August 2015 - 7 Night Historic Coasts (Boston Roundtrip) Cruise on Veendam
First time on HAL. Loved the ship size, outstanding crew, and great balcony suite (048). Food was mostly great to above average. Ate mostly in Lido for quick service & multiple options. Main dining room was slow, and could only try one 1 entre. Didn't get to try the Pinnacle as a few staterooms had booked it every night & there were no openings. HAL should only allow each stateroom one booking per week. Loved all the ports with the exception of Sidney. Not much to see or do here, wonder why they bother to port. Port Excursions offered were wonderful.
HAL caters to older passengers. I may be a senior, but a young one who still likes to have fun! There were not enough onboard activities. The first show was very cheesy & we didn't know if we wanted to attend others. The comedian was outstanding, and the last crew show was far better than the first. Glad we met some other fun-seekers and ended up closing the Crow's Nest bar every night with the BEST bartenders/entertainers, Jerry & Roy. If it were not for these other passengers, we probably would have been bored to death.
As a smoker, I appreciate being able to smoke on my balcony, while refraining when my neighbors were outside. I really wish that HAL offered at least one inside bar that allows smoking. The only other option was the Retreat outside.
We did have a small virus onboard, and we were extremely impressed how Holland handled it. The crew was cleaning EVERYTHING 24/7. Including washing all walls, spraying carpets, etc, even cleaning the piers at our ports.
Looking for my next cruise to Alaska, and have mixed feelings about booking again with Holland.