The embarkment went well, we went directly to our rooms, the first thing we noticed was the sheets on our bed had stains, on the bottom sheet fully visible was a large yellow stain and on all but one pillow were black stains. Called and reported this, and not only did our cabin boys but the head of housekeeping come up to change the sheets and pillow cases. But further review of the room showed it was dirty, a lick and a promise as my grandmother used to say, the mirrors even had finger prints from the previous guests, mentioned this to the cabin boys and they said they didn't have time to do a good cleaning before we checked in but would do so that night, they did a good job that evening but it freaked us out how dirty the room was and that we thought that cleaning the rooms between guests was to keep germs at bay plus I have never checked into a hotel that was that grubby looking. Our friends in the next room to us also had black stains on their pillow cases and had them changed also and their room also didn't look very clean, or at least what we would have expected from other cruise lines.
Our dinner was at 8 in the main dining room, but again lack of service, I really think they have too many tables to serve as we seemed to always be delayed in getting our dinner, usually not leaving the dining room until after 10 each nite, and the servers just seemed to be on the run so know it was not lack of their attention, but over worked... Even when we were seated in the dining room others who came well after us got served before we did. Dinner in the Pinnacle Grill was very good as was the service. As for the only tour we took with the cruise line was to the Fort in Sidney, the bus was almost half an hour late, it was pouring rain as we stood waiting for it, then when we got to the Fort, not one restaurant or store was opened yet for the season, just a small little barn type building with free tea and coffee. The six of us on the tour together all felt it was a waste of money and our time, just too much closed and not getting back till late afternoon from 10 am we all were starved. We did like the Suite Amenities package, felt that was value for our money and would do that again, but unless you are over 70 this is not the cruise ship for you, no night life, just a few couples each nite in the crows nest. The food on the ship was not terrible, but not very good, except for the Pinnacle Grill, even formal nights the food was bland and just not what we have come to expect from other cruise lines. The steak was not a good cut and on the lobster night you could only order 2 each, on Princess last year they also had lobster night and you could order as many as you wanted, not that I wanted any lobster as it was frozen not fresh as you would have expected as again this was lobster country.... We felt the room very narrow, but the bathroom was a good size. The sheets on our bed got changed again after the third day, but they were too small for the bed and would not tuck in on one side, we just dealt with it, but they looked worse for wear but clean. One thing we didn't like at all was the announcements, at 8 each morning they blasted, would have been nice to sleep in but that was impossible. We had heard that our room could be noisy due to being over top of the casino etc, we didn't hear any noise other that the younger couple above us and their kids, first morning before 7 they decided to move the furniture on their deck, that went on for over an hour, but nothing much after that. The air conditioning had issues, so having the door open all night was necessary to keep the room cool enough to sleep comfortably, and our toilet plugged up 4 times, so they really do have issues with plumbing..... All in all we don't think we would ever cruise again with Holland America, not unless the price was too good to refuse, but I do believe you get what you pay for.... we have booked with Princess for next year, and do hope that we will get the service and enjoy the food as we did last year...