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Sail Date: August 2019
This was my 12th cruise. Fourth to Alaska. First on Holland. We chose this cruise because I love Alaska. The scenery is amazing; the excursions can be great, and, if you get great food, service, entertainment and accommodations, it ... Read More
This was my 12th cruise. Fourth to Alaska. First on Holland. We chose this cruise because I love Alaska. The scenery is amazing; the excursions can be great, and, if you get great food, service, entertainment and accommodations, it can be blissful. There were things I really like about this cruise that lift it to an overall rating of 3 stars. There were things that were poor, which brought the overall experience down. We stayed in a Neptune Suite -- 6109. There were 3 of us, and we needed the space. Let me begin by saying embarkation and disembarkation were flawless -- probably the best I ever experienced. Our Suite. The room and verandah are wonderful. The room was clean. We had space to roam and enjoy the sights from inside the suite or out on the balcony. Our room attendants, Heru and Tri were excellent. They represent HAL so well and did a great job for us all week. The suite, however, was tired. The carpet and couch were tattered and worn. The furniture was old and in need of replacement. . Some of the wood was chipped or scraped. At the price of a suite, I did not expect that.Despite that, Heru and Tri were great and keeping our room feeling fresh and tidy. One major complaint was the sofa bed. On the first night, after the bed was open, I sat on it. The mattress was completely worn and you felt springs on your bottom, on your back, every where. No one could reasonably be expected to sleep or even rest on that uncomfortable mess.If you are going to charge for a suite you should deliver a suite. Fortunately, that night I ran into Heru and asked for a mattress pad. fortunately, he installed it when we were at dinner. Meals. As suite customers we were able to eat breakfast at the Pinacle. The staff there was awesome and we had the best service there and the best dining experience there bar none. We ate there 6 mornings. They were fantastic. We felt special. Dining in the Main Dining Room and in the Lido Buffet are another story. The MDR is noisy, chaotic, rushed, and the food is not that great. They seemed under staffed.The portions are smaller than I would like. Salads were scarce. They rushed around. They some times rushed us. Every dinner we had there was not served hot. Every meal was warm or cool. They are disorganized and it should be better. Even though we purchased three drink packages, we struggled to get a wine steward to get us a glass of wine or even a drink from the bar before we were being hawked by the waiters to give our order -- and this was before we got to examine the menu. This happened every night. it made me feel they wanted us in and out of the MDR as fast as possible We took a shore excursion in Juneau that was outstanding. We got back late, dropped our belongings in the room, went to the rest room and got to the MDR at 9:05 pm. The maitre'd would not seat us. He said it was closed. There were plenty of diners still eating. We explained we just got back from the excursion (it was a HAL excursion) and could they please seat us. He told us they close at 9 PM We were denied and told to go to the Lido. The stations in the Lido were mostly closed. The one small portion that was still open had a line of about 50 people and it was moving slowly. Very frustrating. I noticed a few items in the Lido market. I put 4 pieces of cold poached salmon on my plate and went to the back deck to eat it. My wife joined me and our adult daughter went back to the room and went to bed with no dinner. When I sat to eat, I discovered that all 4 pieces of salmon were RAW, disgusting and inedible.I had no choice but to push them away. My wife and I then waited 45 minutes to be served a pizza. This was such a bad experience -- to be denied seating -- then to be directed to an over crowded understocked location that served RAW fish was just incredible on a premium cruise line. nothing like this ever happened on my other cruises where it seems the staff cannot do enough for you. One more note on the Lido. It is jammed packed all the time. The lines are long and the aisles are not clear. It is bumper cars with your fellow passengers. We never once found seating all week in the Lido. When chairs were empty, the tables were not been bussed and were messy and probably full of germs. we occasionally bussed and wiped our own table after 2 PM when things calmed a bit -- all while carrying our plates. One time they ran out of an item I wanted at that time. Lido is chaotic and messy. I felt like cattle Two nights after we were denied service in the MDR, the maitre'd in the Club Orange (not the one who would not seat us) just happened to ask us how the cruise was going. I told him how disappointing the night in Juneau was. He was great. Highly professional and apologetic. For me, dining is such a big part of a cruise and HAL fell way short of my expectations. The concierge in the Neptune room as great Glacier Bay was fantastic and the park ranger(s) were amazing. The comedian and magician were good too, I really liked the Lincoln Center and BB King rooms at night although there was very little variety -- same stuff every night -- but they were good. Dueling pianos were boring and the first dance show was disjointed so I walked out after 15 minutes. The gym was well equipped and clean. Used it 5 times. The kayak excursion in Ketchikan from the ship was good. I would have loved another hour in the water. I am not sure I would give HAL another try given the experience this time and the experiences I have had elsewhere Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Eurodam 7 day to Alaska August 10, 2019 My wife and I decided to take a cruise for our 15th anniversary leaving the kids with grandparents for the week. This is our story. Before the Cruise We had initially booked and fully paid ... Read More
Eurodam 7 day to Alaska August 10, 2019 My wife and I decided to take a cruise for our 15th anniversary leaving the kids with grandparents for the week. This is our story. Before the Cruise We had initially booked and fully paid almost a year ago for an N interior room at $699/ea. By the time two months before sailing rolled around I saw prices had dropped significantly for the trip so I called up the booking company and managed to get upgraded first to a HH then to an E outside stateroom. I almost had the chance for a guarantee verandah for $50 but the best deal that I could actually get an offer on was $80 for a Guarantee Verandah. I decided the room we had was fine. If we didn’t need to have everything set up for kids it would have been $200 cheaper to book about a month out than what we ended up with. Something to know for the future. Arrival, embarkation We arrived at 10:30 am dropped off by my inlaws and our bags were promptly picked up by a porter. We wandered over to the terminal where there was a huge line that almost reached to the outside of the terminal. It turns out this was the line for dropping off luggage, which we avoided by having tags made ahead of time and using the porter outside. We went up to the desk and got all squared away in under 20 minutes from showing up at the terminal to being at the gate. We were in boarding group C and we didn't start boarding until 11:30 so we had a bit of a wait but once boarding started we were on the ship by 11:40 and our rooms were ready at 11:45. Our First Room The outside view room we were assigned was 1126 which seemed perfectly fine. Generally speaking the room had everything we needed. The window was totally sufficient for looking out and viewing the whales that passed by the early on the second morning. I'd have had no problem staying in the room assuming everything worked as expected. There was a little wear on the wood coverings on the desk and tables which made everything feel a little dated but there were plenty lots of outlets (all located at the desk) and USB plugs on the nightstands and on the desk, most of which worked. The room is shower only which is actually pretty nice as the bathroom feels bigger than shower bath combos and we didn't have any plans to use the bath. The Problem I had read a post from 2015 saying that the air conditioning in the room didn't work. I'd figured that through dry docks and several years passing this wouldn't be a problem. I was wrong. It was still broken. Now this is on a Holland America ship and the vast majority of passengers would likely not have a problem with a room that could only cool down to 72.5F. But this was the lowest possible temperature after several adjustments. We initially reported it the first night. They checked it and gave us a fan. The fan really did help the second night and the room was workable at that point but the next day we were in the BB King Blues area and the AC there was in full swing and we were suddenly comfortable. This made me realize that the issues we were having in our room weren't just a matter of cruise ships being hot in general (which it was) so I continued to bring this up with guest services. Eventually, after bringing down one of the technical managers who determined that they couldn't fix it we were offered a change in rooms. When I walked into the new room it was actually a comfortable temperature which felt like a godsend at that point. Our Second Stateroom We got upgraded to a VB 4045 which was an extended balcony verandah. Considering we had paid rock bottom prices the upgrade was amazing. Still the best feature of this room for us was working AC but being able to watch the glaciers in Glacier Bay from the verandah was nice. Otherwise the room was incredibly similar to the old room. I did have to ask guest services to push the beds together which they did promptly, however, while doing so they also turned up the heat in the room all the way. I caught it pretty quick because I was only out of the room for about 30 minutes while this was going on. More funny than anything else. The room is right by the forward elevators which had more traffic than our room down in the back but nothing problematic. Just more likely to hear stateroom doors opening and closing at some points. Having had a verandah I'm not sure that I would need one in the future assuming we had working AC but having a window that you can open and close seemed useful after our AC challenge. Entertainment Overall most of the entertainment was fine but in no way outstanding. Vince, the Travel director, was really good onstage. It took us multiple shows to realize that he had a teleprompter since he felt so natural. The Captain's Toast which came with free champagne, was interesting and fun as was the kitchen tour where I got to meet the executive chef and get an advance peek at the upcoming dinner menu. I was hoping to be able to do the America's Test Kitchen classes, the ones that cost extra, but only one was offered all week, there was a waiting list which was reserved for 5 star mariners for the first 24 hours and it was an Egg class which I wasn't at all interested in. The actual onboard cooking sessions weren't great. We decided we'd stop by for the recipe cards and watch old episodes of the show in our state room, which we did plenty. The mainstage entertainment wasn't anything special. The BBC Alaska that we thought was the symphony was just an audio track which was really just an unimpressive discovery channel special. The dancers putting on a show called Humanity had a cool gimmick but it wasn't executed to the level that it was exciting to watch for the entire 45 minutes. Their second show Stages was really fun, as was the Crew Show. The comedian was good fun for both of his sessions. Instead of many of the onboard options we spent time in our room watching movies like Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, Crimes of Grindewald, Rampage, and Jurassic World 3. We ended up skipping the magic show due to a two and a half hour dinner at Tamarind (more on that below). Food We had dinner in the main dining room every night, except for one, which was always great. Little tip: if you can wait until after 7pm the crowd dies down significantly and it's way more chill. We had one server named Jeffery who was awesome. He even found us in the morning on the lido and had a table for us in the Canaletto area. Food there was solid everytime we had it. Some requested customizations never happened but nothing that was too significant. Every time we ate there we left feeling pleasantly satiated without being stuffed which was a great experience for a three course meal. The Lido was frequently crowded for breakfast at around 8:30-9am but was generally pretty empty by 9:30 and wasn't as bad at 8am either. We decided to try to avoid the busy time there. Busy times for lunch were unpredictable due to schedule of events and docking times but we had to make multiple trips to find a seat after viewing the Margerie Glacier. Afternoon tea was a bit of a cattle call with no customization and very little attention paid to each guest. After going once we decided to avoid it for the future. Though several of the little bites there were great, having tea seemed unnecessary when the entire Lido was still open. Fine Dining We had one meal at Tamarind which was incredibly disappointing. Several of the dishes were great but even with the restaurant half empty it took two and a half hours to get through the meal, our water glasses ran empty multiple times, and we never really seemed to get service. They totally drenched the lobster roll I ordered in Mayo which wasn't even listed as an ingredient on the menu and I brought it up with 3 servers who never did anything but apologize. No offers to take it away or get something else. My wife ended up eating most of it but about half was taken away at the end untouched. I never leave sushi on the plate. This has pretty much turned me off of specialty dining entirely. I wouldn't have been happy paying $50 for that dinner and service in a restaurant under regular circumstances. The fact that I had to pay extra for lower quality service and in some cases worse food than the Lido is unacceptable. In the future I'm perfectly happy with the MDR. Service was also incredibly slow. Ports We didn't plan any excursions at port as we were hoping to explore on our own. This may have been a mistake. Juneau was heavily inundated with Cruise Port jewelry shops, places with locations in major cruise ports in Alaska and the Carribbean with locally themed swag. If you weren't looking for jewelry or something with the words ALASKA on it, you were probably out of luck. The entire area by the port is a big tourist trap with a number of the rudest sales reps I’ve ever met. I did manage to walk far enough to get to some local shops, local artists, and local native wears, but it was a few blocks back away from the main drag. Sitka was a pretty cool small town that reminded us of Friday Harbor in the San Juans. Having more time helped but we managed to hit the entire downtown in just a couple hours. I don’t have any particular drive to return to Sitka but it was pleasant being there. Kechikan seemed like a town I could spend more time in. The Creek Street area is super cool and I’d love to have time to hang out for coffee there. I really feel we didn’t have time to explore the area very well. As it was we spent a good 3+ hours wandering around there and came back at almost noon for a 12:30 departure. I wouldn't mind a fuller day there but the stop was pretty short. Victoria is a beautiful town that was somewhere I’ll definitely visit again, but our stop from 6 to 11 was too short to do much of anything. We walked to chinatown which looked like a cool place to eat but had nowhere to shop at 8pm. I’d love to explore the town more but there’s only so much still open at 7pm. I’d prefer to spend a long weekend in Victoria than a cruise stop. If I had another 5 hour stop there I probably wouldn’t get off the ship. In the end we decided we enjoyed our time cruising much more than our time in port. Watching the world go by outside of your window while relaxing, reading, and having access to unlimited food is pretty nice. Each of the stops didn’t really give us a chance to get more than a brief view of the town and we never stopped to eat or shop for local food since everything was free on the ship. If you really want to know what a place is like, cruising isn’t the best way to see it. In the future I think I’ll care less where the cruise stops and think about what I’d be seeing from the ship. Navigator App The Navigator App is a good development that hasn't really come together yet. First thing, don't register on it until you are on board. It just confuses the poor thing. Second, be careful because it doesn't update as quickly as you'd hope. I was still getting alerts in Seattle time while we were in Alaska for a few days and we still had the previous day’s menu until after dinner the next day. It's also fairly slow to load. That said, it's a pretty cool feature compared to nothing so I'd get it and use it onboard. Overall Cruising was a fun experience and pretty good for a couples getaway. Imaging the differences with kids takes away a lot of the potential relaxation that was present. The fact that ports are tourist traps makes it difficult to use cruising as a method of experiencing specific locations you might be interested in. Previously I had a lot of interest in a carribbean cruise where you got to see several eastern carribbean island but I feel like it would be difficult to get much more than a casual glance at each one and that view would be heavily skewed by the scenes that existed at port. I feel like cruises where a lot of the point was what goes on outside of your window would be more exciting. So in the future things like a Panama Canal, fall New England/Canada or European River cruise seems really interesting to me but I’m not sure that paying $300 more for a flight is worth the change in scenery. Excursions also don't really interest me as I don't generally want a curated experience. This means that the ports are less vital than the route. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
This was a very last minute cruise booked within one week of travel. Got a decent price for a partially obstructed stateroom, which was actually larger than I expected. Having just gotten off RCL's Mariner of the Seas one week ... Read More
This was a very last minute cruise booked within one week of travel. Got a decent price for a partially obstructed stateroom, which was actually larger than I expected. Having just gotten off RCL's Mariner of the Seas one week earlier, I was worried that the Eurodam was going to be boring by comparison. But our experience was better than I expected. For this cruise, it was just my 6 yo & me (late30s). We normally travel as a family of 4 (my husband & our 9 yo), plus grandparents. In complete honesty, this ship would probably have bored my 9yo who has become accustomed to our previous cruises' "bells & whistles" from the likes of Disney, Norwegian, and Royal. But my 6yo & I enjoyed the slower, more relaxed pace. I think the more "chill" vibe was very fitting for the serenity of Alaska. Compared to our most recent cruise on the Mariner, Eurodam 's food at the Lido & MDR was much better, although HAL needs to have more vegetarian options. Service in Lido was hit or miss. I often had to get my own drink or clear my own table. I appreciated that servers served portions, versus allowing guests to handle the tongs. Entertainment was good, especially the magician show as well as BB Kings. I do think HAL needs to up their entertainment options, compared to their rivals, who have more lively entertainment often. Fitness Center was sufficient and I even saw whales a couple times while I was using the elliptical. My 6yo enjoyed the kids club, but compared to Disney, Royal, & Norwegian, I thought HAL could do a better job with kiddie activities, playroom, and hours. Excursion & Guest Services did a good job addressing my questions and I appreciated being able to use Port Valet service. Overall, I recommend the Eurodam for an Alaskan itinerary. I'd consider cruising HAL again given the right itinerary and price. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I travel extensively and this was the most expensive and one of the worst trips I’ve ever taken. We upgraded to a suite and executive lounge. The lounge service was good but the food stale, pedestrian and you had to pay for liquor. ... Read More
I travel extensively and this was the most expensive and one of the worst trips I’ve ever taken. We upgraded to a suite and executive lounge. The lounge service was good but the food stale, pedestrian and you had to pay for liquor. Dining Room and Lido deck food lacked quality, taste and freshness. We ate burgers and hotdogs because they cooked to order. The only free beverage was lemonade and tea. A coke was $2.50, latte $3.50 + tax, tip. We brought 2 bottles of wine and they charge $18 corkage fee at the restaurant! After spending $7000 (2 people) for this 7 day trip Holland America Eurodam continued to have unexpected costs. The better restaurants cost more to get in and if your wanted a good steak there was an up-charge! The excursions on average cost $150 a person. $30 per person to play Bingo. I’ve been to many around the world the cost for what you did was exorbitant. Also frustrating was the daily schedule was placed in your room the night before. They constantly changed the restaurant open and closed times. We missed breakfast because they close at 8:30am. This was confusing for many people. The most frustrating was the big day to see the Glaciers. They limited the amount of chairs on the top deck, did not offer to set out more and left many of us standing for hours or had to sit inside and only have partial views. The Ranger talk was at 7:30am. We missed it. The day was so unproductive and unorganized because we did not have a central place for the family to enjoy this spectacular event. I was beyond disappointed! I would not recommend this for big family groups or handicapped person. It was difficult to keep organized, most tables only had 2-4 tops that you can’t move. Limited seats for the classical music nights, shows were set at 7:30 or 9:30 which were on top of dinner timelines. Not much activity during the day unless you want spa and workout time. Overall, not worth the money and I would highly recommend NOT using Holland America Eurodam to see Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
I had cruised with Holland America to Alaska with my father ~10 years ago. I wanted to now share the experience with my son and my wife, so I picked Holland America again. My expectations were high, especially for the food. When I ... Read More
I had cruised with Holland America to Alaska with my father ~10 years ago. I wanted to now share the experience with my son and my wife, so I picked Holland America again. My expectations were high, especially for the food. When I cruised with HAL before, the food was fantastic. Every meal at the MDR was excellent. Unfortunately, the food was the most disappointing aspect of this cruise. MDR food quality was exactly the same as buffet quality (the MDR selections were also available from the Lido). Both were average for the most part. It appears they are looking to force people to eat at the specialty dining restaurants to get high quality food and have let MDR food quality devolve. Lido was ok as a buffet, but food quality was also just average. And the lines! Be prepared. The hours of Lido were limited, so be prepared for lots of lines and lots of waiting. It wasn't unusual for us to take 20-30 minutes or more to get all the food after stopping and waiting at multiple stations. The Dive In had good food, but it closes at 530? Why??? And the minimum order time for food was 25 minutes, at one point got up to 45 minutes. For a burger. Pizza was good, but again, be prepared for waiting. Most times wait for a pizza was 25 minutes, and it closes at 1130. So if you're looking for a late night snack options become limited, and lines and waiting are likely. Entertainment was great - i enjoyed the Billboard pianists, the mainstage acts (magician and comedian), and the blues club. I wish they would bring the movie theater back, the mainstage setup for movies isn't great. Crow's nest is beautiful - make sure you spend time there. Gym machines were ok - many treadmills don't work. On one treadmill the machine just stopped while i was running, luckily i didn't fall. My family and i had cruised on Princess last year. I was telling them how much better this cruise would be, in particular the food, having cruised with HAL before, but it appears that my expectations were set too high. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
First time sailing Holland America. We a frequent Celebrity and RCCL cruisers, but liked the HA Alaska itinerary, plus there were some pricing specials that made this cruise very affordable. We booked a category VD balcony cabin ... Read More
First time sailing Holland America. We a frequent Celebrity and RCCL cruisers, but liked the HA Alaska itinerary, plus there were some pricing specials that made this cruise very affordable. We booked a category VD balcony cabin (guarantee), and we were assigned our cabin 10 days before sailing. Location was pretty good....all of the VD cabins are either in the front or towards the rear of the ship. We had a cabin towards the front of the ship. Long walk to the dining venues (as they were on the other end of the ship), but we got used to it. The pros.....spacious cabin, quiet, large shower/bathtub combo, nice balcony. Service was first class and very friendly. Embarkation and disembarkation was so incredibly fast....HA blew away their competition on this aspect of the cruise. A nice choice of shore excursions, but pricey (as all Alaskan shore excursions tend to be). The highlight for us was the Tracy Arm Fjord/Sawyer Glacier excursion in Juneau. A long day (7 hour excursion), but well worth the time and money (tour is run by Allen Marine...wonderful tour folks). The one day we were cruising Glacier bay was an experience Holland America does best. This was the main reason we chose this cruise and HA did not disappoint. Had several other shore excursions which were ok....fortunately we got into Victoria before nightfall and got to Bourchart Gardens while it was still light. Had about 2 hours to visit and by the second hour it was nighttime. You cannot get the beauty of these gardens if you only have the night time to visit...so if you can't see the gardens during some daylight time, it is not worth going to (in my opinion, if you are a first time visitor). The not so good stuff had to do with the food and entertainment. The Lido restaurant is where the buffet is and we found the food selection and quality adequate, but nothing compared to the quality and selection you find on RCCL and Celebrity. We ate in the main dining room twice and the good was good in that venue (the gala night surf and turf was excellent.....probably the best we have had on any cruise ship). Service was fine. No quick way to get a slice of pizza or a quick hamburger/hotdog. HA does not do this part of their food routine very well. Also deserts were so so; cookies were lousy. Not much in the way of entertainment, but HA is not known for their big productions that RCCL and Celebrity have. We booked the premium wifi package ahead of time, as it was priced attractively but it was somewhat slow (but expected), and stopped working completely on our Apple devices that had IOS software under 10.0 (because of an HA wifi upgrade while we were at sea). So if your IOS software is not 10.0 or higher, their wifi will not work on those devices (primarily older Ipads). Very easy to catch a taxi from the cruise terminal back to the airport. They all charge a flat fee of $42. Lots of taxi's available despite two large cruise ships arriving at about the same time. Hope this info is helpful to any of you taking the Alaska inside passage cruise on HA. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We wanted a cruise that our daughter and son-in-law wanted to take, and they liked the idea of taking their first Alaskan cruise. We had been once, and had bad weather in the Northern stops. This time, the weather was reversed, with ... Read More
We wanted a cruise that our daughter and son-in-law wanted to take, and they liked the idea of taking their first Alaskan cruise. We had been once, and had bad weather in the Northern stops. This time, the weather was reversed, with great weather in Juneau, Glacier Bay, and Sitka, and rain and cold in Ketchikan and Victoria (B.C.). The ship itself has been recently refurbished, with nice new furniture in the suites (and elsewhere), and large flat-screen TVs with free movies. The service has always been exceptional, and this cruise was even better. We also enjoyed the Lincoln Center string quintet, with excellent young musicians playing a wide range of lovely music from Baroque through Broadway, tangos, and jazz. The main dining room's food was the best we've experienced, with great choices and lovely presentation. Free room service, with a good selection of choices throughout the day, was a nice touch as well. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was the best cruise ever! The staff was friendly and very helpful as well as cheerful. The food was delicious and plentiful.Every evening it was arranged with care and lovely.Our dining staff was wonderful, especially our wine girl ... Read More
This was the best cruise ever! The staff was friendly and very helpful as well as cheerful. The food was delicious and plentiful.Every evening it was arranged with care and lovely.Our dining staff was wonderful, especially our wine girl (Miraki(Sp?)-from Japan but living in Manilla). Our room was beautiful and the gentlemen that serviced it were quick and efficient. The ship was clean and everything was top notch. The entertainment was great! I can't rave about it enough. The spa package was awesome. Seaweed wrap a must. The girls in the spa were lovely and informative. Mary our morning dining room person was so nice and helpful. She helped us start our day with JOY! The BBKing review was great. We enjoyed the special music provided by WayFM every night. The wine tastings we attended were very informative. Everyone was fabulous! A TRIP FOR THE MEMORIES!!! I am recommending Holland-America to everyone I tell about our trip and I will book again.*** Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We have taken several Alaskan cruises, the most recent on the Amsterdam. While we enjoyed the ports, it was not our best cruise. The Amsterdam is worn and dated (although I've read a drydock is in her future). We took our chances ... Read More
We have taken several Alaskan cruises, the most recent on the Amsterdam. While we enjoyed the ports, it was not our best cruise. The Amsterdam is worn and dated (although I've read a drydock is in her future). We took our chances and flew to Seattle the day of the cruise. We arrived before noon and our shared shuttle driver had us to the pier in no time. Check in was fast and our cabin was ready for us. Muster drill was held outdoors. We had a Vista suite and it was similar to what Norwegian calls a mini suite. There was nothing special about the cabin. No butler, sparking wine or afternoon treats. We had a walk in shower instead of a tub and we were grateful for that. Except for the lack of water pressure! The cabin was tight for two. A larger person would have to walk sideways to get around the bed. We had a sofa, glass top coffee table and and end table. The lamp on the end table had a single USB port. The lamp can be switched on and off from a wall switch. More than once, the wall switch was off and our device didn't charge. The refrigerator was inside the end table. It functioned but was completely iced over. The desk area held the 32" tv, DVD player, ice bucket, a make up mirror that once lit up and more drawers than we could use. A handheld hair dryer and another mirror were in one of the drawers. The tv had horrible resolution and more often than not, no satellite reception. The ship does have an extensive DVD library for just this very reason. The balcony held 2 chairs and ottomans along with a tiny end table. We sometimes brought the ottomans inside the cabin so we could watch a movie a little more comfortably. The room darkening drapes were a necessity in the Land of the Midnight Sun. Also, one person could sleep while the other watched tv, with the additional drape adjacent to the bed pulled closed. Food is always subjective but after 50+ cruises, I wasn't impressed. Food was often cold. How can pancakes be cold and hard when you are one of the first guests served in the dining room? Buffet food was not at all appetizing. I did appreciate buffet items being served to you but the selections were very limited as were the times the Lido was open. Don't expect to stop for a snack after attending a show in the theater as the Lido is closed from 8pm til 10:30pm. If the show on the main stage isn't your cup of tea, a movie is shown nightly in the much smaller Wajang theater. America's Test Kitchen shared this space. If you want a seat for ATK get there 45 minutes before the program starts. It is one of the few activities available on sea days. Other activities included Microsoft and photography workshops and several EXC pesentations. Mahjongg was offered every afternoon but at strange times. The casino is small but was never crowded. As a non-smoker, it did not seem smoky. The shops were constantly trying to sell old stock from the 2019 World Cruise. We had been to Ketchikan, Juneau, Icy Strait, Sitka and Victoria on previous cruises. Weather was not on our side so our rain gear came in handy. One morning, I did a load of laundry before we went ashore. $2 to wash and the dryer was free. Best deal on board the ship. They even provide the detergent. We enjoyed walking around Anchorage and Kodiak Island. Our friends have a summer home in the Homer area so we spent the day with them. A highlight was visiting the Kilcher homestead from the Discover program Alaska: The Last Frontier. We also cruised Dawes and Hubbard Glaciers. Amazing! We purchased the Victoria shuttle through Holland. We could've purchased the exact shuttle from the provider at 2/3rds of the cost. We should've known better. We do enjoy cruising Holland America but the Amsterdam was too small for us. My husband was quite bored, especially during the day time hours. Our past experience was on the Eurodam, so we'll stick with a similar size ship in the future. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Chose it for the length, route and price. As usual, embarkation was smooth in Seattle. Cabin was standard ocean view and clean but showing age on chair arms, window frame rust and tile/plastic bathroom walls and sink. Chose ... Read More
Chose it for the length, route and price. As usual, embarkation was smooth in Seattle. Cabin was standard ocean view and clean but showing age on chair arms, window frame rust and tile/plastic bathroom walls and sink. Chose any-time dining and booked same table for entire trip. Wait staff fantastic and food excellent most of the time. (Cream soups seem to be the same plain cream poured over a handful of different ingredients each meal.) Onion soup, offered on every menu was usually excellent except a couple of times when it was way too salty. Rudy's Sel de Mer was a total three-course mess at a ridiculously high price. It began with a half-cooked scallop as an amuse-bouche. Next came a seafood tower for me - routine salad bar popcorn shrimp salad, less than a teaspoon of crab meat and I passed on the octopus. My entree was a really tough whole Dover sole which had more in common with the shoe variety than the seafood type. A friend had the Maine lobster which amounted to two baby critters smaller than prawns. (I didn't know things that small were even legal to harvest.) Other friend raved about rack of lamb. Desert was supposed to be Crepes Suzette. Again, very disappointing. Crepe was very tough, smeared with what seemed to be orange marmalade and served lukewarm with half melted ice cream. No way close to being Crepe Suzettes. Friends profiteroles were standard issue from the Lido. To complete the evening, the wine steward never bothered to return and refill wine glasses and overall service was excruciatingly slow. As standard these days, all land excursions were very expensive and on-board entertainment reduced to the minimum with old BBC videos and house band filling in a couple of times. Favorite locales remain Icy Strait Point, Hubbard glacier viewing and Homer. Other ports/sights are okay but tend to be similar to each other and offer the usual search for wildlife/birds, some totem poles and a church here and there. Cruising remains a bargain if you can ignore a lot of the overpriced things on offer but it seems the day of inclusive pricing is about over. Cruise lines have adopted the airline pricing model - quote a cheap fare, and then add port fees/taxes and a $14.50 a day service charge per passenger called a tip, and then charge exorbitant fees for everything else. I expect to see all menus with à la carte pricing within a year or two. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We are a couple in our early 60’s. We traveled with another couple. We stayed at the Homewood Suites downtown. We took an Uber to the port which was very close to the port at around 10:00 AM. We were on the ship by 11:45. We were ... Read More
We are a couple in our early 60’s. We traveled with another couple. We stayed at the Homewood Suites downtown. We took an Uber to the port which was very close to the port at around 10:00 AM. We were on the ship by 11:45. We were able to go straight to our rooms. We had a nice quiet lunch in the main dining room. The Amsterdam is an amazing ship! Very clean and nicely decorated! Smaller ship but easy to get around. Since our cabin was on the 3rd floor it was very easy to get to the main dining room which was one floor up. Love being in the back of the ship. Dining: We went to the Pinnacle Grill three times. Love the menu and the waiters and waitresses. Lobster bisque, shrimp cocktail, crab cakes, lobster tail and filet were all so amazing! Also had the scallops, candy bacon and porterhouse! All were amazing. Wahyu and Kay were so amazing in the Pinnacle. We also went to the Canalleto one night. Liked their menu also. Mira and Carla were amazing and always friendly and nice when ever we saw them! The main dining room was great. We ate most of our meals there including a couple of lunches and breakfast. Amazing Amin, was one of our favorite waiters! Always had a smile on his face. The last at sea day they served surf and turf and shrimp cocktail in the dining room. Very good! The Lido serves an awesome breakfast. Lots of different juices. Egg making station, pancakes etc station. Lunch they have a great salad station. Ports: Awesome itinerary! Picked this cruise for all the amazing ports! Ketchikan: Bering Sea Fisherman Tour was excellent. We did this tour 11 years ago and couldn’t wait to go back. It was rainy and cold but they provided raincoats and they had heaters on the boat. We watched them catch fish and crabs in the pots. You could hold rock crabs etc. They threw herring and we watched the eagles fly down and catch them . An awesome shore excursion not to be missed! The boat docks right in town. Lots of nice shops etc. Sawyer Glacier at Tracy Arm was beautiful. Nice relaxing day. Juneau: We took the Jeep Wrangler 4 Door Jeep tour. We booked through the ship. We went on our own to the Mendenhall glacier and hiked to Nugget Falls. So nice to take our time and explore at our own pace. We also went to Saint Therese Chapel which was beautiful location in the woods. Amazing area! Then onto the Fish hatchery. Very cool to see that many fish! Icy Strait Point: TOK River Outfitters is a company we found on line. They were awesome! We went halibut fishing! Between the six of us we caught about 25 halibut! The boat was in pristine shape and Nick the captain and Tammy were so amazing! They baited our lines and released all our catches for us. They went out of their way to make our day so awesome! It was a rainy and cold day but we were having so much fun catching fish we didn’t even notice the weather. Anchorage: There is a free shuttle to town. We booked the Glacier Quest Cruise through Phillips 26 Glacier Cruises on line. We actually called direct and got a AAA discount for the cruise. We booked the motor coach for transportation to Whittier which is where the tour begins. The glaciers we visited were beautiful! The lunch was great! This excursion takes all day but it was so amazing to get up so close to the glaciers. We chose the glacier quest which was a shorter cruise because we worried we would not have enough time for the longer 26 glacier cruise. As it turned out though, there was just enough time for the time we had at port to take either cruise. Homer: We took the free shuttle to the Spit. Nice area for souvenir shopping for some unusual things. We booked a private tour through Bay Excursions for a Marine Wildlife Tour. The tour was right down by the water at the spit. We saw puffins and otters and eagles. Very Knowledgeable guys on board our boat. The captain was great! Kodiak: We took the free shuttle to town. The guys booked a Bear Viewing tour through Island Air Service. Expensive but the best tour! Up close to see bears in the wild. They flew them to Fraser Lake in float planes and you are very near where the salmon are. The bears were very close to where they stood and watched them. My friend and I booked a floatplane tour with Andrews Air. We were so close to the mountain peaks that I felt like I could touch them. The take off and landing on the water was so smooth. We highly recommend either place, which were next door to each other, for floatplane trips. Hubbard Glacier: Amazing day to see the Hubbard Glacier up close. The ship offers an excursion to get off the ship to go see the glacier even closer. We didn’t do it though since we had been very close to glaciers in Whittier when we were there. The scenery is just undesirable at the passage into the glacier. Sitka: We took the shuttle to town. We booked a tour on our own with Captain Gary’s Sitka Adventures for a Whale watch. Gary met us in town and took us out on his pristine boat. It was just the four of us. Gary was amazing! We saw so many whales. We saw otters. Beautiful area! Gary was the best! Victoria: The shuttle offered by the ship is $15.95/pp to town. We took a taxi directly to the Butchart Gardens on our own. Way cheaper. The Gardens are about 40 minutes from where the shuttle drops you off at the Empress Hotel in town. The gardens are the most amazing gardens we have ever seen. Highly recommend going there. Embarkation: The Port Valet offered by SEA/TAC is an awesome way to go. Put your bags out at midnight and you don’t have to deal with them until you get to your baggage claim at your final destination. FREE too!!! This itinerary was so awesome! We hoped to go to these same ports next year but they changed them. No Kodiak or Sitka! We hope they bring them back. This was our 16 cruise. 6th cruise with Holland America. We really love Holland!! One big plus for us is that Holland America Line has a priest on board for all their cruises. We really love that they do this! All in all, we can’t say enough how wonderful this cruise was. Alaska is an awesome place to visit! So much untouched amazingly beautiful scenery!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This was a charter cruise so most of the standards don't apply. Overall it was nice. I just wish the bow was open all the time not just for special occasions. The buffet was ok nothing to brag about and the staff were very nice ... Read More
This was a charter cruise so most of the standards don't apply. Overall it was nice. I just wish the bow was open all the time not just for special occasions. The buffet was ok nothing to brag about and the staff were very nice and always accommodated us. The ship was clean and reasonably well maintained, but the cherry on top was the cloth towels in the public bathrooms. Each bathroom had individual cloth towels for your hand as well as paper to open the door but 90% of the time I could use the cloth and drop in the towel receptacle. The best part of the trip was the cabin. It was very roomy and comfortable and the staff took care of my request to empty the mini fridge so I could put my own soda in it. It was also nice to have USB charging ports on the desk and night stands for electronics. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My partner and I, 55 and 58 gay men, decided pretty last minute to do this Alaska Explorer 7 night charter. We were able to get a good deal booking with the charter as we are alumni with many past cruises with them, and there were many ... Read More
My partner and I, 55 and 58 gay men, decided pretty last minute to do this Alaska Explorer 7 night charter. We were able to get a good deal booking with the charter as we are alumni with many past cruises with them, and there were many cabins to fill.....our luck. Also, we had never cruised with Holland American Line before and have wanted to for years, so a win-win all around! We flew in to Seattle arriving around 1pm for a 3pm at the lasted boarding time. We had thought we would simply grab an Uber or Lift to the pier, but after getting our bags, time was running out, and we discovered HAL had a service to transfer us by bus to the terminal....so we used that (both ways as it turned out).... Check in was easy as we were getting they later in the day and most had already boarded. Our veranda cabin on the 8th floor starboard was decent. Definitely could use an upgrade as there were repaired holes and such in the bathroom. The deck really needed to be washed, as it was all a mess and dirty. The beds were quite comfortable, slept well all 7 nights. The TV served up some good movies OD, a few TV channels, access to the bridge cams.....nice. I liked how the closets had shelves that could be swung up to make more room for hanging clothes....every cruise line should have this great idea. Cabin steward was efficient and did not see much of him. As for dining, we ate most meals in the main dining room and had mostly above average luck with our meals. We are mostly Celebrity Cruisers so that is what we are comparing to....I think Celebrity does food better, my partner thinks HAL is just a bit better. The Lido Market is not a bad place for snacks and small meal. Overall, the service onboard is wonderful. The staff seems to enjoy what they are doing and we enjoyed having one waiter all week who treated us great. I would say the general overall service seems a bit warmer on HAL that Celebrity. Also, the Oosterdam has a warmer feel to it than most of the Celebrity ships. The design is obviously night and day, with Celebrity more modern and HAL a bit traditional. I like the change and the size of the ship. As a charter ship, the on board entertainment was quite good. A few let downs, but over all some great comedy, music and dancing were well done. The ships own dancers did an awesome job the night I saw them, using the huge screens on stage to interact with....something new to me and fun to watch! Something else HAL does is the Lincoln Center Stage, with a string quintet and pianist play a huge variety throughout the cruise. I wish I was able to see more of them, but what I did hear was top-notch..... OK, the internet! I thought I would take advantage of buying a weekly package before boarding as I would save about $50 for the 'Premier' package and be able to stream shows if I would like. Well, the internet on the Oosterdam is a joke. I was never able to stream....downloading pictures from Facebook took many seconds, and often,,,,very often, the whole thing stopped and needed to be restarted.....not fun....the front desk passed on my concerns.....but while I was there at the front desk,(and every time I was there, btw) other passengers were also complaining and some were rather irate. I just put down my iPad and did not let it bother me. But just don't expect much in terms internet on the Oosterdam. We had been to Alaska a few times before, so did not do many excursions, but LOVE seeing Hubbard Glacier....always my favorite part of an Alaska cruise! We would certainly consider HAL again....we like the 1900 pax load. Not too small, not too big. The food was good and service great. While this review was a little boring, the ship was not! I would suggest this to those who like music, relaxed atmosphere and a ship not geared up with bells and whistles of all the newer ships like RCL and Norwegian and Carnival. I almost forgot my favorite place on the ship, the Crows Nest on the top deck.....great place to sit and stare out watching the world go by with the panoramic windows....and a bar and coffeeshop..... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was a wonderful vacation with siblings. The food was amazing! I tried Duck for the first time and absolutely loved it. The Pinnacle Grill was great! The Cannaletto was awesome! I did feel there was a bit of downtime during the ... Read More
This was a wonderful vacation with siblings. The food was amazing! I tried Duck for the first time and absolutely loved it. The Pinnacle Grill was great! The Cannaletto was awesome! I did feel there was a bit of downtime during the day, but that was okay as I was able to go to the spa and do the hydro-pool and thermal lounge suite which is the best way to relax. The Billboard Onboard was great as Kiersten and Will did a great job on the pianos and singing. The Lincoln Center Stage was amazing and I absolutely loved to hear them play. Be prepared to wait awhile for your food if you order the pizza or from the Dive In. The Lido had good food as always and yes, it is busy during the peak times, so choose when you want to go. The in-room dining was nice as well. All of the staff was very friendly and helpful. I loved the casual portrait nights in addition to the formal (gala) pictures. When we looked through all the photos, the casual ones actually came out nicer and better than the formal ones. This was my 4th cruise with Holland America (my first 3 were on the Amsterdam), and I can honestly say it didn't disappoint and I'm ready to go on another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We did an Alaskan cruise 6 years ago and loved it so we wanted to return. Alaska is a great destination for us to escape summer heat and experience beauty. We traveled to and from Seattle. Our cabin was 2715 and a great location for us. It ... Read More
We did an Alaskan cruise 6 years ago and loved it so we wanted to return. Alaska is a great destination for us to escape summer heat and experience beauty. We traveled to and from Seattle. Our cabin was 2715 and a great location for us. It is at back of boat where there were only 2 cabins so there was no traffic. It was quiet. A hidden gem was a small deck on the back, almost private with access through the hall. We went to the shows every night and enjoyed them. There were 2 Gala nights, however we decided to be a bit more casual so did not attend. We ate dinner in dining room a few times as well as lunch. Loved the Lido for breakfast and the Crows Lounge for relaxation. Ports were great with the exception of Victoria which we were not a fan of. We chose to purchase excursions in the port as the prices were better and even got discounts too. My favorite port was Skagway as you are able to take a tour out of the town and experience natural beauty. We traveled with Frontier Excursions. The vehicle size allowed for better tour as there were only 9 of us on the tour. Guide was very familiar with history and area and also helpful in taking pictures. We stopped many spots and went to Yukon and the suspension bridge. In Juneau we went on the whale watch tour with Juneau Whale Watch Company. The boats were small and comfortable. The guides had a lot of information. Out of Seattle we were offered a special program through the Port Authority for free. Our luggage was picked up outside our cabin and put through to our final destination and our boarding passes were printed and delivered to our cabin. This was our second cruise with Holland America and we love them. They seem very professional. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This July the family decided to go on a cruise to Alaska on the Holland America Amsterdam. We had 7 people in our group and had 2 rooms. Everything on our cruise was absolutely perfect. The ship was very comfortable and up to ... Read More
This July the family decided to go on a cruise to Alaska on the Holland America Amsterdam. We had 7 people in our group and had 2 rooms. Everything on our cruise was absolutely perfect. The ship was very comfortable and up to date. The food was excellent and the service was perfect. Holland America gave us a perfect 7 day vacation and we’ll be looking forward to our next cruise on holland America’ We frequently hear how Holland America is the over 90 crowd but this trip the ship was filled with families and lots of kids. We had 2 18 year olds in our group and they enjoyed Holland America so much that they have been next summers family trip on Holland America. We decided Holland America gets the over 90 reputation from their world cruises as the only people that can take a 100 day cruisr are retired. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
terrible experience nothing to do on this ship they were horrible with my disabled wife even canceled excursions that we booked for handicap accessible people never ever again all the activities on the boat close at 10 at night the last ... Read More
terrible experience nothing to do on this ship they were horrible with my disabled wife even canceled excursions that we booked for handicap accessible people never ever again all the activities on the boat close at 10 at night the last lounge is only open at 10:30 casino was very small as maybe three or four tables to play on nothing for the kids to do just terrible absolutely terrible they messed up my room keys my arm board acount the money I put in my account disappeared five separate trips the customer service in two days and we still didn't get the shore excursion I would never recommend anybody use Holland America when we got back to shore and I contacted them about all the problems I had the only thing they had to say was I apologize didn't even attempt to make it right or make it up to making my disabled wife feel like she was an inconvenience these people Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
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
11 Helpful Votes
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
15 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
4 Helpful Votes
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
5 Helpful Votes
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
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