Sail on other Holland America ships until this one is renovated.
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Make sure you have a few good books and a deck of cards. The library is well stocked with both if you leave yours at home. There is very little organized activities.
Neptune suites get special breakfasts in the Pinnacle lounge...Breakfast room service was great too...
Check out the signature or premium beverage package on day one and then do the math. If you think you'll end up spending more than $45/day per person on "beverages" (and they ain't cheap), it might be worth it. Even so, the wine included on the lower-end signature package is not exactly the best.
Ship serves tea & snacks in Dining room each afternoon. Very nice. We used ship's nice gym several times. We celebrated an anniversary & waiters brought a small cake & sang to us. Ask about this service. Vendors in terminals will give small discount if you show ship card.
If you are a card player, there is a interest board on the 8th deck near the digital workshop area, but the card room (Hudson) is on the 7th deck.
If they have BBQ night on the Lido deck, don't miss it! All of the food was fantastic. It was not your typical BBQ with heavy sauces. The grilled jumbo shrimp were seasoned very nicely, the beef ribs were totally different than I have ever seen, chicken, pork, etc. The salad table was loaded.
The food was very good everywhere on board ship. The fish soup in the Italian eatery was outstanding!
Fresh fruit, ice, and flowers are included in the cost of a suite, but you have to ask for them -- they will not be supplied unless you ask. Also, we found the drink cards (soda in our case) was not worth the cost. We were left with high balances on both our cards.
Ask cabin attendants to leave ice in ice buckets each day. Our attendants asked if we wanted it but other people were not aware of this. Get good coffee at the explorations Cafe and enjoy a good burger at Dive -in on deck 11.
If you are unhappy with your dinner seating speak to the dining room staff, they are so accommodating. If you have the open seating make sure to make reservations and you can book 3 nights at a time, very helpful. Bring a bottle/person of wine for room without corkage fee, Nice for before dinner.
Happy hour allowed you to buy a drink and get the second one for $1
Take advantage of happy hour! All drinks are buy one, get one for $1. They allowed us to buy beer without opening them which we would take back to our room to enjoy after happy hour ended.
We loved the staff on this ship. We had taken a Holland cruise in June and even though it was great, this ship had more friendly staff than that one.
Staff was excellent. We were on the 5th level and used the stairs for most activities.
We loved the lack of crowds & few kids. It was never hard to get lounge chairs at the pool, or an Ames chair to stretch out and read or watch the water. Yes, there were some families with children for the first week in July, but they were all really well-behaved and fit in with the adults nicely.
We enjoyed the smaller numbers of people and no children.
The Thermal Suite must be experienced!
THERE IS A LAUNDRY
I like the Crows Nest Lounge on the ship , I spend a lot of time up there