Aldrich - Answered a Question by Duthie (08 Jan 08 13:56)

Ip, and they were always fresh. The waiters and assistant waiters in the dining room were friendly, helpful, and remembered our names and my decaf coffee with dinner. Service is prompt, and the food was excellent overall. We were on the cruise over Thanksgiving, and the turkey dinner was good, although not spectacular. The pumpkin pie served for dessert was something whipped with barely a hint of pumpkin and much lighter in color. The main course was turkey, stuffing, a bit of gravy, some bourbon-infused sweet potatoes, carrots, and cranberry sauce - no mashed potatoes, which disappointed us. Most nights the dinner menu offered good selections and the food was very good. The coffee was extremely strong - and this was decaf, which caused us to use a lot of cream and rendered the coffee cold, so I had to switch to hot tea. SPA/SALON: Another glitch that did not cast Holland America in a very good light was my trip to the spa. I turned in my cabin key in exchange for a locker key. After I had a facial, which was very pleasant - especially since they didn't try to sell me tons of products - I went to retrieve my cabin key and they had given it to someone else. They apologized and immediately got me a new key, but there was no follow up - no phone call or any other communication, to tell me whether the person who was running around the ship with my key was ever located. I had my roots colored in the salon, and they did a good job, but quoted me $69 on the phone and charged me $79. INTERNET CAFÉ/LIBRARY: The space was very nice. It had leather chairs with headphones facing the windows, a good size library, and a number of computer stations, as well as a newspaper and magazine table. Conveniently, a coffee bar is located just around the corner, where they charge for latte and other fancy coffee drinks, but make them well. The Internet manager was very helpful and patient as I tried to send email from my Microsoft Outlook account, but no matter what he did, it didn't work. He said he would check on what he could do and would contact me. Of course, I never heard from him again. I was never able to send e-mail from my Outlook account, which I really needed to do since all my work e-mail is sent there, and the situation was never resolved, so I finally gave up. Wireless Internet did work very well from the Internet café and in my cabin, no matter where we were - at port or at sea. CASINO: The casino was a good size, and there was not the usual overwhelming smell of cigarette smoke, but people were smoking in their cabins and smoke was emanating from the cabin next to us the entire cruise. I never once used the casino, nor did my husband, and it was never really busy. SHORE EXCURSIONS: The ships' tours were very good and worth the money. As usual, they weren't cheap, but we were not sorry we took any of them. We also took tours from local vendors, which were also very good. There were too many ports and too many tours to comment on them here, but the critiques written about the ports on this site are spot-on. We were on the 10-day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer cruise, and the ports were St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Barbados, Martinique, Tortola, and Half Moon Cay, the private island. This was probably the best experience we've had on a private island. The facilities were clean; in fact, the whole island was clean. The sand was like sugar, and we spent a relaxing day on the beach, but you can do any number of activities, including horseback riding. SHIP'S ENTERTAINMENT: I would rate this average. The production shows were good, but not great. One of the entertainers was excellent; the others were very average. The ship did not have as many activities as we are used to - and we are not partiers! The shops were adequate, but the sales cashier in the logo shop was extremely unfriendly. She was an anomaly, though; everyone else was super friendly and helpful. The cruise director, Eric, did a very good job. CHILDREN'S CLUBS: Since we were not traveling with children, we can't comment; but most other people weren't traveling with children, either! DISEMBARKATION: What a treat! We were able to select our disembarkation time and were allowed to wait in our cabin until we were called. We did have to let our cabin steward come in and strip the bed linens and let a maintenance worker in to clean the balcony, and finally decided to wait in the lounge. We selected 9:00 a.m. to disembark, and our color tag was called right at 9:00 a.m. It was easy to go through the lines and retrieve our luggage, and we had no problem finding a porter. All in all, this cruise was good. The food was the best we've had, but the service was mixed. The entertainment was extremely average. We would take HAL again only if it had an itinerary that we couldn't get elsewhere. Otherwise, I think we've had more fun on other cruise lines.

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Aldrich - Answered a Question by Duthie (08 Jan 08 19:09)

The waiters and assistant waiters in the dining room were friendly, helpful, and remembered our names and my decaf coffee with dinner. Service is prompt, and the food was excellent overall. We were on the cruise over Thanksgiving, and the turkey dinner was good, although not spectacular. The pumpkin pie served for dessert was something whipped with barely a hint of pumpkin and much lighter in color. The main course was turkey, stuffing, a bit of gravy, some bourbon-infused sweet potatoes, carrots, and cranberry sauce - no mashed potatoes, which disappointed us. Most nights the dinner menu offered good selections and the food was very good. The coffee was extremely strong - and this was decaf, which caused us to use a lot of cream and rendered the coffee cold, so I had to switch to hot tea. SPA/SALON: Another glitch that did not cast Holland America in a very good light was my trip to the spa. I turned in my cabin key in exchange for a locker key. After I had a facial, which was very pleasant - especially since they didn't try to sell me tons of products - I went to retrieve my cabin key and they had given it to someone else. They apologized and immediately got me a new key, but there was no follow up - no phone call or any other communication, to tell me whether the person who was running around the ship with my key was ever located. I had my roots colored in the salon, and they did a good job, but quoted me $69 on the phone and charged me $79. INTERNET CAFÉ/LIBRARY: The space was very nice. It had leather chairs with headphones facing the windows, a good size library, and a number of computer stations, as well as a newspaper and magazine table. Conveniently, a coffee bar is located just around the corner, where they charge for latte and other fancy coffee drinks, but make them well. The Internet manager was very helpful and patient as I tried to send email from my Microsoft Outlook account, but no matter what he did, it didn't work. He said he would check on what he could do and would contact me. Of course, I never heard from him again. I was never able to send e-mail from my Outlook account, which I really needed to do since all my work e-mail is sent there, and the situation was never resolved, so I finally gave up. Wireless Internet did work very well from the Internet café and in my cabin, no matter where we were - at port or at sea. CASINO: The casino was a good size, and there was not the usual overwhelming smell of cigarette smoke, but people were smoking in their cabins and smoke was emanating from the cabin next to us the entire cruise. I never once used the casino, nor did my husband, and it was never really busy. SHORE EXCURSIONS: The ships' tours were very good and worth the money. As usual, they weren't cheap, but we were not sorry we took any of them. We also took tours from local vendors, which were also very good. There were too many ports and too many tours to comment on them here, but the critiques written about the ports on this site are spot-on. We were on the 10-day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer cruise, and the ports were St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Barbados, Martinique, Tortola, and Half Moon Cay, the private island. This was probably the best experience we've had on a private island. The facilities were clean; in fact, the whole island was clean. The sand was like sugar, and we spent a relaxing day on the beach, but you can do any number of activities, including horseback riding. SHIP'S ENTERTAINMENT: I would rate this average. The production shows were good, but not great. One of the entertainers was excellent; the others were very average. The ship did not have as many activities as we are used to - and we are not partiers! The shops were adequate, but the sales cashier in the logo shop was extremely unfriendly. She was an anomaly, though; everyone else was super friendly and helpful. The cruise director, Eric, did a very good job. CHILDREN'S CLUBS: Since we were not traveling with children, we can't comment; but most other people weren't traveling with children, either! DISEMBARKATION: What a treat! We were able to select our disembarkation time and were allowed to wait in our cabin until we were called. We did have to let our cabin steward come in and strip the bed linens and let a maintenance worker in to clean the balcony, and finally decided to wait in the lounge. We selected 9:00 a.m. to disembark, and our color tag was called right at 9:00 a.m. It was easy to go through the lines and retrieve our luggage, and we had no problem finding a porter. All in all, this cruise was good. The food was the best we've had, but the service was mixed. The entertainment was extremely average. We would take HAL again only if it had an itinerary that we couldn't get elsewhere. Otherwise, I think we've had more fun on other cruise lines.

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