Number of Cruises: Eight
Cruise Line: Holland America
Sailing Date: December 1st, 2005
Itinerary: Panama Canal
10 day cruise itinerary was excellent and met most of our expectations. This was our seventh cruise on HAL. On a grade of 1-10 we would grade the total experience about eight.
Accomodations: Our(S) cabin on the Navigation Deck was outstanding! The cabin, services, cost, private lounge, personnel, and special perks makes the selection my only choice in the future. This cabin selection is the best value when compared with the other choices and their cost.
Personnel: As usual on an HAL cruise it's the Phillipino and Indonesian staff that makes a HAL cruise different and better than other cruise lines.
Food: Was the food gourmet...No. Was the presentations, variety, taste,etc good? Yes, in all areas. It's very easy to nit-pick anything particularly food service on cruises, but HAL does a good job and a good value for your money.
The Ship: Very nice with about 1400 passengers. All cruise ships are nice with some bigger or smaller...make your own choice.
Passengers: The negative on HAL passengers is that the majority are over 70 years. Thats's not bad for some of us...if you want 'young' try another cruise line.
Entertainment: In most cases the entertainment acts are poor with good performances seen occasionally but rarely. We have found that there is not a lot of differences when shows are compared with our other cruise line experiences.
Excursions: These tours never live up to your expectations. It's a shame that the Cruise Lines do not check out and evaluate these excursions before they list, promote and recommend them. Unfortunely..it's all about money to them. Do your own checking before you select since they are all over priced.
Summary: Cruises are still the best buy for a vacation. Where can you get room, board, entertainment, etc. for $200.00 a day or less?