Holland America Cruise Experience: The People

sailing with Holland America

Next week marks one year since we left for our honeymoon, and now that I am finished with all of the location overviews, I want to share some more about the transportation between places- the cruise ship! When we first started talking about our honeymoon, I don’t think a cruise ship was the first thing to come to mind, but we knew we needed to get back to Europe!

I actually was inspired by another bloggers European adventure to look into cruise destinations, and when I became a little overwhelmed between planning our wedding, planning other weddings, and our honeymoon, I knew we needed to contact our travel agent. I called her and explained what we were hoping for, then she had us come over and get some books from her with better descriptions of our options.

Holland America Cruise through Europe

We went through the books, picked our top destinations, and asked her to send us final options. I believe we had 3 final options to chose from, and quickly decided on the Holland America ship leaving on July 8th. We would be on the ship for a total of 12 days, and in Europe for a total of 16- this was perfect.

She informed us that Holland America cruises are more geared toward an older audience, but would still be fun and include things we would enjoy. At first this was a problem for us, but then when we really looked at the options, a more laid back honeymoon, especially for so long, is exactly what we needed. When we arrived to the ship, we could easily see the age difference between ourselves and 75% of the other guests. Most seemed to be about 45+, but this didn’t bother us one bit. At this point we really wanted to relax and not be on a ship with 2,000+ party animals.

Holland America Cruise through Europe

We quickly realized that we made the perfect decision because the other guests were incredibly sweet and just looking to see and experience new places, just like us. The first night sticks out to me because we had dinner with 3 other couples, a mix of Canadian, British and Australian, and they were all so happy for us and excited to share in the experience of our first dinner on our honeymoon. Dave and I are both talkers, we talk to people in elevators, sitting on a park bench, etc. so this made us feel really comfortable. It’s not as often that other people our age are willing to chat with strangers for an entire 1.5 hour 5 course dinner. Throughout the cruise we would run into the guests we had dinner with, and others we met from other nights and it was nice to chat about what we did that day and share similar stories.

Another huge positive to Holland America is the staff. I heard mixed reviews about staff from other cruise lines (this was my first cruise- so I don’t have first hand experience) that weren’t as friendly and made it seem like helping you really was their job. I found our experience to be the total opposite on this ship. Each and every staff member we encountered was 110% happy to help us. There was one waiter that we requested again and again because he was so kind and always asked how our day was going, the entertainment staff was a blast and we ran into them all over the place, and the cleaning crew was hilarious. We were always greeted by Mr & Mrs Volpe (even after we said Macy & Dave was fine), received complimentary alcohol in our refrigerator, and several “late night snacks” to our room. The only exception to this is the bartender that didn’t want to serve me the complimentary champagne because I looked under 21…cool.

Overall I am scared to try another cruise line because Holland America was top notch and so perfect. I have several other posts lined up to go into more detail about this amazing company, I hoe you enjoy them!


  • http://www.dreambigandbuytheshoes.com/ Emelia @ Dream Big & Buy the S

    I want to go on another cruise so badly! Our first and only was 2 years ago on the Disney Cruise Line and I don’t know that I could ever travel on another because everything was so top notch. I didn’t think I would love a cruise as much as I did.Yours sounds so perfect and glad you enjoyed it so much!

    • http://totravelandbeyond.com/ Macy Volpe

      I would love to take a Disney cruise one day- they look like so much fun!! I was nervous about a cruise because you have such little time in each port- but honesty we were back to the ship around 3pm everyday anyways. It worked out really well.

  • http://www.myborrowedheaven.com/ Meg Taylor

    I haven’t heard of Holland America before AND I’ve still never been on a cruise. This looks like it was so much fun!

    Meg, Borrowed Heaven

    • http://totravelandbeyond.com/ Macy Volpe

      You would LOVE a cruise! It’s so nice visiting countless places but having all of your stuff in one room. We really had a great time.

  • http://www.thefreeandwildblog.com Annie

    I would love to do a cruise this this one day, so this would be perfect. Mainly cause I love old people and Brandon and I are grumpy old people that hate younger people, hahah.

    • http://totravelandbeyond.com/ Macy Volpe

      You would have loved this cruise! I could totally see you and Brandon doing something like this, and on this style of boat. The crowd was perfect for us.

  • http://www.wanderingweekenders.com/ Ashley @ Wandering Weekenders

    We’ve only done a cruise through the Caribbean, but a cruise in Europe sounds absolutely amazing! I would love to see so many different countries with so much history! That’s so great that you had such a good experience on your first cruise! It’s sad that people have had bad experiences with staff members on cruises considering that a cruise is supposed to be geared towards the customer.

    • http://totravelandbeyond.com/ Macy Volpe

      I wouldn’t have changed it for anything, it was a very cool way to see Europe. I’m not sure I would do another cruise with so many stops, just because I want to enjoy certain places a little longer.

  • http://lostrightdirection.blogspot.com/ Jenn

    We’ve only gone through Carnival so I love hearing perspectives from people who’ve used other cruise lines : )

    • http://totravelandbeyond.com/ Macy Volpe

      I have always wanted to try the Carnival cruise that leaves from Baltimore, especially because it’s so inexpensive. I think I need to try some other cruise lines to get a better idea 😉

  • http://neverenoughnovels.com Rachel @ Never Enough Novels

    We’re thinking about doing a European river cruise for our honeymoon! Can’t wait for the rest of your posts

    • http://totravelandbeyond.com/ Macy Volpe

      We had an amazing time, and couldn’t have chosen a better destination for the cruise. I have some posts about our stops already, and will have some more about the cruise itself soon. I would love to know what and where you decided to go!

  • Jen

    We have never been on a cruise and it’s always something I have been unsure of. Maybe some day. :)

    • http://totravelandbeyond.com/ Macy Volpe

      It was so much fun and I wish we could travel via cruise all of the time! I had a few fears before hand, but it was better than I could imagine.

  • http://www.thelowcountrymama.com Jacquelyn @ Lowcountry Mama

    I’ve been on Holland America once before and it was AMAZING. I was a teenager but I still had a great time. I’ve been on all the major cruise lines though, so I can honestly say don’t be scared to try others =)

    • http://totravelandbeyond.com/ Macy Volpe

      That is awesome to hear! We enjoyed it so much because it was relaxing and really enjoyable with a mix of guests. That is good advice- I think our next cruise will be on the Carnival that leaves from Baltimore.

  • http://ohhey-ilikethat.com Lauren

    I’m hoping to cruise it up sometime in the next couple of years, and now I will definitely look into taking a Holland America cruise ship!

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