Let me start out by saying this was our ninth cruise...first time on Holland America, and will be our last time on Holland America. We took the bus from Cruise Connections from Jacksonville which was 45 minutes late picking us up. (The excuse for being late was he was tied up in traffic, but I can't imagine heavy traffic at 5:30 on a Sunday morning). We arrived at 12:30 and the embarkation was a nightmare. The line was so long and slow moving, it took us until 2:00 to board (that was suppose to be the fast line because we filled out our immigration papers online). We went to our suite, which was very nice, but the toilet seat was broken, and it took until 7:00 that night to have it replaced. We had requested an 8:00 dinner with a table for 8-10. When we got there, our dinner time was 8:30, and it was a table for two. Service in the dining room was extremely slow. We sat for 20 minutes with dirty dishes in front of us. We were celebrating our 10th anniversary, and our travel agent must have informed them. That night, after our meal, a man came over with a small cake with a candle. He asked if we were the Adams', and set the cake on the table and walked off. We sat there for 20 minutes, but no one ever came back, so we left. The next night, our waiter asked why we left. Every other cruise we have been on, the waiters entertained with singing & dancing each night. The only time there was anything like that, was one night the waiters walked through carrying baked Alaska with music playing.
After shopping in St. Marteen, we returned to the ship to find we had no air conditioning in our room. It was out all afternoon. Around 6:30 the air came back on for about a minute then the lights, air, and water went out. We couldn't even get ready for dinner, so we ate at the buffet. When we got back to the room around 9:00, everything was working. There was also a pipe dripping on our balcony, and the water was running on our balcony and the balcony next door. We called and reported it. When the service man got there, he said that was normal and left. I really don't think having a wet balcony floor the entire cruise is normal.
The entertainment consisted of a juggler (who spent a lot of time picking up objects he dropped) and a below average magician. Then one night for the main entertainment they had some of the Filipino crew in tee shirts and jeans do some kind of dance. We got up and left. The only enjoyable entertainment was a singer named Bobby Black and the ships singers & dancers.
Also, I have never been on a ship that rocked side to side so much. All the passagers were complaining about it. I have never been seasick before, but on this cruise, I had to take Dramamine twice. One lady I talked to said her room-mate was in the bed seasick. People were reeling from one side to the other in the hallways when trying to walk. The seas didn't seem that rough to cause all this rocking. I was on the Carnival Glory last year, and went throught a tropical depression. That ship didn't rock at all.
I would like to compliment our steward and room service. Our steward took great care of us, and room service was very prompt. Also, the ship was beautiful and we were extremely pleased with our room.
We disembarked around 9:45, ready to get home. Our bus was not there, and we had to stand outside and wait until 12:00 for the bus to arrive. We were the last ones waiting...all other busses had been gone. Again, we were told our bus was in traffic. There was no toilet paper or hand cleaner in the bathroom on the bus.
Every other cruise we've been on we wished it was longer, but on this cruise, we were glad to get off the ship and go home.