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555 Holland America Seattle Cruise Reviews

Always wanted to do a gay cruise - and always have wanted to see Alaska. Got the chance to do so last week - and was pleasantly surprised. The ship is really nice, the food was SURPRISINGLY good, and the itinerary (Seattle-Juneau-Glacier ... Read More
Always wanted to do a gay cruise - and always have wanted to see Alaska. Got the chance to do so last week - and was pleasantly surprised. The ship is really nice, the food was SURPRISINGLY good, and the itinerary (Seattle-Juneau-Glacier Bay-Sitka-Ketchikan-Victoria) was wonderful. Best part of the cruise was having National Park Rangers narrate on the ship PA as we toured Glacier Bay National Park. Worst part of the cruise was the Spa. Avoid at all costs. High Pressure sales like nothing I've ever experienced (they even cancelled my appointments and re-booked 3 more without my consent). Who knew I needed $1700 in facial creams? I already look 10 years younger than I am ... but I need $1700 in product PLUS a dermatologist consult (who was conveniently onboard and ready to take my money)? The spa day passes are over-subscribed so the spa was always too busy for me to enter (no lounges, pool was over-full). There really was no reason to go in the spa anyway - every spa I've ever been too includes grooming supplies. This one didn't even have soap or shampoo in the showers, and no sinks for grooming, shaving, etc. Our stateroom was nice, albeit slightly snug (I've only done one other cruise, and that was on the Oceana Riviera - this room was considerably smaller, it seemed). The TV entertainment offerings were very good (and free!). AMAZINGLY soundproof. The premium restaurants are all worth a few bucks additional, with the exception of the Tamarind, which was a bit of a let-down (and the ONLY restaurant that wouldn't let you order more than a single main course). The service in that restaurant was wonky (our meal was half-done before our cocktails were delivered, and the meal was nearly over when the Sake arrived). We got a bit weary of the Lido Buffet, and some instructions as to which direction the line moved would have helped with crowd control. The ship is immaculate and maintained beautifully. Friendly and competent staff everywhere we went. Embark and Disembark was painless. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
The Amsterdam is a smaller ship of 1400 people and we sailed to Alaska for two weeks. The weather was mostly very good. We had a Vista Suite which was more than adequate. The cabin stewards were wonderful. We booked several excursions ... Read More
The Amsterdam is a smaller ship of 1400 people and we sailed to Alaska for two weeks. The weather was mostly very good. We had a Vista Suite which was more than adequate. The cabin stewards were wonderful. We booked several excursions through Holland America and they were all very well done. We ate the majority of our meals in the main dining room at the 8 pm seating and had absolutely no issues at all. The meals were all excellent and I do not see any reason to pay a surcharge to go to the specialty restaurants. The entertainment was mostly very good. The HAL singers and dancers were some of the most talented that we have seen on any cruise ship (we have sailed Disney, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian). Jim Curry did a tribute to John Denver and did an excellent job. Amy Lee was a violinist who was very talented. We particularly like America's Test Kitchen with Kathleen. She demonstrated various menus and dishes throughout the cruise. We picked up some great hints and recipes. We really felt that Holland America was a step above the cruises that we have previously been on. However, we still feel strongly that Disney presents the best entertainment. I would urge you to do this two week Alaskan itinerary, we saw whales, bear, eagles, otters and orcas. The embarkation and debarkation were excellent and very well organized. Seattle was an excellent pre and post cruise city. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
The food was amazing! We were thrilled with the quality of the dining room food. They served LARGE scallops. Each night was excellent: Snapper, Halibut, Steak, LARGE Shrimp, Lobster, more Steak, Rack of Lamb, 8 hour slow roasted Lamb ... Read More
The food was amazing! We were thrilled with the quality of the dining room food. They served LARGE scallops. Each night was excellent: Snapper, Halibut, Steak, LARGE Shrimp, Lobster, more Steak, Rack of Lamb, 8 hour slow roasted Lamb Shank, and much more. The service was impeccable. Our servers were Ari & Aji. They are a great team. I was so sad on our last night. They spoiled us! The ship is older, but very clean. Our room attendant Tegru was outstanding. He kept our room perfect and left extras before we even asked. HAL has always been our favorite, but they have made some improvements that have considered the guests in every way. I loved the Lido - they have 4 stations for salad bar. Yes, they are manned and not self-serve, but I love this - it is CLEAN and they have about 50 items at each station and the server gives you exactly what you want! I had a lovely salad (different each day) and they were amazing. They also serve a hot meal, Asian, Carving Station, tapas plates and for those on the go - sandwiches. It was very organized and there was something for everyone. Ice cream was available pretty much all the time. Also, I loved the America's Test Kitchen - he was very entertaining and the little 30 minute segments were always fun. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise for the ease of getting to Seattle from our home city. It did not disappoint. We cruised a similar itinerary in the past and love that this itinerary stops in Sitka - a very unique, less "touristy" city with ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ease of getting to Seattle from our home city. It did not disappoint. We cruised a similar itinerary in the past and love that this itinerary stops in Sitka - a very unique, less "touristy" city with some very cool things to do! There is only ever one ship at a time in Sitka so it is a much quieter, low key experience than some places. What really made this cruise for us was the service - we had tremendous cabin stewards and dining room servers that truly elevated the experience. We traveled with 3 friends who had never seen Alaska and they felt that they got a great taste of that part of the state. We'd heartily recommend a cruise tour (land and sea), but for us that wasn't practical this time. In light of that, we highly recommend Holland America in general and this itinerary specifically. Beware cabin 8032 is directly under the ping pong table on the Lido deck! No problem at night as long as you go to bed after 10 or so, but the noise from people chasing the ball was significant during all day. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Inspiration Cruise with Dr. Charles Stanley. Everything about the cruise was excellent. Good food and excellent service. We had an inside larger room. There was an outbreak of norovirus (stomach flu) which was handled very well by ... Read More
Inspiration Cruise with Dr. Charles Stanley. Everything about the cruise was excellent. Good food and excellent service. We had an inside larger room. There was an outbreak of norovirus (stomach flu) which was handled very well by the staff. Extra cleaning and food handling precautions kept it from spreading. We didn't sign up for any shore excursions through Holland America as they were too expensive. We ended up doing several excursions by purchasing direct from the providers at about 2/3 of the cost. In other words, pay more for the convenience of booking through the cruise line or save money by arranging them yourself. We took our chances and most (but not all) of the excursions we wanted to do were available right from the pier. Some were exclusive to the cruise line. If I had to be critical, the brown water they call ice tea left much to be desired. It doesn't taste like tea at all. Maybe it's designed to be just "brown water." In fact, the carton I saw from Nestle said it was a "beverage base" not tea. Perhaps tea was supposed to be added to it for flavor but was not. I don't know. It tasted just like water: no taste. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Wanted to make our first trip to Alaska special, without the long interior trip to Denali. Decided that the round trip from Seattle to Anchorage was the perfect combination of ports and days at sea. The trip exceeded our expectations. ... Read More
Wanted to make our first trip to Alaska special, without the long interior trip to Denali. Decided that the round trip from Seattle to Anchorage was the perfect combination of ports and days at sea. The trip exceeded our expectations. Besides the great service, smiling faces, dining options and entertainment, we met wonderful people to share our Alaska adventure and hopefully some future cruises. We elected the Dine Anytime and that worked out great. We thought we'd eat more on the Lido deck, but enjoyed most dinners in the dining room. After dinner, take in the musicans on deck 5, then off to the Queens Lounge in the front of the Ship for the Nightly entertainment at 8 or 10pm. Because the Amsterdam is a smaller ship we were able the dock at all ports, making for an easy exit to explore the ports. We did miss Kodiak due to fog and/or a research vessel dead in our spot. We did get our port fees refunded, but would have enjoyed the visit. The only regret is that we didn't do more excursions. I never heard anything negative except that they would have liked more time in the Butchart Gardens. Some excursions may seem expensive, but the memories and experiences are priceless. Have a great time and enjoy the others around you. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We arrived early to Seattle & chose to drive to Mt. Rainier National Park prior to our cruise. The embarkation could not have been quicker more easy if they tried. I arrived at the port at about 11:30 & was in my room by noon! ... Read More
We arrived early to Seattle & chose to drive to Mt. Rainier National Park prior to our cruise. The embarkation could not have been quicker more easy if they tried. I arrived at the port at about 11:30 & was in my room by noon! The ship was clean, the décor was neutral (lots of fresh flowers) & just the right size. I'm a vegetarian & ate quite a few meals off the MDR menu, but they also have a vegetarian menu, I ate several appetizers, salads, & soups off of that menu as well. At dinner time the lido is not a very good option for vegetarians. I'm not a night owl, so I can't speak to the evening entertainment & I'm not a fan of production shows. There were a lot of trivia & name that tune activities presented by the cruise director & staff. Many people not unlike myself self entertained with puzzles, card games, & the like. Of which there were a lot to choose from in the Explorations Café. The service was impeccable (& I was not in a suite). HAL has a unlimited laundry service. I would choose HAL just for that service! This ship visited a lot of ports that are not regularly visited by cruise ships & I liked all of them! (I booked a few independent excursions.) I travelled with my 8 year old son & he loved HAL's Club HAL (There were 70 kids on the ship equally dispersed between the 12 & under & 13 & over set.) I would love to sail this itinerary again! (Maybe in 2019 or 2020) Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We escaped the heat of Florida for the cool Alaskan glaciers and it was wonderful to be on the ms Amsterdam! Overall, yes, the ship is showing her age a bit but I loved how she "flowed" with well-designed public spaces. The ... Read More
We escaped the heat of Florida for the cool Alaskan glaciers and it was wonderful to be on the ms Amsterdam! Overall, yes, the ship is showing her age a bit but I loved how she "flowed" with well-designed public spaces. The only time we felt crowded was in the rush to get to an excursion, last day look at photos and occasionally in the line for ice cream at the Lido buffet. All to be expected, I think. Food, crew and service were fantastic! It's important to know that the Holland passengers skew older. If you have only ever sailed on "fun" ships, the daily schedule will seem boring to you. If you are looking for peace and quiet with mostly evening entertainment options, you'll probably like the Amsterdam. Check out the message boards and roll calls on CC, to get more details and ideas. Tip #1: If you live more than 5 hours from the port, consider a pre-night hotel stay. We had planned to arrive two days in advance and do some fun stuff in Seattle. Unfortunately, weather locked us down at the airport and I had to change our reservations from Seattle to Charlotte. Also, the next day our flight left late and we would have missed our embarkation, if we hadn't planned for that 2-night stay in Seattle. Tip #2: If you don't want to drink tap water, pre-order the 12-liter package from the Holland website (costs considerably less than buying single bottles on the ship). Also, bring a canteen or water bottle unless you're willing to carry a liter bottle around. Tip #2a: Almost forgot... Get the unlimited laundry deal. On our cruise it was just $98 for two weeks of laundry and pressing (I used this for formal clothes). Be sure to ask your cabin steward early on to bring you extra bags and forms. There are a couple self-service "laundrettes" but, for me, the paid service was totally worth it. Tip #3: the Amsterdam still has a lovely big library with lots of books, puzzles and games. They also have a lovely coffee bar (not too pricey) and free pastries (different than most you find on the rest of the ship). We spent several hours in this space playing Scrabble, chess and just watching the waves. Tip #4+: Research the ports and check out the on-line excursion companies. We did two excursions with Holland, two with outside companies and the rest on our own (with help from Google and friendly visitor centers). Due to bad weather, we did miss one port so be sure any outside tickets are refundable or you're willing to lose that money. Be sure to bring your good binoculars and camera. This was the first trip in 5 years, I wished I had more than just my cell phone camera. Tip #5: Dress for local conditions. This is a cruise but you'll be in trouble if you just bring shorts and t-shirts! For Alaska, bring raingear, warm clothes, good hiking shoes, sunscreen and mosquito repellant, depending on what you plan to do in port. Tip #6: Stairs! If you can, use the stairs as often as possible to make up for the calorie load. There is a small gym available and a wonderful promenade deck but I found the stairs are best for me to keep my weight gain down to just a couple lbs. Also, the elevators can be slow at times - remember Holland skews older so many just CAN'T use those stairs. Tip #7: "Anytime" dining worked fine for us on the two formal nights we used it. We asked for a table just for us and had to wait just a few minutes for it. Just know that most of the prime window tables are large so either the families or the "friendlies" usually get those. Tip #8: If you want to go to the 8 pm shows, get there a little (10-15 min) early for better seats. Some folks get there 30+ mins early for the "best" seats. I went to 3 of these shows and enjoyed all of them - 1 musical, 1 juggler and a comedian. We spend several evenings just chilling in the cabin with some wine and a DVD selected from the list in the cabin. (We did have some glitches with the first two DVDs we chose. When we asked for a machine cleaner from the cabin steward, we ended up with a completely new machine!) Tip #9: PORT Valet!! If you are flying with a participating airline, this is the way to go. It takes a little extra planning while you're on the ship but was great not to have to find and lug suitcases onto the bus and into/through the airport. As a final note, please bring a bit of patience and kindness with you. What bothered me most on this cruise (as with other cruises) was the rare but noticeable rudeness of some passengers towards other passengers and crewmembers. Please don't be "that" man or woman. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This cruise went way beyond my expectations! It was magical! I chose this cruise because I had read Oprah and O magazine was going to be aboard! About 20 years ago, I made a dream list and on that list was to meet Oprah, so this was ... Read More
This cruise went way beyond my expectations! It was magical! I chose this cruise because I had read Oprah and O magazine was going to be aboard! About 20 years ago, I made a dream list and on that list was to meet Oprah, so this was going to be my only chance. Myself and my 2 sisters booked the cheapest inside cabin but later decided to upgrade to a veranda room so we could have a balcony. Normally, I don't feel I want to spend the extra money for a balcony, but for Alaska it was a great idea. We loved having room service and breakfast out there, it was awesome coming right to the face of a glacier without the crowds in Glacier Bay, and sleeping with the door open and listening to the water was very peaceful! We had excellent service throughout except for 2 minor annoyances, one of which our stateroom keycard wouldn't work and after numerous trips to the desk it finally got fixed later the next day. There was also a rude hostess at the Pinnacle Restaurant who separated our party by changing our seat assignments at the last minute at the Oprah dinner. There really seemed like there was no good reason to sit us at separate tables, but they said sorry nothing she could do about it! A couple other guests kindly switched and we were able to share the dinner together. The ports were all very interesting. We chose to hike the nearby trails and explore the towns. Sitka was our favorite hiking through the rain forest and getting a tour of the town by a National Park Ranger. The highlights of the cruise was the amazing kindness of the staff, the incredibly delicious food, (there was even lobster on the buffet one night), the classes ( I learned so many new things especially at the test kitchen), The National Park ranger was fantastic, so interesting, and of course the highlight was Oprah and Gayle and the amazing staff at O Magazine! Words can't describe how special that whole experience was! I felt like I was in the presence of greatness, kindness, and extarordinary brilliance! The fellow passengers were also a group of strong, kind, educated women, and we had a great time socializing! Even the President of HAL, Orlando Ashford, was onboard, and he was so down to earth and personable! Everyday just got better and better! The morning meditation with Sara Ivanhoe, the Making of O, The motivational coach Angela Davis,Glennon Doyle, Elizabeth Strout,Adam Glassman,Jayne Jamison, Lucy Kaylin were all extraordinary! Getting a selfie with Gayle and then Oprah was totally fun! The highlight of highlights was a conversation with Oprah. She is pure inspiration! And then there ws the highlight of all highlights which was the charity dinner with Oprah! We were able to get a photo and to share a few words with her, and I even got a hug which left me in a euphoric state to this day! It was really kind of Oprah to share her time and to do that dinner!!! I am so grateful!! This cruise was over the top incredible! Thank you for doing this Share tthe Adventure Cruise! I can't wait to reserve my cabin for the next one!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Having sailed with HAL for twenty years, we seldom sail with any other line. We had been to Alaska in April 2016, and wanted to go back to see more of the glaciers. We arrived later than usual and went directly to our beautiful cabin ... Read More
Having sailed with HAL for twenty years, we seldom sail with any other line. We had been to Alaska in April 2016, and wanted to go back to see more of the glaciers. We arrived later than usual and went directly to our beautiful cabin without waiting in lines of any kind. The Amsterdam is an older ship, but it didn't show any signs of wear-and-tear anywhere. The food in the Lido had a nice variety of food (and I am a picky eater), and the main dining room food was good and nicely presented, with fabulous service; we were always served and out in less than an hour. The entertainment was interesting enough, with a nice variety of music, dance and comedy acts. The casino was smaller than usual, but the games were fun and the host 'Giovani' was generous with complimentary alcohol. The service in the cabin was the best I've had in twenty years, and the concierge 'Jersey' and her assistant 'Bong' in the Neptune Lounge were quick to offer assistance of any kind, be it dinner reservations, or sending sparkling wine to the cabin. The ports were fun, Ketchican being the best stop to buy reasonably priced items. Of course, the glaciers were breathtaking, as was all of the scenery in Alaska. I seldom do excursions, and enjoy only the 'walkable' ports or the ports where a complimentary shuttle is provided. Mostly I stay onboard and enjoy the spaciousness and décor of the ship when everyone else has gone ashore. The highlight of the trip was the sighting of whales, seals, otters, and other wildlife from our private balcony, no excursion necessary! I would go a third time to Alaska, maybe try the Denali sail next time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
over all this was best Holland Cruise ever, took this for our anniversary and we were not disappointed. only negative thing we could say - dont go to salmon bake if you dont like squirrels and crows walking on tables next to you and your ... Read More
over all this was best Holland Cruise ever, took this for our anniversary and we were not disappointed. only negative thing we could say - dont go to salmon bake if you dont like squirrels and crows walking on tables next to you and your food. concierge in neptune lounge were outstanding. room stewards were always there when we needed them. this was our 14th cruise and we got a suite. wow wonderful. they treat you like royalty. scenary was out of this world. food was average for cruise. service by all staff was great. cabin is under the pool deck and so you do hear dragging at night when cleaning up pool area. entertainment was average. ship was clean and and in above average shape. dining staff remembered everything we liked and didnt like embarkation too long; disembarkation wonderful. wish we could have stayed another two weeks with same crew. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We signed up for this cruise because the price was right and it included ports we had never sailed to. The weather was better that we could hope for. We only had a little rain on one day and we dried out after being rained on. That port ... Read More
We signed up for this cruise because the price was right and it included ports we had never sailed to. The weather was better that we could hope for. We only had a little rain on one day and we dried out after being rained on. That port was Icy Strait, which was new to us. The tribal corporation has built very nice, modern port facilities. We enjoyed walking thru their shops but really enjoyed walking to their village. Everyone we spoke to were very polite and helpful. Our visit to Kodiak was great. At Sitka, we had arranged a tour that was excellent. Their web site is sitkawildlifetours.com. Check it out, the price is excellent and the tour we took was very professional and informative. We also did a tour on our own in Victoria that was a walking tour with food tasting along the way. Their web site is atasteofvictoriafoodtours.com. Again, worth checking out. We very much enjoyed the tour. The experience on the ship was very positive. The ship is well kept and the right size. Dining at the main dining room was never crowded. We had to wait about 5 minutes on one occasion. Other that that, it was walk up and be seated for any time dining. The food was excellent as was the service. The shows were pretty good in general. We do not care much for the shows with the ship's cast as they tend to be too loud and over amplified. The other shows were mostly very good. The crew members were very nice and helpful. I'd highly recommend this cruise to anyone who has an interest in visiting various ports in Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Each day was as good as or better than the day before. After a cool and rainy Spring and early Summer, we brought Alaska good weather. The Gulf of Alaska was like glass for part of one day and the only "bumpy" time was when we ... Read More
Each day was as good as or better than the day before. After a cool and rainy Spring and early Summer, we brought Alaska good weather. The Gulf of Alaska was like glass for part of one day and the only "bumpy" time was when we were North of Vancouver Island on Day 2, heading for Ketchikan. Even that was very mild. As usual, an outstandingly friendly and helpful crew. MDR service was excellent and cuisine was good to excellent. Pinnacle Grill continues to disappoint me, but Canaletto was excellent. The ship was well maintained with appropriate temperatures in all venues. Dry docking is needed to update the facilities, however. Trivia is "king", but many enjoyed the new addition in place of the Culinary Arts Center. The addition of BBC Earth to the programming reinforces the HAL movement to programs designed to appeal to guests who are more "destination oriented" than in the past. The EXC Guide provided more detailed information during her talks, both in the Showroom as well as when we were in very scenic areas, i.e. Hubbard Glacier. Maps and information provided in the staterooms, however, are lacking--which they have been for some time, Entertainment included a comedian who I did not think was funny at all to one who was hilarious. The Band in the Crow's Nest and the Trio in the Ocean Bar were great. Cast shows, from the ones I did attend, were well done. And, of course, the Indonesian Crew Show was very enjoyable. Sailing from Seattle through Puget Sound and the Straits of Juan de Fuco provides memorable views. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
First I want to thank all the people who have posted ideas and suggestions on Cruise Critic and Trip Advisor in the past. Your ideas and suggestions made this a wonderful cruise. We went a day early and stayed at the Waterfront ... Read More
First I want to thank all the people who have posted ideas and suggestions on Cruise Critic and Trip Advisor in the past. Your ideas and suggestions made this a wonderful cruise. We went a day early and stayed at the Waterfront Marriott. ( see my review in trip advisor It is close to Pike’s place and about 3 miles from Smith Cove Pier 91 where the Amsterdam docks. There are two major cruise terminals Pier 62, 63 and Pier 91. We took a taxi from SEATAC to Marriott about $55. Had dinner at Bell Street Diner across the street from the Marriot. Nice outdoor seating. We lucked out the entire trip, mostly sunny. You can walk from the Marriot to Pike Place market. It was jammed that Sunday because the weather was sunny and warm, we stopped at Target a few blocks up the street from the market and picked up a bottle of Champagne. You are allowed to bring one bottle each. Though there is an $ 18 corkage fee to drink it in the dining room. Took a cab to the Pier 91 about 11 am on Monday, July 3. Embarkation was easy, not much wait. Make sure you have your passport and boarding docs. We were on the boat before noon. Our luggage was delivered about 3. Our room stewards MUS & EKO were great, always smiling and helpful. Usually when we went to breakfast about 8-9 the room was cleaned when we returned. WE were in cabin 2644 on the main deck, port side. Before we booked, we read a lot of posts about which is the best side. Because the Amsterdam goes up and back from Seattle, it don’t think it really matters. WE preferred the port side. One of the great things we read about the Amsterdam was the many public view rooms and the promenade deck. It is all true. There are so many great placed to view the Alaska coast that we decided to save the money and not get a veranda room. There are probably a lot of people who will disagree but I don’t believe it could have been any better. We could sit in the crow’s nest and watch the sun set at 11:20. Watch the ship sail through the Gulf of Alaska while working out, or if so inclined watch the sun rise at 4:15 while being comfortable with a blanket and hot chocolate on the promenade deck. Food WE eat in the Lido café for breakfast and lunch. Got crowded but we always seem to find a spot next to the window. The food was good but not great. Much better than typical land type buffets restaurants. I read many articles about self-service vs. the staff serving for the first 48 hrs. Throughout the entire cruise most of the food is served by staff in front of glass screen. Which is much better from my perspective them people gouging into the food. More sanitary too. Deserts, bread, premade sandwiches, coffee, and tea were all self-serve. Ice cream was served and it was a big hit. Outside the Lido was the pool and sun deck and there was a grill that served hamburgers, hot dogs, French fires that looks good. Also self-serve taco bar. My sister and her husband ate breakfast and sometimes lunch in the dining room. They loved it. Quiet, great service and good food. During port days the dining room was closed for lunch. Dinner in the dining room was very good with lots of choices each night. They always had steak, salmon and a meatless dish in addition to 4-5 different choices each night. The dining room staff was excellent. Friendly, great service. We had open dining, much more flexible. Just go to the dining room anytime between 5:00- 8:30 or 9:00 pm, hardly ever had to wait to be seated. You can either request a table for the number in your party. You can also asked to be seat at a table with other 4, 6, and 8. That were also just seated and looking to sit with other cruisers. We sat with one or two other couples a few times. It was nice. My sister reported that a few times they sat with some people they would rather avoid in the future. To each their own We ate in the Pinnacle grill once, reserved two night before the cruise and ate there the first night of the cruise. Good steaks but not great, similar to a good steakhouse in the city. Nice quiet atmosphere but not worth the extra $ 70.00 per couple. After a few nights eating in the dining room we cancelled the second night at the pinnacle grill. The bursar’s desk was excellent about it. Credited our account. No questions asked. They have packages that work out to 60 per couple but you don’t choose the time until you are on board. Paying the extra $ 10 you pick the date and time when you make the reservation on line. Wine package. We drink wine at dinner. The admiral wine package is a good deal. We bought a 5 wine package, $228. Afterwards, realized for a 14 day cruise the 7 bottle would have been better. We were happy with the wines choices. The navigator package is less expensive. My sister ordered the 3 bottle package and the wine was OK. For the extra money the wines in the admiral package were better. Someone on cruise critic posted the cost of the wine in the admiral package if you bought it at Costco. $15-20 a bottle. It was very easy to use the wine package. The first night in the Pinnacle grill we had a red wine, then in the first night in the dining room a chardonnay. They store the wine for you. Put your room number on it. If you are a wine drinker in the Costco $ 15-20 a bottle category, I recommend the admiral package. The Facilities & Public rooms The gym was very good, plenty of machines similar to what you would find in a small gym. Had weights and room + mats for stretching. Also had several different types of classes. Some free and others with a $13 fee. My wife took yoga classes, instructor was very good. The gym was clean and also had a sauna and shower room. The gym is at the very front of the ship with windows looking out. Great views while working out. One of the things we liked most about the Amsterdam was there were plenty of quiet public rooms. The explorer café was a great place to read and a just watch the scenery. There were people playing cards and working puzzles in adjunct rooms. The casino was always busy in the evening and many times during the day. We didn’t use the pool or Jacuzzi but plenty of people did. The area had a sliding covered roof that they opened and a lot of tables. Excursions. According to many people on our cruise that had taken this exact same cruise multiple time.( for us it was hard to believe but we met 4-5 couples that this was their 3-5 time on the 14 day Amsterdam Alaska cruise. ) We had the best weather they had ever seen for an Alaska cruise. It was sunny most days and only rained slightly in two ports. I have posted reviews of the excursions under each port. We hiked in several of the ports and didn’t take any HAL shore excursions. My sister took the float plan in Ketchikan and loved it. My brother in law took the halibut fishing excursion in Homer, caught two big halibut. Said it was great. They process, freeze and store the fish and ship it to you overnight once you are back home.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This cruise went off without a hitch. It was our first cruise ever and we had no issues at all. All the staff was very accommodating and informative. The embarkation took less than an hour an we were on the ship and in our rooms by noon ... Read More
This cruise went off without a hitch. It was our first cruise ever and we had no issues at all. All the staff was very accommodating and informative. The embarkation took less than an hour an we were on the ship and in our rooms by noon or so. Our luggage arrived before dinner. Food was wonderful, we especially enjoyed breakfast in the main dining room. We did eat one night at the Pinnacle Grill and found the service wonderful, but the food was not any better than we had gotten in the Main Dining Room. We stayed in stateroom CQ10001 and it was excellent. Large and roomy with a great view and plenty of storage. We loved the Billboard lounge and the BB Blues lounge. The entertainment was incredibly good. We would have like to spend more time in each port and will not do excursions ahead of time next time. We didn't get enough time to explore the towns and culture and we would have liked to. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Beautiful cruise through Alaska and Glacier Bay. I couldn't find one staff member that wasn't cheery, helpful and amazing at each turn. Always greeting you with a good morning, afternoon or evening when passing any staff ... Read More
Beautiful cruise through Alaska and Glacier Bay. I couldn't find one staff member that wasn't cheery, helpful and amazing at each turn. Always greeting you with a good morning, afternoon or evening when passing any staff member. Don't miss the piano players in the Billboard club. They play off of each other very well. They do 3 shows each night with changing themes. Great way to spend the evening with a cocktail and good music. Casino is pretty tight on the slot machines, stick to the card tables and you will be alright. We noticed the dining room and the buffet have similar menus so if you don't feel like getting dressed up, you can hit the buffet in your shorts and t-shirts. Don't forget to try the pizza place on the back of deck 9, it is worth the 15 minute wait and the burger joint on the front of deck 9 closes early so plan on grabbing lunch there a day or two it was delicious. Tip: if you buy the $100 beverage cards whatever you don't use will get refunded back to you. (wish we would have know this, we probably could have not been so hung over when we arrived back in Seattle ;) Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My husband and I did a 7 days Alaskan cruise in May 2017. The weather in Alaska was fantastic for the most part. It rained only 3 days one was on port day. Rest of the days were sunny and warm except when out to sea which was cool. We ... Read More
My husband and I did a 7 days Alaskan cruise in May 2017. The weather in Alaska was fantastic for the most part. It rained only 3 days one was on port day. Rest of the days were sunny and warm except when out to sea which was cool. We choose a Cabin with a balcony (cabin 7114) Queen size bed with a couch, writing deck/vanity with a really good makeup mirror. We choose this room because it is not situated below any high traffic area such as pool or restaurant. It was very quiet did not hear any disruptive sounds. Only down side was that the toilet had a constant Urine smell. The Lido buffet for lunch and Dinner had a variety of food. Always packed especially for breakfast (awesome breakfast)...although much of the lunch and dinner food was salty it was still enjoyable plus there was late night buffet fewer chooses in food but still good. The manhattan which is the preset time dining. Portion was small but filling quality better than Lido buffet. This is where Gala night was held. People got dressed up..I was disappointed as I expected It would be like when they would have captain night back in the days (no dancing just get dressed up for an upgraded Menu) The only change from any other night was that the menu chooses were upgraded..so they would have foods like lobster tails. Some people wore tuxedos and gowns but not necessary. A suit without tie or slacks and dress shirt for men and skirt and slacks and nice blouse for women would do. Pinnacle grill which is the premium dinning (extra cost) was waaaay better than all of the other foods we had on the ship. Service was excellent. There is a pizza bar by one of the pools and a burger and fries spot by the other pool. No shortage of where or what to eat on this ship. We didn't go to much of the entertainment that was offered..only to the live band that played all of the nights. They were just fantastic they had the crowd dancing. Overall the service on this ship was just phenomenal. Everywhere we went on the ship the staffs remembered our names. When the boat docked in Glacier bay we rented an Inside Cabana it cost US$50. We were treated like royalty by the attendant and we got great views of the glaciers. On port days we did only one excursion which was in Skagway..took a 3 hours tour over to the Yukon. Not to mislead but the tour bus stopped right at the welcome sign in the Yukon..so we were about an hour into the Yukon. There are a lot of bars on this boat..the bartenders do not cheapen out on the alcohol. They had happy hour at each bar and free snacks to go with your drinks during that time. We bought the Signature Beverage package which was 15 drinks per day per person, any drinks $9 and under. Drinks included alcoholic beverages, speciality coffees, water and sodas. We never went over our max. drinks..we had an average of 6 drinks per day (alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks) We never had room service as many of the items had surcharges not worth it. One mishap on our cruise that was annoying happened on the first day and took the entire 7 days to sort out. We took the ironing package. Which was US$28.75. Unlimited pressing for both myself and my husband. They ruined by husband's suit (pressed it with high heat) and ruined my linen blouse. We were reimbursed $50 only. They told us we have to contact Holland America's Head Office. My advice give them instructions on how to iron your garments. The gym was well equipped we worked out three of the days..we went early in the morning which left enough to time to go for breakfast at the Lido afterward. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Wonderful, relaxing cruise. Loved the ship, the food, the crew. Found the crew very accommodating. Weather was typical Alaskan weather, but every day was fun! Embarkation, quick easy and room ready at 12 Noon! Bags arrived about 1 ... Read More
Wonderful, relaxing cruise. Loved the ship, the food, the crew. Found the crew very accommodating. Weather was typical Alaskan weather, but every day was fun! Embarkation, quick easy and room ready at 12 Noon! Bags arrived about 1 PM. Open Seating for dinner but ate at 5:30 in main dining room, second night had awesome waiters and booked that table for 5:30 for the rest of the cruise! Top notch service as was Doris the Wine Steward. My servers were Putu and Rio. Couldn't have asked for better service. All the food was good, lots of choices. Didn't care much for any of the soup. Most of it was bland, tasteless and often warm when it should have been cold. Enjoyed the Piano/Violin duo of Adagio after dinner. Lovely music. Not happy with the entertainment as far as the shows were. Disappointed in the main dancers/singers. They were just OK. The shows were not as exotic and colorful as on all the Carnival Ships. Ventriloquist, OK. Pianist/singer Good. I didn't see any of the others. Seating was poor, to get a seat for the early 8PM show you had to be there by 7:30. Ports were all as expected. I think if you have to have a shuttle to get to town you should not have to pay for it. Sitka, Victoria. And too expensive for what you get. Too far to walk. Disembarkation good! I tried the new "have your bags transferred from outside your cabin on Saturday night to airport." Loved it! My bag was on my flight late on Sunday and arrived in Atlanta with me! Impressive service in Seattle and right now free. Would recommend it to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We take this cruise every year because we don't have to fly and Alaska is such a great place to cruise. For the first (and maybe the only) time we upgraded to a Neptune suite. We absolutely loved it! We'd do it again and every ... Read More
We take this cruise every year because we don't have to fly and Alaska is such a great place to cruise. For the first (and maybe the only) time we upgraded to a Neptune suite. We absolutely loved it! We'd do it again and every cruise if we could afford it. The weather was not great, but we don't mind too much since we have done this cruise many times. We love the Amsterdam and hope that the changes that are rumored will not affect it. We love the library and the puzzle tables and a couple we often cruise with play serious bridge each cruise. If these quiet amenities are changed or removed, it will be very disappointing. The entertainment was exceptionally good on this cruise. The singers and dancers were the best we've seen on some 40 cruises. The music was better suited to the age group on this cruise: more Broadway and less rock, more tunes, less noise. Costumes were lovely. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was the best cruise I've been on. The Eurodam is a beautiful ship with excellent service, and wonderful employees. We left out of Seattle and that was the simplest embarkation/disembarkation I've ever experienced. We were ... Read More
This was the best cruise I've been on. The Eurodam is a beautiful ship with excellent service, and wonderful employees. We left out of Seattle and that was the simplest embarkation/disembarkation I've ever experienced. We were on and off the ship within 10 min each time. We ate most of our meals in the main dining room and loved everything we chose. There was only one night when we had to wait about 20 min for a table for 4, but no worries we went to the Pinnacle Bar for a cocktail, all other meals we were seated immediately. We also ate in the Lido at the salad bar, you choose what you want in your salad and they toss it for you. We ate a few Dive In burgers which we thoroughly enjoyed. There isn't much nightlife on this ship, but it didn't bother us. We went to the BBKing lounge a couple of nights, but we had to get up so early in a couple of ports so we went to bed early. The spa passes for 2 was $249.00 for the week and well worth it, we spent a lot of time in there relaxing. We loved the Eurodam and wouldn't hesitate to sail her again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We are married, early 60's, looking for relaxed, quiet, restorative experience filled with wildlife and glacier sightings, great food and drink and friendly, proficient, professional service. We purchased a Neptune Suite and got it ... Read More
We are married, early 60's, looking for relaxed, quiet, restorative experience filled with wildlife and glacier sightings, great food and drink and friendly, proficient, professional service. We purchased a Neptune Suite and got it all. Neptune Lounge is an ideal spot from which to launch every day. Great guys, great food...well worth the cost of the aNeptune Suite. Lido Market is the ship cafeteria and I am just not that in love with being in the midst of that many people that early in the morning. Avoided all cruise. Staff in Dining Room and room stewards were all so impressive!!!! Skip the Pinnacle Lounge, not good, too good for their jobs and not competitive from a culinary quality. Not as advertised. See the BB King Lounge entertainers - live music by talented jazz artists. Behind the scenes tour was outstanding and I would recommend it to everyone who can appreciate the logistics of running a luxury hotel on a ship... 2000 guests and over 800 staff...quite an impressive effort if you can see it from so many angles. Shore excursions were fast and fun but did seem to really consume the day. I personally could have appreciated more exclusive days at sea.... next time. If you get off at Victoria, do not expect Victoria dock staff and Customs agents to be helpful. Sitka, Juneau and Ketchikan were so much more accommodating, If Sitka was a 10 (outstanding), then Victoria was a 1. Sad. Have fun! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Our very first cruise back in August 2003 was on Holland America's Amsterdam and we've been hooked on cruising ever since. Since then, we've taken 21 more cruises on a variety of different lines with Princess being the one ... Read More
Our very first cruise back in August 2003 was on Holland America's Amsterdam and we've been hooked on cruising ever since. Since then, we've taken 21 more cruises on a variety of different lines with Princess being the one we've taken most frequently. In 2009, we took two of our grandchildren on a cruise to Alaska and they are now 20 and 17 and still remember the experience as being terrific. On this cruise, we took their two younger siblings, ages almost 13 and 11 (he had his birthday on board). First, the overall experience was an 8 out of 10. Embarkation and debarkation went smoothly. This is our second trip on the Oosterdam and the ship has been updated so that it looks lovely. There was a very nice mix of ages..from large inter-generational families with children to middle age folks still working full time to the older retired people you often see on Holland America. Second, the food was exceptional..I'd give it a 9+ out of 10. There weren't quite as many selections as you get on Princess but what was served was of very high quality and delicious! I especially liked the fact that many offerings were already plated so that it increased the liklihood of you finishing what was served and reducing the wastefulness of taking too much and then not eating it all. We loved everything that we had from the dining room, from the afternoon tea, to the Lido Market (buffet) to the Dive In on the pool deck that served scrumptuous burgers, hot dogs and fries to the Crows Nest coffee bar with tiny sandwiches and desserts, etc. Third, the Entertainment. We don't cruise for the entertainment but we do enjoy shows, comedians and magic acts all of which we had on this cruise. I would rate the entertainment 6 out of 10...in other words, it was OK but nothing too special. Fourth, the stateroom. We had an ocean view cabin on the Main Deck which our room steward made up each night for the kids. The sofa made into a bed and above the sofa, a bunk type bed came out of the wall. It was ingenious really. We were cozy since there wasn't that much space but we all made it work. Fifth. We were pleasantly surprised by the activites for the kids. Ethan went to Club Hal just once and then spent a lot of time playing basketball on the top deck. Audrey stayed close to us for the first few days and then found friends at The Loft which is fo 13-17 year olds and then we hardly saw her after that! Sixth. Shore excursions. Since this is our 6th cruise to Alaska (we live in the Seattle area), we chose excursions this time aimed at giving the kids an overview understanding of this great state without breaking the bank. So in Juneau we explored an old gold mine and panned for gold and also rode the Mt. Roberts Tram where you can see Juneau from 1800 ft. in the air and visit some raptors. In Sitka (my favorite Alaska cruise port), we visited the largest Raptor sanctuary in the state and did a rainforest walk through part of the Tongass National Forest where we saw extraordinary Totem Poles. In Ketchikan where they say it rains 375 days a year (and it rained when we were there as well), we had fun riding in an amphibious vehicle that went from riding on land to going into the bay where we saw many eagles perched on all kind of places. We also watched the Lumberjack Show which was great fun and not to be missed. All in all, Alaska is a very special place which should be on everyone's bucket list. We were happy with Holland America but we've also been there with RCL and Princess so whatever ship you choose, it;s a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This is our 4th Holland America Cruise. The 2 best things about this cruise to Alaska is: 1) No smoking policy - even in the casino and on balconys. Smokers were only allowed to smoke in a small area at the back of the ship on the ... Read More
This is our 4th Holland America Cruise. The 2 best things about this cruise to Alaska is: 1) No smoking policy - even in the casino and on balconys. Smokers were only allowed to smoke in a small area at the back of the ship on the Lido deck. When I reported a smoker on a balcony they jumped right on it and I never saw the smoker again. 2) Cabins have a decent size LCD TV with CNBC, MSNBC and Fox. Curiously there was no CNN. You can also select a variety of free movies to watch for free on the TV. The only real complaint I had of the cruise is I wish they provided a free shuttle to downtown Victoria like they did on our visit to Sitka. Food was definitely better than Carnival. Embarkation and debarkation was a breeze compared to other cruise lines. Ship is in good shape. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this cruise because it had 9 ports and awesome opportunities to view glaciers. Also, we were able to fly in and out of Seattle. We flew in a day early to spend time in downtown Seattle. We used Seattle Shuttle to provide ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it had 9 ports and awesome opportunities to view glaciers. Also, we were able to fly in and out of Seattle. We flew in a day early to spend time in downtown Seattle. We used Seattle Shuttle to provide transportation from the airport to downtown hotel, from hotel to ship, and also following the cruise to pick us up from ship. They stored our luggage for the day while we spent time in downtown again, then picked us up to go to the airport. They were very reasonable!! Highly recommend! Embarkation and disembarkation were very quick and smooth. Most of the people on this cruise were in the "retired" age group, as we are. Entertainment was appropriate and excellent evening shows! All the wait staff and cabin stewards were wonderful! Always acknowledged you and many called you by name. We had a partially obstructed window view cabin on the 3rd deck (lower promenade) We were able to see out better than we expected and since the weather was cool, not many people were out on the promenade. We were very close to the front of the ship however, and it was noisy when they were pulling anchor or leaving port at times. The food was great. We were given open dining as the 6 PM dining was full. When we boarded the ship, we made reservations for our open dining table for 5:30 PM for every night of the cruise. (six of us). It worked out great and we had the same waiters every night. We thought the shore excursions were a little pricey. We found a free shuttle in Anchorage to the Native Heritage center so it only cost $21 per person to get in...big savings over the ship tour price. Anchorage also has free shuttles to the zoo and ulu factory. Also, a street vendor was grilling reindeer sausage in Anchorage. Tasty! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I chose this cruise because I live on the central coast of California and it's easy to get to Seattle, and who doesn't want to see Alaska! I've cruised with Holland America before, so I felt confident that the ship would be ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I live on the central coast of California and it's easy to get to Seattle, and who doesn't want to see Alaska! I've cruised with Holland America before, so I felt confident that the ship would be lovely and the staff and service would be excellent. I was not disappointed. The itinerary was very pleasant. Distances in Alaska our huge, so there seemed to be a fair amount of time onboard getting from one place to another. I enjoy shipboard life so this was fine with me. We spent one day from 7 to 4 cruising in Glacier Bay National Park. Only 2 cruise ships a day are allowed in the Bay and it is huge, so we really had the place to ourselves. We had fabulous weather and words cannot describe the beauty and wonder of this place. Several park rangers spent the day with us and were available for any and all questions. This experience alone was worth the price of the cruise. My fellow passengers were from all over the world. There were families and all ages represented. I'm used to an older crowd on Holland America, so this was a new and welcome change. Alaska is well worth seeing and this cruise was a great way to do it. The main stage entertainment was excellent. The port of Seattle and Holland America have a wonderful free service of delivering your luggage to the airport and handling all check in arrangements for your departing flight, making the disembarkation process very easy. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
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