We're long-term cruisers on Princess because we get 150 free Internet minutes with them (it will be 345 more cruises before we get free laundry, however), but we recently went back to Holland America for a brief cruise to Jamaica and the Caymans. WE LOVE the Nieuw Amsterdam! This is a great ship. We find that most of the good-level ships we've been on over the past few years are pretty similar. All have dreary prime rib in the dining room. All have similar entertainment. All have excellent service. Almost all charge $3.50 for fresh-squeezed orange juice
There are a few things that differentiate the ones we've been on recently, though. The Queen Mary II has a free laundromat. The Carnival Celebrity and the Costa Mediterranea are twins, except the beds on the Costa liner are filled with rocks. Princess and Holland America seem to load and unload more efficiently. But, onto what's really important: room service. First, the booze package on the Nieuw Amsterdam was the best we've found. Princess charges a fortune for a half-sized bottle to hootch. On the Nieuw Amsterdam, I got full liters of top-shelf rum and gin, plus six cans of mixer, for $92. This kept us in cocktail parties all week, and room service was regular in delivering extra ice, too, without being asked.
Of primary importance, though, is room-service breakfast. First, most lines don't even try to deliver it on debarkation day. The Nieuw Amsterdam did, and on time, too. But, best of all, are the eggs. Princess has a cardboard-like egg and cheese muffin that is designed for their convenience, not ours. By contrast, Nieuw Amsterdam delivers HOT sunny-side-up eggs on a hot plate with hot-plate-heater beneath it. Neither Cunnard nor Princess can compare. It's the little things that count. Having said all that, to be honest, Princess has the best scones at tea.