This was our 4th cruise, and our 2nd with Holland America.
Overall we were disappointed with Holland America this time.
We were on an 'open seating plan' and tried to eat in the main restaurant a number of times. However, we were not able to make reservations for a table for 2 most of the time. The tables were booked already, we were told - for the entire cruise! (Seems the deal is for people to call the reservations number on the 1st night, and book reservations for the entire cruise)
So on several nights we went to the main dining room without reservations, and were told on every one of those occasions that only tables next to wait stations were available.
This was very frustrating, because each time, there were 5-10 2-top tables that sat empty the entire time we dined (in better locations).
On the second night we questioned the restaurant manager about this. She simply shrugged and informed us that people made reservations, and then didn't show up. And it seems that instead of seating walk-ins, they simply left the tables empty!
Pretty frustrating, considering that we tried to make reservations to no avail. And sitting next to wait stations every night, we not too pleasant.
It seems that the way it works is for people to make reservations for a set time every night, and then either they decide to show up or not. And Holland America just lets the tables sit empty - at least on the Eurodam on this cruse - very frustrating.
Open seating is a great way to go. But Holland America seems totally inept at how to manage it.
No shows for restaurants are all too common. But what restaurant owner leaves tables sitting empty simply because someone made a reservation, and didn't show up?
The answer is - no competent manager or owner does, especially when there are walk-ins. HA has a long way to go in trying to manage the open seating system, which is increasingly popular these days.
At the end of the cruise we paid to dine in the Pinnacle Grill, in order to be able to have a decent table and to dine at roughly the time we desired. The food and service were good there. But I didn't appreciate having to do this, in order to have a pleasant dining experience.
Workers on this cruise also seemed much less friendly than on our prior Holland America cruise. Not sure why.....
We also didn't like how large areas of common space had been converted to private cabanas (which sat empty throughout most of the cruise).
Overall we felt nickle and dimed, and the service and experience was lacking.
Probably that was the last time we'll cruise with HA.