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-   -   Ryndam part 2 (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/holland-america/388298-ryndam-part-2-a.html)

pfeifela March 15th, 2012 08:43 PM

Ryndam part 2
 
As previously described, food service in the Lido buffet was disappointing. So we tried the food self-service island near the pool. It had Mexican food and we built two plates. After eating some of the food we found a disintegrated Kleenex in our food that contained something that had been removed from someone’s mouth. It appeared to be chewed up olives. Unlike toilet tissue that is made to disintegrate when it gets wet, a Kleenex does not. Hence, for it to get this deteriorated it had to be in the food for a long time. To reiterate, as disgusting as this situation was I don’t hold Holland America directly responsible for the occurrence. We took the plate to the front desk and reported it then took the plate to our room to photograph it. I assumed the front desk would immediately notify food services to shut down and clean the self-service island. However, I never saw any such action taken, nor did anyone attempt to further clarify where on the island we may have picked up the foreign material. As far as I could tell food service continued on that island per usual. Front desk staffer Carola Swinkles and another gentleman came to our cabin and viewed the plate. I also summarized for that gentleman the many other problems we had encountered on the trip. I was utterly astounded that this customer service representative had not even a simple “my apologies” to offer. Ms. Swinkles later referred to him as “a little stiff .” Wow, what an understatement.
Problem: Room ServiceOn Wednesday evening we ordered a six pack of Bud Light from room service. It seemed pretty simple at first. Until we later received a return call from room service informing us that there was no more Bud Light aboard the ship and that they had checked with the bars. They requested that we accept an alternate beer, which we did, although you would think for $24 dollars you could have the beer you want….. especially when it is just a simple domestic. The alternate (Coors Light) was eventually delivered and the receipt even had Bud Light crossed out and Coors Light written in. Yes, they must surely be out of Bud Light. Sure seemed like an unusual logistical oversight however. Going out to sea for a week with the hopes of selling alcohol but not bringing the alcohol you need with you to make sales is, well, pretty bad business. We became so suspicious that this could even occur that we shot up the elevator and found plenty of Bud Light at the first bar we came to. Maybe room service personnel couldn’t find any Bud Light on board the Ryndam but we were able to find it in about two minutes. They eventually exchanged it for us after we visited the front desk.
Solution: For an automatically charged 15% gratuity require your staff to care a little more. And maybe use some common sense……….out of Bud Light, really.

Problem: Crow’s Nest Lounge1. We visited the beautiful Crow’s Nest Lounge every day. It had a spectacular view and was beautifully designed and furnished. But it was cold. Upon entering one day we were told by other passengers where the coldest areas in the lounge were so we could avoid them. Another day we noted an elderly woman who had brought a blanket and wrapped herself in it so she could continue to socialize with her group. On another day we returned to our room for a jacket before heading to the lounge. Other common areas on this ship were also cold particularly the bar areas on the 8th deck. We overheard numerous comments including one who said he “would have brought my winter jacket if I had known how cold it would be.”
Solution: It may be an older ship but it just can’t be uncomfortable. Listen to your customers like we did and fix the HVAC system to create a more comfortable environment.
2. Terrible service in the Crow’s Nest. There is just no other way to describe it. It was never busy, in fact it was virtually empty most of the time including evenings. Yet we repeatedly sat for over an hour without being offered another drink. We spent about 90 minutes in the lounge one afternoon and had one drink each. Then we returned almost three hours later to find our empty glasses still at our old table and the empty martini glasses of the people we sat next to also still at their table. Other glassware was also left sitting at two other tables but I’m uncertain how long it was there. During the next hour (of our second visit to the lounge) only one of the above mentioned tables was cleared, and one of them was entering its fourth hour without being cleared. At one point a bar staffer straightened up the chairs around a dirty table but did not pick up the glassware. We were amazed.
Solution: No need for extra staff here, there were plenty of people (as many as four) sometimes around the virtually empty bar but none of them were working either to clean tables or serve customers over extended periods of time. And neither were they friendly and engaging. They primarily talked among themselves. But this problem hardly needs a solution compared to the next one.
3. One day one of the bar staff who had seen us repeatedly finally came over and very aggressively chatted us up for about 10 minutes. It seemed slightly odd and out of character given that he had scarcely uttered a word for the many hours we were in his lounge even though it would have been easy to do so since the place was empty. Then, after this one-time flurry of chatter he asked that we make sure to write his name on our cruise satisfaction survey and even asked that we include the name of his co-worker (Don) an individual that I could not identify and that never provided me any service! He went so far as to write their names for me to help me remember to write about them on my survey. I’ve included a scan of his note in his own hand writing. Then, after the surveys were distributed he actually confronted us directly while in the Crow’s Nest and asked if we remembered to write his name down and if so, specifically what we had said about him. It was very uncomfortable, a totally pathetic attempt to manipulate the survey results, and a sorry substitute for genuine quality service. In a virtually empty bar he had more than ample opportunity to impress us with actual good service. If he had capitalized on that opportunity I would have gladly included him in my survey. Sadly, this epitomized the overall lack of quality service and shows that there is problem on this ship with corporate culture.
Solution: Sadly, you need to fire some people.
Problem: Jeopardizing Passenger SafetyThis issue is highlighted in red because it is a very serious issue, far more serious than poor room service. This issue directly jeopardized the safety of a passenger and should never have occurred. Because of its seriousness perhaps it would have been appropriate to list it first. In fairness to Holland America it is an issue unlikely to affect many passengers. However, in fairness to potential future passengers on the MS Ryndam it is a narrative well worth your consideration if you are an older customer, which many aboard the Ryndam were. And it should be stated up front that the error in judgment I’m about to describe should never happen in any setting where caring people are entrusted with customer service, but certainly never at sea where the environment imposes some strict limitations upon the type and speed of medical services.

Because of our repeated service problems we made many trips to the front desk. On one trip we observed an elderly couple at the desk ahead of us. We would later learn they were both 90 years old. The sweet elderly woman explained to front desk staff that she was dependent upon an oxygen machine and that she was unable to get it operating correctly. Specifically, it would not power up. The front desk staff asked her if she had plugged it in. That seems a little insulting, but perhaps it needed to be clarified. Her husband explained that they know how to plug things in and stated that was not the problem. At that point, the front desk personnel were essentially done with this couple. They told them they would send an extension cord to their room (which had already been deemed unnecessary) and dismissed them. We returned to our cabin very concerned for the welfare. In fact, we were so concerned that we went to their cabin ourselves to render assistance. We had (very fortunately) overheard their room number. The couple had an oxygen extractor that removes oxygen from the ambient air and concentrates it for use by seriously chronically ill pulmonary and cardiac patients. It was not a simple oxygen cylinder that may be familiar to many.

I have been a fire department paramedic for 29 years and I am familiar with both the oxygen device and the woman’s medical condition. She had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure and pulmonary edema, a condition that causes fluid accumulation in the lungs as the result of progressive heart failure. The oxygen extractor can be obtained by prescription only and she was medically dependent upon both that device and a number of medications. I was able to start the machine for her and reestablish the flow of necessary oxygen.
The following day we checked on her and she did not look well. She was again unable to get her oxygen device to work and spent a miserable sleepless night experiencing breathing difficulty. While speaking with her I also learned that she had forgotten to bring an essential medication. It is a medication I have personally administered many times throughout my career and consequently understand very well. This patient was short of breath with fluid accumulating in both her lungs and extremities. I knew she could not wait a week to have this medication so I went to the front desk, reported the problem and requested the ship’s physician. Their first response was to inform me that there would be a $95 charge to contact the physician. I said fine, put it on my bill if you have to but this isn’t a billing problem right now it’s a medical problem.

One of the two physicians aboard ship came to the elderly couple’s cabin and provided the woman with good quality care and reassured her that the medication she needed was aboard the ship and would be provided for her. I was in her cabin the entire time observing. By this point in the cruise I had little confidence that anything assured by Holland America personnel, even their physician, would actually take place. So the next morning while in port I purchased the woman’s medication from a pharmacy myself. It turned out to be unnecessary. She was indeed provided the medication as promised. I continued to check on her and assisted her two additional times with her oxygen device before the end of the cruise. I gave her my cabin number so she could call me if she had another problem with the oxygen device at night.

Here’s the take away on this incident. There are very few people in the 90’s riding cruise ships around the Caribbean. Kudos to this couple for giving us all a lesson in living life to its fullest. But when a passenger this elderly comes to the front desk and presents herself as chronically ill an unable to activate a medical device upon which she is dependent this should be recognized by medical lay persons at the front desk as a situation requiring follow-up by a physician. It is not someone you offer an extension cord to and then dismiss. This was a grievous error in common sense, it unnecessarily jeopardized the health and well-being of a passenger, and it directly resulted in a miserable 24 hours for this woman and the progression of her medical condition.

The fact she did receive treatment and medication from the physician proves my assessment. Had I not intervened it is unknown how miserable or sick she would have become before Holland America’s customer service staff made the call for a physician that should have been made from the outset.

My experience with Holland America suggests that nobody at the corporate level is likely to review or confirm the circumstances of this narrative. However, should they want to, this couple was in cabin 562 the week of March 4th, 2012 and the ship’s medical log will confirm a physician visit to that cabin one night, and another physician visit the following morning when she was provided medication.
Solution: Make sure common sense is common among front desk staff. I would add “you’re welcome” if anyone from Holland America had said “thank you” for the time and effort I spent caring for their customer.
Problem: Corporate OfficeI never would have expected it, but this cruise got so bad that we decided there was no hope of enjoying the experience so we discussed catching a flight home from the next port of call. I asked the front desk if Holland America would provide any assistance with the purchase of airline tickets. They said they would discuss it with the corporate office and let us know. I thought that meant they would discuss it soon so we could book flights out of port the following day. But they didn’t get any word back from the corporate office until after the following day’s port call was concluded and we were back aboard ship. And then all they offered to do was not charge us for any of the remaining days we would not be on the ship!! Unbelievable.
Solution: The corporate office should provide the same level of internal customer service to ship personnel that they hope will be provided for passengers. It’s called setting a good example.

Before this experience was finally over we were provided some concessions. In my opinion they were entirely inadequate. But in fairness to Holland America I will include them and each reader can judge the adequacy for themselves.

1. No cabin charge for any days we were not in our cabin if we flew home. They were quick to point that their policy permits them to charge us for these days. Of course, everyone knows that when a customer service rep is reviewing corporate policy with you…….you’re in a place that will not result in your satisfaction.
2. One free laundry………which we didn’t use.
3. One free dinner for two in a shipboard restaurant. We appreciated this offer but politely declined it assuming the service there would be no better than on the rest of the ship and hence, probably not worth it.
Final Word
I could not find a single passenger that felt satisfied with the value of their experience aboard the MS Ryndam compared to its cost.
However, there was one thing at sea that even Holland America couldn’t spoil for us…………………

big apple March 16th, 2012 10:14 PM

We have 125 days on Holland and do not feel your critique represents this fine line and for starters would suggest you start with one of the newer ships and yes we have been on the one you are lambasting. Based on your comments you should try another type vacation as this is the worst review I have ever read and not deserving of this fine line.This is not helpful for anyone looking for a nice cruise.And for the record we have some 60 cruises on all of the main line ships.My suggestion is for you to try another line and make your negative comments there.

Lakers Fan March 16th, 2012 10:41 PM

I have cruised on HAL 3 times and each experience has been wonderful .I love HAL and hope to do future cruises .

Thus far I've been on the Veendam,Volendam and Zuiderdam .

anniegb March 17th, 2012 05:39 AM

I too have had a poor experience on the Ryndam.

The Lido was horrible - reminded me of a chimpanzees tea party.

I have now read several poor reviews of the Ryndam. Note 2 years ago she was on the Alaskan run and now the vessel has been dumped on Europe. The vessel's cruises in Europe are not selling well - I wonder why?

Overall the experience was poor - when I posted some very short comments - someone said try HAL again? I say again if you go to a restaurant and have a lousy meal - would you go back?

Annie

anniegb March 17th, 2012 05:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by big apple (Post 1421006)
Based on your comments you should try another type vacation as this is the worst review I have ever read and not deserving of this fine line.This is not helpful for anyone looking for a nice cruise.My suggestion is for you to try another line and make your negative comments there.

I think your comments are out of order.

Bravo to the OP - just because they posted what you do not want to read is no reason to criticise them.

Everyone is entitled to speak as they find.

Annie

kandajones March 17th, 2012 11:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by anniegb (Post 1421050)
I think your comments are out of order.

Bravo to the OP - just because they posted what you do not want to read is no reason to criticise them.

Everyone is entitled to speak as they find.

Annie

Hear Hear Annie, I was just in the process of making virtually the same comment, when I realised that you had saved me the effort. I wonder if my review has received the same unjust comments?

Alan.

MercedMike March 17th, 2012 12:32 PM

Criticism -- or another point of view?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by anniegb (Post 1421050)
I think your comments are out of order.

Bravo to the OP - just because they posted what you do not want to read is no reason to criticise them.

Everyone is entitled to speak as they find.

Annie

Indeed, everyone is entitled to speak as they find.

Replies to the OP which state that they never had problems with HAL are just as valid an opinion as the original. That is one of the principal values of this board. A different point of view is not criticism, it is discussion.

I too have had many cruises on HAL without problems. It seems to me that often passengers get on board a ship and notice something that does not please them, such as worn carpet, and from that time are ready to criticize every thing they encounter. It is MY opinion that HAL is a great line and her ships operate beautifully. That's not a criticism of anybody who disagrees.

A great deal of what the OP notes is personal opinion. There is every reason for other posters to add their opinion. There is no reason that the OP should expect all of us to jump in and say, "Oh, that is soo true! I agree that cruise line really stinks! Thank you so much for opening our eyes." Disagreement is not criticism.

I certainly hope the OP comes back and continues the discussion. So far we have seen nothing but trashing. IMAO, jumping on this board and posting a drive-by bashing and then not joining in the discussion back and forth is of little value.

PeterC March 19th, 2012 12:56 PM

I do have to say that after that review and the other above it, I would think twice about booking the Ryndam. That said however, I think when I read people getting really upset over "problems" such as the ship doesn't carry their favorite lite beer, the review then loses a bit of credibility in my book.

Trackypup March 19th, 2012 02:56 PM

I haven't been on the Ryndam, but our one cruise on HAL on the Zuiderdam was the worst cruise we've ever done and wouldn't be back to HAL no matter what they promised us.

Ron March 19th, 2012 11:48 PM

Trackypup, not disputing your posting re / HAL but what problems did you encounter? It's been 3-4 years since we were on HAL and I was just wondering as we had talked about maybe sailing them again.
We had some friends who had cruised a couple of Princess ships and loved them, then cruised the Mariner and then the Oasis and then HAL , on the Zuiderdam, I believe. They were very unhappy but it seemed to be because after cruising on the Mariner and the Oasis with the big open central promenade they felt confined as the Zuiderdam had no such promenade like the 2 RCCL ships, I can see where that could affect someone's feeling about a ship. So, I was just hoping you might elaborate on your dislike re / HAL.
Thanks,

Trackypup March 20th, 2012 12:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ron (Post 1421385)
Trackypup, not disputing your posting re / HAL but what problems did you encounter? It's been 3-4 years since we were on HAL and I was just wondering as we had talked about maybe sailing them again.
We had some friends who had cruised a couple of Princess ships and loved them, then cruised the Mariner and then the Oasis and then HAL , on the Zuiderdam, I believe. They were very unhappy but it seemed to be because after cruising on the Mariner and the Oasis with the big open central promenade they felt confined as the Zuiderdam had no such promenade like the 2 RCCL ships, I can see where that could affect someone's feeling about a ship. So, I was just hoping you might elaborate on your dislike re / HAL.
Thanks,

we had some service issues with no hot water for 5 days, safe wouldn't work and the standard 4 phone calls and them saying it was fixed yet no one had actually shown up. We found the food to be extremely bland, no salted butter on the entire ship and all salad dressings were low fat. Food and service everywhere was just bad...DH ordered surf and turf, the surf came with dessert. Then twice they passed off pollack for real crab. Once for dungeness crab and then again for Alaska king crab. It wasn't all bad, Alaska was spectacular, and the Pinnacle Grill was excellent and a steal and we loved the Crows nest. I complained when we got back, especially after serving the dyed pollack in place of real crab...they apologized, offered all kinds of freebies and upgrades if we sailed them again and said the crab incident was a mistake made by the head chef....well that was a lie as two months later they did the exact same thing to friends of ours.

I've always said that HAL cannot be as bad as we experienced or they'd be out of business, but I was soured so much that we won't sail them again.

MercedMike March 20th, 2012 09:36 AM

Different perceptions
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Trackypup (Post 1421388)
we had some service issues with no hot water for 5 days, safe wouldn't work and the standard 4 phone calls and them saying it was fixed yet no one had actually shown up. We found the food to be extremely bland, no salted butter on the entire ship and all salad dressings were low fat. Food and service everywhere was just bad...DH ordered surf and turf, the surf came with dessert. Then twice they passed off pollack for real crab. Once for dungeness crab and then again for Alaska king crab. It wasn't all bad, Alaska was spectacular, and the Pinnacle Grill was excellent and a steal and we loved the Crows nest. I complained when we got back, especially after serving the dyed pollack in place of real crab...they apologized, offered all kinds of freebies and upgrades if we sailed them again and said the crab incident was a mistake made by the head chef....well that was a lie as two months later they did the exact same thing to friends of ours.

I've always said that HAL cannot be as bad as we experienced or they'd be out of business, but I was soured so much that we won't sail them again.

People's perceptions and experience are different.

Now I have to say that salted butter is not a make or break issue for me! It is true that HAL has a European flavor and the butter might be unsalted. Has anybody ever tried putting salt on their butter ;)

I usually try to order low fat dressing, and HAL does have a better selection than other lines. But I have to say that they frequently tempt me away from low fat by their delicious choices that are NOT low fat! It baffles me that this poster says all the dressings are low fat. Simply not my experience.

And I have long been a lover of the crab on HAL. Their presentation of Alaskan King Crab is especially good. Is the poster perhaps referring to small chunks in a crab salad or cocktail or something? That would indeed be a mistake by the chef. But it is hard to understand how crab legs in the shell could be replaced by pollack.

Oh, well, if this poster does not go back on Zuiderdam, that leaves a cabin open for me to get upgraded to when we go back on her! :D

Trackypup March 20th, 2012 11:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MercedMike (Post 1421424)
People's perceptions and experience are different.

Now I have to say that salted butter is not a make or break issue for me! It is true that HAL has a European flavor and the butter might be unsalted. Has anybody ever tried putting salt on their butter ;)

I usually try to order low fat dressing, and HAL does have a better selection than other lines. But I have to say that they frequently tempt me away from low fat by their delicious choices that are NOT low fat! It baffles me that this poster says all the dressings are low fat. Simply not my experience.

And I have long been a lover of the crab on HAL. Their presentation of Alaskan King Crab is especially good. Is the poster perhaps referring to small chunks in a crab salad or cocktail or something? That would indeed be a mistake by the chef. But it is hard to understand how crab legs in the shell could be replaced by pollack.

Oh, well, if this poster does not go back on Zuiderdam, that leaves a cabin open for me to get upgraded to when we go back on her! :D

You're quite welcome to her, I thought she was the ugliest ship we've ever sailed on...quite motel 6..love the plaster of paris pink benches by the aft elevators, real classy!

I love how you targeted right to my food comments, skip over the important things like no hot water for 5 days which even you can't defend.

The fake crab was passed off in a Dungeness crab tart and a Alaska King Crab salad. No shells necessary. And our friends who are die hard HAL fans with about 400 days confirmed the same when they sailed her a few months after. As for my comments on butter and salad dressings, I have no issue with low fat, I just wanted some taste. Everything was beyond bland, it was like hospital food. I guess they're not catering to people that still have their taste buds intact.

Mike, the poster asked what was wrong with my trip, I have no need to defend my comment to you or anyone else, our cruise on the Zuiderdam sucked. There are probably 10 different issues I could add to what I wrote but cut it short. My full review is on another site and there were probably 10 more just like it around the same time..horrific. If she has in fact improved, that's great, but we won't be back and really don't feel like we're missing out. The cheese plate at dinner was a running joke on our table at dinner, it was described quite lovely and different every night on the menu, someone would order it on our table just as a test..every single night without fail it looked like our waiter ran up to the buffet, grabbed whatever sliced cheese had been sitting out the longest and put it on a plate with saltines. Didn't matter what the menu said, it never, ever came close. The cruise was a complete joke. But as I did say in my post, they cannot possibly be as bad as we experienced or they'd be out of business, so we obviously hit a bad week, but I'm not tempting fate again.

anniegb March 20th, 2012 04:24 PM

My experience on the Ryndam is very similar to that of Trackypup.

As I did a land tour of Denali pre-cruise, I met many die-hard HAL fans and they agreed something was def amiss on my cruise - I have always said this, the crew were VERY tired.

Of all the irritants, I think we literally could not leave our cabin - the lock/door did not work; spoke to front desk - their response was just go out and leave your cabin door open. Don't laugh - they had to replace the door.

MDR was pretty poor, the only eating place I would recommend was the PG.

I agree with Trackypup, once for me was enough. I loved Glacier Bay and Denali but HAL not again simply because there are, for me, better alternatives and not more expensive either.

Annie

Ron March 20th, 2012 11:27 PM

Trackypup, thanks for clarification re/ dislikes. Like I said, It's been a few years since we were on HAL and we were talking about taking a cruise on one of their ships for a break from a couple of the other lines.
I know our friends that just recently got off the Zuiderdam weren't happy but I figured that may have been because they had been spoiled, so to speak by the large promenades they had been used to on the Mariner and Oasis.
thanks for your input.

Trackypup March 20th, 2012 11:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ron (Post 1421564)
Trackypup, thanks for clarification re/ dislikes. Like I said, It's been a few years since we were on HAL and we were talking about taking a cruise on one of their ships for a break from a couple of the other lines.
I know our friends that just recently got off the Zuiderdam weren't happy but I figured that may have been because they had been spoiled, so to speak by the large promenades they had been used to on the Mariner and Oasis.
thanks for your input.

No problem, honest to God, we must have just hit a really bad week, I just mention HAL and my husband gets the shakes. It's honestly not possible that she is continually as bad as we experienced, she has to have some redeeming qualities, too bad they were on vacation the week we sailed her ;)

MercedMike March 21st, 2012 10:37 AM

Defend?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Trackypup (Post 1421438)
I love how you targeted right to my food comments....I have no need to defend my comment to you or anyone else, our cruise on the Zuiderdam sucked.

Absolutely right. Nobody needs to attack or defend on this board, we discuss!

I don't need to defend my comments to you, either. The very first thing I said was that experiences and perceptions differ.

And as far as "targeting" your food comments ... HMMM, take a look at my picture and figure out what is important on a cruise to me ... ;)

Thanks for your valuable comments and your opinions. They got a good thread going. I am happy to be able to add my viewpoint to yours. We don't agree.

PeterC March 21st, 2012 02:34 PM

I've always found the negative reviews to be very interesting. I like to figure out if what someone found as a negative would bother me at all.
Obviously, not having hot water or bad plumbing would be a major negative. Especially if they were slow in making it right.
For me, things like frayed carpeting, chipped furniture or no towel animals (my favorite gripe).... I don't care.
You like what you like and don't like what you don't like. Nobody's right or wrong in these opinions

2katz3fsh March 28th, 2012 03:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by big apple (Post 1421006)
We have 125 days on Holland and do not feel your critique represents this fine line and for starters would suggest you start with one of the newer ships and yes we have been on the one you are lambasting. Based on your comments you should try another type vacation as this is the worst review I have ever read and not deserving of this fine line.This is not helpful for anyone looking for a nice cruise.And for the record we have some 60 cruises on all of the main line ships.My suggestion is for you to try another line and make your negative comments there.

Big Apple (and I shudder to think you come from the same part of NY that I do!): I think you forget that this is not the HAL FB page wherein everyone who posts there more or less are considered a true fan of HAL, who have had perfect cruises, and will fight to the death to safeguard HAL's reputation. Last time I heard, in the USA, we have freedom of speech and all are permitted to voice their concerns. If you don't like it, you don't have to read the post and comment on it. The topic of the post was not favorable to HAL so you could have passed on it and moved to a more favorable topic. You have your valid opinion and so does the next person and your chromosomes and mitochondria are basically the same as the next guys, baring placement of the genes.

Having said that, I had one of my worst cruises (but not the worst--that one belongs to Celebrity) and one of my best cruises, both on the Westerdam, some four years apart. Even I had many problems on board, including the arrogance of the captain and some of his officers, and then some. I even met with the appropriate parties (Food and Beverage Manager, Maitre'D, etc but my note to the Hotel Director went unanswered the day before disembarkation) with no resolution in sight while still on board.

When I arrived home, I wrote a four page note to Stein Kruse and he wrote me back and assurred me that on my next voyage with HAL, that cruise would be entirely the reverse. He even gave me $750 credit towards the next one. That cruise was booked two years later, same ship, but had to be cancelled due to my mother's terminal illness. The credit was only valid for a period of two years, but my priority was with my mother, not my cruising at that time, so basically, the time frame had expired with no cruises taken. When we rebooked the same ship, four years to the day, Mr. Kruse still allowed us the $750 on board credit. He was absolutely correct in staing to me that I would have a great time on board, and I found myself having one of the best cruises I've ever taken on board a HAL vessel. We are third tier Mariners, I might add.

The last HAL ship I've cruises on was the Eurodam last March for my birthday and again (even without a cruise credit), had a great time with loads of goodies sent our way. We are booked on the Nordam next Wednesday and are hoping we have just as great a time on her as well, goodies or no goodies.

Call me a sentimental cruise nut as my first HAL voyage was on my honeymoon in 1981 on the old Volendam from NY to Bermuda. They went that extra mile then, and I still feel they do it today as well. That is why we keep going back.

So, I guess you could say that even a die hard HAL fan, such as myself, did have a bad cruise, but gave them another chance and they justified themselves in the end. But, I will also say that to the many others who have not been so forgiving: it is your vacation, upon which you spent precious time and hard earned money to make it a fun filled memorable time in your life. If it falls short, try again on another ship, on the same ship at a later time, or another cruise line altogether. You can spend your money anywhere and just perhaps you'll find your niche and say that it was a grand crossing after all!

Happy Cruising to all!:)

MercedMike March 29th, 2012 10:49 AM

Read and comment
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2katz3fsh (Post 1422348)
I think you forget that this is not the HAL FB page wherein everyone who posts there more or less are considered a true fan of HAL, who have had perfect cruises, and will fight to the death to safeguard HAL's reputation. Last time I heard, in the USA, we have freedom of speech and all are permitted to voice their concerns. If you don't like it, you don't have to read the post and comment on it. The topic of the post was not favorable to HAL so you could have passed on it and moved to a more favorable topic. You have your valid opinion and so does the next person ....

This idea is a little strange to me. "All are permitted to voice their concerns." ABOLUTELY. But then you say, "You don't have to read the post and comment on it." UMMMM -- that is the whole point of this board, isn't it? The heart and soul of discussion is that we DO read the post and we DO comment on it.

This board is not the "the HAL FB page wherein everyone who posts there more or less are considered a true fan of HAL", and NEITHER is it the "Bash HAL board and expect everybody to agree with you." It is a board where everybody gets to "read the post and comment on it." That is what makes it worthwhile. Disagreement on the boards is beautiful!

2katz3fsh March 29th, 2012 03:48 PM

Mike, the topic of the thread posted by the original poster was a criticism about their HAL Ryndam cruise and so stated in its topic. Big Apple knew that when he/she read the post and then posted his/her totally negative criticisms to the poster.The poster was a newby and if I were the one posting the original complaint, I would have never come back here because I thought BA was acting like a bully. You might have thought that we were discussing a cure for cancer, world peace, or how to eliminate the budget. Don't sweat the small stuff; for goodness sake, it was only a viewpoint expressed by a poster about their cruise!

I totally agree with you that we have the right to say what we think, postive or negative. Heck, I even learn new things about negative experiences, those of my own and others. I learn how to avoid having the same outcome by doing something differently, what not to do, etc. Along the same lines, I also think that we should consider how we word things and show a little consideration to each other.

big apple March 30th, 2012 11:23 PM

We have been traveling on Holland since the early 70,s and have never experienced the negative stories from above and for the record am glad am not from the New york area and am very aware as to the reasons for complaints to higher mgmt.If you do not like Holland try something different and I will continue to support this first class line.

anniegb March 31st, 2012 03:09 AM

[QUOTE=big apple;1422648] for the record am glad am not from the New york area /QUOTE]

I am very pleased that you have experienced excellent service from HAL; some of us NOT from New York HAVE not.

Why the reference to New York?

Annie

MercedMike April 1st, 2012 11:26 AM

Scared off??
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2katz3fsh (Post 1422452)
Mike, the topic of the thread posted by the original poster was a criticism about their HAL Ryndam cruise and so stated in its topic. Big Apple knew that when he/she read the post and then posted his/her totally negative criticisms to the poster.The poster was a newby and if I were the one posting the original complaint, I would have never come back here because I thought BA was acting like a bully. You might have thought that we were discussing a cure for cancer, world peace, or how to eliminate the budget. Don't sweat the small stuff; for goodness sake, it was only a viewpoint expressed by a poster about their cruise!

I totally agree with you that we have the right to say what we think, postive or negative. Heck, I even learn new things about negative experiences, those of my own and others. I learn how to avoid having the same outcome by doing something differently, what not to do, etc. Along the same lines, I also think that we should consider how we word things and show a little consideration to each other.

You are very correct that we how to consider how we word things. A cold line of print can come across differently than we intend. Consideration for other's opinions can be hard to express when you are disagreeing with them. Polite disagreement means different things to different people.

OTOH -- coming on the board and NOT accepting disagreement accomplishes nothing either. The OP has indeed not come back. Is that because one poster, or more, posted a bit harshly, or is that because it was nothing but a drive-by bashing from the very original intention?

I went back and counted. Basically there are six posts disagreeing with the OP, six posts agreeing with the OP -- and a whole bunch of posts like this one skidding close to the edge of off topic. I continue to reply to them because personally I think it is important that those of us who post more frequently consider the direction our posts take, which are useful and which are not. (Of course the all powerful and wonderfully wise moderators will tell us eventually!)

I don't believe any negative posts scared off the OP. If they did, then the comment that they don't belong on this board is most likely accurate.


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