This cruise began in FLL where we spent a couple of days pre cruise and crossed the Atlantic. Days at sea beat flying any time to get to Europe and we loved the ports on the first leg of Bermuda, Azores, Cherbourg, Brest France. The 2nd segment left from Dover for unique ports in Ireland and the British Isles as well as Belgium and the Netherlands.
Embarkation was quick and easy on May 5th. On the 19th it was a non issue for us as we were "in transit" but from what I saw in the terminal it seemed to go just as well.
Once on board, it was like coming home. Haven't sailed on this ship in 4 years and happy to say that the quality of the food, care of the staff and service were as I remembered them.
The ship is laid out differently than other Holland America Ships (I like that) but because of it's size, it's not hard to learn your way around or find the location you want to get to.
The staff on board are incredible. Best service on any HAL ship. The crew compliment to passengers is very high and it shows. They are friendly, attentive and always cheerful.
Dining on board was good to excellent. The Pinnacle Grill was fabulous.
Food in the MDR ranged from good to excellent on most occasions (there is usually one hiccup on any cruise).
Entertainment on the ship was good for it's size. Along with it's own cast, they had outside entertainers who were very talented.
Steve from Halifax on the piano kept many entertained in the Crow's Nest at night.
The Adagio was very good.
the 2nd segment was very port intensive and all of the ports were intriguing. Our stop at Bristol had to be substituted for Cobh, Ireland due to the tides and, although I was disappointed originally, Cobh is utterly charming and we had a great time there.
The entire itinerary was wonderful. The service on this ship just can't be matched on any other HAL ship IMO making this ship ever so special.
We disembarked in Amsterdam and stayed 2 days. Disembarkation was unbelievably smooth. We were sorry to have to get off and have her sail away without us.
Would we sail this ship again? In a heart beat. She remains my favourite ship in the fleet for her elegant interiors, her fabulous crew, good food and wonderful itineraries.
On the first segment we were in cabin 005 and the 2nd segment 054. Both were wonderul cabins with good service.