We had just a great time last year on our repositioning cruise (Princess Line) that we decided to go for a 2nd repositioning cruise this year. A short cruise is perfect way to take a break from our hectic work schedules and spend some family bonding time with our 2 twenty-something years old children.
We wanted to try Holland America Line, as we heard about their reputation of great customer service, classy ship décor, high standard of food quality and choices. We must state that we are very disappointed with the availability of food choices and food quality. It is the worst amongst the 12 cruises we have been on. Generally, customer service is decent, but would not consider it to be great though, as comparing to the 5 different cruise liners (10 ships) we have been on.
Our biggest pet peeves is that at every single meal we have, there are always either bowls, bread plates, cups and/or serving plates have chips on them. How could HAL whose image is tailoring themselves to a more affluent group be serving meals with chipped soup bowls and dinner plates at their Main Dining Room? Even on our previous NCL and Carnival cruises, their kitchen team and servers know better to replace them once they are no longer whole!
Balcony cabin on Deck 4 is deeper than the other decks above us, which is great. It did not bother us that it is steel rather than panel of plexi-glass for our outside enclosure. Even at slightly over 5 feet, when sitting on balcony chairs, I can see over the railing for view of the ocean and horizon.
The bathroom is rather spacious with a combo of bathtub and shower. The shower dispensers in filled with nice shampoo, conditioner and soap of Elemis brand with a very pleasant scent. There is separate control dual dials water on/off and temperature. Once we have settled on water temperature of our likings, we set the dial which makes it easy for subsequent showers without fussing with the water temperature.
There are 3 closets across the hallway from the bathroom; ample room to put away all of our luggage. There are also sufficient hangers to get all our clothing hung in the closets. A long length mirror is located inside the middle closet, however, unfortunately, with the closet door open, it block the hallway light and render the mirror unusable during the evening hours, due to the hallway being REAL dark! During the daytime, with the curtain open, light can flow in from the balcony and visibility of the mirror is passable.