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279 Holland America Seattle Cruise Reviews

My mother had been on me for years to take a cruise with her. So this past May (2018) we took one of Holland America's Alaska cruises. Holland America is the only cruise line my mother sails, and she has now done the Alaska cruise ... Read More
My mother had been on me for years to take a cruise with her. So this past May (2018) we took one of Holland America's Alaska cruises. Holland America is the only cruise line my mother sails, and she has now done the Alaska cruise four times. I had no idea what to expect from the process, but was pleasantly surprised at how organized everything was. We flew from L. A. to Seattle; the directions from the terminal to the buses were fantastic. Staff were always within view so there was no getting lost or making a wrong turn. The buses that took us to the port were clean. There is a long story about my mother not being happy with our first cabin (not Holland America's fault), and many efforts to make her happy (Yes, at one point I felt like a tired toddler ready to throw down after her shenanigans) but the staff got us settled in and even offered us several amenities (dinner at two of their specialty restaurants and two free drinks). It could have been a bad episode of The Love Boat, but the staff was wonderful and exceptionally patient. I'm of the opinion that the ship is due for remodeling / updating. That said, our cabin was spacious, we had plenty of storage space...and the beds! OMG! Prior to the cruise I'd been having trouble sleeping through the night. These. Beds. Were. Awesome! I would put my head down to perfect pillows. The bed felt like someone was hugging me all night. I've never experienced anything like it. I requested fruit for the room and our bowl was always refreshed. I strongly recommend getting a veranda room; it's wonderful being able to sit outside and sip coffee and just watch the world go by. Our porters (I regret that I can't remember their names) were phenomenal. Whatever we needed, or even thought we needed, they provided. They were always pleasant, always greeted us by name and make the cutest "critters" out of towels. No matter where you were on the ship, the service was exceptional. I was a little annoyed when I got home because no one called me "Madame." I had a different expectation for the food. The specialty restaurants were great (we ate at all three), and the Marketplace and dining rooms were fine. Since this was my first cruise, I had visions of opulent buffets. The reality is that there were enough buffet options to keep everyone happy. It was good, not grand. The dinners were very good, room service was quick. There was a place by the pool that made excellent burgers and fries, and a spot that made pizza (which I didn't get to). Since this was my first cruise, it was really about getting the feel for things. If you have the time, money and opportunity, I would try one of the pre or post excursions. After the first two stops, I was a little disappointed and wished that I had planned better. One of the challenges of the stops is they begin to look the same after a while. You're sharing very small towns with two or three ships that have docked around the same time. Unless you've done your homework and have mapped out sites ahead of time, you may feel overwhelmed by the number of gift shops and people. At one point I just stayed on the ship. There is a lot to do on board. The B. B. King Blues Club had a great band! I took a couple of classes in the Health Center, and took in a couple of cooking demonstrations. The Eurodam is now cruising the Mexican Riviera, and I'm going to try and make that trip in December. It disembarks from San Diego, an easy drive from where I live. Would I do this same cruise again? Yes! I know what the expect now and would plan it differently. The only reason this review didn't get five stars is because the ship does need refreshing, but not so much that I wouldn't sail on it again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We took our parents for their 50th anniversary. BOY were we the youngest on the ship by far. If you are UNDER 40.... you will feel like you are in a floating nursing home! The staff are amazing, staterooms are quite nice, and the overall ... Read More
We took our parents for their 50th anniversary. BOY were we the youngest on the ship by far. If you are UNDER 40.... you will feel like you are in a floating nursing home! The staff are amazing, staterooms are quite nice, and the overall ship is good. There isn't much to do by other ship standards-but considering the clientele it is a lot just to get them out of their room after 7 p.m. We got the alcohol drink package, the parents got the soda drink package and it was simple and great. My partner and I also enjoyed the spa for 2 for the week for $250. Along with 3 massage/treatments ea....Worth every penny-(Great escape from the motorized wheelchairs and cantankerous elderly).... The spa had an awkward layout- you dress out- then you pass by the public elevators (in your robe and flip-flops). Not private at all. The gym is very nice as well as the warming benches to pass time. Steam rooms, sauna, and heated private soaking pool were quite nice. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I cruise withy my elderly father. We originally wanted to do the May 21 - Jun 4 14 day cruise on the Zaandam but I have two nephews graduating from High School on May 31st, so we opted for the May 7 -21. We took super shuttle to SFO. ... Read More
I cruise withy my elderly father. We originally wanted to do the May 21 - Jun 4 14 day cruise on the Zaandam but I have two nephews graduating from High School on May 31st, so we opted for the May 7 -21. We took super shuttle to SFO. We were really sweating it and worried we were going to miss our flight to SEATAC. Supper Shuttle usually gives you a three hour time frame for pick-up prior to flight departure. This time we were only given two hours prior to pick-up. The shuttle was an hour late. We got to the airport 1/2 hour prior to departure. Fortunately we got our bags checked in and was able to proceed through Security. Fortunately we were Pre-TSA and our flight was the first gate after security. We made it through Security 5 minutes prior to boarding. Enough time for my dad to get his rolling walker checked at the gate. Had a great flight to Seatac. We arrived at Seatac collected our luggage, then proceeded to the Hotel courtesy Shuttles. It appeared very quiet and it turned out that there was a bomb scare and they were not allowing any vehicles in and out of the airport. We were staying at the Embassy Suites Seatac. I called the hotel to just let them know that I had arrived. They asked for my phone number to give me an update when they had one, when vehicles would be allowed in to the airport. We sat for about 45 minutes then suddenly saw taxi cabs entering and the first courtesy shuttle to show up was from the Embassy Suites. At that time I received a phone call from Embassy Suites and I told the gal the driver just showed up. It was a very interesting ride out of the airport, people were walking out of the airport to catch cabs and traffic was horrible. There were people that had just got out of their shuttles, cab, Uber, etc to catch their outbound flight out of Seatac. Our driver took through all the back roads and we arrived at the Embassy Suites safe and sound. This is a small Embassy Suites and we got a great AAA rate. The next morning our Seattle Express Shuttle arrived at 10:30 for our ride to Pier 91. We stopped by the Double Tree and Red Roof Inn for pick up then we were on our way to Pier 91. We arrived at about 11:30, dropped our luggage off, took the elevator to the 2nd floor. My father uses a rolling walker so we were allowed to check in, in the Accessibility Line. Check in took about 15 minutes and we were on the ship. My father has balancing issues so I usually request a shower stool. This time our PCC placed us in an ambulatory assessible Cabin. This was cabin 3391 on the lower promenade deck. This was a shower with a pull out seat and grab bars throughout the shower. My Dad had a place to park his walker but there is not anyway you reall could park a scooter or get around this cabin in a wheel chair. The Zaandam recently came out of dry dock. In our cabin it appeared things had not been updated with exception of the grab bars in the shower. I heard from a fellow cruiser that had requested a shower stool for her cabin but was told with new regulations they would not allow shower seats in tubs/shower combination cabins only cabins with showers only. I have not verified if this is fleet wide. The Elevators seemed to have been upgraded and new carpeting in Public Areas. I had a great time on this cruise, I found activities lacking on the ship. On this Paticular Cruise it did not matter so much because we really only had two real sea days and two days glacier viewing. The entertainment was so, so. Food is always subjective. I found the food to be good to very good. We ate all our dinners in the MDR. Service was slow in the dinning room. One night it took about 45 minutes to an hour between appetizers for the main entree to come then 15 minutes to get the dessert menu and another 15 minutes to order. There seemed to be some kind of disconnect between the wait staff and kitchen. We were in open seating and I don’t know if this would happen in fixed seating. I found the menu lacking, there would be some nights I would order the dinner salad as my appetizer and another entree for dinner. For me I found there was more variety for soup and less for salads. For a $25.00 fee you could order an Alaskan Crab dinner that included Alaskan King Crab Legs, crab bisque, drawn butter for crab legs, crab cakes, and there might have been some kind of bread. I don’t care for crab bisque. I did see a dinner delivered at a table and it looked like enough for two people. I talked to two people had purchased this and they really enjoyed it. One fellow cruiser who ordered the dinner said he called Tracy’s Crab Shack to see how much it was for the same thing and he was quoted $100.00 For me I found there was more variety for soup and less for salads. Ketchikan I booked an excursion on an enclosed Caterman. It was raining in Ketchikan, which is usual. The water was calm out to Misty Fjords. The View was awesome even though it was overcast. It was a great excursion. Endicott Glacier We were suppose to go to Tracy Arm but there was still too much ice to get to it, so we went to Endicott instead. It was great, we saw sea lions and baby sea lions on the ice. Juneau This is my 4th trip to Alaska so I have been to Mendenhall glacier twice, done whale watching, been to Mt Roberts. So Juneau was my shopping port. In Juneau I set out to do any shopping, since Juneau is the best shopping. After some window shopping and real shopping, I went to Tracy’s crab shack for lunch. Back to the ship. My father asked if I could go buy him a jacket, so I went out again. Stopped by the Red dog Saloon and stayed for a couple of hours then went out to continue my shopping. Icy Strait Point Here I booked a whale watching Excursion on an enclosed caterman. It was originally scheduled for 8:00 AM but was rescheduled to 11:00AM. Anchorage I had originally planned to go to the Alaskan Native Center and the Museum but got sick in the middle of the night and needed to take it easy in Anchorage, Homer and Kodak. Hubbard Glacier Awesome! Sitka I originally set out to go to the Sheldon Jackson Museum. On my way there I found a thrift store. I was curious as to what they had there. They also except donations. So if your luggage is in overload you can drop them off here. I started down the street and found some really neat stores with Alaska made products, Quilting Stores, Russian Items, These stores were really interesting. Never made it to the Sheldon Jackson Museum. I have done the Raptor Center and Fortress of the Bears before. They now have a shuttle bus that goes to both at the visitors center. I did not check out the price. Victoria Took the shuttle bus into town got off at the Empress Hotel. Walked around the Gardens at the Empress Hotel. The Empress Hotel is also kitty korner to the Royal BC Museaum. Right now they have an exhibit “Egypt and Phorahs” May 18-Dec 31. I will be back in Victoria the end of September so will check it out then In front of the Empress Hotel they have a hop on hop off bus that takes about 90 minutes. If you want to get off, you will need to allow an hour before the next hop on hop off bus comes around. I took this tour for $32.53 US or $40.00 Canadian. Seattle - Disembarktion About a week in the cruise, we received a Port Valet Form. If you are on Alaska, Delta, Southwest, or United (Domestic Only). You can participate in the Port Valet System at no extra cost if your flight leaves between 1:00 PM the day of disembarktion til 1:00 AM the following morning. Your luggage is taken away the night before disembarktion and you don’t see it til your final destination. They check you in for your flight, give you a boarding pass, with luggage tags to the Seattle airport. Once your luggage is at the airport they will give your luggage tags to your destination airport. If you are exempt from paying for luggage you fill out your FF number. We were not charged for our luggage, got our boarding pass and the luggage arrived at our final destination. I did have a great time on this cruise because I love Alaska. However there seemed to be some kind of disconnect between the staff. It could be that the staff had just joined the ship after drydock and they are working on meshing together, Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Having taken seven previous cruises in the Mediterranean, Caribbean,TransAtlantic, and Hawaii, we were looking for an opportunity to take our first Alaskan cruise. This September 17th, Roundtrip Seattle Cruise was still available for a 6 ... Read More
Having taken seven previous cruises in the Mediterranean, Caribbean,TransAtlantic, and Hawaii, we were looking for an opportunity to take our first Alaskan cruise. This September 17th, Roundtrip Seattle Cruise was still available for a 6 week prior booking. Our stern, balcony cabin choice was available, so that sealed the deal for us. Since we live in Hawaii, it was a tolerable flight to Seattle and back. It helped that they were offering on board credit and paid gratuities as well. We enjoyed the itinerary, particularly cruising Hubbard Glacier. Not sure why we stopped in Victoria for 5-1/2 hours at 6pm. Guessing it was an international requirement. We had never been on this ship before, but were on the Eurodam--which we found similar. The Oosterdam looked a bit dated, but overall, was in descent condition and very clean. Our room steward did a nice job taking care of the room. The food was very good on this ship, with the exception of "in room dining". I guess they call it that now instead of "room service". It was very difficult to get someone on the phone, and when we did, we had a tough time understanding/hearing them. The food that arrived was simply sustenance and was cold. The dining room was fantastic. The food was amazing, and we never had to wait to get into dine. The service was good and the menus were great. The desserts were below par, and we actually experience a cake tasting like detergent. The entertainment was just ok. Started off a little rough on the first night, but got better over the rest of the cruise. The other venues had nice entertainment, but everything raps up pretty earlier on the Holland trip. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We had been to Alaska before and saw this cruise had two different ports of call. We won a "free" cruise playing Bingo so chose this on be since it was easy to get to Seattle and back. We prefer the smaller ships and the ... Read More
We had been to Alaska before and saw this cruise had two different ports of call. We won a "free" cruise playing Bingo so chose this on be since it was easy to get to Seattle and back. We prefer the smaller ships and the Eurodam is a little bigger than our preference but it works. The embarkation and disembarkation went so smoothly. We used the Port Valet for our luggage and that worked perfectly. So nice not to haul your bags around. We got to the airport with plenty of time to spare. The staff on the ship is terrific. The main dining room was great and the Lido Buffet offered many choices. The pizza bar and Dive-in for burgers are quick and good. Sometimes it is a challenge to find a place to sit. The activities on board were a lot less than our previous three cruises and the entertainment in the main stage was average except for the magician. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Chose the cruise for the itinerary over Princess Ruby. Wanted to see Glacier Bay this trip. Booked an ocean view which was fine as we spent most time outside, in the spa, on excursions, or in crows nest. Room is a little small but fine. ... Read More
Chose the cruise for the itinerary over Princess Ruby. Wanted to see Glacier Bay this trip. Booked an ocean view which was fine as we spent most time outside, in the spa, on excursions, or in crows nest. Room is a little small but fine. Great water pressure in shower. There were a few stray hairs in the shower when we got in the room so they could improve the cleaning a little. Also found a cracker under the bed, so they need to vacuum better. The food in the main dining room was surprisingly good. Not gourmet 5 star but far better than what I've had on Royal Caribbean. I would rate it equal to Celebrity. The drinks were very fairly priced. $8 for a nice wine or drink including tip. The Crows Nest coffee bar is excellent with a grande latte being $3.25, far better than Starbucks. Food in the Lido only average except for a great salad bar and bread pudding. It is hard to find a table as others have said so food gets cold by the time you sit down. We only went when the dining room was closed. Didn't try pizza or burgers or specialty restaurants. Entertainment was excellent, particularly BB Kings and classical. All very well done. Ports- we were insanely lucky with weather so had a totally sunny day in Ketchikan and did the float plane to Misty Fjords. Spectacular due to great weather and goof pilot. In Sitka, we had 10 humpback whales all around us. And in Juneau we saw whales and the Mendenhall Glacier. Best Glacier was Johns Hopkins which you can only get into after September 1. The Princess didn't go there but our ship did. We talked with someone on the Princess and they said we definitely picked the better ship. Staff was great across the board. Well trained and everyone super kind and friendly. I'd recommend this cruise. It's not luxury cruising but it's very good and fairly priced. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Got a great deal on cruise to Alaska on the Oosterdam so we took it. Since we live near the west coast and are seniors on a limited budget, but love cruising. We shop for cruise deals primarily from the west coast which limits us pretty ... Read More
Got a great deal on cruise to Alaska on the Oosterdam so we took it. Since we live near the west coast and are seniors on a limited budget, but love cruising. We shop for cruise deals primarily from the west coast which limits us pretty much to Alaska and Mexico as destinations. This was our 16th cruise and second on HAL. In addition to HAL we have cruised Celebrity, Princess, Carnival Norwegian, and RCCL. We almost always get an oceanview (picture window, no balcony) room. We booked a fully obstructed view as we have been to Alaska twice before, both times with balconies. We have booked fully obstructed rooms before only to be given partially obstructed or non obstructed rooms when we got on board but this room was FULLY obstructed. No complaints. That is what we paid for and that is what we got. Embarkation at Seattle was super fast. Also our luggage was outside the door of our room before we got back from lunch. That was a first for us. Usually we are lucky if we get it right after dinner. HAL seems to have embarkation down really well. The room was a moderate size room for that category cabin compared to other ships we had been on. Not the smallest and not the largest. The bed, however, was the most comfortable of any bed I have had on any cruise ship anywhere. Both my wife and I tended to sleep in very late as we did not want to get out of that bed. It was wonderful. The ship itself is an older ship and that is evident but it is kept clean and functional. The food is very, very good in my opinion. I know people have particular and sometimes very different taste in food and what one person finds terrific, another finds horrible. I am very much a simple meat and potatoes type guy. I like my hot food hot, my cold food cold and tasty. I want the food to taste good enough that I would love to come back and have the same thing again. I am not an adventurous eater. I know what I like and am not particularly interested in trying new things. I really liked the food on both HAL ships I have been on. I always found something that appealed to me and it always tasted like I expected it to taste and good. Except for the pizza. The first evening I got a piece of plain cheese pizza. It was the worst pizza I have ever had on any cruise ship ever! I would swear to you that there was not a drop of tomato sauce underneath the cheese on the pizza. I could not see or taste any but when we questioned the staff they said there was. That was the only piece of pizza I had for the entire trip. It was BAAAD. Food in the main dining room was exceptional. Food in the buffet was above average for cruise buffet food. The desserts merit special praise. The Dive In next to the pool had great hamburgers and hot dogs. I found the main showroom entertainment disappointing. The were only two production shows and while the singers and dancers were certainly talented enough, they could only work with the material they had. I found the first show just OK and the second show very disappointing because of the choice of material,staging, production values as a whole. This was more than made up for by the entertainment provided by Jordan Wolf and Justin Lacey at Billboard in the small lounge across from the casino. These two young men played duet pianos across from each other and sang. They were amazing!!! People passing through on their way to the main stage show or elsewhere would stop, stand there and listen for the rest of the show. Their shows were standing room only. They became a nightly must see for us, as well as many others. The regulars got there early and got seats. The last night of the cruise, at the last show, those of us that were seated stood and gave them a standing ovation at the conclusion which spontaneously lasted for 10 minutes or more. If they were the only entertainment we saw on the cruise, we would have been more than satisfied. In addition to the production shows in the main theater, they had a comedian who I did not find particularly funny who spent part of his act talking about his autistic daughter, her development and accomplishments, which evoked pathos, but was not what I considered to be an evenings entertainment on a cruise ship. It was not, in my opinion, an appropriate venue for that discussion. There was also a comedian/magician who I thought was very good and very entertaining. Two things I have high standards for are entertainment and pizza. A third is hamburgers and hot dogs. I am not going to discuss the ports or Alaska, as we do not do excursions. Suffice it to say Alaska is beautiful. I could see it 20 times, it would still be beautiful. The ports are in Alaska. Enough said. When we go on cruises, we go on cruises to be on the ship. That is what we like. In Mexico, we do not even get off to see the ports much of the time. We have already seen them a whole bunch and they pretty much all the look the same to us. So I don't review ports. Could not tell you what to not miss and what to be sure and miss. The library on the ship, located in Explorations Cafe, is well stocked. The crows nest is great for looking out the windows and observing provided you can get a seat, which is a bit of a challenge. Did not go in the pool which others said was cold but did go in the hot tub which was more of a warm tub, which actually was okay by me. I could stay in longer. Service on the ship was very good and the staff were exceptional. They always smiled and greeted you warmly. Each staff member encountered would do whatever they could to help you, solve any problems and make your cruise enjoyable. Unfortunately, guest services has long lines and limited personnel to handle the amount of people needing assistance. Part of the problem, in my opinion, lies with that fact that HAL does not have an interactive account listing on your TV screen like other cruise lines do. Instead you have to go to guest services and either get a printout from one of two kiosks, if they are working, or speak with a guest services person after waiting in line forever. If you want to keep track of how much you are spending, being charged, your onboard credit, etc., expect to spend a lot of time at or near the guest services desk. Disembarkation was not quite as smooth as embarkation. We utilized the valet service which allows you to check your bags through to your final destination and get your airline boarding passes while still on the ship. We received written notice that we were in port valet group C and would be called to disembark at 8:15 am. The ship was scheduled to dock at 7 am. Our experience on cruise ships has been that usually we are called at the disembarkation time or later. We went up to eat breakfast at 7 am. At 7:15 our group was called for disembarkation. We rushed back to the room to get our carry-ons and disembark, barely having had anything to eat. I hope I conveyed that the pluses on this ship and this line far outweighed the minuses and I would take this cruise again in a New York minute. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Review of Amsterdam Alaska cruise from August 28 to September 11, 2017 We took this trip out of Seattle pier 91. The trip to and from the ship was by Link to/from Westlake Center and then Uber to/from the ship. This system works ... Read More
Review of Amsterdam Alaska cruise from August 28 to September 11, 2017 We took this trip out of Seattle pier 91. The trip to and from the ship was by Link to/from Westlake Center and then Uber to/from the ship. This system works pretty well and saves enough money to make the hassle worthwhile. The food on HAL continues to be great, much better than RCL or CEL and the service by the staff is great as well. Except for two occasions the staff was helpful and friendly. The exceptions were somewhat major because they both happened on disembarkation day when my wife fainted while getting off the ship and the two staff members I asked for help walked off and never returned. Midwesterrn self-reliance got us home though. A significant number of passengers contracted some kind of cold, sore throat, vomiting sort of disease but the ship did nothing publicly to help. I purchased some Day Quil in the ship shop for $18 and when I returned home I priced this item at Target for $8. The ship charges a markup of over 100% above retail for medicine. Smokes and liquor seem cheaper on the ship but medicine to help passengers is a rip off and that’s just not right. Passengers who visited the medical office reported similar gouging, for example, using the O2 sensor on one’s finger cost $10 each. At Target a O2 sensing unit cost $34 to own. The mini size bottle of cough medicine they issued, smaller than Day Quil was $20. Purchasing cruise insurance, even through HAL was of no use because the medical unit won’t accept it. One must file a claim with Medicare (which will deny it), then submit the claim with the secondary carrier. The weather was bad, but this is September in Alaska so that is what to expect. Tons of rain and one evening when pulling into Anchorage the ship was hit by a rogue wind of 135 MPH that was unexpected and the ship acquired a 12 degree list for 10 to 15 minutes. Fortunately, the captain had ballasted the ship as a precaution because at 27 degrees the ship falls over. Glasses, plates, bottles all went flying but I didn’t see or hear of any passenger injuries. The captain made no announcement because he didn’t want to aggravate the situation, he said. There was no announcement regarding this issue by the captain until several days later during the usual Q and A when a passenger raised it The ship had to cancel the Kodiak stop because of bad weather too. All passengers got a free glass of sparkling water or a soda as compensation. That’s not much but that’s cruising for you. The floor in our bathroom and shower was in terrible condition because most of the grout was missing. This has permitted water to seep underneath the tile and it has bubbled up creating an uneven service. Also bits of grout continue to break off and stick to one’s feet. The port of Seattle has a great free service called Pier Valet which we used and it went surprisingly well. The way it works is that a passenger can complete the forms on board and the port will pick up your luggage on the last night of the cruise, just like the ship does. Pier Valet then delivers the luggage to the airline and one picks it up again at the destination airport. Really! The only snag was that the boarding pass issued and delivered to the cabin won’t scan at TSA security check. Please stop at your airline kiosk when arriving at SEA and get a new boarding pass first We will continue to cruise with HAL but not to Alaska for a while. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Very good itinerary. We had awful weather and one port eliminated. Very little activity on ship. Minimal trivia and no games such as liars club. Only one show in the evening plus lounge acts. Lounge acts were not very good. When ... Read More
Very good itinerary. We had awful weather and one port eliminated. Very little activity on ship. Minimal trivia and no games such as liars club. Only one show in the evening plus lounge acts. Lounge acts were not very good. When asked if the ship would add a knitting group to activities, I was told it did "not fit the image of HAL". After a number of requests it was finally added, probably by the activities director, not cruise director. Had up to a dozen attend, at no cost to HAL. Pickle ball court. Best food we have had on a ship. Lots of places to sit during the day and read. A real smoke problem in the lounges near the casino. Very poor ventilation. The ship singers and dancers were some of the best we have seen on a cruise. 4 review shows. Show every night including the last night. A very old croud. Very few under 50, lots of walkers and scooters. Staff wonderful and helped get food for people who needed help in lido restaurant. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was an offer we couldn't refuse! Have been to Alaska before and It's been a long time since traveling on HAL but we got an incredible offer. Usually travel with NCL and have been on all the major lines.. But this was ... Read More
This was an offer we couldn't refuse! Have been to Alaska before and It's been a long time since traveling on HAL but we got an incredible offer. Usually travel with NCL and have been on all the major lines.. But this was a great trip. I saw complaints that ship was old, but it was actually very nice. Ship was clean! Restrooms were always clean! Cabin was spotless! Eating areas were clean! Food in dining room was very good, even lobster and king crab which you don't get on NCL any more. And, if you wanted more, just ask. Buffet was like any buffet, a buffet is a buffet is a buffett. Did enjoy hamburger eatery on pool deck. Made fresh while you wait. And wait was maybe 3 mins. No upselling constantly like on many ships which was nice. No constant barmen trying to push drinks. Shows were just OK in my opinion, but they were crowded every nite. Small casino with friendly personnel. Boarding and debarkation smooth, no hassle, but only 1400 guests. Havent been on a ship that small in a long time so it was a pleasure. Had room Neptune Suite 7010 which was perfect. Hosts were wonderful. Always ready to help. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I love Alaska and its beautiful scenery, people and wildlife. The more days cruising is a definite plus for me. A little different itinerary going to Icy Strait Point, Homer, and Kodiak. Unfortunately we did not get to Kodiak because of ... Read More
I love Alaska and its beautiful scenery, people and wildlife. The more days cruising is a definite plus for me. A little different itinerary going to Icy Strait Point, Homer, and Kodiak. Unfortunately we did not get to Kodiak because of weather. That was okay since I will just have to do the cruise again another time. The weather in Alaska is definitely not the norm, and you just have to go with the flow. The captain is the man who knows best. Captain Jonathan is the greatest! The weather did not stop us from going on tours or just going out on our own. The food in the dining room and lunch at the Pinnacle was great. Breakfast in the Lido was very good. Piano Man Van was entertaining and played to the crowd. The entertainment was good, especially Hyperion Wright, who was excellent. The comedian Paul Morrisey(??) was awful. Liked seeing the 6 dancers actually dancing. The cruise director, Jorge, was not very visible, and there were not many activities other than trivia a few times a day. Would love to have had music during the happy hours. Music was played after happy hours were over. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I was just on the World Voyage with Holland. Things were different on the Alaskan cruise, subtle little things that were lacking. But Hollands staff is wonderful. Some of the passengers were annoyed that Captain Mercer made the decision ... Read More
I was just on the World Voyage with Holland. Things were different on the Alaskan cruise, subtle little things that were lacking. But Hollands staff is wonderful. Some of the passengers were annoyed that Captain Mercer made the decision to by pass Kodiak due to the storm, but it was a GREAT decision. Some things are to be considered UPGRADES during a GRAND VOYAGE. Cruises are the least expensive way to take a vacation. Have been cruising since I was a child in the 1950's so well understand that in today's market, with the number of Shipping Companies, and the number of ships, the prices are low. Although people who are new to cruising do not think so but it is true. Where else can one go visit different cities, receive entertainment, food, lodging and have fun at such a low price. Now with the hurricane damaged islands, it will be worse for the Cruise lines. I love cruising and Holland is one of my favorites. The Alaskan cruise is always a great one and the 14 day is exceptional. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We were on the Oosterdam last October for a Mediterranean Cruise and were very happy. When we booked this Alaska Cruise, we were thrilled to be on Oosterdam again. The staff, cabin stewards, food servers were wonderful and very helpful. ... Read More
We were on the Oosterdam last October for a Mediterranean Cruise and were very happy. When we booked this Alaska Cruise, we were thrilled to be on Oosterdam again. The staff, cabin stewards, food servers were wonderful and very helpful. We enjoyed the Lido Market and all the choices. We had our eleven year old grandson with us and he loved the ship and the Lido Market and the pool. He was in awe. Our grandson went to the Kids Club. He was in the 7-12 group, however, they seemed to group together the much younger kids with the older group. Most of the time, he enjoyed it. The food in the Dining Room had very small portions... not as I remembered. Entertainment was fabulous . I did not get a chance to take advantage of most the daytime activities this time. We enjoyed the Shore excursions and would definitely cruise on Holland America again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Our first cruise: we live in Seattle so very convenient departure of course. We went with our adult children for a 7 day including Sitka and Glacier bay. I'm not too into a lot of what cruise ships offer such as gambling, drinking, ... Read More
Our first cruise: we live in Seattle so very convenient departure of course. We went with our adult children for a 7 day including Sitka and Glacier bay. I'm not too into a lot of what cruise ships offer such as gambling, drinking, kind of cheesy entertainment and constant eating. But we enjoyed it a lot; it's a great family vacation because the kids could do stuff on their own and so could we and we could also come together a lot. We rented 2 cabins and they had their own. I would say the cruise into Glacier bay and the excursions make the cruise. In Sitka, we walked around ourselves while the kids did adventures because HA is the only cruise ship in port but in Juneau and Ketchikan 4 cruise ships are in the same day and if you don't go on excursions it is just an enormous amount of people being disgorged in a small place and lot of souvenir and jewelry shops. We had a verandah cabin which all in all, was worth the cost although the way up was so cloudy we couldn't see land. The kids had an interior cabin which was fine for them. The food was somewhat uneven, some great, some sub par. I preferred the MDR to the Lido deck not because of the food but the Lido was so noisy and lines were long and somewhat slow. Room service was great. Staff was great. Dive in hamburger counter was very good if you like burgers; Pizza was OK. We didn't go to the extra @ dining room options. I also enjoyed the Crow's nest which was like a coffee shop area; you paid extra but it wasn't much, like $2.50 for a double shot espresso. My son enjoyed the fitness center and my daughter the spa. The BB king club's band was very good; check them out! The classical music is also quite good. As for excursions, we enjoyed very much whale watching in Juneau, my kids did a strenuous glacier hike (it was listed a strenuous but my son found it moderate) and dog mushing which they both liked a lot. Salmon bake we all did which was a little disappointing as they overcooked the salmon some (a very common problem!). In Sitka, kids did 4x4 safari and pedal and brew which they liked and we walked around historical Sitka which, if you have that interest, was great. I preferred being on our own to going with a big group. In Ketchikan, we did Lumberjack; this was OK; pretty short and kind of cheesy but still fun and then the crab feast; the crab was incredible; if you are a crab fan, recommend. The kids did zipline which was scary but fun for them. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We have taken Holland America and Disney to Alaska several times. This is not my favorite Holland American Cruise.. some great moments but the service was not as good as we had on the Westerdam 4 years ago and saw a lot of cuts in what ... Read More
We have taken Holland America and Disney to Alaska several times. This is not my favorite Holland American Cruise.. some great moments but the service was not as good as we had on the Westerdam 4 years ago and saw a lot of cuts in what was provided. Lincoln Center Stage was amazing with 4 lovely ladies playing strings and a great pianist and arranger. The Pinnacle Grill had good food but poor service. We had several times scheduled and cancelled after 2. The food was superb in all of the venues. The entertainment was average... a couple of good venues, but missed the intimate piano bar. Beautiful flower arrangements and ice sculptures were gone. Cabin steward was hit and miss... asked for ice each night, sometimes we got it. Missed one cleaning.. asked to keep fruit bowl full.. didn't happen.. and the room never seemed completely clean. Service in the dining room was good except for one area where we had to ask for everything 3 or 4 times. We just refused to eat in that area again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Boarding and disembarkation were very smooth, and I especially loved the complimentary, hands free luggage check-in on the return trip home. After leaving my luggage outside our cabin, I didn't see it again until it arrived at my ... Read More
Boarding and disembarkation were very smooth, and I especially loved the complimentary, hands free luggage check-in on the return trip home. After leaving my luggage outside our cabin, I didn't see it again until it arrived at my final destination. The Polynesian staff was as friendly as could be. I loved all the ports we stopped at, except for Kodiak, for which I would have to recommend you either stay on the ship, or take an excursion which gets you out of that ugly town the ship docks at. Loved the Crow's Nest for it's great view and happy hour, and met a lot of very nice people both there, in the dining areas, and on excursions. The type of people on this 2 week cruise were mostly over 60, and lots of retired people who do 3+ cruises a year. Not the best cruise to bring your kids on for diverse entertainment as there seemed to be very few children onboard. This was my third cruise to Alaska, and I probably would not have chosen to do a third cruise, but this one went to 3 places we haven't been to before, and I liked the 2 weeks, instead of the usual 1 week. Service on the ship was excellent and I have no complaints about the food, except that the coffee was always way too strong. Our balcony cabin was in a perfect location on deck 6. The ship is old, but has a very nice floor design and is kept very clean. I did see quite a few rust spots which would drive me crazy if she were my ship, but she is scheduled for some major dry dock work in March'2018. I loved the fact that there were little more than 1000 passengers on this ship, which means you get to see many of the people you meet over and over again which enhances the social experience and develops friendships. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Holland America Alaskan Explorer August 14 - 28, 2017 We have always wanted to do the lesser known Alaskan ports so this cruise itinerary was perfect for us. We have been on 3 previous Alaska cruises that did the regular ... Read More
Holland America Alaskan Explorer August 14 - 28, 2017 We have always wanted to do the lesser known Alaskan ports so this cruise itinerary was perfect for us. We have been on 3 previous Alaska cruises that did the regular Ketchican, Juneau, Skagway itinerary. We had been on the Amsterdam before. We really like it. Not too big and not too small. It is well maintained in spite of it's age. We had a cabin on the lower promenade deck. These cabins have the walking deck in front of your window. During the day people can not see inside your cabin. At night, however, you need to make sure your curtains are closed as anyone walking by can see inside clearly. During our visits to the glaciers people would crowd onto the deck so seeing out the window was difficult. We did really like the location of our cabin. It was such a tiny cabin. The two of us couldn't fit in the hallway and dress at the same time. The bed took up the whole room. Our weather for this cruise was truly yucky. I expect rain in Ketichican and Juneau, however, it was rainy in nearly every port. It was getting down right depressing. It was so socked in with low clouds we couldn't even see any Alaskan mountains. Homer was overcast but no rain. Victoria was a picture perfect day, not a cloud in the sky. Everyplace else it rained. However, we packed our raincoats and umbrellas and went out and explored anyway. Sitting outside on this cruise was impossible as it was just too cold. We were able to sit out on the promenade deck in Seattle and Victoria. These were the only days that were warm enough. We booked this cruise short notice. We were on a camping trip along the Oregon coast and thought we would take this cruise since it was such a good price and we were in the vicinity. Since we were on a camping trip we had no formal wear. We were not able to eat in the dining room because of this. We were very happy eating in the buffet every day. The food was wonderful. We loved being able to have lobster in the buffet on lobster night. Entertainment was very good. The production shows were great. Other nights we had a juggler a comedian and a magician who I enjoyed. I didn't really enjoy the pianist, violinist and John Denver entertainers. They were very talented just not my cup of tea. I was very disappointed to find that several things were cancelled due to the new Oprah collaboration. No more crafts, no more dancing with the stars, no more ball room dancing lessons. We only had two game shows on this cruise. Liar Liar and Majority rules. We had no special speakers. I attended the art auctions just for something to do. I was so bored on this cruise. I read 5 books. My husband read 9. There was just not enough to do during the day. It is my opinion they need to stop this new Oprah collaboration as it takes away from the Holland America product. We purchased an internet plan of 1000 minutes for $250. Yes it is expensive but we are addicted to internet. We did no ship excursions. We couldn't afford any. They were extremely over priced. We booked tours independently in port. In Ketichcan we docked right in town. We walked around a bit and then went to the lumberjack show. This show was so much fun. It was nice because the seating area was covered and heated. In Juneau we just walked around town and stopped for a drink at a restaurant and watched the float planes come and go. It was pouring rain but we still had fun. Icy straight point was a bust for us. We took a $5 shuttle into town to find everything was closed. Not that there was anything in that town to see or do. The port area was just okay with a store, restaurant and nature trail. Instead of doing Tracy arm we did Endecot arm. This was a wonderful decision the captain made. We were able to go to the very end of the arm and see the Dawes Glacier. We did Tracy arm on previous cruises and were never able to make it to the Glacier so this change in the itinerary was very welcome. We had two boring days at sea to get to Anchorage. In Anchorage there was a free shuttle to get into town. In town we were able to book a tour of the area for only $20 per person. It was a great tour. We then walked around town and shopped a bit before taking the free shuttle back to the ship. Homer was a great day. We booked a hop on hop off bus tour for $15 per person. Homer is pretty big and it offered several stops. One stop was the beach. The hop on hop off was on a school bus. I had not been on a school bus for 30 years. I had a hard time getting up the steps and the seats were small and hard, however, we endured. Kodiak wasn't fun. We took a free shuttle into town but we found no tours to book and nothing to do. Not even any soveniar shops. We walked around the port area and looked at the different boats but that was it. We had another day at sea and arrived at Hubbard Glacier late the next afternoon. I find Hubbard Glacier to be much better than Glacier bay. It growled and I saw it claving several times. Sitka was a lovely stop. It rained again but it was such a nice city. We didn't do a tour here but the city has such lovely trails along the water. We found a bridge over a river that was filled with Salmon. It also had a fish latter that we had fun watching. We did a lot of walking this day. Sailaway was especially nice with all the islands around. We had another day at sea to get to Victoria and arrived at 1pm the next day. There was a $10 per person shuttle to town. Some people walked but it was quite a long way. It was a gorgeous day not a cloud in the sky. We booked a hop on hop off tour right in front of the Empress hotel. We never did hop off anywhere but enjoyed seeing this beautiful city. There was a lovely gift shop back at the port. We left at 11pm and never even felt the ship move. The seas on this trip were very calm. In fact I missed being rocked to sleep at night due to the lack of the motion of the ocean. This ship has a covered pool area but it was always wet in there due to condensation. I hated walking across this deck as it was always wet and slippery. I had a nice massage at the spa. I was asked to buy things as usual but it was not a hard sell. One no is all it took. Had a very nice Q and A with the dancers and singers. Lots of good information. A very nice Q and A with the captain. He was open and honest. I enjoyed these very much. There is no such thing as a bad cruise so we enjoyed this cruise, however, we decided we like warm weather cruises better than cold weather cruises. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
It was special offer to us. Enjoyed the whole trip. Would love to go again. Lots of ports. Plenty of excursions to choose from. We loved the gold panning excursion and the whale watching one. I loved the dog sled excursion. The indian ... Read More
It was special offer to us. Enjoyed the whole trip. Would love to go again. Lots of ports. Plenty of excursions to choose from. We loved the gold panning excursion and the whale watching one. I loved the dog sled excursion. The indian excursions were very interesting too.The entertainment was very good. Food was very good. The cabin was just right for us. The casino( husband 's favorite) was great. Had some no smoking in it. We had help when we needed it from all the workers. Loved the fact the capitain could get close to the glaciers for us to see too. The service was great.If we needed anything they got it for us. The ship was a good size. Not too big and not so many people. All in all best 2 weeks we've had. It is a good trip for older children too. Lots for them to see and learn. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
The food was always excellent in the MDR. Service was good. I had no bad food and neither did my husband. Portion sizes were perfect. Embarking and disembarking was always quick and smooth. When we came in from the rain in Juneau they even ... Read More
The food was always excellent in the MDR. Service was good. I had no bad food and neither did my husband. Portion sizes were perfect. Embarking and disembarking was always quick and smooth. When we came in from the rain in Juneau they even greeted guests with hot cocoa. I found the ship lacking in entertainment during the day. I don't need to learn how to use windows or digital photography etc. Watching someone cook at America's Test Kitchen only sucked me in one time. The crows nest and Explorations cafe are a wonderful spot to watch the world go by. The only meal I wasn't as impressed by was at the specialty dining room Canaletto. The food was OK but not anything extraordinary. The dinner at Pinnacle was outstanding. We chose to do that when the ship was in Victoria instead of trying to do something with a short stay. We bought all of our shore excursions through the ship. The salmon bake (Juneau) was very tasty but I would not recommend it for anyone who has physical difficulty. It is all self serve. I had to run like a chicken with its head cut off to carry for myself and my husband as it is hard to carry plates when you use a cane and are unsteady on your feet. It was pouring rain and cold. It's all outside. You're under a shelter but we were still frozen. Panning for gold was as enjoyable as it could be in the rain. There was piano music but I think they should more pianists and play more frequently. We had to use the medical facility immediately because my husband fell going through security in port. They were excellent. But be warned, very expensive! The 2nd day we just needed to go back and get a bandage changed, have the wound checked and re bandaged and it cost $97. The first day was $317 which was kind of shocking but we were there for an hour and they did a lot of work on him.The services were excellent but the cost was terrible. We also had someone else's bill delivered to our cabin in error so that means someone else got our bill. I had to request a new one. But...the ship did send flowers to my husband in the cabin, which was a nice touch. I know you can't blame the ship, but the ship rocked alto. We heard comments around the ship that this is their 8th cruise etc and they've never experienced this much rocking. I don't know if it was the ships size or what the problem was but it was like that quite a bit. We did an Alaskan trip on a different line last year and never felt like we had to hold the walls when walking down halls. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I chose this cruise because it was leaving from Seattle and going to Glacier Bay National Park. It had a full day of cruising on my birthday. We have been to Alaska before, a two week cruise where we were running from beginning to ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was leaving from Seattle and going to Glacier Bay National Park. It had a full day of cruising on my birthday. We have been to Alaska before, a two week cruise where we were running from beginning to end seeing the sights while in port. This was to be the opposite, time spent enjoying the ship and relaxing. That's exactly what I did. Seattle embarkation was quick and painless. We were in group H, I'd say we had a half hour wait to get on the ship. We arrived at 11 and were on board in our cabin before noon. I was impressed all cabins were ready when we got on board. This isn't the case with the other lines we cruise. We booked a guarantee verandah. We were assigned our cabin about 10 days out. It was a handicapped cabin with a roll in shower and larger verandah. We were very happy with the verandah. It was easy to sit out there when the weather was chilly and a bit misty, as we were protected from the wind. The bed on my husbands side was not good. It had a big hole in it. He was uncomfortable, never brought it up to our cabin stewards, not sure why? They need a new mattress on the side of the bed by the bathroom. The bathroom wasn't what we'd like either, one big room, shower, toilet, sink, the shower getting the entire floor wet. The bigger room and bigger balcony made up for the bathroom. The TV is amazing. A big screen mounted on the wall opposite the bed. We enjoyed watching free movies from the comfort of our bed. Our cabin stewards, Ayu and Hery, were terrific. Friendly, and kept our cabin clean. They work very hard and always with a smile on their faces. They asked us our names when they met us and addressed us as such each time they saw us. We ate 1 dinner, my birthday, in the main dining room. It was a Gala night, the second night onboard, we got dressed up and brought an old vintage wine we'd paid the $18 corkage before boarding. The meal was ok, the service ok, our own wine was delicious! Even though they knew it was my birthday, no song or piece of cake came my way. After that night we decided to eat in the Lido Café. However, one night we did go to the Chef's Table. Now that was fun! The Lido café was very nice for a buffet. They have orchid plants on the table, fancy... My favorite thing about the buffet is the amazing salad bar. There is so much on offer, you can make a meal out of it. The salad is tossed and served in a huge salad bowl. I was never disappointed in their salads, as I told them what to put in it, how much and how much dressing. Ahi tuna, chicken, ham, bacon, were some of the protein you could add to your salad. Much of the food is typical buffet food, average. I can remember a couple of memorable meals, like I said the salad bar was my favorite. I like the fact you are served from the buffet, and everyone isn't putting their hands all over the serving utensils. I'm not a big breakfast eater, coffee,fruit and chocolate croissant were my go to breakfasts. One day I had a hot meal, not my thing. There was ample fruit and breakfast breads. We had room service 3 times for breakfast, I always ordered 2 big pots of coffee and a basket of breads. Speaking of coffee........the best was from room service. The coffee in the buffet was very weak, looked like dirty water and was tasteless, I sometimes opted for tea, as I could make it strong. Room service was always on time. The entertainment on the Eurodam was the best I've seen on a cruise ship. You can see Holland has spent money on this venture. The singers and dancers in the main showroom put on a great show. All of them are very good at what they do. We attended all of their shows on the main stage and went to their question and answer. The Music Walk is excellent. BB King Club musicians and singers outstanding. What a fun venue, for those who dance, there's a huge floor to get up and shake it. I always left their shows with a big smile and feeling happy. The piano women in Billboard were good, I'm not sure I like the placement, right in the casino.....we only went once, because of the location. I've saved the best for last......Lincoln Center Stage! The talented musicians, two violins, a viola, a cello, and pianist......WOW.....The first show was on the second day, a sea day, my birthday. We arrived early and grabbed a seat in the front row. It was a Gala night, we were dressed up. I ordered a martini, we sat there about a half hour before show time, enjoying our drinks and talking. A few more people arrived. When the quintet began playing, I couldn't believe my ears. They are such talented, gifted, musicians! As the week went on, their shows were standing room only.....the word got out. This is an intimate, delightful, setting to hear Sabrina and Genevieve Tabby, Jinty McTavish, Rita Andrade and John Arndt play. I'm in awe of their talent. My favorite part of this cruise was the day we spent going into Glacier Bay National Park. I was up early and out on the bow by 6:20. We were beginning to enter the Park. There were no other ships in sight. Only 2 per day are allowed into this Park. The second ship I didn't see till the afternoon, as we were sailing out. The scenery as you go into the Park is beyond beautiful, the naturalist was onboard pointing out various wild life, bears, goats, sea otters, moose. I would go out on the bow for about 15 minutes, then up to the crows nest, then to our balcony, back and forth. Around 10:30 we came to the big Margerie Glacier, where we spent an hour, the Captain turning the ship 360 so everyone could see. I was out on the bow sitting in a chair by the railing, getting a fabulous view. Steaming hot split pea soup was served, it was delicious. I stayed on the bow for about 45 minutes then went back to our balcony. What a spectacular sight from all angles. As we sailed back out of Glacier bay we saw more Glaciers, this was the highlight of my cruise. The weather in August was damp and cool. I wore layers and a rain slicker at all stops. Some places it rained others it drizzled. We were fortunate the weather was clear our day at Glacier Bay. A hat, gloves, scarf, heavy jacket was needed for staying on the bow any length of time. It was only open for the Glacier Bay experience. As we've been to Alaska before, we opted out of any organized tours. We got off at all stops and wandered around town. Sometimes enjoying fresh seafood onshore. Our exercise onboard was walking the promenade on deck 3. It wasn't very busy, we walked usually after lunch or breakfast, while at sea. There is nothing like the fresh air going into your lungs, beats a gym any day. We usually got our 10,000 steps in...... between the promenade and walking the ship. ( I wear a fitbit to remind me to get off the computer and get in my steps. LOL) We took the walk off option, leaving the ship at 8 rolling our bags off with us. It took no time at all, no standing in line, no customs, just show your passport. Taxi's are waiting for you as you exit. This was our first Holland America cruise, we usually cruise Celebrity and NCL. We enjoyed it and will definitely cruise with them again, if they are going where we want to go, when we want to go and if the price is right! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We take this cruise every year. This year the weather was awesome and so were the people we met. Some things have changed, and NOT for the better. 1. No deliv. of morning newspaper.You must go all the way to the front desk and get ... Read More
We take this cruise every year. This year the weather was awesome and so were the people we met. Some things have changed, and NOT for the better. 1. No deliv. of morning newspaper.You must go all the way to the front desk and get your own. 2. Obviously they have once again changed coffee's.. not very good.. sad when you must go to the Explorer Cafe and pay for a decent cup of coffee! 3. In Room Dinning ( room service ) changed their breakfast menu. So many less choices! But, I must say.. that in room dinning went out of their way to accommodate us.. Thank you! 4. I asked for the daily dinning room menu to be deliv everyday. I got it 3 times. 5. Our toilet 2 times decided not to flush! We had to wait for maintenance to come. 6. The air conditioning in our cabin was way to warm.. after having it fixed " 3 times".. we gave up and asked for a fan. 7. our cabin stewards were terrific. 8. Food in both the dinning room and Lido.. was never hot. This is more than just food being cold.. it is a HEALTH ISSUE! 9. Painting and varnishing when people are on a deck is awful and they need better ventilation when doing it. . Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We visited most major ports in Alaska except Glacier Bay and Skagway/Haines. Embarkation was better than average with minimal waiting, and the port in Seattle was very easy to navigate. Holland allows 3 bottles of wine per adult ... Read More
We visited most major ports in Alaska except Glacier Bay and Skagway/Haines. Embarkation was better than average with minimal waiting, and the port in Seattle was very easy to navigate. Holland allows 3 bottles of wine per adult which can be placed in regular luggage, but bring your corkscrew if you will drink in your room. Corkage in the dining room was $18 plus tax in Washington :-( . Once out of Washington, no tax. Wine steward service was very good with our bottle always waiting for us at dinner, and each bottle lasted 3 dinners for us. Mildly upsetting was that Holland initially tentatively charged our credit card account $1,499.82 on embarkation (per our bank) while our final bill was only $32.20, overestimating the final amount by 4,657.8 percent. Seems to me that they should have disclosed this to passengers so that they would know what to expect since many banks now inform their customers of each charge made. The ship appears to be old and desperately needs renovation with SD TV's with poor reception in the staterooms (even for the usual onboard sourced programming) with noticeable wear in the bathroom and cabin and dated ship decor. There was substantial deferred maintenance In our stateroom, the bottom desk drawer didn't function well (other passengers said theirs did not work at all) and when I decided to take a bath (I am used to the tiny showers on other lines) there was ring around the bathtub. Yuk - showers on out. I also noticed that the grout had brown stains and the toilet seat showed signs of wear. The bathroom had ample shelf space with toiletries bags and reading material going under the sink and a closing corner vanity cabinet with three levels, There was a hair dryer mounted on the wall as well as a corded hair dryer in the desk which we did not use. A magnifying mirror was mounted to the desk and there was another in the desk as well. Two bathrobes were provided. During our cruise, they were apparently sanding and varnishing outdoor stairs between decks (we were pretty far aft). The strong smell permeated the hallway and rooms and caused both my wife and I to become nauseated. This continued for a substantial time. At one point, someone propped up am outdoor chair in the exterior doorway, but that was soon removed. They were also varnishing the railing on the top deck. Unfortunately, their "Wet paint" signs were placed on small labels facing the sea twisted somewhat around the railing structure. I found out that there was wet varnish the hard way. In another area of the top deck, the top wood rail was completely missing and remained missing throughout the two week trip. Others complained of smoke odors in public areas (purportedly no smoking allowed) and we noticed curry smells near the stairwell once or twice - we presume that the crew must have been cooking in the lower decks. Clean windows appeared to be a low priority on this ship. Besides the stateroom windows which is understandable due to their inaccessibility, windows for public areas, particularly the dining room, were filthy substantially blocking the view outside. Even accessible windows (like the windows on doors in public areas were filthy). Stewards were very polite, as were most personnel on board - much better than we have experienced on competing lines, while shop personnel were typically hard sell as on other lines. Food service in the dining room was good though food sat too long and was too repetitive. With a few exceptions, soup was placed in pitchers and poured into bowls at the table which helped to keep it hot, but most everything else was lukewarm. Portions promoted good health but seemed small. They served Alaskan crab at one dinner which consisted of two segments of a single leg. Dinner fare was unimaginative and repetitive. Souffles were sparse, and the variably prepared creme brulee was available every day. The one time I tried a souffle, it was very cupcake-like. The dinner rolls were likewise the same for the whole trip while other cruiselines provide different variations and styles. I was surprised when the surf and turf night did not include a baked potato. Interestingly, this cruise featured demonstrations by America's Test Kitchen, but it did not appear that anything was communicated to the cooking staff. Eating at the Lido Buffet was similarly unimaginative. Breakfast was substantially the same everyday. There were several stations with different types of food, but the food was generally unchanged and if one wanted different things, several stations would have to be visited. There were separate stations for fried eggs, omelets, waffles, poached eggs/congee, one for juices/milk, ... If one wanted poached eggs/eggs benedict and sausage, that would require a trip to two different stations, or even more if one wanted toast, with each having a separate queue which became very long at times. The stations generally did not have any additional assistance when the queue grew. Potatoes were cooked the same throughout the trip - no variations like potatoes o-brien, hash browns, etc. were offered. Fruit was sparse, and there were no smoked fish like salmon\ or trout, nor a large variety of sliced meats like those offered on other cruiselines. The servers were apparently instructed to work fast, but in their effort to serve the next person, often failed to provide what the prior person wanted. Once, and elderly gentlemen in front of me wanted a couple of different items. When he politely repeated what he wanted, the server became visibly peeved, finally responding to him and filling his request. Things similar to this were often repeated and it appeared that the servers either didn't want to listen or did not understand the people they were serving. It appeared that their failure to listen resulted in longer delays in the lines, though by the third or fourth day, I gave up and took whatever they scooped. Beverage service (coffee, water, tea, lemon syrup water) was spotty, depending on what personnel were present. Even though we were generally approached fairly quickly, beverage speed ranged from immediate to times when after finishing my food, I went to get iced tea from the dispenser myself. Even the supervisors (in suits) were variable - sometimes they would be helpful, sometimes they were busy talking amongst themselves and didn't care, and there were times when the dining area was relatively empty - they served a single diner, but refused to acknowledge other diners who wanted refills, even turning around and walking away after seeing diners wanting service. Lunch at the Lido was similar. There were multiple stations with a few variations (whatever was left over from a prior meal). Pizza, relegated to one regular station, was the worst I have had on a cruise, in part because it generally sat around for a long time (I don't know if the older passenger demographic was a cause). It was refreshing to be offered sushi, but there was only a very few variations of mini rolls (surprising since this cruise served lots of salmon), so after the second day, meh. They were small enough that people often got several, poured the sushi onto one plate, and abandoned the empty dishes. Many also gave up on waiting for the server - they just reached over and grabbed what they wanted. The buffet closed between meals though the food was placed in warming ovens quite early. The food, having sat for an extended time, lost its freshness by the time it was offered. An example - one station had small plates of pasta. I did not encounter any fresh plates. The plates had been sitting around long enough that the outside was dry and hard. Very few people partake. For lunch, sparcely filled small sandwiches were often available in small paper bags. Unsealed, these sat around long enough that the bread was often hard and dry. Lido provided snacks 10:30p - 11:30p. Comfort food such as wings, fries, tortilla chips, potato chips and other leftovers were offered. The wings, though not real fresh, were pretty tasty (unlike the other fried chicken which could have come from a frozen TV dinner. The fries were the best I have had on a cruise ship with two variations, one well done and one regular, provided. The chips, probably coming from bags, were typical. Guacamole was provided, but typically went very quickly without replenishing and at other times, stayed, the surface clearly discolored from sitting too long. The Lido dining area was not well maintained. The tables were often a little sticky (They need to replace the cleaning buckets more often) and it appeared no one bothered to vacuum the carpet, particularly noticeable near the windows. Desserts where typical - nothing fancy - but were not replenished quickly enough. Ice cream service was exceptional, extensive queues not withstanding. There were several choices of real ice cream (eg: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, chocolate chip, cookie dough, etc., sherbets) as well as soft serve, served in regular cones, waffle cones, or in bowls with a selection of toppings such as marshmallows, syrup and chocolate chips. This started near lunch and ran throughout the day. The Pinnacle Grill provided a quiet experience with attentive service though the food was unexceptional. The Italian restaurant was a cordoned off part of the Lido. It had attentive service and good portions, though the food was not up to par and was not close to what we consider good authentic Italian food. It tasted the same as the dining room although with a little different spice mix. Since there were very few people there, it was very quiet. Their written confirmation was off by a couple of hours for us as well as another diner, but with few patrons, it did not matter. The only Cioppino I ever had before this was San Francisco Cioppino and this did not compare. I appeared that the ingredients were boiled separately with Italian inspired broth poured over. The seafood had little flavor. Entertainment was next to the worst we experienced in the over 10 cruises we have been on. The ship's personnel's shows were karaoke style with mostly recorded instumentals accompanied by a lone violinist. There was good one male singer who apparently also worked the restaurant while the others attempted a reasonable facsimile of a high school musical. Dancers included one woman who clearly had some ballet training, but the others were not so graceful. The troup's attempt at a county western bar motive was, with obviously non-native English speaking backgrounds, was entertaining, but not in a good way. The guest performers were better than the onboard musicians and dancers, and they were often accompanied by a live band which appeared to be professional. There were also the requisite lounge musicians. Stateroom TV's provided old NTSC(?) standard definition analog video of very poor quality with lots of distortion, NOT caused by degradation of satellite signal. Last time I watched video that bad was close to 20 years ago. Although the TV appeared to be a first generation stereo set, all signals going to it were mono. This was a 14 day cruise covering just a few more ports than shorter cruises and allowed extensive time in each port, so there was no hurry to get off the boat or rush back to the ship. Unfortunately, at least for us, when we returned to the ship, it was often after lunch hours and there was no food available. For extended hour ports, we arrived after dinner hours, so no food either until snacks at 10:30. This was the first time we were left hungry on a cruiseship, and after 11:30 pm, no food (although room service was still available). It would have been nice if they coordinated the buffet, but no such luck. It was surprising that many halls, stairwells and elevators and outside decks were empty after hours. It was refreshing and comfortable, if a bit spooky, to be able to walk the halls of a cruiseship without seeing another human. This contributed to the slowness of the environment. Maybe because young families cannot always afford to take a 14 day vacation, this cruise attracted an older crowd and we sexagenarians appeared to be among the younger of the crowd. This is NOT a cruise for young people though there was one pack of less than 10 millenials wandering around the decks. Our adult child would have been miserable. The whirlpool on the pool deck closed at 10pm (the pool closed earlier) which was disappointing (we like to linger later) though after 9, there were very few people on deck. Well before 10, the retractable roof over the pool area was closed. Some ports were small enough that unless you paid for a shore excursion, there was very little to do. One port provided a short shuttle to the other side of the spit where there were only a few shops catering to cruise passengers. This being our fourth cruise to Alaska, we did not go on any shore excursions. Embarkation was the best we have experienced. Port Valet service allowed passengers to check in their luggage on the ship and obtain boarding passes for their flights FREE of charge. Luggage fees were charged to our onboard account at cost ($25.00). It made it very easy and comfortable to disembark without having to deal with luggage, and made disembarkation the easiest and most efficient we ever experienced (They or our overbooked airline did lose our seat assignments, but we were able to get new assignments at the airport). I do not know whether it is a Seattle port program or a HAL program, but the ability to transfer our luggage and check in was much appreciated. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Recently took a 14 day Alaska cruise out of Seattle on the Amsterdam. The staff was friendly and helpful. The quality and variety of food was very good. We were impressed with the cleanliness of the ship. The entertainment - with the ... Read More
Recently took a 14 day Alaska cruise out of Seattle on the Amsterdam. The staff was friendly and helpful. The quality and variety of food was very good. We were impressed with the cleanliness of the ship. The entertainment - with the exception of the Comedienne - were all superb. The singers and dancers were exceptional. Had an interesting itinerary going farther into Alaska (to Homer and Kodiak) than other cruises we have taken. There was a nice mix of port, sea days and fjord cruising. The two self service laundromats onboard are a real bonus! And very reasonably priced at $2 per load The one negative for us is the smoke from the casino. The casino on the Amsterdam is in the middle of deck 5 and is open at each end - there are no doors or enclosures. They allow smoking in the casino most days - so the smoke floats into all of the shops and lounges nearby, as well as up/down the atrium. You can smell it all the time, but much worse of course, when the casino is in full swing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I wanted to be with Christians and also listen to Gospel Music. Every night the shows were very inspirational. The ship and our cabin were very nice. All of the crew seemed to be working all the time to keep things clean and sanitary. This ... Read More
I wanted to be with Christians and also listen to Gospel Music. Every night the shows were very inspirational. The ship and our cabin were very nice. All of the crew seemed to be working all the time to keep things clean and sanitary. This made me feel very secure.The dining in the Lido was the best ever. I did also enjoy the meals in the dining room every night. I thought there could have been more help for the slightly handicapped to get off the ship at the ports. My friend was unable to get into the port towns because the walks were too long for her and many of the other passengers to walk. I did see some of the elderly trying, but they had to go back to the ship. As much as I enjoyed the cruise, that is why I could not give the ship a 6-star rating. For the cost of this cruise, there should have been transportation to the shore. I would probably go again because I am still able to walk long distances. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Our previous 7day cruise does not compare with this 14day Holland America cruise first of all because of the ports visited. The smaller vessel was able to reach more environmentally sensitive ports and provided a much more enjoyable ... Read More
Our previous 7day cruise does not compare with this 14day Holland America cruise first of all because of the ports visited. The smaller vessel was able to reach more environmentally sensitive ports and provided a much more enjoyable experience. The onboard enrichment star, was for us, America's Test Kitchen. My husband of 48 years may start cooking! The library was first class and offered an extensive variety of activities such as board games, puzzle tables and huge assortment of books. The staff was, without fail, smiling, attentive and interactive at appropriate times. We found the menus to be well thought out and provided a good variety of veggies and desserts, including gluten and sugar free. Lovely ice cream selection. There is a nice poolside burger / taco bar that was great for snacks and meals. The fresh flowers on almost every table and venue were lovely and unexpected. Made my days special. The entertainment was typical of other cruises. Movies included popcorn which was a treat. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
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