We sailed out of Tampa, Florida on December 9th headed for a seven-day cruise to the western Caribbean. Embarkation was really smooth at this port and with Holland America. We had a beautiful balcony cabin on Deck 8, the Navigation Deck. ... Read More
We sailed out of Tampa, Florida on December 9th headed for a seven-day cruise to the western Caribbean. Embarkation was really smooth at this port and with Holland America. We had a beautiful balcony cabin on Deck 8, the Navigation Deck. Love the balcony as we enjoyed many views during the day and a beautiful full moon at night. The cabin was in a great location. It was located in the aft corner, and had very little to no outside noise nor a lot of traffic outside of the cabin. This cabin was plenty big enough for two people. I would not want to have more than two in the cabin, however. The cabin was very clean and always kept super tidy by our wonderful room attendants, Budi and Eko. They also provided superior service and accommodated any request we made. New wall-mounted televisions with several movie selections has been added. This was a wonderful modification, so points to Holland America. The ship itself was decorated beautifully for the Christmas holidays. The great thing about taking a cruise the week before Christmas is that the ship is already decorated and you don't get stuck paying the higher rates cruise lines charge for the cruising the week of Christmas. You get to enjoy all of this the week before for less money. We did notice some wear and tear with the ship being older. They had some water leaks in various parts of the ceilings and some of the carpets looked a little tired.
The food in the Lido Market was really good. I especially enjoyed the salad bar which seemed to be open all day. These salad bars are great additions. All meals were served by the staff. The burgers at the Dive In outside of the Lido were excellent as were their fries. Highly recommend this. We ate in the vista Dining room on the two formal nights and the food was very good. We did north end, however, that the Lido Market seemed to have the same food that was on the menu in the vista dining room. Would have liked to seen different menus for both. The entertainment was excellent. B.B King Blues was excellent as always, and we enjoyed this a couple of nights. The HAL singers and dancers were the best I've seen on sandy HAL cruise to date. Loved the new show with all of its beautiful colors. Highly recommend this. The magician was not good, so this was a disappointment, but the comedian was very funny and enjoyable. The dueling pianos and singers were wonderful and everyone seemed to enjoy them every night. We also listened to the chamber music (string quartet and piano) one night, and it was top-notch. We honestly could care less about the art exhibits and shows/sales on Hollands ships.
Would love to see more for a younger crowd as far as entertainment and offerings. Holland attracts older travelers, meaning many in wheelchairs and walkers. We tried not to let this bother us, but we were almost ran over a few times with wheelchairs. We bought two ship excursions which are always way overpriced but we enjoyed the snorkeling at Mahogany Bay, Honduras and at Costa Maya Mexico. We also loved Key West and the beautiful Costa Maya port. Unfortunately, we also stopped at st Tomas de Castillo, Guatemala. This was an ugly port and most excursions were several hours away. Wished this itinerary would have stopped in Belize rather than this nasty port. We did buy an outside excursion to the ruins and enjoyed it, but it was a very long trip from the port. De-embarkation on the last day went exceptionally smooth and professional. Would recommend this cruise overall. Read Less