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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2019
I chose this itinerary for the Hubbard glacier. My original cruise plans (was planning to sail r/t from Vancouver) got disrupted, so opted for easier Seattle embarkation). I originally booked an aft-facing deck 4 verandah and TA sent an ... Read More
I chose this itinerary for the Hubbard glacier. My original cruise plans (was planning to sail r/t from Vancouver) got disrupted, so opted for easier Seattle embarkation). I originally booked an aft-facing deck 4 verandah and TA sent an upgrade offer about 2 weeks prior to embarkation for a Neptune, which I took. I had taken a very similar itinerary last year on Eurodam in an oceanview, but really wanted to see Hubbard. Hubbard is astounding. Disenchantment Bay is spectacular. Oosterdam managed to be in the best port docks at every port, which made my mobility issues much easier, thus could expend my energy in town rather than all on simply getting from ship to anywhere. Unlike last year (we chose 8pm dinner seating and only managed to get into MDR once as a result, we did Anytime Dining and ate dinner and breakfast in MDR every day, sitting with new delightful people every meal. Having the flexibility to dine at times that suited that day's activities and our hunger level worked very well for us. Only managed to get to 1 mainstage show (Stages) and it was fine (I don't cruise for shows). Oosterdam is beautifully maintained. Overall, the food was excellent. I did find it a little odd there seemed to be much less salmon featured in MDR and Lido (last year, my favorite lunch was a heaping bowl of salad topped with a perfect salmon filet and I never found that salmon at lunch and the salad bowls were smaller, but that is a small quibble). My only concern going forward is how I am going to manage in less than a Neptune LOL Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We took the SoundTransit (light rail to downtown from airport)) 2 blocks from the hotel. The next morning rideshare was 15 mins to pier. Be warned after the Seattle cruise rideshare pickup is way past the regular pickup. Keep walking. ... Read More
We took the SoundTransit (light rail to downtown from airport)) 2 blocks from the hotel. The next morning rideshare was 15 mins to pier. Be warned after the Seattle cruise rideshare pickup is way past the regular pickup. Keep walking. Getting on was smooth and getting off was a pleasure with Port Valet. Thank you Seattle Port Authority. Cabins, Dining, Service, Ship Condition, Entertainment, Activities and Ports were all good to great. Where I felt Holland hit it out of the park was the diversity of offerings on board. We met a couple at dinner and hung out throughout the adventure, each enjoyed very different activities in addition to our shared interests. Cruiser 1 - Thermal Spa, Windows Classes, EXC Port Album Cruiser 2 - ShipFliks, Happy Hour, Movie Theater, Port Tours on TV Cruiser 3 - Stage Shows, Bridge, Vegetarian Dining Cruiser 4 - Library Recliners, Northern Lights, Stage shows and the Movie Theater. Notable food observations: The omelet bar starboard 5 stars, the DiVE IN Mushroom burger was extra special and all 14 days the Soups and Sauces were fabulous. We all loved scenic cruising, seeing whales and bumping into an iceberg. Favorite Excursion...rented a car in Juneau and drove to Mendenhall and the Hatchery. Favorite walkabout... walked to Sitka Raptor Center and took the Historical Park trails back to the Visitor Center, Science Center and then port shopping. Our Advice: need some sort of water bottle filling station and longer Happy Hour :) In Ketchikan early morning we enjoyed watching many float planes take off next to ship. Seriously, given the funding and open calendar, We would have gotten right back on board for another 14 days! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We had an amazing cruise! We missed Ketchikan, which was very sad but we had a full afternoon and evening in Victoria. We traveled with 10 of us ages 9-79. We had 4 staterooms and I personally had an interior and it was large and ... Read More
We had an amazing cruise! We missed Ketchikan, which was very sad but we had a full afternoon and evening in Victoria. We traveled with 10 of us ages 9-79. We had 4 staterooms and I personally had an interior and it was large and comfortable. The show were great, we only got one because of the missed port. Magician and comic were fine but the music walk is AMAZING! Dancing at BB King was so fun and be sure to listen to the billboard piano players. They are amazing. My 9 year old found a friend at the pool and she swam with her everyday instead of the HAL club. She wasn’t much interested in the club. Too many young kids for her. Not too many kids in the club and it would have been fine if she hadn’t found a friend. Food was amazing! We only ate at the Lido and main dining room. Not sure how you couldn’t find enough food at those 2 places. Oh. And we went to tea everyday we could. I read so many conflicting reviews before I left that I wanted to write and say, it’s a beautiful ship, the covered pool is amazing and the staff and food could not be better. If you’re going to have a good time on a cruise, it’s up to you to make it fun. We went to the shows, swam and hot tubbed, tried all the food, danced at the Bb king and sang with the billboard artists. We also took games to play in the crows nest and at the poolside. Thanks HAL staff for taking such good care of us. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This cruise was the most relaxing and enjoyable of the many vacations we have had. The boat is super clean, easy to get around, lots of things to do and the food was fine. We had a signature suite and the room was spacious, the bathroom ... Read More
This cruise was the most relaxing and enjoyable of the many vacations we have had. The boat is super clean, easy to get around, lots of things to do and the food was fine. We had a signature suite and the room was spacious, the bathroom was large for a cruise ship and the balcony had the best views. We could not do everything on board but we would recommend the Eco talks, BBKing Lounge, Lincoln Center and the Billboard Stage. I did a couple of the sessions of the American Test Kitchen which were simple and OK. The Humanity Show was a highlight. The weather this week was terrific. The day in Glacier Day was magnificent. The crew is extremely helpful and nice. I would take a pass in the spa our massages were not very good and they only wanted to really sell you stuff you don't need, so skip the spa. Pinnacle Grill was a good one night upgrade for steak. For excursions, we did the Bear Walk in Ketchikan and that was amazing and highly recommend that. You are back in plenty of time for more shopping if you need to. We would sail again with Holland America. In Juneau, we went out whale watching and the salmon dinner at the lodge and we must have seen 20 whales that day. Mendenhall Glacier even had some bear sightings. In Sitka, we highly recommend a food truck Captian JuJu's for fish. Fish so fresh that even the fisherman in town were eating there. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
My review of the Holland America MS Oosterdam 08/04/19-08/11/19 We flew out of Kansas City International on Sunday morning, the 4th of August on an Alaskan Air flight leaving at 6 AM. The flight was very crowded and apparently sold ... Read More
My review of the Holland America MS Oosterdam 08/04/19-08/11/19 We flew out of Kansas City International on Sunday morning, the 4th of August on an Alaskan Air flight leaving at 6 AM. The flight was very crowded and apparently sold out so I was glad we got there at 4 AM. As we were descending into Seattle we saw our ship, so that was very exciting! There were four of us cruising together, I am 54, my roommate on the cruise Elsie who is in her mid 80’s, and our friends Jim and Anne who were celebrating their 75th birthdays on the cruise. We were on the Oosterdam in Signature Staterooms 8091 and 8093. We flew in to Seattle and got some scrumptious Macarons there at the airport (Lady Yum!! YUMMY!!!!) We found the HAL people by the luggage area just as we were told and checked in our luggage at the little desk so we no longer had to carry that around and had lunch at Starbucks. Then we went to the area where they told us to wait for the bus. This was a long walk and not for anyone with bad legs. Got there and found seats over in the NCL area I think it was. Waited forever it seemed but they finally had us come over to a specific area and stand there a while then we were on the bus and on our way to the ship. Once we got to the terminal, it seemed as though it took forever but we were in groups F and G to board, F boarded and they called G at 11:30 AM and told us then that our rooms were ready so we went right to our rooms and set our stuff down, then ate at the Lido deck looking out on a gorgeous marina and boats sailing in the Puget Sound (I think). While in the terminal we heard that the Blue Angels would be flying at 3:30 so as we were mustering we were welcomed by an Angel fly by. They got closer as it got closer to time for us to sail. We watched from the back of the ship and suddenly the ropes were dropped and we were off on our way to Alaska! We had anytime seating for dinner and we went to the dining room a little late that night, I am the world’s pickiest eater and nothing on the menu sounded good so I ordered steak and fries. My fries tasted a little funny, kind of sweet even…I asked one of the ladies to try them and she said they were sweet so we called the Maître D (Sekan) over and he tasted one and scrunched up his nose and busted out laughing. Turns out there was someone new in the kitchen that got the sugar and salt confused and I was forever known as the sugar fry lady! All the waiters heard about it and it caused a lot of laughter through the whole trip. Monday was a sea day and if I remember it right it was really foggy at first and the ship horn blew every couple minutes but that didn’t bother any of us. We slept in and had breakfast delivered to the room and just explored the ship all day. We got to tour a little of the kitchen that day, that was fun and got a couple of samples of appetizers. We lost a little money in the casino and just had a great day. That evening was the gala dinner and it was yummy! Then we went to bed a little early once again to be ready for Juneau the next day! Tuesday we woke up nice and early – 5:30 AM or so and got coffee and tea from the Lido deck then watched the sunrise from our balcony. It was beautiful! We had breakfast that morning in the dining room and met a really great couple from Walla Walla Washington, but the food was just ok. I loved Juneau! We went gold panning, so fun! Did a little shopping and then did the evening whale watching with Gastineau Guiding and it was wonderful! I didn’t get any good pictures of whales but we saw two, and were able to identify them. I am not sure what the one’s name was but the second one we saw was Sasha! But I did get ok pics of Sea lions, eagles, a jelly fish and we saw seals too. It was an incredible excursion and I recommend anyone take it! It was so much fun. There were only 20 of us on the boat and Dan Michrowski was our guide and he was very knowledgeable. The next day we were in Sitka and it was my favorite of all the stops we made! We didn’t have anything planned so we rode into town and looked around a little, went back to the port and did a little shopping and enjoyed sitting on our balcony watching the world go by. Then we got to do the behind the scenes tour of the Bridge, that was great fun. There were only four of us on the tour and the assistant cruise director made it so much fun. The next day there were 6 of us on the other part where we saw the engine room, the laundry, kitchen, and storage areas. It was well worth the $150 I think it was that it cost! Ketchikan we had no plans either so we got a tour of the city we bought on the pier and we made several stops looking at the Salmon and looking for bears but never saw any. Did a little more shopping and enjoyed the view of Ketchikan from our balcony once again. Later that evening we played in the casino and I won $614! Victoria we just went into town and back again and the funnest part for me was singing O Canada on my balcony while in Canada. (I have sung it a few times for a local baseball team when they play a Canadian team.) I attended the past guest party and enjoyed it at lunch. And we sadly packed. We also saw a glacier on one day, apparently that did not make that much of an impression on me as I don’t even remember what day we did it. The ship was fabulous, our room stewards went above and beyond every day! The food was ok. I am just too picky. Our rooms had adjoining doors and our balconies were open before we even got there so that was nice! Our beds were supposed to be two twins and they were not but that only took about 10 minutes after we talked to our steward to be fixed. I had purchased the Thalassotherapy pool pass and only used it twice. There was just too much other stuff going on. It was a great trip and I would HIGHLY recommend the Oosterdam! 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
9 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
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
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
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
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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Since my husband and I have never taken a vacation in 10 years together, and since we are Puget Sound residents, we decided an Alaska cruise would be a relaxing and easy getaway. Embarkation was extremely smooth. We parked at the ... Read More
Since my husband and I have never taken a vacation in 10 years together, and since we are Puget Sound residents, we decided an Alaska cruise would be a relaxing and easy getaway. Embarkation was extremely smooth. We parked at the SeattleCruisePark lot within the confines of the Armory. Took about 10 minutes to shuttle to the terminal. Once we got our bags inside, time from check in to onboard was about 20 minutes. If we hadn't have been able to use the Neptune Suite check in line, it probably would have been significantly longer; the regular check in was a verrrrryyy long line. Once on board we were impressed with the ship. The furnishings are tasteful and the art is interesting. There are many little nooks you can sit at and not be bothered. The ship was at full capacity but it never felt crowded other than at the Lido during peak times. Our room was 7132, an aft corner Neptune. We booked specifically for the balcony which we used extensively. We were very happy with the room and our steward, Aan, was great. We used the Neptune Lounge a few times and the concierge, Inge, managed to track down my husband's suit bag when it went missing from his returned dry cleaning. I found there to be a lack of daytime activites that weren't centered on shopping. Too many jewelry auctions, shopping presentations, shopping guides, ect. There was also a lack of any kind of live music or anything; there was an empty piano in the Ocean Bar where we went frequently. Why not have someone there playing? The shops on the 3rd deck also were lackluster. When an "end of cruise sale" is supposedly happening, why is none of the merchandise actually on sale? We got a couples deep tissue massage, which was worth every penny. No hard upsell for the products afterwards. Nighttime entertainment was good. The BB King band was awesome. We stayed for the whole 3 hour set. The comedian was funny as well. I was a little disappointed with the BBC Planet Earth "Alaska" show. I was under the impression that the Lincoln Center Stage performers would actually play live with the Planet Earth footage. It was just a screen with the music. It was good, just not what I had anticipated. Food was excellent. Cannot say enough good things about the Pinnacle Grill. Lido food surprisingly good, however VERY busy there. Loved having breakfast in the PG where it was nice and quiet. We only ate in the MDR once and found that the food was good and so was the service, however, it was absolute chaos in there and WAY too noisy from the engines. Dive In makes a great burger but the wait is too long, sometimes it was over 20 minutes. The pizza by the aft pool is some of the best I've had. We did not do any shore excursions. Lots of them were "walking through a rainforest" type things, which, since we live in Washington, we see all the time. We opted to do self guided walking tours: In Juneau we saw the Governor's Mansion and St. Nicholas' Orthodox Church. We were given a tour by the clergyman inside. In Sitka we went to the Russian Bishop's House and took the upstairs tour, which was one of my favorite parts of the entire trip. We also went to St. Michael's church and saw the New Archangel dancers. Tip: eat at "Agave". Very good food. In Ketchikan we just walked around. Kinda tourist trapy. We were there on a rare sunny day. Got some coffee. Didn't even get off the ship in Victoria. Disembarking was very easy. When they called our group we were off the ship in about 5 minutes. No one was blocking any hallways or elevators so it was quick and painless. All in all, there were just some minor things that certainly didn't make our trip any less special and we would consider HAL again for our next cruise. We had a great time. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Where do I begin...To me, HAL is how cruising is supposed to be. The ship was very elegant and classy, like you would picture an old-time cruise ship, but not antiquated at all. It was also very "green" and environmentally ... Read More
Where do I begin...To me, HAL is how cruising is supposed to be. The ship was very elegant and classy, like you would picture an old-time cruise ship, but not antiquated at all. It was also very "green" and environmentally conscious and that's something that is very important to me. I never saw a single paper towel or napkin (even in the public restrooms you dried your hands on little washcloth-sized towels) and no disposable plastic ANYWHERE. The drinking glasses in the buffet area were a really heavy plastic that we thought were glass at first, but the plates are all glass/stoneware and the bowls were a very heavy resin type material. In the buffets, you don't serve yourself, you just tell them what you want, so there aren't a thousand people touching the spoons and messing with the food. The food here was remarkable, considering the amount that's served each day. The main dining room was fantastic (atmosphere, food and service) and in the afternoons there were little happy hour specials at different bars on the ship where you get your second drink for $2. We actually had a TUB in our cabin and the bath towels were huge. They even provided blankets for the balcony and up on the outside decks. It was all just amazing. Yes, HAL is sometimes referred to as the "geriatric cruise line", but that is a misnomer. I have been on at least a dozen cruises, and this one was by the far the busiest, but it wasn't geared towards keeping children entertained. (This was my first time on HAL so I can't speak regarding their other ships). That said, they do have a kids' program and I can't imagine that a kid would get bored, (I would be delighted to take my grandchildren on this cruise) but there were no water slides or rock-climbing walls or things like that other than whatever they have in the dedicated kids' area. One thing I was a little afraid of was that it was going to be a more formal atmosphere than we wanted, but that wasn't the case at all. Even on the Gala nights the wardrobes ran the scale from formalwear (but not much) to jeans and everything in between. In a nutshell, we are new HAL fans and are already thinking about our next cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We have sailed many times with Hal and have always had a good experience. This cruise had the potential to have problems but Hal solved them in prompt fashion. We were assigned to cabin 7138. The first evening we experienced vibrations ... Read More
We have sailed many times with Hal and have always had a good experience. This cruise had the potential to have problems but Hal solved them in prompt fashion. We were assigned to cabin 7138. The first evening we experienced vibrations so severe that we could not sleep. Hal solved the problem by finding a new cabin for us. Since the sailing was full they went out of their way to help us. The best thing about Hal is their commitment to service and concern for passenger comfort. They came through for us beautifully. We feel dining is the best of the large ship lines. We were pleased with the food preparation in all of the dining venues. They have really upgraded their pizza and dive in restaurants. The dining room is great but we did notice that the menus are beginning to show a cut back in finer offerings. There are many choices but less so than in the past. Entertainment has been improved by adding several music venues. They were all good.We also enjoyed a dance troupe and a magican and comedian. Daytime activities are stll lacking and need to be increased. The strongest element is the service provided by staff in all areas from cabins to dining to activities. The ports are all great with the exception to the stop in Victoria. The ship arrives so late there is little time to do much./ A free shuttle usewd to be provided to the town but now a $15.00 charge is in effect. We had another great cruise and look forward to our next. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Introduction: We are frequent cruisers with Platinum Plus status on NCL and Black Card status on MSC. NCL was our go to company for N.A.cruises and MSC was our go to company for everywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, both companies ... Read More
Introduction: We are frequent cruisers with Platinum Plus status on NCL and Black Card status on MSC. NCL was our go to company for N.A.cruises and MSC was our go to company for everywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, both companies have adopted strategies of bigger and bigger ships and more fees beyond the cruise fare. After our last cruise on the 5,700 passenger MSC Meravigilia, we decided bigger is not necessarily better. This led to our selection of a smaller ship with a new company for us: Holland America's Oosterdam to Alaska. Cabin: We selected a Neptune cabin, because we were travelling as a family of four. The cabin is spacious with a king bed, sofa bed for two and large balcony. The cabin had a large screen 55" T.V. and a bathroom with an independent shower and independent shower/tub combo. Overall a very nice cabin, and the balcony is excellent for Alaska sightseeing. Dining: We dined at the Pinnacle Grill for breakfast, the Lido market for lunch and the MDR for dinner. All meals were excellent, and better than similar offerings in NCL and MSC's buffet and MDR. Embarkation: Embarking was smooth. We arrived at 11 a.m. and walked on the ship after check-in. Disembarkation was a bit more crowded, but we were off the ship in about twenty minutes. Entertainment: We saw the comedian Tim Kaminsky twice. Very funny shows. We also went to the dance company show. Fairly typical dance fare. We missed the magician because dinner ran late one night. Overall, Kaminsky was the star of the show. Fitness Center: I used the fitness center several times. A bit smaller than the larger ships, but had similar amenities to those ships. The center was crowded in the early a.m., but wide open in the p.m. Onboard Experience: The onboard experience was where you notice the difference between big and small ships. It was much easier to get around the ship, elevators, dining room, etc. No waves of people even after shows. Definitely easier to move around the ship compared to the 4,000 to 6,000 passenger mega ships Service: Service was excellent. Our room steward figured out early in the cruise when we went to breakfast and dinner. The room was made up and turned down during those times. The ship, although older, is in excellent shape and the crew keeps it spotless. Shore Excursions: We did our own excursions. Easy to do in Alaska. We drove to the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau. We took the Raptor/Bear shuttle in Sitka. We walked the Downtown area in Ketchikan which was mostly a shopping stop. Value for money: Holland's price for a Neptune suite was 50% less than a similar NCL Haven suite. NCL continues to raise it fares. Value for money is hands down in favor of Holland. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first cruise and we really enjoyed ourselves. Embarkation - We got to Seattle a day before (unrelated - Hyatt Olive 8 was an excellent hotel) and took a shuttle from our hotel to the port. A porter took our luggage within ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we really enjoyed ourselves. Embarkation - We got to Seattle a day before (unrelated - Hyatt Olive 8 was an excellent hotel) and took a shuttle from our hotel to the port. A porter took our luggage within 2 minutes of getting off the shuttle, and we walked towards the terminal building. It was a little chaotic getting into the building to show our passports, but it was smooth from that point forward. We showed our passports, went up the escalator, and got into the very short priority line to get our key cards. We boarded quickly, and were able to go to our room right away. I don't know when our bags arrived as we were at lunch, but we had them pretty quickly. Ship - The ship is understated but elegant. There had been some mechanical repairs done a few weeks before our cruise and there was a lot of vibration in the MDR. There were ample options for getting out on deck to view scenery/glaciers/wildlife. I loved the Explorations Cafe area and the lounge chairs up by the front windows, but it could be hard to get those as they were very popular. We were able to grab two for the morning of sailing into Glacier Bay, but we also got up there before 6 AM and it was starting to fill up already. Food - Overall - the food was OK with one notable exception (Tamarind). The Lido was typically crowded and chaotic. Dive In and NY Pizza had tasty options but took a while (usually 20-30 minutes each). MDR was nothing special as far as food. As far as Specialty Dining, we had the Explore4 package which included a Pinnacle Grill dinner. This was not much of an improvement over MDR (I had crab legs but they were over-cooked and reminded me of imitation crab). We did also book Tamarind based on others' reviews and everything there was excellent. We used in room dining on 3 occasions - breakfast the day we arrived in Ketchikan (early morning arrival), late night desserts one evening, and to request a bottle of distilled water. Service each time was very quick. Excursions - We booked all of ours through the cruise line before getting on board, and didn't make any modifications. As a result, we didn't really interact with the excursions desk staff at all. The three that we took were enjoyable and ran on time. Ports - My one regret from this trip is it did not include Skagway, but from what I can tell, there were no routes offered through this line that would have included Sitka and Glacier Bay with Skagway, and I wouldn't have wanted to give either of those up. Juneau and especially Ketchikan both had a bit of a tourist trap vibe, although that being said, we loved our time at Mendenhall Glacier. Sitka was my favorite stop, and scenic cruising in Glacier Bay was the biggest highlight for me. Victoria was pretty but we got in in the evening and the port is a few miles from the downtown area. We just walked along the pier rather than getting too far from the ship. We also had excellent weather for most of the trip - it was rainy in Ketchikan, but we had clear weather every other day including the Glacier Bay day. Entertainment - Lincoln Center Stage and America's Test Kitchen were highlights for me. We did not go to the B.B. King Blues Club, and we watched a Billboard On Board performance one evening. Something billed as "Hot Country" should probably include at least some songs from this century, but the performers were good. We only went to the Main Stage for an exc talk (Whales of Alaska) and the Ask the Captain event. The evening events didn't interest us much. I also went to watch a BBC video presentation in there one afternoon, but they were having technical difficulties so I (and many others) left early. Overall, the entertainment offerings were somewhat lacking. I would have enjoyed ATK cooking classes that were hands on in addition to or place of some of the staged demonstrations, even for a small fee. Service - Overall, we found the service to be excellent - attentive and courteous - with one exception, which was our wine steward in MDR because we don't really drink. He was less interested in helping us when realizing this. Disembarkation - This was very efficient. Again, suite perks played a role here as we were the 2nd group to be called. We were off the ship, had our luggage, got into a cab, and made it to our hotel by 8:15 AM. Overall, we were very impressed with our trip and had a great time. We enjoyed the route, stops, scenery, and ship. There is room for improvement in dining and entertainment. This cruise line would not be for everyone, but we were not looking for wild parties or water slides, rather a relaxing and enjoyable vacation. I felt the trip was well paced and look forward to cruising with HAL again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
As a Seattle resident, it may seem strange to go to Alaska four times but the Last Frontier is so spectacular, it never fails to thrill. Embarkation was very smooth, although porters were few. Lines were almost non-existent and we on board ... Read More
As a Seattle resident, it may seem strange to go to Alaska four times but the Last Frontier is so spectacular, it never fails to thrill. Embarkation was very smooth, although porters were few. Lines were almost non-existent and we on board in about 20 minutes from car to room. The Oosterdam is lovely - understated decor with some beautiful touches like hammered brass elevator doors.Unfortunately, the "library" is a few shelves located in the Crow's Nest and not the opulent club setting like the Amsterdam or Prinsendam. Bars were lively and plentiful. B.B. Kings is a blues option and Billboard Onboard was two very talented piano playing, singing guys who played over five decades of music during the seven days we were sailing. Other entertainment included a comedienne and great magician. The only trivia session was at 4:30 pm which interfered with our dining time. The MDR was tasteful with excellent service. Food was served in proper courses and we never waited too long, except on the first night. As this was the first trip of the season for Oosterdam, I don't fault that. Entree selections (5) were a bit fewer than I remember from past cruises, but salmon, steak, a vegetarian pasta and turkey tetrazzini was served every day. I loved all the soups and the desserts were often spectacular. Fresh bread daily and everything served with a smile! We usually book an outside cabin to Alaska as a balcony is just too cold for us. We actually had great weather in May with the only rain coming in Juneau. Hubbard Glacier is amazing and even with some fog, it took my breath away. The wildlife expert on board was very helpful and HAL even provides hot soup to hardy souls who venture out on deck. We visited Sitka, Ketchikan and Juneau as well as a stop in Victoria to satisfy the Jones Act. Victoria is a waste - expensive ($35.00) to get to town and too late to do much except eat dinner or ride in the horse-drawn carriages ($1.00 per minute with minimums) Suggest guests arrive early in Seattle or stay one day extra to experience the Pike Place Market, Space Needle, Puget Sound ferries, Monorail, Big Wheel and all our fantastic seafood. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We enjoyed our Oosterdam cruise in April very much. The Ship: Embarkation was a breeze. We expected there would be many people waiting to board but we literally walked in, checked in, and boarded in less about 15 minutes. Upon ... Read More
We enjoyed our Oosterdam cruise in April very much. The Ship: Embarkation was a breeze. We expected there would be many people waiting to board but we literally walked in, checked in, and boarded in less about 15 minutes. Upon boarding, we headed to the Lido deck for lunch and by the time we went to our room, the luggage was already there. We immediately began hanging our clothes in the three closets. In addition to hanging rods in two closets, one closet had shelves for clothes that did not need hanging. The storage space in the cabin was ample and easily accessible. There are drawers in the desk/vanity in the room and drawers under the bed. There were ample outlets in the room and a small fridge. We enjoyed being able to keep drinks cold and fruit refrigerated while in our room. We stayed in an aft balcony room and liked this location. It was convenient to get to the dining rooms, pools, and bars. Our room was located at the back of the ship on the portside and we did not experience any additional turbulence or rocking due to the location. The balcony room provided us the opportunity to lie in bed and watch the ocean or to sit on the nice sized balcony. The bathroom had a tub which I enjoyed as I do enjoy a bath rather than a shower sometimes. The storage in the bathroom was adequate. Overall, the room met all of our expectations with a large screen tv placed on the wall in front of the bed. It was a nice room. The ship is an older ship but I did not see any big problems and I could see that somethings had been updated. The dining rooms were beautiful and the theatre was easy to navigate and had plenty of seating. Overall, we were pleased with the condition of the ship. It has been well-maintained and the staff were constantly cleaning all areas of the ship. In addition, the pool areas were well-kept and seating was plentiful. We never had a problem on ship days finding a place to lounge by the pools. Debarkation was quick and we were at the airport by 9am on our last day Dining Room Service: We did enjoy ordering room service a few times and service was excellent and on time each time we ordered by phone or by placing a card on our door at night. Lido Deck Dining: We enjoyed the food we were served on the Lido Deck. Choices were varied and service was never slow. Usually, there were no more than two to four people in any one line at a time. The servers were all polite and welcoming. I, particularly, enjoyed the Pasta station and the Omelet station. The taco station was also a favorite. The diversity in the food choices made it easy to find something to eat. At times, the table area was crowded but we always found some place to sit and enjoy our meals. I felt the food was more sanitary by having the staff serve our food at the buffet. The wait staff kept our drinks filled and cleaned tables quickly upon someone leaving the dining area. Overall, I would rate the food excellent and the service outstanding on the Lido Deck Dining. Formal Dining Room: The dining room was beautiful and the service was outstanding. We never had to wait long for any of our order to arrive. After the first night, our drinks were on the table when we arrived. The wait staff were very friendly and exuded happiness each night. We enjoyed our evening meal and a couple of lunches in the dining room. We could not ask for better service than we experienced on the Oosterdam. My favorite foods were the lobster, the soups, and the desserts. Entertainment: We love to dance and the B.B. Blues Club was a perfect venue for that. The band played music that people could dance to and enjoy listening to as they relaxed with a beverage. The only thing I would change is that the band play longer. Beverage service was excellent in this club. We did enjoy the Piano Bar music on a couple of evenings but there was no area to dance. The shows in the theatre needed more singing and dancing type shows. Also, I think the theatre should have a show on the first night of the cruise to welcome guests and set the tone for the trip. Fitness & Recreation: The fitness center offered a variety of equipment and classes for those who wanted to work out. The Spa offers diversity in services as well. Enrichment Activities: There were opportunities to join in enrichment activities each day. We chose to relax and enjoy the pool area rather than attend classes offered. Service: I cannot say enough good things about our room stewards and the services they provided. They cleaned the room at least twice a day and always responded positively to any requests. They placed fresh fruit in the room daily and intentionally interacted with us daily to see if we had any requests or concerns. I requested a fan and a mattress topper and both were provided promptly. I could not ask for more from our room stewards. The wait staff in the dining room and on the Lido dining area were friendly and provided outstanding service to us. Around the ship, we always saw crew members cleaning and replenishing supplies as needed. This is an area where this ship excels--providing outstanding service. Shore Excursions: Turks & Caicos: We took a bus tour of the island and enjoyed seeing the entire island in addition to visiting a small market area. There had been some storm damage from the hurricane but one could tell that progress was being made in the clean-up and rebuilding. The guide provided us with an extensive history of the island which was interesting. Key West: The trolley car excursion provided us with a good overview of the history and sights of Key West. After the tour, we walked around the town and enjoyed mingling with the locals. Dominican Republic: I took a bus tour that took us into Puerta Plata where we shopped and visited a beautiful church. In addition, the tour guide provided us with a history of the island. We did not visit Haiti. My boyfriend did the excursion to the water falls and he had a wonderful time. He hiked through the jungle and then slid down about four waterfalls which he said was an exhilarating experience. Due to my health, I could not experience the waterfall excursion but I did enjoy the tour. Half Moon Cay: This island is beautiful with sand as white as snow. There are many activities available such as horse back riding, jet skiing, sailing, and a waterpark that would be great for children to enjoy. Just swimming and enjoying the beauty was what we chose to do. The ship provides a lunch on the island for those who do not want to return to the ship to eat. The bar area is convenient and easy to procure drinks. Cabanas are available for rent. We chose to sit on the beach in one of the many lounge chairs provided. It was a wonderful and relaxing day. Next time we sail in November, we plan to rent a small sail boat and enjoy this experience. In conclusion, I would like to say that even though the Oosterdam is an older ship, it is beautiful and well-kept. The service on the ship is outstanding and the food is excellent. I highly recommend sailing on this ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
This was my first trip to Alaska and was very excited to be on it. We choose a Spa Veranda Guaranteed cabin with an upgrade possible. Well the upgrade did not happen (not sure what they would upgrade us too) about 10 days before we ... Read More
This was my first trip to Alaska and was very excited to be on it. We choose a Spa Veranda Guaranteed cabin with an upgrade possible. Well the upgrade did not happen (not sure what they would upgrade us too) about 10 days before we sailed we go our room assignment 10046 The cabin was good on the 10 th deck and next to the door but there was no problem with noise this was my 3rd ever cruise and the others two where on MS Westerdam so that was my ship to reference too. first my one and really only complaint was the ship felt funny in the way it was vibrating, I did read that there was a problem and it had to stay in San Diego for a extra day or two. but it was like someone was shaking the bed every 5 seconds it was pretty consistent for the first 3 days, then when in Glacier bay it stopped and then returned when we went to Sitka i guess the speed of the ship was the reason. Dinning was good really only used the main dining room one time.. we to each of the specialty restaurants once Italian one was very good the food was good service great Steak house was good the service was great but the food was not as good as i remembered it Asian was really good best food on the ship great service The buffet was standard fair the burgers and fries at the Dive in was fantastic Pizza was good but long wait I did not see any shows there so i can comment on the entertainment my two excursions where great 1. helicopter ride to the glacier and dog sledding i cant say it was cheap as it was not but i loved it 2. I also did a sea food feast and boat ride to a resort island that was very enjoyable I will go again Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
When I was 17 I did a road trip from British Columbia to Southern Alaska. It was the best trip I had ever been on. The scenery, the wildlife, and the splendor of it all took my breath away. I did not think anything could top that ... Read More
When I was 17 I did a road trip from British Columbia to Southern Alaska. It was the best trip I had ever been on. The scenery, the wildlife, and the splendor of it all took my breath away. I did not think anything could top that experience. Then I booked with Holland America and the adventure was better than I remembered. Embarkation. You are given an assigned time to arrive at the port in Seattle. Ours was 1pm so like all good travelers we arrived at 11:45. I did think it would take us longer to get there but this was fine. Having cruised four previous times I knew what to expect. Hurry and wait to drop off luggage, hurry up to wait in line to pass through security, hurry up to get in line to check in, wait for a few hours in a waiting room. Take the eternal walk to get on board, go to Lido deck and eat for four hours and then go to room to wait for your luggage. Yeah, I have played this game before and this time...was an exception. We dropped off our luggage straight away, no line at all. Then we went to security and... no line at all, got in line to check in and get our key. That took forever at about 3 to 5 minutes to get up there and 3 to 5 minutes to get processed. The they gave us free cookies and water which I had to eat while walking on to the ship. Wait did I skip the waiting room part? Oh, wait there was none, we got our key and went on board. 20 minutes after getting out of the Uber we were on the ship. On the ship an elevator was standing by and we were directed to the buff... wait not the buffet but our stateroom. It was 1215 and we were walking to our ready stateroom. We met our cabin steward and sat down wondering...what do we do now. Well first we unpack. Our luggage arrived 5 minutes after we did. Then we went to the buffet to eat some of the best meals at sea. The Cabin Standard industry sized veranda with a 45-inch TV. So, we could watch it and enjoy it. It was loaded with some great new and a little older movies and live TV. The bed was firm and comfortable. There was a bathtub but for a 6'2" guy it was a bit tight and smaller than what is at home. The linens and fluffy stuff was soft and nice. There were plenty of outlets and enough closet space for our clothes, shoes and Jacket. On our way up the weather was rocky but we love that because it helps us sleep. The rocking was gentle and not jolting at all. The veranda came with the usual appointments and was the same size as other ships. The Food The food was a cut above. There was a unique combination of standard fair, fancy, and really fancy. It was all well prepared and very good. Even the Buffet which can many times get stale and feel second rate was fresh and changing. The pizza was worth the wait and was delicious. Tea time at 3pm was amazing with many pastry's and other delicious snacks. Also, the chocolate event on deck two was a blast. Entertainment Was sparse. Almost every day we were in some port or some location so the need to entertain people on board with exciting activities was less. Not to mention it is a senor crowd and that limits the options available of activities to do. The activities there are, are very enriching, fun, and amazing. I was never bored but very relaxed. The wine tasting, bar hop, mixology class, etc were fantastic. The jewel of the trip was the orchestra that played classical music every night and the jazz club that got people dancing and singing till late in the night. The piano bars were very nice as well and a lot of fun to be in. Glacier Bay The benefit of a veranda, when it is 45 F outside is that between great shots and scenery is you watch movies in you cabin. The balcony offered timeless views and warmth. Whale watching, glacier and wilderness tour in Juneau This was a great investment. We had the wonderful captain Buck who found us orcas and humpbacks. Also provided insight into the local history along the way. The Glacier was amazing and awe inspiring to look at. We saw other amazing scenery of the area and it was a wonderful day. The Towns All the towns had the requisite tourist shops that you see on any other cruise ever. Juneau being the capital had interesting history and nature, especially the mines. Sitka had an old Russian Church and stores. Kechihan was the most interesting town with Creek St houses (brothels) being a very interesting history, as well as the totem poles and other sights to see. At the port BE ON TIME. They tell you be back at 12:30 PM. They must leave at that time to make it to Victoria on time. We saw 5 people get to the dock after the gang plank was removed and we were sailing away. A missed boat can cost you between $1,500 to $2,000 in extra costs. Did not get off at Victoria. just not enough time and you arrive at 7PM leave at 11:30 PM. The Ship The ship with its covered pool, fantastic fitness room, great food, and super staff was the best I had ever been on. I do look forward to going back, maybe to the Mexican Riviera. Tip: If you go on a cruise at the end of the season, the clearance sails are superb. I got a very nice coat for $15, and other items were 75%$ off. Jewelry related to Alaska was also super discounted (This was true onshore as well). Disembarkation Was as fast as embarkation, we left at 8:50 AM and was in the Uber at 9:10 AM Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was my 4th cruise to Alaska.(HAL) This time on Amsterdam. She is a lovely ship with many beautiful greek statues. Layout of the ship was very easy. Embarkation and disembarkation was amazingly smooth and fast (as compared to 3 ... Read More
This was my 4th cruise to Alaska.(HAL) This time on Amsterdam. She is a lovely ship with many beautiful greek statues. Layout of the ship was very easy. Embarkation and disembarkation was amazingly smooth and fast (as compared to 3 prior cruises). Cabin was inside with a view on lower prom. deck. Only noise was 9:30 PM approx. when cleaning the deck. We ate all meals in the Lido and the food was outstanding. Entertainment was piano bar (very good) and "On Tour" singers, dancers and musicians was very good. Husband attended all Windows workshops and rates A+. He used the gym and movie theater daily. The service from our cabin to the Lido was excellent (as always in past cruises). Every crew member was happy, smiling, and very courteous. Only shore excursions this time was Fortress of the Bear (Sitka) and the Raptor Center(Sitka) - SO GOOD. In all other ports we walked around on our own. First cruise we had time to enjoy shipboard activities. "Ask The Captain" virtual bridge tour was excellent, as was America's Test Kitchen shows daily. Enjoyed the casino. We have booked a 14 day Alaskan tour onboard Amsterdam in June 2019 and looking forward to it! Read Less
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