This was my first experience with Holland America and my first trip to Alaska (6th cruise overall).
Embarkation - The most organized I have experienced. Very quick and professional. Being in the room before noon was great!(For once, we weren't hassled by the guys with cameras trying to take group pictures)
Westerdam - Loved the "smaller" size of this ship. She has a perfect layout. Elevators on the outside of the ship (for a view of the ocean instead of the atrium) were a nice touch. It never took long to get anywhere on the ship. Only complaint was the balcony room was the smallest I have ever been in.
Food - We did the Anytime Dinning. From reading reviews on here, I knew to make a reservation or we would have to wait in a long line. Food was great. The only complaint was that dinner took at least 2-hours every night. There really isn't any reason why we should sit for 15 minutes, with dirty dishes in front of us, in-between courses. Did the Lido Deck More
buffet a few times for lunch and it wasn't anything special. We had breakfast delivered to our room every morning (by putting the card on our door the night before) and it was great! It was a great way to wake up in the morning.
Ports - Didn't do any excursions offered by the ship. I like to just walk around the towns and experience their everyday life. My only complaint is I would have rather stayed in Ketchikan longer and just skipped Victoria for a "Sea Day"
Entertainment - Didn't go to any shows except for the Elton John tribute by Joel Mason. It was very entertaining and probably one of the best shows I've seen on a ship. The Piano Bar singer, Randall, was a huge disappointment. I went in one time and only spent about 10 minutes there because he wasn't singing, just talking to everyone. I went in a second time to give him another chance and was disappointed again.
Casino - I can't say enough about the casino staff. Monica, Jeffery and Mel were the best Pit Bosses I have ever encountered on a cruise ship. All of the dealers were also extremely friendly and were a pleasure to talk to. Vital, Michaela, Alexandra, Maya, Mark, etc. All were great and made the casino experience great.
Disembarkation - We did the "Expedited" option and carried our own bags off the ship. There was no wait and we walked right off the ship without any delay.
Overall this was a great vacation. I will definitely be cruising Holland America again! Less