26 Amsterdam Fitness Cruise Reviews

Two year old beautiful ship, the food was excellent and the cabins had plenty of room. The ship was very easy to navigate for all ages, with the exception of the sundeck. The elevator did not go up. The off-shore excursions had enough ... Read More
Two year old beautiful ship, the food was excellent and the cabins had plenty of room. The ship was very easy to navigate for all ages, with the exception of the sundeck. The elevator did not go up. The off-shore excursions had enough options to meet interests and physical capabilities for all on-board. Staying on the boat always being one of the options. The staff and cruise manager were exceptional. You would not have known they have been on-board since March 1st only a couple of weeks vacation by their enthusiasm. The entertainment was a little different each evening and met our personal tastes a few of the times. Was still talented and good even though it may have not been our cup of tea. I am a person that has been on multiple ocean cruises and always battles motion sickness. No issues at all during the 7 days on the river. Would do it again if the opportunity arises. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The crew were exceptional. Especially in the Lido restaurant. They were attentive and willing to assist you with everything; whether it was to find a table, get condiments, more coffee etc. We have not had this kind of service in a ... Read More
The crew were exceptional. Especially in the Lido restaurant. They were attentive and willing to assist you with everything; whether it was to find a table, get condiments, more coffee etc. We have not had this kind of service in a very long time. It used to be the norm on most cruise ships but were surprised that this wasn't the case any more. But, on the Koningsdam, you truly felt special. They even remembered your names. The food was good from the pizza, deli sandwiches, hamburger and food in the main dining room. We always get room service in the mornings for some hot coffee and danishes. The coffee was always hot and danishes very flaky. We've had luke warm coffee with most other ship's room service. If you enjoy staying in your room to watch some TV or movies, there were so many choices from the news, movies, sitcoms etc. We've never seen so many choices. The guest services stafff were always helpful and friendly; unlike some other ships we have been on. Everything else was up to standard. Will definitely try to find more cruises on the Koningsdam that we can take. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We are Australians who were in Europe visiting family so we added this cruise to Norway leaving from Amsterdam. We were a little taken aback by the size and number of passengers but the public spaces are many and we didn't feel ... Read More
We are Australians who were in Europe visiting family so we added this cruise to Norway leaving from Amsterdam. We were a little taken aback by the size and number of passengers but the public spaces are many and we didn't feel crowded except at breaksfast in the Market at 0900 or thereabouts. We loved the quality of the food - far superior to what we have had on cruises before - especially the rib filet steak and lobster tails - supurb. The dining staff were friendly, attentitive and efficient. The quality of the entertainment suprised and delighted us. Particularly the Lincoln Centre Stage classical quintet and BB King's jazz room. The cabin staff were wonderful and kept everthing tidy and clean. We took the cycling tour in Oslo and can highly recommend it. Only medium fitness is needed - we are both in our late 60s and found it easy. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I love the Scenic river cruise line. This was my 4th trip with them. I particularly like having everything included such as: all tips even for shore excursions, mini bar, cocktails, coffee & tea anytime, special shore Enrichment ... Read More
I love the Scenic river cruise line. This was my 4th trip with them. I particularly like having everything included such as: all tips even for shore excursions, mini bar, cocktails, coffee & tea anytime, special shore Enrichment events like a concert or Medieval dinner in a castle just for us. You can have an early or late breakfast and there is always something to eat between meals. There is a gentle walk excursion for those that have some mobility issues. This was great for those with walkers, canes etc. I also loved the opportunity to have a laundry bag stuffed full of dirty clothes laundered free of charge once during the trip as it was very hot and we changed clothes a few times a day. A waiter even remembered me and my first name from a cruise I took 2 years ago. Pretty impressive!! The crew on the Jade went out of their way to make our cruise a true hassle free excursion. In short, "What you pay before you start is all you pay". Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
The cabins were very nice and comfortable. The food and dinning staff was very good. Having wine and beer with lunch and dinner was great. We enjoyed the different ports of call each day and the excursions. All of the excursions were ... Read More
The cabins were very nice and comfortable. The food and dinning staff was very good. Having wine and beer with lunch and dinner was great. We enjoyed the different ports of call each day and the excursions. All of the excursions were conducted in English and very informative. In addition we signed up for additional excursions that were also very nice the transportation at each port was conducted with top notch transportation busses and we were very impressed we have been on several cruises on different cruise lines. The Viking river cruise boats were very nice and clean. We would definitely use Viking cruise line again. We met lots of people from all over and everyone was very nice. The entire crew were by far the nicest group of people and they made us feel very welcome and comfortable. We can’t think of anything that was a negative during the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Going on a river cruise was just a dream that my husband and I shared. We had been on more than a half dozen ocean cruises and looked forward to this new experience. I loved having the excursions as well as drinks included in our price. ... Read More
Going on a river cruise was just a dream that my husband and I shared. We had been on more than a half dozen ocean cruises and looked forward to this new experience. I loved having the excursions as well as drinks included in our price. I enjoyed getting to know the other passengers and was really able to get to know many with such a small number of passengers. I really liked being welcomed up in the wheelhouse at anytime to ask questions and learn about the ship. We had a group of ten that traveled together and we were always able to sit together and when a few of us wanted massages, the crew set up appointments as well as figured out transportation for us as well. Cabins were very clean and we still talk about how luxurious the towels were. Service and food was wonderful with lots of attentiveness. Already on my radar is going up the St Lawrence in Canada as well as a Scandinavian cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This cruise was chosen specifically because of the itinerary. It went from Amsterdam to Basel and for 11 days. Our cruise manager was Dejan Stancic and was absolutely one of the most fabulous and entertaining person! He made us smile and ... Read More
This cruise was chosen specifically because of the itinerary. It went from Amsterdam to Basel and for 11 days. Our cruise manager was Dejan Stancic and was absolutely one of the most fabulous and entertaining person! He made us smile and laugh each evening when he provided the passengers (guests) with previews and information for upcoming ports. He was very knowledgable and approachable so it was easy to ask questions of any kind that would help make your trip even better. The rest of the staff were absolutely awesome, all were friendly and smiling, we always looked forward to meals and just being anywhere on board because they made us feel like family quickly. The captain, crew and hotel manager were also very friendly. What a great time we had! The ports were fabulous (read the itinerary in the brochure) and there also was a few relaxing mornings on the ship so we did not need to rush as much like the seven day cruises would be. Of course, the views on the Rhine and Moselle were gorgeous and seeing the castles dotting the hillsides (as Dajan said, you would be seeing so many on each side of the ship that you would begin to feel like a ping pong ball!) This was truly a fairytale experience! The ship was beautiful, the cabins spotless and embarkation/disembarkation experiences were seamless. Thank you AMAPRIMA for this wonderful and memorable cruise!!! Loved every second of it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
When my daughter and I arrived we were pleased with the organization and smoothness of our embarkation with Viking Cruise. Previous reviews and especially the agent we contacted for the Rhine River Cruise offered by Viking Cruises was ... Read More
When my daughter and I arrived we were pleased with the organization and smoothness of our embarkation with Viking Cruise. Previous reviews and especially the agent we contacted for the Rhine River Cruise offered by Viking Cruises was very helpful and sincere. We trusted his sincerity in the company, believed, and booked. The dinning atmosphere and foods were relaxing and enjoyable. The Alruna shipcrew and Captain made this cruise very memorable and would do again. The timing and cost of this cruise ideally coincided with our travel plans. The crew, especially the staff were helpful and accommodating. All of our added excursions were insightful in understanding the history and culture of this area. If you appreciate World War II; the Audie Murhpy Memorial is a must. Activities and enthusiasm of the Alruna staff and crew was contagious. My family and I would - if time and monies allow - do again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I chose this cruise based on a recommendation of a family member and the size of the cabin. I was not disappointed. The staff was so friendly. We had a minor accident that needed a doctor and the Cruise Director went with us to each ... Read More
I chose this cruise based on a recommendation of a family member and the size of the cabin. I was not disappointed. The staff was so friendly. We had a minor accident that needed a doctor and the Cruise Director went with us to each appointment to translate for us. He even adjusted tours to accommodate our appointments. The excursions were so well planned, something for everyone. I, myself, was a "Gentle Walker" and was still able to see most of the sights. We met people from all over the world and had fun getting to know them. The small number of passengers was a great change from the large cruise ships and their thousands. It was really quaint - like family at the end. The food was excellent and the variety and availability was great. I would highly recommend Avalon and look forward to taking another cruise with them in the future... Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
After a lot of ocean cruises, we were ready for something different and more interesting. Viking lived up to all the good reviews we had read. From reservations and pre-cruise support to air and hotel arrangements, embarkation, cruising ... Read More
After a lot of ocean cruises, we were ready for something different and more interesting. Viking lived up to all the good reviews we had read. From reservations and pre-cruise support to air and hotel arrangements, embarkation, cruising and shore excursions everyone was highly organized and very friendly. Our Main Deck cabin was small but pleasant, with small windows at water level, about 5 feet above the floor. Most of the cruising was at night, and in port we often moored alongside other ships, so the value of higher level cabins seems limited, except maybe avoiding noise of passages through locks- which happened 67 times on this route. We liked the food, the shore excursions were mosty very interesting, and we got a lot of walking, sometimes 2 to 5 miles a day depending on time in port. The cruise director and staff were very good, and we liked the fresh Scandanavian decor. Hotels, transfers, and air tickets were all perfectly handled. On this cruise 90 percent of passengers were retired Americans in 60s and 70s, mostly well traveled and intelligent. There were no children and no facilites for them. The ships are well organized but there is no gym or fitness space and rhe “sun deck” cannot be used at all except on the Danube due to low bridges. Free wifi was a plus but as they note often very slow. Anyone with disabilities should not do this, unlike ocean cruising the ship has narrow corridors and tight rooms and requires use of stairs and steeply sloping gangplanks, and German cobblestone- paved towns require a lot of walking and stairs; buses have steep steps and narrow aises and are not acceptable. Even large cities have little or no accommodations for the disabled. The headsets provided for shore excursions were very helpful. In short, this is very enjoyable for older adults who can get around, but I think most chidren or teens would be bored. We were sorry to leave after te cruise and we are certainly looking forward to another Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We celebrated our 40th anniversary on this trip. We only went on 7 days of this 14 day cruise from Amsterdam to four cities in Norway. Several of our group did, however, take the full 14 days. We spent a week in Amsterdam before and loved ... Read More
We celebrated our 40th anniversary on this trip. We only went on 7 days of this 14 day cruise from Amsterdam to four cities in Norway. Several of our group did, however, take the full 14 days. We spent a week in Amsterdam before and loved that city! We traveled with a group of 40+ people and found it extremely frustrating to communicate with each other. We wasted a lot of time looking for each other. Bring stick up notes so you can post messages on each others doors or better yet, bring walkies! Their internet service is expensive and spotty so that was not really an option for communicating. The ship is their newest, built in 2016 but the decor is cheap and dated looking compared to other ships we've traveled on. We were surprised to learn that this ship was so new. There is no beautiful focal point on the ship. Very minimal and European. The fine dining restaurants are worth every bit of their extra costs. We visited 4 differents restaurants (Culinary, Tamarind, Canalettos, Pinnacle). They cost about $15-$20 more each. Worth it! I especially loved Culinary. It was like watching a cooking show on TV and then getting to taste the food. Everyone in our group loved them. Make reservations if you have a large group! The Lido dining (buffet) is ridiculously disappointing. We thought because this was a higher end cruise line, we might expect their food service to be better. It was not. Altho, i did appreciate that the staff served us rather than watching other guests dig around in a dish, leaving it unappetizing. It was always crowded and there was no organization as to ordering food. People stepped in front of you as there's no clear lines which turns your dining experience into a competition. Finding an available seat was next to impossible so most of the time we had to bring our food back to our room and eat it on the bed as there's no table or chairs in the staterooms unless you have a suite. The dining room was fair but crowded as the food here is free (included) and you can eat as much as you'd like. We ate here once. The shore excursions are an expensive joke. They basically herd you into a boat or bus and drive you around. They're both overly crowded and restrooms or refreshments are not available. It was a waste of time and money. Don't be fooled by the fancy names of their excursions. I wish i could've read my review before we traveled on this trip. Flam - We loved this city. It was small and quaint with the most stunning views. What a fun way to wake up in the morning! The shore excursion we took in Flam was called "The Naeroyfjord Cruise & Scenic Drive - $130.@) you will spend half the time driving from Flam to Gudvangen going thru many tunnels (which is a nice place for a nap). Then in Gudvangen, you'll hop on a boat and take a slow ride around the Naeroyfjord & Aurlandsfjorden back to Flam. Very beautiful but if you don't board the boat first, you may end up like us, without a seat during the entire ride. People leave their things on the seats to claim them then go up top to look around so you never get an opportunity to have a seat in the lower deck unless you were lucky enough to get one at the beginning. They do have a few decent restrooms and our tour guide here was somewhat informative. Some of the folks in our group took the train tour and pretty much said it was a good long nap. It was a lovely sunny day, which i know you cannot plan for but if we would've known, there was a kayaking company, a fjordsafari.com, a fun fast boat tour, as well as a small electric car rental company right there that would've been waaaay more fun and less costly. There's several shops, a few restaurants, a cafe, a bakery and some street vendors that were fun. We were able to taste Reindeer meat balls and fish soup prepared by the locals. We also loved the little pub there: Ægir Bryggeri where they brewed their own beer and had coffee at Bakkastova Cafe up on the hill. Stavanger - Lysefjord: Pulpit Rock Cruise - $135@ was interesting as we had a wonderfully personable tour guide who told us interesting facts and even legend about the Fjords, Trolls and the area. Had we known then what we know now, we'd only have done this excursion. The town on Stavanger is big so you'd have to cab to get there unless you felt like a 15-30 minute walk uphill to get in town. We were there the shortest time so when we returned from the excursion, we didn't have time to tour further. The Lillesand: The Jewel of Sorlandet ($170@) was the worse. We were jammed on a boat, 8 people squished into a booth. Some folks had so place to sit and ended up standing along the wall or sitting on a step. They slowly drove around showing us the homes of unsuspecting locals for 2.5 of the 3 hour trip. They stopped in Lillesand for 40 minutes which gave you only enough time to use the restroom (another line) and grab a bottle of water. That excursion cost the most and was the worse. In Oslo, there is Sooooooo Much to see and Sooooooo little time. There's a "Hop On & Off Bus" that will take you to all the touristy places you might want to see. We met friends who live in Oslo there and they took us on a personal guided tour and then back to their house for lunch and Norwegian specialties. Other folks in our group complained that we needed to stay longer. We would've liked to have stayed there for a couple days but the cruise line pays a hefty fee to dock there so they cannot stay too long. There were two stage entertainers on the ship. #1. A lady that sang and played the harp and #2. a magician. Both were not entertaining but maybe to some? We didn't manage to sit thru an entire show. It seems like they mostly just try to sell you more things, spa sessions, their Elemis line, another cruise, Jewelry, Art work, your own photos.... Because we didn't already spend enough money on the cruise? We had a couples massage which was lovely and i had a facial while my husband had a shave at the Greenhouse Spa. 15% gratuities are included but we still tipped them $20@ They try to sell you the Elemis product in a matter of fact way. You need to be good at saying no if you're not interested. It can ruin your relaxing massage at the end, if you let it. We didn't but others in our group did. We didn't buy the drink packages and we did drink about 4-5 cocktails each day (bloody marys, wine, beer) and we didn't spend the $900. we would've spent if we had bought one of the drink packages as both members in room need to buy the full package. Drinks were $7.50 up. Finer wines ranged from $24 to $99 per bottle. Different bars on the ship had different liquors. I love Aperol and was able to find it in the Pinnacle bar. Norway was beautiful and we're happy that we went. We would probably not go back as you need to go in August in order for it not to be too cold. I believe our cruise was one of the last ones for the season. We live in Michigan so leaving in August is difficult for us as we only have summer weather here ourselves for a few months. Holland America - Compared to other cruise lines was not as nice as we had expected it to be but 1000x better than a Carnival cruise but not as nice as Viking or Royal Caribbean. We won't go on another Holland Cruise. Did you know that Carnival Cruise Line owns Holland America? Let that give you a hint... Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
When we were embarking we were greeted by the Staff with warmth and wonderful smiles.My 73 year old Mother and my self (52) were guided and felt completely secure with the staff on this vessel.The ship had 3levels the top was a sundeck ... Read More
When we were embarking we were greeted by the Staff with warmth and wonderful smiles.My 73 year old Mother and my self (52) were guided and felt completely secure with the staff on this vessel.The ship had 3levels the top was a sundeck with a walking track , putting green and plenty of loungers.There was even a smoking area for those that smoked. The mid section of the vessel was the accomidations which were clean and fresh looking. the rooms were quaint and up today, a safe in each room , but a no time did I feel the need to use it. The Dinning room was on the third floor and to no fault of the staff the buffet breakfasts and lunches were a little chaotic at times as the other passengers would t follow a cue line. The y were budding in and some times out and out rude.The food was awesome and plenty of it. The dinners were a service and our waiters were fantastic. Wine was flowing and they were quick to clean up the service. Our waiter Ivan was from Macedonia and he was professional but funny as well. The entertainment was mostly geared to seniors and so I wasn't so excited about that but you can't please every one all the time. The pool at the rear of the boat was lovely and most days / night we had it to our selves.The shore excursions were well put together especially when they split up into slow med and fast walking groups. My only disappointment was an extra excursion that I paid for $59. Eu that was for a wine tasting and that I would pass on if offered again.I would go again as the staff MADE the trip .THe Accommodations Manager and the Dinning room manager were TOP notch. I absolutly loved this river cruise I was so glad I went. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Captain Marek runs a wonderful ship.He is warm, friendly and humorous. He respects his staff and they love working for him. It's great that he mingles with the guests. As for the ship, there is tons of cupboard space in the ... Read More
Captain Marek runs a wonderful ship.He is warm, friendly and humorous. He respects his staff and they love working for him. It's great that he mingles with the guests. As for the ship, there is tons of cupboard space in the cabins. The couch does need cleaning, as does the intake vent. The linens were spotless and changed daily. All one has to do to get supplies is ask the room attendant. Ours brought new ones as soon as he saw we had used some. The food was delicious and the dining room staff very accommodating. So many choices. Thanks to Orland, our waiter, and Carolynne, his assistant, for making dinnertime entertaining. Loved the Latin dance exercise classes. We enjoyed the guest speaker and his topics. We did not go to all the entertainments, but found the ones we did go to very professional. Amsterdam was a great city to explore before we took the cruise. We stayed in city central, and it was very easy to get to the ship. After the cruise, it was easy to walk to the train station to get a train to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Wanted to see Jewish interest in Germany. And spend extra time in Amsterdam. On the whole the ship was very nice with good food and excellent service! What. Spoilt it was a foul stench in the cabins for most of the time! Even the captain- ... Read More
Wanted to see Jewish interest in Germany. And spend extra time in Amsterdam. On the whole the ship was very nice with good food and excellent service! What. Spoilt it was a foul stench in the cabins for most of the time! Even the captain- who was nowhere to be seen for most of the trip- complained that his cabin also was reeked with a terrible smell ! Throughout the cruise people complained all the time and were told that the problem was being attended to but were later told that the relevant personnel could not sort out the problem! Also the cruise director was no help at all in fact was singularily unhelpful in most respects. She made no effort to contact any synagogues we wished to visit and one of the guides did this for us! She lacked any charm or warmth and, of 4 river cruises I have been on, she was by far the worst cruise cor! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The fifteen(15) day Grand European Tour exceeded our expectations! The ship was beautiful and extremely accommodating. Our veranda stateroom was very nice and had everything we needed to be comfortable while enjoying the beautiful scenery ... Read More
The fifteen(15) day Grand European Tour exceeded our expectations! The ship was beautiful and extremely accommodating. Our veranda stateroom was very nice and had everything we needed to be comfortable while enjoying the beautiful scenery as we sailed the rivers. However, the most amazing part of the cruise was the cuisine. Chef Jakub and his staff presented wonderful meals that depicted the culture and essence of the people we visited. We had the opportunity to join Chef on a visit to Vienna's famous Naschmarket and it was a dream come true. We walked through the market tasting the delicious wines, cheeses and other delicacies as Chef Jakub explained to us the awesome qualities of the white asparagus he intended to prepare for dinner. What an unbelievable adventure! Another outstanding aspect of the trip was how well Caitlyn and her team organized the daily tours, entertainment and activities. Not only were the lectures educational but they were entertaining and chalked full of attention getting antics. I learned more about this part of the world in fifteen(15) days than I had previously learned my entire life. The excursions, entertainment and lectures were top of the line! Finally, the service from the entire crew was incredible! My husband and I felt as though we were royalty being catered to throughout the trip. Thank you Viking Team for a fantastic travel experience and we will definitely be joining you again soon! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was my first rivercruise which I enjoyed very much the service was impeccable the staff very polite and well trained and so professional. A rivercruise is a very relaxing cruise I enjoyed the scenic view all through the cruise ... Read More
This was my first rivercruise which I enjoyed very much the service was impeccable the staff very polite and well trained and so professional. A rivercruise is a very relaxing cruise I enjoyed the scenic view all through the cruise beautiful scenery and the locks were wonderful my whole trip was fantastic I strongly recommend this to people 50 and over not for family. I will go back and do another one with a different country and itin. The food was amazing also the intertainment was fantastic. Everything is looked after in details and the itin was wonderful all the walking tours Tours excursions was wonderful and well planned the guides were very informative and was very well knowledge about their city they live in. The Coaches were also wonderful as there were some small town that we need to take coaches the drivers was nice and friendly and the coaches was very clean. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We heard about the Viking Line from friends and commercials. It was one the best experiences that my husband and I have ever experienced. The ship was clean and easy to find your way around. We loved the crew, from the cabin help to the ... Read More
We heard about the Viking Line from friends and commercials. It was one the best experiences that my husband and I have ever experienced. The ship was clean and easy to find your way around. We loved the crew, from the cabin help to the chefs. The shore excursions very well planed informative. The food was amazing along with the servers. We purchased the upgrade drink ticket which aloud us great wine and the brand liquor we enjoy. One thing that made this trip for us, was that there no children it was a total adult trip. We have told everyone we know about our trip and how much we loved it and would experience it again and again. We arrived in Amsterdam 2 days eary so we could experience the area. The crew, when it was time was there at our hotel to take us to our ship. It was a great beginning to the trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
One of the main motivations for choosing this cruise ship is its new family rooms that allows for 5 guests in a room. This is handy for a family but also cost effective, as it is only the first 2 guests that pay full rate and all ... Read More
One of the main motivations for choosing this cruise ship is its new family rooms that allows for 5 guests in a room. This is handy for a family but also cost effective, as it is only the first 2 guests that pay full rate and all subsequent guests pay a grately reduced rate. This was our second cruise, we sailed with Disney last year in the Mediteranean. Our kids (10 year old twins) actually preferred the children's club on HAL compared to Disney, because the total number of children on board was a lot less, giving room and space for the leaders of the group to get to know the kids much better and for the group of kids to gel better. The kids club (7-12) is open from 9-11.30, 1.00-16.30 and 19-22 on days at sea, and on days where the ship is docked, the club runs the whole day through until 16.30 and feed the children lunch so the parents can stay ashore if they wish. The Family Stateroom fits 3 adults and 2 children and the double bed can be turned into twin beds. The fold out sofa bed is surprisingly comfortable compared to many sofa beds I have slept on before. The real stationary beds are pretty hard though, particularly as there is an odd felt top mattress that feels a bit like lying on a stone. But once the felt has been pulled off, the bed is a bit softer. The top bed that folds down over the sofa bed, to allow for a 5th person is fine for a child, but I think any adult would be terrified of having climb into it and feel it bouncing a bit (due to its design). Once all the beds are unfolded for the night, the room does feel a bit claustrophobic, mainly because there is only a one foot corridor to try to creep through in the dark to get to the toilet. In the morning it is fairly easy (but heavy!) to flip the sofa bed back into place so there is space for getting dressed. As a special feature, the room has two bathrooms. One with toilet, sink and bathtub, the other with sink and walk in shower (which was amazing!). The main dining room was nice, the menu was also fairly good, with enough choice for each member of my group to find something to eat. The food ranges from really nice down to OK, with the occasional complete miss. But since you are allowed to order as much as you want, if there is something you don't like, the waiters are happy to bring you something else. The Lido market is really packed at peak eating hours. The food is diverse and there is plenty for every taste. We really appreciated the salad bar, which helped alleviate our bad conscience from overeating at other meals. Late night pizza's from the New York Deli were greately appreciated by our kids once we had picked them up at 10 from the kids club. If you are hungry on the ship, it truly is your own fault. There is free food being served somewhere on the ship on a constant basis. If you are into fitness, make sure you visit the fitness area. It is well equipped and it is free! If you decide to sign up for the sauna and wellness area, do it on the first day, as the price is for the duration of the entire cruise. Make sure you bring your own slippers, as the ones given are way too small and hurt your feet. The sauna possibly has one of the best views on the ship. There are several drinks packages available on board. However, if you are not a big carbonate drinker and not much of an alcohol drinker, then don't bother with the drinks packages. There is water, ice cubes, iced tea (unsweetened), coffee and tea available at all times for free. We bought 2 basic drinks packages that allowed us access to a Coca Cola fountain with some 120 different flavors. We received 2 large sipping cups to use in the machine, which served the whole family without problems. Most of us drank just water anyway. The most expensive drinks package is quite pricey. This includes cocktails and all alcoholic drinks. The Crow's Nest pub has Happy Hour at 16.00 every day - where the second drink is 1 dollar. But you have to get 2 of the same drink to get the offer. The ports were beautiful and easy enough to explore by ourselves. We found the shore excursions much too expensive, and just enjoyed discovering by foot. We had a bit of a bad surprise at the beginning of the cruise, as the point of embarkation was changed from Amsterdam to Rotterdam about 24 hours before departure. This left us scrambling to find an alternative to the valet parking arrangements we had made. It took HAL most of the day to finally offer shuttle busses from Amsterdam to Rotterdam, which we were not able to use, since by then we had already booked a taxi. This was quite badly organized with no clear communication. Hopefully HAL will improve that for next time. All in all, we had a great time. The food was wonderful, the views were stunning, and we will definitely consider doing it again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We arrived in Amsterdam very early in the morning as we had an overnight flight. Our Viking Cruise host met us while we were waiting for our luggage to come off the plane. We were then shuttled to our ship aboard a coach bus and given cold ... Read More
We arrived in Amsterdam very early in the morning as we had an overnight flight. Our Viking Cruise host met us while we were waiting for our luggage to come off the plane. We were then shuttled to our ship aboard a coach bus and given cold water immediately. It was a nice way to start. When we arrived at our ship, the staterooms weren't ready yet but we were encouraged to go to the dining room and enjoy a hot breakfast as service was still ongoing. Another fantastic way to start our trip. We did take advantage of the shuttle bus that took us to the center of Amsterdam so we could explore a bit. Unfortunately many of the museums were closed and the Anne Frank house was completely sold out but we took a wonderful canal cruise and saw many of the sights. The weather was a bit chillier than I thought it would be at that time of the year so we didn't spend any time on the sundeck but the Aquavita Terrace was wonderful! And on the one day that we were hit by rain while on an excursion, the ship's kitchen staff met us with hot chocolate and rum! YUMMY!!! The food was excellent! I loved that we had the choice of either a more 'informal' meal on the terrace or a more formal meal in the dining room for lunch and dinner. Even for breakfast there were many many choices from the to die for buffet to the order from the menu options. If you just wanted muffins, coffee, and cereal there were those options also! The bar staff was extremely friendly!! My husband and I looked forward to going to the lounge whenever possible because it was so welcoming! Ships staff weren't afraid to interact with us and it made it seem like we were cruising with family. Our cabin steward was fantastic! He entertained us with towel animals and fresh fruit each day! The ports are wonderful and the shore excursions are very interesting but bring your walking shoes!!! Walk before you go on the trip to get ready for the walking you will do. Many areas are accessible only on foot and sometimes the ship has to dock a decent hike from the main entrance to town. You will definitely get your exercise! We did extend our trip into Lucern Switzerland and I can't say that I would recommend that portion of the trip. Our hotel was again a distance from the city center and having to walk for everything was not the way I really wanted to end my trip. But my husband and I are looking forward to going on another excursion with Viking. We just know what we want to do more than we did for the first trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
From the beginning to the end, everything turned out to be amazing -- activities, shows, dinners, on-shore tours, ballerinas, attendants, guest colleagues... We had a lot of fun and met a flock of new friends. In one of those days Mother ... Read More
From the beginning to the end, everything turned out to be amazing -- activities, shows, dinners, on-shore tours, ballerinas, attendants, guest colleagues... We had a lot of fun and met a flock of new friends. In one of those days Mother Nature didn't help much (when it got to visiting St Petersburg) but, nonetheless, and under a cold mild rain, it was great to be there even so. Got to get back there someday though! A special and very important (huge) "detail" was that the whole crew personnel who took care of us -- room attendants, chefs, waiters, helpers and sommeliers, not forgetting the house musicians and other people servicing around -- was incredibly nice and actually treated us like kings and queens. Thanks to them our cruise was increased with tender care and all of those small little daily amenities that added up to a feeling of safety and tranquility: exactly what we needed to soothe our hectic life of "workers enjoying a period of rest". Well, after all that, we hope to see them on our next vacation, already programmed for 2017 with Celebrity Cruises. Thank you too! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this cruise because we could sail out of Amsterdam during a trip to visit our son who lives there. We also chose this cruise so we could experience Holland's newest ship, the Koningsdam. The ship certainly did not ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we could sail out of Amsterdam during a trip to visit our son who lives there. We also chose this cruise so we could experience Holland's newest ship, the Koningsdam. The ship certainly did not disappoint nor did Holland America (except for one item, more on that later). This was our first cruise on Holland, but have cruised many times on both Carnival and Royal Caribbean. The ship was fantastic, with the highlights being the solarium pool and large outside movie screen. Despite the June weather in Norway being cool, in the mid 60's, we were always comfortable on deck and poolside during days at sea. Design of the ship provided warm temperatures and no wind, which made lounging around the pool or reading very enjoyable. This is not always the case on other ships. It was awesome to lay by the pool when the pool roof was open and enjoy the beauty of the snow capped Fjords! Drinks: We had the drink package, which was very convenient and a good deal (although i'm sure my wife and I never hit the $100 cabin limit on any day). Casual Food: The casual food by the pool was the best of any previous cruise we have taken. We could choose from made-to order pizzas, burgers, and deli sandwiches from the Dive In and the Deli. Loved the pager system, where you place your order, and go relax until they buzz you! Great idea. Main Restaurant Food: Quality and selection was very good for both breakfast and lunch. Variety was better than some cruises and service was adequate. Dining Room Food: Dining experience, service, and presentation was upscale but certainly not memorable or outstanding. Menus were varied and for the most part tasty. It's pretty obvious that all the cruise lines have 'dummied down' the food to encourage guests to support the specialty restaurants on board. The only annoying issue is the lack of availability of mid-evening dinner reservations. We were told to at the start of the cruise to make dinner reservations two days in advance. So at 8:00 am each day, I would call for advance dinner reservations, and each day my choices were 5:00-5:30 or 8:00-8:30. That is the bad news, however the good news is that the staff was very good about giving us a table for two most nights so we didn't have to make idle small talk with strangers. Specialty Restaurants: My wife and chose to eat at the Italian restaurant on our first night and the experience was amazing. The food was incredible, the presentation was great, and the service was outstanding. We had such a great experience at the Italian restaurant we couldn't wait to experience the Pinnacle Restaurant, which we already had midweek reservations for. This is where the one area where Holland really dropped the ball. As a 'special' incentive for booking our cruise early, we were promised dinner for two at the Pinnacle Restaurant. Since this is touted as Holland's best specialty restaurant on the ship, we were really looking forward to an unbelievable dinning experience. Upon inquiring prior to the cruise we were informed that we could not choose the night but that details would be provided with our welcome packet in our cabin. As promised, there was an envelope in our cabin informing us that our dinner was on Wednesday night, however that it was no longer booked for the Pinnacle, but was booked at the Culinary Arts Center. After finishing our wonderful dinner on our first night at the Italian restaurant, I asked the staff if a restaurant manger was on hand to answer some questions our upcoming dinner reservation. When I asked about the change of venue, the manager we talked to (don't remember his name), told me that the promotion was so popular that the Pinnacle was overbooked and it was necessary to book some people for the Culinary Arts Center instead. I asked if it was possible to choose another night and still enjoy the Pinnacle and was told that this was not possible and that since it was a promotion "you get what you are assigned." He added that I shouldn't worry because the menu would be the same as the Pinnacle, just the location was changed. Well this was certainly not the case! The dinner at the Culinary Arts Center was horrible!. The menu was at best was very strange, at worst almost inedible. The menu was a set menu with no choice of appetizers, sides, or dessert. The entree choices were overcooked beef, a dried up fish filet, or a vegetarian option. This emphasis of the meal seemed to be the herbs grown on the ship and the ability to watch the staff prepare your food. I know that my wife and I were not the only disappointed guests. The couple we were seated with were not pleased nor was the table next to ours. I noticed a comment card in our room that evening and I thought that the cruise line should be aware of our negative experience. In the card, I explained what happened and turned the card in at guest services on the following morning. I made sure that the girl knew that it should be forwarded to a food and beverage manager. Since this was only day 4 of the cruise, I expected to hear something from someone with Holland. I was never contacted by anyone from Holland for the remainder of the cruise. My wife and I had planned to try at least 2 or 3 of the specialty restaurants during the cruise, but after the bad experience at the Culinary Arts Center and no contact from the management at Holland, we decided to just enjoy the dining room for the remainder of the cruise. My feeling is this regarding customer service; (1) Deliver what you promise with no excuses or fix it, and (2) Don't ask your customers for their opinion and provide comment cards if you are not going to respond to them. Itinerary: The ports we visited were all interesting in their own unique way. However, the day at Geranger was the best. Taking the bus tour up the Eagle Road to see the glacier was breathtaking and was the highlight of the trip. The tram in Bergen was a 'must see' as well. Edjiford was scenic and quaint, if not very exciting. Overall Cruise: The ship, the staff, the itinerary, and the food (except for the CAC experience) were very good. The onboard entertainment was average, with the exception being the B B King venue, which was consistently entertaining. Embarking in Amsterdam was somewhat slow, however disembarking was much more efficient. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
The entertainment was very lame and few passengers even bothered going to the shows. The casino hours were restricted and had a surprise closing as we did not get into international waters as planned. In the casino even when playing $5 a ... Read More
The entertainment was very lame and few passengers even bothered going to the shows. The casino hours were restricted and had a surprise closing as we did not get into international waters as planned. In the casino even when playing $5 a hand blackjack or roulette you have to pay for drinks. Amazingly the entertainment, bars, restaurants, and other services start closing at 8:30 and everything is shut down by midnight which feels like 6:00pm or earlier for those of us coming to Europe from the US. In the ships defense, the crowd was so old that by 8:30 there were not many people in the jazz club so I understand why they shut it down. The comedian joked that the HAL crowd was so old they held the midnight buffet at 2 in the afternoon and unfortunately he was not far off. The ship has odd rules about bringing bottles on: only two bottles per passenger and then they can only be wine or champagne. So you can't bring beer or spirits on the ship but you can bring on wine to avoid the $50 or so per bottle at dinner. We only visited one Norwegian Fjord and couldn't get to Eidfjord so we made a surprise (to the town) stop at Haugesund arriving in the afternoon when almost everything closes about 4:00. There was way more disorganization that there should have been at each step. For example in boarding they had a person stationed at the top of the escalator to tell you that you had to check your bags on the ground floor. Of course you were already up with your bags at that point and you had to go back down and check them. My suggestion that it might be smarter to be at the base of the escalator with that message was meet with a sour look and the HAL rep stayed at the top continuing to allow everyone to lug the bags up and then send them back down. Then the check-in was painfully long even though everything had already been done on-line and the reps were confused and disorganized asking to see passports multiple times taking pictures multiple times. The ship artwork was mostly photos and nowhere near the caliber of Royal Caribbean. On the positive side, the food was excellent and if you are a vegetarian or vegan they have separate menus to accommodate you. However, as a vegetarian or vegan they give you the special menu the day before and you have to order for the next day's dinner a day in advance. If there is something especially tasty on the standard menu, you have already ordered the previous day. We ended up skipping the special vegetarian menu to be able to just order the vegetarian dishes off the current menu. In terms of health most food was served by the staff which kept people's hands and lack of hygiene away from common serving dishes but not all. There were times and some dishes that people served themselves. One of my frustrations is to see a person take their used plate that they ate off of to get seconds and the bottom of the serving spoon gets rubbed into the remnants of their first serving picking up saliva and the left-over food that then goes into the common dish on the bottom of the serving spoon. The wait staff was attentive and bent over backwards to please accommodating our vegetarian requirements. Our biggest complaint was the bizarre pricing for the photos. HAL photo services have a "family" package that is $450 (compared to $300 for the Royal Caribbean family photo package). But if you buy the Royal Caribbean family photo package for your suite you get you every picture you are in whether there are other people from other suites in the photo or not. HAL's photo package limits you to only pictures of people in the suite. So if the picture has Mom and Dad with a child who is in another cabin, it is not included in the expensive "family" photo package. It is really frustrating to have a family group in multiple cabins and find out that the only way to get the pictures of everyone is to pay $450 per cabin for every cabin. Since we had our family spread across 8 cabins they told us we had to pay for all of them to get our photos ($3,600!). Since we really love family photos and the HAL pricing is absurd, we would not choose Holland America Line again.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We are three couples travelling together aged 50-60.  We are active, energetic, friendly and love to dance. Well if you too are like that - don't go on Holland America. At least not on the Eurodam to the Baltic. Apart from computer ... Read More
We are three couples travelling together aged 50-60.  We are active, energetic, friendly and love to dance. Well if you too are like that - don't go on Holland America. At least not on the Eurodam to the Baltic. Apart from computer help programs (run by Microsoft) and some cooking demonstrations there are no interactive activities during the sea days. Dancing lessons are not that, they are auditions for HA's 'Dancing With The Stars' show on the last night. The passengers perform a set choreographed routine and the best two are selected for the final. The BB King band was well supported and it plays good blues and jazz - not the sort of thing you can rock'n roll or cha cha to. HAL cats play various ballroom dance music but only for an hour from 5.30. They do play later but as we were late dining, we didn't get to enjoy them then. The best sing along, dance along music was from Diane at the piano bar. Unfortunately the bar is carpeted and not suitable for dancing - we still gave it a go but it was difficult to dance there. There is also a late night disco...I think. We checked it out many times and only ever found a few kids doing some putting practice with a golf club. I don't know what the families with young children found to do. Admittedly there were not that many of those on this cruise. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure that if you have limited mobility and a strong desire to do not much more than relax during a cruise, then this one is for you. I'm just sorry we did not read a review such as this before we booked. We have travelled before on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Princess and loved all the activities and interaction with the entertainment staff - that did not happen on this cruise. Based on this experience, none of us will cruise with Holland America again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Our cruise was back to back so 28 days on the Elegant Explorer with only 6 sea days. Thus it was an adventure, not a sit and relax vacation. The weather was cool and sunny with temperatures in the low to upper 60's. I did not need the ... Read More
Our cruise was back to back so 28 days on the Elegant Explorer with only 6 sea days. Thus it was an adventure, not a sit and relax vacation. The weather was cool and sunny with temperatures in the low to upper 60's. I did not need the short sleeved shirts and shorts that I brought, but it was very good touring weather. We did need jackets in Iceland. At the later part of the cruise the captain made a decision to skip the Iceland port of Heimaey due to an approaching storm. We went to Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands instead and then to Invergordon instead of Scrabster and on to Edinburgh our last port before we disembarked in Amsterdam, Holland. We had already been to Akureyri, Seydisfjordur, Isafjordur, and (overnight)Reyjavik Iceland so we didn't feel too deprived at missing our last Icelandic port. At dinner we were all treated to a glass of champagne to compensate us for the change. Happily we missed the storm and enjoyed the new ports. Kudos to the captain! The crew on the Prinsendam is superb-always smiling and going the extra mile to make your voyage the best you have ever enjoyed. Our steward and waiters cleaned and served without a hitch over 4 weeks of wonderful dinners. Our only quibble was that our gabbing table of 8 barely made it to the 10 PM show on several evenings.I especially enjoyed our bridge card instruction on sea days where I learned several pointers that I can apply at home from Brenda our excellent instructer. Also we enjoyed the 5 PM wine and culinary tastings presented by Jannette where we learned how to pair the wine and make the aud'erves. We did buy the wine package and the unlimited laundry package which added to the seamless flow of the cruise. Our ports were varied and largely English speaking. Mainly we booked private small group tours and used Hop on Hop off buses and ship shuttles to town. This kept the cost down and our interest level up. The smaller group of 8-12 facilitates interaction with the guide and each other during the experience.Also we were able to do things that a larger group could not do. For instance in Lerwick, Shetland Islands, we went on Jonathan's Seabirds and Seals boat tour with an underwater viewing camera which was phenomenal. Also the gannet colony and his description of their amazing life cycle was beyond compare. His boat only held 12 guests who gathered around him and the camera to see the underwater life in the cave. It would have been undoable with a larger ship tour. Again in Akureyri 13 of us went with Saga tours on a Farmers Passion trip. We experienced a totally automated cow farm where everything including the total milking was done by machine and robotic sensing as the cows lined up to take their turn. It was amazing. Then we went upstairs to the dairy coffee cafe overlooking the cows and sampled the fresh milk along with our coffee. With a 12 person group everyone fit in and could see well. This was a highlight. On this tour we also got to pet and take pictures of the Icelandic horses,visit a beautiful waterfall, and go to an old family farmhouse with the owner taking us around and telling us stories. Invergordon was another plus. We stopped there instead of Scrabster and our guide Nigel knew of our change of plans and was able to pick us up at Invergordon instead.http://www.shoreexcursions.co.uk He gave us a wonderful tour to the North instead of to the south and Lock Ness which he said would be too crowded. First we had a tour of Invergordon and its murals describing history and events in Scotland.Then we went to a shop with a waterfall next to it and watched the salmon jumping up it. We toured a whiskey distillery and had a tasting, toured a church and got an earful of Scottish stories. We just made it back to the ship on time- a wonderful day, but a rather crowded van with 8 passengers, better with 6. Seydisfjordur was a small Icelandic town where we shopped for woolens at good prices and enjoyed our time using the internet and sipping coffee in a small cafe. Isafjordur was another small Icelandic town where we booked a ship walking tour which pointed up highlights but was not interactive with the locals as had been described in their literature. For this port the temperature was in the low 40's and a coat and sweater and hat and gloves were needed for the tour.I stuck my ungloved hands in my pockets. I hope you enjoy the Prinsendam. We certainly did. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
We were interested in this cruise because it sailed so far north and because it had many days at sea (every other day), which are the ones we enjoy the most. In summer we try to escape from the heat, and look for cold and long days. ... Read More
We were interested in this cruise because it sailed so far north and because it had many days at sea (every other day), which are the ones we enjoy the most. In summer we try to escape from the heat, and look for cold and long days. In this cruise we were above the Arctic Circle for four nights with midnight sun (notice that as official time is advanced two hours for summer savings, to see the real midnight sun one should look for it at 2 am). With so many hours of light it's difficult to tell what time of the day really is, so our sleeping patterns got a bit distorted. Best highlights of our cruise were hikes in Spitsbergen and in Lofoten, dinners in the main restaurant San Marco, the quiet area with the heated indoor pool, and the Perry Grant experience. And of course, as in any cruise we enjoyed the always changing colors, lights, and shades of sea and sky. There are two issues that need to be corrected in Celebrity Constellation: one is buffet restaurant procedures (extended timetables, more self service and less queues, staff diligence), and the other one is to shrink smoker areas (it is a must to have a smoke free open air bar at the stern of the ship). Transfer from Schiphol airport to Amsterdam cruise port is a piece of cake, fast and cheap: approximately 8 euros a head for train to Central Station, and approximately 7 euros for taxi from Central Station to cruise dock. Embarkation in Amsterdam was very quick and smooth. Just 20 minutes after calling our group, we got the sea pass card and already we were onto the boat. Our cabin with balcony was in deck 8, front, port side (better than unlucky crowd in deck 9, which are shadowed by protruding galleries from pool in deck 10). We wanted a calm and quiet cabin in a high deck, to the front of the boat away from the rumbling of the engines, we don't mind to walk all the ship long went to the eateries. We prefer to have the indoor pool and gym just two decks above us. The bed is queen size and very comfortable. The wardrobe, six drawers, plus both bedside tables with two drawers made enough storage space for us. The tiny sofa was too small for us to sit there together (and we are small people, American size XS). The cabin has individual control air conditioning, digital combination safebox, flat screen TV (about 28 inches), two European type plug with 220 v AC, and two American style plug with flat pins and 110 v AC, so you will not need a plug adapter. The balcony is big enough for two chairs and a tiny table, but it could have fit tight two small hammocks as well. Balconies are separated by translucent glasses, so there is not complete privacy (just in case you like to venture out naked when in high sea). The bathroom is small but it has everything needed. The shower closes with a plastic drape curtain, and it has optimal water pressure. All guests receive a bathrobe on this ship, no matter the cabin category. Cleaning and housekeeping was effective, but not as diligent and attentive as in other cruises we have been. We received the impression that there was a shortage of staff to check more often and tidy up room, toilets, etc. They only checked room twice a day (morning and bedtime), and sometimes we had the room ready as late as noon. Compared to other cruises, we missed towel folding at bedtime. We had almost all dinners in the San Marco main restaurant, with all our congratulations for their accurate and fast service and the excellent quality and presentation of dishes. For me, the most memorable plate was ribs of lamb with crust, served the second night of the cruise. A pleasant surprise was the always available "Catalan cream" dessert, which they insist in naming "creme brulee", though they do not always manage to burn it regularly enough. We really appreciate that maitres d' managed to get us a better placed table for two by a window, in the restaurant lower deck, away from the corridor. We took advantage of the free room service for delivering of coffee and orange juice in the early morning, and it worked very well and on time. Sometimes we had breakfast or lunch in the Aquaspa Cafe bar by the indoor pool. It provided excellent healthy food, but we found a pity its too limited opening times. For breakfast and lunch we resorted most to the Seaside Cafe buffet restaurant, at the aft of the ship. Food was OK, but service was a bit chaotic. We received here, as well, the impression that there was a shortage of staff emptying and cleaning tables already left free. It was not unusual to see people going around several times carrying their trays looking for a free and clean table. The best thing in the buffet were the many types of bread and pastries. Also, we liked that all evenings there was the Indian style corner available with spiced rice, lentil and curry stews, korma chicken, eggplant pakoras, papadams, etc. We consider that some missing items to improve should be more variety of cheese (hard types), quality olives, and true yogurt. There were other issues that could be improved in the buffet service: Slow service: it is a nuisance to have to queue to be served by a waiter for many plates, we missed more chances to help oneself food Timetables: times are too tight, buffet should extend lunch time later than 3 pm, in special for days at sea, pizza is not enough. Information: it would be easy to put explicit notices on what each plate contains, without need to ask every time. And an extra hint for the buffet: china dishes are too heavy, especially if most of expected customers are aged people. Among the free drinks, there are water, lemonade, orange juice (only breakfast), tea (many types), and coffee (watered American style). Espresso coffee, cola and soda, and alcoholic drinks are always charged, as advertised. Wine prices are quite expensive. We would have liked to be able to scan the wine list on the cabin TV. We missed more Spanish wines on the wine list. Some wine hints: do avoid a terrible semi-dry prosecco by the name "Fantinel Friuli". We found OK a sparkling brut by the name "Ferrari", and the red cabernet "Kendall Jackson", and very good the white chardonay wine "Nickel & Nickel" from California, that we discovered thanks to our always smiling sommelier Alexandra from Makedonija. The top entertainer on board was of course Perry Grant, every evening Michael's Club was packed full for him. He is the jewel showman that Celebrity Constellation cannot loose. Shows at the theater were pretty typical with no news proposals, choreographies were always the same, a pity for dancers and singers, who could do better in other productions. Choreographies seemed quite messy, lots of disordered kicking around. Maybe it has to do something with too many people trying not to collide in the not so big stage, but then it is the choreographer's work to adjust the show to the space constraints. Life music and singers were quite good, but music were so mainstream again. The cappella quartet Lemon Squeezy are impressive. There were also a good couple of acrobats, and a freakish pickpocket. We had chosen a cruise looking for fresh air and quietness at sea, we felt there are too many smoking areas in the ship, and sometimes music is too loud in some public areas at untimely times. Both issues prevented us from enjoying open air seaside bar at the stern of the ship. Luckily we had the quiet zone, with no music at all, at the front of the ship, with the excellent indoor pool with heated salty water. It was a bit annoying that in the indoor pool area there were some old people that reserved hammocks and then disappeared for hours. After a few days we started to behave more assertively and removed unknown owner items with the assistance from the pool steward. The sauna looking to the sea is excellent to disconnect and relax. The "Persian Gardens" space is way expensive as it is (sauna, steam bath, several kinds of showers, and a relaxing cool tepidarium), it should be cheaper or include some massages. We ventured sometimes into the outdoor pools to swim, but temperatures were not helping, and one had to swim energetically there, but contrast with hot whirlpool was comforting afterwards. Gym is fine, it was never crowded. It has several sorts of fitness machines, static bicycles, treadmills, ellipticals etc. Among the exercising machines we missed one for abductors and adductors, that is to exercise thighs and buttocks. As in other ships, we consider the music in the gym to be too loud. Shops on board had too few Celebrity logo souvenir items available (say, lanyard, mug, magnet, t-shirt), and every day they had almost the same items to sell, so no variety and boring. Laundry service works ok and fast and returns clothes in not much more than 24 hours. We missed an auto-laundry, those self-service washing facilities that were so useful in other ships. The cruise stopped in these 6 ports: Bergen, Leknes in Lofoten, Longyearbyen in Spitsbergen, Honningsvag (North Cape), Alesund, and ended in Amsterdam. It was shocking for some of our fellow travellers that on board there were new tours available that were not publicized on the web before the cruise. We were able to change one of the tours just two days before without problems for refunds. We tend to look for active tours. Information before excursions, time schedules, and alternative options could be improved a lot. Strenuous activities want a previous selection on adequate equipment and ability of participants. In Bergen we had time to walk around and see the fish market (they try to sell you smoked fish in any language they can) and the wooden houses of the Hansa (all of that looked quite rebuilt for tourists). Later on the day, we had the guided tour to the Mount Floien. We were a party of about thirty people. We went up with the steep funicular, and had a lazy walk through the misty woods along well marked trails (good footwear needed, tough). In Lofoten the ship was tendered far away from any town. We had done research before and knew Leknes was not interesting, so we had selected the guided tour for hiking to Nusfjord, and we had no problem to go ashore with the first tenders. The route of this long hike was very nice through the Lofoten wilderness and you had many occasions to admire plants, birds, and landscapes. But hiking was quite demanding, including narrow paths by steep cliffs, some rock climbing, descending a vertical ladder and a rope, and you definitely needed to be fit and carry good hiking footwear. Unfortunately, there was not an adequate selection on the participants before starting, and there we were some eighty people just for two guides, some misinformed people with flat sole leather shoes, and a stout and proud old guy that had to admit panting he was not so tough as he used to be when he was about to fall down a slope half way the hike. Guides did earn their pays that day, but it all could have ended with some grave incident. In Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, we had scheduled by email a hike tour with Poli Arctici (http://www.poliarctici.com/) to walk up to the Sarkofagen and cross the glacier over the town. They came to pick us up at the dock with their minivan, and lent us ski poles just in case, that were a good help to cross the ice cap. We enjoyed a lot this tour, our lighthearted guide, a small party with similar pace, and the lucky sunny day we got. This hike can be done in summer with plain hiking footwear (good hard soles but no need for ankle high mountain boots). We do recommend this tour company if you happen to wander into this remote land. After some souvenir shopping in the city center, we took the shuttle bus to return from the city center to the ship. In Honningsvag we had the king crab experience tour. We were a party of about forty people. After almost every one had the mandatory photo with one of the poor beasts, we enjoyed the crab meat and some of us helped as many seconds as desired. This experience is quite interesting but it could improve with some more lively and informative speeches. Staff were some shy youngsters with very good intentions but not much loquacious. Loads of other people from the ship went to the North Cape, that had not any appeal for us. In Alesund we had the hiking Sugarlump Mountain tour. This was a hike up the mountain along well marked trails (good footwear needed, tough). We got a quite misty day at the top, so no views. Loads of people from the ship went for the Trolls path, but we did not fancy a long bus ride. We returned to the ship just in time to ask for tax refund to the Norwegian agent on board. The disembarkation in Amsterdam was fast and well organized. From other experiences we know that a tour for the last day is the most undemanding way to get your luggage on place. We had the canal cruise tour with transfer to Schiphol airport, which was a nice way of ending our too short vacations. Side note: for starters ask for the daily information paper "Celebrity today" in English. Spanish version wants to be checked by a native speaker, its translations from English are unintelligible and sometimes funny, or plain wrong when confronted with the English original. Same goes for speaker announcements in weird Spanish with Saxon accent.  (it's odd, as any Spanish speaking individual from the staff could have made those speeches much better). Summarizing, it was a good experience, as any successful cruise vacation is, but we did not find it worth the price difference from Celebrity to RC, and we missed the special touch from Azamara. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click