This was my 20th cruise. The first and last on Holland America Line. After a certain number of cruises (about 5) you are able to differentiate what is real value from the crap. This was the most expensive, valueless, cruise I have ever taken.
The muster drill was quite unusual. Everyone queued up first in groups by the assigned lifeboats and answered "here" as the cabins were called. It was an inefficient way to check for accuracy. On previous cruises the seapasses were scanned electronically, as individuals arrived. There were people in my group that yelled "present" for anyone appearing to be absent, simply because they were tired of standing around waiting.
For 2 days everything we ate or drank (any entrees, bacon, potatoes, juice, etc.) was rationed and served to us by the staff. This slowed the process down considerably. The reasoning behind this rule is suspect.
The ship is old and the wear and tear shows. The sauna room was "temporarily" broken for the entire cruise. One side of the elevator buttons did not work on Deck 7. I watched as a juice lid fell to the floor as one guest attempted to open it.
My cabin(a single balcony) was laid out so that the bed was positioned close to the doorway blocking access to the rest of the space. The cabin had the smallest sofa, positioned as to be unusable, that I had ever seen. The bathroom had a tub (two small to bath anyone other than a baby or a Cirque du Soleil performer) with a clogged drain. During a shower, I would end up standing in a foot of water, I reported it. It was never repaired.
They had a great band, but the hours were severely limited. Everyone seems to retire at about 10:30pm, and the rest of the night is dead. I was part of a salsa dance group, so that made things better. Had I not had the companionship of the group, the entire trip would have consisted of food, sleep and glacier watching.
The food was excellent! Good quality and plenty of variety. It might just be the best food served of any of my previous cruises. The problem is with the service. I had a late seating (which I didn't want) service was slow for my tables. Consequently, I missed a lot the early shows and the limited band performances. I don't mind a leisurely dinner, but only if I choose to have it.
Royal Caribbean, I apologize. I will never leave you again!