This is the type of review that I truly enjoy sharing. After two sub standard cruises Holland America hit a home run with this cruise. I had a first on this cruise as I met somebody from the previous cruise I took in December of 2008 and we just had a ball.
Embarkation was pretty efficient there were some rude sub contractors but I anyways. Our cabin was an inside but I was shocked at how spacious the cabin was and the storage, very well laid out. Bathroom was the standard shower which is fine I like showers. I noticed the lowest category outsides had shower bathtub combos which is nice if you like a bath. The Cabin Stewards were great, I think management overacted when I voiced some concerns to the Hotel Manager at the CC Party and he was just switched. I felt so sorry for the guy I gave him $20 at the end of the cruise. The Hotel Manager was one of the most professional guys I have ever seen in the biz.
Dining was simply outstanding the service from our waiters was a bit spotty but overall I would give it a 9 out 10 points. The menu choices were varied well prepared. The Lido Buffet was superior always lots of selection and I just loved the Asian section offered everyday. Having traveled to Indonesia I loved getting some old favorites from there. The only issue with the Lido was the fact they clearly did not have enough staff so tables went uncleared for a while.
Entertainment was simply outstanding there was this Russian guy on with his wife that did an aerobatic act with her and it was truly awesome to see. He was also a nice guy as I ran into him at the pool and we chatted several times, they had their four year old on and me and my mom helped with his English. I only did one shore excursion with the cruise line and it was very adequate but it was just a simple transfer to London and back to the ship. The Port Lectures were very well done with useful information not just a sales speech for shore tours. My favorite port was Rotterdam as we went to see the Tulip Gardens at Keukenhof which were way past their prime but still simply lovely to look at. The Casino was nice and I had did have a lucky streak with Blackjack only to give it back and then some.
Internet Service was expensive but adequate I bought a package and it lasted the cruise. Laundry Service I bought the all inclusive service for our cabin and I found the service excellent. We are booked for another HAL Cruise. Kudos to HAL.