Rude awakenings on cruise

ITN was mailed a copy of the following letter, sent by a reader to Holland America Line.

I am writing in reference to our cruise on the MS Noordam, May 9-19, ’04, out of and returning to Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy.

This was a cruise we chose to celebrate our golden anniversary on May 16. For this special occasion we picked a cabin in one of the best categories (B) and were very disappointed. The cabin, number 68, was large and very nice, but of the nine days at sea, we were able to sleep past 7 a.m. on only two days, and often we were unable to take a nap in the afternoon.

  • On May 10 we were awakened at 5:15 a.m. by power-washing of the decks plus moving of benches.
  • May 11 was okay.
  • On May 12 we were awakened at 5:20 a.m. by power-washing, with sanding in the afternoon from 1 to 4.
  • May 13 — power-washing at 5:15.
  • May 14 — 5:35 power-washing and equipment moving, and, in the afternoon, power-sanding of benches that ended at 4:30 p.m.
  • May 15 ­— 5:30 a.m. power-washing and moving of equipment.
  • May 16 was okay.
  • May 17 — 5:30 power-washing, moving of equipment and loud talking, with power-sanding and moving of benches from 1 to 4:30 p.m.
  • May 18 — power-washing at 5:30 a.m. and power-sanding and banging from 1 to about 4.

We reported the problems on May 13 to the front desk and did not get a reply. On May 14 we again reported the problem and spoke to the front desk supervisor, stating that we did not get any satisfaction. She said she would check this out.

On May 15 we went to the front desk at 6:30 a.m. and asked to speak to the hotel manager. At 2:15 p.m. the front desk supervisor called and said that she would like to speak to us. We declined and said we wanted to see the hotel manager. She called back with an appointment with the hotel manager at 2:30 p.m. The hotel manager met with us, took down all the information we had and made a copy of it. He told us this would not happen again.

We also spoke to the travel staff of Vantage Deluxe World Travel, with which we had booked the cruise, but we got no reply from them while on board.

On the 17th we met the hotel manager in the elevator on our way to our cabin and told him his promise had lasted only one day and his reply was, “Oh,” and he left down the hall.

This may be the last cruise we take with Holland America.

MANOS, Aurora, CO

ITN sent another copy of the above letter to Holland America Line and received the following reply.

Thank you for the letter regarding Mr. and Mrs. Manos’ experience on their MS Noordam cruise of May 9, 2004.

Please allow us to assure you that we did indeed receive the correspondence from our past guests, and we addressed their concerns in a response dated June 30, 2004.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact us. Holland America Line is committed to providing the most dependable service possible and we appreciate your taking an interest in this matter.

ED GRASS, Special Advisor, Office of the Chairman, Holland America Line, Inc., 300 Elliott Ave. West, Seattle, WA 98119

Mr. Manos informed ITN that he received a Shipboard Credit Certificate for $400 from Holland America.

Following the cruise, Mr. Manos also wrote to Vantage Deluxe World Travel, who replied to him and also wrote to Holland America Line.