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Underwhelming Service (Holland America)

Author: Kelly B.
Date of Trip: March 2010

I am a professional travel writer. I go on a different cruise about once every three months. I recently went on my first, and last, Holland America Cruise. In March 2010.

At one time Holland America may have been a premium cruise line, but this was certainly not evident in any aspect of my recent cruise.

The literature published by Holland America, touts “Exceptional” “exceptional Service”, “Exceptional Cuisine”, and on and on. I have never sailed on a cruise in which the information provided by the cruise comapny differs more radically from the actual cruise experience.

The Zaandam is a tired old ship sadly in need of refurbishment. The staff attitude, throughout the ship, is exceptionally poor. This is particularly evident in the Shore Excursion Staff, who have to be the poorest I have ever encountered anywhere.

The “Exceptional Cuisine” amounts to hospital food. Low fat, low spice, low sugar. This was even evident in the Alternative Restaurant. Portions are absurdly small. Some desserts were served in a block less than two inches square

There are no trays in the buffet restaurant. I wonder if the “Bean Counters” in the Corporate Office understand that many of the HA passengers are elderly with limited mobility. Having to make repeated trips to the buffet just to get an extra glass of juice or a fork, is absurd!

The were nothing, nothing at all, on this cruise which could be described as Exceptional…. except that it was an EXCEPTIONAL WASTE OF TIME.

If you are under 80, you will have a much nicer cruise experience sailing on any other cruise line.

I took the time to send an email to the Holland America Corporate Office. I detailed what had happend on the ship. Holland America was so shockingly unprofessional, they did not even give me the courtesy of a response.

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