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Disappointed HAL cruise on Westerdam-do cruise ships have unique culture?

Disappointed HAL cruise on Westerdam-do cruise ships have unique culture?

Old Jan 16th, 2011, 04:55 AM
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Disappointed HAL cruise on Westerdam-do cruise ships have unique culture?

We booked a deluxe suite on the HAL Westerdam for a week long cruise that was very disappointing. We sailed out of Fort Lauderdale on New Year's Eve and were expecting great service since that's what we've gotten on 3 other Holland America cruises. First--what worked well: we had good cabin service for the most part. Our cabin attendant was very attentive and did a good job to help us be comfortable.

Room service was disappointing on day one-----their representative answering the phone on day one did not know what hors d'oeuvres were (Deluxe suite occupants get free hot hors d'oeuvres each evening upon request). When we had the same problem on day two, we stopped using room service and switched to the concierge in the Neptune Lounge (another benefit for suites) and they were able to help us.

We noticed that the ship did not seem to be kept as clean as other HAL. Elevator buttons and hand rails were often smudged from hundreds of hands using them every day and those smudges stayed there for days.

Dining room service, usually perfect on HAL really missed the mark. Reservations were fouled even when we had our reservation card in our hands and table service was not attentive. We often had to asked several times to get a request fulfilled.

Biggest dining disappointment---ate in the Pinnacle which has a $20 fee per person upcharge. I ordered a bone-in ribeye but was served a regular ribeye. When I pointed out that it was not what I ordered, our waiter first told me that it was. When I asked where the bone was, he tried to convince me that there was a bone in this piece of beef. When I showed him that it was not what I ordered he left the table and then returned a few minutes later and said, "we're running low on bone-in ribeyes". Running low? I still wonder who they were saving the last ones for! Service again was just not up to standard. At the same meal the ship's captain and some of the senior officers were seated behind us. They spent the meal complaining about crews on other ships---VERY odd!

While I realize that this all may seem petty to most readers, I wonder if there is a way to know in advance about the culture of a ship? We really like Holland America and have never had poor service before. Is this just the culture of this ship? Have we just been lucky before?
RandyK is offline  
Old Jan 16th, 2011, 06:26 AM
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Always screen my ship by checking CruiseCritic reviews.

Westerdam sort of stodgy mixed reivews not the best for me.

HAL appeals to older cheaper formal cruisers staff can be weak

particularly on the more dated ships...
qwovadis is offline  
Old Jan 16th, 2011, 08:15 AM
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Sorry about your bad experience. Its disappointing when previous standards are not met. That waiter who fudged about the bone-in ribeye should have brought you what you asked for. Sometimes one tries to cover up a mistake with another one and the officers need to be way more discreet when discussing their gripes. This is very inappropriate. Could it be that the Capt. by behaving this way sets a tone for the entire crew?? Maybe. Did you send a letter to HAL about this? I would. They should know and maybe it'll get you some future considerations.
I have been under the impression that HAL does appeal to an older clientele but as their prices are at least as high as the other mass market lines if not more it doesn't seem appropriate to call that clientele "cheap" Cruisecritic is a good place, probably the best place to get insights to just about anyship out there. Check out the pro and passenger reviews and if that doesn't do it then register and use the specific cruise line board to ask questions. JM2C Larry
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Old Jan 16th, 2011, 12:27 PM
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Speaking of ship culture: it is ever changing and hard to to find out in advance. Our 2 cruises on the same ship whithin a year were different like day and night. A lot depends on crew and management, and they are changing, or most of them, usually every 6 months. Hopufully your next HAL cruise will be up to standards.
spurs is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2011, 06:30 AM
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Hi RK,

Having done 2 weeks on The Prinsendam in October, I am flabbergasted.

Have you written to or called HAL Customer Service? I'm sure that they would want to know how poorly the ship is being run.

ira is offline  
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