We've been on 43 cruises including several on both Holland America and Celebrity.
As was already stated, both of these have an older demographic. Seniors, like me, tend to appreciate the finer things in life without wanting to pay for them, while enjoying a more relaxing and sedate experience. Both of these cruise lines fit that category.
And as was stated, if your really active, enjoy rock climbing walls and the belly-flop contests, these two are not for you.
But if you enjoy good food, good service, and good ships without alot of the extra curricular amenities, then you really need to consider them.
And while their prices can be higher than some cruise lines, you can often find rates that are very comparable to the lesser rated lines. Plus, they tend to have some very interesting itineraries, especially Holland America.
As of right now, our all-time favorite within these two would have to be the Solstice-class ships of the Celebrity fleet. Absolutely wonderful! Beautiful ship, great food, great service. And we did not find it crowded at all. Can't wait to try the Reflection.
Our second favorite within these two was the old Holland America Rotterdam. It was a smaller older ship that offered an awesome experience. It was like a floating museum. But sadly, it's no longer in the fleet.
There's definitely something to be said about the smaller older ships as they offer a more intimate less crowded and less sterile experience that many people love. Then again, others prefer the new larger ships with their clean lines and more amenities. Just depends on what you're looking for.
Keep in mind of what Warren Buffet said, "Price is what you pay. Value is what you get." Good thing about HAL and Celebrity is that you don't have to pay alot more to get alot more value because the quality is definitely worth it, in my opinion, especially when you look at it on a cost-per-day basis. Often you'll see the difference is not very much at all.