In general the ship is beautiful, luxurious and comfortable. The main centrum lobby was lacklustre with a wild glass staircase that was awkward to manage, and the low ceilings and the bright red of the dining room were off-putting. However that is a personal observation as I prefer soaring ceilings and large windows in the dining room. The temperatures throughout the ship were uneven to say the least, frigid in the lounge close to the dining room and then sweltering in the dining room itself at times.The centre section is much better but you have to reserve a table there, so by all means do so if you are doing free dining. No one gives you that information.
On evenings when the ship has an outdoor party planned on the Lido deck, forget altogether about the dining room as the menu then is lame and the service weak.
The food on board was better than average, and at times wonderful as well as at dinner times downright questionable. Breakfasts in the Lido offered marvellous eggs benedict and great waffles with several toppings and whipped cream.
The stage show was a wonderful venue with terrific seating and amazing staging possibilities. Their dance team is superb. Other entertainment was spotty.
There are three notable spaces on the ship: First the bright and airy Explorations lounge which is a combination bar, internet centre, and wonderful library with games tables and a coffee bar as well...an exhilarating space!
The second is a bar called The Silk Room which overlooked the lower deck and had little cubicles with sofas and cushions. never saw a soul there but it was a cool place.
And thirdly, the new Kitchen at Sea Centre where fragrant cooking is done, tastings are offered to everyone and recipes are handed out. This is a real
As to the Spa, if you are fan of the thermolassy pool which is $40 per day, wait a few days and you will find it offered for the balance of the cruise at about $15 per day.
Our veranda cabin was on deck five forward and that turned out to be handy to the door leading to the large open bow deck which was opened for passengers on certain comings and going into port. A convenient touch for passengers like us.
Holland America's rooms and balconies are faultless, roomy, quiet, and sport comfort plus beds. Flat screen tv. Surprised to see that there is no plug in the bathroom for a hair dryer and it must be used in the bedroom...a bit awkward.
There is only one large store and I found it so-so, lacklustre sales, with staff that were actually annoying.
Lido Deck is lovely with attractive dark furniture and orchids on every table.
Pool deck is the nicest I have encountered with wide lounges and an assortment of seating areas. BUT THEY SHOULD GET RID OF THE LITTLE TENTS LINING THE SIDE WALL AVAILABLE FOR THE POSH TO RENT AND GLOAT AT THE REST OF US. RIDICULOUS AND A JOKE.
And last but not least, the same smiling, genuinely friendly, Indonesian and S.E. Asian crew who really do make a difference in your cruising happiness.
By the way, why spend these exhorbitant dollars on the internet when there are cheap internet cafes in every port. Ditto for their tours. It was disconcerting to have to pay $79 per person for transfer from the ship in Venice to the airport when you can take the free bus shuttle, to the $1 euro people mover to the $6 blue airport bus in Piazza Roma and arrive as quickly.
It makes you wonder when there are so many wonderful things about cruising, why they have to gouge you in these areas. It truly grates on people's sense of fairness, don't you agree?