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18 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) to World Cruise Reviews

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
I have sailed on Prinsendam about 200 days overall and love this ship. She has a charming intimacy and her loyal crew make the experience wonderful. Because she is over thirty years old, she is prone to plumbing leaks and uneven heating ... Read More
I have sailed on Prinsendam about 200 days overall and love this ship. She has a charming intimacy and her loyal crew make the experience wonderful. Because she is over thirty years old, she is prone to plumbing leaks and uneven heating and air conditioning. Despite that, her charm and intimacy and small scale attracts loyal followers like me who vastly prefer smaller ships that look like ships and not an amusement park or land resort. The outside cabins (which I prefer because of price point) are very comfortable and have great storage space, with walk in closets. I also like the tub shower combination which is offered in most cabins. The food and service aboard Prinsendam is very good. The fitness facility is a bit small but has an adequate number of elliptical machines with individual TVs with head phone jacks. There is one outdoor salt water pool (not heated) aft and one small outdoor heated fresh water pool mid ship. Although the theater is relatively small, Holland America entertainment Department invests money to bring a fresh flow of different talented entertainers aboard. I much prefer talented performers who connect with the audience instead of seeing some large, glitzy production show with canned music, dancers who lip sync and singers who lack the vocal and stage training and that really connect with their audience. I have recently sailed on the new Viking Ocean ships (900 pax) and they may cause some Prinsendam loyalists to consider a change. Viking ships have free WiFi, and everything is new and works. As long as HAL maintains and makes updates on Prinsendam, I will still sail on her. Read Less
Sail Date March 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
I chose the full world cruise because of its long duration and the ports of call, and this ship because it is just the right size for me, and I know its crew and amenities from my previous 600+ days on board. It was indeed like coming ... Read More
I chose the full world cruise because of its long duration and the ports of call, and this ship because it is just the right size for me, and I know its crew and amenities from my previous 600+ days on board. It was indeed like coming home, and the staff said, "Welcome back." At the ports where I had visited before, I either took different land excursions, or revisited some to see the changes over the years. I enjoyed all the benefits of the owner's suite, and my daughters took turn occupying the adjacent cabin for different segments. Joined together, these two accommodations provided a lot of space to enjoy on sea days. We all attended and learned much from the lecturers. Special events such as the dine-around, crew games, and boat-building were lots of fun. Our butler was exceptional, anticipating our preferences or desires before we even thought of them, and efficiently organized the unpacking and repacking. The captain and officers were always visible and very accessible, and the head chef was extremely obliging with special requests. Read Less
Sail Date January 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 Silver Whisper is currently home of the World Cruise and we enjoyed the first three segments (hence segmentarians). 180 of the 380 guests on board are doing the whole cruise, Ft Lauderdale to Venice, finishing at the beginning of ... Read More
The Silver Whisper is currently home of the World Cruise and we enjoyed the first three segments (hence segmentarians). 180 of the 380 guests on board are doing the whole cruise, Ft Lauderdale to Venice, finishing at the beginning of May. The ship is in excellent condition and we noticed our suite and the public spaces were immaculate. The restaurants all served excellent food and we had no trouble obtaining reservations for hot rocks on deck or La Terrazza. Le Champagne was very under used and we enjoyed our two visits there. Wines were also good. The crew are what make Silversea and we feel that their very best are saved for the World Cruise. The entertainment programme under the leadership of Colin Brown was very good particularly the speakers. The singers are also up a notch compared with previous Silversea experience. The international hostesses were terrific. Friendly, outgoing and visible all over the ship. The shore concierge desk was efficient if, sometimes, a little tardy with information. The destination consultant and his wife, Jon and Tracy Fleming are well informed and very goodmatntheir jobs. TRacy gives photography and iPad classes which started very basic but soon moved on. Just what was required for the varied abilities at her classes. After a slow start the free (an hour a day each) wi fi was sorted out and worked well. The IT engineer was poor and reception much more helpful and efficient. We had many, many sea days crossing the southern Pacific which we enjoy very much. The choice of excursions was good and in most places, reasonably priced. We enjoyed the three day overland trip to Machu Picchu, which apart from a cancelled flight Lima to Cuzco because of bad weather, went like clockwork. The guides and hotels were excellent as was the luxury Hiram Bigham (ex Orient Express) train with brunch. When it came to disembarking in Sydney, we were docked at White Bay Terminal, which did not please the World Cruisers as it is a journey to Circular Quay and attractions from there. We needed to be first off and this was easily arranged and our three cases were waiting for us in the terminal, already on a trolley. That is service! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This trip was on my bucket list and far surpassed my expectations. Going again in 2018! The ship's staff was wonderful. Each port was a different experience from cruise tours just walking in town, private tours to hop on hop ... Read More
This trip was on my bucket list and far surpassed my expectations. Going again in 2018! The ship's staff was wonderful. Each port was a different experience from cruise tours just walking in town, private tours to hop on hop off. The food was all prepared wonderfully and after 111 days there was always a variety to choose from without getting tired of the same old menu. The theme Sunday brunches led by Oscar were memorable. There was always something to do any time of the day. Evenings were pretty much over by 11 PM so those folks looking for more night life will be bored then. No children, or very young so there were not activities for them. Our mini suite was very nice and in a good location. The ship being small was easy to around on. One could walk from the front to the rear in about 2 minutes. I had a health issue on board and the medical staff was absolutely wonderful. All in all this is a great ship if you want a relaxing voyage, good service and delicious food. Can't wait to see the ship as it was just refurbished in June 2016. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
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
We were on the Two Ship World Cruise starting with Queen Victoria from Ft. Lauderdale to Sydney. Our cruise began with a two hour wait to be checked in. Our suite seemed adequate but soon developed many problems. First, our shower sewer ... Read More
We were on the Two Ship World Cruise starting with Queen Victoria from Ft. Lauderdale to Sydney. Our cruise began with a two hour wait to be checked in. Our suite seemed adequate but soon developed many problems. First, our shower sewer backed up, covering the shower floor with gray water. We called the purser's office and it was soon taken care of. Second, for nine days we were not sure if we would have hot water or not. Being in the shower all lathered up and the water turning cold was a real shock to the system. Third, while sailing across the Equator, the AC stopped working. This took two days to be fixed. We understand cruise ships have problems but the manner and efficiency of handling those problems are the test. And some of Queen Victoria's staff were not that concerned with our problems. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This is my fourth world voyage on the Queen Vic. Each time I've noticed a slight lowering of service standards. First, the fresh free daily bottle of water disappeared, then the room service Hors d'oevres, then the after ... Read More
This is my fourth world voyage on the Queen Vic. Each time I've noticed a slight lowering of service standards. First, the fresh free daily bottle of water disappeared, then the room service Hors d'oevres, then the after dinner bonbons were downgraded (Jello squares and rice krispy treats! Really!) Then the World Voyage status was re-defined to exclude Ft. Lauderdale-Sydney roundtrips. But the final straw was that the caring, effiicient, effective ship's administration was replaced by a cadre of young, fresh, new (inexperienced) imperious bumpkins who know nothing about how to handle people- much less cater to high-paying passengers on a luxury liner! Carnival Corporation doubletalk has replaced any sincere effort to solve complaints that made Cunard such an easy way to travel. I'm a Diamond level passenger and I won't be back! Read Less
Sail Date February 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

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