I travel mainly Holland America line as I like their itineraries. I have travelled a lot on HAL, and am now 4star mariner. I see evidence of many cut backs in service but this cruise was the first in the last five years that I can say I enjoyed thoroughly. The staff tried their very best to make sure passengers were looked after well. The two complaints I had were dealt with quickly and followed up with phone calls to make sure the problems were resolved.
I enjoyed the live entertainment mix offered on the ship. I did very much miss the dance floor and band in the Ocean bar as BB King's dark ambience and jazzy music is not to my taste at all. I loved the duo pianos in the Billboard Onboard which replaced the piano bar on other ships. Classical type music was supplied by a quintet in their own space.
There were a number of small bars which were cosy and enjoyable to visit.
The cabin was as advertised. The full length windows were great to let in so much light. There was a life boat completely obstructing the view. We could see walkers on the promenade deck below but no view at all. One minor drawback was that the life boat was also used as a tender so two mornings we were awakened with the noise of letting it down. I was fascinated with the restoring procedures though. It was much better than an inside cabin which I tried two other cruises and just can't repeat as I need to see light in the room, to know if it night or day. It was quiet for the most part. Occasional noise frompassers by in the hall but no noise from either cabin beside us.