This was my 5th cruise and the 1st on Holland America. The others have been on NCL, Royal and Celebrity. The biggest difference I noticed between this cruise and the others I've taken is that on this cruise the average age of the guests seemed much higher. After I booked my cruise, I heard that Holland caters more to older clientele, which appears to be true.
The ship itself seemed just a little worn out in appearance. It's hard to really define why, but I didn't like the layout of this ship as much as the others I've cruised on. But to be be fair, other people we met on the ship loved the layout.
Overall, the food was excellent. Except for one piece of meat in the main dining room that wasn't very good, everything else was excellent:
-- LIDO (buffet): Always had a wide selection of good food and helpful staff running all over.
-- CANALETTO: Other than its odd placement in a corner of the Lido buffet, the Canaletto Italian restaurant was very good, both food and service. And it's FREE! They really should expand this area or give it its own room so they can seat more people. (No shorts allowed here here.)
-- PINNACLE: This steakhouse was excellent, everything about it. We ate there twice. There is a $20 charge per person for dinner and I think $10 for lunch, which some people may complain about. But you're getting a meal that would cost you many times more off the ship. (No jeans allowed here.)
-- VISTA (main dining room): Only ate there once, but friends from the ship ate there every day and loved it.
All of the staff on the ship were helpful and polite, especially the staff servicing the cabins, the bar staff and the dining room staff (which may be 95% of people you see).
Overall, I would recommend this cruise to others. Just keep in mind you may not see the "party" atmosphere you see on other cruise lines, which some people may not want anyway.