Great trip on Holland America to Panama Canal. The ship was going into dry dock and certainly needed some work.
The only disappointment we had was a last minute change to the itinerary that deleted the visit to the Faroe Islands and added a second day in Reykcavik. As much as we enjoyed Iceland, two days was more than we needed to see this beautiful city and we were looking forward to the remoteness of Faroe. Holland America Zuiderdam was an excellent cruise ship and our upgrade to a suite was not expected - great room and service.
It was a nice cruise, however, the food on Princess is better.
Overall, Holland America provides a very good package.
Holland America has never disappointed us. The staff is very friendly and address concerns (if any) immediately. People in Neptune and Pinnacle Suites have a separate lounge, which, amongst other advantages, has a dedicated Guest Services person who can help with bill questions, bookings for Cabanas, etc. This trip was a partial Panama Canal sailing, and it was great! We enjoyed the food, entertainment, and excursions!
Everything about the cruise was perfect. The staff made this trip beyond expectations. They knew (from Susan) and made our 1ST Anniversary very special.
We booked an obstructed view, but it really is more than obstructed, except for the daylight, there really is no view.
Excellent follow through by Autumn, and good coverage when she was unavailable.
Everything went smoothly
Kia did a great job booking the whole trip without any hitches. We have been booking all of our trips through Affordabletours since 2004 and will continue to do so.
It was one of the best cruises I have taken. The total experience was very good. I will definitely refer this itinerary with my friends.
After having had a negative experience with Holland America several years ago we returned to them twice this year and have been very impressed. The staff is excellent. The quality of the food is impressive and the entertainment on board is superior to other lines on which we have sailed. We would highly recommend HAL to anyone taking a cruise.
Such a wonderful crew!!
Every aspect of booking our 17-day cruise with Affordable Tours went very smoothly. The travel consultant was quite knowledgeable and helpful in helping us make clear choices. As questions arose, she made herself directly available to us by phone and emails.
Experience aboard ship was excellent. Food and food service excellent. Shows were very good (B.B. King Blues Club was super). Rooms clean and as advertised. Getting on and off ship easy and quick.
PORTS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS Ports and shore excursions were another matter. Very inconsistent. Not managed by HAL properly. Bahamas-the cay we went to is wholly owned by Holland America and for all intents is uninhabited except for some Holland America employees. Very little in the way of scenery, shopping, or being able to view and interact with locals.
Aruba-The sunset cruise was nice and the crew of the catamaran we were on was excellent (there were two catamarans and we were on the second, and smaller one. Basically a shopping port.
Curacao-We went on a dolphin encounter where we were able to pet and interact with these amazing creatures. Great time EXCEPT-we were told that we would be able to go back to ship via taxi at our own expense but when we went to where the taxis were supposed to be (at approx 12:30PM) there were none; several calls were made but nothing showed up. We were told we could take a local "bus" (van) and we would have to make about a 10 minute walk back to ship form bus stop. The walk was more like 30 minutes on a very hot day. UNACCEPTABLE! Also a very short day in port.
Cartagena-We did our own tour with a local guide and it was fun and informative. I highly recommend this. Saw the highest point, old fort, walled city, old town, etc. Each of us had a small earpiece that allowed us to hear without being crowded. Great. Again too short a time in port.
Panama Canal-A great experience going through canal. A real technical marvel, but tour was mediocre. We were loaded on a bus that took us to new canal and old canal. We got a small bottle of water and a muffin. (Another tour offered free drinks and snacks for the whole tour).
Colon not a very nice place.
Costa Rica-We were supposed to be on rain forest adventure that would allow us to see wildlife that might include monkeys and other exotic animals. We saw a small lizard, a millipede, and heard a frog. We did see other animals in exhibits in a herpetarium. BUS RIDE TO AND FROM WAS AWFUL; BUMPY, NOISY. When I complained to tour guide she told me I was acting like a maniac. Four and one half hours of nothing. Other comments the excursion manager for HAL, is not suited for job. Always let his assistants speak to us at desk. Could not answer questions. UNACCEPTABLE! Also HAL should give tours a small bag lunch and supply plenty of water. Only water available on most tours was what was sold in lounge on ship. POOR! It is easy to become dehydrated.
Great trip. Wonderful Holland America food and service. Great itenerary. However, mean age of people on board must have been 80. Lots of scooters, dementia and walkers. Although we're in our mid 60's, this population was too old for us. However, they have the most wonderful caring crew I`ve ever encountered.
We had a wonderful trip! Thank you
We had a great time and everything including the weather (how do you do that?) was great.