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Pereiras

Zuiderdam.. horrific food. March 12, 2005

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The problem with the inconsistency of the food on HAL DR appears to be widespread. On another thread, I commented on our experience on the Westerdam early this month. Although I would not characterized it as "horrific", the food, and in particular the meats and fish were on the whole frankly bad. Tough and tasteless meat and fish. The rest of the meals ran the gamut form OK to so-so. The food at the Lido good to very good and at the Pinnacle excellent. I talked to other fellow passengers, some of whom also had complaints about the food. It is a shame, since it is the only thing that I found wrong in and otherwise very pleasant cruise. I read some comments here about the food being excellent, very good etc., and I wonder

if these folks find this food delicious, what do they have at home for dinner on a daily bais!! I do not even want to know...

I believe that when you have a complaint you should let those in charge know about it. That is the only way that the problem might be resolved. Therefore, last week I wrote a letter to the CEO of HAL. I took the trouble (and the expense) to certify it, so I know they will receive it. In my experience, letters to CEOs are read and taken seriously. So, I would encourage those of you who have complaints to do the same. We can talk in here all we want, but in the end we are not the ones who can solve the problem. Let them know in Seattle how we feel.

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Pereiras...actually, it's been a year since I've been on a Holland ship, and that was the Zaandam, so the food and service could have gone downhill. When I cruise, I don't think I'm going to get 5 star dining, I realize they feed alot of folks at one time. I do believe I will get something edible or I will get something different. With that being said, I do appreciate you coming back to the boards and giving us both highlights and lowlights from your cruise.

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and in particular the meats and fish were on the whole frankly bad. Tough and tasteless meat and fish. The rest of the meals ran the gamut form OK to so-so. The food at the Lido good to very good and at the Pinnacle excellent. I talked to other fellow passengers, some of whom also had complaints about the food. It is a shame, since it is the only thing that I found wrong in and otherwise very pleasant cruise. I read some comments here about the food being excellent, very good etc., and I wonder

if these folks find this food delicious, what do they have at home for dinner on a daily bais!! I do not even want to know...

 

We didn't had tough meat or fish on Zuiderdam... and believe me our home meals are delicious. ( I understand my Russian taste might be different from yours..but every time we invited our American friends/ co-workers they loved food we prepare!!!) ;)

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I agree! Whenever I see a post like this it just bugs me to no end. I fall in line with most cruisers that aren't overly critical of the food. If you want perfect food that's tailored to your taste then go on a more expensive cruise line.

 

Which lines would that be? When we booked HAL instead of Princess, Carnival, Royal Carib & Celeb we thought we were booking on a presigious luxury liner. We loved our Westerdam cruise and had a dam fine time. The only complaint, besides the guy who couldn't dock the tender from half moon to the ship, was the main dining room.

 

Aside from Cunard & Disney(for families), which lines are better than HAL?

Costa? Radisson? Silver Seas? Windjammer?

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Which lines would that be? When we booked HAL instead of Princess, Carnival, Royal Carib & Celeb we thought we were booking on a presigious luxury liner. We loved our Westerdam cruise and had a dam fine time. The only complaint, besides the guy who couldn't dock the tender from half moon to the ship, was the main dining room.

 

Aside from Cunard & Disney(for families), which lines are better than HAL?

Costa? Radisson? Silver Seas? Windjammer?

 

Cruise fare for prestigious luxury liner can't be in the same range as other mass market line, can it ?

 

By the was IMHO Celebrity has somewhat better food... and upscale feel than HAL (at least Vista ships) , still I won't call them luxury cruise liner.

 

If I understand correctly Celebrity and HAL are both upper-mass market lines.

 

Presigious luxury lines: Seabourn, Radisson, Crystal, Silver Sea. If you check fare on these lines it usually starts from 3000+ pp for 7 days for lowest category.

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I agree with you re the only problem was the food.. with one exception. Our experience with Customer Service regarding our air. They really didn't care. Not the way to win repeat business. I do wonder if Carnival's purchase of HOL and Princess that the quality of food has gone down on Princess as well.

I just might sent a letter to the CEO.. are you comfortable in posting his name here? I can probably find out elsewhere if not...

 

Any comments on Princess from anyone who has gone on recently?

 

The problem with the inconsistency of the food on HAL DR appears to be widespread. On another thread, I commented on our experience on the Westerdam early this month. Although I would not characterized it as "horrific", the food, and in particular the meats and fish were on the whole frankly bad. Tough and tasteless meat and fish. The rest of the meals ran the gamut form OK to so-so. The food at the Lido good to very good and at the Pinnacle excellent. I talked to other fellow passengers, some of whom also had complaints about the food. It is a shame, since it is the only thing that I found wrong in and otherwise very pleasant cruise. I read some comments here about the food being excellent, very good etc., and I wonder

if these folks find this food delicious, what do they have at home for dinner on a daily bais!! I do not even want to know...

I believe that when you have a complaint you should let those in charge know about it. That is the only way that the problem might be resolved. Therefore, last week I wrote a letter to the CEO of HAL. I took the trouble (and the expense) to certify it, so I know they will receive it. In my experience, letters to CEOs are read and taken seriously. So, I would encourage those of you who have complaints to do the same. We can talk in here all we want, but in the end we are not the ones who can solve the problem. Let them know in Seattle how we feel.

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Aside from Cunard & Disney(for families), which lines are better than HAL?Costa? Radisson? Silver Seas? Windjammer?

 

Exactly....from what I've researched although I have no first hand experience.

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I do love people that book in expensive suites and expect that the food will match the prices of the suites. Here is a little clue for you. You really should think about what I am going to state. A light bulb may go off after you read this. ;)

 

The food is exactly the same for the person booked in the cheapest cabin as it is for the person in the most expensive suite.:D Let me phrase this in such a way that anyone can understand this. Paying a million dollars for a suite does not automatically earn you food different from the rest of the passengers. I do appreciate though that there are people who fail to understand this and subsidize my food and fare. :p I have never understood paying more for a suite than you could book a cruise with Silverseas, Radisson, or Crystal etc. Unless it is really really important to you to have the most impressive cabins on the ship. This does help us know that you are really impressive, if we even bother to see what cabin you are in, cause confidentially, I don't care. JMHO, and I don't mean to speak negatively of those of you who books suites. Thank g*d for you is what I say, and I mean it. You are subsidizing my cruises! May you be blessed always!:D

 

jc

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I think it is plenty of money that I spend on a HAL Cruise already and won't be switching to a more expensive line.

 

It is unfortunate what happened that week with the food in the dining room but there may be reasons like and under staffed kitchen, illness of chefs or new kitchen staff or maybe the supplier had problems. Whatever......I am looking at it on the bright side and considering it an isolated incident.

 

I was on the Zuiderdam last year and the year before that and the food was delicious. My next sailing is 06-04 and I will lose a few pounds before then so I can enjoy the food when I get on the ship. My plate is half full!!

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Thanks to you for taking the time to participate on this thread.

You are obviously and absolutely correct. None of us in 'more expensive' rooms expect anything different from anyone else. Just normal and tasty would be fine. Also, and comparitively, this really doesn't have anything to do with the issue here, which was the food, on the night we ate in the main dining, was terrible and had a chemical taste. It seems quite a few others, on this thread, and others on HOL threads have had similar experience. We noted horrific one night. Others have said bland, tasteless, dry. Yet others haven't had a problem. I don't want to speak for anyone else, but, I don't expect to get any better food in a suite, if I booked one, but did expect to get comparable food to the Princess/Royal Carribean/Norwegian ships we took previously in the main dining. We didn't. It was awful in the main, very good in the Pinnacle. Don't believe anyone here made the point that they were expecting better food with a better room...

 

I do love people that book in expensive suites and expect that the food will match the prices of the suites. Here is a little clue for you. You really should think about what I am going to state. A light bulb may go off after you read this. ;)

 

The food is exactly the same for the person booked in the cheapest cabin as it is for the person in the most expensive suite.:D Let me phrase this in such a way that anyone can understand this. Paying a million dollars for a suite does not automatically earn you food different from the rest of the passengers. I do appreciate though that there are people who fail to understand this and subsidize my food and fare. :p I have never understood paying more for a suite than you could book a cruise with Silverseas, Radisson, or Crystal etc. Unless it is really really important to you to have the most impressive cabins on the ship. This does help us know that you are really impressive, if we even bother to see what cabin you are in, cause confidentially, I don't care. JMHO, and I don't mean to speak negatively of those of you who books suites. Thank g*d for you is what I say, and I mean it. You are subsidizing my cruises! May you be blessed always!:D

 

jc

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It is unfortunate what happened that week with the food in the dining room but there may be reasons like and under staffed kitchen, illness of chefs or new kitchen staff or maybe the supplier had problems. Whatever......I am looking at it on the bright side and considering it an isolated incident.

 

Not "that week", though - the OP's complaints are all about one meal on one night in the DR!

 

AS to those who say "I believe that when you have a complaint you should let those in charge know about it. " That's very true, but don't start with the CEO! Start with the Asst. Maitre d' for your area of the DR. No satisfaction? Go to the head maitre d', the F&B manager and the Hotel manager - those are the people who can actually make any changes that need to be made to improve your experience. THe CEO can't make your cruise any different.

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I do love people that book in expensive suites and expect that the food will match the prices of the suites. Here is a little clue for you. You really should think about what I am going to state. A light bulb may go off after you read this. ;)

Thank g*d for you is what I say, and I mean it. You are subsidizing my cruises! May you be blessed always!:Djc

 

I like your style! Someone stated earlier that HAL, Carnival, RCI, etc. are "mass market" cruise lines which they certainly are...well then you can't expect to have everything to be prepared absolutely perfect all the time!

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investigator.gif Veendam

Investigation Update -March 14, 2005 Holland America Line reported an increased number of cases of gastrointestinal (GI) illness on the cruise ship, Veendam, for the voyage completed on March 5, 2005, (sailing dates: 03/05 -03/12/2005) in Tampa, FL.

 

On March 5, 2005, Holland America Line contacted CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) staff to report that an elevated number of Veendam passengers and crew members were experiencing GI illness. On March 12, the ship’s medical staff reported that 88 of 1267 (6.95%) passengers and 6 of 554 (1.08%) crew members were ill. Predominant symptoms were vomiting and diarrhea.

 

On March 12, VSP staff boarded the ship in to conduct an environmental vessel inspection, consult with onboard medical staff, observe cleaning and disinfection procedure, and make recommendations. The vessel was extensively cleaned and disinfected. Stool specimens were collected.

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Pereiras, you do seem to paint with an awfully broad brush. You condemn the whole HAL line based on one dish ordered on one night. That's really not fair, do you think ?Would you like being condemned for one mistake or bad result in whatever line of work you are in ?

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I don't think I have ever tried to do that. My original post was simply Zuiderdam, Horrific food March 12.

 

Also, please read posts here and elsewhere (ie, islandgirl3 for ex, among others). I agree with you fully re other ships, sailing etc. I can only comment on the one cruise.. and not just one meal though.. second night, comments from others on the boat. It wasn't just us who had an issue. Comment well taken though, and well received.

 

Kindest regards,

 

Pereiras, you do seem to paint with an awfully broad brush. You condemn the whole HAL line based on one dish ordered on one night. That's really not fair, do you think ?Would you like being condemned for one mistake or bad result in whatever line of work you are in ?

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Pereiras, not to belabor the point, but read the last paragraph of your original post. I believe you do broadly condemn HAL.

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I do love people that book in expensive suites and expect that the food will match the prices of the suites. Here is a little clue for you. You really should think about what I am going to state. A light bulb may go off after you read this. ;)

 

The food is exactly the same for the person booked in the cheapest cabin as it is for the person in the most expensive suite.:D Let me phrase this in such a way that anyone can understand this. Paying a million dollars for a suite does not automatically earn you food different from the rest of the passengers. I do appreciate though that there are people who fail to understand this and subsidize my food and fare. :p I have never understood paying more for a suite than you could book a cruise with Silverseas, Radisson, or Crystal etc. Unless it is really really important to you to have the most impressive cabins on the ship. This does help us know that you are really impressive, if we even bother to see what cabin you are in, cause confidentially, I don't care. JMHO, and I don't mean to speak negatively of those of you who books suites. Thank g*d for you is what I say, and I mean it. You are subsidizing my cruises! May you be blessed always!:D

 

jc

 

Excellent Post. The base price of every cruise is what the cheapest cabin goes for, since they get everything that everyone else does, the price difference is cabin size and location. Those are things that actually matter but my desire for those things is elastic. I liked the veranda and the extra room that our SS had, but I saw absolutely nothing about an S cabin that would make me want to pay more than $50.00. There would be no way I would pay for a PH on HAL. That money would be better spent else where.

 

 

 

So the food is comenserate with the cheapest fare. That makes sense. I guess my decision for the next cruise is, what could I get on a better cruise line than HAL for what it cost me for an SS cabin on HAL. Mind you, I still enjoyed my Westerdam cruise and have nothing but fond memories.

 

OTOH, HAL and I are even and we don;t owe each other anything. I paid for my cruise and I certainly believe I got what I paid for and am very happy. HAL didn't do anything so wonderful that I would feel guilty about dating another cruise line. I'm certainly free to try another line. What my cruise taught me is that a cruise can be a nice vacation and I would do it again.

 

You get what you pay for is our family motto. It's like the difference between a Toyota and a Lexus, for the most part, until you get to the top of the Lexus line, I'd take the Toyota, but then again I've had both so I can personally judge.

 

[The caveat is that this discussion is for a Caribbean cruises only. European cruises are more about the ports than the ship, which is why I prefer a railway or river excursion in Europe.]

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Pereiras:

 

The name and address of HAL CEO is:

 

Mr. Stein Kruse CEO

Holland America Line Inc.

300 Elliot Avenue West

Seattle, Washington 98119

 

I encourage you to write to him. It is definitely those in top management positons who ought to hear this type of complaint. In general, they do care and can correct the situation. You can talk to the Assistant Maitre'd and to the waiter and the assistant waiter as someone suggested above. They may or not pay attention or care. They probably will not be able to do anything definitive about it. However, management CAN if they care. That is what people should do if they have a complaint about a product or service, that is, take the trouble and write to the top management.

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I have not communicated with anyone regarding posting here.. also, we live in Toronto.. There was just 3 of us, my wife, my daughter and I. We didn't know anyone else on the boat, but did talk to several folks though..

I will look her up.. we were on the March 12 cruise though..

 

I promise you that there were many people who were upset with the food. I am sorry that this seems to have stirred a powder keg. And yes, I have not spelled Pinnacle correctly. For what it is worth, we are lucky enought that we are able to travel 3-4 times a year on vacations. One longer trip in the summer, and a few weeks through the year. We honestly aren't fussy eaters.

I do realize that those posting strong negatives here might be booked on a HOL, or otherwise have taken one without this experience. Perhaps this was just this cruise, or just our experience. Having said that, we really enjoyed the Pinnacle, and were able to book all the other nights there (Sergio the M. D. would confirm). We did feel strongly though that if we hadn't upgraded to that restaurant, we would have had quite a bit more dissatisfaction than we did.

Thanks to you too for posting..

 

Thanks for the reply. That makes 2 reviews about this ship in the last couple weeks where people HATED the food and ate in the Pinnacle all week.

This is my first cruise on HAL and I was already very apprehensive. These 2 reports don't make me any better.

Regardless we are in for the long haul and hoping for the best.

Bill

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Pereiras:

 

The name and address of HAL CEO is:

 

Mr. Stein Kruse CEO

Holland America Line Inc.

300 Elliot Avenue West

Seattle, Washington 98119

 

I encourage you to write to him. It is definitely those in top management positons who ought to hear this type of complaint. In general, they do care and can correct the situation. You can talk to the Assistant Maitre'd and to the waiter and the assistant waiter as someone suggested above. They may or not pay attention or care. They probably will not be able to do anything definitive about it. However, management CAN if they care. That is what people should do if they have a complaint about a product or service, that is, take the trouble and write to the top management.

 

They can also take the time and suffer the abuse of others by writing in a public forum and letting others know of their experiences, which, taken with the glowing reviews, lets others evaluate for themselves whether HAL is right for them.

 

Which is exactly what I did before I chose to sail with HAL. There are some posters, I learned while lurking, will defend HAL almost without fail, as if on some zombie like mission. But most fall in between with many positives and a few cautionary tales.

The things I learned before I sailed were to make Pinnacle reservations before we sailed, I did and it was worth it. Not to miss the Bar B Que, which I enjoyed. Advise on tendering, cabin location, room service and shows all were helpful. The posters that had nothing but negative things were as discounted as those that had nothing but positive things.

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All I can say is we cruised the week before March 5-March 12 on the Zuiderdam and our meals were truly delicious ! We cruise often (this was #26) and I believe Hal did as good a job as Celebrity if not better on some dinners. Guess we cruisers, the week before, must apologize for eating up all the yummy meals and not leaving anything decent for the next passengers! :rolleyes:

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No need to be childish. I posted my experience, as have you. I don't recall attacking you personally at any point. It is the sign of the weak, when you need to resort to personal insults. It is curious .. I see you have posted immediately after islandgirl3 posted her negative note about what appears to be the same cruise.... on a different thread.

As someone stated above, there are individuals who lurk here who will defend HOL to the death.

 

For those picking this up at this point. I stand by my post. There were a LOT of people on our cruise who were just as horrified. One couple bought peanut butter and jelly and was feeding this to their children. I have their names, phone number. Another couple seemed to have eaten at the Pinnacle many times as well to get away from the food at the main dining. The TWO meals we participated in in the main dining were terrible, one horrific. The Pinnacle was great. I HAVE posted the good with the bad. Loved the destinations, kids club, and staff. Turf, of the surf and turf was horrific. You weren't there. How would you know otherwise? Also, I have posted about the CS of Holland and the fact that they booked our air the day before and the day after, and told us we had to pay for the room. Calls to their management met with 'get lost' essentially. This isn't one meal one ship. Me thinks you protest too much.. for your own reasons. Folks who read this thread, if they are here, are smart enough to make their own decisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Along with a dozen or sdo who liked it. You can choose to be "apprenhensive" because one bozo felt free to condemn an entire cruise line based on one meal on one ship, or you can listen to those who've cruised extensively, know what to expect and give you the good along with the bad. Your choice.

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:) I wish we had travelled a week earlier! Thanks for your side... :)

 

All I can say is we cruised the week before March 5-March 12 on the Zuiderdam and our meals were truly delicious ! We cruise often (this was #26) and I believe Hal did as good a job as Celebrity if not better on some dinners. Guess we cruisers, the week before, must apologize for eating up all the yummy meals and not leaving anything decent for the next passengers! :rolleyes:

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