Holland America Cruise Review

Friday, January 29, 2016

* Disclaimer: This is not a paid endorsement

The Oosterdam in Grand Turks and Caicos, December 2015
   For many of you that have been following this blog and my photography page, you know that my family and I are avid cruisers. My parents met on a cruise and since 2004, the family has used cruising as our mode for vacationing. As time went by, our family had the privilege of trying several different cruise lines varying from Norwegian, Carnival, and now Holland America. With my parents getting older, the craziness of Carnival Cruise Lines became unappealing for them and they wanted something more relaxing. Of course when I first heard the news that we were going to go on a Holland America Cruise in 2013 I freaked out.  "Isn't that an old people cruise?", I asked my parents. They laughed and reminded me that they were now what I referred too as 'old people' and that this would be the perfect cruise for the whole family because of its relaxing atmosphere.

The Oosterdam in Bonaire, December 2015

To say that I wasn't excited for the cruise was an understatement when I went on-board my first Holland America Cruise in 2013 I had many presumptions that involved early dinner times, lots of walkers, and being forced to play card games out of sheer boredom during days at sea. Fortunately, I was proved wrong by these presumptions. Here's why:
  1. The staff: Our family has gone on Holland both during the holidays (Christmas to be exact) and during the off season and EVERY TIME the staff has been over the top exceptional. From the time you enter the ship  you know that the staff are here to help you have a good time. From the extra little details of placing Christmas cookies in our state room, to the staff members befriending us and just overall attitude makes each trip refreshingly amazing. The staff has honestly become a part of our family. My family and I have celebrated the holidays, college graduations, and birthdays on Holland's cruises, and the staff have always made those moments extra special with their hard work and positive attitudes. My sister and I are now more excited to see our friends on the ship than what is going to be at the buffet.
    Posing with one of our Lido staff friends!
  2. The food: After you go on one of these ships you'll understand why the rest of cruises foods are more so like a floating Old Country Buffet rather than a five star restaurant. Whether you're eating at the buffet or at the restaurant for dinner, each night is themed and catered to where you are visiting. Whether you are in Maine eating Lobster, in the Key West eating tangy Key lime Pie, or native fish in the Caribbean; each trip features different local dishes that allows you to experience the culture, customs, and delicacies of each visiting location.
    Indonesian tea-One of the great meals/activities provided by Holland America
  3. The Spa: I'm not big on pampering myself but once I saw the spa on Holland's ships I couldn't resist but try out the thermal rooms that they had to offer. Unlike other ships, Holland offers a pass that gives you access to their thermal rooms for the entirety of the cruise. This includes access to the sauna, thermal rooms, thermal chairs, and a giant hydro pool. My worries of playing bridge with old women went away in a second when I realized that I could spend my days in the spa.
Taking a selfie in the Spa

Onboard the Oosterdam December 2015 pre-dinner
   So overall you could say that my favorite cruise line is Holland America. Yes there are other factors such as the locations the cruises go to, the entertainment and the lack of rowdy kids are great. If you have any questions please feel free to post them below. In case you are going on a Holland America cruise in the near future (or are considering) here are the ships I've been on in the past with them.
   Currently, my family has gone on three different ships with Holland America.
   (1) The Ryndam- Central America for Christmas
   (2) The Maasdam- Summer Canadian Cruise
   (3) The Oosterdam- Southern Caribbean for Christmas

Until next time,

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