Number of Cruises: 15
Cruise Line: Holland America
Sailing Date: December 27th, 2005
Itinerary: Mexican Riviera
This was our fifth cruise with HAL and, as usual, we were not disappointed.
Check-in was well staffed and organized and baggage was efficient. The itinerary included Manzanillo which was new to us and a welcome addition to the usual Mexican Riviera list of ports.
The ship is gracious and elegant, as has been our experience with all HAL ships. Food was excellent and the entertainment, while not spectacular, was certainly above average. In particular, the lounge ensembles were very good. Sadly, there was almost no poolside entertainment. The ship went to great lengths to enhance our New Year’s Eve experience with exception views of Acapulco fire works and open deck entertainment.
Internet access was S L O W and expensive ($.75/minute). HAL needs to recognize that many other cruise lines now have free internet access.
The staff was very good and accommodating but overall service levels were a bit below what we have experienced in past cruises. We had the distinct opinion the crew ( Wait staff, Room stewards, etc) had larger spans of responsibility and as a result, were somewhat stressed. As an example, our waiter served six tables, our past experience was about four.
Service still was very good, just not that exceptional level we have long identified with HAL.
The cruise director was at best functional albeit not very entertaining. His staff, however, was very good, energetic, and charming.
I would not hesitate to recommend this cruise as a good value in a low key, relaxation oriented event. This is NOT a party cruise !