Our first cruise was 7 years ago and now it seems that we are taking a cruise almost every year since this cruise on Holland America was cruise #8. Since we live in California, it's easy for us to board in Los Angeles or San Diego and less expensive since we are not dealing with the flights to get us back east for a Caribbean cruise which is next on my list.
Well I scoured several sights and found Holland America to be very reasonable with the pricing and it had some decent reviews so I figured I had nothing to lose right? Well my husband wanted Norwegian but we had already been on that ship 2x and Royal pulled out of the area so I convinced my husband about trying a new ship and what a great deal I was getting $$
Where we disappointed? HECK NO! Where do I start?
1. The kids resisted going to Club Hal first and of course Grandma did not want us to dump the kids, but I told her not to worry the kids would be ok and guess what? After that 1st night they were hooked and did not want to be with us! They wanted to be at the kids club and reluctantly joined us for lunch/dinner when the club closes.
2. The buffet was tasty. Do you ever go on cruises were the food is ok and you are just counting down for the dining room to open? Well we don't have that concern on this ship. Sure there might be a few things left out from the buffet but we hardly noticed.
3. Beverage Cards - One for alcohol and one for soft drinks..Bigger savings on the soft drinks and I was advised to buy only one for all of us to use. On other cruise ships, I have been advised to buy one for each member of our party (rip-off!!)
4. FOOD, oh wait I already mentioned that one. The only thing I would not do again would be the cupcake tea time.
5. Movie theater was comfortable and they had the popcorn bags out :)
1. Casino, the way they handle the payouts is confusing. I felt liked I needed 101 classes on how to get the payouts and there wasn't much help.
2. Deals on the pictures - too expensive
I'm definitely a fan of Holland America, they keep it classy and I'm glad that they avoid having the waiters sing and dance , well they did have them do it one night but it was just waiving the napkins.