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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This was a great, low key trip to Alaska on the Oosterdam. We had cabin 4006. The cabin is at the front of the ship. It was clean and a nice size cabin. No bath tub but we didn't miss the tub at all. The cabin is near the side ... Read More
This was a great, low key trip to Alaska on the Oosterdam. We had cabin 4006. The cabin is at the front of the ship. It was clean and a nice size cabin. No bath tub but we didn't miss the tub at all. The cabin is near the side thruster, external door, and main stage. It was generally quiet, but there were times when engines, entertainment, or door drop were very noticable. Food was good across the board, although room service had warm cold items and cold warm items for breakfast. Entertainment was great with the Lincoln Center Stage being wonderful. The BB King Blues Club and Billboard groups were fun as well. If you fly in, make sure to check out the Port of Seattle program for luggage coming and going. Also, we suggest not buying any drinks until you are out of the Washington state area...otherwise you will have to pay 10% sales tax on things like sodas, wine, beer. The staff is quite friendly and helpful. We also suggest using the Navigator phone application so you can see daily events and check your bill. We had a great server in the Lido named Yasmeen. The Pinnacle Grill food was excellent. It is a great first night dinner as you cruise out the Puget Sound. We also picked the night at Victoria for the Pinnacle as the time is quite short in port. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I chose Holland America because the ship size was not so big that I would be lost. My family and I prefer a quieter experience, crowds, crazy dancing and rocking bars not really our thing. Embarkation was a breeze, went on the ship at 2pm, ... Read More
I chose Holland America because the ship size was not so big that I would be lost. My family and I prefer a quieter experience, crowds, crazy dancing and rocking bars not really our thing. Embarkation was a breeze, went on the ship at 2pm, walked right on. Ship, a little dated, 70's like décor mirrors, velvet and geometric shapes but still in decent shape. Our cabin steward was wonderful. Dining in the main dining room eeeh…. it was fine. Dining in specialty restaurants Pinnacle Grill and Tamarind... fantastic! Dining in Lido crazy crowded and grabby people. Dive in burger bar and pizza always a wait of 35 to 40 min, food ok. Alaska is beautiful... cruise excursions helicopter ride to glacier and dogsled in Juneau and zipline in Ketchican (booked our own private whale watch in Sitka for $135 per head - this was not on Holland America excursion menu) all were fabulous. Kids ages 12, 16, 19 actually played board games in the game room on the ship, a lot!! That was awesome.. they all go to their separate corners at home. BBKings blues band was really great and magician and comedian entertaining as well. Overall a great family vaca to Alaska on the Eurodam. If I had to do it again I would do dining room for breakfast and lunch and book specialty restaurants for most nights of the cruise to stay away from crazy Lido, although convenient crowds take relaxation factor way down. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
This had a very good itinerary, with plenty of time in Anchorage and Victoria. Although, lots of smoke in Anchorage due to nearby fires. The staff on this ship is wonderful. They all seemed to have great attitudes, and were willing ... Read More
This had a very good itinerary, with plenty of time in Anchorage and Victoria. Although, lots of smoke in Anchorage due to nearby fires. The staff on this ship is wonderful. They all seemed to have great attitudes, and were willing to help. The ship still maintains a quiet elegance although it’s scheduled for dry dock next May. The public spaces never seem crowded, and the onboard entertainment on the Main Stage was very good. Three production shows, three comedians/magicians, and a wonderful pianist (Ryan Ahern). Temperatures during the day were in the high 60’s, but I definitely recommend warm clothes for being out on deck. The Hubbard Glacier was a good highlight. We were able to get very close, and their was calving during our visit. We also had a lot of whale sightings off the ship. This was our 4th cruise to Alaska, and I recommend this line for anyone looking for a quiet, and enjoyable experience. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Past the “sweet spot”..... timing wise, for sailing Alaska, but weather was really good, considering. We’ve been up that way 6+ times. Arrived day early staying at boutique in Queen Anne neighborhood, closer jump off to getting ... Read More
Past the “sweet spot”..... timing wise, for sailing Alaska, but weather was really good, considering. We’ve been up that way 6+ times. Arrived day early staying at boutique in Queen Anne neighborhood, closer jump off to getting to ship next day.... a little hilly, great neighborhood & restaurants. Uber from airport to hotel $38 and the hotel to port $8. Arrived port 11:15am We were sailing Neptune suite so check in easy, they were already boarding group 3, we walked on, drop our bags in room, unpacked, decent closet space, then to dining room for lunch. Ship falls into mid size for Holland. Don’t particularly care for these ships, the layout, stuffy, lounges small, but Holland has done about as good as they could accommodating the newer music venues and ATK. Main show room is ok. MDR is tightly packed, Canelleto part of buffet seating. Pinnacle Grill nicely sized. EXC central (Crows Nest) ok seating, but has lost a little ambiance with the EXC adder. Across ship Disappointed with bars, small cramped, service poor. Had anytime dining, Club Orange.... seated immediately. Food and dining service both MDR and Pinnacle Grill a bit spotty.... quality, missed items, under, over cooked. We only did buffet a few times for breakfast.... nice mix of options. Otherwise can’t comment further. Club Orange needs further development on these size ships. Aside from immediate seating... no seperate dining area, seated with reg passengers with different menu... a bit uncomfortable. Can’t see any other perks..... what am I missing here? As for Suite perks, not competitive with any of the RCL products,even Princess a bit more refined.... I hear larger HAL ships not as big an issue. Main Showroom shows have taken on a more cultural bent, in line with featuring the music venues. Featured a dance company.... excellent.... The EXC lecture presentations were outstanding. More professional done, focused topics to the area sailing. Very impressed America’s Test Kitchen presentations were excellent. Outstanding Chef great chat, meaningful recipes... well attended... shares BB King venue, works out well. All in all a good trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Eurodam 7 day to Alaska August 10, 2019 My wife and I decided to take a cruise for our 15th anniversary leaving the kids with grandparents for the week. This is our story. Before the Cruise We had initially booked and fully paid ... Read More
Eurodam 7 day to Alaska August 10, 2019 My wife and I decided to take a cruise for our 15th anniversary leaving the kids with grandparents for the week. This is our story. Before the Cruise We had initially booked and fully paid almost a year ago for an N interior room at $699/ea. By the time two months before sailing rolled around I saw prices had dropped significantly for the trip so I called up the booking company and managed to get upgraded first to a HH then to an E outside stateroom. I almost had the chance for a guarantee verandah for $50 but the best deal that I could actually get an offer on was $80 for a Guarantee Verandah. I decided the room we had was fine. If we didn’t need to have everything set up for kids it would have been $200 cheaper to book about a month out than what we ended up with. Something to know for the future. Arrival, embarkation We arrived at 10:30 am dropped off by my inlaws and our bags were promptly picked up by a porter. We wandered over to the terminal where there was a huge line that almost reached to the outside of the terminal. It turns out this was the line for dropping off luggage, which we avoided by having tags made ahead of time and using the porter outside. We went up to the desk and got all squared away in under 20 minutes from showing up at the terminal to being at the gate. We were in boarding group C and we didn't start boarding until 11:30 so we had a bit of a wait but once boarding started we were on the ship by 11:40 and our rooms were ready at 11:45. Our First Room The outside view room we were assigned was 1126 which seemed perfectly fine. Generally speaking the room had everything we needed. The window was totally sufficient for looking out and viewing the whales that passed by the early on the second morning. I'd have had no problem staying in the room assuming everything worked as expected. There was a little wear on the wood coverings on the desk and tables which made everything feel a little dated but there were plenty lots of outlets (all located at the desk) and USB plugs on the nightstands and on the desk, most of which worked. The room is shower only which is actually pretty nice as the bathroom feels bigger than shower bath combos and we didn't have any plans to use the bath. The Problem I had read a post from 2015 saying that the air conditioning in the room didn't work. I'd figured that through dry docks and several years passing this wouldn't be a problem. I was wrong. It was still broken. Now this is on a Holland America ship and the vast majority of passengers would likely not have a problem with a room that could only cool down to 72.5F. But this was the lowest possible temperature after several adjustments. We initially reported it the first night. They checked it and gave us a fan. The fan really did help the second night and the room was workable at that point but the next day we were in the BB King Blues area and the AC there was in full swing and we were suddenly comfortable. This made me realize that the issues we were having in our room weren't just a matter of cruise ships being hot in general (which it was) so I continued to bring this up with guest services. Eventually, after bringing down one of the technical managers who determined that they couldn't fix it we were offered a change in rooms. When I walked into the new room it was actually a comfortable temperature which felt like a godsend at that point. Our Second Stateroom We got upgraded to a VB 4045 which was an extended balcony verandah. Considering we had paid rock bottom prices the upgrade was amazing. Still the best feature of this room for us was working AC but being able to watch the glaciers in Glacier Bay from the verandah was nice. Otherwise the room was incredibly similar to the old room. I did have to ask guest services to push the beds together which they did promptly, however, while doing so they also turned up the heat in the room all the way. I caught it pretty quick because I was only out of the room for about 30 minutes while this was going on. More funny than anything else. The room is right by the forward elevators which had more traffic than our room down in the back but nothing problematic. Just more likely to hear stateroom doors opening and closing at some points. Having had a verandah I'm not sure that I would need one in the future assuming we had working AC but having a window that you can open and close seemed useful after our AC challenge. Entertainment Overall most of the entertainment was fine but in no way outstanding. Vince, the Travel director, was really good onstage. It took us multiple shows to realize that he had a teleprompter since he felt so natural. The Captain's Toast which came with free champagne, was interesting and fun as was the kitchen tour where I got to meet the executive chef and get an advance peek at the upcoming dinner menu. I was hoping to be able to do the America's Test Kitchen classes, the ones that cost extra, but only one was offered all week, there was a waiting list which was reserved for 5 star mariners for the first 24 hours and it was an Egg class which I wasn't at all interested in. The actual onboard cooking sessions weren't great. We decided we'd stop by for the recipe cards and watch old episodes of the show in our state room, which we did plenty. The mainstage entertainment wasn't anything special. The BBC Alaska that we thought was the symphony was just an audio track which was really just an unimpressive discovery channel special. The dancers putting on a show called Humanity had a cool gimmick but it wasn't executed to the level that it was exciting to watch for the entire 45 minutes. Their second show Stages was really fun, as was the Crew Show. The comedian was good fun for both of his sessions. Instead of many of the onboard options we spent time in our room watching movies like Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, Crimes of Grindewald, Rampage, and Jurassic World 3. We ended up skipping the magic show due to a two and a half hour dinner at Tamarind (more on that below). Food We had dinner in the main dining room every night, except for one, which was always great. Little tip: if you can wait until after 7pm the crowd dies down significantly and it's way more chill. We had one server named Jeffery who was awesome. He even found us in the morning on the lido and had a table for us in the Canaletto area. Food there was solid everytime we had it. Some requested customizations never happened but nothing that was too significant. Every time we ate there we left feeling pleasantly satiated without being stuffed which was a great experience for a three course meal. The Lido was frequently crowded for breakfast at around 8:30-9am but was generally pretty empty by 9:30 and wasn't as bad at 8am either. We decided to try to avoid the busy time there. Busy times for lunch were unpredictable due to schedule of events and docking times but we had to make multiple trips to find a seat after viewing the Margerie Glacier. Afternoon tea was a bit of a cattle call with no customization and very little attention paid to each guest. After going once we decided to avoid it for the future. Though several of the little bites there were great, having tea seemed unnecessary when the entire Lido was still open. Fine Dining We had one meal at Tamarind which was incredibly disappointing. Several of the dishes were great but even with the restaurant half empty it took two and a half hours to get through the meal, our water glasses ran empty multiple times, and we never really seemed to get service. They totally drenched the lobster roll I ordered in Mayo which wasn't even listed as an ingredient on the menu and I brought it up with 3 servers who never did anything but apologize. No offers to take it away or get something else. My wife ended up eating most of it but about half was taken away at the end untouched. I never leave sushi on the plate. This has pretty much turned me off of specialty dining entirely. I wouldn't have been happy paying $50 for that dinner and service in a restaurant under regular circumstances. The fact that I had to pay extra for lower quality service and in some cases worse food than the Lido is unacceptable. In the future I'm perfectly happy with the MDR. Service was also incredibly slow. Ports We didn't plan any excursions at port as we were hoping to explore on our own. This may have been a mistake. Juneau was heavily inundated with Cruise Port jewelry shops, places with locations in major cruise ports in Alaska and the Carribbean with locally themed swag. If you weren't looking for jewelry or something with the words ALASKA on it, you were probably out of luck. The entire area by the port is a big tourist trap with a number of the rudest sales reps I’ve ever met. I did manage to walk far enough to get to some local shops, local artists, and local native wears, but it was a few blocks back away from the main drag. Sitka was a pretty cool small town that reminded us of Friday Harbor in the San Juans. Having more time helped but we managed to hit the entire downtown in just a couple hours. I don’t have any particular drive to return to Sitka but it was pleasant being there. Kechikan seemed like a town I could spend more time in. The Creek Street area is super cool and I’d love to have time to hang out for coffee there. I really feel we didn’t have time to explore the area very well. As it was we spent a good 3+ hours wandering around there and came back at almost noon for a 12:30 departure. I wouldn't mind a fuller day there but the stop was pretty short. Victoria is a beautiful town that was somewhere I’ll definitely visit again, but our stop from 6 to 11 was too short to do much of anything. We walked to chinatown which looked like a cool place to eat but had nowhere to shop at 8pm. I’d love to explore the town more but there’s only so much still open at 7pm. I’d prefer to spend a long weekend in Victoria than a cruise stop. If I had another 5 hour stop there I probably wouldn’t get off the ship. In the end we decided we enjoyed our time cruising much more than our time in port. Watching the world go by outside of your window while relaxing, reading, and having access to unlimited food is pretty nice. Each of the stops didn’t really give us a chance to get more than a brief view of the town and we never stopped to eat or shop for local food since everything was free on the ship. If you really want to know what a place is like, cruising isn’t the best way to see it. In the future I think I’ll care less where the cruise stops and think about what I’d be seeing from the ship. Navigator App The Navigator App is a good development that hasn't really come together yet. First thing, don't register on it until you are on board. It just confuses the poor thing. Second, be careful because it doesn't update as quickly as you'd hope. I was still getting alerts in Seattle time while we were in Alaska for a few days and we still had the previous day’s menu until after dinner the next day. It's also fairly slow to load. That said, it's a pretty cool feature compared to nothing so I'd get it and use it onboard. Overall Cruising was a fun experience and pretty good for a couples getaway. Imaging the differences with kids takes away a lot of the potential relaxation that was present. The fact that ports are tourist traps makes it difficult to use cruising as a method of experiencing specific locations you might be interested in. Previously I had a lot of interest in a carribbean cruise where you got to see several eastern carribbean island but I feel like it would be difficult to get much more than a casual glance at each one and that view would be heavily skewed by the scenes that existed at port. I feel like cruises where a lot of the point was what goes on outside of your window would be more exciting. So in the future things like a Panama Canal, fall New England/Canada or European River cruise seems really interesting to me but I’m not sure that paying $300 more for a flight is worth the change in scenery. Excursions also don't really interest me as I don't generally want a curated experience. This means that the ports are less vital than the route. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
First time sailing Holland America. We a frequent Celebrity and RCCL cruisers, but liked the HA Alaska itinerary, plus there were some pricing specials that made this cruise very affordable. We booked a category VD balcony cabin ... Read More
First time sailing Holland America. We a frequent Celebrity and RCCL cruisers, but liked the HA Alaska itinerary, plus there were some pricing specials that made this cruise very affordable. We booked a category VD balcony cabin (guarantee), and we were assigned our cabin 10 days before sailing. Location was pretty good....all of the VD cabins are either in the front or towards the rear of the ship. We had a cabin towards the front of the ship. Long walk to the dining venues (as they were on the other end of the ship), but we got used to it. The pros.....spacious cabin, quiet, large shower/bathtub combo, nice balcony. Service was first class and very friendly. Embarkation and disembarkation was so incredibly fast....HA blew away their competition on this aspect of the cruise. A nice choice of shore excursions, but pricey (as all Alaskan shore excursions tend to be). The highlight for us was the Tracy Arm Fjord/Sawyer Glacier excursion in Juneau. A long day (7 hour excursion), but well worth the time and money (tour is run by Allen Marine...wonderful tour folks). The one day we were cruising Glacier bay was an experience Holland America does best. This was the main reason we chose this cruise and HA did not disappoint. Had several other shore excursions which were ok....fortunately we got into Victoria before nightfall and got to Bourchart Gardens while it was still light. Had about 2 hours to visit and by the second hour it was nighttime. You cannot get the beauty of these gardens if you only have the night time to visit...so if you can't see the gardens during some daylight time, it is not worth going to (in my opinion, if you are a first time visitor). The not so good stuff had to do with the food and entertainment. The Lido restaurant is where the buffet is and we found the food selection and quality adequate, but nothing compared to the quality and selection you find on RCCL and Celebrity. We ate in the main dining room twice and the good was good in that venue (the gala night surf and turf was excellent.....probably the best we have had on any cruise ship). Service was fine. No quick way to get a slice of pizza or a quick hamburger/hotdog. HA does not do this part of their food routine very well. Also deserts were so so; cookies were lousy. Not much in the way of entertainment, but HA is not known for their big productions that RCCL and Celebrity have. We booked the premium wifi package ahead of time, as it was priced attractively but it was somewhat slow (but expected), and stopped working completely on our Apple devices that had IOS software under 10.0 (because of an HA wifi upgrade while we were at sea). So if your IOS software is not 10.0 or higher, their wifi will not work on those devices (primarily older Ipads). Very easy to catch a taxi from the cruise terminal back to the airport. They all charge a flat fee of $42. Lots of taxi's available despite two large cruise ships arriving at about the same time. Hope this info is helpful to any of you taking the Alaska inside passage cruise on HA. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Chose it for the length, route and price. As usual, embarkation was smooth in Seattle. Cabin was standard ocean view and clean but showing age on chair arms, window frame rust and tile/plastic bathroom walls and sink. Chose ... Read More
Chose it for the length, route and price. As usual, embarkation was smooth in Seattle. Cabin was standard ocean view and clean but showing age on chair arms, window frame rust and tile/plastic bathroom walls and sink. Chose any-time dining and booked same table for entire trip. Wait staff fantastic and food excellent most of the time. (Cream soups seem to be the same plain cream poured over a handful of different ingredients each meal.) Onion soup, offered on every menu was usually excellent except a couple of times when it was way too salty. Rudy's Sel de Mer was a total three-course mess at a ridiculously high price. It began with a half-cooked scallop as an amuse-bouche. Next came a seafood tower for me - routine salad bar popcorn shrimp salad, less than a teaspoon of crab meat and I passed on the octopus. My entree was a really tough whole Dover sole which had more in common with the shoe variety than the seafood type. A friend had the Maine lobster which amounted to two baby critters smaller than prawns. (I didn't know things that small were even legal to harvest.) Other friend raved about rack of lamb. Desert was supposed to be Crepes Suzette. Again, very disappointing. Crepe was very tough, smeared with what seemed to be orange marmalade and served lukewarm with half melted ice cream. No way close to being Crepe Suzettes. Friends profiteroles were standard issue from the Lido. To complete the evening, the wine steward never bothered to return and refill wine glasses and overall service was excruciatingly slow. As standard these days, all land excursions were very expensive and on-board entertainment reduced to the minimum with old BBC videos and house band filling in a couple of times. Favorite locales remain Icy Strait Point, Hubbard glacier viewing and Homer. Other ports/sights are okay but tend to be similar to each other and offer the usual search for wildlife/birds, some totem poles and a church here and there. Cruising remains a bargain if you can ignore a lot of the overpriced things on offer but it seems the day of inclusive pricing is about over. Cruise lines have adopted the airline pricing model - quote a cheap fare, and then add port fees/taxes and a $14.50 a day service charge per passenger called a tip, and then charge exorbitant fees for everything else. I expect to see all menus with à la carte pricing within a year or two. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My partner and I, 55 and 58 gay men, decided pretty last minute to do this Alaska Explorer 7 night charter. We were able to get a good deal booking with the charter as we are alumni with many past cruises with them, and there were many ... Read More
My partner and I, 55 and 58 gay men, decided pretty last minute to do this Alaska Explorer 7 night charter. We were able to get a good deal booking with the charter as we are alumni with many past cruises with them, and there were many cabins to fill.....our luck. Also, we had never cruised with Holland American Line before and have wanted to for years, so a win-win all around! We flew in to Seattle arriving around 1pm for a 3pm at the lasted boarding time. We had thought we would simply grab an Uber or Lift to the pier, but after getting our bags, time was running out, and we discovered HAL had a service to transfer us by bus to the terminal....so we used that (both ways as it turned out).... Check in was easy as we were getting they later in the day and most had already boarded. Our veranda cabin on the 8th floor starboard was decent. Definitely could use an upgrade as there were repaired holes and such in the bathroom. The deck really needed to be washed, as it was all a mess and dirty. The beds were quite comfortable, slept well all 7 nights. The TV served up some good movies OD, a few TV channels, access to the bridge cams.....nice. I liked how the closets had shelves that could be swung up to make more room for hanging clothes....every cruise line should have this great idea. Cabin steward was efficient and did not see much of him. As for dining, we ate most meals in the main dining room and had mostly above average luck with our meals. We are mostly Celebrity Cruisers so that is what we are comparing to....I think Celebrity does food better, my partner thinks HAL is just a bit better. The Lido Market is not a bad place for snacks and small meal. Overall, the service onboard is wonderful. The staff seems to enjoy what they are doing and we enjoyed having one waiter all week who treated us great. I would say the general overall service seems a bit warmer on HAL that Celebrity. Also, the Oosterdam has a warmer feel to it than most of the Celebrity ships. The design is obviously night and day, with Celebrity more modern and HAL a bit traditional. I like the change and the size of the ship. As a charter ship, the on board entertainment was quite good. A few let downs, but over all some great comedy, music and dancing were well done. The ships own dancers did an awesome job the night I saw them, using the huge screens on stage to interact with....something new to me and fun to watch! Something else HAL does is the Lincoln Center Stage, with a string quintet and pianist play a huge variety throughout the cruise. I wish I was able to see more of them, but what I did hear was top-notch..... OK, the internet! I thought I would take advantage of buying a weekly package before boarding as I would save about $50 for the 'Premier' package and be able to stream shows if I would like. Well, the internet on the Oosterdam is a joke. I was never able to stream....downloading pictures from Facebook took many seconds, and often,,,,very often, the whole thing stopped and needed to be restarted.....not fun....the front desk passed on my concerns.....but while I was there at the front desk,(and every time I was there, btw) other passengers were also complaining and some were rather irate. I just put down my iPad and did not let it bother me. But just don't expect much in terms internet on the Oosterdam. We had been to Alaska a few times before, so did not do many excursions, but LOVE seeing Hubbard Glacier....always my favorite part of an Alaska cruise! We would certainly consider HAL again....we like the 1900 pax load. Not too small, not too big. The food was good and service great. While this review was a little boring, the ship was not! I would suggest this to those who like music, relaxed atmosphere and a ship not geared up with bells and whistles of all the newer ships like RCL and Norwegian and Carnival. I almost forgot my favorite place on the ship, the Crows Nest on the top deck.....great place to sit and stare out watching the world go by with the panoramic windows....and a bar and coffeeshop..... Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We arrived at the ship at approximately 12:30 after parking at the Cruise Parking lot by the Armory and taking their shuttle to the cruise dock... We were on board and in our cabin about 20 minutes later. It was pretty painless. Our ... Read More
We arrived at the ship at approximately 12:30 after parking at the Cruise Parking lot by the Armory and taking their shuttle to the cruise dock... We were on board and in our cabin about 20 minutes later. It was pretty painless. Our luggage was in our stateroom after we got back from lunch. The ship was in great shape and was constantly being cleaned and maintained. We had Verandah Stateroom 4181 which is an aft facing cabin on deck four. This was a great cabin in some ways and not so great in others. It was plenty large enough for two people and the verandah was nice and spacious. It got plenty of sun and at times it actually got TOO hot out there. There really is no cross wind. We had no problem with “soot” as some people said we might. When we looked down all we could see was water and the ships’ wake... When you are at the rail, people on the upper decks can see you but you do have complete privacy if you sit closer to the cabin. It is very close to the MDR and the elevators to the Lido are not too far away. Getting to the Crow’s Nest and gym is a hike though, especially if you need to go up there to shower, which brings me to the not so good. This cabin had hot water issues from day one. It was hit and miss. Sometimes you had it and other times you didn’t and you could never count on it. Eventually, the ship became very responsive to the problem and it was finally resolved permanently two days before the cruise was over. HAL and the Guest Relations Manager on board did make it up to us and we were satisfied with the end result but not before I had already trekked up to the gym on two separate occasions to find a hot shower. The cabin stewards were awesome as usual. Food: We ate in the Canaletto twice on this cruise. It was GREAT both times. The food was excellent and the service was awesome. Canaletto seems to get lost in the shadow of the Pinnacle Grill but it truly is a hidden gem. We ate once in the Pinnacle Grill and it has redeemed itself in my opinion. I have been somewhat critical of this venue recently but this experience was really good. We had a weird and unusual experience with room service though. Two out of three times our order just never showed up. When we called, they said they had no record of it. There were a lot of kids on this cruise and maybe they were playing pranks by removing the menus from the doors at night? We have never had that issue before and it was really strange to have it happen two out of three times. The Hotel Manager did mention that some kids were playing pranks by filling out the menu cards, ordering one of everything, and placing them on random doors. Maybe we were victimized by something similar? We ate in the MDR twice and it was good both times. The Lido was good also. I was afraid that the Lido would be a madhouse in the mornings for breakfast because of all the families aboard but it really wasn’t too bad. It looked like a lot of people were using the MDR for breakfast. We had the Hot Dogs at the Dive In Grill once, they were good but the line was consistently long. !5 minutes just to get the pager and then another 30 minutes if you wanted Hamburgers. Not so long for just the dogs. This was a very popular venue with all the families aboard. Entertainment” This was our first cruise where we never went to BB King’s Blues Club. We just never got around to it. We did see the comedian and the magician and enjoyed both. The dual pianos were ok, we saw their show once. Lincoln Center Stage was good but we only saw a brief performance. The naturist on board gave some very interesting lectures as did the Cruise Director. She is a very good public speaker. Crew” The crew was wonderful as usual and they did a good job managing with all the kids on board. Our room stewards were great and always kept our cabin tidy and stocked with ice and fresh fruit. All in all this was a very nice cruise and we couldn’t have asked for better weather. It was sunny and warm every day! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Just returned from our fourth time on the MS Eurodam. First things first, Eurodam is a great ship and still in really good condition. She is well worth a trip to any destination. The cabins are in good shape, as well as all of the public ... Read More
Just returned from our fourth time on the MS Eurodam. First things first, Eurodam is a great ship and still in really good condition. She is well worth a trip to any destination. The cabins are in good shape, as well as all of the public areas. The employees aboard all HAL ships, and in this case Eurodam, always go above and beyond to make sure that your cruise is the best it can possibly be. A special shout out at this time for our cabin stewards, Holqi and Ilyas, who made sure our cabin was always ready for us at all times of the day. Also special shout out to Marcel and Ryan, who rule the Pinnacle wine bar! They both made every day in their bar a great time. They went out of their way to have a special Bday cake made for my wife. It was very much appreciated. Now, some items that continue to trouble us on most cruises lately, but particularly Holland America. Entertainment continues to be cut back. On this particular cruise the main stage show was cancelled twice, due to a cast member "illness". It's amazing that there is no understudy to take on any role in a show, as is always done in this profession. Also, used to be two shows per 7 day cruise, now only one. The Pinnacle grill is always a highlight for us. This particular cruise, they just overbooked the room and the kitchen and the service staff could not keep up. There was a general feeling that they were trying very hard, but could not catch up. The food itself was fine, but the length of the experience ( 3 1/2 hours for 4 course dinner ) was a bit much. The Maitre'd always just stands at the door and NEVER helps the servers when they are in trouble. Also, in this type of dining experience, NO food should ever have to be auctioned ( okay, who gets the steak and who gets the fish)!! Really?? Come on, basic service training please!! Had to laugh that the Pinnacle Grill prices jumped $4.00 in the middle of our cruise! Yikes, couldn't even wait until the next cruise to implement!! The MDR was also under the gun each night and all I can put that down to is cutting of staff. Meals were auctioned, slow service and no wine service on three nights. The sommeliers are stretched so thin that when a few tables actually order cocktails and wine, they can not keep up. Again, everyone friendly, but you can see the stress in the MDR. Never see Captains or Maitre D helping. They always stand at the main door, nothing more. The food quality and portions continue to be cut. At least three nights out of seven, there are specialty menus, so you can not order other items, such as salmon or s Caesar salad. The portion continue to get smaller and smaller. We are not big eaters, and usually only eat three courses. You now have to eat all 5 courses to even feel some kind of full. Hawking of items that you can now purchase, such as a Tomahawk Ribeye or Alaskan King Crab legs gets really tiring. The proteins continue to be cut. Try to find a good cut of beef or chicken. Serving Chicken leg as an entrée on the menu in MDR?? Really? The Lido food is okay, nothing special. Just remember you are eating lots of processed foods and you will gain weight if you are not watching what you eat. Even the Mariner's Luncheon offers you Pot Roast instead of steak these days! We did not take any shore excursions this trip as we have travelled to Alaska 6 times. We did however, give lots of advise to persons looking for excursions. Alaska is one of those places where you really need to take excursions to see all of the beauty that it has to offer. Also, we always advise people who ask us to book Verandah cabins in Alaska, as you will really miss so much wonder if you do not. We have a few more HAL trips booked. We will continue to monitor the cuts made by the accounts and hope for the best. The perks we receive as three star Mariners are not that good, compared to the other lines that we cruise with. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We went on this cruise because Max Lacado and Matthew West were on it as part of a package. We typically cruise on Carnival, so keep that in mind with this review. Cabin: we had an aft balcony, 7134. We liked it. It had enough storage ... Read More
We went on this cruise because Max Lacado and Matthew West were on it as part of a package. We typically cruise on Carnival, so keep that in mind with this review. Cabin: we had an aft balcony, 7134. We liked it. It had enough storage space in the closet and shelves in the closet. The bed was comfortable. And there were two night stands with drawers in them. Dining: The food was fine. I guess we were hoping it would be a clear step up over Carnival. But it wasn’t. I liked the pizza. You sometimes had to wait 30 minutes but they gave you a beeper so you can do other things than stand in line. I’ve seen some folks say the lido was too crowded. Yes, it was crowded during peak times. But I find that on most ships. Entertainment: the entertainment was good. When something was going on. We loved the piano duo and BB King band. But during the day, unless you wanted a metabolism talk, not much going on. Two trivia per day, given the older demographics of HAL, seems light. And there were no bands or singers playing throughout the ship. And they might as well convert the casino area into something else. the piano duo and BB King saved the score from a failing grade. Service: service was good. Lots of places and people who serve drinks. Ship: I liked the ship. The layout was easy to navigate. Plenty of space to hang out. And a smoke free casino. And that’s huge even for non gamblers. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This cruise was booked last minute at a reasonable price. I had been to Alaska several times before, but my first time solo. Since I found it more cost effective to take the HAL shuttle to the ship, I followed the directions on my ... Read More
This cruise was booked last minute at a reasonable price. I had been to Alaska several times before, but my first time solo. Since I found it more cost effective to take the HAL shuttle to the ship, I followed the directions on my paperwork and contacted a HAL employee near baggage claim. They directed me to an area where I dropped off my luggage. It was quite a walk out of the airport, across the bridge through the parking lot and down to a holding area. It was so loud and crowded, it was difficult to hear what was going on and when the colored tags were called to board the bus. I was able to snag a seat on an earlier bus, as being solo, one of the buses had just one seat left and I got it. If not for that, I don't know how long I would have waited. My suggestion is to take a taxi if you have more than 2 people. It's only a couple of dollars more and much less hassle. I chose a guarantee verandah stateroom and was pleasantly surprised to have my room assigned in advance. I had plenty of storage room. It would have been fine for two, but no more. The verandah was an added boost as it was always refreshing to step out and watch the scenery go by. The air did not work even set on the coldest setting. I reported it the first day and by that evening, maintenance had come in and solved the problem. I ate at all three for fee dining venues. The food was good in both Tamarind and Canaletto. Food was brought out cold at Pinnacle Grill and I felt rushed, no heed taken when I mentioned the cold food and my pre dinner cocktail had a piece of aluminum foil in it. I wasn't expecting a free drink, but the bar service could have apologized. Service was excellent at Tamarind, and iffy at Canaletto. Yes, I cruise solo and usually dine solo. It does not mean that you can ignore a single guest to the point of being disrespectful. Or give sloppy service. The entertainment at the main stage was okay. The headlining show never performed due to an illness, and the comedian and magician just had additional performances. The BB King Blues band had the best lead singers I have heard on a HAL ship. They were a delight to hear and their interaction with the audience endeared them all the more to me. I booked all my excursions through HAL. The tour I had in Juneau was overbooked by one. Being a single I was asked to forfeit my time and come back later for the next tour. When I went back for the second tour, it was cancelled. I asked for my money back and was told that I had to go to the ship for a refund. I went back to the desk and was told that they didn't know of any excursions being cancelled, but if I could wait for the excursion leader to come back they would find out. I received a call a few hours later by a very rude woman telling me that someone in the Neptune concierge booked a couple on the same excursion with the wrong date on one of the two tickets. She then stated If I had any problems with that to call guest services, and yes my refund was back on my statement before she made the call. No sorry, nothing. Very rude! I was disappointed to miss the excursion and lack of sympathy on HAL's part. The other excursions went well, and the final tour of Seattle with transfer to airport was a good overview of the city and a good way to spend time while waiting for a late afternoon flight. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our second sailing from Seattle to Seattle inward passage cruise. Getting on the ship was very easy until someone forgot to purchase a couple bottles of wine. My wife and I took Uber to a grocery store to purchase four bottles of ... Read More
This was our second sailing from Seattle to Seattle inward passage cruise. Getting on the ship was very easy until someone forgot to purchase a couple bottles of wine. My wife and I took Uber to a grocery store to purchase four bottles of wine for the two couples. Overall no problems and everyone seemed to enjoy this process. On Sunday morning I went down to the fitness center for my daily treadmill walk. This day was a disaster. I ended up completely tearing my hamstring and actually used the medical staff onboard. They were outstanding! Everything about the ship was outstanding from the room to dining. Our cabin boys were really nice and went above and beyond to help us. The other couple had minimal complaints mainly about the cost of alcohol and other meaningless things. My wife and I are currently planning a trip for 2020 and will travel alone next time. I really enjoy Holland America and their clientele. If you enjoy kids take another cruise line! When we embarked I had a person who wheeled me through customs and collected our luggage. I was extremely impressed with their support staff! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
1. Seattle cruise terminal again was organized and FRIENDLY for both departure and arrival. Everything moved smoothly and the wait wasn't unbearable. Plenty of room for all to sit if they so desired. 2. One of the passengers had ... Read More
1. Seattle cruise terminal again was organized and FRIENDLY for both departure and arrival. Everything moved smoothly and the wait wasn't unbearable. Plenty of room for all to sit if they so desired. 2. One of the passengers had been to Alaska on 2 other occasions, second one it was the first trip. We wanted to see as much as we could so we booked the 14 day trip. 3. Each port was unique and glad to have such a variety of places to go. 4. Ship entertainment was good, shows were good, especially enjoyed the coffee with the cruise director. We heard some interesting tales. 5. Service was good from Lido to main dining room to cabin stewards to laundry staff. (we received a personalized note each time laundry was delivered to the room) 6. The dolphin level outside cabin was a good size for 2 passengers. The only "complaint" would have been the single outlet for the entire room. Thank goodness I packed a multi port charger. We had a problem with the shower draining slow and it was taken care of within a few hours (before our next use) 7. Again the ports were good. Juneau in the sun was so much fun, Sitka and Kodiak were our favorites. The Fortress of the Bears and the Raptor Center in Sitka were the highlight of our tours. 8. So many eagles were spotted we lost count but we saw whales and puffins and sea otters and a seal on an iceberg and so much more. 9. We did eat most of our meals in the Lido and from wait staff to line staff couldn't have been more pleased. 10. The Dive In treated us to hamburgers, fries and hot dogs a few times to have that taste of home 11. Met some very interesting friendly fellow cruisers! We would book this itinerary again on Holland America. We might opt for a balcony the next time Oh and the night spent in the cove was pretty cool, just wish it had gotten dark enough to see the stars, it would have been incredible Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise for our 25th wedding anniversary. This was also our 25th cruise. We had never cruised to Alaska before and over the years many fellow cruisers had recommended it. It was our 3rd time on the Oosterdam and our 2nd ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our 25th wedding anniversary. This was also our 25th cruise. We had never cruised to Alaska before and over the years many fellow cruisers had recommended it. It was our 3rd time on the Oosterdam and our 2nd Neptune suite so we knew what to expect as far as accommodations. We stayed in Seattle at the Marriott waterfront for two days prior to embarkation and had a nice time there exploring the city and doing the usual touristy things. We rode the Light rail for the experience and ate at two notable places in Seattle: Belltown Pizza, and the Biscuit Bitch, both within walking distance from the hotel. Embarkation was easy but different from any others we’ve experienced. We arrived at 11:00 and walked right into the terminal but were not directed by anyone to the proper stations for check-in. There were signs of course, but with so many people walking around at once it seemed a little confusing not to have a person directing traffic. We expected to complete a health check first as we usually do but surprisingly that was not required for this cruise. We found our way to the proper line and were checked in quickly and were instructed to wait for our number to be called. The waiting area was combined with Princess and Holland ships, a first for us. We began boarding about 45 minutes later and walked right on to the ship without any greeting at all. We expected at least a greeting and maybe the usual mimosas as suite guests but nothing. We went straight to our cabin (5190) and found it ready for us but without luggage so we went exploring a little and had lunch in the Lido. Our luggage had arrived by 1:00. Our steward, Toni, took very good care of us. The room is a nice size and the balcony is amazing as we remembered. We stayed in the same cabin 18 months earlier. It’s perfect for Alaska viewing. Dinner in the main dining room was routine— food satisfactory, service good. With one exception, it remained that way throughout the cruise. We had dinner in the Pinnacle Grill one evening and it was considerably better than the Main Dining Room, as expected. Breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill was very good each day. We avoided the Lido as much as possible. It’s crowded, difficult to get a seat, long lines, and mediocre food. Hundreds of people in there at once, many wandering around, stopping and turning without notice, breaking in line. It’s a madhouse. Some use it as a place to sit long after eating rather than a place to eat and leave, contributing to the shortage of places to sit and eat. There are so many other places on the ship to sit; I don’t understand the desire to use the Lido. On the first night we began to have a lot of ship movement which got steadily worse throughout the night and into the next day. The captain announced at noon that the winds were gale force in excess of 40 mph which had not been forecast which were causing the significant motion. He predicted it would improve later in the day but it didn’t until after midnight. Many got sick including crew. Fortunately my wife and I did not. We did the Mendenhall Glacier guided hike in Juneau, which was strenuous but very nice. We walked around town in Sitka, visiting the historical museum with totem poles, native artifacts, and artisan presentations, and a stroll through downtown shopping. We found it a very pleasant place. In Ketchikan we watched the Great Alaskan Lumberjack show. It was a little corny, but entertaining. The Hubbard Glacier cruising was spectacular, especially from our enormous wrap around verandah. Lastly, we got off in Victoria, walked to the Fisherman's Wharf Park about ½ mile from the dock. Lots of places to eat and to see unusual houses built on the water. As for entertainment, my wife attended a couple of shows but didn’t find them interesting enough to stay the entire time. I like to play blackjack but not unless the table is at least 4-6 people. Many times there were just one or two at a table so I didn’t play as often as I like. We did like the Lincoln Center musicians and the two piano players just across from the casino. The group playing at the B.B. King club sounded great but we did not go in. We had a good time, and we’re glad we went but doubt we’ll ever visit Alaska again. Once was enough for us. In fact I think we realized something on this cruise. Our enthusiasm for cruising has diminished over the years. The past two cruises with a Neptune Suite have been nice upgrades from previous cruises and a must for future cruises but at a cost that now competes with some other pricey getaways. I think we’ll try something different for a while. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
3 couples (brothers & sister & spouses) took this trip for the Glacier Bay stop. 2 of the couples had been to Alaska previously--but never had seen Glacier bay. Our age grouping is late 60's to early 80's. My wife ... Read More
3 couples (brothers & sister & spouses) took this trip for the Glacier Bay stop. 2 of the couples had been to Alaska previously--but never had seen Glacier bay. Our age grouping is late 60's to early 80's. My wife & I had never been to AK and after reading many reviews on CC, decided to select the Eurodam for the GLacier Bay stop. We flew in to SEA the day before and stayed at Cedar Brook Lodge near Sea-Tac. Very nice facility--nestled in a woodsy--outdoor setting. Would highly recommend this facility. Free morning buffet included in the price ($215) Hotel had free shuttle from SEATAC. We used Seattle Express to travel from hotel to Pier 91 and Pier 91 to SEATAC --they were prompt & had nice vans. Got to Pier 91 around 945 am and got stuck waiting outside terminal building as folks from the ship were still disembarking. Got congested outside terminal (people & bags).They started letting people inside around 1045 am. Once we were inside and dropped off our luggage--we were processed quickly and sat in the upstairs waiting are until our group # was called. Princess Ruby was also boarding at the same time, from the same waiting area, Got on the ship around 1115 am, dropped the carry on's off in the cabin and headed to the Lido buffet Got our lunch and then went outside on the Lido deck to watch the activity on the Ruby Princess & Eurodam. We had the Signature Beverage Package as part of our Explore 4 promotion, got some drinks and watched the people and ship activity--went to the Lifeboat drill at 315 pm. and then went back up to the Lido deck to watch cast off of the Ruby & Eurodam. Ruby left first @ 4 pm. Eurodam left 445pm. Delay was never explained--not a big deal. One comment about the SBP drink package--it also included the 15% Service charge as long as the total for the drink & SC together was under $11, not $9 as I was led to believe. To buy the package separately was $363. Cheaper than on Royal Caribbean. 15 alcohol drinks per day was the limit. I never exceeded that limit and I tried hard. "Miami Vice" was our favorite drink. Our previous cruise was July 2018 on Oasis of the Seas (6000 passengers), that is our basis of comparison for this cruise. Wife does not like seafood much and complained about lack of menu options, but I found the MDR menus varied. Lot of Asian/Indonesian items on the menu--wife would not try them. Sigh. Ate in the MDR six nights and Pinnacle Grille one night (part of our Explore 4 package). Good food & service in the MDR & Pinnacle. Our table servers in the MDR were outstanding. Food portions on Eurodam were smaller than Oasis, but adequate for most folks. I sometimes had an appetizer size second entree Wife thought the French Onion soup on the Oasis was better than Eurodam. Very little cheese on the soup on Eurodam vs Oasis. Shrimp cocktails on Eurodam were of better quality & size than Oasis. Steak, salmon, French Onion soup, Caesar salad were offered every night. Eurodam has a late night (1030--1130 p) buffet in the Lido, was always too full to try it. We had SY7078 (Signature suite) and my siblings had SA 7061 (Neptune suite) & PS7036 (Pinnacle Suite) Our suite was adequate in size, but not as roomy as the JR Suite we had on the Oasis. Lighting for the closets was lacking somewhat. Shower stall in the bathroom was tight. We had a shower tub combo in the bathroom as well. I never used it, USB ports and 110/120 outlets by the bed were adequate. Went to BB King performance several nights--they were V good. Female singer was combo of Aretha & Tina Turner and has some powerful pipes on her. Got the club jumping. The group played late 70's & early 80's hits & disco type tunes. Saw the magic & comedy shows--good--but G rated. Saw the BBC Alaska wild life movie in the main showroom--good but short--less than 45 minutes. Short clips from other films. Casino had $6 Blackjack table--spent several hours in there. Wife tried the slots and was happy with that activity. We did not partake of other offerings on the ship. Lincoln Center chamber group played several afternoons & evening. I attended one performance and that was enough--very dry, odd ball classical (IMO) music. 2 violins, a bass & piano. Lots of scooters & walkers & canes on board--beware when moving about. They are dangerous. We lucked out with the weather. Cloudy leaving SEA, Juneau was misty & cloudy, but bearable, it cleared later in the day. We found a taxi that took us to the Mendenhall Glacier & picked us up again at our time, for $27 /ea., I had a National Park pass that saved us $5 each (Entrance Fee to Park Visitor Center). Walked to Nugget Falls & back (1 mile each way). Easy trail. Glacier Bay was cloudy, but were able to see clearly. Margerie glacier was calving while there. Sitka was clear & sunny. Took ship excursion (4 & 1/4 hrs) out on the bay looking for Otters, Bald Eagles, Whales. Saw lots of Otters, Eagles, a few whales in the distance and stopped at the Raptor Center. Only had about 15 minutes to look at the Eagles & Owls, etc under rehab--not long enough. Tour was SI10 $160/ea. After getting back to ship, we sat out on the Lido deck and watched Eagles sitting in trees near the harbor watching for fish. That was neat. Ketchikan--sunny--walked around downtown ( very close to ship pier), shopped and got T shirts, etc. My 26 year old son who came along on cruise did an ATV ship excursion into the forest area and was pleased-- $200 for the trip. Got back on board and again watched Eagles doing their thing. Bar service on Lido deck was V good. My son is a social animal and hung out with the bar crew after hours and as a result we got V good bar service from those people when they were on duty. Victoria--arrived 6 pm. (sunny) took shuttle bus ($15 RT) to town and walked around. 4 ships were in port, so DT was crowded. Arrived in SEA 6 am Sat. left the ship at 845 am., on SEA Express and at the AP by 930 am. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this cruise because it spent the day in Glacier Bay (which did not disappoint). We had 2 cabins one for our 3 kids (21, 18 and 17) and one for my husband and I. Both had verandahs. We booked through a big box store and had quite ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it spent the day in Glacier Bay (which did not disappoint). We had 2 cabins one for our 3 kids (21, 18 and 17) and one for my husband and I. Both had verandahs. We booked through a big box store and had quite a bit of onboard credit which was nice. My complaints were minimal and the cruise was way better than I had anticipated. The Greenhouse Spa was kind of chaotic. It is close to the Lido Market and I was trying to relax and be in the moment in my robe and there are people wandering around looking for a restroom. Or coming in the spa dressing room looking for the buffet. Really poor signage and not super relaxing. The Lido Market was also pretty chaotic every time I went there. We stuck to the main dining room for our dinners and had breakfast and lunch in there a few times also. Just did the Lido for grab and go sandwiches and quick salads. There were several issues with us and other guests getting on the Navigator app. People were still asking about how to use it 3 days into the cruise. They should have a quick session on how that works. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I once considered Holland America the most upscale of the mainstream cruise lines. I found the service, amenities, entertainment and dining far superior to Carnival, Princess and Royal Caribbean. However, after my weeklong Alaskan cruise ... Read More
I once considered Holland America the most upscale of the mainstream cruise lines. I found the service, amenities, entertainment and dining far superior to Carnival, Princess and Royal Caribbean. However, after my weeklong Alaskan cruise on the Eurodam in May, I believe HAL has slipped to just average. That much being said, "average" is still a great vacation when you're cruising Holland America. We still had a wonderful time on board and you will too. The staff went out of their way to make us feel special from embarkation until our last minutes on board. We sailed round trip from Seattle and spent a day touring the city before boarding. Pike Place Market was our starting point. We spent hours there seeing the sights and tasting the free samples. We also went for one of the underground city tours, which was a fascinating way to learn about the history of Seattle. HAL's cruise terminal is about a $40 cab ride from downtown hotels. There were no porters standing by to help us with our luggage, which shows more poorly on the port authority than the cruise line. I finally found a group of four porters, standing around socializing. They were eager to help once I asked them if any of them were working. Check-in was easy and smooth. We were Neptune Suite guests so we breezed through embarkation. The only delay was for the obligatory pre-boarding photo from the pesky cruise photographers. It normally wouldn't be so bad, but it was cold and rainy in Seattle and we were uncomfortable waiting for photo-ops. One great change for Holland America is letting guests into their cabin as soon as they board. I loved being able to drop off our carry-ons before exploring the ship. We were met in Cabin 7065 by our two room stewards, who greeted us and asked us if we had any special requests. We did. One of the great perks of staying in a Neptune Suite is complimentary laundry and dry-cleaning. We had a lot of wrinkled clothing from our flight in. The stewards took care of it. We then headed to the Neptune Lounge, another great perk for suite guests, for a light snack. While there, I made reservations, with the concierge, for the Tamarind restaurant ($25 surcharge), Pinnacle Grille ($35 surcharge) and Sur La Mer ($49 surcharge). Experience has taught me, if you can afford it, the premium restaurants are worth the extra money. The Eurodam is a beautiful ship, although starting to show some wear. You can walk from one end to the other except on decks 10 and 11. To go fore and aft on those decks requires you to go down to deck 9. The midship pool area (Deck 9) was covered, giving folks a place to sit outside, without wearing jackets. There were plenty of bars, although there were times when we had to search to find an open one. Here's a tip: Deck two has two bars adjacent to the casino. One of them is almost always open. The Lido Deck (9) bar is also open most of the day. The other bars are open sporadically, making it a challenge to find adult beverages at times. The gym is fairly well equipped, although most of the treadmills were broken. Some didn't incline. Others would only run two minutes at a time. Some didn't have a place to put a tablet for reading. This led to a wait for the machines, even at 6:30 in the morning. My wife ended up walking around deck three, where three laps=one mile. There were plenty of weight machines and free weights in the gym. No wait for weights (sorry, I couldn't help myself). I was a bit put off to find exercise classes that were once free, now costs money. The spa & salon are nice, but terribly overpriced. The biggest rip-off, to me. may be the thermal spa which is marketed at $279 per couple for the week. $169 for a single. Our traveling companions found it overcrowded and difficult to enjoy for more than an hour at a time. We did splurge on a couples massage ($379 for 75 minutes). It was very relaxing, but three times what we would pay for a similar massage in Florida. Our cabin (7065) was large, well equipped and starting to fall apart from age. A broken drawer, makeup mirror and stained furniture were my chief complaints. It was still a wonderful place to share a pre-dinner bottle of wine with friends and we loved the oversized balcony. The best part of the cabin were our stewards Gede and Franz. They seemed to know intuitively what we would need or want and provide it. We had the signature beverage package, which includes 15 drinks per person per day. It was comped to us as part of our cruise package. However, even if we paid for it, I think it would be a great value. I was never able to come close to 15 drinks, even with several cappuccinos throughout the day. Of course, that may be because our traveling companions brought six bottles of wine on board and preferred to drink that with us. A note about the bottled wine. No-one checked our carry-on while we brought the extra wine on board. We were only charged a corkage fee ($18) if we brought a bottle to the restaurant. Even that was waved one night when we also bought two bottles of wine from the menu.. I found the main dining room below average for both dinner and lunch. The menu options were not appealing and they were very limited. The service was friendly and efficient, but the food didn't cut it. However, all of the upscale restaurants were great. The Tamarind ($25), serving Asian food, was my favorite for service and food. We literally ordered every appetizer and dessert on the menu to try and they gladly brought it for us. I also liked the Pinnacle Grille. The service was top notch, although the kitchen was not five star. Too many little things that gave me a sense the head chef took the night off. The pizza parlor on deck 9 aft was a huge hit, Great individual pizzas with most of my favorite toppings. They did run out of mushrooms halfway through the cruise. I liked the salad bar, which never seemed crowded. Huge bowls of fresh lettuce and vegetables. The Dive-in hamburger stand was SLOW SLOW SLOW! It frequently took 20-25 minutes to get a burger or chicken sandwich. The entertainment was not great. There was no pre-dinner cocktail music on board. Most cruise ships have two options for pre-dinner music. The Blues Club was fun and lively, although it was basically the same show every night. Billboard On Board sounds like a Dee Jay, but is actually a piano duo. They were great, but only played late. I would have loved an earlier show. The comedian just wasn't funny. In fact, the illusionist was far funnier, more polished and provided a super show. Fortunately, the comedian has left the ship. The illusionist is staying on board for an extended run. My favorite part of the entertainment was the game room on deck two adjacent to the casino. We had loads of fun playing old fashioned games with other on chilly sea days. The best part of the Eurodam is the service. Everyone on board seemed to have a "can-do" attitude aimed at giving people a positive cruise experience. The ports in Alaska are very all similar to me. In fact, the excursions are also very similar. In Juneau: I highly recommend the helicopter ride to Herbert Glacier for dog sledding. It is a once in a lifetime experience that we've done on three Alaskan cruises because it's so much fun! Expect to pay a lot ($600-$800 per person) depending on who you choose for a tour operator. Glacier Bay: is a trip around a bay with a few glaciers. I found it boring to watch glaciers from a mile away, having just gone dog sledding on one! But HAL had some nice touches, offering hot soup to chilly guests on board. In Sitka: We took the free shuttle into town and hired a private taxi for a tour. The three hour tour was 1/3 the cost of the similar tour offered by the ship. The plus side was we had a private car instead of a crowded bus. In Ketchikan: we took our only Holland American shore excursion, the off road kart ride. It is a blast. We got filthy and had fun doing it. Highly recommend it. Victoria, BC: is a waste. We docked at 6:00 for five hours. At dinnertime! So, we were left with a decision to et on board and waste time in port or skip dinner. Alaska is supposed to be a once in a lifetime cruise destination. We've now been there four times. It's that good. And while Holland America, has slipped a bit in service, dining and entertainment, I had a fantastic cruise. You won't be disappointed. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
5 star first: HAL has the best access to Glacier Bay. We cruised all the way up and spent time at the foot of the glaciers. ( Some cruise lines advertising GB don’t go as far into the bay). The service was impeccable and the food ... Read More
5 star first: HAL has the best access to Glacier Bay. We cruised all the way up and spent time at the foot of the glaciers. ( Some cruise lines advertising GB don’t go as far into the bay). The service was impeccable and the food was excellent. We ate at Lido for breakfast, in the MDR for dinner with one dinner at Tamarind and both NY pizza and Dive In for lunch. Drinks were mostly good with a couple not but not really a complaint. Wonderful to wake up & walk out on our verandah to spectacular scenery. Room was comfortable and our steward very efficient. Now 3 stars: the entertainment was horrible at BB King’s Blues Club. Billboard On Board was nice. We were disappointed to find most presentations sales-based but I guess that’s across the board on cruises. 1 star: We were shocked at the rudeness of people. We saw people blowing by the elderly practically knocking them down. And at one activity, a couple snuck out before the bartender could charge them for the mixology class. How low class! And yes, obnoxious dinner companions! In summary: A wonderful vacation. We will cruise with HAL again and enjoy it. Did everything go perfectly? No. But does it ever?Those who are complaining just want to find something to complain about. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We really enjoyed this cruise for the most part, the price we couldn't believe, we got it on a flash sale. We hadn't really intended to cruise back to Alaska but when I saw the price, there was no saying not now. Our cabin ... Read More
We really enjoyed this cruise for the most part, the price we couldn't believe, we got it on a flash sale. We hadn't really intended to cruise back to Alaska but when I saw the price, there was no saying not now. Our cabin was perfect, at first it was to be an obstructed, but 2 hours after paying for our cruise the price dropped again, they upgraded us to an unobstructed cabin and even offered a balcony for a few dollars more, we chose to stay with the oceanview. The food was a bit different then we were used to on RCCL. we did like RCCL better but it was fine, kinda fun to try something different. We did like it better when we could select our own food items like on RCCL ships, I like my asparagus a bit more raw then mush. But it was fine, some of the little plates we had no idea what it was and no one explained it. We loved tea at 3pm, but most people had no idea that they did this. The entertainment at night was a huge disappointment, we have been spoiled by RCCL, 9 cruises, so expect a bit more to do at night especially on Gala Nights. Their comedian was horrible, people even got up and walked out on him, we thought to do that too, but stayed stupid, what a waste, the magician was just ok, nothing great, just ok, the dancing was not even as good as most high schools and they do not sing its all canned. The lights are interesting BUT they need better techies, more then half the time, more then half of the programs were all mixed up, starting and stopping, lights not in sync. The piano and quartet in Lincoln Stage was not our cup of tea, there was more to do then listen to that and there were not enough seats anyhow. They did have classes that we loved, we took all the photography ones, not any of the windows as we have apple, we didn't do cooking classes either as just want what we were interested in but heard they were great. Loved the way they handled Glacier Bay, loved the blankets on the decks. We would do another Holland cruise to Alaska. We did not like the fact that they kept trying to sell you the alternative dining plans, they wouldn't take no. also the photography, we always get the photo packages, not this time, but they too kept bugging us about their black and white, $350-400 for 1-2 photos is ridiculous. Not one time did any of the crew ask us to give them a good review, on RCCL, the waiters drive us crazy asking. We did not purchase any excursions this time, just walked around each port. The biggest disappointment was the length in a few ports, Ketchikan was way to short and Victoria a big joke, arriving after 6pm, everything was closed that we wanted to see after a very long walk into town, only a few souvenir stores and pubs were open, with 3 ships in town it was ridiculous, people were not happy at all. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We selected this cruise because it was raining in San Diego the week after New Years and we decided to treat ourselves. We were on a family vacation and it was too rainy so we did the illogical thing and jumped on an Alaskan cruise in May, ... Read More
We selected this cruise because it was raining in San Diego the week after New Years and we decided to treat ourselves. We were on a family vacation and it was too rainy so we did the illogical thing and jumped on an Alaskan cruise in May, the rainy season. We live in Eastern Washington so a Seattle departure and a short trip were the most critical elements. Sunday to Sunday works. We both had been on Alaskan cruises before so this wasn't about anything other than a nice boat ride in spring. We knew we wouldn't be taking any excursions because only flight related ones appealed and the weather is not predictable enough to spend that kind of money for marginal ceilings. So we rode the boat for the experience. And we had a great time. While not night owls, we spent every evening moving back and forth between the BB King venue and the pianos in the Billboard Onboard section. Made it worth the trip. Stage shows were fine, but we don't care much for magicians, even though the young lady was good, and dance troupes don't grab our hearts, and again they were good. The comedian did a great job with audience participation, but that meant he picked people from the crowd, so we absented ourselves. Our travel agent suggested an aft cabin and picked one for us on the stern. Loved it. Yes, there is motion. Yes, it is the ocean. Decks are slightly larger on the stern. Had it been warmer, this would have been even better, but we had some chilly times so indoors was the choice. Liked the stern so much we booked another one for our next adventure. Ship was in great shape, clean, constantly being cleaned, and bright and reasonably cheery. (Day before our departure the Oosterdam bumped another Holland ship in Vancouver, slight damage, but just below our room) We were contacted when the crew was going to be working below to repair the cosmetic damage to the ship, great communication. Public areas were great, as well. Service wonderful with attentive, positive folks everywhere, except maybe the guy at the dining room check in. Tough job. No big deal. Food was great when it was great, okay part of the time, and never lousy. Gala nights were the best food. The Lido was more hit and miss. Best food was generally anything Asian. Might be comfort zone for staff. American breakfast was okay, step above Best Western free breakfast, but not a full flight better. Lots of other options. Our last Holland cruise was through the Panama Canal so longer cruise. That trip did not have a huge number of ball cap, ragged jeans, with Jack Daniels shirts. We had some of these. (sorry for the stereotype) Things like lines, personal space, and gentle conversation weren't what I was used to, but this was only apparent on the Lido. Crowd management was a bit rough there as far as seating went. Too many large tables with one person sitting while unseated guests were searching for a table. In defense, this was the first Alaska cruise of the season and was a sell out, so maybe some ramping up. Same was true for first destination. Disembarking was rough with some frustration. Later ports were better. We had a great time, met some wonderful folks, enjoyed wonderful entertainment and signed up for more, just on a different ship going elsewhere. No knock on the Oosterdam, just wanted something different and smaller. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
It's been a few years since we've cruised on Holland America. Our last cruise on Royal Caribbean was not good so for our next cruise we chose HAL. Overall HAL provides good value for the money. Everyone has different cruise ... Read More
It's been a few years since we've cruised on Holland America. Our last cruise on Royal Caribbean was not good so for our next cruise we chose HAL. Overall HAL provides good value for the money. Everyone has different cruise expectations and HAL checks many of our boxes, though not all. We will continue to experience different cruise lines. For us, we cruise to spend time with our family. We enjoy the food, the destinations, shore excursions, and to be at sea. We do not care for drinking, partying, and childrens entertainments. For us, HAL is a good choice. This review is of the Oosterdam May 5 Alaskan Explorer cruise from Seattle. The Ship: The Oosterdam was in good shape, though I wish the last refit had kept more of the old Dutch Masters feel. The public areas were spacious and well appointed (I think the HAL Vista class ships have the highest area per passenger rating of all the majors). I like a full promenade deck, and it was the place to be during the cruise down the inside passage from Ketchikan. The card room(s) were well used by groups playing all kinds of games together. One plus of the Vista Class of ships is the retractable dome over the Lido Pool area. This is very helpful in Alaska as it can rain at any moment, and can be quite chilly at times. The Exploration Cafe was my favorite public area. The gym was well used and I thought the class instructors were quite good. I did two yoga classes on the 7 day cruise and worked out daily. The Food: I was especially impressed with the Lido Market (buffet) which we used for breakfast and lunch. There were special selections from around the world daily, and all manner of offerings for every taste. Some of our party really enjoyed the Dive In for burgers and fries. We ate at the Pinnacle Grill one night ($35 surcharge but ours was a gift from the travel agency). The food there was very good. Not quite as good as Ruth's Chris or something like that, but better than Outback for sure. The main dining room was pretty good for the MDR on a major cruise line. Some of the menu selections weren't that great and so it was hit or miss if you picked the right thing. One night I chose a fish (not great) and my spouse chose the deconstructed pot roast (good). Service started out a bit shaky, but I learned many of the staff had just joined the ship as our cruise was the first cruise of the Alaska season. They got better as the week progressed. Destinations: Juneau, Sitka, Hubbard Glacier, Ketchikan, Victoria. We were on a Coral Princess Southbound cruise from Anchorage to Vancouver a few years ago. We chose that cruise because it went to Glacier Bay. On this cruise we were looking for value, as we were cruising with relatives and cost was a concern. If I was only going on one Alaska cruise in my life, I would want to do Glacier Bay. And I would cruise later in the season. That said, Hubbard Glacier was worthwhile. Despite the rain and lots of ice in the water our captain was able to get us a pretty good view of the glacier face. It was a fun day, and a lot of us went out to the bow to take photos. I spent some time on the promenade as well. And a secret spot - Deck 9 Forward in front of the Gym was a good and mostly empty spot for viewing, though you are further up from the water. Shore Excursions: Good excursions overall. We did the Mount Roberts Tramway in Juneau as we had been to Mendenhall previously. It is worthwhile. We were not in Juneau long or else we would have probably gone up to Mendenhall again. We did Birds, Bears, and Barnacles in Sitka. Fun excursion. The bear place is still under renovation. We went to see the Totem Poles in Ketchikan. I would like to spend more time in Ketchikan someday. We were only in Victoria for 5 hours so we didn't do much. We have been there several times in the past. It was evening so options were limited. I would like to see Bouchard Gardens in the spring, though. At Sea: I like the feeling of being at sea. I am not looking for the floating hotel experience. I think a lot of the newer ships (ahem Royal) are very inward focused. The Oosterdam is very much in the vein of a classic cruise ship. I like hanging out outside, playing cards with family, enjoying good food, relaxing. Passengers were a good mix. HAL has a reputation of being the cruise line of choice for elders. I have not found this to be true. Though there were few children, most age groups were well represented, with a diversity of passengers from mostly North America and Asia. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We are back, mostly unpacked and exhausted. We have been on cruises to Alaska 4 other times, 3 of them on HAL. We picked this one since it docked in Sitka where most others do not, preferring Skagway. It was well worth it. Embarkation ... Read More
We are back, mostly unpacked and exhausted. We have been on cruises to Alaska 4 other times, 3 of them on HAL. We picked this one since it docked in Sitka where most others do not, preferring Skagway. It was well worth it. Embarkation was the easiest we have ever experienced. It all went smoothly and we were on the ship much earlier than the time we had been assigned (since we transferred from a hotel). We went right to our cabin where we found the scooter and oxygen concentrator I had ordered already in the cabin. There was more than enough room for the rented scooter, my own scooter and walking around. The Lido beckoned and lunch was good. Then, there was one hitch...the drink card I had ordered was nowhere to be found. Down to Guest Services where I was promised it would be delivered in 9-10 minutes. It wasn't. It took 2 more contacts with Guest Services before they printed it for me at the desk. The only other problem was, one evening while trying to watch a movie in the cabin, there was a pop and the electricity on one side of the room was out. There was a maintenance man at the cabin in 15 minutes and it was fixed. Probably a breaker needed to be thrown. We ate in the dining room most of the time since my husband has trouble walking and the Lido is hard on him. I found, however, that the selection was not as good as on past cruises. The food was good, just the selection was poor. The main dining room was very good although, here as well, the selection wasn't up to previous cruises. The table staff and hosts were wonderful. Adi (host) and Von (wine steward) were especially wonderful. We had open seating and had the same table every evening with different companions, all fantastic people. We are not night people and only attended one show. The ports were wonderful. We only did one excursion (since we'd done this so many times before) and it was good. There was some confusion as to an ADA bus, but that got cleared up pretty quickly. The rest of the time we just wandered around...exactly what I wanted to do. There was one particular shop on Creek Street in Ketchikan (Perfect Partners) that I wanted to visit and it had just opened. I was thrilled. Disembarkation was as smooth as glass. We were on the bus before the time we were scheduled to leave the ship. Then there was the airport..... This may be our last cruise due to medical reasons. It was a wonderful week. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first cruise in many years. We were very happy with the cruise ports except for Sitka. Ketchikan was delightful and we took a cruise excursion to Misty Fjords. Excellent with photo ops galore. The cabin- 4053- was an excellent ... Read More
This was our first cruise in many years. We were very happy with the cruise ports except for Sitka. Ketchikan was delightful and we took a cruise excursion to Misty Fjords. Excellent with photo ops galore. The cabin- 4053- was an excellent choice with a huge balcony and great views. The stewards were top notch and extremely accommodating. The food was delicious and I highly recommend the Pinnacle Grill and Tamarind. We ate at these specialty restaurants 3 times. But wait until you get on the ship to book more than 1 nite. They gave people a 25% discount on the ship. That was aggravating but not worth complaining about. The embarkation was very simple and the long line moved quickly although they paid zero attention to your assigned boarding time. Same with disembarking. No attention to what assignment they gave you to get off the ship. There was a bad mixup the final night with our flight. We used the luggage service and they got the wrong flight on our bags even though our boarding pass they gave us was correct. We ended up getting our luggage 3 days after we arrived home. The Crow’s Nest has awesome views. The entertainment was not anything great. I expected much more. I also didn’t like the constant upselling in the shopping area which was mostly jewelry. Overall it was a great cruise and I would sail on Holland America again. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our first cruise. We chose the Amsterdam specifically for its smaller size and itinerary that included Hubbard Glacier. We loved the presentations by Kelly who shared about wildlife, points of interest and historical significance. ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We chose the Amsterdam specifically for its smaller size and itinerary that included Hubbard Glacier. We loved the presentations by Kelly who shared about wildlife, points of interest and historical significance. She came across as smart and witty. We also really enjoyed the entertainment. I’m still humming songs that Don the piano guy chose. Seats in the piano bar were prime real estate when he was singing oldies, Neil Diamond hits, and rock n roll tunes. We were super impressed with a BBC wildlife film set to live music on the main stage. Magical. We went to one gala night, of two, in the main dining room and found the food and service less than spectacular, so most of our meals were taken at the Lido Market. Hubby loved the pasta station where you chose the sauce, veggies and meats that were cooked right there. There was steak on the daily menu and delicious desserts that tickled my palate. My favorite lunch spot was the Dive-In for juicy, delicious, charred to perfection burgers. Breakfast was nearly always served to us via room service. We alternated between fresh fruit and yogurt or perfectly cooked scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and toast. Coffee was hot and strong! Speaking of rooms, we had a veranda suite. The stewards, Bagus and Yoga, tended to our every need—including finding duct tape to patch one of our aged suitcases. The young men were cheerful and attentive. In port, we did a couple excursions. One was booked through the ship and the other through the travel company we booked with via United Airlines. Both were memorable and offered us great subjects for photographs. We did a whale watch in Juneau on a smaller vessel—17 passengers. In Sitka, we went to the raptor center, saw salmon spawning in a stream, visited a park with totems and local carvers, then a native dance performance—all on one excursion. Amelia, our guide, was knowledgeable and witty. We felt that both excursions were money well spent. So, embarkation and debarkation seemed daunting before we went through it. We found it super efficient and organized. No lines. Lots of helpful, cheerful people to show us the way. We used the port porter service in Seattle that allowed us to check in for our United flight onboard and handled our baggage all the way to Colorado Springs, our final destination. No charge! (At this writing, we haven’t gotten to Colorado Springs yet, so I can’t report on whether our luggage will actually get there, so I’ll update once we know the final outcome. The Amsterdam is a beautiful ship. There were lots of different kinds of “public” spaces to enjoy our time at sea. We’d grab a coffee at the Explorer Cafe and spend quiet time nearby where folks were reading, playing games or completing puzzles. The Crow’s Nest offered spectacular views and a bit more energy than the coffee spot. We viewed the approach to Hubbard Glacier from there with Kelly narrating. We chose to take pictures from our stateroom balcony once we got there. The captain positioned the ship so each side, port and starboard, had significant viewing time. I still can’t believe how close we got. The whole Hubbard Glacier event was surreal, unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. So, we loved our cruise. We actually started planning our next cruise before the first was done. Read Less
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