Have you ever booked a cruise, awaited in anticipation until the cruise sailed counting the days, only to arrive at the pier to find out there is no ship and no cruise. This is what almost happened to a couple from Nevada ABC 10 News San Diego reports.
Holland America Line admitted the cruise line made errors in the manner it informed the involved guests.
Holland America Line was supposed to start cruise operations from San Diego, California, on September 18 with the Zuiderdam. However, the Seattle-based cruise line canceled that cruise on August 26, 2021. According to reports, the company sent out emails to all guests booked on the cruise. That is except for one couple that never got the email.
Kurt and Liza Maier booked the cruise on August 17, nine days before Holland America Line cancelled the trip, and a month before the ship was set to depart on a voyage sailing on a California itinerary that included calls in Ensenada, Mexico, San Francisco, and Santa Catalina Island, California.
The couple also did not find out the voyage had been canceled when Liza Maier called the cruise line with a COVID question; the employee Mrs. Maier spoke with never mentioned the cruise had been cancelled.
Only two days later, on a follow-up call, did the cruise line inform the guest the company had canceled their cruise. Yet, another employee told Mr. Maier that the cruise had not been canceled on a separate call, sparking further confusion.
“This is the first time she was informed the cruise had been canceled. Even if the cruise had been canceled on the 25th like Holland America claimed and they sent an email that we never saw or accidentally deleted, we still have three people – one on Monday and two on Wednesday – who all were telling us the cruise was still going,” said Kurt Maier.
Was it a case of Mr. and Mrs. Maier simply missing or deleting an email? Not according to the cruise line. In a statement from a company spokesperson Holland America admits there has been a mistake, and it takes full blame for the error:
“Holland America Line sincerely apologizes that Mr. and Mrs. Maier were not notified about the cancellation of their cruise on Zuiderdam. All guests should have been contacted per our cancellation system, and we regret that there was a failure. We are looking into why this happened so that we can improve our procedures and training for future situations. We will work with the Maiers to reaccommodate them on another cruise of their choice at the same special offer they received.”
With the multiple changes cruise lines have to deal with daily, it is understandable that errors are being made at times. For now, it seems the cruise line is handling the situation.
What’s Next for Holland America
Holland America Line has taken a slow and steady approach to the restart of cruising in 2021. So far, the cruise line is operational with two vessels.
The 2010 built Nieuw Amsterdam is sailing from the company’s home base of Seattle on an itinerary to Alaska. The ship makes regular calls to popular spots in the Northern State such as Juneau, Icy Strait Point, Sitka, and Ketchikan.
The second HAL ship that is operational is the Eurodam which is currently sailing an itinerary around the Eastern part of the Mediterranean that includes calls to Corfu, Kotor, Mykonos, Santorini, and more.
By late spring 2022, Holland America Line expects to have the complete fleet back to cruising when it hopes to restart operations for Noordam, Oosterdam, and Westerdam. Noordam will restart with a March 14, 2022, cruise in Japan; Oosterdam will begin cruising May 1 in the Mediterranean, and Westerdam will return to service May 8 in Alaska. Volendam and Zaandam will also return in May 2022
The ships will join Eurodam, Koningsdam, Nieuw Amsterdam, Nieuw Statendam, Rotterdam, and Zuiderdam, which have now returned to service or are scheduled to restart cruising by December 2021.
“We’ve been working intensely to get all of our ships back into service, and to have final restart dates that will complete the fleet is rewarding for everyone who has put their all into making this happen,” said Gus Antorcha president of Holland America Line. “Our progressive rollout plan allows us to be back in full service over the next several months, and we look forward to welcoming guests on all 11 ships cruising in different regions around the world.”
For all cruises in 2021, all guests must be fully vaccinated 14 days before the cruise. Guests will also need to take a rapid COVID test two days before boarding the vessel.