42 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Holland America Amsterdam Cruise Reviews

We had experienced a partial panama canal transit and decided we had to do a full transit. The workings of the locks is just fascinating if you've never been through it. It was just a relaxing day watching our ship travel through the ... Read More
We had experienced a partial panama canal transit and decided we had to do a full transit. The workings of the locks is just fascinating if you've never been through it. It was just a relaxing day watching our ship travel through the locks and the gentleman who escorted us on the trip with his facts regarding the canal was very interesting. It's hard to believe in this day and time when something starts deteriorating it is torn down and built anew and these locks are over 100 years old and are still operating in their original fashion with the same wooden gates! Staff on board was very courteous and our room steward, Nyoman and Muss were fantastic. They usually had our room cleaned by the time we returned from breakfast in the morning and were always smiling and making sure that everything was satisfactory. Dining room staff was a little slow the first week, however, they soon learned our beverage of choice and had it waiting for us when we sat down. Menu choices were varied and could have had a little more regular items to choose from, but for the most part, the food was tasty and temperature appropriate. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and it did not disappoint. Check- in was a long process as those going on the World Cruise are mostly four and five star customers and the designated line for that was just as long for the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and it did not disappoint. Check- in was a long process as those going on the World Cruise are mostly four and five star customers and the designated line for that was just as long for the other guests that were new to the ship. There are a lot of seniors on this trip (who else could take off for 113 days) so don’t be in a hurry to get anywhere as that won’t happen. We had an Oceanview room on the second deck right in the middle. We would not choose this again for two reasons. The pilots that board to help the ship dock usually come in very early in the morning right below your window and then there is the cleaning of the deck (deck three is the walking deck) also very early in the morning. However if noise doesn’t bother you, the cabin was nice. It had a large picture window, plenty of drawers and closet space and ours had a renovated bathroom that had a large glass shower and a marble counter. Unfortunately the rest of the décor was aged and some of the wood on the dressers had chips out of it. The rooms on deck 6 and 7 were fully refurbished during the last dry dock, hopefully they do the same with deck two. The itinerary was the best. Top ports to us were: Easter Island, Komodo Island, all of New Zealand, Singapore, Oman, Jordan, Cadiz (Seville), Copenhagen, Oslo and Dublin. We learned a few things to pass on to others regarding ports. If you are going into a tender port and really, really want to explore that port book a shore excursion. Even though the price is double what a port excursion is, you are first off the ship. We had rough seas when visiting Easter Island and some people did not get on the tender to view this impressive place. However, we were lucky to get a couple of hours on the Island and were very disappointed in Holland America when we saw an awful lot of staff on the island before we got there. Some were helping out with the tours but most were either from the shops or officers, we assumed that guests would have first dibs on the tenders. Pros: - Itinerary was absolutely amazing. - The Microsoft Digital Workshop was a free service that had classes on how best to use Windows 10. We learned a lot - Gloeta was a biology lecturer we had on board that was fabulous. It was standing room only for her lectures on the Pacific Ocean and what was lurking below the water. - The staff was second-to-none. Big shout out to Captain Johnathan Mercer. He kept us informed about all that was going on and always had time to say hello or answer a question. Henk Mensink is the hotel director but you see him everywhere. Wishing you a pleasant day in port, helping you on to the tender, picking up after guest. Holland America is lucky to have him. The wait staff and kitchen help were happy and helpful. - The ship was amazing clean, down to staff polishing the hand rails everyday on every stairwell and even brushing the carpet. Rooms were also exceptionally clean. - The food was all you could hope for. No need to dress up for formal nights in the dining room as the same food is served at the Lido (sure saves on what you have to pack). No need to get to the speciality restaurants either as the food is just that good. I liked the fact that almost all the food is served to you from behind the sneeze guards. We assume that there would be a lot less waste and much more cleanly that way. Cons - The internet is stupid expensive and so unreliable. We paid $700 US for a plan for the whole cruise and had better luck at the ports and in McDonalds on land, than trying to get the internet either to work at all or was so slow you couldn’t connect with what sites you wanted. - Staff – the cruise director was invisible except when the captain was at an activity, otherwise you never saw him or he quickly passed you without even a nod. The shore specialist was more interested in telling you all about the history of the place or what his favourite items were (sailing and pubs) than giving you hints on what to buy, where to buy, how much to pay, etc. Very disappointing for both of these. - Library needs to either get updated books or become a digital library. Some of the books had been there an extended period of time and anything new was few and far between. - The entertainers on board were average at best. Some good, some bad. The average age looked to be around 75 so the entertainment was geared to that era. - There were two big back windows in the dining room that you could not see out of because they were shattered but were never changed out the whole trip. Also couldn’t see out of most of the windows by the end of the cruise as they were not cleaned. We had to complain in order to get our window in our cabin cleaned. Even though there were some cons (as I assume all ships have), this trip was a once in a lifetime experience and what was saw of the world was fabulous. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
A Grand World cruise is a bucket list thing. We loved every day of this. The trip from Aqabah out to Petra was breathtaking. Tahiti was a disappointment...just a big dirty city. Bantry , Ireland was a serendipitous stop...Bantry House ... Read More
A Grand World cruise is a bucket list thing. We loved every day of this. The trip from Aqabah out to Petra was breathtaking. Tahiti was a disappointment...just a big dirty city. Bantry , Ireland was a serendipitous stop...Bantry House was amazing, as well as the impromptu Irish dance and music at Ma Murphys Pub. Snorkeling at the Pink Beach in Komodo, Indonesia..outstanding! But the best of all was having the President of the cruise line treat us ALL to a private reception at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam! What an awesome privilege! Travelling around the world , from east to west means lots of extra hours as we turn our clocks back through all time zones! Music was wonderful, for easy listening or dancing. Captain Jonathon Mercer took us through some stormy seas, we were never nervous. Service was top notch. There’s just something incomparable with a Grand World on HAL! Class act all the way. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Actually it was a little less than 19 miles an hour, 18.9 mph or 16.4 knots as I reckon it. Nineteen miles an hour seems like a leisurely pace to circle the planet. But on a human scale it’s really pretty hectic. To put 19 miles an ... Read More
Actually it was a little less than 19 miles an hour, 18.9 mph or 16.4 knots as I reckon it. Nineteen miles an hour seems like a leisurely pace to circle the planet. But on a human scale it’s really pretty hectic. To put 19 miles an hour into perspective, the average speed of a runner in the Boston Marathon is 8.8 mph, an average human walks at about 3.1 mph, an average horse’s walk is 4 mph. If you were on a sailing ship on a good day you could travel at 8 knots or 9.2 miles per hour. At times we felt that hectic pace. We are we wanted to see as much as possible at each port. When there’s a port call on the very next day details of the first port get lost. Sea days are a time to reflect, write and sort pictures while memories were still fresh. Many of my cruise mates said things like “I really enjoyed Napier, or was it Dunedin; I can never keep them straight.” Or “I think we were here on a past cruise, but I can’t remember.” That could easily have happened to me so I pondered, sorted and wrote. Many evenings I skipped the entertainment to process my experiences. You would think that on a long cruise I’d get a lot of reading done. I read fewer than half the number of books that I usually read in 4 months. On sea days I tried to spend an hour sitting in a deck chair on the promenade deck “reading.” I didn’t get through many pages. Reading time became thinking time while looking out at the ocean. Other important times for processing were walks around the promenade deck and my daily swim. People ask “What was your favorite port?” Difficult to answer but here is an attempt. I loved each of the New Zealand ports but Mt. Maunganui was the happiest place we visited. I had not heard of it before the trip. It’s the small port for bigger attractions just a short bus ride away. We never got on that bus. We walked off the ship with no expectations, and wandered with no agenda. We enjoyed the beach, the bay and the Saturday crafts market with its booths, music and conversation. Hobart, Tasmania was the highlight of the “The lucky country” (Australia) because of an encounter with the owner of an art gallery who curated aboriginal art. He brought out a bottle of good wine and we had an enjoyable evening of conversation laced with laughter. The “Wow” moment came at Namibia’s sand dunes. The surreal moment was the tourist convoy in Luanda, Angola which included mini buses, police motorcycle outriders, a pilot car, a police SUV filled with armed guards and an ambulance. The guide assured us he would make sure we didn’t get arrested for taking pictures. The romantic highlight was Hong Kong where Suzi and I had spent time 30 years ago. We wandered around looking at what had changed and what was timeless. Who would have thought this hectic city could become our romantic touchpoint? The “experience” that rises to the top is snorkeling and with sharks and sting rays in Bora Bora. Cape Town is where I want to return to explore further. And Cape Verde was my unexpected love affair. I thought it would be kind of a throwaway port, nothing planned, a place to stop in the Atlantic between Africa and America. I loved it. There was only one stop that I really didn’t like, Georgetown, Grand Cayman. I can only take so many t-shirt shops, Jimmy Buffett songs touting margaritas. In his final talk Captain Mercer said a trip like this changes anyone who takes it. It’s too soon to tell how this trip will change me. We traveled far and wide but not deep. How can you when you are in a place for between 8 and 58 hours? Holland America did their best to add depth with lectures, foods from the countries we visited and cultural shows. In the past we have traveled deep, living abroad for almost two decades. Traveling far and wide does not give you that type of experience, but it does paint a panorama that allows me to see relationships between different parts of the world. On board lectures on Indian Ocean trade or Pacific migrations while we were sailing those waters helped me better understand (and look for) similarities in culture, language and religion in very diverse parts of the globe. We learned how trade and fisheries enabled the exchange of not only goods, but of religion culture and genes. Out of this came some intriguing hybrid cultures. I loved the Cape Verde Islands because of the mix of Africa, Brazil and Europe touched with a little bit of Yankee whaler. I spoke with a “Cape Colored” man in South Africa of Malay -- Moslem – German -- Ashkenazi heritage named Rosenberg, educated Lutheran, who is raising his children Catholic. Place names in New Zealand, Australia, Alaska and Canada are the same; Cook, Vancouver, Bligh, Malaspina, and Turnagin. Perhaps the epiphany of this trip will be greater understanding of the interrelationship of peoples and lands. Or perhaps the life changer from this cruise will be the friends we made. I was surprised by the folks who take world cruises. They are not necessarily members of the upper classes, not necessarily bankers or lawyers (although some are.) Many are teachers, nurses, social workers, librarians, production line workers or retired military. Perhaps the epiphany of this trip is that we live in a “lucky time.” a fleeting “golden age” for the middle class when teachers, nurses, social workers, librarians and production line workers are affluent enough to take this type of vacation. Will the next generation of teachers, librarians, nurses, social workers and production line workers be able to do this as trade and professional unions wane in influence and wealth concentrates at the top? My cruise mates were engaged, hard-working and committed people. Will their children, our children, be able follow their parents and enjoy an experience like this? By the numbers: • We sailed 34,128 Nautical Miles, 39,274 statute miles or 63,205 KM • The Cruise lasted 113 days • We visited 39 ports in 26 countries or territories • We missed one port due to weather and substituted one port because of the bubonic plague. • We used 18 currencies (20 if you count the Panamanian Balboa which is the same as a dollar and the Namibian dollar, which is the same as the South African rand.) • I took 16,916 pictures and posted 3,504 on either my blog or Facebook (not counting this post.) • We broke three cameras. • This cruise blog has 143 posts including this one. I didn’t count words. • I lost about 5 pounds. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Trip was on our bucket list.Ship is old but in excellent condition. Our bed was under the window and since we like to look out made it difficult at times. The food and service in the main dinning room were excellent. Food in the Lido was ... Read More
Trip was on our bucket list.Ship is old but in excellent condition. Our bed was under the window and since we like to look out made it difficult at times. The food and service in the main dinning room were excellent. Food in the Lido was good and usually good choices.service was excellent. We were not thrill by the Pinnacle Grill, we were there for lunch and left a lot to be desired. The whole experience of the Panama Canal was more than we expected, from entering the Canal at 6am to the onboard narration by the guide to going through the locks and leaving the Canal at sunset(we were going NW. We took the ships tours in Cartagena Puerto Caldere, Corinto and Cabo, some were better that others but we did get to see each location and get a feel for each country. Disembarkation was fast and well organizes we were able to stay in our cabin until called Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I am totally sold on Holland America - Just finished my 19 day Panama Canal Cruise - Started in Ft. Lauderdale. Visited Cartagena, Panama Canal , Corinto, Nicaragua, Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, Huatulco, Mexico Cabo San Lucas, Mexico ... Read More
I am totally sold on Holland America - Just finished my 19 day Panama Canal Cruise - Started in Ft. Lauderdale. Visited Cartagena, Panama Canal , Corinto, Nicaragua, Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica, Huatulco, Mexico Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - San Francisco, Vancouver, and ended in Seatle. Embarkation went well - my cabin was ready - #3377 - Lunch at the Lido Market Buffet was very good. Food on the cruise was very good - they have the same food in the Lido Buffet as in the Dining Room - We didn't want to go to the Dining Room on Gala night for Lobster so we had Lobster in the Buffet (I had four!) I had an issue with my room - with water - and they changed my room - I was originally on the Promenade Deck with an obstructed ocean view - they changed me to the Dolphin Deck (Deck #1) which at first I wasn't too happy with - but my room was larger and there is very little movement when the ship is rocky. The staff is super friendly and very efficient. The ports were fine - I didn't do any excursions. Holland tries to make sure that anything you need is taken care of. The Microsoft classes are very informative! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was a good itinerary starting in Ft. Lauderdale, going through the Panama Canal up the West Coast to Seattle w/an Alaska cruise included. HAL calls this a Collector's Voyage. The Amsterdam is smaller than most medium sized ships ... Read More
This was a good itinerary starting in Ft. Lauderdale, going through the Panama Canal up the West Coast to Seattle w/an Alaska cruise included. HAL calls this a Collector's Voyage. The Amsterdam is smaller than most medium sized ships w/mostly an older crowd and other than an on-going problem with a persistent series of water leaks mostly on deck 5, the cruise went on w/o a hitch. We had an OV on the Main Deck which I would take again in a heartbeat. The only irritation w/the cabin [and just about everywhere else] was a continual vibration when the engine were going. Then crew worked hard to make sure we enjoyed ourselves. Many went out of their way for us. Esp. the crew in the MDR and Lido. The Lido was OK, the Dive-In was really good, and the MDR was excellent [not every dish was great, but many were really, really good]. Entertainment was just OK. The HAL Singers and Dancers [two troops as they were changed out during the cruise] did a very fine job. The best was getting to listen to "Island Magic" [Steel Drum Band] again. Had been entertained by them on the Zuiderdam. The excursions we took went from bad to great. Great was the Boeing Factory Tour in Seattle and a RIB ride out to a volcanic rock island in Sitka. Bad was a catamaran tour in Huatulco, Mexico cancelled by the Harbormaster before the boat could even clear the dock because one engine wouldn't run. The crew tried to get that boat out of the harbor but w/only one engine that big rig just won't turn. We hit several boats before being shut down. All-in-all, we will probably do this trip again someday. Only we will probably get off in San Francisco like many did for HAL sold lots of 3 day cruises on the Amsterdam from there to Seattle. Turned out to be a party boat for 3 days. :( The MS Amsterdam is a fine ship but she is need of a make-over. A refreshing would put this vessel in a 5 star category. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Cruise was absolutely amazing. It was awhile to embark but then again the hotels ship you out all at the same time so we all pretty much arrived at the same time. There were so many returning cruisers that the "expedited line" ... Read More
Cruise was absolutely amazing. It was awhile to embark but then again the hotels ship you out all at the same time so we all pretty much arrived at the same time. There were so many returning cruisers that the "expedited line" and the regular line were both about 45 minutes to get checked in. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and it did not disappoint, the Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, the Xian Warriors, Singapore, Oman, Petra in Jordan, the Acropolis in Athens, Malta, Panama Canal, Suez canal. My bucket list is much shorter now. With visiting all the cities is really showed us the world we live in and our preconceived notions were happily changed. The Amsterdam is really showing here age. There was a lot of water leaks both in the Common Areas and the Staterooms during our Pacific Ocean crossing as there were some rough sailing days. They even had to replace some of the carpet. Rumour was that there was a lot of mold floating around and this caused "ship's cough". I cannot confirm this but most of us had a cough at one time or another. After they changed the air filters in our staterooms, it seemed to get better. The décor in the staterooms is pretty old and faded but clean and spotless. The food on this journey was remarkable, I don't remember ever not having a great pick on the dinner menu. We also had themed meals based on which port we were in. The average age on this cruise was upper 70's to low 80's so the entertainment was geared to this audience. Being quite a bit younger put us at a disadvantage. Lots of classical music, show tunes and easy listening. The ships entertainment was average at best but that is true of all the cruises I have been on. There were lots of lectures on the history of the places we were visiting which was great for understanding the customs and ways at each port. There was also a location specialist who told us what to see and what to shop for and what to do and not do. This was a great help. There were ports where we were at a disadvantage as there were no maps to guide us to what we wanted to see. There were shore excursions off the boat but they were stupid expensive - ie: bus to Atomic Bomb Museum, Peace Park and lunch $119 US. We walked 2 blocks, took a tram, walked a block, visited the Museum and had lunch for $25 US each. As the mobility of a lot of the guests was limited due mostly to the age of the cruisers, the excursions are the only way they can possibly see the ports. The service on this boat was superb from the Lido Cooks and Attendants , the Dining Room Staff, the stateroom staff, front desk, librarian etc. It was great to have a library as this was a 111 day voyage but the ship should go with a digital library as well. There didn't seem to be a lot of new books on the shelves. Of great value was the coin laundry, $2 for a wash and dry was great. There were only 8 washers and 8 dryers on this ship but because most of the customers were return visitors who got free laundry it was enough. Besides the super expensive Shore Excursions , the internet was another fail. It is expensive $55 US for 100 minutes and because it is so slow, your minutes go by really fast. I believe that it should be by usage and not time. Most of my time on the internet was waiting for a page refresh or sending an email. I loved the cruise and would definitely take another world cruise but I think that I would go with another cruise line to have something to compare this to. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was our third World Cruise on the Amsterdam. The embarcation ... went smoothly. There was a long line, but it moved quickly. The ship... We have always loved the Amsterdam, but I'm sorry to say, she seems to be in serious ... Read More
This was our third World Cruise on the Amsterdam. The embarcation ... went smoothly. There was a long line, but it moved quickly. The ship... We have always loved the Amsterdam, but I'm sorry to say, she seems to be in serious need of repair. We saw many leaks in public areas, including the Lido food prep area. Several cabins that flooded terribly. When this happened the crew brought big fans to dry the carpets on top, but I fear that there must be mold underneath. There were also concerns about the 17 year old HVAC units. Most passengers, including us, seemed to be sick, off and on, with sinus infections and allergies much of the 4 months. I think Amsterdam is due for dry dock after the 2018 cruise. Cabin... We were on Dolphin deck. Our room stewards scrubbed the shower every day to try and keep the mold out of the tiles around the shower. Our cabin frequently smelled of diesel fuel. Dining... The chefs and crew do a great job preparing and serving delicious meals and snacks. Entertainment and activities ... The nightime entertainment seemed to be for the older crowd. Lots of classical and show tunes, magicians and comedians. We attended only a few shows. Afternoon movies on sea days were not offered, since a private group rented the theater. The internet is slow as molasses and is very expensive. We spent $600 on internet in 4 months. Service.... The crew on the World Cruise is always the best on the seas!!! Also, the Fillipino and Indonesian crew shos were outstanding. Ports and Shore Excursions... The ports were great! We took Shore Excursions in most ports. They were very expensive, but most guides were excellent. We plan to continue cruising, but sadly will not cruise on the Amsterdam again. We plan to travel on the newer ships that hopefully, will have fewer maintenance issues. Read Less
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
Sail Date January 2017
We sailed the first leg of the 2017 World Cruise, disembarking in San Diego. Overall experience was pleasant, but we had to overlook inconsistent food, a musty smell in our stateroom, and a toilet that malfunctioned three times. The ship ... Read More
We sailed the first leg of the 2017 World Cruise, disembarking in San Diego. Overall experience was pleasant, but we had to overlook inconsistent food, a musty smell in our stateroom, and a toilet that malfunctioned three times. The ship hasn't been refurbished in years, and it shows. Service was excellent, entertainment good. This particular cruise attracts a lot of old people, the majority of whom are 80+. I question the value received for the price paid. This was our second HAL cruise, the first being on the (superior) Eurodam. Was frustrated trying to watch NFL playoff games via satellite. The audio channel carrying the play-by-play call was not working. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. Tours are expensive for what's offered. The majority of the passengers on the Amsterdam world cruise take the entire, 4-month trip. There were many repeat customers who apparently don't mind this ship's shortcomings but focus, rather, than on the socializing that goes on. Like other cruise ships, internet service is slow and expensive. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was my 3rd MSM Cruise, really looking forward to the music & acts. But the bands were so blaringly loud, & the singers so screamingly loud, if u weren't hard of hearing when u entered u surely were upon departure! The ... Read More
This was my 3rd MSM Cruise, really looking forward to the music & acts. But the bands were so blaringly loud, & the singers so screamingly loud, if u weren't hard of hearing when u entered u surely were upon departure! The decibel level was as if we all needed hearing aids. Then the singers didn't sing the songs as originally recorded, as we remembered them, it was some updated version, with a lot of waaaah waaaah stuff. Plus the interviews w/girl groups were plain boring! Best stuff was the groups like Brooklyn Bridge, Happenings, Accords, the Elvis Trib artists, & Ricky's kids, Gunnar & Matthew. All that was great. Also good was the food, crew, service etc. Boat was shipshape, embarkation easy, but DE-bark, egad! They've gotta control who asks for early debarkation, there was approx 200 peeps in line, & not all had early flights etc. Our airline SW, moved up the flight, people behind me got moved up even farther by AA. By the grace of God & people graciously allowing us to move ahead we made our flight, but oh the pressure. And airport was mobbed, several large cruise ships in port. Turned out my sis was embarking on Allure of the Seas that am, & that's a huuuge ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My first on Holland America and I've done 9 on Princess and I'm still partial to Princess. Nothing at all wrong with Holland America. I just think Princess is the better of the two. I don't know that I could pinpoint any ... Read More
My first on Holland America and I've done 9 on Princess and I'm still partial to Princess. Nothing at all wrong with Holland America. I just think Princess is the better of the two. I don't know that I could pinpoint any one thing, but there were a lot of things that needed to be revamped or redone on the Maasdam. It's obviously an older ship and just needs to be redecorated and updated. Some of the shows were also a bit raunchy and the shows are one of the main things I enjoy on the cruise. Service was o.k., but most not outstanding. We did have 2 boys in the dining room that we loved and were very attentive to us and I tipped them more. I'm on a walker with oxygen, so I didn't really do many shore excursions, but what I did were fine. Food, for the most part was fine. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We had a delightful time on this cruise. My mom and I had cruised before about 12 years ago on Princess. This was a different experience because of the older clientele Holland American tends to draw. We really enjoyed the ... Read More
We had a delightful time on this cruise. My mom and I had cruised before about 12 years ago on Princess. This was a different experience because of the older clientele Holland American tends to draw. We really enjoyed the lectures/speaker series on board in the afternoons for the days at sea on the history of the area. The virtual tour of the Panama Canal by our Location Guide Wallis was also excellent and a great introduction to what we would be seeing. We didn't attend the shows as much as we did the movies in the early evening. We liked that some of the movies and food were themed around a port or activity. There were some negatives to our trip, but nothing to dampen our time. Due to the older clientele who had traveled extensively, we often felt out of place because everyone talked about going to Honduras or Puerto Vallarta for the winter. My mom and I have actually both travelled quite a bit ourselves, but it just didn't seem to compare. We booked all of our excursions in advance so we were prepared for each day and so we could attend the excursion we wanted at the time we wanted. It seemed like many people waited until they were on the ship to book an excursion or would just get off the ship and do their own thing. We felt much more comfortable and safe with our pre-panning. Again, though, many people at dinner would react like we were wrong to book in advance when asked what our plans were for the next day. I also felt like there was a different air with the passengers' attitudes. Sometimes it felt like people reacted to situations like I spent the money, so wait on me and I'm entitled. While standing in line one night to enter the main dining room, I overheard someone say that they didn't know why the doors were not open yet - his watch said 5:16 and dinner was supposed to begin at 5:15. Another woman was near us in the Crow's Nest on Canal Day and berated someone for sitting in front of her because she had been there all morning - mind you this woman had gotten up temporarily and left her stuff there, but to the newcomer, there was no way to know where she was sitting and how her view would blocked. I guess some of that felt to me that I would not be given the same latitude in my attitude since I'm younger (I am 31 years old). When we went on the kitchen galley tour, many people were lined up going up the staircase, but then others just pushed their way into the line. Overall, we had an excellent time. The Panama Canal is a cruise my mom has always wanted to go on. This particular cruise had the most ports of call and fewest days at sea for the length of the cruise. Being able to see and do as much as we could was the most important for us. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This cruise was to places unknown to us, in Central America, which was a wonderful highlight, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and fascinating Guatemala. Mexico, and even in the US, San Diego, which was delightful .The public spaces, and there are ... Read More
This cruise was to places unknown to us, in Central America, which was a wonderful highlight, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and fascinating Guatemala. Mexico, and even in the US, San Diego, which was delightful .The public spaces, and there are many, on Amsterdam are the best we have experienced, a smaller ship with a great atmosphere. A very good crew of helpful, ever friendly people, we thought they must be hand picked for the World Journeys this ship does, their patience was amazing.! Entertainment was quite good, it is hard to please everyone all of the time, but a very comfortable Movie Theatre ,with good choices in movies helps there. The Digital workshops, were certainly enriching, taken by the most patient man on the Planet.! So helpful to everyone. A pleasant Captain makes for a happy ship and this shone through, a great journey and we look forward to our next Holland America Line experience in the future, made possible by the very busy Future Cruise organiser, with the most taxing job on board, another indicator of satisfied passengers. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
“Around the world in 80 days…” goes the song. However, it took Holland America’s (HAL) ms. Amsterdam 115 glorious days to circumnavigate the globe on our Grand World Voyage 2016. What an amazing voyage it was! We visited 24 ... Read More
“Around the world in 80 days…” goes the song. However, it took Holland America’s (HAL) ms. Amsterdam 115 glorious days to circumnavigate the globe on our Grand World Voyage 2016. What an amazing voyage it was! We visited 24 countries and 41 ports; some were overnight stays. People ask us how we could stay on a ship that long. I reply that we loved every minute and that we hope to do it again soon. We were never bored or sea sick and learned so much about the history and culture of the places visited. It many ways, the cruise changed our thinking on a variety of subjects. For most passengers, this was their fourth or fifth+ HAL Grand World Cruise. For us, it was our first Grand World Cruise. The staff told us that this particular Grand World Cruise sailing had the youngest-aged passengers. One tyke celebrated his first birthday while on board the entire voyage. One thousand fifty passengers including 10 children boarded the ship in Fort Lauderdale. Seven hundred fifty passengers took the entire voyage. Other passengers joined the voyage for segments. Most passengers were Americans, many were Floridians but there were plenty of Canadians and Australians onboard plus other nationalities. Our exciting cruise began January 5, returning April 29, 2016 to and from Fort Lauderdale. Friends of ours encouraged us to go on this cruise with them. Unfortunately, they were unable to go. Right from embarkation, things went well. Within 20 minutes, from the time of our arrival at the pier, we were on the ship. Near the gangway, Pande our Assistant Maitre ’D from our HAL Grand Asia Pacific 2014 Cruise greeted passengers and recognized us. He instructed a steward to carry our hand luggage and escort us to our cabin. Wow! It made us feel like family. Our former Cruise Director, Gene Young from HAL Grand Voyage ’14 was also stationed at the gangway. He, also, recognized us immediately. It was wonderful to have him as our Cruise Director for this cruise, too. I wonder when the man sleeps. He was involved on board in so many ways. Our mid-ship ocean-view stateroom, # 2598 was in a very stable position on the ship. The cabin itself was bright, comfortable and contained sufficient storage space for all our belongings. The A/C and plumbing worked well throughout the entire cruise. Unfortunately, stateroom TVs were still not interactive so we often had to visit the Front Desk to get our statements printed. For my husband, though, the lack of a mini-fridge in our cabin was a big problem. He needed to visit the medical office often to retrieve his medication that needed refrigeration. Another problem was early morning (5-5:30 AM) noise from a crew member working on open deck 3 that frequently disturbed our sleep. Many other guests on our deck complained about this noise. All the stateroom passageways are bright and lined with Dutch maritime art; Deck 1 has Dutch floral art works gracing its walls. The public areas of the ship were all well appointed and quite attractive. The floral arrangements are stunning. However, the very comfortable couches in the Queen’s Lounge (theater) are lower than the upholstered chairs making it difficult viewing the performers on stage while sitting on the couches. Uneven temperatures in certain areas of the ship especially in the Queen’s Lounge made carrying a sweater a necessity. Still another concern was the slow speed of the internet connection. We waited until we reached shore to access thee Internet. The ship does need some updating and perhaps will go in for refurbishment soon. This in no way detracted from our enjoyment. The ship was well maintained and always clean. Everyone was comfortable navigating this mid-sized ship, which was the perfect size for entering smaller foreign ports. The food and service in the Main Dining Room were wonderful. We had fabulous meals nightly especially on Gala Nights. On the off chance that nothing on the menu was appealing, we could choose Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, steak, chicken or salmon as alternatives. Although I always am pleased with food and service on HAL ships, on Grand & Grand World Cruises they are superior. Our Early Seating MDR servers Gede & Berry were professional, personable and efficient, anticipating our needs and checking to see that everything was fine with our meals. My husband received all his Special Request Meals in a timely fashion. Gede made a point of bringing the next day’s menus to him as soon as they became available. In fact, the entire MDR staff did a terrific job daily getting his Special Request Meals correct. Nestor Malsi, our wine steward, brought our glasses of red wine at our table usually before we even arrived. He always had time to chat with us nightly. After dinner, I enjoyed stopping by the cheerful door attendant, Woko’s station. He always remembered my name and knew which after dinner treat I wanted before exiting the MDR. I cannot say enough about how helpful the HAL staff was in general. All the crew on board Grand & World Voyages are hand picked by HAL. We did dine several times in the two specialty restaurants, The Canaletto & the Pinnacle Grill. The levels of service there were always excellent as were the food. The Lido Café food was good, too and we always ate at least breakfast there. In the Lido, wait staff members Imam and Supraman would often assist us in locating a table, brought us the Times Digest daily and remembered our preference for beverages. They were so professional, friendly and efficient. We always looked forward to our daily conversations with them. Many times, I enjoyed the Lido Restaurant’s wonderful sushi station at lunchtime. Another fun place to eat is poolside at the Dive In. The fries there are extra delicious; so are the several choices of hot dogs and burgers. Many other things made the voyage so special. On Gala Nights, the MDR was festooned with colorful balloons, London-themed umbrellas, paper lanterns, banners, flags or other festive decorations. On some themed nights depending on the theme, we received Panama or Bowler hats, beautiful masks or leis to wear and keep. On other Gala evenings, we received Valentine chocolates, long stemmed roses or maracas. The servers dressed in festive attire for the theme nights, as did many of the passengers. On many Gala nights, passengers received gifts in their staterooms such as: a nylon travel bag, a canvas boat bag with matching toiletry bag filled with travel essentials, a moleskin travel journal, a signed paperback travel book, Tiffany & Co HAL ceramic box, HAL Crystal Candle Holder, a Royal Goedewaagen Plate highlighting the itinerary and a travel wallet. Plus, at the Dinners with the Captain in the Pinnacle Grill, each passenger sailing the entire cruise received distinctive salt & pepper shakers reminiscent of those given on HAL very first World Voyage. On our night, we were kindly invited to sit at the Captain’s Table along with his lovely wife, Karen and two Senior Officers. The ms. Amsterdam is an older ship but quite seaworthy and is especially stable for the type of cruising that she does. Most days I forgot that I was even on a ship since the seas were so calm. Our “Storm Dodger” Captain Jonathan was expert at avoiding high winds and storms thus earning his nickname. I always felt completely safe under his leadership. Captain Jonathan & his wife were most charming, affable and professional as were all the Senior Officers. On Grand and Grand World Voyages, Grand Dollars can be earned by participating in on board activities. By the end of the cruise, we had earned over 800 dollars to spend on various items. Activities on board were varied. Daily Tai Chi classes kept us busy. Trivia was also quite popular as was Arts & Crafts, computer classes, bridge and pool games. We attended most of the lecture series on Sea Days. I specially enjoyed the talks on space, various cultures and photography. We were invited to attend several wine tasting events throughout the voyage. We loved the many Culinary Arts Demonstrations and Tasting classes, too. I hope that we can duplicate the dishes served using the many recipe cards we received. The movies on board were up to date and I watched a few of them. On Location Guide Barbara Heanni and Nyron Peters, from the Shore Excursion Staff gave detailed talks about Things to See & Do in port. These ship talks on the ports of call were current and quite useful. How nice that HAL has someone on board to help passengers who wish to go sightseeing independently. At many ports, there was a complimentary shuttle service to the center of town or to a nearby mall. Several times, we used this service. The main reason I took this cruise was the itinerary. It was so exciting to transit the Suez Canal for the first time. We have cruised through the Panama Canal several times previously and always enjoy the experience. One personal highlight for us was our one night’s stay in an idyllic over water thatched-roofed bungalow in Tahiti at the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa. A Welcome drink at reception, plus a bottle of champagne and wine along with fruit and snacks awaited us in our bungalow. We had a wonderful day swimming in the clear, aquamarine shallow waters of the lagoon, enjoying the beautiful views of the stunning mountains, strolling the white coral sandy beach and relaxing in the hammocks. An extravagant dinner buffet with a complimentary bottle of wine followed by a spectacular floorshow ending with an outdoor fire-eaters performance completed the magical day for us. At night, we viewed the lighted lagoon beneath us through the cutout window in the floor of our bungalow. After a sumptuous breakfast buffet with live entertainment the next morning, we took a walking tour of the facility and enjoyed the beautiful pool before we rejoined our ship at its next port, Moorea. It was a dream come true for both of us. Equally special were our visit to Petra and Wadi Rum in Aqaba, Jordan, Chinqua Terra in Livorno, Italy and Dubai, UAE. Muscat and Salalah, Oman were other new ports for us and quite interesting. Everyone asks which our favorite port was and we reply whichever port we are visiting at the time. However, while we were in Israel, we were especially moved while exploring all the biblical sights in Haifa and Ashdod. Almost all of our shore excursions were sponsored by the ship and they were worthwhile, enjoyable and educational. We did independent sightseeing in Sydney and in Jakarta since we had previously explored those ports extensively. There were so many memorable highlights during our World Cruise onboard the ms. Amsterdam. One was the very elaborate fun-under-the-setting-sun Australia Beach Party where sand covered the Lido Magrodome pool area. Bondi Beach lifeguards came on board along with Australia‘s most sort after 6-piece band, Hipnosis. There were huge beach balls, surfboards, beach chairs, water games and complimentary tropical drinks and food to add to the beach theme. What Fun! The extra-special décor of the 1001 Arabian Sights themed pool deck party set the tone for another wonderful evening. The Zany April Fool’s Day Costume Party in the Crow’s Nest was hilarious, while the elaborate Black & Silver Ball in the Queen’s Lounge was quite elegant. The champagne Valentine’s Day Ball in the Queen’s Lounge was oh so romantic. It was fun guessing who was under the beautiful masks provided for the Masked Ball in the Queen’s Lounge, the final Gala Night of the cruise. I was looking forward to the St. Patrick’s Day Party but was surprised that no Irish music was played although there were plenty of pots of gold and other Irish decor to be found. I especially enjoyed the extravagantly presented monthly High Teas - Royal Dutch, Polynesian, Indonesian and Middle Eastern. I photographed each of the lavish displays. I wished that there were more of them. My husband especially enjoyed the Super Bowl 50 Festivities in the Queen’s Lounge. Entertainment in general was wonderful and quite diverse. The Bon Voyage Sail-Away Fest was a great way to begin the voyage. We had complimentary drinks, snacks and live music with the wonderful HAL orchestra. A similar Sail Away Party occurred on our departure from Sydney. After dinner each night, we enjoyed listening to the very personable Debby Bacon in the Piano Bar. One night, her husband, Ron joined her for a performance and it was such fun for everyone. Whenever we could, we also found time to listen to the beautiful music in the Exploration Lounge performed by Adagio, Attila and David from Hungary. The talented HAL Singers and Dancers performed ten different shows and all were well paced and entertaining. One of my favorite Queen’s Lounge performances was the steel drum group from Trinidad, the sensational Island Magic. I even purchased their CDs. The cultural Queen’s Lounge shows in Hong Kong, Tahiti, Dubai and Spain were all colorful and memorable. Often times we had an extra theater performance, Spotlight before the main Showtime Show. The two well rehearsed Crew Indonesian and Filipino Matinee Shows were standing room only. Who knew that Nestor Malsi, our wine steward and Filipino Crew Show Organizer had such a marvelous voice? We attended and thoroughly enjoyed both shows. After so many days on the ship, we knew the entire cast of both shows, which made the shows even more entertaining. During ports of call, we had the opportunity: to ride a camel, an elephant, a mule and horse, swim with stingrays and dolphins and see penguins in their enclosure. We had close encounters with wild monkeys, kangaroos, emus & koalas. In Singapore, we went on a Night Safari and saw many nocturnal animals in their natural habitats. On board, there were dance lessons, cultural emergence activities plus didgeridoo, ukulele and belly dancing lessons. I learned enough foreign phrases to get along in the various countries visited. I tasted exotic foods from many different countries. It is an experience that I will never forget. Yes, it took plenty of preparation and planning before a cruise of this length. Imagine, though, touring the world and only unpacking once! No air flights even were involved since we live in Florida. How wonderful that our price included the shipping of our four large suitcases ahead of time! Gratuities were also included. We received excellent complimentary laundry service since we are Four Star Mariners. We made some wonderful new friends that we hope to see again on future HAL cruises. A cruise of this length may not be for everyone but it was a dream of a lifetime for us. We are still enjoying our memories when we watch our ship videos and look through our candid ship photos and photo albums. We were so pleased with the itinerary, the food, the accommodations and the service. Our next HAL cruise will be on the new ms. Koningsdam later this year. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was a world cruise. It was a wonderful experience, we visited 46 different ports, in several places staying more than one night. There were some interesting talks arranged during the cruise and many other activities including water ... Read More
This was a world cruise. It was a wonderful experience, we visited 46 different ports, in several places staying more than one night. There were some interesting talks arranged during the cruise and many other activities including water colour painting class. There were a variety of entertainments in the evenings,catering for all tastes. There were some interesting tours out from ports and before this talks about the areas we visited and things to do in each place. The staff on the ship were always cheerful and went out of their way to make this a special voyage. There will always we a few niggles such a noise when cleaning the decks early in the morning, but this is inevitable. We were in a state room with a sea view, plenty of storage and a very comfy bed. Verandas are nice but how much time do you spend in your room...we preferred to save money and spend this on other things. Can't recommend highly enough. Lovely voyage, great ports of call, great staff and lovely new people to meet Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
The food quality and service on our cruise was unacceptable in the regular venues and uneven in speciality restaurants. We tried the Main Dining Room one evening early in the cruise and never returned. The quality of the ingredients was ... Read More
The food quality and service on our cruise was unacceptable in the regular venues and uneven in speciality restaurants. We tried the Main Dining Room one evening early in the cruise and never returned. The quality of the ingredients was extraordinarily low, our food was served cold, the service was chaotic and the room noisy although we dined in a relatively empty room. Food in the Lido involved long lines due to slow service from many of the staff who spent a lot of time talking to each other. The tables remained full of used dishes and half-eaten food because there didn't seem to be adequate staff for a full complement of passengers. One evening we had excellent service in Tamarind; however, on our second visit when the room was, perhaps, two thirds full we experienced chaos with one member of our party getting their sushi when everyone else was eating dessert. We ordered both sparkling and flat bottled water and the serves repeatedly made errors in its service. Desserts were well below the level we had previously experienced on other cruise lines ranging from Regent to Royal. Even the HAL Specialities, Bread Pudding and Onion Soup, were horrible. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I have been to Panama before, but this voyage showed me a whole new way of seeing Central America. Our first port was Cartagena, Colombia, then through the Canal to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and on to San Diego. From the ... Read More
I have been to Panama before, but this voyage showed me a whole new way of seeing Central America. Our first port was Cartagena, Colombia, then through the Canal to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and on to San Diego. From the time we sailed until we left the ship, we were entertained, fed, left alone, instructed, sold stuff and fed again. The ship is mid-sized, and that is fine. It has all the features except the water slide. The staff did a fine job. When an issue popped up, they handled everything with speed and a smile. The Cruise Director and his staff kept the announcements to the point and the entertainment activities fun. The menu needs some updating, but the food was good. The restaurant service and the cabin service were all I expected. The stores all sell the same goods, but the sales staff went out of their way to help me find the exact watch I wanted. This was not a party barge. It was a relocation cruise, so the guests were older. The younger guests mingled and seemed to have a great time at the shows and activities. The excursions were noteworthy, with one exception, and that was handled. I was not sure what to expect in ports I had not visited before, so I took the highlights tours at most places and coffee plantation tours at others. Seeing the inside of a live volcano under clear blue skies was fabulous. Learning that Guatemala is my new "next flight out" trip showed me a new view of Central America. The ship is now headed to Alaska, but it has the same crew, so you will have a good time! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I have been to Panama before, but this voyage showed me a whole new way of seeing Central America. Our first port was Cartagena, Colombia, then through the Canal to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and on to San Diego. From the ... Read More
I have been to Panama before, but this voyage showed me a whole new way of seeing Central America. Our first port was Cartagena, Colombia, then through the Canal to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and on to San Diego. From the time we sailed until we left the ship, we were entertained, fed, left alone, instructed, sold stuff and fed again. The ship is mid-sized, and that is fine. It has all the features except the water slide. The staff did a fine job. When an issue popped up, they handled everything with speed and a smile. The Cruise Director and his staff kept the announcements to the point and the entertainment activities fun. The menu needs some updating, but the food was good. The restaurant service and the cabin service were all I expected. The stores all sell the same goods, but the sales staff went out of their way to help me find the exact watch I wanted. This was not a party barge. It was a relocation cruise, so the guests were older. The younger guests mingled and seemed to have a great time at the shows and activities. The excursions were noteworthy, with one exception, and that was handled. I was not sure what to expect in ports I had not visited before, so I took the highlights tours at most places and coffee plantation tours at others. Seeing the inside of a live volcano under clear blue skies was fabulous. Learning that Guatemala is my new "next flight out" trip showed me a new view of Central America. The ship is now headed to Alaska, but it has the same crew, so you will have a good time! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
First off, overall the service and attention to detail was excellent. The names of the dining room staff people who impressed us with their professionalism and friendliness and excellent service were Presty Sumitra, assistant dining room ... Read More
First off, overall the service and attention to detail was excellent. The names of the dining room staff people who impressed us with their professionalism and friendliness and excellent service were Presty Sumitra, assistant dining room manager - he was everywhere helping guest and his team members without taking a break - and always smiling; Ali Mansur, our waiter and assistant Leika Patrya, they were excellent to put it mildly; Benjamin Schutte, Pinnacle Grill Maître d'hôtel - again, always friendly and helpful and managed a superb serving staff; Intan Rosmalia - La Fontaine hostess who always smiled and expertly defused a situation where an irate passenger who was upset with his cabin was taking out his frustrations on Intan - she smiled, took notes, thanked him and told him she would contact the front desk to remind them of his concerns - incredible customer service; Aleksandre Gruaz, masseuse in the spa who not only gave excellent massages with a friendly smile but also suggested other treatments to help my badly knotted leg muscles; Clifton Bolton, on-board acupuncturist who was able to provide me relief from my restless leg syndrome and suggest follow up treatment back on land. And we cannot forget the Front Desk staff who always smiled and were very professional and were able to defuse and calm down some passengers who were having problems (of their own making). The ship was always spotless and the housekeeping staff were always visible keeping things shipshape. The public rooms were very comfortable and the staff always helpful and smiling. The food was excellent in all venues at all times. The La Fontaine main dining room has excellent food, well prepared, not overly large servings and the menu did not repeat itself in the 19 days we were on board. The Pinnacle Grill was exquisite - the La Cirque night was well worth the extra charge and is among the best restaurants at which we have dined, if not the best. The Lido restaurant was buffet and for the most part the choices mirrored those in the La Fontaine dining room. The Dive-In Grill was by the pool and had excellent hot dogs and a super small buffet with a Mexican theme - build yourself tacos and burritos and any combination you wanted to try. They both were and excellent break from La Fontaine. And the ice cream in the Lido Restaurant was always appreciated. My wife tried room service for one meal when she was feeling a tad seasick. almost every morning we did have rolls and coffee in our cabin before getting out and about. Having a Catholic Priest on board was one of the reasons we choose to sail with Holland America. Being able to go to Mass daily was a highlight of the cruise. Holland America is the only cruise line that I have been able to find that has a priest on board all of their sailings. A couple of small issues in the La Fontaine dining room. Being served instant hot chocolate at breakfast was a bit of a disappointment. I would have preferred the hot chocolate from the Explorations Café - it was very tasty and made with a sauce instead of mix. And the consistency of the coffee was a bit erratic. Sometimes it was exceedingly strong and needed to be watered down to be drinkable and at other times it was just about perfect. One waiter explained that when it was brewed the amounts of coffee going in might vary from time to time. This could stand a bit of consistency. And on to the fitness center. Overall it was excellent. Good aerobic equipment with enough to handle the people who wanted to use it. The weight training equipment was also very good with no waiting needed to use it. Pawal or Paul (the personal trainer and Pilates "instructor") was excellent as far as personal training is concerned. However, his Pilates approach was a bit off the wall in my opinion. I have been a student of Pilates for about seven years now. When I talked with Pawal and showed him some of the exercises that my instructors at home wanted me to do he did not know what the Pilates Hundred was - and this is the basic exercise that Joseph Pilates based most of his exercises on and is taught by almost every Pilates certifying agency in the United States and most worldwide. If you are going to advertise Pilates classes in the North American market it might be best if the instructors were vetted to insure they were familiar with classic Pilates. Pawal did what he characterized as "callisthenic Pilates", not really Pilates as taught by Joseph Pilates and his students. The spa itself had a few problems. The men's sauna was not working for the entire cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Seattle. There was no sign posted and no alternatives were volunteered to passengers. After I talked with guest relations about this I was allowed to use the steam room as a part of my massages and acupuncture treatments. I should not have had to talk with guest relations. The steam rooms were excellent and hit the spot. Cleanliness was not always consistent. One morning when I went into the fitness center to do my Pilates exercises on a mat on the wood floor the floor was dirty and had bits of something on it. The showers in the men's locker room were not properly cleaned each day. On one occasion I found a used bandage that was in there for 2 days and on another occasion I found an piece of body plaster tape that remained for over 24 hours. Not acceptable. And the grout between the tiles on the shower floors was partly clean and partly black, I did bring these to the attention of the guest relations manager twice over a two week period. Having three different groups of entertainers in the theatre provided plenty of variety that appealed to all age groups. But most of the evenings we were in the Explorer's Lounge where a duo of a pianist and a violinist were playing classical music ever day from 6pm to 10pm. Two delightful ladies, Linsey Rogers and Rhonda May, respectively, kept a small group of 15-20 devoted listeners entertained daily. The Holland America name for the duo was Adagio and the Adagio duos appear to be on board all of their ships. Overall, an excellent voyage. Five star would be how we would rate it. We will be back on board either the Amsterdam or another of the ships in the R or S class within a year. That good. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We were so excited about this cruise. We had a very stressful year and needed to get away. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale 2 days early and stayed at the Sheraton Airport. A really nice hotel. Quiet, clean. If you go out of the hotel and ... Read More
We were so excited about this cruise. We had a very stressful year and needed to get away. We arrived in Fort Lauderdale 2 days early and stayed at the Sheraton Airport. A really nice hotel. Quiet, clean. If you go out of the hotel and take a left, go under the overpass, there is a light rail station and buses to take you anywhere. Also there are some great restaurants and sports venues. Boarding the Amsterdam was easy, well processed. In fact everything was mostly great. The food in the Main Dining room was outstanding and we usually got the same waiter who was easy to talk to and friendly. Our room was on the lower promenade deck and we just walked out the door and went around the corner and we were on deck. Easy to get to in the evening for a drink. Our room stewards were attentive. One was Danang from Vietnam. They always had ice in our ice bucket and kept the room clean. We did pay $2 a day for a small refridge but it was well worth it. We had room service for breakfast and it was always on time and really good. The Lido food was good but could use some more fresh veggies with the main course. We talked to the manager and the next night there was more choices. They listen. The entertainment was very good. We spent a lot of time taking to the entertainers. All talented. The itinerary was wonderful and we met so many nice cruisers from all over the world. Even learned how to play bridge. One negative was the front desk. On one day in Mexico we planned a trip with another couple. My husband got some cash out of the safe and asked me to get change for the tours. I went to the front desk, gave her 3 $20 bills. I put one in front of her and said I wanted 20 $1 bills and the rest in $5's. She told me she was short on $1 bills. I said well give me $10 in $1's and the rest $5's. She started counting out the money. When I kind of look perplexed because the money she gave me did not look enough she said loudly "you gave me $40!! ".. why would someone say that? I went back to our room and my husband and I went off the boat for the tour. When we went to pay for the car, my husband looked at my cash and said "I gave you $60, you only have $40. We went back to the ship and went to the front desk. We had to wait 20 minutes for the lady to come back who had gave me the money. When she did, she helped others first. We finally went up to her and told her what she did. She looked at me like she did not care. I told her to count her money and she would have $20 over. Well she did and she came over to me, put two $10 bills in front of me and left. No "I am sorry". By that time I was upset because we had missed out tour with our friends. I sat on the small couch in front of the desk and tried to console myself. I looked at the lady and said "you made us miss out tour". Well all of a sudden the senior staff member came out of no where and tried to walk us away from the desk. I reiterated "you made us miss our tour" plus that person stiffed me my money and did not apologize. The only help I got was from the future sales consultant who tried to make everything right. Well, make sure you count your money folks. All in all, except for this, it was a good cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was our second world cruise on HAL and it was excellent. We enjoyed everything about the cruise but some of the things were more enjoyable than others. For example the night at Ephesus was outstanding. The preparations, ... Read More
This was our second world cruise on HAL and it was excellent. We enjoyed everything about the cruise but some of the things were more enjoyable than others. For example the night at Ephesus was outstanding. The preparations, transportation, food, and entertainment was extraordinary. The trip to Petra was well coordinated as was all of the tours. The food is always outstanding. It is well prepared, the servers were excellent, and the GIS was handled as well as could be expected. The captain kept us well informed about everything, especially the GIS status, and the reasons when we were not able to port because of tides and/or high winds. The alternative ports provided proved to be great. Another nice feature was the notice of all shipboard events. This way my spouse and I were able to pack to enjoy the on board events. The ambassadors from Tahiti, Aboriginal Australia, belly dancers and others provided a great lift to the trip. I would like to especially give a shout out to Christel Mensink, customer service representative. She was always available to resolve any concerns and make our trip fantastic. You can rest assured that we will be aboard for another world cruise in the near future. Finally, the appearance of Orlando Ashford, the new CEO was great. He provided a vision of the future and his Q&A session was very informative. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
This was our second World Cruise on HAL Amsterdam, but not our last. Our favorite cruise line is Crystal, but HAL is a better deal. 80% of the quality for 60% of the price. So when we can save up enough shekels we go on Crystal, when we ... Read More
This was our second World Cruise on HAL Amsterdam, but not our last. Our favorite cruise line is Crystal, but HAL is a better deal. 80% of the quality for 60% of the price. So when we can save up enough shekels we go on Crystal, when we get to antsy to wait, HAL here we come. Back to this cruise. Wonderful ship, great food, friendly people, fantastic itinerary. Our main activities on board include eating, playing bridge, reading, evening shows, and just generally relaxing. The food in both the main dining room and the Lido buffet is very good. Not always perfect, but the friendly and helpful serving staff will do everything humanly possible to satisfy us. Great variety. The staff is excellent, with a particular shout-out to Presty. Cooked to order breakfast items are the best on any ship we've been on. Bridge lessons and afternoon play were first rate with Karen and Dave. And almost all of the players are friendly, and tolerant of differing skill levels. There were no cut-throat players on this cruise. One of the best libraries at sea. We only brought one book for the flight down and another for the return, got the other 4 dozen books we read from the library. There's live music scattered all over the ship, and the evening shows are generally very good to excellent. We were unable to attend most of the lectures, as they conflicted with bridge classes in the morning. Shore excursions on HAL are a disappointment. The quality and selection is on par with other ships, but the prices seem to be outrageous. With the exception of Indonesia, where local traffic mandates a police escort if you want to get back to the ship on time, we hired a taxi, booked a local excursion in port, rented a car, or rode off on our own bicycles. And at most it cost us 1/2 of what the ShoreEx cost, for the same quality. Yes, we took our bikes with us. Great fun! Previously we've kept them in the cabin, but this time the wonderful Hotel Manager Henk volunteered a place to store them. With the exception of Sydney they're not much use in the big cities, but on the islands they can't be beat. One other person that deserves special mention is Cristal, the Guest Services Manager. No matter what the issue, she would step up and solve it, with a smile. Henk and Cristal are the best in their respective jobs of any cruise we've ever been on. One of the most memorable ports was in the Azores. I don't know if it's like this year around or just the day we were there, but it was the most verdant land we've ever seen. Car rental for $30/day right in the port made it even better. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
First WC, totally enjoyable, staff amazing, some cabin issues (resolved), food overall above average, specialty restaurants outstanding, theme meals and decorations awesome. Most tours, all booked through HAL, good to excellent. ... Read More
First WC, totally enjoyable, staff amazing, some cabin issues (resolved), food overall above average, specialty restaurants outstanding, theme meals and decorations awesome. Most tours, all booked through HAL, good to excellent. Leaving ship on tour days was a headache with 300+ passengers waiting to disembark on the stairs and people darting to buses in order to get a window seat. Entertainment was uneven, quantity over quality. Most acts were cheesy yet they were introduced as world class. Activities covered the whole spectrum of interests; we both like cooking so we enjoyed the cooking demos and food trivia. (Trivia cliques are another story.) Being a big sports fan especially soccer, I felt very lonely without cable for more than 2 weeks. On the other hand, Superbowl transmission was good. Very smooth embarkation and disembarkation, nothing lost, still don't know how we managed to cram everything in the tiny cabin. We're looking forward to the 2017 WC Read Less
Sail Date January 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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