Considering booking a Holland America Cruise? These are some of my favorite Holland America cruise tips and highlights from our Holland America cruises:
Great Food (and some great Holland America cruise tips for smooth dining)
On a Holland America cruise, you can generally expect high quality food, and way too much of it. Nearly every dish that we have eaten has been well seasoned, elegantly presented and an appropriate temperature (even in the buffet!) Dining on a Holland America cruise is always a real culinary pleasure.
This is one of my favorite Holland America cruise tips (especially now that we cruise with children…) You can generally get the same meal that they are serving in the main dining room in the Lido buffet (you can also order it from room service between certain hours)!
Another Holland America cruise tip to make your dining experience run more smoothly – the food on a Holland America cruise is AMAZING, but it is not offered 24 x 7 like on other cruise lines. There were times in the afternoon and late evening when the buffet was closed (GASP!)
During the day, you could always get pizza and burgers poolside even during this time. If you are a night owl, you might be lacking options for food in the middle of the night (the customary midnight buffet was only offered once or twice during our cruises). We often saw grab and go sandwiches available during lunch. If you are worried, grab one of these with some fruit and keep them in the fridge in your room for late night munchies!
The wide variety of live music on a Holland America cruise ship is really lovely. Some of it was too slow for our tastes, but we really enjoyed the string quartet that would play most nights after dinner and the piano bar always seemed like it was a happening place in the evenings.
Quiet Cruise Environment
On the Holland America cruises that we have been on, there were many less onboard announcements than we had heard on other cruise lines. Less onboard annoucements = a more relaxing cruise. I wish all cruise lines would realize this. I am an adult, I am capable of reading my daily program and deciding for myself which activities I want to attend.
I really enjoy the understated, timeless beauty of the ships. Holland America ships are simple but not dated, and are pleasing to the eyes. Classic looking wood and brass that invokes the feelings of an earlier, more elegant era of sailing and add a touch of glamour.
Real Ice Cream
Real ice cream sundaes on the lido deck. Yum.
Fresh squeezed orange juice available at the buffet for breakfast. The other big highlight of breakfast for me was freshly made crepes (and OH, the whipped cream…who doesn’t love whipped cream?)
A real, honest to goodness library. Holland America ships have a real library on them, with an impressive selection of books. We utilized the library to look at a wide range of travel related books to help us plan our days in port.
In addition to the wide range of books available, the library also offers a good selection of games and space to play them in. In comparison to the meager book offerings on other cruise lines, the library was a pleasant surprise.
No Pushy Photographers
The distinct absence of pushy photographers wanting to take my photo. We have not been pressured into taking an unwanted photo yet!
The Little Things
The little things…the attention to small details that Holland America does so well with. Fresh flowers around the ship and cloth towels for drying your hands in the public bathrooms.
Here are some other great tips and information about cruising on Holland America:
- A Review of A Cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam WITH KIDS!
- My Favorite Spaces on the Holland America Eurodam
- Holland America Dining – Tamarind