5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 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
4 Helpful Votes
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
10 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
12 Helpful Votes
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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 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
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
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
Amsterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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