We have been on a total of five cruises together on four different cruise lines. This was our first sailing with Holland America. There some very memorable highlights to this cruising experience and some situations that could have used some tweaking to make cruise more memorable.
Holland America does seem like a good company to cruise with. We did not have any major complaints with either the ship or the cruise line. All the staff was very courteous, but not overly friendly. The ship was new which probably contributed to the positive experience.
The food on the ship was just "OK". We had much better food on our own on shore. I found the food to be generally bland, unimaginative and under-seasoned. Having said that, all the food is perfectly edible, but don't take this cruise if you are interested in rapturous gastronomic experience - you will not find it, even in the specialty restaurants. The traditional dining seatings are at 5:45 and 8:30. We found the earlier seating to be much too early and it would conflict with a late return on a shore excursion. The late seating was much too late for our taste. Most days we went to the Lido buffet or we went to open seating in the dining room. We did go to Canalis - the Italian specialty restaurant - one evening. Again, the food was average and the service was good, but not exceptional. I did find it quite odd that the cruise originated in Italy and sailed through Greece, but most of the wine was over-priced California or Washington wines. I had hoped for a local wine list.
The cabin that we booked was an ocean view stateroom. It was spacious and the bathroom came complete with a bathtub! It was very roomy for two people. The drawback was that there was quite a bit of engine / thruster noise. This did bother us the first night, but we generally regarded it as "white noise" on subsequent evenings. If you are a light sleeper, you would want to book a cabin on a higher deck.
On our first day, we signed up for an internet package. Although they claim that internet is accessible throughout the ship, the signal is extremely weak in the staterooms and you really need to go to public areas. Even with a strong signal, the satellite connection is painfully slow. It will take at least three if not five times as long to accomplish the same tasks. Holland America should consider contracting with local ISPs while in port to use their services instead of the satellite; it may be less frustrating.
We have no complaints regarding the entertainment or the shipboard activities. We did not participate in may on-board activities, but we did always have positive experiences when we did.
All things considered, I will take a Holland America cruise again for the right price. It definitely was not a high-end line, but a solid middle-range line.