A relative drove us to the port and our bags were collected. We entered the terminal, filled out a form, and waited for our number to be called before boarding. It took about one-half hour.
We boarded the ship and had lunch in the Lido. We ate breakfast and lunch at the Lido every day except for the "Mariner" special lunch in the Rotterdam dining room one day. We liked sitting "outside". The first two days the staff was very careful about our not handling the coffee machine, etc. to prevent an outbreak of a virus. They were successful. After the first two days the restrictions were much less.
The daily Explorer was put in our cabin each evening and helped us to plan our activities for the following day. I enjoyed the Challenge Trivia each day and Erik, the cruise director, pointed out that it was just for fun, but we got quite competitive.
We chose to purchase a "thermal suite" package and enjoyed the steam room, mineral hot tub, heated loungers, misted shower, and the relaxation room with flavored water & snacks almost every day.
We had early seating and our dining steward Tono and his assistant Diek did a good job of taking care of us. One evening our entrees were delayed, and he seemed to take it personally that his table had to wait for their meal. I was able to order decaf cappuccino at dinner.
I attended the show every evening. The production numbers were lively and enthusiastically performed. On other nights we had individual singers, magicians, musicians, and the wonderful Elliot Finkel (pianist). Every night had a surprise and we enjoyed it.
The "Neptunes" in the Ocean Bar played older standard dance music that was our speed. Some of the same couples gathered there most nights.
Holland America has rolled out a special dinner night in their special dining room. It is "Le Cirque". It is affiliated with the the restaurant of the same name in New York. The meal and service were unbelievable. It was definitely worth the extra cost.
We stopped at four ports: Hilo, Honolulu, Kauai, Maui. The Trilogy catamaran snorkeling excursion offered through the ship (Maui) was the best. I am a terrible swimmer at best. They made sure that I had what I needed to feel confident. After snorkeling we went looking for whales. What an amazing experience. They were competing and acting very playful.
George in the Explorations Lounge was very helpful when our computer decided to stop working. The Windows Tech taught me things about my camera I didn't know and has me excited about easier editing of my trip pictures.
I always dread disembarkation. This one was the smoothest ever. There were a large number of persons on our cruise who used walkers, wheelchairs, motorized scooters. The crew made sure that those passengers who required extra help got it.
This sounds too good to be true. The only complaints I had were of some guests that were rude. There is always someone that thinks the rules don't apply to them or someone who finds something about which to complain. This is a vacation. Relax, enjoy, and don't get hung up on the small stuff.