We arrived at the Port of Tampa at 1:30 pm and walked right on the ship. We immediately went to the Rotterdam dining room to see if we could change our late seating to early. It was changed without a problem. Our table was on the 7th floor (lower) along the back window looking out the back. (Table for 6) Our waiters were Gus and Sandy and they were great. We put our order in for shrimp cocktail and escargot every night and they said they would try their best and we were very happy that they wanted to please us. Dinners were very good. We did eat one night at the Pinnacle Grill. I would not go again, mainly because I do not like to spend another $40 for a meal when I already paid for my meals. I ordered Filet Mignon and it was very tender but it was really salty. I ordered a desert and asked the waiter if the ice cream had any chocolate in it and he said no, so I ordered it. It had chocolate chunks. The waiter felt bad. It was their version of Baked Alaska. The Pinnacle Grill has their own kitchen behind the dining area so nothing is prepared in the main kitchen.
Our stateroom was on the Lower Promenade Deck (365) and our steward was Mono. We meant him the first day and never saw him again until the last day. Sometime between breakfast and changing for the gym he got everything looking great in our stateroom.
We did not use any port or shore excursions. The entertainment was good. I worried because we went to the welcome show the first night and only two dancers were there with 4 singers(2 male, 2 female). I would recommend the night they do Broadway and the night that they have the full orchestra. We had a comedian who had us rolling on the floor. The Crows Nest had 2 for 1 drinks during "happy hour".
We used the gym every day and paid the extra money for the area in the spa when it was limited to 50 people. There were 2 steam rooms, thermal pool, heated lounges and showers plus the relaxation room was also available. It was wonderful and would recommend it.
Disembarkation was a snap. We asked for early off and we were off by 8:15 and my husband went to the parking lot to get our car. We were away from the terminal by 9:00.
I would highly recommend Holland America. No complaints about the service, food, entertainment and staterooms. I still do not like how they do the tips. They charge your credit card everyday $11 per person. I spoke to one waiter who was working when it was still owned my Holland America and he said he made more in tips back then then he does now because the monies get split up among people who do not work as hard because they know they will get paid no matter what. At the Lido Deck for breakfast and lunch they no longer furnish trays. It makes it hard to carry a plate and a drink and find an empty seat. Older people were having a hard time with this. I read in the brochure that shorts were not supposed to be worn in public areas after 6 pm but naturally you still have some people who think they do not have to abide by the rules. I did see men in Tuxs and in one instance his partner had cotton capris on. She certainly did not compliment her partner.