Recent years have without a doubt seen a decline in quality at Holland America Line.
When the new vistas were being introduced and the S and R class were still in good condition, Holland America Line had it right!
The S and R class are still great ships, but are desperately in need of a major, major, major REFIT. Some of the S class are a disgrace and look worse externally then some low end cruise ships in the Med. There were rumours that the S class were up for sale, but without a doubt something needs to be done.
As the ships get older, the more issues with pipework etc result in flooded cabins and decks which end up smelling awful. Rattles and knocks start to appear and the crew struggle to keep up with the outstanding issues. As the crew find the ship harder work, more difficult to keep up with and worse passenger ratings you end up with an unhappy team and inevitably the good guys get the better ships and the less experienced guys end up on the old ones. New Captains, Staff Captains, Hotel Manager, F&B Managers, Guest Relations Managers etc cut their teeth on the old ships and its all a vicious cycle.
The Rotterdam is my favourite ship of all time, but recently its looking so tired. I also am upset because of the extra decks on the back and the awful looking gym/spa extension at the front on the R class...
HAL needs a serious cash injection into the ships and need to bring up their manning levels back to where they were before the cutbacks during the recession. Surely they are profit? Surely there is a future.