December 2015 - Oosterdam to Caribbean - Southern
The ship is beautiful, styled like a mega-yacht inside. We were impressed by the luxurious interior. It's not a big ship in relation to some other ones out there, but we came to appreciate it, because it was not too crowded and we got enough attention from the staff. The service was excellent. The food was great, especially at the Pinnacle Grill (though you pay extra $30/person). The one things we did not like is the quality of cocktails and the price for alcohol in general. Over $7 for a bottle of Corona, as an example, and like $13 for a shot of Patron. After getting 2 crappy Mojitos, I literally made the barman follow the recipe step-by-step. He was annoyed, of course, but at least I got 1 good Mojito. After that I quit, though, it just seemed too much trouble. So we started drinking only straight drinks, with no mix or skill required. We also thought that the spa was overpriced and lacked a Turkish sauna, which is our favorite.
The shows were good, especially stand-up comedy (which is rare, I think). I can't say that there were many exciting activities on board. That could be because the cruise is geared towards an older crowd. We are in our early 30-s, be we are fine with elderly people around. Much better than loud families with children. This is a polite generation of dignified people, we respect and enjoy talking to.
The islands were very similar so I can't say that the destinations were exciting. We took one big excursion around St.Lucia and then just went to the beaches. The best beach is Half Moon Key. The island beaches are crowded and the service is not the best. The prices can be quite shocking too: like $20 for a lousy cocktail at a shaggy bar. This is not by any means the cruise line's fault.
Overall, though, we were impressed with how well everything was organized and with the quality of the ship, the food and the service. We will definitely consider Holland America in the future and will gladly recommend it to other people.