We took our trip just last week. I will make this brief and to the point. All opinions our mine and only mine. My husband and I have taken 9 other cruises on various lines and we had never taken Holland-America, so we thought "why not?"
Embarkation This was fairly easy and very quick. It was well orchestrated by the employees who work for HAL. Good job.
Once onboard (at 12:30 pm) we went to our cabin hoping it would be ready. It wasn't until 1:30 pm. So we went to the Lido Buffet to get lunch. The first time we saw it we were impressed with so many stations. The salad line of course was the longest, however, there is a Deli area, Chinese, Italian and the Bistro which serves everything else. The food was good but as the cruise went on we found it to be just so-so. Wish we would've eaten in the Dining Room because the food there was a step above (not much though).
Cabin The bed is the "Best" -- better than all the other ships we've sailed on. I especially enjoyed the bathtub. I actually took a couple of bubble baths. Although not a full bathtub (I'm 5' 3") it worked. Toilet needed fixing a couple of times, however, the maintenance person came in a timely manner.
Entertainment EXCELLENT! -- Especially Joel Mason who impersonated Elton John.
Vista Theatre Poor design and it didn't hold that many people, especially on the first floor. On the second floor there were columns that blocked your view of the show.
Drinks Very expensive. My husband had 4 martinis at $8.00 each.
The Ship I felt that the design was poor. There were bars and dancing areas hidden. The outside pool was aft and it wasn't a very large area for all the "fun activities" that happened during the day. There was also an inside pool which was larger, but it should've been outside! The hallway floor to our room was very "lumpy." The padding needs to be replaced. The colors of the ship were pink, orange, blue and turquoise. I didn't quite figure out what the theme was.
Summary My husband and I probably won't take another Holland-America cruise because of the "age" of the passengers. The average seemed to be in their mid to late 70's. They would cut into buffet lines, take over all the window tables in the Lido and "stay" there for hours, and they also would congregate themselves in the middle of the hallways. I also found out that Carnival owns HAL and that was a turn off to us because we had taken one Carnival cruise a few years ago and vowed never to do so again.
I hope this helps you understand "my" view of this ship. Any questions you can email me.