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Say NO to Holland America Alaska


Stringreen

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:mad: My travel companion and I traveled with Holland America which left 8/16/06. All Flights, tours, etc. were arranged by Holland America. There was a rail bridge and motor road washout due to excessive rain in Alaska. This affected our train travel to Anchorage from Denali where we were told to bring hand luggage with only our immediate needs and one change of clothes. Until then, all activities were well planned and executed by Holland America. Due to the lack of train travel, we were brought back to fairbanks from which we had departed to Denali, 2 days before. It was understandable that Holland America Brought us back to Fairbanks since we were told that Arrangements were Being made to fly us to Anchorage quickly. On Sunday, we were awakened at 5 AM for our flight to Anchorage and our return to our scheduled tour. Holland America provided busses for the trip to the airport. We were excited about our next stop, seeing othe Holland America tour guests board the plane. I hope you can imagine our feeling and surprise when Alaska Airways told us that they didn't have a record of the purchase of our tickets and that we therefore would be denied boarding the plane. When we brought this to a Holland America representative, he told us that the airline didn't know what they were talking about and proceeded to talk to some official. After a couple of minutes, he returned telling us "something went wrong" - that even he was not included on the list of those to go on this flight. More and more people were joining us in the seated area. I don't know how many people were affected by this, but a bus brought us all back to the Westmark in Fairbanks. Why were our names not on the manifest to fly? Clearly Holland America forgot to include us, or lost a list of names to be included. Holland America surely thought they did purchase tickets for our flight since we were awakened and transported to the airport for that very flight. Why did some people go and others not? A Holland America employee, Angie, got on the bus and read a list, none of who was on the bus. She proceeded to take the names of those who were there promising to get us out soon. At about 9AM, an announcement was made at the hotel that all Tour 12 guests should provide their names and yet another list was taken. After awhile, names were called in the Gold Room to board a bus for the 18 hour ride to Seward. Some, because of medical and/or other problems, were not included on this trip with promises to the rest of us that a flight would very soon take us on our expected rounds. We were told again and again by Adam, Barbara, and Angie, that we would certainly arrive in plenty of time to join our ship, the Ryndam. We were told to remain there in the Gold Room in case our names were called. This prevented us from going on any tour, etc - we were awaiting our names to be called in the Gold Room. In the late afternoon, someone reminded Adam Burke that Tour 12 was still waiting. His response was "They're gone!! How many from tour 12?" This was then the 5th list and still we were forgotten. We were told however hat we would be leaving soon - possibly a "red eye" that night. Both Adam and Andrea were particularly rude to us.. When asked if anything came through, Adam said , "Hire a car and go somewhere else." We were given a very poor quality dinner - some cold cuts, bread and coffee. We were than given rooms for the night. We still had no clothes and/or medications that should have been taken - our suitcases were aboard the ship. We went to our rooms with no departure information except that we would be taken out very soon. The next day, we were directed to rise very early and wait in the lobby for further directions. At 9:30 AM we were told that we were to board Alaska Airways flight 162 at 3:24 PM. We were to spend another wsted day. A bus would then take us from Anchorage to Seward to pick up the ship before she sailed. We did get out of Fairbanks and were met by a bus driver who told us that plans were changed again, we were to stay another night in Anchorage, fly to Juneau the next day, then take a slow ferry from Juneau to Haines to meet the ship. On Tuesday, we met at the lobby at 5 AM and took off for Juneau at 7:40. upon arrival there, we were taken to the Westmark Baronoff and given a room. The next day we were up at 4:30 AM for the bus to the slow ferry (there is a fast ferry) and met our ship 3 1/2 days late. While we were awakened early in the morning, wearing the same clothes for days, unable to take required meds, shuffled around with little planning, were talked to like we were less than human with no dignity or respect, others on Tour 12 were being treated like true guests, pampered to their every whim on the Ryndam. Not only did we loose 3 1/2 days aboard the ship, we lost upgrades and optional tours that were missed because we weren't there due to Holland America's mistakes. While we were paying for our meals, suffering from lack of medication and well worn clothes, exhausted from extremely early rising and the stress of not knowing what would be happening next, those on board the Ryndam including lucky Tour 12 passengers were enjoying fine food and entertainment. My travel companion booked this trip specifically to see the glaciers and fjords, however, because of Holland America's incompetent blunders and inability to provide her name to the airline, she was not on the ship to view what she paid for. I wanted to join the cooking studio and see the kitchen tour since I am interested in the culinary arts. This was unavailable to me because Holland America failed to provide my name to the airline. When we finally arrived on the ship, we weren't even given a muster exercise - if this isn't legal it should be. Holland America has young ladies at the front desk to smile and hear all the guests complaints. Their response was that they would let their superiors know, or give out telephone numbers to the corporate offices. It's impossible to see anyone who can or will do anything...it's like an onion with many layers. Until Holland America cleans house in Alaska, I seriously discourage all those thinking of this trip with Holland America. :eek: :(

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Oh my, that sounds dreadful:eek:

I feel so sorry for you. I know that would have tested my patience and I am sure my DH would have been more verbal than I would have liked.

I hope they will compensate you somehow.

I am really glad we make all our flights etc, independent of the cruise line.

I hope you get a chance to go back under better circumstances.

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Not sure this will help but the other cruise lines also had problems with their land tours this month due to the unusual weather Alaskak had this month. Yours is probably the worst report I have read and I am sorry you experienced it because it didn't sound pleasant. It really sounds like the cruise lines were all scrambling (not just Holland) to try to get people from the land tour to the ship.

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One of my gym buddies was on this trip, too. I guess he was one of the lucky ones who were flown on to Anchorage and bused to the ship without a problem. He did say the ship didn't leave port until about 2:00 a.m. and had to bypass College Fjord in order to make Glacier Bay. So it seems even the ones who actually got TO the ship missed out on part of the trip. I hope you are compensated for what you went through. This was my friend's first cruise, so he thinks they deserve some sort of compensation for the late sailing and missing College Fjord - I didn't bother telling him that's not gonna happen! They can change the itinerary if they need to and he didn't really "miss" anything. Your ordeal, OTOH, deserves compensation of some sort I'd think!

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Hi:

I am sorry to hear about all that. It must have been frustrating. We went with HAL this past June/July on Tour 27 - 7-day cruise, 12-day land. I must say that except for a few very minimal glitches, the entire trip ran smoothly and comfortably. I think the early rising with luggage having to be out of the room, etc., is something you will encounter on almost any land tour. The northbound cruise out of Vancouver was awesome, and our land tour guide was very organized, handled the group well, and all the vouchers and other paperwork were presented to us each day. I came away from the trip feeling very encouraged to sail with HAL again. Hope things go better for you next time around.

 

three4rd

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Sorry your land tour was ruined by Alaska's rain...........and then you had to endure the rest of the "mess"

but

I must say, we've tried other cruiselines and returned to HAL August 20 and had a MAGNIFICENT Alaska cruise..............

HAL is the only line I'd use, period, after trying Princess and NCL.

I am sure you were more than frustrated over all that happened to you and it will remain in your memories, though. Sorry about that............

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So sorry to hear of all your problems. We have cruised on HAL 4-5 times and each time had a problems. One was so bad that the toilet in our room did not work for the entire 7 day cruise. HAL did not seem to care and refused to move us (yes they did have other cabins available). We have decided not to cruise on HAL any more. Sorry to hear of problems continuing.

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