We are 3 star, almost 4 star mariners. We like Holland America for its itineraries and its staff. Let me be clear: for the most part we enjoyed our cruise. Our cabin was very comfortable and spotless. Our stewards were very customer oriented. Our excursions were great fun. However, from the beginning things were not as good as they used to be. Embarkation with Orange Status should have been smooth. It wasn't. By the way, we discovered that the additional "benefits" of being Orange guests were virtually useless. Getting a table in the main dining room the first couple nights, when Orange guests had a special line, was a madhouse. It took four nights before we reliably had a table. Don't pay extra for these benefits. It's not worth it. Might be different on a ship with a designated restaurant.
The food in the dining room was good for the most part, although my husband twice sent back beef entrees because the meat was inedible. Oh, Orange meal benefits mean you get one more entrée choice, which the staff doesn't even present unless you ask, and it's nothing special. The food on the Lido Deck was mediocre at best, but the people working there were wonderfully considerate and helpful.
The entertainment was mediocre. We enjoyed the band in the Rolling Stones Stage, but the duel piano players became stale very quickly. The entertainment in the theater was fair. We did appreciate the scientist who offered lectures on sea days. He was informative and pleasant. It was also nice to have a group to play Mahjong, although until we protested (and we were a good sized group), we were in a lounge where we competed with very loud trivia and the shore excursion crew.