38 Amsterdam Repositioning Cruise Reviews

The ship it was built in 2012 and it still looked brand new, our cabin was spacious and well equipped. We arrived on 12 July 2019 and checked into the Movenpick Hotel, Amsterdam City Center, the next morning to Breakfast and finally ... Read More
The ship it was built in 2012 and it still looked brand new, our cabin was spacious and well equipped. We arrived on 12 July 2019 and checked into the Movenpick Hotel, Amsterdam City Center, the next morning to Breakfast and finally closed up all our bags ready to board the Avalon Vista to get settled. We had breakfast and prep for our Amsterdam Canal Cruse plus a walking tour, every day there was tours to a lot of the sights. The meals that were provided were very delicious, for those that didn't want a large meal there was a small were served in the Panorama Lounge, it was also the location for all the briefings for the next day’s activities and music/dancing. Each day was filled with tours provided by the cruise lines or optional fee. There were never wants for service because what you might want it was provided. The ports and shore excursions were very well arranged and informative. We know that it takes a lot of planning but the only disappointment was the day of disembarkment from the ship would we would like a mini tour of Basel. This was our first trip on a long ship but it won't be our last because we truly enjoyed it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our bucket list cruise did turn out to be a "Cruise of a lifetime", but, not in the way we hoped. Arrived 3 days early in Amsterdam and had a wonderful time exploring that city. Embarkation was a breeze and we were delighted ... Read More
Our bucket list cruise did turn out to be a "Cruise of a lifetime", but, not in the way we hoped. Arrived 3 days early in Amsterdam and had a wonderful time exploring that city. Embarkation was a breeze and we were delighted with the cabin (11134), initially. Evenings were interrupted by folks playing basketball dspite the sign stating activities were to end at 5 PM. So easy to fix, just put the balls away! Dinner the first evening in the Summer Palace proved to be on par with an Applebee's. Formality of service proved to be nonexistent, quality of food was mediocre. Exploration of other options proved more fruitful, specifically, Indigo and Cagney's with formally trained servers. The entertainment, overall, was quite good. There wa an acrobat male and female team that were incredible. The ships crew of singers and dancers were on par with other cruises. Their "Legends" show was outstanding. Activities were spotty, poorly timed and some never happened. Service was subpar compared to other cruise experiences. Having numerous mishaps it appears that communication is their biggest pitfall. All mishaps (but one) were rectified, but, only after having to be (begrudgingly) a squeaky wheel. This was a repositioning cruise that came up short as one of the ships engines experienced problems that were not rectified. Our cruise ended 2 ports early and missed another enroute. This was my first Norwegian cruise and will be my last. Poor communication, training and management failing to manage seems to be the primary problem. Yes, a cruise of a lifetime and one that will never be forgotten. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We boarded and informed the ship had only one engine. This was replaced 12 days into our cruise. This meant we were unloaded and loaded at small jetties spent hours on coaches and less time at our destinations. A lock broke near Frankfurt ... Read More
We boarded and informed the ship had only one engine. This was replaced 12 days into our cruise. This meant we were unloaded and loaded at small jetties spent hours on coaches and less time at our destinations. A lock broke near Frankfurt which put us back another 12 hours. The ship is not fit for purpose. The toilet system broke down 3 times. Internet very bad reception. T V was in German had not been switched to a English satellite. The food was O K but deserts terrible. Coffee in the restaurant to strong and cold complained to the Hotel Manager but no improvement. Staff in restaurant needed training not serving ladies first, reaching across to deliver or pick up plates. The temperature control in our cabins did not work. We some times had to endure unpleasant smells when docked closed to other ships. The ship needed net curtains to most cabins for privacy when in port or docked next to another ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Okay. I still think Viking Ocean cruises are the best. Our first Viking ship - the Sky - broke down & our cruise was truncated. BUT, overall, our recent Amsterdam to Barcelona cruise was above average: The ship is beautiful and, even ... Read More
Okay. I still think Viking Ocean cruises are the best. Our first Viking ship - the Sky - broke down & our cruise was truncated. BUT, overall, our recent Amsterdam to Barcelona cruise was above average: The ship is beautiful and, even though this was a full cruise, there’s still some places I haven’t made it to... Torshaven - I’m looking at you! I love that this is an adults-only cruise for the discriminating traveler. I also liked that the line has retained its dress code of casual elegance for dinner... surprising but good! Now for some negatives, to help Viking retain its reputation as The Best: Improve the excursions!! I found both the included and optional to be lacking. The size of groups, pacing, and especially the guides could have been better!! One thing that might help is to do like on our River Cruise. Have one enduring group for the “go-getters” and at least one for the “handicapped and ‘slow-getters’ like photographers.” On that same line, my husband and I did not feel we got the value of our $99 ea Andalusia excursion. A large part of it was tasting the regional food, yet putting a whole bus-load of guests around a long cafeteria table with no choice of foods except the lackluster offerings served by lackluster cafeteria-type employees was an insult!! And the food was not tasty, much less plentiful. Limited to one glass of sangria... Really? 2) Other things noted: the restaurant service ON THE SHIP seems to have slipped since 2015, as well. On our first cruise the staff not only knew us by name but remembered something of our preferences! More training needed in these days?? Oh! And another biggie ( re: lack of personalization): I started in, I think it was April, to try to make the staff aware of a special double-70th birthday reunion for my former college roommate & myself. I wrote several times, spoke to some people and even filled out forms for the exact words I wanted on the cake (to follow our celebratory dinner at Manfredi’s.) I, of course, agreed to pay a hefty charge for this service, yet it was never correct!!! To Viking’s credit I don’t believe we ever got charged for the cake (?), yet we got one we never ate brought to our cabin as a welcome gift... compliments of ourselves?! They also brought us a small non-personalized cake following the dinner - but only after a special request from my husband to our waiter. It was not how I wanted this special dinner for a friend of 50 years to be! I never even got a response, much less compliance, to what I had requested. And finally - about food service: the first room-service breakfast we ordered was not tasty at all and everything was cold. On our second try we specified clearly what we wanted (“hot”, “browned” etc) and it was only minimally better. This was a favorite part of our first (2015) Ocean cruise with Viking!! 3). A couple of suggestions that would make the staterooms even more comfortable: have not only top sheets, but also thin blankets available for those who can’t adjust to the comforters in duvets Provide small microwaves to just re-heat stuff (ie. coffee, croissants) Cut out the Cruise Directors’ unnecessary morning-chatter-announcements... or at least make them later. They annoy us late sleepers. They woke me up - yet I couldn’t really hear them! I suggest only NECESSARY announcements piped into the rooms (not what we can also read in the Dalies/weather etc.) Just beef up the Viking app a bit more with daily changes, etc. 4) And one last complaint: that Immigration check in our Portsmouth stop was inexcusable! We decided that that was the one excursion we would skip (in exchange for a luxurious morning in bed) because we didn’t want to get up early for the immigration check and had such a short time in port anyway. Imagine our dismay at being rooted out with no time to put on makeup or anything! And it is unreasonable if you are not going ashore at all. Why can’t you just check for the necessary sticker when people LEAVE THE SHIP - or, at least, warn people of this crazy requirement in the pre-cruise literature?! SO, it seems with all of the above, I must have hated this trip. NOT SO! It was actually great in sum total, and I will continue to recommend Viking Ocean cruises to everyone I know!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Just got back from 16 days on the Brilliance. Our stateroom was so tired. Furniture was scuffed, needed replacing or refurbished. The bathroom had an odor we couldn't identify, sort of like mold. The main dining room needs more ... Read More
Just got back from 16 days on the Brilliance. Our stateroom was so tired. Furniture was scuffed, needed replacing or refurbished. The bathroom had an odor we couldn't identify, sort of like mold. The main dining room needs more variety. Food was mediocre. Some of the entertainment was good, other so-so. I had a good time, but I began to feel like I was in steerage, no amenities in the stateroom. No lotion in the bathroom, no pen and paper in the desk. But what I did like was the amount of storage. Large closet with shelves for shoes, etc. Vanity had six nice sized drawers. The bathroom had one mirror that opened so one could see the back of their hair. The mirrors over the vanity opened up for storage. The stewards, waiters, all the folks serving our needs were excellent and wanted to please. Ports were excellent. The captain plotted course to avoid hurricane Florence entirely. The overall feeling was that Royal Caribbean is cutting expenses to the bone. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
Locations visited and length of cruise was perfect. The staff was exceptional, and the food was delicious and plentiful! The wait staff kept the wine glasses filled as requ at both lunch and dinner. Although we weren’t on the optional ... Read More
Locations visited and length of cruise was perfect. The staff was exceptional, and the food was delicious and plentiful! The wait staff kept the wine glasses filled as requ at both lunch and dinner. Although we weren’t on the optional drink plan, the wine selections were very good. It was a very comfortable journey...not rushed, and we enjoyed the actual cruise alng the rivers. Seeing the scenery of vineyards, small villages, old castles, windmills and large cities lit up at night was an unexpected delight and it was glorious. On our last evening in Budapest, the captain took the boat out on the river to see the glorious lighting on all the buildings. It was beautiful! Because of the smaller size and fewer passengers, we had time to meet, chat with and relax at the lunches and dinners with other guests. We would sit with some several times at both lunch and dinner, as well as see them on the daily walking tours. We exchanged contact information with some of them. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
As we talked about doing a cruise, a friend recommended Avalon from her trips with the cruise line. I had been on Grand Circle years ago and we had heard a lot about Viking, but as we researched Avalon it sounded perfect for us. We ... Read More
As we talked about doing a cruise, a friend recommended Avalon from her trips with the cruise line. I had been on Grand Circle years ago and we had heard a lot about Viking, but as we researched Avalon it sounded perfect for us. We loved everything about the cruise, the food, cabin, services, ports and excursions were all excellent. Our cruise director was excellent and most interesting to chat with especially with his wealth of information about the region. We do feel that if we were to go on another one we’d skip some of the port tours and do our own thing. Since so much information was given each day we felt we couldn’t retain much of it from day to day, even as fascinating as it was, there is just too much to absorb. Avalon is certainly first rate cruising and a cruise line we suggest to anyone we hear mention interest in doing a river cruise. We were in Amsterdam for a few days prior to departure and then went to a Swiss village when it was over so the location of our cruise was perfect for exploring areas of Europe. 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
Koningsdam is the newest and largest ship of the HA fleet. We were aboard 31 nights sailing from Amsterdam to Ft Lauderdale. I greatly enjoyed Koningsdam. HA has kept much of its traditional wood trim but decor features colorful, ... Read More
Koningsdam is the newest and largest ship of the HA fleet. We were aboard 31 nights sailing from Amsterdam to Ft Lauderdale. I greatly enjoyed Koningsdam. HA has kept much of its traditional wood trim but decor features colorful, attractive and somewhat eclectic furnishings throughout. The bright, modern and airy appearance of the Dining Room was a most welcome change for me. Our verandah stateroom was comfortable and very well organized. The bathroom features a large, wonderful shower. Our first cabin on Deck 4 was above/adjacent to the BB King venue. Thumping base noise and loud vocals were evident until after midnight on nights when the venue is active (most of them--it's popular). Cabins on Deck 4, midship should be avoided if noise is a problem for you. Isobel, of the Front Office, was very responsive to our situation and relocated us to Deck 5 for the second second segment of the cruise when another stateroom was available. The noise issue was completely resolved! Koningsdam provides an excellent variety of entertainment venues. There's something for everyone's taste. We were very impressed with the young, extremely talented musicians at the Lincoln Center Stage. They were wonderful! We liked the World Stage venue which is spacious and well designed. We greatly enjoyed the classic pianists; the opera singers were good but their performance is diminished by the required use of synthesized music. The musicians are talented but this type music doesn't accompany opera voices well. I enjoyed the dance show--my husband didn't. We avoided the comedians and stage productions. We don't enjoy this type entertainment but appreciate that others do. Sel de Mer and Tamarind are outstanding specialty-dining venues. Food quality was excellent, service was friendly and professional. Pinnacle Grille appears to be more spacious than on other HA ships. Pinnacle is attractive and very comfortable. Pinnacle food and service were excellent and matched or exceeded our experience on other HA ships. The Culinary Arts Center experience was interesting, the food was very good. We purchased the dining package. It was an excellent value! Service was generally excellent throughout the ship. Staff is well trained, responsive and friendly. Smiles and a willingness to be helpful were clearly evident by the hard-working crew. Our cabin stewards (Ketut & Putu on second segment; forgot names of first two) did a wonderful job keeping things neat and clean. The towel animals were a creative surprise each evening. Andy & Ady were friendly, professional and provided excellent service in the Dining Room. Things are a bit rushed in the Lido during peak periods. It takes a while to ascertain where different food items are offered. The assortment is excellent and food quality is very good to excellent. The food-line staff were always smiling and responded quickly to requests. The wait staff seem a bit overwhelmed at peak times. Most are friendly, smiling and do their best to keep up in spite of their hard work and long hours. Furnishings are bright, attractive and comfortable. However, the beautiful carpeting shows some stains/spotting, especially in light-colored areas. There were a large number of LGBT people aboard both segments of the cruise. After some initial confusion, we got cruise management to relocate our meeting venue from the Panorama Bar to the Crow's Nest Lounge. The Crow's Nest provided a much more comfortable, quieter venue that permitted us to rearrange furnishings to promote conversation among the large group; we averaged 20 to 30 people each night. Surabh (the beverage manager) willingly authorized a happy hour for our group which was greatly appreciated. Ryan & Phoebe provided outstanding service and assured we had a more than ample supply of hors d'oeuvres every night. I appreciated duplicate bridge games offered during the transatlantic portion of the cruise. Ellen did an excellent job running games of 11 to 15 tables every afternoon at sea. She held beginner and intermediate lessons each sea-day morning. Feedback from people attending the lessons and bridge games was very positive! Cruisers who enjoy walking or relaxing on the Promenade Deck will be a bit disappointed. Placement of lifeboats and equipment make for a narrower deck area which doesn't permit use of the comfortable wood deck chairs available on other HA ships. The deck narrows to a one-person passage on aft port/starboard sides. People trying to maintain an aerobic pace need to slow down in these areas because it's not easy or safe to pass others here. Signs say "no jogging," which is appropriate, considering constrictions on certain areas of the deck. However, a few passengers insisted on jogging and sometimes jostled people in the narrow spaces or startled slower walkers by coming up from behind too fast. People: be courteous, be safe!! Another note: people, please don't occupy a table for an hour or more in the Lido during peak hours while you read books, knit, work on your tablet, etc. There are many lounges which are nearly empty at meal times. You can read or work there, or return to your cabin. This will assure others have an easier time getting seated in the Lido when its very busy. Again, be courteous! A hallmark of HA ships is ongoing maintenance. Koningsdam is new but crew members are constantly touching up paint, refinishing varnished surfaces, scrubbing, rinsing and a host of activity that reflect a well-maintained ship! All interior areas are in immaculate condition through constant cleaning and maintenance. Captain Derek can be very proud of his hard-working, dedicated crew. HA customers who enjoy smaller ships may find Koningsdam a bit daunting. I was very impressed! Koningsdam signals a change in direction for HA which I support. We've sailed on Noordam, Oosterdam and Westerdam. I believe Koningsdam provided the best overall experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this 16-day Iberian cruise because the ship called on 13 different ports. We booked this back in May, so I had plenty of time to research everything and read every review, all 358, and really get a feel for what to expect. ... Read More
We chose this 16-day Iberian cruise because the ship called on 13 different ports. We booked this back in May, so I had plenty of time to research everything and read every review, all 358, and really get a feel for what to expect. The first problem I had was with Cruise Critic's Excellent rating and the rating given by passengers. It didn't make sense until I started reading the complaints; toilet is crooked, no library, long lines, poor entertainment, smoking in the casino, etc. Let me assure you that the complaints listed are merely observations. I wasn't sure we made such a great decision to book this vessel. Don't get me wrong, some people had some legitimate issues, but for the most part, everything else I read was blown out of proportion. The toilet. I'm 6ft tall and I could sit straight on the throne, but my knees did touch the glass of the shower enclosure. Turn a little and viola, not touching. I'm quite sure this was not a design flaw, but a genius move to make the bathroom larger. No library. I've been on many a cruise and I rarely, if ever, remember someone perusing the library for the latest on the NY Times bestseller list. Come on, people. Everyone in the crow's nest had an eReader of some kind. The games were assembled a little haphazardly and no cribbage boards (brought my own). Big deal. Long lines. I'm not sure if the ship was filled to capacity, but at the market stations in the Lido Market I never had more than 2-3 people in front of me. No problems here at all. We did have to queue up for quite sometime when we handed over our passports to the Brits. I met some very nice people standing in line. Poor entertainment. Wrong. We attended 4 shows and 3 were excellent while 1 was good. The Lincoln Center performers are world class musicians. I really don't like classical music, but after listening to one of their performances, went to three more. They were fantastic. There were no dueling pianos. Bummer. BB Kings is rocking and loud and I did remember a review stating that if you got a cabin over the Queen's lounge, you would be sorry. I think they might be right as I passed in the hall over the lounge I could feel the bass quite well. Smoking in the Casino. ITS A CASINO and why did we make smokers criminals? I saw a few slot players smoking, but never smelled anything. No smoking at the tables and a few nights were smoke-free. Not an issue at all. All in all, the Koningsdam is a beautifully and tastefully appointed vessel. I'm not sure that all passengers on board were rolling in dough, but if you do have a substantial portfolio, this is the ship you want to be on. The service is great, stewards awesome, and the food is very good. We ate in the Culinary Arts, Canaletto, and Tamarind. All very good and worth the up charge. We only ate in the Dining Room twice as it takes at least an hour, maybe two and we were always uploading daily pics and planning for tomorrow. The food was very good, however, we simply didn't have the time. I did put down three burgers at Dive In. Tasty! We purchased the unlimited laundry service and the Quench drink package. Worked out perfectly as we could always grab a 1.5 literbottle of water whenever we wanted and mixers for our pre-ordered booze. I will add my own observations to help maybe make some sense of this situation. This ship has both classical and contemporary lines making up much of the musical theme found almost everywhere. I got a strong sense that older HAL cruisers were reluctant to the changes taking place. Maybe I'm wrong, but I got the impression many felt they were being pushed out. I can appreciate that, but in the meantime, enjoy this floating palace. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this particular cruise because of the various unique ports. Well, we obviously did not do our homework. Portland was Weymouth, Seville was hours away, as were Pisa and Florence and Rome from the ports. The excursion prices were ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because of the various unique ports. Well, we obviously did not do our homework. Portland was Weymouth, Seville was hours away, as were Pisa and Florence and Rome from the ports. The excursion prices were outrageous. We met people that had paid just under $100 for shore excursions to the port towns that were walking back to the ship as the excursions were mostly drop offs with long periods of time in between pick ups. The ship is a selling machine. From the time you get on board you are constantly being barraged with announcements, mail, tents on tables and desks to buy excursions, photos, jewelry, specialty restaurant experiences, spa treatments etc. Even water was being sold as you exited the ship's gangways... for 10 to 20 times the price you would pay when you get into the town. We calculated that there was a Sommelier for every 4 tables at dinner time! They sold 8500 bottles of wine on our cruise alone! The ship is beautiful. The rooms and common areas are bright and modern. The bathrooms have modern fixtures and ample room. The room stewards could not have been more friendly or attentive. The table and buffet service was excellent. Most meals were very good. Most of the shows and lectures were good. The Digital Workshop was good, but you have to line up a half hour before the class to get a seat. The World Theater is modern, but only holds 800 people. They had 3 35 minute shows each night to accommodate 2500 guests. We had 9 ports in a row. Too many to thoroughly enjoy as we were exhausted from walking every day. We would not book a cruise with subsequent ports more than 4. Good cruise, but over 50% of the guest were sick with colds. I came home with pneumonia. Nice mix of ages and ethnicity of guests. We met a lot of wonderful people when dining each night. The dining room hosts were extremely accommodating and we never waited to be seated at a table area of our choice. That was a big plus. We really liked the Deli and Dive Inn as alternatives to the dining room and the Lido buffet. We were extremely pleased that all food was served in the Lido buffet rather than everyone helping themselves. Embarkation took 3 hours! We arrived at 11:20 and got to our cabin at 2:20pm! It took 2 hours just to weave through the lineup to get to the desk, then another period of time to wait in chairs to be called to board. This was exhausting. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We take a spring and fall trans-Atlantic crossing every year and selected this sailing to try the new Pinnacle class ship. Summary: We found the Koningsdam to be too large. The ship is indeed beautiful, cabins are well appointed ... Read More
We take a spring and fall trans-Atlantic crossing every year and selected this sailing to try the new Pinnacle class ship. Summary: We found the Koningsdam to be too large. The ship is indeed beautiful, cabins are well appointed and public areas are spacious and modern. The Dutch Cafe is a nice addition. The downside is there are lines of everything on board, as well as for disembarking and embarking at ports of call. Sadly, the sophisticated and classic signature features of Holland America have been lost in the Pinnacle Class design. The Koningsdam is comparable to any Celebrity, Princess or Royal Caribbean ship - nice, but no longer "special" or brand-differentiated. Service - we encountered delays and decline in service in dining venues and bars. The ratio between servers and passengers seemed to be insufficient and staff appeared to be overwhelmed. We complained on the second day of the journey via "Share your Thoughts" program and were assigned a head waiter throughout our 31-day voyage who treated us with "white-gloves". While we appreciated the remedy, the commentary amongfellow passengers of poor service persisted during duration of voyage. Health & Safety Concerns: We identified several and reported during voyage. The most critical was Breakfast Bread Basket in MDR: there is no longer a waiter tasked solely with the distribution of pastries/bread from a tray. The position has been eliminated and a replaced with a basket on the table. This basket remains on the table from one seating to the next and is touched/handled by guests as they rummage thru the contents, looking for the coveted chocolate croissant or muffin usually on the bottom. We never saw the baskets replaced. Several mornings, we found "half" pastries in our basket. This is a germ Petri dish which partially explains the flu outbreak on during our voyage. There was no "mandatory" use of antibacterial gel entering the MDR or Lido either. Previously, a staff member was "stationed" by the dispensers to "encourage" use. Overall comments: 1) The Pinnacle Class is a radical design departure from the cherished hallmark features of Holland America's fleet that have attracted and retained a faithful following: intimate ships, elegant and classic designs, excellence in service and cozy venues. 2) The "Music Walk" in theory was probably a brilliant idea. In practice, it was a disaster. Our preference is for classical music and the Lincoln Center Stage is a welcome addition - yet it is impossible to enjoy the performances because of the location: noise and smoke descending casino staircase; pass-thru traffic to/from theater and forward elevators; noise/chatter from adjacent Billboard Bar and the proximity to BB Kings Lounge. 3) BB Kings Lounge is no longer "enclosed" and the noise is too loud and far reaching. They are a great group, but not to be heard from bars located further away from the Queens Lounge. 4) A new feature on this voyage was a "Pub Crawl" - one would expect to see this on a Carnival FUN ship, not on Holland America. A loud, obnoxious, intoxicated group going from bar to bar has no place on a Holland America ship. 5) In striving to "up the ante" and create a WOW entertainment factor, the options and quality fall short compared to Celebrity, Princess and Royal Caribbean: a) the piano and happy hour has been eliminated from the Crows Nest; b) overlapping days off in music venues: there were several days on the 31-day voyage when there as no live music anywhere on board until 8:15p, and only in one venue. Several days, two performer groups were off on the same day. Not having live entertainment in the "Music Walk" on sail away from both Rotterdam and Civitavecchia was anti-climatic and very depressing. Second seating dinner guests had no music before dinner on these days. c) the HAL singers and dancers performed the same shows on each of the back-to-back (B2B) segments. Other HAL sailings and cruise lines rarely repeat a show on B2B segments. d) Guest performers and shows were mediocre and pale in comparison to options available on competitor lines, namely Celebrit, Princess y and Royal Cari e) Since the acquisition by Carnival Corporation, we've noticed a steady trend in cutbacks, as evidenced by the elimination of: Black & White Officer Gala, Librarian and library with vast selection of books, Neptune Split Pea Soup event on bow on trans-Atlantic crossings, Explorer's lounge evening chocolate truffle treats, Filipino and Indonesian Crew Shows and cruise logs at end of each voyage, to name a few. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
osta Magica 8th September to 21th. Amsterdam, Dover, Le Havre, La Coruna, Leixoes, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Malaga, Civitavecchia, Savona, Marseille. Getting on in Dover & off in Savona made this trip a lot easier for us, so many ... Read More
osta Magica 8th September to 21th. Amsterdam, Dover, Le Havre, La Coruna, Leixoes, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Malaga, Civitavecchia, Savona, Marseille. Getting on in Dover & off in Savona made this trip a lot easier for us, so many thanks to the lovely Amanda in Genoa for making this possible, she has proved more than once to be a true credit to Costa, she & her colleagues are always polite and helpful, sorting out our many needs.   Our fifth time on the Magica completing our 200 days with Costa, usual lovely cabin on deck ten, spotlessly clean and an extremely helpful room steward who soon had us settled in even help us to un-pack. Through cruise critic we had spoken to others on this trip before going, this proved to be a nice way to meet up, Adelaide & Frank from the US, Lilly & the Vagabond from Italy and our table companion's Tine & Bob gave us so much enjoyment we could not thank them enough for making this cruise special. We have become use to the crew of this ship who always go that extra step in ensuring we have everything we need, certainly better than the bigger Costa ships which seem to have lost some of the personal touches we have come to expect from our many Costa cruises. The larger ships like the Diadema do not have the same friendliness as on mid-sized ones, probably down to the huge numbers of passengers on board.  We tried, with some success two tours on this cruise, the first in Le Harve to a small fishing port on our own, mostly on the level so my walking was manageable made a nice change to be able to get off, although had to get assistance boarding coming back as tide had come in and gangway far too steep for me. Next to Oporto lovely river trip, sightseeing by coach, visit to Cathedral, major problem going back to coach up a really steep slope, however tour guide had coach brought down to us and assisted us on, really understanding driver and indeed guide, Costa should consider maybe mini-busses for the few English who often have tours cancelled, after all we have managed to use taxis in some ports.   Dining was in the Perla Diamante/Suite restaurant above main dining room aft, far too crowded now, with new club rules adding many more guests to an overcrowded room during the evening meals, with table allocation by number & two sittings, not as nice as our previous enjoyable meals there. Food was again disappointing, one day excellent even outstanding, next inedible and menus difficult to understand, no good translating to English but then using mostly Italian terms. Surely the number of plates being returned with food left raises some concerns, one evening ordered a special (lobster) which was so overcooked and tough I asked Maître D to return it to kitchen, no problem but no feedback or explanation as to why, just offer to choose something else, which was a veal medallion & really lovely.  Perhaps I should send them copies of the wonderful menus of the early 2000's  English Host Stephanie was an absolute joy, as our special member of staff she booked all our onboard requirements made us feel welcomed and visited us many times during our cruise, checking that all was okay. As we don't venture ashore much now it is so nice to chat with members of the crew who always had time to stop and enquire about our day, bar tenders, waiters, even maintenance workers on deck spoke, which to me makes a great cruise. The Magica is laid out like most ships of Costa so very easy to find way around all areas were clean, slight down side to the piano bar, no coffee now, but lovely waiter from classical bar next door brought me Cappuccinos on the hour each night with a smile. All in all still a great way to spend a couple of weeks in the sun on one of my favourite ships. Now looking forward to the Diadema at Christmas first time back on Costa for the festive season for over 10 years. Not quite the best ever Costa cruise but very close. 9/10 Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This itinerary was terrific. It was docked in Edinburgh for the Royal Military Tatoo which is an event not to be missed; however, booking directly online for the tickets were extremely prudent. The shore excursion was $349/per person. ... Read More
This itinerary was terrific. It was docked in Edinburgh for the Royal Military Tatoo which is an event not to be missed; however, booking directly online for the tickets were extremely prudent. The shore excursion was $349/per person. We purchased tickets with great seats for 70 Euros ($87/person). We used public transportation to reach the city from the port. There was a huge tender issue due to weather and high seas, but the crew worked through it with apologies and grace. This was our 6th cruise on Celebrity and have found consistency from ship to ship, including the cabin, dining, and entertainment. Specialty dining has become a major economic boon for the cruise lines and they push it constantly; the same with the spa services. We felt deluged at every corner to partake of these amenities which we found offensive. For future cruisers, I would strongly suggest reviewing shore excursions through other outlets, i.e. Costco or travel books. They will be more comprehensive, more personal and usually much less expensive. Since we are pleased with Celebrity, we have already booked another European cruise next year. Again, look at booking your next cruise at Future Cruises as there are more perks than booking later and zero risk. Deposit is minimal, fully refundable and transferable to another cruise if the itinerary selected does not work in your future plans. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We had hoped to see the Rhine-Meine Canal as we transited it but due to the low water we were unable to transit that section. The ship change was handled very smoothly by the staff and crew. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We had hoped to see the Rhine-Meine Canal as we transited it but due to the low water we were unable to transit that section. The ship change was handled very smoothly by the staff and crew. We attended at least one excursion at each port so we had a good overview of the entire area, the excursions were well run. Occasionally we got a guide that was a bit hard to understand but for the most part that wasn't a problem. The process of getting people off the ship and to the designated locations for their excursions was handled in a very smooth fashion. The seemingly impromptu evening cruise of the lights of Budapest the last evening was one of the highlights! We truly enjoyed the time cruising through the scenic countryside and would have enjoyed a little more of that. Our cabin was spacious, comfortable and well appointed and the Service was impeccable. We enjoyed the flexibility of open seating and the opportunity to get to know many of the other passengers by sharing a table with different people throughout much of the cruise. It was a fabulous experience and we will definitely take another Viking Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We wanted to experience Europe and with starting in Amsterdam then finishing in Budapest, Viking River Cruises seem the best way to enjoy the trip at our age. The itinerary with all the included tours gave us exactly what we wanted. I ... Read More
We wanted to experience Europe and with starting in Amsterdam then finishing in Budapest, Viking River Cruises seem the best way to enjoy the trip at our age. The itinerary with all the included tours gave us exactly what we wanted. I enjoyed the castles, the small towns, the history from whatever you want to believe to the present, the tour guides selected by Viking were knowledgeable, entertaining, and gave a good presentation of their local city/town. We did not eat off the Baldur as the meals were superior, plus well prepared, dining staff pleasant with your every request fulfilled with competence and humor. Viking River Cruise has to be complimented on their staff hiring, the personnel was pleasant, efficient, thus resulting in a memorable wonderful experience. The weather co-operated as we enjoyed beautifully days with only one day of light showers. Going under those low bridges, the up then down of the locks, all interesting for first-time river cruisers, then the seemingly endless vineyards, all made the cruise exceptional. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I've been on three Viking cruises and this one had the best food. There was the usual Viking great customer service. The tours that came with the trip were good. Our guide at the dutch mills was poor, which is unusual for Viking ... Read More
I've been on three Viking cruises and this one had the best food. There was the usual Viking great customer service. The tours that came with the trip were good. Our guide at the dutch mills was poor, which is unusual for Viking guides. Others were the far-above-average quality that we expect from Viking. This tour was less attractive to some because a large amount of the tour went through industrial areas - more time than would be expected by watching the advertising which focuses on castles, of course. The hotel manager was entertaining and her communication skills were excellent. The cruise director was amusing and communicated well also. All staff in the public positions were considerate and helpful. Staff behind-the-scenes must be as well, as all service aspects of the cruise went extremely well. The room was comfortable for the category purchased and it is a amazing that such a comfortable bathroom can be squeezed in a small space. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was a first time experience doing a river cruise,normally we do the big ships.so off we set.arrived in Amsterdam after a bit of fun trying to find the agent from the ship we all get on the couch ,arrived at the port,ship looked ... Read More
This was a first time experience doing a river cruise,normally we do the big ships.so off we set.arrived in Amsterdam after a bit of fun trying to find the agent from the ship we all get on the couch ,arrived at the port,ship looked magnificent,so easy to get on Sky,refreshing drink and towel was presented,nice touch.We were in our cabin within 15 minutes and luggage almost behind us,that's impressive. Unpacked ,plenty of space for all the clothes and shoes do look in the bathroom there's 2 hidden cupboards behind the mirror smart.Then it was time to explore what we saw was a clean tidy ship,staff very very friendly always asking if every thing was ok or order a drink.We opted for the premium drinks package very nice.The only real big let down was the food ,I'm not a fussy eater at breakfast bacon burnt ,a fairly good selection,but boring,lunch some food tepid again boring.dinner ,what planet did that chef come from.some weird and wonderful mixtures he produced.The entertainment was ok,nothing to write home about.excursions superb there was 2 types fast pace or meander speed,we did both meander was perfect,a nice steady pace ,saw a lot of things,really good.Would we go again,yes,I think next time Portugal. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this because the price was right, with a good offer on the airfare. The cruise was great, the staff going above and beyond. The tours were very good, local guides with a passion to spread their knowledge. Our cabin was ... Read More
We chose this because the price was right, with a good offer on the airfare. The cruise was great, the staff going above and beyond. The tours were very good, local guides with a passion to spread their knowledge. Our cabin was excellent and kept very clean. The food was simply the best, and the chef was good at fulfilling special requests. Complimentary wine/beer with each meal was appreciated. River cruises are a very good way to travel. You see a lot more that if you were in a coach. The choice of day stops was good. There was a variety of venues, each different and very interesting. It is a very relaxing way to travel, but also educational. We met some fantastic passengers that we loved chatting with. Something else that we appreciated - everything was on time. Even the tours left and arrived on time. Looking forward to our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I chose Koningsdam because it was brand new and happened to be sailing to my favorite destinations, Greece, Italy, Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, Albania, Egypt. Two ports were aborted, one for weather, one for security. The embarkation and ... Read More
I chose Koningsdam because it was brand new and happened to be sailing to my favorite destinations, Greece, Italy, Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, Albania, Egypt. Two ports were aborted, one for weather, one for security. The embarkation and disembarkation was flawless from my perspective...no issues, minimal wait times. The decor indeed drew you out of your cabin, delightful, plush. Loved the new Danish Coffee Bar, missed the Library, music was the main theme of the ship. Did not disappoint. Entertainment was first class. The variety and caliber was extraordinary. This cruise was port heavy, the HAL shore excursions were very pricey. My goal is to sail on each ship at least once and of course build my Star status. My interior cabin was quite small, but sufficed for one person. I repeatedly asked for upgrades, certainly paid enough for an upgrade, but did not receive one. I hope that changes on future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this repositioning cruise because it began in Amsterdam and ports were mainly in Portugal and Spain. The ship is new and new is nice and clean. Beds, showers and TV are good. However, the ship was overcrowded. There is no ... Read More
We chose this repositioning cruise because it began in Amsterdam and ports were mainly in Portugal and Spain. The ship is new and new is nice and clean. Beds, showers and TV are good. However, the ship was overcrowded. There is no library and no laundry for passenger use and no free internet-$12.00 to get a boarding pass! Ship is all about making money and not about passenger services. Main theater is state of the art but some entertainers were not good. On 12 day cruise only 2 production shows and 2 singers. Theater has huge backdrop screens used instead of sets. Oddly the promenade deck is very narrow and lifeboats block the view and there are no deck chairs. Food was usually good. Buffet is served by staff which is much more sanitary. Deli and hamburger place were good. Some nights dining room food was very good. Port talks were minimal and not available on tv. We did not take ship tours because of expense. We used Spain Day Tours and Tours 4 cruisers for about half the cost and they were good. Disembarkation was a mess! We booked a ship transfer to Rome airport and sat on bus for 40 minutes waiting to leave port. Worrisome when you're short n time to make flight. I would not take this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We had a wonderful 15 days. Made many new friends, The ship was emaculate, the crew very attentive, especially our cruise director. Our cabin was all that we expected and the veranda was more than necessary for our complete enjoyment.Our ... Read More
We had a wonderful 15 days. Made many new friends, The ship was emaculate, the crew very attentive, especially our cruise director. Our cabin was all that we expected and the veranda was more than necessary for our complete enjoyment.Our waiters were wonderful, fun, attentive, friendly and catered to our every need. The food was outstanding, well prepared and wonderfully presented. We can't say enough good things about our experience....in fact we took photos of the entire ship to convince some of our friends how superior Viking was to Vantage (their cruise line of choice). I have been on both and Viking is head and shoulders above Vantage. I think, after seeing my photos and my ravings of how wonderful Viking is, you will get several new customers. The tours and their guides were very informative & interesting. That is one reason we like river cruises because it is all inclusive. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We had toured parts of Europe on or own before and thought a cruise would provide a convenient lodging structure that would allowed us to spend time in various cities without searching for hotels and the flexibility to participate in group ... Read More
We had toured parts of Europe on or own before and thought a cruise would provide a convenient lodging structure that would allowed us to spend time in various cities without searching for hotels and the flexibility to participate in group excusions or to go our own way. The Viking Cruise was perfect. We spent six days and nights prior to the cruise in the Netherlands and Belgium befoe boarding the Alruna and embarking from Amsterdam. At the conclusion of the tour in Basel Switzerland, we added another week to tour Switzerland on our own. We were very impressed with the ship. It was like being in a very upscale hotel. Service was outstanding, the room, while small, was plenty spacious, well appointed and very comfortable. It actually lived larger than I expected. This was partially because the rest of the ship was so available and comfortable at any hour as lounge, lobby, restaurant, observation platform, bar, library, etc. Food was very good, entertainment fine. Cruising the middle Rhine while on the upper deck was all that it is cracked up to be and offered amazing views and an excellent informative narrative. Shore excursions kept us busy, entertained, and educated but there was plenty of time for us to explore on our own. I have to say that our Activities Director, Alex was a highlight of the trip. His tours, and programs are simply outstandking! His contributions especially were educational but presented with great humor, and knowledge. He not only informed but entertained us. It was a joy to benefit from and watch such an accomplished professional at his craft. We really can't imagine what a cruise line could do to top the experience we had with Viking and we will go again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our first cruise with Celebrity. The staff in the buffet were cold and there was no service for beverages other than beer and liquor. The food was very average, many days the menu was a repeat of other days. Our suite was keep ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Celebrity. The staff in the buffet were cold and there was no service for beverages other than beer and liquor. The food was very average, many days the menu was a repeat of other days. Our suite was keep clean and the housekeeping staff were friendly. Our passports had to be surrendered upon embarkation of the ship and although we asked a number of people no one could tell us why. We received them back 5 days into the cruise. Transfers from the airport to the ships was adequate but the transfers back to the airport were very slow. They said it was a traffic issue but most people in the waiting lineup felt there was a shortage of shuttles, probably to save money. Unless Celebrity was the only line that offered destinations that other lines did not, I doubt that we would choose it again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016

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