The last time I had cruised Holland America was 35 years ago or so. My traveling partners had been several times more recently. I felt that for the price we paid, we got a more than excellent value. We booked for a good price, three to an outside window room. Two days before sailing got upgraded by four decks to a vista suite with a veranda. What a terrific surprise and cabin. It was mid ship, no less.
My last cruise had been with Oceania, the Riviera, where the food is truly excellent. But you do pay for it in the original price of the cruise, so you get what you pay for. At the time, I had thought it wasn't worth the extra money, despite how great it was. We all truly enjoyed the food on the Rotterdam. Everything wasn't absolutely fantastic, but considering what we paid for compared to Oceania, is was very good. Breakfast was probably better on the Rotterdam. My ultimate conclusion now is that the two ships are so different and you can't really compare, and I feel I did get value for the money from both, each in their own way and would sail both again.
We did splurge on Pinnacle Grill, both the regular menu, Le Cirque, and Librije. Our favorite by far was the Librije. Great food and experience. The wine pairings were great with each course. The Le Cirque wines were not paired with the food and we would not pay for the wine again, would just order a bottle for the table. We all loved Canaletto, well worth the $10. The soup and antipasto were both excellent and we loved the cotton candy at the end of the meal. The service here was very attentive.
The itinerary was great and I loved the many Dutch on board. I added something you normally don't get on a normal cruise. I am prejudiced, to be fair, since my parents were both Dutch and I have been there on visits.
Several of the shows had absolutely wonderful entertainers, much better than expected.