We did alaska with H&A. may time. scenery great, ship a bit tired, did not feel as glam as say royal caribbean or celbrity. alaska in may- great, but we. in our mid 50's felt too young. not much night life as most people tucked into bed after first sitting and their show. not my fav. cruiseline for elegance and luxury.
Holland America have traditionally catered for the over 60's but they are trying to slowly change that image. Their newer and bigger ships (Zuiderdam, Oosterdam, Westerdam & Noordam) were the first to really cater for younger passengers but nevertheless you may still find yourself keeping the bar open after 1am!
They are not especially cheap although out of season there are some fantastic bargains to be had as they strive to fill their ships.
I enjoy their ships - some cruise lines want you to forget you are at sea but HAL cherish and foster the nautical connection with teak decks and teak deck furniture, lots of brass etc.
Food is good (their soups are fantastic) and service is attentive. Waiters are mostly Malaysian/Indonesian and chefs are mostly Philipino. The ships officers are primarily Dutch but with a good smattering of Brits also. The dining is traditional with most passengers dressing accordingly but if you don't want to dress up you can eat the same menu in the buffet.
Cabins are not overly large in comparison to some but there is plenty of storage space. Elemis toiletries and good egyptian cotton towels are found in the bathrooms.
My mother was a Cunard diehard until I managed to coax her on to a Holland America cruise and now she's converted!
We have sailed with HAL many times, Ryndam, Veeendam,Massdam ,Statendam & the Westerdam and can't fault them at all.The only bug bear is the cost of the tours & would recommend doing them on your ow.
Hubby and I took our Honeymoon on a HAL ship. We were late 30's. We had a lovely time. HAL is not the cheap end of the market at all, but bargains can be found. The food is five star hotel and the serivce is beyond five star. If you like the look of RCL's navigator of the seas don't travel with HAL. We were on the ship with a lot of people our age and older, apart from children of which there were few, 30's were about the youngest. Not a "party ship" (but people don't go to bed at 10 more like 2!) To me an elegant, busy, friendly 5*
We had a great cruise round the Caribbean last Nov.Ship was great food and entertainment were good.Very hot on hygiene,Disinfectant at entrance to shops,restaurants in fact every where.We are well over 75 and we found plenty to do in the evenings rarely in bed this side of midnight.Night life is what you make it We thoughly enjoyed it all compared well with Celebrity. Jean from Barne.
Food was good. Outside cabin good but small for the prise we payed.Did not like being told how much thay were going to put on our bill at the end of cruise for tips.It was over £70 00 for a five day cruise.Drinks were also very expensive. Mr,Mrs E Austin Stoke-on-Trent.
We have taken three cruises on H.A.L., in my opinion they are probably the best main line cruise company for the 40 plus age group.Because they on have about 20 different nationalities of crew the service seem to be much more harmonious that on RCCL/Celebrity/NCL.The art on the ships is graet to view.The food in the main areas very good and in the Pinnicle Grill exceptional.With $2.00 to £1.00 the trips, Drinks spa treatment etc are very good value.This easter we took the Noordam NY-NY and it was the best BIG LINE cruise we have ever taken and I have taken over 35 cruises.Good Luc.
I agree with the comments I would also add the service in the restaurants is quite poor and the food not as good Eg dessert one night was 5 small chunks of pineapple in a juice as the celebrity line the inside cabins small.
We sailed Holland America Statendam from Aukland to Sydney. The dark painted hull makes the ships look less attractive than other cruise lines but don't be put off. We found the whole experience far exceeded that of Royal Caribbean or Princess ships, with better standards of food and entertainment. The Kitchen Theatre is a good feature with demonstrations and tastings. They also held impromptu interviews with crew or onboard entertainers which were informative and humorous. We felt HAL really tried to provide a good range of activities, including also movies - complete with free popcorn. We are booked on the Veerdam for a two week Caribbean cruise in early January. Its a bit dearer than some of its competitors but worth it.
We have good friends who used Holland America for an Alaska cruise Being Canadian he thought it had to be the best. He even paid extra for a top grade suite but was very disappointed with the ship and the trip overland as well. They found it all a bit jaded, ship, food standards & even hotels used on the overland part of the trip, unlike our cruise with Celebrity the year before which we cannot praise highly enough in all directions.