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Chuck

JUST OFF THE ZUIDERDAM--MY COMPLAINT LIST.........

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Let me start off by saying this is our 3rd H A cruise and we really do love the line.  Our first 2 cruises with them were flawless and we really loved it.  This one "NOT SO MUCH".  Here's my problem with them anymore in no special order: They use to have an actual "Internet Room" with about 15 to 20 computers-No More. They now have 3 computers and the guy in charge of it said "Oh everybody brings their own devices now".  My smartphone does not have that big of a screen so this made me very UNHAPPY.  Plus it was incredibly SLOW and down about 40% of the time.  2. The TV channels were once again "HORRENDOUS".   I think we got 3 news channels and 3 other worthless channels. Quite frustrating on a 13 day cruise.  3. The DRINK PACKAGE---ITS A RIPOFF--HERE ME OUT-- No one told us that the dollar limit is $11 per drink. My wife and myself like Moscato wine and the only Moscato was priced at $12 a glass. I asked the Head Wine Stewart if I could just pay the one dollar difference and he said NO SIR  as he would have to charge me the full $12 for a glass on that.  Iam going to write a nice letter to Orlando on this as its simply RIDICULOUS.  4. We prefer on almost all occasions to have lunch and dinner up on the Lido Deck #9 and just go to the Bistro.  Now this proved to be another frustrating experience. Here's what happens almost all the time. We would get in line and work our way around from the bread to the cheese to the soup and finally the place where they offer the 5 or 6 entrees.  But here's the problem, you are "patiently" waiting in line thinking that your turn is just about upon you when the old geezers just walk up the the 6 entrees and crowd their way into the line and order what they want.  In other words "NO MANNERS and NO ORGANIZATION" from H.A. either. This happened "daily" and I got into a couple of arguments with some of these people "continually crowding" their way in front of the line.  It was quite DISGUSTING.   Like "Pigs at the Trough".     Then about half way thru the cruise it was reported that about 25 people had come down with the "flu".  So the last 4 or 5 days everybody was "hacking, coughing, weezing, and blowing their snoz".  I thought I was going to escape the situation but when we got home friday night I was stuffy and had a really bad cold.   One last thing, my wife and myself decided that we are still "Too Young" for H.A. cruises. We are in the mid 60's and I would just guess that the average age of this cruise was between 75 and 80 years of age.  It was like a "GERIATRIC WOODSTOCK"--I have never seen so many scooters, walkers, canes, poles, and wheel chairs in my life.  We have decided to "Take a Break" and not cruise with H.A. for atleast 3 or 4 years.   Enough is enough.    One last thing, we signed up and took 9 shore excursions with the ship.  Nothing like 30% of the 52 occupants coughing and hacking for your 5 hour tour and then taking 20 minutes or longer to get everybody on and off the bus at every stop.  Just need a break and won't cruise with H.A. for a few years.  We were on the Sept. 15th "Colors of Canada" cruise just for the record.  Beautiful sites and I will say the food was great as it always is.  Service from H.A. is always outstanding. 

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Sorry your cruise was not what you expected. We haven’t done the drink packages, but there have been lists of what each kind of wine costs per glass posted here so people can check ahead of time. We avoid the Lido like the plague, especially for dinner. There are people who have gone through the line for appetizers, salad, etc., and are returning just for the main course. That is why there are stations. There is no requirement to start out at the appetizer station and wait your turn for the whole course to be served to the end of the food lines. I don’t see going to just the station where you need the food as butting in line or being rude. Just me, I guess. Addressing the scooters and the ages of the other passengers....isn’t it wonderful that HAL caters to the people who have mobility problems, along with those of us who might be of advanced age. Just because we have some difficulty moving or have become a certain age does not mean we have to give up cruising. Someday you will be them and won’t you be glad if there is a way for you to continue to travel?????  Maybe not. At any rate, I am sorry you did not enjoy your cruise. There are always things not perfect when traveling with 1000+ people in an enclosed place

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I’ve got my first cruise with HAL booked in November and have brought the drink package, which states drinks up to $11.  You have read the T & Cs.

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21 minutes ago, Chuck said:

The TV channels were once again "HORRENDOUS".   I think we got 3 news channels and 3 other worthless channels. Quite frustrating on a 13 day cruise.

i thought the Zuiderdam had an on demand in room entertainment system?

 

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14 minutes ago, cabinluvn said:

Sorry your cruise was not what you expected. We haven’t done the drink packages, but there have been lists of what each kind of wine costs per glass posted here so people can check ahead of time. We avoid the Lido like the plague, especially for dinner. There are people who have gone through the line for appetizers, salad, etc., and are returning just for the main course. That is why there are stations. There is no requirement to start out at the appetizer station and wait your turn for the whole course to be served to the end of the food lines. I don’t see going to just the station where you need the food as butting in line or being rude. Just me, I guess. Addressing the scooters and the ages of the other passengers....isn’t it wonderful that HAL caters to the people who have mobility problems, along with those of us who might be of advanced age. Just because we have some difficulty moving or have become a certain age does not mean we have to give up cruising. Someday you will be them and won’t you be glad if there is a way for you to continue to travel?????  Maybe not. At any rate, I am sorry you did not enjoy your cruise. There are always things not perfect when traveling with 1000+ people in an enclosed place

 

So far, I'm still ambulatory, but I don't begrudge people their mobility devices. I looked around one day and saw the guy in the motorized wheelchair, the woman with the cane, etc. And I thought, you know what, they're still out there, finding a way to travel. They aren't sitting home feeling pathetic, and good for them!!!

 

And I agree with you about the stations. It's set up so that people can head for what they want rather than moving through a long cafeteria-style line.

 

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16 minutes ago, cabinluvn said:

ere are people who have gone through the line for appetizers, salad, etc., and are returning just for the main course. That is why there are stations. There is no requirement to start out at the appetizer station and wait your turn for the whole course to be served to the end of the food lines. I don’t see going to just the station where you need the food as butting in line or being rude. Just me, I guess.

 

I agree. That is why there are stations and there is no requirement, or expectation, that one would need to stand in one line and work their way around  way around to the station one is interested in. 

 

It would certainly take forever to reach the desserts and ice cream.

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1.  A modern reality 

2  no comment, I good with the tv on demand selection but to each his own

3 the drink package is as advertised, you could have bought it onboard after you checked if your beverage was available 

4. That can’t possibly be unique to HAL

5. Illness and age?

 

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We were on the Zuiderdam in April. We did not have a drink package, but dined with a lovely couple who did. What they found strange is that while the package did not include a glass of champagne, they could order mimosa's to their heart's content.

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Just with regard to the buffet line in the Lido, I totally agree.  I find the new "Bistro" arrangement hopelessly confusing.  I can't tell where the line starts or ends. The direction of the line seems to change every time I make an attempt to enter the line.  In fact, I'm now so fearful of being one of the rude cut-in people that I almost never even make a go at it.  Luckily, we dine in MDR or the specialty restaurants for dinner.  At lunch, I grab a salad, sandwich or hit up the Asian station.  Any attempt at the Bistro just bums me out.

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3 minutes ago, AncientWanderer said:

Just with regard to the buffet line in the Lido, I totally agree.  I find the new "Bistro" arrangement hopelessly confusing.  I can't tell where the line starts or ends. The direction of the line seems to change every time I make an attempt to enter the line.  In fact, I'm now so fearful of being one of the rude cut-in people that I almost never even make a go at it.  Luckily, we dine in MDR or the specialty restaurants for dinner.  At lunch, I grab a salad, sandwich or hit up the Asian station.  Any attempt at the Bistro just bums me out.

 

They are quite small and not that visible, and I would not blame someone for not seeing them, but most Lido stations do have a sign that says something like "The line starts here".  I remember pointing it out to a few people who (on purpose or not) stepped in front of me while I was waiting.

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As a person who does NOT like to cut in line, if I am unsure where the line ends I simply ask - "Where is the end of the xxx line pease".  Ends my confusion and saves embarrassment.  

 

Because of my career work  I am used to being around people using mobility aids of all sorts and all ages (well, usually over 18 and under 100.)  In my experiences, including on ships, there are about as many safe, considerate mobility devices users as people walking under their own leg power, unaided.  Considerate and inconsiderate folks in each group.  Now there are exceptions in my opinion, I really do admire folks who face mobility limitations but get adaptive equipment and keep going vs "giving up" prematurely.   

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Sent previous message prematurely.  

I wanted to add that folks with mobility limitations SHOULD be realistic about what shore exc. they go on.  I certainly have been on tours with folks who should never have signed-up for the particular tour.  That is NOT fair to anyone.  

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20 minutes ago, wander said:

As a person who does NOT like to cut in line, if I am unsure where the line ends I simply ask - "Where is the end of the xxx line pease".  Ends my confusion and saves embarrassment.  

 

 

 

Perhaps I've been unlucky when I've asked.  Just blank looks, glazed expressions.

 

Taxmantoo mentioned that there are directional signs for the buffet.  I have seen them on a couple of occasions, but that is all.  Sometimes buffet set-up is hurried and I wonder if crew neglects to set them out.  I'm gonna keep my eyes peeled on my next tour of duty in October.   

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I was on the same Zuiderdam cruise. Yes, the OP is correct about the computers. I bought the internet package and had some difficulty with it the first two days. A lovely lady at the Mariner reception who was from customer service helped me out. The following morning, I went down to the man who was in charge of the internet and he explained how it works and I never had any more trouble, and yes, there are only a few computers.

 

There were several news stations (including MSNBC and FOX and some British and world wide stations as well as movies on the TV. No problem there.

 

The captain did make mention at dinner one night that many people had come down with the flu and colds. He never said how many, but I figured it was enough and more than 25 to make the announcement. My hands were just about raw from how much washing I did. In the evenings toward the end of the cruise, the coughing was quite evident and I just kept removing myself from the venue or people who were sick. It seems as though that cruise cough is always accompanying me on any cruise I go on, but I'm happy to say my husband and I are well.

 

As I looked around at the people on the cruise using scooters (4 including me) canes, wheel chairs(about 6) and walking sticks, I was reminded of my first HAL cruise where the numbers far outweighed that amount. The average age was about 75, younger than most HAL cruises I've been on and no children that I saw because school had started.

 

Never eating anything but a salad for lunch at the Lido, I can't comment on the lines. Service up there was outstanding and the variety of food was excellent.

 

We never bought a drink package so I can't comment.

 

Yes, I'm using a scooter because I can't walk long distances.I didn't go on any of the HAL tours because I didn't want to inconvenience anyone.I usually hire a small van or taxi and tour with 2 other people. It's never been an issue. I was really amazed at how many people held the elevator doors for me and they could not have been nicer about it. I'm out and about because I refuse to let my disability keep me home. Someday, OP, you too may grow old and need some help. I hope people will be as accommodating to you as they were to me.

 

This cruise was everything I would have wanted and more. Perhaps OP has made the right decision to stay away. I can't imagine fighting over line in the Lido and am glad I didn't witness it.

Edited by mamaofami

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If I see someone who is disabled or who is much older than I am, especially someone struggling with balancing dishes,  I'll ask them to cut in front of me.  I figure at some point I may be in that same position.  I think it's wonderful that people can still travel who may have mobility issues, regardless of how severe they are.  

 

OP, sorry your cruise was a disappointment, but you are exercising the option to take your travel $$ elsewhere, which as consumers is our right.  I hope the next line with whom you cruise meets your expectations and becomes a better fit for you. 

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1 hour ago, daisy-mae said:

We were on the Zuiderdam in April. We did not have a drink package, but dined with a lovely couple who did. What they found strange is that while the package did not include a glass of champagne, they could order mimosa's to their heart's content.

Love that! Cheers!

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1 hour ago, mamaofami said:

I was on the same Zuiderdam cruise. Yes, the OP is correct about the computers. I bought the internet package and had some difficulty with it the first two days. A lovely lady at the Mariner reception who was from customer service helped me out. The following morning, I went down to the man who was in charge of the internet and he explained how it works and I never had any more trouble, and yes, there are only a few computers.

 

There were several news stations (including MSNBC and FOX and some British and world wide stations as well as movies on the TV. No problem there.

 

The captain did make mention at dinner one night that many people had come down with the flu and colds. He never said how many, but I figured it was enough and more than 25 to make the announcement. My hands were just about raw from how much washing I did. In the evenings toward the end of the cruise, the coughing was quite evident and I just kept removing myself from the venue or people who were sick. It seems as though that cruise cough is always accompanying me on any cruise I go on, but I'm happy to say my husband and I are well.

 

As I looked around at the people on the cruise using scooters (4 including me) canes, wheel chairs(about 6) and walking sticks, I was reminded of my first HAL cruise where the numbers far outweighed that amount. The average age was about 75, younger than most HAL cruises I've been on and no children that I saw because school had started.

 

Never eating anything but a salad for lunch at the Lido, I can't comment on the lines. Service up there was outstanding and the variety of food was excellent.

 

We never bought a drink package so I can't comment.

 

Yes, I'm using a scooter because I can't walk long distances.I didn't go on any of the HAL tours because I didn't want to inconvenience anyone.I usually hire a small van or taxi and tour with 2 other people. It's never been an issue. I was really amazed at how many people held the elevator doors for me and they could not have been nicer about it. I'm out and about because I refuse to let my disability keep me home. Someday, OP, you too may grow old and need some help. I hope people will be as accommodating to you as they were to me.

 

This cruise was everything I would have wanted and more. Perhaps OP has made the right decision to stay away. I can't imagine fighting over line in the Lido and am glad I didn't witness it.

Just returned from a one week cruise to Alaska on the Nieuw Amsterdam.   I did find it a little confusing to know where the line-up started at different food stations. 

 

 Invariable I would just sit down at a table and one of the staff would ask me if I needed anything.   I too use a mobility scooter and I found the staff to be extremely helpful.  Better than any other cruise I have taken.

 

We are taking the Koningsdam next month and I will watch for the entrance signs at the Lido.

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Most of this has been discussed and explained here many times---the ending of the Internet Cafe, the drink plan, the line up issues at the Lido, the issues with mobility on excursions, etc.

 

Calling people names, on the other hand...

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I thank the OP for taking the time to post their experience and feelings.  As one who is in his 70s (but still walks 10 miles for fun) I understand some of the comments.   But the comments about the Lido really made me laugh.  About 5 years ago (when I was still in my late 60s) I was standing in line, one morning, to get my Eggs Benedict (when HAL still had the station with about 8 variations).  There were 6-8 behind me as I reached the beginning of the line (queue for you Brits) when this little ole Lady (probably in her young 80s) just walked right in front of me and started to order her breakfast.  I immediately said to this lady something like, "excuse me m'aam, but we are all in line to order at this station."  Her response (and this is exact) was "it's OK, I am old!."  Without thinking I responded, "the line for the old people is back there" (and I pointed to the back of the line).  I immediately heard applause coming from nearly everyone behind me (some of whom were older then the offending lady).  She immediately turned red as a beet and walked to the back of the line (no pride).  As I placed my egg order the cook gave me a big grin and said, "thank you."

 

So when I read the OP's comments about the line cutters at lunch there is no surprise.  On the other hand the OP did not comment about almost being run over by reckless scooter drivers  (it has happened to DW...twice!).  Scooters, Wheelchairs, and canes are fine (but for the grace of God go I) but we have lately seen too many reckless scooter drivers on ships (not just HAL).  One friend who uses a scooter tells me the problem is that many scooter folks on cruises do not use scooters at home...and simply have no clue how to be safe.  They decide to rent scooters for their cruise and use no common sense in their operation.  On a recent Princess cruise we watched a man simply put his scooter in reverse and back into two folks (he never turned to look and did not have a mirror).  His reaction was to get angry at the two folks he hit.  I truly thought that the husband of one of the victims (who was hit) was going to toss this man (and his scooter) overboard!  There is just something that happens to some cruisers where they leave all their manners at home.

 

Hank

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20 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

I thank the OP for taking the time to post their experience and feelings.  As one who is in his 70s (but still walks 10 miles for fun) I understand some of the comments.   But the comments about the Lido really made me laugh.  About 5 years ago (when I was still in my late 60s) I was standing in line, one morning, to get my Eggs Benedict (when HAL still had the station with about 8 variations).  There were 6-8 behind me as I reached the beginning of the line (queue for you Brits) when this little ole Lady (probably in her young 80s) just walked right in front of me and started to order her breakfast.  I immediately said to this lady something like, "excuse me m'aam, but we are all in line to order at this station."  Her response (and this is exact) was "it's OK, I am old!."  Without thinking I responded, "the line for the old people is back there" (and I pointed to the back of the line).  I immediately heard applause coming from nearly everyone behind me (some of whom were older then the offending lady).  She immediately turned red as a beet and walked to the back of the line (no pride).  As I placed my egg order the cook gave me a big grin and said, "thank you."

 

So when I read the OP's comments about the line cutters at lunch there is no surprise.  On the other hand the OP did not comment about almost being run over by reckless scooter drivers  (it has happened to DW...twice!).  Scooters, Wheelchairs, and canes are fine (but for the grace of God go I) but we have lately seen too many reckless scooter drivers on ships (not just HAL).  One friend who uses a scooter tells me the problem is that many scooter folks on cruises do not use scooters at home...and simply have no clue how to be safe.  They decide to rent scooters for their cruise and use no common sense in their operation.  On a recent Princess cruise we watched a man simply put his scooter in reverse and back into two folks (he never turned to look and did not have a mirror).  His reaction was to get angry at the two folks he hit.  I truly thought that the husband of one of the victims (who was hit) was going to toss this man (and his scooter) overboard!  There is just something that happens to some cruisers where they leave all their manners at home.

 

Hank

 

Some of the people who rent scooters with no prior experience are scary. I once saw someone put the scooter in reverse and get perilously close to the top of a flight of stairs. I recall a post here years ago where someone suggested if you're renting a scooter but don't know how to use it go to a supermarket or walmart that has scooters to borrow and get some practice. It may not be just like the rental one, but at least it's a little experience. 

 

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There seems to be a misconception that those scooters will stop on a dime.  I've traveled several times with someone who was using a scooter for quite a while and was adept at maneuvering it.  I was really surprised at the number of people who would just step right in front of him without a second thought.  He had near misses pretty much every day and not one I saw was his fault.

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8 hours ago, Hlitner said:

I thank the OP for taking the time to post their experience and feelings.  As one who is in his 70s (but still walks 10 miles for fun) I understand some of the comments.   But the comments about the Lido really made me laugh.  About 5 years ago (when I was still in my late 60s) I was standing in line, one morning, to get my Eggs Benedict (when HAL still had the station with about 8 variations).  There were 6-8 behind me as I reached the beginning of the line (queue for you Brits) when this little ole Lady (probably in her young 80s) just walked right in front of me and started to order her breakfast.  I immediately said to this lady something like, "excuse me m'aam, but we are all in line to order at this station."  Her response (and this is exact) was "it's OK, I am old!."  Without thinking I responded, "the line for the old people is back there" (and I pointed to the back of the line).  I immediately heard applause coming from nearly everyone behind me (some of whom were older then the offending lady).  She immediately turned red as a beet and walked to the back of the line (no pride).  As I placed my egg order the cook gave me a big grin and said, "thank you."

 

So when I read the OP's comments about the line cutters at lunch there is no surprise.  On the other hand the OP did not comment about almost being run over by reckless scooter drivers  (it has happened to DW...twice!).  Scooters, Wheelchairs, and canes are fine (but for the grace of God go I) but we have lately seen too many reckless scooter drivers on ships (not just HAL).  One friend who uses a scooter tells me the problem is that many scooter folks on cruises do not use scooters at home...and simply have no clue how to be safe.  They decide to rent scooters for their cruise and use no common sense in their operation.  On a recent Princess cruise we watched a man simply put his scooter in reverse and back into two folks (he never turned to look and did not have a mirror).  His reaction was to get angry at the two folks he hit.  I truly thought that the husband of one of the victims (who was hit) was going to toss this man (and his scooter) overboard!  There is just something that happens to some cruisers where they leave all their manners at home.

 

Hank

I am 56.  I have to use a scooter as I have muscular dystrophy.  I agree about bad scooter drivers.  They don't drive them often.  They rent one once a year and think they can drive them on the fastest setting with no practice.  I have never ever hit anyone with my scooter but I have  been driving one for years.  I have often been hit by able bodied people.  I think they don't see me because I am in a lower level of vision.  I was once waiting for my husband in the atrium.  I parked my scooter in an out of the way place and turned it off.  An able bodied person walked/backed right into me.  She then started to say I hit her.  How can I hit her when I was not moving and my scooter wasn't even on.  

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As far as the internet cafe, I have never seen more than one or two people using the actual desktop pcs. Agree with the Lido lines. We always look for other venues for lunch. Dive in, Pinnacle, NY deli on pinnacle ships, lunch in port, etc. HAL could address this issue I think with more signage.  

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