Let's begin with Ship Services. Upon entering the room, it was dusty and needed some attention in assorted areas. I also was less than impressed with
the condition of the furniture, cabinets, etc. This cruise with a SA category suite was advertised as top of the line suite experience. It was actually less impressive that a much less expensive Carnival Glory suite taken a few years ago. In addition, for a ship only 2 years old, it was worn. Carpet and furniture needed replacement and it was soiled and worn. Nevertheless, our room stewards (Seno and Chandra) were incentivized with extra tips and this did indeed ensure my room was as best as they could make it given the circumstances. Kudos go out to Seno and Chandra for a "exceptional" job.
Room service stunk! They delivered pn time however nearly every order was wrong, meaning the order failed to include everything ordered; it included food not ordered; was late; or was cold upon arrival. Taste of room service food was average at best. The only order they got right was a beverage package order. They even screwed up a beverage package for a family member by charging them 4 times the actual amount and they had to fight to get that off their final bill.
We had access to the Neptune Lounge and it was a nice amenity, but once again the dEcor was old, tired and worn. The concierge ladies were great! The Neptune provided small snacks, coffee and assorted juices available at all times 7 am to 8 PM. I did use laundry service option once, allowing them to press some suits, but nothing more.
Bar service was very attentive but quality of drinks was never consistent. The same drink at the same bar would never come back with the same taste. Only one bar at the center of the ship which was either on deck A or deck 1 had consistent well mixed drinks.
Dining Room Stewards (Ben and Erwin) were great! Food at the main dining room was very good. Buffet food was much less impressive. Average at best. In fact the whole buffet set-up was terrible. The food presentation was fine, but it was how the food lines were laid out due to ship design. It made for a very chaotic and crowded buffet experience. The buffet lines are located in the same isle as normal ship walkways. This makes for a very crowded and hap-hazard operation.
We enjoyed dinner at the Tamarind and Pinnacle Grill. The food and service at both places was great. The Tamarind was absolutely tops!
Overall a decent cruise, but nothing near what Holland America advertises as an upscale cruise experience. After having enjoyed 3 other cruise lines at various degrees of shipboard cruising experiences, Holland America has quite frankly has not measured up to the others.