This was our first Holland America cruise and we picked it specifically to get an older, more sophisticated crowd to cruise with for the week. The timing of spring break brought many kids (250) onto a ship not accustomed to children at these levels for sure making pools a negative experience for those who expected an older clientele event.
Room stewards and bar service was excellent. There were so many bars on the ship that it was rare not to be able to sit right at the bar at any time. Selections and drink cost was similar to a good restaurant including the wine list.
The entertainment was excellent from the shows with Leon and Romy - illusionists from Americas Got Talent to the BB King band playing just about every night in the Queens lounge. The piano player was awesome also going pretty much non stop for 4 hours a night and getting the crowd to sing along.
The stops were all very enjoyable and we did not book any excursions. Just toured the city, shopping, bars and had a great time. One complaint by many was the 2:30 departure time at three of the four stops. Would be nice if even an hour later.
Overall - I would have rated this cruise outstanding except for the evening dining in the Vista lounge.. The evening dinner to me is always a highlight....meet new people....get to know your waiters and head waiter....good food....dressed up.....but on this ship dinner felt more like an exercise by the staff to get you fed and on your way.....after 4 nights I walked right by our waiter on the ship and he didn't even recognize me....for those of you who cruise allot you know this is unusual. The specialty restaurants were very good with great food and service. But the dining room food was average at best and the service was poor at best. We may have had a bad waiter but we heard similar complaints. Holland needs to up its game here - it's such an important part of the overall experience and the other cruise lines get it done.....we will book with the other cruise lines for our next cruise!