1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Holland America Line
  4. Holland America Line Cruise Reviews

70 Holland America Singles Cruise Reviews

In August 2017 my wife suffered a fully-detached retina. If you don't know, rehab from surgery requires no change in air pressure for at least 90 days. Well, that meant no flying and our Mediterranean Cruise in September 2017 had to ... Read More
In August 2017 my wife suffered a fully-detached retina. If you don't know, rehab from surgery requires no change in air pressure for at least 90 days. Well, that meant no flying and our Mediterranean Cruise in September 2017 had to be cancelled. Thankfully we had trip insurance so all non-refundable expenses were reimbursed. Six weeks later, we were in the doctor's office for another check-up. Since the eye was healing on schedule, we asked, "Can we take a vacation on a ship?" We live in Seattle so the doctor said, "Absolutely, yes"". A quick call to our AAA travel agent and, 9 days later, we left on a 7 day round-trip to Alaska on HA's Oosterdam. We selected this cruise because we'd previously been to Skagway and the Oosterdam's itinerary included Sitka (instead of Skagway) plus Hubbard Glacier (instead of Tracy Arm). We were so happy with our substitute cruise...while it wasn't Venice and the Adriatic, we had a wonderful time on the Oosterdam, with its emphasis on European Art and Holland America's partnerhsip with America's Test Kitchen. Sitka is a great city to visit...so much Russian and Native Northwest Indian history; we'd love to go back for a few days! If you every get to book a cruise that visits Hubbard Glacier, you'll be very impressed with the immensity of this glacier. Sailing up Tracy Arm provides spectacular scenary but Hubbard Glacier is so huge. Our ship's naturalist said our sunny, 45 degree day was the best weather of the entire 2017 cruising season to Alaska. What's not to love about that? We'd heard a few stories that HA caters to an older cruise clientele. From our first experience, this is probably true, at least compared to our other cruise experiences with Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. There were families with small kids and grandparents with grandchildren, just not as many as on other cruise lines. (Our cruise was in late September, well after the school year started, so that was probably a contributing factor.) We're nearly 70 and had a great time. We really loved the emphasis on classical art and music. Once again, the best part was meeting interesting travelers, which is true on every cruise anywhere. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We celebrated our 40th anniversary on this trip. We only went on 7 days of this 14 day cruise from Amsterdam to four cities in Norway. Several of our group did, however, take the full 14 days. We spent a week in Amsterdam before and loved ... Read More
We celebrated our 40th anniversary on this trip. We only went on 7 days of this 14 day cruise from Amsterdam to four cities in Norway. Several of our group did, however, take the full 14 days. We spent a week in Amsterdam before and loved that city! We traveled with a group of 40+ people and found it extremely frustrating to communicate with each other. We wasted a lot of time looking for each other. Bring stick up notes so you can post messages on each others doors or better yet, bring walkies! Their internet service is expensive and spotty so that was not really an option for communicating. The ship is their newest, built in 2016 but the decor is cheap and dated looking compared to other ships we've traveled on. We were surprised to learn that this ship was so new. There is no beautiful focal point on the ship. Very minimal and European. The fine dining restaurants are worth every bit of their extra costs. We visited 4 differents restaurants (Culinary, Tamarind, Canalettos, Pinnacle). They cost about $15-$20 more each. Worth it! I especially loved Culinary. It was like watching a cooking show on TV and then getting to taste the food. Everyone in our group loved them. Make reservations if you have a large group! The Lido dining (buffet) is ridiculously disappointing. We thought because this was a higher end cruise line, we might expect their food service to be better. It was not. Altho, i did appreciate that the staff served us rather than watching other guests dig around in a dish, leaving it unappetizing. It was always crowded and there was no organization as to ordering food. People stepped in front of you as there's no clear lines which turns your dining experience into a competition. Finding an available seat was next to impossible so most of the time we had to bring our food back to our room and eat it on the bed as there's no table or chairs in the staterooms unless you have a suite. The dining room was fair but crowded as the food here is free (included) and you can eat as much as you'd like. We ate here once. The shore excursions are an expensive joke. They basically herd you into a boat or bus and drive you around. They're both overly crowded and restrooms or refreshments are not available. It was a waste of time and money. Don't be fooled by the fancy names of their excursions. I wish i could've read my review before we traveled on this trip. Flam - We loved this city. It was small and quaint with the most stunning views. What a fun way to wake up in the morning! The shore excursion we took in Flam was called "The Naeroyfjord Cruise & Scenic Drive - $130.@) you will spend half the time driving from Flam to Gudvangen going thru many tunnels (which is a nice place for a nap). Then in Gudvangen, you'll hop on a boat and take a slow ride around the Naeroyfjord & Aurlandsfjorden back to Flam. Very beautiful but if you don't board the boat first, you may end up like us, without a seat during the entire ride. People leave their things on the seats to claim them then go up top to look around so you never get an opportunity to have a seat in the lower deck unless you were lucky enough to get one at the beginning. They do have a few decent restrooms and our tour guide here was somewhat informative. Some of the folks in our group took the train tour and pretty much said it was a good long nap. It was a lovely sunny day, which i know you cannot plan for but if we would've known, there was a kayaking company, a fjordsafari.com, a fun fast boat tour, as well as a small electric car rental company right there that would've been waaaay more fun and less costly. There's several shops, a few restaurants, a cafe, a bakery and some street vendors that were fun. We were able to taste Reindeer meat balls and fish soup prepared by the locals. We also loved the little pub there: Ægir Bryggeri where they brewed their own beer and had coffee at Bakkastova Cafe up on the hill. Stavanger - Lysefjord: Pulpit Rock Cruise - $135@ was interesting as we had a wonderfully personable tour guide who told us interesting facts and even legend about the Fjords, Trolls and the area. Had we known then what we know now, we'd only have done this excursion. The town on Stavanger is big so you'd have to cab to get there unless you felt like a 15-30 minute walk uphill to get in town. We were there the shortest time so when we returned from the excursion, we didn't have time to tour further. The Lillesand: The Jewel of Sorlandet ($170@) was the worse. We were jammed on a boat, 8 people squished into a booth. Some folks had so place to sit and ended up standing along the wall or sitting on a step. They slowly drove around showing us the homes of unsuspecting locals for 2.5 of the 3 hour trip. They stopped in Lillesand for 40 minutes which gave you only enough time to use the restroom (another line) and grab a bottle of water. That excursion cost the most and was the worse. In Oslo, there is Sooooooo Much to see and Sooooooo little time. There's a "Hop On & Off Bus" that will take you to all the touristy places you might want to see. We met friends who live in Oslo there and they took us on a personal guided tour and then back to their house for lunch and Norwegian specialties. Other folks in our group complained that we needed to stay longer. We would've liked to have stayed there for a couple days but the cruise line pays a hefty fee to dock there so they cannot stay too long. There were two stage entertainers on the ship. #1. A lady that sang and played the harp and #2. a magician. Both were not entertaining but maybe to some? We didn't manage to sit thru an entire show. It seems like they mostly just try to sell you more things, spa sessions, their Elemis line, another cruise, Jewelry, Art work, your own photos.... Because we didn't already spend enough money on the cruise? We had a couples massage which was lovely and i had a facial while my husband had a shave at the Greenhouse Spa. 15% gratuities are included but we still tipped them $20@ They try to sell you the Elemis product in a matter of fact way. You need to be good at saying no if you're not interested. It can ruin your relaxing massage at the end, if you let it. We didn't but others in our group did. We didn't buy the drink packages and we did drink about 4-5 cocktails each day (bloody marys, wine, beer) and we didn't spend the $900. we would've spent if we had bought one of the drink packages as both members in room need to buy the full package. Drinks were $7.50 up. Finer wines ranged from $24 to $99 per bottle. Different bars on the ship had different liquors. I love Aperol and was able to find it in the Pinnacle bar. Norway was beautiful and we're happy that we went. We would probably not go back as you need to go in August in order for it not to be too cold. I believe our cruise was one of the last ones for the season. We live in Michigan so leaving in August is difficult for us as we only have summer weather here ourselves for a few months. Holland America - Compared to other cruise lines was not as nice as we had expected it to be but 1000x better than a Carnival cruise but not as nice as Viking or Royal Caribbean. We won't go on another Holland Cruise. Did you know that Carnival Cruise Line owns Holland America? Let that give you a hint... Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
My sister and I booked our cruse thru the cruse agent. We asked for a quiet cabin away from any ice machines, elevator, area with music etc. A quiet area. The first night we heard banging, and what sounded like something heavy rolling over ... Read More
My sister and I booked our cruse thru the cruse agent. We asked for a quiet cabin away from any ice machines, elevator, area with music etc. A quiet area. The first night we heard banging, and what sounded like something heavy rolling over concrete. We were under the 24 hour a day active ships galley. After being told there were no other cabins available, we asked for one of the ships land tours instead. They would not but sent us chocolates and a sorry card. We were stuck on a ship where could not get any sleep. Sleep deprivation is used to break down prisoners not people on vacation. Long miserable story short we got on the ship August 5th 2017 and off on the 13th. On the 13th we got off the ship and took the ships transport to Anchorage for our after cruse vacation. That very afternoon my sisters went to bed in the hotel with a fever. When the fever spiced to 103.8 I took her to Alaska Regional Hospital in Anchorage. She has a horrifying case of bacterial Pneumonia. She is still in the hospital today August 25th. PS, I also have Bronchitis and was put on Antibiotics. No ship should have a galley over cabins. Put it over the shops or anyplace where people are supposed to be able to sleep. The ship is ask horrible. To them a movie about Alaska and people talking about Alaska is considered shipboard entertainment. The food in the dining room and the coffee came out cold. The nice buttery croissants came out refrigerator cold. We met people with kids who told us that the kids went to planned events and nobody was there. When they complained they were told they were not there to entertain their children .WHAT????? Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I just got off the ship from a 12 day cruise. I was disappointed as there was no on board things organised, nothing to do, the food was average, the lido deck where the Buffett was had the same food it was tasteless and tasted the same ... Read More
I just got off the ship from a 12 day cruise. I was disappointed as there was no on board things organised, nothing to do, the food was average, the lido deck where the Buffett was had the same food it was tasteless and tasted the same the restaurant food was average, you had to pay to use the da spa this should be free it was a let down for me I couldn't wait to get off the ship. The excursions were very expensive, the cruise director never had any interaction with guests we never saw her there was boring entertainment and sometimes there was none at all. The cruise director should organise activities, the food should be varied and available all the time, there should be more on board activities and interaction. The excursions should be cheaper. There was no captains dinner, there was no dinner highlights... eg Hawaiian nite. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I never sailed the islands of the Pacific, and this was a perfect opportunity to do so. A few days in Sydney prior to sailing allowed two visits to Hunter Valley (two different companies) and a lunch at the top of the Sydney Tower. ... Read More
I never sailed the islands of the Pacific, and this was a perfect opportunity to do so. A few days in Sydney prior to sailing allowed two visits to Hunter Valley (two different companies) and a lunch at the top of the Sydney Tower. Staying at the Sydney Harbor Marriott allowed wheeling your luggage right up to the ship with no problem....very handy! Boarding was quick and easy. Tropical Cyclone Cook interrupted our visit to two ports in New Caledonia, but one stop in Vanauatu was substituted. Days were hot and sunny as we visited Fiji and Samoa - great for those who are wild about beaches, but not much in the way of historic signts. Lots of sea days - some five in a row - gave plenty of time to kick back and read if you weren't attending a cooking demo, lecture, movie or bingo. The daily "Sip & Savor" with two wines ($4 per glass) and a good snack were led by the somalier with explanation of the wines. Something new each day, and always interesting and tasty. The wine package offerered two levels of wines - Navigator and Admiral - a variety of choices in either. I chose the lower priced Navigator and was never disappointed. My major concern was the fact that my 3-star Mariner rate allowed a 25% discount on the wine package (but a 15% service charge was added) - making it 10% lower than the price listed in the brochure. The 3-star rating didn't do a thing toward discount pricing of a glass of wine at any lounge or even the purchase of a full bottle of wine in the dining room. All coffee at the Explorations Cafe was also discounted, but specialty coffee elsewhere was full price. Dinners at LeCirque were enjoyable but not that exceptional considering the charge. At my second one, the Sea Bass offered was replaced with baramundi which is just not the same thing at all. On the other hand, the Cellar Master's Dinner was excellent. Aside from food and wine - my favorite thing on board was the Piano Bar lounge that was packed every night. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was my Number 1 bucket list trip. The itinerary was perfect but the ageing ship presented many plumbing issues, some cabins were flooded and a few unlucky passengers had to be moved several times. Bathroom flushing issues were taken ... Read More
This was my Number 1 bucket list trip. The itinerary was perfect but the ageing ship presented many plumbing issues, some cabins were flooded and a few unlucky passengers had to be moved several times. Bathroom flushing issues were taken care of in a timely manner. One deck had problems with no air conditioning. One of the two hot tubs was closed for most of the 33 days ..I mainly ate at the Lido buffet which served a variety of entrees and sides and the food was moist as long as you got there early. Dining room service is always slow. I had a lunch and a dinner in the Pinnacle,and was disappointed with the quality of the food. Fish was dry and the cioppino featured halibut that I couldn't pierce with a fork. Service was excellent. Desserts were always plentiful and the pastries were great. The WWII crowd loved the entertainment which featured a harmonica player, an accordion player, a magician, a comic, a violinist, and a former Olympic gymnast. Different movies were featured daily and could be viewed on the TV the next day. I did enjoy the daily Cooking demonstrations and the presentations on Gauguin. I chose this line for the itinerary but the steep single supplement was tough on my pocket. A majority of the ports were tendered, which presented many issues for the aged crowd. The first two ports were tendering fiascos due to mechanical issues that we were granted a one hour open bar from the captain. I would not sail this ship again, and rumor has it that it has been sold and is getting a total rebuild. This was my third HAL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was my first 30 day cruise - which I assumed would be a little too long - but wanted to go because of the places it went LOVED the cruise - MOST locations - the ship is showing it's age the crew was fantastic - best ... Read More
This was my first 30 day cruise - which I assumed would be a little too long - but wanted to go because of the places it went LOVED the cruise - MOST locations - the ship is showing it's age the crew was fantastic - best crew I have ever seen on a ship - best after nearly 10 other cruises I will gladly take another cruise again - there were few younger people on the ship but most were so friendly and enjoyable - Open dining is a great feature and I will only EVER use that - it gives so much freedom the entertainment was quite good - some better than others as you would expect = but all in all pretty good - the ship was steady - but had leaks so many times - with buckets standing 1/2 full of water seen all over the place Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Chose this cruise for the itinerary because it included the Panama Canal. The ship is older and needs to be renovated. Our cabin had a tub which should be removed and replaced with a shower which will provide more room to move about. The ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary because it included the Panama Canal. The ship is older and needs to be renovated. Our cabin had a tub which should be removed and replaced with a shower which will provide more room to move about. The closets in the cabin creaked which made it difficult to sleep. The carpets are well worn, some areas of the ship smell bad, the entertainment, food and dining service leaves a lot to be desired. Even the "specialty" restaurants did not deliver as hoped. The best part of the cruise was the BB King Blues band. Most of the excursions were interesting but expensive. The comedian/ventriloquist joked that the average age of the guests was 108...he wasn't far off. This was the oldest crowd that I've ever cruised with. They provide good facilities, scooters and such for the disabled client. I definitely would not recommend this for a young couple. My advise is to choose an ALL-INCLUSIVE resort or cruise because by the time you pay for EVERYTHING (including water) you will spend as much if not more. Because of this experience I will not choose Holland America again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My Volendam experience overall was positive . The Indonesia and Far East discovery cruise was perfect length of time to experience the flavour of SE Asia. As a single traveler I found the itinerary and the price reasonable. This was my ... Read More
My Volendam experience overall was positive . The Indonesia and Far East discovery cruise was perfect length of time to experience the flavour of SE Asia. As a single traveler I found the itinerary and the price reasonable. This was my second HAL experience and it was a great way to embrace cruising in a safe and interesting way. I cannot comment about the ship other than to say it was clean and other than minor floods in the theatre ( no kidding) the crew fixed the problem. One of the things I observed was the Captains commitment to safety of the passengers. I loved having a cabin to myself. The stateroom stewards were great. I had a problem with a noisy fan in the bathroom and it was fixed promptly. I did not go on the cruise for the dinners but I thought the dining room staff were polite and accommodating. Some more helpful than others but all in all great. the food was not rock and roll wonderful but the special dinners were very nice. I had dinner in the cannetello and was underwhelmed - waste of money. maybe I went of a bad night. My favourite entertainment was the Adagio group they were a treasure. I went once or twice to the theatre shows - it was a hit or miss. some people loved the shows I was sorry I missed the mime. I heard he was wonderful. Barry from Boston grew a following in the evenings. he is goofy bold and has a huge repertoire of music he was talented at engaging everyone in sing alongs. He also was kookie in the kiss the fish event. the activities on the boat were fun, lots of people enjoyed then, The singles event coordinator was wonderful she also hosted some cooking shows lots of interesting ideas lots of fun. I liked the lectures in the Indonesian leg of the trip there were not too many ( it would have added a lot to that leg of the trip) the second leg was terrific, we had Tai chi and chi gong classes, history of china, fantastic Phil gave special sessions in the Hudson lounge. We were informed about Buddha, food and cultural characteristics of people. The special martini events were fun too. the gym was clean and the staff in the gym were very helpful. Service was good. the staff at the front desk were great. The Ports - thank goodness for cruise critic . the trips I participated in through cruise critic were wonderful the excursions the I took through HAL were because of the 2 hour drive back and forth from the location to the Ship. Boroduru was wonderful, the HAL bus trip was terrible the use tried to squeeze too many people into too little space . So the stop mid way at the Eva cafe was good the World heritage site was amazing I loved it . the dinner provided was delicious.coming back we stopped at a silver factory it was okay. we had a police escort to get to and from Boroduru. Other people that took private tours got back in time they just took other roads. the trip to AYATHUYA was interesting It was TOO expensive and I would not recommend it. the ship takes two to two and a half hours to get into Bangkok. I was hoping to get some shopping in but the Ayatthuya trip did not allow for that. the elephant ride was okay, I had had enough of Kenny our guide by 2 hours into the trip. waste of money waste of my time. Day two was more interesting the trip on the river, the grand palace was lovely still no time to shop. when you have only a few hours to sleep who need such an expensive hotel? Bottom line just take the shuttle in to Bangkok and do it on your own. Halong Bay was through HAL and I would recommend this trip. lovely and wonderful. Tommy tours in Da Nang is wonderful. I have written a review in trip advisor . loved that day. In Bali we had a driver Mertee from drivers with distinction that showed us around the island. He was fun accommodating and a terrific person to give us an overview of Bali. I would also recommend him. Our private tour in lombock was great. we saw all kinds of temples I joined another cruise critics tour and I cannot find the operators name, but it was very good. Gokomodo tours was good. also arranged trough cruise critic. this was the only place that I made a mistake. there were lots of kids and one darling boy came up begging, he said he had no mother or father I gave him some fruit. right away I had 1 million kids surrounding me. our tour operator said this was a typical strategy kids use. and that he most likely had parents. Viet nam wonderful but crowded. Jakarta dirty and smoggy Singapore - I would go in a heartbeat. that orchid garden in amazing would I go again ? Maybe to revisit some sites and other new ones. I would definitely have more confidence to go on my own. The other travellers you meet are great. all have a variety of background experience. they are also a treasure. all in all those are some of my thoughts on my adventure. all best Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise as it fitted in with our annual company closedown in January each year, when we must take most of our annual holiday leave. The price was great for this peak holiday time in Australia. Both the embarkation and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it fitted in with our annual company closedown in January each year, when we must take most of our annual holiday leave. The price was great for this peak holiday time in Australia. Both the embarkation and disembarkation processes ran extremely well, no queues All food was fresh and good quality, with the dining room providing gourmet meals each night. We initially asked for extra vegetables with our meal, thereafter a separate plate of steamed vegetables was automatically provided for our table to share each night. Dining room service was excellent. The free food on the swimming pool deck was welcome, we have cruised with other lines three times & always needed to pay for food outside the dining room & cafeteria. In addition, each day a self-serve Mexican food bar was set up on that deck, enabling us to enjoy tacos & nachos - the pulled beef was yummy! WE dined in the Pinnacle Grill for lunch on two occasions. For an extra US$10 per head for three courses plus tea or expresso coffee, this was most worthwhile. The prawn bruschetta (entree) & seafood in tomato broth (main) were highlights. We were each able to take a 750ml bottle of wine aboard on embarkation, which we could drink in our cabin. To take a bottle to the main dining room incurred a corkage fee of US$18. When we visited a wine region in New Zealand, we were each permitted to take a further bottle aboard for use in the dining room, without incurring the corkage fee. A good move by Holland America. The first sitting for dining was at 5.30pm, which meant we sometimes missed dining there due to still being ashore on port days, or missed viewing the ship's departure from ports as we were in the dining room. In hindsight we would choose the later dining option. Our major gripe was with the cost on internet on board the ship, very expensive. Also quite slow according to those who did use it. Accordingly, we waited for port days to use free wifi at local libraries or cafes. However, in NZ this was not always satisfactory as it appears they are still using 3G, at times we were unable to read incoming emails & text messages, & most times could not send emails, although text messages were fine. The entertainment on board was first class, ranging from an in-house band, in-house singers & dancers, to guest comedians, musicians, & singers. There were a variety of classes especially on sea days, including a unique series of computer classes dealing with all aspects of Windows 10, & also several computer Q & A sessions .Everyone found these classes very helpful. Other activities included cooking demonstration, DIY cocktails, galley tour, fitness classes, health & beauty talks, excursion previews, just to name a few. We didn't take any ship organised excursions, mainly due to cost. As we travelled with another couple, we hired cars at two ports to travel further afield, & noticed other groups especially families, did this as well. One excursion I saw advertised privately online prior to the cruise for NZ$50 (Napier town tour 1 hr), yet the ship charged US$69 for exactly the same tour, with the same company, which was double the price (taking into account the exchange rate). This is something cruise ships need to look at closely, to encourage more use of their own shore excursions. For the cost of our cruise, we would definitely sail with Holland America again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I choose Holland for the second time it was both priced great and for 10 days the price was awesome.i have only cruised on rccl and holland.i like rccl for their ships food and service.what I don't like that as a single I get creamed ... Read More
I choose Holland for the second time it was both priced great and for 10 days the price was awesome.i have only cruised on rccl and holland.i like rccl for their ships food and service.what I don't like that as a single I get creamed on the fare. I get the double occupancy but on this cruise holland was not double but only 50 percent more,as with my only other holland cruise this kind of pricing us single can appreciate. I will hence with always consider Hal in all future cruise considerations The Rotterdam had just come out of a 50+ day Mediterranean cruise and some of us got an email from Hal to arrive at a later time to board.it sounded like there was going to be a CDC test. I had arrived on time and within 15 minutes was walking into my cabin. What a wonderful painless embarkation.i had an outside cabin on deck 3 with a a fully obstructed view, my cabin was more than ample the bath had a tub my first and a nice sized flat screen tv. My steward name Inchon was very friendly made towel animals every night and had ice in my room day and night,though I never asked for ice. Though I have had very good stewards Inchon was a cut above. The mdr was a very nice room and the food Was very good.though it was very tough to get a seat at 6pm it seemed to get swarmed at the opening each night. I read the menu each morning and it seemed to have some odd choices.i like to have 2 appetizers and an entree no desert,and most days couldn't make it work.i had some nice meals at the lido where I had breakfast every day but one. My only complaint there was the scrambled eggs were very hit or miss.but what I did find was the ny deli where they make a variety of Great pizzas I am from Chicago and we know our pizzas! The dough was light tasted and great crunch.done in a very hot oven more Neapolitan than anything else. With a large list of ingredients there are many options.for me it was the great surprise of this cruise. The shows of which I have not been a great fan of were better than I anticipated Frozen was amazing the magician was one of funniest guys I have seen and his last illusion I have yet to get over no spoilers here you must see amazing. And the library was well stocked I read 4 Preston/Child books love those guys Now the part that still has me scratching my head after the first show would let out you would expect the casino and bar,entertainment areas to fill up but that simply never happened the ocean bar was offering a drink at cost second one for 2 bucks from 9 to 10 and was a lonely spot after 9:30. The piano bar had at its best a dozen people at its peak and the piano man was great smart engaging personable guy who was entertaining. The bar next door with a great bartender had no more than eight of us after 9pm the Rotterdam was a very quiet ship after 9 The itinerary was one that started with 2.5 sea days and there were enough daytime activities to keep it interesting.then 5 ports in a row with a sea day before hitting half moon cay. Until I got the cruise log (a nice touch by Hal) I did not realize we had sailed through near gale winds and 2 days of rough seas I thought it was a bit choppy. The Rotterdam handled nicely Overall it was a great cruise for a great price I am looking forward to my next cruise and Hal will always be in the mix Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Beautiful San Diego,We arrived 1 day early, Dec 3rd, Watched the sunset at Sunset Cliffs.There was the evening Christmas Parade. The King's Inn, authentic Mexican food for dinner next door. Embarkation at 1.00pm was very fast ... Read More
Beautiful San Diego,We arrived 1 day early, Dec 3rd, Watched the sunset at Sunset Cliffs.There was the evening Christmas Parade. The King's Inn, authentic Mexican food for dinner next door. Embarkation at 1.00pm was very fast and our luggage was in our room within the hour.Correction, my luggage was missing, regardless We headed up to Lido Deck 8 like veteran cruisers for lunch...Asian curry noodles and rice quite authentic. Checked with Security where my bag was held and my small travel iron was confiscated until Ensenada.You can not pack extension cords either. My cabin was Ocean View 3343 mid deck, near the Clock Tower Atrium....which was beautifully Xmas decorated with gingerbread houses, train set.Christmas trees lights.. Cabin was great,, quiet and equidistant both ends of the Amsterdam, La Fontaine Dining room and Queens Lounge..Must mention that my Cabin Stewards Agus and Made were warm, friendly and unobtrusive, kept the cabin very clean and tidy. I look forward to the Towel Art and be surprised every evening. All the ports were excellent, You are in Paradise, The ship excursions were pretty good but We decided to rent a car where We can and explore the islands on our own. HAL ships' ON LOCATION .We had Kainoa who gave us lectures on Hawaiian Culture, History and personal stories of the islands, advice,maps, guidelines to plan your day ashore,the many places to see,and shore excursions. There were the Hula Dancers performances and Hula lessons.Ukulele lessons,Hawaiian Lei making classes ,....A deeper Hawaiian experience. Dec 4th, 5 lovely fun filled sea days,This beautiful ship had fresh flowers everywhere. I read books by Dean Koontz and Jeffrey Archer in The Exploration Cafe Library. Dec 10th, HONOLULU (Oahu). We took the bus transit to Hanauma Bay, for swimming and snorkeling,Not environmentally correct to walk on the coral and rocks,then a long walk on Waikiki Beach, and some shopping for a Ukulele (Better buy on Amazon). i've been to the Pearl Harbor Memorial before .. there wasn't enough time to do more. HILO (Hawaii) Dec 11th..We drove up to Mauna Kea (13 796 ft) At 9200 ft,The Onizuka Center, the road to the summit was blocked off because of frozen ice, so We decided to drive South to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.(original plan was to do this from Kona) Moana Loa was spewing lava before the mist covered everything. Took a walk through the Thurston Lava Tube. At the shoreline of black lava fields, Kilauea was actively erupting lava into the sea, shooting massive plumes of smoke and ashes into the sky that can bee seen from afar. Next day, Dec 12th KONA, There was no car rental shuttle.It's USD28 to get to the car rental and USD28 back so no car rental. We did the Hop On for USD15 each,At the beach stop,James went snorkeling with his Go Pro and I walked the tidal pools and beaches.Saw 5 turtles and lots of yellow fishes..James did the Atlantis submarine (USD85).while I went shopping. 6 packs of Macadamia nut chocs ($24) at Target and Ross is my favorite for bargain hunting, shoes, dresses and fine Italian soap.(Bulgari 100ml parfum $30). Dec 13th NAWILIWILI (Kauai). We drove through Lihue to Waimea Canyon,The Grand Canyon of Hawaii.Don't just stop here, keep on driving to the very end of the road and from here you can see the North shore of the island, the jagged cliffs overlooking the sea.here was where they filmed Jurassic Park. A stop at Wailua Falls, there was a rainbow, before heading back to the ship. Dec 14th LAHAINA (Maui). Make sure your car rental pick-up is at JHM Airport.(not Kahului Airport which is too far from Lahaina) and the last car rental shuttle return to pier is 4.00pm ($20 cab return to Pier at 6.30pm). Drove up to Hakeakala National Park, dormant volcano, elevation 10,024 ft. We were above the clouds !!!! Nature enthusiasts would love the unique flora , silver swords. THE ROAD TO HANA, yes, We decided to do partway of this road, time permitting because We don't know when We'll be back this way again, just to say "We were there.". Narrow winding road through rain forest.Stopped at a fruit stand, On the way back, We went to the beach to watch the surfers.I had a Maui shave ice for $5, don't do that, not natural flavoring, inedible I had to throw away. It's my birthday, the dining room staff sang a Happy Happy song, which also works for anniversaries or anything else (I speak the language) and also a Birthday cake. If they sang in reverse, Am I one year younger You think? The 5 sea days to Ensenada, Mexico Dec20th, a seaside town with a wet fish market, lots of touristsy shops.Had a walk around and back to the ship for TEA., delicious scones with berries preserve and clotted cream.Earl Grey. Dec 21st, San Diego.Last breakfast.Disembark,Took the shuttle to the airport USD10. The HiGH POINT of this wonderful and special cruise was the Scenic Sailing of Kilauea Volcano 10.00pm.I videoed from the ship's bow.The lava flowing into the sea, bright orange red spewing up against the dark night.Lots of steam and smoke. Captain Fred Eversen is cool. The Amsterdam Dancers and Singers and the other entertainers were Super Excellent. The Culinary Art Centre was standing room only, Lots of activities like Trivia and stuff.... Cruise director guys were cool. The food was Excellent and ALL the staff did their best to make this an amazing wonderful cruise. I did not win the $25,000 Bingo, ;( I did not win the Cruise Bingo. ;( Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I chose Koningsdam because it was brand new and happened to be sailing to my favorite destinations, Greece, Italy, Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, Albania, Egypt. Two ports were aborted, one for weather, one for security. The embarkation and ... Read More
I chose Koningsdam because it was brand new and happened to be sailing to my favorite destinations, Greece, Italy, Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, Albania, Egypt. Two ports were aborted, one for weather, one for security. The embarkation and disembarkation was flawless from my perspective...no issues, minimal wait times. The decor indeed drew you out of your cabin, delightful, plush. Loved the new Danish Coffee Bar, missed the Library, music was the main theme of the ship. Did not disappoint. Entertainment was first class. The variety and caliber was extraordinary. This cruise was port heavy, the HAL shore excursions were very pricey. My goal is to sail on each ship at least once and of course build my Star status. My interior cabin was quite small, but sufficed for one person. I repeatedly asked for upgrades, certainly paid enough for an upgrade, but did not receive one. I hope that changes on future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Zuiderdam I sailed from Bergen to NYC.Sailing through Hermine the captain made the correct call missing Nova Scotia and head for NYC. I enjoyed the city for a full day.Hop on hop off for$64.00 with ferry. It appeared as though they are ... Read More
Zuiderdam I sailed from Bergen to NYC.Sailing through Hermine the captain made the correct call missing Nova Scotia and head for NYC. I enjoyed the city for a full day.Hop on hop off for$64.00 with ferry. It appeared as though they are short staffed rarely extra staff was called in when it got super busy.I was disappointed in finding out the ship had no self serve laundry.$30.00 abag or $110.00 unlimited.Very hard working staff and friendly. I was surprised to hear the ship ran out of 4 or 5 different beers.The onboard entertainment could be better and a longer show to boot.The milk cartons were the worse you had to punch a straw through the top, good luck trying to open it to pour.I suggested to the cruise line to offer extended days in certain ports.1 day in Reykavik was not enough I hate to rush to see as much as I can.They decided to fix some area on the lido area interrupting seating.I feel the whole needs reconfigurating.not enough seating at prime time.The casual smart dining menu is similar a lot if the times.So if you want to sit for an hour and a half or two it,s up to you.I also don't know why they only offer happy hour in just 2 locals.I heard they are going to dry dock the ship in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Embarkation on MS Eurodam for the 12-night cruise Venice return on August 22 took a bit more than one hour for practically a full ship, which is not the best but not too bad due to complicated embarking procedure (hope HAL learn from NCL), ... Read More
Embarkation on MS Eurodam for the 12-night cruise Venice return on August 22 took a bit more than one hour for practically a full ship, which is not the best but not too bad due to complicated embarking procedure (hope HAL learn from NCL), but luggage already arrived as I entered the cabin. Security drill took long enough for name calling but there is nothing to learn from the exercise. HAL operates in some respect as a 5-star ship (which they are not as fare is not high enough), such as buffet items are served by staff over the counter, but many procedures need to be modernised. The sailing off at 4pm, earlier than schedule, is a bonus for the most spectacular sail-off on the Giudecca Canal. Sea day next day, with a lot of activities and the cooking demos were very good, with recipe sheet distributed. Gala night but dinner menu only ordinary, and people were not dressy. Balcony cabin is comfortable, with good bedding and sheets and a bathtub, but curtain does not really black out. Cabin has much storage space but strangely practically no drawers...HAL is a very different ship from others, and Eurodam, while a new ship, looks classical. Guests include some younger people as well. Ship is full but not crowded and this is a real great advantage. Dining is well arranged, with upper deck of dining room for assigned seating while the lower deck for free seating. Late snack is ample but served between 10:30pm to 11:30, short of the 'midnight norm'. First port of call was Sarande in Albania instead of Istanbul due to the Turkey turmoil. It is good to call on the less visited Albania and the port was interesting enough, but not so the second call on Katakolon, probably the worst of Mediterranean ports that offer nothing to see except good for cruise lines to sell an Olympia excursion, which costs USD149. But once on shore bus tickets to Olympia were sold for 10 Euros return. We also had to anchor while the later arrived Norwegian Jade and Vision of the Seas berthed. The weather was very hot so that I went ashore for a quick walk and returned within an hour (there being nothing to see and seaside coffee shops are none air-conditioned). Tender operation was smooth and fast however. Good that we stayed only the morning. Long days in Athens (8am to 11pm), and also in Mykonos, Rhodes, and Santorini, all arriving 8am and departing 6pm, where I believe many people like myself have made numerous previous visits. So I was taking it easy for all these ports. In Athens a public bus stop near the cruise terminal takes one to Athens Omonia in a matter of 30 minutes and a 24-hr ticket including Athens public transport costs only 4.50 Euro. This is even more convenient than the metro. The ship provides shuttle to a car park site of Mykonos for USD12 return but once on land right there is now the Seabus that delivers passengers to the real central part of Mykonos, for EUR2 one way. The new port is no longer walk-able. Of these ports Santorini is certainly the most spectacular call, but for frequent cruisers like myself Rhodes is a real town and the most convenient for a retured stroll. Heraklion in Crete was a replacement for a Turkish port, and this together with the next port of call Argostoli are first visits to me. Heraklion is a small city with shopping and local commercial activities, the town centre is walk-able from pier, while Argostoli is a resort with a multi-bent coast line catering to lots of tourist activities. After a sea day we berth in Venice for a good half day and an overnight before disembarkation the next morning, bringing a satisfactory cruise to an end. MS Eurodam is a relatively new ship, spacious, with a tonnage that can take in everything essential, yet not too big for discomfort and inconveniences. There were little if any queue lines, and service attitude was exceptional for a non-luxury class ship. There were indeed touches of a 5-star ship (without being a real 5-star and without charging that kind of fare). Hospitality was very good compared with similar ships (such as Princess). Practically all staff greet you in encounters. Dining was adequate for both the Dining Room and the buffet, the latter is called Lido Market, with multiple market stations catering to different kinds of food. Dining room service was excellent almost on par with Crystal and really operated in the 5-star mode though understandably not so in quality of food. Dining room breakfast was particularly good. Plenty of table for two, in this respect far better than Princess. Wine list was not very good and priced higher than say at Cunard. I was not very happy that twice I ordered wines from the list but was served a less satisfactory alternative. Alternative restaurants had good service, but the Asian restaurant Tamarind serves food that is anything but authentic Asian. The production show of 11 were not the biggest but well-choreographed, and there were guest performers of varying standard. Particularly good was that there is a classical piano quintet that plays really well. Given a similar budget, Holland American traded gimmicky installations, massive cheap entertainment, fancy uniforms and other fiascos for an abundance of food, a spacious cabin with a bathroom that has a real bathtub and decent Elemis toiletries, and perhaps most important, more smiling staff that are always able to greet guests in restaurants and corridors. Its 5-star (which it claims to be) aspects include private cabanas by poolside that even Crystal doesn't have. For a reasonable fare I am really happy with the onboard hospitality that are more in line with Crystal, rather than say the same classed Princess (which I now intend to desert as a Platinum member in favour of HAL: this is my first HAL cruise while I cruised some 10 times on Princess). Overall I had a satisfactory cruise that was enough to induce me to pay an onboard deposit to return to HAL. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We choose this cruise because of the destination. Island, Iceland, Greenland and Canada. The boat starts to be a little bite old (old fashioned decor) but everything on board is made to make you feel happy and confortable. Really clean, ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the destination. Island, Iceland, Greenland and Canada. The boat starts to be a little bite old (old fashioned decor) but everything on board is made to make you feel happy and confortable. Really clean, confy, warm and beautiful. Staff is lovely, food and activities are good. (very interesting conferences, shows, teachings....) The ports were nices and beautifuls. Locals make us feel really welcome and often advantages by being a cruise traveller (lower prices...) We were youngers than most of others guests and basically not English-speaking people but we were feeling like home. The only problems we met were mealtimes, too early schedules and finally not enough time of opening and sorry but the coffee was not good. It was my first cruise then i realized that something was missing.....advices not to be to much in pain with seasickness. It was a wonderful voyage. Good times, Good memories and we cant be more satisfied Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
A group of 5 of us flew to Amsterdam in early July for a 2 week cruise through the Norwegian fjords up into the Arctic Circle on the Koningsdam. Generally speaking, this was a pleasant voyage. Flights were on schedule. Transfers from ... Read More
A group of 5 of us flew to Amsterdam in early July for a 2 week cruise through the Norwegian fjords up into the Arctic Circle on the Koningsdam. Generally speaking, this was a pleasant voyage. Flights were on schedule. Transfers from the airport to the pier went smoothly. Representatives were clearly visible. The wait time in the pier was short. Check in was quick. We boarded around noon. We were not allowed to go to our rooms until 1:30ish. I carried my luggage onboard so I could unpack right away. I dropped the luggage off in the room and continued up to the Lido Market for lunch. Available right away in the Lido Market was a dining room specialist with whom we booked specialty dining. We got that taken care of right off the bat. I like to eat in a specialty restaurant on formal nights so that I do not need the ‘appropriate clothing’ for the MDR. The offerings in which we ate were the Culinary Arts Center, the Pinnacle Grill Steak house, the Pan Asian restaurant, Tamarind, and the Italian restaurant, Canaletto. The Culinary Arts Center offers farm to table dishes with herbs grown onboard. The chef is interested in talking to you while dishes are being prepared. This is all visible with dish preparation happening behind glass windows. One is encouraged to ask questions while dinner is being prepared. Nice pitch. However, the ¾ stools with raised tables are not comfortable. This restaurant bundles a welcome cocktail (think rhubarb, strawberry and vodka) and organic wine with the cost of the meal. This was a good meal, but was overpriced and the table height was uncomfortable. The Canaletto, without going into much detail, is just not worth the additional expense. First of all, it is part of the Lido Buffet. Second, the choices were lacking. Third the preparation was not really ‘Italian’. Next, we dined in the Pinnacle Grill. The steaks were significantly better than steaks by the same name (Sirloin Strip) served in the MDR. The Tamarind pan Asian restaurant was a pleasant surprise. We ate there two times. The second time, I had the lobster tail (dusted with ginger). The dessert was a pillbox hat sized fortune cookie sitting in two inches of chocolate ganache. You have to see it to believe it. As for the Lido Market and the Billboard Onboard lounge, the furniture is so heavy, that trying to slide the chair to the table is almost impossible. In the Lido Market, the legs of the chairs are sharp, and I feel certain will quickly shred the carpeting. My room, given a single occupancy cabin – and there are only 12 of them - was not smaller than cabins of double occupancy. These cabins are forward on the main deck (deck 1) and the savings for booking one of these is substantial. Book way early. They are gone almost immediately. My cabin lacked the sofa bed that other rooms had, but that did not mean the room was smaller. I was in cabin 1009. Also, in terms of air conditioning, the unit worked very effectively. If I lowered the temperature, I could hear the unit turn on. If it got too cool and I raised the thermostat, it would turn off immediately. I don’t ever recall having the air conditioning being so responsive. The entertainment was mixed. This ship offers something called ‘Lincoln Stage Center’- these musicians, 2 violinists, a cellist, a violist and a pianist were incredibly in demand. They did a few concerts each day. I would highly recommend. Seats were gone 15 minutes prior to their performance. Other entertainment on the World Stage was meh, lack luster – a Russian singer and a flautist. Not so interesting. With that in mind, the Lincoln Center Stage isn’t big enough. Future versions of this ship need to expand seating capacity for this venue. Also, this room connects directly with Billboard Onboard. So, two different shows can not occur in these two different venues at the same time. Happy hour seemed to be offered each day from 4 to 5 pm in one of the lounges on deck 2. I did have a problem with mold on this sailing. On deck 1 forward, there was a problem with mold as well as on deck 9 near the Lido Market. The smell was awful. On day 2, it was reported. On day 3, paint odors were reported. On day 4, I saw maintenance staff wearing masks as they were replacing filters in the ventilation ducts. Shore excursions booked through Holland America were good but will be addressed later in this review. But let me add that they were a bit high, pricewise. There were about 2700 people on board. The ship actually holds about 3100. So, the ship was not sold out. However, the service seemed spotty in the dining room and the lounges – especially on formal nights. Trying to meet with a future cruise representative was tricky. Their hours of operation were limited. Also, their space is very small. In addition, I had to wait for one passenger to book with two future cruise reps at the same time. Not efficient, not good planning in this department. The main pool space was somewhat limited. The lounge chairs were comfortable and padded. There wasn’t much space to accommodate many people. This was more of a family area that had the sliding glass roof overhead for cooler weather, which is what we had. Also, in this space is where you will find burgers and fries on one level and pizza up one floor. The pizza and the burger areas used an order system where you receive a pager to notify you when the order is ready. And generally, this took about 10 minutes in each venue. Also, near the burger area was a gelato station. Gelato was a pay area and was about $2.00 for 2 scoops. I preferred the secondary pool – aft. This seated more people with an ample sized pool. Children were not readily seen at this pool the day I was able to use it. I used the gym daily. It was nicely laid out and was just off the spa area. It was big enough to handle all guests that I would run into first thing in the morning. As for the promenade deck, although it wraps all the way around, it is very narrow in parts. So, it is not a good deck for getting a brisk walk. Also, this deck was void of the traditional wooden deck chairs, which is what I grew up with. Generally speaking, it was a nice cruise and I would sail on it again, given that this ship has single occupancy rate cabins. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
The choice was a back to back between Iceland and Russia July 4 through 28, 2016. Copenhagen to Copenhagen. Requested Convertible Twins. Got one king bed. Ask for two separate beds. Stewart gave me a face and said he would do it. Shower ... Read More
The choice was a back to back between Iceland and Russia July 4 through 28, 2016. Copenhagen to Copenhagen. Requested Convertible Twins. Got one king bed. Ask for two separate beds. Stewart gave me a face and said he would do it. Shower head LEAKED. Shower curtain hem covered with MOLD, curtain not connected on two top hooks. i leaned back on the curtain over bed; DUST AND FIBERS FELL OFF AND IRRITATED MY EYES. I was looking for something I dropped and found MANS SOCK UNDER THE BED.TWICE THE CABIN STEWART'S' ENTERED THE ROOM WHILE I WAS LAYING IN BED. THE 2ND TIME WITH THEIR CLEANING EQUIPMENT AND VACUUM CLEANER. THE DID NOT OFFER TO RETURN AT A DIFFERENT TIME. I HAD TO CLIMB OVER THEIR EQUIPMENT TO GET OUT O THE CABIN. July 5 or 6 there was NO A/C. Room was HOT AND STUFFY. I slept with the door open, blocked with a chair and curtain drawn all night.. Bathroom floor was squeaky with dent under the tile. I asked only for ice every day (nothing else)- No ice. I had to call 3 each week for ice. \Empty fruit basked never returned with fruit. I asked the head housekeeper "DON'T YOUR TRAIN YOUR STAFF?" No answer. i ASKED for a cabin upgrade and got a pot of flowers. I asked for a different cabin Stewart. and that I got. The rest of the staff was indifferent and inexperienced. When food service stopped in the buffet and dining room, Only a few items were on the "dine in room" menu and the selection was very poor. Three of the serving staff ('chef"s) in the buffet were rude. MANY of the service people were not trained properly and or poorly trained in food service. The Piano and Violin & The Microsoft classes were excellent. The rest of the entertainment was mediocre. Of the several cruise companies, I've traveled Holland America is the ABSOLUTE WORST!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I’m happy to say, what a difference this was with my first cruise. I really thought if this will be so bad as my first cruise, this will be my last but thankfully everything was super. I'm even now already looking for the next one ... Read More
I’m happy to say, what a difference this was with my first cruise. I really thought if this will be so bad as my first cruise, this will be my last but thankfully everything was super. I'm even now already looking for the next one (only not anymore with Princess cruises). This time travelling with my two teenage daughters and my brother (he in another room) This time on a smaller ship and off course less passengers but I think they have the same class. Yes the Rotterdam is an older ship and I must admit when I saw it the first time outside it looked old. Later on the cruise they painted everything outside and it becomes better. Thankfully insight everything is very clean/nice and in good condition. I love the spots (the café’s, library,shops etc.) it makes it very cosy (you feel at home). I read many times that people say that there are many “older” people on board and yes I admit the average age on the boat is mainly 60+ but directly I must say that neither I as my daughters found this exasperating. The boarding was very smoothly and we even could use our room directly. The only thing what really must be better on this boat is more (or renewed) Sun/swimming place. Now there was nearly place to lay by the Lido pool. Normally you can lay on the sky deck as well but all chairs were old and rusted (and all tied with a rope), therefore there was only place by the Lido pool or the Sea view pool. I don’t know why they renewed the last pool (Sea View) as there isn’t any water in it now but only some strange chairs in what I assume a waterway (not a swimming pool). When it was hot weather you have to cool down in the hot tub (as you can’t go through the Lido restaurant with your swimming clothes to the Lido Pool. Nice is that the roof by the Lido pool can be opened/closed (only sometimes it is too warm in there) The service on board on all levels (from front desk to Security) is excellent. Nothing is too difficult. Where we had on our 1st cruise problems with taking a bottle of wine (from the wine package) from the bar to the dining restaurant (or vice versa), here it was no problem at all. The buffet restaurant was very good (we loved the food places, were they prepare all kinds of Salad, Thais food etc.). We only didn’t use the buffet restaurant for the evening. Dining restaurant was excellent (also in the morning at breakfast). As my children doesn’t like everything and don’t eat pork, I thought this will be a problem, but thanks to our wonderful waiter (and cook) nothing was impossible and my children even keep eating there. Also what we like was the events by the swimming pool (Spanish and Dutch), with games/food and drinks (this gave the cruise extra fun experience). The quality of food by the drive-in at the Terrace is very good as well. Hamburgers and Hotdogs were very nice. To me (and the children) the entertainment was good enough, but this is really personal I think. Only we couldn’t be by all shows as the theatre was full with people. All ports which we visit was very nice and beautiful and easy for transport, so I don't review these. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I can't compare HAL to any other line as it's the only one I've cruised on. However, my Mother was on almost every line available in the US and Europe. After she tried HAL she stayed with them and became a 4 star mariner ... Read More
I can't compare HAL to any other line as it's the only one I've cruised on. However, my Mother was on almost every line available in the US and Europe. After she tried HAL she stayed with them and became a 4 star mariner until her passing. She introduced me to HAL in 2010 and I was hooked. Since then, I've introduced cruising to my 3 grown daughters. This was my 6th cruise and my daughters 2nd with HAL. If you're looking for glitz/glamor, brass and glass, rock climbing or water slides, this is not the line for you. But if you want elegance, fine dining, and total pampering then Holland America is a must try. My middle daughter JN and I just got back from the Western Caribbean on the Nieuw Amsterdam (April 3-10th). We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and have not one complaint. Our embarkation was without issue and our cabin was clean and ready. We found the ship's staff extremely welcoming and helpful. We ate at the MDR, Lido, Pinnacle, Drive In, NY Pizza and Tamarind. All meals were exceptional. The only disappointment was room service for breakfast on disembarkation day. Our order was incomplete. Totally understandable as the staff is under pressure to prepare for the new passengers boarding. My daughter took advantage of the gym several times. She has a gym membership at home and was pleased with the amount of and condition of the equipment aboard a ship. We went to the casino, she found a quiet spot she liked (Silk Den), she went to the BB King show and had a great experience. My entertainment/destination is the balcony with a glass of wine and my feet up. For me, it doesn't get any better than that. We both absolutely love Half Moon Cay. Clean, everything accessible and the beach was our favorite. The lunch BBQ was very good. My youngest daughter is considering renewing her vows on Half Moon Cay's chapel in 2017. We checked out the chapel and it was ideal. Getting the clam shell on Half Moon was worth every penny and I'll rent one again next cruise. We booked an excursion to Seven Mile Beach on Grand Cayman. I was disappointed in the beach but, I'm spoiled by Half Moon. I found the beach to be very narrow and uneven. Hard to walk. The water there was clean and clear but you really need swim shoes due to the coral and rocks. In summary, I enjoyed the cruise and the Nieuw Amsterdam was all that I expected and more. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We had planned this cruise before my husband died, but he had made me promise to go even without him. I had mixed feelings but continued on with the cruise. I arrived in San Diego two days before the cruise and was able to tour the ... Read More
We had planned this cruise before my husband died, but he had made me promise to go even without him. I had mixed feelings but continued on with the cruise. I arrived in San Diego two days before the cruise and was able to tour the city before the cruise. I was also able to go to a pre-cruise dinner with some of my new Cruise Critic friends. Embarkation went smoothly for me but from what I hear there was a long wait after our group got through. We did have to wait a while before we were allowed to board but we were able to sit while we waited. I felt sorry for those who were still on the long lines waiting to check in. I had stayed at the HAL hotel (Sheraton Marina) and used the HAL transfer to the port and we arrived before the long lines started. I had a great time in spite of the weather (which only Mother Nature can control) and because of some great friends I made on Cruise Critic before the cruise. I had an obstructed view cabin. I choose this cabin because I knew it had a floor to ceiling window which gives you more light in the room. My stewards were always polite and friendly and if I needed something willing to help me. They would greet me by name every time they saw me and ask how I was doing and if I needed anything. I found the service in the MDR to be very good. I had open seating because I like to meet new people and never had a problem being seated. Depending on who I was seated with the time I spent in the MDR was perfect. Some nights we would be talking so much we didn’t realize how much time had passed. But no one every rushed us out. I prefer to eat breakfast in the MDR so did not eat that often in the Lido. I did use the Salad Bar in the Lido and also the Dive In for their hamburgers. You can ask for the hamburger without some of the toppings if you so choose. The fries were my downfall, they are great. As far as the pre-made sandwiches, I prefer to have one made to order so I didn’t eat those. I am not a sun worshiper so did not use the pool or lounge chairs on the Lido Deck. I did go and sit at a table in the shade to either listen to music by the Hawaiian group or to just sit and read. I found the entertainment to be very good. There were plenty of lectures to go to if that was what you enjoyed to do. Kainoa gave lectures on Hawaii and the Islands we were visiting. Other lectures were things I wasn’t interested in so didn’t attend. But there was so always something to do not matter what you enjoyed doing. Jorge had activities for those who liked to keep moving. He had a Westerdam Treasure Hunt, The Big Kahuna Activity Challenge, to name a few. Also there was Trivia with Mario or Pub Trivia with Jorge. For those who enjoy music there was Anna in the Piano Bar. The entertainment in the Show Lounge was also very good; from the HAL Dancers and Singers to all the other entertainers they brought on board. Through the Cruise Critic Meet & Greet I met a log of new friends and we had a lot of activities and excursions planned long before we even arrived on the ship. So I could never say I was bored or had nothing to do with all that was going on. I did most of my excursions through private vendors which my Cruise Critic friends had arranged before we even started the cruise. There were a few I did with HAL and found them adequate for the price. We did miss two ports (Fanning Island and Rarotonga) because of the weather and the strong sea swells, but that was for safety reasons. I had read of a tender on the World Cruise getting pushed into the coral that surrounds the islands in January so I agreed with the Captain’s call of not going to those islands in the bad seas. We were well compensated with both a $100 on board credit and a 15% credit toward a future cruise booked by April 30 of 2017. I have two more cruises already planned. Disembarkation was pretty smooth and I used the HAL transfer to the airport. Overall I would rate this cruise as outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I absolutely love the lanai room. But, the Veendam is getting dated and it is a little rough. For example, the tile on the hot tubs is all coming off and many things simply do not appear in in top shape. Overall, I felt the food was good ... Read More
I absolutely love the lanai room. But, the Veendam is getting dated and it is a little rough. For example, the tile on the hot tubs is all coming off and many things simply do not appear in in top shape. Overall, I felt the food was good and the staff very pleasant. This cruise which stops in Honduras and Guatemala is fun mostly for its unique itinerary. There is not much to do at either port but you are seeing places most ships don't go. Costa Maya is a nice beach. I just took the shuttle for three dollars and a three dollar taxi back to the ship. The chairs were free at the beach and the personnel was very pleasant. There again isn't really much to do but it is a nice day in the sun. I found the entertainment to be mixed. I loved Adagio even though it is now only two people. I felt the comedian was simply not funny but the pianist was excellent. Like all ship casinos the odds weren't good but it was always crowded and smokey. I didn't buy anything on board and did no excursions. It was easy on and off. My room was ready when I got there and my steward was great. Almost literally never saw him. I went by myself on this cruise and found it to be a perfect trip to do alone. My lanai neighbors were very friendly and I met three other singles at dinner. I did one day in a port with another single traveler. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Three friends from childhood who graduated high school together in 1971 decided to take a girlfriend getaway on the beautiful Nieuw Amsterdam. I, a seasoned cruiser of 25--Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival, Princess, Oceania, and ... Read More
Three friends from childhood who graduated high school together in 1971 decided to take a girlfriend getaway on the beautiful Nieuw Amsterdam. I, a seasoned cruiser of 25--Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival, Princess, Oceania, and Cunard--will tell the tale as I have something to compare it with. Stayed at the Comfort Suites near the port and enjoyed the transportation both from the airport and to Port Everglades. We arrived quite early to the port and walked right up to check-in. Of course, it meant sitting in the terminal for a couple of hours, but that was kind of fun as we watched hundreds of passengers standing in the line and getting checked in. Excitement for all! Overall impression of the ship: Just the right size, spotlessly clean, elegant understated décor. We were in a triple occupancy balcony cabin and once we found a spot for all our "stuff" (which was kind of a daunting task), we didn't feel crowded at all. Plenty of drawer space and closets. and don't forget HA provides drawers under the bed, too. Loved the bathroom with a tub, which made showering much more enjoyable than the typical tiny cruise ship showers. We dined most nights in the main dining room, and one night at Canaletto (Italian) and one night at the Pinnacle Grill. Well worth the upcharge! Service was slow in the dining room and perfect at the Pinnacle. Entertainment: up and down. We LOVED the B.B.King All Stars group, but did not care for the piano bar guy or the band in the atrium. We especially loved the "Dancing with the Stars" events. We enjoyed each port and booked some excursion in some. Grand Turk we went to Margaritaville (fun), they have a giant swimming pool, beach, and even a flowrider! Loved the way the beach is right next to the ship...no need to book an excursion at this port. San Juan we did the hike thru the rain forest, and believe me when I say, it was RAINING! Come prepared, or buy an overpriced poncho! Also, it is pretty strenuous climbing and hiking, especially over wet rocks. Still, very interesting. At St. Thomas, we went on the Kon Tiki, which is basically a party boat with rum punch flowing like water, and dancing the limbo. They did take us to a beach for an hour or so. The other two did the horseback riding excursion at Half Moon Cay, and felt it was a money making opportunity for the photographer, with little time actually riding the horses. Overall, I would recommend this ship to anyone who is looking for a relaxing time with some fun thrown in here and there. Not for you, if you want rock climbing walls, water slides, etc and a lot of activities for young kids. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Headed to the Eastern Caribbean early November. We were late to embark due to flight delays but I think it worked in our favor as there were no lines or wait times to board the ship. We specifically chose HAL as we're a bit ... Read More
Headed to the Eastern Caribbean early November. We were late to embark due to flight delays but I think it worked in our favor as there were no lines or wait times to board the ship. We specifically chose HAL as we're a bit contrarian and do not necessarily cruise to take advantage of all activities, night life and all-you can-eat buffets. Rather, we like to order room service for breakfast, find a comfortable quiet spot to read and relax, enjoy the thermal suite, and look at the stars from our balcony to finish the night. HAL provides all that and more. The Pros: Good restaurants: Canneletto, Pinnacle, and Le Cirque were terrific. After our first meal in the Vista Lounge we opted for Canneletto to be our primary dinner source. We skipped the Lido Buffet and opted for room service for breakfast and sometimes lunch. The burger joint on the Lido deck was delicious. So good I could only allow myself to eat there just once for fear of being addicted. I noticed a lot of people opted out on the 'Diver sauce' which is standard on their burgers. It's kind of a mustard aoli and became obvious it was not for everyone, but I liked it. Our room stewards and ALL the crew for that matter were, hard-working, friendly and always service-with-a-smile. I think that was the most impressive thing I take away from our experience. The Spa has good specials during port days. The Thermal suite is a must-do if you're looking for serious relaxation during your trip. Two separate pools in separate areas of the ship, one designated Adults-only. Ports: Grand Turk: A sleepy island with a small downtown area that is a little depressed. There are a few eateries and several souvenir tents (all selling the same items) as well as a maritime museum, but that's about it. We didn't go to the beach due to the weather being a little rainy and overcast but people who did reported how absolutely beautiful it is. Would recommend an excursion over taking a taxi into town. San Juan, Puerto Rico: Hands down our favorite stop and we didn't need to be back on the ship till 10:30 p.m. Did the excursion which included the Castillo San Felipe Fort and the Bacardi' tour. Our driver, Lisa was very genial and while driving relayed the history and current life in Puerto Rico. It also included a tour of the Bacardi' plant which was fine, but truly enjoyed the drive and the commentary while touring the island. We ended up in Old San Juan and had a wonderful dinner at an Italian restaurant, Al Dente. There were some storms passing through but they ended just in time for us to have a short stroll back to our ship after dinner. St. Thomas: Beautiful Island but the problem was there were 6 other cruise ships in port that day. The downtown area was a crush of humanity. We walked up the hill to explore some neighborhoods but again, unless you like huge crowds and Love to shop, do an excursion that will take you to other parts of the island instead. Half Moon Cay: Truly the poster child for the beauty of the Caribbean. An experience I'll not soon forget. The Island is beautiful and the water sublime.There are free loungers to use, but spend a few extra buck for a ClamShell as the sun is deceptive and subsequently a lot of crispy people at dinner that night. Word for the wise, if you rent a Clam Shell and show up a little later in the day, you're going to have to walk down the beach a little further to find an attendant. But it's really okay because it means you're further down where it's also a little less crowded. The infrastructure on the island is very user friendly and they also do a bbq for lunch. The Cons: The Spa layout is a bit confusing and compared to other ships I have sailed on in the past few years, a little dated. Everyone is trying to sell you something, if not the spa pushing treatments, at the Gym they're trying to enroll you in detox programs or boot camps and if not at the gym, your cocktail waitress is trying to sell you drink packages or enroll you in the Pub Crawl, etc., etc. It's a little annoying and it's hard on everyone because you know those people are ordered to do push these things. Thankfully it all dies down after a few days. The Casino slots are not very friendly so your dollar doesn't go very far. It feels like a bit of a time warp to walk into a place so tainted with both stale and fresh cigarette smoke. Entertainment There's something for everyone. There was the piano bar which was very popular. The Adagio where nightly was a pianist and violinist playing classical music, and the B.B. King all-stars, all terrific. Northern lights which is where the late night partying was happening, and the Crows Nest. Lots to do and see from sun up through late night. The Westerdam is not a mega-ship which was exactly what we were looking for. Definitely an older demographic and not a lot of children on board. A 'judgement free' zone in regards to body types as there were all kinds of shapes and sizes on board which goes a long way when having to put on a bathing suit. We loved how well appointed this ship was with comfortable seating areas all throughout the ship. I've been on a few mega-ships where by the 4th or 5th day I would start to feel a little hemmed in, crowded by too many people, but this has not been my experience on HAL. All the crew were eager to please and always made sure we were satisfied with our service. This is a cruise I'd do again in a heart beat. The major downside was having to the leave the ship early and having made the mistake of having a later flight. The Ft. Lauderdale airport is small, and is not outfitted to handle the thousands of people who descend upon the airport after they disembark. We were not even let through security until an hour and a half before our flight. Once we got through we understood why they made us wait as once we were in the terminal we felt like sardines in a sardine can. If you have a later flight do yourself a favor and do one more excursion for the day and then plan to get to the airport as close to the time your departure allows. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
I almost don't know where to start. I set up the cruise thru them directly and told them I would need a room for 4 adults over 65. we were assured the cabin would fit our needs. It did not! One of the beds pulls out of the ceiling ... Read More
I almost don't know where to start. I set up the cruise thru them directly and told them I would need a room for 4 adults over 65. we were assured the cabin would fit our needs. It did not! One of the beds pulls out of the ceiling over the head of the bed. None of us could manage that crawl in to the shelf. When I brought this to the attention of the front desk ( they have very narrow hours) I was told they were in a meeting and would get back to me. S 2 days into the trip they offered me sleeping accomadations in an unused cabin on the lowest deck for only $900.00 more. We waited 4 hours from our flight into Seattle until we boarded the ship. Most of that standing inline. When we got onboard at last , they closed the buffet and we had not eaten it was 2:30 and they didn't care. time for a lifeboat drill standing on deck in the sun huddled together. then it got worse. From a staff that was hard to find and slow to help, to a 30 minute wait to get a hotdog. The buffet line was not held at proper temp and if it was on land they would be closed down as unsafe. Soups barely warm and they delivered all baked potatoes so cold they would not melt butter. It was a complaint shared by many. This was my Seventh cruise and the first and last with Holland. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click