4 Buenos Aires Holland America Amsterdam Cruise Reviews

It was pure chance. I was interested in knowing the southernmost part of Chile and to put a foot on the Falkland islands and the date of departure was just right, starting the day before my birthday and ending with time enough to prepare ... Read More
It was pure chance. I was interested in knowing the southernmost part of Chile and to put a foot on the Falkland islands and the date of departure was just right, starting the day before my birthday and ending with time enough to prepare Christmas. I never had any trouble getting on board or going to visit the different cities where we stopped. The meals were excellent and every evening my sisters and I went to one of the lounges where two musicians played lovely classical pieces before going to the dining room. The waiters were charming and it was really a joy to try our second language with them who also tried to practice their Spanish. We also loved the ambience of the Zaandam that made us feel that we were in a magnificent manor house instead of in a ship. For this reason, when my sisters and I decided to go on another cruise we chose one cruise in Holland America. I hope that the Koningsdam will receive us with the same warmth. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We travelled on the ms Amsterdam for 32 days from Buenos Aires to Sydney... Highlights were certainly Falkland Islands, Antarctica, The big waves near South America, Easter Island, Tahiti, and a bonus visit by Ball's Pyramid. The ... Read More
We travelled on the ms Amsterdam for 32 days from Buenos Aires to Sydney... Highlights were certainly Falkland Islands, Antarctica, The big waves near South America, Easter Island, Tahiti, and a bonus visit by Ball's Pyramid. The food for the most part was very good. Service at our table was a bit slow, resulting in cool food. We switched tables to a quieter one, and the service and food temperature improved markedly. Cabin stewards were great, as were the rest of the staff. Met lots of interesting people, and lots to do every day. Biggest downer was once we got to the hot climates, the air conditioning was on full freeze mode in the Restaurant and show lounge and Ocean Bar... and my two travelling companions came down with severe colds... which they are still fighting several days after leaving the ship. Overall... a great trip and we would recommend to anyone. Details: Background Information Since we were travelling to the Cruise in Winter from Western Canada, we left 6 days before the cruise to get to Buenos Aires on Air Canada on a 20 hour series of 3 flights. This also allowed us to get over jet lag, and see some of Buenos Aires. Hotel Info There are many Apartments available on a Bed and Breakfast basis in B-A We chose one not right downtown, which worked out well, after we sorted out the lack of breakfast service, and bought our own to eat in the fully equipped apartment. We travelled in B-A on local busses, trains, and underground, and twice on a TAXI. The local transport is very good, and very inexpensive. Need to pick up a SUBE card at post office or other suppliers, for which you need your passport, and then travel is easy, as buses only take coins otherwise which are in short supply. The scheduling program on the internet is awesome... just click in your destinations, and it shows the whole route for five busses. Ship Info The Amsterdam was on a 112 day world cruise... still is, as I write this. In booking a segment, you cannot specify your room beforehand, and our request for two rooms near each other was not heeded. We would up with the one we wanted, but out friend had an "upgrade" from an inside what we thought would be across the hall, to a porthole cabin right at the front, down a deck, and half way across the ship from us. HAL did offer a closer room, but only for an additional charge, which was not accepted. We were not impressed. The world cruise attracts those who can get away for 112 days, thus an older crowd. We saw only one guest child on board! The ship was not quite full, and thus there was only minor waiting anywhere... elevators were quick, only a couple of people ahead of you at most in any lineup for food at the Lido, and choice of places to sit anywhere. The staff were generally very happy and helpful. Activities There were lots of activites on board, and the problem was to choose. Some entertainers were a bit amateurish, and the clientèle were very vocal in the hallways about this. Others were first class, and there was a good variety. The Mardi Gras evening was an all out effort, with special entertainers from New Orleans, awesome decorations, food, and drinks. Service Service was generally great in the Lido, but was slow in the La Fontaine Restaurant. We eventually moved tables to another area, due to the very high noise level at the back of the restaurant due to the low ceiling, and some very boisterous tables near us... and the service improved also. Port & Shore Excursions We chose to organize our own port excursions, and they all worked out. Most frustrating thing was that the independent travellers get the back of the line on the tender ports, waiting nearly 2 hours till the HAL tour guests, and the 4 and 5 star mariners (who comprise a considerable portion of the travellers on the world cruise, many who have made several world cruises on HAL) have got off. We feel that HAL should allow a small percentage... like 20 percent... of each tender to have independent travellers on a first come first serve basis, rather than holding them all. Both Falkland Islands and Easter Island were the highlight ports of call on this trip... and of course the awesome scenery in Antarctica. Stateroom We had an outside cabin on the Lower Promenade deck, just a short walk to be on the deck without the cost of a balcony. Facilities were good. We had a problem with the plumbing due to the rough weather, and it was repaired quickly. Note you need to bring a multi plug adapter if you have more than one thing to plug in. Dining We enjoyed having breakfast brought every morning to the cabin. For some reason, which we never found out, we only had 5 formal evenings rather than the 9 originally planned. I would have been annoyed if I had rented a Tux... There were probably 2/3 of the men with Tuxes, and the rest in business suits...we met some who didn't bring any formal wear and just ate in the Lido on formal nights. Food was quick and hot in the Lido. Lots of choice. Food was good in the La Fontaine, but we could see the repeats on the menu as the trip continued. There were many complaints we heard about the temperature of the food, and it seemed there was some effort to improve this. The general quality and appearance and choice was awesome, considering we were in the middle of the Pacific ocean many days away from "land". Disembarkation Since there were less than 300 leaving in Sydney, and the disembarkation was spread over two days, we just walked right off the ship, picked up the bags and walked through Customs... no hassles at all. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
On this trip was my husband and I, we have been on about 26 cruises and 4 river boats. We love to travel that way. We chose this particular cruise because of the itinerary. We left from Toronto on a snowy night. We arrive a day before as ... Read More
On this trip was my husband and I, we have been on about 26 cruises and 4 river boats. We love to travel that way. We chose this particular cruise because of the itinerary. We left from Toronto on a snowy night. We arrive a day before as we always day to get acclimatize to time change and temperature. We stayed at the Sheraton and it was nice, right down town. Buenos Aires was much nicer city than expected. Very much like a European city, but cheaper. Our 2 days there were sunny and hot. Temps in the high 80's. Would recommend a good city tour. We plan on going back someday. We boarded the ship in Buenos Aires for 2 reason for us it was easier to get to and no hassle for Brazilian visas. We were a bit surprised when we reached the port for boarding, there was one girl and she asked if our name was on our suitcases (they were) and so she took them and said we would see them next on the ship. Kind of scary but it worked. Then we hopped on the shuttle bus and went to the ship. Not much fuss about this embarkation, very relaxed. Our cabin was an inside one and standard for ships cabin if a bit small. Our cabin attendant was very good, we didn't see him for a couple of days, which is how we like it, efficient and not bothersome. Not like on other cruises where they are in your face all the time. We had late sitting at a table for 8, we lucked out with very nice people. The food was a bit of a conundrum. It was good but not great and the menu was misleading. It was a guess at what one would be getting they would use terms that we know like galette (French term for flat pastry) and what came was a piece of pie!!! Also it was not consistent sometime it was good and sometime not. Our table mates also complained of the small portions and after a while ordered 2 portions. I personally think that it was OK, nowadays we eat too much and the proportion were fine for me, less waste.The service was good and our server Ricco and his assistant did a good job. It seems that the cruise lines are reducing their dining room staff and therefore the service is slow. we noticed that on other line and it was the same here so I don't put the blame on Ricco but the company. It's a very nice ship not too much ware and tare, it going to get refurbish in March. My biggest complaint would be that the lounges were cold and when you are in Antarctica that is not good. Our favorite room was the Explorer where the Internet was and the coffee bar it was nice and cozy. It is also the library which in well stocked with current books. The entertainment was good and interesting. We had a piano player, a violin player and an opera singer and they were all fabulous. Shore excursions were extremely expensive and a lot of people would wait to get to the port and book taxis. If you decide to go with the ship's one book early as they sell out real fast.Being that our cruise was real soon after Christmas we procrastinated and didn't book anything and regretted it, especially in the Falkland where there is tenders and by the time you get to shore all the taxis are taken. One note about the Falkland, they tell you that you can walk to Gipsy's cove but not really. It's windy and far but what they don't tell you is that there is a shuttle bus and for $20 US it will take you there and back. A very good deal. Read Less
Sail Date January 2009
After a fast and early check in, we boarded the ms Amsterdam in Rio de Janeiro for a voyage rounding Cape Horn to San Diego, California. We were ushered to the Lido buffet, as our cabins were still being prepared. Beautiful live orchids ... Read More
After a fast and early check in, we boarded the ms Amsterdam in Rio de Janeiro for a voyage rounding Cape Horn to San Diego, California. We were ushered to the Lido buffet, as our cabins were still being prepared. Beautiful live orchids in full bloom adorning each table welcomed incoming passengers. Holland America spends at least two million dollars providing their ships with live plants and fresh flower arrangements to keep up with Dutch tradition. The Lido holds 386 guests for casual dining. The Lido offered a varied selection of hot and cold food. There were sandwich bars, stir-fry/omelet stations and an all day ice cream counter. A cappuccino/espresso machine sits along coffee dispensers together with packets of herb/regular tea and cocoa powder. Freshly squeezed orange juice was also available. Bejay an amiable maitre d' from India mentioned that ice cream, hot chocolate and cappuccino/espresso were on the house. Rey, a chef from the Philippines reminded us not to miss the outdoor barbecue and Mongolian cookout held during the trip. The La Fontaine dining room seats 838 diners on two decks. Impeccable silver settings and china grace linen covered tables. High glass windows and a flower-adorned ceiling evoke a bright and cheery ambiance. The wait staff was friendly, courteous and polite reflecting the hospitality of Indonesia where most of them come from. Filipino chefs prepared the food, pastries and baked goods. They worked magic with the cuisine turning them into five star gourmet meals. The Odyssey is an alternative restaurant that provides grilled cuisine and personalized service that is worthy of mention. A clock tower located at deck 3 dominates the ship's atrium. It is connected to the ship's time system and a built in carillon chimes every hour. It serves as a centerpiece and a focal point for guests trying to find their way. The 157 seat Wajang Theatre showed first run movies (free popcorn included). It also served as a chapel for religious services. The Java Bar was a favorite traveler hangout. Its cappuccino/espresso machines were quite busy from 7:30am to 10pm. An Internet cafe (75cents/minute) had a waiting list specially during sea days. The personnel mostly from the Philippines at the purser's office were helpful and very efficient. They filled up landing cards and immigration forms and delivered the documents to guest's cabins for signatures. A highly energetic cast performed Las Vegas type shows canned in Los Angeles at the 557 seat two level Queen's Lounge. Experts also held talks there on Inca, Mayan history, aerospace and diverse topics. Our 192-sq. ft. cabin had a large window and a good view of the ocean. It had a shower over a tub, ample closet space, a safe, a small TV and 115 volts ac. It lacked an icebox and audio/video inputs for a VCR. Moelyadi our cabin steward from Indonesia kept the stateroom very neat and well stocked with towels and fruit. The ship returned to port as soon as we left Rio de Janeiro to leave a critically ill passenger. An outbreak of Norovirus occurred that week we left Brazil and flared-up again the week before we reached San Diego. The Captain ordered that food be handled by employees only. Long lines formed at the Lido due to the need of more servers. It took the ship at least two weeks to alleviate the Norovirus situation. We missed Iguazu Falls and the Falklands on an earlier trip and made it this time. We got rained out in Iguazu Falls but it was a worthy sight to behold. We encountered rough seas approaching the Falklands. Stanley their only town was cold and windy. A city tour took about two hours. They showed us uncleared mine fields from the 1982 British/Argentine conflict that are now a tourist attraction. The Amsterdam is a friendly, comfortable ship and very easy to know. Most of the passengers were much-traveled repeaters, who graciously shared their cruise experiences with us. Some had at least 100 cruises to their name and visited equally the same number or more countries. We met several people that were on previous voyages with us and we were equally elated to have sailed with them again. philreamon@aol.com 5/17/05 . Read Less
Sail Date March 2005
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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