Although we have cruised a number of times, on a number of lines, this was the first for Holland America. Having tried those big ships, we wanted to see what the smaller ship had to offer. The MS Westerdam is a beautiful ship. The decorations are the best we've seen on any ship. However, in areas, she does look a little tired. But on the whole it is very classy.
Our cruise took us to Alaska, our second time there, this trip the better of the two.
The food also is very much an award winner. The buffets were varied and very tasty. We didn't miss any one of the offerings, our favorite being the eggs benedict on the breakfast buffet. We decided on late dinner and were not disappointed with any of our meals. We also had the pleasure of dining at the Pinnacle Grill, an experience worthy of great praise. The food was the best we ever had on any cruise, the service was excellent, congratulations to our server Ono! Cannot say enough good things about the food and the Pinnacle.
Some of the great staff we met made this cruise the best. We had before dinner drinks most evenings at the Ocean Bar, which was attended by William and Vinny, two terrific hosts. At dinner we were taken care of by Lovely (she certainly was) Al and Nor. A great staff who made us feel like family. We will long remember them.
The only thing not A-1 was the cabin issues. Although the cabin was clean, it seemed to sometimes be hit and miss with the stewards. We had two stewards so expected to have over and above service. However, sometimes dirty glasses were not removed, clean glasses were not replaced. The mini bar was not replenished. Soaps and shampoos were not supplied as often as should have been. However, these are small issues, so we did give fairly high marks on the survey provided by the company.
We cannot say enough about the excellent shows and talent on the cruise. Joel Mason, aka Elton John, was unbelievable. The final show with his "friends" was fabulous. The rest of the talent was good also, but have to say Joel was the winner. A word about the Cruise Director, Jason, what a neat fellow he was. He was young, enthused, unobtrusive, and a real asset to the cruise line. We really liked him.
Finally kudos to Holland America for their disembarkation. This was the smoothest, easiest, best disembarkation we have experienced. All cruise lines should take a long hard look at how well this is done. This is a reason we would book another cruise with Holland---seriously.