We had paid for 2 weeks of cruising, but left the ship after one week, forfeiting nearly $4000 rather than endure the horrible experience of remaining on board for another week. Imagine how bad it had to be to walk away from such a substantial sum of money.
We had previously cruised with Holland America & were satisfied, but it appears that the purchase of this line by Carnival has ruined it. Food was just plain bad; service was slow; cabins were not clean. One positive, the king sized bed was comfortable.
We paid $25 per person extra to dine in one of the premium restaurants (Pinnacle Grill) hoping that the food would be better, but it was not: My filet was so tough that it was inedible. We encountered similar disappointment with their Asian premium restaurant (charged an additional $15 per person). We canceled our reservations for the Italian premium restaurant when we discovered that it was merely a section of the Lido deck's buffet. We had one good lunch and/or dinner, of the 14 we suffered through; but even that one good dinner had poor quality desserts. Breakfasts were OK.
One of the things we had enjoyed on prior cruises w/Holland America was their pastry. That has also changed dramatically. There were a few tasteless, dry items offered at breakfast that were alleged to be pastry -- we've never had a baked item so poor. Further, there was never any French pastry available, such as had been available daily on prior HA cruises.
We opted for a Veranda Suite, which was spacious as promised, but dirty upon arrival. Our accommodations were not vacuumed once during the week we were aboard. We learned that since Carnival purchased Holland America they now require each cabin steward (& one assistant) to take care of 28 suites every day -- far too many to enable the stewards to provide good service and a clean suite.
We felt sorry for our cabin steward who was obviously working hard all day, every day, but hindered by the assignment of far too many suites. We were told that they also regularly run out of cleaning supplies due to the strict budget for cleaning supplies that is allegedly applied to each cruise; we were told this by staff that has worked for HA for years prior to the purchase by Carnival, and it was confirmed by one of the managers... so they know and just expect passengers to deal with it.
It appears that Carnival has sacrificed quality in their quest for profits from Holland America.
If you seek high quality food, good service, and clean cabins stay away from Carnival's version of Holland America! It was horrid!!!