They are VERY rude to the rest of the crew, (mostly non english speaking, very nice Filipino men & women,) & I wouldnt be suprised if you have as awful of a cruise as we did!
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Disappointing customer relations
Posted by Jobee on 08/12/2010
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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Posted by Ben There on 2010-08-12:
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?
Posted by jobee on 2010-08-12:
didnt ask anyone but holland america,,kudos to american airlines for getting us home
Posted by jobee on 2010-08-12:
didnt feel like they were giving us 2 cruises for the price of 1,,we were only on day 2 of the land for $6000
Posted by Ben There on 2010-08-12:
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.
Posted by Helpful on 2010-08-12:
I just wanted to leave my condolences.
Posted by tripleG on 2010-10-13:
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 La Jollan on 07/10/2010
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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Posted by Alain on 2010-07-11:
A very balanced and fair review. Thank you.
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Excessive Room Charges
Posted by PJO1 on 06/27/2010
Traveled recently on a 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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Posted by Helpful on 2010-06-27:
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
Posted by Cruser on 12/30/2009
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 some one 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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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-30:
"" 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?
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-30:
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.



Posted by PepperElf on 2009-12-30:
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
Posted by madconsumer on 2009-12-30:
i missed something.
Posted by *Brenda* on 2009-12-30:
Who didn't have a passport?
Posted by Eloise on 2009-12-30:
'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?
Posted by dan gordon on 2009-12-30:
its really hard to even follow your post. Since you live in Seattle drive down to HAL offices on 15th and talk to them.
Posted by PepperElf on 2009-12-30:
HAL.... lol giving me a nice 2001 flashback =)
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-30:
"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.
Posted by Anonymous on 2009-12-30:
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?
Posted by ejack053824 on 2009-12-30:
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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Anecdotal Experience
Posted by Rflow on 12/11/2009
A physically filthy ship. Unhealthy hygiene practices observed among staff.
     
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Posted by clutzycook on 2009-12-11:
we need more details than that.
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Disappointment in Western Caribbean Cruise
Posted by GeorgiaRose on 01/23/2009
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
Posted by CharS on 11/03/2008
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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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-11-03:
the banana french toast sounds pretty good.

Other than the lousy food,did you enjoy the trip?
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Holland America Taking our money - poor customer service
Posted by Egpaul on 08/22/2007
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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Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-22:
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?

Posted by tnchuck100 on 2007-08-22:
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.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-22:
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.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-22:
It's pretty common knowledge that Cruis lines don't refund for a variety of reasons.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-23:
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.
Posted by mzpinay on 2007-08-23:
That sucks, but be sure to read the refund policy before you buy anything from anywhere.
Posted by justintime on 2012-07-07:
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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Holland makes out on it's cancellation policy
Posted by Scram on 06/28/2007
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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Posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-28:
Cruise Lines have clearly stated cancellation policies, chalk it up to bad luck.
Posted by heaven17 on 2007-06-28:
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"
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2007-06-28:
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?
Posted by rhondam718732 on 2007-06-28:
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?
Posted by Slimjim on 2007-06-28:
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.
Posted by ejack053824 on 2007-06-28:
I hope Mom gets better! The hell with the trip.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-28:
Never take a trip with them again!
Posted by ejack053824 on 2007-06-28:
BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2007-06-28:
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.
Posted by cadydid on 2007-06-29:
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
Posted by Dedicated Reader on 2007-06-29:
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.
Posted by Starlord on 2007-06-29:
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.
Posted by justintime on 2012-07-07:
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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