This time I was much more pleased with Holland America than the previous time when they were doing construction while we were cruising. The main disappointed was not having an enrichment seminar or a staff person giving the history of the area along with valuable information. We had taken a HAL cruise in the Mediterranean last spring and loved the information and history of each area given by a staff person and expected the same for this cruise, but there was nothing. The experience would had been so much better to have someone give the history of each country or island we traveled and especially the Panama Canal.
The food was good and varied as we got to sample foods that we don’t normally eat. I enjoy their selection of different types of poached eggs (Benedict, Florentine, etc) and the English breakfast with baked beans and broiled tomatoes. They had a Mexican and Caribbean food buffet by the pool everyday as well as the usual salads, meats and vegetables in the main eating area. The food was good as well as the variety. If the desert selection was not good, there was always ice cream, including my favorite, coconut! The evening menu in the dining room is good, but not outstanding. However, the service was lacking. One of our table mates needed gluten free foods and the waiter really had no idea which foods would be acceptable. I don’t think the wait staff had enough command of the English language to make suggestions for menu selections.
We sent laundry off in the bag for $20 and it came back on hangers and pressed or folded. This is a wonderful service for HAL cruisers. They supplied shampoo, body wash and conditioner in the shower which is actually a tub with a shower over.
The entertainment was also varied and good. They had a BJ Blues club band which was good and could be heard every night in the Queen’s Lounge. We also enjoyed listening to the classical piano and violin and the sing along in the piano bar. They also had a guitar player in the Crow’s Nest in the evening, but we never made it up there to listen. The main entertainment was also good, but not outstanding. It appears that they have cut back on the main productions (costumes and set), so it was a little disappointing.