We sailed on the Amsterdam for Christmas and felt very fortunate that HAL was offering a 7-night Caribbean Cruise for the Holidays on one of their flagships.
For anyone who adores cruising as much as we do, please make every effort to sail on either The Amsterdam or The Rotterdam. These are the finest ships that HAL has to offer. On this particular sailing, the crew was referred to as "the Dream Team" as they seemed to be handed picked for their outstanding customer service.
The ship just has a special glow and very personal touch. Captain Frank and Hotel Manager Fred were both very mature men, and the ship ran like a Swiss clock. The staff and the service really epitomized the Holland America Tradition of Excellence. I can't say enough about how very special we were treated.
The Caribbean stops were pleasant, with Half Moon Cay being truly exceptional. The water was a little chilly in December, but I remember the sun being hot and enjoying the natural beauty of looking at the ocean and our ship in the foreground.
Everything about The Amsterdam was 5-star. I think HAL invests more money and personnel in their flag ships because these ocean liners make the World Cruises and longer, exotic voyages -- and these passengers pay a premium for these cruises. Again, we were thrilled that The Amsterdam was sailing for 7 nights at Christmas. Normally, we could not afford the time off from work (nor the 30 or 60-day fares) to take longer cruises, so this was a very special opportunity for us.
I'd like to compliment HAL on a very clean and well maintained ship. Housekeeping was outstanding, and the public areas were beautiful as well. We had great dance music every night, and the guests on board seemed to be experienced cruisers who were enjoying the elegance of this ship. Our service for dinner was a little slow, so some nights we ate at The Pinnacle Grill which was extraordinary and well worth the extra fee.
This review brings back such warm memories of our Christmas cruise. Normally, the holidays are not my favorite time of year, but being on the Amsterdam at Christmas made my husband and me feel very good. We were surrounded by wonderful, caring fellow guests and a crew who were the very best at sea. There was a sense of good Holiday cheer, and the ship was beautifully decorated. I recommend a Holiday cruise to anyone who needs a lift at that time of year.