Holland America Cruises Complaint - Holland America - Veendam
On November 4, 2007, we arrived in Tampa to board the Veendam for a 14 day cruise to the Southern Caribbean. We had received a mailer the previous July offering us a discount if we booked early. In the past, our experience with Holland America had been very positive, so we booked early trusting Holland America to provide us with the service we had experienced in the past.
Upon boarding the Veendam, the first thing we noticed were many elderly people being boarded early. Most were in wheelchairs and walkers. As I am a senior citizen myself, I hold no prejudice against older people, as a matter of fact I truly enjoy the company of older people. However most of these people appeared to be well into their eighties and nineties and needed assistance. One couple spent the whole cruise totally confused as to where their stateroom was located and seemed to be completely disoriented the whole cruise.
After a few days at sea, we learned that these people were offered the cruise for $400 a piece and came from a nursing home in Florida. This was the same identical cruise the my husband and I paid $7,000.00 to be on. If we wanted to visit a nursing home, I would have gone to one in my hometown.
The next thing we noticed was a stench that permeated the entire ship for most of the cruise. When I inquired, I was told that the smell came from some sort of cleaning agent and that there was nothing that could be done to eliminate the horrible smell. The odor was so bad that it caused nausea and dizziness not to mention the odor was completely distracting.
The final straw came one morning toward the end of the cruise, my husband and I were exiting the dining area when I noticed another odor, as I was commenting to my husband, wondering if a toilet had overflowed, I look down and there was a large pile of feces right in the middle of the floor of the eating area. The attendants started scurrying to clean it up and I couldn’t move fast enough to get out of the way.
Next the Captain cancelled docking in the Cayman’s due to weather, I suspect that he was worried about the safety of the old people disembarking due to choppy seas and the liability of Holland America. I feel his attitude the whole cruise was one of apathy toward the passengers. His daily announcements droned on an on and he showed none of the hospitality that we had been given by Holland America in the past. The staff seemed to be overworked, unhappy and tired.
This cruise experience for us spoiled any prospect for us to travel on Holland America ever again.
Every time I get junk mail from Holland America, I am reminded of the pile of feces in the dining area, the attitude of the captain, the fatigue of the workers, the inappropriateness of some of the old people and most of all the stench that we paid $7,000.00 to experience.