This is our 15th cruise but the first time on a Holland American ship. We brought my husband's parents for their anniversary and we were very impressed with several aspects of this cruise.
First off, the check in was effortless and the cabin was well presented and prepared. The crew was exceptionally happy and seemed to truly enjoy their jobs. This was every department! The wonderful thing about the crew was that they were attentive but never pushy. The drink servers were always available but never trying to "sell" you something. Same thing with the photographers.
We thought that the two day "quarantine" was an excellent idea at the buffet. This is where they have the crew load your plate with your selections and give you your desired drink. Very smart way to keep the germs down and the guests from getting sick. This was the first time we have ever seen this on a ship. The ship itself is smaller but all of the rooms are well designed and we never felt or noticed a crowd. We really enjoyed the intimacy of the ship and did not spend our first two days getting lost. The spa and gym were very nice and the thermal suite was never crowded.
I appreciated the dining room/crew's attention to detail on our dining situation, since I have a food allergy (wine). They made sure to bring me the menu for each meal the day before so I could pre-order. Each meal was so well done and the food was excellent. I always judge a good cruise by their cheese... if they buy cheap/tasteless cheese they get a low rating. The cheese on this ship was WONDERFUL!
Entertainment: The shows were well done and the dancers and singers were very talented. My only complaint is that the song selections were really for the over 70 crowd (Hello Dolly??) I think they could improve that a bit.
Tours: We did the kayak tour in Haines on the Chilkot lake and it was fantastic. Even in the rain, we saw a lot of wildlife and the salmon spawning.
Kids: We have younger children that stayed home. There was a kid program but we only saw a handful of children (mostly European) on the ship. I don't think this ship would have been right for children.