This was my 39th cruise and my ninth on Holland America. We were in a Category SA in cabin 7058 directly across from the Neptune Lounge on Port Side.
Embarkation and disembarkation were both silky smooth. HAL has a new Disembarkation procedure where after you tell them what time you need to be off, they issue you a colored luggage tag and a Time Window. Only one announcement is made and then you just walk off within your time slot. It is a great way to leave the ship without all the infernal announcements.
The ports of call were: St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Barbados, Martinique, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay. I had been to all the ports except Martinique and they all were most pleasant. I was most surprised as to the friendliness of Martinique as the other French Islands I have been to, the natives have sometimes been hostile Francophiles. Everyone we met on Martinique were most gracious. My only comment is there is a lack of side walk cafes and bars in downtown Fort De France.
There were two ships at Half Moon Cay (Westerdam) and although everything went smoothly enough the facilities were strained. If one didn't get there early, one didn't get a seat at a bar or on the beach.
I had breakfast daily in the Pinnacle Grill and it was just wonderfully perfect. Food in the dining room was very good and service was good but has a little room for improvement with regards to efficiency. A couple of times dinner lasted well over two hours.
Our cabin was perfect and our attendants were just right. The Neptune Lounge was a treat as always.
We didn't go to many of the shows. It was too late for me after dinner and the ones I did see were boring.
I did not use the Gym so I have no comment.
So all in all I will declare this was the best cruise I have ever been on. I thought the crew was happy and thus our service was outstanding. The equipment was in wonderful shape and was very very clean. Captain John Scott was everywhere and I even saw him carrying a clipboard into a men's room one time to check on it.
Peter Cunningham Fairhope, AL firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lido was typical cruise line buffet. It was good and the selection was good as well. The burgers prepared on the starboard side of the main pool area were outstanding.