Some background on us, 50 somethings with no children. The is one of the most important reasons we enjoy Holland America. My husband and I also enjoy some activity and find we miss a few things on HAL. We used to participate in the "dam dollars" program, which no longer exists. We also enjoy shuffleboard, which was so faded on the deck we didn't bother.
We flew in a day early and stayed at the Fairfield Suites on Griffin Road. The room was dirty, and the hotel had no shopping or restaurants close. It only cost about eleven dollars to take a cab to the cruise-port though.
Our cabin was #5096, a suite. The room was in a great location, mid-ship. We had a wonderful, large bathroom and a very comfortable bed. Please note, the balcony in this cabin is sliced in half. This is due to the winches and lights for the for the lifeboats. You still have the length of the cabin, but can't stretch out towards the ocean. This probably wouldn't have a been a deal breaker for me, but thought cruisers might like to know.
We did notice some vibrations on this ship. Mostly when the ship was leaving port, or coming up to speed. We didn't think that it was any big deal though. The one thing my husband didn't like, was the pool area. HAL started a program with private cabanas on the pool deck area. Most of the time these were empty. This room seem so wasted, and the area for deck chairs was greatly diminished. Also, you had to sit in the sun, never under an awning if it got too hot.
The pool furniture is beautiful, and would have loved to spend more time there.The staff was wonderful on this ship, always very accommodating. Everything went very smoothly for us.
One other note, please book Tamarind for dinner. I have never had such wonderful food, and the service was over the top. The extra fee was more than worth it.