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Holland America definitely reads the surveys

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After 38 HAL cruises and 38 surveys filled out I have yet to be contacted about any comments, complaints or compliments. Nor have I ever received any acknowledgement of my loyalty to Holland America other than the inclusion at the appropriate Mariner events. I am ok with that obviously since I will be sailing again on the Zaandam in 3 days. Happy to be a HAL fan!

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I ILIKED the former paper style surveys we completed on board better than the e-mail survey thy now send us.. Anyone agree?

 

No... In this 'information age' in which we now live, electronic communication (including HAL surveys) are most efficiently managed via email. I agree with this approach.

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but we did raise one particular issue (which had also been a major issue raised onboard the cruise). We raised a particular issue while saying we had a wonderful cruise and were not seeking a response or reward. But we did received a very gracious response (not a computer generated canned response) and some consideration for a future cruise.

 

Can you possibly elaborate on the 'issue' that you raised? We are very curious.. :confused:

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Can you possibly elaborate on the 'issue' that you raised? We are very curious.. :confused:

 

Happy to oblige although it is our normal preference not to live in the past. We were doing back to back cruises (in Europe) on the Zuiderdam and had a decent balcony cabin. A few days into our cruise we returned to our cabin to be nearly overcome by very strong paint fumes being pumped in through the A/C system. Our entire section of the ship was bad, our cabin steward appeared to be ill from fumes and it was not a good thing. We immediately opened our balcony door which did help (others around us apparently did the same) and later paid a visit to Guest Relations. It was explained that the crew was doing a major outdoor painting project (with oil based paint) which was apparently near a major air intake which fed into the HVAC system. Guest Relations staff said the Hotel Manager had heard the complaints and it would be fine.

 

The following day we returned from a day in port to strong fumes and again queued up at Guest Relations to complain (behind many others). Again we were told that the problem would not happen again. 2 days later it was worse then even the first day. DW and I were both suffering from severe headaches, our steward looked awful, and the situation was intolerable. We went back to Guest Relations and asked for an appointment with the Hotel Manager...but got the Guest Relations Supervisor instead (we think the Hotel Manager was hiding). She explained that the Hotel Manager had raised the issue with the Chief Engineer but they had to complete the paint job. At that point we politely explained that given the situation (the ship was totally sold out) we were going to leave the cruise after the first segment and expected a complete refund from HAL plus HAL should pay our Business Class Air back to the US. A few hours later the Guest Relations Supervisor called our cabin and said that the issue was resolved and would not happen again. For the last few days of that segment there were no fumes and all was fine so we did continue for the next 12 day segment.

 

When we returned to our cabin late afternoon of first day of the second segment the fumes were back....although not as severe as previous. At this point I was near furious and felt that we had been deceived and lied to (several times). When we later walked by Guest Relations there was another queue (of folks from our part of the ship) and we were told the painting job was finished.. It was and never happened again.

 

And that is the story, not exaggerated in any way. I should add that except for that problem it was a fantastic cruise :). Another passenger told us they heard (so this is rumor) that this was all caused because the painting project was not completed in a recent drydock and had to be done while passengers were on the ship. Since we never got to talk with the Hotel Manager or Chief Engineer (we had also made this request) we do not know for certain while this painting project was happening during our cruise.

 

Hank

Edited by Hlitner

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Hmmmm, Interesting. And thanks for the detailed explanation Hank; sounds like a very frustrating experience.

 

 

We've smelled paint fumes on many cruises over the years (seems like they're always painting something), but we have always been able to escape them for the most part. Sounds like this wasn't an option for you.

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Don’t know about the on-line surveys but agree with the bone that the on-ship surveys get very good response or at least ours have!! We were missing some things paid for by travel agent and needed assistance with dining that had been changed without our knowledge (husband is diabetic and need early dining).......they immediately resolved issue and comped us very nicely for the errors ......but i realize we were still on board and it was not after the fact while we were off ship

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Hmmmm, Interesting. And thanks for the detailed explanation Hank; sounds like a very frustrating experience.

 

 

We've smelled paint fumes on many cruises over the years (seems like they're always painting something), but we have always been able to escape them for the most part. Sounds like this wasn't an option for you.

 

Like you we have smelled paint on more then a few cruises. But it has always been in a public area and the solution was to simply move. To be honest, we are supportive of constant maintenance so always saw this as reasonable. But pumping fumes through the air handling system into passenger cabins (and adjacent corridors) is something we have not experienced in well over 1000 days on many ships. We actually were fortunate because we had a balcony cabin. The folks near us who had an inside cabin were truly miserable and avoided their cabin as much as possible. But the saddest part of the situation were the stewards in our section of the ship. They were working all day in that environment and were not in a position to complain. Several stewards made it clear they were grateful to the passengers who raised the issue with Guest Relations.

 

We do not know a solution to such issues. Cruise lines need to do constant maintenance on their ships and cannot do everything during relatively short dry docks. Anyone who has paid extra money for a nice balcony cabin only to find their balcony unusable due to paint....understands the frustration. But experienced cruisers have learned to deal with those issues (while mumbling under their breath). But when fumes are pumped into a cabin there is no escape when one needs to shower, change clothes, etc. In our case it was not a big problem by bed time (we go to sleep late) as the workers stop by 5 and the fumes did fade away by late in the night. We were also cruising in Northern Europe (and towards Iceland) so we could crack the balcony door to provide some clean air (which is not good for the HVAC system). But perhaps a fellow passenger said it well when she mentioned that if she were in a hotel with those kind of fumes she would have immediately checked-out and gone elsewhere. On a ship..that is not always an option.

 

Hank

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Hlitner, it’s interesting that you mention paint fumes. We had never experienced that until this cruise. We awoke one night about 3 AM to very strong fumes. I stepped out into the corridor to see other alarmed passengers, all of us in our jammies. I called the front desk and was told it had already been reported. I found out the next day the crew were painting near an AC duct.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Disembarked the Zaandam on Monday (wonderful cruise!) and they did give the aforementioned comment cards 3 or 4 times during the 14 Night sailing. I like that they were encouraging feedback during the sailing.

 

Happy Sailing! :)

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