March 2014 - Veendam to Mexico
We took this cruise with our 2 grandsons aged 13 & 15. Having cruised before, we wondered if the boys would find enough to do onboard, we needn't have worried! The Hal kid's club had great facilities for them and we often didn't see them except for mealtimes. They made some great friendships with other kids their ages and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
We took a ship excursion in Cabo San Lucas and were very disappointed. We went on a boat trip to the Arch , the boat was fine but the trip took too long to get going and then there was a sightseeing bus trip. We were told at the excursion desk that we would be going to a resort with a pool and a drink was included. The 'resort' turned out to be a restaurant that was closed until dinner and we were just handed a can of soda or beer. The 'pool' turned out to be a set of ponds that were set in the hillside and I guess in the evening when the restaurant is open, they turn on the flow of water but when we were there they were just stagnant ponds! The total trip was supposed to be 2.5 hours but with all the delays it was over 4 hours and we didn't have time to do anything else. Considering the excursion cost just under $200 for the 4 of us, we would not recommend this tour.
When we stopped in Mazatlan, we got a taxi from to port to the beach at the Golden Zone, a 20 minute drive and a bargain at $10!
In Puerto Vallarta, we walked the beach from the ship, about 10 minutes and rented a jetski.
The ship was the smallest we have been on but it didn't seem small. There was great entertainment including a a comedian, Lee Bayliss, who was suitable for all the family and had everyone in stitches. There was always plenty of tables available in the buffet and the food was very good.
My husband and I had dinner one evening in the Pinnacle Grill but were very disappointed. There is a surcharge for this restaurant but the soup was only lukewarm, vegetables were soggy and we enjoyed the food in the Rotterdam dining room much more than this so called 'Premium' grill.
It was our first cruise with Holland America and overall we were very pleased. The check in and disembarkation were better than on large ships and we would certainly consider them again for our next cruise.