Val from Santa Fe,
You need to try a Holland American Line ship if you want to experience some of the sophistication and attention you are missing. My previous cruise was on NCL's Norwegian Dream a couple of years back. I enjoyed the voyage and had a good time. However, when I sailed HAL's MS Veendam last March, there was no comparison to the level of service and quality that HAL offered over NCL.
HAL has a reputation of serving older clients that is well deserved. The older clients appreciate the finer things in life. They are the target audience of the Holland American Line. At least, they have been the traditional clientel. Now HAL is aiming toward the younger set as well. My cruise on HAL has a good mix of all age brackets represented. HAL cruises cost a bit more so that helps to diferentiate the mature cruiser from the "Carnival" Clan.
There have been some noteworthy complaints on some HAL ships. Hopefully, these issues will be cleared up. I experienced no major issues on my cruise. After sailing HAL once,I now limit myself to the HAL brochures for future cruises. I have heard too many negative comments about the constant lines and numbers of people onboard the mega-ships and I have no desire to be one of them.
I sail to get away. I enjoy cruising and meeting people, but I'm not looking for "Woodstock on the Waves". If HAL keeps up the service that I experienced and corrects the few problem areas and
insensitive staff members, they have a waiting clientel-base to take the place of those senior cruisers that have boarded that"Cruise Line In The Sky".
Give Holland American Line a try, and maybe, just maybe, some evening we will pass each other by, some night, in the "Crows Nest Lounge".