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Contrasting Refund Policies
On 20 January 2020 we directly booked with Holland America (HA) Australia 2 cabins on a proposed Westerdam journey from Hong Kong to Yokohama departing early March. We took out relatively expensive (due to our age) comprehensive travel insurance and booked return air fares for 2 couples. Late January HA advised that due to Covid outbreak the itinerary would be changed and embarkation would now be from Yokohama. Our carrier would not change first leg free of charge and we had additional cost. The statement was made that had we been flying int...o a city in China the change would have been made free of cost. Hong Kong was not regarded as a city in China. On 21 February HA advised cancellation and made full refund of fare and provided a 50% credit on next cruise. Our Travel Insurer advised in March that they would deny our claim for out of pocket air costs relying on a catch all pandemic clause even though the policy had been taken out before the outbreak became generally known. Our air carrier made a minimum refund of original air but no refund of change costs. HA has now, generously in our view, refunded all out of pocket costs other than travel insurance. We have enjoyed our HA cruises in the past and will certainly travel again with HA when it is possible to do so. We will however be looking hard at our travel insurer and air carrier.
Poor corporate company-AVOID
Booked and paid for cruise with Holland America through Vacations2go. The cruise was scheduled for October 2020. Holland America cancelled cruise in May 2020, refused to refund money until October 2020. When I finally received refund it was $500 short because of foreign exchange fall. Travel Insurance company says they won't pay my claim for loss. My sincere advise as a someone that has taken many enjoyable cruises is not to book until the cruise industry changes their payment system. It is disproportionately weighted in their favour just like banks and insurance companies. CAVEAT EMPTOR
No refund after cruise cancellation because of COVID-19
We booked a Holland America cruise in January 2020 to sail in May 2020 from Italy. The cruise was cancelled because of COVID-19, but they wouldn’t give us a refund. Instead we got a credit, but it had to be re-booked this year. It is still the height of COVID-19, and our country does not allow international travel for its citizens. We think this is very poor service, and reflects badly on Holland America
Thank you for refund.
I want to thank Holland America for their promptness in providing a full refund. It was a very distressing time finding out that our Mediterranean cruise was being cancelled due to COVID-19 and not being allowed to leave the country. But it was great to know that we were offered different alternatives regarding the payment we had made. After the pandemic is over I would certainly consider Holland America again.
Keep a dying man's money, just because they can.
Happy New Year to Holland America Line who refused to give us even a full credit for our cancelled cruise several weeks prior to sailing. My pre-existing medical condition, which our travel insurance didn't cover, suddenly and unexpectedly deteriorated. I am terminally ill, and am about to start in clinical trials aimed at buying me time. Despite the letter from the haematologist stating that not receiving immediate medical intervention could result in my death, they refused to even give us a full credit for a future cruise, but offered a 50%...credit of what we paid if two people sailed, (which is impossible for me as I must now always be close to a major hospital) , or 25% if only one sailed. The latter would amount to $1,400.00 of our $5,600.00 odd paid to them. That will not go far for a person paying single supplement. In other words, more would have to be paid in order to use their offer! This had to be booked within 12 months and would allow us to gift the credit to family members on the condition that we now give the company the names, addresses and phone nos. of any people who may be able to use it. As if! The ship was not full. We cost them nothing. I ended up in Emergency, followed by admission to the Austin Hospital during the time I would have been on the cruise. The "Pat on the back" correspondence we received from HAL, reminding us that, as stated in the contract, the money was non-refundable reflects poorly on the company, and is in sharp contrast to all other service providers who graciously refunded everything in a rather extreme case, or so I would have thought.
Dreadful cruise line and should be avoided at all cost
Recent Japanese cruise for ten days with eight family members on the ms Maasdam. Despite having upgraded to suites for all the family members as it was a very special event, almost everything was extra despite the premium charge for the cabins. If you wanted sparkling water at dinner, extra $6 per bottle. Even plain bottled water at dinner was extra. Lobster was extra. Half the restaurants i charged extra for dinner. There was a 15% surcharge to any drinks you order, supposedly as tips. Same goes in the spa. And then there is an extra $...11 per person per day they add to your bill which is also for tips. Then we had three ports cancelled out of our ten day trip because of weather issues, and they provided $100 refund as compensation. We were moored in Tokyo harbor and unable to get off the boat for two days. I have cruised with Holland before, and this is definitely my last time. The boat was old and tired, the food was unimpressive, tours costs when organised by Holland were sometimes 1005 above the same thing when we organised it ourselves, and on board activities were poorly organised and uninteresting. I have written to their customer service and had no reply. Just dreadful
We recently cruised on the Koningsdam, for a 21 day Mediterranean cruise
We recently cruised on the Koningsdam for a 21day Mediterranean cruise in August 2019.
We couldn't fault the Amazing staff. The service, cleanliness and all food on board was impeccable!
We regularly used the Adults only pool area, at the back of the boat. Every sea day they hosted a music quizz. The music they played during that time was fantastic! It literally had everybody singing along. I don't understand why they wouldn't play music out there all day long. It would create so much more atmosphere.
Their night time entertainment left alot t...
On the final night of our cruise I settled our onboard account. When I received my next credit card account HAL had put another $7 on it. I know it isn't much but it adds up if you do it to every cabin. Result - 2 otherwise happy passengers who won't be back. Plenty of other cruise companies around
No customer service for big notes
Guest services refused to change my 200 Euros for smaller notes, despite recording a in house video recommending it safer to only take small notes ashore. They did say they would advance me the Euros on my credit card for a 3% fee. Now I have no spending money. No information on booking indicated they had a limit on change.
We booked a cruise 3weeks ago, after being convinced to go a atf suite as it was the most popular, we were told we need to put 460.00 deposit down. We were not informed the deposit was non refundable nor non transferable. We rang to transfer our deposit to a later date due to unforeseen circumstances, was told we can’t and they would need to listen to the phone call to see what was said at the time of booking. I rang them back and asked where does it say that the deposit is non transferable and when in the phone call did they say it was non tra...nsferable, the reply I got was we dont use that terminology. ( non transferable) They are very unprofessional , rude and are thieves, be careful. They don’t explain things clearly and will steal your money.
One of the worst I had been.
We were on the Asian cruise last month and the following were our comments:
Pros: 1. The staff at the front office were helpful;
2. Some wait persons at the Lido Buffet were quite polite and cheerful;
3. Our room steward had kept the room clean and inviting.
Cons: 1. Most of the staff who served food behind the counter at Lido were rude and miserable;
2. A few waiters at the main dining room were lazy and don't border to serve properly;
3. Old movies were shown all the time;
4. There were no performance on some nights;...
Viking Saga cruise
Visited 4 ports in Norway out of Amsterdam on Koningsdam end of June 2018. The trip and staff far exceeded my expectations as I normally travel independently. Shore excursions were too expensive and we generally loved walking around places we visited independently. I am over 65, overall very happy and we would seriously consider them again. Food on board was great. As Australians we are not used to North American gratuity practices
It was the most terrible cruise I have been to. Their service was very poor.
1. we had to pay for everything in USD dollar and they didnt tell us while we were booking it. The ship wad almost like a retirement place .95 percent of people were 65+. No entertainment at all. Nothing to do in the cruise. Food was horrible and every day the same menu.
They drop us on shore every time we supposed to see different stop, without any transport option and we had to pay extra to get the taxi or any other transports options.
It was so noisy and we can...
- Holland America Line Westerdam
Worst Customer Service EVER!!
We have recently cancelled a 28 Night Asian Cruise, set to sail in October 2018. Since February 2018, on at least 5 occasions I had email Holland America about my booking. Each time, I received an Automatic Reply with a Reference Number and note to say they would be in contact. After 5 months only 1 reply which was a copied email from my last cruise, which had nothing to do with this enquiry. Guest Relation and Loyalty Web Priority, What a JOKE!! Never again.
- Holland America Line Noordam
Lost Items, HAL Response Unacceptable
We generally enjoyed our cruise on Noordam, which concluded on Fri 5 Jan 18. Upon leaving the ship we realised that personal items had been left in the cabin's 'under bed drawer'. The items included high end gym gear, under wear and swim wear for my wife as well as $350 cash. We advised HAL same day and their response took until 10 Jan. The response was 'they would look and get back to us'. I followed up with three emails, their last response of 21 Feb advised: Regarding your lost & found inquiry, we have followed up with our shipboard staf...f and been advised that unfortunately they have not been able to locate your missing clothing items. We certainly understand and regret how disappointing this news may be and will keep your information on file in case this item is found at a later date. If you have a Homeowners or Travel Insurance policy you may want to check with your provider to see if it includes coverage of personal property while traveling. Thank you again for contacting our office with your concerns, and please let us know if we may be of further service. Kind regards, [name removed], Special Advisor Office of the President Beware....clearly the crew cleaned the room before the afternoon sailing, the items did not just disappear...someone took them.
In my opinion go with another Cruise Line
Christmas/New Year Cruise 2017-2018
The boarding process in Sydney was quick and painless. The Stateroom we occupied was also OK. However the food in the Lido and the Main Dining Room was below standard, had to pick the best of a bad bunch at times. To call Canaletto fine dining is stretching the truth, Pinnacle Grill was OK but you should't expect to pay extra for average food. Entertainment was OK however the staff in the Spa and at the Front Desk very surly and not helpful at all. Although there was a coffee shop, the coffee was not worth buying and we ended up getting our coffee fix on the shore excursions. The shore excursions booked through HAL amount to daylight robbery. Would not cruise with Holland America Line again.
Should be called POORADAM
We have been on several cruise lines including the Oosterdam which was wonderful but the Nooradam has a lot to be desired. The dining room was always cold. They kept running out of Australian wines, even if it was the wine of the night. We paid for the spa package and they closed it on the last 2 sea days with no refund or compensation. The Wi-Fi was a joke. We were without it for 3 days and then it was so slow it just ate up the money. We had the drill for the crew full blast in our cabin twice and they said it was a microphone fault. The sho...ws were second rate at best and the programme could have just been put in the bin. Everything we wanted to do was on at meal times. On Port days the only place to eat was the Lido and only half of it was open. We put in complaints every day but nothing was done. We did a review at the end of the cruise and are still being left in limbo by Holland America. Never again.
There is lot better out there!
We have had a lot of previous experience on Holland America line vessels and have 3 Star Mariner,s Status it was disappointing to find that the Noordam did not live up to previous voyages. We joined the ship on 5/10/17 in Honolulu Hawaii and sailed to Sydney Australia. Having booked late,we were only able to obtain a Oceanveiw cabin and ended up in 1092 on Main Deck, The cabin was fine with plenty of room and light from the big picture window, however, it is situated directly beneath the main kitchen on Deck 2 and the noise commences very early...in the Morning around 5 am, the kitchen staff were well aware of the noise they were creating as a number of times the front office would despatch someone to investigate and the noise would stop. At least we got to get up early, recommendation do not book 1092 or at least 3 cabins either side as we understood we were not the only people effected. Net result not asked for but given a $100 OBC, based on the length of the voyage this worked out at around $3.30 per person per day, would have preferred the extra sleep. For the who do not know the Noordam was commissioned in 2006 and is definitely showing her age, though at 11 years old she is still a relatively young vessel compared wth some of the ancient vessels being dumped on the Australian public ,all P& O 20 years or more and venerable Princess boats Sun Princess , Sea Princess held together by their rust and weldand another coat of paint, there is no doubt the Noordam needs updating the is surface rust all over the ship both inside and out and the fixtures and furniture ,carpets in the public areas are in desperate need of replacement, in the Lido Restaurant which is the main casual dining area most of the upholstery on the chairs was worn through or ripped and the tables werealso in very poor condition. Speaking with some of the Hotel Management staff it was thought the ship would be refurbished in 2018 but this has now been put off until 2019. It was very interesting to note that the food in the Lido Restaurant was far better most of the time than that offered by the Main Dining Room where the food on most occasions was warm at best, never hot but mainly cold and the quality of many items was questionable with passengers having to send back very old fish which tasted well past its " use by date" and the everyday New York cut steak was often uneatable due to being so tough and stringy and overcooked. It was certainly not prime USA Grade A, if my butcher sold me meat like this I would change very quickly, it would seem likely someone was trying out cheap meat. Two things interesting to note the wine list was fine, unfortunately by the time the ship got to Pago Pago a goodly percentage of them had run out of stock,this included at least 90% of the Australian wines both Reds & Whites. While all this was going on there would seem to be no dress code enforced in the MDR with a number passengers turning up at the 2 Formal night in shorts, the staff including the Restaurant Mangar did not seem concerned, so we must assume this is now acceptable. The entertainment particularly the shows in the main auditorium were marginal at best , the choice was poor I have never been on a 16 day cruise before where for two of the nights the headline acts were "Jugglers" neither were very good or very bad, and after the second 45 minute show one came away thinking there goes one and a half hours of my life I am never going to get back. The main singers and dancers put on a new show called "soundstage". Along with many other passengers we left after the first two and a half numbers, as both the male and female lead singers were noticeably out of tune and the dancers out of Time and Sync. Like others we did not leave immediately after the first number but gave them the opportunity to correct their problems , but it was to no avail. I think by now you can understand that my wife and I were not overly happy with HAL Noordam. I think it is necessary to make these statements, this was not a cheap cruise costing around A$300 per day per person and quite frankly it was money not well spent and one would expect better from HAL.in this case it was "caveat emptor".
Select another Cruise company, when things go wrong you are not covered by Australian law.
We had Stateroom 7062 and no sleep, every night tables and chairs moved stacked and unstacked, trolley noise, lots of movements into Storeroom this was from the deck above. noise from 11pm all night. I spoke to several people on this cruise and most had problems with Deck 7 and noise above. waisted $10K on this 19 night cruise, reported it to reception several times also told them on the above deck to be quite nothing helped was told don't report it anymore they know about it. got a small compensation $250 and dinner. contacted Holland America Line on my return got nowhere offered discount on future cruise. using other cruise company's now.
- Holland America Line Oosterdam
Not good value
I booked my first cruise ever on the Oosterdam from Auckland. If the city of Auckland appreciates the business cruise ships bring, they certainly don't show it. The port consists of an old warehouse with plastic chairs and a few tables. No amenities, like drinking water, whatsoever. The Holland America staff were not remotely welcoming, just bossy. In fact, no-one said a word of welcome. The room was OK, although the table that is supposed to raise and lower was broken. I travelled alone, so I paid a 100% markup for my fare, which in a balcony ...suite was PLENTY. The food was nothing special. I ate in the Pinnacle several times, and I really couldn't say it was worth the extra money. Even the "Le Cirque" night wasn't particularly special. The coffee on the ship was awful, plain and simple. I should think that a cruise line operating out of Seattle would have good coffee. There are no trays to carry food, so you have to make multiple trips to your table. The entertainment was not plentiful, let's just say that. On the last morning the orange juice was watered down. I guess they ran out, as they did with a lot of wine. I really didn't feel that I got my money's worth, especially considering I paid twice as much as most passengers. .
Questions & Answers
I recently completed a 7-day Alaskan Voyage, from Seward to Vancouver, a thoroughly enjoyable week. However, on disembarking, I found my 12 month old Samsonite hard cover suitcase had been dented and split during unloading from the Westerdam. There was an urgency in collecting our luggage and no obvious person to report the damage to. It was also raining and transport for our group to our accommodation was a priority, so I had no opportunity to look for a person in authority. I did not have access to my email for the duration of our holiday in Canada. I arrived back in Australia yesterday. Is there a further process to claim some sort of compensation for damaged luggage from Holland America?
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