Just returned from another Holland America cruise. Yes, we are biased. We are 4 star mariners (love the free laundry) but we know what we like and HAL delivered! Interestingly, in some surprising ways - The Lido was amazing - this is no misprint; the food (breakfast, lunch and dinner); Added options; wine packages delivered easily; great food; served with a smile. The dive bar was great. Great "local" features like the July 4th BBQ; the PEI mussels and baked potatoes. All well done. We even voided ARTHUR through some great decision-making
SEAFOOD FEAST excursion was amazing. Fun, delicious and so nicely done - we had a lovely couple from TX (one had a shellfish allergy - it was handled so well; so first class)
Then there was Jeremy - now we've had cruise directors. Good, bad, and ok. Jeremy was warm, friendly and kind AND we won at trivia! Go Pengiun Spotters (don't ask).
The Pinnacle was absolutely amazing in food and service. Yes, it's an up charge but More
4-stars go 1/2 price - get more days, but really every single steak, side, ravioli, dessert. Did I mention the service. 1st rate. Everyone.
Ports were lovely - mix of passengers nice
Only two odd things to us (IMHO ) - there were three couples; maybe grandparents that literally took up the entire space wherever they were. They had babies - good thing, but not sure HAL is really equipped and to actually take seating in the Crows Nest to create a playpen area was unsafe and truly pretentious. You couldn't even get to other seats. HAL really should make clear what's possible and not. And, of course, it's not everyone else's responsibility to "love" your children. Think.
And the piano bar player was truly a concert pianist. Excellent, but seemed to have a little bit of difficulty with the gang who likes to sing-along. He was so accomplished - he might be a terrific showroom guest. The MIX guitarist was a Jewel. Great fun!
Just like everything else - not perfect but about as close as you can get. Go Maasdam! Less