I have read these boards for months getting ready for our cruise. A once in a life time cruise, S class suite and all to Alaska. We chose Holland because of reputation and service. We found this cruise only to be average in our opinion and others near us in the 7000 cabins as well. I can't even tell you the name of our cabin steward because we rarely saw him, and he did a very bad job at keeping our cabin clean. I asked him to remove some rotten fruit from our room, he said he would do it at night when he was going to bring the "new" fruit basket. We were shocked that he didn't remove the fruit imediately. The cabin steward was by far the most negative experience!
I would also like to let others know that the dress on this ship was VERY casual. They even let one man come to dinner in shorts. They did stop him at the door, but did let him come into the dinning room and eat. About 30% of people wore jeans on all but the formal night. Even the formal night there were many in just a jacket and no tie. I bought extra slacks for the trip...I could have saved money and not purchased them.
Meals! All evening meals were GREAT! and the service of the wine steward and wait staff was great. The Leido however was always croweded and you could tell they were trying to cut costs. One morning a half hour before breakfast was closed, they ran out of scrambled eggs. Five of use all wanted some and the server said simply we are out. One vetran cruiser requested they make more and the server said they they are closing soon and could not. I was shocked as were others in the service line. We went early and late for breakfast and never found a time that we could find seating. Many people wondering around with trays trying to find a table. We most days, took our food down to our room and had breakfast their.
We are glad we went to alaska and chose Holland mainly because if this was "GRAND" service I would hate to think of the service others get on other ships. The Ports were nice and tours great as well. (I would however book my own tours next time. Holland charged $98 for a $30 tour. We had heard you could do much better ashore, but we wanted to have the tours we wanted and we paid the price for a guarantee.)
My wife and I saved a long time for this trip and came away feeling like we didn't get what we paid for. If I were to do it again, I would NOT spend the money for the S class, I would get a veranda suite instead. I would also plan on booking my tours ahead of time or on shore. One thought we had, as we would like to go back to Alaska, is taking the Alaska ferry system next time.
I hope that this helps anyone who is taking a "cruise of a life time". I know that our cabin steward issue was a unique one, as our table mates all had grand service in this regard. I just don't know what else we could have done to motivate him. Alaska is worth seeing and if you are going this year or next have a grand time. I hope that this post puts atleast some concerns to rest for other first time Alaska cruisers.
Sept 14, 2002