This cruise was Nov 24-Dec 4, 2010. This was our 6th cruise, 2nd with Holland America. M/D have done several world cruises, prefer smaller ships. We stayed with in-laws prior to cruise and got dropped off, Mom and Dad stayed at Hotel Circle Inn, where they could park for the week and get shuttled to/from cruise terminal. We arrived around 11:30am and were through security, check-in and on-board at noon. ATTENTION You CAN take lots of wine on-board with no penalty or charge. We saw individuals with boxes containing 6 bottles each. We brought 2 bottles and M/D brought 4. Met M/D at 1pm on the Lido deck. Vista DR was packed with returning pax which made the Lido less busy with plenty of seating.
Staterooms were ready around 1:30pm. Lifeboat drill was held at 4:15pm.
Our stateroom, SZ6052 was very nice. Because of the location, this cabin and veranda is larger than SY staterooms. King bed (w/2 larger drawers under one side and suitcase storage under the other), 5 outlets, 3 full closets, 3 sitting chairs, sofa-bed, desk and vanity, lcd tv, dvd, plenty of drawers (12), veranda large enough for 2 tables and 4 chairs. Plenty of lighting and lighting combinations. Bathroom had 2 sinks, 2 outlets, jacuzzi tub, full-size glass shower. Cabin stewards kept the room well maintained and for the most part seemed invisible. Fresh flowers daily, nightly chocolates and towel animals.
M/D had a balcony on the same deck. They were very happy with their accommodations and stewards.
Dining was wonderful. We ate in the MDR several nights and enjoyed our table-mates, food and service. We also did the anytime dining with the folks and that worked out just fine. Lido had good food all week. Did not mind the personal service for the first few days, then they allowed self-service. Captain's Brunch was very nice and included wine. Ordered room service for late night snacks (2am) and delivery was prompt and the food was good. Had RS for all five of us in our suite on the morning of departure. Asked for 7am delivery and at 7am the trays arrived. A superb breakfast with hot, fresh omelets, pancakes, waffles, fruits, coffee, juices, croissants, etc. What a way to get ready to disembark.
Activities/Entertainment - Plenty enough to keep my parents entertained as well as ourselves and our 18 yr old. The magician and comedian were quite good. There was a string quartet playing every evening, guitar soloist till 9pm, disco til 2 or 3am, bingo, movie theater, trivia, Microsoft classes (get there early, very popular), cooking demonstrations, etc. No hairy chest stuff on this cruise. Quiet moments in the Crow's Nest, read a book, NY Times, specialty coffee. Internet is nearby. Fantastic view.
Ports of Call - This was out 3rd MexRiv cruise but M/D hadn't been to Mexico in years. Read port reviews for each location.
Overall the ship is well maintained. Every crew-member we interacted with was pleasant and helpful. We had no issues with our cabin, dinning, or charges.