We chose this cruise because we had heard good things about Holland America and it was going to places we wanted to visit. We have been on many cruises before always using Cunard, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean in the past without criticism. However, from the moment we boarded we were disappointed. The ship looked very tired. Our stateroom had a balcony and we had paid a lot of money for it. The room itself was ok. Not amazing but ok. The bathroom was another story. Quite frankly it was horrible. It had a manky old bath with a vile shower curtain. The bath was literally peeling i.e. there were large loose flakes of bath hanging loose on the base. The bathroom overall was very old fashioned and looked like it needed ripping out and starting again. The food was very mediocre. In the buffet it was much as you would expect from a ships buffet but the dining room was disappointing. At the start of the 15 day cruise I explained to our waiter that I was vegetarian. He still persisted in recommending me meat dishes every single evening despite me repeating that I was vegetarian. On one occasion he brought me soup with pieces of meat floating in it. The menus were not always clear as to what dish was vegetarian and the soup was a cream soup so I thought I was safe. He should have picked up on that!
The internet was exorbitantly expensive and we opted for the top level on the recommendation of the Holland America staff. This we purchased before we boarded. We found that the internet was incapable of sending simple e mails a lot of the time. This was not how it was sold to us. We were overcharged for drinks and often found ourselves queuing at guest services in order to complain. The evening shows were not very good and by about 9.30 you could walk the ships communal areas and not see another human being. There were two bars that were a little more lively - BB kings and the piano bar. However by 11.00 pm there was no life, no atmosphere whatsoever. Some of the stops were lovely but there were three stops that were a waste of time. Whilst there were tours available, it felt as if to do one of these would merely be for the sake of it. The ship stopped in Hobart Tasmania from 5pm until around 11pm the following night. There was nothing to do there and no life whatsoever. Very very small town atmosphere. We stopped in Dunedin in New Zealand which I thought was boring and likewise Gisbourne in New Zealand. Judging by conversations with other passengers we were not alone in our views. We learnt a very important lesson from this trip. Never book Holland America again!!!