We traveled with 5 other friends who agreed that this particular itinerary was very port intensive and included ports that were new to us. We arrived in Amsterdam 2 days prior to the cruise and had a great time exploring this city. We traveled by van from our hotel(Restaurant Larende) to the port and had arranged this private transport with help from the hotel staff. We were only charged 50 euro for the entire van. Upon arrival at the port we were immediately allowed to check in as we had booked a Signature Suite. Our friends who were traveling with us were allowed to check in at the same time. We were among the first to walk on the ship.
We found our room and had booked cabin 068 on the 10th deck and it was very roomy, quiet, had an over-sized deck, and was located near the elevator one floor beneath the lido.We never heard any noise from the deck above or from our neighbor. Our room steward met us and noticed that I had a bouquet of flowers (for my birthday) and went to fetch a flower vase. We had excellent service from our room stewards.
We ate almost all of our dinners in the Main Dining Room using open seating. After the first day we generally were assigned tables near one area and arrived between 7-7:30 PM. We had great service. We recognized the Dining Room manager from a previous cruise as well as the Wine Sommelier. We never had to wait to get a table. We ate breakfast in the Lido. We did have one dinner at the Caneleto, two other dinners in the Pinnacle. One of these dinners was the cellar master's dinner that although was an extra expense was worth every penny. We had room service one morning and one item was missing from the order. We also tried the new Grill and enjoyed the hamburger and fries one afternoon. While in Cadiz the ship held a dinner on the outside deck including paella and other Spanish food items. Bar service was always pretty fast and we all had the use of the Explore 4 card so most all of our beverages were covered.
We attended several of the big shows with the Holland entertainers. We also saw a comedian and while in Cadiz a local Flamenco dance group was brought on for one show at 9:30 PM which was standing room only. I saw one of the Dancing with Stars events. Our favorite entertainers though were the Adagio duo and Don Alexander, the piano player who usually performed up in the Crows Nest each evening.
Since this cruise was so port intensive we did not participate in too many activities. We did play trivia and twice played bingo. One day we participated in a toss game but only one other individual showed up. We did attend a couple of culinary activities as well as the computer class. I went to two movies. We did have a great Meet and Greet event on Sept.8th up int he Crows Nest. We had over 50 persons in attendance. We did not have any officers or staff attend but enjoyed the time to finally meet in person all those who posted over the year.
We did not book any Holland excursion but rather planned our own and often chose to go on walking tours. We took several tours with other CC roll call members. Only one port stop was cancelled due to the weather conditions.
We chose to carry off our own suitcases so left the ship about 7:45 am as we had booked independently a half day tour of Barcelona that included being dropped off at Hotel Lleo where we stayed two days post cruise.
Great cabin in a perfect area of the ship. We just walked up one flight to the Lido and down one to the entry to the spa/gym. The ship is so small that we hardly ever took an elevator. We enjoyed the size of the room and layout. We had an end room so only one occupied cabin next to us. The room had an over-sized tv. The bathroom had two entrances, one from the entry hall and the other near the bed. The walk in closet had lots of hangers as well as drawer space. We had both a desk with drawers and an over-rsized vanity near the balcony with many drawers. The deck was large and had two chairs with ottomans and a table but no loungers.We had great views from the deck.