2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Our 21 Day Cruise aboard HAL's Amsterdam from Singapore to Cape Town was our best cruise ever. We have cruised many times on multiple cruise lines and have Elite Status on multiple cruise lines - so this is a significant statement. We ... Read More
Our 21 Day Cruise aboard HAL's Amsterdam from Singapore to Cape Town was our best cruise ever. We have cruised many times on multiple cruise lines and have Elite Status on multiple cruise lines - so this is a significant statement. We knew prior to the beginning of our cruise that the Amsterdam would be going into dry dock in May, 2018 so we were very afraid that the condition of the ship would be poor. To our great surprise, the Amsterdam was quite the opposite. The Hotel Director, Henk Mensink (Dutch) is the best Hotel Director I have ever seen and takes great pride in his efforts to have his Team keep the Amsterdam in pristine condition at all times - even just before going into dry dock. Most of the ships we have sailed on which were about to go into dry dock had declined in condition - with several ships having very horrible conditions such as sewer problems, flooding problems, ratty carpeting, etc. This is why we were so pleased with the great condition of the Amsterdam. We were also favorably impressed with the Captain: Jonathan Mercer (British). The food on this cruise was excellent every day - as was the service, especially in the Lido. The quality of the entrees and desserts was great. Many options were available and never long wait lines in the Lido. The ship décor is classic and quite impressive. We are looking at more cruising opportunities aboard the Amsterdam and highly recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
The American Holland, New Amsterdam Cruise was excellent. Starting with arrival and checking was a great experience for anyone looking for a great time.The variety of the food and the picnic at half moon cay was amazing. We did not use ... Read More
The American Holland, New Amsterdam Cruise was excellent. Starting with arrival and checking was a great experience for anyone looking for a great time.The variety of the food and the picnic at half moon cay was amazing. We did not use the cruse excursions but others and they were very good. Everything, was quiet impressive but Arsana services and care was my highlight, The guys that took care of the cabin were amazing, I ask for ice for my back one day and for that point on Arsana had ice for me every day. Arsana and Konang were absolutely above and be on expectations taking care of us. Enrike in the dining room was exceptional as well, all service areas were impressive.The cruise was excellent, almost everything, I though that all entertainment was targeting one age group but other than everything else was amazing. I highly recommend this cruise for everyone. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We selected this cruise because of the itinerary. We have taken over 25 cruises with all different lines and often select based on where the ship is going.This cruise went through the Panama Canal and stopped at some pretty neat ports. ... Read More
We selected this cruise because of the itinerary. We have taken over 25 cruises with all different lines and often select based on where the ship is going.This cruise went through the Panama Canal and stopped at some pretty neat ports. The ship is in very good shape, small but elegant (we always find the HAL ships to be very pretty ships). The food was the best that we have had in a very long time. The Lido had a lot or variety and the Dining Room was really good as well. We loved our waiters, they were a lot of fun. Service was very good and professional. Our cabin was adequate for the 3 of us (our college age daughter traveled with us) and had lots of storage. We used the fitness center each day and found it to be very adequate. The entertainment was not very good at all. There was nothing to really do in the evening (trivia was big and very competitive probably so because of lack of activities). There was a speaker (Ian) who was very good and entertaining. Other than that, we were bored. Our daughter spent many nights doing puzzles in the library since there was nothing for her to do with her age group.We knew that this was a possibility but were hoping that since it was a holiday sailing that more would be going on. Ports of Call - Guatemala -Did a ship tour for the highlights of the area. Very well done. Puntarenas, Costa Rica - We did our own thing here since our daughter actually lived here with host family, so we went to see them. You had to take transport from the port area (worth it) to get into the city.It is a tourist area for the Ticos, so lots of locals. Beach area is nice and people are friendly. Nicaragua - We did a private tour. They picked us up and brought us into the city. Again, our daughter had been here before so she acted as tour guide. Cabo San Lucas - Did a whale watch here - lots of fun. Cartagena - We have been here before so grabbed a taxi and walked around the old area of town. Puerto Vallerta - Walked around and shopped. Half Moon Cay - Nice beach - went off for a little bit to swim We love to cruise and would recommend this itinerary. HAL does a good job but we feel that it caters to much older people (we are in our 50's) so it will be some time before we cruise them again. For now, we will stick to Royal Caribbean and Celebrity (we like the perks that come with cruising them a lot). Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Great Wall in China was wonderful . Must make it a two day trip as forbidden city is a long walking tour. Be prepared for the massive crowds of people at the temples & cities. It was a special religious holiday & schools were on ... Read More
Great Wall in China was wonderful . Must make it a two day trip as forbidden city is a long walking tour. Be prepared for the massive crowds of people at the temples & cities. It was a special religious holiday & schools were on summer breaks. Most ports had free bus service to local area of interest & Starbucks for wifi. Be prepared for no Facebook or phone service in China & Japan. T mobile seamed to be a better service. My Verizon was not good. Several local groups were brought on ship for shows, crafts, dancing & exercise classes. Ports where crew families lived everyone had signs on cabins "no service" enjoy your family's. Pretty special. I packed way to many summer clothes. Much cooler then expected & of course air conditioning very cold in dining,show rooms, & movie theater. In Australia we used water taxis to vist fishing villages & guess what free wifi on dock & excellent fish lunch. Hop on buses were ok but expensive. Local buses were a fun experience if you had time. Polynesian islands easy to book trips on shore. A must to swim with sharks & huge sea rays. Most evenings we had late dining at a table for 8 (53) & our Waite staff was excellent. The decorations & themes according to the country we were visiting were grand every night. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
When I first started talking to my friends about taking my first ever cruise, they all said the same thing: Holland America would be a great fit for me. They also said that to get the best cruise experience, I should go for at least 7 ... Read More
When I first started talking to my friends about taking my first ever cruise, they all said the same thing: Holland America would be a great fit for me. They also said that to get the best cruise experience, I should go for at least 7 days, longer if possible. And they all suggested finding an Alaska itinerary since Holland America pretty much wrote the book on cruising Alaska, and I live about halfway between Seattle and Vancouver, the two ports used by most Holland America Alaska cruises. I found the 14-day Great Alaska Explorer, and contacted Holland America via their website. That put me in touch with my fabulous Personal Cruise Consultant, Crystal. And so, in Mar 2017, I booked my first ever cruise: September 11-25, on the Amsterdam, 14 days cruising Alaska. I'm writing this now, two weeks after returning from my cruise. First -- my friends were absolutely right: Holland America is a perfect match for me! The ship size couldn't have been better: I have some limited mobility issues (mostly breathing related), and I was still able to get around with minimal problems. I liked the fact that there were entertainment options available, but it wasn't necessarily the primary objective. I attended a couple -- and they were very good -- but I'm not really an "entertainment" person -- I live and travel alone, so I'm kind of used to entertaining myself, and that's easy to do onboard. Second, the accommodations: I had a Neptune Suite -- I have a slight tendency for claustrophobia and I didn't want to risk that having an impact on my initial impression of cruise travel. The room was even better than I expected. I loved having the extra room to move around, and the room stewards couldn't have been more gracious and accommodating. The towel critters that appeared each night were a hoot! They kept me stocked with grapes, too -- they soon figured out that I never eat bananas or apples, but LOVED grapes and pears -- so they started augmenting my daily fruit dish with more grapes and pears. I didn't have to say anything (never dawned on me to ask anyway). Those little touches were greatly appreciated, and I think speaks well for HAL's service level. The food: a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!!! Honestly, the Main Dining Room served some fabulous meals, beautifully presented by staff who were committed to providing a great experience. I had requested "anytime" dining/willing to share, and that worked out well -- never had to wait at all. I tend to eat earlier (between 5:00pm and 5:30pm), and over the 14 days I found familiar faces at the table many meals since we all tended to eat at the same time. I liked eating with a different mix of folks each meal -- made things interesting! The only downside was having different servers nearly every night, since seating was sort of random in different areas of the room. It's a trade-off between having a dedicated server for the trip or having a variety of personalities, but always providing the highest quality. I did have the same sommelier for all but 2 evenings that I ate in the MDR, and he was fantastic. I had purchased a wine package, so was able to select from the list with his assistance. Super experience! I ate two meals in Canaletto and was super impressed with it as well. Service was outstanding -- I was a "single," so had a table to myself, and was never made to feel "out of place" in a restaurant that includes as a concept the idea of sharing plates. The food was simply fabulous. Every dish was perfection on a plate. Would gladly eat there many more times. I didn't do many shore excursions as I wasn't sure how easy/difficult getting on and off the should would be until I got into port, and by then it was too late to book an excursion onboard. Although quite a few excursions were rated "easy," it doesn't help if getting off the ship requires a 1/4-mile walk or lots of stairs or ramps. I'll have a better idea next time what to look for in terms of challenges. I wanted this trip to focus mostly on getting around onboard, and I was able to accomplish everything I wanted to do. We did have some rough seas between Hoonah (Icy Strait Point) and Anchorage -- I was fine, no hint of seasickness at all, but moving around was a tad treacherous until things calmed down. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my first cruise, enough that I've already booked three more cruises over the next 18 months! Two will be with Holland America (a 38-day North Atlantic roundtrip from Boston, and a 28-day Hawaii-Tahiti-Marquesas) and one with Oceania (an 18-day cruise from San Francisco to Miami via the Panama Canal). And eventually, I want to take this cruise again. There's so much to see in Alaska! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This is the only cruise line that has the itinerary we were looking for. We wanted that itinerary and to be able to be quite. The weather was great with some light rain and some overcast days. Smooth sailing and a lot of sunshine. ... Read More
This is the only cruise line that has the itinerary we were looking for. We wanted that itinerary and to be able to be quite. The weather was great with some light rain and some overcast days. Smooth sailing and a lot of sunshine. On cruise critic someone mentioned that the Cpt. Had a blog one should look at it because it was very interesting. They were right he had many interesting things to say. The cruise before ours was really rough, so we were very lucky that ours was beautiful. At most ports there was a shuttle to take you into town that was free and where there'was a long walk off the pier there was golf carts to help. So if you have a handicap that should not stop you from going. We found that from our room steward to our waiters to anyone we came in contact with were very friendly and helpful. We didn't use a lot of the options on board that was our choice and I am sure it was good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Since I don't like to fly, I chose this cruise over a land, sea cruise. I liked that we went to ports that most people don't get to see. The weather was not the greatest at times, but they have no control over that. I thought the ... Read More
Since I don't like to fly, I chose this cruise over a land, sea cruise. I liked that we went to ports that most people don't get to see. The weather was not the greatest at times, but they have no control over that. I thought the entertainment was terrific, except for the so-called comedian the first night of the cruise. The steward was great. Our waiter was phenomenal. I gained 10 lbs., so the food must have been great. Overall, I was very happy with the cruise and have no complaints. I was traveling with 2 friends, so being in one room together was kind of challenging, but we made it work. The bathroom was very nice and quite roomy. There was way more closet space than I had expected. We took turns sleeping on the sofa, and it was quite comfortable. No complaints. I would definitely cruise Holland America again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
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 a great ... 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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Whilst not the best weather for Alaska scenery viewing, the warmth and friendliness of the crew on MS Amsterdam certainly made up for the weather. We had extremely wet weather, but as it is Alaska, and mostly a temperate rain forest, ... Read More
Whilst not the best weather for Alaska scenery viewing, the warmth and friendliness of the crew on MS Amsterdam certainly made up for the weather. We had extremely wet weather, but as it is Alaska, and mostly a temperate rain forest, what did I expect? Possibly cruise in an earlier month in future? However, we did manage to see lots of whales in Juneau, a Sitka black tailed deer, a brown bear and a red squirrel in Icy Straight Point, sea otters, seals, lots of salmon, and bald eagles in Ketchikan, so a success in our view! The ship is small but perfectly formed! It doesn't take long to get to where you need to be. There are 2 laundry rooms, at $2 including wash soap, conveniently situated on decks 3 and 6. There are several lounges which are nicely appointed and very comfortable. The Crow's Nest in particular has wonderful views, and great for a pre dinner drink! Amsterdam's best feature, however, the Lido Swimming pool area. It has a large retractable roof, which in the wet, ensures the warmth needed to take a dip in the very warm pool, or a pleasant drink at the bar! We had an inside cabin, which was very good. Aft position, and whilst it stated it could be noisy during the day, it was actually very quiet. Stewards were excellent. The evening entertainment wasn't to my liking, however the Amsterdam singers and dancers were excellent. We only did 2 ship's excursions - in Icy Straight and the Seattle tour transfer to airport. Both were good, if a little expensive. An excellent cruise! Read Less
Amsterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 3.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.1
Enrichment 4.0 3.9
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 4.2

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