In Dec. 2002 I went on the Ecstasy. I have been on three other cruises but not on Holland America. I was not expecting the same service but I did find several things that I did not like. One of the main things that I did not like was the fact that the tips are figured on your bill without you telling them to. I fell that a tip is earned. I noticed that in the alternative dining that the servers acted like it killed them to wait on you. Next, I don't like that they add 15% on EVERY drink that is ordered. I have always went and gave my waiter or bartenders a good tip at the end of the cruise. I did watch what I drank because at $4.95 plus 15% per drink, that does get a little steep. My cabin service was very good so I did think they deserved a round of thanks. The little animals they made out of towels was interesting. I did find out that you could go down and adjust your tips.The other thing that I didn't like was when I went the weather was cool, now I know this isn't a problem that could be helped, but they didn't have anything planed on the ship to fill up the time. It was too cool to go to the pool, so you just walked or set around. I think they should have some kind of activity or shows to help fill in the time. Plus, the food did not have very much variety. I never ate in the formal dining room and in the alternative there was only like 7 items to choose from on the buffet. You could get Hamburgers and Pizza, but after a couple of days that does get old. I wish there was more to choose from. I will say if you haven't been on any other cruise line you might enjoy this, but since I have been on the 5 star cruise and enjoyed it I will be going back to Holland America.The ship was pretty and I did like the entertainment, the two bands they had. So overall it wasn't a complete bust.
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