• Ahoy there! Why not join the UK’s largest cruising forum? The Cruise.co.uk forum is the perfect place to meet and interact with likeminded cruisers to have invaluable conversations. Whether you're a veteran cruiser or looking to set sail on the sea for the first time, everyone is welcome on our forum to participate in the hottest conversations in the cruising world. So, what are you waiting for? Join the forum today by clicking here to register!


No announcement yet.

Poor treatment on the Zaandam

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Poor treatment on the Zaandam


    The following is a diary of events from our recent cruise on the MS Zaandam and have been in constant contact with guest relations in Seattle who made a final offer of compensation relating to our poor treatment during our cruise the offer made is on the condition that we take another cruise with HAL which we deffinately do not want to do. The offer also includes a grovelling apology but they are adament that no refund to us will be made.

    Those readers who are contemplating a cruise on this ship should think carefully before doing so.
    * * * * * * * * * * *

    * * * CRUISE 15th APRIL 2012 ON M.S

    Having sailed with the Carnival Corporation under various flags the first being on the Vollendam in December 2010 followed by a New England cruise out of Southampton on the P&O ship Arcadia in September 2010 then on the Aurora in November 2010 our next cruise was on the Queen Victoria out of LA to Hawaii in February 2011 and joined this ship on the 15th April 2012 .*

    Our next cruise will be in November 2012 on the Arcadia sailing out of Southampton to the Caribbean. As you can *see my wife and I have shown loyalty to the Carnival Corporation and have spent a considerable amount of money *with you and expect you to react sympathetically to the problems we have encountered since joining the Zaandam.

    No warning signs at the gangway relating to trip hazards created by staircase not fully parking as a flat surface I asked to see risk assessment but none ever materialized and now doubt if one was ever carried out.*

    There were no staff available to help wheelchair bound passengers but afterwards there were always staff on duty on the gangplank.

    On approaching a deck officer who I know to be Doug Montcrief (security officer), and he just shrugged his shoulders and totally ignored *my request for assistance and had to rely on other passengers to help me get the wheelchair over the partially activated stair aspect of the ramp.

    On gaining access to our cabin I proceeded to Guest Relations and spoke to Vanessa who was not forthcoming with any answers relating to our difficulties entering the ship.

    We proceeded to have our lunch and returned to our cabin to unpack our suitcases.

    We later went on to have our evening meal and returned to our cabin to be greeted by a horrendous noise coming through the party wall, which separated our cabin from the baggage scanning unit and the computer card scanning podiums, the noise was generated by crew members who were having to run loaded baggage carts *onto the ship over the stair section of the gangway the this noise continued till about 1.45am.

    I had shortly after returning from dinner dialed 90 to order tea and after 45 minutes had not spoken to anyone, so I went to guest relations to find out why nobody was answering the phone but did not receive any meaningful answer. I made 3 separate visits to guest relations to complain about noise the only answer I got was that they understand but proffered no solution to the constant noise problem.

    In desperation I went again to the gangway and spoke to a young Scottish 4th officer and asked her to stop the activities to allow my wife and myself to sleep and her answer was that the noise would stop when the last of the loading was completed. I then asked her to make contact with Rencel she made a phone call and said initially that Rencel was asleep I replied to her that as Rencel was asleep it may be appropriate for her to wake her so she could enjoy the *sleep depravation we were experiencing, she then changed her statement to say Rencel was not onboard, I returned to my cabin and got back in bed and 15 minutes later the noise returned so I again went to the gangway to find that the lady officer had been replaced by Melwyn an admin officer he informed me that loading was ending as shore staff had finished supplying the ship with baggage.

    Prior to going to bed I filled in a breakfast menu card so that we could have breakfast in our room as we were going on an excursion. When I got up I checked to see if the menu had been collected and was dismayed to find it was still on the door handle I again visited guest relations and managed to have it delivered in time for us to join our trip. Herry the assistant restaurant manager came to our cabin to appolgise for his staff not collecting the menu the previous evening and was extremely concerned about the poor treatment we had received from guest relations and said he would discuss the matter with his manager who promised to contact Rencel and to his credit she has since been constantly in touch with me.

    Contact with Rencel was finally made and I am to have a meeting with her after 10am on the 16th April. I believe that the ship knew that there would be problems and that the ship would take the hit depending on how many complaints they received.

    Duty of care was not afforded to us or any of us.

    The captain should be informed but as yet hasn't been

    Tuesday 17th April*
    Air conditioning faulty *Vanessa is supposed to come back to us to let us know when repairs will be effected but she never came back to us.

    Saturday 21April
    Water supply to cabin giving thick brown water and low pressure.

    Sunday 22nd April
    Air conditioning finally repaired *after going to guest relations 3 times,

    Monday 23rd April*
    We were woken by knocking on door at 7.15am by room services with a Mr Leicesters breakfast this has happened on two occasions.

    Morning of 23rd April*
    Toilet blocked also made contact with Rencel regarding compensation and have been informed that she has contacted head office but no offer has been made by her. Du

    Safety was a major issue when we encountered the ice field but the ship were not remotely interested in the safety and welfare of a disabled person namely my wife on the day we joined the ship !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Wednesday 25th April 08.30
    I have given a handwritten letter to the guest relations for the attention of Rencel asking for answers.Toilet again failed to work 11pm rang guest relations for 20 minutes and nobody answered phone so had to get dressed and go in person to desk.

    Out of the blue we Received *$350 compensation (I wonder why) and I also spoke to Rencel once again regarding reluctant toilet. I accepted this offer thinking that everything would be resolved but clearly that wasn't the case and the problems were to continue for the majority of the cruise, this offer should be revised to reflect the continued problems we encountered I have said to Rencel that I do not consider this a final offer.

    Saturday 28th April 18.30*
    Once again the toilet refuses to work also as usual guest relations will not answer the telephone also heating in public areas extremely cold. Vanessa has just made contact at 17.10 and have told her that I need some action and have said I will email Mickey Arison and Stein Kruse regarding the unrelenting issues with cabin 2547 I have also reminded Vanessa about the bloodstained chair and settee cover which I identified to Rencel at our meeting which she promised to replace but didn't the chair and cover were changed after the cabin was sanitized after Diane had Noravirus *.
    After speaking to Vanessa last night 2 plumbers finally arrived at 09.00 on the 29th April to repair the toilet, which is not what I would call efficient.

    Sunday 29th April 07.30*
    Spoke at length to Captain Jan Smit regarding problems we have encountered since boarding in Osaka and has promised to speak to guest relations, but not confident that he will as he seemed preoccupied.(He never made any further attempt to contact me)
    *It's nice to be important but it's even more important to be nice

    Sunday 29th April*
    Diane has contracted Noravirus and has been confined to our cabin till 08.00 on 30th April. Cabin was deep cleaned and sanitized by housekeeping department bloodstained chair and settee cover changed by housekeeping (not via guest relations). Just received a phone call giving Diane permission to leave her cabin. *Saw *Captain Jan Smit at breakfast and said good morning and he returned the compliment but made no mention of our conversation at 07.30 yesterday morning.

    Immigration procedures were chaotic with horrendous queues and arguments among passengers no directional signs and no staff to organise lines, I shudder to think what would happen in an emergency situation (a recipe for disaster)

    Thursday 03 May 0.800*
    *Again toilet refuses to work reported it to Vannessa but suspect that nothing will get done !!!!!.

    Returned from visit to Sitka at 13.00 to find that the toilet had overflowed onto bathroom floor my prediction that nothing would *get done to remedy toilet problem proved to be correct the toilet was eventually fixed (for how long) at 14.00. I have asked Rencel to contact me at 13.00 and still waiting. Rencel did get in touch with me at 16.00 and we discussed at length the ongoing issues we have been encountering and as promised she has sent me a business card of the Guest Relations Representative of the office of the president Caitlin Forbes for me to make contact with on our return to the UK. During our telephone conversation I informed Rencel that a fellow guest had a similar experience where their toilet overflowed into their bathroom and subsequently into their cabin this she verified and stated that it was now corrected.

    Friday 04 May 18.40*
    Once again toilet will not flush contacted guest relations to get them to contact the facilities manager. For the first time a plumber had arrived within minutes to try to effect repairs. The plumber has rectified the toilet and has told us that because of the cabin location and that other cabins on the same deck level are using toilet wipes which do not break down like the ships paper we continue to endure a toilet that ceases to function, part of my wife's disability is that she was left incontinent as a result of an operation which went catastrophically wrong and it is an absolute necessity that we have a fully functioning toilet to meet her needs.

    After speaking to the plumber Jimmy and he has indicated that this particular cabin has problems on a regular basis caused by other passengers flushing non compatible products down the toilet if that is so its about time the issue is resolved.

    As a young man I spent 4 years at sea as a 2nd engineer and now I am Managing Director of my own Health &Safety consultancy, I am somewhat paranoid about cleanliness and infection control and I have also noted that the majority of your staff including Captain Smit do not use the hand gel units when entering the restaurant areas, which as you well know is of paramount importance in the control of the spread of hand transmitted viruses these control measures are extremely important. Staff and particularly officers should lead by example!!!

    Holland America Line advertise as being a *5 Star cruise line and customers should expect to receive the service you advertise, and clearly in the case of the Zaandam's current state of repair you are unable to do so and *should re schedule the cancelled dry docking scheduled for October last year and the one that was to take place in June of this year, Zaandam is tired and needs some TLC to bring her back to her former glory.

    I have not edited this letter or diary of events and I hope that you take onboard my comments and use them to make cruising for future passengers on the Zaandam a more enjoyable experience than ours and hope fore a favorable response from you and restore our confidence in the Carnival Corporation and ultimately Holland America Line. Please extend our thanks to Rencel who did her very best under very difficult circumstances.

    However I cannot extend the same thanks to Vanessa who has a lot to learn about humanity and particularly she needs to be taught to understand the needs of wheelchair bound people and their carers.

    At 18.00 * 05 May
    *I asked Vanessa if because our cabin is next to the disembarkation gangway on deck 2 if I could leave my wife at our cabin for her to be collected by the wheelchair assistance helpers (we have our own wheelchair) she flatly refused stating she could only be collected from the ocean bar, which is strange when on all other occasions staff have collected and returned my wife to her cabin, her attitude is very close to being discriminatory and all I can say is I hope Vanessa never becomes disabled. She should be reminded that when HAL receives payment from guests both able bodied and disabled and at that time a contract is formed and part of that contract is a duty of care to guests that she must honor.

    Guest relations staff are front line ambassadors for HAL and their actions both good and bad leave lasting memory's for cruisers Vanessa needs to be reminded of that fact!

    Yours faithfully*

    Ian Hillerton DipSm,MIIRSM. Accredited Auditor

    Certainly you have a multiple of problems on this cruise and hope your next cruise will be much better.
    Your cabin location is one to reconsider next time you book as it seemed to be located to a main entrance point for luggage and that is the discomfort of the first day. Not truly the fault of the crew as they have a job to do.
    Your toilet problem is really the main problem and it must have been horrible to deal with , I've found our steward and hotel manager were the best to deal with over time
    Your experience with reception seems to be good and bad and you raise good points in how to show service is a learning experience.

    If you consolidated your points of dissatisfaction to HA and what you enjoyed than you can get your points across as it is difficult to read.
    The Cunard Brand and P & O brand and HA are truly seperate entities regardless of the Carnival Business links and that is why you work directly with them.
    Here is to a better cruise for you both next time
    Next Cruise:> QM2 2016 / My Blog robbarcruises.com


      Hi the problem with the cabin location wasn't the fact that it was next to a main luggage entrance it was to do with the port of Kobe where they only offer one boarding gangway for both luggage and passengers and HAL were fully aware of this but and this apparently happens every time they sail from there.

      HAL are remiss in not informing cruisers of this continual problem. I and my wife have done 30 cruises and have never ever had issues like we had on this one, guest relations on this ship were useless and were a law unto themselves



        Originally posted by Iantom1, Warrington View Post
        Hi the problem with the cabin location wasn't the fact that it was next to a main luggage entrance it was to do with the port of Kobe where they only offer one boarding gangway for both luggage and passengers and HAL were fully aware of this but and this apparently happens every time they sail from there.

        HAL are remiss in not informing cruisers of this continual problem. I and my wife have done 30 cruises and have never ever had issues like we had on this one, guest relations on this ship were useless and were a law unto themselves
        Thankfs for reply
        Certainly walk is your option to a different line as is your right though a strong letter to say one need to improve the Guest Relations area and ways you see is a good method.
        Cheers, land of nod beckons me
        Next Cruise:> QM2 2016 / My Blog robbarcruises.com


          I am absolutley appalled at what seems to be HAL's complete disregard for you and your wife's health and safety on one of their ships. If this is what they consider to be adequate customer care I shall not be sailing with them. The whole point of cruising is that one is pampered and has no aggravation. I'm sure you must have felt the need for another holiday when you got home. Judith


            Thanks for your support Judith I've not given up yet I'm doing the David & Goliath with them and hope that my little stone will eventually hit the right spot as you say they don't understand what customer care is really all about, the CEO should re write his mission statement


              Did you request to be moved to another cabin?

              I understand that you were probably in a disabled cabin due to your wife's health, but surely something could have been arranged to improve your stateroom problems?

              It certainly does not seem like the HAL service that we have experienced in the past.


                No the cabin was not a disabled cabin, the cabin was ok and manageable for my wife the issue was the poor state of repair and the shabbiness of it the whole ship was tired and badly in need of a refit. The main problem was the complacency of guest relations staff we were not the only ones who were affected and they experienced the same treatment. We were told that there were no empty cabins to move us to. Before we embarked from Kobe we asked to be flown home but were told it would have to be at our expense.

                I have sailed with many cruise lines and HAL score very low as far as we are concerned and will never sail with them again.Furthermore it is not possible to deal with HAL Uk based staff to address our problems and have to deal with Seattle and they seem to also have an attitude problem.


                We use cookies to give you the
                best experience possible.

                By continuing to use our website you
                agree to our cookie policy