63 Holland America Amsterdam Family Cruise Reviews

We have taken several Alaskan cruises, the most recent on the Amsterdam. While we enjoyed the ports, it was not our best cruise. The Amsterdam is worn and dated (although I've read a drydock is in her future). We took our chances ... Read More
We have taken several Alaskan cruises, the most recent on the Amsterdam. While we enjoyed the ports, it was not our best cruise. The Amsterdam is worn and dated (although I've read a drydock is in her future). We took our chances and flew to Seattle the day of the cruise. We arrived before noon and our shared shuttle driver had us to the pier in no time. Check in was fast and our cabin was ready for us. Muster drill was held outdoors. We had a Vista suite and it was similar to what Norwegian calls a mini suite. There was nothing special about the cabin. No butler, sparking wine or afternoon treats. We had a walk in shower instead of a tub and we were grateful for that. Except for the lack of water pressure! The cabin was tight for two. A larger person would have to walk sideways to get around the bed. We had a sofa, glass top coffee table and and end table. The lamp on the end table had a single USB port. The lamp can be switched on and off from a wall switch. More than once, the wall switch was off and our device didn't charge. The refrigerator was inside the end table. It functioned but was completely iced over. The desk area held the 32" tv, DVD player, ice bucket, a make up mirror that once lit up and more drawers than we could use. A handheld hair dryer and another mirror were in one of the drawers. The tv had horrible resolution and more often than not, no satellite reception. The ship does have an extensive DVD library for just this very reason. The balcony held 2 chairs and ottomans along with a tiny end table. We sometimes brought the ottomans inside the cabin so we could watch a movie a little more comfortably. The room darkening drapes were a necessity in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Also, one person could sleep while the other watched tv, with the additional drape adjacent to the bed pulled closed. Food is always subjective but after 50+ cruises, I wasn't impressed. Food was often cold. How can pancakes be cold and hard when you are one of the first guests served in the dining room? Buffet food was not at all appetizing. I did appreciate buffet items being served to you but the selections were very limited as were the times the Lido was open. Don't expect to stop for a snack after attending a show in the theater as the Lido is closed from 8pm til 10:30pm. If the show on the main stage isn't your cup of tea, a movie is shown nightly in the much smaller Wajang theater. America's Test Kitchen shared this space. If you want a seat for ATK get there 45 minutes before the program starts. It is one of the few activities available on sea days. Other activities included Microsoft and photography workshops and several EXC pesentations. Mahjongg was offered every afternoon but at strange times. The casino is small but was never crowded. As a non-smoker, it did not seem smoky. The shops were constantly trying to sell old stock from the 2019 World Cruise. We had been to Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Strait, Sitka and Victoria on previous cruises. Weather was not on our side so our rain gear came in handy. One morning, I did a load of laundry before we went ashore. $2 to wash and the dryer was free. Best deal on board the ship. They even provide the detergent. We enjoyed walking around Anchorage and Kodiak Island. Our friends have a summer home in the Homer area so we spent the day with them. A highlight was visiting the Kilcher homestead from the Discover program Alaska: The Last Frontier. We also cruised Dawes and Hubbard Glaciers. Amazing! We purchased the Victoria shuttle through Holland. We could've purchased the exact shuttle from the provider at 2/3rds of the cost. We should've known better. We do enjoy cruising Holland America but the Amsterdam was too small for us. My husband was quite bored, especially during the day time hours. Our past experience was on the Eurodam, so we'll stick with a similar size ship in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This July the family decided to go on a cruise to Alaska on the Holland America Amsterdam. We had 7 people in our group and had 2 rooms. Everything on our cruise was absolutely perfect. The ship was very comfortable and up to ... Read More
This July the family decided to go on a cruise to Alaska on the Holland America Amsterdam. We had 7 people in our group and had 2 rooms. Everything on our cruise was absolutely perfect. The ship was very comfortable and up to date. The food was excellent and the service was perfect. Holland America gave us a perfect 7 day vacation and we’ll be looking forward to our next cruise on holland America’ We frequently hear how Holland America is the over 90 crowd but this trip the ship was filled with families and lots of kids. We had 2 18 year olds in our group and they enjoyed Holland America so much that they have been next summers family trip on Holland America. We decided Holland America gets the over 90 reputation from their world cruises as the only people that can take a 100 day cruisr are retired. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was my 4th cruise to Alaska.(HAL) This time on Amsterdam. She is a lovely ship with many beautiful greek statues. Layout of the ship was very easy. Embarkation and disembarkation was amazingly smooth and fast (as compared to 3 ... Read More
This was my 4th cruise to Alaska.(HAL) This time on Amsterdam. She is a lovely ship with many beautiful greek statues. Layout of the ship was very easy. Embarkation and disembarkation was amazingly smooth and fast (as compared to 3 prior cruises). Cabin was inside with a view on lower prom. deck. Only noise was 9:30 PM approx. when cleaning the deck. We ate all meals in the Lido and the food was outstanding. Entertainment was piano bar (very good) and "On Tour" singers, dancers and musicians was very good. Husband attended all Windows workshops and rates A+. He used the gym and movie theater daily. The service from our cabin to the Lido was excellent (as always in past cruises). Every crew member was happy, smiling, and very courteous. Only shore excursions this time was Fortress of the Bear (Sitka) and the Raptor Center(Sitka) - SO GOOD. In all other ports we walked around on our own. First cruise we had time to enjoy shipboard activities. "Ask The Captain" virtual bridge tour was excellent, as was America's Test Kitchen shows daily. Enjoyed the casino. We have booked a 14 day Alaskan tour onboard Amsterdam in June 2019 and looking forward to it! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We booked this cruise on a whim as we had never been on a cruise and found a great deal. Seattle isn't far from Vancouver BC Canada (about 2.5 to 3 hour drive) so having this embark and return to Seattle was convenient. We drove ... Read More
We booked this cruise on a whim as we had never been on a cruise and found a great deal. Seattle isn't far from Vancouver BC Canada (about 2.5 to 3 hour drive) so having this embark and return to Seattle was convenient. We drove down in the morning at 7:30AM and parked at Seattle Cruisepark by 10:30 (we had enough time to stop for coffee). They have shuttles that take you to and from the terminal every 15-20 minutes so it was quite convenient. Embarkation was great and straight forward. A porter took our bags before hand and they were already in our room by the time we got on board. Our room was configured in a twin-bed setup, and after our concierge introduced themselves we asked them if they could change it to a single-bed setup while we roamed the ship. They happily obliged. We went straight for the Lido deck to eat as our morning drive and check in left us starving. It did not disappoint as there were plenty of foods ready for everyone as soon as the boarded. The ship itself wasn't particularly huge, but you didn't feel confined either. Memorable for us were the variety of shows on the main stage every night. You could gamble at the casino, go to some cooking demonstrations, watch movies in a theatre, swim, relax in hot tubs, drink in the birds nest or on the Lido rear deck; plenty to do. The main dining room is surprisingly elegant and huge, and the food was delicious there as well as the Lido Buffet. One night we had dinner at the Pinnacle grill. I swear, I had THE BEST 18 oz Ribeye Steak that i've ever had in my life (and this is from a guy who has eaten a fair share of steak!). One night we danced as the Birds Nest turns into a club with dance floor and nearby bar. Alaska cities were beautiful, and the time of year we went (1st week of September) happened to have warm weather at all of our stops. Juneau was 26 degrees celcius!!! Hubbard Glacier was nice as the boat engines were turned off and the only sounds were the calving of ice into the bay. The tradition of Pea Soup served to those on deck was neat, as I don't often have pea soup. In Ketchikan I got to see the Time Bandit (a boat from the show, Deadliest Catch) in port. Sitka Alaska didn't have much to do in town and we didn't book any excursions, so we took the day to relax while everyone went off-ship as well as do laundry so that we didn't have to do so much when we got home. Onboard there are a few laundry rooms with several washer/dryers. Washers cost $2.00 a load, and you can get change from the Front Desk. Soap is free, as well as the Dryers. We popped our clothes in and went to eat with plenty of time before going back to swap the clothes in the dryer and go back to the Birds Nest for some Pina Coladas. For a 7 day cruise near our home and for our first time, this cruise was excellent and we are itching to book our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our 9th cruise, first time on HAL, first time to Alaska. Excellent cruise all around. We spent a day in Seattle the day prior to boarding, Having seen the wine prices listed on HAL online, we decided to bring a case of wine ... Read More
This was our 9th cruise, first time on HAL, first time to Alaska. Excellent cruise all around. We spent a day in Seattle the day prior to boarding, Having seen the wine prices listed on HAL online, we decided to bring a case of wine onboard and pay the $18 per bottle corkage fee. We found a nice selection of wines for under $20, 15% discount on a case, at Pike’s Place Market wine store (Pike and Western Wine Shop, 1934 Pike Place). We used Lyft from the airport to our hotel (Homewood Suites Downtown – pretty good), from Pike’s Place to the hotel, from the hotel to the port and from the port to the airport. Very easy. If you are a new customer, look for a Lyft discount code displayed at baggage carousel when you land. Embarkation was super easy. No lines to wait in at noon, and so many smiling faces. One of our party forgot his passport – we were directed to a lovely woman who assured us that the colored copy we had was sufficient! I have carried copies of our passports for years, and this is the first time I had to use it. Disaster averted. Before we went to check in, we were directed to a table where corkage fee was charged to our room and stickers were put on the bottles, assuring that we could drink it anywhere on the boat. We were told at check in that our rooms were ready! So nice to go right to the room and be rid of carry-ons and wine. We were in rooms 6102 (ocean view – front of ship) and 6116 (port side verandah). Good location for ease in getting around ship. Each room had 2 robes, 2 pair slippers, 2 wool throw blankets. The verandah room had binoculars. 6102 had a tub, 6116 had a shower stall. 6102 had a sloped ceiling, which made the room seem smaller, and reduced the closet space somewhat. Both rooms had wonderful views. We really felt the ship movement the first night from Seattle towards Juneau. Other times, we felt movement/vibrations, probably due to the smallness of the ship and the Pacific Ocean. Not a major issue – did not see any seasick people. Room 6102 was above the theater and on some late nights the noise was annoying. The combo of movement, noise, and sloped ceilings would keep me from booking this room again. Weather was mostly cloudy, with highs in the 50’s and 60’s. We did not have any pelting rain while on shore. In Sitka, the sun even came out! For excursions/walking outside decks, layers were key. Two of our party wore long underwear. I wore a long sleeved wicking shirt, then a polartec fleece hooded sweatshirt, a lightweight down jacket and covered it all with a raincoat. Combined with a hat and light gloves, that took care of the coldest day – at the Hubbard Glacier. Low hiking boots were perfect for everywhere. On our kayaking excursion and our jeep/canoe excursion, raincoats/waterproof pants were offered. The interior of the ship was very warm. We were fine in short sleeves, and never needed sweaters or shawls at dinner. The Amsterdam is a lovely ship, with great service from everyone. There is a huge library, lots of public spaces with expansive views, and a card room with playing cards, chess sets, mahjong and many games and puzzles. The staff is very low key – you won’t be pestered to buy anything, or pose for photos. We really appreciated that aspect. The clientele does skew older. There were some children onboard, but mostly as part of large family groups. Our mid-twenties kids were perfectly happy with available activities. The food was very good in the dining room and the Lido. I am a vegetarian and each night at dinner, I was offered both the menu for the next day and the special vegetarian menu so I could choose the next night’s meal. We had second seating but were able to switch to first seating on our last night so we could visit Victoria at the 6 pm docking. We enjoyed the America Test Kitchen demonstrations – it was standing room only most of the time, so arrive early. I booked two of our excursions (Glacier View Kayaking in Juneau and Canoe and Jeep Adventure in Ketchikan) through Costco and the Sitka Marine Adventure directly at their website (sitkawildlifetours.com). We were joined by people from our ship who had booked directly from HAL, and there was no issue about getting back to the ship on time was not an issue. Liked all the excursions, highly recommend the Sitka Marine Adventure! Debarkation was painless and quick. We managed our own bags, and exited about 8 a.m. We made it from the stateroom to the airport in under an hour. Sea-Tac was very busy, with long lines for checking baggage and TSA screening. We had no trouble making our 11:20 a.m. flights. Definitely planning to cruise with HAL again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My Mother bought us a family cruise for all of us for our Birthdays. We were very excited. The whole trip was a disaster on the Ansterdam. 1st day they gave my brother’s in laws a 2 bed bedroom and my other brother and his daughter a ... Read More
My Mother bought us a family cruise for all of us for our Birthdays. We were very excited. The whole trip was a disaster on the Ansterdam. 1st day they gave my brother’s in laws a 2 bed bedroom and my other brother and his daughter a one bed bedroom. They would of switched rooms but my brother’s room had no hot water the whole 7 days of the trip. They wouldn’t switch the room for him or the in laws. So he and my niece had too shower in my Moms room and they would only give her a $200 credit. The toilets did work for a couple of hours 3 times and we didn’t have water from 12 midnight till 5 am and it still didn’t really fix the problem. The DVD player in my room didn’t work, TV was fuzzy the safe locked me out. The movie they played in the so called movie theater was the same movies they played on the 2 TV movie channels. Their nature experts couldn’t answer simple question like does Alaska have Racoons. She said they didn’t but we asked a excursion guide and he said of course we do. The food was not soso the service was poor. I could go on and on. My brother summed it up the cruise was a floating Motel 6 with Denny’s food. Alaska was beautiful! It was just a awful ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was my third Holland cruise, and 3rd Alaska cruise. Alaska is all about thhe scenary and is a must do. This was a roundtrip out of Seattle and did 2 stops we had not done befioire. Sitka & Hubbard Glacier. Overall a nice ... Read More
This was my third Holland cruise, and 3rd Alaska cruise. Alaska is all about thhe scenary and is a must do. This was a roundtrip out of Seattle and did 2 stops we had not done befioire. Sitka & Hubbard Glacier. Overall a nice trip. We had 18 in the group ranging from 1.5 years old to 80 years old. The Amsterdam was only 3 weeks out of refurbishment and some little details still needed polishing. Dinging folks at 1st did not have our 3 tables together, but after my mothher talked with them the 3 tables were then next to each other. Pinnacle Grill was so-so service, 1st time in many years (and in 14 cruises) I ever had to send a steak back for being under done. We had 4 Neptune suites (deck 7), and 4 balconies (deck 6). I lucked into an SB cabin toward the rear of the ship and it was great. We enjoyed dinners at Canelletto & Pinnacle Grill. Everyone went their own way in ports, while meeting for dinner & echange of stories. We (the group of 18) had great luck on drawings, winnning a spa certificate, 3 raffles, 1 bingo, and the slot tournament. Neptune service cannnot be beat. Juneau - whale research vessell tour, got whae tail photos, and really nejoyed thhe hermit crabs. Sitka - disappointed in my 1/2 day fish excursion, not 1 single salmon caught, captian said season was running late & admitted taking us to same spot he had been day before with no bites? A waste of my money. Hubbard Glacier - best day, great photos, and calving photos. ship gets real close, and turns for viewinf on both sides. Ketchikan - just walked aroound, no tour, visited a stone gallery and they will bargain with you. Got some carvings for 30-50% off, which are being mailed to us. Small afternoon rain shower. If I ever get back to Alaska it will be for land tour that includes Denali. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We selected this cruise because of the itinerary. We have taken over 25 cruises with all different lines and often select based on where the ship is going.This cruise went through the Panama Canal and stopped at some pretty neat ports. ... Read More
We selected this cruise because of the itinerary. We have taken over 25 cruises with all different lines and often select based on where the ship is going.This cruise went through the Panama Canal and stopped at some pretty neat ports. The ship is in very good shape, small but elegant (we always find the HAL ships to be very pretty ships). The food was the best that we have had in a very long time. The Lido had a lot or variety and the Dining Room was really good as well. We loved our waiters, they were a lot of fun. Service was very good and professional. Our cabin was adequate for the 3 of us (our college age daughter traveled with us) and had lots of storage. We used the fitness center each day and found it to be very adequate. The entertainment was not very good at all. There was nothing to really do in the evening (trivia was big and very competitive probably so because of lack of activities). There was a speaker (Ian) who was very good and entertaining. Other than that, we were bored. Our daughter spent many nights doing puzzles in the library since there was nothing for her to do with her age group.We knew that this was a possibility but were hoping that since it was a holiday sailing that more would be going on. Ports of Call - Guatemala -Did a ship tour for the highlights of the area. Very well done. Puntarenas, Costa Rica - We did our own thing here since our daughter actually lived here with host family, so we went to see them. You had to take transport from the port area (worth it) to get into the city.It is a tourist area for the Ticos, so lots of locals. Beach area is nice and people are friendly. Nicaragua - We did a private tour. They picked us up and brought us into the city. Again, our daughter had been here before so she acted as tour guide. Cabo San Lucas - Did a whale watch here - lots of fun. Cartagena - We have been here before so grabbed a taxi and walked around the old area of town. Puerto Vallerta - Walked around and shopped. Half Moon Cay - Nice beach - went off for a little bit to swim We love to cruise and would recommend this itinerary. HAL does a good job but we feel that it caters to much older people (we are in our 50's) so it will be some time before we cruise them again. For now, we will stick to Royal Caribbean and Celebrity (we like the perks that come with cruising them a lot). Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Review of Amsterdam Alaska cruise from August 28 to September 11, 2017 We took this trip out of Seattle pier 91. The trip to and from the ship was by Link to/from Westlake Center and then Uber to/from the ship. This system works ... Read More
Review of Amsterdam Alaska cruise from August 28 to September 11, 2017 We took this trip out of Seattle pier 91. The trip to and from the ship was by Link to/from Westlake Center and then Uber to/from the ship. This system works pretty well and saves enough money to make the hassle worthwhile. The food on HAL continues to be great, much better than RCL or CEL and the service by the staff is great as well. Except for two occasions the staff was helpful and friendly. The exceptions were somewhat major because they both happened on disembarkation day when my wife fainted while getting off the ship and the two staff members I asked for help walked off and never returned. Midwesterrn self-reliance got us home though. A significant number of passengers contracted some kind of cold, sore throat, vomiting sort of disease but the ship did nothing publicly to help. I purchased some Day Quil in the ship shop for $18 and when I returned home I priced this item at Target for $8. The ship charges a markup of over 100% above retail for medicine. Smokes and liquor seem cheaper on the ship but medicine to help passengers is a rip off and that’s just not right. Passengers who visited the medical office reported similar gouging, for example, using the O2 sensor on one’s finger cost $10 each. At Target a O2 sensing unit cost $34 to own. The mini size bottle of cough medicine they issued, smaller than Day Quil was $20. Purchasing cruise insurance, even through HAL was of no use because the medical unit won’t accept it. One must file a claim with Medicare (which will deny it), then submit the claim with the secondary carrier. The weather was bad, but this is September in Alaska so that is what to expect. Tons of rain and one evening when pulling into Anchorage the ship was hit by a rogue wind of 135 MPH that was unexpected and the ship acquired a 12 degree list for 10 to 15 minutes. Fortunately, the captain had ballasted the ship as a precaution because at 27 degrees the ship falls over. Glasses, plates, bottles all went flying but I didn’t see or hear of any passenger injuries. The captain made no announcement because he didn’t want to aggravate the situation, he said. There was no announcement regarding this issue by the captain until several days later during the usual Q and A when a passenger raised it The ship had to cancel the Kodiak stop because of bad weather too. All passengers got a free glass of sparkling water or a soda as compensation. That’s not much but that’s cruising for you. The floor in our bathroom and shower was in terrible condition because most of the grout was missing. This has permitted water to seep underneath the tile and it has bubbled up creating an uneven service. Also bits of grout continue to break off and stick to one’s feet. The port of Seattle has a great free service called Pier Valet which we used and it went surprisingly well. The way it works is that a passenger can complete the forms on board and the port will pick up your luggage on the last night of the cruise, just like the ship does. Pier Valet then delivers the luggage to the airline and one picks it up again at the destination airport. Really! The only snag was that the boarding pass issued and delivered to the cabin won’t scan at TSA security check. Please stop at your airline kiosk when arriving at SEA and get a new boarding pass first We will continue to cruise with HAL but not to Alaska for a while. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We took this cruise because of the itinerary so we could meet our daughter in Homer.It went round trip out of Seattle, which was the best part, as that is our home port. Also, several of the ports such as Anchorage, Icy Strait, Homer and ... Read More
We took this cruise because of the itinerary so we could meet our daughter in Homer.It went round trip out of Seattle, which was the best part, as that is our home port. Also, several of the ports such as Anchorage, Icy Strait, Homer and Kodiak, were new to us, as we have been on a few Alaska cruises previously. The ship, the Amsterdam, was just like the Volendam, that we took on a Asia criuise in March. The Amsterdam does seem a bit dated for it's age compared to other HAL ships. The cruise director, Jorge, was delightful, the entertainment was average at best, and the food in the Pinnacle Grille was fantastic. The ship dancers and singers and band were very good though. The sailing up the Endicott Arm to Dawes Glacier and Hubbard Glacier were very scenic and spectacular. Unfortunately we did not see any wildlife, bears or whales, though some passengers said they saw some at different times. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this as our family cruise because it was a 14 day Alaska cruise and it went all the way to Anchorage. On the bright side, Alaska is still as beautiful as it was the first 2 times we cruised to Alaska, once on the Celebrity ... Read More
We chose this as our family cruise because it was a 14 day Alaska cruise and it went all the way to Anchorage. On the bright side, Alaska is still as beautiful as it was the first 2 times we cruised to Alaska, once on the Celebrity Solstice and then last year on the Disney Wonder. Both 7 day cruises were fantastic!! However, when comparing the three, this cruise was the worst, especially when it comes to entertainment and enrichment programs offered in the main theater and the lack of fun "cheesy" things to do on sea days. The food was OK, but nothing to write home about. The service was great as usually, but it seems like the staff was a little slimmer than on past cruises. For example our 2 room stewards had 39 cabins to take care of daily which seems like a lot. But the most telling factor was the cruise director had only one assistant and both of them were constantly on the move, mostly conducting 3-4 trivia games a day. No wonder there isn't a lot of variety any more on HAL sea days with regards to fun "cheesy" things to do, except of course if you like trivia. If that's the case, then you will love cruising with HAL. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Very friendly staff, amazing song and dance group, and my family (brother and sister in law) and I can't stop raving about what a great time we had! We were going to be happy with large inside staterooms but were moved up to ... Read More
Very friendly staff, amazing song and dance group, and my family (brother and sister in law) and I can't stop raving about what a great time we had! We were going to be happy with large inside staterooms but were moved up to obstructed ocean view at no extra charge! We have recommended the same ship and cruise to anyone who will listen. Loved the buffet, but found the formal dining room to be nothing special so we chose to take most of our meals in the buffet. (Not too crazy about wearing a tie on vacation) Not crazy about the casino, I enjoy blackjack but found the ships game seemed to be stacked for the cruise co. We adjusted to the fact that there are lots of extra charges for various activities and things, felt hustled at first but experienced cruisers shared that it's pretty universal in the cruise industry. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The 17 day cruise to Hawaii was wonderful. It was the first time my wife and I have ever cruised and we both loved it. The staff of the Amsterdam could not have been nicer, more helpful and just as friendly as could be. The food was ... Read More
The 17 day cruise to Hawaii was wonderful. It was the first time my wife and I have ever cruised and we both loved it. The staff of the Amsterdam could not have been nicer, more helpful and just as friendly as could be. The food was always good, with a great selection. The Captain even changed his route to enable us to see the lave flow into the sea at night. The whole package was great! The housekeeping staff kept the room perfect, with chocolates and towel animals every evening and fruit during the day. They also knew our names after the first day. The Staff at the Ocean Bar treated us like family and knew what we were drinking before we sat down. One night one of our waiters made paper flowers for all the women in our group. Entertainment and activities were really very well done and if any one was bored on this cruise it was their own fault. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I found the whole experience on the ship excellent.the embankment onto the ship was well organised no hanging about like at a airport, the check in was very efficient, I was surprised how quickly we got on the boat no hanging around which ... Read More
I found the whole experience on the ship excellent.the embankment onto the ship was well organised no hanging about like at a airport, the check in was very efficient, I was surprised how quickly we got on the boat no hanging around which was due to excellent organisation of the staff. The cabins where really clean, beds were comfortable and the shower room was very clean as was the towels. The ship was very clean and you were made to feel very welcome,the staff could not be more helpful and where very easy to ask advice from. The food was good, it was self serving so you could pick what ever you want and as much as you like also they did not make you feel rushed and was well organised although maybe a bit more variety in choices. The entertainment was good, the girl who was singing was good as was the children's entertainment. they also have a cinema which had a good choice of films The shops on board had a good variety, prices where good the staff where nice and helpful They also have designated area outside the ship for smokers with plenty ash trays, there was also a covered area for smokers if it was raining The bus was ready to take us to Amsterdam as soon as well left the ship and there on time to bring us back to the ship. I will defiantly will be using this ship again and would recommend it Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our 7th Alaskan cruise and 2nd on HAL. We are a family of 4 and both our children (11 &15)enjoy cruising. I chose the Amsterdam because i wanted to try a smaller ship. i rate the overall cruise as very good. It was low key and ... Read More
This was our 7th Alaskan cruise and 2nd on HAL. We are a family of 4 and both our children (11 &15)enjoy cruising. I chose the Amsterdam because i wanted to try a smaller ship. i rate the overall cruise as very good. It was low key and pretty quiet. The cruise itself went very smooth and we had no real problems or issues. This size ship has both it's advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side getting on and off the ship was so easy. Embarkation and disembarkation both an A+. They serve you in the Lido which i really liked. This kept the buffet area clean and us healthy. The orange juice was delicious on the first day but turned to orange water after that. Overall probably the best buffet experience we've had on a cruise. The main dinning room food and service was just fine except the 2nd Gala night when they had surf and turf which was really good. We did both specialty restaurants and neither of them wowed me. The Pinnacle on this ship is tucked away with no ocean views. The taco bar wasn't as good as i remember and the 'Dive-in' hamburger/hot-dog joint was mediocre, the buns got hard towards the end of the cruise. The fresh squeezed juice we had on our previous Hal cruise was gone. They didn't have a sail away bbq either but did do a salmon bake for lunch leaving Ketchikan which was excellent(and i'm not huge on salmon). Diid room service once and its was prompt. Overall we found the ship to be in good shape and easy to navigate. Most areas never felt crowded. This ship could use a couple more hot-tubs however. The hot tubs along with the 2 ping-pong tables were always busy. The ship has a couple small sports courts located in the middle on both sides of deck 9. My son and i enjoyed them. This ship doesn't have an arcade which we both missed. The promenade deck is great for walking around on sea days. The theater was great, the entertainment was ok. This was our first time cruising without a balcony. We had an ocean view. My wife was trepedatious of not having a balcony but we never really missed it. We were on deck 2 towards the aft. Just about ten feet down the hall from our room was a door leading to the outside. It was like having your own aft balcony. The room itself was just fine and we managed with 4 people. There was a lot of storage in the room. The bed was a little hard for me and the shower water pressure was lousy, but overall i was pleasantly surprised. I'll probably pass on a balcony in the future, only in the room to sleep and shower. i was glad we did this smaller ship but i'll go back to a larger more modern ship next time. We never got bored but i like having a few more options both in dining and in activities. The service was good on this ship but a lot of the workers looked like they were tired and needed some time off. This ship gets the best pier locations in port. Our trip to Hubbard Glacier on this ship was great. You get so close to the glacier. I've been to Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay but this was the best glacier viewing by far. The sail into the glacier isn't as pretty but the glacier itself is just awesome. Overall another solid cruise. i'm not sure i'd recommend this ship for people with small children, but if you are looking for a relaxing, quiet cruise a ship this size is great for Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
An amazing combination - the service and comfort of Holland America and the scenery of Alaska. We got the cosmopolitan city of Seattle and the raw majesty of the Hubbard glacier in one week. On board, the usual high standards of food and ... Read More
An amazing combination - the service and comfort of Holland America and the scenery of Alaska. We got the cosmopolitan city of Seattle and the raw majesty of the Hubbard glacier in one week. On board, the usual high standards of food and services we've come to expect with HAL. This was a winner of a trip. Embarkation was a breeze - we got on early to find our room ready and the ship waiting for us. During the week we had nothing but good service and fine food. The main dining room, the La Fontaine, had a terrific selection of items to choose from and meals were delicious. The presentation of the plates was excellent - every dish looked lovely. One member of our party is a vegetarian and was pleased to find optios at every meal. The Lido buffet was fresh and abundant and waits for food or a table were rare. Our one quibble was the coffee - it was abundant and hot but not as flavorful as we would have liked. One real high point of our trip was the information provided by the shore excursions team. Detailed information was provided not only on the specific ports but also on the history of Alaska and the entire area. These presentations added a lot to our enjoyment. In both Sitka and Ketchikan our explorations were significantly enhanced by the information we had gotten on board. We did only some of the entertainments provided, preferring to get up early and enjoy the scenery. What we saw was good, though not the high point. It is hard to compete with the scenery in Alaska. One on board activity that meant a lot to our family - Club HAL. Our child spent every moment possible with the kids on board and really appreciated the variety of activities available. We took only one ship sponsored shore excursion, a whale watch and glacier hike in Juneau, which we liked very much. In the other ports (Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria BC) we found plenty to do on our own. Again, the information provided on board was a great help in getting us to the best spots for touring and shopping. Our embarkation was seamless and we left feeling nothing but sadness to walk off the beautiful Amsterdam. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Overall, our family of 9 had a good time on the Amsterdam, but I certainly would not want to do an "Around the World" trip on her. Our cabin had a few problems that our very nice stewards did their best to take care of. First, ... Read More
Overall, our family of 9 had a good time on the Amsterdam, but I certainly would not want to do an "Around the World" trip on her. Our cabin had a few problems that our very nice stewards did their best to take care of. First, they had put a very large dorm refrigerator in the space for your knees at the vanity so that you could not use it at all and the frig was plugged into the only outlet, so that I could not use hair dryer and curling rods. They did remove that for me and saw that we had a good supply of ice in our room. The other problem was that there was no hot water in the sink. A repairman tried, but his repair only lasted about 5 minutes. Oh well, I can live with that as there was hot water in the tub and shower. There was a lot of storage room and the balcony was larger than newer ships with a lounge chair as well as regular chair and small table. I read the review that complained about the lack of Salmon, but don't understand it as they served baked Salmon on deck twice and I believe it was one of the items on the menu available anytime. I thought the dining room food was pretty good and they tried hard to please my very fussy grandson. Breakfast buffet was good, but I thought the manu at the Lido could be better. I think it is the only ship I have been on that does not have Pizza on the pooil deck and the things that are there close down at 5 pm sharp. The Pinnacle is always wonderful. All of our group agreed that Sitka was our favorite stop. We booked private tours on shore and were so pleased with the friendliness of everyone. We were blessed with good weather in Juneau, Sitka and Victoria, and also for cruising Hubbard Glacier, which was awesome. It rained buckets in Ketchikan, but that is the norm there. We were very unimpressed with the photography on this ship. Some photos were Ok, but others were very fuzzy. The Black Label experience was definitely not worth the money, and on top of that, the photographer was rude to each one of us. For such a small ship, the entertainers were terrific. The Irish singing and dancing was a real treat. We will certainly cruise with HAL again, but probably not on the Amsterdam. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We booked the cruise pretty late, and we wanted to go to Alaska. When I looked, there were only two 7-day Alaska cruises that fall within our budget. Holland America's one of the two and I've heard good things about it from my ... Read More
We booked the cruise pretty late, and we wanted to go to Alaska. When I looked, there were only two 7-day Alaska cruises that fall within our budget. Holland America's one of the two and I've heard good things about it from my friends. So I decided to try it out. The cruise experience far exceeded my expectations. The food, the service, the entertainment, the enrichment activities, and the library are all of the highest quality. The library is so beautifully designed even sitting there without doing anything is an enjoyment. Mike Robinson, and Fred and Bobbie Becker are the best comedians I've seen. We stopped at Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria of BC along the way and did a lot of sightseeing. My favorite port of call was Sitka, which is small enough to walk around, clean, untouched, and so out of this world. We visited the largest tidewater glacier in North America, the Hubbard Glacier. We learned about glacier, salmon, "thank you" in the Tlingit language. We saw totem poles, fish hatchery, whales, Russian churches. The only disappointment was the kids' activities; they were too kiddish for my 12-year-old and 10-year-old. And the whale watching didn't stand to our expectations. In stead of whole whales coming out of the water, we only saw tails and part of the back. Nonetheless, the buffet dinner on the whale watching boat was of exceptional quality. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I have taken two cruises on the Holland America lines and I've come back with the same opinion on both. They sucked. The dinning was lousy, the food was bad and the service was lousy, especially on the Amsterdam. I took this same ... Read More
I have taken two cruises on the Holland America lines and I've come back with the same opinion on both. They sucked. The dinning was lousy, the food was bad and the service was lousy, especially on the Amsterdam. I took this same cruise 10 years ago to, again Alaska, it was the Oosterdam and it was almost as bad. ( My sister wanted to use this cruise line ). The rooms were lousy. They had tubes but the walls of the tubes are so high you really had to watch yourself getting out. The cruise director, this is the person that is supposed to walk around the ship on a daily bases and converse with the passengers to make sure their sailing experience is a good one and make sure there are enough fun activities to keep passengers busy and having fun, was never seen. The waiter at our formal dinning was a total loser. This was an Alaskan cruise so, as in other cruises, we expected Backed Alaska on the last formal dinning night. NOT going to happen. The cruise director usually comes out and introduces the head staff and tells a few funny stories. Nope. Fortunately the trip itself was really great despite the ships poor quality of service and atmosphere. I would suggest either Celebrity, Norwegian, Princess, Royal Caribbean or possibly some other cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose this cruise because the ship is relatively smaller than the NCL, Princess & Celebrity ships offering an Alaska itinerary. We spent three days in Seattle prior to our embarkation, visiting with friends. Seattle is a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the ship is relatively smaller than the NCL, Princess & Celebrity ships offering an Alaska itinerary. We spent three days in Seattle prior to our embarkation, visiting with friends. Seattle is a fabulous, progressive city with a lot to do, so if you can go early, do so and enjoy a couple of days in this vibrant city, We arrived at tge ship about 1PM, and embarkation took over an hour - longer than any other cruise I've taken. We used luggage direct for disembarkation; our luggage was sent to the airport (we had minimal luggage) and we spent the day in Seattle and flew the red-eye back to Tampa on Sunday night. Our luggage arrived without a hitch. Highly recommend! We had three cabins forward on deck three; 3303, 3305 and 3307. While we had obstructed view, we did have a view of the sea. Our cabins were close to an exterior door on the lower promenade deck, which we loved as we spent a lot of time together on sea days, enjoying proximity to the deck chairs. The service was excellent, though each time I cruise I am reminded how little the staff - aside from some managers - earns. Most of the ship personnel leave their families for months at a time just to provide fir them. I always tip more, and often, feeling thankful that an extra $100 or so won't have a long-term impact on my budget but may be a blessing to those who work so hard to make our journey comfortable and memorable. We cruised with 2 adult daughters and their husbands, and had a splendid time. We celebrated a special birthday in the Pinnacle Grill. The steaks were to die for, and the service was impeccable. We also dined at the Italian restaurant and really enjoyed our meal. Our assigned dining table was at the extreme rear of the ship, against a floor to ceiling window. We really enjoyed our dinners, watching the wake left by the ship, In Juneau, we did the Sea Kayaking at the Mendenhall Glacier excursion. It was great, with views of the glacier and sea otter and eagle sightings but...,we were attacked by no-seeums and returned to the ship with numerous bites and welts. We were advised the bugs had not been there the day before, so just our luck! Btw, no bug spray works on the nasty no seeums. The menfolk golfed in Sitka, arranging it directly with the one golf course in Sitka. Cost was $80 and included pick-up/return to the ship, 2 rounds on the 9 hole course, club rental, and a few balls. The course personnel advised they no longer worked with the cruise lines because they charged $200 for the 'golf excursion', which they called 'golf extortion'! The views at the golf course were spectacular, and the weather was glorious. The gals walked to the totem park, and the around the town, meeting the guys when they returned for lunch at a pub. We scheduled a float plane tour in Ketchikan on our own, at a cost of $169 pp vs. $250 as a HAL excursion. In the end, it didn't matter as the weather was bad and nothing was flying....unfortunate as there is little to do in Ketchikan. We settled on a local tour, including a totem village. Not awful, but surely not as exciting as the float plane glacier tour! Victoria is charming, but our 6PM arrival limited activities. Good thing we had visited Victoria twice before, All in all, it was a great vacation with many memories. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I have cruised to other destinations and this was my first time cruise to Alaska. The timing and price was perfect. As I boarded onto this ship and entered my outside view cabin I immediately saw that it was an average stateroom and ... Read More
I have cruised to other destinations and this was my first time cruise to Alaska. The timing and price was perfect. As I boarded onto this ship and entered my outside view cabin I immediately saw that it was an average stateroom and surprised to find that there was only "one" electrical socket located in the middle of the room! I sleep with a CPAP machine and my electrical cord was not long enough to reach the socket. I had to go to the main deck desk and waited in a long line to borrow an extension cord provided that I leave a $25 deposit. Prior to the cruise I had ordered online a beverage card to use during the cruise and it was not placed in my stateroom so I had to wait in line again to get a replacement. The general onboard ship experience was what I expected. The special dining I reserved ($49/per person) experience and the food was average. I could have gotten better food else where for the same price. We went to the open seating dining in the main white table cloth restaurant twice and ordered rib-eye and prime rib. Both times I requested minimum rare and got well done. I was very disappointed and went to the buffet for dinner on the other nights and had better steaks. The excursions was over priced and got better deals on shore. Here's a tip when shopping for jewelery. We went into one of the popular jewelery stores and wanted to look at diamond rings. We looked at a 2 karat high grade diamond priced at $22k and we talked price for almost one hour and got the price do $10k! We felt that they were not up front with us and decided to walk away. They over priced their jewelery. When shopping in Alaskan shops, barter and ask for a discount. We got better prices when we asked for a lower price. Overall, the cruise was just average and nothing special. The ship is older, stateroom needs more than one electrical socket, food was average, customer service wa very good, ship activities was average. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
The service and food is amazing on this cruise line.Every crew member was helpful and inviting. We ate at all of the dining venues and was pleased with the quality and variety of each restaurant. We never had to ask for drinks on the ... Read More
The service and food is amazing on this cruise line.Every crew member was helpful and inviting. We ate at all of the dining venues and was pleased with the quality and variety of each restaurant. We never had to ask for drinks on the Lido deck as they went around consistently to take your order. The rooms are spacious(the bathtub was a nice touch) and the room steward kept our ocean view cabin immaculate.He even remembered our names. It was easy to get around on the ship. We were in cabin 1866, which was very quite and we did not feel a lot of the motion of the waves, even on the rough sea day. Elevators were very quick and we never waited long to catch one, even being on first deck.They did offer program for teens and we hardly saw our teenager on the ship.He said this was his favorite crew line. We will book again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
My first time on a Holland America Ship. We took the Ms Amsterdam because it worked out great as a way to get to an Alaska cruise. The service on this ship was poor except for housekeeping. I would not recommend this ship until they do ... Read More
My first time on a Holland America Ship. We took the Ms Amsterdam because it worked out great as a way to get to an Alaska cruise. The service on this ship was poor except for housekeeping. I would not recommend this ship until they do some updated customer service training. The staff had been dealing with elderly passengers for several days that had sailed from Florida. Maybe they were fed up with the complaining guests by the time we got on board, but that is no excuse to be unhappy or unhelpful. We never saw command staff helping guests or fellow employees. We then cruised on the Nieuw Amsterdam ship and it had very good service and better food. Reading the reviews is helpful. I wish I had checked out the cruise ship better prior to booking it. I hope this helps. Cruising can be a great and fun way to travel if the crew is professional! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
My first on Holland America and I've done 9 on Princess and I'm still partial to Princess. Nothing at all wrong with Holland America. I just think Princess is the better of the two. I don't know that I could pinpoint any ... Read More
My first on Holland America and I've done 9 on Princess and I'm still partial to Princess. Nothing at all wrong with Holland America. I just think Princess is the better of the two. I don't know that I could pinpoint any one thing, but there were a lot of things that needed to be revamped or redone on the Maasdam. It's obviously an older ship and just needs to be redecorated and updated. Some of the shows were also a bit raunchy and the shows are one of the main things I enjoy on the cruise. Service was o.k., but most not outstanding. We did have 2 boys in the dining room that we loved and were very attentive to us and I tipped them more. I'm on a walker with oxygen, so I didn't really do many shore excursions, but what I did were fine. Food, for the most part was fine. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
The food quality and service on our cruise was unacceptable in the regular venues and uneven in speciality restaurants. We tried the Main Dining Room one evening early in the cruise and never returned. The quality of the ingredients was ... Read More
The food quality and service on our cruise was unacceptable in the regular venues and uneven in speciality restaurants. We tried the Main Dining Room one evening early in the cruise and never returned. The quality of the ingredients was extraordinarily low, our food was served cold, the service was chaotic and the room noisy although we dined in a relatively empty room. Food in the Lido involved long lines due to slow service from many of the staff who spent a lot of time talking to each other. The tables remained full of used dishes and half-eaten food because there didn't seem to be adequate staff for a full complement of passengers. One evening we had excellent service in Tamarind; however, on our second visit when the room was, perhaps, two thirds full we experienced chaos with one member of our party getting their sushi when everyone else was eating dessert. We ordered both sparkling and flat bottled water and the serves repeatedly made errors in its service. Desserts were well below the level we had previously experienced on other cruise lines ranging from Regent to Royal. Even the HAL Specialities, Bread Pudding and Onion Soup, were horrible. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Amsterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 3.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.1
Enrichment 4.0 3.9
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.2

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