29 Holland America Amsterdam Romantic Cruise Reviews

We are a couple in our early 60’s. We traveled with another couple. We stayed at the Homewood Suites downtown. We took an Uber to the port which was very close to the port at around 10:00 AM. We were on the ship by 11:45. We were ... Read More
We are a couple in our early 60’s. We traveled with another couple. We stayed at the Homewood Suites downtown. We took an Uber to the port which was very close to the port at around 10:00 AM. We were on the ship by 11:45. We were able to go straight to our rooms. We had a nice quiet lunch in the main dining room. The Amsterdam is an amazing ship! Very clean and nicely decorated! Smaller ship but easy to get around. Since our cabin was on the 3rd floor it was very easy to get to the main dining room which was one floor up. Love being in the back of the ship. Dining: We went to the Pinnacle Grill three times. Love the menu and the waiters and waitresses. Lobster bisque, shrimp cocktail, crab cakes, lobster tail and filet were all so amazing! Also had the scallops, candy bacon and porterhouse! All were amazing. Wahyu and Kay were so amazing in the Pinnacle. We also went to the Canalleto one night. Liked their menu also. Mira and Carla were amazing and always friendly and nice when ever we saw them! The main dining room was great. We ate most of our meals there including a couple of lunches and breakfast. Amazing Amin, was one of our favorite waiters! Always had a smile on his face. The last at sea day they served surf and turf and shrimp cocktail in the dining room. Very good! The Lido serves an awesome breakfast. Lots of different juices. Egg making station, pancakes etc station. Lunch they have a great salad station. Ports: Awesome itinerary! Picked this cruise for all the amazing ports! Ketchikan: Bering Sea Fisherman Tour was excellent. We did this tour 11 years ago and couldn’t wait to go back. It was rainy and cold but they provided raincoats and they had heaters on the boat. We watched them catch fish and crabs in the pots. You could hold rock crabs etc. They threw herring and we watched the eagles fly down and catch them . An awesome shore excursion not to be missed! The boat docks right in town. Lots of nice shops etc. Sawyer Glacier at Tracy Arm was beautiful. Nice relaxing day. Juneau: We took the Jeep Wrangler 4 Door Jeep tour. We booked through the ship. We went on our own to the Mendenhall glacier and hiked to Nugget Falls. So nice to take our time and explore at our own pace. We also went to Saint Therese Chapel which was beautiful location in the woods. Amazing area! Then onto the Fish hatchery. Very cool to see that many fish! Icy Strait Point: TOK River Outfitters is a company we found on line. They were awesome! We went halibut fishing! Between the six of us we caught about 25 halibut! The boat was in pristine shape and Nick the captain and Tammy were so amazing! They baited our lines and released all our catches for us. They went out of their way to make our day so awesome! It was a rainy and cold day but we were having so much fun catching fish we didn’t even notice the weather. Anchorage: There is a free shuttle to town. We booked the Glacier Quest Cruise through Phillips 26 Glacier Cruises on line. We actually called direct and got a AAA discount for the cruise. We booked the motor coach for transportation to Whittier which is where the tour begins. The glaciers we visited were beautiful! The lunch was great! This excursion takes all day but it was so amazing to get up so close to the glaciers. We chose the glacier quest which was a shorter cruise because we worried we would not have enough time for the longer 26 glacier cruise. As it turned out though, there was just enough time for the time we had at port to take either cruise. Homer: We took the free shuttle to the Spit. Nice area for souvenir shopping for some unusual things. We booked a private tour through Bay Excursions for a Marine Wildlife Tour. The tour was right down by the water at the spit. We saw puffins and otters and eagles. Very Knowledgeable guys on board our boat. The captain was great! Kodiak: We took the free shuttle to town. The guys booked a Bear Viewing tour through Island Air Service. Expensive but the best tour! Up close to see bears in the wild. They flew them to Fraser Lake in float planes and you are very near where the salmon are. The bears were very close to where they stood and watched them. My friend and I booked a floatplane tour with Andrews Air. We were so close to the mountain peaks that I felt like I could touch them. The take off and landing on the water was so smooth. We highly recommend either place, which were next door to each other, for floatplane trips. Hubbard Glacier: Amazing day to see the Hubbard Glacier up close. The ship offers an excursion to get off the ship to go see the glacier even closer. We didn’t do it though since we had been very close to glaciers in Whittier when we were there. The scenery is just undesirable at the passage into the glacier. Sitka: We took the shuttle to town. We booked a tour on our own with Captain Gary’s Sitka Adventures for a Whale watch. Gary met us in town and took us out on his pristine boat. It was just the four of us. Gary was amazing! We saw so many whales. We saw otters. Beautiful area! Gary was the best! Victoria: The shuttle offered by the ship is $15.95/pp to town. We took a taxi directly to the Butchart Gardens on our own. Way cheaper. The Gardens are about 40 minutes from where the shuttle drops you off at the Empress Hotel in town. The gardens are the most amazing gardens we have ever seen. Highly recommend going there. Embarkation: The Port Valet offered by SEA/TAC is an awesome way to go. Put your bags out at midnight and you don’t have to deal with them until you get to your baggage claim at your final destination. FREE too!!! This itinerary was so awesome! We hoped to go to these same ports next year but they changed them. No Kodiak or Sitka! We hope they bring them back. This was our 16 cruise. 6th cruise with Holland America. We really love Holland!! One big plus for us is that Holland America Line has a priest on board for all their cruises. We really love that they do this! All in all, we can’t say enough how wonderful this cruise was. Alaska is an awesome place to visit! So much untouched amazingly beautiful scenery!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We booked this cruise on a whim as we had never been on a cruise and found a great deal. Seattle isn't far from Vancouver BC Canada (about 2.5 to 3 hour drive) so having this embark and return to Seattle was convenient. We drove ... Read More
We booked this cruise on a whim as we had never been on a cruise and found a great deal. Seattle isn't far from Vancouver BC Canada (about 2.5 to 3 hour drive) so having this embark and return to Seattle was convenient. We drove down in the morning at 7:30AM and parked at Seattle Cruisepark by 10:30 (we had enough time to stop for coffee). They have shuttles that take you to and from the terminal every 15-20 minutes so it was quite convenient. Embarkation was great and straight forward. A porter took our bags before hand and they were already in our room by the time we got on board. Our room was configured in a twin-bed setup, and after our concierge introduced themselves we asked them if they could change it to a single-bed setup while we roamed the ship. They happily obliged. We went straight for the Lido deck to eat as our morning drive and check in left us starving. It did not disappoint as there were plenty of foods ready for everyone as soon as the boarded. The ship itself wasn't particularly huge, but you didn't feel confined either. Memorable for us were the variety of shows on the main stage every night. You could gamble at the casino, go to some cooking demonstrations, watch movies in a theatre, swim, relax in hot tubs, drink in the birds nest or on the Lido rear deck; plenty to do. The main dining room is surprisingly elegant and huge, and the food was delicious there as well as the Lido Buffet. One night we had dinner at the Pinnacle grill. I swear, I had THE BEST 18 oz Ribeye Steak that i've ever had in my life (and this is from a guy who has eaten a fair share of steak!). One night we danced as the Birds Nest turns into a club with dance floor and nearby bar. Alaska cities were beautiful, and the time of year we went (1st week of September) happened to have warm weather at all of our stops. Juneau was 26 degrees celcius!!! Hubbard Glacier was nice as the boat engines were turned off and the only sounds were the calving of ice into the bay. The tradition of Pea Soup served to those on deck was neat, as I don't often have pea soup. In Ketchikan I got to see the Time Bandit (a boat from the show, Deadliest Catch) in port. Sitka Alaska didn't have much to do in town and we didn't book any excursions, so we took the day to relax while everyone went off-ship as well as do laundry so that we didn't have to do so much when we got home. Onboard there are a few laundry rooms with several washer/dryers. Washers cost $2.00 a load, and you can get change from the Front Desk. Soap is free, as well as the Dryers. We popped our clothes in and went to eat with plenty of time before going back to swap the clothes in the dryer and go back to the Birds Nest for some Pina Coladas. For a 7 day cruise near our home and for our first time, this cruise was excellent and we are itching to book our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our 5th cruise first trip to Alaska and on Holland. We booked last minute and ended up with a cabin on the main deck 2647. It was quiet with a walk in shower! We bought the spa pass and felt it was our own spa for the cruise. ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise first trip to Alaska and on Holland. We booked last minute and ended up with a cabin on the main deck 2647. It was quiet with a walk in shower! We bought the spa pass and felt it was our own spa for the cruise. We used it in the morning after our exercise in the gym and it was empty. The service was top rate from room Stewart to dining to ocean bar. Everyone referred to us by name and were very attentive. The food was the best I have experienced on all cruise lines(carnival, celebrity,norwegian and royal caribbean). We were in the dining room for lunch and dinner and it was fantastic. We did 2 excursions: In Juneau we did the whale watching and Mendenhall glacier. The whale watching boats so crowded 150 people? Too many! In Sitka we did an ATV which was fantastic. There was only one other couple. We took a small boat to a volcanic island and saw 3 whales, sea otters and bald eagle. The ATV was fun and beautiful scenery. Afterward we went to town and the totem pole park. Hubbard glacier was breathtaking. In Ketchikan just walked the town. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Boarding and disembarkation were very smooth, and I especially loved the complimentary, hands free luggage check-in on the return trip home. After leaving my luggage outside our cabin, I didn't see it again until it arrived at my ... Read More
Boarding and disembarkation were very smooth, and I especially loved the complimentary, hands free luggage check-in on the return trip home. After leaving my luggage outside our cabin, I didn't see it again until it arrived at my final destination. The Polynesian staff was as friendly as could be. I loved all the ports we stopped at, except for Kodiak, for which I would have to recommend you either stay on the ship, or take an excursion which gets you out of that ugly town the ship docks at. Loved the Crow's Nest for it's great view and happy hour, and met a lot of very nice people both there, in the dining areas, and on excursions. The type of people on this 2 week cruise were mostly over 60, and lots of retired people who do 3+ cruises a year. Not the best cruise to bring your kids on for diverse entertainment as there seemed to be very few children onboard. This was my third cruise to Alaska, and I probably would not have chosen to do a third cruise, but this one went to 3 places we haven't been to before, and I liked the 2 weeks, instead of the usual 1 week. Service on the ship was excellent and I have no complaints about the food, except that the coffee was always way too strong. Our balcony cabin was in a perfect location on deck 6. The ship is old, but has a very nice floor design and is kept very clean. I did see quite a few rust spots which would drive me crazy if she were my ship, but she is scheduled for some major dry dock work in March'2018. I loved the fact that there were little more than 1000 passengers on this ship, which means you get to see many of the people you meet over and over again which enhances the social experience and develops friendships. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
The Amsterdam is a smaller ship of 1400 people and we sailed to Alaska for two weeks. The weather was mostly very good. We had a Vista Suite which was more than adequate. The cabin stewards were wonderful. We booked several excursions ... Read More
The Amsterdam is a smaller ship of 1400 people and we sailed to Alaska for two weeks. The weather was mostly very good. We had a Vista Suite which was more than adequate. The cabin stewards were wonderful. We booked several excursions through Holland America and they were all very well done. We ate the majority of our meals in the main dining room at the 8 pm seating and had absolutely no issues at all. The meals were all excellent and I do not see any reason to pay a surcharge to go to the specialty restaurants. The entertainment was mostly very good. The HAL singers and dancers were some of the most talented that we have seen on any cruise ship (we have sailed Disney, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian). Jim Curry did a tribute to John Denver and did an excellent job. Amy Lee was a violinist who was very talented. We particularly like America's Test Kitchen with Kathleen. She demonstrated various menus and dishes throughout the cruise. We picked up some great hints and recipes. We really felt that Holland America was a step above the cruises that we have previously been on. However, we still feel strongly that Disney presents the best entertainment. I would urge you to do this two week Alaskan itinerary, we saw whales, bear, eagles, otters and orcas. The embarkation and debarkation were excellent and very well organized. Seattle was an excellent pre and post cruise city. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Wanted to make our first trip to Alaska special, without the long interior trip to Denali. Decided that the round trip from Seattle to Anchorage was the perfect combination of ports and days at sea. The trip exceeded our expectations. ... Read More
Wanted to make our first trip to Alaska special, without the long interior trip to Denali. Decided that the round trip from Seattle to Anchorage was the perfect combination of ports and days at sea. The trip exceeded our expectations. Besides the great service, smiling faces, dining options and entertainment, we met wonderful people to share our Alaska adventure and hopefully some future cruises. We elected the Dine Anytime and that worked out great. We thought we'd eat more on the Lido deck, but enjoyed most dinners in the dining room. After dinner, take in the musicans on deck 5, then off to the Queens Lounge in the front of the Ship for the Nightly entertainment at 8 or 10pm. Because the Amsterdam is a smaller ship we were able the dock at all ports, making for an easy exit to explore the ports. We did miss Kodiak due to fog and/or a research vessel dead in our spot. We did get our port fees refunded, but would have enjoyed the visit. The only regret is that we didn't do more excursions. I never heard anything negative except that they would have liked more time in the Butchart Gardens. Some excursions may seem expensive, but the memories and experiences are priceless. Have a great time and enjoy the others around you. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We escaped the heat of Florida for the cool Alaskan glaciers and it was wonderful to be on the ms Amsterdam! Overall, yes, the ship is showing her age a bit but I loved how she "flowed" with well-designed public spaces. The ... Read More
We escaped the heat of Florida for the cool Alaskan glaciers and it was wonderful to be on the ms Amsterdam! Overall, yes, the ship is showing her age a bit but I loved how she "flowed" with well-designed public spaces. The only time we felt crowded was in the rush to get to an excursion, last day look at photos and occasionally in the line for ice cream at the Lido buffet. All to be expected, I think. Food, crew and service were fantastic! It's important to know that the Holland passengers skew older. If you have only ever sailed on "fun" ships, the daily schedule will seem boring to you. If you are looking for peace and quiet with mostly evening entertainment options, you'll probably like the Amsterdam. Check out the message boards and roll calls on CC, to get more details and ideas. Tip #1: If you live more than 5 hours from the port, consider a pre-night hotel stay. We had planned to arrive two days in advance and do some fun stuff in Seattle. Unfortunately, weather locked us down at the airport and I had to change our reservations from Seattle to Charlotte. Also, the next day our flight left late and we would have missed our embarkation, if we hadn't planned for that 2-night stay in Seattle. Tip #2: If you don't want to drink tap water, pre-order the 12-liter package from the Holland website (costs considerably less than buying single bottles on the ship). Also, bring a canteen or water bottle unless you're willing to carry a liter bottle around. Tip #2a: Almost forgot... Get the unlimited laundry deal. On our cruise it was just $98 for two weeks of laundry and pressing (I used this for formal clothes). Be sure to ask your cabin steward early on to bring you extra bags and forms. There are a couple self-service "laundrettes" but, for me, the paid service was totally worth it. Tip #3: the Amsterdam still has a lovely big library with lots of books, puzzles and games. They also have a lovely coffee bar (not too pricey) and free pastries (different than most you find on the rest of the ship). We spent several hours in this space playing Scrabble, chess and just watching the waves. Tip #4+: Research the ports and check out the on-line excursion companies. We did two excursions with Holland, two with outside companies and the rest on our own (with help from Google and friendly visitor centers). Due to bad weather, we did miss one port so be sure any outside tickets are refundable or you're willing to lose that money. Be sure to bring your good binoculars and camera. This was the first trip in 5 years, I wished I had more than just my cell phone camera. Tip #5: Dress for local conditions. This is a cruise but you'll be in trouble if you just bring shorts and t-shirts! For Alaska, bring raingear, warm clothes, good hiking shoes, sunscreen and mosquito repellant, depending on what you plan to do in port. Tip #6: Stairs! If you can, use the stairs as often as possible to make up for the calorie load. There is a small gym available and a wonderful promenade deck but I found the stairs are best for me to keep my weight gain down to just a couple lbs. Also, the elevators can be slow at times - remember Holland skews older so many just CAN'T use those stairs. Tip #7: "Anytime" dining worked fine for us on the two formal nights we used it. We asked for a table just for us and had to wait just a few minutes for it. Just know that most of the prime window tables are large so either the families or the "friendlies" usually get those. Tip #8: If you want to go to the 8 pm shows, get there a little (10-15 min) early for better seats. Some folks get there 30+ mins early for the "best" seats. I went to 3 of these shows and enjoyed all of them - 1 musical, 1 juggler and a comedian. We spend several evenings just chilling in the cabin with some wine and a DVD selected from the list in the cabin. (We did have some glitches with the first two DVDs we chose. When we asked for a machine cleaner from the cabin steward, we ended up with a completely new machine!) Tip #9: PORT Valet!! If you are flying with a participating airline, this is the way to go. It takes a little extra planning while you're on the ship but was great not to have to find and lug suitcases onto the bus and into/through the airport. As a final note, please bring a bit of patience and kindness with you. What bothered me most on this cruise (as with other cruises) was the rare but noticeable rudeness of some passengers towards other passengers and crewmembers. Please don't be "that" man or woman. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
over all this was best Holland Cruise ever, took this for our anniversary and we were not disappointed. only negative thing we could say - dont go to salmon bake if you dont like squirrels and crows walking on tables next to you and your ... Read More
over all this was best Holland Cruise ever, took this for our anniversary and we were not disappointed. only negative thing we could say - dont go to salmon bake if you dont like squirrels and crows walking on tables next to you and your food. concierge in neptune lounge were outstanding. room stewards were always there when we needed them. this was our 14th cruise and we got a suite. wow wonderful. they treat you like royalty. scenary was out of this world. food was average for cruise. service by all staff was great. cabin is under the pool deck and so you do hear dragging at night when cleaning up pool area. entertainment was average. ship was clean and and in above average shape. dining staff remembered everything we liked and didnt like embarkation too long; disembarkation wonderful. wish we could have stayed another two weeks with same crew. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was our first time sailing Holland America. We found the crew on the Amsterdam willingness to meet and exceed our expectations was a true differentiator. They were first rate in every way and were a leg up compared to the other lines ... Read More
This was our first time sailing Holland America. We found the crew on the Amsterdam willingness to meet and exceed our expectations was a true differentiator. They were first rate in every way and were a leg up compared to the other lines we've cruised (Princess, Norwegian and Carnival). Below are hits and some minor misses from this cruise: Hits: + Ship: This was our first cruise on a mid-sized ship. We found it to be perfect in size. MS Amsterdam has an outstanding library, numerous areas to sit, drink and enjoy music. + Crew/Service: As noted above, simply the best crew we've ever sailed with. Level of service far surpassed those of other cruises we've been on. Being a reader, we liked the daily short-version newspapers printed each day and the free access to the New York Times website from your mobile devices. + Dining: We selected the late fixed dining sitting. Our two attendants promptly responded to any special requests. The soups were outstanding and portions just right in size. + Fellow passengers: Profile of our fellow passengers appeared to be retired and active. We enjoyed their company at the various venues and limited on-board activities. + Queen's Lounge: Fabulous and cozy venue for various above average shows with magicians, comedians, etc. + Scenery: Glacier Bay proved to be the highlight of the cruise. The captain took us extremely close to the glacier and scenery is beyond description. Misses: + Culinary Arts Center: Our expectations were raised prior to the cruise for numerous cooking activities and passenger participation. On previous cruises with a similar venue, passengers could taste the items cooked with more interactions and tastings. Perhaps, it was just this cruise and it may be different on other Holland America ships. + Activities: If you like quiet time with minimal activities throughout the ship, this cruise is well suited for you. We wanted a few more activities and interactive games, so this was a small disappointment. Be ready to create your own entertainment or plan on a quiet, sedate cruising environment. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I chose this cruise because we had never been to Alaska before and my husband had never been on a cruise. After careful research we decided on the Amsterdam as it is a smaller ship and can maneuver some of the tight canals and get closer ... Read More
I chose this cruise because we had never been to Alaska before and my husband had never been on a cruise. After careful research we decided on the Amsterdam as it is a smaller ship and can maneuver some of the tight canals and get closer to the Glaciers than the larger ships can. They did not disappoint. The service and hospitality were first class and many friends were made onboard. The crew were all cheerful and friendly and the food was great. We also appreciated the fact that because of the ships size it didn't take more than 5 minutes to walk from one end of the ship to the other. Many high speed elevators always at the ready. Each port we visited were conveniently located and the tours were nicely arranged. We had purchased several different HAL tours from the internet before cruising and all of our tickets and information were waiting for us in our stateroom upon arrival. Seamless. Our favorite tour was the Wildlife Explorer trip in Sitka where we saw several Whales, Otters, Bears and tons of Bald Eagles. We can't wait to take our next cruise with HAL and are looking in to the Meditteranean routes now. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Had a wonderful trip on the Grand World Cruise. Our first world cruise. It was a wonderful opportunity to visit many places on our bucket list. Loved the ports and visiting different countries but too much down time for me. Too many sea ... Read More
Had a wonderful trip on the Grand World Cruise. Our first world cruise. It was a wonderful opportunity to visit many places on our bucket list. Loved the ports and visiting different countries but too much down time for me. Too many sea days with little to do unless you like dancing and bridge. Spent lots of time at the gym and library, excellent library. Shore excursions were well done for the most part and most of the guides were excellent with information about their countries. The lectures were very interesting and really enjoyed the culinary arts center. The entertainment was the best we have ever had at sea can not say enough about these talented young people. . Ship needs a little TLC. There were problem with flooding and leaking through out the ship. The food was good and the service exceptional.Great crew, great captain, met many wonderful people but would probably not do another world cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We had the most marvelous vacation from start to finish. We purchased a parking spot from the Westin Hotel across from the Amsterdam, and we literally walked across the street to board the ship. Embarkation was smooth and efficient, which ... Read More
We had the most marvelous vacation from start to finish. We purchased a parking spot from the Westin Hotel across from the Amsterdam, and we literally walked across the street to board the ship. Embarkation was smooth and efficient, which foretold of the good things to come. Our cabin was ready for us at 11:30--a pleasant surprise, as we have not had access to our cabin this early on other cruises. We spent the day enjoying lunch and exploring the various venues on the ship. Luggage arrived by 1:00, and we were able to unpack and get settled in to our interior cabin on the Lower Promenade Deck. Our stateroom was cozy and comfortable and we had good service. We were close to an exterior doorway, so were able to go outside to walk or relax whenever we wanted. We chose the 'As You Like' dining option, and after the first night of sitting together with a group, we opted to ask for a table for 2, because we were on a romantic getaway. We ended up loving our servers, so we set a standing reservation for our table at 7pm. After the first evening, we were greeted by name, the stewards knew our special request (a glass of milk!), and treated us like royalty! The Assistant Dining Manager made sure to speak with us every evening, and we eventually shared stories of our families and life outside the ship. The entertainment was top-notch, professional and varied. Be sure to go to every show and take advantage of the behind-the scenes tours. The singers and dancers were excellent in the production shows! We also enjoyed the culinary shows each day, and took a cooking class with the chef. After the 3 course cooking class, he then prepared the same meal for us in the Pinnacle Dining Room. What a wonderful experience! My husband attended all of the computer classes, and I really enjoyed getting the puzzle pages and reading the newspapers each day in various languages. The bar/entertainment venues had superb and varied entertainers, from classical to jazz to rock and disco. Oh yes, and there were movies each day in the theater--excellent! We kept as busy as we wanted to be! I also participated in the various Hawaiian activities, from learning a bit of the language to making an orchid lei, to learning the hula and how to play the ukelele. We attended the talks about the various ports and the history of Hawaii, which made us feel more prepared for our first time in the islands. We did not buy any shore excursions, but rather rented cars (very cheaply!) and explored on our own. Hawaii was beautiful and lush and everything we had hoped for. Our favorite island was Kauai, where we drove up to Hanalei and watched the surfers. The captain also treated us to an up close view at night of the flowing lava at the southern tip of Hawaii--amazing! Again, we can't stress how great the service was on the Amsterdam. Every staff member has been impeccably trained and you can tell that they truly enjoy people. Service is why we will be back! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this cruise not only because we hadn't cruised to Hawaii before, but also to find out what it was like to be at sea for two 5 day periods while taking a 5 day break in the middle to explore the Hawaiian Islands. And then to ... Read More
We chose this cruise not only because we hadn't cruised to Hawaii before, but also to find out what it was like to be at sea for two 5 day periods while taking a 5 day break in the middle to explore the Hawaiian Islands. And then to top it off, we got an upsell to a Neptune Suite which allowed us to determine if the additional cost was worth the upgrade. The two 5 day periods at sea: Let me first say, we do not sit around the pool all day or read books on a cruise. What WE like to do when there is down time and have a DVD player in the room is watch Dallas and we watched 2+ seasons while on this cruise. That should tell you there really wasn't a lot of fun "game-like" things to do during the day. Our days, besides eating and walking 2 miles around the promenade, included going to the 10 am and 2 pm lectures. Then we would go back to our room and watch a few episodes of Dallas. Afterwards, we would see if there was anything going on that interested us before going to dinner at 5:30. After dinner, we learned quickly that if you wanted to get a good seat for the early show, you'd better get there at least 45 minutes in advance. After the show, we would head back to the room, watch a couple more episodes and then it was time for bed. Now, for some of you partiers, that might sound like a boring day, but for us it was very peaceful and relaxing and have come to the conclusion that we will have no problem with longer transpacific and transatlantic cruises. Now, if there isn't a DVD player in the room on any of those longer cruises, we'll figure out something to pass the time. The main thing we're taking away from the 5 sea days in-a-row experience is that it's very relaxing and something to look forward to. The Hawaiian Islands: Had a lot of fun, went on a bunch of "around the island" excursions, and can now say we've been to the Hawaiian Islands. I wouldn't say it was better than cruising the Galapagos, Alaska or Australia and New Zealand, but we had fun and that's the main thing. Neptune Suite: This is the second Neptune Suite we stayed in as an upsell and we're now pretty convinced it will be our last unless some great deal comes along. Yes, we liked eating breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill every morning, but the Lido breakfasts may not be as good, but they are close enough. The blueberry muffins were definitely more moist in the PG. The Neptune Lounge definitely had some tasty chocolates and cookies, but that pretty much is the extent of the perks we used. We found the concierge service to be helpful but nothing we couldn't do ourselves. So the big perk was the large room with a big balcony. That was pretty cool, but since we usually book a vista suite and are quite comfortable in them, the extra space was just that, extra space. None of which was worth the extra $2,300 we paid to upgrade. But, that's just us. Some folks really love the Neptune suites and like the extra amenities that come with them. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Just completed a wonderful cruise aboard the Ms Amsterdam, visiting most of the Polynesian islands. Service was exceptional aboard HAL's flagship, especially for those with a Neptune and Pinnacle suite on the Navigation deck. We ... Read More
Just completed a wonderful cruise aboard the Ms Amsterdam, visiting most of the Polynesian islands. Service was exceptional aboard HAL's flagship, especially for those with a Neptune and Pinnacle suite on the Navigation deck. We were greeted by name by bother servers and officers. Even deviations from the printed menu in main dining were accommodated (like the time an Ahi tuna main coarse was served when the menu only had the tuna as a Carpaccio appetizer) Food was excellent too, making it difficult to decide how many selections to make from the appetizer/soup/salad portion of the menu. A nice touch is that the menu was very predictable; the first appetizer was always a fruit melange, the second an appetizer of thinly sliced meat or fish, etc. ) but also, different in an enjoyable way if you appreciate good food. Only compliant here was that portion sizes were occasionally too large! (My Prime Rib was at least 1 Kg). Entertainment included the typical acts from Las Vegas in the main lounge at night, as well as educational lectures during the days at sea. A very nice touch was how the entertainment was shaped around the ports visited. There were classes to learn play U'kulele, dance the Hula, as well as exhibitions by native experts on the main stage. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My cruise rating was average for a few reasons, but first I'd like to write about the positives... Pros *Easiest embarkation and disembarkation ever and I've been on 13 cruises prior to this one. *Getting to and from ... Read More
My cruise rating was average for a few reasons, but first I'd like to write about the positives... Pros *Easiest embarkation and disembarkation ever and I've been on 13 cruises prior to this one. *Getting to and from the ship was also among the easiest ever. We used Lyft as our means to and from the airport to the hotel and then to the port. It was extremely reasonable. *Unlike prior cruises they did not hound you to have your picture taken. *Unlike prior cruises they bar servers did not hound you about drinks. There were a time or two, we had to go to the bar for service, but that was okay by us. *The ventriloquist comedian was absolutely phenomenal. *The food was really good on the lido deck and the servers were very gracious. *The ship was smaller than expected, but it was very clean and easy to navigate. *The sites of Alaska were absolutely amazing and we only had one day of a little rain which was in Ketchikan. The rain and wind kept us from doing a plane ride that we had planned for one of our excursions. *We visited George Inlet Lodge for all you can eat crab....and it was well worth it!!! *We also visited the Mendenhall Glacier, but we really didn't need to pay for this excursion because the ship took us by Hubbard Glacier which is so much more to see and it was part of the cruise. But, if you like waterfalls, the Mendenhall Glacier excursion allows you to see Nugget Falls while in Juneau. Cons *We stayed in Cabin 3377, which was on a great deck, easy to access the elevators, and had a nice view out of the window....BUT, it was the noisiest cabin I've ever been in...from the hours of approximately 9 am - 5-6 pm, it was almost impossible to take a nap without the tv on, so I apologize to our neighbors. It was like they were continuously moving furniture and dropping things. We really considered on the 2nd day, complaining, but we didn't because I was sure there was nothing to be done about it. *We knew going on the cruise that most of the guests would be older than us by 15-25 years...we are 49 and 50 so we expected things to be a little different but we got really bored on the days at sea. *HAC needs to have some type of entertainment - live music of some of some sort during the day. It would have been nice just hearing someone play the guitar and sing while out on the lido deck. All in all our experience was pretty good....the reason for the average rating is because of our cabin noise and being so bored during the day.....so bored that we put together a puzzle....not that I don't like puzzles.....but...... Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I have taken two cruises on the Holland America lines and I've come back with the same opinion on both. They sucked. The dinning was lousy, the food was bad and the service was lousy, especially on the Amsterdam. I took this same ... Read More
I have taken two cruises on the Holland America lines and I've come back with the same opinion on both. They sucked. The dinning was lousy, the food was bad and the service was lousy, especially on the Amsterdam. I took this same cruise 10 years ago to, again Alaska, it was the Oosterdam and it was almost as bad. ( My sister wanted to use this cruise line ). The rooms were lousy. They had tubes but the walls of the tubes are so high you really had to watch yourself getting out. The cruise director, this is the person that is supposed to walk around the ship on a daily bases and converse with the passengers to make sure their sailing experience is a good one and make sure there are enough fun activities to keep passengers busy and having fun, was never seen. The waiter at our formal dinning was a total loser. This was an Alaskan cruise so, as in other cruises, we expected Backed Alaska on the last formal dinning night. NOT going to happen. The cruise director usually comes out and introduces the head staff and tells a few funny stories. Nope. Fortunately the trip itself was really great despite the ships poor quality of service and atmosphere. I would suggest either Celebrity, Norwegian, Princess, Royal Caribbean or possibly some other cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Heard many people comment on Holland America not being a "party boat" cruise, mostly formmore elderly people. Also, very clean, and friendly wait staff. All this was true, however I was dissappointed in the tough steaks. I had ... Read More
Heard many people comment on Holland America not being a "party boat" cruise, mostly formmore elderly people. Also, very clean, and friendly wait staff. All this was true, however I was dissappointed in the tough steaks. I had a New Hork Strip in the main Dining Room. The first couple bites were tender and then it was nothing but pure gristle. I told our waiter and he called the assistant Diner Room manager and they apologized and offered to bring another, but I refused since we had already finished our meal. I was told to order it again another night and it would be tender. A couple,days later I ordered it again, and I had to spit out in my napkin several bites that I just couldn't chew, and I have all my natural teeth. I didn't complain. Also, the assistant Dining Room manager tried to rush us to eat. We had a friend with is who had to eat slower because a side effect from cancer prevented her from eating fast. The Assistand Dining Room manager was not nice at all. The ship very clean, the Lido Food was very good except for the beef roast. It was tough. Apparently whoever they get their beef from is supplying low quality meat. The staff needs to try it themselves without warning, and see for themselves. Other than that Oscar, the manager of the breakfast buffet on in the Lido Deck was the friendliest of all the staff, all the other staff was good and friendly, but Oscar went above and beyond to give superior service,and knew us by our first named after the first time we introduced ourselves. The cleaning staff were always busy especially after late hours polishing and cleaning onboard public Areas. I saw a child get sick near a sitting area, and immediately they had a team with mask and gloves cleaning it up with vacuums, and disinfectants. And rerouting foot traffic until it was thoroughly cleaned up. The Grill beside the pool had the best Taco Bar I have ever eaten at. Their burgers were very high quality, and I could have survived eating there, every meal, but did not want a burger for breakfast or dinner. The only other complaint was the following. My wife has to use a C-pap machine to sleep, and requires Distilled Water to operate. She had the opportunity to order the Distilled Water a few weeks before we sailed, and did so, and it was supposed to be in our cabin on arrival. It wasn't there when we arrived, we called about it that evening and were promised it would be there before bedtime. It never arrived. The next day we complained and were promised it would be delivered. A 7:00 pm it had never arrived. We went to front desk and complained, and one of the front desk people promised they would deliver or personally, which they did. The entertainment was not very entertaining especially the music for the age groups onboard. I think since many of the people grew up in the 1950's, music from that era would go over very good.. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was our first time in a Neptune Suite aboard Holland America and it was a fabulous experience. The service throughout the ship (everywhere from the Neptune Lounge to the bars for cocktails) was impeccable. Embarkation and ... Read More
This was our first time in a Neptune Suite aboard Holland America and it was a fabulous experience. The service throughout the ship (everywhere from the Neptune Lounge to the bars for cocktails) was impeccable. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and quickly. Our cabin was a highlight of the trip. It was larger than we expected and had plenty of room for entertaining (though sadly we were traveling alone this time). We loved the large deck especially for glacier viewing. The Amsterdam was smaller than other HA ships we have cruised on, but was not lacking in any amenity. We enjoyed the nightly entertainment and activities on-board during sea days. The food, as always, was delicious. I loved all of the ports in Alaska and Canada; there were so many excursion options that it was hard to choose. The float plane through Misty Fjords and Butchart Gardens were two of our favorites. I would happily go on this same cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
My first time on a Holland America Ship. We took the Ms Amsterdam because it worked out great as a way to get to an Alaska cruise. The service on this ship was poor except for housekeeping. I would not recommend this ship until they do ... Read More
My first time on a Holland America Ship. We took the Ms Amsterdam because it worked out great as a way to get to an Alaska cruise. The service on this ship was poor except for housekeeping. I would not recommend this ship until they do some updated customer service training. The staff had been dealing with elderly passengers for several days that had sailed from Florida. Maybe they were fed up with the complaining guests by the time we got on board, but that is no excuse to be unhappy or unhelpful. We never saw command staff helping guests or fellow employees. We then cruised on the Nieuw Amsterdam ship and it had very good service and better food. Reading the reviews is helpful. I wish I had checked out the cruise ship better prior to booking it. I hope this helps. Cruising can be a great and fun way to travel if the crew is professional! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our 45ht Anniversary, so we were treated to some nice touches because of that. Balloons on our door made it easy to locate our cabin on that long hallway. Starting with the agent at HAL who booked us, we were treated like ... Read More
This was our 45ht Anniversary, so we were treated to some nice touches because of that. Balloons on our door made it easy to locate our cabin on that long hallway. Starting with the agent at HAL who booked us, we were treated like honored guests. This was a relaxation cruise as our busy season runs Oct. 15 to Dec. 7th and we just needed to slow down a bit. It worked too. We are not accustomed to being waited on hand and foot, so it took us reminding ourselves to "let them do it" and just relax. We really did. I guess the negatives are easier than the positives since there were so very few. One meal, one item was less than wonderful. One port, there was a cancellation of the excursion, but that worked itself out nicely. We didn't really don't drink enough alcohol for a $50.00 per day per person fee, it would be nice if there were some intermediate option, although we didn't really have a problem paying for drinks one at a time. That is our entire list of problems with HAL and The Amsterdam. Our cabin steward (Toto) was a standout, took care of things we'd have never thought to ask him to handle. Over the top young man. Can we take him home with us? Dining room stewards all went over the top too. I'm afraid we tipped them more than we should have, but they really showed their abilities. Since this was our second HAL cruise to Alaska, we knew what to expect and they went us one better at every turn. My wife was just recovering from a knee replacement, so we got a lot of help getting aboard and it went very well. Maybe the other negatives were concessions and really not HAL problems. The Photography and Tux rental. We found the photography was great, but there was no digital option. My Tux from Cruiseline Formalwear in Miami was not just wearable as the shirt and cummerbund were far smaller than what I ordered. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
First time on HAL but we've cruised before with Carnival, Princess and Cunard. We had a fabulous cruise start to finish! The Amsterdam is a beautiful ship! Loved all of the elegant touches like live orchids on every table in the ... Read More
First time on HAL but we've cruised before with Carnival, Princess and Cunard. We had a fabulous cruise start to finish! The Amsterdam is a beautiful ship! Loved all of the elegant touches like live orchids on every table in the Lido dining room and every bathroom. Cloth hand towels, granite countertops, even beautiful lighted vanities in the ladies rooms. Fresh flowers were everywhere. Our interior cabin was more roomy than an interior on Carnival or Princess with a small sofa and table. The beds were a bit too firm for our liking, my only complaint. Our steward offered an egg crate topper and that helped a bit. The food was wonderful! We ate in the MDR most nights and loved the menu. Wonderfully attentive service. The food in the Lido dining room was definitely a step up from other cruise lines. The poolside Dive In Grill was the bomb! The burgers and hot dogs were incredible as were the fries! Toppings like grilled onions, bacon, Gouda cheese, onion strings... Not your usual poolside fare! Freshly cooked 1/3 pound burgers made to order. Being a mid size ship meant scaled down shows and not as many venues but what there was gave ample opportunity for entertainment. Embarkation and debating were quick and easy. I really felt like we had stepped back in time a bit to more elegant cruising! We'll definitely cruise HAL again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
My husband and I booked this cruise and I would definitely do that again and recommend that to any one wanting to book a cruise. Our travel agent took wonderful care of us and knew just what to do and answered all of our questions. She ... Read More
My husband and I booked this cruise and I would definitely do that again and recommend that to any one wanting to book a cruise. Our travel agent took wonderful care of us and knew just what to do and answered all of our questions. She handled the transfers from plane to hotel, hotel to ship and ship to plane...also booked the hotel we would stay in at Seattle. It was ALL taken care of for us! This was my third cruise, but my husband's first. He was very unsure about the whole thing, but did the cruise for me. His main fear was getting sea sick. We took along the usual medications and the Sea-band wrist bands just in case, but found out early on that we didn't need them at all! We even had a pretty rough night getting into Sitka, and came through that night with flying colors! So those of you with sickness fears, I wouldn't be that worried. Holland America has mid-sized ships which we loved. The Amsterdam was wonderful! Very Elegant, comfortable, and just the right size for us. We were in a Vista suite with a balcony on the Verandah deck. Just perfect! All of our friends who have been to Alaska said the balcany suite was the way to go, and we are so glad we did! So worth the extra expense! We were given a free drink package - 15 drinks free per day per person (under $7 - 90% of the drinks are under $7) - That was great and save us sooo much money. Remember drinks are sodas, coffee, waters, and the alcohol! We were also given a free upgraded dinner at their Pinnacle dining room and their Canaletto dining room. The Pinnacle was beautiful, elegant and the food excellent! The Canaletto was sooo disappointing! I don't know why any one would pay extra for the Canaletto. The Pasta Bar on the Lido deck was so much better than this over glorified Italian restaurant!! Please do not waste your time on this. We had Veal Picatta - Tough Veal and dry pasta!! However that really was the ONLY down side to the entire cruise!! The main dining room - La Fontaine and the Lido Buffet were both excellent!! The whale watching and photo safari we went on in Juneau was outstanding...we saw 15 whales in a bubble feeding!! Along with the Mendenhall Glacier. I went wet suit snorkeling in Ketchikan which was a bucket list item I absolutely loved! Sitka wasn't that great but partly because the weather was awful! Not the city's fault. Our room, dining and wine stewards were the best! I felt so spoiled and pampered the whole week! We brought along plenty of $1 bills for tipping when ordering drinks from the bars or lounges...we gave extra tips on the final night to our individual stewards in envelopes. They were THAT good! This was above the $12 a day per person that was billed to us. I played Bingo..enjoyed the culinary arts shows, and the after dinner entertainment. My husband read, went to some tech workshops and really enjoyed the music and dancing in the Ocean View lounge! One last item, I did bring along one of those over the door shoe organizers for bathroom..worked like a charm! One of the many tips from this site that I am glad I did! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Our 7 night experience on the Amsterdam was both good and bad. Physically, the ship is beautiful. Our room steward was outstanding. The itinerary was great. The spa was outstanding, and the special "thermal suite" was well ... Read More
Our 7 night experience on the Amsterdam was both good and bad. Physically, the ship is beautiful. Our room steward was outstanding. The itinerary was great. The spa was outstanding, and the special "thermal suite" was well worth the extra $149 for the two of us for the week. The piano bar guy, Tom Casey, was FABULOUS and made the whole cruise worthwhile for us. Problem #1 was that the schedule for each day included little more than "yellow emerald shopping" and "future cruise consulations" from 7 am until dinner. When I suggested to cruise director Rick that one free, fun morning activity could be having bloggers gather in the library to chat about what they blog about -- he frowned and said that the problem would be that the Holland America home office would have to give an okay to that, and they were unlikely to say yes to that sort of idea. (REALLY? You could have some super interesting, super famous bloggers on board and not even know it.) Problem #2 was that the nighttime broadway style dancers had terrible, offensive dance routines that included weird homo-erotic lumberjacks and the mocking of Canadian Mounted Police. Problem #3 was that other than our room steward, the service was indifferent and ALL THE FOOD ON THE SHIP WAS SERVED AT ROOM TEMPERATURE unless you got it straight from a line cook. There seemed not to be even the slightest effort to serve food hot. Would I sail Holland America again? Yes . . . if the price were 70% off and if I could call ahead to make sure that piano bar pianist Tom Casey was going to be on board. : - ) I've sailed Royal Caribbean twice and Disney three times; I'd choose one of them hands down over Holland America any day if prices were comparable. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We have cruised with Princess 7 previous times and this was our first HAL cruise. Overall I can say I would recommend Hal to friends. I would say that HAL is more for the cruiser who prefers to pass time quietly rather than ... Read More
We have cruised with Princess 7 previous times and this was our first HAL cruise. Overall I can say I would recommend Hal to friends. I would say that HAL is more for the cruiser who prefers to pass time quietly rather than participate in multi activities. The Amsterdam is a relatively small ship and we could tell the difference from princess. There is less room to share amongst the many things one wants to do on a ship. The crew managed to do a good job with space available. I really like the enrichment programs - particularly the windows sessions. the instructor was first class. He showed me things ( an I am a computer geek) that I never knew! We were really impressed with the efficiency of embarkation and disembarkation. Princess could take a lesson here. Service on board was good in all areas though we could tell that staff count was a bit low. we never had to wait unreasonably long times for service. A note for people who are considering the beverage package. I declined it and then tracked my spend. Now when cruising I enjoy a few drinks along the way and did not restrict myself. If I had taken the beverage package I would have spent 30% too much. So for most of us, I suggest that a la cart is the best way to go. We really liked the food in all venues. The pinnacle grill was top notch. Area to improve in our view would be: We could do with less promotional activities for art auctions. improve the smokers area. although I am not a smoker it is clear they are delegated to the dungeon at the back of the ship. Sitka was our favorite port. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking and the town was so full of artisans, we could have spent another day. We did not take many excursions but those we did were very well done. would recommend the mendenhall glacier and the Sitka artist walk. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I've been on 12 HAL cruises. However, never on the Amsterdam. We were in a Neptune Suite #7016. Worst cabin I've ever had. I've been on 38 cruises, with various cruise lines so I know what should and shouldn't be. This ... Read More
I've been on 12 HAL cruises. However, never on the Amsterdam. We were in a Neptune Suite #7016. Worst cabin I've ever had. I've been on 38 cruises, with various cruise lines so I know what should and shouldn't be. This cabin shook and the bed shook so bad it was hard to get to sleep. Even the head of guests services came up and agreed and she said it was the way the ship was made. Not only that we were under the pool area and chairs and tables scraped back and forth all day. All my neighbor's could not believe the most expensive had so much noise. Every morning they would wash the upper windows by the pool and all the water would puddle up on our balcony so we couldn't go outside till it dried 4 hours later. OK, so now the food, two words, bland and dry. The horizon court had the same thing everyday. Service was not up to the HAL standard. Needless to say I was very disappointed in this cruise and would never go on the Amsterdam again. Lucky we ate in port everytime. First time I lost weight on a cruise. So sad. Alaska was beautiful as always. Going on Celebrity next year. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Amsterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 3.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.1
Enrichment 4.0 3.9
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.2

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