This was our first Holland America cruise and must say everything went smoothly from embarkation, to the trip to and from Bermuda and our time on the ship and Bermuda. We had calm seas, which helped since we did feel more motion on this ship than I had with rougher seas on the larger ships. We have hit some bad weather on previous cruises and wouldn't want to be on this size ship with really rough seas.
The ship was well maintained, clean, great crew, excellent food, excellent entertainment and wonderful crew. We booked a guarantee outside obstructed view and were upgraded to an unobstructed outside cabin mid ship (cabin #599) which was a great location and the largest and best laid out cabin we have had only any cruise ship. We had a love seat, chair, coffee table, desk, dresser with nice size drawers,1 end tables, 2 night tables and 4 closets - plenty of storage! The bathroom had a nice deep tub (a bit shorter than a normal tub) and was the largest we have had on a cruise ship.
We did the anytime dining since we felt early (5:15) was too early and late (8:00) too late. You need to make reservations with for the first 3 nights and any specialty restaurants as soon as you board. That was my one complaint with the ship that if you didn't have a set dining time, you needed to make a reservation for dinner (and we usually were not able to get the time we would like) or you could land up waiting to be seated. We had reservations for every night and were seated promptly but heard from others without reservations that on formal nights they waited up to 1 hour to be seated. We found the food to be excellent, including in the Lido which was the buffet.
HAL took precautions to assure the health of the ship and Purelled everyone every time them embarked the ship and had the same hand sanitizer by the buffet as I have seen in hospitals. The first 48 hours staff served all food on the buffet so as to prevent the spread of germs.
We found something to do that interested us at most times and had very little down time. We thought all of the shows great, including the two comedians, and all of the lounge entertainers. They also had a nice line up of movies, although we only made it once to a movie. The pool was busy with kids most times, but we found around 6:30-7:30 pm as a quiet time to have the pool and hot tubs to ourselves.
Bermuda was a great island, easy to navigate around by bus or ferry with gorgeous beaches. We took a tour of the island to familiarize ourselves the first day and then bought a 2 day bus/ferry pass and went on our own around the island. Harbor Nights which is held on Wed. nights in Hamilton was held right in front of the ship and we were able to enjoy the entertainment from the deck of the ship.
So sad to hear that HAL will not be continuing its trips to Bermuda after this August. I would have loved to do this cruise again with my entire family!