What can I say but FABULOUS, FABULOUS, FABULOUS. My family and friends, 22 of us in all set saild Dec. 27th until Jan. 6th out of New York and we could not have picked a finer ship. HOLLAND AMERICA IS THE TOPS and we have travelled on 22 cruises now, 3 of them with Holland America. The food, entertainment and service on board was out of this world and a very classy atmosphere. We had the 6 pm seating but you could go into the Vista Dining Lounge from 5:30pm on and then at 6pm they close the doors, until the next seating, so that is fair enough. The food left nothing to be desired, lobster on a few nights, large, large shrimps, Alaska crab legs, so many choices on the Entrees it was hard to decide what to pick. Seeing as we were a group and booked so many cabins we were given one free night at the Pinnacle Pay Restaurant, which I believe is now $30US it was very nice, but nothing more spectacular then the food in the main dining room. We also got a free one hour in the Piano Bar just for our group for cocktails and chicken balls etc, all so nice. Waiters are wonderful, even offer to take your tray off you when you are looking for a table up in the Lido Restaurant, which is the buffet one and then come by with a cart with coffe and tea on it, nothing done like this on the other ships. I have travelled with Norwegian 9 times before and found the service so downhill, don,t think I would go again, they may have Freestyle Dining, but who cares about that, the food is nothing like on Holland America and entertainment was so good. On New Years Eve it was held in a large loung, but all the other lounges on the ship were highly decorated as well and at midnight they had a large ships bell right in the middle of the ceiling in the lounge and rang the New Year in with it, balloons floating down, streamers and everyone dancing and the meal that evening was out of this world. We are all saying we would love to go again next year at the same time, it was so much fun. Ports of call were very good as did Eastern Caribbean and enjoyed all the beaches and shopping, what more could we ask for. Try them you will not be disappointed at all.
Your review of the ship was excellent. I can't agree with you more about NCL--we went to Hawaii last summer, and experienced Freestyle cruising, which was not like the ad saying 'whatever'. We;ve b een on over a dozen cruises, and know what to expect with Holland.
Our next cruise is to Western Mexico, and wen can't wait to get out of the 12 degree weather here in K.C.!
Thank you SOOOOOO much for you post. We are diehard Celebrity fans who are trying HAL for the first time on the Noordam 1/5/08 to the caribbean and your post was VERY reassuring. We booked a Deluxe Veranda Suite and we can'T wait! Thanks again!