by Bill Waleszonia
January 1, 2007
I am forwarding this note because I ran across it stored in my e-mail and the more I think about it the more upset I become.
I NEVER RECEIVED A REPLY that addressed ANY of the issues that I brought up.
I can tell you that whenever the subject of Cruise ships come up in conversation, I make a point of bringing up my bad experience and lack of response that I received from HAL.
I would hope for more concern, but I guess I'll have to settle for replaying my bad experience to every person I get a chance to let know about it.
The specifics of my complaint are as follows:
My one assumption in complaining was that when a guest on a Holland America cruise books a shore excursion from an endorsed vendor, that guest has a right to expect any and all vehicles provided by the vendor will be in a safe operating condition. If this expectation is wrong, I would appreciate being so informed prior to the excursion and having that information published in the brochures promoting that excursion.
My experience for a 1/01/2007 shore excursion number 3430502 Dune Buggy Adventure was hazardous and dangerous for both my wife and I for the following reasons: A total lack of basic maintenance for the vehicles involved.
1) The first vehicle we were assigned did not start because of a dead battery.
2) The second vehicle we were assigned had a roller blade ball in lieu of a gas pedal and the spring to automatically return the engine to idle did not always function as intended, resulting in a racing engine.
3) Of the vehicles involved in the excursion there were five separate breakdowns on a 1-2 hour trip. Thankfully the mechanic who rode along on the trip was able to repair the vehicles on the road or we would have been stranded on the back roads of Mexico.
4) The tires on some of the vehicles were bald or badly worn.
5) My vehicle had a leaking brake fluid line.
6) One of the vehicles was push started at the beginning of the trip and the same vehicle was pushed the last fifty yards of the trip because it no longer responded to the push start.
7) The shift lever on my vehicle was never a smooth shift and I am familiar with that type of shift and have experience with it.
I or anyone capable of observation would notice a total lack of maintenance of said vehicles and their shabby appearance. Again, I expect more from a sanctioned excursion.
I requested a full refund of the fee involved for this excursion for the above-noted reasons.
We sailed with a group of over thirty people and the outcome of this request (so far nothing) will be relayed to all of them.
I gave all of the above information to a Dustin Coomer on boad ship and was very disappointed in his reply. I had looked forward to a more timely response from HAL's home office, though I have thus far not received it.