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2,002 Holland America Line Alaska Cruise Reviews

the worst entertainment the first day on the main stage they showed the movie captain marvel on dress up night at 9;30 they showed the movie dumbo the other nights they had 6 contemporary dancers an illusionist and a comedian we have been ... Read More
the worst entertainment the first day on the main stage they showed the movie captain marvel on dress up night at 9;30 they showed the movie dumbo the other nights they had 6 contemporary dancers an illusionist and a comedian we have been on numerous cruises and had such a horrendous experience that it put a damper on the whole cruise the cabin was average we had a terrace on one of the higher floors the food was average the shore excursions were average this past May we were on one of the carnival ships we had fantastic entertainment they had a live 6 piece band with a broadway production of singers and dancers who changed costumes three times there were two comedians who performed other then the main stage they had a seperate room just for movies which they showed all the time the master of ceremonies entertained the crowd after the show with different engaging activities we had never been on any holland america cruise ships before and will never go back the food was better then the other cruise ships we were on they made all their pizzas to order they had sushi every day for lunch they also had carved meats and different vegetables they also had make your own salad the lounge act at bb Kings was exceptionally good with two great singers and five musicals behind them Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was my second trip to Alaska and my first time on Holland America. I was really impressed with this beautiful ship. It looked fresh and felt luxurious. There were plenty of elevators and lots of quiet places throughout the ship ... Read More
This was my second trip to Alaska and my first time on Holland America. I was really impressed with this beautiful ship. It looked fresh and felt luxurious. There were plenty of elevators and lots of quiet places throughout the ship where one could settle in with a good book. The only time it felt crowded was peak times in the buffet. I liked having breakfast and lunch in the dining room. They served steak and lobster on the 2nd gala night and it was very good. Other Dining Room menu items for dinner were hit and miss. The buffet was typical. I noticed they didn't have trays and the staff dished up most of the food for you, which I didn't really like but apparently it reduces the incidence of illness. Unlike some other cruise lines I've been on, there didn't seem to be any theme nights in the buffet. We dined in Canaletto, the Italian specialty restaurant, one night and the food and service were first rate. I liked the films and talks showcasing Alaska. There were none of those dreadful "Vegas type" shows. There was an illusionist one night and a comedian. There was a dance group but it didn't appeal to me and I left. I loved the Lincoln Centre Stage featuring a piano quintette from Hungary and also the B.B. King Blues club. We had lots of fun at Trivia and Music Trivia. The staff were helpful, friendly and service oriented although I found sometimes there was quite a wait to get a drink. Speaking of drinks, I discovered the Ginger Mule and will ask for that next time. I didn't get off the ship in Juneau but took the White Pass and Yukon trip in Skagway and the Wilderness Exploration and Crab Feast in Ketchikan. Both through the ship and both very expensive. Converted to Canadian funds the cost was around $500.00. Our party included a 12 year old and a 16 year old. The younger one had a blast but we worried there didn't seem to be much for the teen. However, she said at the end that she would love to do another cruise. I had wheelchair assistance embarking and disembarking as I am on supplemental oxygen and the batteries don't last too long. I really appreciated this service. Disembarking was really well organized, probably the best I've ever experienced. All in all, a lovely week with family and friends. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The Amsterdam is a classy older ship. The staff were friendly and attentive through out. They appeared to really like working there. Lanai cabin was great for being able to access the deck and follow sights around the lower prominade. ... Read More
The Amsterdam is a classy older ship. The staff were friendly and attentive through out. They appeared to really like working there. Lanai cabin was great for being able to access the deck and follow sights around the lower prominade. The service in the main dining room was super, although the menu was sometimes not as good as the Lido. The Pinnacle was a lovely, special experience with well prepared food and service up another notch. The Lido had a good variety of food and service was friendly. The theater is beautiful with good sight lines throughout. This was a full ship charter and the crew were very welcoming of the diversity of the passengers. The views going up were astounding, retuning from skagway we were often further out and there wasn't much to see. Stewards were wonderful and the overall maintenance of the ship seemed impeccable. The atrium with it's massive clock brings this touch of class to focus. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The best thing about this ship are the four extra elevators they added either as an afterthought or in retrofit — Two on each side of the ship in the middle give us a total of seven elevators at entry point. These glass elevators on the ... Read More
The best thing about this ship are the four extra elevators they added either as an afterthought or in retrofit — Two on each side of the ship in the middle give us a total of seven elevators at entry point. These glass elevators on the side of the ship are much faster than the normal elevators and so wait time was actually quite minimal. A cruise ship leads a hard life, the cabins are constantly occupied 12 months a year the elevators are constantly moving so things do you wear out quick... noordam isn’t bad at all But too many elevator button lights are burned out, Drain on bathtub broken,the toilet stopped working for a while, There is some wear on the furniture in the cabins. The TV reception and remote isn’t very good. I certainly can’t mark it down because it caters to an older crowd, 80 percent 50 plus, but be aware of that when you are looking at cruise lines. The entertainment budget goes for a string Quartet that does Bach, not trapeze artists. Relatively limited dining options. Food is just OK. Wine is prohibitively overpriced even for a cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The stateroom was perfect aside from the air not working. It was clean and roomy for the two of us. We had great shows to watch and cozy veranda. There was plenty of storage room, and we even had numerous USB ports. Standard plugin was ... Read More
The stateroom was perfect aside from the air not working. It was clean and roomy for the two of us. We had great shows to watch and cozy veranda. There was plenty of storage room, and we even had numerous USB ports. Standard plugin was limited, but we were prepared for that. There was no outlet near the bed. My husband has a cpap and they brought a power trip to help it reach. Our air didn’t work the entire trip so thank goodness we had the veranda to leave open all day. They called everyday to check on it but didn’t do anything about it. Dining room Awful experience. The back of the ship was so loud and shaking you had to talk quite loudly to have a conversation. Therefore, everyone around you talked loudly as well. We ordered the Spinach and artichoke dip with bread which came with two breadsticks from Nutella. While we were eating, the captain came on to talk about the evening festivities, weather, location and more. We could not make out but a couple words that he said something about Glacier Bay and the spa. You can never hear any of the announcements because they only are in the hallways and stairwells. My husband ordered a New York strip steak medium and I ordered one done. Besides the fact that there were flank steak and not NY strip wasn’t the worst part. I received his steak and he received mine. The asparagus and carrots were saturated in butter. The pecan pie was stale and about two bites worth of pie. The NY cheesecake was not your typical cheesecake. It had more of a cake texture than a cream cheese texture. There is only food available during certain times so it throws off the eastern time zone people. Then when it’s time to eat, there are 1000 people in line waiting for two people to serve you food. The food is not buffet style or self serve. If you want a piece of pizza, it can be an hour wait. There are 30 people selling beer and two people serving food and clearing tables. You have to clear off your own table because there aren’t enough outside. If you want a waffle for breakfast, it can be up to a 7 minute wait. The food isn’t even all that tasty. Most of the choices are the same every day. The ranch for salads is watered down, scrambled eggs are runny and bacon is transparent. The chicken Caesar salad was divine. The omlet station was really good too but there again one person making omelets for 40 people. I’m sure like every other cruise line it’s all about tourism. I paid $4000 to see Alaska. Not buy $3000 jewelry made in China worth $10. I want genuine jewels and custom made things. I want to support Alaska while supporting Holland America. The only activities on the ship were targeted towards women. Jason paid $120 to just play Texas holdem for a bit. We did not know that it was a Chuck Swindoll cruise - that would have been nice to know because most of the rooms and events were for those people. They took the main stage most days so the shows weren’t till 8 and 10:00 at night. That’s 2:00 in the morning for Easterners. I spoke with an employee who said they had most of the ship most of the day. Our travel agent was incredible and really help tailor our trip ideas to our desires. When we went to the excursion desk, she told us that our travel agent booked us for all the old people tours and obviously didn’t know what she was talking about because there was no way we could get a cap for $70 an hour in Juneau. When we arrived in Juneau the taxis said right on the doors, $70 an hour! Felt like we were lied to from most of the cruise line employees. Alaska was breathtaking and so glad we went to Sitka. I had no idea Juneau was as commercialized as it was. I wouldn’t ever have to go back there. It was totally not what we were expecting. Even our family members who go on cruises to and three times a year it said it was unlike anything they had ever experienced I would not be traveling Holland America again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We arrived at the ship at approximately 12:30 after parking at the Cruise Parking lot by the Armory and taking their shuttle to the cruise dock... We were on board and in our cabin about 20 minutes later. It was pretty painless. Our ... Read More
We arrived at the ship at approximately 12:30 after parking at the Cruise Parking lot by the Armory and taking their shuttle to the cruise dock... We were on board and in our cabin about 20 minutes later. It was pretty painless. Our luggage was in our stateroom after we got back from lunch. The ship was in great shape and was constantly being cleaned and maintained. We had Verandah Stateroom 4181 which is an aft facing cabin on deck four. This was a great cabin in some ways and not so great in others. It was plenty large enough for two people and the verandah was nice and spacious. It got plenty of sun and at times it actually got TOO hot out there. There really is no cross wind. We had no problem with “soot” as some people said we might. When we looked down all we could see was water and the ships’ wake... When you are at the rail, people on the upper decks can see you but you do have complete privacy if you sit closer to the cabin. It is very close to the MDR and the elevators to the Lido are not too far away. Getting to the Crow’s Nest and gym is a hike though, especially if you need to go up there to shower, which brings me to the not so good. This cabin had hot water issues from day one. It was hit and miss. Sometimes you had it and other times you didn’t and you could never count on it. Eventually, the ship became very responsive to the problem and it was finally resolved permanently two days before the cruise was over. HAL and the Guest Relations Manager on board did make it up to us and we were satisfied with the end result but not before I had already trekked up to the gym on two separate occasions to find a hot shower. The cabin stewards were awesome as usual. Food: We ate in the Canaletto twice on this cruise. It was GREAT both times. The food was excellent and the service was awesome. Canaletto seems to get lost in the shadow of the Pinnacle Grill but it truly is a hidden gem. We ate once in the Pinnacle Grill and it has redeemed itself in my opinion. I have been somewhat critical of this venue recently but this experience was really good. We had a weird and unusual experience with room service though. Two out of three times our order just never showed up. When we called, they said they had no record of it. There were a lot of kids on this cruise and maybe they were playing pranks by removing the menus from the doors at night? We have never had that issue before and it was really strange to have it happen two out of three times. The Hotel Manager did mention that some kids were playing pranks by filling out the menu cards, ordering one of everything, and placing them on random doors. Maybe we were victimized by something similar? We ate in the MDR twice and it was good both times. The Lido was good also. I was afraid that the Lido would be a madhouse in the mornings for breakfast because of all the families aboard but it really wasn’t too bad. It looked like a lot of people were using the MDR for breakfast. We had the Hot Dogs at the Dive In Grill once, they were good but the line was consistently long. !5 minutes just to get the pager and then another 30 minutes if you wanted Hamburgers. Not so long for just the dogs. This was a very popular venue with all the families aboard. Entertainment” This was our first cruise where we never went to BB King’s Blues Club. We just never got around to it. We did see the comedian and the magician and enjoyed both. The dual pianos were ok, we saw their show once. Lincoln Center Stage was good but we only saw a brief performance. The naturist on board gave some very interesting lectures as did the Cruise Director. She is a very good public speaker. Crew” The crew was wonderful as usual and they did a good job managing with all the kids on board. Our room stewards were great and always kept our cabin tidy and stocked with ice and fresh fruit. All in all this was a very nice cruise and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. It was sunny and warm every day! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise as part of a Land/Sea cruise for our 25th Annivrsary. The ship is in great shape, the staff is always friendly and the services can't be beat. We started in Seattle for the beginning of our R6L. We flew to Alaska ... Read More
We chose this cruise as part of a Land/Sea cruise for our 25th Annivrsary. The ship is in great shape, the staff is always friendly and the services can't be beat. We started in Seattle for the beginning of our R6L. We flew to Alaska on Alaska Airlines, SEATAC is a bit chaotic.. We wandered around Anchorage, went to the Huli knife shop, began souvenoir hubting and a headed back to get something to eat at a Brewery across the street from the Westmark Anchorage, a a good hotel to get some sleep. We picked up a snack for our breakfast the next morning, choosing to eat on the train. The next morning we were bused to the train station, got on our assigned train car and settled in. Once the train was moving we ate breakfast (1/2 the hotel pric) which was excellent!. Back in the train car we enjoyed our train attendan and his knowledge of Alaska while having a couple cocktails. We had an afternoon snack and arrived in Denali 9 hrs later. Debarking the train we were bused to out lodge, we were in the new lodge, Ridge View. These are very nice! Our luggage was waiting for us in the room, we changed and went for a stroll and enjoyed a dinner at Kartstens, good food. After a good night's sleep we had an early start to the day, meeting the Denali Tundra Wilderness Tour at 0530! It was worth it though, seeing allot of animals and great views of Denali. The next day we took a bus from Denali to Seward, another 9hrs! We stopped half way for a very nice make your ouwn sandwich at the Settles Bay Lodge. T he boarding was quick, and we were on the Westerdam. Cruising Glacier bay was beautiful, They expect the glaciers to be completely receeded in 5 years! Haines is a nice small town, Alaska Rod's is a great souvenoir shop, most items are hand made by Rod himself or elsewhere in Alaska. Junea is anothe great port, be sure to see the Medenhall Glacier, it is also quickly receeding! Ketchikan is a busy place, uualy 5 ships in at a time. The Lumberjack show is very entertaining! If you want real canned Salmon, go to Salmon Etc. It is privately owned and operated. Another day of relaxing and then disembarking in Vancouver, we were qulified for direct to ship. You meet in the mainstage area and then are quided to your coach on a seperate brow from everyone else. Yur luggage is already in the bus. After a stop at the borde and passing US customs it's off to SEATAC. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Just returned from our fourth time on the MS Eurodam. First things first, Eurodam is a great ship and still in really good condition. She is well worth a trip to any destination. The cabins are in good shape, as well as all of the public ... Read More
Just returned from our fourth time on the MS Eurodam. First things first, Eurodam is a great ship and still in really good condition. She is well worth a trip to any destination. The cabins are in good shape, as well as all of the public areas. The employees aboard all HAL ships, and in this case Eurodam, always go above and beyond to make sure that your cruise is the best it can possibly be. A special shout out at this time for our cabin stewards, Holqi and Ilyas, who made sure our cabin was always ready for us at all times of the day. Also special shout out to Marcel and Ryan, who rule the Pinnacle wine bar! They both made every day in their bar a great time. They went out of their way to have a special Bday cake made for my wife. It was very much appreciated. Now, some items that continue to trouble us on most cruises lately, but particularly Holland America. Entertainment continues to be cut back. On this particular cruise the main stage show was cancelled twice, due to a cast member "illness". It's amazing that there is no understudy to take on any role in a show, as is always done in this profession. Also, used to be two shows per 7 day cruise, now only one. The Pinnacle grill is always a highlight for us. This particular cruise, they just overbooked the room and the kitchen and the service staff could not keep up. There was a general feeling that they were trying very hard, but could not catch up. The food itself was fine, but the length of the experience ( 3 1/2 hours for 4 course dinner ) was a bit much. The Maitre'd always just stands at the door and NEVER helps the servers when they are in trouble. Also, in this type of dining experience, NO food should ever have to be auctioned ( okay, who gets the steak and who gets the fish)!! Really?? Come on, basic service training please!! Had to laugh that the Pinnacle Grill prices jumped $4.00 in the middle of our cruise! Yikes, couldn't even wait until the next cruise to implement!! The MDR was also under the gun each night and all I can put that down to is cutting of staff. Meals were auctioned, slow service and no wine service on three nights. The sommeliers are stretched so thin that when a few tables actually order cocktails and wine, they can not keep up. Again, everyone friendly, but you can see the stress in the MDR. Never see Captains or Maitre D helping. They always stand at the main door, nothing more. The food quality and portions continue to be cut. At least three nights out of seven, there are specialty menus, so you can not order other items, such as salmon or s Caesar salad. The portion continue to get smaller and smaller. We are not big eaters, and usually only eat three courses. You now have to eat all 5 courses to even feel some kind of full. Hawking of items that you can now purchase, such as a Tomahawk Ribeye or Alaskan King Crab legs gets really tiring. The proteins continue to be cut. Try to find a good cut of beef or chicken. Serving Chicken leg as an entrée on the menu in MDR?? Really? The Lido food is okay, nothing special. Just remember you are eating lots of processed foods and you will gain weight if you are not watching what you eat. Even the Mariner's Luncheon offers you Pot Roast instead of steak these days! We did not take any shore excursions this trip as we have travelled to Alaska 6 times. We did however, give lots of advise to persons looking for excursions. Alaska is one of those places where you really need to take excursions to see all of the beauty that it has to offer. Also, we always advise people who ask us to book Verandah cabins in Alaska, as you will really miss so much wonder if you do not. We have a few more HAL trips booked. We will continue to monitor the cuts made by the accounts and hope for the best. The perks we receive as three star Mariners are not that good, compared to the other lines that we cruise with. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We went on this cruise because Max Lacado and Matthew West were on it as part of a package. We typically cruise on Carnival, so keep that in mind with this review. Cabin: we had an aft balcony, 7134. We liked it. It had enough storage ... Read More
We went on this cruise because Max Lacado and Matthew West were on it as part of a package. We typically cruise on Carnival, so keep that in mind with this review. Cabin: we had an aft balcony, 7134. We liked it. It had enough storage space in the closet and shelves in the closet. The bed was comfortable. And there were two night stands with drawers in them. Dining: The food was fine. I guess we were hoping it would be a clear step up over Carnival. But it wasn’t. I liked the pizza. You sometimes had to wait 30 minutes but they gave you a beeper so you can do other things than stand in line. I’ve seen some folks say the lido was too crowded. Yes, it was crowded during peak times. But I find that on most ships. Entertainment: the entertainment was good. When something was going on. We loved the piano duo and BB King band. But during the day, unless you wanted a metabolism talk, not much going on. Two trivia per day, given the older demographics of HAL, seems light. And there were no bands or singers playing throughout the ship. And they might as well convert the casino area into something else. the piano duo and BB King saved the score from a failing grade. Service: service was good. Lots of places and people who serve drinks. Ship: I liked the ship. The layout was easy to navigate. Plenty of space to hang out. And a smoke free casino. And that’s huge even for non gamblers. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Having been thrilled at our experience with H&A on our last cruise we had no second thoughts about choosing this company once more. Why? The staff, food and clientele were all first class. We especially like the fact that all the ... Read More
Having been thrilled at our experience with H&A on our last cruise we had no second thoughts about choosing this company once more. Why? The staff, food and clientele were all first class. We especially like the fact that all the food has to be served to you, no scramble and self service that we have encountered on other ships. This also stops germs spreading. We were two of only 12 British guests. We were so blessed with the weather that we even got sunburned on one day! Having packed layers and waterproof clothing which we rarely used apart from times out on deck whilst sailing into winds. Always good to be prepared as the weather can change. Locals were amazed how hot it was 24 degrees! Food was top draw once again. This is fine dining and good to see more people dress up this time. One tip if you want to eat alone is book early and in advance. Excursions are down to you, however June is fine regarding bears but I would be worried after that once the salmon come to town. Remember this is bear country so if you are concerned then read the signs and ask for sightings. Glacier bay is unbelievable and meets all expectations. Juneau, glacier and waterfall is excellent and make sure you walk to the whale statue. Sitka and ketichkan just use shuttle bus to explore yourself. Sitka museum certainly worth a visit however the Russian dance so is worthy of a Monty python sketch. Ketichkan will take you 40 mins to walk round! The lumberjack show was worth a look and book on ship as it is literally 2 mins walk from dock and saves queuing a a slow ticket booth. Victoria was get off and on in a couple of hours. Arrived at 7pm, so no point in going to the gardens which is probably the highlight here. Chinatown was a joke . We stayed in Seattle for 2 nights and had a day on the way back. Boeing factory and flight museum are excellent value. If you get the elvis driver to the factory you are in for a treat. Space needle and skyview for sunset are a must visit. Seattle however is worse than New York for beggars, homeless so be aware. Go to pike place market to have the best fish and chips at athenian restaurant. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This cruise fit our time and budget. We also like HA cruises as we find them slightly better than the other cruise lines. HA is one of the few that sails into Glacier Bay, which is a highlight of the cruise. i would not cruise to Alaska ... Read More
This cruise fit our time and budget. We also like HA cruises as we find them slightly better than the other cruise lines. HA is one of the few that sails into Glacier Bay, which is a highlight of the cruise. i would not cruise to Alaska without going to Glacier Bay. The food and service was excellent. There was a minor issue with the balcony divider that rattled, which they fixed - they also fixed a minor issue in the bathroom shower without us even telling them. The ship was impeccably clean, and the state room service was great. Maybe we are getting old, but we also found that the lack of party atmosphere was refreshing and relaxing. We tried BB kings lounge, which was the heart of the ship, and while the musicians were very skilled, we found the Blues and R&B was not our thing, I am more of a classic rock guy. The shows in the main theater were very good, but don't expect the extravaganza that you see on the Mega Ships. We booked our own shore excursions and did not use the cruise line for this. The White pass railroad was GREAT and very scenic. We booked a Seaplane in Ketchikan for a Misty Fjiords flight which I highly recommend. I am plane buff and this was the highlight of the trip for me. In jueau we took public transit to Mendenhall Glacier and walked 1.5 miles to the park from the bus stop. This cost us $18 for everything, round trip. A couple of things. You have to pay for soft drinks, which I found odd. Also they serve you at the buffet, which I guess they do for sanitary reasons (and also to cut down on food waste) but I did find it slower than a help yourself buffet. The Dive in Burger joint was great, and we ate lunch here twice. The Pizza was also good. We also ate at the three specialty restaurants (Asian food, Steak House, and Italian) We rec'd these dinners for free for some reason. The food and service was excellent, however, I find the main dining hall food to be excellent as well. I don't think that I would pay extra for the specialty restaurants. We first took this cruise on our honeymoon 26 years ago, and we enjoyed this cruise just as much Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
After dreaming about visiting Alaska for years, we East Coast frequent travelers took the plunge when my brother & sis-in-law, veteran cruisers, suggested this trip. We planned & conferred for almost 2 years on the details before ... Read More
After dreaming about visiting Alaska for years, we East Coast frequent travelers took the plunge when my brother & sis-in-law, veteran cruisers, suggested this trip. We planned & conferred for almost 2 years on the details before booking with HAL. The experience has become one of the most memorable travel experiences we've ever had. Our sole complaints were right at the start & right at the end - at Vancouver's Canada Place, so I'll dispense with them: once our bags were dropped off, there was absolutely not a soul, nor even signage, to direct us where to begin the embarkation process. After approx. 90 minutes of confusion & waiting in seemingly endless lines, we finally stumbled into 'priority boarding' & breezed through the last 5 minutes. Once again, during disembarkation, which we managed fine on our own, confusion reigned, followed by more long lines. Let me note that we're more than accustomed to Customs & Immigration requirements, having lived in Europe for many years, & continue to visit family there regularly. But it was the total lack of direction at Canada Place we found disconcerting. Finally, at first glance, the taxi line seemed endless, but actually moved along at a good clip, efficiently orchestrated by real people in neon vests, with whistles! From cabin to MDR to Neptune Lounge, I cannot say enough about the staff & crew aboard the NA, who all worked long hours to make our sailing special, always with a smile & greeting. The beautiful NL was stocked with snacks, fruit, juice, coffee/tea & water most of the day. At one point, during a family emergency at home, on a sea day when we had no service on our phones, the concierge in the Lounge put a call through to our room at no charge! Her kindness during a difficult situation will remain with us always. As for dining, we could have opted to have breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill each AM, but were initially unaware that meals take longer there, & my husband was on the clock to make an early excursion, for which he then had to hustle. As a result, we preferred to eat breakfast & dinner in the MDR, never needing a reservation, where my food allergy was accommodated with specially prepared (yummy) meals I'd selected from a printed menu the night before. Bottles of sparkling water I purchased at dinner were taken back to our room to use later, but all the water on board was perfectly potable. As the sole-but-modest drinker in our party, I also purchased a bottle of Prosecco, which the sommeliers re-corked & brought to me on subsequent nights, chilled & still bubbly! Due to my food issue, we had only a couple of plain sandwiches, fruit, or sweet snacks at the buffet - all good. During the height of lunch rush, seating at the Lido deck can be difficult to find, unless you find folks willing to share or about to leave a table. There are three premium & two light-meal restaurants in addition to these. We treated ourselves to dinner in the Pinnacle Grille on our final night at sea - again, delicious. Additionally, my husband requested seating at an officer's table one night, which the four of us enjoyed. He is the IT officer, a tremendously interesting family man from whom we learned so much about his home country of Croatia. As mostly early risers, we didn't linger all that late, but took in a magic show & a brief stint at BB King's Blues Club. They earned passing grades, but we didn't feel they were exceptional. There was also a fascinating & beautifully shot wildlife film shown in the Mainstage. We took part in four excursions between us & highly recommend them all: Tracy Arm Fjord & Glacier Explorer, Gastineau Guiding Whales & Glacier (Small Group) Photo Safari out of Juneau, White Pass Summit Railway out of Skagway, & for something literally off the beaten path: Adventure Kart expedition out of Ketchikan. We aren't big-time shoppers, so although we'd like to have had more time & energy to check out Juneau & Ketchikan, our experiences were priceless & unforgettable, especially as we had near-perfect weather. Our first view of the evening twilight sky in the Crows Nest was so gorgeous we were all at the windows, cell phones in hand. Need I mention that Glacier Bay up on the front deck was a memorable day? The week on board Nieuw Amsterdam went by way too quickly! Luckily, we were able to ferry across to Victoria for 4 days after the cruise, one of which was Canada Day,then finishing up in Vancouver. Given the time, I highly recommend Butchart Gardens outside Victoria, Capilano Suspension Bridge near Vancouver, & the scenic area surrounding Whistler, north of Vancouver. As an amateur photographer, I had a blast! Some of the most spectacular shots I got were right from the balcony - in bare feet & pajamas late into the evening or early in the morning. To say we'd cruise the Inside Passage on HAL again is a given, next time with a land portion. We're hooked now & can't wait! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We took a 7 nights cruise with Holland America, Volendam Ship Tour for Alaska Inside Passage. We booked two cabins for our family of 4 adults and were perfectly comfortable for the duration of our stay. 
The level of service was good as ... Read More
We took a 7 nights cruise with Holland America, Volendam Ship Tour for Alaska Inside Passage. We booked two cabins for our family of 4 adults and were perfectly comfortable for the duration of our stay. 
The level of service was good as were the quality and condition of all facilities on board. The activities organised daily were well organised and allowed more than enough time to fully experience them. We enjoyed the overall experience. However, the dinning services inclusive of can be deemed terrible. There were no multiple vegetarian food options and we were stuck with no choice all throughout the various meals everyday and had to succumb to whatever was served. Additionally, there were absolutely no dessert options without egg content. To top this, the food tasted awful and often was inedible, not meeting the lowest expectations of food cooked by an Indian chef. It was very well informed that our dietary requirements were vegetarian not including both egg or fish. Despite this, the staff was not considerate and was often seen using the same tongs/gloves to serve sausages/meat and baked potatoes, contaminating the only obvious vegetarian food choice. When this was brought to their notice, the staff was impolite and discourteously disregarded our concern. Moreover, the staff, especially at the buffet counter was also not informed enough and served us lobsters as a part of the salad saying it was vegetarian, neither did they have the knowledge of the cheese served containing rennet, which made us avoid it altogether. Satisfactory food is essential and our experience with the Holland Cruise made our journey which could’ve been great, below average. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Maasdam cruise to Alaska 2019 Positive Experience: Our Holland American Line (HAL) cruise consultant, Amy, was a great help to us in managing our cruise including a cabin upgrade. The ship is beautiful, very clean and in excellent ... Read More
Maasdam cruise to Alaska 2019 Positive Experience: Our Holland American Line (HAL) cruise consultant, Amy, was a great help to us in managing our cruise including a cabin upgrade. The ship is beautiful, very clean and in excellent condition. The HAL staff in all areas was very friendly, competent, and professional. Our cabin stewards UGIH and Deni were the best we have had on any cruise we have taken. For a pleasant change, the internet, while expensive, was the fastest we have ever experienced on a cruse by a factor of ten. Boarding and disembarking was fast and efficient. Negative Experience: The TV news stations, CNN, BBC, Fox were not available most of the time and on an unpredictable schedule. The “no signal available” message was even on all day while moored in locations like Anchorage & Juno AK and Vancouver & Astoria OR. With all the electronics that is on that ship, they can’t find a satellite signal?. On a Maasdam cruise two years ago they found a signal in places like Pago-Pago, New Caledonia and Vanuatu. The food in the main dining room deteriorated since our last Maasdam cruise in 2017. I ordered prime rib that was so tough that cutting it with a table knife was difficult and I could not chew it enough to swallow. I doubt that it was even prime rib. My wife had strip steak that was very tough and four others at our table had similar problems with their strip steak. My wife and I are not “meat and potatoes” people but it appeared to us that the chief tried to outdo himself with mostly “gourmet” offerings every night. An example of some choices in one meal: Foie Gras with Apple Tarte Tatin, Sunchoke Soup, Lemon Grass Coconut Tofu Curry, Pan-Seared Cobia. Additionally, at least four times per day we would be approached by a staff member trying to sell us on the pay restaurant Canaletto. We had dinner there one evening and the food was good but not as good as our two previous Maasdam cruises or our neighborhood Italian restaurants. The laundry service was poor. Anything that we sent that required pressing had to be sent back because it was wrinkled. My wife and I are both retired corporate executives and strongly suspect that there was a change of management or operating budget on the Maasdam since our last cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We like Holland America. And we selected this cruise because of the itinerary. We were on the ship for 8 weeks starting in San Francisco on June 18. The Maasdam went to a lot of ports in the first 3 weeks. Namely Ketchikan, Sitka, ... Read More
We like Holland America. And we selected this cruise because of the itinerary. We were on the ship for 8 weeks starting in San Francisco on June 18. The Maasdam went to a lot of ports in the first 3 weeks. Namely Ketchikan, Sitka, Anchorage, Kodiak, Valdez, Homer, Haines, Juneau (where we did a helicopter flight to 2 glaciers), Wrangell. We saw Hubbard Glacier up close and also College Fjord. Then we did the Inside Passage and went south to Vancouver (the only rainy day) and on to Port Alberni and Astoria before returning to San Francisco. This was the end of 3 weeks. We then started north again and went to Seattle, Victoria BC, Ketchikan, Sitka, Dutch Harbour (and Unalaska), and then on to Nome. This port even the captain hadn't been to and he still hasn't because the seas were too choppy for a safe tender journey. So we missed it unfortunately. Then we went on to Petropavlovsk in Russia and from there to Kushiro in Japan. All brilliant places. Our second 3 weeks ended in Yokohama, Japan. And so the last 2 weeks of our cruise started. Yokohama is a very modern city and it is quite easy to get around. Our next port was Shimizu, then Kobe, Takamatsu and Kochi where it was market day. Very hot in Japan in August though. Kanazawa was lovely. Then we went back to Russia to see Vladivostok and Korsakov. From there back to Japan. Otaru is a lovely town with great shopping. Our last port before returning to Yokohama was Hakodate. Also really nice. So all in all a great cruise with lots of very different ports to visit. We really enjoyed it and we met great people on this cruise. We would certainly do this cruise again if we could. We did not use the ship's shore excursions as they are too expensive. We went on independent tours with local touring companies and they were great. Some were booked by us (and listed on the relevant Cruise Critic Roll Call pages)and some by other Cruise Critic members Embarkation went very smoothly, disembarkation was also great as long as you waited until the last moment and most people were gone. The Maasdam is an EXC ship and therefore hasn't got the production shows that other ships in the fleet have. There were lots of lectures relating to the areas we sailed through. But we enjoyed that. We especially enjoyed Naturalist Gloetta, she is a marvel and so enthusiastic. Everyone loved her and at the end there was standing room only. But still, every night there was some show, either singer(s), piano players, violinist, even a rock and roll band and a hip hop group. Plenty of things to do We especially liked Lee the piano man. We sat most nights around the piano and sang our hearts out. Really great fun. Dining was hit or miss. Some meals were absolutely fabulous and others so so. Breakfast and lunch were mostly good. The crew is fantastic, from cabin stewards to bar staff to Lido staff and also the dining room. Laundry was done perfectly. Were there any hiccups? Sure, there always are small problems, but they were overcome and we all learned from it. Would we sail Holland America again? Absolutely. Our next cruise will in December, again on the Maasdam. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We love Alaska. This cruise showed up with a three week itinerary hitting ports we had not seen before, as well as several of our favorites and terrific glacier cruising days. We noticed it was booked as an “In-Depth” cruise, but ... Read More
We love Alaska. This cruise showed up with a three week itinerary hitting ports we had not seen before, as well as several of our favorites and terrific glacier cruising days. We noticed it was booked as an “In-Depth” cruise, but didn’t really know what that meant. This cruise turned out to be our favorite and totally unique. This is not for everyone. I noticed several reviews complaining of the cruises on Maasdam being “boring” with lack of “entertainment” and poor food. Those cruisers are possibly looking for Broadway shows and five course dinners in a floating luxury hotel?? What the Maasdam offers is exactly what we love: On board were nine “experts” in various fields who provided infirmative educational and entertaining presentations throughout the three week cruise. Sea days and port days had a variety of fantastic lectures. Instead of ten offerings of trivia, bingo, and EXC tour sales pitches, we had geology, oceanography, culture of the Tlingkat people, tales of the Iditarod, Yukon river canoe stories, lectures on bears, whales, professional nature photography, art and craft demonstrations of the Alaskan Native cultures, and detailed information about each port including history and how to get about the port area on your own. And much more. Music, poetry, story-telling, all related to the Alaskan areas we were visiting. Besides all of these great offerings, we found the presenters to be very accessible for in depth personal conversations at meals and between programed activities. We eagerly grabbed our When and Where activities schedule for each day and made decisions about what to attend. For folks who enjoy education, information, and an in-depth look at the culture, history, and environment of places you are visiting, the Maasdam is a gem! As for the ship, it is older, but we found it to be clean and in great order. Stylish, comfortable, and plenty of outside areas for viewing. Our cabin on Main Deck, ocean-view, was very comfortable, clean, and functional. A with all older ships, you can find discolored grout or patched rust spots, on the Maasdam older TV system. But, as stated, she was clean and everything worked well. She even still has a great library (lacking on the newer ships!), and a self-serve laundry room! Food worked just fine for us. We are not up-scale diners. We love grazing the Lido buffet, hitting the Dive-In or pizza stations for a change. I am a pescatarian with a milk allergy, and I was able to find good food options for every meal. Plenty of fresh salad material, great fish dishes (mostly incredible salmon options), a variety of dinner side dishes including multiple presentations of rice dishes. Dessert station made sure to have a non-dairy sorbet available most days. Breakfasts included traditional options (eggs, meats, breads, hot cereals, etc) plus rice congee, miso soup, and plenty of fruit. You will not find Broadway productions, but there were multiple excellent entertainment options including magicians, comedians, singers, musicians. You will not find waterslides, rock climbing walls, outdoor movie screens, or other theme-park type experiences. You will find a solid comfortable ship, great outdoor areas for viewing the majesty of nature, and a wealth of intelligent in-depth education. Perfect for us! We’re booked on another Maasdam adventure, coming up soon. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My husband and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. This was our first Holland American cruise, but we had cruised to Alaska before on RC, Princess, and Ignore. We could book an Ocean view room for 14 days for the cost of a ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary. This was our first Holland American cruise, but we had cruised to Alaska before on RC, Princess, and Ignore. We could book an Ocean view room for 14 days for the cost of a Balcony for 7 days, plus we wanted to visit Homer, Kodiak and Sitka. Our Cabin was Ocean view 3376. We had read other reviews about it being noisy, but it fit our budget so we booked. It was noisy...sounded like something being dragged across the floor on the deck above us, but we got used to it and slept great. It was a standard Ocean view, partially blocked, but we could see the water at all times. Our steward was most attentive and helped us get clothing pressed for our formal night as soon as we unpacked, so it would be ready to wear. The bath room had a bath tub which was a plus and made it much roomier to shower than other cruise lines we have been on prior. We chose Anytime dining, and we loved it. We dined with folks from all over the world...always fun to learn about different cultures. We are not retired and were in the minority of the patrons of HAL but we enjoyed our quiet cruise immensely. The food was wonderful in the main dining room as well as the buffet. We do not frequent the specialty dining while cruising unless we've had a poor experience in the main dining room. We found the shows after dinner enjoyable....high energy and entertaining. I won $150 in Bingo so that was fun. We enjoyed Coffee with the CD also. Being our 5th cruise to Alaska, we did our own excursions. In Ketchikan, we rented a car and went exploring. We went to the End of the Road and hiked Lunch Creek and stopped at Totem Bight State Park and enjoyed the history of the totem poles. We also stopped at Walmart and picked up a couple of things we needed. Before turning in the rent car, we drove a bit and visited Bawden Street Brewery. Hubby is into microbrews. Tracy Arm Fjord was next and it was our first time there. Scenic viewing did not disappoint....beautiful sunny day...absolutely gorgeous. We saw whales and lots of eagles from the ship..fun! Juneau- rent car again...drove out to Eagle Beach...and saw all the eagles we could want to see. Stopped at Shrine of St Terese on our way back....1st time to visit when it wasn't rainy. Beautiful place. We are not catholic, but as Christians the stations of the cross were beautiful and very emotional for me. We worked our way back in and toured the Macaulay Salmon Hatchery -DIPAC..really neat set up and aquarium in the visitor center, also stopped at Mendenhall Glacier for a few pics before heading to our last stop...Barnaby Brewing...beer tour of Alaska continues...hubby enjoyed, got some stickers and took some pics. Icy Strait Point - it was kinda dreary, cloudy day...we walked around a bit and found some souvenirs to take back. Hubby returned to the ship to workout the in the gym and I stayed and took pictures. Nothing big planned in Icy Strait. Sea Day-enjoying the deck and reading for me. Then into Anchorage...had a rent car there also. ...and we headed to the Zoo. It was lots of fun. We enjoyed seeing all the animals and watching kiddos encounter the animals as well. It was a beautiful day and we spent the morning there. We found Midnight Sun Brewing Co and taproom. We had a great lunch and hubby got to taste more microbrews. They have a fun taproom, windows open, server was from Houston, so of course we talked a bit. WE also stopped Knight's Taxidermy. We used to watch Mounted in Alaska on History Channel...this is the place. My hubby is an outdoors man and they have a fantastic shop. We returned the rent car and got an Uber to head back to meet the shuttle back to the ship. Homer- we bought a ticket onboard for a bus trip into town from the spit. Once in town, we visited the Pratt Museum...spent 1-2 hours in there..enjoyed our visit. We walked to the visitor center in Homer and called a Taxi to go to Homer Brewing Co....Alaskan beer tour continues...(our sons were very jealous) We called another ride and they dropped us off at the Salty Dog Saloon...what a historic joint...took a few pictures and caught the shuttle back to the ship. Kodiak- first time in Kodiak...rented a car and drove out to Ft. Abercrombie State Park....we loved the history...learned a lot that we didn't know about Alaska in WWII. We hiked around a bit to find different things still in place from the war. Very enjoyable and informative. We drove on the main road a bit just looking, it was rainy so we headed back to town and to Kodiak Island Brewing...another microbrew in the books. WE visited Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, and again very informative and we enjoyed the video they show about the history of Kodiak. Hubbard Glacier- we first saw this glacier in 2007 and it was rainy. 2 cruises the weather didn't cooperate, so this time we were so excited to see the sun shining. It was marvelous. When the crew and staff are all out and taking pictures you know it's a good day...lots of calving...great day for pictures. Sitka - our first time to Sitka and Fortress of the Bears was place we wanted to visit. The shuttle brings you into town and we got another paid shuttle out to the bears and then they would take you to Alaska Raptor Center then back to catch the shuttle. So we enjoyed our time with the bears, very entertaining. They took us to the Raptor Center and several of us didn't go in, we walked down to the main street and crossed it into the Sitka National Historical Park. We followed the paved path to the visitor center and went through the exhibits there. The park was beautiful and we learned more things about the totem poles. We walked back along the harbor stopping in town at Bayview Pub for some Fish and Chips...delicious! We walked back to the shuttle stop and then back to the ship. Victoria- last stop- last day of vacation- we walked around a bit and took some pictures of the historic sites. Then took the shuttle back to the dock and found the Breakwater Bistro and Bar....delicious clam chowder and hubby's last microbrew on vacation. We walked back to the ship and started packing up a bit. Next morning, we went up to the buffet for breakfast and then did the self-disembark and carried our bags down to our Uber and off to the airport we went. It took a pandemic to make me sit down and write a review, but it's done. WE are sold on HAL, whenever we can get back to Alaska they will be our first choice. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Our son and our nephew both graduated from high school this year. We wanted to get my husband's whole family together, and since several of them live out west, Seattle was a good meeting point. Our family (we don't live out ... Read More
Our son and our nephew both graduated from high school this year. We wanted to get my husband's whole family together, and since several of them live out west, Seattle was a good meeting point. Our family (we don't live out west) flew in one day before the cruise. It was a good thing because our flight was delayed. I would suggest, if you are coming from a long distance, fly in a couple of days ahead and explore Seattle. Uber rides from the airport only take 15-20 minutes to where our hotel was. We stayed in the Sheraton Four Points due to its great location. It is walking distance to the Space Needle. We got an Uber to the port and it was a very quick ride from the hotel. We got onto the ship pretty quickly. We had a bit of a wait before checking in but were on the ship by 12:30. And, our room was ready when we got on. Things were smooth for embarking. The ship itself was clean and easy to navigate. It is an average-sized ship, I would say. We liked walking around the deck on a daily basis, although at times, it got rainy or chilly. The public spaces were nice and comfortable. We especially liked the crow's nest area. It was just down the hallway from our room and was a perfect meeting spot for family members. This ship is very similar to other HAL ships we have been on. Our son works out a lot. He was not impressed with the fitness area. And, the lady who works in that area was rather rude to him. So, he didn't spend much time in there. The pools and hot tubs were nice. The pools never were crowded. And, you could get into a hot tub if you wanted, although they were very small. They closed very early in the evenings, perhaps because of the weather, I'm not sure. Smoking was allowed in an area by the aft pool. We don't smoke, so we avoided that area. No smoking was in the casino. The casino got fairly crowded, depending on what was going on there. Our son discovered that he is a good poker player on this trip; that was exciting for him. I didn't participate in many ship activities. There wasn't a huge amount of entertainment. The music was good that was performed. It was very loud and crowded in the Blues Club; I don't think that the space is large enough for the people who want to hear the music there. The comedian was pretty funny, and he was clean, so the kids were able to join us. Our nieces went to the children's activities and seemed to really like them. There were a good number of teenagers; between two of our families, there were 6. The teens met several others on the ship, and they seemed like nice kids. I don't know how much they had provided as far as organized activities for the teens, but our teens did have a wonderful time. Service on the ship was very good. Our stewards did a consistent job of tidying our room, although we keep a clean room. And, the dining room service was nice, as well. Our waiters were friendly and did an excellent job each night. We dined in the main dining room every evening. Even our teenage kids wanted to dine in there each night. It was a fun experience for them. We had a couple of nights where all 21 of us ate in there together. Although we had late dining, because the sun barely sets at that time of year in Alaska, it wasn't a bad time, really. Lunch meals were nice in the dining room, too. The menu was varied, and the food was of good quality. I especially liked the main courses. The Lido often got busy and it could be hard to find a seat sometimes. They have some nice stations in there at lunch time, so the days the MDR was closed, I would walk around and see what was available before getting food so I didn't overeat. Dive Inn is a good place for sandwiches and fries; I just ordered from there one time and shared my food with a daughter. Our cabin was on the tenth floor. It was a balcony but might have been a little smaller than some of the balcony rooms. It had a tub, a real plus on a cruise ship. This had less storage than other balcony rooms I have stayed in, but there were four of us. We had two beds together (king), a pull-down bunk above, and a pull-out loveseat. Beds were comfortable with nice linens. The balcony itself was pretty narrow, I think due to the location on the ship. The pull-down bed actually rattled a lot, until I finally stuck a rolled-up towel into part of it. We had the wall between our balcony and the ones beside us opened up because there were three family rooms beside each other. I would recommend closing them back at night because they can make some noise. One night, there was a huge amount of fog, and the foghorn was going off all night. At first, I thought someone had fallen overboard. Once I realized it was the fog, I fell asleep. it is nice having the balcony when going to the glacier and also when in port. But, it gets cold and windy when traveling. And being on the tenth floor is close to the Crow's Nest, which is a nice spot. Each port was good. Seattle is a lovely city. We enjoyed the Seattle center with the Space needle, fountain, museums. Just a great place to walk and see the sights. And, the mountain views are gorgeous as you leave port. We booked a last-minute whale watching tour in Juneau. The kids LOVED it. It was fun and we saw a lot of sea creatures. We booked it when we got off the ship and so we got a nice discount. I recommend NOT booking on the ship for these if you can avoid it. Better deals for the same thing onshore. Hubbard Glacier was incredible. One couple in our group had booked a suite, and they had a wraparound balcony, so we spent a good bit of time there during our Hubbard Glacier stop. We got close to the glacier, saw some calving and had great weather. The port for Sitka is 6 miles from town, but the shuttle gets guests back and forth quite well. It was about 12 minutes to get there, and the wait for the shuttle was just a few minutes. If you get a Sitka map online, you can just follow that and walk around town. Our group enjoyed the sea walk and spent a lot of time out along the sand in the sound area. We saw starfish, eels, crabs - the kids LOVED it. There were seals swimming in the sound, too. There are pretty green spaces and flowers on the walk, as well. We walked to Sitka National Historical Park's Totem Trail. We walked to the river; it's a very pretty, but also fairly easy walk. You can get nice views of St. Michael Cathedral along Lincoln Street. And panoramic views can be seen from Baranof Castle Hill. You will take several flights of stairs to get up, but it's worth it. At the end of town is the Pioneer Home, some type of retirement home. It sits on a big square with a giant totem pole and is a good photo spot. our time in Ketchikan was short - only five hours. I suggest getting up very early so you can see it all. It's not a big town. The waterfront promenade is nice, and there is an interesting tunnel that is good for photos. We got some nice street views right beside the tunnel...after walking up several dozen steps. Creek Street is fun to check out. There was an eagle down by the creek eating fish, and we saw cute little marmots. Married Man's Trail was pretty; my son and up took the stairs up to the Civic Center. It was a pretty walk. We also took a walk along Park Avenue, by the creek. After crossing the bridge, we found a paved path among the trees. We then found a spot where we could walk down to the creek banks; my kids loved that area. The waterfront shops are good places to buy souveniers. Victora was really lovely. We walked quite a ways and just got lots of pictures. We were there in the early evening. I would love to have been there during the day. But, we all had a great time at each stop, so I cannot really complain. Disembarkation was pretty quick. Really, if you need to change your time, they will work with you. It was easy finding our suitcases. You have to walk a little way to get to the Uber area, but once you get there, booking a driver is very simple. We loved this cruise. The stops were great. Our time with family was delightful. Typically, HAL cruises have a huge number of senior citizens. This cruise had a wide array of ages. There were many, many family groups, and it was a festive enjoyable feel overall. Our son (18) wasn't crazy about the onboard experience and would probably like RCI a little more, or Carnival, with its party atmosphere. But our three kids did have a fabulous time with family and this cruise allowed us to all gather together and that was what was so special about it. We have gone out of Whittier before, and getting to Alaska by plane is exhausting. Going to Seattle was a little tiring, but much easier than all the way up to Alaska for the departure. Yes, I would go again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My husband and I did the Double Denali with 7 day cruise down the inner passage. What a mistake that was!! I had one day on-board the Noordam before I got ill. One day to enjoy the ship - that's all. I had one day before I fell ... Read More
My husband and I did the Double Denali with 7 day cruise down the inner passage. What a mistake that was!! I had one day on-board the Noordam before I got ill. One day to enjoy the ship - that's all. I had one day before I fell dreadfully ill with a virulent flu virus which I contracted while staying in the Holland America chalet in Denali a few days before (together with up to 90% of other people on the same holiday, according to what the medical staff on board told us). I was told by their medical staff that it takes up to 4 days to show after infection so that takes it firmly into the Denali stay period. It was also a ‘seasonal identified influenza virus’..Presumably a local virus? We certainly never heard a holiday maker on our bus/train etc coughing - not until we got on the Noordam. Certainly by the end of the cruise people were coughing all over the ship. My temperature reached 104 degrees and I was 'isolated' and 'sanitized' in my room for 3 days. This was done in the most insensitive and unkind way - making me sit there in the room feeling like a leper. I sat crying while staff in gloves and masks swilled the room over with cheap smelly disinfectant (which, by the way, aggravated my throat and cough). I was too ill to do anything about it except get very upset and later to get very very angry. We were told to use the room service. Most of the food offered in the room service booklet was inedible to me as I was feeling so ill. My husband spent 3 days going up and down the ship getting me glasses of water and bits of food I could eat (cold by the time he got it to me). Ringing room service was very difficult as the phones are so weak that it was difficult to hear anyone on the other end and always so busy, and the people answering them often had poor English. Room service always said there would be at least a 45 min wait for anything. At no point were we offered or told about anything that might be available to us to help us. My husband couldn't even get a jug for water - he was only allowed to bring water by the plastic glass. There weren't even any trays to carry things on. We have never done a cruise before so all this was new to us and we didn’t know how to cope with it. We didn't get our down-turn service or any other niceties. We missed the ships activities, nice dinners, and worst of all our bucket list excursions which we had planned and paid for months in advance. We didn't even get any reassurance we would get our money back from them until much later. We felt largely abandoned and sacrificed so that their epidemic wouldn’t spread -which was ironic really since the whole ship sounded like it had the same cough by the end of the trip. When I was eventually allowed out of my cabin after 3 days I was very angry indeed and I spoke to one of the managers in customer services but he was cold, distant and indifferent. He had no empathy what so ever and said in the end that - quote 'if he compensated me he'd have to compensate all the others and he wasn't going to do that'. He even inferred that it was my own fault for not knowing how to use room service more and asking for what I wanted. He seemed to want to blame me and any other staff - he had no empathy or conception that I had been deliriously ill with fever and was still very ill and that we had never been on a cruise before and didn't know the ropes. I even ended up with a medical bill of $348! The rest of the cruise was dreary because I had such a sore throat I couldn't speak, I lost my voice, and I was weak and unable to do much. I had no appetite. I still don’t feel completely well even now. In short, the cruise experience that my husband and I had with Holland America was absolutely abysmal and it has put us off ever going on a cruise again. Not only were we treated pretty dreadfully, we never got the experience we were promised and we had a holiday from hell, with no recompense or care or compassion. I have emailed them about this many times since we got home and they have totally ignored me – except to send adverts for cruise holidays!!! How insensitive and inappropriate is that? As a good tip I would say that when you are looking for a cruise it would be wise to first find out how the company will treat you if you get ill while you are with them. I got my flu virus while in the care of HAL, - I was infected while staying in their accommodation - but this is what happened to me and my husband. I wish I had looked into it more myself. I cannot review most of what the ship had to offer because I wasn't well enough to explore it properly. My husband and I did feel that the food was of very poor quality though. Our balcony floor had a huge mound of rotting metal in it. Our cabin was very comfortable - but it didnt make up for all the awful stuff!! There were many others ill like me on this cruise, and I read in a previous review in March this year that a flu epidemic swept the ship then. Maybe the air con is suspect? I hope my experience helps people make their minds up about whether to do this cruise or not. We regret doing it very much. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This cruise was booked last minute at a reasonable price. I had been to Alaska several times before, but my first time solo. Since I found it more cost effective to take the HAL shuttle to the ship, I followed the directions on my ... Read More
This cruise was booked last minute at a reasonable price. I had been to Alaska several times before, but my first time solo. Since I found it more cost effective to take the HAL shuttle to the ship, I followed the directions on my paperwork and contacted a HAL employee near baggage claim. They directed me to an area where I dropped off my luggage. It was quite a walk out of the airport, across the bridge through the parking lot and down to a holding area. It was so loud and crowded, it was difficult to hear what was going on and when the colored tags were called to board the bus. I was able to snag a seat on an earlier bus, as being solo, one of the buses had just one seat left and I got it. If not for that, I don't know how long I would have waited. My suggestion is to take a taxi if you have more than 2 people. It's only a couple of dollars more and much less hassle. I chose a guarantee verandah stateroom and was pleasantly surprised to have my room assigned in advance. I had plenty of storage room. It would have been fine for two, but no more. The verandah was an added boost as it was always refreshing to step out and watch the scenery go by. The air did not work even set on the coldest setting. I reported it the first day and by that evening, maintenance had come in and solved the problem. I ate at all three for fee dining venues. The food was good in both Tamarind and Canaletto. Food was brought out cold at Pinnacle Grill and I felt rushed, no heed taken when I mentioned the cold food and my pre dinner cocktail had a piece of aluminum foil in it. I wasn't expecting a free drink, but the bar service could have apologized. Service was excellent at Tamarind, and iffy at Canaletto. Yes, I cruise solo and usually dine solo. It does not mean that you can ignore a single guest to the point of being disrespectful. Or give sloppy service. The entertainment at the main stage was okay. The headlining show never performed due to an illness, and the comedian and magician just had additional performances. The BB King Blues band had the best lead singers I have heard on a HAL ship. They were a delight to hear and their interaction with the audience endeared them all the more to me. I booked all my excursions through HAL. The tour I had in Juneau was overbooked by one. Being a single I was asked to forfeit my time and come back later for the next tour. When I went back for the second tour, it was cancelled. I asked for my money back and was told that I had to go to the ship for a refund. I went back to the desk and was told that they didn't know of any excursions being cancelled, but if I could wait for the excursion leader to come back they would find out. I received a call a few hours later by a very rude woman telling me that someone in the Neptune concierge booked a couple on the same excursion with the wrong date on one of the two tickets. She then stated If I had any problems with that to call guest services, and yes my refund was back on my statement before she made the call. No sorry, nothing. Very rude! I was disappointed to miss the excursion and lack of sympathy on HAL's part. The other excursions went well, and the final tour of Seattle with transfer to airport was a good overview of the city and a good way to spend time while waiting for a late afternoon flight. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose Holland America and Eurodam because it was going where we wanted, when we wanted to go and we are so glad we did! This was an amazing experience. From the moment we boarded the ship until we stepped off to head home it exceeded ... Read More
We chose Holland America and Eurodam because it was going where we wanted, when we wanted to go and we are so glad we did! This was an amazing experience. From the moment we boarded the ship until we stepped off to head home it exceeded our expectations. The ship itself is just beautiful, no detail overlooked. Having never cruised before, we wanted to ensure a memorable experience and so we booked a Neptune Suite. If you can do this, I highly recommend it. The suite was gorgeous, had plenty of room for the two of us, and the "perks" that come with being in a suite are fantastic. The crew are all wonderful, full of smiles and very helpful regardless of what the question may be. We had a unique situation in that we recently lost my mother in law and she had wanted a burial at sea after being cremated. We worked with the ship prior to boarding to ensure we knew what we could expect and they were absolutely phenomenal in guiding us through the process. Once on board we worked with Inge, the Concierge in the Neptune Lounge, who made sure everything went beautifully. We cannot thank her enough for all she did. I have seen people comment about the ship vibrating, or that you can hear the engines. For those who may not quite understand, it's a moving vehicle. It is going to sway, and rumble, and vibrate. That was actually comforting to me, because if I could hear it and feel it I knew it was moving and taking us to the next amazing location. I am prone to motion sickness, so while many people say "You can't even feel it moving", yeah, you actually can and even though the crew indicated we had calm seas on this particular voyage, I did have to take Dramamine a couple times which fixed me right up. All that is left to say is thank you Holland America for making our first cruise so perfect. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
PROS: Nice ship, not huge, older crowd, not crowded, many places to hang out. Good entertainment, though a couple more movies would have been nice, Comfy beds, attentive housekeeping. We loved having a balcony with a plexiglass railing. ... Read More
PROS: Nice ship, not huge, older crowd, not crowded, many places to hang out. Good entertainment, though a couple more movies would have been nice, Comfy beds, attentive housekeeping. We loved having a balcony with a plexiglass railing. (check for that, some have metal railing and you need to stand up to see) Generally good food with lots of choices. I do like that they serve smaller portions to avoid food waste, Servers attentive. My family enjoyed the entertainment - the magician and the comedian especially CONS: Nothing to do for young adults. My recently turned 18 year old (1 day before the cruise started) was not allowed in the teen club to play foosball with his younger sister (no one else was there), so they could only play ping pong (only 2 tables for the whole ship) Both pools are very small, the bigger one is about the size of our backyard pool. The adults-only pool had screaming kids in it and none of the waiters did anything about it. The pizza at the New York Pizza kiosk is horrible. It tastes like cardboard. You have to purchase bottled sparkling water, they should have carbonated water dispensers like they do in bars/restaurants/fast food everywhere.. Most gym classes are not free and generally too early on days at sea. Club Hal has limited hours (for example only 1-4pm in the afternoon…) Too many events/people trying to sell you something. The smoking area is below the kids’ club, so the smell of smoke is all over that floor. Further, you have to walk trough the smoking area and it’s not pleasant. There is no ventilation on the side of that area, so it gets pretty gross.. Overall, we enjoyed our cruise and would go back on HAL. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I did this exact same trip last September and boy, the things slipped a bit. Still enjoyed myself but Holland America Line really needs to look at making some changes. Generally, I really enjoyed my Neptune Suite. It was large and ... Read More
I did this exact same trip last September and boy, the things slipped a bit. Still enjoyed myself but Holland America Line really needs to look at making some changes. Generally, I really enjoyed my Neptune Suite. It was large and bright and had a great balcony. The Concierge Lounge is a huge benefit. Enjoy coffees and small plates in the morning and afternoon. Food for the most part was very good, I think the dining room tries too hard to serve fancy dinners. I would rather just calm down and made nice dinners that weren't too fancy and under two hours. My biggest problem with this ship is regarding the hours it keeps and the buffet service. The buffet seems to be closed more than it's open leaving only room service if you want something to eat. Sounds great, but the problem with that is with 2,000 passengers it really isn't a great idea. Sometimes you had to wait on hold for over 10 minutes. My first night it took an hour and a half to get a club sandwich. They need to keep something open 24 hours where you can go sit down and eat. Coffee shop style, anything but just relying on room service so many hours of the day is a terrible idea. Why is the buffet closed so often? Worried about food waste? This was the most disappointing aspect of the trip. And while we're on the subject of hours, why does it seem like they roll up the sidewalks right around midnight? If you do the late dinner you're not going to get to do a show afterwards the last show is at 9:00.. Really? Why so early? How about a midnight comedian?Something for the people that want to stay up past 10:00. They have a couple bars and the casino open late and that's really it. If you're doing a late dinner you really can't catch a show after you eat. I also felt the service wasn't as good as in the past. A lot more of the crew seem to have bad attitudes. Especially the bartenders. I think the reason for that is because they know they're getting 15% and nothing more, so why do they have to try? Having that policy is really terrible for customer service, cuz they basically just rolled their eyes and make you a drink. After this Cruise I'm probably moving on and going to try Celebrity or somebody else. Some of these policies Holland America has implemented seem like nothing but cost-cutting measures and really hampered our experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our second sailing from Seattle to Seattle inward passage cruise. Getting on the ship was very easy until someone forgot to purchase a couple bottles of wine. My wife and I took Uber to a grocery store to purchase four bottles of ... Read More
This was our second sailing from Seattle to Seattle inward passage cruise. Getting on the ship was very easy until someone forgot to purchase a couple bottles of wine. My wife and I took Uber to a grocery store to purchase four bottles of wine for the two couples. Overall no problems and everyone seemed to enjoy this process. On Sunday morning I went down to the fitness center for my daily treadmill walk. This day was a disaster. I ended up completely tearing my hamstring and actually used the medical staff onboard. They were outstanding! Everything about the ship was outstanding from the room to dining. Our cabin boys were really nice and went above and beyond to help us. The other couple had minimal complaints mainly about the cost of alcohol and other meaningless things. My wife and I are currently planning a trip for 2020 and will travel alone next time. I really enjoy Holland America and their clientele. If you enjoy kids take another cruise line! When we embarked I had a person who wheeled me through customs and collected our luggage. I was extremely impressed with their support staff! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Since my husband and I have never taken a vacation in 10 years together, and since we are Puget Sound residents, we decided an Alaska cruise would be a relaxing and easy getaway. Embarkation was extremely smooth. We parked at the ... Read More
Since my husband and I have never taken a vacation in 10 years together, and since we are Puget Sound residents, we decided an Alaska cruise would be a relaxing and easy getaway. Embarkation was extremely smooth. We parked at the SeattleCruisePark lot within the confines of the Armory. Took about 10 minutes to shuttle to the terminal. Once we got our bags inside, time from check in to onboard was about 20 minutes. If we hadn't have been able to use the Neptune Suite check in line, it probably would have been significantly longer; the regular check in was a verrrrryyy long line. Once on board we were impressed with the ship. The furnishings are tasteful and the art is interesting. There are many little nooks you can sit at and not be bothered. The ship was at full capacity but it never felt crowded other than at the Lido during peak times. Our room was 7132, an aft corner Neptune. We booked specifically for the balcony which we used extensively. We were very happy with the room and our steward, Aan, was great. We used the Neptune Lounge a few times and the concierge, Inge, managed to track down my husband's suit bag when it went missing from his returned dry cleaning. I found there to be a lack of daytime activites that weren't centered on shopping. Too many jewelry auctions, shopping presentations, shopping guides, ect. There was also a lack of any kind of live music or anything; there was an empty piano in the Ocean Bar where we went frequently. Why not have someone there playing? The shops on the 3rd deck also were lackluster. When an "end of cruise sale" is supposedly happening, why is none of the merchandise actually on sale? We got a couples deep tissue massage, which was worth every penny. No hard upsell for the products afterwards. Nighttime entertainment was good. The BB King band was awesome. We stayed for the whole 3 hour set. The comedian was funny as well. I was a little disappointed with the BBC Planet Earth "Alaska" show. I was under the impression that the Lincoln Center Stage performers would actually play live with the Planet Earth footage. It was just a screen with the music. It was good, just not what I had anticipated. Food was excellent. Cannot say enough good things about the Pinnacle Grill. Lido food surprisingly good, however VERY busy there. Loved having breakfast in the PG where it was nice and quiet. We only ate in the MDR once and found that the food was good and so was the service, however, it was absolute chaos in there and WAY too noisy from the engines. Dive In makes a great burger but the wait is too long, sometimes it was over 20 minutes. The pizza by the aft pool is some of the best I've had. We did not do any shore excursions. Lots of them were "walking through a rainforest" type things, which, since we live in Washington, we see all the time. We opted to do self guided walking tours: In Juneau we saw the Governor's Mansion and St. Nicholas' Orthodox Church. We were given a tour by the clergyman inside. In Sitka we went to the Russian Bishop's House and took the upstairs tour, which was one of my favorite parts of the entire trip. We also went to St. Michael's church and saw the New Archangel dancers. Tip: eat at "Agave". Very good food. In Ketchikan we just walked around. Kinda tourist trapy. We were there on a rare sunny day. Got some coffee. Didn't even get off the ship in Victoria. Disembarking was very easy. When they called our group we were off the ship in about 5 minutes. No one was blocking any hallways or elevators so it was quick and painless. All in all, there were just some minor things that certainly didn't make our trip any less special and we would consider HAL again for our next cruise. We had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
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