Having taken six cruises in the past with HAL and essentially enjoying each one, I was very disappointed with the my most recent and possibly my last cruise with HAL. We have taken 14 cruises in all and had found that HAL and Celebrity were our favorites. My most recent cruise was a 7 day in Nov. 2011 and was with Celebrity. The last cruise with HAL was a 10 day in April 2010; which we enjoyed very much due to the service we received. I will not rate our Celebrity cruise in this review, but will say it was very very good, one of the best we have ever taken.
But back to reviewing our experience with the Westerdam - the Dining room service was terrible; we had an early seating at a table for four. The wait staff acted like novices and that includes the Maitre D. Orders were not delivered as ordered, each evening the waiter had to be reminded to offer us a cup for coffee. Meats tended to be overdone; a pork roast was dry and flavorless, a beef staek was cooked well, when it was ordered med-rare. Another example of general dining room short coming was on the last day at Breakfast, I was finishing a Danish, reached to take a sip of coffee and the waiter removed the remainder of the uneaten Danish. Another guest at the table make the remark, which pretty much sums it up, "Here's your hat, what's your hurry."
In fairness, our room steward(s) were great and efficient. The remainder of our cruise experience was "ok", not bad but certainly not something to rave about. Holland America has declined, it is not what it once was and may never be again. Perhaps it is the Carnival influence and ownership taking over.